Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Skeleton Key to the Gemstone File: Interview with the author

A Skeleton Key to the Gemstone File is a shocking 23-page "underground" document that appeared in the United States in 1975. Based on the notes and letters of a San Franciscan named Bruce Porter Roberts, the Skeleton Key not only provides an alternative interpretation of historical and then-current events, it also names the shooters of President John F. Kennedy and explains who was behind other political assassinations of the period.

The author of A Skeleton Key to the Gemstone File, Stephanie Caruana, remained a mystery for many years, but she eventually wrote a book called The Gemstone File: A Memoir, which provides detail on the Skeleton Key based on Roberts' letters and conversations she had with him. I became acquainted with Stephanie Caruana after writing a review of her book for Amazon. She eventually agreed to a telephone interview with the Examiner.

When she first typed the Skeleton Key on her IBM Selectra typewriter after meeting with Roberts and reading some of his letters at the Norwegian consulate, she included her name and address on the copy she Xeroxed and distributed. After that, however, the file was retyped, often by people who would add or delete parts according to their tastes or biases, and these copies were reproduced thousands of times around the world with her name deleted. Many who have read the Key still don’t know that Caruana wrote it.

The genesis of the Skeleton Key involves a conspiracy-oriented radio talk show host named Mae Brussell who lived in the Carmel Valley in the early 1970s. Caruana then was a contributing editor of Playgirl magazine, which had assigned her to write about the whereabouts of Texas billionaire Howard Hughes in an article that would be titled, “Is Howard Hughes Dead and Buried Off a Greek Island?” This article, published in December, 1974, was largely the product of Bruce Roberts’ notes and letters along with articles and news clippings from Brussell’s files.

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How MI5 kept watchdog in the dark over detainees' claims of torture

It was in the middle of 2008 that Jonathan Evans, director general of MI5, delivered a bombshell confession to the previously compliant parliamentarians of the intelligence and security committee.

He told them, in strict secrecy as usual, that assurances of MI5 innocence previously accepted without demur by the politicians had in fact been false.

The committee, which was supposed to supervise MI5's policies, had already published a reassuring report on the basis of what it had been told. That report, based on testimony from Eliza Manningham-Buller, Evans's predecessor, informed the world that MI5 had been unaware of any ill-treatment dished out by its US allies to Binyam Mohamed.

The opposite was true. As the appeal court has now finally revealed, detailed briefings had been supplied at the time by Washington on the CIA's "new strategy" for softening up Mohamed and others, for which it demanded British help. This new American "war on terror" involved the use of prolonged sleep deprivation, shackling and threats that Mohamed would be "disappeared", applied to the point where his mental stability corroded and he apparently became suicidal.

These interrogation tactics, of systematic ill-treatment which might amount to torture, had supposedly been banned by Britain since 1972, when it came to light that the British army was using them on IRA suspects.

But far from denouncing or even criticising US behaviour, MI5 officers co-operated with it. The secret files, when they eventually emerged, revealed that an MI5 officer had travelled to Karachi to help with the interrogation of Mohammed. Other MI5 desk officers and "more senior" figures also knew the contents of the CIA files, according to judgments of the British high court. That these facts had been kept from the ISC was a demonstration of the committee's impotence. Critics say the ISC is a useless government poodle, and the Binyam Mohamed affair appears to strengthen their case.

Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie said yesterday: "The ISC is not … able to get to the truth. The chairman is a prime ministerial appointee. This has allowed a revolving door between chairmanship of the ISC and the government front bench. That door should be closed."

The MI5 head finally felt obliged to confess to the ISC in 2008 and hand over the documents, because disclosure orders obtained by Mohamed's lawyers and enforced by the courts had led to the discovery of 42 incriminating files.

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Human bones could reveal truth of Japan's 'Unit 731' experiments

The Imperial Japanese Army's notorious medical research team carried out secret human experiments regarded as some of the worst war crimes in history.

Its scientists subjected more than 10,000 people per year to grotesque Josef Mengele-style torture in the name of science, including captured Russian soldiers and downed American aircrews.

The experiments included hanging people upside down until they choked, burying them alive, injecting air into their veins and placing them in high-pressure chambers.

Now new detail about their victims' suffering could be revealed after the authorities in Tokyo announced plans to open an investigation into human bones thought to have come from the unit.

A new search is also due to be carried out for mass graves that may contain more victims of human experiments.

The bones are thought to be from up to 100 people and were discovered in a mass grave in 1989 during construction work.

They bore the marks of saws and some of the skulls had drill holes and portions of the bone cut out. But the issue is so controversial in Japan that they have since been stored in a repository.

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Special Forces were shooting and finishing off wounded civilians in Ingushetia

16/02/2010 10:09

Civilians who fell victim of Russian security services on February 11-12th in Sunzhinsky district, were not killed during a battle. That was announced by member of the Human Rights Society "Memorial" Alexander Cherkasov.

"There was no battle, where civilians could have been used as human shields, no shelling from helicopters. There were groups acting from ambush, either shooting, or finishing off wounded. Victims have stab wounds, so possibly there were tortures ", - said Cherkasov.

"Clothes were not fit for all fighters, they had bags full of ramson", - he added.

According to Cherkasov, activists have photographs from places where bodies were discovered.

~ Source: Expert Club - Via Oties Willie's War Crimes Research ~

Bankers ‘quitting the City to spy for MI6’

Jack Bremer reports for The First Post:

London bankers and traders are quitting the City to work as intelligence agents. That's the claim made by MI6 - otherwise known as the Secret Intelligence Service - which, in an effort to win more recruits to the growing business of terror prevention, gave an interview yesterday to the London freesheet, the Evening Standard.

"We have a lot of people in the City applying to join us," said the spy agency's head of recruitment who, disappointingly, did not give his name as P or R but 'John'.

Bankers make good potential spies, he said, because they have good inter-personal skills and expertise at developing relationships, have travelled widely and have an understanding of different cultures.

Other professionals had also abandoned their jobs to join the spy service, said John, including lawyers and doctors, but the most noticeable trend was among bankers. (Possibly because so many of them have lost their jobs.)

'John' was so desperate for recruits that he even said that "previously radicalised individuals" would not automatically be disqualified from the service. "If they can convincingly show over a period of time they had renounced their previous views, then I would be prepared to consider them," he said.

Most important was that recruits have a minimum 2.2 university degree. The service is particularly keen to attract more women and members of ethnic minorities, especially if they have any of the following languages: Farsi, Dari, Mandarin, Arabic, Pashto, Urdu, Korean and Russian.

Just in case the last one strikes a chord, John was at pains to stress that would-be James Bonds should not get over-excited by this recruitment drive. "There are no Aston Martins in the garage," he said.

~ Link ~

PAKISTAN: The year 2009 was worst for Ahmedis

A Statement from Ahmadiyya Jamaat forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN: The year 2009 was worst for Ahmedis

The year 2009 was one of the worst for Ahmadis (a religious minority community) in Pakistan. Eleven Ahmadis were murdered for their faith. Since the promulgation of the anti-Ahmadiyya law in 1984, there has never been a year when less than 11 Ahmadis were killed. Apart from this, numerous attempts have been made on the lives of Ahmadis by their opponents who felt encouraged by the jaundiced attitude of the authorities against Ahmadis.

The federal government maintained its posture as if in continual denial of the human rights and freedom of religion of Ahmadis. The provincial governments, particularly in the Punjab and Azad Kashmir openly supported the Mullas (Muslim fundamentalist leaders) in their anti-Ahmadiyya campaign.

The government of the Punjab sponsored and held an 'end of the prophet hood conference' at the Badshahi Mosque in the provincial capital city of Lahore on April 11, 2009. At the occasion they even burnt an effigy of the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya community. Clerics, one after another, unrestrainedly proposed the denial of religious freedom to Ahmadis and indulged in slander and abuse. The conference was paid for with public funds. The federal Minister of Religious Affairs also addressed the conference.

On July 1, 2009 Mr Shahbaz Sharif, the Chief Minister of the Punjab province, presided over a meeting of high ranking clerics on the issue of terrorism. At the end of the conference a Declaration was issued and in its clause 2 the conference declared that “Anyone who is guilty, directly or indirectly, openly or by implication, of even minor insolence to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is an infidel (Kafir), apostate (Murtad) and must be put to death (Wajib-ul-Qatl).” They linked this statement in the text to the 'end of prophethood'. The declaration was given wide publicity through an advertisement campaign in the vernacular press.

The Central Police Office of Azad Kashmir issued an office circular dated March 5, 2009 on the subject of Suppression of Ahmadiyyat. A prominent sectarian leader Mr. Pir Atiqur Rahman has been appointed Minister of Auqaf (Religious Trusts) of Azad Kashmir government.

In District Layyah of Punjab province, five Ahmadis including four school-going children were arrested on a fabricated charge of blasphemy. They suffered in prison for almost six months before they were released on bail.

Thirty two Ahmadis of Lathianwala, Punjab province, were accused of blasphemy in a single case on July 25, 2009 with FIR 486/09 at Police Station Khurarianwala, Punjab. The authorities took four months to drop the fabricated charge of blasphemy. A heavy police contingent raided their mosque and homes on August 10, 2009 and removed all religious and Arabic inscriptions on their walls. YouTube displayed the video of the outrage under title: Acts of Blasphemy by Pakistani Authorities.

Seventy-four Ahmadis were booked during the year under anti-Ahmadiyya and religious laws on spurious grounds. These laws carry penalties of death and long-term imprisonments. A woman school teacher, Ms Bushra Naheed was booked on March 5, 2009 under section PPC 295-A, which is section of law that deals with deliberate and malicious act to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting the religion or religious beliefs. The charge is triable in an anti-terrorist court, and it is punishable by ten years imprisonment. The lady was only accused of speaking harshly to a woman worker.

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INSEMINA - Malleus - YaYa & Bjm Mario Bajardi

‘India guinea pig for testing GM foods’

The fight against genetically modified food got stronger on Monday with acclaimed scientist Shiv Chopra, who fought against the bovine growth hormone in Canada and subsequently got it banned, speaking against the 'poisoned food'.

Terming India as a 'guinea pig for testing' for multinational companies, Dr. Chopra said the multinational companies such as Monsanto, Bayer and others are the modern avatars of East India Company.
Public lectures

Dr. Chopra, who was in the city, as part of a series of public lectures on 'Health Impacts and Politics of GM foods', said the ongoing Bt brinjal issue was not just an environmental or agricultural issue but also a health issue. “The Ministry of Health should be involved in determining the safety of these crops and intensive tests need to be conducted on the Bt toxin,” he said. He said there was a misconception among people that Bt stands for 'biotechnology'.

“When a Chief Minister of a State asks me what Bt stands for, I am appalled and at the same time they say that Bt food is healthy,” he said while informing that Bt stands for 'Bacillus thuringiensis', a soil dwelling bacteria.

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'One aspect of conspiracy as a parlor game, "a way to break the ice at parties" '

From (Melchizedek Communique, MC021610) The much ballyhooed release of "Voodoo Histories", by David Aaronovitch prompts the resurrection of the following review of "Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture", by Mark Fenster.

...Here's another sociable aspect of "paranoia." There was (or is) a role-playing game called GURPS Illuminati, with a game manager and several players. The manager designs the conspiracy and gives different roles to the players. The players can be investigators, members of various conspiracy groups (like the Bilderbergers, the Illuminati, etc.), or someone marginally intersecting (or stumbling upon) a conspiracy. The game manager is not passive but can intervene, for example by introducing new elements. The game manager "leads them into things slowly, dropping very minor hints that there are mysteries behind the facade of the normal."

The GURPS (Generic Universal Role-Playing System) book explains that players never definitively win the game: "If the Illuminati are really monstrous spiders in a web of intrigue, you can't defeat them. You can only soldier on, struggling to reveal one more layer of the conspiracy, while staying one small step ahead of those who would destroy (or co-opt) you."

"Conspiracy Theory As Play," is one of many perspectives discussed by Fenster in his book. At long last someone has taken an impartial critical approach to the wide-ranging field of conspiracy theories. The usual critiques of the subject are cliches, insults and lame jokes, played like a broken record, (e.g. "conspiracy nuts," "someone call Oliver Stone," "the grassy knoll crowd," etc.) Mainstream journalists assigned to write something about conspiracies must be awfully lazy since they keep writing the same stupid things. Fenster is refreshing in that he has thoroughly studied his subject and does not stoop to "humorous" insults.

On the other hand, Fenster writes from academia, so there's a lot of fashionable ivory tower words like "epistemological valences," "semiotic apparatus," and "heuristic devices" you might conk your head into. At least, though, an academic type is at least now doing more than carefully avoiding serious discussion. As the years go by, other academic turtles might be peeking their heads out and noticing "something was going on back then." This timidity of the ivory tower is alluded to on the back cover of Fenster's book: "I find the issue of conspiracy theory compelling and appreciate Fenster's fruitful approach to what has been mysteriously ignored by the academy," writes one reviewer.

So how does Ph.D. Fenster analyze the conspiracy theory craze of the past 50-or-so years? Basically it is seen as a never-ending quest. Conspiracy theorists keep peeling back layers of the onion but never will get to the core, argues Fenster. They are like Gnostics, searching for some transcendant thing. That's one aspect. On the other hand, Fenster's very title refers to "secrecy in American culture." The government keeps classifying more and more information as secret. The secrecy of the federal government is burgeoning. They won't let loose with the information. A reasonable way for the citizenry to glimpse the hidden truth is for them to theorize. Physicists do that: there's a whole branch of physics called "theoretical physics." But no one is guffawing at the physicists and calling them "physics nuts." There is a core after you peel back the layers of the onion. ...

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The world's radioactive rubbish is piling up

By Michael Richardson, Japan Times

...In the Pacific Sandpiper's hold on this journey to Japan via the Panama Canal is only one item of cargo — a giant cylinder weighing more than 100 tons. Inside are 28 containers, each made of stainless steel nearly one-third of a meter thick. They are packed with 14 tons of highly radioactive waste that has been turned into solid glass form to make it safer and easier to handle.

It is the first of a series of such shipments planned for next few years to Japan from Britain's Sellafield nuclear storage and reprocessing complex. Three years ago, a dozen similar shipments from France to Japan were successfully completed. Used fuel from nuclear power reactors that generate about one-third of Japan's electricity has been shipped to Europe for reprocessing since 1969, while vitrified waste has been sent back to Japan by sea since 1995.

There have been over 170 of these ocean shipments covering more than 8 million km without any incident involving the release of radioactivity, according to the Euro-Japanese company that operates the fleet of purpose-built vessels.

But the elaborate and costly arrangement casts light on two of the most problematic and controversial aspects of civilian nuclear power — how to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons material and knowhow to terrorists and rogue states, and how to store nuclear waste safely for the long-term when it can remain radioactive for hundreds of years.

With the number of power reactors expected to rise from 435 in 31 countries to nearly 570 in 42 countries by 2020, and with much of this expansion expected to take place in Asia and the Middle East, the need for safeguards on uranium or plutonium processing that could be used to make nuclear weapons is obvious.

Recycling fuel from nuclear reactors under strict national and international regulations is one method being developed. When uranium oxide fuel has been used in a reactor for three or four years, it becomes less efficient and is replaced with fresh fuel.

The spent fuel can then be chemically treated to recover usable uranium, associated plutonium and radioactive waste, a system known as reprocessing. Although expensive, this cycle provides up to 25 percent more energy from the original uranium. It also reduces the volume of high-level waste to about one-fifth of what it would otherwise be.

Eventually, advances in reprocessing and a new generation of fast reactors may be able to recover and re-burn even more of the fissile and radioactive material from used fuel, further reducing waste and the proliferation risk.

So far, about 90,000 tons of used fuel from commercial power reactors have been reprocessed, mainly in Britain, France and Russia. By 2030, another 400,000 tons of used fuel is likely to pile up, an average of 20,000 tons a year. ...

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Legalization: Yes We Can

Grand Prize Winner for the 2009 NORML Ad Contest!

Producer, Writer, Director, Editor- Jason Druss
Director Of Photography- Jon Boal
Sound- Dan Lehner
First Assistant Director- Greg Lewis
Key Gaffer- Derrick J. Horton
Key Grip- Alex Homan
Grip- Nick Carroll
Music by Loomer

Professional Actors In Order Of Appearance- Paul Weaver, Dirk Keysser, Saad Nassim, Kate Black-Regan, Jan Hines, Phillip Langer, Jason Druss, Yasemin Rodriguez

Special Thanks
Philly Aids Thrift at 5th and Bainbridge (The best thrift store in the entire city)
Derek Rosenzweig
Philly NORML

Governments ADMIT That They Carry Out False Flag Terror

Preface for Zero Hedge readers: This is on-topic because terrorism is bad for the economy.

Forget the claims and allegations that false flag terror - governments attacking people and then blaming others in order to create animosity towards those blamed - has been used throughout history.

This essay will solely discuss government admissions to the use of false flag terror.

For example:

    * The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950's to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected president

    * Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind "evidence" implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)

    * The well-respected former Indonesian president admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings

    * The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and blamed the communists, in order to rally people's support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism. As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: "You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security" (and see this)(Italy joined NATO in 1949, years before the bombings occurred)

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Putin Tells Greece to Relax, Points to US Debt

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin played down Greece's economic woes on Tuesday, telling his visiting Greek counterpart that the United States were no better than Greece in handling its debt and fiscal deficit.

“As we all know, the global economic crisis started neither in Greece, nor in Russia, nor in Europe,” Mr. Putin told a news conference after talks with George Papandreou. “It came to us from across the ocean,” he said in a clear reference to the United States.

“There (in the U.S.) we can see similar problems - massive external debt, budget deficit,” Mr. Putin added, suggesting Russia and Greece should concentrate on the “real economy” to weather the economic crisis.

Mr. Papandreou arrived in Moscow amid rumours that the cash-strapped euro zone member may turn to Moscow, still running the world's third biggest foreign exchange reserves and eager to boost its political clout, for financial assistance.

Iceland began loan talks with Russia in October, 2008, after its main banks and currency collapsed. The tiny NATO member eventually secured funding from the International Monetary Fund and Nordic neighbours and the Russian loan never materialized.

On Tuesday European ministers told Greece it may need to take further steps to bring a swollen debt under control, with Germany saying Greece should imitate Ireland and Latvia, both of which are slashing spending and wages savagely.

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Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy

...Erik Prince, recently outed as a participant in a C.I.A. assassination program, has gained notoriety as head of the military-contracting juggernaut Blackwater, a company dogged by a grand-jury investigation, bribery accusations, and the voluntary-manslaughter trial of five ex-employees, set for next month. Lashing back at his critics, the wealthy former navy seal takes the author inside his operation in the U.S. and Afghanistan, revealing the role he's been playing in America's war on terror.

"I put myself and my company at the C.I.A.'s disposal for some very risky missions,” says Erik Prince as he surveys his heavily fortified, 7,000-acre compound in rural Moyock, North Carolina. “But when it became politically expedient to do so, someone threw me under the bus.” Prince—the founder of Blackwater, the world's most notorious private military contractor—is royally steamed. He wants to vent. And he wants you to hear him vent.

