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Book

Obama's half-brother to set the record 'straight' about President's memoir: 'A lot of that stuff Barack wrote is wrong'

© AP
Mark Obama Ndesandjo, Obama's half-brother
President Barack Obama's half brother is publishing an autobiography that details the domestic abuse that served as the theme for his earlier semiautobiographical novel, which featured an abusive parent patterned on their late father. In fact, Mark Obama Ndesandjo says he wants to "set the record straight" about some of the lies President Obama included in his bestselling 1995 memoir, "Dreams From My Father."

Ndesandjo also recounts his sporadic but intense encounters with his brother over the years in "Cultures: My Odyssey of Self-Discovery." The self-published book is to be released in February. In "Dreams From My Father," Obama seeks to learn more about their father, a mostly absent figure, after learning of his death in a car crash in 1982 at age 46.

Ndesandjo's book comes four years after his novel, "Nairobi to Shenzhen: A Novel of Love in the East." As in his first book, Ndesandjo wanted to raise awareness of domestic abuse by using his family's story, although he said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday that the president's relatives have not universally welcomed his airing of private matters in public. Ndesandjo spoke ahead of a news conference to launch the book in Guangzhou on Thursday.

Comment: Mark Obama Ndesandjo could learn a lot more about his half-brother by educating himself on Psychopathy.

Eye 1

U.S. accuses China of acting 'irresponsible' in stand-off at sea

hagel
© AFP Photo / Paul J. Richards
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called China's behavior during recent stand-off with an American warship "irresponsible" at a press conference on Thursday.

In early December, Chinese warships confronted the USS Cowpens guided missile warship in the South China Sea after it was reportedly conducting surveillance on Beijing's new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.

According to U.S. officials, the Chinese ordered the Cowpens to stop in its tracks, but the Navy refused because it was operating in international waters. The Chinese ship then attempted to cut off the Cowpens' path by stopping in front of it, forcing the Navy to take evasive maneuvers in order to avoid a collision.

"That action by the Chinese, cutting in front ...100 yards out in front of the Cowpens, was not a responsible action," Hagel said, according to Agence France-Presse. "It was unhelpful, it was irresponsible."

Comment: Isn't it interesting how the U.S. government and military chiefs of staff get to be the 'deciders' on drafting 'rules of engagement' at sea, in the air or in cyberspace? Catch the irony: the U.S. government calling another government, 'irresponsible'. So who died and made the psychopathic leaders in Washington God?

Megaphone

Freed Gitmo detainee - We were subjected to 'meticulous, daily torture'

gitmo
© Reuters / Brennan Linsley / Pool
After years of being held at the US Naval Base in Cuba without trial, Ibrahim Idris, one of two Sudanese detainees released on Thursday, said US prison officials had "systematically tortured" him in the course of his 11-year imprisonment at Gitmo.

Idris, who has been described by US officials as mentally ill, delivered his comments in a news conference in Khartoum, just hours after returning home courtesy of a US military plane. Appearing weak and speaking with apparent difficultly, Idris gave a brief account of his lengthy imprisonment at Gitmo.
"We have been subjected to meticulous, daily torture," he said. "We were helpless...on an isolated island, surrounded by weapons."
He praised the Sudanese government and human rights organizations for working to secure the release of prisoners at Gitmo, which has been called "the GULAG of our times" by Amnesty International. Closed-door military tribunals, for example, have been riddled with problems, including courtroom speakers that have a mysterious tendency for being blocked during key testimony.

Another released detainee, Noor Othman Muhammed, was unable to attend the conference because he was recovering in the hospital, Idris said.

Comment: It's a total disgrace to call oneself an American in these times, given what the U.S. government is doing to people all across this world as well as within its own borders, and what Americans are, mostly in deafening silence, allowing this government to do. Where is the humanity or justice in this world?

Gitmo detainees to be force-fed at night out of respect for Ramadan
Psychopathic Gitmo Doctors Hid Evidence of Torture
Shock video ft. Mos Def reenacts gruesome Gitmo-style force-feeding
Watch this.


Bad Guys

Obama admits NSA bulk collection of phone data may be unnecessary

obama3
© Alex Wong/Getty Images
President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference at the White House.
- President: 'There may be a better way of skinning the cat'
- 'Potential abuse' of collected data cited as concern

President Barack Obama has conceded that mass collection of private data by the US government may be unnecessary and said there were different ways of "skinning the cat", which could allow intelligence agencies to keep the country safe without compromising privacy.

In an apparent endorsement of a recommendation by a review panel to shift responsibility for the bulk collection of telephone records away from the National Security Agency and on to the phone companies, the president said change was necessary to restore public confidence.

"In light of the disclosures, it is clear that whatever benefits the configuration of this particular programme may have, may be outweighed by the concerns that people have on its potential abuse," Obama told an end-of-year White House press conference. "If it that's the case, there may be a better way of skinning the cat."

Though insisting he will not make a final decision until January, this is the furthest the president has gone in backing calls to dismantle the programme to collect telephone data, a practice the NSA claims has legal foundation under section 215 of the Patriot Act. This week, a federal judge said the program "very likely" violates the US constitution.

"There are ways we can do this potentially that give people greater assurance that there are checks and balances, sufficient oversight and transparency," Obama added. "Programmes like 215 could be redesigned in ways that give you the same information when you need it without creating these potentials for abuse. That's exactly what we should be doing: to evaluate things in a very clear specific way and moving forward on changes. And that's what I intend to do."


Comment: Notice the shift in blame here? It's not 'really' the NSA who's at fault - it's the telecom companies and, of course, Edward Snowden.
Ask yourself how likely it is that anything 'leaks' from this government that this government doesn't want leaked. How much of what we're told can we trust to be true?

Bomb

Nelson Mandela 'received weapons training from Mossad agents in 1962'

Secret letter lodged in Israeli state archives reveals South African icon underwent training under an assumed identity

young Mandela
© Reuters/Corbis
Nelson Mandela, photographed in the early 1960s. The letter said Mandela was trained to use weapons and sabotage techniques, and 'the staff tried to make him into a Zionist'.
Nelson Mandela apparently underwent weapons training by Mossad agents in Ethiopia in 1962 without the Israeli secret service knowing his true identity, according to an intriguing secret letter lodged in the Israeli state archives.

The missive, revealed by the Israeli paper Haaretz two weeks after the death of the iconic South African leader, said Mandela was instructed in the use of weapons and sabotage techniques, and was encouraged to develop Zionist sympathies.

Mandela visited other African countries in 1962 in order to drum up support for the African National Congress's fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa. While in Ethiopia, he sought help from the Israeli embassy, using a pseudonym, according to the letter - classified top secret - which was sent to officials in Israel in October 1962. Its subject line was the "Black Pimpernel", a term used by the South African press to refer to Mandela.

Haaretz quoted the letter as saying: "As you may recall, three months ago we discussed the case of a trainee who arrived at the [Israeli] embassy in Ethiopia by the name of David Mobsari who came from Rhodesia. The aforementioned received training from the Ethiopians [a codename for Mossad agents, according to Haaretz] in judo, sabotage and weaponry."

It added that the man had shown interest in the methods of the Haganah, a Jewish paramilitary organisation that fought against the British rulers and the Arab population of Palestine in the 1930s and 40s, and other Israeli underground movements.

It went on: "He greeted our men with 'Shalom', was familiar with the problems of Jewry and of Israel, and gave the impression of being an intellectual. The staff tried to make him into a Zionist. In conversations with him, he expressed socialist world views and at times created the impression that he leaned toward communism.

Comment: Even if the Mossad encouraged a young Mandela to "develop Zionist sympathies", it seems that in his his heart he identified with the Palestinians.

Arrow Down

TSA releases cartoon animation to introduce kids to warrantless checkpoints

TSA Cartoons
© YouTube
Cartoon animals warrantlessly search a family’s belongings.
In an effort to condition children to accept the police state, the TSA has released a cartoon depicting an animated family enduring a warrantless federal checkpoint at an airport.

The video casts the the travelers and government agents as cute doggie characters that show how fun it can be to go through a checkpoint.

"Its not scary," explains the father, as he hands his papers to the blue-shirted sentry. "TSA officers are here to keep us secure!"

The children are taught the phrase, "Stop, Screen, and Go!" as their persons, papers, and effects are searched without cause.

"Vrrrrroooom!" exclaims the child as he excitedly steps through the TSA scanner.

"Thank you TSA!" the family praises, as their baby's milk bottle is returned to them after a search.

According to the TSA, "passengers who know what to expect during screening will benefit from a more positive screening experience." After all, those who expect to be treated with dignity and in observance to their rights are unlikely to have a pleasant experience getting groped, scanned, and searched.
Eye 1

Arab League rejects Kerry's security plan

arab conference
© Reuters

A conference of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, Saturday 21, 2013.
Arab foreign ministers on Saturday sided with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and rejected the security plan presented by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as part of Israeli-Palestinian talks.

At an emergency meeting called at the request of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday, Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Araby said there could be not one Israeli soldier in the territory of a future Palestine.

But a resolution he read at the end of the meeting did not repeat the harshly critical language of a report circulated to the Arab delegates ahead of the gathering. The position of the report - based mainly on the Palestinian stance - is that Kerry's plan is skewed in favor of Israel and secures prolonged Israeli military presence in the Jordan River Valley, while the Palestinian demands will only be addressed at a later stage.

The report, seen by Reuters, said the U.S. security proposals "achieved Israeli security expansionist demands, and guaranteed (Israel's) continued control of (the Jordan Valley) on the security pretext".
Vader

New dawn for "America's Africa": Obama deploys first contingent of US ground troops to South Sudan

obama-africom
© Unknown
Mission creep? More like a 'new dawn' for Africa.

Indeed, famous last words of many a US President, now coming out of Barack Obama's mouth today:
"These troops will remain in South Sudan until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed."
Watch this space, as US AFRICOM's first major set piece in the new Africa - the partitioning of Sudan and South Sudan - begins heating up this month.

Off the wire: "The US has deployed 45 troops to protect US personnel and assets in South Sudan amid ongoing fighting between rebels and government forces, the White House said. President Barack Obama sent a letter to Congress, saying the group of soldiers was sent Wednesday, AFP reported. The small force will remain in South Sudan"until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed," Obama said."Although equipped for combat, this force was deployed for the purpose of protecting US citizens and property."
Chess

Barack Obama, the Surveillance State, and the Secret Team


A senator campaigning for reform says that the intelligence leadership drives “how decisions get made at the White House.” Illustration by the Heads of State.
The December 16th, 2013, edition of The New Yorker published an article with a revealing anecdote about the Obama administration's continuation of Bush era national security policies. Revealing, that is, for those who can see.

Ryan Lizza, in 'State of Deception: Why won't the President rein in the intelligence community?' asks why Obama, once a constitutional law professor who, when running for the Senate in 2003, called the Patriot Act "shoddy and dangerous," became a president who lobbied for the renewal of the Patriot Act and continued the Bush administration's surveillance state policies (minus the creepy 'Total Information Awareness' brand name). The easy answer is that no president has control over the secret government. The assassination of the last president who tried to exert control, John F. Kennedy, proves that point. As the comedian Bill Hicks once joked, whenever a new president gets elected, the real leaders call him into a room, show him the Zapruder film, then say, "Any questions?", and the new president answers, "Only what my agenda is."

But the spooks probably don't like to be so crude unless they have to be. It's much more fun for them to apply their skills in subtle manipulation. L. Fletcher Prouty, in his book The Secret Team: The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World, gives what I think is the best account of how the game is played. According to Prouty, it's done through 'the briefing'.
From President to Ambassador, Cabinet Officer to Commanding General, and from Senator to executive assistant -- all these men have their sources of information and guidance. Most of this information and guidance is the result of carefully laid schemes and ploys of pressure groups. In this influential coterie one of the most interesting and effective roles is that played by the behind the scenes, faceless, nameless, ubiquitous briefing officer.

He is the man who sees the President, the Secretary, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff almost daily, and who carries with him the most skillfully detailed information. He is trained by years of experience in the precise way to present that information to assure its effectiveness. He comes away day after day knowing more and more about the man he has been briefing and about what it is that the truly influential pressure groups at the center of power and authority are really trying to tell these key decision makers. In Washington, where such decisions shape and shake the world, the role of the regular briefing officer is critical...

The role of the briefing officer is quiet, effective, and most influential; and, in the CIA, specialized in the high art of top level indoctrination.
Bomb

Battle near Syrian chemical facility endangers disarmament process

syria damage
© Reuters / Thaer Al Khalidiya
A general view of the besieged area of Homs
A heated battle is underway just meters away from a chemical facility in Syria, the Russian foreign ministry has warned, accusing the Islamist rebels of attempts to hamper international efforts to dispose of the deadly weapons.

"The fighting between the Syrian government troops and militants from the Al-Nusra Front and the Army of Islam goes on just about 100 meters away from a chemical facility in Sukkari neighborhood in Homs Governorate," the statement by the Foreign Ministry said.

The endangered facility is used to store chemical agents due to be moved and utilized outside Syria as part of the international plan to destroy the chemical arsenals of President Bashar Assad, the statement stressed.

According to the ministry, the joint mission of Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and United Nations in Damascus has already been notified of the events in Sukkari by the Syrian authorities.

"Moscow is deeply concerned by those reports. We strongly condemn the provocative actions aimed at disrupting the schedule of disposal of toxic substances and their precursors from Syria," the statement said.

Comment: Further reading:

Syria gives names of foreign terrorists to UN Security Council
U.S. recognizes unelected terrorists as Syrian 'representatives'
Israeli Spin: Terrorists Could Get Syrian Weapons
U.S.-backed terrorists mass murder unarmed civilians in Syria

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