Puppet Masters


Federal judge rules against NSA collection of phone records, ruling it unconstitutional

© Larry Downing / Reuters
Larry Klayman
A federal judge has ruled against the NSA's controversial collection of Americans' phone records. The program was set to expire by the end of the month, but the ruling is considered a victory for civil liberties because it sets a legal precedent.

In his ruling on Monday, Judge Richard Leon of the US District Court reiterated his assertion that the NSA's program "likely violates the Constitution" and said that "the loss of constitutional freedoms for even one day is a significant harm."

In doing so, he sided with conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, whose clients had sued the NSA over its data collection following the revelations of whistleblower of Edward Snowden in 2013.

"This court simply cannot, and will not, allow the government to trump the Constitution merely because it suits the exigencies of the moment,'' Leon wrote in his 43-page decision.

Comment: Whether this has any effect on the illegal surveillance methods used by the NSA is debatable, but at least there is one good judge on the federal level who is willing to call out the NSA for what it is.

Eye 1

Former State Dept. official slams Obama for leading U.S. into proxy war with Russia

© REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
Washington recently decided to step up its efforts aimed at supporting so-called moderate Syrian rebels (although many doubt that they exist), "putting the lie to President Obama's pledge not to lead the United States into a proxy war with Russia," James Carden noted.

Carden, who served as an advisor to the US-Russia Presidential Commission at the US State Department, believes that the United States instead should combine its counterterrorism efforts with Moscow's campaign to tackle extremists in Syria. After all, ISIL and other extremist groups, as Russia always points out, are a common threat for everyone. But this is not what is happening.

Washington is not trying to promote cooperation with Russia largely due to the efforts of US hardliners. "The war party's stand, or goal, is to forever ruin US-Russian relations," Carden noted.

Comment: If you're hoping that the West will come to its senses and help Russia fight the war on terror, don't hold your breath. A perverse, unelected shadow government is calling the shots in the West, they make a killing off of terror, and it's apparent that they're here to the bitter end.


Kremlin chief of staff: No relation between A321 crash in Egypt and Russian air operation in Syria

© Press-service of Russian Emergency Situations Ministry
No link can be traced so far between the Russian aerospace force operation in Syria and Russia's A321 airliner crash in Egypt, the investigation is unlikely to be completed this year, Russian presidential administration chief Sergei Ivanov told reporters on Tuesday.

"I see no relation between them. The cause of the plane crash has not been finally established. The terror act is just one of the probed versions. I strongly doubt, having taken part in the investigation of several air crashes, that the probe will be completed this year," Ivanov said.

He recalled that the downing of the American plane over Scotland [On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground] was investigated during four years, and only after that the verdict was announced. "The layout of the aircraft fragments in hangar is at least needed to establish precisely and not theoretically the reasons for the airliner's crash. This means that the plane's wreckage should be transported from the crash site to a hangar in Cairo, laid out there and examined for several weeks and maybe several months. The chemical study of the scrapes made from the fragments may also continue for months. So now it's absolutely premature to unambiguously declare the verdict. The terror act is just one of the versions. But even an explosion on board the aircraft may occur for very different reasons," Ivanov said. He added that "only the fragments' layout will finally show where the explosion occurred."

Light Sabers

Russia Defense Ministry: Location of ISIS facilities in Syria are most classified state secret in US

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS
Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov
The Russian Defense Ministry denies US allegations that Russian warplanes in Syria are bombing regions, which are out of President Assad's control, rather than terrorist infrastructure, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.

He explained that US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told Congress hearings held earlier that the Russian air group in Syria delivered most of its strikes at regions which were no longer under the control of President Assad's regime rather than at terrorists.

"If we analyze what various US officials say, there is an impression that the location of terrorist-held facilities is the most classified state secret in the United States. Representatives of the Pentagon and the State Department keep mentioning them all the time without specifying their exact location," Konashenkov said.


More Eurozone troubles: Germany loses key ally in Portugal as austerity regime crumbles

Portugal's incoming leader Antonio Costa is the son of a Communist poet from Goa.
Portugal's Communists and radical Left Bloc are poised to take power in a historic departure as part of an anti-austerity coalition led by the Socialists, despite being branded too dangerous for office by the country's president just 11 days ago.

While it is not a replay of the "Syriza moment" in Greece last January, the ascendancy of the Left marks a clear break with the previous austerity regime and with the policies of the now-departed EU-IMF Troika.

"Political risks are rising," said Alberto Gallo from RBS. While Portugal has been a model of good behaviour in the eurozone until now, largely immune to radical politics, it has extremely high debt levels. He warned that the country may be skating on thin ice.


The Federal Reserve: Private institution installed to control and destroy the wealth of the American public

The Federal Reserve remains the 800-pound gorilla. Its moves are of enormous consequence to the economy, and their interests are at odds with those of ordinary Americans.

If people who've been thrown out of work, out of their homes and into bankruptcy understood what had been done, and by whom, they would have overthrown it practically overnight.

