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FBI ‘Stops’ Yet Another Of Its Own Terrorist Threats

TechDirt | February 8, 2013

Well, there they go again. We’ve talked a bunch about how the FBI has gotten really good at stopping its own terrorist plots and they’ve gone and done it again. Right here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the FBI has gleefully announced how they’ve stopped an attempt to bomb a Bank of America building in Oakland. The details are familiar: random guy with no actual connection to terrorists, and no actual way to build a connection with terrorists, is taken in by an FBI undercover agent who works with him to build a “bomb” that was never a bomb. In other words, there was no plot. There was no bomb. There was just a bunch of undercover agents playing dressup, and one Joe Schmo who thought it was all real. Maybe next time, the FBI can turn it into a reality TV show on Spike. Ralph Garmin as… a fake terrorist. I’d watch it.

This all comes just a week after On the Media profiled a new book called Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War On Terrorism. That book appears to collect a bunch of these stories, talking about how this is a major effort in the FBI these days: making up fake terrorist plots in order to stop people they themselves convinced to take part in the “plots” and then generate big headlines around them:

The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terror shows how the FBI has, under the guise of engaging in counterterrorism since 9/11, built a network of more than 15,000 informants whose primary purpose is to infiltrate Muslim communities to create and facilitate phony terrorist plots so that the bureau can then claim victory in the war on terror.

Think of just how many resources are wasted in entrapping random people, rather than stopping real crime. I don’t see how this makes us any safer at all. Frankly, it makes me a lot more terrified.

February 10, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Comments Off on FBI ‘Stops’ Yet Another Of Its Own Terrorist Threats

Abe Lincoln, Racist Fascist?

By MICHAEL DICKINSON | CounterPunch | February 9, 2013

I’m going to the cinema tonight in Istanbul to see Steven Spielberg’s biopic, ‘Lincoln’. The other choices of films in English this week are ‘Django Unchained’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty’. I’ll catch them later. I’m not expecting much from ‘Lincoln’ apart from some excellent performances and great camera-work. From what I’ve heard, we’re presented with the standard loveable father figure that Americans are indoctrinated from childhood to believe in – the sanctified image of the simple country lawyer from Illinois who heroically defended his country and freed the slaves – not the unscrupulous fascist that he really was.

The fact of the matter is that ‘Massa Lincoln’ was a die-hard racist. When he said “all men are created equal” he meant all WHITE men.

This quotation from a speech he made in Charleston in 1858 shows how he really felt:

I am not now, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social or political equality of the white and black races. I am not now nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor of intermarriages with white people. There is a physical difference between the white and the black races which will forever forbid the two races living together on social or political equality. There must be a position of superior and inferior, and I am in favor of assigning the superior position to the white man.”

Over and over again he stated that he was opposed to equality of the races. He was not an abolitionist, he denigrated and distanced himself from them. In 1862 in a letter to the New York Tribune Editor he wrote:

“If I could save the union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race I do because I believe it helps to save the union.”

And in the same year, addressing a meeting of freed black leaders at the White House, Lincoln said:

“But for your race among us there could not be a war, although many men on either side do not care for you one way or another. You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on an equality with the white race. You are cut off from many of the advantages which the other race enjoys. It is better for us both to be separated.”

Not only was Lincoln a racist who supported the noxious pre-Civil War “Black Laws,” which stripped African-Americans of their basic rights in his native Illinois, as well as the Fugitive Slave Act, which compelled the return to their masters of those who had escaped to free soil in the North, he was a white-supremacist whose projected plan for dealing with racial problems was ‘colonization’ – the deportation of all American blacks to Africa, Haiti, or Central America – anywhere but the United States, which would be for whites only. If Lincoln had had his way there would be no black people in America today.

The idea of deporting the blacks from the country was that of his fellow-fascist friend Henry Clay, upon whose plan, ‘The American System’, or ‘Everyone for Himself at the Expense of his Neighbour!, the Lincoln regime had been built – consolidating massive power in the hands of a small cabal of manufacturers, bankers, and politicians at the expense of the rest of society, and which called for a regimen of high tariffs, federal support for “internal improvements” such as road building and railroads, corporate welfare, and a national banking system based on fiat money. ‘Honest Abe’ eulogized Clay as “the beau ideal of a statesman,” noting that: “During my whole political life, I loved and revered [Clay] as a teacher and leader.”

In fact, despite President Obama’s reverence for Lincoln as the ‘Great Emancipator’, it doesn’t take much research to uncover him as he really was – a political opportunist, a corrupt corporate insider and a lifelong mercantilist.

Lincoln ruled over an oppressive police state under which a military draft was implemented; income tax was introduced for the first time to help finance a Civil War that killed 620,000 young men; dissenters were imprisoned without trial; ‘habeus corpus’ was suspended in some regions; and legal documents were authored which paved the way for corporations to becoming recognized as the equivalents of “legal persons.”

Before his career as a politician Abraham Lincoln had served as a corporate attorney for some of the biggest interests in Illinois, including “Big Rail”- the prevailing corporate interests of his day, a governmental pie of railroad subsidies in which all the big Republican Party Cats had their fingers. As president he championed protectionism and corporate welfare schemes where the force of law was used to benefit a select group of politicians and their cronies, signing legislation that virtually gave away miles of public land to the railroads for free. His son, Robert Todd Lincoln, went on to a successful career as the president of the Pullman Car Company.

It’s no secret that President Obama is a big fan of ‘Honest Abe’. He made the announcement that he was running for president in Springfield, Illinois, on the steps of the Old Capitol, where Lincoln was a legislator; he traveled to Washington by retracing the final stages of the train trip Lincoln made to assume his presidency; the Bible last used for Lincoln’s oath of office was used for his swearing-in; the theme of his inauguration was taken from a line in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: “A New Birth of Freedom”.

Lerone Bennett Jr, executive editor of popular black-oriented Ebony magazine describes the whitewashing of Abraham Lincoln as “one of the most extraordinary efforts I know to hide a whole man and a whole history, particularly when that man is one of the most celebrated men in American history.”

How can Obama support such a charlatan racist as his role model? Is it because he exists in a political environment largely inherited from the Lincoln era where enriching oneself and one’s friends while hiding behind a smokescreen of “humanitarian” propaganda is the norm – a government of the poor by the rich and for the rich?

Although he has never been really poor in his own life himself, in his autobiography an admiring Obama wrote: “In Lincoln’s rise from poverty, his ultimate mastery of language and law, his capacity to overcome personal loss and remain determined in the face of repeated defeat – in all this, he reminds me of my own struggles. I find him a very wise man. There is a wisdom there and a humility about his approach to government, even before he was president, that I just find very helpful.”

But what would Lincoln have thought about the idea of a black man as the president of the United States of America? Most likely he would have been astounded – and appalled.

Michael Dickinson can be contacted at his website –

February 10, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , | Comments Off on Abe Lincoln, Racist Fascist?

Yet Another Estimate of When Iran Will Have the Bomb

By Kevin Jon Heller | Opinio Juris | January 29, 2013

McClatchy reports that Israel now believes Iran will not be able to produce a nuclear weapon until 2015 or 2016.  That is progress of a sort; Netanyahu had previously been claiming that Iran would have the bomb no later than late summer 2013 — around six months from now.  But Israel is still insisting that Iran is only two or three years away from nuclear capability, so I think it is useful to recall and update the timeline I mentioned early last year of breathless Israeli and Western claims about Iran’s nuclear program:

1984: West German intelligence sources claim that Iran’s production of a bomb “is entering its final stages.” US Senator Alan Cranston claims Iran is seven years away from making a weapon.

1992: Israeli parliamentarian Benjamin Netanyahu tells the Knesset that Iran is 3 to 5 years from being able to produce a nuclear weapon.

1995: The New York Times reports that US and Israeli officials fear “Iran is much closer to producing nuclear weapons than previously thought” – less than five years away.  Netanyahu claims the time frame is three to five years.

1996: Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres claims Iran will have nuclear weapons in four years.

1998: Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claims Iran could build an ICBM capable of reaching the US within five years.

1999: An Israeli military official claims that Iran will have a nuclear weapon within five years.

2001: The Israeli Minister of Defence claims that Iran will be ready to launch a nuclear weapon in less than four years.

2002: The CIA warns that the danger of nuclear weapons from Iran is higher than during the Cold War, because its missile capability has grown more quickly than expected since 2000 – putting it on par with North Korea.

2003: A high-ranking Israeli military officer tells the Knesset that Iran will have the bomb by 2005 — 17 months away.

2006: A State Department official claims that Iran may be capable of building a nuclear weapon in 16 days.

2008: An Israeli general tells the Cabinet that Iran is “half-way” to enriching enough uranium to build a nuclear weapon and will have a working weapon no later than the end of 2010.

2009: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak estimates that Iran is 6-18 months away from building an operative nuclear weapon.

2010: Israeli decision-makers believe that Iran is at most 1-3 years away from being able to assemble a nuclear weapon.

2011: An IAEA report indicates that Iran could build a nuclear weapon within months.

2013: Israeli intelligence officials claim that Iran could have the bomb by 2015 or 2016.

The McClatchy articles quotes an Israeli intelligence officer as asking “Did we cry wolf too early?” That’s amusing: Israel (and the West) have been crying wolf over Iran’s nuclear capability for nearly three decades.

February 10, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | Comments Off on Yet Another Estimate of When Iran Will Have the Bomb

David Brooks Flunks International Relations Theory 101

By Daniel Warner | NYTX | February 10, 2013

David Brooks’ op-ed piece in the February 9 International Herald Tribune – the global edition of the New York Times – is an insult to any serious student of international relations and political theory as well as to Yale University. As part of a course at Yale on Grand Strategy that he is “taking part in” – Brooks does not say if he is a student in the course or teaching the course – the editorialist wheels out the 16th century Florentine political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince  to justify the use of drones. Citing passages often used by Realists to justify whatever action fits their aims above and beyond moral considerations, Brooks says that “in the real world, a great leader is called upon to create a civilized order for the city he serves. To create that order, to defeat the forces of anarchy and savagery, the virtuous leader is compelled to do hard things, to take, as it were, the sins of the situation upon himself…Sometimes bad acts produce good outcomes. Sometimes a leader has to love his country more than his soul.”

Brooks’ caricature of Machiavelli allows him to pose a dilemma that has appeared regularly in Realist literature as a binary division between idealism and realistic power politics that is now couched in terms of using drones. “Do I have to be brutal to protect the people I serve? Do I have to use drones, which sometimes kill innocent children, in order to thwart terror and save the lives of my own?” Brooks asks. The political theorist Michael Walzer wrote about this dilemma as “The Problem of Dirty Hands”.

If I were grading Brooks as a student, I would begin by noting in the margins of his paper that his understanding of Machiavelli is terribly superficial. Machiavelli’s advice to the Prince must be understood in the context of the time and place, as R.B.J. Walker has brilliantly shown in “The Prince and ‘the pauper’”. Renaissance life, as sophisticated as it was culturally, was centuries before the codification of public international law, the Geneva Conventions on international humanitarian law, the Genocide Convention, etc. The limited world of the Italian city-states in no way resembles today’s global society. To compare advising the ruler of a small city-state in 16th century Italy with advising President Obama today on the use of drones (or whatever else Brooks can imagine would be justified) is like comparing apples and oranges. Although Brooks praises the fact that “we’ve inherited an international order that restrains conflict,” he cannot go beyond that statement to see that the international order that he praises also restrains the killing of non-combattants by drones, just as it restrains torture. The very basis of that order, and what distinguishes the civilized from the barbaric, is adherence to international law, not the projection of naked power.

David Brooks’ use of Machiavelli is not deserving of a serious first year college student (Will he next be quoting Thucydides’ Melian Dialogue to justify nuking a country when negotiations fail?). Yale’s political science department has long been a leader in the field. By quoting Machiavelli as he does, and then to add legitimacy to the quotations by citing his presence at Yale, Brooks disqualifies himself as a competent student and no more than a simplistic power politics Realist who has no right to whisper in the ear of the Prince, let alone be an editorialist for an institution that considers itself the paper of record.

Mr. Brooks, I do hope you will do better on your next paper. This one is not up to serious standards. You fail.


Daniel Warner is a political scientist living in Geneva, Switzerland, and the author of “An Ethic of Responsibility in International Relations”. Daniel is a contributing writer to NYTX’sGeneva Dateline” column.

February 10, 2013 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on David Brooks Flunks International Relations Theory 101

Israel rejects US report on Israel-PA education

Rehmat’s World | February 9, 2013

The Zionist Education Ministry has rejected the findings of a US State Department funded study, which has claimed that textbooks taught in Gaza and the West Bank don’t teach hatred toward Jews. The Ministry has called the report “profoundly unobjective”. The American Jewish advocacy group, ADL, has called the report a “distortion of facts”. The rest of the Israel Hasbara Committee members (Jewish Week, JTA, Algemeiner, HuffingtonPost, JPost, NPR, The Beast, etc.), claimed the report was anything from “one sided” to “antisemitic”.

In fact, the report, titled ‘Victims of Our Own Narratives’ has tried to cover-up the fact that Israeli school textbooks do teach hatred toward Arabs, Muslims, Christians and all the other non-Jewish people based on the Jewish holy book the Talmud. This fact was admitted in 2007 by Professor Daniel Bar-Tal of Tel Aviv University, after studying 124 elementary, middle- and high school textbooks on grammar and Hebrew literature, history, geography and citizenship. He wrote: “The early textbooks tended to describe acts of Arabs as hostile, deviant, cruel, immoral, unfair, with the intention to hurt Jews and to annihilate the State of Israel. Within this frame of reference, Arabs were delegitimized by the use of such labels as ‘robbers,’ ‘bloodthirsty,’ and ‘killers”. Another Israeli professor Nurit Peled-Elhanan, daughter of Israel’s 1967 War hero, Gen. Peled, had come to the same conclusion.

The report in question is based on a study of Israeli and Palestinian textbooks conducted by a team of Israeli and Palestinian researchers and led by professor Bruce Wexler, a Jewish psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Wexler and the panel of 19 academics, who surveyed over 3,100 excerpts from 168 Israeli and Palestinian textbooks – have blasted the Zionist regime and the Jewish lobby for rejecting the report “for being politically motivated”.

The report has exposed decades of Israel’s anti-Palestinian propaganda lies that Palestinian kids are brought-up on hatred toward Jews. Successive Zionist regimes have used this lie as trump card in underminding the claim that an independent Palestinian state is overdue. This is also a “biblical truth” among majority of US lawmakers.

“Both the Israeli and Palestinian communities should be commended for this important positive aspect of their books. Extreme negative characterizations of the other of his sort are present in textbooks elsewhere in the world,” claimed the report.

The study was launched in 2009 by the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, a multifaith body that aims “to prevent religion from being used as a source of conflict, and to promote mutual respect,” according to its website. It is comprised of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, the Palestinian Islamic Waqf, and the heads of Christian churches in Israel and the West Bank.

The Zionist regime had boycotted the study, while Palestinian Authority officials cooperated with the study group.

February 10, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Comments Off on Israel rejects US report on Israel-PA education

Securing the ethnic cleansing of Silwan: Settlements in Wadi Hilweh using Pelco security equipment

Pelco cameras system being used by illegal settlements in Silwan
Pelco camera system being used by illegal settlement in Silwan
Corporate Watch | February 10, 2013

The Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan is experiencing harassment and home demolitions at the hands of the Israeli state and settler organisations. This ethnic cleansing is enforced by security companies and surveillance technology and facilitated by revenue from international donors and from tourism. Corporate Watch will be writing a series of articles over the coming months exposing the companies and charities carrying out this ethnic cleansing and those organisations who are funding it and profiting from it.

The communities of Wadi Hilweh and Al Bustan in Silwan in East Jerusalem are watched over by hundreds of Closed Circuit Surveillance (CCTV) cameras installed by settlers and the settler/colonial organisation El Ad.

These cameras watch over the creeping colonisation of the area which has been going on since the 1990s. Much of this has centred around the seizing of Palestinian property by the El Ad organisation and the undermining of the Palestinian community through archaeological excavations  carried out by the same organisation with the complicity of the Israeli National Parks Authority and the Israeli antiquities Authority (read more about El Ad and the excavations here).

During the 1990s the Israeli state and the Jewish National Fund gave one third of the land of Wadi Hilweh to El Ad. Since then settlers have moved in and El Ad has used a series of dirty tricks to acquire more and more properties in Wadi Hilweh. At the same time Palestinian homes are subject to demolitions under planning regulations, such as the demolitions that took place on 2nd February 2013.

On Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th January 2012 Corporate Watch researchers photographed dozens of Pelco security cameras being used by the settlements in Silwan including those at the El Ad compound close to the ‘City of David’ Visitors Centre in Wadi Hilweh.

The cameras included those in use at the Tirah House settlement, a Palestinian home occupied by Israeli settlers.

Pelco is a manufacturer and supplier of security cameras based in Clovis, California. The company has 2,200 employees worldwide and resellers in 130 coutries.

PIC_1096Since 2007 Pelco has been part of Schneider-Electric, a French multinational company headquartered in Rueil-Malmaison. Schneider-Electric has 130,000 employees and 2011 sales totaling 22.4 billion Euros. It operates in 190 countries.

Schneider-Electric is one of the only companies to have shown interest in the joint French-Palestinian Authority (PA) industrial zone in Bethlehem, the Bethlehem Multidisciplinary Industrial Park. It seems the PA have chosen poor partners for its flagship industrial zone.

Schneider-Electrics global operations are listed here

To contact Pelco click here

For more information on Silwan click here.

Photos taken by Corporate Watch researchers

February 10, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Securing the ethnic cleansing of Silwan: Settlements in Wadi Hilweh using Pelco security equipment

Historic buildings around Al-Aqsa continue to be demolished

MEMO | February 9, 2013

For the third day in a row, Israeli bulldozers are demolishing historic arches and facades of Islamic buildings dating back to the Mamluk and Ottoman eras on the north side of Buraq Square. The site lies just 50 metres from the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa.

Details of the architectural vandalism by the Israeli occupation authorities were provided by Al-Aqsa Foundation for Religious Endowments and Heritage in a press statement. The Israeli demolition work is a prelude to the establishment of a centre promoting the state’s Judaisation policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. The buildings in question formed part of the Moroccan Quarter of the Old City, which was demolished by the Israelis in 1967 at the start of the occupation of Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The foundation said that it will use exclusive maps and documents to show how the Israelis plan to establish a synagogue, a police station, a reception area and show rooms on the site, all of which will be linked to tunnels under Al-Aqsa Mosque. A press conference will be held on Sunday for that purpose which will be attended by the head of the Islamic movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah. Among the other speakers will be the Chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council and the Imam of Al Aqsa Mosque, Dr Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, and Hatem Abdel Qader, who deals with the Jerusalem file for Fatah, as well as the foundation’s director, Amir Khatib.

According to the documents held by Al-Aqsa Foundation, the development will necessitate the destruction of noted Islamic landmarks. It is worth noting that the State of Israel pledged in its Declaration of Independence that it “will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations”. The State of Israel regularly breaks both pledges with apparent impunity.

February 10, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Canaan protest village

picture-skunk-water-hebronsmall-600x337 Canaan tent being skunk watered (Photo: ISM)
Beit Ommar Popular Movement | February 10, 2013

South Hebron Hills, Occupied Palestine – Today, the South West Popular Committee along with international activists embarked on a new effort to establish a village, Canaan, on Palestinian land in South Hebron Hills. The village’s name was not accidental. We wanted to declare that we are the indigenous people of Palestine. We are the descendants of the Canaanites and our ties to the land can never be broken or taken away. Early last night, various Palestinian activists from a wide array of villages in the South West Bank area along with international activists met in a home to discuss plans for the coming day.

Signs were prepared which stated ‘Our Land is Our Right’, ‘Canaan Village’ and a declaration of intent which stated that “we are the sons and daughters of the Cananites, we establish Canaan Village on endangered Palestinian land.” “We declare that it is our natural right to develop, reclaim, improve, use and live on all our lands free and without threat from occupiers/colonizers.”

In the early morning hours, following a night of planning, we established Canaan as our first attempt, in the south of Yatta (the entrance to Twani). Within less than a minute, while we barely managed to establish the tent, an occupation jeep arrived. The occupation soldiers encircled us and told us we must leave. We refused to obey such a racist demand. An officer of the occupation army then went on to demolish our tent, steal our additional tents and equipment and violently prevent us from reclaiming our land and our belongings.

Several hours later, we went on with a much larger group of activists, international supporters and an especially large number of journalists, to east Yatta, near Ein Mai’in, Hazawai, we established a large tent and began building a room from stones of the land. Within half an hour, we were heavily encircled by at least 6 jeeps of the occupation forces. A large military vehicle which fires skunk water was brought in. We were told that we have 10 minuets to leave the area and that the land was a ‘closed military zone’. We did not yield of course and were immediately showered upon by heavy skunk water.

Occupation soldiers then went on to attack journalists and arrest them. They beat an elderly woman and other activists. In several instances, activists jumped in and prevented with their bodies the arrest of two people. After several hours of struggling with the occupation soldiers which numbered more than 50, 4 journalists, 8 Palestinians and 2 international activists were arrested, our tent was destroyed and we were prevented from returning to our land. For many hours during the hot afternoon, hundreds of activists remained in the area and demanded the right to return to the Canaan Village.

February 10, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment