Undercover American narcotics agents have laundered millions of dollars in drug proceeds

By GINGER THOMPSON/New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/world/americas/us-drug-agents-launder-profits-of-mexican-cartels.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha2

WASHINGTON — Undercover American narcotics agents have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds as part of Washington’s expanding role in Mexico’s fight against drug cartels, according to current and former federal law enforcement officials.

The agents, primarily with the Drug Enforcement Administration, have handled shipments of hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal cash across borders, those officials said, to identify how criminal organizations move their money, where they keep their assets and, most important, who their leaders are.

They said agents had deposited the drug proceeds in accounts designated by traffickers, or in shell accounts set up by agents.

The officials said that while the D.E.A. conducted such operations in other countries, it began doing so in Mexico only in the past few years. The high-risk activities raise delicate questions about the agency’s effectiveness in bringing down drug kingpins, underscore diplomatic concerns about Mexican sovereignty, and blur the line between surveillance and facilitating crime. As it launders drug money, the agency often allows cartels to continue their operations over months or even years before making seizures or arrests.

Agency officials declined to publicly discuss details of their work, citing concerns about compromising their investigations. But Michael S. Vigil, a former senior agency official who is currently working for a private contracting company called Mission Essential Personnel, said, “We tried to make sure there was always close supervision of these operations so that we were accomplishing our objectives, and agents weren’t laundering money for the sake of laundering money.”

Another former agency official, who asked not to be identified speaking publicly about delicate operations, said, “My rule was that if we are going to launder money, we better show results. Otherwise, the D.E.A. could wind up being the largest money launderer in the business, and that money results in violence and deaths.”

Those are precisely the kinds of concerns members of Congress have raised about a gun-smuggling operation known as Fast and Furious, in which agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed people suspected of being low-level smugglers to buy and transport guns across the border in the hope that they would lead to higher-level operatives working for Mexican cartels. After the agency lost track of hundreds of weapons, some later turned up in Mexico; two were found on the United States side of the border where an American Border Patrol agent had been shot to death.

Former D.E.A. officials rejected comparisons between letting guns and money walk away. Money, they said, poses far less of a threat to public safety. And unlike guns, it can lead more directly to the top ranks of criminal organizations.

“These are not the people whose faces are known on the street,” said Robert Mazur, a former D.E.A. agent and the author of a book about his years as an undercover agent inside the Medellín cartel in Colombia. “They are super-insulated. And the only way to get to them is to follow their money.”

Another former drug agency official offered this explanation for the laundering operations: “Building up the evidence to connect the cash to drugs, and connect the first cash pickup to a cartel’s command and control, is a very time consuming process. These people aren’t running a drugstore in downtown L.A. that we can go and lock the doors and place a seizure sticker on the window. These are sophisticated, international operations that practice very tight security. And as far as the Mexican cartels go, they operate in a corrupt country, from cities that the cops can’t even go into.”

The laundering operations that the United States conducts elsewhere — about 50 so-called Attorney General Exempt Operations are under way around the world — had been forbidden in Mexico after American customs agents conducted a cross-border sting without notifying Mexican authorities in 1998, which was how most American undercover work was conducted there up to that point.

But that changed in recent years after President Felipe Calderón declared war against the country’s drug cartels and enlisted the United States to play a leading role in fighting them because of concerns that his security forces had little experience and long histories of corruption.

Today, in operations supervised by the Justice Department and orchestrated to get around sovereignty restrictions, the United States is running numerous undercover laundering investigations against Mexico’s most powerful cartels. One D.E.A. official said it was not unusual for American agents to pick up two or three loads of Mexican drug money each week. A second official said that as Mexican cartels extended their operations from Latin America to Africa, Europe and the Middle East, the reach of the operations had grown as well. When asked how much money had been laundered as a part of the operations, the official would only say, “A lot.”

“If you’re going to get into the business of laundering money,” the official added, “then you have to be able to launder money.”

Former counternarcotics officials, who also would speak only on the condition of anonymity about clandestine operations, offered a clearer glimpse of their scale and how they worked. In some cases, the officials said, Mexican agents, posing as smugglers and accompanied by American authorities, pick up traffickers’ cash in Mexico. American agents transport the cash on government flights to the United States, where it is deposited into traffickers’ accounts, and then wired to companies that provide goods and services to the cartel.

In other cases, D.E.A. agents, posing as launderers, pick up drug proceeds in the United States, deposit them in banks in this country and then wire them to the traffickers in Mexico.

The former officials said that the drug agency tried to seize as much money as it laundered — partly in the fees the operatives charged traffickers for their services and another part in carefully choreographed arrests at pickup points identified by their undercover operatives.

And the former officials said that federal law enforcement agencies had to seek Justice Department approval to launder amounts greater than $10 million in any single operation. But they said that the cap was treated more as a guideline than a rule, and that it had been waived on many occasions to attract the interest of high-value targets.

“They tell you they’re bringing you $250,000, and they bring you a million,” one former agent said of the traffickers. “What’s the agent supposed to do then, tell them no, he can’t do it? They’ll kill him.”

It is not clear whether such operations are worth the risks. So far there are few signs that following the money has disrupted the cartels’ operations, and little evidence that Mexican drug traffickers are feeling any serious financial pain. Last year, the D.E.A. seized about $1 billion in cash and drug assets, while Mexico seized an estimated $26 million in money laundering investigations, a tiny fraction of the estimated $18 billion to $39 billion in drug money that flows between the countries each year.

Mexico has tightened restrictions on large cash purchases and on bank deposits in dollars in the past five years. But a proposed overhaul of the Mexican attorney general’s office has stalled, its architects said, as have proposed laws that would crack down on money laundered through big corporations and retail chains.

“Mexico still thinks the best way to seize dirty money is to arrest a trafficker, then turn him upside down to see how much change falls out of his pockets,” said Sergio Ferragut, a professor at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico and the author of a book on money laundering, which he said was “still a sensitive subject for Mexican authorities.”

Mr. Calderón boasts that his government’s efforts — deploying the military across the country — have fractured many of the country’s powerful cartels and led to the arrests of about two dozen high-level and midlevel traffickers.

But there has been no significant dip in the volume of drugs moving across the country. Reports of human rights violations by police officers and soldiers have soared. And drug-related violence has left more than 40,000 people dead since Mr. Calderón took office in December 2006.

The death toll is greater than in any period since Mexico’s revolution a century ago, and the policy of close cooperation with Washington may not survive.

“We need to concentrate all our efforts on combating violence and crime that affects people, instead of concentrating on the drug issue,” said a former foreign minister, Jorge G. Castañeda, at a conference hosted last month by the Cato Institute in Washington. “It makes absolutely no sense for us to put up 50,000 body bags to stop drugs from entering the United States.”

By GINGER THOMPSON/New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/world/americas/us-drug-agents-launder-profits-of-mexican-cartels.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha2

WASHINGTON — Undercover American narcotics agents have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds as part of Washington’s expanding role in Mexico’s fight against drug cartels, according to current and former federal law enforcement officials.

The agents, primarily with the Drug Enforcement Administration, have handled shipments of hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal cash across borders, those officials said, to identify how criminal organizations move their money, where they keep their assets and, most important, who their leaders are.

They said agents had deposited the drug proceeds in accounts designated by traffickers, or in shell accounts set up by agents.

The officials said that while the D.E.A. conducted such operations in other countries, it began doing so in Mexico only in the past few years. The high-risk activities raise delicate questions about the agency’s effectiveness in bringing down drug kingpins, underscore diplomatic concerns about Mexican sovereignty, and blur the line between surveillance and facilitating crime. As it launders drug money, the agency often allows cartels to continue their operations over months or even years before making seizures or arrests.

Agency officials declined to publicly discuss details of their work, citing concerns about compromising their investigations. But Michael S. Vigil, a former senior agency official who is currently working for a private contracting company called Mission Essential Personnel, said, “We tried to make sure there was always close supervision of these operations so that we were accomplishing our objectives, and agents weren’t laundering money for the sake of laundering money.”

Another former agency official, who asked not to be identified speaking publicly about delicate operations, said, “My rule was that if we are going to launder money, we better show results. Otherwise, the D.E.A. could wind up being the largest money launderer in the business, and that money results in violence and deaths.”

Those are precisely the kinds of concerns members of Congress have raised about a gun-smuggling operation known as Fast and Furious, in which agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed people suspected of being low-level smugglers to buy and transport guns across the border in the hope that they would lead to higher-level operatives working for Mexican cartels. After the agency lost track of hundreds of weapons, some later turned up in Mexico; two were found on the United States side of the border where an American Border Patrol agent had been shot to death.

Former D.E.A. officials rejected comparisons between letting guns and money walk away. Money, they said, poses far less of a threat to public safety. And unlike guns, it can lead more directly to the top ranks of criminal organizations.

“These are not the people whose faces are known on the street,” said Robert Mazur, a former D.E.A. agent and the author of a book about his years as an undercover agent inside the Medellín cartel in Colombia. “They are super-insulated. And the only way to get to them is to follow their money.”

Another former drug agency official offered this explanation for the laundering operations: “Building up the evidence to connect the cash to drugs, and connect the first cash pickup to a cartel’s command and control, is a very time consuming process. These people aren’t running a drugstore in downtown L.A. that we can go and lock the doors and place a seizure sticker on the window. These are sophisticated, international operations that practice very tight security. And as far as the Mexican cartels go, they operate in a corrupt country, from cities that the cops can’t even go into.”

The laundering operations that the United States conducts elsewhere — about 50 so-called Attorney General Exempt Operations are under way around the world — had been forbidden in Mexico after American customs agents conducted a cross-border sting without notifying Mexican authorities in 1998, which was how most American undercover work was conducted there up to that point.

But that changed in recent years after President Felipe Calderón declared war against the country’s drug cartels and enlisted the United States to play a leading role in fighting them because of concerns that his security forces had little experience and long histories of corruption.

Today, in operations supervised by the Justice Department and orchestrated to get around sovereignty restrictions, the United States is running numerous undercover laundering investigations against Mexico’s most powerful cartels. One D.E.A. official said it was not unusual for American agents to pick up two or three loads of Mexican drug money each week. A second official said that as Mexican cartels extended their operations from Latin America to Africa, Europe and the Middle East, the reach of the operations had grown as well. When asked how much money had been laundered as a part of the operations, the official would only say, “A lot.”

“If you’re going to get into the business of laundering money,” the official added, “then you have to be able to launder money.”

Former counternarcotics officials, who also would speak only on the condition of anonymity about clandestine operations, offered a clearer glimpse of their scale and how they worked. In some cases, the officials said, Mexican agents, posing as smugglers and accompanied by American authorities, pick up traffickers’ cash in Mexico. American agents transport the cash on government flights to the United States, where it is deposited into traffickers’ accounts, and then wired to companies that provide goods and services to the cartel.

In other cases, D.E.A. agents, posing as launderers, pick up drug proceeds in the United States, deposit them in banks in this country and then wire them to the traffickers in Mexico.

The former officials said that the drug agency tried to seize as much money as it laundered — partly in the fees the operatives charged traffickers for their services and another part in carefully choreographed arrests at pickup points identified by their undercover operatives.

And the former officials said that federal law enforcement agencies had to seek Justice Department approval to launder amounts greater than $10 million in any single operation. But they said that the cap was treated more as a guideline than a rule, and that it had been waived on many occasions to attract the interest of high-value targets.

“They tell you they’re bringing you $250,000, and they bring you a million,” one former agent said of the traffickers. “What’s the agent supposed to do then, tell them no, he can’t do it? They’ll kill him.”

