Permalink Check out this "Ukrainian" fighter

Check out this video shot today in Mariupol following the artillery strike which killed and wounded scores of people. A Ukrainian journalist approaches what she believe is a Ukrainian solider (he is in Ukrainian uniform and has an AK on this back) and asks him "tell me, what happened here?". You can listen to his reply by yourself. No translation needed. ~ The Saker

Stephen Lendman Pentagon Directing Kiev's War on Donbas?
G. Eliason Ukraine Army Attacks Bus and Trolley in Center of Donetsk. 13 Killed including Children


Permalink US assassination drone strike kills 8 in east Afghanistan

At least eight people have been killed and three others wounded in the latest assassination drone strike carried out by the US forces in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar. Afghan border police spokesman, Edris Mohmand, identified the victims as Taliban militants, adding that the aerial assault took place in the Lal Pur district of the province on Sunday morning. The Taliban have made no comments on the incident yet. The US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan have recently increased their air raids against civilian areas. The United States carries out targeted killings through drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.


Permalink ISIS Downs Jordanian Warplane in Syria, Captures Pilot

First Coalition Warplane Lost in ISIS War. The US-led coalition has lost its first warplane of the ISIS war in Syria today, as ISIS shot down a Jordanian F-16 with a heat-seeking missile, capturing the pilot. The US denied that ISIS was the one that shot the plane down, but the capture was confirmed. ISIS issued images of the captured pilot being paraded around their capital city of Raqqa. Jordan warned they are holding ISIS responsible for the safety of the captured pilot. That’s probably not going to be a serious concern for ISIS, since Jordan and the other coalition members are already at war with them and bombing them on a daily basis. It’s a much bigger concern for the coalition, as now that ISIS has proven its capability to shoot down coalition warplanes, it’s only a matter of time before they down some more, and as the losses mount, the lack of progress in the war is likely to become a more serious concern.

Permalink No, North Korea Didn’t Hack Sony

Marc Rogers The FBI and the President may claim that the Hermit Kingdom is to blame for the most high-profile network breach in forever. But almost all signs point in another direction. The news that the satirical movie—which revolves around a plot to murder Kim Jong-Un—will have a Christmas Day release as planned, will prompt renewed scrutiny of whether, as the US authorities have officially claimed, the cyber attack on Sony really was the work of an elite group of North Korean government hackers. All the evidence leads me to believe that the great Sony Pictures hack of 2014 is far more likely to be the work of one disgruntled employee facing a pink slip. I may be biased, but, as the director of security operations for DEF CON, the world’s largest hacker conference, and the principal security researcher for the world's leading mobile security company, Cloudflare, I think I am worth hearing out.

Permalink Witness account of Ukraine MH17 takedown confirmed by lie detector – investigators

Russia’s Investigative Committee has confirmed the claims by a Ukrainian, who said he witnessed the deployment of a Ukrainian warplane armed with air-to-air missiles on the day the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down. The interview was conducted on Tuesday, spokesman for the committee Vladimir Markin told the media on Wednesday. This followed a report in a Russian newspaper, in which the Ukrainian citizen, who preferred to remain anonymous, voiced his allegations. The investigators used a polygraph during the interview, which showed no evidence of the witness lying, he added. “The facts were reported by the witness clearly and with no inconsistencies. The investigators lean towards considering them truthful. A polygraph examination confirmed them too,” the official said.

Sputnik News: Lavrov: MH17 Crash Investigation Violates ICAO Rules
PressTV: Ukrainian warplane behind MH17 crash: Russian investigators


Permalink North Korea’s Internet connections cut off

In what points to a US cyber-attack, North Korea completely lost its connections to the Internet for several hours on Monday after days of unusual instability, according to several Internet monitoring companies. The loss of access came just days after the FBI accused Pyongyang of hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment and President Barack Obama declared that the US would carry out an unspecified “proportionate response” against North Korea at “a time and place of our choosing.”


Permalink CIA analyst at the center of torture report is outed

In the film 'Zero Dark Thirty' she was known as 'Maya,' the CIA analyst who spent years tracking down Osama bin Laden. Her story is more complicated with its ties to rendition and torture, and now several news outlets have revealed her identity. In real life, however, her story is more complicated with ties to the rendition and torture of terrorist suspects, as well as a missed opportunity to head off the attacks of 9/11. And now she’s been forced out of the shadows with several news outlets revealing her identity. Most recently, that’s the website The Intercept, whose stated missions are “to provide a platform to report on the documents previously provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden” and “to produce fearless, adversarial journalism across a wide range of issues.” For years, the CIA has argued forcibly against naming the analyst, frequently referred to as a bin Laden expert. Some outlets, including the Associated Press have agreed to use only her middle name – Frances – since both her first and last names are unusual and easily identifiable.

The Intercept Meet Alfreda Bikowsky, the Senior Officer at the Center of the CIA’s Torture Scandals

Permalink CIA Travel Advice To Operatives

Today, 21 December 2014, WikiLeaks releases two classified documents by a previously undisclosed CIA office detailing how to maintain cover while travelling through airports using false ID – including during operations to infiltrate the European Union and the Schengen passport control system. This is the second release within WikiLeaks' CIA Series, which will continue in the new year.

RT.com: Leaked CIA docs teach operatives how to infiltrate EU

Permalink N. Korea threatens US, demands apology for Obama’s ‘reckless rumors’ of Sony hack

N. Korea has demanded an apology from the US for “recklessly” circulating an unsubstantiated rumor about Pyongyang’s culpability in the recent Sony hack, warning the “proportional” response promised by Obama will be met with the “toughest counteraction.” The FBI report of the investigation into the hack at the Sony Pictures Entertainment is based on “intentional allegation rather than scientific evidence” of the North Korean involvement, said the Policy Department of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK. “After all, the grounds cited by the FBI in its announcement were all based on obscure sci-tech data and a false story and, accordingly, the announcement itself is another fabrication,” the statement reads, that accuses the US of “gangster-like behavior”. [Hard to disagree with that.]

Permalink Hersh: Children sodomized at Abu Ghraib, on tape

After Donald Rumsfeld testified on the Hill about Abu Ghraib in May, there was talk of more photos and video in the Pentagon’s custody more horrific than anything made public so far. “If these are released to the public, obviously it’s going to make matters worse,” Rumsfeld said. Since then, the Washington Post has disclosed some new details and images of abuse at the prison. But if Seymour Hersh is right, it all gets much worse. Hersh gave a speech last week to the ACLU making the charge that children were sodomized in front of women in the prison, and the Pentagon has tape of it. The speech was first reported in a New York Sun story last week, which was in turn posted on Jim Romenesko’s media blog, and now EdCone.com and other blogs are linking to the video.

Permalink Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et des fonctionnaires seront-ils jugés pour torture? Demande de procès pour crime de guerre déposée en Allemagne

Possibilité que Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et des fonctionnaires de la CIA soient jugés pour torture? Demande de procès pour crime de guerre déposée en Allemagne. Un groupe de défense des droits à Berlin, en Allemagne, a déposé une plainte pénale contre les architectes du programme de torture de l’administration de George W. Bush. Le Centre européen pour les droits constitutionnels et les droits humains (ECCHR) a accusé les anciens fonctionnaires de l’administration Bush, y compris l’ancien directeur de la CIA George Tenet, le secrétaire à la Défense Donald Rumsfeld, de crimes de guerre, et a appelé à une enquête immédiate par un procureur allemand. Le mouvement suit la publication d’un rapport du Sénat sur ​​la torture de la CIA qui comprend le cas d’un citoyen allemand Khalid El-Masri, qui a été capturé par les agents de la CIA en 2004 en raison d’une erreur d’identité et torturé dans une prison secrète en Afghanistan. Jusqu’à présent, aucune personne impliquée dans la programme de torture de la CIA a été accusé d’un crime – sauf le dénonciateur John Kiriakou, qui avait révélé des informations classifiées concernant l’usage de la torture par l’administration Bush. (…)


Permalink Regime Change In Cuba

Paul Craig Roberts Normalization of relations with Cuba is not the result of a diplomatic breakthrough or a change of heart on the part of Washington. Normalization is a result of US corporations seeking profit opportunities in Cuba, such as developing broadband Internet markets in Cuba. Before the American left and the Cuban government find happiness in the normalization, they should consider that with normalization comes American money and a US Embassy. The American money will take over the Cuban economy. The embassy will be a home for CIA operatives to subvert the Cuban government. The embassy will provide a base from which the US can establish NGOs whose gullible members can be called to street protest at the right time, as in Kiev, and the embassy will make it possible for Washington to groom a new set of political leaders. In short, normalization of relations means regime change in Cuba. Soon Cuba will be another of Washington’s vassal states.

Permalink "Authorized" US drone strike kills 5 in Pakistan’s North Waziristan

At least five people have been killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan’s northwestern restive tribal region near the Afghan border. Two missiles were fired on Saturday at a compound in Mada Khail neighborhood of Datta Khail area in North Waziristan. Local security officials confirmed the drone strike in Pakistan’s volatile northwest, warning that the death toll is expected to rise. It is difficult to verify the exact number of the dead as the area is off-limits to journalists. The US military carries out targeted killings through drone strikes in several Muslim nations such as Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia. Pakistan has borne the brunt of the notorious attacks, with large numbers of its citizens being killed.

Permalink Evan Goldberg wonders if the Sony hack was an inside job

"The Interview" Co-Director Evan Goldberg on the Sony hacking scandal. “For two seconds it was the North Koreans, and then the younger guys in our office who know way more about computers were, like, ‘No way. You’d have to know Sony’s network, it has to be somebody on the inside.’"

RT.com: North Korea offers US joint investigation of Sony cyberattack
Reuters: North Korea says did not hack Sony, wants joint probe with U.S.
PressTV: Panel to advise against punishment for CIA computer "search" [hacking]

Permalink From moderate Democrats to white Evangelicals, nearly every demographic group believes torture can be justified

According to a new poll released Tuesday by The Washington Post and ABC News, a majority of Americans believe that torture of suspected terrorists can be justified — even in the wake of graphic revelations by a Senate Intelligence Committee report of exactly what such tactics look like. That public approval conceals partisan differences, as colleagues Adam Goldman and Peyton Craighill write:

Views on the CIA’s tactics break down sharply along ideological lines. Liberal Democrats are most disgusted with the agency’s actions, while conservative Republicans are most likely to defend it. Democrats who identify as moderate or conservative are more supportive of the program, joining majorities of independents and Republicans who say it was justified.

Those ideological poles at opposite ends of public opinion aren't that surprising. But the distribution of demographic groups between them is. A majority of nearly every group — non-whites, women, young adults, the elderly, Midwesterners, suburbanites, Catholics, moderates, the wealthy — said that torture of suspected terrorists can be often or sometimes justified.

Mike Shedlock New Poll Shows US Citizens in Every Demographic Support Torture

Permalink Former Nixon Adviser: Obama Is Now A "Captive" Of National Security Community

Former White House Counsel & key witness in the 'Watergate' investigation John Dean tells Larry why Obama was easy prey for America's 'shadow government' of national security agencies. Plus, what he says Obama does that probably has Nixon smiling.


Permalink CIA: US unsuccessful in “targeted killings”

US counterinsurgency programs and drone strikes targeting militants in Iraq and Afghanistan have been unsuccessful, shows a leaked CIA report. The report shows that the “targeted killings” have had “limited results” and that they bolster the support of the extremists groups. The 18-page document, dated July 7, 2009, was posted by WikiLeaks on Thursday. It was made under former CIA director Leon Panetta a few months before President Barack Obama ordered a "surge" of troops in Afghanistan. It tackles the pros and cons of "high value targeting" operations conducted "against specific individuals or networks." High Value Targets is the term used to describe senior leaders in militant organizations. "HVT operations can play a useful role when they are part of a broader counterinsurgency strategy," the report suggested. "The Taliban has a high overall ability to replace lost leaders,” the report confirmed. The document also acknowledges that the early targeting against al Qaeda leaders in Iraq “did little to slow AQI’s momentum”. Since 2009, the US has carried out numerous targeted killings in Pakistan, Afghanistan and certain other countries, using unmanned aerial vehicles. The drone strikes in Afghanistan are highly controversial as they have claimed many civilian lives so far. (Video)

Permalink Did North Korea really hack Sony Pictures? Some experts aren't so sure

Last week, a dreadful message appeared on the computers of some Sony Pictures employees. "Hacked by #GOP," the text read, referring to a group calling itself Guardians of Peace. "Obey us," they wrote in the message, plastered over a drawing of a skull that seemed to be lifted from children's horror book cover. Far from a stunt, the attack has actually compromised gigabytes, if not terabytes, of internal Sony Pictures files, including five leaked movies and a vast number of sensitive documents. After siphoning off all that data, the hackers apparently used destructive malware to wipe Sony's computers and make them unusable — something akin to a group of robbers stealing boxes of documents from a corporate office and then setting it on fire. As news of the attacks started spreading, rumors soon followed. Unnamed sources pointed the finger at North Korea, partly on the basis that the country was angry about Sony Pictures' upcoming comedy The Interview, which pokes fun at the secluded communist regime and its leader, Kim Jong-un.

RT.com: FBI formally accuses North Korea in Sony hack
PC World: Think North Korea hacked Sony? Think about this
TMZ: North Korean Government: Sony Hackers Don't Work For Us
RT.com: Sony slammed by Deputy PM Clegg for bowing to N. Korean ‘intimidation’
Dmitri Trenin Russia-NK Opening Sends Message to Region
Patrick Martin US stokes conflict with North Korea over Sony hacking

Permalink US Silent on Psychologists Role in CIA’s Tortures: Doctors

Physicians for Human Rights had not received any response from the US Federal Commission to their call to investigate the role of health professionals in CIA’s torture program, Deputy Director of the organization told Sputnik. US government has not responded to calls to prosecute doctors, who participated in CIA torture program, the Deputy Director of Communications for Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) told Sputnik News Agency. Earlier this week, PHR published expert analysis of CIA Torture Report and called for US Federal Commission to hold health professionals accountable. “Physicians for Human Rights have not received any response directly from the government, regarding our call for a federal commission to investigate the role of health professionals in CIA’s torture program,” Deputy Director of Communications for Physicians for Human Rights Vesna Jaksic Lowe said. Two former military psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, played a key role in the CIA torture program, according to the US Senate Select Committee’s report. The contractors received $81 million for developing an interrogation method to deal with Al-Qaeda detainees. Their potential violations include intentional harm on detainees, human subject research, failing to document evidence of torture and profiting from the torture program.


Permalink The Congressional report on torture confirms that Al Qaeda was not involved in the attacks of September 11

Thierry Meyssan Publicly released excerpts of the report of the Senate Committee on the CIA’s secret torture program reveal a vast criminal organization. Thierry Meyssan has read for you the 525 pages of this document. He found evidence of what he has been saying for years. The declassified portion corresponds to only one-twelfth of the initial report. The report itself does not address the vast removal and sequestration system that the US Navy had put in place during the terms of President George W. Bush; a program that has led to worldwide kidnapping and sequestration of more than 80 000 people aboard 17 flat-bottomed boats stationed in international waters (these ships are: USS Bataan, USS Peleliu, USS Ashland, USNS Stockham, USNS Watson, USNS Watkins, USNS Sister, USNS Charlton, USNS Pomeroy, USNS Red Cloud, USNS Soderman, USNS Dahl MV PFC William B Baugh, Alex Bonnyman MV, MV Franklin J Phillips, MV Huage Louis J Jr, James Anderson Jr. MV). It is content to study 119 cases of human guinea pigs subjected to psychological experiments in Guantánamo and fifty secret prisons from 2002 to late 2009, a year after the election of Barack Obama. The extracts of the report do not indicate the criteria by which these human guinea pigs were chosen. They merely state that each prisoner denounced the following, while indicating that the confessions were not coerced but learned. In other words, the CIA sought to justify its choices by making denunciations post. In the initial report, the names of agents and contractors of the CIA involved have been replaced by pseudonyms. In addition, the declassified extracts were widely censored, mainly to clear the names of foreign accomplices of the CIA.


Permalink German TV Shows Nazi Symbols on Helmets of Ukraine Soldiers

A news broadcast by German ZDF station on September 8 showed soldiers of the Ukraine Azov Battalion near Mariupol with Nazi symbols on their helmets. The Azov Battalion, ascribed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs is led and commanded by members of the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly and its paramilitary wing “Patriots of Ukraine”. ZDF Moscow correspondent Bernhard Lichte used pictures of a soldier wearing a combat helmet with the “SS runes” of Hitler’s infamous black-uniformed elite corps and another one with a swastika. The footage had been shot by Norwegian team from TV2 station. “We were filming a report about Ukraine’s AZOV battalion in the eastern city of Urzuf, when we came across these soldiers,” Oysten Bogen, a correspondent for the private television station, told NBC News. Norwegian TV station TV2 also broadcast the footage as part of a report on Norwegian volunteers going to fight in Ukraine (see here).

Harry J. Bentham Ukraine: The great lie of our time || In Ukraine, the United States has carried out a total U-turn from supporting democracy to justifying military dictatorship. If nothing else does, this should prove to everyone that the United States is concerned least with democracy or freedom and most with installing dictatorial strongmen to back up its military dominance in each region.


Permalink 130 killed by Taliban in Pakistan army school seizure

At least 130 people, most of them students as young as 12, have been killed and at least 122 others injured in a Taliban seizure of a military-run school in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan, according to provincial authorities. The numbers of dead and injured may still rise as the casualties of the assault are counted. Some 500 students and teachers were in the Army Public School on Warsak Road at the time of the attack. Pakistan’s military said most of the civilians escaped, but some had been taken hostage by the assailants. According to media reports, as many as 10 militants dressed in Pakistani military uniforms entered the school compound on Tuesday at around noon. They torched a car at the site and proceeded with a raid on the facility. “Seven to eight people attacked us, then an army soldier came to us and he asked [the] principal and teachers to take the children out of compound from the back gate. There were thousands [of] students in college. They were moved to auditorium, they can’t come out until the fight is ended,” Arshad Khan, a student at the school, told RT's Ruptly.

Sputnik News: Pakistani Tragedy Result of Permissive Attitude Towards Religious Violence

Permalink US done attack kills 8 people in eastern Afghanistan

At least eight people have been killed in a US assassination drone strike in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nuristan along the Pakistani border. Security officials said on Tuesday that the attack was launched by pilotless aircraft firing missiles at a target in the Wanat Waygel district in Nuristan Province. According to local officials, the victims were Taliban militants. The US-led forces have increased their air raids against civilian areas in Afghanistan in recent months. The United States regularly uses drones for assassination strikes and spying missions in Afghanistan, as well as in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt near the Afghan border. The Taliban militant group has vowed to escalate the attacks on Afghan forces and US-led troops, their bases, diplomatic missions, and vehicle convoys before the foreign forces exit the country at the end of 2014.

Permalink What is in the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA torture: Part one

Tom Carter This is the first of three articles summarizing the contents of the unclassified executive summary of the US Senate Intelligence Committee’s 6,700-page report on the CIA torture program, released last week. The US Senate Intelligence Committee Report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s “enhanced interrogation program” exposes the CIA as a globe-spanning enterprise of criminality, deceit, and violence—as well as rank incompetence, petty intriguing, and porno-sadistic depravity.

Permalink Don't you know your queen?

xymphora There is almost nothing new in the Torture Report, except perhaps for demonstrating how obsessed the CIA is with the male butt. I wonder if they have some kind of 'fruit machine' to determine whether someone is qualified to join the CIA interrogation squad. Don't you know your queen? [...] We could even go further back to the Executive Intelligence Review News Service, 2005: "DIA Proof Of Cheney's Lies Released" (based on the CIA's President's Daily Briefing of September 21, 2001, before Ibn Shaykh al-Libi had been captured and interrogated by the Americans, and before his rendition to Egypt, where torture created his testimony of an Iraq-al Qaeda connection). This means that the intelligence community knew the stories they were creating using torture were lies. The newest revelation, separate from the Torture Report, is that Levin has details from the classified March 2003 - just before the American attack on Iraq started - CIA cable warning that the allegation that Mohamed Atta had met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague was false. Ironically, it appears that Brennan has released this in order to attempt to protect the CIA's reputation by emphasizing that Bush/Cheney/Powell had been given due warning from the CIA that the propaganda basis for the American attack on Iraq was a lie.

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