Archive for category Diplomats

the virtuoso

Philadelphia area attorney charged in sex tourism case

by KYW’s Tony Hanson
A Philadelphia area attorney, who formed a foundation to assist aspiring performing artists reach their goals, is now charged in a sex tourism case involving a former student at the Bolchoi Academy. The defendant, who allegedly sexually assaulted the victim for years beginning in 1998, has been arrested in Cyprus and is awaiting extradition.

The Apogee foundation’s stated goal is to discover, develop and celebrate the creative potential of mankind, but  federal authorities alleged the president and founder of Apogee, Kenneth Schneider, used his wealth and position to victimize a pre-teen boy for years - starting at age 12. Federal authorities say the boy’s family could no longer afford the Bolshoi fee and Schneider offered to help. The boy would live with him.  The federal complaint says the boy’s parents had serious reservations, but agreed. U-S Attorney Michael Levy: “Anybody who is a parent knows you want the best for your children and you’ve got a child who has talent and can really do well, but you can’t afford it. And here is somebody coming forward to say your troubles are over.”

Schneider’s attorney has declined comment.

Actually it was an eight year relationship. The accused fled to Cyprus presumably to avoid prosecution.

And he’s actually a little more than just a Philadelphia area attorney. That’s so modest. Wait till you see what a rock star this guy is.


Kenneth Schneider, 45, is president and chief executive officer of Aurience Ltd., a mergers and acquisitions firm based in London and the founder of the Apogee Foundation, a philanthropic arts group that funds young performing artists.

According to the indictment, Schneider was working as a legal consultant in Moscow in 1998 when he met a 12-year-old boy who was a student at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

The boy, identified in the indictment by his initials, had been forced to leave the academy because his parents could not afford to pay the tuition.

Schneider offered to pay for the boy’s schooling and proposed to the parents that the child live with him in his Moscow apartment. The parents agreed.

Soon afterward, Scheider began “grooming” the boy for sexual contact by touching and kissing him and buying him gifts, according to the indictment. Eventually, Schneider engaged in intercourse with the boy, the indictment states.

In 2001, Schneider brought the boy to Philadelphia to study for the summer at the Rock School for Dance Education. Schneider and the boy, then 15, returned to Russia, where the sexual relationship continued, according to the indictment.

The dancer, now 24, lives with his wife, whom he met while studying at the University of the Arts.

A civil suit filed in Philadelphia by the dancer in 2007 prompted a federal investigation, Levy said.

It claims Schneider created the Apogee Foundation in order to make illicit contact with young male performers in the former Soviet Union.

Schneider promised to use the foundation’s influence to make the boy a star, according to the suit.

When the dancer began a relationship with his future wife, Schneider threatened to have him deported back to Russia and “his hopes of any career would be ruined,” the civil suit states.

As a result of his relationship with Schneider, the dancer suffered “inconsolable shame and depression,” says the suit, which seeks unspecified damages.

You might want to mosey over to see the logo: http://www.apogeefoundation.org/about/index.php.
Here’s an excerpt from a bio of Schneider written by Daisy Scott, World Web Media, a “research and journalism group based in New Delhi, India.” (I guess he is the main client.)

Kenneth Schneider Apogee Foundation and Aurience Ltd emerged to fulfill a dream much bigger than any one man: a dream for all mankind to dream and fulfill together. Kenneth Schneider Apogee Foundation and Aurience Ltd are thus like the knights and wizards of a modern-day fairytale — reaching into the past to help the world overcome the challenges of the present and summon into being a better future. But this is a real-world story with real-world heroes: fulfilling a mission that is as challenging as it is worthwhile, the quest for the real-world holy grail.

Oh The Drama.

Actually, the dramatic bio mentions that Schneider used to work for Millhouse Capital in London.

Milhouse Capital is a Russian holding company, whose current CEO is Roman Abramovich, a business associate of Oleg Deripaska. They are among the “New Money Oligarchs” whose rise to prominence and wealth was fostered by the Yeltsin administration. The roots of this company date back to the “Cold War”, when Richard Nixon initially invested in Russia, hoping that his investment would be mutually beneficial to the former Allied Nations during WWII. The founding CEO’s, Roman Abramovich and Oleg Deripaska used connections with the Russian Aristocracy, known as “Oprachinas” to formally incorporate the entity. The company made them two of Russia’s wealthiest persons, as noted by Forbes Magazine[citation needed].
Today, in 2009, the company has seen better times, but through a strategic investment portfolio, is poised to make a big comeback[according to whom?], as the world’s economy improves. (Wikipedia, links removed.)

So it’s possible that when Schneider was working as a “legal consultant in Moscow in 1998,” he might have been working for Abramovich.

I mean, to downplay his status as a mere “Philadelphia area attorney” or a “man charged” with molesting a Russian pre-teen, as these headlines do, truly fails to appreciate Schneider’s contributions to humanity.

Here’s another bio, this time written by Richard Morrison.

Kenneth Schneider’s career has included mastering everything from music and mathematics to philosophy and physics and from linguistics and law to education and economics in the course of a stunning path taking him to and beyond the world’s leading academic institutions, professional firms and international powerbrokers. Throughout his life, Ken Schneider seems to have taken on mankind’s most complex challenges on scales larger than life itself by demonstrating an intellectual virtuosity so unlimited that it can transcend fields, nations and cultures.

During his early period as an international financial attorney practicing with several of the world’s leading law firms in New York and London, Schneider masterminded new ways of thinking about his own profession while handling headline transactions in more than 50 countries on all six inhabited continents. But he would literally rewrite history itself when he agreed to focus these skills on the revitalization of the former Soviet Union’s (FSU) newly free and completely chaotic economies at the end of the millennium. In 1993, Kenneth Schneider undertook an assignment to represent the government of one of the FSU’s largest and most resource-rich republics: rewriting their legal frameworks and negotiating foreign investment on a massive scale that would enable not only the economic but the social redevelopment of the nation.

Fluent in Russian and realizing that the FSU covered one-sixth of the Earth’s land surface and contained a quarter of the world’s natural resources, Ken Schneider would followed this opening act by relocating to Moscow, the heart of the former Soviet empire, to play a major role in changing the course of world history. In the years concluding the old millennium and beginning the new, Schneider marshaled his full spectrum of intellectual abilities and professional skills to reposition the very role of the intellect and of the professions in creating an era of unprecedented opportunities for massive transformation. Kenneth Schneider brought to bear his well-honed skills as a legal and financial virtuoso to rethink and reintegrate the old with the new and the best of East and of the West into new paradigms on which the future economic progress of the FSU – and of the world – could be re-founded.

In the series of monumental engagements that followed – sweeping across Eurasia from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the Arctic to the Indian Oceans – Ken Schneider did nothing less than redesign the legal and financial infrastructure of what had been the world’s largest empire. In doing so, he created a new fusion of emerging and mature market paradigms and Eastern and Western priorities that resulted in entirely new standards and models for legal and financial professionals not only throughout the FSU and other developing economies around the globe, but also in the world’s legal and financial centers where past generations’ touchstones had originally been developed.…With the arrival of the new millennium, Kenneth Schneider would outdo even these accomplishments upon becoming one of the founding members of Millhouse Capital, which – within an amazingly brief time – would have under management the largest collection of FSU assets ever assembled.

HOO! Boy.

i forgot the towel to kneel on

Well anyway, while Schneider was busy remaking the world with his bare hands, some deals might possibly have gone down that later maybe possibly looked a little teensy bit shady. NOT that Schneider would have necessarily had anything to do with these deals. I am not suggesting that. But Boss Roman Abramovich did come under scrutiny of Swiss authorities in the possible misuse of an IMF loan to Russia, and Schneider was reportedly doing “nothing less than” redesigning “the legal and financial infrastructure of what had been the world’s largest empire.” So it seems fair to ask…

From aangirfan, Banks and Crime, October 14, 2008:

5. The Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich was a suspect in the case of the possible misuse of a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF to Russia. (Did the $4.8 billion loan from the IMF to Russia finance the Chelsea Football Club…)

Abramovich and his Runicom trading group were named in documents from a Swiss inquiry into what happened to money meant to help Russia.

