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Eye 2

'Brennan the perfect guy to head CIA... if its job is to create more terrorists'

© Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP
Anti-war protesters disrupt the start of a nomination hearing for U.S. Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan before the Senate Intelligence Committee February 7, 2013 in Washington, DC.
CIA Director-designate John Brennan strongly defended the use of drones for fighting terror suspects as he was grilled by the Senate over one of Washington's most-criticized policies.

John Brennan, President Barack Obama's nominee to be the new CIA chief, had a tough time answering some questions posed by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. Repeated interruptions by anti-war protesters did not make it any easier for him to explain the advantages of the controversial drone policy.

Brennan assured that any actions the CIA would take "will be legally grounded, will be thoroughly anchored in intelligence, will have the appropriate review process, approval process before any action is contemplated, including those actions that might involve the use of lethal force."

One of those skeptical of Brennan's words is Jayel Aheram, an Iraq War and Marine Corps veteran, activist and writer who, in an interview with RT, expressed his doubt over the possibility and the commitment of the CIA thoroughly to review the situation on the ground from somewhere far away from the United States.

He also questioned the criteria which might be used for such a review, suggesting that "basically anyone over the age of 18 or 16 in a strike zone constitutes a militant. So I could be going to school somewhere in Yemen, going about my day, and if I get obliterated by one of these drone strikes, am I to be considered a militant?"
USA

How western leaders terrorized Muslim world using a fake clash of civilizations

A "war of religion" is unfolding, with a view to justifying a global military crusade. In the inner consciousness of many Americans, the "holy crusade" against Muslims is justified. While President Obama may uphold freedom of religion, the US inquisitorial social order has institutionalized patterns of discrimination, prejudice and xenophobia directed against Muslims."

Michel Chossudovsky, "America's Holy Crusade against the Muslim World", Global Research, 8/30/2010
Does the US war strategy require other nations to follow the American policy lead of war against all - the terrorism of war instigated by the Clash of Civilizations theory? Stephen Lendman ("America's Permanent War Agenda" 3/01/2010), an American political intellectual and a man of universal conscience puts the history in one nutshell:
"America glorifies wars in the name of peace, what historian Charles Beard (1874 - 1948) called "perpetual war for perpetual peace" in describing the Roosevelt and Truman administrations' foreign policies - what concerned the Federation of American Scientists when it catalogued about 200 post-1945 conflicts in which America was, and still is, the aggressor"
Many contemporary politicians having small wisdom coupled with big common sense information could lead or mislead the masses. People are always the end recipient of the political dramas and onslaughts. Samuel Huntington ("The Clash of Civilizations" 1993, and subsequently, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, 1995), argued many things to many minds. It was a time fraught with political tragedies and unthinkable changes after the demise of the former USSR from the global theater of ideological confrontations. It happened out of the nowhere sending shock waves to the Western political mythologists and self-made experts who would become irrelevant in their mastery of pretensions to pursue the ideological warfare between the USSR and USA.
Vader

It has happened here in America: The Police State is real

The Bush regime's response to 9/11 and the Obama regime's validation of this response have destroyed accountable democratic government in the United States. So much unaccountable power has been concentrated in the executive branch that the US Constitution is no longer an operable document. Whether a person believes the official story of 9/11 which rests on unproven government assertions or believes the documented evidence provided by a large number of scientists, first responders, and structural engineers and architects, the result is the same. 9/11 was used to create an open-ended "war on terror" and a police state. It is extraordinary that so many Americans believe that "it can't happen here" when it already has. We have had a decade of highly visible evidence of the construction of a police state:
  • the PATRIOT Act, illegal spying on Americans in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,
  • the initiation of wars of aggression - war crimes under the Nuremberg Standard - based on intentional lies,
  • the Justice Department's concocted legal memos justifying the executive branch's violation of domestic and international laws against
  • torture, the indefinite detention of US citizens in violation of the constitutionally protected rights of habeas corpus and due process,
  • the use of secret evidence and secret "expert witnesses" who cannot be cross-examined against defendants in trials,
  • the creation of military tribunals in order to evade federal courts, secret legal memos giving the president authority to launch preemptive cyber attacks on any country without providing evidence that the country constitutes a threat, and the Obama regime's murder of US citizens without evidence or due process.
As if this were not enough, the Obama regime now creates new presidential powers by crafting secret laws, refusing to disclose the legal reasoning on which the asserted power rests. In other words, laws now originate in secret executive branch memos and not in acts of Congress. Congress? We don't need no stinking Congress.

