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Russia and Iran sign defense deal, ‘may resolve’ S300 missile delivery issue

RT | January 20, 2015

Moscow and Tehran have signed military cooperation deal that implies wider collaboration in personnel training and counter-terrorism activities. It may also resolve the situation concerning the delivery of Russian S300 missiles, Iranian media reported.

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan, signed the document during a visit by Russia’s top brass to Iran’s capital on Tuesday.

Under the new agreement, the broadened cooperation will include military personnel training exchanges, increased counter-terrorism cooperation and enhanced capabilities for both countries’ Navies to use each other’s ports more frequently.

According to the Iranian news agency FARS, the two sides have also resolved problems concerning the delivery of Russia’s S300 missile defense systems to Iran. However, Moscow is yet to make an official comment regarding the defense system.

The $800 million contract to deliver S300 air defense missile systems to Iran was cancelled in 2010 by then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, to fall in line with UN sanctions imposed on Iran due to its disputed nuclear program. In turn, Tehran has filed a currently pending $4 billion lawsuit against Russia to Geneva’s arbitration court.

“The two countries have decided to settle the S300 issue,” Iran’s Defense Ministry said, as cited by the Interfax news agency. No further details have been provided.

The possible renewal of talks concerning missile sales has been confirmed by a former head of the Defense Ministry department of international cooperation, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

“A step has been taken in the direction of economic and military technologies cooperation, at least such defensive systems as the S300 and S400 we would probably be delivering,” Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, who is also the president of the International Center for Geopolitical Analysis, said, which was reported by RIA. Sanctions from the West have brought the two countries’ positions on defense cooperation closer, Ivashov added.

The new agreement is aimed at creating a “long-term and multifaceted” military relationship with Iran, Russia’s Defense Minister Shoigu said, stressing that “a theoretical basis for cooperation in the military field has been created.”

The Iranian side believe, “durable impacts on regional peace and security” can be provided by the deal, FARS reported. “As two neighbors, Iran and Russia have common viewpoints towards political, regional and global issues,” Dehghan said, as cited by AP.

For Iran, the deal to boost military cooperation could also mean support in opposing American ambitions in the Middle East, with the two countries to “jointly contribute to the strengthening of international security and regional stability.”

“Iran and Russia are able to confront the expansionist intervention and greed of the United States through cooperation, synergy and activating strategic potential capacities,” Iran’s Defense Minister said, which was reported by AP.

Moscow has maintained close ties with Tehran for years, particularly in the field of nuclear power. The first Iranian nuclear power plant in Bushehr became operational, with control of the station having been handed over to Iranian specialists in September 2013. Last autumn, a deal to build more reactors in Iran was signed.

January 20, 2015 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Anti-nuclear MPs debate Trident, call renewal ‘waste of money’

RT | January 20, 2015

The future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent was debated in Parliament on Tuesday, hours after a Scottish opinion poll found nearly half of Scots oppose renewing the Trident program.

Parliament’s debate on Trident comes weeks after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) published a report revealing the cost of the program’s “assessment phase” will increase by an additional £261 million this year.

Renewal of Trident, which is based just 25 miles west of Glasgow, is expected to cost £20 billion.

The cost of the overall program over the next 25 years, however, is estimated to be £80 billion.

Tuesday’s debate was called by the Scottish National Party (SNP), Green Party, and Welsh national party Plaid Cymru, with the intention of demonstrating “opposition to Trident renewal in Westminster.”

It was boycotted by most members of the Labour Party, which officially supports Trident renewal.

Tuesday’s poll, conducted by Survation and commissioned by SNP, found that 47 percent of Scots oppose Trident renewal, 32 percent support it, and 21 percent “don’t know.”

The results, along with revelations of Trident’s rising costs, will boost SNP confidence, as the party pledges to oppose nuclear weapons ahead of May’s general election.

Angus Robertson MP, a member of the SNP, opened the debate in the House of Commons.

“Today’s debate is an opportunity to show there is opposition to Trident renewal in Westminster,” he said.

Robertson emphasized the ethical case for scrapping nuclear weapons.

“Each warhead [on Trident submarines] has an explosion eight times the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945,” he said.

He also cited recent debates on austerity and food banks, saying “there is an alternative.”

In a press statement, the SNP criticized Labour’s boycott of the debate given the party’s support for austerity.

“Labour’s refusal to take part in the debate on Trident comes less than one week after the party voted along with the Tories for a further £30 billion of austerity cuts,” the SNP said.

“That Scottish Labour MPs support wasting another £100 billion on weapons of mass destruction while foodbank use is rocketing, and more and more children are being pushed into poverty, is simply indefensible,” they added.

