(Natural News) America has become a zombie nation of hypnotized, socially-obedient conformist who are so disconnected from reality that when the bombs start falling, they won’t have any idea how they’ve been programmed to celebrate it all. Heavily dosed with medication, fluoride and heavy metals in vaccines, the American masses have become sleepwalking automatons… conformist consumers of hilariously fictional propaganda parading around as “real news” on CNN, which has now resorted to displaying staged photos of maimed children to invoke the necessary reactionary emotional support to demand WAR.
Yet the snowflake zombies who pretend to be interested in global justice for children have no idea how they’re being insidiously manipulated. They don’t even really know what war looks like. They’ve never lived through war, witnessed war or dealt with the aftermath of war. And they’ve never, of course, been bombed with nukes or blown to pieces by a Tomahawk missile, so the physical reality of all this seems hopelessly remote to them all. “War” is something that happens to other people in far away lands, they believe, not here at home among the snowflake social justice Zombiellenials at UC Berkeley.
It is with this sense of sheer oblivion that the American masses are sleepwalking toward World War III. Even as Russia has mastered the development of Mach-nine cruise missile “ship destroyer” missiles while China is deploying satellite killing ground-based laser systems that can take out most of the military logistics infrastructure in mere hours, the American people live out their days under the delusional impression that nothing bad can ever happen here. This is America, after all. Nobody bombs us! WE do the bombing to THEM, not the other way around.
The American masses are oblivious to how they’re being manipulated
America is a deluded nation obsessed with celebrity fashion, sports, food, entertainment and recreational drugs. Almost nothing that passes through the minds of most Americans is rooted in reality. It’s all twisted narrative, social conformity and sheer delusion pretending to be “fact-checked” news. So as the world marches toward a global nuclear conflict with very real consequences, the average American “consumer” — that’s the most accurate term at this point for the mindlessness of the masses — is far more easily swayed by the photo of a chemical weapons-damaged child than by the physical facts involving hydrogen bombs and the half-life of radionuclides. The idea that America’s present actions could lead us to a nuclear conflict that might make vast regions of America uninhabitable for three centuries has never occurred to the common person.
The rest of us — that’s you and me — therefore find ourselves living among a global suicide cult called “humanity,” where the delusional mob celebrates the very actions that are leading us toward global nuclear disaster. “Washington’s military attack on Syria is unambiguously a war crime,” writes Paul Craig Roberts, a former Reagan administration official. “It occurred without any UN authorization or even the fake cover of a ‘coalition of the willing.’ Washington’s attack on Syria occurred in advance of an investigation of the alleged event that Washington is trying to use as its justification. Indeed, Washington’s story of Syrian use of chemical weapons is totally implausible. All chemical weapons were removed from Syria by Russia and turned over to the US and its European allies. Syria has no such weapons and has no reason to use them and every reason not to.”
The provocation has already thrust America into an escalation that risks an outbreak of global nuclear war. Via Zero Hedge:
A statement issued on Sunday by a joint command centre consisting of forces of Russian, Iran and allied militia alliance supporting Syrian President Bashar al Assad said that Friday’s US strike on the Syrian air base crossed “red lines” and it would “respond with force” to any new aggression while increasing their level of support to their ally.
Meanwhile, tech giants like Facebook are so committed to the total destruction of the human race that they’re now banning sharing of most posts across the entire independent media, banishing any ideas that question the laughably fake narratives of the status quo. What’s left on the table for online consumers to swallow is nothing more than mainstream fake news, the purpose of which is to keep the zombies spoon fed with enough emotionally-charged propaganda so that when war is unleashed, they’ll cheer.
WAR as the ultimate cover story for the coming financial collapse
But why would a nation’s leaders want the outbreak of war that might bring harm to their own citizens? One answer is found in the realization that the financial deep state is engineering a global debt collapse to be blamed on President Trump. The trigger has already been pulled with the raising of interest rates, and this will be continued (or even accelerated) until the desired tipping point is reached that pops the world’s obscene financial bubbles (bomb market bubble, real estate bubble, stock market bubble, derivatives debt bubble, etc.).
