More protests planned against Egypt military ‘coup’
By Agence France-Presse
Friday, June 22, 2012 7:11 EDT
Egypt’s political forces have called for more protests on Friday against the ruling military’s power grab, as the nation nervously awaits the results of the first post-Mubarak presidential election.
Hundreds of people spent the night in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, with more protests planned for Friday afternoon, the Muslim Brotherhood and secular movements said in statements.
The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took power when Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year, will issue a statement at 1130 GMT, state television said without providing any details, as anger mounts over the perceived threat to the fragile democratic gains made since the uprising.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which claimed its candidate Mohamed Morsi had won the divisive election against ex-premier Ahmed Shafiq, has been holding crisis talks with the country’s political forces.
It is due to announce “a national project to defend the revolution,” its political arm the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) said.
Morsi also spoke by telephone with Nobel laureate and reform campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei, as well as with former presidential hopeful Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh ahead of the protests, the FJP said.
The April 6 movement, which helped launch last year’s uprising that toppled Mubarak, said it would join the protests to express “its rejection of the constitutional declaration” and “continue to fight for the goals of the revolution.”
The National Front for Justice and Democracy said it rejected the constitutional declaration “which constitutes a military coup.”
U.S. diplomats in Pakistan ‘facing harassment’
By Agence France-Presse
Friday, June 22, 2012 0:28 EDT
WASHINGTON — US diplomats working in Pakistan face increasing harassment amid a sharp deterioration in ties in the wake of last year’s killing of Osama bin Laden, a State Department report said.
Such harassment and obstruction is described by US embassy staff as “deliberate, willful and systematic,” according to the 76-report by the department’s watchdog, the office of inspector general.
“Official Pakistani obstructionism and harassment, an endemic problem in Pakistan, has increased to the point where it is significantly impairing mission operations and program implementations,” the report said.
Harassment included such things as delaying visas for staff, blocking shipments of materials for aid programs and construction work, and surveillance of staff and contractors.
The official report, made available Thursday, comes after a February fact-finding tour of the US diplomatic missions in Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar and Lahore.
It urged US officials to ensure that the issue of harassment is raised in bilateral talks with the Pakistani government.
Although it was marked “sensitive but unclassified,” sections giving greater detail about the conditions faced by US embassy staff were blacked out along with several recommendations made by the watchdog.
The US commando raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad in May 2011 had been a “double embarrassment” highlighting both the government’s “incompetence” and “its inability to detect or defend against a military intervention.”
Taliban storm lakeside hotel in Kabul, 16 dead
By Agence France-Presse
Friday, June 22, 2012 7:08 EDT
Taliban militants armed with guns and rockets attacked a lakeside hotel near Kabul overnight, seizing dozens of hostages including women and children and killing at least 16 people.
The four or five attackers were also killed in the brazen assault on the Spozhmai Hotel that will exacerbate fears that insecurity is spiralling as NATO combat troops prepare to exit the Afghan war in 2014.
Around 12 hours after the attack began interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the assault ended with the death of the last militant. A number of the hostages were freed earlier by security forces.
On a balcony overlooking the lake, a birthday cake lay half eaten on a table surrounded by a dozen empty chairs, while nearby sprawled the bloodied body of a young man shot repeatedly in the chest. Like many of the victims, he was dressed in Western clothes, an AFP reporter said.
It was the latest in a series of sensational commando-style insurgent attacks that have targeted Kabul, the most heavily protected part of the war-torn country. They typically take hours to quell and strike fear into the public.
The Spozhmai is a haunt of the wealthy Kabul elite and on Thursday nights — the start of the Afghan weekend — is usually packed with families and mixed groups of men and women.
WH Rejects Requests for ‘targeted killing’ Papers
The Obama administration has sought to block the release of documents related to its use of robot drones to strike suspected terrorists overseas, claiming that it can still not admit that the secretive program of targeted killing exists.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the New York Times have both submitted freedom of information requests to the department of justice, the CIA and the Pentagon seeking information about the program. They have now gone to court to try and force the government to answer those requests and release details of its activities.
However, in a motion filed just before midnight ET on Wednesday, the government asked for the cases to be dismissed, saying that to release information would hurt national security, even while still insisting it cannot admit any such program of targeted killing exists.
Obama Moves To Conceal Drone Death Figures
By Steve Watson
June 21, 2012
Public disclosure would expose vast scale of “war crimes” under supposed “anti-war” president; Experts say drone use increases terror attacks
The Obama administration has moved to block the release of information relating to its overseas drone assassination programme, and will not even acknowledge that it exists, despite countless public references to the programme and the proven existence of an official “kill list”.
In a motion filed just before midnight last night, the federal government asked for FOIA requests regarding drone killings by the ACLU and the New York Times to be dismissed.
The administration’s court filing suggested that the public disclosure of such material could potentially harm national security.
“Whether or not the CIA has the authority to be, or is in fact, directly involved in targeted lethal operations remains classified,” the court filing noted.
“Even to describe the number and details of most of these documents would reveal information that could damage the government’s counterterrorism efforts,” the filing continued.
The ACLU responded with a statement slamming the move and calling it “beyond absurd”.
“The notion that the CIA’s targeted killing programme is still a secret is beyond absurd. Senior officials have discussed it, both on the record and off. They have taken credit for its putative successes, professed it to be legal, and dismissed concerns about civilian casualties,” said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director.
“If they can make these claims to the media, they can answer requests under the Freedom of Information Act. The public is entitled to know more about the legal authority the administration is claiming and the way that the administration is using it.” Jaffer added.
It is common knowledge that the Obama administration has exponentially increased the use of drone missile attacks in countries such as Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
The president has referred to the programme several times in public, as have officials such as counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan.
Last month, the New York Times ran a major piece on the programme, revealing that the White House has asserted the right to carry out state-sponsored assassination anywhere in the world without having to provide any evidence or go through any legal process.
