Thursday, October 30, 2008

a hatful of halloween horrorstories

rand lobbies pentagon: start war to save US economy
rand lobbies pentagon: start war to save US economyfrom paul joseph watson & yihan dai: According to reports out of top Chinese mainstream news outlets, the RAND Corporation recently presented a shocking proposal to the Pentagon in which it lobbied for a war to be started with a major foreign power in an attempt to stimulate the American economy and prevent a recession. A fierce debate has now ensued in China about who that foreign power may be, with China itself as well as Russia and even Japan suspected to be the targets of aggression. The reports cite French media news sources as having uncovered the proposal, in which RAND suggested that the $700 billion dollars that has been earmarked to bailout Wall Street and failing banks instead be used to finance a new war which would in turn re-invigorate the flagging stock markets. The RAND Corporation is a notoriously powerful NGO with deep ties to the U.S. military-industrial complex as well as interlocking connections with the Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie foundations.

'constitution-free zone' within 100 miles from border
'constitution-free zone' within 100 miles from borderfrom raw story: The ACLU says a "Constitution-free zone" exists within 100 miles of the US border, where DHS claims the authority to stop, search and detain anyone for any reason. Nearly two-thirds of the US population lives within 100 miles of the border, according to the ACLU, and the border zone encompasses scores of major metropolitan areas and even entire states.

army can't retry watada for refusal to serve in iraq war
from honolulu advertiser: A federal judge ruled late yesterday that the Army cannot retry 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, the Kalani High graduate who was the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to the war in Iraq, on the main charges against him. Watada was charged with missing his Fort Lewis, Wash., Stryker brigade's deployment and with conduct unbecoming an officer after he refused to board a flight to the Middle East in June 2006. The 30-year-old soldier contended that the war is illegal and that he would be a party to war crimes if he served in Iraq. His first court-martial ended in a mistrial in February 2007. Watada's father, Bob, last night said, "It's obviously good news. It's very good news."

catholics seek support for probe of fort benning school
catholics seek support for probe of fort benning schoolfrom georgia bulletin: Ten years after a Catholic archbishop in Guatemala was beaten to death for his work on human rights, four Atlanta priests, two sisters, and seven local members of the Catholic peace group Pax Christi are calling on Congress to deepen its investigation of the controversial Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation which one of his killers attended. The activists believe the Department of Defense-funded military school based at Fort Benning in Columbus, formerly known as the School of the Americas, is linked to human right violators in Latin America who target the poor and clergy who speak up for them. They want Congress to enact a law that would suspend the military school until a commission reports on what tactics former students were taught that violated international law or United States law and hold accountable those who drafted and approved those teaching manuals.

ex-cia man died after hospital heart monitor was turned down
from daily mail: A former CIA man died after the volume of an alarm on his hospital heart monitor was turned down, an inquest has heard. American Alan Bel, 60, suffered a heart attack – but medics failed to notice because they were not alerted because they could not hear the alarm. Consultant cardiologist Dr Bernard Clarke told the inquest that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ staff could have saved the 60-year-old if the machine had been working.

video: comic jean-marie bigard: new 9/11 investigation needed

US professor will bring 'hidden history of 9/11' to uw
from the record: A U.S. professor who questions the official version of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, will speak next month at the University of Waterloo. Paul Zarembka, economics professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo, is editor of The Hidden History of 9/11. He will speak about studies done at UW and the University of Toronto on terrorist attacks in New York City and discuss whether the U.S. government told the truth about the events. Zarembka will speak Nov. 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Arts Lecture Hall 116. Admission is $2. For more information, visit www.waterloo911.ca. Next spring, the UW 9/11 Research Group will hold another talk, which is to include an explosives expert.

naomi wolf: i have 9/11 questions, like any thoughtful citizen does
from truthnews: On October 7, 2008, Naomi Wolf was at Vroman’s bookstore in Pasadena, California to give a talk and sign her new book “Give Me Liberty.” Stewart Howe, of WeAreChangeLA, was on hand and asked Ms. Wolf to give a message to the truth and accountability movement. Ms. Wolf stated that although she has no theory about what happened on 9/11, no question should be off the table in a free society and saluted the movement’s desire to seek truth and accountability. “I live ten blocks from ground zero in Manhattan, and I know that I had questions as a citizen… I think every thoughtful citizen has noticed things that might raised questions,” Wolf commented.


twitter terrorist tool? japan drill, russia, expanding gwot

marines & army get ready to wield stun guns
marines & army get ready to wield stun gunsvfrom danger room: The Marine Corps has been buying Tasers for years. But the military has only used the stun guns sparingly in the field. Now, all that is set to change, thanks to new training guidelines for the electroshock weapons. What's Arabic for "Don't Tase me, bro"? “We would expect the use of [devices such as the Taser] to grow over time, now that we have this long-term policy in place,” Maj. David Nevers, a tells Marine Corps Times.

lockheed, post-election threataganda, russia + china

metro to randomly search riders' bags
from washington post: Metro officials yesterday announced plans to immediately begin random searches of backpacks, purses and other bags in a move they say will protect riders and also guard their privacy and minimize delays. The program is modeled after one begun three years ago in New York that has withstood legal challenges. However, experts said it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of such searches, beyond assuring the public that police are being vigilant. New York officials declined to say what they have found in their searches; none of the other transit systems conducting random searches have found any explosives, officials said. Metro officials said the program was not in response to a specific threat but prompted by increased security concerns before next week's election and the inauguration as well as by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and later bombings of commuter trains in Madrid, London and elsewhere.

saic wins $226m contract for centcom support
from saic: Science Applications International Corporation today announced it has been awarded a task order to provide information technology (IT) support and services to the U.S. Central Command's Directorate of Command and Control, Communications and Computers (J6). The task order has a one-year base period of performance with four one-year options and a ceiling value of $226 million if all options are exercised. Work will be performed primarily at USCENTCOM headquarters in Tampa, Fla. The task order was competitively awarded under the GSA Millennia Governmentwide Acquisition Contract by the U.S. General Services Administration Federal Systems Integration and Management Center.

pennsylvania mulls audio school bus surveillance
from phoenixville news: Bus companies and school districts would be allowed to record audio on school buses under legislation that would modify the state's wiretapping and surveillance law and, supporters say, help deter unruly student behavior. Some buses already use silent video cameras, but questions have arisen about whether recording sound violates the law, which requires the consent of the person being recorded. State Rep. Don Walko, D-Allegheny, said his legislation would allow school boards to authorize audio taping while requiring notification of students and parents and placing signs on buses stating audio taping is taking place... In 2006, state police asked Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. to determine whether Laidlaw Transit Inc. had illegally audio taped students on buses in two districts. Zappala found Laidlaw had no intent to break the law, and said he wouldn't prosecute bus audio taping cases if they followed the requirements now part of Walko's legislation.

fbi paid informant $240k to spy on 'fort dix six'
from nypost: Being an informant for the FBI in the Fort Dix terror investigation has paid well, a witness explained to jurors yesterday. John Stermel, an investigator assigned to an FBI counterterrorism task force, spent yesterday morning on the stand detailing the role of informant Mahmoud Omar, who wore a wire for 16 months in the investigation of five men accused of planning to shoot soldiers at the Army base. Defense lawyers say it was Omar who tried to plot an attack - not their clients.

white house pushes for local schools to drug test students
from schenectady daily gazette: The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is hoping to convince local school districts and educators to randomly drug test students. It's a movement that is sweeping the country and gaining support in many states, and advocates say it provides students a "credible reason to say no to drug use."

doe tests river for contaminants from nuke program
from mcclatchy: Workers are collecting samples along the Columbia River in Washington state to test for contaminants linked to past production of plutonium for the nation's nuclear weapons program. "After the sampling we'll know where and what the contaminants are and who or what might be exposed to them," said Jamie Zeisloft, who's leading the testing for the Department of Energy.

