Afghanistan bomb attacks kill twenty-one US soldiers in 48 hours

Ben Farmer | Telegraph.co.uk

A series of bomb attacks have badly hit US troops in eastern and southern Afghanistan in the past 48 hours.

The death toll among in the Nato-led coalition has reached 484 this year and is predicted to far surpass 2009’s total of 521.

Deaths have risen consistently each year since 2001. Afghan police and civilians have suffered far higher casualties.

The coalition blames the rise in troop deaths partly on the influx of reinforcements, which is allowing commanders to target previously untouched insurgent safe havens where rebels are mounting stiff resistance.

Gen David Petraeus, senior US and Nato commander in the country, warned last week fighting would “get harder before it gets easier”.

In two of the most deadly recent incidents, three Americans died in eastern Afghanistan on one bomb attack on Tuesday. Five died in a single bomb attack in the south on Monday.

Military spokesmen would not say if the bombs hit vehicles or foot patrols.

Homemade bombs using old shells or homemade explosives and hidden in roads, tracks, walls, streams and buildings have become the Taliban’s favoured weapon.

Their use has sparked an arms race with foreign troops evolving tactics, or relying on more heavily armed vehicles and mine detectors to try and avoid

Rachel Shields | independent.co.uk 

The secret services must become more transparent if they are to halt the spread of damaging conspiracy theories and increase trust in the Government, claims a leading think tank.

 

A Demos report published today, The Power of Unreason, argues that secrecy surrounding the investigation of events such as the 9/11 New York attacks and the 7/7 bombings in London merely adds weight to unsubstantiated claims that they were “inside jobs”.

It warns of the dangers posed by conspiracy theories – from hindering counter-terrorism work by reducing public trust in the Government, to encouraging new alliances between extremists based on such theories – and recommends the Government fight back by infiltrating internet sites to dispute these theories.

Jamie Bartlett, the author of the report, said: “Less-secret services could make Britain safer. The more open the Government is, the harder it is for extremist groups to make stories out of silence.”

The Royal United Services Institute warned last week that the UK may soon face a new wave of home-grown terrorists, when criminals who have been targeted by jihadists while in prison are released.

Demos also recommends that the National Security Council publish an annual report of its proceedings and that it makes details of counter-terrorism investigations available to selected individuals.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The Government has prepared the groundwork in being more open by having a review of counter-terrorism powers.”

 

Adam Cohen | Time.com 

Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn’t violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway — and no reasonable expectation that the government isn’t tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre — and scary — rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants — with no need for a search warrant.

It is a dangerous decision — one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.

This case began in 2007, when Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents decided to monitor Juan Pineda-Moreno, an Oregon resident who they suspected was growing marijuana. They snuck onto his property in the middle of the night and found his Jeep in his driveway, a few feet from his trailer home. Then they attached a GPS tracking device to the vehicle’s underside.

After Pineda-Moreno challenged the DEA’s actions, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled in January that it was all perfectly legal. More disturbingly, a larger group of judges on the circuit, who were subsequently asked to reconsider the ruling, decided this month to let it stand. (Pineda-Moreno has pleaded guilty conditionally to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana while appealing the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained with the help of GPS.)

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From Academy Award® nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson (“No End In Sight”), comes INSIDE JOB, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, INSIDE JOB traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.

Narrated by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon, INSIDE JOB was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.

911blogger.com

A new report released by a think tank called Demos warns of the hazardous effects of conspiracy theories on society and recommends strategies for governments to mitigate these effects, including the infiltration of websites.

The report, called The Power of Unreason: Conspiracy Theories, Extremism and Counterterrorism, says “most notoriously and influentially, the ‘9/11 truth movement’ has questioned the official accounts of 9/11 and has become a large and growing political force.”

The report notes that the 9/11 truth movement is “peaceful”, but makes no distinction between the legitimate questioning of the official account of 9/11 and any number of unrelated, and often racist, conspiracy theories.

The report acknowledges that “some conspiracies have turned out to be true. Our institutions and governments have deceived the population to advance hidden and unstated interests”, and goes on to cite Operations Northwoods, the Joint Chief of Staff’s unimplemented plan to stage a false flag Cuban terror attack in 1963, as well as the CIA’s involvement in the Chilean coup of 1973.

