Puppet MastersS


US again bombs mourners

Another terrorist taken out by Team Obama. Hope and Change is great, isn't it?
In February, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism documented that after the U.S. kills people with drones in Pakistan, it then targets for death those who show up at the scene to rescue the survivors and retrieve the bodies, as well as those who gather to mourn the dead at funerals: "the CIA's drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals." As The New York Times summarized those findings: "at least 50 civilians had been killed in follow-up strikes after they rushed to help those hit by a drone-fired missile" while "the bureau counted more than 20 other civilians killed in strikes on funerals."

This repellent practice continues. Over the last three days, the U.S. has launched three separate drone strikes in Pakistan: one on each day. As The Guardian reports, the U.S. has killed between 20 and 30 people in these strikes, the last of which, early this morning, killed between 8 and 15. It was the second strike, on Sunday, that targeted mourners gathered to grieve those killed in the first strike:
At the time of the attack, suspected militants had gathered to offer condolences to the brother of a militant commander killed during another US unmanned drone attack on Saturday. The brother was one of those who died in the Sunday morning attack. The Pakistani officials said two of the dead were foreigners and the rest were Pakistani.

Che Guevara

Best of the Web: Northern Light: Why Canada's 'Casserole' Movement is All of Ours

© Alexis Gravel
I gave a talk last week at Canada's Wilfrid Laurier University to the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Many in the audience had pinned small red squares of felt to their clothing. The carre rouge, or red square, has become the Canadian symbol of revolt. It comes from the French phrase carrement dans le rouge, or "squarely in the red," referring to those crushed by debt.

The streets of Montreal are clogged nightly with as many as 100,000 protesters banging pots and pans and demanding that the old systems of power be replaced. The mass student strike in Quebec, the longest and largest student protest in Canadian history, began over the announcement of tuition hikes and has metamorphosed into what must swiftly build in the United States - a broad popular uprising. The debt obligation of Canadian university students, even with Quebec's proposed 82 percent tuition hike over several years, is dwarfed by the huge university fees and the $1 trillion of debt faced by U.S. college students. The Canadian students have gathered widespread support because they linked their tuition protests to Quebec's call for higher fees for health care, the firing of public sector employees, the closure of factories, the corporate exploitation of natural resources, new restrictions on union organizing, and an announced increase in the retirement age. Crowds in Montreal, now counting 110 days of protests, chant "On ne lâche pas" - "We're not backing down."

Eye 2

Best of the Web: Truth Rub In Your Face

Comment: We didn't quite believe it at first, but apparently the following videos are part of an advertising campaign for Hulu, an online video service jointly owned by NBCUniversal, News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company and essentially part of the move to saturate the Internet with mind-numbing garbage while the world burns.


War is America's New Economic Stimulus Policy

San Luis Obispo, Calif. - Yes, I'm mad as hell again. I just read some bad news that should make every American mad as hell. In fact, two bad news items.

First, as a U.S. Marine vet, I got angry reading that there have been more military suicides than war deaths the past decade. Yes, more Iraq and Afghan war vets have killed themselves than were killed by America's enemies in combat. And more are expected as we had more than two million serve in the two wars.

US Soldier
© ReutersA soldier from the U.S. Army's Charlie Company, 1/12 Infantry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division scans across the border at houses in Pakistan during a Sunday patrol near Dokalam village in Afghanistan's Kunar Province.
Second, if the economic, psychological, political and moral consequences of the past two wars aren't bad enough, many politicians and candidates - some of whom never served in the armed forces - are proposing that the full Congress pass the Ryan budget and force Pentagon generals to spend billions more than they requested.

This is insane. More taxpayer money for the Pentagon war machine? Why? We're winding down two wars. We're dealing with the tragedy of vet suicides. These same politicians whining about the debt and taxes. So why do they want to increase Pentagon spending? Do we love war that much? Are they planning to start a new war? Let's analyze this contradiction.

Yes, an epidemic: military suicides now exceed war deaths

The effort to increase Pentagon spending was already public knowledge since the House voted on the Ryan budget plan. But what really triggered the anger was a Newsweek feature, "We Pretend Our Vets Don't Even Exist," by Marine veteran Anthony Swofford. That put the spotlight on this new crisis, now an epidemic, one few are aware of, fewer care about.

Here are the hard facts: "About 18 veterans kill themselves each day. Thousands from the current wars have already done so. In fact, the number of U.S. soldiers who have died by their own hand is now estimated to be greater than the number (6,460) who have died in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Wake up folks. Something is wrong in our thinking. From the beginning we were in a trance, pretending the Iraq War would be short-lived, cheap and self-funded by oil revenues. Yes, from Day 1 the Iraq War was handled more like an economic stimulus program.

Remember, after 9/11 we were urged to focus on the economy, to spend, go to the mall shopping. Draft was unnecessary. And thanks to bonuses, we built a volunteer army, backed up by mercenaries, tens of thousands of private contractors.

We even hid photos of war casualties from the public, to sanitize the public's brain.


Best of the Web: Whatever Happened to Justice? Supreme Court OKs Police Tasering Pregnant Women

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Martin Luther King Jr.
© unknownThe Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving the Seattle PD's use of a Taser on pregnant woman Malaika Brooks (shown here with her daugher).
Once again, the United States Supreme Court has proven Clarence Darrow, a civil liberties attorney and long-time advocate for the Constitution, correct in his assertion that "there is no such thing as justice - in or out of court." In meting out this particular miscarriage of justice, the Supreme Court recently refused to hear the case of a pregnant woman who was repeatedly tasered by Seattle police during a routine traffic stop simply because she refused to sign a speeding ticket.

Malaika Brooks, 33 years old and seven months pregnant, was driving her 11-year-old son to school on a November morning in 2004, when she was pulled over for driving 32 mph in a 20 mph school zone. Instructing her son to walk the rest of the way to school, Malaika handed over her driver's license to Officer Juan Ornelas for processing. However, when instructed to sign the speeding ticket - which the state inexplicably requires, Malaika declared that she wished to contest the charge, insisting that she had not done anything wrong and fearing that signing the ticket would signify an admission of guilt.

What happened next is a cautionary tale for anyone who still thinks that they can defy a police officer, even if it's simply to disagree about a speeding ticket. Rather than issuing a verbal warning to the clearly pregnant (and understandably emotional) woman, Officer Ornelas called for backup. Officer Donald Jones subsequently arrived and told Brooks to sign the ticket. Again she refused. The conversation became heated. The cops called in more backup. The next to arrive was Sergeant Steven Daman, who directed Brooks to sign the ticket, pointing out that if she failed to do so, she would be arrested and taken to jail. Again, Malaika refused.


Propaganda Alert: Deputy al-Qaida leader -alibi- killed in drone strike

© UnknownAbu Yahya al-Libi
Deputy al-Qaida leader Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan, U.S. officials told NBC News.

A U.S. drone struck a militant compound early Monday morning in North Waziristan, part of Pakistan's northwestern tribal area. Pakistan security reports indicated the pre-dawn strike killed 15 insurgents. That brought the total killed in three attacks over the past several days to nearly 30.

Al-Libi was a leading al-Qaida operative who was viewed as one of five candidates to succeed Osama bin Laden as leader of the terrorist group when he was killed last year.

Comment: A Boo?

Eye 1

30,000 secret surveillance orders approved each year

© Jonathan McIntosh
If the government spies on you but brings no charges, you'll never know.

A federal judge estimates that his fellow federal judges issue a total of 30,000 secret electronic surveillance orders each year - and the number is probably growing. Though such orders have judicial oversight, few emerge from any sort of adversarial proceeding and many are never unsealed at all. Those innocent of any crime are unlikely to know they have ever been the target of an electronic search.

In a new paper, called "Gagged, Sealed & Delivered" (PDF), US Magistrate Judge Stephen Smith bashes this culture of continuing secrecy. (Magistrate judges are important members of the federal judiciary; they handle many of the more routine judicial matters, such as warrant applications and initial case management.) In his work as a judge, Smith has become dismayed by the huge number of electronic surveillance orders he sees and by the secrecy that accompanies them.

When police execute a traditional search warrant, they generally bring with them a copy of that warrant and show it to the homeowner or target of the search. That's not always the case, of course; sometimes warrants remain sealed while a case is in progress so as not to tip off a suspect.


Washington's Terrorists: US 'diplomats' arrested for transporting weapons in Pakistan

© Press TVThe entrance to the Peshawar Motorway (file photo)
The Pakistani police have arrested three US diplomats in the city of Peshawar for possession of illegal arms.

Police officials told Dawn TV that the diplomats, along with three Pakistani nationals, were stopped at a routine checkpoint at the entrance to the Peshawar Motorway on Monday but they refused to allow the police to search their vehicles.

The police checked the "suspicious cars" anyway and discovered several assault rifles, pistols, and ammunition.

US Consul General Mary Richard visited the police station where the US nationals are being held for questioning and told the police they could keep the weapons but asked them to release the US diplomats.

In January 2011, Raymond Davis, a CIA agent operating under the cover of a diplomat, shot and killed two Pakistanis in Lahore, triggering a diplomatic crisis.


Let them eat cake! Unemployed bussed in to steward river pageant for free while British Royal Family swans down Thames

Some of those hired as stewards had to spend the night before the pageant sleeping under London Bridge.
Coachloads of jobless people brought in to work unpaid on river pageant as part of Work Programme

A group of long-term unemployed jobseekers were bussed into London to work as unpaid stewards during the diamond jubilee celebrations and told to sleep under London Bridge before working on the river pageant.

Up to 30 jobseekers and another 50 people on apprentice wages were taken to London by coach from Bristol, Bath and Plymouth as part of the government's Work Programme.

Two jobseekers, who did not want to be identified in case they lost their benefits, said they had to camp under London Bridge the night before the pageant. They told the Guardian they had to change into security gear in public, had no access to toilets for 24 hours, and were taken to a swampy campsite outside London after working a 14-hour shift in the pouring rain on the banks of the Thames on Sunday.


Washington's terrorists kill 80 Syrians as US pulls out of ceasefire

© Hons/APSyrians look at an army tank damaged in clashes between rebels and government forces in the northern town of Ariha, in Idlib province.
Syrian rebels killed at least 80 government soldiers at the weekend, an opposition watchdog has said.

The attacks came after rebels warned they would act if Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, failed to observe a UN-backed ceasefire.

The latest violence, and Assad's defiant speech to parliament on Sunday, raised questions about how long the UN and Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan, can realistically pursue his peace plan.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said local doctors had confirmed the names of 80 dead soldiers.

Insurgents told the British-based group they had killed more than 100 soldiers and destroyed some tanks in clashes across Syria, including in Damascus and Idlib province, in the north-west.