Puppet MastersS


Eye 1

Post Olympic Games UK: full-blown police state

olympics
© Rasouli Amir
London that is widely known as a perfect example of surveillance society with its watchful CCTVs, is now a perfect example of a police state after the massive Olympics militarization, a fact even organizers implicitly acknowledge.

Organizers decided earlier this year to dress the official mascot for the 2012 Olympics in London, where the security and surveillance cordon are nicknamed the Ring of Steel, in a Metropolitan police outfit.

The mascots, "Wenlock" and "Mandeville", feature a huge single eye that is actually a camera lens that organizers said can "record everything."

The dolls effectively create an explicit symbol of the pervasive surveillance state and suggest an unwelcome addition to British social life that is now subject to an even more intrusive surveillance system thanks to the biggest and most expensive British security operation in decades for the Olympics.

The irony has been taken up by critics of the Games.

Comment: 1.2 billion-euro spent on security to arrest one Parkinson's sufferer for 'not smiling'.


Camcorder

U.S. set to hand over Omar Khadr videotapes to Canadian government

Omar Khadr
© desconocido
Toronto - American authorities are expected to hand videotapes of Omar Khadr to the Canadian government this week now that the head of the military commission has signed off on their release.

Khadr's Canadian defence team, meanwhile, served three affidavits on the government on Monday in support of its Federal Court application to force Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to make a decision on the prisoner's transfer from Guantanamo Bay to Canada.

The government has a month to respond but the lawyers said they were hoping the hearing would be expedited.

Toews has demanded access to the tapes of two mental-health assessments done of Khadr prior to his trial two years ago in Guantanamo Bay.

Sheriff

Flaws in Norway massacre response uncovered, but not a Columbine-style awakening for police

Image
© The Associated Press/Berit Roald / NTB scanpixOfficials stand next to copies of the report from the independent commission into the July 22, 2011 attacks in Norway In Oslo Monday Aug.13, 2012.
Oslo - A year after a far-right militant's bomb and gun attacks exposed flaws in Norway's terror preparedness, police are being criticized for failing to improve their ability to stop a gunman bent on inflicting mass casualties.

In contrast to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, which led to sweeping changes in police tactics and training in the U.S., the massacre of 77 people in July last year hasn't had a tangible impact on Norway's police force, critics say.

"There are hardly been any visible changes from July 22 and until today. That is what our members tell me," said Arne Johannessen, who heads Norway's union for police officers. "Now things have to happen. Now both the leadership in the police and the politicians must take this seriously."

A government-appointed commission on Monday presented a long-awaited 500-page report outlining flaws - and some bright spots - in how police and other authorities responded to Norway's worst peacetime attacks.

The confessed gunman, right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, set off a car bomb outside the government headquarters in Oslo, then drove to the Labor youth division's annual summer camp, disguised as a police officer, and opened fire. Eight people were killed in the explosion, while 69 people died in the massacre on Utoya island, in a lake some 25 miles (40 kilometres) from the capital.

Document

Pope's Butler Charged with Stealing Private Papers

Pope Benedict XVI, Paolo Gabriele
© The Associated Press/Domenico StinellisIn this Monday, April 21, 2008 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI, left, arrives at the Italian air force 31st Squadron base in Ciampino, 30 kilometers south-east of Rome, on his way back from a six-day trip to the U.S. including the U.N. and Ground Zero in N.Y.C. The Vatican has confirmed Saturday, May 26, 2012, that the pope's butler Paolo Gabriele, at right carrying bags, was arrested in an embarrassing leaks scandal.
Vatican City - The pope's former butler Paolo Gabriele, who will stand trial for leaking confidential papers, was a model employee in many ways but also a troubled and frustrated character, the Holy See says.

Renowned as a trusted and dedicated companion to the aged pontiff, Gabriele, 46, shocked the tiny Vatican community with his admission of guilt and left many wondering why he decided to turn whistleblower and risk his freedom.

Questions remain over whether Gabriele was acting out of love for the Church and the pope, as he has claimed, or whether he has become the scapegoat in a wider conspiracy to unseat powerful figures in the Vatican.

"I was moved to act by my deep faith and the desire to shed light on everything that goes on in the Church," Gabriele told a Vatican magistrate.

Married with three children, he was known as a pious and very discreet character, who was one of the select few who had access to Pope Benedict XVI's private chambers and attended him both when he woke and last thing at night.

Known as Paoletto, he had worked for Benedict since 2006 and was often seen by the pope's side on foreign trips, riding with him in the "popemobile".

It was Gabriele's job to prepare the pontifical ceremonial robes, which he helped the 85-year-old German pontiff don each morning at dawn, before serving him lunch and dinner, and sometimes sitting down to eat alongside him.

Vader

VPNReviewz Reports That Executive Order Promises To Give Total Control Of The Internet To The Department of Homeland Security

In an event that was devoid of the usual pomp and circumstance, President Obama issued an Executive Order, (EO) that effectively handed the Department of Homeland Security, (DHS) the ability to take complete control over the internet, according to reports from VPNReviewz.

According to privacy advocates like the EFF, EPIC, UsenetReviewz, and many others, this order gives the DHS the authority to take complete control of public, private, and non-profit facilities...giving them the ability to close off or limit any and all civilian communications. And, on the National Communications Systems official website, the order is further elaborated on, saying that the infrastructure, "includes wireline, wireless, satellite, cable, and broadcasting, and provides the transport networks that support the Internet and other key information systems."

CEO of VPNReviewz, Michael Maxstead, agrees that the existing "Emergency Alert System" used in the US probably does need to be brought up to date to reflect existing technologies, but that, "This EO allows too much control over such a large entity." He further goes on to wonder "And, what will the system be used for once it is completely in place?" He asks this because the order allows the DHS to "prioritize" internet traffic. In order to prioritize the traffic effectively, the controlling and monitoring agency would have to know the origination point, destination, identification, and type of traffic. Essentially everything about the communication.

Attention

Are The Government And The Big Banks Quietly Preparing For An Imminent Financial Collapse?

Wall Street
© The Economic Collapse Blog
Something really strange appears to be happening. All over the globe, governments and big banks are acting as if they are anticipating an imminent financial collapse. Unfortunately, we are not privy to the quiet conversations that are taking place in corporate boardrooms and in the halls of power in places such as Washington D.C. and London, so all we can do is try to make sense of all the clues that are all around us. Of course it is completely possible to misinterpret these clues, but sticking our heads in the sand is not going to do any good either. Last week, it was revealed that the U.S. government has been secretly directing five of the biggest banks in America "to develop plans for staving off collapse" for the last two years.

By itself, that wouldn't be that big of a deal. But when you add that piece to the dozens of other clues of imminent financial collapse, a very troubling picture begins to emerge. Over the past 12 months, hundreds of banking executives have been resigning, corporate insiders have been selling off enormous amounts of stock, and I have been personally told that a significant number of Wall Street bankers have been shopping for "prepper properties" in rural communities this summer.

Meanwhile, there have been reports that the U.S. government has been stockpiling food and ammunition, and Barack Obama has been signing a whole bunch of executive orders that would potentially be implemented in the event of a major meltdown of society. So what does all of this mean? It could mean something or it could mean nothing. What we do know is that a financial collapse is coming at some point. Over the past 40 years, the total amount of all debt in the United States has grown from about 2 trillion dollars to nearly 55 trillion dollars. That is a recipe for financial armageddon, and it is inevitable that this gigantic bubble of debt is going to burst at some point.

In normal times, the U.S. government does not tell major banks to "develop plans for staving off collapse".

But according to a recent Reuters article, that is apparently exactly what has been happening....
U.S. regulators directed five of the country's biggest banks, including Bank of America Corp and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, to develop plans for staving off collapse if they faced serious problems, emphasizing that the banks could not count on government help.

The two-year-old program, which has been largely secret until now, is in addition to the "living wills" the banks crafted to help regulators dismantle them if they actually do fail. It shows how hard regulators are working to ensure that banks have plans for worst-case scenarios and can act rationally in times of distress.
Does it seem odd to anyone else that only five really big banks got such a warning?

And why keep it secret from the American public?

Does the federal government actually expect such a collapse to happen?

