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Unsung heroin: How MI6, CIA spend tax money on propping up Afghan drug trade

opiumm poppy
© AFP Photo
An Afghan farmer collects raw opium as he works in a poppy field in Khogyani District of Nangarhar province on April 29, 2013.
With both the CIA and MI6 secretly providing 'ghost money' bribes to the Afghan political establishment, it's likely that Afghans will increasingly support a resurgent Taliban and the drug trade will be further propped up.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, has recently been criticized for taking 'ghost money' from the CIA and MI6. The sums are unknown - for the usual reasons of 'national security' - but are estimated to have been in the tens of millions of dollars. While this is nowhere near the eye-bleeding $12 billion shipped over to Iraq on pallets in the wake of the invasion a decade ago, it is still a significant amount.

And how has this money been spent? Certainly not on social projects or rebuilding initiatives. Rather, the reporting indicates, the money has been funneled to Karzai's cronies as bribes in a corrupt attempt to buy influence in the country.

Coffee

Robert Fisk: 'The Syrian Government is winning - Americans are living in a fantasy world'

Robert Fisk discusses his reaction to what he calls President Obama's "pitiful" backing of the recent Israeli missile strikes.


As the United States moves toward increased intervention in Syria, we're joined by Robert Fisk, the longtime Middle East correspondent of the British newspaper The Independent. Just back from two weeks in Syria reporting around the capital Damascus, Fisk discusses what he calls the "theater of chemical weapons," the latest in Syria's civil war - a battle he says the Syrian government is winning - as well as his reaction to what he calls President Obama's "pitiful" backing of the recent Israeli missile strikes. "Don't ask me if they have used chemical weapons," Fisk says. "It's conceivable. There really isn't any proof. What you have got to realize is that this is a propaganda war just as much as it is a savage war, killing many thousands of human beings."

Laptop

#OpUSA threatens U.S. banks, government: Attacks expected from May 7th

OpUSA
© Unknown
Security experts say that OperationUSA, a coordinated online attack against banking and government websites slated for May 7, is a serious threat. As a result, organizations should be upping their distributed-denial-of-service attack mitigation strategies to guard against the attacks, which are being coordinated by the hacktivist group Anonymous.

Experts advise that call-center staff should be educated about DDoS attacks, in case customers call in about online outages or experience difficulty accessing accounts. And network and security teams should actively monitor Internet traffic on May 7 and take steps to block specific IP addresses.

Anonymous has said the attacks are being waged because of perceived social and political injustices. In an April 21 Pastebin post, it states: "Anonymous will make sure that this May 7th will be a day to remember. On that day Anonymous will start phase one of operation USA. America, you have committed multiple war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and recently you have committed war crimes in your own country."

Network

Anonymous #OpUSA manifesto promises to wipe USA off the cyber map

OpUSA
© Unknown
Below is the profane-ridden #OpUSA press release from anonymous hackers N4m3le55 cr3w, posted to Pastebin on April 21:

#OpUsa

"Greetings Obama and USA citizens. We are the N4m3le55 Cr3w. Anonymous will make sure that's this May 7th will be a day to remember. On that day anonymous will start phase one of operation USA.

America you have committed multiple war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and recently you have committed war crimes in your own country. You have killed hundreds of innocent children and families with drones, guns, and now bombs. America you have hit thousands of people where it hurts them, now it is our time for our Lulz. For this you shall pay.

Bad Guys

Propaganda Alert! Jihadis, hackers join forces to launch cyberattacks on United States

Military laptop
© Defense Department
Middle East- and North Africa-based criminal hackers are preparing cyberattacks this week against the websites of high-profile U.S. government agencies, banks and other companies, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The attacks, dubbed #OpUSA, for Operation USA, will begin Tuesday, the department said in a warning bulletin circulated to the private sector last week. The bulletin was first obtained and posted online by blogger and cybercrime expert Brian Krebs.

The attacks are called for in the name of Anonymous, the leaderless coalition of hackers whose trademark Guy Fawkes mask has become a global symbol for their anarchistic spirit.

Snakes in Suits

Russia not to tolerate further Israeli attacks on Damascus

Image
© Unknown
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, while in Shanghai, was given a sharp dressing-down by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a warning that Russia would not tolerate further Israeli attacks on Damascus and would respond.

Putin did not say how, but he did announce he had ordered the acceleration of highly advanced Russian weapons supplies to Syria.

Israeli Debkafile's military sources disclosed that the Russian leader was referring to S-300 anti-air systems and the nuclear-capable 9K720 Iskander (NATO named SS-26 Stone) surface missiles, which are precise enough to hit a target within a 5-7 meter radius at a distance of 280 kilometers.

In his phone call to Netanyahu, the Russian leader advised the prime minister to make sure to keep this in mind.

Light Sabers

Syrian troops kill several Saudi, Jordanian Terrorists in outskirts of Latakia

Image
© Unknown
Syrian military forces
The Syrian Army killed a large number of foreign terrorists, including Jordanian and Saudi nationals, in the suburb of the coastal city of Latakia in the Western parts of the country on Tuesday.

According to FNA dispatches, the Syrian army destroyed several terrorist bases in Reef (outskirts of) Latakia, including Salma, Tartiah and Kafar Delbeh villages, killing two Jordanian terrorists and several Saudi snipers.

During the army operations in al-Dareh and Borj al-Ahrash, a number of foreign terrorists, including the notorious Saudi terrorist, Masha'al al-Saleh, were killed.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

Bad Guys

Israeli bombing of Syria and moral relativism

Image
© AFP/Getty Images
A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency purports to show damage caused by an Israeli strike on 5 May.
No universally applied principle justifies the Israeli attack on Damascus. Only self-flattering tribalism does that

On Sunday, Israel dropped massive bombs near Damascus, ones which the New York Times, quoting residents, originally reported (then evidently deleted) resulted in explosions "more massive than anything the residents of the city. . . have witnessed during more than two years of war." The Jerusalem Post this morning quoted "a senior Syrian military source" as claiming that "Israel used depleted uranium shells", though that is not confirmed. The NYT cited a "high-ranking Syrian military official" who said the bombs "struck several critical military facilities in some of the country's most tightly secured and strategic areas" and killed "dozens of elite troops stationed near the presidential palace", while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that "at least 42 soldiers were killed in the strikes, and another 100 who would usually be at the targeted sites remain unaccounted for."

Israeli defenders claim that its air attack targeted weapons provided by Iran that would have ended up in the hands of Hezbollah. Obama officials quickly told media outlets that "the administration is fully supportive of Israel's airstrikes". Indeed, Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy noted: "Keep in mind the Israelis are using weapons supplied by us." There is, needless to say, virtually no condemnation of the Israeli assault in US media or political circles. At this point, the only question is how many minutes will elapse before Congress reflexively adopts a near-unanimous or unanimous resolution effusively praising Israel for the attack and unqualifiedly endorsing all past and future attacks as well.

Because people who cheer for military action by their side like to pretend that they're something more than primitive "might-makes-right" tribalists, the claim is being hauled out that Israel's actions are justified by the "principle" that it has the right to defend itself from foreign weapons in the hands of hostile forces. But is that really a "principle" that anyone would apply consistently, as opposed to a typically concocted ad hoc claim to justify whatever the US and Israel do? Let's apply this "principle" to other cases, as several commentators on Twitter have done over the last 24 hours, beginning with this:
Nima Shirazi @WideAsleepNima

If Syrian planes bombed Israel's Ramat David Airbase because it houses US-supplied weaponry, what would the appropriate Israeli reaction be?
3:00 PM - 4 May 2013

Attention

Psychopathy in politics and finance

As more and more studies demonstrating the corrosive effect of psychopathy on government, finance, and business emerge, researchers have begun to explore how our society itself has been molded in the psychopaths' image.

Now, one of those researchers, Stefan Verstappen, shares his insights on psychopathy in modern culture.

This is the GRTV Feature interview on Global Research TV.


Comment: Stefan Verstappen has also published an excellent video called 'Defense Against the Psychopath':




Arrow Down

Newly declassified memo shows CIA shaped Zero Dark Thirty's narrative

Zero Dark Thirty
© BoingBoing
Kathryn Bigelow's Osama bin Laden revenge-porn flick Zero Dark Thirty was the biggest publicity coup for the CIA this century outside of the actual killing of Osama bin Laden. But the extent to which the CIA shaped the film has remained unclear. Now, a memo obtained by Gawker shows that the CIA actively, and apparently successfully, pressured Mark Boal to remove scenes that made them look bad from the Zero Dark Thirty script.

The CIA's whitewashing effort is revealed in a cache of documents newly released under a Freedom of Information Act request about the CIA's cooperation with Bigelow and Boal. The documents include a 2012 memo - initially classified "SECRET" - summarizing five conference calls between Boal and the CIA's Office of Public Affairs in late 2011.

"The purpose for these discussions was for OPA officers to help promote an appropriate portrayal of the Agency and the Bin Ladin operation," according to the memo. (Hundreds of pages of CIA documents about the film were released last year; the memo obtained by Gawker was approved for release late last month.)

During these calls, Boal "verbally shared the screenplay" for Zero Dark Thirty in order to get the CIA's feedback, and the CIA's public affairs department verbally asked Boal to take out parts that they objected to. According to the memo, he did.