After contrasting the diplomatic, economic and political landscape inherited by George W. Bush from the Clinton administration  with those bequeathed to Obama by Dubya, the program highlights the media deconstruction of the Tiger Woods’ image following disclosure of extramarital affairs. Like President Obama, Woods is an African American with a high degree of acceptance by whites. And, like Obama, he was a pioneer–Woods dominated the largely white sport of golf, as Obama became the first African American president.
With the GOP rhetorically referencing Elin Woods , the program asks if the intent may be to establish a negative psychological association between Woods and Obama. In that context, we note that Woods’s mother-in-law (former Swedish immigration minister)  has been accused of sheltering war criminals. Swedish power structure has profound historical links to fascism, with many of Sweden’s most prominent industrial and financial figures having been supportive of the Axis. (Unlike the axis nations, Sweden did not undergo even a superficial purge of fascist elements after the war, with its pro-fascist luminaries remaining untouched.) Are Underground Reich elements exploiting the Tiger Woods situation? Might they have played a role in generating the imbroglio in the first place?
In a Vanity Fair article, Christopher Hitchens wonders if Sweden’s powerful right wing may have murdered writer Stieg Larsson , whose novels exposed real historical events and were critical of that Scandinavian nation’s fascist cadre.
Chronicling the re-emergence of the militia movement , the broadcast notes that the paramilitary right has remained dormant since the last Democratic administration , despite the fact that running enormous deficits, infringing on civil liberties and economic distress were altogether chracteristic of both George W. Bush administrations. (It is against the background of GOP bellicosity that the Tiger Woods/Obama discussion must be seen.)
Ultra-right-wing talk show host Hal Turner  turns out to have been an FBI informant.
After revisiting the subject of human-generated earthquakes  and seismic activity, the broadcast notes that a lawsuit is proceeding against Bayer CropScience , maker of a genetically-modified brand of rice that has contaminated much of U.S. rice-growing land. Another of Bayer’s former fellow companies of the I.G. Farben combine–chemical firm BASF–has been purchasing oil siphoned off from Mexican government facilities  by that country’s powerful drug cartels.
Aiding the world’s powerful drug cartels is the fact that the global financial system is in ruins. A UN analyst reports that laundered drug profits  kept the world from a financial collapse when Wall Street tanked in 2008.
Program Highlights Include: Iran-Contra weapons dealer Adnan Khashoggi’s familial relationship  to Dodi al-Fayed (Princess Diana’s beau); review of the development of earthquakes as weapons of mass destruction; a Montana town’s attempts  at establishing legal and civic exceptionalism from U.S. law; the John Birch Society’s recent hosting  of the meeting of the Conservative Political Action Committee; German corporation Siemens’ assistance to Iran’s nuclear program .
1. Beginning with an op-ed piece that contrasts the current state of the United States with that at the beginning of the decade, the program examines the damage that the Bush administration did to this country.
“. . . The contrast with 2001 could not be greater. Then, Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush inherited budget surpluses, near full-employment and a dollar whose reserve status was unquestioned. Following the attacks on New York, they were also greeted by a world that was prepared to go to the breach for an America that was viewed as the leader of the ‘free world’–a phrase now dropped almost entirely from the lexicon. . . .”
“President Is Forced to Walk a Long and Lonely Road” by Edward Luce; Financial Times; 12/3/2009; p. 2.
2. Although there is MUCH more investigating to be done, it is interesting to view the “deconstruction” of Tiger Woods’ public persona in light of the O.J. Simpson case . (Simpson’s follies in connection with his Las Vegas conviction notwithstanding, there is a monumental amount of exculpatory evidence that received little or no publicity. That evidence proves beyond a doubt that Simpson was framed.) With Tiger Woods achieving widespread fame and success in a field that had previously been a province dominated by whites, will his decline reflect on the public’s regard for Barack Obama, who has also excelled in an area previously dominated by whites?
Of significance here is the obsessive coverage of Tiger Woods scandals by the National Enquirer, whose publisher (the late Generoso Pope) was a CIA psychological warfare officer.
Woods mother-in-law, Barbro Holmberg, has served as Sweden’s Immigration Minister. With that country having successfully served as a haven for Baltic Nazi war criminals, the possibility that Holmberg may have links with the Underground Reich is one to be considered.
War criminals and human rights violators from Afghanistan, Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans find refuge in Sweden where they are protected from repatriation and never prosecuted, officials and activists say. A respected voice on human rights which is quick to denounce abuses abroad, Sweden was one of the most vocal European Union members demanding in March that Croatia find war crime suspect Ante Gotovina before starting negotiations to join the EU.
But Sweden itself has only one policeman investigating human rights abusers who have found refuge on its own soil. He reckons as many as 1,000 live here, protected from deportation by a UN convention and with little risk of being brought to justice.
“If someone sits down and goes through the immigration files he or she will easily find several hundred or maybe a thousand potential war criminals,” detective superintendent Hans Olvebro, the Swedish police’s one-man war crimes unit, told Reuters.
Human rights groups say the situation undermines Sweden’s international reputation as a pioneer in asylum law and has led to cases where victims of torture who have found refuge here have bumped into their tormentors on the streets of Stockholm.
It contrasts with the government’s recent refusal to stop the deportation of about 150 child asylum-seekers suffering from trauma and depression. It argued that bending the rules would only encourage more such cases.
Frida Blom of human rights group Swedish Peace called it “really hollow” for Sweden to tout itself as a champion of the persecuted but have one person investigating war crimes whereas Denmark has a Special International Crimes Office with 17 staff. . . . Sweden has never in modern times put anyone on trial for war crimes. It angered Jewish Nazi hunters at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre by refusing to investigate 100–200 suspected Baltic Nazi collaborators who fled here after World War II.
The country was bound by a 25-year statute of limitations on all crimes — which it plans to drop soon under a 1998 Rome treaty scrapping such limitations for crimes against humanity.
The Geneva Convention forbids giving anyone suspected of war crimes or crimes against humanity asylum, but at the same time Sweden is a signatory of a UN torture convention which outlaws repatriating anyone likely to be tortured in their homeland.
Like other states, Sweden gives such people permits to stay, but rights groups say it falls short of EU requirements that the police and immigration departments be equipped to prosecute any war criminals discovered on European soil.
Amnesty International’s Carl Soderbergh said there was a “legal limbo” in Sweden for fugitive war criminals.
Immigration Minister Barbro Holmberg said Olvebro’s estimate was “an exaggeration” but there was a “small number” of war criminals in Sweden “kept under surveillance all the time”. . .
3. Discussing the Tiger Woods imbroglio, we engaged in speculation that psychological association between Woods and Obama–what research psychologists call “stimulus generalization”–may have underlain that case.
Recently, Governor Tim Pawlenty [R., Minnesota]–viewed as a possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate–directly referenced that association.
” . . . On Friday Pawlenty also offered this advice to his fellow Republicans: ‘I think we should take a page out of her playbook and take a nine iron and smash a window out of big government in this country,’ said Pawlenty, referring to Tiger Woods’s wife. . . .”
4. Incidentally, the CPAC conference was sponsored by the John Birch Society .
” . . . It’s CPAC time again—the Conservative Political Action Committee’s annual Washington cattle call. This year, they’ve attracted an all-star lineup in a bid for renewed respectability: a half-dozen GOP presidential hopefuls (Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, etc.), conservative congressional darlings, a keynote address by Glenn Beck. And co-sponsorship by the John Birch Society. . . .”
5. In examining the political career of Tiger Woods’ mother-in-law (former Swedish Immigration Minister Barbro Holmberg, accused of sheltering war criminals), we discussed Sweden’s historical connections to fascism.
In addition to powerful industrial allies of Hitler, Swedish fascist Per Engdahl helped to maintain the continuity of the postwar fascist internatinal. (This is discussed in Miscellaneous Archive Show M61. )
In the December  issue of Vanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens asks whether some of those connections may have manifested themselves in the death of noted Swedish author Stieg Larsson.
. . . Yet it is from this society, of reassuring brand names and womb-to-tomb national health care, that Stieg Larsson conjured a detective double act so incongruous that it makes Holmes and Watson seem like siblings. I say “conjured” because Mr. Larsson also drew upon the bloody, haunted old Sweden of trolls and elves and ogres, and I put it in the past tense because, just as the first book in his “Millennium” trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, was about to make his fortune, he very suddenly became a dead person. In the Larsson universe the nasty trolls and hulking ogres are bent Swedish capitalists, cold-faced Baltic sex traffickers, blue-eyed Viking Aryan Nazis, and other Nordic riffraff who might have had their reasons to whack him. But if he now dwells in that Valhalla of the hack writer who posthumously beat all the odds, it’s surely because of his elf. Picture a feral waif. All right, picture a four-foot-eleven-inch “doll” with Asperger’s syndrome and generous breast implants. This is not Pippi Longstocking (to whom a few gestures are made in the narrative). This is Miss Goth, intermittently disguised as la gamine.
Forget Miss Smilla’s sense of the snow and check out Lisbeth Salander’s taste in pussy rings, tattoos, girls, boys, motorcycles, and, above all, computer keyboards. (Once you accept that George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman can pick up any known language in a few days, you have suspended enough disbelief to settle down and enjoy his adventures.) Miss Salander is so well accoutred with special features that she’s almost over-equipped. She is awarded a photographic memory, a chess mind to rival Bobby Fischer’s, a mathematical capacity that toys with Fermat’s last theorem as a cat bats a mouse, and the ability to “hack”—I apologize for the repetition of that word—into the deep intestinal computers of all banks and police departments. At the end of The Girl Who Played with Fire, she is for good measure granted the ability to return from the grave.
With all these superheroine advantages, one wonders why she and her on-and-off sidekick, the lumbering but unstoppable reporter Mikael Blomkvist, don’t defeat the forces of Swedish Fascism and imperialism more effortlessly. But the other reason that Lisbeth Salander is such a source of fascination is this: the pint-size minxoid with the dragon tattoo is also a traumatized victim and doesn’t work or play well with others. She has been raped and tortured and otherwise abused ever since she could think, and her private phrase for her coming-of-age is “All the Evil”: words that go unelucidated until near the end of The Girl Who Played with Fire. The actress Noomi Rapace has already played Salander in a Swedish film of the first novel, which enjoyed a worldwide release. (When Hollywood gets to the casting stage, I suppose Philip Seymour Hoffman will be offered the ursine Blomkvist role, and though the coloring is wrong I keep thinking of Winona Ryder for Lisbeth.) According to Larsson’s father, the sympathy with which “the girl” is evoked is derived partly from the author’s own beloved niece, Therese, who is tattooed and has suffered from anorexia and dyslexia but can fix your computer problems.
In life, Stieg Larsson described himself as, among other things, “a feminist,” and his character surrogate, Mikael Blomkvist, takes an ostentatiously severe line against the male domination of society and indeed of his own profession. (The original grim and Swedish title of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is Men Who Hate Women, while the trilogy’s third book bore the more fairy-tale-like name The Castle in the Air That Blew Up: the clever rebranding of the series with the word “girl” on every cover was obviously critical.) Blomkvist’s moral righteousness comes in very useful for the action of the novels, because it allows the depiction of a great deal of cruelty to women, smuggled through customs under the disguise of a strong disapproval. Sweden used to be notorious, in the late 1960s, as the homeland of the film I Am Curious (Yellow), which went all the way to the Supreme Court when distributed in the United States and gave Sweden a world reputation as a place of smiling nudity and guilt-free sex. What a world of nursery innocence that was, compared with the child slavery and exploitation that are evoked with perhaps slightly too much relish by the crusading Blomkvist.
His best excuse for his own prurience is that these serial killers and torture fanciers are practicing a form of capitalism and that their racket is protected by a pornographic alliance with a form of Fascism, its lower ranks made up of hideous bikers and meth runners. This is not just sex or crime—it’s politics! Most of the time, Larsson hauls himself along with writing such as this:
The murder investigation was like a broken mosaic in which he could make out some pieces while others were simply missing. Somewhere there was a pattern. He could sense it, but he could not figure it out. Too many pieces were missing.
No doubt they were, or there would be no book. (The plot of the first story is so heavily convoluted that it requires a page reproducing the Vanger dynasty’s family tree—the first time I can remember encountering such a dramatis personae since I read War and Peace.) But when he comes to the villain of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a many-tentacled tycoon named Wennerström, Larsson’s prose is suddenly much more spirited. Wennerström had consecrated himself to “fraud that was so extensive it was no longer merely criminal—it was business.” That’s actually one of the best-turned lines in the whole thousand pages. If it sounds a bit like Bertolt Brecht on an average day, it’s because Larsson’s own views were old-shoe Communist.
His background involved the unique bonding that comes from tough Red families and solid class loyalties. The hard-labor and factory and mining sector of Sweden is in the far and arduous North—this is also the home territory of most of the country’s storytellers—and Grandpa was a proletarian Communist up toward the Arctic. This during the Second World War, when quite a few Swedes were volunteering to serve Hitler’s New Order and join the SS. In a note the 23-year-old Larsson wrote before setting out for Africa, he bequeathed everything to the Communist party of his hometown, Umeå. The ownership of the immense later fortune that he never saw went by law to his father and brother, leaving his partner of 30 years, Eva Gabrielsson, with no legal claim, only a moral one that asserts she alone is fit to manage Larsson’s very lucrative legacy. And this is not the only murk that hangs around his death, at the age of 50, in 2004.
To be exact, Stieg Larsson died on November 9, 2004, which I can’t help noticing was the anniversary of Kristallnacht. Is it plausible that Sweden’s most public anti-Nazi just chanced to expire from natural causes on such a date? Larsson’s magazine, Expo, which has a fairly clear fictional cousinhood with “Millennium,” was an unceasing annoyance to the extreme right. He himself was the public figure most identified with the unmasking of white-supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations, many of them with a hard-earned reputation for homicidal violence. The Swedes are not the pacific herbivores that many people imagine: in the footnotes to his second novel Larsson reminds us that Prime Minister Olof Palme was gunned down in the street in 1986 and that the foreign minister Anna Lindh was stabbed to death (in a Stockholm department store) in 2003. The first crime is still unsolved, and the verdict in the second case has by no means satisfied everybody.
A report in the mainstream newspaper Aftonbladet describes the findings of another anti-Nazi researcher, named Bosse Schön, who unraveled a plot to murder Stieg Larsson that included a Swedish SS veteran. Another scheme misfired because on the night in question, 20 years ago, he saw skinheads with bats waiting outside his office and left by the rear exit. Web sites are devoted to further speculation: one blog is preoccupied with the theory that Prime Minister Palme’s uncaught assassin was behind the death of Larsson too. Larsson’s name and other details were found when the Swedish police searched the apartment of a Fascist arrested for a political murder. Larsson’s address, telephone number, and photograph, along with threats to people identified as “enemies of the white race,” were published in a neo-Nazi magazine: the authorities took it seriously enough to prosecute the editor.
But Larsson died of an apparent coronary thrombosis, not from any mayhem. So he would have had to be poisoned, say, or somehow medically murdered. Such a hypothesis would point to some involvement “high up,” and anyone who has read the novels will know that in Larsson’s world the forces of law and order in Sweden are fetidly complicit with organized crime. So did he wind up, in effect, a character in one of his own tales? The people who might have the most interest in keeping the speculation alive—his publishers and publicists—choose not to believe it. “Sixty cigarettes a day, plus tremendous amounts of junk food and coffee and an enormous workload,” said Christopher MacLehose, Larsson’s literary discoverer in English and by a nice coincidence a publisher of Flashman, “would be the culprit. I gather he’d even had a warning heart murmur. Still, I have attended demonstrations by these Swedish right-wing thugs, and they are truly frightening. I also know someone with excellent contacts in the Swedish police and security world who assures me that everything described in the ‘Millennium’ novels actually took place. And, apparently, Larsson planned to write as many as 10 in all. So you can see how people could think that he might not have died but been ‘stopped.’ . . .
6. The right’s attacks on Obama are aiding in the resurfacing of the militia movement .
. . . If the words sound familiar, there is good reason. It is rhetoric that was typical of the so-called patriot movement of the 1990s, amid similar circumstances: A Democrat, Bill Clinton, was in office. There was heightened interest in gun control legislation. Veterans were returning from the first Gulf War. Elaborate conspiracy theories were spreading.
Today’s troubled economy and the perception that other countries are rising in influence might also be fueling activity among white supremacist and militia groups, according to an intelligence assessment by the federal Department of Homeland Security.
A significant difference this time, according to the April analysis, is that the nation has its first black president. “Right-wing extremists,” the report says, “are harnessing this historical election as a recruitment tool.”
There is a violent edge to this movement. Lone wolves and small groups who are “embracing violent right-wing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat,” according to the report. It cited an April shooting in Pittsburgh that left three police officers dead at the hands of a gunman reportedly influenced by racist ideology and fears that a gun ban was imminent with Barack Obama in charge. . . .
7. Manifesting the resurgence of militia-style activity , a Montana group is demanding legal and civic exceptionalism in a number of areas.
A group of nearly 200 “extremely concerned citizens” in a small Montana county are demanding that local leaders fill out a “questionnaire” pledging to form a local militia, prohibit mandatory vaccinations, boot the EPA out of town, allow citizens to bear any type of gun, and require federal government employees to get written approval before approaching “any Citizen.”
Organized in part by a group called Celebrating Conservatism, which is lead by a woman who quit the state GOP after complaining of “fake” Republicans, the questionnaire was presented this week to the county commissioners and sheriff of Ravalli County, according to the local Republic newspaper.
Celebrating Conservatism’s worldview appears to be rooted in the militia movement. Last year it hosted Jack McLamb, head of the Idaho-based Police and Military Against the New World Order, which agitates against “world government rule.” . . .
8. One major mouthpiece for the racist right turns out to have been a paid informer for the FBI.
. . . For more than five years, Hal Turner of North Bergen lived a double life.
The public knew him as an ultra-right-wing radio talk show host and Internet blogger with an audience of neo-Nazis and white supremacists attracted to his scorched-earth racism and bare-knuckles bashing of public figures. But to the FBI, and its expanding domestic counter-terror intelligence operations in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Turner was “Valhalla” — his code name as an informant who spied on his own controversial followers. . .
9. For years, we have examined the development of seismic weaponry–the manipulation of earthquakes as potential weapons of mass destruction. Those remaining sceptical that such things are possible should note the recent indictment of a geologist in Switzerland for having triggered quakes.
A geologist on trial for causing earthquakes while drilling for hot rocks to produce clean energy has said he was surprised by the strength of the most powerful temblor.
Markus Haering, who designed the geothermal project, rejected charges that he deliberately damaged properties and said locals knew the risks.
The deep drilling underground caused a series of earthquakes in 2006, including one of 3.4 magnitude, rattling residents of the northwest city of Basel. Project leader Geopower Basel has already paid $9 million in compensation for cracked walls and other damage on properties near the experiment.
The project was suspended at the time and shut down last week after a risk analysis concluded that more quakes could follow if the drilling continued. The experiment aimed to be the world’s first to generate power commercially by boiling water on naturally occurring rocks 5km underground.
Haering said, at the Swiss site, “we had very little knowledge of seismicity” before starting to drill. He called the resultant quakes “a learning process for everyone involved.” But project leaders had drawn up an emergency plan, Haering told the court.
On paper, the Basel project looked fairly straightforward: Drill down, shoot cold water into the shaft and bring it up again. The superheated water would be capable of generating enough power through a steam turbine to meet the electricity needs of 10,000 households and heat 2,700 homes.
But located on top of a fault line and in the middle of a city, it proved too dangerous to continue, officials said. Haering could face up to five years in prison if a judge rules that he intentionally damaged Basel properties.
10. Updating a story about a Bayer biotech subsidiary’s genetically modified rice and its deleterious effect on American rice farmers, the broadcast notes that the case has reached the courts. Roughly 30 percent of U.S. rice growing lands have been contaminated by Bayer’s modified seed, seriously damaging their ability to sell their crop abroad.
Bayer CropScience AG is responsible for financial damage sustained by Missouri farmers when their rice crops were contaminated by genetically modified seeds, the growers’ lawyer told a federal court jury in St. Louis.
Their trial is the first of a series the Bayer AG unit is defending against farmers from five states making similar claims. More than 1,200 such cases have been filed.
“Bayer was supposed to be careful,” attorney Don Downing told the jury of four men and five women during his opening statement yesterday. “Bayer was not careful and that rice did escape into our commercial rice supplies.”
The farmers, who grow rice in southeastern Missouri, claim the export market for their crops was curtailed when the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2006 announced that trace amounts of the genetically modified rice, designed by Bayer to be herbicide resistant, were found in U.S. long-grain stocks.
Bayer and Louisiana State University had been testing the rice, which hadn’t been approved for human consumption, for resistance to the company’s Liberty herbicide.
Bayer’s genetically modified strains “contaminated” more than 30 percent of U.S. ricelands, Downing told jurors. . . .
11. Another former member of the I.G. conglomerate (along with Bayer) has been in the news. Chemical giant BASF has been purchasing oil illegally purloined in Mexico by that country’s powerful and deadly drug cartels.
Drug traffickers employing high-tech drills, miles of rubber hose and a fleet of stolen tanker trucks have siphoned more than $1 billion worth of oil from Mexico’s pipelines over the past two years, in a vast and audacious conspiracy that is bleeding the national treasury, according to U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials and the state-run oil company.
Using sophisticated smuggling networks, the traffickers have transported a portion of the pilfered petroleum across the border to sell to U.S. companies, some of which knew that it was stolen, according to court documents and interviews with American officials involved in an expanding investigation of oil services firms in Texas.
