Puppet MastersS


EU panel seeks power to fine, censor and fire journalists

© Shutterstock
A series of recommendations issued Monday (PDF) by the European Union's "High Level Group" proposes the establishment of "media councils" in every member state that would be monitored by the European Commission and given the power to fine, censor and even fire individual journalists if deemed appropriate.

"Media councils should have real enforcement powers, such as the imposition of fines, orders for printed or broadcast apologies, or removal of journalistic status," one of the group's recommendations suggests. "The national media councils should follow a set of European-wide standards and be monitored by the Commission to ensure that they comply with European values."

Another recommendation pertaining to media councils advises that they be staffed "with a politically and culturally balanced and socially diverse membership," with lawmakers - not journalists or publishers - making the nominations.

Take 2

CIA and Pentagon have long-running influence over Hollywood's representation of military

The CIA and the Pentagon pulled out all the stops for the creators of "Zero Dark Thirty," staging interviews with officials and a Navy SEAL for an inside account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Critics praised the movie's gritty and gripping feel but, with the film due for release in major European markets this week, controversy has erupted over claims that it justifies US agents' use of torture on detainees.

The access granted to director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal has turned the Oscar-nominated movie into the most detailed public account that exists of the May 2011 raid on a Pakistani compound to kill Bin Laden.

Nate Jones of the National Security Archives research institute dubbed it "the closest thing to the official story behind the pursuit of bin Laden."

Cowboy Hat

Prince Harry reveals he killed Taliban fighters during Afghan tour of duty

© PAFighter pilot Prince Harry
Hurtling through the skies above war-torn Helmand, Prince Harry was only too aware his Apache helicopter could have been shot down at any moment.

And the 28-year-old knew if he found himself in Taliban sights he would have no choice but to take them out first.

In an unprecedented interview with a senior royal, Harry admitted he had killed rebels during his 20-week tour of Afghanistan as he put his life on the line to protect troops on the ground and evacuate comrades wounded in battle.

But the brave pilot said while he was happy to be in the thick of the action picking off the enemy in the Apache, he admitted he preferred to be on the ­front line with his men - as he was on his last tour to Helmand in 2007-2008.

And he spoke about the attack at his Camp Bastion base on his birthday last September that many believed was a Taliban bid to murder him.

Comment: Princess Diana must be spinning in her grave!


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

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

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

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.


Iraq car bombs kill 17, wound dozens

© 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.


Flashback Rapper Lupe Fiasco: Obama is the biggest terrorist

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."

"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'

© 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.


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

© 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.


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

© 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."