Welcome to Sott.net
Sat, 04 Dec 2021
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters
Map

Coffee

U.S. Training Terrorists in Nevada: Seymour Hersh on U.S. Aid to Iranian Group Tied to Scientist Killings

Journalist Seymour Hersh has revealed that the Bush administration secretly trained an Iranian opposition group on the State Department's list of foreign terrorists. Hersh reports the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command trained operatives from Mujahideen-e-Khalq, or MEK, at a secret site in Nevada beginning in 2005. According to Hersh, MEK members were trained in intercepting communications, cryptography, weaponry and small unit tactics at the Nevada site up until President Obama took office.


Rocket

Obama Administration Silencing Pakistani Drone-Strike Lawyer

drone firing missle
© n/a
When is the last time you heard from a civilian victim of the CIA's secret drone strikes? Sure, most of them can't speak because they're deceased. But many leave behind bereaved and angry family members ready to proclaim their innocence and denounce the absence of due process, the lack of accountability, and the utter impunity with which the U.S. government decides who will live and die.

Magic Wand

'I've been duped'- Reflections on Israel and Palestine

palestian genocide by us media
I've been duped.

Do you know the frustration you feel when you believed in something strongly and then you realize that the information that made you believe was from a source with an agenda to deceive?

I just watched a powerful and courageous documentary called Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land - U.S. Media & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. It certainly has its own agenda and doesn't present balanced coverage. Still, it showed me how my understanding of the struggles in the Middle East has been skewed by most of our mainstream media. I saw how coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian problem is brilliantly controlled and shaped. I pride myself in understanding how the media works... and I find I've been bamboozled.

USA

Syria truce prospects fade; US outraged by new attacks

Image
© Youtube.Com/AFP/Getty Images
An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on April 9, 2012 shows Syrian army tanks stationed in the Qusur district of the flashpoint city of Homs.
The United States on Monday dismissed demands by the Syrian regime that rebels provide written guarantees that they would lay down arms as a stalling tactic.

Syria was supposed to start pulling troops from towns and cities by Tuesday, paving the way for a cease-fire. President Bashar Assad over the weekend demanded written guarantees from his foes that they would stop fighting and lay down arms.

"This is just another way to stall for time," Victoria Nuland, U.S. State Department spokesperson, told reporters.

The State Department also said that instead of abating, the conflict in Syria had worsened. It said the Syrian government appeared to have little commitment to the plan negotiated by former U.N. chief Kofi Annan.

Earlier Monday, Syrian forces wounded at least five people in a camp in Turkey. The U.N. estimates some 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began in March 2011.

Comment: For insights on how this is set to play out try the following articles:

Syria's Bloody CIA Revolution - A Distraction?
Wake Up and Smell the Hypocrisy
CIA or Mossad Snipers Caught in Syria?


Blackbox

Russia Is Massing Troops On Iran's Northern Border And Waiting For An Israeli Attack

Image
© Unknown
The Russian military anticipates that an attack will occur on Iran by the summer and has developed an action plan to move Russian troops through neighboring Georgia to stage in Armenia, which borders on the Islamic republic, according to informed Russian sources.

Russian Security Council head Viktor Ozerov said that Russian General Military Headquarters has prepared an action plan in the event of an attack on Iran.

Dmitry Rogozin, who recently was the Russian ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, warned against an attack on Iran.

"Iran is our neighbor," Rogozin said. "If Iran is involved in any military action, it's a direct threat to our security." Rogozin now is the deputy Russian prime minister and is regarded as anti-Western. He oversees Russia's defense sector.

Russian Defense Ministry sources say that the Russian military doesn't believe that Israel has sufficient military assets to defeat Iranian defenses and further believes that U.S. military action will be necessary.

Blackbox

China watches US military buildup in Australia


Bomb

US Gives Iran 'Last Chance' Warning Over Shutting Down Nuclear Facility

Ahmadinejad
© AFP
Iran must immediately close a large nuclear facility built underneath a mountain if it is to take what President Obama has called a "last chance" to resolve its escalating dispute with the West via diplomacy.

Other "near term" concessions which must be met in the early stages of talks to avoid a potential military conflict, include the suspension of higher level uranium enrichment, and the surrender by Tehran of existing stockpiles of the fuel, senior US officials said yesterday.

The demands were outlined as Iranian state TV announced that crucial negotiations over its disputed nuclear programme will begin in Istanbul on Friday, allaying fears that disagreements over the venue would derail the important and long-scheduled talks.

US diplomats, who will join counterparts from the UK, China, Russia, France and Germany, at the bargaining table, told reporters that they will insist on Iran's leadership giving up the Fordow enrichment plant, which is just outside the Shia holy city of Qom.

The facility is buried deep in a mountain, apparently to protect against air strikes, and is at the centre of Israeli fears that the country's military leadership is secretly developing weapons that could mount a long-range strike across international borders.

Vader

"Merchant of Death" Viktor Bout Sentenced to 25 Years; Trial Ignored His Ties to U.S., Dick Cheney

Notorious arms smuggler Viktor Bout, known as the "Merchant of Death," has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiracy to commit terrorism. Our guest, former United Nations arms trafficking investigator Kathi Lynn Austin, says the case allowed American companies to avoid exposure of their collusion with with the U.S. government and private companies linked to Dick Cheney during the Iraq war, even after United Nations sanctions against him in 2004. Authorities say Viktor Bout was involved in trafficking arms to dictators and stoking conflicts in Africa, South America and the Middle East. He has also been accused of furnishing weapons to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and achieved particular notoriety for selling arms in Rwanda in 1998, just four years after the Rwandan genocide.


Guest:


Kathi Lynn Austin, former arms trafficking investigator for the United Nations and executive director of the Conflict Awareness Project, dedicated to tracking global weapons traffickers and exposing the illicit world of war profiteering.

Document

Why Obama's JOBS Act Couldn't Suck Worse

Obama Signing JOBS Act
© Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
President Barack Obama signs the Bill for the HR 3606, the 'Jump start Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.'

Boy, do I feel like an idiot. I've been out there on radio and TV in the last few months saying that I thought there was a chance Barack Obama was listening to the popular anger against Wall Street that drove the Occupy movement, that decisions like putting a for-real law enforcement guy like New York AG Eric Schneiderman in charge of a mortgage fraud task force meant he was at least willing to pay lip service to public outrage against the banks.

Then the JOBS Act happened.

The "Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act" (in addition to everything else, the Act has an annoying, redundant title) will very nearly legalize fraud in the stock market.

In fact, one could say this law is not just a sweeping piece of deregulation that will have an increase in securities fraud as an accidental, ancillary consequence. No, this law actually appears to have been specifically written to encourage fraud in the stock markets.

Ostensibly, the law makes it easier for startup companies (particularly tech companies, whose lobbyists were a driving force behind its passage) attract capital by, among other things, exempting them from independent accounting requirements for up to five years after they first begin selling shares in the stock market.

The law also rolls back rules designed to prevent bank analysts from talking up a stock just to win business, a practice that was so pervasive in the tech-boom years as to be almost industry standard.

Even worse, the JOBS Act, incredibly, will allow executives to give "pre-prospectus" presentations to investors using PowerPoint and other tools in which they will not be held liable for misrepresentations. These firms will still be obligated to submit prospectuses before their IPOs, and they'll still be held liable for what's in those. But it'll be up to the investor to check and make sure that the prospectus matches the "pre-presentation."

The JOBS Act also loosens a whole range of other reporting requirements, and expands stock investment beyond "accredited investors," giving official sanction to the internet-based fundraising activity known as "crowdfunding."

But the big one, to me, is the bit about exempting firms from real independent tests of internal controls for five years.

When I first read this, I asked myself: how does a law exempting a Silicon Valley startup from independent accounting actually encourage investment? If American companies have to have their internal processes independently verified before and after they go public, doesn't that give investors all around the world a big reason to put their money here, instead of investing in, say, Mobbed-Up Siberian Aluminum LLC, or Bangalore Sweatshop Inc.?

Attention

Ten Minutes After the Titanic Struck the Iceberg

We are like passengers on the Titanic ten minutes after its fatal encounter with the iceberg: the idea that the ship will sink is beyond belief.

As we all know, the "unsinkable" Titanic suffered a glancing collision with an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912. Ten minutes after the iceberg had opened six of the ship's 16 watertight compartments, it was not at all apparent that the mighty vessel had been fatally wounded, as there was no evidence of damage topside. Indeed, some eyewitnesses reported that passengers playfully scattered the ice left on the foredeck by the encounter.

But some rudimentary calculations soon revealed the truth to the officers: the ship was designed to survive four watertight compartments being compromised, and could likely stay afloat if five were opened to the sea, but not if six compartments were flooded. Water would inevitably spill over into adjacent compartments in a domino-like fashion until the ship sank.

Titanic
© Of Two Minds
We can sympathize with the disbelief of the officers, and with their confused reaction, simultaneously reassuring passengers and attempting to goad them into the lifeboats. With the interior still warm and bright with lights, it seemed far more dangerous to clamber into an open lifeboat and drift off into the cold Atlantic than it did to stay onboard.

As a result, the first lifeboats left the ship only partially full.Only when it became undeniable that the ship was doomed did people attempt to "make other arrangements," but by then it was too late.

The tragedy was a cruel mix of human error (entering an ice field at nearly top speed, 23-25 knots), hubris-soaked planning (only enough lifeboats for half the passengers and crew) and design flaws: the high-sulfur iron hull plating did not bend when struck by the ice, it shattered like china.

As noted above, the watertight compartment design was also flawed; indeed, some studies have found that the ship would have stayed afloat an additional six hours had there been no watertight compartments, as water would have sloshed evenly along the entire length of the vessel.