Puppet MastersS


Egypt Lifts Travel Ban on US Pro-Democracy Workers

© The Associated Press//Khalil HamraEgyptian policemen sit in front of Egyptian employees of several pro-democracy groups charged with using foreign funds to foment unrest during their trial in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012.
Cairo - Egypt lifted a travel ban Wednesday on seven Americans charged with fomenting unrest by working for illegally funded pro-democracy groups, signaling an end to the worst crisis in Egypt-U.S. relations in 30 years.

The clash put $1.5 billion in annual American aid to Egypt at risk and sparked intense behind-the-scenes negotiations between the two countries to find a way out.

Defense lawyer Tharwat Abdel-Shaheed said the seven Americans, including the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, could only leave the country if they post bail of 2 million Egyptian pounds (about $300,000). They have also signed pledges to attend their next hearing.

"The ban was lifted on humanitarian grounds, but the bail is way too high," Abdel-Shaheed, who represents some of the American defendants, told The Associated Press.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States was encouraged by reports the ban was lifted but added she had no confirmation.


Elections Canada Won't Probe 'Annoying' Political Calls, Ex-MP Told

Stephen Harper
Ottawa - Elections Canada said last week it cannot investigate political calls that are "annoying, repetitive or (of) a partisan nature" unless there are signs of intimidation or "false pretence," raising questions about how far the agency will go to probe the robocalls scandal.

The office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections, which is in charge of enforcing the Elections Act, wrote to former MP Joe Volpe's lawyer, Antonio Pascale, to say it was "concluding further inquiry" into mysterious harassment calls received by Volpe supporters during the last election.

Volpe's lawyer wrote to Elections Canada on April 15, 2011, to complain that for the previous 10 days constituents in the riding were receiving calls "from persons falsely identifying themselves as calling from the Joe Volpe campaign."

The email from Elections Canada suggests such calls are not forbidden by the act.

"The act does not prohibit or regulate the use of telephone solicitations for a particular candidate or party, or the content of a call unless actual intimidation or false pretence can be shown," the email said.

The harassing calls in the Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence had a call display showing a North Dakota number often blamed for credit card scams. Calls from the same number have been reported in a number of other ridings across the country.

But the elections agency said the use of "spoofed" call display numbers "is not regulated by the Act.


Economist Reporter Cuffed At Mitt Romney's Michigan Speech

© Twitter.com/ChadLivengoodNatasha Loder in handcuffs outside Mitt Romney's speech in Michigan.
Natasha Loder, the Midwest correspondent for The Economist, showed up to cover Mitt Romney's victory speech at the Diamond Center in Novi, Michigan tonight and wound up in handcuffs.

Ms. Loder told The Politicker she was briefly detained by police before being let go after getting into a dispute with a private security guard outside the room where Mr. Romney was speaking. Ms. Loder, who was only able to speak briefly because she needed to file, said she and a group of other reporters were put in a press filing room at the event, however they realized there was a delay in their video feed when they heard Mr. Romney taking the stage in another room. According to Ms. Loder she and the other reporters left the filing room and tried to listen to the speech in real-time outside the doors of the main room.

Though Ms. Loder said the doors had been open all night, she said a security guard posted outside said he would shut them once the reporters began gathering outside. Ms. Loder said she asked the guard to speak to someone with Mr. Romney's campaign, but they were quickly approached by a police officer who said he could arrest the reporters for trespassing if the guard wanted. Ms. Loder refused to leave and was placed in handcuffs by the officer.

Eye 1

Europe to Investigate Google's New Data Collection Policy

© socialh.com
  • French regulator to lead inquiry
  • Casts doubt on legality, fairness of privacy rules
  • Google has rebuffed calls for delay to new policy
  • Due to be introduced March 1
France's data protection watchdog has cast doubt on the legality and fairness of Google's new privacy policy, which it said breached European laws.

The CNIL regulator told Google in a letter dated Feb. 27 it would lead a European-wide investigation of the web search giant's latest policy and would send it questions by mid-March.

Google said in January it was simplifying its privacy policy, consolidating 60 guidelines into a single one that will apply for all its services, including YouTube, Gmail and its social network Google+.

The U.S. Internet company also said it will pool data it collects on individual users across its services, allowing it to better tailor search results and improve service.

Users cannot opt out of the new policy if they want to continue using Google's services.


Flashback Vietnam Vets of America Slams CIA Stonewalling in Lawsuit on Experiments on Troops

An advocacy group working on behalf of Vietnam veterans has asked a federal judge in California to sanction the CIA, saying the spy agency has been blocking efforts to uncover its role in alleged experiments on US soldiers from the 1950s to 1970s.

The Vietnam Veterans of America filed a lawsuit on behalf of six Vietnam War veterans in January, 2009, claiming that the CIA had used an estimated 7,800 US service members as "guinea pigs" in experiments involving "at least 250, but as many as 400 chemical and biological agents," according to Courthouse News.

Among the chemicals the lawsuit alleges were used on the soldiers were LSD, sarin and phosgene nerve gases, cyanide, PCP and even THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

The lawsuit described it as a "vast program of human experimentation" that was "shrouded in secrecy" and carried out without the informed consent of the experiment subjects.

Eye 1

Egyptian Claims Mistaken Identity in al-Qaida Case

© The Associated Press/FBI This image provided by the FBI shows an undated image of Saif al-Adel also known as Muhamad Ibrahim Makkawi, Seif Al Adel, Ibrahim Al-Madani. He was arrested Wednesday Feb. 29, 2012 at Cairo Airport but he has denied the link and says it was a case of mistaken identity.
Cairo - A former Egyptian jihadist returned home on Wednesday saying he wanted to clear a case of mistaken identity that confused him with a senior al-Qaida leader sought by the United States. Washington confirmed that Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi is not the wanted Saif al-Adel.

The fact that Makkawi felt safe returning home after years in exile illustrated the more welcoming atmosphere for hard-line Islamists in post-Hosni Mubarak Egypt, where even Islamists with ideologies akin to al-Qaida's now sit in parliament.

Makkawi was arrested on his arrival at Cairo airport and taken for questioning, security and airport officials said.

His name appears on the FBI list of most wanted terrorists as an alias for the senior al-Qaida figure known as Saif al-Adel, a pseudonym that means "sword of justice." The wanted man is an Egyptian who has been indicted by the United States for an alleged role in the Aug. 7, 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya that killed 224 people. He also was linked to the 2002 killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

Two U.S. officials also said the arrested man appears to have been mistaken for the al-Qaida operative. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence information that has not been publicly released.

The FBI said it was still sorting out details of the case.


Former U.S. Resident Convicted at Guantanamo of Murder

© The Associated PressKhan, who has spent the last nine years behind bars, faced possible life in prison but will receive a reduced sentence of no more than 25 years as part of a plea agreement that requires him to co-operate with US authorities
Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba - A former CIA "ghost prisoner" who grew up in the Baltimore area admitted to a U.S. war crimes court on Wednesday that he was an al Qaeda money courier and martyr-in-training now prepared to help prosecute other terrorism suspects.

After nearly nine years in U.S. custody, Pakistani native Majid Khan appeared in public for the first time at a top-security courtroom on the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba. He pleaded guilty to all five charges against him, including murder and attempted murder, in a deal that spares him from a potential life sentence in exchange for helping prosecute other prisoners.

Khan, a square-faced 32-year-old with short black hair, goatee and glasses, wore a dark suit, white shirt and mauve tie. He was unshackled and seemed relaxed as he stood in court next to his military lawyer, Army Lieutenant Colonel Jon Jackson, who spoke on his behalf.

"Mr. Khan pleads as follows to all charges and specifications, guilty," Jackson told the court.

Asked later by the judge if he was sure that admitting guilt was in his best interest, Khan replied, "No doubt sir."

In addition to murder and attempted murder, Khan was convicted of conspiring with al Qaeda, providing material support for terrorism and spying on U.S. and Pakistani targets. Documents released earlier said he faced up to 25 years in prison but the plea agreement unsealed in court capped it at 19 years. Sentencing will be deferred to 2016.


Clinton Admits US On Same Side As Al Qaeda To Destabilise Assad Government

O George, you crack me up! You and me are like *that* on the psychological spectrum!
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has acknowledged that Al Qaeda and other organizations on the US "terror list" are supporting the Syrian opposition.

Clinton said: "We have a very dangerous set of actors in the region, al-Qaida [sic], Hamas, and those who are on our terrorist list, to be sure, supporting - claiming to support the opposition [in Syria]." [1] (Click here to watch video)

Yet at the same time, in the above BBC interview the US Secretary of State repeats the threadbare Western claim that the situation in Syria is one of a defenceless population coming under "relentless attack" from Syrian government forces.

There is ample evidence that teams of snipers who have been killing civilians over the past year in Syria belong to the terrorist formations to which Clinton is referring to.

As Michel Chossudovsky points out in a recent article: "Since the middle of March 2011, Islamist armed groups - covertly supported by Western and Israeli intelligence - have conducted terrorist attacks directed against government buildings, including acts of arson. Amply documented, trained gunmen and snipers, including mercenaries, have targeted the police, armed forces as well as innocent civilians. There is ample evidence, as outlined in the Arab League Observer Mission report, that these armed groups of mercenaries are responsible for killing civilians. 

While the Syrian government and military bear a heavy burden of responsibility, it is important to underscore the fact that these terrorist acts - including the indiscriminate killing of men, women and children - are part of a US-NATO-Israeli initiative, which consists is supporting, training and financing 'an armed entity' operating inside Syria." [2]


The Agent Provocateurs in Occupy's Midst

This is Part I of a two-part series on infiltration of Occupy and what the movement can do about limiting the damage of those who seek to destroy us from within. This first article describes public reports of infiltration as well as results of a survey and discussions with Occupiers about this important issue. The second article will examine the history of political infiltration and steps we can take to address it.

Occupy Wall Street
© Adrian Kinloch/flickrOccupy Wall Street, demonstrators and police face-to-face, 10/05/11.
In the first five months, the Occupy movement has had major victories and has altered the debate about the economy. People in the power structure and who hold different political views are pushing back with a traditional tool - infiltration. Across the country, Occupies are struggling with disruption and division, attacks on key people, escalation of tactics to include property damage and police conflict as well as misuse of websites and social media.

As Part II of this discussion will show, infiltration is the norm in political movements in the United States. Occupy has many opponents likely to infiltrate to divide and destroy it beyond the usual law enforcement apparatus. Other detractors include the corporations whose rule Occupy seeks to end; conservative right wing groups allied with corporate interests; and members of the power structure including nonprofit organizations linked with corporate-funded political parties, especially the Democratic Party, which would like Occupy to be its tea party rather than an independent movement critical of both parties.

On the very first day of the Occupation of Wall Street, we saw infiltration by the police. We were leaving Zuccotti Park and were stopped in traffic. We saw the doors of an unmarked van open and in the front seat were two uniformed police. Out of the back came two men dressed as Occupiers wearing backpacks, sweatshirts and jeans. They walked into Zuccotti Park and became part of the crowd.

Comment: The process of infiltration of movements by pathological individuals or agencies, is superbly described in Lobaczewski's Political Ponerology.

Bad Guys

Washington Pushes Counterinsurgency-Style Drug War in Mexico, Central America

© Associated PressMexican soldiers raid methamphetamine lab
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano signaled this week that Washington is prepared to utilize the same bloody counterinsurgency methods in Mexico and Central America that it has employed in the so-called "war on terror".

Napolitano is conducting a three-day, five-nation tour through Mexico and Central America with the key purpose of pushing for an escalation of the so-called "war on drugs" - through which Washington seeks to defend its hegemony in the region and tighten links between the Pentagon and local security forces.

At a press conference in Mexico City Monday, Napolitano and her Mexican counterpart, Interior Minister Alejandro Poire, announced the signing of a series of agreements on border security. Poire stressed that the two had discussed means of strengthening collaboration to keep "international terrorism" out of Mexico.

In response to a journalist's question about the failure of either US or Mexican authorities to capture Joaquin Guzman, Mexico's most wanted drug trafficker and leader of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, Napolitano drew a revealing comparison between him and the leader of Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, who was assassinated by US special operations troops in Pakistan last May.