As former president George Bush demonstrated years ago, the only sure way to get the public behind you with near universal support is to insert the nation into a global military conflict where America can be positioned as occupying the moral high ground while America’s enemies are depicted as vile, child-murdering bastards who unleash chemical weapons onto innocent children. Once the bombs start flying, the zombies begin cheering (and the polls start rising). The corporate-run media cheers you, too, as ratings explode while Americans pop beer cans and open bags of Cheetos to sit on their couches, cheering the “reality TV” war unfolding on their screens with missile-tip video feeds of entertaining mayhem (carefully sanitized to avoid any on-screen blood from civilian casualties in enemy territory, of course).
Only during a war can a corrupt, dishonest regime stay in power while suffering a systemic financial collapse that strips the masses of their savings and pensions. The best way to prevent people from marching in the streets is to paint anti-government resistance protesters as “unpatriotic.” If you don’t support the war, the narrative goes, you’re anti-American. And besides, your protests might even be a threat to national security, so cracking down on such protests is easily justified when the nation is at war.
The best way to start a war? Unleash a radiological false flag in a U.S. city
The best way to start a war is, of course, to attack your own people and blame it on the enemy. I have little doubt that right now, the military industrial wing of the deep state is planning nothing less than a radiological false flag attack to be staged in a major U.S. city. That doesn’t mean it has to be a nuclear detonation, by the way. It could involve a conventional explosive that disperses a radiological dirty bomb scrapped together from old medical imaging equipment, for example (with strontium-90).
Just as the totally faked “sarin gas chemical weapons” photos from Syria caused a wave of instant support across the mainstream media for retaliatory attacks, all it will take is a few photos of Americans dying from radiation poisoning to evoke the kind of national outrage that justifies endless war with whatever named enemy is said to be responsible.
Oh, you didn’t know the “sarin gas” chemical weapons photos from Syria were faked? Check out the photo below, which we are told shows a rescue worker handling a sarin gas victim child using his BARE HANDS.
If you know anything about sarin gas, you know the guy would have been dead in about two minutes. You don’t handle sarin gas residues with your bare heads and live to tell about it, even if the body was rinsed with water:
As usual, the propagandists pushing all the false flags and staged justifications for war don’t know anything about real science, and they forgot to properly stage the scene with protective gear that would be consistent with their fake news story.
The deep state may be manipulating President Trump
President Trump, by the way, may not be aware of any of this false flag fakery. It’s highly likely that Trump is being played by the same deep state that played President Bushover “weapons of mass destruction.” Same playbook, different administration.
Facts be damned, however, when there’s a WAR to be justified. War is the state’s ultimate expression of extreme anger, so it makes sense that anger must first be evoked in the minds of the masses. There’s no better way to accomplish that than to parade pictures of maimed children across TV screens, demanding the nation’s masses either join in the anger or be labeled unpatriotic. It’s almost as silly as North Korea’s government goons making their citizens cry at gunpoint following the death of Kim Jong-Il, the late father of the current lunatic in power, Kim Jong-Un.
Speaking of lunatics in power, the deep state military industrial complex that’s scripting everything you’re seeing right now in Syria is run by high-level lunatics who are willing to do anything to stay in power. If you thought the 9/11 attacks were suspiciously timed to unleash the Patriot Act surveillance state that led to the very kind of illegal surveillance that now targets us all, your Spidey sense has nailed it. Every war is exploited to expand the power of the State… and when wars don’t materialize on their own, events can be easily staged to hurry them along. The goal is always the expansion of state power combined with increased subservience of the obedient masses.
How the military industrial “deep state” tells itself false flags are necessary to protect the nation
In defense of the military industrial complex, the world really is full of dangerous geopolitical predators like Kim Jong-Un, communist China, the Russian government and so on. Protecting America from those dangerous regimes requires a powerful military. Yet the pacifist people of America won’t support anything even resembling national defense unless they are emotionally hijacked into it. Although I’m not defending this practice, the military industrial complex believes it is justified in setting up false flag theatrics because otherwise, the American people would never support a sufficient expansion of military power, leaving the United States vulnerable to attack.