A handful of Labour MPs did attend the debate, however. Speaking to the Commons, rogue Labour MP Dame Joan Ruddock supported scrapping Trident.

The former chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) asked how Britain can justify trident renewal “when we cannot raise millions out of poverty or fund our precious National Health Service.”

Ruddock described proponents of Trident renewal as being stuck in “Cold War thinking.”

“The threats that were part of the Cold War scenario are very different from the threats we face today,” she said.

“Real security lies in nuclear disarmament,” she added.

Her comments echo those of current CND General Secretary Kate Hudson.

“[Trident] is the wrong answer to the security challenges facing the UK. And when that wrong answer comes with a £100 billion price-tag, it’s no wonder it’s deeply unpopular with the British public,” Hudson said.

“[Prime Minister] David Cameron claims it’s the ultimate insurance policy – but even the former head of the Armed Forces has conceded that it is ‘completely useless’ to [sic] the threats we face.”

“It’s time the government recognized the colossal waste of money that Trident constitutes, and committed instead to investing the money in health, jobs and education,” she added.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon defended the planned renewal of Britain’s nuclear weapons program, calling it “the ultimate guarantor of our freedom and independence.”

“Whether we like it or not, there remain approximately 17,000 nuclear weapons globally,” he said.

“We cannot gamble with our country’s national security, we have to plan for a major, direct nuclear threat to this country or to our NATO allies,” he added.

Fallon cited Russia, North Korea and Iran as potential nuclear threats given their desire to build or maintain nuclear weapons programs.

Parliament will vote on whether to upgrade Britain’s nuclear weapons program in 2016.

A mass demonstration against replacing Trident will take place in London on Saturday, January 24.

Organized by CND, the protest will begin at 12pm outside the Ministry of Defence on Horseguards Avenue.


Nuclear ultimatum: Scottish National Party challenges Labour on Trident

‘Ticking time bomb’: Watchdogs slam UK nuclear weapons maker over safety practices

January 20, 2015 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Five Surprises About American Internment During World War II


By Jan Jarboe Russell | Disinformation |January 20, 2015

The general history of America’s internment of its own citizens during World War II has focused on the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese, 62 percent of them American-born, who were forcibly evacuated from the Pacific coast after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

But few people know that Executive Order 9066, signed by President Roosevelt, which permitted the roundup of Japanese and their American-born children, also paved the way for the arrest of Germans and Italians who the FBI considered security risks and labeled as “enemy aliens.” Indeed the day before Roosevelt signed the order FBI agents had arrested 264 Italians, 1,296 Germans, and 2,209 on the East and West Coast. The hunt for perceived enemies was on.

Here are five surprising facts about the extent of FDR’s internment program:

Fact One: The arrests of suspected enemies extended far beyond our national borders. Under provisions of the Enemy Alien Act of 1798, the same act that allowed Presidents George W. Bush and President Obama to intern modern-day suspected terrorists, Roosevelt orchestrated the removal of 4,058 Germans, 2,264 Japanese and 288 Italians from thirteen Latin American countries — and locked them up around the United States, many in a secret government internment camp located in Crystal City, Texas, an isolated desert town located at the southern tip of Texas, only thirty miles from the Mexican border. His reason? Roosevelt feared security threats from Germans and Japanese in Latin America.

Fact Two: Incredibly, among those taken from Latin America included a small number of Jews who had fled persecution in Germany. In his book, Nazis and Good Neighbors, Max Paul Friedman documented 81 Jews in Latin America who were part of the roundup. One Jewish family — the Jacobis from Columbia – was interned in the camp in Crystal City.

Fact Three: The entire political and military establishment applied pressure on Roosevelt to pursue a vigorous internment policy. The only person close to him who opposed it was Eleanor Roosevelt who believed the case against immigrants was driven by wartime hysteria. “These people were not convicted of any crime but emotions ran too high, too many people wanted to wreak vengeance on Oriental looking people,” she wrote of the evacuation order for the Japanese.

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt told Attorney General Francis Biddle to arrest Italians and Germans. “I don’t care so much about the Italians. They are a lot of opera singers, but the Germans are different: they may be dangerous.” In response, Biddle widened the net of suspicion.

Fact Four: One reason for the internment program was to create a pool of people of hostages to exchange for Americans trapped behind enemy lines in Europe and in the Pacific. FDR created a secret division within the Department of State called the Special War Problems Division, which negotiated numerous prisoner exchanges with Japan and Germany.

Fact Five: The Crystal City Internment Camp was at the center of those exchanges. Some former internees, who were children in the camp, refer to it as The Kidnap Camp. Thousands of internees in Crystal City, including their American-born children, were exchanged for ostensibly more important Americans — diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, physicians, and missionaries — behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.

The first of four exchanges in Crystal City took place in June 1942 and the second on September 2, 1943. During those exchanges, more than 2000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were traded for Americans caught in Japan. In February 1944, 634 German immigrants and their children, were sent from Crystal City into Germany. On January 2, 1945, 428 more in Crystal City were traded into war.

The tableau of today’s headlines about government surveillance, internment and prisoner exchanges was written more than seventy years ago in Crystal City, Texas.


Jan Jarboe Russell, author of The Train to Crystal City, is a former Nieman Fellow, a contributing editor for Texas Monthly, and has written for the San Antonio Express-News, The New York Times, Slate, and other magazines. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, Dr. Lewis F. Russell, Jr. For more information please visit, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter

January 20, 2015 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

The FBI’s Dubious Record on Prosecuting Terror Plots

Fake plots get busted, real ones get a pass

By Dave Lindorff | ThisCantBeHappening! | January 19, 2015

If you’re planning to commit an act of terror in the US and want to be left alone by the FBI, make sure your target is something, or someone, that the US government doesn’t like or care about.

Consider these two terrorist plots.

Just last week, on Jan. 14, the FBI announced that it had arrested Christopher Lee Cornell, a guy in Ohio the bureau alleges had plans to attack Congress with pipe bombs and guns. Apparently acting alone, Cornell is alleged by the FBI to have “researched how to make pipe bombs” (there’s no indication that he actually made or tested any actual bombs), and to have purchased a pair of M-15 semi-automatic rifles and ammunition. How Cornell, who is described as a self-styled “jihadist,” but one with no real connection with foreign Islamic militants, planned to get past the metal detectors and tight security at the Capitol Building in Washington, was not explained, and probably was not known to Cornell himself. It also appears that the FBI was watching Cornell all along, and no doubt encouraging him too, as it was working with a snitch — a man facing prosecution who was in communication with Cornell and may well have been a provocateur, given the Bureau’s prior history of luring vulnerable people into planning terror acts which it then busts.

Compare this case with one we reported on earlier here, which was in the works in the fall of 2011. I’m referring to a terrorism plot in Houston, TX, which the FBI never did report publicly, but which was instead disclosed only thanks to some documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act in 2012 by the Washington, DC-based public interest law firm Partnership for Civil Justice, and which involved an apparently well-developed plan to assassinate leaders of the Houston Occupy Movement. Those documents — internal memos sent out by FBI offices in Houston and Gainesville, FL — refer to “one identified [deleted]” that “planned to engage in sniper attacks against protesters in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary.”

The initial memo, sent to FBI headquarters in Washington from the Houston FBI office, went on to say that the “identified” plotters “had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas,” and that they “planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest group and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership by suppressed sniper rifles.”

A second memo, sent out by the Gainesville, FL FBI office, says that the Houston assassination plot, while not executed, was actually just put on hold. As that memo states: “writer sent via email an excerpt from the daily [DELETED] regarding FBI Houston’s [DELETED] to all IAs, SSRAs and SSA [DELETED] This [DELETED] identified the exploitation of the Occupy Movement by [LENGTHY DELETION] interested in developing a long-term plan to kill local Occupy leaders via sniper fire.”

That’s a lot of rich detail about an evidently serious plot that never resulted in any arrests.

Yet as we reported in an article which just won a 2015 Project Censored Award, the FBI never pursued this plot and never arrested anyone. Indeed when Paul Bresson, the senior public affairs officer for the Bureau in Washington, was asked by this reporter for an explanation for this bizarre lack of interest in a known plot to murder innocent protesters, and for the identity of the terrorist plotters, he evasively replied, “The FOIA documents that you reference are redacted in several places pursuant to FOIA and privacy laws that govern the release of such information so therefore I am unable to help fill in the blanks that you are seeking. Exemptions are cited in each place where a redaction is made. As far as the question about the murder plot, I am unable to comment further, but rest assured if the FBI was aware of credible and specific information involving a murder plot, law enforcement would have responded with appropriate action.”

Actually, the response of the US Homeland Security Department to journalists who looked into the federal government’s involvement in the violent suppression of the 2011 Occupy movement shouldn’t make anyone feel like “resting assured” about anything. In 2014, we learned that our publication, in fact, had been the subject back on Nov. 18, 2011, of an alert sent out by Homeland Security’s Washington Office of Threat Assessment to all Fusion Centers around the country, saying ThisCantBeHappening! had published an article exposing the Homeland Security’s central role in orchestrating the wave of local police violence against Occupy encampments across the country.

The conclusion, hard to avoid, is that the FBI and Justice Department are playing a double game when it comes to terrorism. On one hand they have been aggressively pursuing a campaign of entrapment and outright incitement, actively promoting and assisting in the development of bogus terror plots by naive or mentally unbalanced individuals, so that they can later “bust” those plots, thereby justifying their expansive police-state tactics while keeping the public in a constant state of fear. On the other hand, they are either turning a blind eye towards genuine plots aimed against activists and radical protests, such as the one “identified” in Houston in the fall of 2011, or worse, are maybe actively involved in the development of those plots, which they then do not prosecute or prevent from happening.

This is something we need to keep in mind as we watch the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the only surviving suspect or witness in the Boston Marathon bombing — an actual terrorism act that has many rational people wondering how much the government knew in advance, or wondering if they were just patsies who were set up to look that way.


January 20, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , | 5 Comments

Delaware man: Police probing Biden shooting ‘beat the daylights out of me’

RT | January 20, 2015

A Delaware man said that local police violently accosted him before he was arrested, as law enforcement officials investigated reports of multiple gunshots near the home of Vice President Joe Biden in Greenville, Delaware.

B7wOFAfCQAAYwj9There has been an ongoing investigation into the shooting incident near Biden’s home, but the man, Rock Peters, was arrested roughly 30 minutes after the gunshots were reported. Peters said he was left with a swollen nose, rib injuries, multiple face abrasions and a black eye after New Castle County police beat him.

The incident occurred on Saturday night when Peters had been driving a car near the entrance to Joe Biden’s estate, as officers were closing traffic after reports of the gunfire incident. An officer advised Peters to turn around, but Peters told him it was the only way he knew.

The police officer began to walk away but returned after he thought he heard Peters say something, at which point Peters sped away.

Shortly afterwards, Peters was pulled over by another police officer who radioed for assistance. The police officer signaled for Peters to step out of the vehicle and, as he did, Peters put his right hand in his right jacket pocket, according to police.

At this time the officer placed his left hand on Peters’ arm and forced him to the ground. With another officer, the two cops struggled with Peters, and one of the officers struck him on his shoulder, neck and head with is knee.

“They beat the daylights out of me,” Peters told The News Journal, adding that he did nothing wrong during his interaction with police. He also denied being connected in any way to the shooting incident, and was not charged in connection with the gunfire.

Police didn’t find a weapon on him, but Peters does face reckless endangerment and resisting arrest charges after fleeing from one officer and scuffling with two others, according to a police affidavit.

“That’s a lie,” Peters told the News Journal. “This is what they did to me,” he said, showing the newspaper’s reporter the bloody, stained clothes from when he says a New Castle police officer punched him in the face.

Regarding the shooting, the Secret Service and New Castle County police had no update on Monday, but they have continued to search for a suspect and witnesses. Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, were in the state over the weekend but not at home at the time of the shooting incident.

January 20, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Guatemalan Court Sentences Ex-Police Chief for Murdering 37

teleSUR | January 19, 2015

A Guatemalan court found Pedro Garcia Arredondo guilty of murder, attempted murder, and crimes against humanity Monday for the massacre of 37 people at the Spanish embassy in Guatemala 35 years ago, EFE reports.

Garcia Arredondo, 69, is responsible for burning the victims of the massacre to death on Jan. 31, 1980, found the court after four months of hearings.

The tribunal outcome confirmed the long-held suspicions in the country that the fire was the result of a “clandestine police operation” and that the participants “prevented the Red Cross, emergency services, and journalists from entering” the building.

The former police chief was still trying to declare his innocence, but Judge Sara Yoc Yoc ruled that he gave the orders to burn down the embassy. According to her ruling, Garcia Arredondo “used the media to confirm the deaths of those inside the embassy.”

The security forces of Guatemala’s military regime at the time attacked the Spanish embassy after rural workers and students occupied it in protest to the dictatorship.

Among the 37 burned to death was Spanish Consul Jaime Ruiz del Arbol Soler and Vicente Menchu and Francisco Tum, the father and cousin, respectively, of 1992 Nobel Prize Winner Rigoberta Menchu. Menchu gave the first testimony against Garcia Arredondo in the case.

Just two people survived the fire, including the Spanish ambassador. The other, Guatemalan farmer Gregorio Yuja, subsequently disappeared and his body was found with evidence of torture three days after the fire in the rectory of the State University of San Carlos of Guatemala. Yuja has since become a symbol of the left-wing student movement.

Garcia Arredondo was first arrested in 2011 over the forced disappearance of a university student, also in 1980. He is three years into a 70 year sentence for that crime.

January 20, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 1 Comment