Category: Secrecy

• 1.8m users targeted by UK agency in six-month period alone
• Optic Nerve program collected Yahoo webcam images in bulk
• Yahoo: ‘A whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy’
• Material included large quantity of sexually explicit images
Yahoo webcam image.

The GCHQ program saved one image every five minutes from the users’ feeds. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal.

GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not.

In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery – including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally.

Yahoo reacted furiously to the webcam interception when approached by the Guardian. The company denied any prior knowledge of the program, accusing the agencies of “a whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy“.

GCHQ does not have the technical means to make sure no images of UK or US citizens are collected and stored by the system, and there are no restrictions under UK law to prevent Americans’ images being accessed by British analysts without an individual warrant.

The documents also chronicle GCHQ‘s sustained struggle to keep the large store of sexually explicit imagery collected by Optic Nerve away from the eyes of its staff, though there is little discussion about the privacy implications of storing this material in the first place.

NSA ragout 4


Optic Nerve, the documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show, began as a prototype in 2008 and was still active in 2012, according to an internal GCHQ wiki page accessed that year.

The system, eerily reminiscent of the telescreens evoked in George Orwell’s 1984, was used for experiments in automated facial recognition, to monitor GCHQ‘s existing targets, and to discover new targets of interest. Such searches could be used to try to find terror suspects or criminals making use of multiple, anonymous user IDs.

Rather than collecting webcam chats in their entirety, the program saved one image every five minutes from the users’ feeds, partly to comply with human rights legislation, and also to avoid overloading GCHQ‘s servers. The documents describe these users as “unselected” – intelligence agency parlance for bulk rather than targeted collection.

One document even likened the program’s “bulk access to Yahoo webcam images/events” to a massive digital police mugbook of previously arrested individuals.

“Face detection has the potential to aid selection of useful images for ‘mugshots’ or even for face recognition by assessing the angle of the face,” it reads. “The best images are ones where the person is facing the camera with their face upright.”

The agency did make efforts to limit analysts’ ability to see webcam images, restricting bulk searches to metadata only.

However, analysts were shown the faces of people with similar usernames to surveillance targets, potentially dragging in large numbers of innocent people. One document tells agency staff they were allowed to display “webcam images associated with similar Yahoo identifiers to your known target”.

Optic Nerve was based on collecting information from GCHQ‘s huge network of internet cable taps, which was then processed and fed into systems provided by the NSA. Webcam information was fed into NSA’s XKeyscore search tool, and NSA research was used to build the tool which identified Yahoo’s webcam traffic.

Bulk surveillance on Yahoo users was begun, the documents said, because “Yahoo webcam is known to be used by GCHQ targets”.

NSA ragout 3


Programs like Optic Nerve, which collect information in bulk from largely anonymous user IDs, are unable to filter out information from UK or US citizens. Unlike the NSA, GCHQ is not required by UK law to “minimize”, or remove, domestic citizens’ information from its databases. However, additional legal authorisations are required before analysts can search for the data of individuals likely to be in the British Isles at the time of the search.


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Army Times

Dec. 11, 2013 – 08:37PM

The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans — and likely hundreds more — during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal.

“They got the notion they were going to come to give me a lobotomy,” Roman Tritz, a World War II bomber pilot, told the newspaper in a report published Wednesday. “To hell with them.”

Tritz said the orderlies at the veterans hospital pinned him to the floor, and he initially fought them off. A few weeks later, just before his 30th birthday, he was lobotomized.

Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals, according to the report.

The VA’s use of lobotomy, in which doctors severed connections between parts of the brain then thought to control emotions, was known in medical circles in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and is occasionally cited in medical texts. But the VA’s practice, never widely publicized, long ago slipped from public view. Even the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it possesses no records detailing the creation and breadth of its lobotomy program.

The Wall Street Journal’s reporting series began with Wednesday’s Forgotten Soldiers and included a documentary, archived photos, maps and medical records.

The Journal quoted the VA’s response to its inquiry: “In the late 1940s and into the 1950s, VA and other physicians throughout the United States and the world debated the utility of lobotomies. The procedure became available to severely ill patients who had not improved with other treatments. Within a few years, the procedure disappeared within VA, and across the United States, as safer and more effective treatments were developed.”

The newspaper reported that musty files warehoused in the National Archives show VA doctors resorting to brain surgery as they struggled with a vexing question that absorbs America to this day: How best to treat the psychological crises that afflict soldiers returning from combat.

Between April 1, 1947, and Sept. 30, 1950, VA doctors lobotomized 1,464 veterans at 50 hospitals authorized to perform the surgery, according to agency documents rediscovered by the Journal. Scores of records from 22 of those hospitals list another 466 lobotomies performed outside that time period, bringing the total documented operations to 1,930.

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The Lobotomy Files: Inside the Mind of Roman Tritz

WSJDigitalNetwork WSJDigitalNetwork

Published on Dec 12, 2013

Roman Tritz was one of thousands of WWll veterans who were lobotomized by the Veterans Administration. The nation forgot, but Mr. Tritz remembers. WSJ’s Michael M. Phillips reports. See the complete project at

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Lobotomy – PBS documentary on Walter Freeman

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Uploaded on Jan 27, 2008

The Lobotomist, Walter J. Freeman…

Click the links to learn more.…)


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Welcome to the Memory Hole

Disappearing Edward Snowden

By Peter Van Buren

What if Edward Snowden was made to disappear? No, I’m not suggesting some future CIA rendition effort or a who-killed-Snowden conspiracy theory of a disappearance, but a more ominous kind.

What if everything a whistleblower had ever exposed could simply be made to go away? What if every National Security Agency (NSA) document Snowden released, every interview he gave, every documented trace of a national security state careening out of control could be made to disappear in real-time? What if the very posting of such revelations could be turned into a fruitless, record-less endeavor?

Am I suggesting the plot for a novel by some twenty-first century George Orwell? Hardly. As we edge toward a fully digital world, such things may soon be possible, not in science fiction but in our world — and at the push of a button. In fact, the earliest prototypes of a new kind of “disappearance” are already being tested. We are closer to a shocking, dystopian reality that might once have been the stuff of futuristic novels than we imagine. Welcome to the memory hole.

Even if some future government stepped over one of the last remaining red lines in our world and simply assassinated whistleblowers as they surfaced, others would always emerge. Back in 1948, in his eerie novel 1984, however, Orwell suggested a far more diabolical solution to the problem. He conjured up a technological device for the world of Big Brother that he called “the memory hole.” In his dark future, armies of bureaucrats, working in what he sardonically dubbed the Ministry of Truth, spent their lives erasing or altering documents, newspapers, books, and the like in order to create an acceptable version of history. When a person fell out of favor, the Ministry of Truth sent him and all the documentation relating to him down the memory hole. Every story or report in which his life was in any way noted or recorded would be edited to eradicate all traces of him.

In Orwell’s pre-digital world, the memory hole was a vacuum tube into which old documents were physically disappeared forever. Alterations to existing documents and the deep-sixing of others ensured that even the sudden switching of global enemies and alliances would never prove a problem for the guardians of Big Brother. In the world he imagined, thanks to those armies of bureaucrats, the present was what had always been — and there were those altered documents to prove it and nothing but faltering memories to say otherwise. Anyone who expressed doubts about the truth of the present would, under the rubric of “thoughtcrime,” be marginalized or eliminated.

Government and Corporate Digital Censorship

Increasingly, most of us now get our news, books, music, TV, movies, and communications of every sort electronically. These days, Google earns more advertising revenue than all U.S. print media combined. Even the venerable Newsweek no longer publishes a paper edition. And in that digital world, a certain kind of “simplification” is being explored. The Chinese, Iranians, and others are, for instance, already implementing web-filtering strategies to block access to sites and online material of which their governments don’t approve. The U.S. government similarly (if somewhat fruitlessly) blocks its employees from viewing Wikileaks and Edward Snowden material (as well as websites like TomDispatch) on their work computers — though not of course at home. Yet.

Great Britain, however, will soon take a significant step toward deciding what a private citizen can see on the web even while at home. Before the end of the year, almost all Internet users there will be “opted-in” to a system designed to filter out pornography. By default, the controls will also block access to “violent material,” “extremist and terrorist related content,” “anorexia and eating disorder websites,” and “suicide related websites.” In addition, the new settings will censor sites mentioning alcohol or smoking. The filter will also block “esoteric material,” though a UK-based rights group says the government has yet to make clear what that category will include.

And government-sponsored forms of Internet censorship are being privatized. New, off-the-shelf commercial products guarantee that an organization does not need to be the NSA to block content. For example, the Internet security company Blue Coat is a domestic leader in the field and a major exporter of such technology. It can easily set up a system to monitor and filter all Internet usage, blocking web sites by their address, by keywords, or even by the content they contain. Among others, Blue Coat software is used by the U.S. Army to control what its soldiers see while deployed abroad, and by the repressive governments in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Burma to block outside political ideas.

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pt 1

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Published on Nov 16, 2013

Clip 1 from November 12, 2013 – guest Mia Pope on the Jeff Rense Program.

Obama EXPOSED- Mia Pope pt 2:…

Obama’s Female Classmate Tells All?…

Obama Turned Dictator – Beware:…


Clip from November 12, 2013 – guest Mia Pope on the Jeff Rense Program. Full program available in Archives at


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Photo Gallery: Spies in the Embassy Photos

According to SPIEGEL research, United States intelligence agencies have not only targeted Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone, but they have also used the American Embassy in Berlin as a listening station. The revelations now pose a serious threat to German-American relations.


