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Israeli spy sought details of Russian-Arab military deals - FSB

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© RIA Novosti
Vadim Leiderman
The Israeli military attache expelled by Moscow for spying tried to obtain information about Russian military cooperation with Arab and CIS states, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Friday.

Israeli Embassy official Vadim Leiderman was detained while meeting with a Russian army officer at a cafe in Moscow last week. He was interrogated by FSB agents and ordered to leave the country in 48 hours. Israeli security officials said they cleared Leiderman of espionage after a thorough interrogation and claimed Russia's accusations were "baseless and false."

"The existing documents fully expose his hostile activities against Russia," FSB press service said in a statement.

Heart - Black

The sordid sexual history of Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's
© Robert Stolarik/The New York Times
Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest on charges of sexual assault should not come as a surprise to many; his past sexual offences have often been overlooked by the media.

Where there is shocking news, there must be a conspiracy theory. So it is that the arrest of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest for sexual assault has spawned its own spate of wild speculation. "The hypothesis of a piege, or trap, set by his political enemies is taken surprisingly seriously by some intelligent people, to whom the idea that a man in his position would assault an unknown woman in the middle of the day seems improbable enough to feed a certain paranoia," writes Adam Gopnik in his New Yorker blog.

Or as an acquaintance exclaimed over lunch yesterday, "It's crazy! Why would a guy in his position do something like this." Surely a powerful, wealthy man who can afford a $3000-a-night hotel room can easily buy his pleasures - if not get them for free. This is after all a man who was known in France as "the great seducer." A reputation supported by none other than his own wife, Anne Sinclair, who told L'Express magazine, "It's important for a politician to be able to seduce."

Even those who don't subscribe to conspiracy theories are wont to view the incident as a bizarre, temporary loss of self-control. A passing moment of madness, perhaps. Yet a closer look at Strauss-Kahn's long sexual history reveals several other such "moments" - and indeed a conspiracy, not of his rivals, but his supporters to keep his true identity out of the spotlight.

Black Cat

Regime Change at the IMF: The Frame-Up of Dominique Strauss-Kahn?

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© Unknown
Dominique Strauss-Kahn: framed, rapist, or both?
The arrest of IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn has all the appearances of a frame-up ordered by powerful members of the financial establishment, in liaison with France's Nicolas Sarkozy, whose presidency has served the interests of the US at the expense of those of France and the European Union. While there is for the moment no proof of a plot, the unusual circumstances of his arrest and imprisonment require careful examination.

Immediately following Strauss Kahn's arrest, pressures were exerted by Washington to speed up his replacement as Managing Director of the IMF preferably by a non-European, an American or a handpicked candidate from an "emerging market economy" or a developing country.

Since the founding of the Bretton Woods institutions in 1945, the World Bank has been headed by an American whereas the IMF has been under the helm of a (Western) European.

Strauss-Kahn is a member of elite groups who meet behind closed doors. He belongs to the Bildeberger. Categorized as one of the world's most influential persons, he is an academic and politician rather than a banker. In contrast to his predecessors at the IMF, he has no direct affiliation to a banking or financial institution.

But at the same time he is the fall guy. His "gaffe" was to confront the Washington-Wall Street Consensus and push for reforms within the IMF, which challenged America's overriding role within the organization.

The demise of Strauss-Kahn potentially serves to strengthen the hegemony of the US and its control over the IMF at the expense of what former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called "Old Europe".

Evil Rays

HAARP and The Canary in the Mine

On the February 4, 2005 Signs page, we published the following article:
First Artificial Neon Sky Show Created

By Robert Roy Britt
Live Science Senior Writer

02 February 2005

By shooting intense radio beams into the night sky, researchers created a modest neon light show visible from the ground. The process is not well understood, but scientists speculate it could one day be employed to light a city or generate celestial advertisements.

Researchers with the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) project in Alaska tickled the upper atmosphere to the extent that it glowed with green speckles. The speckles were sprinkled amid a natural display known as the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. [...]

The HAARP experiment involves acres of antennas and a 1 megawatt generator. The scientists sent radio pulses skyward every 7.5 seconds, explained team leader Todd Pederson of the Air Force Research Laboratory. "The radio waves travel up to the ionosphere, where they excite the electrons in the plasma," Pederson told LiveScience. "These electrons then collide with atmospheric gasses, which then give off light, as in a neon tube."

Pederson and his colleagues missed the show, but they snapped images. "We unfortunately were indoors watching the data on monitors during the experiment and were busy scrambling trying to make sure the effects were real and not some glitch with the equipment," he said. "We knew right away it was something extraordinary to show up in real time on the monitor against the natural aurora, but did not confirm that it would have been visible to the naked eye until a day or two later when we had a chance to calibrate the raw data."

The experiment is detailed in the Feb. 2 issue of the journal Nature. The research could improve understanding of the aurora and also help explain how the ionosphere adversely affects radio communications. It is not yet clear if the aurora must already be active before an artificial sky show can be induced, says Karl Ziemelis, chief physics editor at the journal. If no pre-existing aurora is required, Ziemelis said, "we are left with the tantalizing (some would say disconcerting) possibility that such radio- fuelled emissions could form the basis of a technology for urban lighting, celestial advertising, and more."
I have to say that I am quite skeptical about the stated "commercial" intentions of said experiment, considering that it is being carried out by the Air Force. When have they ever spent multiplied millions of dollars to research ways and means to promote Coca Cola? Get real! Frankly, if producing images in the sky is on their agenda, my guess would be that such images might be used for "military" purposes as in "how to scare the bejeebies out of everybody so we can control 'em!"

Info

Nowhere to go: 'Rape' banker stuck in Rikers Island cell after move to luxury Manhattan apartment falls through (but at least he's got a lucrative pension deal)

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© Getty Images
Free again: Clean-shaven Dominique Strauss-Khan learns his stay at Rikers prison willl be coming to an end once he's posted bail
  • Release delayed as he finds place in security company accommodation

  • Art dealer heiress put up $1m in cash and $5m insurance bond

  • Possible move to Bristol Plaza, where apartments start at $8,800 a month

  • 'Golden parachute' from IMF worth $318,000 a year in pension alone

  • Bailed to Manhattan apartment and has to pay £200k-a-month for his own security company

  • Surrenders passport and lawyers promise he won't flee to France

  • Wife and New York-based uni student daughter in court
Disgraced banker Dominique Strauss-Kahn was today thwarted in his bid to swap his tiny cell in New York's notorious Rikers Island jail for a lavish Manhattan apartment.

The former IMF boss, who faces trial on charges of raping a hotel maid, was due to be released after his wife posted $6million bail.

But his return to the lap of luxury suffered a setback this afternoon after a deal to rent an Upper East Side condo appeared to have fallen through.

The housing farce may dash Strauss-Kahn's hopes to leave Rikers Island jail and raises the prospect he could spend the rest of the weekend behind bars.

With a 24-hour concierge, swimming pool and daily maid service, The Bristol Plaza in Manhattan was thought to be where the former IMF chief would hunker down as he prepared for an upcoming sexual assault trial.

The former IMF chief's lawyers admitted that 'complications' had arisen with the luxurious Bristol Plaza but it was widely reported that the building's owners had decided he could not stay there.

Sources claimed the owners of the apartment block pulled out of the deal once they found out the identity of the new tenant - and that a 'high-profile' tenant had complained about Strauss-Kahn's arrival.

His delayed move away from Rikers Island prison comes after it was revealed today that the ex-IMF chief will receive a generous yearly pension as well as a one off $318,000 'golden parachute' from his former employer.

The disgraced banker was dramatically granted bail last night under draconian conditions as it emerged he will face a trial for his alleged sex attack on a hotel maid.

He will be released today from Rikers Island prison in New York to an apartment in Manhattan.

His new accommodation is being bankrolled by his third wife, French journalist and millionaire heiress, Anne Sinclair, who raised the necessary $6m to satisfy the State Supreme Court.

The daughter of an art dealer, she managed to raise $1m in cash and $5m insurance bond.

The arrangements to which Strauss-Kahn must abide are still very restrictive, however. He will be subjected to 24-hour monitoring by a security firm paid for by himself and an electronic tag will be fitted on his ankle.

Hourglass

WikiLeaks Bolsters Argument for 'Enhanced' Interrogation Tactics

Julian Assange
© The Associated Press
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Cables show U.S. collected details of plots, terrorists

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's ongoing release of the Guantanamo Bay prison files, and large numbers of classified State Department cables, attempts to expose what he calls American corruption.

But supporters of the George W. Bush administration's global war on terrorism say the nearly 800 Guantanamo files show that "enhanced" interrogations of hundreds of captured operatives at secret overseas prisons and at the Cuban prison amounted to one of the most successful intelligence operations in history.

Before the interrogations, the U.S. knew little about al Qaeda in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Years later, the CIA and military had accumulated a large database of ongoing plots and the identities of terrorists, the WikiLeaks files show.

"The WikiLeaks documents provide still additional evidence that intelligence gained from CIA detainees not only helped lead us to Osama bin Laden, it helped us disrupt a number of follow-on attacks that had been set in motion after 9/11," said Marc Thiessen, a former Bush speechwriter.

"Without this program, we would not have gone nearly 10 years without another catastrophic attack on the homeland. This is quite possibly the most important, and most successful, intelligence program in modern times. But instead of medals, the people behind this program have been given subpoenas."

Bad Guys

White House on War Powers Deadline: 'Limited' US Role in Libya Means No Need to Get Congressional Authorization

In an effort to satisfy those arguing he needs to seek congressional authorization to continue US military activity in accordance with the War Powers Resolution, President Obama wrote a letter to congressional leaders this afternoon suggesting that the role is now so "limited" he does not need to seek congressional approval.

"Since April 4," the president wrote, "U.S. participation has consisted of: (1) non-kinetic support to the NATO-led operation, including intelligence, logistical support, and search and rescue assistance; (2) aircraft that have assisted in the suppression and destruction of air defenses in support of the no-fly zone; and (3) since April 23, precision strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles against a limited set of clearly defined targets in support of the NATO-led coalition's efforts."

A senior administration official told ABC News that the letter is intended to describe "a narrow US effort that is intermittent and principally an effort to support to support the ongoing NATO-led and UN-authorized civilian support mission and no fly zone."

"The US role is one of support," the official said, "and the kinetic pieces of that are intermittent."

Chess

Israeli rebuke of Obama exposes divide on Mideast

Obama Netanyahu
© Reuters/Jim Young
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bluntly told President Barack Obama on Friday his vision of how to achieve Middle East peace was unrealistic, exposing a deep divide that could doom any U.S. bid to revive peace talks.

In an unusually sharp rebuke to Israel's closest ally, Netanyahu insisted Israel would never pull back to its 1967 borders -- which would mean big concessions of occupied land -- that Obama had said should be the basis for negotiations on creating a Palestinian state.

Magic Wand

Business as Usual: 'Limited' US Role in Libya Means No Need to Get Congressional Authorization

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© Unknown
In an effort to satisfy those arguing he needs to seek congressional authorization to continue US military activity in accordance with the War Powers Resolution, President Obama wrote a letter to congressional leaders this afternoon suggesting that the role is now so "limited" he does not need to seek congressional approval.

"Since April 4," the president wrote, "U.S. participation has consisted of: (1) non-kinetic support to the NATO-led operation, including intelligence, logistical support, and search and rescue assistance; (2) aircraft that have assisted in the suppression and destruction of air defenses in support of the no-fly zone; and (3) since April 23, precision strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles against a limited set of clearly defined targets in support of the NATO-led coalition's efforts."

Nuke

Texas politicians knew agency hid the amount of radiation in drinking water


drinking water
© unknown
Newly-released e-mails from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality show the agency's top commissioners directed staff to continue lowering radiation test results, in defiance of federal EPA rules.

The e-mails and documents, released under order from the Texas Attorney General to KHOU-TV, also show the agency was attempting to help water systems get out of formally violating federal limits for radiation in drinking water. Without a formal violation, the water systems did not have to inform their residents of the increased health risk.

"It's a conspiracy at the TCEQ of the highest order," said Tom Smith, of the government watchdog group Public Citizen. "The documents have indicted the management of this commission in a massive cover-up to convince people that our water is safe to drink when it's not."