Category: War on terror


Army rejects clemency for Chelsea Manning

Published time: April 14, 2014 17:14
Edited time: April 14, 2014 17:48

Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley (Reuters/Gary Cameron)

Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley (Reuters/Gary Cameron)

WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning will not receive clemency from the United States military, the US Army said on Monday afternoon.

A news release circulated by the US Army Military District of Washington early Monday confirmed that the Pentagon official who could have agreed to reduce or eliminate the sentence imposed last year on the former intelligence analyst declined to do so. The case will next automatically be sent to the Army Court of Criminals Appeals.

According to the press release, the convening authority, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, approved the findings and sentence adjudged at last summer’s court-martial, in turn rejecting requests for Manning to receive clemency.

As convening authority, Buchanan could have elected to disapprove of Army Col. Denise Lind’s decision last summer to sentence Manning to 35 years in prison after the analyst admitted to sharing a trove of classified military documents with the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Lind sentenced the solder to 35 years in prison and demoted her to private first class after finding the soldier guilty of multiple counts, including espionage, theft and computer fraud.

 

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Chelsea Manning’s 35-year prison sentence upheld by US army general

Chelsea Manning
Manning pleaded guilty to 10 charges but was convicted last year on 20 counts, including espionage and theft. Photo: Ho/AFP/Getty Images

A US army general has denied clemency for Chelsea Manning and upheld the former soldier’s 35-year prison sentence for providing secret files to WikiLeaks in the biggest breach of classified materials in US history, the army said Monday.

Major General Jeffrey S Buchanan’s decision to uphold the findings of Manning’s 2013 court-martial will automatically send the case to the army court of criminal appeals, an Army statement said.

The soldier, formerly known as Bradley Manning, was working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2010 when she gave the pro-transparency site WikiLeaks 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts.

The trove included a 2007 video of a US Apache helicopter firing at suspected insurgents in Iraq, killing a dozen people, including two Reuters news staffers.

 

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‘Not bug splats’: Artists use poster-child in Pakistan drone protest

Published time: April 07, 2014 13:29

Image from notabugsplat.com

Image from notabugsplat.com

A poster of a young child has appeared in north-west Pakistan to raise awareness of the numerous drone attacks the region suffered. Artists who created the image hope military commanders will think twice about shooting after seeing the portrait.

More than 200 children are believed to have died in the heavily-bombed Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa according to the website notabugsplat.com. ‘Bug splat’ is the name given by the military to a person who has been killed by a drone. Viewing the body through a grainy computer image gives the impression that an insect has been crushed.

Now a giant portrait of a young child has been produced to try and raise awareness of civilian casualties in the region. The hope is now the drone operator will see a child’s face on his or her computer screen, rather than just a small white dot and may think twice before attacking indiscriminately.

The child featured in the poster is nameless, but according to the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, who helped to launch the project in collaboration with a number of artists, both parents were lost to a drone attack.

Drone raids in Pakistan started in 2004 under George W. Bush’s administration as part of the US War on Terror. The vast majority of strikes have focused on the Federally Administered Tribal Area’s and the Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa area due to their proximity to Afghanistan, which the country invaded following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

 

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Why Did FBI Monitor Occupy Houston, and Then Hide Sniper Plot Against Protest Leaders?

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  Part 1

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Flight 370 The CIA Hoax: Gordon Duff

The file photo shows the search operation for the missing Malaysian plane

The file photo shows the search operation for the missing Malaysian plane

 

By Gordon Duff and Press TV

(This is the most read article in the world for 2014 thus far)

Today we are told that the fate of Flight 370 is known, not yet identified debris has been spotted in what is called “the Southern Indian Ocean,” perhaps more appropriately described as “north of Antarctica.”

We also know that the 777/200 is a “fly by wire” aircraft with controls in place that allow the CIA to remotely pilot the plane “in case of emergency.”  We were able to verify the design and implementation of this system through Boeing, Raytheon and commercial pilots.

“BAD NEWS”

The descriptions today in the New York Times and other publications are purposefully inaccurate and contradictory.  Their explanations of how commercial aircraft communicate and are tracked are fanciful at best, at worst “criminal.”

CIA CONTROLS COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT

When Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was reported as having crashed in the South China Sea, a massive cover up began yet no one will speak of it, nothing is written of it and its broad consequences are a subject of no investigation.

While people around the world were told the plane was “lost” or “crashed,” it was being monitored by NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) and its regional defense partners through secret systems installed in the plane.

