Puppet MastersS

Cult

Flashback Toulouse politicians and judges named in cocaine-fuelled child sex orgies

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Toulouse on the Garonne river
The allegations have inflamed dinner-table talk across France: a lurid tabloid tale of sex, murder, politics and corruption and, if the saga is to be believed, there could be a whole lot more to come.

The ingredients are said to include cocaine-fuelled orgies with underage call girls, prostitutes who turned tricks with robed magistrates inside a courthouse, sado-masochistic sessions secretly filmed by a transvestite blackmailer, and a string of murders by a psychopathic strangler.

Those who took part in the kinky sex, or helped to cover up the slayings, are supposed to have included local policemen, judges and public prosecutors, as well as a former mayor who is France's television censor and a powerful figure in President Jacques Chirac's party.

At the centre of this story is the enigmatic figure of Patrice Alegre, a 34-year-old pimp, former discotheque bouncer and drug abuser, who was jailed for life last year for the rape-slaying of five women and the rape of a sixth. The steel-eyed, remorseless killer has since admitted to two additional murders, but it is believed he may have carried out many more.

None of this is to the liking of tourism bosses in Toulouse, who prefer images of the snowcapped peaks of the nearby Pyrenees and the pink, sun-kissed buildings that give France's fourth-largest city its nickname of "la ville rose".

Cult

Best of the Web: Dutroux Cover-up Protected Pedophile Networks

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The high-level pedophile network in Belgium prevented spontaneous White Marches in 1996 from developing into a peaceful revolution by the careful sabotage of the initial police and judicial investigations, which was investigating the abominable crimes of judges, policemen, bankers, doctors, lawyers, aristocrats and members of the royal family. Careful perception management and historical revisionism has created the official story of Dutroux as the 'lone pedo', when documentaries such as the following prove otherwise.
It was a tragedy that would spark national outrage and lead to rumours of conspiracy and corruption at the highest levels of the Belgian judicial system. More than ten years after the paedophile Marc Dutroux was jailed for the kidnap, imprisonment, rape, torture and murder of terrified young girls, questions about the case remain.


Light Sabers

Towards the Ultimate Showdown: Cyber war games take place between Superpowers

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© Rick Wilking/ReutersFun and Games: The Air Force Space Command Network Operations and Security Centre in Colorado.
US and Chinese officials take part in war games in bid to prevent military escalation from cyber attacks

The US and China have been discreetly engaging in "war games" amid rising anger in Washington over the scale and audacity of Beijing-co-ordinated cyber attacks on western governments and big business, the Guardian has learned.

State department and Pentagon officials, along with their Chinese counterparts, were involved in two war games last year that were designed to help prevent a sudden military escalation between the sides if either felt they were being targeted. Another session is planned for May.

Though the exercises have given the US a chance to vent its frustration at what appears to be state-sponsored espionage and theft on an industrial scale, China has been belligerent.

"China has come to the conclusion that the power relationship has changed, and it has changed in a way that favours them," said Jim Lewis, a senior fellow and director at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) thinktank in Washington.

Comment: This is a classic case of 'the pot calling the kettle black'. It is the US and its allies who are clearly the belligerents in the realm of cyberspace and cyberterrorism. As we wrote in our Connecting the Dots series in February 2009:
Cyberwarfare Against China

In late 2007 the director-general of UK's MI5 sent a letter to 300 British CEOs and security chiefs warning them to be on the lookout for "state-sponsored Chinese hackers carrying out electronic surveillance attacks." This month Google Inc, following "close consultation with the US State Department",
threw down the gauntlet to China by saying it is no longer willing to censor search results on its Chinese service.

The world's leading search engine said the decision followed a cyber-attack that it believes was aimed at gathering information on Chinese human rights activists.
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© Budi PutraScreenshot of Baidu (China's most popular internet search engine) after it was hacked by ... ahem, "Iranian Cyber Terrorists"
Led by a US media chorus, commentators lauded Google's noble decision to make a stand for individuals' privacy rights when the corporate behemoth this month accused the Chinese government of launching a cyber-attack that enabled it to hack into the Gmail accounts of "dozens of human rights activists" in China, Europe and the US. The devil in the details was that there were not "dozens", but just two Gmail accounts breached "most likely as a result of phishing or malware attacks" which were limited to acquiring basic account information, such as the date the Gmail account was created, rather than the content of emails themselves. Furthermore these two accounts were actually breached in December, yet Google chose to publicize this January 13, on the very same day that its competitor Baidu, the most popular search engine in China, suffered a real and crippling cyber-attack that knocked it offline for 4 hours. The Baidu homepage was redirected to the "Iranian Cyber Army", which claimed responsibility for the attack!
It seems that [Baidu] has had its DNS hacked by the "Iranian cyber Army", the same guys that hacked Twitter a few weeks ago. The process, called DNS cache poisoning, is the corruption of an Internet server's domain name system (DNS) table by replacing an Internet address with that of another, rogue address, in this case what the Iranian Cyber Army want you to see.
The obvious(ly ridiculous) implication was that the attack came from Iran. Following an investigation, Baidu filed a lawsuit for damages in a court in New York against its domain name registration service provider, Register.com Inc, which it accused of "unlawfully and maliciously altering" software behind its domain, resulting in the DNS cache poisoning that corrupted Baidu's domain name system. Incidentally, Larry Kutscher, CEO of Register.com, once served as Managing Director of Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs.

