Puppet MastersS


The FBI treated Occupy like a terrorist group

© AtlanticWireThe FBI Treated Occupy Like a Terrorist Group
Now that it's been over a year since the Occupy movement swept across the country, FOIA requests are being fulfilled, revealing uncomfortable details about how authorities viewed the protestors. One such request by the Partnership for Civil Justice came through this weekend, and the 112 heavily redacted pages reveal that the FBI approached the Occupy Wall Street protests as "criminal activity" -- which is not terribly surprising -- and investigated the groups as perpetrators of "domestic terrorism" -- which is fairly unsettling. More specifically, the Feds enlisted its own as well as local terrorism task forces in nine different cities across the country to investigate Occupy. In Memphis, the group was lumped together with Anonymous and the Aryan Nation in discussing the threat of "domestic terrorism." White supremacists and 99 Percenters aren't really two groups that we think about hand-in-hand but whatever.

This isn't the first time that a FOIA request has shown the FBI to have engaged in some suspicious activity around the Occupy movement. In September, a FOIA request from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) showed extensive surveillance of the movement's prominent players, leading ACLU attorney Linda Lye to ask, "Why does a political protest amount to a national security threat?" The FBI denied the surveillance accusations by saying that its investigation did not include "unnecessary intrusions into the lives of law-abiding people" and that its prohibited from investigating Americans "solely for the purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment or the lawful exercise of other rights." Of course, if you classify the actions as "domestic terrorism," other rules apply.

That in mind, we still don't really have any idea how far the FBI went in chasing the Occupiers. At the time of this latest disclosure over two-thirds of the bureau's records on the movement have been made public. As the Partnership for Civil Justice said in a press release, this latest batch of documents is only "the tip of the iceberg."

Comment: FBI Linked to Yet Another Domestic Terrorism Plot
Washington DC: FBI foils own Terror plot (again)
EFF Uncovers Widespread FBI Intelligence Violations
FBI foils FBI terror plot against New York Fed

Red Flag

Best of the Web: Who is Adam Lanza?

The photos of Adam Lanza that have been circulated through the press are bizarre to say the least...
As many of you know, this entire event at Sandy Hook, CT leaves a lot more questions than answers, and with each passing day the story seems to get more convoluted and irrational. I decided to do some of my own digging into Adam Lanza's background, and so far I have been unable to even confirm that this person actually even exists.

I did two separate searches on Intelius and Spokeo and each of them resulted in the same baffling results. Both Nancy and Peter Lanza are listed in Sandy Brook, CT and their family tree shows Nancy and Peter Lanza with only one child....Ryan Lanza. Adam Lanza does not show up in the family tree at either website and searches for Adam Lanza from CT, yield only two results, which are clearly not him.

The search results are posted below. If you scroll down you will see that on each of Nancy, Peter's and Ryan's searches a family tree is given of all known members:

Comment: Here are two other versions circulating in the media of the same original photo as above, but do you notice anything funny about the background in each of these? They appear to have been photoshopped.

Remind you of anything?

© Life Magazine/CIA


Hmm...National Security Agency's 'Perfect Citizen' program hunts for vulnerabilities in "large-scale" utilities, including power grid and gas pipeline controllers

Newly released files show a secret National Security Agency program is targeting the computerized systems that control utilities to discover security vulnerabilities, which can be used to defend the United States or disrupt the infrastructure of other nations.

The NSA's so-called Perfect Citizen program conducts "vulnerability exploration and research" against the computerized controllers that control "large-scale" utilities including power grids and natural gas pipelines, the documents show. The program is scheduled to continue through at least September 2014.

The Perfect Citizen files obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and provided to CNET shed more light on how the agency aims to defend -- and attack -- embedded controllers. The NSA is reported to have developed Stuxnet, which President Obama secretly ordered to be used against Iran's nuclear program, with the help of Israel.

U.S. officials have warned for years, privately and publicly, about the vulnerability of the electrical grid to cyberattacks. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a congressional committee in February: "I know what we [the U.S.] can do and therefore I am extraordinarily concerned about the cyber capabilities of other nations." If a nation gave such software to a fringe group, Dempsey said, "the next thing you know could be into our electrical grid."


'I don't care what the UN says!' Netanyahu vows to continue illegal settlement activity

Benjamin Netanyahu
© Reuters/Gali Tibbon/PoolIsrael's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
The Israeli prime minister has vowed to continue building settlements in the "Israeli capital of Jerusalem," defying near-unanimous international criticism of the illegal activity in retaliation for Palestine's upgraded UN status.

­In an interview with Israeli Channel 2, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threw internationally-recognized boundaries to the wind, saying that the Western Wall, which lies in a part of UN-administered Jerusalem occupied by Israel in 1967, "is not occupied territory" - and that he "does not care" what the United Nations has to say about it.

Netanyahu added that all Israeli citizens live "in the Jewish state," and that "the capital of the Jewish state, for 3,000 years, has been Jerusalem," as cited by the Jerusalem Post.

He went on to defend the planned construction of settlements near Jerusalem - in Gilo, formerly West Bank land occupied by Israel in 1967, and Ramat Shlomo, which was taken from Jordan the same year. "What future awaits Israel if we cannot build in Gilo and Ramat Shlomo?" he said.

