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FAQ: Key Questions on Libya’s Coming Transition

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A Libyan rebel raises his rifle as tens of thousands of Libyans celebrate the prospective end of Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s rule in Benghazi, Libya, on Aug. 21, 2011. (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images)

Developments are still unfolding quickly in Libya, and there's a lot that's still unclear. We're laying out some key questions along with what we know so far. We're updating this feature as we go. And we want you to be part of it: Email us or tweet @ProPublica with questions you'd like to see answered.

Will Qaddafi and his cohorts be brought to justice?

(This section has been updated to reflect that Seif al-Islam Qaddafi was spotted, apparently free, in Tripoli.)

It's likely that some of them will be tried, but it's not clear by whom. The international community seems to want one thing, but the rebels want another.

The International Criminal Court, the global war crimes court, is currently negotiating with rebels to get them to hand over Qaddafi's son Seif al-Islam, whom the rebels said they captured but was spotted Monday in a hotel full of Western journalists. The court issued arrest warrants earlier this year for Muammar Qaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam Qaddafi, and intelligence chief Abdullah Al Sanousi, having found "reasonable grounds to believe" that the three men had committed crimes against humanity in the form of murder and prosecution. (Read the decision [PDF].)

The rebels have insisted on trying Qaddafi at home. A rebel spokesman told Sky News today: "We want to see him be tried in Libya and not in any other place in the world." They have promised to give him a fair trial.

It's worth noting that it's not clear whether Libya is actually obligated to hand over Qaddafi. Along with the United States, Libya is one of a few countries that hasn't signed on to the ICC's founding treaty. But ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo has said that as a member of the United Nations, Libya and "any future government" in Libya is obligated to execute the warrants and turn over Qaddafi.

If the rebels do execute the warrants, an ICC trial would shield Qaddafi and his cohorts from the death penalty, which a trial in Libya would not.

Nonetheless, the United States and other countries cheered the news of the warrants when they were issued. It was the first time the United States had voted to refer an issue to the war crimes court, and as we noted, the United States only did so after including a carve-out that would shield Americans from investigation or prosecution by the court.

How much help have the United States and allies been giving the rebels?

A lot. NATO's stated mission was simply to protect Libyan civilians, but its actual role appears to have gone well beyond that.

While NATO has denied that it has any "boots on the ground" in Libya, British and American officials speaking anonymously have said that there are "dozens" of British Special Forces soldiers, as well as American CIA operatives, working in Libya. An Al-Jazeera film crew captured images of armed Westerners in the rebel frontlines west of Misrata, and a rebel source told Al Jazeera in April that he had received training from American and Egyptian special forces.

In April, France and Italy also announced they would be sending a "small number" of military officers to "be mentors" to rebel forces.

NATO has also coordinated closely with rebels in directing air strikes against Qaddafi's forces. Since its U.N.-approved operations began in March, NATO forces have conducted nearly 7,500 strike missions.

Rebel forces took advantage of this support, "selecting targets and transmitting their location, using technology provided by individual NATO allies, to NATO's targeting team in Italy," the New York Times reported.

"The rebels certainly have our phone number," an unnamed diplomat told the Times.

Over the past few weeks, the Times reported, NATO's strikes became increasingly sophisticated, "establishing around-the-clock surveillance over the dwindling areas that Libyan military forces still controlled, using armed Predator drones to detect, track and occasionally fire at those forces."

NATO's air strikes may have been particularly crucial in the hard-fought rebel recapture of the city of Zawiyah, which is only 30 miles from Tripoli, Libya's capital.

Strikes over the weekend appeared to be closely integrated into the rebel offensive on the capital, as the New York Times reported:

NATO warplanes had flown overhead for days, bombing targets in the capital and its surroundings to clear the path to Tripoli…An uprising in Tripoli on Saturday night also laid the groundwork. At the "zero hour," as the rebels called it, residents took to the streets and held demonstrations that were met with deadly force by Qaddafi soldiers — who also further exposed their heavy artillery to NATO surveillance, one rebel leader said.

The Post reported that these efforts were part of a "pincer" strategy created with the help of British, French, and Qatari special forces on the ground.

What's been the rebels' record on rights so far?

The track record of rebel groups on human rights isn't comparable to the bloody massacres by Qaddafi's forces, but it's still been far from stellar.

Qaddafi's forces have planted thousands of land mines to thwart the rebels, but advocacy group Human Rights Watch also accused rebel fighters of planting some roadside mines in April. Rebel leaders subsequently pledged not to use mines and to adhere to the Mine Ban Treaty in the future. (The Los Angeles Times notes that neither Libya nor the U.S. have signed that treaty.)

