(CBS) Several financial giants that received federal bailout money in the last year paid out bonuses to employees in 2008 that greatly exceeded the amount of profit generated by the banks, according to a study on executive compensation released by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo Thursday. Despite claims by bank executives that bonuses are tied to the company’s performance, the report states that “there is no clear rhyme or reason to how the banks compensate or reward their employees.” Cuomo’s investigation “suggests a disconnect between compensation and bank performance that resulted in a ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ bonus system.”
According to the report:
- Goldman Sachs, which earned $2.3 billion last year and received $10 billion in TARP funding, paid out $4.8 billion in bonuses in 2008 – more than double their net income.
- Morgan Stanley, which earned $1.7 billion last year and received $10 billion in bailout funds, handed out $4.475 billion in bonuses, nearly three times their net income.
- JPMorgan Chase, which earned $5.6 billion in 2008 and received $25 billion from the government, paid out $8.69 billion in bonus money.
- Citigroup and Merrill Lynch lost a combined $54 billion last year. They received a total of $55 billion in bailouts and paid out $9 billion in combined bonuses. ($5.33 billion for Citigroup; $3.6 billion for Merrill Lynch, which was subsequently acquired by Bank of America.)
If you haven’t read Matt Taibi’s exposé of Goldman Sachs, what’s stopping you!?!?!?!
An independent inquiry into Britain’s role in the Iraq war has opened in London, with its chairman promising to call Tony Blair, the UK prime minister at the time of the 2003 invasion, as a witness. Sir John Chilcot, a former civil servant, said he would “not shy away” from criticising decisions taken about the war and insisted the probe would not be a whitewash.
Chilcot stressed that the inquiry will be heard in public wherever possible, adding that it could be televised and streamed live on the internet. But some evidence will be taken in private for national security reasons and to ensure “complete candour”, he said, adding that although witnesses could not be compelled to give evidence, he did not expect anyone to decline.
Just as L/Cpl Joe Glenton delivers a letter to Gordo-
A serving soldier who is refusing to return to Afghanistan has delivered a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to “bring our soldiers home”. L/Cpl Joe Glenton, of the Royal Logistic Corps, delivered his letter to 10 Downing Street on Thursday. He said: “I know that the Afghan people are very resilient. I can’t see us getting much further.” The soldier, who lives in York, faces a preliminary court martial on Monday for refusing to go back to Afghanistan. In his letter he claims the war in Afghanistan is being fought in the interests of US foreign policy.
Fellow soldiers who have come to this blog from a link posted @ ARmy Rumour SErvice are less than enthused. May I suggest they read ‘Raising My Voice’ by Malalai Joya (review coming soon!) and reflect upon the misuse of soldier’s professionalism and comradeship by ruling classes with a taste for imperialism. To aid you in your revery-
Several former detainees at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan have said they heard the screams of a woman, who’s been dubbed “The Gray Lady of Bagram.”
Ok, quick recap, are you ready?- Aafia Siddiqui is taken by US forces and disappeared for FIVE YEARS, she then miraculously reappears in the US where she is being charged with trying to kill American interrogators in Afghanistan. So first this current report (in)complete with memory hole-
(Reuters) – A Pakistani woman charged with trying to kill American interrogators in Afghanistan is fit to stand trial, a U.S. judge ruled on Wednesday after months of examination of her mental state. The U.S. government says Aafia Siddiqui, 37, a U.S.-trained neuroscientist, had links to al Qaeda.
“The Court finds that Dr Siddiqui is competent to stand trial by a preponderance of the evidence,” U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan federal court said in a written order. “Dr Siddiqui has sufficient present ability to consult with her lawyers with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and she also has a rational as well as a factual understanding of the proceedings against her.” Prosecutors say Siddiqui grabbed a U.S. warrant officer’s rifle in mid-2008 while she was detained for questioning in Afghanistan and fired it at the interrogation team, which included two FBI agents, but no one was hit. The warrant officer then shot and wounded her with his pistol. Siddiqui was transferred to the United States and charged with attempted murder and assault of U.S. soldiers. She has pleaded not guilty. No one has been able to verify her whereabouts for the five years before her arrest. At a hearing this month Siddiqui, wearing a white hijab covering all but her eyes, interrupted a doctor’s testimony to say, “Please take me seriously, I am not psychotic.” Judge Berman found that Siddiqui “understands the nature of the charges and can assist counsel with her defense.”
Ok, so from this you might think ‘what an evil woman’, that is what the US authorities want you to think, or maybe her five years in a ghost site made her mentally ill, but you certainly won’t be informed of the different story of the incident-
The complaint says that she got hold of an officer’s M-4 rifle in an interrogation room and fired two shots, which missed. The officer used his pistol to fire back and hit her at least once in the torso, according to the charges.
Afghan police, however, said that U.S. soldiers demanded that local police hand over Siddiqui, but they refused, according to a report from Ghazni by the Reuters news agency. When the Americans disarmed the Afghan police at gunpoint, Siddiqui approached the Americans, complaining of mistreatment by the police, according to this account.
The U.S. troops, according to an unnamed Afghan police officer, “thinking that she had explosives and would attack them as a suicide bomber, shot her and took her,” Reuters reported.
