+menu-


  • Category Archives The undue influence of OIL
  • Lankford Letter The Judgment Fund to Iran

    Sept 16, 2016 Lankford Letter The Judgment Fund to Iran

    Who knew? I’d never heard of “The Judgment Fund” until I read the Lankford Letter.

    HOW DOES THE JUDGMENT FUND OPERATE TODAY?

    BY DEFINITION, IT REQUIRES NO FURTHER CONGRESSIONAL ACTION AND DOES NOT EXPIRE AT THE CLOSE OF ANY FISCAL YEAR.

    THE APPROPRIATION MAKES AN “UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF FUNDS” AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF CERTAIN JUDGMENTS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

    NEGOTIATED AND AGREED TO BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.

    ————————————————

    From: Sen. James Lankford

    To: phew@wavecable.com

    Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 8:49 AM

    Subject: Lankford Letter

    Tax money to the Iranian military

    snippet

    This is a bigger issue than a single payment, no matter how large. The cash money sent to Iran changes our historic foreign policy of isolating Iran as the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, and it sets a new precedent for sending money to foreign governments from the long-established Judgment Fund. To deal with the long-term precedent, I authored a bill to limit the future use of THE JUDGMENT FUND and make sure no future president can transfer American tax dollars to a nation that sponsors terrorism. 

    Click here to open this e-mail in its own browser window   Click here to open a plain text version of this email

    —————————————————————–

    JUL 14, 2016  RE: THE JUDGMENT FUND (click on the link)

    Senators Fischer and Lankford Introduce Bill to Expose Taxpayer Funds Transferred to Iran

    ————————————————————-

    After spending nearly five  hours, researching, reading and documenting

    A 19 PAGE DOCUMENT BY CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

    The Judgment Fund (or Fund) is a permanent appropriation enacted by Congress in 1956. The Fund is an unlimited amount of money set aside to pay judgments against the United States.

    The Judgment Fund: History, Administration, and Common Usage

    https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42835.pdf

    Federation of American Scientists Mar 7, 2013 – In the 113th Congress, the Judgment Fund Transparency Act of 2013 ( …. The U.S. government has sovereign immunity, meaning it cannot be …

    HOW DOES THE JUDGMENT FUND OPERATE TODAY?

    BY DEFINITION, IT REQUIRES NO FURTHER CONGRESSIONAL ACTION AND DOES NOT EXPIRE AT THE CLOSE OF ANY FISCAL YEAR.

    THE APPROPRIATION MAKES AN “UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF FUNDS” AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF CERTAIN JUDGMENTS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

    NEGOTIATED AND AGREED TO BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.

    PAY FOR JUDGMENTS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES FROM STATE AND FOREIGN TRIBUNALS SUBJECT TO CERTIFICATION BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

     IT IS ONLY ACCESSIBLE WHEN THE UNITED STATES HAS WAIVED ITS SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY

    —————————————————————————-

    JUL 14, 2016  RE: THE JUDGMENT FUND (click on the link)

    Senators Fischer and Lankford Introduce Bill to Expose Taxpayer Funds Transferred to Iran

    Legislation Will Allow Americans to Track Payments to Foreign Nations

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning, U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) introduced legislation to track taxpayer-funded payments to foreign nations and prevent harmful transactions from happening in the future. The bill, known as the

    JUDGMENT FUND TRANSPARENCY AND TERRORISM FINANCING PREVENTION ACT,

     expands upon legislation that Senator Fischer introduced last year with Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). It would require a public accounting of the taxpayer funds that are distributed out of the Judgment Fund.

    Senator Fischer released the following statement:

    “Hardworking American families have every right to see exactly how their tax dollars are being spent, especially when used to fund hostile enemies of the United States. That is why I’m proud to join Senator Lankford to offer a new version of the Judgment Fund Transparency Act, which includes greater oversight of taxpayer-funded payments to foreign nations. More transparency leads to greater accountability and through this bill, we can hold our government to task for their actions. We should not be in the business of providing funds to state sponsors of terrorism.”

    Senator Lankford released the following statement:

    “One year after the Iran Nuclear agreement, we still have the same concerns with Iran as before. Their secrecy is disconcerting and they continue to be spread terrorism and a radical Islamist ideology around the region. President Obama’s billion-dollar payment to Iran in January, which we now know is funding Iran’s military expansion, is an appalling example of Executive Branch governance.

