Puppet MastersS


USA

Best of the Web: Assassination Nation: The Fifty Year U.S. Killing Spree

US assassination map
© Richard D. Vogel / William Blum
Fifty Years of US Targeted 'Kill Lists': From the Phoenix Program to Predator Drones
"A broad-gauged program of targeted assassination has now displaced counterinsurgency as the prevailing expression of the American way of war." - Andrew Bacevich [1]
This spring the US drone killing program has come out of the closet. Attorney General Eric Holder publicly defended the drone killing of an American citizen [2], while Obama's counter terrorism czar John Brennan publicly explained and justified the target killing program [3]. And a New York Times article by Jo Becker and Scott Shane chronicled Obama's personal role in vetting a secret "Kill List." [4]

Handcuffs

Journalist arrested in Belarus for publishing pictures of teddy bears

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© Unknown
If it wasn't so serious, it would be laughable. Belarusian security agents have arrested a website editor for publishing photographs of teddy bears, such as the one above.

Anton Suryapin, who runs a site called Belarusian News Photos, carried the pictures on his site after the toys were airdropped over Minsk on 4 July. The bears were pinned with press freedom messages.

The airdrop was carried out by Studio Total, a Swedish advertising agency. On its website, it explains that it did so in order to highlight the international media's neglect of press freedom violations in Belarus. It said it purchased a small plane and flew illegally to Belarus from neighbouring Lithuania.

That resulted last Friday in Suryapin being detained by members of the KGB, the nation's security service, for alleged complicity in an illegal border crossing, a charge that can lead to a seven-year jail term.

Although the airdrop was widely reported in the regional media, Belarusian authorities have since denied it ever took place. The defence ministry told Interfax, the Russian news agency, that its experts had concluded that the photos and videos were fabricated and that the information about the stunt was false and a provocation.

Bomb

'Suicide bombers' of the world, unite!

General Dawoud Rajiha
© AFP/Getty ImagesSyrian defence minister, General Dawoud Rajiha, was killed in the bombing
It is, literally, a bomb. What kind of wily actor managed to get the precious intel needed to penetrate, disrupt and destroy a meeting at the National Security building in Damascus - killing Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha and his deputy Assef Shawkat, Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law?

What really happened is still murky. Reuters said it was a suicide bomber working as a bodyguard for Assad's inner circle. Agence France-Presse reported it was a suicide bomber detonating his belt. Beirut's Al-Akhbar said it was a planted bomb. Same for Lebanon's Al-Manar TV - detailing it was a 40-kilogram bomb.

So who was it? The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)? The MI6? Saudi intel? Turkish intel? Or that oh so pliable ghost - al-Qaeda?

Card - MC

WikiLeaks Nearly Out of Cash

wikileakslogo
© TechCrunch
WikiLeaks said it is close to running out of money, a problem the site blamed on Visa and MasterCard, which have prohibited users from donating to the site.

WikiLeaks' cash reserves have fallen from €800,000 ($983,600) in December 2010 to less than €100,000 at the end of June, the site said, adding that its funds would run out "within a few months" unless donations dramatically increase.

In the first six months of 2012, WikiLeaks said it spent €246,600 while collecting donations of just €32,800. According to a two-page financial report released by the German foundation that processes WikiLeaks' bills, in the first half of 2012 the site spent €20,000 on general and technical "infrastructure," €104,900 on "campaigns" and "external communications," €97,700 on logistics, €17,900 on legal advice and €6,100 on administration.

WikiLeaks said it needed to raise "a minimum of €1 million immediately" in order to "effectively continue its mission." In a news release, it said it has set up a new donation pathway through French credit card system Carte Bleue, which it said is "coupled with the Visa/MasterCard system globally."

Star of David

Best of the Web: Was Arafat murdered?

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Murdered by Israel? Yasser Arafat
Most Palestinians, whether they supported their late leader Yasser Arafat or not, were in agreement that he did not die of natural causes. They believed he was murdered by Israel or its agents.

But are Palestinians justified in blaming Israel for his death?

French doctors treating Arafat did not issue a conclusive report identifying the cause of his illness. The French public medical report pointed to the destruction of red blood cells as a reason for his death, but did not identify the cause of the red cell failure.

According to an Al Jazeera report, tests by scientists at the Institute of Radiation Physics in Lausanne, Switzerland, suggested that traces found on Arafat's stained underwear and other personal belongings pointed to an "unexplained, elevated amount of unsupported polonium-210", which could explain his red cell abnormality.

The Swiss lab is the same medical institute that uncovered traces of the radioactive isotope polonium-210 on former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko's belongings.

The Russian dissident died in 2006 following a meeting with Russian officials after ingesting tea laced with the substance.

After scanning Arafat's belongings, lab officials found an "unexplained level of polonium", concluding the possibility that he died of "poisoning".

Israel is the only nation in the region with a proven capability to produce polonium-210.

Eagle

CIA Sued Over Targeted-Kill Drone Strikes

ACLU
© Agence France-Presse/Karen Bleier
For killing three of US citizens overseas without bringing them to trial, the Central Intelligence Agency and the US Defense Department are being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union in the latest episode involving its drone program.

The ACLU filed a suit on Wednesday against the CIA and the Pentagon over the extrajudicial killings conducted last year aimed at alleged affiliates of al-Qaeda. Anwar al-Awlaki, his son Abdulrahman al-Awlaki and Samir Khan - all US citizens - were executed during two separate drone strikes conducted last year in the country of Yemen.

The 2012 targeted kills have become one of the more memorable moments of America's unmanned aerial vehicle program, which has been reportedly tied to the executions of hundreds of civilians overseas during the last few years. The 2012 executions aimed at the alleged al-Qaeda affiliated - and the United States' reluctance to reveal the details in full - have only escalated contempt against the drone strikes in the months since.

Bad Guys

False Flag Alert! Israel official: "Suicide Bomber" Attacked Israelis in Bulgaria, Eighth Body Found

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© ReutersA man and a woman react after an explosion at Bulgaria's Burgas airport July 18, 2012.
New investigative direction counters previous estimates, according to which bomb was planted in the Israeli tour bus in the coastal city of Burgas.

The bombing in Bulgaria Wednesday is committed by a suicide bomber and not by a charge planted in the bus beforehand as believed at first, a senior official in the Israeli Foreign Ministry told Haaretz.

Eight people were killed in the bombing, six of them Israeli tourists, one of them the Bulgarian bus driver, with authorities estimating that the eighth may be the terrorist who perpetrated the attack. An additional 32 Israelis were wounded in the attack.

During the night, two Israeli aircrafts carrying medical staff, a casualty identification team, a police forensic team, as well as, Israeli diplomats to assist in the return of Israelis who lost their identification in the attack.

Comment: For more information on this new false flag operation please read:
Sott Focus: One Man's Suicide Bomber - National Security Building Bomb in Damascus and Bourgas Bus Bomb
To learn about the origins of "suicide bombings", read:
Sott Focus: The British Empire - A Lesson In State Terrorism


USA

The Great Transformation: From the Welfare State to the Imperial Police State

police state
Introduction

The United States has experienced the biggest political upheaval in its recent history: the transformation of a burgeoning welfare state into a rapidly expanding, highly intrusive and deeply entrenched police state, linked to the most developed technological innovations.

The 'Great Transformation' occurred exclusively from above, organized by the upper echelons of the civil and military bureaucracy under the direction of the Executive and his National Security Council. The 'Great Transformation' was not a single event but a process of the accumulation of powers, via executive fiats, supported and approved by compliant Congressional leaders. At no time in the recent and distant past has this nation witnessed the growth of such repressive powers and the proliferation of so many policing agencies engaged in so many areas of life over such a prolonged period of time (a time of virtually no internal mass dissent). Never has the executive branch of government secured so many powers to detain, interrogate, kidnap and assassinate its own citizens without judicial restraint.

Police state dominance is evident in the enormous growth of the domestic security and military budget, the vast recruitment of security and military personnel, the accumulation of authoritarian powers curtailing individual and collective freedoms and the permeation of national cultural and civic life with the almost religious glorification of the agents and agencies of militarism and the police state as evidenced at mass sporting and entertainment events.

The drying up of resources for public welfare and services is a direct result of the dynamic growth of the police state apparatus and military empire. This could only take place through a sustained direct attack against the welfare state - in particular against public funding for programs and agencies promoting the health, education, pensions, income and housing for the middle and working class.

Star of David

SOTT Focus: One Man's Suicide Bomber - National Security Building Bomb in Damascus and Bourgas Bus Bomb

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The Mossad bus bombing in Bourgas, Bulgaria
Today, July 18th 2012, two acts of murder were committed. One occurred in Damascus, Syria, the other in Bourgas, Bulgaria, but that's where the similarity ends, or so our Western governments and mainstream medias would have us believe.

In Damascus, the targets were high level members of the Syrian government (and anyone else who happened to be in the room). In Bulgaria, the targets were Jewish holiday-makers.

In Damascus, a spokesman for the 'Free Syrian Army' claimed that one of their members planted a TNT and C-4-based device inside the building ahead of the meeting, and then detonated the bomb remotely before fleeing to safety. The 'Free Syrian Army' is, as I have pointed out, made up of CIA-trained and funded mercenaries who don't care how many innocent people they kill because they are being paid to do so.

Syrian state television, on the other hand, said that the attack was carried out by a "terrorist suicide bomber".

The strange thing is, both claims are more or less correct.

Bomb

Surprise! Without proof, Israel accuses Iran after six tourists die in coach bomb blast

Bomb placed in trunk of bus with at least 40 people on board was detonated near Burgas airport

bomb blast
© Str/APSmoke rises from a coach near Burgas airport, 250 miles east of Sofia in Bulgaria. Israel has blamed Iran for ordering a bomb attack on the coach, which was part of a convoy carrying an Israeli tour group to their hotels.
Israel has accused Iran of ordering a fatal bomb attack on an Israeli tour group in Bulgaria, in which at least six tourists were killed and 33 injured, three critically.

A group of about 200, mostly young Israelis, travelling with the Kavei Chufsha tour company had just flown into the country and were being driven to their hotels in a convoy of three coaches when the explosion hit one of them in the Black Sea city of Burgas, 250 miles (400 kilometres) east of the capital, Sofia.

The bomb was detonated not far from Burgas airport, said Dimitar Nikolov, the city's mayor. At least 40 people were on board when it exploded. Little more than an hour after the attack, the Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a veiled threat to Tehran in a brief statement holding it responsible for the attack.

"Iran is responsible for the terror attack in Bulgaria, we will have a strong response against Iranian terror," he said.


Comment: Wow, that accusation came rather fast. Any chance we will be seeing any proof to back it up? Oh we forget - it is most likely a false-flag attack anyway and the whole point is to blame Iran. Plus, people blinded by strong emotions care not for evidence, so there is no need to 'produce' any.


Comment: Is Israel kick-starting the final stage that will lead to war with Iran? Is that perhaps why Israeli president Simon Peres is skipping the Oympic Games opening ceremony, as he will be too busy with the last details in the next few days?