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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"President of the Venezuelan National Assembly says US is trying to sabotage the formation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)"...

'US plots against formation of CELAC'
Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:52PM GMT

Via
President of the Venezuelan National Assembly says US is trying to sabotage the formation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Press TV reports.

Fernando Soto considers the recent events, such as the violation of territorial waters by an alleged American nuclear submarine and the kidnapping of a Venezuelan Major Baseball League player, as parts of the US strategy against the bloc.

The Venezuelan official also stressed the importance of this unity as a tool to counteract threats by alleged invading forces.

The Venezuelan government's foreign policy has targeted the development of Latin American and Caribbean economies and cultures without the so-called capitalist influence of the United States.

The CELAC plans to bring together 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries under one union in an attempt to develop mutual trust and form a zone of peace.

The Community has created high expectations in the region, as it is believed to mark a milestone in Latin American and Caribbean unity.

The CELAC will have its foundation summit on December 2 and 3, 2011 in Caracas.

"The Norwegian public, politicians and experts alike are expressing surprise at the verdict of insanity delivered by the forensic psychiatrists assessing Anders Behring Breivik...Breivik himself has said he found the verdict insulting and that although he had feared it, he had not expected this outcome.The media have given minute descriptions of how Breivik spent years planning his attacks. His ability to do so makes it difficult for many people to accept that he cannot be held to account for them"

Norwegian disbelief at Breivik 'insanity'
By Liss Goril Anda
29 November 2011

Via
The Norwegian public, politicians and experts alike are expressing surprise at the verdict of insanity delivered by the forensic psychiatrists assessing Anders Behring Breivik.

Many psychiatrists were quoted by the news media ahead of Tuesday's announcement as saying that he was likely to be deemed sane.

In the event, the two court-appointed psychiatrists, Torgeir Husby and Synne Soerheim, concluded that Breivik had "developed the mental disorder of paranoid schizophrenia".

Breivik himself has said he found the verdict insulting and that although he had feared it, he had not expected this outcome.

The Norwegian media's general use of the term schizophrenic also fails to match their portrayal of Breivik. This makes it hard for people to understand how the verdict was reached, triggering concerns that he is "getting away lightly".

The media have given minute descriptions of how Breivik spent years planning his attacks. His ability to do so makes it difficult for many people to accept that he cannot be held to account for them.

Experts divided

In Norway, only about one in five of similar forensic assessments tend to conclude that the perpetrator was insane. This has led even some experts to question the committee's findings.

Media coverage reflects the public's uncertainty at the verdict.

The website of the broadsheet newspaper Aftenposten carried a headline on Tuesday evening with a quote from a Swedish psychiatrist expressing surprise. He points out that Breivik does not appear to have been hallucinating at any point during the attack.

Svenn Torgersen, professor of psychology at the University of Oslo, pointed out to the newspaper Dagbladet that Hitler and Stalin would have been unlikely to receive the same diagnosis as Breivik.

Meanwhile, journalist and commentator Anders Giever remarked in the newspaper VG that although Breivik's statements might seem delusional to outsiders, he has most likely been supported in his view of reality by other users of the extreme right-wing forums he frequented.

The name of Quisling, leader of Norway's collaborationist government during the Nazi occupation, is frequently brought up in debates on web forums as a comparison.

Do somebody's extreme opinions preclude them from being held responsible for their actions?

There is also concern as to how this verdict will affect those directly affected by the attacks.

Lawyer Brynjar Meling, representing several of the victims of the attacks, has already requested a second opinion on the verdict.

Progress Party member Per Sandberg expressed surprise and outrage at the verdict in an interview with Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.

"The verdict cannot be accepted," he said. "Victims must be certain that he will not be released any time soon."

Sandberg added that his party, of which Breivik was previously a member, would call for a review of how one determines whether a person is fit to stand trial.

But Dagfinn Hoybraten, the previous Christian Democratic Party leader, told the broadcaster that he disagrees.

"We are fortunate to have an independent justice system in Norway, and therefore politicians like us need to keep from telling them what they should be doing," he said.

Liberal party leader Trine Skei Grande agreed, saying that the current regulations must be abided by.

Soul searching

The report will now be examined by the Forensic Commission, who are free to give further comments or ask for more work to be done.

Lawyers have however pointed out that they are unlikely to attempt to overturn the verdict of such a thorough report.

The trial will proceed in much the same manner as if Breivik had been found sound of mind. Evidence will still be examined, and the court has the final say as to whether or not they believe Breivik is guilty of having carried out the attacks.

However, they usually heed the forensic assessment, which in all likelihood means he will not be sentenced to prison, but sectioned instead.

Some are less surprised by the verdict, pointing to Breivik's manifesto as evidence of his delusions.

Web forums also emphasise that this outcome is not entirely negative. If sent to prison, Breivik would have ample opportunity to stoke right-wing extremist opinions among fellow inmates as a sort of martyr.

Being under treatment in a high-security mental health unit will, if nothing else, would severely limit his ability to do so.

Lawyer Carl Bore, also representing some of the victims, told NRK that although he is surprised, he sees no reason to doubt the committee's verdict.

He points out that Norway has done a lot of soul-searching since this summer.

"People ask themselves how this could happen, and look for scapegoats," he said. "Maybe we can more easily move on as a society when we see that it was simply caused by a sick person."

Surprise or not, Norway's struggle to cope with this manifestation of right-wing extremism is sure to be affected by the verdict.

UK unions hail public sector strike...

Unions hail public sector strike
Alan Jones Wednesday 30 November 2011

Via
Unions hailed a strike by up to two million public sector workers as "historic" tonight as they angrily rejected claims by the Prime Minister that the biggest walkout in a generation had been a "damp squib".

David Cameron told the Commons that the "irresponsible and damaging" industrial action had been far from universally supported as he defended the Government's controversial pension reforms.

Officials from 30 unions involved in today's strike reported huge support, with up to 90% of some organisations taking action, often for the first time in their lives.

The strike closed more than three quarters of schools in England, as well as courts, museums, libraries and jobcentres, disrupted transport, hospitals and Government departments, led to around 15% of driving tests being cancelled, and was described by unions as the biggest since the 1979 Winter of Discontent.

Physiotherapists, headteachers, librarians, lollipop ladies, refuse collectors, weather forecasters and scientists were among those involved in the stoppage.

Civil service union Prospect said action by 26,000 of its members alone disrupted or stopped work at more than 400 locations, ranging from Ministry of Defence sites to prisons.

More than 1,000 rallies were held across the UK, including one in central London attended by tens of thousands of workers, some accompanied by their children.

Len McCluskey, leader of Unite, said the rally showed the depth of anger among public sector workers, adding: "The Prime Minister is completely out of touch. I have been to 12 picket lines and there has been a fantastic response both from workers and the general public.

"The Government can try to spin and tell lies, but they have been found out."

University and College Union leader Sally Hunt said: "Cheap potshots add nothing to what should be a serious debate about millions of people's futures, and just expose how out of touch the Prime Minister really is."

Warnings of massive delays at Heathrow airport failed to materialise, with passengers saying border controls were "better than usual".

Union officials accused the Government of "ramping up" possible airport disruption and claimed that "under-trained" staff had been drafted in to cover striking immigration and passport workers.

Debbie Arnell, a 42-year-old apprenticeship assessor from Bournemouth who had flown back to Heathrow's terminal five after a holiday in Philadelphia, said there appeared to be "more staff than usual" at passport control.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of airport operator BAA, said: "Due to the effective contingency plans we put in place with airlines and the UK Border Agency, immigration queues are currently running at normal levels for Heathrow.

"As a result of the whole airport community working together over the past few days we have more immigration officers on duty and fewer passengers arriving than would otherwise be the case. That has put us in a better place to avoid the serious delays and widespread disruption at Heathrow that were projected last week."

The Public and Commercial Services union reported a "huge" turnout for the strike, with up to 90% of staff in some Government departments, including Revenue and Customs, taking action.

Unison leader Dave Prentis said: "I wouldn't call two million people taking strike action a damp squib. Cameron is sounding increasingly desperate in his attacks on public service workers.

"He has only to turn on the TV, or listen to the radio - or look out the window - to see the nurses, dinner ladies, paramedics, social workers, teaching assistants, lollipop ladies amongst others standing up for their pensions. And the thousands of picket lines, demonstrations, rallies and events are not a figment of our imagination. These people are angry public servants who the Government has driven to the end of their tether."

A "handful" of staff from 10 Downing Street went on strike, and the school attended by Mr Cameron's son Elwen, was closed.

The Department of Health told NHS trusts in England they must not release figures regarding staff on strike or the number of cancelled operations and appointments, it was revealed.

A letter said a "national position" statement must be sent to the media ahead of any regional breakdowns.

Christina McAnea, head of health at Unison, said: "It is outrageous that the Department of Health are desperately trying to hide the fact that NHS services are being disrupted across the UK. Our members are reporting fantastic support for the day of action.

"We appreciate that this will cause difficulty for patients but we have made sure that patient safety will not be compromised."

Mr McCluskey said it was a "diabolical" attempt to "distort the truth".

The London Ambulance Service revealed that 42% of its staff were on strike, saying it was under "increased pressure" after receiving 30% more 999 calls than normal.

In Salford, Greater Manchester, council binmen manned a picket line outside their depot. Standing around a burning brazier to keep warm, they held placards including one asking: "Do we look Gold Plated?"

Primary schoolteacher Teresa Hughes, 48, of Newport, South Wales, who joined a rally in Swansea, said: "I am the main earner in my family and teachers like me are having to work more but for less.

"I don't think anyone wanted to go on strike, and we don't take a decision like this lightly. But ask anyone here today and they will tell you they feel like they have been left little choice but to take part in industrial action. The fact that the Government has reneged on its pension deal does not give us much faith."

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said the strike was "inappropriate, untimely and irresponsible", adding: "Responsibility for any disruption which people may experience today lies squarely with union leaders.

"Claims that there are no negotiations going on are simply not true. There were formal discussions with the civil service unions only yesterday and there will be formal discussions with the teaching unions tomorrow and health on Friday.

"In addition, there are frequent informal contacts between the Government and the TUC. All of this underlines how indefensible today's strike is while these talks at scheme level are moving forward."

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) said 90% of its 23,000 NHS members were estimated to be on strike, for only the second time in the union's 117-year history.

Alex MacKenzie, of the CSP, said: "Physiotherapy staff have demonstrated their anger over these pensions proposals by turning out in huge numbers today. No-one wanted to strike, but our members felt we had to take a stand."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fusion Center documents label OKC Bombing investigators as terrorists...

Fusion Center documents label OKC Bombing investigators as terrorists
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
November 28, 2011
RedDirtReport.com

Via
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Ten years after 9/11 and 16 years after the Oklahoma City bombing, it appears the federal government continues to view some Americans who embrace their First Amendment rights -- press and speech, primarily -- as a danger to the State, and as a result they are listing certain investigative websites as extremist and a terroristic threat to the "homeland."

One, labeled as "extremist" and therefore a threat to the U.S. Government, includes a well-known site, once operated by a truth-seeking Oklahoma state legislator, working to expose anomalies related to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing -- OKCbombing.net. A link to the document can be seen here.

This shocking designation is indeed troubling, particularly to the local documentary film production company Free Mind Films, which is also releasing an explosive documentary about the Oklahoma City bombing, A Noble Lie.

OKCbombing.net was formerly operated by State Rep. Charles Key (R-Oklahoma City), as a site to inform the public about reams of information discovered by the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee, much of it originally ignored by the same federal agencies who now list the site as a threat to the homeland. As for Rep. Key, he concluded his role in the OBIC in approximately 2002 and Free Mind Films is now paying for access and domain rights to the site.

So, how was this designation discovered? It was via the investigative work of John Bush and Catherine Bleish of Operation Defuse, an Austin, Texas-based group whose ongoing efforts are to expose the growing police state and the growing influence of the national network of "Fusion Centers" across the country.

And Operation Defuse has plenty of fans due to their hard work. In fact the activists appeared in a controversial "police state" episode of Jesse Ventura's Conspiracy Theory program on TruTV last year as an extension of their tireless work in "unmasking the new American police state."

And part of that police state apparatus are Fusion Centers, Bush told Red Dirt Report. These centers are described by the government as "terrorism prevention and response centers" and were established by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice in the mid-2000's. Specifically, they were designed to share and analyze information which can be shared between local, state and federal agencies. Civil libertarians and constitutionalists are very concerned about the overreach these centers have, and the impact they will have on freedom in this country.

"Our interest in Fusion Centers is in exposing the threat that Fusion Centers pose to our civil liberties and Constitutional rights," Bush told Red Dirt Report this week.

So, while attending the 2010 National Fusion Center Conference in New Orleans, La. in February of that year that Operation Defuse's Bush and Bleish, journalists with the "Austin Free Press," came across a compact disc that was made available by the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance. The CD laid out anti-terrorism resources for Fusion Center directors and senior leadership, Homeland Security directors, local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement and intelligence officers and analysts.

Under the heading "Domestic Terrorism," the DOJ/BJA reference document has a subhead titled "Miscellaneous Extremism." It is there, amidst well-known websites like Antiwar.com and lesser known sites one calling for an "end to corporate governance," that The Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee's OKCbombing.net website is listed as an extremist and domestic terrorist website by the federal government.

In describing the site for law enforcement, OKCbombing.net is noted as being a "web site for the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee, a group convinced that a large Oklahoma City bomb conspiracy exists."

But upon reading the "about us" portion of the scholarly investigative site, their mission statement goal is to "find the whole truth about the fatal attack on the Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. Through extensive eyewitness interviews and research, the Committee is working to bring all those responsible to justice."

The site offers visitors information on "articles of interest" related to the bombing and Timothy McVeigh and offers copies of the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee's thorough, 500-plus page independent book, Final Report on the Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building, released in 2001. Since Key handed over the control of OKCbombing.net to Free Mind Films, a link to that group's website is on the site and it notes that they will be releasing a documentary film about the bombing and anomalies related to it called A Noble Lie.

As the site notes: "Evidence presented at this web site is documented, compiled from more than four years of investigation."

James Lane, who created Free Mind Films and directed the new Oklahoma City bombing film A Noble Lie, said he is not surprised the government has designated OKCbombing.net a terrorist site.

"This document shows the lengths that the US government will go to demonize people that have the audacity to expose corruption and cover-ups," Lane told Red Dirt Report. "These institution's primary goal is self-preservation above all else."

As for Key, he told Red Dirt Report that he has not been involved in any sort of Oklahoma City bombing for over a decade and that the site is now operated by others.

"I'm not involved in it," Key said. "I don't know why they (the DOJ) would make this kind of claim. I think it's ridiculous, extreme and reactionary in its own right."

Bush, meanwhile, said Operation Defuse saw the the fed's targeting of the OKCbombing.net website was "another example of the federal government training officials to believe that exposing these things is 'extremist.'" He went on to add that the feds, via "Fusion Centers" and connected groups can further "marginalize anti-establishment organizations and groups."

It was nearly three years ago that Missouri's "Fusion Center" -- the Missouri Information Analysis Center, or "MIAC" -- had a report that was leaked to the Alex Jones Show. The leak revealed MIAC's "Modern Militia Movement" document was labeling supporters of presidential candidates like Ron Paul or Chuck Baldwin as "militia"-influenced terrorists. The document also singled out people opposed to the "New World Order" and the creation of a "North American Union," among others. After the MIAC report was exposed, outrage over the government demonizing political speech and constitutional freedoms led to its eventual denunciation by state officials.

But it was clear that a year later -- in 2010, while at the New Orleans Fusion Center conference -- that federal officials and those within the Justice Department were still obsessed with labeling investigative groups like the long-defunct Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee and its accompanying website as an extremist and terroristic organization.

Red Dirt Report contacted the DOJ's Bureau of Justice Assistance seeking more information about what critera OBIC and OKCbombing.net met in order to be designated as an extremist, terroristic threat. If we do receive a reply, we will be sure to update this important story.

Operation Defuse's John Bush, meanwhile, said that for the government to include a site like OKCbombing.net as an extremist site only gives local agencies an excuse to crack down on people seeking the truth.

"So, when you question the official line about the Oklahoma City bombing you are labeled a domestic terrorist?" Bush asked rhetorically.

Concluded Bush: "It's unfortunate that the anti-terrorism apparatus is being turned inward" against the American people."

For more information go to www.operationdefuse.com or www.freemindfilms.com.

Egypt imports 21 tons of tear gas from the US...

UPDATE: Egypt imports 21 tons of tear gas from the US, port staff refuses to sign for it
Manar Ammar | 28 November 2011

Via
CAIRO: The arrival of 7 and half tons of tear gas to Egypt’s Suez port created conflict after the responsible officials at the port refused to sign and accept it for fear it would be used to crackdown on Egyptian protesters.

The shipment has been moved by the ministry of interior to its Cairo storage facility, amidst strick and secretive security measures. Local reports say the staff, initially under investigation, have been spared investigation after having a discussion over the matter with their superiors.

Local news sites published documents regarding the shipment shows that the cargo that arrived in 479 barrels from the United States was scheduled to be delivered to the ministry of interior.

The reports also mentioned in the documents that a second shipment of 14 tons of tear gas was expected, making the total 21 tons, in one week.

The importing of tear gas comes after thousands of tear gas canisters were fired at Egyptian protesters last week as clashes raged in downtown Cairo, just off from the iconic Tahrir Square, where thousands of protesters had gathered.

The gas used has angered activists, who say the effects of exposure has yet to wear off, with a number of protesters telling Bikyamasr.com that they have coughing fits, chest pains, blurred vision and their arms often shake. According to the Journal of Royal Medicine, the use of CS Gas – the most common choice of Egypt’s police last week – can have lasting symptoms for over one year.

Egypt’s al-Shorouk newspaper reported that upon the arrival of the shipment, massive disagreements broke out between employees, where five employees refused to sign for the shipment, one after the other.

The five, being dubbed by activists as the “brave five”, were to be refereed to a investigative committee as to why they refused to perform their duties, which has since called off.

The news about the shipment’s arrival stirred the Twittersphere, after it was consumed all day with the country’s first post-revolution elections, and activists mocked the reinforcement of weapons that is being used against them.

Many commented, saying that “gas bombs are definably more important than importing wheat to make bread.”

