The Evening Blues - 10-8-15
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features blues guitarist and singer Larry Johnson. Enjoy!
Larry Johnson - Hear The Angels Singing
"You must pursue this investigation of Watergate even if it leads to the president. I'm innocent. You've got to believe I'm innocent. If you don't, take my job."
-- Richard M. Nixon
News and Opinion
On Monday, we documented the multiple conflicting accounts offered in the first three days by the U.S. military and its media allies, but the story continued to change even further after that. As The Guardian’s headline yesterday noted, the U.S. admission that its own personnel called in the airstrike — not Afghan forces as it claimed the day before — meant that “U.S. alters story for fourth time in four days.” All of this led MSF president, Dr. Joanne Liu, to state the obvious today: “We cannot rely on internal military investigations by the U.S., NATO and Afghan forces.”
An independent, impartial investigation into what happened here should be something everyone can immediately agree is necessary. But at its daily press briefing on Monday, the U.S. State Department, through its spokesperson Mark Toner, insisted that no such independent investigation was needed on the ground that the U.S. government is already investigating itself and everyone knows how trustworthy and reliable this process is. ...
So predictably, American journalists have announced without even waiting for any investigation that this was all a terrible accident, nothing intentional about it. ... Many Americans, and especially a large percentage of the nation’s journalists, need no investigation to know that this was nothing more than a terrible, tragic mistake. ...
They’re certain of this despite how consistent MSF has been that this was a “war crime.” They’re certain of it despite how many times, and how recently, MSF notified the U.S. military of the exact GPS coordinates of this hospital. They’re certain of it even though bombing continued for 30 minutes after MSF pleaded with them to stop. They’re certain of it despite the substantial evidence that their Afghan allies long viewed this exact hospital with hostility because — true to its name and purpose — the group treated all wounded human beings, including Taliban. They’re certain of it even though Afghan officials have explicitly defended the airstrike against the hospital on the ground that Taliban were inside. They’re certain of it despite how many times the U.S. has radically changed its story about what happened as facts emerged that proved its latest claims false. They’re certain of it despite how many times the U.S. has attacked and destroyed civilian targets under extremely suspicious circumstances.
Doctors Without Borders won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. President Obama was awarded his in 2009. As Commander-in-Chief of the military that bombed the Doctors Without Borders hospital, this makes Obama perhaps the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to bomb another Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Or maybe not? Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, and he masterminded the secret bombing of Cambodia and Laos for President Nixon around that time. Shortly thereafter, it came to light that in that campaign, hospitals were routinely targeted for bombing. As The Nation recently reported:
“A letter from former Army captain Rowan Malphurs said that in 1969 and 1970, he analyzed aerial photographs where B-52 bombs (the ones ordered by Kissinger) fell on Cambodia: “I saw on several occasions where possible hospitals had been bombed…. On another occasion I observed a red cross on a building that was partially destroyed by bombs.”
By then, the Red Cross had already been awarded its three Nobel Peace Prizes.
Sorry, Obama, it looks like that’s one “historic first” you can’t claim. That old fox beat you to it.
If it makes you feel any better, Kissinger seems to think your mass-murder record actually beats his. (I know this will warm your heart, since you once bragged, “Turns out I’m really good at killing people.”) When confronted about bombing Cambodia on a recent book tour, Kissinger said in his own defense:
“I think we would find, if you study the conduct of guerrilla-type wars, that the Obama administration has hit more targets on a broader scale than the Nixon administration ever did. (…)
And I bet if one did an honest account, there were fewer civilian casualties in Cambodia than there have been from American drone attacks.”
Whether that dubious claim is true or not, it’s the thought that counts. Consider it a compliment: a gold star from teacher. Or even an elder statesman’s passing of the torch: from one peace-prize winning war criminal to another.
Adding to the questions surrounding last weekend’s calamitous US attack against a Kunduz hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, a strike which killed 22 civilians, including 12 staff members, it has since been discovered that troops from the Afghan Special Forces attacked the same hospital in early July.
In a Doctors Without Borders statement from the time, the aid group condemned the attack, in which the forces stormed the hospital, “physical assaulted three MSF staff members,” and “began shooting in the air.” They threatened to arrest three patients, and threatened a staff member at gunpoint during the raid, before leaving without any prisoners.
