Miscellany 31

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    Almost 4,000 Saudi forces fled their border bases in anticipation of Riyadh’s order for launching a ground assault on Yemen, European diplomatic sources said on Sunday.
    “The intel gathered by the western intelligence agencies showed that the Saudi military forces have fled their bases, military centers and bordering checkpoints near Yemen in groups,” diplomatic sources were quoted as saying by Iraq’s Arabic-language Nahrain Net news website.

    The European sources said that the Saudi forces’ mass AWOL forced Riyadh to declare ceasefire and dissuaded it from launching ground attacks against Yemen.

    Other reports also said that over 10,000 soldiers from different Saudi military units have fled the army battalions and the National Guard.

    Experts believe that the Saudi army lacks strong morale to launch a ground invasion of Yemen and such an attack would be considered as a suicide for Saudi Arabia.

    Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 32 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 3,005 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.




    ​In a new documentary focusing on Vladimir Putin’s 15 years in power, the Russian president says communications intercepted in the early 2000s show direct contacts between North Caucasus separatists and the US secret services.

    “At one point our secret services simply detected direct contacts between militants from the North Caucasus and representatives of the United States secret services in Azerbaijan,” Putin said in the film, released by Rossiya 1 TV channel on Sunday.

    “And when I spoke about that to the then president of the US, he said… sorry, I will speak plainly, he said, “I’ll kick their asses”, Putin recounts his conversation with George W. Bush on the issue. A few days later, he says, the heads of Russia’s FSB received a letter from their American counterparts, which said they had the right to support opposition forces in Russia.

    “Someone over there, especially the West’s intelligence services, obviously thought that if they act to destabilize their main geopolitical rival, which, as we now understand, in their eyes has always been Russia, it would be good for them. It turned out, it wasn’t,” Putin muses, saying he had warned the West about the possible dangers of supporting terrorists.

    In the 1990s and early 2000s, Russia was engaged in a conflict with militant separatists in the North Caucasus, who often resorted to terror attacks. This led to a prolonged counter-terrorism operation, which only officially ended in 2009.

    “President” is a two-hour long documentary built around an interview with Vladimir Putin, where he recounts the most memorable moments of the past 15 years. It touches upon matters both political and personal and features videos filmed by Putin’s personal cameraman and never seen on TV before.






    “The images contain enough information (range, angular scale) to perform a bit of technical intelligence (i.e., sophomore high school trigonometry) on the radar antenna size, which is a significant parameter affecting capability,” Mr. Thomson, a former CIA analyst, told Secrecy News.

    While provocative, the intent of the imagery disclosure was obscure, he said.

    “Why did the Russians release the images? The US is highly paranoid about releasing resolved images of spysats, ours or others. The Russian paranoia is at least as great, so how did these images get out? What was the purpose?”

    The images themselves seem to be mostly just a curiosity. But perhaps they underscore the growing visibility and the corresponding vulnerability of U.S. space-based assets.




    A recent WIRED article entitled “Popcorn Time’s Piracy App Is Sneaking onto iPhones” reads:

    “Popcorn Time has exploded over the last year as a free and likely illegal alternative to Netflix, with no monthly fees, more content, and in some cases better quality video.”

    In case you don’t know, Popcorn Time is built on the Bittorrent protocol. And many – if not most – Popcorn Time users have never heard of Bittorrent.

    Sound like a predecessor for Bitcoin’s killer app? Swap out a few words and see:

    “Fill-in-the-blank-Bitcoin-app has exploded over the last year as a free and likely illegal alternative to state-sanctioned banking, with no fees, more payment options, and in some cases built-in merchant discounts.”


    And Bitcoin’s killer app may take just as long as Bittorrent’s did – 12 years – or perhaps longer. Because Bitcoin isn’t just going up against greedy, lawsuit-happy Hollywood Luddites. It’s going up against the very idea – a long-held idea – that some people are allowed to create money, while others are not.

    …some people are allowed to create money, while others are not.

    …some people are allowed to create money, while others are not.







    Warning: Readers may find some of the images disturbing
    I started taking photos of migrants because I was living in Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands working as a photographer for the local paper, and they were coming over from all over sub-Saharan Africa.
    What happened on that day in 2004 was no different to what had been happening for years, and would keep happening.
    The journey across the sea to Europe is taken by a lot of people in search of a better life. At any moment boats can capsize, they can run out of gas, the motor can break down – and they’re vulnerable to the cold weather.




    “They killed and dumped a newborn baby on the rubbish heap,” read the headline.
    The little girl was found on 4 April 2003 – her body had been put in a black rubbish bag and thrown in a bin which was later emptied and its contents taken to the local dump.
    There are people who make a living recycling rubbish from the dump in the southern Chilean town of Puerto Montt, and it was one of them who found the body.
    Gallardo was horrified. She immediately decided to give the baby a proper burial. She was in the process of adopting a child at the time and immediately felt a connection – this could easily have been her baby and she wanted to do something for it.




    They were found guilty on the same grounds in 2011 and guilty of war crimes in 2012. Weighty files of evidence have been lodged with the International Criminal Court at The Hague. Perhaps at this eleventh hour, Vincent Nichols might finally feel “compelled” to “speak out” for his Chaldean Catholic brother in the church Tariq Aziz, in some measure of atonement for welcoming an accused war criminal mired in the blood of three million Iraqis, innumerable Afghanis and people of the Balkans. As he said, it takes “courage to face the facts from the past.”




    Charlie Hebdo Update: The terrorist attacks, if that is what they are, are extremely convenient for Washington and Israel. France had just voted with Palestine against the US/Israeli position. French President Hollande had just stated that the sanctions against Russia must end. Among Europeans sympathy was rising for the Palestinians, and support for Washington’s and Israel’s Middle East wars was declining. Now France is back under Washington’s foreign policy umbrella, and European sympathy has shifted from the Palestinians to Israel.




    AS the National Journal reported in 2014, even the pathetically weak anti-war left is not ready to reconcile with Hillary given her warmongering as Secretary of State. And with good reason. Scratching just lightly beneath the surface of Hillary Clinton’s career reveals the empirical evidence of her historic support for aggressive interventions around the globe.




    Sedqi al-Maqet, a Syrian activist who lives in the Israeli-occupied part of Syria known as the Golan Heights was interned after a dawn raid on his home by Israeli secret police at the end of February. Until quite recently, the Israeli media was absolutely banned from mentioning his case at all, even from referring or linking to foreign press reports on the issue.

    Al-Maqet is a Syrian Druze from Majdal Shams known for his media activism and support of the Bashar al-Assad regime. He had published information online (including via his Facebook account) about contacts he said he had witnessed between Israeli armed forces in the Golan and what he termed terrorists active in the Syrian-controlled sector of the Golan.

    As I have noted in this column before, Israeli military spokespeople have now admitted to what the reports of UN peace-keeping forces in the Golan have been implying for some time: Israel has an active alliance with the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria.

    Although al-Qaeda as a movement has a history of making hostile statements against Israel (and statements of an anti-Semitic nature) it has never been involved in much in the way of military confrontations against the Zionist state. Al-Qaeda has historically had two main focuses: US military and civilian targets, and military and civilian targets within Arab states (often specialising in brutal sectarian attacks against those it considers false Muslims).

    Since the Nusra Front took over a key checkpoint in the Golan in the summer, it has not gone unnoticed by Arabs that Nusra has completely avoided attacking Israeli military targets in the region. The Qunaitra crossing stands between the Israeli-occupied and the Syrian-controlled sectors of the Golan – Nusra has held it since August.

    UN peacekeepers have observed regular contacts between Nusra forces in the area and the Israeli troops stationed on the other side of the ceasefire line (Israel has illegally occupied part of the Golan since 1967). They also observed cargo of an unknown nature passing between the two sides from the Israelis.




    Even the contact information listed for MasterCard in their annual SEC report seems old-fashioned.

    Instead of listing something like an email address, MasterCard provides their “telephone number, including area code.” The form actually indicates that the filer should include the area code, as though using telephones is a new thing.

    And it turns out, when this form was invented, telephones were a new thing.

    The top of it reads “Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13. . . of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.”

    That’s right. This annual ritual has gone on unchanged since 1934.

    And the general tone of the remainder of the report solidifies what the opening lines hint at: that MasterCard – and third-party payment processors in general – are becoming old news, and are likely living their last days.

    Competition, Competition, Competition

    MasterCard’s SEC report mentions the word cryptocurrency three different times, and each time, it’s under the heading of the word “competition.”