Sounds a lot like when cops brutalise someone they then charge them with resisting arrest just in this context it’s amplified by The War on Terror™ to five years in secret prison then renditioned to the US to be charged with attempted murder. Is this a woman fearing torture (including rape) being shot by US forces then held for five years in secret before being charge with crimes, not say- the shooter and the people who held her for five years being charged- this is state gangsterism. While in US custody she is repeatedly sexually assaulted-
Aafia remains in a US detention facility in New York, in poor health, subjected to degrading and humiliating strip searches and cavity searches whenever she receives a legal visit or appears in court. She has subsequently refused to meet with counsel. It has been reported that she may suffer from brain damage and that a part of her intestine may have been removed. Her lawyers say her symptoms are consistent with a sufferer of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
She might have also been distraught at the time of her arrest kidnapping because they also kidnapped her three children…
All 3 of her children were detained by a shadowy mix of ISI/US forces-
2008 Human Rights Network president, Intikhab Alam Suri had filed the petition in SHC through Iqbal Aqeel Advocate, making a plea that Aafia Siddiqui along with her three children was abducted and they were being kept at separate unknown places and tortured, while Dr. Aafia Siddiqui in sub-conscious state was handed over to US although no evidence against her exists. The petition further said, “She is a Pakistani citizen, her security was the government’s responsibility and, therefore, the respondents—federal interior and foreign ministries and the federation should be ordered to recover and bring back Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and her three children by fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities.
The FBI admitted they held Ahmad since 2003-
2008 The United States has confirmed that Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s 12-year-old son has been in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since 2003, reported Channel Five. Michael G Garcia, the US attorney general of southern region, in his letter addressed to Dr Aafia’s sister Dr Fozia Siddiqui, has revealed that Dr Aafia’s son was in the FBI’s custody.
Ahmed is now under the care of his aunt-
Dr. Fauzia Siddiqui sister of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has refused to allow media to talk to Ahmad Siddiqui son of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui saying that he was yet in a state of shock. While talking to Private TV Channel she expressed Ahmad’s profound happiness on return of Ahmad Siddiqui and said that Aafia’s son name was changed many times. “Though, Ahmad had matured but he was mentally disturbed, therefore, Ahmad cannot be allowed to talk to media, “ She maintained. In response to a question she said that Ahmad Siddiqui would be shifted from Islamabad within two or three days and government was also assisting them in this connection. She also thanked the government for making efforts for return of Ahmad Siddiqui, and expressed her gratitude to media, civil societies and people for projecting the issue, hoping that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui would soon return to Pakistan along with her two other children. Similarly, in letter addressed to President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, Interior Minister and other officials she has thanked them for helping Siddiqui family at all fronts.
No one knows where the other two children are. More at Caged Prisoners
UK out (for now)-
Britain will withdraw its remaining forces from Iraq to Kuwait by the end of the month because the Iraqi parliament failed to pass a deal allowing them to stay to protect oil platforms and provide training, a spokesman said Tuesday. Britain already has withdrawn its combat forces according to a previous agreement. The British Ministry of Defense said the new announcement related to between 100 and 150 mostly navy personnel left to train the Iraqi navy. U.S. troops would be standing in for the British while they were out of the country, according to the ministry. An agreement reached with the Iraqi government would have let some British troops stay in Iraq to train after most had left their bases around the southern city of Basra.
British Embassy spokesman Jawwad Syed said Tuesday it’s a procedural delay and that the remaining British forces will pull back to Kuwait until the issue is resolved. The troops’ existing mandate expires on July 31. “The guys who were doing the training are temporarily moving out to Kuwait while we talk to the Iraqi government about what we might do in the interim,” Syed said. “We have general broad support for our agreement … we’re hopeful that when we have the next parliamentary session, we should achieve a ratification.”
While the US creeps back in-
Nearly a month after American troops officially withdrew from urban areas in Iraq, they are quietly going back in again, patrolling the streets of towns and cities where, despite improvements in security, violence remains an everyday occurrence.
Iranian authorities have released 140 people detained during a crackdown on protesters following last month’s disputed presidential election. The detainees were freed on Tuesday during a visit to the Evin prison in the capital, Tehran, by a parliamentary committee investigating prisoners’ conditions. The protesters were among at least 500 people believed to have been arrested during demonstrations…
The move on Tuesday followed an order from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, to close a second detention centre where opposition protesters were detained. Iranian state media said the Kahrizak centre was closing because authorities there were unable to preserve detainees’ rights. Alireza Ronaghi, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Tehran, said the parliamentary committee was initially motivated to launch its investigation after reports of mistreatment and abuse of the prisoners.
“But what appears to have been the main reason for the investigation was the death of the son of a highly respected conservative politician,” he said. Mohsen Rouhalamini, who was arrested on July 9, was said to be killed in prison. Authorities said he had died from meningitis, but there were reports that his teeth were smashed. The news was taken very seriously by the conservatives as it revealed that the violence was spiraling out of control.”
In a roundabout way it’s testament to the lack of empathy/imagination/ethics of conservatives, it took the death of one of their children to change their response.
Eleven workers taking part in a sit-in protest over job cuts at a wind turbine blade factory on the Isle of Wight have been dismissed. Vestas Windsystems said it had sacked 11 employees who it had identified as being inside the office.
Mike, one of the workers, told the BBC that dismissal letters – telling them they had lost their jobs and their redundancy packages – were delivered with their evening meal, a slice of pizza.
Obviously blogs lend themselves to endless pointless words….which might be why some still engage in debate even when events like this prove the words of the three main political parties are utterly worthless. Wank off on Red Toryism or Purnell’s new gig all you like, it’s all bullshit for people with comfortable incomes and lives, policy wonks and careerists, problem is you can only buy yourself out of a degraded environment for so long. Judge by actions, New Labour betrays workers in green jobs -period- Cruddas can talk he likes, but check his voting record. Fuck words, we need actions.