Furthermore, the Times revealed that Obama adopted a policy that “in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants.”
The administration merely has to state that the target is a terrorist and it doesn’t matter whether they are an American citizen or not, as we saw in the case of American-born Anwar al-Awlaki and his son, who were both killed last year.
In December, Obama administration lawyers reaffirmed their backing for state sponsored assassination, claiming that “U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets” and do not have the right to any legal protection against being marked for summary execution.
Arrest Warrant Issued for Pakistani PM Nominee
June 21, 2012
One of the people poised to become Pakistan’s next prime minister now faces arrest in connection to a scandal dating from his time as the country’s health minister.
Shortly after Makhdoom Shahabuddin filed his nomination papers Thursday to replace ousted Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, an anti-narcotics judge ordered his arrest in connection with a scandal involving illegal imports of the drug ephedrine.
Asked about the arrest warrant, Shahabuddin quoted a line from a poem about not being afraid of “hostile winds.”
It is unclear how the new developments will affect Shahabuddin’s political future; he is currently Pakistan’s textile minister. Lawmakers are due to meet Friday to discuss the election of a new prime minister.
Shahabuddin is the nominee of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, which holds a majority in parliament together with its coalition partners. Lawmakers also will likely consider at least four other nominees, including two from the opposition.
Elections are scheduled for early 2013, but some analysts now believe the vote could take place before the end of the year.
Pakistan’s new prime minister stands to inherit a tenuous position between President Asif Ali Zardari and the country’s Supreme Court.
Iran: ‘Massive cyber attack’ detected on nuclear facilities
Tehran blames US, Israel, Britain after talks fail
By Zahra Hosseinian
Iran has detected a planned “massive cyber attack” against its nuclear facilities, state television said on Thursday, after talks with major powers this week failed to resolve a row over Tehran’s disputed nuclear activities.
Iran’s Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said the country’s arch enemies the United States and Israel, along with Britain, had planned the attack.
“Based on obtained information, America and the Zionist regime (Israel) along with the MI6 planned an operation to launch a massive cyber attack against Iran’s facilities following the meeting between Iran and the P5+1 in Moscow,” Iran’s English-language Press TV quoted him as saying.
“They still seek to carry out the plan, but we have taken necessary measures,” he added, without elaborating.
Security experts said last month a highly sophisticated computer virus, dubbed “Flame”, had infected computers in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.
Iranian officials were quick to say the country had defeated the virus, capable of snatching data and eavesdropping on computer users. It was not clear if the cyber attack referred to by Moslehi was “Flame”, or a new virus.
Iran’s nuclear program came under attack in 2010 by the Stuxnet computer worm which caused centrifuges to fail at the main Iranian enrichment facility. Tehran accused the United States and Israel of deploying Stuxnet.
War on Terror Creates Buzz – Literally
June 21, 2012
Today’s heat wave has everyone cranking up the fans and air conditioners. But some Northern Virginia residents are reaching for ear plugs.
Seems people in a Vienna, Va., neighborhood have come to dread summer because it brings the full-scale return of that high-pitched buzzing sound coming from an unmarked, three-story, federal office building.
It sounds like a helicopter hovering about a block away, our colleague Tom Jackman reports Thursday in his blog, The State of NoVa, and it keeps buzzing, 24 hours a day.
UN official: Drone strikes threaten 50 years of international law
By Owen Bowcott, The Guardian
Thursday, June 21, 2012 13:48 EDT
The US policy of using drone strikes to carry out targeted killings presents a major challenge to the system of international law that has endured since the second world war, a UN investigator has said.
Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, fears that Barack Obama’s CIA-run programmes in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere will encourage other states to flout long-established international human rights law.
In his strongest critique so far of drone strikes, Heyns suggested that some attacks may constitute war crimes.
Addressing the same meeting, organised by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Pakistan’s UN ambassador in Geneva, Zamir Akram, called for international legal action to halt the “totally counterproductive” US drone strikes in his country.
Heyns, a South African law professor, said: “Are we to accept major changes to the international legal system which has been in existence since world war two and survived nuclear threats?”
Some states “find targeted killings immensely attractive. Others may do so in future,” he said.
“Killings may be lawful in an armed conflict but many targeted killings take place far from areas where it’s recognised as being an armed conflict.”
If “there have been secondary drone strikes on rescuers who are helping [the injured] after an initial drone attack, those further attacks are a war crime.”
Akram said that US drone strikes had killed more than 1,000 civilians in Pakistan. “We find the use of drones to be totally counterproductive in terms of succeeding in the ‘war against terror’. It leads to greater levels of terror rather than reducing them.
“The only rules are through the international legal system. What are the possibilities of pursuing the international legal option in trying to deal with this problem?”
International frustration over Washington’s continued policy of using drone strikes surfaced during this week’s sessions of the UN’s human rights council in Geneva.
The US has defended its actions as self-defence against al-Qaida and has refused to allow judicial scrutiny of the programme.
Officials: US and Israel created Flame cyber weapon
By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 13:16 EDT
A U.S. and Israeli collaboration created the vastly complex cyber weapon Flame, designed to slow Iran’s nuclear program, officials familiar with the mission have told The Washington Post.
Development of the Flame virus was overseen by the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and Israel’s military, the report noted. Those same groups also developed Stuxnet, the first cyber weapon discovered that was believed to have been created with state-backing. Some of Stuxnet’s code was also detected in Flame.
Flame is capable of turning on microphones and cameras, monitoring online activities and keystrokes and pinpointing the location of users. Deployed more than five years ago, it remained hidden by cracking the encryption in Microsoft’s Windows Update program, allowing the creators to communicate with the program remotely.
The virus was first spotted in May by Kaspersky Lab, an anti-virus company. They noted that it contained code that specifically sought out PDF and AutoCAD files, which may indicate that its creators were interested in detailed schematics pertaining to Iran’s nuclear program. The company added that Iran also sustained the highest number of Flame inflections.
Shortly after Kaspersky announced its discovery, the virus’s “command-and-control infrastructure, which had been operating for years, went dark.” Days later, anti-virus company Symantec added that various Flame infections appeared to have been given a self-destruct command, leaving no trace on the former host computers.
Declassified document contradicts Cheney’s claim of Iraqi connection to 9/11
By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 11:35 EDT
A document declassified this week by the National Security Archive reveals that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) delivered a briefing to the Bush administration which directly contradicts former Vice President Dick Cheney’s claim that 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta visited an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague.
The document (PDF), dated Dec. 1, 2001 and delivered to the White House on the 8th, claims that Atta “did not travel to the Czech Republic on 31 May 2000,” and adds that “the individual who attempted to enter the Czech Republic on 31 May 2000… was not the Atta who attacked the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001.”
Despite this briefing, just days later on Dec. 9, 2001, Cheney told the late Tim Russert, host of Meet the Press, that the meeting in Prague had been “pretty well confirmed.”
Well, what we now have that’s developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that’s been pretty well confirmed, that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack. Now, what the purpose of that was, what transpired between them, we simply don’t know at this point. But that’s clearly an avenue that we want to pursue.
Cheney’s claim was one of the strongest rhetorical links between the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and Iraq in the administration’s arguments for war, even though it was refuted by the CIA more than once. The initial allegation reportedly came from misinformed Czech intelligence agents, and almost became part of a 2003 speech by the president — a plan that was scrapped after the CIA station in Prague issued a still-classified cable insisting that it was not true.
Even after the CIA had again refuted the link between Iraq and the 9/11 hijacker, Cheney still repeated it during a Sept. 2003 appearance on Meet the Press. Shortly after Russert confronted him with polling that showed as much as 69 percent of Americans believed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, Cheney responded:
With respect to 9/11, of course, we’ve had the story that’s been public out there. The Czechs alleged that Mohamed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack, but we’ve never been able to develop anymore of that yet either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it. We just don’t know.
The problem with that now appears to be that the vice president did know the intelligence was bogus, but continued repeating it to support his argument for war. No link was ever established between the Iraqi regime and the attacks of Sept. 11.
Despite insisting publicly that no deal had been made to invade Iraq in the run-up to war, notes from aides to then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, which were subsequently handed to reporters, showed that he directed the Pentagon to draw up invasion plans on the evening of Sept. 11, 2001.
A survey conducted in Sept. of last year (PDF) by the University of Maryland found that at least 38 percent of Americans still believe the U.S. “found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with Al Qaeda.” An additional 15 percent still believe Iraq was “directly involved in carrying out” the Sept. 11 attacks.
Israelis, Palestinians Closely Watched Egypt Turmoil
Key French Al Qaeda Leader Who had Links to 9/11 Mastermind Captured in Raid by Pakistani Security Services
Daily Mail Reporter
June 20, 2012
An ‘important’ French Al Qaeda leader linked to one of the 9/11 masterminds has been arrested in Pakistan.
Naamen Meziche was captured in a raid near the border with Iran in what security officials say is a reminder of the country’s vital role in the war on international jihadist groups.
Media reports have previously described Meziche as an Al Qaeda operative with links to European jihadi groups.
June 19, 2012
The United States is planning a significant military presence of 13,500 troops in Kuwait to give it the flexibility to respond to sudden conflicts in the region as Iraq adjusts to the withdrawal of American combat forces and the world nervously eyes Iran, according to a congressional report.
The study by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee examined the U.S. relationship with the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman – against a fast-moving backdrop. In just the last two days, Saudi Arabia’s ruler named Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz as the country’s new crown prince after last week’s death of Prince Nayef, and Kuwait’s government suspended parliament for a month over an internal political feud.
US, PA, Israeli leaders condemn mosque attack
PA president responds to graffiti, arson attack on Jab’a village mosque; PM: Irresponsible lawbreakers will be brought to justice.
The United States, Israel’s top leaders and the Palestinian Authority harshly condemned a pre-dawn “price-tag” attack Tuesday by Jewish right-wing extremists against a West Bank Palestinian mosque.
“Hateful, dangerous and provocative actions such as these are never justified,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters in Washington later that afternoon.
Shadowy al-Qaida-linked group claims Israel attack
By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press – 3 days ago
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A shadowy group claiming ties to al-Qaida said Tuesday that it carried out a deadly cross-border attack in Israel, the strongest evidence to date to back Israeli claims that the global terror network is operating on its doorstep.
While the claim of responsibility, made in a video obtained by The Associated Press in the Gaza Strip, could not be independently verified, it was accompanied by a separate statement with additional details on the attack posted on a website affiliated with al-Qaida.
Israel blames Hamas for all violence from Gaza. Following Monday’s attack, Israel carried out a series of airstrikes on militant targets in Gaza, drawing retaliatory rocket fire.
Late Tuesday, a rocket hit a house in an Israeli village near Gaza, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. Rescue services said three people were hurt.
Three Palestinians were killed in violence Tuesday.
An Islamic Jihad militant told The Associated Press late Tuesday night that a cease-fire with Israel, mediated by Egypt, was in effect. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters. Israel had no immediate comment.
In Monday’s attack, two gunmen infiltrated Israel from Egypt’s Sinai desert, killing a civilian worker who was part of a team building a border fence to prevent such attacks. The two gunmen were later killed by Israeli forces.
The short video said the attack was carried out by the Mujahedeen Shura Council of Jerusalem, a murky group that was formed in April.
It identifies two men, one Egyptian and one Saudi, as the perpetrators of Monday’s attack. “Soon we will carry out a double suicide mission against the enemy troops on the Egyptian border with occupy Palestine today, Monday, June 18,” said the Saudi man.