In 2006, Boeing announced the following, from a John Croft article in Flight Global:

Boeing last week received a US patent for a system that, once activated, removes all controls from pilots to automatically return a commercial airliner to a predetermined landing location.

The “uninterruptible” autopilot would be activated – either by pilots, by onboard sensors or even remotely via radio or satellite links by government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency, if terrorists attempt to gain control of a flight deck.
 
Boeing says: “We are constantly studying ways we can enhance the safety, security and efficiency of the world’s airline fleet.”

Similarly, Raytheon Corporation was awarded a contract by the Federal Aviation Administration 8 years ago to implement an “Advanced Route Evaluation System” (ARES) to work in concert with the system operated by the Central Intelligence Agency.

In addition, the technical staff at Rolls Royce, a fact also reported in the Wall Street Journal, continually monitored the plane’s flight.

Hundreds of people knew exactly where the plane was, how every system was working, what had been “turned off” not only when but where and exactly where the plane is now.  Every word told the press, has been a lie.
Every word told by the mainstream media has been a lie.

THE “FLYING DUTCHMAN” AIRLINER

Now everyone knows that the plane continued flying for hours.  This is where the cover up becomes problematic; you see everything about the plane was known, position, conditions of the engines, oxygen levels in the cockpit and passenger compartment, this and much more.

Even if the plane couldn’t be remotely piloted, its systems under “uninterruptable” control, a term coined by Boeing itself, the 777/200’s supposed “Flying Dutchman” journey to the South Pole is more than implausible.

The CIA along with Joint military commands set up during the Global War on Terror, tracked Flight 370, monitoring it continually, monitoring the murder of its passengers, monitoring its landing, monitoring its refueling and know exactly where it is.

If the plane really went down “off Antarctica,” they then monitored and “allowed” that.

ROLLS ROYCE SILENCE

In Britain, technicians for Rolls Royce monitored the plane as well, reporting its position to the British government every minute it was in the air.  Those technicians have been silent, the British government has never been asked, and no one has been asked.

As the largest “Where’s Waldo” hunt in history goes on, now pulling in data from weather satellites and fleets of anti-submarine warfare planes unleashed upon the Indian Ocean, the entire thing is an “act,” a would-be comical farce.

Flight 370 is a Boeing 777/200, one of the most automated planes in the world.  We will be outlining some of the specifics that make this theft or hijacking or alien abduction or whatever the mainstream media chooses to call it not just improbable but government sponsored terrorism.

9/11 ALL OVER AGAIN…..

 

Read More Here

 

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New objects seen, but still no evidence of jet

By ROB GRIFFITH and GILLIAN WONG Associated Press

Posted:   03/29/2014 12:58:05 AM MDT | Updated:   72 min. ago

 

Click photo to enlarge

Crew onboard a Royal Malaysian Air Force C-130 Hercules unloads… ((AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool))

PERTH, Australia—A day after the search for the Malaysian jetliner shifted to a new area of the Indian Ocean, ships on Saturday plucked objects from the sea to determine whether they were related to the missing jet. None were confirmed to be from the plane, leaving searchers with no sign of the jet three weeks after it disappeared.Meanwhile, a Chinese military plane scanning part of the search zone, which is roughly the size of Poland, spotted several objects floating in the sea, including two bearing colors of the missing jet.

It was not immediately clear whether those objects were related to the investigation into what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, and officials said the second day of searching in the new area ended with no evidence found of the jet.

Dozens of relatives of passengers on the missing plane were to fly from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to seek answers from Malaysia’s government as to what happened to their loved ones. Two-thirds of the 229 passengers aboard Flight 370 were Chinese, and their relatives have expressed deep frustration with Malaysian authorities since the plane went missing.

Ships from China and Australia on Saturday scooped up items described only as “objects from the ocean,” but none were “confirmed to be related” to Flight 370, said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is overseeing the search.

A Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 plane spotted three floating objects, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said, a day after several planes and ships combing the newly targeted area, which is closer to Australia than the previous search zone, saw several other objects.

The three objects spotted by the Chinese plane were white, red and orange in color, the Xinhua report said. The missing Boeing 777′s exterior was red, white, blue and gray.

Investigators have been puzzled over what happened to Flight 370, with speculation ranging from equipment failure and a botched hijacking to terrorism or an act by one of the pilots.

The latter was fueled by reports that the pilot’s home flight simulator had files deleted from it, but Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said checks, including one by the FBI, had turned up no new information.

 

 

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Some Objects Found in Search Area Not Related to Jet

Objects retrieved by Chinese and Australian ships on Friday are not related to missing Malaysia Airlines jet, Chinese state media said. But more objects found Saturday have not been ruled out as having a connection to the plane.

Objects were retrieved by a Chinese ship during Friday’s search operations, but China’s state broadcaster CCTV said that they were merely garbage.

Australian officials confirmed that a Chinese aircraft had spotted three objects in a new search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet off Australia’s west coast on Saturday.

 

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What Is The Real Agenda Of The American Police State? — Paul Craig Roberts

 

Paul Craig Roberts

In my last column I emphasized that it was important for American citizens to demand to know what the real agendas are behind the wars of choice by the Bush and Obama regimes. These are major long term wars each lasting two to three times as long as World War II.

Forbes reports that one million US soldiers have been injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. http://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccaruiz/2013/11/04/report-a-million-veterans-injured-in-iraq-afghanistan-wars/

RT reports that the cost of keeping each US soldier in Afghanistan has risen from $1.3 million per soldier to $2.1 million per soldier. http://rt.com/usa/us-afghanistan-pentagon-troops-budget-721/

Matthew J. Nasuti reports in the Kabul Press that it cost US taxpayers $50 million to kill one Taliban soldier. That means it cost $1 billion to kill 20 Taliban fighters. http://kabulpress.org/my/spip.php?article32304 This is a war that can be won only at the cost of the total bankruptcy of the United States.

Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes have estimated that the current out-of-pocket and already incurred future costs of the Afghan and Iraq wars is at least $6 trillion.

In other words, it is the cost of these two wars that explain the explosion of the US public debt and the economic and political problems associated with this large debt.

What has America gained in return for $6 trillion and one million injured soldiers, many very severely?

In Iraq there is now an Islamist Shia regime allied with Iran in place of a secular Sunni regime that was an enemy of Iran, one as dictatorial as the other, presiding over war ruins, ongoing violence as high as during the attempted US occupation, and extraordinary birth defects from the toxic substances associated with the US invasion and occupation.

In Afghanistan there is an undefeated and apparently undefeatable Taliban and a revived drug trade that is flooding the Western world with drugs.

The icing on these Bush and Obama “successes” are demands from around the world that Americans and former British PM Tony Blair be held accountable for their war crimes. Certainly, Washington’s reputation has plummeted as a result of these two wars. No governments anywhere are any longer sufficiently gullible as to believe anything that Washington says.

These are huge costs for wars for which we have no explanation.

The Bush/Obama regimes have come up with various cover stories: a “war on terror,”
“we have to kill them over there before they come over here,” “weapons of mass destruction,” revenge for 9/11, Osama bin Laden (who died of his illnesses in December 2001 as was widely reported at the time).

 

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It saddens  me to see the mindless knee  jerk  reactions  that  takes  place  within the citizenry  of this  country every time the US government  cries  boogeyman.

Is it because  they  need  someone to  lash  out  at?

Or is it  because the  angst  from the  cold  war still persists?

Do the  American  people  need someone  to  hate ,  someone to  blame to feel that they have a  purpose?

Or is it  simply a need to  justify  their lack of backbone against their  own  government?

Do they  justify  it  because  their  cowardice  or ignorance does not allow  them to  fight  back?


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Getting it Right

Tennessee liquor store bans vodka over Ukraine situation

 

, Rare Staff

Posted on March 10, 2014 12:59 pm 

BiPTyEHCIAADiZ2

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Can  we  as a  people  not  open  our  eyes  and  understand that  our  government  is  responsible  for veiled  terrorism  throughout  the  world?

Can we  not  see that  the War  on Terror  is  not  against  an  unknown  enemy  out  to get  us .  But  rather a war  against  us to achieve  not only  our   subjugation through  fear.  It  strives to bring us to our  knees slowly  removing  our  rights at  our  behest  in exchange  for their  protection from terror  they  manufacture.

With  all the  evidence  that has  been  made  available worldwide of  the  role   the  US  government  played  in the  fabrication of  evidence to enter into  illegal  wars  abroad.   The  evidence  pointing  to  black  ops to destabilize other  countries.  The wanton disregard for  human  life in  drone  attacks.  The lies being told  abroad  and  at  home  by a  government  that  violates  not only   International  Law  but the very  Constitution  they  swore  to  protect  and  defend here  at  home.

