Aletho News


Illegal Israeli PR in America: Declassified

By Grant Smith | Pulse Media | August 18, 2010

A huge trove of newly declassified documents subpoenaed during a 1962-1964 Senate investigation reveals how Israel’s lobby pitched, promoted, and paid to have content placed in America’s top news magazines with overseas funding. The Atlantic (and many others others) received hefty rewards for trumpeting Israel’s most vital – but damaging – PR initiatives across America.

The relevant documents are now online

Media strategies on display include:

Cover-ups: “The [Dimona] nuclear reactor story inspired comment from many sources; editorial writers, columnists, science writers and cartoonists. Most of the press seemed finally to accept the thesis that the reactor was being built for peaceful purposes and not for bombs.”

Payola: “The Atlantic Monthly in its October issue carried the outstanding Martha Gellhorn piece on the Arab refugees, which made quite an impact around the country. We arranged for the distribution of 10,000 reprints to public opinion molders in all categories… Interested friends are making arrangements with the Atlantic for another reprint of the Gellhorn article to be sent to all 53,000 persons whose names appear in Who’s Who in America…Our Committee is now planning articles for the women’s magazines for the trade and business publications.”

Pressure: “It can be said that the press of the nation…has by and large shown sympathy and understanding of Israel’s position. There are, of course, exceptions, notably the Scripps-Howard chain where we still need to achieve a ‘break-through,’ the Pulliam chain (where some progress has been made) and some locally-owned papers.”

Ghost Writing: “We cannot pinpoint all that has already been accomplished by this Committee except to say that it has been responsible for the writing and placement of articles on Israel in some of America’s leading magazines….”

A defunct Dow Jones report noted “The Senate investigation closed down the conduit, but the extensive propaganda activities still go on…”

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | 1 Comment

The Neoliberal Attack on Social Security

Why Democrats Are Not the Answer

By ALAN NASSER | August 18, 2010

Among Obama’s principal tasks right now are to reverse his dwindling popularity and to bolster the Democrats’ chances in the the upcoming fall elections. These are not unrelated objectives. He’s got to get people to perceive him as on their side with respect to matters that matter, and matter big, to the electorate, and to credibly distinguish himself from the Republicans on these same issues. After all, the cardinal political objective of liberal Democrats is to keep Republicans out of office.

Rasmussen Reports reveals that Obama’s popularity has plunged in the last three months As of Sunday, 43 percent of the nation’s voters “Strongly Disapprove” of his performance as president. Obama’s weekly radio address on Saturday was an effort to endear himself to the gullible by showing that he defends their most fundamental interests against clear and present Republican danger. With titanic irony, he chose Social Security as the issue that makes the difference.

Here is what he said:

“…some Republican leaders in Congress [are] pushing to make privatizing Social Security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in Congress this fall. It’s right up there on their to-do list with repealing some of the Medicare benefits and reforms that are adding at least a dozen years to the fiscal health of Medicare – the single longest extension in history.

That agenda is wrong for seniors, it’s wrong for America, and I won’t let it happen. Not while I’m President. I’ll fight with everything I’ve got to stop those who would gamble your Social Security on Wall Street. Because you shouldn’t be worried that a sudden downturn in the stock market will put all you’ve worked so hard for – all you’ve earned – at risk. You should have the peace of mind of knowing that after meeting your responsibilities and paying into the system all your lives, you’ll get the benefits you deserve.”

These cynical remarks assume -correctly, one fears- an under- and misinformed public. Obama says he opposes “repealing some of the Medicare benefits”, even as the legislative “reforms” he has defended do just that, in the name of reducing the costs -to business and government, not to working people- of health care.

More audaciously, Obama talks about the threat to Social Security and deliberately misidentifies both its nature and its political agents.

The immediate threat to workers dependent upon Social Security benefits is not privatization, but rather the recommendations of the bipartisan panel to reduce the federal deficit. The panel is Obama’s, not the Republicans’, creation and is packed with opponents of Social Security. (A detailed discussion of the panel, its key members and its reactionary agenda can be found here. ) It is an open non-secret that the panel will recommend, after the fall elections of course, reductions in Social Security benefits and an extension of the retirement age. The fact is that “after meeting your responsibilities and paying into the system all your lives’, you will not “get the benefits you deserve.” That Obama can pretend to be a defender of the most popular social program in US history bespeaks his conviction that most Americans are either unaware of, or capable of being distracted from, his own promotion of an historic assault on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

If the Republicans did not exist, Democrats would have to invent them. The post-Carter Democratic Party’s race to the right is consistently masked by pointing, as Obama did on Saturday, to the more nakedly reactionary Republicans, a small number of whom do indeed press for the privatization of Social Security. But the more savvy privatizers of both Parties are fully aware that in the midst of an economic crisis and with an unstable and unpredictable stock market outright talk of privatization will not win hearts and minds. A creeping approach is now the favored strategy of the elite. Twelve years ago it was different. A then-editor of The New York Times, David Brock, wrote an article critical of the Social-Security-is-going-broke alarmists titled “Save Social Security? From What?” (Business section, November 1, 1998, p. 12). Brock attributed the faux hysteria to “hidden agendas…..Wall Street would love to get its hands on at least some of the billions of dollars in the Social Security trust fund . . . But knowing that the idea [of full privatization] won’t fly politically, [politicians] are pushing for partial privatization, in which individuals would invest a portion of their contribution in the stock market, all in the name of rescuing the system.”

That strategy has been rewritten. Partial privatization is at least for now off the page. Who would want to send their FICA obligations off to a stock broker? Reduced benefits and a shorter retirement are the favored starting points, in the name of reducing the deficit. But the Obama boys are too smart to talk about the coming blows to workers. Even as they are in the process of effecting the “reforms”, they’d have you worry about the Republicans. Liberal Democrats think that blaming the Republicans is essential if the Democrats’ constituency is to be made to remain faithful to the Party. That’s what Obama did on Saturday. The political game plan of the organization MoveOn displays this strategy in its unabashed purity.

MoveOn’s website ( Democracy in Action) says that “The MoveOn family of organizations brings real Americans back into the political process.” In fact MoveOn shills for the Democratic Party. It’s recurrent theme is that the bad Republicans will take over unless we support the high-minded and properly liberal Democrats.

I receive all of MoveOn’s e-mail alerts. Here’s what they sent out on June 30:

“Breaking: Republicans to Cut Social Security

Dear MoveOn member,

Yesterday news broke that John Boehner, the Republican Leader in the House of Representatives, believes that Congress should raise the retirement age to 70 and cut Social Security so that we can finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That’s right: Boehner told a reporter that he thinks we should cut Social Security to pay for war. And later in the day, several other Republicans came out and agreed with him…

The way things are looking, Republicans could actually win enough seats this fall to put them in charge and make that vision a reality.”

Republicans, Republicans, Republicans. MoveOn apparently wants you to know that there is a political movement among elites to assault Social Security, but you are to associate this threat with Republicans only. Not a word about alerting the electorate to Obama and his deficit reduction panel. No suggestion that the Democratic faithful announce that the president will lose their vote if he supports the recommendations of the panel. And of course no threat to bounce the president and his minions if they continue to champion “the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” (Are they ok with Pakistan?) The whole idea is to keep the flock within the fold. Here is MoveOn’s opposition plan:

“Can you take a moment to print out a sign making clear that you’re against raising the retirement age to 70 and snap a quick photo of yourself with it? We’ll deliver them to Congress and use them in online ads.”

But perhaps I’m being unfair. For in fact MoveOn had informed its members of Obama’s panel and the ideological predilections of its members. In this message of June 14 we find this beautiful example of liberal self-deception:

“Alert: Social Security Cuts Coming

Dear MoveOn member,

It sounds like something Glenn Beck would cook up: a powerful cabal of right-wing ideologues hatches a secret plan to force cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and they’re on the verge of succeeding. But it’s true.

Right now, the stars are aligned for conservatives who’ve spent decades trying to cut Social Security—the heart of the New Deal. They’re focusing public anxiety over the economy on the deficit—and even though the deficit is almost entirely a result of Bush cutting taxes for the rich while waging two wars, the “deficit hawks” want us to cut the programs vulnerable Americans rely on to survive—Social Security and Medicare.

And instead of articulating a progressive response, Democrats seem frozen, like deer in the headlights.

Against this backdrop, the President has appointed a “deficit commission” stacked with deficit hawks. Right after the election Congress will vote on the commission’s recommendations.

Why does the deficit commission pose such a threat? Because almost all of its members have interests in seeing cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other safety net programs.

Here’s an introduction to some of the folks on the Commission that we’re up against:

Erskine Bowles, Co-Chair: An investment-banking millionaire who now sits on the Board of Directors for Morgan Stanley and General Motors. Bowles was Chief of Staff for Bill Clinton, where he was called “Corporate America’s Friend in the White House” as he negotiated with Newt Gingrich for how best to cut safety net programs.

Alan Simpson, Co-Chair: A GOP power player during the Conservative movement’s heyday, he led Clinton-era attacks on Social Security and is already crusading publicly for cuts to Social Security and Medicare to address the deficit.

David M. Cote: CEO of Honeywell, a defense contractor making millions from the Department of Defense and responsible for costing us millions of dollars in misconduct—including failing to test bulletproof vests sent to US troops.”

The message’s title announces coming Social Security cuts, which are immediately associated with Glenn Beck, “ a powerful cabal of right-wing ideologues hatch[ing] a secret plan to force cuts to Social Security and Medicare”, and “conservatives who’ve spent decades trying to cut Social Security”. It’s not that MoveOn absolves the Democrats. It simply portrays them as passively unresponsive, “frozen, like deer in the headlights” in the face of aggressive “right-wing ideologues”.

But don’t they acknowledge that Obama himself appointed a deficit panel “stacked with deficit hawks”? They do, but this has happened “against this background” of unremitting Republican activism. MoveOn urges the president to cease yielding to Republican pressure.

But Obama’s neoliberalism is his own, not a response to external pressure. He made it clear before his election that he holds the New Deal and the Great Society in derision, and regards Ronald Reagan as America’s most prophetic post-War president. Were MoveOn a genuinely “progressive” organization its central task would be to mobilize the electorate in organized resistance to the president’s and his Party’s neoliberal agenda.

MoveOn’s comments above on Erskine Bowles’s dirty work when he was Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff illustrates perfectly the shifty means by which liberal organizations attempt to exculpate the Party and its leadership.

We are told by MoveOn that Bowles “negotiated with Newt Gingrich for how best to cut safety net programs.” It is as if this were done behind Clinton’s back. But the left-liberal economist Robert Kuttner, in his 2007 book The Squandering of America, detailed how Washington elites of both Parties had been planning to weaken Social Security since the Clinton Administration. Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin prodded the president to cut a deal with Newt Gingrich to partially privatize Social Security. Clinton appointed Bowles as his intermediary. But in the plan’s initial stages the Monica Lewinsky scandal erupted, causing both embarrassed Congressional Democrats and Gingrich to distance themselves from Clinton. The plan fell apart. Kuttner’s account has been filled out in greater detail in Steven Gillon’s 2008 book The Pact, in which letters and interviews with reliable sources illustrate the means by which Clinton and Gingrich would work to get Congress behind the partial privatization plan.

Republican-bashing seems beside the point and distracting. This is a Democratic administration whose neoliberal bona fides is beyond question. The Republicans are doing what we expect them to do. The Democrats put themselves forward as a meaningful alternative. But they are no such thing. The task is to expose the Democrats for what they are and to urge that the Democrats-or-Republicans alternative is not written in stone.

Alan Nasser is Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He can be reached at

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Economics, Progressive Hypocrite | Comments Off on The Neoliberal Attack on Social Security

Use of Government Property to Relocate NYC Mosque Raises Serious Legal Questions

Americans United | August 18, 2010

New York Gov. David Paterson’s proposal to offer public property to relocate the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” raises serious constitutional issues and could spark litigation, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

“I understand that some people are not happy with the prospect of an Islamic center opening in Manhattan, but relocating it to public property raises significant legal issues,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Whether the governor is talking about a gift of public land or a sweetheart deal that gives one religious group a special right to purchase government property, it’s wrong.

“In America,” continued Lynn, “government does not subsidize religion or give religious groups preferential treatment.”

Controversy has flared recently over plans by a Muslim group to build an Islamic center two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Paterson proposed resolving the matter by offering public land elsewhere for construction of the Islamic facility.

But Paterson’s proposal is legally flawed, AU says.

Lynn pointed out that the Supreme Court has repeatedly held that government may not subsidize religious facilities. Any attempt to use public resources to relocate the Islamic center would undoubtedly lead to a legal challenge.

In addition to the U.S. Constitution, Lynn noted that New York’s constitution contains strong language barring any diversion of public resources for religious purposes. Article XI, for example, bans public support of institutions “wholly or in part under the control or direction of any religious denomination….”

Lynn urged Paterson to drop the proposal. The solution, Lynn said, is to respect the Muslim group’s right to build its center on private property using private funds.

“Local authorities in Manhattan have cleared the way for construction of the Islamic center,” Lynn said. “It’s up to the Islamic group to decide whether they want to proceed. I’m sorry that this situation has become so politicized.”

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Islamophobia | Comments Off on Use of Government Property to Relocate NYC Mosque Raises Serious Legal Questions

Developer Won’t Budge On Mosque Location

By Grace Rauh | NY1 | August 17, 2010

Sharif El-Gamal is the developer behind the plan to erect an Islamic community center and mosque two blocks from the World Trade Center site.

Calls are mounting for him and the other backers to find a new home for their center, further away from the site of the September 11th terrorist attacks, but El-Gamal isn’t budging.

He is sticking with his plans to erect Park51, a 13-story center and prayer space in Lower Manhattan. He likens the project to a YMCA or Jewish Community Center, with programs open to all residents of all faiths.

“A landmark, an iconic building that will have people come and visit it from around the world,” said El-Gamal as to what he imagines. “This looks like it is going to be the most famous community center in the world.”

Some might argue that the center would be the most famous mosque in the world, but El-Gamal emphasized throughout the interview that he is building a community center, that is expected to house a swimming pool, a gymnasium, a restaurant and an auditorium.

The developer takes issue with the fact that so much has been made of the location of the project, saying it is “nowhere near the World Trade Center site.”

“Park51 is a community center. It is two blocks north of the World Trade Center site,” said El-Gamal. “In New York City, two blocks is a great distance. There are some buildings in New York that have their own zip codes. There is such a scarcity of space in New York, especially in Lower Manhattan. Keep in mind this is a small island, so we are nowhere near the World Trade Center site.”

I asked El-Gamal if he’s been surprised by the backlash against the project and the national attention it’s garnered. He chose his words carefully.

“I am surprised at the way that politics is being played in 2010. There are issues that are affecting our country, which are real issues: unemployment, poverty, the economy,” he said. “And it’s a really sad day for America when our politicians choose to look at a constitutional right and use that as basis for their elections.”

El-Gamal views the fight over the center currently raging on television and in newspapers in sweeping, historic terms.

“This is a defining moment for you and I and the First Amendment, and I see us passing this test as Americans,” he said.

Of course, the project got a boost from the White House last weekend when President Barack Obama spoke strongly in support of the developer’s right to build the center. El-Gamal says he heard the president’s remarks while he was on his way to East Hampton. He says he was blown away.

There was also word on Tuesday that Governor David Paterson is planning to meet with mosque developers to discuss moving the project. El-Gamal says that while there is no such meeting scheduled yet, he is open to talking to the governor.

He insists, however, that he is not open to moving the center.

“This is not a debate. This is not a debate. This is us as Muslim Americans giving back to our community,” said El-Gamal.

NY1 Radio interview

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | Comments Off on Developer Won’t Budge On Mosque Location

Playing the Never Again Card, Again

By Jeff Gates · August 18, 2010

The phony intelligence used to induce our March 2003 invasion of Iraq has been dusted off. This time it’s being deployed to take us into Iran.

Same scam. Same storyline. Same fraud—even featuring some of the same players.

Except that this time around their deception lacks the broader context required to gain traction for their phony content. That key difference makes today’s perpetrators far more transparent—for those willing to look.

Those foisting on us this latest fraud also face another challenge: Americans now realize it was Israel and its advocates who fixed that false intelligence around a Zionist agenda.

That realization adds combustibility to the facts now fueling Israel’s fast-fading legitimacy.

Each week brings new insights that undermine generally accepted truths about 911 and our response to that mass murder on U.S. soil. As the costs continue to rise in both blood and treasure, the credibility of those who sold us this “Clash” continues its steady decline.

One key player in this long-running fraud remains unfazed: mainstream media.