It’s a prime site, a diplomat’s dream. Is there any better location for an embassy than Berlin’s Pariser Platz? It’s just a few paces from here to the Reichstag. When the American ambassador steps out the door, he looks directly onto the Brandenburg Gate.




When the United States moved into the massive embassy building in 2008, it threw a huge party. Over 4,500 guests were invited. Former President George H. W. Bush cut the red-white-and-blue ribbon. Chancellor Angela Merkel offered warm words for the occasion. Since then, when the US ambassador receives high-ranking visitors, they often take a stroll out to the roof terrace, which offers a breathtaking view of the Reichstag and Tiergarten park. Even the Chancellery can be glimpsed. This is the political heart of the republic, where billion-euro budgets are negotiated, laws are formulated and soldiers are sent to war. It’s an ideal location for diplomats — and for spies.

Research by SPIEGEL reporters in Berlin and Washington, talks with intelligence officials and the evaluation of internal documents of the US’ National Security Agency and other information, most of which comes from the archive of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, lead to the conclusion that the US diplomatic mission in the German capital has not merely been promoting German-American friendship. On the contrary, it is a nest of espionage. From the roof of the embassy, a special unit of the CIA and NSA can apparently monitor a large part of cellphone communication in the government quarter. And there is evidence that agents based at Pariser Platz recently targeted the cellphone that Merkel uses the most.


The NSA spying scandal has thus reached a new level, becoming a serious threat to the trans-Atlantic partnership. The mere suspicion that one of Merkel’s cellphones was being monitored by the NSA has led in the past week to serious tensions between Berlin and Washington.


Hardly anything is as sensitive a subject to Merkel as the surveillance of her cellphone. It is her instrument of power. She uses it not only to lead her party, the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), but also to conduct a large portion of government business. Merkel uses the device so frequently that there was even debate earlier this year over whether her text-messaging activity should be archived as part of executive action.


‘That’s Just Not Done’


Merkel has often said — half in earnest, half in jest — that she operates under the assumption that her phone calls are being monitored. But she apparently had in mind countries like China and Russia, where data protection is not taken very seriously, and not Germany’s friends in Washington.


Last Wednesday Merkel placed a strongly worded phone call to US President Barack Obama. Sixty-two percent of Germans approve of her harsh reaction, according to a survey by polling institute YouGov. A quarter think it was too mild. In a gesture of displeasure usually reserved for rogue states, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle summoned the new US ambassador, John Emerson, for a meeting at the Foreign Ministry.


The NSA affair has shaken the certainties of German politics. Even Merkel’s CDU, long a loyal friend of Washington, is now openly questioning the trans-Atlantic free trade agreement. At the Chancellery it’s now being said that if the US government doesn’t take greater pains to clarify the situation, certain conclusions will be drawn and talks over the agreement could potentially be put on hold.


“Spying between friends, that’s just not done,” said Merkel on Thursday at a European Union summit in Brussels. “Now trust has to be rebuilt.” But until recently it sounded as if the government had faith in its ally’s intelligence agencies.


In mid-August Merkel’s chief of staff, Ronald Pofalla, offhandedly described the NSA scandal as over. German authorities offered none of their own findings — just a dry statement from the NSA leadership saying the agency adhered to all agreements between the countries.


Now it is not just Pofalla who stands disgraced, but Merkel as well. She looks like a head of government who only stands up to Obama when she herself is a target of the US intelligence services. The German website Der Postillon published a satirical version last Thursday of the statement given by Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert: “The chancellor considers it a slap in the face that she has most likely been monitored over the years just like some mangy resident of Germany.”


Merkel has nothing to fear domestically from the recent turn of affairs. The election is over, the conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats are already in official negotiations toward forming a new government. No one wants to poison the atmosphere with mutual accusation.


Nevertheless, Merkel must now answer the question of how much she is willing to tolerate from her American allies.


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Irish Times News

Obama under pressure over Merkel phone tap allegations

German magazine claims US has been spying on chancellor’s mobile phone since 2002

 Barack Obama  standing in front of a window with a view of the  Reichstag during a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin in  2008. Photograph: Reuters.Barack Obama standing in front of a window with a view of the Reichstag during a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin in 2008. Photograph: Reuters.

Mon, Oct 28, 2013, 01:00

The White House was under intense pressure yesterday to reveal the extent to which Barack Obama knew about US surveillance operations targeting the leaders of allied countries.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone was reportedly spied on since 2002 from a secret listening post inside the US embassy in Berlin that monitors all mobile phone, satellite and wireless internet traffic in the German capital.

Der Spiegel claims the surveillance took place via a special antennae dubbed “Einstein” and concealed in a windowless room on the roof of the embassy adjacent to the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag.


The White House refused to comment on that report – or others that emerged in Germany, raising questions about how much Barack Obama knew about the spying operation.

Caitlin Hayden, the White House national security council spokeswoman, said: “We are not going to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity.”

‘Special Collection Service’
Drawing on information provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the magazine reports that US intelligence operates 80 such listening posts around the world, dubbed “Special Collection Service”.

The magazine said the posts are operated jointly by the NSA and CIA, the US foreign intelligence service, in 80 locations worldwide. Two stations operate in Germany – Berlin and Frankfurt – and, in total, some 19 operate in Europe including Paris, Prague and Madrid. The US embassy in Dublin is not listed as a listening post.

“The SCS teams work mostly undercover in shielded areas of American embassies and consulates where, officially, they are accredited as diplomats and enjoy the related privileges,” the magazine writes. “From the protection of the embassy they can eavesdrop and look. They just are not allowed to be caught.”

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freespeechtv freespeechtv

Published on Oct 7, 2013

In August, Lavabit became the first technology firm to shut down rather than disclose information to the U.S. government. Lavabit owner Ladar Levison closed his encrypted email company after refusing to comply with a government effort to tap his customers’ information. It has now been confirmed the FBI was targeting National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, who used Lavabit’s services. But Levison says that instead of just targeting Snowden, the government effectively wanted access to the accounts of 400,000 other Lavabit customers.


Lavabit founder refused FBI order to hand over email encryption keys

Unsealed documents show Ladar Levison, now subject of government gag order, refused requests to ‘defeat its own system’

Lavabit, the encrypted email service

Court ordered Levison to be fined $5,000 a day beginning 6 August until he handed over electronic copies of the keys. Photo: Demotix/Alex Milan Tracy/Corbis

The email service used by whistleblower Edward Snowden refused FBI requests to “defeat its own system,” according to newly unsealed court documents.

The founder of Lavabit, Ladar Levison, repeatedly pushed back against demands by the authorities to hand over the encryption keys to his system, frustrating federal investigators who were trying to track Snowden’s communications, the documents show.

Snowden called a press conference on 12 July at Moscow’s international airport, using a Lavabit address. The court documents show the FBI was already targeting the secure email service before the invite was sent.

Levison is now subject to a government gag order and has appealed against the search warrants and subpoenas demanding access to his service. He closed Lavabit in August saying he did not want to be “complicit in crimes against the American people”.

The court documents, unsealed on Wednesday, give the clearest picture yet of the Lavabit case. The documents, filed in the eastern district court of Virginia, are redacted and do not mention Snowden by name. But they do say the target of the FBI is under investigation for violations of the espionage act and theft of government property – the charges that have been filed against NSA whistleblower Snowden.

On 28 June the court authorised the FBI to install a “pen register trap and trace device” on all electronic communications being sent from the redacted email address, believed to be Snowden’s. A pen register would allow the FBI to record all the “metadata” from the account including the e-mail “from” and “to” lines and the IP addresses used to access the mailbox.

Levison said that the client had enabled encryption on his email and that he could not access the email. “The representative of Lavabit indicated that Lavabit had the technical capability to decrypt the information, but that Lavabit did not want to ‘defeat [its] own system,'” the government complained.

In July, the authorities obtained a search warrant demanding Lavabit hand over any encryption keys and SSL keys that protected the site. Levison was threatened with criminal contempt – which could have potentially put him in jail – if he did not comply. Such a move would have given the government access to all of Lavabit users’ information.

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Eretz Zen Eretz Zen

Part 1

Published on Oct 4, 2013

Christian nun, Mother Agnes Mariam, who heads the convent of St. Jacob in the Damascus countryside, has collected evidence of fabrication based on the 13 videos that the US administration used to blame the chemical attacks in Eastern Ghouta on August 21, 2013 on the Syrian government. This evidence is discussed with al-Jadeed TV in Lebanon, as it relates to the unusually large number of parentless and unknown children that were victims of the attack in conjunction with the shifting of locations where the suffocating children were filmed within a short period of time.

Source: al-Jadeed TV (Lebanon)
Part 2:

Part 2

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I suppose that  since they  can  no longer  claim that  Women  driving is  against  Sharia  Law  they  must  say  something.  The  excuse of damaged  ovaries  is as  good  as  any ,  especially  if  you are  counting  on   compliance  and  subservience…….Hmmmm.


How’s that compliant and subservient thing  working  for  you ????

