Puppet MastersS


HBGary chief exec resigns over Anon hack

Barr falls on sword

HBGary Federal chief exec Aaron Barr has resigned in a bid to allow the firm to draw a line under the continuing revelations from the Anonymous hack attack.

Barr was the prime mover in plans to out senior members of Anonymous at the B-Sides security conference last month. But hunter became hunted after the more skilled members of Anonymous hacked into HBGary Federal's computer network before publishing its email database.

The emails included the revelation that Morgan Stanley, a HBGary client, was hit by the Operation Aurora attacks of late 2009, as well as messages that purported to show HBGary was planning a dirty tricks campaign against WikiLeaks.

HBGary, while admitting it was hacked and not denying the authenticity of any particular message, has said that the notorious mischief maker at Anonymous had plenty of opportunity to alter the published emails. Nonetheless the hack itself, to say nothing of the range of circumstances that allowed the breach (insecure web apps, weak passwords and social engineering) would be hugely embarrassing for any firm, much less a small outfit that sells its white hat hacker expertise to government agencies and banks.


BP fund lawyer to refuse 100,000 Gulf spill disaster claims

Ken Feinberg
© Saul Loeb/AFPKen Feinberg has come under pressure from the Obama administration and BP over his handling of the oil spill compensation fund.

Upwards of 100,000 claims arising from the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico may never be paid, the beleaguered administrator of the oil company's compensation fund has acknowledged.

A defensive Ken Feinberg, under fire from the Obama administration, Gulf leaders and local business for the slow pace of payouts for losses due to the BP spill, said the vast majority of the 130,000 unsettled claims did not have adequate documentation.

"Here is the problem that I continually have to address ... roughly 80% of the claims that we now have in the queue lack proof," Feinberg told foreign reporters in Washington. "That is a huge number."

Bizarro Earth

First deep-water drilling permit issued for gulf since BP oil spill

oiled sperm whale
© earthprotect.comJuvenile sperm whale found 77 miles from the well

The Obama administration issued the first new deep-water drilling permit for the Gulf of Mexico since the BP oil spill, stoking cautious optimism Monday among some industry executives and Gulf Coast politicians about local oil and gas exploration.

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement approved a permit for the Houston-based company Noble Energy to drill a so-called bypass well in 6,500 feet of water about 70 miles southeast of Venice, La.

The new well would track one started in April 2010 but plugged two months later, when the government established a moratorium on deep-water drilling in response to BP's well blowout. Noble's new drilling would go around the plugs to reach the oil.


Former Reagan Official: If law fails CIA will Assassinate Assange

On Russia Today, former Reagan administration official Paul Craig Roberts said there is "a concerted effort to nail him - to shut Assange up... If the legal attempt fails, he'll simply be assassinated by a CIA assassination team. It's common practice for the CIA to do that."

This video is from Russia Today, broadcast February 25, 2011.

Arrow Up

With Russia's $650 billion rearmament plan, the bear sharpens its teeth

© AFP/Alexander ZemlianichenkoA new Russian nuclear submarine, the Yuri Dolgoruky, at the Sevmash factory in the northern city of Arkhangelsk in 2010.
Moscow - The graying bear is getting a make-over. Russia's military is launching its biggest rearmament effort since Soviet times, including a $650 billion program to procure 1,000 new helicopters, 600 combat planes, 100 warships, and 8 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.

Analysts say Russia, while already the world's fifth-largest military spender, needs strong conventional forces to reduce its over-reliance on its aging Soviet-era nuclear missile deterrent. Valentin Rudenko, director of the independent Interfax-Military News Agency, says it could create "a whole new ballgame."

"For about two decades we've had no real modernization, at least not like what's being proposed now," he says. "Russia will finally have a modern, top-level armed forces that are capable of protecting the country."

Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin last week announced the unprecedented new outlays, which will see a massive re-equipping of Russia's strategic nuclear deterrent as well as its conventional forces. The Defense Ministry today said the "modernization drive" will begin this year with the deployment of new generations of air defense and antimissile weapons by Russian ground forces.

Comment: $650 billion? A fair chunk of change in comparison to the United States' yearly Military Expenditures.

Top Secret

Best of the Web: Past medical testing on humans revealed

© Associated PressIn this June 25, 1945 picture, army doctors expose patients to malaria-carrying mosquitoes in the malaria ward at Stateville Penitentiary in Crest Hill, Ill.
Atlanta Georgia - Shocking as it may seem, U.S. government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates. Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital.

Much of this horrific history is 40 to 80 years old, but it is the backdrop for a meeting in Washington this week by a presidential bioethics commission. The meeting was triggered by the government's apology last fall for federal doctors infecting prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis 65 years ago.