It is not clear whether such operations are worth the risks. So far there are few signs that following the money has disrupted the cartels’ operations, and little evidence that Mexican drug traffickers are feeling any serious financial pain. Last year, the D.E.A. seized about $1 billion in cash and drug assets, while Mexico seized an estimated $26 million in money laundering investigations, a tiny fraction of the estimated $18 billion to $39 billion in drug money that flows between the countries each year.

Mexico has tightened restrictions on large cash purchases and on bank deposits in dollars in the past five years. But a proposed overhaul of the Mexican attorney general’s office has stalled, its architects said, as have proposed laws that would crack down on money laundered through big corporations and retail chains.

“Mexico still thinks the best way to seize dirty money is to arrest a trafficker, then turn him upside down to see how much change falls out of his pockets,” said Sergio Ferragut, a professor at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico and the author of a book on money laundering, which he said was “still a sensitive subject for Mexican authorities.”

Mr. Calderón boasts that his government’s efforts — deploying the military across the country — have fractured many of the country’s powerful cartels and led to the arrests of about two dozen high-level and midlevel traffickers.

But there has been no significant dip in the volume of drugs moving across the country. Reports of human rights violations by police officers and soldiers have soared. And drug-related violence has left more than 40,000 people dead since Mr. Calderón took office in December 2006.

The death toll is greater than in any period since Mexico’s revolution a century ago, and the policy of close cooperation with Washington may not survive.

“We need to concentrate all our efforts on combating violence and crime that affects people, instead of concentrating on the drug issue,” said a former foreign minister, Jorge G. Castañeda, at a conference hosted last month by the Cato Institute in Washington. “It makes absolutely no sense for us to put up 50,000 body bags to stop drugs from entering the United States.”

US Debt

US Debt ClockInstant overview of all sectors of the economy on a single web site — all the different taxes– local, state and national revenue; demographics (births, deaths, employment, unemployment, federal employees, retirees, bankruptcies, assets p…

US Debt Clock

Instant overview of all sectors of the economy on a single web site — all the different taxes– local, state and national revenue; demographics (births, deaths, employment, unemployment, federal employees, retirees, bankruptcies, assets per citizens, liability per tax payer, debt per family, etc. Click on the link at the bottom to see what is happening on all levels,

internal and international. There are further links that will take you to commodities, including precious metals, energy figures, breakdown of unfunded liabilities — social security, prescription drugs, medicare; mortgages, auto sales and much more.

This is NOT a political attack, it is educational — a view of economic statistics as they are gathered. It is like watching the thermometer, the weather radar, the tides, the waxing and waning of the moon.

One Hundred Dollars

$100 – The most counterfeited money denomination in the world. Keeps the world moving.

Ten Thousand Dollars

$10,000 – Enough for a great vacation or to buy a used car. Approximately one year of work for the average human on earth.

One Million Dollars

$1,000,000 – This represents 92 years of work for the average human on earth.

One Hundred Million Dollars

$100,000,000 – Fits nicely on an ISO / Military standard sized pallet.

One Billion Dollars

$1,000,000,000 – You will need some help when robbing the bank.

One Trillion Dollars

$1,000,000,000,000

When the U.S government speaks about a 1.7 trillion deficit, this is the volumes of cash its government borrowed in 2010 to run itself.

Keep in mind, these are double stacked pallets of $100 million dollars each in $100 dollar bills.

If you had spent $1 million a day since Jesus was born, you would have not spent $1 trillion by now.

But $700 billion is the amount certain banks got during bailout.

One Trillion Dollars

This is a comparison of $1,000,000,000,000 (a trillion) dollars to a standard size American football field and European Football field. That is a Boeing 747-400 transcontinental airliner in the picture, until recently the biggest passenger plane in the world.

15 Trillion Dollars

$15,000,000,000,000 is the amount shown in the diagram above. The U.S. national debt (credit bill) surpassed the 15 trillion two months before Christmas 2011.

114.5 Trillion Dollars

$114,500,000,000,000. – US unfunded liabilities. To the right you can see the pillar of cold hard $100 bills that dwarfs the WTC & Empire State Building – both at one point world’s tallest buildings. For scale, you can see the Statue of Liberty.

The 114.5 Trillion dollar super-skyscraper is the amount of money the U.S. Government knows it does not have to fully fund the Medicare, Medicare Prescription Drug Program, Social Security, Military and Civil Service pensions. It is the amount which will not be available to pay all its bills.

If you live in U.S., this is also your personal credit bill for which you are responsible, along with everyone else. to the citizens of the United States created their government to serve them, gave them the power under the Constitution to tax just enough to operate its duties, which are enumerated in the Constitution. This is what the government has done so gradually that we are suddenly facing the destruction from within of our economy because of this unfunded liability. What other nations have been unable to do to us, we are doing to ourselves. This not an attack on any person or party

 — THERE IS PLENTY OF BLAME TO GO AROUND.

Source: Federal Reserve and www.USdebtclock.org <http://www.usdebtclock.org/> 

The Eternal Return of the Elite

Vilfredo Pareto

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilfredo_Pareto

This monograph first saw the light of day in 1901 and has been understood as a somewhat famous attempt at a non race-based understanding of ‘elitism’. The failure of this attempt to be either genuinely explanatory or entirely successful seems, by almost all accounts, to have been historically verified by fascisms repeated descent into racism. But, given the utter failure of the Fascist movements of the post World War II era to gain traction, one wonders if perhaps now Pareto can, at last, be given a fair hearing. One even wonders if Pareto is fairly characterized as a fascist.

Be that as it may, Pareto still might have much to teach us about the interactions of elites. According to Pareto, elites rise to power, maintain dominance, and then fall; but only if another elite is struggling to take its place. (One is here reminded of Lenin’s remark against Trotsky, I believe, ‘that no state ever fell without being pushed’.) History is, according to this text, a circulation of elites; and for Pareto, the ideologies that these elites represent are only of secondary importance. What one must always keep in mind while reading this book is that, for Pareto, Liberals and Socialists (that is, the leaders of these ideological positions) are equally elites. By the ‘elite’, I should point out, Pareto always means the leadership of a class.

Pareto distinguishes between subjective and objective factors; the latter being real objects while the former are psychological states. Thus belief and unbelief are, for Pareto, equally psychological states. In fact, according to our author, belief is often the sign of a rising elite. Note that by ‘belief’ he doesn’t merely mean religious beliefs; according to Pareto socialism is a belief, that is, it is a psychological state. Indeed, for Pareto, perhaps somewhat surprisingly given his right-wing tendency and reputation, nationalism itself is also a belief. Now, he doesn’t propose to ignore these beliefs; on the contrary, it is the skepticism of the rulers towards beliefs that weakens them in the face of the rising elite. These ‘myths’ are a part of history and need to be explained.

The ‘religious sentiment’ (i.e., belief) of the masses is what leads to revolt. This sentiment is exploited by the rising elite in its attempt to overthrow the ruling elite. (In this matter the ‘skepticism’ of the ruling elite is no small aid to the rising elite.) And what we also need to keep in mind is that logical argument almost always fails in these matters; people believe for non-rational reasons, sentiment must be met with sentiment, i.e. socialism must be countered with nationalism. In fact, in these pages Pareto, over a hundred years ago, by describing the similarity between Christian and Socialist behavior, seems to indicate the possibility of a convergence of Christianity and Socialism vis-à-vis the ruling bourgeois. This possibility is currently being explored, thanks to the collapse of ‘really existing socialism’ in the USSR, by the most au courant leftist continental theory.

Keep in mind that, for Pareto, it is the ‘decadence’ (i.e., it is ‘less apt to defend its own power’) and the unabated rapacity of the old elite that causes it to perish. Indeed, he says of this decadence and rapacity that the old elite “could prosper if one of them were absent.” Scientifically, or so Pareto maintains, there really is nothing to choose between. Speaking of some historical examples of some crimes of new elites Pareto says, “The old elite, when it was in power, did even worse, so that one cannot conclude from these facts anything against one or the other regime…” Pareto simultaneously holds that reform is the most dangerous moment for the ruling elite, and that the waning of power is perfectly compatible with a rise in the use of violence. In fact, one comes away from this book feeling that the things that Pareto held in most contempt were inefficiency and incompetence and, indeed, some of his most contemptuous gestures in this matter are reserved for the capitalists.

In any case, the problem seems to be that the falling class, no longer believing in itself, can no longer attract the best young people to its cause. The rising class has ‘belief’ and hope, the falling one only has its privileges. Persecution seems to be no remedy for this. Indeed, thanks to persecutions, “many people of doubtful loyalty and unsteady character were eliminated and professional politicians kept away.” …Very amusing! But here, in 1901, Pareto sees the best of future generations going to socialism while all persecution does is prune the revolutionary plant.

In fact, if one carries away anything from this book it is that old elites must eventually fall. We learn here that socialism is the heir of Christian ‘belief’. And since Christianity is dying, all the old elite can do is delay the inevitable ‘homecoming’ of the common people (and their ‘religious sentiment’) to socialism. Thus ‘belief’ replaces ‘belief’. Again, there is little rationality in this process; Pareto is at pains to emphasize the ‘subjective phenomenon’. This is why nationalism is the best answer to socialism; one counters one irrationality with another.

This book is really only a long essay, the hardcover edition before me has 75 pages of text, 18 pages of notes, and a 22 page introduction. The notes are quite good and should not be passed up. For example, while nicely playing off his understanding of socialism as but another belief, Pareto, after discussing some socialist ‘sectarians’, writes, “One day we will perhaps have the Holy Inquisition of the socialist faith. (Note 18)” The Soviet ‘show trials’ of the thirties were indeed this Inquisition. This really is a superb book, a worthy companion piece to all the great political realists of history – from Machiavelli to Gramsci.

Vilfredo Pareto

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilfredo_Pareto

This monograph first saw the light of day in 1901 and has been understood as a somewhat famous attempt at a non race-based understanding of ‘elitism’. The failure of this attempt to be either genuinely explanatory or entirely successful seems, by almost all accounts, to have been historically verified by fascisms repeated descent into racism. But, given the utter failure of the Fascist movements of the post World War II era to gain traction, one wonders if perhaps now Pareto can, at last, be given a fair hearing. One even wonders if Pareto is fairly characterized as a fascist.

Be that as it may, Pareto still might have much to teach us about the interactions of elites. According to Pareto, elites rise to power, maintain dominance, and then fall; but only if another elite is struggling to take its place. (One is here reminded of Lenin’s remark against Trotsky, I believe, ‘that no state ever fell without being pushed’.) History is, according to this text, a circulation of elites; and for Pareto, the ideologies that these elites represent are only of secondary importance. What one must always keep in mind while reading this book is that, for Pareto, Liberals and Socialists (that is, the leaders of these ideological positions) are equally elites. By the ‘elite’, I should point out, Pareto always means the leadership of a class.

Pareto distinguishes between subjective and objective factors; the latter being real objects while the former are psychological states. Thus belief and unbelief are, for Pareto, equally psychological states. In fact, according to our author, belief is often the sign of a rising elite. Note that by ‘belief’ he doesn’t merely mean religious beliefs; according to Pareto socialism is a belief, that is, it is a psychological state. Indeed, for Pareto, perhaps somewhat surprisingly given his right-wing tendency and reputation, nationalism itself is also a belief. Now, he doesn’t propose to ignore these beliefs; on the contrary, it is the skepticism of the rulers towards beliefs that weakens them in the face of the rising elite. These ‘myths’ are a part of history and need to be explained.

