Occupy London Photos October 2011

Stuart Bannocks – http://www.flickr.com/photos/42665617@N07/ Loz Pycock – http://www.flickr.com/photos/blahflowers/ Hedonoikos – http://www.flickr.com/photos/bauzz/ Workers Solidarity Movement – http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsm_ireland/ Garry Knight – http://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/ Christopher A. Tittle – http://www.flickr.com/photos/onigiris_and_onsens/ Beth PH – http://www.flickr.com/photos/beth-torr/

California Congressional Representatives Letter to President Obama on Medical Marijuana Crackdown

We write to express our concern with the recent activity by the Department of Justice against legitimate medical cannabis dispensaries in California that are operating legally under state law. As you know, in October of 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder issued formal guidelines for federal prosecutors in states that have enacted laws authorizing the use of cannabis for medical purposes. The guidelines were spelled out in a memo to United States Attorneys from then Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, saying in part that the Attorneys should not focus federal resources in their state “on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.”

(U//FOUO) Georgia Fusion Center: Suspicious Incident at Haralson County Water Treatment Facility

The Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC) is releasing this informational bulletin to enhance the situational awareness of law enforcement and security personnel with regard to a highly suspicious break-in incident that occurred on 24 October 2011 at the Haralson County Water Treatment Facility. During this incident, a subject broke in to the facility and was recorded (via security camera) taking pictures of the facility’s chlorination system, including the chlorine tank. In light of this highly suspicious incident, GISAC is urging facilities to be vigilant in their security measures and report any suspicious activity regarding water treatment facilities, or other critical infrastructure as soon as possible.

(U//LES) National Drug Intelligence Center: Mexican Drug Cartels Operating Within U.S. Cities

The National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) assesses with high confidence that in 2009, Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) were operating in the United States in at least 1,286 cities spanning all nine Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) regions, based on law enforcement reporting. Moreover, NDIC assesses with high confidence that Mexican DTOs in at least 143 of these U.S. cities were linked to a specific Mexican Cartel or DTO based in Mexico—the Sinaloa Cartel (at least 75 cities), the Gulf Cartel/Los Zetas (at least 37 cities), the Juárez Cartel (at least 33 cities), the Beltrán-Leyva DTO (at least 30 cities), La Familia Michoacán (at least 27 cities), or the Tijuana Cartel (at least 21 cities). NDIC assesses with high confidence that Mexican DTOs will further expand their drug trafficking operations in the United States in the near term, particularly in the New England, New York/New Jersey, Mid-Atlantic, and Florida/Caribbean Regions. NDIC also believes that Mexican DTOs will maintain the present high level of availability for heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine because the conditions in Mexico and in the United States that enabled and motivated the DTOs to increase production and availability of those drugs have not significantly changed.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Leaked Texts June-September 2011

The following texts were obtained and first published by Citizens Trade Campaign (CTC). According to CT, the texts “reveal that the Obama administration has reversed reforms designed to enhance access to affordable medicines made during the George W. Bush administration and is instead demanding new rights for pharmaceutical firms to challenge pricing and other drug formulary policies used by many developed countries to keep down prices.” The texts also have relevance for those studying intellectual property rights as previously leaked versions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) demonstrated a number of features that advanced controversial aspects of U.S. copyright law.

(U//FOUO) Arizona Fusion Center: Occupy Phoenix “When Should You Shoot A Cop?” Flyer

Copies of an “informational” letter were left on a table for protestors pick up and read during the “Occupy Phoenix” event at Cesar Chavez Park. The presence of the letter was reported to the ACTIC by a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy who had responded to an un-related call and was alerted to it by another deputy working the event. This letter is blatantly anti-government and anti-law enforcement in nature. It not only condones but even encourages citizens to kill any “government agent” (i.e. law enforcement officer), who in their perception violates their rights. Examples are given in the document, of “illegal” search and seizure, sobriety and border checkpoints, airport security, etc… In essence this document states that citizens have the right and moral obligation to resist any action by law enforcement that is viewed as a violation of the citizen’s rights, and often-times resistance involves killing officers.

Oakland Police Suppress Protesters With the Same Technology as Dictators

Photos from Tuesday evening’s violent police response to a march supporting the Occupy Oakland protest encampment indicate that the Oakland Police Department is using the same crowd suppression technologies that are used by foreign dictators. One photo by Reuters photographer Stephen Lam shows a broken canister from a “Han-Ball” rubber ball smoke grenade. The non-lethal munition is made by Defense Technology Corporation of America (Federal Laboratories), a company based in Casper, Wyoming and owned by BAE Systems, one of the largest defense contractors in the world. The use of non-lethal munitions manufactured by this company has been reported in recent popular protests in Yemen and Bahrain. Several Palestinian protesters were injured in early 2011 and one was killed after being struck by tear gas grenades made by several U.S. companies, including Defense Technology Corporation of America.

Urban Area Security Initiative Effectiveness Report August 2011

Created in 2003 in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States by al-Qaeda, the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) is the only federal homeland security grant program that requires regional governance, strategic planning and investing involving all disciplines – law enforcement, fire service, public health and medical, public works, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and emergency management – in order to acquire the necessary plans, equipment, training and exercises to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from threats and acts of terrorism and other major hazards. From FY 2003 to FY 2011, approximately $6.5 billion has been appropriated for this program.

(U//FOUO) DHS Terrorist Backpressure Contamination of Water Systems

Backpressure, the reverse flow of contaminated water into a potable water distribution system, has the potential to affect the public health of a community by using residential, commercial, or industrial connections in water distribution systems as a pathway for contamination. A water contamination incident using an effective contaminant and delivery method would cause immediate public health effects, require costly cleanup, and cause lasting economic and psychological impact. The amount of toxicity depends on many factors, including the type of contaminant, dilution and solubility of the contaminant, and the proximity of the consumer to the point of entry.

IMF, EU, European Central Bank “Troika” Greece Debt Sustainability Analysis October 21, 2011

Since the fourth review, the situation in Greece has taken a turn for the worse, with the economy increasingly adjusting through recession and related wage-price channels, rather than through structural reform driven increases in productivity. The authorities have also struggled to meet their policy commitments against these headwinds. For the purpose of the debt sustainability assessment, a revised baseline has been specified, which takes into account the implications of these developments for future growth and for likely policy outcomes. It has been extended through 2030 to fully capture long term growth dynamics, and possible financing implications.

GAO Report: Federal Reserve Directors and Potential Conflicts of Interest

The Federal Reserve Act requires each Reserve Bank to be governed by a nine-member board—three Class A directors elected by member banks to represent their interests, three Class B directors elected by member banks to represent the public, and three Class C directors that are appointed by the Federal Reserve Board to represent the public. The diversity of Reserve Bank boards was limited from 2006 to 2010. For example, in 2006 minorities accounted for 13 of 108 director positions, and in 2010 they accounted for 15 of 108 director positions. Specifically, in 2010 Reserve Bank directors included 78 white men, 15 white women, 12 minority men, and 3 minority women. According to the Federal Reserve Act, Class B and C directors are to be elected with due but not exclusive consideration to the interests of agriculture, commerce, industry, services, labor, and consumer representation.