Fake Revolutions: The debate is over; the revolutions are fake, the people behind them illegitimate.
By Tony Cartalucci – BLN Contributing Writer
CANVAS leader Srdja Popovic stands here before Columbia, a public sponsor of the US State Department’s Movements.org. While he denies he is being funded by the US government, just as his disingenuous movement did in 2000 before being found to have lied, his organization works in tandem with the US State Department’s agenda and the various organizations it openly funds.
The degenerate, profiteering liars that populate the Serbian based “CANVAS” organization maintain that while the US government had initially funded them as they overthrew the government of Serbia in 2000, currently the US government does not fund them – that they are privately funded. Unfortunately for these meddling interlopers, the US government itself is “privately owned” by many of the people who fund the organizations they claim as partners.
These partners include:
United States Institute for Peace (USIP) (funded through Congress)
Freedom House (Neo-Con infested)
International Republican Institute (IRI) (headed by warmonger John McCain)
New Tactics (Ford Foundation-funded, Soros-funded)
Humanity in Action (Ford Foundation-funded, US State Department-funded)
The organization is obviously sensitive about who it is seen dealing with, partnering with, and receiving money from. Knowledge of its true nature and purpose has systematically been lied about from its very inception. Foreign Policy reported that “Like the entire opposition to Milosevic, Otpor [now known as CANVAS] took money from the U.S. government, and lied about it. When the real story came out after Milosevic fell, many Otpor members quit, feeling betrayed.” As CANVAS was exposed for its more recent involvement in Egypt, they quickly changed their “Partnership” page to “External Links.” In a recent documentary, where CANVAS openly claims responsibility for training and guiding unrest across the planet, they reiterate that they are not funded by the US government. This is a dubious claim at best, considering who they associate with and how their “mission” dovetails with identical efforts by openly US-funded and sponsored organizations like Movements.org.
The documentary produced by Journeyman Pictures features CANVAS, its founder, and the story of how they have influenced “color revolutions” all over the globe. While the documentary is fairly objective about its particular subject matter, namely CANVAS’ role in the unrest, within a greater context and amidst overwhelming evidence there is no question at all whether or not these revolutions are entirely engineered and contrived.
Apparently unaware of the giant, foreign-funded logo looming over his right shoulder, Mohamed Adel of April 6 tries to convince his audience that there was no foreign plot behind Egypt’s recent foreign-funded revolution.
The documentary concludes contemplating the future of Egypt and Tunisia and the changes that are to come. One Egyptian activist, Mohamed Adel of the April 6 Movement, while siting in front of a giant banner featuring the US-funded Otpor fist claims that the US is incapable of influencing millions of people – seemingly unaware of the mass manipulation and social engineering of America’s 300 million people, or the billions conned, duped, manipulated, and certainly “influenced” by the Fortune 500 globally on a daily basis. He claims that the Egyptian people want to be the masters of their own destiny, ironically, even as a US-funded logo looms over his shoulder and even after he himself trained in Serbia at the US-founded CANVAS and his own April 6 Movement attended a US State Department-sponsored confab in NYC in 2008 to train for a revolution now admittedly engineered from abroad and led by Mohamed ElBaradei, a listed member on the US corporate-funded International Crisis Group.
The documentary claims that Tunisians are busy enjoying their new “freedoms,” showing footage of people talking on phones and conversing in public. Unfortunately, freedom is not talking, nor is it even casting a vote in an election. Freedom is being the undisputed master of your own destiny, being independent both politically and economically. However, with the nationalistic regimes deposed and the “economic liberation” underway in the US State Department’s newly despoiled lands, rules, regulations, decrees and laws will be imposed upon these “free nations” by self-proclaimed international arbiters, corporate-funded policy think-tanks, and contrived, illegitimate “international” courts – all entirely offshore and removed from any sense of accountability to the people they lord over, including the Tunisians and Egyptians.
As the global corporate-financier elite and their tangled web of NGOs, civil society organizations, and their international military machines stall in Libya and Syria, they still are staging and moving against other sovereign nations with their social engineering “color revolutions.” The list is extensive, including Belarus, Venezuela, Iran, Thailand, China, Myanmar, and even Pakistan.
