Puppet MastersS


Best of the Web: The spectacle of terror and its vested interests

The news stories, which quickly surface, long enough to cause scary headlines, then vanish before people can learn how often the cases are thrown out. These are stories about "bumbling fantasists", hapless druggies, the aimless, even the virtually homeless and mentally ill, and other marginal characters with not the strongest grip on reality, who have been lured into discourses about violence against America only after assiduous courting, and in some cases outright payment, by undercover FBI or police informants.

They have become a litany in recent years. The terrifying 2003-2004 national news stories that a Detroit "sleeper cell" had sent Muslim terrorists to blow up Disneyland and other landmarks, including in Las Vegas, was later thrown out of court, with accusations of prosecutorial misconduct, to almost no press attention - the same cycle of hype and failed convictions that have characterized many such stories. The evidence had included a home video taken in Disneyland, "doodles", and a guy with a credit card fraud problem, who had been pressured to diminish his own sentence by accusing his buddies.

Comment: For a history of the many similar cases of the FBI entrapping intellectually challenged Americans to frame as 'terrorist' patsies, check out the following Sott Report.

The ex-FBI informant with a change of heart: 'There is no real hunt. It's fixed'

FBI Linked to Yet Another Domestic Terrorism Plot

FBI Tries To Coax Muslim Into Bombing US Capitol

FBI Organizes Almost All Terror Plots in the US

Washington DC: FBI Foils Own Terror Plot (Again)

Fake terror plots, paid informants: the tactics of FBI 'entrapment' questioned


Twin Bomb Attacks Target Syrian Intelligence, 55 government employees killed in Damascus

At least 55 people have been killed and 372 others injured by two powerful blasts in the Syrian capital on Thursday morning. The car bombs detonated near a military intelligence building.

The blasts happened in quick succession during the morning rush hour, just as employees were arriving to work. An initial small explosion was followed by a much larger blast allegedly targeted at paramedics and security forces arriving at the scene, AP reports.

The explosion left two craters - three and six meters wide - in front of the military compound. The two cars were stuffed with more than 1,000 kilograms of explosives, said Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi.

Makdissi also said that in addition to 55 dead - some of them already identified - and 372 injured, there were at least 15 sets of unidentified remains, implying that the death toll was likely to rise. Syrian authorities have urged people to donate blood for the injured.


Western journalists are just reporting lies about Syria: Assad has many sunny days ahead of him

The real situation in Syria is absolutely different from how the Western media portray it, historian and political analyst Pierre Piccinin told RT. He visited the turbulent state twice and says it was not as bad as he expected.


Fed clears China's US bank takeover

© Agence France PresseThe Federal Reserve announced that three major Chinese banks, including ICBC, have won approval to enter the US banking market
The United States opened its banking market to China's biggest bank ICBC, for the first time clearing a takeover of a US bank by a Chinese state-controlled company.

Just days after high-level US-China economic talks in Beijing, the Federal Reserve approved an application from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to buy a majority stake in the US subsidiary of Bank of East Asia.

The transaction will make ICBC the first Chinese state-controlled bank to acquire retail bank branches in the United States.

ICBC has been the most aggressive of China's "big four" banks in expanding abroad.

Outside China, it operates subsidiary banks in Asian countries and has branches in a number of countries including Germany, Japan and Singapore.

Comment: It's hard to tell which way the future will go in this situation. While there is undoubtedly a one world government, it may be wise of China to watch her back.

Here is a potential outlook into the future. A commercial Banned in the United States:


Best of the Web: Did Obama Really Kill Osama?

We just passed the one-year anniversary of the (alleged) execution of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. But, did he really live until 2011? Ten years earlier, in 2001, his kidneys were failing, and he was on dialysis. Do you know what the life expectancy is for dialysis patients in the United States? Unless you get a kidney transplant (and Osama did not) the average life expectancy is 5 years. And that presumes that top-notch medical care is provided, which may be hard to come by in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. And being on the run and living in hiding can't possibly help the situation.

However, Osama bin laden had a lot of other health problems besides kidney disease. They included insulin-dependent diabetes, hepatitis, osteoporosis, an enlarged heart, anemia, abnormally low blood pressure, and Marfan's syndrome. [See Nicholas Kollerstrom, "Osama bin Laden: 1957-2001" which can be found on jamesfetzer.blogspot.com, and David Ray Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (2009).]

The picture below is of Osama bin Laden from 2001, and below it is an image of him from 2011 which was released by the Pentagon immediately after the raid. I think you'll agree that in the first picture, he looks rather pale and ashen and quite sickly, and in the second picture he looks quite robust.

bin laden 1
© n/a
bin laden 2
© n/a

Star of David

First Rifts Emerge in New Israeli Coalition

© n/a
The first rifts in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's expanded coalition emerged just a day after the Israeli leader brought the main opposition party into his government, with religious and secular parties exchanging threats Wednesday over draft exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Israel's Supreme Court has ordered the government to halt the exemptions, which have allowed tens of thousands of ultra-religious men to skip compulsory military service and instead spend their days in subsidized religious studies.

The exemptions have infuriated secular Israelis, who say it is unfair that they have to risk their lives in the military while the religious study.

