L'Autre Monde 14 octobre 2010: Les pires criminels de tous les temps: les banquiers privés
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L'Autre Monde 14 octobre 2010
90 min / Radio de l'UQAM, CHOQ FM
| Diffusion en direct : Jeudi à 11:00h |
Au programme cette semaine, 14 octobre 2010:
Actualité mondiale; économie parasitée par les pires criminels de l'histoire, retour sur le dossier de BP, mise à jour des développements au Moyen-Orient.
Soyez de la partie les jeudis dès 11h sur les ondes de CHOQ FM, la radio officielle de l'UQÀM, l'alternative à Montréal et dans le monde!
***Hyperliens vers les sources des informations discutées sur l'émission d'aujourd'hui:
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says Canada's federal deficit rose to its highest point in history last year, but the government is on track to balance the budget in just over five years.
Flaherty says a one-time cost of $5.6-billion related to the switch to a harmonized sales tax in Ontario and British Columbia pushed the deficit to $55.6 billion.
But the finance minister says Ottawa is roughly on track with its projections for spending and revenues and he expects to see a surplus in 2015-16.
Speaking in Mississauga near Toronto, Flaherty unveiled no new spending or cost-cutting measures as he delivered his fiscal update.
He says this year's deficit for the 2010-11 period is expected to be $3.7 billion less than the $49.2 billion shortfall previously expected, largely owing to the Canadian economy's fast start out of the recession.
Flaherty acknowledges the economic recovery is slowing, and so will government revenues. The government estimates growth slowed to 1.8 per cent in the third quarter.
U.S. companies buy back stock in droves as they hold record levels of cash
October 7, 2010, Washington Post
For months, companies have been sitting on the sidelines with record piles of cash. Now they're starting to deploy some of that money - not to hire workers or build factories, but to prop up their share prices. Sitting on these unprecedented levels of cash, U.S. companies are buying back their own stock in droves. So far this year, firms have announced they will purchase $273 billion of their own shares, more than five times as much compared with this time last year, according to Birinyi Associates, a stock market research firm. But the rise in buybacks signals that many companies [do not plan to] spend their cash on the job-generating activities that could produce economic growth. "They don't know what they want to do with all the cash they're sitting on," said Zachary Karabell, president of RiverTwice Research. Historically low interest rates are also prompting some companies to borrow to repurchase shares. Microsoft, for instance, borrowed $4.75 billion last month by issuing new bonds at rock-bottom interest rates and announced it would use some of that money to buy back shares. The company already has nearly $37 billion in cash. A share buyback is a quick way to make a stock more attractive to Wall Street. It improves a closely watched metric known as earnings per share, which divides a company's profit by the total number of shares on the market. Such a move can produce a sudden burst of interest in a stock, improving its price.
Charles J. Antonucci, 59, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of The Park Avenue Bank, pled guilty on Friday in Manhattan federal court to multiple criminal charges relating to Antonucci's attempt to fraudulently obtain more than $11 million worth of taxpayer rescue funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program ("TARP"). He also pled guilty to bank bribery, embezzlement of bank funds, and participating in a $37.5 million scheme that left an Oklahoma insurance company in receivership.
Wake up and smell the oil on your chains. Bankers are EVIL PEOPLE!
This is that wonderful scene from the film "The International" in which the banker explains why banks love and create wars!
It's one of the few booming businesses in this bruised economy – companies hired by banks to change the locks and take over homes that have been foreclosed.
But in a growing number of cases, these real estate repo men are showing up before the foreclosure process is done – and sometimes, before a home is even in foreclosure.
Nancy Jacobini was alone in her Orlando home when she heard someone outside her door, trying to break in. She locked herself inside a bathroom and called 911.
"I was very scared," Jacobini said. "I didn't know who it was."
The man trying to break in was a contractor hired by Jacobini's bank, JPMorgan Chase, to secure the property. The bank initially said Jacobini was more than three months behind in her mortgage, and that she had abandoned her home and had cut her utilities.
Jacobini acknowledges she was late with her mortgage payments, but foreclosure proceedings had not begun. And, she added, "My electric is current, it always has been … I'm home all the time."
Halifax reveals biggest monthly drop in 27 years as rise in number of houses for sale but drop in demand forces prices down
The UK house market suffered a major jolt today as figures from the Halifax revealed prices slumped 3.6% in September – the biggest monthly drop since figures were first compiled in 1983.
Do you believe that you will always be able to run out to Wal-Mart or to the local supermarket and buy massive amounts of inexpensive food? If so, you might want to think again. During 2010, agricultural commodity prices have absolutely exploded. Nearly every single important agricultural commodity has seen a double digit percentage price increase.
In fact, the S&P GSCI Agriculture Index recently surged to a fresh two year high. Now food producers and retailers are starting to pass those commodity price increases on to consumers.
These price increases are not a coincidence. This is happening all over the United States. Food inflation is here and it is not going away any time soon.
In fact, food inflation is hitting consumers hard all over the globe this fall….
- *According to the United Nations, international wheat prices have soared 60 to 80 percent since July.
- *Since the beginning of 2010, the price of bread has gone up 17 percent and the price of meat has gone up 15 percent in European Union countries.
- *The inflation rate in Russia rose to 7 percent in September primarily because of rising food costs.
- *Turkey’s inflation rate accelerated to 9.2 percent in September, and authorities there are primarily blaming rising food prices for the increase.
- *Food riots have already erupted in the poverty-stricken country of Mozambique and the government there is desperately trying to maintain order.
- *Food prices have doubled in Afghanistan and authorities are warning that there could be an outbreak of famine unless the nation quickly receives more humanitarian aid.
As mentioned earlier, wheat prices have soared 60 to 80 percent this year, but wheat is not the only agricultural commodity that is going up big time.
In a recent article entitled “An Inflationary Cocktail In The Making“, Richard Benson listed many of the other agricultural commodities that have spiked in price in 2010….
- *Coffee: 45%
- *Barley: 32%
- *Oranges: 35%
- *Beef: 23%
- *Pork: 68%
- *Salmon: 30%
- *Sugar: 24%
So are American families seeing large increases in pay to keep up with all of this food inflation? No, actually incomes are going down.
Median household income in the United States fell from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009.
#4 Of the 52 largest metro areas in the United States, only the city of San Antonio did not see a decline in median household income in 2009.
#5 Home ownership in the United States declined for the third year in a row in 2009.
#6 In 2009, approximately 4 million Americans fell out of the middle class and now live below the federal poverty line.
#7 The number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program has set a new all-time record for 20 consecutive months.
#8 In July (the last month for which data is available), 41.8 million Americans were on food stamps.
#22 In 2009, 43.6 million Americans were living in poverty. Sadly, the number of Americans living in poverty has increased for three consecutive years, and the 43.6 million poor Americans in 2009 was the highest number that the U.S. Census Bureau has ever recorded in 51 years of record-keeping.