The revelation becomes all the more important following the revelation that it was Afghan forces who initially requested the US attack the hospital, and is raising speculation that ongoing Afghan hostility toward the site played a role in the request for “air support” by attacking it.
As reports of a new military offensive by Syrian and Russian forces made headlines on Wednesday, Oxfam International rebuked wealthy and powerful nations for flooding the war-torn country with weapons, fueling bloodshed on all sides, and failing to adequately assist those seeking aid and refuge.
In a briefing entitled Solidarity with Syrians (pdf), Oxfam singles out the United States, Iran, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey for "fueling violence and violations of war in Syria through arms and ammunition transfers to parties to the conflict."
The report also slams the international community for its "cursory and insincere" efforts to arrive at a political resolution to the crisis.
"The violence in Syria is intensifying, fueled by a divided international community and the transfer of arms and ammunition to warring parties," said Andy Baker, head of Oxfam's Syria crisis response, in a statement accompanying the report. "Faced with this grim situation, many Syrians are literally jumping in the water to seek a better future."
For those Syrians forced to flee their homeland, says Oxfam, too many are being met with a faltering aid response from the international community, including from governments most able to afford assistance. ...
The United States, United Kingdom, and Kuwait are identified by researchers as "less than generous in their offers to welcome the most vulnerable refugees"—with the U.S. resettling just 8 percent of its "fair share."
Another day, another round of impotent sabre-rattling from NATO and another heaping helping of US propaganda.
NATO said today it was prepared to deploy troops in Turkey to defend its ally after violations of Turkish airspace by Russian jets bombing Syria, and Britain scolded Moscow for escalating a civil war that has already killed 250,000 people.
"NATO is ready and able to defend all allies, including Turkey, against any threats," Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters as he arrived for the meeting of defense ministers in Brussels.
Meanwhile, the US State Department claimed that a huge percentage of Moscow's attacks were not striking Islamic State (IS) targets but hitting moderate rebel groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad instead.
"Greater than 90 percent of the strikes that we've seen them take to date have not been against ISIL [an alternative acronym for IS] or al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists," said state department spokesman John Kirby. "They've been largely against opposition groups that want a better future for Syria and don't want to see the Assad regime stay in power."
So a Su-30 enters a few hundred meters into Turkish airspace for only two minutes over Hatay province, and returns to Syrian airspace after being warned by a couple of Turkish F-16s.
Then all hell breaks loose as if this was the ultimate pretext for a NATO-Russia war. ...
Enter Dr. Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski, growling in a FT Op-Ed that Washington should “retaliate” if Moscow does not stop attacking US assets in Syria. “US assets” means CIA-trained “moderate rebels”. And after all, “American credibility” is at stake.
Dr. Zbig – Obama’s prime foreign policy mentor – insists bombing CIA-trained “rebels” accounts for “Russian military incompetence”. And the American counter-attack should be to “disarm” the “Russian naval and air presence.” Now that’s how you go for a NATO-Russia Hot War 2.0.
Dr. Zbig admitted though that “regional chaos could easily spread northeastward,” and then “both Russia and then China could be adversely affected.” Who cares? What matters is that “American interests and America’s friends…would also suffer.”
This is what passes for prime geopolitical analysis in the ‘Empire of Chaos’.
Adding to US claims that the vast majority of Russian airstrikes in Syria aren’t targeting ISIS, but rather other rebel factions, the Liwa Suqour al-Jabal (Falcons of the Mountain) brigade is claiming that Russia attacked and destroyed their main weapons depots in western Aleppo Province on Tuesday.
The Falcons are part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and the recipients of massive amounts of arms from the CIA earlier in the war. The group also claims large funding from other unnamed “Arab and foreign countries” and insists it is fighting ISIS as well as the Syrian government.
Which all appears to be true enough, but absent in the story is that this faction of the FSA has been closely allied with al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in the offensive in Idlib, which left them in control of that province. With one of the main early focuses of Russia’s Syria campaign retaking territory in Idlib Province to more readily connect the capital of Damascus to the Latakia coast.
Key MP Says Russia Likely to Have Bigger Role Than US
Citing frustration with the ongoing situation in the ISIS War, Iraqi parliament defense and security committee chairman Hakim al-Zamili today said he believes that Iraq will be asking Russia, in a matter of a “few days or weeks,” to start launching airstrikes on ISIS in Iraqi territory. He added Russia’s role would likely be larger than the US role.
Russia began launching strikes on ISIS in Syria, at the behest of the Syrian government, last week, and at the time indicated they were open to expanding the strikes into Iraq, if the Iraqi government requested it. Iraqi officials have since talked up the idea several times.
The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition is suspected of being responsible for an airstrike that killed up to 30 people attending a wedding celebration in Yemen on Wednesday.
It marks the second strike to hit a Yemeni wedding party in less than two weeks, with a Sept. 28 strike killing at least 131 people. ...
The exact death toll is unclear, with estimates in media reports ranging from at least 13 to at least 30. "Local hospitals have been overwhelmed with victims, [local security] officials said," CNN reports.
Human rights organization Amnesty International released a report this week—entitled ‘Bombs fall from the sky day and night’: Civilians under fire in northern Yemen—and called for a suspension of transfers of arms implicated in war crimes to the coalition.
"The USA and other states exporting weapons to any of the parties to the Yemen conflict have a responsibility to ensure that the arms transfers they authorize are not facilitating serious violations of international humanitarian law," said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's senior crisis response adviser.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has put the kibosh on plans by the Rouhani government to seek more talks with the United States on other diplomatic issues, leading pundits to claim that Iran “hasn’t really changed.” The ban, however, seems to be driven more by America’s post-deal attitude than anything internal to Iran.
Some analysts were quick to note that the Obama Administration had squandered the opportunity for rapprochement in the wake of the nuclear deal by constantly expressing hostility and continued to threaten military action against Iran, hoping to quell domestic resistance to the deal by insisting that US hostility toward Iran would continue as usual. ...
It’s particularly noteworthy that Khamenei’s “ban” didn’t cover any other Western nations, suggesting the reformist government is free to continue its efforts at rapprochement with the rest of the international community, and that it is simply direct US ties which are being cut out of the equation.
America’s War Party (a faction that sprawls across Democratic and Republican affiliation lines) has been looking for something to replace the Cold War ever since it ended. ...
Enter Vladimir Putin. He’s perfectly suited to serve as the War Party’s new hobgoblin: Former KGB agent, head of an authoritarian regime, already on the US enemies list after frustrating US ambitions in Georgia and Ukraine … what’s not to like?
As I write this, Putin is escalating Russian involvement in the Syrian conflict, going from airstrikes against Islamic State targets to having the Russian navy fire cruise missiles in support of a regime ground offensive. ...
No more solitaire for the American empire. It’s back to high-stakes poker. Which, of course, is exactly what War Party politicians on both sides of the aisle want. Gambling with our money and lives is their bread and butter.
Can we build a real American peace movement to call the War Party’s bluff? Our lives may depend on it.
I wonder if Putin can see UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon's little dick waving from his house.
Britain is to station troops in the Baltic states to shore up Nato’s eastern borders and deter Russian aggression, the UK defence secretary, Michael Fallon, has said.
Fallon announced the commitment upon arrival at the quarterly meeting of Nato defence ministers in Brussels. The deployment is intended to reassure former Soviet bloc members in light of increased tension between Russia and Ukraine.
“This is further reassurance for our allies on the eastern flank of Nato – for the Baltic states and for Poland,” said Fallon. “That is part of our more persistent presence on the eastern side of Nato to respond to any further provocation and aggression.”
He said the British troops would be “part of a more persistent presence by Nato forces” in the region.
A little fear-mongering, a little hubris and then the ever-present demand for more military funding...
The US government believes North Korea has the capability to launch a nuclear weapon against the homeland and stands ready to defend against any such attacks, a high-level US military official has said.
Admiral Bill Gortney, commander of US Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said he agreed with US intelligence assessments that North Korea had nuclear weapons, as well as the ability to miniaturise them and put them on a rocket that could reach the United States. ...
Gortney said it was very difficult to predict the behavior of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un but the US military was prepared to respond if he were to use a nuclear weapon.
“We’re ready for him, and we’re ready 24 hours a day if he should be dumb enough to shoot something at us,” Gortney said. ...
On Wednesday, Gortney said the US military was investing to modernise its current missile defence system, add new sensors and radars to better identify potential missile launches, and drive down the cost of defending against such attacks.
He warned that the failure of the US Congress to pass a budget for fiscal year 2016, or a resumption of mandatory budget cuts, could jeopardise the funding needed for such efforts.
