Puppet MastersS

Star of David

Israel blocks witness in U.S. anti-terrorism case

© AP Photo/Hatem MoussaPalestinian female militants of the Islamic Jihad hold their weapons during a rally marking the 26th anniversary of the movement's foundation and marking the 18th anniversary of the death of the group's leader Fathi Shikaki, in Gaza City
The Israeli government prohibited a former security official from testifying in a landmark anti-terrorism case in the United States, court documents showed Saturday, drawing accusations from victims of Palestinian violence that the country was caving in to political pressure from China.

In a petition to an American federal court, the government asked to quash the deposition subpoena issued to the witness, who could have tipped the scales in a case filed by families of victims of suicide bombers who accuse the Bank of China of facilitating terrorist funding via branches in the United States.

In the motion, obtained by The Associated Press, Israel said that by providing knowledge he has of specific Israeli counterterrorism information the witness could divulge state secrets that would endanger Israel's national security.

But critics say Israel's actions are motivated by other considerations, namely that the testimony could jeopardize valuable trade ties with China.

Bizarro Earth

Toronto mayor Rob Ford charges, knocks over woman at council meeting; council strips him of powers

© AP
Toronto's City Council voted Monday to strip scandal-plagued Mayor Rob Ford of many of his powers following a heated debate in which he knocked over a female councilor.

Council members voted overwhelming to cut the 44-year-old Ford's office budget by 60 percent and allow mayoral staff to join the deputy mayor. Ford now effectively has no legislative power as he would no longer chair the executive committee.

Ford retains his title and ability to represent Toronto at official functions.

Ford called the effort a "coup d'etat" and vowed an "outright war" in the next election.

Toronto has been abuzz with the Ford melodrama since May, when news outlets reported that he had been caught on video smoking crack cocaine.

The debate on the motion became heated after Ford paced around the council chamber and traded barbs with members of the public. The speaker asked security to clear the chamber and a recess was called. Members of the public chanted "Shame! Shame!" at the mayor.


SOTT Focus: Spot the hypocrisy: Arctic Sunrise versus Mavi Marmara

Israeli commandos storm the Mavi Marmara in May 2010, killing 9 aid workers destined for besieged Gaza
On September 18th, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise participated in protests against oil drilling activities by the Russian energy company Gazprom at the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Arctic Sea. Greenpeace opposes oil drilling in the Arctic on the grounds that oil drilling would cause damage to the delicate ecosystem and that there are no safety plans in place to prevent oil spills.

The crew of Arctic Sunrise circled the oil rig, while three crew attempted to board the platform. In response, the Russian Coast Guard boarded the ship from a helicopter and arrested everyone onboard. Last week, Greenpeace released footage of the military raid:

30 Greenpeace activists were arrested, none of whom suffered any physical harm during the incident. They have since been detained and are awaiting court procedings. The Russian action was heavily criticised in the West, where it was used to once again demonise the Russians and show how barbaric and uncivilised they are.

The boarding of the Arctic Sunrise, and the subsequent media storm, reminded me of another ship that was boarded three years ago - the Mavi Marmara. This incident took place on May 31st, 2010 in international waters off the Easter Mediterranean coast. Below is some footage from the scene:


Indonesia recalls its Australian ambassador alleging phone-taps on President Yudhoyono

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
© AFP Photo / STR)Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Indonesia is recalling its ambassador to Australia over allegations that Canberra listened in on phone conversations of the Indonesian president.

Indonesia said the ambassador was being called to Jakarta for "consultations".

The move by Jakarta comes as the Australian Department of Defence and the Defence Signals Directorate, or DSD, (now known as the Australian Signals Directorate), has been accused of monitoring the phone calls of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife Kristiani Herawati, as well as eight other high-ranking officials, including the vice president, Boediono.


Geneva talks on Iran's nuclear program: Lavrov reveals amended draft circulated at "last moment", Russia not consulted

Sergey Lavrov
Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov. Is the U.S.'s puppet regime in Kiev planning on losing in E. Ukraine to engineer a new Cold War?
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed a crucial detail Thursday about last week's nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva that explains much more clearly than previous reports why the meeting broke up without agreement.

Lavrov said the United States circulated a draft that had been amended in response to French demands to other members of the six-power P5+1 for approval "literally at the last moment, when we were about to leave Geneva."

Lavrov's revelation, which has thus far been ignored by major news outlets, came in a news conference in Cairo Thursday that was largely devoted to Egypt and Syria. Lavrov provided the first real details about the circumstances under which Iran left Geneva without agreeing to the draft presented by the P5+1.

The full quote from Lavrov's press conference is available thanks to the report from Voice of Russia correspondent Ksenya Melnikova.

Lavrov noted that unlike previous meetings involving the P5+1 and Iran, "This time, the P5+1 group did not formulate any joint document."

Instead, he said, "There was an American-proposed draft, which eventually received Iran's consent." Lavrov thus confirmed the fact that the United States and Iran had reached informal agreement on a negotiating text.

Snakes in Suits

Prosecute HealthCare.gov?

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
The FTC has rules about deceptive advertising. But they don't apply to the government.