    “The bill Senator Fischer and I have introduced will provide the American public with necessary details of this dangerous billion-dollar payment and ensure that no taxpayer dollars are ever again used to fund the extremist and violent ambitions of rogue nations like Iran.  Subsidizing Iran’s military is perhaps the worst use of taxpayer dollars ever by an American president.”

    —————————————————————————————-

    Hague Claims Tribunal Settlement – US Department of State

    www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2016/…/251338.ht…

    United States Department of State Jan 17, 2016 – The United States and Iran today have settled a long outstanding claim at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in the Hague. This specific claim was in …

    IN ADDITION TO THE DISCLOSED $400 MILLION CASH HAGUE SETTLEMENT WITH IRAN,

    UPDATED ON SEP 7, 2016 TO $1.7 BILLION IN CASH HAGUE SETTLEMENT WITH IRAN

    US made $1.7 billion transfer to Iran in foreign cash, Treasury says …

    www.foxnews.com/…/us-made-1-7-billion-transfer-to-iran-in-foreign…

    Fox News Channel Sep 7, 2016 – A Treasury spokeswoman told the Associated Press the cash payments …. @cntstdthepain – Iran was seeking $10 billion in today’s dollars.

    ———————————————————————–

    YEP…. AND, IN ADDITION TO THAT

    WE HAVE “U.S. FOREIGN AID FUNDING” FOR HUMANITARIAN AND MILITARY ASSISTANCE.

    “Hardworking American families have every right to see exactly how their tax dollars are being spent, especially when used to fund hostile enemies of the United States.

    WHO IS GOING TO. INTRODUCED LEGISLATION TO TRACK DANGEROUS BILLION-DOLLAR  TAXPAYER-FUNDED FOREIGN AID PAYMENTS TO FOREIGN NATIONS AND PREVENT HARMFUL U.S. FOREIGN AID FUNDING OF HUMANITARIAN AND MILITARY ASSISTANCE FROM ENDING UP IN THE HANDS OF STATE SPONSORS OF TERRORISM.

     That is why I’m proud to join (PRESIDENT TRUMP)  to offer a new version of the

     FOREIGN AID FUND TRANSPARENCY AND TERRORISM FINANCING PREVENTION ACT  

    which includes greater oversight of taxpayer-funded payments to foreign nations. More transparency leads to greater accountability and through this bill, we can hold our government to task for their actions. We should not be in the business of providing funds to state sponsors of terrorism.”

    ——————————————————————————

    HOW DOES THE FOREIGN AID FUNDING OPERATE TODAY?

     U.S. FOREIGN (AID) RELATIONS AND AFFAIRS, SENATE AND HOUSE FUNDING FOREIGN AID PROGRAMS AS WELL AS FUNDING ARMS SALES AND TRAINING FOR NATIONAL ALLIES?.

     THE UNITED STATES SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS is a standing committee of the … THE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE IS GENERALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR OVERSEEING (BUT NOT ADMINISTERING) and funding foreign aid programs as well as funding arms sales and training for national allies.

     GENERALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR OVERSEEING?

    ————————————————————————

    THE U.S. HOUSE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS is a standing committee of the …has jurisdiction over BILLS AND INVESTIGATIONS related to the foreign affairs of the United States.

     BILLS AND INVESTIGATIONS?

    —————————————————————-

     INVESTIGATION ON WHO DELIVERS?

    Delivery of Foreign Assistance

    What Executive Branch Agencies Implement Foreign Aid

    Programs?

    U.S. Agency for International Development

    U.S. Department of Defense

    U.S. Department of State

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    U.S. Department of the Treasury

    MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION

    ——————————————————

    The Millennium Challenge Account

    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/infocus/developingnations/millennium.html

    This is historical material, “frozen in time.” The web site is no longer updated and links to external web sites and some internal pages will not work.

    March 14, 2002 “Today, I call for a new compact for global development, defined by new ACCOUNTABILITY for both rich and poor nations alike,” STATES PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH IN HIS ADDRESS AT THE INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK IN WASHINGTON, D.C. MARCH 14, 2002. Accompanying the President: the lead singer of U2, Bono; Cardinal McCarrick and WORLDBANK PRESIDENT JIM WOLFENSOHN.

    —————————————————————

    INVESTIGATION ON WHO DELIVERS?

