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Iran issues new oil blockade warning

Dubai, July 14, 2012 (Reuters) - Iran could prevent even "a single drop of oil" passing through the Strait of Hormuz if its security is threatened, a naval chief said on Saturday, as tensions simmer over Tehran's nuclear program.

Tehran will increase its military presence in international waters, said Ali Fadavi, naval commander in Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

"If they (the U.S.) do not obey international laws and the IRGC's warnings, it will have very bad consequences for them," Fadavi said, according to Iran's Fars News Agency.

"The IRGC's naval forces have had the ability since the (Iran-Iraq) war to completely control the Strait of Hormuz and not allow even a single drop of oil to pass through."

Fadavi added: "IRGC special naval forces are present on all of the Islamic Republic of Iran's ships in the Indian Ocean and to its east and west, to prevent any movement.

"This IRGC naval force presence in international waters will increase."

USA

Syrian rebel commanders unite in frustration

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© Tomas Munita/The New York Times
Commanders from different units from Idlib, Syria, and some activists voted during a coordination meeting on Friday in Antakya, Turkey.
Meeting in Turkey focuses on basics of waging war against Assad

Abu Moayed, a commander in an armed Syrian opposition brigade, stood and waved his arms emphatically at the fellow rebel commanders who filled the sweltering room.

His fighters, he said, needed money and weapons. But they were not getting the support promised from the donors and opposition leaders outside Syria.

"We are borrowing money to feed our wounded!" Mr. Moayed shouted. "There is no distribution of the weapons," he added. "All of our weapons, we are paying for them ourselves."

The meeting of the rebel commanders, held after Friday Prayer in this Turkish city near Syria's northern border, said much about the priorities of the Syrian opposition fighting groups at this stage of the conflict, now 17 months old. There was limited discussion of the mass killings in the village of Tremseh the day before - even though the commanders had heard about it and at least one had lost relatives. There was no talk about United Nations cease-fire monitors, the peace envoy Kofi Annan, or endless Security Council debates to halt the conflict. These commanders were focused on the basics of waging war against President Bashar al-Assad.

Comment: For the low down on what's really happening in Syria, have a look at the following articles:
Syria's Bloody CIA Revolution
NATO's 'Civil War' Machine Rolls Into Syria


War Whore

Cheney Gives Romney His Neocon Seal of Approval

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney gave GOP hopeful Mitt Romney his seal of approval on Thursday, saying the presumptive nominee was the "only" candidate to trust on tough foreign policy decisions.

During a Wyoming fundraiser, the former vice president said that his experience in Washington taught him that every president would have to deal with an international crisis that could mean sending U.S. forces into harm's way.

"When I think about the kind of individual I want in the Oval Office in that moment of crisis, who has to make those key decisions, some of them life-and-death decisions, some of them decisions as commander-in-chief, who has the responsibility for sending some of our young men and women into harm's way, that man is Mitt Romney," Cheney said, according to The Associated Press.

Vader

Death from Above for our Allies

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© (Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)
MQ-9 Reaper mid-flight

Last Friday, I took part in an unusual meeting in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

The meeting had been organized so that Pashtun tribal elders who lived along the Pakistani-Afghan frontier could meet with Westerners for the first time to offer their perspectives on the shadowy drone war being waged by the Central Intelligence Agency in their region. Twenty men came to air their views; some brought their young sons along to experience this rare interaction with Americans. In all, 60 villagers made the journey.

The meeting was organized as a traditional jirga. In Pashtun culture, a jirga acts as both a parliament and a courtroom: it is the time-honored way in which Pashtuns have tried to establish rules and settle differences amicably with those who they feel have wronged them.

Bad Guys

Lethal Presidency:Obama's Drone Murder of Al-Awlaki's 16yo Son

Would You Believe A US Teenager Who Grew Up In Denver Was Executed WITHOUT TRIAL With A Drone Strike

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks covers Obama's Drone Murder of Al-Awlaki's 16 year old son.