The Obama doctrine: Imperialism masked as "humanitarian interventionism"

The Obama Doctrine: Imperialism Masked as "Humanitarian Interventionism"
Wayne MADSEN (USA) | 28.11.2011 | 00:00

Via
The Obama administration, in yet another display of the use of Orwellian language, has embarked on a military doctrine called "Mass Atrocity Prevention" (MAP), the Pentagon operational plan to implement the White House's "R2P" or "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine. Essentially, the Pentagon doctrine is crafted to militarily support the intervention of regional and worldwide international forces operating under the umbrella of NATO, UN, the African Union, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Arab League, and other organizations in the name of “humanitarian” intervention to prevent widespread massacres. The doctrine’s first major test case was in Libya, where NATO forces, in support of Western- and Saudi/Gulf potentate-backed rebel forces, ousted the 42 year-old regime of Muammar Qaddafi.

And in yet another display of oxymoronic Orwellian “Newspeak,” the main Defense Department activity for developing “Mass Atrocity Response Operations” or “MARO” is the Army’s Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

The new American justification for military intervention arises from Presidential Study Directive 10/PSD-10, a memorandum issued by the White House on August 4, 2011, which created an Interagency Atrocities Prevention Board and interagency review to bring administration policy in line with a new presidential policy that deems “preventing mass atrocities and genocide” a “core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States.”

The new American foreign policy initiative was justified by the 2008 report of the Genocide Prevention Task Force co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen. The task force was heavily influenced by the neoconservative and federally-funded U.S. Institute of Peace, as well as George Soros-funded think tanks like the Center for American Progress and pro-Israeli organizations like the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

PSD-10 was largely the brain child of National Security Council staff member Samantha Power, who is married to Obama’s “propaganda czar” Cass Sunstein, and Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN. The White House press briefing on Obama’s Mass Atrocity Prevention doctrine specifically mentioned Syria, Libya, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, and Kyrgyzstan as examples of when U.S. diplomatic and stronger intervention was required. The announcement cited the Holocaust in Europe and the genocide in Rwanda as reasons for the new U.S. policy but curiously omitted the U.S.-supported Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia and the CIA-supported post-1965 coup genocide in Indonesia, the latter involving President Obama’s Indonesian step-father, a lieutenant colonel in the Indonesian army.

A core elite of Democratic Party foreign policy wonks, many sheep-dipped through Soros-funded and – influenced non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Clinton administration. In addition to Power and Rice, a major player behind MARO and U.S. “humanitarian” interventionism is Sarah Sewall, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Peace Operations in the Clinton administration. She now heads a MARO team at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations-heavy Kennedy School at Harvard. Sewall’s MARO project director is Sally Chin, formerly with the U.S. Institute of Peace-funded Search for Common Ground (SFCG), which has also received support from Soros, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Saudi billionaire Prince Al Waleed bin Talal. SFCG target countries include Sudan, Pakistan, Kosovo, Kenya, Indonesia, Cote d’Ivoire, Burundi, Liberia, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, and the city of Jerusalem.

Funding for Sewall’s foreign policy-laundering operation for the Obama administration comes from PKSOI and Humanity United, an NGO having interlocking management links with many other George Soros-funded operations, including Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Tides Center, and the International Crisis Group (ICG). In addition Humanity United is linked to the U.S. intelligence and Pentagon military operations planning contractor, the RAND Corporation; CIA-linked World Vision; and the William J. Clinton Foundation, headed up by the husband of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has also embraced the MARO doctrine.

Current targets for meddling by MARO and the Soros NGO network are Syria, Somalia, Philippines, Kenya, post-Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) Colombia, Guatemala, Pakistan, Uganda (targeting the Lord’s Resistance Army), and North and South Yemen. Past target nations that saw major “humanitarian” destabilization efforts by Obama’s new doctrine were Haiti, Kosovo, South Sudan, Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.

The concept of R2P arose from a December 2001 report from another Orwellian “Newspeak”-named entity, the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), the brainchild of then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The commission is defunct but its role in pushing R2P was assumed by the Global Center for Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P), which has been championed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. GCR2P was founded by the same cast of Soros-influenced NGOs that helped to develop the MARO doctrine for the Obama administration: ICG and HRW, the founding partners of GCR2P. Among the major donors to GCR2P is Soros’s Open Society Institute (OSI). GCR2P’s target countries match those of other NGOs involved in advancing the MARO doctrine: Syria, Libya, Uganda, Sudan, and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The MARO doctrine and R2P are currently being used to justify covert and proposed overt NATO and U.S. military operations to topple the government of President Bashar Assad in Syria, the same “humanitarian” intervention template used to justify NATO’s and the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) military intervention in Libya on behalf of the Transitional National Council, which plunged Libya into a worse human rights situation under rebel rule than anything ever experienced under the Qaddafi regime, including the massacre of Libyan civilians and foreign black African guest workers; summary executions of Qaddafi, members of his family, and his supporters; and detention of children.

One of the MARO principles, establishing “safe areas” for internally-displaced persons, is now at the heart of proposed NATO intervention in Syria. Another MARO military principle being proposed for Syria is the establishment of an “oil spot,” systematically securing limited areas with a “clear-hold-build” approach. Yet another MARO principle, containment through blockades and no-fly zones, was used to justify NATO intervention in Libya and is being proposed for Syria and Iran.

Other MARO operations include fomenting labor strikes in targeted nations; saturating large areas in target nations with sufficient military forces; creating buffer or demilitarized zones between perpetrator forces and victims; partner enabling by supplying advisors, equipment, and special support to host nations, coalition partners, and “victim groups” (more Orwellian “Newspeak” for rebel and secessionist forces – MARO doctrine, thus, incorporates decades of U.S. military doctrine on counter-insurgency – COIN – operations, which brought the world such “humanitarian” achievements as the My Lai massacre in South Vietnam, and other U.S. massacres of civilians in Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Nicaragua, Iraq, and Afghanistan); and militarily defeating “perpetrator” leadership and their capabilities.

MARO and R2P, especially the training and special assistance to coalition partners, are being used by the Pentagon and CIA to beef up the U.S. military and intelligence presence at bases in east Africa and the Horn of Africa, ostensibly to protect Somalis from Al Shabab Islamist guerrillas. In fact, a virtual invading force of U.S. Special Operations forces, CIA operatives, and private military contractors have descended on the region, under the aegis of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), to prop up local armies in order to secure a developing western oil and natural as production infrastructure, including pipelines and oil sea terminals in the area. Drone, intelligence collection, and U.S. special forces and training bases have been established at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti; Victoria, Seychelles; Manda Bay, Kenya; Bujumbura, Burundi; Entebbe, Uganda; Mogadishu, Somalia; and Arba Minch, Ethiopia.

Beyond Africa, the Obama administration is building five new military bases in Australia, including a Marine base in Darwin. The U.S. military presence is also being expanded in the Philippines and Vietnam. It is well-known that beyond the Middle East and Africa, MARO doctrine is being used to eventually challenge the governments of China and Russia. In the world of Obama’s Orwellian “Newspeak,” mass atrocity prevention could result in a situation where billions die as a result of global thermonuclear warfare because a few oligarchs like Soros, Obama, and neo-conservative “New American Century” advocates decide that Western imperialism cannot be satisfied until “problem” regimes in Tehran and Pyongyang and, eventually, powerful governments in Beijing and Moscow are replaced by vassal regimes. In the world of the globalists, vulture capitalists and bankers, and militarists, the R2P promoters are now leading the initial military charge up the hill.

"Reports of a blast in the province of Isfahan, home to one of Iran’s atomic facilities, adds to a series of unexplained incidents that have raised suspicions of sabotage against the country’s nuclear program"...

Iran Blast Reports in Nuclear Province Fuels Sabotage Suspicion
November 29, 2011, 6:18 PM EST
By Ladane Nasseri

Via
Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Reports of a blast in the province of Isfahan, home to one of Iran’s atomic facilities, adds to a series of unexplained incidents that have raised suspicions of sabotage against the country’s nuclear program.

An explosion was heard in Isfahan at 2:40 p.m. yesterday and an investigation is underway, the state-run Fars news agency said. Authorities later played down the report. Gholamreza Ansari, head of the province’s judiciary, said he had heard the “blast-like sound” and it didn’t seem to be important. Mohammad-Mehdi Ismaeli, a deputy to Isfahan’s governor, said reports of a powerful explosion were unfounded. “Maybe somebody’s water heater exploded,” he told Mehr news agency.

Still, coming after the deaths of several people linked to Iran’s nuclear program, and amid increased pressure on Iran from the U.S. and its allies, which accuse the Islamic republic of seeking to develop atomic weapons, the incident has strengthened the argument that sabotage is involved.

“While it’s impossible to confirm, recent events in Iran raise suspicions,” said Gala Riani, a Middle East analyst at London-based forecaster IHS Global Insight. It’s possible that “foreign powers would want to carry out clandestine activity to sabotage Iran’s nuclear and military progress,” she said. “Diplomacy doesn’t seem to work and military strikes isn’t something anyone really wants to carry out.”

Uranium Pellets

The central province of Isfahan hosts a nuclear fuel plant, which produces uranium pellets to feed a reactor. Iran says its efforts to develop nuclear technology are aimed at securing energy for its growing population of about 75 million.

A Nov. 12 explosion at a military base west of Tehran killed at least 17 people, state media reported. The blast took place as military personnel were transporting munitions and killed Hassan Tehrani Moqaddam, director of the Revolutionary Guards’ Jihad Self-Sufficiency Organization, Fars said.

Last year, malicious software known as Stuxnet affected some of the country’s computer systems and several centrifuges used in its uranium-enrichment program, Iranian officials have said. Several scientists and officials linked to the nuclear and missile programs have been the target of attacks in the last two years.

Researcher Massoud Ali-Mohammadi was shot dead outside his Tehran home in 2010. Majid Shahriari, a scientist involved in Iran’s nuclear program, died in a Tehran bombing in November that year. A second blast in the capital on the same day injured Fereydoun Abasi, a physicist who was linked to the program in a 2007 UN resolution imposing sanctions.

‘All Options’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in November last year that Iran should know “all options are on the table” to halt its nuclear program. Two weeks ago, Netanyahu called for an international campaign to stop Iran after an International Atomic Energy Agency report suggested that the country had worked on building a nuclear bomb.

This month the U.S, U.K. and Canada tightened punitive measures against Iran, adding to four rounds of United Nations Security Council sanctions by targeting the country’s oil industry and its central bank. EU foreign ministers are scheduled to meet Dec. 1 to discuss measures against Iran.

Russia activates missile early warning radar system...

Russia activates missile early warning radar system
29 November 2011 Last updated at 09:22 ET

Via
Russia has turned on a new incoming missile early warning system in its westernmost region in response to US plans for a missile shield in Europe.

President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the system to be activated on a visit to the radar unit in Kaliningrad, a Baltic region bordering EU countries.

The unit is equipped with the new Voronezh-DM radar system.

Mr Medvedev has warned Russian missiles could be deployed on the EU's borders if the shield is installed.

Washington wants an anti-missile shield ready by 2020, arguing that it is necessary to provide protection from the potential missile threat posed by countries like Iran.

Under President George W Bush, the US had initially intended to locate major parts of the shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, but Russia objected vigorously.

When Barack Obama took office in the White House, he scaled back the original ambitions.

"Nato's missile defence system [is] designed to defend against threats from outside Europe - not designed to alter balance of deterrence," Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a recent tweet.

Domestic context

In a statement carried by Russian news agencies, Mr Medvedev said: "I expect that this step will be seen by our partners as the first signal of the readiness of our country to make an adequate response to the threats which the missile shield poses for our strategic nuclear forces."

Quoted by Interfax, he said: "If our signal is ignored... we will deploy other means of defence including the adoption of tough counter-measures and the deployment of a strike group."

Mr Medvedev has spoken of deploying Iskander missiles - modern versions of the mobile Scud surface-to-surface missile - in Kaliningrad.

On Tuesday, he said Russia was ready to listen to new anti-missile defence proposals from "Western partners" but added that "verbal statements are not enough".

The radar system activated on Mr Medvedev's orders was installed this year at Pionerskoye, Kaliningrad, and is meant to replace older systems in Ukraine and Belarus, according to Russian news website lenta.ru.

With an operating range of 6,000km (3,730 miles), the Voronezh DM can cover "all of Europe and the Atlantic", according to the Russian military.

It is designed to detect space and aerodynamic targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.

Iran's nuclear programme and its development of long-range missiles have alarmed Western states, despite Tehran's assurances it is not seeking weapons of mass destruction.

One analyst said the decision to activate the system was important but had to be seen in a domestic context.

"Data from this station will allow Russia's leadership to make a decision about a retaliatory nuclear strike, should such a hypothetical need arise," Mikhail Khodaryonok, editor of journal Aerospace Defence, told AFP news agency.

But he described Mr Medvedev's announcement as mainly "pre-election rhetoric" given that both the US missile shield and the Russian system were defensive in nature.

"You would really need to have a vivid imagination to link it to the US missile defence system," the analyst said.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Shoppers continue to shop as man collapses in store...

Man Dies on Black Friday; Shoppers Unfazed
Andrew Colegrove
WSAZ
Sunday, November 27, 2011

Via
A man collapsed while doing some Black Friday shopping in a crowded store, and people nearby continued to shop.

Witnesses tell WSAZ.com some shoppers walked around and even over the man’s body.

Family members tell WSAZ.com that Walter Vance, of Logan County, W.Va., passed away after being taken to the hospital.

It happened at Target in the Southridge Shopping Center in South Charleston about 12:15 a.m. Friday.



------------------------------------------------

"The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world.The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself. The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday...In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield"

Congress to Vote Next Week on EXPLICITLY Creating a Police State
If You Thought Police Brutality Was Bad … Wait Until You See What Congress Wants to Do Next Week
Washington’s Blog
Sunday, November 27, 2011

Via
The police brutality against peaceful protesters in Berkeley, Davis, Oakland and elsewhere is bad enough.

But next week, Congress will vote on explicitly creating a police state.

The ACLU’s Washington legislative office explains:

The Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.

***

The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world.

***

The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself. The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday.

***

I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide, even within the United States? Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?

***

In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”

***

The senators pushing the indefinite detention proposal have made their goals very clear that they want an okay for a worldwide military battlefield, that even extends to your hometown.

Part of an Ongoing Trend

While this is shocking, it is not occurring in a vacuum. Indeed, it is part of a 30 year-long process of militarization inside our borders and a destruction of the American concepts of limited government and separation of powers.

As I pointed out in May:

The ACLU noted yesterday [that] Congress is proposing handing permanent, world-wide war-making powers to the president – including the ability to make war within the United States:

***

As I noted in 2008:

An article in the Army Times reveals that the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team will be redeployed from Iraq to domestic operationswithin the United States.

The unit will soon be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. The Army Times reports this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The paper says the Army unit may be called upon to help with “civil unrest” and “crowd control”.

The soldiers are learning to use so-called “nonlethal weapons” designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals and crowds.

This violates posse comitatus and the Constitution. But, hey, we’re in a “national emergency”, so who cares, right?

(We’re still in a declared state of national emergency).

I noted a couple of months later:

Everyone knows that deploying 20,000 troops on U.S. soil violates Posse Comitatus and the Constitution.

And everyone understands that staging troops within the U.S. to “help out with civil unrest and crowd control” increases the danger of overt martial law.

But no one is asking an obvious question: Does the government’s own excuse for deploying the troops make any sense?

Other Encroachments On Civil Rights Under Obama

As bad as Bush was, the truth is that, in many ways, freedom and constitutional rights are under attack even more than during the Bush years.

For example:

Obama has presided over the most draconian crackdown on leaks in our history — even more so than Nixon.

As Marjorie Cohen – professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and past president of the National Lawyers Guild – writes at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy:

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is facing court-martial for leaking military reports and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico brig in Virginia. Each night, he is forced to strip naked and sleep in a gown made of coarse material. He has been made to stand naked in the morning as other inmates walked by and looked. As journalist Lance Tapley documents in his chapter on torture in the supermax prisons in The United States and Torture, solitary confinement can lead to hallucinations and suicide; it is considered to be torture. Manning’s forced nudity amounts to humiliating and degrading treatment, in violation of U.S. and international law.

Nevertheless, President Barack Obama defended Manning’s treatment, saying, “I’ve actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures . . . are appropriate. They assured me they are.” Obama’s deference is reminiscent of President George W. Bush, who asked “the most senior legal officers in the U.S. government” to review the interrogation techniques. “They assured me they did not constitute torture,” Bush said.

***

After State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley criticized Manning’s conditions of confinement, the White House forced him to resign. Crowley had said the restrictions were “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.” It appears that Washington is more intent on sending a message to would-be whistleblowers than on upholding the laws that prohibit torture and abuse.

***

Torture is commonplace in countries strongly allied with the United States. Vice President Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s intelligence chief, was the lynchpin for Egyptian torture when the CIA sent prisoners to Egypt in its extraordinary rendition program. A former CIA agent observed, “If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear – never to see them again – you send them to Egypt.” In her chapter in The United States and Torture, New Yorker journalist Jane Mayer cites Egypt as the most common destination for suspects rendered by the United States.

As I pointed out in March:

Former constitutional law teacher Glenn Greenwald says that – in his defense of state secrecy, illegal spying, preventative detention, harassment of whistleblowers and other issues of civil liberties – Obama is even worsethan Bush.

Indeed, Obama has authorized “targeted assassinations” against U.S. citizens. Even Bush didn’t openly do something so abhorrent to the rule of law.

Obama is trying to expand spying well beyond the Bush administration’s programs. Indeed, the Obama administration is arguing that citizens shouldnever be able to sue the government for illegal spying.

Obama’s indefinite detention policy is an Orwellian nightmare, which willcreate more terrorists.

Furthermore – as hard as it is for Democrats to believe – the disinformation and propaganda campaigns launched by Bush have only increased under Obama. See this and this.

And as I pointed out last year:

According to Department of Defense training manuals, protest is considered “low-level terrorism”. And see this, this and this.

An FBI memo also labels peace protesters as “terrorists”.

***

A 2003 FBI memo describes protesters’ use of videotaping as an “intimidation” technique, even though – as the ACLU points out – “Most mainstream demonstrators often use videotape during protests to document law enforcement activity and, more importantly, deter police from acting outside the law.” The FBI appears to be objecting to the use of cameras to document unlawful behavior by law enforcement itself.

The Internet has been labeled as a breeding ground for terrorists, with anyone who questions the government’s versions of history being especially equated with terrorists.

Government agencies such as FEMA are allegedly teaching that the Founding Fathers should be considered terrorists.

The government is also using anti-terrorism laws to keep people from learning what pollutants are in their own community. See this, this, this and this.

Claims of “national security” are also used to keep basic financial information – such as who got bailout money – secret. That might not bode for particularly warm and friendly treatment for someone persistently demanding the release of such information.

The state of Missouri tried to label as terrorists current Congressman Ron Paul and his supporters, former Congressman Bob Barr, libertarians in general, anyone who holds gold, and a host of other people.

And according to a law school professor and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, pursuant to the Military Commissions Act:

Anyone who … speaks out against the government’s policies could be declared an “unlawful enemy combatant” and imprisoned indefinitely. That includes American citizens.

Obama has refused to reverse these practices.

There Is Still a Chance to Stop It.

The ACLU notes that there is some hope:

But there is a way to stop this dangerous legislation. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power. The Udall Amendment will make sure that the bill matches up with American values.

***

The solution is the Udall Amendment; a way for the Senate to say no to indefinite detention without charge or trial anywhere in the world where any president decides to use the military. Instead of simply going along with a bill that was drafted in secret and is being jammed through the Senate, the Udall Amendment deletes the provisions and sets up an orderly review of detention power. It tries to take the politics out and put American values back in.

***

Now is the time to stop this bad idea. Please urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"Sirhan Sirhan, convicted of the 1968 assassination of presidential candidate Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, should be freed from prison or granted a new trial based on "formidable evidence" asserting his innocence and "horrendous violations" of his rights, defense attorneys said in federal court papers filed this week...Sirhan "was an involuntary participant in the crimes being committed because he was subjected to sophisticated hypno programming and memory implantation techniques which rendered him unable to consciously control his thoughts and actions at the time the crimes were being committed," court papers said.Court papers filed by Sirhan's attorneys say the state "refuses to acknowledge that hypno programming/mind control is not fiction but reality and has been used for years by the U.S. military, Central Intelligence Agency and other covert organizations."Though the practices of hypno programming/mind control is hardly new, the public has been shielded from the darker side of the practice. The average person is unaware that hypnosis can and is used to induct antisocial conduct in humans"

Convicted RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan seeks prison release
By Michael Martinez, CNN
updated 9:18 PM EST, Sat November 26, 2011

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Sirhan Sirhan, convicted of the 1968 assassination of presidential candidate Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, should be freed from prison or granted a new trial based on "formidable evidence" asserting his innocence and "horrendous violations" of his rights, defense attorneys said in federal court papers filed this week.

In a U.S. District Court brief, Sirhan's lawyers also say that an expert analysis of recently uncovered evidence shows two guns were fired in the assassination and that Sirhan's revolver was not the gun that shot Kennedy.

Attorneys William F. Pepper and Laurie D. Dusek also allege that fraud was committed in Sirhan's 1969 trial when the court allowed a substitute bullet to be admitted as evidence for a real bullet removed from Kennedy's neck.

The attorneys further assert that Sirhan was hypno-programmed to be a diversion for the real assassin and allege that Sirhan would be easily blamed for the assassination because he is an Arab. Sirhan, 67, is a Christian Palestinian born in Jerusalem whose parents brought him and his siblings to America in the 1950s.

Sirhan "was an involuntary participant in the crimes being committed because he was subjected to sophisticated hypno programming and memory implantation techniques which rendered him unable to consciously control his thoughts and actions at the time the crimes were being committed," court papers said.

The California Attorney General's office declined to comment Saturday on Sirhan's court filings, said spokeswoman Lynda Gledhill.

Court papers filed by Sirhan's attorneys say the state "refuses to acknowledge that hypno programming/mind control is not fiction but reality and has been used for years by the U.S. military, Central Intelligence Agency and other covert organizations.

"Though the practices of hypno programming/mind control is hardly new, the public has been shielded from the darker side of the practice. The average person is unaware that hypnosis can and is used to induct antisocial conduct in humans," Sirhan's court filings say.

Pepper and Dusek represented Sirhan earlier this year in his unsuccessful request for parole from Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California, 200 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. He is serving a life sentence.

Sirhan was convicted of killing Kennedy and wounding five other people during the June 5, 1968, shooting inside the kitchen service pantry of the former Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Three bullets struck Kennedy's body while a fourth bullet passed harmlessly through the shoulder of his suit coat. Kennedy, the most seriously wounded of the six victims, died the next day. The other five people survived their wounds.

The substitute bullet presented at trial was portrayed as like one removed from Kennedy's neck and matching Sirhan's gun, his attorney said.

Pepper and Dusek are requesting a hearing to present dramatic new findings that they say show a kitchen crossfire in the hotel.

An analysis of a recently uncovered audiotape of the assassination shows that in addition to the eight gunshots fired by Sirhan's Iver-Johnson handgun, five other shots were fired by a second gun from the opposite direction, Sirhan's attorneys said.

The sound recording "clearly showed that 13 shots were fired in the pantry, and Sirhan's gun had only eight shots, so it definitely means there was a second shooter," Pepper told CNN.

The tape was made 40 feet away from the crime scene by freelance newspaper reporter Stanislaw Pruszynski and is the only known recording of the gunshots fired in Robert Kennedy's assassination. The recording was uncovered in 2004 by CNN's Brad Johnson, who had it independently examined by two experts, Spence Whitehead and Philip Van Praag. They concluded, individually, that more than eight shots were captured in the tape.

In their court filings, Pepper and Dusek are focusing on Van Praag's analysis. Van Praag concludes that the Pruszynski recording is authentic and reveals that, over a five-second period in the pantry, two guns fired 13 shots, exceeding the capacity of the eight-shot Iver-Johnson Cadet -- the only gun that Sirhan possessed and had no opportunity to reload.

Van Praag rules out the possibility that any of the 13 shots were echoes, ricochets or non-gunshot sounds. He also finds that some of the shots were fired too rapidly, at intervals too close together for all the shots to have come from Sirhan's inexpensive handgun. Van Praag further concludes that the five shots fired opposite the direction of Sirhan's eight shots displayed a "frequency anomaly" indicating the second gun's make and model were different from Sirhan's weapon.

Pepper said that witnesses reported Sirhan was standing several feet in front of Kennedy and firing nearly horizontally while the medical evidence showed Kennedy's body and clothing were struck by four bullets fired point-blank from behind the Senator at steep upward angles.

Pepper said witnesses reported that bystanders grabbed Sirhan immediately after he fired his first two shots and that they had his firing arm pinned against a steam table, forcing Sirhan to fire his gun's remaining six bullets away from Kennedy, thus striking other people instead.

For decades following the 1968 assassination, Sirhan had claimed he could not remember the Kennedy shooting. Pepper and Dusek argue this is because he was "hypno-programmed" to fire his gun in the pantry and to then forget the shooting, his programming and those who had programmed him.

In 2008, Pepper hired a Harvard University memory expert who says he got the imprisoned Sirhan to recall the Kennedy shooting for the first time.

That expert is Daniel Brown, an associate clinical professor in psychology at Harvard Medical School who submitted a statement to the parole board after interviewing Sirhan for 60 hours over a three-year period. Brown says Sirhan now remembers that when he fired his shots in the pantry he believed he was at a gun range and shooting at circular targets, according to Pepper.

Brown believes Sirhan was programmed to do this so as to cause a distraction in the pantry, allowing a second gunman to secretly shoot Kennedy from behind, according to Sirhan's attorneys. Brown is described in Sirhan's court papers as "one of the world's foremost experts in hypno programming."

Brown says Sirhan now remembers hearing loud sounds he describes as "the thunderclap of other bullets" being fired by another gun in the pantry, the defense attorneys said. Brown says Sirhan also recalls seeing flashes in front of him that he associates with gunfire inside the pantry but not coming from his own weapon, according to Pepper.

Pepper accused both prosecutors and Sirhan's lead attorney, Grant Cooper, who has since died, of misconduct in the 1969 trial. At that time, Cooper was under federal indictment for illegally possessing grand jury minutes in an unrelated case, but the indictment was dropped after Sirhan's sentencing, Pepper said.

"The state suppressed, destroyed and withheld a great deal of evidence," Pepper said in an interview Saturday. Sirhan's "counsel provided totally ineffective assistance and collaborated with the prosecution in violation of his 6th Amendment rights.

"The prosecution told the judge in chambers that we do not have foundation for some of our ballistics evidence, and the defense counsel immediately jumped in and said, don't worry about that, we will stipulate that all of the ballistics evidence is what you say it is," Pepper said.

Los Angeles County prosecutors couldn't immediately comment Saturday, a spokeswoman said.

Said Pepper: "This is one of the most egregious miscarriages of justice imaginable, and because it relates to the assassination of a man who would likely have been president of the United States, the feeling of sadness is irrepressible in these circumstances."

Pepper said he personally knew Kennedy and his family, and ran his campaign in the heavily Republican Westchester County in New York when Kennedy, a Democrat, successfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 1964.