The Swiss believed that Abramovich was one of the controllers of a web of slush funds.

US Federal prosecutors allege that the Bank of New York was linked to $7 billion in Russian money, some from criminal activities.

Some allegations have said the Bank of New York case included funds lent to Russia by the IMF.

(For further reading on this sort of thing, like money laundering through professional sports teams and such, see Rome: “the promised land of foreign mafias.”)

Unfortunately, the Swiss were forced to abandon their investigation because Russian and US authorities refused to divulge what they knew of the scandal.

For the first time, the Swiss have publicly revealed why they were forced to abandon their investigation. Russia and the United States, it has emerged, refused to divulge what they knew about the scandal.

Marc Tappolet, the Geneva investigating magistrate in charge of the criminal inquiry, said that both superpowers ignored his repeated requests for help. Neither country would even reply to formal applications made through diplomatic channels for legal assistance.

As a wall of silence was erected from Moscow to Washington, the investigation was marred by violent intimidation. Laurent Kasper-Ansermet, the investigating magistrate who launched the Swiss investigation, was left bleeding and unconscious in an attack in St Petersburg during a visit to Russia.

Millhouse Capital, of which Schneider was a founding member, was very active during the time of the investigation, divesting assets and reinvesting, and moving money around. But…

No evidence linking Abramovich to the IMF funds was ever reported. (wink wink)

Might Kenneth Schneider have possibly applied his intellectual virtuosity somewhere in here, someplace? Especially since the IMF loan was made back in 1998, right around the time that Schneider had moved to Moscow and was working as a “legal consultant.” We don’t know. Way back in 2000 a freelance journalist, Lucy Komisar, spent three months in Russia investigating the impact of offshore bank and corporate secrecy. She reported on this missing $4.8 billion loan.

The $4.8 billion was supposed to avert a financial collapse brought on by widespread stripping of Russian assets, capital flight, and looting of international loans and investments. It was purportedly given to allow major Russian banks to buy rubles and stabilize the currency.

But according to Viktor Ilyukhin, chairman of the security committee of the Duma, Russia’s legislature, the money “was robbed.”

“The IMF money was sent from the Bank of New York via Russia to the Frankfurt Ost-West Hendelsbank, an affiliate of the Central Bank,” he said in June. …Ilyukhin claims to have copies of the paper trails showing $235 million went to the Bank of Sydney, was changed to pounds sterling and went to Great Britain with the help of Dyachenko. “Another part, $1.7 billion, went to the Swiss Bank of Lausanne. Our information is that Chubais and Berezovsky were involved,” Ilyukhin claimed, with a major part of that going to the Bank of New York. “In this, Chernomyrdin was involved.”

…Washington, the IMF, and Moscow (which has to repay the $4.8 billion loan) should be eager to recover any money that was diverted. But political interests apparently make them very reluctant to follow the money trail.

Masterfully done.

But was Schneider involved? Who knows. He may have been very busy doing other things at that time, like setting up the Apogee Foundation and grooming his boy.

keeping track of children

1. EU leaders prepare for Morocco meeting in Granada Spain — will children be invited to the parties?

The European Union is to hold a summit with Morocco in Granada, Spain, this weekend (6-7 March), the first meeting since the two sides formalised Morocco’s ‘advanced status’ in its relations with the Union in October 2008.

Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Spain’s prime minister, will host Abbas El Fassi, Morocco’s prime minister, for a dinner on Saturday evening and two hours of discussion on Sunday. Spanish attempts to secure the participation of King Mohammed IV have been unsuccessful.

Sunday’s talks will also be attended by Štefan Füle, the European commissioner for enlargement and neighbourhood policy, and Karel De Gucht, the commissioner for trade.

The EU sees Morocco as a strategic partner on a range of issues, and Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Spain’s foreign minister, has described the summit as one of Spain’s main priorities in the six months that it holds the presidency of the Council of Ministers.

He cited the fight against illegal migration and terrorism, including radicalisation, as special concerns.

more here

2. Spain leads quest to fight child trafficking in Haiti — WITH BIOMETRIC DATABASE. Just like Fulan Gong prisoners have their blood type and other health data checked into a database….

The aim of the ‘DNA-Prokids in Haiti’ project is twofold: it will use DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) testing to help trace the children in a bid to prevent human trafficking, and it will help reunite missing and displaced children with their families.

…DNA-Prokids will initially take 6,000 samples of genetic data from adults who have reported missing children, from adults who are blood relatives of missing children, and from displaced children in order to deter their trafficking in the confusion after the earthquake.

Before the earthquake there were around 380,000 orphans in Haiti, but the number is now estimated at nearly 1 million. UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) and other humanitarian organisations are warning of the problems of abduction of missing children by child sex traffickers in the chaos after the disaster - a situation that was also widely feared following the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

…Data interchange will make family reunification possible in some cases, it will force a continued search in other cases, but it will save children from abuse and organised crime in all cases.’  REALLY?? HOW SO?????

DNA-Prokids has made contingency plans for other national and international laboratories to help in the data analyses if the University of Granada becomes overwhelmed by the number of cases that will need to be analysed.

The DNA-Prokids in Haiti project was established in 2004 at the University of Granada and was joined in 2009 by the Health Sciences Department of the University of North Texas, US. The project has many financial supporters including the Andalusian regional government in Spain, Spanish financial institutions, and the US-based Life Technologies Foundation. It also collaborates with many other countries to increase its scope including the Guatemala, Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand and the US.

more here

3. Life Technologies Foundation — hoping to establish a WORLDWIDE LINKED DATABASE for DNA profiles — to prevent trafficking. or would it actually FACILITATE TRAFFICKING?????

http://www.pr-inside.com/life-technologies-foundation-and-dna-r1750818.htm

To date, approximately 5,000 DNA collection kits and computers, digital cameras for photo documentation, database software and other supporting materials have been shipped to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to help address the catastrophic situation in Haiti. In February, the Spanish Government agreed to manage and coordinate identification efforts processed by DNA – PROKIDS with the Haitian Government. The collection of samples will be done through the help of the International Red Cross and the United Nations UNICEF programs. At this time, more than 1,200 children and more than 3,000 relatives of missing children displaced by the earthquake have been located and are awaiting participation in the DNA – PROKIDS effort, which will hopefully reunite these individuals with their families.

The Life Technologies Foundation is supporting the US Pro-KIDS effort through a grant to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification at the UNT Health Science Center. Arthur Eisenberg, Ph.D., professor and chairman of the department of forensic and investigative Genetics at UNT has been actively involved in establishing the DNA – PROKIDS program in developing countries. Dr. Eisenberg formed a professional relationship with Jose Lorente, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of legal and forensic medicine at the University of Granada-Spain to help establish a worldwide DNA database to help reunite children with their parents and deter the trafficking of children.

“It is our hope that a program such as DNA – PROKIDS will be a deterrent and prevent criminals from kidnapping and trafficking children, the most vulnerable of all victims,” said Dr. Eisenberg. “By making a difference in Haiti, perhaps all countries throughout the world will develop national databases that will link to an international repository of these DNA profiles.”

Organ Transplantation. DNA zygosity testing can be used to identify a donor for organ transplant. (Identical, or monozygotic, twins are logically the best donors). DNA banking is offered by some of the same laboratories that perform DNA testing. DNA banking involves extracting DNA from cells and freezing or refrigerating it for future testing. DNA is stable even outside of cells and therefore can be stored for years. DNA banking may be offered to terminally ill patients with a known or suspected genetic disease, persons with a genetic disorder for which no testing is yet available, or persons who do not presently wish to pursue available testing but would like to reserve the option for the future. (http://www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/genetics_center/louisiana/article_dnatesting.htm)

4. the unimpeachable investigators of CHINESE organ trafficking

“If you could, you know, know the blood types of everyone you had in prison and if you could execute people to order, um, then you could certainly deliver (laughing) hearts and livers, um, and…and…anything else you wanted to do…um…on a short time frame. You know the current wait in New Jersey for kidneys is 4-5 years, in New York City it’s 8-10 years.” — Dr. Michael Shapiro, Transplant Surgeon



read the post here

blow-up envoy

Richard Holbrooke is a Zionist Jew with a long track record of supporting Jewish causes.

