Puppet Masters

Red Flag

Here We Go Again: Iran reportedly behind cyber attacks on U.S. banks

National security officials told NBC News that the continuing cyber attacks this week that slowed the websites of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are being carried out by the government of Iran. One of those sources said the claim by hackers that the attacks were prompted by the online video mocking the Prophet Muhammad is just a cover story.

A group of purported hackers in the Middle East has claimed credit for problems at the websites of both banks, citing the online video mocking the founder of Islam. One security source called that statement "a cover" for the Iranian government's operations.

The attack is described by one source, a former U.S. official familiar with the attacks, as being "significant and ongoing" and looking to cause "functional and significant damage." Also, one source suggested the attacks were in response to U.S. sanctions on Iranian banks.
Star of David

Netanyahu Erasing Palestinians with Iran War Drama

An analyst says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made the Palestinians disappear from the international stage with the "will he, won't he" drama of threatening to bomb Iran.
In an article on The Guardian website, Chris McGreal said Netanyahu's bid to draw "Washington's energies into trying to prevent him from attacking Iran before the US election" has all but eliminated any talk of the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and Palestine's move for statehood or recognition at the UN.

"When the Israeli prime minister was last in Washington, there was barely a mention of the Palestinians after his meeting with [US President Barack] Obama. And barely a word was breathed about the Palestinians at this year's meeting of the most influential of the pro-Israel lobby groups in Washington, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The focus was firmly on Iran."

McGreal said Netanyahu's recent appearance on Meet the Press this weekend was "telling" in that "there wasn't a single mention of the Palestinians during the 15-minute interview."

"[Interviewer David] Gregory didn't ask about them, and Netanyahu didn't talk about them. Thus the fate of several million people living under varying degrees of an occupation that continues to plunder land, maintain discriminatory laws and administrative procedures - such as rationing water to Arab villages while their neighbors in the Jewish settlements have unlimited supplies - remains in limbo."

Georgia's Interior Minister resigns over prisoners torture scandal

Bacho Akhalaia

Georgia's Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaia
Georgia's interior minister has resigned amid protests over videos showing physical and sexual abuse of inmates in the country's prisons.

"I feel moral and political responsibility that we failed to eradicate the horrible practice (of torture)," Bacho Akhalaia said in a statement on Thursday.

"This is why I have submitted my resignation to the president," he added.

Before taking office as interior minister, Akhalaia was the official overseeing the country's prisons.

Several video recordings emerged on September 18, showing graphic images of prison guards at a jail in the capital Tbilisi brutally beating prisoners. In one video, a prison guard is seen sexually assaulting an inmate.
Light Saber

US Court Calls CIA Emperor Without Clothes

CIA seal
A US appeals court in Washington has denounced President Barack Obama's CIA-run policy of assassination drone strikes, calling the CIA an emperor without clothes.

On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to court over Pentagon's controversial drone policy after the US government refused to release documents related to the drone attacks, also known as the "targeted killing" program.

Judge Merrick Garland told government lawyer Stuart Delery, "If the CIA is the emperor, aren't you asking us to say that the emperor has clothes even when the emperor's bosses say it doesn't?"

The ACLU has tried to file Freedom of Information Act requests to get information on the CIA's drone program.

However, the US spy agency has refused to respond to the requests, saying that it cannot confirm the existence of the program.

The assassination drone program is cloaked in secrecy, even as officials up to President Obama admit it exists.

Comment: For more information about the use of drones please read:
Celebrating our "Warrior President"
Obama's Death Panels: Jeremy Scahill at the Drone Summit
Spy in the Sky: Is It Only a Matter of Time Before Drone Technology is Used in Civil Society?
Police State: "Robots R'US": Military-Style Drones on 63 Military Bases In The USA


Zionist Pam Geller's Anti-Islamic Advertisements to Hit New York City

This ad set to appear in New York subway stations next week
Anti-Islamic advertisements will go up across New York City's subway system next week after a federal judge ruled that the city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority could not legally refuse to host the signs on the basis of "demeaning" language.

As early as next Monday, ten NYC subway stations will showcase adverts declaring, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad." The campaign was created by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), an organization considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center watch group.

Pamela Geller, the executive director of the AFDI, stands by her signage despite rampant complaints circulating before the campaign has even begun.

"I will not abridge my freedoms so as not to offend savages," Geller tells Sky News.

Comment: Comment: 70 years later, roles have been swapped, but nothing has changed...

Anti-Jew poster from Nazi Germany

Anti-Jew poster from Nazi Germany

Bizarro Earth

Latest Developments in Protest of Anti-Islam Film

© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/Khaled Desouki
Egyptian protesters burn a US flag during a demonstration against a film deemed offensive to Islam outside the US embassy in Cairo
Tunis, Tunisia - Here's a look at protests and events across the world on Thursday connected to an anti-Muslim film and caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan placed advertisements condemning an anti-Islam video on local television in an apparent attempt to dampen violent protests, in which at least 30 people in seven countries were killed, including the American ambassador to Libya.


A crowd of more than 2,000 people, including students affiliated with the Islamist hardline Jamaat-e-Islami party, tried to make their way to the U.S. Embassy inside a guarded enclave that houses embassies and government offices in the capital Islamabad. Riot police used tear gas and batons to keep stone-throwing demonstrators away from the enclave, and hundreds of shipping containers were lined up to cordon off the area.

Demonstrators also rallied in the Pakistani cities of Lahore, Chaman, Karachi and Peshawar, although those demonstrations were peaceful.

The protests have been fairly small by Pakistani standards, but are expected to grow Friday, the traditional Muslim day of prayer.

The Pakistani government has called a national holiday for Friday so that people could come out and demonstrate peacefully against the film.

Comment: Order Through Chaos: Who Wants to Set the World on Fire?


The Rule of Money

Romney, Obama
Here's what the latest census data tell us: in 2011, the middle class shrank to "an all-time low" (as the Washington Post headline had it), while the income of the wealthiest Americans continued to climb. The poverty rate leveled off at a still shuddering 15%, with more than one of every five Americans under eighteen living in poverty. The Gini Index, a measure of income inequality, rose by 1.6%, the "biggest one-year increase in almost two decades."

In a way, of course, this should be no news at all. Middle-class wealth has taken a staggering hit since the economic meltdown of 2007 (and African American and Hispanic wealth has gone through the floor). This disaster, linked to the Great Recession, has had a sideline effect. On the theory that what goes up must come down, money flooding out of American households and into the coffers of the incredibly wealthy and their corporate cronies has also been flowing back down in tidal amounts. It's been pouring biblically into this season's political campaign.

The news out of the dog days of August, for example, was that the Obama and Romney campaigns had raised a total of more than $225 million dollars that month alone. (In the 1984 presidential campaign between Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale, the two candidates raised a "mere" $202 million during that whole election season!) And, of course, those figures don't even include the dollars filling Super PACs to the bursting point and the "dark money" going into the 501(c)(4)s that don't have to disclose where their contributions even come from. (Eight of the top 10 Super PACs are "conservative," reports the Daily Beast, and 77% of all contributions this campaign season will come from "business interests," according to the invaluable Open Secrets website.)
Red Flag

9 Big Myths We're Being Peddled to Scare Us About Iran

war with iran graphic
© n/a
The truth about Iran's nuclear designs is almost nowhere to be found in the corporate media.

1. Iran's civilian nuclear enrichment program is alleged by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to be a stealth nuclear weapons program. But there is no evidence at all for this allegation, and it was contradicted by Netanyahu's own Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, who admitted that Iran has not decided to initiate a nuclear weapons program. Israel's chief of staff, Benny Gantz, has also admitted that Iran has not decided to build a bomb .

2. It is often argued that Iran does not need nuclear power. But it uses some petroleum for power generation, and Iranians are driving more and more. There is every prospect that what happened to Indonesia, which now uses all its own oil in addition to importing some, will happen to Iran. Iran's energy exports provide a crucial financial cushion, allowing the country to remain independent. Other oil giants, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are also building nuclear power plants. There is nothing illogical or unusual about Iran going in this direction.

3. It is alleged that Iran has threatened to annihilate Israel. It has done no such thing. Iran has a 'no first strike' policy, repeatedly enunciated by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has expressed the hope that the 'Zionist regime over Jerusalem" would 'vanish from the page of time.' But he didn't threaten to roll tanks or missiles against Israel, and compared his hopes for the collapse of Zionism to the collapse of Communism in Russia. Iran has not launched a conventional war of aggression against another state in all of modern history. Israel aggressively invaded Egypt in 1956 and 1967 and Lebanon in 1982 and 2006. The list of aggressive wars fought by the US, including the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, is too long to detail. So why is Iran being configured as the aggressor?

NYPD Deployed Mysterious Surveillance Truck at OWS Anniversary

© privacysos.org
It's no secret that the NYPD regularly tracks movement across Manhattan using thousands of surveillance cameras installed on the island, but protesters at last week's Occupy Wall Street anniversary were in the presence of a whole new spy system.

Researchers with the blog spotted an unusual get-up attached to a New York Police Department vehicle during the recent September 17 actions that commemorated Occupy's one-year anniversary. More than a week later, little remains known about unusual equipment assumed to be state-of-the-art surveillance technology previously used during presidential motorcades.

According to the post published Wednesday to PrivacySOS, increased surveillance was evident in Lower Manhattan during the OWS anniversary in the form of watch towers and cameras affixed to poles atop unmarked police cars. At least one unmarked law enforcement vehicle was also equipped with a series of spooky gadgets and gizmos connected through heavy duty cables, resembling some sort of makeshift mobile surveillance station.

No Surprise: The attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya last week has led to dueling versions of what unfolded that night

© Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters /Landov
The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was in flames during an attack on Sept. 11. There are competing narratives on whether the attack was premeditated.
The attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya last week has led to dueling versions of what unfolded that night in Benghazi. To hear the Obama administration tell it, the attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans was spontaneous - and staged by local extremists who saw an opportunity to hijack peaceful demonstrations against an offensive film.

The Libyans have a different view. They say it was a premeditated strike, launched by foreign fighters with ties to al-Qaida.

The divergence in accounts was at the center of a hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. For the first time, a high-ranking intelligence official described the Benghazi attack as "terrorism" and provided an on-the-record account of what the U.S. knows and doesn't know about what took place over a number of hours on Sept. 11. Also, he allowed that al-Qaida might have had some hand in what happened. This is the first official U.S. confirmation of the group's possible role.

Was It Planned?

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., for his part, got right to the point. "Do we have reason to believe at this point that that terrorist attack was preplanned for Sept. 11, or did the terrorists seize the moment?" he asked Matthew Olsen, the head of the National Counterterrorism Center.

Comment: Sure, it was planned...but not by who they'd like you to think:
Order Through Chaos: Who Wants to Set the World on Fire?