The dispute was a key factor in Netanyahu's surprising decision Tuesday to shore up his coalition by bringing in the Kadima Party.

Speaking to the Army Radio station, lawmaker Yitzhak Cohen of the religious Shas Party said Wednesday that "it's an illusion" to expect a court decision would force seminary students to serve in the military. Moshe Gafni, a leader in the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism Party, warned of a brewing "cultural civil war."

Bad Guys

Clinton Wraps up Trip, Presses Pakistan on Terrorism

Hillary Clinton
© Raveendran/Agence France-Presse/Getty ImagesSecretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during an India-U.S. Partnership for Innovative Solutions conference in New Delhi.
New Delhi - The latest foiled terrorism plot in Yemen should serve as a wake-up call that terrorists "keep trying to devise more and more diverse and terrible ways to kill people," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said here Tuesday.

Wrapping up her eight-day trip to China, India and Bangladesh, Clinton pressed Pakistan "to do more" to root out terrorists on its soil, including the alleged mastermind of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, for whom she approved a $10 million reward.

She earlier said al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri was most likely residing in Pakistan.

We look to the government of Pakistan to do more," Clinton said. "It needs to make sure that its territory is not used for launching pads for terrorist attacks anywhere.

"We are committed to going after those who pose direct threats to the United States and to Afghanistan and our allies," she said.

Comment: For more information on this alleged "second underwear bomber" please read the following:

Fake War on Terror: Underwear Bomber 2.0 was CIA Double Agent

The Underwear Bomber - Crushing Freedom With Phony Arab Terrorism

Underwear Bomber Redux - Was Mutallab An Israeli "Secret Weapon"?

Haskell Blows Whistle on Underwear Bomber, Government Op


4 Killed In Attacking Libya PM Office

Abdel Rahim Al-Keib
© unknownAbdel Rahim Al-Keib
At least four people were killed in an attack launched Tuesday by a group of gunmen against the headquarters of Libyan interim prime minister in Tripoli.

The attack raised fears over stability and security in the North African country to hold next month a national poll for a constituent assembly.

The Prime Minister, Abdel Rahim Al-Keib, was not in his office when the attackers stormed the government building.

According to some press reports, the attackers are believed to be ex-members of the militia who joined the battle and rebel forces that toppled the regime of Col. Muamar Gadhafi.

At first, they gathered in front the PM office to protest against the interim government decision to stop payments and cash rewards they used to receive for their role in ousting Gadhafi. However, a group of armed men, who were among the demonstrators, opened fire, triggering chaos and confusion.

The PM Abdel Rahim Al-Keib described the attackers as "outlaws" who pretended to be "revolutionaries". He also vowed that "the government would deliver on its promises but would not give in to blackmail or to outlaws as it would not negotiate under the threat of force."


Ukraine's Jailed Tymoshenko Moves to Hospital

Yulia Tymoshenko
© unknownFormer Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko
Kiev - Ukraine's jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, whose plight in prison has soured relations between the country's leadership and the West, was moved to a local hospital on Wednesday in a high-security police convoy.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has faced growing criticism over the conviction of Tymoshenko - and the authorities' refusal to let her travel abroad for treatment for chronic back pain.

Her transfer from prison in the eastern city of Kharkiv to a nearby hospital for treatment under the supervision of German doctors was worked out last week in a compromise.

But Wednesday's early morning transfer seemed unlikely to relieve pressure on Yanukovich who has been thrown on the back-foot by sharp Western criticism of his treatment of his rival.

Tymoshenko, 51, a former prime minister, was jailed last October for seven years for alleged abuse of power while in office, a charge she denied.

She says she is the victim of a vendetta by Yanukovich who narrowly beat her for the presidency in February 2010. The European Union and the United States have condemned her trial and sentencing as politically motivated and called for her to be released.


Putin and Medvedev Complete Job Swap in Russia

Medvedev, Putin
© Reuters/Maxim Shemetov Russia's former President and prime ministerial candidate Dmitry Medvedev (L) speaks, while President Vladimir Putin listens, during a session of the Russian State Duma in Moscow May 8, 2012.
Moscow - Russia's lower house of parliament confirmed former president Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister on Tuesday, completing a job swap with Vladimir Putin that has sparked protests against the two leaders' grip on power.

The approval vote, comfortably won by Medvedev as Putin looked on, ignored growing concern in the country that keeping power in the hands of the same men who have led Russia for the past four years will bring political and economic stagnation.

Police led away more than 20 people, including two opposition leaders, when they broke up a peaceful protest near the Kremlin hours before the vote, after detaining more than 700 on the previous two days to keep a lid on dissent.

"They just started to grab people and put them in police buses," said Alexander Delfinov, 40, who was held for hours and ordered to appear in court on Friday, facing a fine or up to 15 days in jail.

Activists regrouped later and were chased around central Moscow by police who hemmed them in and detained dozens more.

In Twitter posts from police vans, prominent opposition activist Alexei Navalny and Ksenia Sobchak, a television host who has fallen out with Putin, said they were among those detained - Navalny for the second time in a day.

The United States said it was concerned by arrests and by clashes that erupted at a rally on Sunday, a day before Putin's inauguration as president, when police beat demonstrators with batons and some protesters wielded pieces of metal fencing and flagpoles.