Puppet MastersS

Propaganda

Propaganda Alert! Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah listed Canada among proposed al-Qaeda targets

Mohamed Merah
© Agence France-Presse
It appears Canada is still under threat from a potential al-Qaeda attack.

The Globe and Mail is reporting that Mohamed Merah -- the French gunman who killed French soldiers and attacked a Jewish school last spring in Toulouse -- was told at a terrorist training camp that he should launch strikes against Canada.

Merah made the claim to a French counter-terrorism officer during the 32-hour standoff which ultimately ended in a shootout and his death. His comments were revealed in an audio recording leaked to the public on Sunday.

"I was sent by al-Qaeda. I was trained by the Pakistani Talibans. There's a whole organization behind this," Merah is heard saying.

Describing how he spent two months in a camp in Pakistan, Merah said he met French, Chinese, Tajik, Afghan, Pakistani, American, German and Spanish jihadists.

"There are brothers who deal with sending brothers to other countries. They proposed to me to launch strikes in America, in Canada, et cetera," Merah said.

He told the police officer that they wanted him to target diplomats, including the Indian ambassador or a female ambassador whose name he couldn't remember, along with media bosses.

But Merah, a French national of Algerian descent, said he felt it would be easier for him to operate in Toulouse, in southern France, where he grew up.

Comment: Merah was not a murderer but one of the several people that was used by psychopaths in power for political purposes. For the real story of what happened surrounding the Merah case, read:
Sott Focus: Toulouse Attacks: The Official Story of the Death of Mohamed Merah is a Lie
Sott Focus: Sarkozy The American's 9/11: Mohamed Merah: 'Liquidated' French Intelligence Asset
Sarkozy's Coup d'État: Mohamed Merah was French Intelligence Asset


Laptop

U.S. Spy Agencies Say Won't Read Americans' Email for Cybersecurity

Keith Alexander
© Reuters/Hyungwon KangGeneral Keith Alexander, Director of the NSA and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command
The head of the U.S. spy agency that eavesdrops on electronic communications overseas sought on Monday to reassure Americans that the National Security Agency would not read their personal email if a new cybersecurity law was enacted to allow private companies to share information with the government.

The House of Representatives in April approved a bill that would allow the government and companies to share information about hacking. But the White House and key Senate Democrats back a broader approach.

Critics have raised privacy concerns about the sharing of such information, concerned it would allow the National Security Agency, which also protects government computer networks, to collect data on American communications, which is generally prohibited by law.

"The reality is we can do protection of civil liberties and privacy and cybersecurity as a nation," General Keith Alexander said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute.

But to help protect the private sector, he said it was important that the intelligence agency be able to inform them about the type of malicious software and other cyber intrusions it is seeing and hear from companies about what they see breaching the protective measures on their computer networks.

"It doesn't require the government to read their mail or your mail to do that. It requires them, the Internet service provider or that company, to tell us that that type of event is going on at this time. And it has to be at network speed if you're going to stop it," Alexander said.

He said the information the government was seeking was the Internet address where an email containing malicious software originated and where it traveled to, not the content of the email.

Mr. Potato

Beyond Misery in America: A Modest Proposal for Willard

mitt romney
Willard Romney, onetime dauphin prince of the Mexican outback and current presumptive nominee of the only Republican party we have, has been having a rough week there up at his lakeside retreat in the small town of Silly Rich Bastard, New Hampshire. He's gotten himself tangled up (again) with his previous incarnations, particularly the Self that once deigned to govern Massachusetts for about 11 minutes back in the early Aughts. That one put in place a mandate requiring that all citizens of the Commonwealth (God Save It!) buy health insurance, or else pay a penalty that would be collected by the state revenoo'ers. The current Willard, of course, is opposed to mandates because he is the nominee of a party full of crazy people. He and his campaign have spent a week trying to decide if the crazy people are less likely to disembowel them if they call such a mandate a "penalty" or a "tax" in relation to the Obama administration's success at bringing Romney's original Massachusetts plan to the masses. He's also being sniped at by various allegedly non-crazy leaders of his party for not being the candidate of their dreams. All of which seems to be harshing the general mellow up in the piney woods.

Once again, I put upon my head my speechwriter's hat - it is a lovely green fedora with a red feather in the band - and offer the Romney campaign my services in this strange, floundering hour of its discontent. I believe it doesn't have to be this way. I believe in addressing the problems head-on, as you will see.

Mr. Potato

Texas Republican Party officially rejects 'critical thinking' skills. No, Really

GOP Texas platform
© AP/LM Otero
In the you-can't-make-up-this-stuff department, here's what the Republican Party of Texas wrote into its 2012 platform as part of the section on education:

Knowledge-Based Education - We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

Yes, you read that right. The party opposes the teaching of "higher order thinking skills" because it believes the purpose is to challenge a student's "fixed beliefs" and undermine "parental authority."

It opposes, among other things, early childhood education, sex education, and multicultural education, but supports "school subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded."

Question

Poisoned: Who Killed Yasser Arafat?

Yasser Arafat
© unknownYasser Arafat
Now we know he was poisoned - but by whom?

Yasser Arafat died on November 11, 2004, of a mysterious ailment. His enemies spread the rumor he had AIDS: David Frum, with typical classiness, claimed he had contracted AIDS as a consequence of having sex with his bodyguards. Now, however, it has been revealed Arafat was poisoned: the cause of his death was exposure to very high levels of polonium-210 [pdf], a rare radioactive substance. An investigation conducted by Al Jazeera showed Arafat's personal items, released to the media organization by his widow, contained several times the normal level of polonium that would normally be detected on such items. The Palestinian leader's terminal symptoms were similar to those experienced by victims of polonium poisoning: the substance targets the gastrointestinal tract and the subject wastes away.

Arafat's Ramallah compound had been bombed several times by the Israelis, and they had the place surrounded - yet still he persisted. They couldn't get him out. Worse, his plight was becoming a metaphor for the condition of his people, who were - and still are - prisoners in their own land. A former adviser claimed he was poisoned by the Israelis, who detained the Palestinian ambulance used to deliver Arafat's medications to the Ramallah compound. At the time, one tended to write this off as a purely polemical exercise: in light of the new evidence, however, the question has to be asked.

Bad Guys

'Israel sent me to poison Arafat's food,' Palestinian prisoner says

Yasser Arafat
© Moshe ShaiA Palestinian prisoner says Israel sent him to poison the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in his Ramallah compound in 2004.
Video released by Lebanese media apparently shows Palestinian prisoner in Ketziot prison saying he was recruited by Israeli security forces to infiltrate Yasser Arafat's compound in 2004 and put poison in his food - Israeli expert denies allegations that Arafat died from polonium poisoning.

Recent speculation that the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death continued over the weekend when Lebanese television released a video apparently showing a Palestinian prisoner in Israel confessing that he was recruited by Israeli security forces to poison Arafat.

In the video released Friday, which appears to have been filmed in 2006, a Palestinian prisoner in the Ketziot prison is seen "interrogating" another Palestinian inmate who confesses that he was sent by Israel to kill the late Palestinian leader.

The prisoner claims in the video that, together with a group of Palestinian collaborators, he poisoned Arafat by putting toxic substances in his food while the Palestinian leader was barricaded in his Ramallah compound in 2004.

Heart - Black

Torture Team: President Bush Should be Criminally Investigated for War Crimes

After the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the US has come under intense scrutiny for its use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' that many experts have called torture. Now there are calls to bring those responsible in the US government to justice.


Philippe Sands is a Professor of Law at University College, London. In his new book Torture Team, Sands explores the legality and ramifications of the US program of state-sponsored torture behind closed doors at Guantanamo Bay. In an RT interview, Sands discusses the possibility of one day bringing those responsible to justice.

Chess

Francis Boyle Says Iran Should Sue Over US Threats

iran leader
Professor Francis A. Boyle has made a proposal to the Government of Iran that it sue the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Israel and other European States over the current crisis in the Persian Gulf that creates an imminent threat of igniting World War III.

Professor Boyle said, "If Obama attacks Iran, he could set off World War III. I want to stop that."

It is his hope and expectation that such lawsuits would result in the World Court issuing temporary restraining orders against these states to cease and desist from committing all threats and aggressive military actions against Iran and to negotiate with Iran in good faith over the dispute concerning nuclear re-processing.

Dollar

Why is Nobody (in the US) Freaking Out About the LIBOR Banking Scandal?

Image
© (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)Barclays bank.
The LIBOR manipulation story has exploded into a major scandal overseas. The CEO of Barclays, Bob Diamond, has resigned in disgrace; his was the first of what will undoubtedly be many major banks to walk the regulatory plank for fixing the interbank exchange rate. The Labor party is demanding a sweeping criminal investigation. Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, responded the way a real public official should (i.e. not like Ben Bernanke), blasting the banks:
It is time to do something about the banking system...Many people in the banking industry are hardworking and feel badly let down by some of their colleagues and leaders. It goes to the culture and the structure of banks: the excessive compensation, the shoddy treatment of customers, the deceitful manipulation of a key interest rate, and today, news of yet another mis-selling scandal.
The furor is over revelations that Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and other banks were monkeying with at least $10 trillion in loans (The Wall Street Journal is calculating that that LIBOR affects $800 trillion worth of contracts).

Bizarro Earth

Police May be Arresting Marginal Terror Suspects to Clear Decks for Olympics Says Watchdog

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© UPPA
David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terror laws
Police may be targeting "marginal" terror suspects in a bid to "clear the decks" ahead of the Olympics, the terrorism watchdog said on Sunday.

David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terror legislation, said this summer's Games are a "major target" and police may be intervening in cases earlier than they would normally.

His comments follow a series of arrests by counter-terrorism officers in recent weeks.

Last month two Muslim converts were arrested on suspicion of plotting an attack against the Olympic canoeing venue. They were later released without charge.

And last week 14 people were arrested in two separate counter-terrorism operations against suspected Islamist plots.

Whitehall and security sources have previously suggested the threshold for assessing the potential risk of suspects is likely to be lower in the run up to the Olympics.