The ‘religious sentiment’ (i.e., belief) of the masses is what leads to revolt. This sentiment is exploited by the rising elite in its attempt to overthrow the ruling elite. (In this matter the ‘skepticism’ of the ruling elite is no small aid to the rising elite.) And what we also need to keep in mind is that logical argument almost always fails in these matters; people believe for non-rational reasons, sentiment must be met with sentiment, i.e. socialism must be countered with nationalism. In fact, in these pages Pareto, over a hundred years ago, by describing the similarity between Christian and Socialist behavior, seems to indicate the possibility of a convergence of Christianity and Socialism vis-à-vis the ruling bourgeois. This possibility is currently being explored, thanks to the collapse of ‘really existing socialism’ in the USSR, by the most au courant leftist continental theory.

Keep in mind that, for Pareto, it is the ‘decadence’ (i.e., it is ‘less apt to defend its own power’) and the unabated rapacity of the old elite that causes it to perish. Indeed, he says of this decadence and rapacity that the old elite “could prosper if one of them were absent.” Scientifically, or so Pareto maintains, there really is nothing to choose between. Speaking of some historical examples of some crimes of new elites Pareto says, “The old elite, when it was in power, did even worse, so that one cannot conclude from these facts anything against one or the other regime…” Pareto simultaneously holds that reform is the most dangerous moment for the ruling elite, and that the waning of power is perfectly compatible with a rise in the use of violence. In fact, one comes away from this book feeling that the things that Pareto held in most contempt were inefficiency and incompetence and, indeed, some of his most contemptuous gestures in this matter are reserved for the capitalists.

In any case, the problem seems to be that the falling class, no longer believing in itself, can no longer attract the best young people to its cause. The rising class has ‘belief’ and hope, the falling one only has its privileges. Persecution seems to be no remedy for this. Indeed, thanks to persecutions, “many people of doubtful loyalty and unsteady character were eliminated and professional politicians kept away.” …Very amusing! But here, in 1901, Pareto sees the best of future generations going to socialism while all persecution does is prune the revolutionary plant.

In fact, if one carries away anything from this book it is that old elites must eventually fall. We learn here that socialism is the heir of Christian ‘belief’. And since Christianity is dying, all the old elite can do is delay the inevitable ‘homecoming’ of the common people (and their ‘religious sentiment’) to socialism. Thus ‘belief’ replaces ‘belief’. Again, there is little rationality in this process; Pareto is at pains to emphasize the ‘subjective phenomenon’. This is why nationalism is the best answer to socialism; one counters one irrationality with another.

This book is really only a long essay, the hardcover edition before me has 75 pages of text, 18 pages of notes, and a 22 page introduction. The notes are quite good and should not be passed up. For example, while nicely playing off his understanding of socialism as but another belief, Pareto, after discussing some socialist ‘sectarians’, writes, “One day we will perhaps have the Holy Inquisition of the socialist faith. (Note 18)” The Soviet ‘show trials’ of the thirties were indeed this Inquisition. This really is a superb book, a worthy companion piece to all the great political realists of history – from Machiavelli to Gramsci.

TRÁFICO DE ARMAS MÉXICO-USA

TRÁFICO DE ARMAS MÉXICO-USA

http://mexico.cnn.com/nacional/2011/03/04/eu-permitio-el-trafico-de-miles-de-armas-a-mexico-dice-un-agente-federal

(CNNMéxico) — Un agente federal de Estados Unidos aseguró querecibió órdenes para permitir el tráfico de armas a México, como parte de un operativo para detectar y detener bandas de contrabandistas en la frontera.
El agente, indentificado como John Dodson, de la Oficina de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (ATF, por sus siglas en inglés), fue entrevistado por la cadena de televisión estadounidense CBS, que este viernes ofrece un adelanto de la conversación en su página web.
Ante las cámaras de CBS, Dodson dijo que él y sus compañeros recibieron la instrucción de dejar pasar armas a territorio mexicano para identificar a grandes traficantes de armamento.
“Las razones que nos dieron, los supervisores en la agencia nos dijeron que ya no sólo querían capturar a pequeños traficantes (…) querían los grandes casos”, declaró el agente.
“Para hacerlo, teníamos que identificarlos, localizarlos e investigarlos, y esa fue la respuesta que dieron”, agregó.
La CBS señala que el operativo recibió el nombre Letting Guns Walk(Dejando que las armas caminen) y, según el testimonio de Dodson, tenía la aprobación de la ATF y del Departamento de Justicia.
Ambas dependencias, sin embargo, negaron que tal operación haya existido, indicó la cadena estadounidense.
Dodson, mientras tanto, criticó los argumentos que fueron empleados para justificar el operativo.
“Mucha gente resultará herida con estas armas entre el tiempo que las dejamos ir y el tiempo en que las recuperemos”, dijo.
El tema del tráfico de armas de Estados Unidos a México es una constante en la relación bilateral. Volvió a cobrar fuerza luego de que las autoridades estadounidenses confirmaran que una de las armas usadas en el ataque contra dos agentes estadounidenses en territorio mexicanoprovenía de Texas.
La agresión ocurrió el 15 de febrero y causó la muerte de uno de los funcionarios y heridas a otro.
Durante la reunión que el jueves sostuvieron en el presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, y su homólogo mexicano, Felipe Calderón, el asunto surgió nuevamente.
Obama dijo que detener el flujo ilegal de armamento a México es una“tarea desafiante”, pero creyó posible alcanzarla.
México exige que el tráfico de armas y dinero a su territorio sea frenado, ya que de él se nutren los grupos del crimen organizado.
En diciembre de 2006, el gobierno de Calderón inició una serie de operativos contra la delincuencia, en particular contra el narcotráfico. Hasta la fecha, más de 34,000 personas han muerto en acciones de grupos delictivos.
México y Estados Unidos consideran que el crimen organizado es un problema común.

TRÁFICO DE ARMAS MÉXICO-USA

http://mexico.cnn.com/nacional/2011/03/04/eu-permitio-el-trafico-de-miles-de-armas-a-mexico-dice-un-agente-federal

(CNNMéxico) — Un agente federal de Estados Unidos aseguró querecibió órdenes para permitir el tráfico de armas a México, como parte de un operativo para detectar y detener bandas de contrabandistas en la frontera.
El agente, indentificado como John Dodson, de la Oficina de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (ATF, por sus siglas en inglés), fue entrevistado por la cadena de televisión estadounidense CBS, que este viernes ofrece un adelanto de la conversación en su página web.
Ante las cámaras de CBS, Dodson dijo que él y sus compañeros recibieron la instrucción de dejar pasar armas a territorio mexicano para identificar a grandes traficantes de armamento.
“Las razones que nos dieron, los supervisores en la agencia nos dijeron que ya no sólo querían capturar a pequeños traficantes (…) querían los grandes casos”, declaró el agente.
“Para hacerlo, teníamos que identificarlos, localizarlos e investigarlos, y esa fue la respuesta que dieron”, agregó.
La CBS señala que el operativo recibió el nombre Letting Guns Walk(Dejando que las armas caminen) y, según el testimonio de Dodson, tenía la aprobación de la ATF y del Departamento de Justicia.
Ambas dependencias, sin embargo, negaron que tal operación haya existido, indicó la cadena estadounidense.
Dodson, mientras tanto, criticó los argumentos que fueron empleados para justificar el operativo.
“Mucha gente resultará herida con estas armas entre el tiempo que las dejamos ir y el tiempo en que las recuperemos”, dijo.
El tema del tráfico de armas de Estados Unidos a México es una constante en la relación bilateral. Volvió a cobrar fuerza luego de que las autoridades estadounidenses confirmaran que una de las armas usadas en el ataque contra dos agentes estadounidenses en territorio mexicanoprovenía de Texas.
La agresión ocurrió el 15 de febrero y causó la muerte de uno de los funcionarios y heridas a otro.
Durante la reunión que el jueves sostuvieron en el presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, y su homólogo mexicano, Felipe Calderón, el asunto surgió nuevamente.
Obama dijo que detener el flujo ilegal de armamento a México es una“tarea desafiante”, pero creyó posible alcanzarla.
México exige que el tráfico de armas y dinero a su territorio sea frenado, ya que de él se nutren los grupos del crimen organizado.
En diciembre de 2006, el gobierno de Calderón inició una serie de operativos contra la delincuencia, en particular contra el narcotráfico. Hasta la fecha, más de 34,000 personas han muerto en acciones de grupos delictivos.
México y Estados Unidos consideran que el crimen organizado es un problema común.

el tráfico de armas de Estados Unidos

http://eleconomista.com.mx/infografias/2012/12/19/economia-las-armas-eu


Jun-15 19:59 hrs

Proponen tregua entre gobierno y Congreso por ”Rápido y Furioso”

Jun-13 15:07 hrs

Ofrecen republicanos salida contra desacato por ”Rápido y Furioso”

Ante el Comité Judicial del Senado, el procurador general dijo estar dispuesto a hacer concesiones, aunque sostuvo que existen bases legales para preservar la confidencialidad de los materiales

  • Procurador estadounidense descarta renunciar por ”Rápido y Furioso”

  • WASHINGTON, ESTADOS UNIDOS (03/FEB/2012).- A prácticamente 11 meses de que se diera a conocer el operativo “Rápido y Furioso”, mediante el cual Estados Unidos ingresó a México más de dos mil armas para rastrear a los grupos del narcotráfico, y a las que terminó perdiéndoles la pista, no hay culpables.

    Ayer, el procurador estadounidense Eric Holder afirmó ante la Cámara de Representantes que ”pronto” habrá culpables.

    El funcionario que hasta el momento ha caído de su puesto por el operativo es Kenneth Melson, ex director interino de la Oficina de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (ATF, en inglés), oficina que se habría encargado de supervisar la fallida estrategia.

    Ayer, Holder invocó la separación de poderes que consagra la Constitución para rechazar las acusaciones infundadas y resistir las amenazas de desacato que le ha lanzado la mayoría republicana en la Cámara de Representantes para obligarle a entregar todos los documentos relativos a “Rápido y Furioso”.

    Durante la que ha sido su sexta ocasión ante el comité de supervisión de la Cámara baja, Holder reiteró por enésima ocasión que nunca autorizó, ni se enteró del tráfico supervisado de armas que fueron a parar a los carteles de la droga.

    “Nunca autoricé, ni me enteré de estas tácticas”, repitió Holder a lo largo de una audiencia en la que los republicanos trataron nuevamente de acorralarle.

    El principal argumento de los congresistas que investigan el caso es que la administración de Barack Obama, mediante del Departamento de Justicia, intentan ocultar su participación en el operativo. Darrell Issa, presidente del Comité de Supervisión Gubernamental, dijo a Eric Holder que la dependencia a su cargo sólo ha entregado seis mil 400 páginas de unas 93 mil que han solicitado, lo que, afirmó, representa una señal inequívoca de que la Fiscalía General de EU oculta evidencia.

    “Toda esa gente (en el Departamento de Justicia) debería estar avergonzada por no hacer el trabajo como debieron hacerlo”.

    En los documentos que han sido revelados existen reportes donde la ATF señala que oficiales del más alto rango y cercanos a Holder impulsaron la táctica de “dejar las armas caminar”, mientras que en otros informes los mandos del Departamento de Justicia culpan a la oficina de la ATF en Phoenix de ser la única responsable por el fallido operativo.

    Demandan al Gobierno

    La familia de un agente de la patrulla fronteriza de Estados Unidos, quien fue asesinado, presentó una reclamación por 25 millones de dólares por homicidio culposo contra el Gobierno federal.

    El documento de 65 páginas que es un precursor de una demanda fue presentado en Phoenix y afirma que Brian Terry fue asesinado porque investigadores permitieron que las armas del asesinato llegaran a las manos de criminales, informó The Arizona Republic.

    Terry murió el 14 de diciembre de 2010, cuando su unidad de operaciones especiales se involucró en un tiroteo con bandidos de la frontera en un área remota en el Sur de Arizona, cerca de Rio Rico.

    CRÉDITOS:
    Informador Redacción / RMP


    WASHINGTON (apro).- La responsabilidad de que en México se haya disparado el número de homicidios –más de 50 mil– recae en la “súbita disponibilidad” de armas de fuego procedentes de Estados Unidos que circulan en México, así como en la ausencia de mecanismos para regular la venta de las mismas en la Unión Americana, aseguró aquí el presidente Felipe Calderón.

    En el marco de la Cumbre de Líderes de América del Norte (CLAN), que encabezó en la Casa Blanca el presidente Barack Obama, Calderón responsabilizo al tráfico ilegal de armas estadunidense de ser el motor de la narcoviolencia.

    “Cuando hay rápida disponibilidad de armas se da un aumento de la violencia y suben los números de homicidios”, subrayó el Ejecutivo mexicano durante una conferencia de prensa conjunta con Obama y Stephen Harper, el primer ministro de Canadá.

    Además, aseguró que la violencia en México comenzó a elevarse desde el año 2004, cuando en Estados Unidos expiró una ley que regulaba y prohibía la venta de armas automáticas y semiautomáticas.

    “Si no contamos con los mecanismos que prohíban la venta de armas automáticas, como los que había en los años noventa, por lo menos para las armas asalto, nunca vamos a poder detener la violencia en México”, acotó Calderón.

    El presidente estadunidense Barack Obama, anfitrión de la CLAN, reconoció la dificultad que implica el detener el tráfico de armas a México, pero no se comprometió a cumplir con el pedido de Calderón para promover una regulación que prohíba el armamento automático o semiautomático.

    “Es una tarea difícil, pero es una que debemos tomar con mucha seriedad. Continuaremos coordinándonos con el gobierno de México porque reconocemos el precio que tienen que pagar las familias de individuos inocentes”, dijo Obama.

    En la conferencia de prensa, celebrada en el Jardín de las Rosas de la Casa Blanca, después de que a puerta cerrada Obama, Calderón y Harper abordaran los temas de la agenda de la CLAN, el tema de la seguridad ciudadana fue también abordado a nivel regional.

    En ese sentido, los gobiernos de Estados Unidos, Canadá y México se comprometieron a respaldar a los países centroamericanos para contener el problema de la narcoviolencia.

    Obama, Calderón y Harper destacaron que en este momento la región de Centroamérica es la más necesitada de ayuda para enfrentar al crimen organizado.

    En la CLAN, los tres gobiernos abordaron los temas de comercio, competitividad, energía, medio ambiente, cooperación regional, creación de empleos y fortalecimiento al desarrollo económico.

    En un comunicado conjunto, las tres naciones norteamericanas determinaron seguir luchando a favor de los objetivos comunes, además de mantener abierto el diálogo y el intercambio de información.


    2 Septiembre, 2011 – 00:55

    Credito:
    Ana Langner / El Economista

    A pesar de los roces con el gobierno de Estados Unidos por temas como el número de agentes de ese país en México o el operativo Rápido y Furioso llevado a cabo sin avisar al gobierno mexicano, la secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE), Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, aseguró que existe una relación “sin precedentes” con ese país.

    En conferencia de prensa en el marco del V Informe de Gobierno, la Canciller reconoció que el crimen organizado y el tráfico de armas de Estados Unidos hacia el país son los principales desafíos.

    Afirmó que desde que se levantó la prohibición de venta de armas de asalto en la Unión Americana se incrementaron los actos violentos en el país. De negarse la transacción de estos artefactos, “habría mucho más control”, aseguró.

    Los actos violentos que han sucedido en el país no provocan una opinión negativa en el mundo.

    “No hay crítica de otros países, sino reconocimiento”, expresó.

    La canciller aseguró que en el operativo Rápido y Furioso, con el cual el Buró de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (ATF) permitió el tráfico ilegal de unas 2,000 armas a territorio nacional, no hubo una decisión unilateral en el gobierno estadounidense porque fue realizado sin que se enterara la administración de Barack Obama.

    En relación con los mexicanos en el exterior y con migración, el V Informe de Gobierno reporta que de septiembre del 2010 a agosto del 2011 hubo un incremento de 28% de casos de connacionales víctimas de maltrato y violencia doméstica en Estados Unidos, con respecto al mismo periodo anterior.

    El documento detalla que en este espacio se atendieron 2,530 casos de mexicanos residentes en la Unión Americana de agresiones de este tipo durante el actual lapso reportado, mientras que en el año anterior, 1,831. Del total de casos, 1,865 son de rubro de atención a violencia doméstica (93% mujeres y 7% a hombres)y 665 víctimas de maltrato (57% hombres y 43% mujeres).


    La campaña ALTO AL CONTRABANDO DE ARMAS busca salvar vidas y rescatar la democracia mexicana. Presentaremos una carta al presidente Obama pidiéndole adoptar tres acciones para frenar el contrabando de armas de EU a México.
    ¡Únete! Tu FIRMA puede hacer la diferencia.

    Presidente Barack Obama:Frente al evidente tráfico de armas desde EU a México, Ud. puede realizar tres acciones que no requieren aprobación del Congreso en su país:

    • Detener inmediatamente y prohibir la importación de las armas de asalto a los EU, porque muchas se mandan de contrabando a México. 
    • Ordenar a los vendedores a reportar a la Oficina de Control de Bebidas Alcohólicas, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (ATF); la venta de varios fusiles de asalto a una misma persona durante un periodo de cinco días.
    • Aumentar la capacidad regulatoria de la ATF en las regiones donde se abastece el contrabando de armas a México, en especial, en los estados fronterizos.

    http://www.alianzacivica.org.mx/altoalasarmas/indexSp.php


    Bloomberg pide ayuda para frenar tráfico armas tras fin de semana sangriento

    Por Agencia EFE –
    06/09/2011

    Nueva York, 6 sep (EFE).- El alcalde de Nueva York, Michael Bloomberg, pidió hoy más ayuda para combatir el tráfico ilegal de armas de fuego en las calles de la ciudad después de que una ola de tiroteos dejaran varios muertos y decenas de heridos durante los últimos tres días en la Gran Manzana.

    “Aquí en Nueva York, los últimos cuatro años han sido los más seguros en la historia de la ciudad, en parte porque hemos tomado medidas sin precedente para cortar de raíz la llegada de armas ilegales a nuestras calles. Pero no podemos hacerlo solos”, afirmó hoy Bloomberg en rueda de prensa.

    El alcalde añadió que la compraventa ilícita de armas de fuego “es un problema nacional” respecto al cual demócratas y republicanos hasta el momento no han tenido “el coraje de dar pasos básicos que podrían salvar vidas”.

    Bloomberg dijo que le gustaría que representantes federales le explicaran a las víctimas y sus familias por qué “no quieren presionar a favor de reformas basadas en el sentido común, como acabar con el vacío legal sobre las ferias de armamento. Eso salvaría muchas vidas en todo el país”.

    La Policía de Nueva York declinó hoy confirmar la cifra total de muertos y heridos por armas de fuego a lo largo del puente por el Día del Trabajo en EE.UU., pero The Wall Street Journal habla de al menos 10 fallecidos y más de 50 heridos.

    El alcalde reaccionó así después de un sangriento fin de semana en las calles de Nueva York, que tuvo su colofón en la noche del lunes, cuando un intercambio de disparos entre dos hombres empañó la celebración de un popular desfile y carnaval en Crown Heights, un barrio del distrito de Brooklyn.

    Uno de los pistoleros, Randy Johnson, fue alcanzado en el cuello por una bala y falleció en el hospital, mientras que el otro, Leroy Webster, disparó contra dos policías que resultaron heridos y en el fuego cruzado perecieron tres personas, entre ellos una señora de 56 años que estaba viendo el desfile desde la entrada de su apartamento.

    Ese incidente su suma a casi medio centenar de intercambios de disparos ocurridos a lo largo de los últimos tres días en la Gran Manzana, considerada por el FBI como una de las ciudades más seguras de Estados Unidos.

    © EFE 2011. Está expresamente prohibida la redistribución y la redifusión de todo o parte de los contenidos de los servicios de Efe, sin previo y expreso consentimiento de la Agencia EFE S.A.


    ¿Cómo esta operando el trafico de armas en México?

    De acuerdo a la definición legal, el tráfico de armas consiste en la introducción al territorio nacional, en forma
    clandestina, de armas, municiones, cartuchos, explosivos y materiales de uso exclusivo del Ejército, Armada y Fuerza Aérea o sujetos a control. Esta norma es explícita en el artículo 84 de la Ley Federal de Armas de Fuego y Explosivos.

    De las investigaciones realizadas en México por el Ministerio Público Federal, apoyado por la Policía Federal y el Ejército Mexicano, así como del intercambio de información a través de la asistencia jurídica con las autoridades de justicia de los Estados Unidos de América, se tiene conocimiento que la modalidad preferida de los traficantes de armas es comprarlas a ciudadanos americanos o residentes legales que, a cambio de una cantidad de dinero.

    Así, los traficantes median entre el interesado y el vendedor autorizado de armas, para introducirlas a nuestro país, tanto por los 19 cruces de paso formales existen como por los incontables cruces informales a lo largo de los 3,152 kilómetros de frontera común.

    Por ejemplo, en Chihuahua hay 4 cruces formales, y 300 brechas que cruzan la frontera entre Ojinaga y Ciudad Juárez.

    Las armas se pasan de los Estados Unidos ocultas en vehículos terrestres, en las llantas de refacción, respaldo de asientos, oquedades fabricadas en las carrocerías, etc.

    La introducción se verifica a modo de operación “Hormiga” y no en grandes cantidades a la vez.

    Hasta el momento, no se ha detectado en México que alguna organización delictiva extranjera o nacional, se dedique exclusivamente al tráfico de armas.

    De las investigaciones en poder de la PGR, sólo se desprenden personas que en lo individual realizan esa actividad.

    De ahí la relevancia de la detención hecha por la Oficina de Control de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos de los Estados Unidos (ATF, en la persona de Victor Varela, que según lo declarado ante las autoridades estadounidenses se dedicaba a abastecer de armas a la organización criminal de los Carrillo Fuentes.


    http://www.facebook.com/notes/estados-unidos-debe-parar-de-vender-armas-us-must-stop-selling-weapons/tr%C3%A1fico-de-armas-usa-mexico/155803741173813

    En Estados Unidos no hay grupos clandestinos que vendan armas, ya que a lo largo de toda la frontera norte de México existen más de cien mil permisionarios que las venden legalmente, en negocios legalmente constituidos o a través de las llamadas ferias de las armas “Gun Show”, que de la misma manera operan a lo largo de la franja fronteriza.
    Ahora bien, el fenómeno más común, es la intermediación de terceras personas que no tienen derecho a comprarlas, para poder acceder a ellas.

    Las armas se pasan de los Estados Unidos ocultas en vehículos terrestres, en las llantas de refacción, respaldo de asientos, oquedades fabricadas en las carrocerías, etc.

    La introducción se verifica a modo de operación “Hormiga” y no en grandes cantidades a la vez.

    Las organizaciones dedicadas al narcotráfico cuentan con miembros que se dedican a adquirir las armas para cubrir las necesidades de su grupo, para lo cual contactan a ciudadanos norteamericanos o residentes legales de ese país, para que mediante una retribución económica adquieran las armas que les solicitan.

    En Estados Unidos no hay grupos clandestinos que vendan armas, ya que a lo largo de toda la frontera norte de México existen más de cien mil permisionarios que las venden legalmente, en negocios legalmente constituidos o a través de las
    llamadas ferias de las armas “Gun Show”, que de la misma manera operan a lo largo de la franja fronteriza. Ahora bien, el fenómeno más común, es la intermediación de terceras personas que no tienen derecho a comprarlas, para poder acceder a ellas.

    ¿Cuáles son los estados con mayor incidencia?

    Los estados en donde se han obtenido cifras más altas, son en donde se ha concentrado la acción del Gobierno Federal en contra de la delincuencia organizada.

    •En armas largas, los estados más relevantes son Michoacán, Jalisco, Tamaulipas, Sonora y Chihuahua.

    •En municiones, Tamaulipas, Sonora, Michoacán, Chiapas y Veracruz.

    •En granadas Tamaulipas, Michoacán, Chiapas, Veracruz y Sonora.

    http://eleconomista.com.mx/infografias/2012/12/19/economia-las-armas-eu


    Jun-15 19:59 hrs

    Proponen tregua entre gobierno y Congreso por ”Rápido y Furioso”

    Jun-13 15:07 hrs

    Ofrecen republicanos salida contra desacato por ”Rápido y Furioso”

    Ante el Comité Judicial del Senado, el procurador general dijo estar dispuesto a hacer concesiones, aunque sostuvo que existen bases legales para preservar la confidencialidad de los materiales

  • Procurador estadounidense descarta renunciar por ”Rápido y Furioso”

  • WASHINGTON, ESTADOS UNIDOS (03/FEB/2012).- A prácticamente 11 meses de que se diera a conocer el operativo “Rápido y Furioso”, mediante el cual Estados Unidos ingresó a México más de dos mil armas para rastrear a los grupos del narcotráfico, y a las que terminó perdiéndoles la pista, no hay culpables.

    Ayer, el procurador estadounidense Eric Holder afirmó ante la Cámara de Representantes que ”pronto” habrá culpables.

    El funcionario que hasta el momento ha caído de su puesto por el operativo es Kenneth Melson, ex director interino de la Oficina de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (ATF, en inglés), oficina que se habría encargado de supervisar la fallida estrategia.

    Ayer, Holder invocó la separación de poderes que consagra la Constitución para rechazar las acusaciones infundadas y resistir las amenazas de desacato que le ha lanzado la mayoría republicana en la Cámara de Representantes para obligarle a entregar todos los documentos relativos a “Rápido y Furioso”.

    Durante la que ha sido su sexta ocasión ante el comité de supervisión de la Cámara baja, Holder reiteró por enésima ocasión que nunca autorizó, ni se enteró del tráfico supervisado de armas que fueron a parar a los carteles de la droga.

    “Nunca autoricé, ni me enteré de estas tácticas”, repitió Holder a lo largo de una audiencia en la que los republicanos trataron nuevamente de acorralarle.

    El principal argumento de los congresistas que investigan el caso es que la administración de Barack Obama, mediante del Departamento de Justicia, intentan ocultar su participación en el operativo. Darrell Issa, presidente del Comité de Supervisión Gubernamental, dijo a Eric Holder que la dependencia a su cargo sólo ha entregado seis mil 400 páginas de unas 93 mil que han solicitado, lo que, afirmó, representa una señal inequívoca de que la Fiscalía General de EU oculta evidencia.

    “Toda esa gente (en el Departamento de Justicia) debería estar avergonzada por no hacer el trabajo como debieron hacerlo”.

    En los documentos que han sido revelados existen reportes donde la ATF señala que oficiales del más alto rango y cercanos a Holder impulsaron la táctica de “dejar las armas caminar”, mientras que en otros informes los mandos del Departamento de Justicia culpan a la oficina de la ATF en Phoenix de ser la única responsable por el fallido operativo.

    Demandan al Gobierno

    La familia de un agente de la patrulla fronteriza de Estados Unidos, quien fue asesinado, presentó una reclamación por 25 millones de dólares por homicidio culposo contra el Gobierno federal.

    El documento de 65 páginas que es un precursor de una demanda fue presentado en Phoenix y afirma que Brian Terry fue asesinado porque investigadores permitieron que las armas del asesinato llegaran a las manos de criminales, informó The Arizona Republic.

    Terry murió el 14 de diciembre de 2010, cuando su unidad de operaciones especiales se involucró en un tiroteo con bandidos de la frontera en un área remota en el Sur de Arizona, cerca de Rio Rico.

    CRÉDITOS:
    Informador Redacción / RMP


    WASHINGTON (apro).- La responsabilidad de que en México se haya disparado el número de homicidios –más de 50 mil– recae en la “súbita disponibilidad” de armas de fuego procedentes de Estados Unidos que circulan en México, así como en la ausencia de mecanismos para regular la venta de las mismas en la Unión Americana, aseguró aquí el presidente Felipe Calderón.

    En el marco de la Cumbre de Líderes de América del Norte (CLAN), que encabezó en la Casa Blanca el presidente Barack Obama, Calderón responsabilizo al tráfico ilegal de armas estadunidense de ser el motor de la narcoviolencia.

    “Cuando hay rápida disponibilidad de armas se da un aumento de la violencia y suben los números de homicidios”, subrayó el Ejecutivo mexicano durante una conferencia de prensa conjunta con Obama y Stephen Harper, el primer ministro de Canadá.

    Además, aseguró que la violencia en México comenzó a elevarse desde el año 2004, cuando en Estados Unidos expiró una ley que regulaba y prohibía la venta de armas automáticas y semiautomáticas.

    “Si no contamos con los mecanismos que prohíban la venta de armas automáticas, como los que había en los años noventa, por lo menos para las armas asalto, nunca vamos a poder detener la violencia en México”, acotó Calderón.

    El presidente estadunidense Barack Obama, anfitrión de la CLAN, reconoció la dificultad que implica el detener el tráfico de armas a México, pero no se comprometió a cumplir con el pedido de Calderón para promover una regulación que prohíba el armamento automático o semiautomático.

    “Es una tarea difícil, pero es una que debemos tomar con mucha seriedad. Continuaremos coordinándonos con el gobierno de México porque reconocemos el precio que tienen que pagar las familias de individuos inocentes”, dijo Obama.

    En la conferencia de prensa, celebrada en el Jardín de las Rosas de la Casa Blanca, después de que a puerta cerrada Obama, Calderón y Harper abordaran los temas de la agenda de la CLAN, el tema de la seguridad ciudadana fue también abordado a nivel regional.

    En ese sentido, los gobiernos de Estados Unidos, Canadá y México se comprometieron a respaldar a los países centroamericanos para contener el problema de la narcoviolencia.

    Obama, Calderón y Harper destacaron que en este momento la región de Centroamérica es la más necesitada de ayuda para enfrentar al crimen organizado.

    En la CLAN, los tres gobiernos abordaron los temas de comercio, competitividad, energía, medio ambiente, cooperación regional, creación de empleos y fortalecimiento al desarrollo económico.

    En un comunicado conjunto, las tres naciones norteamericanas determinaron seguir luchando a favor de los objetivos comunes, además de mantener abierto el diálogo y el intercambio de información.


    2 Septiembre, 2011 – 00:55

    Credito:
    Ana Langner / El Economista

    A pesar de los roces con el gobierno de Estados Unidos por temas como el número de agentes de ese país en México o el operativo Rápido y Furioso llevado a cabo sin avisar al gobierno mexicano, la secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE), Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, aseguró que existe una relación “sin precedentes” con ese país.

    En conferencia de prensa en el marco del V Informe de Gobierno, la Canciller reconoció que el crimen organizado y el tráfico de armas de Estados Unidos hacia el país son los principales desafíos.

    Afirmó que desde que se levantó la prohibición de venta de armas de asalto en la Unión Americana se incrementaron los actos violentos en el país. De negarse la transacción de estos artefactos, “habría mucho más control”, aseguró.

    Los actos violentos que han sucedido en el país no provocan una opinión negativa en el mundo.

    “No hay crítica de otros países, sino reconocimiento”, expresó.

    La canciller aseguró que en el operativo Rápido y Furioso, con el cual el Buró de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (ATF) permitió el tráfico ilegal de unas 2,000 armas a territorio nacional, no hubo una decisión unilateral en el gobierno estadounidense porque fue realizado sin que se enterara la administración de Barack Obama.

    En relación con los mexicanos en el exterior y con migración, el V Informe de Gobierno reporta que de septiembre del 2010 a agosto del 2011 hubo un incremento de 28% de casos de connacionales víctimas de maltrato y violencia doméstica en Estados Unidos, con respecto al mismo periodo anterior.

    El documento detalla que en este espacio se atendieron 2,530 casos de mexicanos residentes en la Unión Americana de agresiones de este tipo durante el actual lapso reportado, mientras que en el año anterior, 1,831. Del total de casos, 1,865 son de rubro de atención a violencia doméstica (93% mujeres y 7% a hombres)y 665 víctimas de maltrato (57% hombres y 43% mujeres).


    La campaña ALTO AL CONTRABANDO DE ARMAS busca salvar vidas y rescatar la democracia mexicana. Presentaremos una carta al presidente Obama pidiéndole adoptar tres acciones para frenar el contrabando de armas de EU a México.
    ¡Únete! Tu FIRMA puede hacer la diferencia.

    Presidente Barack Obama:Frente al evidente tráfico de armas desde EU a México, Ud. puede realizar tres acciones que no requieren aprobación del Congreso en su país:

    • Detener inmediatamente y prohibir la importación de las armas de asalto a los EU, porque muchas se mandan de contrabando a México. 
    • Ordenar a los vendedores a reportar a la Oficina de Control de Bebidas Alcohólicas, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (ATF); la venta de varios fusiles de asalto a una misma persona durante un periodo de cinco días.
    • Aumentar la capacidad regulatoria de la ATF en las regiones donde se abastece el contrabando de armas a México, en especial, en los estados fronterizos.

    http://www.alianzacivica.org.mx/altoalasarmas/indexSp.php


    Bloomberg pide ayuda para frenar tráfico armas tras fin de semana sangriento

    Por Agencia EFE –
    06/09/2011

    Nueva York, 6 sep (EFE).- El alcalde de Nueva York, Michael Bloomberg, pidió hoy más ayuda para combatir el tráfico ilegal de armas de fuego en las calles de la ciudad después de que una ola de tiroteos dejaran varios muertos y decenas de heridos durante los últimos tres días en la Gran Manzana.

    “Aquí en Nueva York, los últimos cuatro años han sido los más seguros en la historia de la ciudad, en parte porque hemos tomado medidas sin precedente para cortar de raíz la llegada de armas ilegales a nuestras calles. Pero no podemos hacerlo solos”, afirmó hoy Bloomberg en rueda de prensa.

    El alcalde añadió que la compraventa ilícita de armas de fuego “es un problema nacional” respecto al cual demócratas y republicanos hasta el momento no han tenido “el coraje de dar pasos básicos que podrían salvar vidas”.

    Bloomberg dijo que le gustaría que representantes federales le explicaran a las víctimas y sus familias por qué “no quieren presionar a favor de reformas basadas en el sentido común, como acabar con el vacío legal sobre las ferias de armamento. Eso salvaría muchas vidas en todo el país”.

    La Policía de Nueva York declinó hoy confirmar la cifra total de muertos y heridos por armas de fuego a lo largo del puente por el Día del Trabajo en EE.UU., pero The Wall Street Journal habla de al menos 10 fallecidos y más de 50 heridos.

    El alcalde reaccionó así después de un sangriento fin de semana en las calles de Nueva York, que tuvo su colofón en la noche del lunes, cuando un intercambio de disparos entre dos hombres empañó la celebración de un popular desfile y carnaval en Crown Heights, un barrio del distrito de Brooklyn.

    Uno de los pistoleros, Randy Johnson, fue alcanzado en el cuello por una bala y falleció en el hospital, mientras que el otro, Leroy Webster, disparó contra dos policías que resultaron heridos y en el fuego cruzado perecieron tres personas, entre ellos una señora de 56 años que estaba viendo el desfile desde la entrada de su apartamento.

    Ese incidente su suma a casi medio centenar de intercambios de disparos ocurridos a lo largo de los últimos tres días en la Gran Manzana, considerada por el FBI como una de las ciudades más seguras de Estados Unidos.

    © EFE 2011. Está expresamente prohibida la redistribución y la redifusión de todo o parte de los contenidos de los servicios de Efe, sin previo y expreso consentimiento de la Agencia EFE S.A.


    ¿Cómo esta operando el trafico de armas en México?

    De acuerdo a la definición legal, el tráfico de armas consiste en la introducción al territorio nacional, en forma
    clandestina, de armas, municiones, cartuchos, explosivos y materiales de uso exclusivo del Ejército, Armada y Fuerza Aérea o sujetos a control. Esta norma es explícita en el artículo 84 de la Ley Federal de Armas de Fuego y Explosivos.

    De las investigaciones realizadas en México por el Ministerio Público Federal, apoyado por la Policía Federal y el Ejército Mexicano, así como del intercambio de información a través de la asistencia jurídica con las autoridades de justicia de los Estados Unidos de América, se tiene conocimiento que la modalidad preferida de los traficantes de armas es comprarlas a ciudadanos americanos o residentes legales que, a cambio de una cantidad de dinero.

    Así, los traficantes median entre el interesado y el vendedor autorizado de armas, para introducirlas a nuestro país, tanto por los 19 cruces de paso formales existen como por los incontables cruces informales a lo largo de los 3,152 kilómetros de frontera común.

    Por ejemplo, en Chihuahua hay 4 cruces formales, y 300 brechas que cruzan la frontera entre Ojinaga y Ciudad Juárez.

    Las armas se pasan de los Estados Unidos ocultas en vehículos terrestres, en las llantas de refacción, respaldo de asientos, oquedades fabricadas en las carrocerías, etc.

    La introducción se verifica a modo de operación “Hormiga” y no en grandes cantidades a la vez.

    Hasta el momento, no se ha detectado en México que alguna organización delictiva extranjera o nacional, se dedique exclusivamente al tráfico de armas.

    De las investigaciones en poder de la PGR, sólo se desprenden personas que en lo individual realizan esa actividad.

    De ahí la relevancia de la detención hecha por la Oficina de Control de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos de los Estados Unidos (ATF, en la persona de Victor Varela, que según lo declarado ante las autoridades estadounidenses se dedicaba a abastecer de armas a la organización criminal de los Carrillo Fuentes.


    http://www.facebook.com/notes/estados-unidos-debe-parar-de-vender-armas-us-must-stop-selling-weapons/tr%C3%A1fico-de-armas-usa-mexico/155803741173813

    En Estados Unidos no hay grupos clandestinos que vendan armas, ya que a lo largo de toda la frontera norte de México existen más de cien mil permisionarios que las venden legalmente, en negocios legalmente constituidos o a través de las llamadas ferias de las armas “Gun Show”, que de la misma manera operan a lo largo de la franja fronteriza.
    Ahora bien, el fenómeno más común, es la intermediación de terceras personas que no tienen derecho a comprarlas, para poder acceder a ellas.

    Las armas se pasan de los Estados Unidos ocultas en vehículos terrestres, en las llantas de refacción, respaldo de asientos, oquedades fabricadas en las carrocerías, etc.

    La introducción se verifica a modo de operación “Hormiga” y no en grandes cantidades a la vez.

    Las organizaciones dedicadas al narcotráfico cuentan con miembros que se dedican a adquirir las armas para cubrir las necesidades de su grupo, para lo cual contactan a ciudadanos norteamericanos o residentes legales de ese país, para que mediante una retribución económica adquieran las armas que les solicitan.

    En Estados Unidos no hay grupos clandestinos que vendan armas, ya que a lo largo de toda la frontera norte de México existen más de cien mil permisionarios que las venden legalmente, en negocios legalmente constituidos o a través de las
    llamadas ferias de las armas “Gun Show”, que de la misma manera operan a lo largo de la franja fronteriza. Ahora bien, el fenómeno más común, es la intermediación de terceras personas que no tienen derecho a comprarlas, para poder acceder a ellas.

    ¿Cuáles son los estados con mayor incidencia?

    Los estados en donde se han obtenido cifras más altas, son en donde se ha concentrado la acción del Gobierno Federal en contra de la delincuencia organizada.

    •En armas largas, los estados más relevantes son Michoacán, Jalisco, Tamaulipas, Sonora y Chihuahua.

    •En municiones, Tamaulipas, Sonora, Michoacán, Chiapas y Veracruz.

    •En granadas Tamaulipas, Michoacán, Chiapas, Veracruz y Sonora.

    The CIA’s use of torture

    Message from the Acting Director: “Zero Dark Thirty”

    Statement to Employees from Acting Director Michael Morell: “Zero Dark Thirty”

    December 21, 2012

    I would not normally comment on a Hollywood film, but I think it important to put Zero Dark Thirty, which deals with one of the most significant achievements in our history, into some context. The film, which premiered this week, addresses the successful hunt for Usama Bin Ladin that was the focus of incredibly dedicated men and women across our Agency, Intelligence Community, and military partners for many years. But in doing so, the film takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate.

    What I want you to know is that Zero Dark Thirty is a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts. CIA interacted with the filmmakers through our Office of Public Affairs but, as is true with any entertainment project with which we interact, we do not control the final product.

    It would not be practical for me to walk through all the fiction in the film, but let me highlight a few aspects that particularly underscore the extent to which the film departs from reality.

    First, the hunt for Usama Bin Ladin was a decade-long effort that depended on the selfless commitment of hundreds of officers. The filmmakers attributed the actions of our entire Agency—and the broader Intelligence Community—to just a few individuals. This may make for more compelling entertainment, but it does not reflect the facts. The success of the May 1st 2011 operation was a team effort—and a very large team at that.

    Second, the film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Ladin. That impression is false. As we have said before, the truth is that multiple streams of intelligence led CIA analysts to conclude that Bin Ladin was hiding in Abbottabad. Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well. And, importantly, whether enhanced interrogation techniques were the only timely and effective way to obtain information from those detainees, as the film suggests, is a matter of debate that cannot and never will be definitively resolved.

    Third, the film takes considerable liberties in its depiction of CIA personnel and their actions, including some who died while serving our country. We cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory of them.

    Commentators will have much to say about this film in the weeks ahead. Through it all, I want you to remember that Zero Dark Thirty is not a documentary. What you should also remember is that the Bin Ladin operation was a landmark achievement by our country, by our military, by our Intelligence Community, and by our Agency.

    Michael Morell

    Posted: Dec 21, 2012 03:08 PM
    Last Updated: Dec 21, 2012 03:59 PM
    Last Reviewed: Dec 21, 2012 03:08 PM


    Dear Friends:

    Please ask the President to support adoption of the report on the investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee into CIA torture.  This 6,000 page report, the result of a three-year investigation, is said to describe in detail the decisions at all levels that led to the use of torture.  Further, we believe it will provide important evidence showing that torture was not only ineffective, but also made our nation more unsafe.

    Many supporters of torture continue to claim that its use made our country safer.  They are wrong, and the report on this investigation could help prove that they are wrong.  Please help us obtain the facts by writing to the President today.

    Thank you,

    Linda Gustitus, President
    Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director


    Earlier this year, the film “Zero Dark Thirty”, which purports to dramatize the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden, generated substantial political controversy. It was discovered that CIA and White House officials had met with its filmmakers and passed non-public information to them – at exactly the same time that DOJ officials were in federal court resisting transparency requests from media outlets and activist groups on the ground that it was all classified.

    With its release imminent, the film is now garnering a pile of top awards and virtually uniform rave reviews. What makes this so remarkable is that, by most accounts, the film glorifies torture by claiming – falsely – that waterboarding and other forms of coercive interrogation tactics were crucial, even indispensable in finding bin Laden.


    For more than three years, the Senate Intelligence Committee has been conducting an investigation into the CIA’s use of torture between September 11, 2001 and the end of 2008. We have been told that the resulting 6,000 page report will show that torture was not only ineffective, but was harmful to our national security. 

    The task before us is to ensure that its findings are approved by the Committee and made public.
    NRCAT is working hard to make that happen.

    A generous group of NRCAT supporters are helping us advocate for release of the Intelligence Committee’s report — and they are asking you to join them. They are offering a $10,000 challenge grant to encourage you to join them in supporting NRCAT’s effort to advocate for full release of the Committee’s findings.

    Thanks to the commitment of these people of faith your impact will double when you make a tax-deductible gift to NRCAT between now and December 31. 

    That means that $25 will become $50 and $50 will become $100. That also means your donation will go twice as far to build the faith-based, grassroots call for the Intelligence Committee to share what they know with our country.

    Please join this critical work by making a tax-deductible gift to NRCAT today.

    We are truly grateful for every donation we receive and gifts of every size make a huge impact on the effectiveness of our work. And when we receive them between now and December 31, they will go twice as far in our efforts to make the results of the SSCI report public. 

    When you make your secure online donation, you can also send a message to President Obama urging him to encourage the members of the Committee to make their findings public. 

    If you believe that torture is always wrong and that the country deserves the truth about treatment of 9/11 detainees, we hope you will join this very important campaign. Thank you for your commitment to abolishing U.S.-sponsored torture forever. We are truly grateful for your support.

    Sincerely,

    Linda Gustitus            Rev. Richard Killmer
    President                   Executive Director              
                  

    P.S. Don’t forget to send a message to President Obama when  you make your gift. We have already collected thousands of signatures. As NRCAT’s past successes show, the government takes the religious community seriously, when people of faith advocate with vigor the government listens. Thank you for your support!

    If you prefer to support NRCAT by mail, kindly mail a check payable to NRCAT to 110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 502, Washington, DC 20002.

    NRCAT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to abolishing torture in U.S. policy, practice and culture. Your donation is deductible for income tax purposes to the extent allowed by law. No goods or services are received in exchange for your donations.

    Message from the Acting Director: “Zero Dark Thirty”

    Statement to Employees from Acting Director Michael Morell: “Zero Dark Thirty”

    December 21, 2012

    I would not normally comment on a Hollywood film, but I think it important to put Zero Dark Thirty, which deals with one of the most significant achievements in our history, into some context. The film, which premiered this week, addresses the successful hunt for Usama Bin Ladin that was the focus of incredibly dedicated men and women across our Agency, Intelligence Community, and military partners for many years. But in doing so, the film takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate.

    What I want you to know is that Zero Dark Thirty is a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts. CIA interacted with the filmmakers through our Office of Public Affairs but, as is true with any entertainment project with which we interact, we do not control the final product.

    It would not be practical for me to walk through all the fiction in the film, but let me highlight a few aspects that particularly underscore the extent to which the film departs from reality.

    First, the hunt for Usama Bin Ladin was a decade-long effort that depended on the selfless commitment of hundreds of officers. The filmmakers attributed the actions of our entire Agency—and the broader Intelligence Community—to just a few individuals. This may make for more compelling entertainment, but it does not reflect the facts. The success of the May 1st 2011 operation was a team effort—and a very large team at that.

    Second, the film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Ladin. That impression is false. As we have said before, the truth is that multiple streams of intelligence led CIA analysts to conclude that Bin Ladin was hiding in Abbottabad. Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well. And, importantly, whether enhanced interrogation techniques were the only timely and effective way to obtain information from those detainees, as the film suggests, is a matter of debate that cannot and never will be definitively resolved.

    Third, the film takes considerable liberties in its depiction of CIA personnel and their actions, including some who died while serving our country. We cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory of them.

    Commentators will have much to say about this film in the weeks ahead. Through it all, I want you to remember that Zero Dark Thirty is not a documentary. What you should also remember is that the Bin Ladin operation was a landmark achievement by our country, by our military, by our Intelligence Community, and by our Agency.

    Michael Morell

    Posted: Dec 21, 2012 03:08 PM
    Last Updated: Dec 21, 2012 03:59 PM
    Last Reviewed: Dec 21, 2012 03:08 PM


    Dear Friends:

    Please ask the President to support adoption of the report on the investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee into CIA torture.  This 6,000 page report, the result of a three-year investigation, is said to describe in detail the decisions at all levels that led to the use of torture.  Further, we believe it will provide important evidence showing that torture was not only ineffective, but also made our nation more unsafe.

    Many supporters of torture continue to claim that its use made our country safer.  They are wrong, and the report on this investigation could help prove that they are wrong.  Please help us obtain the facts by writing to the President today.

    Thank you,

    Linda Gustitus, President
    Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director


    Earlier this year, the film “Zero Dark Thirty”, which purports to dramatize the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden, generated substantial political controversy. It was discovered that CIA and White House officials had met with its filmmakers and passed non-public information to them – at exactly the same time that DOJ officials were in federal court resisting transparency requests from media outlets and activist groups on the ground that it was all classified.

    With its release imminent, the film is now garnering a pile of top awards and virtually uniform rave reviews. What makes this so remarkable is that, by most accounts, the film glorifies torture by claiming – falsely – that waterboarding and other forms of coercive interrogation tactics were crucial, even indispensable in finding bin Laden.


    For more than three years, the Senate Intelligence Committee has been conducting an investigation into the CIA’s use of torture between September 11, 2001 and the end of 2008. We have been told that the resulting 6,000 page report will show that torture was not only ineffective, but was harmful to our national security. 

    The task before us is to ensure that its findings are approved by the Committee and made public.
    NRCAT is working hard to make that happen.

    A generous group of NRCAT supporters are helping us advocate for release of the Intelligence Committee’s report — and they are asking you to join them. They are offering a $10,000 challenge grant to encourage you to join them in supporting NRCAT’s effort to advocate for full release of the Committee’s findings.

    Thanks to the commitment of these people of faith your impact will double when you make a tax-deductible gift to NRCAT between now and December 31. 

    That means that $25 will become $50 and $50 will become $100. That also means your donation will go twice as far to build the faith-based, grassroots call for the Intelligence Committee to share what they know with our country.

    Please join this critical work by making a tax-deductible gift to NRCAT today.

    We are truly grateful for every donation we receive and gifts of every size make a huge impact on the effectiveness of our work. And when we receive them between now and December 31, they will go twice as far in our efforts to make the results of the SSCI report public. 

    When you make your secure online donation, you can also send a message to President Obama urging him to encourage the members of the Committee to make their findings public. 

    If you believe that torture is always wrong and that the country deserves the truth about treatment of 9/11 detainees, we hope you will join this very important campaign. Thank you for your commitment to abolishing U.S.-sponsored torture forever. We are truly grateful for your support.

    Sincerely,

    Linda Gustitus            Rev. Richard Killmer
    President                   Executive Director              
                  

    P.S. Don’t forget to send a message to President Obama when  you make your gift. We have already collected thousands of signatures. As NRCAT’s past successes show, the government takes the religious community seriously, when people of faith advocate with vigor the government listens. Thank you for your support!

    If you prefer to support NRCAT by mail, kindly mail a check payable to NRCAT to 110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 502, Washington, DC 20002.

    NRCAT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to abolishing torture in U.S. policy, practice and culture. Your donation is deductible for income tax purposes to the extent allowed by law. No goods or services are received in exchange for your donations.

    the world’s richest human

    He got TelMex as a gift from Carlos Salinas and now he gives advice on investment and policyMexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helú—whose family fortune of about $74 billion makes him the world’s richest human (well ahead of Bill …

    He got TelMex as a gift from Carlos Salinas and now he gives advice on investment and policy

    Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helú—whose family fortune of about $74 billion makes him the world’s richest human (well ahead of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett on the Forbes list of billionaires—plays against type.

    http://news.yahoo.com/carlos-slim-fixes-economy-114100308.html 

    MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helu has overtaken Microsoft founder Bill Gates as the richest person on the planet, the Mexican financial website Sentido Comun reported.

    Sentido Comun said the Mexican billionaire’s wealth had rocketed past Gates following the red-hot performance of his telecommunications firm, America Movil.
    US-based Forbes magazine, renowned for its rankings of the world’s wealthiest individuals, updated its listings in April to rank Slim as the second richest individual in the world, as he bested the legendary US investor Warren Buffett.
    The Mexican financial website said Slim’s lead over Gates amounted to billions of dollars.
    “Thanks to a 26.5-percent rise in the shares of America Movil during the second quarter, Slim, who controls a 33-percent interest in Latin America’s largest mobile phone company, is substantially richer than Gates,” Sentido Comun said.
    “The difference between their two fortunes is around nine billion dollars in favor of Slim,” the financial website claimed.
    It said it had based its calculations largely on the share price movements of companies controlled by Slim.
    The website said soaring performances from Slim’s other business interests had also helped propel him past Gates.
    Aside from America Movil, Slim controls the INBURSA financial group and the Grupo Carso industrial firm with interests spanning retail stores, coffee shops and restaurants.
    One reason for Slim’s meteoric rise might be because he is also still working.
    Gates stepped aside as Microsoft chief in 2000 to devote his energies to the philanthropic foundation he runs with his wife, Melinda.
    Forbes in April had pegged Slim’s wealth at a staggering 53.1 billion dollars, and said Gates was sitting on a 56-billion-dollar fortune.
    Slim, the son of Lebanese immigrants, has had business in his blood from his early days when he helped out in his father’s shop, “The Star of the Orient.”
    The 67-year-old started out in real estate and was already affluent enough when he graduated from university with an engineering degree to buy stakes in a stock brokerage and a bottling firm.
    During the crippling Latin American economic crisis of the early 1980s, Slim snapped up and reformed a number of distressed businesses, banking massive profits for Grupo Carso.
    Carso gained its name from the first three letters of Slim’s name and the first two of his late wife’s, Soumaya Gemayel.
    Analysts say one of Slim’s smartest and most lucrative deals occurred when he took control of Telefonos de Mexico (Telemex) in 1990 as the then government moved to privatize the sprawling monopoly.
    Slim oversaw a 1.8-billion-dollar investment to take over Telemex, but he then overhauled the company and expanded its service as the telecom firm became the star of the Mexican stock exchange and more than returned Slim’s initial investment.
    The Mexican billionaire has also made some savvy stock picks.
    In 1997, he bought about three percent of Apple Computer at 17 dollars a share shortly before the company launched its hit iMac computer. Twelve months later, Apple’s shares topped 100 dollars.
    Despite his vast riches, Slim reportedly shuns corporate jets and flashy offices and sported a plastic watch during the 1990s.
    Widowed in 1999, Slim has boosted his philanthropic presence and overseen his three sons’ careers within his business empire.
    Like Gates, he has developed a strong profile on the philanthropic front.
    Earlier this month he allied himself with the foundation of former US president Bill Clinton and with Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra to launch an anti-poverty campaign in Latin America.
    Fifty-three percent of Mexico’s population of 104 million live in poverty, which is defined as living on less than two dollars a day, World Bank data show.

    “I wanted to go to the restroom, but I will go now,” the 71-year-oldSlim tells me with a laugh, having sat down to a spur-of-the-moment interview at the Metropolitan Club. This was after he patiently endured a lengthy black-tie dinner celebrating a “creative leadership summit” hosted by Canadian-born magazine publisher Louise Blouin.
    The mustachioed mogul, looking slightly rumpled in his tux, has shown up with his dashing nephew Roberto, but no entourage or security, to receive a Blouin Foundation Award for his philanthropic work.
    “Our philosophy is you need to give nonprofit money for health, nutrition, education, culture, and sports,” says Slim, who has funded his own foundations to the tune of $10 billion, has pledged another $100 million to a Clinton Global Initiative sustainable growth project, and forked over equally eye-popping amounts in joint ventures with the likes of Microsoft’s Gates and Los Angeles billionaire Eli Broad. “You need to support human development and human capital as much as possible. And we’ve had 25 years of programs, great programs. We supported 125,000 surgeries. We fund 15,000 scholarships every year for college and higher education. We gave bicycles for rural areas. We gave laptops.”
    He adds: “We do something more interesting: We do digital libraries, and instead of lending books we lend laptops …You need education, and at the end of the day, you need people to have jobs. And education now will come through technological means. You cannot make thousands of universities or hundreds of thousands of professors, but with technology and the Internet you can have great courses and make a digital university.”
    Slim, who speaks heavily accented but serviceable English (which I’ve taken the liberty of cleaning up here and there), also chatted about his wish to increase his ownership stake in The New York Times(to which he lent $250 million in 2009 to help the paper through financial troubles), his love of the New York Yankees, his reasons for paying $44 million last year for the Doris Duke mansion on Fifth Avenue, his policy prescriptions to fix the ailing American economy and stop the massive drug violence on the U.S.-Mexican border, and his claim that, contrary to widespread belief, he is by no means a monopolist in the lucrative Mexican telecom business.
    “There are a lot of competitors. If you look, there is Nextel, Telefónica, all the TV companies together,” Slim maintains, arguing that he owes his 70 percent market share to high quality of service and savvy marketing rather than preferential treatment from the Mexican politicians he takes very good care of financially. “And we don’t have the convergence—we cannot provide ‘triple play’ [phone, Internet, and cable], and we are monopolists? We operate in 20 countries, and if we were a monopoly with expensive and bad service, our customers would not be with us. We would not have their loyalty.”
    In years past, Slim prided himself on never owning a residence outside Mexico, so I ask if he’s planning to spend more time in New York now that he’s bought himself an Upper East Side palace.
    “No, no, no,” Slim replies. “It has six or seven floors. Do you think I will live in a house of seven floors? I bought it to build apartments for renting or business. I’ll be staying in a hotel, always.”
    What about the Yankees? Slim is a rabid fan. Would he like to buy the team?
    “No,” he insists. “I like baseball to enjoy. If you are in business, you are not enjoying. You are working. It’s more fun to watch them play and watch Mariano Rivera [the star Panamanian relief pitcher] break records. He’s the best closing pitcher in baseball. He’s 41 years old. It’s fantastic.
    How do we fix this recession?
    “With the same things that were done in 2000 and 2001, when it was temporarily solved with big expenditures and very aggressive monetary and fiscal policy,” he tells me. “Aside from lowering taxes, we should be directing more money to the real economy, not to the financial economy.  The volatility of the markets is so great that more is won or lost in a single day than in five years of accumulated interest. And that’s not a good thing.”
    I ask if he agrees with President Obama’s so-called Buffett rule, which would mandate that rich people like Warren Buffett—who benefits from a 15 percent tax rate because his money comes from capital gains—pay at least the same rate as their secretaries.
    “I don’t know what Warren Buffett pays,” Slim says, “but I think that the fiscal policy should be fair. You don’t need to raise taxes on rich people, because they create capitalization and investment. But you need to tax speculation—meaning capital gains. Why should it be just 15 percent? Salaried people pay 35 percent. Why shouldn’t that be paid on capital gains?”
    Anything else?
    “The welfare policies that you are following—you and Europe—are unsustainable,” Slim argues. “You cannot have people retiring at 60 years old, and you cannot provide universal health care the way you do. That’s crazy. The focus should be the support of small- and middle-size business. That is where the employment is. And there should be investment in the real economy. Infrastructure is an example. And the best way to do that is with the private sector. It’s more efficient.”
    I ask what should be done about the terrible violence surrounding the illegal Mexican drug trade, with grisly murders in the tens of thousands.
    “It’s a problem coming from the United States,” Slim says.
    Because of the demand?
    “Because of everything. You stay with the money and the drugs. We stay with the weapons and the violence. And you’re selling the weapons to the consumers in Mexico. And the retail price [of the drugs] is, I don’t know how much bigger, let’s say 10 times in the U.S. what it is in Mexico. And that means the demand is here and the money is here. It’s like what used to happen during Prohibition in Chicago. You had a lot of violence there.”
    What’s the solution?
    “Follow the money.”
    Would it help to legalize the drugs and, as with Prohibition, eliminate the incentive for crime?
    “It doesn’t ‘help,’ ” Slim says. “It finishes.”
    Not that he’s necessarily suggesting that prescription.
    “We don’t know the consequences in health—how bad these drugs are,” Slim says. “But I think we should be doing more work together.”
    Slim’s empire, though based on telecommunications, spans about 200 companies and 220,000 employees in such diverse industries as hotels, banking, construction, cigarettes, soft drinks, mining, bicycles, airlines, railways, and printing. But it’s his investment in The New York Times—of which he owns slightly more than 7 percent, with warrants to increase his holdings to 16 percent by 2015—that has raised his public profile in the United States.
    I ask what his intentions are.
    “It’s a financial investment,” says Slim, whose $250 million loan at 14 percent interest, to help the media company through some cash-flow problems, was paid back in full ahead of schedule. “It was a very good sign when they paid back the loan early, and if I invest part of the payment or part of the interest, it’s because I think it’s a good company and a great brand. Now they’re doing buybacks and the dividend is so high, etc., and they’re managing the newspaper in a very good way. We are not speculating. We are there for a long time. But if the stock goes down more, it will be interesting—because it will come back more.”
    What if it starts writing critical articles about Carlos Slim?
    “They have done that.”
    Any reaction to the appointment of Jill Abramson as the new editor? 
    “I’m sorry. Who?”  
    Obviously, some matters are below Slim’s paygrade.

