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March-14 Hoists Banner of Saudi/Sunni False Flags In Lebanon

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The assassination of Chatah: March-14 wants to achieve the killers’ objectives

Voltaire Net

By Ghaleb Kandil

The assassination of former Minister Mohammad Chatah is part of a series of attempts to cause internal discord and strife in Lebanon, through clashes in Tripoli suicide attacks, car bombings and assassinations. These criminal and terrorist acts are implemented by Takfirists groups as the result of Israeli-Saudi joint efforts, intended to push Lebanon into a huge fire.
The first consequence of the assassination is exacerbating sectarian tensions in the country, particularly in Tripoli, the hometown of the deceased. All previous attempts to raise tension through attacks and other crimes, in the southern suburbs of Beirut and Tripoli, had not led to the breaking point.
The first information showing the involvement of Fatah al-Islam terrorist group in the assassination of Chatah did not put an end to ready accusations, launched before the beginning of the investigations.
The most serious is that the March-14 coalition quickly grasped the political objectives of the assassination, which aims above all to widen the political gap in the country, which is already divided on the Syrian conflict. This coalition is eager to torpedo any attempt to form a national unity government, only able to play the role of safety valve, and has focused on the political exploitation of Mohammad Chatah blood to push the confrontation in a country which has not a government, at the threshold of a presidential election that looks difficult. In doing so, March-14 executes the orders of its regional sponsor, Saudi Arabia, who sabotaged the last eight months, all efforts to form a new government.
March-14 has raised the bar of conditions requiring not only a government without Hezbollah, a major political and popular players in the country, but claiming that the security portfolio be given to him.
The statements of former Prime Ministers Saad Hariri and Fouad Siniora and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, immediately after the assassination, expressed a clear desire to cause a political explosion in the country, either by accusing Hezbollah of the crime or calling for the formation of a government of March-14.
The Saudi decision to push the situation to the explosion is clear in Saad Hariri and March-14 statements.
What will be the next steps in the escalation triggered by March-14?
The attitude of this political camp takes no account of the national interest, which should be a combination of efforts to cope with takfirist-terrorist cells operating in the country. Instead, March-14 works to ensure a favorable climate for these extremist groups whose primary target is the Lebanese Army.
Murderers of Mohammad Chatah wanted to make their crime the spark that will plunge Lebanon into a serious crisis, and the positions of the March-14 leaders exacerbate tensions, without worrying about the impact of their actions on stability and security. For them, Lebanon should only serve as an arena, where Saudi Arabia will try to compensate for its disappointments and defeats in Syria. They believe that the land of the cedar can be a consolation prize for the Wahhabi kingdom, surrounded by the crisis, and who sees its influence diminishing, even in its private court: the Gulf.

Statements

Michel Sleiman, Lebanese President
«This cowardly act, whatever the messages it carries are, will only make the Lebanese more determined to protect their country and preserve it as a space for peace, stability and dialogue in the face of the terrorists who only understand the language of killing and bombing. Lebanese leaders and citizens should express solidarity and help towards the formation of a new government that would take over the national responsibilities during this period.»

Nabih Berry, Lebanese Speaker of Parliament
«This crime is a ring of a long chain of assassinations aimed at turning Lebanon into an arena for settling accounts and creating strife between religions and sects. This horrific terrorist crime that claimed the lives of former Minister Mohammad Chatah and a number of citizens and which injured many other citizens aimed at keeping Lebanon in the midst of tension. This terrorist act is highly condemned and vigilance is required from everyone

Michel Aoun, Free Patriotic Movement
«We announce our condemnation every time a bombing targets innocent civilians or political personalities and leaders. What is required is the presence of people who hold positions of responsibility and who uphold these responsibilities. We warn everyone from launching indiscriminate political accusations and from fanning the flames, because if fire takes hold it will burn everyone and won’t spare anyone

Walid Joumblatt, Progressive Socialist Party leader
«The assassination of Chatah is a negative message to all the moderates and should be received with restraint. It is a very negative message to all those who act wisely and should be faced with more acts of wisdom. The assassination is an act of terrorism that killed a distinguished personality and statesman who adopted the language of dialogue, rationality and moderation.»

Samir Geagea, Lebanese Forces leader
«The assassination of Chatah, the symbol of moderation, dialogue and intellect, raises further questions regarding the extent of hostility reached by those who adopt a hegemonic approach and advocate annihilation through the use of power. Has Mohammad Chatah annoyed them that much? Is this how those who claim to be saddened by the crimes of Takfiris fight the Takfiris? The assassination is not an isolated act, but is part of a series of assassinations that targeted several March-14 figures. Our confrontation with the killers is open. The Cedar Revolution continues until the resurrection of Lebanon is achieved.»

Ashraf Rifi, Former Internal Security Forces
«From Tripoli that brought the martyred Minister Mohammad Chatah to the world, we tell every Lebanese who grieves for the loss of the greatest of our personalities amid the struggle for sovereignty, freedom and independence… that this crime will not break our will. We will keep going along the path and we will achieve, with the Lebanese people, everything we planned for together in order to retrieve this country from the jaws of the dragon. The perpetrators of the assassination will be pursued by international justice and will be brought to account for every drop of blood that was shed.»

Omran al-Zohbi, Syiran Infirmation Minister
«These wrong and arbitrary accusations are made in a context of political hatred. Some figures in Lebanon have never stopped accusing Damascus every time a painful assassination takes place in the brother country Lebanon

Events

• The March-14 alliance condemned on Friday the assassination of former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah and implied that the Syria regime and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah were responsible for his killing. “The killer, with its Lebanese allies, is the one that is targeting Lebanon in Beirut, Tripoli, and Sidon and Syria in Daraa, Aleppo, and Damascus,” Future bloc leader MP Fouad Siniora said after the March-14 alliance’s emergency meeting. “We demand that this assassination be referred to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon,” he added. Siniora also said, “We received the criminals’ bloody message and our reply is that Lebanon will remain free as tyrants will fall.” “Lebanon will remain a country for all Lebanese in spite of the criminals,” he stated.

• Hezbollah said on Friday that former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah’s assassination only benefits Lebanon’s enemies. “This ugly crime aims at destroying the country and is a sinful attempt to target stability and national unity which only benefits Lebanon’s enemies,” Hezbollah said in a statement. The party called on the Lebanese people to be “rational and wise in dealing with dangers facing their country.” Hezbollah also called on security and judicial agencies to be fully alert and to exert efforts to reveal the perpetrators.

• Dozens of rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad were killed Friday in a Syrian army ambush in the Qalamoun region, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Britain-based group said the dawn attack came “in the area located between Marah and Qustul, near the historic town of Maalula.” The watchdog, which relies on activists countrywide for its reports, could not provide an exact toll, but said “another 20 rebels” were wounded. State news agency SANA quoted an unidentified military source as saying that “a unit of our brave army ambushed and killed dozens of terrorists from Al-Nusra Front.” The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra and other Islamist battalions first entered the ancient Christian town of Maalula in Damascus province in September. They were briefly driven out by the army before quickly reclaiming it. The rebels have for several weeks reportedly held a group of 12 nuns from the town.

• Saudi Arabia and Kuwait advised its citizens against traveling to the country in the wake of the latest assassination that targeted former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah. “Due to the deterioration of the security situation in Lebanon, the embassy renews its warning for its citizens against traveling to Lebanon,” a statement issued by the Saudi Embassy in Lebanon said. “It also urges the Saudi citizens already present in Lebanon to return to their homeland for the sake of their own security.” In turn, the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry advised “all Kuwaiti citizens” to avoid traveling to Lebanon “amid the critical circumstances witnessed by the brotherly country.” According to a ministry official quoted by the Kuwaiti News Agency, the ministry also called on its citizens present in Lebanon to “quickly” leave the country.

• Informed sources quoted by Al Akhbar reported that President Michel Sleiman traveled to Paris to get clear answers regarding the possibility for him to settle in France at the end of his mandate, following his eventual election to head the International Organization of Francophonie. In this context, same sources recall his previous attempts to obtain illegal French passports.

• The Two Omanis nationals kidnapped in the Baalbek area of eastern Lebanon on Thursday, were released, according to a statement of the Foreign Affairs ministry in Masqat on Sunday. Two Omanis were abducted near Baalbek this evening after having taken a taxi from Beirut airport to the Beqaa.

Press review

As Safir (Lebanese daily, Arab nationalist)
(December 28, 2013)
The assassination of former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah on Friday was a blow to a renewed attempt to bridge differences between the March-14 and March-8 groups.
A prominent party within the March-14 coalition proposed an initiative to the March-8 group whereby a new government would be formed that includes the main components of the national dialogue committee.
The proposal, reportedly presented last week, would guarantee a blocking third for the March-8 group, which, in return, would work for facilitating the election of a new president, or, failing that, the new government will be allowed to take over the presidential powers.
According to sources, the slain former minister was “one of the main godfathers of such a proposal.” “These efforts, which aimed at dissociating the internal issues from regional struggles… seemed to be currently prevented from being put into practice.” “The assassination of Chatah, which is not far removed from the regional and international struggle, came to spoil the attempts to rebuild trust between March-14 and March-8.” “Did the assassination of Chatah torpedo the government agreement that was being discussed?” the sources inquired.

As Safir (December 27, 2013)
Elie Ferzli
An observer excludes a government of fait accompli, the extension of Michel Sleiman’s mandate, and the possibility of vacuum at the Presidency of the Republic, considering that all these scenarios are likely to destabilize the country. The analysis of the observer is based on the theory saying that any action taken on the issue of the presidential election is dependent on the answer to the question whether it is likely to affect the stability or not in the country, which still has regional and international coverage. This analysis undermines another perspective which refers to a preconceived plan to generalize the vacuum in state institutions in order to provoke an inevitable conflagration, the objective of such a scenario is to pave the way for a compromise and to establish a new political formula. On an another hand, a leader of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) considers that the interests of the great powers do not take into account “small priorities.” These countries, the source added, are not interested, for example, in the stability in Syria, Iraq and Egypt. So it is not possible to say with certainty that they have fears for stability in Lebanon, although this fear is motivated by the desire to protect Israel, because sometimes says the source, it is the instability that preserves the interests of Israel.

An Nahar (Lebanese daily, close to March-14 Coalition)
(December 28, 2013)
Kataeb Party leader Amine Gemayel warned against precipitating into launching accusations following the assassination of former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah.
“It is important to wait for [the result] of the investigation, especially after Takfiri and extremist criminal organizations have cropped up in Lebanon,” Gemayel said in a statement to An-Nahar on Saturday.
“It is therefore too early to launch accusations and point the finger [at suspects] here and there, and what is required is for the security agencies to lead the investigations to uncover the perpetrators as soon as possible.”
The Kataeb Party leader also said that the killing of Chatah was an attack against Lebanon “on all levels.” He added that his death was a loss for the moderate political strand in the country.

An Nahar (December 26, 2013)
A diplomatic source in Paris reports that France follows with great interest the Lebanese issue, and is eager to maintain stability in the country and supports the “Baabda Declaration” which calls to take Lebanon away from regional crises, particularly Syrian conflict. Sources related to the Elysée are reporting growing concern with respect to the vacuum that exists already in Lebanese institutions, given the presence of a caretaker government which does not have all its prerogatives and the inability to establish a new Cabinet, as well as the perspective of vacuum that could take over the Presidency of the Republic, in the event that a new president would be elected on time. Such an eventuality will place Lebanon in danger, especially if the Syrian crisis continues and the Geneva conference 2 fails to achieve the requested objectives, which would prolong the conflict in Syria, which has a negative impact on Lebanon.

Al Akhbar (Lebanese Daily close to the Lebanese Resistance)
By Firas Choufi (27 December, 2013)
A Saudi preacher has posted images of himself preaching to residents of the Druze villages of Jabal al-Summaq in the Idlib countryside, leading them in prayer and teaching them about Islam – the Wahhabi version of course. Reports coming from Syria’s Idlib day after day show that a fire is smoldering under the ashes of Druze villages.
Fortunately for Jaramana or Suweida in Syria, or even Aley and Hasbaiya in Lebanon, the takfiri groups wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq cannot hope to impose their absolute control on these Druze-majority regions. However, this does not mean that other Syrian villages, be they Sunni, Shia, Alawi, Christian, or Druze, will not be subjected to the types of deadly attacks that takfiri gangs have been inflicting on the Syrian people. Having said that, it seems that the Druze villages, located in Jabal al-Summaq in the Syrian governorate of Idlib, are the least fortunate.
The validity of the reports, holding that 18 Druze villages in Idlib “had converted to Islam,” was settled when a Said Saad al-Din al-Ghamidi posted on his Twitter and Facebook accounts pictures of a trip he had made to Druze villages in Idlib, including Banabel and Qalb Lawzeh. The pictures show Ghamidi leading worshippers in prayer in a Druze temple.
Incidentally, Ghamdi holds a “doctorate” in Islamic law from a religious university in Saudi Arabia. He hails from the city of Dammam. Like many Saudi clerics, he declares non-Sunni Islamic sects and all those who do not adhere to the Wahhabi brand of Sharia as heretical. Ghamdi also sees Christians as dhimmis – second-class citizens – and opposes allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia.
Ghamidi happens to be one of the leading financiers of takfiri groups in Syria, regularly collecting donations from Saudi Arabia to purchase weapons for the jihadis. On one occasion he tweeted that he had supplied funds to one group to acquire rockets to “pound the Nusairis [derogatory term for Alawis] in Latakia.” Very overtly, Ghamdi posted the details of his trip to Syria through the city of Antioch, and his page shows him traveling between Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, and Saudi legally, through official airports in these countries.
Ghamdi did not stop there. The cleric posted pictures of residents of Druze villages receiving him and his companions in their temples and homes, after they declared they were converting to Islam. Other pictures showed a plot of land donated by a Druze elder to build a mosque at Ghamidi’s request, and the Saudi cleric’s aides taking down names to provide them with food aid packages.
Ghamidi told his followers that 18 Druze villages had been converted to Islam, “despite limited capabilities and the difficulties of this path.” Is this the new norm to be expected in the “liberated” areas?
Since the start of the Syrian crisis, the Druze in Idlib have not borne arms on the side of the Syrian army, or formed local armed committees. On the contrary, the Druze community here has taken a stance of “positive neutrality” vis-à-vis the uprising against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
As opposition Local Coordination Committees and what is left of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) attest in Idlib, the Druze have contributed greatly to the protection of Syrians who came to their villages after being displaced from their villages nearby, including families of the militants who, since the beginning of the crisis, were involved in attacks against Syrian army and security positions.
Their story seems similar to that of the fighters from Suweida who defected with dissident Syrian army Lieutenant Khaldoun Zainuddin, and fought alongside the armed opposition in Deraa for more than two years. But when al-Nusra Front grew powerful, it arrested some and killed others.
This doesn’t mean that the Druze in Idlib have endorsed the uprising or that they oppose it. How can they have genuine attitudes to begin with, being scattered across small villages in a vast geographical area that had quickly fallen into the hands of the FSA? The question becomes only more valid when the FSA-controlled areas have now themselves fallen into the hands of al-Qaeda affiliates like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Nusra Front.
This is not the issue anyway. No doubt, images and reports such as the ones involving the Saudi cleric’s feats leave a deep scar on the psyche of every Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian, whether they support the forces fighting the takfiris, or whether they are reassessing their options to choose what is best for their country.
The majority of Druze religious and political leaders do not want to comment on the reports about Ghamidi, believing that “this does not help but could hurt,” despite the popular restlessness and collective anxiety felt in Druze areas. Nevertheless, informed Lebanese sources indicate that all mediation efforts with Turkey to pacify Druze villages have failed.
Meanwhile, other Syrian sources state that Turkey, despite its concern over increased takfiri activity along its border, still wants to turn northern Syria into an ethnically pure region, allowing it to isolate Iskenderun and other regions of Syria that Turkey has seized from the Syrian coast.
Letter Declaring Conversion to Islam: Renouncing Esotericism and the Hindu Doctrine of Reincarnation
Ghamidi posted a text he said was a letter sent by the elders of the Druze villages of Jabal al-Summaq nearly a month ago, declaring their conversion to Islam. The handwritten letter stated:
“We…in the villages of the Idlib governorate named herein … attest that there is no god but God … and that Mohammad, his slave and messenger, is the seal of the prophets … We renounce those who falsely attributed us to the cursed reprehensible man Mohammad bin Islamil al-Darazi, and renounce him and his esoteric doctrine, the founder of the Druze creed which we renounce and declare an infidel all those who follow it.”
The letter then declares a conversion to an orthodox brand of Sunni doctrine, with obvious Wahhabi undertones, renouncing the “Hindu” doctrine of reincarnation that the Druze traditionally believe in.

Al Akhbar (December 27, 2013)
Ghassan Saoud
According to most observers concerned with the formation of the new Lebanese government, President Michel Suleiman is relatively convinced that Hezbollah cannot be fooled into extending his term. He understands that the Saudis want him to put the country in the hands of Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam, without extending his own term.
Suleiman received information that some of the colleagues of Future Bloc MP Hadi Hobeich, particularly MPs Boutros Harb and Robert Ghanem, who were having dinner at MP Farid Makari’s house, were making fun of Hobeich’s “fanciful and illegal” proposal to keep the president after the end of his term. Later, Hobeich would hear harsh words on his rash proposal from former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and MP Ammar Houri.
Hobeich retracted his proposal in a television appearance, after having promised to propose it to the Future Bloc. Based on that, President Suleiman visited Paris, aiming to get a definitive answer about the possibility of living in France at the end of his term and assuming the general secretariat of the Francophonie.
People close to the president said he was optimistic after the visit. A veteran minister said that from experience, when a president escalates his rhetoric at the end of his term, he is setting up to be a Christian chief. This is out of the question for Suleiman.
Accordingly, March-8 seems certain that Suleiman will fulfill the final item of his presidential agenda and sign the decree for the Salam government, which, at the very least, will not include Hezbollah.
March-8 has also dropped from its plans a scenario, which entailed that its ministers would not deliver their ministries to the new governments, since the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) is certain that caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati will give Salam the keys to the Grand Serail. His ministers and those of MP Walid Jumblatt are also expected to do the same.
In this situation, there will be one government and some rogue ministers. Legal experts also concur that such a government would be legitimate, despite breaking the National Pact, since Article 64 of the constitution stipulates that a government formed by the president and prime minister “shall not exercise its powers before getting a vote of confidence [in parliament], except within the narrow definition of caretaking.” This should supposedly have been reflected in the latest warnings by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, who told Suleiman and Salam not to go along with the Saudi proposal to exclude Hezbollah from the government.
This is the gist of the discussion about the government. However, the debate about presidential candidates has already begun, putting the number of presidential hopefuls at 10: Amin Gemayel, Michel Aoun, Suleiman Frangieh, Samir Geagea, Jean Obeid, Riad Salameh, Jean Kahwaji, Boutros Harb, Robert Ghanem, and Ziad Baroud.
The last candidate is working in the shadows, hopeful for a miracle from the Maronite patriarch, allowing Cardinal Beshara al-Rai to send him to the presidential palace. However, the two independent candidates and Future Movement MPs cannot find any priest, banker, or ambassador to give them a hand. We are left with the “Maronite Four,” in addition to the “Neutral Three,” to use a polite term for their position in the current conflict.
In this context, there are three arenas for the competition. In the first, there is MP Frangieh and Lebanese Forces commander Geagea, who rose to fame after the 1978 Ehden massacre, which Frangieh survived by coincidence. Geagea, “based on his vision,” expects his side to achieve a total victory by taking the presidency and negotiating on the position of parliamentary speaker, after throwing Nasrallah in jail, facilitating the sale of Hezbollah’s weapons, and transferring the money to the Lebanese Forces’ private accounts.
Frangieh, on the other hand, is waiting for a new settlement, which would redistribute powers and give the presidency and the parliament to hawks on his side, with the Future Movement heading the government through Saad Hariri. Hariri’s supporters would chose Frangieh over Aoun at any time. Frangieh’s Marada Movement say they support Aoun’s nomination and are very secretive about the outcome of presidential negotiations with their allies in Dahiyeh and Damascus.
In all events, Geagea will become a serious candidate if his side achieves a resounding victory, and the same goes for Frangieh. But in light of the current balance, two candidates represent the existing schism: former President Amin Gemayel from March-14 and former army commander Michel Aoun from March-8. It is enough to see Gemayel smiling at the Iranian ambassador and Aoun’s joy in receiving the US ambassador, to note the similar plans they have to return to the presidential palace in Baabda. However, Aoun is confronting Geagea to give him a push, while Geagea is completely ignoring Gemayel’s candidacy.
It should be noted that Gemayel had transferred the presidency to Aoun on 23 September 1988. Aoun later became a national hero a month after that date, not because of his actions, but because of what Gemayel and Geagea were doing. In the 2008 by-elections, many residents of Metn said they were unfamiliar with Aoun’s candidate Nazem al-Khoury, but they knew Gemayel, so they will vote for Khoury.
In this context, information from the Lebanese Forces and Walid Jumblatt confirms that they and the Future Movement would prefer Aoun over Gemayel. Geagea does not want to waste all his efforts, dating from 1982, to limit Gemayel’s influence, and Jumblatt cannot imagine him in Baabda, due to bad personal experiences (the war of the mountains and other things). The Future Movement does not want to pay the price of having a president that is only an ally in words.
The third arena will be set in the event of a political agreement – most probably regional – to safeguard Lebanon from the disruption, which would be caused by the two sides fighting it out, a void in the presidency, or the repercussions of a one-sided government. The competition here will be between three candidates who have not yet declared their nomination. The chaos, which would be caused by Suleiman’s departure, will pave the way for the “grip,” according to a former minister, represented by army commander Jean Kahwaji. Several sources in the FPM maintain that Kahwaji is Hezbollah’s number-one choice, despite several official denials by the party.
Although Kahwaji knows that Future Movement MPs will not have an influence on his nomination, he succeeded in winning some of them over. The movement’s General Secretary Ahmad Hariri, and MPs Hobeich, Riad Rahhal, Khaled Zahraman, and Mohammed Hajjar speak positively of him. Kahwaji is actually relying on their ability to change the popular mood in their regions, which are incubating anti-army groups. “Friends of the Leader,” who are putting up signs in several official establishments, such as officer clubs, are promoting European interests in supporting the army, as a sign of adopting Kahwaji’s move from Yarze to Baabda.
However, observers maintain that there is no information about the true position of the Saudis and the United States from Kahwaji, despite the efforts exerted by former Defense Minister Elias al-Murr in promoting his friends to the Americans. Until now, Kahwaji is supported by Michel al-Murr, but there is a strong veto by Aoun regarding his candidacy.
Lebanese Central Bank (BDL) governor Riad Salameh, on the other hand, represents a point of convergence between several opposing sides. The first is between Frangieh and the Lebanese Forces, who had one of its ministers call on Aoun to consent to his candidacy. The second convergence is between the Future Movement and Mikati.
But Nabih Berri, like Aoun and Jumblatt, prefers former minister Jean Obeid to Kahwaji or Salameh, if the choice is limited to these three. Obeid might be able to capitalize on his strong relations with Saudi officials concerned with this issue and his agreement with former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on most issues, including the extension of Emile Lahoud’s presidential term. Obeid believes this saves him from a veto by the Future Movement.
Obeid could get the support of Berri, Aoun, the Future Movement, and Jumblatt in the second phase, if none of the strong Maronite candidates are chosen. The only veto would come from the Lebanese Forces, which is employing all its capacity to convince Qatari diplomacy (which listens carefully to what Obeid has to say) and the public (which knows about Obeid’s visit to Syrian intelligence officer Ghazi Kanaan to pay condolences after Kanaan committed suicide) that Obeid is linked to the Syrians.
Kahwaji is using the military establishment as a crutch to reach the presidential palace. Obeid is dependent on a strangely connected regional network and several local friends.
There is serious fear of a void in the Future Movement, mainly among its MPs. A Beirut MP describes the presidential void, regardless of the government, as a means for Hezbollah to lead all sides to a settlement that does not stop at merely choosing a president. It could be something similar to the 2008 Doha agreement, which included a reconciliation between March-14 and the Syrian regime, in addition to the identity of the new president.
Future Bloc head Siniora has enough experience and pragmatism to convince regional powers that it would be impossible for any Maronite from his side to become president. However, he prefers a president who would repay the Future Movement for its role in his nomination and take the country’s balances into account, especially one whose personal relations with regional and international decision-makers brought him to power. In the offices of FPM MPs, the same anxieties about a presidential void are expressed, which, in their calculations, will only serve to bring Kahwaji into office.
Amin Gemayel likes to say that the candidate is the message. In his case, this would be a bona fide disaster. Obeid, on the other hand, does not believe that a personal resume has anything to do with reaching the presidency. “It has to do with one’s direction” – and his luck.
Luck or God’s will? Hamid Frangieh went and Suleiman Frangieh arrived. Bashir Gemayel was killed and Amin Gemayel took the seat. Rene Mouawad was assassinated and Elias Hrawi elected.

Al Akhbar (December 24, 2013)
Suhaib Anjarini
In an interview with Al-Akhbar, the Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of Antioch, Gregory III Laham, stressed thattakfiris – radical Islamists who declare their opponents as apostates – target all Syrians, “but especially Christians as of late, being the weakest link.” Laham revealed that a meeting will be held by the World Council of Churches in Geneva a week before the Geneva II Syria peace conference, and said he was hoping the three Syrian patriarchs would be invited to attend Geneva II, even as observers.
Damascus – Syria is living a tragedy that is bearing heavily on all Syrians, proclaimed Patriarch Gregory III Laham of Antioch, spiritual leader of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. The patriarch said that the crisis in his country has so far caused the displacement of around six million Syrians, mostly Muslims, in addition to more than 120,000 casualties, also mostly Muslims.
“The devastation has affected nearly 500 mosques and 60 churches,” he added, “which means that it is clear the tragedy has spared no one in Syria.”
Laham continued, “Some takfiris have jumped into the fray and corrupted the Syrian opposition. It seems clear that these people have atakfiri ideology that singles out Christians, Alawis, Druze, and all those who do not subscribe to their ideas, views, and laws. They target everyone. Recently, they have specifically targeted Christians as the weakest link, as we have seen in Maaloula and Sadad. But what is certain is that these people are strangers to Syrian culture, and even Muslims are afraid of them.”
Addressing fears about attempts to completely uproot the Christians of Syria, Laham said, “With God’s help we are steadfast and we shall stay. If anyone is wagering on uprooting Christians from Syria and the Levant then they are deluded. We from time immemorial have been living together as Syrians of all affiliations. This is one of the most important features of Syria in particular, and the Levant in general.”
Laham said, “The Orient without its Christians will inevitably lose its identity.” The patriarch then added, “We have a common history, and there should be joint Christian-Muslim determination to stand by one another. No one should declare anyone an apostate. … We can stay, we want to stay, and we must stay. I believe that this slogan should be upheld by everyone, and I had said in my Christmas message: Give me a united Arab-Islamic world, and I can guarantee you that all my children would remain here.”
Trying to Fulfill Our Duty
Concerning the efforts that the church and the Catholic Patriarchate have undertaken, Laham said, “I would like to assure our children that we never for one day hesitated to do everything that we can do. We have made a lot of efforts since the crisis began. Since 2011, the Patriarchate has provided aid to those affected by the crisis, both Christians and non-Christians. The value of aid is about $40,000 monthly.”
Laham continued, “We have fulfilled our role when it comes to clarifying what is happening to international public opinion and international bodies, be they ecumenical or political. I personally participated in many meetings and made a number of proposals. For example, I called at the Word Council of Churches meeting in Geneva on September 18 for a global church-led campaign, based on three core principles: no weapons, no violence, no war but peace, reconciliation, and dialogue, and the need to go to Geneva II, in addition to entrenching Islamic-Christian coexistence in the Arab Middle East.”
Patriarch Laham told Al-Akhbar that the World Council of Churches called for a new meeting in Geneva to be held next month, one week ahead of Geneva II. The meeting would aim to devise proposals, and produce a working paper in an effort to push forward the political process and stop the bloodshed.
Concerning Geneva II, scheduled for 22 January 2014, Laham said, “We are praying for the conference to be held and for it to succeed. I hope to be invited, I, Patriarch John X Yazigi [Greek Orthodox patriarch of Antioch] and Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I [Syriac Orthodox patriarch of Antioch] to Geneva II, even if as observers, to fulfill our role in bringing divergent views together to achieve reconciliation. We are not with a particular regime but are with Syria the state and the homeland that accommodates all its people and guarantees peace for them.”
No New Information on Kidnapped Bishops and Nuns
With regard to the kidnapping of Aleppo’s Greek Orthodox Bishop Boulos Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim, Patriarch Laham explained that he is in constant contact with Patriarchs Yazigi and Zakka. He said he spoke to them recently about this matter, and was told that there were no new developments on the two kidnapped bishops or the nuns who were taken from Maaloula.
Laham renewed his prayers throughAl-Akhbar for the safety of the nuns, and said, “Wherever they are, there will be a monastery there, with their constant prayers. We are praying for their safety and the safety of the two dear bishops, and for this ordeal to have a happy ending.”
Laham said he plans to spend Christmas in Egypt in fulfillment of an old tradition “to visit our children and our churches and check in on them, but Syria will most certainly be present in our hearts and our prayers.”
The talk about targeting Christians in Syria sounds trivial in a country where everything is being targeted, beginning with the notion of the homeland itself. Fast-paced developments – especially in the second half of 2013 – make the fact that Christians are being targeted indisputable, yet this is something that should be seen as a more dramatic stage of the onslaught on the entire Syrian people.
In principle, the raids on Maaloula in 2013 cannot be seen in isolation from the chants heard at the beginning of the Syrian crisis, calling on Christians to “leave to Beirut.” On the ground, the outcome of directly targeting Christians, and anti-Christian attitudes, was that up to 450,000 Christians have left their homes in Syria, according to Patriarch Laham.
A quick calculation reveals that up to 10 percent of Syrian Christians have left, bearing in mind that there is no accurate figure on the real number of Christians who were displaced internally.
Along the same lines, the targeting of the Christian clergy cannot be seen in isolation from attacks against Syrian clerics in general. Meanwhile, churches, just like mosques, have had their share of the devastation, and so did Christian antiquities – just like the rest of Syrian antiquities.
Thus, in light of the unchecked spread of takfiri groups, and the growing influence of extremist groups, the more accurate equation is not Christians versus Islamic extremists, but Syrians versus extremism. Indeed, it is important to remember that most Muslims follow the example of Prophet Mohammad bin Abdullah, and not Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab, founder of Wahhabism.

United Press International (American press agency, December 23, 2013)
A Salafi movement in Jordan has revealed that nearly 10 000 foreign militants were killed in Syria since the foreign-hatched conflict hit the country in 2011.
The Jordanian Jihadi Salafi Movement said that some 9936 extremist militants from different parts of the world, especially from Tunisia, Libya and Iraq, have been killed during the nearly three years of conflict in Syria. Some 1902 Tunisians, 1807 Libyans, 1432 Iraqis, 800 Palestinians and 202 Jordanians were among the victims. Many extremists are trying to destabilize Syria under the banner of al-Qaeda terrorist network.
According to the data, some 828 Lebanese, 821 Egyptians, 714 Saudis, 571 Yemenis, 412 Moroccans, 274 Algerians, 71 Kuwaitis, 42 Somalis, 21 Bahrainis, 19 Omanis, 9 Emiratis, 8 Qataris, 3 Sudanese, 1 Mauritians, and nearly 30 others from Caucasus and Albania have lost their lives in Syria conflict. The report says most of the dead are affiliated to the terrorist groups of al-Nusra Front and the Islamic States of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Other news reports say several extremists from Europe, America and Australia are fighting in Syria.
A recent British defense study showed that about 100 000 militants, fragmented into 1 000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people.
The extracts of the study by defense consultancy, IHS Jane’s, were published on September 16.
IHS Jane’s estimates that some 10 000 militants are fighting for groups affiliated with al-Qaeda such as al-Nusra Front, and the rest fight for different militant groups.

Jerusalem Post (Israeli daily, December 26, 2013)
By David Bukay
From the first day, the so-called “Arab Spring” was in fact a dark anarchic Islamic winter. Yet, the media has disseminated the idea — as if the internet, Facebook, and Twitter have produced a new situation in the Middle East: a young Arab generation that adopts Western ideals and yearns for democratic values, civil rights, and freedoms. Unfortunately this was just another wishful thinking, a mirror image, a cultural ignorance even a stupidity. In reality, this dark anarchic Islamic winter symbolizes the demise of the Arab state and the retreat towards primordialism. It is not a step forward towards democracy and open modern societies, but a huge retreat to stagnation and Islamism.
This situation takes its highest toll in Syria, where it has become not only a failed state but a demolished one. At the start, the Syrian violence of deep upheaval was not an internal war between an oppressive regime against democratic opposition supported by the people, but against al-Qaida affiliated groups from all over the world that are now concentrating in Syria. It is symbolized by the call of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaida , that Syria is now the most important Islamic front, and victory there means the advent of al-Qaida to regional even world hegemony. Indeed, what we see in Syria are domestic anarchic groups and external ones form Iraq; Lebanon; AQAP al-Qaida Arabian Peninsula); AQIM (al-Qaida Islamic Maghreb); from Afghanistan; Pakistan; Chechnya; Turkmenistan; even from China. Syria is physically demolished; and its cities are ruined, with millions of refugees fleeing to the neighboring states. _The scope and amount of the groups, majority of them are al-Qaida Affiliated groups, is long, exhausting and terrifying. A short list includes the following: Jabhat al-Nusra, the biggest al-Qaida affiliated group; Qatā’ib Ahrār al-Shām; `Usbat Liwā’ al-Tawhīd; `Usbab Qatā’ib al-Haqq; Fath al-Islām; Qatā’ib Abdallah Azām; `Usbat al-Ansār; Qatā’ib Shuhadā’ al-Barā’ Ibn Mālik; Qatā’ib Umar al-Faruq; Jaish al-Islām; Qatā’ib al-Ansār; and al-Majlis al-Thawri. Jabhat al-Tahrīr includes over ten Salafī-Takfīrī sub-groups; and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, includes the same. Some other groups are organized under al-Jabha al-Islāmiyah; and Ahfād Qatā’ib al-Rasul, with four groups. There are also Jihadi converted Muslims from Europe, Africa, and the US, recruited and organized by Abu Ahmed al-Iraqi. The last estimation by the International Center for the Study of Radicalization in London is that between 3,300 and 11,000 foreigners from 70 nations are fighting now against Assad.
Whether we like it or not, the situation in Syria is clear: a legitimate regime is fighting to its existence against the worst enemy of the Free World. The flag of al-Qaida is already waving in parts of Northern Syria, i.e. on May 22, 2012, al-Qaida group coalition in Syria has declared the establishment of the “Islamic Emirate of the Levant” there. Alongside with the terrorist murderous operations, these groups are already perpetrating genocide and ethnic cleansing of the minorities, mainly the Christians. Indeed, if one wishes to understand a selected situation, the plight of the Christian minority is an illuminating symbol. The objective of al-Qaida has already declared by al-Zawahiri: “toppling Bashar Takfīrī (infidel) regime and establishing the Islamic state based on the Sharī`ah.”
More than any other place, Syria exemplifies the free world failures to understand the reality in the Middle East. Syria exhibits the cultural-civilizational dilemma of misconceptions and fallacies. There are many fallacies that hinder us from understanding the situation and establishing a proper policy: political correctness, ignorance, the politics of leaders and stupidity, but the most important component is the mirror image. It means that you look at your opponent and analyze his behavior and actions according to your set of beliefs and values. The mirror image is the projection of you in the mirror. You relate to your opponent with the same definitional attitudes and operational codes and you project your own past situation and experiences to your opponent, as if he is like you.
Questions should be addressed concerning the situation in Syria. When the democratic world condemns Assad as a cruel bloody dictator, and accuses him of butchering his own people, does it really has the accurate knowledge and the reliable information of the domestic situation in Syria and who are the forces operating there? Does the reality match the myths disseminated around about who are the butchers? Moreover, does it take into consideration that all the political leaders in the Arab-Islamic polity during its entire history are coercive brutal and oppressing? By that, is Bashar Assad really different in dictatorial and brutal terms from all other contemporary and previous historical leaders?
Another set of questions relate to outer forces. Does the Assad regime pose a greater threat to international security than the Al-Qaida elements fighting there? Do we really believe that toppling the Syrian regime means weakening Iran and Hezbollah, and turning the balance of power in the ME in favor of Western interests? Are the forces fighting Assad, called ‘the opposition,’ pro-Western and more democratic forces? Shouldn’t we deeply be concerned that toppling Assad regime could strengthen the al-Qaida affiliated groups, thereby endangering the regional and in time even the global security?
A third set of questions are, what will happen to Syria after toppling Assad? Will Syria become more stable and tranquil with the opposition rule? What will be the regional balance of power and the political stability of Jordan and Lebanon, let alone Israel? What will be the fate of the religious and ethnic minorities in Syria, like the Christians and the Druses? Above all what will happen to the Alawite minority? Isn’t it highly probable that pervasive bloodshed massacre, a full-fledged genocide will be conducted against them?
The best of this disastrous policy is seen in Syria, with its climax the threat to intervene militarily to topple Bashar Assad. The best pronouncement of the situation was made by a Syrian general: “why the world does not understand that we are the last dam that blocks the flood of Islamism in Europe? What blindness!” And the US, stubbornly, with huge extent of stupidity, continues to support evil. It is as if it has not learned the lessons of Afghanistan where it supported Bin Laden and al-Mujahidin al-Afghan; and has not learned the lessons of supporting Khomeini against the Shah, both immediately turned against her.
It must be clearly stated: Bashar’s disappearance means the persistence of domestic chaotic anarchic situation in Syria, like Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Contrary to the US (and Israel) wishful thinking, the regime that will emerge will be no democratic and not liberal; not pro-Western and not a secular regime with the Free Syrian Army; even not a Muslim regime like the Muslim Brotherhood style Egypt, Out of the anarchy and chaos reigns in Syria, the highest probability is for al-Qaida affiliated groups to win over. The consequences to the regional stability are horrific: they will endanger the surrounding states. Bashar downfall also means deteriorating and exacerbating the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict to bloody wars.
As for the US: Did the US learn the lessons of toppling Qaddafi in Libya? The result is that the flag of al-Qaida -affiliated groups (AQIM) waves openly in Benghazi and the groups’ activity is now seen in Mali, Niger, and Mauritania, directing to Algeria and Morocco to the west, and uniting with al-Qaida affiliate Boko Haram in Nigeria. On the east, AQIM has reached a collaboration with Somalia’s al-Qaida affiliate group, al-Shabāb, and together they threaten Kenya and Ethiopia. AQIM has also close relationships with Hamas in Gaza, and al-Qaida groups in Sinai.

The Independent (British daily, December 29, 2013)
Patrick Cockburn
Anti-Shia hate propaganda spread by Sunni religious figures sponsored by, or based in, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, is creating the ingredients for a sectarian civil war engulfing the entire Muslim world. Iraq and Syria have seen the most violence, with the majority of the 766 civilian fatalities in Iraq this month being Shia pilgrims killed by suicide bombers from the al-Qa’ida umbrella group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis). The anti-Shia hostility of this organisation, now operating from Baghdad to Beirut, is so extreme that last month it had to apologise for beheading one of its own wounded fighters in Aleppo – because he was mistakenly believed to have muttered the name of Shia saints as he lay on a stretcher.
At the beginning of December, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula killed 53 doctors and nurses and wounded 162 in an attack on a hospital in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, which had been threatened for not taking care of wounded militants by a commentator on an extreme Sunni satellite TV station. Days before the attack, he announced that armies and tribes would assault the hospital “to take revenge for our brothers. We say this and, by the grace of Allah, we will do it”.
Skilled use of the internet and access to satellite television funded by or based in Sunni states has been central to the resurgence of al-Qa’ida across the Middle East, to a degree that Western politicians have so far failed to grasp. In the last year, Isis has become the most powerful single rebel military force in Iraq and Syria, partly because of its ability to recruit suicide bombers and fanatical fighters through the social media. Western intelligence agencies, such as the NSA in the US, much criticised for spying on the internet communications of their own citizens, have paid much less attention to open and instantly accessible calls for sectarian murder that are in plain view. Critics say that this is in keeping with a tradition since 9/11 of Western governments not wishing to hold Saudi Arabia or the Gulf monarchies responsible for funding extreme Sunni jihadi groups and propagandists supporting them through private donations.
Satellite television, internet, YouTube and Twitter content, frequently emanating from or financed by oil states in the Arabian peninsula, are at the centre of a campaign to spread sectarian hatred to every corner of the Muslim world, including places where Shia are a vulnerable minority, such as Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Malaysia. In Benghazi, in effect the capital of eastern Libya, a jihadi group uploaded a video of the execution of an Iraqi professor who admitted to being a Shia, saying they had shot him in revenge for the execution of Sunni militants by the Iraqi government.
YouTube-inspired divisions are not confined to the Middle East: in London’s Edgware Road there was a fracas this summer when a Salafi (Sunni fundamentalist) cleric held a rally in the face of objections from local Shia shopkeepers. Impelled by television preachers and the social media, sectarian animosities are deepening among hitherto moderate Sunni and Shia, with one Shia figure in the UK saying that “Even in London you could open the address books of most Sunni without finding any Shia names, and vice versa.”
The hate propaganda is often gory and calls openly for religious war. One anti-Shia satellite television station shows a grouping of Shia clerical leaders, mostly from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, labelled as “Satan’s assistants”. Another asks “Oh Sunni Muslims, how long will you wait when your sons are led to be hanged in Iraq? Is it now time to break the shackles?” A picture of a woman in black walking between what appear to be two militiamen is entitled “Shia men in Syria rape Sunni sisters”, and another shows the back of a pick-up truck heaped with dead bodies in uniform, titled “The destiny of Syrian Army and Shia soldiers”. Some pictures are intended to intimidate, such as one showing an armed convoy on a road in Yemen, with a message addressed to the Shia saying: “Sunni tribes are on the way”.
Sectarian animosities between Sunni and Shia have existed down the centuries, but have greatly intensified since the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the eight-year Iran-Iraq war that followed it. Hatreds increased after the US invasion of Iraq and the takeover of what had been a Sunni-run state under Saddam Hussein by the majority Shia community, which generated a ferocious sectarian civil war that peaked in 2006-07 and ended with a Shia victory. Opposition to Iran and the new Shia-run state of Iraq led to Sunni rulers emphasising the Shia threat. Shia activists point in particular to the establishment in 2009 of two satellite channels, Safa TV and Wesal TV, which they accuse of having strong anti-Shia bias. They say that Saudi clerics have shown great skill in communicating extreme sectarian views through modern communications technology such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, giving them a much wider audience than they had previously enjoyed.
An example of the inflammatory views being pumped out over YouTube is a sermon by Nabil al-Awadi, a cleric in Kuwait, who has 3.4 million followers on Twitter. His speech is devoted to “exposing the biggest conspiracy the Muslim world faces”, which turns out to be a plot “conceived in Qom [the Shia holy city in Iran], and handled by sayyids and chiefs in Tehran, to get rid of the nation of Islam, aiming to desecrate the Kaaba [the building in Mecca that is Islam’s most sacred site] brick by brick”.
Mr Awadi relates that Iraq fell to an enemy whom he does not name, but he clearly means the Shia, often referred to as Safavids after the Iranian dynasty of that name. He says that in Iraq “they were killing the imams with drills in their heads until they are dead and they put the bodies in acid to burn until they died”. But the speaker looks forward to a holy war or jihad in Syria, where a great battle for the future of Islam will be fought and won. He warns that “they did not know that jihad is staying and will put fear in their hearts even if they are in Washington, even if they are in London, even if they are in Moscow”.
In Egypt, the Shia are only a small minority, but a cleric named Mohamed Zoghbi reacted furiously to the suggestion that they appear on satellite television to debate religious differences. “We would cut off their fingers and cut off their tongues,” he said. “I must cut off the Shia breath in Egypt.” Bloodthirsty threats like this have great influence on ordinary viewers, since many Egyptians watch religious channels continuously and believe the opinions expressed on them. An example of what this kind of incitement can mean for Shia living in communities where Sunni are the overwhelming majority was demonstrated in June in the small village of Zawyat Abu Musalam, in Giza governorate in Egypt. Some 40 Shia families had previously lived in the village until an enraged mob, led by Salafist sheikhs, burned five houses and lynched four Shia, including a prominent local figure.
Video films of the lynching, which took place in daylight, show the savage and merciless attacks to which Shia minorities in many countries are now being subjected.
Hazem Barakat, an eyewitness and photojournalist, minutely recorded what happened and recorded it on Twitter in real time. “For three weeks, the Salafist sheikhs in the village have been attacking the Shias and accusing them of being infidels and spreading debauchery,” he told Ahram Online. Film of the incident shows a man, who looks as if he may already be dead, being dragged through a narrow street in the village by a mob. Among the four dead was 66-year-old Hassan Shehata, a well-known Shia leader who had been twice jailed under Hosni Mubarak for “contempt for religion”. Police came to the village but arrived late. “They were just watching the public lynching like everyone else and did not stop anything,” said Mr Barakat.
A significant sign of the mood in Egypt is that immediately after the lynchings, a TV host said that Mr Shehata had been killed because he had insulted the Prophet Mohamed’s relatives. Several Salafist and conservative Facebook pages are cited by Ahram Online as having lauded the murders, saying that this was the beginning of eliminating all the three million Shia in Egypt.
Given that Shia make up between 150 and 200 million of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, they are a small and usually vulnerable minority in all countries aside from Iran and Iraq, though they are numerous in Lebanon, Pakistan and India. In Tunisia last year, a pro-Palestinian march by Shia in the city of Gabes was attacked by Salafists chanting, “There is no god but Allah and the Shia are the enemies of God.” Tunisian eyewitnesses cite the influence of Egyptian and Saudi religious channels, combined with the Salafists claiming to be the last defence against an exaggerated threat of a takeover by Iran and the Shia.
The propaganda war became more intense from 2006 on, when there were mass killings of Sunni in Baghdad which, having previously been a mixed city, is now dominated by the Shia, with Sunnis confined to enclaves mostly in the west of the city. The Sunni community in Iraq started a protest movement against persecution and denial of political, social and economic rights in December 2012. As the Iraqi government failed to conciliate the Sunni with concessions, a peaceful protest movement mutated into armed resistance.
The enhanced prestige and popularity of the Shia paramilitary movement Hezbollah, after its success against Israel’s air and ground assault in 2006, may also be a reason why Sunni governments tolerated stepped-up sectarian attacks on the Shia. These often take the form of claims that Iran is seeking to take over the region. In Bahrain, the Sunni monarchy repeatedly asserted that it saw an Iranian hand behind the Arab Spring protests in early 2011, though its own international inquiry later found no evidence for this. When President Obama said in September that Bahrain, along with Iraq and Syria, suffered from sectarian tensions, the Bahraini government furiously denied that any such thing was true.
Social media, satellite television, Facebook and YouTube, which were praised at the start of the Arab Spring as the means for a progressive breakthrough for freedom of expression, have turned into channels for instilling hatred and fear. Fighters in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and other countries beset by violence often draw their knowledge of the world from a limited number of fanatical internet preachers and commentators calling for holy war by Sunni against Shia; often such people are crucial in sending young volunteers to fight and die in Syria and Iraq.
A recent study of dead rebel fighters in Syria by Aaron Y Zelin of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation indicates that jihadi death notices revealing country of origin show that 267 came from Saudi Arabia, 201 from Libya, 182 from Tunisia and 95 from Jordan. The great majority had joined Isis and the al-Nusra Front, both of which are highly sectarian organisations. A deeply dangerous development is that the foreign fighters, inspired by film of atrocities and appeals to religious faith, may sign up to go to Syria but often end up as suicide bombers in Iraq, where violence has increased spectacularly in the past 12 months.
There is now a fast-expanding pool of jihadis willing to fight and die anywhere. The Saudis and the Gulf monarchies may find, as happened in Afghanistan 30 years ago, that, by funding or tolerating the dissemination of Sunni-Shia hate, they have created a sectarian Frankenstein’s monster of religious fanatics beyond their control.

Source
New Orient News

New Orient Center for Strategic Policies

Who Speaks For the So-Called “Religion of Peace”?

[Normally, I try to respect the beliefs of others, never pointing a finger at any one religion as superior or inferior to the rest.  I especially have accorded a decent respect for Muslim beliefs, believing that modern political Islam as an ideology of violence is a creation of Western intelligence agencies, who have effectively weaponized streams of the religion, to use them against the Muslim people.  The majority of the victims of  Islamist violence are Muslims. 

"Political Islam," "militant Islam," "radical Islam," or "fundamentalist Islam" are all labels given to the phenomenon which British and American intelligence agencies have created, to be used as an instrument of destabilization within the Muslim "Ummah," for the purpose of harvesting the black gold from underneath them, primarily within the Arab tribal region.  This politicized stream of bloody violence in the name of the Muslim religion has worked remarkably well, pitting Muslim against Muslim, maneuvering the world to the precipice of a Muslim world war between a Sunni bloc and a Shia bloc, which apparently lies gaping before us.

Western intelligence agencies have midwifed the birth of Khomeini's militant Shia faith, as well as the radicalized Deobandi and Wahhabi Sunni doctrines which drive the Sunni "jihadi" terrorists who are responsible for 70% of all world terrorism (with "Shia terror" failing to make it to the top ten terrorist list).  Both versions of radical Islam have their own versions of "infidels," or "kfirs," the "unbelievers" or "apostates" of the world, who are under some kind of divine death sentence.  According to radical Islam, believers have a duty to kill unbelievers.  So-called "moderate Muslims" refuse to believe in such nonsense, as adherents of "peaceful Islam" (the Islam we hear so much about, but never really hear from), they don't want to kill anybody.  Apparently, they have a great aversion to being killed, as well, since they have not dared to respond since the 911 attacks with their own chorus of voices, urging fellow moderate Muslims to speak-out against Jihadi Islam.  If "True Islam" is, in fact, a "religion of peace," then true believers should denounce the so-called "Salafists" for the sin against God, that they represent.

It is time to take a stand against the real "unbelievers," those who commit murders and call it "holy war."  That is the primary message in the following fine editorial message against false religions.  The focus may be upon fundamentalist Islam, but it pertains to all fundamentalist radicalism in all of its violent manifestations.]

So-called religion of peace rife with violent extremism

times-standard

Tim Martin/Here’s a Thought

The monotheistic religions of the world — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — have a long history of walking the halls in bold strides, and we clear a path before them. These religions have common roots in fear, oppression, persecution, genocide, and male supremacy. They also have a history of killing unbelievers, heretics, and infidels. This is done for the glory of Yahweh, the honor of God, and the love of Allah.A number of their followers are thinking in a gear so low it’s difficult to believe they’re awake.

Judaism and Christianity are illogical, but Islam is the gold standard for religious insanity. Its teachings are barbaric, its founder revolting, and its practice (in many Islamic countries) is violent. Islam is based on the Quran, an authoritative text that has remained unchanged for 1,400 years. The Quran contains numerous commands that Muslims kill nonbelievers, treat women as inferior beings, and stifle free speech to anyone critical of their religion.

Here are a few passages: (Quran 8:12) “I shall terrorize the infidels. So wound their bodies and incapacitate them because they oppose Allah and His Apostle.” (Quran 8:39) “Fight them until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah.” (Quran 8:7) “Allah wished to confirm the truth by His words, ‘Wipe the infidels out to the last.'”

There are “moderate Muslims” throughout the world who defy such inflammatory sections of the Quran, but others want sharia law. Under sharia, women are afforded only half the value of men in both testimony and actual value. Non-Muslims are afforded 1/12th the value of a Muslim. Sharia also allows the enslavement of non-Muslims, along with such punishments as amputations and public flogging.

Evidently, many Muslims do not pick up on the giant tectonic plate of irony that underlies their “peace-loving” religion.

The link between Muslims and hatred for America is obvious. According to a report by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Sunni Muslim terrorists committed “about 70 percent” of the 12,533 terrorist murders in the world last year, many of them on other Muslims. Another interesting tidbit from the survey: In South Asia (defined as Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh), 76 percent of people are in favor of executing those who leave Islam.

Despite this, a Pew Research poll reports that only four in 10 Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Islam. An equally small number link the religion with acts of violence. Why do we defend a fanatical faith that is misogynistic and intolerant? Why do we cut Islam so much slack? We have been lied to. Americans are continuously fed a watered-down, peaceful version of the religion.

The truth is that fanatical Islamists — whether they belong to al-Qaida, the Taliban, Egypt’s Army, or any other Muslim group with aggressive political aspirations — demand a stricter version of Islam imposed worldwide; one in which drinking, homosexuality, and blasphemy are punishable crimes. A Dutch filmmaker was assassinated, and Danish cartoonists and the creators of South Park have been threatened with murder by Islamic extremists for their portrayals of the prophet Muhammad.

How soothed am I by Muslim apologists who hope to convince us that we have nothing to be concerned about? I’m very concerned. Sharia law and those who want it should be feared. A recent World Public Opinion poll states that 61 percent of Egyptians and 32 percent of Indonesians approve of attacks on Americans, and that 83 percent of Palestinians and 62 percent of Jordanians approve of some or most groups that attack Americans.

The Quran (like the Bible and the Talmud) is an unconvincing book in terms of proving that a kind and loving god exists. Muhammad declared women as deficient in mind and soul. He had people killed for trivial reasons and married a 10-year-old child (Aisha). His defenders insist that either you worship Muhammad or they will kill you.

Sorry, that’s not a god I choose to respect and honor.

Luckily, many Muslims have a sense of morality that is vastly superior to that of their prophet. For this we should be thankful. But Islam is a totalitarian system. It requires only a small committed core and an intimidated mainstream to grow. Why is it acceptable to protest against Christianity or Judaism, but not Islam? Why do we live in fear of Muslim reprisal if we speak out against Muhammad, the Quran, or Sharia?

We already have a backwards and repressive religion influencing law and politics in the United States. We certainly don’t need another.

Tim Martin resides in Fortuna and writes this column for the Times-Standard. He can be contacted at tmartin@northcoast.com.

On The Trail Of The Saudi Cutouts Who Set-UpThe 9/11 Patsies

On The Trail Of The Saudi [Cutouts] Who [Set Up] The 9/11 [Patsies], Part 4: The Cutouts

 winter patriot
A cutout is a link …

[Previous: 1: 28 Pages | 2: No Vortex | 3: The Lawsuit ]

The term “cutout” is intelligence jargon for a special sort of role that must be played in covert operations. A cutout acts as a go-between, bringing support and instructions from the planners to the perpetrators.

By doing this, the cutout becomes a link in the chain of evidence that connects the planners to the perpetrators. And the cutout’s most important job is to be “cut out” of the chain if and when necessary.

The timely disappearance of a cutout can break the trail that would otherwise lead back from the crime to the people who wanted it to happen. By making cutouts disappear, covert operators can maintain a certain level of “plausible denial,” even if the perpetrators are caught in the act, or tracked down later.

In the case of 9/11, where the “hijackers” were apparently patsies who were intended to be caught, the role of the cutouts was especially important — and especially dangerous.

… in the chain of evidence that connects …

It is sad and strange and very pathetic that we still know so little about the nature of the 9/11 attacks. It’s bad enough that that we don’t know who did it. But we don’t even know what they did! That complicates everything except the government story, the litigation based on it, and the mainstream coverage.

We do know a little bit, and presumably Walter Jones, Stephen Lynch, Bob Graham know a lot more, about some well-connected Saudis who helped to put the patsies in a position from which they could take the blame — and who then disappeared!

From Paul Sperry in the New York Post [or here]:

Some information already has leaked from the [28 redacted pages], which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally….

LOS ANGELES: Saudi consulate official Fahad al-Thumairy allegedly arranged for an advance team to receive two of the Saudi hijackers — Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi — as they arrived at LAX in 2000. One of the advance men, Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi intelligence agent, left the LA consulate and met the hijackers at a local restaurant. (Bayoumi left the United States two months before the attacks, while Thumairy was deported back to Saudi Arabia after 9/11.)

… the planners of a covert operation …

Watch how this happens. The timing is very interesting. al-Bayoumi, who was directly connected with the patsies, disappeared two months before the attacks. Thumairy, who was connected to al-Bayoumi but not to the patsies directly, didn’t disappear until after the attacks.