Erik Prince has an image problem—the kind that's impervious to a Madison Avenue makeover. The 40-year-old heir to a Michigan auto-parts fortune, and a former navy seal, he has had the distinction of being vilified recently both in life and in art. In Washington, Prince has become a scapegoat for some of the Bush administration's misadventures in Iraq—though Blackwater's own deeds have also come in for withering criticism. Congressmen and lawyers, human-rights groups and pundits, have described Prince as a war profiteer, one who has assembled a rogue fighting force capable of toppling governments. His employees have been repeatedly accused of using excessive, even deadly force in Iraq; many Iraqis, in fact, have died during encounters with Blackwater. And in November, as a North Carolina grand jury was considering a raft of charges against the company, as a half-dozen civil suits were brewing in Virginia, and as five former Blackwater staffers were preparing for trial for their roles in the deaths of 17 Iraqis, The New York Times reported in a page-one story that Prince's firm, in the aftermath of the tragedy, had sought to bribe Iraqi officials for their compliance, charges which Prince calls “lies … undocumented, unsubstantiated [and] anonymous.” (So infamous is the Blackwater brand that even the Taliban have floated far-fetched conspiracy theories, accusing the company of engaging in suicide bombings in Pakistan.)

Erik Prince can be a difficult man to wrap your mind around—an amalgam of contradictory caricatures. He has been branded a “Christian supremacist” who sanctions the murder of Iraqi civilians, yet he has built mosques at his overseas bases and supports a Muslim orphanage in Afghanistan. He and his family have long backed conservative causes, funded right-wing political candidates, and befriended evangelicals, but he calls himself a libertarian and is a practicing Roman Catholic. Sometimes considered arrogant and reclusive—Howard Hughes without the O.C.D.—he nonetheless enters competitions that combine mountain-biking, beach running, ocean kayaking, and rappelling.

The common denominator is a relentless intensity that seems to have no Off switch. Seated in the back of a Boeing 777 en route to Afghanistan, Prince leafs through Defense News while the film Taken beams from the in-flight entertainment system. In the movie, Liam Neeson plays a retired C.I.A. officer who mounts an aggressive rescue effort after his daughter is kidnapped in Paris. Neeson's character warns his daughter's captors:

If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills … skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you [don't] let my daughter go now … I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.

Prince comments, “I used that movie as a teaching tool for my girls.” (The father of seven, Prince remarried after his first wife died of cancer in 2003.) “I wanted them to understand the dangers out there. And I wanted them to know how I would respond.”

You can't escape the impression that Prince sees himself as somehow destined, his mission anointed. It comes out even in the most personal of stories. During the flight, he tells of being in Kabul in September 2008 and receiving a two a.m. call from his wife, Joanna. Prince's son Charlie, one year old at the time, had fallen into the family swimming pool. Charlie's brother Christian, then 12, pulled him out of the water, purple and motionless, and successfully performed CPR. Christian and three siblings, it turns out, had recently received Red Cross certification at the Blackwater training camp.

But there are intimations of a higher power at work as the story continues. Desperate to get home, Prince scrapped one itinerary, which called for a stay-over at the Marriott in Islamabad, and found a direct flight. That night, at the time Prince would have been checking in, terrorists struck the hotel with a truck bomb, killing more than 50. Prince says simply, “Christian saved Charlie's life and Charlie saved mine.” At times, his sense of his own place in history can border on the evangelical. When pressed about suggestions that he's a mercenary—a term he loathes—he rattles off the names of other freelance military figures, even citing Lafayette, the colonists' ally during the Revolutionary War.

Prince's default mode is one of readiness. He is clenched-jawed and tightly wound. He cannot stand down. Waiting in the security line at Dulles airport just hours before, Prince had delivered a little homily: “Every time an American goes through security, I want them to pause for a moment and think, What is my government doing to inconvenience the terrorists? Rendition teams, Predator drones, assassination squads. That's all part of it.”

Such brazenness is not lost on a listener, nor is the fact that Prince himself is quite familiar with some of these tactics. In fact Prince, like other contractors, has drawn fire for running a company that some call a “body shop”—many of its staffers having departed military or intelligence posts to take similar jobs at much higher salaries, paid mainly by Uncle Sam. And to get those jobs done—protecting, defending, and killing, if required—Prince has had to employ the services of some decorated vets as well as some ruthless types, snipers and spies among them. ...

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