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Thu, 30 Mar 2023
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Puppet Masters


German government's surveillance software unsettles a nation that prizes privacy

Germans take their privacy seriously and have coined a term - gläserner Bürger, or "the glass citizen" - to describe a dystopic future in which Germans are surveilled around the clock. The news that that Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), Germany's version of the FBI, is testing software by a controversial surveillance firm is sure to raise the glass citizen image yet again.

A leaked document (PDF in German) from the German ministry of the interior, which was published on Wednesday by netzpolitik.org, reveals that BKA has acquired software from Gamma Group for monitoring computer and internet use in "case it will be necessary to use." BKA has also been working on its own surveillance software, which it expects to finish in 2014, according to the document.


CIA agents arrested In Tehran

Iranian News Agency Mehr News Agency published the following story and photos today claiming that several CIA undercover agents have been identified and arrested by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry.

Iranian Intelligence Ministry has said that its agents have discovered a group of CIA undercover agents in what the Ministry defined as 'constant and smart operations.' Part of the operation has been carried out in France and elsewhere.

Matti Waluk, a CIA operator and executive of a CIA intelligence plan was arrested by security and intelligence agents of Iran along with other members of anti-Iran group.


Bradley Manning denied a whistleblower defense

© AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, right, is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade
In a potential blow to his defense, Pfc. Bradley Manning has been largely denied the opportunity to present evidence about his motives for leaking documents to WikiLeaks in his upcoming trial.

Manning's defense attorney David Coombs has argued in the soldier's pretrial hearings at Fort Meade that Manning's intentions to act as a whistleblower show he had no desire to harm U.S. interests. However, military judge Col. Denise Lind on Thursday's pretrial session ruled that the defense would not be permitted to argue motive except against the specific charge that Manning knew giving information to WikiLeaks meant he was "dealing with the enemy."


High-ranking Bridgeport, Connecticut Roman Catholic Monsignor Kevin Wallin sold crystal meth on the side, owned an 'adult' store, and regularly had sex with women at St. Augustine Cathedral

Monsignor Meth
© pix11
The so-called Monsignor Meth was allegedly cross-dressing and having sex in the cathedral residence.
More revelations emerged Friday about the secret life of Monsignor Kevin Wallin of Bridgeport, nicknamed Monsignor's Meth, who's being held in jail on charges of selling crystal methamphetamine.

A published report said the 61-year-old Monsignor Wallin was suspended from his position as pastor of St. Augustine Cathedral in 2011, because rectory personnel discovered he was cross-dressing in women's clothing at the Cathedral residence - and having sex there.

Federal investigators said after Wallin left his position as the church, he bought an "adult specialty" store in North Haven, Conn. The store was called the Land of Oz. The store reportedly sold sex toys and pornographic DVDs.

A federal indictment said investigators learned last summer that Msgr. Wallin was selling crystal meth out of an apartment in Waterbury and earning $9,000 a week.

The scandal has rocked the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, because the charismatic Wallin was once an influential member of the inner circle here. It turns out there 's also a New York connection to this story.

Bad Guys

Algeria terrorists want to trade U.S. hostages for World Trade Center plotter

© Anis Belghoul/AP Photo
An Algerian military truck drives past a road sign indicating the city of Ain Amenas where hostages have been kidnapped by islamic militants at a gas plan, Jan. 18, 2013.
U.S. officials told ABC News that at least one American has been killed in the hostage standoff at an Algerian gas plant, and the family of the deceased American has been notified.

An al Qaeda-linked group called the Masked Brigade and led by the one-eyed jihadi Mokhtar Belmokhtar raided the BP joint venture facility in In Amenas on Wednesday, taking an undetermined number of hostages from more than half a dozen nations, including at least two Americans.

On Friday, the group demanded the release of two convicted terrorists held in U.S. prisons, including the "blind sheikh" who helped plan the first attack on New York's World Trade Center, in exchange for the freedom of two American hostages, according to an African news service.

The terror group reportedly contacted a Mauritanian news service with the offer. In addition to the release of Omar Abdel-Rahman, who planned the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, they demanded the release of Aifia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist who shot at two U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan in 2008.


With cash and commandos, U.S. escalates its battle against the Mexican cartels

© Photo: AP
Mexican troops destroy marijuana plants during a counter-drug operation on Oct. 25, 2012.
The U.S. military is getting ready to send its elite troops to help in the fight against Mexico's drug lords. American special operations forces will expand their training of Mexican commando teams, teaching them to hunt cartel chieftains like they were al-Qaida extremists. It's a sign the U.S. is preparing for a long shadow war against the cartels.

The training, detailed in documents obtained by the Associated Press, will be reportedly conducted under an expanded special operations program based at the U.S. Army Northern Command's headquarters - which oversees the Pentagon's military operations on the continent. The program has previously tutored "Mexican military, intelligence, and law enforcement officials to study U.S. counterterrorist operations," according to the AP. But in a memo reportedly obtained by the news agency, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta authorized an expansion of the program that could "eventually triple from 30 [people] to 150," placing a general instead of a lieutenant colonel in charge, and creating a new headquarters.

Comment: Caveat Lector: Wired Magazine and Wired.com is owned by a company which produces drones and is heavily invested in facilitating the widespread use of domestic drones for spying on, tracking, arresting and ultimately eliminating American citizens.