Thus, in their minds, they are only staging false flag events as a way to wake people up to the very real larger threats that America faces on the global stage. To some degree, they have a point: Your average UC Berkeley college campus snowflake crybully pacifist has no clue about reality and probably isn’t even qualified to participate in a constitutional Republic. In the same way that clueless gun control proponents think that banning guns will stop “gun violence,” they also believe that if America eliminates its military, the world will suddenly turn to peace. Neither argument holds up under the slightest scrutiny.
The truth is that the world really is dangerous place, and most of the world’s population continues to live under tyranny rule in places like China, Venezuela, Iran, Russia and even parts of the European Union. A powerful military really is necessary for national defense, since the only thing countries like China really understand is the use of force. That’s how they keep their own citizens in line, after all. In China, domestic diplomacy is always carried out at gunpoint. America’s nuclear arsenal truly is the only thing preventing us from being invaded right now by the Communist Chinese or the Russians, as force is the only thing most governments understand. That’s why America’s nuclear submarines are, in a very real sense, the “guardian angels” of national defense. Without them, some lunatic communist regime like China might be tempted to try a first strike against America’s land-based ICBM launch sites.
Make no mistake: The military industrial deep state tells itself they are ultimately doing what’s right for America. But the American people are too dumbed down and pacifist to understand the real world around them, so they have to be manipulated into supporting a powerful, dominant military that polices the world. That’s why they see killing a few children as a “necessary evil” for what they tell themselves is the “greater good” of protecting the nation as a whole.
Pick your narrative and believe what you want… we’re still sleepwalking toward World War III
The conclusion in all this? Pick your favorite narrative and hope you’re right. Maybe you believe that really was sarin gas used on children in Syria by Assad. You’re probably incredibly gullible if you believe that, but then again most American are living in a delusional reality, so you’ll fit right in.
Or perhaps you believe it was a false flag operation run by the military industrial deep state. I would tend to agree with you on that analysis, but it doesn’t mean the march toward war can be stopped with any greater degree of success. Being right doesn’t mean we can do anything about it.
No matter what you make of current events, we’re all being marched toward World War III. It’s no accident, either. The powers that be have decided they need war right now to accomplish (or cover up) other political or economic goals. War is not the destination but rather the means to an end. To accomplish that end goal, the American people are about to be subjected to the most elaborate “news theater” any of us has ever witnessed. As all this unfolds, fictions will be broadcast across our screens that seduce us into expressing the emotional reactions desired by those running the theatrical performance across the world stage.
Rest assured that the bigger the emotional reaction, the larger the support for war. Almost by definition, this means that the next false flag event targeting an American city must achieve extreme emotional outrage across the national psyche, and this can only come from murdering innocent children.
Here’s a quiz for those of you who are old enough to know what’s really going on: Why do you think the Oklahoma City federal building was chosen for the staged bombing in 1995 under the Clinton regime? Because it had a day care center, of course, and photos of bloodied children carried the narrative across the entire media (which had no competition at the time, because there was no independent media to counter the fake news of CNN).
What happened to the children of Oklahoma City in 1995 and what happened to Syrian children in 2017 are exactly the same thing. Children were deliberately targeted so that pictures of dead children could be used for maximum emotional impact. Anyone who doesn’t recognize this is blind to the reality of how governments shape propaganda for maximum social impact. (Clinton used the Oklahoma City bombing, of course, to immediately demand nationwide gun control in an effort to disarm the citizenry, a tactic that was repeated by Obama with Sandy Hook.)
Here’s EXACTLY what’s going to unfold, step by step, with near perfect scripting
As a final note, the deep state doesn’t even care that I’m telling you all this. The emotional triggering of dead children is so powerful at a visceral level that it overpowers all rationality. Once dead children start being paraded across CNN, nobody even cares whether it was all scripted in advance. Images of dead children bypass all rationality in the human mind, creating precisely the response that’s desired (widespread emotional support for more war).
