The FBI illegally collected more than 2,000 U.S. telephone call records between 2002 and 2006 by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records, according to internal bureau memos and interviews. FBI officials issued approvals after the fact to justify their actions.

The Washington Post has an investigative piece with all the disturbing details.

“Just trust us,” the government keeps saying. “It’s all for your protection. We will never abuse our power.” Uh, sure.


What’s the Fed Hiding?

January 12, 2010

Federal Reserve Bank HQ
The Federal Reserve has asked a U.S. appeals court to block a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by leading media outlets seeking the identities of financial institutions that would have failed without the massive bailout by the federal government. A lower court judge has already ordered the Fed to disclose the information.

What does the Fed have to hide? And what do the big bankers and Wall Street titans who are the real masters of the Fed and who benefited from the bailout have to hide?



Master of the Coverup Tim Geithner

Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner orchestrated a massive cover-up by the Federal Reserve during his term as Chief of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. According to reports in Bloomberg, the Fed ordered taxpayer bailed out insurer AIG to stay quiet about its payment of funds to Goldman Sachs.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then led by Timothy Geithner, told American International Group Inc. to withhold details from the public about the bailed-out insurer’s payments to banks during the depths of the financial crisis, e-mails between the company and its regulator show.

AIG said in a draft of a regulatory filing that the insurer paid banks, which included Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA, 100 cents on the dollar for credit-default swaps they bought from the firm. The New York Fed crossed out the reference, according to the e-mails, and AIG excluded the language when the filing was made public on Dec. 24, 2008. The e-mails were obtained by Representative Darrell Issa, ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Read more about the cover-up at Bloomberg News.

Taxpayers provided AIG with $182 billion in bail-out funds, much of which was used to pay off Goldman and the other big banks in whole, leaving the taxpayer holding the bag.

Click to continue reading more…


The Rich Get Richer

January 2, 2010

A decade of job loss

A decade of job loss

The Bush Administration’s legacy is one of job losses of nearly historic proportions. Ten years of the average citizen treading water — and in some cases sinking — while the number of millionaires on Wall Street and in high finance grew by record numbers. Just as the money changers took over the temple in biblical times, so did the monied among us rig the system to line their own pockets at the expense of the average American. Even worse, their “hired gun” lobbyists and eager-to-please congressmen on the take fixed the system to keep them on top.

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Move Your Money Campaign

January 2, 2010

Join Arianna Huffington’s campaign to Move Your Money from the bailed out big banks to your local community bank or credit union.


Banking Chair Barney Frank

Nice work on behalf of the American taxpayer. A guarantee of $4 trillion to the biggest “too big to fail” banks when (not if) they get in trouble again. So much for the lessons of moral hazard. And a debate cap of just 10 hours in Congress when it comes times to dole out the next big bank bailout. A bill to protect the taxpayer?

It authorizes Federal Reserve banks to provide as much as $4 trillion in emergency funding the next time Wall Street crashes. So much for “no-more-bailouts” talk. That is more than twice what the Fed pumped into markets this time around. The size of the fund makes the bribes in the Senate’s health-care bill look minuscule.

The bill also allows the government, in a crisis, to back financial firms’ debts. Bondholders can sleep easy — there are more bailouts to come.

… in the event of another government request for emergency aid to prop up the financial system, debate in Congress be limited to just 10 hours.

David Reilly at Bloomberg News has all the details. Maddening and infuriating to read, don’t skip it.

Bankers Get $4 Trillion Gift From Barney Frank: David Reilly –