Then in July, Human Rights Watch accused some rebel forces in the western mountain regions of burning and looting hospitals, homes, and businesses in several towns they managed to overtake. They were also accused of beating people suspected of being Qaddafi loyalists. One rebel military commander admitted some of the abuses but said they were in violation of orders, according to Human Rights Watch. The rebels later issued a statement condemning the abuses and pledging to investigate.

Questions about the rebel groups' unity and adherence to the rule of law resurfaced again in late July, when the top rebel military leader was mysteriously shot dead. Rebel leaders later acknowledged that a group of rebel soldiers had assassinated Gen. Abdul Fattah Younes, who had been close to Qaddafi prior to his defection to the rebels.

The incident also underscores the fact that the rebels are fundamentally a loose coalition made up of various factions whose actions aren't always in sync -- so it's unclear at times which faction was responsible for accused abuses.

The rebels also once placed tough restrictions on journalists and banned access to the front lines, but they seem to have loosened up a little. At least one Sky News correspondent, Alex Crawford, has been freely reporting live in recent days from within the rebel convoy.

Where is Qaddafi's money, and what happens to it now?

Qaddafi and his now fallen government invested tens of billions of dollars around the world, which will likely make their way to an incoming Libyan government, though it'll take time and won't be easy.

After the United States and other countries lifted a previous round of sanctions on Qaddafi in 2003 and 2004, the Libyan government established a sovereign wealth fund that became one of the largest in the world, worth $53 billion last year. Qaddafi's managers bought stakes in an Italian bank and soccer club, a Russian aluminum company and a British publishing house, to name just a few, according to the Wall Street Journal. The fund also had billions invested in public stocks like Halliburton and also in more complicated financial products managed by Western banks.

Western governments froze most of those assets after the United Nations Security Council passed sanctions against Qaddafi in February. The U.S. alone froze more than $30 billion in Libyan government assets. President Obama could free up that money by unilaterally lifting the block on the government's assets once a new regime is in place.

The rebels have succeeded in convincing France and the United Kingdom to do just that with several hundred million dollars (they may have wished for the same from several celebrities, including Beyonce and Mariah Carey, who donated money they had earned performing for the Qaddafis to causes like Haitian relief). But for now, the vast majority remains tied up in shares of everything from London real estate to private companies.

But even if the money is given to the new government, a former Treasury Department official told NPR recently, the rebels may not be able to cash in too quickly. Most of Libya's money isn't sitting in a bank account, the official said, but is invested in shares of property or nonpublic companies. Turning those stakes into cash is difficult. One option, the former official said, would be for governments to donate or lend money to the new government, using the assets as collateral.

Or the rebels may want to look closer to home. Back in March, the Financial Times reported that Qaddafi had more than $6.5 billion worth of gold in the country's central bank. It's unclear what if anything happened to that gold, or where it is now. As the Times reported, it would have been difficult for Qaddafi to sell the gold to international banks or trading houses, but he could have moved it to neighboring countries to be traded for currency. The New York Times also reported on what was likely tens of billions of dollars in cash that Qaddafi had stashed within Libya as a rainy day fund. Again, it's unclear how much of that may be left or where it might be.

A couple of questions:

1.  In what reality is an unsigned treaty binding after a coup?  Does the UN know what any of those words mean?

2.  Early on in the revolt, there was word that the rebels had established their own central bank.  Did anybody ever determine why, given that their country already has one?  Is it still in service?  How did a bunch of ragtag rebels make that happen?

3.  What are our people doing in Libya (presumably in violation of the War Powers Act—remember that?) which Americans need to be shielded from the ICC?

While I understand the assumption that Libyans are resistant to handing them over to the ICC because they would be shielded from the death penalty, I think the reasons run far deeper.

I believe they feel justice and the will of their people would best be served if they were found guilty in Libya by Libyans. Taking them out of the country to be tried by a foreign court would give justification to remaining loyalists in the country that the overthrow was due to outside forces and not a true uprising of the Libyan people themselves.

Barry Schmittou

Aug. 22, 2011, 3:24 p.m.

Questions :

Will Obama, Clinton and gang bring the following deadly injustices to Libya like they have done in the U.S.

(1) WFAA-TV in Dallas wrote :

“a remarkable number of Texans committed suicide because they could no longer endure the pain caused by their injuries and they had been repeatedly turned down for worker’s comp care. Some insurance companies send peer review doctors medical files “stripped” of records important to the possible approval of workers’ comp claims.”