military investigates amnesia beams
from danger room: A team of scientists from the United States and China announced last week that, for the first time, they had found a means of selectively and safely erasing memories in mice, using the signaling molecule ╬▒CaMKII. It's a big step forward, and one that will be of considerable interest to the military, which has devoted efforts to memory manipulation as a means of treating post-traumatic stress disorder. But some military research has moved in another direction entirely. In the 1980s, researchers found that even low-level exposure to a beam of electrons caused rats to forget what had just happened to them (an effect known as retrograde amnesia — the other version, anteretrograde amnesia, is when you can't form new memories). The same effect was also achieved with X-rays. The time factor was not large — it only caused memory loss about the previous four seconds — but the effect was intriguing. One theory was that the amnesia was a result of the brilliant flash experienced when the electron beam struck the retina. And, indeed, it turned out that it is possible to produce amnesia in rodents using a flash of light.

minot b52s deployed to guam take part in exercise
from minot daily news: B-52 aircrews from Minot Air Force Base deployed to Guam recently finished a flying exercise this month over the Pacific Alaska Range Complex. The exercise tested their ability to defend against air threats. A 10-day joint exercise, Red Flag-Alaska 09-1, also included B-52s from Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Kunsan Air Base in the Republic of Korea and Eielson AFB near Fairbanks, Alaska. KC-135s for air refueling from McConnell AFB, Kan., also participated, according to the 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs at Eielson AFB.

pakistan to US: call off the killer drones
pakistan to US: call off the killer dronesfrom danger room: Since the start of August, U.S. drones have struck targets in Pakistan at least 19 times. The latest attack, one of the deadliest ever, killed 20. Now, Pakistani officials say they've had enough of the robot planes, and are demanding that America call off its killer drones "immediately." "The drone attacks have negative repercussions when the Pakistani government tries to get the support of the people in the tribal area,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Sadiq tells the New York Times. "They are not helping meet the objectives of the war on terror... Such attacks [a]re a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and should be stopped immediately," the ministry added, in a statement. The American military stepped up its unmanned aerial vehicle assaults on Pakistan, in part because of local government complaints over manned attacks on militant camps inside the country. Local media reports say that 301 civilians have been killed this year in American strikes, both conventional and robotic.

witness: police did not warn de menezes before opening fire
from guardian: Jean Charles de Menezes was not warned before he was shot dead by police, three witnesses told an inquest today. The claim contradicts the police account that the innocent Brazilian was warned before being shot. Ralph Livock and his girlfriend Rachel Wilson were sitting in a tube carriage opposite the 27-year-old Brazilian, the inquest heard. Nicholas Hilliard QC, counsel to the inquest, asked him if he heard the police shout a warning. "Absolutely not," Livock replied. "And I remember that specifically because one of the conversations that Rachel and I had afterwards was that we had no idea whether they were police, whether they were terrorists, whether they were somebody else. We just had no idea."

is the taliban stockpiling opium? and if so, why?
from time: If international drug- and law-enforcement officials are right, the Taliban might be hiding up to $3.2 billion worth of opium inside Afghanistan, potentially causing huge complications for NATO's decision this month to attack Afghanistan's opium laboratories and smuggling networks. If it exists, the drug stockpile would also have a major bearing on Afghan officials' tentative peace talks with the Taliban, which are favored by U.S. Central Command chief General David Petraeus and both U.S. presidential candidates.

lockerbie bomber applies for bail
from asd: The man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, has applied to be released on bail, pending his appeal. Arguments are due to be heard in the High Court in Edinburgh next Thursday. Earlier this month his lawyer announced that the Libyan was suffering from advanced prostate cancer. Megrahi is serving a minimum of 27 years in Greenock prison for the bombing, which killed 270 people. He has so far served seven years. The 56-year-old is appealing against his 2001 conviction and the length of his sentence.

ex-italian prez: provocateur riots then 'beat the shit out of protesters'
ex-italian prez: provocateur riots then 'beat the shit out of protesters'from paul joseph watson: Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga has offered a solution to the Italian government in dealing with widespread demonstrations by students and teachers over a cut in state funding of education - use agent provocateurs to start riots and then have the police "beat the shit out of the protesters". Cossiga, former Italian President, Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior, and one of the founders of the Operation GLADIO covert intelligence unit, encouraged Silvio Berlusconi and current Minister of the Interior Robert Maroni to "do what I did when I was Minister of the Interior," namely infiltrate what so far have been relatively peaceful demonstrations, radicalize them, start riots, then engender public support for a heavy-handed police response.

