Puppet MastersS


Obama's Death Panels: Jeremy Scahill at the Drone Summit

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Activists, lawyers, human rights advocates, civil liberties defenders and others came together for a major international summit on drone warfare and the issues created by drone use yesterday. The summit was co-organized by CODEPINK, the Center for Constitutional Rights and Reprieve. An exceptional lineup of speakers addressed participants detailing salient and significant aspects around the Obama administration's expansion of the covert drone wars in countries like Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

The day wrapped up with a speech from Jeremy Scahill of The Nation, who has been one of the few journalists to actually travel to these countries where the covert drone war is playing out. Scahill has produced reports on Yemen and Somalia that show how the US is carrying out its "war on terrorism" and using drones to target and kill people.

Scahill opens his speech by saying, "The real death panels that we have in this country were unleashed on our own citizens. Republicans like to talk about death panels having to do with health care. President Obama is the one that is operating secret death panels" that include United States citizens and often include non-US citizens. The vast majority of the victims of this policy around the world are not US citizens.


Perception Management: U.S.acknowledges drone strikes, says civilian deaths rare

© Thir Khan/AFP-Getty Images filePakistani tribesmen pray for the victims of a missile strike in Miranshah, Pakistan, on Feb. 15, 2009, after a suspected U.S. drone blasted a Taliban training camp, killing at least 27 people, according to Pakistani security officials said.
White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan on Monday spoke openly -- and at great length -- about what has long been one of the government's most controversial official secrets: the use of remotely piloted drones to kill suspected terrorists.

In doing so, he became the first U.S. government official to acknowledge that the drone strikes sometimes kill innocent people, though he characterized such deaths as "exceedingly rare." But a new analysis by an independent Washington think tank estimates that more than 300 civilians have been killed by drones since President Barack Obama took office.

In a major speech on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death during a raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by U.S. Navy SEALs, Brennan proclaimed that al-Qaida is now "on the path to its destruction." But the headline was what he had to say about the drone program - long a forbidden subject for senior U.S. officials - and how the U.S. government uses it.

"The United States conducts targeted strikes against specific al-Qaida terrorists, sometimes using remotely piloted aircraft, often referred to publicly as drones," said Brennan, in his speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a Washington, D.C., foreign policy think tank.

Comment: We won't go into Navy Seals and Osama. Osama bin Laden corpse photo is fake

Instead we'll travel down memory lane about these Drones that somehow miss civilians:
Drone kills 25 on eve of mass protest, US drone strike kills 25 in Pakistan, US drone kills 8 in Pakistan, drone strikes have killed over 130 in Yemen, US Drone Strike Kills 78 in Somalia, US drone strike kills 23 in Pakistan It's easy to get to over 250 men, women and children. Perhaps Brennan ran out of fingers or forgot a digit? And this small group of articles isn't the whole, and if you think about it, what about the forgotten and hushed numbers that didn't make it into the main stream media?


Hide-and-Ship: Did the US Know Libyan Weapons were en Route to Syrian Rebels?

© Agence France-Presse/Anwar AmroThe vessel Lutfallah II docks at a naval base at the port of Beirut on April 28, 2012
The US and NATO have some questions to answer about the massive weapons cargo seized by Lebanese intelligence officials, Franklin Lamb tells RT. He says they surely knew the shipment was on its way to Syrian rebels, but still turned a blind eye.

­The Sierra Leone-registered ship Lutfallah II, carrying three containers filled with heavy machine guns, shells, rockets, rocket launchers and other explosives has been intercepted over allegations that the arms were intended for Syrian rebel consumption. Some of the arms seized were labeled as Libyan.

The ship's 11 crew members were detained and questioned by Lebanese intelligence officers. Lebanese military prosecutor Saqr Saqr says an investigation is underway.

The ship was en route from Libya to the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli, according to the ship's owner. Lebanon's Tripoli is a hotbed of support for the Syrian opposition. Official Damascus has frequently complained about arms being smuggled from the area into the country.

The vessel is now being held in Selaata, a port city 50 kilometers north of Beirut.

