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Mass FBI raids target pro-WikiLeaks 'Operation Payback'

Image
© Unknown
Operation Pay Back Screen Shot.
Following the arrest of five people in Britain in connection with the "Operation Payback" cyber-attacks in support of WikiLeaks, the FBI announced mass raids across the United States in connection with the case.

"FBI agents today executed more than 40 search warrants throughout the United States as part of an ongoing investigation into recent coordinated cyber attacks against major companies and organizations," a bureau press release states.

Though the bureau did not say if any individuals were arrested during the raids, it did confirm a link between the US raids and the arrests in Britain. The bureau said suspects, if charged, could face up to 10 years in prison.

The police actions indicate that governments on both sides of the Atlantic are determined to prevent hacktivists from taking revenge against companies that ceased to do business with WikiLeaks following the release of US State Department cables late last year.

Display

As Egypt goes offline US gets internet 'kill switch' bill ready

As Egypt's government attempts to crackdown on street protests by shutting down internet and mobile phone services, the US is preparing to reintroduce a bill that could be used to shut down the internet.

The legislation, which would grant US President Barack Obama powers to seize control of and even shut down the internet, would soon be reintroduced to a senate committee, Wired.com reported.

It was initially introduced last year but expired with a new Congress.

internet usage graph
© Arbor Networks
A graph showing internet traffic to and from Eqypt.

Cult

The Torture Career of Egypt's New Vice President: Omar Suleiman and the Rendition to Torture Program

Omar Suleiman
© LIFE
Omar Suleiman speaking to world leaders

In response to the mass protests of recent days, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has appointed his first Vice President in his over 30 years rule, intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. When Suleiman was first announced, Al-jazeera commentators were describing him as a "distinguished" and "respected " man. It turns out, however, that he is distinguished for, among other things, his central role in Egyptian torture and in the US rendition-to-torture program. Further, he is "respected" by US officials for his cooperation with their torture plans, among other initiatives.
Katherine Hawkins, an expert on the US's rendition-to-torture program, in an email, has sent some critical texts where Suleiman pops up. Thus, Jane Mayer, in The Dark Side, pointed to Suleiman's role in the rendition program:
Each rendition was authorized at the very top levels of both governments....The long-serving chief of the Egyptian central intelligence agency, Omar Suleiman, negotiated directly with top Agency officials. [Former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt] Walker described the Egyptian counterpart, Suleiman, as "very bright, very realistic," adding that he was cognizant that there was a downside to "some of the negative things that the Egyptians engaged in, of torture and so on. But he was not squeamish, by the way" (pp. 113).

MIB

Mubarak's New Deputy Linked to CIA Rendition Program

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© Unknown
Omar Suleiman
Washington - The man named by President Hosni Mubarak as his first ever deputy, Egyptian spy chief Omar Suleiman, reportedly orchestrated the brutal interrogation of terror suspects abducted by the CIA in a secret program condemned by [human] rights groups.

His role in the controversial "war on terror" illustrates the ties that bind the United States and the Egyptian regime, as an unprecedented wave of protests against Mubarak's rule presents Washington with a difficult dilemma.

With Mubarak in jeopardy, Suleiman was anointed vice president last week and is now offering wide ranging talks with the opposition in a bid to defuse the crisis.

Suleiman is a sophisticated operator who carried out sensitive truce negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians as well as talks among rival Palestinian factions, winning the praise of American diplomats.

Sheeple

Senators vow to strip Obama climate power

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© Unknown
WASHINGTON - Conservative senators vowed Monday to strip President Barack Obama of his power to regulate greenhouse gases, in a move that would cripple US efforts on climate change if successful.

Eleven Republican senators introduced a bill that would stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases, which scientists blame for global warming, without explicit approval by Congress.

Under Obama, the federal agency has steadily increased standards on gas emissions. The Republicans accused Obama of circumventing Congress, where a so-called "cap-and-trade" bill to mandate emission curbs died last year.

"My bill will shrink Washington's job-crushing agenda and grow America's economy," said Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming and skeptic of climate change who is leading the effort.

Heart - Black

Dem Calls GOP Rape-Redefining Bill "A Violent Act Against Women"

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© AP Photo
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
Washington - Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) on Monday tore into House Republicans for proposing legislation that would limit access to abortion coverage for some rape victims.

The Florida Democrat, a rising star in her party and vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, is a leading voice on woman's issues. And she didn't mince her words in an interview with Raw Story, fiercely denouncing GOP colleagues over H.R. 3, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act."

"It is absolutely outrageous," Wasserman Schultz said in an exclusive interview late Monday afternoon. "I consider the proposal of this bill a violent act against women."

The broad anti-abortion measure would restrict federally-assisted abortion coverage to cases of "forcible rape," excluding in that definition instances where women are drugged and raped, where women say "no" but do not physically fight off the perpetrator, and various cases of date rape. It also excludes instances of statutory rape in which minors are impregnated by adults. The victim in all cases would be denied abortion coverage under Medicaid and forbidden from seeking health care tax benefits.

Handcuffs

Fear Mongering: US Issues Terrorist Warning for Citizens Worldwide

State Department
© Agence France-Presse
The State Department Monday issued an updated warning on the "continuing threat of terrorist actions" for US citizens worldwide, and a second advisory cautioning travel to Britain.
The State Department Monday issued an updated warning on the "continuing threat of terrorist actions" for US citizens worldwide, and a second advisory cautioning travel to Britain.

"Current information suggests that Al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against US interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East," said the advisory, which updates the last Worldwide Caution post from August 2010.

The State Department warned that militant groups could target areas where US citizens may gather in large numbers, such as sporting events, hotels, or places of worship.

Star of David

Israel shocked by Obama's "betrayal" of Mubarak

If Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.


Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told ministers of the Jewish state to make no comment on the political cliffhanger in Cairo, to avoid inflaming an already explosive situation. But Israel's President Shimon Peres is not a minister.

Black Cat

10 Things That The Egypt Riots Can Teach Us About What Happens When Society Breaks Down

Protesters in Egypt
© Unknown
Citizens rally in the streets in protest of a corrupt Egyptian government
The rioting in Egypt is perhaps the biggest single news story so far in 2011. The pace at which Egyptian society has been transformed over the past week has been absolutely breathtaking. A few months ago, nobody would have ever dreamed that there would be huge riots in the streets of major Egyptian cities calling for the resignation of Hosni Mubarak. But it has happened, and now Egypt will never be the same again. So what does the future hold for Egypt? Well, many are hopeful that this revolution will bring about a better government in Egypt and a better way of life for average Egyptians. Personally, I am not nearly so optimistic. In fact, I believe that there is a great danger that an even more repressive government could take the place of the current regime. But in any event, there are important lessons that the Egypt riots can teach all of us about what happens when society breaks down. Societal collapse is often a very messy, very violent affair. Someday if the global economy completely implodes, we may see economic riots erupt all over the world (including inside the United States) and we all need to get prepared for that.

So far more than 100 people have died during the rioting that has rocked Egypt over the past week. Other reports put the true number of dead much higher. Scores of shops and businesses have been looted. There have been dozens of rapes. Groups of citizens have formed vigilante groups to protect their own homes. These are the kinds of things that happen when society breaks down.

But could such a thing happen in the United States? Of course it could. Just remember what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Imagine what would happen in this country if a disaster on an even larger scale happened. What any of us be truly safe?

Star of David

Gilad Atzmon: Jewish Power is Falling Apart

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© Carlos Latuff
The British ADL watchdog CIF Watch seems to be very unhappy with the Guardian circulating the work of the genius cartoonist Carlos Latuff

"How low will they (the Guardian)go? Asks the Zionist watchdog.

The Judeo-centric site defines Latuff as "one of the most prolific anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic cartoonists". It is also outraged with Latuff depicting "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as a sinister looking (gun wielding) Orthodox Jew."

The Jewish site claims that much of Latuff's work "expresses anti-Semitic themes. Some of his caricatures seem to suggest that Israel is a unique and immutable evil in the world." I am afraid to disappoint the Zionist watchdog; the Jewish State is uniquely evil, and this fact has been exposed numerous times in the last years by UN fact finding missions.