But the report is only concerned with limiting the effects of conspiracy theories on operations of the state, not with justice or the accuracy of the historical record. It states:

More broadly, conspiracy theories drive a wedge of distrust between governments and particular communities. Conspiracy theories – such as those that claim 7/7 or 9/11 were ‘inside jobs’ – demolish the mutuality and trust that people have in institutions of government, with social and political ramifications that we still don’t fully understand. This can especially hinder community-level efforts to fight violent extremism.

The report cites the writings of Cass Sunstein, an Obama appointee who recently called for the “cognitive infiltration” of 9/11 truth groups. The Demos paper in turn calls for government agents to “openly infiltrate” websites and chatrooms in order offer “alternative information” and “plant seeds of doubt”.

Demos makes a number of recommendations for governments to combat conspiracy theories, including a call for more government openness.

The Demos report can be downloaded here

Visit BuildingWhat.org

Get more info at our Meetup 
When
Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:30 PM
Truthdig editor-in-chief Robert Scheer believes our financial meltdown is at its heart an old-fashioned swindle. Scheer, author of The Great American StickUp, exposes the bipartisan group that paved the way for the crash of 2008 (including power-couple Phil and Wendy Gramm, former Goldman Sachs leaders Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson, and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers)—and says it’s still flying under the media radar. Presented by the Town Hall Center for Civic Life, with University Book Store. Series media sponsorship provided by Publicola. Series supported by The Boeing Company Charitable Trust and the RealNetworks Foundation
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Robert Gearty | NY Daily News.com 

The jury in the Bronx synagogue bomb plot case was told Wednesday that the informant who provided the four suspects with phony bombs and missiles was paid $97,000 by the FBI.

The FBI gave Pakistani immigrant Shahed Hussain $44,000 for expenses and $53,000 for “his services” over a three-year period, agent Robert Fuller said.

Fuller, the first prosecution witness in the trial that started Tuesday, showed the jury one of the unexploded bombs the would-be terrorists planned to use to blow up one of two Riverdale synagogues.

Defense lawyers contend that without the informant – who they say entrapped the suspects – their bumbling clients would never have tried to blow up two synagogues in Riverdale and shoot down missiles.

James Cromitie, 44, and co-defendants David Williams, 29, Onta Williams, 34, and Laguerre Payen, 28, were caught in May 2009.

Hussain met them at an upstate mosque, where he was sent by the feds. The trial continues today in Manhattan Federal Court. The four suspects face life in prison if convicted.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/25/2010-08-25_fbi_paid_informant_in_bronx_synagogue_bomb_plot_97k_who_provided_terror_suspects.html#ixzz0y1REEXOI

Seattle Global Justice.org

Seattle, WA – Farmers and civil society organizations around the world are outraged
by the recent discovery of further connections between the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation and agribusiness titan Monsanto. Last week, a financial website published
the Gates Foundation’s investment portfolio, including 500,000 shares of Monsanto
stock with an estimated worth of $23.1 million purchased in the second quarter of
2010 (see thefiling
< http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1166559/000104746910007567/a2199827z13f-hr.txt>
with the Securities and Exchange Commission). This marks a substantial increase
from its previous holdings, valued at just over $360,000 (see the Foundation’s 2008
990 Form <
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/about/Pages/financials.aspx> ).

“The Foundation’s direct investment in Monsanto is problematic on two primary
levels,” said Dr. Phil Bereano, University of Washington Professor Emeritus and
recognized expert on genetic engineering. “First, Monsanto has a history of blatant
disregard for the interests and well-being of small farmers around the world, as
well as an appalling environmental track record. The strong connections to Monsanto
cast serious doubt on the Foundation’s heavy funding of agricultural development in
Africa and purported goal of alleviating poverty and hunger among small-scale
farmers. Second, this investment represents an enormous conflict of interests.”

Monsanto has already negatively impacted agriculture in African countries. For
example, in South Africa in 2009, Monsanto’s genetically modified maize failed to
produce kernels and hundreds of farmers were devastated. According to Mariam Mayet,
environmental attorney and director of theAfrica Centre
<
http://www.biosafetyafrica.net/index.html/> for Biosafety in Johannesburg, some
farmers suffered up to an 80% crop failure. While Monsanto compensated the
large-scale farmers to whom it directly sold the faulty product, it gave nothing to
the small-scale farmers to whom it had handed out free sachets of seeds. “When the
economic power of Gates is coupled with the irresponsibility of Monsanto, the
outlook for African smallholders is not very promising,” said Mayet. Monsanto’s
aggressive patenting practices have also monopolized control over seed in ways that
deny farmers control over their own harvest, going so far as to sue—and
bankrupt—farmers for “patent infringement.”
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Paul Joseph Watson | Prison Planet.com 

The Senate is attempting to sneak through the infamous Internet kill switch cybersecurity bill by attaching it to another piece of legislation that is almost guaranteed to pass – the defense authorization bill – in an underhanded ploy to avoid the difficult task of passing cybersecurity on its own.