    First the report mentions that MasterCard competes against cash, checks, other credit card issuers, wire transfers, mobile payments, and cryptocurrency.

    It then goes on to mention cryptocurrency again in its “startup and emerging competitors” category:

    “These competitors include digital wallet providers such as PayPal, AliPay and Amazon, merchants. […] mobile operator services, services such as mPesa, handset manufacturers, and cryptocurrencies.”




    Could you tell us a bit more about the Ethereum Foundation, what are its activities and purposes?

    Ethereum Foundation is much like the Apache Software Foundation: it’s a charity that wants to improve the world by making better software available under Open Source licenses. Ethereum is a scriptable blockchain – basically taking the power of the architecture behind bitcoin and building a software platform on top of it so you can make software which is as secure and reliable as a bitcoin transaction. We expect to see a lot of use in transactional and security applications, but also an explosion of innovation as we bring the cost of deploying a blockchain-based business down by a factor of a hundred or more. It’s quite disruptive.






    I’ve been saying for a long time that aircraft carriers are just history’s most expensive floating targets, and that they were doomed.

    But now I can tell you exactly how they’re going to die. I’ve just read one of the most shocking stories in years. It comes from the US Naval Institute, not exactly an alarmist or anti-Navy source. And what it says is that the US carrier group is scrap metal.

    The Chinese military has developed a ballistic missile, Dong Feng 21, specifically designed to kill US aircraft carriers: “Because the missile employs a complex guidance system, low radar signature and a maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable, the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased. It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 and reach its maximum range of 2000km in less than 12 minutes.” That’s the US Naval Institute talking, remember. They’re understating the case when they say that, with speed, satellite guidance and maneuverability like that, “the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased.”

    You know why that’s an understatement? Because of a short little sentence I found farther on in the article—and before you read that sentence, I want all you trusting Pentagon groupies to promise me that you’ll think hard about what it implies. Here’s the sentence: “Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack.”

    That’s right: no defense at all. The truth is that they have very feeble defenses against any attack with anything more modern than cannon. I’ve argued before no carrier group would survive a saturation attack by huge numbers of low-value attackers, whether they’re Persians in Cessnas and cigar boats or mass-produced Chinese cruise missiles. But at least you could look at the missile tubes and Phalanx gatlings and pretend that you were safe. But there is no defense, none at all, against something as obvious as a ballistic missile.

    So it doesn’t matter one god damn whether the people in the operations room of a targeted carrier could track the Dong Feng 21 as it lobbed itself at them. They might do a real hall-of-fame job of tracking it as it goes up and comes down. But so what? Let me repeat the key sentence here: “Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack.

    Think back a ways. How old is the ballistic missile? Kind of a trick question; a siege mortar is a ballistic missile, just unguided. A trebuchet on an upslope outside a castle is a ballistic weapon. But serious long-range rocket-powered ballistic weapons go back at least to the V-2. A nuclear-armed V2 would have been a pretty solid way of wiping out a carrier group, and both components, the nuke and the ballistic missile, were available as long ago as 1945.

    A lot has happened since then, like MIRVs, mobile launchers, massively redundant satellite guidance—but the thing to remember is that every single change has favored the attacker. Every single goddamn change.

    You know that Garmin satnav you use to find the nearest Thai place when the in-laws are visiting? If you were the Navy brass, that should have scared you to death. The Mac on your kid’s bedroom desk should have scared you. Every time electronics got smaller, cheaper and more efficient, the carrier became more of a death trap. Every time stealth tech jumped another step, the carrier was more obviously a bad idea. Smaller, cooler-running engines: another bad sign for the carrier. Every single change in technology in the past half a century has had “Stop building carriers!” written all over it. And nobody in the navy brass paid any attention.

    The lesson here is the same one all of you suckers should have learned from watching the financial news this year: the people at the top are just as dumb as you are, just meaner and greedier. And that goes for the ones running the US surface fleet as much as it does for the GM or Chrysler honchos. Hell, they even look the same. Take that Wagoner ass who just got the boot from GM and put him in a tailored uniform and he could walk on as an admiral in any officer’s club from Guam to Diego Garcia. You have to stop thinking somebody up there is looking out for you.

