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Military Escalation: "Phase Two" of the War on Libya

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Psychopathology writ large
A new phase of the war is unfolding leading to a process of military escalation as well as the eventual landing of US-NATO commandos on Libya's shores.

An unprecedented deployment of naval power in the Mediterranean is occurring.

The USS George H W Bush supercarrier, the most advanced vessel in the US naval arsenal, together with its strike and carrier group has entered the Mediterranean, to join up with the Sixth Fleet in Naples.

Aircraft supercarrier USS George H W Bush (CVN77) is the World's largest naval vessel: with "four-and-a-half acres of space on its flight deck, making it capable of housing 90 jets and helicopters. It is home to 5,500 crew". Equipped with sophisticated electronic warfare systems, it is the World's largest "mobile military base" (Manlio Dinucci, "Boots on the Ground": Sarkozy and Cameron Prepare to Land in Libya, Global Research, May 31, 2011).

The USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group was sent on its "maiden voyage" to the Sixth Fleet area of naval operations, namely the Mediterranean. It was "certified ready for combat operations" a month before the onset of the war on Libya. (USS George H.W. Bush Strike Group Certified Combat Ready, February 21, 2011)

USA

We're not in Mayberry any more - The Fourth Amendment


Vader

Your Tax Dollars at Work: $400 per gallon gas to drive debate over cost of war in Afghanistan

helicopter fuel afghanistan
© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Europe
The Pentagon pays an average of $400 to put a gallon of fuel into a combat vehicle or aircraft in Afghanistan.

The statistic is likely to play into the escalating debate in Congress over the cost of a war that entered its ninth year last week.

Pentagon officials have told the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee a gallon of fuel costs the military about $400 by the time it arrives in the remote locations in Afghanistan where U.S. troops operate.

"It is a number that we were not aware of and it is worrisome," Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Defense panel, said in an interview with The Hill. "When I heard that figure from the Defense Department, we started looking into it."

The Pentagon comptroller's office provided the fuel statistic to the committee staff when it was asked for a breakdown of why every 1,000 troops deployed to Afghanistan costs $1 billion. The Obama administration uses this estimate in calculating the cost of sending more troops to Afghanistan.

The Obama administration is engaged in an internal debate over its future strategy in Afghanistan. Part of this debate concerns whether to increase the number of U.S. troops in that country.

The top U.S. general in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, reportedly has requested that about 40,000 additional troops be sent.
Democrats in Congress are divided over whether to send more combat troops to stabilize Afghanistan in the face of waning public support for the war.

Any additional troops and operations likely will have to be paid for through a supplemental spending bill next year, something Murtha has said he already anticipates.

Afghanistan - with its lack of infrastructure, challenging geography and increased roadside bomb attacks - is a logistical nightmare for the U.S. military, according to congressional sources, and it is expensive to transport fuel and other supplies.

A landlocked country, Afghanistan has no seaports and a shortage of airports and navigable roads. The nearest port is in Karachi, Pakistan, where fuel for U.S. troops is shipped.

Laptop

Back from the Dead: The Internet 'Kill Switch'

internet kill switch graphic
© n/a
The American author William Faulkner once wrote: "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

And like a horde of flesh-eating zombies shuffling out of a parking garage to feast on what's left of our freedoms, the Obama administration has promised to revive a proposal thought dead by most: the internet "kill switch."

On May 12, the White House released a 52-page document outlining administration plans governing cybersecurity. The bill designates the Department of Homeland Security as the "lead agency" with authority to initiate "countermeasures" to protect critical infrastructure from malicious attacks.

But as with other aspects of U.S. policy, from waging aggressive wars to conducting covert actions overseas, elite policy planners at the Pentagon and at nominally civilian agencies like DHS hide offensive plans and operations beneath layers of defensive rhetoric meant to hoodwink the public.

Vader

Gulf State Gendarmes: West Backs Holy Alliance For Control Of Arab World And Persian Gulf

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© Unknown
The standard-bearers of Anglo-American imperialism in the current epoch, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron, met in London on May 25 to discuss the world's two ongoing wars of aggression, those in Afghanistan and Libya, both under the command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization dominated by Washington and London.

As well as joining a barbecue for American and British troops in the prime minister's haunts, in the gardens of Number 10 Downing Street, the two potentates called for continuing to bomb Libya back to the Paleolithic Age.

Displaying what passes for sophisticated humor in the contemporary deadened age, Cameron told the press, "It was...probably the first time in history, as we stood behind that barbecue, that I can say a British prime minister has given an American president a bit of a grilling."

Correspondents chuckled as Libyan, Afghan and Pakistani civilians writhe in their death throes from the bombs and Hellfire missiles delivered by Cameron's and Obama's warplanes.

Eye 2

Philosopher says former French minister 'caught in orgy with young boys'

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© Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images
Former French education minister Luc Ferry, whose allegation of child abuse against another ex-minister has caused a row.
Moroccan NGO says it will file legal complaint demanding investigation of claims made on television by Luc Ferry

An accusation of child abuse against a former French minister has sparked a major row in the wake of the charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn for attempted rape.

Luc Ferry, a philosopher and former education minister, told a TV chat show that a former French minister had previously been caught at an orgy with young boys in Marrakech in Morocco. He said senior government sources, including a former prime minister, had told him about the incident, but would not name the ex-minister involved for fear of libel laws.

Politicians attacked Ferry for making vague allegations. Rachida Dati, the former justice minister, said if Ferry knew something he must reveal the facts otherwise he risked the offence of failing to report a crime. The foreign minister, Alain Juppé, said if Ferry - who was in government from 2002 to 2004 - had proof of a crime "he must go through the justice system" and not just "go yacking to the press".

Vader

NATO war crimes: Bombing has killed Libyan 718 civilians, thousands more wounded

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NATO's bombing campaign has killed 718 Libyan civilians, government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said on Tuesday.

He said 4,067 civilians had been wounded, 433 of them seriously. The figures were current to May 26.

NATO has denied killing large numbers of civilians, and foreign reporters in Tripoli have not been shown evidence of large numbers of civilian casualties.

Asked why the authorities had not shown large numbers of casualties to foreign media, Ibrahim said this was because the casualties had not been concentrated near Tripoli but scattered across the country.

Robot

Pentagon moves to classify cyber-attacks (which it launches) as 'acts of war'

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Pentagon has concluded that the laws of armed conflict can be widened to embrace cyberwarfare

The US government is rewriting its military rule book to make cyber-attacks a possible act of war, giving commanders the option of launching retaliatory military strikes against hackers backed by hostile foreign powers.

The Pentagon has concluded that the laws of armed conflict can be widened to embrace cyberwarfare in order to allow the US to respond with the use of force against aggressive assaults on its computer and IT infrastructure.

The move, to be unveiled in a US department of defence strategy document next month, is a significant step towards the militarisation of cyberspace, with huge implications for international law.

Pentagon officials disclosed the decision to the Wall Street Journal, saying it was designed to send a warning to any hacker threatening US security by attacking its nuclear reactors, pipelines or public networks such as mass transport systems. "If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks," an official said.

Comment: Yes, the Cyber War on Cyber Terror is brought to you by... the Pentagon:

Stuxnet Worm is the "Work of a National Government Agency"

We explained how it works in Connecting the Dots two years ago:
By Way of Deception, Thou Shalt Do CyberWar

Set against a background of media hystrionics about cybercrime and claims of multimillion-fold increases in 'cyberattacks' against American government and corporate websites, Team Obama announced the introduction of a new CyberSecurity Office within the White House, complete with Cyber Czar to coordinate policy. With its emphasis on 'defensive' strategy to counter the threat posed by those cybercriminals 'out there', we naturally wonder if the timing relates to the announcement earlier this summer of the Pentagon's new CyberCommand (CYBERCOM) unit, whose definition of the concept of 'defensive strategy' is somewhat more plastic. If past activities are anything to go by, we can expect the Pentagon to preemptively launch cyberwarfare against cyberterrorists by engaging in . . . cyberterrorism.

Never wanting to feel left out of imperial projects for total world domination, the UK followed up with an announcement of its own: "this [cyber security] work was previously handled by an office related to the security services, and it will now be widened out." In other words; we are making overt what we've been doing covertly for some time because the conditions are now suitable for us to come out and tell you that we hate you and seek to watch everything you do, say, buy and think in order to control you.

Every cyberwar needs good cyberwarriors. If soldiers are hired killers, then the Pentagon's virtual warfare requires hired hackers. Profiteers in death like Raytheon are only too happy to step up to the plate and announce its recruitment drive:
"President Obama recently announced that cyber security is one of our country's most urgent national security priorities," reads the ad. "Raytheon is answering that call by hiring more cyber warriors this year to help fight the digital cyber war."

Raytheon also has positions available for something called "media sanitation specialists."

The latter probably refers to workers skilled at erasing data from hard drives and other storage.
Lest there be any doubt as to the 'defensive' nature of these new weapons of mass disruption, the military makes it quite clear that it will be 'taking the battlefield to the enemy':
The Pentagon plan calls for an offensive capacity, one that will deploy cyber weapons against imperialism's adversaries [...] designating CYBERCOM a STRATCOM branch all but guarantees an aggressive posture.

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© Unknown
NSA: Meet the new boss, even worse than the old
Others within the defense bureaucracy are far more enthusiastic, and forthright, when it comes to recommending that cyber armaments be fielded as offensive weapons of war. Indeed,

Armed Forces Journal
featured a lengthy analysis advocating precisely that:
The world has abandoned a fortress mentality in the real world, and we need to move beyond it in cyberspace. America needs a network that can project power by building an af.mil robot network (botnet) that can direct such massive amounts of traffic to target computers that they can no longer communicate and become no more useful to our adversaries than hunks of metal and plastic. America needs the ability to carpet bomb in cyberspace to create the deterrent we lack. (Col. Charles W. Williamson III, "Carpet Bombing in Cyberspace," Armed Forces Journal, May 2008)
Infected computers are referred to as "zombies" that can be controlled remotely from any point on the planet by "master" machines. Unwary users are often "spoofed" by hackers through counterfeit e-mails replete with embedded hyperlinks into "cooperating" with the installation of malicious code.

While criminals employ botnets to generate spam or commit fraudulent transactions, draining a savings account or running-up credit card debt through multiple purchases for example, botnets also have the capacity to launch devastating distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks against inadequately defended computers or indeed, entire networks.

In other words, should an "individual theatre commander" desire to suddenly darken a city or wreck havoc on a nation's electrical infrastructure at the behest of his political masters then by all means, go right ahead!
These operations will deny, degrade, disrupt, destroy, or deceive an adversary. We will enhance our capabilities to conduct electronic systems attack, electromagnetic systems interdiction and attack, network attack, and infrastructure attack operations.
Simply put, the Pentagon intends to build an infrastructure fully-capable of committing high-tech war crimes.
And the best part about it is. . . CyberCommand will be placed in the capable hands of the NSA, that same ubiquitous behemoth super-spy agency responsible for spying on millions of American citizens during the Bush years. It becomes apparent that Obama's Cyber Czar office for cyber crimes is really political cover for the entrenchment of everything illegal the media created a false hoopla over towards the end of Bush's reign.

'Cyberterrorists' conveniently christened the new regime by hacking websites in a Denial of Service (DoS) attack we are told continued for several days. Sites affected were located in South Korea and the US, the most high-profile of which was the White House website, hit on July 4th no less. While a US government spokesman reassured us on the one hand "that these types of Internet attacks happen everyday on government networks", that government sites were unaffected and that it was premature to say whodunnit, South Korea's intelligence agency immediately fingered North Korea as the source.

As we noted at the time,
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© Unknown
Kim Jong Il as the bad guy marionette puppet in the movie Team America, World Police
the nature of global IT systems are such that 'cyber attacks' can be made to appear to come from any source. Given the benign effects this attack produced, we think it more probable that this was an 'in-house' test of operational capabilities, especially coming so soon after the White House announcement that CYBERCOM is operational and will soon be interfering with internal affairs in a country near you.

Furthermore, framing North Korea conveniently fits its current role as useful bogeyman and deflects attention from certain other countries currently deploying cyber attacks in geo-political hotspots.
Well the Americans got one thing right when they said it was premature to identify the source of the attacks, because an investigation later found the source to be the UK:
We found a master server located in UK which controls all of the 8 C&C servers to make a series of cyber-attack last week. So the source of the attacks has been identified to be in UK. The existence of master server has never been reported before.

there have been 166,908 zombies from 74 countries around the world that have been used for the attacks.
Remember what was said above:
Infected computers are referred to as "zombies" that can be controlled remotely from any point on the planet by "master" machines. Unwary users are often "spoofed" by hackers through counterfeit e-mails replete with embedded hyperlinks into "cooperating" with the installation of malicious code.
This appears to be how this 'false-flag cyber operation' was executed.

Given that it was South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) which jumped the gun to lay the blame at North Korea's feet, we should perhaps bear in mind that the NIS was
"trained-up fierce" by the CIA and the Pentagon, the South Korean intelligence service has been involved in some of the worst human rights abuses in East Asia.

In 1980, the Army's feared "Black Beret" Special Forces and the KCIA were given a 'green light' by Washington to suppress a pro-democracy uprising in the southern city of Kwangju in which some 2,000 students and workers were massacred; hundreds more were "disappeared," tortured and imprisoned.
Cyberwarfare takes many forms, ranging from Israel's round-the-clock "internet warfare team", a veritable army of paid liars trolling internet websites to ward off any criticism of Israel's slow genocide of Palestine . . .
"To all intents and purposes the internet is a theatre in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we must be active in that theatre, otherwise we will lose," said Ilan Shturman, who is responsible for the project.
. . . to sabotaging a counterpart's systems through botnet or DoS attacks of varying sophistication:
In the late 1990s, a computer specialist from Israel's Shin Bet internal security service hacked into the mainframe of the Pi Glilot fuel depot north of Tel Aviv. It was meant to be a routine test of safeguards at the strategic site. But it also tipped off the Israelis to the potential such hi-tech infiltrations offered for real sabotage.

"Once inside the Pi Glilot system, we suddenly realised that, aside from accessing secret data, we could also set off deliberate explosions, just by programming a re-route of the pipelines," said a veteran of the Shin Bet drill." So began a cyberwarfare project which, a decade on, is seen by independent experts as the likely new vanguard of Israel's efforts to foil the nuclear ambitions of its arch-foe Iran.

"Cyberwar has the advantage of being clandestine and deniable," Scott Borg, director of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, which advises various Washington agencies on cyber security.
We naturally wonder if Israel and the US are already targeting Iran's systems with "real sabotage"? Think of the pivotal role new media played in "amplifying the effect of (and the impression of) internal protests" following the presidential election and the two airplane 'accidents' in quick succession this month, resulting in the deaths of 185 people. US psychopaths-in-power have even called for precisely the scenario outlined above by the Shin Bet officer:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a leading Republican hawk, called Sunday for the United States to "sabotage" Iran's oil and gas industry to trigger an economic crisis that would bring about regime change.
While the corporate media gently breaks this 'new' sphere of cyberwarfare to the public mind by making the whole concept seem 'a-ways-off', in reality . . . it's not. Cyberwarfare is here and now, and it offers unlimited potential for clandestine activities that are difficult to trace or which can easily be made to appear to originate from designated third-party nation-states or 'terrorists'.

James Corbett has written an excellent report examining the potential, even probable, misuse of technology that may have played a crucial role in destabilising US defense systems on 9/11 - a parallel "Cyber 9/11" that explains the radar jamming, NORAD standing down and general systems confusion that took place on that fateful day. FBI agents were blocked from pursuing this thread from on high:
What the cyber security establishment does not want you to know is that the most incredible cyber terrorist story of all time began 15 years ago. And it centers on 9/11. The establishment is interested in suppressing this story because it demonstrates that the very investigative bodies that are clamoring for more power on the pretext of the "cyber terror" hysteria are the exact same bodies that failed to investigate the documentable links between government-designated terrorists and a software company with direct access to some of the most sensitive computer systems in the United States. FBI agents whose investigation into this story were suppressed have even said that these investigations could have prevented 9/11.

"Enterprise architecture software" refers to a computer program that allows someone to look at all of the data produced throughout an organization's structure in real time. This effectively gives the program user a god's-eye view of an enterprise, allowing for the mapping, visualization and analysis of all transactions, interactions, systems, processes and personnel in the entirety of a business or agency.

The utility of such software for organizations of all stripes should be obvious enough. It is unsurprising, then, that numerous government agencies and powerful corporations were hungry for this software in the 1990s.

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© CorbettReport.com
For two years prior to 9/11, Ptech [an IT firm contracted through DARPA to use enterprise architecture software] was working to identify potential problems or weaknesses in the FAA's response plans to events like a terrorist hijacking of a plane over U.S. airspace. Ptech had free reign to examine every FAA system and process for dealing with the exact type of event that was to occur on 9/11. Even more incredible, researcher Indira Singh points out that Ptech was specifically analyzing the potential interoperability problems between the FAA, NORAD and the Pentagon in the event of an emergency over U.S. airspace.

Ptech also presumably had operational information about the systems that the FAA, NORAD and others employed during crisis response exercises like Vigilant Guardian, the NORAD exercise that was taking place on 9/11 and included simulations of hijacked jets being flown into New York and hijacked jets being flown into government buildings. This is significant because there is every indication that just such drills were confusing NORAD's response to the real hijackings that were taking place that day.

In short, Ptech's software was running on the critical systems responding to the attacks of 9/11 on 9/11 itself. The software was designed for the express purpose of giving its users a complete overview of all the data flowing through an organization in real time. The father of enterprise architecture himself, John Zachman, explained that with Ptech-type software installed on a sensitive server "You would know where the access points are, you'd know how to get in, you would know where the weaknesses are, you'd know how to destroy it."
Going back to the early 1980s similarly valuable software-turned-spyware, called PROMIS, designed to extract data from the systems of both enemy and ally, left a trail of destruction linking the CIA and Mossad to clandestine activities. You can watch a three-part video of the forerunner to today's brand of cyberwarfare here. There's nothing new under the sun it seems . . .



2 + 2 = 4

Goldman Sachs 'lost' (stole) 98% of Gaddafi's $1.3bn investment

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© Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York. The bank invested Gadddafi's money to buy options in currencies and shares amid turmoil in the markets.
As compensation Goldman Sachs offered to turn Gaddafi into one of its top investors, the Wall Street Journal reports

A bitter rift has opened up between the world's most powerful bank and one of its most fearsome dictators after Goldman Sachs invested $1.3bn (£790m) of Colonel Gaddafi's money - and lost virtually all of it.

According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, Goldman offered to make Gaddafi one of its biggest investors as compensation for losing 98% of the money the Wall Street firm invested on behalf of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA). This left the $53bn Gaddifi-controlled sovereign wealth fund, which elsewhere has stakes in companies such as Financial Times-owner Pearson and BP, with just $25.1m of the money it entrusted to Goldman.

The fund, which has soared in value in recent years on the back of Libya's growing oil wealth, was frozen by the EU and United Nations in February because of its close links with the Gaddafi family.

War Whore

NATO's Summer of War: US-EU Death Machine expands its war of terror against Libyan civilians

NATO has declared its extending its operation in Libya by another three months. The alliance chief says this decision is meant to prove to Muammar Gaddafi that the alliance is determined to fulfil the UN mandate. Let's cross live to James Corbett an editor of an independent news website to discuss the latest developments.