“It’s hard to get a measure like cybersecurity legislation passed on its own,” Democratic Senator Thomas Carper, who is co-chair of a Senate subcommittee with cybersecurity oversight, told Government Information Security.

That’s why lawmakers pushing cybersecurity have resolved to introduce the legislation as a “rider” to a Senate defense bill that is likely to be easily passed before the midterm elections.

Senators are still working to merge two different versions of the cybersecurity bill, one sponsored by Senator Joe Lieberman and another sponsored by Democrat Jay Rockefeller, into a single omnibus package, in preparation for a final vote when the Senate returns to session in mid-September.

“We’re very close to where we need to be in developing a joint proposal,” said Carper.

Lawmakers are in a race to pass cybersecurity before the midterms because if they wait until Congress returns after the November 2nd vote, the chances of getting the bill through “would significantly dim should the Republicans pick up a significant number of seats”. That leaves a four week window from the middle of September to the start of election campaigning for Senators to sneak through the legislation.

Lieberman’s version of the cybersecurity bill includes language that would hand President Obama the power to shut down parts of the world wide web for at least four months with no congressional oversight in the event of a cyber attack on critical infrastructure systems in the U.S.

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The card will also have extended functionality, including the ability to enable citizens to identify themselves in the internet by using the ID card with a reading device at home. After registering an online account bonded to the ID card, are able to do secure online shopping, downloading music and most importantly interact with government authorities online, for example.International Business Times.comThe production of the RFID chips, an integral element of the new generation of German identity cards, has started after the government gave a 10 year contract to the chipmaker NXP in the Netherlands. Citizens will receive the mandatory new ID cards from the first of November.

The new ID card will contain all personal data on the security chip that can be accessed over a wireless connection.

The new card allows German authorities to identify people with speed and accuracy, the government said. These authorities include the police, customs and tax authorities and of course the local registration and passport granting authorities.

German companies like Infineon and the Dutch NXP, which operates a large scale development and manufacturing base in Hamburg, Germanyare global leaders in making RFID security chips. The new electronic ID card, which will gradually replace the old mandatory German ID cards, is one of the largest scale roll-outs of RFID cards with extended official and identification functionality.

The card will also have extended functionality, including the ability to enable citizens to identify themselves in the internet by using the ID card with a reading device at home. After registering an online account bonded to the ID card, are able to do secure online shopping, downloading music and most importantly interact with government authorities online, for example.

Biometric passports in a number of countries are equipped with RFID chips, containing a digital picture and fingerprints, and have been around for nearly 5 years after the United States required such passports for any person entering the country.

There are some concerns that the use of RFID chips will pose a security or privacy risk, however.

Early versions of the electronic passports, using RFID chips with a protocol called “basic access control” (BAC), where successfully hacked by university researchers and security experts.

The German ID card is using the BAC protocol as well, but only for the basic data which is printed on the front of the card, the picture and the name. Other fields are protected by a stronger proprietary protocol.

Illegal access to the stored data would be useful to create perfectly forged passports and for criminals to use hijacked identities for supposedly secure transactions online.

The responsible German ministry, however, cites the many advantages of employing a RFID chip, such as a longer card lifetime, the option to connect them to other future devices like RFID-reading mobile phones, and saving cost by being compatible with the existing infrastructure for the RFID passports.

 

It was a remarkable moment in the annals of corporate media television. During a Fox News segment on the staggering unemployment rate among the young, a former Obamanoid manages to sneak in the truth — there is no difference between Clinton, Bush and Obama, they are all puppets for elite bankers.

“Obama is an illusion of change,” said the former supporter. “He is a lot like Bush in many ways. It is a fallacy to believe he really cares about unemployment when he hired an economic team comprised of Volcker, Geithner… these men were in the last three administrations and they don’t really care for the poor and working class of this nation.”

Obama’s administration, of course, is packed like a sardine can with globalists from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg group. Following Obama’s election win, he named 14 top cabinet selections and nine of them were affiliated with the Bilderberg group, ten were affiliated with the Council on Foreign Relations and five hailed from the Trilateral Commission.
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Paul Joseph Watson | PrisonPlanet.com 

As we warned at the beginning of the year, X-ray body scanners currently being used and abused in airports across the world are set to hit the streets as American Science & Engineering reveals that “more than 500 backscatter x-ray scanners mounted in vans that can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents” have been sold to government agencies.

In January, we divulged how the ultimate end use of the body scanners would not be limited to airports, and that they were going to be rolled out on the streets as mobile units that would scan vehicles at checkpoints as well as individuals and crowds attending public events.

Dutch police announced that they were developing a mobile scanner that would “see through people’s clothing and look for concealed weapons” and that it would be used “as an alternative to random body searches in high risk areas”.

The device would also be used from a distance on groups of people “and mass scans on crowds at events such as football matches.”

The plans mirrored leaked documents out of the UK Home Office three years prior, which revealed that authorities in the UK were working on proposals to fit lamp posts with CCTV cameras that would X-ray scan passers-by and “undress them” in order to “trap terror suspects”.

Now, according to a Forbes report, backscatter x-ray vision devices mounted on trucks are already being deployed inside the United States to scan passing individuals and vehicles in complete violation of the Fourth Amendment.

American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Massachusetts, has sold many of the devices to U.S. law enforcement agencies, who are already using them on the streets for “security” purposes.

“Without a warrant, the government doesn’t have a right to peer beneath your clothes without probable cause,” points out Marc Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC. “Even airport scans are typically used only as a secondary security measure. If the scans can only be used in exceptional cases in airports, the idea that they can be used routinely on city streets is a very hard argument to make.”

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WeAreChange.org

Former C.I.A., F.B.I., members of the House and Senate, a State Governor, Parliament Member, and others converge; with the people, with you, to discuss the fallacies of the official 9/11 report, and the post 9/11 world.

This year in NYC, whistle blowers from all levels of government agencies, politicians, filmmakers, activists & journalists will unite with hundreds of others to raise awareness to the plight of the 9/11 First Responders by holding a Charity conference over the course of 4 day.

The events of 9/11 changed all of our lives. From foreign and domestic policy to new security measures, America has not been the same since that fateful day. “Our Lives Post 9/11” is a four day conference where people will come together to share ideas, raise money and awareness and work toward a better future.

“Our Lives Post 9/11” will feature a lineup of speakers spanning from government officials, whistle blowers, political scholars, 9/11 family members, and more to discuss the criminal negligence of the American Government leading up to and following 9/11.

 

Speakers include Ray McGovern -former CIA analyst, George Galloway – British politician, Richard Gage – AE 9/11 Truth, Cindy Sheehan – Peace Activist, Cynthia McKinney – former U.S. Congresswoman, Annie Machon – former MI5 agent, Mike Gravel – former U.S Senator, and so many more!

Events start at 4pm on Thursday 9/9/2010 and continue through Sunday 9/12/2010.Everyday there will be street actions, speakers, networking and amazing moments shared by individuals who truly care for one another.

This is always a very emotional event for all those who attend. We hope you can join us to commemorate those who lost their lives on 9/11/01 and aid those who continue to suffer.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online. All profits from the conference will be donated to 911 Health Now, an official 501c3 organization dedicated to helping sick and dying 911 First Responders. This year’s fundraiser will be one of  the largest 9/11 anniversary fund drives to date – if you can’t make it to New York, we ask that you please donate online.

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UPI.com

The Pentagon says it plans to spend $100 million on air base expansions in Afghanistan with construction efforts continuing into at least 2011.

Despite growing disaffection with the war and President Obama’s pledge to begin withdrawing U.S. troops in July 2011, many of the projected installations have extended completion deadlines, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

All three of the bases are for the sole use of U.S. forces.

The House and Senate Appropriations committees have approved requests for an additional $1.3 billion for multiyear construction of military facilities in Afghanistan, the Post reported. The vote has yet to go before the full Senate.

The United States has already set aside $5.3 billion to build facilities for the Afghan army and national police, with most of the “enduring facilities … scheduled for construction over the next three to four years,” a Pentagon release said.

Troop withdrawal in 2011 does not mean the end of combat operations, as the three new projected bases indicate, the Post reported.

The broader expansion of U.S. air facilities all over Afghanistan will be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance using helicopters, manned and unmanned aircraft.

Pentagon Surprised to Hear Reports that War Ended

Jason Ditz | Antiwar.com

As Obama Administration officials and a willing mainstream media report that yesterday was the end of the Iraq War it would likely surprise many that 56,000 US troops remain on the ground engaging in combat operations.

But it seems like the spin is even more surprising to the Pentagon leadership, as Gen. David Petraeus was pressed today on whether this was the right time to have left Iraq, and he said what he most likely wasn’t supposed to say.

First of all we are not leaving,” Petraues insisted, adding that “there are 50,000 US troops that are remaining in Iraq” and that they retain an “enormous capability.” It is a capability that is tough to reconcile with the official story that these are all just trainers.

Gen. Petraeus could perhaps be forgiven for not being on message. After all, he is still getting his bearings as the new commander in Afghanistan and probably didn’t have time to catch the news on MSNBC.

But then Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell declared, on MSNBC, “I don’t think anybody has declared the end of the war as far as I know.” He perhaps missed the headlines across the American press declaring exactly that, and the number of Obama Administration officials crowing about the “promise kept” to end the war.

President Obama’s decision to select yesterday as the official “victory” day for Iraq appears to have taken a lot of people by surprise, not the least being all those troops still in Iraq and still fighting. But the Pentagon’s break with them, admitting that the war is still going on while the media-friendly celebration is still going on, certainly complicates the already ill-defined message.

Gas Land The Movie.com

Jason Ditz | AntiWar.com 

It was another of those great TV moments. Embedded reports filming as the “last” brigade of American troops in Iraq cross the border into Kuwait bringing over seven years of unhappy conflict to its final, conclusive end. America was, at last, at peace.

But like so many other great TV moments, this one was a scripted fantasy, a fake exit done purely for political gain by an increasingly unpopular president trying to look like he is keeping at least one campaign promise.

It was perhaps a different sort of scripted, mythical end to the Iraq War than the last one, the May 1, 2003 “Mission Accomplished” speech of President Bush, but it was no more real, as over 50,000 US troops remain on the ground in Iraq tonight.

The “end of the war” may bring some measure of relief to the American people, but it must be something of a sombre moment for those 50,000 troops, as they continue to go into combat operations with the bulk of the American public believing, because their president told them so, that the war is over and combat operations have ended.

Officials have been pretty straightforward about what really happened, not that it has been picked up by the media, which has preferred the more pleasant narrative of a decisive military victory. Instead, the US simply “redefined” the vast majority of its combat troops as “transitional troops,” then removed a brigade that they didn’t relabel, so they could claim that was the “last one.” Even this comes with the assumption that the State Department, and a new army of contractors, will take over for years after the military operations end, assuming they ever do.

And it worked, at least for now. All is right with the world and the war is over, at least so far as anyone could tell from the TV news shows. But as violence continues to rise across Iraq, and July saw the worst violence in over two years, it will likely be difficult for the Obama Administration to keep this war a secret for much longer.

Scott Horton is Assistant Editor at Antiwar.com and host of Anti War Radio on KAOS 95.9 FM Austin, Texas. This is an excerpt from a debate on, “Obama’s Challenge: Iran, Nuclear Weapons and the Fate of the Middle East” that took place at the University of California Riverside.

Carol Pucci | Seattle Times.com

Sea-Tac International Airport passengers will soon begin undergoing full-body scans as the federal government installs equipment that will help identify terrorist threats but poses concerns about privacy, health risks and longer waits in security lines.

The first advanced-imaging technology (AIT) units should be installed at security checkpoints in mid- to late September, said Dwayne Baird of the Transportation Security Administration, as part of a nationwide rollout of the technology already used in 48 U.S. airports, including Spokane and Boise, Idaho.

The scans, which effectively allow agents to see through clothes by scattering low-dose X-rays at a passenger’s front and back, produce a blurry nude image that can be screened for nonmetallic items such as weapons and explosives hidden under clothes.

To quell privacy concerns, TSA is making the screening optional, has agreed not to store the images, and has set up a system so the pictures are viewed by a screener in another location where passengers can’t be seen in person.

“Every passenger has the option to refuse to go through these,” and walk through a metal detector instead, Baird said. Those who do will be subject to a pat-down, a procedure that takes extra time, but one that privacy experts recommend for those who feel uncomfortable.

“People should not just accept this as a foregone conclusion,” said Ginger McCall, staff counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C. Her organization has filed sued to stop the use of body scans, charging they are the equivalent of a digital strip-search.
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