Despite laws protecting whistleblowers and the media and the US Military Code which requires soldiers to report war crimes, whistleblowers such as CIA agent John Kiriakou, media such as Julian Assange, and soldiers such as Bradley Manning are persecuted and prosecuted for revealing US government crimes. The criminals go free, and those who report the crimes are punished.

Comment: In light of the revelation that there is no depth to which the Obama administration/US regime will go to silence its critics, what are we to make of Aaron Swartz's father's claim that the US government is responsible for the death of his son?

Who killed Aaron Swartz?

Suicide or not in this case, lists of critics are always drawn up and 'taken care of' by fascist regimes...

War Whore

Bulgarian charge of Hezbollah bombing was an "assumption"

© URIEL SINAI / GETTY IMAGES
The coffins of Itzik Colangi, Amir Menashe, Maor Harush, Elior Price and Kochava Shriki, who were killed in an attack in Bulgaria, are seen during a ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on July 20, 2012
Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov's dramatic announcement Tuesday on the Bulgarian investigation of the July 2012 terror bombing of an Israeli tourist bus was initially reported by Western news media as suggesting clear evidence of Hezbollah's responsibility for the killings.

But more accurate reports on the minister's statement and the only details he provided reveal that the alleged link between the bomb suspects and Hezbollah was merely an "assumption" rather than a conclusion based on specific evidence.

Tsvetanov was quoted by various Western news outlets as saying, "We have established that the two were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah." The minister also said, "There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects," according to the BBC and Jerusalem Post.
Stock Up

Wall Street vultures drive up food prices while billions starve

© American Free Press
Goldman Sachs reaps $400M "bountiful harvest" by gambling on America's food staples

While people around the globe struggled to put food on the table in 2012, banking giant Goldman Sachs reaped a bountiful harvest. According to a new report by the UK-based anti-poverty group, World Development Movement (WDM), Goldman Sachs made approximately $400M in profits last year by betting on the prices of food staples like wheat, corn and soy.

"Goldman Sachs is the global leader in a trade that is driving food prices up while nearly a billion people are hungry," says WDM campaigner Christine Haigh. "The bank lobbied for the financial deregulation that made it possible to pour billions into the commodity derivative markets, created the necessary financial instruments and is now raking in the profits. Speculation is fueling volatility and food price spikes, hurting people who struggle to afford food across the world."
Whistle

Whistle blower fired for reporting fraud at US defense contractor BAE

© AFP Photo / Shah Marai

A former manager for one of the biggest US defense contractors says he was removed from his job after accusing his higher-ups of defrauding the government.

Cornelius Hosch, the one-time head of counter-IED intelligence for BAE Systems Information Solutions' eastern Afghanistan office, sued his former employer in federal court on Tuesday.

Hosch, a US Army veteran with nearly 20 years of experience in the military, says his problems with BAE began after he alerted his supervisor to what he considered fraud in December 2011, just days after he started his employment with the company.

During his tenure with BAE, Hosch says the company overcharged the US government for services they were contracted to do.
Eye 1

DHS can still grab your belongings without cause at border crossings

© AFP Photo / Jesus Alcaza
US Customs and Border Protection searches for illegal inmigrants in El Paso, Texas

The Fourth Amendment no longer means what you once thought it did: A new report reveals that the government has shrugged off concerns over the alleged constitutional infringements of its own citizens near international crossings.

An internal review of the US Department of Homeland Security's procedures regarding the suspicionless search-and-seizure of phones and laptops near the nation's border has reaffirmed the agency's ability to bypass Fourth Amendment-protected rights [.pdf].

In a two page executive summary published quietly last month to the official DHS website, the agency explains that a civil rights and civil liberties impact assessment of the office's little-known power to collect personal electronics near international crossings has passed an auditor's interpretation of what does and doesn't violate the US Constitution.

Since 2009, the DHS has been legally permitted to seize and review the contents of personal electronic devices, including mobile phones, portable computers and data discs, even without being able to cite any reasonable suspicion that those articles were involved in a crime.
Dollar Gold

Former U.S. ambassador claims France paid $17 million in ransom to Islamists

© Reuters / Cheick Diouara
Soldiers from the Tuareg rebel group MNLA ride in a pickup truck in the northeastern town of Kidal February 4, 2013
A former US ambassador claims that France shoveled out $17 million to free a group of hostages held in Mali, only to have the money up in the hands of al-Qaeda militants and significantly strengthen the terrorist group.

And the hostages were never freed.

Former US Ambassador to Mali Vicki Huddleston told iTele that the alleged $17 million ransom payment funded the very militants that France is now fighting against in Mali.

In 2010, four French citizens were kidnapped from their guarded villas in Arlit, where they were employed at the French nuclear company Areva. According to Huddlestone, the French government made the ransom payment, only to lose the $17 million while the hostages remained captive. In early 2011, two other French hostages were taken and a seventh was taken in late 2012. Despite the alleged ransom payment made after the kidnapping of the first four, the hostages remain in the hands of al-Qaeda sympathizers.
Eye 1

TSA sued for $5 million after arresting man over peanut butter jar

© AFP Photo / Kevork Djansezian
After being hauled away from New York's LaGuardia Airport for making a wisecrack about his jar of peanut butter, an Arizona man is suing a TSA agent and a Port Authority cop for $5 million.

Frank Hannibal, 50, is seeking millions of dollars according to a recently filed lawsuit that has been uncovered by the New York Daily Mail. In the complaint, Hannibal recalls a failed attempt to pass through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint with a jar of gourmet peanut butter. By the time the incident was over, he says he spent over 24 hours in a jail cell.

"It sounds laughable now but at the time to be led out of there like a terrorist was unbelievable," Hannibal tells the Daily News. "My whole life was up in the air. It was a nightmare. My children were overwhelmed. It was crazy."

Hannibal's troubles began when a TSA agent questioned him about his jar of "Crazy Richard's Natural Peanut Butter," a spread sold at supermarkets across the country and marketed by Ohio's Krema Products Company. Speaking to the paper, Hannibal says the TSA agent appeared confused by the natural separation of oil inside the jar of peanut butter, which retails typically at around $7 a pop.
Bizarro Earth

U.S. Air Force veteran added to no-fly list after visiting sickly mom

© Image from flyokc.com
Statue of Will Rogers at Will Rogers World Airport
A 10-year veteran of the US Air Force is once again unable to return to his home after being mysteriously added to a federal no-fly list for a second time.

Saadiq Long, a Muslim American born in the state of Oklahoma, is stranded near his hometown despite having purchased a plane ticket to return to Qatar, a small Arab nation where he teaches English and lives with his wife and children.

Long has been visiting his family in the United States to tend to his ailing mother, who still lives in the small Midwest town of McAlester, Oklahoma, and intended on leaving on Wednesday to return to Qatar. He tells the Associated Press that while attempting to catch his flight, however, he was refused a boarding pass and was referred by the TSA to a group of armed police.

"I think about three police officers arrived after that," Long, a US citizen, tells the AP. "It was very, very strange, by the way, and very intimidating."
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