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

Puppet Masters
Map

Calculator

China cancels 80% of Iraq debt

China has agreed to cancel 80 percent of the 8.5-billion-dollar debt it is owed by Iraq, the finance ministry in Baghdad said in an official statement on Tuesday.

It said a bilateral agreement was signed in Beijing, without specifying the date, and that China's ambassador to Iraq had met officials in Baghdad to confirm the agreement.

The statement added that the two countries entered into trade deals valued at 3.8 billion dollars in 2009.

Bad Guys

Six Questions for Dr. Michael Baden: The Guantánamo autopsies

Michael Baden
© Courtesy of HBO
Michael Baden

Dr. Michael Baden, the former chief medical examiner for New York City, was host of the HBO series Autopsy and is the forensic science contributor to Fox News. I furnished Baden copies of the official autopsy reports for the three Guantánamo prisoners who died under mysterious circumstances in 2006, as well as information about secondary autopsies arranged by the families of the deceased.

1. When the U.S. government released its autopsy reports, it redacted the names of the pathologists and observers involved in preparing the report. It suggests that this was done to protect their privacy. Is this a normal practice?

Redacting the names of pathologists is not normal in either civilian or military practice. It is necessary to know the pathologists' names to be able to evaluate their qualifications, certifications, and experience. This may also help the family assess whether a second autopsy should be done. Mistakes can be made. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in a recent decision establishing a right to cross-examine forensic experts, wrote that "A forensic analyst responding to a request from a law enforcement official may feel pressure - or have an incentive - to alter the evidence in a manner favorable to the prosecution." Science must remain independent of politics. It is necessary that names of the pathologists be known to the family for accountability purposes.

Eagle

Another U.S. War? Obama Threatens China and Iran

Image
The possibility of yet another U.S. war became more real last week, when the Obama administration sharply confronted both China and Iran. The first aggressive act was performed by Obama's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who "warned" China that it must support serious economic sanctions against Iran (an act of war).

Clinton said: "China will be under a lot of pressure to recognize the destabilizing effect that a nuclear-armed Iran would have, from which they receive a significant percentage of their oil supply."

The implication here is that China will be cut off from a major energy source if they do not support U.S. foreign policy - this, too, would equal an act of war.

Star of David

Underwear Bomber Redux - Was Mutallab An Israeli "Secret Weapon"?

Image

By way of deception... thou shalt control key airports
After repeatedly denying that the Christmas Underwear Bomber had any help in his misguided attempt to blow up Detroit-bound Flight 253 on Christmas day 2009, or that there was any sign of an accomplice on over 200 hours of Amsterdam airport security tapes, the US government recently, and very quietly, chose to admit that it had been watching Mutallab all along and that it's now looking for his accomplice at Amsterdam airport.

In one of only a few mainstream news reports on the US government's reversal, the Detroit News stated:
The State Department didn't revoke the visa of foiled terrorism suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab because federal counter-terrorism officials had begged off revocation, a top State Department official revealed Wednesday.

Patrick F. Kennedy, an undersecretary for management at the State Department, said Abdulmutallab's visa wasn't taken away because intelligence officials asked his agency not to deny a visa to the suspected terrorist over concerns that a denial would've foiled a larger investigation into al-Qaida threats against the United States.

"Revocation action would've disclosed what they were doing," Kennedy said in testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security. Allowing Adbulmutallab to keep the visa increased chances federal investigators would be able to get closer to apprehending the terror network he is accused of working with, "rather than simply knocking out one soldier in that effort."
ABC News also reported:
Federal agents also tell ABCNews.com they are attempting to identify a man who passengers said helped Abdulmutallab change planes for Detroit when he landed in Amsterdam from Lagos, Nigeria.
Of course, that's not an admission that Mutallab had an accomplice, but it says a lot following six weeks of repeated denials on the existence of accomplices.

Vader

Secretary of Defense Reveals Earthquake and Volcano Weapons

This one might seem beyond belief, but we have it from none other than a sitting Secretary of Defense.

In April 1997, then-Defense Secretary William Cohen was speaking at a terrorism conference at the University of Georgia. After some introductory remarks about the conference, Cohen takes questions from the media in attendance. A reporter asks a question based on the fake anthrax letters that had recently been sent to B'nai Brith. Cohen gives a strange answer, using the occasion to mention the exotic weapons being developed by terrorists (as well as--one would assume--governments).

Here's the exchange, taken verbatim from the transcript posted on the Defense Department's Website:
Q: Let me ask you specifically about last week's scare here in Washington, and what we might have learned from how prepared we are to deal with that (inaudible), at B'nai Brith.

A: Well, it points out the nature of the threat. It turned out to be a false threat under the circumstances. But as we've learned in the intelligence community, we had something called -- and we have James Woolsey here to perhaps even address this question about phantom moles. The mere fear that there is a mole within an agency can set off a chain reaction and a hunt for that particular mole which can paralyze the agency for weeks and months and years even, in a search. The same thing is true about just the false scare of a threat of using some kind of a chemical weapon or a biological one. There are some reports, for example, that some countries have been trying to construct something like an Ebola Virus, and that would be a very dangerous phenomenon, to say the least. Alvin Toeffler has written about this in terms of some scientists in their laboratories trying to devise certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic specific so that they could just eliminate certain ethnic groups and races; and others are designing some sort of engineering, some sort of insects that can destroy specific crops. Others are engaging even in an eco- type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.

So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations. It's real, and that's the reason why we have to intensify our efforts, and that's why this is so important.
The entire transcript can be accessed at the Defense Department's Website here. It is also available below:

Pistol

Israeli Media: Mossad Assassinated Hamas leader Al-Mabhouh

Image
© MaanImages
Bethlehem - A four-person squad of Israeli Shin Bet and Mossad operatives arrived in Dubai on European passports to assassinate Muhammad Al-Mabhouh, an alleged liaison between Iran and Hamas, Israeli media reported on Saturday.

According to the Israeli news-site Inyan Merkazi, the assassination squad interrogated Al-Mabhouh in his hotel room before killing him.

The squad returned with "precious information" attained following Al-Mabhouh's interrogation, which was focused on arms deals between Hamas and Iran, as well as how arms are smuggled into the West Bank, the news-site reported.

Rocket

China threatens U.S. sanctions over Taiwan arms

China threatened to impose sanctions on U.S. arms firms and cut cooperation with Washington unless it cancels a $6.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan, in an unprecedented move signaling Beijing's growing global power.

China on Saturday bitterly denounced the Obama administration's announcement a day earlier that it planned to sell the package of weapons to Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing views as an illegitimate breakaway province.

The dispute deepens the rifts between Beijing and Washington, also at odds over trade, currency, Tibet and the Internet.

Beijing said it would sanction U.S. companies that sold arms to Taiwan, a break with past practice. China's commercial reprisals have in the past been informal.

Eye 2

"I have no regrets," says defiant Psychopath Blair

Tony Blair speaks at the Chilcot inquiry
© Reuters
Tony Blair speaks at the Chilcot inquiry
A defiant Tony Blair today mounted a vigorous defence of the invasion of Iraq, insisting he had no regrets over removing Saddam Hussein and would do the same again.

In his long-awaited appearance before the Iraq Inquiry, the former prime minister denied he had taken the country to war on the basis of a "lie" over Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

He suggested the world could now be faced with the threat of a nuclear-armed Iraq if he and President George Bush had not taken action to confront the Iraqi dictator.

Asked at the end of six hours of testimony by inquiry chairman, Sir John Chilcot, whether he had any regrets, he said: "Responsibility but not a regret for removing Saddam Hussein.

Binoculars

Cass Sunstein: Agent of COINTELPRO

Cass Sunstein
© unknown
The new face of COINTELPRO.
The Obama administration is merely one more in a line of bought and paid for actors in the theater of the absurd that is politics today. If readers still have any illusions about this fact, a look at Cass Sunstein, Obama's appointee to the head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs should help shatter them.

First of all, to put some of his more absurd ideas in perspective, Sunstein advocates a "libertarian paternalism" type of government. As Paul Hsieh writes:
The basic premise of libertarian paternalism is that the government should use its power to "nudge" people into acting in their best interest, while leaving them the choice to "opt out." If the government decides that saving money is good, it would automatically divert a percentage of your paycheck into a savings account in your name unless you explicitly declined. Supporters claim that this preserves freedom because government is only changing the default, while leaving individuals the final choice. It is merely a gentle "nudge," not a hard push.

Stormtrooper

Cover-up claims as David Kelly post mortem set to stay under wraps for 70 years

Medical records which would shed light on the death of government scientist David Kelly will be kept secret for 70 years, it emerged yesterday.

Comment: Interesting that they can do this legally. In a democracy shouldn't information be free?

It reminds me of the Kennedy assasination where the files of the House Select Committee on Assassinations are locked away until the year 2029.