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Wed, 21 Apr 2021
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Missing Iraq money may have been stolen, auditors say

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© Alex Wong, Getty Images
Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills, pictured last month, has held hearings on waste and fraud in Iraq.
U.S. Defense officials still cannot say what happened to $6.6 billion, sent by the planeload in cash and intended for Iraq's reconstruction after the start of the war.

After the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the George W. Bush administration flooded the conquered country with so much cash to pay for reconstruction and other projects in the first year that a new unit of measurement was born.

Pentagon officials determined that one giant C-130 Hercules cargo plane could carry $2.4 billion in shrink-wrapped bricks of $100 bills. They sent an initial full planeload of cash, followed by 20 other flights to Iraq by May 2004 in a $12-billion haul that U.S. officials believe to be the biggest international cash airlift of all time.

Propaganda

'Gay Girl in Damascus' hoaxer acted out of 'vanity'


Tom MacMaster, heterosexual American, contrite over fictional lesbian blogger 'Amina Abdallah Aral al Omari'

The male American PhD student who confessed to being an internet hoaxer masquerading as a lesbian blogger in Damascus has spoken publicly about the reasons behind his deception, saying he was motivated, in part, by his own "vanity".

Gay activists in Syria and further afield have reacted furiously to the revelation that the blog, A Gay Girl in Damascus, was written not by a 35-year-old woman kidnapped by security forces last week, but by Tom MacMaster, a married, 40-year-old American studying at Edinburgh University.

Speaking via Skype video to the Guardian, MacMaster, who is on holiday in Istanbul with his wife, expressed some contrition for the blog, which he began in February after constructing an elaborate web identity for Amina Abdallah Aral al Omari, a fictional lesbian Syrian, over more than four years.

Attention

Prelude to Regime Change: Psy-Ops against Syria confirmed as US man admits to hoaxing Syrian 'Lesbian Activist Blogger'

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© facebook
Psychopath: Tom MacMaster, 40, an American studying in Scotland, admits he made up a lesbian blogger to assist US propaganda against the Syrian government
The true identity of internationally renowned blogger 'A Gay Girl in Damascus' has been revealed as a 40-year-old American man.

Tom MacMaster, a student at the University of Edinburgh, wrote an apology on the blog today, confessing that the entire thing was a hoax.

His admission came after days of questioning and pressure by suspicious readers who did not buy the story that 'blogger' Amina Arraf, a lesbian Syrian-American living in Damascus, had been arrested.

In his post today MacMaster, writing from Istanbul in Turkey where he is on holiday with his wife Britta Froelicher, admitted his narrative was fictional.

But he insisted the blog, popular with thousands around the world, 'created an important voice for issues I feel strongly about'.

He claimed he had never expected so much attention.

Nuke

Report: Japan offers to enrich uranium for Iran

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© Reuters
Nikkei business daily reports proposal for Japan to enrich uranium for Tehran was floated in December, with US approval

Japan has offered to enrich uranium for Iran to allow it access to nuclear power while allaying international fears it might be seeking an atomic weapon, the Nikkei business daily reported Wednesday.

Tehran had not yet given a concrete response, but the issue was expected to be discussed Wednesday in Tokyo by Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani and Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, the daily said in an online report.

Gear

Attack of the NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations)

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© Unknown
One rarely hears of it. Few elected officials raise an eyebrow. The media makes no mention of it. But power is slowly slipping away from our elected representatives. In much the same way Mao Tse-tung had his Red Guards, so the UN has its NGOs They may well be your masters of tomorrow, and you don't even know who or what they are.

There are, in fact, two parallel, complimentary forces operating in the world, working together to advance the global Sustainable Development agenda, ultimately heading toward UN global governance. Those two forces are the UN itself and non-governmental organizations (NGOs.)

Beginning with the United Nations, the infrastructure pushing the Sustainable Development agenda is a vast, international matrix. At the top of the heap is the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). Created in 1973 by the UN General Assembly, the UNEP is the catalyst through which the global environmental agenda is implemented. Virtually all of the international environmental programs and policy changes that have occurred globally in the past three decades are the result of UNEP efforts.

But the UNEP doesn't operate on its own. Influencing it and helping to write policy are thousands of non- governmental organizations (NGOs). These are private groups which seek to implement a specific political agenda. Through the UN infrastructure, particularly through the UNEP, they have great power.

The phrase "non-governmental organization" came into use with the establishment of the United Nations Organization in 1945 with provisions in Article 71 of Chapter 10 of the United Nations Charter. The term describes a consultative role for organizations that are neither government nor member states of the UN.

NGOs are not just any private group hoping to influence policy. True NGOs are officially sanctioned by the United Nations. Such status was created by UN Resolution #1296 in 1948, giving NGOs official "Consultative" status to the UN. That means they can not only sit in on international meetings, but can actively participate in creating policy, right along side government representatives.

Bad Guys

Media: The Spreading of False Ideologies into our Culture

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© n/a
"Propaganda Steers our Opinion Exactly where it is Intended to Go."

By its own definition it is media's job to tell us about ourselves and the world around us, to enable us to make informed decisions in a democratic society. That's the theory.

Now, let's look at reality:

Media has become a mirror of the disconnected state that humanity finds itself in. News, current affairs, even the dramas and reality TV shows that entertain us serve to exacerbate the religion of polarity being reflected back to us in all its forms - materialism, hatred, killing, idolization and separation. Almost all television, be it sagas and melodramas or daily news, is as addictive as any drug. This single dimensional 'pulpit' from which media preaches to us (often in the centre of our living rooms) actually seeds many of our negative behavior patterns in day-to-day life.

Vader

Learned Helplessness - first smoking, then obesity will be made illegal


War Whore

Up to No Good: 'New war likely on Bilderberg agenda'

RT's Bill Dod talks to Tony Gosling, an investigative journalist from Bristol, UK, about what might be the main agenda behind all the security and closed doors at this year's meeting of the Bilderberg Group in Switzerland.


Dollar

Whose revolution is it anyway? IMF rolls out $3 billion bailout to keep Mubarack's men on top of pyramid

International bankers are preparing to hand out a massive loan to Egypt's temporary leaders, just months after praising the financial growth overseen by the FORMER regime. The money's aimed at relaunching the economy, but the number of conditions attached to the cash is likely to weigh hard on ordinary people. And as Paula Slier reports, some people fear Egypt's sovereignty is being sold off.


Handcuffs

Bahraini activist imprisoned and tortured for reading poem at protest

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A picture posted on the internet by a campaign seeking Qurmezi's freedom.
A Bahraini security court has issued a one-year jail sentence against a human rights activist and poetess for her participation in anti-regime protests.

Ayat al-Qurmezi was convicted by the Lower National Safety Court on Sunday for 'inciting hatred and participating in illegal gatherings,' Xinhua reported.

The 20-year-old is the first woman to face trial in the regime's violent crackdown against the peaceful public protests since February. The demonstrators have been calling for an end to the Al Khalifa family's over-40-year-old rule over the Persian Gulf Island.

The court has already sentenced several people to death over the protests.

On March 14, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates deployed troops in Bahrain at Manama's request to help crush the nationwide anti-government rallies.