    WHO ENSURES ACCOUNTABILITY FOR MEASURABLE RESULTS?

    MCC IS AN INDEPENDENT U.S. GOVERNMENT FOREIGN AID AGENCY

    PROVIDES ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE THROUGH A COMPETITIVE SELECTION PROCESS TO DEVELOPING NATIONS …

    ADMINISTRATION  THE MCA WILL BE ADMINISTERED BY A NEW GOVERNMENT CORPORATION DESIGNED TO SUPPORT INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES

    AND TO ENSURE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR MEASURABLE RESULTS.

    THE CORPORATION WILL BE SUPERVISED BY A BOARD OF DIRECTORS COMPOSED OF CABINET LEVEL OFFICIALS.

    THE SECRETARY OF STATE WILL BE THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD. (JOHN KERRY)

    THE CEO OF THE MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION WILL BE NOMINATED BY THE PRESIDENT (OBAMA) AND CONFIRMED BY THE SENATE.

    The following 16 indicators (WITH SOURCES), CHOSEN because of the relative quality and objectivity of their data, country coverage, public availability, and correlation with growth and poverty reduction, WILL BE USED TO ASSESS NATIONAL PERFORMANCE RELATIVE TO GOVERNING JUSTLY, INVESTING IN PEOPLE, and encouraging economic freedom.

    GOVERNING JUSTLY:

    CIVIL LIBERTIES (FREEDOM HOUSE)

    POLITICAL RIGHTS (FREEDOM HOUSE)

    VOICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY (WORLD BANK INSTITUTE)

    GOVERNMENT EFFECTIVENESS (WORLD BANK INSTITUTE)

    RULE OF LAW (WORLD BANK INSTITUTE)

    CONTROL OF CORRUPTION (WORLD BANK INSTITUTE)

    Investing in People:

    Public Primary Education Spending as Percent of GDP (World Bank/national sources)

    Primary Education Completion Rate (World Bank/national sources)

    Public Expenditures on Health as Percent of GDP (World Bank/national sources)

    Immunization Rates: DPT and Measles (World Bank/UN/national sources)

    ————————————————————————-

    Just asking is MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION an independent regulatory agency, as defined below?

    UNLIKE EXECUTIVE BRANCH AGENCIES, independent regulatory agencies are not subject to basic analytical requirements. BECAUSE OF THIS, INDEPENDENT REGULATORY AGENCIES DO NOT CONDUCT RIGOROUS COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS OR CUMULATIVE EFFECT EVALUATION.

    And? Other agencies?

    ——————————————————-

    What Are the Different Forms in Which Assistance Is Provided?

    Cash Transfers

    Equipment and Commodities

    Economic Infrastructure

    Training

    Expertise

    Small Grants

    ———————————————————————————–

    The Judgment Fund, which is administered by the Treasury Department, is used to pay for certain court judgments and settlements against the federal government. Between 2013 and 2015, the federal government paid more than $10 billion in Judgment Fund awards with scant transparency or oversight.

    This fund has continued to come under increased scrutiny, as it is allowed to allocate unlimited funds to cover government liability in lawsuits and is not subject to the annual appropriations process. The Judgement Fund Transparency Act would provide hardworking taxpayers and members of Congress the ability to see exactly how tax dollars are being spent on these litigation expenses.

    In February of 2015, The Washington Examiner published an editorial praising Senator Fischer’s bill:

    “Senators Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Deb Fischer, R-Neb., are co-sponsoring a bill that would fix this problem and bring transparency to the Judgment Fund, the treasury account that pays judgments and settlements to plaintiffs. The Judgment Fund Transparency Act is just two pages long. It simply requires the Treasury Department to make public through its website the details of every payment the fund makes… The bill deserves broad bipartisan support. For anyone who believes in government transparency, it’s a no-brainer.”

    Click here to view text of the bill.

    Permalink: http://www.fischer.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2016/7/senators-fischer-and-lankford-introduce-bill-to-expose-taxpayer-funds-transferred-to-iran


  • Colin Powell’s Leaked Email’s

    Colin Powell’s Leaked Email’s

    Those leaked Colin Powell emails are a huge blow to Clinton (not …

    www.cnbc.com/…/those-leaked-colinpowellemails-are-a-huge-blow-to-clinton…

    CNBC 4 hours ago – Leaked Colin Powell emails reveal Clinton’s apparent disdain for Obama. … Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama in Beijing, China in 2009. … Far more damaging are the emails where Powell discusses Clinton, her email scandal, her health, and her apparent …

    —————————————————————————————-

    More than a decade ago, Colin Powell played a starring role in a recurring type of political dramaturgy. Scripts vary, while similar dramas play out on a variety of scales.

    Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke to the U.N. Security Council on February 5, 2003

    HOW EASILY TRUTH BECOMES IRRELEVANT IN THE PROCESS OF GOING TO WAR.

    ————————————————-

    Lie After Lie After Lie: What Colin Powell Knew Ten … – Huffington Post

    www.huffingtonpost.com/…/colin-powell-wmd-iraq-war_b_2624…

    The Huffington Post

    Feb 5, 2013 – Colin Powell made his Iraq presentation at the United Nations ten years ago … Powell’s speech can be found on the archived State Department …

    Indeed, More than a decade ago, Colin Powell played a starring role in a recurring type of political dramaturgy. Scripts vary, while similar dramas play out on a variety of scales. Behind a gauzy curtain, top officials engage in decision-making on war that gives democracy short shrift. For the public, crucial information that bears on the wisdom of warfare remains opaque or out of sight.

    Snippet

    THE NEW SECRETARY OF STATE, JOHN KERRY (D)  

    LIKE THE ONE HE JUST REPLACED, HILLARY CLINTON (D)  

    VOTED FOR THE IRAQ WAR RESOLUTION  IN THE SENATE,

    NEARLY FOUR MONTHS BEFORE POWELL WENT TO THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL..

    The invasion began six weeks after Powell’s tour de force at the United Nations.

    ——————————————————-

    Feb 4, 2013 full unedited text

    Ten Years After Powell’s U.N. Speech, Old Hands Are Ready for More …

    www.normansolomon.com/…/tenyearsafterpowellsunspeecholdhands-are-ready

    Feb 4, 2013 – Ten Years After Powell’s U.N. Speech, Old Hands Are Ready for More Blood … The Washington Post was more war-crazed, headlining its editorial “Irrefutable” and declaring that after …. They’re old hands, dripping with blood.

    By Norman Solomon

    When Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke to the U.N. Security Council on February 5, 2003, countless journalists in the United States extolled him for a masterful performance — making the case that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

    THE FACT THAT THE SPEECH LATER BECAME NOTORIOUS SHOULD NOT OBSCURE HOW EASILY TRUTH BECOMES IRRELEVANT IN THE PROCESS OF GOING TO WAR.

    Ten years later — with Powell’s speech a historic testament of shameless deception leading to vast carnage — we may not remember the extent of the fervent accolades. At the time, fawning praise was profuse across the USA’s mainline media spectrum, including the nation’s reputedly great newspapers.

    The New York Times editorialized that Powell “was all the more convincing because he dispensed with apocalyptic invocations of a struggle of good and evil and focused on shaping a sober, factual case against Mr. Hussein’s regime.” The Washington Post was more war-crazed, headlining its editorial “Irrefutable” and declaring that after Powell’s U.N. presentation “it is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.”

    Yet basic flaws in Powell’s U.N. speech were abundant. Slanted translations of phone intercepts rendered them sinister. Interpretations of unclear surveillance photos stretched to concoct the worst. Summaries of cherry-picked intelligence detoured around evidence that Iraq no longer had WMDs. Ballyhooed documents about an Iraqi quest for uranium were forgeries.

    Assumptions about U.S. prerogatives also went largely unquestioned. In response to Powell’s warning that the U.N. Security Council would place itself “in danger of irrelevance” by failing to endorse a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the adulation from U.S. media embraced the notion that the United Nations could only be “relevant” by bending to Washington’s wishes. A combination of cooked intelligence and geopolitical arrogance, served up to rapturous reviews at home, set the stage for what was to come.

    The invasion began six weeks after Powell’s tour de force at the United Nations. Soon, a search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was in full swing. None turned up. In January 2004 — 11 months after Powell’s U.N. speech — the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace released a report concluding that top officials in the Bush administration “systematically misrepresented the threat from Iraq’s WMD and ballistic missile programs.”

    Left twisting in the wind was Powell’s speech to the U.N. Security Council, where he’d issued a “conservative estimate” that Iraq “has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent.” The secretary of state had declared: “There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more.”

    Nineteen months after the speech, in mid-September 2004, Powell made a terse public acknowledgment. “I think it’s unlikely that we will find any stockpiles,” he said. But no gingerly climb-down could mitigate the bloodshed that continued in Iraq.

    A decade ago, Colin Powell played a starring role in a recurring type of political dramaturgy. Scripts vary, while similar dramas play out on a variety of scales. Behind a gauzy curtain, top officials engage in decision-making on war that gives democracy short shrift. For the public, crucial information that bears on the wisdom of warfare remains opaque or out of sight.

    Among the powerful and not-so-powerful, in mass media and on Capitol Hill, the default position is still to defer to presidential momentum for war. Public candor and policy introspection remain in short supply.

    The new secretary of state, John Kerry — like the one he just replaced, Hillary Clinton — voted for the Iraq war resolution in the Senate, nearly four months before Powell went to the U.N. Security Council. During the crucial lead-up months, Senator Kerry was at pains to show his avid support for an invasion. In early October 2002, appearing for an hour on MSNBC’s “Hardball” program live from The Citadel as an audience of young cadets filled the screen, Kerry said: “I’m prepared to go. I think people understand that Saddam Hussein is a danger.”

    Since then, Kerry has publicly said that he would have voted for the war resolution even if he’d known that Iraq actually had no weapons of mass destruction. But on the Senate floor, Kerry prefaced his vote for war by rhetorically demanding to know why Saddam Hussein was “attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don’t even try.” The senator emphasized that “according to intelligence, Iraq has chemical and biological weapons.”

    Months later, when Powell trumpeted that theme at the United Nations, the landslide of testimonials included this one from a future U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice: “I think he has proved that Iraq has these weapons and is hiding them, and I don’t think many informed people doubted that.”

    Meanwhile, the Washington Post edition with the editorial headlined “Irrefutable” also included unanimous agreement from each of the opinion columns on the facing page.

    Longtime Post columnist Richard Cohen attested to Powell’s unquestionable veracity with these words: “The evidence he presented to the United Nations — some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail — had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn’t accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool — or possibly a Frenchman – could conclude otherwise.”

    Inches away, another venerable pundit held forth. Powell managed to “present the world with a convincing and detailed X-ray of Iraq’s secret weapons and terrorism programs yesterday,” wrote Jim Hoagland, a Post foreign-policy specialist. He concluded: “To continue to say that the Bush administration has not made its case, you must now believe that Colin Powell lied in the most serious statement he will ever make, or was taken in by manufactured evidence. I don’t believe that. Today, neither should you.”

    Fast forward to the current era. What are Richard Cohen and Jim Hoagland writing — about Iran?

    On February 6, 2012, exactly nine years after proclaiming that “only a fool” could doubt Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Cohen’s column declared flatly: “The ultimate remedy is Iranian regime change.” Four months ago, Cohen wrapped up a column by observing “there is still time for Iran to back down before President Obama’s red line — no nuclear weapon — is crossed. This is a war whose time has not yet come.” Not yet.

    Hoagland — a decade after telling readers they should put their trust in Colin Powell’s “convincing and detailed X-ray of Iraq’s secret weapons” — is now making clear that his patience with Iran is wearing thin. “Until recently,” Hoagland wrote five weeks ago, “I had been relatively comfortable with Obama’s assertions that there is time to reach a peaceful resolution with Iran.” Hoagland’s column went on to say that military strikes on Iran “threaten disastrous political and economic consequences for the world,” so diplomatic efforts should try to avert the need for such strikes — before they become necessary.

    So goes the dominant spectrum of opinionating and policymaking for war, from eagerness to reluctance. Propaganda lead-ups to warfare are as varied as wars themselves; and yet every style of such propaganda relies on deception, and every war is unspeakable horror.

    After jumping onto ghastly bandwagons for one war after another, the nation’s media establishment is available to do it again. So is the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. So is the new secretary of state. They’re old hands, dripping with blood. They have not had enough.

    ____________________________________

    Norman Solomon is the author of “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He is the founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and co-founder of RootsAction.org.

    February 04, 2013 | Permalink

    I AM PROUD TO BE ONE OF TRUMP’S DEPLORABLE SENIOR SET