Of course, this was completely ignored by the western media which praised Google's stand against the evil commie Chinese privacy-hating state censors. Yes, China does not allow Twitter into its networks, but who can blame them given its trojan capabilities on display in CIA "soft revolutions" in Moldova and Iran? China knows that certain governments' concept of "freedom of speech" amounts to a cover for bombarding targeted countries with carefully crafted propaganda intended to sow discord and unhinge populations. What Google, the US government and the western media condemn as "increasing censorship", the Chinese government says is its right to protect its networks from malevolent influence. Let's hear the Chinese side of the story:
China on Friday firmly dismissed accusations by the United States that Beijing restricts Internet freedom and warned such claims were damaging to relations between the two nations.

"The US has criticized China's policies to administer the Internet and insinuated China restricts Internet freedom," said Ma Zhaoxu, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry. "China's Internet is open and managed in accordance with law."
[...]
Fu Mengzi, a researcher for the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said sovereign nations must supervise Internet content to maintain social security.

"Every country has rights to protect its national security and the US is no exception," he said, adding that Chinese netizens have sufficient access to the information they need in line with laws.

What China did is to safeguard the security of information flow on the Internet, he said.

"It's wrong to set up a false dichotomy between Internet freedom and supervision," he said.

Fu also pointed out that Google has broken Chinese laws by providing links to pornographic sites and infringing intellectual property rights.
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© Unknown
The Chinese government, like all centers of power, is no doubt ponerised, but most everything we hear about it is US-centric propaganda filtered through compliant tools like Google. The psychopathic US establishment accusing China of doing what it is in fact engaged in clearly demonstrates this dissonance. Google further accused "Chinese hackers" of cyber attacks against 20 other major companies, yet strangely, none of them chose to step forward and confirm this. Next the Washington Post heightened hysteria by claiming 34 companies had come under attack, including death merchants Northrop Gruman, and that this was all part of a vast Chinese espionage campaign. All of it was fiction of course, supplied by "industry and congressional sources," a modern Red Scare generated to justify attacking "the enemy."

By the time Hilary Clinton graced the stage to publicly support Google's specious accusations, the stench of hypocrisy reached unbearable levels. The US National Security State apparatus routinely monitors all electronic communications, not just in the US, but wherever its global surveillance tentacles reach. We have direct experience of Google's censorship, whereby search results from Sott.net being consistently omitted from Google listings. And what about Google StreetCam, anyone? Google doesn't give a damn about "removing censorship restrictions"; all it cares about is removing impediments to ownership of all information, while serving its masters along the way. This is what Google CEO Eric Schmidt, upstanding patriot that he is, really thinks of your privacy:
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. [...]If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines - including Google - do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities."
Google's quest for world domination goes unimpeded within the US Empire's sphere of influence (demonstrated just recently by a proposed ammendment in the UK that would essentially grant Google copyright immunity under English law) but struggles to make inroads into Baidu's 77% market share in China. And this is where Google's interests and the US government's interests dovetail.

The last time a "wave of cyber-attacks" against US targets was attributed to an east Asian country, it soon emerged that the source of the attacks was traced to servers in the UK. The Pentagon's new cross-agency cyber-army, "CyberCommand", had gone online just prior to the attacks, so it seems reasonable to suggest that it was testing its capabilities. We submit that Google's flare-up with the Chinese government this month was synchronized as a decoy while CyberCommand launched its real-time attack against Baidu using the "Iranian Cyber Army" as a false-flag proxy.

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© scroogle.orgNSA and Google blend into one... or were they on the same team all along?
Was this American vengeance for being completely upstaged by the Chinese at the Nopenhagen conference in December, perhaps? Or a show of strength in the face of Chinese reluctance to endorse sanctions against Iran? Regardless, China responded to the relentless provocation in the best way possible; with the truth:
"Behind what America calls free speech is naked political scheming. How did the unrest after the Iranian elections come about? [...] It was because online warfare launched by America, via Youtube video and Twitter microblogging, spread rumors, created splits, stirred up, and sowed discord between the followers of conservative reformist factions."
[...]
"We're afraid that in the eyes of American politicians, only information controlled by America is free information, only news acknowledged by America is free news, only speech approved by America is free speech, and only information flow that suits American interests is free information flow."
The naked political scheming came full circle with the news that Google, the world's largest Internet search company, is to form an unholy alliance with the NSA, the world's most powerful electronic surveillance organization, in the name of cybersecurity against the cyberwar they have just covertly unleashed.
The pertinent question at this point in time is why these two 'enemies' are engaging in war games together? It's unlikely that the US has suddenly 'gone soft on Communism'. Collaborating with 'the enemy' tells us more about their mutual interests than it does about their supposed antagonism. We wonder whether this prepping of the public mind for conflict between the US and China is part of a strategy by the Powers That Be to pitch them into a manipulated conflict?


Cult

Formula One billionaire Bernie Ecclestone: 'Hitler was able to get things done'

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Billionaire Formula One (F-1) owner Bernie Eccelstone and F-1 President Max Mosley have disgraced F-1 motorsports with their neo-Nazi like S&M games (Moseley) and Ecclestone's shameless pro- Hitler remarks, praises for Saddam and the Taliban. Mosley is the son of infamous British Fascist, Oswald Mosley. He was caught on video in a Nazi S&M romp with prostitutes. Note what Times on-line report, 'F1: Hitler Remarks Touch Off Fire Storm' has to say about their outrageous interview with Ecclestone:
In an outspoken interview with The Times, the 78-year-old billionaire chastised contemporary politicians for their weakness and extolled the virtues of strong leadership.

Mr. Ecclestone said: "In a lot of ways, terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people, able to get things done."

"In the end he got lost, so he wasn't a very good dictator because either he had all these things and knew what was going on and insisted, or he just went along with it . . . so either way he wasn't a dictator." He also rounded on democracy, claiming that "it hasn't done a lot of good for many countries - including this one [Britain]".

People

French Voters Frustrated on Eve of Election Day

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© Reuters/Philippe WojazerOfficial campaign posters for French President and UMP political party candidate Nicolas Sarkozy (R) and Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande, for the 2012 French presidential election, are displayed on a wall in Paris April 16, 2012.
Paris - French voters voiced disillusionment on Saturday at a campaign that many said ignored the country's real problems, on the eve of a first-round vote expected to send President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist rival Francois Hollande to a runoff next month.

A day ahead of voting in mainland France, the first ballots were cast in overseas territories, from French Guiana on the northern shores of South America to the Pacific islands of Polynesia.

In France, the presidential campaign largely disappeared from the airwaves as the 10 candidates observed a one-day blackout imposed by law from midnight on Friday.

Final polls showed Hollande narrowly ahead of conservative Sarkozy for Sunday's first round and comfortably winning the May 6 runoff to become France's first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand left office in 1995.

The prospect of record abstention loomed over Sunday's ballot, with many people complaining that none of the candidates appealed to them.

Under the banner "They Don't Represent Us", hundreds of young demonstrators marched through Paris.

"Not one of the candidate appears credible to me. Politics is controlled by finance," Duncan, a 19-year-old student, told Reuters as the protest converged on the stock exchange.

Bomb

Propaganda Alert! Afghans Seize 10,000 Kilograms of Explosives Smuggled from Pakistan, Foil Alleged Attack

Kabul - Afghan security forces have arrested five militants with 10,000 kilograms (22,000 pounds) of explosives that they smuggled in from Pakistan to carry out a massive attack in Kabul, as well as another three suspects allegedly planning to assassinate the vice-president, an official said Saturday.

The reports of new planned attacks in the Afghan capital came a week after militants said to be part of the Pakistan-based Haqqani group launched co-ordinated assaults in the heart of Kabul and in three other cities.

U.S. officials say they have stepped up pressure on Islamabad to crack down on the Haqqanis, who specializes in high-profile strikes against well-protected targets.

Three of the five men arrested with the explosives were members of the Pakistani Taliban, while the other two belonged to the Afghan Taliban, National Director for Security spokesman Shafiqullah Tahiry told reporters. He said the men's orders came from militant leaders with ties to Pakistani intelligence. He did not say when the arrests took place, nor what their intended target was.

Tahiry said the seized explosives were packed in 400 bags and hidden under potatoes loaded in a truck with Pakistani license plates.

Attention

Weapons Expert Who Worked With Dr.David Kelly Found Dead

Holmes and Kelly
© Mail Online/Eddie Mulholland Rex Features'Stressed': The cause of Richard Holmes's (left) death is still unknown. David Kelly (right) was found dead nine years ago.
A weapons expert who worked with Dr David Kelly at the Government's secret chemical warfare laboratory has been found dead in an apparent suicide. In circumstances strongly reminiscent of Dr Kelly's own mysterious death nine years ago, the body of Dr Richard Holmes was discovered in a field four miles from the Porton Down defence establishment in Wiltshire. It is not yet known how he died.Mr Holmes, 48, had gone missing two days earlier after telling his wife he was going out for a walk - just as Dr Kelly did before he was found dead at an Oxfordshire beauty spot in July 2003.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances in the latest case but revealed that Dr Holmes had 'recently been under a great deal of stress'.

He resigned from Porton Down last month, although the centre yesterday refused to explain why.Inevitably, the parallels between the two cases will arouse the suspicions of conspiracy theorists.

Despite Lord Hutton's ruling eight years ago that Dr Kelly committed suicide, many people - among them a group of doctors - believe his inquiry was insufficient and have demanded a full inquest.

Some believe Dr Kelly, who kept an office at Porton Down right up until his death, was murdered. He was outed as being the source of a BBC report that Downing Street 'sexed up' evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to justify going to war.

Stormtrooper

Homeland Security Stomps on Freedom of the Press

Freedom of speech might allow journalists to get away with a lot in America, but the Department of Homeland Security is on the ready to make sure that the government is keeping dibs on who is saying what.
Department of Homeland Security
© Department of Homeland Security
Under the National Operations Center (NOC)'s Media Monitoring Initiative that came out of DHS headquarters in November, Washington has the written permission to retain data on users of social media and online networking platforms.

Specifically, the DHS announced the NCO and its Office of Operations Coordination and Planning (OPS) can collect personal information from news anchors, journalists, reporters or anyone who may use "traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed."

According to the Department of Homeland Security's own definition of personal identifiable information, or PII, such data could consist of any intellect "that permits the identity of an individual to be directly or indirectly inferred, including any information which is linked or linkable to that individual." Previously established guidelines within the administration say that data could only be collected under authorization set forth by written code, but the new provisions in the NOC's write-up means that any reporter, whether someone along the lines of Walter Cronkite or a budding blogger, can be victimized by the agency.

Bomb

Poverty-Stricken Struggle with War on Welfare

It's not easy for poor people to get cash assistance in America.

Prior to welfare reform in 1996, 68 of every 100 poor families with children received cash assistance through Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). But by 2010, under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program which replaced AFDC, just 27 of every 100 poor families received benefits. The rolls shrunk as states were given wide discretion over eligibility, benefit levels, time limits, and how to use their TANF block grants which were frozen at 1996 funding levels and not indexed for inflation.
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© n/a
Georgia is known as a particularly difficult state when it comes to accessing TANF. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), in 2008-09 for every 100 poor families with children in Georgia, only eight received cash aid.

Now the state is set to make its TANF application process even more onerous.

On Monday, Republican Governor Nathan Deal signed a law requiring that people approved for TANF receive a drug test within forty-eight hours. They also have to pay a $17 fee for the test and it isn't refunded, even if a person passes. In addition to the financial burden, forty-eight hours can be tough for someone who may need to arrange for childcare, or find transportation to a testing site.

USA

Business as Usual: A Conspiracy of Whores

Santos Obama Clinton drug war
© UnknownColombian President Santos and President Obama, and Hillary Clinton dancing at the Havana nightclub in Cartagena
Whore: (verb) To debase oneself by doing something for unworthy motives, typically to make money.
-The New Oxford American Dictionary

It's a challenge to make adult sense of the absurdities coming out of Colombia right now.

I had first planned to write about the Drug War aspect of President Obama's summit meeting in Cartagena, since it's quite amazing when the right-wing president of Colombia publicly lobbies the US president to shift the Drug War from military operations against supply in Latin America to a more social approach against demand in the US. After all, Colombia is the highly militarized US showcase nation in the 40-year Drug War.

"Despite all of the efforts, the immense efforts, the huge costs, we have to recognize that the illicit drug business is prospering," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told the attending leaders. He even advocated a process of decriminalization, though he recognized this was only a "starting point to begin a discussion that we have been postponing for far too long."

This is real news.

Our Drug War is a military/police enterprise focused on attacking the supply of drugs coming from Latin America. Santos seems to concede it's a dismal failure. He also knows the accumulated conditions of that failure are so entrenched in the hemisphere that it's hard to even begin to discuss a way out.