  • As US Ambassador to the United Nations, he worked to secure Israel’s membership in the UN’s Western European and Others regional group, which ended Israel’s historic exclusion from regional deliberations and permitted election to leadership positions in UN sub-bodies. The Israeli government officially thanked Holbrooke for this favor.
  • Holbrooke secured consultative status at the UN for the Zionist women’s organization, Hadassah. This allowed Hadassah to be recognized as a NGO and give expert advice to the UN.
  • Under the Carter administration, following through on genocidal Kissinger policies, Holbrooke authorized arms shipments to the Indonesian government during a supposed blockade, and Indonesian government forces used these weapons to brutally suppress the Timorese.
  • As vice chairman at Credit Suisse First Boston, affiliated with a Swiss bank facing a class-action lawsuit to settle Holocaust-era claims, Holbrooke urged Switzerland to return assets to Holocaust victims.
  • The Jewish community widely praised Holbrooke for his role in ending the Bosnian war. The ADL and  the World Jewish Congress gave him awards.

As Richard Holbrooke, US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, accepted his latest assignment on January 22, 2009 from the hands of the foreign policy establishment that made him rich and famous, he boldly and graciously projected the same establishment’s crimes onto the designated scapegoat.

Mr. President [Obama], Madame Secretary [Clinton], Mr. Vice President [Biden], you’ve asked me to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan, two very distinct countries with extraordinarily different histories, and yet intertwined by geography, ethnicity, and the current drama. This is a very difficult assignment, as we all know. Nobody can say the war in Afghanistan has gone well. And yet, as we speak here today, American men and women and their coalition partners are fighting a very difficult struggle against a ruthless and determined enemy without any scruples at all, an enemy that is willing to behead women who dare to teach in a school to young girls, an enemy that has done some of the most odious things on earth.

And across the border, lurks a greater enemy still: the people who committed the atrocities of September 11th, 2001.

^^^^^^^

On February 20, 2010, Holbrooke said that al Qaeda planned to infiltrate Central Asia and train militants there to destabilize the region. This al Qaeda menace would allegedly spread from Afghanistan, where they miraculously outwit coalition forces for years on end. Mr. Holbrooke says al Qaeda “trains international terrorists.” I’m guessing they provide things like passports, weapons, lodging, logistical support.

Stability in the vast resource-rich region sprawling between China, Russia and Afghanistan is crucial to the West as it lies on a new supply route for NATO-led operations in Afghanistan.

The region’s main home-grown extremist group, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), wants to topple Central Asia’s secular post-Soviet leaders and establish strict Islamic rule.

In Central Asia, according to security experts, the al Qaeda terrorists will assist the home grown terrorists to take advantage of the failed state opening. Failed states justify terrorism, right? People understand that hopelessness leads to radicalization, which leads to terrorism.

People also understand that terrorism justifies military expansion. We can’t allow terrorists to go around beheading people. Military expansion makes for “stability,” and stability is crucial to The West. Why? Because it allows the NATO operations in Afghanistan to continue. And these operations have been very effective in stopping terrorists…. oh wait…. actually…

Right around here official logic falls apart, since Afghanistan is really about controlling the incredibly lucrative illegal drug market. But of course, that can never be admitted. That’s why Holbrooke can talk about the ruthless and determined enemies with no scruples who commit heinous crimes and behead people and murdered Americans on 911 etc. with a straight face (him not the enemies, to be clear), as he gets a promotion.

US Special Inflatable Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan
24″ tall

^^^^^^^

So Holbrooke did a quickie tour of Central Asia around February 21st. It all seemed rather terse and rushed.

A reticent Richard Holbrooke completed a lightning tour of Central Asia on February 21, a trip designed to bolster regional support for NATO efforts in Afghanistan…The envoy was scheduled to travel to all five Central Asian capitals, though a trip to Ashgabat was cancelled at the last minute due to “scheduling conflicts,” said an American Embassy representative there. After Astana, Holbrooke traveled to Georgia to meet with President Mikhail Saakashvili…It was difficult to discern the substance of Holbrooke’s various meetings, as his availability to journalists was limited. A press briefing originally scheduled to be given February 19 in tandem with President Kurmanbek Bakiyev of Kyrgyzstan was cancelled at the last minute….No press availability was even scheduled for Holbrooke during the Tashkent-leg of his trip….During a terse public appearance in Dushanbe, Holbrooke warned of the continuing threat of Islamic terrorists to the region’s security.

And then we heard about Iran capturing the terrorist Rigi, exposing his connections to the CIA, on February 22nd.

Moslehi said Rigi had been arrested on board a plane flying between Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia and the Gulf Arab emirate of Dubai. Television pictures showed him being taken off a plane in handcuffs, accompanied by four masked men.

“We have clear documents proving that Rigi was in cooperation with American, Israeli and British intelligence services,” Press TV quoted the intelligence minister as saying.
“Dubai has a smeared hand in this scandal that shows the Zionist regime wants to turn the region into a safe haven for terrorists with the help of America and Europe,” Moslehi declared, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Which all makes Mr. Holbrooke look like a….what’s the word….a LIAR.

But wait there’s more.

According to Wayne Madsen (via There Are No Sunglasses):

With the entire highly-vaunted U.S. intelligence community at his disposal, Holbrooke and his State Department and CIA team were forced to resort to dealing with Bishkek-Manas airport officials when their Iranian-Baluchi Jundallah guerrillas leader failed to show up in Bishkek on the Kyrgyzstan aircraft from Dubai.

…In an interview on Iranian TV, Rigi saus he was flying to Bishkek to meet an “important” American. The reason for the clandestine meeting in Manas was that the American would be easily spotted if he met Rigi anywhere else. At the time of the planned meeting between Rigi and the “important” American, AF-PAK Special Envoy Holbrooke was on a meandering journey in central Asia and Afghanistan “without a fixed schedule.” Holbrooke was in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on February 19.

Iran conducted the charade with the Kyrgyzstan airline in order to keep Holbrooke waiting nervously at Manas. Iran had already captured their prize of Rigi when the ISI, possibly after Rigi’s departure from Kuwaiteh or after he crossed into Afghanistan, took him under their protection and put him on the charter jet flight to Bandar Abbas. Possibly, ISI was at Spin Boldak and Rigi mistakenly believed the watch team was working for the CIA, when, in fact, they were working for the ISI, which had promised to turn Rigi over to the Iranians.

…Holbrooke and his party become concerned when Kyrgyzstan 454 is late. When the flight arrives, Holbrooke is told Rigi is not on board the flight and that two men were taken off the plane at Bandar Abbas. Holbrooke, clearly embarrassed and angry, departs Kyrgyzstan knowing the Iranians have nabbed one of the CIA’s top assets in the military operations being planned against Iran. Holbrooke, one of the most powerful American Jewish Zionists in the Obama administration, has egg all over his face, courtesy of a well-planned Iranian intelligence operation.

That is rather amusing.

Puello’s amazing but unconfirmed history

Jorge Puello is in trouble. He now admits certain things to CNN — this is all from CNN:

  • international arrest warrant issues on Saturday against him for sex trafficking
  • Salvadoran police raided his home in May and turned up multiple IDs and passports using the names Jorge Torres Puello and an alias, Jorge Torres Orellana — with photos of him
  • they arrested his wife in that raid and her trial is pending
  • in a phone interview with CNN, he acknowledged he is the man wanted by Salvadoran police
  • he denies the charges against him

According to the warrant, Torres Puello is accused of running an international sex trafficking ring that lured women and girls from the Caribbean and Central America into prostitution with offers of modeling jobs. A wanted poster released by Interpol, the international police organization, includes crimes against children as one of the offenses that Torres Puello is being sought for.

“I never did anything,” Torres Puello said Sunday. “I started helping a Dominican pastor helping a lot of people who were stranded to get back to their home countries. We once gave some Nicaraguan and Costa Rican women some money to return home and instead they went to the authorities and put in a complaint against us. I never had anybody against their will.”

Torres Puello also denied Salvadoran allegations that he ran a brothel out of his home with wife Ana Josefa Ramirez Orellana, who remains jailed pending trial, according to Salvadoran police.

“I want to clear the Salvador matter up and I am hiring a lawyer to do that,” he said. “I know I am innocent and I want to clear my past.”

His mother, Soledad Puello, told CNN Sunday that she first heard of the Salvadoran accusations when her son called to tell her of his wife’s arrest. She said her son told her he had known about the sex ring, but wasn’t involved in it.

Soledad Puello led CNN to believe that her son remained in the Dominican Republic, but she would not say where.

So he knew about the sex ring, but he wasn’t involved. Got it.

Much more:

  • he’s wanted in the US for smuggling people between Canada and the US, which he denies
  • he has spent 18 months in Canadian jail pending an extradition request by US authorities
  • he served a year in jail in 1998 for handling drug trafficking money
  • he was jailed again in 2001/2 for violating parole
  • he denies the drug charge

Both his mother and Torres Puello say he served briefly in the U.S. Army in a military intelligence unit, and Torres Puello said he also worked undercover with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

A family photo shows Torres Puello in a military uniform alongside a truck with the words “U.S. Military” printed across the bumper.

CNN was unable to reach government officials to confirm his claims of working with the military, the DEA and Homeland Security.

Wow, he sounds a lot like David Coleman Headley.

Oh so CNN was unable to reach government officials to confirm his claims? Hahahahahah, good one. Yes we all know how hard it must be for CNN to reach government officials. Maybe they should check in CNN’s corporate offices for some government officials.

This whole thing is one big show, for what purpose I’m not sure yet though I have my suspicions.

Torres Puello’s statements regarding the charges against him could not be immediately verified. But on Sunday, four men showed up at his mother’s home while CNN reporters were present. [what a coincidence! - ed.]

The men said they were from the U.S. Embassy and looking for Torres Puello. One of the men told Soledad Puello that her son has three outstanding arrest warrants — two in the United States and one in El Salvador. He did not specify the charges. One of the men was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “U.S. Marshals Service, Fugitive Task Force.”

Yes, it’s all very dramatic. The… um…. the embassy employees from the “fugitive task force” — well one made sure that the camera got his t-shirt badge on camera before he skulked off with brooding drama, waiting to capture Puello.

But if they didn’t want to talk to CNN, did they not notice the CNN truck surely parked outside the house? Or is it even a house? It doesn’t look like a house inside.

One of the ten Americans held, Jim Allen, is distancing himself from Puello.

Hiram Sasser, attorney with Liberty Legal of Plano, Texas, sought to distance his client, Jim Allen, from Torres Puello. He stated in an e-mail to CNN: “No attorney has ever been authorized to represent Jim Allen other than our team, which includes Mr. Lissade. The only spokesperson for the Allen family has been me and our team.”

This legal team, for Jim Allen, has even written to Hillary Clinton:

Another of Allen’s U.S. defense team, Reginald Brown, said he, Sasser and other U.S. attorneys were only hired to represent Allen on Super Bowl Sunday — nine days after the Americans were arrested.

In a February 9 letter from Brown to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Brown stated: “It’s our understanding from press reports … that all 10 Americans were represented by a single Haitian attorney. … We’re not able to confirm if that counsel was independently chosen by Jim [Allen].”

Until February 7, Torres Puello said he had been appointed legal adviser to all 10 Americans and Haitian attorney Edwin Coq said he was handling the case in Port-au-Prince on behalf of all 10. Coq, who was the attorney Brown referred to in his letter to Clinton, says he resigned on February 6 over a dispute about payments. Torres Puello said he had fired Coq.

Torres Puello turned up at court Monday, February 8, saying he was there to organize legal representation for all 10 Americans after Coq left the case.

That’s a bit confusing. Quick timeline based on this info:

  • 1/29 - Americans arrested
  • 2/1 - Puello is quoted in news reports as their attorney
  • 2/6 - Coq resigns or is fired
  • 2/7 - Puello is representing all 10 Americans
  • 2/7 - Allen hires his own lawyers
  • 2/8 - Puello appears in court representing all 10 Americans
  • 2/9 - Allen’s attorney writes to Hillary Clinton

Now this is very interesting. Who sent the $40,000? Puello’s stepfather has the receipt, which is a hand written note on what appears to be an Abraham Lincoln hotel memo pad, and he says the families wired the money, but the families say they did not pay money to Puello. CNN doesn’t tell us who they paid the money to, however.

Torres Puello said he read about the case and decided to offer his services for free. However, Torres Puello’s stepfather, Franco Ceminara, said the arrested Americans’ families had already wired more than $40,000 to his stepson. A receipt provided by Torres Puello’s family to CNN showed the Haitian lawyers are charging $40,000 to represent the Americans. The receipt, for an advance payment of $10,000, was signed by Aviol Fleurant, one of the Americans’ Port-au-Prince-based defense team that also includes Lissade.

Family and church representatives in Idaho, where most of the 10 Americans are from, told CNN earlier in the week that they had not paid money to the man they know as Jorge Puello.

Regarding the American missionaries, Torres Puello said: “Prior to this earthquake I never knew those people [the Americans]. When I read about their case I just decided to help them. I’m in the real estate business and was working with a team of lawyers.”

Hoo boy what a mess. We don’t know who Jorge Puello is, but he is known to the authorities. He may be well-known to the authorities.

^^^^^^^

Some other details have also turned up, including a possible explanation for how Puello came to “offer his services.”

From the WSJ, on Puello’s connection to Jewish concerns:

Isaac Rudman, the president of the Israelite Center of the Dominican Republic, said he once met Mr. Puello two or three years back. At the time, Mr. Puello introduced himself as Jorge Torres, and had a letter of introduction from a synagogue in Canada, Mr. Rudman said. Mr. Rudman said he heard over the years that Mr. Puello had grandiose plans to build a hospital and a Jewish city close to Santo Domingo’s airport, but nothing came from these plans. Mr. Rudman’s impression from his one meeting with Mr. Puello was that he was very “conflictive,” he said. “His attitude was ‘the Messiah has arrived’” said Mr. Rudman.

Meanwhile, the other families continue to back away from Puello just as fast as they can:

Lawyers for five of the jailed Americans say their clients were never represented by Mr. Puello. Jim Allen, a construction worker from Amarillo, Texas, only heard of the “aid trip” 48 hours before departure, according to one of his attorneys in the United States. That attorney, Reginald Brown of the law firm WilmerHale, said that Mr. Allen “was never represented by or associated with” Mr. Puello.

Caleb Stegall, a Kansas-based attorney for another four of the detained Americans, said that Mr. Puello “does not represent them, never has, and is no longer part of the case, if he ever was.” Mr. Stegall said he represents Paul Thompson, his son Silas Thompson, Steve McMullin, and Drew Culberth. The elder Mr. Thompson is a brother-in-law of Mr. Culberth and a cousin of Mr. Allen.

And there are some other connections between Silsby and people in the Dominican Republic:

Ms. Silsby hoped to build an orphanage for as many as 200 children in Magante, on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. To that end, she incorporated New Life in the Dominican Republic in January through Jose Altagracia Ovando.

New Life Children’s Refuge began the process of buying land in Magante. One of Ms. Silsby’s colleagues in the venture – former dentist Rob Chenvert, now a realtor in the Dominican Republic who worked with Ms. Silsby to find land and buildings for the planned orphanage – said on Friday that the group had no contact with Mr. Puello until after the arrest.

It was unclear who originally hired Mr. Puello. Shortly after the group’s arrest, Drew Ham, one of the pastors at Central Valley Baptist Church, said that Mr. Puello had contacted the group’s families after the arrest and offered his services. Mr. Ham said he did a search for Mr. Puello on Google, and that Mr. Puello was later hired.

Let’s review the last paragraph of the CNN story:

Regarding the American missionaries, Torres Puello said: “Prior to this earthquake I never knew those people [the Americans]. When I read about their case I just decided to help them. I’m in the real estate business and was working with a team of lawyers.”

So Silsby’s partner, Rob Chenvert, is in real estate in the Dominican Republic, and Puello is in real estate in the Dominican Republic (we think, but who knows…), and somehow they hooked up.

That seems very plausible actually.

^^^^^^^

Bonus interesting background info on CNN at this old post. The link to the source is defunct, but I had captured the relevant bits of people discussing obviously doctored pictures from the Georgian conflict. The pictures showed various people posing as dead and/or mourning. The trouble was the dead guy kept moving around to different spots, which someone noticed. You know, it’s rude to notice stuff like that….

From the comment thread (of the broken link which had the doctored pics, sorry this is back in September 2008 so it’s long gone):

These are typical US infowar or psyop war techniques. It is important to remember that US Army Psyops Specialists worked for CNN during the Kosovo conflict. CNN is nothing but Government-controlled media. Invariably, CNN parrots the Pentagon, CIA, and US State Department. CNN is actually just an arm of the US government and military.

That’s a little frame for you.

latin america news

1. charity vaccine clinic chief bagged in trafficking Haitian children — not many degrees of separation between “legitimate” and “criminal”

Admin boss Yis Jean Guerson is responsible for providing medical aid to victims of the January 12 disaster with respected local aid group AST (Association de la Santé Pour Tous - “health for all”).

But, unknown to dedicated colleagues, Guerson secretly heads a child trafficking ring and exploits his position of trust scouring camps for a stock of orphaned, lost and homeless youngsters.

Shockingly Guerson, 31, is also a TEACHER at a local school responsible for guiding and protecting children from the age of three.

But last week - as he gave our undercover reporters a tour of the devastated captal Port-au-Prince with the stench of decaying bodies still hanging in the air - Guerson told us: “Just tell me how many kids you need and what ages you want, boys or girls, and I’ll get them for you no problem.

On Wednesday he lined up eight youngsters ranging from a three-month-old baby to a 13-year old girl for our reporters to choose from. Not once in all our dealings did Guerson ask WHO we were or WHERE the children would end up. In fact he was eager to boost the price to £5,000 EACH by offering his gang’s services in SMUGGLING the kids out of the country. Warning of the danger of trying to do it without his help, Guerson said: “The big problem is you need papers.

We were given Guerson’s name by a guard at a legitimate orphanage called Foundation Blessing Hands in the village of Cotart, 11 miles outside Port-au-Prince. The security man told us: “This place has strict rules for adoption, but there is a man locally who has children that you can take.

After being told we were interested in getting five children and taking them abroad, grasping Guerson quickly abandoned the £65-a-head price tag and demanded $40,000 (£26,000) all in.

When we said that was too much he immediately replied: “I can give you a discount, make it $30,000.” Balding Guerson explained that would include the cost of smuggling them across the border and paperwork appearing to show we had legitimately adopted the children.

...Guerson apologised that he had only managed to find three children to inspect because the rest were at a clinic being immunised. It was then he revealed his job with the AST charity which runs a vaccination programme for youngsters.

more @ news of the world

2. Spain, US want Latin America to assume ‘global role’

MADRID – Spain and the United States agreed Monday on the need for Latin America to assume a role of “global interlocutor” to participate in overcoming problems like the economic crisis and confronting challenges like climate change.

The Spanish secretary of state for Ibero-America, Juan Pablo de Laiglesia and Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela met in Madrid.

The two officials particularly discussed issues like the humanitarian situation in earthquake-stricken Haiti and the political crisis in Honduras, as well as cooperation between the United States and the European Union on Latin America.

more @ latin american herald tribune

3. four human heads found in Mexico

MEXICO CITY – The heads of four people were found in Mexico, but the bodies have not been recovered yet, state officials said.

Three of the heads were found in the northwestern state of Sinaloa and the fourth turned up in the southern state of Guerrero.

Three of the heads were discovered Tuesday at 7:00 a.m. in front of a restaurant and a school in Palmillas, a town in Sinaloa, a spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office told Efe.

Initial indications are that the victims were three unidentified young men, the AG’s office spokesman said.

The killers only left behind the heads, shocking the town, a Palmillas police department spokesman told Efe.

…The head belonged to “a person of the masculine gender, with a dark complexion, whose hair was shaved off and his facial skin removed, and a piece of cardboard with a message was left,” the Guerrero Public Safety Secretariat said. The body has not yet been recovered and authorities have not released the contents of the message.

Mexico has been plagued in recent years by drug-related violence blamed on powerful cartels that are battling for turf and control of the smuggling routes into the United States. Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations, according to experts, are the Sinaloa, Tijuana, Gulf, Juarez and Beltran Leyva cartels, and La Familia Michoacana. Los Zetas, a group of army special forces veterans and deserters who initially worked as hitmen for the Gulf cartel, may now be operating as a cartel, some experts say.


The state is currently the scene of a bloody turf war between Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman and the Beltran Leyva cartel, whose leaders broke off from his Sinaloa cartel.

The Sinaloa organization, sometimes referred to by officials as the Pacific cartel, is the oldest drug cartel in Mexico and Guzman, considered extremely violent, is one of the most-wanted criminals in Mexico and the United States, where the Drug Enforcement Administration has offered a reward of $5 million for him. President Felipe Calderon, who took office in December 2006, has deployed 50,000 soldiers and 20,000 federal police nationwide to combat drug cartels and other criminal organizations. The anti-drug operation, however, has failed to put a dent in the violence due, according to experts, to drug cartels’ ability to buy off the police and even high-ranking officials. EFE

source: latin american herald tribune

Mumbai terrorists: unrecognizable faces

also see my post: unclaimed property for additional context

also see this long post by C. Story, which contains information allegedly given to Bob Chapman by a former, high-ranking member of the CIA, retired, which describes, among many other things, that peeling faces off of people is a calling card of certain intelligence operatives. scroll down to: THE CATASTROPHE, COURTESY OF THE CORRUPTION OF TENET, CHENEY AND BUSH

4. Colombian authorities nab 10 FARC rebels near Venezuelan border

BOGOTA – Colombian authorities captured 10 FARC guerrillas in several operations in Norte de Santander province, which borders on Venezuela, the Colombian government said Tuesday….All the people captured are accused of belonging to the financial and military network of the FARC and they will be turned over to the appropriate authorities to define their legal situation with an eye toward future prosecution or adjudication.

more @ latin american herald tribune

5. date unknown, maybe 2007: the mystery of Eugene Island 330  and self-renewing oil supplies

Look what i found on the Net about Self Renewing Oil Supplies Field. Quite an interesting articles and please share your thought.

Eugene Island is an oil field in the gulf of Mexico, 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana. It was discovered in 1973 and began producing 15,000 barrels of oil a day which then slowed to about 4,000 barrels in 1989.

But then for no logical reason whatsoever, production spiked back up to 13,000 barrels a day.

What the researchers found when they analyzed the oil field with time lapse 3-D seismic imaging is that there was an unexplained deep fault in the bottom corner of the computer scan, which showed oil gushing in from a previously unknown deep source and migrating up through the rock to replenish the existing supply.

Furthermore, the analysis of the oil now being produced at Eugene Island shows that its age is geologically different from the oil produced there after the refinery first opened. Suggesting strongly that it is now emerging from a different, unexplained source.

The last estimates of probable reserves shot up from 60 million barrels to 400 million barrels.

Both the scientists and geologists from the big oil companies have seen the evidence and admitted that the Eugene Island oil field is refilling itself.

Odd Reservoir Off Louisiana Prods Oil Experts to Seek a Deeper Meaning
By CHRISTOPHER COOPER
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

This completely contradicts peak oil theory and with technology improving at an accelerating pace it seems obvious that there are more Eugene Islands out there waiting to be discovered. So the scientific community needs to embrace these possibilities and lobby for funding into finding more of these deep source replenishing oilfields.

The existence of self-renewing oil fields shatters the peak oil myth. If oil is a naturally replenishing inorganic substance then how can it possibly run out?

source: offshoreman


hasbara: FAIL

1. Michael Oren heckled. professor appears to be practically in tears at the outrage, verbally attacks students and threatens to fail them all for disrupting the important speech of busy man Michael Oren.

2. Elie Wiesel repeats a bunch of lies and misquotes attributed to Ahmadinejad, then suggests it wouldn’t be so bad if he were assassinated. jpost puts headlines thusly, with quote marks: ‘i wouldn’t cry if he was killed’  EXCEPT that’s not what Elie Wiesel said. Elie Wiesel used the assassination word.

“I wouldn’t cry if I heard that Ahmadinejad was assassinated,” he quipped, calling the Iranian president “a pathological danger to world peace.”

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=168217

3. Lieberman whines about Turkey

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday leveled criticism at Turkey for what he called “weekly” condemnations of Israel.

Speaking during a visit to Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, Lieberman said that Israel had been “supporting close relations with Turkey for 10 years.” He said that the recent change in Ankara’s stance, since Operation Cast Lead against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, was “unexpected.”

Turkey can’t keep repeating this “sharp anti-Israel line” every week, the foreign minister told an Azerbaijani television station.

Nonetheless, he said, Israel is doing everything in its power to maintain ties and coordinate closely with Turkey.

“We hope Turkey will make certain amendments to its foreign policy,” he added.

Lieberman’s comments came some two weeks after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an said Israel “should give some thought to what it would be like to lose a friend like Turkey in the future,” in an interview with the Euronews channel.

“We have important ongoing agreements between us. How can these agreements be kept going in this climate of mistrust? I think Israel had better take another look at its relations with its neighbors if it believes it is a world power,” Erdo?an said in the interview.The Turkish premier said that the humiliation of Turkish Ambassador to Israel Oguz Celikkol by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon had “no place in international politics.”

Earlier in January, Aylaon called Celikkol in for a public dressing down over a Turkish television show that depicted Mossad agents as baby snatchers. At that meeting, Ayalon instructed the camera crews, in Hebrew and in the ambassador’s presence, not to film them shaking hands, to show that the Turkish envoy was sitting on a lower sofa, to show that there was only an Israeli flag on the table and not to film them smiling.

When asked by Euronews if Turkey could have handled relations with Israel more diplomatically, Ergodan answered that “I am telling the truth…And I will keep telling the truth.”

http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=168212

corruption news

1. military staff in Malaysia linked info to unnamed foreign embassy

KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA’S defence minister reportedly said on Thursday that military personnel had been paid to leak security information to a foreign embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

The alleged leak was unveiled in a probe conducted by the ministry’s intelligence corps together with police, Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said according to state media and The Star newspaper.

‘I don’t want anyone at any position to sell information to external parties,’ he was quoted as saying by The Star on its website. ‘I will make an announcement after meeting the prime minister (Najib Razak) regarding the information that was leaked to a foreign embassy, which allegedly used internal sources,’ he added.

Mr Ahmad Zahid did not name the embassy involved but urged diplomats to carry out their duties properly and warned that action can be taken against perpetrators under the country’s official secrets laws.

‘I hope no one will take advantage of their positions in this country to carry out unethical activities,’ he reportedly said. ‘I believe they have been paid,’ he added, referring to the military personnel allegedly involved in the act.

An aide to the minister said he could not immediately confirm the minister’s remarks when contacted by AFP. Mr Ahmad Zahid told national news agency Bernama that his ministry has been monitoring its staff over any possible information leakage especially since the theft of two US-made fighter jet engines worth US$29 million (S$41 million). — AFP

source: straits times

2. Lancet slammed: vaccine science poisoned by special interests in pharmamedia — The Lancet threw that MMR guy under the bus by discrediting him (but please don’t notice their conflicts of interest!) they can try to conflate all people who question vaccines. this has been covered widely in corporate media, natch.

The editors of Medical Veritas journal have condemned The Lancet’s retraction of the controversial study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, charging editor Richard Horton with pandering to special interests in a conspiracy to defraud the public about the risks of vaccinations.

In 1998, The Lancet published the contested study linking autism and intestinal problems to the risky MMR triple virus vaccine. Yesterday, following the British General Medical Council’s decision that Dr. Wakefield had been “dishonest,” The Lancet’s editor retracted the article saying the Council’s report made it “utterly clear, without any ambiguity at all, that the statements in the paper were utterly false.”…

The Winter, 2010 issue of Medical Veritas, evidenced gross conflicting interests undermining the The Lancet’s integrity. Following the publication of Dr. Wakefield’s controversial study, Reed-Elsevier-ChoicePoint mergers occurred. The mega-company formed has nearly monopolized the medical scientific publishing industry. Previous to this, The Lancet editors protested the “damaging” of medicine and health science by pharmaceutical companies.

“Now it is obvious Dr. Horton’s company has been grossly contaminated by special interests as biased as Dr. Ross’s ‘PharmaCouncil’,” Dr. Horowitz said.

Reed-Elsevier-ChoicePoint, it turns out, is directed by Chief Executive Officer, Sir Crispin Davis, according to a Reuter’s News Service promotion for GlaxoSmithKline recently published. According to Forbes, Sir Davis was knighted by the Queen of England for his “service to the information industry.” He has served as a Non-Executive Independent Director of GlaxoSmithKline, PLC since 2003. Sir Davis spent his early career with Procter & Gamble.

more @ prevent disease

3. Taiwanese held in smuggling US made military components to Iran –  looks like a little sting to fluff the case against Iran. lots of “could be’s”….

MIAMI - US AUTHORITIES said on Thursday they arrested a Taiwanese man for allegedly smuggling US-made military components to Iran that could help the Islamic republic develop missiles and unmanned drones.

Yi-Lan Chen, 40, who also goes by Kevin Chen, was arrested on Wednesday on the US Pacific territory to Guam and is being sent to Miami, where prosecutors had sought his arrest.

If convicted, Chen faces up to 20 years in prison and up to US$1 million (S$1.4 million) in fines. Prosecutors said that Chen had exported ‘dual-use’ technology - which ostensibly has civilian purposes but can be applied for the military - to Taiwan or Hong Kong where it would be reloaded and shipped to Iran.

‘The dual-use items allegedly exported in this case could easily be used in missile development and other military components,’ US Attorney Jeffrey Sloman said in Miami.

‘Such conduct poses a serious threat to our national security, and will not be tolerated,’ he said. The goods Chen is accused of exporting to Iran include P200 turbine engines and spare parts, which can be used for model airplanes but also for unmanned military drones, prosecutors said.

‘This case will send a message to those individuals who attempt to profit by illegally supplying improper dual-use technology to other countries,’ said Anthony Mangione, an US immigration agent investigating the case. Iran is under a raft of sanctions imposed by the United States, United Nations and European Union over its nuclear program and its support for hardline Islamist movements overseas. — AFP

source: straits times

4. Victor Bout ordered to appear in Thai court

Russian businessman and alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout has been summoned to appear in a Thai court on February 16, one of his lawyers said on Friday. Former Russian army officer Bout, 42, remains in custody in a Thai jail after the Bangkok Criminal Court refused in August to extradite him to the United States, where he is facing four terrorism-related charges and a possible life sentence. “I was informed that my client had been asked to appear in court on February 16. However, I was not told why he had been summoned,” Thai lawyer Chamroen Panompakakom told RIA Novosti. He suggested that Bout could face an additional questioning or the announcement of an appeals court verdict on his extradition case.

more @ ria novosti

5. um, Frank Timis hearts Sierra Leone. you see what admitting to a few little mistakes can do? a little ball-fluffing never hurt anyone.