During the time period of the suicides AIG increased their sales of Workers Comp policies by rigging so many bids they were fined 1.6 billion dollars but no one was prosecuted !!!!

The Securities Exchange Commission wrote :

“AIG will pay in excess of $1.6 billion to resolve claims related to improper accounting, bid rigging and practices involving workers’ compensation funds.”

Obama and Bush’s DOL and DOJ Directors have seen this evidence but they will not lift one finger to investigate !!

Will Obama bring this kind of injustice to Libya or does he only protect the torture sick and dying patients in America ??

(2) These deadly same crimes are occurring in heath care and disability cases !!

Obama protects medical doctors paid by his campaign contributors at MetLife who ignore brain lesions, Multiple Sclerosis, cardiac conditions of many patients, and a foot a new mother broke in five places. MetLife even attacks multiple Psychological claimants !! Here’s a quote you can see at deadlyorganizedcrimes.blogspot.com

In the case of Brenda Zanny, U.S. District Judge Richard Enslen wrote :

“Metlife and its henchmen should appreciate that such conduct may itself precipitate the suicide death of a person who has placed implicit trust in their organization. This record is an open indictment of MetLife’s practices and treatment of the mentally-ill and long-term disability benefits.”

Metlife Executive Vice President James Lipscomb gave Obama $30,000 for his victory party.

On Page five of MetLife’s third Non Prosecution agreement you will see the signature of Mr. James Lipscomb as seen at

obamacontributorsfelonies.blogspot.com

Prudential, and Unum insurance also received Non Prosecution agreements for bid rigging group health, disability, life and related policies

Obama is allowing the same destruction of lives to be committed in five different types of insurance as seen at treasonevidence.blogspot.com

(3) Similar crimes are also being committed against severely injured War Zone Contractors.

Here is a quote from an injured contractor who had his leg, toes and fingers blown off in a car bomb blast :

“The Sheriff repossessed my wheelchair because CNA Global Insurance stopped payment on the check that they issued to the suppliers and my life really started spiraling out of control”

This severely injured contractor also had his bed repossessed.

Here are quotes from a ProPublica.org article :

“Reporting in 2009 by ProPublica, the Los Angeles Times and ABC’s 20/20 revealed deep flaws in the program.

Workers fought long battles for medical care, including such things as prosthetic devices and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The Labor Department seldom took action to enforce the law. One official called the system a “fiasco.”

“CNA withheld portions of the investigators’ findings when it submitted the claims to the Labor Department, court records show.”

The CNA insurance that is mentioned above also endangers injured workers !!

Here’s a quote from the WFAA series :

An on-the-job car wreck in 1992 totaled the livelihood and mobility of a man who depends on the companionship of his two parrots and daily doses of morphine and other medications to survive.

“I herniated three cervical discs; I have nerve damage in C4 through C7,” Sallee said “I have nerve damage in the lumbar disc that has caused me to lose internal functioning. My intestines don’t function.”

For eleven years, the injuries were covered by his insurance carrier, CNA. But one year ago, he received a rude holiday greeting.

“The insurance companies had doctors write peer reviews claiming I had no injuries,” he said.

(end of quotes from WFAA story)

And then there are all the Non prosecution agreements. You can see a few at bidriggingandhealthcarefraud.blogspot.com

Will President Obama bring this kind of injustice to Libya or does he only enable the torture sick and dying patients in America ??

Will he also be acting like he’s a Christian and praying on Libyan TV like he does in the U.S. while he allows the destruction of so many lives ?

God please help us all !!

The best solution lies in down to earth human quality of forgiveness!
I am sure Mr. Obama in his super powerful position (50%) of today can make happen a reality of either amnesty or death for Gaddafi (if other 50% approves unseen and disapproval will mean how smaller is our human wisdom, calculation, expetation etc. and none can even find or touch him).

By being prudent and not fearing a few groups at all (mainly two) Mr. Obama may choose to win now-‘unimaginable global public support’ (By unseen God through the humans for the humans) and open an precedented paradisical door of enjoyable income opportunity for billions of hard working middle-class portion of the global public and unlike old styled rulership or imperialism etc., ‘in a no secret’ manner unselfishly establish the primary foundation of countless ‘municipal government powers on every corner of the world under one absolutely honest UN power and like a star shine and remain in the hearts of billions of good average global folks that are no longer impress-able by giant billboards, hoaxing statues, hoarding buildings, lavish structures etc.

“Will Qaddafi and his cohorts be brought to justice?”

Cohorts? Does he need to be? Is it the function of the press to accept what the US government claims as fact? The question is will NATO/Obama be brought to justice? It is they who have waged aggressive war, not Gaddafi. In this matter, Gaddafi isn’t guilty of anything that Lincoln wasn’t when the latter was faced with a similar rebellion.

The real question is whether propublica will ever do real journalism

Why are we in Libya?  I still don’t get it!  Did we as an American people declare war on the Libyan government?  It seems to me that the power of congress is gone in regard to foreign affairs.  The president does what he wants and asks questions later.  Is he taking orders from the UN at this point?

“The [Moammar] fund also had billions invested in public stocks like Halliburton and also in more complicated financial products managed by Western banks.”

Birds of…common…oily…feathers…stuck together.  (I do think somebody sold Moammar a bunch of those Republican-scented mortgage-backed securities, though - which is something of a hoot.)

Best thing I like about this whole situation?  Watching the right contort themselves into what have to be uncomfortable knots trying to spin this against Obama.  lolll…if you spend as much time analyzing the ebb and flow of the web as I do, some patterns become familiar…in particular the use of pseudonyms for pseudonyms, as it were, when political goals dictate contradicting your own or your political party’s history. 

And right there is where my laughs (a difficult thing to achieve, considering how much trouble America is in) come from:  Warmongers under one pseudonym, but trust-me-I’m-a-humanitarian-peacenik under another pseudonym…that is, as long as that latter facade yields an opportunity to smear Obama.

Pitiful…but funny, nonetheless.

The rebels on the Libyan street level are common fools now overwhelmed by a short-lived joy of sensational victory but regarding their leaders, there is a strong possibility that in the disguise of ‘REBEL commanders’ lots of IAHs (invisible actual heads) of the East including those of so called al-Qaeda and / or even Gaddafi’s folks could easily be among these crowd of poorly equipped fighters and it is uncommonly mysterious that there has not been any apparent fierce gun-fight observed in Tripoli yet.

donald wallace

Aug. 23, 2011, 12:27 a.m.

Barry, Barry, Barry…
You sound scary.

Oh my Gosh! Are my doubts becoming true? “IAHs” of the East have played a dodging game!
Dishonest tricks have been played by rebel leaders!
Is Mr. Obama cautioning them to be aware of sudden losses of highly inspired joyful too many lives which is still avoidable. A wise tiger should not completely rely on the advises of mousy friends at times of an unpredictably desperate situation!

Despite my excruciating back pain this morning and instead of trying to sleep I strongly felt like alerting Obama’s administration to be proactive in preparation of dealing with a possible extremely dangerous killing spree of ‘artificial tiger-like powered Gaddafi’s loyalists’ now in the any moment offensive side.
Lots of innocent ‘unsuspecting blind believers’ may unnecessarily perish in a surprise attack!.
If it becomes impossible to honestly declare general amnesty immediately in return of peaceful surrendering, then, in order to minimize the risks of Libya-wide rebel-failure, only other option there surely is to gravely caution the real freedom fighters /rebels by all means and in no time to start getting organized and fully prepared to defend themselves without further notice!

Barry Schmittou

Aug. 23, 2011, 9:41 a.m.

Donald,

There is no good reason you would ignore the following evidence and say I’m the one who’s scary. I don’t know if you work for MetLife, the insurance industry, Obama or big businesses with no conscience, but you obviously don’t care about the death and destruction that is evidenced below :

WFAA-TV in Dallas wrote :

“a remarkable number of Texans committed suicide because they could no longer endure the pain caused by their injuries and they had been repeatedly turned down for worker’s comp care. Some insurance companies send peer review doctors medical files “stripped” of records important to the possible approval of workers’ comp claims.”

Obama protects medical doctors paid by his campaign contributors at MetLife who ignore brain lesions, Multiple Sclerosis, cardiac conditions of many patients, and a foot a new mother broke in five places. MetLife even attacks multiple Psychological claimants !! Here’s a quote you can see at deadlyorganizedcrimes.blogspot.com

In the case of Brenda Zanny, U.S. District Judge Richard Enslen wrote :

“Metlife and its henchmen should appreciate that such conduct may itself precipitate the suicide death of a person who has placed implicit trust in their organization. This record is an open indictment of MetLife’s practices and treatment of the mentally-ill and long-term disability benefits.”

Metlife Executive Vice President James Lipscomb gave Obama $30,000 for his victory party.

On Page five of MetLife’s third Non Prosecution agreement you will see the signature of Mr. James Lipscomb as seen at
obamacontributorsfelonies.blogspot.com

Prudential, and Unum insurance also received Non Prosecution agreements for bid rigging group health, disability, life and related policies.

Obama is allowing the same destruction of lives to be committed in five different types of insurance as seen at treasonevidence.blogspot.com
Similar crimes are also being committed against severely injured War Zone Contractors.

Here is a quote from an injured contractor who had his leg, toes and fingers blown off in a car bomb blast :

“The Sheriff repossessed my wheelchair because CNA Global Insurance stopped payment on the check that they issued to the suppliers and my life really started spiraling out of control”

This severely injured contractor also had his bed repossessed.

Here are quotes from a ProPublica.org article :

“Reporting in 2009 by ProPublica, the Los Angeles Times and ABC’s 20/20 revealed deep flaws in the program.

Workers fought long battles for medical care, including such things as prosthetic devices and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The Labor Department seldom took action to enforce the law. One official called the system a “fiasco.”

“CNA withheld portions of the investigators’ findings when it submitted the claims to the Labor Department, court records show.”

The CNA insurance that is mentioned above also endangers injured workers !!

Here’s a quote from the WFAA series :

An on-the-job car wreck in 1992 totaled the livelihood and mobility of a man who depends on the companionship of his two parrots and daily doses of morphine and other medications to survive.

“I herniated three cervical discs; I have nerve damage in C4 through C7,” Sallee said “I have nerve damage in the lumbar disc that has caused me to lose internal functioning. My intestines don’t function.”

For eleven years, the injuries were covered by his insurance carrier, CNA. But one year ago, he received a rude holiday greeting.
“The insurance companies had doctors write peer reviews claiming I had no injuries,” he said.

(end of quotes from WFAA story)

And then there are all the Non prosecution agreements. You can see a few at bidriggingandhealthcarefraud.blogspot.com

Barry, I think he’s referring to the fact that you write a lot, and usually twist the point of the article to get near your topic of choice.

I agree that there’s an issue, there, but it’s going to be off-putting to go from Libya to a long screed on medical malpractice out of nowhere.

Steve, seriously, is everything just Left(TM) vs. Right(TM) to you?  Is our messing around in Libya Bush’s fault?  Did Obama close the “black site” torture facilities when I dozed off?  Who’s on the committee that’s signing away your rights to international Intellectual Property treaties behind closed doors?  Nobody on either side of relevance (minor players Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, and Marcy Kaptur, basically) has or stands by any principle other than their own interests.

This idea of taking sides and being blind to your Party’s faults is exactly what’s wrong with this country today.  You can’t be nice to women, because it makes you sexist.  You can’t so much as acknowledge someone’s race, because then you’re racist.  You can’t claim the banks are responsible for the credit problems, because that’s (as I heard reported in 2009, which is hilarious) anti-Semitic.  You can’t claim our wars are badly planned or horrible, because you’re not supporting the troops.  Donate money to charity, and you’re a socialist.  Fail to, and you’re a fascist.  And we can’t solve the problem, because any proposal comes from the “Right” or the “Left,” and the other side won’t accept it on principle.

And that’s where they draw the line.  They’ll lie, cheat, steal, and kill, but they won’t let the other side win.  If you want government to work that way, I can’t tell you not to, but I can say that you’re every bit an obstacle to progress that Bush was in being part of it.

Barry Schmittou

Aug. 23, 2011, 5:16 p.m.

John,

I appreciate your thoughts, and at the same time I don’t think it’s a twist to ask how Obama and Clinton and the Republican leaders can be trusted to take action in other countries while they are allowing medical doctors to ignore Multiple Sclerosis and a foot a new mother broke in five places. Then I provided supporting evidence for those who may not have seen it, everyone else should know how to scroll.

I keep posting because there are so many lives being destroyed, and when I filed the complaint that led to the indictment and conviction of State Senator John Ford the news media coverage of that story in Tennessee, and the public’s response is what caused the indictment. They were taking the complaint very lightly until the media and public became very involved.

I did get on a lot of peoples nerves during the three years it took for Ford to get indicted, but Ford took $888,000 that should have gone to treat sick people.

John, I do appreciate the kind way you kindly stated your opinion. I have Post Traumatic Stress disorder caused by MetLife ignoring my cancer claim for six years and playing legal games to delay the process, and Obama’s directors have reviewed the evidence and done nothing.

You can see how Judegs wrote about MetLife doing this by going to lawyerslyingincourt.blogspot.com

I am in a daily struggle to survive, and I may not. You can never understand until you have criminals steal your medical benefits while you have cancer, and Obama and Bush protected their crimes while talking about what great Christians they are. That is why I responded to Donald Wallace’s commenst about me being scary. He completely ignored the mass murdering crimes including WFAA’s quote :

“a remarkable number of Texans committed suicide because they could no longer endure the pain caused by their injuries and they had been repeatedly turned down for worker’s comp care. Some insurance companies send peer review doctors medical files “stripped” of records important to the possible approval of workers’ comp claims.”

There are thousands of lives being destroyed by these crimes every year, and you can see part of one example by going to mypsychologistsreport.blogspot.com

@john - Re:  “Steve, seriously, is everything just Left(TM) vs. Right(TM) to you? [...]  This idea of taking sides and being blind to your Party’s faults is exactly what’s wrong with this country today.”

Ah, but you see the phrase “your Party” doesn’t apply to me; I’ve always been an Independent…maybe it is because of my life experiences in this and other countries, but I’ve always been aware that any entity - whether religious, political, corporate, government - is only as good as its leadership, and I know that any entity may be corrupted.

So I tend to judge along the lines of “How good or evil is this individual or entity right now?” rather than affiliate based upon a publicly espoused - and far too often privately betrayed - ideology.

If you wish to call the Democrats “the left” because they in general still attempt to represent the broad spectrum of Americans rather than just the wealthy, then I am quite aware that the Democrats have individuals with…shall we say “loyalty issues”?  Hopefully the day will come when the American people have the time - the luxury - to weed that sort of two-faced hypocrite out of the Democratic organization.

But that time - that luxury - will never come unless the American people address what is - in my judgment - the gravest threat the American people have ever faced:  The right, who are currently represented by the Republicans, Tea Party, etc.  The blunt fact is the right wishes to enslave the American people economically at least while granting themselves the power to dispose of those Americans who do not fall into a category the right find useful.

I might be willing to accept the right’s philosophy of “the free market rules all” if all of those who are currently wealthy were stripped of their wealth - and so their power to dictate who will live and who will die in their free market utopia.  But that would only be a temporary acceptance, for the way capitalism is designed to work, some few inevitably accumulate wealth disproportionately.  And - perhaps influenced by their (or their ancestors’) ability to accumulate wealth - almost inevitably some few of those few begin to think of themselves as gods and demand the accompanying rights.

For what the wealthy few who are the true right seek is not the rule of the free market or capitalism; it is the codification of “Wealth is power.” into law.  A natural goal for those who are both already wealthy and unbounded by morality or ethics to pursue, of course…but the death knell for freedom and all else that is America.

Thus I name the the right America’s major threat…thus I name the right the bloc that stands between the American people and “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

It has nothing to do with “Left(TM) vs. Right(TM)”.  Your argument, I would add, is one I see the right use quite a bit these days…a variation of “Divide, and conquer.”.

Essentially it comes down to those on the right realizing that they can no longer conceal their greed and so can no longer conceal just how great a threat they pose to the American people - so they attempt to “spread” that evil onto the left and moderates with the hoped-for goal of making America too disgusted with the whole process to go to the only place where they can save themselves from the right:

The voting booth.

Barry, I have no objection, I can read and skip as need be.  You seemed confused as to why anybody would think otherwise, though, and I suspect that’s the reason.

Steve, if you’re not identifying with either side, and see both sides being as rotten as I do, then why is it always a “Right” problem?  And why must I be a “Rightist” for disagreeing with you on any point?

We both see socialism ripping Europe apart, and that’s basically on our dime, so it definitely won’t work here without an angel investor with a few hundred trillion to spare.  Institutionally supporting our Hegelian robber-barons on Wall Street as “the economy” is ripping us apart, and giving Washington and the media more opportunity to divide us (right/left, Christian/Muslim, Apple/Microsoft, rich/poor…) while they take more.

We both see the corruption throughout.  But you’re convinced that evil and whatever “the Right” stands for are one and the same by definition.  You’re the one dividing, not me.  We share a lot of the same opinions and probably goals, but you’ve decided I’m rotten to the core, because you think I’ve voted for some Republican somewhere.

In all your commenting, I haven’t seen anything constructive.  Just a condemnation of anybody who might oppose a communist nanny state of the sort that nearly destroyed Russia, made China utterly dependent on us, and is eating away at Europe.  Is that your solution?  Take the corrupt government officials and give them more of our money and personal sovereignty?

Keep in mind that, all things being equal (i.e., no corporate welfare or leviathan-biased laws), consumers have much more power to stop companies run amok than governments do.  If Americans thought that Google was actually wrong for collecting information on each of us through their services to sell us to advertisers, we (well, you—I already have) can walk away from their services and leave them hanging.  Put down your iPhone, and it sends a message to Apple about their treatment of Foxconn employees, their abuses of the patent system, and general smugness.

But you don’t do that, I’m guessing.  From what you’ve said, you’d rather wait for Congress to pass a law preventing you from being a customer to those companies.

Really, other than a pogrom on people who don’t see capitalism as inherently evil and going through the motions of voting for people you know are dangerous to the country, what do you see as solutions?

Barry Schmittou

Aug. 24, 2011, 10:49 a.m.

Thank you for your comment John,

If you have time I would like you to consider this hopefully final response from me to you at this time. I take time to do this because so many lives are being destroyed and I pray someone who can help will see this.

You mentioned to Steve “We both see the corruption throughout”

You also politely mentioned malpractice as being my valid issue.

I wish you would just read the index at treasonevidence.blogspot.com or reread my first comment on this ProPublica article for a shorter version that lists about 25 percent of the crimes that are occurring simultaneously.

**** Obama and Bush have protected the same destruction of lives that is being committed in five different types of insurance by multiple insurance companies that strip medical records from files !! Many claimants die, commit suicide or have their lives destroyed.

This is much bigger than malpractice, it is the U.S. government protecting organized crimes that are destroying the lives of thousands of very sick and injured patients every year !!

Here are quotes from four Professors regarding the U.S. Title 29 health care coverage, and please remember the quotes from WFAA and ProPublica in my earlier comments about injured workers suicides and injured war zone contractors.

This quote was written by Joseph Belth, Professor Emeritus for Insurance at Indiana University :

“They’ve turned Erisa on its head,”  “It was supposed to protect employees, and it’s being used to protect insurers.”
(end of quote)

“The most important federal insurance regulation of the past generation is ERISA,” says Tom Baker, deputy dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. “If ever a law backfired for the public, ERISA is the perfect example.”

John Marshall Law School Professor Mark Debofsky wrote:

“empirical evidence is now available that shows insurers operating under ERISA have systematically engaged in the wrongful denial of claims. Cases of abusive benefit denials involving other disability insurers abound. Unum turns out to have been a clumsy villain, but in the hands of subtler operators such misbehavior is much harder to detect.”

(end of quote)

(ERISA is the U.S. Title 29 Employee Retirement Income Security Act which regulates employee benefit health plans of all the 150 million Americans who work for private businesses and corporations in America)

Here are quotes from Aaron Doyle, a professor of sociology and criminology at Carleton University in Ottawa :

“What those numbers don’t measure is the trauma survivors like Jane Pierce face when wrongfully denied, says “Most survivors don’t have the stamina and knowledge to file a lawsuit, says Doyle, who has spent a decade interviewing life insurance customers, employees and regulators in the U.S. and Canada.
(end of quotes)

John the individual types of insurance have received some media coverage, but to my knowledge I am the only one who has linked the exact same crimes being committed by multiple insurance companies in multiple types of insurance as seen at treasonevidence.blogspot.com

I had Department of Labor Directors tell me I’m the only one to request an investigation, and they sent me letters from Washington saying stopping violations is their top priority !!

BUT, after seeing the quotes that so many Judges’ and Doctors’ wrote about MetLife ignoring life threatening medical conditions, DOL Director of Participant Response Ms. Sharon Watson sent me a letter from Washington saying :

“there is nothing more EBSA can do for you”

If you want to read quotes from numerous Judges’ about “MetLife and its henchmen” ignoring life threatening medical conditions in health related cases please go to :

deadlyorganizedcrimes.blogspot.com

Please also remember WFAA-TV in Dallas wrote this about workers comp claims which are a different type of insurance :

“a remarkable number of Texans committed suicide because they could no longer endure the pain caused by their injuries and they had been repeatedly turned down for worker’s comp care. Some insurance companies send peer review doctors medical files “stripped” of records important to the possible approval of workers’ comp claims.”

Here are quotes from a ProPublica.org article about War Zone Contractors, which is a different type of insurance than the two just mentioned :

“Reporting in 2009 by ProPublica, the Los Angeles Times and ABC’s 20/20 revealed deep flaws in the program.

Workers fought long battles for medical care, including such things as prosthetic devices and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The Labor Department seldom took action to enforce the law. One official called the system a “fiasco.”

