Puppet MastersS


Eye 1

Revealed: Norway spies on Russia for NSA

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Norwegian intelligence cooperated extensively with the US National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on Russian politicians, the country's energy sector and other 'civilian targets' in the country.

A top secret document obtained by the tabloid Dagbladet contained lists demonstrating how the Norwegian Intelligence Service (NIS) had cooperated with the NSA and vice versa to spy on Russia, noting several instances in which the collaboration resulted in "success stories."

One portion of the memo titled "what the partner provides to NSA" includes several itemized points. The first point is entitled "Access to Russian targets in the Kola Peninsula," not far from Russia's border with Norway and Finland.

Although no specific targets are mentioned on the peninsula, which lies almost completely north of the Arctic Circle, it contains the highest concentration of nuclear weapons, reactors and facilities in Russia.The following point mentions mutual civilian targets, particularly those relating to Russian "energy policy."

Under the heading "success stories," the NSA says it is working in partnership with the NIS "to expand and deepen the intelligence exchange, focusing on report sharing and target development on Russian political, natural resources and energy issues," the daily reports. The document also mentions that Russian politicians have been the targets of intelligence gathering operations, although no specific names are mentioned.

Star of David

Rafsanjani: Zionist lobby behind new US bans on Iran

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Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (R) and Tarja Cronberg, the chairwoman of the European Parliament delegation for relations with Iran, meet in Tehran on December 16, 2013.
Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council (EC) Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani says the US move to impose new sanctions against Tehran was the outcome of the Zionist lobby's influence and pressure

"The world expects the government [of President Barack] Obama to implement the [Geneva] agreement and hopes the US and others will not repeat this violation of the political promise," Rafsanjani said Monday.

He made the remarks in a meeting with Tarja Cronberg, the chairwoman of the European Parliament (EP) delegation for relations with Iran, in Tehran.

"We expect that the West, which talked of its lack of trust for many years, will, in the agreed six months, prove in practice that Western rulers can be trusted," Rafsanjani said.

Comment: See: Israel owns U.S. Congress: Sabotaging the U.S.-Iran peace negotiations


Bomb

Russia: Militants behind Syria CW attack

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Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin
Russia has reiterated that foreign-backed militants in Syria were behind a chemical weapons attack in August in the Arab country
"It is absolutely obvious that on August 21 a wide scale provocation was staged" by the militants "to provoke foreign military intervention,"
said Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin on Monday following a UN Security Council meeting, AFP reported.

On August 21, hundreds of people were reportedly killed and scores of others injured in the chemical attack in eastern Ghouta on the suburbs of the capital city of Damascus.

The militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition accused the Syrian army of being behind the deadly attack.

Black Cat

Hillary Clinton tells Wall Street she believes anti-wall street rhetoric 'foolish'

Hillary Clinton
© US Department of State under public domain.
Here we go again. According to a piece in Politico Magazine former Secretary of State and likely 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had some harsh words related to progressives in her $400,000 speeches for Goldman Sachs and friends. Clinton decided to use her speaking opportunity before the super rich to attack those criticizing Wall Street and its numerous criminal practices.
Ordinarily these masters of the universe might have groaned at the idea of a politician taking the microphone...

But Clinton offered a message that the collected plutocrats found reassuring, according to accounts offered by several attendees, declaring that the banker-bashing so popular within both political parties was unproductive and indeed foolish.
Foolish, as in you don't get paid $400,000 for saying it? Why criticize Goldman Sachs when you can get paid $400,000 for talking to them the way they like?
Striking a soothing note on the global financial crisis, she told the audience, in effect: We all got into this mess together, and we're all going to have to work together to get out of it. What the bankers heard her to say was just what they would hope for from a prospective presidential candidate: Beating up the finance industry isn't going to improve the economy - it needs to stop.

Bad Guys

Syria: UN agency voices horror at reported bomb raid that killed up to 28 children in Aleppo.

aleppo airstrike aftermath
© Mohammed Al-Khatieb/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesAftermath of an airstrike, Aleppo, Syria, 12/15/2013
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) voiced horror today at reports that as many as 28 Syrian children were killed in a bombing raid in Aleppo while the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced plans to expand emergency food aid to over 7 million displaced Syrians in what it called "the worst humanitarian crisis ... in decades."

"Recent assessments show that almost half the population inside Syria is food insecure and close to 6.3 million people need urgent, life-saving, food aid, victims of the nearly three-year-old conflict that has pitched forces loyal to President Bashar al - Assad against groups seeking to oust him. So far more than 100,000 people have been killed and 8 million driven from their homes.
"This is the worst humanitarian crisis that we have seen in decades, with every day more vulnerable Syrians pushed into hunger," WFP's Syria Emergency Coordinator Muhannad Hadi said in announcing the plans for 2014 to feed 4.25 million displaced Syrians inside their country and around 2.9 million others who fled to neighbouring States.

Eye 1

Best of the Web: NSA's bulk phone data collection ruled unconstitutional, 'almost Orwellian,' by federal judge

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In the nation's capital today, a federal judge has ruled that the National Security Agency's program of bulk phone record collection violates the reasonable expectation of privacy guaranteed to Americans by the Constitution. The judge ordered the federal government to stop gathering call data on two plaintiffs, and to destroy all previously-collected records of their call histories.

The ruling by Judge Richard Leon (PDF Link), a US district judge in the District of Columbia, is stayed pending a likely appeal--which may take months. In his 68-page memorandum, Leon wrote that the NSA's vast collection of Americans' phone metadata constitutes an unreasonable search or seizure under the Fourth Amendment.

"Father of the Constitution" James Madison would be "aghast" at the NSA's actions if he were alive today, wrote Leon. "The government does not cite a single case in which analysis of the NSA's bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent terrorist attack," the judge wrote.

Attention

Fear mongering: Kim Jong Un just got more dangerous

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© PoliticoKim Jong Un
"The more you approach infinity," the French novelist Gustave Flaubert wrote, "the deeper you penetrate terror."

So it is with Kim Jong Un, already the most dangerous man in the most precarious nuclear state in the world. After the swift execution this week of his uncle-cum-regent, Jang Song Taek, he has become even more dangerous. Kim has boxed himself into a corner where it is hard to fathom a peaceful future for either his family dynasty or the country he rules.

The full implications of this bloody purge will reveal themselves over time as additional disturbing revelations seep out. But Kim's murderous act leaves an indelible stain. Global risk is now heightened, as the slaughter at the top of Pyongyang's pyramid locks Kim into a reign of terror, with consequences that threaten the security of the entire region.

There is little doubting Uncle Jang's "acts of treachery." To be sure, some of the myriad charges against Jang, listed in a remarkable North Korean news release, belong in the theater of the absurd (underselling his nephew's stunning achievements, presumably a water park in East Pyongyang and a ski resort set to open at month's end). But there was indeed skullduggery afoot. Clearly Jang was guilty of building his personal power, a threat to the 30-year-old Kim, whose bloodline entitles him, not the man who married his aunt, to claim the mantle of his father, the late "Dear Leader."

Footprints

Edward Snowden says judge's ruling vindicates NSA surveillance disclosures

snowden in moscow
© Sunshinepress/Getty ImagesEdward Snowden in Moscow.
Edward Snowden, the former security contractor who leaked a trove of National Security Agency documents, welcomed a court ruling on Monday that declared the bulk collection of Americans' telephone records to be a likely violation of the US constitution.

Snowden said the ruling, by a US district judge, justified his disclosures.

"I acted on my belief that the NSA's mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts," he said in comments released through Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist who received the documents from Snowden.

"Today, a secret program authorised by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans' rights. It is the first of many," said Snowden, whose statement was first reported by the New York Times.

Newspaper

White House says Snowden should still face charges in U.S.

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© AFP/Saul LoebHouse Press Secretary Jay Carney
White House spokesman Jay Carney dismissed the suggestion on Monday that the United States could grant amnesty to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden if he were to turn over the documents in his possession.

"Our position has not changed on that matter at all," Carney told reporters at a briefing in response to a question. "Mr. Snowden has been accused of leaking classified information and he faces felony charges here in the United States. He should be returned to the United States as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process in our system."

Documents leaked by Snowden have revealed details of widespread surveillance by the NSA and ignited a furor over the agency's spying.

Heart - Black

Obama, prince of war

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POTUS, self-appointed voice of global democracy, is a sham; worse, delusional if he swallows his rhetoric, cruelly opportunistic if, as I believe, he doesn't. The analogy that comes to mind here, fortunately a hypothetical, would be J. Edgar Hoover, at a service for Dr. King. Blood on his hands, Obama the inversion of Mandela at every turn, yet ringing the changes of freedom, democracy, peace, while the Behemoth of global interventionism, like a massive steamroller, plows forward, the Middle East and China flashpoints in a comprehensive hegemonic framework. The world's ranking militarist, in point of "assets," expenditures, arsenals, geostrategic planning, preens before the world audience, speaking power to truth, rather than the reverse, even stooping to the deception of a handshake with Raul Castro knowing full well the contrived symbolism of standing in Mandela's shadow has no bearing whatever on the half-century embargo of Cuba, the sanctions representing a vain attempt at destroying an alternative form of social life which has brought only unnecessary suffering to a proud people.

Showmanship is cheap; if I were Raul I would have spit in his eye, and told him to move on. No, courtesy and protocol have no place where oppressors are involved.

I will quote only sparingly from Obama's address - what's the use, when honeyed words fly on serpent's wings? The striking point is how much he is in denial, his words applied to Mandela (meant really to justify his own actions) become razor-like indictments of his record. There is his use of the word "ubuntu," identified with Mandela, eliciting applause, which signifies that "we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us." That by itself, the vulgarization of ubuntu - through the use of demonization of all who contest American rulership, worse still, whose sharing and caring by US forces translates as drone missiles on funerals and other "collateral damage" - sets the stage for self-congratulation as a caring leader solicitous of the welfare of all Americans.