cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16

12.06.2008

Deadline looms for federally required ID card in Alabama

New federal ID cards will be required of all local port workers starting Dec. 30, and the enrollment center in Mobile was bustling Thursday as people scrambled to get their cards, which require an extensive background check and cost more than $100 each.

Doug O'Brien, a 51-year-old truck driver for CTL Distribution Inc. in Theodore, sat with about a dozen people waiting to either apply for or pick up their cards. O'Brien, who was applying, said he had waited so long because up until a week ago he had heard very little about the program.

"All of a sudden, you've got to have it by the end of the month or else you don't drive, you don't work, you don't eat," O'Brien said.

Read full story


Alabama gets brand new fusion center

MONTGOMERY - Local, state and federal officials welcomed a new asset in Alabama’s efforts to combat terrorism and crime, with the opening of the Alabama Fusion Center Dec. 1. Vice Admiral (ret.) Roger T. Rufe Jr. of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) delivered the keynote address and commended the center’s work “to detect, prevent and respond to terrorism and crime.”

Rufe, director of DHS’s Office of Operations, Coordination and Planning, said, “DHS sees fusion centers such as this as the critical bridge for sharing information vertically between the federal government and our state, local and tribal partners, as well as horizontally across the states.

Read full story


SWAT team conducts food raid in rural Ohio

Because people with food are Very Dangerous. - Ed.

Via: Crossroad:

On Monday, December 1, a SWAT team with semi-automatic rifles entered the private home of the Stowers family in LaGrange, Ohio, herded the family onto the couches in the living room, and kept guns trained on parents, children, infants and toddlers, from approximately 11 AM to 8 PM. The team was aggressive and belligerent. The children were quite traumatized. At some point, the “bad cop” SWAT team was relieved by another team, a “good cop” team that tried to befriend the family. The Stowers family has run a very large, well-known food cooperative called Manna Storehouse on the western side of the greater Cleveland area for many years.

Read full story


New Light on Office of Legal Counsel

In 2004, Congress enacted an ambiguously-worded statute that made it a crime to produce, possess, or use the variola virus (which causes smallpox) or any derivative of it that has more than 85 percent of the variola gene sequence.

Scientists were alarmed because the statute could be read to prohibit possession of other viruses that are used in research, and to compromise the development of vaccines. The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, which advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services, recommended that the statute be repealed.

But it wasn’t repealed. Instead, it was “interpreted” by the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) to eliminate the problem. The OLC opinion (pdf), published by the Justice Department this week, said that the prohibition extends only to viruses that cause smallpox and those that are deliberately engineered by human manipulation of the smallpox virus itself. The vaccine developers and other scientific researchers were off the hook.

No sensible person would be likely to object to the conclusion reached by OLC. What seems problematic, however, is the interpretive process and the quasi-legislative authority that OLC now has to define and redefine the terms of existing laws. In this case, OLC interpretation was the functional equivalent of statutory amendment or repeal. And though unclassified, the July 2008 OLC ruling remained unpublished for several months. One can only imagine what OLC may be doing in classified areas.

Read full story


FBI has jurisdiction in Mumbai. Really.

Washington, Dec 4 (PTI) The FBI is assisting Indian investigative agencies in collecting evidence in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks, the US attorney general has said as he insisted that his country has the jurisdiction to prosecute the terrorist captured during the deadly strikes.
Michael Mukasey dubbed as "horrendous" the terror attacks which killed nearly 200 people, including six Americans.

"Investigation is on the ground to assist Indian authorities. The FBI is looking into whatever evidence they can get," the top legal official who will be succeeded by Eric Holder in the incoming Barack Obama administration, said.

Asked about the captured gunman, Mukasey said "I believe we have jurisdiction" but declined to comment on the likelihood of eventual indictments in the United States.

He said the attack has given an "object lesson" on the need for continued vigilance including keeping an eye on suspected terror outfits.

Mukasey also said he did not believe the US was more vulnerable to a terrorist attack during the presidential transition period, although security will be heavy for the President-elect inauguration.

"Terrorists will strike when they feel the moment is right, not according to the political calendar," he said. The United States has "all of the surveillance techniques we need to keep us safe," Mukasey added. PTI

Source

Haaretz: Hebron settler riots were out and out pogroms

An innocent Palestinian family, numbering close to 20 people. All of
them women and children, save for three men. Surrounding them are a few dozen masked Jews seeking to lynch them. A pogrom. This isn't a play on words or a double meaning. It is a pogrom in the worst sense of the word. First the masked men set fire to their laundry in the front yard and then they tried to set fire to one of the rooms in the house. The women cry for help, "Allahu Akhbar." Yet the neighbors are too scared to approach the house, frightened of the security guards from Kiryat Arba who have sealed off the home and who are cursing the journalists who wish to document the events unfolding there.

Read the rest at Haaretz: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1043795.html

News from Pakistan

‘Pakistan mulls downing US drones’

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: Pakistani officials are urging the incoming Obama administration to stop air attacks on Pakistani territory and are even hinting that they might shoot down US drones in its airspace, according to a report published in the Washington Times (WT).

The report said US forces based in Afghanistan had carried out around 25 strikes this year, most of them by drones, in the Pakistani border region. However, a November 19 attack was carried out in Bannu beyond the Tribal Areas, in the settled areas of Pakistan. After the strike on NWFP’s Bannu district, the government summoned US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W Patterson to the Foreign Ministry and lodged a formal protest.

Read full story

Nawaz discusses Mumbai attacks, bilateral ties with German ambassador

LAHORE: German Ambassador Dr Michael Koch met Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif on Thursday.

Matters of mutual interest to further cement bilateral relations were discussed during the meeting.

Nawaz apprised the ambassador that Pakistan wanted friendly trade, cultural and diplomatic ties with Germany on equal footings.

"Today, there is a dire need that Pakistan and Germany promote bilateral relations by increasing co-operation in all sectors," he said, citing that Pakistan has great potential for investment from Germany.

Read full story

Kissinger says non-state groups carried out Mumbai attacks

No shit. Thanks for the tip, big guy. - Ed.

WASHINGTON: Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger held non-state groups responsible for last week’s Mumbai attacks, and advocated a regional solution to the problem and United States’ co-operation to address the tense South Asian situation.

“We have an immediate problem and a long-term problem. The immediate problem is that you have all these various groups that are non-state groups but are organised with highly modern equipment and communications that penetrated, in this case, into India,” he told FOX News. He noted that India-Pakistan tensions had been going on for the last six decades. Kissinger urged Pakistan to exercise strict control over its territory and for India to prevent inflaming its Muslim population.

Read full story

12.05.2008

Bush's Parting 'FUCK YOU' to America

The 'bailout' is another Bush/GOP scam, a big black hole into which some 1.5 trillion dollars has already has been sucked! The dollar will eventually collapse as did German Marks under the Weimar Republic. Only the big banks benefit but they, too, will collapse. There is no bailout for the 'buck'. The emerging picture is one of fat cats scrambling to cover bare asses while putting the screws to you. This sucks!

We are expected to believe that the collapse of the dollar is incidental, co-incidental, unfortunate! The dollar is collapsing as we write because the smart money dumped the dollar and maniupulated the market. Those profits have already been taken --by design. What is happening now is the scramble to escape. It is a mad rush to dump the dollar. The last man out loses.

Already $billions$ have been squandered, wasted, or simply stolen. Where is the accounting? Where has the money gone? Where are the loans that were supposed to have been made to folks hoping to own a home? How has the bailout benefited Americans in any way whatsoever? I'm open to any credible GOP explanation! I won't get one! Rather, I had expected Bush to tell Paulson: "You're doing a heckuva job!" The scary part is this: perhaps both Henry Paulson and Brownie have done precisely what Bush had intended. Like New Orleans earlier, the US economy is in ruins. Like New Orleans, there is no restoration in sight. There is, however, evidence that it was all planned.

continue reading

Russian Oligarchs losing a ton in financial meltdown

Wha wha whaaaaa! - Ed.

