Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 29 Sep 2023
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters

Star of David

"Air Flotilla" successful in exposing Israeli blockade of West Bank

Ben Gurion International Airport
© N i c o_
Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv
Israeli authorities deployed hundreds of police officers to arrest and deport pro-Palestinian visitors. The Minister of Tourism announced that "good tourists" will be greeted with flowers

Panic. There is no other way to describe the Israeli reaction to a plan organized by a few activists - no more than a thousand, according to the most generous estimates - to try and travel to the West Bank via Ben Gurion International Airport. A handful of those visitors arrived (five of them have already been deported), and it seems that the whole country has gone mad.

Haaretz has reported a special deployment of hundreds of police officers and special units both inside and outside the terminals, "in case one of the arrivals tries to set himself on fire." The Petach Tikva court, in charge of the airport area, is to have more arrest judges on alert, and the minister for Hasbara (propaganda) Yuli Edelstein demanded that the government take no chances, "because we should remember what happened on 9/11."

All this, lets not forget, in order to welcome between a few dozen to a few hundred Westerners (most of them quite old, according to reports), who would arrive on separate flights and on different hours, who went through extensive security checks before boarding their planes, and who openly declared their intentions to visit the Palestinian territories. This is the national threat that has captured all the headlines for some days now in a country armed with one of the strongest armies in the world as well as an extensive arsenal of nuclear bombs.

While events at the airport are more absurd than tragic (there is a torrent of jokes on twitter about this, like: "attention all units, attention all units, a Swedish woman is now getting off flight 465″, or "security personnel have been ordered to report all those not singing 'Heve'nu Shalom' at landing"), one cannot watch the government's handling of this situation and not question the judgment of Israeli decision makers, or wonder about the things they are capable of doing if and when they sense a more substantial threat. One of the sole voices of reason was Yedioth's Eitan Haber, former secretary of Prime Minister Rabin, whose commentary today had the title: "We simply lost it" ("ירדנו מהפסים").


Malaysia Cracks Down on Protesters

Many opposition activists were held for participating in Friday's rally, declared illegal by the government
Police use tear gas and arrest more than 600 as thousands rally in Kuala Lumpur to demand electoral reforms.

Police in Malaysia have fired tear gas and arrested hundreds of protesters in the biggest opposition-backed rally in years.

More than 20,000 demonstrators massed across Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, demanding electoral reforms, activists said.

The federal police force said that it detained 644 people in a clampdown called Operation Erase Bersih, referring to the Bersih coalition, the group organising the rally.

Those arrested included several senior opposition officials.

"The public is reminded not to be involved in any demonstration," the federal police force said in a statement and warned of "stern action ... against those who disobey".

Witnesses said riot police armed with batons charged at some protesters and dragged them into trucks.

Numerous restaurants and stores were closed because of the transportation disruptions and fears of violence.

The government had declared the demonstration illegal, and police had sealed off parts of the capital in advance.


Iran Accused of Arming Anti-US Militias in Iraq

Adm Mullen confirmed that despite threats to escalate attacks if the Americans did not leave, the United States was in negotiations to leave thousands of troops in Iraq beyond the deadline.
The United States' most senior military officer has accused Iran of pouring arms into anti-American militias in Iraq as the two powers battle for influence in the country.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said Iran was responsible for arming militant Shia groups responsible for a recent upsurge in killings of American servicemen.

"Iran is very directly supporting extremist troops which are killing our troops," he said at a Washington briefing.

The weapons the Pengtagon believe are being smuggled into the country by the Revolutionary Guard include improvised mortars and an armour-piercing bomb known as an explosively formed penetrator, or EFP.

Two American servicemen were killed by an EFP outside their base in Baghdad in an attack on Thursday, on top of 14 killed across the country in the previous month, the highest figure for two years.

The last American troops are due to leave Iraq at the end of this year, having been pulled out of combat operations last August. But American strategists and Washington's allies in the Gulf fear that withdrawal will leave a strategic gap into which Iran will step.

Che Guevara

New Protests Rage Across Egypt

Demanding faster reforms and prosecution of Mubarak era officials, protesters gather to put pressure on military rulers.

Thousands of demonstrators have flooded Cairo's now-iconic Tahrir Square and other rallying points across the country to demand immediate reforms and swifter prosecution of former officials from the toppled government of Hosni Mubarak.

Friday's "March of the Million", as protesters are calling the new uprising, is expected to be the biggest demonstration since the fall of Mubarak on February 11.

Many Egyptians feel that little has changed since the regime was forced out, and the nationwide protests are the latest calls for the country's interim military rulers to provide a roadmap towards democracy, jobs and infrastructure improvements.

Most of Egypt's political parties and coalitions, including the Muslim Brotherhood, supported widespread calls for the protest to be staged across Egypt. Hundreds of protesters gathered in Suez and Alexandria, among other locations.

"The main frustration here is over the release of the officers accused of killing protesters during the revolution is the main focus of the people here," said Al Jazeera correspondent Sherine Tadros from Suez. "What people here are asking for is justice and faster trials of those responsible for the killings of protesters.

Tadros added that the military is trying to maintain control and show a visible presence in Suez.

"However, they are careful not to overshadow the protesters to make it out in many ways that they are here to stop the protest," Tadros said.

Five months after the revolution, many activists behind Friday's protest say few of the goals of the original uprising have been achieved. One rallying point is the claim that military rulers have failed to provide justice for the victims of the former regime.


Bank Of America Freezes Customer's Accounts After Nearly $3 Million In Mysterious Overdrafts

© Unknown
An unemployed single mom in Orlando either managed to overdraft nearly $3 million from her accounts at Bank of America or the bank's computers went haywire and mistakenly debited each of her three accounts to the tune of around $900,000. Regardless, the woman says BofA is attempting to close those accounts, leaving her and her family in dire financial straits.

When she attempted to log onto her account via the BofA website, the woman found she'd been locked out of her account. So she went to the bank to find out what was going on.

"They wouldn't give me any of my money and said they were in the process of closing my accounts and would send me a check in 10 to 15 business days," she tells Orlando's WESH TV.

Star of David

Dual Citizenship -- Loyal to Whom?

michael chertoff
© Unknown
Michael Chertoff, an Israeli citizen, the son of an Orthodox rabbi and a pioneer of the Mossad, headed the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice in 2001, and as such was responsible for the retention and destruction of all evidence regarding the 11th of September - from Pentagon cameras to World Trade Center beams. It is to him also that the "dancing Israelis" owe their discreet repatriation. In 2003, he was appointed to head the new Department of Homeland Security in charge of counter-terrorism on U.S. territory, which allows him to control dissent while continuing to restrict access to the file of Sept. 11 through the law of Sensitive Security Information.
Someone wrote and asked me, "Why are there Israeli- but not Mexican-American Dual Nationals?"

Well, here's my take on this. I'd also like your views and opinions.

Before I begin I'd like to say something important. There is a new law -- the so-called "Hate Speech" law, that just passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate and become law very soon. It was originally designed to guard against discrimination of oppressed minorities but was soon recognized as a way for Israel to forever end any criticism of the state of Israel and Zionism. When it is law, this page, and many like it will be deleted from the internet as yet another mile marker of the infringement of truth and free speech by certain dual-nationals at the expense of true and patriotic Americans. Enough said.

Unless we are Native American Indians, all Americans have their origins in some other country. Both of my parents were from England. They were proud to be "British" but they were most proud of achieving their American citizenship. Sure, we had pictures of the Queen and nick-nacks with the Union Jack on them. My mother even celebrated the traditional 4 o'clock tea time and was good at making Yorkshire Pudding. In the late 60's my older brother served in the US Army and did his tour in Viet Nam. When it came down to "allegiance," we were all patriotic Americans. Period.

The word "allegiance" means that we promise loyalty. It also carries with it the expectation that this loyalty will be exclusive and unrestrained. In the case of a declared war or real threat or conflict, for example, our allegiance to America should preclude any other interest, be it another country or political ideology.

When they took their oath to become American citizens, my parents had to pledge their "allegiance" exclusively to America and renounce their allegiance to "any and all foreign governments." That included Great Britain, one of our strongest allies.

Before Viewzone asked me to research the meaning of "dual citizenship," I had never heard of the term. How could someone be a citizen of two countries at the same time? But I was just ignorant. Dual nationalities and citizenships are quite common.

Card - VISA

Visa Again Blockades WikiLeaks' Credit Card Donations

wikileaks graphic
© n/a
U.S. credit card provider Visa said Thursday that a payment processor in Iceland briefly opened the floodgates to donations to secrets outlet WikiLeaks, so they took the necessary steps to close them again.

Icelandic payments processor DataCell had said the blockade was lifted yesterday after months of stalling from Visa and MasterCard, who cut off all funding for WikiLeaks in Dec. of last year.

The firm had contracted with another payments processor to enable WikiLeaks donations for a few brief hours, before Visa noticed and ordered it shut down.

DataCell previously threatened legal action against Visa and MasterCard over their blockade of WikiLeaks' payments, which they said had hurt their business. They did not file the necessary paperwork, however.


U.S. Internet Providers Agree to Block Subscribers Accused of Copyright Infringement

broken computer internet
© flickercommons
Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Cablevision Systems all said Thursday that they were implementing a series of "best practices" recommendations that would see the connections of subscribers accused of copyright violations slowed down or even temporarily blocked if the alleged offenses continue.

The adoption of these policies, proposed by The Center for Copyright Information represents another brick in the entertainment industry's firewall against online piracy and a significant defeat for Internet freedom advocates.

Unlike European "three strikes" policies which sever a user's Internet connection after their third alleged copyright offense, U.S. providers will not permanently disconnect anyone. Instead, a series of "mitigation measures" will be implemented to repeatedly notify the user in the event of a copyright infringement allegation.

After three notifications via email, Internet service providers (ISPs) may begin to throttle a user's bandwidth, significantly slowing down their access speeds.

Star of David

Israel bars pro-Palestinian activists "fly-tilla"

activist arrested
© AFP/Menahem Kahana
Israeli police arrest a left-wing activist at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, as a small group of protesters gathered to welcome pro-Palestinian activists who flew-in in a mass protest and to visit the West Bank.
Officials at Israel's main airport on Friday refused entry to 69 people they said were pro-Palestinian activists, and said most would be repatriated on the first available flights.

Immigration spokeswoman Sabine Hadad said that four people had already flown out of Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, and the remainder were in custody waiting to travel.

"They are from Spain, the Netherlands, many from France, Bulgaria, the United States, Germany," she told AFP. "Legally they have been refused entry, they are not in Israel."

Shortly after 9:00 pm (1800 GMT) prisons service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told AFP that 34 of the 69 had been moved to a nearby prison pending deportation and the rest were still at the airport.

Hadad said that during Friday 310 people were questioned on suspicion of taking part in the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign, which some have called the "flytilla," in which up to 800 activists were to fly in on a peaceful mission to visit Palestinian families.

"Sixty-nine were refused entry, all the rest entered," Hadad said.

But Israeli authorities said they largely managed to pre-empt the campaign by foreign activists -- most from France -- who are demonstrating for the right of access to the West Bank.

Light Saber

Book Review: "Among the Truthers"

among the Truthers book cover
© HarperCollins
Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground, by Jonathan Kay.
2011.HarperCollins, New York. 340 pages.

"Those such as Kay who seek to delegitimize the 9/11 Truth Movement infer that one should accept official explanations however ludicrous, and that to go off as individuals searching for veracity indicates defective cognition. But conspiracy theories, like scientific theories, gain strength as attempts to disprove them fail. The effort to stop the 9/11Truth Movement has been a bust. The Movement continues to attract well-informed critical thinkers, and Kay's book does nothing to slow the momentum. And while all of this is good, there is also threat implied, because those who attack the 9/11 Truth Movement appear to link to politically powerful elements known to be ruthless."

This book should be understood as part of a larger effort that encompasses Phil Mole's 2006 9/11 Conspiracy Theories published in Michael Shermer's Skeptic Magazine; David Aaronovitch's 2010 book Voodoo Histories; and the 2008 essay by Harvard lawyers Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, "Conspiracy Theories", in which, menacingly, Sunstein and Vermeule advocate for "cognitive infiltration" of citizen groups by governmental agents. What unites all of these, despite any pretense of objective academic interest in conspiracism per se, appears to be an underlying dread of a specific species that continues to grow globally and within all segments of society: 9/11.

Kay, a Canadian, is editor of the conservative National Post newspaper and a regular contributor to Murdoch's New York Post and to Commentary Magazine, a neoconservative standard. He coauthored a 2008 book, The Volunteer, an account of a Canadian working for Mossad, the Israeli Intelligence Service. He is a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a think tank whose leadership includes Newt Gingrich, Steve Forbes, Eric Cantor, William Kristol, Joe Lieberman, Charles Krauthammer, Gary Bauer and former directors of both the CIA and the FBI. "FDD" is a melding of hard right conservatism, the security state and family values fundamentalism, with Richard Perle adding an interesting Pentagon connection.