Puppet Masters


Authoritarian congressional delegate says public has no right to know what the government is up to!

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Eleanor Holmes Norton
Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting congressional delegate for the District of Columbia, angrily sputtered during a congressional hearing Friday that the White House should not be held up to scrutiny, saying that there was no right to know what it was doing behind closed doors.

"You don't have a right to know everything in a separation-of-powers government, my friend. That is the difference between a parliamentary government and a separation-of-powers government," Norton said during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.

It was, to put mildly, a significant departure from the more traditional liberal stance that openness and transparency are must to prevent abuses of power by government officials. Instead the leading advocate for statehood for the District of Columbia literally argued that even the congressional committee charged with oversight shouldn't be asking questions in the first place.

She made the comments while protesting the committee's Republican majority for voting to ignore a claim by the White House that David Simas, director of it's Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, was immune to a congressional subpoena to testify. Republicans believe the office is being used a political campaign operation, a violation of federal election law.

Comment: Authoritarians are highly submissive to established authority, aggressive in the name of that authority, and conventional to the point of insisting everyone should behave as their authorities decide. They are fearful and self-righteous and have a lot of hostility in them that they readily direct toward various outgroups. They are easily incited, easily led, rather un-inclined to think for themselves, largely impervious to facts and reason, and rely instead on social support to maintain their beliefs. They bring strong loyalty to their in-groups, have thick-walled, highly compartmentalized minds, use lots of double standards in their judgments, are surprisingly unprincipled at times, and are often hypocrites.

Eye 2

Congress surprised? CIA obtained access to confidential whistleblower emails

© Desconocido
The CIA obtained a legally protected, confidential email between whistleblower officials and Congress this spring, raising questions over whether the agency illegally has access to other communications regarding whistleblowers, McClatchy reported.

It is unclear how the CIA got hold of the email and other unspecified communications between Daniel Meyer - the intelligence community's top official for whistleblower cases - and lawmakers, people familiar with the matter told McClatchy.

The email was about allegations that the CIA's inspector general, David Buckley, failed to properly investigate potential agency retaliation against an official who was cooperating with the Senate Intelligence Committee on an investigation pertaining to the 'The Company's' use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques during the George W. Bush administration.

In December 2013, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who led calls for the swift publication of the report, revealed that the Intelligence Committee had become aware of an internal CIA report, which he said was "consistent with the Intelligence Committee's report" and "conflicts with the official CIA response to the committee's report." The report was not shared with the Committee investigators.

Comment: Considering the track record of the CIA and NSA, how surprised and concerned can Congress really be? These agencies will go to any lengths to protect themselves.


Pentagon huffs and puffs, says Russia about to give rocket launchers to Anti-Kiev forces

© Unknown
The Pentagon said on Friday the transfer of heavy-caliber multiple-launch rocket systems from Russia to Ukrainian separatists appeared to be imminent with the arms close enough to the border they could be handed over "potentially today."

"We have indications that the Russians intend to supply heavier and more sophisticated multiple-launch rocket systems in the very near future," said Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, adding that the weapons were in the over-200mm range.

Warren indicated the weapons had been seen getting closer to the border and the Pentagon believed a transfer was imminent and could happen "potentially today."

"We believe that they are able to transfer this equipment at any time, at any moment," he said.

Warren said it was unclear whether Russian operators of the rocket launchers might cross the border as well, but he said there have been indications of Russian operators of other systems going over.

Comment: Notice the language from the Pentagon: they have 'indications' which they 'believe' to be imminent. Same old song and dance from Washington. At least this time they didn't try to use Youtube and Twitter as critical sources.

Star of David

Israeli police admit Hamas did not kidnap Israeli teens

An Israeli soldier detains a Palestinian during an operation to locate three Israeli teens near the West Bank City of Hebron June 21, 2014
BEIRUT: The Israeli Police Foreign Press Spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, appears to have falsified the Israeli government's claim that Hamas was responsible for the killing of three Israeli settler teens in June, by saying responsibility lies with a lone cell that operated without the complicity of Hamas' leadership.

The kidnapping and subsequent killing of three Israeli settler teens last month is considered to be a flashpoint for the escalated violence in Gaza -- that as of day 19 of the conflict has left 926 Palestinians, mostly civilians, dead.

At the time Israeli authorities placed the blame squarely on Hamas, with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu saying "They were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by animals in human form. Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay."

Comment: There ya have it folks. The entire rationale for Israel's slaughter of 900 Palestinian civilian is entirely baseless.

Arrow Down

The CIA's global torture operations: Disclosure under Barack Obama, the most secretive president in U.S. history

© EPA/Martin H. Simon/POOL
President Barack Obama addresses intelligence personnel at C.I.A headquarters in Langley, VA, USA on May 2011 to thank them for their service in relation to the Osama bin Laden operation.
Journalist Mai Bei, (Yahoo News) is reminding America of its recent dark past vis-à-vis that longtime rogue agency the CIA's global torture operations during that rogue regime of the Bush administration.