In the past decade, while you were trying to survive the dotcom collapse and $4 gas, commodity-owning Russia was getting rich (well, some Russians, anyway). Moscow became a city of billionaires, and a year ago, these young, impossibly wealthy moguls were taking over the world.

And now? They're still dynastically wealthy, of course. But they've taken it on the chin. In fact, by some estimates, the Russian oligarchs have lost more than $230 billion in the past six months. Some are even reaching for Putin's modest $50 billion bailout wad. (And getting it.)

Read full story


Mumbai Terror Attack: Further Evidence of Anglo-American-Mossad-RSS Nexus

Great post. Read the whole thing. - Ed.

By Amaresh Misra

Now who has the last laugh? That is the question; I only have pity for those who cannot see reality and who were so glib to buy into what the media and political troubleshooters were saying about the Mumbai Blasts.
Consider this:


As a BBC report notes, at least some of the Mumbai attackers were not Indian and certainly not Muslim.Pappu Mishra, a cafe proprietor at the gothic Victorian Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, described "two sprightly young men dressed in black" with AK47s who were "foreign looking, fair skinned."Gaffar Abdul Amir, an Iraqi tourist from Baghdad, saw at least two men who started the firing outside the Leopold Cafe. "They did not look Indian, they looked foreign. One of them, I thought, had blonde hair. The other had a punkish hairstyle. They were neatly dressed," Amir told the BBC.


According to Andrew G. Marshall, the ISI "has long been referred to as Pakistan's 'secret government' or 'shadow state.' It's long-standing ties and reliance upon American and British intelligence have not let up, therefore actions taken by the ISI should be viewed in the context of being a Central Asian outpost of Anglo-American covert intelligence operations."The presence of "foreign looking, fair skinned" commandos who calmly gunned down dozens of people after drinking a few beers indicates that the Mumbai attacks were likely the work of the Anglo-American covert intelligence operatives, not indigenous Indian Muslims or for that matter Arab al-Qaeda terrorists. The attacks prepare the ground for the break-up of Pakistan and the furtherance of destabilizing terrorism in the Middle East and Asia. The Mumbai attacks had little to do with India or the relationship between Muslim Pakistanis and Hindu Indians."Pakistan's position as a strategic focal point cannot be underestimated. It borders India, Afghanistan, China and Iran," concludes Marshall. "Destabilizing and ultimately breaking Pakistan up into several countries or regions will naturally spread chaos and destabilization into neighboring countries. This is also true of Iraq on the other side of Iran, as the Anglo-American have undertaken, primarily through Iraq, a strategy of balkanizing the entire Middle East in a new imperial project." (See Marshall'sDivide and Conquer: The Anglo-American Imperial Project.)

Read full story

Nariman House at the center of the web

The following extracts from the “mainstream” media should be enough to show the reality of the Nariman House and its involvement in the Nov 26 incidents in Mumbai.

BEFORE THE ATTACKS:

The drama started weeks before the terrorist attacks - at a Jewish residential complex In Mumbai run by the Chabad-Lubavitch ultra-orthodox movement.


Read full story


Warlord Geo-Strategy Unveiled

Amazing map. Click the link. - Ed.

Click here to enlarge image. In the following PNAC, Exxon, AEI pipedream, Paksitan and Iran are located at geo-strategic positions which the warlords considers a considerable stumbling blocks in their way to realizing their global totalitarian designs. No wonder if we witness terrorist attacks in Pakistan and India. Pakistan is the prime target. And India has to suffer just as Pakistan suffered when it was time for Afghanistan to be on the chopping block. Today, Pakistan is on the chopping block and India has to play the tole which Paksitan has been playing since October 7, 2001. The region is in for a big trouble indeed.

Source

Terrorising Pakistan

Following up on this post (Terrorising Pakistan into further submission ) from yesterday, see how the bullying - say terrorising - continues:

Act now, Rice tells leaders in Islamabad: Enough information made available (civilian, political pressure)
Mullen wants ‘any and all ties’ explored (military pressure) Acting more like Indians rather than Americans. As if the target of the attacks was New York, not bombay.
Islamabad must cooperate over Mumbai attacks: US Did Pakistan say a word otherwise….?

And interestingly India is acting like the US after operation 9/11, when it refused everything and anyhting offered by the rest of the world. Here goes the pumped up Indians: Indian Congress rejects joint probe. Nevertheless, FBI is most welcome: FBI helping India gather evidence on Mumbai attacks.


Source


Israeli troops evict settlers in the West Bank

HEBRON, West Bank — Israeli troops forcibly evicted about 200 hard-line Jewish settlers from a contested building in this volatile biblical city on Thursday, the first serious clash in what seems to be a spiraling confrontation between the government and defiant settlers.

The operation, carried out by 600 soldiers and policemen with stealth and efficiency, took half an hour and resulted in two dozen relatively light injuries. But events did not end there. Young settlers then rampaged through Palestinian fields and neighborhoods, setting olive trees on fire and trashing houses.

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LA Times: After Mumbai attacks, Israel debates protection for Chabad Houses

We'd love you to help us out, but if things go wrong, you're on your own. - Ed.

Money Quote:

"It's clear that we don't want our Chabad Houses to turn into barricaded forts," said Rabbi Menachem Brod, official Chabad spokesman in Israel. "The whole idea of Chabad is that we are open and accessible to Jews traveling abroad."

The concern has left Israeli officials fending off charges that they should do more to protect the buildings, which serve as outposts for ultra-Orthodox Jewish culture.

"Of course we care, of course we worry, but there's not much we can actually do," said Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry. "Not only is it not governmental, it's not even Israeli."

Read full story

Chabad (Lubavitch), Putin, Russian Oligarchs

While ordinary Chabadniks often describe Vladimir Putin as an evil thug, the Chabad leadership basks in its relationship with him. This contradiction has complex roots.

In the beginning the mainstream Jewish community in post-Soviet Russia was dominated by the Russian Jewish Oligarchs, who are a sort of mutant spinoff of Friedmanite Neoliberals (a gross simplification) and who for the most part became enemies of the Putin's policy of bringing privatized former Soviet state corporations back under governmental control.

Read full story

More than meets the eye

So these terrorists groups can be linked to CIA, ISI, MI6. OK. And what about Mossad? Were they out polishing their halos when all this went down?? - Ed.

As details emerge about who was responsible for the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last week, the evidence points to a militant group and network of associates that can be linked to a number of intelligence agencies, including the ISI, the CIA, and MI6.

Read full story

Activist moves homeless into foreclosed homes

By placing this story in Collapse, I’m not making a value judgment on it; this is simply to indicate that we’re seeing the beginnings of a failed state situation.

From this story alone, it should be clear just how little power that state actually has. If somebody told you five years ago that homeless people would be squatting in foreclosed homes with tacit approval from the state, would you have believed it?

Not me, brother!

Well, here we are.

Read full story


Ponzi Scheme at Citi

These CDO securities are worth exactly ZERO. - Ed.

A new Citigroup scandal is engulfing Robert Rubin and his former disciple Chuck Prince for their roles in an alleged Ponzi-style scheme that's now choking world banking.

Director Rubin and ousted CEO Prince - and their lieutenants over the past five years - are named in a federal lawsuit for an alleged complex cover-up of toxic securities that spread across the globe, wiping out trillions of dollars in their destructive paths.

Read full story


Petition - Apoalypse NO!

Sent to me by a reader. Some background on Chabad in here. - Ed.

IN THE NAME OF GOD?

How would you react if you became aware of the fact that extremist sects were gradually taking over key positions of international power? And what if these groups were doing so because they consider themselves the chosen ones of God? -- chosen to bring global events into line with Biblical prophecy so that this would make possible the coming of the Messiah as predicted at the end of times? What if these fanatics, as the final step towards achieving their goal, are planning to provoke a Third World War starting in the Middle East, a Third World War that will first reduce the Holy Land to ashes and then the rest of the world? Frightening, but a sad reality – because this is exactly what is happening now.