Later Tuesday, the group issued a statement on an al-Qaida-linked website saying the men targeted an Israeli patrol with a bomb, anti-tank rockets and gunfire. It said the attack was dedicated to “Sheik Mujhahid Osama bin Laden,” the al-Qaida founder who was assassinated by U.S. troops last year.
The Israeli military declined comment on the latest claims. Military officials have been warning for more than a year that al-Qaida is operating in the area.
Israeli officials believe the group has taken advantage of the power vacuum in the Sinai since the ouster of longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last year.
On Tuesday Israel’s military chief, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, toured the area of the infiltration and said his forces are dealing with the situation.
“The more significant issue is what is happening inside Sinai, the dispatch areas, the terror bases that are expanding and growing there. Egypt must exercise its sovereignty in Sinai,” he said.
Israeli officials also believe al-Qaida and other “global jihad” elements have infiltrated the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, which lies between Israel and the Sinai.
Hamas denies al-Qaida is operating in Gaza. The two militant groups have far different ideologies. Hamas says its struggle is focused solely against Israel, while al-Qaida claims to be fighting a holy war against the West.
Two Palestinian men in Gaza were killed early Tuesday in an airstrike, which Israel said was in response to rocket fire. In all, at least 45 rockets fell on southern Israel Tuesday, Rosenfeld said.
Late Tuesday, Gaza health official Adham Abu Salmia said an explosion in a house killed a child and injured 3 others.
Uniformed attackers strike 3 times in Afghanistan, U.S. says
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — Afghans in government uniforms launched three attacks on U.S. and Afghan forces in a 24-hour period, including one that breached the perimeter of an American outpost near Kandahar, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.
The strikes made for what Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, called a “tough day” around the southern city of Kandahar. A U.S. soldier was killed and several others were wounded in a shooting by gunmen in Afghan police uniforms Monday, and other disguised insurgents killed three Afghan police officers and wounded seven more in Kandahar, local authorities said Tuesday.
Jordan Michael Smith
June 19, 2012
Over 120 CIA documents concerning 9/11, Osama bin Laden and counterterrorism were published today for the first time, having been newly declassified and released to the National Security Archive. The documents were released after the NSA pored through the footnotes of the 9/11 Commission and sent Freedom of Information Act requests.
The material contains much new information about the hunt before and after 9/11 for bin Laden, the development of the drone campaign in AfPak, and al-Qaida’s relationship with America’s ally, Pakistan. Perhaps most damning are the documents showing that the CIA had bin Laden in its cross hairs a full year before 9/11 — but didn’t get the funding from the Bush administration White House to take him out or even continue monitoring him. The CIA materials directly contradict the many claims of Bush officials that it was aggressively pursuing al-Qaida prior to 9/11, and that nobody could have predicted the attacks. “I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released, because they paint a picture of the CIA knowing something would happen before 9/11, but they didn’t get the institutional support they needed,” says Barbara Elias-Sanborn, the NSA fellow who edited the materials.
Let’s start there. In 2000 and 2001, the CIA began using Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Afghanistan. “The idea of using UAVs originated in April 2000 as a result of a request from the NSC’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism to the CIA and the Department of Defense to come up with new ideas to go after the terrorists in Afghanistan,” a 2004 document summarizes. The Pentagon approved the plan for surveillance purposes.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Susanne Posel, Contributor
A grand jury in a US District Court in California has indicted Ryan Cleary, suspected member of LulzSec, the CIA-backed hacking group, of hacking into websites such as Fox Entertainment, PBS and Sony Pictures Entertainment, as well as into servers run by several hosting firms in the United States. Cleary also is accused of in a couple of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
LulzSec has been linked to Anonymous, which has members of the CIA working in and with the hacktivist group in an attempt by the US government to create a false flag threat that justifies the Obama administration’s restriction of American freedoms on the Internet.
The hacktivist movement has spawned new off-shoots of the main groups Anonymous and LulzSec, named “LulzSec Reborn”, “MalSec”, and “SpexSec”. These groups are using the same techniques as Anonymous, with new names. The nature of these groups is to wreak havoc, break apart, and come together under a different name to begin the process over again.
Josh Corman, director of security intelligence for Akamai, who has studied Anonymous, explains that Anonymous members will leave the group “if there is no organizing principle, if they grow frustrated that they are not having enough impact or are not satisfied with their investment of time or they’re sick of trolling.”
LulzSec Reborn is responsible for leaking over 10,000 Twitter usernames and passwords to members of TweetGif, a Gif-sharing application.
Although LulzSec is “dead” their members are reforming and armed with information from various US government agencies like the US State Department, ICE, the Defense Intelligence Agency and other military sites.
It is alleged that they have also gained information from foreign servers in Syria and Colombian prisons. However, if this is true, it just furthers the reality that these hacktivists are actually US government agents pretending to be independent persons in a nameless, faceless hacking group hell-bent on cyber-attacking government agencies.
Flame and Stuxnet, which have been linked to the digital destruction in Iran and Syria, are creations of the US government for use in cyber-attacks against foreign nations.
Eugene Kaspersky, of the Russian Kaspersky Lab, has made the connection between Flame and Stuxnet and the cyber-attack on Iran by the US and Israel.
Kaspersky has hard evidence that Flame and Stuxnet are the same virus, and must have been unleashed by the US and Israeli governments in conjunction with the European Union in an effort to syphon secret information from Iranian servers.
The issue of hacktivists and their threat to the Internet, national security and digital information flow is a ruse designed to fool the American public into thinking that on the other side of their computer screen lurks a Bogeyman ready to pounce.
In reality it is the US government and their false flags that we should all be vigilantly aware of so that we can recognize when Big Brother is trying to usurp our digital rights.
Susanne Posel is the Chief Editor of Occupy Corporatism. Our alternative news site is dedicated to reporting the news as it actually happens; not as it is spun by the corporately funded mainstream media. You can find us on our Facebook page.
The Osama Bin Laden Staged Media Psyop Mind Control Operation
June 18, 2012
On May 1st, 2011 the corporate controlled media, in conjunction with intelligence operatives planted within the major corporate news stations, and President Obama launched a large scale media mind control operation in announcing the “death” of infamous intelligence agent Osama Bin Laden.
The operation started with dozens of TV stations cutting to the “breaking news” that the U.S. had killed Osama Bin Laden.
News anchors, using noted mind control techniques, then begin to repeatedly chant:
“Bin Laden is dead, Bin Laden is Dead, Osama Bin Laden has been killed, Osama Bin Laden has been killed!”
The mind control chanting was so over the top that in the days after even mainstream columnists noted them while the alternative media correctly identified the repetitive chanting as a direct form of mind control.
Literally within an hour to two hours after the announcement that Bin Laden had been killed, a supposed organic crowd gathered outside the White House in celebration.
Obama’s pick for Iraq ambassador withdraws after racy emails uncovered
By Agence France-Presse
Monday, June 18, 2012 20:04 EDT
LOS CABOS, Mexico — President Barack Obama’s nominee for ambassador to Iraq has withdrawn from the running, a US official said Monday, following claims of impropriety and opposition from Republicans.
National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said the White House regretted seeing Brett McGurk “withdraw his candidacy” but praised him as a “skilled diplomat” who had served tirelessly during two administrations.
Six Republican senators had urged Obama to pull McGurk’s name, saying he lacked sufficient managerial experience and also raised questions about his judgment following the publication of racy emails he sent to a reporter.
The emails dated from 2008, and some were of a sexual nature, apparently between McGurk, who was then married and serving the Bush administration in Iraq, and Wall Street Journal correspondent Gina Chon.
Chon, who is now married to McGurk, resigned from the newspaper last week.
The Republican senators said the allegations of impropriety could shred McGurk’s credibility, and insisted the racy emails would undermine his ability to work in Iraq.
In a letter to Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton obtained by the New York Times, McGurk said he was withdrawing his nomination with a “heavy heart” but that the move was in “the best interests of the country.”
US hails Yemen’s Qaeda offensive
(AFP) – 6 days ago
WASHINGTON — The United States hailed Yemen on Saturday for retaking militant bastions in the south of the country from Al-Qaeda fighters.
Yemeni troops took control of the city of Shuqra on Friday, the last major stronghold of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Abyan province to fall to government forces, which launched an all-out offensive last month that has already resulted in the recapture of the towns of Jaar and Zinjibar.
The militants remain in control of the smaller town of Al-Mahfad.
“The United States commends the success of the Yemeni government, military, and people in re-taking important areas of southern Yemen, including the cities of Jaar and Zinjibar, from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.
Taking advantage of the weakening of central government control by an Arab Spring-inspired uprising last year, the militants had overrun most of Abyan, seizing Zinjibar, Jaar, Shuqra and several villages.
On May 12, the army began its offensive to recapture territory lost to the militants.
A total of 567 people have died in the campaign — 429 Al-Qaeda militants, 78 soldiers, 26 militiamen and 34 civilians — according to an AFP tally compiled from various sources.
“Al-Qaeda’s presence in Abyan has had a devastating impact on the citizens there and prevented the delivery of critical humanitarian assistance desperately needed by the Yemeni people,” Nuland said in extending Washington’s “deepest” condolences to those who lost their lives.
Noting the efforts of Yemeni citizens who joined the military in fighting the militants, Nuland said “their bravery serves as a reminder that the Yemeni population rejects Al-Qaeda and the violence it promotes.”
2,000 dead Americans: the toll of the Afghan War (so far)
FEDERAL JACK EDITORS NOTE: This number does not count the suicides in it. And the “official” death toll is always lowered because “combat” deaths are only deaths “on” the battlefield, not if the Marine or Soldier dies in the field hospital or enroute to it. That is one example of how presidential administrations and people in command in the military have covered the real numbers up. To learn more click here.
(RT) The United States’ war in Afghanistan reached a new milestone this week when the death toll of Americans killed in the decade-long Operation Enduring Freedom reached 2,000.
The US Department of Defense reports this week thatCpl. Taylor J. Baune, 21, of Andover, Minnesota lost his life in Helmand province, Afghanistan on Wednesday. The marine wed his high-school sweetheart earlier this year, only to be deployed overseas by the military and killed just three months later. The Pentagon has not released information about the cause of death.
The Star Tribune reports that Baune’s commitment with the US Marines was slated to expire this year, at which point he was expected to retire from the Armed Services because he did not intend on spending his life in the military. Now, however, he will live forever as a statistic in America’s longest on-going war by becoming the two-thousandths US soldier to die during the post-9/11 response to al-Qaeda and Taliban-affiliated insurgents.
The death of Cpl. Baune comes only weeks after the Defense Department revealed another shocking statistic: according to the Pentagon’s latest research, the rate of suicide among activity duty American soldiers is currently at around one-per-day.
“It’s a sign in general of the stress the Army has been under over the 10 years of war,” Dr. Stephen N. Xenakis, a retired Army brigadier general and a practicing psychiatrist, tells the Associated Press. “We’ve seen before that these signs show up even more dramatically when the fighting seems to go down and the Army is returning to garrison.”
US President Barack Obama flew to Afghanistan last month to finalize plans with that country’s president, Hamid Karzai, that would expedite America’s exit from the war. Operation Enduring Freedom has so far killed 2,000 US troop in roughly 3,900 days, but is expected to continue through 2014.
The results of a Reuters/Ipsos survey published last month reveal that 88 percent of the Americans polled are in favor of taking all US combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2012.