    Remember that one sentence, get it branded onto your arm: “Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack.” What does that tell you about the distinguished gentlemen with all the ribbons on their chest who’ve been standing up on carrier bridges looking like they know what they’re doing for the past 50 years? They’re either stupid or so sleazy they’re willing to make a career commanding ships they know, goddamn well know, are floating coffins for thousands of ranks and dozens of the most expensive goldplated airplanes in the history of the world. You call that patriotic? I’d hang them all.

    That’s why it’s so sickening to read shit like the following:





    As I was close to finishing my own story, The New York Times published a long article last night about the rather intense and fascinating controversy that has erupted inside PEN America, the group long devoted to defending writers’ freedom of expression from attacks by governments. In essence, numerous prominent writers who were to serve as “table heads” or who are long-time PEN members have withdrawn from the group’s annual awards gala and otherwise expressed anger over PEN’s decision to bestow its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award to Charlie Hebdo.

    The Times story does a good job laying out the events and describing the general controversy, so in lieu of repeating that, I instead want to publish the key correspondence between the writer Deborah Eisenberg and PEN’s Executive Director, former Obama State Department official and Amnesty USA Executive Director Suzanne Nossel, which sparked the controversy; post the full comment given to the Intercept by the writer Teju Cole, who has withdrawn as a table head; and make a few observations of my own. The Intercept has also submitted several questions to Nossel, which I’m also posting, and will prominently post PEN’s responses as soon as they are received. All of those documents are here.

    Though the core documents are lengthy, this argument is really worth following because it highlights how ideals of free speech, and the Charlie Hebdo attack itself, were crassly exploited by governments around the world to promote all sorts of agendas having nothing to do with free expression. Indeed, some of the most repressive regimes on the planet sent officials to participate in the Paris “Free Speech” rally, and France itself began almost immediately arresting and prosecuting people for expressing unpopular, verboten political viewpoints and then undertaking a series of official censorship acts, including the blocking of websites disliked by its government. The French government perpetrated these acts of censorship, and continues to do so, with almost no objections from those who flamboyantly paraded around as free speech fanatics during Charlie Hebdo Week.

    Under the guise of the “War on Terror,” there has indeed been a systematic assault on free speech: though it’s been one waged by western governments primarily against their Muslim citizens. For that reason, it has provoked almost no objections from those who dressed up as free speech crusaders that week. That’s because, as I wrote in the aftermath of that rally, the incident was used to manipulatively exploit, not celebrate and protect, free expression. Celebrating Charlie Hebdo was largely about glorifying anti-Muslim sentiment; free expression was the pretext.

    This is all quite redolent of how the U.S. government and its acolytes quite adeptly exploit social issues to advance imperial aims. U.S. officials, for instance, gin up anger toward Putin or Iran by highlighting the maltreatment of those countries’ LGBT citizens – as though that’s why the U.S. Government is hostile – while at the same time showering arms and money on allied regimes in Saudi Arabia and Egypt whose treatment of gays is at least as bad (while LGBT groups in the U.S. say nothing because those are Obama’s policies). Or American and British officials will denounce free press attacks by governments they want to demonize while cozying up to regimes that allow no press freedoms at all. It’s also similar to how neocons tried to persuade feminists to support the war in Afghanistan because the Taliban is heinous to women or justified the invasions of Iraq because Saddam violated human rights – at the very same time that the regimes neocons love the most are at least as bad if not worse on those issues (to say nothing of the human rights records of neocons themselves and the U.S. Government).




    The family of a four-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered more than 75 years ago have accused police of a ‘cover-up’ after officers ordered that the case file be kept secret until 2040.
    Joyce Cox was just days away from celebrating her fifth birthday when she was strangled to death on her way home from school in Cardiff on September 28, 1939.
    The schoolgirl had been walking with her older brother Dennis, who was seven at the time, but she disappeared when he lost sight of her. Her body was found dumped by a railway station but police have never caught her killer.
    Now, Terry Phillips, 71, who is Joyce’s cousin, has accused the Metropolitan Police of a ‘cover-up’ after the force said information could not be released about her murder because it is unfair to the mystery suspect.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3057124/Family-girl-4-murdered-1939-accuse-Met-Police-cover-force-refuses-release-files-investigation-2040-unfair-mystery-suspect.html



    Facebook users in Poland organized a rally in support of Moscow bikers club “Night Wolves” who spend motocross Moscow-Berlin in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Victory. The action was initiated leader of the Polish Party “Change” Mateusz Piskorski.
    27/04/2015, 3:39
    “As Poles, we are ashamed of the behavior of the authorities of our country, which in the name of Russophobia insane trying to prevent the passage of motorcyclists from” Night Wolves “. Contrary to compromise himself elites we invite “Night Wolves” together to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi aggressor “- quoted by RIA Novosti organizers of the rally.
    Performers publish your photos on Facebook, which hold the sheets with the inscription: “” Night Wolves “, we invite you to Poland.”
    The initiator of the flash mob, the leader of the Polish Party “Change” Mateusz Piskorski, wrote in his blog that the Polish authorities are sowing in the country “panic and fear” in connection with a share of motorcyclists who “want to honor the memory of hundreds of thousands of men, by which we survived as a nation” .
    He noted that the solidarity with the Russian bikers expressed thousands of Polish riders, “people with very different views that just care about the good name of Poland as a country hospitable and friendly to all the neighbors.”
    According to Piskorski, Polish authorities’ refusal to pass bikers is “a clear violation of the rule of law in the field of freedom of movement.”

    Оригинал новости RT на русском:



    “FUCK AMERICA!” – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, April 19, 2013

    We’ve had two deadly jihadi attacks in this country since the start of the new century: 9/11 and the Boston Marathon. In both cases, Washington’s highly-politicized position on Chechen separatists played a key role in making it harder for FBI agents to prevent those attacks from happening.




    A billboard in the US state of Wisconsin has featured a police officer, involved in two fatal shootings last month as anger rises against police brutality across the country.

    Residents in Kenosha, Wisconsin, have responded negatively to the ad that hails the residents for their support of the police.

    The billboard, erected by the Kenosha Professional Police Association, portrays officer Pablo Torres, who shot 26-year-old Aaron Slier and 66-year old Vietnam War veteran Terry Knight to death last March during a ten-day period.

    Torres is currently on administrative leave due to an investigation over the shooting death of Siler.

    “To me that doesn’t make the department look good,” Kathy Willie, a spokesperson for the Siler family, told The Guardian. “What are they trying to say? Are they trying to say he’s not guilty and they know that for a fact? Why are they thanking him?”

    Local media have called for the billboard to come down, noting it could be intended to intimidate people who criticize the police.

    The fatal shooting of Siler occurred just 10 days after Torres shot Knight, who allegedly attacked Torres with a knife. Knight was injured, and Torres was cleared of any wrong-doing.

    The killing of Siler occurred on Torres’ first day back on the job following an administrative leave for the shooting death of Knight.

    Michael Martin Bell, a retired US Air Force pilot and long-time resident of Kenosha, said his son was shot in the head and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop.

    Bell said the officer was cleared within 48 hours of killing his son despite lack of a crime lab report and medical report. “The witness statements weren’t even taken,” he said.

    “I spent 10 years of my life on this,” he said. “I spent a million dollars of my money on this. I know the system is broken.”

    This comes as thousands of people have being hitting the streets of Baltimore, Maryland, to protest police brutality against an African American who succumbed to serious spinal injuries after his arrest.




    From the Daily Mail online:
    Mexican archaeologist found mercury in a chamber of Teotihuacan pyramid
    The chamber had been sealed at the end of a tunnel for nearly 1,800 years
    Because of the potential supernatural significance of liquid mercury in ritual ends, archaeologist Sergio Gomez hopes to find king’s tomb in pyramid
    Teotihuacan, or ‘abode of the gods’ in the Aztec language of Nahuatl, was distinct from the Mayan civilization
    Gomez has been working in the tunnel for six years and has found thousands of artifacts
    The excavation of the chambers should be finished by October, Gomez said




    “Formally the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, this is the most secure data center in the central United States.
    Our data center (code named DLLSTX2) is located in the heart of downtown Dallas, TX. It is in a Tier 3+ facility on the same protected power grid as Dallas 911 and the local hospitals. This means we are exempt from rolling blackouts that historically have been an occurrence due to the Texas summer heat. Power is sent to the data center from four different substations, requiring all four substations to go offline before power to the building is interrupted. Additionally, the data center is serviced by water feeds from the north and south of the building.” Oh and it just gets worse the more I read – check out the pitch to resell thier services
    “You can leverage all that LSN has to offer to deliver simple, solid and superior service to your customers. Our API or premade WHMCS plugin makes it easy to offer our services under your own brand. Give the appearance of a large corporate hosting company no matter your size.”




    Surely, Obama, Kerry, Biden, Nuland et al. understand the extremely serious position in which they are putting Putin and the Russian Parliament. It is important to understand that both bodies of the Russian Parliament are completely behind Putin in this matter, without an iota of dissent. It is even more important to be cognizant of the fact that the BRICS Economic Union stands squarely behind Russia, as do perhaps 93 other nations which voted with Russia or abstained from the most recent UN resolution after the annexation of Crimea. Russia considered that critical vote of confidence to be a successful retroactive mandate, which the US then went on to attack as being coerced, even though it was actually Washington who threatened the dissenting nations.

    That crucial UN vote alone reveals the massive and unprecedented support that Russia now enjoys among its peers within the UN General Assembly. The NATO powers, as well as the rest of the European Union, were quite surprised by the broad rejection of the coup d’état which the Anglo-American Axis (AAA) executed in Kiev. Each of those dissenting nations knows that they can be the next target of the AAA and their proxies, should they reside on the wrong piece of real estate in this unfolding geopolitical chess game.

    The NATO nations have shown — repeatedly and dramatically — that they will attack anyone, anywhere, anytime they want to. The world now knows that NATO will act with complete impunity and total disregard for the opinion of the great majority of the nations of the world. This pattern of behavior has become so disconcerting to the community of nations that Russia is now looked to as the best candidate to stand up to the global bully known as the Anglo-Amercan Axis.

    This evolving geopolitical chessboard is actually being set up by the real powers that be so that Russia will fulfill its duties in upholding the dharma (aka righteousness) of world governance. Putin knows that he has the support of the oppressed countries of the world. He also knows that destiny is on his side, Russia’s side, the BRICS side, and the oppressed peoples of the world side. Furthermore, Putin knows that three’s a charm, as Russia was on the winning side of both WWI and II.

    History provides an important perspective on the looming World War III.

    This is where very few comprehend the significance of how the two previous world wars have set up the current geopolitical dynamic in favor of Russia and her allies. Much of the most relevant history can be reduced to two subjects as follows:


    Who would have ever thought that a US President … VPOTUS … Secretary of State … and other high-ranking diplomats would engage in such an exercise of treacherous subterfuge, routine betrayal and incessant prevarication in order to foment war and revolution. The White House, it now appears, will fabricate any story that is required to trigger civil wars or start revolutions. Their conduct throughout the CIA-engineered coup in Kiev serves as the lowest point of statecraft in US history.



    Also, it bears pointing out that the vast majority of people in the US are quite happy listening to Washington’s propaganda, be it from Fox or NPR, don’t consider it propaganda, and have been conditioned to consider anyone who attempts to tell them the truth to be tin hat-wearing conspiracy theorist nut case. And that means that tin hat-wearing conspiracy theorist nut cases have a role to play. They are important to have, in the same way that a village idiot is important to have, so that children can learn what idiocy looks and sounds like. So, why bother sending them to a concentration camp?

    And so it seems likely that the village idiots… ahem, truth-tellers will remain free-range for the time being, unless they really lose it and start tilting at windmills. But then that becomes a bona fide mental health issue.

    Unless, of course, full-on war hysteria breaks out. In that case, while the external goons are busy pretending to be “not winning, not losing” but somehow “keeping America safe” in yet another wretched part of the world, the internal goons have to be kept busy. Rounding up undesirables would give them something to do.

    That’s the state of affairs in the United States and its subservient territories: Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand and a few others. But Washington’s propaganda isn’t working at all well in the rest of the world, be it Russia or China or Latin America. In all of these places, Washington’s message control has more or less failed. This is why the people in Washington are in a bit of a panic, and labeling internal dissidents as a “threat” is just them flailing in search of an answer. They can’t stop lying, and they can’t even pretend to rule the world if everyone knows that they are lying, so their only option is to try to squelch every voice except their own. They may succeed at this within the US (some would say they already have) but as far as the rest of the world—good luck!




    Until the Mayor and Police Chief can answer how Freddie Gray’s spine was severed they will continue to see outbreaks in their city. It is going to be a long summer in Baltimore.

