Puppet MastersS

Dollar

EU hypocrisy! £1 billion in arms sales to Greece

Greece austerity
© GettyAfter EU demands for greater austerity, as Greece debt has deepened despite multi-billion bailouts, Greek social spending has been cut by nine per cent while military budgets have risen, by as much as 18 per cent
European Union countries have been accused of hypocrisy over imposing savage austerity measures on Greece while at the same time selling the highly indebted country over £1 billion of arms.

New official figures show that bailouts and an EU austerity programme aimed at reducing Greek living standards by 30 per cent have not dented lucrative arms sales to Greece.

In 2010, as Greece was plunged into crisis and the EU began a scheduled £200 billion in aid payments, European countries continued to sell aircraft, tanks, artillery and submarines to the Greek military.

In the same year, France concluded a £662 million military aircraft deal with Greece, a lucrative deal for the French arms industry that will be underwritten by EU bail-out funds.

Official German trade figures showed that in 2010 Germany, which has demanded draconian cuts to Greek social welfare spending, sold weaponry, including a submarine, worth £336 million to the impoverished southern Mediterranean country.

In October 2011, as the EU negotiated a second bail-out for Greece, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor and Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President told the Greek government that all existing arms contracts must be honoured.

Rocket

US Offered Israel Advanced Weaponry in Exchange for Delaying Iran Attack

Netanyahu bully
© Unknown
The US offered to give Israel advanced weaponry -- including bunker-busting bombs and refueling planes -- in exchange for Israel's agreement not to attack Iranian nuclear sites, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported Thursday.

President Obama reportedly made the offer during Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington this week.

Under the proposed deal, Israel would not attack Iran until 2013, after US elections in November this year. The newspaper cited unnamed Western diplomatic and intelligence sources.

Netanyahu said Monday that sanctions against Iran had not worked, adding that "none of us can afford to wait much longer" in taking action against Iran's controversial nuclear program.

However, Netanyahu told FOX News Channel on Wednesday that he did not think war with Iran was inevitable. He added that the only way to deter Tehran was to advocate carrying out a serious military strike against the Islamic Republic.

"The paradox is that if they actually believe that they are going to face the military option, then you probably will not need the military option," Netanyahu said.

No Entry

Huffington Post Caught Censoring Again, This Time On Syria

Let me be clear that this blogpost is not about sour grapes.

But the media cacophony on Syria has just become too shrill - reporters, too reluctant to raise obvious questions - to just sit back and let this one slide.

Especially when it is taking place under my nose at the place I have blogged for two and a half years. There's no other way to look at this: by refusing to publish all but one of my seven Syria articles, AOL-Huffington Post is censoring a viewpoint that challenges the dominant narratives on Syria in the mainstream media.

As all my articles were published without controversy in the period prior to AOL's purchase of the Huffington Post in early 2011, I can only surmise that AOL has established a new "editorial policy." In lieu of feedback from my editors as to why these articles remain unpublished, it isn't hard to conclude that the new company has altered course, and is more comfortable only nipping at the edges of the more irreverent blogosphere.

I have been blogging for the Huffington Post since September 2009, shortly after returning from a summer research tour through the Levant. Hanna Ingber, who recruited me as a blogger, was the founding World Editor of the Huffington Post. Hanna, who has since left the company, was particularly keen to have me write about my meetings and interviews with resistance groups Hezbollah and Hamas. I thought that was pretty ballsy for a US publication, online or not, and happily committed myself to bringing a fresh perspective on Mideast affairs to the pages of the Huffington Post.

Info

Pakistan Charges bin Laden's Wives

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© Getty ImagesThe ID card of one of Osama bin Laden's wives
Islamabad - Pakistan has charged Osama bin Laden's three widows with illegally entering and living in the country, the interior minister said Thursday.

The three women have been in Pakistani detention since May last year, when U.S. commandos raided the house where they, bin Laden and several of their children were staying. The commandos shot and killed bin Laden, and then buried his body at sea.

Rehman said the three had been charged in court, but he did not say when. It was unclear if they had a lawyer.

He said their children were free to leave Pakistan, but could stay with their mothers for the duration of the trial.

A Pakistani legal expert contacted about the case, Hashmat Habib, said the maximum punishment the women could receive was five years in jail. One of their relatives has reportedly visited Pakistan recently to urge authorities to let them leave the country. The decision to charge them could be a formal part of that process.

MIB

"Anonymous" Hurt by Arrests but Hard to Kill

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© Reuters/Yves Herman A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, symbolic of the hacktivist group "Anonymous", takes part in a protest in central Brussels January 28, 2012.
UK: London - In turning one of its best-known hackers into an informant and breaking open the highest profile elements of the "Anonymous" movement, authorities have dealt a serious blow to a group they found a growing irritant.

But as the broader "Anonymous" label - complete with its iconic Guy Fawkes mask imagery - is used by ever more disparate causes worldwide, it may be all but impossible to shut it down for good.

U.S. authorities revealed on Wednesday that leading Anonymous hacker "Sabu" - real name Hector Xavier Monsegur, aged 28 - had been arrested last June in his apartment in a Manhattan housing complex.

According to a newly released court transcript, he agreed to cooperate with authorities in return for likely leniency - helping U.S. prosecutors bring charges against five more men, including two in Britain and two in Ireland. All had also been previously arrested.

"Sabu was seen as a leader," said Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of Finnish security firm f-secure. "Just yesterday people were looking up to him... it's a very serious blow. It's probably not going to be the end of Anonymous but it's going to take a while for them to recover, particularly from the paranoia."

Laptop

Hackers Group Anonymous Take Down Vatican Website

anonymous graphic
© n/a
The Italian branch of the hackers group Anonymous took down the Vatican's website on Wednesday, saying it was an attack on the Roman Catholic Church's scandals and conservative doctrine.

The Vatican website www.vatican.va was inaccessible. A spokesman said he could not confirm that the crash was the work of the hackers group but said technicians were working to bring it back up.

A statement on the Italian website of the loosely-knit cyber-activists group accused the Church of being responsible for a long list of misdeeds throughout history, including the selling of indulgences in the 16th century and burning heretics during the Inquisition.

Propaganda

Syria's deputy oil minister defects from Assad regime

Abdo Hussameldin resigns on YouTube denouncing Bashar al-Assad and saying he is joining anti-government revolt


Syria's deputy oil minister, Abdo Hussameldin, has announced his defection on YouTube, becoming the first high ranking civilian official to abandon President Bashar al-Assad since the uprising against his rule erupted a year ago.

"I Abdo Hussameldin, deputy oil and mineral wealth minister in Syria, announce my defection from the regime, resignation from my position and withdrawal from the Ba'ath party. I join the revolution of this dignified people," Hussameldin said in a YouTube video uploaded on Wednesday and seen early on Thursday.

"I say to this regime: you have inflicted on those who you claim are your people a whole year of sorrow and sadness, denying them basic life and humanity and driving Syria to the edge of the abyss," he said, adding the country's economy was "near collapse".

The authenticity of the video, which was taken at an undisclosed location, could not be immediately confirmed.

Assad appointed Hussameldin, 58, to his position through a presidential decree in 2009.

Vader

Strings attached: US in Uganda


The US denies an interest in Uganda's oil, but there are many other reasons for its presence in the region. None of them altruistic, claims war correspondent Eric Margolis.

American "aid" to Uganda is being offered without any third-party help, which is a sure sign that the effort is for its own sake, rather than humanitarian reasons.

The White House is deploying a hundred troops in the African country with the official aim of helping the authorities in a fight against a guerilla group that has been dragging on for two decades.

But award-winning war correspondent Eric Margolis told RT that if Washington had humanitarian interests in mind it would not be going in alone.

2 + 2 = 4

SOTT Focus: The Kony 2012 Delusion

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The people behind this campaign are MASSIVELY misguided. Or it's a CIA-sponsored psy-ops.

Take for example the fact that one of the 12 'policy makers' (US politicians) that they are targeting to help them ensure Joseph Kony is arrested is George 'Dubya' Bush. The puppet president who presided over the murder of 1.5 million Iraqi civilians. And we're all meant to believe that people like him are going to care about the plight of Ugandan children? Kony is Bush's ideological brother for god's sake.

Other than their complete ignorance of the fact that the US political elite is populated by the world's worst war criminals, the makers of this video are also massively ignorant of the truth about WHY Uganda, and many other African nations, are subjected to the brutal excesses of war lords and have been for so many decades.

Alarm Clock

16 U.S. Intel Agencies Say Iran Not Trying to Build a Bomb

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Washington - Even as the United Nations' nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.

Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America's 16 intelligence agencies.

At the center of the debate is the murky question of the ultimate ambitions of the leaders in Tehran. There is no dispute among American, Israeli and European intelligence officials that Iran has been enriching nuclear fuel and developing some necessary infrastructure to become a nuclear power. But the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies believe that Iran has yet to decide whether to resume a parallel program to design a nuclear warhead - a program they believe was essentially halted in 2003 and which would be necessary for Iran to build a nuclear bomb. Iranian officials maintain that their nuclear program is for civilian purposes.