Puppet MastersS

Bad Guys

EU deploys black arts to stifle democratic rights

© Express.co.ukThe European Parliament is using taxpayers' money to fund an assault on democratic freedom.
There is something menacing about any organisation that decides to snoop on those who oppose it and use the black arts of spin to play down the genuine fears of its critics.

When it is the European Parliament using taxpayers' money to fund such an unscrupulous assault on democratic freedom we should be doubly worried.

By trawling the internet so they can stamp on the opinions of those who disagree with the EU's masterplan, supposedly neutral civil servants will become willing participants in a disgraceful and self-serving exercise of naked political power to pervert the expression of free will in next year's European elections.

As secret documents seen by the Daily Express spell out, the trolls of Brussels will target countries where there has been "a surge in Euroscepticism".


Best of the Web: U.S. control is diminishing, but it still thinks it owns the world

© Photograph: Olivier Laban-Mattei/AFP/Getty Images'We "stabilise" countries when we invade them and destroy them.'
The United States has long assumed the right to use violence to achieve its aims, but it is now less able to implement its policies
This piece is adapted from 'Uprisings', a chapter in Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to US Empire, Noam Chomsky's new book of interviews with David Barsamian (with thanks to the publisher, Metropolitan Books). The questions are Barsamian's, the answers Chomsky's.
Does the United States still have the same level of control over the energy resources of the Middle East as it once had?

The major energy-producing countries are still firmly under the control of the western-backed dictatorships. So, actually, the progress made by the Arab spring is limited, but it's not insignificant. The western-controlled dictatorial system is being eroded. In fact, it's been being eroded for some time. So, for example, if you go back 50 years, the energy resources - the main concern of US planners - have been mostly nationalised. There are constantly attempts to reverse that, but they have not succeeded.

Take the US invasion of Iraq, for example. To everyone except a dedicated ideologue, it was pretty obvious that we invaded Iraq not because of our love of democracy but because it's maybe the second- or third-largest source of oil in the world, and is right in the middle of the major energy-producing region. You're not supposed to say this. It's considered a conspiracy theory.

Comment: Is it a deeply entrenched religious belief at the root of the American Establishment's megalomania... or is it deeply entrenched psychopathology?

From Political Ponerology by Andrew Lobaczewski:
The pathological face [of a country hellbent on ruling over everyone] must be hidden from the world somehow, since recognition of the deviant rulership by world opinion would be a catastrophe. Ideological propaganda alone would then be an inadequate disguise. Primarily in the interests of the new elite and its expansionary plans, a pathocratic state must maintain commercial relations with the countries of normal man. The pathocratic state aims to achieve international recognition as a certain kind of political structure; and it fears recognition in terms of a true clinical diagnosis. (p.197) [Emphasis in the original]

Arrow Down

Surveillance devices to monitor UK web traffic

Big Brother
© Extremetech.com
The U.K. plans to install an unspecified number of spy devices along the country's telecommunications network to monitor Britons' use of overseas services such as Facebook and Twitter, according to a report published Tuesday by Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee.

The devices - referred to as "probes" in the report - are meant to underpin a nationwide surveillance regime aimed at logging nearly everything Britons do online, from Skype calls with family members to visits to pornographic websites. The government argues that swift access to communications data is critical to the fight against terrorism and other high-level crime.

Authorities have been at pains to stress that they're not seeking unfettered access to the content of emails or recordings of phone calls, but rather what many have described as "outside of the envelope" information: Who sends a message, where and how it is sent, and who receives it.

A key challenge for the government has been extracting that information from overseas service providers - companies based in Silicon Valley or elsewhere that might not feel obliged to comply with a British spy agency's request. It was in those cases, the committee's lawmakers said, that the surveillance devices would come in handy.

Eye 1

Report on CIA rendition reveals massive scale of European assistance

© Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty ImagesGeorge Bush warned that he was keeping track of countries that did not cooperate with the US "war on terror".
Open Society research assembles long roster of nations willing to help the Bush administration with extra-legal program

After the 9/11 attacks, President George W Bush famously warned the world: "You're either with us or against us in the fight against terror."

It turns out that an astonishingly long roster of countries opted for "with us".

Of pre-2004 European Union states, only three - France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - apparently sat out the CIA's global kidnap-and-torture program, known as extraordinary rendition, in which suspects were picked off streets and secretly flown from country to country to face harsh questioning and worse.

A new report by the Open Society Justice Initiative names 54 foreign governments that participated in the CIA program. Countries such as Ireland, Finland and Denmark allowed US agents to secretly transfer terror suspects at their airports. Sweden arranged for suspects to be flown directly to Egypt, where Hosni Mubarak's intelligence-gathering partnership with the US government played out in an unknown number of soundproof cells. The UK government helped with every aspect of rendition, from arresting suspects to submitting questions for interrogation.

Bad Guys

Texas judge may be prosecuted for allegedly hiding evidence as prosecutor

© KVUEA court is set to determine whether former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson should be prosecuted for allegedly concealing evidence in a 1987 murder trial in Williamson County, Texas.
A Texas judge is expected to find out today whether he will be prosecuted for allegedly lying and concealing information in a case when he was a prosecutor that sent a man to prison for 25 years.

State District Judge Ken Anderson was the Williamson County district attorney in 1987 when Michael Morton was convicted of beating to death his wife, Christine Morton. Michael Morton was exonerated of the crime in 2011, after spending more than two decades in prison.

Now Anderson is accused of lying and concealing evidence that led to Morton's conviction. Morton was released from prison after a bloody bandana found 100 yards from his home in 1986 was finally DNA tested.

The bandana had Christine Morton's blood on it as well as DNA from a man identified in 2010 as Mark Alan Norwood. Norwood was later arrested and charged with the murder.

Arrow Down

Climate change is worm-made - Global worming?

© Lindsey Shartell/U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceA bowl of exotic European earthworms species federal scientists recently found in National Wildlife Refuge sites throughout the Upper Midwest.
Most earthworms may be tiny, but a new study suggests their impact on the climate could be mighty.

Researchers had long assumed the creepy crawlers help store carbon in soils by consuming fallen leaves and other decaying plant matter, which they deposit in soil in their cast, or droppings. But newer studies suggest the worms may actually increase soils' output of two key greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.

A new meta-analysis, published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that the presence of earthworms appears to increase soils' output of CO2 by 33 percent and of nitrous oxide by 42 percent.

"We've known for only a couple of years that they can really increase nitrous oxide emissions, but it was not really clear how much," said study co-author Jan-Willem van Groenigen of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, whose work is based on a review of 57 previously published analyses.

As for claims that the worms help store carbon in soils, van Groenigen said that traditional argument has always seemed suspect to him.

"It's strange to claim on the one hand that earthworms are good for soil fertility by decomposing organic matter in soil, and on the other hand that they increase organic matter in soil," he said.

Comment: Comment: Take note of words like meta analysis.

Bad Guys

CIA global torture ring of Muslims: Report lists 54 countries that gave covert support to CIA's illegal 'extraordinary rendition program'

Report finds at least 54 countries co-operated with global kidnap, detention and torture operation mounted after 9/11 attacks

The full extent of the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme has been laid bare with the publication of a report showing there is evidence that more than a quarter of the world's governments covertly offered support.

A 213-page report compiled by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a New York-based human rights organisation, says that at least 54 countries co-operated with the global kidnap, detention and torture operation that was mounted after 9/11, many of them in Europe.

So widespread and extensive was the participation of governments across the world that it is now clear the CIA could not have operated its programme without their support, according to the OSJI.

"There is no doubt that high-ranking Bush administration officials bear responsibility for authorising human rights violations associated with secret detention and extraordinary rendition, and the impunity that they have enjoyed to date remains a matter of significant concern," the report says.

Comment: List of the damned, in alphabetical order:

Czech Republic
Republic of the Gambia
Hong Kong
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Sri Lanka
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom

Che Guevara

FBI arrests Malcolm X grandson en route to Iran

Malcolm Shabazz
The grandson of the late African-American civil rights leader Malcolm X has been arrested by FBI agents on his way to Iran, Press TV reports.

Muslim civil activist Malcolm Shabazz was reportedly arrested before starting his scheduled visit to Tehran to attend a conference on Hollywoodism, sources outside the United States confirmed on Monday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has refused to provide any information about his whereabouts.

Tehran hosted the third Hollywoodism International Conference, on the sidelines of the 31st Fajr International Film Festival in the Iranian capital Tehran on Sunday.


Obama's secret rules for assassinating American citizens just leaked

For over a year now journalists, civil liberties advocates, and members of Congress have been asking the Obama administration to release internal memoranda from the Office of Legal Counsel justifying Obama's targeted killing program. While the White House continues to deny that such memos exist, NBC is reporting that it has acquired the next best thing: A secretish 16-page white paper from the Department of Justice that was provided to select members of the Senate last June.
© unknown

Star of David

Israel's man in Venezuela, Henrique Capriles Radonski

At a rally in June 2010, much to the disdain of the American Jewish Committee which dismissed the accusations as 'baseless', Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez publicly stated that Israel is funding the Venezuelan opposition:

An inspection of the profile of Henrique Capriles Radonski - leader of the Venezuelan opposition - not only elicits deep suspicion, but in fact completely validates the claims made by Chavez.

Firstly, Radonski is the youngest Venezuelan MP ever elected - being elected as an MP at age 26. After entering politics at the age of 25, he became Venezuela's youngest ever deputy in Congress, and was subsequently chosen to be Vice President of the House. Secondly, he has enjoyed a "meteoric rise through the political ranks," in the BBC's wording, insofar as he has held a number of posts, and has not lost a single election.