CIA Army of Assassins, Feds to Wiretap Internet, Obama Claims Right to Assassinate US Citizens
Revealing News Articles
October 4, 2010
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the army of assassins run by the CIA in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the US government's plans to wiretap internet communications, Pres. Obama's use of the state secrets privilege in court to assert the right to assassinate US citizens, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. The most important sentences are highlighted for those with limited time. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can build a brighter future.
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How the CIA ran a secret army of 3,000 assassins
September 23, 2010, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The US Central Intelligence Agency is running and paying for a secret 3,000-strong army of Afghan paramilitaries whose main aim is assassinating Taliban and al-Qa'ida operatives not just in Afghanistan but across the border in neighbouring Pakistan's tribal areas. Although the CIA has long been known to run clandestine militias in Afghanistan, including one from a base it rents from the Afghan president Hamid Karzai's half-brother in the southern province of Kandahar, the sheer number of militiamen directly under its control have never been publicly revealed. [Bob] Woodward's [new] book, Obama's Wars, describes these forces as elite, well-trained units that conduct highly sensitive covert operations into Pakistan as part of a stepped-up campaign against al-Qa'ida and Afghan Taliban havens there. The secret army is split into "Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams", and is thought to be responsible for the deaths of many Pakistani Taliban fighters who have crossed the border into Afghanistan to fight Nato and Afghan government forces there. There are ever-increasing numbers of "kill-or-capture" missions undertaken by US Special Forces against Afghan Taliban and foreign fighters, who hope to drive rank-and-file Taliban towards the Afghan government's peace process by eliminating their leaders.
U.S. Tries to Make It Easier to Wiretap the Internet
September 27, 2010, New York Times
Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is "going dark" as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone. Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications – including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct "peer to peer" messaging like Skype – to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages. James X. Dempsey, vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Internet policy group, said the proposal had "huge implications" and challenged "fundamental elements of the Internet revolution" – including its decentralized design. "They are really asking for the authority to redesign services that take advantage of the unique, and now pervasive, architecture of the Internet," he said. "They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function."
Note: For an analysis of this new government move to spy on US citizens, click here. For lots more from reliable sources on disturbing government threats to privacy and civil liberties, click here and here.
U.S. Invokes State Secrets to Bar Cleric Lawsuit
September 25, 2010, CBS News/Associated Press
The Obama administration on Saturday invoked the state secrets privilege which would kill a lawsuit on behalf of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, an alleged terrorist said to be targeted for death or capture under a U.S. government program. In its court papers, the Justice Department said that the issues in the case are for the executive branch of government to decide rather than the courts. The department also said the case entails information that is protected by the military and state secrets privilege. "The idea that courts should have no role whatsoever in determining the criteria by which the executive branch can kill its own citizens is unacceptable in a democracy," the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement. "In matters of life and death, no executive should have a blank check." Al-Awlaki's father, through the CCR and the ACLU, filed the case in federal court in Washington. The lawsuit filed on the cleric's behalf seeks to have a court declare that the Constitution and international law bar the government from carrying out targeted killings; seeks to block the targeted killing of al-Awlaki; and seeks to force the U.S. government to disclose the standards for determining whether U.S. citizens can be targeted for death.
Pentagon Destroys Copies of Controversial Memoir Written by Army Officer
September 25, 2010, Fox News
The Pentagon has burned 9,500 copies of Army Reserve Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer's memoir Operation Dark Heart, his book about going undercover in Afghanistan. A Department of Defense official tells Fox News that the department purchased copies of the first printing because they contained information which could cause damage to national security. The U.S. Army originally cleared the book for release. The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency attempted to block the book about the tipping point in Afghanistan and a controversial pre-9/11 data mining project called "Able Danger." In a letter obtained by Fox News, the DIA says national security could be breached if Operation Dark Heart is published in its current form. The agency also attempted to block key portions of the book that claim "Able Danger" successfully identified hijacker Mohammed Atta as a threat to the United States before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Note: Able Danger was the program which identified Mohamed Atta and three other alleged 9/11 hijackers as a potential terror threat before 9/11. To read major media reports on the intense controversy around this program (which is likely why the book is being burned), click here.
