Puppet MastersS


Flashback Fat Cats in Washington: Congressmen's incomes triple as the rest of America gets poorer

Capitol Hill
© AFP Photo / Karen BLEIER
If you feel like Congress fat cats can't relate to their fellow Americans anymore, the truth behind the matter might just be that they can't.

While Americans have seen a recession ravage savings accounts, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have only gotten richer.

Between the US Senate and House of Representatives, the median net worth for a member of Congress is around $913,000, reports The New York Times. That man in the middle is Ed Pastor (Dem-AZ), and although he makes a pretty penny nowadays, his income today is gigantic when gauged with what he was worth when he first came to Washington. Twenty years earlier, Pastor pulled in enough to have only $100,000 saved up, a figure he has magnified nearly tenfold in the two decades since.

Comparing the mean in 2009 with the mean for lawmakers' assets in 1984, the figure has tripled.

Comment: And still millions of people will continue to vote for them, as if somehow, this time, the super-rich will have a change of heart and suddenly give a damn.


Flashback Guantanamo detainee could spend whole life behind bars, without charge or trial, thanks to NDAA

Guantanamo prisoner
© AFP Photo / John Moore
Not even a month after President Barack Obama signed his name to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, the US government is already using the legislation to justify its ongoing detainment of a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay.

Musa'ab al-Madhwani had barely entered adulthood when he first arrived at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2002. But in the months between his capture in Pakistan and transfer to Gitmo, the Yemeni national experienced more than most would see in a lifetime. Before he turned 23, he says he was beaten and kicked, threatened with death and suspended by his hands in an underground torture chamber.

Now for the prisoner, about to celebrate the 10-year-anniversary of his arrival at Gimo, the rest of that lifetime looks to be spent behind bars thanks to the NDAA.

Eye 1

DHS Forwarding Federal Internet Data To Israel and India

© Unknown
DHS documents reveal the programs set up in the wake of 9/11 are being used to forward federal network internet traffic to Israel and India without any oversight

A privacy compliance review of the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity systems has led to some stunning revelations about the framework that US is currently using which Congress plans on integrating with the private companies under new cybersecurity legislation.

Perhaps the most alarming information in the privacy compliance report is that the Einstein program, which is touted as Federal government's premier system for network intrusion detection and cyber threat prevention, is being used to intercept computer traffic that crosses federal government networks which is being forwarded to Israel and India.

While there are supposedly strict protocols in place for assuring the privacy of individuals in regard to data collected and shared among US agencies there are absolutely no such safeguards or oversight in place to monitor the information that is being forwarded overseas to India and Israel.

In what can only be described as doublespeak, the compliance report finds that cybersecurity system is complaint with privacy and sharing requirement only to later reveal that that program is complaint because there are no guidelines in place that must be complied to when the data is shared with external governments.


Secret Service Expands Misconduct Probe to El Salvador

The U.S. Secret Service is examining a new report of alleged misconduct by agents at an El Salvador strip club ahead of a trip there last year by President Barack Obama, a senior lawmaker said on Thursday.
© Reuters/Luis GaldamezMen work in front of a billboard welcoming U.S. President Barack Obama, near the presidential house in San Salvador March 18, 2011.
Representative Peter King, a Republican who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement to Reuters that the review is part of an extensive investigation the Secret Service is conducting in the aftermath of an incident involving prostitutes in Columbia.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the agency also is looking into the El Salvador allegations, aired Thursday in a report by Seattle channel KIRO-TV, part of the CBS-Cox media group.

In the television interview, an anonymous U.S. contractor described visiting a club offering sexual favors with some Secret Service agents and U.S. military specialists in advance of Obama's March, 2011, visit.

"Obviously, we will inquire of our embassy in San Salvador with regard to the conduct of our own employees. But the article alleges that they attended the establishment, not that they engaged in any illegal or unsanctioned conduct," Nuland said.

Southern Command was looking into whether investigation of the allegations was merited, a spokesman said.

Interest in the El Salvador allegations came a day after U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano assured lawmakers that no Secret Service misconduct similar to the recent carousing in Cartagena, Colombia, had been found in the last two and a half years.

Eye 2

Anatomy of a Psychopath: Norwegian Mass Murderer Breivik stuns trial by comparing grief of victims' families to his 'pain' at being shunned

Anders Behring Breivik tells Oslo court on his last day of evidence that he lost contact with friends and family after attacks

Anders Behring Breivik has compared the pain he caused the families of his victims to his own situation, saying he lost contact with his friends and family after the 22 July attacks.