Evangelical Pentecostal churches play a major role in this secret apocalyptic battle as well as the pseudo-judaic esoteric cult of Chabad Lubavich and Hardal – the radical representatives of “religious Zionism”. Each group today has succeeded in gaining alarming positions of power:

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12.04.2008

Chabad Lubavitch' Dangerous Game: Attacking Mumbai and World Economy

Chabad’s Zionization

The attack on Mumbai spotlights the ultra-orthodox (haredi) Chabad-Lubavitch community and its international outreach network. When Chabad outreach (keruv) started in the 1950s, it seemed rather intellectually dishonest because the organization used nostalgia for a never-existent Jewish past as a hook to enmesh secular or secularized Jews in ultra-orthodox (haredi) practice as hozrim bitshuvah (returnees, sometimes improperly called baalei tshuvah), but on the whole the activity was mostly harmless in contrast with current Chabad activities, which long ago crossed the border into dangerous territory.

As the Lubavitcher organization has become larger and wealthier — partially because mobilization for keruv has brought large contributions, members have shown a propensity for corruption.
(See
Feds prepare for agriprocessors tax evasion, fraud charges)

Because outreach has brought into the Lubavitcher community many returnees educated or indoctrinated in the Soviet or Zionist systems, which were both similar and also genocidal, the Lubavitcher movement has itself become more conservative and more prone to support violence or to commit violence. (In Czarist Russia the Lubavitchers had the reputation as one of the rougher Chassidic groups, and they did manage to survive and thrive in the Crown Heights neighborhood as it declined and developed strong ethnic tensions.)

Read full story


Not from the local village


No Third World Guns

This picture, taken in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks, is disturbing on a number of levels.

These aren’t AK-47s, the cheap and ubiquitous automatic weapons favored in the third world because, while crude, will shoot under almost any circumstance. No, these are Heckler & Koch MP5s, the standard submachine gun of security services throughout the world, including our own special forces in all branches of the military.

This isn’t a black market gun. While people living in caves in Afghanistan can and do manufacture Kalashnikovs by hand, the MP5 is a sophisticated weapon requiring high tech metallurgy and other technologies for their production.

Source: There are no sunglasses - link up top.

More information here.



No blanket coverage when the terror is American

Bill Blum - The next time you encounter a defender of American foreign policy, someone insisting that something like Mumbai justifies Washington's rhetorical and military attacks against Islam, you might want to point out that the United States does the same on a regular basis. For seven years in Afghanistan, almost six in Iraq, to give only the two most obvious examples . . . breaking down doors and machine-gunning strangers, infidels, traumatizing children for life, firing missiles into occupied houses, exploding bombs all over the place, pausing to torture . . . every few days dropping bombs on Pakistan or Afghanistan. . . bombing wedding parties, one after another, 20 or 30 or 70 killed, all terrorists of course, often including top al-Qaeda leaders, the number one or number two man, so we're told; so not completely mindless, not totally random. . .

Does any of that depress you like Mumbai? . . . "The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, according to senior American officials. . . The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States," the New York Times informs us. So it's all nice and legal, not an attack upon civilization by a bunch of escaped mental patients. Maybe the Mumbai terrorists also have a piece of paper, from some authority, saying that it's okay what they did.

Source: http://prorev.com/2008/12/no-blanket-coverage-when-terror-is.html

Forehead slap: Governor of Bank of Israel to replace Geithner?

Oh for Pete's sake. COME ON. Just Say No to Israel. Somebody??? Anybody??? - Ed.

Stanley Fischer, the governor of the Bank of Israel, is reportedly again a candidate to replace Timothy Geithner as president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, according to media reports.

Geithner has been nominated for Treasury Secretary of the Barack Obama administration.

The New York Fed is the most important of the 12 regional Fed banks. The instuitution serves as the U.S. central bank's most direct link to Wall Street as well as its chief crisis manager.

The New York Fed is moving ahead with seeking a permanent replacement for Geithner, its chairman Stephen Friedman said last week.

It gets worse. Read the rest.

Politicians in the service of Israel shame us all

Who could have believed that by Christmas 2008 the West would still be unable to summon up courage to discipline Israel for crimes against the Palestinians?

The cruel siege of Gaza has been going on for at least 30 months. “It started March 2006 – I was there,” says a friend. In other words, as soon as Hamas was inconveniently elected to power. In early April the EU turned off financial aid and the economic blockade had begun.

Read full story

Former ISI chief: Mumbai incident international conspiracy to deprive Pakistan of atomic power

ISLAMABAD: Former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) ISI Chief General (Retd.) Hameed Gul has said that Mumbai incident is an international based conspiracy to deprive Pakistan of its atomic power. Taking to a private TV channel on Friday, he said that to involve Pakistan in the incident reflected that some forces wanted to declare Pakistan a failure state as somehow it had become necessary to make Pakistan knee down in order to snatch its atomic power away.

He said that the way militants entered into the hotels and executed their plan in extremist Hindus like Bal Thakrey and Narender Modi’s area it seemed impossible without internal support adding these people had grudge with Muslims and wanted to defame them all over the world.

He said that the militants were named as Dakan Mujahedeen and it was particularly ridicules when neither their demands were brought to surface nor their target was clear. He said that India is habitual to accuse Pakistan whenever any mishap takes place as in the case of Samjhota Express but it could not prove the allegations and in Maligaon incident Indian Col. Srikanth Proat was later found guilty.

He feared that India would deploy its army on the boarders, like 2002 when a bloody incident took place on December 13, 2001 out side Indian parliament, to curb Kashmiris’ freedom movement and deprive Pakistan of its atomic assets saying it would be in-competency of the government if India gets success in its plane.

To a question, he said that US wanted to see Indian army in Afghanistan to disintegrate the country as new maps used to publish form US showing divided Pakistan in different four parts. When asked, the blockage of water and make the country knee down before IMF was a part of pre-planned trick.-SANA

Source

CIA attack on Islamabad and Mumbai

The twin tragedies of hotel terrorism in Islamabad and Mumbai are clearly the empire’s new plans for world war III unfolding before us. Human history is a record of all the successfully unfolded conspiracies, our time is no different.

The war on terror has revealed the true nature of the combatants and what they represent. On one side, the American side, the secret agencies of all involved nations plot to expand the secret war that drives the real war, while on the other side the secret soldiers (criminals, radicals and mercenaries) who have been on America’s payroll for decades fight against and for their former bosses, providing the violence that justifies the real war. Their resistance to the secret plans becomes “terrorism” when it is twisted by corporate media distortion.

Read full story


Things that may or may not matter

In the It probably will not matter category:

Rice will visit New Delhi, Islamabad

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit Islamabad to discuss security issues with Pakistani officials following Mumbai attacks.

Rice is to visit Islamabad a day after her trip to New Delhi. The visit aims to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan, Press TV correspondent reported Tuesday.

The White House also confirmed that Rice cuts short her NATO ministerial meeting in London to discuss security threats in South Asia.

Talking to reporters in London, Rice urged Pakistan's complete co-operation with India in the latter's fight with terrorism.

Read full story

In the It better not matter category:

Al Qaeda to release video tape claiming Mumbai attack as theirs
What took them so long? Wasn't the tape prepared in advance, like a well-planned false flag terrorist operation? Did the operation go down wrong, causing them to go back to the drawing board and make a second tape? HMMM??? - Ed.

COHEN, BENJAMIN, FELBAB & REIDEL from Brookings Institution know who is behind the Mumbia Attacks--aL Qaeda. All one had to do was watch CSpan this afternoon to listen to this intel group pin the Mumbai attacks on AQ.

But of course.

And according to this group, AQ will shortly release a video/audio tape claiming the Mumbia attacks as theirs.

Sure, we believe you.

AQ will probably also release some sensitive info on the attacks that was only known to India police and security forces.

Right.

Yes, the same group of monsters who were behind 9/11 had a hand in the Mumbai attacks and we all know who that is.

Read full story

In the It might matter category:

China assures full support to Pakistan

China has assured full moral, financial and material support to Pakistan in the wake of situation arose after terrorist attacks in Mumbai. China in a message to Pakistan, said that the country would assist Pakistan in any situation to overcome the problems and challenges being faced by it.

The Chinese leadership is in constant contact with Pakistan to know the nature of assistance the latter requires and ensure its immediate availability.

However, according to officials’ sources, Pakistan is self-sufficient in defence and it is impossible for any state of the world to harm the country. They said Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force are well equipped to protect the homeland.

Read full story

In the It definitely matters category:

India rules out attack against Pakistan

Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday that only "time will show" what will be done by India but made it clear that nobody was talking about military action.

"Now, we have asked (for) the arrest and handover of those persons who are settled in Pakistan and who are fugitives of Indian law,” Mukherjee said.

The foreign minister said the names were given during a formal protest to the high commissioner of Pakistan over the attacks in Mumbai.

Read full story

Pakistan offers India joint probe team

Islamabad: Pakistan has offered India a joint team to probe the Mumbai terror attacks, even as it says it will "frame a response" to New Delhi's demand for handing over 20 of India's most wanted men.

"The government of Pakistan has offered a joint investigating mechanism and a joint commission to India," Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a nationwide telecast.

"We are ready to jointly go into the depth of this issue and we are ready to compose a team that could help you," Qureshi added.

Read full story




The Struggle to Maintain Composure

Recent terror attacks in Mumbai have seriously disturbed and complicated the on-going peace dialogues between India and Pakistan. Where Indian officials are not hesitating to point fingers to Pakistan, the Pakistani officials have been denying Pakistan's involvement in the attacks. Pakistan authorities have further requested not to play the blame game and have offered their full support in the investigation. While all these are happening the Pakistani Blogosphere has a lot of important things to say:

Dr. Awab Alvi at Teeth Maestro says:

What has also sadly transpired within the following day is that the ‘official’ blame game circus is in full swing, contrary to my initial message where I expressed my relief that Pakistan was not being blamed since Deccan Mujahideen were taking the blame, but much to my dismay the good news [?] was short lived and very soon the Indian government was livid at the Pakistani intelligence agencies for having masterminded this attack, in all honesty it might even had been the ISI [ironically we cant trust them either] but whosoever created the mess, Indian or Pakistanis it must be condemned at all costs.

Read full story


Also see: I am a Mumbaiker: In Prayer and Solidarity

I, too, am a Mumbaikar today.

I wish I could reach out and for just one moment hold the hands of the woman in this AP photograph. Maybe shed some tears on her shoulder. But I do not know what I would say to her. I do not think she would want me to say much. The expression on her face matches the feeling I have at the pit of my stomach and in the depth of my heart. I think - I hope - that she would understand how I feel. I can only imagine what she is going through.

Read full story



It's been awfully quiet in the Russian corner lately...

Moscow-NATO relations warming

Russia’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin has welcomed the idea of an informal meeting, but added that NATO's reaction to the crisis in the Caucasus did dent Moscow's relations with the organisation.

“Of course we're ready to consider the proposal to hold an informal meeting, but I'd like to say that Russia won't pretend that our relations weren't affected when NATO so unambiguously sided with Saakashvili's regime. So we are happy to meet behind closed doors where we'll voice our serious political objections to the moral and political stance the alliance took during those August days that were so hard for the whole of Europe”.

In Brussels, the councils on Georgia and Ukraine have met to discuss what needs to be done by the two countries before they can join the alliance.

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The global financial crisis and NATO's commitment to Afghanistan

Despite the global financial crisis NATO has reaffirmed its long-term commitment to Afghanistan at its Brussels and the Bucharest summits this year.

“We will be in Afghanistan for as long as it takes,” NATO spokesperson Brigadier-General Richard Blanchette said. “Our goal is not an end date, but an end state.”

The Alliance is engaged in a highly complex struggle in Afghanistan in which it hopes to provide sufficient security for the rehabilitation of the Afghan state, civil society and economy.

Read full story

Soldiers sue KBR for knowingly exposing them to sodium dichromate

Sixteen soldiers are suing former Halliburton unit KBR, charging that its employees knowingly exposed them to a carcinogenic chemical in the course of their duties.

McManaway v. KBR, filed Wednesday at the U.S. District Court (Southern District of Indiana, Evansville), seeks to recover medical costs, along with monetary damages and monitoring for health problems including cancer, for sixteen Indiana National Guardsmen based in Tell City who were posted at a water treatment plant that KBR was commissioned to repair shortly after the American invasion, from April to September 2003. The Guardsmen charge that KBR was aware of dangerous levels of sodium dichromate on the premises, used to remove corrosion from pipes. Part of its chemical makeup is hexavalent chromium, which is known to cause lung cancer and birth defects. Sergeant First Class David Moore of Dubois, Indiana, was among those said to be affected: he died this year of chronic interstitial lung disease. His death was ruled service-related.

Read full story

For more background, see The Hidden Enemy, posted here a few weeks ago.

Dubois, IN - The Indiana National Guard says two soldiers exposed to a deadly chemical in Iraq now have cancer. The Guard is trying to contact more than 600 soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry who may have been exposed to sodium dichromate.

"The Battalion Cdr (commander) was diagnosed with cancer last summer and there is another soldier who came home on leave from this deployment who has been diagnosed with rectal cancer," LTC Deedra Thombleson wrote in an email to Channel 13.

A third soldier, Sergeant First Class David Moore, died in 2008 from a mysterious illness after returning from Iraq.

Read full story


“POLITICS AND THE ARTS, INTERNATIONALISM, AND ACTIVISM:

AN INTERVIEW WITH GARY CORSERI BY LLOYD ROWSEY

(INTRO: Gary’s Biography: “Revolution without the Arts is meaningless,” writes Gary Corseri, whose articles, poems, stories and plays have appeared in/at The New York Times, Village Voice, Redbook, The Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Japan Times, Georgia Review and hundreds of periodicals and websites worldwide. His dramas have been presented on PBS-Atlanta and in five states, and he has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum. Dr. Corseri has taught in public schools and prisons in the U.S., and in universities in the U.S. and Japan. He has published two collections of poems. His novels, Holy Grail, Holy Grail, and A Fine Excess, as well as the Manifestation anthology he edited, may be ordered at Borders, etc. He is also the senior arts and culture editor for Cyrano’s Journal Online and can be contacted at Gary_Corseri@comcast.net.

Lloyd’s Biography: A graduate of Stanford Law School, Lloyd Rowsey worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 23 years. His poems and articles have appeared at OpEdNews and elsewhere. He can be contacted at lloydrowsey@hotmail.com.)

continue reading

12.03.2008

Why IS this so complicated?

A tremendous amount of information in this report... - Ed.

Excerpt:

WORLD NOW ENGULFED IN A CHAOTIC INTELLIGENCE WAR
All intelligence organisations today are at war within themselves, as all have been penetrated by foreign powers and domestic enemies, as a consequence of which no intelligence operative can ever trust any of his or her colleagues and must live with the knowledge that he or she is liable to be deceived, double-crossed or entrapped without warning at any stage of a given operation.

The upshot is that the whole world is now engulfed in a ruthless, no-holds-barred, long-running and now red-hot intelligence war over money, which is actually destroying all money and asset values on a scale with no historical precedent. We did predict this outcome in our reports dated 2nd September 2006, and in reports posted, for instance, on 18th and 27th July 2007 [see Archive].

As indicated earlier, the intelligence war over money had been raging largely below the radar, with periodic eruptions, certainly since the Second World War. But given the terrible intransigence of the organised intelligence community-linked criminals who hijacked the White House and the US Treasury under the Bush and Clinton Crime Families, we need hardly be surprised that many unruly elements of the darkness are taking matters into their own hands, seeking to ignite flashpoints in the cynical expectation of being able to foment wars and rumours of wars which can subsequently be exploited to cover up their financial thefts and fraudulent operations. For instance, the Bombay atrocities could well have been associated with the Bush-linked ‘Black’ forces' fury that the Indian authorities may have ‘ceased to cooperate’ over $2.0 trillion that was illegally transferred, you will recall, to UBS New Delhi, in the course of 2007, when the criminal financial operations were at their peak, before our exposures had started to bring the perpetrators to book.

Amazingly, however, these penetrated and internally warring intelligence communities ‘rely upon’ the ‘Rule of Law’ as a back-stop, even though some of them (headed by the CIA) treat the ‘Rule of Law’ with absolute contempt and consider that they have an open-ended license to break the law, the only rule being ‘you are on you’re own if you get caught’.

Read full report

Wayne Madsen: Mumbai attacks more complicated than corporate press reports

That's an understatement. - Ed.

(WMR) — As first reported by WMR while the corporate press was uttering the “Al Qaeda” bogeyman as likely behind the terror attacks on Mumbai, the Press Trust of India (PTI) is now confirming WMR’s initial report that Pakistan- and Dubai-based criminal syndicate boss Dawood Ibrahim’s gangsters handed over the weapons and explosive material to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) terrorists to carry out the assault on targets in Mumbai.

Read full story

Pakistan TV claimes Mumbai plot hatched by 'Hindu Zionists' and Mossad

This gets interesting.

I do hope for the moment when India gets the clue that Israel, of all places, is complicit in the horrific attack on Mumbai, taking advantage of the fact India's draconian gun control measures leave the innocent people completely vulnerable and defenseless to maximize casualties.

Proponent of non-violence Mohandas Gandhi said:

"...Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms [India] as the blackest."

Read full story


Doctors shocked at hostages' torture

They said that just one look at the bodies of the dead hostages as well as terrorists showed it was a battle of attrition that was fought over three days at the Oberoi and the Taj hotels in Mumbai.

Doctors working in a hospital where all the bodies, including that of the terrorists, were taken said they had not seen anything like this in their lives.

"Bombay has a long history of terror. I have seen bodies of riot victims, gang war and previous terror attacks like bomb blasts. But this was entirely different. It was shocking and disturbing," a doctor said.

Read full story


Coverup in Mumbai - Indian View

Very important read. - Ed.


While stock-taking has only just begun, it already appears as if some things are being covered up. Some things deserve an immediate answer – how many terrorists were there actually; how did they reach their respective destinations inland; and is it possible that “super-terrorists” simply walked out with the real survivors after having utilised the “mercenaries” to the hilt, just as they had murdered the navigators of the boats that brought them to Mumbai?


Current media reports and government sources say that the terrorists came by sea, landing near the Gateway of India or Colaba. This certainly explains the attacks on the sea front hotels like Taj, Oberoi and the Nariman House. But the question remains – how did they get to the CST station, Cama Hospital, and other places inland? Someone must have provided transport and back-up.


By no logic can anyone believe that nine separate sites in a city could be held to ransom by just 10 men. It is particularly difficult to believe that gigantic hotels like the Taj could be ruined and scores of guests killed or injured by just two men (sometimes the figure goes to six). Even two men per floor could not have caused the kind of death and destruction that did happen. A small place like Nariman House, yes, but Taj and Oberoi – I don’t believe it. And if there were six persons at Taj and at least two at Nariman House, that means only two persons destroyed the Oberoi?


Rediff.com has interviewed the doctors who conducted the post-mortems on the dead hostages and terrorists, and it is their expert opinion that a battle of attrition took place over three days at the Oberoi and Taj hotels. The mutilation of the bodies was unlike anything they had seen in their careers in forensics.


Read full story



Commandos killed Jews, says Israeli rescue team

NEW DELHI, Dec 2: A private rescue group from Israel has claimed that Indian commandos inadvertently killed some of the hostages in the terror attacks in Mumbai, and the claim has evidently embarrassed both governments, news reports said on Tuesday.

“Based on what I saw, (although) I can’t identify the type of bullets in the bodies (of the victims), I don’t think the terrorists killed all the hostages, to put it gently,” Mr Haim Weingarten, head of the six-member team of Zaka voluntary organisation dealing with rescue and recovery, told The Jerusalem Post.

Press Trust of India said from Jerusalem that the claim had embarrassed the Israeli government, which is worried about its fallout on ties with the Indian government.

According to PTI, Mr Weingarten told the Post from Mumbai that all the six Jewish and Israeli hostages found dead in the Chabad House were killed by either gunshot wounds or shrapnel from grenade blasts, or both, and that he didn’t know who threw or fired the grenades that wounded the hostages.

Although lacking forensic tools to determine the time of death, Mr Weingarten was quoted as saying that his team’s observations led him to believe that “some of the hostages were killed on Wednesday (when gunmen first entered the building), some on Thursday, and some on Friday morning (during the start of the commando raid)”.

Read full story

Chossudovsky: India's 9/11

Excerpt:

Pakistan's Military Intelligence is America's Trojan Horse

The media reports point, in chorus, to the involvement of Pakistan's Military Intelligence, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), without mentioning that the ISI invariably operates in close liaison with the CIA.

The US media indelibly serves the interests of the US intelligence apparatus. What is implied by these distorted media is that:

1. The terrorists are linked to Al Qaeda. The Mumbai attacks are a "State sponsored" operation involving Pakistan's ISI

2. The Mumbai gunmen have ties to terrorist groups in Pakistan's tribal areas and North West Frontier Province.

3. The continued bombing of the tribal areas by the US Air Force in violation of Pakistan's' sovereignty is consequently justified as part of the "Global War on Terrorism".

The ISI is America's Trojan Horse, a de facto proxy of the CIA. Pakistani Intelligence has, since the early 1980s, worked in close liaison with its US and British intelligence counterparts.

Were the ISI to have been involved in a major covert operation directed against India, the CIA would have prior knowledge regarding the precise nature and timing of the operation. The ISI does not act without the consent of its US intelligence counterpart.

Moreover, US intelligence is known to have supported Al Qaeda from the outset of the Soviet Afghan war and throughout the post-Cold War era. (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Al Qaeda and the War on Terrorism, Global Research, January 20, 2008)

CIA sponsored guerilla training camps were established in Pakistan to train the Mujahideen. Historically, US intelligence has supported Al Qaeda, using Pakistan's ISI as a go-between.

"With CIA backing and the funneling of massive amounts of U.S. military aid, the Pakistani ISI had developed into a "parallel structure wielding enormous power over all aspects of government". (Dipankar Banerjee, "Possible Connection of ISI With Drug Industry", India Abroad, 2 December 1994).

In the wake of 9/11, Pakistan's ISI played a key role in the October 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, in close liaison with the US and NATO military high command. Ironically, in October 2001, both US and Indian press reports quoting FBI and intelligence sources, suggested that the ISI was providing support to the alleged 9/11 terrorists.(See Michel Chossudovsky, Cover-up or Complicity of the Bush Administration, The Role of Pakistan's Military Intelligence (ISI) in the September 11 Attacks, Global Research, November 2, 2001)


Read full story


Targeting the ISI

Prime Minister Gilani urgently worked the phones to get through his counterpart in Delhi. Manmohan Singh finally came on the line after two days. Without diplomatic niceties, Singh curmudgeonly ordered the director general of the ISI to appear before his premier intelligence agency RAW in Delhi. India’s wish was Pakistan’s command. Our prime minister (read President Zardari) agreed to send Lt-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha without weighing the hurt caused to our national pride and honour. Pasha reports directly to Gilani, therefore Army Chief Kayani may merely have received an ‘FYI’ (for your information) from the prime minister house because of the manner in which the initial announcement was made.

Read full story

Captured Mumbai gunman isn't who they say he is

FARIDKOT, Pakistan — For the past three days Pakistani intelligence agents and police have been combing this sleepy village in search of clues to the identity of the lone gunman captured in the Mumbai terror attacks, residents said on Monday.