Know these charlatans and know their game, as they are far from through. And while their dark deeds are done in far flung distant lands, the empowerment and hubris they reap from afar will soon enough be brought home to bear. Threats to target Texas with a “no-fly zone” after an attempt to usurp the TSA’s authority already echos the madness being exercised in war-ravaged Libya. Libya’s battle and the dangerous precedent a victory there for the globalists would set is already hitting home.Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite
WASHINGTON (AP) — Knowing there would be disbelievers, the U.S. says it used convincing means to confirm Osama bin Laden’s identity during and after the firefight that killed him. But the mystique that surrounded the terrorist chieftain in life is persisting in death.
Was it really him? How do we know? Where are the pictures?
Already, those questions are spreading in Pakistan and surely beyond. In the absence of photos and with his body given up to the sea, many people don’t believe bin Laden – the Great Emir to some, the fabled escape artist of the Tora Bora mountains to foe and friend alike – is really dead.
U.S. officials are balancing that skepticism with the sensitivities that might be inflamed by showing images they say they have of the dead al-Qaida leader and video of his burial at sea. Still, it appeared likely that photographic evidence would be produced.
“We are going to do everything we can to make sure that nobody has any basis to try to deny that we got Osama bin Laden,” John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, said Monday. He said the U.S. will “share what we can because we want to make sure that not only the American people but the world understand exactly what happened.”
In July 2003, the U.S. took heat but also quieted most conspiracy theorists by releasing graphic photos of the corpses of Saddam Hussein’s two powerful sons to prove American forces had killed them.
So far, the U.S. has cited evidence that satisfied the Navy SEAL force, and at least most of the world, that they had the right man in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The helicopter-borne raiding squad that swarmed the luxury compound identified bin Laden by appearance. A woman in the compound who was identified as his wife was said to have called out bin Laden’s name in the melee.
Officials produced a quick DNA match from his remains that they said established bin Laden’s identity, even absent the other techniques, with 99.9 percent certainty. U.S. officials also said bin Laden was identified through photo comparisons and other methods.
Tellingly, an al-Qaida spokesman, in vowing vengeance against America, called him a martyr, offering no challenge to the U.S. account of his death.
Even so, it’s almost inevitable that the bin Laden mythology will not end with the bullet in his head. If it suits extremist ends to spin a fantastical tale of survival or trickery to gullible ears, expect to hear it.
In the immediate aftermath, people in Abbottabad expressed widespread disbelief that bin Laden had died – or ever lived – among them.
“I’m not ready to buy bin Laden was here,” said Haris Rasheed, 22, who works in a fast food restaurant. “How come no one knew he was here and why did they bury him so quickly? This is all fake – a drama, and a crude one.”
Kamal Khan, 25, who is unemployed, said the official story “looks fishy to me.”
The burial from an aircraft carrier in the North Arabian Sea was videotaped aboard the ship, according to a senior defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity because a decision on whether to release the video was not final. The official said it was highly likely that the video, along with photographs of bin Laden’s body, would be made public in coming days.
The swiftness of the burial may have raised suspicions but was in accord with Islamic traditions. Islamic scholars, however, challenged U.S. assertions that a burial at sea was an appropriate fate for a Muslim who had died on land.
The act denied al-Qaida any sort of burial shrine for their slain leader. Once again, bin Laden had vanished, but this time at the hands of the United States and in a way that ensures he is gone forever.
If that satisfies U.S. goals and its sense of justice, Brad Sagarin, a psychologist at Northern Illinois University who studies persuasion, said the rapid disposition of the body “would certainly be a rich sort of kernel for somebody to grasp onto if they were motivated to disbelieve this.”
Also expected to come out is a tape made by bin Laden, before U.S. forces bore down on him, that may provide fodder to those who insist he is alive.
Pakistan, for one, is a land of conspiracy theorists, and far-fetched rumors abound on the streets and in blogs throughout the Arab world. But that’s not just a characteristic of the Islamic pipeline. Many ordinary Americans – and one billionaire – persistently questioned whether Obama was born in the U.S. despite lacking any evidence that he wasn’t.
Sagarin said most people will probably be convinced bin Laden is dead because they cannot imagine the government maintaining such an extraordinary lie to the contrary in this day and age.
Yet, he said, “as with the birther conspiracy, there’s going to be a set of people who are never going to be convinced. People filter the information they receive through their current attitudes, their current perspectives.”
To be sure, even photos and video, subject to digital manipulation, may not provide the final word to everyone. But Seth Jones, a RAND Corp. political scientist who advised the commander of U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan, said the administration should do all it can to minimize doubts.
“There are always conspiracy theories,” he said. “There are individuals who believe that bin Laden wasn’t involved in the 9/11 attacks.”