The 33-year-old rightwing extremist, who has admitted killing 77 people last summer, showed no remorse on Monday as he continued his shocking testimony about the massacre at the annual youth camp of the governing Labour party.

Calling the rampage "necessary", Breivik compared being shunned by those close to him to the grief of the bereaved. "The only difference was that for my part it was a choice," he said.


Drugs firm takes cost conscious doctors to court

© unk
Independent experts have condemned the Swiss pharmaceuticals company Novartis for trying to force the NHS to buy an expensive drug to treat patients suffering from a degenerative eye disease, rather than using a cheaper, unlicensed alternative.

Novartis is taking four NHS areas in the south of England to a judicial review because they have allowed doctors to prescribe the anti-cancer drug Avastin to treat the wet form of age-related macular degeneration.

Novartis wants Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth to revoke the policy of prescribing Avastin, but is not making any financial claims of the Primary Care Trusts or the NHS.

Novartis says Avastin is unlicensed for the eye disease and wants its own licensed drug Lucentis, which costs £740 an injection compared with £60, to be used.

Heart - Black

Secret service orgies in Brazil: A fresh embarrassment to Obama

Romilda Ferreira
© TV Globo U.S. marines are accused of injuring a Brazilian prostitute after throwing her out of an official Embassy car
American marines injured a Brazilian prostitute after throwing her out of an official Embassy car, it was reported today.

Romilda Ferreira was left with a broken collar bone, two broken ribs and a punctured lung after the incident in Brazil's capital Brasilia.

The three marines on a U.S. Embassy security team, and an Embassy staff member, were pulled out of the country before police were able to press charges, according to Brazil's Jornal Nacional programme.

War Whore

As Western terrorists break ceasefire in Syria, French government calls for full-scale intervention

Syrian army soldiers carry the coffins of their comrades who were killed in recent violence in the country, during their funeral procession at the military hospital in Homs, Oct. 1, 2011.
Armed groups have killed two military officers and three civilians in the flashpoint southern province of Dara'a, SANA reported.

According to the official Syrian news agency, Lieutenant Colonel Habes Aslan and Captain Nawras Rahieh were killed in two separate incidents on Wednesday.

A policeman was also gunned down in the restive city.

Meanwhile, terrorists have opened fire on an ambulance in the Damascus suburb of Douma, killing a Red Crescent volunteer and injuring another.

Civilian casualties were also reported in Idlib and Aleppo.

The latest round of violence comes as French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe urged military action in Syria.

Star of David

Illegitimate Canadian Government Sponsoring Terrorists in Syria While Canadian Army Fights Same Terrorists in Afghanistan

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird, appears on the Qatari state media and affirms Canada's partisan support for the Syria rebels. Baird asserts that Canada's Middle East policy is motivated by Human Rights concerns yet he appears scared to criticize the human rights abuses of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories. He remains noticeably silent on the lack of democracy in Saudi Arabia and Qatar which perhaps stems from the fact that his own conservative party are currently under fire with accusations that they rigged the 2011 Canadian elections in which they attained a majority in the Canadian parliament.

Many Canadian-Syrians are ill at ease with their government's financial and political support for groups that they are allegedly committing acts of terrorism in Syria at the behest of the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

This testimony brings into question the claim by the Canadian government that it is engaged in a so-called war on terror. If the Canadian government is indeed aiding and abetting terror groups, as alleged by these Syrian patriots, then it would vindicate the claim by many that terrorism is but a tool of Western governments that are in fact engaged in a war of terror against the inhabitants of the Middle East.


Pakistan Tests Missile Days After India's Launch

© EPAPakistan's Hatf-IV, also called Shaheen-1A, intermediate-range ballastic missile from an undisclosed location in Pakistan 25 April 2012
Islamabad - Pakistan successfully launched an upgraded ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead Wednesday, days after its neighbor and archenemy India conducted its own missile test, the Pakistani military said.

The Hatf IV Shaheen-1A missile was fired into the sea, the military said in a written statement.

It was described as an intermediate-range missile having a longer range than its predecessor, the Shaheen-1, which is believed to fly up to 750 kilometers (465 miles).

"The improved version of Shaheen-1A will further consolidate and strengthen Pakistan's deterrence abilities," said Lt. Gen. Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, who witnessed the launch and is responsible for the country's nuclear program.

Intermediate-range ballistic missiles have a range of 3,000 to 5,000 kilometers (1,865 to 3,110 miles), according to the website GlobalSecurity.org.

If the Shaheen-1A is indeed an intermediate-range missile, it would represent a quantum leap from the previous version. Pakistan's longest range missile before Wednesday's launch was believed to be the Shaheen II, with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles). That is far enough to hit targets anywhere in India.