The plot thickens with the Senate Intelligence Committee strongly in favor of declassifying its five years in the making, 6,700 page report bringing to light in graphic criminal detail the plethora of Geneva Convention and international law violations committed by overzealous CIA henchmen in their quest to torture information out of thousands of detainees the world over "fighting" America's so called war on terror.

Today's article attempts to create high drama Washington-style by hyping up anticipation of an executive-legislative showdown between how much of the CIA's dastardly deeds should be disclosed to the waiting American public.

Pressure is mounting on our current beleaguered president known for his disastrous foreign policy on the heels of the exact same disastrous foreign policy launched by the war criminal neocons before him. As a recent backdrop leading to this latest theatrical release of government-gone-bad is the back and forth sniping charges between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA, both accusing the other of illegal spying.

Committee Chair Diane Feinstein (D-CA) had long been cozy with protecting CIA secrecy and criminality right until she learned that Director John Brennan's CIA was busily violating her committee's privacy. She had no problem with the American public's privacy constantly violated in act after unconstitutional act or for that matter any world citizen's right to life being destroyed in the name of national security. But her ire was hypocritically provoked when the CIA no doubt got up too close and personal on her naked body politic and she did not like it one bit.

Then lest we forget we had President Obama campaigning on the promise once Bush was gone to be the most open, honest and transparent presidency in US history. What does he do? He proceeds to become the most secretive president in US history, racking up more cover-up scandals, more charges of espionage, more press harassment and more denials of Freedom of Information Act requests than all previous presidents combined!

White house top political adviser defies OGR chairman and ignores subpoena again

David Sima
© Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Top White House political adviser David Simas refused again Friday to honor a congressional subpoena.

Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa plans to vote shortly in committee to reject the White House's claim that Simas has absolute immunity from a subpoena from Congress.

The White House informed Issa that Simas would not appear at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Issa said. The absence was "not excused,"the California Republican added.

White House Counsel W. Neil Eggleston asked Issa to withdraw the subpoena to discuss his late Thursday offer for Simas to give a deposition instead of subpoenaed testimony.

Issa refused to do so.

Interpol puts Ukrainian ultra-nationalist Dmitry Yarosh on wanted list

Dmytro Yarosh
© Reuters / David Mdzinarishvili
Dmytro Yarosh (L), a leader of the Right Sector movement, addresses during a rally in central Independence Square in Kiev February 21, 2014.
The International Criminal Police Organization has put Ukrainian Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh on its wanted list, according to the cross-border police body's official website.

Interpol has fulfilled Russia's April request to issue an arrest warrant for Yarosh for "public incitement to terrorist and extremist activities involving the use of mass media."
Control Panel

Ukraine parliament votes to keep Western companies out of gas industry

gas pipe-line valves
© AFP Photo / Andrey Sinitsin
Valves of gas pipe-line are seen not far from Kiev.
Ukraine's parliament has rejected allowing EU and US companies to buy up to 49 percent of oil and gas company Naftogaz, and also said they were against liquidating the national energy monopoly.

Kiev rejected splitting the company in two, a measure encouraged by the West in order for Naftogaz to comply with Europe's third energy package, which doesn't allow one single company to both produce and transport oil and gas.

The bill proposed creating two new joint stock companies in order to conform to the package, "Ukraine's Main Gas Transmission" and "Ukraine's Underground Storages."

The proposal sought to meet the requirements of EU legislation and strengthen Ukraine's energy independence.

Witch Hunt?: 'I have never been tried by criminals' Russian communist leader mocks Ukrainian probe

Gennady Zyuganov
© (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenko)
Gennady Zyuganov, Head of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.
Gennady Zyuganov has attacked the Ukrainian criminal case against him, saying that Kiev authorities were contributing to the country's breakup much more than himself.

"For the first time some criminals decided to put me on trial. The criminals who have usurped the power in Ukraine and who are now raping their country, who issue orders to fire at their compatriots and who burned dozens of people in Odessa," the head of the Russian Communist Party told the RIA Novosti news agency on Friday.

The statement was made after Ukrainian Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, announced that his agency had instigated criminal cases against Zyuganov and the head of Russia's Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, over suspicions that they were financing the federalist forces in the southeast of Ukraine and thus contributing to the breakup of the country
Arrow Up

BRICS creation signals shift towards new "global architecture"

BRICS photo
© AFP Photo / Evaristo Sa
Family photo of the BRICS-UNASUR Summit in Brasilia, on July 16, 2014.
The five big emerging economies "are moving toward a new global architecture," Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said here Tuesday at the start of the seventh summit of the BRICS nations.

She spoke after representatives of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa signed the agreement to create a development bank and a $100 billion contingency fund.

"The first president of the bank will be India, the first regional office will be in South Africa and the headquarters will be in Shanghai," Rousseff said.

"The bank will represent an alternative for the financing needs of the developing countries ... (and) will compensate for the deficiencies in credit" that currently exist in the multinational financial institutions, the Brazilian leader said.