Mandated Defense Cuts Could Lead to War, Top US Military Official Says
June 14, 2012
The top U.S. military official suggested Wednesday that scheduled Pentagon budget cuts could lead to war.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before a Senate committee Wednesday alongside Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Both offered dire warnings about the potential impact of the automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, which will go into effect starting next January unless Congress intervenes.
Dempsey said the cutbacks could lead to the cancellation of weapons systems and disrupt “global operations.” In turn, he warned, the U.S. could lose global standing — opening the door for enemies to test American military might.
June 13, 2012
A wave of car bombs have struck Shi’ite pilgrims in several cities across Iraq, killing at least 65 people and wounding more than 200.
The bloodshed that started at dawn on Wednesday was a stark reminder of the political tensions threatening to provoke a new round of sectarian violence that once pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war.
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but they bore the hallmarks of Sunni insurgents who frequently target Shi’ites in Iraq.
Israeli Report Slams Premier on Flotilla Raid’
BY JOSHUA MITNICK
TEL AVIV—An Israeli inquiry into the deadly clash on a Turkish ship that challenged the blockade of Gaza two years ago lambasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as unprepared to handle potential violence, raising fresh questions here about whether the Israeli administration would use faulty planning to launch a lone strike on Iran.
The 153-page report by Israeli State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss faulted Mr. Netanyahu for not holding formal consultations with national-security advisers or government ministers in the weeks leading up to the confrontation, and instead relying on ad hoc discussions and a vague military assessment that the army would be …
Israeli watchdog slams PM over handling of flotilla
By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 8:00 EDT
Israel’s state watchdog on Wednesday sharply criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his handling of a 2010 military raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla which left nine Turkish nationals dead.
“In the process of decision making, which was led by the prime minister and under his responsibility, regarding the handling of the (flotilla), there were significant shortcomings,” said a report published by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss.
In the 153-page report, the comptroller slammed the decision-making process which led to the botched pre-dawn raid on a six-ship flotilla on May 31, 2010, which was headed by the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ferry carrying more than 600 people.
The bloody raid triggered a diplomatic crisis between once-close allies Israel and Turkey, with Ankara demanding a formal Israeli apology and compensation for the families of the victims.
Netanyahu, the report said, had not held a formal discussion with top ministers about the flotilla, and had only held separate talks on the issue with Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
“The prime minister did not order integrative staff work regarding the necessary policy to deal with the flotilla, instead there were personal, separate meetings, between the prime minister and thedefence minister, and between the prime minister and the foreign minister, which were not documented or summarised, and there was no discussion between the prime minister and any group of ministers,” the report said.
“The only discussion that took place on the issue was in the Forum of Seven just before the flotilla arrived, an ‘ad-hoc’ discussion without any preparation,” it said, referring to Netanyahu’s inner forum of senior ministers, which now counts nine members.
“The process of decision-making was done without orderly, agreed-upon, coordinated and documented staff work, despite the recognition of the senior political echelon and IDF chiefs, intelligence bodies and the National Security Council on the different nature of the Turkish flotilla compared to previous flotillas,” it said.
17 al-Qaida fighters killed in Yemen
By AHMED AL-HAJ, Associated Press – Jun 13, 2012
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Airstrikes and clashes intensified in southern Yemen on Wednesday as army troops followed major victories with more pressure on al-Qaida militants holding small towns, according to tribal and military officials.
At least 17 al-Qaida militants were killed in the latest phase of Yemen’s offensive, they said.
The attacks came a day after Yemeni forces regained control of two major al-Qaida strongholds, Jaar and Zinjibar, which were in the hands of the militants for more than a year.
A monthlong Yemeni government push in the south, aided by U.S. military advisers and bankrolled by neighboring Saudi Arabia, succeeded in driving the militants from two towns.
The U.S. considers al-Qaida’s Yemen branch to be the terror network’s most dangerous offshoot.
The group took advantage of a security vacuum last year during a popular uprising against Yemen’s longtime leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to seize swaths of territory in the strategic south. That raised fears it could use the area as a foothold to launch more attacks on U.S. targets.
Yemen’s al-Qaida offshoot, known as the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, has been blamed for directing a string of unsuccessful bomb plots on U.S. soil from its hideouts. It also emerged last month that the CIA thwarted a plot to down a U.S.-bound airliner using a new, sophisticated explosive to be hidden in the bomber’s underwear. The planned bomber was actually a double agent who turned the device over to the U.S. government.
The U.S. is helping the Yemenis from a command center manned by dozens of U.S. troops in the al-Annad air base in the southern desert, not far from the main battle zones, Yemeni military officials have said.
The Americans are coordinating assaults and airstrikes and providing information to Yemeni forces, while Saudi Arabia has come forth with cash, especially for armed civilians who back up the Yemeni army in its battles against al-Qaida, Yemeni military officials have said.
Yemeni Troops Recapture Southern Cities from al-Qaeda
Michael Lipin and Margaret Besheer
June 12, 2012
Yemeni officials say government troops have recaptured two al-Qaida strongholds in the country’s south after a month-long offensive against the militant group, which seized the areas more than a year ago.
Officials said Tuesday that Yemeni troops and their tribal allies took full control of Abyan’s provincial capital, Zinjibar, and the town of Jaar to the north. They said government forces also re-opened a major highway linking Abyan with the southern port of Aden.
Yemeni officials said troops drove into Jaar early Tuesday after a battle that killed 20 militants and four soldiers. Residents celebrated the soldiers’ arrival by firing weapons into the air. Hours later, officials said the troops completed the takeover of Zinjibar.
Al-Qaida militants seized parts of Abyan last year while the government was pre-occupied with fighting a pro-democracy uprising against then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh. His successor Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi launched a U.S.-backed military offensive last month to recapture those areas.
Brookings Doha Center conflict resolution expert Ibrahim Sharqieh told VOA the fall of the al-Qaida strongholds represents a major victory for Mr. Hadi, who took office in February.
