Puppet MastersS


USA

Good Night, America, and Good-Bye

US imperialism graphic
© RAIM Global Digest
It is interesting to note just how well this imperialism thing has worked for the American people. At the end of last year the U.S. was kicked out of Iraq after spending some trillions of dollars and producing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Americans. Al-Qaeda, which was not present in Iraq when the U.S. arrived, has lately been responsible for bomb attacks that have killed hundreds of Iraqis, mostly civilians. As a result of the ham-handed American intervention, Iraq's closest friend now is not the U.S. It is Iran.

Appalled by the excesses of the U.S. military, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has followed suit, initially demanding that the U.S. restrict its soldiers to their bases, a move that would mean that the American presence in Afghanistan could well end in short order after the loss of another trillion dollars and the deaths of some tens of thousands of coalition soldiers and Afghan civilians. Even if Karzai accepts a continued U.S. presence that is more managed by his own "sovereign" government, the writing is on the wall, and all that is needed is a firm departure date. Oh, and the Taliban will definitely be coming back in one form or another.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Pakistan, the parliament is debating ending all cooperation with the United States because of the continuing drone campaign, which, true to pattern, kills mostly civilians. Pakistan is nuclear-armed and actually has real terrorists roaming its tribal regions. The departure of Pakistan from the game enables the manifest waste of the past 11 years to become completely clear, with Washington leaving Central Asia in far worse shape than it was when the U.S. Army and the CIA arrived.

Bizarro Earth

Mohamed Merah: Secret Service Informant?

Was Mohamed Merah a French secret service informant? So says a former head of an intelligence agency here in France. Also, an Italian paper says Merah travelled to Israel in 2010 - with the support of French spy agencies.

Media Watch France 24


Bad Guys

Impact of Military Strike on Iran's Nuclear Facilities 'Unclear,' Says U.S. Report

Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.
© ReutersIran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.
U.S. congressional report says Israel and U.S. do not know exact location of Iran nuclear facilities, which may be dispersed in such a way that an Israeli attack would not be successful.

Iran could probably rebuild most of its centrifuge workshops within six months after an attack on its nuclear sites, according to a new report by U.S. congressional researchers, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

The report by analysts at the Congressional Research Service, citing interviews with current and former U.S. officials, said that the Islamic Republic's centrifuge "workshops" are widely dispersed and hidden, which could complicate a potential Israeli military strike.

According to the report, neither Israel nor the U.S. knows for certain where Iran's nuclear facilities are located and the possibility of dispersed nuclear sites makes any assessment of a military strike's success more difficult. It is "unclear what the ultimate effect of a strike would be on the likelihood of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons," Bloomberg quoted the report as saying.

The congressional researchers said that, "An attack that left Iran's conversion and centrifuge production facilities intact would considerably reduce" the time Iran would need to resume its nuclear activities.

Moreover, the researches quoted a former U.S. official as saying that Iran could probably replicate most of its centrifuge workshops within six months.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has recently voiced "serious concerns" about possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear activities.

Iran denies suspicions that it is covertly seeking nuclear weapons capability, in part by coordinating efforts to process uranium, test high explosives and revamp a ballistic missile cone to accommodate a nuclear warhead.

Star of David

Bibi: First We'll Take Tehran, Then We'll Take Istanbul

Netanyahu
© n/a
Yesterday, brought ominous news regarding yet another aggressive Israeli projection of its military power in the Mideast. Since 1967, with but a few exceptions (Osirak being one), Israel has mainly satisfied itself by retaining dominance over its frontline neighbors and not attempting to meddle in affairs of more far-flung states. But with Bibi Netanyahu's new policy of projecting Israeli power far outside Israel's immediate sphere and threatening Iran with attack, we have an Israel ready and willing to step far outside its former comfort zone.

To show that Bibi's aggressive, interventionist approach isn't a fluke, UPI reports that Israel is negotiating with Greek Cyprus for placement of an Israeli air base on the island, ostensibly to protect the new Israeli-Cypriot joint gas exploration project:
Israel is already preparing to launch a major security operation to protect the offshore fields and the attendant facilities in its waters.

This will involve missile-armed patrol vessels, round-the-clock aerial surveillance by unmanned drones and other naval detachments, primarily to defend the energy zones against attack by Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed force in neighboring Lebanon.
This field is in dispute with Lebanon, which also claims title. Turkey too disputes the area on behalf of Turkish Cyprus. This certainly is one reason for the Israeli move.

Vader

If Monsanto Were a Person

The following video is from the March 16, 2012, action that shut down a Monsanto research facility in Davis, CA. In the video, a young boy, Ci Yin Oliveira, tells Monsanto's story as if (as the Supreme Court has ruled) Monsanto were actually a person. Click here for a transcript of Oliveira's speech. Please watch the video, then read on to learn more about the problem of giving corporations the legal rights of people and what we can do to control corporations like Monsanto.


Heart - Black

Romney Justifies Denying Health Care To People With Pre-Existing Conditions: 'We Can't Play The Game Like That'

romney
© Unknown

As Mitt Romney tries to distance himself from Obamacare, he ran into some trouble last night when he got stumped by comedian Jay Leno. Leno asked Romney what he would do to help people with preexisting medical conditions, who are often denied coverage today by insurance companies worried about increased costs.

Romney's answer was essentially nothing. Someone who has forgone insurance doesn't deserve to get medical coverage, Romney suggested, because, "we can't play the game like that." Asked what he would do to help people with pre-existing conditions, Romney replied:
ROMNEY: People with pre-existing conditions, as long as they have been insured before, they are going to be able to continue to have insurance.

LENO: Suppose they haven't been insured before?

ROMNEY: Well, if they are 45 years old and they show up and say I want insurance because I have heart disease, it's like, 'Hey guys. We can't play the game like that. You've got to get insurance when you are well and then if you get ill, you are going to be covered. [...]

We'll look at a circumstance where someone is ill and hasn't been insured so far, but people who have the chance to be insured - - if you are working in the auto business for instance, the companies carry insurance, they insure their employees, you look at the circumstances that exist - - but people who have done their best to get insured are going to be able to be covered. But you don't want everyone saying, 'I am going to sit back until I get sick and then go buy insurance.' That doesn't make sense. But you get defined rules and get people in who are playing by the rules.
Watch it here (beginning 2:15)

Info

Italy Seize 1.1 Billion Euros of Gaddafi Family Assets

Gaddafi
© Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi arrives at Khartoum airport, Sudan, December 21, 2010.
Milan - Italian tax police have seized 1.1 billion euros of assets belonging to members of the Gaddafi family, including stakes in top Italian companies, bank deposits and a Harley Davidson, at the request of the International Criminal Court.

In a statement on Wednesday, police said the assets included stakes in Italy's largest bank UniCredit, oil and gas giant Eni, defence group Finmeccanica, carmaker Fiat, truck-maker Fiat Industrial and Turin-based soccer club Juventus.

Bank deposits, a chunk of forest on the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria and two motorbikes including the Harley Davidson were also seized.

Lieutenant Colonel Gavino Putzu told Reuters all the assets seized were held by Libya's sovereign fund, the Libyan Investment Authority, on behalf of the Gaddafi family.

He said the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague had ordered the seizure of assets worldwide in view of possible compensation claims by victims of Muammar Gaddafi's rule in Libya following his overthrow last year.

Bad Guys

Best of the Web: Sarkozy's Coup d'État: Mohamed Merah was French Intelligence Asset

French President Nicolas Sarkozy stands by soldiers
© AP Photo/Jacques BrinonFrench President Nicolas Sarkozy stands by soldiers carrying a coffin during a ceremony honoring the three soldiers killed by a suspect identified as Mohammad Merah.
Press reports and comments by top intelligence officials suggest that Mohamed Merah, the alleged gunman who killed seven people including three Jewish schoolchildren in a nine-day shooting spree in Toulouse, was a French intelligence asset.

These revelations raise questions about French intelligence's failure to stop Merah, and whether this failure was dictated by political considerations. The investigation of Merah was led by the Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence (DCRI), run by Bernard Squarcini - a close associate of incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy, previously running far behind Socialist Party (PS) candidate François Hollande in next month's presidential elections, has benefited from massive media coverage after the attacks and now is catching up to Hollande in polls.

In a March 23 Le Monde interview, Squarcini had confirmed that Merah had traveled extensively in the Middle East, even though his legal earnings were roughly at the minimum wage: "He spent time with his brother in Cairo after having traveled in the Near East: Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and even Israel. ... Then he went to Afghanistan via Tajikistan. He took unusual routes and did not appear on our radars, nor those of French, American, or local foreign intelligence services."

Squarcini apparently aimed to bolster the official explanation for Merah's ability to escape police: he was an undetectable "self-radicalized lone wolf." This story is being shattered by revelations that French intelligence agencies were apparently in close contact with Merah, trying to develop him as an informant inside Islamist networks.

Comment: Just as the FBI Organizes Terror Plots in the US, so the French intelligence apparatus is manipulating public opinion to favour Sarkozy's Backers.


Eye 1

FBI Said to Have Gathered Intelligence on California Muslims

FBI logo
U.S. civil liberties advocates said on Tuesday the FBI had engaged in secretly collecting intelligence about Muslims in the San Francisco Bay area in recent years, including details about a sermon delivered at a mosque.

The American Civil Liberties Union called for an inquiry into the FBI's data collection, citing investigative practices from between 2004 and 2008 that it said raised the possibility of privacy violations.

The FBI defended its actions, saying the information in question was gathered as part of authorized law-enforcement activities, some intended to bolster ties with the Muslim community.

Police monitoring of Muslim organizations has been a concern across the country. According to reports by the Associated Press, the New York Police Department kept tabs on Muslim neighborhoods in New York and surrounding areas by sending undercover officers into mosques, meetings of college campus groups and local businesses, and keeping records of what they found.

The ACLU said records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request showed FBI agents visited the Seaside Mosque in northern California five times in 2005. Government personnel documented the subject of a sermon and discussions about a property purchase for a new mosque.

Video

Lone wolf's accomplice sends doctored footage of Toulouse murders to Al Jazeera

Image
TV channel says it will not screen footage that appears to show Mohamed Merah's deadly attacks at a school and a barracks

Al-Jazeera has decided against airing a video that purports to show the attacks on soldiers and a Jewish school in south-western France, which was apparently filmed by the killer, and includes the cries of his victims.

The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, other French officials and family members of the victims had asked for it not to be broadcast.

The station later posted a brief statement on its website, saying: "al-Jazeera will not air video of French shootings.

"In accordance with al-Jazeera's code of ethics, given the video does not add any information that is not already in the public domain, its news channels will not be broadcasting any of its contents." The footage was contained on a USB key sent with a letter to the Paris office of the Qatar-based television company, Zied Tarrouche, the station's Paris bureau chief, said on the French TV station BFM.

Comment: Yes, the headline is absurd, but so is this whole story. Nothing makes sense because it's all based on LIES.

Toulouse Attacks: The Official Story of the Death of Mohamed Merah is a Lie