Michel Chossudovsky: Isreal's War Plans to Attack Iran

Israel's Channel 10 suggests, in no uncertain terms, that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is determined to attack Iran before the US elections and that the time for action is getting closer. Israel is now closer than ever to a strike designed to thwart Iran's nuclear drive. This timely report suggests that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak firmly believe that President Obama would have no choice but to give backing for an Israeli attack, were it to be waged before the November presidential elections. The TV stations military reporter Alon Ben David, who earlier this year was given extensive access to the Israel Air Force as it trained for a possible attack, reported that, since upgraded sanctions against Iran have failed to force a suspension of the Iranian nuclear program in the past two months. From the prime minister's point of view, the time for action is getting ever closer. Asked by the news anchor in the Hebrew language TV report how close Israel now was to a decision and perhaps an attack, Ben David said: "It appears that we are closer than ever." He said it seemed that Netanyahu was not waiting for a much discussed possible meeting with US President Barack Obama, after the UN General Assembly gathering in New York late next month indeed. Its not clear that there will be a meeting. In any case, said Ben David, I doubt Obama could say anything that would convince Netanyahu to delay a possible attack.  There is a considerable opposition to an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, the report noted with President Shimon Peres, the army's chief of the General Staff and top generals, the intelligence community, opposition leader Shaul Mofaz, and of course the Americans all lined up against Israeli action at this stage. But, noted Ben David, it is the Israeli government that would have to take the decision, and there Netanyahu is almost guaranteed a majority. Other Hebrew media reports on Tuesday also said Netanyahu is almost guaranteed a majority. Other Hebrew reports on Tuesday also said Natanyahu had dispatched a senior official, National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror, to update the elderly spiritual leader of the Shas ultra Orthodox coalition party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, on the status of the Iranian nuclear program, in order to win Shas government ministers support for an attack.


Walter Brash: RomneyTax Return Provides a Window to His Soul.

When a craven of buffoons and bigots, disguised in the bodies of "Birthers" figured that anyone with dark skin and a foreign name had to be born outside the US, Barack Obama provided a birth certificate: Not just the usual short form, but a state certified copy of the long form that detailed he was born in Hawaii, which some birthers apparently think is a foreign country, to a mother who was a natural born US citizen. That, of course, was not enough for the whack adoodles who claimed, among other things, that the President's birth certificate was altered or forged. All of their claims have been debunked by scientific evidence. Of course, they produced their own poorly forged birth certificate that they said proved President Obama was born in Kenya. In February, billionaire Donald Trump, an unabashed Birther, stood next to multi-millionaire Mitt Romney in a Las-Vegas casino and endorsed him for the Republican nomination. A few months earlier, Trump had gotten significant face time in the media, while flirting with the idea of running for the presidency while whining about Romney. "He'd buy companies. He'd close companies. He'd get rid of jobs," Trump crowed, but now, with Romney running well ahead in the primary contests, Trump was trying to be relevant and stay in the political spotlight. Romney, for his part, smiled and said nothing to suggest that Trump could be wrong about pursuing the birther argument. Trying to have everyone like him, one of the most unlikable presidential candidates refused to repudiate Trump's birther views. Unlike Barack Obama, Mitt Romney does have a secret. This one is buried within what he either did or did not report to the IRS. It's traditional, but not required, that presidential nominees release copies of their tax returns.   

Joshua Holland: Why Our National Press Corps is Failing the Public!

It's hard to imagine a greater irony than our political press, obsessed as it is with process stories, dubiously sourced rumors and trivial fluff, lamenting the fact that we can't have a "serious national debate." Consider what may be the funniest lede in this cycle so far: "The elevated presidential campaign of ideas, fleetingly achieved after months of mudslinging, died Tuesday," wrote Reid Epstein. "It was three days old." Epstein went on to catalog all of the mean things the two campaigns were saying about each other, as if this is an election year or something. But what makes that so hilarious is that Epstein's  piece appeared in Politico exactly two days after the rag ran a piece titled "Forget the budget: Paul Ryan is hot!" and just two days before a penetrating analysis headlined, "Fit for office: Candidates in best shape ever." Politico is also slapping together a quickie e book about how the Obama campaign is "roiled in turmoil," which is just a campaign classic that never gets stale. We can't have serious debates in this country, because we don't have a news media that offers us serious debates. Rather than dig into the candidates' claims, we get he said, she said drivel, and doses of whatever conventional wisdom is flying around the Beltway. We get dueling campaign "narratives" rather than a serious look at issues of substance, which seem to bore most campaign reporters. That has long been the case, but we appear to have entered a new environment, one that Dave Roberts of Grist described as an era of "post truth politics" "a political culture in which politics, public opinion and media narratives have become almost entirely disconnected from policy, the substance of legislation." The Romney Ryan campaign appears to have embraced this reality, running a campaign that is unprecedented in its mendacity.

Finian Cunningham: Syria at the Mercy of Ministers of Terrorism!

Syria at the Mercy of the West's "Ministers of Terrorism" Foreign Policy by Terrorists and Thugs in High Office. Murder, sabotage, bribery, contract killings, and that's just the behavior of Western political leaders and their Arab allies. Forget the fancy titles, manners and clothes, ongoing violence in Syria shows that the foreign policy of these powers is being conducted by terrorists and thugs in high offices, which lets one glimpse what level of barbarity is being perpetrated by the Western terror army, running amok in the streets and villages of Syria. The latest display of criminality in high office is the call by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius for the smashing of Syria and the killing of the president, Bashar al-Assad. The words may have been spoken with an eloquent French accent, but their practical meaning has all the savagery of cold blooded bludgeoning. What we are seeing is a descent into barbarism, and an open embrace of international lawlessness, by the same governments that appoint themselves to lecture the rest of the world on the principles of democracy and human rights. Reports and videos, showing that the Western backed mercenaries of the so called "Free Syrian Army" are bolstered by al-Qaeda brigades and other terrorists,have been greeted with barely veiled glee in Washington and European capitals. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice have pointedly refused to condemn the surge in bombing atrocities across Syria, that have accompanied the influx of terrorists into the country over recent months. Rice has even made statements, suggesting that more such atrocities will follow, until the Syrian president does what her government demands and surrenders office. In mafia terminology, its called "making an offer he can't refuse."


Joshua Holland: The Conservative Psyche!

How ordinary people come to embrace Paul Ryan's Cruelty. Earlier this year, Democratic operatives looking for the best way to define Mitt Romney discovered something interesting about Paul Ryan's budget. The New York Times reported that when the details of his proposals were run past focus groups, they found that the plan is so cruel that voters "simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing." In addition to phasing out the Earned Income Tax Credit that keeps millions of American families above the poverty line, and cutting funding for children's health care in half, Jonathan Cohn described the "America that Paul Ryon envisions" like this: Many millions of working age Americans would lose health insurance. Senior citizens would anguish over whether to pay their rent or their medical bills, in a way they haven't since the 1960s. Government would be so starved of resources that, by 2050, it wouldn't have enough money for core functions like food inspections and highway maintenance. Ryan's "road-map" may be the least serious budget plan ever to emerge in Washington, but it is reflective of how far to the right the GOP has moved in recent years. According to a recent study of public attitudes conducted by the Pew Research Center, in 1987, 62 percent of Republicans said "the government should take care of people who cannot take care of themselves," but that number has now dropped to just 40 percent. That attitude was on display during a GOP primary debate last fall, when moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul what fate should befall a healthy person without health insurance, who finds himself suddenly facing a catastrophic illness. "Congressman," Blitzer pressed after Paul sidestepped the question, "are you saying that society should just let him die?" Before Paul had a chance to respond, the audience erupted in cheers, with some shouting, "yeah!"