9/11 conspiracy theories rife in Muslim world
October 2, 2010, Washington Post / Associated Press
About a week ago, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared to the United Nations that most people in the world believe the United States was behind the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Surveys show that a majority of the world does not in fact believe that the U.S. orchestrated the attacks. However, the belief persists strongly among a minority, even with U.S. allies like Turkey or in the U.S. itself. A 2006 survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that significant majorities in Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan and Turkey ... said they did not believe Arabs carried out the attacks. Such beliefs have currency even in the United States. In 2006, a Scripps Howard poll of 1,010 Americans found 36 percent thought it somewhat or very likely that U.S. officials either participated in the attacks or took no action to stop them. Tod Fletcher of [WantToKnow.info] has worked as an assistant to David Ray Griffin, on books that question the Sept. 11 record. He was cautious about the Iranian president's comments about conspiracy theories, suggesting Ahmadinejad may have been politically motivated by his enmity with the U.S. government. "It seems like it's the sort of thing that could lead to further vilification of people who criticize the official account here in the United States," Fletcher said.
Note: To listen to Tod Fletcher's commentary on WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin's recent book, Cognitive Infiltration: an Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory, about the latest attempts by the US government to vilify 9/11 truth movement members as "extremist," "violent" and "likely to resort to terrorism", click here.
In a Computer Worm, a Possible Biblical Clue
September 30, 2010, New York Times
Deep inside the computer worm that some specialists suspect is aimed at slowing Iran's race for a nuclear weapon lies what could be a fleeting reference to the Book of Esther, the Old Testament tale in which the Jews pre-empt a Persian plot to destroy them. That use of the word "Myrtus" – which can be read as an allusion to Esther – to name a file inside the code is one of several murky clues that have emerged as computer experts try to trace the origin and purpose of the rogue Stuxnet program, which seeks out a specific kind of command module for industrial equipment. Not surprisingly, the Israelis are not saying whether Stuxnet has any connection to the secretive cyberwar unit it has built inside Israel's intelligence service. Nor is the Obama administration, which while talking about cyberdefenses has also rapidly ramped up a broad covert program, inherited from the Bush administration, to undermine Iran's nuclear program. The difficulty experts have had in figuring out the origin of Stuxnet points to both the appeal and the danger of computer attacks in a new age of cyberwar. For intelligence agencies they are an almost irresistible weapon, free of fingerprints. Israel has poured huge resources into Unit 8200, its secretive cyberwar operation, and the United States has built its capacity inside the National Security Agency and inside the military, which just opened a Cyber Command.
Note: For many key reports from reliable sources on the ever-expanding "global war on terror," click here.
MMR campaigner from Warrington wins £90,000 payout
August 29, 2010, BBC
The mother of a Cheshire teenager who was left severely brain damaged by the MMR vaccine has won a compensation award from the government. Robert Fletcher, 18, from Warrington, suffered a fit 10 days after he had the vaccination when he was 13 months old. His mother Jackie received the £90,000 payout from a medical assessment panel last week. The family successfully appealed after their application for compensation was originally turned down in 1997. Robert has frequent epileptic fits, is unable to talk, stand unaided or feed himself, but is not autistic. Mrs Fletcher always believed that her son's epilepsy was triggered by the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Dr Andrew Wakefield was the lead author of the controversial study, published in The Lancet in 1998, which suggested there may be a link between MMR and autism and bowel disease. His comments and the subsequent media furore led to a sharp drop in the number of children vaccinated against these diseases. The study has since been discredited and The Lancet has said it should not have run it. Mrs Fletcher has campaigned for justice for her son for the past 16 years. She said: "I feel vindicated by it because over the years I've been labelled anti-vaccine and a scaremonger and all sorts of things, when all I've been trying to do is highlight what's happened to my son, to help safeguard other parents' children."
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the dangers to children from vaccines, click here.
Invisible Wounds: Mental Health and the Military
August 22, 2010, Time magazine
U.S. Army specialist Ethan McCord was one of the first on the scene when a group of suspected insurgents was blown up on a Baghdad street in 2007, hit by 30-mm bursts from an Apache helicopter. "The top of one guy's head was completely off," he recalls. "Another guy was ripped open from groin to neck. A third had lost a leg ... Their insides were out and exposed. I'd never seen anything like this before." Then McCord heard a child crying from a black minivan caught in the barrage. Inside, he found a frightened and wounded girl, perhaps 4. Next to her was a boy of 7 or so, soaked in blood. Their father, McCord says, "was slumped over on his side, like he was trying to protect the children, but he was just destroyed." McCord couldn't look away from the kids. "I started seeing images of my own two children back home in Kansas." McCord Pulled the two kids out of the minivan--the boy was still alive--and helped get them to a hospital. The Apache gunship killed a dozen men, including a pair working for the Reuters news agency; the episode became a video sensation after WikiLeaks released footage of it in April. Back at his base, McCord washed the children's blood off his uniform and body armor. That night, he told his staff sergeant he needed help. "Get the sand out of your vagina," McCord says his sergeant responded. "He told me I was being a homo and needed to suck it up." McCord says he never spoke to anyone about it after that because he didn't want to get in trouble and instead did what soldiers have done forever. "I decided to try to push it down and bottle it up," he says.
PSA tests can cause more harm than good
October 1, 2010, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
UC Davis just announced a seminar for the public on "men's health." That title notwithstanding, the program appears to be entirely about prostate cancer and in particular about the prostate specific antigen screening test. Many possible screening programs turn out not to do any good - and in fact some tests like PSA cause harm. That's why virtually all expert public health panels do not recommend the PSA test. A blood test that isn't accurate can fail to find disease that's present, leading to false reassurance. It can also report disease when it's not really there, leading to unnecessary use of other tests (like biopsy) that are not so benign. Perhaps most concerning, the PSA test frequently identifies something that qualifies as cancer under a microscope but acts nothing like cancer in real life. That is to say, the large majority of PSA-discovered "cancers" would never cause any problem whatsoever if they went undetected. Finding something through screening invariably leads to treating it. Most of the men so treated would have been just fine if they never knew about the cancer. But when they're treated ... the majority suffer really life-affecting effects, such as impotence and/or incontinence. That's why both of the two very large trials of PSA screening published in 2009 found no (or at most a tiny) benefit, but a great deal of harm.
Note: This article was written by Michael Wilkes, a professor of medicine at UC Davis, and Jerome Hoffman, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Southern California. Both are researchers/consultants for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Flotilla Raid Illegal, U.N. Panel Finds
September 23, 2010, New York Times/Associated Press
A report released in Geneva by three United Nations-appointed human rights experts said [on September 22] that Israeli forces violated international law when they raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May, killing nine activists. The United Nations Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission concluded that Israel's naval blockade of Gaza was unlawful because of the humanitarian crisis there, and that the military raid on the flotilla was brutal and disproportionate. The Israeli Foreign Ministry responded by saying the Human Rights Council had a "biased, politicized and extremist approach." The Palestinian group Hamas, which controls Gaza, praised the report and called for those involved in the raid to be tried. Israel refused to cooperate with the panel, but is working with a separate United Nations group that is examining the incident.
They walk among us: 1 in 5 believe in aliens?
April 8, 2010, Reuters
Aliens exist and they live in our midst disguised as humans -- at least, that's what 20 percent of people polled in a global survey believe. The Reuters Ipsos poll of 23,000 adults in 22 countries showed that more than 40 percent of people from India and China believe that aliens walk among us disguised as humans, while those least likely to believe in this are from Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands (8 percent each). Most ... believers are under the age of 35, and across all income classes, the survey showed.
Note: For key reports on UFOs, check out our UFO Information Center.
The City that Ended Hunger
March 20, 2009, Yes! magazine
A city in Brazil recruited local farmers to help do something U.S. cities have yet to do: end hunger. More than 10 years ago, Brazil's fourth-largest city, Belo Horizonte, declared that food was a right of citizenship and started working to make good food available to all. One of its programs puts local farm produce into school meals. This and other projects cost the city less than 2 percent of its budget. Belo, a city of 2.5 million people, once had 11 percent of its population living in absolute poverty, and almost 20 percent of its children going hungry. Then in 1993, a newly elected administration declared food a right of citizenship. The new mayor, Patrus Ananias–now leader of the federal anti-hunger effort–began by creating a city agency, which included assembling a 20-member council of citizen, labor, business, and church representatives to advise in the design and implementation of a new food system. The city already involved regular citizens directly in allocating municipal resources–the "participatory budgeting" that started in the 1970s and has since spread across Brazil. During the first six years of Belo's food-as-a-right policy, perhaps in response to the new emphasis on food security, the number of citizens engaging in the city's participatory budgeting process doubled to more than 31,000.
Key Articles From Years Past
Vatican astronomer cites possibility of extraterrestrial 'brothers'
May 14, 2008, New York Times
The Vatican's chief astronomer says there is no conflict between believing in God and in the possibility of extraterrestrial "brothers" perhaps more evolved than humans. "In my opinion this possibility exists," said the Reverend José Gabriel Funes, head of the Vatican Observatory and a scientific adviser to Pope Benedict XVI, referring to life on other planets. "How can we exclude that life has developed elsewhere," he said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. The large number of galaxies with their own planets makes this possible, he noted. Asked if he was referring to beings similar to humans or even more evolved than humans, he said: "Certainly, in a universe this big you can't exclude this hypothesis." In the interview headlined, "The extraterrestrial is my brother," he said he saw no conflict between belief in such beings and faith in God. "Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in contrast with our faith because we can't put limits on God's creative freedom," he said. "Why can't we speak of a 'brother extraterrestrial'? It would still be part of creation." Funes, who runs the observatory that is based south of Rome and in Arizona, held out the possibility that the human race might actually be the "lost sheep" of the universe. There could be other beings "who remained in full friendship with their creator," he said.
Note: For a fascinating summary of evidence presented by government and military professionals for the possible presence of extraterrestrials here on Earth, click here.
MI6 ordered LSD tests on servicemen
January 22, 2005, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Fifty years ago, Eric Gow had a baffling and unexplained experience. As a 19-year-old sailor, he remembers going to a clandestine military establishment, where he was given something to drink in a sherry glass and experienced vivid hallucinations. Other servicemen also remember tripping: one thought he was seeing tigers jumping out of a wall, while another recalls faces "with eyes running down their cheeks, Salvador Dalí-style". Mr Gow and another serviceman had volunteered to take part in what they thought was research to find a cure for the common cold. Mr Gow felt that the government had never explained what happened to him. But now he has received an official admission for the first time, confirmed last night, that the intelligence agency MI6 tested LSD on servicemen. One of the scientists involved at the time suggested that the experiments were stopped because it was feared that the acid could produce "suicidal tendencies". MI6, known formally as the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) and responsible for spying operations abroad, carried out the tests in the cold war in an attempt to uncover a "truth drug" which would make prisoners talk against their will in interrogations. In parallel experiments, the CIA infamously tested LSD and other drugs on unwitting human subjects in a 20-year search to uncover mind-manipulation techniques. The trials were widely criticised when they came to light in the 1970s.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on CIA experimentation on unwitting subjects, click here.
Interview with John Mack Psychiatrist, Harvard University
January 1999, PBS
The idea [of alien abductions] was simply not part of the world view that I had been raised in. I came very reluctantly to the conclusion that this was a true mystery. I did everything I could to rule out other sources. Some of these people are abused. But they're able to ... distinguish clearly the abduction trauma from other forms of abuse. Some forms of psychosis or people making up stories -– I could reject that on the basis that there was no gain in this for the vast majority of these people. I've now worked with over a hundred experiencers intensively, which involves an initial two-hour or so screening interview before I do anything else. And in case after case after case, I've been impressed with the consistency of the story, the sincerity with which people tell their stories, the power of feelings connected with this, the self-doubt –- all the appropriate responses that these people have to their experiences. There are aspects of this which I believe we are justified in taking quite literally. That is, UFOs are in fact observed, filmed on camera at the same time that people are having their abduction experiences. People, in fact, have been observed to be missing at the time that they are reporting their abduction experiences. They return from their experiences with cuts, ulcers on their bodies, triangular lesions, which follow the distribution of the experiences that they recover, of what was done to them in the craft by the surgical-like activity of these beings.
Note: Prof. John Mack was a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and professor at Harvard Medical School who initially rejected the possibility of alien abductions. Only after thorough investigation did he reluctantly come to the conclusion that this was a real phenomenon. For a powerful documentary featuring Mack's work on alien abductions, click here. For a fascinating summary of evidence presented by top government and military professionals on the possible presence of extraterrestrials here on Earth, click here.
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