Black Cat

Defender of Obama's Drone War Makes Excuses for Assassination Secrecy

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© AP/Carolyn Kaster

In response to his widely discussed Esquire article entitled "The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama," Tom Junod received a telephone call from someone he describes as "a person with intimate knowledge of the executive counter-terrorism policies of the Obama administration." This unnamed person called Junod specifically to defend the administration's refusal to provide any minimal transparency or even acknowledgment about these policies, even when drone attacks ordered by the President kill innocent American teenagers such as 16-year-old Abdulrahman Awlaki.

Syringe

Guantanamo Bay Prisoners Interrogated while Being Forcibly Injected with Anti-Psychotics

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Detention: Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, pictured, were injected with anti-psychotic medication
Guantanamo Bay prisoners were interrogated while being dosed up on 'mind altering drugs', according to a secret Pentagon report released under Freedom of Information laws.

The two-year probe by the Pentagon's inspector general into the use of anti-psychotic medication during interrogations revealed detainees inside the U.S. military's facility in Cuba were forcibly injected with powerful sedatives used in psychiatric hospitals.

'Certain detainees, diagnosed as having serious mental health conditions being treated with psychoactive medications on a continuing basis, were interrogated,' the inspector general concludes in the report.

Arrow Down

Corporate Psychopaths Bad for Business

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© Nicolas Walker
We all have our personality quirks that either endear us to others, or drive them to distraction, often simultaneously. But when does a quirk become a liability in the workplace? And how can you minimize the fallout?

Some extreme personalities may be good for business, but there's one that most would steer well clear of: The corporate psychopath.

While the term 'psychopath' usually suggests highly antisocial individuals with a long and abhorrent criminal history, most aren't. Psychopaths are found working in every field, comprising between 1 and 3 percent of men and less than 1 percent of women.

Essentially, psychopaths are people without a conscience, who inhabit their own world and break society's rules at will. According to Dr Robert Hare, who has made studying psychopaths his life's work, they are "social predators who charm, manipulate and ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving a broad trail of broken hearts, shattered expectations and empty wallets...selfishly taking what they want and doing as they please without the slightest sense of guilt or regret."

Beaker

Propaganda Alert: Syria moving chemical weapons stockpile


A[n unnamed] U.S. official confirmed Friday that the Syrian regime has been moving elements of its chemical weapons stockpile in recent days, an action that has U.S. officials both concerned and perplexed.

"We don't know why" they have begun moving chemical weapons from storage, the source said, refusing to speculate whether President Bashar Assad's regime could be preparing to use the weapons on the civilian uprising.

Asked whether there is concern that the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists, the source said the United States still believes the chemical weapons are "secure" and under the control of the Assad regime.

Comment: Who confirmed? What was the confirmation based on? Why isn't the data that caused this confirmation put into the article? Is Syria about to be chemically attacked and then blamed for it? The above article only creates more questions. Syria may well be moving its chemical weapons caused by the fear of a false flag attack that will make it look as if it has poisoned its own people.
Syria's Bloody CIA Revolution
NATO's 'Civil War' Machine Rolls Into Syria


Handcuffs

Felon voting bans will disenfranchise a historic 6 million voters

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© Unknown
Almost 6 million Americans will not be able to vote in November's presidential election under tough state rules that have pushed the number of disenfranchised former convicted criminals to a historic high.A new study by the Sentencing Project estimates that a record 5.85 million people - some 2.5% of the US voting age population equivalent to one out of every 40 adult Americans - will be ineligible to vote in November by dint of having been convicted of a felony. That includes almost 3 million people who have served their sentence in full, including all probation, and yet are still stripped of their right to vote under harsh state laws.

The US is the among the strictest nations in the world in terms of denying the vote to those who have felony convictions on their record. The Sentencing Project report shows how the laws have been sharply toughened up in recent years across many states, dramatically increasing the numbers caught in the felony trap - from just 1.2 million people in 1976 to 5.9 million in 2010.

African Americans and other minority ethnic groups are particularly vulnerable to being disenfranchised. Almost 8% of adult African Americans are ineligible to vote because of convictions, compared to 1.8% of the rest of the adult population.