Speaking by phone from Qatar, he said he expects Yemeni troops to advance on another city, Shuqra, in the coming days.
“If the army is able to take this city back, then we should be talking about al-Qaida disappearing from major cities in Abyan,” he said.
US, EU fake Iran’s consent to discussing enrichment to fend off Israeli action
DEBKAfile Special Report June 12, 2012, 10:05 AM (GMT+02:00)
A spokesman for EU foreign executive Catherine Ashton, who heads the six-power group in nuclear negotiations with Iran, reported Monday night, June 11, that Tehran is now willing to discuss high-grade uranium enrichment in the next round of nuclear talks in Moscow on June 18-19.
The claim is false. Tehran consistently refuses to discuss its “right to enrichment” and threatened not to turn up for the Moscow session after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanded last week that Iran come to the table with “concrete plans” for curbing uranium enrichment up to 20 percent purity.
Iran has not backtracked: Ashton got nothing new from an hour of tense conversation with senior negotiator Saeed Jalili and had to be satisfied with issuing the noncommittal statement, “The Iranians agreed on the need for Iran to engage on the (six powers’) proposals, which address its concerns on the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program.”
Enrichment remained unmentioned – least of all, any reference to the international inspectors’ discovery that Iran was enriching uranium up to 27 percent – and the “exclusively peaceful nature” of Iran’s nuclear program was endorsed.
From the outset, the talks between the six powers (US, China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain) in Istanbul (April 14) and Baghdad (23.5) and Tehran were falsely presented by the US and the European Union as different from previous diplomacy in that Tehran was now prepared to discuss the controversial aspects of its nuclear program.
This sham presentation of Iran puts diplomacy on artificial life support. Admission of is demise would leave the powers face to face with the only remaining path, i.e., military action – to which President Barack Obama is committed if all other options failed – either by the United States or Israel with US support.
The International Atomic Energy Agency Director Yukiya Amano toed the line Monday, June 11, by denying that IAEA negotiations with Iran had broken down Friday, June 8, of IAEA on inspections of its suspect nuclear sites, particularly the Parchin military complex where nuclear-related explosives tests are believed to have been conducted.
It wasn’t the first time that Amano put a good face on a failure to get anywhere with Iran. On May 2, after coming away from a visit to Tehran empty-handed, he claimed a deal on inspections was clinched and close to signing. It never was. But the next day, the P5+1 were enabled to launch talks with Iran in Istanbul.
Still, Iran made sure that those talks got exactly nowhere. The next session in Baghdad was seriously stalled from the word go by a long-winded harangue by chief negotiator Jalili on the historical connotations of the 30-year old Khorrmanshahr battle, in which revolutionary Islamic Iran trounced Iraq although the world powers and Gulf states solidly backed Saddam Hussein.
Jalili did not mention Iran’s nuclear program but, tacitly pointing at the delegations present, he commented: “The weapons that they provided to Saddam’s Ba’athist regime included German Leopard tanks, British Chieftain tanks, French Exocet missiles and Super Etendard aircraft, Russian MIG fighter-planes and Scud-B missiles, German and British chemical weapons, American Sidewinder missiles and AWACS aircraft, Saudi, Kuwaiti, and Emirati dollars.
He concluded with a declaration that the Islamic republic would “never be bullied into surrendering” to “illegal and unjust demands.”
The tight lid kept on proceedings at the nuclear negotiations keeps embarrassing disclosures out of the public domain and supports the pretense of progress, when in fact Tehran has adamantly refused to open its nuclear program to real discussion.
Iran’s real attitude toward the current round of diplomacy is summed up by debkafile’s Iranian and intelligence sources in five points:
1. The US has run out of unilateral options for dismantling Iran’s nuclear weapons program and depends now on the cooperation of Moscow and Beijing to achieve any progress. Tehran infers this from Washington’s turn to the Russians for help in resolving the Syrian crisis.
2. The world powers facing Iran at the nuclear negotiations in Istanbul and Baghdad are not united as depicted by the Obama administration but split three ways between Russia, China and the West. It is therefore in Tehran’s interest to keep the talks dragging on for as long as possible and so widen the divisions and isolate America.
3. Tehran is aware of US plans to impose harsher sanctions very soon, including an air and marine blockade, and is not dismayed. In fact, Iranian strategists are busy figuring out ways to get around them. They also calculate that the tougher the sanctions, the higher the price they will exact for every nuclear concession. From this perspective, tougher sanctions will buy Iran more time and a faster route to a nuclear bomb.
4. Tehran regards the staging of the “P7 Talks” as part of a wider picture. A high-ranking Iranian source said: ‘If the negotiations were just about nuclear issues, why bring in the major powers? The talks could have been handled by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
Iran’s leaders are nonetheless capitalizing on those talks as a short cut to broad global recognition of the Islamic Republic’s status as a major world power.
“We are already more than half way to achieving this,” they say in Tehran.
5. In view of the first four points, Tehran believes it is on a winning roll and can afford to stand fast against giving ground on a single one of its nuclear and technological advances.
The question asked by debkafile is why is Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu keeping silent on this charade and even going along with it.
Taliban Patsy Sentenced to Life for Dealing CIA Heroin
June 12, 2012
Fall guy Haji Bagcho was sentenced to life in prison today for trafficking heroin in Afghanistan. U.S. officialdom characterized Bagcho as “one of the largest heroin traffickers in the world and who used proceeds of his drug sales to support the Taliban insurgency,” according to the Washington Post.
Bagcho’s heroin business, however, paled in comparison to the one set-up by the CIA in Afghanistan and he was likely thrown in the slammer for life because the agency does not like competition.
The Taliban, itself a creation of the CIA, had banned the production of opium following the Afghan civil war after the Soviets were defeated. “The success of Afghanistan’s 2000 drug eradication program under the Taliban government was recognized by the United Nations” as admirable and that “no other country was able to implement a comparable program.” In October of 2001, the UN acknowledged that the Taliban reduced opium production in Afghanistan from 3300 tons in 2000 to 185 tons in 2001 (see Afghan heroin & the CIA). Following the U.S. invasion, Afghanistan became the number one heroin producer, producing 3,750 tons in 2002. By 2006, that number skyrocketed to 6,100 metric tons.
“CIA-supported Mujahedeen rebels [who in 2001 were part of the Northern Alliance] engaged heavily in drug trafficking while fighting against the Soviet-supported government,” William Blum noted in The Real Drug Lords.
“The Golden Crescent drug trade, launched by the CIA in the early 1980s, continues to be protected by US intelligence, in liaison with NATO occupation forces and the British military. In recent developments, British occupation forces have promoted opium cultivation through paid radio advertisements,” Michel Chossudovsky wrote in 2007.
U.S. troops were specifically ordered to ignore heroin and opium when they discovered it on patrol, an ex-Green Beret told author James Risen in 2003. Assistant Secretary of State Bobby Charles complained that “[Defense Secretary] Rumsfeld didn’t want drugs to become a core mission.”
In 2010, we reported on a Fox News segment where Gerald Rivera talked with an occupation soldier about U.S. support of the opium trade in Afghanistan. The soldier told Rivera he did not like supporting Afghan opium production, but insisted the U.S. had turned a blind eye to the cultivation and he cited the excuse of cultural sensitivity.
Poll: U.S. Citizens Approve of Drone Killings
June 13, 2012
“Americans are the clear outliers on this issue,” the pollster reports today. “62% approve of the drone campaign, including most Republicans (74%), independents (60%) and Democrats (58%).”
In other words, most Americans – again, if we can believe this poll or any poll conducted by an establishment organization – support the high-tech execution of suspected terrorists without trial.
Moreover, 62% of Americans apparently support wantonly violating the Geneva Convention and international law on war crimes. So did the German people when Hitler was slaughtering millions in his quest for supremacy.
Conversely, there is “considerable opposition” outside the United States to drone strikes. “In 17 of 20 countries, more than half disapprove of U.S. drone attacks targeting extremist leaders and groups in nations such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.” Pew neglected to say “suspected extremist leaders and groups,” thus attempting to lead us to believe the targets are verifiable terrorists. Short of evidence, they remain suspects.
Incidentally, the victims were not polled. “A different question about drone strikes was asked in Pakistan and will be released in a subsequent report,” Pew states in small text.
Prior to the Taliban’s business faux pas, the CIA worked with Pakistan’s ISI to turn heroin profits into lucre for covert activities. Moreover, if not for the trafficking of heroin, Pakistan’s legitimate economy would have collapsed, the Financial Times wrote in August of 2001. Much of the money was deposited in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, the preferred bank of intelligence agencies looking to launder money, hide drug profits, and engage in other financial crimes.
But it was not just Pakistan that would have collapsed.
“In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital,” said Vienna-based UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said in 2009. “In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor.”
Former Managing Director and board member of Wall Street investment bank Dillon Read, Catherine Austin Fitts, has long alleged that the banksters launder imponderable amounts of drug money. “According to the Department of Justice, the US launders between $500 billion – $1 trillion annually. I have little idea what percentage of that is narco dollars, but it is probably safe to assume that at least $100-200 billion relates to US drug import-exports and retail trade,” writes Fitts.
The Bogus Threat from Shariah Law
June 11, 2012
In the 19th century, Catholicism was regarded by many people in this country as thoroughly incompatible with Americanism. They saw it as a hostile foreign element that would subvert democracy. Today, a majority of the justices on the Supreme Court are Catholic, and they are taken to be as American as Mountain Dew.
We’ve come a long way in religious tolerance. Or maybe not. The belief that Catholics are irredeemably alien and disloyal has given way to the fear that Muslims pose a mortal threat to our way of life.
That distrust is behind a push in state legislatures to forbid courts from applying Islamic Shariah law in any case. Arizona, Tennessee, Louisiana and Oklahoma have passed these bans, though the Oklahoma law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.
US Ousts Israel From Counterterrorism Forum
The United States blocked Israel’s participation in the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s (GCTF) first meeting in Istanbul on Friday, despite Israel’s having one of the most extensive counterterrorism experiences in the world.
Israel was excluded from the meeting due to fierce objections by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a Washington-based source told Globes news.
According the State Department’s website, the GCTF, which was established in September 2011, aims at “strengthening the global counterterrorism (CT) architecture in a manner that complements and reinforces the CT work of existing multilateral bodies.”
Twenty-nine countries are participating in the GCTF, ten of which are Arab and/or Muslim countries.
“The GCTF sought from the outset to bridge old and deep divides in the international community between Western donor nations and Muslim majority nations. And it has, I think, done that quite effectively,” a top US official said at the press briefing prior to the opening session.
Republican politicians claim that since one third of the GCTF’s members are Muslim countries, the Obama administration is trying to deepen ties with the Muslim world at Israel’s expense, Globes noted.
“Our idea with the GCTF was to bring together a limited number of traditional donors, front line states, and emerging powers develop a more robust, yet representative, counterterrorism capacity-building platform. A number of our close partners with considerable experience countering and preventing terrorism are not included among the GCTF’s founding members,” a State Department spokesman said in response to questions about Israel’s exclusion from the GCTF.
“We have discussed the GCTF and ways to involve Israel in its activities on a number of occasions, and are committed to making this happen,” he added.
Pro-Israeli sources say that the Obama administration decided to ignore the fact that Turkey, which has a key role in the GCTF, opposes calling Hamas a terrorist organization, even though the State Department lists it as such.
In May, Turkey blocked Israel’s participation in a NATO summit in Chicago and maintained that NATO–Israel relations cannot be restored until Turkey-Israel relations are normalized.
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