Star of David

Israeli army killing Palestinian protestors with impunity say activists

Last week, in one of the first actions of its kind, activists released the names of Israeli soldiers involved in the killing of a Palestinian protester. Mustafa Tamimi, a 28 year-old demonstrator from the village of Nabi Saleh, was killed when a soldier shot a tear gas canister at his face in December last year. Attorney Emily Schaeffer of Yesh Din spoke with The Real News' Lia Tarachansky about why IDF investigations lead to little justice. Maj. Avital Liebovitch, the IDF Spokeswoman questioned why the army is even required to investigate crimes by soldiers, and Abir Kopty of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Coordination Committee spoke about the dozens of protesters who have been killed in recent years in demonstrations.


Pope says future of mankind at stake over gay marriage

Pope Benedict XVI has weighed in on a heated debate over gay marriage, criticising new concepts of the traditional family and warning that mankind itself was at stake.

Pope Benedict XVI
© ReutersPope Benedict XVI
"In the fight for the family, the very notion of being - of what being human really means - is being called into question," the Pope said in Italian during an end-of-year speech.

"The question of the family ... is the question of what it means to be a man, and what it is necessary to do to be true men," he said.

The Pope spoke of the "falseness" of gender theories and cited at length France's chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, who has spoken out against gay marriage.

"Bernheim has shown in a very detailed and profoundly moving study that the attack we are currently experiencing on the true structure of the family, made up of father, mother, and child, goes much deeper," he said.

He cited feminist gender theorist Simone de Beauvoir's view to the effect that one is not born a woman, but one becomes so - that sex was no longer an element of nature but a social role people chose for themselves.

Snakes in Suits

After resigning, Monti weighs running for office as Italy's president sets stage for elections

Mario Monti
© ReutersItaly's former Prime Minister Mario Monti.
Rome - Italy's president is meeting with political leaders to set the stage for general elections early next year as Premier Mario Monti weighs whether to run for office after having handed in his resignation.

Monti, appointed 13 months ago to steer Italy away from a Greek-style debt crisis, stepped down Friday after ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi's party yanked its support for his technical government.

His resignation sets the stage for President Giorgio Napolitano to dissolve parliament and set a date for elections, expected in February, after consulting Saturday with leaders of Italy's political parties. More eagerly anticipated though is Monti's decision, expected Sunday, as to whether he will run.

Small centrist parties have been courting Monti, but Italian newspapers said Saturday he was inclined to refuse. The center-left Democratic Party is expected to win.

Source: The Associated Press

Eye 1

Google starts watching what you do off the Internet too

© Reuters / Jason Lee
The most powerful company on the Internet just got a whole lot creepier: a new service from Google merges offline consumer info with online intelligence, allowing advertisers to target users based on what they do at the keyboard and at the mall.

Without much fanfare, Google announced news this week of a new advertising project, Conversions API, that will let businesses build all-encompassing user profiles based off of not just what users search for on the Web, but what they purchase outside of the home.

In a blog post this week on Google's DoubleClick Search site, the Silicon Valley giant says that targeting consumers based off online information only allows advertisers to learn so much. "Conversions," tech-speak for the digital metric made by every action a user makes online, are incomplete until coupled with real life data, Google says.

"We understand that online advertising also fuels offline conversions," the blog post reads. Thus, Google says, "To capture these lost conversions and bring offline into your online world, we're announcing the open beta of our Conversions API for uploading offline conversion automatically."

Snakes in Suits

Obama nominates John Kerry as next Secretary of State

John Kerry
© Agence France-Presse/Karen BleierJohn Kerry
President Barack Obama has nominated Senator John Kerry to be the next secretary of state on Friday.

Kerry is noted for his experience and relationship-building skills that could help him succeed outgoing Sec. Hilary Clinton. Sec. Clinton recently announced she would step down after Obama's inauguration in January.

"In a sense, John's entire life has prepared him for this role," Pres. Obama said Friday afternoon when he made the announcement official in Washington.

"He's not going to need a lot of on the job training," Obama said of Sen. Kerry.

Citing his nominee's military experience during the Vietnam War as well as his efforts to resolve the conflict after serving, Pres. Obama said the senator is "a perfect choice to guide American diplomacy in the years ahead."

President Obama also celebrated Sen. Kerry's tenure as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, a position he will have to resign from before moving to his new cabinet role.

"It won't be easy to leave the Senate that you love," the president said.

Arrow Down

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti steps down

Mario Monti
© Agence France-Presse/Donato FassanoMario Monti
Mario Monti has resigned as Prime Minster of Italy, saying he no longer has the support he needs to govern. Monti replaced Silvio Berlusconi a little over a year ago after the previous govt proved unable to cope with the financial problems facing it.

Giorgio Napolitano, the Italian President, has accepted his resignation but has asked Monti to stay on as a head of a caretaker government until new elections in a couple of months.

His resignation comes as MPs passed the 2013 budget drawn up by his government with 309 votes in favor and 55 against.

Monti is widely credited with overseeing a recovery in Italy's bonds and repairing the country's tattered image abroad. His leadership has also been praised by Angela Merkel and other European leaders such as Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the group of euro area finance ministers.

When Monti took over, Italy's borrowing was approaching unaffordable levels. He introduced pension reform and raised the retirement age to 66 for men and 62 for women. He also did away with a system of seniority pensions, which allowed many civil servants to retire at 58.

Most importantly though was under Monti yields on Italian 10-year bonds fell to under 7%, now they are between 4 and 5%. Bonds are a key indicator of how much a country has to pay to borrow money and at over 7%, which they were before Berlusconi stepped down, they are unaffordable. However, Monti is unpopular with many Italians dealing with soaring unemployment, a shrinking economy and higher taxes. A poll conducted on November 17th showed that 62% of Italians had a negative view of Monti's government while 82% said they had little confidence in the economy improving.