SAN DIEGO: Bayoumi and another suspected Saudi agent, Osama Bassnan, set up essentially a forward operating base in San Diego for the hijackers after leaving LA. They were provided rooms, rent and phones, as well as private meetings with an American al Qaeda cleric who would later become notorious, Anwar al-Awlaki, at a Saudi-funded mosque he ran in a nearby suburb. They were also feted at a welcoming party. (Bassnan also fled the United States just before the attacks.)

Bassnan (sometimes also “Basnan”), who was also in direct contact with the patsies, also disappeared before the attacks.

WASHINGTON: Then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar and his wife sent checks totaling some $130,000 to Bassnan while he was handling the hijackers. Though the Bandars claim the checks were “welfare” for Bassnan’s supposedly ill wife, the money nonetheless made its way into the hijackers’ hands.

Other al Qaeda funding was traced back to Bandar and his embassy — so much so that by 2004 Riggs Bank of Washington had dropped the Saudis as a client. The next year, as a number of embassy employees popped up in terror probes, Riyadh recalled Bandar.

“Our investigations contributed to the ambassador’s departure,” an investigator who worked with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington told me, though Bandar says he left for “personal reasons.”

… to the perpetrators.

Prince Bandar, who as Ambassador was under diplomatic immunity, didn’t have to disappear until he could leave for “personal reasons” by being “recalled.”

FALLS CHURCH, VA.: In 2001, Awlaki and the San Diego hijackers turned up together again — this time at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a Pentagon-area mosque built with funds from the Saudi Embassy. Awlaki was recruited 3,000 miles away to head the mosque. As its imam, Awlaki helped the hijackers, who showed up at his doorstep as if on cue. He tasked a handler to help them acquire apartments and IDs before they attacked the Pentagon.

Awlaki worked closely with the Saudi Embassy. He lectured at a Saudi Islamic think tank in Merrifield, Va., chaired by Bandar. Saudi travel itinerary documents I’ve obtained show he also served as the ­official imam on Saudi Embassy-sponsored trips to Mecca and tours of Saudi holy sites. Most suspiciously, though, Awlaki fled the United States on a Saudi jet about a year after 9/11.

A cutout’s most important job…

Awlaki needed a lot of help to disappear … and he got it! Where do you suppose it came from?

As I first reported in my book, “Infiltration,” quoting from classified US documents, the Saudi-sponsored cleric was briefly detained at JFK before being released into the custody of a “Saudi representative.” A federal warrant for Awlaki’s arrest had mysteriously been withdrawn the previous day.

This timing is also very interesting, is it not? Normally, federal arrest warrants are not mysteriously withdrawn — let alone just in time to facilitate a disappearance!

HERNDON, VA.: On the eve of the attacks, top Saudi government official Saleh Hussayen checked into the same Marriott Residence Inn near Dulles Airport as three of the Saudi hijackers who targeted the Pentagon. Hussayen had left a nearby hotel to move into the hijackers’ hotel. Did he meet with them? The FBI never found out. They let him go after he “feigned a seizure,” one agent recalled.

Hussayen “feigned a seizure” to disappear. Such a clever lad. He has even disappeared from the official story, as did they all, according to Sperry:

Hussayen’s name doesn’t appear in the separate 9/11 Commission Report, which clears the Saudis.

Poof! They’re all cleared! Isn’t that amazing?

Guess who else got “help” from a high-ranking Saudi, who then disappeared?

SARASOTA, FLA.: 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and other hijackers visited a home owned by Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of King Fahd. FBI agents investigating the connection in 2002 found that visitor logs for the gated community and photos of license tags matched vehicles driven by the hijackers. Just two weeks before the 9/11 attacks, the Saudi luxury home was abandoned. Three cars, including a new Chrysler PT Cruiser, were left in the driveway. Inside, opulent furniture was untouched.

… is to disappear …

Esam Ghazzawi disappeared in a big hurry. That’s the way it goes sometimes, especially when you’re in contact with the “ringleader.”

Some folks have more pull than others, apparently. The cutouts got away, but the senator chasing them ran into a stone wall.

Democrat Bob Graham, the former Florida senator who chaired the Joint Inquiry, has asked the FBI for the Sarasota case files, but can’t get a single, even heavily redacted, page released. He says it’s a “coverup.”

Of course it’s a coverup. Sperry asks:

Is the federal government protecting the Saudis?

But that question is beneath consideration, is it not? The interesting question is “Why is the federal government protecting the Saudis?” But perhaps Sperry can’t ask such questions in the New York Post. He does say this, though:

Case agents tell me they were repeatedly called off pursuing 9/11 leads back to the Saudi Embassy, which had curious sway over White House and FBI responses to the attacks.

… and they all did! Isn’t that amazing?

Yes, curious indeed … unless you prefer a stronger word. In my view, there is no plausible explanation, unless people in very high places wanted it to happen this way.

Just days after Bush met with the Saudi ambassador in the White House, the FBI evacuated from the United States dozens of Saudi officials, as well as Osama bin Laden family members. Bandar made the request for escorts directly to FBI headquarters on Sept. 13, 2001 — just hours after he met with the president. The two old family friends shared cigars on the Truman Balcony while discussing the attacks.

And that’s how all the cutouts disappeared. Funny how that worked, isn’t it? — probably just the way it was supposed to.

Some of the cutouts didn’t disappear safely enough. As Sperry notes,

A US drone killed Awlaki in Yemen in 2011.

We also know about some other cutouts who didn’t disappear fast enough. We’ll talk about them soon.

[to be continued]

September 11, Opening Act of The Saudi War Upon the American People

[Bush's low-down redaction of hard Saudi truths from the 911 Report was merely a temporary holding action.  The groundswell of American retribution awaiting the vile monarchs is a huge body of water, just waiting to be released.   When the dam of truth is finally broken down, vengeance will sweep the Saudi monarchy from the pages of time itself, reducing them to a mere footnote, designating a tribe of ruthless "camel jockeys" who made themselves into a real threat to Western civilization.]

Do the Saudis really control the terrorists they court?

new york post

 

 

 

In a 2003 Rose Garden press conference, a reporter asked President Bush why he was sealing a congressional report “incriminating the Saudi government when it comes to 9/11.”

 

Bush, without denying the description of the report’s contents, argued he had to seal it “so that those who are being investigated aren’t alerted.”

 

Only, the Saudi suspects named in the report weren’t really “being investigated.” Several months earlier, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted as much during a closed hearing with the 9/11 Joint Inquiry staff on the Hill. Mueller sheepishly acknowledged the only people aggressively investigating the Saudi connections were sitting there across the table from him.

 

This was beyond odd. At both the FBI and CIA, there were files thick with memos and other documents detailing connections between the Saudi hijackers and Saudi officials and agents in at least seven US cities coast-to-coast. They revealed a vast Saudi support network spanning from Los Angeles and San Diego in the West to Washington, DC, Falls Church, Va., and Herndon, Va., in the East; and from Sarasota, Fla., in the South to Paterson, NJ, in the North.

 

Yet the only people connecting the dots were congressional staffers, as case agents and detectives assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Forces in San Diego and Washington complained of being frustrated by brass in their attempts to run down Saudi leads, particularly ones that led back to the Saudi Embassy.

 

There was so much Saudi-related evidence that it took 28 pages just for Hill investigators to summarize it all.

 

In fact, there arguably was more evidence for the Justice Department to indict Omar al-Bayoumi, the suspected Saudi intelligence agent who aided two of the hijackers in San Diego, than there was to indict Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker. The attorney general could just have easily thrown material support of terrorism charges at Bayoumi. But he did not. The only real difference is Bayoumi’s a Saudi.

 

If Bush’s objective really was to avoid tipping off subjects of ongoing investigations, he could have carefully redacted the names of Bayoumi and other Saudis cited in the 28-page section. Instead, he elected to censor the entire section, scrubbing out anything and everything Saudi.

 

The day before he did that, he met with the Saudis in the White House to discuss that secret Saudi section, which remains classified today. Walking away from that hour-long meeting, the Saudis no doubt felt reassured their secrets were safe. Confident Bush would never release the 28 pages, Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar made a show of demanding they be released, arguing the Saudis have nothing to hide.

 

It was an obvious, if effective, ploy.

 

The congressional report safely sealed up, the Saudis had only the 9/11 Commission Report to worry about — and, lo and behold, it cleared the Saudis (even though the commission director never let investigators see the 28 pages from the earlier congressional report). Upon its release, Bandar clucked that the panel exonerated the Kingdom, not to mention himself, conveniently.

 

The report curiously leaves out evidence tying Bandar and his wife to the hijackers through a Saudi bag man, Osama Bassnan, who received personal checks from the Bandars while handling the hijackers in San Diego. Bandar appears a few times in footnotes, and only in passing.

 

The Bandars claim the checks were “welfare” for Bassnan’s supposedly ill wife, and that they did not know what Bassnan was really up to.

 

Maybe so. The Saudis have a history of turning a blind eye to the extremists among them, funding radical mosques as a way of placating their population and keeping themselves in power.

 

But even if you take Bandar’s ignorance at face value, as he sows the wind, we reap the whirlwind.

 

Last year, Bandar was promoted to chief of Saudi intelligence. Saudi Arabia very much wants to see Bashar al-Assad removed from power in Syria. Bandar, frustrated with Obama’s inaction, has been letting Saudi jihadists cross the border to fight in the civil war — and has been funneling arms and support to the Islamic Front rebel group, according to the Daily Beast, weapons that can easily end up in the hands of al Qaeda.

 

Bandar also has pushed Russia to drop its backing of Assad. In August, according to the Telegraph, he gave President Vladimir Putin both a carrot — oil deals — and a stick:

 

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year,” Bandar allegedly said. “The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”

 

By Chechen groups, he means Islamic terrorists — just like the ones who bombed the Boston Marathon. It’s a startling, shocking admission.

 

Which is the more scary scenario? That members of the Saudi government provide funding to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups but can’t control them — or that they can?

 

Either way, we can’t find out the full story without an investigation. And the necessary first step is declassifying those 28 pages. Let’s finally connect those dots.

 

Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of “Infiltration” and “Muslim Mafia.”

“Tell Us the Truth,” Lockerbie Victim Father Asks Western Leaders

Dr Jim Swire: Lockerbie: seeking the truth

the scotsman

Campaigners will launch a further appeal to overturn the Megrahi guilty verdict. Picture: Getty

Campaigners will launch a further appeal to overturn the Megrahi guilty verdict. Picture: Getty

  • by DR JIM SWIRE

Dr Jim Swire explains why relatives will continue their fight to unearth all the facts over the bomb that brought down Pan Am Flight 103

Our elder daughter Flora, aged 23 and a seeker after truth herself, was on her way to meet her American boyfriend that night. She would have walked excitedly down those long airport corridors.

She never knew, and it took us until 2001 to discover, that Heathrow Airport’s “airside” had been broken into 16 hours before Pan Am Flight 103 exploded – and just where the bags converging for the Lockerbie flight were to be assembled on 21 December, 1988.

Try to imagine what it is like to know that your daughter went, unaware of her danger, through the corridors of an airport which knew that its “secure” airside had been broken into, and knew that there was a high terrorist threat to US aircraft at the time and yet still decided not to investigate who had broken in or what his motive might have been. Then try to imagine that you have tried in every way you can think of for 25 years to get an inquiry into why Lockerbie was not prevented and how things could be improved for the future, and been blocked at every stage.

It also took us until 2012 to get official confirmation – in a letter to me from the former Chief Constable (Dumfries and Galloway police) Patrick Shearer – that the investigating police had had complete files about that break-in in their computer from February 1989. That letter also explained that the file had been passed to the Crown Office before the trial of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi had even started. Yet still the prosecutors failed to share their knowledge with the defence.

It is probable that the suppression of this break-in evidence was caused by blind adherence to the hypothesis that the bomb must have come from Malta because of some associated clothing that had indeed originated there. Once a force has formed a strong hypothesis, it takes an earthquake to convince it that other evidence, particularly if hostile to the favoured hypothesis, ought to be shared with the defence. That is a problem we see again and again in miscarriage of justice cases.

The Megrahi defence team had tried to defend him in court by “incrimination” – where they would show that others, not their client, had used a bomb of a type known to have been available to terrorists then but which would always explode between 30 and 45 minutes after any plane containing one had taken off.

Therefore, their case depended upon being able to show that somehow the bomb must have been introduced at Heathrow Airport or else it would have exploded 30-45 minutes after leaving a previous airport of origin. The Lockerbie aircraft flew for 38 minutes.

The United Nations special observer to the trial (Professor Hans Koechler of Vienna) was in no doubt that it did not represent justice. How could it have done when the break-in information describing an obvious possible avenue for the introduction of the bomb at Heathrow was simply denied to the defence? There were other signs of something far more sinister: Early in 1990, we UK relatives were called to the US embassy in London. In an aside to one of us there, an American official said privately of Lockerbie: “Your government and ours know exactly what happened, but they’re never going to tell.”

Then, in 1993, the late Baroness Thatcher wrote of her support for the 1986 US air force (USAF) raid on Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi: “It turned out to be a more decisive blow against Libyan-sponsored terrorism than I could ever have imagined…the much vaunted Libyan counter-attack did not and could not take place.” Yet two years before, in 1991, two Libyans had been officially blamed for the Lockerbie bombing.

In our search for truth, we relatives of the Lockerbie bombing victims met Nelson Mandela. He warned us that in a trial “no one country should be complainant, prosecutor and judge”, yet Scotland became all three. He set up the truth and reconciliation commission in South Africa. But how can one have reconciliation without the truth?

Gaddafi, too, we met, leaving him with a badge that said: “Lockerbie, the truth must be known.” With his consent, we also left a framed message with a picture of Flora on the wall of a family bedroom badly damaged in the 1986 USAF bombing of Tripoli. It read in English and Arabic: “The consequence of the use of violence is the death of innocent people.”

It remained there for years – to be destroyed finally by a Nato bomb. A message for us in the West perhaps?

In the post-Snowden world, we all know how extensive is the reach, even among their own citizens, of US and UK intelligence gathering. What we do not know is what aspects of that intelligence are deliberately hidden from citizens who desperately need access to it in their grief, or indeed why any of it should be kept from them.

We relatives need the truth about who murdered our families and article 2 of human rights legislation guarantees our right to have it. While that truth is hidden, the true perpetrators are protected.

Next year, in the face of the blank refusal of governments to mount any meaningful inquiry, certain relatives will apply to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission for a further appeal against the Megrahi verdict. It is likely that some of us will also pursue other routes to force an honest inquiry out of obdurate governments; 25 years is too long, and we should not be opposed by our own elected governments.

If you look at terrible UK disasters – Northern Ireland and the IRA trials, the Hillsborough disaster and also Lockerbie, it is the denial of truth to the victims that is the common thread. So, indeed, there is a thread and that thread is truth.

Kerry In Philippines To Seal Deal for American Re-Colonization

[SEE:  PHILIPPINES TYPHOON CAUSED BY US MILITARY WEAPON - REPORT ]

Kerry in Philippines to propel troop deal as China row simmers

AFP

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at Manila International Airport on December 17, 2013

Manila (AFP) – Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the Philippines Tuesday for a two-day trip that could fast-track a deal on expanding the US military presence as a territorial dispute simmers with China.

Kerry flew to Manila as the two allies are in the final stages of hammering out a deal allowing more US troops, aircraft and ships to temporarily pass through the Philippines, where the last US bases closed in 1992.

He will also visit areas devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan last month, highlighting a massive US humanitarian response to the disaster which contrasted with a modest contribution from regional power China.

“Kerry’s visit can be expected to act as a catalyst for change,” John Blaxland, a security and defence analyst at Australia National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific, told AFP.

“He will be eager to leverage the visit to speed up and finalise arrangements and assure the Philippines and other regional powers that the US is not just a fair-weather friend,” Blaxland said.

Kerry will meet with Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and President Benigno Aquino later Tuesday to discuss ways for “broadening of economic and security cooperation”, the foreign department said.

“Humanitarian assistance and disaster response and cooperation on regional issues are also expected to be on the agenda,” it said in a statement. The United States, the former colonial power in the Philippines, has been the greatest contributor of aid following the typhoon which left nearly 8,000 dead or missing, and four million people homeless.

Washington deployed an aircraft carrier group and committed 1,000 Marines and $20 million in a mobilisation that served as a preview of the deal’s intensified defence engagement.

Beijing meanwhile drew scorn with an initial offer of just $100,000 to the Philippines, a Washington ally with which it is locked in a dispute over sovereignty of islands in the strategically vital South China Sea.

Del Rosario and Aquino have been rallying pro-US sentiment to blunt China’s muscle-flexing in the region.

Ian Storey, a senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, said Washington’s humanitarian response could help it secure the military pact with Manila.

“America’s immediate, massive and generous support in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan could well hasten negotiations on US military rotational deployments through the Philippines,” he said.

China’s growing assertiveness in the region as well as the increasing frequency of deadly natural disasters in the Philippines “underscore the growing importance of Manila’s alliance with Washington”, Storey said.

Kerry, who is touring the Philippines for the first time since taking office, will travel to the typhoon-ravaged town of Tacloban on Wednesday.

Tensions between the Philippines and China have risen in recent years as Beijing becomes more forthright in asserting its claim over most of the potentially resource-rich South China Sea.

Earlier this year, Manila took Beijing to a United Nations tribunal over the contested Scarborough Shoal, which lies about 220 kilometres (135 miles) from the Philippines’ main island of Luzon and has been occupied by Chinese vessels since last year.

In a bid to showcase its increasing military alliance with the United States, Manila held war games near the territory earlier this year, further stoking tensions with Beijing.

China’s recent declaration of an Air Defence Identification Zone in the East China Sea — which has infuriated Japan and South Korea — has also raised concerns in the Philippines.

Storey said that while Beijing had not officially declared a similar air cover for the South China Sea “it might do so in the near future”.

“During Kerry’s visit to the Philippines, both sides will likely reiterate the importance of freedom of navigation at sea and in the air,” he said.

The United States already has a long-time ally in the Philippines — until 1992 it had a permanent military presence at two bases in the island nation.

The bases were closed amid nationalist opposition, but the current administration led by Aquino has repeatedly said it wants to build a stronger alliance with the US.

Creator of Typhoon Haiyan Microwave Steering Loses Google Account Days After Video

[SEE:  PHILIPPINES TYPHOON CAUSED BY US MILITARY WEAPON - REPORT ]

[As of 11/21/2013 , DutchSinse lost Gmail, YouTube collections, access to account.  He still has this research site at SinseDutch.  He outlines the dangers below lurking in Google+ which made him easy prey for the self-appointed censors of the Evil Empire.]

Major Security FLAW in Google+ can Shutdown your Youtube page instantly with no strikes, no appeal

video explanation here:

__________

My youtube channel , http://www.youtube.com/dutchsinse, was erroneously shut down yesterday, lost all videos, and all Google+ access.  I had no strikes, no violations, and was all green across the board.

How did my youtube get terminated?  Easily.

They simply flagged my GOOGLE+ account as an “impersonator”.  Yes, flagged my own dutchsinse MAIN GOOGLE+ page as an impersonator.  LOL.   They can do it anonymously, with no warning, and with no recourse by you to fix it, except, to SEND A PHOTO ID OF YOURSELF to G+ to prove you are who you say you are.

click to view full size:

google plus security flaw

What? Send a photo ID to G+ to save your YOUTUBE page from shutdown, after your G+ was falsely flagged as an “impersonator”?!!!

Madness.  Seriously, big problem here, how do you PROVE you’re a screen name?

They’re asking for a photo ID to prove who I am.  However, the google+ is named “dutchsinse”.  My real name is Michael Janitch.

I sent them a copy of my passport 48 hours ago, filled out the form with my real name, never even received a confirmation reply that they received it.  and as of today 220am CT november 21, no reply at all.

I’m dutchsinse.  How can someone ELSE, an anonymous person, report me for “impersonation”?  Which then causes G+ to INSTANTLY shut down my whole G+ page…. which then leads to the INSTANT TERMINATION OF MY YOUTUBE PAGE, and a blocking of all my associated G+ pages.

A domino effect caused by one single false flagging, one single easy abuse of a security feature on youtube that, SHOULD, have human review behind it, and should not be automated.

Yesterday, thanks to this fake / false google+ shutdown , I lost 75,000 subscribers, and 800+ videos. Lost access to ALL of it.  Due to a single false flag on a separate service away from youtube!!!

Again, no email from youtube OR google+ was sent to me, warning me, or giving me a dispute option.

Very strange too, Google+ and youtube BOTH have my cellphone number already on file for login and verification purposes, no message sent to my mobile device at all.

Don’t forget, MOST IMPORTANTLY, there was no recourse to solve this.  No link to click on, no email to send, and no option to dispute. For me to get it fixed, it literally took someone who works there to privately contact the “policy team” and do a few things to get my youtube restored.

Still locked out on Google+, still cannot make any comment even below my own video, and still cannot share anything via the share button.  No reply from google, except to ask for an ID with my SCREENNAME on it?!

lol, can you say NIGHTMARE scenario here.

Meanwhile, no laughing matter, 3 years of work , 800+ videos, and 75,000+ subscribers on the line… all capable of being wiped out from a SEPARATE service like google+ ?  Somethings not right about this.

Imagine if someone could shut down your PERSONAL facebook page with the click of a button, and then YOU have to prove who YOU are because they clicked a button.

Guilty until proven innocent , meanwhile they DELETE your youtube page, delete all your content, and you have to fight to get it back?

Shouldn’t the person making the impersonation CLAIM have to provide THEIR ID???????

Anyone can get shut down this way.  Maybe a few larger channels will get slammed, then google might take notice.  Right now, they’re not responding to any of my contact attempts.

Fed. Judge Rules NSA Homeland Data-Mining Unconstitutional

[SEE: Klayman v. Obama ]

Federal Judge Writes Epic Smackdown Of ‘Likely Unconstitutional’ NSA Phone Record Collection

US District Court Judge, Richard D. Leon

This federal judge says the NSA collection of Americans’ phone records likely violates the Constitution.

Thanks to a leak of classified documents by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, we learned this summer that Verizon (and presumably other phone companies) were regularly handing over to the federal government metadata for all of their customers. Metadata being a fancy word for lists of all the phone calls made, which numbers were calling which numbers and how long those conversations lasted. While jaws were still on the floor regarding the scope of such collection, which would include hundreds of millions of people (including you, unless you don’t have a phone), two Verizon subscribers got to work drafting up a lawsuit. Larry Klayman, a conservative activist, and Charles Strange, father of a Navy SEAL who died in Afghanistan, sued the federal government as well as Verizon, saying that the phone company handing over their information to the feds was a violation of the U.S. Constitution and an “outrageous” breach of privacy. In a scathing opinion out of the District Court of D.C. Monday, federal judge Richard Leon agreed with them, saying the phone metadata collection program is “almost certainly” unconstitutional.

Calling the wholesale download of America’s phonecall activity “Orwellian,” Judge Leon writes that the NSA’s collection and querying efforts “likely violate the Fourth Amendment.” This is a huge deal. This is a classified program that has been in place for seven years that has been collecting information about most anyone with a phone, reviewed only by judges from a secret surveillance court. Brought into the open only because of documents leaked by Edward Snowden, a federal judge now says on an initial review that it is likely unconstitutional.

It’s hard now to argue that Snowden is not a whistleblower.

Leon, a George Bush appointee to the federal bench in 2001, ruled that Klayman and Strange should have their metadata excised from the database and that the NSA should stop collecting their phone information moving forward. But he also put a stay on his own opinion to give the government time to appeal.

“In the short run it means the surveillance continues while the government appeals to the D.C. Circuit,” says Hanni Fakhoury, a lawyer at EFF. “The appeal would go to the D.C. Circuit, a good place for this case.”

Fakhoury points out the D.C. Circuit established the ground-breaking privacy case U.S. v. Jones, which eventually went to the Supreme Court and established our right to be free of warrantless GPS trackers on our cars.

Throughout Leon’s opinion, it’s obvious that he was horrified by what he learned from the Snowden leaks. The ACLU previously tried to wage a legal battle against this kind of dragnet phone surveillance, but its case was thrown out because it couldn’t prove it had been surveilled. The documents leaked by Snowden, which led the federal government to release other opinions about its phone collection program, have changed that.

“It’s one thing to say that people expect phone companies to occasionally provide information to law enforcement; it is quite another to suggest that our citizens expect all phone companies to operate what is effectively a joint intelligence-gathering operation with the Government,” writes Leon. Klayman and Strange’s suit against the government and against Verizon asked for $3 billion in damages. Leon isn’t ruling on that yet. He stuck to the constitutional issues, and lacerated the government’s arguments in the case.

The government mainly relied on the precedent from a 1979 Supreme Court case that found that police could get a phone company to tell it what numbers a person had dialed on their phone without violating the Fourth Amendment because people did not have a “legitimate expectation of privacy” over information they handed over to a third party. This is called the “third party doctrine” in legal circles, and given how much information we now keep with third parties (from our phone information to our email) some big legal dogs are starting to chew on it.

“Put simply, people in 2013 have an entirely different relationship with phones than they did thiry-four years ago,” writes Leon. “I cannot possibly navigate these uncharted Fourth Amendment waters using as my North Star a case that predates the rise of cell phones.”

Just like General Keith Alexander did in a puff piece on 60 Minutes Sunday night, the government argued that it needs quick access to these records in order to hunt down terrorists quickly. Leon was skeptical saying that he had not been presented with evidence showing that the telephony metadata was “immediately useful or that they prevented an impending attack,” and that the government could always get the data through other constitutional ways.

“The question that I will ultimately have to answer when I reach the merits of this case someday is whether people have a reasonable expectation of privacy that is violated when the Government, without any basis whatsoever to suspect them of any wrongdoing, collects and stores for five years their telephony metadata for purposes of subjecting it to high-tech querying and analysis without any case-by-case judicial approval,” writes Leon, who hints at the answer to the question: “I have little doubt that the author of our Consitution, James Madison, who cautioned us to beware ‘the abridgement of freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachments by those in power,’ would be aghast.”

FBI Admits That They Can Covertly Activate Webcams

FBI Admits Activating Webcams To Spy on People (Without Triggering the Indicator Light)

Posted by

 

The FBI has admitted the obvious: that for years they’ve been activating people’s webcams remotely to spy on them – all without having the webcam light turn on.  (See: FBI webcam spying turned on: no red light required)

Thank you for admitting the obvious FBI. But so many morons living under Kim Kardashian’s butt believe that the “Oh, I don’t have anything to hide. What’s the big deal?”

I guess you should have asked that to Miss Teen USA who was blackmailed after a hacker got into her webcam and snapped some photos of her she walked around her bedroom after getting out the shower and getting dressed(see: Calif. youth admits Miss Teen USA ‘sextortion’ plot), and successfully blackmailed other teenage girls whose webcams he was able to hack into.

Its called ratting – remote access tool or remote administration tool rather – (see: Meet the men who spy on women through their webcams) – that has become very commonplace in the Orwellian nightmare.  So, of course, since losers who can’t get dates do this to girls to try to entertain themselves, of course the FBI has done such a thing (see: The FBI Can Watch You Through Your Laptop’s Webcam).

I want to read to you passage from George Orwell’s 1984.  From his famous novel on page 2, published in 1949, where he wrote:

“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live–did live, from habit that became instinct–in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”

Yes, the cell phone microphone could be activated remotely while the cell phone is powered down.  This has been known for about seven years now that they’ve been able to do that.(see: FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool).

And they’re trying to do away with all privacy.  They’re trying to do away with the Bill of Rights, the fourth amendment which requires the government to have a warrant to tap into any of your devices.

But, in the Orwellian New World Order they’re gonna be pushing more products like: X-box, one more smart television that have webcams built in without a hard-wired on-off switch, without a sliding cover, because these are the tele-screens that many of the public are willingly participating in and installing in their own homes (see: Your TV spying on you?  It’s possible).

And then the next phase is gonna be that they’re always on always listening with voice recognition systems. I mean the smart televisions have voice recognition systems.  The x-box, the connect – these things have voice recognition systems.

And so the next generation of cell phones, webcams – there just going to always be listening to you.  So, you know, like right now, if you want to have an iPhone and you want to use Siri, you’ve got to actually press the button.  But the next few generations are just going to be on all the time – just listening to you.

And the slaves are going to think that’s great. They’re so lazy they can’t just push a button activate Suri. They just need to [say] “Oh, Suri. Please. Suri, what day is it today?  Hey Suri, what country am I in right now?”  They are mentally enslaved. Their brains have become mush.

So, anyway, thank you FBI for admitting the obvious.

And, again for the morons who say, “Oh, I don’t have anything to hide…” This technology is such a double-edged sword. I guess, say that the Miss Teen USA.  She didn’t have anything to hide.  She was a victim of this web hacking as countless girls are.

So, there you go: baby monitors being hacked into remotely (see: Baby monitor hacked, spies on Texas child).

This is the Orwellian nightmare. So please learn the Bill of Rights.  Please learn what your rights are before it’s too late.

The American Police State and the Cult of Legalized Murder

A Stark Look at the Death Penalty

criminal justice

Death_Penalty

Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games and Virtual Environments–(declassified)

TOP SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108
Derived From: NSA/CSSM 1-52
Dated: 20070108
Declassify On: 20320108
TOP SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108 (S//SI)

Topic: Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments

(TS//SI) Issue:

We know that terrorists use many feature-rich Internet communications media for operational purposes such as email, VoIP, chat, proxies, and web forums and it is highly likely they will be making wide use of the many communications features offered by Games and
Virtual Environments (GVE) by 2010. The SIGINT Enterprise needs to begin taking action now
to plan for collection, processing, presentation, and analysis of these communications. With a few exceptions, NSA can’t even recognize the traffic, and therefore it is impossible to even say what percentage of the environment is GVE; let alone determine how targets are using the communications features of GVEs. However, GVEs offer a SIGINT/HUMINT opportunity space and more research is needed to figure out effective exploitation.  (S//SI) GVEs today allow individuals to gather with like-minded others online. Many GVEs offer communications such as private chat (P2P), group chat, chat to an alias, and broadcast chat –both text and voice. Also many GVEs allow convergent technologies to intermingle such as
XboxLive! which can be run via an Xbox360 gaming console and/or connect via a PC to normal MSN chat. Second Life offers the ability to anonymously text to a GSM phone (SMS) and soon they will offer anonymous voice calls so that phone numbers do not have to be known by either party and won’t show up in collection. Some GVEs allow third party interfaces which allow limited functionality from a web browser. This overcomes obstacles such as a high-bandwidth
requirement and or not being allowed to download software (think Internet café usage). In
addition, many GVEs are able to be used via mobile devices connected wirelessly (phones, handhelds, laptops). Connected to the GVEs, specialized forums and other social networking sites have sprung up to provide an additional place to interact, connect, or share. These sites and any others can be advertised in the GVEs, so that if a terrorist web forum has to move locations it can be found by its members again. Areas/groups can be access-restricted, member-only. They are essentially private meeting places, and can be used for planning, comms, and training, etc.
GVEs are used for collaboration; Forterra’s 3D world is coming to JWICS to do this IC-wide. (U//FOUO) GVEs have been made that reinforce prejudices and cultural stereotypes while imparting a targeted message or lesson both from the Western point of view and in the Middle East. America’s Army is a U.S. Army produced game that is free download from its recruitment page and is acknowledged to be so good at this the army no longer needs to use it for recruitment, they use it for training. The Lebanese Hizballah has taken this concept and the same basic game design and made its own version of the game called Special Forces 2 (SF2), which its press section acknowledges is used for recruitment and training in order to prepare their youth to “fight the enemy”, a radicalizing medium; the ultimate goal is to become a suicide martyr.

One cannot discount the “fun factor” involved—it is important to hold your target audience’s
attention– and makes ingesting the message not even noticeable.

SF2 features multi-player, online text and voice chat for up to 60 players simultaneously, effectively acting like a VPN or private chat forum. SF2 is offered at $10 a copy and so also goes to fund terrorist operations.
(S//SI) These games offer realistic weapons training (what weapon to use against what target, what ranges can be achieved, even aiming and firing), military operations and tactics, photo-realistic land navigation and terrain familiarization, and leadership skills. While complete military training is best achieved in person, perfection is not always required to accomplish the
mission. Some of the 9-11 pilots had never flown a real plane, they had only trained using Microsoft’s Flight Simulator. When the mission is expensive, risky, or dangerous, it is often a wiser idea to exercise virtually, rather than really blow an operative up assembling a bomb or exposing a sleeper agent to law enforcement scrutiny. Militaries around the world use virtual simulators with great success and the Hizballah has even hooked up a Playstation controller to a laptop in order to guide some of its real missiles. Kuma Wars is a U.S. owned company that offers realistic battle simulation of real battles in Iraq usually one month after they actually happened. The player can re-do maneuvers in a lessons learned way for training, or you can switch sides and see how it works from the opposite side. It also provides real terrain features, such as real road signs from real roads in Iraq, and a simulated night-vision goggles environment.  (TS//SI) Al Qaida terrorist target selectors and GVE executables have been found associated with XboxLive, Second Life, World of Warcraft, and other GVEs in PINWALE network traffic,
TAO databases, and in forensic data. Other targets include Chinese hackers, an Iranian nuclear scientist, Hizballah, and Hamas members. GCHQ has a vigorous effort to exploit GVEs and has produced exploitation modules in XboxLive! and World of Warcraft. After beta testing, they expect reporting to begin in April 2008. The FBI, CIA and the Defense Humint Service all have HUMINT operations in Second Life and other GVEs and are very interested in forming a deconfliction ["reduce the risk of collision between (aircraft, airborne weaponry, etc.) in an area by coordinating their movements"--ed. ] and tipping group that would be able to collaborate on operations.  (TS//SI) GVEs are an opportunity! We can use games for: CNE exploits, social network
analysis, HUMINT targeting, ID tracking (photos, doc IDs), shaping activities, geo-location of
target, and collection of comms. It has been well documented that terrorists are OPSEC and tech
saavy and are only getting more so over time. These applications and their servers however, are trusted by their users and makes an connection to another computer on the Internet, which can then be exploited. Through target buddylists and interaction found in the gaming and on gaming web sites, social networks can be diagramed and previously unknown SIGINT leads and connections and terrorists cells discovered. GVEs can contain on-line presence indicators, geolocation, and ID tracking can be gleaned and used in apprehension operations.  [do these "apprehension operations" also refer to UAV drone targeting?--ed]
(TS//SI) Recommendation: The amount of GVEs in the world is growing but the specific ones that CT needs to be methodically discovered and validated. Only then can we find evidence that GVEs are being used for operational uses. Protocol Exploitation, SFL, and TAO should begin profiling their databases and the GVEs for collection and exploitation possibilities. Open source (APSTARS) produced GVE lists and selectors should be used to run against UTT and other databases to check for cross matches to develop target selectors. CT SIGDEV along with CT TOPIs will study the collected traffic to find and track targets of interest. There should be a concentrated effort to conduct research into target use of GVEs, and signatures for survey collection should be developed. Targets and specific apps should be chosen to exploit to ensure that terrorists’ GVE/social site usage is covered by SIGINT and the system is not left behind the times. All avenues should be taken to develop PES and CNE exploits as GVEs are found on target computers. We need to develop a viewer/db that allows linguist/analysts to view/experience voice/text/video traffic together and archivee the GVE data associated with reporting. which will also be essential for Yahoo, Skype, webcam, VTCs and Biometrics.
(S//SI) CT SIGDEV/SSG should establish a process to deconflict IC-wide ops in GVEs and to develop strategy for collaboration. Members from at least CIA, FBI, DIA, NSA and GCHQ should participate to make the coordination significant. Members should have ability to check tasking, traffic, and status of current operations.

Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis

[Saudi Arabia has complete immunity to wage its "holy war" of Sunni terrorism all over the world, with the  intention of controlling American and Western govt. foreign policies.  We know that the Saudis are the SOURCE OF ALL SUNNI TERRORISM and that 90% of all global terrorism is Sunni, yet our leaders ignore these obvious truths that confirm Saudi Arabia as the source of the terror which we fight in the American "War on Terror."  We fight against Sunni terrorists worldwide, as we strive to find an avenue to war against the Shia.  

If this knowledge, that the entire American govt. is colluding with a foreign govt. which sponsors "al-Qaeda" terrorists who kill American soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere doesn't merit violent revolution as a solution, then I don't know what does!  Bandar bin Sultan and his cousin Prince Turki have always presided over the royal assets which have sustained have Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Boko Haram, Fatah al-Islam, PKK, TTP, Taliban, IMU, and all the rest, especially in their capacity as Saudi spy chiefs.  Bandar has merely come out of the closet smiling broadly due to Obama's attempts to remove the stigma from Al-Qaeda, by legitimizing Ayman al-Zawahiri's latest incarnation in Syria and after using Al-Qaeda militant leaders openly in the Western aggression against Libya.

Whenever enough Americans are made to realize the cold, inexplicable fact that we are using the Saudis, Pakistanis and others to create the very same terrorist armies that are killing American soldiers everyday, then the current government will be violently overthrown by an armed populace grown weary of a tyrannical govt. that uses our tax dollars to fund the terrorist threat to America.] 

Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis

the independent

World View: Everyone knows where al-Qa’ida gets its money, but while the violence is sectarian, the West does nothing

Public grief: Mass funerals after a car bomb in a Shia area of Karachi in March

 

Patrick Cockburn

Donors in Saudi Arabia have notoriously played a pivotal role in creating and maintaining Sunni jihadist groups over the past 30 years. But, for all the supposed determination of the United States and its allies since 9/11 to fight “the war on terror”, they have showed astonishing restraint when it comes to pressuring Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies to turn off the financial tap that keeps the jihadists in business.

Compare two US pronouncements stressing the significance of these donations and basing their conclusions on the best intelligence available to the US government. The first is in the 9/11 Commission Report which found that Osama bin Laden did not fund al-Qa’ida because from 1994 he had little money of his own but relied on his ties to wealthy Saudi individuals established during the Afghan war in the 1980s. Quoting, among other sources, a CIA analytic report dated 14 November 2002, the commission concluded that “al-Qa’ida appears to have relied on a core group of financial facilitators who raised money from a variety of donors and other fund-raisers primarily in the Gulf countries and particularly in Saudi Arabia”.

Seven years pass after the CIA report was written during which the US invades Iraq fighting, among others, the newly established Iraq franchise of al-Qa’ida, and becomes engaged in a bloody war in Afghanistan with the resurgent Taliban. American drones are fired at supposed al-Qa’ida-linked targets located everywhere from Waziristan in north-west Pakistan to the hill villages of Yemen. But during this time Washington can manage no more than a few gentle reproofs to Saudi Arabia on its promotion of fanatical and sectarian Sunni militancy outside its own borders.

Evidence for this is a fascinating telegram on “terrorist finance” from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to US embassies, dated 30 December 2009 and released by WikiLeaks the following year. She says firmly that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide”. Eight years after 9/11, when 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, Mrs Clinton reiterates in the same message that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups”. Saudi Arabia was most important in sustaining these groups, but it was not quite alone since “al-Qa’ida and other groups continue to exploit Kuwait both as a source of funds and as a key transit point”.

Why did the US and its European allies treat Saudi Arabia with such restraint when the kingdom was so central to al-Qa’ida and other even more sectarian Sunni jihadist organisations? An obvious explanation is that the US, Britain and others did not want to offend a close ally and that the Saudi royal family had judiciously used its money to buy its way into the international ruling class. Unconvincing attempts were made to link Iran and Iraq to al-Qa’ida when the real culprits were in plain sight.

But there is another compelling reason why the Western powers have been so laggard in denouncing Saudi Arabia and the Sunni rulers of the Gulf for spreading bigotry and religious hate. Al-Qa’ida members or al-Qa’ida-influenced groups have always held two very different views about who is their main opponent. For Osama bin Laden the chief enemy was the Americans, but for the great majority of Sunni jihadists, including the al-Qa’ida franchises in Iraq and Syria, the target is the Shia. It is the Shia who have been dying in their thousands in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and even in countries where there are few of them to kill, such as Egypt.

Pakistani papers no longer pay much attention to hundreds of Shia butchered from Quetta to Lahore. In Iraq, most of the 7,000 or more people killed this year are Shia civilians killed by the bombs of al-Qa’ida in Iraq, part of an umbrella organisation called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), which also encompasses Syria. In overwhelmingly Sunni Libya, militants in the eastern town of Derna killed an Iraqi professor who admitted on video to being a Shia before being executed by his captors.

Suppose a hundredth part of this merciless onslaught had been directed against Western targets rather than against Shia Muslims, would the Americans and the British be so accommodating to the Saudis, Kuwaitis and Emiratis? It is this that gives a sense of phoniness to boasts by the vastly expanded security bureaucracies in Washington and London about their success in combating terror justifying vast budgets for themselves and restricted civil liberties for everybody else. All the drones in the world fired into Pashtun villages in Pakistan or their counterparts in Yemen or Somalia are not going to make much difference if the Sunni jihadists in Iraq and Syria ever decide – as Osama bin Laden did before them – that their main enemies are to be found not among the Shia but in the United States and Britain.

Instead of the fumbling amateur efforts of the shoe and underpants bombers, security services would have to face jihadist movements in Iraq, Syria and Libya fielding hundreds of bomb-makers and suicide bombers. Only gradually this year, videos from Syria of non-Sunnis being decapitated for sectarian motives alone have begun to shake the basic indifference of the Western powers to Sunni jihadism so long as it is not directed against themselves.

Saudi Arabia as a government for a long time took a back seat to Qatar in funding rebels in Syria, and it is only since this summer that they have taken over the file. They wish to marginalise the al-Qa’ida franchisees such as Isil and the al-Nusra Front while buying up and arming enough Sunni war-bands to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

The directors of Saudi policy in Syria – the Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, the head of the Saudi intelligence agency Prince Bandar bin Sultan and the Deputy Defence Minister Prince Salman bin Sultan – plan to spend billions raising a militant Sunni army some 40,000 to 50,000 strong. Already local warlords are uniting to share in Saudi largesse for which their enthusiasm is probably greater than their willingness to fight.

The Saudi initiative is partly fuelled by rage in Riyadh at President Obama’s decision not to go to war with Syria after Assad used chemical weapons on 21 August. Nothing but an all-out air attack by the US similar to that of Nato in Libya in 2011 would overthrow Assad, so the US has essentially decided he will stay for the moment. Saudi anger has been further exacerbated by the successful US-led negotiations on an interim deal with Iran over its nuclear programme.

By stepping out of the shadows in Syria, the Saudis are probably making a mistake. Their money will only buy them so much. The artificial unity of rebel groups with their hands out for Saudi money is not going to last. They will be discredited in the eyes of more fanatical jihadis as well as Syrians in general as pawns of Saudi and other intelligence services.

A divided opposition will be even more fragmented. Jordan may accommodate the Saudis and a multitude of foreign intelligence services, but it will not want to be the rallying point for an anti-Assad army.

The Saudi plan looks doomed from the start, though it could get a lot more Syrians killed before it fails. Yazid Sayegh of the Carnegie Middle East Centre highlights succinctly the risks involved in the venture: “Saudi Arabia could find itself replicating its experience in Afghanistan, where it built up disparate mujahedin groups that lacked a unifying political framework. The forces were left unable to govern Kabul once they took it, paving the way for the Taliban to take over. Al-Qa’ida followed, and the blowback subsequently reached Saudi Arabia.”

Australian Press Dares To Ask, “How Deep Is the NSA Rabbit Hole?”

Who is monitoring the covert operations of the world’s spy agencies?

 

Sydney_Morning_Herald-logo-

Deborah Snow

Mission drift: our intelligence agencies are in danger of straying from their core purpose.

 

 

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Not since the infamous Sheraton Hotel incident in Melbourne 30 years ago, when weapons-brandishing spies bungled a mock hostage rescue exercise, has the Australian Secret Intelligence Service wound up with so much egg on its face.

In that escapade, ASIS trainees broke down a guest-room door with a sledgehammer, terrorised the hotel manager and pulled pistols as they tried to escape.

You need the haystack to find the needle. 

This week, the embarrassment lay in the exposure of a real-life spying operation, with the clearest evidence yet that ASIS, apparently under political direction, had bugged the East Timorese cabinet room in 2004 to help Canberra arm-twist Dili over offshore gas fields.

ASIO, the domestic spy agency, appeared to confirm the charge with a raid on the home of a former ASIS agent who had allegedly blown the whistle on the bugging operation. It also searched the premises of Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery, who had been poised to call the former spy in legal action on East Timor’s behalf.

Australia’s foremost academic intelligence specialist, the Australian National University’s Professor Des Ball, said he found it mortifying that ”we used our highly professional security agency to get a couple of bloody percentage points in our dealings with a struggling country like East Timor. I’ve got no problems doing it to the Chinese or Japanese, who are doing it back to us … but Timor? That’s what bullies do”.Former senior Defence Department official Allan Behm agreed, slamming the spying action against Dili as as ”affronting” and ”not moral”.

The revelations capped off a shocking few weeks for the Australian intelligence community, given recent exposure of 2009 plans by the Australian Signals Directorate to tap the private phones of the Indonesian president, his wife and other members of their inner circle.

With Dili and Jakarta in uproar, many Australians might have been wondering what havoc our spy services were going to wreak next.

But red faces have not been confined to Canberra. Its been an annus horribilis for the Western intelligence community as a whole, with continuing disclosures from the innermost vaults of signals intelligence agencies in Britain, the US,

Australia, New Zealand and Canada, courtesy of former US intelligence insider Edward Snowden.

Snowden, branded a ”traitor” by Attorney-General George Brandis, has lifted the lid on a surreptitious global communications and data surveillance dragnet operated by the five countries under what is formally called the UKUSA intelligence-sharing pact, known colloquially as the ”Five Eyes” arrangement.

The five eyes operate through the key eavesdropping agencies in each country: the all-powerful National Security Agency in the US, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Britain, New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), Canada’s Communications Security Establishment and the Australian Signals Directorate or ASD (formerly the Defence Signals Directorate).

Decades of intimate intelligence-sharing has left these agencies with a pattern of co-operation that one former senior government insider describes as ”seamless, instinctive, visceral”.

”It has produced a situation where the agencies wouldn’t contemplate for a nanosecond not co-operating if one of them asked for something,” the source says.

The slow drip of revelations from the cache of documents, which former NSA contractor Snowden took with him and then leaked to The Guardian, is building an extraordinary picture of the depth, breadth and reach of this global surveillance effort.

Just two days ago, The Washington Post (which is partnering The Guardian on some Snowden stories) revealed the NSA was collecting upwards of 5 billion mobile phone records a day, allowing the agency to plot the movements and connections of an enormous number of individuals around the world.

The paper quoted an unnamed NSA manager confirming that the agency was getting ”vast volumes” of location data by tapping into global communications networks.

Snowden’s cache has unveiled the existence of a veritable alphabet soup of programs – with code names including Prism, Tempora, xKeystroke, Muscular, Pinwale, EgotisticalGiraffe, Stormbrew, Fairview, Oakstar, Mainway, and Nucleon – all aimed at harvesting, storing and analysing as much of the world’s electronic communications as can be scooped up.

Among the key programs is Tempora, which allows the NSA and GCHQ, with help from ASD, to tap into the arteries of the global communications system, the undersea fibre optic cables which snake between continents and carry well over three quarters of the word’s internet and communications traffic.

Then there is Prism, which has sparked particular outrage as it points to extensive NSA penetration of services such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook and YouTube.

As one leaked slide prepared by the NSA’s Special Source Operations group points out: ”Much of the world’s communications flow through the US. Your target’s communication could easily be flowing into and through the US.”

Behm says: ”If you and I are on a mobile, neither of us knows quite where the packages of our signals are actually going. It could be going through San Francisco, Canada or somewhere else. The NSA can collect it because it’s all up there to be collected, it’s just all out there.”

In an Australian context, the documents trickling out so far have raised more questions than they’ve answered. How far does ASD contribute to the worldwide five eyes data-harvesting effort? How secure from snooping by the intelligence agencies are the US services Australians unthinkingly use on a daily basis, including Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Facebook, Skype, Hotmail and Microsoft?

And even if Australian law purports to offer some measure of privacy protection, how can that be more than a fig leaf when most of these services are headquartered outside Canberra’s jurisdiction, and so much of our data is routed offshore?

Behm says the legislation governing Australia’s intelligence agencies was fashioned at a time when ”everybody thought they knew the boundaries within which those organisations would operate. But since then, there has been an exponential explosion in the amount of data that is available, and in the capacity to store it, monitor it, interrogate it. How do we assess the adequacy of laws [governing the agencies] which were passed more than 10 years ago?”

A salient warning has come from the US founder of Lavabit, Ladar Levison, who shut down his encrypted email service earlier this year because he said he would become ”complicit in crimes against the American people” if he complied with secret court orders forcing his co-operation with security agencies.

”I would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States,” he warned.

San Francisco’s Kurt Opsahl, a senior attorney with the US Electronic Frontier Foundation, describes the latest revelations as the template for a ”surveillance state that is completely global in scope and is designed to use guilt by association: to look at who is in the same location at the same time as others, and then make assumptions based about that information”.

Intelligence agency heads in Britain and the US have been at pains to point out that most of the information gathered in mass data-harvesting operations is metadata, key details like time, place, duration and user ID which are automatically recorded when a communication takes place, rather than the contents of the communication itself.

NSA director General Keith Alexander has defended ”bulk” collection as an essential anti-terrorism tool, saying ”you need the haystack to find the needle”.

But privacy advocates say metadata can be rich with information about a person’s life and associations.

University of NSW associate professor and fomer army intelligence analyst Clinton Fernandes says: ”I am able to control what I say on the phone [but] I can’t control my metadata.

”Let’s say somebody was to ring a rape crisis hotline, followed by an abortion clinic hotline, followed by a counsellor. You wouldn’t need to know what the calls were about, you could tell immediately what was going on. So metadata is very revealing in that sense.”

The Snowden documents have so far revealed very little about the precise contribution of Australia to mass data-gathering and monitoring operations. One snippet, apparently jotted down by note-takers at a 2008 meeting at GCHQ in Britain, suggested the then Defence Signals Directorate could ”share bulk, unselected, unminimised metadata as long as there is no intent to target an Australian national”. It added that ”unintentional collection is not viewed as a significant issue”.

Although some have seen this a smoking gun, the Defence Department (of which ASD is a part) issued emphatic denials this week.

”ASD is a foreign signals intelligence organisation which targets foreign communications,” a Defence spokesman said. ”ASD does not undertake the mass collection of domestic metadata. ASD can only produce intelligence, including metadata, about Australian persons in a limited range of circumstances subject to a ministerial authorisation first being obtained.”

Ball and Behm find these assurances convincing. Ball is adamant the agency is ” very much involved in this global activity but not when it comes to picking up Australians”.

But others argue there is such seamlessness to the five eyes’ intelligence gathering that nothing stops the other partners combing through Australian traffic which they pick up, and feeding the results back to our agencies for ”target development”.

The NSA and the GCHQ each used the other to circumvent domestic restrictions on intelligence collection.

There is little transparency in Australia, either, about how long domestic telecommunications agencies and internet service providers are storing communications records to meet legislative requirements that they assist police and intelligence agencies. (Demands for metadata do not require ministerial warrant.)

”Australians would be gobsmacked if they understood how much data telecommunications companies had on them,” says one observer with some knowledge of Telstra operations. ”Telstra and some of the other major telcos are virtual honey pots of information because of this ceaseless river of data flowing into their information banks. We just don’t know how how much of that the agencies have access to.”

Fairfax revealed on Friday that Telstra had installed ”vacuum cleaner”-like technology supplied by US firm Gigamon to help it sift through telephone calls, texts, social media and internet metadata, and that ASD was also a Gigamon customer. Telstra denied using ”any traffic monitoring system to conduct mass surveillance on behalf of Australian national security agencies.” But all the telcos have to comply with secret requests from the police and intelligence agencies.

In Senate estimates committee hearings in Canberra last month, ASIO director-general David Irvine defended his organisation’s ability to keep the cloak of confidentiality around metadata collection.

”We are very keen to ensure that … is kept secret so that it is not possible to determine who and what we are targeting,” he said.

In Britain and the US, some leading politicians are starting to question the vast data-gathering operations unmasked by Snowden. Britain’s deputy prime minister Nick Clegg recently declared that ”with each passing day there is a stronger and stronger case” to question ”the proportionality of intelligence-gathering today and the accountability of the services”.

In the US, Barack Obama has ordered a snap review of NSA powers.

But in Australia, the political response, with the exception of Greens senator Scott Ludlam and independent senator Nick Xenophon, has been anaemic.

Apart from relevant ministers, there is meant to be a special parliamentary committee which keeps watch on the agencies – the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security – but it has yet to be reconstituted since the September election. And its powers of scrutiny are limited.

There is also an Inspector-General of the Security Services (IGIS), Dr Vivienne Thom, but critics claim her office is under-resourced and too much part of the intelligence ”club”.

The president of Civil Liberties Australia, Dr Kristine Klugman, recently wrote to Dr Thom, urging her to investigate the impact of the NSA’s Prism program on Australians. The IGIS replied that she lacked power to ”look at the activities … of foreign agencies” and in any case would not comment on ”operational matters of the intelligence community”.

Ball says the IGIS office is ”minute, overseeing very secret, very compartmentalised and technically complex [ASD] operations. At the moment, I suspect it’s beyond them”.

He and Behm, strong supporters of the core work of the espionage agencies (which included tracking down some of the Bali bombers), believe there has been ”mission drift” and that public confidence needs to be restored.

Says Behm: ”I think given both the WikiLeaks and Snowden information, it’s high time that parliaments, in the United Kingdom and Australia, had a properly constructed inquiry as to whether existing legislation meets the needs that citizens have for the protection of their fundamental democratic rights which includes privacy.”

with Ben Grubb

US Risking War With China To Defend Imperial Japan’s War Conquests

 

[SEE: Forget Trade Talks, Biden Is in East Asia to Stop a Potential War ]

[Obama was so frustrated with his failed attempt to engineer world war with Russia in the Middle East, that he has now "pivoted" to his next intended war front in the South "China Seas."  The US and Japanese Navies are now skirting around the Chinese Navy and their new aircraft carrier, in order to reinforceJapan, which was forced into relinquishing its claims to the Paracel/Spratly Islands as a condition of the WWII surrender document.  The dubious claims made upon the Spratlys by the Japanese are related to Japan's many aggressions committed against China. 

First, Obama confirmed that Bush's terror is now his own, before he escalated the war in the Middle East against multiple nations, revealing for all to see that he is waging a true "war of aggression" against the entire world.

Next, Obama anoints the new Imperial Japanese government with his blessing, in the form of a promise to invoke the American postwar commitment to defend Japanese territory, even those defined by previous war claims.  Obama, the self-celebrated legal expert, doesn't have a legal leg to stand on in this intricate, pre-arranged dogfight.  Is WWIII to begin with a revival of WWII?]

TREATY OF PEACE WITH JAPAN

Signed at San Francisco, 8 September 1951
Initial entry into force*: 28 April 1952

CHAPTER II, TERRITORY, Article 2, (f) Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Spratly Islands and to the Paracel Islands.

 

The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands

new york times logo

By HAN-YI SHAW
Diaoyu Island is recorded under Kavalan, Taiwan in Revised Gazetteer of Fujian Province (1871).Han-yi ShawDiaoyu Island is recorded under Kavalan, Taiwan in Revised Gazetteer of Fujian Province (1871).

Japan’s recent purchase of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands has predictably reignited tensions amongst China, Japan, and Taiwan. Three months ago, when Niwa Uichiro, the Japanese ambassador to China, warned that Japan’s purchase of the islands could spark an “extremely grave crisis” between China and Japan, Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro slammed Niwa as an unqualified ambassador, who “needs to learn more about the history of his own country”.

Ambassador Niwa was forced to apologize for his remarks and was recently replaced. But what is most alarming amid these developments is that despite Japan’s democratic and pluralist society, rising nationalist sentiments are sidelining moderate views and preventing rational dialogue.

The Japanese government maintains that the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands are Japanese territory under international law and historical point of view and has repeatedly insisted that no dispute exists. Despite that the rest of the world sees a major dispute, the Japanese government continues to evade important historical facts behind its unlawful incorporation of the islands in 1895.

Specifically, the Japanese government asserts, “From 1885 on, our government conducted on-site surveys time and again, which confirmed that the islands were uninhabited and there were no signs of control by the Qing Empire.”

My research of over 40 official Meiji period documents unearthed from the Japanese National Archives, Diplomatic Records Office, and National Institute for Defense Studies Library clearly demonstrates that the Meiji government acknowledged Chinese ownership of the islands back in 1885.

Following the first on-site survey, in 1885, the Japanese foreign minister wrote, “Chinese newspapers have been reporting rumors of our intention of occupying islands belonging to China located next to Taiwan.… At this time, if we were to publicly place national markers, this must necessarily invite China’s suspicion.…”

In November 1885, the Okinawa governor confirmed “since this matter is not unrelated to China, if problems do arise I would be in grave repentance for my responsibility”.

“Surveys of the islands are incomplete” wrote the new Okinawa governor in January of 1892. He requested that a naval ship Kaimon be sent to survey the islands, but ultimately a combination of miscommunication and bad weather made it impossible for the survey to take place.

Letter dated May 12, 1894 affirming that the Meiji government did not repeatedly investigate the disputed islands.Japan Diplomatic Records Office.Letter dated May 12, 1894 affirming that the Meiji government did not repeatedly investigate the disputed islands.

“Ever since the islands were investigated by Okinawa police agencies back in 1885, there have been no subsequent field surveys conducted,” the Okinawa governor wrote in 1894.

After a number of Chinese defeats in the Sino-Japanese War, a report from Japan’s Home Ministry said “this matter involved negotiations with China… but the situation today is greatly different from back then.” The Meiji government, following a cabinet decision in early 1895, promptly incorporated the islands.

Negotiations with China never took place and this decision was passed during the Sino-Japanese War. It was never made public.

In his biography Koga Tatsushiro, the first Japanese citizen to lease the islands from the Meiji government, attributed Japan’s possession of the islands to “the gallant military victory of our Imperial forces.”

Collectively, these official documents leave no doubt that the Meiji government did not base its occupation of the islands following “on-site surveys time and again,” but instead annexed them as booty of war. This is the inconvenient truth that the Japanese government has conveniently evaded.

Japan asserts that neither Beijing nor Taipei objected to U.S. administration after WWII. That’s true, but what Japan does not mention is that neither Beijing nor Taipei were invited as signatories of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, from which the U.S. derived administrative rights.

When Japan annexed the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in 1895, it detached them from Taiwan and placed them under Okinawa Prefecture. Moreover, the Japanese name “Senkaku Islands” itself was first introduced in 1900 by academic Kuroiwa Hisashi and adopted by the Japanese government thereafter. Half a century later when Japan returned Taiwan to China, both sides adopted the 1945 administrative arrangement of Taiwan, with the Chinese unaware that the uninhabited “Senkaku Islands” were in fact the former Diaoyu Islands. This explains the belated protest from Taipei and Beijing over U.S. administration of the islands after the war.

Report dated August 12, 1892 from navy commander affirming the islands were not fully investigated. Source:  Library of The National Institute for Defense Studies.Report dated August 12, 1892 from navy commander affirming the islands were not fully investigated. Source:  Library of The National Institute for Defense Studies.

The Japanese government frequently cites two documents as evidence that China did not consider the islands to be Chinese. The first is an official letter from a Chinese consul in Nagasaki dated May 20, 1920 that listed the islands as Japanese territory.

Neither Beijing nor Taipei dispute that the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands — along with the entire island of Taiwan — were formally under Japanese occupation at the time. However, per post-WW II arrangements, Japan was required to surrender territories obtained from aggression and revert them to their pre-1895 legal status.

The second piece evidence is a Chinese map from 1958 that excludes the Senkaku Islands from Chinese territory. But the Japanese government’s partial unveiling leaves out important information from the map’s colophon: “certain national boundaries are based on maps compiled prior to the Second Sino-Japanese War(1937-1945).”

Qing period (1644-1911) records substantiate Chinese ownership of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands prior to 1895. Envoy documents indicate that the islands reside inside the “border that separates Chinese and foreign lands.” And according to Taiwan gazetteers, “Diaoyu Island accommodates ten or more large ships” under the jurisdiction of Kavalan, Taiwan.

The right to know is the bedrock of every democracy. The Japanese public deserves to know the other side of the story. It is the politicians who flame public sentiments under the name of national interests who pose the greatest risk, not the islands themselves.

Update: The author would like to include an updated image of the Qing era documents that recorded, “Diaoyutai Island accommodates ten or more large ships”, as mentioned in his blog post.

Record of Missions to Taiwan Waters (1722), Gazetteer of Kavalan County (1852), and Pictorial Treatise of Taiwan Proper (1872).National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.Record of Missions to Taiwan Waters (1722), Gazetteer of Kavalan County (1852), and Pictorial Treatise of Taiwan Proper (1872).

Han-Yi Shaw is a Research Fellow at the Research Center for International Legal Studies, National Chengchi University, in Taipei, Taiwan.

The Long-Awaited Death of the “Legitimate News”

 

 

CNN and MSNBC Lose Almost Half Their Viewers in One Year

newsbusters

 

It’s been a tough year for the liberal cable news outlets.

Data released Tuesday show CNN shedding 48 percent of total viewers since last November and MSNBC dropping 45 percent.

The numbers were even worse in the all important demographic of people aged 25 to 54 as CNN’s ratings dropped 59 percent and MSNBC’s 52 percent.

In an off-election year, and with last November’s numbers skewed higher as a result of the presidential election, it should be expected for ratings to decline.

However, Fox News didn’t see close to these losses. In total day, FNC is only down 18 percent since last November and 30 percent in the demo.

As you might imagine, prime time numbers were also down.

CNN was off 54 percent in total viewers and 62 percent in the demo. MSNBC declined 50 percent in total prime time viewers and 57 percent in the demo.

By contrast, FNC was second in all of cable in prime time this November averaging over 2 million viewers. This represented a decline of 21 percent in total viewers and 41 percent in the demo.

As such, no matter how you slice it, the liberal cable networks fared much worse in the past twelve months than their far more centrist competitor.

About the Author

Noel Sheppard is the Associate Editor of NewsBusters.

Political terrorism in Wisconsin—The American Police state begins

The crime of being conservative is being prosecuted with vengance.

Political terrorism in Wisconsin: The American Police state begins

washington times

Conservative groups served with one of those subpoenas should refuse to comply, instead take Francis Schmitz to court.

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2013 – Cops are bursting into homes, seizing computers and other “evidence” while groups are being hit with subpoenas that require them to turn over voluminous and sensitive information – including the names of political donors.

The crime of being conservative is being prosecuted with vengance.

In Wisconsin, special prosecutor Francis Schmitz is going after conservative groups that were involved in the fight over the recall of Governor Scott Walker and Walker’s union reforms. Subpoenas are requesting “all records of income received, including fundraising information and the identity of persons contributing to the corporation.”  They are seeking lists of conservative donors.

These “John Doe” subpoenas are alarming as, under Wisconsin law, when someone receives one of these subpoenas, the only person they are allowed to discuss the subpoena with is their attorney. Not only does this inhibit First Amendment rights, it stops groups from being able to create a unified defense to allegations.

Among the groups that have been targeted are Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin, The Republican Governors’ Association, The friends of Scott Walker, American Crossroads and the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

The subpoenas, which have been leaked to the media, demand all kinds of internal records, including donation information and the identity of individual donors.

This is political terrorism at work and the special prosecutor in this case is a political terrorist.

Obtaining donor lists for conservative organizations is a long time goal of left wing groups. The IRS, when it went after the Tea Party, wanted donor information, which they are legally precluded from having.

Does anyone believe that if these donor lists were turned over to a special prosecutor they would remain secret?

A great example of what the left is doing is California in 2008 and 2009. California passed Proposition 8, which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The left went nuts.

Liberals obtained copies of the donor list for a number of groups that supported Proposition 8 and then went on a rampage. Donors where harassed. Several either lost their jobs or resigned because of the harassment.

Irate liberals harassed businesses.

There is a legal description of what they did. It is called intimidation; at one time the balliwick of thugs and mobs.

The goal of the left in Wisconsin has been to find out the names of donors who helped Scott Walker. Walker’s reforms crippled the left by drying up a cash cow from forced union dues.

The left never forgives nor forgets.  They want payback and they are not beyond using the law, the government or terror to intimidate those who stand against them.

Conservatives need to stand up against this kind of tyranny.  Every conservative group that is served with one of those subpoenas should publicly say they have, refuse to comply and take the Wisconsin special prosecutor to Court.

A special prosecutor is just another lawyer who holds a job.  He or she is subject to the same disciplinary rules as every other lawyer.  This case, certain on its face, looks like the Attorney is using the law to abuse people just for their political beliefs.

That is unethical and that can and should result in that lawyer losing his law license.

The Wall Street Journal, Wisconsin Political Speech Raid Subpoenas hit allies of Scott Walker as his re-election campaign looms, contributed to this report

Is Using the World’s Most Powerful Military Force To Punish Civilian Populations, “War” Or State Terrorism?

FOR SOME REASON,

The Powers That Be decided to trash this post, since someone deleted all of the commentary and image previously posted here.  Normally I copy my posts before hitting the post button….Screwed-up here.  I will try to recapture that which was lost.

[The following is a welcome admission by the Establishment press that our wars have been unmitigated disasters, but it is also very deceptive, falling far short of acceptable standards of journalistic integrity.  Despite the long-overdue admission that are wars have been failed efforts, this article is what is known as "limited hangout" propaganda, telling partial truths as a means for concealing more revelatory damning truths.  In this case, the writer wants his readers to begin to see our wars as huge "mistakes," human-error caused disasters, rather than criminal wars of aggression.   The cold hard truth is that all of our wars have been resounding successes, judging by Pentagon/CIA standards.  The disastrous end-products of these wars was the intended result for all of them, destroying the Muslim countries that refused to follow American dictation.  We fully intended for the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Pakistanis, Yemenis, Syrians, Libyans and all of the rest of America's perceived "enemies," to experience unimaginable human suffering on a scale far greater than that which has been experienced so far.  In addition to all of this, the Imperial plan was to take advantage of the rising chorus of humanity, urging that we remedy all of this misery, as an excuse for inflicting even greater suffering and indignation on these populations under the guise of "humanitarian relief."]    

 

“US ‘humanitarian interventionism’ is the official cover story for the planned destruction of governments and the sustained, relentless punishment of the people who supported those governments…plain and simple.

American foreign policy under Bush and Obama has been a concentrated effort to inflict maximum suffering upon civilian populations, under the cover of pretending to “help” them. America’s foreign policy is criminal…far worse than the alleged ‘crimes against humanity’ which Syria allegedly committed. The chaotic deadly conditions left in the wakes of these criminal wars have affected all of humanity and pushed civilization to the brink of complete collapse. This,makes America’s Imperial wars, by definition, ‘crimes against humanity.'”

war-on-terror-is-a-fraud

The bloody disaster of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan is laid bare

guardian

Bombs and militia violence make clear the folly of Britain’s wars – the removal of law and order from a nation is devastating

Demonstrators Clash With Militiamen In Tripoli

A militia member patrols during clashes with demonstrators on November 15, 2013 in Tripoli, Libya. Photograph: Xinhua/Landov/Barcroft Media

Forty-three people died on Friday in clashes between militias in Libya, as did 22 on Sunday from bombs in Iraq. In Helmand, a return of the Taliban to power is now confidently expected. Why should we care? Why should it feature on our news?

The answer is that we helped to bring it about. Britain’s three foreign wars in the past decade were uninvited military interventions to topple installed governments. All have ended in disaster.

In each case – Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan – it was easy to see evil in the prevailing regime. These are bad guys that we need to go after, said the Americans. Yet the removal of law and order from a nation is devastating, however cruel that order may have been. Iraqis today repeat that, whatever the ills of Saddam Hussein, under his rule most ordinary citizens and their families could walk the streets at night without fear of murder or kidnap. Religious differences were tolerated. Iraq should have been an oil-rich modern state. Even the Kurds, scourged by Saddam in the past, enjoyed autonomy and relative peace.

In each of these cases Britain and its allies, chiefly America, intervened to overthrow the army, disband government, dismantle the judiciary and leave militias to run riot. Little or no attempt was made to replace anarchy with a new order. “Nation building” was a fiasco. The British bombs that flattened government buildings in Kabul, Baghdad and Tripoli did not replace them, or those who worked in them. Those who dropped them congratulated themselves on their work and went home.

It is hard to exaggerate the misery and chaos created by so-called “liberal interventionism”. It is hard to think of a more immoral foreign policy, roaming the (chiefly Muslim) world, killing people and sowing anarchy. That is why the blood-stained consequence should be splashed across headlines. Those who seek political kudos by visiting violence on foreign peoples should never be allowed to forget their deeds.

Israel Is the Only Nation To See Peace As An “Existential Threat”

[It is Jews like Benjamin Netanyahu who confirm to the world that there really are many Jewish intellectuals who believe that fomenting wars in other countries is a legitimate survival strategy.  Anyone who dares, or has dared to point-out this cold hard fact has been immediately branded as "anti-Semitic."  Brand away.  I have been in this struggle far too long to care about such infantile nonsense as name-calling anymore.  As long as there is an established "nation" with a single-minded foreign policy of stirring-up trouble and instigating war for its neighbors, then there will be NO PEACE in the Middle East.  Something has to change.  I prefer the path to Peace which puts and end to international trouble-making and the use of any kind of political terrorism by any nation.  If Israel or any other nation cannot exist except by creating strife in other nations, then that nation will either have to change, or cease to exist.

It's your choice to make, Netanyahu, but consider this...if the Nations of the world get their heads together and determine that there will be WORLD PEACE, then no shitty little pile of sand calling itself "Israel" will stand in the way of a planet united on that one goal.  Zionists and other Imperialists must learn a quick lesson about the mental state of most of the human race...The People are sick and tired of pointless, endless war.  We are "mad as hell and we aren't going to take anymore."  Zbigniew Brzezinski has been speaking freely about this rapidly building phenomenon, the human race becoming politically aware of their power.  There is no longer a static status quo.  Things are changing fast and will soon be beyond their meager abilities to control us.  I guess  that at that time, the proper non-anti-Semitic response would be to feel sorry for the Jews and the collapse of their grand social experiment, forgetting about all the damage that they have done and the lives wasted by the conspiracy to bring it all about.  But I prefer a quicker solution...one which lays everybody's cards on the table, exposing all of those "Jokers" who today are world-class state sponsors of terrorism, forcing the players to pay-up and to shut-up.

But for now, I will be happy to see what happens when the arrogance and the obstinacy of the evil alliance of the Wahhabi Saudis and the Zionist Israelis try to stop the international tsunami for Peace that is now building-up within the war-weary hearts of most of the human race.]

Netanyahu

Peace threatens Israeli agendas, says Fetzer

PressTV

Press TV has conducted an interview with James Fetzer, professor at the University of Minnesota from Madison, to further discuss the latest developments regarding Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program.

Below you are provided with a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: James Fetzer, I would like to get your reaction to one of the things that John Kerry has said and he said that aside from sanctions probably having a negative effect with the Iranians to pull out of any talks that it is either a deal or war.

When he makes the statement “war” what does he mean? From the US side or from the Israeli side?

Fetzer: Well, that is a completely outrageous statement for John Kerry to make. I am shocked by that. I mean that the United Nations’ charter specifies all diplomatic relationships…, opportunities must be fully exploited before there is any consideration of military action and that would only be permissible under two conditions, namely: If Iran posed an imminent threat to the United States, which is obviously not the case; or if it had the approval of the Security Council which of course would never happen.

So it is completely and utterly irresponsible for John Kerry to be making such a remark.

Press TV: And during his trip, we know that he was in Israel, he went to the United Arab Emirates and of course he is trying to appease his allies regarding this possible deal with Iran and we can see the positive motions that the US president Barack Obama has made regarding the Congress not to impose more sanctions.

I mean do you think that there is sincerity in not only Kerry but President Obama to have this, at least interim deal signed and how probable do you think that it is?

Fetzer: Well, it is very interesting because there are some signs that Obama, actually, is willing to go against the Israeli lobby and negotiate a diplomatic agreement with Iran.

There should be no interference with Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy. That appears to be an effort by the American nuclear energy industry to circumvent competition because Iran can provide nuclear fuel rods to the third-world countries at less expense than can the American and so they do not like the competition but the fact is that France appears to be the stumbling block and it appears to be because it has a major arms deal with Saudi Arabia and another with Israel.

I am heartened that Obama made those remarks to oppose further sanctions on Iran but the sanctions were never deserved in the first place.

Iran has no nuclear weapons program, even our own intelligence agencies in 2007 and again in 2011 confirmed that Iran was not pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

I believe that it has to do with Iran having abandoned the petrodollar, which of course was also true of Iraq, also true of Libya and we know what happened there and of course with Israel’s determination to achieve domination over the Middle East without any opposition whatsoever from a major power, if in fact there is a diplomatic resolution of this issue then Israel will lose any possible semblance of justification of attacking Iran; even the former of highest levels intelligence service chiefs for Israel have made that observation which is why Netanyahu is so desperate to provoke something here and to not allow, to undermine a diplomatic initiatives that he finds so threatening to his agenda for the Middle East.

Libya Is Total Anarchy Without Any Discernable Govt.—Thanks USA!

Libya is in anarchy as US/NATO backed terrorists reign – Farazh Muftah  

Voice of Russia

 

Protests in Libya

Protests in Libya

Download audio file

The entire western intervention in Libya was a lie fabricated from the very beginning to allow the US/NATO to prevent: gold-based dinars from damaging the dollar, an international law suit filed by Libya over the violations by the West of treaties, Libyan oil trade to be done in Euros, and a non-US controlled block to grow strong. The “humanitarian intervention” was never about protecting the Libyan people. It was only about money, geopolitics and resources. By providing air-support, funding and weapons to Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorists groups US/NATO was successful in destroying the government, completely freeing up the resources and assassinating the leader. The Libyan people now live in a state of anarchy being decimated by US/CIA/Al-Qaeda (the CIA data-base), and the West is silent. Where is the “support for the people of Libya” now? Farazh Muftah is a representative of the tribes of Libya and is in exile, he granted the VOR an interview on the real situation in Libya.

 

You are listening to part one of an interview with Farazh Muftah– a spokesperson for the tribal nations of Libya. You can find part 2 of this interview in the near future on our website at voiceofrussia.com

Robles: Can you explain to our listeners about the real situation in Libya right now? What is really happening in Libya?

Muftah: Thank you so much for giving us a chance to explain everything to your people and to your listeners.

Our country was safe and secure until what happened with it in 2011. It was started by lies and dirty games by satellite from many journalists of CNN, al-Arabia, Al-Jazeera, BBC as well and Qatari channels which prepared all the propaganda before the game has been started.

They lied to the people and they said that they will come to Libya to protect the civilian people. They only used this reason as a pretext to destroy our country, destroy all establishment and destroy our regime.

You have to know that the majority of Libyans supported the former regime and we did not have any problem before 2011. Our regime was the fairest regime, it was against Al Qaeda and terroristic groups on the ground and around the world.

And our leader Col Gaddafi – the fairest guy – announced and reported to the United Nations Security Council, the US and other Western countries that they must arrest Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda groups, it was in 1987.

At that time no one listened to our side. The reality and the truth is that the Western world and especially the USA and the CIA, which gave control to America, they knew already that Bin Laden works with them.

Nowadays, they brought all the Al Qaeda terroristic groups to Libya at the beginning of the crisis and we call it a conspiracy against our country.

France, the United States, Italy, Qatar, Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups – they used Security Council resolution of 1971-1973 to launch and intervention and “protect” the civilian people. But they killed the people, as you know now approximately more than 500,000 people have been killed in Libya.

Robles: 500,000?

Muftah: Yes, about half a million has been killed in Libya since 2011 up to now. The majority of this number has been killed by NATO and the United States, the rest of them have been killed by militias and terrorist groups, and Al Qaeda as well.

Al Qaeda has a full control of Tripoli – the capital. There is no government, there is no regime, there is not an agency in Libya.

The solution now is to return the people who have been exiled to their country, to their land, to try to sort out all the problems in Libya.

Americans supported Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and in Egypt as well.

Now in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime has been finished and destroyed by the Egyptian people, more than 32 million people went on the streets.

In Libya still America and some Western countries support Al Qaeda and terrorist groups, especially in Tripoli – the capital of Libya. This is the big problem facing the Libyan people that NATO and the USA supported Al Qaeda and terrorist groups.

And the American administration – Obama and John McCain – are representatives of Al Qaeda terrorist groups.

John McCain is their close friend, he supported them and he talks about them every day. They plan how to support them, how to protect them. This is the big problem which faces the whole world.

In the future, I warn all of the people, we report that in a few days it will become a big problem and danger facing the whole world, especially the Western countries.

Now the Libya is the main source for terrorists, the main source for Al Qaeda training, the main source of weapons, main source of crimes and criminal groups.

Now the danger has reached Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Mali, Chad – they get the resources and establish control over our cities in Libya. As you know, they burned more than four or five cities in Libya. In Tawergha all cities have been completely burned in 2011.

And where was Tawergha, now it is a place for Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood training.

Bani Walid attack of 2012 was by militias, about 20,000 militias attacked Bani Walid city to try to establish control over it, but it was hard for them, because the people in Bani Walid are brave and strong fighters, they were against and they defended their city. They got the out back to Misrata militias.

Now, we have another problem the international community must know about – the unknown and uncontrolled presence in Misrata and Tripoli which is controlled by Al Qaeda terrorist groups.

It is a hard situation for more than 30,000 Libyan civilian people inside the prisons. Nobody knows their fates. It is a situation of unknown presence without any control from the government, because there is no government.

Even the so-called Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been kidnapped by militias. And they still lie to the people, lie to the community, they lie to the media and he says he is the Prime Minister.

There is no Prime Minister in Libya, there is no parliament in Libya, there is no government in Libya, there is no regime in Libya now, only Al Qaeda and terrorist groups.

Let’s me tell you something about the problem with Interpol. When NATO and Americans invaded Tripoli with militias and terrorist groups, they attacked the Interior Ministry and the office of Interpol was taken over by militias.

The militias reported papers and documents to Interpol. That is why Interpol has now called and is asking (searching) for more than 200 Libyan people who are living abroad.

There is no Interpol in Libya, it is impossible. There are militias all cities,the whole country controlled by militias and where is Interpol? There is no Interpol in Libya.

2 million Libyan people have been exiled and they are living in a bad situation in Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Mali, Egypt, Malta and a small number of them in the Western countries. There is no United Nations that cares about us, there are no human rights organizations that care about us, there is no international community that cares about us.

This is the truth and this is the reality, and this is our story.

Nobody will bring control in our country, nobody will clean up our country, only Gaddafi loyalists know how to clean out the terrorist groups and Al Qaeda. And we have our own experts, more than 2,000 security experts outside Libya, they have been exiled. And they are followed by Al Qaeda terrorist groups.

Every day they kill an officer from our military, every day they kill one member of the security section in Libya, every day they kill civilian people, kidnap them, rape the ladies, rob stores and banks.

This is the situation now in Libya. This is the real story. This is the truth and this is what is happening in Libya right now.

Robles: It sounds like complete anarchy. Can you tell me what was life like before the NATO invasion? What was life really like for Libyan people when the US and NATO said they were oppressed and they were being killed, and everybody hated Gaddafi? What was life really like?

Muftah: No! This is not truth. The truth is that all the Libyan people liked Gaddafi, supported our leader. Our leader was an honest man. He was a patriot, a strong man and defended our country.

He was against the international law which allowed them to invade any country, to attack any country, to bomb any country.

You cannot imagine how is it to burn and attack civil cities, to burn them and then bomb for two months about three or four times every day. Did you think about this? How is it that the NATO forces, their airplanes, their military, which were prepared to fight against Russia and then attacked a small city like Bani Walid?

From February 2011 up to October 2011 NATO attacked and bombed.

Most of the cities, as I told you, have been burned and destroyed, all cities – Sitra, Bani Walid, Tawergha, Qawalish, Mashashita, Ar Rayaniya, now Tiji.

Every day now Tiji is exposed to attacks from militias in Zintan.

This is the truth and this is the real story. We were living in so good situation, nobody was against Gaddafi. There were a few people and they say that this is a political group. But they ran away from the military in 1971-1973 to America and America protected them, and America used them as spies, as Ali Zeidan.

Ali Zeidan has stolen money from our Embassy in India and ran away to Germany.

He’s stolen the Libyan Embassy’s money in Delhi which was sent to use to help Muslim people in India and he ran away to America.

America protected (Magallion?) and America used him as a spy.

(Magallion?) is a member of the CIA. Ali Zeidan is from Gestapo, a member of German intelligence. This is the truth, this is the story.

Robles: I see. Why do you think they want to keep a condition of anarchy in Libya?

Muftah: In Libya right now there is no control, there are no companies, there is no government, there are no embassies.

All the foreign people, all representatives of foreign companies, all diplomatic groups in Libya are threatened and killed by Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda announced a few days ago that they will start killing all diplomatic people in Libya.

And there is no infrastructure from 2011. There are no buildings, there is no development, there isn’t anything.

Even all the money in the Central Bank invested outside Libya has been stolen by these militias.

There is no money, there are no resources now because oil exports have been blocked by militias.

Robles: Who is in control of the oil right now?

Muftah: The militias since 2011 sell the Libyan oil in the Mediterranean Sea without any documents, without anything. It is a black market. Many groups from the eastern part did not allow Ali Zeidan, from the puppet government to sell oil unless they have a know and help to plan and organize how to sell our oil.

Robles: Is oil still flowing out of Libya right now?

Muftah: No, not any more. It’s been blocked by many groups in Ras Lanuf, Sitra, Zueitina. And even yesterday I think a group from west part militias has blocked gas, which is supplied to the south of Italy.

Robles: I’d like to ask you a question. In Egypt we now know the United States supported the Muslim Brotherhood, like they supported Al Qaeda, like they created Al Qaeda, like MI5 created the Muslim Brotherhood – the Egyptian people have filed crimes against humanity charges against the US and Barack Obama. Can the Libyan people do the same thing?

Muftah: Yes, we have a lot of things, we have a lot of documents which will show to the world what was happening because of Obama and the Western countries.

Of course, because they started to help the militias and the Muslim Brotherhood from the beginning of the conspiracy against Libya.

Robles: Is there any movement or any group of lawyers or former judges who could organize a formal criminal complaint and deliver it to Hague?

Muftah: Yes, our group and our lawyers, who have been exiled as well, they are preparing all the documents and all files to bring them to ICC or to any international court, to show them all the evidence how NATO and America destroyed the country and destroyed the land of Libya. They are working on it.

My friend John, you have to know that there is no stability, no development and infrastructure, there is no growth for all the countries who were invaded or attacked by NATO and America.

You were listening to part 1 of an interview with Farag Muftah – a spokesperson for the tribal nations of Libya. You can find part 2 of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com in the near future.


The first photo was taken inside one of the villas that had been occupied by the Misurata militias in Tripoli in Gharghour – on the ground floor was found some human organs inside the cans glass for their illegal trade in human organs:

Photo: James and Joan Moriarty

Algeria Square Tripoli:

Photo: James and Joan Moriarty

Misurata Militias that killed protesters yesterday:

Photo: James and Joan Moriarty

Mitiga Air base, Tripoli:

Photo: James and Joan Moriarty

Green Square:

Photo: James and Joan Moriarty

 

SOCOM Gen. Con Job—“Fixing America’s Islamists” In Libya Is Impossible AND Idiotic

[Shame on you, Gen. McRaven...all of your predecessors were smarter than that!  These guys are just practicing the deadly skills that your boys taught to them, and you want us to believe that the problem is that you need to train them better? 

Hell, you guys backed the head of an al-Qaeda terrorist group as Libyan military chieftain, after your men murdered the President of Libya  Your Islamist proxies have murdered the entire legitimate Libyan govt.  Now that their terrorism is making Africom look bad, you beg for the privilege of making them even better terrorists, only you call them "Freedom Fighters" when you try to sell them to the American people.  I hope that you burn in Hell for what you guys have done to this world.

You should be congratulating your terrorist proxies for a job well done, every time that they carry-out another massacre, even if they massacre the trainers that you intend to send them.]

[McRaven is a freak, trying to sneak his fellow freaks into any combat position that SOCOM can dream-up (SEE:  SOCOM Peddles Its “Wet Dream” of Creating Global Web Under SOF Control  ;  Special Forces Chief Seeking Blank Check To Attack Anyone, Anywhere He Wants).  Now that America's Islamists are openly causing problems in Libya for the CIA and the Pentagon, the "Slick-Operator-In-Chief" thinks that he might be able to sneak a few more of his "irregular forces" back into Tripoli, under cover of "correcting the Islamist militias" (SEE:  Dozens dead in clash with Libyan militiamen in Tripoli). 

WHAT A WHOPPER!  This guy, just like ALL U.S. officers and American politicians, lies to us so often that he must think that he has some kind of weird diplomatic immunity.  After the recent public stink which was spontaneously generated around Obama's intention to enter the war against Syria, one would think that they would be reluctant to try it again, so soon.  Pentagon warmongers will have to play catch-up with the politicians, who have slowly come to realize that the American people are waking-up.  There will be a great electoral correction of America's course to the Nazi shoals, since most politicians don't want to be swept aside in the anticipated great house-cleaning.  The American people have started sobering-up, after having drunk deeply from the poisoned chalice of the plastic patriotism that has been dispensed so freely by Bush/Cheney and the neocon traitors.  More Americans are coming to understand that the Pentagon and the CIA have been taken over by a bunch of Nazis.

By all means, allow the Pentagon to complete the Nazification process among the nascent little national militaries that it is raising-up all over the Africom mischief zone.  If no one besides a handful of "conspiracy theorists" opposes this rising-up of the new "Fourth Reich," an American global "Reich," then we all might as well start practicing our goose-stepping and stiff-armed salutes to our tall, thin, dark-skinned "Fuhrer."]

bummer

U.S. to Train Libyan Military, Including Islamists

the washington free beacon

Socom chief warns counter-terrorism training will be risky

Ansar al Shariah supporters protest the United States' capture of Abu Anas al-Libi / AP

Ansar al Shariah supporters protest the United States’ capture of Abu Anas al-Libi / AP

BY:
November 16, 2013 7:45 pm

Simi Valley, Calif. — The U.S. military is preparing to conduct military and special operations training for Libya’s military and the training will risk including Islamist terrorists among the trainees, according to the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Adm. William McRaven said in a brief interview Saturday that the counterterrorism training operation has not begun. “We’re in the early stages,” he told the Free Beacon.

McRaven said a major gun battle erupted in Tripoli last week among opposing militias, a sign of instability in the North African country. The training is needed to stabilize Libya, an oil-rich country beset by mounting terrorism and Islamist militias.

During a panel discussion on the war on terrorism at the Reagan National Defense Forum, McRaven disclosed that the Libyan military training would include both conventional forces training and special operations training and that there will be risks.

“We are going to have to assume some risks,” McRaven said. “Right now we have the authorities to do that training, and I think as a country we have to say there is probably some risk that some of the people we will be training with do not have the most clean records, but at the end of the day it is the best solution we can find to train them to deal with their own problems.”

McRaven disclosed the plans for Libyan training when asked about problems encountered in training foreign special operations forces.

McRaven said the training would include a “very, very thorough review” of the Libyans who will take part.

Since the ouster of Muammar Gadhafi in 2011, Libya has had a weak government in a region dominated by Islamist militias ranging from al Qaeda affiliates to Islamists that do not support al Qaeda.

A weak central government has resulted in the spread of militias throughout the country. Weak border controls also have made the country a safe haven for jihadists.

Intelligence reports from earlier this year said some of the Islamists are engaged in training jihadists fighters who are then dispatched to Syria to join Islamist rebels there fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashir Assad.

The four-star admiral said the risks have been explained to senior leaders, including Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, and the regional combatant commanders.

The U.S. covert raid to capture al Qaeda leader Anas al Libi also has led to a backlash by Islamist militias operating in Libya.

The terrorists who attacked the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, killing Ambassador Christopher Stephens and three other Americans, were linked to al Qaeda.

The group, Ansar al Sharia, continues to operate openly, despite promises by President Barack Obama to bring those who carried out the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks to justice.

Additionally, Ansar al Sharia has grown more belligerent in recent months, apparently abandoning propaganda efforts to rebrand itself as a nonviolent militia.

Libyan militias also have seized some oil production facilities and have been selling oil to fund their activities.

Recently, al Qaeda terrorists reportedly infiltrated into Libya through the poorly protected southern border, according to a U.S. official.

McRaven said the military and special forces training will be carried out through the U.S. Africa Command, the military command in charge of Africa, and that negotiations with the Libyans are still underway.

Between 5,000 and 7,000 Libyans will receive conventional military training from the United States.

“And we have a complementary effort on the special operations side to train a certain number of their forces to do counterterrorism,” McRaven said.

Special operations training for the Libyans raises the prospect that some of the most advanced military tactics and operations could be compromised to Islamists.

Both training programs are being developed with Africom and supported by the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.

The Unaffordable Health Care Act Headed for Repeal Before 2014 Elections

Obamacare Will Be Repealed Well In Advance Of The 2014 Elections

forbes
Steven Hayward Steven Hayward, Contributor

Repeal ObamaCare (Photo credit: NObamaNoMas)

Prediction: even if HealthCare.gov is fixed by the end of the month (unlikely), Obamacare is going to be repealed well in advance of next year’s election.  And if the website continues to fail, the push for repeal—from endangered Democrats—will occur very rapidly.  The website is a sideshow: the real action is the number of people and businesses who are losing their health plans or having to pay a lot more.  Fixing the website will only delay the inevitable.

It is important to remember why it was so important for Obama to promise repeatedly that “if you like your health insurance/doctor, you can keep your health insurance/doctor.”  Cast your mind back to the ignominious collapse of Hillarycare in 1994.  Hillarycare came out of the box in September 1993 to high public support according to the early polls.  This was not a surprise.  Opinion polls for decades have shown a large majority of Americans support the general idea of universal health coverage.  But Hillarycare came apart as the bureaucratic details came out, the most important one being that you couldn’t be sure you’d be able to keep your doctors or select specialists of your choice.  The Clintons refused to consider a compromise, but even with large Democratic Senate and House majorities the bill was so dead it was never brought up for a vote.

 

Remember “Harry and Louise”?  Obama did, which is why he portrayed Obamacare as simply expanding coverage to the uninsured, and improving coverage for the underinsured while leaving the already insured undisturbed.  But the redistributive arithmetic of Obamacare’s architecture could never add up, which is what the bureaucrats knew early on—as early as 2010 according to many documents that have leaked.  The wonder is that Obama’s political team didn’t see this coming and prepare a pre-emptive strategy for dealing with the inevitable exposure of the duplicity at the heart of Obamacare’s logic.  Now that people are losing their insurance and finding that they may not be able to keep their doctor after all, Obamacare has become the domestic policy equivalent of the Iraq War: a protracted fiasco that is proving fatal to a president’s credibility and approval rating.  The only thing missing is calling in FEMA to help fix this Category-5 political disaster.

Senate Democrats endangered for re-election will lead the charge for repeal perhaps as soon as January, after they get an earful over the Christmas break.  They’ll call it “reform,” and clothe it in calls for delaying the individual mandate and allowing people and businesses to keep their existing health insurance policies.  But it is probably too late to go back in many cases.  With the political damage guaranteed to continue, the momentum toward repeal will be unstoppable.  Democrats will not want to face the voters next November with the albatross of Obamacare.

The politics of the repeal effort will be a game theorist’s dream.  Tea Party Republicans will resist “reforms” to Obamacare in favor of complete repeal.  Democrats will try to turn the tables and set up Republicans as obstacles to reform, hoping to inoculate themselves prospectively from mayhem at the polls next November. The House might want to insist that the Senate go first; after all, it was the Senate version of the bill that the House had to swallow after Scott Brown’s election in January 2010.  The House can rightly insist that the Senate needs to clean up the mess they made.  Obama may well give Capitol Hill Democrats a pass on a repeal vote, and veto any bill that emerges.  He’ll never face the voters again.

This wouldn’t be the first time that a health care entitlement was repealed.  The same thing happened in the late 1980s with catastrophic coverage for seniors.  Because seniors were made to pay for their benefits under that scheme, the uproar forced Congress to repeal the measure barely a year after it went into effect.  Obamacare looks to be on the same political trajectory, and for the same reason.  Obamacare represents the crisis of big government; the limits of administrative government have finally been breached.  For the first time ever, some polls are showing a majority of Americans doubting the goal of universal health coverage.

The hazard of the moment is that a compromise “reform” that drops the mandate and attempts to restore the insurance status quo ante could leave us with an unfunded expansion of Medicaid and a badly disrupted private insurance market.  Republicans should avoid both the political traps and a new fiscal time bomb by being ready with a serious replacement policy, based on the premium support tax credit ideas that John McCain advocated (poorly) in 2008.  While anxious liberals are in dismay, they should recognize that Obamacare may well have achieved its chief purpose of making universal or at least greatly expanded health coverage a fixture of American social policy.  The cost to liberalism may prove fatal, however.

CIA Kills Jalaluddin’s Son Nasiruddin in Islamabad, Another Taliban Who Sought Peace

[This marks the beginning of Fazlullah's reign of terror at the helm of the TTP and the re-blossoming of the spy wars in KP.  It is unknown what relationship new TTP deputy, Khalid Haqqani, has to Jalaluddin, but the removal of Naseer-uddin and the simultaneous rise of Khalid within the Haqqani clan cannot be coincidental.

Nasiruddin supported pursuing peace talks with both the Afghan and Pakistani governments.  In his position as an intermediary between  the Haqqani network and its generous Gulf donors, he made regular trips to the Gulf, where he is alleged to have made contact with Tayeb Agha, who runs the office of the "Taliban Emirate" in Doha (SEE:  Taliban group share peace talks draft with Pakistan).  This means that he has been tainted by contact with the Qatari pig, which immediately draws a line between him and the Saudis.] 

“There are reports that Nasiruddin and other senior Haqqani leaders also maintain residences in the immediate vicinity of ISI headquarters in Islamabad.”  He was no doubt killed in the vicinity of ISI HQ in Islamabad.

[Just down the road from ISI HQ, is Bhara Kahu, the spot where he was alleged to have been killed, according to Afghan Taliban spokesman.]

http://s2.firstpost.in/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Pakistan-Haqqani-murder-ap.jpg

A photographer takes picture of the spot where Nasiruddin Haqqani, a senior leader of the feared militant Haqqani network, was assassinated. AP
A photographer takes picture of the spot where Nasiruddin Haqqani, a senior leader of the feared militant Haqqani network, was assassinated. APRead more at: http://www.firstpost.com/world/pak-haqqani-chiefs-son-nasiruddin-gunned-down-in-islamabad-1223107.html?utm_source=ref_article

ارشيف


Haqqani’s son murdered in Islamabad

Pajhwok

KABUL (PAN): A son of the Haqqani Network’s leader has been shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, a militant leader said on Monday.

Jalaluddin Haqqani’s son, Dr. Nasiruddin Haqqani, was gunned down in front of his residence in Islamabad last night, a senior Taliban leader confided to Pajhwok Afghan News.

There was no immediate of claim of responsibility for the murder that happened in the Barakau area Barakau area, the source said, adding the attackers managed to escape on a motorbike.

Dr Nasir came under attack while returning home from a mosque. His body has been dispatched to Miranshah for burial, scheduled later in the day.

He was in charge of political affairs of the militant outfit that has been engaged in an armed struggle against US-led foreign troops in Afghanistan.

In August 2012, another son of the top insurgent leader, Badruddin Haqqani, was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region of North Waziristan.

Regarded as a fierce commander of the network, Badruddin was struck with missiles from the CIA-operated pilotless aircraft while leaving his hideout in Shawal Valley.

Americans Grow Weary of Serving the Repulsive State of Israel

[The following is one of those rare reports where the readers' commentary is more relevant than the article itself.  It is highly unusual for a "legitimate press" source like the Philadelphia Inquirer to allow anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish comments to stand.  "JohnWV" nails American leaders as Israeli lackeys and AIPAC as a subversive organization.  I will be very interested in seeing what sort of response Philly's large Jewish community will muster to this challenge.  If anything significant comes of this, I will try to follow-up.  

As for the actual report itself, it is nice to see Kerry turn his sharp tongue towards one of America's true enemies, Netanyahu.  Oh, to have been a fly on that wall.]

  • Of today’s Americans, 2% are Jews. Of today’s American millionaires, 50% are Jews. As in Weimar Germany, they are organized and cunningly extract enormous amounts of money from our economy without contributing value. Wall Street has become a Jewish run casino serving itself and Jewry. Our news media is mostly Jewish owned and blatantly Israel/Jew biased. Our electoral process has been corrupted by AIPAC, the Jewish Conference of Presidents and more enormous amounts of Jewish money. Israel has occupied not just Palestine, but America too. The Wall Street felons remaining unpunished, AIPAC actually writing congressional legislation, and lack of treason indictments attest to the depth of the occupation. The Jewish state instigated all our Mideast wars and benefited from all. None were in American interests, yet we did the dying and suffered the Great Recession. Our diminished America is now being overthrown from within and transformed into a world dominating racist ultrapower, the JEWISH STATE OF AMERICA.

    — JohnWV

  • NO MORE WARS! Israel has ICBM nukes and openly threatens Iran, actually campaigns for war against Iran. Israel, not Iran, is the warmonger. Resolution lies with lifting all sanctions and compensating Iran for damages from the $$$ billions we will no longer be giving the Jewish state. American foreign policy must again serve American interests, not the Jewish state’s paranoid pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and racist empire in and beyond the Mideast. NO MORE WARS!

    — JohnWV

Crisis brewing in U.S.-Israel relations

philly com

Josef Federman, Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Jason Reed, Pool)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013.

JERUSALEM – A pair of testy public exchanges last week appear to have undone whatever good will was created between the Israeli and U.S. governments during a high-profile visit by President Obama early this year.

Tensions burst into the open during a swing through the region by Secretary of State John Kerry. In an interview broadcast on both Israeli and Palestinian TV, Kerry questioned Israel’s seriousness about peace with the Palestinians. Hours later, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired back, vowing not to cave in to concessions to the Palestinians – and also saying he “utterly rejects” an emerging nuclear deal between world powers and Iran.

The rancor signals a tough road ahead for the twin American goals of finding a diplomatic solution for Iran’s nuclear program and forging peace between Israel and the Palestinians. And it raises the specter of a return to the uncomfortable relationship that has often characterized dealings between Obama and Netanyahu.

Israeli news reports describe Netanyahu as being in “shock” over the possible Iranian compromise. Netanyahu, who sees Iran as an arch-enemy, has vowed to do anything, including a military strike, to prevent Iran from reaching weapons capability.

Obama and Netanyahu took office just months apart in 2009, but seemed to have little in common. At joint appearances they appeared uncomfortable and even occasionally sparred.

The lack of chemistry seems rooted in vastly different worldviews. Obama is a proponent of diplomacy and consensus, while Netanyahu believes Israel can trust no one and must protect itself.

And there has been constant friction over Netanyahu’s insistence on continuing to settle Jews on occupied land even as he negotiates with the Palestinians.

Over the summer, Kerry persuaded Israel and the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table for the first time in nearly five years. To get talks going, Palestinians dropped a demand for an Israeli freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, captured territories that Palestinians claim for a future state. To get Palestinians back to talks, Israel committed to releasing 104 long-serving Palestinian prisoners. The U.S. apparently gave vague assurances settlement construction would be restrained.

With negotiations making no visible progress, Israel’s release of a second round of Palestinian prisoners two weeks ago – all jailed for killing Israelis – set off an uproar. Netanyahu followed the release by announcing plans to build thousands of settler homes, infuriating the Palestinians, the Americans, and the moderate camp in Israel itself.

Kerry told Israel’s Channel 2 TV on Thursday that Israel faced the possibility of international isolation and renewed violence with the Palestinians if peace efforts failed. He also said continued settlement construction raised questions about Israel’s commitment to peace. Netanyahu responded the next morning. “No amount of pressure will make me or the government of Israel compromise on the basic security and national interests of the State of Israel,” he said.

The two had a tense meeting that stretched more than two hours, and a planned joint appearance to the media was canceled.

Josef Federman Associated Press

Pakistan Forced To Trade American Agent Hakeemullah For Even Worse US/Saudi Agent Fazlullah

[Sad to admit the hard facts about Pakistan, but militant/terrorist leaders tend to tell the truth more often there than does the actual government leaders do.  I can find no fault with the following TTP claims.  The first quotes are from the Dawn article on Fazlullah, blaming the Pak govt. for killing Hakeemullah.]

“Pakistani rulers are slaves of the Americans and Pakistan is a US colony. The rulers are keeping the people in the dark and deceiving the nation by speaking about talks while conspiring with the US to harm the Taliban.”

The TTP holds “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif responsible for the death of Hakeemullah. `He bargained and sold out Hakeemullah to the Americans and we hold Nawaz Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League responsible for his death.”

“We are one hundred percent sure that Pakistan fully supports the United States in its drone strikes.”

[No matter what the lying Pakistani or Western press says to the contrary—There is NO DAYLIGHT between the Pakistani and American militaries on the drone assassination program, a hard fact that the militants have always understood.  All of this nonsense about “good” or “bad Taliban” is tabloid journalism, intended to mislead the viewing or reading public.  Consider the words of the most disputed “good/bad Taliban,” before he too was murdered by one of Obama/Kayani’s drones, Mullah Nazir had the following to say:

[SEE: Paramilitary Pretense, Who Controls the Predators?]

“Pakistan has misled the common population that America carries out these attacks and we cannot do anything to stop them. All the spies that we have caught turned out to be employees of Pakistan. The location-tracking SIMs that they use had been provided by Pakistan. We have also released their video clips. The spyware and intelligence is fully associated with the Army. A couple of days ago, an American CIA officer confessed that Pakistan’s airbases are being used for these attacks and that Pakistan itself is involved in them. They have even threatened us themselves that it is we who are striking you and that either you should renounce Jihad or we would attack. The assertion that America is behind this and we are helpless is only meant to deceive the public. All these attacks that have happened and are still happening are the work of Pakistan.”

“Pakistan serves America. 70% of the assistance America receives is provided by Pakistan. They have martyred our Mujahid brothers; those of them who were leading us and were our elders. Whenever we raise our head, Pakistan pursues us. Thus we are compelled to war Pakistan. It is not because India or Russia has bribed us…not at all…rather, we have been compelled to do so. Pakistan does not leave us alone.”

“Actually, it is the ISI that executes operations at mosques, not the Mujahideen. They are enemies to us and so they scare people about us being thugs and things like that. We are Mujahideen and we never carry out martyrdom operations in the vicinity of Muslims. It is the Army upon which we execute such operations. The Army is our target because it has aided the Americans. We do carry out martyrdom operations throughout Pakistan but we renounce and condemn those of them in mosques and marketplaces. It is our enemy that does it.”

[Before the drone campaign blossomed under Obama, we have the following testimony on Pakistani Army culpability from an anonymous Mehsud militant.]

[Fazlullah has promised to wage an intensive bombing campaign across Punjab in revenge for Hakeemullah's murder, which is anticipated to force the Army's hand,  achieving the long-sought North Waziristan offensive that the Pentagon has been screaming for (SEE:  'Red rag to a bull': New TTP chief could push army to military action).  Fazlullah is the CIA/Saudi agent who started a war against the Pak Army in Swat and Bajaur, before the Army drove him into Afghanistan's Nuristan/Logar region.  He has maintained his attacks upon the Army from the sanctuary there.  Having him in charge of the TTP is the CIA's "wet dream" come true.  There will be no drone attacks upon Fazlullah.  While Fazlullah was in control in Swat, there were zero drone assassinations there, after the single disastrous attempt to kill Ayman Zawahiri there in 2006, blowing-up a religious seminary in Chenagai village, claiming the lives of 82 boys and their teachers.

Whoever was the traitor that planted the CIA tracking chip on Hakeemullah, effectively silencing the new govt attempts to negotiate peace, did a very great disservice to his country.  The Pakistani people just jumped from the frying pan right into the middle of the fire.]

fazlullah

Ruthless Fazlullah is new Taliban chief

dawn
By Sailab Mehsud and Pazir Gul

MIRAMSHAH, Nov 7: The outlawed Tehreek-iTaliban Pakistan chose on Thursday Mullah Fazlullah, a fugitive militant ensconced in Afghanistan, as its new leader.

The umbrella organisation representing dozens of militant groups vowed to take revenge from Pakistani rulers and security forces f or the killing of its leader Hakeemullah Mehsud in a drone attack last week.

Miramshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan, reverberated with gunfire in celebration after the announcement of the selection of the 39-year-old militant leader from Swat, who ruled the northern district for two years before he was driven out in a military operation in 2009.

He had entered into a peace deal with the then ruling Awami National Party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through his father-in-law Maulana Sufi Muhammad, leading to enforcement of the Nizam-i-Adl Regulation in 2009. But the deal collapsed when militants refused to lay down arms and a full-fledged military operation was launched in Swat.

According to intelligence officials, Fazlullah, who was known as Radio Mullah for his use of FM frequencies to broadcast sermons to the people of Swat, was in Afghanistan`s eastern Nuristan province from where his fighters carried out raids on Pakistani border posts.

The Fazlullah group had accepted responsibility for a roadside bombing in Upper Dir that killed Maj Gen Sanaullah Niazi and another officer in mid-September this year and subsequently released a video of the attack.

The TTP announced that its shura had also chosen Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, a little known militant leaderfrom Swabi, as its deputy leader, effectively shifting the militant leadership from the tribal region to the settled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In a recent video message, Khalid Haqqani outlined TTP`s global jihad mission and said: `Our ongoing struggle is not restricted to the boundaries of Pakistan but connected to all [jihadi] movements in different regions of the world.

`Now we have people at the helm in the TTP who are opposed to talks with the government. This indicates the mood within the TTP,` a senior security official said.

`Not that there has ever been any optimism before, but this development changes the entire equation,` he said.

`The leadership has passed on from one set of radicals to another. They are all hardliners.

But some former security officials said the appointment of leaders from outside the tribal region indicated a rift between rival groups within the TTP vying for the top slot.

`The Mehsuds wouldn`t let the leadership go away from TTP`s birthplace,` former intelligence officer retired Brig Asad Munir said.

`Fazlullah and Khalid Haqqani have been brought in to avert a rift between rival Mehsud groups,` he said.

But the leader of TTP executive shura, Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani, said at a news conference in Miramshah that the unanimous election of the new leaders disproved the `propaganda` about a rift within the TTP.

He also threatened that the `federal government and Punjab and other provinces and security forces will be our target`.

He held Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif responsible for the death of Hakeemullah. `He bargained and sold out Hakeemullah to the Americans and we hold Nawaz Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League responsible for his death, he said.

Bhittani said the militants would expand their activities to Punjab which so far has largely remained peaceful. `We are not politicians who issue hollow threats.

Our revenge from Punjab, the federal government and the security forces will be exemplary,` he said whiletalking to Dawn.

`But we assure the people that they would not be harmed.

However, the assurance is likely to be believed only by a few people as the government says about 50,000 people have lost their lives in terrorist attacks in more than a decade of militant activities in the country.

Bhittani accused the government of pursuing a dual policy. `Pakistani rulers are slaves of the Americans and Pakistan is a US colony. The rulers are keeping the people in the dark and deceiving the nation by speaking about talks while conspiring with the US to harm the Taliban,` he alleged.

(According to news agencies, Asmatullah Shaheen said at the press conference that the TTP would not negotiate with the government `until it announces the complete enforcement of sharia`.

`There will be no more talks as Mullah Fazlullah is already against negotiations with the Pakistan government,` Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said.

`We are one hundred percent sure that Pakistan fully supports the United States in its drone strikes,` he said.

Fazlullah opposes polio vaccinations and ordered closure of girls` schools.)

Islamist Thuggery In Syria and the Criminal Nature of “Al-Qaeda”

Al-Qaeda’s mafia-like actions in Syria underline its fragmentation: analysts

 

syria-jabhat-nusra-650_416

Members of al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra parade in a neighbourhood in Aleppo in October 2013. Analysts say the group’s actions resemble the work of criminal organisations and gangs. [Karam al-Masri/AFP]

Analysts are likening the actions of al-Qaeda affiliates the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) and Jabhat al-Nusra (JAN) in Syria to the mafia, both in terms of the organised crime these groups deploy to finance their operations, and their competition for control over areas the Syrian opposition has taken from regime control.

“The modus operandi of terrorist organisations in Syria resembles the work of criminal organisations and gangs and mafias,” said Maj. Gen. Yahya Mohammed Ali, who is retired from the Egyptian army and a specialist on terror groups. “The mafia is based on the mother family’s control of all business, legal and illegal, and it does this by extending its influence in various ways and methods and forcing everyone to work under its supervision.”

The mafia-like actions of these groups in Syria include their attempts to eliminate other armed groups in the country, as when the ISIL and JAN attacked factions of the mainstream opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the border areas with Iraq and Turkey and elsewhere, until the rift that occurred between ISIL and JAN drove them to fight each other for influence, he said.

“Most of the resources of groups linked to al-Qaeda come from kidnappings for ransom, which have become known and commonplace in recent months, and from cross-border smuggling and the imposition of fees at border crossings under their control,” he said.

The money gained by these organisations through illegal means is used to pay off their fighters, to procure materials and supplies, and to establish ‘legitimate’ business ventures to launder money and secure steady funding sources, Ali said.

There are reports that drug smuggling from the Middle East to Western Europe through the Balkans contributes to financing organisations like al-Qaeda in the Middle East, Natasha Srdoc, chair of the Croatia-based economic think tank Adriatic Institute, told regional news website Southeast European Times (SETimes).

According to research presented by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Interpol and think tanks like Adriatic, the trade through this “Balkan Route” is a 15-billion-euro ($20.2 billion) annual market in drug smuggling, the news website said.

“About 90% of the heroin in Europe comes via the Balkans. It is a huge amount of money and the Islamists in the Middle East, from where the whole story starts, are taking most of that money for themselves,” Marko Nicovic, a member of the board of directors of the International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association, told SETimes.

Criminality and control

Since JAN first appeared in Syria in late 2011, its members sought to control the resources of the areas they govern, under the pretext of caring for citizens and ensuring resources were distributed in an equitable manner, said Abdul Hameed Hneineh, a Syrian merchant from al-Raqa who took refuge with his family in Cairo.

“These groups controlled the distribution of wheat and food supplies to citizens, and they also sought to control the areas with oil wells, factories and bakeries,” he told Al-Shorfa.

As time passed, corruption became increasingly apparent, Hneineh said, with machines from factories and barrels of oil disappearing to be sold across the border.

In addition to al-Raqa, al-Qaeda affiliates ISIL and JAN now control areas in the north and east of Syria including in Deir Ezzor, on the Iraqi border, in Aleppo and in the Idlib countryside, and is attempting to expand in al-Hasakeh, said al-Qaeda affairs specialist Maj. Gen. Abdul Kareem Ahmed, who is retired from the Egyptian military.

There also is an al-Qaeda presence in opposition-controlled areas in Homs and the Deraa countryside, he said.

“All of these areas are currently the centre of the conflict between the ISIL and JAN for control,” he said.

Many ISIL fighters are foreign fighters with a small percentage of Syrians, while JAN is made up of foreign fighters and regime opponents, Ahmed said.

Mainstream Syrian opposition figures have condemned the influx of foreign fighters into Syria for “jihad”, saying it reflects negatively on the Syrian revolution.

The presence of foreign fighters runs contrary to the traditions of Syrian society, especially as they come from different environments, field media activist Abu Jaafar al-Mogharbel, known as Abu Jaafar Homs, told Al-Shorfa in May.

“They do not know our customs,” he said, adding that the Syrian people could never accept to live under any oppressor.

Fragmentation of al-Qaeda

“What is happening in Syria clearly reveals two things: the first is how far removed al-Qaeda elements are from the Islamic slogans they pretend to promote, in particular the unity of Muslims and the predominance of the citizens’ interest over any other, putting instead their personal interests above all and displaying their internal conflicts,” Maj. Gen. Ahmed said.

