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Posts Tagged ‘United States Department of Justice’

Justice Department indictment of MegaUpload

Posted by Admin on February 10, 2012

http://documents.latimes.com/justice-department-indictment-file-sharing-site-megaupload/

Justice Department indictment of MegaUpload

The U.S. De­part­ment of Justice shut down MegaUp­load.com, one of the world’s largest file-shar­ing web­sites, on Thursday after char­ging the site and its ex­ec­ut­ives with vi­ol­a­tion of pir­acy and copy­right laws.

In an in­dict­ment, the Justice De­part­ment al­leged that MegaUp­load was a “mega con­spir­acy” and a glob­al crim­in­al or­gan­iz­a­tion “whose mem­bers en­gaged in crim­in­al copy­right in­fringe­ment and money laun­der­ing on a massive scale.”

The De­part­ment also said that MegaUp­load, which had about 150 mil­lion users, tal­lied up an es­tim­ated harm to copy­right hold­ers in ex­cess of $500-mil­lion by al­low­ing users to il­leg­ally share movies, mu­sic and oth­er files. In ad­di­tion, pro­sec­utors also said in the in­dict­ment that those who op­er­ated the site racked in an in­come from that topped $175-mil­lion.

— Nathan Olivarez-Giles (Jan. 19, 2012)

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MegaUpload file sharing site shut down for piracy by Feds

Posted by Admin on February 10, 2012

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2012/01/file-sharing-megaupload-shut-down-for-piracy-by-feds.html

January 19, 2012 |  2:39 pm

The homepage of Megaupload.com

This post has been updated. See note below.

The Department of Justice announced Thursday that it has conducted a major action to shut down MegaUpload, a popular file-sharing site widely used for free downloads of movies and television shows.

Justice Department indictment of MegaUpload

After receiving indictments from a grand jury in Virginia for racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and other charges on Jan. 5, federal authorities on Thursday arrested four people and executed more than 20 search warrants in the U.S. and eight foreign countries, seizing 18 domain names and an estimated $50 million in assets, including servers run in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

MegaUpload is a “digital locker” that allows users to store files that can then be streamed or downloaded by others. Its subsidiary site MegaVideo became very popular for the unauthorized downloads of movies and TV shows. Users whose uploaded content proved particularly popular were paid for their participation.

DOCUMENT: Read the indictment against MegaUpload

In a joint statement, the Justice Department and FBI called the action “among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States.”

Ira Rothken, an attorney for MegaUpload, said in an interview that he only learned of the actions in a press release this morning and had not yet read the entire indictment. “Our initial impression is that the allegations are without merit and MegaUpload is going to vigorously contest them,” he said. “We have deep concerns over due process and assets being taken without the opportunity for a hearing.”

According to the indictment, the operators of MegaUpload earned more than $175 million in illegal profits and caused an estimated $500 million in harm to copyright holders.

The site is advertised as having more than 50 million daily visitors, according to federal authorities.

Four of MegaUpload’s operators have been arrested in New Zealand, while three more remain at large. The seven each face a maximum of 55 years in prison.

Not listed on the indictment is rapper Swizz Beatz — real name Kasseem Dean — who, according to a report in the New York Post, is the CEO of MegaUpload. Beatz is married to pop singer Alicia Keys.

Rothken said that Beatz had not been running the site but that recently there had been “a transition period going on.”

The news is sure to be welcome in the entertainment industry, whose leaders have faced a recent setback in their push for the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act. The proposed bills, if passed, would make it easier for U.S. courts to go after piracy sites that, unlike MegaUpload, operate entirely overseas.

Critics who believe the bills are heavy-handed and don’t adequately protect civil liberties conducted a U.S. Internet “blackout.” As many as 10,000 websites went black Wednesday, among them Wikipedia, Craigslist and Reddit. The protest helped to pressure lawmakers to oppose SOPA and PIPA.

The Obama administration announced its opposition to the bills in their current forms Saturday.

[Update, 2:55 p.m.: The websites of the Justice department and Universal Music Group, which had been involved in litigation with MegaUpload, were down on Thursday. The sites were attacked by members of the hacker group Anonymous in response to the actions against MegaUpload, according to a report on CNET News.]

RELATED:

Photos: Sites that went dark to protest SOPA

SOPA, PIPA backlash could hurt Obama in Hollywood

Hollywood unions blast Google and urge Senate support for PIPA

Ben Fritz

Photo: The homepage of Megaupload.com. Photo: Associated Press

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The Greater Threat: ET or NSA

Posted by Admin on June 18, 2011

http://exopolitics.blogspot.com/2011/01/greater-threat-et-or-nsa.html

The Greater Threat: ET or NSA
By Ed Komarek
1/16/11
Copy and Distribute Freely
My blog: http://exopolitics.blogspot.com/

If we are to understand the UFO/ET cover-up and its severe consequences to human evolution and national security we need to carefully study the evidence and documents available in credible books like, UFOs and the National Security State, Clear Intent and Above Top Secret. We can see that with hindsight the greatest threat to the human species and national security may not be ET colonization and subjugation, rather our global leaders past and present violent overreaction to contact in the 1940’s and 1950’s that continues to this day. To get a flavor of the paranoia of the times check out the Fontes Briefing.http://exopolitics.blogspot.com/2007/11/1958-fontes-saucer-briefing.html

There is considerable evidence that global allied leaders like Roosevelt,http://seekingmoinfo.com/default.aspx Churchill,http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/08/05/churchill-ordered-ufo-cover-up/ Truman and Eisenhower (lots of documents herehttp://www.majesticdocuments.com/ ) felt that extreme measures were needed to resist the threat of invasion and subjugation. In 1947 the National Security Act began the process that created the National Security Apparatus that today I believe has become more a threat to human survival and evolution than the original threats associated with ET contact. Is this a classic case of the medicine being worse than the cure?

Eisenhower realized only to late the danger of the military-industrial complex that he helped create.
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/01/the-tyranny-of-defense-inc/8342/1/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kow-reading+%28Kings+of+War-Reading%29&utm_content=Twitter#
These allied leaders seemed to exclusively had threats on their mind rather than opportunities, and so they inadvertently unbalanced human evolution by cutting out those of us who might have advised against fearful hasty reactions and those who would point out the benefits of contact.

Many allied civilian and military leaders were students of history like Churchill and looked to Japan‘s successful use of extreme measures against the colonial invaders that included playing one against the other, isolating trade to certain restricted ports, and even death to civilians and Europeans having unauthorized contact with each other in Japan.http://www.markville.ss.yrdsb.edu.on.ca/history/west/ch9.ppt#256,1,Imperialism, Fearful global leaders failed to appreciate that even though Japan successfully resisted European invasion, the runaway national security apparatus Japan constructed to do so caused the almost total destruction of Japan and the death of millions of people in World War Two.

Evidence for this draconian Japan model of colonial resistance shows up in government documents. In Richard Dolan‘s UFO’s and the National Security State, pages 348-349, The unknown author in the NSA document wrote. “If ‘they’ discover you it is an old but hardly invalid rule of thumb. ‘they’ are your technological superiors.” Dolan writes, “Human history surely demonstrates the danger to weaker cultures when confronted by a technologically superior civilization, a loss of identity and absorption by the others. Citing the example of Japan (the NSA author says.) “He noted, that it is at least theoretically possible for a “weaker” society to survive such a confrontation.” The NSA document from the NSA website.http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/ufo/ufo_hypothesis.pdf

Today with hindsight some global political leaders and even some in the MJ 12, NSA, CIA, NRO runaway security apparatus created to address the ET threat are beginning to realize their draconian reactions to the perceived extraterrestrial threat have now created an even bigger threat to national security and human evolution. I have in the past suggested that this mismanagement of ET contact is quite similar to the mismanagement of fire in natural ecosystems as in Yellowstone National Park. In self delusion the very people that created the problem, the huge accumulation of fuel through fire suppression, tried to alleviate the problem on their own. Without outside help from competent controlled burning specialists they tried to control burn and again this incompetence allowed the fire to get out of control and burned Yellowstone to the ground in catastrophic fire.

One is lead to wonder if our present leaders inside and outside of the runaway shadow government military-industrial-political process bubble are making a similar mistake managing ET contact as did the managers of natural ecosystems in Yellowstone National Park. The Japan model seems to have had two very disastrous outcomes. The runaway national security state in Japan pushed Japan into a disastrous war while in the USSR the runaway national security state tried to maintain technological and defensive parity with the U.S. with causing collapse and disaster.

