Puppet MastersS

Black Cat

Best of the Web: R.I.P. America

© corporatecriminalsexposed.com
It has been painful and disgusting for me to watch the US continue to devolve into a beast worse than any real or perceived 'terrorist'. With the passage of The Defense Authorization Act, aka: Bill S.1867, the leadership of America has proven to the world that are psychopathic, traitorous, treasonous and do not stand for anything that has made America in the past the beacon of freedom, liberty, democracy and hope in this world. They have also proven they are anti-freedom, anti-liberty, anti-democracy, anti-justice, and anti-rule of law.

Whatever scant remains of a moral high ground the US government may have claimed in the midst of all of its grotesque lies and misdeeds, and its malfeasance of office since 9-11-2001, it was forfeited it with the passage of S.1867.

When any citizen of the US can be perceived, deemed, or even deliberately painted as an enemy combatant of 'this government', that person can now be detained without trial indefinitely. To Hell with the US Constitution, to Hell with the 4th, 5th and 14th Amendments, to Hell with the right of habeas corpus, and the Bill of Rights and the law of the land. Any sense of decency, any sense of veracity, any sense of leadership was sacrificed with the passage of this monstrously un-Constitutional bill by the Senate and House.

Bad Guys

The Utter Insanity of Attacking Iran's Nuclear Sites

Sometimes the obvious needs stating.

If or, rather (it appears), when Iran's nuclear sites are attacked we know that the consequences will be dreadful for Iranians and probably everyone else on the planet.The consequences might easily also provide a horrible surprise for those who expect to profit from the global cataclysm that will almost certainly ensue.

Bad Guys

Best of the Web: A Christmas Message From America's Rich

Wall Street Sign
© Dario Cantatore/Getty

It seems America's bankers are tired of all the abuse. They've decided to speak out.

True, they're doing it from behind the ropeline, in front of friendly crowds at industry conferences and country clubs, meaning they don't have to look the rest of America in the eye when they call us all imbeciles and complain that they shouldn't have to apologize for being so successful.

But while they haven't yet deigned to talk to protesting America face to face, they are willing to scribble out some complaints on notes and send them downstairs on silver trays. Courtesy of a remarkable story by Max Abelson at Bloomberg, we now get to hear some of those choice comments.

Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus, for instance, is not worried about OWS:
"Who gives a crap about some imbecile?" Marcus said. "Are you kidding me?"
Former New York gurbernatorial candidate Tom Golisano, the billionaire owner of the billing firm Paychex, offered his wisdom while his half-his-age tennis champion girlfriend hung on his arm:
"If I hear a politician use the term 'paying your fair share' one more time, I'm going to vomit," said Golisano, who turned 70 last month, celebrating the birthday with girlfriend Monica Seles, the former tennis star who won nine Grand Slam singles titles.

War Whore

Univision Promoting War with Iran?

In a Univision documentary it is being alleged that Iran, Venezuela and Cuba are joining forces to plan attacks on the United States. According to the documentary the three countries are meeting in Mexico to plan terrorist attacks greater than 9/11 on the US. Some right-wing US lawmakers are taking these allegations seriously, or is it all propaganda? Jamal Abdi, policy director of the National Iranian American Council, joins us to sort through the evidence.


Finland "Finds Patriot Missiles" on China-Bound Ship

© AP PhotoPatriot missile systems are supplied to US allies
The Finnish authorities have impounded an Isle of Man-flagged ship bound for China with undeclared missiles and explosives, officials say. Police are questioning the crew of the MS Thor Liberty after what were described as 69 Patriot anti-missile missiles were found aboard. Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen said the missiles were marked "fireworks".

The MS Thor Liberty had docked in the Finnish port of Kotka after leaving Germany last week. Dock workers became suspicious after finding explosives poorly stored on open pallets, and the missiles were then found in containers marked "fireworks".

The managing director of the ship's owner, Thorco Shipping, expressed surprise. Thomas Mikkelsen told AFP news agency from Denmark that he was unaware of the matter. Another company official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the ship had been detained in Finland and said the missiles could have been loaded on to the vessel by mistake, AFP adds.

Police did not confirm Finnish media reports that the ship had also been scheduled to stop in South Korea, Reuters news agency reports.


Dozens die as bombs explode across Baghdad

Attacks ratchet up sectarian tensions at a time when many Iraqis were already worried about security

A wave of bombings ripped across Baghdad on Thursday morning, killing at least 69 people and injuring almost 200 in the worst violence Iraq has seen for months. The apparently coordinated attacks left a bloodbath just days after American forces left the country.

The blasts also came on the heels of a political crisis between Iraq's Sunni and Shiite factions that erupted this weekend.

The political spat has raised fears that Iraq's sectarian wounds will be reopened during a fragile time when Iraq is finally navigating its own political future without U.S. military support.

The string of explosions will ratchet up tensions at a time when many Iraqis are already worried about security. If continued, it could lead to the same type of tit-for-tat attacks that characterized the insurgency years ago.

At least 14 blasts went off in the morning and there were two more in the evening.

The White House on Thursday said in response to the attacks, "At this difficult time, the United States stands with Iraq as a strategic partner and a close friend. Attempts such as this to derail Iraq's continued progress will fail."

"We continue to urge leaders to come together to face common challenges," the White House said.

Comment: It's certainly not a coincidence that the supposedly "sectarian violence" commenced right when the American troops are supposedly "leaving" Iraq, but not for the reasons mainstream media wants us to believe. A few staged False Flag Operations will keep everyone scared and show that the government of Iraq is weak, in desperate need for the help of their American "friends".


US Military 'Ready to Engage in a Conflict with Iran'

© Reuters/EPAIran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and President Barack Obama
America's most senior military official has indicated that the country is ready to engage in a conflict with Iran, if President Barack Obama were to give the signal.

Tensions have been growing in the region following international condemnation over Tehran's growing nuclear ambitions.

Last month, Britain's ambassador to Iran was expelled from the country following attacks on the British Embassy. The US is also involved in a standoff over a downed spy drone, which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has refused to return despite America's requests.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, said that the US military had reached a point where they were ready to execute force against Iran if necessary.

In an interview with US media in Afghanistan he said: "We are examining a range of options. I'm satisfied that the options that we are developing are evolving to a point that they would be executable if necessary."

His comments come just days after Leon Panetta, US secretary of defence, said "no options were off the table" in stopping Iran develop a nuclear weapon.

Bad Guys

The Drone That Fell From the Sky: What a Busted Robot Airplane Tells Us About the American Empire in 2012 and Beyond

© unknown
An Introduction by Tom Engelhardt

It's 10 pm. Do you know where your drone is?

Oh, the confusion of it all! The U.S. military now insists it was deeply befuddled when it claimed that a super-secret advanced RQ-170 Sentinel drone (aka "the beast of Kandahar") which fell into Iranian hands on December 4th -- evidently while surveying suspected nuclear sites -- was lost patrolling the Afghan border. The military, said a spokesman, "did not have a good understanding of what was going on because it was a CIA mission."

Whatever happened, that lost drone story hit the headlines in a way that allowed everyone their Warholian 15 minutes of fame. Dick Cheney went on the air to insist that President Obama should have sent Air Force planes into Iran to blow the grounded Sentinel to bits. (Who cares about sparking off hostilities or sending global oil prices skyrocketing?) President Obama formally asked for the plane's return, but somehow didn't have high hopes that the Iranians would comply. (Check out Gary Powers and the downing of his U-2 spy plane over Russia in 1960 for a precedent.) Defense Secretary Leon Panetta swore we would never stop our Afghan-based drone surveillance of Iran. Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked that his country be kept out of any "adversarial relations between Iran and the United States." (Fat chance!) The Iranians, who displayed the plane, insisted proudly that they had hacked into it, "spoofed" its navigational controls, and brought it in for a relatively soft landing. And Kim Kardashian... oops, wrong story.


SOTT Focus: This is Where the American Illusion Comes to an End - 2012 The End of the World As We Know It

"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression.... There is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such a twilight that we must be most aware of change in the air -- however slight -- lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." -- William O. Douglas, US Supreme Court Justice from 1939--1975
US flag at Guantanamo
© Brennan Linsley/Pool/ReutersA US flag waves within the razor wire-lined compound of Camp Delta prison at Guantánamo Bay in 2006
Ever since the US Senate approved the infamous FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act I have been in a very pessimistic mood. A few days ago there was hope that Obama would veto it - not because the man and his lawyers had concerns about the beating that civil and human rights would take thereby, but because the language would "challenge or constrain the president's ability to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, and protect the American people"; in other words, because the authority of the president could somehow be limited (God forbid). Now that slim hope is gone; Obama has withdrawn the threat of veto and nothing stands in the way of an iron boot kicking any of us, American or not, all the way to Guantanamo Bay.

Could it be any worse than that? The situation was bad already with Bush and his gang of neocons pushing the envelope on shredding the U.S. Constitution. Remember how naive we were to entertain the idea that a change of administration would put all that draconian nonsense to an end? That Barack Obama really was about "Change" and would put things to right that had gone so wrong under the Bush Administration? Some people still hold on to that hope because they genuinely believe that the United States is an essentially democratic country which works on solid principles of morality and justice, even if now and then it gets sidetracked. Surely good-looking, well-spoken Barack would make things right, yes?

As someone who was born and raised south of the border, I always found the myopic belief of the American people in their institutions and government quite alien to my own experience. In my country people also believe in democracy and justice, but only as principles that hopefully can be materialized one day. The overwhelming majority is naturally distrustful of their government, thanks to its long history of corruption and the social inequalities that come with it. Likewise, they are distrustful of the US government which so much likes to get involved in the affairs of other countries. In contrast, the American culture that reached me through the mass media portrayed people quite proud of their government and the military. (The military! Where I come from the military is only thought of in the most derogatory terms when, at 17-18 years old, you are trying your best to avoid military service, and you would certainly be considered to be out of your mind or in desperate need if you chose a military career.)

When I was younger this American pride produced in me a mixture of admiration and jealousy. Later, as I got better acquainted with politics and American intervention, I regarded this attitude with puzzlement and contempt. In recent years I have felt mostly sorry for the ignorance most US citizens are forced to live in, and admiration for those precious few who can see the true nature of their authorities and have the courage to speak up, and who have taught me so much. I have also tried to understand that many Americans, having enjoyed excellent living-standards for generations, never got bitten by the consequences of the corruption, greed and imperialism of their leaders.

Until now, that is.


Best of the Web: US: Congress Cuts Winter Heating Aid For The Poor While Boosting The Defense Budget

Federal Budget
Poverty in America is only getting worse, with data showing rising income inequality and the startling fact that half of all Americans are now either in poverty or considered low-income. Were it not for the government programs that comprise the social safety net, those numbers would be even worse. More than a quarter would live in poverty without the safety net, according to one study, and Social Security alone kept 14 million out of poverty last year. Despite that, Congress - and particularly Republicans in Congress - have made cuts to various programs meant to aid the poorest Americans.

Congress reached a deal Thursday to avert a shutdown that would have begun at midnight tonight, and in doing so, Republicans found another low-income program to target, cutting funding for subsidies that help the poor stay warm during the winter by nearly 25 percent. At the same time, however, the Pentagon's budget is getting a 1 percent boost, as the Associated Press noted:
Highlights of the $1 trillion-plus 2012 spending legislation in Congress:

- $518 billion for the Pentagon's core budget, a 1 percent boost, excluding military operations overseas. [...]

- $3.5 billion for low-income heating and utility subsidies, a cut of about 25 percent.