Richard Silverstein: Netanyahu's Secret War Plan to Attack Iran

In the past few days, I received an Israeli briefing document outlining Israel's war plans against Iran. The document was passed to me by a high level Israeli source, who received it from an IDF officer. My source, in fact, wrote to me that normally he would not leak this sort of document, but: These are not normal times. I'm afraid Bibi and Barak are dead serious. The reason they leaked it is to expose the arguments and plans advanced by the Bibi-Barak two headed warrior. Neither the IDF leaker, my source, nor virtually any senior military or intelligence officer wants this war. While whoever wrote this briefing paper had use of IDF and intelligence data, I don't believe the IDF wrote it. It feels more likely it came from the shop of national security adviser Yaakov Amidror, a former general, settler true believer and Bibi confidant. It could also have been produced by Defense Minister Barak, another pro-war booster. I've translated the document from Hebrew with the help of Dena Shunra. Before laying out the document, I wanted to place it in context. If you've been reading this blog, you'll know that after Bibis IDF service, he became the marketing director for a furniture company. Recent revelations have suggested that he may have also served in some capacity either formally or informally in the Mossad during that period. This document is a more sophisticated version of selling bedroom sets and three piece sectionals. The only difference is that this marketing effort could lead to the death of thousands. This is Bibis pitch for war. Its purpose is to be used in meetings with members of the Shminiya, the eight member security cabinet which currently finds a 4-3 majority opposed to an Iran strike. Bibi uses this sales pitch to persuade the recalcitrant ministers of the cool, clean, refreshing taste of war. My source informs me that it has also been shared in confidence with selected journalists who are in the trusted inner media circle. This is Shock and Awe, Israeli-style.

Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri: Where Do We Want to Go?

We are now at a grave planetary crossroad. Individually, we are also at potentially and dramatically life-changing times. Baseball legend Yogi Berra used to say: "When you get to the fork in the road, take it." So, where do we truly want to go? Well, now we have two choices. Collectively, as wrecked societies and battered cultures that have been created by insider elites, wealthy bankers and their government cohorts, our "strings" have been pulled to conform and dance to rigged criminal tunes. This is all for the benefit of a dark cabal, a new world disorder. It is all based on harm and destruction. Individually, most humans have bought into rigged news and a Western culture, based on fear and chronic violence. The now illegal "perpetual" war machine, funded by tax payer money and black ops, is the only thing that "works". Killing is thriving, while real health care, education, elder care, and infra structure,with thousands of crumbling bridges and wrecked roads, are all trashed. Those in power, whether at local, state, or federal level are gutting every social service to supposedly balance the budget. Any "public" agency no longer works for us. This actually funds war and killing. These criminals are not working for us. They've been paid off or threatened. Either way, no one in public office is working for "we, the people." A new report on the FDA's internal spying on their staff is just the latest example of their being co-opted by the pharmaceutical corporations. The corruption and stench of criminality is so pervasive throughout all governments, that it is not fixable in its present state. This entire system is bereft of any moral or ethical values. It far surpasses the days of Caligula and ancient Rome. Further, the corporate controlled media is part of the news-lies "reported" to us. It is all hype and planned drivel to a dumbed-down, brain damaged populace. Cell phones, "Smart" Meters, and other EMF/RF invisible harm, plus prescription mind altering drugs and other chemicals we breathe are wrecking our ability to think clearly.     


Chris Hedges: The War in the Shadows!!

A Swedish documentary filmmaker released a film last year called "Last Chapter, Goodbye Nicaragua." In it he admitted that he unknowingly facilitated a bombing, almost certainly orchestrated by the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, which took the lives of three reporters I worked with in Central America. One of them, Linda Frazier, was the mother of a 10 year old son. Her legs were torn apart by the blast, at La Penca, Nicaragua,, along the border with Costa Rica. The admission by Peter Torbiornsson, that he unwittingly took the bomber with him to the press conference, was a window into the sordid world of espionage, terrorism and assassination that was an intimate part of the conflict I covered. It exposed the cynicism of undercover operatives on all sides, men and women who lie and deceive for a living, who betray relationships, including between each other, who steal and carry out murder. One knows them immediately. Their ideological alliances do not matter. They have the faraway eyes of the disconnected, along with nebulous histories and suspicious and vague associations. They tell incongruous personal stories and practice small deceits that are part of a pathological inability to tell the truth. They can be personable, even charming, but they are also invariably vain, dishonest and sinister. They cannot be trusted. It does not matter what side they are on. They are all the same: "Gangsters."All states and armed groups recruit and use members of this underclass. These personalities gravitate to intelligence agencies, terrorist cells, homeland security, police departments, the special forces and revolutionary groups, where they can live a life freed from moral and legal restraints. Right and wrong are banished from their vocabulary!