We were knowingly told verified lies to invade and occupy Iraq. We were lied to entirely about the “spontaneous” “Arab Spring” later admitted to by the US State Department as a preplanned operation years in the making. We were knowingly told verified lies regarding Libya to engage in military operations in North Africa and we are currently being told verified lies about US-fueled uprisings in Syria.
Now we are told the notoriously deceptive CIA has “killed” “Osama Bin Laden” in Pakistan. This is the same CIA that planned to create fake videos of Saddam depicting him as a homosexual, and actually did make fake videos of Osama Bin Laden depicting him drinking liquor and consorting with boys. Washington Post’s “CIA unit’s wacky idea: Depict Saddam as gay,” stated, “The agency actually did make a video purporting to show Osama bin Laden and his cronies sitting around a campfire swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys, one of the former CIA officers recalled, chuckling at the memory. The actors were drawn from “some of us darker-skinned employees,” he said.”
Is there any reason at all for us to suddenly start believing our degenerate criminal government now, in light of their habitual, continuous, murderous campaign of lies and deception directed at both the American people and the world as a whole? The answer is not only unequivocally “no,” but we must try to understand why such a “rabbit” has been pulled from the globalists’ hat at this point of time. It smacks of almost cartoonish desperation as the US Dollar is crashing and the world’s opinion turns sharply against an overtly aggressive NATO carrying out a Hitlerian campaign of military invasion in North Africa.
We must continue to focus on real issues. Not birth certificates of a man who has not made a single decision or spoken a single word of his own since taking office, and not the alleged death of the already long dead Osama Bin Laden who, to this day, has had zero evidence linking him to the attacks of 9/11. 9/11 was an inside job, the subsequent wars were built on a fraudulent foundation of malicious lies – and as Americans celebrate in the streets over the death of this ultimate bogeyman, they seem oblivious to the fact that US air support is aiding and abetting real, admitted terrorists in Libya’s east who undeniably have American blood staining their hands.
Let us quickly sweep this stunt under the rug of irrelevancy where it belongs, and continue undermining the efforts of this degenerate empire as we remove and replace their strangling, parasitic tentacles. Let us stand vigilant against false flag attacks fashioned as “acts of retribution” for the now allegedly dead, former CIA agent Osama Bin Laden. It is time Americans seize back their destiny and stop living their lives as a series of knee-jerk reactions to infantile propaganda and the constant parade of manufactured threats brought before us.
Published on 03-02-2011
Source: Zero Hedge
Ten days ago, when we first looked at the Libyan investment authority (its sovereign wealth fund), we asked “Which US Banks Are Managing Billions For The $32 Billion Libyan Sovereign Wealth Fund?” Based on Wikileaks data, it was disclosed that various US banks manage billions for the country which has just seen $30 billion of its assets largely frozen (although this is merely half of its total deposits). Obviously, we had “some” banks in mind, most of the variety whose directors believe they are above the law and can share inside information with criminal intent with utter disdain for the law. Now, courtesy of Marcus Baram of the Huffington Post we find that the usual suspects are, naturally, all here: among the key banks that serve as advisors and asset managers are Goldman Sachs (and not just anyone, but Jim “Revolutions are Bullish” O’Neill’s GSAM, Citi and JP Morgan. The only question now is how long before we get some sort of public statement out of the likes of Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon: on the 22nd we said: “perhaps it is time for the US banks who manage billions in capital for the LIA, to step up.” Now that they have been exposed by a third party, the CEOs should really take the hint before this escalates into a full blown PR disaster.
The secretive Libyan Investment Authority has reportedly invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Goldman Sachs Asset Management funds, including a loan fund designed to invest in new hedge funds set up by the Kuwait Investment Authority. Goldman Sachs already has a relationship with Libya — in 2008, Goldman was the first U.S. bank to get a contract with the country following the removal of sanctions, when it was hired by Libya’s central bank to provide information on its behalf to credit rating agencies. A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs did not return calls seeking comment.
The Libyan government, including LIA, has also banked with Citigroup, according to several sources familiar with the matter. A spokesperson for Citigroup declined to comment on the bank’s interactions with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is in charge of carrying out Obama’s order regarding Libyan assets.
JPMorgan Chase reportedly handles much of the LIA’s cash and some of the Libyan central bank’s reserves. The summer after then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Gaddafi in 2008, LIA gave “mandates to some of the international banks, including JPMorgan to manage their funds in the interbank money markets, according to Vanity Fair.
Banks are not the only entities: Washington DC darling private equity firm, and alleged CIA front organization, Carlyle is also among the collaborators:
Two years ago, the Carlyle Group’s co-founder and managing director, David Rubenstein, and Blackstone chief executive Steven Schwarzman traveled to the Libyan capital of Tripoli to help celebrate the wedding of Mustafa Zarti, the deputy director of the LIA, in a massive tent set up on the outskirts of the city, reported the Financial Times. And when Gaddafi’s son and longtime likely successor, Saif al-Islam, visited New York in November 2008, Schwarzman hosted a lunch for him at the Blackstone CEO’s Park Avenue apartment. The younger Gaddafi was also honored on that trip by Carlyle’s retired chairman, former defense secretary Frank Carlucci, who hosted a dinner for him in a private room at the City Club.
Yet while nobody really cares about Carlyle which for decades now has managed to remain behind the scenes, even though in many regards it is the Goldman Sachs of the Private Equity world, many do care about Goldman, especially following today’s latest disclosure of supposed gross and criminal abdication of fiduciary duty by a person at the very top. The last thing Goldman needs is to be disarming a PR minefield in which various bloggers and the less than mainstream media (certainly excluding those that have Goldman Sachs Asset Management ad banners on their pages) try to pin the tail on the Blankfein donkey of PR blunder following PR blunder.
By Agence France-Presse
Monday, January 31st, 2011 — 9:20 pm
WASHINGTON — The man named by President Hosni Mubarak as his first ever deputy, Egyptian spy chief Omar Suleiman, reportedly orchestrated the brutal interrogation of terror suspects abducted by the CIA in a secret program condemned by rights groups.
His role in the controversial “war on terror” illustrates the ties that bind the United States and the Egyptian regime, as an unprecedented wave of protests against Mubarak’s rule presents Washington with a difficult dilemma.
With Mubarak in jeopardy, Suleiman was anointed vice president last week and is now offering wide ranging talks with the opposition in a bid to defuse the crisis.
Suleiman is a sophisticated operator who carried out sensitive truce negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians as well as talks among rival Palestinian factions, winning the praise of American diplomats.
For US intelligence officials, he has been a trusted partner willing to go after Islamist militants without hesitation, targeting homegrown radical groups Gamaa Islamiya and Jihad after they carried out a string of attacks on foreigners.
A product of the US-Egyptian relationship, Suleiman underwent training in the 1980s at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School and Center at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
As spy chief, Suleiman reportedly embraced the CIA’s controversial “extraordinary rendition” program, in which terror suspects snatched by the Americans were taken to Egypt and other countries without legal proceedings and subjected to interrogations.
He “was the CIA’s point man in Egypt for rendition,” Jane Mayer, author of “The Dark Side,” wrote on the New Yorker’s website.
After taking over as spy director, Suleiman oversaw an agreement with the United States in 1995 that allowed for suspected militants to be secretly transferred to Egypt for questioning, according to the book “Ghost Plane” by journalist Stephen Grey.
Human rights groups charge the detainees have often faced torture and mistreatment in Egypt and elsewhere, accusing the US government of violating its own legal obligations by handing over suspects to regimes known for abuse.
In the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the CIA relied on Suleiman to accept the transfer of a detainee known as Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, who US officials hoped could prove a link between Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda.
The suspect was bound and blindfolded and flown to Cairo, where the CIA believed their longtime ally Suleiman would ensure a successful interrogation, according to “The One Percent Doctrine” by author Ron Suskind.
A US Senate report in 2006 describes how the detainee was locked in a cage for hours and beaten, with Egyptian authorities pushing him to confirm alleged connections between Al-Qaeda and Saddam.
Libi eventually told his interrogators that the then Iraqi regime was moving to provide Al-Qaeda with biological and chemical weapons.
When the then US secretary of state Colin Powell made the case for war before the United Nations, he referred to details of Libi’s confession.
The detainee eventually recanted his account.
Former Director of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center: American Policy in the Middle East is Failing Because the U.S. Doesn’t Believe in Democracy
Source: Washington’s Blog
Robert Grenier – a 27-year veteran of the CIA’s Clandestine Service, and Director of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center from 2004 to 2006 – writes today:
Events in the Middle East have slipped away from us. Having long since opted in favour of political stability over the risks and uncertainties of democracy, having told ourselves that the people of the region are not ready to shoulder the burdens of freedom, having stressed that the necessary underpinnings of self-government go well beyond mere elections, suddenly the US has nothing it can credibly say as people take to the streets to try to seize control of their collective destiny.
Our words betray us. US spokesmen stress the protesters’ desire for jobs and for economic opportunity, as though that were the full extent of their aspirations. They entreat the wobbling, repressive governments in the region to “respect civil society”, and the right of the people to protest peacefully, as though these thoroughly discredited autocrats were actually capable of reform.
They urge calm and restraint. One listens in vain, however, for a ringing endorsement of freedom, or for a statement of encouragement to those willing to risk everything to assert their rights and their human dignity – values which the US nominally regards as universal.
There are two things which must be stressed in this regard.
The first is the extent to which successive US administrations have consistently betrayed a lack of faith in the efficacy of America’s democratic creed, the extent to which the US government has denied the essentially moderating influence of democratic accountability to the people, whether in Algeria in 1992 or in Palestine in 2006.
The failure of the US to uphold its stated commitment to democratic values therefore goes beyond a simple surface hypocrisy, beyond the exigencies of great-power interests, to suggest a fundamental lack of belief in democracy as a means of promoting enlightened, long-term US interests in peace and stability.
***The US’s entire frame of reference in the region is hopelessly outdated, and no longer has meaning: As if the street protesters in Tunis and Cairo could possibly care what the US thinks or says; as if the political and economic reform which president Obama stubbornly urges on Mubarak while Cairo burns could possibly satisfy those risking their lives to overcome nearly three decades of his repression; as if the two-state solution in Palestine for which the US has so thoroughly compromised itself, and for whose support the US administration still praises Mubarak, has even the slightest hope of realisation; as if the exercise in brutal and demeaning collective punishment inflicted upon Gaza, and for whose enforcement the US, again, still credits Mubarak could possibly produce a decent or just outcome; as if the US refusal to deal with Hezbollah as anything but a terrorist organisation bore any relation to current political realities in the Levant.
Machiavelli once wrote that princes should see to it that they are either respected or feared; what they must avoid at all cost is to be despised. To have made itself despised as irrelevant: That is the legacy of US faithlessness and wilful blindness in the Middle East.
For background on the America’s lack of belief in democracy, see this.
The fact that the former head of counter-terrorism laments America’s failure to support democracy in the Middle East proves once again that U.S. policy is not justified by terror concerns.
As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, stopping terrorism has never been the primary goal of America’s policy towards the Middle East. For example, as I noted last year:
Starting right after 9/11 — at the latest — the goal has always been to create “regime change” and instability in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and other countries. As American historian, investigative journalist and policy analyst Gareth Porter writes in the Asia Times:
Three weeks after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then-under secretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith’s recently published account of the Iraq war decisions. Feith’s account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country’s top military leaders.
Feith’s book, War and Decision, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W Bush on September 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing “new regimes” in a series of states…
General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book Winning Modern Wars being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia [and Lebanon].
When this writer asked Feith . . . which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, “All of them.”
The Defense Department guidance document made it clear that US military aims in regard to those states would go well beyond any ties to terrorism. The document said the Defense Department would also seek to isolate and weaken those states and to “disrupt, damage or destroy” their military capacities – not necessarily limited to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Indeed, the goal seems to have more to do with being a superpower (i.e. an empire) than stopping terrorism.
As Porter writes:
After the bombing of two US embassies in East Africa [in 1998] by al-Qaeda operatives, State Department counter-terrorism official Michael Sheehan proposed supporting the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan against bin Laden’s sponsor, the Taliban regime. However, senior US military leaders “refused to consider it”, according to a 2004 account by Richard H Shultz, Junior, a military specialist at Tufts University.
A senior officer on the Joint Staff told State Department counter-terrorism director Sheehan he had heard terrorist strikes characterized more than once by colleagues as a “small price to pay for being a superpower”.
And recall that former U.S. National Security Adviser (and top foreign policy advisor) Zbigniew Brzezinski told the Senate that the war on terror is “a mythical historical narrative”.Indeed, one of the country’s top counter-terrorism experts, former number 2 counter-terrorism expert at the State Department (Terry Arnold – who I’ve interviewed twice), has repeatedly pointed out that bombing civilians in Afghanistan is creating many more terrorists than it is removing.
In fact, the top security experts – conservative hawks and liberal doves alike – agree that waging war in the Middle East weakens national security and increases terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this, this and this.
I guess Alan Greenspan, John McCain, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, a high-level National Security Council officer and others must all have been joking when they said that the Iraq war was really about oil.
And see this.
Tip helped head off potentially devastating series of plane explosions
WASHINGTON — A Saudi tip about a possible al-Qaida effort to bring down airplanes was relayed to U.S. authorities in early October, nearly three weeks before the group’s Yemen affiliate tried to ship mail bombs to the U.S. in cargo planes, U.S. intelligence officials said Friday.
The Saudi intelligence tip helped to head off what could have been a devastating series of plane explosions. Western officials credit the Saudis with playing a crucial role in finding two mail bombs recovered last week in Dubai and Britain before they reached the U.S.
On Friday, the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for sending the two bombs and threatened more attacks on civilian and cargo planes. The group also said it had a role in the crash of a UPS cargo plane in Dubai in September, but investigators so far have insisted an accident was at fault.
Saudis warned U.S. 3 weeks before attack Updated 75 minutes ago 11/6/2010 4:58:12 AM +00:00 A Saudi tip about a possible al-Qaida effort to bring down airplanes was relayed to U.S. authorities nearly three weeks before a Yemen group tried to ship mail bombs, officials say. Full story
- Al-Qaida claims responsibility for cargo bombs
- Cuban airline pilot died as hero to villagers
- Bomb targets mosque of anti-Taliban elders
- Indonesia volcano burns whole villages
The Saudi tip in October contained no mention of cargo planes, or any details of the plot carried out last week, said U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters. But they said it gave the U.S. and other Western officials enough of a warning to know what to look for when another Saudi tip arrived last week.
A CIA spokesman Friday night cited several allies that have provided key intelligence about terrorist activities.
“Over the past several months, we received intelligence — which was shared across our government — from our foreign partners about threats from AQAP and other terrorist groups,” said CIA spokesman George Little. “The United States receives this kind of information from other governments on a regular basis, as you would expect. Last week, we received specific intelligence that allowed the United States and our allies to disrupt the cargo plot. Our actions were swift and aggressive.”
Another U.S. official said the Yemeni terror group’s interest in plane attacks has been apparent since its failed Christmas Day attempt last year to bring down a Detroit-bound plane with explosives hidden in the underwear of a suicide bomber. Both the Christmas Day attack and the mail bombs sent last week used a powerful industrial explosive PETN, and the AQAP’s top bomb maker is considered a top suspect in both attempts.
But although the tip relayed in October did raise alarms about a plane attack, it did not mention cargo planes or where the plot might originate or even who the attackers might be, the official said.
U.S. intelligence had been monitoring steady intelligence on a possible attack such as this since early September, one U.S. official has said. And in late September, authorities also intercepted a group of packages shipped to Chicago which in retrospect is now seen as a likely test run by the terror group to gauge the logistics of shipping bombs by air to the U.S.
The report on the Saudi tip in October was first reported Friday by The New York Times and the German news magazine Der Spiegel.
On Friday, AQAP said it would continue to strike American and Western interests and specifically said it would target civilian and cargo aircraft.
“We have struck three blows at your airplanes in a single year,” the group said in a message posted on a militant website. “And God willing, we will continue to strike our blows against American interests and the interests of America’s allies.”
The authenticity of Friday’s claim could not be immediately verified. A U.S. intelligence official said authorities are not surprised to see this claim now.
Authorities in the U.S. and the UAE have said the Sept. 3 crash of the UPS plane in Dubai shortly after takeoff was caused by an onboard fire, but investigators are taking another loStart Slide Show with PicLens Lite
Published on 10-21-2010
Source: New York Times
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has adopted new procedures for using the Defense Department’s vast array of cyberwarfare capabilities in case of an attack on vital computer networks inside the United States, delicately navigating historic rules that restrict military action on American soil.
The system would mirror that used when the military is called on in natural disasters like hurricanes or wildfires. A presidential order dispatches the military forces, working under the control of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Under the new rules, the president would approve the use of the military’s expertise in computer-network warfare, and the Department of Homeland Security would direct the work.
Officials involved in drafting the rules said the goal was to ensure a rapid response to a cyberthreat while balancing concerns that civil liberties might be at risk should the military take over such domestic operations.