#9 The number of Americans in the food stamp program skyrocketed more than 55 percent between December 2007 and July 2010.
#12 According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010.
#15 It turns out that only the top 5 percent of all U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
#25 For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all American households put together.
#26 Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a stunning 32 percent increase over 2008.
#27 According to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau, the bottom fifth of all U.S. income earners brought in just 3.4 percent of all income in 2009 while the top fifth brought in a whopping 49.4 percent of all income.
So is there any hope that things will turn around soon?
No, not really.
At this point, even some of the top economic authorities in the nation are admitting that we are headed for very difficult times.
Goldman Sachs recently announced that the U.S. economy is likely to be either "fairly bad" or "very bad" over the next 6 to 9 months.
Not only that, but Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke now says that the U.S. economy is in a situation that is dire and "unsustainable".
A bill that homeowners advocates warn will make it more difficult to challenge improper foreclosure attempts by big mortgage processors is awaiting President Barack Obama's signature after it quietly zoomed through the Senate last week.
The bill, passed without public debate in a way that even surprised its main sponsor, Republican Representative Robert Aderholt, requires courts to accept as valid document notarizations made out of state, making it harder to challenge the authenticity of foreclosure and other legal documents.
This is Obama's answer to the foreclosure mess; force the courts to give the presumption of accuracy to statements made by the bankers. In other words, the foreclosing party does not have to provide the actual documents to prove they have title to the house and that the mortgage is in arrears; their word is enough for the courts. The burden now falls on the home-buyer to prove the banks do not have the documents, and as any student of logic knows, proving a negative is impossible.
Some top Federal Reserve officials have come up with a really bizarre proposal for stimulating the U.S. economy. As unbelievable as it sounds, what they actually propose to do is to purposely raise the rate of inflation so that Americans will stop saving so much money and will start spending wildly again. The idea behind it is that if inflation rises a couple of percentage points, but consumers are only earning half a percent (or less) on their savings accounts, then there will be an incentive for consumers to spend that money as the value of it deteriorates sitting in the bank. Yes, that is how bizarre things have gotten. It is not as if U.S. consumers are even saving that much money.
In an article entitled "Fed Officials Mull Inflation as a Fix", Wall Street Journal columnist Sudeep Reddy described this bizarre new economic approach that some over at the Federal Reserve are now advocating....
"But as the U.S. economy struggles and flirts with the prospect of deflation, some central bank officials are publicly broaching a controversial idea: lifting inflation above the Fed's informal target."
Does increasing inflation as a way to stimulate the economy sound like a good idea to any of you?
These are supposed to be some of the brightest economic minds that our nation has produced.
Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the folks running the Federal Reserve do not have a clue about sound economic policy.
This is a dangerous moment for the world, and may backfire against the US itself. We are already starting to see the same sort of rush into oil and resources that played such havoc in mid-2008, and may have been a key trigger for the Great Recession. There is a risk that this commodity shock will hit before QE stimulus filters through.
The US dollar may well be headed for disaster in the not too distant future.
The Institute of International Finance, a group that represents 420 of the world's largest banks and finance houses, has issued yet another call for a one-world global currency, Jerome Corsi's Red Alert reports.
"A core group of the world's leading economies need to come together and hammer out an understanding," Charles Dallara, the Institute of International Finance's managing director, told the Financial Times.
An IIF policy letter authored by Dallara and dated Oct. 4 made clear that global currency coordination was needed, in the group's view, to prevent a looming currency war.
Here we see the new policy of the New World Order laid out for all to see. Thomas Barnett lectures on the "new" role of the United States as "Global Enforcer" for the Internationalist Bankers. Sometimes, the BEST info on what is happening in the world is NOT contained at the latest "conspiracy web site". In fact most of the time it is contained in extremely boring "discussion papers" from Think Tanks - The Wall Street Journal - and the myriad of "in" magazines and periodicals that the Elite communicate with each other through.
Admiral Thad W. Allen to Join RAND as Senior Fellow
Adm. Thad W. Allen announced today that after completing his service as national incident commander of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he will join the RAND Corporation as a senior fellow, effective Oct. 4.
“Thad Allen has served the U.S. government and U.S. Coast Guard with great distinction,” said RAND President and CEO James A. Thomson. “We are delighted he will continue to take on the most difficult policy challenges as a RAND senior fellow. His experience and expertise will be apparent in our research and analysis on an array of homeland security, environmental and national security challenges.”
Allen will be based in the RAND office in Arlington, Va., and will focus his work on homeland security, ocean policy and defense policy issues.
His work at RAND initially will be concentrated in the RAND Homeland Security and Defense Center, a joint center of the RAND National Security Research Division and RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment. The center conducts analysis to prepare and protect communities and critical infrastructure from natural disasters and terrorism. Center projects examine a wide range of risk management problems including coastal and border security, emergency preparedness and response, defense support to civil authorities, transportation security, domestic intelligence programs, technology acquisition and related topics.
We may not be able to vote out President "Semblence" next month but we sure as hell can get rid of his enablers!
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and FDA officials maintain they've provided results of ongoing Gulf seafood safety tests with the utmost transparency. But outside scientists, eager to perform independent evaluations of the government's findings, complain the information released contains far too many unknown variables that preclude peer review.
More visual confirmation that the US Government is lying to you about the status of the Gulf Oil Disaster! Save local copies of these pictures and show them to everyone you know just before the election to remind them that Obama was willing to expose US citizens in the gulf to toxic oil contaminants just to save the Democrats' chances in November!
State Official: So much buried oil, boat motors “turn up globules of oil” and leave a trail of “long sheen”
Measuring number of dead ducks caused by oil spill proves difficulty, Times-Picayune, October 03, 2010:
[E]xperts have said… oil that is sitting under sediments along the coast or on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico — will continue to resurface for months if not years, especially during those hard southwest blows that precede winter’s cold fronts. …
[Larry Reynolds, waterfowl study leader at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries] said, “[B]ut there’s still so much oil in the substrate in some places, that if you run a motor over shallow water, you not only turn up globules of oil, you leave a long sheen in your wake. …
OSU Researchers find heightened levels of known carcinogens in Gulf, Oregon State University website, September 30, 2010:
Oregon State University researchers began testing for the contaminant May 9, and preliminary results, which have not yet been fully analyzed, suggest that the level of PAHs in the water off the coast of Louisiana experienced a 40-fold increase from May to June. The July data was lost when the device the OSU team uses for water sampling disappeared.
Scientist: ‘Slime Highway’ at Bottom of Gulf, Fox Atlanta, September 30, 2010:
A University of Georgia marine scientist says she has seen what she calls a slime highway at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. …
[Doctor Samantha Joye] says the slime appears to be a combination of oil and other residue that sank to the bottom.
She says evidence points to the oil coming from the gulf oil leak and it’s affecting the living organisms in the gulf.
Joye says the thickest layer of slime she found was about four inches deep.
