Archive for August 17, 2008


Bushed Part 1

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Justice Dept. Moves Toward Charges Against Contractors in Iraq Shooting

 Source: MSNBC

 

Federal prosecutors have sent target letters to six Blackwater Worldwide security guards involved in a September shooting that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, indicating a high likelihood the Justice Department will seek to indict at least some of the men, according to three sources close to the case.

The guards, all former U.S. military personnel, were working as security contractors for the State Department, assigned to protect U.S. diplomats and other non-military officials in Iraq. The shooting occurred when their convoy arrived at a busy square in central Baghdad and guards tried to stop traffic.

An Iraqi government investigation concluded that the security contractors fired without provocation. Blackwater has said its personnel acted in self-defense.

The sources said that any charges against the guards would likely be brought under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which has previously been used to prosecute only the cases referred to the Justice Department by the Defense Department for crimes committed by military personnel and contractors overseas. Legal experts have questioned whether contractors working for the State Department can be prosecuted under its provisions.

The sources cautioned that prosecutors are still weighing evidence gathered in a 10-month investigation that began shortly after the shootings. A federal grand jury has heard testimony from about three dozen witnesses since November, including U.S. and Blackwater officials and Iraqis, according to two of the sources.

Target letters, often considered a prelude to indictment, offer suspects the opportunity to contest evidence brought before the grand jury and give their own version of events. The letters were sent this summer, although the sources, who agreed to discuss the case only on the condition of anonymity because of its sensitivity, said a final decision on whether to indict may not be made until October, about a year after the incident.

Read more here.

The Fed apparently is getting a bit nervous about the credit card industry and the possiblility it will be this next bubble to burst or to go bust, ironically because of it’s own predatory practices. When you consider that Penalty fees make up nearly half of industry revenues” the credit card industry is “banking” on us to miss a payment or make a mistake and they will “as designed” profit from our misfortune. Another glaring example of disaster capitalism and in my opinion the Fed aided and abetted this whole situation with their asleep at the wheel oversight that’s the bad news,

But here’s the good news: If you’ve ever been steamed by surprise fees on your credit-card statement or had your interest rate cranked up without warning, the Federal Reserve Board wants to help you. The Fed? That oracular secret society whose chairmen say Yoda-like things about interest rates? Well, actually, yes.

There’s plenty to reform. During the housing bubble, credit-card vendors inflated interest rates – even as the Fed slashed them – and found increasingly sneaky ways to usher their customers into perpetually indebted servitude. Such as:

•Raising rates as high as 32 percent on existing balances, with no
notice, even when they’ve always been paid on time.

•Compressing the time between statement mailings and due dates.

•Charging interest on debt already repaid.

•Posting on-time payments after their due date – and then charging late fees.

•Neglecting to disclose how much interest and time it will take to pay
off a balance with minimum payments (if ever).

They want to hear our horror stories so let’s give them an ear-full. 

Here is some contact information.

Read the entire article by Mark Lange – Christian Science Monitor.

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