microsoft patents web moderator robots
from cryptogon: This is a real time Ministry of Truth tool that can change content as it’s moving over the web. Filters are great, as long as individuals are in control of them. For example, I don’t want to ever see any stories that contain the words McCain, Obama, Biden or Palin on Reddit. These stories waste my time. I use filtering software that prevents that useless stuff from even appearing on my screen. The danger is that these types of tools could be implemented at the service provider level. Oh no no no. Not good. The Aussies are getting a taste of this now. This Microsoft tool, rather than blocking material outright, sanitizes it midstream.

australia to enforce mandatory chinese-style internet censorship
from paul joseph watson: The Australian government is set to impose Chinese-style Internet censorship by enforcing a universal national filter that will block websites deemedcontroversial,” as part of a wider agenda to regulate the Internet according to free speech advocates. A provision whereby Internet users could opt out of the filter by contacting their ISP has been stripped from the legislation, meaning the filter will be universal and mandatory. The System Administrators Guild of Australia and Electronic Frontiers Australia have attacked the proposal, saying it will restrict web access, raise prices and slow internet traffic speeds.

fbi: anthrax hoaxes from california man still in mail
fbi: anthrax hoaxes from california man still in mailfrom ap: A California man suspected of mailing more than 120 hoax anthrax letters to media outlets was interviewed previously by the FBI after one similar mailing in 2007, but he was not charged. Marc M. Keyser, 66, was interviewed by the FBI in January 2007 for allegedly sending a package containing a small aerosol can labeled "Anthrax," along with a compact disc, to the Sacramento News and Review newspaper, according a criminal complaint filed Thursday in federal court.

new bio lab on texas island worries environmentalists & locals
from nytimes: Much of the University of Texas medical school on this island suffered flood damage during Hurricane Ike, except for one gleaming new building, a national biological defense laboratory that will soon house some of the most deadly diseases in the world. How a laboratory where scientists plan to study viruses like Ebola and Marburg ended up on a barrier island where hurricanes regularly wreak havoc puzzles some environmentalists and community leaders. “It’s crazy, in my mind,” said Jim Blackburn, an environmental lawyer in Houston. “I just find an amazing willingness among the people on the Texas coast to accept risks that a lot of people in the country would not accept.” Officials at the laboratory and at the National Institutes of Health, which along with the university is helping to pay for the $174 million building, say it can withstand any storm the Atlantic hurls at it.

gophers dig way to flu shot record
gophers dig way to flu shot recordfrom ap: The University of Minnesota thinks it has jabbed its way into the record books. More than 60 trained personnel dispensed 11,538 flu shots during a nine-hour period Tuesday at four locations around the campus in Minneapolis and St. Paul. They hope that puts them in the Guinness World Records book for the most flu shots given in a single day. The old record was 3,271, set in November of 2006 in Sanford, Fla. The official number will be released on Wednesday. University students, faculty, staff and their dependents were eligible to receive the free vaccination Tuesday. Ed Ehlinger, director and chief public health officer at the university's Boynton Health Service, declared the event a wonderful success.

they made a killing: covert ops in the stock market

gm stops 401(k) payments
from buffalo business: In yet another sign of its financial trouble, General Motors Corp. will halt matching payments to all employees’ 401(k) savings plans. The temporary suspension, which would affect all 1,340 employees at GM’s engine plant in the Town of Tonawanda and the automaker’s entire U.S. workforce, would take effect Nov. 1. The action, which a spokeswoman said is aimed at conserving cash, comes in the face of continued declining auto sales.

massachusettes state senator, dianne wilkerson, accepted bribes & got caught on video stuffing cash into her bra
from abc: An embattled Massachusetts state senator appeared in a federal courtroom today charged with taking $23,500 in bribes, including cash that she stuffed into her bra during a meeting at a tony Boston restaurant that was secretly videotaped by an undercover FBI agent, federal prosecutors said.

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