National Security people tend to ignore those of us that say, ” The means is the end, and the a destructive means cannot and will not give a long term positive outcome.” Contrary to many in the National Security State there there is a very important place for the rule of law and ethics! Ethics and oversight keep things from getting out of control. The means fashions the end result. Duh.

Evolution proceeds no matter the poison we choose. ET is not standing still and the present slow progress of government disclosure is in my opinion too little too late. Instead of slow conservative official acknowledgment of ET contact through global document dumps of low level material and the official academic bodieshttp://www.redorbit.com/news/space/1976546/experts_call_on_un_to_prepare_for_extraterrestrials/slow release of information, we need much more radical and rapid solutions to disclosure.

It is the NSA http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread48687/pg1that really holds the keys to the Kingdom near the apex of the extraterrestrial control pyramid and if they will not willingly themselves give public access to the huge accumulation of data some of us believe they have in their vaults on ET civilizations, culture, science, politics, exopolitics, technology etc., they must may forced by the citizenry to give access as in the WikiLeaks way for the overall good of society. The NSA’s huge database is the repository of the information the Shadow Government has on ET, and I believe it comes from, hacked computers obtained from crashes and maybe even the alien’s own computer networks, alien interrogations, diplomatic channels, cultural and technology exchanges, treaties and trade etc.

Our species survival from ET contact is at stake alright, but maybe not so much from ET directly, but by from our leaders own well meaning dysfunctional destructive reactions to that contact. My father was fond of saying. “The road to hell is paved with the best of intentions.” Not until we have full and open disclosure will these threats diminish as ordinary citizens and officials not at the apex of society become part of the contact paradigm.

Posted in Exopolitics by Ed Komarek and Others | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Greater Threat: ET or NSA

Imperialism: Bankers, Drug Wars and Genocide Mexico’s Descent in the Inferno

Posted by Admin on May 24, 2011

by Prof. James Petras

Global Research, May 19, 2011

In May 2011, Mexican investigators uncovered another mass clandestine grave with dozens of mutilated corpses; bringing the total number of victims to 40,000 killed since 2006 when the Calderon regime announced its “war on drug traffickers”. Backed by advisers, agents and arms, the White House has been the principal promotor of a ‘war’ that has totally decimated Mexico ’s society and economy.

If Washington has been the driving force for the regime’s war, Wall Street banks have been the main instruments ensuring the profits of the drug cartels. Every major US bank has been deeply involved in laundering hundreds of billions of dollars in drug profits, for the better part of the past decade.

Mexico ’s descent into this inferno has been engineered by the leading US financial and political institutions, each supporting ‘one side or the other’ in the bloody “total war” which spares no one, no place and no moment in time. While the Pentagon arms the Mexican government and the US Drug Enforcement Agency enforces the “military solution”, the biggest US banks receive, launder and transfer hundreds of billions of dollars to the drug lords’ accounts, who then buy modern arms, pay private armies of assassins and corrupt untold numbers of political and law enforcement officials on both sides of the border.

Mexico’s Descent in the Inferno

Everyday scores, if not hundreds, of corpses – appear in streets and or are found in unmarked graves; dozens are murdered in their homes, cars, public transport, offices and even hospitals; known and unknown victims in the hundreds are kidnapped and disappear; school children, parents, teachers, doctors and businesspeople are seized in broad daylight and held for ransom or murdered in retaliation. Thousands of migrant workers are kidnapped, robbed, ransomed, murdered and evidence is emerging that some are sold into the illegal ‘organ trade’. The police are barricaded in their commissaries; the military, if and when it arrives, takes out its frustration on entire cities, shooting more civilians than cartel soldiers. Everyday life revolves around surviving the daily death toll; threats are everywhere, the armed gangs and military patrols fire and kill with virtual impunity. People live in fear and anger.

The Free Trade Agreement: The Sparks that lit the Inferno

In the late 1980’s, Mexico was in crisis, but the people chose a legal way out: they elected a President, Cuahtemoc Cardenas, on the basis of his national program to promote the economic revitalization of agriculture and industry. The Mexican elite, led by Carlos Salinas of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) chose otherwise and subverted the election: The electorate was denied its victory; the peaceful mass protests were ignored. Salinas and subsequent Mexican presidents vigorously pursued a free trade agreement (NAFTA) with the US and Canada , which rapidly drove millions of Mexican farmers, ranchers and small business people into bankruptcy. Devastation led to the flight of millions of immigrant workers. Rural movements of debtors flourished and ebbed, were co-opted or repressed. The misery of the legal economy contrasted with the burgeoning wealth of the traffickers of drugs and people, which generated a growing demand for well-paid armed auxiliaries as soldiers for the cartels. The regional drug syndicates emerged out of the local affluence.

