Vice President Joe Biden Promotes U.S. as Fracking Missionary Force On Ukraine Trip

During his two-day visit this week to Kiev, Ukraine, Vice President Joe Biden unfurled President Barack Obama’s “U.S.Crisis Support Package for Ukraine.”

A key part of the package involves promoting the deployment of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in Ukraine. Dean Neu, professor of accounting at York University in Toronto, describes this phenomenon in his book “Doing Missionary Work.” And in this case, it involves the U.S. acting as a modern-day missionary to spread the gospel of fracking to further its own interests.

With the ongoing Russian occupation of Crimea serving as the backdrop for the trip, Biden made Vladimir Putin’s Russia and its dominance of the global gas market one of the centerpieces of a key speech he gave while in Kiev.

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From Scott Horton:

Once in a while you actually see this administration doing something that clearly communicates that it has taken a look at the criticism hurled its way and concluded that the critics are right. Today we see one such circumstance. The Obama team has sacked Ronald L. Rodgers, the pardons attorney who took it as his mission effectively to insure that there were no pardons, even in the most appalling cases. In the end, however, only one thing can demonstrate a turn-around in this shameful corner of the misadministration of justice: and that is a steady stream of pardons, particularly covering cases of inequitable sentences, drug cases that has ended in long sentences for victimless crimes, but also in cases where there is copious evidence of serious misconduct by prosecutors that goes straight to the conviction. And particularly in cases where political justice was meted out, like that of Don Siegelman.

Justice finally comes to the pardons office and perhaps to many inmates
04/23/14 12:49 PM—Updated 04/23/14 02:19 PM
By Dafna Linzer

The U.S. pardon attorney who withheld key information from the president in a high profile clemency case was removed from office Wednesday as the Obama administration announced a new pardons policy that could potentially allow hundreds of federal inmates to be freed early from prison.

The announcement by Deputy Attorney General James Cole caps more than a year of internal reviews by the White House and the Justice Department aimed at seeing the president exercise his pardons authority more aggressively and more fairly. An investigative series in 2011 showed significant race disparity in the awarding of presidential pardons and efforts by the pardons office to squelch opportunities for federal inmates serving unfair or overly long sentences.

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BBC News Europe
22 April 2014 Last updated at 07:41 ET
Ukraine crisis: What the ‘Russian soldier’ photos say

Photos released by the Ukrainian government as “proof” of Russian soldiers on the ground in Donetsk leave many questions to be answered.

With thousands of Russian soldiers massed on Ukraine’s frontiers, any evidence that they are actually over the border, as was the case in Crimea in March, is being taken very seriously.
What do the photos show?

Heavily armed gunmen in combat uniform, many of them masked.

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Dahr Jamail | BP: Four Years On, No Restoration in Sight
Monday, 21 April 2014 09:12 By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report

Following the 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which killed 11, a sea-floor oil gusher flowed for 87 days until it was capped nearly three months later.

The disaster, which began on April 20, 2010, released at least 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, coupled with 1.9 million gallons of toxic chemical dispersants that BP and the US Coast Guard used.

Yerkes was exposed to both oil and dispersants while working to clean up oil during his stint in the VOO program.

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Tomgram: Engelhardt, Knowledge Is Crime
By Tom Engelhardt
Posted on April 20, 2014, Printed on April 20, 2014

Too Big to Jail?
Why Kidnapping, Torture, Assassination, and Perjury Are No Longer Crimes in Washington
By Tom Engelhardt

How the mighty have fallen. Once known as “Obama’s favorite general,” James Cartwright will soon don a prison uniform and, thanks to a plea deal, spend 13 months behind bars. Involved in setting up the earliest military cyberforce inside U.S. Strategic Command, which he led from 2004 to 2007, Cartwright also played a role in launching the first cyberwar in history — the release of the Stuxnet virus against Iran’s nuclear program. A Justice Department investigation found that, in 2012, he leaked information on the development of that virus to David Sanger of the New York Times. The result: a front-page piece revealing its existence, and so the American cyber-campaign against Iran, to the American public. It was considered a serious breach of national security. On Thursday, the retired four-star general stood in front of a U.S. district judge who told him that his “criminal act” was “a very serious one” and had been “committed by a national security expert who lost his moral compass.” It was a remarkable ending for a man who nearly reached the heights of Pentagon power, was almost appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and had the president’s ear.

In fact, Gen. James Cartwright has not gone to jail and the above paragraph remains — as yet — a grim Washington fairy tale. There is indeed a Justice Department investigation open against the president’s “favorite general” (as Washington scribe to the stars Bob Woodward once labeled him) for the possible leaking of information on that virus to the New York Times, but that’s all. He remains quite active in private life, holding the Harold Brown Chair in Defense Policy Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, as a consultant to ABC News, and on the board of Raytheon, among other things. He has suffered but a single penalty so far: he was stripped of his security clearance.

A different leaker actually agreed to that plea deal for the 13-month jail term. Nearly three weeks ago, ex-State Department intelligence analyst Stephen E. Kim pled guilty to “an unauthorized disclosure of national defense information.” He stood before U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who offered those stern words of admonition, and took responsibility for passing classified information on the North Korean nuclear program to Fox News reporter James Rosen in 2009.

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Another NYT-Michael Gordon Special?
April 21, 2014

Exclusive: The New York Times is at it again with a lead story citing grainy photos from the post-putsch regime in Kiev as proving that Russian special forces are behind the popular uprisings in eastern Ukraine, another slanted story coauthored by Michael Gordon, as Robert Parry reports.

By Robert Parry

There is now a pattern to New York Times “investigative” stories that seek to pin the blame on some nefarious foreign enemy, as in the 2002 article on Iraq buying aluminum tubes for nuclear centrifuges; the 2013 “vector analysis” tracing sarin-laden rockets to a Syrian military base; and now a photographic analysis proving that Russian soldiers are behind unrest in eastern Ukraine.

All these stories draw hard conclusions from very murky evidence while ignoring or brushing aside alternative explanations. They also pile up supportive acclamations for their conclusions from self-interested sources while treating any doubters as rubes. And, these three articles all involved reporter Michael R. Gordon.

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NYU Law Students’ Emails Subpoenaed After Criticizing School Trustee
By Danielle Tcholakian on April 17, 2014 6:42pm | Updated on April 17, 2014 9:13pm

GREENWICH VILLAGE — A New York University Law trustee’s company wants two students to hand over their personal emails after they circulated a letter criticizing him, according to a subpoena.

The law students, second-year Luke Herrine and first-year Leo Gertner, were targeted after they helped circulate a letter denouncing NYU Law School trustee Daniel Straus, who owns Care One Management, a home health aide and nursing home company embroiled in a labor dispute.

The pair were among a group of students who gathered signatures on a letter that raised concerns about Care One Management’s treatment of its workers, including violations from the National Labor Relations Board, and asked the law school’s dean to meet with them to discuss the issue.

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Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Imperative
April 20, 2014

Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. news media is flooding the American people with one-sided propaganda on Ukraine, rewriting the narrative to leave out the key role of neo-Nazis and insisting on a “group think” that exceeds even the misguided consensus on Iraq’s WMD, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

After the Feb. 22 coup in Ukraine – spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias – European and U.S. diplomats pushed for a quick formation of a new government out of fear that otherwise these far-right ultra-nationalists would be left in total control, one of those diplomats told me.

The comment again underscores the inconvenient truth of what happened in Ukraine: neo-Nazis were at the forefront of the Kiev coup that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych, a reality that the U.S. government and news media have been relentlessly trying to cover up.
New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof.

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EU spy chief rules out Russian military presence in Ukraine
Published time: April 16, 2014 13:27

There is no large Russian military presence in East Ukraine, head of EU intelligence, Commodore Georgij Alafuzoff, has said. The spy chief has dismissed multiple accusations from the West alleging Russian involvement in the unrest in the region.

In an interview with Finnish national news broadcaster, Yle, Alafuzoff said the Russian military had nothing to do with the seizing of government buildings in eastern Ukraine.

“In my opinion, it’s mostly people who live in the region who are not satisfied with the current state of affairs,” said Alafuzoff, referring to the situation in East Ukraine. He went on to say that the people are worried for the welfare of those who speak Russian as their first language in the region.

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via CLG:

NATO to deploy warships, undecided on possible deployment of troops in Eastern Europe 16 Apr 2014 NATO is strengthening its military presence in the Baltic and Mediterranean due to the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. The organization is to deploy ships and intensified aerial patrols in the region. At a meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Brussels, NATO approved a number of measures to strengthen security in Eastern Europe in connection with the growing crisis in Ukraine. “Our defense plans will be revised and strengthened,” said Anders Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO, to press in Brussels. He added that NATO had not yet reached a decision about the possible deployment of troops in Eastern Europe.


Nato to increase warships and air patrols near Russian borders 16 Apr 2014 Nato has announced it is stepping up its presence around Russian borders to reassure eastern European member states, in an effort also aimed at increasing pressure on Moscow before international talks on the [CIA-generated] Ukrainian crisis on Thursday in Geneva. The EU and the US intend to tighten sanctions against Moscow after the four-party negotiations — involving foreign ministers from Russia, Ukraine and the US and the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton — if Moscow does not stop what the West alleges is the deliberating stoking of tensions in eastern Ukraine.

The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination

The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination

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