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Compare and Contrast: Cluster Bomb Usage in Syria, July 2014 Vs September 2014

Interventions Watch | September 6, 2014

Rick Gladstone, writing in The New York Times, July 30th 2014:

‘Cluster bombs, internationally banned weapons that can maim and destroy indiscriminately, not only have been frequently used for the past two years by government forces in the Syrian civil war . .

. . . According to an assessment by Human Rights Watch, a member of the Cluster Munition Coalition, Syrian government forces used the weapons in at least 224 locations, in 10 of Syria’s 14 governorates, from July 2012 to this March, with new indications that their “use is ongoing.” The assessment is incomplete and based partly on remnants recorded by video, Human Rights Watch said, suggesting the actual use may be even more widespread.

Syria’s government has denied the use of cluster munitions in the conflict, which is now in its fourth year. But Ms. Blakemore said that the insurgents fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad did not have the capacity to deploy such weapons.’

So then, rebels in Syria simply aren’t able to use cluster bombs. No siree! It’s all the work of the Assad regime.

Rick Gladstone, writing in The New York Times, September 1st 2014:

‘The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the extremist militant group now almost universally vilified for atrocities that include boastful beheadings, summary mass executions and enslavement in the areas it aspires to control, also has attacked enemies with cluster bombs, the banned weapons that kill and maim indiscriminately, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.

Stephen Goose, the arms division director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement that “credible evidence” had emerged that ISIS forces used ground-fired cluster munitions on July 12 and Aug. 14 during fighting with Kurdish militia members in Aleppo Province near the northern Syrian border with Turkey.

“The use of cluster munitions by nonstate actors such as the Islamic State shows the urgent need for Syria and all nations that have not yet done so to join the ban on cluster munitions and destroy their stockpiles,” Human Rights Watch said in the statement’.

No wait! The rebels do have the capacity to deploy cluster bombs after all, and they are deploying them!  And they were even when we said they weren’t!  Or at least ISIS are!

And how convenient that this new ‘credible evidence’ has come to light just as the U.S. et al are embarking on a long term, overt war in Iraq – and very probably Syria before too long – to be justified by the ISIS ‘threat’.

September 6, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear Power’s Insanities –Taxpayer-Guaranteed

By Ralph Nader | The Nader Page | September 5, 2014

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) – the corporate lobbyist in Washington, D.C. for the disintegrating atomic power industry – doesn’t have to worry about repercussions from the negative impacts of nuclear power. For nuclear power is a government/taxpayer-guaranteed boondoggle whose staggering costs, incurred and deferred, are absorbed by American taxpayers via a supine government regulatory and subsidy apparatus.

So if you go to work at the NEI and you read about the absence of any permanent radioactive waste storage site, no problem, the government/taxpayers are responsible for transporting and safeguarding that lethal garbage for centuries.

If your reactors experience ever larger cost over-runs and delays, as is now happening with two new reactors in South Carolina, no problem, the supine state regulatory commissions will just pass the bill on to consumers, despite the fact that consumers receive no electricity from these unfinished plants.

If these plants, and two others in Georgia under construction, experience financial squeezes from Wall Street, no problem, a supine Congress has already passed ample taxpayer loan guarantees that make Uncle Sam (you the taxpayer) bear the cost of the risk.

If there were to be an accident such as the one that happened in Fukushima, Japan, no problem, under the Price-Anderson Act, the government/taxpayers bear the cost of the vast amount of damage from any nuclear power plant meltdown. To put this cost into perspective, a report by the Atomic Energy Commission about fifty years ago estimated that a class nine meltdown could make an area “the size of Pennsylvania” uninhabitable.

Why do we stand for such a doomsday technology all over America that is uneconomic, uninsurable, unsafe, unnecessary (it can’t compete with energy conservation and renewable energies [or carbon fuels]), unevacuable (try evacuating the greater New York City area from a disaster at the two Indian Point plants 30 miles from Manhattan) and unprotectable (either from sabotage or earthquake)?

David Freeman, the famous energy engineer and lawyer, who has run four giant utilities (the Tennessee Valley Authority, the SMUD complex – where he closed the Rancho Seco Nuclear Plant – the New York Power Authority and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power) sums up the history of nuclear power this way: “Nuclear power, promoted as too cheap to meter, turned out to be too expensive to use, the road to nuclear proliferation, and the creator of radioactive trash that has no place to go.” Right wing conservative/libertarians call it extreme “crony capitalism.”

Nuclear power plants are shutting down. In 2013, four reactors shut down: Crystal River 3, Kewaunee, San Onofre 2 and San Onofre 3. Now, Michael Peck, a senior federal nuclear expert, is urging that the last nuke plant left in California, Diablo Canyon, be shut down until the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s regulators can demonstrate that the two reactors at this site can withstand shaking from three nearby earthquake faults.