In the new millennium, popular movements and a new electoral hope arose: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). By 2006 a vast peaceful electoral movement promised substantial social and economic reforms to ‘integrate millions of disaffected youth’. In the parallel economy, the drug cartels were expanding and benefiting from the misery of millions of workers and peasants marginalized by the Mexican elite, who had plundered the public treasury, speculated in real estate, robbed the oil industry and created enormous privatized monopolies in the communication and banking sectors.

In 2006, millions of Mexican voters were once again denied their electoral victory: The last best hope for a peaceful transformation was dashed. Backed by the US Administration, Felipe Calderon stole the election and proceeded to launch the “War on Drug Traffickers” strategy dictated by Washington .

The War Strategy Escalates the Drug War: The Banking Crises Deepens the Ties with Drug Traffickers

The massive escalation of homicides and violence in Mexico began with the declaration of a war on the drug cartels by the fraudulently elected President Calderon, a policy pushed initially by the Bush Administration and subsequently strongly backed by the Obama – Clinton regime. Over 40,000 Mexican soldiers filled the streets, towns and barrios – violently assaulting citizens – especially young people. The cartels retaliated by escalating their armed assaults on police. The war spread to all the major cities and along the major highways and rural roads; murders multiplied and Mexico descended further into a Dantesque inferno. Meanwhile, the Obama regime ‘reaffirmed’ its support for a militarist solution on both sides of the border: Over 500,000 Mexican immigrants were seized and expelled from the US ; heavily armed border patrols multiplied. Cross border gun sales grew exponentially .The US “market” for Mexican manufactured goods and agricultural products shrank, further widening the pool for cartel recruits while the supply of high powered weapons increased. White House gun and drug policies strengthened both sides in this maniacal murderous cycle: The US government armed the Calderon regime and the American gun manufacturers sold guns to the cartels through both legal and underground arms sales. Steady or increasing demand for drugs in the US – and the grotesque profits derived from trafficking and sales— remained the primary driving force behind the tidal wave of violence and societal disintegration in Mexico .

Drug profits, in the most basic sense, are secured through the ability of the cartels to launder and transfer billions of dollars through the US banking system. The scale and scope of the US banking-drug cartel alliance surpasses any other economic activity of the US private banking system. According to US Justice Department records, one bank alone, Wachovia Bank (now owned by Wells Fargo), laundered $378.3 billion dollars between May 1, 2004 and May 31, 2007 (The Guardian, May 11, 2011). Every major bank in the US has served as an active financial partner of the murderous drug cartels – including Bank of America, Citibank, and JP Morgan, as well as overseas banks operating out of New York , Miami and Los Angeles , as well as London .

While the White House pays the Mexican state and army to kill Mexicans suspected of drug trafficking, the US Justice Department belatedly slaps a relatively small fine on the major US financial accomplice to the murderous drug trade, Wachovia Bank, spares its bank officials from any jail time and allows major cases to lapse into dismissal.

The major agency of the US Treasury involved in investigating money laundering, the Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, deliberately ignored the blatant collaboration of US banks with drug terrorists, concentrating almost their entire staff and resources on enforcing sanctions against Iran . For seven years, Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey used his power as head of the Department for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence to pursue Israel ’s phony “war on terrorism” against Iran , rather than shut down Wachovia’s money-laundering operations with the Mexican drug terrorists. In this period of time an estimated 40,000 Mexican civilian have been killed by the cartels and the army.

Without US arms and financial services supporting both the illegitimate Mexican regimes and the drug cartels – there could be no “drug war”, no mass killings and no state terror. The simple acts of stopping the flood of cheap subsidized US agriculture products into Mexico and de-criminalizing the use and purchase of cocaine in the US would dry up the pool of ‘cartel soldiers’ from the bankrupted Mexican peasantry and the cut back the profits and demand for illegal drugs in the US market.

The Drug Traffickers, the Banks and the White House

If the major US banks are the financial engines which allow the billion dollar drug empires to operate, the White House, the US Congress and the law enforcement agencies are the basic protectors of these banks. Despite the deep and pervasive involvement of the major banks in laundering hundreds of billions of dollars in illicit funds, the “court settlements” pursued by US prosecutors have led to no jail time for the bankers. One court’s settlement amounted to a fine of $50 million dollars, less than 0.5% of one of the banks (the Wachovia/Wells Fargo bank) $12.3 billion profits for 2009 (The Guardian, May 11, 2011). Despite the death of tens of thousands of Mexican civilians, US executive branch directed the DEA, the federal prosecutors and judges to impose such a laughable ‘punishment’ on Wachovia for its illegal services to the drug cartels. The most prominent economic officials of the Bush and Obama regimes, including Summers, Paulson, Geithner, Greenspan, Bernacke et al, are all long term associates, advisers and members of the leading financial houses and banks implicated in laundering the billions of drug profits.

Laundering drug money is one of the most lucrative sources of profit for Wall Street; the banks charge hefty commissions on the transfer of drug profits, which they then lend to borrowing institutions at interest rates far above what – if any – they pay to drug trafficker depositors. Awash in sanitized drug profits, these US titans of the finance world can easily buy their own elected officials to perpetuate the system.

Even more important and less obvious is the role of drug money in the recent financial meltdown, especially during its most critical first few weeks.

According to the head of United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, “In many instances, drug money (was)… currently the only liquid investment capital…. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor…interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities… (there were) signs that some banks were rescued in that way.” (Reuters, January 25,2009. US edition). Capital flows from the drug billionaires were key to floating Wachovia and other leading banks. In a word: the drug billionaires saved the capitalist financial system from collapse!

Conclusion

By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, it has become clear that capital accumulation, at least in North America, is intimately linked to generalized violence and drug trafficking. Because capital accumulation is dependent on financial capital, and the latter is dependent on the industry profits from the multi-hundred-billion dollar drug trade, the entire ensemble is embedded in the ‘total war’ over drug profits. In times of deep crises the very survival of the US financial system – and through it, the world banking system – is linked to the liquidity of the drug “industry”.

At the most superficial level the destruction of Mexican and Central American societies – encompassing over 100 million people – is a result of a conflict between drug cartels and the political regimes of the region. At a deeper level there is a multiplier or “ripple effect” related to their collaboration: the cartels draw on the support of the US banks to realize their profits; they spend hundreds of millions on the US arms industry and others to secure their supplies, transport and markets; they employ tens of thousands of recruits for their vast private armies and civilian networks and they purchase the compliance of political and military officials on both sides of the borders

For its part, the Mexican government acts as a conduit for US Pentagon/Federal police, Homeland Security, drug enforcement and political apparatuses prosecuting the ‘war’, which has put Mexican lives, property and security at risk. The White House stands at the strategic center of operations – the Mexican regime serves as the front-line executioners.

On one side of the “war on drugs” are the major Wall Street banks; on the other side, the White House and its imperial military strategists and in the ‘middle’ are 90 million Mexicans and 40,000 murder victims and counting.

Relying on political fraud to impose economic deregulation in the 1990’s (neo-liberalism), the US policies led directly to the social disintegration, criminalization and militarization of the current decade. The sophisticated narco-finance economy has now become the most advanced stage of neo-liberalism. When the respectable become criminals, the criminals become respectable.

The issue of genocide in Mexico has been determined by the empire and its “knowing” bankers and cynical rulers.

Global Research Articles by James Petras

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Feds sue BP, other companies for oil spill damages

Posted by Admin on December 16, 2010

Seal of the United States Department of Justice

Image via Wikipedia

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101216/ap_on_bi_ge/us_gulf_oil_spill_justice

NEW ORLEANS – A powerful plaintiff has joined the hundreds of people and businesses suing BP and other companies involved in the Gulf oil spill: the Justice Department.

The government, in an opening salvo in its effort to get billions of dollars for untold economic and environmental damage, accuses the companies of disregarding federal safety regulations in drilling the well that blew out April 20 and triggered a deadly explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig. Wednesday’s lawsuit is separate from a Justice Department criminal probe that has not resulted in any charges.

“The department’s focus on investigating this disaster and preventing future (spills) is not over,” Attorney General Eric Holder said during a news conference in Washington. “Both our civil and criminal investigations are ongoing.”

The federal lawsuit filed in New Orleans names BP, rig owner Transocean and some other companies involved in the ill-fated drilling project, but not Halliburton — the project’s cement contractor — or the maker of a key cutoff valve that failed. Both could be added later.

BP said it would respond to the claims later but noted that it stands “alone among the parties” in having already stepped up to pay for the cleanup. It said in a statement that it will continue to fulfill its commitments to the Gulf and to cooperate with investigations.

“The filing is solely a statement of the government’s allegations and does not in any manner constitute any finding of liability or any judicial finding that the allegations have merit,” BP said.

The lawsuit makes it possible for the federal government to seek billions of dollars in penalties for polluting the Gulf of Mexico, beaches and wetlands, and reimbursement for its cleanup costs. More than 300 lawsuits filed previously by individuals and businesses, and now consolidated in the New Orleans federal court, include claims for financial losses and compensation for the families of 11 workers killed in the blast.

The judge overseeing those lawsuits had set Wednesday as the deadline to file certain types of complaints, though it was unclear whether the government was bound by that time frame.

“The Justice Department has left its options open to argue that there was gross negligence and therefore should be higher penalties,” said David Uhlmann, a law professor at the University of Michigan who headed up the Justice Department’s environmental crimes section for seven years. “The government has not limited itself in any way with the filing of its civil lawsuit.”

The suit asks that the companies be held liable without limitation under the Oil Pollution Act for all removal costs and damages caused by the spill, including damages to natural resources. The lawsuit also seeks civil penalties under the Clean Water Act.

The government did not set a dollar figure in the lawsuit, saying the amount of damages and the extent of injuries sustained by the United States are not yet fully known.

Under the Clean Water Act alone, BP faces fines of up to $1,100 for each barrel of oil spilled. If BP were found to have committed gross negligence or willful misconduct, the fine could be up to $4,300 per barrel.

That means that based on the government’s estimate of 206 million gallons released by the well, BP could face civil fines of between $5.4 billion and $21.1 billion. BP disputes the government’s spill estimate.

The government did not specify in its lawsuit whether it believes there was gross negligence, but it left open the possibility for such a finding later.

Besides BP Exploration & Production Inc., the other defendants in the case are Anadarko Exploration & Production LP; Anadarko Petroleum Corp.; MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC; Triton Asset Leasing GMBH; Transocean Holdings LLC; Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc.; Transocean Deepwater Inc.; and Transocean’s insurer, QBE Underwriting Ltd./Lloyd’s Syndicate 1036. Anadarko and MOEX are minority owners of the well that blew out.

Transocean disputed the allegations and insisted it should not be held liable.

“No drilling contractor has ever been held liable for discharges from a well under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990,” Transocean said in a statement. “The responsibility for hydrocarbons discharged from a well lies solely with its owner and operator.”

Anadarko said ultimate responsibility may rest solely with the operator of the well — BP.

“As a non-operating minority interest holder in the well, we were not involved in the operations or decisions that occurred on the drilling rig,” Anadarko said in a statement. “We recognize that we may have obligations under federal law, and we will continue to look to the operator to pay all legitimate claims as it has committed to do.”

The staff of a presidentially appointed commission looking into the spill has said the disaster resulted from questionable decisions and management failures by BP, Transocean and Halliburton Energy Services Inc. The panel found 11 decisions made by these companies increased risk. Most saved time, and all but one had a safer alternative.

Halliburton and Cameron International, which made the rig’s failed blowout preventer, weren’t named as defendants in the suit. Halliburton did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Eric Schaeffer, who led the Environmental Protection Agency’s civil enforcement office from 1997 to 2002, cited three possible explanations for omitting Halliburton. The company could be close to a settlement, Justice needs more time to develop its case against Halliburton, or the government thinks it doesn’t have a strong enough case against Halliburton.

Schaeffer said he doubts the government will let Halliburton completely off the hook.

“I would be inclined more toward the first explanation,” Schaeffer said. “If they think Halliburton is maybe less culpable, they may be able to reach a settlement quicker. That could help them build their case against the rest of the companies.”

Bruce Parris, manager of The Dock restaurant and bar just a few feet off the sand in Pensacola Beach, Fla., said “it’s about time” President Obama started to hold BP accountable. He was standing on the restaurant’s deck, watching large tractors sift through the sand as part of BP’s beach cleanup operations.

“I’m all for anything. I don’t care how they get money out of BP. Just get it,” Parris said.

Separately, an administrator is doling out money to spill victims from a $20 billion fund of BP money.

The government’s lawsuit alleges that safety and operating regulations were violated in the period leading up to the explosion.

It says the defendants failed to keep the well under control and failed to use the best available and safest drilling technology to monitor the well’s conditions. They also failed to maintain continuous surveillance, and to maintain the equipment and material necessary to protect workers, natural resources and the environment, the suit charges.

The Justice Department isn’t the first government entity to sue BP. Alabama Attorney General Troy King filed federal lawsuits in August on behalf of the state against BP, Transocean, Halliburton and other companies that worked on the project.

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Nazis Were Given ‘Safe Haven’ in U.S., Report Says

Posted by Admin on November 18, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/us/14nazis.html?_r=2&src=me&ref=general

Dr. Josef Mengele in 1956, left. Arthur Rudolph, center, in 1990, was a rocket scientist for Nazi Germany and NASA. John Demjanjuk in 2006.

Dr. Josef Mengele in 1956, left. Arthur Rudolph, center, in 1990, was a rocket scientist for Nazi Germany and NASA. John Demjanjuk in 2006.

By ERIC LICHTBLAU

Published: November 13, 2010

WASHINGTON — A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.

The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades.

It describes the government’s posthumous pursuit of Dr. Josef Mengele, the so-called Angel of Death at Auschwitz, part of whose scalp was kept in a Justice Department official’s drawer; the vigilante killing of a former Waffen SS soldier in New Jersey; and the government’s mistaken identification of the Treblinka concentration camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible.

The report catalogs both the successes and failures of the band of lawyers, historians and investigators at the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which was created in 1979 to deport Nazis.

Perhaps the report’s most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvementwith Nazi émigrés. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.’s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations.

The Justice Department report, describing what it calls “the government’s collaboration with persecutors,” says that O.S.I investigators learned that some of the Nazis “were indeed knowingly granted entry” to the United States, even though government officials were aware of their pasts. “America, which prided itself on being a safe haven for the persecuted, became — in some small measure — a safe haven for persecutors as well,” it said.

The report also documents divisions within the government over the effort and the legal pitfalls in relying on testimony from Holocaust survivors that was decades old. The report also concluded that the number of Nazis who made it into the United States was almost certainly much smaller than 10,000, the figure widely cited by government officials.

The Justice Department has resisted making the report public since 2006. Under the threat of a lawsuit, it turned over a heavily redacted version last month to a private research group, the National Security Archive, but even then many of the most legally and diplomatically sensitive portions were omittedA complete version was obtained by The New York Times.

The Justice Department said the report, the product of six years of work, was never formally completed and did not represent its official findings. It cited “numerous factual errors and omissions,” but declined to say what they were.

More than 300 Nazi persecutors have been deported, stripped of citizenship or blocked from entering the United States since the creation of the O.S.I., which was merged with another unit this year.

In chronicling the cases of Nazis who were aided by American intelligence officials, the report cites help that C.I.A. officials provided in 1954 to Otto Von Bolschwing, an associate of Adolf Eichmann who had helped develop the initial plans “to purge Germany of the Jews” and who later worked for the C.I.A. in the United States. In a chain of memos, C.I.A. officials debated what to do if Von Bolschwing were confronted about his past — whether to deny any Nazi affiliation or “explain it away on the basis of extenuating circumstances,” the report said.

The Justice Department, after learning of Von Bolschwing’s Nazi ties, sought to deport him in 1981. He died that year at age 72.

The report also examines the case of Arthur L. Rudolph, a Nazi scientist who ran the Mittelwerk munitions factory. He was brought to the United States in 1945 for his rocket-making expertise under Operation Paperclip, an American program that recruited scientists who had worked in Nazi Germany. (Rudolph has been honored by NASA and is credited as the father of the Saturn V rocket.)

The report cites a 1949 memo from the Justice Department’s No. 2 official urgingimmigration officers to let Rudolph back in the country after a stay in Mexico, saying that a failure to do so “would be to the detriment of the national interest.”

Justice Department investigators later found evidence that Rudolph was much more actively involved in exploiting slave laborers at Mittelwerk than he or American intelligence officials had acknowledged, the report says.

Some intelligence officials objected when the Justice Department sought to deport him in 1983, but the O.S.I. considered the deportation of someone of Rudolph’s prominence as an affirmation of “the depth of the government’s commitment to the Nazi prosecution program,” according to internal memos.

The Justice Department itself sometimes concealed what American officials knew about Nazis in this country, the report found.

In 1980, prosecutors filed a motion that “misstated the facts” in asserting that checks of C.I.A. and F.B.I. records revealed no information on the Nazi past of Tscherim Soobzokov, a former Waffen SS soldier. In fact, the report said, the Justice Department “knew that Soobzokov had advised the C.I.A. of his SS connection after he arrived in the United States.”

(After the case was dismissed, radical Jewish groups urged violence against Mr. Soobzokov, and he was killed in 1985 by a bomb at his home in Paterson, N.J. )

The secrecy surrounding the Justice Department’s handling of the report could pose a political dilemma for President Obama because of his pledge to run the most transparent administration in history. Mr. Obama chose the Justice Department to coordinate the opening of government records.

The Nazi-hunting report was the brainchild of Mark Richard, a senior Justice Department lawyer. In 1999, he persuaded Attorney GeneralJanet Reno to begin a detailed look at what he saw as a critical piece of history, and he assigned a career prosecutor, Judith Feigin, to the job. After Mr. Richard edited the final version in 2006, he urged senior officials to make it public but was rebuffed, colleagues said.

When Mr. Richard became ill with cancer, he told a gathering of friends and family that the report’s publication was one of three things he hoped to see before he died, the colleagues said. He died in June 2009, and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. spoke at his funeral.

“I spoke to him the week before he died, and he was still trying to get it released,” Ms. Feigin said. “It broke his heart.”

After Mr. Richard’s death, David Sobel, a Washington lawyer, and the National Security Archive sued for the report’s release under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Justice Department initially fought the lawsuit, but finally gave Mr. Sobel a partial copy — with more than 1,000 passages and references deleted based on exemptions for privacy and internal deliberations.

Laura Sweeney, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said the department is committed to transparency, and that redactions are made by experienced lawyers.

The full report disclosed that the Justice Department found “a smoking gun” in 1997 establishing with “definitive proof” that Switzerland had bought gold from the Nazis that had been taken from Jewish victims of the Holocaust. But these references are deleted, as are disputes between the Justice and State Departments over Switzerland’s culpability in the months leading up to a major report on the issue.

Another section describes as “a hideous failure” a series of meetings in 2000 that United States officials held with Latvian officials to pressure them to pursue suspected Nazis. That passage is also deleted.

So too are references to macabre but little-known bits of history, including how a director of the O.S.I. kept a piece of scalp that was thought to belong to Dr. Mengele in his desk in hopes that it would help establish whether he was dead.

The chapter on Dr. Mengele, one of the most notorious Nazis to escape prosecution, details the O.S.I.’s elaborate efforts in the mid-1980s to determine whether he had fled to the United States and might still be alive.

It describes how investigators used letters and diaries apparently written by Dr. Mengele in the 1970s, along with German dental records and Munich phone books, to follow his trail.

After the development of DNA tests, the piece of scalp, which had been turned over by the Brazilian authorities, proved to be a critical piece of evidence in establishing that Dr. Mengele had fled to Brazil and had died there in about 1979 without ever entering the United States, the report said. The edited report deletes references to Dr. Mengele’s scalp on privacy grounds.

Even documents that have long been available to the public are omitted, including court decisions, Congressional testimony and front-page newspaper articles from the 1970s.

A chapter on the O.S.I.’s most publicized failure — the case against John Demjanjuk, a retired American autoworker who was mistakenly identified as Treblinka’s Ivan the Terrible — deletes dozens of details, including part of a 1993 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that raised ethics accusations against Justice Department officials.

That section also omits a passage disclosing that Latvian émigrés sympathetic to Mr. Demjanjuk secretly arranged for the O.S.I.’s trash to be delivered to them each day from 1985 to 1987. The émigrés rifled through the garbage to find classified documents that could help Mr. Demjanjuk, who is currently standing trial in Munich on separate war crimes charges.

Ms. Feigin said she was baffled by the Justice Department’s attempt to keep a central part of its history secret for so long. “It’s an amazing story,” she said, “that needs to be told.”

A version of this article appeared in print on November 14, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition.

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