Joye had previously reported finding just two inches of oily sediment: Researcher says “they found a FIELD OF OIL two inches thick, spreading as far as 70 miles from wellhead” — “Finding it everywhere that we looked” (VIDEO)
"This decision to block subpoena power to investigate the BP oil disaster only illustrates the complicity of the Senate Republicans with this disaster. Any vote to block investigation, must be viewed as a criminal act or co-conspirators to the largest crime vs. humanity & planet, in recorded history. In other words, off with their seats and pensions. We the people demand justice, we have spoken, it is so written." - kdtroxel
Cleanup crew supervisor: In the last 3 weeks oil’s washing up heavier than it was before — From Pensacola, FL to Dauphin Island, AL
Pakistan doesn't reopen key border crossing despite US, NATO apologies for helicopter attack
Pakistan said Thursday it has not decided when to reopen a key border crossing NATO uses to ship supplies to Afghanistan despite a U.S. apology for a helicopter attack that killed two Pakistani soldiers.
The alternatives to this route are complex, and hideously expensive, which the Pakistani civilian and military leadership clearly understand.
The real problem is, however, that no matter what the US/NATO high command promises the Pakistani government, there can be no real guarantee that this kind of situation won't happen again.
Hundreds of tankers and trucks have been left stranded on highways and depots across Pakistan, with little or no security.
Taliban militants have regularly been targeting the convoys, even when they are heavily protected.
But many believe it is not just the militants who pose a security threat to the convoys.
The owners of oil tankers being used to supply fuel to Nato in Afghanistan say some of the attacks on their convoys are suspicious.
They say there is evidence to suggest that bombs have been planted in many of vehicles by the "Nato contractors" - individuals or companies who have been contracted by Nato to supply fuel and goods to forces in Afghanistan.
Dost Mohammad, an oil tanker owner from Nowshera district, said a Nato contractor had recently been caught trying to plant a bomb in an oil tanker.
Nato supply trucks parked by a road in Torkhum, Pakistan (2 Oct 2010) Contractors say there is little of no security for the supply convoys
"This happened in the area of Paiyee, when he was putting the bomb under the vehicle."
"At that time, a few men also opened fire on the tankers. The deputy later told the police that he had been told to plant the bomb by the contractor."
Dost Mohammad said the contractor had apparently sold off the fuel first.
"Only 2,000 litres from the original 50,000 litres had been left in the tanker to cover up the crime," he said.
Dost Mohammad said it is a win-win situation for the contractors.
"If an old vehicle is burnt, Nato gives them money for a new vehicle. In addition, they receive compensation for all the fuel lost as well."
But the Deputy Minister for Interior, Tasneem Ahmed, dismissed the transporters' claims.
"We have no such information that the Nato contractors are themselves setting the tankers on fire," he told the BBC.
"No such complaints have been lodged, to my knowledge."
The BBC also spoke to a Nato contractor, who was similarly dismissive of the allegations.
But Nowshera's police chief, Nisar Tanoli, had a different account of events.
Continue reading the main story
• Up to 80% of Nato supplies for Afghanistan pass through Pakistan
• Majority are driven 1,200 miles (1,931km) from port of Karachi to Kabul via Khyber Pass
• 1,000 container lorries and tankers travel daily through the pass to Kabul
"We are very scared at the moment - we are an open target for the militants," said Israrullah Shinwari, a spokesman for the All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association.
"Since the blockade was enforced, we have 3,000 tankers stranded across Pakistan."
Gunmen Saturday torched at least 29 oil tankers in southwest Pakistan,the sixth attack in just over a week......
Almost 150 NATO oil tankers and supply trucks turned to ashes and at least 20 people were killed in Pakistan with 29 more containers burnt in a sixth terrorist attack on Saturday morning since the beginning of October.
At least some of the trucks are reported to have been set on fire by the contractors in order to collect the insurance money!
By continuing its halt in NATO convoys headed for Afghanistan through the Torkham border crossing into a second week, Pakistan's military leadership has brought an end to the unilateral attacks in Pakistan pushed by General David Petraeus and forced Washington to make a new accommodation.
The Pakistani government on Saturday announced its decision to reopen the Khyber Pass border into Afghanistan for NATO supply convoys.
"After assessing the security situation in all its aspects, the government has decided to reopen the ... supply from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Torkham with immediate effect," the government said in a statement.
"Our relevant authorities are now in the process of coordinating with authorities on the other side of the border to ensure smooth resumption of the supply traffic."
As reported today at:
Pakistan’s Convoy Halt Forces US to Reduce Tensions
"By continuing its halt in NATO convoys headed for Afghanistan through the Torkham border crossing into a second week, Pakistan’s military leadership has brought an end to the unilateral attacks in Pakistan pushed by Gen. David Petraeus and forced Washington to make a new accommodation."
It appears, for the moment, that Pakistan won this one regarding the cessation of US drone attacks: we will see how long this holds.
US Admiral James G. Stavridis, the current head of EUCOM who also holds the needlessly pompous title of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Europe discussed the largely nebulous terror threat against Europe, insisting it justifies the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
Forgive me, but is this man absolutely barking mad?!?
What this war is and has always been about is potential private profit from a publicly funded war. The spoils were to have been from the installation of pipelines with which to control Eurasian oil, drug profits, defense contractors' profits, and profits from the huge mineral resources which abound here.
Nearly 10 years on, the profits being seen from this war have primarily gone to the defense contractors and drug dealers.
As reported at:
The cost of war in Afghanistan from 2001 to present is over three hundred fifty-three billion (with a B), and escalating rapidly.
The war has been of absolutely no benefit to the American people in terms of enhancing the security of this country, nor has it created any degree of stabilization in Afghanistan; in fact, it has done just the opposite.
People in Afghanistan and beyond don't "hate us because we are free": they hate us because, on a daily basis, they are seeing their wives, kids, friends, and loved ones being exterminated or maimed for life who are not in any way insurgents.
But what this approach has done (as it inevitably would) has been to push those left standing into the waiting embrace of the insurgents.
There is one classical definition of insanity, and that is repeating the same thing, again and again, and expecting a different outcome.
It appears that the White House, State Department, and Pentagon are in absolute lock step in doing this in their policies toward Afghanistan. They are locked in a militarily unwinnable situation, but don't know what to do, except to keep doing what has not worked for almost a decade.
Of course, for the DOD and Pentagon, perpetual war guarantees one thing: perpetual funding.
What this country needs is a Department of Peace, which would be tasked as to how to achieve geopolitical outcomes without resorting to war.
Of course, that would be logical.
ROME - The defence minister said Sunday that he is considering authorizing bombings by Italian fighter jets in Afghanistan if Parliament backs the decision following the killing of four soldiers there.
Minister Ignazio La Russa told Sky TG24 TV Sunday that while Italy's participation in the NATO mission in Afghanistan can't change "from one day to the other," its fighter jets must be able to bomb if necessary.
La Russa has withheld permission for aerial bombings in order to avoid mistakenly killing innocent civilians.
Four Italian soldiers died Saturday in a bomb and shooting attack on a convoy.
NATO strategy for Afghanistan will be reviewed next week at a meeting in Rome including Gen. David Patraeus, top commander for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told Corriere Sera newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.
And next month in Lisbon, Allied leaders will ponder plans for Afghanistan at a NATO summit.
"It was my decision that the fighter jets use only small cannons aboard, thus Italy has planes without bombs," La Russa said on state TV."I thought they could do without them, because there is the risk of harming civilians. That's why, up to now, I've said no."
But given the "enormous sorrow" over mounting Italian troop deaths, "I no longer feel able to take this responsibility by myself, given what has been happening" he added.
"I want that decision to be either backed or changed by the relevant parliamentary commissions," La Russa said.
Parliament periodically approves funding to continue Italy's participation in the NATO force in Afghanistan.
Italy has 3,500 soldiers in Afghanistan. Saturday's deaths increased to 34 the number of Italian soldiers who have either been killed in Afghanistan, including those killed by accidents.
Both La Russa and Frattini have said Italy's troops will start coming home next year, with while Italians who are helping to train Afghanistan's security forces to take over security duties will remain for a few more years.
After Saturday's attack, some leaders outside of Premier Silvio Berlusconi's staunchly pro-U.S. conservative coalition have called for a review of Italy's participation in the NATO mission.
A decision on Afghanistan comes at a politically delicate time for Berlusconi. Halfway through Parliament's five-year term, the government has been weakened by a split without a centre-right ally, and the possibility of early elections loom.
A NATO spokesman in Afghanistan said that while air strikes are not supposed to be used when a more targeted approach is possible or when civilians are in an area, this does not prevent firing in self-defence.
"All fires are available for use to protect soldiers at risk," said Lt. Col. John Dorrian, a NATO spokesman in Kabul. "The tactical directive is in no way meant to hinder an individual's right to self-defence or a commander's judgment."
Associated Press writer Heidi Vogt contributed to this report from Afghanistan.
The number of U.S. soldiers who have suffered amputations in Afghanistan has increased sharply over last year as more troops move into Taliban territory, according to Army data.
Twenty two oil tankers carrying fuel supplies for ISAF in Afghanistan were attacked and destroyed in a daring raid in the early hours of Wednesday on the outskirts of Quetta. Meanwhile, unidentified assailants attacked a convoy of NATO oil tankers on the GT road near Nowshera,setting 35 of the tankers ablaze,a private channel reported.
A US drone strike killed seven militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan region yesterday.
The strike came just hours after Islamabad agreed to reopen a crucial border crossing to Afghanistan, ending a protest over the fatal shooting of two Pakistani guards by US troops.
The Pakistani military and civilian leadership have just telegraphed to Pakistan's people that as long as it is not Pakistani military who get assassinated, Pakistani leadership is just fine with the deaths and collateral damage the US drone attacks create.
Deputy-Mayor of Kandahar also wounded in drive by shooting.
Protest in Khost Province as NATO pledges investigation.
I guess not being able to do drone driveby shootings in Pakistan, has the NATO commanders frustrated. Gotta kill somebody!
NATO had initially claimed that all four children killed in the attack were insurgents.
NATO is scrambling to do damage control tonight after a number of weekend incidents led to the deaths of Afghan civilians, including several children. US troops killed two civilians, including an eight year old girl in a shooting in Logar Province, while NATO air strikes in the Helmand Province killed another three civilians and wounded a number of children. NATO troops also shot and killed a child in Kandahar Province.
All told 13 civilians were killed over the weekend in a series of attacks by both NATO and Taliban forces. The US has formally apologized for the Logar killings, while NATO insists the Kandahar killings were because they thought a “suspected insurgent” was “perceived as about to fire a weapon.”
NATO apparently believes it can win more Afghan hearts and minds by assassinating Afghan children, I see.
A NATO airstrike targeting a Taliban meeting in Helmand province killed at least 17 people, including some Taliban commanders and three civilians, Afghan officials said Sunday.
Speaking today at a Defense Department briefing, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell insisted that there was no chance in the near term for reconciliation with the Taliban and that the only thing that could promote such a move was more conflict.
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity!
Each month the Pentagon generates a ream of dubious statistics designed to create the illusion of progress in Afghanistan. In response this author decided to compile his own statistics. As the goal of any war is to kill the enemy, the idea was to calculate what it actually costs to kill just one of the enemy. The obstacles encountered in generating such a statistic are formidable. The problem is that the Pentagon continues to illegally classify all negative war news and embarrassing information. Regardless, some information has been collected from independent sources. Here is what we know in summary and round numbers:
1. Taliban Field Strength: 35,000 troops
2. Taliban Killed Per Year by Coalition forces: 2,000 (best available information)
3. Pentagon Direct Costs for Afghan War for 2010: $100 billion
4. Pentagon Indirect Costs for Afghan War for 2010: $100 billion
Using the fact that 2,000 Taliban are being killed each year and that the Pentagon spends $200 billion per year on the war in Afghanistan, one simply has to divide one number into the other. That calculation reveals that $100 million is being spent to kill each Taliban soldier. In order to be conservative, the author decided to double the number of Taliban being killed each year by U.S. and NATO forces (although the likelihood of such being true is unlikely). This reduces the cost to kill each Taliban to $50 million, which is the title of this article. The final number is outrageously high regardless of how one calculates it.
To put this information another way, using the conservative estimate of $50 million to kill each Taliban:
It costs the American taxpayers $1 billion to kill 20 Taliban
As the U.S. military estimates there to be 35,000 hard-core Taliban and assuming that no reinforcements and replacements will arrive from Pakistan and Iran:
Just killing the existing Taliban would cost $1.75 Trillion
GENEVA — The United Nations buried a report into rights violations in Afghanistan between 1978 and 2001 that accused Soviets, Islamists and US forces of “atrocities”, a Swiss newspaper said on Saturday.
The revelations emerged a day after the UN published a hotly contested report into crimes committed by armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic Congo at the end of the 1990s.
A UN report “on crimes committed in Afghanistan between April 1978 and December 2001 was deliberately suppressed by the United Nations for political reasons”, Le Temps said after obtaining a copy of the 300-page document.
2014 is the new 2011
This won’t make President Obama’s anti-war base very happy: The White House sent word late last night that Obama is backing Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s goal of having Afghan forces lead security operations there — in 2014.
Many analysts would call 2014 an optimistic target, at best. But from the prospective of people tired of fighting wars, it commits the United States to the lead role in Afghanistan until two years into the next presidential term, whether it’s Obama’s or someone else’s.
It means that even if the American withdrawal begins, as the President pledges, next July, it will take three more years before the U.S. cedes control to Afghans, let alone withdraw to the equivalent backup role U.S. forces now have in Iraq. America will have been waging war in Afghanistan for 12 years by then.
Taliban militants have claimed that they have driven US troops out of a military outpost in Afghanistan's northeastern Kunar Province.
They also said that the Americans fled the military outpost in Kunar's Marawara district in helicopters on Monday.
A senior Taliban commander said the group is now in full control of the district where the outpost is located.
A Press TV correspondent says the US military has not yet commented on the attack.
A military raid in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul was the latest in a growing series of combat operations by US troops in what was supposed to be “post-combat” Iraq. As US officials continue to laud the “end of combat” and even the “end of the Iraq War” the war and the combat continue to go on.
Think the US is ever going to leave Iraq?!?
Iraq War Deaths Exceed Vietnam War Numbers
Department of Veterans Affairs Reports 73 Thousand U.S. Gulf War Deaths
More Gulf War Veterans have died than Vietnam Veterans. This probably is news to you. But the truth has been hidden by a technicality. So here is the truth.
The casualties in the Vietnam War were pretty simple to understand. If a soldier was dead from his combat tour, he was a war casualty. There are 58,195 names recorded on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC.
But something odd has happened with the Iraq War. The government, under the Bush administration, did something dishonest that resulted in a lie that's persisted since the war began -- and continues to this very day. They decided to report the war deaths in Iraq only if the soldier died with his boots on the ground in a combat situation.
Under the new reporting system, deaths that happen en route or post evacuation are not counted as combat deaths. This is why the number seems unusually low -- a little over four thousand as of 2009.
According to The Department of Veterans Affairs, as of May 2007, reports in the Gulf War Veterans Information System reveal these startling numbers:
Total U.S. Military Gulf War Deaths: 73,846
* Deaths amongst Deployed: 17,847
* Deaths amongst Non-Deployed: 55,999
The stastics for non-lethal injuries are likewise staggering:
Total "Undiagnosed Illness" (UDX) claims: 14,874
Total number of disability claims filed: 1,620,906
* Disability Claims amongst Deployed: 407,911
* Disability Claims amongst Non-Deployed: 1,212,995
Percentage of combat troops that filed Disability Claims 36%
I know you probably will think this is another conspiracy theory -- I did when I first heard about this -- so please read the original report for yourself. [Source: http://www1.va.gov/rac-gwvi/docs/GWVIS_May2007.pdf Note: Sometimes this link is not active so we have posted the pdf file on viewzone 393 kb.]
More deaths and mysery to follow...
More than 1,820 tons of radioactive nuclear waste (i.e. depleted uranium) were exploded in Iraq alone in the form of armor piercing rounds and bunker busters. This represents the worlds worst man made ecological disaster ever. 64 kg of uranium were used in the Hiroshima bomb. The U.S. Iraq Nuclear Holocaust represents far more than fourteen thousand Hiroshima's.
By Nancy A. Youssef | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — When Lt. Col. Dave Wilson took command of a battalion of the 4th Brigade of the 1st Armored Division, the unit had just returned to Texas from 14 months traveling some of Iraq's most dangerous roads as part of a logistics mission.
What he found, he said, was a unit far more damaged than the single death it had suffered in its two deployments to Iraq.
Nearly 70 soldiers in his 1,163-member battalion had tested positive for drugs: methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. Others were abusing prescription drugs. Troops were passing around a tape of a female lieutenant having sex with five soldiers from the unit. Seven soldiers in the brigade died from drug overdoses and traffic accidents when they returned to Fort Bliss, near El Paso, after their first deployment.
"The inmates were running the prison," Wilson said.
What Wilson had to deal with, however, was hardly an isolated instance.
With the U.S. drawdown in Iraq, the Army is finally confronting an epidemic of drug abuse and criminal behavior that many commanders acknowledge has been made worse because they'd largely ignored it during nearly a decade of wars on two fronts.
The Army concedes that it faces a mammoth problem.
A 350-page report issued in July after a 15-month investigation into the Army's rising suicide rate found that levels of illegal drug use and criminal activity have reached record highs, while the number of disciplinary actions and forced discharges were at record lows.
The result, the Army found, is that "drug and alcohol abuse is a significant health problem in the Army." Where the Army once rigidly enforced rules on drug use, it got sloppy in the rush to get soldiers ready for the battlefield, commanders say. Officers who once trained soldiers on everything from drug abuse to financial planning had only enough time to get their troops ready for battle.
The number of misdemeanors that soldiers committed — including traffic infractions, drunk driving and being absent without leave — rose to 50,523 in fiscal year 2009 — a sign, the report said, that "good order and discipline" were declining in the ranks. Five years earlier, the number was 28,388.
No disciplinary action was taken in at least 15,074 of the 2009 cases, the report said.
This is how much of the world sees us.
Maybe this is why:
We'll unleash the dogs of hell, we'll unleash them.They don't know what's coming - hell is coming. If they're civilians in there, they're in the wrong place at the wrong time", said Sergeant Sam Mortimer, U.S., Marines.(5) So much for international law, with Barrister Blair "shoulder to shoulder", in crime.
Thus, there is certainly much that British governments offices may deem: "not in the public interest" - read: plenty to hide. In November 2005, George Monbiot wrote in the (UK) Guardian, "We know know the U.S., used thermobaric weapons (in Fallujah)", that assault weapons the US marines were using were armed with warheads containing: "about 35% thermobaric novel explosive (NE) and 65% standard high explosive." How : "thermobaric", "novel" and "explosive", find their way in to the same sentence is one to ponder on. Perhaps weapons manual authors are recruited from a home for the criminally insane.
The MK77 bombs used, acted like napalm, containing jet fuel and polystyrene, unleashed, the scalding gel sticks to victims. The Iraqi Minister of Health described: "melted bodies" and fires that could not be extinguished with water. He directly accused U.S., troops of using napalm, which the U.S., immediately denied. Referring to the MK77s, military analyst, John Pike commented: "You can call it something other than napalm, but it's napalm."
The Minister, Dr Khalid ash-Shaykli, described large areas of Fallujah where nothing, people, cats, dogs, birds were left alive, alleging that mustard and nerve gasses had been used. InterPress reported people being roasted alive, in unquenchable, jellied fire. Numerous reports during the assault recorded people on fire leaping in to the Euphrates - and continuing to burn. Bodies were found with clothes melted in to the skin - and bodies were found with no injuries at all, giving credence to the accusation of the use of gasses and chemical weapons.
Further credence is given by the reports that the army brought in water tankers to power blast the streets, was it to wash away bloody crimes, or chemical and other "novel" residues? They are certainly not in the neighbourhood beautification business. Red Crescent staff trying to enter with medical supplies and help were repeatedly turned away.
What exactly happened in Falluja ? What were the kinds of bombs used ? Was it just DU or more ?
1) One thing that is very peculiar to Falluja is that the rates of cancer have risen dramatically in a very short space of time i.e since 2004. Examples given by Dr.Busby :
- rate of Child Leukemia is 40 X (times) higher since 2004 than during previous years. And compared to Jordan for instance it is 38 X times higher.
- rate of breast cancer is 10 X higher since 2004
- rate of lymphatic cancer is also 10 x higher since 2004.
2) Another peculiarity to Falluja is the dramatic rise in infant mortality rates. Compared to 2 other Arab countries like Kuwait and Egypt who are not contaminated by radiation these are the figures :
- infant mortality rates for Falluja is 80 infants out of 1'000 births in comparison to Kuwait with 9 infants out of 1'000, and to Egypt with 19 infants out of 1'000. (so Iraqi infant mortality rate is 4 times higher than Egypt and 9 times higher than Kuwait)
3) the third peculiarity to Falluja is the number of genetic deformities that has suddenly exploded since 2004. This is a subject I've already covered in the past. But this is not the whole story, today I learned something else. The radiation of whatever agent that was used by the "liberating forces", not only causes massive genetic deformities but also and this is very important :
Il semble en effet que pressenza ait manipulé l'information et on ne sait pas si c'est vraiment de la main de Chomsky. Je leur ai écrit et j'attends des nouvelle. Quant à l'affirmation que j'ai fait sur l'émission en attribuant le livre Armes silencieuses pour guerres tranquilles à Chomsky, c'est mon erreur, j'ai été confus dans ma tête.
Hartford Van Dyke affirme avoir rassemblé les informations qui compose le document et indique comment il a pu se retrouver dans ce fameux photocopieur.
Merci de porter tout cela à mon attention.
While both unmanned and manned space planes could serve a range of scientific and commercial missions, it is also clear that the PLA People's Liberation Army envisions such vehicles to perform military missions. Chinese military literature has long suggested the PLA seeks to dominate outer space and its successful January 11, 2007 interception and destruction of a satellite demonstrated the PLA now has an initial space combat capability not currently possessed by the United States.
Now, this gets interesting. The real videos of the China UFO (not the obvious fakes with disks and lights) clearly show an ultra-high atmospheric vehicle in operation, with at least a portion of the flight above the atmosphere. Whether what was seen in the Chinese sky was the Shenlong, Hermez, or the "601" H-2, the message is clear. Whether weaponized or not, China's space program has jumped way beyond that of the United States.
So why the UFO cover story?
Simple. America's self-image is in large part linked to the Apollo Moon program and America's achievements in space during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. But the shuttle fleet is about to be retired after suffering a 40% loss rate, and the replacement shuttle, along with the return to the Moon, have been cut from NASA's budget by the Obama administration. Indeed NASA is but a thin shadow of its former self, like NOAA mostly used for propaganda value to support the push for a global carbon tax. After the last shuttle flies, Americans will no longer be able to fly into space; our crews will have to hitch rides on other nations' rockets.
So now as the USA loses its space-faring capability comes a dramatic demonstration that China has advanced into some amazing new technologies. The USA failed to keep up because once again short-sighted government policy squandered the technology lead created by the Apollo program in the 1960s.
This is a major embarrassment for the US government, especially just before an election, especially for the President and the Congress that gutted NASA to shower money all over Wall Street and buy F-35s for Israel.
Now, in studying the video I think that what was over the skies of China was not specifically the Shenlong. The Shenlong is a non-staged vehicle and in the below video what appears to be a staging event is seen at 30 seconds.
From the flight performance, and staging, I think we are dealing with a larger vehicle, like the Aurora a high altitude transport that deploys a much smaller exo-atmospheric vehicle. And this Chinese image showing potential designs for manned space shuttles includes such a design, possibly the Horizontal take-off and completely reusable H-2.
This talk of UFOs is intended to conceal from the voters and taxpayers that other nations have taken the lead in space away from the United States.
Even if we avoid war with China, what remains of America's manufacturing is heavily sales of weapons promoted as the most technologically advanced in the world. But that claim, and those sales, may be about to crumble in the face of a clear demonstration that China is the new technological giant of the 21st Century!
Well, as bizarre as it may seem, it does look like the globalists are going to try to fake an alien invasion to scare us all into being their willing slaves for the rest of eternity. The controlled corporate media is dutifully raising everyone's awareness of flying saucers and UFOs, while planted stories in the media warn that UFOs are de-activating our nuclear missiles!
There is no question there is a lot of build-up to this alien stuff, but where is the payoff, or as Magicians put it, the "Prestige"; the moment when the manufactured spectacle is finally shown to the bewildered audience?
I am old enough to remember America's first communications satellite. It was called "Echo" and it was a very simple passive repeater consisting of a gigantic Mylar balloon. The size of a basketball when launched on August 12, 1960, when deployed and inflated it was the size of a ten story building and the brightest object in the night sky after the Moon for the 7 1/2 years it remained in orbit.
Since then the US has gained a lot of experience with inflated structures in space. The gigantic antennas of the Rhyolite series of communications spy satellites are inflated structures, as one example.
Some, how to convince the world that alien flying disks are in the skies? What would the Wizard of Oz do to sell this one to his slaves of the Emerald City? Why, he would bring out his balloon, of course!
Let us suppose dozens of truly gigantic inflated balloon, the great grandson of Echo, made of thin aluminized Mylar, were launched inside the X37B shuttle that has been tooling around up in space for the last several weeks doing who-knows-what. Over time, the balloons are set loose in different orbits. At a set time or signal, they all inflate, appearing simultaneously all over the world. If they are 1000 feet across, ten times the size of Echo, they would be brilliant objects in the night sky just before sunrise and just after sunset; impossible to miss. Although merely a dot in the sky, (or possibly a discreet disk shape in more powerful amateur telescopes), a populace who had been fed UFOs and space aliens for months on TV would (in theory) trust ABCNNBBCBS when the talking heads say the are alien space ships. After all, what else could they be, or so the theory goes.
Personally, I think it is a stupid idea and not likely to work, but the slavers are desperate to hold off the impending global human stampede, and this nutty Aliens plan feels like a "Hail Mary" stunt done in panic.
What is that thing? How a UFO brought the streets of New York to a standstill... on the very day predicted by retired US Air Force general
Someone released a whole bunch of aluminized Mylar balloons in New Jersey and let the wind take them over New York City.
We Earthlings are poorly prepared to respond should there be contact from aliens, according to the director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). "Statistically, extraterrestrial life is a possibility," Malaysian astrophysicist, Mazlan Othman, told journalists in New York, where she is attending a General Assembly meeting on cooperation in the peaceful use of outer space.
"It is recommended that: a. The Director of Central Intelligence advise the National Security Council of the security implications inherent in the flying saucer problem. b. CIA, under its assigned responsibilities, and in cooperation with the psychological strategy board, immediately investigate possible offensive or defensive utilization of the phenomena for psychological warfare purposes both for and against the United States."
-- From a CIA declassified document titled "Flying Saucers" and dated Sept. 7, 1952
There seems to be a growing trend among schools to stage a UFO crash, and then teach students how to react, as well as to “properly” investigate and report on the incident.
It sounds like a lot of fun, and a great way to fire up a student’s imagination as well as writing skills. Hell, I wish we would have done a staged UFO crash at my school.
The latest “UFO drill” took place Wed, Sept 29, at Sandford Primary School in the UK. The kids were treated to a full UFO crash scenario that included wreckage, police tape, and real police officers. (Perhaps it was only lacking men from the government telling the children not to talk about what was seen.)
The latest news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is the equivalent of a blockbuster record to commodity futures brokers and traders - and it's corn, wheat and soybean futures that are soaring up the charts.
In essence, the USDA said that U.S. cornfields will generate yields far smaller than either analysts or the USDA's own researchers had projected. Last month, the department was calling for a record crop with yields of 162.5 bushels per acre.
But hot weather and heavy rains haven't helped, and analysts guessed that this month's figure would come in at 159.9 bushels per acre.
After the attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States declared war against Osama Bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda. October 7, marked the 9th anniversary of the United States invasion into Afghanistan. The question remains all these years later, why is the United States still in Afghanistan almost a decade later? A panel of Phyllis Bennis a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and Iraq War veteran Adam Kokesh agree that imposing the US view of big government on the world is wrong and there is a failure of American foreign policy throughout the world.
Now the war is expanding into an Af-Pak war-quagmire. Since coming to office, President Obama escalated attacks in Pakistan with drone after drone killing civilians and local insurgent leaders. Pakistanis are no longer sitting back but are responding by exploding oil tankers and blocking key border routes. Cutting off U.S. supply lines and burning the oil used to keep tanks rolling and planes flying may end up being the nail in a coffin of a war that cannot be won and should not have been fought. Even before these attacks on supply lines, it cost $1 million per year to keep a soldier in Afghanistan. With supply routes cut and oil burning, that cost will escalate quickly.
But now, as the longest war enters its 10th year, antiwar voters need to make sure President Obama gets the message. Tell him, "If the wars continue, you will not get the peace vote. If the wars continue, there will be no peace activists working for you in the primaries or general election. If the war continues you are acting against a majority of Americans who oppose the wars and recognize they undermine the U.S. economy." Remind him that war is not the answer and it is time for America to come home and focus on the serious domestic problems the country faces. (You can click here to write the president today.)
Usama bin Laden has died a peaceful death due to an untreated lung complication, the Pakistan Observer reported, citing a Taliban leader who allegedly attended the funeral of the Al Qaeda leader.
"The Coalition troops are engaged in a mad search operation but they would never be able to fulfill their cherished goal of getting Usama alive or dead," the source said.
Bin Laden, according to the source, was suffering from a serious lung complication and succumbed to the disease in mid-December, in the vicinity of the Tora Bora mountains. The source claimed that bin Laden was laid to rest honorably in his last abode and his grave was made as per his Wahabi belief.
Depressed soldiers who seek help for suicidal thoughts have been publicly mocked by higherups, military medical experts told the Daily News.
The bullying involves "humiliating-type behavior in ranks, formations, where soldiers were singled out and identified as someone who is suicidal, publicly ridiculed, and things along that nature," said Army Maj. Gen. Philip Volpe.
Last year, a record 245 Army troops killed themselves, with an additional 166 suicides through August of this year.
There is a point, during the kinds of deployments with which many of these people have been tasked, when thinking soldiers recognize that they are on the wrong side of history.
I have to wonder if this was a factor in the current huge number of suicides in the US military.
Casting Calls, Auditions, and Acting Jobs at Backstage (For Obama's "town hall meeting" on 14 October!)
PRESIDENT OBAMA TOWN HALL, DC
PRESIDENT OBAMA TOWN HALL, DC MTV, BET, and CMT (prods.) are casting the audience for a town hall meeting with President Obama. Shooting Oct. 14 at 4 p.m. in Washington, DC. Seeking—Audience Members: males and females, 18+. To apply, email email@example.com and put "Town Hall" in the subject line. To ensure that the audience represents diverse interests and political views, include your name, phone number, hometown, school attending, your job and what issues, if any, you are
A casting call, to fill the audience for Obama's "Town Hall" meeting! In other words, all those "Americans" you see smiling at Obama on TV are ACTORS AND ACTRESSES!
The IDF is learning from its experience with the flotilla to the Gaza Strip, and when the next flotilla – if there is one – is boarded by the navy, the soldiers will be assisted by attack dogs from the Oketz unit. The dogs will be the first to board the decks, to prevent harm to soldiers from hostile elements on board.
Dogs from the Oketz unit are trained to immobilize an enemy by biting – the more the enemy struggles, the harder the bite. “Attack dogs have proved their capabilities on many occasions,” the source said. “They are strong and merciless, but in fact this is a non-lethal weapon that can certainly do the work (on the deck).”
"After that flotilla, we understood that this is indeed a good method and we're improving our abilities," he said. "A dog has no problem operating on a boat and can do great work."
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Wednesday accused the United Nations of intervening in Israel's affairs through its probe into an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
The attack, which included attacks on a US-flagged ship and American citizens, took place in international waters. By virtue of its membership in the United Nations, Israel agrees to be bound by international law, a concept Israel is all too eager to support when it comes to urging the United Nations to intervene in the affairs of other nations like Iran!
A controversial national loyalty oath took a step closer to becoming law on Wednesday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lost a battle to soften the wording of a new citizen's declaration.
Ministers approved a draft of the proposed oath, which would require anyone taking Israeli citizenship to swear allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state".
Welcome to Israel, the 21 century's first theocracy!
he Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, yesterday approved controversial legislation that would force any non-Jew seeking Israeli citizenship to pledge allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish state".
Welcome to the 21st century's first self-declared theocracy, Israel!
Swearing an oath to a Jewish state will decide its fate. It is liable to turn the country into a theocracy like Saudi Arabia.
Remember this day. It's the day Israel changes its character. As a result, it can also change its name to the Jewish Republic of Israel, like the Islamic Republic of Iran. Granted, the loyalty oath bill that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to have passed purportedly only deals with new citizens who are not Jewish, but it affects the fate of all of us.
South Africa's Israel boycott
September 29, 2010, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
When Chief Albert Luthuli made a call for the international community to support a boycott of apartheid South Africa in 1958, the response was a widespread and dedicated movement that played a significant role in ending apartheid. One significant move was the resolution taken by 150 Irish academics not to accept academic posts or appointments in apartheid South Africa. Almost four decades later, the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions is gaining ground again in South Africa, this time against Israeli apartheid. Earlier this month, more than 100 academics across South Africa, from over 13 universities, pledged their support to a University of Johannesburg initiative for ending collaboration with the Israeli occupation. The campaign has since grown to include up to 200 supporters. The nationwide academic petition calling for the termination of an agreement between the University of Johannesburg and the Israeli Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has attracted widespread attention. With the recent endorsement of some of the leading voices in South Africa ... the statement confirms the strength of the boycott call in South Africa. Israeli universities are not being targeted for boycott because of their ethnic or religious identity, but because of their complicity in the Israeli system of apartheid. As the academics who have supported the call clearly articulate in their statement, Ben-Gurion University maintains material links to the military occupation.
An archaeological find in China shows strong evidence of parallel human evolution with multiple, different ancestors. An anatomically modern human jawbone was found deep in the earth and comes from a time period in which such humans were only supposed to have existed in Africa.
The Obama Administration IP Czar Victoria Espinel has been holding meetings with ISPs, registrars, payment processors and others in a bid to get them to block access to websites “dedicated to infringing activities”. However, as we have documented, the government deems such infringement to include political opinions which are antagonistic toward the state, leaving the door open for state censorship of free speech on the world wide web.
According to National Security Agency (NSA) Director Gen. Keith Alexander, the United States federal government has the overarching duty and responsibility in securing the Internet to safeguard against cyber-criminal activities. Top military officials concurred with Alexander, but the government still has yet to provide details of how it intends to tackle Internet security issues. According to site Threat Post, Alexander "expressed confidence that the country's information security apparatus was up to the task, but acknowledged the difficulty of securing the Internet, a network that many security experts see as hopelessly broken and flawed by design."
Cyberterrorism is such a threat that the U.S. president should have the authority to shut down the Internet in the event of an attack, Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said.
Hayden made the comments during a visit to San Antonio where he was meeting with military and civilian officials to discuss cyber security. The U.S. military has a new Cyber Command which is to begin operations on October 1.
Hayden said the president currently does not have the authority to shut down the Internet in an emergency.
Memo to Michael Hayden: this is not really about terrorism: it is about the government being in total control of information to prevent any alternative view to that of the government (or the truth) getting to the American people.
You understand that, and thinking Americans understand that.
Broad new regulations being drafted by the Obama administration would make it easier for law enforcement and national security officials to eavesdrop on internet and email communications like social networking websites and BlackBerry phones, a US newspaper has reported.
It said the White House plans to submit a bill next year that would require all online services that enable communications to be technically equipped to comply with a wiretap order.
That would include providers of encrypted email, such as BlackBerry, networking sites like Facebook and direct communication services like Skype.
This is a censorship bill that runs roughshod over freedom of speech on the Internet. Free speech is vitally important to democracy, which is why the government is restricted from suppressing speech except in very specific, narrowly-tailored situations. But this bill is the polar opposite of narrow — not only in the broad way that it tries to define a site "dedicated to infringing activities," but also in the solution that it tries to impose — a block on a whole domain, and not just the infringing part of the site.
The fastest way to bring down a dictatorship is to force it to act like one where everybody can see it!
US intelligence services would be allowed to tap text messages, emails and networking websites under new powers being considered by Barack Obama's administration.
The FBI says extremists and drug cartels are increasingly communicating online rather than using telephones, leaving US investigators struggling to keep track of them.
A new bill requesting the additional powers to investigate suspected criminals and terrorists will be presented next year. It is likely to face stiff opposition from civil liberties advocates who say the security services have historically abused extensions of power.
James Dempsey, of the pressure group Centre for Democracy and Technology, said: "They are really asking for the authority to redesign services that take advantage of the unique architecture of the internet."
Do you resent the government for enforcing Obamacare or raising your taxes? Write about it in an email or talk about it on the phone and you could be placed under surveillance as a potential terrorist, if frightening new technology being shopped to law enforcement agencies is implemented.
On September 20th, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced legislation — S. 3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act — that seeks to give the Department of Justice the power to shut down websites anywhere in the world that are found to infringe on intellectual property rights. This would be accomplished by ordering U.S. domain registrars and registries to stop resolving infringing sites’ domain names. While this bill has the noble-sounding goal of preventing online piracy, handing the federal government authority over the Internet would set a troubling precedent that would imperil Internet freedom in America and across the world.
This can actually be defeated by amateur DNS servers set up all across the world, especially in those nations now willing to defy the United States, possibly even Iceland! Those who know how can actually set up their own local DNS servers to allow themselves and their friends to continue to access the patriot websites. The copyright infringers and pirates already do this, which means that this new law, like all the others, portrays itself as fighting cr4ime while actually seeking to return the general population to a state of deaf, dumb, and blindness, wholly dependent on ABCNNBBCBS to tell them what is going on in the world.
It won't work and it never has, but the tyrants playing by last century's rules are panicking. My concern is that if the virtual revolution is attacked, it will move from the virtual to the real world (as we are already seeing across Europe).
When it really matters to them, Congressmembers can come together -- with a panache and wry wit you didn't know they had. As banned books week gets underway, and President Obama admonishes oppressive regimes for their censorship of the Internet, a group of powerful Senators -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- have signed onto a bill that would vastly expand the government's power to censor the Internet.
The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) was introduced in late September, but it's greased and ready to move, with a hearing in front of the Judiciary Committee this Thursday. If people don't speak out, US citizens could soon find themselves joining Iranians and Chinese in being blocked from accessing broad chunks of the public Internet.
COICA creates two blacklists of Internet domain names. Courts could add sites to the first list; the Attorney General would have control over the second. Internet service providers and others (everyone from Comcast to PayPal to Google AdSense) would be required to block any domains on the first list. They would also receive immunity (and presumably the good favor of the government) if they block domains on the second list.
The lists are for sites "dedicated to infringing activity," but that's defined very broadly -- any domain name where counterfeit goods or copyrighted material are "central to the activity of the Internet site" could be blocked.
One example of what this means in practice: sites like YouTube could be censored in the US. Copyright holders like Viacom often argue copyrighted material is central to the activity of YouTube, but under current US law, YouTube is perfectly legal as long as they take down copyrighted material when they're informed about it -- which is why Viacom lost to YouTube in court.
But if COICA passes, Viacom wouldn't even need to prove YouTube is doing anything illegal to get it shut down -- as long as they can persuade the courts that enough other people are using it for copyright infringement, the whole site could be censored.
Perhaps even more disturbing: Even if Viacom couldn't get a court to compel censorship of a YouTube or a similar site, the DOJ could put it on the second blacklist and encourage ISPs to block it even without a court order. (ISPs have ample reason to abide the will of the powerful DOJ, even if the law doesn't formally require them to do so.)
COICA's passage would be a tremendous blow to free speech on the Internet -- and likely a first step towards much broader online censorship. Please help us fight back: The first step is signing our petition. We'll give you the tools to share it with your friends and call your Senator.
If you're planning to leave – and especially to enter – the United States, you need to take several precautions before you do so.
That's because Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents can seize and copy the contents of any electronic device you carry across a U.S. border. That includes your laptop, your cell phone, your USB flash drives, your digital camera, etc. Agents don't need probable cause or even reasonable suspicion to conduct a search of your electronic data – just "gimme." They can copy the data for investigative purposes and then use that information against you in a subsequent criminal case.