Friday, March 13, 2009

Can We Break the Taboo on Israel's Spying Efforts on the United States?

I'm sure you've already seen the raging comment on the questioning of Jim Cramer's honor (not to mention lack of professional standards and worse) by Jon Stewart, but in case you missed it, here's part of Glenn Greenwald's sublime take:

Today, everyone -- including media stars everywhere -- is going to take Stewart's side and all join in the easy mockery of Cramer and CNBC, as though what Stewart is saying is so self-evidently true and what Cramer/CNBC did is so self-evidently wrong. But there's absolutely nothing about Cramer that is unique when it comes to our press corps. The behavior that Jon Stewart so expertly dissected last night is exactly what our press corps in general does - and, when compelled to do so, they say so and are proud of it. At least give credit to Cramer for facing his critics and addressing (and even acknowledging the validity of) the criticisms. By stark contrast, most of our major media stars simply ignore all criticisms of their corrupt behavior and literally suppress it (even if the criticisms appear as major, lengthy front-page exposés in The New York Times).
And then there's also Patrick Byrne's opinion to consider as well as he intones that
The precise reason why Cramer exists beyond good and evil, however, must wait until the end of this piece.
He then addresses one area that I thought I had learned all the rules about in graduate school (Hopkins) in the 80's, but that later events made me doubt my own ability to discern prior larnin':
When I was a lad I once asked Mr. Macklin, “Do companies ever do this-or-that in order to make their stocks go up?” Macklin replied, “There is one thing you need to know about securities law: anytime someone purposefully does something in order to make a stock go up or go down, he is doing something illegal. You can go to law school and study it for years, but that’s what it boils down to. You make bets on stocks, but you never purposefully make the price of a stock move in either direction. It’s manipulation. It’s illegal. That is the first thing you need to know about the stock market.” Years later I went to work for one of the great Graham-Dodd value investors of Wall Street. From the behavior of him and those in his firm the same lesson was reinforced, and I internalized it to the point that it would have seemed strange even to mention it. In fact, I would put it on par with knowledge among health care workers that one is supposed to wash one’s hands between seeing patients, and when I left Wall Street I would have supposed it as rare to find someone there who did not know that one does not purposefully move the prices of stocks as it would be to find a nurse who did not know about germs.
And, of course, this is what Jim and all the rest of the guys in the know did (causing me to doubt my sanity for almost 15 years). There's also the truth finally from Seymour Hersh about the Cheney assassination squads many like moi thought were operating beyond the pale of reporting and criticism. They were.
Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC Countdown discussed the report with Jonathan Alter . . . (who) said that details will curl your hair.
I don't know if the veil is finally lifting for many or not (and who really can believe it?), but Christopher Ketcham reports that we're getting closer to this now:
Scratch a counterintelligence officer in the U.S. government and they'll tell you that Israel is not a friend to the United States. This is because Israel runs one of the most aggressive and damaging espionage networks targeting the U.S.. The fact of Israeli penetration into the country is not a subject oft-discussed in the media or in the circles of governance, due to the extreme sensitivity of the U.S.-Israel relationship coupled with the burden of the Israel lobby, which punishes legislators who dare to criticize the Jewish state. The void where the facts should sit is filled instead with the hallucinations of conspiracy theory -- the kind in which, for example, agents of the Mossad, Israel’s top intelligence agency, engineer the 9/11 attacks, while 4,000 Israelis in the Twin Towers somehow all get word to escape before the planes hit. The effect, as disturbing as it is ironic, is that the less the truth is addressed, the more noxious the falsity that spreads. Israel's spying on the U.S., however, is a matter of public record, and neither conspiracy nor theory is needed to present the evidence. When the FBI produces its annual report to Congress concerning "Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage," Israel and its intelligence services often feature prominently as a threat second only to China. In 2005 the FBI noted, for example, that Israel maintains "an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States." A key Israeli method, said the FBI report, is computer intrusion.
And you didn't know. When Mike Whitney tells you it's "Haircut Time For Bondholders," listen up. Don't miss the chart! It tells you everything you need to know "in simple, graphic terms . . . about the financial crisis." Not to be missed. (Emphasis marks are inserted to add to the fun - Ed.)
. . . in 2008, the source of funding for residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), consumer asset-backed securities (which include everything from student loans, credit cards, and auto loans) and home equity loans has almost completely dried up. In fact, all that's left of the previously vibrant credit markets, is the agency mortgage-backed securities sold through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which rely exclusively on government funding. Apart from government sponsored GSEs, their is no mortgage credit. What does it all mean? It means that Wall Street's credit-generating mechanism has disintegrated cutting off 40 percent of the blood-flow to the economy. This is why the drop in spending has been so sudden and precipitous. No economy, however strong, can reduce credit by 40 percent without sliding into a depression. Every area of industry, trade, investment, commerce and consumption has been battered. No sector has been spared. Look closely at the chart and you will see why housing will continue to plummet, because the primary funding mechanism for selling mortgages no longer exists; all the applications are now shoveled over to Fannie and Freddie. Wall Street has gone A.W.O.L. The often repeated mantra "the banks aren't lending" is a myth. The banks are lending; it is the wholesale funding apparatus that's broken. That's why the Fed's low interest rates have had little effect, because they don't increase sales in the secondary market where MBS and other complex investments are sold. Those markets are frozen due to investor angst. People are scared out of their wits. Toxic subprime mortgages poisoned the well and now investors have boycotted the entire market for structured debt-instruments.
Read on, MacDuff. Ahem. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. Suzan __________________

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