U.S. officials also acknowledged there had been dozens of similar experiments in the United States - studies that often involved making healthy people sick.

An exhaustive review by The Associated Press of medical journal reports and decades-old press clippings found more than 40 such studies. At best, these were a search for lifesaving treatments; at worst, some amounted to curiosity-satisfying experiments that hurt people but provided no useful results.

Inevitably, they will be compared to the well-known Tuskegee syphilis study. In that episode, U.S. health officials tracked 600 black men in Alabama who already had syphilis but didn't give them adequate treatment even after penicillin became available.


US corporate profits return to record levels

While millions of Americans confront the daily miseries of unemployment, home foreclosure and poverty as a result of the economic crisis, corporate profits are soaring.

Walmart, the world's largest retail chain, announced last week that its profits grew by 27 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, while sales at US stores have declined for the second year in a row. The company made $6 billion in profits in the fourth quarter, up from $4.8 billion a year before and $3.5 billion in the third quarter of 2010.

Home Depot posted a 72 percent increase in profits, after sales increased by 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter. Profits reached $587 million, up from $342 million a year earlier.

Hundreds of companies have posted similar figures. The story is the same: sales and revenues have fallen or ticked up slightly, while profits have grown by double digits.

The discrepancy between revenues and profits is due to the fact that the "recovery" in corporate balance sheets is built on layoffs and speedups. "A lot of the recent profits are based on the revenue from cost-cutting," said James L. Butkeiwiz, professor of economics at the University of Delaware, in a telephone interview.

Arrow Down

Game Over For American Imperialism and Middle East Oppression

© Unknown
The Game is so over for American imperialism and Middle East oppression and with that defeat will come the discovery of its epicenter ~ the Big Lie of the 9/11 cover up and its utilization as a justification for the War on Terror which has now led back to ourselves as the obvious rogue state of global imperialistic designs and terror: Allen L Roland

The die is cast ~ the Middle East and North Africa are breaking their shackles of control by the imperialistic oil hungry west and nothing will stop the people from toppling their oppressive regimes and claiming their freedom. As I have written before ~ the epicenter of the Middle East people's revolt is the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people by Israel ~ which is a constant and humiliating reminder to the Arab world that they are servants of the global elite who maintain their oppressive regimes through military power and economic control.

As I have also written ~ the epicenter of the blossoming people's revolt in the United States is the 9/11 cover up and conspiracy where Vice President Dick Cheney created a shadow government committed to corporate welfare and beholden to the global elite. That's when the Republic began its death throes and the corpocracy emerged from the fallen twin tower's ashes ~ and where it still controls the masses through fear, demonizing, and rationalized dishonesty which began with 9/11. Under Cheney's active direction, and Tony Blair's enthusiastic acquiescence, the Middle East has been virtually controlled by the West through their support of their oppressive monarchies and their unholy alliance with their ongoing partner in crime, Israel.


The New York Times and CIA killer Raymond Davis

The New York Times on Sunday published a column by its public editor, Arthur S. Brisbane, defending the newspaper's decision to withhold, at the request of the Obama administration, the fact that CIA killer Raymond Davis is an employee of the US spy agency.

Whatever Brisbane's intentions, the column is a self-indictment, exposing the liberal newspaper of record's lack of any sense of democratic responsibility or fidelity to basic journalistic principles and its role as a quasi-state propaganda organ.

On January 27 Davis, a former US Special Forces solider and Xe Services (previously called Blackwater) mercenary, shot and killed two Pakistani youth in broad daylight while driving through a crowded market in Lahore. Other CIA operatives who raced to the scene in their vehicle to prevent Pakistani officials from arresting Davis struck a third man and fled, leaving their victim to die in the street.

The following day, Pakistani authorities arrested Davis and charged him with murder and carrying an unlicensed gun. The US government demanded, and continues to demand, Davis' release to American officials on the grounds that he is an official with the US embassy in Islamabad and enjoys diplomatic immunity. The Obama administration denied charges by Pakistani officials that Davis is a CIA operative.


Iran says Mousavi, Karroubi not arrested

© Unknown
An official with the Iranian Judiciary has rejected reports that the heads of the sedition movement, Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, have been taken into custody.

These two are presently in their own homes and restrictions have been imposed on their contact with suspicious elements, the official was quoted by Fars News Agency as saying on Monday.

Foreign media outlets supporting the counter-revolutionaries such as state-funded VOA and BBC had earlier claimed that Mousavi and Karroubi were arrested.

Judiciary Spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei had earlier warned that if necessary, tougher measures would be taken against the "domestic counter-revolutionary movement."

"Today, this movement has gone beyond sedition and turned into [a] counter-revolutionary [one]," he was quoted by IRNA as saying.