Dramatic footage showing members of an elite Israeli army unit disguised as Palestinian stone throwers turning and opening fire on protesters emerged on Wednesday night, as tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank continue to mount.
In the videos, the undercover soldiers — wearing t-shirts, jeans, and keffiyehs wrapped around their faces to blend in — can be seen mingling with a crowd of Palestinian youths hurling rocks at an Israeli checkpoint near Ramallah.
They then turn and shoot handguns in the direction of the crowd. Uniformed soldiers then move in and arrest three men, one of whom appears to be shot at point-blank range in the leg by an undercover officer during the scuffle.
Many politicians held their nose and voted for the USA Freedom Act in June, hoping that the Snowden revelations would recede into the distance with the modest NSA reform bill’s passage. How wrong they were: the Snowden effect continues to ripple throughout the world on matters of privacy and law and it’s possible this second wave is only beginning.
On Tuesday, in a landmark decision, the European Court of Justice invalidated the “safe harbor” provision between the United States and Europe that allowed large tech companies like Google and Facebook to move large amounts of private Europeans’ data into servers in the United States. The case was brought by privacy activist and lawyer Max Schrems after the initial stories about the NSA’s Prism program. As the New York Times reported, the court “made it clear that American intelligence agencies had almost unfettered access to the data, infringing on Europeans’ rights to privacy.” ...
In the US, there are still a series of lawsuits alive and well that are challenging different aspects of the NSA’s surveillance. Wikipedia was just in court, represented by the ACLU, arguing that the NSA’s “upstream” surveillance program - where the spy agency has access to entire Internet streams coming into and out of the country - is illegal and unconstitutional. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (my former employer) has a case in the 9th Circuit challenging the constitutionality of the same program, focused on the expansive and secret partnership between AT&T and the NSA that has allowed the spy agency to siphon off huge amounts of data right off AT&T’s fiber optic cables all over the country.
In the UK, Privacy International has a slew of active cases in the British courts and the European Court of Human Rights which could potentially upend GCHQ’s mass surveillance capabilities. ...
Despite all of the disturbing tactics we’ve learned about from the NSA and their partners at the GCHQ in the past two years, our digital rights is unquestionably more protected than it was when the leaks started. And with the coming court cases over the next year or two, the seismic shift will undoubtedly continue to occur.
Representatives Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Steve Russell, R-Okla., have asked the Obama administration to remove sensitive security clearance information from Office of Personnel Management computers and put it somewhere safer.
The congressmen acted in the wake of data breaches at OPM that compromised sensitive information on more than 20 million people who have undergone background checks for security clearances. ...
The congressmen — members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — wrote to David Mader, the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, that they were “shocked to learn” in committee hearings “that for years OPM leadership had ignored warnings from the inspector general of ‘material weakness’ in data security. OPM’s failure to address known vulnerabilities was inexcusable.”
Hmmm... here are some findings with dark implications:
Angie Reid, a transgender rights activist in Alberta, feels no attachment to her birth name and doesn't want to reveal it. Many in the trans community call them "deadnames" because, she says, they're used in media reports about trans people who have been murdered or committed suicide.
So Reid, who sits on the board of the Trans Equality Society of Alberta, was startled when she saw that the voter registration card Elections Canada mailed her recently referred to her by the name she had legally changed nearly a decade ago.
She has heard, through social media, from 25 others in Alberta and Saskatchewan going through the same thing, and says many of them are being forced to "out" themselves to Elections Canada staff as they explain the discrepancy on their identification.
"It's frustrating," said Reid, who has since had her own registration card fixed and is helping others with theirs. "When you're transitioning, it can be a vulnerable time, and it takes time and money to change your identity documents. And then this, again, forces us to reveal secrets we might have otherwise not wanted to."
Reid says that process could be painful and embarrassing. "Worst case scenario is that they have to get in a lineup with other people waiting to vote, and there's scrutiny from those around you," Reid explained. "This might be very intimidating for a lot of people who don't want it to be known publicly that they are trans."
The head of the FBI has said it is “ridiculous [and] embarrassing” that the federal government has no better information on police shootings than databases compiled by the Guardian US and the Washington Post.
“It is unacceptable that the Washington Post and the Guardian newspaper from the UK are becoming the lead source of information about violent encounters between police and civilians. That is not good for anybody,” said James Comey, the FBI director, on Wednesday.
“You can get online and figure out how many tickets were sold to The Martian ... the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] can do the same with the flu,” he continued. “It’s ridiculous – embarrassing and ridiculous – that we can’t talk about crime in the same way, especially in the high-stakes incidents when your officers have to use force.”
Comey was speaking at the summit on violent crime reduction convened by the US justice department, a private gathering of more than 100 politicians and top law enforcement officials, the Washington Post reported.
Anti-austerity demonstrations in Belgium on Wednesday drew tens of thousands of people—some of whom clashed with police and were sprayed by water cannons as they marched through Brussels demanding an end to new measures which they say unfairly target workers and favor corporations.
Organized by Belgium's three largest unions, the protests came in response to new rules pushed through by the country's center-right coalition government, led by Prime Minister Charles Michel, in its first month in office, including wage freezes amid rising inflation, an increase in the retirement age, cuts to social services, and punitive taxes on lower-wage earners. ...
Marie-Helene Ska, ACV-CSC secretary general, added, "The government tells us and all of the parties tell us that there's no alternative. We don't contest that they have to find 11bn euros (£8.6bn; $13.6bn) but we've been saying for a long time that it's possible to find this money elsewhere, rather than in the pockets of the workers."
After months of prevarication, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton on Wednesday has come out against a landmark trade agreement reached earlier this week between the United States, Japan and 10 other countries circling the Pacific Ocean.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (or TPP) trade deal, which would create one of the largest free trade areas in the world, had presented a political hurdle for Clinton, who promoted trade talks while serving as secretary of state but has since distanced herself from it as a presidential candidate, to court liberal voters, who strongly oppose the pact.
In a taped interview with PBS’s NewsHour, Clinton said “as of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it”. The former secretary of state added, “I don’t have the text, we don’t yet have all the details, I don’t believe it’s going to meet the high bar I have set.”
Clinton criticized it in particular for failing to address currency manipulation and because of her worries that “pharmaceutical companies may have gotten more benefits and patients and consumers got fewer”
The statement marks a reversal from Clinton, who had long been supportive of the agreement and played a leading role in its negotiation while serving as secretary of state, repeatedly expressing her support for the deal. In 2012, she told an audience in Australia, “This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field.”
A technology subcontractor that has worked on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mail setup expressed concerns over the summer that the system was inadequately protected and vulnerable to hackers, a company official said Wednesday.
But the concerns were rebuffed by the company managing the Clinton account, Platte River Networks, which said it had been instructed by the FBI not to make changes. The FBI has been reviewing the security of the e-mail system.
The subcontractor, Datto, which specializes in backing up data, had not been aware that it was handling Clinton e-mails until media reports in August noted Platte River Networks’ involvement with the controversy surrounding the former secretary of state’s e-mails.
Datto officials, worried about the “sensitive high profile nature of the data,” then recommended upgrading security by adding sophisticated encryption technology to its backup systems, said the Datto official, who requested anonymity to discuss an issue involving a client.
Support for Sanders up 26 points since May poll; Clinton's support down 19 points
Support in California for presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has surged since May while support for Hillary Clinton is on the decline, a Field Poll released on Wednesday shows.
Though Democratic front-runner Clinton still leads the Vermont Independent by 12 points, her support from likely voters in state's Democratic presidential primary stands at 47 percent—a 19-point drop since May. Sen. Sanders, in contrast, has seen his support surge, from just 9 percent in the May to 35 percent in the new poll.
Though the respondents expressed strong support—63 percent—for Vice President Joe Biden entering the presidential race, the poll found he'd only have the backing of 15 percent of voters.
"Bernie Sanders has been making significant inroads across the country, and it’s reflected here in California,” Mark DiCamillo, the Field Poll's director, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders received his first endorsement from a member of Congress on Wednesday, with word that veteran Arizona Democrat Raul Grijalva would back the Vermont senator.
Grijalva, a seven-term congressman from Tucson, is one of the leading progressives on Capitol Hill and the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee.
In an interview with the Guardian, Grijalva said that he didn’t make his endorsement for political reasons, even though it comes on the eve of the first Democratic debate and deadline for Joe Biden to make a final decision about mounting a campaign. Instead, he said that he felt strongly that “if I am going to make a commitment to [Sanders’] message that I do it prior to those other things”. Grijalva insisted “this is not contrived and I don’t want it to appear that way”.
The Arizona Democrat said what attracted him to Sanders was the Vermont senator’s consistency throughout the years. “People might or might not like what he has to say,” said Grijalva, “but the fact is he has said it repeatedly with people and it’s resonating with people, and I think his message is something that I wanted to reinforce.” Grijalva also pointed out he liked that fact that Sanders has “not been disparaging about his opponents ... I think that’s a winning race. Your ideas versus theirs”.
Scientists have confirmed the third-ever global bleaching of coral reefs is under way and warned it could see the biggest coral die-off in history.
Since 2014, a massive underwater heatwave, driven by climate change, has caused corals to lose their brilliance and die in every ocean. By the end of this year 38% of the world’s reefs will have been affected. About 5% will have died forever.
But with a very strong El Niño driving record global temperatures and a huge patch of hot water, known as “the Blob”, hanging obstinately in the north-western Pacific, things look far worse again for 2016.
For coral scientists such as Dr Mark Eakin, the coordinator of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coral Reef Watch programme, this is the cataclysm that has been feared since the first global bleaching occurred in 1998 .
“The fact that 2016’s bleaching will be added on top of the bleaching that has occurred since June 2014 makes me really worried about what the cumulative impact may be. It very well may be the worst period of coral bleaching we’ve seen,” he told the Guardian.
The only two previous such global events were in 1998 and 2010, when every major ocean basin experienced bleaching.
A climate scientist who was the lead signatory on a letter urging President Obama to launch a federal investigation into whether fossil fuel companies "knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change" is now facing an investigation by Congress because of his part in the letter.
Jagadish Shukla, a climate scientist at George Mason University in Virginia, received notice Oct. 1 that the non-profit research organization he runs, the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES), will soon be investigated by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology for suspected misuse of federal funding.
Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who chairs the House committee, requested that Shukla and IGES "preserve all e-mail, electronic documents, and data (‘electronic records’) created since January 1, 2009," according to the notice.
The investigation stems from Shukla's involvement in the letter to President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and White House science advisor John Holdren on Sept. 1. The letter's 20 signees—climate scientists from Columbia University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the University of Maryland and other institutions—asked the administration to explore whether energy companies could be prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) of 1970 for purposefully casting doubt on the scientific evidence for climate change. Federal prosecutors used the RICO Act in the 1990s and 2000s to sue tobacco companies for covering up the health impacts of smoking. ScienceInsider first reported Smith's investigation.
Shukla's research organization, IGES, posted a copy of the RICO letter to its website—a move that Smith told Shukla "raises serious concerns" over a taxpayer-funded scientific group "participating in partisan political activity." The research center has received funds from the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.
Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen (VW) Group of America, will confirm he knew of the company’s emission rigging issues as early as spring 2014, according to a statement released ahead of a congressional inquiry.
In prepared remarks before what looks set to be an intense public hearing on Thursday, Horn will apologize once again for VW’s use of software to “defeat the regular emissions testing regime”.
“In the spring of 2014 … I was told that there was a possible emissions non-compliance that could be remedied,” he will tell the House committee on energy and commerce before questioning begins.
“I was informed that EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] regulations included various penalties for non-compliance with the emissions standards and that the agencies can conduct engineering tests which could include ‘defeat device’ testing or analysis. I was also informed that the company engineers would work with the agencies to resolve the issue.”
Europe’s largest carmaker is under pressure to identify those responsible for the scandal and to say how vehicles with illegal software will be fixed.
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Larry Johnson - Catfish Blues
Larry Johnson - So Sweet
Larry Johnson - Midnight Hour
Larry Johnson - Whiskey Store Blues
Larry Johnson - Tell You Women 'Bout Me
Larry Johnson and Brian Kramer - Mean Ol' Frisco
Larry Johnson - Four Women Blues
Larry Johnson & Nat Riddles - I Believe
Larry Johnson - Lordy Good Lord
Larry Johnson - Put It All in There
Larry Johnson - Keep It Clean
Larry Johnson and Brian Kramer - Don't You Leave Me Here
Larry Johnson - My Hoodoo Doctor
Larry Johnson - Troubles Just Begun
Profile In Blue: Larry Johnson