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25 Suspected Anonymous Hackers Arrested in International Sweep

February 29th, 2012 - by admin

Los Angeles Times Blog – 2012-02-29 01:27:56


(February 28, 2012) — Twenty-five alleged hackers from the freewheeling, decentralized Anonymous protest movement have been arrested across Europe and South America in a massive sweep coordinated by Interpol, an agency based in France that links police around the world.

Suspects arrested in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain were believed to have carried out coordinated digital attacks against the Colombian Ministry of Defense, a Chilean electrical company and other targets, the Associated Press reported.

The Spanish national police said Tuesday that they had arrested four “cyberdelinquents” tied to Anonymous, accused of blocking and defacing websites of political parties, institutions and businesses. Authorities seized 25 personal computers, hard drives and other equipment for analysis. Two servers used by the group in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic were blocked.

One of the arrestees, known by the aliases “Thunder” and “Pacotron,” was believed to be in charge of the Anonymous infrastructure in Spain and Latin America, Spanish police said.

The Interpol website was down Tuesday evening. Online chatter hinted that Anonymous had carried off a revenge attack, echoing retaliatory hacks in the past when other members were arrested.

“interpol.int seems to be #TangoDown. We can’t say that this surprises us much,” an Anonymous account tweeted.

The loosely linked band of hackers has carried off a number of cyber attacks, many of them with activist aims, such as opposing broad bills against online piracy or supporting the “Arab Spring” protests.

In December, it brought down the Stratfor security think tank server and claimed to have stolen credit card numbers from its clients to nab money for Christmas donations.

Last year, it claimed to have obtained emails, credit card information and other sensitive data from U.S. police websites in retaliation for the arrests of alleged members in the U.S. and Britain.

The year before, it said it had attacked PayPal as part of “Operation Avenge Assange” after PayPal decided to stop processing donations for WikiLeaks, which many of its members admire.

And just a few weeks ago, it posted a 16-minute recording of an FBI conference call with foreign policing agencies about two British teenagers allegedly tied to the hacking group.

“There are future operations planned in the way of everything from campaign finance reform, to elections, to infosec [information security] and much, much more, stay tuned,” an Anonymous activist told the CNET technology news website in an interview Tuesday. “Expect us.”

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

Stratfor Email Leaks; ‘Israel Has Already Destroyed Iran’s Nuclear Infrastructure’

February 29th, 2012 - by admin

– 2012-02-29 00:14:15


Israel Ruined Iran’s Nuke Plans — WikiLeaked Stratfor Mails

RussiaToday Video

(February 27, 2012) — Earlier, it came to light that Israel might have already destroyed Iranian nuclear sites and that preparations for a military attack on Tehran are well under way. It’s from millions of emails allegedly hacked from the US intelligence think-tank Stratfor, and revealed by WikiLeaks. More on this from our correspondent Laura Smith in London.

WikiLeaks: Israel Destroyed Nuclear Facilities in Iran
Ynet News

(February 27, 2012) — Israeli commando forces destroyed, with the help of Kurdish rebels, all of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure on ground, an email by a US-based global security analysis company released by WikiLeaks on Monday claims.

The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks began publishing more than five million emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor Global Intelligence, which has been likened to a shadow CIA. Stratfor officials said the release of its stolen emails was an attempt to silence and intimidate it.

In the email, an Israeli intelligence source was asked about Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s comment “the more the merrier” following the mysterious explosion that killed at least 17 people at an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps base near Tehran in November 2011.

At the time, Iran claimed the blast was an accident, but US blogger Richard Silverstein said that Israel was the mastermind.
“I think this is a diversion. The Israelis already destroyed all the Iranian nuclear infrastructure on the ground weeks ago,” said the Israeli source. “The current ‘let’s bomb Iran’ campaign was ordered by the EU leaders to divert the public attention from their at home financial problems.”

48 Hours
According to the email, Russia is one of Israel’s largest military partners and India is Israel’s largest client.

It also claimed that in case of a direct conflict between Israel and Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia would benefit from an oil price hike. On the other hand, China and Europe would suffer if such an event were to occur.

According to Israel’s plans, claimed the intelligence source, an attack on Iran would last 48 hours but would be so detrimental to the Islamic Republic that it would lead to the collapse of the Tehran government.

The emails, snatched by hackers, could unmask sensitive sources and throw light on the murky world of intelligence-gathering by the company known as Stratfor, which counts Fortune 500 companies among its subscribers.

Some of the emails being published “may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic,” the company statement said.

Hackers linked to the loosely organized Anonymous hackers group said at the beginning of the year they had stolen the email correspondence of some 100 of the firm’s employees. The group said it planned to publish the data so the public would know the “truth” about Stratfor operations.

WikiLeaks and Anonymous maintain the emails will expose dark secrets about the company. Stratfor said in its statement it had worked hard to build “good sources” in many countries, “as any publisher of global geopolitical analysis would do.”

Reuters contributed to this report

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

WikiLeaks Releases First 200 of 5 Million Stratfor Emails

February 29th, 2012 - by admin

James Ball / The Guardian – 2012-02-29 00:05:51


Julian Assange Interview
The Spy Files (2011/01/12)

WikiLeaks Releases First 200 of 5 Million Stratfor Emails
James Ball / The Guardian

LONDON (February 27, 2012) — WikiLeaks has released the first 200 of a cache of 5 million emails obtained from the servers of Stratfor, a US-based intelligence firm.

The emails originated not from a whistleblower, but instead from a series of hacking attacks against Stratfor in December 2011, carried out by the online activist collective Anonymous.

Anonymous apparently passed the emails to WikiLeaks in the weeks following the attack. The whistleblowing website then recruited, according to its statement, 25 media partners to work on the document cache.

Stratfor describes itself as a provider of “strategic intelligence on global business, economic, security and geopolitical affairs”, with a claimed 300,000 subscribers.

WikiLeaks said the documents contained details of the inner workings of the private intelligence agency, links between government and private intelligence, and commentary on WikiLeaks itself.

“The material contains privileged information about the US government’s attacks against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and Stratfor’s own attempts to subvert WikiLeaks,” the whistleblower website said.

“There are more than 4,000 emails mentioning WikiLeaks or Julian Assange. The emails also expose the revolving door that operates in private intelligence companies in the United States.”

The initial release was said to contain information on measures taken to track activist and NGO activity for large companies, through media monitoring, and information on the financial sector.

Emails between the founder and Karl Rove, a senior advisor to George Bush, are among those released to date.

The cache also contains gossip between Stratfor staff, apparently originating from the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain, that the senator was encouraged to take action against President Obama for alleged electoral fraud in two states.

Coca-Cola also seemingly engage Stratfor for background research against Peta activists in Canada ahead of the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010.

The emails also often detail the inner workings of a company which has proved a subject of fascination for online activists keen to expose private sector intelligence providers.

UK and overseas military officials seem to be among the site’s customers, indicating future releases may include more on such individuals. A Guardian analysis of records published after the original Anonymous attack revealed the email account details of 221 UK military staff and 242 Nato officials.

However, some of information in the emails appeared weaker than the site’s release would suggest. Alleged tracking of activist and hoaxing group the Yes Men by Dow Chemicals appeared to amount to little more than email monitoring.

Similarly, an email apparently giving Stratfor advanced warning of action by credit ratings agency Moody’s in Ireland was instead from the independent analyst wing of the company — which is independent of the credit ratings side, and receives no information on its decisions ahead of time.

The emails published to date contain no redactions of information relating to individuals passing information to Stratfor, or anyone else, raising concern for the personal safety of some individuals in the cache.

One email, purportedly from a private security contractor, details an apparent assassination attempt on an individual in Libya, seemingly due to mistaken identity with a member of the country’s transitional council.

The email details the surname of the targeted individual, and even coordinates of his house.

Key accounts linked to the Anonymous group were quick to support the WikiLeaks release after it was posted in the early hours of Monday morning, UK time.

One of the largest Anonymous-linked accounts on Twitter, @AnonymousIRC, put out a series of tweets within minutes seemingly confirming it was the source of the WikiLeaks release.

“We promised you those mails and now they’ll finally be delivered. Five million (that’s 5,000,000) emails at your pleasure,” it said.

“There’s a treasure trove of nasty details in those emails. We think there’s something for everyone.”

Stratfor released a statement condemning the release, but confirming it believed the emails were genuine and had originated from an attack on its servers.

“In December, thieves compromised Stratfor’s data systems and stole a large number of company emails, along with other private information of Stratfor readers, subscribers and employees,” the company said.

“This is a deplorable, unfortunate — and illegal — breach of privacy. Some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic. We will not validate either. Nor will we explain the thinking that went into them.

“Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questioning about them.”

WikiLeaks said it would continue publishing emails from the document cache over the following days and weeks.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

US Draws Up Secret Charges against WikiLeak’s Assange

February 29th, 2012 - by admin

Agence France-Presse – 2012-02-29 00:00:44


SYDNEY (February 28, 2012) — US prosecutors have drawn up secret charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Australian media reported Wednesday, citing a confidential email. The email is one of a huge number from the US-based global intelligence company Stratfor that the whistleblowing organisation began publishing Monday.

Internal correspondence to Stratfor analysts from vice-president of intelligence Fred Burton said: “We have a sealed indictment on Assange,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The newspaper, which has access to the emails through an investigative partnership with Wikileaks, said the comment on January 26 last year was made in response to a media report about US investigations targeting WikiLeaks.

The information comes with the request to protect the information and not to publish, it said. The Herald said Burton was well known as an expert on security and counterterrorism with close ties to the US intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Assange, an Australian citizen, is awaiting a British Supreme Court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations. He strongly denies the claims, saying they are politically motivated and linked to the activities of WikiLeaks.

Assange fears being sent to Stockholm would open the way for his extradition to the US to face charges of spying linked to the leaking of classified military documents by US soldier Bradley Manning. Manning was formally charged last week for allegedly turning over a trove of classified US documents to WikiLeaks in one of the most serious intelligence breaches in US history.

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlum Wednesday demanded to know whether Canberra knew about any secret US charges. “What we need to know is whether the Australian government was tipped off, or whether the prime minister read about this in The Sydney Morning Herald this morning,” he told reporters.

The Australian government needed to take “a very straight line” with the US on the issue, he added. “That we will not permit, and we will not tolerate his transfer to the US, to face charges that could potentially land him in prison, potentially for decades.”

Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

New Research ‘Validates’ Claims of ‘Mind Control’ Targets

February 28th, 2012 - by admin

Deborah Dupre / Human Rights Examiner & PLoS Biology & World Trans – 2012-02-28 11:51:40


New Research Validates
Targeted Individuals’
Neurophone Claims

New research reflects leap in mind control secret weaponry

Deborah Dupre / Human Rights Examiner

(February 2, 2012) — California researchers have presented a new paper published in PLoS Biology [on January 31, 2012] evidencing that they can track brain activity of a person listening to spoken words and use it to reconstruct the words. The report might shed light on what thousands of targeted individuals consistently allege they experience, remote neurophonic mind and behavior control, a type of “no-touch torture.”

“The results provide insights into higher order neural speech processing and suggest it may be possible to readout intended speech directly from brain activity,” according to the study report, “Reconstructing Speech from Human Auditory Cortex.”

Two-way electronic Brain Link has become the ultimate communications system for CIA/NSA personnel. Remote neural monitoring (RNM, remotely monitoring bioelectric information in human brain) is ultimate surveillance system.

Reconstructing Speech from Human Auditory Cortex
Abstract / PLoS Biology

How the human auditory system extracts perceptually relevant acoustic features of speech is unknown. To address this question, we used intracranial recordings from nonprimary auditory cortex in the human superior temporal gyrus to determine what acoustic information in speech sounds can be reconstructed from population neural activity.

We found that slow and intermediate temporal fluctuations, such as those corresponding to syllable rate, were accurately reconstructed using a linear model based on the auditory spectrogram. However, reconstruction of fast temporal fluctuations, such as syllable onsets and offsets, required a nonlinear sound representation based on temporal modulation energy.

Reconstruction accuracy was highest within the range of spectro-temporal fluctuations that have been found to be critical for speech intelligibility. The decoded speech representations allowed readout and identification of individual words directly from brain activity during single trial sound presentations. These findings reveal neural encoding mechanisms of speech acoustic parameters in higher order human auditory cortex.

That’s Impossible Mind Control (4 of 5)

Patrick Flanagan’s Neurophone
Hope for the deaf and superlearning for all

Eddy Taylor / World Trans.org

In 1958, Dr. Patrick Flanagan invented the Neurophone in Bellaire, Texas when he was 14 years old. This electronic device transmits sound through the skin, bypassing normal hearing. A family friend who was a patent attorney for Shell Oil, helped Patrick submit a patent application. The patent examiners thought that this was just sound transfer through bone conduction and refused to issue a patent for 12 years.

In a rare meeting in 1970, the patent office agreed to examine the Neurophone for themselves and meet Patrick and his attorney. They both encountered a surprise. The examiner had a deaf employee attend the meeting to test the device. The man was totally nerve deaf in one ear and almost totally deaf in the other. Patrick showed him how to use the Neurophone and played a record of the famous Maria Callas singing an opera. As he was able to hear the undistorted beauty of her voice, the tears of joy streamed down his face.

For the first time in history, the Patent Office reopened a file after it was officially closed and Patrick Flanagan received United States Patent Number 3,393,279. Prior to this, scientists thought that sound could only be perceived by the inner ear to the brain.

A Houston Post reporter had a relative who was nerve deaf from spinal meningitis. A test was arranged and when the device worked, an explosion of news coverage resulted in the story being carried on the international wire services.

How the Genie Was Lost
In an agonizing infringement, a Defense Intelligence Agency sealed the patent and a national security order forbade Patrick from working on, or even talking about this invention. After many years and nearly 300 inventions later, Patrick received the Neurophone for public use. In a triumphant court case, the secrecy and the seizure of the device by the Government Agency was overruled and the genie was out of the bottle!

Electronic Hearing and Telepathy
To quote Patrick’s Neurophone article in Nexus Magazine (Feb/March 1994): “All hearing aids stimulate tiny bones in the ear. In order for bone conduction to work, the cochlea or inner ear that connects to the 8th cranial nerve must function. People who are nerve deaf cannot hear through bone conduction because the nerves in the inner ear are not functional. A number of nerve-deaf people who have had the entire inner ear removed by surgery have been able to hear with the Neurophone.

The Neurophone is really an electronic telepathy machine. Several tests prove that it bypasses the eighth cranial nerve (or hearing nerve) and transmits sound directly to the brain. This means that the Neurophone stimulates perception through a seventh or Alternate Sense!”

The Texas home of the Neurophone
The Neurophone became publicly available on a broad scale for the first time in July 1996. An international Health Products company is now distributing the Neurophone. This corporation is based in Dallas, Texas, and was established in 1976. A digitally computerized model is now being developed by Patrick and his wife Gael Crystal in their laboratory in Sedona, Arizona.

Turning on our Neurophysiological
Potential for Health, Knowledge and Awareness

One of the last statements by Nikola Tesla, inventor of alternating current, the radio and holder of well over 1,000 patents, was that he regretted not having done more in the science of electromedicine.

In 1962, Patrick predicted that electromedicine would revolutionize conventional healthcare. One of the relatively unknown, silent revolutions has already taken place in the form of blood- and lymph-cleansing devices. These simple, yet powerful, electronic devices have been popularized by Bob Beck, physicist and bio-electronic researcher and Hulda Clark, N.D.

In 1990, a remarkable discovery was made by Steven Kaali, MD and William Lyman, associate Professor of Pathology at Einstein College of Medicine in NYC. It was shown that a minute current (50-100 micro amperes) can alter outer protein layers of the HIV virus and prevent its attachment to receptor sites. (Science News, March 30, 1991, pg. 207). The viruses loose the ability to make an enzyme crucial to their reproduction. This process may also reverse Epstein Barr (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), Hepatitis and Herpes B. Responsible users of this technology who are HIV positive, may expect a Negative P24 surface antigen or PCR test (no more HIV detectable in blood) after 30 days.

A simplified version of this unit now makes self-help feasible. The potential to clean and potentize the blood banks of the world with this instrument is truly staggering. Bob Beck’s Sept. 96 Explore Magazine article notes a study on the lifespan of blood cells sealed under cover slips on microscope slides. While the average life of “normal” blood is about four days, blood cells treated with a mild microcurrent live for well over a month!

This very mild charging of the blood does not harm blood cells. Furthermore, the applied physics of Eddy Current (Lenz’s law) demonstrates the neutralization of a myriad of parasites, viruses, microbes and fungi. It is important to realize that these organisms are critical co-factors, if not actual carriers, regarding the multitude of new deadly contagious diseases appearing throughout the world.

These blood-cleansing devices are safe, with intelligent use, have been around for decades, and seem to have a variety of other benefits. You can do your own research on the scientific evidence by scanning this document. Be aware that there are now customized, blood and lymph cleansing units far better than Mr. Beck, Dr. Clark, and most others, describe and or advertise.

The Big Turn-off
By contrast, the HAARP Project, a giant array of microwave towers in Anchorage Alaska, may not exactly raise awareness and improve human health. It’s billion plus watts of power can impact an entire nation or even a complete hemisphere of the world. You may find the rest of the story through the writings of Nick Begich and other investigators. This brings new meaning to that old expression used in TV and radio: “Don’t touch that dial!” Nick is a life-long educator, native of Alaska, and has been featured on thousands of radio programs in the last four years. He also is perhaps the most informed writer on the Patrick Flanagan story and the benefits of the Neurophone.

Education Automation Vacation
Scientific experiments indicate that effects of the Neurophone range from super learning, long term memory speed learning, relaxation, pain control and enhanced psychic abilities. The Neurophone’s ability to transfer large amounts of information into long term memory may, alone, make the current model of education obsolete.

We could advance beyond the problem of information overload and actually emphasize values, goals, strategy and a profound interdisciplinary approach to world problems. Positive solutions in an ever more complex world may themselves depend on the solution offered by the responsible use of the Neurophone.

Ma Bell
Studies on a special “head start” program, with pregnant women using the Neurophone have promising news. These women describe children with marked intelligence. This neuro-networking seems actually to nurture neuropathways for the fetus.

Extra-sensory Perceptions
All organs of perceptions evolve from the skin of the child within the womb. Theoretically, the skin could perform all sense perception. In Russia blind people have been taught ‘to see’ with their fingertips. Deaf people in Czechoslovakia have been instructed ‘to hear’ with their fingertips.

Details on the Neurophone,
Super Learning and Electromedicine

The intricacies of how the Neurophone is constructed, along with it’s bio -physical- interactivity, is provided in the book, Towards A New Alchemy, by Nick Begich. For a broader background see Super-Memory: The Revolution, by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder. The Explore More Magazine’s March/April 1996 article, ‘The Skin, Our Fifth Sense’ is a real eye opener. For a historical view of related research read Psychic Discoveries Behind The Iron Curtain by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder. A technical understanding of the bio-electronics of organisms in health and disease, will be found in the book, The Body Electric- Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life, by Robert O. Becker, M.D. and Gary Selden, (Quill Publisher).

Dolphin Speak
In a curious parallel to Roxanne Kremer’s work on interspecies communication with the Pink Amazon River Dolphins, Dr. Flanagan has made impressive technical contributions. In February, 1968, he applied for a patent on a device for translating human speech into dolphin language and vice/versa. This was a result of studies with dolphins in the lagoon of a small island off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii.

A vocabulary of 30 words was discovered before a startling intervention. Six months after applying for the patent, it was placed under secrecy order #756, 124 by a U.S.Government surveillance agency. Five years later, another hard-fought legal battle rescinded the suppression and patent #3,647,970 was granted on March 7th 1972. This speech processing patent is actually used as the circuit in the present version of the Neurophone.

The Sound of the New Millennium
“The Music of the Spheres and the Hemispheres”, heard with the assist of the Neurophone, opens new doors for musicians and composers, as well as educators and students of life in general. In what may be seen as another motif on Sonic Bloom-like-phenomena, some theories hold that it has the potential for developing super plants and healing animals as well as people.

Mind Meld
Experiments with a Neurophone mind link between two or more people seemingly makes possible learning directly from the mind of another. And I thought this was only in the SCI FI domain of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock and certainly beyond the ken of Dr. Spock. Nick Begich describes the phenomenon as an electronic “corpus collosum” between the minds of two people. The corpus collosum is the semi-permeable bridge between the two hemispheres of an individual’s brain.

The Neurophone
The Neurophone also causes both sides of the brain to pulse in harmony creating an environment which may be ideal for learning. Use of the Neurophone tends to balance all the acupuncture meridians. In the near future, the Flanagans will produce cassette tapes and CD’s designed to be used only with the Neurophone. The tapes will cover categories as varied as Psychic Center Stimulation to Subliminal Learning Programs.

Other Flanagan products include Crystal Energy, (ultra-colloidals — each only 12 atoms wide — of silica, magnesium, zinc, gold, silver, and titanium which have duplicated the structure and improved upon the health benefits of Hunza Water). The people of Hunza claim that their longevity, often living up to 130, stems primarily from their consumption of Hunza water, also known as ‘glacial milk’. This technology has also been used to create what is truly the most unique spirulina, and other supplements, presently known.

A Word to the Wise
Winston Churchill said, “most people occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and continue on as if nothing had ever happened”. If you sense you’ve encountered some truths in this article don’t use them as stumbling blocks. They may be stepping stones to far higher truths, if you dare to care and share. Data in this article can be legally offered only as “theoretical”; and no medical claims can be made or implied. See your health professional.

You may reach Eddy Taylor through e-mail at: edtaylor@newciv.org

Eddy is currently researching electro-agriculture. This employs the use of mild electrical frequencies generated by instruments, similar to the blood cleansing device, to assist crop production. This also includes enrichment and transmutation of soil and water. While aware of Sonic Bloom and other related approaches; he is seeking testimonials and scientific data solely from those in the field of ‘electronic bloom’.

It has been theorized that the proper agro-frequencies neutralize harmful organisms, new viruses, etc., now threatening entire bioregions via water, plants, and soil. If you would like to join this research effort and need a frequency generator for hands on experiments, Eddy may be able to refer you to a supplier. Just as there are no medical claims made or inferred regarding the Neurophone or the blood and lymph cleansing devices, there are no agricultural claims made or inferred involving electro-agricultural devices.


HumanRights Award

The Petition:
We, the undersigned victims of various forms of Electronic Warfare (who are known as Targeted Individuals (TI) worldwide) and our Supporters (Advocates & Activists), are collectively outraged and demand an end to our perpetual torture and harassment.

These diabolical Electronic Weapons (EW), which include Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) and (V2K) among others, have been remotely deployed against us for many years and are beaming us into metastasizing sickness and even premature deaths! Also, these, Information Operations (IO), with their potentially lethal neurological and psychological attacks explain many of our similar clinical symptoms and diagnoses, which are caused by exposures to these Electromagnetic Radiations (EMP).

We demand an immediate end to this pandemic! We hold all those sadistic shadow networks, Secret Services, e.g. CIA (Jackals), NSA, KGB, and Organized Stalking (OS) accountable. By writing you we hope that you would acknowledge our protest, aid in raising public awareness, initiate an investigation, and legally support our appeal for justice. These unconscionable travesties are the ultimate crimes against humanity and we are all at risk.

Please address the outcries of all survivors in ending all forms of electronic genocide and menticide. We are pleading for your help to be unleashed from these atrocious Psychotronic shackles. Please do not allow secrecy to enslave civility.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

The ‘Reaper’ Is Coming to Syracuse: Unless We Stop It

February 28th, 2012 - by admin

Positive News & The Syracuse Peace Council – 2012-02-28 11:08:32


The ‘Reaper’ Is Coming to Syracuse:
Unless We Stop It

Syracuse’s Hancock Air Field is the home of The Reaper drone aircraft which will be remotely piloted from the Hancock base for surveillance missions and aerial attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and potentially elsewhere. It is one of only two such sites in the US. The other is in Nevada. This is a new step in our community taking a role standing up to oppose the war machine. Learn more and to get involved contact the Peace Council.

Video: 37 Anti-drone Protesters Arrested Near Hancock Air Base
WSYR Channel 9 News

Drone No More
John Hamilton / Positive News International: US Edition

(Winter 2012) — On April 22, 2011, thirty-eight people were arrested in front of the Hancock Air Base in Syracuse NY. They were bringing a written indictment of President Obama, military chief Robert Gates, and the Hancock Base Commander, for illegal and immoral use of drone warfare. The Syracuse base is one of two known centers in the US from which the lethal drones are operated.

On November 1, thirty-two defendants appeared in Dewitt Town Court before judge David Gideon to plead their case. As one defendant said, referring to the seasoned activists, “The people here have attended hundreds of trials for civil disobedience, but none of us has seen anything like this.” The trial was unusual because judge Gideon respected and listened to the many testimonies given.

Defense witness Ramsey Clark, an expert on international law, testified that the Nuremburg Principles have the force of customary international law — the most binding source of law — and obligate every citizen of the world to prevent their nation from committing war crimes.

The Nuremburg Principles apply everywhere in the US, as well as at the town of Dewitt, home of the air base; and take precedence over local, state and federal laws. Clark quoted Italian poet Dante that “the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who did nothing in times of crisis.”

Defendant James Ricks described the dynamic in the courtroom, “Questions by the DA about orders disobeyed, entrances blocked, vehicles being inconvenienced were parried by answers of innocent lives being lost, tax money used to purchase weapons of mass destruction, and blatant violations of numerous international treaties that the US government has signed.

Many of those on trial testified that they acted in defense of the law, especially Article 6 of the Constitution, which declares all treaties to be the supreme law of the land.”

The UN Charter, a duly signed treaty by the US, makes any use of force against another nation a war crime. At this time, we have no means of enforcing this agreement on strong nations such as the US.

In his closing statement, long-time activist Brian Terrell asked the judge to help build such an enforcement mechanism by upholding the Nuremburg Principles. Pete Bianco, a farmer near Utica NY, compared the extra-judicial deaths committed by drone operators to ‘international lynching’. He said: “Just as earlier judges acted to stop domestic lynching in this country, we ask you to stand with us to stop international lynching today.”

Rae Kramer told the judge: “When the first drone killed civilians, we apologized. Then we did it again and again. After a while, the apology doesn’t mean anything. Just stop doing it!”

On December 1, the judge gave his verdict, which he said had kept him up many sleepless nights. He found them guilty of disorderly conduct.

During sentencing, Harry Murray continued a conversation with the judge about civil disobedience and Gandhi. “When Gandhi was sentenced, he always asked the judge for the maximum sentence. This was not because Gandhi liked jail. If you really support the system,” he said pointing at the judge, “then you must give me the maximum.”

The judge refused to put Harry, and the others, in jail, publicly declaring he could not whole-heartedly support the military’s illegal wars.

For More Information:
www.peacecouncil.net (315) 472-5478

Unmasking the Illusion — Drones on Trial
Syracuse Peace Council Video (November 19, 2011)

Positive News US Office: PO Box 582, Bolinas, CA 94924.

Navy SEALs: Obama’s Secret Army

February 28th, 2012 - by admin

Daniel Klaidman / The Daily Beast – 2012-02-28 10:31:47


(February 20, 2012) — One of President Obama’s earliest kills came in April 2009. Somali pirates had stormed the Maersk Alabama, a US container ship steaming across lawless waters off the Horn of Africa. The American crew of the ship had tried to overwhelm the pirates, who fled on a covered lifeboat, taking with them a 53-year-old hostage: ship captain Richard Phillips. Armed with AK-47s and pistols, the pirates stashed Phillips below deck and threatened to kill him if they didn’t get $2 million in ransom.

Barack Obama, not yet three months into his presidency, had already undergone a crash course in battlefield management. He had authorized drone strikes in Pakistan and sent 17,000 troops into Afghanistan. But until now, he had not experienced the personal immediacy and political risk of a kill operation involving an American hostage — one that would play out largely in public view. Nor had he worked with SEAL Team 6, the elite “tier one” commandos who carry out many of the darkest missions in the shadow wars.

Early on in the standoff, the Navy had requested permission to use force, but the White House held back. Military commanders had already dispatched a small armada to the scene, including a destroyer, the USS Bainbridge, and a frigate, the USS Halyburton. Transport planes ferried in the SEALs, who parachuted into the Indian Ocean with inflatable boats. On April 11, three days after the hostage taking began, Obama agreed to the use of military force — but only if the captain’s life was in imminent danger.

As Obama’s military advisers monitored events in the White House Situation Room, the president popped in for regular updates. SEAL Team 6 snipers were positioned on different ships to maximize the chances of getting off clean shots. At one point, the Navy laid a kind of a trap for the hostage vessel, but the pirates, by sheer luck, “waltzed” around it, according to a source involved in the operation.

All the while, the pirates were drifting toward shore. If they were able to reach a Somali beach with their hostage, a rescue operation would be much more difficult. SEAL boats began zooming around the pirates, using “shouldering and blocking” tactics to keep them away from shore.

By dusk on April 12 — Easter Sunday — SEAL snipers on the fantail of the USS Bainbridge were in position to shoot the pirates. But with the covered lifeboat bobbing on the water, it was still difficult to get clean shots. They attached night-vision scopes to their rifles and waited. At one point, two of the pirates came into plain sight. The sharpshooters could see a third pirate through a window pointing his gun at Captain Phillips. Each sniper fired a single round, and it was over. Three shots, three dead pirates. A SEAL assault team boarded the lifeboat and took Phillips to safety.

Back in the White House, officials quietly celebrated. So much could have gone wrong. For a young president with little experience overseeing military operations, a botched job would have invited charges of fecklessness from Republicans and drawn inevitable comparisons to Jimmy Carter. The generals also expressed relief. “Mr. President, it worked out. But if it hadn’t, it would have been my ass,” one military adviser told Obama. “It would have been our ass,” the president responded.

Obama has come to rely more and more on “special operators” for many types of missions. In an era of dwindling budgets and dispersed, hidden enemies, when Americans have become fatigued by disastrous military occupations, the value of pinprick operations by elite forces is clear. The budget for the Special Operations Command has more than doubled since 2001, reaching $10.5 billion, and the number of deployments has more than quadrupled.

Now the head of that command, Adm. William H. McRaven, is calling for more resources and more autonomy. The New York Times reported on Feb. 12 that McRaven is “pushing for a larger role for his elite units who have traditionally operated in the dark corners of American foreign policy.” He wants to expand Special Operations Forces in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and have the authority to move forces and equipment as needed, assuring greater flexibility and speed.

Who can blame him? This is a Special Ops moment. The Navy SEALs, in particular, have never appeared so heroic and effective. They killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last year, and just last month rescued two aid workers held hostage in Somalia.

At a time when many Americans think their government is incompetent, the SEALs are public employees who often get the job done. They’re a morale booster, and they know it. Which may help explain why they collaborated in an upcoming full-length feature film starring active Navy SEALs called Act of Valor — a controversial undertaking, originally intended to bolster recruitment, that some in the military regard as foolish and helpful only to the enemy.

Obama wants to balance the need for the increasingly valuable services of special operators with a clear-sighted assessment of the strategic implications of expanding their missions. He’s right to be mindful of the dangers: mission creep, hubris, a messy “Black Hawk Down” disaster. Act of Valor represents its own kind of overreach: the military knows little about moviemaking, and the film reflects that.

The kinetics will doubtless impress, but the acting and the script will not. (One SEAL, about to parachute into a dangerous mission, says to another: “I’ll tell you what, the only thing better than this right here is being a dad. Except for that whole changing-diapers thing.”) A better movie is likely to be one starring Tom Hanks, scheduled for release in 2013, about the Maersk Alabama episode.

Other kinds of hubris get people killed, and can tarnish America’s standing for years. That’s partly why some US diplomats, and even a few officers among the military brass, have expressed misgivings about expanding the role and power of Special Ops.

Some of these critics worry that the Special Forces, if their numbers bloat further, won’t be so special anymore. “The whole idea of Special Ops is quality, not quantity,” says Peter Singer of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution. “But there are concerns in that community of, how big could it reasonably get before it gets bogged down?”

The challenges of secret missions are many: legal, moral, practical. Few people are more aware of that than the man who ultimately pulls the trigger. Obama’s generally balanced approach to such missions is captured in the story of an operation against a key al Qaeda terrorist in September 2009.

The CIA and military had been hunting Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan for years. He was a suspect in the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and had been directly implicated in other deadly terrorist attacks in East Africa, including a suicide bombing of an Israeli-owned resort in Mombasa. He was an important link between al Qaeda and its Somalia-based affiliate, and a potential wealth of information on how the jihadist networks operate. Killing him would have been a significant victory, but capturing him alive could have been even better.

After months of patiently watching him, American intelligence officers suddenly learned that Nabhan was preparing to travel along a remote desert road in southern Somalia. There wasn’t much time to act. Early one September evening, more than three dozen officials assembled by secure videoconference to consider options.

The meeting was led by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs. After a short introduction, he called on Admiral McRaven, then head of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and one of the military’s most experienced terrorist hunters. Nabhan had been under close surveillance for months. He had stayed mostly in heavily populated areas, where the risk of casualties, either to civilians or American soldiers, was too great to launch a raid. But now it looked as if Navy SEALs had the narrow window of opportunity they’d been hoping for.

McRaven told the group that Nabhan’s convoy would soon be setting out from the capital, Mogadishu, on its way to a meeting of Islamic militants in the coastal town of Baraawe. The square-jawed Texan and former Navy SEAL crisply laid out the “Concepts of Operation” that had been developed in anticipation of this moment. Several options were spelled out, along with the military hardware that would be required for each, as well as collateral-damage estimates:

The military could fire Tomahawk cruise missiles from a warship off the Somali coast. This was the least dangerous option in terms of US casualties but not the most precise. (Missiles have gone astray, hitting civilians, and even when they strike their target, they don’t always take it out.) Such missile strikes had been a hallmark of the Bush administration.

For all of its “dead or alive” rhetoric, the Bush White House was generally cautious when it came to antiterrorist operations in anarchic areas like Somalia. The second option was a helicopter-borne assault on Nabhan’s convoy. There was less chance of error there: small attack helicopters would allow the commandos to “look the target in the eye and make sure it was the right guy,” according to one military planner. The final option was a “snatch and grab,” a daring attempt to take Nabhan alive. From a purely tactical standpoint, this was the most attractive alternative. Intelligence from high-value targets was the coin of the realm in the terror wars. But it was also the riskiest option.

Unstated but hanging heavily over the group that evening was the memory of another attempted capture in Somalia. Many on the call had been in key national-security posts in October 1993 during the ill-fated attempt to capture a Somali warlord that became known as “Black Hawk Down,” after a book of the same name. T

hat debacle left 18 dead Army Rangers on the streets of Mogadishu, and inspired al Qaeda leaders to think they could defeat the American superpower. As Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism, said during the meeting: “Somalia, helicopters, capture. I just don’t like the sound of this.”

As everyone left the meeting late that evening, it was clear that the only viable plan was the lethal one. Obama later signed off on Operation “Celestial Balance.” The job was given to SEAL Team 6, officially known as United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU, under the command of JSOC. (DEVGRU is the most elite team in the SEALs; its members refer to others as the “vanilla” teams.)

The next morning, Somali villagers saw several low-flying attack helicopters emerge over the horizon. Several AH-6 Little Birds, deployed from US naval ships off the Somali coast, approached the convoy, strafing Nabhan’s jeep and another vehicle. Nabhan and several other militants were killed. One of the helicopters landed just long enough for a small team of commandos to scoop up some of Nabhan’s remains — the DNA needed to prove he was dead.

One of the debates around such operations, then and now, concerns something called Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE). From their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, Special Ops Forces had learned that the best intelligence often comes from sifting through after-action debris. They wanted not just to kill terror targets but to rummage through their belongings — what the spooks call “pocket litter.”

“This is where the [political] fight comes,” says a Pentagon official involved. “From that day forward we wanted to put our boots on the ground to do SSE, but the president was not supportive … That would become the issue between Special Operations Forces and the administration.” An official involved in such issues says the Pentagon misinterpreted many of the questions the president had about such operations. He was not opposed — as the Nabhan case illustrates — he just wanted to do cost-benefit analysis on a case-by-case basis.

Obama has certainly been impressed with the Special Ops — their precision and their professionalism. A wooden board that hangs above the SEAL training grounds in Coronado, Calif., is inscribed with a line that all newbies internalize: “The only easy day was yesterday.”

Instructors make sure “everything goes wrong” on a training mission, says Don Mann, 53, a retired SEAL and author of Inside SEAL Team Six. Mock raids include surprise booby traps, faulty equipment, and unexpected snipers. Special operators “will get off [a real] mission and say that was a piece of cake, only because they were used to difficult training,” Mann says.

Still, no amount of training can teach fighters what they can learn in life-and-death situations. Better-honed skills are one clear benefit of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where special operators carried out mission after mission. Some of those went badly, of course. In one such case in 2010, SEAL Team 6 conducted a predawn raid to rescue Scottish aid worker Linda Norgrove and three Afghan colleagues from their Taliban captors. Tragically, a grenade thrown by one of the commandos killed Norgrove.

Many special operators have also sacrificed their lives, including 22 on a helicopter that was shot down in Afghanistan last August. Howard Wasdin, a former SEAL whose memoir, Seal Team Six, came out a week after the bin Laden raid, says the high risk of death is built into the job. “We used to have a saying,” he remarks: “Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse.”

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also accustomed the special operators — and their political bosses — to cross-border operations. There was hesitation at first. In 2007, for instance, when the insurgency was raging in Iraq, al Qaeda fighters were pouring across the Syrian border to join the fight against America. US intelligence believed the Syrian government had either helped or looked the other way.

The Bush administration placed diplomatic pressure on Damascus to try to end the terror pipeline, but the problem persisted. Something had to be done.

In October 2008 Gen. David Petraeus ordered a bold helicopter-borne assault inside Syria. Two dozen commandos dropped out of Black Hawk helicopters into the village of Sukkariyah, about six miles from the Iraqi border. Their mission was to kill or capture Abu Ghadiyah, an al Qaeda cell leader who was coordinating the movement of foreign fighters into Iraq.

A gun battle erupted and as many as nine terrorists were killed, including Abu Ghadiyah. The Americans returned to base unharmed. Syria closed down several US institutions in Damascus and protested to the United Nations.

There were more such raids that the military has never discussed. Over time, the al Qaeda pipeline was effectively shut down, at least for a while.

In some lawless places, or countries that harbor terrorists, such operations may be necessary. But what about elsewhere? The Act of Valor movie shows the SEALs moving from place to place — Costa Rica, the high seas, Somalia, Mexico — treating the world as their war zone. (They cooperate with Mexican forces, but elsewhere they seem to march to their own music.) In real life they do a lot of collaborating, but there are risks even in projecting a more aggressive Hollywood image to the rest of the world.

The Rambo approach doesn’t always sit well with diplomats. “If you start taking out people all over the world in other people’s countries, some of whom we are at peace with, I think you’ll get into some serious diplomatic issues of people saying the US isn’t the global police,” says Ronald Neumann, a former deputy assistant secretary of state who now runs a Washington nonprofit. “There is also the risk a mission will eventually go wrong and we’ll end up with lots of prisoners somewhere in the world.”

Others worry that the military is conducting spy missions without the same kind of scrutiny that is given to the CIA or other civilian agencies. “The challenge is, how do you balance operational efficiency, JSOC’s main talent, against the need for oversight?” says Marc Ambinder, coauthor of a recent e-book on Special Ops. Military critics have their own concerns.

“One of these days, if you keep publishing how you do this, the other guy’s going to be there ready for you,” fumed retired Army Lt. Gen. James Vaught at a recent conference in Washington. He was speaking directly to Admiral McRaven: “Mark my words. Get the hell out of the media!” Vaught knows a thing or two about how things can go wrong. He ran the task force that tried to rescue the US hostages in Iran in 1980, which became a fiasco after aircraft ran into dust storms and encountered other unexpected problems.

McRaven responded to Vaught’s criticism by saying that the military is in a different era now and needs to be more open. “With the social media being what it is today, with the press and the 24-hour news cycle, it’s very difficult to get away from it,” he said, adding that “not only does the media focus on our successes, we’ve had a few failures. And I think having those failures exposed in the media also kind of helps focus our attention, helps us do a better job.”

McRaven also defended Act of Valor as a natural progression from earlier portrayals of Special Ops in Hollywood. He recognized the value of such images as a recruitment tool, and related them to his own experience. His infatuation with the military and Special Ops began, he said, when he saw John Wayne in The Green Berets.

With Daniel Stone and Aram Roston in Washington, D.C., and R.M. Schneiderman in New York

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

UN Rights Chief Calls for Syria Ceasefire

February 28th, 2012 - by admin

Al Jazeera – 2012-02-28 10:24:26


GENEVA, Switzerland (February 28, 2012) — There needs to be an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Syria, the UN human rights chief has declared, saying the situation has deteriorated rapidly as the Syrian government steps up its onslaught against the opposition.

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the world has to take action to prevent Syrian security forces from continuing their bombardments and other attacks against civilians, which she said had resulted in “countless atrocities”.

Speaking at an urgent meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday, Pillay urged Syria to end all fighting, allow international monitors to enter the country and give unhindered access for aid agencies to enter the besieged city of Homs and other embattled cities.

The appeal prompted a bitter response from Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, who accused the 47-nation council of promoting terrorism in his country.

Before storming out of the room, Fayssal al-Hamwi said Tuesday’s meeting would only prolong the crisis in Syria.

“The call for holding the session is part of a pre-established plan,” he said. “It is aimed at attacking the Syrian state and its institutions under the pretext of humanitarian needs.”

The UN has estimated at least 5,400 people have been killed since the uprising began in March, but anti-government activists put the current figure at over 8,000.

The diplomatic developments came as reports said a wounded British journalist who was trapped in Homs along with other journalists and activists, had been smuggled to safety in neighbouring Lebanon.

Poke at Russia

A senior US diplomat said the time had come for nations to stop all financial and material support to President Bashar Assad’s government – a poke at Russia, which has long sold arms to Syria and together with China has
repeatedly used its Security Council veto to block international action on Syria.

“None can deny that Bashar al-Assad and his criminal cohort are waging a brutal campaign of slaughter, bombardment, torture, and arrest that already has murdered thousands of women, men and children, with more killed each day,” said Esther Brimmer, the US assistant secretary of state for International Organisation Affairs.

“Without a halt to the killing and a guarantee of immediate humanitarian access, this despicable regime will murder many more before this heinous chapter in Syria’s history is over.”

Pillay cited the report of a UN expert panel last week, which concluded that Syrian government officials were responsible for “crimes against humanity” committed by security forces against opposition members. The crimes included shelling civilians, executing deserters and torturing detainees. Some opposition groups, too, had committed gross abuses, it said.

The panel has compiled a confidential list of top-level Syrian officials who could face prosecution over the atrocities.

Pillay reiterated her call for Syria to be referred to the International Criminal Court “in the face of the unspeakable violations that take place every moment”.

“More than at any other time, those committing atrocities in Syria have to understand that the international community will not stand by and watch this carnage and that their decisions and the actions they take today
ultimately will not go unpunished,” she said.

Members of the council are expected to pass a resolution on Tuesday condemning “widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities”.

A draft resolution supported by many Arab and Western countries says the Syrian government’s use of heavy artillery and tanks to attack civilian areas has contributed to the deaths of thousands.

While the resolution is not expected to include a reference to the ICC referral, diplomats have indicated that this issue will be revisited next month.

Once Again: US Agencies Conclude Iran Has Made No Moves to Build a Bomb

February 26th, 2012 - by admin

James Risen and Mark Mazzetti / The New York Times – 2012-02-26 23:31:05

US Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb
James Risen and Mark Mazzetti / The New York Times

WASHINGTON (February 24, 2012) — Even as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.

Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.

At the center of the debate is the murky question of the ultimate ambitions of the leaders in Tehran. There is no dispute among American, Israeli and European intelligence officials that Iran has been enriching nuclear fuel and developing some necessary infrastructure to become a nuclear power.

But the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies believe that Iran has yet to decide whether to resume a parallel program to design a nuclear warhead — a program they believe was essentially halted in 2003 and which would be necessary for Iran to build a nuclear bomb. Iranian officials maintain that their nuclear program is for civilian purposes.

In Senate testimony on Jan. 31, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, stated explicitly that American officials believe that Iran is preserving its options for a nuclear weapon, but said there was no evidence that it had made a decision on making a concerted push to build a weapon.

David H. Petraeus, the CIA director, concurred with that view at the same hearing. Other senior United States officials, including Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have made similar statements in recent television appearances.

“They are certainly moving on that path, but we don’t believe they have actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon,” Mr. Clapper told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Critics of the American assessment in Jerusalem and some European capitals point out that Iran has made great strides in the most difficult step toward building a nuclear weapon, enriching uranium. That has also been the conclusion of a series of reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inspectors, who on Friday presented new evidence that the Iranians have begun enriching uranium in an underground facility.

Once Iran takes further steps to actually enrich weapons grade fuel — a feat that the United States does not believe Iran has yet accomplished — the critics believe that it would be relatively easy for Iran to engineer a warhead and then have a bomb in short order. They also criticize the CIA for being overly cautious in its assessments of Iran, suggesting that it is perhaps overcompensating for its faulty intelligence assessments in 2002 about Iraq’s purported weapons programs, which turned out not to exist.

In addition, Israeli officials have challenged the very premise of the 2007 intelligence assessment, saying they do not believe that Iran ever fully halted its work on a weapons program.

Yet some intelligence officials and outside analysts believe there is another possible explanation for Iran’s enrichment activity, besides a headlong race to build a bomb as quickly as possible. They say that Iran could be seeking to enhance its influence in the region by creating what some analysts call “strategic ambiguity.” Rather than building a bomb now, Iran may want to increase its power by sowing doubt among other nations about its nuclear ambitions.

Some point to the examples of Pakistan and India, both of which had clandestine nuclear weapons programs for decades before they actually decided to build bombs and test their weapons in 1998.

“I think the Iranians want the capability, but not a stockpile,” said Kenneth C. Brill, a former United States ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency who also served as director of the intelligence community’s National Counterproliferation Center from 2005 until 2009. Added a former intelligence official: “The Indians were a screwdriver turn away from having a bomb for many years. The Iranians are not that close.”

To be sure, American analysts acknowledge that understanding the intentions of Iran’s leadership is extremely difficult, and that their assessments are based on limited information. David A. Kay, who was head of the CIA’s team that searched for Iraq’s weapons programs after the United States invasion, was cautious about the quality of the intelligence underlying the current American assessment.

“They don’t have evidence that Iran has made a decision to build a bomb, and that reflects a real gap in the intelligence,” Mr. Kay said. “It’s true the evidence hasn’t changed very much” since 2007, he added. “But that reflects a lack of access and a lack of intelligence as much as anything.”

Divining the intentions of closed societies is one of the most difficult tasks for American intelligence analysts, and the CIA for decades has had little success penetrating regimes like Iran and North Korea to learn how their leaders make decisions.

Amid the ugly aftermath of the botched Iraq intelligence assessments, American spy agencies in 2006 put new analytical procedures in place to avoid repeating the failures. Analysts now have access to raw information about the sources behind intelligence reports, to help better determine the credibility of the sources and prevent another episode like the one in which the CIA based much of its conclusions about Iraq’s purported biological weapons on an Iraqi exile who turned out to be lying.

Analysts are also required to include in their reports more information about the chain of logic that has led them to their conclusions, and differing judgments are featured prominently in classified reports, rather than buried in footnotes.

When an unclassified summary of the 2007 intelligence estimate on Iran’s nuclear program was made public, stating that it had abandoned work on a bomb, it stunned the Bush administration and the world. It represented a sharp reversal from the intelligence community’s 2005 estimate, and drew criticism of the CIA from European and Israeli officials, as well as conservative pundits. They argued that it was part of a larger effort by the CIA to prevent American military action against Iran.

The report was so controversial that many outside analysts expected that the intelligence community would be forced to revise and repudiate the estimate after new evidence emerged about Iran’s program, notably from the United Nations’ inspectors. Yet analysts now say that while there has been mounting evidence of Iranian work on enrichment facilities, there has been far less clear evidence of a weapons program.

Still, Iran’s enrichment activities have raised suspicions, even among skeptics.

“What has been driving the discussion has been the enrichment activity,” said one former intelligence official. “That’s made everybody nervous. So the Iranians continue to contribute to the suspicions about what they are trying to do.”

Iran’s efforts to hide its nuclear facilities and to deceive the West about its activities have also intensified doubts. But some American analysts warn that such behavior is not necessarily proof of a weapons program. They say that one mistake the CIA made before the war in Iraq was to assume that because Saddam Hussein resisted weapons inspections — acting as if he were hiding something — it meant that he had a weapons program.

As Mr. Kay explained, “The amount of evidence that you were willing to go with in 2002 is not the same evidence you are willing to accept today.”

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

WAR PLAN IRAN: Dispelling the Lies, Telling the Truth about Western Aggression in the Persian Gulf

February 26th, 2012 - by admin

Finian Cunningham and Michel Chossudovsky / Global Research – 2012-02-26 23:30:02


Dispelling the Lies, Telling the Truth about
Western Aggression in the Persian Gulf

GR Online News Reader Series N-Book No. 1. 2012

Global Research’s Online News Reader (N-Book) aims to take a top story in world events and present the best of our recent archive to give readers a condensed and informed overview of the topic. It will include a mix of news, analysis and backgrounder. In that way, we hope that you can stay informed of the most important developments with this handy authoritative reference. The News Reader (N-Book) will come out regularly as crucial stories unfold.

The first in our new series deals with the rising tensions in the Persian Gulf between the West and Iran and what appears increasingly to be a collision course for war. We examine the heart of the matter in order to empower our readers with knowledge and truth about what is really happening in the region and why, and, more importantly, what is at stake.

By providing a focus on an important current news topic, the GR Online N-Book News Reader complements Global Research’s Online Interactive I-Book Reader, which brings together, in the form of chapters, a collection of Global Research feature articles, including debate and analysis, on a broad theme or subject matter. To consult our Online Interactive I-Book Reader Series, click here.

Dispelling the Lies, Telling the Truth about
Western Aggression in the Persian Gulf

Finian Cunningham and Michel Chossudovsky / Global Research

(January 16, 2012) — The year 2012 may become known as a watershed for humanity — the year when mankind was precipitated into a global conflagration involving nuclear weapons. The signs are indeed grimly ominous as formidable military forces converge on the Persian Gulf in the long-running standoff between the United States and Iran.

On side with the US are its European allies in NATO, primarily Britain, Washington’s Middle East client states: Israel and the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf — all bristling with weapons of mass destruction. Recent naval exercises by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz have also displayed a fierce arsenal of missiles and military capability, and Iran has strategic alliances with Russia and China, both of whom will not stand idly by if their Persian partner is attacked.

As we have consistently analyzed on Global Research, the conflict between the US-led powers and Iran has wider ramifications. It is part and parcel of Washington’s bid to engineer the social and political upheavals across the Arab World in order to redraw the region in its strategic interests. It is no coincidence that fresh from NATO’s conquest of and regime change in Libya, the focus has quickly shifted to Syria — a key regional ally of Iran.

As Michel Chossudovsky has pointed out “the road to Tehran goes through to Damascus.” Regime change in Syria would serve to isolate Iran. Subjugating Iran and returning it to Western tutelage is the prize that Washington and its allies have been seeking for the past 33 years ever since their client the Shah, Mohammad Rezā Pahlavi, was deposed by the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Iran is an energy-rich colossus, with oil and, more importantly, natural gas reserves that put it, with approximately 10% of global reserves, in the world’s top three oil economies alongside Washington’s client states of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. In sharp contrast, the US has less than 2% of global oil reserves.

The conquest of Iran’s oil riches is the driving force behind America’s military agenda.

The US-led conquest of Iraq — costing over a million lives in a nine-year occupation — is part of Washington’s long-held plans to dominate the globe’s vast energy resources that reside in the Persian Gulf and Central Asian regions. The decade-long war in Afghanistan is another flank in this US bid for hegemony over the fuel for the capitalist world economy. For nearly three decades, the US-led Western capitalist world has been deprived of exploiting Iranian energy wealth.

The Islamic Republic has remained defiantly independent of Washington’s control, not just in terms of its vast hydrocarbon riches, but also politically. Iran is no puppet of the West as it was formerly under the despotic Shah Mohammad Rezā Pahlavi.

Tehran has shown itself to be a trenchant critic of Western imperialist meddling in the region and fawning over the criminal Israeli persecution of Palestinians. Another important source of Western animus towards Iran and the deeply held desire for regime change is the loss that the Iranian revolution implies for the lucrative American, British and French weapons industry.

When Shah Mohammad Rezā Pahlavi was kicked out in February 1979, so too was a massive market for Western arms dealers. The recent $50 billion arms sales to Saudi Arabia — the “biggest-ever in history” — that had the Pentagon salivating, would be easily replicated in Iran, if a similar client regime could be installed there.

From the Western powers’ point of view, Iran is both an elusive prize and a frustrating obstacle. Bringing Iran back into the orbit of Western capitalist control has the added significance of depriving energy and other geopolitical advantages to rival powers, in particular Russia and China. In a strategic review earlier this month, Washington highlighted China as its pre-eminent global competitor in the coming decades.

The militarized agenda towards China was also heralded by US President Barack Obama during his Asia-Pacific tour at the end of 2011. China is heavily dependent on Iranian oil. Some 20 percent of all Iranian crude oil exports are traded with China. The latter has billions of dollars worth of energy investments in Iran, in particular the natural gas sector, which energy analysts view as the primary fuel in forthcoming decades.

Washington’s policy of hostility and regime change towards Iran and furthering its hegemony over this vital region is as much about wresting control from its perceived competitors, Russia and China. That factor takes on added importance as America’s economic power wanes.

These issues form the bigger picture that explains the drive for war in the Persian Gulf, which the mainstream media has chosen to carefully ignore. The broader implications of this war are either trivialized or not mentioned. People are led to believe that war is part of a “humanitarian mandate” and that both Iran as well as Iran’s allies, namely China and Russia, constitute an unrelenting threat to global security and “Western democracy”

While the most advanced weapons system are used, America’s wars are never presented as “killing operations” resulting in extensive civilian casualties. While the incidence of “collateral damage” is acknowledged, US-led wars are heralded as an unquestionable instrument of “peace-making” and “democratization”.

The selection of articles below is intended to give readers a condensed overview of the events and issues at stake in the so-called stand-off between the US, its allies, and Iran. We have selected articles with a news emphasis while also providing a historical background.

In Part I, Playing with Fire: Covert Acts of Aggression, Provocation and War, our reports and analyses show how the military build-up in the Persian Gulf has an alarming deliberation and potential for an all-out regional conflict. We also expose Washington’s criminal covert war against Iran, including the assassination of Iranian scientists and the incursion of the country’s territory with spy drones. However, we don’t merely report the occurrence of these events, our writers show how this mainly US-led militarization is part of the wider strategy for American global dominance.

We also demonstrate in Part II, War-Making is a Crime: The Latest Episode in America’s Long Record, that the belligerent policy of Washington and its allies is criminal. Before even firing a shot, the Western powers are violating international laws and protocols of diplomacy. Equipped with this legal insight and knowledge is essential for citizens to mount an effective anti-war movement. In this section, we also provide a historical background showing that Washington’s hostility towards Iran is but the latest episode in a long history of criminal warmaking by the US.

Central to the Western powers’ avowed rationale in the Persian Gulf is their presentation of Iran as a threat to world peace, in particular from its alleged development of nuclear weapons. In Part III, Media Manipulation: Lies, Distortions and Selling Yet Another War to the Public, we dispel the myths, fog and fabrications behind these allegations to show that Iran does not have, nor is intending to build, nuclear weapons. Its “nuclear ambitions” (a phrase so often said with sinister connotations) are to develop civilian energy and medical capabilities — well within the provisions and entitlements of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Countless inspections over several years by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), have not found any evidence to support Western claims.

Yet these well-worn and hollow claims continue to be recycled in the mainstream media. The IAEA has also shown itself to have become a willing political tool for Western governments and intelligence agencies by casting sinister doubt on the Iranian nuclear program even though the IAEA has not found any proof to justify such doubts. We show that the supposed nuclear threat feared by the Western powers is a specious pretext for their otherwise criminal aggression towards Iran and its 80 million people.

Finally, in Part IV Towards a Global Conflagration, we point to the very real danger of a horrendous cataclysm — if Western governments persist in their criminal drumbeat for war in the Persian Gulf. Russia and China are fully aware that a war on Iran is a steppingstone towards a broader war. The Russian government, in a recent statement, has warned the US and NATO that “should Iran get drawn into any political or military hardships, this will be a direct threat to our national security.”

The region is on a hair-trigger for a conflagration that would involve nuclear weapons and the collision of global powers in what would constitute World War III. The consequences are barely imaginable for the loss of life in such a scenario and for the very future of the planet. Yet all the while, the mainstream media has served to justify this march to war or to downplay its horrific possibilities.

The complacency of Western public opinion –including segments of the US anti-war movement– is disturbing. No concern has been expressed at the political level as to the likely consequences of a US-NATO-Israel attack on Iran, using nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state.

Such an action would result in “the unthinkable”: a nuclear holocaust over a large part of the Middle East. It should be noted that a nuclear nightmare would occur even if nuclear weapons were not used. The bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities using conventional weapons would contribute to unleashing a Chernobyl-Fukushima type disaster with extensive radioactive fallout.

The “Globalization of War” involving the hegemonic deployment of a formidable US-NATO military force in all major regions of the World is inconsequential in the eyes of the Western media.

War is not frontpage news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities. The broader implications of this war on Iran are either trivialized or not mentioned. People are led to believe that war is part of a “humanitarian mandate” and that both Iran as well as Iran’s allies, namely China and Russia, constitute an unrelenting threat to global security and “Western democracy.”

In the face of ceaseless media disinformation, We at Global Research are committed to raising public awareness of the injustice and criminality being perpetrated by Western governments. We began this News Reader by saying that 2012 could be a watershed year for ominous reasons. It could also be a watershed year for a better future in which citizens rise up to avert war and overthrow their oppressive governments, to create societies that are worthy of human beings. In order to achieve that, we first need to know what is at stake and why. This Online News Reader (N-Book) aims to do that.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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