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Shockfront

Thursday, 07 January 2010

Iranian "neutron initiator" hoax: A Murdoch-Israeli IO

U.S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a "neutron initiator" for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication, according to a former Central Intelligence Agency official.

Philip Giraldi, who was a CIA counterterrorism official from 1976 to 1992, told me that intelligence sources say that the United States had nothing to do with forging the document, and that Israel is the primary suspect. The sources do not rule out a British role in the fabrication, however.

The Times of London story published Dec. 14 did not identify the source of the document. But it quoted "an Asian intelligence source" - a term some news media have used for Israeli intelligence officials - as confirming that his government believes Iran was working on a neutron initiator as recently as 2007.
The Rupert Murdoch chain has been used extensively to publish false intelligence from the Israelis and occasionally from the British government.
-- Phil Giraldi
Formerly, Central Inculcation Agency
Of course, the Murdoch-Israeli io reaches far and wide.
"There's been a public report about an issue related to… Iran's nuclear program. It's safe to say the United States government will be investigating those reports," Crowley told reporters.

The "revelation this week about nuclear triggers… all adds up to the fact that Iran has yet to really come to… the international community and address our concerns in a meaningful
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Military Chiefs Charged in Honduran Coup

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Vasquez: taking one for the team?
In all likelihood, this is, or will be, a song and dance designed to cast legitimacy upon the state of Honduras and its legal system, as if to tell the world that, despite the military overthrow of a popular, democratically elected president, Honduras is still a nation of laws.

Which, of course, are the same, rather familiar, claims that other putative democracies embrace, even as they themselves ignore the rule of law, while expounding upon its virtue.
Honduran prosecutors have charged three military chiefs with abuse of power in connection with the ousting and exile of President Manuel Zelaya last June.

The Supreme Court will now decide whether to start a case against them.

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CIA Waziristan Strike Back

Since seven CIA operatives were killed a week ago, CIA have launched at least five drone strikes in what are in every appearance revenge attacks. The latest two air strikes -- that we know of -- have killed a dozen or more in Waziristan.
Two suspected U.S. drone missile strikes killed at least 13 people Wednesday in an area of Pakistan's volatile northwest teeming with militants suspected in a recent homicide attack that killed seven CIA employees in Afghanistan, intelligence officials said.

The lawless North Waziristan tribal area hit Wednesday is home to several militant groups that stage cross-border attacks against coalition troops, including the Al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network. Counting the latest strikes, suspected U.S. drones have attacked North Waziristan five times since the CIA bombing a week ago, killing at least 20 people.

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Guard Dead in Egypt-Gaza Border Scrap

Now that a pliant Mubarak regime are doing what they can to completely seal off 1.5 million people from the outside world, Palestinians and "international activists" are scrapping at the Gaza border, where Egyptian forces are turning back aid and supplies, while cutting off the tunnels at the Egypt-Gaza border.

A desperate people are looking at yet greater desperation at the hands of Israeli and US interests.  And let us note the jab at Palestinians, which western media are never at odds with taking, a "Palestinian sniper," as if to say, see how unreasonable these people are, sniping border guards who are denying food and critical supplies, no wonder Israel has no partner for peace!
Gunfire broke out Wednesday during a Palestinian protest over Egypt's blockade of the Gaza Strip, leaving an Egyptian border guard dead and a dozen Palestinians injured.

The riot along the border came a day after several hundred international activists clashed with police in the Egyptian port city of El Arish when they were told that a portion of their aid convoy would be allowed to enter Gaza only through Israel.

In response, the Hamas movement that rules Gaza called on supporters to demonstrate Wednesday against both Egypt's interference with the aid convoy and its construction of an underground barrier designed to block tunnels used to smuggle goods and weapons into the coastal strip.

"It was a peaceful protest against the wall and to let the lifeline convoy enter Gaza," said Salah Bardawil, a Hamas official.

Several hundred protesters gathered in the city of Rafah began throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Egyptian security forces across
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Tuesday, 05 January 2010

The Matrix, Beta release

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For Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas, home is a cubicle barely bigger than a coffin
Living in a plastic tube, "barely bigger than a coffin."

This is what modern life is like for many Japanese now.  Given certain trends, one might expect Americans will soon follow.  Our own dehumanization is playing out before our very eyes, and all with seeming bland acceptance.

