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GCHQ snoops on hotel reservations targeting diplomats – Snowden leaks

RT | November 17, 2013

A UK spy agency infiltrated international hotel booking systems for some three years, tracing high profile officials and wiretapping their suites, new leaks reveal. GCHQ’s top secret ‘Royal Concierge’ program tracked 350 hotels across the globe.

Germany’s Der Spiegel has published yet another episode of scandalous revelations from the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, currently enjoying temporary asylum in Moscow.

Constantly on the move, top officials and diplomats prefer to stay in high-end establishments and boutique hotels with premier service standards. And since the number of high-class hotels in the world is finite, British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) came up with the idea of turning them into a huge net to fish for secrets in high-tech style.

After the ‘Royal Concierge’ program underwent testing in 2010, it was readied and put into action.

Documents unearthed by Snowden reveal that over a three-year period GCHQ had an automatic system for singling out people of interest, who made reservations in about 350 upscale hotels worldwide.

Field operatives then allegedly wiretapped the phone and network cables inside the targeted suite, and were potentially able to check into the next door suite in order to eavesdrop the target at the scene.
‘Royal Concierge’ in operation

According to documents seen by Der Spiegel, when a top official or a diplomat makes a reservation using his working e-mail address (or his secretary does) with a governmental domain like .gov, GCHQ gets a notification and decides whether it needs to take ‘action’ or not.

Once a foreign diplomat is booked into a hotel, putting him under the microscope becomes a purely technical objective. Der Spiegel lists an impressive array of spying techniques and capabilities “that seem to exhaust the creative potential of modern spying”. No details, however, are provided.

On occasions, when a guest of special interest checks in, a crack intelligence unit can be deployed who have ‘specialist technologies’ for spying at their disposal. GCHQ may also put into action codename ‘Humint’ [Human Intelligence], for close scrutiny of the target, an operation that could also include field agents working in the vicinity.

Der Spiegel also highlights the speculation that ‘Royal Concierge’ could possibly manipulate hotel choices through the booking programs and also bug hired cars.

Der Spiegel has not provided information about whether ‘Royal Concierge’ has been spying on Britain’s major allies, or if the targets of the GCHQ hotel surveillance had any connections to Al-Qaeda.

Remarkably, the report comes right after British intelligence chiefs made assurances that their actions were conducted within the framework of the war on terror. At a November-7th hearing by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee in London, GCHQ head, Sir Ian Lobban, acknowledged that Edward Snowden’s leaks would make GCHQ’s work “far harder” for years to come.

 

November 17, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All Drone Politics Is Local

By David Swanson | November 14, 2013

What Localities and States Can Do About Drones

Charlottesville, Va., passed a resolution that urged the state of Virginia to adopt a two-year moratorium on drones (which it did), urged both Virginia and the U.S. Congress to prohibit information obtained from the domestic use of drones from being introduced into court, and to preclude the domestic use of drones equipped with “anti-personnel devices, meaning any projectile, chemical, electrical, directed-energy (visible or invisible), or other device designed to harm, incapacitate, or otherwise negatively impact a human being,” and pledged that Charlottesville would “abstain from similar uses with city-owned, leased, or borrowed drones.”

St. Bonifacius, Minn., passed a resolution with the same language as Charlottesville plus a ban on anyone operating a drone “within the airspace of the city,” making a first offense a misdemeanor and a repeat offense a felony.

Evanston, Ill., passed a resolution establishing a two-year moratorium on the use of drones in the city with exceptions for hobby and model aircraft and for non-military research, and making the same recommendations to the state and Congress as Charlottesville and St. Bonifacius.

Northampton, Mass., passed a resolution urging the U.S. government to end its practice of extrajudicial killing with drones, affirming that within the city limits “the navigable airspace for drone aircraft shall not be expanded below the long-established airspace for manned aircraft” and that “landowners subject to state laws and local ordinances have exclusive control of the immediate reaches of the airspace and that no drone aircraft shall have the ‘public right of transit’ through this private  property,” and urging the state and Congress and the FAA “to  respect legal precedent and constitutional guarantees of privacy, property rights, and local sovereignty in all matters pertaining to drone aircraft and navigable airspace.”

See full text of all resolutions at warisacrime.org/resolutions

Other cities, towns, and counties should be able to pass similar resolutions. Of course, stronger and more comprehensive resolutions are best. But most people who learned about the four resolutions above just leaned that these four cities had “banned drones” or “passed an anti-drone resolution.” The details are less important in terms of building national momentum against objectionable uses of drones.  By including both surveillance and weaponized drones, as all four cities have done, a resolution campaign can find broader support.  By including just one issue, a resolution might meet fewer objections.  Asking a city just to make recommendations to a state and the nation might also meet less resistance than asking the city to take actions itself.  Less can be more.

Localities have a role in national policy. City councilors and members of boards of supervisors take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States. Cities and towns routinely send petitions to Congress for all kinds of requests. This is allowed under Clause 3, Rule XII, Section 819, of the Rules of the House of Representatives. This clause is routinely used to accept petitions from cities, and memorials from states. The same is established in the Jefferson Manual, the rulebook for the House originally written by Thomas Jefferson for the Senate. In 1967, a court in California ruled (Farley v. Healey, 67 Cal.2d 325) that “one of the purposes of local government is to represent its citizens before the Congress, the Legislature, and administrative agencies in matters over which the local government has no power. Even in matters of foreign policy it is not uncommon for local legislative bodies to make their positions known.” Abolitionists passed local resolutions against U.S. policies on slavery. The anti-apartheid movement did the same, as did the nuclear freeze movement, the movement against the PATRIOT Act, the movement in favor of the Kyoto Protocol, etc. No locality is an island. If we become environmentally sustainable, others will ruin our climate. If we ban assault weapons, they’ll arrive at our borders. And if the skies of the United States are filled with drones, it will become ever more difficult for any city or state to keep them out.

How to pass a local resolution: Every city or county is different, but some rules of thumb are applicable. To the extent possible, build understanding of the issues.  Invite speakers, screen films, hold conferences.  To the extent possible, educate and win over elected officials.  Make the case that localities have a responsibility to speak on national issues to represent the interests of local people.  Make the case that the time to act is before the problem expands out of control. Most states are considering drone legislation, so refer to that activity in your state. Make clear that you are aware of countless benevolent and harmless uses of drones but that you are prioritizing Constitutional rights and want exceptions made for uses that do not endanger self-governance rather than drones being made the norm and restrictions the exception. The Congressional Research Service says drones are incompatible with the Fourth Amendment. The U.N. Special Rapporteur says drones are making war the norm.  If possible, propose the weakest resolution you can, and ask the local government to put it on the agenda for consideration; then propose the strongest possible resolution you dare.  You may end up with a compromise, as happened in Charlottesville. Work the local media and public. Pack the meeting(s). Take advantage of every opportunity for the public to speak. Unlike at the state or national levels, you are unlikely to face any organized opposition. Make your most persuasive case, and make a great show of public support. Equate a “No” vote with support for cameras in everyone’s windows and armed drones over picnics. Equate a “Yes” vote with prevention of racial profiling, activist profiling, and the targeting of all sorts of groups that can be recruited into your campaign.

STATES: See full text of all resolutions at warisacrime.org/resolutions

Oregon has passed a law banning weaponized drones in all cases and banning drone use by law enforcement unless they have a warrant, they have probable cause without a warrant, or for search and rescue, or for an emergency, or for studying a crime scene, or for training (and the Fourth Amendment be damned).

Virginia has passed a law banning local and state (but not federal or National Guard) government drone use for two years unless various color-coded alerts are activated or there is a search or rescue operation or for training exercises or for drone-training schools, and strictly banning (for two years) any state or local weaponized drones.

Florida has passed a law banning law enforcement agencies from using drones to gather information unless they think they have some sort of reason to do so (and the Fourth Amendment be damned).

Idaho has passed a law banning drone surveillance “absent reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal conduct” except in pursuit of marijuana in which case no such suspicion is needed (and the Fourth Amendment be damned).

Illinois has passed a law banning drones except for law enforcement agencies that have a warrant or when the Secretary of Homeland Security shouts “terrorism!” or they are reasonably suspicious it’s needed or are searching for a missing person or are photographing a crime scene or traffic crash scene (and the Fourth Amendment be damned).

Tennessee has passed a law banning law enforcement drones unless the Sec. of Homeland Security shouts “terrorism!” or there’s a warrant or there’s suspicion without a warrant (and the Fourth Amendment be damned).

Texas has passed a law banning the capturing of images with drones except for … too many exceptions to list.

Congressman Grayson passed an amendment to a DHS funding bill banning DHS from using weaponized drones, a step that must be repeated each year for this and other agencies unless a full national or international ban is put in place.

This article as a double-sided, single-page handout: PDF.

November 17, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Why does it still matter?

JFK Murder Solved

“There is no doubt now that there was a conspiracy, yet most of us are not very angry about it. The conspiracy to kill the president of the United States was also a conspiracy against the democratic system –and thus a conspiracy against you. I think you should get very angry about that.” – Gaeton Fonzi, Investigator HSCA

It matters because the murder of President Kennedy was not only a conspiracy but a true coup d etat. The powers behind it, did not only come away with it, but took control over the new government and orchestrated the cover-up. These powers included some of the highest elected officials like president Lyndon Johnson and later presidents, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, former CIA director Allen Dulles, John McCloy and Arlen Specter.

It matters because a coup d’etat that was successfully kept secret in a democratic country means, by default, that the succeeding government was illegitimate.

It matters because the American government continues to LIE about the Kennedy assassination. The vast majority of the American people does not believe the official version because of a preponderance of evidence to the contrary, evidence that was uncovered not by the government but by private concerned citizens. The majority of the American people KNOWS their government is still lying. How can Americans honestly export their democratic values and principles with the knowledge that their government is lying?

It matters because if the government is still lying about the Kennedy assassination, it essentially means that the powers that killed John F. Kennedy are still in charge this very day. Therefore the Kennedy assassination is NOT just an historical event of a distant past. It is an event that has changed the course of history and has set the stage for the political situation of today. In short, it has affected all our lives to some extent, but we do not know exactly how or why.

It matters because the mainstream media continues to support, and even endorse, the official version of the Kennedy assassination. We must, therefore, seriously question if there is indeed freedom of speech and freedom of press in America.

It matters because the framing of Lee Harvey Oswald, his denial of a fair legal representation and trial, and the systematic distortion of his legacy, is one of the great injustices in American history, not only to him, but for his family and the American people as a whole.

It matters because John F. Kennedy was not the only one that was killed. The path to the truth is littered with dead bodies of mostly innocent and patriotic people killed just because they knew something, just because they had seen something, or because they tried to expose a level of corruption that, at the time, was unequaled in American history. And some of these cases are in a much less distant past than the death of John F. Kennedy.

If the citizens of a democratic society are not able to uncover the truth about the assassination of their own elected president, they effectively have no control over their destiny. They may want, and indeed need, to believe differently but that does not make it less of a lie. In short: Wake up, get angry and take your country back!

Why does every American know the expression: “I love my country, but I don’t trust my government”? America is indeed a great country. It should stay that way.

November 17, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kwiatkowski: “Operation in Afghanistan is rooted in Israel”

RT | July 20, 2009

The real reason why the U.S. continues its presence in Afghanistan is Iran the country which is an annoyance for Israel, said Karen Kwiatkowski, a writer and former U.S. Air Force officer.

November 17, 2013 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Logic behind Mass Spying: Empire and Cyber Imperialism

By James Petras :: 11.16.2013 

Introduction

Revelations about the long-term global, intrusive spying by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and other allied intelligence apparatuses have provoked widespread protests and indignation and threatened ties between erstwhile imperial allies.

Allied regimes have uniformly condemned NSA espionage as a violation of trust and sovereignty, a threat to their national and economic security and to their citizens’ privacy.

In contrast, Washington has responded in a contradictory manner: on the one hand, US officials and intelligence chiefs have acknowledged ‘some excesses and mistakes’, on the other hand, they defend the entire surveillance program as necessary for US national security.

Interpretations vary about the US global spying apparatus – how it was built and why it was launched against hundreds of millions of people. ‘Subjective’ and ‘objective’ explanations abound, evoking psychological, social, economic, strategic and political considerations.

A multi-factorial explanation is required.

The Integrated Hypothesis of the Global Police State

One of the essential components of a police state is an all-pervasive spy apparatus operating independently of any legal or constitutional constraints. Spy operations include: 1) massive surveillance over text, video and audio communications and 2) the capacity to secretly record, store and use information secretly collected. This information strengthens political and economic leaders who, in turn, appoint and direct the spy chiefs. The political and economic rulers control the spy-lords by setting the goals, means and targets of the surveillance state. The US global spy apparatus is neither ‘self-starting nor self-perpetuating’. It did not arise in a vacuum and it has virtually no strategic autonomy. While there may be intra-bureaucratic conflicts and rivalries, the institutions and groups function within the overall ‘paradigm’ established and directed by the political and economic elite.

The Global Spy Structure

The growth and expansion of the US spy apparatus has deep roots in its history and is related to the colonial need to control subjugated native and enslaved peoples. However, the global operations emerged after the Second World War when the US replaced Europe as the center of world imperialism. The US assumed the principal role in preventing the spread of revolutionary and anti-colonial movements from the Soviet Union, China, Korea, Vietnam and Cuba to war and crisis-burdened countries of Europe, North and Southeast Asia and Latin America. When the collectivist states fell apart in the 1990’s the US became the sole superpower and a unipolar world emerged.

For the United States, ‘unipolarity’ meant (1) an impetus toward total global domination; (2) a world-wide network of military bases; (3) the subordination of capitalist competitors in other industrial countries, (4) the destruction of nationalist adversaries and (5) the unfettered pillage of resources from the former collectivist regimes as they became vassal states. The last condition meant the complete dismantling of the collectivist state and its public institutions – education, health care and worker rights.

The opportunities for immense profits and supreme control over this vast new empire were boundless while the risks seemed puny, at least during the ‘golden period’, defined by the years immediately after (1) the capitalist takeover of the ex-Soviet bloc, (2) the Chinese transition to capitalism and (3) the conversion of many former African and Asian nationalist regimes, parties and movements to ‘free-market’ capitalism.

Dazzled by the vision of a ‘new world to conquer’ the United States set up an international state apparatus in order to exploit this world-historical opportunity. Most top political leaders, intelligence strategists, military officials and business elites quickly realized that these easy initial conquests and the complicity of pliable and kleptocratic post-Communist vassal rulers would not last. The societies would eventually react and the lucrative plunder of resources was not sustainable. Nationalist adversaries were bound to arise and demand their own spheres of influence. The White House feared their own capitalist allies would take on the role of imperialist competitors seeking to grab ‘their share’ of the booty, taking over and exploiting resources, public enterprises and cheap labor.

The new ‘unipolar world’ meant the shredding of the fabric of social and political life. In the ‘transition’ to free market capitalism, stable employment, access to health care, security, education and civilized living standards disappeared. In the place of once complex, advanced social systems, local tribal and ethnic wars erupted. It would be ‘divide and conquer’ in an orgy of pillage for the empire. But the vast majority of the people of the world suffered from chaos and regression when the multi-polar world of collectivist, nationalist, and imperialist regimes gave way to the unipolar empire.

For US imperialist strategists and their academic apologists the transition to a unipolar imperial world was exhilarating and they dubbed their unchallenged domination the ‘New World Order’ (NWO). The US imperial state then had the right and duty to maintain and police its ‘New World Order’ – by any means. Francis Fukiyama, among other academic apologists celebrated the ‘end of history’ in a paroxysm of imperial fever. Liberal-imperial academics, like Immanuel Wallerstein, sensed the emerging challenges to the US Empire and advanced the view of a Manichean world of ‘unipolarity’ (meaning ‘order’) versus ‘multipolar chaos’– as if the hundreds of millions of lives in scores of countries devastated by the rise of the post-collectivist US empire did not have a stake in liberating themselves from the yoke of a unipolar world.

By the end of its first decade, the unipolar empire exhibited cracks and fissures. It had to confront adversarial nationalist regimes in resource-rich countries, including Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, Bashar Assad in Syria, Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Khamenei in Iran. They challenged US supremacy in North Africa and the Middle East. The Taliban in Afghanistan and nationalist Islamist movements questioned US influence over the vassal rulers of Muslim countries – especially the puppet monarchs in the Persian Gulf.

On the other side of the imperial coin, the domestic economic foundations of the ‘New World Order’ were weakened by a series of speculative crises undermining the support of the US public as well as sectors of the elite. Meanwhile European and Japanese allies, as well as emerging Chinese capitalists, were beginning to compete for markets.

Within the US an ultra-militarist group of political ideologues, public officials and policy advisers, embracing a doctrine combining a domestic police state with foreign military intervention, took power in Washington. ‘Conservatives’ in the Bush, Sr. regime, ‘liberals’ in the Clinton administration and ‘neo-conservatives’ in the Bush, Jr. administration all sought and secured the power to launch wars in the Persian Gulf and the Balkans, to expand and consolidate the unipolar empire.

Maintaining and expanding the unipolar empire became the trigger for the White House’s global police state apparatus. As new regimes were added to Washington’s orbit, more and more surveillance was needed to make sure they did not drift into a competitor’s sphere of influence.

The year 2000 was critical for the global police state. First there was the dot-com crash in the financial sector. The speculative collapse caused massive but unorganized disaffection among the domestic population. Arab resistance re-emerged in the Middle East. The cosmically corrupt Boris Yeltsin vassal state fell and a nationalist, Russian President Vladimir Putin took power. The willing accomplices to the disintegration of the former USSR had taken their billions and fled to New York, London and Israel. Russia was on the road to recovery as a unified nuclear-armed nation state with regional ambitions. The period of unchallenged unipolar imperial expansion had ended.

The election of President Bush Jr., opened the executive branch to police state ideologues and civilian warlords, many linked to the state of Israel, who were determined to destroy secular Arab nationalist and Muslim adversaries in the Middle East. The steady growth of the global police state had been ‘too slow’ for them. The newly ascendant warlords and the proponents of the global police state wanted to take advantage of their golden opportunity to make US/Israeli supremacy in the Middle East irreversible and unquestioned via the application of overwhelming force (‘shock and awe’).

Their primary political problem in expanding global military power was the lack of a fully dominant domestic police state capable of demobilizing American public opinion largely opposed to any new wars. ‘Disaster ideologues’ like Phillip Zelikow and Condoleezza Rice understood the need for a new ‘Pearl Harbor’ to occur and threaten domestic security and thereby terrify the public into war. They lamented the fact that no credible regimes were left in the Middle East to cast as the ‘armed aggressor’ and as a threat to US national security. Such an enemy was vital to the launching of new wars. And new wars were necessary to justify the scale and scope of the new global spy apparatus and emergency police state edicts the warlords and neoconservatives had in mind. Absent a credible ‘state-based adversary’, the militarists settled for an act of terror (or the appearance of one) to ‘shock and awe’ the US public into accepting its project for imperial wars, the imposition of a domestic police state and the establishment of a vast global spy apparatus.

The September 11, 2001 explosions at the World Trade Center in New York City and the plane crash into a wing (mostly vacant for repairs) of the Pentagon in Washington, DC were the triggers for a vast political and bureaucratic transformation of the US imperial state. The entire state apparatus became a police state operation. All constitutional guarantees were suspended. The neo-conservatives seized power, the civilian warlords ruled. A huge body of police state legislation suddenly appeared, as if from nowhere, the ‘Patriot Act’. The Zionists in office set the objectives and influenced military policies to focus on Israel’s regional interests and the destruction of Israel’s Arab adversaries who had opposed its annexation of Palestine. War was declared against Afghanistan without any evidence that the ruling Taliban was involved or aware of the September 11 attack of the US. Despite massive civilian and even some military dissent, the civilian warlords and Zionist officials blatantly fabricated a series of pretexts to justify an unprovoked war against the secular nationalist regime in Iraq, the most advanced of all Arab countries. Europe was divided over the war. Countries in Asia and Latin America joined Germany and France in refusing to support the invasion. The United Kingdom, under a ‘Labor’ government, eagerly joined forces with the US hoping to regain some of its former colonial holdings in the Gulf.

At home, hundreds of billions of tax dollars were diverted from social programs to fund a vast army of police state operatives. The ideologues of war and the legal eagles for torture and the police state shifted into high gear. Those who opposed the wars were identified, monitored and the details of their lives were ‘filed away’ in a vast database. Soon millions came to be labeled as ‘persons of interest’ if they were connected in any way to anyone who was ‘suspect’, i.e. opposed to the ‘Global War on Terror’. Eventually even more tenuous links were made to everyone… family members, classmates and employers.

Over 1.5 million ‘security cleared’ monitors were contracted by the government to spy on hundreds of millions of citizens. The spy state spread domestically and internationally. For a global empire, based on a unipolar state, the best defense was judged to be a massive global surveillance apparatus operating independently of any other government – including the closest allies.

The slogan, ‘Global War on Terror’ (GWOT) became an open-ended formula for the civilian warlords, militarists and Zionists to expand the scope and duration of overt and covert warfare and espionage. ‘Homeland Security’ departments, operating at both the Federal and State levels, were consolidated and expanded with massive budgets for incarceration and repression. Constitutional protections and the Writ of Habeas Corpus were ‘rendered quaint vestiges of history’. The National Security Agency doubled its personnel and budget with a mandate to distrust and monitor allies and vassal states. The targets piled upon targets, far beyond traditional adversaries, sweeping up the public and private communications of all political, military and economic leaders, institutions, and citizenry.

The ‘Global War on Terror’ provided the ideological framework for a police state based on the totalitarian conception that ‘everybody and everything is connected to each other’ in a ‘global system’ threatening the state. This ‘totalistic view’ informs the logic of the expanded NSA, linking enemies, adversaries, competitors and allies. ‘Enemies’ were defined as anti-imperialist states or regimes with consistently critical independent foreign and domestic policies. ‘Adversaries’ occasionally sided with ‘enemies’, or tolerated policymakers who would not always conform to imperial policies. ‘Competitors’ supported the empire but had the capacity and opportunity to make lucrative trade deals with adversaries or enemies – Allies were states and leaders who generally supported imperial wars but might provide a forum condemning imperial war crimes (torture and drone attacks). In addition, allies could undermine US imperial market shares and accumulate favorable trade balances.

The logic of the NSA required spying on the allies to root out any links, trade, cultural or scientific relations with adversaries and enemies, which might have spillover consequences. The NSA feared that associations in one sphere might ‘overlap’ with adversaries operating in strategic policy areas and undermine ally loyalty to the empire.

The spy logic had a multiplier effect – who gets to ‘spy on the spies?’ The NSA might collaborate with overseas allied intelligence agencies and officials – but American spymasters would always question their reliability, their inclination to withhold vital information, the potential for shifting loyalties. ‘Do our allies spy on us? How do we know our own spies are not colluding with allied spies who might then be colluding with adversarial spies?’ This justified the establishment of a huge national vacuum cleaner to suck up all transactions and communications – justified by the notion that a wide net scooping up everything might catch that big fish!

The NSA regards all ‘threats to the unipolar empire’ as national security threats. No country or agency within or without the reach of the empire was excluded as a ‘potential threat’.

The ‘lead imperial state’ requires the most efficient and overarching spy technology with the furthest and deepest reach. Overseas allies appear relatively inefficient, vulnerable to infiltration, infected with the residue of a long-standing suspect ‘leftist culture’ and unable to confront the threat of new dangerous adversaries. The imperial logic regards surveillance of ‘allies’ as ‘protecting allied interests’ because the allies lack the will and capacity to deal with enemy infiltration.

There is a circular logic to the surveillance state. When an allied leader starts to question how imperial espionage protects allied interest, it is time to intensify spying on the ally. Any foreign ally who questions NSA surveillance over its citizens raises deep suspicions. Washington believes that questioning imperial surveillance undermines political loyalties.

Secret Police Spying as a “Process of Accumulation”

Like capitalism, which needs to constantly expand and accumulate capital, secret police bureaucracies require more spies to discover new areas, institutions and people to monitor. Leaders, followers, citizens, immigrants, members of ethnic, religious, civic and political groups and individuals – all are subject to surveillance. This requires vast armies of data managers and analysts, operatives, programmers, software developers and supervisors – an empire of ‘IT’. The ever-advancing technology needs an ever-expanding base of operation.

The spy- masters move from local to regional to global operations. Facing exposure and condemnation of its global chain of spying, the NSA calls for a new ‘defensive ideology’. To formulate the ideology, a small army of academic hacks is trotted out to announce the phony alternatives of a ‘unipolar police state or terror and chaos’. The public is presented with a fabricated choice of its perpetual, ‘well-managed and hi-tech’, imperial wars versus the fragmentation and collapse of the entire world into a global war of ‘all against all’. Academic ideologues studiously avoid mentioning that small wars by small powers end more quickly and have fewer casualties.

The ever-expanding technology of spying strengthens the police state. The list of targets is endless and bizarre. Nothing and no one will be missed!

As under capitalism, the growth of the spy state triggers crisis. With the inevitable rise of opposition, whistleblowers come forward to denounce the surveillance state. At its peak, spy-state over-reach leads to exposure, public scandals and threats from allies, competitors and adversaries. The rise of cyber-imperialism raises the specter of cyber-anti-imperialism. New conceptions of inter-state relations and global configurations are debated and considered. World public opinion increasingly rejects the ‘necessity’ of police states. Popular disgust and reason exposes the evil logic of the spy-state based on empire and promotes a plural world of peaceful rival countries, functioning under co-operative policies – systems without empire, without spymasters and spies.

November 17, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel to return Palestinian body parts

By Jonathon Cook | November 15, 2013

Remember back to 2009, when there was a huge row over allegations in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that Israel had been secretly harvesting body parts from Palestinians in the occupied territories.

There were problems with this story, which suggested that Israel had a shoot-to-kill policy so that it could get organs from those it killed.

But Israel effectively shut down all debate about the story and the validity of any of its allegations by accusing anyone who mentioned organ harvesting in Israel of committing a “blood libel” against Israel / Jews.

I found myself caught up in the margins of this row. In the wake of the Swedish report, I submitted an article to the Guardian Comment is Free section making a point that was actually well known inside Israel at that time, though largely concealed to outside observers.

Israel has one forensic lab, known as Abu Kabir, near Tel Aviv, where autopsies are carried out. The chief pathologist there, Prof Yehuda Hiss, had by the time the Swedish story broke been repeatedly pulled up for stealing body parts – and on an industrial scale. Not just from Palestinians but from Israelis too.

His office was found to contain thousands of preserved body parts; it seems he harvested them to use them in medical experiments because of a shortage of Israeli donors.

What was surprising was that, despite his being repeatedly investigated by the police and admitting to organ theft, Hiss was never jailed by the courts nor was he removed from Abu Kabir.

When I tried to publish this piece, which you can read here, the Guardian ran a mile, terrified of the “blood libel” accusation Israel was using very successfully to silence the media. It was one of many occasions when I personally experienced the Guardian pulling its punches to avoid upsetting Israel.

Now it seems, according to Israel Channel 2, Israel has very belatedly agreed to return some body parts to the Palestinian families whose loved ones were organ-harvested.

Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh said: “The [former] director of the institute, Dr Yehuda Hiss, admitted to stealing organs of martyrs and other Palestinians during autopsies.”

The admission being referred to actually dates to an interview from 2000 with a US academic, nine years before the Aftonbladet report, although it was only made widely public in 2010. Nonetheless, Hiss had admitted as much to the Israeli media, police and courts for many years.

In other words, Israel knew all along that the accusation of official complicity in the theft of body parts was no blood libel; it was the long-standing reality. So why do we need to read the Arab media to find out about it?

 

November 17, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Previously unknown Greek far-left group claims Golden Dawn killings

Press TV – November 17, 2013

A previously unknown Greek far-left group has claimed responsibility for the shooting of two members of the country’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn group.

Golden Dawn members Emmanuel Kapelonis, 22, and Giorgos Foundoulis, 27 were killed in a drive-by shooting outside the local branch of the far-right party in the suburb of Neo Iraklio in a northern suburb of Athens.

The far-left group, calling themselves “Fighting Peoples’ Revolutionary Forces”, said the two were shot in retaliation for the recent murder of left-wing rapper Pavlos Fyssas.

“The attack was an act of retaliation for the murder of Pavlos Fyssas,” the group said in an 18-page statement published on a local news website.

Fyssas was fatally stabbed by suspected Golden Dawn member George Roupakias outside a café in Keratsini, western Athens in September.

The musician’s killing triggered a wave of protests across Greece and prompted strong statements by the country’s political leaders.

“We will not allow our country to become a place to settle scores,” Greece’s Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection Nikos Dendias said in a statement.

Since Fyssas’s murder, the leader of Golden Dawn and two of its lawmakers have been jailed pending trial on charges of running a criminal group.

Golden Dawn rose from a fringe group to win nearly seven percent of the vote in the 2012 general elections, and has seen its support rising to around 12 percent since then due to its widespread criticism of immigration and austerity reforms in the debt-stricken country.

Counterterrorism officials are investigating the authenticity of the group’s claim, local media report.

Greek officials fear the killings could affect the country’s future by sparking a new round of retaliation and further fueling social unrest.

~

November 17, 2013 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , , | Leave a comment