In March 2002, Israeli-American Jeffrey Goldberg published in The New Yorker a story alleging an alliance between the jihadists of Al Qaeda and the secular Baathists of Iraq. Though an impossible premise, his account made it appear plausible.

His collaborator was James Woolsey, a former Director of the CIA and an avid Zionist. Woolsey assured us that Iraqi intelligence officials met in Prague with Al Qaeda.

Woolsey’s intelligence was “sexed up” to sound credible. Now we know it was false. All of it.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

In the consistency and common source of this duplicity lies the perilous future of Israel and its fast-shrinking legitimacy as a nation state.

The fast-growing worldwide revulsion at all things Israeli suggests that this latest fraud may yet fail—though not for lack of trying.

The Liars Return

Goldberg is back with another round of “reporting” in the best Goebbels tradition. Woolsey helped hype his 2002 New Yorker essay, calling it a  “blockbuster.” That it was.

Woolsey, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Richard Perle lobbied the Bush White House in May 2004 to retain Iraqi liar Ahmed Chalabi as the U.S.-favored leader for Iraq. Perle took two decades to develop Chalabi as an Israeli asset—at U.S. taxpayer expense.

New York Times “reporter” Judith Miller featured as facts Chalabi’s fabrications about Iraqi WMD. Meanwhile, Perle took over as chair of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board in 2001—on which Woolsey and Gingrich served. None dare call this treason—yet.

Goldberg is now making the Evil Doer case for Iran. Writing in the July 22, 2008 issue of The Atlantic, he argues the Israeli case for bombing Iran and urges that the U.S. again join the fray.

Woolsey, Gingrich and Perle are pushing the same agenda from the periphery. Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, among Chalabi’s earliest Congressional supporters, are again vocal in their support of expanding the war.

If the U.S. had an honest media, Goldberg would be revealed as a fraud and his cohorts reviled as traitors. Instead he was interviewed on MSNBC by Andrea Mitchell, wife of Alan Greenspan, and lionized by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer who served 17 years with The Jerusalem Post.

The probability of Goldberg conceding that he served in the Israeli army is as likely as Blitzer conceding that he wrote a sympathetic book on Israeli master spy Jonathan Pollard.

Our Faithful Ally

The November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate confirmed with high confidence that Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003. No credible evidence has been offered that Tehran intends to enrich uranium beyond what is required for fuel and medical applications.

In a step scheduled for August 21, Russia will assist Iran in shifting 64 tons of low-enriched uranium from a storage site to the reactor chamber as the first of three steps in the long-delayed start-up of Iran’s nuclear reactor at Bushehr.

If all goes according to plan, Iran’s reactor will begin generating electricity in three to four months. As a condition of completing and fueling the plant, Russia insists that Iran return spent fuel so that the plutonium cannot be extracted for use in developing atomic weapons.

To date, the Iranians have produced only 5,300 pounds of low-enriched uranium. Moscow sees this next step as essential to bringing Tehran’s nuclear activities under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

What’s the Israeli strategy for IAEA compliance? Bomb Iran. What’s the U.S. strategy? Follow the lead of our faithful and reliable “ally”.

Tel Aviv portrays the Iranian reactor as an “existential threat” and a sure sign of a pending Holocaust. How Likud Party leaders divine that outcome remains obscure. But never mind that minor detail, mainstream American media can fill in the “never again” blanks.

It was during just such a development stage of an Iraqi nuclear facility that Israel attacked and destroyed a nuclear plant at Osirak as it neared completion in June 1981.

Thus the concern that Tel Aviv may attack the Bushehr facility before the reactor rods are lowered into the reactor core. Any attack after the chain reaction begins is certain to release radiation into the atmosphere.

The Perils of Pending Transparency

Other key factors are also driving Israel in this direction, including the need for a diversion.

Tel Aviv is now implicated in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The massive bomb blast left a crater 10 feet deep and 50 feet across. To date, Syria has been blamed for Hariri’s murder, along with Hezbollah.

The ensuing instability was cited by Israel as a rationale for its 2006 invasion of Lebanon with the U.S.—per usual—widely portrayed as guilty by association.

A UN tribunal is now turning the spotlight on Israel’s role. The tribunal will add fuel to the ongoing inquiry into the suspicious death of UK nuclear weapons inspector David Kelly who complained of the “sexed up” intelligence on WMD that induced the war in Iraq.

Meanwhile, ridicule is being heaped on the report of the 911 Commission for its glaring omissions, including its failure to identify U.S.-Israeli relations as a key motivation.

Fast-emerging developments on other fronts also spell trouble for Israel.

Even now, no one dares mention the mysterious collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 which was not hit by hijacked airliners. No one dares repeat the comment of leaseholder Leonard Silverstein on a PBS interview when he conceded the building was “pulled.”

Means, Motive & Opportunity

When waging Information Age warfare, false beliefs are routinely deployed as a form of weaponry to displace facts. That displacement process is much easier when the psy-ops includes an emotionally wrenching component.

Thus the necessity that those selling us an agenda wield influence in mainstream media.

With Israeli dominance also reaching deep into official decision-making, those in our military who question today’s Zionist narrative are routinely cashiered out of the service.

So who remains to counter the disinformation that passes for intelligence? In our tattered system of self-governance, who can deploy the facts required to displace the fictions foisted on us by Woolsey & Co.?

Answer: you and those with whom you share these facts and analyses.

The solution to this corruption requires people willing to tell the truth about what is being done to our country—and by whom. Make it personal—because it is. What you see chronicled in these accounts is how organized crime succeeds in plain sight.

In a system of governance dependent on facts for our informed consent, mainstream media was an early target of those perpetrating these ongoing psy-ops. Their success traces to domination of this key industry by supporters of this purported ally.

The facts are clear and the case is now compelling: Israel is not an ally but a reliable enemy.

Goldberg, Woolsey, Perle, Gingrich, McCain, Lieberman, Miller, Mitchell, Blitzer, Chalabi & Co. comprise an army of agents and assets enabled by an industry taken hostage by those destabilizing and delegitimizing the U.S.—from within.

Should the Zionist state again approach us for assistance—of any sort, the response must be clear and unequivocal: never again.

August 18, 2010 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Wars for Israel | Comments Off on Playing the Never Again Card, Again

Israeli settlers expand campaign to manipulate entries on Wikipedia

By Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News – August 18, 2010

The internet’s open-source, user-edited encyclopedia called ‘Wikipedia’ has been targeted by Israeli governmental and non-governmental partisans who, since its inception, have attempted to manipulate its contents to promote a Zionist agenda. This week, Israeli settlers launched a course for right-wing Israelis interested in helping to manipulate the contents of entries in the online encyclopedia.

The course, held in Jerusalem, was organized by the Yesha Council of settlements and Israel Sheli, two groups which have been at the forefront of constructing Israeli-only settlements on illegally-seized Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Around 50 right-wingers, including media professionals who live in Israeli settlements, are participating in the course, which aims to teach not only how to manipulate the open structure and style of Wikipedia to push their far-right political agenda, but also how to do so undetected, in order to get into the administration of the site.

This is not the first time that right-wing Israelis have been exposed trying to manipulate Wikipedia. In 2005, 5 high-level editors were removed from their positions when they were discovered to be working for the right-wing Israeli group CAMERA to “surreptitiously coordinate editing by ideologically like-minded individuals”, an objective which was found to be at odds with the open nature of Wikipedia.

Despite the attempts by editors to keep the site, and the internet in general, open to all, private groups with political objectives continue to try to manipulate content.

Naftali Bennett, the director of the Yesha Council, says that he believes the internet must be ‘managed’, telling reporters, “The Internet is not managed well enough, and Israel’s position there is appalling. Take for example the Turkish flotilla [to Gaza]. During the first hours we were nowhere to be found. In those first hours millions of people typed the words Gaza-bound flotilla and read what was written on Wikipedia.”

The group plans to award a prize for the “Best Zionist Editor”, who is able to incorporate the most Zionist changes into Wikipedia over the next four years. The winner will receive a free trip in a hot-air balloon over Israel.

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | 1 Comment

Settlers beat 10-year-old Palestinian girl

Ma’an – 18/08/2010

HEBRON — Israeli settlers assaulted a 10-year-old Palestinian girl on Sunday evening and an Israeli military jeep struck an 8-year-old boy in Hebron, witnesses said.

Inas Mazen Qaaqour was beaten by residents of the illegal Tel Rumeida settlement and treated at the Hebron Government Hospital where medics said she was bruised all over her body. Sameh Natshe Jacob was taken to the same hospital, and medics described his condition as stable.

