Puppet MastersS


We can play the game too: Russian bank hires two former U.S. senators as lobbyists

russia hires us senators
Former Senator John Breaux, D-La and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss.
Gazprombank GPB, a Russian bank targeted with sanctions by President Obama over the Ukraine crisis, has hired two former U.S. senators to lobby against those sanctions, according to a new disclosure filed with the Senate.

Gazprombank is controlled by Russia's state-owned energy company Gazprom, the country's largest gas producer; it supplies about a third of Europe's natural gas.

In a filing submitted Friday and effective that day, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and former Senator John Breaux, D-La., are listed as the main lobbyists under the Gazprombank account for the firm Squire Patton Boggs, lobbying on "banking laws and regulations including applicable sanctions."

Gazprombank GPB (OJSC) is a subsidiary of Gazprombank, Russia's third largest bank. On July 16th, the U.S. Treasury Department added it to a list of Russian firms barred from debt financing with U.S. institutions.

Lott and Breaux left public service almost a decade ago and are among more than 300 members of Congress who've become lobbyists, and begun petitioning former colleagues on behalf of clients, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2008, they started a lobbying firm with their sons, Breaux Lott Leadership Group, which was acquired by D.C.-lobbying powerhouse Patton Boggs in 2010. Patton Boggs merged with Squire Sanders to form Squire Patton Boggs in June.

Gazprom has been in the news a lot. In July, The Permanent Court of Arbitration, an intergovernmental organization located in The Hague, Netherlands, ruled that the Russian government should reimburse $50 billion to certain shareholders of former Russian oil company Yukos. The tribunal said the government, in a series of actions starting in 2003 "accompanied by serious due process violations," had dismantled and seized the assets of Yukos and transferred them to Gazprom and state-run oil company Rosneft.

Comment: Some background on the Hague ruling:
  • Politically Motivated: Netherlands Court Orders Russia: Pay Criminals $50 Billion
  • Khodorkovsky created the myth that he is Putin's political opponent AFTER he was sent to prison for being a corporate thief
"Khodorkovsky [...] was a criminal who would have been sentenced to life in other jurisdictions for the crimes he committed. Khodorkovsky can hardly have been called a businessman either - he, like other oligarchs during the 1990s, stole, extorted, and even possibly ordered murders when making empires from looted state property. He was also a political fraudster - buying political influence from virtually anyone who would take his dirty money."
Putin had every right to seize the assets of a criminal operation. And despite his egregious behavior, Putin pardoned him years ago.

Last month, Russian gas firm OAO Novatek retained Washington, D.C., public relations firm Qorvis to lobby the administration and Congress after one of its largest shareholders, an associate of Russian president Vladimir Putin, was similarly targeted for sanctions by the United States.


Moscow on sanctions: Russia's efforts to help stop the bloodshed in Ukraine ignored

© RIA Novosti / Michael KlimentyevRussian President Vladimir Putin, (L) Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on 11 September 2014.
The EU "does not see or is unwilling to see" Russia's efforts to establish peace in Ukraine, Moscow said in response to the bloc's new sanctions. Despite Brussels' "non-constructive" policy, Moscow is committed to helping implement the peace plan.

"We are sorry that the European Union has adopted a new round of sanctions. We have repeatedly expressed our discontent with the previously-imposed sanctions and our disagreement with them. We also considered them illegal," Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

The EU decision "is absolutely beyond understanding and explanation," Peskov added, especially given Russia's recent efforts to help stop the bloodshed in Ukraine and peacefully resolve the conflict between Kiev and southeastern regions.

Comment: The EU and their masters in the US couldn't care less. They keep using these sanctions as a part of their campaign to demonize Russia and Putin, to remind the world every once in a while how bad Putin is, before their propaganda goes down the memory hole. Never mind the fact that these sanctions keep backfiring and despite the fact that they are based on complete lies.

Putin is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't! Obama readying new sanctions on Russia despite peace agreement in Ukraine

The presidential spokesman stressed that Brussels either fails to see or "is unwilling to see the real situation in Donbass and does not want to get informed about the steps the parties are taking towards settlement."

Bad Guys

Stillborn coalition! Turkey refuses to join "anti-ISIS" coalition and John Kerry comes begging

John Kerry and Erdogan
© Unknown"Listen Erdo, here is a deal: We will help you join the f##k the EU, and you will continue to help us train and arm ISIL AND get to bomb them too. What not interested? How about if you get to bomb Ukraine too?"

It appears the 'broad coalition' that President Obama so confidently described just two days ago is crumbling faster than the Iraqi army. First UK and Germany deny support for airstrikes in Syria and now Turkey refuses to allow a U.S.-led coalition to attack jihadists in neighboring Iraq and Syria from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations against militants, a government official. US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Ankara this morning to 'build the coalition' but, as AFP reports, Turkish officials have already made their position clear, "Turkey will not be involved in any armed operation but will entirely concentrate on humanitarian operations." Their 'excuse': "our hands and arms are tied because of the hostages," but follows PM Erdogan's recent shunning of Obama.

As AFP reports,
US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Ankara Friday for talks aimed at building a coalition against Islamic State jihadists, a visit that comes after Turkey said it would not allow its air bases to be used for strikes on the extremists.

The top US diplomat, touring the Middle East to establish a coalition of more than 40 countries, is to meet with Turkey's leaders including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks on measures to defeat the militants in Iraq and Syria.

Turkey, a NATO member and Washington's key ally in the region, is reluctant to take part in combat operations against Islamic State militants, or allow a US-led coalition to attack jihadists from its territory.

On the eve of the visit, a Turkish official told AFP: "Our hands and arms are tied because of the hostages."

The official added that Turkey will "not be involved in any armed operation but will entirely concentrate on humanitarian operations."

IS militants hold 49 Turks hostage, including diplomats and children, abducted from the Turkish consulate in Mosul in Iraq in June.

Comment: Is this more than just a public show of resistance for public consumption or is Turkey waking up?


John Pilger's public speech on Gaza, the threat of world war and the time to speak up

Gaza blockade
© Unknown
"There is a taboo," said the visionary Edward Said, "on telling the truth about Palestine and the great destructive force behind Israel. Only when this truth is out can any of us be free."

For many people, the truth is out now. At last, they know. Those once intimidated into silence can't look away now. Staring at them from their TV, laptop, phone, is proof of the barbarism of the Israeli state and the great destructive force of its mentor and provider, the United States, the cowardice of European governments, and the collusion of others, such as Canada and Australian, in this epic crime.

The attack on Gaza was an attack on all of us. The siege of Gazais a siege of all of us. The denial of justice to Palestinians is a symptom of much of humanity under siege and a warning that the threat of a new world war is growing by the day.

When Nelson Mandela called the struggle of Palestine "the greatest moral issue of our time", he spoke on behalf of true civilisation, not that which empires invent. In Latin America, the governments of Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Bolivia, El Salvador, Peru and Ecuador have made their stand on Gaza. Each of these countries has known its own dark silence when immunity for mass murder was sponsored by the same godfather in Washington that answered the cries of children in Gaza with more ammunition to kill them.

Unlike Netanyahu and his killers, Washington's pet fascists in Latin America didn't concern themselves with moral window dressing. They simply murdered, and left the bodies on rubbish dumps. For Zionism, the goal is the same: to dispossess and ultimately destroy an entire human society: a truth that 225 Holocaust survivors and their descendants have compared with the genesis of genocide.

Nothing has changed since the Zionists' infamous "Plan D" in 1948 that ethnically cleansed an entire people. Recently, on the website of the Times of Israel were the words: "Genocide is Permissible". A deputy speaker of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, Moshe Feiglin, demands a policy of mass expulsion into concentration camps. An MP, Ayelet Shaked, whose party is a member of the governing coalition, calls for the extermination of Palestinian mothers to prevent them giving birth to what she calls "little snakes".

Comment: See also:


Russia warns Obama not to launch air strikes on Syria

© Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesPresident Obama and his wife Michelle observe a minute's silence on the south lawn of the White House yesterday for the victims of 9/11.
President Obama was left in no doubt yesterday about the difficulties surrounding his call for a united front to tackle Isil head on with a series of air strikes in Syria.

Responding to the plan for an offensive Russia warned that air strikes against militants in Syria would be a "gross violation" of international law.

A Russian foreign ministry spokesman said such action, without the backing of the UN, would be "an act of aggression".

The reaction came as US Secretary of State John Kerry met Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia to try to build a coalition against Isil.

Even on Capitol Hill in Washington regardless of the fact that it was the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Centre attacks there was no show of uniformity.

Comment: Isn't it interesting that they are using the anniversary of 9/11 attacks to announce the bombing of Syria.


ISIL brutality is uniquely American

© Reuters/StringerA fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, June 23, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held crisis talks with leaders of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region urging them to stand with Baghdad in the face of a Sunni insurgent onslaught that threatens to dismember the country. Picture taken June 23, 2014.

The United States stands accused of many of the brutal techniques used by ISIL,
a terrorist group President Barack Obama has vowed to "degrade and ultimately destroy," a journalist and political commentator says.

"He says that these terrorists that he is fighting now are unique in their brutality," Anna O'Leary said in a phone interview with Press TV on Thursday. "What I say to Obama is America is unique in its brutality around the world."

O'Leary likened ISIL kidnappings to the CIA's rendition program in which terrorism suspects are secretly rounded up and transferred to secret prisons to be interrogated and tortured.

"He [Obama] talks about the terrorists kidnapping, but what happens when America kidnaps people and takes them to Guantanamo," she asked.

Bad Guys

ISIS and the Secret Team: France is in while Germany not so willing

France may take part in the US bombing campaign in Iraq aimed at crippling the Islamic State militants if it is asked to do so. The US is now calling for an international coalition to defeat IS, but the UK and Germany are reluctant to join in the strikes.

"In Iraq... we support the formation of an inclusive government. We will participate if necessary in an aerial military action," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Wednesday in a speech in Paris.

He added that several hundred French jihadists have joined the IS, formerly known as ISIS, and pose a domestic threat that the French government regards as serious.

Comment: Barack Obama, the Surveillance State, and the Secret Team:
The most remarkable development in the management of America's relations with other countries during the quarter-century since the end of World War II has been the assumption of more and more control over military, financial and diplomatic operations at home and abroad by men whose activities are secret, whose budget is secret, whose very identities as often as not are secret -- in short, by a Secret Team whose actions only those implicated in them are in a position to monitor and to understand...

The Secret Team (ST) being described herein consists of security-cleared individuals in and out of government who receive secret intelligence data gathered by the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) and who react to those data, when it seems appropriate to them, with paramilitary plans and activities, e.g. training and "advising" -- a not exactly impenetrable euphemism for such things as leading into battle and actual combat -- Laotian tribal troops, Tibetan rebel horsemen, or Jordanian elite Palace Guards...

The Secret Team does not like criticism, investigation, or history and is always prone to see the world as divided into but two camps -- "Them" and "Us"... To be a member, you don't question, you don't ask; it's "Get on the Team" or else. One of its most powerful weapons in the most political and powerful capitals of the world is that of exclusion. To be denied the "need to know" status, like being a member of the Team, even though one may have all the necessary clearances, is to be totally blackballed and eliminated from further participation. Politically, if you are cut from the Team and from its insider's knowledge, you are dead. In many ways and by many criteria the Secret Team is the inner sanctum of a new religious order.

~ The Secret Team: The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World


Greg Palast: BP and the Three Stooges Defense

Forget Stephen King. If you want scary, read U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's 150-page Findings of Fact released Thursday in the Deepwater Horizon case.

Although the judge found BP liable for "gross negligence," some U.S. media failed to mention that Barbier let BP off the hook on punitive damages. And that stuns me, given that the record seems to identify enough smoking guns to roast a sizable pig.

Here's a standout example:

Every rig operator knows that, before a rig can unhook from a drill pipe, the operator has to run a "negative pressure test" to make sure the cement has properly sealed the drill pipe. If the pipe is safely plugged, the pressure gauge will read zero. The amount of pressure BP measured at 5 p.m. on April 20, 2010, the day of the explosion? 1400 psi (see the findings, pages 62-65).


Cracks in the coalition? UK, Germany refuse to back Obama's airstrikes on ISIS in Syria

Obama syrian airstrikes
Well that didn't take long. After espousing his strategy last night of leading a broad coalition against ISIS, it appears President Obama's "allies" are backing away from the plan. As The WSJ reports, Germany and the U.K. on Thursday ruled out carrying out air strikes on Islamic State militants in Syria.

It appears the Europeans, realizing the ire that these actions will likely cause to Putin, are stepping back - "We haven't been asked, nor will we do it," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters and his U.K. counterpart Philip Hammond explicitly ruled out air strikes in Syria, after the U.K. parliament struck down such a move last year. So that leaves the French?

Comment: It appears the EU is beginning to understand that continually backing the US might not be in their best interests after all - better late than never.


Russian response to new sanctions: EU has effectively made a choice against the peace process in Ukraine, Russia has no other choice but counter-measures

russian prime minister
© AP Russian Prime Minister says Russia will respond should the West follow through with more anti-Russian sanctions
As usual, every European snaction (sic) has an equal and opposite Russian reaction. Here is how the Russian Foreign ministry responded to what van Rompuy announced earlier today would be a new round of Russian sanctions, which wil finally be enforced tomorrow. First from the Russian foreign ministry:
And from Russia's European ambassador: