Puppet MastersS


War Whore

Pentagon Seeks Mightier Bomb vs. Iran

A crew loaded a 'bunker buster
© Defense Threat Reduction Agency / Associated PressA crew loaded a 'bunker buster' at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in 2007; the military hopes to make the bomb more powerful.
Pentagon war planners have concluded that their largest conventional bomb isn't yet capable of destroying Iran's most heavily fortified underground facilities, and are stepping up efforts to make it more powerful, according to U.S. officials briefed on the plan.

The 30,000-pound "bunker-buster" bomb, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, was specifically designed to take out the hardened fortifications built by Iran and North Korea to cloak their nuclear programs.

But initial tests indicated that the bomb, as currently configured, wouldn't be capable of destroying some of Iran's facilities, either because of their depth or because Tehran has added new fortifications to protect them.

Doubts about the MOP's effectiveness prompted the Pentagon this month to secretly submit a request to Congress for funding to enhance the bomb's ability to penetrate deeper into rock, concrete and steel before exploding, the officials said.

The push to boost the power of the MOP is part of stepped-up contingency planning for a possible strike against Iran's nuclear program, say U.S. officials.

Stormtrooper

Doctors Without Borders says it halts work in Libyan city's prisons because of torture

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The crimes being committed by the US/NATO's agents in Libya are so heinous, anyone who can leave the country is doing so.
Medical group halts work in Libyan city's prisons

Doctors Without Borders has suspended its work in prisons in the Libyan city of Misrata because it said torture was so rampant that some detainees were brought for care only to make them fit for further interrogation, the group said Thursday.

The announcement was compounded by a statement from Amnesty International saying it has recorded widespread prisoner abuse in other cities as well, leading to the death of several inmates.

The allegations, which come more than three months after former leader Moammar Gadhafi was captured and killed, were an embarrassment to the governing National Transitional Council, which is struggling to establish its authority in the divided nation.

Doctors Without Borders said that since August, its medical teams have treated 115 people in Misrata who bore torture-related wounds, including cigarette burns, heavy bruising, bone fractures, tissue burns from electric shocks and kidney failure from beatings. Two detainees died after being interrogated, the group's general director said.

Vader

Torture and Abuse in Libya

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Born in the USA... CIA and MI6-trained Libyan rebels are torturing ordinary Libyan civilians en masse. Once protected by Ghaddafi, now even Western aid groups are fleeing the hell unleashed by their governments in Libya.
NATO's alleged "responsibility to protect" was subterfuge. Months of terror bombings left Libya a charnel house.

Africa's most developed country was ravaged. Tens of thousands were killed, multiples more injured, and millions left on their own sink or swim.

When is war not war? It's when mass killing and destruction are called the right thing. It's also when terrorizing and traumatizing an entire population goes unaddressed.

Add horrific torture to other crimes and abuses, according to Amnesty International (AI), Doctors Without Borders, and Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Stormtrooper

Russia Must Be Ready for Space, Cyber Wars

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© RIA Novosti. Alexandr UtkinChief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Nikolai Makarov
Russia must be ready for wars in space and in networks, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Nikolai Makarov said on Saturday.

"As you see, warfare center has moved to aerospace and information spheres, including cyber security, from traditional war theatres on land and sea. Concepts of network-centric war have made great progress," Makarov told an Academy of Military Sciences meeting. "We appraise how ... this question is being solved in Western leading countries."

Stop

Huge Israeli Heron TP drone that can reach Iran crashes during routine flight

The Israeli military says a drone that can fly as far as Iran has crashed in central Israel on a routine experimental flight.

The military says there were no injuries in Sunday's crash, and it was investigating the incident.

The Heron TP drone is also known locally as the Eitan. It has a wingspan of 86 feet (26 meters), making it the size of a Boeing 737 passenger jet. It is the largest unmanned aircraft in Israel's military arsenal.

The drone figures to be featured prominently in any potential Israeli operation against Iran and its expanding nuclear program.

Bad Guys

United Nations Preparing to Manage Global Mental Health

UN logo
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In a world where national sovereignty is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, announcements that the United Nations will be taking the lead on any variety of topics is no longer shocking. Indeed, there is a real push across the world to view the United Nations as the ultimate authority on virtually every issue, from human rights to nutritional content in food.

Through decades of propagandizing, the United Nations has developed an undeserved reputation for humanitarianism and democracy. As a result, the vast majority see the United Nations as a benevolent organization which they can call on to defend human rights in their home countries. Unfortunately, national sovereignty rarely enters into the equation anymore, as the average citizen tends to look straight to the United Nations to address their concerns, bypassing their own governments.

As case in point, a recent report by AFP, entitled, "Experts urge U.N. to address mental health," discusses how a recent article in PLoS Medicine, a reputable medical journal, has called for the United Nations General Assembly to develop a plan to tackle mental, neurological, and substance-abuse disorders (MNS).

