Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 07 Dec 2021
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters
Map

Eye 2

'Undisclosed location' disclosed: A visit offers some insight into Cheney hide-out

Image
© Unknown
Welcome to the undisclosed location.

Known familiarly to government insiders as the "underground Pentagon," this is where Vice President Dick Cheney set up shop in the aftermath of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and where he sometimes is when his office is being secretive about Cheney's whereabouts.

The location is a highly secure complex of buildings inside Raven Rock Mountain near Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., close to the Maryland-Pennsylvania state line and about seven miles north of Camp David.

A recent book, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies, by James Bamford, was credited with spilling the beans about the supposedly supersecret hideaway.

Still, there is great sensitivity about the compound, as emphasized to an uninvited reporter the other day who was inadvertently allowed to briefly enter a guardhouse.

"I work physical security at an undisclosed location in southern Pennsylvania, that's all I can say," said a well-armed fatigues-clad Army guard as he politely but firmly told the reporter that "everything you see is classified."

There is not all that much to be seen.

Document

BP's Secret Deepwater Blowout

Greg Palast
© gregpalast.com
Greg Palast investigating BP's blowout in the Caspian, Baku, Azerbaijan 2010.

Only 17 months before BP's Deepwater Horizon rig suffered a deadly blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP deepwater oil platform also blew out.

You've heard and seen much about the Gulf disaster that killed 11 BP workers. If you have not heard about the earlier blowout, it's because BP has kept the full story under wraps. Nor did BP inform Congress or US safety regulators, and BP, along with its oil industry partners, have preferred to keep it that way.

The earlier blowout occurred in September 2008 on BP's Central Azeri platform in the Caspian Sea.

As one memo marked "secret" puts it, "Given the explosive potential, BP was quite fortunate to have been able to evacuate everyone safely and to prevent any gas ignition." The Caspian oil platform was a spark away from exploding, but luck was with the 211 rig workers.

It was eerily similar to the Gulf catastrophe as it involved BP's controversial "quick set" drilling cement.

The question we have to ask: If BP had laid out the true and full facts to Congress and regulators about the earlier blowout, would those 11 Gulf workers be alive today - and the Gulf Coast spared oil-spill poisons?

Document

DOJ Argues For Rehearing in Dick Cheney's Secret Service Lawsuit

Image
© Associated Press
Denver -- The U.S. Department of Justice has sided with attorneys for two Secret Service agents who were sued after arresting a man who confronted former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The department argues that the law protects agents when they're making split-second decisions while protecting the president and vice president.

DOJ documents filed Monday in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals support the agents' request that the court overturn a three-judge panel's ruling last month that allows a lawsuit filed by Steven Howards to proceed on First Amendment grounds.

Attorneys general from Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, South Carolina and Vermont filed similar documents, arguing that the lawsuit would subject local police to lawsuits.

Radar

Koch Industries buying ads to refute news stories

Image
© Unknown
Koch Industries has launched a website and is buying advertisements on Google and Facebook to counter news stories critical of the politically-active company.

Charles and David Koch, owners of Koch Industries, were principle financiers of Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker and the tea party movement. They are also supporters of groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Reason Foundation.

In response to a story by the Center for Public Integrity that outlined Koch's multimillion-dollar lobbying network in Washington, Koch Industries has started an ad campaign targeting the nonprofit organization.

The Center for Public Integrity has a screen shot of the Google ad, which says "Slanted Reporting on Koch: Bias, hidden agenda at the Center for Public Integrity" after a search for the words "Center for Public Integrity" and "Koch." A similar ad is also apparently on Facebook.

Footprints

Fidel Castro resigns as head of Cuba's Communist Party

Image
© UN Photo/ Evan Schneider
Havana - Fidel Castro confirmed his exit from the Communist Party leadership on Tuesday, ceding power to his brother Raul as delegates prepare to vote on changes that could bring term limits to key posts.

The move came after the sixth Communist Party Congress approved a flurry of measures on Monday aimed at keeping Cuba's centrally planned economy from collapse but without any broad embrace of market-oriented change.

"Raul knew that I would not accept a formal role in the party today," Fidel wrote in an article on the Cubadebate.cu portal, referring to his absence from the party's new Central Committee, elected on Monday.

Castro, 84, had served as first secretary in the Central Committee of the party -- which underpins the country's Communist government -- since the party's creation in 1965.

Heart - Black

US: Oklahoma passes law to restrict Westboro Baptist protests

Image
© Unknown
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill into law Monday that restricts members of the Westboro Baptist Church from protesting at military funerals.

The new law, introduced by Republican State Senator Josh Brecheen, prohibits protests two hours before or after a funeral. It also restricts protesters from being within 1,000 feet of a funeral, up from 500 feet under a previous law.

"Protesting a funeral for political purposes is an abhorrent and disgusting practice," Fallin said. "While such distasteful protests have been ruled constitutionally protected and cannot be legally prohibited, this legislation will help protect grieving families from people who are looking to exploit their suffering."

Laptop

Top-secret US lab infiltrated by spear phishers - again

IE 0day leads to theft of data

One of the most sensitive science labs in the US has shut down all internet access after attackers exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to steal data from some of its servers, according to published news reports.

The security breach at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is at least the second time since 2007 that computers have been hacked when employees were duped by phishing emails. The most recent compromise was initiated by messages that were manipulated so that they appeared to come from the lab's Human Resource Department, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

According to a follow-up post, a link included in the fraudulent email, which first entered the lab's systems on April 7, exploited a critical vulnerability in IE that Microsoft fixed last Tuesday. It was the same bug that fetched a security researcher a $15,000 prize in the recent Pwn2Own hacking contest.

Footprints

West eyes plan to send ground troops to Libya

EU considers deploying armed force to escort humanitarian aid as airstrikes fail to neutralize Gadhafi's forces

Western nations are inching closer to placing troops on Libyan soil despite threats from Moammar Gadhafi's regime and opposition from France.

The European Union said it was willing to deploy an armed force to escort humanitarian aid, an act Libya's rulers called tantamount to a military operation. Britain said Tuesday it will dispatch senior military officers to advise Libya's opposition forces.

The ground-troop issue arose after Libyan state-run television reported on Tuesday that NATO warplanes launched airstrikes on the capital Tripoli and the city of Sirte. Also Tuesday, a human rights researcher reported renewed attacks by government troops on rebel-held Misrata.


Bizarro Earth

US: Government Interfering with Dolphin Death Research

dolphins
© Unknown

Most of the press regarding the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil disaster (the impacts are still unfolding) focuses on blaming British Petroleum, which isn't unreasonable, but it is obscuring the fact the US federal government has played a significant role, and still is.

Recently it was reported that the federal government is suppressing information related to the very unusual spike in Gulf dolphin deaths. Researchers hired as contractors for the federal government objected to the way they were told to keep quiet about their discoveries when they were collecting dead dolphins and studying them for oil contamination.

Trying to block dolphin death information so that it isn't circulated in the press and the public discourse is bad enough, but now the federal government is returning weakened dolphins found stranded to deeper Gulf waters, without allowing them to be studied to discover the cause of all the sudden dolphin deaths. So why push some weakened stranded dolphins back into deeper Gulf waters without studying them first in order to help determine the reasons for their illness and deaths?

Star of David

Death Warrant: Those who want to bump off the witnesses of the slaughter

Vittorio Arrigoni_01
© megachip
A Criminal website incites the killing of volunteers in Gaza. Vittorio Arrigoni is also in their sights. There should be investigation against Lee Kaplan.

The criminal website stoptheism invites people to kill the few volunteers who are providing health treatment in Gaza under Israeli bombs.

They are Americans, Spaniards, Australians, Italians and other volunteers who report us what news they can about the real impact of the Israeli aggression in Gaza. Amongst them there is Vittorio Arrigoni, human rights activist.

What we have here is pure incitement to killing, furnished also with the photos of those "wanted". It's really inconceivable that the site is still online. We demand that the Italian Government and Foreign Office take steps right now to call for it to be immediately closed and to bring those responsible to court.

Comment: Further reading and analysis from Aletho The Truthteller's blog.