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ABC News already making graphics, footage, for upcoming war with Iran


Star of David

Netanyahu is Preparing Israeli Public Opinion for a War on Iran

Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak
© IDF Spokesperson Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the IDF air base in Hatzerim.
In response to Netanyahu's AIPAC speech, Haaretz's editor-in-chief says that what looks like a preparation for war, acts like a preparation for war, and quacks like a preparation for war, is a preparation for war.

Since his return from Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has mainly been preoccupied with one thing: Preparing public opinion for war against Iran.

Netanyahu is attempting to convince the Israeli public that the Iranian threat is a tangible and existential one, and that there is only one effective way to stop it and prevent a "second Holocaust": An Israeli military attack on Iran's nuclear infrastructure, which is buried deep underground.

In his speech before the Knesset on Wednesday, Netanyahu urged his colleagues to reject claims that Israel is too weak to go it alone in a war against a regional power such as Iran and therefore needs to rely on the United States, which has much greater military capabilities, to do the job and remove the threat.

According to polls published last week, this is the position of most of the Israeli public, which supports a U.S. strike on Iran, but is wary of sending the IDF to the task without the backing of the friendly superpower.


Flashback French Police Arrest 250 Men Linked to Child Pornography Ring

The police across France have detained more than 250 people and confiscated some 5,000 videocassettes in their largest operation to date to fight child pornography.

Among the people charged with possession or trafficking in pornography involving minors, the police said, are two school directors, two teachers and several others who work with children.

The police said those detained were all men, from different walks of life. ''No social class has been spared,'' a police official said. ''They are mainly married professionals. Some apparently made the videotapes, others distributed them and some just bought them.''

The crackdown on Wednesday and today involved no fewer than 600 police officers, an indication of the Government's alarm about sexual abuse of children. The action also appears to be a response to growing public indignation in France and elsewhere about the recurrent reports of kidnapping, rape or incest involving the very young.

Specialists say they are not certain whether the number of such crimes has risen sharply or whether the cases have simply become more notorious as it has become more socially acceptable to report or discuss such abuse publicly.


Asma al-Assad's aide persuaded Twitter to remove fake accounts created to defame her family

© Miguel Medina/AFPSyria's First Lady
Twitter removed all but one account using Syrian president's name and half of those using first lady's after complaint

Twitter closed down a string of accounts purporting to be authored by the Syrian president and the first lady, emails reveal.

A senior aide to Asma al-Assad, Fares Kallas, took issue with the site over 11 accounts. Half of the accounts using the first lady's name and all but one of those using the president's name were closed down.

The author of one account, @Syrianpresident, described it as a "parody account" and said it had attracted 2,500 followers.

Kallas wrote to Twitter complaining that this and other accounts were "fraudulent Twitter accounts purporting to be the president of Syria and the first lady of Syria and we would like to officially request for these accounts to be removed or suspended. We believe that each of the following are clearly intending to mislead people via impersonation rather than act as spoof/humorous accounts."

Twitter told the Assad office: "We do suspend accounts that are clear attempts at impersonation," but added: "Twitter users are allowed to create parody, commentary and fan accounts."


Soldiers asked to disarm during Leon Panetta speech in Afghanistan

leon panetta
© GettyA large security detail surrounds Leon Panetta during his visit to Afghanistan. Nato's forces have been seeking to step up the vetting of the thousands of Afghans who work on military bases.

US soldiers were asked to disarm during a speech by Leon Panetta, the American defence secretary, in a sign of grown concern over spates of seemingly random violence in Afghanistan.

Less than a week after a US staff sergeant allegedly massacred 16 civilians in Kandahar, American soldiers were banned from bringing guns into a talk by Mr Panetta at a base in Helmand province.

Around 200 troops who had gathered in a tent at Camp Leatherneck were told "something had come to light" and asked abruptly to file outside and lay down their automatic rifles and 9mm pistols.


Syria: The Western Deception Over Regime Change Unravels, NATO Prepares for All Out War

The Western governments' and mainstream media's narrative of a one-sided humanitarian crisis in Syria is rapidly unwinding to reveal a self-serving deception to justify a re-run of Libya-style NATO conquest. In reality, it is the Western powers and their Israeli and Arab henchmen who are fuelling a humanitarian crisis and creating the conditions for all-out war. All of which, it should be said, constitutes criminality comparable to Nazi Germany's wars of aggression.

The latest crack in the Western façade over Syria comes in the form of leaked correspondence from Western private intelligence firm Stratfor, which reports that US-led NATO special forces have been operating inside Syria alongside armed opposition groups. Stratfor is closely aligned with Pentagon planners; indeed can be viewed as a private wing of the Pentagon. The document, disclosed by Wikileaks, cites US military sources discussing a campaign of destabilisation against the Syrian government of Bashir Al Assad, involving training opposition groups and deploying guerilla tactics, including assassinations. In other words, discussing a scenario that approximates to what is actually happening in Syria.

Given Straftor's credentials as a reliable think-tank for the US military-industrial complex, the disclosure can be seen as a damning indictment of NATO criminality and Western mainstream media complicity.

Since political turmoil erupted in Syria a year ago, the monotonous "big lie" narrative from Western governments and the corporate-controlled news media has been one of "brutal state repression against a civilian population" committed by the Assad government.

Arrow Down

Goldman Sachs, roiled by 'Muppetgate,' loses $2 billion

© Brendan Mcdermid/REUTERSTraders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange near the Goldman Sachs post.
Question: What's the cost to a company of one disgruntled former employee?

Answer: About $2 billion if it's Goldman Sachs.

That's how much of the bank's market value was wiped out after one of its directors, Greg Smith, resigned from the company and penned an op-ed piece in The New York Times attacking the firm's culture and treatment of clients.

The bank's shares fell 3.3 percent in trading Wednesday as London-based Smith's article set Wall Street and the media ablaze with discussion about the behavior of big banks bailed out by taxpayers after the financial crisis. The share price decline meant Goldman lost some $2 billion in market value.

Still, Smith may not be out of pocket after his scathing condemnation of the bank, which appeared at the tail-end of Wall Street's bonus season.

Annual incentive payouts for top bank employees often reach into the millions, although this year Wall Street bonuses are expected to be down sharply from a year ago, according to Johnson Associates, a New York-based compensation consulting firm.

Year-end incentives declined sharply in 2008 during the economic crisis, but have rebounded over the past two years, Johnson Associates said.

Comment: What can actually be made of this article? Is it to show how a crooked bank can be harmed even by a little guy? And if yes, is it intentional, to help everyone go back to sleep, to show, even the Elites are touchable? The point being, is this genuine, or staged?

Think about it. Nothing here on the Big Blue Marble (BBM) is as it appears.

Black Cat

Meir Dagan on Israel's Threat To Attack Iran: "the stupidest idea I have ever heard"

US Military bases surrounding Iran

In a rare interview, ex-chief of Mossad Meir Dagan speaks out against a preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities anytime soon. He says the Iranian regime is rational in its own way. Lesley Stahl reports.


Three key members quit Syria's SNC opposition bloc because 'it's linked to foreign agendas'

Haitham al-Maleh
Three prominent members of main Syrian opposition group have broken away, accusing the group of serving the interests of foreign countries.

According to a Syrian National Council (SNC) official, Haitham al-Maleh, Kamal al-Labwani and rights activist Catherine al-Telli left the main opposition bloc due to their "disagreements" with the SNC.

Al-Labwani, however, said that they resigned because they did not want to be "accomplices to the massacre of the Syrian people.'' He also accused head of SNC Burhan Ghalioun of running the organization autocratically.

The SNC is "linked to foreign agendas which aim to prolong the battle while waiting ... for the country to be dragged into a civil war," said al-Labwani, adding that "There is no council, it's an illusion."

He also said that many more will quit the council in the coming days.


Panetta Is Safe After Breach Near His Plane at Afghan Base

Leon Panetta
© Pool photo/Scott OlsonDefense Secretary Leon E. Panetta arrived at Forward Operating Base Shukvani, Afghanistan, on Wednesday.
Kabul, Afghanistan - A tense visit to Afghanistan by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta got off to an alarming start on Wednesday when a stolen pickup truck sped onto a ramp alongside a runway at a British military airfield and crashed into a ditch as Mr. Panetta's plane was landing.

Mr. Panetta was not hurt, but Pentagon officials said the Afghan driver emerged from the vehicle in flames.

No explosives were found on the driver, a civilian, or in the truck, the officials said, and the Pentagon was not immediately considering the episode an attack on Mr. Panetta. But it reinforced the lack of security in Afghanistan at the beginning of his two-day visit, the first by a senior member of the Obama administration since an American soldier reportedly killed 16 Afghan civilians, mostly children and women, in Kandahar Province. The visit had been planned months ago, but took on new urgency after the Sunday massacre.

Mr. Panetta, like President Obama, has denounced the deaths and vowed to bring the killer to justice, a message he was to deliver in person to President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan. The killings have further clouded already strained Afghan-American relations. On Thursday morning, an American official said the suspect had been moved out of Afghanistan to Kuwait. That is likely to further anger Afghans, who called for him to be tried in their country.