Alexander Arapoglou: Uncle Sam Needs YOU for a Bailout!

Surprise, surprise! Last week, the Justice Department announced it wasn't going to prosecute Goldman Sachs or its employees for its shady activities during the mortgage crisis. The same day, Goldman disclosed a regulatory filing that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had dropped an investigation into a troubled $1.3 billion residential mortgage backed securities deal launched in 2006. Time is running out for prosecutors to file cases against big banks for activities that triggered the 2007-2009 financial crisis, since statutes of limitations set deadlines for launching prosecutions for fraud and other financial crimes. If prosecutors don't start lawsuits before these deadlines expire, the big banks will, once again, have got off scot-free. Failure to pursue banks, culpable management and employees for their complicity in causing the financial crisis, is one of six bad policies that ensure we're likely to see another bust up of a big US bank, sooner rather than later. Who's going to pay the price for such a failure? We will, of course. Uncle Sam's policy of allowing banks to get too big to fail means we'll all be left holding the bag when that collapse occurs, and another banking bailout is necessary. Thirty years of financial deregulation have seen unprecedented concentration of the financial sector. Before, financial firms were limited both in where they could do business and the types of business they could do. This prevented a big banking blowup in the US for more than 50 years. Banks used to be limited to owning branches within individual states. When a bank got into trouble, and some of them did,losses stayed confined. Regulators such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) could clean up the mess and preserve depositors' assets, without unduly burdening taxpayers.

John Kozy: The US Supreme Court and "The Rule of Flaw"

The Supreme Court's only armor is the cloak of public trust, its sole ammunition, the collective hupes of our society. Irving R Kaufman. The Supreme Court of the United States is an institution that has failed in every possible way. It is notorious for having issued iniquitous opinions. It has not only failed to resolve, but has exacerbated conflicts, and it has consistently negated the ideals the founding fathers wrote in the Preamble of the Constitution. The ultimate consequence is that any American is deluded, who believes that America can be changed substantively by using the electoral process. Identifying failed institutions is not difficult, changing them is. The Supreme Court of the United States, often referred to by the acronym SCOTUS in a veiled attempt to to personify it, is an institution that has failed in every possible way. It is notorious for having issued iniquitous opinions. It has not only failed to resolve but has exacerbated conflicts, and it has consistently negated the ideals the founding fathers wrote into the Preamble of the Constitution. SCOTUS, as far back as 1803, usurped the Constitution and converted the incipient enlightenment nation into an endarkened reactionary one. Some, of course, will disagree, who believe that SCOTUS is not a failed institution, but the American people are slowly but surely coming to the conclusion that it is: "Just 44 percent of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing, and three quarters say the justices' decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal or political views, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News. Those findings are a fresh indication that the Court's standing with the public has slipped significantly in the past quarter century, according to surveys conducted by several polling organizations. Approval was as high as 66 percent in the late 1980s, and by 2000 approached 50 percent." 


Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya: Divide Syria, Divide the Rest!

What is happening in Syria is a sign of things to come for the region. Regime change is not the sole goal of the US and its allies in Syria. Dividing the Syrian Arab Republic is the end goal of Washington in Syria. Britain's Maple-croft, which specializes in consulting on strategic risk, has said that we are witnessing the balkanization of the Syrian state: Kurds in the north, Druze in the southern hills, Alawites in the coastal northwestern mountainous region, and the Sunni majority elsewhere. We are already people like White House adviser Vali Nasr talking about all this. The religious and ethnic cleavages in Syria are not demarcated in purely geographic terms, and the balkanization process could play out as a lebonization process, which means that Syria will be divided along violent sectarian fault lines, and face political deadlock like Lebanon during its civil war, without formally breaking up. Lebonization, a soft form of balkanization, has already taken place in Iraq under federalism. The events in the Middle East and North Africa are seeing the animation of mass movements against local tyrants, like Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, but there is also a vicious script from Israel's Yinon Plan and its offshoots. The Yinon Plan and similar schemes want a contrived Shiite Sunni war among the Muslims as the central piece of the sectarian divisions, or fitna in Arabic, that are to include Christian Muslim, Arab Berber, Arab Turkish, and Iranian Turkish animosity. What this process intends to do is create sectarian hatred, ethnic divisions, racism, and religious wars. All the countries that the US and its allies are destabilizing have natural dividing lines, and when tribal, ethic, confessional, and religious animosity is ignited in one country, it will spill over into other countries.

