Posted by: quiscus | August 19, 2010

August 19, 2010

1.  “US Announces Second Fake End to Iraq War

Officials have been pretty straightforward about what really happened, not that it has been picked up by the media, which has preferred the more pleasant narrative of a decisive military victory. Instead, the US simply “redefined” the vast majority of its combat troops as “transitional troops,” then removed a brigade that they didn’t relabel, so they could claim that was the “last one.” Even this comes with the assumption that the State Department, and a new army of contractors, will take over for years after the military operations end, assuming they ever do.”

http://news.antiwar.com/2010/08/18/us-announces-second-fake-end-to-iraq-war/

2.  That’s comforting:

US to Double Mercenary Forces in Iraq After Drawdown

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/19/world/middleeast/19withdrawal.html?_r=2

3.  “Declassified Senate investigation files reveal clandestine Israeli PR campaign in America

Washington, DC: Declassified files from a Senate investigation into Israeli-funded covert public relations and lobbying activity in the United States were released by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) on July 23rd, 2010.  The subpoenaed documents reveal Israel’s clandestine programs for “cultivation of editors,” the “stimulation and placement of suitable articles in the major consumer magazines” as well as US reporting about sensitive subjects such as the Dimona nuclear weapons facility.

According to Grant F. Smith, director of IRmep, “It is frightening how easily some in the American news media surrendered to a foreign public relations campaign that spent the 2010 equivalent of $36 million over two years. Time has proven most of the planted content to be misleading, if not dangerous.  These historical documents hold many important lessons for Americans who have long needed, but rarely received, straight reporting on key Middle East issues.”

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20687

4.  “Axing the Bankers’ Money Tree: Homeowners’ Rebellion against Wall Street

Recent Rulings Could Shield 62 Million Homes from Foreclosure

Over 62 million mortgages are now held in the name of MERS, an electronic recording system devised by and for the convenience of the mortgage industry.  A California bankruptcy court, following landmark cases in other jurisdictions, recently held that this electronic shortcut breaks the chain of title, voiding foreclosure.  The logical result could be 62 million homes that are foreclosure-proof.

But the best laid plans even of Wall Street can sometimes go awry.  In an ironic twist, the industry may wind up tripping over its own Achilles heel, the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems or MERS.  An online computer software program for tracking mortgage ownership and rights, MERS is, according to its website, “an innovative process that simplifies the way mortgage ownership and servicing rights are originated, sold and tracked.  Created by the real estate finance industry, MERS eliminates the need to prepare and record assignments when trading residential and commercial mortgage loans.”  Or as Karl Denninger puts it, “MERS own website claims that it exists for the purpose of circumventing assignments and documenting ownership!”


MERS was developed in the early 1990s by a number of financial entities, including Bank of America, Countrywide, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, allegedly to allow consumers to pay less for mortgage loans.  That did not actually happen, but what MERS did allow was the securitization and shuffling around of mortgages behind a veil of anonymity.  The result was not only to cheat local governments out of their recording fees but to defeat the purpose of the recording laws, which was to guarantee purchasers clean title.  Worse, MERS facilitated an explosion of predatory lending in which lenders could not be held to account because they could not be identified, either by the preyed-upon borrowers or by the investors seduced into buying bundles of worthless mortgages.

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20688

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