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Fri, 30 Sep 2022
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Making the world safe for corporate greed: American drone attacks kill 12 in Pakistan

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© SS Mirza/AFP/Getty
A Pakistani protest against US drone strikes. The latest two attacks have killed 12 people.
Ten more people have been killed by a US drone strike against suspected militants in Pakistan, with the aircraft firing its missiles into a mourning gathering for one of two fighters killed in a similar attack the previous day.

Two Pakistani intelligence officials say four missiles were fired at the village of Mana Raghzai in South Waziristan near the border with Afghanistan on Sunday morning.

At the time of the attack, suspected militants were gathered to offer condolences to the brother of a militant commander killed during another American unmanned drone attack on Saturday. The brother was one of those who died in the Sunday morning attack. The Pakistani officials said two of the dead were foreigners and the rest were Pakistani.

USA

US Claims 'No Interest' in Assange

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks
© Agence France-Presse/Torsten Blackwood
Activist demands the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
The US has no interest in Julian Assange, insists America's ambassador to Australia. The statement comes as the WikiLeaks founder grasps his last chance before extradition to Sweden, which he fears will pave the way for further rendition to the US.

­The US ambassador to Australia, Jeffrey Bleich, rejected as "an invention" claims that Washington was preparing a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange, an Australian national currently under house arrest in Britain, over WikiLeaks' role in publishing thousands of secret US diplomatic cables last year.

"There is no such thing as a secret warrant. Period. They don't exist," Bleich told the Australian national public broadcaster ABC on Thursday. "It's not something that the US cares about. It's not interested in it."

Meanwhile, the website "Justice for Assange" claims exactly the opposite.

"Stratfor [the global intelligence company] emails have revealed that a sealed indictment has been issued by a secret grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, for Julian Assange," says the message. "The email is dated 26 January 2011. This means that there has likely been a sealed extradition order for over a year, which will be activated (unsealed) against Assange in Sweden, Australia and the UK when the US Government gives the order."

Vader

Cleaning Up Obama's "Dark Side"

obama
© Unknown
Obama's handlers, with the able assistance of the New York Times, paint a presidential portrait that "reconciles the old, imagined Obama with Dick Cheney's 'dark side.'" The president routinely violates international law and subverts the U.S. Constitution but, we are told, he does so with a keen sense of moral obligation. His millions of victims should be pleased.

"The Times report is yet another attempt to compartmentalize the escalating aggression against civilized norms of international behavior by the U.S. and its allies."

It took two teams to script the 6,000-word psycho-drama headlined Secret 'Kill List' Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will, in the May 29 New York Times. Reporters Jo Becker and Scott Shane got the byline, but the real content - the intended message - was provided by "three dozen current and former advisors" to the president whose 'insights' shaped the production. This symbiosis of State content-provider and corporate media packager passes for probing journalism in the United States. The public is left with the impression (in the advertising sense of the word) of a president who deploys armadas of drones - but with a conscience - a man of "deep reserve" who "approves lethal action without hand-wringing," yet is determined "to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values." In case the god-fearing are not convinced that Barack Hussein Obama is a sufficiently Christian soldier, the president's counterterrorism advisor, John Brennan, a 25-year veteran of the CIA, acts as a "priest whose blessing has become indispensable to Mr. Obama."

Eye 1

Veteran Force Vaccinated After Arrest At Bilderberg 2012

An exclusive interview with a U.S. veteran who was arrested on Thursday May 31st, at the 2012 Bilderberg 2012 meetings.

This veteran was apparently forcefully vaccinated and intimated by Fairfax County Police who were trying to scare protesters of the global power structure.


Chess

US to move majority of warships to Asia-Pacific - but "this is not about China"

aircraft carrier
© AFP Photo/Lee Jin-man
US fighters taking off from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class USS George Washington for joint military exercises between the US and South Korea in South Korea's East Sea.
The US is set to reposition its Navy fleet with the majority of its warships to be assigned to the Asia-Pacific by 2020. But this military strategy has nothing to do with US-Chinese rivalry in the region, the defense secretary assures.

