2 Jan 2013

White House wins fight to keep drone killings of Americans secret

RT: A federal judge issued a 75-page ruling on Wednesday that declares that the US Justice Department does not have a legal obligation to explain the rationale behind killing Americans with targeted drone strikes.
Reuters / Pascal Lauener
United States District Court Judge Colleen McMahon wrote in her finding this week that the Obama administration was largely in the right by rejecting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times for materials pertaining to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to execute three US citizens abroad in late 2011 [pdf].
Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, both US nationals with alleged ties to al-Qaeda, were killed on September 30 of that year using drone aircraft; days later, al-Awlaki’s teenage son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, was executed in the same manner. Although the Obama administration has remained largely quiet about the killings in the year since, a handful of statements made from senior White House officials, including Pres. Barack Obama himself, have provided some but little insight into the Executive Branch’s insistence that the killings were all justified and constitutionally-sound. Attempts from the ACLU and the Times via FOIA requests to find out more have been unfruitful, though, which spawned a federal lawsuit that has only now been decided in court.

Not My Department - Jacob Appelbaum 29C3 Keynote

"Aggravated homosexuality and killing fucking children... Working for the enemy." Jacob Appelbaum

The Dangerous Blindspots of Clueless Keynesians

Charles Hugh Smith: The Keynesian model is a Cargo Cult, mired in a distant, romanticized past where Central Planning, intervention and manipulation were solutions rather than the root of the economy's fatal disease.

If we want to trace today's policy failures back to the source, we find ourselves at Richard Nixon's famous statement that "We are all Keynesians now." The fundamental Keynesian project is that the Central State and Central Bank should manage market forces whenever the market turns down.

In other words, the market only "works" when everything is expanding: credit, profits, GDP and employment. Once any of those turn down, the State and Central Bank "should" intervene to force the market back into "growth."

The Keynesian has two basic tools: the State can borrow and spend money (fiscal stimulus) and the Central Bank can create money and "inject" it into the economy (monetary stimulus): quantitative easing, lowering interest rates, extending unlimited credit to broker/dealer investment banks and financial institutions, etc.

The sharper the downturn, the greater the State/Central Bank intervention. This accounts for the martial analogies of State/CB responses: "bazookas," "nuclear option," etc., as the market is overwhelmed with ever greater fiscal/monetary firepower.

After basically voiding the market's ability to price risk and assets, the Keynesians believe the market will naturally resume pricing risk and assets at "acceptable to Central Planning" levels once fiscal and monetary stimulus is dialed back.

Clandestine Israeli death squad raid ignites mass clashes, injuries in West Bank (PHOTOS)

RT: Dozens of Palestinians have been wounded in clashes with clandestine Israeli troops disguised as vegetable vendors. The discovery of a small commando unit conducting arrests in the West Bank outraged locals forcing the regular army to use tear gas. ­Over 30 Palestinians have been wounded along with two IDF soldiers after unrest broke out in the West Bank village of Tamaun.  Dozens more suffered from tear gas inhalation.
A Palestinian protester throws a stone near burning tyres during clashes with Israeli security officers in the West Bank village of Tamoun, near the West Bank city of Jenin.(Reuters / Ammar Awad)
Witnesses report that IDF troops were disguised as Arab vegetable vendors to apprehend a number of wanted militants. The mission, by the Mistaarvim ("Arabized") Unit, an elite counter-terrorism force, was then tactically changed from a covert operation to an overt one.
Dozens of masked youths hid behind barricades hurling rocks and firebombs at the disguised soldiers. IDF regular units then scrambled to the scene firing rubber bullets and tear gas to quell the crowd. Reports that lethal ammunition was used were brushed aside by an Israeli military spokeswoman. The military said it arrested a “terrorist affiliated with the Islamic Jihad terror group.”
“A special forces squad went in on an arrest operation,” military radio reported. It seems that a family or local residents spotted the force and then a big disturbances started… some 'soldiers' received superficial injuries from stones that were thrown,”

Iran Navy downs two RQ-11 drones in last 2 years: Iran cmdr.

File photo shows a ScanEagle drone.Europe Banned Press TV: Senior Iranian commander Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari says Navy's aerial defense division has downed two RQ-11 drones in the last two years.

Rastegari said on Wednesday that these drones were respectively captured in August 2011 and October 2012.

The Iranian commander added that the data on the two drones have been completely decoded by Iranian experts.
On December 4, 2012, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi announced that a ScanEagle drone had been captured after it entered the country’s airspace over the waters of the Persian Gulf.

Iran has released footage of the captured drone, which is a long-endurance aircraft manufactured by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing.

Holy Lojack: Vatican introduces swipe cards after ‘Vatileaks’

A Swiss guard stands guards whille ecclesiasts pray during the celebration of Vespers on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord on January 2, 2012 at St Peter's basilica at the Vatican.(AFP Photo / Vincenzo Pinto)
RT: The Holy See is launching a swipe card system to get a better idea of what its employees are doing when they’re in the Vatican. But is it a measure to increase efficiency or a means to snoop on workers following the ‘Vatileaks’ scandal?
­Microchips hidden in every card allow Vatican officials to track every person in their clerical and lay employment, this amounts to around 3,000 staff from the Apostolic Palace to the Secretariat of State.
Visitors are allowed in by invitation only and have to sign a register, but workers can be casually greeted by a nod of recognition from the guards in their colorful Renaissance uniforms. The system bears little resemblance to the up-to-date measures used in most governmental offices or private companies.
It also seems the Vatican has been quite lax about enforcing work hours, relying mainly on the staff’s sense of responsibility.
"When a journalist asked Pope John XXIII how many people work in the Vatican, he replied: 'About half'," writes Robert Mickens, a correspondent for The Tablet daily, who used to work at Vatican Radio.

‘West trying to influence Iran's 2013 presidential election’

Press TV: Iran Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says the West is trying to influence the upcoming Iranian presidential election by mounting pressure on the nation.

Instead of direct conflict and paying a high price, the arrogant Western front is after creating internal crises in countries like Iran and this is [also] why it adopts different resolutions against the Iranian nation,” Mehmanparast said on Wednesday.
Mehmanparast added that by mounting pressure, the West is trying to prepare the grounds for protests and disagreement in Iran and influence the result of the 2013 presidential election.
Iran’s eleventh presidential election will be held on June 14, 2013. The Islamic Republic’s president is elected for a four-year term and candidates must be vetted for their qualifications by the Guardian Council.

“After the collapse of former Soviet Union, the Western world believed that it faced no obstacles in implementing its agenda in the region, but the wave of the Islamic Awakening and people’s presence in the scene to determine their own fate without dependence on the West altered the international order,” Mehmanparast stated.

Tagging and Bagging Freedom

"Those of us trying to lose some pounds after overindulging this holiday season can get help from a slew of smartphone apps that count steps climbed and calories burned. Self-tracking has also become a way for companies to make money using your fitness data. And some experts worry that the data collected could be used against users in the long run.

Record decline in Japan population

Today: TOKYO - Japan's population last year declined by 212,000, the biggest drop on record, according to an estimate by the nation's Health Ministry.

The ministry said the number of newborn babies last year fell to a record low of 1.033 million, down by 18,000 from 2011, Kyodo News reported. Total number of deaths last year is expected to total 1.245 million.

Based on those numbers, the natural population decline obtained by deducting deaths from births was estimated at 212,000 last year - which is higher than the drop in 2011, the first time the decline exceeded 200,000 in a country with an ageing population.

The ministry said it is the largest reduction since it started recording the data in 1947.

The four leading causes of death in Japan were cancer, heart disease, pneumonia and cerebrovascular disease, which together accounted for 60 per cent of the overall death rate.

Zionism’s days are numbered, Muslim Brotherhood official says

Essam al-Erian speaks during a session at the Shura Council building in Cairo. (file photo)UK Banned Press TV: A leading figure in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood says Israel will cease to exist within a decade due to its policies.

Essam al-Erian, the deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, made the remarks in an interview, the Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

Erian stated that the "ideology of Zionism" had come to an end, and "Palestine's occupiers" should leave the region and allow Palestinians to return.
"Jewish occupiers of the territory of historic Palestine are an obstacle to the Palestinians' right of return," he said, adding, "Anyone who can read the future can see that this project has a decade, less than a decade to go, and it is our faith that the people of Palestine can then return to Palestine."

Ellen Brown on the fiscal cliff, tally sticks and things being set in stone

'Human Resource' Is A Slave

TheAlexJonesChannel: Under the eugenics world government system, individual human beings are literally considered to be "human resources" to be planned and manipulated under a planned economy with total control over your health care, employment, housing, food and reproduction... yet somehow government officials tell us that this is "freedom."