The Dangers of Giving American Entities “Full Access” To Anything

[Fear of the ramifications of giving the US military full access to police or bank records is a big reason NOT to go with the American Central Asia Counter-narcotics Initiative (CACI)  Consider the hidden price that Europeans have paid to participate in Washington and London’s grandiose schemes.  (SEE: Russia and US counter-drug planWashington’s New Foxy Plan To Sneak Into the Central Asian Hen House).]

Brussels Agreement Gives USA Access to All EU Bank Accounts

Executive Summary – This is absolutely amazing in a bad way. The Brussels agreement which has gone into law lets the USA access any and all bank records of any bank account in any EU country. This law comes into force in two months time.

The 27 EU countries have to grant this access to the US under the terrorist finance-tracking program contained in the Brussels Agreement and this is a done deal. The USA is allowed to keep the bank records for five years. The privacy invasive scheme uses the SWIFT system to scan for transactions they deem suspicious and then they request individual bank records. They can request general data sets, which are commonly referred to as a fishing expedition.

Here is a list of the 27 EU countries affected:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

Discussion – First thing to remember that this treaty is between the 27 EU states and the USA. The USA has greater power to access bank records than the police authorities in each of the given countries. No probable cause is neither needed, nor judicial review. Any country friendly with the EU can request the USA to get the bank records for them in return for favors. So the EU has now bowed to the USA. Doom and gloom for the EU.

Banking Implications – Of the 27 countries mostly Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, UK, Sweden, and Cypress are being used for offshore banking. If people using these jurisdictions wish to maintain any privacy they need to leave there for friendlier jurisdictions. Their window of opportunity is two months. It sounds like bank records pre-dating the effective date of the Brussels Agreement would not be covered.

Do Drones Live-Up To Air Force Hype?

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez

AIR FORCE TECH. SGT. EFREN LOPEZ
An MQ-9 Reaper taxis at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan

Last of five parts (see onetwothree or four)

The proclamation that the Reaper (and, by implication similar drones) is the future of warfare bound to yield a revolutionary transformation in combat doesn’t seem to stand up to a reality scrub. The evidence is out there for anyone willing to hunt it down and and compare, as they like to say at the Pentagon, apples to apples.

Bottom line: the Reaper is more costly to both buy and fly than the manned aircraft it is commonly matched against. The margins are not even close — the Reaper is approximately twice the price to acquire compared to a contemporary F-16 fighter-bomber, and up to six times the cost of an A-10 close-support aircraft. Reaper’s annual operating costs are roughly four times the cost to operate an F-16 or an A-10. (See Part 2)

In acquisition since 2002 and in combat operations since 2007, the Reaper (MQ-9) is a prominent example of drone technology that can be assessed for cost effectiveness using publically available empirical data.  (See Part 1)

Based on Defense Department data on the cost to acquire and operate, a Reaper unit costs at least $120.8 million to buy and $25.6 million per year to operate (in 2012 dollars). A substantial part of the high cost to acquire and operate a Reaper “CAP” is the considerable material and human infrastructure it requires, including ground control stations, satellite links and at least 171 human operators and support personnel.  (See Part 2)

Reaper is not survivable in the presence of even minimal air defenses; it is far less survivable than manned aircraft, such as the A-10 which has demonstrated high survivability in air combat since 1991.  (In the presence of air defenses, Reaper would require manned escort aircraft, thereby removing the assumed advantage of being unmanned.)

Reaper’s ability to carry weapons, while a vast improvement over Predator, compares unfavorably to typical comparison aircraft, such as the A-10 and the F-16.  The comparison involves not just payload, but also diversity of weapons and delivery methods.  A more sophisticated analysis comparing Reaper to the A-10, for example, would surely lead to an even more negative relative assessment of Reaper.  (See Part 2)

While Reaper possesses the ability to loiter in the air far longer than manned aircraft on a typical mission, the ability of Reaper to find targets is limited and problematic.  Empirical comparisons to simple, even primitive, manned aircraft used in border surveillance with FLIR technology demonstrates that Reaper is, again, more expensive to operate and, importantly, less effective in finding and identifying targets.  The quality of the imagery received on the ground from drone sensors is too poor even to reliably make distinctions between friendly combat loaded Marines from irregulars with a quite different physical profile.   (See Part 3)

While many understand that drones, such as Reaper, have a high crash rate, the actual rate may be significantly higher than is commonly understood.  While public and DOD data are incomplete and an audit of each tail number produced is called for, the total number of Predator and Reaper crashes may already be as many as 100, possibly more.  (See Part 4)

Defense Department usage data verify that individual Reaper air vehicles are not available for use more than once or twice a week: An operational availability rate that for a manned aircraft would be deemed unacceptable. (See Part 4)

The wide and enthusiastic popularity for Reaper, and other drones, in the Defense Department, the Executive branch, Congress, the mainstream media and think tanks is not rationally explained by Reaper’s poor to mediocre performance on the operating dimensions measured here over the past week.

Instead, the drone’s unique characteristic — that it is manned from the ground not the air — cloaks it in a technology that seems to intrigue policy makers. It gives them a self-perceived license to employ the system over ambiguous or hostile territory (such as Pakistan, and Iran) .  The consequences of that use, while not addressed in this series, appear significant and controversial, and will become moreso in the future.  An empirical study of the relevant data by a fully independent entity, including all classified data, is clearly in order.

Reaper’s unique attribute has charmed technologists who proclaim that a revolution in warfare is at hand when the data clearly demonstrate otherwise.

Winslow T. Wheeler is the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information in Washington.  He is also the editor of the anthology “The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It”.

 

Exposed: The handbook of American State Terrorism

Exposed: The handbook of American State Terrorism

Timothy Bancroft-HincheyPravda.Ru
Exposed: The handbook of American State TerrorismSpecial Forces Unconventional Warfareis the name of the document. November 2010, 97 pages long, it is a manual which exposes the modus operandi of the United States of America’s foreign policy; in it we can read the recent Libyan history and understand what is planned for Syria and Iran. “Destroy by any method what will prevent disclosure”. Hmm…

Special Forces Unconventional Warfare. Wow, what an interesting publication that I have discovered. I found a copy of it lying on the floor at the…er… airport (cough). I wonder whether it is a novel…let us see. Certainly, this is the end of the American colour revolutions.

Well, it has a destruction notice right on page one: DESTRUCTION NOTICE:Destroy by any method that will prevent disclosure of contents or reconstruction of the document.” Shall we see why? Let’s see what the United States of America gets up to…

Here is the preface: “Training Circular (TC) 18-01, Special Forces Unconventional Warfare, defines the current United States (U.S.) Army Special Forces (SF) concept of planning and conducting unconventional warfare (UW) operations. For the foreseeable future, U.S. forces will predominantly engage in irregular warfare (IW) operations.”

Well that sort of sets the tone of the rest of the document ladies and gentlemen, doesn’t it? It also gives us a pretty good insight into what happened in Libya, where a socially progressive government was unseated by terrorists armed by the author-country of this document and supported by the FUKUS-Axis (France, UK, US and Israel).

Chapter One, Overview. A quote: “There is another type of warfare-new in its intensity, ancient in its origin-war by guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins; war by ambush instead of by combat, by infiltration instead of aggression, seeking victory by eroding and exhausting the enemy instead of engaging him. It preys on unrest.

President John F. Kennedy, 1962″

Guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins. Unrest. Basically, a policy based upon illegal intrusion and murder. How legal is that?

Chapter One 1.2: 1-2. Enabling a resistance movement or insurgency entails the development of an underground and guerrilla forces…”

Page 7: Definition of Insurgency: “An organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through use of subversion and armed conflict. Code: JP 3-05”

Section 1-22: 1-22. A genuine willingness to collaborate and cooperate with the United States must exist within the leadership of the indigenous force.”

Section 1-28, on feasibility: “1-28. The normal areas of concern that make up a feasibility assessment are as follows:

  • Are there groups that could develop into a viable force with assistance?
  • Is the United States in contact with or can it make contact with individuals representing the resistance potential in an area?
  • Are there any capable leaders, whose goals are compatible with U.S. goals who are willing to cooperate with the United States?
  • Can the United States influence the leaders to remain compliant with U.S. goals?
  • Are the groups’ tactics and battlefield conduct acceptable by the standards established in Field Manual (FM) 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, and to the U.S. population?
  • Will the environment geographically and demographically support resistance operations?
  • Is the enemy effectively in control of the population?
  • Is the potential gain worth the potential risk? Is this group’s participation politically acceptable to other regional partners?”

Interesting, bullet point 5. So acceptable to the US population would be illegal detention of prisoners without right to due legal process, without the right to see a lawyer, without an accusation even.  Acceptable to the US population is sodomy of prisoners, urinating in food, forcing Moslems to eat pork, sleep deprival and water-boarding? Which medieval torture chamber or Nazi concentration camp did THESE monsters crawl out of?

There is more, much, much more. The immediate response ladies and gentlemen will be a hacking attack, after which there will be attempts to intimidate me through threats on my life, after which there will be attempts, real. I have been there before.

I would prefer to die fighting against evil than be silenced through cowardice. The document here exposed is the blueprint of US foreign policy and what is stated here is the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps the allies of the USA will consider their relationship through NATO, but then again, perhaps they won’t. After all, a coward is a coward.



Rehman Malik Dares To Claim That “Only 48 people are missing in Balochistan.”

Malik sees propaganda over missing persons

By 

Islamabad: Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that he will welcome Bramdagh Bugti, an aggrieved Baloch leader, when he will retune Pakistan.

Talking to media on Sunday, the interior minister said that Bugti along with his 5,000 accomplices had a training camp in Afghanistan.  He added that the Afghan government had taken action against them when Pakistan government provided them information about the separatist leader.

Malik again invited the Baloch leaders settled abroad to resolve the Balochistan issue by having a dialogue and assured them that they would not be arrested on return.

Malik said that he would brief the media on missing person case and added that they had given information to the commission, investigating missing person case. “Only 48 people are missing in Balochistan,” he said.

He said that they had written a letter to Interpol to arrest Former President Pervez Musharraf.

The Zionist Pathocracy Will Decide the Fate of the World for Itself–(article disappeared)

[Obama should find his balls and declare that the United States will retaliate against any first strike in this stand-off with all the forces at his disposal, against either side.  Once he steps between the two antagonists real peace in the Middle East becomes possible, including the creation of a nuclear-free Middle East.]

Israel will decide on Iran for itself: Lieberman

JERUSALEM: Israel will decide on what to do about Iran’s nuclear activities as an “independent state,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday, on the eve of a US-Israel summit in Washington.

“Clearly, the United States is the biggest world power and the biggest and most important country that is a friend of Israel, but we are an independent state,” Lieberman told Israeli public radio.

“Ultimately, the state of Israel will make the decisions that are most appropriate based on its evaluation of the situation,” he said.

Lieberman’s comments came shortly before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to hold talks in Washington with US President Barack Obama on Monday, a meeting expected to focus heavily on Iran’s nuclear activities.

Israel, Washington and much of the international community believes that Iran’s nuclear programme masks a weapons drive, a charge Tehran denies.

US intelligence is said to believe that Iran does not currently intend to produce nuclear weapons, though it may be seeking the capacity to do so, and Washington has emphasised the importance of deterrent sanctions and diplomacy.

But Israel is reportedly eager to move more quickly and decisively against Iran’s nuclear activities, using a military strike to prevent it from obtaining even the capacity to take a decision to produce nuclear weapons.

“The Iranian file is well-known,” Lieberman said. “The direction taken by Iran is clear.”

But he added that any decisions should be made “calmly, weighing the pros and cons. All this chatter doesn’t help anyone.”

Lieberman also warned that the international community’s failure to deal with the bloodshed in Syria, where a crackdown on anti-regime protesters has killed thousands, showed Israel could rely only on itself for protection.

“If the international community is incapable of stopping the massacres in Syria, what is the value of its promises to protect the security of Israel?”

– AFP/ck

Ethics body seeks views on new wave of brain technologies

Ethics body seeks views on new wave of brain technologies

PRESS RELEASE

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics today launched a consultation on the ethics of new types of technologies and devices that ‘intervene’ in the brain, such as brain-computer interfaces, deep brain stimulation, and neural stem cell therapy.

These technologies are often being developed for use in the treatment of conditions including Parkinson’s disease, depression and stroke and it is thought they could bring significant medical benefits, especially for those who are severely affected by neurological disease or have a severe brain injury.

Outside of the health context, they could also be used in various military applications, for example to develop weapons or vehicles that are controlled remotely by brain signals. And there are commercial possibilities in the gaming industry, for example, the development of computer games that are controlled by people’s thoughts.

“Intervening in the brain has always raised both hopes and fears in equal measure” said Thomas Baldwin, Chair of the Council’s study and Professor of Philosophy at the University of York. “Hopes of curing terrible diseases, and fears about the consequences of trying to enhance human capability beyond what is normally possible. These challenge us to think carefully about fundamental questions to do with the brain: what makes us human, what makes us an individual, and how and why do we think and behave in the way we do.”

Clearly, some of these technologies have great potential. “Imagine a person who is disabled and cannot speak being able to move independently through a thought-controlled wheelchair or communicate via a computer voice”, said Professor Baldwin. On the other hand, concerns have been raised about safety of some of the techniques that are currently in development. “The impact on a person and on their mind has to be considered, for example, are there risks of unwanted changes in mood, behaviour or personality being introduced into the brain?”

There is also uncertainty over whether the techniques will be as effective in treating disease or aiding rehabilitation from brain injury as some claim they will be. Professor Baldwin said, “Many of these technologies are in the early stages of research, and patients who have high expectations of recovery or rehabilitation may sometimes be left disappointed and frustrated if the treatment doesn’t live up to expectations”.

The development of these technologies for use in warfare may be more troubling for some. “For example if brain-computer interfaces are used to control military aircraft or weapons from far away, who takes ultimate responsibility for the actions? Could this be blurring the line between man and machine?” said Professor Baldwin.

The Nuffield Council inquiry is focussing on technologies that intervene directly in the brain, often through the use of a device, or involving brain implants. The consultation runs until 23 April and the Council would like to hear the views of a wide range of people, including those who have used or are hoping to use these technologies, those involved in development or supply, researchers, academics, patients, medical professionals, regulators, policy makers and others. Responses to the consultation will be carefully considered, and a report setting out the Council’s findings is expected to be published in 2013.

BCI’s measure and analyse a person’s brain signals and converts it into an output such as movement. For example, a paralysed person could use a BCI to operate a wheelchair, or someone who has extreme difficulty speaking could use a BCI to communicate via a computer voice. These sorts of applications have been shown to be successful in a few reported cases, but the technology has not yet been developed for regular clinical use and there are questions over whether these technologies are reliable enough for use in everyday life.

Military applications, such as remote control of vehicles and machinery are not yet in wide use but are being researched and tested, and some commercial BCI developments are already on the market. Gamers can buy a wireless headset that aims to replace a joystick by controlling game play through brain signals.

The use of BCI’s will sometimes require surgery to implant electrodes into a person’s brain, although the most successful current developments are those that detect brain signals from the scalp, so they are less invasive.

Neurostimulation

Different regions of the brain are known to be linked to areas of perception, e.g. pain, sound, vision. Neurostimulation involves the application of an electric or magnetic stimulus to nerves to alter brain activity in a specific area.

The two best-known types are transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which is usually applied through a hand-held or chair-bound device and is non-invasive, and deep brain stimulation (DBS) which requires brain surgery to place an electrode in the brain and wires under the skin.

TMS is in clinical use and it is currently used mainly to treat depression, although research is underway on possible applications for conditions including obsessive compulsive disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and pain disorders such as migraine. It has been shown to have some potential for improving memory and learning and research is underway on non-medical enhancement uses e.g. for education.

DBS is already used in treatment of Parkinson’s disease, obsessive-compulsive disorders and movement disorders such as dystonia (which causes tremors). Research is underway on possible benefits for patients with epilepsy, stroke, Tourette’s syndrome and severe pain. Possible complications of DBS are thought to include: stroke, confusion, speech disorders, visual problems and possible damage to the brain tissue surrounding the implant, infection, seizure, depression and the risks associated with general anaesthetic.

Neural stem cell therapy

Researchers are developing neural stem cells that could be used in treating conditions which involve the loss of nerve cells in the brain, for example Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or Huntingdon’s disease. The stem cells are injected into the brain under general anaesthetic.

In stroke, nerve cells can be lost in a particular brain region, leading to a reduced ability of the function associated with that region, e.g. moving the left hand side of the body. Neural stem cell therapy is thought be able to benefit people with these conditions and there is considerable interest and investment in this area of research, both privately and publicly. Small scale preliminary human trials are underway but the treatment is not yet routinely available in the UK.

Neural stem cell therapies are less well understood than other types of brain surgery and there are some concerns associated with its use – e.g. a risk of tumours forming and the possibility of unwanted changes being introduced into the brain – for example in mood, behaviour and ability.

Find out more and download the consultation paper.