~Desert Rose~


Al Arabiya News

Last Update: Saturday, 28 September 2013 KSA 07:27 – GMT 04:27
Saturday, 28 September 2013
Saudi Sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan said driving “could have a reverse physiological impact” on women. (Al Arabiya)
Al Arabiya

Saudi women seeking to challenge a de facto ban on driving should realize that this could affect their ovaries and pelvises, Sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan, also a psychologist, told Saudi news website

Driving “could have a reverse physiological impact. Physiological science and functional medicine studied this side [and found] that it automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis. This is why we find for women who continuously drive cars their children are born with clinical disorders of varying degrees,” Sheikh al-Luhaydan said.

Saudi female activists have launched an online campaign urging women to drive on Oct. 26.

More than 11,000 women have signed the declaration that says: “Since there are no clear justifications for the state to ban adult, capable women from driving. We call for enabling women to have driving tests and for issuing licenses for those who pass.”

Sheikh al-Luhaydan urged these women to consider “the mind before the heart and emotion and look at this issue with a realistic eye.”

“The result of this is bad and they should wait and consider the negativities,” he said.

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Saudi women seek right to drive

A Saudi woman sits in a vehicle as a passenger in Riyadh (22 Sept 2013)
Stuck in the passenger seat: Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia

A new campaign asking for the right for women to drive in Saudi Arabia has attracted more than 11,000 signatures in support.

The campaign has set 26 October as a day for Saudi women to take to the roads – in defiance of the informal ban on women behind the wheel.

In a sign of how pervasive online social networks have become in Saudi Arabia, the campaign was started on Twitter.

It is the idea of the activist, Eman al-Nafjan, who set things in motion with a simple message saying that Saudi women would express their feelings about driving on 26 October.

“There is no justification for the Saudi government to prohibit adult women citizens who are capable of driving cars from doing so”

Petition for women’s driving rights

The hope is that women will come out en masse to drive on that day, she told the BBC.

Ms Nafjan says the campaign is meant to be a grassroots movement open to all Saudis – men as well as women – to show their support.

Influential Saudis have given their public backing, while several videos of women driving have been posted on the campaign’s website.

There is even a song linked to the campaign by the Saudi-born singer Shams, entitled It’s Our Right to Drive.

Photos have also been sent in showing supporters’ hands with parts of the online petition written across them.

The first point in the petition reads: “Since there is no justification for the Saudi government to prohibit adult women citizens who are capable of driving cars from doing so, we urge the state to provide appropriate means for women seeking the issuance of permits and licenses to apply and obtain them”.

It goes on to say that the Saudi government must provide a valid and legal justification if it continues to deny women the right to drive.

Cars in Riyadh (22 Sept 2013) Many Saudi women are dependent on paid male drivers to get around

‘Window dressing’

Women activists in Saudi Arabia say the issue of being allowed to drive is key to gaining other rights.

There have been moves in this direction recently with women allowed onto the influential Shura council for the first time, as well as having the right to vote in the next municipal elections.



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Related Stories



Saudi Sheikh blasted on Twitter for saying women drivers ‘risk damaging ovaries’

Published time: September 29, 2013 17:43

>Reuters / Fahad Shadeed

Reuters / Fahad Shadeed

Comments by a Saudi psychologist that driving affects women’s ovaries and can lead to their children having health problems have outraged many women in the conservative Muslim country, who are protesting a de facto ban on women driving.

In an interview Friday with the website, Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan said campaigners should put “the mind before the heart and emotion, and look at this issue with a realistic eye.”

“Physiological science and functional medicine [found that driving] automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis,” the judicial and psychological consultant to the Gulf Psychological Association said.

“This is why we find [that] for women who continuously drive cars, their children are born with clinical disorders of varying degrees.”

Many Saudis have expressed their anger in Twitter, mocking the Sheikh’s “great scientific discoveries.”

A special hashtag “Women_driving_affects_ovaries_and_pelvises” appeared on the social network, and is widely used.

Read More Here


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The New American

Proponent of U.S. Help for “Moderate” Syrian Rebels Fired for Lying About Ph.D.

Written by 

Questionable claims that most of the rebels in Syria’s civil war are “moderates” didn’t do 26-year-old Elizabeth O’Bagy’s career any damage. Quite the contrary: They were cited by high-ranking politicians as justification for greater U.S. involvement in the war.

What nipped O’Bagy’s career as an interventionist mouthpiece in the bud was an easily disproven falsehood about her academic credentials. Her primary employer, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), sacked her Wednesday when it emerged that she had lied about having received a doctorate from Georgetown University.

The neoconservative think tank’s online biography of O’Bagy was replaced with the following statement: “The Institute for the Study of War has learned and confirmed that, contrary to her representations, Ms. Elizabeth O’Bagy does not in fact have a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University. ISW has accordingly terminated Ms. O’Bagy’s employment, effective immediately.”

O’Bagy told Politico on Monday that she was in a joint master’s and doctorate program in Arab Studies and Political Science at Georgetown and that “she had submitted and defended her dissertation and was waiting for Georgetown University to confer her degree.” The university, however, said that she “received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2009 and a Master of Arts degree in 2013” but that “at this time she is not a registered student.”

O’Bagy started her career at ISW as an intern, getting a leg up on others because of her fluency in Arabic at a time when the institute was looking for ways to make the case for U.S. intervention in Syria. She was hired as an analyst in 2012 and indicated at that time that she was working toward her Ph.D. at Georgetown.

ISW founder and president Kimberly Kagan told Politico that O’Bagy “misrepresented to me in May that she had successfully defended her dissertation.” Subsequently, Kagan said, she began referring to the analyst as Dr. O’Bagy in internal communications, and O’Bagy’s biography on the institute’s website was updated to reflect this understanding later in the summer.

As it turns out, however, O’Bagy actually “failed her defense” of her dissertation, Kagan told Politico; and that is why she was terminated.

O’Bagy’s dismissal is significant because she has been one of the most prominent exponents of the notion that the Syrian rebels are mostly moderates, not Islamic extremists.

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40 Years After Chilean Coup, Allende Aide Juan Garcés on How He Brought Pinochet to Justice

democracynow democracynow

Published on Sep 10, 2013 – Wednesday marks the 40th anniversary of the so-called “other 9/11”: On September 11, 1973, a U.S.-backed coup led by General Augusto Pinochet ousted the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende. It is estimated more than 3,000 people were killed during Pinochet’s dictatorship, which lasted another 17 years. In 1998, Pinochet was arrested in London on torture and genocide charges on a warrant issued by a Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzón. His arrest came largely thanks to the efforts of our guest, Spanish attorney Juan Garcés. A personal advisor to Allende, Garcés was with him on the day of the coup. Allende walked him to the palace exit before it was bombed and told him to tell the world what he had seen. Garcés went on to lead the efforts for Pinochet to be arrested and tried.

See the Democracy Now! In-Depth Page: 1973 Chile Coup at….


The Pinochet File: How U.S. Politicians, Banks and Corporations Aided Chilean Coup, Dictatorship

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Published on Sep 10, 2013 – Part 2 of our conversation on the 40th anniversary of the Chilean coup with Spanish lawyer Juan Garcés, a former personal adviser to ousted Chilean President Salvador Allende, and Peter Kornbluh, author of “The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability.”


The Pinochet File: How U.S. Politicians, Banks and Corporations Aided Chilean Coup, Dictatorship

Part 2 of our conversation on the 40th anniversary of the Chilean coup with Spanish lawyer Juan Garcés, a former personal adviser to ousted Chilean President Salvador Allende, and Peter Kornbluh, author of The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability.

Related segments from today:
40 Years After Chilean Coup, Allende Aide Juan Garcés on How He Brought Pinochet to Justice

‘Make the Economy Scream’: Secret Documents Show Nixon, Kissinger Role Backing 1973 Chile Coup

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Aaron Maté. Our guests are Juan Garcés, who also has written a book, simply called Allende, about the president who he advised, his closest adviser until September 11th, 40 years ago, 1973, when the palace was being bombed by the Pinochet forces and Salvador Allende took his own life. He was surrounded by his other advisers, but he walked Juan Garcés to the door and said, “Tell the world.” Juan Garcés went on as a Spanish lawyer to work to hold Pinochet responsible, and ultimately, through Baltasar Garzón, the Spanish judge, had him—had him call for Augusto Pinochet’s extradition to Spain to be tried. Augusto Pinochet was in London, and Augusto Pinochet was held for about a year there before ultimately he was allowed to return home to Chile.

We’re also joined by Peter Kornbluh, author of The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability.

I was just speaking about Joyce Horman, the widow of the freelance journalist Charlie Horman. Peter Kornbluh, tell us what Charlie discovered in those days leading up to the coup, why he was so dangerous, and what you learned in declassification of documents of Kissinger.

PETER KORNBLUH: Well, Charles Horman and his wife Joyce were part of a large group of Americans who went to Chile during the Allende years. Chile was, as Juan Garcés will tell us, was a dynamic, exciting place. The whole world was watching what was happening there. It was something new and vibrant. And—

AMY GOODMAN: What was it? What was happening? I mean, so a new president was elected.

PETER KORNBLUH: The via—the famous via pacifica of—toward social change—not armed revolution to bring fundamental change to a Third World country, but democratic revolution, in which the people would vote, and institutions would gradually be changed to spread the wealth equally, to nationalize resources so that U.S. copper companies and corporations like IT&T then suck the money right out of the country. This was an exciting, new model of change for Latin America and the world. That’s what made it so dangerous for the Nixon and Kissingers of the world.

So, Charlie and his wife Joyce were there. Charles Horman was actually, as part of his journalistic approach, he was actually investigating the murder of the Chilean commander-in-chief, General René Schneider, that took place in October of 1970 and was part of a CIA operation to foment a coup, to create a coup climate in Chile that might stop Allende from actually being inaugurated the first week of November. This was an atrocity, a bald assassination of the commander-in-chief of Chilean armed forces right in broad daylight on the streets. There was a trial that had taken place in Chile. There were documents, that really did focus on the contacts with the United States and the coup plotters. In my book, The Pinochet File, I have one still-secret CIA document, which reveals that the agency paid the people that killed René Schneider $35,000 to close their mouths about the U.S. role and to help them escape from Chile to get beyond the grasp of justice. But some people were arrested, tried. Charlie Horman was investigating that, looking at the trial file. He also happened to be in Valparaíso on the day of the coup and met a number of U.S. officials—

AMY GOODMAN: Where is Valparaíso?

PETER KORNBLUH: Valparaíso is a coastal—very famous coastal town. He went to Viña del Mar. He went to Valparaíso. It was where the U.S. Navy group that was advising the Chilean military was based.


PETER KORNBLUH: The U.S. MILGROUP was there. He met the head of the U.S. MILGROUP, Captain Ray Davis, who actually drove him and a companion back to Santiago because there was a curfew. And so the implication was, is that he had talked to these Americans, that he might actually know something about the coup. It is still—the details of his death and why he was killed are still murky, and the case is going forward. And actually, almost 40 years later, a Chilean judge actually indicted Captain Ray Davis, the head of the U.S. MILGROUP, for his death. So, we are hoping in the months to come that we learn more about the circumstances under which he died.

AARON MATÉ: Peter, the role of the ITT Corporation, this huge U.S. firm that had a lot of interest in Chile?

PETER KORNBLUH: ITT owned the telephone companies in Chile, owned the Sheraton Hotel. They were a very aggressive company in Latin America. And they decided they should have their own foreign policy, and they started pushing for meetings with the—with the CIA. It helped that they had on their board of directors a former CIA director, John McCone. And he was able to gain access to the CIA rather easily. There was more than 40 meetings between CIA officials and ITT officials. ITT wanted to start funneling secret funds to Allende’s opponent in the 1970 election. One of the—for students of this history, the first real documents that came out on U.S. intervention in Chile were ITT internal memos that recorded their meetings with the CIA and the U.S. ambassador, as your audience heard in the tape that was played on your program. So, this was the first kind of real inkling of what was happening. The scandal arose—Juan Garcés can remember what happened, because Allende was president at the time, and he simply declared, “Well, we were negotiating to nationalize and compensate ITT, but now that we see that they’re a completely criminal enterprise intervening with the CIA in our internal state of affairs, we’re going to expropriate their holdings in Chile.”

AMY GOODMAN: And how, Juan Garcés, was Allende dealing with ITT? Kissinger, Nixon—what did he understand was their role in supporting Pinochet? Did he?

JUAN GARCÉS: Well, Allende wanted always a good agreement with the United States. And certainly, he said that he should govern in conformity with the willingness of the Chilean people, of the Chilean Congress, but looking for a way to preserve the good relations with the United States. And, in fact, several months before the coup, a high delegation from Chile came to Washington to open formal negotiations to try to solve the differences that—in terms of investments or in terms of economic differences that were present in this period. And the doors of the U.S. government in Washington were practically closed—no dialogue, no negotiation, coup d’état.

So, what is—40 years later, what is interesting is that you see this coup d’état against a very active democratic society articulated by an operation where one of the legs is a mass media group, El Mercurio, asking the intervention of the U.S. government through Secret Services, in relation with some corporations that have private investments in Chile. And with those three leaks—excuse me, legs, the coup and the destabilization of the society was done. Now, with the technological means that currently are at our disposal, at the disposal of the governments, you realize that the three legs are still working—corporations that are linked—have links with Secret Services and the articulation with the government, the government, to prepare interventions in other countries, invasions. And that has been the case particularly after the tragedy of the attack to New York in 2001. But the violence that we can do, and many countries do, and the United States citizens are doing also, is what is the cost of those options, to follow this path, for the economy of other countries and for the health of our democratic system.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask about something remarkable that you did in your efforts to bring justice to the people of Chile and to hold Pinochet accountable. And that was to get at his money, which was the people’s money of Chile, the millions of dollars he had stashed away. Peter, first—Peter Kornbluh, sort of lay this out for an American audience. Talk about the story of Riggs Bank.

PETER KORNBLUH: Well, let me just say it’s such a pleasure to be on this show with Juan Garcés, for what he did during the Allende period and what he did to bring Pinochet to justice, and then what he did to really try and recover the money that Pinochet had clearly stolen and hidden away in secret bank accounts. The CIA documents on Pinochet described him as “hard-working” and “honest.” But it turns out that he was completely corrupt, as—in addition to be murderous. And he secretly took more than $26 million of Chilean money, hid it in 120 bank accounts, some—many of them offshore accounts, using false passports, the images of which are in the new edition of The Pinochet File, and using kind of variants of his name, but without the name Pinochet, to try and hide the fact that these were his assets.


PETER KORNBLUH: He used the name Augusto Ugarte P., or simply Augusto Ugarte, or Ramón Ugarte, because his full name was Augusto Ramón Ugarte Pinochet, no? Or Pinochet Ugarte.


PETER KORNBLUH: Right. And some other false names. And he had some of his aides’ names, and he had some of his—variants of his children’s names on these accounts. And Riggs Bank, the famous bank of Washington, D.C., owned by Joseph Allbritton, had approached Pinochet for years. And at some—one point, they actually held the secret—the accounts of the Chilean secret police, DINA, in their—in their bank in Washington. But eventually, U.S. Senate—this was the most amazing thing. U.S.—the Senate investigation kind of looking at whether banks had tight enough regulations on money laundering by terrorists after 9/11 stumbled across the fact that Riggs Bank was hiding all of these funds from Pinochet and then recovered the—almost the entire file that—

AMY GOODMAN: How did they discover it?

PETER KORNBLUH: They were investigating banks and whether they were—their regulations were so loose that terrorists, in the post-9/11 world, could launder money for terrorist activities. They were looking for—at the financial side of terrorism in the post-9/11 world. And so they were looking for accounts that were suspicious, and they started an investigation. And immediately, they were told that in Riggs Bank, there were a series of people that knew that there was this very suspicious account that belonged to Augusto Pinochet. And they asked for the file on it, and eventually they got the entire file, which was so incredible, because it included all the correspondence between Joseph Allbritton, the chairman of the board of the bank, and Pinochet himself, and the memorandum on the visits by bank officials to Pinochet and other Chilean officials in Santiago, including going to horse clubs and equestrian shows and exchanging gifts and cufflinks and—

AMY GOODMAN: And who was Joseph Allbritton? I mean—

PETER KORNBLUH: Well, Joseph Allbritton was one of the big banking corporate moguls of Washington, D.C. He owned the sports team. I forget whether it was the basketball team or the Redskins. At one point he owned a bunch of newspapers and radio stations. He owned Riggs Bank. But fundamentally, he participated in a conspiracy to hide Augusto Pinochet’s money. And he—they evaded the assets—Juan Garcés managed to get Pinochet’s assets frozen, but Riggs Bank violated that court order to freeze his assets by secretly starting to funnel back to him all of his money in $50,000 cashier’s checks. They had a courrier that would bring literally bundles of these checks to Pinochet’s house in Santiago. And the story returns to Juan Garcés, because more than $8 million of this $20-plus million stash of money was given back to Pinochet illegally by Riggs, and Juan Garcés stepped in and said, “That money belongs to the Chilean people and to the victims of Pinochet.” And he recovered it.

AMY GOODMAN: Allbritton’s son now runs Politico.

PETER KORNBLUH: Allbritton owned—started Politico, created Politico. And then, when he passed away, his son—

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Allbritton.

PETER KORNBLUH: —took over. So there’s still a presence of the family, yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: So, you got, Juan Garcés, millions of dollars of Chile’s money frozen, and then how was it distributed back to the people of Chile?

JUAN GARCÉS: Thanks to an investigation in the U.S. Senate, as Peter was explaining—

PETER KORNBLUH: Which was led by Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, a terrific senator.

JUAN GARCÉS: Yeah, their committee on investigations. And they accepted to cooperate with a court of justice that was prosecuting Pinochet. And thanks to this cooperation between the U.S. Senate and the Spanish court, we reached to indict the owners of Riggs Bank. That is something that is without precedent, from their own pocket—


JUAN GARCÉS: —paid the totality of the money that went through the bank channels hiding the Pinochet money. And we distributed that to the victims of Pinochet that were considered such with the institution of the court. It is the only money that related directly to Pinochet has never been distributed to the victims.

AMY GOODMAN: But that money, the millions of dollars, how did you identify the victims, the survivors, and have it distributed?

JUAN GARCÉS: That was—the victims were recognized as such in the court, because thousands of them have been the object of an inquiry inside Chile by an official commission, committee Riggs, that established the list of thousands of people that were murdered, also forcibly disappeared. And we in Spain, with the cooperation of Chileans inside Chile, created a new commission for victims of torture, victims that survived the torture. And we found, through this commission, identified more than 20,000 persons. And then they have their right to receive a part of the indemnities.

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