The article was authored by Vikram Patel of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Judith Bass from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in the United States, among other contributors. They write, "The time has come for recognition at the highest levels of global development, namely the U.N. General Assembly, of the urgent need for a global strategy to address the global burden of MNS disorders."

Nuke

Nukespeak: The Selling of Nuclear Technology from the Manhattan Project to Fukushima

nukespeak book cover
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Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from Nukespeak: the Selling of Nuclear Technology from the Manhattan Project to Fukushima by Stephen Hilgartner, Richard C. Bell and Rory O'Connor. Check out more about Nukespeak and buy the book here.

Global Warming Opens a Door

None of the nuclear industry's public relations campaigns during the 1980s were able to wrest the industry from the quagmire of the Dark Age. Just when the accident at Three Mile island was finally beginning to fade into the past, along came the 1986 meltdown of the Russian reactor at Chernobyl.

The imagery from Chernobyl was far more horrifying than anything from Three Mile island. All in all, the images brought back all of the fears unleashed with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the events that cast such a pall over the early development of nuclear power.

But in 1988, a flicker of hope appeared, when the issue of fossil-fuel driven climate change jumped onto the public agenda with the dramatic Senate testimony from climate scientist James Hansen to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on June 23, 1988.

Rocket

New US drone has no pilot anywhere, so who's accountable?

X-47B drone
© Chad Slattery, Northrop GrummanThe X-47B drone, above, marks a paradigm shift in warfare, one that is likely to have far-reaching consequences. With the drone’s ability to be flown autonomously by onboard computers, it could usher in an era when death and destruction can be dealt by machines operating semi-independently.
The Navy is testing an autonomous plane that will land on an aircraft carrier. The prospect of heavily armed aircraft screaming through the skies without direct human control is unnerving to many.

The Navy's new drone being tested near Chesapeake Bay stretches the boundaries of technology: It's designed to land on the deck of an aircraft carrier, one of aviation's most difficult maneuvers.

What's even more remarkable is that it will do that not only without a pilot in the cockpit, but without a pilot at all.

The X-47B marks a paradigm shift in warfare, one that is likely to have far-reaching consequences. With the drone's ability to be flown autonomously by onboard computers, it could usher in an era when death and destruction can be dealt by machines operating semi-independently.

Although humans would program an autonomous drone's flight plan and could override its decisions, the prospect of heavily armed aircraft screaming through the skies without direct human control is unnerving to many.

Bizarro Earth

Twitter's New Censorship Plan Rouses Global Furor

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© The Associated Press/Twitter This screen shot shows a portion of the Twitter blog post of Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, in which the company announced it has refined its technology so it can censor messages on a country-by-country basis.
Twitter, a tool of choice for dissidents and activists around the world, found itself the target of global outrage Friday after unveiling plans to allow country-specific censorship of tweets that might break local laws.

It was a stunning role reversal for a youthful company that prides itself in promoting unfettered expression, 140 characters at a time. Twitter insisted its commitment to free speech remains firm, and sought to explain the nuances of its policy, while critics - in a barrage of tweets - proposed a Twitter boycott and demanded that the censorship initiative be scrapped.

"This is very bad news," tweeted Egyptian activist Mahmoud Salem, who operates under the name Sandmonkey. Later, he wrote, "Is it safe to say that (hash)Twitter is selling us out?"

In China, where activists have embraced Twitter even though it's blocked inside the country, artist and activist Ai Weiwei tweeted in response to the news: "If Twitter censors, I'll stop tweeting."

One often-relayed tweet bore the headline of a Forbes magazine technology blog item: "Twitter Commits Social Suicide"

Dollar

IMF Leads Global Push for Euro Zone to Boost Firewall

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© Reuters/Christian HartmannHead of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde attends a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, January 28, 2012.
Davos, Switzerland - International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde led a global push on Saturday for the euro zone to boost its financial firewall, saying "if it is big enough it will not get used."

Lagarde, supported by the British finance minister, George Osborne, said the IMF could boost its support for the euro zone but pressed its leaders to act first. Some attendees at the Davos Forum still doubted the viability of the currency union.

Countries beyond the 17-country bloc want to see its members stump up more money before they commit additional resources to the IMF, which this month requested an additional 500 billion euros ($650 billion) in funding.

"Now is the time - there has been a lot of pressure building in order to see a solution come about," Lagarde told a Forum panel discussion on the economic outlook from which euro zone leaders - most notably Germany - were conspicuously absent.

"It is critical that the euro zone members develop a clear, simple firewall that can operate both to limit the contagion and to provide this sort of act of trust in the euro zone, so that the financing needs of that zone can actually be met," she said.

Comment: "..if it is big enough it will not get used.."

This is confusing. It almost sounds like I should wash my car keys, cause if they're clean, I won't lose them.

I should mention, I'm no economist, but this editor imagines a little tiny pillow absorbing and somehow cushioning the fall of a 300 tonne object. Effective?