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Megaphone

SOTT Focus: Behind the Headlines: The Sandy Hook Massacre, What Really Happened?

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In this first broadcast of Sott.net's new Talk Radio show, co-hosts Joe Quinn and Niall Bradley discuss the December 14th 2012 Sandy Hook shooting from a unique perspective. Having carefully analysed the horrific school shooting from a number of different angles in a series of articles, the Sott.net editors realised that there is actually very little to go on that points directly to any conspiracy. However, when placed within the historical context of similar mass shootings and political assassinations in the U.S. over the past half century, the theory that a conspiracy took place at Sandy Hook elementary school becomes plausible.

Running Time: 02:02:00

Download: MP3


Bad Guys

Best of the Web: Blonde haired, blue-eyed American and Canadian 'terrorists' led international 'al Qaeda' brigade in siege on BP gas plant in Algeria, while 'English-speaking Islamic militants of European appearance' roam Mali

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Algerian firemen carry a coffin containing one of the victims of the gas facility siege at the morgue in In Amenas yesterday
English-speaking jihadis seen in Mali, as a Canadian is reported to have co-ordinated Algeria attack.

Canada is investigating an allegation by the Algerian Prime Minister that one of its citizens co-ordinated the terror raid at the Saharan gas plant in which dozens of hostages were killed.

Westerners, including a man with blond hair and blue eyes, are believed to have been among the Islamist militants who launched last week's attack on the Tigantourine complex near Algeria's border with Libya.

A French jihadist, previously unknown to authorities, and two Canadians are suspected to have been involved in the hostage-taking, and reports also claim that a man with a Western accent was among the extremists who lured terrified gas workers from their rooms during the hostage crisis.

Comment: Should we be surprised? No:
Mumbai "terrorists": "Foreign looking, fair skinned" men had blonde hair, punkish hairstyle, drank beer before killing spree

BBC
Thu, 27 Nov 2008

"Their audaciousness was breath-taking," he says.

"One man loaded the magazine into the gun, the other kept shooting. They appeared calm and composed. They were not in the slightest hurry. They didn't seem to be afraid at all."

The men entered a platform and shot a man near an automated teller machine.

Then they turned around and shot another commuter at the grubby, dark-tiled drinking water station around the corner.

Then, the "foreign looking, fair skinned" men, as Mr Mishra remembers them, simply carried on killing.



Bomb

Iraq car bombs kill 17, wound dozens

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© Mohammed Ameen/ReutersA boy walks past a burnt vehicle at the site of a bomb attack in the Shuala district in Baghdad on Tuesday. The parked car bomb exploded in a crowded Shia market killing 5 people and wounding 13 others.
A string of car bomb attacks in and around Baghdad killed 17 people and wounded dozens Tuesday, deepening fears of an increase in violence as sectarian tensions simmer in Iraq.

Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, blame is likely to fall on Sunni insurgents such as al-Qaeda's local franchise. The group often uses indiscriminate car bombs to sow fear among Iraq's Shia majority and undermine the government's authority.

The killing began in the morning when a parked car exploded in Mahmoudiya, about 30 kilometres south of the Iraqi capital, targeting a security checkpoint there. The explosion killed five, including two soldiers who were manning the checkpoint, and wounded 15 people, according to police.

Then, a suicide car bomb struck near a checkpoint in the northern Baghdad suburb of Taji, killing seven people and wounding 26.

Yoda

Flashback Rapper Lupe Fiasco: Obama is the biggest terrorist

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A few weeks ago, the political right criticized President Barack Obama for having Common, a Chicago-native rapper, to the White House for a poetry reading.

Now, the situation's turned on its head, as a Chicago rapper is attacking the President for being too far right in his foreign policy.

In an interview on "What's Trending," a CBS News video segment, Lupe Fiasco -- a rapper known for his socially conscious and politically charged lyrics -- had some harsh words for the president.

"In my fight against terrorism, to me, the biggest terrorist is Obama, and the United States of America," Lupe told host Shira Lazar. He went on to explain the comment:
"I'm trying to fight the terrorism that's actually causing the other forms of terrorism. You know, the root cause of terrorism is the stuff that the U.S. government allows to happen, and the foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists. And it's easy for us because it's just some oil."

Comment:
"I'm trying to fight the terrorism that's actually causing the other forms of terrorism. You know, the root cause of terrorism is the stuff that the U.S. government allows to happen, and the foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists. And it's easy for us because it's just some oil."
It actually goes much further than that: the U.S. government - certainly an element within the U.S. government's intelligence structure - created the Taliban, OBL, al Qaeda et al. for the purpose of making terrorism a 'real threat' threat must be countered with endless war and a police state at home.


Bizarro Earth

A time for 'sublime madness'

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© Flickr/Humphrey King
The planet we have assaulted will convulse with fury. The senseless greed of limitless capitalist expansion will implode the global economy. The decimation of civil liberties, carried out in the name of fighting terror, will shackle us to an interconnected security and surveillance state that stretches from Moscow to Istanbul to New York. To endure what lies ahead we will have to harness the human imagination. It was the human imagination that permitted African-Americans during slavery and the Jim Crow era to transcend their physical condition. It was the human imagination that sustained Sitting Bull and Black Elk as their land was seized and their cultures were broken. And it was the human imagination that allowed the survivors in the Nazi death camps to retain the power of the sacred.

It is the imagination that makes possible transcendence. Chants, work songs, spirituals, the blues, poetry, dance and art converged under slavery to nourish and sustain this imagination. These were the forces that, as Ralph Ellison wrote, "we had in place of freedom." The oppressed would be the first - for they know their fate - to admit that on a rational level such a notion is absurd, but they also know that it is only through the imagination that they survive. Jewish inmates in Auschwitz reportedly put God on trial for the Holocaust and then condemned God to death. A rabbi stood after the verdict to lead the evening prayers.

