Puppet MastersS


Anonymous Knocks CIA Website Offline

anonymous graphic
© n/a
The website of the Central Intelligence Agency was inaccessible on Friday after the hacker group Anonymous claimed to have knocked it offline.

"CIA Tango down," a member of Anonymous said on @YourAnonNews, a Twitter feed used by the group. "Tango down" is an expression used by the US Special Forces when they have eliminated an enemy.

Attempts to access the CIA website at cia.gov were unsuccessful.

More than two hours after the initial attack on the site attempts by AFP to reach cia.gov were met with a message saying the Web page was not available.

Asked about the apparent website outage, a CIA spokeswoman said: "We are looking into these reports."


Sierra Club took millions from natural gas fracking supporter

natural gas
US Department of Energy

Well, well. So the Sierra Club's campaign to end coal was substantially supported by a natural gas company CEO involved in the controversial practice called fracking. The club's Beyond Coal campaign is very active in Kentucky.

Bryan Walsh of TIME has the report, here, in what's as an exclusive. The report says the organization has since stopped taking the money:
TIME has learned that between 2007 and 2010 the Sierra Club accepted over $25 million in donations from the gas industry, mostly from Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy - one of the biggest gas drilling companies in the U.S. and a firm heavily involved in fracking - to help fund the Club's Beyond Coal campaign. Though the group ended its relationship with Chesapeake in 2010 - and the Club says it turned its back on an additional $30 million in promised donations - the news raises concerns about influence industry may have had on the Sierra Club's independence and its support of natural gas in the past. It's also sure to anger ordinary members who've been uneasy about the Club's relationship with corporations. "The chapter groups and volunteers depend on the Club to have their back as they fight pollution from any industry, and we need to be unrestrained in our advocacy," Michael Brune, the Sierra Club's executive director since 2010, told me. "The first rule of advocacy of is that you shouldn't take money from industries and companies you're trying to change."


The Pope Will Die Within a Year?

Pope Benedict
© Broc/Wikimedia Commons.Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Benedict XVI will die within a year, according to a top-secret document published on Friday by the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano.

Dismissed by the Vatican as "nonsense not to be taken seriously," the anonymous report is dated Dec 30, 2011.

Like a Dan Brown-style thriller, the leaked document reveals a power struggle within the Vatican. The paper predicts the Pope's death by November 2012 and details the measures that are already being taken to prepare his successor.

According to the Italian daily, the letter was delivered in early January to the Vatican secretary of state and the pope's private secretary by Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos of Colombia.

Written in German and labelled "strictly confidential for the Holy Father," the "mordkomplott" begins by describing the conversations that Cardinal Paolo Romeo, the archbishop of Palermo, allegedly had last November with Italian businessmen during a trip to Beijing, China.

"During his talks in China, Cardinal Romeo predicted the death of Pope Benedict XVI within the next 12 months. His remarks were expressed with such resolution that his interlocutors thought, with a sense of alarm, that an attack on the Pope's life was being plotted," the document says.

Take 2

Best of the Web: Lizzie Phelan: Western Media Fabricated Mass Killings of Syrian Peaceful Demonstrators

British journalist Lizzie Phelan describes experiences on the ground in Syria, among other things.


Best of the Web: Anonymous Vows Crusade Against Israel

The International hacker group Anonymous threatened to launch a crusade against Israel's government on Thursday.

The group released a video on YouTube overnight accusing Israel of "crimes against humanity", amid an escalating Internet war between Israeli and Arab hackers.


US: Four Wisconsin Republican Lawmakers Challenge Recall Signatures

Scott Fitzgerald
© Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesRepublican Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald
Four Wisconsin lawmakers targeted for possible recall later this year filed challenges on Thursday to the validity of thousands of signatures gathered to force the special elections, the state's Government Accountability Board said.

Organizers of the drive to recall the four Republican state senators submitted more than 18,000 pages of signed petitions with the board last month. Thursday was the deadline for the four lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, to lodge objections with the board.

In a statement, Fitzgerald cited "a wide range of irregularities, errors and outright falsehoods" in the petitions submitted to force him to defend his seat. He said he planned to challenge 4,300 of the signatures, which could be enough to derail the effort to unseat him.

All four Republicans supported the controversial curbs on public-sector union collective bargaining powers that were enacted in Wisconsin last year.

The measure, which greatly reduces the power of most public-sector unions in the state, triggered nine recall elections of state senators last summer. Two Republican senators were recalled.

Star of David

Best of the Web: U.S. officials tell NBC News: 'Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran's nuclear scientists'

Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel's secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran's leaders.

The group, the People's Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims' cars.

The Iranians have no doubt who is responsible - Israel and the People's Mujahedin of Iran, known by various acronyms, including MEK, MKO and PMI.

Mohammad Javad Larijani, a senior aide to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, describes what Iranian leaders believe is a close relationship between Israel's secret service, the Mossad, and the People's Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.


SOTT Focus: Syria's Bloody CIA Revolution - A Distraction?

Hundreds of thousands of people have been repeatedly taking to the streets of Damascus to show their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo taken October 12, 2011
While the mainstream media is going to great lengths to convince the world that events in Syria are the result of yet another 'people's revolution', the facts point clearly to yet another US government-sponsored bloody 'regime change'. Given that the US has been a de facto global empire for at least 60 years, with all of the power, infrastructure and influence that entails, how difficult do we think it would be for agents of the empire to manufacture a 'revolution' in any given country? The answer, surprisingly, is 'not so easily'. But it is doable, as long as the empire is willing to murder innocent civilians to create the impression of a brutal regime in need of removal. And the USA has never balked at murdering a few hundred, a few thousand, or even a few million civilians to ensure it gets its geo-political way, to the delight of psychopaths in power everywhere.


US: Why the Foreclosure Deal May Not Be So Hot After All

© Mark Wilson/Kevin Winter/Getty Images New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who agreed to join more than 40 other states in a nationwide settlement, announced today.

So the foreclosure settlement is through.

A few weeks back, I was optimistic about it - I had been worried that it was going to contain broad liability waivers for all sorts of activities, and I was pleasantly surprised when I heard that its scope had essentially been narrowed to robosigning offenses.

However, now that the settlement is finalized, and I've had time to think about it and talk to people who know far more than I do about this, I'm feeling pretty queasy.

It feels an awful lot like what happened here is the nation's criminal justice honchos collectively realized that a thorough investigation of the problem would require resources they simply do not have, or are reluctant to deploy, and decided to accept a superficially face-saving peace offer rather than fight it out.

So they settled the case in a way that reads in headlines like it's a bite out of the banks, but in fact is barely even that. There will be little in the way of real compensation for stuggling homeowners, and there are serious issues in the area of the deal's enforceability. In fact, about the only part of the deal we can be absolutely sure will be honored in full is the liability waiver for the robosigning offenses.

Bad Guys

US, California: LAPD Pioneers High-Tech Crime-Fighting 'War Room'

The LAPD is fighting crime from a high-tech war room that gives it eyes all over the city. The surveillance hub is now a model for police forces around the world and KCAL9 got an exclusive tour inside from Chief Charlie Beck.

"We are targets on our own soil," says Beck. "We have to be ready."

What began as a grass roots idea following the 9/11 terrorist attacks is now a state-of-the-art real-time analysis critical response center. It's called RACR, and it's located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.

"This is a system that cuts through the red tape, that gets information to the people that need it," says Chief Beck. He calls it "the brains of the department, twenty-four/seven."

Police in the activity center monitor live feeds of city and traffic cameras, counter-terrorism information, and real-time crime mapping, with cutting edge software.