Links, 9/26/11

It looks like the CIA may have gotten hit by another double agent in the attack on its Afghan station yesterday.

“What is unique in the Obama administration is their decision that in spite of the disagreements on the political level, the military and intelligence relationship which benefits both sides will not be spoiled by the political tension,” the former head of Israel’s military intelligence is quoted by Eli Lake as saying, in an article describing Obama’s approval of bunker-buster sales to Israel.

A Tiny Revolution chronicles how Lewis Powell Jr’s plan for a right wing conspiracy is being renamed, “Attack of the American Free Enterprise System.”

This great piece on Countrywide’s retaliation against whistleblowers says that one woman wrote Angelo Mozilo describing fraud in mortgage origination in March 2007, and another did so sometime before November 2007. How is it, again, that DOJ decided not to file criminal charges against him?

Reuters continues its excellent series on how corporations use secrecy jurisdictions. This installment? How what gets incorporated in Las Vegas–and Nevada generally–stays secret in Las Vegas.

Steven Aftergood notes that the CIA has classified–and, on that basis, refused a FOIA in its entirety–on its investigations of climate change.

Note: I realized today I never posted a links post I started last week. So these are, uh, dated. But all still worthwhile.

I have been meaning to write about the Solyndra faux scandal but haven’t gotten to it. Thankfully, Kate Sheppard made one of the points I’ve been meaning to make–with visuals! That is, if you want to see a real scandal, not some penny ante pipsqueak faux scandal, you’re gonna have to look at DOD boondoggles like ballistic missile defense or the F-35.

Stephen Walt, in a perhaps self-congratulatory piece, argues that Tom Friedman only discovered the Israel lobby because there have been glaring spotlights focused on it finally (largely by Stephen Walt).

Sony, whose incompetence exposed 100 million customers to data breach earlier this year, is now making people sign away their right to sue Sony in a class action.

Justin Elliott reports that the Obama Administration is seeking a waiver on human rights related trade restrictions with Uzbekistan. We’re doing this not because Uzbekistan has cleaned up its act, but because Pakistan is no longer that reliable an ally, so we need another supply chain into Afghanistan. But as former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray argues that the effort will be counterproductive.

Here’s a cool visualization of where the population centers of the world are and what the lifestyle there is. Make sure to click through to see what each of those lifestyles entails.


7 replies
  1. JTMinIA says:

    The CountryWide piece makes me wonder (again) about the following, which is slightly OT, for which I apologize.

    Assume that I am sole owner of an LLC in, say, Maryland. I take a lot of orders for a product that I supposedly sell, pay myself a juicy salary, but then fail to send the product to the buyers and simply declare bankruptcy. Can I really hide behind the fact that it’s an LLC to make it so I can keep the money I paid myself? Assume that I did a great job of faking that I would really deliver the product (in fact, I really did try, but was in over my head), so you can’t get me, personally, for out-right fraud.

  2. MadDog says:

    Another link worth reading from Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald published yesterday:

    Pentagon to beam war crimes trials to US soil

    The Obama administration’s handpicked choice to run prosecutions at the Guantánamo war crimes court is pledging a new era of transparency from the remote base, complete with near simultaneous transmissions of the proceedings to victims and reporters on U.S. soil…


    …They won’t be live because the feeds will be broadcast on a “40-second delay to ensure safeguarding of national security information.” At the maximum-security complex inside Camp Justice, that has meant a security officer can, and has, hit a white noise button to muffle testimony if someone suspects secret or sensitive information is about to be divulged…


    …There is no indication that the transmissions will be available for broadcast by television networks in the United States…


    …A Pentagon spokeswoman was unable to confirm the new transmission policy on Sunday, nor specify where the proceedings would be shown in the United States…”

  3. MadDog says:

    Another link via Justin Sink of The Hill on Pakistan with some batshit crazy Repug strategy for making the mess even worse:

    Kirk: Eliminate military aid to Pakistan

    Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who sits on the Senate subcommittee responsible for international aid, argued that military assistance to Pakistan should be eliminated in light of an attack Monday on a CIA office in Afghanistan that left one American dead…


    …Kirk also suggested turning over responsibility for Afghanistan to India, Pakistan’s longtime foe in the region.

    “India has a strong interest in an Afghanistan that is not a terror base,” Kirk said. “I wish that a peaceful Afghanistan could be created out of Pakistan, but it appears that the Pakistani government has committed itself to terror.”

    The solution to our problems with Pakistan is to have India take over Afghanistan. Yeah, right.

  4. Peterr says:

    From the Countrywide piece:

    Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor ruled that Bank of America had illegally fired her as payback for exposing fraud and retaliation against whistleblowers. . . .

    In Foster’s case, the Labor Department notes [4]that two senior Bank of America officials — not former Countrywide executives — made the decision to fire her.

    The agency says the investigations led by Foster found “widespread and pervasive fraud” that, Foster claimed, went beyond misconduct committed at the branch level and reached into Countrywide’s management ranks.

    So the Dept of Labor has officially ruled that BofA committed fraud. It would be nice if the DOJ notices this at some point.

    Imagine that the IRS found a bank robber guilty of not paying taxes on the proceeds from robbing a bank, but the DOJ refused to acknowledge that a bank was actually robbed.

    Perhaps we could save money at the DOJ by eliminating some positions and turning their jobs over to the folks at Labor who are actually doing theirs.

  5. JohnLopresti says:

    ?Has anyone seen a link for an unpaywalled version of FHFA’s 1:2011cv06195 case against Bof A and ~17 other institutions, for charges of ?violations of mortgage and mortgage securities regulations in dealings with Freddie and Fannie? The usual docket, name only and dates, data is available there. The ECF copy of the complaint filed ~September 2,2011, evidently is paywalled on Pacer; and congress, I believe, recently even raised the fees Pacer is permitted to charge, in yet another reprise of the electronic data interchange (‘EDI) era of the faded 80s, and supporting the current and perennial Republican thinly veiled desire to narrow the availability of information; however, I am not sure how management at sdny fits into this sort of polity. The website still has a too monolithic cast.

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