Dollar

How the Vatican built a secret property empire using Mussolini's millions

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© Photograph: Alessandra Benedetti/CorbisBehind Pope Benedict XVI is a porfolio of property that includes commercial premises on London's New Bond Street.
Papacy used offshore tax havens to create £500m international portfolio, featuring real estate in UK, France and Switzerland.

Few passing London tourists would ever guess that the premises of Bulgari, the upmarket jewellers in New Bond Street, had anything to do with the pope. Nor indeed the nearby headquarters of the wealthy investment bank Altium Capital, on the corner of St James's Square and Pall Mall.

But these office blocks in one of London's most expensive districts are part of a surprising secret commercial property empire owned by the Vatican.

Behind a disguised offshore company structure, the church's international portfolio has been built up over the years, using cash originally handed over by Mussolini in return for papal recognition of the Italian fascist regime in 1929.

Since then the international value of Mussolini's nest-egg has mounted until it now exceeds £500m. In 2006, at the height of the recent property bubble, the Vatican spent £15m of those funds to buy 30 St James's Square. Other UK properties are at 168 New Bond Street and in the city of Coventry. It also owns blocks of flats in Paris and Switzerland.

Crusader

On eve of Roe v. Wade anniversary, Gov. Rick Perry vows to continue anti-abortion crusade

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© AFPTexas Governor Rick Perry
Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas blasted the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision on Monday, indicating he will continue to push for anti-abortion laws.

"Roe v. Wade paved the way for the loss of more than 54 million innocent lives, with more than a million added to that total with each passing year," he said in a statement on the eve of the ruling's 40th anniversary. "This catastrophic loss of life is a grim testament to judicial activism, and a tragic stain on our national conscience."

"In Texas, we've worked hard to strengthen our abortion laws to the greatest extent possible under Roe v. Wade," the governor added. "We will continue working to empower families and protect our children's future, until the day abortion is nothing more than a tragic footnote in our nation's history."

Eye 2

Missouri Republican: No such thing as a hate crime

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Missouri lawmaker Paul Curtman
Missouri State Rep. Paul Curtman (R) on Saturday denied that crimes based on an the victim's race, religion, national origin, ethnic identification, gender, or sexual orientation were any different than other crimes.

Curtman's remarks were recorded by the group Progress Missouri at the Forum on Missouri Economic Prosperity. During his speech at the forum, the Missouri lawmaker advocated for free market policies, and said the U.S. Constitution provided an outline for limited government and economic freedom.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," Curtman said, quoting the Declaration of Independence. "Let's start right there: All men are created equal. The first thing you need is equality under the law to apply to the economic sector of society just as it would to any thing else."

Megaphone

Time to target the real terrorists: The return of COINTELPRO?

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"Democracies die behind closed doors" - Judge Damon J. Keith


For 15 years (1956-1971) the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ran a broad and highly coordinated domestic intelligence / counterintelligence program known as COINTELPRO (COunter INTELligence PROgrams). What was originally deemed as a justifiable effort to protect the US during the Cold War from Soviet and Communist threats and infiltration, soon devolved into a program for suppressing domestic dissent and spying on American citizens. Approximately 20,000 people were investigated by the FBI based only on their political views and beliefs. Most were never suspected of having committed any crime.

The reasoning behind the program, as detailed in a 1976 Senate report, was that the FBI had "the duty to do whatever is necessary to combat perceived threats to the existing social and political order." The fact that the "perceived threats" were usually American citizens engaging in constitutionally protected behaviour was apparently overlooked. The stated goal of COINTELPRO was to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" any individual or group deemed to be subversive or a threat to the established power structure.

The FBI's techniques were often extreme, with the agency being complicit in the murder and assassination of political dissidents, or having people sent away to prison for life. Some of the more "moderate" actions that were used were blackmail, spreading false rumors, intimidation and harassment. It has been argued that the US is unique in that it is the only Western industrialized democracy to have engaged in such a wide spread and well organized domestic surveillance program. It finally came to an end in 1971 when it was threatened with public exposure.

Or did it?

Target

Shedding crocodile tears while collaborating with U.S.-led sanctions

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© AP / Andoni LubakiA Free Syrian Army fighter holds his weapon during heavy clashes with government forces in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013.
Are the Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation targeting Syria's civilian population?

One powerful image from Damascus that has become seared into this observers mind these days is when I walk by a Western Union office. Most of them remain open despite the brutal US-led sanctions which in their pervasive effects target almost entirely the civilian population. But all Western Union offices were closed last Thursday and Friday due to heavy snowfall, which some say is the deepest here for more than a quarter century. Still, some Syrians braved the extreme cold and could be seen huddled outside some branches, evidently in vain hope that they might open and their families might eat.

One of the few economic lifelines not yet cut by the ever strangling, profoundly immoral and illegal US-led sanctions, with their throat-hold tightening around the civilian population in Syria in order to achieve regime change, "WU" as it's known, has become, for some, literally a lifesaver. This is because its money transfer service is still allowing family and friends from abroad to send in assistance to Syria for their desperate families caught up in this regional contest between Resistance and a return to Western hegemony.

Peering in the window or stepping inside a Western Union outlet in Damascus reminds this observer of scenes from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange or a European bourse wherein traders wave pieces of paper or other objects trying to get the attention of someone. But in Syria, those trying to submit their ten digit Money Control Transfer Number (MTCN) numbers and ID's in order to collect cash, are not wearing clothes from the fashion houses. Rather, given the frigid temperatures and lack of mazot (heating oil that 90% of the population here relies on for heat) they are tightly bundled. Women and kids generally wrapped tight in thick head scarves.