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It's The Oil, Stupid: Anglo-Saxon Oil Cartel (and France) Conspired to Carve Up Libya's Oil Pie BEFORE Invasion

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© Veterans Today
Rebel leaders dismiss suggestions that firm promises have been made, but supportive countries look set to benefit

The starting pistol has been fired on bids by Britain and other western powers to secure a slice of the oil prize in Libya when France said it was "fair and logical" for its companies to benefit.

Alain Juppé, the French foreign minister, planted his flag in the sand as the Guardian was told that BP was already holding private talks with members of Libya's interim government.

Libya is a vital energy producer, and BP had previously committed itself to spending more than $1bn on exploration plans under Muammar Gaddafi's government.

Shell was also becoming active before the civil war broke out, as was Total of France, but the conflict over the past few months has brought the country's existing oil production of 1.6m barrels a day - 2% of the world's total - to a halt.

War Whore

It's The Oil, Stupid: British Government Admits Designs on Libyan Oil Precede Invasion

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"So we arm the rebels and direct them to do our bidding... et voila!" 'Development' Minister Alan Duncan is the delighted psychopath on the right.
International development minister took part in meetings between officials and firm for which he had acted as a consultant

The government has admitted that the international development minister, Alan Duncan, took part in meetings between officials operating a Whitehall cell to control the Libyan oil market and Vitol - a company for which Duncan has previously acted as a consultant.

The "Libyan oil cell" involved a group of officials working in the Foreign Office since May waging a quiet campaign against Muammar Gaddafi's regime by controlling the flow of oil in the country.

It is said to have played a discreet but crucial role in the campaign in Libya by helping to enforce the sanctions regime to prevent Gaddafi importing and exporting oil while allowing oil to reach the rebels in the east. That oil came via one company, Vitol.

Star of David

Turkey expels Israeli diplomats after UN report

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Friday Israel's diplomatic presence in Turkey was being cut to second secretary level, effectively expelling Israeli diplomats in protest over an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound ship that killed nine Turks.

"Turkey-Israel diplomatic relations have been reduced to a second secretary level. All personnel above the second secretary level will return to their countries by Wednesday at the latest," Davutoglu told a news conference. Israel's ambassador Gabby Levy was currently in Israel and cancelled plans to return to Turkey on Thursday.

A long-awaited U.N. report on the raid, made public on Thursday, declared that Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip was legal, but that the Jewish state used unreasonable force.

Control Panel

US Department of Homeland Security warns of planned Anonymous attacks

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Bulletin from feds highlights group's Occupy Wall Street, Operation Facebook, Project Mayhem campaigns

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today issued a somewhat unusual bulletin warning the security community about the planned activities of hacking collective Anonymous over the next few months.

The bulletin, issued by the DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), warns financial services companies especially to be on the lookout for attempts by Anonymous to "solicit ideologically dissatisfied, sympathetic employees" to their cause.

Anonymous has recently used Twitter to try and persuade dissatisfied employees within the financial sector to give them information and access. Though such attempts appear to have been largely unsuccessful so far, "unwilling coercion through embarrassment or blackmail may be a risk to personnel," the bulletin warned.

Robot

Revealed: Fake Facebook Identity Used By Military Contractors Plotting To Hack Progressive Organizations

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Corporate hacker Aaron Barr draws inspiration from Maxim magazine for his fake persona army.
Earlier this year, ThinkProgress obtained 75,000 private emails from the defense contractor HBGary Federal via the hacktivist group called Anonymous. The emails led to two shocking revelations. First, that an assortment of private military firms collectively called "Team Themis" had been tapped by Bank of America to conduct a cyber war against reporters sympathetically covering the Wikileaks revelations. And second, that late in 2010, the same set of firms began work separately for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a Republican-aligned corporate lobbying group, to develop a similar campaign of sabotage against progressive organizations, including the SEIU and ThinkProgress.

In presentations obtained by ThinkProgress from the e-mail dump detailing the tactics potentially used against progressives, HBGary Federal floated the idea of using "fake insider personas" to infiltrate left-leaning groups critical of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's policies. As HBGary Federal executive Aaron Barr described in several emails, his firm could work with partner companies Palantir and Berico Technologies to manipulate fake online identities, using networks like Facebook, to gain access to private information from his targets. Other presentations are more specific and describe efforts to use social media to hack computers and find vulnerabilities among even the families of people who work at organizations critical of the Chamber.

Gear

Files show MI6, CIA ties to Libya: reports

Files found in Tripoli show strong cooperation between US and British intelligence agencies and Muammar Gaddafi's government, including shipping terror suspects to Libya for interrogation, media reports say.

The Central Intelligence Agency, under the administration of then-president George W. Bush, brought terror suspects to Libya and suggested questions Libyan interrogators should ask them, The Wall Street Journal said on Friday, citing documents found at the headquarters of Libya's External Security agency.

Meanwhile, British daily The Independent said the secret documents also show that Britain passed details of exiled opponents to Gaddafi's spies.

Dollar

U.S. Debt Held by Public Tops $10T for 1st Time - Up 59 Percent Under Obama

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© The Associated Press/Evan Vucci
President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
At the close of business on Aug. 31--for the first time in the history of the country--the publicly held debt of the federal government topped $10 trillion, according to data released by the U.S. Treasury Department at 4:00 p.m. yesterday.

During Obama's presidency, debt held by the public has now increased by $3.71694 trillion--or almost 59 percent from the $6.3073 trillion in debt held by the public that the government owed to its creditors on Jan. 20, 2009, when Obama was inaugurated.

Also, according to the most recent reports available from the Treasury and the Federal Reserve, approximately $6.1 trillion of that debt - or about 61 percent of it - is owned by foreign interests (led by the Chinese and the Japanese) and by the Federal Reserve.

At the close of business on Aug. 30, as reported by the Treasury Department's Bureau of the Public Debt, the federal government's debt held by the public equaled $9,990,126,772,846.86. By the close of business on Aug. 31, it was $10,024,253,354,407.07.

The Treasury divides the debt of the U.S. government into two general categories: "debt held by the public" and "intragovermental" debt.

Bad Guys

Is the Obama Administration Putting Corporate Profits Above Public Health?

One reason I supported President Obama is because he said we must protect clean air, water and lands. But what good is it to say the right thing unless you act on it?

Since early August, three administration decisions -- on Arctic drilling, the Keystone XL pipeline and the ozone that causes smog -- have all favored dirty industry over public health and a clean environment. Like so many others, I'm beginning to wonder just where the man stands


Comment: Beginning to wonder? Would say that is long over due.


For months, the Environmental Protection Agency has been poised to issue new ozone rules to reduce the smog that causes asthma attacks and other respiratory ills. We badly need these new standards, which the EPA estimates could prevent 12,000 premature deaths a year.

On Friday, though, the White House put the new rules on ice. The result: these vital protections will be delayed until at least 2013 - conveniently after next year's presidential election.

MIB

Gadhafi Regime and CIA Co-Operated on Rendition of Terror Suspects, Documents Show

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© The Associated Press/Francois Mori
Libyan rebels' Tripoli military commander Abdel Hakim Belhaj, center, and Misrata field Commander Salahidin Badi, left, Military adviser Mustapha Mohamed, right, pose after an interview with the Associated Press inTripoli, Libya, in this Wednesday Aug. 31, 2011 file photo. Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a former leader of an Islamic militant group that sent fighters to Iraq and Afghanistan, insisted Friday that the new Libya will shun extremism and won't become a breeding ground for terrorism. Belhaj, said he was detained in 2004 in Malaysia and sent to a secret prison in Thailand where he claimed he was tortured by CIA agents. Then he was sent to Libya and jailed for seven years by Moammar Gadhafi's regime.
The CIA and other Western intelligence agencies worked closely with the ousted regime of Moammar Gadhafi, sharing tips and co-operating in handing over terror suspects for interrogation to a regime known to use torture, according to a trove of security documents discovered after the fall of Tripoli.

The revelations provide new details on the West's efforts to turn Libya's mercurial leader from foe to ally and provide an embarrassing example of the U.S. administration's collaboration with authoritarian regimes in the war on terror.

The documents, among tens of thousands found in an External Security building in Tripoli, show an increasingly warm relationship, with CIA agents proposing to set up a permanent Tripoli office, addressing their Libyan counterparts by their first names and giving them advice. In one memo, a British agent even sends Christmas greetings.

The agencies were known to co-operate as the longtime Libyan ruler worked to overcome his pariah status by stopping his quest for weapons of mass destruction and renouncing support for terrorism. But the new details show a more extensive relationship than was previously known, with Western agencies offering lists of questions for specific detainees and apparently the text for a Gadhafi speech.

They also offer a glimpse into the inner workings of the now-defunct CIA program of extraordinary rendition, through which terror suspects were secretly detained, sent to third countries and sometimes underwent the so-called enhanced interrogation tactics like waterboarding.

The documents mention a half dozen names of people targeted for rendition, including Tripoli's new rebel military commander, Abdel-Hakim Belhaj.

Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch, which helped find the documents, called the ties between Washington and Gadhafi's regime "A very dark chapter in American intelligence history."

Bad Guys

Carving up the Libya Corpse for Profit

Libya war for oil
On September 1, dozens of predator states met in Paris to pick apart Libya's bones even though it's breathing, if barely.

We've seen it before, notably in Iraq under Paul Bremer's 100 orders that turned the country into a cutthroat capitalist laboratory. Baghdad was open for business at fire sale prices with US and other Western firms having first dibs on everything.