Archive for February, 2013


Earth Watch Report  -  Global Seismic Activity

GSN Stations

These data update automatically every 30 minutes. Last update: March 1, 2013 05:19:00 UTC

Seismograms may take several moments to load. Click on a plot to see larger image.

CU/ANWB, Willy Bob, Antigua and Barbuda

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CU/BBGH, Gun Hill, Barbados

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CU/BCIP, Isla Barro Colorado, Panama

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CU/GRGR, Grenville, Grenada

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CU/GRTK, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands

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CU/GTBY, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

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CU/MTDJ, Mount Denham, Jamaica

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CU/SDDR, Presa de Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

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CU/TGUH, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

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IC/BJT, Baijiatuan, Beijing, China

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IC/ENH, Enshi, China

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IC/HIA, Hailar, Neimenggu Autonomous Region, China

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IC/LSA, Lhasa, China

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IC/MDJ, Mudanjiang, China

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IC/QIZ, Qiongzhong, Hainan Province, China

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IU/ADK, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA

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IU/AFI, Afiamalu, Samoa

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IU/ANMO, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

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IU/ANTO, Ankara, Turkey

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IU/BBSR, Bermuda

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IU/BILL, Bilibino, Russia

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IU/CASY, Casey, Antarctica

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IU/CCM, Cathedral Cave, Missouri, USA

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IU/CHTO, Chiang Mai, Thailand

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IU/COLA, College Outpost, Alaska, USA

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IU/COR, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

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IU/CTAO, Charters Towers, Australia

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IU/DAV,Davao, Philippines

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IU/DWPF,Disney Wilderness Preserve, Florida, USA

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IU/FUNA,Funafuti, Tuvalu

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IU/FURI, Mt. Furi, Ethiopia

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IU/GNI, Garni, Armenia

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IU/GRFO, Grafenberg, Germany

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IU/GUMO, Guam, Mariana Islands

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IU/HKT, Hockley, Texas, USA

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IU/HNR, Honiara, Solomon Islands

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IU/HRV, Adam Dziewonski Observatory (Oak Ridge), Massachusetts, USA

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IU/INCN, Inchon, Republic of Korea

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IU/JOHN, Johnston Island, Pacific Ocean

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IU/KBS, Ny-Alesund, Spitzbergen, Norway

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IU/KEV, Kevo, Finland

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IU/KIEV, Kiev, Ukraine

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IU/KIP, Kipapa, Hawaii, USA

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IU/KMBO, Kilima Mbogo, Kenya

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IU/KNTN, Kanton Island, Kiribati

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IU/KONO, Kongsberg, Norway

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IU/KOWA, Kowa, Mali

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IU/LCO, Las Campanas Astronomical Observatory, Chile

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IU/LSZ, Lusaka, Zambia

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IU/LVC, Limon Verde, Chile

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IU/MA2, Magadan, Russia

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IU/MAJO, Matsushiro, Japan

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IU/MAKZ,Makanchi, Kazakhstan

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IU/MBWA, Marble Bar, Western Australia

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IU/MIDW, Midway Island, Pacific Ocean, USA

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IU/MSKU, Masuku, Gabon

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IU/NWAO, Narrogin, Australia

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IU/OTAV, Otavalo, Equador

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IU/PAB, San Pablo, Spain

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IU/PAYG Puerto Ayora, Galapagos Islands

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IU/PET, Petropavlovsk, Russia

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IU/PMG, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

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IU/PMSA, Palmer Station, Antarctica

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IU/POHA, Pohakaloa, Hawaii

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IU/PTCN, Pitcairn Island, South Pacific

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IU/PTGA, Pitinga, Brazil

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IU/QSPA, South Pole, Antarctica

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IU/RAO, Raoul, Kermandec Islands

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IU/RAR, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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IU/RCBR, Riachuelo, Brazil

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IU/RSSD, Black Hills, South Dakota, USA

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IU/SAML, Samuel, Brazil

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IU/SBA, Scott Base, Antarctica

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IU/SDV, Santo Domingo, Venezuela

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IU/SFJD, Sondre Stromfjord, Greenland