    idle money that could be creating jobs

    By David Cay JohnstonMon Jul 16, 2012 8:30am EDT(Reuters) – IRS data suggests that, globally, U.S. nonfinancial companies hold at least three times more cash and other liquid assets than the Federal Reserve reports, idle money that could be creating jo…

    By David Cay Johnston
    Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:30am EDT

    (Reuters) – IRS data suggests that, globally, U.S. nonfinancial companies hold at least three times more cash and other liquid assets than the Federal Reserve reports, idle money that could be creating jobs, funding dividends or even paying a stiff federal penalty tax for hoarding corporate cash.

    The Fed’s latest Flow of Funds report showed that U.S. nonfinancial companies held $1.7 trillion in liquid assets at the end of March. But newly released IRS figures show that in 2009 these companies held $4.8 trillion in liquid assets, which equals $5.1 trillion in today’s dollars, triple the Fed figure.

    Why the huge gap?

    The Fed gets its data from the IRS, but only measures the flow of funds in the domestic economy. The IRS reports the worldwide holdings of U.S. companies, which I think is the more revealing measure.

    From the companies’ point of view, it makes perfect sense these days to hoard cash.

    First, Congress lets overseas profits accumulate untaxed, so long as offshore subsidiaries own the cash. Second, companies have a hard time putting cash to work because fewer jobs and lower wages mean less demand for products and services. Third, a thick pile of cash gives risk-averse CEOs a nice cushion if the economy worsens.

    Given the enduring hard times, you might think that corporations have used up their cash since 2009. But real pretax corporate profits have soared, from less than $1.5 trillion in 2009 to $1.9 trillion in 2010 and almost $2 trillion in 2011, data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis shows.

    That is nearly $1 trillion of increased profits over two years, while actual taxes paid rose less than a tenth as much, BEA reports show. Dividends, wages and capital expenditures all grew less than profits, while undistributed profits rose. The result: more cash.

    Bigger profits are good news, but it would have been better news had those increased profits been put to work, not laid off in accounts paying modest interest. Hoarding corporate cash in bank accounts, Treasuries and tax-exempt bonds poses a serious threat to the economy, as Congress recognized when it enacted the corporate income tax in 1909.

    Let’s get some perspective on these gigantic figures, all measured in today’s dollars.

    The 2009 cash reported to the IRS equaled America’s entire economic output that year from New Year’s Day through May Day.

    This cash pool came to $16,700 for every man, woman and child in the United States, a 53 percent real increase from 2004, my calculations from IRS data show.

    Looked at yet another way, these companies had 11.3 percent of their assets in cash, or enough to pay their 2009 corporate income tax bills, which amounted to $148 billion, more than 34 times over.

    In short, U.S. companies hold vastly more cash than is needed to finance their operations.

    For investors, companies holding 11.3 percent of their assets in cash lowers returns. Did you buy shares of American Widget so executives could park profits in savings accounts?

    For workers, idle cash means idle hands and minds. With one in five Americans unemployed or underemployed, and real median wages in 2010 back down to the level of 1999, this is no time for capital to go on an extended holiday.

    For taxpayers, untaxed profits subtly reduce corporate tax burdens and increase the tax burden on individuals. Because taxes owed on offshore profits are not adjusted for inflation, they depreciate at the rate of inflation. That means a double whammy for taxpayers as government pays interest on money it borrows while its accounts receivable from multinational corporations lose value.

    Since the income tax system began, Congress has authorized a tax on excessive accumulated earnings to limit damage to the Treasury — and the economy — when companies hold far more cash than their operations require. Without the accumulated earnings tax, corporations can become bloated tax shelters instead of engines of growth.

    A business holding more cash than its operations reasonably require can be hit with a 15 percent levy under Section 531 of the Internal Revenue Code, on top of the 35 percent corporate income tax. The Tax Court even devised a mechanical test in 1965 for how much is too much.

    Historically the IRS has levied only privately owned firms or publicly traded companies with few shareholders. But Internal Revenue Code Section 531 applies to all corporations. President Ronald Reagan signed Section 532 (c), which made that explicit, though with an exception for untaxed offshore profits.

    After reviewing decades of literature on these code sections, I cannot fathom any rational basis for giving multinational companies an exception to the cash hoarding rules, which discriminates against purely domestic firms.

    Some of the multinational corporations say they will bring home what could be more than a trillion dollars if Congress will give them an 85 percent tax discount. The companies frame this as creating jobs. But as I showed in an earlier column, unless there are strict rules, the money can be used to buy back company stock while destroying jobs.

    Want to motivate companies to put some of those trillions of dollars of idle cash to work creating jobs, paying dividends or sharing the burden of taxes? Call 1-202-224-3121 and tell your senator or representative you want Section 531 vigorously enforced – now – and the offshore loophole closed immediately.

    (David Cay Johnston is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.)

    (Editing by Eddie Evans)

    L’affaire des caporaux de Souain

    In 1915, four French corporals were shot at a farm in Suippes for refusing to advance out of their trenches through the carnage of a World War I no man’s land. It was not only Corporals Theophile Maupas, Louis Lefoulon, … Continue reading

    In 1915, four French corporals were shot at a farm in Suippes for refusing to advance out of their trenches through the carnage of a World War I no man’s land.

    It was not only Corporals Theophile Maupas, Louis Lefoulon, Louis Girard and Lucien Lechat who had refused. The entire 21st Company of the 336th Infantry regiment, exhausted and already decimated by combat, was ordered over the trench at dawn on March 10.

    Under withering machine gun fire, and with French artillery carelessly dropping shells just in front of their own lines, the 21st stayed put. Frantic to force the advance, the French commander ordered artillery to drive the troops ahead by shelling his own trenches — an order the artillerists refused to carry out unless someone put it in writing.

    “ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD”

    The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
    The lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea,
    The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
    And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

    Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
    And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
    Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
    And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:

    Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
    The moping owl does to the moon complain
    Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
    Molest her ancient solitary reign.

    Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,
    Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
    Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
    The rude Forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

    The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
    The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
    The cock’s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
    No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

    For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
    Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
    No children run to lisp their sire’s return,
    Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share,

    Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
    Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
    How jocund did they drive their team afield!
    How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

    Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
    Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
    Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
    The short and simple annals of the Poor.

    The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
    And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
    Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour:-
    The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

    Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault
    If Memory o’er their tomb no trophies raise,
    Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
    The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

    Can storied urn or animated bust
    Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
    Can Honour’s voice provoke the silent dust,
    Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

    Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
    Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
    Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway’d,
    Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre:

    But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
    Rich with the spoils of time, did ne’er unroll;
    Chill Penury repress’d their noble rage,
    And froze the genial current of the soul.

    Full many a gem of purest ray serene
    The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:
    Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
    And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

    Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
    The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
    Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
    Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country’s blood.

    Th’ applause of list’ning senates to command,
    The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
    To scatter plenty o’er a smiling land,
    And read their history in a nation’s eyes,

    Their lot forbad: nor circumscribed alone
    Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined;
    Forbad to wade through slaughter to a throne,
    And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,

    The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
    To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
    Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
    With incense kindled at the Muse’s flame.

    Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,
    Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
    Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
    They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.

    Yet e’en these bones from insult to protect
    Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
    With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck’d,
    Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

    Their name, their years, spelt by th’ unletter’d Muse,
    The place of fame and elegy supply:
    And many a holy text around she strews,
    That teach the rustic moralist to die.

    For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
    This pleasing anxious being e’er resign’d,
    Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
    Nor cast one longing lingering look behind?

    On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
    Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
    E’en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
    E’en in our ashes live their wonted fires.

    For thee, who, mindful of th’ unhonour’d dead,
    Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
    If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
    Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, —

    Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
    Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
    Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
    To meet the sun upon the upland lawn;

    ‘There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
    That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high.
    His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
    And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

    ‘Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
    Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove;
    Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
    Or crazed with care, or cross’d in hopeless love.

    ‘One morn I miss’d him on the custom’d hill,
    Along the heath, and near his favourite tree;
    Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
    Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

    ‘The next with dirges due in sad array
    Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne,-
    Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay
    Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.’
    The Epitaph
    Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
    A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.
    Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
    And Melacholy marked him for her own.

    Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
    Heaven did a recompense as largely send:
    He gave to Misery all he had, a tear,
    He gained from Heaven (’twas all he wish’d) a friend.

    No farther seek his merits to disclose,
    Or draw his frailties from their dread abode
    (There they alike in trembling hope repose),
    The bosom of his Father and his God.

    By Thomas Gray (1716-71).

    Click to view slideshow.

    L’Aisne demande à la République de reconnaître les soldats fusillés pour l’exemple de 14-18

    Paths of Glory is a 1957 American anti-war film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb.[1] Set during World War I, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer of French soldiers who refused to continue a suicidal attack. Dax attempts to defend them against a charge of cowardice in a court-martial.

    Cobb’s novel had no title when it was finished, so the publisher held a contest. The winning entry came from the ninth stanza of the famous Thomas Gray poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard“.[2]

    “The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow’r,
    And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
    Awaits alike th’inevitable hour.
    The paths of glory lead but to the grave.”

    Paths of Glory is based loosely on the true story of four French soldiers during World War I, under General Géraud Réveilhac, executed for mutiny in Souain, France; their families sued, and while the executions were ruled unfair, two of the families received one franc each, while the others received nothing. The novel is about the French execution of innocent men to strengthen others’ resolve to fight. The French Army did carry out military executions for cowardice, as did all the other major participants. However, a significant point in the film is the practice of selecting individuals at random and executing them as a punishment for the sins of the whole group. This is similar to the Roman practice of decimation, which was rarely used by the French Army in World War I