Recognizing this, I’m resigned to the fact that the American sheeple are so cognitively malleable that there’s nothing that I or any other independent media journalist can say to stop this unfolding of unfortunate events. Like clockwork, it’s already scripted and set in stone:
A huge false flag attack on U.S. soil (or a large U.S. military base) that’s blamed on a targeted foreign enemy
Photos of dead children paraded across the TV screens to invoke emotional reactions
A massive outcry and emotional reaction from the mindless public which abandons all reason
A denouncement of the selected “enemy” by the President and a commitment to defeat them
90% approval rating of the President in the polls
The passing of more laws to surveil more Americans in order to “fight terrorism”
The rapid expansion of the police state and “martial law LITE”
The building up of the military for a retaliatory invasion
The rise of American patriotism, complete with flag waving and blind obedience to government
The highly entertaining, televised “war” – reality TV “entertainment” for the masses
The “victory” against the enemy as the invasion succeeds
The incessant reminder that you need government to protect you even while it’s enslaving you
And the cycle repeats about every 25 years or so, which is just long enough for the next generation to forget what happened a generation earlier. It all unfolds according to a roughly 25-year schedule:
Persian Gulf War: 1990 – 1991
Vietnam War: 1954 – 1975
World War II: 1939 – 1945
World War I: 1914 – 1919
And now, World War III is unfolding right on time, almost exactly 25 years after the Persian Gulf War, and just as the American empire desperately needs to remind its citizens how much they need a powerful, domineering, surveillance regime in order to be kept safe while the economy collapses all around them.
All we can do is prepare and survive this… we cannot halt the cycle of mass manipulation and human gullibility
Personally, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that you can never educate enough people about reality to stop these cycles. The sheeple are imminently predictable and easily manipulated by the emotional imagery of false flag theatrics. All we can really do as aware, informed and rational people is prepare for what’s coming and survive it.
The sheeple will always be suckers for every new generation of war. We cannot awaken them sufficiently to compete with the emotional power of staged events. All we can really do is prepare ourselves and our loved ones to survive World War III. The mindlessness of the human race knows no bounds, which is precisely why I’ve begun calling humanity a SUICIDE CULT.
Your job (and mine) is to simply survive the next round of mass suicide that’s about to be triggered by the insane governments that still rule over our planet. “Democide,” as its called, means “death by government,” and it exterminated 262 million lives over the last century of so. That number is about to get much, much larger. Your primary goal at this point should be to make sure you don’t join that statistic.
If you want to live through all this, bookmark this website right now. It’s one of the very few places where you’re going to connect with intelligent, informed and honest analysis about what’s really going down (and why).
Make Censored.news the first website you check every day, and use GoodGopher.comas your search engine for independent media news. With Google, Facebook, Twitter and other internet gatekeepers now censoring all REAL news in order to push their FAKE news narratives, these are websites of choice for staying informed as WWIII unfolds.
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This notice was modified from a similar notice at Information Clearing House. ~~~ Xaniel777
(NaturalNews)The United States, for its warts, has achieved much in its short 230-plus year history.
It is a benevolent world superpower, for the most part, that serves as a beacon of hope and freedom for an increasingly oppressed world, even as it serves as a guardian against tyranny for as many as half of the world’s nearly seven billion people.
But a few chapters in our history – slavery, oppression of the Native American tribes, causes of the civil rights movement, and moments of unconstitutionality on the part of our elected leaders – serve as more than simple blemishes on an otherwise admirable record of defending liberty and freedom.
One such stain is the way we’ve treated some of our nation’s military veterans.
The maltreatment is summed up in a recent federal case. In late July, a group of veterans managed to win a court order forcing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairsto hand over a trove of documents detailing the department’s alleged Cold War-era drug experiments on Vietnam vets.
What’s problematic about this case isn’t the decision – the VA owes these veterans any answers they are seeking – but the fact that the case had to be filed at all.
According to court documents, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley, in Oakland, Calif., said in her ruling that the documents requested by the veteran-plaintiffs were “squarely relevant” to their claim that the government, through the VA,
did not adequately notify veterans of chemicals they were purposely exposed to during experimentation, and – perhaps more importantly – what effects that exposure might have had on their physical and mental health.
Details of this sad episode in our history were contained in a 2009 class action suit.
Filed by the Vietnam Veterans of America and individual soldiers, the suit charges the U.S. Army and the Central Intelligence Agency, with the help of former Nazi scientists, of using at least 7,800 vets as guinea pigs to test the effects of as many as 400 different types of drugs and chemicals.
They included mescaline (psychedelic alkaloid), LSD (psychedelic drug), amphetamines, barbiturates, nerve agents and mustard gas.
The suit also says the government worked to cover up the testing and the nature of its experiments, which began in the 1950s under such exotic code names as “Bluebird,” “Artichoke” and ” MKUltra.”
The government launched “Project Paperclip,” the suit alleges, an all-out effort by the Army and CIA to allegedly recruit former Nazi scientists to help test various psycho-chemicals, as well as develop a new truth serum using the nation’s own vets as test subjects, Courthouse News Service reported.
“Over half of these Nazi recruits had been members of the SS or Nazi Party,” said the class-action suit. “The ‘Paperclip’ name was chosen because so many of the employment applications were clipped to immigration papers.”
According to Colin A. Ross, a psychiatrist and author of “The CIA Doctors,” said he pored over more than 15,000 documents he received from the nation’s premier spy agency detailing the “mind control” operations which he said took place between 1950-1972 “at many leading universities including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Johns Hopkins andStanford.”
The goal, simply, is mind control
In a report posted on the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International’sWeb site, Ross said “MKUltra and related programs had several over-lapping purposes.”
“One was to purchase mind control drugs from suppliers. Another was to form relationships with researchers who might later be used as consultants at the TOP SECRET level,” he wrote. “The core purpose of these programs was to learn how to enhance interrogations, erase and insert memories, and create and run Manchurian Candidates.”
Ross said all of that is documented “clearly and explicitly” in the declassified CIA documents he obtained, though he said it was merely “a glimpse into the tip of the iceberg of CIA and military mind control.”
“The experimental subjects were not told the real purpose of the experiments, did not give informed consent, were not afforded outside counsel and received no meaningful follow-up,” he wrote. “As described by the psychiatrists in published papers, experiments with LSD and other hallucinogens, combined with sensory deprivation, electroshock and other interrogation techniques, resulted in psychosis and death among other ‘side effects.’ The purpose of these experiments was to see how easily a person could be put into a psychotic state or controlled.”
In a review of the MKUltra program, which was launched in 1953, Wired.com said its goal was, simply, mind-control.
“1953: The agency launches one of its most dubious covert programs ever, turning unsuspecting humans into guinea pigs for its research into mind-altering drugs,” said the report, which said then-Central Intelligence Agencydirector Allen Dulles authorized the program.
“Dulles wanted to close the ‘brainwashing gap’ that arose after the United States learned that American prisoners of war in Korea were subjected to mind-control techniques by their captors,” said Wired.com.
“Loathe to be outdone by foreign enemies, the CIA sought, through its research, to devise a truth serum to enhance the interrogations of POWs and captured spies.
The agency also wanted to develop techniques and drugs – such as ‘amnesia pills’ – to create CIA superagents (sic) who would be immune to the mind-control efforts of adversaries.”
The creation of so-called Manchurian Candidates – a programmable assassin, essentially – was also a goal of the program.
Besides drug and chemical experimentation, the program included the use of radiological implants, hypnosis and subliminal persuasion, electroshock therapy and isolation techniques, the report said.
In their suit, the vets level similar charges – that the government was attempting to develop and test substances capable of inducing mind control, euphoria, altered personalities, confusion, physical paralysis, mania, illogical thinking and other effects.
Many of the experiments, the suit says, were conducted at Army facilities at Edgewood Arsenal and Ft. Detrick, Md. Some left a number of veterans saddled with debilitating health problems for decades to follow.
Worse, the veterans say the government has neglected to provide follow-up medical care to mitigate the damages.
Some soldiers died from the testing, while others suffered physical and mental ailments including seizures and paranoia, an earlier ruling in the case noted.