In June, the killing of a Syrian boy by the ISIL in front of his parents and siblings in Aleppo drew condemnation and protests among residents of the city, as did the ISIL’s September killings of a Syrian doctor working for medical aid group Médecins Sans Frontières and Syrian poet Mohammed al-Hamada in the north of the country.

“The second is the fragmentation of al-Qaeda”, which became clear following a June letter from the al-Qaeda leadership to its affiliates in Syria, Ahmed said.

In June, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri denounced the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, for forming the ISIL without seeking instruction or guidance or even alerting the senior al-Qaeda leadership.

JAN leader Mohammed al-Joulani was also wrong to deny a merger with al-Qaeda in Iraq “without having our permission or advice, even without notifying us”, al-Zawahiri said in the letter.

This letter was “a tacit admission of a loss of control over al-Qaeda affiliates in the region”, Ahmed said.

The refusal of these affiliates to comply with al-Zawahiri’s orders shows that, even with al-Qaeda’s spread in Syria, the central leadership is in a weak position, he added.

Al-Zawahiri recently faced a similar problem after a conflict surfaced within the branch of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, when the leader of that affiliate, Abu Musaab Abdel Wadood, dismissed a prominent al-Qaeda leader in Africa’s Sahel region, Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

Belmokhtar reacted by establishing a separate group called “Signatories in Blood” and declared loyalty directly to al-Qaeda’s senior leadership under al-Zawahiri in Waziristan.

This power struggle has weakened al-Qaeda in Syria, in addition to other temptations for the resources available in opposition-controlled areas of the country, Ahmed said.

“For $3 billion we can buy off every tribal leader and every political leader in that country.”

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R) of California said the estimate the committee had received from the Pentagon was about $30 billion.  

“This isn’t a couple billion,” he said.

He then posed another question. “Could the fact that we haven’t won yet indicate that there’s something wrong more fundamentally, other than we don’t have enough troops there?” he wondered aloud, before directing another question to Keane.

“General, you were in Vietnam,” Mr. Rohrbacher began. “Do you think that we just needed to keep a couple extra troops there and the situation would have cleared itself up?”

Rohrbacher did not wait for a response, but went on to note that $15 billion is the “whole gross national product” of Afghanistan.

screw-you-guys-im-going-home

With US set to exit Afghanistan, is legalizing the Taliban the way to end the war?

A US combat role is slated to end in Afghanistan by late 2014, and negotiations go on over terms for keeping US troops there for training. But some analysts see a need to do a deal with the Taliban, sooner or later.

Christian Science Monitor

By Anna Mulrine 

As the White House grapples with just how many US troops should still be in Afghanistan by the end of next year, some longtime Pentagon advisers are increasingly convinced that any “plausible” deal that ends the longest war in American history will involve legalizing the Taliban.

Others say President Obama should continue to keep US force levels in the tens of thousands so that they can continue to train Afghan soldiers in the art of running an army.

More than 12 years after US troops began fighting in Afghanistan and after thousands of lives lost, it is an “inconvenient fact” that the Afghan National Security Forces will not be ready to secure their government or their territory after 2014, says Frederick Kagan, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington and a former member of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s strategic assessment team back when the general, now retired, commanded US forces in Afghanistan.

US “combat operations” are slated to end by late 2014, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that any US troops left on the ground at that point will be doing any less fighting, Pentagon officials note, because they will be tasked with training, which often means fighting alongside Afghan soldiers and police.

If the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF, as they are known in Pentagon parlance) are unable to win the war outright after 2014 – a fair possibility, given that they are unable to win the war now with the help of US troops, helicopters, and intelligence assets – ”that leaves only two plausible long-term outcomes to the conflict,” says Stephen Biddle, a senior fellow in defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former adviser to now-retired Gens. David Petraeus and McChrystal in Afghanistan.

One is a “negotiated settlement with the Taliban at some point, whether near or distant,” he told lawmakers at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Middle East subcommittee last week. “The other is defeat for the Afghan government.”

A settlement with the Taliban “represents at best a least-bad option,” Dr. Biddle said. “But a deal along these lines would nevertheless be preferable to outright defeat and, properly structured, could preserve the two core interests at the heart of the US war effort: that Afghanistan not become a base by which militants could strike the United States or our allies in the West, and that Afghanistan not become a base for destabilizing its neighbors, including Pakistan.”

Today, analysts and many US lawmakers believe that the White House will opt to leave a US force of some 8,000 to 10,000 troops in the country, though the administration has warned that the “zero option” could be on the table if Afghan President Hamid Karzai does not agree to certain legal protections for US troops.

In a series of recent congressional hearings and think tank discussions, Washington continues to debate the proper number of US troops to stay in Afghanistan post-2014.

Seth Jones, a former adviser to US Special Operations Forces and an analyst at the Rand Corp. sees between 8,000 and 12,000 US forces “that really let Afghans do the bulk of the fighting” as “probably being sufficient.”

Other analysts would like to see the US keep more of its troops in the country. “If the requirement in Afghanistan to achieve vital US national security interests is 15,000 troops but the White House is only prepared to put 12,000, is the president really prepared to put up a fight over 3,000 troops?” asked Dr. Kagan at a Foreign Policy Initiative discussion last month.

Retired Gen. Jack Keane, a former vice chief of staff for the Army and now the chairman of the board for the Institute for the Study of War (a think tank run by Kagan’s wife, Kimberly Kagan), told lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week that the “residual” US force size post-2014 should be about 20,000 US troops.

At the same hearing, Kagan warned that 20,000 troops would be a “very high risk” but that, “with a great deal of difficulty, it’s feasible.”

He added that, on the basis of his assessments, the force size should be “upwards of 30,000.”

Mr. Keane came with another request: that the US continue to fund the 352,000 Afghan security forces through 2020, and not reduce the funding as many in Congress have advocated. “We’re actually arguing over what – $2 billion or $3 billion a year for five years?” Keane said. “That makes no sense to me whatsoever.”

On this point, lawmakers chided Keane about the “offhand way” he was describing the costs of the war.

“Here in Washington these days we have debates in every one of our committees about where we spend money and how we spend money and what our priorities are, and I don’t think it’s irresponsible for us to struggle through … whether $2 billion or $3 billion a year more in Afghanistan is something that we should be spending,” said Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Middle East subcommittee.

Another lawmaker asked Keane what the cost of keeping 30,000 troops a year in Afghanistan would be. “I don’t know,” Keane replied.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R) of California said the estimate the committee had received from the Pentagon was about $30 billion.

“This isn’t a couple billion,” he said.

He then posed another question. “Could the fact that we haven’t won yet indicate that there’s something wrong more fundamentally, other than we don’t have enough troops there?” he wondered aloud, before directing another question to Keane.

“General, you were in Vietnam,” Mr. Rohrbacher began. “Do you think that we just needed to keep a couple extra troops there and the situation would have cleared itself up?”

Rohrbacher did not wait for a response, but went on to note that $15 billion is the “whole gross national product” of Afghanistan.

He then proposed a less conventional end to the war. “I assure you, with the experience that I have had in Afghanistan, which is extensive, that for $3 billion we can buy off every tribal leader and every political leader in that country,” Rohrbacher said. “And for an extra $1 billion, there can be smiles on their faces and they can wave American flags,” he added. “Just get our troops out of there.”

The Pentagon will bring US force levels – currently at some 54,000 – down to 34,000 by February, just before Afghan presidential elections scheduled for April.

The White House says it is still negotiating with Mr. Karzai over a bilateral security agreement to keep troops in Afghanistan past the end of 2014.

He then proposed a less conventional end to the war. “I assure you, with the experience that I have had in Afghanistan, which is extensive, that for $3 billion we can buy off every tribal leader and every political leader in that country,” Rohrbacher said. “And for an extra $1 billion, there can be smiles on their faces and they can wave American flags,” he added. “Just get our troops out of there.”

The U.S.A. Today—Peddling Dictorship Disguised As “Democracy”

Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

The U.S.A. Today


santa barbara independent

Day after day, week after week, month after month, new and devastating information is published regarding the U.S. government’s spying on you and me.

Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft’s Skype or Outlook email, the U.S. Postal Service, Verizon telephone service — all — routinely record and pass to the government our communications. (Microsoft has even provided the government the means to read your “encrypted” email.)

In Long Island, a mom, wanting to make a lentil dish, googled “pressure cooker”; dad, into hiking, googled “backpack”; son, interested in terrorist history, googled “Boston massacre.” Soon after, three black SUVs pulled up to their house, one blocking the driveway, and disgorged armed men who searched the home and closely questioned family members, who now cannot get information as to who “visited” them — and who read their Google searches.

At London’s Heathrow airport, the live-in partner of Glenn Greenwald (The Guardian journalist who has persistently exposed the U.S. National Security Agency’s secret practices) was detained and questioned for nine hours by U.K.“security officials” — his laptop and phone confiscated — before being allowed to continue his flight home to Brazil — this executed under a provision of a Terrorist Act where there was no suspicion of terrorism.

This oppressive Stasi-era intimidation is now the routine nature of the U.S. under the leadership of Barack Obama and of his obsequious U.K. ally.

The Constitution forbids our being governed by secret law, but it took Edward Snowden to reveal that citizen communications logged and collected by government agents under the PATRIOT Act were being “overseen” by a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) that granted the NSA any interpretation it wanted of the word “relevant” — an interpretation of the law until then rigorously hidden.

The president’s remarks constantly mask, belie — and seek to divert attention from — his actions. While assuring us that the NSA’s practices are overseen by Congress, he knows well that no Congressmember can exercise his constitutional duty of oversight since none of them can get from either the Senate or House Intelligence Committees any information as to how the NSA is implementing the PATRIOT Act.

Obama has sought to make it legal for the government to lie to its citizens as to whether it has a document in its possession; he has continued and expanded the practices of torture and prisoner detention without charge or trial; he has repeatedly authorized the murder of U.S. citizens and innocent bystanders via drone strike; enforced the painful nasal force-feeding of Guantanamo hunger-striking prisoners; and established a hunt-and-jail oppression of those who would expose our government’s spying on its own citizens and on the communications of allies and competing nations alike.

Those who want to know the truth can thank whatever gods there be for Bradley Manning, the martyred soldier whose “leaks” disclosed for the first time video of the horrific murder by U.S. Apache pilots of innocent Baghdad civilians, including children and two Reuters journalists; Edward Snowden, without whose revelations we might never know just how the government can intercept and read our every communication; Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mark Udall (D-CO), who have devoted themselves, despite Congressional gags, to alerting us to the corruption of the checks-and-balances government Thomas Jefferson and James Madison labored to create; Representatives Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Alan Grayson (D-FL) for their persistent though unsuccessful efforts to learn from the House Intelligence Committee about NSA programs and relevant FISA court rulings; journalists Chris Hedges, Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill, and Glenn Greenwald, who’ve focused on the often-hidden behavior of the U.S. and its allies; and most especially The Guardian, the U.K. publication that probes, informs, and exposes practices we must understand if we hope to make this democratic society function as it was meant to.

Duck and lie low” is not their motto, as it is of The Independent‘s publisher, editor, and columnists.

On the other side of the coin we have Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who immediately labeled Edward Snowden — without whose revelations we might never have known the vast extent and capability of the U.S.’s spying on its own people — a “traitor.”

I have notified this senator that her rash outburst does not represent me, nor does her false — as we now know — claim that NSA spying has foiled many terrorist plots. I’ve told her that I’d never vote for her again.

Since, according to Time magazine, a majority of Americans now believe Edward Snowden did “a good thing,” perhaps I’m not alone.

FBI or USKGB?—Letting Our Totalitarian Slips Show

US authorities accused of intimidating associates of Chechen killed by FBI

guardian

Girlfriend of man killed during questioning about his relationship with Boston Marathon suspect deported after weeks of detention

Abdul-Baki Todashev, FBI death
Abdul-Baki Todashev holds a photo he claims is of his dead son Ibragim Todashev during a news conference. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

The family and supporters of an unarmed Chechen, shot in mysterious circumstances by FBI agents investigating his friendship with Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, have accused US authorities of mounting a campaign of “intimidation and harassment” against his associates.

The girlfriend of Ibragim Todashev was deported at the weekend after spending two weeks at an immigration detention center in Florida. She had already spent several months in jail for having an expired visa earlier this summer. Another friend of Todashev is also in jail.

Todashev, 27, was shot on 22 May after being questioned about his friendship with Tsarnaev, one of two brothers suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing on 15 April that killed three spectators and injured more than 260. Several inquiries into Todashev’s death are under way.

His family believe that authorities investigating the Boston bombing have unfairly targeted people close to Todashev. Tatiana Gruzdeva, 20, who lived with Todashev at the apartment in Orlando, Florida, where he was killed, arrived in Moscow on Saturday morning after being deported from the US. Todashev’s father Abdulbaki and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Florida-based Islamic advocacy group representing the family, told the Guardian that the deportation followed months of “hounding” of his son’s friends by federal authorities.

Another roommate, Ashurmamad Miraliev, 20, has been in jail since 18 September on a charge of tampering with a witness in a year-old assault case. The Florida chapter of CAIR said he was denied access to a lawyer. “People who had anything to do with him are being put behind bars. I don’t know why. It’s supposed to be America, it’s supposed to be a democracy,” Abdulbaki Todashev said.

FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said he had no knowledge of Gruzdeva’s deportation and would not comment on CAIR’s claim that Todashev’s friends had been intimidated.

But CAIR communications director Samantha Bowden said Gruzdeva, who is originally from Moldova, was told by FBI agents when she was detained earlier this month that a year’s extension to her visa, granted after her first period in jail, was being rescinded simply because of an interview she gave to a Boston magazine.

The Guardian has learned she was questioned briefly by Russian authorities on her arrival in Moscow, then released to join her mother. “We’re glad it was a successful deportation and that she is safe and well,” Bowden said.

Todashev, meanwhile, said he is still waiting for an explanation of his son’s death, almost five months after the shooting and the launch of separate inquiries by the FBI, the Department of Justice and Jeff Ashton, the state attorney for the Orlando area.

Speaking to the Guardian from his home in Grozny, he said that he has heard nothing, despite personal assurances from state and federal officials in Florida that he would be kept informed.

“They promised it would be an honest and just investigation, but so far there has been no information at all,” said Todashev, who met Ashton during a trip to the US in August. “I said to them: ‘Everything is obvious. You can investigate what you like, but everything is already clear.’”

Todashev was killed in May after FBI and other law enforcement agents questioned him for several hours about his friendship with Tsarnaev.

After the bombing, there was speculation that Tsarnaev may have been involved in a 2011 triple murder in Waltham, Massachusetts, in which his best friend was killed. According to initial media reports, Todashev had just confessed to having also been involved in the Waltham murder when he lunged at the FBI agents with a knife or ceremonial sword that was hanging on a wall.

However, several different accounts of the shooting soon emerged and the FBI backtracked from the initial assertion that Todashev was armed. Lawyer Hassan Shibly, executive director of CAIR’s Florida chapter, said an investigation by the group, including a private postmortem, concluded that Todashev was shot seven times, including once in the back of the head.

“We have also been able to ascertain that only one agent drew his weapon, and fired the shots,” Shibly said. “Agents are trained to draw their weapons the minute there is a threat. If Ibragim was really such a threat, why did the other officers not draw their weapons?”

Abdulbaki Todashev said he was convinced his son was subjected to a cold-blooded execution by federal agents acting “worse than bandits”. He said his son knew Tsarnaev only casually from a mixed martial arts gym in Boston they both used to attend and that he was almost immobile from recent knee surgery and unable to threaten anybody.

Apart from brief statements in which the FBI claimed Todashev turned violent during questioning, the agency has consistently refused to comment. Bresson said: “The review is still ongoing. Keep in mind it’s not just the FBI conducting a review. The Department of Justice and other outside entities are also reviewing. While that is still ongoing, we cannot discuss.”

CAIR says that Gruzdeva and Miraliev were both held without access to lawyers. The pair acted as drivers for Todashev during his recent visit to the US. “It’s intimidation and retaliation, pure and simple,” Bowden said. “These are two people very close to Ibragim, who helped his father in his quest for justice while here, who have spoken out against the FBI for its overreach and intimidation tactics.

“Neither had any connection to any terrorism whatsoever, yet the FBI has been following their every move and denied them the right to an attorney and of free speech.”

The progress of the Department of Justice inquiry is uncertain, and its press office is currently closed due to the US government shutdown. A spokeswoman for state attorney Ashton told the Guardian only that his investigation was ongoing and that he would not comment until it was complete.

Bowden said that CAIR would wait for the results of the inquiries before deciding on possible civil legal action, but that the group was “sceptical of the FBI policing itself”.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout with Boston police on April 19, four days after the bombing. His brother Dzhokhar, 20, remains in custody charged with murder and using a weapon of mass destruction.

Americans Slowly Waking-Up To Harsh Reality of the Unaffordable Nature of “Affordable Care Act”

[Barack Obama is just another sleazy Big City lawyer, hired for his innate ability to lie convincingly, so that he could con the American people into giving-up their expensive healthcare plans for the promise of something better (SEE:  Obamacare Is A Bureaucratic Cyber-Weapon—”Stuxnet” for Healthcare Plans).

Report: W.H. knew plans would be canceled under ACA

usa_today_long

Up to 75% of those with individual insurance will have policies cancelled, experts say.

obama

President Obama makes remarks during a ceremony at FBI Headquarters on Monday.(Photo: By Alex Wong, Getty Images)

Millions of Americans are getting their health insurance cancelled under the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration has known for about three years that this would happen, NBC News is reporting.

Between half and three quarters of 14 million consumers who buy health insurance individually will receive a cancellation letter or its equivalent in the next year because their current policies don’t meet the standards laid out by the new law, the news organization reports.

Of those who will be forced to buy new insurance, many will face huge price increases, NBC reports.

Initially, the administration stipulated that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010, could be kept even if they don’t meet the requirements of the new law, but later changed the law to dictate that if any part of those policies substantially changed since then, they would then be cancelled.

NBC alleges the administration knew that up to 67% of customers on the individual market could have their policies cancelled, but instead, President Obama said as recently as in 2012, “If (you) already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.”

The White House told NBC that people whose policies will be cancelled will, in most cases, be automatically shifted to plans with better protections.

“Nothing in the Affordable Care Act forces people out of their health plans,” White House spokeswoman Jessica Santillo told the news organization.

White House spokesman Jay Carney acknowledged that some plans would not meet the new minimum standards and would “not qualify for the Affordable Care Act.”

The Silencing and Robbing of Edward Snowden, Or, America’s Occult Journey Into the Dark Ages

 

[As always, Mr. Shimatsu, former editor of Japan Times, has come through with a very unique perspective on the NSA/Snowden spy game, tying it all together with his expansive knowledge of the elitist conspiracy to conquer the planet.  As so many writers have speculated, all that we are seeing is the tip of the iceberg, never to glimpse the body of the evidence which would validate the concept of Big Brother in our lives.  Mr. Snowden has had an unusual opportunity to leak helpful, valid evidence which would prove the existence of the American Police State as a fact, NOW.  Instead, he played himself right into the hands of the Zionist press with Greenald, without even providing for his own insurance or leaking anything lethal enough to paralyse the Obama police state.  All in all, the only thing he accomplished was to piss-off America's subordinates.]

Saving Agent Snowden From His Handlers Greenwald And Omidyar

the fifth estate

 

Snowden now has the most difficult job on the planet – staying alive and sane

THE 5TH ESTATE
By Yoichi Shimatsu
10/24/2013

Whistleblower Edward Snowden was taken for a ride by con artists in the service of the US and UK intelligence agencies. Under the cover of “independent journalism”, the scammers conned him out of his trove of secret NSA files, hustled him from Hong Kong ahead of legislature-sponsored public hearings on cyber-espionage, and unceremoniously dumped him, minus documents, in a transit lounge at Moscow Airport. This report shows how the American and British spymasters retrieved the top-secret files by luring the fugitive into a well-laid trap, while the mass media went along with the deception to aid the authorities in evading public calls to abolish the global surveillance state.

Pierre Omidyar, founder of the online flea market e-Bay, is betting a reported $250 million that the accomplices of whistleblower Edward Snowden can follow up their caper with the launch of an online news site with global reach. The ethnic Iranian tycoon is funding a new media project for the team of Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill because he became “more alarmed about the pressures coming down on journalists with the various leak investigations in Washington” (Pacific Business News).

An angel investor committed to press freedom and opposed to government surveillance is every journalist’s dream even though it sounds too good to be true. There are serious grounds for questioning the credibility of Greenwald and his newest patron, whose business venture Omidyar Network is closely connected with NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, Edward Snowden’s erstwhile employer.

Known for his globalist vision and “social-impact” projects in the developing countries, backed by immense personal wealth, Omidyar follows in the footsteps of other billionaires who launched their own electronic media projects: George Soros with his slew of propaganda organs, Ariana Huffington at HuffPost and Michael Bloomberg with his financial news arm, to name a few. These well-oiled publicity machines hardly qualify as standard-bearers of objective reporting since each of these opinion-shapers has a political agenda, from running City Hall to fomenting uprisings for regime change in support of market economics. Early on, it already appears that Omidyar, for all his sentimental sound bites, could turn out to be the worst of a bad lot.

Partnering Booz Allen

In stark contrast to his libertarian posturing, Omidyar is connected at the hip to the very same intelligence nexus that he publicly condemns, particularly Booz Allen Hamilton, the NSA security contractor that employed Snowden in Hawaii and Japan. One of the major investment partners with Omidyar Network, Salvadore ”Sal” Gambianco, sits on the board of directors of Booz Allen Hamilton Holdings.

Omidyar
As head of Omidyar Network’s human capital operations, Giambanco vets trainees and assesses employee performance for promotion or termination. For more than a decade, Omidyar Network has had a revolving door for its employees with Booz Allen, shuttling staffers and interns for intelligence-related postings. Just a few of these individuals who worked for both Omidyar Network and Booz Allen include:

- Dhaya Lakshminarayan who was sent to Cuba to research development programs;

– Pranay Chulet hired to head Omidyar-backed Quikr in India;
- Patricia Sosrodjojo, Indonesian venture capital expert in Jakarta; and
– Michael Kent, a Booz Allen counter-terrorism specialist who served as a research associate at the Omidyar campus in Redwood City, California.

The relationship, simply put, is corporate collusion, and if businesses could be married, Booz Allen and Omidyar Network are husband and wife.

Inside the NSA’s Big Tent

Booz Allen and Omidyar Network are corporate members of an NSA-linked consortium called Innocentive, a consultancy focused on crowdsourcing (read: data-mining of public-opinion polls, consumer surveys and Internet-based personal data). Other member-companies include In-Q-Tel, a developer of communications monitoring software spawned with millions in start-up capital from the CIA.

Also represented is the In-Q-Tel spin-off Palantir, which creates fictive personas or virtual trolls to mount smear campaigns to debunk or threaten journalists and critical websites online and in letters to editors. Palantir, which refers to itself as an “electronic warfare” firm, has created a meta-data collection program similar to the NSA’s PRISM. Michael Leiter, former head of the National Counter-Terrorism Center, is the executive counsel to Palantir.

Another corporate partner in Innocentive is Lilly Ventures, the investment arm of Eli Lilly pharmaceuticals, which produced LSD for the MK-ULTRA mind-control program and is now the lead partner in the Obama-sponsored national brain-mapping project. Full-spectrum surveillance is advancing from wireless electronics into the bio-network of the human synapses, the last frontier for total mind control. The objective of pre-crime pre-cognition, that is, the detection of criminal tendencies, for instance, resistance to authority, and intervention before the crime can happen. Using drugs to impair the mental capabilities of individuals is, of course, only a part of a wider and larger program of social engineering to ensure domination of the globalist elites over any increasingly dependant and expendable population.

As birds of the feather that flock together, Booz Allen Hamilton and Omidyar Network are a pair of ducks in the NSA-CIA pond. These intelligence links are so thinly guised, it beggars belief that an attorney like Greenwald who practiced law in New York City could be so oblivious to the conflict of interest in regard to the security of his client Edward Snowden.

Either Glenn Greenwald is a gullible village idiot or he is one of many actors planted in this spy charade. Nobody in the intelligence game is allowed to be that naïve, especially when it is crystal clear from these interlocking corporate connections that Pierre Omidyar is hardly an innocent when he has every incentive to work on behalf of Booz Allen and the NSA to recover the Snowden files.

Sell-Out or Set Up?

It took $250 million for Omidyar to win the fealty of the “courageous” and “independent” journalists who surrounded Snowden and controlled his every movement. The team of Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, along with filmmaker Laura Poitras, not only kept the fugitive in the dark while mounting a clever sting operation. (“You can’t let the Chinese or Russians confiscate the files”, as if Moscow or Beijing would be that stupid while the whole world was watching.) Taking his data as a “security precaution”, the thieves thus managed to retrieve the secret documents for the spymasters in London, Langley and Fort Meade.

“We’ll be working with them and others, but we have a long way to go in terms of what the (news) organization looks like, people’s roles and responsibilities,” said Omidyar to Pacific Business News. This leaves no doubt about who’s the boss, while his other statements indicate Greenwald, Poitras and Schahill can collect the bounty money and disappear until their next Mission Impossible assignment, so long as they keep their mouths shut. Otherwise, a new team of actors will hunt them down one at a time. Accidents happen.

What business executive in the current risk climate commits $250 million of his own savings to a vaguely defined project without a management structure or financial plan? And the objective is to protect the public from government intrusion, even if his own company profits from those encroachments on privacy? In the fantasy world of comic-book heroes, a magnate like Bruce Wayne would never throw away his fortune to buy the Daily Planet so that Jimmy Olson and Lois Lane can be crusading reporters.

The patently ludicrous statements show that Pierre Omidyar is acting as a minder for a powerful entity, for example, the National Intelligence Council, and serving as babysitter for the non-profit funded ”journalists” who conned Snowden out of this trove of documents and dumped him at the Moscow airport transit lounge. As winter bears down over the steppe, Snowden as his surname suggests is snowed in for the duration, thanks to the Greenwald-Poitras snow job.

600-pound Gorilla in the Salon

Early in his legal career in the 1990s, Greenwald was reprimanded for secretly taping witnesses during his pro bono defense of a white supremacist. This self-proclaimed civil libertarian employed the same sort of illegal surveillance that he would later criticize so loudly. Soon after being questioned in court about his electronic recording activities without the prior signing of consent forms, he closed down his private practice. If Greenwald hadn’t he could be disbarred.

Greenwald
In 2002, Greenwald went on to bigger things as a business partner in Master Notions, whose clients included the video production company Hairy Jocks, which produced homosexual pornography. A falling out among the partners led to Greenwald forming a new company called Hairy Studs. On the bright side of this shady business, his background in porn could mean a gold mine for Omidyar’s future news company in ads from gay bathhouses and escort services from New York to Rio.

Meanwhile, when the Internal Revenue Service put a lien on his earnings for failure to report past income, Greenwald launched his own blog to complain about overbearing government intrusion. As luck had it, his timing was perfect because CIA veteran Valerie Plame was being outed in the press by Scooter Libby, legal counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Rebounding from his unsavory start as a purveyor of sleaze, the counselor reinvented himself as a “journalist” writing a civil-liberties column for Salon.com, that paragon of muddled murmurs from lapdog liberals founded by Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Despite its reputation as forum for pathetic poseurs and depressed Generation-X losers, Salon provided the strategic boost that propelled Greenwald into national prominence. All along something was amiss. Greenwald was being cherry-picked by an invisible hand as the anointed spokesman for civil liberties, while veteran activists with the Electronic Frontier foundation and ACLU were being bypassed and ignored.

Cognitive Infiltration

His golden moment arrived with a 2008 PBS radio debate over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) hosted by Amy Goodman, pitting the crusading lawyer-cum-journalist against information tsar Cass Sunstein.

The University of Chicago law school professor rode into the White House office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on the coattails of his protege and former student Barack Obama. Married to NSA staffer Samantha Power (who was since appointed American ambassador to the UN), Sunstein is renowned for his pet cause of animal protection, advocating the right of a dog or cat to file lawsuits as a plaintiff against abusive owners. The FISA dual was therefore a match made in media heaven between world title holder Dr. Kibble Bits and the up-and-coming contender Harry Stud. (The rather dull transcript, which fails to capture the geist of the zeit, is available at http://www.democracynow.org.)

Greenwald won hands down by a TKO (taking Kibblebits out), scoring against Sunstein on the issue of retroactive immunity for war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The trouble is, however, the fix was in. The bout went according to Sunstein’s “cognitive infiltration” game-plan. By taking the role of bad cop, the professor set up Greenwald to emerge as the good cop, the nation’s top reformer since nobody else ever had the privilege of debating the information tsar.

After this ploy, morally outraged jurists and lawyers who wanted to press war-crimes and even genocide charges against the Bush administration were sucked into the blog-and-debate routine and nudged into the position of being the loyal opposition. The national debate rapidly shifted from condemnation of torture in Guantanamo to the minutiae of legal procedures, while candidate Obama’s promise to shut down the abominable prison camp was politely forgotten. Cognitive infiltration proved to a most effective psywar technique, manipulating critics to volunteer for their own castration.

Sunstein, who strategizes global information control for the executive branch (Office of the President, the CIA, FBI and NSA): has also promoted dirty war with the planting of agents provocateurs to infiltrate terrorist cells, protest groups and domestic militias. As seen at the Boston Marathon, government-recruited dupes and crisis actors were scripted to score astonishing feats against the “oppressive” government. On one hand, the violence and theatrics scare the daylights out of the public, which wipes out objections to the repressive state apparatus. On the other hand, the provos for the intelligence agencies succeed in impressing extremist movements worldwide, which then can be steered into proxy wars, false-flag attacks and assassinations of one’s own troublesome political allies.

These sorts of police-agent tactics were tested during the Vietnam War era by Obama’s mentors in the Chicago circle of phony leftists, which discredited and disrupted Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) by financing the Weather Underground’s rampages of arson and window-smashing. Distribution of firearms by provocateurs to young radicals brought on the Nixon COINTELPRO campaign to assassinate community leaders, notably Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party and imprison others like H. Rap Brown.

A Better Rat Trap for Squealers

One of Sunstein’s major projects has been to contain the epidemic of insider disclosures by whistleblowers. Knowing quite well that disgruntled government employees will invariably seek legal counsel, what better tactic than to fabricate a “civil liberties” crusader working pro bono along with his wide network of media contacts and deep-pockets funders?

The trap was set, and as predicted the quarry arrived, by the name of Edward Snowden. Like a mouse after cheese, the gullible mark took the bait and followed Greenwald’s every instruction. Dr. Sunstein succeeded brilliantly when his “mini-me” puppet did what no law-enforcement agency could ever pull off – the voluntary surrender of top-secret files.

OK, you won. That’s enough of the rough-trade scowl for the cameras, Glenn, when you’d rather just howl and roll on the floor at how easily Eddie was reeled in hook, line and sinker. Hey, stud, you deserve the reward at the rainbow’s end, those big fat checks from the Iranian dude. Maybe for your next assignment, you should take over the lead role from Tom Cruise for the upcoming episode “MI-6.”

Hong Kong Exfiltration

From the time of Snowden’s sojourn in Hong Kong, it was clear to journalists and politicians that his local lawyer Albert Ho and the minders with British and US intelligence were not going to allow unfettered disclosure of the NSA documents to an astonished global public. When the Western spies learned that parliamentarians with the Legislative Council (LEGCO) were planning to call for open public hearings with Snowden as star witness, the whistleblower was suddenly packed off to Moscow.

As Snowden himself had figured, Hong Kong was the ideal place of refuge with its Basic Law and legal community fiercely committed to free expression, a regional hub for the major media, a cyber-security center with top university computer departments and experts at global banks, local protesters and the Foreign Correspondents Club demanding his protection, a police force that was ordered to prevent anyone from harming the fugitive, and a Chief Executive, the city’s top official, who gave his personal assurances that Snowden would not be extradited. What more could anyone ask for?

His local lawyer Albert Ho, a legislative council member with the Democrat Party, claims that he was visited in the middle of the night by “somebody” urging Snowden to get out of Hong Kong. The Catholic-dominant Democrat Party is famously funded by the Washington neocon patrons, the National Endowment for Democracy, It is an open secret that since the days of Senator Jesse Helms, Democrat leaders fly to Washington to pick up checks from the intelligence chiefs.

There was no threat from mainland authorities as falsely reported since Beijing had an interest along with every bank, company and individual in Hong Kong in the NSA communications intercepts. It was a big lie from his so-called protectors that triggered Snowden’s flight from a Hong Kong ready to offer him immunity.

Glenn Greenwald went along with the deception, meaning he had to be in on the plot to retrieve the secret-level documents for the NSA. That he has so quickly accepted an editorship with Omidyar, one of the closest allies of Booz Allen, only confirms all the other evidence on his collaboration with the spy agencies.

Instead of an intense three weeks of public hearings revealing all of the NSA wrongdoing, with daily commentaries by cyber-security experts and, more important, the victims of state violations of privacy, Greenwald and Poitras has reduced the flow of documents to a drip feed.

The blog called Rancid Honeytrap has sharply punctured the hot-air balloon from Snowden’s erstwhile handlers, notably Greenwald:

“Viva the new journalism of lying repeatedly about the size of your document trove to teach the rubes valuable lessons in proper whistleblowing.

“Viva the new journalism of leaking 300 pages in four months from a trove that exceeds 60,00 documents.
“Viva the new journalism that probably suppressed at least one story on government orders.
“Viva the new journalism of putting 50k-plus docs in the care of The New York Times since they had proven themselves so worthy in Cablegate.
“Viva the new journalism that talks about the crucial role of the heroic journalist far far more than it talks about the secrets in his care.
“Viva the new journalism that hoards leaks while it negotiates movie and television rights with Sony and HBO.”

To that last point might we add: Viva for winning $250 million from the NSA nexus for your financial security into old age, if by some miracle you make that far.

Jewel in the Crown

At that early phase, the Greenwald show was run by the Guardian. Its editor in chief Alan Rusbridger took the spotlight role for breaking the Snowden story. The Guardian breaking-news spectacle was run by the same Royalist intelligence network that harbored Julian Assange on the country estate of military officer, sniper and journalist Vaughan Smith, founder of the Frontline Club that conducted intelligence operations in the Balkans war.

The strategic decision-making at the Guardian goes far higher than editor Rusbridger. The publishing group’s chairwoman is Amelia Chilcott Fawcett, a confidante of Prince Charles who also supervises the Prince of Wales Foundation. The career of Dame Fawcett, Commander of the British Empire, shows her to be a force to be reckoned with: international attorney, CEO and executive director of Morgan Stanley Europe, director of State Street Corporation, board member of the Bank of England, and head of the Scott Trust, which owns the Guardian, Observer and other media assets.

Although born in Boston, the cradle of American independence, Chilcott Fawcett is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Britain, and Atlanticist of unquestionable and unquestioning Tory persuasion. She is eminently qualified and adequately connected to direct Prince Charles’s long-running dispute with upstart cousins at the CIA and NSA. While the Foreign Office remains shamelessly in debt and beholden to the Americans, British military intelligence is a Royalist bastion.

The Princess Diana investigative reporting by the now defunct News of the World, owned by the adoptive American Rupert Murdoch, were particularly offensive to the Saxe-Coburg family aka the Windsors. The personal animosity between President George W. Bush and Prince Charles nearly wrecked the Anglo-American relationship. The mystery of the 7/7 London Tube bombing during the Gleneagles G-8 summit was especially galling, since a former CIA executive was in charge of Metro security. Only special agents had access to blast the “tunnel below the Tube”, which has been used to convey British troops across London since World War II, according to a Special Branch police intelligence officer interviewed by this writer.

British agents and sympathizers in Hong Kong were instrumental in erecting the security cordon around fugitive Snowden, and the Guardian new-hire Greenwald was enlisted as the American liaison. The media leaks were calibrated to cause discomfort, rather than excruciating pain, to the arrogant lads at NSA. The few documents released had no effect on British interests, but the bulk of files that affect the common interests of America and Europe remain secreted under royal seal. As the Obama White House flounders under the debt-ceiling dispute and pressure from bankers in the City of London, the Royals are enjoying a revival.

In a nutshell the Snowden case was used by the British military intelligence in partnership with a CIA faction opposed to the heavy-handed Pentagon-NSA eavesdropping programs that threaten to knock over sensitive operations, for instance, joint operations with Qatar and Saudi intelligence to direct Al Qaeda units in Libya, Syria and Afghanistan. Since assassination targets could include American, British and other allied European officers who know too much, the Agency prefers to operate without its communications with field agents and MK-ULTRA types being monitored by lads like Snowden or any of the many generals who have a grudge against the CIA. As for disclosures on snooping, the public be damned.

As for Greenwald’s sidekicks Poitras and Schahill, so-called journalists who depend on non-profits for their handouts do not deserve mention. They have to yet pay their dues by working the night shift as sub-editors and chasing ambulances at cub reporters before boasting about their stories made for sponsors Journalism is an old-school profession not a luxury voyage of global exploration and personal discovery. No wonder Pierre is so worried about finding good editors since none of the trio qualify.

Who is Pierre Omidyar?

Since the existing grude match between the clowns of American and British intelligence cannot continue indefinitely, a new character must be introduced onto the circus to relieve the tension. As a person with close ties with the spy masters of U.S., Britain, France and Abu Dhabi, Pierre Omidyar arrives with a shocking suddenness as ringmaster for the Greenwald acrobatics.

Born in Paris in 1967 to Iranian émigrés, Pierre Parviz/Morad Omidyar came to Maryland at age 6 with his father, a physician at Johns Hopkins, and mother, a Sorbonne-trained linguist. He attended the Potomac School in McLean, Virginia, which is better known as Langley.

Key facts on his background are not disclosed: his family’s religious affiliation, ancestral home in Iran, rank and status in the traditional social system, and ethnicity (Iranian society has been a melting pot for many millennia). His official biography is sanitized of facts and adorned with public-relations flourishes.

One of few facts that cannot be suppressed by Omidyar obsession with privacy is his schooling at Punahou, a private academy in Honolulu, staring a year after fellow alum Barack Obama’s departure. Insider connections were essential for admission to the prep school, and in that era the few channels of access for children from the Third World were through parents working for the CIA, like Obama’s mother Ann Dunham (see Wayne Madsen’s in-depth expose of the Obama family’s work for the CIA in “The Manufacturing of a President”).

Persia not Iran

Pierre’s mother Elahe Mir-Djalali Omidyar had similar credentials as a Farsi linguist at Georgetown University in the mid-1970s when the Carter administration was grappling with the upsurge in popular protests in Iran against the Shah’s regime, while USAID advisers were trying to identify the underlying socioeconomic causes of the unrest. At the time when the Shah of Iran’s grip on power was starting to crumble, Ayatollah Khomeini was in exile in Paris. Elahe Omidyar’s Ph.D.-level fluency in both Farsi and French had to be an outstanding asset.

Founded by Dr Omidyar, the Roshan Institute for Cultural Heritage is dedicated to the preservation of Persian culture. Since the institute’s literature makes a point of using Persia rather than Iran, a bit of explanation is needed. Though the two names are somewhat interchangeable, Persia refers to the polyglot empire and the ancient language that is the basis of Farsi, while Iran is more associated with the modern nation-state. The word Iran is based on Aryan, the ancient Indo-European term for “Land of Light” (as opposed to the higher latitudes as one travels northward). Persian in cultural reference also tends to imply the imperial dynasties and the courtly culture of the native emperors and conquering dynasties that adopted the regional culture.

The Roshan symbol of 24-ray sun is based on a carving at the ruins of Persepolis, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, who best-known emperors were Xerxes and Darius II. Alexander the Great, avenging Xerxes’ invasion of Greece (depicted with extreme bias in the movie “300”), either allowed or ordered the destruction of the-then world’s greatest city. The two Shahs of modern Pahlavi dynasty, Reza and the CIA-installed Mohammad Reza, staged massive performances at Persepolis to identify themselves with the Achaemenid dynasty. Fate being ironic, their rule ended nearly as disastrously. For purposes of discussion here, the Omidya valorization of Persepolis indicates attachment to the Shah of Iran, whose court included many advisors and officials were Bahai followers or Jewish by birth.

Oddly, the Roshan Institute board includes only one cultural expert, Dr. Omidyar. The others are deans, which makes sense because Roshan’s main activity is to provide scholarships to students and place them in allied universities. One of the more interesting board members is former Democrat Florida congresswoman Jan Scheider, a former staffer with Terry McAuliff and lawyer for Bill Clinton. Mrs. Omidyar is one of her campaign contributors.

Social Impact Investing

In a similar vein with Dunham, a social worker who conducted CIA research in poor rural areas of Kenya and Indonesia, Elahe Omidyar’s academic work has stressed the cultural and social milieu of Iranian society, an approach that has greatly influence her son. Pierre Omidyar advocates a “social impact” to investment in the developing countries, with financial support for non-governmental organizations along with private-sector investment.

The emphasize on poor rural communities may sound benign, even noble-hearted, but that is exactly the same policy as the Rockefeller and Ford foundations in manipulating and suppressing grassroots movements with the goal of regime change to oust populist nationalist governments and preserving natural resources for Western corporations.

A three-point program of liberal development theory can be summarized as:

– winning hearts and minds to wage counterinsurgency and proxy wars;
- takeovers of land, water and essential resources to subjugate the population;
- promoting construction of highways, bridges and ports to gain World Bank loans and lucrative contracts through corrupt puppet leaders.

Survivalism and Super-Flu Virus in Hawaii

Closer to home, Omidyar funds non-profit groups involved in organic farming in Hawaii. So what could be so sinister about such exemplary clean living? Here is what the Honolulu Advertiser daily reported: “While he’s clearly enamored with the Island culture, he is also aware of the danger of living in the middle of an ocean. Omidyar worries that a pandemic could cut Hawaii’s lifelines and leave it with an 11-day supply of food. To that end, he has made pivotal donations to local nonprofits dedicated to building sustainable local food supplies. At the same time, he has stockpiled several months of food for his personal use at storage facilities on O’ahu.”

H5N1 weaponizers Kawaoka, Fouchier
That sounds an awful lot like a conspiracy theory. A pandemic, perhaps of highly lethal avian influenza depopulates Hawaii and the West Coast by disease and starvation, since no food arrives by ship or plan for more than two weeks. It means much of North American population is also exterminated. So what does Pierre Omidyar know that public is completely unaware of? Always remember, they who spread the plague have a monopoly on the antidote.

Loose ends in need of tying: Pierre and his mother Elahe Omidyar founded the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, discussed below. Among the board members is former University of Hawaii Mano chancellor Virgina Hinton. The microbiologist is a top expert in the avian influenza or bird flu virus, which whe weaponized poses the greatest threat of a mass-destruction epidemic.

Before coming to Hawaii, Dr. Hinton served as head of the animal lab at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Her chosen successor at that position was Yoshikiko Kawaoka, the Japanese scientist from Kobe University who in fact did soon at UW weaponize H5N1 into a highly lethal and contagious super-flu strain.

Here is an excerpt from a report in the seemingly innocuous UW Alumni Association newsletter “On Wisconsin”:

“Virginia Hinshaw, a former colleague at both St. Jude and UW-Madison and now provost of the University of California- Davis, recalls him as being ‘extremely bright and very creative. It was obvious that he was extraordinary.’

“It was Hinshaw who again set the stage for Kawaoka’s next move. In 1995, she left her flu lab in the School of Veterinary Medicine to become dean of the Graduate School. With her encouragement, Kawaoka applied for her job, eventually joining the faculty in 1997. ‘I remember him coming to my office in the Graduate School and looking around, saying, ‘”I just want to see where I’m going next,” Hinshaw laughs.

”Where he was headed next, however, was Hong Kong. Four months after he arrived in Madison, Kawaoka was chosen by the National Institutes ofHealth to join a select team of international researchers analyzing the H5N1 virus, which had been identified in poultry in China and had begun to appear in humans. By the end of the year, the bird flu had infected eighteen people, killing six — a foreboding sign of the virus’s potential that raised the alarm of public health officials around the world.”

In one word: Biowarfare. A French-born Iranian moved to Hawaii as an ideal place to raise his children, but then starts to stockpile food and drugs. It gets more worrisome because he is equipped for a biological Armageddon. Read on.

Deseret Empire of the Mormons

Security, of course, becomes an issue during food riots and mass panic. Not to worry, because Pierre has the leadership corps to create a private army. “Omidyar employs a group of former Secret Service agents and ex-State Department officials to serve as his private security team and to fly his private jet, a French-made Dassault Falcon 900EX, which he keeps parked in a private hangar at Honolulu International Airport.”

Omidyar has set up safe houses on an island in France, Southern California and Nevada along with a 640-acre ranch in Montana. “I’d say we’re probably more significantly prepared than the average family,” Omidyar said. “We have property all over the world and we have property we can fly to.”

His long residence in Nevada and Montana, inside the greater Deseret Empire, offer a clue to his cult-like perspective. One of few new religions not hostile to the Church of Latter-Day Saints is the Bahai Faith, which originated in Iran although its largest temple, the Universal House of Justice, is based in Haifa, Israel.

Another clue to Omidyar’s covert connection to Bahai is his focus on development projects in Zambia, the chief target of the sect’s missionary activities in Africa.

Then, there’s Omidyar’s sponsorship of virus research and food stockpiling in Hawaii that corresponds to the End Times predicted by Bahai found Bahaullah: “Soon will the present-day order be rolled up and a new one spread out in its stead.”

The Universal House of Justice confirmed the validity of the prophecy with an epistle to this worldwide membership: “The old order cannot be repaired; it is being rolled up before our eyes. The moral decay and disorder convulsing human society must run their course; we can neither arrest nor divert them. Our task is the build the Order of Bahaullah.”

As this next look at numerology indicates, the old order of God the Supreme Law-Giver is “being rolled up” in these End Day. Only then, through mass destruction, will the vessel of faithful followers deliver the authentic world divinity, the adamant and prideful One.

No.9 in Numerology – Yesod

The Bahai inner sanctum has persistently obscured the meaning of the number 9 as an “Arab symbol for fulfillment.” No, the mystic symbol is derived from Jewish Kabbalist numerology as the symbol the final step before divine perfection. Number 9 symbolizes the sephirot (node of knowledge and power) “Yesod”, the vessel for action. The action is toward the fulfillment of the double-digit representing “Malkuth” or kingship, in the sense of divine-right monarchy. (Kabbalism and its extension Illuminism, has therefore has had an attraction to royalists and pretenders worldwide, especially in Western Europe.)

Nine is strangely identified with the qualities of adamancy and pride that are the characteristics of Lucifer, the most intelligent angel surpassed only by God. The uneasy potency of this number, however, is limited to the institutional structure of the religious group. In fact, the actual ritual symbol of Bahai is the pentagram.

The God-Lucifer dichotomy has earlier roots in Zoroastrian dualistic philosophy of a cosmos divided between the god of light Ohrmadz (Ahura Mazda) and his doppelganger Ahriman (Angra Mainyu), prince of darkness. This duality helps to explain the hostility of the Bahai founders toward Islam and Zoroastrianism, and their willing affiliation with the Illuminati and Kabbalist-influenced Zionism. To substitute Lucifer-as-usurper in the stead of God the good requires distancing from the fallen angel’s evil image as Satan, whose reputation Bahai has done its best to rehabilitate, sanitize and salvage.

This brings up the question: Is Lucifer aka Ahriman, No.10? Are these cultists devil worshippers? To put things more charitably, the Bahai along with the Illuminati put highest esteem on pure reason (in rejection of the charismatic nature a and capricious will of a God who imposes tough rules on mankind.) Lucifer, without his terrifying image as Satan, is an adamant hero who teaches humans to be proud of themselves, to stand tall and not to grovel before a morally oppressive and restrictive divinity of the orthodox priesthood. A defender of reason, Lucifer can therefore be the rightful God of mankind to one who is a heretic deviating from Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition.

Illuminati of the Oxford Movement

It is no odd coincidence then that veneration of the evening star is shared by the seemingly disconnected cults of Illuminism and Bahai The historical links between these two cults can be found in Hermano Maximiliano’s “Freemasonry, the British Empire and the Formation of the Baha’I Cult”. In a cultural crusade to preserve British imperial power, a group of elite academics formed the Oxford Movement, which promoted radical new religious leaders across the Muslim world, particularly Bahai founder Bahaullah. (The Roman Empire underestimated the growing influence of religions from the Orient, including Christianity, which led to its collapse, and the Oxford Movement was determined to avoid that fatal ideological mistake.}

In a classic divide-and-rule exercise, Bahai was created as a “super-faith” that amalgamated the teachings of all world religions, and therefore deserve to replace Islam with a “one world faith.” It was in the interest of British imperialism in Iran and the Middle East to weaken the influence of Islam and to gain control over the Shia-promoted trend of emerging nationalism.

“Although it began as an experimental British foray in non-religious freemasonic cults, the Bahai movement would spawn the organizer of the future pan-Islamic movement, Jamaleddine Al-Afghani,” writes to Maximiliano. An early advocate of Bahai, Al-Afghani went on to form the Salafi school of fundamentalist Islam, which provided the ideological foundation for the Brotherhood and Al Qaeda.

The British spymasters who fostered Bahai and Salafism included Orientalist scholar Wilfrid Scawen Blunt and Cambridge dean Edward G. Browne, while field operations with the Wahabi Salafists were led by St. John Philby.(Blunt’s grand-nephew Anthony, art adviser to Queen Elizabeth II, and Philby’s descendant Kim were leading members of the celebrated Oxford spy ring.) Besides the penchant for the occult and pederasty, heresy runs deep in the Oxbridge circle. (http://www.arabamericanencyclopedia.com/) offers a good read on the Oxford Movement and Bahai.)

In contrast to Salafism, which openly calls for a theocratic state, Bahai operates covertly behind the scenes to manipulate politicians and opinion leaders. For instance, unbeknownst to the public, Pierre Omidyar provided his private jet to fly State Department officials incognito for talks with Hamas and also transported former President Jimmy Carter to Tehran for secret diplomacy.

Fatwa Against Bahai

Behind the public pose of peacemaking, Bahai’s role has not always been benign. In August, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa against contact with Bahai, following the discovery that terrorist cells included Bahai operatives. The term “Iranian Freemasons” recurrently arises whenever U.S. neoconservatives hatch plans to attack Iran. It has also been a mystery of how the criminal terrorist group Mujaheedeen Al-Khalq obtained the funding to build a mini-army inside neighboring Iraq and mounted elaborate assassination campaigns in Iran.

One incident familiar to this writer was the so-called Iranian bombing in Bangkok in 2012, which were attributed to the Tehran regime. (Two suspects were convicted in August by a Thai court.) The key figure in this incident was an Iranian woman with a Jewish family name, who managed to flee immediately after inadvertent blast damaged a safe house. At the time, her escape pointed to an Israeli connection, as the planned attacks were timed to match a Mossad international campaign to offer security services and training to Asian governments.

Alliance with Israel

Bahai’s closest international ally is the State of Israel. Nearly every Israeli president and prime minister has made an official homage to the Shrine of Bab at the Bahai World Center in Haifa. Why would the head of the Jewish state honor a new religion that claims to be the world’s supreme belief?

One motivation is the “enemy of my enemy” alliance, since both Bahai and Zionist are sworn to regime change in Iran. Another, historically deeper connection is the role of Jewish Kabbalism in the creation of the Bahai sect. Although developed in Al-Andalus, the Moorish realm in late-medieval/early Renaissance Spain, the Kabbala has earlier origins in the alchemistry, numerology, astronomy and philosophy of Persia and Mesopotamia as developed by Jewish, Islamic and Indian thinkers.

These early scientific explorations led to syncretism of the respective religious beliefs and occult doctrines, often expressed as sub-schools of Sufism. The syncretistic approach was especially favored by Donmeh Jews, the disciples of Sabbatai Zevi who became superficial converts to Islam under orders from Ottoman Sultan Mehmet IV.

The various streams of hidden Jewish thought, which spread through the vast Islamic domain, eventually made its way into Europe with the Frankist movement and the Asiatic Brotherhood secret society, which profoundly influenced major figures such as Emperor Joseph of the Habsburgs (husband of Maria Theresa, “Queen of the Night” in Mozart’s “Magic Flute”) and the German princes of Hesse (Frankfurt region) whose banker was Mayer Rothschild, founder of the powerful Jewish banking dynasty. The merger of Kabbalist practices, including sexual libertinism, with Enlightenment philosophy led to Adam Weiskopf’s formation of the Order of the Illuminati.

During the era of British world mastery, following the defeats of Napoleonic France, the English Illuminati scholars enchanted with Orientalism reintroduced Kabbalist occultism to the Near East among the Young Turks led by Ataturk, the Bahai and the Salafists. The Rothschild clan’s financing of Zionism promoted ties with and recruitment of hidden Jews across the Muslim realm, cementing a close relationship between Bahai and Israel as well as between Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and the Mossad.

The official Bahai account paints themselves as victims of Shia Muslim persecution and pogroms, whereas the historical causes of nationalist opposition to the Bahai are more complicated. The Bahai were generally supportive of the Shahs of Iran before and after the CIA coup against the democratic Mosaddeqh regime, which nationalized the Iranian oil reserves. Bahai advisers to the court of successive Shahs promoted the secularization of Iranian society in order to banish Islamic values and undermine the nationalist Shia clergy. For Iranian nationalists, however, both secular and religious-inspired, the Shah’s regime was a tool for Western control over Iran’s immense oil reserves. The Bahai are thus perceived as agents of the CIA and MI-6, which in fact many of their leaders actually were.

Occult Triangle

The triangular relationship of the Disraeli/Rothschid – Oxford Movement – Bahai/Salafism of the 19th is now being reflected in the Snowden affair with the collusion of the Zionism/Greenwald – Guardian/Royalist – Bahai/Omidyar. History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as a farce.

As Israel edges toward a first-strike attack against Iran, while ramping up its covert wars against Iranian influence in Sudan and Palestine, is it any wonder that Pierre Omidyar and Glenn Greenwald are preparing to launch a major online propaganda mouthpiece? Is this new media venture, too, part of the Bahai plan to prepare for the imminent End of the World to be delivered by an unstoppable contagion of super-flu?

Instead of playing dangerous games, Pierre Omidyar is far better off in the luxury of fiction where he belongs rather than sentencing himself to hard labor at journalism. To lead the budding writer to the fabled shores of epic poetry and apocalyptic scenarios, let me guide him without personal ill will to his literary destiny with this short-short story of epic dimension, salted with plagiarism and peppered with cultural chauvinism, inspired by a world-renowned figure of ancient Persia whose ambitions were nearly as grand as his.

Whenever history reaches an impasse, onto the desolate field of the forum rumbles a juggernaut bearing a demigod who showers silver coins on his new subjects like droplets of water for the thirsty. At this hour of desperate survival, citizens, spurn the siren song of obedience, for even power-obsessed Xerxes and his cruel cohort of Immortals proved weak in spirit when bloodied between the stony heights and unfathomable depths. Cunning in the sophistry of One World at Peace, the satraps of empire are masters of the dark arts of treachery and betrayal as taught by their uncanny master Angra Mainyu.

Today, the beast again approaches to snuff out the world’s one hope for reason and justice, the voice of truth arising from faith in the heart. The overwhelming odds of their 250 million pieces of silver against our 300 in bronze mean an even contest, for the difference will be tallied in righteous ferocity and deeds of glory.

Freedom is won only by those who have faced the blood rage of the wolves and have known the Spartan conditions of this real world of hungry villages and dying towns. The privileged perspective from gilded chariots and vast palaces under the protection of princes delivers only delusion, enslavement and slaughter.

Freedom is for those who earn it by sacrifice, we few, the brave and happy few. Remember us. Here, at the crux of history where bards sing of hard choices, is the unforgiving soil of liberty, not a perfumed Persian garden of delights. On this rosy dawn, they come to see and to conquer. But at twilight begins the eternal night in the hell that they so fear. For us, descended from the bringer of light Apollo who in the East is called Ahura Mazda, bravery in battle and virtue in death are the greatest joys this life can bestow. Give thanks. To Victory!

Yoichi Shimatsu
Yoichi Shimatsu, a Hong Kong-based journalist who wrote commentaries on the Edward Snowden affair published in the South China Morning Post, is the former editor of The Japan Times Weekly in Tokyo and Pacific News Service in San Francisco.
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