Indian officials and news media officials identified him variously as Ajmal Amir Kamal, Azam Amir Kasav, or Azam Ameer Qasab, and Indian news media quoted police as saying that the alleged killer's home village was in Faridkot, near the city of Multan in the southern part of Pakistan's Punjab province.

Local residents, however, are bewildered and alarmed. They said there was no one of that surname in this village, and no missing resident who fit the pictures and description shown in the Indian news media.

Read full story


Neturei Karta statement against Zionism

How long will Jewish and non-Jewish leaders who claim the mantle of civilization and morality remain silent in the face of the ongoing state terrorism practiced by the Zionist state against the Palestinian People, most visibly today in Gaza, where the Zionists believe they can starve the Palestinians into submission in violation of all tenets of international law, all religious values in general, INCLUDING the values of the Jewish faith???!!
HOW LONG WILL THIS BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE??
WE URGENTLY PLEA TO THE WORLD COMMUNITY AND WORLD LEADERS TO PUT AN END TO ZIONIST STATE TERRORISM!! IN THE NAME OF G-D!
IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY!
Read full story

Nuke, bioterror attack called likely

Wait....so....8 years of GWBush DIDN'T make us safer from terrists??? Are you kidding me? - Ed.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The United States and other nations need to act urgently to prevent a nuclear or biological terrorism attack in the near future, a bipartisan panel says.

A report to be released Monday by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism says urgent security measures need to be taken soon or the world is likely to undergo an incident of terrorism using weapons of mass destruction within the next five years, The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) reported.

Read full story


Not Corporate TV

What is it, indeed? It's Not Corporate TV, a sharp new set of interlocking video blogs, with interesting entries in each of the following categories:

Project For The New American Century
911
Iran, Iraq, the Petrodollar
Bogus Terror Propaganda
John Pilger Documentaries
Mainstream Corporate Media and Propaganda
Electronic Voting

Read full story

Afghanistan: Another Untold Story

by Michael Parenti

Barack Obama is on record as advocating a military escalation in Afghanistan. Before sinking any deeper into that quagmire, we might do well to learn something about recent Afghan history and the role played by the United States.

Less than a month after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, US leaders began an all-out aerial assault upon Afghanistan, the country purportedly harboring Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist organization. More than twenty years earlier, in 1980, the United States intervened to stop a Soviet “invasion” of that country. Even some leading progressive writers, who normally take a more critical view of US policy abroad, treated the US intervention against the Soviet-supported government as “a good thing.” The actual story is not such a good thing.

Some Real History

Since feudal times the landholding system in Afghanistan had remained unchanged, with more than 75 percent of the land owned by big landlords who comprised only 3 percent of the rural population. In the mid-1960s, democratic revolutionary elements coalesced to form the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In 1973, the king was deposed, but the government that replaced him proved to be autocratic, corrupt, and unpopular. It in turn was forced out in 1978 after a massive demonstration in front of the presidential palace, and after the army intervened on the side of the demonstrators.

The military officers who took charge invited the PDP to form a new government under the leadership of Noor Mohammed Taraki, a poet and novelist. This is how a Marxist-led coalition of national democratic forces came into office. “It was a totally indigenous happening. Not even the CIA blamed the USSR for it,” writes John Ryan, a retired professor at the University of Winnipeg, who was conducting an agricultural research project in Afghanistan at about that time.
The Taraki government proceeded to legalize labor unions, and set up a minimum wage, a progressive income tax, a literacy campaign, and programs that gave ordinary people greater access to health care, housing, and public sanitation. Fledgling peasant cooperatives were started and price reductions on some key foods were imposed.

The government also continued a campaign begun by the king to emancipate women from their age-old tribal bondage. It provided public education for girls and for the children of various tribes.

A report in the San Francisco Chronicle (17 November 2001) noted that under the Taraki regime Kabul had been “a cosmopolitan city. Artists and hippies flocked to the capital. Women studied agriculture, engineering and business at the city’s university. Afghan women held government jobs—-in the 1980s, there were seven female members of parliament. Women drove cars, traveled and went on dates. Fifty percent of university students were women.”

The Taraki government moved to eradicate the cultivation of opium poppy. Until then Afghanistan had been producing more than 70 percent of the opium needed for the world’s heroin supply. The government also abolished all debts owed by farmers, and began developing a major land reform program. Ryan believes that it was a “genuinely popular government and people looked forward to the future with great hope.”

But serious opposition arose from several quarters. The feudal landlords opposed the land reform program that infringed on their holdings. And tribesmen and fundamentalist mullahs vehemently opposed the government’s dedication to gender equality and the education of women and children.

Because of its egalitarian and collectivist economic policies the Taraki government also incurred the opposition of the US national security state. Almost immediately after the PDP coalition came to power, the CIA, assisted by Saudi and Pakistani military, launched a large scale intervention into Afghanistan on the side of the ousted feudal lords, reactionary tribal chieftains, mullahs, and opium traffickers.

A top official within the Taraki government was Hafizulla Amin, believed by many to have been recruited by the CIA during the several years he spent in the United States as a student. In September 1979, Amin seized state power in an armed coup. He executed Taraki, halted the reforms, and murdered, jailed, or exiled thousands of Taraki supporters as he moved toward establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state. But within two months, he was overthrown by PDP remnants including elements within the military.

It should be noted that all this happened before the Soviet military intervention. National security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski publicly admitted--months before Soviet troops entered the country--that the Carter administration was providing huge sums to Muslim extremists to subvert the reformist government. Part of that effort involved brutal attacks by the CIA-backed mujahideen against schools and teachers in rural areas.

In late 1979, the seriously besieged PDP government asked Moscow to send a contingent of troops to help ward off the mujahideen (Islamic guerrilla fighters) and foreign mercenaries, all recruited, financed, and well-armed by the CIA. The Soviets already had been sending aid for projects in mining, education, agriculture, and public health. Deploying troops represented a commitment of a more serious and politically dangerous sort. It took repeated requests from Kabul before Moscow agreed to intervene militarily.

Jihad and Taliban, CIA Style

The Soviet intervention was a golden opportunity for the CIA to transform the tribal resistance into a holy war, an Islamic jihad to expel the godless communists from Afghanistan. Over the years the United States and Saudi Arabia expended about $40 billion on the war in Afghanistan. The CIA and its allies recruited, supplied, and trained almost 100,000 radical mujahideen from forty Muslim countries including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria, and Afghanistan itself. Among those who answered the call was Saudi-born millionaire right-winger Osama bin Laden and his cohorts.

After a long and unsuccessful war, the Soviets evacuated the country in February 1989. It is generally thought that the PDP Marxist government collapsed immediately after the Soviet departure. Actually, it retained enough popular support to fight on for another three years, outlasting the Soviet Union itself by a year.

Upon taking over Afghanistan, the mujahideen fell to fighting among themselves. They ravaged the cities, terrorized civilian populations, looted, staged mass executions, closed schools, raped thousands of women and girls, and reduced half of Kabul to rubble. In 2001 Amnesty International reported that the mujahideen used sexual assault as “a method of intimidating vanquished populations and rewarding soldiers.’”

Ruling the country gangster-style and looking for lucrative sources of income, the tribes ordered farmers to plant opium poppy. The Pakistani ISI, a close junior partner to the CIA, set up hundreds of heroin laboratories across Afghanistan. Within two years of the CIA’s arrival, the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland became the biggest producer of heroin in the world.

Largely created and funded by the CIA, the mujahideen mercenaries now took on a life of their own. Hundreds of them returned home to Algeria, Chechnya, Kosovo, and Kashmir to carry on terrorist attacks in Allah’s name against the purveyors of secular “corruption.”

In Afghanistan itself, by 1995 an extremist strain of Sunni Islam called the Taliban---heavily funded and advised by the ISI and the CIA and with the support of Islamic political parties in Pakistan---fought its way to power, taking over most of the country, luring many tribal chiefs into its fold with threats and bribes.

The Taliban promised to end the factional fighting and banditry that was the mujahideen trademark. Suspected murderers and spies were executed monthly in the sports stadium, and those accused of thievery had the offending hand sliced off. The Taliban condemned forms of “immorality” that included premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality. They also outlawed all music, theater, libraries, literature, secular education, and much scientific research.

The Taliban unleashed a religious reign of terror, imposing an even stricter interpretation of Muslim law than used by most of the Kabul clergy. All men were required to wear untrimmed beards and women had to wear the burqa which covered them from head to toe, including their faces. Persons who were slow to comply were dealt swift and severe punishment by the Ministry of Virtue. A woman who fled an abusive home or charged spousal abuse would herself be severely whipped by the theocratic authorities. Women were outlawed from social life, deprived of most forms of medical care, barred from all levels of education, and any opportunity to work outside the home. Women who were deemed “immoral” were stoned to death or buried alive.

None of this was of much concern to leaders in Washington who got along famously with the Taliban. As recently as 1999, the US government was paying the entire annual salary of every single Taliban government official. Not until October 2001, when President George W. Bush had to rally public opinion behind his bombing campaign in Afghanistan did he denounce the Taliban’s oppression of women. His wife, Laura Bush, emerged overnight as a full-blown feminist to deliver a public address detailing some of the abuses committed against Afghan women.

If anything positive can be said about the Taliban, it is that they did put a stop to much of the looting, raping, and random killings that the mujahideen had practiced on a regular basis. In 2000 Taliban authorities also eradicated the cultivation of opium poppy throughout the areas under their control, an effort judged by the United Nations International Drug Control Program to have been nearly totally successful. With the Taliban overthrown and a Western-selected mujahideen government reinstalled in Kabul by December 2001, opium poppy production in Afghanistan increased dramatically.

The years of war that have followed have taken tens of thousands of Afghani lives. Along with those killed by Cruise missiles, Stealth bombers, Tomahawks, daisy cutters, and land mines are those who continue to die of hunger, cold, lack of shelter, and lack of water.

The Holy Crusade for Oil and Gas

While claiming to be fighting terrorism, US leaders have found other compelling but less advertised reasons for plunging deeper into Afghanistan. The Central Asian region is rich in oil and gas reserves. A decade before 9/11, Time magazine (18 March 1991) reported that US policy elites were contemplating a military presence in Central Asia. The discovery of vast oil and gas reserves in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan provided the lure, while the dissolution of the USSR removed the one major barrier against pursuing an aggressive interventionist policy in that part of the world.

US oil companies acquired the rights to some 75 percent of these new reserves. A major problem was how to transport the oil and gas from the landlocked region. US officials opposed using the Russian pipeline or the most direct route across Iran to the Persian Gulf. Instead, they and the corporate oil contractors explored a number of alternative pipeline routes, across Azerbaijan and Turkey to the Mediterranean or across China to the Pacific.

The route favored by Unocal, a US based oil company, crossed Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. The intensive negotiations that Unocal entered into with the Taliban regime remained unresolved by 1998, as an Argentine company placed a competing bid for the pipeline. Bush’s war against the Taliban rekindled UNOCAL’s hopes for getting a major piece of the action.

Interestingly enough, neither the Clinton nor Bush administrations ever placed Afghanistan on the official State Department list of states charged with sponsoring terrorism, despite the acknowledged presence of Osama bin Laden as a guest of the Taliban government. Such a “rogue state” designation would have made it impossible for a US oil or construction company to enter an agreement with Kabul for a pipeline to the Central Asian oil and gas fields.

In sum, well in advance of the 9/11 attacks the US government had made preparations to move against the Taliban and create a compliant regime in Kabul and a direct US military presence in Central Asia. The 9/11 attacks provided the perfect impetus, stampeding US public opinion and reluctant allies into supporting military intervention.

One might agree with John Ryan who argued that if Washington had left the Marxist Taraki government alone back in 1979, “there would have been no army of mujahideen, no Soviet intervention, no war that destroyed Afghanistan, no Osama bin Laden, and no September 11 tragedy.” But it would be asking too much for Washington to leave unmolested a progressive leftist government that was organizing the social capital around collective public needs rather than private accumulation.

US intervention in Afghanistan has proven not much different from US intervention in Cambodia, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama, and elsewhere. It had the same intent of preventing egalitarian social change, and the same effect of overthrowing an economically reformist government. In all these instances, the intervention brought retrograde elements into ascendance, left the economy in ruins, and pitilessly laid waste to many innocent lives.

The war against Afghanistan, a battered impoverished country, continues to be portrayed in US official circles as a gallant crusade against terrorism. If it ever was that, it also has been a means to other things: destroying a leftist revolutionary social order, gaining profitable control of one of the last vast untapped reserves of the earth’s dwindling fossil fuel supply, and planting US bases and US military power into still another region of the world.

In the face of all this Obama’s call for “change” rings hollow.



Michael Parenti’s recent books are Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader and the forthcoming God and His Demons. For further information, visit www.michaelparenti.org.

12.02.2008

Promotion.

"Once an overbearing husband and farmer, Edgar became and overbearing bug posing as an ugly human after a close encounter on his farm."

And then he became an overbearing economics adviser to President Obama.


How does the Pentagon know that 20,000 troops is 'enough'?

First, the story:

Police State 2009: Pentagon to militarize USA with 20,000 troops

In direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids military troops from playing a role in domestic law enforcement, the Pentagon has announced plans to station 20,000 armed, uniformed troops inside the United States where they will walk the streets, ready to "respond to terrorism events," says the Pentagon.

It's against the law, but since when did the Bush Administration or the Pentagon pay any attention to law in the first place?

Here at NaturalNews, we've warned about the coming police state for many years. Now it is upon us, with the mass militarization of our cities and streets. It won't be long before we'll start hearing "papers please" as we try to move about our own cities in a nation many people foolishly believe to still be "free."

Read full story

Now, an explanation for that number by Jesus del Norte (h/t Adored by Hordes):

Strategic Math and Chekhov's Gun

Every US City is surrounded by ‘circle freeways’, and with the average number of exits for these circle freeways being around 50, and with the number of armed troops needed to secure each exit being 6, and with only one heavy combat vehicle needed for each squad of 6 soldiers, the first 67 largest cities in the United States can be sealed off and contained within 24 hours by just 20,000 troops.

There is a literary principle known as Chekhov's Gun: "When a gun shows up in the first act, it will go off in the third".

Read full story

Of course, this still leaves the problem of how to manage all the people inside the cities. But then again, we have lots of police departments with Homeland Security grants. See, first you apply the Major Instruments of Terror, and then when the people get all excited and panicked, you are (reluctantly, of course) Forced to Calm Them Down with Lesser Instruments of Terror such as Raytheon pain rays, tasers, etc.

Wayne Madsen's latest claims

WMR previously reported that the violent and bloody attack on Mumbai represents a pay-back from exiled Indian Muslim Mumbai gangland warlord Dawood Ibrahim, who fears that the CIA was conspiring with the Pakistani government to extradite him from Pakistan to India. Such an event would effectively cede control of Mumbai's lucrative organized crime territory to Hindu extremist criminal syndicates allied with the Hindu terrorist Shiv Sena group.

The targeting of the Lubavitcher Chabad House in Mumbai, where a New York rabbi and his wife were killed by one team of gangsters that arrived by sea from Pakistan, was likely more score settling by Ibrahim who suspected that Israeli Mafiosi were conspiring with Hindu extremist gangs to supplant Ibrahim's criminal influence in Mumbai.

Read full story


Debka coverup? ie: Don't Blame Israel because you knew something was up and ignored the warnings. So there. PLFFFT.

Deciphering gobbledygook.

This item is from Debka, a website that is commonly labeled as having close connections to Israeli intelligence.

Debka is also known for being a source of rumour and disinfo.

Yet there must be some truth in Debka’s postings, or at least, some truth it is trying to conceal.

US intelligence warned India of Mumbai attack in mid-October Report

December 1, 2008, 11:22 PM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that the Indian spy agency RAW (the Research and Analysis Wing) caught wind of a terrorist threat for Mumbai in late August,

more information was collected by RAW during September and October about the shape of the attack and its targets and passed to the American NSA.


Read full story


When It Comes to False Flag Attacks: Early Birds Catch Worms

So when you hear about an attack, you should drop what you're doing and start scouring the news. Oh, sorry, were you busy cooking turkeys and entertaining family on Thanksgiving? Yes. Of course you were. That was intentional. But at least you had CNN on in the background, which is sort of the booby prize because you can find out what you're supposed to think. - Ed.

Excerpt:

In general, most 'people in the know', are expecting
many future false flag operations this year and in 2009.
Everyone who wish to track solid information should be
extremely vigilant in the first few hours when they hear about the next
'terrorist attack' and save all articles posted during the first day of
such an event. As is always the case, some of the most accurate information
appears first…and is then scrubbed and or modified by the controllers
quickly thereafter. Many of the key early stories then vanish from the
internet.
Here is a google search for MUMBAI+CAPTURED+TERRORIST
… you might want to save it to your computer and watch for vanishing
stories in the days ahead. In any case, here are the top stories which
show, clearly, that many of the killers were captured quite alive.
Read full story

Indian intelligence ignored signs of imminent attack

As Condi once said after ignoring months of intelligence, "Who could have predicted?..." - Ed.

Public outrage in India over the Mumbai terrorist attacks has been fueled by fresh reports that clear warnings of a coming assault were ignored. The Hindustan Times newspaper has reported that Indian intelligence agencies had precise information at least 10 months ago that Pakistani militants were planning an attack. Meanwhile, political fallout has lead to the resignations of the local state governor and his deputy on Monday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had already accepted Interior Minister Shivrav Patel's offer to step down after Patel said he felt a “moral responsibility” for the attacks. Tensions between India and Pakistan are high after the Indian government blamed "elements in Pakistan," for the attacks. Security sources say they believe the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind the coordinated attacks, which killed 173 people and injured hundreds in India's financial centre. Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari has appealed to India not to punish his country, saying militants could precipitate a war.

Source

India's CIA spy scandal

India’s external intelligence service, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has launched a major internal investigation for possible moles following the apparent defection of a senior officer recruited by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The Indian government fears that the defection of Rabinder Singh, who held the senior rank of joint secretary and who headed the agency’s Southeast Asia department, is only the tip of the iceberg in a possible infiltration operation by the CIA and Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service.

The focus of the investigation will be RAW, as well as the Intelligence Bureau, which handles counterintelligence and the Defence Intelligence Agency. The mole hunt is expected to extend to Indian embassies around the world where RAW personnel operate under diplomatic protection, particularly those who liaise with foreign intelligence agencies.

Read full story


Pentagon hires British scientist to help build robot soldiers that 'won't commit war crimes'

Well, since we're so smart now that we can build robots to kill people "fairly," maybe we should put all that brainpower to better use and find ways to eliminate wars. Like for instance, we could start by doing psychological testing on powerful people. People found to be ethically challenged would be forced out of power: corporate, government, military. I bet we even have the scientific chops to do this right now.

But that would be silly. There's no money in it. - Ed.

Via: Telegraph:

The American military is planning to build robot soldiers that will not be able to commit war crimes like their human comrades in arms.

The US Army and Navy have both hired experts in the ethics of building machines to prevent the creation of an amoral Terminator-style killing machine that murders indiscriminately.

By 2010 the US will have invested $4 billion in a research programme into “autonomous systems”, the military jargon for robots, on the basis that they would not succumb to fear or the desire for vengeance that afflicts frontline soldiers.

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"OOPS, we meant $7 Trillion!"

The $700 billion that was arm-twisted from Congress by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in October was evidently just the camel’s nose under the tent. According to a November 24 Bloomberg report, the Paulson/Bernanke team is now prepared to pay $7.76 trillion to rescue the financial system.[1] Prepared to pay how? Congress has not raised its debt ceiling to anywhere near that level; but the approval of Congress, which originally voted down the controversial $700 billion bailout, is apparently no longer necessary. The door has been opened, and the Treasury Secretary and Fed Chairman feel they can now pledge whatever they want. Perhaps they are inching up a zero at a time just to see what the public’s tolerance is for unrepayable debt. The new sum – $7.76 trillion – represents $25,000 for every citizen in the country, or half the value of everything produced in the nation last year; yet it’s not clear that a mere half of our net worth will rescue the financial system. One bankrupt bank after another has been bailed out with public money, in a futile effort to prevent a collapse of a massive multi-trillion dollar derivatives pyramid created by the banks.[2] But according to the Comptroller of the Currency, U.S. commercial banks now carry over $180 trillion in derivatives on their books. The public is liable to be bankrupted before this mess is resolved.

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Things working people knew a long time ago...

Apparently, economists are YOOSless. - Ed.

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy entered a recession a year ago this month, the panel that dates American business expansions said today.

The declaration was made by the cycle-dating committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private, nonprofit group of economists based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The last time the U.S. was in a recession was from March through November 2001, according to NBER.

“The committee determined that the decline in economic activity in 2008 met the standard for a recession,” the group said in a statement on its Web site. The 1.2 million drop in payroll employment so far this year was the biggest factor in determining that start of the contraction, the group said.

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What about Patrick Fitzgerald?

He's so good it's a problem. Stay in Chicago & persecute criminals....go to Washington & persecute criminals? Tough call for Obama. - Ed.

WASHINGTON — Fair to say, during his seven-year reign as Chicago’s U.S. Attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald has been relentless. He’s gone after ex-Gov. George Ryan and Tony Rezko, a political fundraiser with links to President-elect Barack Obama. He came to Washington as a special prosecutor and rattled the town, sending one reporter off to jail, dragging political operative Karl Rove before a grand jury and prosecuting Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff.
Now, with the Obama transition, comes speculation about the future of the Bush appointee many in the Justice Department consider a “prosecutor’s prosecutor.”

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Do you matter, or are you just a pleb?

Juan Manuel Barroso, President of the European Union, has announced that "the people that matter" in the UK wish to join the Euro. To make this even worse, he made a direct contrast in the same sentence with "I know that the majority are still opposed", It is impossible to analyze his words in any way that does not indicate that he believes "the majority" do not "matter".
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article5267307.ece

I would like to think this was a slip of the tongue, but unfortunately it is rather an indication of the fundamental belief system of the Eurocrats. In my professional career I attended many conferences with diplomats and others from EU states, at which the role of "the elite" in forwarding "the European project" was a key theme. On scores of occasions I have heard it propounded that "the elites" initiated "the European project" and would always be its drivers. The contempt for the views of the Irish people shown in attempts to enforce Lisbon is a manifestation of a deep-seated anti-democratic tendency.

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Executive branch (accidentally on purpose) fails to integrate security clearance databases

What could possibly go wrong? - Ed.

Despite compulsory legislative reforms and multiple executive orders intended to streamline the granting of security clearances for access to classified information, the process remains “cumbersome,” according to a new House Intelligence Committee report.

While backlogs and processing time have been reduced since enactment of the 2004 Intelligence Reform Act, overall “progress over the past five years has been disappointing,” the report said.

Among other things, the executive branch has failed to establish an integrated database of all security clearance authorizations. As a consequence, “no one knows how many people in the U.S. Government hold security clearances.” (It is more than 2.5 million and probably around 3 million people in government, military and industry.)

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OK OK. We did start it. But we had good reasons!

For the first time ever, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has admitted that his country started the military conflict in South Ossetia in August. But the Georgian leader is adamant the action was justified. He was testifying before a parliamentary commission investigating the five-day war. According to Saakashvili, the attack on the South Ossetian capital, which involved night shelling of residential areas with multiple rocket launcher systems, was aimed at protecting Georgian citizens. He said it was a response to Russia’s “intervention” in the region.

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