Conservatives often argue that the federal government should function more like a private business. Obamacare supporters should be grateful it does not, because otherwise HealthCare.gov would almost certainly run afoul of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as well as of the recently established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Orson Swindle, who served as an FTC commissioner from 1997 to 2005, says there are a number of practices that, if HealthCare.gov were a private entity, would result in its being "taken to the shed and horsewhipped" by government regulators.

President Obama's oft-repeated falsehood, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan" - something the administration knew was untrue - would almost certainly be a textbook case of deceptive advertising, punishable under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits "unfair or deceptive acts or practice in or affecting commerce." This includes a "representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer," such that the consumer would be "likely to have chosen differently but for the deception."

Other examples of potentially deceptive practices include the apparently deliberate decision to withhold information from HealthCare.gov visitors as to the actual prices of the policies offered via the exchanges. In fact, users aren't told how much those policies will cost until after they have created an account, which requires giving a slew of personal and financial information.

Cowboy Hat

'If they have to dry out in jail - great': Back in 2005, Ford said 'tough love' is the only way to battle drug use

© Peter J. Thompson/National PostToronto Mayor Rob Ford arrives at his City Hall offices on Friday May 17, 2013. In 2005, he said "harm reduction" strategies only encourage addicts to continue their drug use.
Rob Ford said 'tough love' is the only way to battle drug use in 2005

Rob Ford may not have had much to say about crack on Friday, but he had plenty to say in a story published in the National Post on October 18 of 2005. He spoke on the subject of the city's drug strategy, free pipes and safe inhalation sites. Here is that article in full:

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Toronto should consider building crematoria beside crack houses if the city's proposed drug strategy is implemented, city councillor Rob Ford warned yesterday.

The councillor, who has battled addiction in his own family, blasted a new report by Toronto Public Health on combating alcohol and drug use in the city. The report recommends the city distribute crack pipes and other paraphernalia to addicts and explore opening safe injection and inhalation sites.

Bad Guys

Leader of large Syrian terrorist brigade killed

Abdel Qader al-Saleh
© Associated PressIn this Aug. 13 citizen journalism image provided by the Tawheed Brigade and distributed through the Associated Press, Abdel Qader al-Saleh, left, speaks to his fighters ahead of an attack on government troops, in Aleppo, Syria.
The commander of the largest rebel brigade in northern Syria was killed Thursday, his group said Monday, in a setback for rebels increasingly struggling to maintain territory and make gains against the Syrian army and its allies.

Abdel Qader al-Saleh was the leader and one of the founders of the Islamist Tawheed Brigade, which numbers an estimated 4,000 fighters and is considered among the most effective on the ground, according to analysts, rebels and activists.

Mr. Saleh was hit in a government air attack on a Tawheed Brigade barracks north of Aleppo. He died in a hospital in Turkey, other commanders said.

The Syrian army has gained significant territory in recent weeks in areas near the capital Damascus and are making gains in the country's largest city of Aleppo, including breaking a monthslong rebel siege of Aleppo's airport.

Comment: So he once said that "This state will not be imposed by force", and yet he led an army of terrorists, who did all things possible to destroy Syria by force. In other words, the quote was only meant for consumption by the Western public, so that they could keep the image of supporting peace loving rebels. No doubt the Western media is feeling a little sad, as their much promoted regime change is fizzling out.


British police to patrol Irish streets

British Police
© Unknown
Police from England, Scotland and Wales could become a permanent feature of the PSNI's patrols in the north of Ireland as an alternative to the return of the British Army, it has emerged. PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott has said he has been forced to rely on British police reinforcements on a regular basis as a result of financial constraints.

Baggott called in more than 1,000 "back-ups" from British constabularies this summer to help local recruits cope with the loyalist marching season.

On Friday he told the Policing Board that he may require such support to be "camped here" on an ongoing basis due to budget limitations.

"If we get to the point of reducing numbers, as I suspect we may if the budget continues the way it is, then I will have mutual aid camped here," he told board members at a meeting in Omagh, County Tyrone.

"Now I don't want to do that and neither do you - that's not good for Northern Ireland."

Speaking later, Baggott claimed that the deployment of officers from British forces had prevented a breakdown in society at the hands of loyalists.

But he still denied that the loyalist paramilitary UVF have "come off ceasefire".

Comment: For a thorough in-depth analysis of the British empire's interference in Northern Ireland read this article by Joe Quinn:

The British Empire - A Lesson In State Terrorism

Eye 1

Israel's President Shimon Peres admits that Israel ordered the assassination of Yasser Arafat

Nine years after Yasser Arafat died in a French military hospital on November 11, 2004, a Swiss team of toxicologists has found traces of the radioactive isotope polonium-210 in his exhumed remains, as well as in his shroud and the soil of his shrine.

A Russian team also found traces of polonium in the body of the leader of Fatah and elected president of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Swiss scientists said there was an 83 percent probability that the late Palestinian leader was poisoned. proving, and expanding the web site.

Their findings, part of the French authorities' broader investigation into Arafat's death, confirm that the Palestinian leader was assassinated.

As soon as Arafat, who was in good health, became ill after eating a meal at his compound in Ramallah in October of 2004, there were suspicions that he had been poisoned. But it proved impossible to determine whether that was the case. None of the doctors treating him, in Palestine or in France, were able to diagnose the cause of his illness, which was a combination of intestinal inflammation, jaundice and a blood condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation.