Who Profited From the $440 Billion Greek Bailout? Not Greeks

Counter Information


By Jack Rasmus

August 24, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – This week marks the first anniversary of the 2015 Greek debt crisis, the third in that country’s recent history since 2010. Last Aug. 20-21, 2015, the ‘Troika’—i.e., the pan-European institutions of the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB), plus the IMF-imposed a third debt deal on Greece. Greece was given US$98 billion in loans from the Troika. A previous 2012 Troika imposed debt deal had added nearly US$200 billion to an initial 2010 debt deal of US$140 billion.

That’s approximately US$440 billion in Troika loans over a five year period, 2010-2015. The question is: who is benefitting from the US$440 billion? It’s not Greece. If not the Greek economy and its people, then who? And have we seen the last of Greek debt crises?

One might think that US$440 billion in loans would have helped Greece…

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How the Olympics wrecked the Greek economy


Ah, the pageantry of the Olympics: the emotional medal ceremonies, the salacious rumors from inside the Village, the annihilation of entire first-world economies.

All right, generally applied, that last one is a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s true in at least one case. The Olympics are exorbitantly expensive for host countries, requiring extensive construction projects whose costs are rarely recouped, and leaving behind facilities to be overgrown with vines decades later. And in the case of the Athens Summer Games, the pain was particularly sharp. In fact, it helped immerse Greece in the debt crisis that still beleaguers it today.

After decades of traveling the world, the Olympics, like Odysseus, finally returned home in 2004, sending hundreds of thousands of tourists flocking to Athens. But the cost of the Summer Games was calculated at $11 billion, of which the Greeks ended up stuck with $7.8 billion. And that didn’t include billions more for an infrastructure revamp, such as a new airport and metro system.

If you don’t understand how a small Mediterranean economy could handle those kinds of costs, then you’re underestimating the insanity of the European Union. Greece joined the euro currency in 2001. Its debt far exceeded the EU’s acceptable limits, but Goldman Sachs cooked the books so it would qualify, and eurocrats—addled by dreams of “ever-closer union”—looked the other way. This gave it access to the EU’s unsustainably low interest rates and allowed it to go on a spending spree in preparation for the Olympics.

RELATED: Greek socialism and EU imperialism are both to blame for the euro crisis

Only a month after the closing ceremonies, Greece’s newly elected government announced that debt had reached 112 percent of GDP, almost twice the amount permitted by EU rules. According to Greece’s new prime minister, the red ink was concealed by the previous government: “Social policy was done with borrowed cash, military spending did not show up in the budget, debts were created in secret,” he said.

Three months later, Greece conceded it fudged its debt numbers to gain access to the euro, a shocking admission that was promptly shrugged off by EU ministers. So the borrowing continued and the debt festered under the Acropolis. You didn’t need the Oracle of Delphi to predict what would happen next. Today, throttled by the 2008 crash and bled by a series of failed German lab experiments, Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio stands at 177 percent and its unemployment rate is stuck at more than 23 percent.

The Olympics didn’t destroy Greece, but they were emblematic of the shop-a-thon that ultimately engulfed the European economy. The Games came home and found not suitors, but debtors. Today, Athens is dotted not just with ancient ruins, but modern ones, stagnating pools and abandoned slalom facilities. “It’s hard not to think that maybe it wasn’t worth it,” gymnast Christos Libanovnos told Time magazine.

Greece and the EU are primarily at fault for the spendthrift games, but also deserving of blame is the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Between the Athens Olympics and the crash of 2008, the IOC generated $6 billion in revenue, not a dime of which was used to relieve Greek liabilities. This is common practice: the IOC routinely awards the games to doe-eyed developing nations, many of which simply aren’t able to afford them.

This year is no exception. Beneath the “it’s a small world” sheen of the Rio opening ceremonies was a Brazil in the midst of political crisis and economic recession, with a budget deficit of $6 billion. The Brazilians won’t suffer the same fate as the Greeks, but the tension caused by mounting costs is already palpable: “Brazil cannot pay caviar bills for others,” Rio’s aggravated mayor recently said of the notoriously louche IOC.

RELATED: Privatize the Olympics

What’s the solution? Ventilate the IOC’s corruption, tighten the fiscal requirements for hosting the Olympics, and stay budget-conscious by upping business sponsorships and corporate involvement the way Los Angeles did for the 1984 Summer Games. As my Rare colleague Casey Given noted last week, the Olympics can actually make a profit if they’re willing to privatize.

As for Greece, its economy was leveled in part by those crippling infrastructure investments. And, no, that’s not an oxymoron. Turns out you can’t prime an economy by paying workers to dig holes, no matter what Paul Krugman likes to think.

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US Lost in Afghanistan, but Did Manage to Make Afghanistan the World’s Top Heroin Exporter


Afghanistan has quickly become the world’s leader in smuggling and exporting heroin thanks to U.S. occupation there. Few are aware of the history of the CIA’s running illegal drugs internationally.