An Israeli military spokesman did not respond to several requests for comment.

The presence of settlements in the center of Hebron means that Palestinians and Israelis live closer in the city than anywhere else in the West Bank, sometimes on the same street.

The Israeli military controls 20 percent of the city including the Old City and the market area and imposes severe restrictions on Palestinians’ movement.

The Israeli rights group B’Tselem says settlers routinely abuse Palestinians in the city, sometimes using extreme violence. Filmed incidents include settlers shooting, stoning, and beating Palestinians with clubs. The organization has reiterated Palestinian complaints that Israeli soldiers often witness these attacks but rarely intervene, and perpetrators are seldom prosecuted.

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on Settlers beat 10-year-old Palestinian girl

Beware the ‘progressive agenda’

By Charles Davis | False Dichotomy | July 29, 2010

Since taking office nearly 18 months ago, Barack Obama has failed to deliver on his promise to close Guantanamo Bay, has expanded the war in Afghanistan, has dropped cluster bombs on civilians in Yemen, has intensified a proxy war in Somalia and is currently seeking the authority to search every Americans e-mail and web history without so much as a warrant from a rubber-stamping intelligence court. In other words, he’s been successfully advancing the progressive agenda, or so liberal magazine The American Prospect tells me in a piece that notes the bulk of the professional bloggers and Democratic activists who attended the recent “Netroots Nation” conference in Las Vegas likewise believe our smooth-talking murderer-in-chief is a Pretty Swell Guy.

Take it away, Jamelle Bouie:

The Netroots Nation straw poll, conducted during the conference by Revolution Messaging, shows President Obama with an approval rating of 84 percent among the attending activists, journalists, and bloggers. Given the mostly somber mood of the conference, this is higher than I expected, but on reflection, I’m not too surprised. Among conference attendees, there didn’t seem to be much disagreement with the idea that Obama has been pretty successful in advancing a progressive agenda. While I’m sure there was plenty of disappointment over the lack of a public option in the Affordable Care Act, for example, I don’t think anyone challenged the notion that passing health care is a defining achievement for the administration.

I particularly like the last line: while sure the president didn’t actually deliver on his promise to enact a public option, much less the single-payer system desired by much of the liberal left, passing something and calling it “health care reform” was certainly an achievement, and shouldn’t we all be proud of that? Absent from the piece, you’ll of course notice, is any mention of all those dead foreigners that liberal cosmopolitans purportedly care about, which I guess might just indicate that they never really cared about them. A civilian killed by a Democratic president in an unjust landwar in Asia just doesn’t inflame a liberal’s passions as much as when it’s a nasty ‘ol Republican dropping the bombs.

Beyond just the sickening partisan morality of these activists, the Netroots poll also shows that the liberal lore that the Democratic rank-and-file are more willing to stand up to their politicians than their mouth-breathing Republican counterparts — carbon-copies, I say — is just that: Lore. Fiction. Bullshit. The Netroots liberals are just as impressed by the pomp and prestige of the presidency, are just as worshipful of authority and liable to join a creepy cult of personality, as any conservative.

What, too much? A bit unfair? Yeah, well: 84 percent.

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | Comments Off on Beware the ‘progressive agenda’

Reagan ambassador decimated Italy’s intelligence capabilities in the Arab world

By Wayne Madsen | Online Journal | August 18, 2010

The CIA translated and maintained in its voluminous files an article from the Milan newspaper Il Mondo that described the joint actions of the CIA and “the American Jewish Lobby” to purge Arabists from the Italian intelligence service (SISMI) and counter-terrorism service (SISDE) in the early 1980s.

The article, once stamped “For Official Use Only” and dated January 8, 1982, states that “a mass defection among the [intelligence] professionals” affected “the most delicate of the intelligence agencies.”

The article states that among the blows to SISMI and SISDE they “came with the recent influx of CIA personnel here, both before and after the arrival of the new U.S. ambassador to Rome, Maxwell Rabb (a member of the very powerful American Jewish lobby who has business connections in Israel).” The article continues by stating that “Italy’s capacity for foreign penetration (and ‘foreign’ for Italy in this delicate context means primarily the Middle East)” declined.

Rabb had served as an assistant to Navy Secretary James Forrestal in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations. Rabb also served as an assistant to Eisenhower adviser Sherman Adams dealing with Jewish issues and “anti-Semitism.” Before and during World War II, Rabb served as an assistant to two Massachusetts Republican senators, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., and Sinclair Weeks.

One of the SISMI casualties described in the article was Carabiniere Colonel Stefano Giovannone, “who led SISMI’s southeastern division and most importantly was the man who maintained close ties with the top spokesmen for the incandescent Arab world, including the Palestinian leadership.”

Along with the departure of Giovannone was, according the article, the demise of SISMI’s “building and strengthening good working relationships with the Arab nations around the Mediterranean” in order to “keep Italy out of the line of fire of the Palestinian guerrillas and other Arab irredentist groups” and continue Italian economic penetration of Middle East commercial markets.

The article states that the demise of Italy’s autonomous intelligence services in the Mediterranean region was also engineered by France’s SDECE and Israel’s Mossad. Particular targets of SDECE and Mossad included Italian industries that had contracts with Iraq. The article states that the French and Israelis leaked to the media fabricated reports concerning “alleged payoffs to the Italian parties in connection with trade agreements (such as the sale of Lupo-class frigates to Iraq and, quite probably, the ENI contract with Petromin.”)

The article suggests that Rabb and the government of Italian Prime Minister Giovanni Spadolini were developing “parallel structures” for intelligence, which was viewed with alarm after what the paper described as the “P2 hurricane.” P2, or Propaganda Due, was a secretive Masonic lodge exposed in the late 1970s that had influential members within the Italian government, police, intelligence services, and even the Vatican.

The purging of SISMI’s Arab specialists did not end in 1982. On March 4, 2005, US forces guarding the road from Baghdad to Baghdad Airport opened fire on the car transporting the deputy head of the Italian intelligence service SISMI, Nicola Calipari, and Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, freed by hostage takers, to an awaiting plane bound for Rome. Calipari was killed in what WMR previously reported was a targeted assassination. Calipari was a member of the Arabist wing of SISMI who survived the purges of the 1980s. But his negotiations with Iraqi insurgents who had taken Sgrena hostage also exposed his links to the Arabs in the Middle East, earning him a death sentence from the neocons in Washington.

WMR reported on multiple confirmations that Calipari was purposefully targeted by US forces who feared he was bringing out of Iraq evidence proving US war crimes in Iraq. It was reportedly part of a quid pro quo arranged with Sgrena’s Iraqi captors who released her to Calipari in return for informing the world about US war crimes in Fallujah.

The United States has refused to bring Calipari’s assassins to justice.

When Calipari was shot by the Americans, there happened to be another AIPAC-tied U.S. ambassador in Rome, Mel Sembler. A month before Calipari was assassinated, Sembler had an annex to the embassy named after himself, a move never before accomplished by an incumbent U.S. ambassador.

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Wars for Israel | Comments Off on Reagan ambassador decimated Italy’s intelligence capabilities in the Arab world

Massive anti-US rally held in Afghanistan

Press TV –  August 18, 2010

In eastern Afghanistan, hundreds of people have taken to the streets to protest against the mounting civilian death toll in US-led raids in the war-torn country.

Some 600 demonstrators blocked the main highway linking the Capital, Kabul and the eastern city of Jalalabad on Wednesday. The protesters were chanting slogans against the growing foreign presence in the country and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

An Afghan father and his son were killed when their house in Nangahar Province was stormed overnight by NATO soldiers, triggering an outcry that led to the demonstrations.

The US-led forces in the country say they killed two militants in the operation, a claim local villagers have firmly rejected.

Earlier this week, a similar rally was held in the eastern province of Wardak.

A UN report published earlier this week said that 386 civilians were killed by NATO or Afghan forces in the first six months of 2010.

On Monday, at least five Afghan civilians, including a woman and her three children, were killed after a NATO supply vehicle hit their motorcycle in southern Afghanistan. According to Afghan officials, the accident took place on a road in Helmand province, a Press TV correspondent reported Sunday.

Civilians have been the main victims of violence in Afghanistan, particularly in the country’s troubled southern and eastern provinces. The issue of civilian casualties has caused friction between Washington and the Karzai government in Kabul.

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | 1 Comment