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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.


Political Bread and Circuses for the Masses While the World is Burning: Russia's Summer of Fire, Intrigue, Political Mystery

Is lightning striking twice in the same place? Kommersant has sounded the tocsin, warning that once again peat bogs around Moscow are burning: "According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, on Sunday in the region around Moscow sixteen wildfires broke out simultaneously."

Authorities said that the fires have been extinguished, but Kommersant quoted Grigory Kuksin, of Greenpeace Russia, who refuted the good news. "In the Gus-Khrustalny district alone, five fires are burning," Kuksin said. "The situation in the region is bad. There aren't enough resources to put out fires or even contain them."

The bogs currently ablaze may prefigure a return of the catastrophic wildfires that last summer coincided with a record-shattering heat wave and raged for weeks, generating lethal smog that blanketed the capital, wrought billions of dollars worth of damage and, at least indirectly, caused tens of thousands of deaths.

Disaster may well hit again. Zhivoy Zhurnal published a photo of a grim poster of unknown provenance that has mysteriously been turning up in the capital's elevators. The poster states: "In accordance with predictions of an emergency in 2011, the threat of wildfires in the Moscow region continues."


Universal Music passwords exposed by Anonymous hack

AntiSec strikes again

Universal Music websites suffered a breach that exposed the usernames and passwords of fans of bands who had signed up for updates on their favourite musicians.

Infamous hacktivist group Anonymous claimed responsibility for the hack as part of its AntiSec campaign, which aims to expose the weak spots in the internet security of big firms and government organisations. The group released a cache of files stolen from Universal as well as similar data extracted from Viacom, the Wall Street Journal adds.

Eye 1

US: Police say hackers targeted Orlando mayor

Orlando police said Wednesday they are treating a photo taken by computer hackers outside the mayor's house as a threat.

Members of the group Anonymous, which has been launching cyberattacks on Orlando-related websites, turned up the dial on what it calls "Operation Orlando."

During the weekend, the group posted online a nighttime picture taken outside Mayor Buddy Dyer's home in College Park. One of the group's telltale Guy Fawkes masks, made famous in the 2006 film V for Vendetta, was left hanging from a street sign.

Star of David

'Israel Distorts Gaza Flotilla Facts': Interview with Joe Catron, International Solidarity Movement, Gaza


A French boat, as part of an international aid flotilla II, is on its way to the Palestinian territories while other activists are determined to get to the blockaded Palestinian enclave by air.

This comes as Greece has blocked the international flotilla II from leaving its ports.

Press TV interviewed Joe Catron, who is with the International Solidarity Movement, to shed light on Israel's aggressive nature in its efforts to stop activists from reaching the impoverished Gaza Strip.

Press TV: The Israeli argument is that the sea blockade stops weapons from reaching Hamas...and both the US administration and Israel have said the Freedom Flotilla is a "political provocation". What is your take on that?

Catron: Well I am on the record as saying that it is in fact a political provocation, people can call it a propaganda ploy as well if they want to. Knowing something about the fundraising that I wish it had been cheaper than it actually was.

Efforts to claim that is unnecessary because of aid coming to Gaza are cheap contemptible efforts to change the subject and reframe the debate.

Off course Gaza is seeing a massive international aid. That is not the issue. This flotilla has never been about the international aid, it's never claim to be about international aid, and the Zionists who pretend otherwise are making fools of themselves publicly.

The goals of the flotilla are to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people who are resisting the Israeli colonialism and occupation, that is the mission and that is our goal.


Kenyans Protest Over GM Maize Imports

Kenyan farmers say genetically modified crops threaten their survival
Hundreds of people have marched in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, against government plans to import genetically modified (GM) maize.

They were protesting at reports that Kenya would lift its restrictions on GM crops following a recent drought, leading to maize shortages.

The demonstrators said they believed a shipment had already arrived and feared it could contaminate the soil.

Kenyan millers want to import cheap GM maize to cope with the shortages.

The BBC's Odhiambo Joseph in Nairobi says the protesters included farmers and environmentalists.

"The importation of GM maize is a ploy by leading millers to kill us - the small-scale farmer," protester Gacheke Gachihi said.

The march was organized by the African Biodiversity Network and the Unga Revolution.


Criminal Assault on the Planet! Monsanto's Agent Orange Being Used to Clear Amazon Forest

© Wikipedia Commons
Agent Orange is one of the most devastating weapons of modern warfare, a chemical which killed or injured an estimated 400,000 people during the Vietnam War - and now it's being used against the Amazon rainforest. According to officials, ranchers in Brazil have begun spraying the highly toxic herbicide over patches of forest as a covert method to illegally clear foliage, more difficult to detect that chainsaws and tractors. In recent weeks, an aerial survey detected some 440 acres of rainforest that had been sprayed with the compound - poisoning thousands of trees and an untold number of animals, potentially for generations.

Officials from Brazil's environmental agency IBAMA were first tipped to the illegal clearing by satellite images of the forest in Amazonia; a helicopter flyover in the region later revealed thousands of trees left ash-colored and defoliated by toxic chemicals. IBAMA says that Agent Orange was likely dispersed by aircraft by a yet unidentified rancher to clear the land for pasture because it is more difficult to detect than traditional operations that require chainsaws and tractors.

2 + 2 = 4

9/11: as it happened on the ground

A ten-minute collection of audio-video clips from the base of the WTC on 9/11 that will forever change the way you think of that event.

It features numerous reporters from different networks, many emergency services personnel, and many survivors describing repeatedly secondary explosions within the Twin Towers, suspicious devices, an exploding van parked inside one of the buildings, and similar occurrences -- all real time, as they happened on 9/11, and that somehow or other disappeared from the media record shortly afterward. Proof positive that the impacting planes alone did not bring down the Twin Towers.


The "War On Terror" Is A $6 Trillion Racket, With $1 Trillion In Interest Alone, Exceeding The Total Cost Of World War II


When Obama launched his re-election propaganda campaign to trick the American public into thinking that he intends to end the Af-Pak War, he said that the "War on Terror" has cost $1 trillion over the past decade. While that is a staggering amount of money, he was being deceitful once again.

As you may have heard, a newly released study by the Eisenhower Research Project at Brown University revealed that the cost of the War on Terror is significantly greater than Obama has said. The little passing coverage the study received in the mainstream press cited $3.7 trillion as the total cost, which was the most conservative estimate. The moderate estimate, which the mainstream media ignored, was $4.4 trillion. In addition, interest payments on these costs will most likely exceed $1 trillion, which brings the total cost up to at least $5.4 trillion. The report also states that the following costs are not even included in this total:
"These totals do not inclue: Medicare costs for injured veterans after age 65; Expenses for veterans paid for by state and local government budgets; Promised $5.3 billion reconstruction aid for Afghanistan; Additional macroeconomic consequences of war spending including infrastructure and jobs."
David Callahan, reporting for The Policy Shop, summed up the report's cost estimates:
"... the total direct and indirect costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may exceed $6 trillion.... That figure comes from combining congressional appropriations for the wars over the past decade ($1.3 trillion), additional spending by the Pentagon related to the wars ($326 - $652 billion), interest so far on Pentagon war appropriations, all of which was borrowed ($185 billion), immediate medical costs for veterans ($32 billion), war related foreign aid ($74 billion), homeland security spending ($401 billion), projected medical costs for veterans through 2051 ($589 - $934 billion), social costs to military families ($295 - $400 billion), projected Pentagon war spending and foreign aid as troops wind down in the two war zones ($453 billion); and interest payments on all this spending through 2020 ($1 trillion)."


China plans to sell 'combat, surveillance drones' to Pakistan, Middle East, Africa: Report

© unknown
With an accelerating drone industry, China is fast catching up to the United States and plans to sell combat and surveillance drones to Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa, according to a news report.

The large number of drones at recent exhibitions underlines not only China's determination to catch up in that sector by building equivalents to the leading US combat and surveillance models, the Predator and the Global Hawk, but also its desire to sell this technology abroad, The Washington Post reports.

According to the Aviation Industry Corp. of China, it has begun offering international customers a combat and surveillance drone comparable to the Predator called the Yilong, or "pterodactyl" in English.

Zhang Qiaoliang, a representative of the Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute, which manufactures many of the most advanced military aircraft for the People's Liberation Army, said that the company anticipates sales in Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa.