Wednesday, 31 March 2010

soros & co back wikileaks / kosher mob & oval office

updated april 1 2010

by courtesy of Wayne Madsen

CIA, Mossad and Soros behind Wikileaks

related text: pentagon adds wikileaks to list of enemies

March 25-26, 2010

Suspicions abound that Wikileaks is part of U.S. cyber-warfare operations

WMR has learned from Asian intelligence sources that there is a strong belief in some Asian countries, particularly China and Thailand, that the website Wikileaks, which purports to publish classified and sensitive documents while guaranteeing anonymity to the providers, is linked to U.S. cyber-warfare and computer espionage operations, as well as to Mossad's own cyber-warfare activities.

Wikileaks claims to have decrypted video footage of a U.S. Predator air strike on civilians in Afghanistan and that covert U.S. State Department agents followed Wikileaks's editor from Iceland to Norway in a surveillance operation conducted jointly by the United States and Iceland. Iceland's financially-strapped government recently announced a policy of becoming a haven for websites that fear political oppression and censorship in their home countries. However, in the case of Wikileaks, countries like China and Thailand are suspicious of the websites' actual "ownership."

Wikileaks says it intends to show its video at an April 5 press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC but that its presenters may be detained or arrested before that time. WMR's sources believe the Wikileaks "militancy" in the face of supposed surveillance appears fake.

Our Asian intelligence sources report the following: "Wikileaks is running a disinformation campaign, crying persecution by U.S. intelligence- when it is U.S. intelligence itself. Its [Wikileaks'] activities in Iceland are totally suspect." Wikileaks claims it is the victim of a new COINTELPRO [Counter Intelligence Program] operation directed by the Pentagon and various U.S. intelligence agencies. WMR's sources believe that it is Wikileaks that is part and parcel of a cyber-COINTELPRO campaign, such as that proposed by President Obama's "information czar," Dr. Cass Sunstein.

In January 2007, John Young, who runs, a site that publishes a wealth of sensitive and classified information, left Wikileaks, claiming the operation was a CIA front. Young also published some 150 email messages sent by Wikileaks activists on cryptome. They include a disparaging comment about this editor by Wikileaks co-founder Dr. Julian Assange of Australia. Assange lists as one of his professions "hacker." His German co-founder of Wikileaks uses a pseudonym, "Daniel Schmitt."

Wikileaks claims it is "a multi-jurisdictional organization to protect internal dissidents, whistleblowers, journalists and bloggers who face legal or other threats related to publishing" [whose] primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we are of assistance to people of all nations who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations. We aim for maximum political impact. We have received over 1.2 million documents so far from dissident communities and anonymous sources."

In China, Wikileaks is suspected of having Mossad connections. It is pointed out that its first "leak" was from an Al Shabbab "insider" in Somalia. Al Shabbab is the Muslim insurgent group that the neocons have linked to "Al Qaeda."

Asian intelligence sources also point out that Assange's "PhD" is from Moffett University, an on-line diploma mill and that while he is said to hail from Nairobi, Kenya, he actually in from Australia where his exploits have included computer hacking and software piracy.

WMR has confirmed Young's contention that Wikileaks is a CIA front operation. Wikileaks is intimately involved in a $20 million CIA operation that U.S.-based Chinese dissidents that hack into computers in China. Some of the Chinese hackers route special hacking program through Chinese computers that then target U.S. government and military computer systems. After this hacking is accomplished, the U.S. government announces through friendly media outlets that U.S. computers have been subjected to a Chinese cyber-attack. The "threat" increases an already-bloated cyber-defense and offense budget and plays into the fears of the American public and businesses that heavily rely on information technology.

It is also pointed out that on Wikileaks advisory board is Ben Laurie, a one-time programmer and Internet security expert for Google, which recently signed a cooperative agreement with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and has been charged by China with being part of a U.S. cyber-espionage campaign against China. Other Wikileaks advisory members are leading Chinese dissidents, including Wan Dan, who won the 1998 National Endowment for Democracy (NED) Democracy Award; Wang Youcai, founder of the Chinese Democracy Party; Xiao Qiang, the director of the China Internet Project at the University of California at Berkeley, member of the advisory board of the International Campaign for Tibet, and commentator on the George Soros-affiliated Radio Free Asia; and Tibetan exile and activist Tashi Namgyal Khamsitsang.

Our sources in Asia believe that Wikileaks ran afoul of their CIA paymasters after it was discovered that some of Wikileaks's "take" was being diverted to Mossad instead of to their benefactors at Langley. After a CIA cur-off in funding, "Daniel Schmitt" took over and moved the Wikileaks operation to Belgium and Sweden with hopes of making a more secure base in Iceland.

There are strong suspicions that Wikileaks is yet another Soros-funded "false flag" operation on the left side of the political spectrum. WMR has learned that after former Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) decided to oppose Soros's choice of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's deputy Mark Malloch Brown as President of the World Bank, succedding the disgraced Paul Wolfowitz, Soros put the Wikileaks operation into high gear. "Daniel Schmitt" hacked into Coleman's supporters list, stealing credit card info, addresses, and publishing the "take" on Wikileaks. Democrat Al Franken, who was strongly backed by Soros, defeated Coleman in a legally-contested and very close election.

It is also believed by informed sources that Soros is behind the operation to move Wikileaks to Iceland. By becoming a power in Iceland, Soros can prevent Icelanders from paying back the British and Dutch investors in Icelandic online Ponzi scheme banking and continue his all-out war against British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has, in turn, targeted Soros for betting against pound sterling.

Iceland is classic prey for Soros. The Icelandic krona has been decimated as a currency and has no where to go but up in value, especially if the British pound and the euro depreciate. Soros is currently talking down the euro, planning its fall and shorting it, just like he did versus the pound in London in the 1980s. After the UK's and Europe's currencies are devalued, Soros will buy every euro note in sight, thus making trillions.

Soros and his Wikileaks friends have in Iceland a practically unregulated banking system desperate for an influx of capital -- money that will come from the exiled Russian tycoons in Israel, London and the United States. Israeli investors like Bank Leumi, and awash in siphoned-off Bernard Madoff cash, will do their bit for this smash-and-grab operation by Soros's Quantum-linked hedge funds.

With Wikileaks firmly ensconced in Iceland, the "brave" and much-heralded information leakers will run an international blackmail operation against Soros's foes and launch computer break-ins against Soros's business rivals and non-Quantum banks. Wikileaks will be used as the info-hitmen against President Obama's and Rahm Emanuel's enemies in the 2012 re-election campaign.

From Iceland, Soros will be well-positioned to gain control over the massive mineral resources under the melting ice sheet of Greenland. Under the ice are the only major rare-earth deposits outside of China and with such minerals at his disposal, Soros can control the world's electronics industries. This past week's volcanic activity in Iceland could, however, disrupt or destroy Soros's plans to establish and control a North American-European gateway in Iceland.

The following are some of the emails Young revealed in his exposure of Wikileaks's CIA connections (as well as to the Russian "phishing" Mafia, an operation run by Russian-Israeli Jews using Israel as a base) [Note: in the second email, "JYA" is a reference to John Young Associates]:

To: John Young
From: Wikileaks
Subject: martha stuart pgp
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007 12:20:25 -0500

Version: None

J. We are going to fuck them all. Chinese mostly, but not entirely a feint. Invention
abounds. Lies, twists and distorts everywhere needed for protection.
Hackers monitor
chinese and other intel as they burrow into their targets, when they pull, so do we.
Inxhaustible supply of material. Near 100,000 documents/emails a day. We're going to crack the world open and let it flower into something new
. If fleecing the CIA will assist us, then fleece we will. We have pullbacks from NED, CFR, Freedomhouse and other CIA teats. We have all of pre 2005 afghanistan. Almost all of india fed. Half
a dozen foreign ministries.
Dozens of political parties and consulates, worldbank,
apec, UN sections, trade groups, tibet and fulan dafa associations and... russian
phishing mafia who pull data everywhere
. We're drowing. We don't even know a tenth
of what we have or who it belongs to. We stopped storing it at 1Tb.

From: Julian Assange
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2007 13:40:14 +0000
To: funtimesahead[a t]
Subject: [WL] cryptome disclosure

[This is a restricted internal development mailinglist for w-i-k-i-l-e-a-k-s-.-o-r-g.
Please do not mention that word directly in these discussions
; refer instead to 'WL'.
This list is housed at, an activist collective in Seattle with an established lawyer
and plenty of backbone.]

No idea what JYA was saying!

It's clear to me however, that he was not trying to protect people's
identities with his xxxxx'ing, but rather trying to increase the
sexiness of the document. Perhaps he feels WL is a threat to the
central status mechanism in his life? I think he just likes the

He may have done us a great favor. There's a lot of movement in that
document. It's a little anarchist, but I think it generally reads
well and sounds like people doing something they care about.

Btw, I suggest we be careful with Wayne Madsen too. He seems to be
another case of someone who was fantastic a few years ago, but
recently has started to see conspiracies everywhere. Both cases
possibly age related.

I am not spending any more thought on it. Next week is going to be
The weeks earlier stories will be already done and that'll set
the agenda for the rest of the week, not jya's attention seeker.

I'm willing to handle calls for .au, although my background may make
S a better bet.


One of WMR's sources had the following thoughts about Assange's comments about this editor:

Careful: Madsen is up to no good concerning secrets concerning WikiLeaks.
Another Case of Someone: The writer has spent time in psychiatric institution.
Was Fantastic: Formerly On Our Side, Now becoming an Enemy.
Conspiracies Everywhere: the George Soros conspiracy in which WikiLeaks is a cog.
Both Cases: Here it is again, he's been in an institution.
Age Related: In 2007, the editor was 52 years old but with possible early senility setting in.

March 26-28, 2010

Wikileaks and Iceland media law are stalking horses for Soros

Following up on WMR's March 25, 2010 report on Wikileaks's ties to U.S. intelligence, Mossad, and George Soros, WMR has received additional information that points to the Icelandic media law that would turn the economically-battered country into an information safe haven for websites like Wikileaks as being a contrivance of George Soros's Open Society Institute (OSI).

WMR has learned that OSI's Mark Thompson spoke at the May 2009 First Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and New Communications Services. Present at the conference was Katrin Jakobsdóttir, Iceland's Minister of Culture, Education, and Science and members of the Icelandic parliament, the Althing. It was after this conference that the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative was introduced with much fanfare from Wikileaks and its co-founder Julian Assange. Thompson has a background that includes propagandizing for the western incursion into the Balkans, including directing the Media Analysis Unit for the UN mission in Yugoslavia, UNPROFOR; the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Soros's OSI.

Wikileaks claims it is the first website dedicated to revealing sensitive and classified information. This is false. In fact, Cryptome, founded by New York City architect John Young, was the first and Wikileaks is a mere poor facsimile. John Young once proudly proclaimed to this editor that he would likely become America's "first political prisoner" from the Internet. Young's Cryptome has gone far beyond Wikileaks by publishing a list of British MI-6 agents, Microsoft's manual on how it conducts surveillance for U.S. law enforcement, photos of Guantanamo and a list of the detainees imprisoned there, and even overhead photos of Dick Cheney's home in McLean, Virginia while it was under construction.

And Wikileaks appears to have climbed on to the previous work of others. In 2008, Wikileaks claimed to have obtained, through "hacking," the credit card records of the Norm Coleman Senate campaign in Minnesota. In fact, WMR has been informed that the credit card files, along with the campaign's backup material, was stored by the webmaster in an unprotected folder. It was this file that was downloaded. The "hack" was heralded by, a Soros-funded operation. The illegal operation was never acted upon by law enforcement. In addition, the website reported on the leak of the files several weeks before the Coleman data appeared on Wikileaks.

It is Young's Cryptome that has been harassed by the U.S. government and Internet Service Providers. Meanwhile, Wikileaks has come up with a fanciful tale of its activists being tailed in Iceland by shadowy Icelandic and American gumshoes and fears that they will be "taken out" before they can air a video at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on April 5 showing a U.S. missile attack on Afghan civilians. There is also a specious claim that the military's encryption codes were somehow broken to obtain the video. If that is true, the real story is that the United States suffered a major compromise of its cryptographic keys, something that has only rarely occurred in the past.

When John Young pulled out of the Wikileaks operation in 2007, suspecting it was a CIA front, there were also early allegations that Wikileaks was funded by Soros. Soros fronts for the CIA by running the operations of Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, and Radio Free Asia. In fact, one of Wikileaks's advisory board members, Chinese dissident Xiao Qiang, is a commentator for Radio Free Asia.

Soros has been heavily involved in Iceland since 1998 and it is Soros who helped found the small Democracy Movement. The website Reykjavik Grapevine took the Democracy Movement to task last October 22 when it wrote, "A speculative column appearing on Ví points out that billionaire George Soros has enough money to buy Iceland . . . Foreign investment - or foreign exploitation - of Iceland has been on the minds of a lot of Icelanders lately, especially as more companies from abroad express an interest in Iceland's natural resources . . . And look at this, Obama's OMB director Peter Orszag (the name is Jewish from Hungarian-Romanian Transylvania like fellow vampire Soros) and his connection to Iceland: "In 1998, after serving in the Clinton administration, Orszag co-founded an economic consulting group company with his brother and Joseph Stiglitz called Sebago Associates, where he served as president through 2007. The firm's clients have included the World Bank, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and most notably, the Central Bank of Iceland. The once prosperous economy of Iceland has been devastated by the current economic crisis, which its citizens say was carried out by a gang of financial criminals who followed disastrous policies and advice - provided by Peter Orszag and Company."

Soros appears to have been partly behind the collapse of the Icelandic economy and now his minions in Reykjavik and his contrivance, Wikileaks, wants to transform Iceland into an information technology safe harbor from he and his NGO network can engage in massive propaganda campaigns and destabilization efforts around the world without the fear of legal ramifications.

WMR's sources report that the Soros Private Equity group (since renamed TowerBrook Capital Partners) invested $10 million in TradeDoubler, a Swedish online provider and platform, in cooperation with the Icelandic venture firm Arctic Ventures. TradeDoubler handles online financial payments and transactions but mainly online advertising, and is big in online betting throughout Europe. The downfall of Iceland's banks was enabled by online banking and investment. Ragnar Thorisson, an Icelander, worked at VBS Securities before founding Arctic Ventures (where he invested in E-Trade Nordic). He then invested in Argnor, a wireless service provider. Ordinary members of the TradeDoubler Board of Directors include Niclas Gabrán and Ramez Sousou of Soros Private Equity group, now TowerBrook Capital Partners. Thorisson reportedly sold his shares in TradeDoubler.

It is also noteworthy that TowerBrook is heavily invested in healthcare services and pharmaceuticals and stands to reap huge profits from President Obama's health care program.

Although Soros claims he is for freedom of information, going as far as promoting Iceland as a freedom of information paradise, criticism of Soros's operations don't appear to be covered by the former Hungarian Nazi collaborator's largess as seen in the following RT program when this editor criticized Soros's operations. Iceland's Soros-prompted media reform bill also contains a provision for an Icelandic Freedom of Expression Award, a typical Soros construct. Soros's NGO network provides for a number of awards that are used to pad the resumes of a number of dubious bad actors.

March 29, 2010

Soros's game plan for Iceland and its "freedom of information" zone was hatched years ago

More details have emerged from WMR's sources about the Wikileaks claim that it is subject to intense surveillance by U.S. and Icelandic authorities.

Wikileaks, a website that claims to publish explosive sensitive documents from government agencies around the world, claims to have been the subject of surveillance because it plans to release a video of a missile attack by American forces of Afghan villagers. The site also claims to have broken top secret U.S. military encryption codes to obtain the video, which it plans to release at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on April 5.

Wikileaks has been party to a proposed media bill in the Icelandic legislature that would establish a "freedom of information" zone in Iceland benefiting journalists, human rights campaigners, and whistleblowers.

WMR's sources claim the entire Wikileaks episode in Iceland and its claims are a fraud inspired by George Soros, a frontman for the CIA and the Rothschild banking family in Britain.

Iceland appears to be getting wise to the Wikileaks caper. According to IceNews, Iceland's Ministry of Justice has distanced itself from Wikileaks's alleagtions of Icelandic surveillance and Fridrik Smari Bjorgvinsson, chief of the Reykjavik police, said the only link to the Wikileaks charges was the arrest of 17 year-old in Kopavogur on March 22 for breaking into a business. Wikileaks claims the individual was questioned about how the U.S. military video was obtained. However, according to the Icelandic government, Wikileaks is creating a fantasy issue over the arrest of a young person for breaking and entering in a country where such crimes are rare.

John Young, who runs the bona fide sensitive document exposure website,, left the Wikileaks board in 2007, charging that it was a CIA front. In a leaked January 8, 2007, e-mail, Wikileaks's co-editor wrote that WMR's editor "see[s] conspiracies everywhere" and that the condition was "possibly age related." This editor was 52 years old as of the date of the e-mail.

WMR has learned from knowledgeable sources that Wikileaks's claims that it protects the identity of whistleblowers and leakers are rife with problems. Wikileaks uses the program "TOR" for file downloads. WMR has been informed by one source that TOR, the German word for "gate," "gives away email accounts, user names, and passwords on a user's computer, meaning the CIA can trace any whistleblower dumb enough to believe Wikileaks's hype and everyone who is downloading." From an unrestricted information zone in Iceland, Wikileaks would be free to collect such sensitive user information to pass on to Langley and Soros's operatives -- working under non-governmental organization (NGO) cover, around the world.

Last year, Wikileaks leaked its own confidential donor list on its website. Wikileaks released a statement that the list was leaked "possibly to test the project's principles of complete impartiality when dealing with whistleblowers." One was a convicted hacker who had broken into Worldcom's intranet and obtained Social Security Numbers, bank account information, and direct deposit details for over 80,000 WorldCom employees.

Soros has long preyed on Iceland's economy. WMR's sources reveal that during the winter of 2007-2008, Soros hedge funds were shorting the Icelandic krona. There are reports that the U.S. Justice Department is now investigating Soros's SAC Capital for shorting the euro and the British pound.

The collapse of the Icelandic economy, aided and abetted by Soros and Rorthschild financial interests in Britain and the Netherlands, set the stage for Soros to make the approach to financially-broke Iceland to become a global information "safe harbor."

Wikileaks critics also point out that the website has produced information that had previously been available elsewhere, including such "exposés" as U.S. detainee abuse, use of chemical weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan, and U.S. military propaganda operations. The recent revelation of a 2008 U.S. Army Counterintelligence Center report citing Wikileaks as a threat to national security is a red herring. The document proposes to identify those who leak to Wikileaks to "damage and potentially destroy" the Wikileaks "center of gravity." According to WMR's sources, Wikileaks's use of TOR has already exposed the leakers. At the least, the U.S. Army's fears about the Wikileaks site is an extreme over-reaction. At the most, the Army was attempting to boost the website's bona fides as part of a cyber-psychological warfare campaign.

April 1-4, 2010

How Wikileaks and Soros conspired to bring down Swiss bank

WMR's financial intelligence sources report that the unauthorized disclosure of a compact disk to Wikileaks that contained financial details of the clients of the secretive and usually highly-secure Zurich-based independent money management Julius Baer Group was designed to destroy the firm's standing with its customers and make it ripe for a hostile takeover by interests associated with multi-billionaire vulture capitalist George Soros, including Goldman Sachs. Julius Baer was founded in the 19th century.

In December 2007, the former chief of Baer's Cayman Islands unit, Rudolf Elmer, leaked information about surveillance of him and his family to Wikileaks. In June 2005, the Swiss newspaper "Cash" and the Wall Street Journal reported on the receipt of a CD containing clients’ transactions, including every deposit made, from Baer's Cayman unit that dealt with anonymous trusts. The CD data covered the time frame 1997 to 2002. Elmer had been suspected of the leak and was fired by Baer in 2003. In January 2008, Wikileaks began publishing details of Baer's clients -- who were accused of tax evasion and money laundering. The clients resided in the United States, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Spain, and Peru. Elmer was jailed briefly in 2005 by Swiss authorities for violation of Swiss financial privacy laws. Elmer eventually turned over Baer documents to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, the US Internal Revenue Service, and the Senate Senate subcommittee on investigations headed by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI).

For Europeans and others who had no financial or other connections to the United States, the fact that they were placed under an investigation by the United States represented a huge jurisdictional leap by the United States in applying U.S. laws where they had no force. In April 2007, some Baer documents were also leaked to the German tax authorities.

For example, the Hong Kong resident on the leaked Baer documents is Lord Kadoorie, who died in 1993. The Kadoorie family, originally Iraqi Jews from Baghdad, migrated to Hogn Kong via Mumbai. The Kadoories, however, were not involved in tax evasion' since using offshore accounts is completely legal in Hong Kong.

Elmer worked for Baer for 16 years, first bas a senior auditor and then from 1994 to 2003 as the chief of the bank's unit in the Cayman Islands. Elmer is represented by former Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigator Jack Blum, now with the Lobel Novins Lamont law firm in Washington, DC. After being fired by Baer in 2003, Elmer went to work for Noble Investments of Zurich, a hedge fund consultancy. Elmer began leaking information about Noble, as well, including its use of a Bermuda shell corporation to avoid Swiss taxes.

Blum helped investigate bribery violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the 1970s by Lockheed Corporation. The Lockheed bribery scandal helped bring down Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, who was later convicted and imprisoned in Japan for accepting bribes from Lockheed. However, WMR has learned that Blum and the Senate committee was very selective in who they investigated for laundering money from foreign bribes. While Tanaka was singled out, Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet, who overthrew and assassinated democratically-elected Chilean President Salvador Allende with the help of Henry Kissinger and the CIA, was allowed to launder his ill-gotten gains through Riggs Bank in Washington, DC. WMR has learned that Tanaka despised both Richard Nixon and Kissinger and he was thus targeted selectively by the Nixon Justice and Treasury Departments.

On December 4, 2008, Alex Widmer, 52, the CEO of Julius Baer and a widower with three children, was found dead from an apparent suicide. Widmer had expanded Baer's presence in Moscow and Indonesia and he previously served as the chief of private banking for Credit Suisse. WMR has learned that Widmer was assassinated after he discovered the links between the bank's leaks of client information to the media and Wikileaks and Israeli intelligence and the Soros network. Only the New York Times reported that Widmer's death was from suicide and an autopsy report was never released but bank employees were told that Widmer died from an "unexpected illness."

After Julius Baer Group was rocked by the leaks by Elmer through Wikileaks, Baer became the target of a takeover bid by Goldman Sachs. As hedge funds began withdrawing from Baer, the firm's share values dropped by 60 percent making it vulnerable to a hostile takeover. The hedge fund withdrawals lasted for ten months during which time Goldman Sachs was behind the attack on Lehman Brothers and Soros was shorting the Icelandic krona.

There is also another interesting wrinkle to the Baer story. The leaks of Baer's client data began in 2002. Wikileaks was not founded until 2006. In the interim, there were other operatives involved in leaking the firm's data to the media. The suspicions are that they worked for Soros's Quantum, which is a front for Rothschild interests, as well as for Goldman Sachs. WMR has learned that suspicions about the pre-Wikileaks leakers is focused on Mossad agents. The Julius Baer operations in the Cayman Islands would have involved the financial holdings of Latin Americans involved in drug money laundering. The involvement of Mossad in exposing the Cayman accounts likely had repercussions for Israelis who were also involved in cocaine smuggling in Latin America. It is pointed out that in March 2007, as Baer information was continuing to leak, Tsuriel Raphael, Israel's ambassador to El Salvador, was found in the garden of his home drunk, naked, and tied up with a rubber ball in his mouth and a sex toy inserted in his anus. Raphael was recalled to Israel. A few months earlier, in January, the body of David Dahan, the chief of Israel's Defense Ministry Mission to Europe, was found floating in the Seine near Rouen, France. Police ruled out foul play and said the death was a suicide.

Post-9/11 anti-terrorist financing legislation permitted Goldman Sachs's and Soros's operatives within the Treasury Department to target any bank where it was even suggested that people associated with Osama bin Laden may have had accounts. However, for Soros, Goldman Sachs, and the Mossad, the attack on Julius Baer represented some "score settling" over Swiss financial holdings from victims of the Holocaust.

To summarize succinctly what occurred with Baer and Wikileaks, WMR received the following real-world explanation: "The Bush administration investigators find few accounts actually linked to terrorism, but a lot of accounts of rich Arabs, who get pissed at being misidentified and who then complain to Bush. So then, the neocons go after middle-tier billionaires and millionaires for 'tax evasion' and 'corruption' - which are NOT part of the USA Patriot Act, but are still a good source of easy money, since the victims don't have room to complain. When the robbed do complain, they are threatened with exposure to the media, and when the media hesitates to publish, there's a standoff. The banks have to protect their clients since the "prosecution" targets, in some cases, are intelligence agents. The Soros hedge funds and Goldman dump shares in the Euro banks, but to no avail. They hire stooges like Rudolf Elmer, a disgruntled manager fired from the Caribbean division of Julius Baer. All he's got is tax evasion, not even proof of drug money, because he's not stupid enough to cross the cartel. Elmer then moves to Mauritius. So without any handles on Baer and other Swiss banks, the U.S. government leaks customer lists (confiscated from scared employees by the Treasury and CIA agents) to Wikileaks, conveniently created by the Soros-Goldman Sachs-Mossad construct for blackmail purposes."



March 23, 2010

Israel's secret network into the Obama Oval Office.

As Israel's hard right-wing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visits the Oval Office today, there is speculation that he and President Barack Obama will square off over Israeli settlements in east Jerusalem after weeks of acrimony between the two countries after Israel announced plans to build an additional 1600 Jewish units in Arab neighborhoods in the disputed city.

Apparently, Netanyahu is still flexing his political muscles by requiring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to meet him on March 22 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington (the same hotel that served as the tryst rendezvous for former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer who was "honeytrapped" by an escort agency run by a suspected Mossad-linked owner) rather than at her office at the State Department. Netanyahu's impolitic moves follows his handing Vice President Joe Biden a broken plaque, with shards of glass flying, at a recent event in Jerusalem. Netanyahu's brother-in-law, Hargai Ben-Artzi, recently used the typical and well-worn canard of "anti-Semitic" to describe Obama.

WMR has learned from a source close to Netanyahu that the Israeli Prime Minister's chief adviser, Ron Dermer, serves as his personal conduit to the Oval Office, particularly to Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. Dermer is a leading Israeli hawk who also co-authored "The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror" with Israeli expansionist and former Soviet refusenik Natan Sharansky.

Dermer is a classic dual U.S.-Israeli citizen. Although he claims to have given up his U.S. passport when he agreed to work for Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Ron Dermer's brother is the former three-term mayor of Miami Beach, David Dermer. Ron Dermer has enough clout in Washington to get put right through the the president's chief aides, including Emanuel and David Axelrod.

The father of the Dermer brothers, Jay Dermer, also served as a two-term mayor of Miami Beach. Jay Dermer died in 1984 at the age of 54, one year following the death in Miami Beach of Meyer Lansky. Jay Dermer fought to protect Florida's paramutuel gambling interests against the introduction of casinos into the state. Lansky tried to flee to Israel in 1970 to avoid prosecution in the United States. Although Israel ruled that Lansky was a threat to "public safety," he was given Israeli travel documents. After Switzerland, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and Panama rejected Lansky's offer of $1 million for asylum, he was arrested in 1972 in Miami. Most of the criminal charges against Lansky were dropped by the Nixon administration and Lansky was judged too ill to stand trial for other charges. Lansky remained in Miami Beach until his death.

The Miami Beach connection to the Oval Office is noteworthy since the city has continued to serve as a major base in the United States for the Jewish Mafia, which started with Lansky and continues with the number of Russian-Israeli Jewish gangsters in the city, many of them wanted by Russia.

Although Chicago native Lee "Rosy" Rosenberg, seen as a close friend of Obama and who served on the finance committee for the Obama presidential campaign, has taken over as the new president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Israeli media has reported that he is adept at bringing in big money for Israeli causes from individuals not normally known for their public support for Israel. Rosenberg's music and real estate industry businesses, in addition to his close links to Emanuel and Axelrod, have some observers wondering whether the individuals not for their public support for Israel may be those connected to dodgy business enterprises, particularly those in Las Vegas.

As the media writes about the "gulf" between Obama and Netanyahu, the presence of Israeli insiders in the Oval Office puts into doubt any suggestion that Israel and the United States are drifting apart on any policies.



March 24-25, 2010

Castro's secret archives: US Special Ops prepares to snatch five decades of damaging material

WMR has learned from knowledgeable sources in the Pentagon that the U.S. Special Operations Command has recently been tasked to come up with a covert operation designed to snatch the secret archives complied over five decades by former Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Our sources report that among Castro's archives are documents proving the collaboration of top U.S. Mafia figures, including Mafia financial boss Meyer Lansky, with the CIA in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963. Castro apparently kept track of many of those involved in the assassination of Kennedy because they were also actively involved in anti-Castro plots associated with right-wing Cuban exiles that were organized out of Miami, New Orleans, Houston, and Dallas, cities where the Mafia was extremely active.

WMR has learned that Castro's extensive archives have been secured in a well-protected facility on the Isle of Youth (formerly the Isle of Pines) off the southwest coast of Cuba.

In addition to documents that point to the mob's and CIA's involvement in the Kennedy assassination, including the roles played by the Canadian Bronfman family and their wealthy attorney, the CIA-connected Louis Bloomfield of Montreal, the Castro archives reportedly contain a wealth of information about Cuban support for Angola's government and liberation movements in Africa and Latin America. The archives also have details about the role of the CIA in the Angolan civil war and the coups that toppled Chilean President Salvador Allende and other leaders, as well as Henry Kissinger's infamous Operation Condor that "disappeared" thousands of leftist, student, and labor leaders in Latin America.

The plans by the U.S. Special Operations Command to surreptitiously land on the Isle of Youth and secure the Castro archives may have something to do with the recent arrest of a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contractor as he was boarding a plane in Havana. Alan Phillip Gross of Potomac, Maryland was arrested on December 5 last year and charged with espionage. Gross entered Cuba on a tourist visa but began working on projects designed to provide Internet technology services for Cuban Jewish communities. Gross worked for Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) of Bethesda, Maryland, a State Department contractor that specializes in bringing high-technology services to "civil society organizations." Gross is reportedly a satellite technology expert.

Gross reportedly made a number of trips to Cuba before his arrest. Throwing doubt on claims that Gross was in Cuba to help provide Internet access to the Cuban Jewish community, several prominent members of Cuba's Jewish community said they never met Gross. In addition, Cuba's small Jewish community was already receiving computer and Internet assistance from ORT, a non-governmental organization.

Gross's mission in Cuba has been clouded in mystery. Cuba said Gross was illegally distributing satellite communications equipment, which would be important for in-country support in a mission to secretly insert a U.S. military team in Cuba to spirit away Castro's archives.

Due to Gross's visibility with Jewish groups in the United States, his arrest has affected on-going talks between Washington and Havana designed to improve relations between the two nations.

DAI's website states the company started operations in 1970 and by 1980 was active in Sudan, the then-Zaire, Tanzania, and Indonesia. In a move that mirrors that of Barack Obama and his mother Ann Dunham, DAI extended its development operations from Indonesia to Pakistan and by 1982 the firm was fully active in that nation at a time the U.S. was using Pakistan as a base to support the Afghan mujaheddin against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. DAI is also active in Jordan, Palestine, Mexico, and South Africa.

The arrest of Gross in December came as former President Fidel Castro began to reassert control over the government, particularly through the appointment as Vice President of the Council of State of Ramiro Valdes Menendez, a Castro loyalist and former Interior Minister who understands the need to protect the Island of Youth archives from being snatched by the United States or other non-state players.

In April 2003, a Cuban man hijacked an Antonov-24 from the Isle of Youth and, after a brief landing at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport where some women and children passengers were released, was allowed to fly to Key West. The hijacker, who threatened to blow up the plane with two hand grenades, was eventually granted asylum in the United States after the ritualistic debriefing by FBI and CIA personnel.

Wayne Madsen

Investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. His columns have appeared in a wide number of newspapers and journals. Madsen is a regular contributor on Russia Today. He has written The Handbook of Personal Data Protection (London: Macmillan, 1992); Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa 1993-1999 (Edwin Mellen Press, 1999); Jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops & Brass Plates and Overthrow a Fascist Regime on $15 a Day and co-authored America’s Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II (Dandelion, 2003).

cold war british skies and saudi-emirates hot war

March 25, 2010

RAF intercepts Russian bombers over Stornoway

A Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bomber is escorted by an RAF Tornado F3  near Stornoway, in the Outer Hebrides

(PA:Press Association) A Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bomber is escorted by an RAF Tornado F3 near Stornoway, in the Outer Hebrides

Two Russian Blackjack bombers, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, have been intercepted by RAF fighters over Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides, and escorted out of British airspace.

The action was described as “not unusual” by Wing Commander Mark Gorringe, of 111 Squadron, scrambled to intercept the bombers. He said that RAF crews had been involved in similar incidents on more than 20 occasions since the start of 2009, equivalent to once every three weeks.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed yesterday that two RAF Tornado F3 fighter jets from RAF Leuchars, in Fife, had been alerted in the early hours of March 10.

The aircraft shadowed the supersonic Tu160 bombers as they flew in the direction of the Clyde estuary, before the Russians turned north towards the Antrim coast. The Russian aircrfat left British airspace and after four hours, the Tornado crews were stood down.

The MoD took the unprecedented step of issuing photographs of the two Russian aircraft.

Wing Commander Gorringe accepted that the public would be surprised by the frequency of such incidents. “Our pilots, navigators and indeed all the support personnel at RAF Leuchars work very hard to deliver the UK Quick Reaction Alert Force 24 hours a day, to defend the UK from unidentified aircraft entering our airspace, or aircraft in distress,” he said.

Experts say that the Russian missions have a mixture of motives. “There is probably a little bit of submarine-watching around the Clyde, there are naval exercises scheduled about now off the Scottish coast and there is probably a bit of muscle-flexing, saying “Hey, we are still here’,” said one defence source.

“These guys are not in contact with air traffic control in the UK. Any aircraft has to be identified, because one day there could be a risk.”

During the Cold War, Britain’s northern air defences were frequently tested by Soviet aircraft.


Naval battle between UAE and Saudi Arabia raises fears for Gulf security

A naval clash in the Gulf has reignited fears over the security of the world's most important shipping lanes and disputed oilfields.

Richard Spencer in Dubai
26 Mar 2010

The United Arab Emirates navy is thought to have opened fire on a small patrol vessel from Saudi Arabia after a dispute over water boundaries.

According to one report, two Saudi sailors were injured in the alleged bombardment.

The Saudi vessel was forced to surrender, and its sailors were delivered into custody in Abu Dhabi for several days, before being released and handed over to the Saudi embassy earlier this week.

The incident has shocked diplomats who hope the countries, both key American allies, will help implement the West's strategy to constrain Iran's nuclear and military ambitions.

The clash happened in disputed waters between the coasts of Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and the peninsula on which the gas-rich state of Qatar sits.

The seabed is rich with oil deposits, while the Dolphin pipeline project to carry natural gas direct from Qatar to Abu Dhabi has provoked irritation in the Saudi authorities. Nevertheless, direct conflict between the two countries' armed forces is highly unusual.

The Gulf is one of the most heavily armed regions in the world. The Saudi government has been building up its army and air force for years in response to what it sees as a regional threat from Iran.

The UAE was slower to join the arms race, despite a long-running row with Iran over three Gulf islands previously under Abu Dhabi control which were seized by the late Shah in 1971 on the night the Emirates celebrated their independence.

But now the UAE, despite its small size, is the fourth largest purchaser of weaponry on the international market in the world.

Western governments are exasperated that the two countries are unable to co-operate because of a series of long-running border disputes, largely influenced by oil reserves.

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil producer, while Abu Dhabi, though ranking only number four in OPEC, is by some counts the richest city per head of population in the world.

"It looks as though attempts were made to keep this quiet, which is predictable given the important relationship between the two countries and the strategic relationship with Iran," a Gulf-based diplomat said. "But it does remind us of the simmering rows that there are in this part of the Gulf."

The Gulf is the shipping route for 40 per cent of the world's oil trade. The lack of agreed naval boundaries leads to repeated arrests of civilian vessels, including a British yacht by the Iranian navy last November, but more serious is the threat of Iranian retaliation for any attack by Israel or American forces on its nuclear installations.

The Iranian government has threatened to mine the Straits of Hormuz at the tip of the Gulf, or target the western navies moored in Gulf Arab ports.

"This is getting serious," a local defence analyst said. "The Dolphin pipeline is a critical interstate energy project to bring gas from Qatar to the UAE, so a fight (with Saudi Arabia) is affecting the relations between these three countries at a time when they should be co-operating."

A spokesman for the UAE ministry of defence said he was unable to give details of the incident.

related text:

saudi neibourhood troubles on the petrol side

Monday, 29 March 2010



By Raj on 02/5/2010

A top ten list of things that aren’t as cheap as you think.

#10 Bottled WaterBottled water sounds like it should be cheaper – it’s 200 to 10,000 times more expensive than tap water. But in the US, the annual energy wasted on bottled water adds the equivalent to 100,000 cars on roads and 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. And the price we pay for water doesn’t begin to address the longer term issues of global shortage for something that everyone needs to survive. Make a start: stop your local government from wasting your money on bottled water, as we did in San Francisco.

#9 Cellphones – We’ve all got them. The trouble is that one of the minerals inside our high tech toys – coltan – is bought very dear indeed. With around three quarters of the world’s reserves of coltan in the Democratic Republic of Congo, our demand for gadgets fuels bloody conflict and vast human suffering. The No Blood on My Cellphone campaign shows how we can stop it.

#8 Double cheeseburger – A value meal is a great way to eat if you’ve neither time nor money but this cheap food turns out to be ‘cheat food’. What if we had to pay the full environmental, labour and health costs of a burger? Some researchers think we’d end up paying over $200, and that doesn’t include the modern day slavery in our North American sandwiches.

#7 Fish fingers – The world’s oceans are being emptied. When I was a kid, our fish fingers were made of cod. Now the species is commercially extinct, and we’re within a generation of killing everything in the seas. Yet the price of fish is still just a few dollars a kilo.

#6 A Free Lunch - Rudyard Kipling came across the free lunch in the nineteenth century in San Francisco, where he “paid for a drink and got as much as you wanted to eat. For something less than a rupee a day a man can feed himself sumptuously in San Francisco, even though he be a bankrupt.” But the freebie ends up being a way to reel you in to consume more. And, yes, my own book is being sold this way too, with a free chapter and video . There’s no moral high-ground for me – I’m a moral low-ground sort of person. But that doesn’t stop me from encouraging folk to get the book from a library.

#5 Googling – Would it shock you to know that two Google searches produces the equivalent greenhouse gases of making a cup of tea. The London Telegraph reported this last year , and while Google denies it, it’s certainly true that global information technology is responsible for 2% of all greenhouse gases.

#4 Toxic wasteLarry Summers, President Obama’s chief economic adviser, was once a senior economist at the World Bank. When he was there, he wrote in a confidential but since widely cited memo that “Just between you and me, shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Less Developed Countries]?” He argued that poor people valued a clean environment less than the rich, and so pollution should flow to them. And it has, with rich countries dumping their pollution on poor ones, undervaluing their lives and the damage it causes.

#3 Low income jobs. Part of the reason that food and energy are cheap is so that working peoples’ wage demands are kept in check. In Canada, average real wages have increased by just 1% in two decades – and in the US similar long term trends for working class people (and severe declines in the value of minimum wages.)
But around the world, minimum wages fall far below what families need to survive.

#2 Gas – The way we live to day depends on our not paying the full costs of fossil fuel – with thousands already dying and many billions being lost right now. While figures of $65 trillion a year for the real cost of fossil fuel are almost certainly wrong, with 300 million people affected, it’s already a disaster. We need to bring our governments to heel if we’re to leave a world worth living in to our children.

#1 Women’s work – The world wouldn’t turn without the work of raising children, and caring for family and community. But it’s the work that is most often and quite literally taken for granted. If the work that women did were to be paid, how much would it cost? Researchers put it at $11 trillion in 1995, or half the world’s total output. Movements demanding a basic income grant are laying the foundations for this new way of working and living. Valuing women’s work would, more than any other single thing, transform the way we think about our economy and society.

Here are some other links from groups involved in coltan, toxic waste, and food. Feel free to suggest others in comments.

Another update

David Roberts at Grist has a fine response to this list. I omitted coal from the list simply because energy (coal, nuclear, natural gas, agrofuels,e tc) is hugely underpriced and the entire list might have been filled only with those examples, but David’s quite right to point out the real cost of coal. More here.

Friday, 26 March 2010

911: 26% of americans agree with ahmadinejad



Do you agree or disagree with this statement? – “The Sept. 11 incident was a big fabrication as a pretext for the campaign against terrorism and a prelude for staging an invasion against Afghanistan.”

...........................Agree...............Disagree......................Not sure






october 2008 poll

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

canada: internet tops tv viewing


Internet tops TV viewing in Canada: Ipsos poll

QMI Agency Last Updated:
March 22, 2010

For the first time ever, Canadians are spending more time surfing the web than they are watching television, a new poll shows.

Canadians are now spending more than 18 hours each week online, and 16.9 hours watching television, the Ipsos Reid study shows. That's up from last year, when we were spending 14.9 hours on the Internet and 15.8 hours watching TV.

Males are spending more time online than females - 20 hours for men, 16 hours for women - and those aged 18-34 are spending 20 hours each week online, while people 35 and up are spending about 18 hours online.

"Today, online Canadians are finding a myriad of entertainment options available to them within the walls of their homes. While some entertainment content has simply shifted from television to online, the Internet is also providing new content to Canadians," study author Mark Laver says in a press release.

"The Internet is poised to take the next step in our lives as it delivers more and more entertainment content to Canadians in their homes and on the go." When it comes to watching TV, those 55 and up are sitting in front of the tube for about 20 hours each week. But the hours drop as people get younger.

People between the ages of 35-54 spend about 15 hours watching their favourite shows while those 18-34 will watch TV for about 13 hours each week.

The online survey of 839 people was conducted via the Ipsos Online Panel last fall.

"The data indicates that not only are people of all ages spending more and more time online, but it also points to a shift in how online Canadians are consuming media and where they are spending their free time," Laver said.

Monday, 22 March 2010

mongolia famine, arsenic water in bangladesh


Death stalks the frozen land of Genghis Khan

Mongolia is experiencing the worst famine in a generation, as Peter Foster found when he spent time with nomads in the one of the most inhospitable terrains on earth.

Peter Foster in Uliastai
21 Mar 2010

Death stalks the frozen land of Genghis Khan

The looming catastrophe is so serious that the United Nations has issued an urgent appeal for assistance for this remote corner of Asia, a region so inhospitable that westerners rarely penetrate it. Photo: ADAM DEAN

The gaunt carcass of the horse lay where it had fallen, the cause of death - a slow, painful starvation - obvious from its near-fleshless, silvery bones that gleamed under an ice-blue Mongolian sky.

In a nearby tree, a murder of glossy crows sat patiently waiting their chance to feast on the latest victim of the white dzud, the name Mongolian herders use to describe a winter of such ferocity that it comes round only once in a generation.

This has been one of those winters; fattening the carrion feeders, the crows, magpies and stooping, black vultures on the carcasses of more than two million farm animals, with another two million expected to perish before the winter ends.

The looming catastrophe is so serious that the United Nations has issued an urgent appeal for assistance for this remote corner of Asia, a region so inhospitable that westerners rarely penetrate it.

A drought last summer meant that the sparse grazing yielded even less nutrition than usual. Now, as The Sunday Telegraph became the first western newspaper to witness at close quarters, Mongolian herdsmen, the ancestors of the warrior clans that conquered most of Asia under Genghis Khan, face a struggle just to keep alive.

The herdsmen are no strangers to hardship, inured to tending their flocks in temperatures below -40C, but even they have been defeated by the savagery of this particular season.

"It died this morning, I skinned it for its coat which is worth a little money," said the owner of the dead horse, retreating into his ger, the traditional round felt-lined dwelling of Eurasian nomads. "On January 20 I had 1080 head of stock. I have lost more than 800 since then."

On that night, recalled 35-year-old Batbayar Zundui, the first big snows of winter came driving down the valleys of the western Mongolian Altai mountains where he lives with his wife and three-month-old daughter.

"The snows were too deep for the animals to reach the pasture. We brought them in, but because of the drought last summer we didn't have enough fodder to feed them. Many starved to death where they stood," he says matter-of-factly.

Batbayar, who had 70 horses last December of which only eight remain, cannot hide his despair as he explains how some mornings he wakes to find two animals dead, other mornings 10.

Recently his three elder daughters returned home from the nearest town where they attend a government boarding school, to discover the rising mound of carcasses behind the family home.

"Some of the animals that died were owned by them and they loved them especially dearly," he says, unable to hold back a tear. "My daughters cried and then they blamed their parents for failing them."

Such stories are told over and over in the mountains outside Uliastai, the capital of Mongolia's western Zavkhan province 620 miles from the capital Ulan Bator, and indeed over swaths of the country which has declared a national disaster in 12 of its 21 provinces.

The United Nations and aid organisations such as Save the Children have issued an urgent appeal for assistance to clear fallen livestock and deliver food, fuel and medical care to the herdsmen and their families who account for more than a third of Mongolia's 2.7m population.

"Mongolia is in the middle of a major emergency," says Anna Ford, Asia specialist with Save the Children. "Tens of thousands of families don't know how they are going to feed their children, heat their homes or keep their animals alive and things are only going to get worse."

The scale of the emergency, and the difficulty of delivering assistance, becomes gruesomely clear as we drive north from Uliastai along unmarked roads, churning across the windblown steppe through mile after mile of drifting snow and sliding wildly across frozen rivers.

In a country three times the size of France, many of the herders remain unreachable, locked in the vastness of some of the most inhospitable inhabited terrain on the planet.

The evidence of Mongolia's animal holocaust lies all around; horses and cows skinned at the roadside where they fell and, in gully after gully, piles of sheep and goat carcasses, frozen by the Siberian winds. Only the camels seem to survive.

But if nature is the principle cause of this disaster, it may not be wholly to blame for its debilitating impact on the herdsmen.

Elders who remember the great dzuds of 1968 and 1944 say the ability of modern Mongolian farmers to cope with the disaster has been diminished by a combination of greed and neglect.

Since Mongolia embraced market reforms and abandoned its Soviet-inspired co-operative agriculture system in the 1990s the numbers of animals on the pastures has doubled to an unsustainable 44 million.

Grazing land has been chronically over-used, particularly by destructive, grubbing goats bred to feed the international demand for cashmere wool.

Up in a narrow crease of a snow-filled valley, a 70-year-old herder called Baavankhon frames Mongolia's problems in more poetic terms.

Like many herders, Baavankhon worships the land that sustains him, making offerings to a sacred mountain but in recent years, he says, people have been cutting firewood from the holy places; just one example of how the ancient compact with nature has been broken in modern Mongolia.

"We have mountains, rivers and sky and the most powerful of these is the sky," he says as outside the snow begins to fall again. "If the sky is in a good mood, it brings us warmth and moderate rains that bring us a good life. But if the sky is angry it sends us cold and snow and then we are ruined."

The dzud poses a huge problem for a country struggling to adapt to the post-Communist era, mired in corruption and unplanned urbanisation.

Allegations of vote rigging in a 2008 parliamentary poll sparked violent protests, but calm returned last May after 46-year-old Tsakhia Elbegdorj was elected President on an anti-corruption ticket.

International investors are now queuing up for the chance to exploit Mongolia's vast mineral reserves - gold, silver, copper, iron and uranium – which are being eyed by neighbouring China.

However with a third of Mongolians living in poverty, it remains unclear whether Mongolia's 180,000 herder families will benefit from their country's massive potential.

For now those development goals are subordinate to the immediate task of delivering help to those in need.

Herders like 25-year-old Bayambajav Choijin, who has already lost more than a third of her flock of 300 sheep and goats, know that April will prove the cruellest month as stores run out.

"Normally when we buy food we don't pay cash, but agree that in the spring, when we sell cashmere from the goats, we'll pay back the shopkeeper, but with the large number of animals dying they won't give us anything now," she says.

The UN reports infant mortality rates are already rising by 40 per cent in worst-affected districts and in Uliastai where the hospital has 42 cases for its 35 beds, doctors predict rising numbers of suicide and neurosis.

Bayambajav says the impacts of the dzud will be felt by her family for years to come and that she will now never be able to provide the college education she dreams of for her son, Batmagnal.

"The animals mean everything for us," she says looking on as the boy plays at her feet, oblivious to his shrinking fortunes.

"They are our food, our store of wealth and on their backs rest all our future plans."

*To donate to Save the Children's Emergency Fund go to

see also: mongolia maps


How the West poisoned Bangladesh

A UN project aimed to help millions - but it brought them water contaminated with arsenic

By Andrew Buncombe
Sunday, 21 March 2010

Up to 20 million people in Bangladesh are at risk of suffering early deaths because of arsenic poisoning – the legacy of a well-intentioned but ill-planned water project that created a devastating public health catastrophe.

Four decades after an internationally funded move to dig tube wells across the country massively backfired, huge numbers of people still remain at higher risk of contracting cancer and heart disease. The intellectual development of untold numbers of children is also being held back by the contamination of drinking water. Poor diet exacerbates the risk.

Bangladesh's arsenic crisis dates back to the 1970s when, in an effort to improve the quality of drinking water and counter diarrhoea, which was one of the country's biggest killers of children, there was large-scale international investment in building tube wells. It was believed the wells would provide safe supplies for families, otherwise dependent on dirty surface water which was killing up to 250,000 children a year.

Yet the move, spearheaded by the UN and the World Bank, was fatally flawed. Although checks were carried out for certain contaminants in the newly sourced water, it was not tested for arsenic, which occurs naturally in the Ganges and Brahmaputra deltas. By the early 1990s, when it was found that up to half of 10 million tube wells were contaminated with arsenic, Bangladesh was confronting a huge problem. The World Health Organisation called it "the largest mass poisoning of a population in history... The scale of the environmental disaster is greater than any seen before; it is beyond the accidents in Bhopal, India, in 1984, and Chernobyl, Ukraine, in 1986".

Some subsequent studies predicted that, ultimately, one person in 10 who drinks water from the arsenical wells would go on to die from lung, bladder or skin cancer. Even though some of these conditions take decades to develop, by 2004, about 3,000 people a year were dying from arsenic-related cancers.

Since the 1990s, organisations such as Unicef have led the effort to develop and provide alternative sources of water, such as collecting rainwater and filtering surface water. Slowly, the percentage of families exposed to contaminated water has fallen. But a survey conducted by Unicef last year found that 13 per cent of people are still using contaminated water. "That equates to 20 million people," says Yan Zheng, a Unicef arsenic specialist based in Dhaka. "The health impacts vary. The skin lesions that arsenic causes are well recognised by the villagers. But the cancer and cardiovascular diseases are still not fully recognised by the villagers and some health professionals." Ms Zheng says a recent study showed significantly higher death rates for those exposed to arsenic: "It was as you would expect – the higher the exposure, the higher the risk.".

Government and UN officials will publish a new report tomorrow calling for urgent action to tackle what remains a huge problem of contamination, both from drinking water and from crops such as rice that are irrigated with contaminated water. According to the report, being released to coincide with World Water Day, arsenic poses health risks to a significant proportion of the population, though children are particularly vulnerable.

The skin lesions caused by arsenicosis are just the first sign of many possibly fatal health problems. The lesions still attract widespread social stigma in Bangladesh, with many people until recently believing they were the result of a curse.

"Urgent action is needed to refocus the attention of the nation towards an arsenic-safe environment," says Renata Lok Dessallien, the UN chief in Bangladesh. "Concerted efforts by the government and all stakeholders are necessary to reinvigorate arsenic monitoring and mitigation efforts, and to conduct comprehensive research on emerging threats."

The arsenic contaminating so much of Bangladesh's water occurs naturally in the water courses of the rivers that sustain hundreds of millions of people. Many underground sources around the world suffer from arsenic contamination and there have been health issues in countries ranging from Argentina to Taiwan and India. There is also considerable arsenic contamination in parts of the US.

In Bangladesh, a fierce row continues to rage over the responsibility for the massive contamination. While aid groups and the UN insist their testing at the time met international standards, others have argued that there should have been a more thorough awareness of the local geology and topography. Yet more have said that the UN and the World Bank were slow to acknowledge their role in the tragedy.

Dipankar Chakraborti, of the Jadavpur University in West Bengal and a leading expert, says the level of arsenic contamination in Bangladesh is worse than anywhere else globally. He says the international bodies have never fully acknowledged their role in a crisis that will be played out for years to come. "It is a major problem," he says. "We have found that when we went back to people with skin lesions whom we interviewed 15 years ago, about 30 per cent of them had developed some sort of cancer."

Last year scientists concluded that arsenic entered the water in tube wells as a result of thousands of ponds that were dug across Bangladesh to provide soil for flood protection. Disturbing the ground released the organic carbon, which in turn causes arsenic to leach from sediments. The scientists from MIT in Boston concluded that one solution would be to dig "deeper drinking-water wells, below the influence of the ponds".

Meanwhile, educating the public about the dangers of arsenic poisoning, and disabusing them of the widespread idea that its effects are the result of a curse, or infectious, is essential. "Raising awareness among people on the danger of arsenic is essential," says Bangladesh's minister of health, Dr A F M Ruhal Haque. "Health workers can disseminate this message, while the government will continue to invest in screening and treatment of arsenicosis patients in affected districts."

Britain's toxic beer

Arsenic was a pervasive contaminant in Britain and the US in the 19th century. It was used in wallpaper, fabric dyes, and even as a colouring in confectionery.

One of the worst instances of man-made arsenical poisoning came in Lancashire in late 1900. Large numbers of people in the Manchester and Salford areas displayed symptoms of what was thought to be simple over-indulgence. But, as the cases mounted, and people began to turn up with blackened skin and other tell-tale signs, arsenic poisoning was suspected. This was confirmed, and eventually traced to the firm that supplied sugar used in brewing.

Before the poisonings had run their course, more than 6,000 people had been affected, and 80 of these died. The episode was instrumental in securing more rigorous legislation on food safety.