Sirhan has Jordanian citizenship but never became a U.S. citizen, so if he were released from prison, he would be deemed an illegal immigrant and likely be deported to Jordan, where he has extended family, Pepper said.

In 1968, the 42-year-old Kennedy, younger brother of the assassinated President John F. Kennedy, was a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination against Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Sen. Eugene McCarthy.

On the night of his assassination, Kennedy had just appeared on live television in an Ambassador Hotel ballroom, where he had claimed victory over McCarthy in the California primary election. Moments later, he was fatally wounded in the hotel service pantry while on his way to a press conference set for a small banquet room just beyond the pantry. The shooting in the pantry was not captured by any cameras.

At Sirhan's 1969 trial, prosecutors argued Sirhan killed Kennedy because of statements the New York senator made about the United States sending fighter jets to aid Israel.

But in the court papers filed this week, Sirhan's attorneys dismissed that allegation as a "most speculative motive," without any sworn statements for substantiation.

Sirhan was the only person arrested in Robert Kennedy's assassination.


CNN's Brad Johnson contributed to this report.

Self Scientific - God's Language (Video)

Frank Miller and the rise of cryptofascist Hollywood...

Frank Miller and the rise of cryptofascist Hollywood
Fans were shocked when Batman writer Frank Miller furiously attacked the Occupy movement. They shouldn't have been, says Rick Moody – he was just voicing Hollywood's unspoken values
Rick Moody
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 24 November 2011

A sturdy corollary emerges in the wake of the graphic artist Frank Miller's recent diatribe against the Occupy Wall Street movement ("A pack of louts, thieves, and rapists … Wake up, pond scum, America is at war against a ruthless enemy"), available for perusal at frankmillerink.com). That corollary, of which we should be reminded from time to time, is this: popular entertainment from Hollywood is – to greater or lesser extent – propaganda. And Miller has his part in that, thanks to films such as 300 and Sin City.

Perhaps you have had this thought before. Perhaps you have had it often. I can remember politics dawning on me while watching a Steven Seagal vehicle, Under Siege, in 1992. I was in my early 30s. The film was without redeeming merit – there's no other way to put it – and it was about a "ruthless enemy" and the reimposition of the American social order through violence and rugged individualism. Why had I paid hard-earned money for it? Good question. Before Under Siege, I had a tendency to think action films were funny. I had a sort of Brechtian relationship to their awfulness. And I was amused when films themselves recognised the level to which they stooped, as Under Siege assuredly did.

The moment of revelation could have come at any time. It could have come earlier, and it did among my more astute friends. Had I watched any of the later Rocky pictures, for example, or had I watched Rambo, I might have registered that there was little depicted in these frames but feel-good, reactionary message-deployment. But there were, apparently, films too embarrassing for me to see, Rocky IV and Rambo among them. I remember thinking True Lies, the abominable 1994 James Cameron film (featuring Republican governor-to-be Arnold Schwarzenegger), with its big, concluding nuclear blast – the nuclear blast we were meant to want to see – was, well, more than suspect. (I could never again watch a Cameron film without disgust. And that includes the racist, New Age blather of Avatar.) Or what about the expensive and aesthetically pretentious Gladiator (2000), which I still contend is an allegory about George W Bush's candidacy for president, despite the fact that director and principal actor were not US citizens. Is it possible to think of a film such as Gladiator outside of its political subtext? Are Ridley Scott's falling petals, which he seems to like so much that he puts them in his films over and over again, anything more than a way to gussy up the triumph of oligarchy, corporate capital and globalisation?

The types of men (almost always men) who have historically favoured the action film genre, it's safe to say, are often, if not always, politically conservative: Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Mel Gibson, even Clint Eastwood (former Republican mayor of Carmel, California), all proud defenders of a conservative agenda, and/or justifiers of vigilantism. With some of these celebrities, the kneejerk qualities of their politics are self-evident, and in other cases (Eastwood), the reactionary part of their world view is more nuanced. But the brand of politics is the same.

And yet with action films, the moral and political ideas in play are surpassingly easy to spot. What about the entertainment films that came later, during the era of CGI – the big-budget films primarily generated from more imaginary fare, such as the apparently numberless comic book franchises of Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Captain America, et al? In these cases, the moral framework of the product is just as simplistic as in action films, if not more so, and the triumph of the social order is just as violent, and just as relentless, though the films are couched in a sugary glaze of graphics and "wow" moments that distract from ideological branding. The CGI sheen is seductive enough that it's sometimes difficult to divine the message at first. You are too busy being bludgeoned by the sounds and lights. Nevertheless, the message is there. Might is right, the global economy will be restored, America is exceptional, homely people deserve political disenfranchisement, and so on. It bears mentioning that these are films that are in many cases being marketed to children. When I was a kid, you could not gain admission to a film such as Dirty Harry or The French Connection. But an American adolescent can now see Batman in The Dark Knight, rated PG-13, without much difficulty.

The film 300, directed by Zack Snyder, based on a Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name, is just what you would expect from the heavily freighted right-wing filmic propaganda of the post-9/11 period: the Greeks, from which our own putative democracies are descended, must fight to the death against a vast but incompetent army of Persians (those hordes of the Middle East), who are considered here unworthy of characterisation – in fact, every character in the film is unworthy of characterisation – and the noble Spartans (the Greeks in question) achieve heroism despite their glorious deaths on the field at Thermopylae, by virtue of the moral superiority of their belief system and their unmatched courage. Ruthless enemy! From the Middle East! Heroic, rugged individualists! A big, sentimental score! Lots and lots of blue-screen! Endless amounts of body parts spewing theatrical blood!

It's a barely watchable film, but what from Hollywood these days is not similarly unwatchable, when so many high-profile releases are based on a medium, the comic book, made expressly to engage the attentions of pre- and just post-pubescent boys. At least comic books themselves are so politically dim-witted, so pie-in-the-sky idealistic as to be hard to take seriously. But in the films of this era, the Marvel and DC era of Hollywood, even when the work is not self-evidently shilling for large corporations (with product placement) or militating for a libertarian and oligarchical political status quo (which makes a fine environment for large, multinational corporations), the work is doing nothing at all to oppose these things. Paying your $12.50, these days, is not unlike doing a few lines of cocaine and pretending you don't know about the headless bodies in Juarez.

With this in mind, an honest recognition of cinematic propaganda, we shouldn't be shocked by Frank Miller's comments about Occupy Wall Street. It is naive to be shocked by them. But let's evaluate the particulars of his remarks just the same. Miller tries to repel the OWS message ("Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all the other tasty titbits of narcissism you've been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you've heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism") by reminding us that we are at war. This despite the fact that OWS is focused primarily on income inequality, and thus mainly taken up with domestic politics, such that OWS doesn't really take a position on the "ruthless enemy" and doesn't need to. Miller's particular approach, the warmongering approach, is self-evidently reminiscent of the Bush/Cheney years, in which any domestic reversal was followed by an elevated level on the colour-coded risk-assessment wheel. But in this post-Iraq war moment – when the most aggravated conspiracies we seem to have in New York City involve, for example, a lone Dominican guy who advertises his hatred of the government on Facebook and who may have been entrapped by local police – our "ruthless enemy" just doesn't seem quite as numerous as Miller's Persian hordes.

Beyond Bush-Cheney fear-mongering, Miller's further complaint seems to be that people who camped outdoors in Zuccotti Park for two months were not terribly clean. (The Spartans were no doubt tidier in Thermopylae.) But if the crowd of 32,000 who turned up to march in NYC last Thursday – after the "pond scum" had been ejected from the park – are any indication, this hygiene issue is no longer a reliable talking point for Miller (or for Newt Gingrich, the rightwing posterboy of the late 80s who has now entered the race for the Republican presidential noimination). The 32,000 included some professional types, at least one retired police officer and lots of elderly people, many of whom had recently showered. Same thing at UC Davis, and at Berkeley. Those college kids usually have showers in their dorms.


Miller also accuses the OWS protesters of being too technologically savvy. For example, he accuses them of playing Lords of Warcraft. Now, I admit it, I know nothing of multiplayer online role-playing games, nor do I own an iPhone nor an iPad. Nevertheless, I maintain I am correct in imagining that what Miller actually means here is World of Warcraft. This superficial mistake (suggests what should be plain: that Miller wrote his jeremiad quickly, perhaps late at night, when a lack of restraint is often linked with the onset of unconsciousness. He didn't bother to reread it. He therefore overlooks at least one obvious point. Namely, no one is more likely to play World of Warcraft than the kind of adolescent boy who also thinks 300 is quality cinematic product.

Miller's hard-right, pro-military point of view is not only accounted for in his own work, but in the larger project of mainstream Hollywood cinema. American movies, in the main, often agree with Frank Miller, that endless war against a ruthless enemy is good, and military service is good, that killing makes you a man, that capitalism must prevail, that if you would just get a job (preferably a corporate job, for all honest work is corporate) you would quit complaining. American movies say these things, but they are more polite about it, lest they should offend. The kind of comic-book-oriented cinema that has afflicted Hollywood for 10 years now, since Spider-Man, has degraded the cinematic art, and has varnished over what was once a humanist form, so Hollywood can do little but repeat the platitudes of the 1%. And yet Hollywood tries still not to offend.