In this latest bid for full disclosure, the VVA sought documents from the government that reveal the VA’s processes of identifying and notifying soldiers who may have been exposed to the chemical and biological tests.
No relevant medical purposes
In arguing against releasing the documents, attorneys for the VA said the agency should be exempted from doing so by the deliberative process privilege, which aims to shield the decision-making processes of government agencies.
Judge Corley did not buy the argument, ruling instead that that veterans group and others “have demonstrated a sufficient, substantial need to overcome the qualified deliberative process privilege.”
“The Court agrees that considerable discovery has been provided on this subject; however, having reviewed the thousands of pages of documents submitted for in camera review, the Court notes that these processes are far from clear or consistent, and in fact, seem to have undergone numerous modifications over time,” she wrote.
Corley ordered the VA to release more than 40 documents, which she said were “both relevant and unavailable from other sources given that the documents reflect processes which have evolved over time.”
Writes Ross, “The purpose of mind control experiments is controlling human behavior: making enemy combatants open up during interrogation; protecting secret information by erasing memories; making spies more resistant to interrogation because secret information is held by hidden identities and making people more prone to influence, social control and suggestion.
“The mind control experiments and operational programs violate basic human rights and all codes of medical ethics,” he said.
The government should never use American citizens or others for any sort of experimentation, at least without first getting consent.
Using those who protect and defend us for the same is unspeakable.
What people may not know is that Senator Reid was a strong proponent of Audit the FED legislation in the past as this video from 1995 proves.(see video above, as their video does not work in my website for some reason.)~~~Xaniel777
Not only did Senator Reid propose and sponsor such legislation, but he also made impassioned speeches in the well of the Senate championing the idea. (Of course always with a wink,wink, nod, nod, to his Masters, back when he thought an audit was impossible to achieve!)~~~Xaniel777
Reid correctly pointed out that the FED improperly manipulates interest rates and that hurts the American people.
He also pointed out that the FED operates under a veil of secrecy, which is a process that should end.
He called the FED system the largest unfounded mandate we have in America today.
So, why is Senator Reid blocking the same bi-partisan legislation today?
Undoubtedly he will offer a series of excuses about the content of the proposed bills today being different than in the past, or do some other such political maneuvering. (But the truth is, that Reid is the Elite’s man and always has been !)~~~Xaniel777
However, it seems more likely that Senator Reid could be responding to political pressure from the banking, business, government, and media interests that control the United States. (Didn’t I just say that??)~~~Xaniel777
Will Senator Reid have the courage to buck those interests on behalf of the American people? Time will tell.
( TIME WILL TELL??…Time has already told ! Reid is a TRAITOR and he doesn’t give a damn about Nevada, Americans or the World. He cares only for his MASTERS !)~~~Xaniel777
Members of Congress are demanding that U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney give full disclosure of all of his tax returns, but most are refusing to publicize their own.
The presumptive presidential nominee has disclosed his 2010 tax return and 2011 tax return estimate, but refuses to publicize any more.
His refusal is generating critical responses from Congressional members, who claim his secrecy makes him unfit to run for president.
However most members of Congress do not think that this same level of transparency should apply to them.
While senators and representatives are required to publicize their sources of income, they are not required to disclose their tax returns, which contain additional financial data like spousal income.
McClatchy has asked all 535 members of Congress for full disclosure of their tax returns, but only 17 have complied.
Among those who refused are Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Harry Reid – both of which have heavily criticized Romney for his limited transparency.
“He could not even become a Cabinet member for that lack of disclosure, and now with the lack of disclosure, he wants to be president of the United States,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said.
Reid said Romney’s refusal to publicize more of his financial information makes him unfit to be a “dogcatcher” – a metaphor for the lowest possible elected office.
But Pelosi’s aides refused to disclose the representative’s own tax returns, saying she has already disclosed all that Congress requires.
“The leader has filed a complete financial disclosure report as required by law that includes financial holdings, transactions and other personal information,”a Pelosi spokesman told McClatchy.“There has been no question about where Leader Pelosi and Democrats stand on tax policy.”
