Puppet MastersS


Nuke

Iran's Call for Nuclear Abolition by 2025 is Unreported by New York Times

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The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), formed in 1961 during the Cold War, is a group of 120 states and 17 observer states not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. The NAM held its opening 2012 session yesterday under the new chairmanship of Iran, which succeeded Egypt as the Chair.

Significantly, an Associated Press story in the Washington Post headlined, "Iran opens nonaligned summit with calls for nuclear arms ban", reported that "Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi opened the gathering by noting commitment to a previous goal from the nonaligned group, known as NAM, to remove the world's nuclear arsenals within 13 years. 'We believe that the timetable for ultimate removal of nuclear weapons by 2025, which was proposed by NAM, will only be realized if we follow it up decisively,' he told delegates."

Yet the New York Times, which has been beating the drums for war with Iran, just as it played a disgraceful role in the deceptive reporting during the lead-up to the Iraq War, never mentioned Iran's proposal for nuclear abolition. The Times carried the bland headline on its front page, "At Summit Meeting, Iran Has a Message for the World", and then went on to state, "the message is clear. As Iran plays host to the biggest international conference ...it wants to tell its side of the long standoff with the Western powers which are increasingly convinced that Tehran is pursuing nuclear weapons", without ever reporting Iran's offer to support the NAM proposal for the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2025.

Eye 1

Stellar Wind, the massive domestic spy program designed to know literally everything about everyone

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The NSA's HQ in Maryland, US
It took me a few days to work up the nerve to phone William Binney. As someone already a "target" of the United States government, I found it difficult not to worry about the chain of unintended consequences I might unleash by calling Mr. Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency turned whistle-blower. He picked up. I nervously explained I was a documentary filmmaker and wanted to speak to him. To my surprise he replied: "I'm tired of my government harassing me and violating the Constitution. Yes, I'll talk to you."

Two weeks later, driving past the headquarters of the N.S.A. in Maryland, outside Washington, Mr. Binney described details about Stellar Wind, the N.S.A.'s top-secret domestic spying program begun after 9/11, which was so controversial that it nearly caused top Justice Department officials to resign in protest, in 2004.

"The decision must have been made in September 2001," Mr. Binney told me and the cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. "That's when the equipment started coming in." In this Op-Doc, Mr. Binney explains how the program he created for foreign intelligence gathering was turned inward on this country. He resigned over this in 2001 and began speaking out publicly in the last year. He is among a group of N.S.A. whistle-blowers, including Thomas A. Drake, who have each risked everything - their freedom, livelihoods and personal relationships - to warn Americans about the dangers of N.S.A. domestic spying.

MIB

Flashback Olof Palme's Assassination (Operation Tree)

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Olaf Palme, taken out by Murder, Inc.
Why A British Gamekeeper Turned Poacher

With President Ronald Reagan's re-election in November 1984, the militant anti-communists in Washington and London decided that the day had finally come for rolling back the Iron Curtain, and bringing down the Soviet Union. With the death of CPSU General Secretary Yuri Andropov, replaced by the caretaker government of chain-smoking Konstantin Chernenko, the Soviet bloc seemed to be reduced to a regime on auto-pilot, only going through the motions of protecting itself while expecting the apparent inevitable - its collapse - what Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's government was already well advanced in achieving, and the Republican administration in Washington would now follow. With the policy of détente with Moscow well and truly buried, it was time to do all the dirty work to make it a reality.

Andropov's death seemed an augury of the system's own fate. Head of the KGB since 1967 - thanks to his belief after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution that only force could keep communist systems in power - he directed the suppression of all dissent against the established regimes in Czechoslovakia in 1968, in Afghanistan in 1979, and Warsaw in 1981. In these efforts, Andropov was assisted by Vladimir Kryuchkov, the head of his personal secretariat who later became head of the KGB's First Chief Directorate, and ultimately the chief of the foreign intelligence service itself. According to Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin in The Sword and the Shield, Andropov deliberately destroyed the Prague Spring on the pretext that the CIA and NATO were behind it - what he knew to be untrue. (pp. 256-7) In fact, Mitrokhin was inclined to become a mole for the West because of the fabrications Andropov engaged in justifying the overthrow of Afghan President Hafizullah Amin, a so-called "agent of American imperialism." (p. 11) For the Soviet defector, the process was completed when the KGB chief forced the Polish communists to adopt martial law in order to suppress Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement, its Polish intelligence counterpart fabricating a film claiming that it was in the pay of the West. (p. 522ff.)

Little wonder that after Andropov took over control from Leonid Brezhnev, he apparently let all his paranoid fears run wild after Reagan rejected his calls for reducing intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Euorpe, and for a summit to promote world peace by calling for the adoption of STAR WARS. Then, according to most reports, Moscow "went ape" when Korean Air Lines Flight 007 inadvertently strayed over Soviet air space in the Far East, resulting in its being shot down by a Soviet fighter with the loss of 269 lives, including 61 Americans - what resulted in West Germany approving the deployment of U.S. Pershing II and cruise missiles. Kryuchkov, whose KGB had long been issuing instructions to counter alleged Western threats, and which Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky published later in two volumes, now used NATO's routine Able Archer Exercise as an excuse for instituting Operation RYAN (the Russian acronym for nuclear missile attack), calling for fortnightly reports from all residencies of evidence of Western plans for a first strike against the Soviets - what Andrew and Mitrokhin again dismissed as being totally without foundation. (p. 433) According to them, thanks to deliberate efforts by Washington and London, starting in 1984 to reassure Moscow of their peaceful intentions, cooler heads and plans soon prevailed in the Kremlin.

Sherlock

Murdered Tetra Pak heiress Eva Rausing had information on murder of Swedish PM Olaf Palme

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Metropolitan police passes information to authorities in Sweden about killing of Olof Palme in 1986

Eva Rausing, who was found dead in July at the London home she shared with her husband, an heir to the TetraPak fortune, had passed on information about the unsolved 1986 murder of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, Swedish prosecutors have revealed.

Scotland Yard confirmed on Tuesday night that it had given information to authorities in Sweden, where investigators are now reported as wanting to question Hans Kristian Rausing as a possible witness about the information his wife claimed to have obtained.

A Swedish author who has written two books on the Palme killing said Mrs Rausing first contacted him in June 2011. She claimed she had learned that Palme had been killed by an entrepreneur who feared the politician was a threat to his business.

Comment: For more on Rausing's suspicious death: Tetra Pak heir Hans Kristian Rausing treated in hospital after police discover body of his wife in their London home

Olaf Palme was a thorn in the side of certain nefarious regimes and was clearly a target in high-level intelligence circles:

How Iran-Contra Led to Palme's Assassination: Illegal Arms Shipments Through Sweden Forced It


Airplane

US Assassination Drone Kills Two in Yemen

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A US assassination drone
At least two people have been killed in an attack carried out by a US assassination drone in Yemen.

The drone targeted a vehicle on a road between the provinces of Marib and Hadhramout on Tuesday.

Reports say a Saudi citizen and a Yemeni tribesman were killed in the air strike.

Yemeni military officials confirmed the attack.

The United States uses drones for combat and espionage missions in several countries including Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Washington claims the unmanned aircraft target militants, but many of the victims turn out to be civilians.

The United Nations says the US drone attacks are targeted killings that flout international law.

Display

US Air Force Wants to be Able to Hack Everything

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© Reuters/Chris Morgan /Idaho National Laboratory
The US Air Force is spending $10 million on an effort to hack into opponents' computer networks to "destroy, deny, degrade, disrupt, deceive, corrupt or usurp" their ability to use the Internet to their advantage.

The ability to hack into networks is part of a list of the military's "Cyberspace Warfare Operations Capabilities" that it wishes to acquire, reports Wired.

Instead of giving the ability to conduct cyber strikes solely to the White House, the Air Force wants its Trojans and worms to be available to its own officials, including top personnel and operational commanders.

Last week, the Pentagon announced a new $110 million program to make cyber strikes a more routine effort in wartime military operations. "Plan X," as the Pentagon named it, will officially begin on September 20, but Darpa has already invested $600,000 to cyber security firm Invincea to begin its research immediately.

Star of David

France Opens Yasser Arafat Murder Inquiry

Yasser Arafat
© Agence France-Presse/Abbas MomaniYasser Arafat
French prosecutors have launched an official inquiry into the 2004 murder of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, after his family claimed he had been poisoned.

­Arafat's family initiated legal action in France last month over claims the Palestinian leader died of radioactive polonium poisoning.

His widow, Suha Arafat, has asked that her late husband's body be exhumed for further testing. The Palestinian Authority has already consented to the procedure.

Earlier, a nine-month investigation conducted by Al-Jazeera concluded that Arafat's personal belongings contained abnormally high levels of polonium, a rare and highly radioactive element. The items, including his clothing, his toothbrush, and even his iconic kaffiyeh, were supplied to Al-Jazeera by his widow. They were then analyzed at the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Comment:
Was Arafat murdered?

Poisoned: Who Killed Yasser Arafat?


Star of David

Military Muppet: TV Character Urges Israelis to Prepare for Strike on Iran

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© Reuters/Israeli Defence ForceA photo shows the cover of a new, emergency pamphlet being distributed nationwide by Israeli Army's Home Front Command August 27, 2012
A new emergency pamphlet in Israel instructs residents to prepare for the worst if Tel Aviv conducts a military strike on Iran. But the face on the brochure isn't the country's President or Prime Minister - it's a Muppet.

The cover of the 15-page leaflet pictures a smiling Moishe Oofnik, the Israeli Muppet version of Oscar the Grouch. He's the resident pessimist on Rechov Sumsum, Israel's co-production of the long-running American children's program Sesame Street.

