Hobby Lobby Fined For Importing Stolen Artifacts

archaeology
Source: GizaDeathStar.com
Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.
July 9, 2017

This week has been such an unusually fruitful week for articles being shared that, today, Saturday, I am still combing through them to decide on what to schedule for blogs this coming week! So I want to thank everyone once again for sharing so many good finds, making the choice of what to blog about more difficult and, in a way, more fun. Some of these articles I have in fact archived for next week, as I may yet blog about them.

But this story had to be at the top of the list. Indeed, when I saw it, there was no doubt in my mind that it was at the top of the “final cuts” folder. So many people found various versions of it that I knew there was something in the aether and that this story would require some attention. So I present some of those various versions that people found for your consideration, before I get to my high octane speculation about the story, with a thank you to all of you who shared these articles and who are following the story:

Hobby Lobby to pay $3 million fine, forfeit smuggled ancient artifacts

Hobby Lobby will pay $3 million, forfeit ancient items smuggled from Iraq

Justice Department sues Hobby Lobby over thousands of looted Iraqi artifacts it bought

Let’s begin with the last of these articles, which indicates that Israel and the United Arab Emirates were involved in the deal. What is unclear, of course, is whether the individuals and organizations that functioned as components of the deal were simply located in these countries, or whether they were actually members of their governments. For reasons I’ll get to in the high octane speculation, I suspect the latter.

Turning to the second article, we see a picture of a cuneiform tablet from the New York Times, with the caption “Pictured is a cuneiform tablet, one of several artifacts smuggled from Iraq by owners of Hobby Lobby.” Then we read:

Prosecutors said in the complaint that Hobby Lobby, whose evangelical Christian owners have long maintained an interest in the biblical Middle East, began in 2009 to assemble a collection of cultural artifacts from the Fertile Crescent. The company went so far as to send its president and an antiquities consultant to the United Arab Emirates to inspect a large number of rare cuneiform tablets — traditional clay slabs with wedge-shaped writing that originated in Mesopotamia thousands of years ago.

In 2010, as a deal for the tablets was being struck, an expert on cultural property law who had been hired by Hobby Lobby warned company executives that the artifacts might have been looted from historical sites in Iraq and that a failing to determine their heritage could break the law.

Despite these words of caution, the prosecutors said, Hobby Lobby bought more than 5,500 artifacts — the tablets and clay talismans and so-called cylinder seals — from an unnamed dealer for $1.6 million in December 2010.

Now, this really captured my attention, not for what it is saying, but rather, for what it seems to be carefully avoiding saying, namely, that these cuneiform tablets and cylinder seals might be some of the missing loot from the Baghdad Museum Looting, about which I have written in my books and blogged about. I have always been suspicious of the whole events for several reasons, and it’s worth recalling those reasons: (1) People dressed in American uniforms were seen by others going into the museum and removing things. Whether they were actually American soldiers or merely people dressed in American uniforms is a moot point. I have suspected the latter, and that the looting was a false flag, because (2) the story of the looting and people dressed in American uniforms was broken – as far as I am aware – by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, a point which puts a rather funny light on the whole event, for as I have pointed out numerous times, the French and Germans had several archaeological teams in Iraq at the behest of Saddam Hussein’s government, digging up the Iraqi desert. These teams would have kept field catalogues of their discoveries, including brief notes about the contents of any cuneiform tablets they unearthed. Of course, when the US and UK and its “allies” went into Iraq during operation Desert Storm, the French and Germans were advised to remove their archaeological teams. The unwritten part of this story is that the German intelligence, the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst) maintained a presence in the country, and hence, in my speculations previously advanced, would have been capable of mounting a looting of the Museum with personnel in American uniforms. (3) When the Museum looting was studied, experts came to the conclusion that it was an “inside job” since the looters apparently were interested in specific things and knew exactly where to go to get them, in spite of the fact that many items had not, apparently, been entered into the Museum catalogue.

(4) Then came the U.S.-led recovery operation led by Marine Colonel Bagdonovich, which, in terms of the art works recovered, was quite successful. But as I mentioned at the time, something disturbed me, and this was the fact that the missing cuneiform tablets had seemed to drop completely out of the story, while the world’s newspapers concentrated on supplying us with pictures of dazzling and beautiful ancient Mesopotamian art works that had been recovered. Faced with golden crowns and jewelry, thousands of dusty brown clay tablets really weren’t very sensational, and I suspected then, and still do now, that that was the whole point: the really important loot was the tablets, not the art works.