Light Sabers

Former Mossad Chief, Israeli Minister Trade Accusations at New York Conference

© Mark Yisrael Salem Former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi (left) and former Mossad chief Dagan at the New York conference, April 29, 2012.
Meir Dagan defends statements made by former Shin Bet security service chief, criticizing Netanyahu and Barak over Iran; Minister Gilad Erdan says Dagan sabotaging international efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program; ex-PM Olmert joins in defense of Dagan, Diskin.

An embarrassing confrontation broke out on Sunday during a panel discussion at a New York conference, when former Mossad chief Meir Dagan accused Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan of lying, while Erdan replied that Dagan is sabotaging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's efforts to put a halt to Iran's nuclear aspirations.

At the conference, sponsored by the Jerusalem Post in New York, the two also exchanged harsh words after Dagan warned Erdan over the so-called "Dagan law," forbidding former security officials to issue open statements until a certain cooling period wears off.

Evil Rays

Early "Psychological Warfare" Research and the Rockefeller Foundation

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The Rockefeller Foundation was the principle source for funding public opinion and psychological warfare research between the late 1930s and the end of World War Two. With limited government and corporate interest or support of propaganda-related studies, most of the money for such research came from this powerful organization that recognized the importance of ascertaining and steering public opinion in the immediate prewar years.

Rockefeller philanthropic attention toward public opinion was twofold: 1) to review and establish the psychological environment in the United States for anticipated US involvement in the coming world war and 2) to wage psychological warfare and suppress popular dissent in foreign countries, particularly Latin America. Recognizing how the Franklin Roosevelt Administration was bogged down politically and less capable of planning for war in terms of domestic and foreign propaganda efforts, Rockefeller Foundation-funded projects and research institutes were established at Princeton University, Stanford University, and the New School for Social Research to monitor and analyze shortwave radio transmissions from abroad.

The "founding fathers" of mass communication research could not have established their field without Rockefeller largesse. Alongside World War One propagandist and University of Chicago political scientist Harold Lasswell, psychologist Hadley Cantril was a principal contributor to the knowledge and information that helped propel Rockefeller-controlled enterprises and American empire in the postwar era. Throughout this period Cantril provided the Rockefeller combine with important information and new techniques in public opinion measurement and management in Europe, Latin American, and the United States.

A roommate of Nelson Rockefeller's at Dartmouth College in the late 1920s, Cantril took a doctorate in psychology at Harvard, coauthoring The Psychology of Radio with his doctoral mentor Gordon Allport in 1935. "Radio is an altogether novel medium of communication," Cantril and Allport observed, "preeminent as a means of social control and epochal in its influence upon the mental horizons of men."

The work garnered the attention of Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Division officer John Marshall, commissioned by the Foundation with convincing commercial broadcasters to include more educational programming into their advertiser-driven schedules. To this end Rockefeller was funding fellowships at the CBS and NBC broadcasting networks.


The FBI, Elaborate Entrapment and Hannah Arendt on Secret Police

fake terror graphic
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David Shipler writes in today's New York Times about an interesting aspect of a series of 'lethal terrorist plots' that have been successfully interdicted by the nation's law enforcement agencies:
[These] dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested
Shipler goes on to describe the elaborate entrapment methods followed by the FBI and its agents and asks:
This is legal, but is it legitimate? Without the F.B.I., would the culprits commit violence on their own? Is cultivating potential terrorists the best use of the manpower designed to find the real ones? Judging by their official answers, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department are sure of themselves - too sure, perhaps.
In most cases, entrapment defenses do not hold up in court because 'the law requires that they show no predisposition to commit the crime, even when induced by government agents.' The entrapment schemes followed by the FBI are distinctive because, before the 9/11 attacks, 'it would be very unusual for the F.B.I. to present a crime opportunity that wasn't in the scope of the activities that a person was already involved in' and that is because 'There isn't a business of terrorism in the United States'. So what the FBI has to do, apparently, is 'find somebody who would jump at the opportunity if a real terrorist showed up in town.' (Someone indulging in 'Thought Crimes' before those thoughts were directed toward action?)


Sham Democracy: Afghan Public Kept in the Dark over Future

"Today, Afghanistan and the U.S. initialed and locked the text of the strategic partnership agreement," said President Hamid Karzai's spokesman, Aimal Faizi. "This means the text is closed...."
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Why "lock" or "close" the future of Afghanistan to 30 million ordinary Afghan citizens?

While the world may accept that the U.S. and Afghan governments have some "state" or "noble" considerations for not revealing the contents of the U.S. Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement, what about the democratic consideration of involving Afghans in their own future?

Even the Afghan parliament was in the dark and uninvolved until it was recently given a peek when Afghanistan's national security adviser, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, read "portions" of the Agreement to assembled parliamentarians on April 23, saying that the U.S. will defend Afghanistan from any outside interference via "diplomatic means, political means, economic means, and even military means."

Eye 1

David Horowitz' Heinous Disinformation Denounced by Academics

By professors who teach in universities across this country

The following letter to the editor was submitted on 28 April, 2012 to the
New York Times in response to an advertisement paid for by the David Horowtiz Freedom Center that appeared in the Op Ed section of the 24 April, 2012 edition of the NYT. It was also reproduced here.

To the Editor:

We are professors who teach in universities across this country. We are appalled at the advertisement by the David Horowitz Freedom Center (Op-Ed page, April 24, 2012) which compares the international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) to the Holocaust and ancient blood libels. It also asks that professors who support it be "publicly shamed and condemned." It grossly distorts the statements of such professors, which are publicly available online and can be verified.

Brick Wall

Apartheid Israel: How many walls will secure the Zionist regime in Palestine?

israel wall
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They Can't Stop Building Walls...

It may be that researchers would want to examine as long ago as the period from the 3rd century BC until the beginning of the 17th century in order to find a regime so frenetically building walls and barriers in a hopeless quest to hold onto stolen lands as we in Lebanon may soon witness in the south of the country. It was back in 221 BC that in order to protect China from the land claims of the Xiongnu people from Mongolia, the Xiongnu tribe being China's main enemy at that time who sought the return of lands they claimed the Chinese had stolen, that the emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered the construction of a wall to guard China's territorial gains.

Lots of walls have been built throughout history to preserve occupied lands. The Romans built Hadrian's Wall in England to keep the Picts out and the East Germans built the Berlin wall to keep the people in. But no regime in history has built, in the span of six decades, the number of walls as the paranoid regime in Tel Aviv has erected. And it plans at least five more "anti-terrorist protective walls" including one slated to begin soon along the Lebanese-Palestine border at the Lebanese village of Kfar Kila. And that one may present a problem.

Eye 1

Best of the Web: Global Police State: You Are All Suspects Now, What Are You Going To Do About It?

You are all potential terrorists. It matters not that you live in Britain, the United States, Australia or the Middle East. Citizenship is effectively abolished. Turn on your computer and the US Department of Homeland Security's National Operations Center may monitor whether you are typing not merely "al-Qaeda", but "exercise", "drill", "wave", "initiative" and "organisation": all proscribed words. The British government's announcement that it intends to spy on every email and phone call is old hat. The satellite vacuum cleaner known as Echelon has been doing this for years. What has changed is that a state of permanent war has been launched by the United States and a police state is consuming western democracy.

What are you going to do about it?

In Britain, on instructions from the CIA, secret courts are to deal with "terror suspects". Habeas Corpus is dying. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that five men, including three British citizens, can be extradited to the US even though none except one has been charged with a crime. All have been imprisoned for years under the 2003 US/UK Extradition Treaty which was signed one month after the criminal invasion of Iraq. The European Court had condemned the treaty as likely to lead to "cruel and unusual punishment". One of the men, Babar Ahmad, was awarded 63,000 pounds compensation for 73 recorded injuries he sustained in the custody of the Metropolitan Police. Sexual abuse, the signature of fascism, was high on the list. Another man is a schizophrenic who has suffered a complete mental collapse and is in Broadmoor secure hospital; another is a suicide risk. To the Land of the Free, they go -- along with young Richard O'Dwyer, who faces 10 years in shackles and an orange jump suit because he allegedly infringed US copyright on the internet.