Meanwhile, the human, environmental and economic disasters at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plants keep metastasizing. Scientists are producing studies that show serious biological effects (genetic damage and mutation rates) of radiation on plant, insect and bird life in and around the large, cordoned off, uninhabitable area surrounding these closed down reactors. The giant politically-influential electric utility company underestimated the likelihood of a powerful earthquake and tsunami.

In the early nineteen-seventies, the industry and its governmental patrons were expecting 1,000 nuclear plants – 100 of them along the California coast – to be operating by the year 2000. Instead, a little more than a hundred were built nationwide. In reality, as of 2014, there are only 100 operable reactors, many of which are aging.

The pitfalls are real and numerous. In addition to growing public opposition, and lower-priced natural gas attracting electric utilities, there are the ever-present, sky-rocketing costs and delays of construction, repair and the question of where to store nuclear waste. These costs are what make Wall Street financiers turn their backs on nuclear power unless the industry can ram more tens of billions of dollars in government/taxpayer loan guarantees through Congress.

And what is all this nuclear technology, from the uranium mines to the nuclear plants to the still absent waste storage dumps for? To boil water!

These are the tragic follies when the corporate masters and their political minions, who are ready and willing to guarantee taxpayer funding, have no “skin in the game.” This kind of staggering power without responsibility is indeed radioactive.

September 6, 2014 Posted by | Economics, Environmentalism, Nuclear Power | | Leave a comment

Russia’s Gazprom to fall under new EU capital ban – sources

RT | September 6, 2014

Russia’s Gazprom Bank and oil producer Gazprom Neft will fall under new sanctions approved by the European Union on Friday, Reuters cited an EU diplomat as saying. The sanctions reportedly include a new ban on raising capital in the 28-nation bloc.

The sanctions were agreed against Russia for its alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis, the diplomatic source said.

According to The Financial Times, which managed to obtain a document outlining the sanctions, all Russian state-controlled companies with assets of more than one trillion rubles (US$27 billion) that receive more than half their revenue from “the sale or transportation of crude oil or petroleum products” will be hit by the ban.

In addition to Gazprom Neft, the oil subsidiary of Russian gas giant Gazprom, Russia’s largest oil group – Rosneft and Transneft pipeline company – would be potentially blacklisted. However, the sanctions will not apply to privately owned Russian oil groups such as Lukoil and Surgutneftegas, the Times said.

The sanctions will also include an expansion of the EU travel ban list against certain individuals, as well as asset freezes, credit restrictions against Russian companies, and export bans on dual use goods, the EU diplomat told the agency.

Chiefs of Russian companies will be added to the list, along with oligarchs and local authorities of Donbass and Crimea.

Moscow has already promised it will respond to the new round of sanctions if they are approved and imposed, according to a press release issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday

“Instead of feverishly looking for ways of hitting harder the economies of its member-states and Russia, the EU would do better to start supporting the economic revival of the Donbass region and restoring normal life there,” the press release reads.

The EU’s implementation of the new sanctions was delayed until Monday, Itar-Tass quoted an EU source as saying. Although the sanctions are ready, “some touch up work will be completed during the weekend.”

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso confirmed that the new sanctions will be revealed on Monday.

US President Barack Obama said on Friday that Washington and the European Union were prepared to impose sanctions against Russia if the crisis in Ukraine continues to escalate following the signing of a ceasefire agreement.

Obama said the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine – agreed upon only hours earlier – was a result of “both the sanctions that have already been applied and the threat of further sanctions, which are having a real impact on the Russian economy and have isolated Russia in a way we have not seen in a very long time.”

Kiev officials and representatives of the two self-proclaimed republics in southeastern Ukraine agreed to a ceasefire after the contact group met behind closed doors in Belarus.

READ MORE:

US, EU preparing new round of economic sanctions against Russia

Kiev, E. Ukraine militia agree on ceasefire starting 1500 GMT Friday

Obama: We are readying new sanctions on Russia despite peace agreement in Ukraine

September 6, 2014 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US-Israeli grip looming over regional banking system

By Nizar Abboud | Al-Akhbar | September 6, 2014

Even though the Arab Bank, considered one of the oldest and largest Arab banks with assets in the tens of billions of dollars, left New York nine years ago because it was investigated on account of its Palestinian connection, US authorities continue to go after the bank threatening it with total bankruptcy. The case is not a new one but its developments demonstrate how far Israeli groups will go to destroy the Palestinian financial sector and even Jordanian and Lebanese banks with the assistance of the US legal system. The trial began in August and it is still going on amid fears of the negative repercussions on the Arab Bank in particular and the Arab banking system in general.

The issue began when lawsuits were filed against the Arab Bank in US courts 10 years ago by 297 Israelis demanding compensation for damages suffered as a result of attacks by Palestinians against Israeli targets in the first half of the last decade. The plaintiffs claim that the bank was responsible for transferring funds to Hamas. The Arab Bank asked the US Supreme Court to review an order issued by a federal court imposing stiff sanctions on the bank for its failure to turn over secret records belonging to its depositors and clients.

The order to impose sanctions on the Arab Bank was issued by U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon. The bank argued that it cannot meet the demands of US authorities without violating Jordan’s banking secrecy laws which will subject it to criminal fines. It argued that Judge Gershon’s ruling means that all foreign banks are subject to the same destructive pattern of indictments. The prosecutor can ask any foreign bank to hand over all their clients’ statements and if the bank refuses, it will be sanctioned.

The Arab Bank appealed the sanctions order to the Supreme Court, but the court refused to hear the appeal in early July. Jordan asked for President Barack Obama’s help by recommending that the Supreme Court order Judge Gershon to reconsider her ruling and the State Department supported the appeal. But the Justice Department found Gershon’s decision useful in ending bank secrecy worldwide.

The Arab Bank is being tried in a court in Brooklyn, New York under the Anti-Terrorism Act issued in 1990. The charges against the bank include aiding Hamas on three levels.

One, by transferring funds provided by the Saudi Committee to 55 Palestinian families of suicide bombers. Two, by having accounts for dozens of charitable organizations that the Israeli plaintiffs say were a mere front for Hamas. Three, the bank had personal accounts for 30 Hamas leaders, including the late Sheikh Ahmed Yassin who had been placed on the US terrorism list since 1995 and the late leader Salah Shehadeh, founder of Hamas’ military wing. According to the prosecutors, the bank knew these people’s relationship to Hamas, designated as a terrorist organization by the US.

The Arab Bank denied the charges saying that no account was opened for a person that was on a US terrorism list. The only exception was one transfer to Sheikh Ahmed Yassin’s account which was the result of a mistake by an employee. The transfers from the Saudi Committee were part of thousands of transfers that the group made to families in need and therefore for humanitarian purposes. US courts have refused any defense stating that the Arab Bank merely followed local laws in the countries where it operates or that the attacks were part of a historical context of violence in the region that the bank does not bear responsibility for.

The Israeli side had dozens of witnesses including a former official in the Israeli military who told the US District Court in Manhattan that the Jordanian bank transferred millions of dollars to the families of those he described as “suicide terrorists” from Hamas. The money came from Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah-affiliated al-Shahid Foundation during the period between 1998 and 2004, with evidence focused on the period between 2001 and 2004. There were monthly payments from the Saudi Committee at a rate of $140 per family.

The Arab Bank’s defense lawyer said there is no evidence that links the transfers to anti-Israel attacks, warning of the danger of this case that puts the responsibility on the shoulder of every bank employee anywhere in the world to investigate every little thing before completing any transaction or transfer. The bank said in a statement that the case raises very important issues for the international finance system which processes trillions of dollars in transfers each day. Most of these transfers are automated and the plaintiff’s theory, “if adopted by the Court, would undermine the automated compliance systems that regulators around the world require banks to employ, and create vast uncertainty and risk in the international finance system.”

Lawsuit developments

Israeli witness Ronnie Shaked said that Hamas was responsible for every one of the 24 attacks before the court. According to the Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post, this witness is a journalist who had previously served as an Israeli intelligence officer.

Another prosecution witness called Arieh Dan Spitzen said that 18 Hamas members were known by the staff at the Gaza branch of the Arab Bank and it is highly likely that they received thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars through the Arab Bank’s transfers.

The prosecution stressed that the burden of proof is on the bank which is refusing to hand over documents of accounts for individuals who are Hamas members to the court.

The bank’s defense lawyer argued that the prosecution is using Israeli laws and evidence in its suit while the bank is not allowed to rely in its defense on relevant laws in the areas where it operates in Jordan and Lebanon which have bank secrecy rules, concluding that the trial is based on double standards.

The court heard 24 testimonies by Israeli witnesses. The Arab Bank is expected to put on 21 witnesses including the bank’s director general. The defense is expected to challenge the impartiality of Judge Brian Cogan, who described an objection raised by the defense as absurd only to accept it later on without going back to the jury.

If the US lawsuit against the Arab Bank is successful, it will inevitably lead to the bank’s bankruptcy, as it might be forced to pay billions of dollars. It also means trouble for the Jordanian and Palestinian economies, as Israelis are expected to file thousands of lawsuits. The outcome might also force Arab countries to disclose all their bank secrets to the US justice system out of fear that they might be liable to similar lawsuits. This could mean capital flight and bankruptcy for these banks. The Swiss example is not encouraging in withstanding US and even European pressure.

September 6, 2014 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dilanian’s Dizzying Defense & Dissemination of Disinformation: My Own Discussion with the ‘CIA’s Mop-Up Man’

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America | September 5, 2014

On Wednesday afternoon, The Intercept‘s Ken Silverstein dropped a bombshell:

A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers prior to publication, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

That reporter is Ken Dilanian, who has since joined Associated Press as an intelligence reporter.

A swath of emails from the first half of 2012, released to The Intercept in response to a FOIA request, show that Dilanian maintained a particularly obsequious relationship with the media relations team over at the Central Intelligence Agency, the clandestine U.S. government service he was hired to cover for the paper.

Dilanian, dubbed “the CIA’s Mop-Up Man” by The Intercept, went beyond the usual role of mainstream media stenographer of government talking points. According to Silverstein – and overwhelmingly corroborated by the content of the published documents – Dilanian “enjoyed a closely collaborative relationship with the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes sending the press office entire story drafts for review prior to publication. In at least one instance, the CIA’s reaction appears to have led to significant changes in the story that was eventually published in the Times.”

Silverstein continues:

“I’m working on a story about congressional oversight of drone strikes that can present a good opportunity for you guys,” Dilanian wrote in one email to a CIA press officer, explaining that what he intended to report would be “reassuring to the public” about CIA drone strikes. In another, after a series of back-and-forth emails about a pending story on CIA operations in Yemen, he sent a full draft of an unpublished report along with the subject line, “does this look better?” In another, he directly asks the flack: “You wouldn’t put out disinformation on this, would you?”

Another example of Dilanian’s shameful sycophancy is found in an email he sent to his contact at the CIA Office of Public Affairs on April 11, 2012. In the message, Dilanian passes along a 10-day-old dispatch from the Yemen Times, reporting on a U.S. drone strike in Azzan, a town in the country’s eastern Shabwa province. Five people were killed in the strike, one of whom was immediately identified as 60-year-old civilian, Mohamed Saleh al Suna. Six children were also injured by shrapnel from the bombing while playing soccer.

Even though Reuters had already reported on the attack on March 30, 2012 – the day it occurred – Dilanian attempted to get confirmation on the strike and reported casualties from his buddies at the CIA. “This one sounds like you guys,” he wrote, adding, “Do you agree that a civilian was killed?”

Far from acting as a venerable “Fourth Estate” check on the excesses state power, Dilanian clearly revels in his access to the upper echelons of the security and surveillance establishment, eager to laundering their lies and whitewash their war crimes.

While Dilanian’s “closely collaborative” and “deferential relationship” with the CIA, as Silverstein puts it, is shameful, unprofessional, and does a great disservice to what should be the adversarial, critical, and challenging role the press should the government, it certainly comes as no surprise.

At least to me.

A month before the first of Dilanian’s emails released to The Intercept was written, I engaged in a brief online correspondence with him.

On February 23, 2012, Ken Dilanian wrote a refreshingly solid piece on the U.S. government’s view of the Iranian nuclear program, noting that there was still no evidence Iran is actually building a nuclear bomb nor actively pursuing the means to do so.

Nevertheless, the article contained a slight error regarding Dilanian’s description of Iran’s declared and safeguarded enrichment site at Fordow, which he wrote was a “clandestine underground facility” that had been “discovered” by “Western intelligence agencies.”

Since the piece was otherwise generally good, I thought Dilanian would be receptive to a minor bit of fact-checking and decided to get in touch, using my nice voice.

What happened next was bizarre. The defensive posture immediately on display by Dilanian – someone with an important role at a large American newspaper – was revealing, and illuminating. No amount of reasoned explanation or fact-based rationale would do – he deflected, doubled-down, fumed, fulminated, and then, as the short-lived conversation continued, became increasingly insulting and juvenile.

He effectively admitted to being a sounding board for anonymous government spooks and berated anyone who doesn’t have Pentagon and CIA officials on speed-dial as being ignorant and agenda-driven, citing a “conspiracy” I never suggested existed.

The best part, perhaps, was when he wrote, “[T]here are checks and balances, including Congressional oversight, journalistic scrutiny and whistleblowers from within – all of which insures, I would argue, that US officials do not often get away with elaborate lies…”

My guess is that there are hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who might beg to differ with his particularly sunny assessment if they weren’t already dead.

At another point, Dilanian insisted to me that “U.S. government officials are not in the habit of elaborate disinformation campaigns,” and then later, after I challenged the official narrative on something, writes, “but it’s so easy for you to sit in Brooklyn, having no contact whatsoever with anyone senior from the government’s national security apparatus, and having no real idea of how that apparatus works, and us[ing] phrases like ‘a narrative emerges.'”

With the new revelations published by The Intercept, we now know, even more than before and beyond a shadow of doubt, who’s actually responsible for foisting particular narratives upon the unwitting public.

But, hey, if only I sent fawning emails from Washington D.C. to my pals across the Potomac in Langley, maybe I’d have some clue as to what really going on. Thanks Ken, for setting me straight.

Below is our email exchange in full (the only editing made have been the standardization of the spelling of “Fordow” and the removal of Dilanian’s mobile phone number):


From: Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 1:55 AM
To: Dilanian, Ken
Subject: Your Iran Piece: A Thank You and a Comment

Mr. Dilanian,

I’m writing to thank you for the important piece, “U.S. does not believe Iran is trying to build nuclear bomb,” in the L.A. Times today. It contains a lot of vital information that is not reported on nearly often enough in the mainstream press. Those who follow this issue closely, like myself, have been writing about this information for a long time, so reading it in the L.A. Times is a huge boost to getting the truth out.

I do question, however, your decision to include the following sentence: “In 2009, Western intelligence agencies discovered a clandestine underground facility called Fordow, near the city of Qom…”

In fact, the Fordow plant was not really “discovered” by “Western intelligence agencies”; rather, it was announced by Iran to the IAEA on September 21, 2009. Barack Obama’s sensationalist press conference, alongside Nicholas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown in Pittsburgh, during which supposedly “revealed” the existence of the Fordow facility to the world, occurred on September 25, 2009, four days after Iran itself told the IAEA about the plant, which was subsequently described as “a hole in a mountain” and “nothing to be worried about” by then-IAEA Secretary General Mohammed ElBaradei.

In advance of Obama’s supposed revelation, IAEA spokesman Marc Vidricaire told reporters, “I can confirm that on 21 September, Iran informed the IAEA in a letter that a new pilot fuel enrichment plant is under construction in the country.”

Obama even acknowledged this fact in his speech, noting, “Earlier this week, the Iranian government presented a letter to the IAEA that made reference to a new enrichment facility…”, though he deliberately omitted the inconvenient fact that Iran is only legally obligated to inform the IAEA of new facilities within 180 days of the introduction of nuclear material thereby making his own accusation of Iran’s alleged intransigence deliberately deceiving.

Unfortunately, your report also fails to acknowledge the essential fact that IAEA spokesman Gill Tudor has confirmed: “All nuclear material in the [Fordow] facility remains under the agency’s containment and surveillance.”

In such an otherwise excellent report, it is frustrating to see the “secret Fordow facility” meme still repeated.

Considering your attention to the Iranian nuclear issue and constant dis- and misinformation, speculation and propaganda regarding Iran’s capabilities and intentions, I think you might be interested in this piece of mine from December 2010, which has subsequently been updated over 51 times with new predictions since its original publication: The Phantom Menace: Fantasies, Falsehoods, and Fear-Mongering about Iran’s Nuclear Program

Best,
Nima Shirazi
Brooklyn, NY


From: Dilanian, Ken
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 9:35 AM
To: Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America
Subject: Re: Your Iran Piece: A Thank You and a Comment

Mr. Shirazi, thanks for your comment. I believe you are flat wrong about Fordow. Iran declared it only after Iran discovered that Western intelligence agencies knew about it. I did get the date wrong – the U.S. actually discovered it years before, and announced it only after Iran’s preemptive letter. See:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/26/world/middleeast/26intel.html?_r=2&hp=&pagewanted=all

http://www.isisnucleariran.org/assets/pdf/Qom_Q-As.pdf

Best,

Ken Dilanian
National Security Correspondent
Los Angeles Times
O:(202) 824 8328
Twitter: @KenDilanianLAT


From: Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 10:12 AM
To: Dilanian, Ken
Subject: Re: Your Iran Piece: A Thank You and a Comment

Thanks for replying so quickly, Ken.

That Iran was merely reacting to a Western discovery and hoping to pre-empt its publicity is precisely the narrative that has been wholeheartedly accepted by the press without any hint of scrutiny or shred of evidence. First off, how would Iran find out that Obama was going to hold a press conference announcing the “discovery” of the site with enough time to decide to “preemptively” draft a letter to the IAEA? – a declaration, it should be pointed out, that took place well before the 180 days before nuclear material was introduced to the site as mandated by Iran’s ratified Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA. Actually, Iran announced the site about a year and a half before it technically and legally had to. I suppose, though, it is possible that Iranian agents had access to Rahm Emanuel’s google calendar.

It’s silly to rehash what has been addressed already, but I think IPS journalist Gareth Porter’s recent article on this very subject in instructive (forgive me for quoting at length):

The Clinton and Hague statements [that Fordo was “covert” and “clandestine” before revealed to the world by the West] recalled a briefing for reporters during the Pittsburgh G20 summit meeting Sep. 25, 2009, at which a “senior administration official” asserted that Iran had informed the IAEA about the Fordow site in a Sep. 21 letter only after it had “learned that the secrecy of the facility was compromised”.

That administration claim was quickly accepted by major media outlets without any investigation of the facts. That story line is so deeply entrenched in media consciousness that even before Clinton’s remarks, Reuters and Associated Press had published reports from their Vienna correspondents that repeated the official Obama administration line that Iran had revealed the Fordow site only after Western intelligence had discovered it.

But the administration never offered the slightest evidence to support that assertion, and there is one major reason for doubting it: the United States did not inform the IAEA about any nuclear facility at Fordow until three days after Iran’s Sep. 21, 2009 formal letter notifying the IAEA of the Fordow enrichment facility, because it couldn’t be certain that it was a nuclear site.

Mohammed ElBaradei, then director general of the IAEA, reveals in his 2011 memoir that Robert Einhorn, the State Department’s special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control, informed him Sep. 24 about U.S. intelligence on the Fordow site – three days after the Iranian letter had been received.

An irritated ElBaradei demanded to know why he had not been told before the Iranian letter.

Einhorn responded that the United States “had not been sure of the nature of the facility”, ElBaradei wrote.

The administration’s claim that Iran announced the site because it believed U.S. intelligence had “identified it” was also belied by a set of questions and answers issued by the Obama administration on the same day as the press briefing. The answer it provided to the question, “Why did the Iranians decide to reveal this facility at this time,” was “We do not know.”

Greg Thielmann, who was a top official in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research until 2003 and was on the staff of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during the 2009 episode, told IPS the evidence for the claim that Iran believed the site had been discovered was “all circumstantial”.

Analysts were suspicious of the Iranian letter to the IAEA, Thielmann said, because, “it had the appearance of something put together hurriedly.”

But there is an alternative explanation: the decision to reveal the existence of a second prospective enrichment site – this one built into the side of a mountain – appears to have reflected the need to strengthen Iran’s hand in a meeting with the “P5 + 1” group of state led by the United States that was only 10 days away.

The Iranian announcement that it would participate in the meeting on Sep. 14, 2009 came on the same day that the head of Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, warned against an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The idea that Iran was planning to enrich uranium secretly at Fordow assumes that the Iranians were not aware that U.S. intelligence had been carrying out aerial surveillance of the site for years. That is hardly credible in light of the fact that the Mujahideen-E-Khalq (MEK), the armed opposition group with links to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence, had drawn attention to the Fordow site in a December 2005 press conference – well before it had been selected for a second enrichment plant.

Anyway, whether you roll your eyes or not about this minor point of contention, my opinion, or Porter’s conclusions, I do thank you again for your LAT piece and look forward to reading more from you in the future.

Best,
Nima


From: Dilanian, Ken
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 10:32 AM
To: Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America
Subject: Re: Your Iran Piece: A Thank You and a Comment

Nima, the problem with intelligence reporting is there is often no way to independently confirm what your sources are telling you. You just have to rely on triangulating the information, on your years of experience dealing with certain people, and on the fact that—while you may find this hard to believe—U.S. government officials are not in the habit of elaborate disinformation campaigns. Not to say it never happens, of course, but it’s just not typically the way it works. I am confident in the New York Times reporting on this, which was based on multiple sources from within the U.S. intelligence community. What seems to be the case is that the US, France and Britain thought they knew what was there, but were not 100% certain until Iran admitted it, which may be why they didn’t send a letter to the IAEA. Just like the CIA wasn’t certain bin Laden was in Abbottabad until they ID’d his body. It is, of course, easy to say there isn’t a “shred of evidence” to support what anonymous US intelligence sources are claiming. That is true for just about any story about secret intelligence. But there are checks and balances, including Congressional oversight, journalistic scrutiny and whistleblowers from within – all of which insures, I would argue, that US officials do not often get away with elaborate lies of the kind you are suggesting they perpetrating here. Ken


From: Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 2:49 PM
To: Dilanian, Ken
Subject: Re: Your Iran Piece: A Thank You and a Comment

I don’t think it’s particularly elaborate or dastardly for U.S. officials to establish a particular narrative regarding alleged Iranian intransigence and malfeasance. This one is actually quite simple – Iran legally places a new facility under full IAEA Safeguards in line with its obligations and, as a result, undercuts a big, fancy announcement by the president. So, in response, a narrative emerges that Iran did this deliberately because they had been “found out.” And the press repeats that story until it becomes established, unquestioned fact.

Pretty simple, really.

Anyway, no need to bicker about this. I’m glad to hear you have such confidence in the honesty of our government officials and think that they “do not often get away with elaborate lies.”

Best,
Nima


From: Dilanian, Ken
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 2:58 PM
To: Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America
Subject: Re: Your Iran Piece: A Thank You and a Comment

but it’s so easy for you to sit in Brooklyn, having no contact whatsoever with anyone senior from the government’s national security apparatus, and having no real idea of how that apparatus works, and uses phrases like “a narrative emerges.”; what you are saying there is that multiple people from multiple government agencies conspired in a big lie. you can’t make the accusation and then hide behind euphemisms. and what I’m saying is, we live in a democracy, it doesn’t (usually) work like that. not that people are so righteous, but that it’s impossible to orchestrate a conspiracy like that. there are 16 intel agencies, and a lot of other people with access to this sort of information, including liberal democrats and conservative republicans. even if obama and his advisers wanted to lie about something like this, some malcontent somewhere would talk.


I chose not to carry the conversation further. After all, I had plenty of more sitting to do in Brooklyn, far far away from all those truth-tellers in the CIA press office.

September 6, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Neocons confess: “We did 9/11-anthrax”

By Kevin Barrett | Press TV | September 6, 2014

As the 13th anniversary of the crimes of September, 2001 approaches, the neoconservatives are shrieking from the rooftops – and effectively confessing that they were the real perpetrators of the 9/11-Anthrax false flag operation. (The neocons, you may recall, openly called for a “new Pearl Harbor” in September, 2000 – and got one exactly one year later.)

Every year at this time, the neocons orchestrate and hype a series of public relations stunts designed to magnify fears of “radical Islam” and reinforce their crumbling 9/11-Anthrax cover story. But this year’s propaganda campaign is so extreme that it represents a tacit confession: The neocons know that the truth about the 9/11-Anthrax operation is slowly closing in on them; so they are over-reacting by desperately trying to stoke the dying embers of the so-called War on Terror, in order to maintain the myth that Muslims (rather than neoconservative Zionists) attacked America in the autumn of 2001.

When a hysterical person exhibits guilty demeanor by trying too hard to blame a crime on someone else, that person is almost certainly the real perpetrator. As the neocons try much too hard to blame Islam for 9/11 and “terrorism” in general, their hysteria inadvertently reveals their own culpability. Like Shakespeare’s Lady MacBeth, the neoconservative movement has blood on its hands and “doth protest too much.”

This year, the shrill yelps of neocons unveiling their 9/11-Anthrax guilt are downright ear-splitting. Everywhere you look in the Zionist-dominated mainstream media, some neocon asset is hyping a ridiculous story about an “Islamic terrorist threat” – and tying it to the upcoming 9/11 anniversary.

Consider the preposterous legend, planted by neocons at Fox News then picked up by the rest of the media, that 11 missing Libyan jetliners may attack the USA on September 11th, 2014. The original Fox News story quotes an unnamed and probably imaginary US government official as saying: “There are a number of commercial airliners in Libya that are missing. We found out on September 11 what can happen with hijacked planes.”

The quote makes no sense. If Libyan commercial airliners were stolen by terrorists, they would not be making commercial flights, and therefore could not be hijacked. Additionally, commercial aircraft are (from a military perspective) big, fat, slow, and easy to locate, intercept, and if necessary shoot down.

Beginning more than a decade before 9/11, all of the hundreds of American commercial aircraft that significantly deviated from their course were intercepted by a fighter aircraft in about ten minutes…except for the four allegedly hijacked flights of September 11th, 2001. Those “hijacked” behemoths, we were told, lumbered unmolested through the skies of America for nearly two hours, while fighter jets were ordered to fly out over the Atlantic and circle aimlessly rather than defend Washington, DC.

The notion that Libyan commercial aircraft could threaten America is ludicrous. The story is a sick fantasy dreamed up by some neocon public relations firm. Its purpose is to subliminally reinforce the myth of the “radical Islamic terror threat” launched by the much larger neocon PR stunt of September 11th, 2001 and the follow-up anthrax letters.

It isn’t just Fox News hysterically hyping September terror. Newsmax, which like Fox is a neocon propaganda vehicle, has concocted a bizarre fantasy with another neocon group, Judicial Watch, about al-Qaeda and Islamic State (which are sworn enemies) teaming up to invade the US from Mexico. The Newsmax story is headlined: “‘Imminent’ Terror Attack Warning on US Border.” It begins: “Islamic State and al-Qaida terrorist cells are operating in a Mexican border town and are plotting to attack the United States with car bombs and improvised explosive devices.”

This story is not just self-evidently fictitious; it is downright insane. It seems that someone in a neoconservative PR office somewhere has overdosed on imagination pills.

The delusional legends of “11 Libyan jetliners” and “Mexican takfiri invaders” (like the fake beheadings of Mossad agents posing as journalists) are just the most recent examples of neocons spouting farcical fantasies to cover their 9/11-Anthrax tracks. They have been dreaming up these surreal anecdotes on a regular basis for almost 13 years, beginning just minutes after the attack on the World Trade Center, when an actor known as “Harley guy” – obviously hired by the 9/11 perpetrators – launched the preposterous fiction that the buildings’ explosive demolition was the accidental result of plane crashes and relatively minor fires ignited by an otherwise insignificant amount of jet fuel.

In his new book The 2001 Anthrax Deception, Canadian professor Graeme MacQueen shows how many of the guilt-revealing delusional tales spread by the neocons in the autumn of 2001 related to the anthrax component of the 9/11-Anthrax false flag operation. Most damningly of all, the neocons launched their fear-of-anthrax propaganda campaign before anyone but the perpetrators could have known about the anthrax letters!

Beginning on September 22nd, 2001 – two weeks before the first anthrax letters were discovered in October – the neoconservatives launched a wave of stories claiming that radical Muslims were going to attack America with anthrax, perhaps by dropping anthrax on Americans using crop duster airplanes. One of those neoconservative propagandists, Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, has publicly admitted that he began taking the anti-anthrax drug Cipro weeks before the anthrax attacks were known to anyone but the perpetrators.

In a 2008 Slate Magazine article Cohen foolishly bragged: “I had been told soon after Sept. 11th to secure Cipro, the antidote to anthrax. The tip had come in a roundabout way from a high government official, and I immediately acted on it. I was carrying Cipro way before most people had ever heard of it.”

Who were the “high government officials” who knew the anthrax attacks were coming – and who therefore must have been the real criminals behind the attacks? They included Dick Cheney and George Bush, who began taking Cipro on September 11th, 2001 even though the anthrax attacks would not be known to anyone but the perpetrators until October.

Why did Bush and Cheney begin taking Cipro on September 11th, 2001? They were told to do so by Jerome Hauer, a self-proclaimed expert on both bioterrorism and building collapses. Hauer ran New York’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) on the 23rd floor of World Trade Center Building 7 prior to 9/11. Many researchers believe that the controlled demolitions of the Twin Towers were planned and set in motion from that OEM bunker in WTC-7; that WTC-7 was subsequently demolished to destroy evidence; and that Jerome Hauer was one of the key designers of the 9/11-Anthrax mass murders.

On the morning of September 11th – before anyone could possibly have known why the World Trade Center Towers had exploded into pyroclastic clouds of very fine dust – Jerome Hauer, like his hired actor “Harley guy,” appeared on television telling Americans that the skyscrapers had “just fallen down” due to the modest office fires ignited by jet fuel.

While the mainstream media are still trying to cover up 9/11-Anthrax, they have been forced to admit that most neocon stories fanning the flames of the so-called War on Terror have been lies. Some failed neocon lies planted in American newspapers include:

*”Mohammed Atta visited Saddam Hussein’s agents in Prague before 9/11.”

*”One of the alleged 9/11 hijackers was treated for anthrax.”

*”One of the hijacker’s bodies from Flight 93 tested positive for anthrax.”

*”Saddam Hussein obtained ‘yellowcake’ from Niger to build nuclear weapons.”

*”Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was planning to attack America.”

*”The Iraqis will welcome American invaders with flowers and candy, and American-occupied Iraq will quickly become a peaceful, prosperous, Israel-loving democracy – while Iraqi oil will pay for the war and push gasoline prices to historic lows.”

Though the Zionist-extremist neoconservatives have been caught lying dozens of times – and their lies have led to the deaths of more than a million innocent people – they have not yet been prosecuted for their crimes against humanity. So they keep lying in order to keep killing… and their lies keep getting shriller and more extreme as they “flee forward” to escape prosecution for their past misdeeds.

This neocon “flight forward” leads directly toward World War III. Only by prosecuting the neocon architects of 9/11-Anthrax, and thereby spectacularly discrediting the neoconservative philosophy of ultra-Machievellian deception, can we prevent the world from being reduced to radioactive rubble.

September 6, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism, Islamophobia, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , | 2 Comments