The tablets, in other words, had dropped right off the radar, until a few years later, several thousands apparently turned up in Spain, causing a rumpus between Madrid and Baghdad, because Madrid did not want to return them. I say apparently turned up in Spain, because, like so often in these stories, we are never presented with the chain of evidence concerning these tablets to document the claim that they were, indeed, recently looted.  And so it is here: we’re supposed to believe that Hobby Lobby was the final step in a chain of custody from Iraq, to Israel and the Emirates, to the USA. But in order to establish this, it would seem to me that one would have to have an itemized inventory of what was on the tablets, or a photo record of each one, and then establish that the specific tablets in question were in the possession of each of the alleged participants.   So the question remains open: were these tablets part of the original Baghdad Museum Looting haul (or any associated looting activity at that time?) and what is on said tablets that would make Hobby Lobby want to buy them (and then, sell some of them)?

All this brings me to my high octane speculation of the day, for in the first article we read that this may not have been a “simple mistake” on Hobby Lobby’s part:

Ancient cuneiform tablets and clay bullae from modern-day Iraq were smuggled into the United States through the United Arab Emirates and Israel, JOD officials said. With Hobby Lobby’s consent they were falsely labeled as “ceramics” and “samples” and illegally shipped to Hobby Lobby stores and two corporate offices, according to the DOJ.

Cuneiform is an ancient system of writing on clay tablets that was used in Mesopotamia, according to the DOJ, and clay bullae are balls of clay on which seals have been imprinted.

“In 2009, Hobby Lobby began acquiring a variety of historical Bibles and other artifacts. Developing a collection of historically and religiously important books and artifacts about the Bible is consistent with the company’s mission and passion for the Bible,” said a Hobby Lobby statement. (Emphasis added)

We are told that the haul was not simply cuneiform tablets, but cylinder seals and so on, and that all this interest was because of Hobby Lobby’s interest in the bible. Cylinder seals were used in Mesopotamia as a way of sealing documents; they would be equivalent to today’s corporate seals, or monarchial or hierarchical seals of a king, nobleman, or bishop, and thus they are rather important from a legal point of view. They could, potentially, be seals that once belonged to Mesopotamian dynasties (and I’ll let the reader run wild with speculation on that possibility… I don’t think I need to say any more). What interests me rather is the allegation that these items were intentionally mislabeled, and therefore that the intention was to smuggle them into this country. That implies, to my speculative mind, a further intention to possibly remove more “intriguing” or perhaps even “offending” tablets from public view and scrutiny, while benefiting a narrow circle of insiders studying the contents of these objects. And what better way to do it than through corporate cutouts. I’ve even entertained the notion that the real reason Saddam Hussein was hung was that he may already have been briefed on the possible “sensational contents” of some of the things being dug up in his country’s deserts, and that he simply had to be permanently silenced. After all, it was he who invited those archaeological teams to Iraq in the first place.

And, as always, we’re still waiting for these media to report on the contents of these tablets, or at least, direct us to links where we may view each and every one, and to sites where – if any translations have been made – we can read what’s on them. I suspect if that were to happen, we’d be reading a lot of ordinary business transactions, a bit like reading someone’s checkbook register. The “juicy” stuff has probably been carefully removed from public view… and perhaps found its way into a corporate vault somewhere between Baghdad and here.

The sad bottom line is, that the looting of antiquities from Iraq is a story that just keeps on giving.

See you on the flip side…

Read More At: GizaDeathStar.com
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About Dr. Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.

More Fines For Deutsche Bank For Russian Trades

Source: GizaDeathStar.com
Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.

If you’ve been following the strangeness in banking over the past few years (and decades for that matter) you’ll have noted certain names to keep popping up, and this is particularly the case in the aftermath of 9/11, and one of those names is Deutsche Bank. This article was shared by Mr. M.M., and there’s a few things in this article that caught my attention, but unless one knows the story, the bland reporting of the Reuters article will cause those things to go completely unnoticed. Besides being under investigation in Italy for some shady trading deals implying the use of the float to generate money (see https://gizadeathstar.com/2017/01/eye-looming-storm-bankster-deaths-missing-money-deutsche-bank-part-two-promis-will-float/), and besides having already been hit with fines for other things, being under investigation for helping to rig the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR), now the big German bank is being hit with fines for trades involving Russia:

Deutsche Bank fined for $10 billion sham Russian trades

Now, if one has been following the strangeness going on in Europe ever since the Advent and Epiphany of Mad Madame Merkel, one might get the idea that there is something very real and very messy going on behind the scenes; it is almost as if a covert warfare, much of it economic, were being waged against Germany; first the former German Foreign Minister, Steinmeir, gave a little talk in Berlin to assembled German businessmen a few years ago, informing them that Germany’s foreign policy would have to become more “militaristic”. He spouted a bunch of globaloney to buttress his position, but in the end, one didn’t really have a clear picture as to why it was necessary to do so. Then Germany announced it wanted to triple the size of its military and bring it back to Cold War standards of size, then Germany backed the creation of an all-European army, and now it wants to open its military to foreigners, EU army or no (see today’s “tidbit.”) Volkswagen was hit with stiff fines for falsifying its emissions by the USA, and Deutsche Bank is being hit with fine and after fine from Washington and London… then came BREXIT.  And through it all, persistent attacks on Deutsche Bank, a major bank within the Western system of finance. It almost leaves one with the impression that someone, somewhere, wants to drive it into the ground, or at least peel it away from that system.

Whether all of this be true or not is, alas, the subject perhaps of a more lengthy examination in the future, for it is not the subject for today’s high octane speculation.

What is of interest in the Reuters article by Karen Freifeld and Arno Schuetze is the following:

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) has agreed to pay $630 million in fines for organizing $10 billion in sham trades that could have been used to launder money out of Russia, the latest in a string of penalties that have hammered the German lender’s finances.

In two detailed reports, U.S. and British regulators criticized the bank for not knowing the customers involved or the source of money for the trades, which helped buoy revenue during a slowdown following the global financial crash.

The scheme involved so-called mirror trades carried out between 2011 to 2015 – for instance, buying Russian stocks in roubles for a client and selling the identical value of a security for U.S. dollars for a related customer.

Note firstly that some of these trades were executed after the sanctions on Russia, and secondly, that it involved laundering money out of Russia. But then we’re told there are missing documents, and that apparently the US Department of Justice was looking even deeper:

Karl von Rohr, Deutsche Bank’s chief administrative officer, said the bank regretted its role in the Russian trades scheme and that it had since acted to address shortcomings.

He cautioned, however, that other authorities were investigating the trades and that the matter was not yet closed.

The U.S. Department of Justice is not part of the deal and is still looking into the trades. A spokesman declined to comment on its inquiry.

What disturbs me here is the potential that Deutsche Bank’s alleged activities, at least in so far as Reuters is reporting them, might represent a continuation of the “rape of Russia” policies that began shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, under the fragile government of Mr. Yeltsin. That rape had many players, among them the Bank of New York, and the Harvard Institute of International Development (See Anne Williamson ‘s “Testimony Before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services of the United States House of Representatives, Sept 21, 1999, here: BankstersInRussiaAndGlobalEconomy.htm). Yes, that’s the same Bank of New York that some 9/11 researchers implicate in mysterious securities clearing after 9/11, and that’s the same Harvard Institute of International Development that, according to Ms. Williamson, “advised” the Clinton Administration on its “austerity” policies. The result of those policies, argues Williamson, was the rape of the Russian people, and a massive transference of wealth into the hands of the old nomenklatura and into the hands of Western oligarchs.

So where’s the high octane speculation here? Note that the German bank’s activities would, as I suggested above, seem to fit this pattern. But also note the equally if far more curious thing that it is being fined for those activities. I see two possible ways to interpret this: (1) the German bank wanted…

Continue Reading At: GizaDeathStar.com
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About Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.

Disclosing Conflicts of Interest in Medical Research

Source: NutritionFacts.Org
Dr. Greger
August 30, 2016

DESCRIPTION: Billions in fines for bribery and suppressing data may just be the cost of doing business for drug companies, but surely doctors themselves have more integrity.

Huge News: Monsanto to Pay $80 Million for Misrepresenting Round Up Earnings

monsanto-money-court-judge-white-735-250
Source: NaturalSociety.com
Christina Sarich
February 10, 2016

Monsanto just keeps being forced to pay the piper. The mega-corp has lied to consumers about the safety of GM seed and their best-selling herbicide, and now it is being held accountable for stealing from and cheating its investors.

The company will pay an $80 million settlement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a penalty for lying about earnings for glyphosate-riddled herbicide, Round Up. The SEC charges that Monsanto violated accounting rules and misstated company earnings as it pertained to its flagship product.

The SEC also reports that three accounting and sales executives have also agreed to settle charges in connection with the case.

The case orbits around a corporate rebate program designed to boost sales of Round Up. The rebate program was created to combat rising generic competition which threatened to cut into the company’s profits.

The St. Louis-based company misrepresented its earnings for a three-year period. The SEC accuses Monsanto of having insufficient internal controls to account for millions of dollars in rebates that it offered to retailers and distributors, ultimately booking a sizeable amount of revenue, but then failing to recognize the costs of the rebate programs on its books. In short – Monsanto cooked its books, and misrepresented the cost of doing business to its investors.

Continue Reading At: NaturalSociety.com