The widespread theft of Mexico’s most vital national resource by criminal organizations represents a costly new front in President Felipe Calderón’s war against the drug cartels, and it shows how the traffickers are rapidly evolving from traditional narcotics smuggling to activities as diverse as oil theft, transport and sales.
Oil theft has been a persistent problem for the state-run Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, but the robbery increased sharply after Calderón launched his war against the cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006. The drug war has claimed more than 16,000 lives and has led the cartels, which rely on drug trafficking for most of their revenue, to branch out into other illegal activities.
Authorities said they have traced much of the oil rustling to the Zetas, a criminal organization founded by former military commandos. Although the Zetas initially served as a protection arm of the powerful Gulf cartel, they now call their own shots and dominate criminal enterprise in the oil-rich states of Veracruz and Tamaulipas.
“The Zetas are a parallel government,” said Eduardo Mendoza Arellano, a federal lawmaker who heads a national committee on energy. “They practically own vast stretches of the pipelines, from the highway to the very door of the oil companies.”
The Zetas earn millions of dollars by “taxing” the oil pipelines — organizing the theft themselves or taking a cut from anyone who does the stealing, according to Mexican authorities. The U.S. Treasury Department this summer designated two Zeta commanders as narcotics “kingpins,” which allows authorities to seize assets.
The Zetas often work with former Pemex employees, according to Ramón Pequeño García, chief of anti-drug operations at Mexico’s Public Security Ministry. The former employees “are highly skilled people who have the technical knowledge to extract oil from the pipelines. They are now under the control of the Zetas,” Pequeño said....
Asked by U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. how the condensate had been stolen from Pemex, Maldonado replied: “I have no idea on that, sir.”
Donald Schroeder, a former president of Houston-based Trammo Petroleum, pleaded guilty in May to buying $2 million worth of stolen Mexican condensate, according to a transcript of the hearing. Schroeder re-sold the condensate to another company, BASF, for a $150,000 profit, prosecutors told the court.
A spokesman for BASF, which has not been implicated in the case, said the company was unaware that the material was stolen and is cooperating with the investigation....
12. Another of the German “core corporations” (controlled by the Bormann capital network)  is aiding Iran’s nuclear effort. Siemens has apparently been giving the Iranians compressors that aid in the enrichment of uranium.
German customs officials intercepted a Siemens shipment of compressors on its way to Iran, Der Spiegel reported Saturday.
According to the German magazine, the compressors sent by Siemens are worth an estimated 16 million Euros and were apparently meant to be used as part of Iran’s nuclear program.
The German government is now weighing its next moves vis-à-vis Siemens, which has apparently violated international commerce regulations. However, a Treasury spokeswoman said she cannot confirm the report at this time.
The compressors, which were sent from Sweden, were nabbed by customs officials in Hamburg en route to Iran, Der Spiegel said. According to the report, the shipment in question was part of a larger transaction between the German giant and Iran, worth roughly 80 million Euros.
Siemens officials declined to directly address the report, but denied allegations that the company violated the law in any way. A spokesman on behalf of the corporation said its business activities only serve civilian aims and are undertaken in line with international regulations.
According to reports that surfaced several months ago, Siemens and Finnish company Nokia sold technology for monitoring phone calls and e‑mail messages to Tehran, against the backdrop of opposition protests and in the wake of the controversial presidential elections in Iran.
13. Turning to discussion of the recent financial collapse, a UN study has concluded that drug money kept the international financial system liquid.
Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations’ drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.
Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.
This will raise questions about crime’s influence on the economic system at times of crisis. It will also prompt further examination of the banking sector as world leaders, including Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, call for new International Monetary Fund regulations. Speaking from his office in Vienna, Costa said evidence that illegal money was being absorbed into the financial system was first drawn to his attention by intelligence agencies and prosecutors around 18 months ago. “In many instances, the money from drugs was 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,” he said. . . .
14. Concluding with discussion of Adnan Khashoggi, the Saudi arms dealer deeply involved in the Iran-Contra affair, the broadcast notes that his nephew was Dodi al-Fayed, the lover and alleged fiance of Princess Diana.
. . . Mr. Khashoggi has been linked to — but never convicted in — almost every major scandal of the late 20th century: Wedtech, B.C.C.I., the indictment of the Marcoses in the Philippines, as well as Iran-Contra. He is a favorite of conspiracy buffs, who have connected him to such things as the death of Princess Diana (her boyfriend at the time, Dodi al-Fayed, was his nephew) and to voting irregularities in Florida in the 2000 presidential election (a former employee was a local election official). . . .