This is The Matrix, 21st century style.  In the 21st century matrix, we don't get to live fanciful and unmolested lives in utter, ignorant bliss, as the tubes suck out the juice.  In this 21st century matrix, there is no fantasy.  This is it.  You live in a tube and you know it.

You pay for the privilege.

The only logical question then becomes, how long before the tubes go into you?

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Monday, 04 January 2010

"Gaza: One Year Later"

Chompers on form in Watertown, Mass. discussing the Gaza situation.



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Sunday, 03 January 2010

Geo-economic Megaphases in Central Asia

In a fascinating dissertation, Robert Cutler describes the triadic relations of Central Asia, with a "fourth vertex" power exerting influence, first in the form of the US, then the EU, and, in its current phase, China; the Turkmenistan-China pipeline recently coming on line and seen as the physical realization of plans first proposed by the United States.

A fascinating read.
A delicate dance of power
By Robert M Cutler

MONTREAL - China's emergence as an important player in the development and use of energy resources found in the Caspian Sea basin, alongside longer established interests emanating from Russia, Europe and the United States, is a reminder of the ever-changing dynamics of the region, too easily overlooked during periods of apparent statis, such as during the late Soviet era.

Yet the appearance of this new power in the region also confirms the essential stability of a core group of relationships about which others wax and wane, with a periodicity of possible future importance that China's presence can help us to identify.

Two bilateral energy relations, Kazakhstan-Russia and Turkmenistan-Russia, are of such import and duration that we can justifiably speak of the Kazakhstan-Russia-Turkmenistan triangle as the foundation for the evolution of Central Eurasian energy geo-economics. …
More, and well worth it.
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Conservative Project Censored 2009

Now that the days of lists are upon us, politically-striped ones are an inevitable waste byproduct, as mounds of vacuous, ignorant nonsense, unseemly piles of ill-informed gobbery, paid-for corporate shilling, and trunk loads of truculent quibbling wend their incontinent way toward the intended target.

The media will figure largely in some of these lists, but not in a way that many might imagine.  While we may understand what role the corporate media play in the conduct of empire, American conservatives see something else entirely, as they always have: the destructive forces of liberalism lurking at the core of a lefty American press.

With this in mind, if you find yourself wondering what conservatives consider the most important "underreported stories of 2009," well, you are in luck.  Because we know the liberal media are covering up any number of subversive, anti-American plots, all of which are designed to bring on a terrorist-coddling, enviro-fascist vegetarian police state.

What? You've never heard of this evil plot?  Exactly.

And just so readers understand, these "underreported stories" may, at first blush, appear to have been reported.  In some cases, quite a lot.  Apparently, though, extant coverage was insufficiently thunderous, and it fell upon Breitbart's Dana Loesch to tell us so.

Within the meager confines of this conservative project censored effort, it shall be noted, is a rather thin sack of the usual complaints we've all enjoyed over the past year.  Climategate makes the list as "underreported," presumably because the media failed to further investigate the nether realms of the  vegan-nazi New World Order.  The "growth" of the Tea Party Movement

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The US War Machine

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
-- Martin Luther King,
April 4, 1967

"The U.S. spends more for war annually than all state governments combined spend for the health, education, welfare, and safety of 308 million Americans."
-- Federal War Spending Exceeds State Government Outlays
The Public Record,
December 23, 2009
So, after 40 years of spending "more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift,"  will  United States citizens be able to recognize their own spiritual death? No.  Much of corporatized modern American society is devoted to shrouding spiritual death with tapestries of material "wealth."
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Thursday, 31 December 2009

To Fail and Fail Again

The intelligence agencies failed to share relevant information with one another… . They also failed to share it with other U.S. government agencies. And even more, they failed to share it with non-U.S. government agencies, like local law enforcement and police.
-- Investigating 9/11,
The Spy Factory,
NOVA
[sponsored by ExxonMobil]

The National Security Agency four months ago intercepted conversations among leaders of Al Qaeda in Yemen discussing a plot to use a Nigerian man for a coming terrorist attack, but American spy agencies later failed to combine the intercepts with other information that might have disrupted last week’s attempted airline bombing.
-- Spy Agencies Failed to Collate Clues on Terror
New York Times
December 30, 2009

This has had one salutary effect on a rather sticky issue.
Terror Attempt May Hinder Plans to Close Guantánamo

The attempted bombing of an American passenger plane on Christmas Day could greatly complicate President Obama’s efforts to close the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as lawmakers in both parties call on the administration to rethink its approach.

“The current threats emanating from Yemen dramatically increase the political costs of closing Guantánamo,” said Matthew Waxman, a former top Pentagon official who handled detainee issues and supports trying to
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Charges Dismissed Against Blackwater

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While the media field day of fretting over the deaths of seven CIA personnel in Afghanistan, quietly, a US federal judge dismissed all charges against Blackwater vis-á-vis the Nisoor Square massacre.
A US federal judge has dismissed all charges against five guards from US security firm Blackwater over the killing of 17 Iraqis in 2007.

The five, contracted to defend US diplomatic personnel, were accused of opening fire on a crowd in Baghdad.

District Judge Ricardo Urbina said the US justice department had used evidence prosecutors were not supposed to have.

And what was the fateful evidence that prosecutors were "not supposed to have"?

The disputed evidence concerned statements the guards gave to state department investigators, which they were told would not be used to bring a criminal case.

This limited immunity deal meant that prosecutors should have built their case against the men without using the statements.

But Judge Urbina said prosecutors had failed to do so, …
So, is this an appearance of DoJ incompetence, or purposeful intent in order to get this case dropped?
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Wednesday, 30 December 2009

This is Your Government on Wall Street Drugs

"[O]n the Hill, perception is reality; that if it looks like staffers sell their souls when they take jobs lobbying their former colleagues on behalf of industry, it's because they do."
If you have ever pondered the nature of the necrotic, money-soaked shit stew of corporate whoring that now defines American "government," I suggest this as a stark reference; Ryan Grim and Arthur Delaney deliver an amazing tale of Washington pan-handling.
The Cash Committee: How Wall Street Wins On The Hill
Colour me skeptical, but I rather suspect that this is not the imagined functioning of government Jefferson et al, had in mind, which was, as is plainly apparently, rather sketchily stipulated in the Constitution.  Government service is now an entry level position; the move to K Street viewed as "a very logical progression."

Indeed, to any outside observer, Jefferson included, the functioning of today's United States Congress appears to be one big work around.

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The News

All the news that is fit to print, a restriction with which we are all familiar.  Nonetheless, the year end sums continue. (via The Big Picture).
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Somali Pirates Break Own Piracy Record

'Tis the season for summing up things; all manner of lists are made manifest, records and statistics swirl from various archival holes, knots of numbers spill onto pages, all bound to determine the nature of the soon to be erstwhile year.

Oh, look, here's one:
Record Number of Somali Pirate Attacks in 2009

Somali pirates carried out a record number of attacks and hijackings in 2009, despite the deployment of international warships to thwart them and a United Nations Security Council resolution to bring the fight against them to shore.

The Piracy Reporting Center of the International Maritime Bureau said Tuesday that pirates operating across the Gulf of Aden and along the coast of Somalia have attacked 214 vessels so far this year, resulting in 47 hijackings. Twelve of those ships, with a total of 263 crew members, are currently being held for ransom by the pirates.

In 2008, according to the maritime bureau, 111 ships were attacked in the region, a figure that itself represented a 200 percent increase from 2007.
Not to be caught resting on their piracy laurels,
The hijackings continued this week with the seizure of a Greek-owned cargo ship and a British-flagged chemical tanker, both of which were taken on Monday.

The St James Park, a slow-moving chemical tanker bound from Spain to Thailand, issued a distress signal on Monday that it was being attacked in the Gulf of Aden. The owners confirmed Tuesday that the ship had been seized.

The tanker was being monitored by the European Union Naval Force Somalia, which said Tuesday that the ship was being
[...]More

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Iranian Dissidents Turn Tide on Police State

As we watch what could very well be the beginnings of the death throes of the authoritarian regime installed in Tehran, observers were treated to a rare and, in Shockfront's opinion, satisfying sight in the form of a "man-bites-dog" reversal of protest fortune, when Iranian protesters turned on police lines and proceeded to attack and beat police, confiscating and burning police motorcycles.

Such is the nature of the police state these days that protest backlash tales are, shall we say, atypical.  Nonetheless, the good people of Iran have clearly had enough and are fighting back.  And with that, a symbolic image of humanity stomping on the face of the authoritarian state -- for a brief and shining moment.

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(I sure as hell hope that dude doing the kicking isn't some CIA asset. No, please, don't let that be! Just be some ordinary pissed off Iranian, please.)
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