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Crusader

9/11: Illegitimacy of U.S. government

New York City asks: What happened to the 1,116 missing 9/11 victims?

More than 11 years after the catastrophic destruction of the World Trade Center, New York City's government is finally asking: What in the world could have happened to the missing 1,116 victims?

In every building collapse in history, all of the victims' bodies have been recovered more or less intact. That is because falling buildings crush human bodies. They do not shred them into tiny pieces, or cause them to vanish into thin air.

Yet on September 11th, 2001, the most famous "building collapses" in history somehow caused the bodies of more than 1,000 victims to magically disappear. Not even a shred of skin, a fragment of fingernail, or a shard of bone from any of these bodies was ever recovered, despite meticulous "sifting and bucketing" efforts.

But that's not the only mystery. Hardly anything was left of the 1,634 WTC occupants who did not completely vanish. Most of the human remains discovered and DNA-identified were in the form of tiny, shredded pieces, not intact bodies.
USA

Camp Nama: British personnel reveal horrors of secret U.S. base in Baghdad

© Khalid Mohammed/AP
Detainees were taken to Camp Nama, a secret US detention centre at Baghdad international airport.
Detainees captured by SAS and SBS squads subjected to human-rights abuses at detention centre, say British witnesses

British soldiers and airmen who helped to operate a secretive US detention facility in Baghdad that was at the centre of some of the most serious human rights abuses to occur in Iraq after the invasion have, for the first time, spoken about abuses they witnessed there.

Personnel from two RAF squadrons and one Army Air Corps squadron were given guard and transport duties at the secret prison, the Guardian has established.

And many of the detainees were brought to the facility by snatch squads formed from Special Air Service and Special Boat Service squadrons.

Codenamed Task Force 121, the joint US-UK special forces unit was at first deployed to detain individuals thought to have information about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Once it was realised that Saddam's regime had long since abandoned its WMD programme, TF 121 was re-tasked with tracking down people who might know where the deposed dictator and his loyalists might be, and then with catching al-Qaida leaders who sprang up in the country after the regime collapsed.

Suspects were brought to the secret prison at Baghdad International airport, known as Camp Nama, for questioning by US military and civilian interrogators. But the methods used were so brutal that they drew condemnation not only from a US human rights body but from a special investigator reporting to the Pentagon.
Stormtrooper

Croatian weapons found in Syria: Report

Croatian weapons have started to emerge in the hands of foreign-sponsored militants fighting against the Syrian government in the country's southwestern Daraa province, a report says.

According to a report published by Syrian newspaper Al Watan on Monday, the Croatian weapons include rocket launchers, surface-to-air missiles in addition to medium, light and sophisticated arms which have recently entered the country through borders with Jordan.

The report further accused the US spying services of providing the militants with information about the movements of the Syrian army.
"The terrorists have started to fan out in a number of small towns in a bid to isolate Daraa from the rest of Syria and to control borders with Jordan," the report said.
Bad Guys

How the Pentagon corrupted Afghanistan

© AP/Shamil Zhumatov
An Afghan family walks past a U.S. Army soldier in the town of Senjaray.
If the U.S. finally loses its ally, it can point to the tsunami of cash it's poured into the country since 2005

Washington has vociferously denounced Afghan corruption as a major obstacle to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. This has been widely reported. Only one crucial element is missing from this routine censure: a credible explanation of why American nation-building failed there. No wonder. To do so, the U.S. would have to denounce itself.

Corruption in Afghanistan today is acute and permeates all sectors of society. In recent years, anecdotal evidence on the subject has been superseded by the studies of researchers, surveys by NGOs, and periodic reports by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). There is also the Corruption Perceptions Index of the Berlin-based Transparency International (TI). Last year, it bracketed Afghanistan with two other countries as the most corrupt on Earth.

None of these documents, however, refers to the single most important fact when it comes to corruption: that it's Washington-based. It is, in fact, rooted in the massive build-up of U.S. forces there from 2005 onward, the accompanying expansion of American forward operating bases, camps, and combat outposts from 29 in 2005 to nearly 400 five years later, and above all, the tsunami of cash that went with all of this.
Alarm Clock

Monsanto Protection Act: A post-mortem for our legal system

© occupymonsanto360.org
It's time for a brief post-mortem on the events leading to the passage of the Monsanto Protection Act (MPA). Now that President Obama has signed the legislation which included the MPA into law, there are certain facts that need not be forgotten for the next time (and there will be a next time) big business buys itself judicial immunity from Congress.

As a refresher, the MPA prevents federal courts from interfering with the sale or planting of genetically modified seeds regardless of the evidence presented to the court about the health and safety effects of those seeds.

For starters, remember that Monsanto purchased bi-partisan support for this abomination. It was Missouri Senator Roy Blount, a Republican, who worked with Monsanto on crafting the legislation and Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat, who introduced the provision. Moral of the story is that loyalty to rank-and-file party members or constituents concerns didn't matter is the face of Monsanto dollars. Also the White House failed to stop the measure despite petitions and protests urging President Obama to stand up against the measure. This is a bleak fact.
Che Guevara

Syria: Democracy vs. foreign invasion. Who is Bashar Al Assad?

A Syrian's Perspective: Bashar al-Assad's Democratic Movement

Bashar al-Assad has been systematically demonized by the mainstream and so-called alternative media who claim that he is a brutal dictator.

Actually Bashar is a reformer who has done much to further the causes of democracy and freedom. It is the "opposition" and their foreign supporters which represent the most repressive elements of the former ruling party in Syria.

To fully understand this its is helpful to look at the historical context of the current crisis. The so-called "spontaneous popular uprising" started in Daraa on March 15th, 2011. The court house, police stations, governor's house, and other public buildings were looted and torched by the "peaceful protestors" in the first week of the crisis. The people in Homs then began to protest in solidarity with Daraa, but this was uncharacteristic of peaceful Homs and many Syrians knew that it was a fake revolution.

About 110 unarmed police officers were murdered in Daraa and Homs, sparking anger against the "revolutionaries." There was an incident in the city Baniyas where an Alawite truck driver was attacked by an armed mob, skinned, and paraded through the city. This was strongly resented by almost all Syrians and since then not a single major city actually rebelled against the government.

The foreign backed "revolutionaries" would attack a neighborhood, police station, or army base, from across the borders of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq. Then they would claim that the city was in rebellion.
Heart - Black

Hunger strike, riots by Palestinian inmates following death at Israeli jail

© AFP Photo / Mohammed Abed
A Palestinian woman holds a picture of Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh, an Israeli-held prisoner who died of cancer while in detention, during a protest against his death in Gaza City on April 2, 2013.
A Palestinian prisoner sentenced to life has died of cancer in Israel, sparking unrest and a three-day hunger strike in several jails. The Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has blamed the death on Israel.

Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh, serving a life sentence since 2002 for attempted murder, membership in Hamas and weapons possession, was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus two months ago.

The Israeli Prison Service turned to the pardons committee to carry out the inmate's release a week ago when his condition worsened drastically, but he died at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba before the procedure was complete.

His death set off a series of riots in the Ketziot, Eshel and Ramon prisons, with inmates banging on cell doors and throwing objects. Police had to be called to calm the unrest, with security stepped up in case of further incidents.

Palestinians also demonstrated over the death in the Hebron area, throwing Molotov cocktails at police. Qadura Fares, head of an advocacy group for Palestinian prisoners, indicated to AFP that Israel is to blame for the prisoner's death because of its "refusal to release him for treatment," despite repeated requests, some of which came from abroad.
Top Secret

FBI's famous UFO memo fails to resolve 'flying saucer' mystery

© AFP Photo
А model depicting the 1947 Alien Autopsy in Roswell, New Mexico
Still wondering about the mystery of flying saucers and 3-foot tall aliens dressed in metallic clothing, which the FBI described in a 1950 memo? The agency has released a statement with details about the famous document.

The memo describing the mysterious UFOs was created in 1950, three years after the Roswell incident, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation claims they are not connected. In a blog post published this week, the agency says it never investigated the mysterious sightings - even though it could not explain what Guy Hottel, former head of the FBI's Washington, D.C. field office, described.

"An investigator for the Air Force stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico," Hottel wrote in the memo, which was addressed to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. "They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed fliers and test pilots."

According to the document, three men including a police officer, a highway patrolman and an army guard had all reported seeing a "silver colored object high up approaching the mountains at Sardina Canyon" which then "appeared to explode in a rash of fire". It also explained that several residents had reported witnessing two explosions, followed by a falling object.
USA

Fusion center director: We don't spy on Americans, just anti-government Americans

© AFP Photo / Pascal Guyot
Law enforcement intelligence-processing fusion centers have long come under attack for spying on Americans. The Arkansas director wanted to clarify the truth: centers only spies on some Americans - those who appear to be a threat to the government.

In trying to clear up the 'misconceptions' about the conduct of fusion centers, Arkansas State Fusion Center Director Richard Davis simply confirmed Americans' fears: the center does in fact spy on Americans - but only on those who are suspected to be 'anti-government'.

"The misconceptions are that we are conducting spying operations on US citizens, which is of course not a fact. That is absolutely not what we do," he told the NWA Homepage, which supports KNWA-TV and Fox 24.

After claiming that his office 'absolutely' does not spy on Americans, he proceeded to explain that this does not apply to those who could be interpreted as a 'threat' to national security. Davis said his office places its focus on international plots, "domestic terrorism and certain groups that are anti-government. We want to kind of take a look at that and receive that information."

But the First Amendment allows for the freedom of speech and opinion, making it lawfully acceptable for Americans to express their grievances against the US government. The number of anti-government groups even hit a record high in 2012, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Many of these groups are 'hate groups' that express disdain for minorities. But unless they become violent, these groups are legally allowed to exist.
Eye 1

FBI loses appeal in StingRay surveillance case

© AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan
The Federal Bureau of Investigation lost an appeal Monday to delay a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy advocacy group that's suing the agency for information related to its StingRay cellphone surveillance technology.

StingRay technology first began to attract attention when it was revealed to have been used to apprehend David Rigmaiden, a suspect in an electronic tax fraud ring indicted in 2008. Rigmaiden's requests to provide details of how the FBI was able to locate him revealed the use of StingRay, a technology which fools cell phones within a certain range into linking with the technology, as though it was a real cell tower. By harvesting the data provided by a mass of cellphones, StingRay can physically locate a designated device.

Privacy advocates like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU argue that StingRay's bulk data collection method violates the privacy of cell phone users who are unwittingly targeted by the tool. In addition, the ACLU has presented evidence that the FBI has not always been honest about its intent to deploy StingRay when filing warrants with federal judges.

If the ACLU's lawsuit is successful, it would imply that the FBI has knowingly requested "general warrants," which would violate Americans' Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure.
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