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Afghan Brigadier General Abdul Sama was accused recently of smuggling over 40 pounds of heroin.

It should come as no surprise that an Afghan general was caught smuggling heroin, the surprise is that any high official in that country should be charged with a crime for profiting from the trade in illegal drugs while under the watchful eye of American forces.

Under American occupation, Afghanistan quickly became the world’s leader in opium production, producing over 90% of the world’s supply. The Taliban had almost shut down opium production prior to the US invasion in 2001 to the chagrin of international drug runners, and no doubt the international banking industry, which earns big profits laundering billions of dollars in illegal drug money annually. Illegal drugs account for about 8% of all international trade.

Few Americans are aware of the long history of the CIA’s running illegal drugs internationally, thanks to the untiring efforts of the mainstream press. We’re citizens aware, few would be surprised that heroin production has skyrocketed under US occupation of Afghanistan.

The tragic case of journalist Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News is a case in point, and represents perhaps the widest known attempt at suppressing the story of CIA drug-running endeavors, with the mainstream US press shamelessly and dutifully attacking Webb for attempting to expose the inconvenient truth.

That truth: in the 1980’s, the CIA was actively shipping cocaine from Central America into the USA using its own “airline” in order to earn money to circumvent a Congressional ban on continued support for the terrorist Contras, a Reagan-administration-backed counterinsurgency seeking to overthrow democracy in Nicaragua on behalf of US ruling interests. Webb lost his job, and was blackballed from his profession for telling the truth and eventually either was murdered or committed suicide from the pressures our corrupt system can apply against a citizen who blows the whistle.

Former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official Michael Levine wrote that he discovered heroin was being smuggled into the USA inside the bodies of US troops who had died in Vietnam during the sixties. After reporting this ghoulish information, he was transferred and told that it was a CIA operation and he should shut his mouth about it.

After being transferred to South America, Levine then reported on massive cocaine smuggling and was again told to shut his mouth as it too was a CIA operation and he should go along with the program.

Levine eventually realized that much international drug smuggling into the US appears to be under the control of the CIA, and he was wasting his time, so resigned from the DEA.

Levine states without hesitation that “The CIA has long been a major supporter of the people and organizations responsible for supplying drugs to this country. Time and time again, I discovered that various people against whom we were trying to build a case were regarded as assets by the CIA. Of course, at that time those ‘assets’ were described as allies in the Cold War, but my DEA sources tell me that this remains the case even now that the Cold War is over.”

The US government pretends to care about eradicating opium production in Afghanistan, while production soars to record levels. Can this be an accident?

The largest marketplace for illegal drugs continues to be the United States, despite a decades-long so-called “war on drugs.” Can this be an accident?

And can it be an accident that between 2002 and 2013, the 11 years that the US has been occupying and fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan,?

Recall that when the government wanted to stop the recent anti-banker democracy movement known as “Occupy,” it did so in a matter of months, showing clearly where its priorities and capabilities lie. As was exposed in ThisCantBeHappening!, the Obama Administration coordinated efforts nationally with individual cities, where tear gas, beatings, pepper spray, jailing and other tactics were used to deny the right of the people to peaceably assemble. There was even a bizarre plot in Houston to have leaders of the small Occupy movement there murdered using “suppressed rifle fire” –- a plot the FBI knew about, but did nothing to prevent. (Apparently that plan, whose conspirators were never identified publicly, was called off because Occupy famously had no “leaders” who could be targeted.)

That the US government cannot similarly crack down successfully on the annual importation of billions of dollars worth of illegal drugs should cause anyone not comatose to at least question the system.

Our motto should be “Leave no bankster behind.” We know they do buy our politicians, with President Obama having received a record amount of campaign funding in 2008 from the banking industry shortly before he pushed through the massive bailout on their behalf.

As long as international banking makes billions of dollars from the illegal narcotics trade, we can expect the “war on drugs” to be as much of a fraud as the profitable “war on terrorism,” whose contractors also supply those who run our government with massive campaign financing, ensuring we will not soon run out of either drugs or acts of terror (the latter mostly contrived by government agents and paid informants).



Orlando nightclub massacre eyewitnesses: ‘More than one shooter, snipers fired at police, someone blocked exits’

© AP
The back of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on Sunday, June 12. Police say they used an APC to make these holes in the wall, through which many surviving hostages escaped. It’s undisclosed who made the bullet holes around the larger holes.

Yet another appalling mass murder in the US, the bloodiest yet, has once again focused world media attention on the Indispensable Nation. 50 dead, 53 wounded, and all the work of one ISIS-sympathizing, rabidly homophobic (though closet gay, apparently), Muslim-American, tax-paying, Mecca-visiting (yet non-religious), divorced, ‘disturbed’, ‘gentle’, NYPD-loving, America-hating, father-of-one terrorist working a steady job for 9 years with the world’s biggest private security firm.

An Everyman for our times then, it would seem.

The story goes that, at 2am on Sunday 12 June 2016, 29-year-old Omar Mateen walked into a dark nightclub packed with 320 people having a good time. Mateen is carrying an AR-15 rifle and 30 magazines of ammunition on his person. In the dark, beneath the flashing and strobing lights, he begins shooting and goes on to reload and empty his AR-15 rifle 30 times, firing nearly 1,000 rounds of .223 ammunition. In the process, he achieves the remarkable feat of killing or injuring one third of the people around him, the majority of his victims being shot multiple times, some as many as 12 times. And he does all this in under 7 minutes. Alone.

That, dear readers, is the ‘official story’, aka, ‘all the news that’s fit to print’.

Here’s the list of victims:

  • Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
  • Stanley Almodovar III, 23
  • Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
  • Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
  • Kimberly Morris, 37
  • Luis S. Vielma, 22
  • Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
  • Amanda Alvear, 25
  • Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25
  • Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
  • Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32
  • Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24
  • Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
  • Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
  • Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
  • Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
  • Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
  • Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
  • Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25
  • Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25
  • Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
  • Martin Benitez Torres, 33
  • Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
  • Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
  • Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
  • Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31
  • Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26
  • Miguel Angel Honorato, 30
  • Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
  • Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19
  • Cory James Connell, 21
  • Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
  • Luis Daniel Conde, 39
  • Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
  • Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
  • Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
  • Jerald Arthur Wright, 31
  • Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
  • Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27
  • Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
  • Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49
  • Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24
  • Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32
  • Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
  • Frank Hernandez, 27
  • Paul Terrell Henry, 41
  • Antonio Davon Brown, 29
  • Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24
  • Akyra Murray, 18

Now let’s take a closer look at The Timeline (one version of it anyway), as reported by CNN:

The first shots were fired just after 2am, presumably at patrons inside the club. A police officer was on duty at, or in the vicinity of, the club. He was initially joined by two more police officers and they exchanged gunfire with ‘the shooter’, who was apparently outside the club at this point, but who then ran back into the club. How he got into the club in the first place, armed to the gills, isn’t disclosed.

Anyway, the first 3 cops were joined within minutes by “about 100 officers from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Orlando Police Department.” At 2:09 am, nightclub employees sent a message via Facebook telling patrons to “get out of Pulse and keep running.” Then nothing happened for 3 hours, ostensibly because the remaining patrons were being held hostage. Police officials said they had to hang around all that time “to access the situation, get armored vehicles on the scene and make sure they had enough personnel.”

Access the situation? That’s either a typo and it should read ‘assess the situation’, or too many of those cops were idling in the nearby Dunkin’ Donuts.

The only thing of note, we’re told, that took place during that time was that the shooter called 911 to tell police that he was doing this for the leader of ISIS, who he named and pledged loyalty to, before expressing solidarity with the supposed perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings (which took place in 2013, before ‘ISIS’ existed) and solidarity with the Florida man who died in 2014 as a suicide bomber in Syria for Al-Nusra Front (a terrorist group the US State Department is working around the clock to distinguish from ISIS as ‘moderate’ because it is arming and funding it).

At about 5 am, SWAT police units used an armored vehicle to smash their way into the club, confront the suspect “in the doorway and shoot and kill him.” Another variant of that ending has the ‘lone wolf’ engage in a one-hour shoot out with SWAT units, subjecting them to “a hail of bullets” before he is killed. Job done, everyone goes home.

Florida governor Rick Scott then gave the ‘Orlando Strong’ speech…

“This was an attack on our people, an attack on Orlando, an attack on Florida, an attack on America, an attack on all of us.”

US president Barack Obama followed up with the ‘Love and Light’ speech…

“In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another. We will not give in to fear or turn against each other, instead we will stand united as Americans to protect our people, to defend our nation, and take action against those who threaten us.”

And that’s it; end of story.

There are, however, a few small details to iron out, like squaring the above with the following testimony provided by several people who were actually there at the club that night:

Part 1

Part 2

Multiple shooters coordinating a tactical assault on the club? Keeping exits blocked to maximize the death toll? Snipers keeping the cops at bay?

Who were these gunmen? Where did they go? Who do they work for? And more to the point, why isn’t the media reporting this, at least alongside the incredible story of a lone wolf whose astonishing kill rate put Hollywood action movie ‘heroes’ to shame?

The very fact that the Orlando mass shooting simultaneously targeted pretty much all of America’s fault lines points to the psychology of those behind it. We’re not looking at wayward chance here; we’re looking at someone or something that knows Americans better than they know themselves (and no one knows Americans better than their authority figures).

This is the terrorists (the actual ones) once again ‘hitting the paranoia switch’, as psychologist Martha Stout describes in her seminal work, reviewed here.

Then again, never mind; these are just trivial details and ‘conspiratorial’ speculation (based on eyewitness testimony). What’s really important is that everyone gets together to cry crocodile tears for people they wouldn’t ordinarily give a damn about, pledge their undying support for the military-industrial complex, and remember to vote this Fall for the most authoritarian ‘leader’ (take your pick between Killary and raging baby-man Trump) who will lead Americans (and the world) further down the road of global chaos and, quite possibly, ultimate destruction.