Puppet MastersS

Star of David

Best of the Web: U.S. officials tell NBC News: 'Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran's nuclear scientists'

Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel's secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran's leaders.

The group, the People's Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims' cars.

The Iranians have no doubt who is responsible - Israel and the People's Mujahedin of Iran, known by various acronyms, including MEK, MKO and PMI.

Mohammad Javad Larijani, a senior aide to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, describes what Iranian leaders believe is a close relationship between Israel's secret service, the Mossad, and the People's Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.


SOTT Focus: Syria's Bloody CIA Revolution - A Distraction?

Hundreds of thousands of people have been repeatedly taking to the streets of Damascus to show their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo taken October 12, 2011
While the mainstream media is going to great lengths to convince the world that events in Syria are the result of yet another 'people's revolution', the facts point clearly to yet another US government-sponsored bloody 'regime change'. Given that the US has been a de facto global empire for at least 60 years, with all of the power, infrastructure and influence that entails, how difficult do we think it would be for agents of the empire to manufacture a 'revolution' in any given country? The answer, surprisingly, is 'not so easily'. But it is doable, as long as the empire is willing to murder innocent civilians to create the impression of a brutal regime in need of removal. And the USA has never balked at murdering a few hundred, a few thousand, or even a few million civilians to ensure it gets its geo-political way, to the delight of psychopaths in power everywhere.


US: Why the Foreclosure Deal May Not Be So Hot After All

© Mark Wilson/Kevin Winter/Getty Images New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who agreed to join more than 40 other states in a nationwide settlement, announced today.

So the foreclosure settlement is through.

A few weeks back, I was optimistic about it - I had been worried that it was going to contain broad liability waivers for all sorts of activities, and I was pleasantly surprised when I heard that its scope had essentially been narrowed to robosigning offenses.

However, now that the settlement is finalized, and I've had time to think about it and talk to people who know far more than I do about this, I'm feeling pretty queasy.

It feels an awful lot like what happened here is the nation's criminal justice honchos collectively realized that a thorough investigation of the problem would require resources they simply do not have, or are reluctant to deploy, and decided to accept a superficially face-saving peace offer rather than fight it out.

So they settled the case in a way that reads in headlines like it's a bite out of the banks, but in fact is barely even that. There will be little in the way of real compensation for stuggling homeowners, and there are serious issues in the area of the deal's enforceability. In fact, about the only part of the deal we can be absolutely sure will be honored in full is the liability waiver for the robosigning offenses.

Bad Guys

US, California: LAPD Pioneers High-Tech Crime-Fighting 'War Room'

The LAPD is fighting crime from a high-tech war room that gives it eyes all over the city. The surveillance hub is now a model for police forces around the world and KCAL9 got an exclusive tour inside from Chief Charlie Beck.

"We are targets on our own soil," says Beck. "We have to be ready."

What began as a grass roots idea following the 9/11 terrorist attacks is now a state-of-the-art real-time analysis critical response center. It's called RACR, and it's located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.

"This is a system that cuts through the red tape, that gets information to the people that need it," says Chief Beck. He calls it "the brains of the department, twenty-four/seven."

Police in the activity center monitor live feeds of city and traffic cameras, counter-terrorism information, and real-time crime mapping, with cutting edge software.


Russia: Gorbachev Talks! (And Putin Won't Like What He's Saying.)

Mikhail Gorbachev, a man who knows something about losing control of Russia, met with students today and warned of swelling protests against Vladimir Putin if he retakes the presidency.

It may be time to add a familiar old face to the gallery of fresh pro-democracy leaders that's been created by Russia's growing anti-Putin street protest movement: the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.

Mr. Gorbachev, now an octogenarian, was one of the first Russian political figures to start warning - more than a year ago - that Vladimir Putin's autocratic, top-down Kremlin-centric regime risked repeating many of the errors that led to the downfall of the USSR and could face a mass challenge from the streets if it failed to implement democratic reforms.

Now that protest movement has materialized and Gorbachev, who faced a popular groundswell of opposition in the dying days of the Soviet Union, is advising Mr. Putin to drop his bid for election to a third presidential term in March 4 polls and leave.

With society turning against him, Putin is no longer able to handle the burdens of the presidency, Gorbachev said during a meeting with students at Moscow's International University today.

War Whore

Propaganda Alert! Iran Helping al Qaeda? War "Hysteria" Builds

Iran US flags
Reported concerns among some U.S. officials that Iran may have essentially freed a group of al Qaeda militants held for almost a decade under house arrest in the Islamic Republic are adding Friday morning to the escalating war-rhetoric pouring out of Washington and Israel.

According to The Wall Street Journal, some government officials believe Iran's move to allow the men greater freedom - which may include permission to leave the country - suggests the nation's hardline rulers are trying to bolster a link between themselves and the radical Muslim terror group as Western pressure mounts on both entities.

Comment: In other words, unsubstantiated rumors from unnamed sources, AKA Propaganda.

The report is particularly disconcerting as it follows closely on the heels of America's intelligence chief James Clapper warning U.S. lawmakers that Iran is, "more willing to conduct an attack in the United States" as sanctions hit its economy and talk of Israel attacking its military and nuclear installations gains volume.


Germany Expels Four Syrian Diplomats in Spy Case

Guido Westerwelle
© Reuters//Guido KrzikowskiGerman Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
As tensions mount between Western nations and Syria, the German authorities said Thursday that they had ordered the expulsion of four Syrian diplomats after arresting two men accused separately of spying on opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.

The police here arrested the two men on Tuesday, saying they were "strongly suspected of investigating Syrian opposition members in Germany for a Syrian intelligence service over a period of years."

The men were identified, under standard German procedures, only as Mahmoud El A., 47, of Lebanese descent, and Akram O., 34, a Syrian.

State and federal police officers searched the homes of six other suspects "believed to be involved in espionage," prosecutors said.

In a statement on Thursday, Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister, said the four diplomats - three men and a woman who were not identified by name - had been given three days to leave Germany. Mr. Westerwelle did not go into detail about the expulsions, but officials said the embassy personnel were suspected of carrying out activities incompatible with their diplomatic status, a formulation that usually refers to espionage.


Greek deputy minister quits over EU/IMF bailout terms

Greek deputy labour minister, Yannis Koutsoukos
© Syracuse UniversityGreek deputy labour minister, Yannis Koutsoukos
A Greek deputy minister resigned on Thursday in an early sign of resistance to tough austerity and reform measures which party leaders accepted as the price of a new international bailout.

Deputy Labour Minister Yannis Koutsoukos, a member of the socialist PASOK party and former trade union leader, said he was quitting because the measures were "painful for working people," and accused Greece's foreign lenders of blackmail.

He released his resignation letter to Prime Minister Lucas Papademos after the premier announced that leaders of the three parties in his coalition had signed up to conditions demanded by the European Union and IMF.

Parliament must approve the agreement in a vote expected to be held on Sunday or Monday.

"Our lenders ignored the arguments and concrete proposals made by the Labour Ministry and in a blackmailing way are crushing the edifice of labour relations," Koutsoukos wrote.

Bad Guys

Hungary's Government Tightens Grip on Arts

Right-wing leadership stands accused of controlling the cultural sector for political ends

© UnknownViktor Orban at the opening of an exhibition that he commissioned at the Hungarian National Gallery.
Already under attack from the European Commission for its policies on banking, the law and the media, Hungary's national conservative government is now facing a tide of protest from the arts community. The government, led by Viktor Orban, stands accused of systematically replacing key figures in cultural institutions, staging pro-government exhibitions, rethinking permanent museum displays and replacing historic statues to fit its political agenda. "The fact that an authoritarian government wants to control the arts is in itself not surprising," says the Hungarian economist Janos Kovacs. "But it's incredible that this is happening in the middle of the European Union without provoking angry reactions in Brussels."

Comment: Sounds like the drumbeat of Ponerology in that pathological individuals insert themselves into various institutions in an attempt to control ideas of the common populace and in this case, by erasing history for nefarious purposes. These individuals truly believe their subjective view of the world and, in turn, strive to impose it upon others. For more information on Ponerology - The Science of Evil, see these Sott links:

Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes

Ponerology: The Study of Evil - Interview with Marian Wasilewski

For information regarding an authoritarian mindset see:

Hypocrisy of the Authoritarians

For more on the author of Political Ponerology, Andrew Lobaczewski

Sott.net Interview with Andrew Lobaczewski


Palestinian Rivals Agree to Form Unity Government

Mahmoud Abbas
© Reuters/Mohamad TorokmanPalestinian President Mahmoud Abbas smiles during a Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 30, 2012.
The leaders of rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas signed a deal in Qatar on Monday to form a unity government of independent technocrats for the West Bank and Gaza, headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The move, following the failure of exploratory Israeli-Palestinian talks aimed at reviving stalled peace negotiations, was condemned by Israel, which says the Islamist Hamas cannot be part of any peace efforts.

The accord signed by President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal is supposed to pave the way for Palestinian presidential and parliamentary election possibly later this year, and to rebuild the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip following a 2008-2009 Israeli offensive against Hamas.

It was not known whether the deal would be implemented. No timetable was set. A reconciliation pact Fatah and Hamas struck in May 2011 has had little substantive result but both sides said they were serious about carrying out the new accord.

Abbas' Palestinian Authority supports a negotiated peace with Israel that would give Palestinians an independent state in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in Gaza, co-existing alongside the Jewish state.