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"Pawn in larger US government plot" - Haskells interviewed on Fox about US intel patsy, the 'Underwear Bomber'

Comment: Detroit attorneys Kurt and Lori Haskell witnessed the bizarre incident at Amsterdam's Schipol airport in which the so-called "Underwear Bomber", 16 year old Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was led through the gates and onto Flight 253 to Detroit without either an airline ticket or a passport, by a "well-dressed man" of Indian complexion and an American accent, who reassured the airline's flight desk officer that "we do this all the time". Abdulmutallab's trial is coming up soon and the Haskells are confident their story will be heard. We pray for their safety in the meantime...


Comment: The Underwear Bomber - Crushing Freedom With Phony Arab Terrorism

Underwear Bomber Redux - Was Mutallab An Israeli "Secret Weapon"?

Haskell Blows Whistle on Underwear Bomber, Government Op


Laptop

U.S. Anti-Child Pornography Operation Accidentally Shuts Down 84,000 Sites

monitor w/ eye
© n/a
In an effort to crack down on child pornography, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the seizure of 10 domains as a part of a new initiative called "Operation Protect Our Children" but they also shut down 84,000 seemingly innocent sites in the process.

"For all its positive impact, the Internet has also unfortunately created a new way for child predators to commit their inexcusable crimes," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the DOJ in a statement. "The production and distribution of child pornography wreak havoc on innocent lives. With these domain seizures, we are taking our fight against child pornography to websites that facilitate the exchange of these abusive images."

The press release did not contain the names of the ten domains that were seized. However, the domain mooo.com, a part of the DNS provider FreeDNS was shut down in the process, with sites using the domain to host their pages displaying a banner reading as follows:
"Advertisement, distribution, transportation, receipt, and possession of child pornography constitute federal crimes that carry penalties for first time offenders of up to 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution."

Laptop

House Republicans Move To Block FCC Internet Regulations

Rep. Greg Walden
© AP
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., sponsor of the amendment.
House Republicans on Thursday moved to block the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing new rules that prohibit broadband providers from interfering with Internet traffic on their networks.

With a 244-181 vote, Republican leaders succeeded in attaching an amendment to a sweeping spending bill that would bar the FCC from using government money to implement its new "network neutrality" regulations.

The rules prohibit phone and cable companies from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services, including online calling services like Skype and Web video services like Netflix that could compete with their core operations. The FCC's three Democrats voted to adopt the regulations late last year over the opposition of the agency's two Republicans.

The rules are already facing court challenges from Verizon Communications Inc. and Metro PCS Communications Inc. Republicans in both chambers of Congress have introduced legislation to try to repeal the rules outright.

Display

FBI Urges Congress to Expand Internet Wiretapping

control room
© n/a
The FBI urged members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security on Thursday to update the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and make it easier for authorities to eavesdrop on Internet.

The act was passed in 1994 and requires telecommunication companies to design their equipment and services to ensure that law enforcement and national security officials can monitor telephone and other communications whenever necessary.

"Over the years, through interpretation of the statute by the Federal Communications Commission, the reach of CALEA has been expanded to include facilities-based broadband internet access and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services that are fully inter-connected with the public switched telephone network," FBI General Counsel Valeria Caproni told the subcommittee.

"Although that expansion of coverage has been extremely helpful, CALEA does not cover popular Internet-based communications modalities such as webmail, social networking sites or peer-to-peer services."

"As a result, although the government may obtain a court order authorizing the collection of certain communications, it often serves that order on a provider who does not have an obligation under CALEA to be prepared to execute it," she explained. "Such providers may not have intercept capabilities in place at the time that they receive the order."

Nuke

Russia May Deploy Rockets on Southern Kurils

Image
© Sergey Ponomarev / AP
Members of the Stal youth group picketing the Japanese Embassy with signs reading "The Kurils are our land."
Russia will send new air defense systems, possibly including S-400 rockets, to islands at the center of a territorial dispute with Japan, RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday, citing a General Staff source.

Russia, which occupied the four islands off Japan at the end of World War II, has pressed its claim to the territory with plans to boost investment and its military presence.

"The division will be given a brigade of air defense troops," the news agency quoted the General Staff source as saying.

The air defense systems will consist of short- and long-range weapons, possibly including the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system, he said.

Interfax quoted a General Staff source as denying the report. A spokesman for the Defense Ministry refused to confirm or deny it.

The Russian-made S-400 can intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers, meaning that they could hit aircraft, cruise missiles or ballistic missiles over Japan, RIA-Novosti said.

Star of David

Israel Warns It Might Act on Iranian Warships Passing Through Suez Canal

Image
© Reuters
An Iranian warship and speed boats take part in a naval war game in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, southern Iran on April 22, 2010.
Israel is monitoring two Iranian warships about to pass through the Suez Canal for Syria and warn they might act.

The Israeli Navy will be tracking the two warships as they cross the Suez Canal for the Mediterranean Sea, according to defense officials.

Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement that it had alerted "friendly nations" about the warships, Reuters reports.

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says that "Israel cannot ignore these provocations," according to ynetnews.com.

"Unfortunately, the international community is not ready to deal with Iran's repeated provocations," Lieberman said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Lieberman added that the warships were "a provocation that proves Iran's nerve and self-esteem is growing from day to day."

The Egyptian body that runs the Suez Canal denied the claim.

Ahmed el-Manakhli, head of the canal operations room, said warships must get permission 48 hours before crossing, and "so far, we have not been notified."

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in an e-mailed statement that "Israel is closely following the movements of the Iranian ships and has updated friendly states on the issue. Israel will continue to follow the ships movements."

Eye 1

US: Obama Allocates $44 Billion for Homeland Security to Purchase Hundreds More Health-destroying Naked Body Scanners

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The Obama administration recently announced its $3.73 trillion dollar budget plan for the 2012 fiscal year beginning on October 1. The new budget includes a more than $44 billion allocation for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to purchase 275 more naked body scanners to be installed at U.S. airports, despite continued outcry from health experts and the public about the machines' safety hazards, threats to personal privacy, and complete ineffectiveness.

Up three percent from last year's budget, the DHS allocation is just the start of the Obama administration's efforts to have 1,275 naked body scanners installed in airports by the end of 2012. The plan disregards the numerous testimonies from security experts who have dubbed the machines "useless," and say they fail to detect explosive materials any better than conventional scanners.

"I don't know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines," said Rafi Sela, former chief of security at the Israel Airport Authority and expert in airport security. "I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747. That's why we haven't put them in our airport."

The machines are also a huge health threat, as they bombard travelers with low intensity radiation in a way that spreads it across the skin of the entire body. This full-body radioactive blast has not been fully investigated and nobody knows for sure what the long-term consequences of exposure will be.

Bad Guys

CIA & Pentagon Knew Their Methods Were Torture

abhu gahraib
© unknown
The CIA and Pentagon used "enhanced interrogation techniques"(EIT) on Middle East prisoners knowing they were illegal and considered to be torture by the United Nations, according to an article published in the January issue of the American magazine Science.

Tortures including sensory deprivation, forced nudity, and painful body positions were "routinely applied to detainees in U.S. custody in at least three theaters of operation and an unknown number of (CIA) 'black sites,'" the article states. The U.S. did this "despite the fact that each EIT was considered torture by the United Nations and the United States (had) recognized them as such in its reports on human rights practices."

Entitled, "Bad Science Used to Support Torture and Human Experimentation," the Science article was written by noted physicians Vincent Iacopino, Scott Allen, and Allen S. Keller. Dr. Iacopino is a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine; Dr. Keller is director of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture; and Dr. Scott Allen, associate professor of medicine and co-director of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at Alpert Medical School, Brown University. All three are consultants to Physicians for Human Rights, of Cambridge, Mass.

Life Preserver

Obama Reassures Jordan King of U.S. Support

jordan
© unknown
The president made a weekend call to Jordanian King Abdullah II to assure him of U.S. support, but also to say that Washington wants Jordan to move toward reform.

With protests rocking the Middle East, the Obama administration is reaching out to King Abdullah II of Jordan, trying to reassure a badly shaken ally of its support even as it calls for greater political freedom across the Arab world.

Abdullah has been among the leaders alarmed by the popular uprising that toppled Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia's President Zine el Abidine ben Ali, expressing his anxiety to Washington over the steadiness of U.S. support for its friends in the region.

Seeking to ease those fears, President Obama called the king over the weekend and has dispatched a procession of top officials to Jordan to reassure him of Washington's support. The emissaries included the State Department's No. 3 official, William J. Burns, and the top U.S. military officer, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael G. Mullen.

Jordan's royal family is facing popular demands for more open government while also coming under pressure from the nation's tribal leaders, traditional supporters of the government. At the same time, the Obama administration is pressing for changes that could discomfit the king and his aides.

"You can't maintain power through coercion.... At some level, in any society, there has to be consent," Obama said at a Tuesday news conference, adding that people armed with nothing more than "a smart phone and Twitter account can mobilize hundreds of thousands."

Laptop

Israeli General Claims Stuxnet Attacks as One of His Successes

stuxnet graphic
© unknown
The latest results of a Symantec study concentrating on the Stuxnet worm revealed that its developers knew what they were doing - once finished, it took only 12 hours to infect the first target.

The study also concluded that the Stuxnet attacks can be dated back to June 2009 - more than a year prior to it being first discovered by security experts - and that its intial targets were five separate organizations that have a presence in Iran and most of which have been attacked at various points through 2009 and 2010.

Last month, The New York Times ran a story about Stuxnet having been developed by the Americans and the Israelis as a part of a joint project, but it was based on the claims by confidential sources and there was only circumstantial evidence that would corroborate them.

But, it now seems that the information from these sources was correct. The Haaretz - Israel's oldest daily newspaper - reports (via Google Translate) about the a surprising video that was played at a party organized for General Gabi Ashkenazi's last day on the job.

The video contained references to the successes he achieved during his stint as chief of staff, and enumerated among them was the Stuxnet worm attack on Iran's uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and and the nuclear reactor at Bushehr.

There is always the possibility that this was just a way of magnifying the General's achievements, but it is also possible it is true. As we all know, Israel has never commented on the speculations about its involvement in the attacks.