Does that make American cinema cryptofascist? Is "cryptofascist" a word that you can use in an essay like this? I keep trying to find a space somewhere between "propagandistic" and "cryptofascist" to describe my feelings about Miller's screed. But perhaps it's more accurate to say the following: whatever mainstream Hollywood cinema is now, Frank Miller is part of it. And Frank Miller has done Occupy Wall Street a service by reminding us that our allegedly democratic political system, which increases inequality and decreases class mobility, which is mostly interested in keeping the disenfranchised where they are, requires a mindless, propagandistic (or "cryptofascist") storytelling medium to distract its citizenry. We should be grateful for the reminder. And we might repay the favor by avoiding purchase of tickets to Miller's films.

Off-duty police pepper spray NC shoppers...

Off-duty police pepper spray NC shoppers
By msnbc.com staff and NBC News



An off-duty police officer used pepper spray Friday on shoppers at a Walmart in Kinston, N.C., NBC station WITN of Washington, N.C., reported.

Kinston police Sgt. Roland Davis said an off-duty officer the store had hired to help with security during Black Friday shopping used the chemical while trying to make an arrest during a disturbance.

Angel Bunting, who was shopping at the store, said a man fell into a display as people lined up for discounted cell phones. She said she believed it was an accident but security thought there was a fight.

About 20 people, including children, were affected by the pepper spray, she alleged, but that couldn't be confirmed.

In a video of the even posted on YouTube, which you can watch above, people are seen covering their noses and mouths before police handcuff a man.

Police arrested a 58-year-old man who they said failed to follow their instructions. The man, perhaps ironically, is a former Kinston police officer, CBS station WNCT reported.

"He was raining it over the whole crowd, so it will rain down on their heads," the man told the station. "Some of it got my granddaughter in her face and eyes, and she had to go the emergency room because she's asthmatic."

Updated 4:55 p.m. ET: Kinston police are disputing accounts of the incident, telling NBC News that they fired a single "puff" of pepper spray when a large group of people tried to grab products before Walmart employees were finished putting the items on display.

An officer sprayed "a puff" of pepper spray in the air to have the crowd "regain composure," police said. They told NBC News that none of the substance was sprayed into anyone's eyes or face and that no one requested medical attention.

Police confirmed that one man was arrested but wouldn't confirm his identity as reported in local news accounts.

Black Friday: The madness of a lost society (Video)

Via

Adolf Hitler lived in Liverpool for 5 months before WW1...

Adolf Hitler lived in Liverpool for 5 months before World War I
ANI | Nov 26, 2011, 12.06PM IST

Via
LONDON: Adolf Hitler stayed in Liverpool for five months before World War I in a flat which was destroyed by Luftwaffe bombers in the Second World War 30 years later, according to a new research.

The then 23-year-old shared the flat with his married half-brother Alois Hitler Jnr in Toxteth from November 1912 to April 1913.

During his stay, he wandered around the city and relaxed in the Poste House pub relishing pints.

NAZI Fuhrer also enjoyed a sightseeing tour of London and was so fascinated by Tower Bridge that he bribed his way into the engine room so he could see the machinery at work.

The claims come from an author exploring a long-held theory that the 23-year-old Hitler shared a flat in the city before World War I, the Daily Mail reported.

In his book, The Hitlers of Liverpool, Mike Unger has claimed that the future Fuhrer fled to Merseyside from Vienna, to avoid being conscripted into the Austrian army.

Unger's claims come under scrutiny in a BBC documentary that aims to explore the truth or fiction behind the tale. The suggestion that Hitler lived in the city first appeared in the little-known memoirs of his sister-in-law Bridget Dowling.

In her memoirs, Bridget revealed how she married Alois in London before the couple settled in Liverpool. The visit was funded by the money Alois sent for his sister Angela in November 1912 to join him but, to his fury, his half brother used it and travelled to Liverpool instead.

Bridget asserted that during his stay at their Toxteth home, Hitler was an unprepossessing and lazy guest.

"Adolf took everything we did for granted and I'm sure would have remained indefinitely if he had had the slightest encouragement," Bridget said.

"After the first few weeks he would often come and sit in my cosy little kitchen playing with my two-year-old baby, while I was preparing our meals."

She also said her husband showed Adolf power plants, river cranes and the inside of ships and as soon as her brother-in-law knew his way around Liverpool he began disappearing by himself, not returning until late in the evening.

"He said he was looking for a job, but since he knew only a few words of English and never left early in the morning, it was always my opinion that he just wandered about Liverpool."

As the visit lengthened, relations between the two brothers became more and more strained to the point when, in April 1913, Alois allegedly bought his half-brother a ticket to Germany and put him on a train.

Will (Louis) Freeh bungle Penn State child-sex abuse investigation?

RP NOTE: THNX TO ONE OF THE READERS FOR POINTING ME TO THIS ARTICLE...

Will Freeh bungle Penn State child-sex abuse investigation?
Andrew W. Griffin
Infowars.com
November 22, 2011

More than two weeks after the public began to learn of the child-sex abuse allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, we learn that former FBI Director Louis Freeh, now in the private sector, has been hired to uncover the truth about horrific child-sex abuse crimes in State College, Pennsylvania.

Freeh, you may recall, served as FBI director during the Clinton administration and was in that leadership spot during the 1995 Alfred P. Murrah building bombing. Now that Freeh has been “tapped to lead Penn State’s investigation into the child-sex abuse allegations” against Sandusky, and perhaps others, with information allegedly stretching back to 1975, Red Dirt Report wonders if Penn State really wants this crime to be solved and their questions to be answered.

As reported today, Freeh said: “I will personally lead that investigation. The special committee has hired my law firm to conduct a fair and independent investigation.”

Good luck getting to the truth, Penn State. Given Freeh’s lousy reputation as a crimefighter – and not surprisingly, former Pennsylvania Attorney General and current Gov. Tom Corbett gives Freeh a big thumbs up – you would think Penn State would stay far, far away from Freeh, unless Freeh is expected to bungle, cover up and obfuscate while pretending to expose the crimes against children there in the Keystone State. We hope he is there to do the right thing by those victimized by Sandusky and others.

People at Penn State – also known as “Happy Valley” – have known about Sandusky’s crimes and have covered for him and ousted, godlike Coach Joe Paterno. Note this article in the Beaver County Times which, back in April, was shouting from the rooftops about Sandusky and note that “But there’s no shortage of stories and rumors about Penn State football sweeping problems under the rug.”

Freeh, we must note, is an interesting – and controversial – choice. Yes, controversy seemed to stick to Freeh like crazy glue throughout the 1990’s. First, there was Freeh’s coverup of the 1992 Ruby Ridge travesty. Another big one involved the fallout from Waco, which spilled over into Freeh’s tenure, another botched event and subsequent cover-up. Freeh has a lot to answer for.

While Freeh is viewed as incompetent, he and his underlings were effective in covering up and/or ignoring major crimes and controversies over the years that he was charged to protect the American people. As Charles R. Smith wrote of Freeh at Newsmax.com in 2002: “FBI Director Louis Freeh oversaw the longest run of FBI public disasters in its entire history” with Freeh transforming the FBI “from a federal law enforcement agency into a political joke.”

Think about it. Freeh was in charge during the “500 missing FBI files” incident, the Unabomber case, the Wen Ho Lee/Los Alamos files espionage case, the Montana Freemen showdown, the shoot down of TWA Flight 800 in 1996 and so on. Do you feel you have more answers or fewer answers on those incidents and tragedies? Think about it.

Oh, and did you know Freeh was appointed FBI director in July 1993, the day before Vincent Foster’s body was found in Fort Marcy Park?, The prior director, William Sessions, was ousted by Attorney General Janet Reno in the wake of the Waco disaster – a disaster Freeh would fail to fully investigate, according to reports.

In a September 2000 article in Business Week, writer Howard Gleckman, in a piece titled “The Case Against Louis Freeh,” the article absolutely blasts the director, who was still in charge at that time.

Writes Gleckman: “The man (Freeh) has overseen a bureau that has bungled investigations of high-profile criminal cases and repeatedly misled probers and judges in legal proceedings – never more shamelessly than in the matter of Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee. At the same time, Freeh’s FBI has tried to run roughshod over the civil liberties of ordinary citizens, demanding access to encryption codes and elbowing its way onto every PC in the country through its Carnivore project.”

Remember, that was written 11 years ago – and one year before 9/11.

And for those of us here in Oklahoma City, still healing from the effects of the bombing more than 16 years later, to learn that former FBI Director Freeh is leading an investigation into a major crime which may involve connections to many other people, well, don’t hold your breath folks. He had an opportunity to do the right thing by the victims of the bombing and he opted not to do the right thing and bring the real criminals to justice.

In fact, the idea that Freeh will uncover anything of substance – good luck, Penn State scandal truthseekers – is an absolute joke. For instance, Freeh was exposed as knowing a lot more about the details of who was involved in the bombing, far beyond Timothy McVeigh. Be sure to check out the upcoming release of Free Mind Films’ explosive documentary, A Noble Lie.

As exposed by the late J.D. Cash, an investigative reporter with the McCurtain Daily Gazette, Freeh and the FBI allegedly knew of a bomb plot and the activities of German intelligence contact and Neo-Nazi infiltrator Andreas Strassmeir at Elohim City in Adair County, Oklahoma. And what of Larry Potts, a leading FBI investigator? Freeh made sure Potts, his number two guy, rose in the ranks, yet what does Freeh think about accusations made against Potts, a villain linked to numerous botched cases? This includes comments by the late Timothy McVeigh, executed for his role in the bombing, who said Potts – involved in Ruby Ridge and Waco – knew him well and was forcing the former soldier-turned-radical to “go off script” and that McVeigh’s accomplice, Terry Nichols, said the bombing was an “FBI op,” as noted by a hard-hitting 2007 article in Utah’s Deseret News.

As for “Andy the German” Strassmeir, much of his role in the “FBI op” was revealed in a January 1996 memo Freeh sent out to senior FBI field agents which noted the Southern Poverty Law Center/FBI joint sting operation at Elohim City, Okla. was being handled in the days prior to the bombing.

As Cash reported, while Freeh’s FBI put up border guards on the Mexican border to pick up Strassmeir for questioning in regards to his links to Elohim City and McVeigh, Strassmeir managed to slip through their fingers. The teletype, obtained via an FOIA request, was heavily redacted but reveals that FBI Director Freeh knew a lot more about the Oklahoma City bombing case than the public was led to believe. Why did Freeh allow Strassmeir to flee the U.S. and go back to Germany without being questioned about his role in the lead-up to the Oklahoma City bombing, the biggest domestic terror attack up to that time in history? Wouldn’t Strassmeir’s knowledge of McVeigh and “others unknown” have been useful to the federal investigation into the April 19, 1995 bombing here in Oklahoma City that killed 168 and wounded many others?

As Cash wrote, in a piece posted in 2005 at WorldNetDaily.com: “The Freeh teletype also discusses an allegedly close relationship McVeigh had with a subject living at Elohim City, a person who, the teletype says, spoke with McVeigh only two days before the bombing.”

Continuing, Cash, and co-writer Roger Charles note: “That information, Freeh said, was from an informant who was working for the Southern Poverty Law Center – a tax-exempt civil rights group co-founded by Morris Dees.”

It was Freeh’s FBI that gathered up all the videotapes after the Oklahoma City bombing. Where are those tapes now, Mr. Freeh?

The FBI crime labs under Freeh were accused by an FBI whistleblower that evidence in OKBOMB had been tainted. And Freeh punished him, sending a chilling message to other potential whistleblowers. And yet Penn State, certainly knowing Freeh’s background and history, wants him to do an independent investigation into this serious case at Penn State, which some have reported may include Sandusky’s involvement in “pimping out” children to wealthy Penn State donors?

Freeh’s predecessor, William S. Sessions, was FBI director when Ruby Ridge and Waco happened and was in charge when accusations arose against powerful people and institutions in the late 1980’s and early 1990′s regarding pedophile rings leading up to the top rungs of American political power, something some independent researchers claim goes on to this day. The 2005 “Gannon-gate” episode, as noted by reporter Wayne Madsen, was reminiscent of the 1989 pedophile and prostitution scandal linked to the Franklin Community Credit Union in Omaha, Nebraska. And interestingly, that scandal seems reminiscent of what we are seeing unfold at Penn State, if the allegations of Sandusky “pimping” kids out to wealthy school donors are indeed true, as reported by sports journalist Mark Madden.

The FBI seems to be more interested in crisis management and cover up than in actually solving serious crimes, as we have seen time and again.

When Red Dirt Report first learned that Freeh was hired by Penn State to investigate the Sandusky child-sex abuse case as an independent investigator, we thought about some of our sources who are still upset with Freeh for allegedly covering up so many aspects of what happened prior, during and after the Oklahoma City bombing. This includes the murders of Oklahoma City Police Officer Terry Yeakey and prisoner Kenneth Trentadue, killed while in federal custody in the wake of the OKC bombing, in what his brother Jesse Trentadue believes was a case of mistaken identity.That happened on Freeh and Reno’s watch.

Red Dirt Report is very skeptical of Freeh and whether or not he will really find out anything of consequence and if he does, be on the alert that if it involves very powerful and influential people.

Think about it. It was at the end of his tenure that Freeh, a devout Roman Catholic and rumored to be linked with the shadowy Opus Dei organization, dramatized in Dan Brown’s Catholic Church-linked conspiracy thriller The DaVinci Code, was revealed as actually attending the same church as devoted Opus Dei Catholic and FBI agent-turned-spy Robert Hanssen. Freeh notes in his bio My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton and Fighting the War on Terror, that he didn’t know that Hanssen, a fellow parishioner at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Great Falls, Va., was up to no good and selling us out to the Russians and earning Hanssen the infamous name “the most damaging spy in history.” Somehow, the big ones tend to get by Freeh. Hmmm.

Interestingly, exactly six months prior to the terror attacks of 9/11/01, some pamphleteers critical of Freeh and his cover up of the 1993 “holocaust” of Branch Davidians near Waco, Texas appeared outside his church. While the critics of Freeh and his FBI were angrily driven off the church property by the priest, the somewhat rambling pamphlet notes accuses Freeh of being a “conspirator in the murder of the Branch Davidians, an accessory after the fact.”

Perhaps Louis Freeh has learned a lot since those crazy days of the 1990’s. Perhaps he has had time to reflect on his career and the crimes he was charged with investigating, on behalf of the American people.

But we’re not sure, given his awful record in tracking down the real criminals in numerous high-profile cases. As one person who lost several family members in the Oklahoma City bombing told us this afternoon of Freeh and his new assignment at Penn State, “(Freeh) screwed up here and he’s going to screw up there.” There aren’t many fans of Freeh back here in Oklahoma. We hope folks in Pennsylvania take that into account as their “independent investigation” is launched.

For the sake of the victims at Penn State and those who are extraordinarily upset and outraged about what took place there for many, many years, we truly hope Louis Freeh uncovers the truth and that the despicable Jerry Sandusky – and others – are ultimately brought to justice.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mexico acknowledges 2nd Mayan reference to 2012...

Mexico acknowledges 2nd Mayan reference to 2012

Via
MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico's archaeology institute downplays theories that the ancient Mayas predicted some sort of apocalypse would occur in 2012, but on Thursday it acknowledged that a second reference to the date exists on a carved fragment found at a southern Mexico ruin site.

Most experts had cited only one surviving reference to the date in Mayan glyphs, a stone tablet from the Tortuguero site in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.

But the National Institute of Anthropology and History said in a statement that there is in fact another apparent reference to the date at the nearby Comalcalco ruin. The inscription is on the carved or molded face of a brick. Comalcalco is unusual among Mayan temples in that it was constructed of bricks.

Arturo Mendez, a spokesman for the institute, said the fragment of inscription had been discovered years ago and has been subject to thorough study. It is not on display and is being kept in storage at the institute.

The "Comalcalco Brick," as the second fragment is known, has been discussed by experts in some online forums. Many still doubt that it is a definite reference to Dec. 21, 2012 or Dec. 23, 2012, the dates cited by proponents of the theory as the possible end of the world.

"Some have proposed it as another reference to 2012, but I remain rather unconvinced," David Stuart, a specialist in Mayan epigraphy at the University of Texas at Austin, said in a message to The Associated Press.

Stuart said the date inscribed on the brick "'is a Calendar Round,' a combination of a day and month position that will repeat every 52 years."

The brick date does coincide with the end of the 13th Baktun; Baktuns were roughly 394-year periods and 13 was a significant, sacred number for the Mayas. The Mayan Long Count calendar begins in 3114 B.C., and the 13th Baktun ends around Dec. 21, 2012.

But the date on the brick could also correspond to similar dates in the past, Stuart said.

"There's no reason it couldn't be also a date in ancient times, describing some important historical event in the Classic period. In fact, the third glyph on the brick seems to read as the verb huli, "he/she/it arrives."

"There's no future tense marking (unlike the Tortuguero phrase), which in my mind points more to the Comalcalco date being more historical that prophetic," Stuart wrote.

Both inscriptions — the Tortuguero tablet and the Comalcalco brick — were probably carved about 1,300 years ago and both are cryptic in some ways.

The Tortuguero inscription describes something that is supposed to occur in 2012 involving Bolon Yokte, a mysterious Mayan god associated with both war and creation.

However, erosion and a crack in the stone make the end of the passage almost illegible, though some read the last eroded glyphs as perhaps saying, "He will descend from the sky."

The Comalcalco brick is also odd in that the molded or inscribed faces of the bricks were probably laid facing inward or covered with stucco, suggesting they were not meant to be seen.

The Institute of Anthropology and History has long said rumors of a world-ending or world-changing event in late December 2012 are a Westernized misinterpretation of Mayan calendars.

The institute repeated Thursday that "western messianic thought has twisted the cosmovision of ancient civilizations like the Maya."

The institute's experts say the Mayas saw time as a series of cycles that began and ended with regularity, but with nothing apocalyptic at the end of a given cycle.

Given the strength of Internet rumors about impending disaster in 2012, the institute is organizing a special round table of 60 Mayan experts next week at the archaeological site of Palenque, in southern Mexico, to "dispel some of the doubts about the end of one era and the beginning of another, in the Mayan Long Count calendar."

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