Muppets on the popular show are known for teaching children numbers and the alphabet, but Moishe Oofnik has taken on a different job with this pamphlet - instructing Israelis how to react if their nation's government launches a war against Iran.

The booklet, issued by the Israeli military, says that once air raid sirens sound, residents of the Jewish state would have between 30 seconds and three minutes to find cover before rockets hit their area. The brochure, which is being distributed across the country, also teaches Israelis how to prepare a safe room or shelter for emergency situations.

The furry Muppet puts a happy face on the warnings, though the issue is anything but lighthearted: Israeli ministers have estimated that up to 500 civilians could die in the conflict that would follow a strike on Iran.

The pamphlet comes in the wake of recent remarks by Israeli officials suggesting that Tel Aviv may soon launch a unilateral attack on Tehran's nuclear program. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly favor a strike on Iran. Public statements and anonymous quotes to Israeli media in the past week have raised speculation that Israel may soon attack Iran.

Book

SEAL Book Depicts Osama bin Laden Shot on Sight in Hallway, Contradicting Original Account

Osama bin Laden
© EPAOsama bin Laden
Washington - A firsthand account of the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden contradicts previous accounts by administration officials, raising questions as to whether the terror mastermind presented a clear threat when SEALs first fired upon him.

Bin Laden apparently was hit in the head when he looked out of his bedroom door into the top-floor hallway of his compound as SEALs rushed up a narrow stairwell in his direction, according to former Navy SEAL Mark Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen in No Easy Day. The book is to be published next week by Penguin Group (USA)'s Dutton imprint.

Bissonnette says he was directly behind a "point man" going up the stairs. "Less than five steps" from top of the stairs, he heard "suppressed" gunfire: "BOP. BOP." The point man had seen a "man peeking out of the door" on the right side of the hallway

Bissonnette writes that bin Laden ducked back into his bedroom and the SEALs followed, only to find the terrorist crumpled on the floor in a pool of blood with a hole visible on the right side of his head and two women wailing over his body.

Comment: For more information on bin Laden's death, see:
Osama bin Dead Awhile
Can US Offer Final Proof Of Osama's Death?
Did Osama Really Die on Monday in Abbottabad?


Bizarro Earth

Sean Lennon: Destroying Precious Land for Gas

Sean Lennon and his girlfriend, Charlotte Kemp Muhl
© NPRSean Lennon and his girlfriend, Charlotte Kemp Muhl.
On the northern tip of Delaware County, N.Y., where the Catskill Mountains curl up into little kitten hills, and Ouleout Creek slithers north into the Susquehanna River, there is a farm my parents bought before I was born. My earliest memories there are of skipping stones with my father and drinking unpasteurized milk. There are bald eagles and majestic pines, honeybees and raspberries. My mother even planted a ring of white birch trees around the property for protection.

A few months ago I was asked by a neighbor near our farm to attend a town meeting at the local high school. Some gas companies at the meeting were trying very hard to sell us on a plan to tear through our wilderness and make room for a new pipeline: infrastructure for hydraulic fracturing. Most of the residents at the meeting, many of them organic farmers, were openly defiant. The gas companies didn't seem to care. They gave us the feeling that whether we liked it or not, they were going to fracture our little town.

In the late '70s, when Manhattanites like Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger were turning Montauk and East Hampton into an epicurean Shangri-La for the Studio 54 crowd, my parents, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, were looking to become amateur dairy farmers. My first introduction to a cow was being taught how to milk it by hand. I'll never forget the realization that fresh milk could be so much sweeter than what we bought in grocery stores. Although I was rarely able to persuade my schoolmates to leave Long Island for what seemed to them an unreasonably rural escapade, I was lucky enough to experience trout fishing instead of tennis lessons, swimming holes instead of swimming pools and campfires instead of cable television.

Though my father died when I was 5, I have always felt lucky to live on land he loved dearly; land in an area that is now on the verge of being destroyed. When the gas companies showed up in our backyard, I felt I needed to do some research. I looked into Pennsylvania, where hundreds of families have been left with ruined drinking water, toxic fumes in the air, industrialized landscapes, thousands of trucks and new roads crosshatching the wilderness, and a devastating and irreversible decline in property value.

Natural gas has been sold as clean energy. But when the gas comes from fracturing bedrock with about five million gallons of toxic water per well, the word "clean" takes on a disturbingly Orwellian tone. Don't be fooled. Fracking for shale gas is in truth dirty energy. It inevitably leaks toxic chemicals into the air and water. Industry studies show that 5 percent of wells can leak immediately, and 60 percent over 30 years. There is no such thing as pipes and concrete that won't eventually break down. It releases a cocktail of chemicals from a menu of more than 600 toxic substances, climate-changing methane, radium and, of course, uranium.