Here is a quote from an injured contractor who had his leg, toes and fingers blown off in a car bomb blast :

“The Sheriff repossessed my wheelchair because CNA Global Insurance stopped payment on the check that they issued to the suppliers and my life really started spiraling out of control”

This severely injured contractor also had his bed repossessed.

I’ll close by saying that knowing MetLife like I do there’s always a good chance that they or the other companies would have someone post something like Donald Wallace’s saying I sound scary. Please keep in mind that Judge Richard Enslen wrote “MetLife and its henchmen”

Maybe Donald Wallace was just trying to be funny or whatever ... but when thousands of people are dying because Obama and Bush are protected corporate criminals who give them huge contributions, I don’t think it’s considerate or acceptable for someone to talk about me being scary.

MetLife committed more crimes against me during my recent surgery for deep tissue cancer and soon I will again have insufficient funds for medical treatment and living. I am afraid, but I’m not scary. Having Obama protect MetLife and the other insurers will be scary or very concerning to anyone who really understands how many lives are at risk !!

@john:  What would I do to fix it?  First, I’d analyze the successful periods in American history and then determine what changed to bring us low.

That list is not all that long:

1)  Forced oil addiction and forced oil payments

2)  “Flood-up/trickle-down” economics

3)  Deregulation

4)  Inequitable free trade.

When you’ve got a lion with a thorn in its paw, the first thing you do is pull out the thorn.  I would undo what brought us low: the above list.

Of course, that last one will have its defenders on both the right and the left…those who either wish to continue enriching themselves at the expense of the American people or who are the stereotypical neoliberal who sees impoverishing ever more Americans to “raise up” the peoples of other nations as “good”. 

They will use the argument that “It is too late…we’re in a global economy now.”...a truly asinine argument; much as if you were to tell a drowning child “It is too late; you’re in the water now.”  It begs the question:  Do we have time to learn how to swim?  Can we learn how to swim, when other nations rig their currency exchange rates to keep us non-competitive, much as if bystanders were throwing that child cement life preservers?

Especially when the American people have an internal enemy - the right - who wishes to use those currency exchange rates to both enrich themselves and attack the American people - to destroy the American way of life?

lolll..and I profess to being amused to observe that you do not consider yourself to be a member of the right…that must be a difficult fiction to maintain for someone who condemns America as “a communist nannie state”.

We agree on three out of four, Steve, and I’d go a step further and say that the fix is to deal with drowning as it happens, rather than find a way to not do so.  (Truth be told, I’m on the fence regarding oil—I think we’ve hit peak usage and will move on to something else like natural gas soon to restart the problems.)

The only point I disagree with—and where I call “nanny state”—is on regulations that appear out of nowhere, created by politicians on behalf of their benefactors.  Regulation has brought us the War on Drugs that makes us the country with the highest percentage of criminals.  It gives us an FDA that rubber-stamps whatever gets put under their noses (http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/this-tops-it-all.html) and an EPA that’s little more effective than shouting “get off my lawn.”  It’s given us the twin blessings of FEMA and the DHS, treating citizens like criminals because we dare to travel or have a hurricane pass through our town.  And you can ask Barry how nice the medical field’s regulations are going for patients.

Until the politicians are accountable for what they do, regulation isn’t going to benefit the country.  It’ll mean that you’re never allowed to be anonymous, lest the cops can’t find you if you insult the President, listen to music without paying for it (even if it’s public domain, in some cases), and can have cops and companies data mining your behavior to decide if you’re a likely criminal or insurance risk.

In other words, I don’t call the country a nanny state (though Bush got us pretty damned close), but rather what you seem to be suggesting, with every problem getting a response of “regulate them more!”  Based on past performance, regulation undoubtedly means no WikiLeaks, EFF, or ACLU.  It means no doctors helping people at discounted rates (oops—the AMA already deals with that as a problem).  It may mean no unions, depending on how the wind blows through Congress, or no churches.

Most of all, it means no free speech, between wiretapping and monitoring (I refer you to HR1981) chilling expression on one end and closing websites down for copyright infringement accusations (just accusations—see S968, the addle-brained PROTECT IP Act) on the other.  Those are regulations to “help” people, where somehow the result is to run roughshod over everybody but the super-rich.  Tell me that doesn’t sound like a nanny state to you.

Berry Wates

Aug. 17, 9:28 p.m.

that you’ve done a great job with this.</br>www.google.com

Mr. Shahislam

Aug. 22, 11:53 a.m.

Sure it was -agreed!

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