Paul Craig Roberts: Is Washington Deaf As Well as Criminal?

The morons who rule the American sheeple are not only dumb and blind, they are deaf as well. The ears of the American superpower only work when the Israeli prime minister, the crazed Netanyahu, speaks. Then Washington hears everything and rushes to comply. Israel is a tiny insignificant state, created by the careless British and the stupid Americans. It has no power except what its American Protector provides. Yet, despite Israels insignificance, it rules Washington. When a resolution introduced by the Israeli Lobby is delivered to Congress, it passes unanimously. If Israel wants war, Israel gets its wish. When Israel commits war crimes against Palestinians and Lebanon, and is damned by the hundred plus UN resolutions passed against Israels criminal actions, the US bails Israel out of trouble with its veto. The power that tiny Israel exercises over the worlds only superpower is unique in history. Tens of millions of Christians bow down to this power, reinforcing it, moved by the exhortations of their Christian ministers. Netanyahu lusts for war against Iran. He strikes out against all who oppose his war lust. Recently, he called Israels top generals "pussies" for warning against a war with Iran. He regards former Israeli prime ministers and former heads of the Israeli intelligence service as traitors for opposing his determination to attack Iran. He has denounced Americas servile President Obama and America's top military leader for being soft on Iran. The latest poll in Israel shows that a solid majority of the Israelis are opposed to an Israeli attack on Iran, but Netanyahu is uninterested in the opinion of Israeli citizens. He has Washington watching his back, so he is war mad. It is a mystery why Israelis put Netanyahu in public office, instead of an insane asylum. Netanyahu is not alone: He has the American neoconservatives in his corner. The American neoconservatives are as crazed as Natanyahu. 

Uri Avnery: Binyamin Netanyahu: Mad or Crazy?

Binyamin Netanyahu may be crazy, but he is not mad. Ehud Barak may be mad, but he is not crazy. Ergo: Israel will not attack Iran. I have said so before, and I shall say so again, even after the endless talk about it. Indeed no war has been talked about so much before it happened. To quote the classic movie line: "If you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk!" In all Netanyahu's bluster about the inevitable war, one sentence stands out: "In the Committee of Inquiry after the war, I shall take upon myself the sole responsibility, I and I alone!" A very revealing statement. First of all, committees of inquiry are appointed only after a military failure. There was no such committee after the 1948 War of Independence, nor after the 1956 Sinai War or the 1967 Six Day War. There were, however, committees of inquiry after the 1974 Yom Kippur war and the 1982 and 2006 Lebanon Wars. By conjuring up the specter of another such committee, Netanyahu unconsciously treats this war as an inevitable failure. Second, under Israeli law, the entire Government of Israel is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces. Under another law, all ministers bear "collective responsibility", TIME magazine, which is becoming more ridiculous by the week, may crown "King Bibi", but we still have no monarchy. Netanyahu is no more than primus inter pares. Third, in his statement Netanyahu expresses boundless contempt for his fellow ministers. They don't count. Netanyahu considers himself a modern day Winston Churchill. I don't seem to remember Churchill announcing, upon assuming office, "I take responsibility for the coming defeat." Even in the desperate situation of that moment, he trusted in victory, and the word "I" did not figure large in his speech. In the daily brainwashing, the problem is presented in military terms. The debate, such as it is, concerns military capabilities and dangers. Israelis are especially, and understandably worried by the rain of tens of thousands of missiles expected to fall on all parts of Israel, not only from Iran, but also from Lebanon and Gaza.


Prof. James F. Tracy: False Flag Terror and Conspiracies!

The news media's readiness to accept official pronouncements and failure to more vigorously analyze and question government authorities in the wake of "domestic terrorist" incidents contributes to the American public's already acute case of collective historical amnesia, while it further rationalizes the twenty first century police state and continued demise of civil society. Some may recall "Bugs Raplin" (Giancarlo Esposito), the resolute investigative journalist depicted in Tim Robbins' 1992 "mockumentary" Bob Roberts. After being framed as the culprit in a false flag assassination attempt by corrupt political huckster Bob Roberts, Raplin delivers a perceptive soliloquy that among other things effectively describes the American public's moribund civic condition and short circuited democracy. "The reason Iran-Contra happened," Raplin begins, is because no one did anything substantial about Watergate, and the reason Watergate happened is because there were no consequences from the Bay of Pigs. They're all the same operatives, the foot soldiers at the Bay of Pigs, the plumbers that got busted at Watergate, the gunrunners in Iran Contra, all the same people, same faces. Now it doesn't take a genius to figure out the connection here: A secret government beyond the control of the people and accountable to no one, and the closer we are to discovering the connection, the more Congress turns a blind eye to it. "We can't talk about that in open session," they say. "National security reasons." The truth lies dormant in their laps, and they stay blind out of choice: A conspiracy of silence. 

Julie Levesque: The Foot Soldiers of the American Empire!

Since the end of World War II, the Anglo-American Empire has covertly supported the deployment of foreign and domestic "foot soldiers", including terrorists and paramilitary brigades to bring about regime change, and further the agenda of World domination. One of the earlier examples of such a modus operandi, still widely ignored, is Gladio, "NATO's European stay behind army", active during the Cold War. Controlled by the CIA and Britain's MI6, Gladio members orchestrated terrorist attacks in Western Europe, which were blamed on Communist entities. Gladio was falsely presented to key European state officials as a stand by secret army, ready to counter a possible communist take over. The ultimate goal of Gladio was to demonize the Communist and Socialist parties, and encourage European citizens to endorse their governments' commitment to "National security". American citizens were not exempt from such scheming. As Prof. James F Tracy explains: "The string of still unresolved US political assassinations throughout the 1960s suggest how such practices were not restricted to foreign countries, nor were they solely the terrain of intelligence agencies. Along lines similar to Gladio, in the early 1960's the US Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed Operation Northwoods, where terrorist attacks would be initiated against US civilians in American cities, and the violence blamed on Cuban combatants to justify war against the island nation. The Kennedy administration rejected the proposal. While Northwoods exhibited the capacity for government to conceive and propose such plans, Gladio was demonstrably carried out against Western civilian populations in multiple locations over many years." The recruitment of paramilitary armies and death squads played a key role in the conduct of US foreign policy. 

Michael C. Ruppert: 9/11 Attacks. Criminal Foreknowledge!

As September approaches, we are reminded that the anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11 will soon be upon us again. 11 years later, are we any closer to the truth about what really happened on that fateful day? For the next month, until September 11, 2012, we will be posting on a daily basis important articles from our early archives pertaining to the tragic events of 9/11. The following text by Michael C Ruppert published in October 2001, brings to the forefront the issue of foreknowledge and insider trading pertaining to airline listings on the Chicago Board Options Exchange, including United Airlines and American Airlines. Although uniformly ignored by the mainstream US media, there is abundant and clear evidence that a number of transactions in financial markets indicated specific criminal foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. That evidence also demonstrates that, in the case of at least one of these trades, which has left a $2.5 million prize unclaimed, the firm used to place the "put options" on United Airlines stock was, until 1998, managed by the man who is now in the number three Executive Director position at the Central Intelligence Agency. Until 1997, AB "Buzzy" Krongard had been Chairman of the investment bank AB Brown. AB Brown was acquired by Banker's Trust in 1997. Krongard then became, as part of the merger, Vice Chairman of Banker's Trust in 1997. Krongard then became, as part of the merger, Vice Chairman of Banker's Trust-AB Brown, one of 20 major US banks named by Senator Carl Levin this year as being connected to money laundering. Krongard's last position at Banker's Trust (BT) was to oversee "private client relations." In this capacity he had direct hands on relations with some of the wealthiest people in the world, in a kind of specialized banking operation that has been identified by the US Senate and other investigators as being closely connected to the laundering of drug money.