But similarly, there is no lawful requirement for presidential candidates to publicly release their tax returns, and it remains a matter of choice for the contenders.
Romney claims that full disclosure of his finances would distract from the issues he finds important.
“In the political environment that exists today, the opposition research of the Obama campaign is looking for anything they can use to distract from the failure of the president to reignite our economy,”Romney told the National Review Online.“I’m simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort and lie about.”
While some members of Congress find Romney’s full disclosure necessary to better understand his financial background, they don’t consider themselves responsible for the same.
Tax return documents indicate spousal incomes, and several members of Congress have married rich.
Among the top of the list are Rep. Michael McCaul, Sen. John Kerry and Pelosi’s husband, who heads a venture capital and real estate firm.
The representative’s spousal income thus remains publicly unknown.
Most lawmakers who did share their tax returns with McClatchy received significant deductions for interest on personal and investment real estate – information that taxpayers may be interested in, since the tax code is expected to change in the next few years.
Reporters are also interested in Congressional members’ tax returns to see how changes in tax laws would affect their income tax rates and capital gains taxes, dividends and deductions.
But most lawmakers refused full disclosure of their own tax returns, while continuing to demand that Romney release his.
Although most members of Congress refused to publicize their own tax returns, the DISCLOSE Act is bringing the transparency debate into the spotlight.
On Tuesday, Senate Republicans blocked the Democratic legislation, which would require certain tax-exempt groups to disclose the names of some of their highest donors.
While Congress is battling over greater transparency in presidential campaigns, hypocrisy has found its way into the government, with most members opposed to having the same rules apply to them.
One-minute clip from yesterday of Geithner being questioned by Rep. Hensarling regarding the Fed’s and Treasury’s decision to use an artificially low Libor as the interest rate on hundreds of billions in crisis loans to AIG and other bailed-out banks.
Timothy Geithner claimed on Wednesday that the government had no choice during the financial crisis but to lend to banks and AIG using an interest rate, Libor, that everybody knew was flawed.
Call it a back-door bailout: By using an artificially low Libor, the government saved the banks and AIG millions, maybe billions — and cost the taxpayers the same amount.
The use of Libor in the bailouts also rubber-stamped that hopelessly manipulated interest rate as a market measure, raising still more questions about just how worried Geithner and other regulators really were about it.
In a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Geithner was asked why Treasury and the Fed used the London Interbank Offered Rate as a basis for loans to insurance giant American International Group and to U.S. banks under the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility — even though Geithner and other regulators had long suspected that Libor was artificially low, as Geithner testified.
“We were in the position of investors around the world,” Geithner shrugged. “You have to choose a rate, and we did what everybody did — use the best rate available at the time.”
Geithner repeated his claim that he warned other U.S. and British regulators in the spring of 2008 about possible manipulation of the key interest rate and recommended changes to the way the rate was set.
But he also said that, months later, when it came time to set bailout terms for the Too Big To Fail Set, the government just had no other choice but to use Libor.
Sure, that’s one way to look at it.
Another, less charitable way to look at it is that the Fed was fully aware that Libor was being manipulated lower, and was fine charging an artificially low rate to lend money to banks and to AIG, in what amounted to yet another kind of bailout.
Why make life harder for them, right? They had enough problems dealing with the crisis they had created.
Raising red flags about Libor might have only made the crisis worse, making it harder for banks to borrow money.
But in the process, the government left untold mountains of cash on the table for U.S. taxpayers.
Even if Libor was only manipulated a tiny bit lower, these small breaks add up.
In fact, if you wanted to be cynical about it, you could say this is yet another example of the Treasury Department and the Fed once again putting the needs of banks ahead of all else, including such niceties as “faith in the market” and “taxpayers.”
I wrote a story for the Wall Street Journal back in 2009 estimating that banks may have saved $24 billion by borrowing at unusually low rates in another crisis-era government lending program, the Term Liquidity Guarantee Program — loans that were frequently based on Libor.
There’s still a lot of number crunching to be done in the weeks ahead, but it would not be surprising if TALF banks and AIG saved similar amounts by borrowing from the government at an artificially low Libor rate.
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