Puppet MastersS


Book

The assassination manual

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In one sense the Obama administration's reported creation of a "playbook" establishing rules for killing alleged terrorists helps to meet calls from outside commentators - this one included - to clarify the criteria that are being applied to such assassinations. Writing this kind of manual, however, has another side. It represents the institutionalization of worldwide assassinations as a regular, ongoing business of the United States government. As such it raises larger questions, which the playbook might not address at all, of how an assassination program does or does not conform with the pursuit of U.S. national interests.

Institutionalization of anything entails a bias toward its indefinite continuation, and maybe even its expansion. This tendency has often been discussed regarding other government programs, sometimes with a tie-in to what is outside government. The military-industrial complex about which Eisenhower warned, for example, represents a bias toward big defense expenditures and military operations to justify such expenditures. Likewise, it has often been remarked that creation of a bureaucracy to run domestic program X immediately creates a vested interest in favor of continuing and even expanding program X. Why should such tendencies not be just as likely to appear with an assassination program?

War Whore

Former Special Forces Commander: Was U.S. running guns to Syrian rebels via Benghazi?

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Retired Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin
Retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin - who is the former commander of the U.S. Special Forces Command, the former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and who, in the 1990s, worked with the CIA - told CNSNews.com in a video interview last week that he believes it is a reasonable supposition that the U.S. was supporting or planning to support the Syrian rebels via Benghazi, Libya.

The CIA, however, says Boykin's supposition is erroneous and that the U.S. was not conducting or planning covert action to support Syrian rebels through Benghazi.

"These assertions are both baseless and flat wrong," a CIA spokesperson told CNSNews.com on Tuesday.

Here is the video of retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin talking to CNSNews.com about his supposition that the U.S. was conducting, or planning, a covert action to support the Syrian rebels through Benghazi, Libya:


Chess

Mali: the fastest blowback yet in this disastrous war on terror

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© Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty ImagesDiabaly, 21 January 2013. ‘France is the last country to sort out Mali's problems, having created quite a few of them in the first place.'
French intervention in Mali will fuel terrorism, but the west's buildup in Africa is also driven by the struggle for resources.

To listen to David Cameron's rhetoric this week, it could be 2001 all over again. Eleven years into the war on terror, it might have been Tony Blair speaking after 9/11. As the bloody siege of the part BP-operated In Amenas gas plant in Algeria came to an end, the British prime minister claimed, like George Bush and Blair before him, that the country faced an "existential" and "global threat" to "our interests and way of life".

While British RAF aircraft backed French military intervention against Islamist rebels in Mali, and troops were reported to be on alert for deployment to the west African state, Cameron promised that a "generational struggle" would be pursued with "iron resolve". The fight over the new front in the terror war in North Africa and the Sahel region, he warned, could go on for decades.

So in austerity-blighted Britain, just as thousands of soldiers are being made redundant, while Barack Obama has declared that "a decade of war is now ending", armed intervention is being ratcheted up in yet another part of the Muslim world. Of course, it's French troops in action this time. But even in Britain the talk is of escalating drone attacks and special forces, and Cameron has refused to rule out troops on the ground.

Eye 2

Shock claim: Obama only wants military leaders who 'will fire on U.S. citizens'

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© Credits: sodahead.comThis would explain why he wants to disarm us...
Had the following comments been made on a fringe corner of the internet most would dismiss them as outright conjecture. However, what you are about to read comes from one of the world's foremost philanthropists, Jim Garrow, who has spent tens of millions of dollars of his own money to help over 35,000 Chinese baby girls from near certain death under China's one-child-per-couple policy.

He was one of the 206 nominees for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, which was ultimately awarded to President Barack Obama.

Garrow, who has friends in high places, including the U.S. military, made a startling claim on his Facebook page Sunday, which if true, should leave no doubt about why the Obama administration is moving full force to seize firearms from law abiding Americans and why the US government's law enforcement and security assets have been making preparations for years in anticipation of social breakdown and widespread civil unrest.

Stormtrooper

These misguided Muslim 'Sharia squads' are playing right into the EDL's hands

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The vigilantes exposed by YouTube are as repugnant to ordinary Muslims as the EDL are to ordinary Christians; don't let them give Sharia a bad name.

Now here's a news story to inflame the prejudice of internet Islamophobes... No wait, I'm a practising Muslim and this gets my blood boiling too; a string of videos under the name 'Muslim Patrol' recently surfaced on YouTube, showing Muslim vigilantes on night patrols in London streets. In an attempt to rid our streets of the perceived evils of democracy and secularism, one video (which has since been taken down) shows a disoriented, young man, harassed by the Sharia squad and cowed into giving alcohol as the reason for his sorry state.

Others show a non-Muslim couple warned from coming too near to Whitechapel's East London Mosque and a woman hustled away from a 'Muslim area' because her attire contravened Islamic dress codes. In the words of one of the culprits, this was an example of "vigilantes implementing Islam upon your own necks". Another clip, (posted some months ago and, it should be noted, apparently by an English Defence League member) features a group of Muslims on a prostitution purge. One man in a warden uniform tries to apprehend a female passerby, calling her a whore after a brief altercation.

Eye 1

Orlando, Florida patrolled by surveillance drones as early as this summer

When Congress passed a bill last February allowing unmanned drones to fly American skies it became only a matter of time before UAVs patrolled U.S. cities for local law enforcement. While most drones in the U.S. are flown along the Mexican border, the Orange County Sheriff's Office wants to put them over metro Orlando within the next few months. The Greater Orlando metropolitan area is home to more than 2 million residents and is Florida's third largest city.
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Thermal drone image of a house showing rafters in the roof and the heat lamps in the bathroom
Dan Tracy at the Orlando Sentinel reports the local sheriff wants a pair of unarmed UAVs able to record the activities of everyday citizens and criminals alike.

From the Sentinel:
Sheriff's spokesman Jeff Williamson ... would not say exactly how the drones would be used, he wrote in an email that they might be deployed when looking for explosives, barricaded suspects and to inspect "hostile/inaccessible terrain" or at train accidents.

As for civil-rights concerns, Williamson wrote, "The OCSO has the privacy of its citizenry as a foremost concern. The device will only be put into operations on the command of the high risk incident commander."

Eye 1

I Spy: Homeland Security is researching a huge new public surveillance system

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Secret Service have requested information to support the installation of a gunshot detection system in Washington D.C. Such a system is already in place in various cities, as outlined last May by The New York Times, and it records a whole lot more than gunshots. A sergeant for the Richmond Police Department told the Times he could hear, "doors slamming, birds chirping, cars on the highway, horns honking."

These systems can also record conversations, which raises questions about the limits of police surveillance. Indeed, one murder case in New Bedford, Mass. is expected to hinge on a recorded argument, according to the Times. The main supplier of the current system is ShotSpotter, which lists Lockheed Martin and the Ferguson Group as two of its three Strategic Partners.

Attention

Goldman Sachs made $400 million betting on food prices in 2012 while hundreds of millions starved

Starving Child
© The Economic Collapse Blog
Why does it seem like wherever there is human suffering, some giant bank is making money off of it? According to a new report from the World Development Movement, Goldman Sachs made about 400 million dollars betting on food prices last year.

Overall, 2012 was quite a banner year for Goldman Sachs. As I reported in a previous article, revenues for Goldman increased by about 30 percent in 2012 and the price of Goldman stock has risen by more than 40 percent over the past 12 months. It is estimated that the average banker at Goldman brought in a pay and bonus package of approximately $396,500 for 2012. So without a doubt, Goldman Sachs is swimming in money right now. But what is the price for all of this "success"?

Many claim that the rampant speculation on food prices by the big banks has dramatically increased the global price of food and has caused the suffering of hundreds of millions of poor families around the planet to become much worse. At this point, global food prices are more than twice as high as they were back in 2003.

Approximately 2 billion people on the planet spend at least half of their incomes on food, and close to a billion people regularly do not have enough food to eat. Is it moral for Goldman Sachs and other big banks such as Barclays and Morgan Stanley to make hundreds of millions of dollars betting on the price of food if that is going to drive up global food prices and make it harder for poor families all over the world to feed themselves?

Pistol

Connie Mack: Ban LGBT marriage, but 'you cannot legislate morality' on guns

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Connie Mack speaks to CNN
A former Republican congressman from Florida who has voted to ban same sex marriage says that "you cannot legislate morality" when it comes to guns.

During a Wednesday panel discussion on CNN, host Soledad O'Brien said that she could understand NRA executive director Wayne LaPierre's point of view that the federal government would be punishing people if it kept a list of assault weapon purchases.

"It's a punishment because then the government uses it as a form of intimidation," former Rep. Connie Mack (FL) told O'Brien. "This is the first step that the Obama administration wants to do. They want to go much farther than this. And there's a lot of people, including myself, that don't believe the federal government should have this type of registry."

USA

More cannon fodder: Pentagon to overturn ban on women in military combat roles

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© Photograph: Paula Bronstein/Getty ImagesPanetta's decision gives the military until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.
Move announced by defence secretary Leon Panetta will allow women to serve in infantry and commando units for first time.

Women could assume combat roles in the US army for the first time as early as this year, following a landmark decision by defense secretary Leon Panetta to lift a military ban on women serving on the frontline.

The groundbreaking move could open up hundreds of thousands of frontline positions, and could see women working in elite commando units.

One official told the Associated Press, which revealed details of the move, that military chiefs will report to the Pentagon on how to integrate women into combat roles by 15 May.

Panetta's decision was hailed as a "historic step" by one senator and could eventually open up 230,000 jobs to female military personnel. The Pentagon had previously opened around 14,500 combat positions to women in February 2012, but females were still prevented from serving in the infantry, in tank units and in commando units.

Women, although banned from serving in combat roles, have been heavily involved in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 12 years, serving as pilots, military police, intelligence officers and other roles attached to, if not formally part of, frontline units. By last year, around 130 women had died and 800 had been wounded since the wars began.