    “Did Freddie Gray die from a police “Nickel Ride”? If so, what does this tell us about the current uprising in Baltimore?
    John Vibes: “Many suspect that Gray was the victim of a ‘Nickel Ride’, a horrific police torture tactic where a suspect is handcuffed and placed in the back of a police van without restraints, and driven recklessly around town by police officers. This practice has also been called a ‘Rough Ride’ or a ‘Cowboy Ride.’”
    The Nickel Ride is not necessarily a Baltimore PD innovation, but they seem to be Grade A practitioners:
    “Last year, Nickel Rides became notorious in Philadelphia, after a court case revealed that police were using this tactic as a witness-free way to punish unruly, uncooperative, or arrogant suspects – without ever laying a hand on them. For rogue police, it was a literal way to deliver ‘street justice.’
    “The practice was exposed through the lawsuit of a man named James McKenna, who was awarded $490,000 after he was able to prove in court that he was intentionally injured during his ride in a police van.
    “Baltimore itself also has a dark history of police van torture. In fact, Baltimore Police have paid out millions of dollars in settlements to victims who were critically injured during rides in police vans. In 2012, a woman from Baltimore named Christine Abbott sued police after she was badly injured during a bumpy ride in the back of a police van.
    “That same year, the death of Anthony Anderson was ruled a homicide, he too died of injuries sustained while riding in a police van.”
    I’d like you to consider one of those sentences again: “Baltimore itself also has a dark history of police van torture.”
    So when the Baltimore Chief of Police expresses himself as upset that Freddie Gray had not been strapped in correctly during his eventually fatal Nickel Ride, you must understand that the man either doesn’t understand his own force (he’s an idiot), or is the modern equivalent of the Vichy officer Louie in Casablanca, who is suddenly shocked to discover gambling in Rick’s Place (he’s in on it and conducting damage control).
    Imagine the relief of high Baltimore authorities at being able to shift the narrative from police torture to the inappropriate reactions of those inner city “savages” to police torture.”




    The Brookings Institution’s 2009 policy paper titled, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran,” makes clear that negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program is merely theater, and that it will be used to give the world the impression that the United States explored all possible “peaceful” options before resorting to violent regime change. The report states specifically that:

    …any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context— both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.




    Leader of the ISIL terrorist group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died and members of the Takfiri group in Iraq have already sworn allegiance to Abu Ala Afri as his successor, Arab media reports said on Sunday.
    According to two Iraqi news agencies, Alghad Press and Al-Youm Al-Thamen (the 8th Day), as well as sources in the Iraqi city of Mosul, Baghdadi died in an Israeli hospital in the occupied Golan Heights where he had been hospitalized for treatment after sustaining severe injuries during a joint attack of the Iraqi army and popular forces.

    The sources added that al-Baghdadi has been declared by his Israeli physicians and surgeons as to be now “clinically dead”.

    The terrorist leader was targeted in an airstrike in Western Iraq on March 18.

    Al-Youm Al-Thamen quoting intelligence sources said ISIL had earlier recorded several videos of its leader months before the March airstrike and after the first time that he escaped lethal injuries around a year ago to prove that he is alive until the group can introduce a universally accepted new leader.

    The sources added that the members of the Takfiri group operating in Iraq have already pledged allegiance to a new leader called Abdul Rahman al-Sheijlar, alias Abu Ala Afri, as Baghdadi’s successor.

    There are also unconfirmed reports that internal disputes have erupted and gaps among a number of ISIL factions in Syria and Iraq are widening over the appointment of the new leader, as the ISIL branch fighting Syria has rejected Afri’s leadership and are dithering over Baghdadi’s successor.

    The Spanish-language Hispan TV television also released a report on April 25 in which it confirmed the death of the ISIL leader.

    A report released by the Guardian on March 21 said Baghdadi suffered serious and “life-threatening” injuries during an attack in March.

    The report, of course, added that Baghdadi has survived his wounds.

    Baghdadi’s wounding led to urgent meetings of ISIL leaders, who initially believed he would die and made plans to name a new leader.

    An Iraqi official confirmed that the strike took place on 18 March in the al-Baaj a district of Nineveh, close to the Syrian border. There had been two previous reports in November and December of Baghdadi being wounded, though neither was accurate.

    Hisham al-Hashimi, an Iraqi official who advises Baghdad on ISIL, said, “Yes, he was wounded in al-Baaj near the village of Umm al-Rous on 18 March with a group that was with him.”


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