Published on 10-22-2010
Source: Natural News
A U.K. company has developed a technology that it says will help deter thieves from robbing local businesses. SelectaDNA Spray, as it is called, coats robbers with an invisible DNA mist that cannot be washed off and remains present on skin and hair for weeks, allowing authorities to better link culprits to the crimes they commit. The system is already used in nine other countries, and will soon be coming to the U.S., according to reports.
The SelectaDNA company says the mist “cling[s] to fib[er]s and sit[s] in creases of the skin” after being sprayed, which can then be scanned with special ultraviolet light. Proponents of the system say the mist provides the solid evidence needed to prove the guilt of criminals, but others wonder how effective and accurate the system actually is in practical terms.
When the mist is sprayed, there is no telling how many innocent bystanders will also get coated in the DNA and be potentially linked to crimes they did not commit. And if criminals are able to obtain cans of the DNA themselves, they may use it to frame other people for crimes.
Although the company claims the spray is “harmless”, it is said to penetrate both hair and skin, which may cause unknown damage to health. And when sprayed, the substance is likely inhaled by everyone within close proximity, implanting microscopic DNA and other substances in their lungs.
Thus far, no businesses that have installed SelectaDNA Spray have been robbed, which indicates that it may be effective at deterring crimes. But since the technology has yet to be used in a real-life situation, it is difficult to say whether or not it actually helps to solve crimes.
Overall crime rates have remained roughly the same in areas where SelectaDNA Spray systems have been installed, as criminals have simply resorted to robbing businesses that do not use the technology, say officials.
Sources for this story include:
Full article here
The perverse coupling of surveillance and exhibitionism forms a cornerstone of American technocracy. Most Americans, be they liberals or libertarians, are unnerved by government agents, corporate data-miners, or high-tech Peeping Toms probing their personal details. And yet invasive, weirdly intimate technologies multiply like digital cockroaches, all but devouring the expectation of privacy taken for granted only a generation ago. Progress is simply too en vogue to resist.
Reality television brings a glamorous air to perpetual surveillance. The genre has enjoyed immense popularity over the last decade—comprising nearly a fifth of new broadcast programs this season—with cameramen poking into American life’s every facet. From moneyed luxury’s heights to the working-class struggle’s dregs, everyone’s in line for their 15 minutes of fame.
Consequently, the art of living on film is continually refined. But the recent success of TLC’s Sister Wives sounds an ominous warning as to who may be watching behind the camera’s prying eye. Immediately after the show’s premiere—which revealed a renegade Mormon polygamist’s fecund lifestyle—Utah authorities launched an investigation on Kody Brown and his four wives, with bigamy charges pending.
The risk of one’s private life going public is all-too-familiar to celebrities and politicians, but these days everyone gets their chance to shine in the searchlight. Social networks, YouTube, Twitter, and the blogosphere have captured and amplified a narcissistic culture of exhibition. Driven by Mark Zuckerberg’s philosophy that “a world that’s more open and connected is a better world,” Facebook now claims over 500 million users—making it the world’s third most-populous “nation.” In less than two decades, it became normal to display one’s personal details online—from romantic relationships and family photos to political affiliation and business activities. Even if you choose not to have your personality digitized, chances are that someone you know will do it for you. AVG Security estimates that 92% of American babies have their picture on the Internet. Anonymity is practically dead, with a Facebook memorial in the online graveyard.
Aside from being a smorgasbord for typical stalkers—and be honest, who hasn’t gone profile-trolling?—social networking also has market analysts and government agents licking their chops. It has become a common practice for law-enforcement agencies—from the Boston PD to the Department of Homeland Security—to “friend” suspect individuals and monitor their posts. If investigators want to dig deeper, our electronic communications’ trusted stewards—AT&T, Google, Yahoo!, Verizon, etc.—regularly provide access to private communications under the Patriot Act. On the corporate end, The Wall Street Journal recently examined the unethical activities of Web-based “listening services” that scrape forums for biographical information—including sensitive medical issues such as HIV, depression, and impotence—to craft more effective marketing techniques apparently geared toward human frailties. Illicit scraping aside, the practice of selling a client’s “anonymized” personal information is now routine. Inquiring minds want to know, and they know whom to ask.
“Just as the religious man learns to accept the fact that God watches his every move, so may the child of technocracy consider the Electric Eye to be a normal aspect of modern life.”
And who could blame them? For entities that depend on psychological profiling to investigate and manipulate an otherwise inscrutable population—authority figures whose sympathies rarely lie with nonconformity or dissent—the human soul’s digitization is a dream come true. Whether we pour our deepest selves into public profiles or private emails, our personal lives have become fodder for cybersharks.
Wired magazine covers a vast array of disturbing digital-surveillance projects. For instance, In-Q-Tel—the CIA’s investment arm—recently teamed up with Google to fund Recorded Futures. Like Visible Technologies before it, Recorded Futures crawls “open source” Web information—sites, blogs, news outlets, Twitter accounts, etc.—for patterns of interest. Along with monitoring current activities, Recorded Futures has the ambitious goal of predicting future behaviors based on “invisible links” between individuals and organizations. Though presumably directed toward noble goals such as combating terrorism and organized crime, the overarching scale of the analysis allows for more questionable directions. For an agency that has historically sought to infiltrate disruptive political movements and initiate disinformation campaigns, the possibilities are phenomenal. But why would Google, whose support of Obama’s tech-savvy campaign is a matter of public record, be involved? Their candid CEO, Eric Schmidt, says of his search users: “They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”
While it is hardly surprising that intelligence agencies would want to gather intelligence, a conscientious citizen can only be as comfortable with corporate surveillance and government’s growing powers as his or her good faith will allow. Not that anyone is asking permission.
The Google “WiSpy” scandal that came to light last May hardly inspires confidence. Apparently, their Street View vehicles gathered more than uninvited photographs as they patrolled the Western world’s every inch. Since 2007, they’ve been scooping up “payload data,” including web-surfing activity and private emails, from open Wi-Fi networks. When the German government pressed them for an explanation, Google claimed it was all a big “mistake” and insisted they will delete the data—unlike their Gmail account holders’ detailed profiles.
When Eric “Don’t Be Evil” Schmidt says, “We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about,” you can be sure that he means it. Given the ambiguous (at best) motives of history’s most powerful individuals, I find these developments quite chilling.
Add to this surveillance cameras’ proliferation in public areas—tens of thousands in New York City, half a million in London’s “ring of steel,” cameras on traffic lights nationwide, in shopping malls, in nightclubs, in schools, in nurseries—and you get the funny feeling that you’re being watched.
Of course, it is practically impossible for all of these cameras to be monitored effectively. Unless you could somehow entice private citizens to assist in the process…
On October 4, Internet Eyes went live in the UK. The program’s participants—13,000 so far—are given access to CCTV feeds of retail outlets nationwide. Their mission is to spot shoplifters and antisocial behavior. A £1,000 prize is offered for the snoop with the most busts. If the program is successful, perhaps average citizens could be enlisted for other mass-surveillance projects. Of course, high-tech surveillance equipment has been marketed to the general public for years. Aside from office security cameras, popular Internet monitoring software—with clever names such as SpyAgent, SpecterPro, and IamBigBrother—enables any corporate manager to sift through his employees’ emails and Web searches.
For the average Joe, companies such as BrickHouse Security offer a wide range of equipment for DIY spook operations. Anyone can order high-resolution cameras disguised as common electrical outlets, air filters, smoke detectors, or sunglasses—all for $200. You can watch your kids, your spouse, or the guy next door. Every week a new perv gets caught installing recording devices in a women’s bathroom. So what are the chances that some weirdo has filmed your bodily functions in action—picking your nose, having sex, or vigorously masturbating in a hotel room? Think of it this way: How many people have a burning curiosity and 200 bucks to blow?
Even if you don’t mind Big Brother watching you, the swarms of Little Brothers in His shadow ought to ring your alarm bells. Or maybe you don’t care. Maybe you’ve been told to smile for the camera since you were knee-high to a tripod. Group photos mean friendship, and sex tapes make you famous. Just as the religious man learns to accept the fact that God watches his every move, so may the child of technocracy consider the Electric Eye to be a normal aspect of modern life.
I would never be so paranoid as to insist that every watcher behind the camera is purely evil. To the extent that technology is neutral, a surveillance state’s rise is only as insidious as the uses to which it is put. After all, who would argue against identifying criminals, improving products, or securing personal property?
And yet, as I contemplate undesirable citizens’ fate during the 20th century’s herd-culling upheavals—Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, or Pol Pot’s Cambodia—the unprecedented ability to cultivate public opinion in real time, while tracking otherwise anonymous individuals, lifts my neck hairs. Big Brother is a silent observer in an era of tolerance and open discourse. But if the national mood is consumed by distrust and volatility, the All-Seeing Eye may burn right through you.