Heart - Black

Paul Ryan has 71-year-old man and others arrested for asking questions

Paul Ryan
© Buzzfeed.comWisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan
Mitt Romney recently named Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate for Vice President of the United States. As such, the bright lights and prying eyes of the media have now befallen the congressman. Video from 2011 has surfaced of several of his constituents being arrested for speaking out of turn at a public luncheon. In one instance, with video provided on the left side of this article, a 71-year-old man was thrown to the ground by police and placed in handcuffs. Moments after the incident Paul Ryan joked, "I hope he has taken his blood pressure medication."

Actually the man was asking how he would be able to afford his medication, but this nuanced difference seems to be lost on the millionaire congressman.


Hourglass

Israel media talk of imminent Iran war push

Jerusalem - Israel's prime minister and defence minister would like to attack Iran's nuclear sites before the U.S. election in November but lack crucial support within their cabinet and military, an Israeli newspaper said on Friday.

The front-page report in the biggest-selling daily Yedioth Ahronoth came amid mounting speculation - fuelled by media leaks from both the government and its detractors at home and abroad - that war with Iran could be imminent even though it might rupture the bedrock ties between Israel and the United States.

"Were it up to Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, an Israeli military strike on the nuclear facilities in Iran would take place in the coming autumn months, before the November election in the United States," Yedioth said in the article by its two senior commentators, which appeared to draw on discussions with the defence minister but included no direct quotes.


Comment: RT reports on the topic:



Bad Guys

US Attorneys Refuse to Assure Judge That They Are Not Already Detaining Citizens Under NDAA

activists Kai Wargalla and Tangerine Bolen
© UnknownAppearing from left to right, activists Kai Wargalla and Tangerine Bolen.
The US government seems determined to have the power to do away with due process and Americans' right to a trial.

I am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the President the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial. In May, following a March hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest issued an injunction against it; this week, in a final hearing in New York City, US government lawyers essentially asserted even more extreme powers - the power to entirely disregard the Judge and the law. Indeed, on Monday, August 6, Obama's lawyers filed an appeal to the injunction - a profoundly important development that as of this writing has been scarcely reported.

In the March hearing, the US lawyers had confirmed that yes, the NDAA does give the President the power to lock up people like journalist Chris Hedges and peaceful activists like myself and other plaintiffs. Government attorneys have stated on record that even war correspondents could be locked up indefinitely under the NDAA. Judge Katherine Forrest had ruled for a temporary injunction against an unconstitutional provision in this law - after government attorneys refused to provide assurances to the court that plaintiffs and others would not be indefinitely detained for engaging in first amendment activities. Twice the government has refused to define what it means to be an "associated force", and it claimed the right to refrain from offering any clear definition of this term, or clear boundaries of power under this law. This past week's hearing was even more terrifying: incredibly, in this hearing, Obama's attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA's provision - one that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial -- has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world -- AFTER Judge Forrest's injunction. In other words, they were saying to a US judge that they could not or would not state whether Obama's government had complied with the legal injunction that she had lain down before them.

Red Flag

US Military Officers Discussing Plans to Fight American Citizens

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© Greg Groesch Battle worn Tea Party
Imagine Tea Party extremists seizing control of a South Carolina town and the Army being sent in to crush the rebellion. This farcical vision is now part of the discussion in professional military circles. At issue is an article in the respected Small Wars Journal titled "Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A 'Vision' of the Future."

It was written by retired Army Col. Kevin Benson of the Army's University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and Jennifer Weber, a Civil War expert at the University of Kansas. It posits an "extremist militia motivated by the goals of the 'tea party' movement" seizing control of Darlington, S.C., in 2016, "occupying City Hall, disbanding the city council and placing the mayor under house arrest." The rebels set up checkpoints on Interstate 95 and Interstate 20 looking for illegal aliens. It's a cartoonish and needlessly provocative scenario.

The article is a choppy patchwork of doctrinal jargon and liberal nightmare. The authors make a quasi-legal case for military action and then apply the Army's Operating Concept 2016-2028 to the situation. They write bloodlessly that "once it is put into play, Americans will expect the military to execute without pause and as professionally as if it were acting overseas." They claim that "the Army cannot disappoint the American people, especially in such a moment," not pausing to consider that using such efficient, deadly force against U.S. citizens would create a monumental political backlash and severely erode government legitimacy.