Attack of the Drones

Treasure Chest

Major banks, governmental officials and their comrade capitalists targets of Spire Law Group

Spire Law Group, LLP's national home owners' lawsuit, pending in the venue where the "Banksters" control their $43 trillion racketeering scheme (New York) - known as the largest money laundering and racketeering lawsuit in United States History and identifying $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) of laundered money by the "Banksters" and their U.S. racketeering partners and joint venturers - now pinpoints the identities of the key racketeering partners of the "Banksters" located in the highest offices of government and acting for their own self-interests.

In connection with the federal lawsuit now impending in the United States District Court in Brooklyn, New York (Case No. 12-cv-04269-JBW-RML) - involving, among other things, a request that the District Court enjoin all mortgage foreclosures by the Banksters nationwide, unless and until the entire $43 trillion is repaid to a court-appointed receiver - Plaintiffs now establish the location of the $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) of laundered money in a racketeering enterprise participated in by the following individuals (without limitation): Attorney General Holder acting in his individual capacity, Assistant Attorney General Tony West, the brother in law of Defendant California Attorney General Kamala Harris (both acting in their individual capacities), Jon Corzine (former New Jersey Governor), Robert Rubin (former Treasury Secretary and Bankster), Timothy Geitner, Treasury Secretary (acting in his individual capacity), Vikram Pandit (recently resigned and disgraced Chairman of the Board of Citigroup), Valerie Jarrett (a Senior White House Advisor), Anita Dunn (a former "communications director" for the Obama Administration), Robert Bauer (husband of Anita Dunn and Chief Legal Counsel for the Obama Re-election Campaign), as well as the "Banksters" themselves, and their affiliates and conduits. The lawsuit alleges serial violations of the United States Patriot Act, the Policy of Embargo Against Iran and Countries Hostile to the Foreign Policy of the United States, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (commonly known as the RICO statute) and other State and Federal laws.


Fomenting terrorism: Mysterious fatal crash offers rare look at U.S. commando presence in Mali


US 'special' forces
In pre-dawn darkness, a ­Toyota Land Cruiser skidded off a bridge in North Africa in the spring, plunging into the Niger River. When rescuers arrived, they found the bodies of three U.S. Army commandos - alongside three dead women.

What the men were doing in the impoverished country of Mali, and why they were still there a month after the United States suspended military relations with its government, is at the crux of a mystery that officials have not fully explained even 10 weeks later.

At the very least, the April 20 accident exposed a team of Special Operations forces that had been working for months in Mali, a Saharan country racked by civil war and a rising Islamist insurgency. More broadly, the crash has provided a rare glimpse of elite U.S. commando units in North Africa, where they have been secretly engaged in counterterrorism actions against al-Qaeda affiliates.

The Obama administration has not publicly acknowledged the existence of the missions, although it has spoken in general about plans to rely on Special Operations forces as a cornerstone of its global counterterrorism strategy. In recent years, the Pentagon has swelled the ranks and resources of the Special Operations Command, which includes such units as the Navy SEALs and the Army's Delta Force, even as the overall number of U.S. troops is shrinking.

Comment: It's not fishy that they died in a single-car accident in Mali. What is fishy is what they were doing in Mali in the first place, especially given what is going on there now. They certainly weren't "distributing humanitarian aid" or conducting "civil affairs", that's for sure...

Red Flag

Holder begs court to stop document release on fast and furious

Attorney General Eric Holder and his Department of Justice have asked a federal court to indefinitely delay a lawsuit brought by watchdog group Judicial Watch. The lawsuit seeks the enforcement of open records requests relating to Operation Fast and Furious, as required by law.

Judicial Watch had filed, on June 22, 2012, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking all documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious and "specifically [a]ll records subject to the claim of executive privilege invoked by President Barack Obama on or about June 20, 2012."

The administration has refused to comply with Judicial Watch's FOIA request, and in mid-September the group filed a lawsuit challenging Holder's denial. That lawsuit remains ongoing but within the past week President Barack Obama's administration filed what's called a "motion to stay" the suit. Such a motion is something that if granted would delay the lawsuit indefinitely.


Magnitsky Act sends US-Russian relations into dangerous territory


Russian President Vladimir Putin
After the end of the Cold War there was a widespread perception both in the West and Russia that the time of ideological animosity and human rights problems had passed into history. Nevertheless, the adoption of the Magnitsky Act, passed recently by the US Congress and by the EU in 2011, sees human rights used as a weapon in international relations once again.

The proponents of the Magnitsky Act believe that it is supposed to replace the Jackson-Vanik amendment adopted by the US in 1974 in order to punish the then Soviet Union for forbidding Jewish emigration. But the two are not practically comparable.

The Jackson-Venik amendment covered the whole of the USSR and affected the nationwide economy while the Magnitsky Act includes a list of about 60 officials, accused of being involved in the imprisonment and death of anti-corruption whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky, who are banned from entering the US and the EU and whose assets are frozen.

Although the act only affects a tiny minority of officials, it has attracted public attention in the country, both for and against. A survey in November by the Levada Center in Moscow found that 39 percent of Russians agreed with the law, while 14 percent were opposed to it, and 48 percent said they were undecided.