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MIB

Paintings showing MI6 over years add to mystery

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© Unknown
James Hart Dyke
The mysterious oil painting entitled Waiting in the Hotel Room sold for a relatively modest $28,200 last week on the opening night of an exhibition in the upscale Mayfair district of London. But for all the painting's ordinariness - a man in a dark suit viewed from behind as he looks out through the net curtains of a plush room, his hands clasped and his head slightly tilted - it attracted a lot of attention.

The artist, James Hart Dyke, has drawn favourable reviews for his past work, mainly his landscapes. But what put Hart Dyke in Britain's headlines was that the dozens of paintings and watercolours on display at the Mount Street Galleries offered unprecedented glimpses into the world of the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as SIS or MI6, which has never before permitted an outsider to make a graphic record of its hidden world.

Comment: We bet, there is something else missing from James Hart Dyke's works, and it's the depiction of MI6's "fine officers" participating in internment and torture of Palestinians, as just one example.


Gear

'Egypt's military commanders are under influence of CIA, Mossad'

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© Unknown
Mohammad-Javad Larijani
Secretary General of the High Council for Human Rights Mohammad-Javad Larijani has said senior Egyptian military commanders are under the influence of CIA and Mossad.

The Egyptian military officials do not dare to make any problem for the United States and this is why Washington insists on empowerment the Egyptian military, Larijani told IRIB Channel 2 Sunday night.

Larijani's remarks came following the downfall of the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak on Friday.

After 18 days of protests and demonstrations by millions of Egyptians who called for the departure of Mubarak and the establishment of a democratic government, on Friday Mubarak decided to step aside and transfer power to the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces.

"The U.S. scenario is to stabilize its power over the (Egyptian) military ...and create limited news coverage," the Berkeley-educated mathematician noted.

Dollar

Lehman Brothers $11billion case against Barclays fails

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© AFP
Barclays takeover over Lehman's US operations was one of the most significant events of the global crisis
Barclays' takeover of much of Lehman Brothers' US operations in 2008 was flawed but fair, a judge in New York has ruled.

Lehman had sued Barclays for $11bn (£6.8bn) in damages, claiming the bank was given special treatment.

However, while the judge said the sale process was "imperfect", it was still "adequate" under the circumstances.

Barclays bought Lehman's US operations in a hastily-arranged sale at the peak of the credit crisis in September 2008.

Averting 'calamity'

Lehman agreed to sell its US investment banking and broking arm for $1.85bn five days after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

That, and the fact Lehman was the highest profile bank to be allowed to fail, was one of the most significant events of the global crisis.

Heart - Black

Italy says 1,000 killed in Libya unrest

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© unk
Tripoli - Muammar Gaddafi's increasingly desperate attempts to crush a revolt against his four-decade rule have killed as many as 1,000 people and split Libya, Italy's Foreign Minister said on Wednesday.

As countries with strong business ties to Africa's third largest oil producer scrambled to evacuate their citizens, and fear of pro-Gaddafi gunmen emptied the streets of the capital Tripoli, France became the first state to call for sanctions.

"I would like the suspension of economic, commercial and financial relations with Libya until further notice," President Nicolas Sarkozy said.

MIB

US gives fresh details of CIA agent who killed two men in Pakistan shootout

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© Reuters
Raymond Davis, held in Pakistan on double murder charges for a shooting in Lahore last month, is employed by the CIA as a contractor.
US reveals that CIA agent Raymond Davis worked for private security firm Xe, formerly known as Blackwater

US officials have provided fresh details about Raymond Davis, the CIA agent at the centre of a diplomatic stand-off in Pakistan, including confirmation that he had worked for the private security contractor Xe, formerly known as Blackwater. They also disclosed for the first time that he had been providing security for a CIA team tracking militants.

Davis was attached to the CIA's Global Response Staff, whose duties include protecting case officers when they meet with sources. He was familiarising himself with a sensitive area of Lahore on the day he shot dead two Pakistanis.

MIB

MI5 cropped 7/7 bomber out of picture shown to key informant

Unrecognisable version of photograph taken by agent a year before London attacks was sent to US supergrass.

MI5 photo of 7/7
© Press Association
The photo of Shehzad Tanweer and Mohammad Siddique Khan at a service station in 2004 and, right, the versions sent to a US informant.
Crucial surveillance photographs clearly identifying two of the 7 July bombers more than a year before the atrocity were cropped by intelligence officials in such a "speedy" manner as to render them unrecognisable to a key supergrass.

The inquests into the 52 victims of the attacks heard from a top MI5 officer that in April 2004 a photo that originally had Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer in it was shown to the informant Mohammed Junaid Babar, described as "one of the most significant sources the intelligence services had at that time". The pair were returning from meeting a known bomb plotter.

But instead of the original colour photograph, in which both men are clearly identifiable, an intelligence officer edited the photo to render Tanweer unrecognisable and crop out Khan altogether, and forwarded it to the US where Babar was in custody. The version was also converted to black and white. Babar had previously met Khan at a terrorist training camp in Pakistan but the photograph of Khan was not forwarded to the informant.

In uncharacteristically frank language, Hugo Keith, counsel to the inquests, told the MI5 officer: "I think one of my children could have done a better job of cropping out that photograph."

Comment: Smoke and Mirrors. When it comes to the London Bombings, the Facts Speak for Themselves


MIB

MI5 accused of trying to gag justice at 7/7 inquests

Lawyers for the families of those killed in the bombings argue coroner should be allowed to go into detail about murders.

July 07 bombing
© Martin Godwin for the Guardian
The families of those killed do not want 'a sterile, bare conclusion' to the inquests, their lawyers have said.
MI5 has been accused of attempting to gag justice by restricting the verdicts of the inquests into the victims of the 7 July attacks.

The families of those killed in the bombings do not want "a sterile, bare conclusion" to the inquests, their lawyers said, arguing instead that the coroner should be allowed to go into much greater detail about how the 52 victims were murdered.

MI5's legal team argued that by law only "brief, neutral and factual" verdicts can be recorded. But Patrick O'Connor QC, for the relatives, said that the bereaved families would be disappointed and the public "quite astonished if ... we were literally kept to the kind of one, one-and-a-half, two-sentence verdict in the inquisition that is suggested by some." He added: "The state of justice is very often depicted blindfolded, but never gagged."

The families are concerned that the coroner could deliver a brief verdict that their loved ones were unlawfully killed but fail to rule on whether the security agencies could have prevented the atrocities or whether the emergency services could have saved more lives.

Vader

Defiant Gaddafi vows to die as martyr, fight revolt

Tripoli - A defiant Muammar Gaddafi said on Tuesday he was ready to die "a martyr" in Libya, vowing to crush a growing revolt which has seen eastern regions break free of his 41-year rule and brought deadly unrest to the capital.

Swathed in brown robes, Gaddafi seethed with anger and banged the podium outside one of his residences that was damaged in a 1986 U.S. bombing raid that attempted to kill him. Next to him stood a monument of a fist crushing a U.S. fighter jet.

"I am not going to leave this land. I will die here as a martyr," Gaddafi said on state television, refusing to bow to calls from his own diplomats, soldiers and protesters who braved a fierce crackdown to clamour in streets for him to go.

Bad Guys

Gaddafi's Next Move: Sabotage Oil and Sow Chaos?

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There's been virtually no reliable information coming out of Tripoli, but a source close to the Gaddafi regime I did manage to get hold of told me the already terrible situation in Libya will get much worse. Among other things, Gaddafi has ordered security services to start sabotaging oil facilities. They will start by blowing up several oil pipelines, cutting off flow to Mediterranean ports. The sabotage, according to the insider, is meant to serve as a message to Libya's rebellious tribes: It's either me or chaos.

Two weeks ago this same man had told me the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt would never touch Libya. Gaddafi, he said, had a tight lock on all of the major tribes, the same ones that have kept him in power for the past 41 years. The man of course turned out to be wrong, and everything he now has to say about Gaddafi's intentions needs to be taken in that context.

The source went on and told me that Gaddafi's desperation has a lot to with the fact that he now can only count on the loyalty of his tribe, the Qadhadhfa. And as for the army, as of Monday he only has the loyalty of approximately 5,000 troops. They are his elite forces, the officers all handpicked. Among them is the unit commanded by his second youngest son Khamis, the 32nd Brigade. (The total strength of the regular Libyan army is 45,000.)

Cult

Supreme Court rejects vaccine lawsuit

supreme court
© Tim Sloan /AFP/Getty Images
The justices of the US Supreme Court sit for their official photograph on October 8, 2010 at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today gave vaccine manufacturers greater protection from lawsuits by parents who say vaccinations harmed their children, ruling that Congress had blocked those types of claims against drug makers.

In a 6-2 decision, the justices said Congress had effectively shut the courthouse door to these lawsuits in 1986, when it created a special vaccine court designed to compensate victims of vaccine injuries.

The decision immediately was hailed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which said it would safeguard the nation's vaccine supply by protecting vaccine makers from potentially crippling legal liability--which could have driven manufacturers out of the vaccine market.