What  is  wrong  with  Americans  who rush  to  believe  the  lies of  this  government  and their  mouthpiece  mainstream  media?

Do you  not have eyes  to  see  and  ears  to hear what is  truly  going on around  you?

You  play into the  media  propaganda they have  set  up  for  you  and  you  gladly fall into the  trap.

You  ignore the  cries   of the  People  of  Crimea  and hear  only  the  battle  cries  of  the Ukrainian  Opposition .  An  opposition  that  has  now  proven their true  intent  by  selling the  Ukrainian  people  up the river , delivering  them  into  European  style  Austerity.

Is  that  what your  democratic  dreams  for the Ukraine  consist  of ?

Is that  what  you  will allow  to  happen  here  at  home  when they  paint  you a  picture  of a false  boogeyman  coming to  get  your freedom unless  you  allow  the   big bad   government  to  play bodyguard  for  you?

How  much  proof  do  you  need  of  their  treachery to get a  clue?

How much innocent  blood  needs to  be  shed  for  you  to  face  the truth?

What  lies  will you  tell yourself  when they  come  for  our  freedom?

It is a  sad  day when  scenes  like the  one  that has  taken place in  Tennessee are considered  righteous while ignoring the  voice of a  people who understand  the  true  consequences for their country and  very  lives.

Freedom and  Democracy  are  not  for  you to  define for others.  The cries for  respect  of  National Sovereignty should be  respected  by  all sides not  just  Russia.  But if  memory  serves  the people  of  Crimea asked  Russia  to  defend  them.  Russia  is there  legitimately invited by a  people endangered by a coup that  has  been  proven to have  been  set  up  by the   west.  The  US  government  and  it’s Nato allies serving the  interests  of t he   Central Banks  and  Corporations.  Helping  them  loot  an  pillage  the   resources  of  the  Ukraine at the expense  of  it’s  people.  You  want to see the  future  of  Ukraine  then  take  a good  look at  Greece and  you  will understand  what  you are  defending.

 

~Desert Rose~

 

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How William Hague Deceived the House of Commons on Ukraine

Posted: 10/03/2014 10:05

 

 

 

In a statement on 4 March 2014, Foreign Minister William Hague deceived the House of Commons about the legitimacy of the new regime in Ukraine.

 

He led the House to believe that the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, had removed President Yanukovich from power on 22 February in accordance with the Ukrainian constitution.

 

“It is wrong to question the legitimacy of the new authorities”, he said.

 

It is simply untrue that the Rada followed the procedure laid down in the Ukrainian constitution to impeach and remove a president from power.

 

Article 108 of the constitution specifies four circumstances in which a president may cease to exercise power before the end of his term. Those are:

 

  • resignation;
  • inability to exercise his or her powers for reasons of health;
  • removal from office by the procedure of impeachment;
  • death.

 

The procedure for removal from office by impeachment is laid down in Article 111. It is not unlike that required for the impeachment and removal from power of a US president, which could take months.

 

Thus, Article 111 obliges the Rada to establish a special investigatory commission to formulate charges against the president, seek evidence to justify the charges and come to conclusions about the president’s guilt for the Rada to consider. To find the president guilty, at least two-thirds of Rada members must assent.

 

Prior to a final vote to remove the president from power, the procedure requires

 

  • the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to review the case and certify that the constitutional procedure of investigation and consideration has been followed, and
  • the Supreme Court of Ukraine to certify that the acts of which the President is accused are worthy of impeachment.

 

To remove the president from power, at least three-quarters of Rada members must assent.

 

Read More Here

 

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Big Lies Drown Out Truth

 

March 9th, 2014

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Propaganda war on Russia rages. It exceeds the worst of Cold War bluster.

 

Scurrilous reporting is featured. Media scoundrels scream Russian aggression. Putin is outrageously compared to Hitler.

 

Hypocrisy is shameless. It’s shocking. It’s disgusting. Western-supported neo-Nazi putschists usurped power in Kiev.

 

It was the most brazen post-WW II coup. Legitimate Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was blamed for their crimes. They continue. They’re ignored.

 

Headlines call them democrats. Incendiary conditions exist. Open conflict is threatened.

Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh is unapologetically fascist. “I’ll be fighting Jews and Russians til I die,” he said.

 

He has presidential aspirations. He’ll run to head Ukraine in so-called May elections. They’ll be farcical when held. They’ll be illegitimate.

 

Russia issued an international arrest warrant for Yarosh. He publicly supports terrorism. According to Russia’s Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin:

 

“The investigators believe (he) has been publicly calling upon anti-Russian forces for extreme actions and terror on the territory of Russia.”

 

Doku Umarov is Russia’s most wanted terrorist. Yarosh urged him to “activate his fight (and) take a unique opportunity to win” against Russia.

 

He issued an ultimatum. He demands access to Ukraine’s military arsenals. Itar Tass said he “doesn’t rule out more decisive action on Ukraine if the government doesn’t comply with (his) demands.”

 

He and likeminded fascists run Ukraine. Washington supports them. So do EU partners. Media scoundrels ignore their lawlessness. Ukraine’s crisis escalates.

 

Dubious reports circulate. On March 7, Time magazine headlined “Ukrainian Base in Crimea Resists Russian Raid.”

 

It claimed Russian troops attempt to seize the base failed. It cited an anonymous Kiev coup d’etat defense ministry spokesman saying:

 

“The base is now in full control of the Ukrainian armed forces.”

 

He claimed two Russian military trucks rammed the base’s gate. Several dozen Russian troops were allegedly involved, he said.

 

“Russian forces…surround(ed) all of the Ukrainian bases in Crimea and barricade(d) their servicemen inside,” said Time.

“By slamming through the gates with a military vehicle, the Russian forces initiated an escalation of the ongoing conflict over Crimea between Russia and Ukraine that could easily have led to bloodshed and a full-scale war.”

 

Read More Here

 

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Business Insider

This Is An Actual Billboard In Crimea

 

 

RTR3GEGK

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A man walking by looks up at a poster calling for people to vote against fascism in the upcoming referendum in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol March 10, 2014.

 

These images reveal a lot about the Russian occupation of Crimea and the March 16 referendum that will decide if the Ukrainian peninsula formally secedes to Russia. It is all but a foregone conclusion.

 

The above poster reads, “On 16 March, we are choosing,” on top and the placement of “or” between a Nazi-themed Crimea and a Russia-themed Crimea on the bottom. The sentiment echoes Kremlin propaganda about Ukraine’s new government.

 

Read More Here

 

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America world knows today engineered

US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama
Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:34PM
By Gordon Duff

People around the world are reeling in shock as America is calling for sanctions against Russia for its military buildup in Crimea in response to the overthrow of the Ukrainian government by ultra-nationalist extremist elements aided by Western intelligence agencies.

Not a single word has come from America, no leader, no “talking head” from the press, nothing but silence at what is clearly a demonstration of unimaginably immense hypocrisy.

Recent events in Ukraine have exposed something of the “dark underbelly” of America.  When President Obama speaks of the Russian military presence in Crimea as being a violation of international law, the entire world is aghast.

A nation that, at one time, referred to itself as “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” though still admired in many ways is also greatly feared and mistrusted over much of the world.

America hasn’t entirely killed its credibility; however, to those of us who live in America and have fought in her wars, especially those of us who remember John F. Kennedy, the country we live in today is “unrecognizable.”

There is another question “out there.”  Are Americans simply monsters, are they stupid, robotic, propagandized or something else?  Why is America “unrecognizable?”

BACKGROUND

After the Vietnam War, where a majority of not only civilians but military as well turned against the war in Vietnam, a “new age” of freedom and justice seemed to be taking root.  That was not to be.

What is startling is how the government and President Nixon, at the time considered one of the “dark characters” of history, responded.  The American government declared war on the American people, bringing to bear weapons developed during the darkest years of the Cold War.

Science had targeted the human mind, exceeding any of the rudimentary “brainwashing” efforts of many countries.  Memories, reality, perceptions, all became a playground for “war science.”

These “programs” left America a nation “unrecognizable” to those who have retained an unstained recollection of the “real” past.  As we will learn, even memories can’t be trusted.  A day never passes when the people of the world ask:  “Why would the American people allow these things their government does?”  We will attempt to address that issue here.

 

Read More Here

 

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‘West lie machine, incompetent and bankrupt’

West lie machine, incompetent and bankrupt

West lie machine, incompetent and bankrupt

Sun Mar 9, 2014 12:46PM GMT
By Finian Cunningham

The US spooks are on the defensive over escalating geopolitical tensions between America and Russia over Ukraine. This weekend, the leaders of the 6! or so US intelligence agencies are having to explain to their political masters why they are called “intelligence” given that they failed to foresee the Russian security measures that Moscow has deployed in Ukraine’s southern Crimean Peninsula over the past week.

 

Now Washington is scrambling fighter jets to the Balkans and warships to the Black Sea in a desperate show of purposefulness, having been caught rudely asleep as the self-appointed global police thug.

 

So much for the $50-billion-a-year American spy industry, including the National Security Agency, which came to prominence this past year with revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden that the agency…[extracted] zillions of data from computers and phones in every country of the world.

 

Given the evident surprise in Washington over Russian military moves in the Crimea this past week, the US spook industry has got some serious explaining to do for their extraordinary lapse and atrociously
poor value for tax-payer money.

 

The fallback claim by US director of intelligence, James Clapper, and other spy bosses, as well as President Obama himself, is that the NSA’s violation of privacy laws has been necessary because it keeps Americans safe from terrorism and other threats.

Now, with Washington spectacularly wrong-footed by Russia in Crimea, that assurance of alleged vigilance looks even more threadbare. How incompetent can American spooks and their multi-billion-dollar activities be?

 

For some light relief comes the news that the Pentagon has now taken to “reading the body language” of Russian President Vladimir Putin for guidance.

 

Read More Here

 

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Family Survival Protocol

Ukraine : EU Style Austerity and The Plunder of Natural Resources. For Those Defending The Intentions of The West Have Now Been Educated.

 

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Family Survival Protocol

Obama The Poster Boy For Duplicity Speaks : Crimea’s Secession Referendum a Violation of International Law

 

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Family Survival Protocol

Ukraine blueprint for a Syria 2.0 ? Evidence would point to the US and EU as the root of the destabilization that has taken place.

 

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UKRAINE CRISIS: What You Need to Know About the Sniper Leak

AMTV AMTV

Published on Mar 7, 2014

In today’s video, Christopher Greene of AMTV reports on the Ukraine sniper leak.
http://www.amtvmedia.com/re-direct-uk…

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counterpunch

Ukraine Beyond Politics

Who Was in Kiev’s Independence Square?

by EMANNUEL DREYFUS

Now that Viktor Yanukovych has gone, and new elections are promised, we need to assess the political and popular forces that succeeded in overturning Ukraine’s political system. Who were the protesters and what were their goals? At the barricades in central Kiev there were Ukrainian and EU flags, as well as portraits of the poet Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), considered as a spiritual father of Ukrainian identity, and of Stepan Bandera (1909-1959) who was, depending on your point of view, either a great patriot or a Nazi collaborator. And there were pictures of five Ukrainian activists, treated as martyrs after they were killed during the clashes in Grushevsky Street.

Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Kiev’s Independence Square, the epicentre of the protests that had been taking place across Ukraine for three months, was filled with tents pitched by sympathisers from every part of the country: from Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk, the strongholds of nationalism, but also from Lugansk and Donetsk, the big cities of the industrial east, which have always felt close to Russia. Cossacks wore their traditional costume. Women brought black bread and ham to the men standing guard. There was a pervasive smell of tea, cabbage soup and wood fires. During the week, the few thousand activists went about their day-to-day business; on Sundays, tens of thousands came to hear speeches by opposition leaders, pray and sing the national anthem, tirelessly.

The protest movement emerged in November last year, after Yanukovych suspended negotiations on a free trade agreement with the European Union (1). Independence Square was gradually transformed. The first to arrive were a few thousand pro-European partisans, but as repression began the square became a symbol of revolt against a corrupt and mercenary political system for many others — initially a revolt against the Yanukovych system, but also a rejection of the opposition parties, out of their depth in this crisis.

The involvement of several nationalist groups — a small but highly visible presence — and of ultra-radical, non-democratic movements without European sympathies has produced different reactions. Their presence was used actively by Russia, and to some extent by Yanukovych’s government, to discredit the movement. But it also raised fears of a possible takeover of Independence Square by the far right — even though a popular movement was behind the protests and any attempt to categorise it in political terms would be an over-simplification.

Read More Here

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Directing War Strategies From The Shadows – OpEd

By

“From the moment the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the United States has relentlessly pursued a strategy of encircling Russia, just as it has with other perceived enemies like China and Iran. It has brought 12 countries in central Europe, all of them formerly allied with Moscow, into the NATO alliance. US military power is now directly on Russia’s borders…This crisis is in part the result of a zero-sum calculation that has shaped US policy toward Moscow since the Cold War: Any loss for Russia is an American victory, and anything positive that happens to, for, or in Russia is bad for the United States. This is an approach that intensifies confrontation, rather than soothing it.”

- Stephen Kinzer, “US a full partner in Ukraine debacle”, Boston Globe

“We have removed all of our heavy weapons from the European part of Russia and put them behind the Urals” and “reduced our Armed Forces by 300,000. We have taken several other steps required by the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces Treaty in Europe (ACAF). But what have we seen in response? Eastern Europe is receiving new weapons, two new military bases are being set up in Romania and in Bulgaria, and there are two new missile launch areas — a radar in Czech republic and missile systems in Poland. And we are asking ourselves the question: what is going on? Russia is disarming unilaterally. But if we disarm unilaterally then we would like to see our partners be willing to do the same thing in Europe. On the contrary, Europe is being pumped full of new weapons systems. And of course we cannot help but be concerned.”

- Russian President Vladimir Putin, Munich Conference on Security Policy, February 2007

The Obama administration’s rationale for supporting the fascist-led coup in Ukraine collapsed on Wednesday when a “hacked” phone call between EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet revealed that the snipers who fired on protestors in Maidan Square in Kiev were not aligned with President Viktor Yanukovych, but with the protest leaders themselves. The significance of the discovery cannot be overstated since the Obama team has used the killing of protestors to justify its support for the new imposter government. Now it appears that members of the new government may be implicated in the killing of innocent civilians. This new information could force Obama to withdraw his support for the coup plotters in Kiev, which would derail the administration’s plan to remove Russia from the Crimea and expand NATO into Ukraine. Here’s a short recap of the details from an article in Russia Today:

“Estonian foreign ministry has confirmed the recording of his conversation with EU foreign policy chief is authentic. Urmas Paet said that snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were hired by Maidan leaders.

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Estonian Foreign Ministry confirms authenticity of leaked call on Kiev snipers

Published time: March 05, 2014 15:02
Edited time: March 07, 2014 10:34

Urmas Paet.(AFP Photo / Vasily Maximov)

Urmas Paet.(AFP Photo / Vasily Maximov)

The Estonian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the recording of his conversation with EU foreign policy chief is authentic. Urmas Paet said that snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were hired by Maidan leaders.

Paet told RIA-Novosti news agency that he talked to Catherine Ashton last week right after retiring from Kiev, but refrained from further comments, saying that he has to “listen to the tape first.”

“It’s very disappointing that such surveillance took place altogether. It’s not a coincidence that this conversation was uploaded [to the web] today,” he stressed.

“My conversation with Ashton took place last week right after I returned from Kiev. At that time I was already in Estonia,” Paet added.

Paet also gave a press conference about the leaked tape on Wednesday, saying that the dramatic events in Kiev, which resulted in people being killed, must become the subject of an independent investigation.

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement on its website, saying that the recording of the leaked telephone conversation between Paet and Ashton is “authentic.”

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Ukraine crisis: bugged call reveals conspiracy theory about Kiev snipers

Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet tells EU’s Cathy Ashton about claim that provocateurs were behind Maidan killings

Catherine Ashton

The conversation featuring EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton was posted on YouTube. Photograph: Ye Pingfan/Rex

A leaked phone call between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet has revealed that the two discussed a conspiracy theory that blamed the killing of civilian protesters in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on the opposition rather than the ousted government.

The 11-minute conversation was posted on YouTube – it is the second time in a month that telephone calls between western diplomats discussing Ukraine have been bugged.

In the call, Paet said he had been told snipers responsible for killing police and civilians in Kiev last month were protest movement provocateurs rather than supporters of then-president Viktor Yanukovych. Ashton responds: “I didn’t know … Gosh.”

The leak came a day after the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said the snipers may have been opposition provocateurs. The Kremlin-funded Russia Today first carried the leaked call online.

The Estonian foreign ministry confirmed the leaked conversation was accurate. It said: “Foreign minister Paet was giving an overview of what he had heard in Kiev and expressed concern over the situation on the ground. We reject the claim that Paet was giving an assessment of the opposition’s involvement in the violence.” Ashton’s office said it did not comment on leaks.

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Breaking: Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Catherine Ashton discuss Ukraine over the phone

Michael Bergman

Published on Mar 5, 2014

Officers of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) loyal to the ousted President Viktor Yanukovich have hacked phones of Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and leaked their conversation to the web. The officials discuss their impressions of what’s happening in the country after the revolution. The gist of it is that Ukrainian people have no trust in any of the leaders of Maidan.
However the most striking thing of all is the fact which concerns the use of force during the revolution, particularly the snipers who killed both protesters and officers of the riot police. Mr. Paet reveals astonishing information which confirms the rumours that the snipers were employed by the leaders of Maidan.

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breakingtheset breakingtheset·

Published on Jan 23, 2014

Abby Martin Breaks the Set on Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Worst of Congress, Georgism, a Police Abuse Round Up, and Snowden’s Q&A.
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EPISODE BREAKDOWN: On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin remarks on fears by Iraqi officials that the al-Qaeda offshoot known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant could be gaining enough strength to attack Baghdad. Abby then calls out 6 of the most corrupt and least popular members of congress, going over some of the conflicts of interests and blatant hypocrisy that have come to characterize the 113th Congress. Abby then speaks with Scott Baker, president of Common Ground NYC about the Georgism Philosophy, and how the elimination of all taxes except a land use tax could be applied and sustained. Abby then calls attention to three recent cases of police abuse in the US, including an instance where an officer ruptured a young man’s testicle. BTS wraps up the show with an interview with David Seaman, journalist and host of the David Seaman Hour, going over Edward Snowden’s recent live online Q&A in response to Obama’s speech on the most controversial aspects of the NSA’s global spying apparatus.

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Video: The Army says the aerostats being deployed near D.C., will not be equipped with cameras like the ones in Afghanistan. The Post’s Craig Timberg, explains how aerostats work and how powerful their radar and camera sensors can be.

 

 

They will look like two giant white blimps floating high above I-95 in Maryland, perhaps en route to a football game somewhere along the bustling Eastern Seaboard. But their mission will have nothing to do with sports and everything to do with war.

The aerostats — that is the term for lighter-than-air craft that are tethered to the ground — are to be set aloft on Army-owned land about 45 miles northeast of Washington, near Aberdeen Proving Ground, for a three-year test slated to start in October. From a vantage of 10,000 feet, they will cast a vast radar net from Raleigh, N.C., to Boston and out to Lake Erie, with the goal of detecting cruise missiles or enemy aircraft so they could be intercepted before reaching the capital.

 

Graphic

Surveillance aircraft floating high above Maryland

Click Here to View Full Graphic Story

Surveillance aircraft floating high above Maryland

 

GRAPHIC: How the aerostats work

Aerostats deployed by the military at U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan typically carried powerful surveillance cameras as well, to track the movements of suspected insurgents and even U.S. soldiers. When Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales murdered 16 civilians in Kandahar in March 2012, an aerostat above his base captured video of him returning from the slaughter in the early-morning darkness with a rifle in his hand and a shawl over his shoulders.

Defense contractor Raytheon last year touted an exercise in which it outfitted the aerostats planned for deployment in suburban Baltimore with one of the company’s most powerful high-altitude surveillance systems, capable of spotting individual people and vehicles from a distance of many miles.

The Army said it has “no current plans” to mount such cameras or infrared sensors on the aerostats or to share information with federal, state or local law enforcement, but it declined to rule out either possibility. The radar system that is planned for the aerostats will be capable of monitoring the movement of trains, boats and cars, the Army said.

The prospect of military-grade tracking technology floating above suburban Baltimore — along one of the East Coast’s busiest travel corridors — has sparked privacy concerns at a time of rising worry about the growth of government eavesdropping in the dozen years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

“That’s the kind of massive persistent surveillance we’ve always been concerned about with drones,” said Jay Stanley, a privacy expert for the American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s part of this trend we’ve seen since 9/11, which is the turning inward of all of these surveillance technologies.”

The Army played down such concerns in written responses to questions posed by The Washington Post, saying its goal is to test the ability of the aerostats to bolster the region’s missile-defense capability, especially against low-flying cruise missiles that can be hard for ground-based systems to detect in time to intercept them.

The Army determined it did not need to conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment, required for some government programs, because it was not going to collect any personally identifiable information, officials said in their written responses to The Post.

“The primary mission . . . is to track airborne objects,” the Army said. “Its secondary mission is to track surface moving objects such as vehicles or boats. The capability to track surface objects does not extend to individual people.”

Even the most powerful overhead surveillance systems, experts say, struggle to make out individual faces or other identifying features such as license plates because of the extreme angles when viewing an area from above.

But privacy advocates say location information can easily lead to the identification of individuals if collected on a mass scale and analyzed over time.

Researchers have found that people vary their movements little day to day, typically traveling from home to work and back while also regularly visiting a small number of other locations, such as stores, gyms or the homes of friends.

 

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