It is quite easy for anyone to be suspicious of a large investment initiative from an international company in a small African country with huge mineral wealth and potential. A lot has been written about African Minerals and Frank Timis in the past. But most of what has been written focused mainly on the mistakes of the past – which have been fully acknowledged by the company’s management. Surely everyone deserves a second chance. Especially when that chance is given to someone whose determination to prove everyone wrong can only be matched with his vision to end the poverty-stricken environment structure of a country he has come to fall in love with.  Timis has lent his support to Sparks, a UK based children’s medical charity whose remit is to fund research across the whole spectrum of paediatric medicine, and has invested in a company developing a more effective method of treating malaria. And he can even do more for Sierra Leone!

…Frank Timis once said  “the best lie is the truth, because you never get caught.”  Reputable international renowned companies like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan to Macquarie, have backed his business projects for the past 15 years. This goes to show the faith big companies have in Timis. He may be a colorful personality, but he surely has the brains to turn things around.

…The United Nations recently declared the company’s Tonkolili development to be the Most Effective Corporate Social Responsibility Project ever embarked on. But he surely does not get the credit he deserves for such amazing feats of accomplishments. With all this backdrop, Frank Timis says he is not looking for recognition for his philanthropy. He is always looking forward to the next deal.

more @ newstime africa

6. Angola man accused of teen sex plot

An Angola man faces federal charges in New York, accusing him of transporting a 15-year-old girl across state lines for the purposes of having sex with her last fall. In late January, Foster Creager, 40, was arrested in Steuben County. He is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in the southern district of New York on Monday. According to the criminal complaint, a 15-year-old girl went missing from Hyde Park, N.Y., on Sept. 10. FBI agents discovered she had been communicating via e-mail with someone named “Kenneth Bone.”

Telephone records linked the phone number used by “Kenneth Bone” to Creager, of the 4300 block of West U.S. 20 in Angola.

On Sept. 11, Steuben County sheriff’s officers went to a mobile home and recreational vehicle park in Angola and saw Creager standing next to an RV. He told police the teen was inside. During an interview with detectives, Creager said he met the girl two or three months earlier on the Internet. He said he picked up the girl in New York and drove with her and another person to Indiana. In court documents filed in federal court in Fort Wayne, the other person is identified as Judy DeLong. Both DeLong and Creager have been indicted on a single count of transporting a minor across state lines with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Creager told police he and the 15-year-old were “boyfriend and girlfriend” but said he suspected she was not 18 when he brought her to Indiana.

The teen told investigators that Creager told her she would need to be “in hiding” for three years until she turned 18, according to court documents.

DNA collected during a forensic examination of the teen matched Creager’s, according to court documents.

source: journalgazette.net

diplomacy: a poke in the eye, a wink across the room…

1. Moscow wants answers from US on Romania missile shield plan as US does what looks like a work-around

Moscow is waiting for clarification from the United States over its plans to deploy missile defense elements in Romania, the Russian foreign minister said Friday. Romanian President Traian Basescu said on Thursday his country had approved a U.S. plan to deploy interceptor missiles as part of a missile shield to protect Europe.

“We expect the United States to provide an exhaustive explanation, taking into account the fact that the Black Sea regime is regulated by the Montreux Convention,” Sergei Lavrov said. He said Russia acted on the assumption that “there is an agreement between the two presidents on the joint study of common threats, with the participation of the European Union.” “When we understand that we have a common understanding of possible threats, it will be possible to say what measures could be taken in response,” the minister said.

A U.S. State Department official said the facilities were due to become operational by 2015 and were aimed at defending against “current and emerging ballistic missile threats from Iran.” U.S. President Barack Obama scrapped plans last year for Poland and the Czech Republic to host missile shield elements to counter possible strikes from Iran. The plans had infuriated Russia.

Washington then announced a new scheme for a more flexible system, with a combination of land- and sea-based interceptors, to be deployed in Central Europe by 2015. U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden visited Romania, Poland, and the Czech Republic last October to promote the new missile shield plan. Warsaw and Prague have already expressed their support for the revamped U.S. strategy.

BERLIN, February 5 (RIA Novosti)

2. US determined to park missiles as close to Russia as possible

Russia is very close. There are about 500 kilometers between Romania and Russia’s major naval base in Sevastopol. Russia’s southern areas are close too. Even if the missile base is not going to be a threat to Russia, as the Romanian president said, Russia is not thrilled about such a neighborhood.

Romania was prepared to provide its territory for the missile defense system several years ago. In 2005, Romania was mentioned as a location for CIA’s secret prisons. President Basescu did not feel shy to call the United States Romania’s main strategic partner.

One has to give Basescu credit for his determination as a politician. Romania became a member of the European Union in 2007 despite such deviations from the rules as an extremely low living standard.

The deployment of US military objects in Romania will not improve security in the region, but US and Romanian officials do not seem to care much about it.

more @ pravda

3. Saakashvili attacked on all fronts

The authorities’ opponents say that Saakashvili is losing not only Europe’s support but the support of the blessed West as well. First, there appeared information about the Georgian president being abandoned by his American advisor Daniel Kunin. The press service, however, denied the fact. As was stated by Press Speaker Manana Mandzhgaladze, the information does not quadrate to facts. For instance, one of these days, the All News Georgian edition has published an article titled: “Saakashvili may be seriously concerned about his political future”.

The newspaper pays attention to the fact that the general attitude of the most foreign media towards the Georgian president who had been treated as a golden boy in Washington has switched to negative. “There are many articles saying that Georgia has got an image of an unstable country because of Saakashvili’s policy, which prevents the inflow of considerable investments to Georgia”, - the periodical reports.

The foreign friends seemed to forget to invite the Caucasian democrat to the Munich conference on safety policy that will be held on February 5-7. The oppositional Georgian media noticed mockingly that this fact confirmed Mikhail Nikolaevitch being in disfavor of his friends and partners. The press service asserts that he does not come to Munich because of being too busy. The official authorities did not make any comments as to the fact that leader of the oppositional Alliance for Georgia Irakliy Alasania has been officially invited to Munich to represent Georgia this year.

more @ georgia times

3. Daniel Kunin interview from August 2008 w/ telegraph uk

Meanwhile, Mr Kunin has been working hard to keep himself below the radar. This is his first interview. One of the reasons for this secrecy may be that until March this year he was being paid by USAID (the US government’s development arm). Mr Kunin insists that he was a consultant paid by the US, not an employee - and therefore not beholden in any way - but as the calls on his mobile phone suggest, clearly this is the man that provides the link with America.

If Mr Saakashivili is winning the propaganda war against the Kremlin, Daniel Kunin is his general, tutoring him on his press appearances, advising on strategy and trying to spin the criticism that the Georgian administration is receiving of both breath-taking naivety and recklessness in baiting the bear of Russia. But did the confidence in his pro-West PR campaign create so much confidence that it caused Mr Saakashvili to over-reach himself, over-estimating the support he would get from the West, and thus causing his downfall?

“It wasn’t a case of over-estimating ourselves, but a case of under-estimating Russia,” he says. “There is a tendency to blame victim. Saying that it was Saakashvili’s gamble is a convenient way of ducking the issues, and not accepting responsibility for what they have to do.”

So is there any advice he regrets having given? “None at all,” says Mr. Kunin unrepentantly.

more @ telegraph

4. India breaks the ice, calls Pak for talks. the game seems to have changed a bit.

New Delhi In an incremental step aimed at restoring some official-level conversation on terrorism and a range of issues affecting bilateral ties, India has invited the Pakistan Foreign Secretary for talks to New Delhi.

While modalities will be worked out after a response from Islamabad, sources said the Indian side was hoping for a meeting this month.

In Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said there were signals emanating from India that it was willing to hold bilateral talks….Sources said the government is moving cautiously this time given the political backlash after the Sharm-el-Sheikh joint statement which sought to delink the dialogue process from terrorism directed at India from Pakistan soil. This time the government is keen to make the point that the core focus at the talks will be on cross-border terrorism. At the same time, the discussions will look at other “peace and stability” issues….This dialogue also has a bearing on larger issues related to developments in the broader AfPak region. With its overtures drawing no answer from New Delhi, Islamabad had begun to take a more combative approach against involving India in any regional discussion on the future of Afghanistan. It was at Pakistan’s instance that India was not involved in the Turkey-sponsored regional meeting. The US too has been indicating to India that starting a conversation was better than having no interaction at all.

more @ express india

5. more regime change efforts

CARACAS (Venezuela) - VENEZUELA accused the United States on Thursday of portraying President Hugo Chavez’s government as thuggish in an effort to entice the opposition to try to topple the socialist leader.

Venezuela’s ambassador in Washington, Bernardo Alvarez, took issue with an intelligence report presented to US senators earlier this week that described Mr Chavez as an autocratic leader who uses repression to stifle dissent.

In a letter sent to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s chairman, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Mr Alvarez rebuked the findings of the report, saying it ‘is full of politically motivated and cynical accusations’. Mr Alvarez called it part of a US campaign ‘to criminalise our government and encourage groups within Venezuela’s opposition to seek anti-democratic paths to take power’.

US officials have repeatedly denied they would support any attempt to unseat Mr Chavez through anti-democratic means, and Venezuela’s opposition leaders insist they want to remove the former paratrooper at the polls.

Mr Chavez vehemently rejects allegations that his government has sought to silence criticism, including using trumped up criminal charges to imprison or intimidate outspoken political adversaries. — AP

source: straits times

6. Dora Akunyili, Nigerian Information Minister, tells fellow ministers to stop lying about Yar’Adua

The cabinet must stop lying to Nigerians about President Yar’Adua’s illness and face up to the reality that he is no longer able to perform his duties; information minister Dora Akunyili bluntly admonished fellow ministers yesterday.

At the regular weekly meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation, Mrs Akunyili stunned her colleagues by presenting a memo in which she challenged them to tell Nigerians the truth about the president’s health and stop deceiving the people.

According to our sources, Mrs Akunyili had wanted to submit the memo through the cabinet office but was worried that the office might sit on the memo so she took it to the Council meeting to distribute.

NEXT however learnt that as soon as she began to do that, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation stood up to challenge her. He said what she was doing was irregular and she should have passed it through the cabinet office. Both the Minister of Water Resources, Ruma Sayyadi and his colleague in charge of transportation Diezani Allison-Madueke also supported Mr. Aondoakaa that she should follow procedures.

At this point, a perplexed Akunyili looked up to the Vice President for support but Mr. Jonathan told her to withdraw the memo and pass it through the requisite channels. With no support from her colleagues, Mrs Akunyili left the meeting and Mr. Yayale went around collecting all copies of the memo. Inevitably, the meeting which ended in less than two hours, discussed only one memo before it dispersed, without considering even the customary approval of contracts.

In a surprising twist, many of the ministers went to meet her and praised her candour after the meeting.

more @ next

former bigshots can say the most outrageous things

Also, there’s no transcript of these remarks anywhere (yet), but allegedly a former chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Klaus Naumann, claimed at Herzliya that in half an hour NATO forces will obliterate any country which have used nuclear weapons against another country.

That doesn’t leave any time for confirmation.

So how does that work in a false flag? Can NATO “obliterate” a country by accident? Accidentally on purpose???? You know I don’t think the usual REGRETS will cut it.

going missing

Those conspiracy theorists…

You see, this is why people stick with trusted news sources, like ABC news. ABC news brings this disturbing report that some Haitian children have gone missing from hospitals. UNICEF suspects these children may have been fed into an international trafficking ring.

United Nations officials say children have gone missing from hospitals in Haiti since the devastating January 12 earthquake, raising fears of trafficking for adoption abroad. “We have documented around 15 cases of children disappearing from hospitals and not with their own family at the time,” said UNICEF adviser Jean Luc Legrand. “UNICEF has been working in Haiti for many years and we knew the problem with the trade of children in Haiti that existed already beforehand.

“Unfortunately, many of these trade networks have links with the international adoption market.”

An ADOPTION ring! That’s right. Orphaned children might be smuggled out of desperate, ravaged Haiti to be given loving homes with white people. Of course that doesn’t quite explain why the children disappear from hospitals, does it.

Here’s the little faux-outrage politically correct bullshit argument that I’m sure somebody somewhere will go running with: This is outrageous. Surely in every single instance, the people must have only the purest of intentions. But that does not mean they can take these poor children away without following the legal procedures. Even if they only want to save them.

And here is the matching argument for the other foot: This is outrageous. Why should these children be left to die for lack of care and good homes when wonderful people can take them out of that hell right now and give them wonderful homes? Leave these good people alone they are only trying to help.

That controversy oughta keep a few people busy for a while…

The agency said it had warned countries during the past week not to step up adoptions from Haiti in the immediate wake of the quake. However several are fast-tracking adoption procedures already under way, including Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States. Mr Legrand said the situation was similar to the aftermath of the tsunami in Asia five years ago.

Trafficking networks were springing into action immediately after the disaster and taking advantage of the weakness of local authorities and relief coordination “to kidnap children and get them out of the country”. Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said child enslavement and trafficking in Haiti was “an existing problem and could easily emerge as a serious issue over the coming weeks and months”.

The UN mission in Haiti has stepped up surveillance of roads, UNICEF officials said. Mr Legrand said there was separate but only anecdotal evidence of people taking children by road to the neighbouring Dominican Republic and loading children on to planes. “We have seen over the past years many children being taken out of the country without any legal procedure,” he said. “This is going on. This is happening now. We are starting to have the first evidence of that, this is unquestionable.”

He was unable to give details on the 15 missing children or their condition or clearly connect the anecdotal observations in Haiti’s chaos with trafficking.

The cases were documented by social workers and by partner non-governmental organisations working for UNICEF in hospitals.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/23/2799492.htm

Do you see that trafficking networks are….well….good? Or at least not all bad? They spring into action immediately and take advantage of the weakness of local authorities to kidnap children and get them out of the country. See? It’s “nuanced.”

But of course, we can take our sharp little stick and poke around that trafficking idea and ask some more pertinent questions, like: what other rings might be operating in the chaos in Haiti — aside from the fairy tale adoption rings of people who only ever have the best intentions?

Sex trafficking? Human slaves? Organ trafficking? You know, it’s kind of funny that Mr. Legrand would say: “This is going on. This is happening now. We are starting to have the first evidence of that, this is unquestionable.”

Because, to be honest, the authorities have known about these problems for years.

And they also know about the international pedophile rings.

And that doesn’t even begin to touch upon the organ trafficking angle.

But ABC News doesn’t do conspiracy theories.

and so it would be very rude of me indeed to cast an aspersion on this whole haiti roadside hospital narrative and ask just how the sam hill did the israelis, out of all the people in the world who have converged on the little island, how exactly did the israelis manage to get their hospital equipment set up? i thought there were some bottlenecks but i guess they have connections. lucky huh? and what exactly do they do in the mash field hospital with all the little orphaned children? does anyone oversee anything going on or would that be rude? would that insinuate that maybe, you know, given the circumstances of the israeli organ stealing that has happened in the past with disadvantaged populations that maybe our israeli bestest friends could use some chaperones around the destitute orphans of haiti, lest their little kidneys go missing?