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IU/SJG, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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IU/SLBS, Sierra la Laguna Baja California Sur, Mexico

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IU/SNZO, South Karori, New Zealand

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IU/SSPA, Standing Stone, Pennsylvania USA

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IU/TARA, Tarawa Island, Republic of Kiribati

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IU/TATO, Taipei, Taiwan

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IU/TEIG, Tepich, Yucatan, Mexico

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IU/TIXI, Tiksi, Russia

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IU/TRIS, Tristan da Cunha, Atlantic Ocean

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IU/TRQA, Tornquist, Argentina

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IU/TSUM, Tsumeb, Namibia

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IU/TUC, Tucson, Arizona

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IU/ULN, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

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IU/WAKE, Wake Island, Pacific Ocean

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IU/WCI, Wyandotte Cave, Indiana, USA

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IU/WVT, Waverly, Tennessee, USA

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IU/XMAS, Kiritimati Island, Republic of Kiribati

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IU/YAK, Yakutsk, Russia

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IU/YSS, Yuzhno Sakhalinsk, Russia

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Earth Watch Report  -  Earthquakes

5.8 22km SE of Lata, Solomon Islands 2013-02-28 18:07:45 10.883°S 165.947°E 21.0

M5.8 – 22km SE of Lata, Solomon Islands 2013-02-28 18:07:45 UTC

Earthquake location 10.883°S, 165.947°E

Event Time

  1. 2013-02-28 18:07:45 UTC
  2. 2013-03-01 05:07:45 UTC+11:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-02-28 12:07:45 UTC-06:00 system time

Location

10.883°S 165.947°E depth=21.0km (13.0mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 22km (14mi) SE of Lata, Solomon Islands
  2. 531km (330mi) NNW of Luganville, Vanuatu
  3. 676km (420mi) ESE of Honiara, Solomon Islands
  4. 800km (497mi) NNW of Port-Vila, Vanuatu
  5. 1119km (695mi) N of We, New Caledonia

Tectonic Summary

Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate

The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke’s Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults’ strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

North of New Zealand, the Australia-Pacific boundary stretches east of Tonga and Fiji to 250 km south of Samoa. For 2,200 km the trench is approximately linear, and includes two segments where old (>120 Myr) Pacific oceanic lithosphere rapidly subducts westward (Kermadec and Tonga). At the northern end of the Tonga trench, the boundary curves sharply westward and changes along a 700 km-long segment from trench-normal subduction, to oblique subduction, to a left lateral transform-like structure.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 60 mm/yr at the southern Kermadec trench to 90 mm/yr at the northern Tonga trench; however, significant back arc extension (or equivalently, slab rollback) causes the consumption rate of subducting Pacific lithosphere to be much faster. The spreading rate in the Havre trough, west of the Kermadec trench, increases northward from 8 to 20 mm/yr. The southern tip of this spreading center is propagating into the North Island of New Zealand, rifting it apart. In the southern Lau Basin, west of the Tonga trench, the spreading rate increases northward from 60 to 90 mm/yr, and in the northern Lau Basin, multiple spreading centers result in an extension rate as high as 160 mm/yr. The overall subduction velocity of the Pacific plate is the vector sum of Australia-Pacific velocity and back arc spreading velocity: thus it increases northward along the Kermadec trench from 70 to 100 mm/yr, and along the Tonga trench from 150 to 240 mm/yr.

Earth Watch Report   -  Earthquakes

6.9 85km SE of Ozernovskiy, Russia 2013-02-28 14:05:51 50.934°N 157.339°E 52.5

M6.9 – 85km SE of Ozernovskiy, Russia 2013-02-28 14:05:51 UTC

Earthquake location 50.934°N, 157.339°E

Event Time

  1. 2013-02-28 14:05:51 UTC
  2. 2013-03-01 00:05:51 UTC+10:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-02-28 08:05:51 UTC-06:00 system time

Location

50.934°N 157.339°E depth=52.5km (32.6mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 85km (53mi) SE of Ozernovskiy, Russia
  2. 233km (145mi) SSW of Vilyuchinsk, Russia
  3. 251km (156mi) SSW of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia
  4. 260km (162mi) SSW of Yelizovo, Russia
  5. 2205km (1370mi) NE of Tokyo, Japan

Instrumental Intensity

ShakeMap Intensity Image

Tectonic Summary

Seismotectonics of the Kuril-Kamchatka Arc

The Kuril-Kamchatka arc extends approximately 2,100 km from Hokkaido, Japan, along the Kuril Islands and the Pacific coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula to its intersection with the Aleutian arc near the Commander Islands, Russia. It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts into the mantle beneath the Okhotsk microplate, part of the larger North America plate. This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Kuril Islands chain, active volcanoes located along the entire arc, and the deep offshore Kuril-Kamchatka trench. Relative to a fixed North America plate, the Pacific plate is moving towards the northwest at a rate that increases from 75 mm/year near the northern end of the arc to 83 mm/year in the south.

Plate motion is predominantly convergent along the Kuril-Kamchatka arc with obliquity increasing towards the southern section of the arc. The subducting Pacific plate is relatively old, particularly adjacent to Kamchatka where its age is greater than 100 Ma. Consequently, the Wadati-Benioff zone is well defined to depths of approximately 650 km. The central section of the arc is comprised of an oceanic island arc system, which differs from the continental arc systems of the northern and southern sections. Oblique convergence in the southern Kuril arc results in the partitioning of stresses into both trench-normal thrust earthquakes and trench-parallel strike-slip earthquakes, and the westward translation of the Kuril forearc. This westward migration of the Kuril forearc currently results in collision between the Kuril arc in the north and the Japan arc in the south, resulting in the deformation and uplift of the Hidaka Mountains in central Hokkaido.

The Kuril-Kamchatka arc is considered one of the most seismically active regions in the world. Deformation of the overriding North America plate generates shallow crustal earthquakes, whereas slip at the subduction zone interface between the Pacific and North America plates generates interplate earthquakes that extend from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. At greater depths, Kuril-Kamchatka arc earthquakes occur within the subducting Pacific plate and can reach depths of approximately 650 km.

This region has frequently experienced large (M>7) earthquakes over the past century. Since 1900, seven great earthquakes (M8.3 or larger) have also occurred along the arc, with mechanisms that include interplate thrust faulting, and intraplate faulting. Damaging tsunamis followed several of the large interplate megathrust earthquakes. These events include the February 3, 1923 M8.4 Kamchatka, the November 6,1958 M8.4 Etorofu, and the September 25, 2003 M8.3 Hokkaido earthquakes. A large M8.5 megathrust earthquake occurred on October 13, 1963 off the coast of Urup, an island along the southern Kuril arc, which generated a large tsunami in the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk, and caused run-up wave heights of up to 4-5 m along the Kuril arc. The largest megathrust earthquake to occur along the entire Kurile-Kamchatka arc in the 20th century was the November 4, 1952 M9.0 event. This earthquake was followed by a devastating tsunami with run-up wave heights as high as 12 m along the coast of Paramushir, a small island immediately south of Kamchatka, causing significant damage to the city of Severo-Kurilsk.

On October 4,1994, a large (M8.3) intraplate event occurred within the subducted oceanic lithosphere off the coast of Shikotan Island causing intense ground shaking, landslides, and a tsunami with run-up heights of up to 10 m on the island.

The most recent megathrust earthquake in the region was the November 15, 2006 M8.3 Kuril Island event, located in the central section of the arc. Prior to this rupture, this part of the subduction zone had been recognized as a seismic gap spanning from the northeastern end of the 1963 rupture zone to the southwestern end of the 1952 rupture. Two months after the 2006 event, a great (M8.1) normal faulting earthquake occurred on January 13, 2007 in the adjacent outer rise region of the Pacific plate. It has been suggested that the 2007 event may have been caused by the stresses generated from the 2006 earthquake.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

 

Earth Watch Report  -  Earthquakes

6.1 104km W of Port-Vila, Vanuatu 2013-02-28 03:09:44 17.771°S 167.341°E 15.1

M6.1 – 104km W of Port-Vila, Vanuatu 2013-02-28 03:09:44 UTC

Earthquake location 17.771°S, 167.341°E

Event Time

  1. 2013-02-28 03:09:44 UTC
  2. 2013-02-28 14:09:44 UTC+11:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-02-27 21:09:44 UTC-06:00 system time

Location

17.771°S 167.341°E depth=15.1km (9.4mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 104km (65mi) W of Port-Vila, Vanuatu
  2. 248km (154mi) S of Luganville, Vanuatu
  3. 348km (216mi) N of We, New Caledonia
  4. 493km (306mi) N of Dumbea, New Caledonia
  5. 104km (65mi) W of Port-Vila, Vanuatu

 

 

Military Industrial Complex Goes Back to the Well to Use What Has Worked on Us Before – FEAR !!!

 

Jim W. Dean, VT Editor    with    Press TV

 

________________________________________

The United States is exaggerating the threat of cyber attacks because it has funded a “massive surveillance campaign” both at home and abroad, says Jim W Dean, managing editor and columnist at Veterans Today.

“It’s [the U.S. government] basically funded a massive surveillance campaign not only against people overseas and all the incoming phone calls, emails, Skypes and whatever they monitor, but they also have a massive domestic surveillance program in place,” Dean said in an interview Monday.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich) said on Sunday that the United States is losing the cyberwar with the Chinese government.

Rogers’ comments came after a recent report detailed 140 cyber attacks on U.S. targets that are believed to have originated in China.

The irony in U.S. accusations against China and other nations with regard to the so-called cyber warfare, according to Dean, is that “America is really the one that has started this.”

Dean also criticized the U.S. government for concealing from the American public the Israeli cyber warfare inside their country.

“One thing they never tell the American people about is one of the key aspects of the Israeli intelligence operations here is monitoring phone calls, communications, [and] computers” to gain access to “trade secrets, military secrets and blackmail information,” he noted.

“The Israeli threat is much, much bigger than anything from China or Russia,” Dean concluded.

Nafeez Ahmed was the original Muslim 9/11 truth scholar. His book The War on Freedom – the earliest work of its kind – made a 9/11 truther of Gore Vidal. He is also a star contributor to the book I edited, 9/11 and American Empire v.2.

Nafeez’s controlled demolition of the war-criminal BBC, reproduced below, nicely complements Tony Rooke’s moral victory over the BBC in Monday’s court case.

-KB


 

Seven Myths About the Iraq War: How BBC Newsnight failed journalism on the 10 year anniversary of the invasion

 

by Nafeez Ahmed

Veterans Today

As a participant in BBC Newsnight special, “Iraq – 10 Years On“, I found myself feeling slightly miffed at the lack of real debate on the crucial issues.

On the one hand, Newsnight presented a number of narratives of the war and its aftermath as ‘fact’, which are deeply questionable. On the other, there were no serious, factually-grounded criticisms of the war, despite a diverse panel which included people who did not support it.

As author of a major book on the war and its historical context, Behind the War on Terror: Western Secret Strategy and the Struggle for Iraq, as well as co-author of a new report, Executive Decisions: How British Intelligence was Hijacked for the Iraq War, I consider myself to be reasonably informed. Yet BBC Newsnight failed almost entirely to bring any of these issues to light.

What follows is my Newsnight-inspired Iraq War Myth-Busting exercise, based on what was, and wasn’t, discussed on the show.

MYTH 1. Sectarian violence has increased in postwar Iraq because sectarianism has always existed in Iraq, and the removal of Saddam allowed it to erupt

One of the first Newsnight bloopers started with a short introductory clip from John Simpson, the BBC’s World Affairs Editor. Amongst other things, Simpson talked about the rise of sectarian Sunni-Shi’a violence in postwar Iraq, and argued that while Saddam’s regime had clamped down on sectarian divisions, regime change effectively unleashed those previously suppressed divisions and allowed them to worsen.

This was the first of many oversimplifications about the escalation of sectarian violence in Iraq. The reality, as pointed out on the show by my colleague in the audience, anthropologist Professor Nadje al-Ali, is that prior to the war, generic sectarian antagonism was unheard of in Iraqi society. Although Saddam’s regime was unequivocally sectarian in its own violence against Shi’as and Kurds, as a mechanism of shoring up the Ba’athist regime, Iraqis did not largely identify in sectarian terms. As one Iraqi blogger living in Baghdad noted:

“I always hear the Iraqi pro-war crowd interviewed on television from foreign capitals (they can only appear on television from the safety of foreign capitals because I defy anyone to be publicly pro-war in Iraq)… They go on and on about Iraq’s history and how Sunnis and Shia were always in conflict and I hate that. I hate that a handful of expats who haven’t been to the country in decades pretend to know more about it than people actually living there. I remember Baghdad before the war- one could live anywhere. We didn’t know what our neighbors were- we didn’t care. No one asked about religion or sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are you Sunni or Shia? You only asked something like that if you were uncouth and backward. Our lives revolve around it now. Our existence depends on hiding it or highlighting it- depending on the group of masked men who stop you or raid your home in the middle of the night.”

Missing from the BBC Newsnight discussion was the fact that the Bush administration planned from the outset to dominate Iraq by pursuing the de facto ethnic partition of the country into three autonomous cantons. The private US intelligence firm, Stratfor, reported that the US was “working on a plan to merge Iraq and Jordan into a unitary kingdom to be ruled by the Hashemite dynasty headed by King Abdullah of Jordan.” The plan was “authored by US Vice President Dick Cheney” as well as “Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz”, and was first discussed at “an unusual meeting between Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan and pro-US Iraqi Sunni opposition members in London in July” 2002.

Under this plan, the central and largest part of Iraq populated largely by Sunnis would be joined with Jordan, and would include Baghdad, which would no longer be the capital. The Kurdish region of northern and northwestern Iraq, including Mosul and the vast Kirkuk oilfields, would become its own autonomous state. The Shi’a region in southwestern Iraq, including Basra, would make up the third canton, or more likely it would be joined with Kuwait.

Ultimately, of course, the specific detail of this plan did not come to fruition – but the ‘divide-and-rule’ imperial thinking behind the plan was implemented. As one US Joint Special Operations University report documented, “US elite forces in Iraq turned to fostering infighting among their Iraqi adversaries on the tactical and operational level.” This included disseminating and propagating al-Qaeda jihadi activities by “US psychological warfare (PSYOP) specialists” to fuel “factional fighting” and “to set insurgents battling insurgents.”

Pakistani defence sources thus reported in early 2005 that the Pentagon had  ”resolved to arm small militias backed by US troops and entrenched in the population,” consisting of “former members of the Ba’ath Party” – linked up with al-Qaeda insurgents – to “head off” the threat of a “Shi’ite clergy-driven religious movement.” Almost simultaneously, the Pentagon began preparing its ‘Salvador option’ to sponsor Shi’ite death squads to “target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers” – a policy developed under the interim government of former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.

Ironically, the same Allawi also made an appearance on Newsnight via Baghdad, rightly criticising the current government for failing to incorporate an inclusive, non-sectarian political process. But Newsnight didn’t bother to ask him about his role in engendering the very sectarian violence he now criticises by sponsoring death squads.

MYTH 2. We went to war in Iraq based on a legitimate parliamentary process, even if lots of people demonstrated against it – most Brits approved the war according to polls

When an audience member asked why the British government still went to war despite the millions of people who protested against it, Independent columnist John Rentoul argued that the war was in fact an example of proper democratic process – because ultimately the MPs voted for it. He pointed out that we don’t run democracies based on “mob rule” – i.e. just because people protesting in the street  don’t want something – but on the basis of consensual parliamentary procedures. To this, host Kirsty Wark added that 54% supported the war according to opinion polls at the time.

Really?

In mid-March, before the war, “just 26% of the public was saying in mid-March that they approved of British involvement without a ‘smoking gun’ and a second UN vote, while 63% disapproved.” It was only once the bombs began to drop that public opinion drifted slightly in favour of the war. Where did Kirsty Wark’s 54% figure come from?

Disingenuously, it comes from an ICM poll which “found a persistent majority against the war, reaching a low point of 29% support (and 52% oppose) in February. Support then rose to 38% in the final pre-invasion poll (14-16 March, the same weekend as MORI’s) and jumped to 54% just a week later, with the war only a few days old.

Kirsty’s 54% claim applies after the war – before the war, the majority of the British public was overwhelmingly opposed to the invasion, a fact which was not reflected in the parliamentary process.

And of course, since then, opposition to the war continued to grow dramatically.

MYTH 3: The Iraq War was, at worst, a colossal cock-up, simply because we didn’t have good intel on the ground about WMDs etc. So we didn’t really go to war on the basis of a lie, we went to war because our intel was wrong.

As I tried to point out in my brief intervention on the show, this whole debate about whether the public approved the war or not to some extent misses the point – which is that the Iraq War was ignited on the basis of false claims about Saddam’s WMD. Those false claims were promulgated by senior American and British officials precisely to manipulate public opinion, and pressurise the political system into a pre-made decision to go to war, irrespective of the UN, irrespective of international law, and irrespective of whether WMD really existed.

It’s this fact which ultimately brings to light the extent to which our political system, certainly when it comes to foreign policy decisions, is broken, and has yet to be repaired. The historical record confirms that all the intelligence available to British and American security services, including information passed on through the UN weapons inspections process throughout the 1990s, confirmed unequivocally that Saddam had no functioning WMDs of any kind.

Amongst the intelligence available to the allies was the testimony of defector General Hussein Kamel, Saddam’s son-in-law and head of Iraq’s WMD programmes. He provided crates of documents to UN weapons inspectors, as well as authoritative testimony on the precise nature of the WMD programmes that Saddam had embarked on in preceding years. He was even cited by senior officials as the key witness on the threat posed by Saddam’s WMD’s. What these same officials conveniently omitted to mention is that Gen. Kamel had also confirmed to UN inspectors in 1995 that Iraq had destroyed its entire stockpile of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and banned missiles, in 1991, shortly before the Gulf War – exactly as Saddam had claimed. Yet such intelligence was ignored and suppressed.

MYTH 4: The decision to go to war was based on a legitimate parliamentary process, legal advice from the Attorney General, as well as consultations with the UN.

In reality, the decision to go to war was made jointly by senior American and British officials prior to any democratic process, behind closed doors, and irrespective of evidence or international law. This is confirmed by a range of declassified official documents.

A leaked policy options paper drafted by officials in the Cabinet Office’s Overseas and Defence Secretariat (8th March 2002), records that:

 

Read Full Article here

 

Woodward at war

By MIKE ALLEN and JIM VANDEHEI | 2/27/13 8:01 PM EST Updated: 2/28/13 5:30 PM EST

Bob Woodward called a senior White House official last week to tell him that in a piece in that weekend’s Washington Post, he was going to question President Barack Obama’s account of how sequestration came about — and got a major-league brushback. The Obama aide “yelled at me for about a half-hour,” Woodward told us in an hourlong interview yesterday around the Georgetown dining room table where so many generations of Washington’s powerful have spilled their secrets.

Digging into one of his famous folders, Woodward said the tirade was followed by a page-long email from the aide, one of the four or five administration officials most closely involved in the fiscal negotiations with the Hill. “I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today,” the official typed. “You’re focusing on a few specific trees that give a very wrong impression of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here. … I think you will regret staking out that claim.”

 

Woodward: Extended interview

VandeHei reveals Woodward, W.H. emails on POLITICO LIVE

Woodward repeated the last sentence, making clear he saw it as a veiled threat. “ ‘You’ll regret.’ Come on,” he said. “I think if Obama himself saw the way they’re dealing with some of this, he would say, ‘Whoa, we don’t tell any reporter ‘you’re going to regret challenging us.’”

(WATCH: Bob Woodward blasts President Obama ‘madness’)

“They have to be willing to live in the world where they’re challenged,” Woodward continued in his calm, instantly recognizable voice. “I’ve tangled with lots of these people. But suppose there’s a young reporter who’s only had a couple of years — or 10 years’ — experience and the White House is sending him an email saying, ‘You’re going to regret this.’ You know, tremble, tremble. I don’t think it’s the way to operate.”

UPDATE: The official Woodward is referencing is Gene Sperling, a top economic aide, as BuzzFeed reported last night and we confirmed. Sources tell us the White House might release the full exchange to show it was much more innocuous than Woodward suggests.

ANOTHER UPDATE. We have obtained the actual email exchange and posted it here.

A White House official said: “Of course no threat was intended. As Mr. Woodward noted, the email from the aide was sent to apologize for voices being raised in their previous conversation. The note suggested that Mr. Woodward would regret the observation.”

(Also on POLITICO: Right cheers Bob Woodward ‘fact check’)

Woodward — first in “The Price of Politics,” his best-seller on the failed quest for a grand budget bargain, and later with his opinion piece in the Post — makes plain that sequestration was an idea crafted by the White House. Obama personally approved the plan and later signed it into law. Woodward was right, several congressional officials involved in the talks told us.

And that contention has made Woodward, once Public Enemy No. 1 to a generation of Republicans, the unlikely darling of the right wing. Conservatives suddenly swoon over him, with his stepped-up appearances on Fox News and starring role in GOP press releases. And while White House officials are certainly within their rights to yell at any journalist, including Bob Woodward, this very public battle with a Washington legend has become a major distraction at a pivotal moment for the president.

The feud also feeds a larger narrative because, like many others, Woodward thinks this is a very thin-skinned White House that does not like being challenged on the facts. He said that explains the senior aide’s in-your-face email. “I think when they get their rear end in a crack here, they become defensive,” he said. “This could be a huge issue if the economy takes a hit. And people are going to go back and say exactly what happened and who did it and so forth.”

 Read Full Article and Watch Video Here

Global Research, February 25, 2013

 

U.S. politicians have cried wolf over austerity long enough for the public to ignore them. A perfect time, then, for politicians to actually unleash the wolves. Barring an unlikely last minute deal, here’s a short list of some of the massive, national bi-partisan-created austerity cuts, according to the New York Times: 

-600,000 food stamp recipients will be cut from the program

-Massive education cuts. According to President Obama:

“Once these cuts take effect thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off and tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. ”

-12 billion in Medicare cuts (more to come after 2013)

-Millions receiving unemployment will see their checks cut by 11% (an average of 132 a month)

-Federal funds to state governments will be cut, creating even more deficits for states and municipalities, and thus more localized cuts (the states have already made austerity cuts of $337 billion!)

Also, 700,000 jobs are expected to be loss, while 70,000 kids are also expected to be kicked off of Head Start

And this is just for 2013. The current plan for the austerity “sequester” cuts is $100 billion of federal cuts every year for ten years, equaling massive cuts to jobs, Medicare, education, and completely destroying federally funded social programs.

Will it actually happen this time? The New York Times reports: 

“In private, Capitol Hill staff members and members of Congress have admitted that there are no viable plans on the horizon to delay or offset the cuts.”

The finger pointing in Washington, D.C. has already reached a crescendo, with the perverted logic being that, if both parties are to blame, it’s really no one’s fault. In reality Democrats and Republicans created these “sequester” cuts, and they can just as easily undo them with a snap of the finger.Both parties are choosing not to delete the cuts. They just don’t want political responsibility for the fallout, which many economists have predicted will push the U.S. economy over the edge into official recession.

Obama has predictably blamed the Republicans for this mess, even though he personally began this process by creating the “deficit reduction commission” that helped shape the cuts (keep in mind there is zero debt crisis that calls for such drastic measures).

Obama could also just as easily appeal to the American public —over the heads of congressmen — to demand that the cuts be shelved forever. Instead, he’s proposing a “grand bargain” deal that he knows the Republicans won’t go for.

- See more at: http://www.globalresearch.ca/austerity-usa-begins-march-1st-bipartisan-project-to-impoverish-the-american-people/5324180#sthash.wiXrlRPe.dpuf

Originally posted on globalinfo4all:

A farmer had some puppies that he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups. And set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.

“Mister,” he said, “I want to buy one of your puppies.”

No Charge for Love

“Well,” said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, “these puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money.”

The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. “I’ve got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?”

“Sure,” said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. “Here…

View original 241 more words

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