­The US would reposition its Navy so that 60 per cent of its warships would be assigned to the Asia-Pacificregion by 2020, compared to about 50 per cent now, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told senior civilian and military leaders from about 30 Asia-Pacific nations at an annual security forum in Singapore.

"Some view the increased emphasis by the United States on the Asia-Pacific region as some kind of challenge to China. I reject that view entirely," he said. "Our effort to renew and intensify our involvement in Asia is fully compatible... with the development and growth of China. Indeed, increased US involvement in this region will benefit China as it advances our shared security and prosperity for the future."

But in laying out core US principles in the region, Panetta made clear Washington opposed any attempt by Beijing to make unilateral moves in its push for territorial rights in the oil-rich South China Sea.

Comment: Interesting. For the sake of argument, suppose for a moment that Panetta is telling the truth and this has nothing to do with China. That leaves the question about the real reason for the move unanswered.


Arrow Down

The Bad Jobs Report Is Just A Very Small Taste Of The Economic Nightmare That Is Coming

Another month, another bad jobs report. For the month of May, the U.S. economy only added 69,000 jobs and the unemployment rate rose to 8.2%.

Many are calling this a total "disaster" and are worried that the U.S. economy could be headed back into another recession. Economists had been expecting 150,000 payroll jobs would be added, so the 69,000 number really shocked a lot of people.

The truth is that the economy needs to add approximately 125,000 new jobs every single month just to keep the unemployment rate steady. So yes, this bad jobs report is not welcome news at all - especially for the Obama administration. When Barack Obama first took office the unemployment rate was sitting at 7.6 percent and now it is sitting at 8.2 percent. Some "recovery", eh?

But the reality is that this jobs report was really not that "devastating" even though the stock market had its worst day of the year. Unemployment in America is still about at the same level as it was back at the beginning of 2012. The tough stretch that we are going through right now is only a very small taste of the economic nightmare that is on the horizon. If you think that things are a "disaster" right now, just wait until you see what is coming.

Bad Guys

Why Is the Government Withholding Documents About JFK's Assassination?

classified graphic
© n/a

Next year will be a half-century since the death of JFK. And the Obama Administration thinks we need to keep secret the records on the matter....a little longer yet.

Believe it or not, more than 50,000 pages of JFK assassination-related documents are being withheld in full. And an untold number of documents have been partially withheld, or released with everything interesting blacked out. But why?

Since the government and the big media keep telling us there was no conspiracy, and that it was all Lee Harvey Oswald acting on his own, why continue to keep the wraps on?

We don't have an answer, but in understanding this and any number of other mysteries, we can begin looking for patterns in the way the administration handles information policy.

We Want to Hear From You (But That's It - We Just Want to Hear From You)

Earlier this year, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) asked, on its online Open Government Forum, for suggestions from the public about what it could do to create greater transparency. The #1 most popular idea? Get those Kennedy records out - before Nov. 22, 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of the Dallas tragedy.

But instead of dealing honestly with this matter, the feds have resorted to disinformation. In an interview with the Boston Globe, the Archivist of the United States claimed that at two public forums held on open records, the most public comments came from people interested either in the JFK assassination or....in UFOs.

Except for one thing: James Lesar, an attorney and co-founder of the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), a DC-based nonprofit that has fought a long and valiant fight on behalf of the public interest in disclosure, attended both of those forums and says that as he recalls there were no people there asking about UFOs, or that at most it was of negligible interest. In fact, a look at NARA's online idea forum (now closed)showed no UFO proposals or comments.

Propaganda

False Reporting on the Health of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez

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Still working away: Hugo Chavez in his office yesterday
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was diagnosed with cancer and a malignant tumor was removed from his pelvic region last June, all kinds of rumors, lies and speculations have circulated about his health. Most of the hype has come from known anti-Chavez media, such as the Miami Herald and several online blogs run by right-wing extremists like Bush's former Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega, who's been obsessed with Chavez for years. All cite unnamed sources who claim they have "insider information" about the Venezuelan head of state's health.

It's been unsurprising that those media outlets, known for their decade-long distortions of Venezuela's reality, would publish such falsities and morbid tales about President Chavez. But that a serious, veteran, investigative journalist, such as Dan Rather, would indulge in the necrophiliac story-telling about the Venezuelan President is truly disappointing.

Rather, who now runs his own show on HDNet, Dan Rather Reports, posted a report on Wednesday, May 30, claiming President Chavez's health is "dire" and has "entered the end stage". Rather also claims his unnamed "high-level" source, who he alleges is close to the Venezuelan President, told him Chavez won't live "more than a couple of months at most".

In his brief report, which he calls an "exclusive", Rather also bids in with his own biased language, calling the democratically-elected Venezuelan President a "dictator".

What prompted Dan Rather to write such diatribe? Why would he join the ranks of Roger Noriega, the wretched Miami Herald and a slew of pseudo-journalists drooling over their morbid wet dreams of President Chavez's failing health?

Magnify

Crisis in the Euro Zone: Alexis Tsipras Is the Greek Who Makes Europe Tremble

Just weeks ago, Alexis Tsipras, 37, was an obscure opposition politician. Now, he's unnerving the powers that be in the European Union because he and his leftist party Syriza - a group whose membership ranges from hardline Communists to moderate socialists - have the potential of forming a government after the June 17 elections. A teenage member of the Communist Youth of Greece, Tsipras has executed a dramatic and canny political metamorphosis, transforming himself fromthe leader of a radical leftist coalition to a left-of-center standard bearer for anti-bailout and anti-austerity populism. And in so doing, he has confounded the ossified poltiical class of Greece, which acceded to the strictures imposed by the E.U. in order for Athens to receive the funds it needs to satisfy its creditors. Now, Tsipras may hold the future of the euro and the E.U. in his hands. All he needs to do is win enough seats to govern.
Tsipras spoke to TIME's Joanna Kakissis at the Syriza office on Koumoundourou Square in Athens. Following is the transcript of the interview:

TIME: Are you willing to make the necessary structural reforms in Greece to revive the economy?

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© Eirini Vourloumis FOR TIME
Greek Politician Alexis Tsipras, on the rooftop of Syriza Party Headquarters.

Alexis Tsipras:
It is obvious that Greece - and the Greek economy - has its own particularities that played a role in making this economic crisis deeper and longer. Indeed, we must make structural reforms which will the public sector more reliable, create an effective and fair taxation system, and fight the black economy which has been like a kind of gangrene on the Greek economy. As far as I know, the underground economy represents 30% of the GDP.

At the same time, we will try to restore faith in the law and convince people that the state is equitable and effective. We will destroy corruption and the interconnection of political and economic power from its roots. Without the contribution of the citizens, these reforms cannot take place. But in order to contribute, the citizens want to know that these reforms will not be implemented only to those who have low incomes but those who have high incomes and come from the upper class. There is a Greek saying: "The fish always stinks from its head," (which means, roughly, corruption starts at the top). So if we don't fight the problem at its roots, then we won't be able to establish positive morale that can encourage all Greeks to also fight against it.

Dollar

Banks Skim Millions in Fees From Student Aid Using Debit-Card-Linked Student IDs

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Over 9 million students are at risk for increased educational debt, due to bank-affiliated campus debit cards that come with high fees, insufficient consumer protections, and few options. Financial institutions now have affinity partnerships with almost 900 campuses nationwide, grafting bank products onto student IDs and other campus cards to become the primary recipient of billions in federal financial aid to distribute to students.

"Campus debit cards are wolves in sheep's clothing," observed Rich Williams, U.S. PIRG Higher Education Advocate and report co-author. "Students think they can access their dollars freely, but instead their aid is being eaten up in fees."

The Campus Debit Card Trap, a new report released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, finds that banks and financial firms now control or influence federal financial aid disbursement to over 9 million students by linking checking accounts and prepaid debit cards to student IDs. For decades, students would receive their aid by check, without being charged any fees to access their student aid. Now, students end up paying big fees on their student aid, including per-swipe fees of $0.50, inactivity fees of $10 or more after 6 months, overdraft fees of up to $38 and plenty more. Financial institutions aggressively market or default students into their bank accounts to maximize these fees.