This insightful video discusses how the New York Federal Reserve is a corporation, largely owned by the top 10 banks - including many international banks - and works to increase the wealth of its shareholders at the expense of everyone else:

Secrets of the Federal Reserve: U.S. Economy, Finance and Wealth

Comment: As has been pointed out in the article - even its name is misleading. Among many of the facts about the Fed that this article and the accompanying videos state is that there has been a historic push among many in the U.S. to NOT have such an central banking institution such as the FED - precisely for the reasons that have come to fruition today.

When the U.S. economy does go completely kaflooey, we will have the machinations of those owners of the FED to thank for it.

See also:


Portugal's ruling government forced to resign over pro-austerity policies

© Rafael Marchante / Reuters
Left parties vote at the end of a debate on government programs at the parliament in Lisbon, Portugal November 10, 2015
Portugal's pro-austerity government has been forced to resign by a leftist anti-austerity block, despite being sworn in only two weeks ago. Proposals to continue austerity policies were blocked in parliament, backed by mass public anger, forcing the government to dissolve.

The moderate Socialists worked with the Communist Party and radical Left Bloc to form a majority that voted down fresh austerity proposals today.

Following the October 4th general election, the anti-austerity leftist majority was explicitly prevented from forming a government by the president, citing 'the national interest'.

One of Europe's troubled PIGS, Portugal took a €78 billion bailout in 2011 and since then has spiraled into austerity dead-end fueling mass social unrest and emigration.

Comment: Good that the pro-banking and austerity government has been forced out by the public's knowledge that such policies only benefit the rich and powerful. Maybe Portugal should leave the EU if staying in it means being forced into austerity measures.


Hysterical demonization campaign of Putin and Russia - The Pentagon's empire of whining

© Yuri Gripas
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
Donald "known unknowns" Rumsfeld was a nasty piece of work ("iron-ass," as Daddy Bush would have it). Fellow neocon and current Pentagon supremo Ash Carter - whose job will last shortly over a year - now runs the risk of forging a reputation as a discount diva on the lam.

After eight days traveling in Asia, Ash hit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California sounding like a stray ballistic whining missile. And he hit where it hurts: the Russia-China strategic partnership. How dare they? Don't you step on my blue Pentagon shoes.

So Russia is guilty of undertaking "challenging activities" at sea, in the air, in space and in cyberspace. Not to mention "nuclear saber-rattling."

Ash once again enumerated all those "pillars of the international order" that Russia-China are allegedly violating; peaceful resolution of disputes, freedom from coercion, respect for state sovereignty and freedom of navigation. Considering Exceptionalistan's recent record in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and myriad assorted latitudes, one can always count on the Pentagon to bolster the annals of hyper-unrealism.

Dr. Strangelove, sorry, NATO supremo Gen. Philip Breedlove, had already blurted out on the record he has no clue what Putin is up to in Syria. Ash, his boss, doubled down; Putin "hasn't thought through very thoroughly" his objectives in Syria, and his approach is "way off track". Certainly because one month of Russian air strikes did way more to debilitate ISIS/ISIL/Daesh than over a year of the "track" followed by the Coalition of the Dodgy Opportunists (CDO) led by the US and featuring Salafi-jihadi/"moderate rebel" enablers such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Quenelle - Golden

Syrian Army finally breaks ISIS' 2-year siege of Aleppo's airbase

The Syrian Armed Forces have broken a two-year ISIL siege of the Kweiris airbase in the Aleppo province, a military source told RIA Novosti.

For two years, Syrian soldiers stationed at the airbase have been under an ISIL siege.

"The army managed to break through to Kweiris defenders, lifting the siege which had lasted over two years," the military source said.

The source added that "this became possible after the liberation of Sheikh Ahmad [a village 2 km away from the airbase]."

Comment: Russia's involvement in Syria has certainly turned this situation on its head. Expect more loud whining from the American imperialists:

Hysterical demonization campaign of Putin and Russia - The Pentagon's empire of whining

Penis Pump

Mush for brains: Ashton Carter says U.S. will be updating its lasers, nukes and electromagnetic railguns to deter 'Russian aggression'

© Unknown
U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter: "This is my angry face, Russia!"

Pentagon head Ashton Carter says Washington not seeking new Cold War, but adapting 'operational posture' to deal with new moves by Moscow

Comment: 'Operational posture'?? More like 'assuming the position'.

The United States is adapting its "operational posture" to counter Russian aggression, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Saturday.

Carter on Saturday accused Russia of endangering world order, citing its incursions in Ukraine and loose talk about nuclear weapons, and said the U.S. defense establishment is searching for creative ways to deter Russian aggressive and protect US allies.

"We are adapting our operational posture and contingency plans as we - - on our own and with allies - - work to deter Russia's aggression, and to help reduce the vulnerability of allies and partners," Carter told a defense forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

Comment: In mentioning electronic warfare and "surprising" new weapons that the U.S. has in the context of "Russian aggression," could Ashton Carter actually have been hinting at what may have occurred to induce the downing over the Russian airliner in Egypt?

Was an 'exotic energy weapon' used to down Russian plane in Sinai?