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Puppet Masters


Moves to Undermine Egyptian Revolution

More than two months since former president Hosni Mubarak was forced from office after 30 years in power, local political figures and analysts warn of "counterrevolutionary elements" still working behind the scenes to thwart Egypt's ongoing transition to democracy.

© REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
A protester holds up his palm during a protest for labour rights on Labour Day or May Day, in Cairo May 1, 2011. The palm reads, "social justice".
These elements have consistently worked to reverse the gains made by the Jan. 25 Revolution by sowing fear, chaos and fitna (discord) between different segments of society," Essam al-Arian, spokesman for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement, told IPS.

In the first days of the 18-day uprising, the embattled Mubarak regime used its expansive state media machine to spread false news reports of murder and mayhem in hopes of terrorising the public and discrediting the revolution. It went so far at one point as to release convicted criminals from prison.

Eye 1

Benazir Bhutto confirms Osama bin Laden is dead

In an interview given to David Frost in November 2007, Benazir Bhutto states that Osama bin Laden was killed by Omar Sheikh.

Comment: Who is Omar Sheikh?
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, in his book In the Line of Fire, stated that Sheikh was originally recruited by British intelligence agency, MI6, while studying at the London School of Economics. He alleges Omar Sheikh was sent to the Balkans by MI6 to engage in jihadi operations. Musharraf later went on to state, "At some point, he probably became a rogue or double agent".


Al-Qaida head Osama bin Laden dead, US in possession of body; Obama to speak Sunday night


Washington - Al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden is dead and the United States has his body, a person familiar with the developments says.

President Barack Obama is expected to make that announcement from the White House late Sunday night.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak ahead of the president.


Fantastic News: BP Made $88.3 Billion in Revenue from January to April

bp logo

One year and one week after BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 workers and spilling an estimated five million barrels - or 206 million gallons - of crude oil spewed into the Gulf over the course of the next three months, BP reported its net profit rose 17 percent in the first quarter. The UK oil company said its profits rose to $7.12 billion, up from $6.08 billion a year earlier.

Ain't that a piece of wonderful news?

Stripping out one-time charges and other variables, BP's net profit came in at $5.37 billion. Given higher oil and gas prices, BP also said its total revenue for the first quarter rose more than 18 percent to $88.31 billion - that's up from a mere $74.42 billion. Impressive, considering production fell by 11 percent. The company also took an additional $400 million pre-tax charge related to the Macondo well spill.

On this day it's all about asset sales and share swaps and exploration deals and dividend suspensions and production. On this day, our business news giants choose to forget about the 11 fallen workers, they forget about the 206 million gallons spilled into the Gulf, they forget about the dead dolphins washing ashore with oil covering their bodies.


Libya: Gadhafi's youngest son killed but Libyan leader survives NATO missile strike, spokesman says

© Darko Bandic / Associated Press
In this photo made on a government organized tour, government officials and members of the media gather at the site of a NATO missile strike that killed Gadhafi’s youngest son and three grandchildren and wounded friends and relatives, in Tripoli, Libya, Saturday, April 30, 2011.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi escaped a NATO missile strike in Tripoli on Saturday, but his youngest son and three grandchildren under the age of 12 were killed, a government spokesman said.

The strike, which came hours after Gadhafi called for a cease-fire and negotiations in what rebels called a publicity stunt, marked an escalation of international efforts to prevent the Libyan regime from regaining momentum.

Rebels honked horns and chanted "Allahu Akbar" or "God is great" while speeding through the western city of Misrata, which Gadhafi's forces have besieged and subjected to random shelling for two months, killing hundreds. Fireworks were set off in front of the central Hikma hospital, causing a brief panic that the light would draw fire from Gadhafi's forces.

The attack struck the house of Gadhafi's youngest son, Seif al-Arab, when the Libyan leader and his wife were inside. White House spokesman Shin Inouye declined to comment on the developments in Libya, referring questions to NATO.

The alliance acknowledged that it had struck a "command and control building in the Bab al-Azizya neighborhood" Saturday evening, but it could not confirm the death of Gadhafi's son and insisted all its targets are military in nature and linked to Gadhafi's systematic attacks on the population.

Eye 1

US: California lawmakers weigh bill to let communities opt out of immigration screening program

© The Associated Press / Chris Schneider
This July 26, 2010 file photo shows Senior Deputy Jerry Anttila fingerprinting an unidentified suspect during the booking process at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colo. Some Democratic California lawmakers want to let the state consider opting out of a federal government program to check arrestees' immigration status.
California lawmakers are the latest to weigh joining efforts in other American states to gain control over a controversial U.S. federal program that automatically checks the immigration status of arrestees.

California accounts for more than a third of the deportations under the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement program, and some local officials are saying they were misled by the federal government about the program's extent.

Illinois lawmakers are also considering a measure to let communities retreat from the program. Washington state has deferred to local governments on whether they want to join the so-called "Secure Communities" program, which links up the FBI's criminal database and the Department of Homeland Security's records so that every time someone is arrested their immigration status is automatically, electronically checked.

The tug-of-war over the ICE program highlights the tension between states and the federal government in the absence of a legislative fix on immigration. In the last four years, states have passed a flurry of bills and resolutions on issues ranging from employer verification to access to driver's licenses, most notably Arizona's tough local immigration enforcement law.

Immigrant advocates have lambasted ICE's fingerprint sharing program for sweeping up crime victims and witnesses who are arrested during an investigation in addition to those accused of committing a crime. About 29 per cent of the 102,000 immigrants deported under the program since it began in 2008 have no criminal conviction, according to federal government statistics.

Star of David

Israel: The legal tsunami is on its way

Comment: Looks like the PTB are taking another step towards cutting Israel loose.

The significance of a Palestinian state joining the UN is that, for the first time, it will be the Palestinians who will decide what the international legal framework is that is binding in their territory.

Israel's cautious foreign policy on legal matters over the past 44 years is likely to collapse in September. The mechanisms of legal defense that it built since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to combat the "danger" of international jurisdiction about its conduct toward millions of people who are under its control, are likely to turn into dust at the stroke of the diplomatic moves.

If indeed the international community recognizes a Palestinian state, the question whether officers in the Israel Defense Forces who are involved in assassinations, shooting at unarmed demonstrators and using phosphorus bombs will be interrogated and brought to trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and the question of whether international human rights treaties ‏(and other treaties‏) will obligate Israel during action in the territories, will no longer be decided in the government offices in Jerusalem but rather in the corridors of the Muqataa in Ramallah.

Together with the diplomatic "tsunami" that Defense Minister Ehud Barak has forecast, Israel can expect a legal tsunami, which for the first time will claim a price for violating human rights in the occupied territories.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the prolonged occupation of the Palestinian territories that Israel conquered in 1967, are not an internal Israeli issue. This is an international conflict in which the international community has a legitimate interest.

However, during the years of the occupation the state of Israel has repelled the professional legal mechanisms of the United Nations, that deal with protecting human rights, from discussing its actions there. Thus, for example, Israel refrained from granting authority to the UN Committee on Human Rights to discuss complaints from Palestinians against the IDF. ‏

Bad Guys

Libya: Disabled children's school hit in NATO strike

Tripoli - Shattered glass litters the carpet at the Libyan Down's Syndrome Society, and dust covers pictures of grinning children that adorn the hallway, thrown into darkness by a NATO strike early on Saturday.

It was unclear what the target of the strike was, though Libyan officials said it was Muammar Gaddafi himself, who was giving a live television address at the time.

"They maybe wanted to hit the television. This is a non-military, non-governmental building," said Mohammed al-Mehdi, head of the civil societies council, which licenses and oversees civil groups in Libya.

The missile completely destroyed an adjoining office in the compound that houses the government's commission for children.

Bad Guys

April Gallop versus Dick Cheney: Court Dismisses 9/11 Suit against Bush Officials

dick cheney
© n/a
Bush court dismisses 9/11 suit against Bush officials, orders sanctions

Rather than judicially review significant evidence in the events of September 11, 2001, on April 27, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's dismissal of an Army Specialist's complaint against former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers.

One of Plaintiff April Gallop's attorneys, William Veale, didn't know whether to relate the decision to "Kafka, Orwell, Carroll, or Huxley," referring to the absurdity and dearth of reason emanating from the court regarding the deadliest attack on U.S. soil the nation has ever faced.

"The Court's decision, analogous to reviewing an Indictment in a liquor store hold-up without mentioning the guy walking in with a gun, refuses to acknowledge even the existence of the three defendants much less what they were doing that morning or saying about it afterwards," Veale added.


A Comb-Over Treatment For Declining Empire

© Wikipedia
Hadrian's Wall
Among Ciphers, Barn Burners and Confidence Artists: a comb-over treatment for declining empire

Like postmodernist architecture, in which the aesthetic criteria of a structure's exterior often possesses little correlation to its interior function, media age journalistic and political style exhibits a similar disparity between facade and content: The political content aired by mass media institutions and the cant of the governmental class are the political equivalent of the useless ornamental pediments, context-devoid cupolas, and empty atriums of postmodernist architecture.

It is not a coincidence that Donald Trump has been responsible for having erected some of the gaudiest, emptiest, architecturally dishonest structures, blotting the landscape, east of the Atlantic Ocean, west of the sands of Dubai.

Citizen Trump is a human analog of these characteristics: a man possessed of an extroverted, confident public persona that serves as cover for an interior emptiness. In fact, he is possessed of an unswerving self-regard (as extreme as it is inexplicable) that seems a form of derangement.