Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hammorabi: Wikileaks cables are nothing!

It's the fires of Hell for Bush - Sam is on a roll. I think in a previous life, Sam was a Baptist preacher...

The biggest uncover yet to come! It will be on the Day of the Judgment. There, it is not only the big issues but any tiny deed will be brought for justice. It is about every tiny and single detail. Every single person involved in any mischief or crime or hypocrisy or bad deed will be held account for his or her own act. In that day the witnesses on every person are going to be his or her own senses like skin, eyes, ears, brain, and other senses. More than that the results of their crimes and their victims will bear witness on them. The victims who died from bloodshed and wars will come on that day and their blood in their hands and they say (Lord God) such and such persons killed me. Children who were killed in Iraq between 1991 until now by the USA sanctions and wars will come and in front of all nations will say that Malden Albright, Bill Clinton, George Bush, etc killed us. If the war criminals denied then their skins, ears, brains, hands, legs, tongues, eyes, and their other organs will speak clearly and say yes she or he used us to plan such and such in this date and that date to kill these people. There is no escape at all. There will be either Fire Hell or Paradise to dwell for ever. The destinies of those who do wrong are very well known. The wrong things can be on personal or regional accounts. The more the involvement in killing and damaging other people is the more the punishment. This is the Say of Allah the Lord and the Creator of the universe and the mankind and not our say as He said in the Holy Quran... Read more.

There's A Party In Sistani's Pants Or The Iranianization of Iraq

Credit: Worldmeets.us

From Ali Rawaf at The Iraqi Future...

After the Islamic revolution in Iran, many actions were taken to make the country more conservative. The new government at the time cracked down on Cinemas, theatres, music halls. The Khomeini government also shut down liquor stores, bars, and social clubs, all of which used to run freely under the Shah. I see similar actions being taken today in Iraq. Previously, I have written about the Iranian influence in Iraq in politics. I have been reading news about several changes in the social aspects of the Iraqi community, ones that I link to a religious Iranian influence projected to change the structure of our society.

Today, a few Parliament Members who represent minorities showed their objection to a recent decision taken by local authorities to shut down social clubs, bars, and some restaurants that serve alcohol. Kenna, a Parliament Member who represent the Christians in Iraq said the decision punishes the Christian minority unjustly, “Just because a few people who are not supposed to drink go to those social clubs and drink alcohol, those social clubs shouldn’t be closed,” said Kenna criticizing the recent law. Another Member, Mehma Khalil who represents the Yezidi ethnicity in Iraq said the law will drive minorities out of Iraq, “Many minorities run such businesses […] these venues are sources of income to many of these people.” Read more...

Family: New Jersey man serving 7 years for guns he owned legally

EVERYTHING Brian Aitken was or had worked for was wiped away one winter afternoon after his mother called the police on him.

Separated from his wife, the entrepreneur and media consultant, now 27, had moved back home to New Jersey from Colorado toward the end of 2008 to be closer to their young son.

In between jobs, his well-oiled life was running ragged, and on Jan. 2, 2009, when his ex canceled his visit with their son, he became distraught, muttered something to his mother, and left his parents' home in Mount Laurel, N.J.

"He said something that scared her, things that a guy will only say to his mom, like . . . 'Life's not worth living anymore,' " said Larry Aitken, Brian's father.

Sue Aitken, a trained social worker, decided to play it safe and called police, but she hung up before the 9-1-1 dispatcher could answer. Police traced the call and showed up anyway, and found two handguns in the trunk of Brian's car. And now Brian, her middle child, a graduate student with no prior criminal record, is serving a seven-year prison sentence for weapons charges.

No one blames Sue Aitken for Brian's arrest, except herself maybe, but his father and attorney claim that the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and the former Superior Court judge who tried the case ignored evidence that proved Brian had the guns legally. The family has asked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for clemency and has garnered a great deal of support on a "Free Brian Aitken" Facebook page and among gun-rights advocates.

Aitken and his supporters believe that he had a legal exemption to have the handguns in his car because he was moving from his parents' home to a residence in Hoboken.

"This case is the perfect storm of injustice," said Aitken's attorney, Evan Nappen, of Eatontown, Monmouth County, who specializes in gun laws.

The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and former Superior Court Judge James Morley said Aitken and his legal team tried during closing arguments to raise an issue related to Aitken's moving that wasn't presented during the trial, but Morley wouldn't consider it. Aitken remains in prison pending his appeal.

A few weeks after Aitken's trial over the summer, Morley learned that Christie was not going to reappoint him, due in part to a 2009 case in which he dismissed animal-cruelty charges against a Moorestown cop accused of sticking his penis into the mouths of five calves. Morley said there was no way of knowing whether the calves had been "puzzled" or "tormented" by the officer's actions.

Nappen thinks the animal-cruelty case exemplifies poor decision-making by Morley.

"Brian didn't receive oral sex from calves; he only lawfully possessed firearms," Nappen said.

A spokesman for Christie acknowledged that his office had received clemency requests for Aitken, but declined to comment further.

Handguns in a duffel bag
When Mount Laurel police arrived at the Aitkens' home on Jan. 2, 2009, they called Brian - who was driving to Hoboken - and asked him to return to his parents' home because they were worried. When he arrived, the cops checked his Honda Civic and, inside the trunk, in a box stuffed into a duffel bag with clothes, they found two handguns, both locked and unloaded as New Jersey law requires.

Aitken had passed an FBI background check to buy them in Colorado when he lived there, his father said, and had contacted New Jersey State Police and discussed the proper way to transport them.

"He bought them at Bass Pro Shops, for God's sake, not some guy named Tony on the street corner," his father said.

New Jersey and Colorado are on opposite ends of the gun-control spectrum. In Colorado, all he needed was the background check to own the guns.

In the Garden State, Aitken was required to have a purchaser's permit from New Jersey to own the guns and a carry permit to have them in his car.

He also was charged with having "large capacity" magazines and hollow-point bullets, which one state gun-control advocate found troubling.

"What little I can glean about the transportation issue leaves me puzzled, but a person with common sense would not be moving illegal products from one place to another by car," said Bryan Miller, executive director of CeaseFire NJ, an organization devoted to reducing gun violence.

"If Mr. Aitken did the research he said he did, he would not have hollow-point bullets and large-capacity magazines in the vehicle," Miller said. "They are illegal, period."

New Jersey allows exemptions for gun owners to transport weapons for hunting or if they are moving from one residence to another. During the trial, Aitken's mother testified that her son was moving things out, and his friend in Hoboken testified he was moving things in. A Mount Laurel officer, according to Larry Aitken, testified that he saw boxes of dishes and clothes in the Honda Civic on the day of the arrest.

The exemption statute, according to the prosecutor's office, specifies that legal guns can be transported "while moving." Despite testimony about his moving to Hoboken, a spokesman for the prosecutor said the evidence suggested that Aitken had moved months earlier, from Colorado to Mount Laurel. "Again, there was no evidence that he was then presently moving," spokesman Joel Bewley said.

After Nappen raised the moving-exemption issue, he said, the jury asked Judge Morley for the exemption statute several times and he refused to hand it over to them. Morley, in a phone interview, echoed the sentiments of the prosecutor's office.

"My recollection of the case is that I ruled he had not presented evidence sufficient to justify giving the jury the charge on the affirmative offense that he was in the process of moving," Morley said.

Morley declined to comment further.

Aitken, who did not testify, was convicted and in August sentenced to prison. His father said that his son was involved in an "incident" after arriving in prison but that he doesn't discuss it.

"This is the most normal, everyday, All-American regular kid, and for this to happen to him is a disgrace," Larry Aitken said. "It's a disgrace of society."


The Raw Story: CIA implanted electrodes in brains of unsuspecting soldiers, suit alleges

A group of military veterans are suing to get the CIA to come clean about allegedly implanting remote control devices in their brains.

It's well known that the CIA began testing substances like LSD on soldiers beginning in the 1950s but less is known about allegations that the agency implanted electrodes in subjects.

A 2009 lawsuit (.pdf) claimed that the CIA intended to design and test septal electrodes that would enable them to control human behavior. The lawsuit said that because the government never disclosed the risks, the subjects were not able to give informed consent.

Bruce Price, one plaintiff in the lawsuit, believes that MRI scans confirm that the CIA placed a device in his brain in 1966. Read more...

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Quantitative Easing Explained

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sistani not an Iranian lackey

"'Two cables from late 2009 described the limits of Iranian sway over its neighbor, with one saying that its "greatest political roadblock" for Iran was differences between Iranian religious leaders and Iraq's pre-eminent Shiite spiritual leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. In the March 2010 parliamentary polls, al-Sistani's call for an open-list ballot - allowing voters to select individual candidates - won out over Tehran's preference for a closed list, which would have favored established parties, the cable said.'"
Iraqi Mojo

"In the hands of God and Iran"

"The Saudi monarch's views about the Iraqi situation and Iranian influence in the region from a conversation in a "secret" US diplomatic cable dated March 22, 2009:
13. (S) IN THE HANDS OF GOD AND IRAN: Brennan expressed the importance the U.S. attaches to achieving peace and stability in Iraq. The King replied that this was "in the hands of God," though he agreed that Iraq was vitally important to both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. The King also pointed out that "some say the U.S. invasion handed Iraq to Iran on a silver platter; this after we fought Saddam Hussein."
Healing Iraq

Rules of Engagement

"I have written in the past about night raids and aggressive ISAF convoy tactics causing unnecessary civilian casualties. I have also written on the importance of not allowing enemy fighters who attack ISAF units to live and fight another day. Counterinsurgency requires adaptation and my annoyance at night raids or shooting car loads of locals who come too close to convoys is that there are better ways to handle both situations. Nine years and counting and I have seen very little adaptation to the local environment.

But I have seen adaptation now during my recent patrol with the Marines. What I need to stress is that this was the first time I have been embedded in a long patrol. My observations from the AO of Regimental Combat Team 1 are limited to this small part of Afghanistan. The terrain is flat the enemy not able or willing to operate in large numbers. Prior to this trip all my observations regarding military efforts have been “effects based”. I have been on the outside looking in. I have never before traveled with a military patrol nor have I had the opportunity to observe and talk with troops in the field."

Post Office WTF's:

"So, I bought an extended battery for my phone and it came registered mail from Hong Kong. Save the Buy American shit, I looked forever and couldn't find an American company that made any. Anyways, because it came registered mail, I had to go to the Post Office and pick it up.

Try 1: I go in with my slip. My driver's license address doesn't match the mailing address. Without being told what to do to get my package, I am dismissed as the clerk waves me away with her hand and calls the next customer up. "
Fobbits Need Ice Cream Too


"For the questions, and here are the answers...more posts to follow because a few of these warrant that kind of attention.


You have changed, to say the least. What is your life like now that your are a civilian again? Night sweats, nightmares, short tempered...the PTSD stuff. I pray that you don't and that you are dealing well.

Well coffeypot, the PTSD in my case has been relatively mild. I don’t have any nightmares anymore. I had them for a while after I got home. Woke up scared half to death all sweaty and shit (suppose that’s night sweats) Then I’d spend the next day trying to come down off the high level of alert that I was on. I don’t really know how my mind could confuse suburbia with Afghanistan but it pulled it off on more than one occasion."
Enbrace the Suck

He was kidnapped ...

"I was planning to do some shopping on Wednesday preparing for my relatives' wedding.
I was in college talking with my friends about the parties, and how busy I feel as I have to study and go shopping !! I as I was talking I got an sms from my mom saying that my relative k was kidnapped and the kidnapers are asking for an imaginary ransom which he and all of the family can't cover !! I had to read the message three times to realize what's she saying , I paused and needed time to realize the problem we're facing…
k is 60 years old with serious heart problem, and was very sick the day he got kidnapped .."
A Day in My Life

So you're deploying to Afghanistan...

"The researchers here at CNAS are often asked by company-grade and field-grade officers about to deploy to Afghanistan for tips on what they should read prior to deploying. I am going to post a reading list on the Afghanistan page of the CNAS website, but before I do that, I want to solicit opinions from the blog's readers: Have you deployed to Afghanistan? What books or articles did you find particularly informative? Leave suggestions in the comments section, please. Thanks. This will no doubt be of especial use to young lieutenants and captains."
Abu Muqawama

Beaten reporter: Russian media freedom shrinking

MOSCOW (AP) - A Russian reporter, whose beating has shocked the country and caused international outrage, said in his first interview after the attack that the nation's media freedom is shrinking.

Oleg Kashin said in an interview broadcast by Kommersant radio Monday that he doesn't know who was behind the attack on him. He said he shares media theories that the beating could be linked to a controversial highway project near Moscow or his other reports that angered officials.

Kashin, a reporter for the top business daily Kommersant, was savagely beaten by two thugs outside his apartment building in Moscow earlier this month. He suffered numerous fractures and spent days in a drug-induced coma to reduce his pain.

Kashin was the latest in a line of journalists and activists to be assaulted in Russia, which international media watchdogs rank among the world's most dangerous for reporters. Most attacks on journalists have remained unsolved, including the 2006 slaying of journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Looking frail with his left hand bandaged and numerous injuries on his face, Kashin said he hadn't anticipated that his reports would draw such a savage response.

"The times are changing," Kashin said, adding that the authorities show increasingly less tolerance to critical reporting. "The atmosphere is changing, and things which were considered normal before have stopped being normal."

He said that despite his parents' insistence to quit journalism, he plans to stay on the job.

Many observers said that a possible reason for the attack could be Kashin's reporting on efforts by environmentalists and opposition activists to protect a forest outside Moscow from being cut down for a new highway. President Dmitry Medvedev in August ordered the construction suspended, but there has been no final decision on the fate of the highway.

Road construction is one of the most corrupt sectors of Russia's economy, with numerous opportunities for kickbacks. The Khimki highway project offers even broader corruption opportunities than usual because the cleared land along the roadway also is slated for development.

The attack on Kashin followed several other attacks on those who opposed the Khimki road project. Two years ago, Mikhail Beketov, the founder and editor of a Khimki newspaper who campaigned against the project and was beaten so brutally that he was left brain damaged and unable to speak. He also lost a leg and three fingers. The perpetrators have never been found.

Medvedev has demanded that those who attacked Kashin be found and punished.


Who knows, maybe now the MSM will feel free to report the truth, again.

Leaked cables: Turkey wants "to take back Andalusia and avenge the defeat at the siege of Vienna in 1683"

Direct confirmation of what we have been saying for years about Erdogan's plans for Turkey. "Diplomatic Cables Reveal US Doubts about Turkey's Government," from Spiegel, November 28 (thanks to Ian):
[...] The leaked diplomatic cables reveal that US diplomats are skeptical about Turkey's dependability as a partner. The leadership in Ankara is depicted as divided and permeated by Islamists.

US diplomats have grave doubts about Turkey's dependability. Secret or confidential cables from the US Embassy in Ankara describe Islamist tendencies in the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. [...]

The Americans are also worried about Davutoglu's alleged neo-Ottoman visions. A high-ranking government adviser warned in discussions, quoted by the US diplomats, that Davutoglu would use his Islamist influence on Erdogan, describing him as "exceptionally dangerous." According to the US document, another adviser to the ruling AKP party remarked, probably ironically, that Turkey wanted "to take back Andalusia and avenge the defeat at the siege of Vienna in 1683."

The US diplomats write that many leading figures in the AKP were members of a Muslim fraternity and that Erdogan had appointed Islamist bankers to influential positions. He gets his information almost exclusively from newspapers with close links to Islamists, they reported. The prime minister, the cables continue, has surrounded himself with an "iron ring of sycophantic (but contemptuous) advisors" and presents himself as the "Tribune of Anatolia."

Jihad Watch

Iran accuses CIA, Mossad of nuke scientist killing

Twin blasts in Iran's capital killed a top nuclear scientist and wounded another Monday, with Tehran swiftly blaming the CIA and Mossad for the attacks apparently carried out by men on motorcycles.
Slain scientist Majid Shahriari and Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, who survived the attack, were senior figures in Iran's nuclear programme, which the West suspects of having military aims. Tehran denies the charge.

The attacks came after diplomatic cables that whistleblower website WikiLeaks released on Sunday revealed Saudi Arabia's king "repeatedly" urged Washington to take military action against Tehran's nuclear programme.
Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedi-nia said men on motorcycles attached bombs to the windows of the scientists' cars in different parts of the capital as they made their way to work. The bombs exploded seconds later.

"Dr. Shahriari was killed and his wife and driver were injured. Dr. Abbasi and his wife have been injured," he was quoted as saying in media reports.

Iranian leaders accused the US and Israeli intelligence services, the CIA and Mossad, of killing the two who were also professors at Tehran's prestigious Shahid Beheshti University.

"One can undoubtedly see the hands of Israel and Western governments in the assassination which unfortunately took place," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a news conference.

Ahmadinejad's office said in an earlier statement that "the Zionist regime this time shed the blood of university professor Dr. Majid Shahriari to curb Iran's progress."

Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said the "Mossad and the CIA are the enemies of Iranians" whose "desperate terrorist act against the two academics shows their weakness and inferiority."

Israel's foreign ministry declined to comment on the reports.

Shahriari was "in charge of one of the great projects" at Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, the Islamic republic's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

He was also a member of the so-called SESAME project on nuclear cooperation in the Middle East.

The other scientist, Abbasi Davani, was targeted by UN Security Council sanctions under Resolution 1747 adopted in March 2007. He was identified as a senior defence ministry and armed forces logistics scientist.

The 52-year-old was "one of the few specialists who can separate isotopes," and has been a member of the elite Revolutionary Guards since the 1979 Islamic revolution, one report said.

"The two were cooperating with the defence ministry in the field of nuclear research. Shahriari was the head of a project that sought to achieve the technology to design nuclear reactor core," said the hardline Rajanews website.

The police chief said the assailants had managed to escape and that "nobody had yet claimed responsibility" for the attacks.

In January, Masoud Ali Mohammadi, another Iranian nuclear scientist involved with the SESAME project, was killed in a bomb attack which Tehran blamed on "mercenaries" in the pay of Israel and the United States.

Salehi warned Iran's enemies they were "playing with fire."

The latest attacks came a day after the top US military officer said the United States was weighing military options in the face of Tehran's announcement it had an atomic power plant up and running.

"We've actually been thinking about military options for a significant period of time," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff said in an interview with CNN.

Mullen said he doesn't believe that Iran's nuclear plant is for civilian use "for a second."

"In fact, the information and intelligence that I've seen speak very specifically to the contrary. Iran is still very much on a path to be able to develop nuclear weapons, including weaponizing them, putting them on a missile and being able to use them," he said.

On Saturday, Iran said its first atomic power plant built by Russia in the southern city of Bushehr had begun operations, ahead of a new round of talks with Western powers over the country's controversial nuclear drive.

And in July, Iranian nuclear researcher Shahram Amiri said after returning to the Islamic republic that he had been held in the United States for more than a year after being "kidnapped" at gunpoint by two Farsi-speaking CIA agents in the Saudi city of Medina.


Today we are all Saudi's. Long live the King!

Debbie Schlussel: Latest Wikileaks NOT NEWS, Confirms What We Knew Re Muslim Nations


And my personal favorite piece of old news from Wikileaks:

Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda, and the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, a generous host to the American military for years, was the “worst in the region” in counterterrorism efforts, according to a State Department cable last December. Qatar’s security service was “hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals,” the cable said.

Um, unless you believed eight years of Bush/Saudi propaganda that Saudi Arabia was America’s “ally in the war on terror,” would you be shocked by this. It’s hardly news that Saudi Arabia funda Al-Qaeda. We’ve known this since before 9/11, we’ve known this since 9/11. I couldn’t care less that these same Saudis funded the Bush and Clinton libraries, and soon the Obama library. And if America was completely idiotic, they’d also fund the Palin library (because she’d have her hands out to them, just like everyone else, despite her pretense otherwise), ultimately. Read more...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A High-Yield Biomass Alternative to Petroleum for Industrial Chemicals

A team of University of Massachusetts Amherst chemical engineers report in November 25 issue of Science that they have developed a way to produce high-volume chemical feedstocks including benzene, toluene, xylenes and olefins from pyrolytic bio-oils, the cheapest liquid fuels available today derived from biomass. The new process could reduce or eliminate industry's reliance on fossil fuels to make industrial chemicals worth an estimated $400 billion annually.

Instead of buying petroleum by the barrel, chemical manufacturers will now be able to use relatively cheaper, widely available pyrolysis oils made from waste wood, agricultural waste and non-food energy crops to produce the same high-value materials for making everything from solvents and detergents to plastics and fibers.

As principal investigator George Huber, associate professor of chemical engineering at UMass Amherst, explains, "Thanks to this breakthrough, we can meet the need to make commodity chemical feedstocks entirely through processing pyrolysis oils. We are making the same molecules from biomass that are currently being produced from petroleum, with no infrastructure changes required."

He adds, "We think this technology will provide a big boost to the economy because pyrolysis oils are commercially available now. The major difference between our approach and the current method is the feedstock; our process uses a renewable feedstock, that is, plant biomass. Rather than purchasing petroleum to make these chemicals, we use pyrolysis oils made from non-food agricultural crops and woody biomass grown domestically. This will also provide United States farmers and landowners a large additional revenue stream."

In the past, these compounds were made in a low-yield process, the chemical engineer adds. "But here we show how to achieve three times higher yields of chemicals from pyrolysis oil than ever achieved before. We've essentially provided a roadmap for converting low-value pyrolysis oils into products with a higher value than transportation fuels."

In the paper, he and doctoral students Tushar Vispute, Aimaro Sanno and Huiyan Zhang show how to make olefins such as ethylene and propylene, the building blocks of many plastics and resins, plus aromatics such as benzene, toluene and xylenes found in dyes, plastics and polyurethane, from biomass-based pyrolysis oils. They use a two-step, integrated catalytic approach starting with a "tunable," variable-reaction hydrogenation stage followed by a second, zeolite catalytic step. The zeolite catalyst has the proper pore structure and active sites to convert biomass-based molecules into aromatic hydrocarbons and olefins.

Huber, Vispute and colleagues discuss how to choose among three options including low- and high-temperature hydrogenation steps as well as the zeolite conversion for optimal results. Their findings indicate that "the olefin-to-aromatic ratio and the types of olefins and aromatics produced can be adjusted according to market demand." That is, using the new techniques, chemical producers can manage the carbon content from biomass they need, as well as hydrogen amounts. Huber and colleagues provide economic calculations for determining the optimal mix of hydrogen and pyrolytic oils, depending on market prices, to yield the highest-grade product at the lowest cost.

A pilot plant on the UMass Amherst campus is now producing these chemicals on a liter-quantity scale using this new method. The technology has been licensed to Anellotech Corp., co-founded by Huber and David Sudolsky of New York City. Anellotech is also developing UMass Amherst technology invented by the Huber research team to convert solid biomass directly into chemicals. Thus, pyrolysis oil represents a second renewable feedstock for Anellotech.

Sudolsky, Anellotech's CEO, says, "There are several companies developing technology to produce pyrolysis oil from biomass. The problem has been that pyrolysis oils must be upgraded to be useable. But with the new UMass Amherst process, Anellotech can now convert these pyrolysis oils into valuable chemicals at higher efficiency and with very attractive economics. This is very exciting."


Fiery cargo plane crash kills 11 in Pakistani city

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) - A cargo plane crashed in flames into a residential area in Pakistan's largest city soon after takeoff Sunday, killing all eight crew and at least three people on the ground, officials said.

The crash was the second this month in Karachi, the main port city in the south, and the third in Pakistan in less than five months.

The Russian-made plane slammed into a housing complex under construction in Karachi, sending fire and smoke into the sky and damaging about 20 buildings. The aircraft narrowly missed hitting several large occupied apartment buildings only a few hundred yards (meters) away.

Authorities recovered three bodies from the smoking rubble by Sunday afternoon and one laborer was still missing, said navy Commodore Mohammad Musra. Another person on the ground was hospitalized with severe burns, said local doctor Abdul Razak.

The Sudan-bound plane crashed around 1:50 a.m., when many people in the upscale neighborhood were asleep. One of the plane's engines was on fire as it flew overhead, several witnesses said.

"I saw one of its wings was burning and there was a blast and the fire engulfed the aircraft very quickly," said Riaz Ahmed.

Residents said most of the houses destroyed were under construction and believed to be unoccupied except for a few of the laborers building them.

Karachi police chief Fayaz Leghari said a larger catastrophe had narrowly been averted.

"It would have been a big disaster had the plane hit the residential apartments," Leghari said.

Aviation authority spokesman Pervais George said the plane came down two minutes after takeoff from the city's international airport. He said the eight crew were dead.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleksander Dykusarov said seven Ukrainians were among the crew, including the commander, pilot and navigator. He told the Interfax news agency the information was provided by the plane's owner, Sunway, of Georgia.

George initially identified the crew as Russians, but another Pakistani aviation official, Mukhtar Ahmad, later said that the nationalities and identities of the eight aboard had not been confirmed.

Many people initially thought the blast was from a bomb, a regular event in militant-torn Pakistan.

"I was sleeping and the huge blast awoke me. I thought some suicide attack might have occurred and I ran outside," said Rehan Hashmi.

Fire trucks sprayed foam onto the crash site and after two hours the blaze was extinguished.

Hundreds of people came to see the spectacle and film it with their mobile phones, hampering access for emergency workers.

Most of the housing complex was reserved for naval officers and their families.

George said the plane was an Ilyushin Il-76, a multipurpose cargo plane that is often used for ferrying humanitarian aid to developing countries, as well as other large items.

Earlier this month in Karachi, a small passenger plane crashed soon after takeoff, killing 21 people.

In July, a passenger jet operated by Pakistani carrier Airblue crashed into hills overlooking the capital, Islamabad, during stormy weather, killing all 152 on board.


Has anyone checked the manifest for printer cartridges

Drudge: Bombshell Wikileaks

Cables Obtained by WikiLeaks Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels

WASHINGTON — A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at backroom bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.

Some of the cables, made available to The New York Times and several other news organizations, were written as recently as late February, revealing the Obama administration’s exchanges over crises and conflicts. The material was originally obtained by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to revealing secret documents. WikiLeaks intends to make the archive public on its Web site in batches, beginning Sunday.

The anticipated disclosure of the cables is already sending shudders through the diplomatic establishment, and could conceivably strain relations with some countries, influencing international affairs in ways that are impossible to predict.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and American ambassadors around the world have been contacting foreign officials in recent days to alert them to the expected disclosures. A statement from the White House on Sunday said: “We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information.”

“President Obama supports responsible, accountable, and open government at home and around the world, but this reckless and dangerous action runs counter to that goal,” the statement said. “By releasing stolen and classified documents, WikiLeaks has put at risk not only the cause of human rights but also the lives and work of these individuals.”

The cables, a huge sampling of the daily traffic between the State Department and some 270 embassies and consulates, amount to a secret chronicle of the United States’ relations with the world in an age of war and terrorism. Among their revelations, to be detailed in The Times in coming days:

¶ A dangerous standoff with Pakistan over nuclear fuel: Since 2007, the United States has mounted a highly secret effort, so far unsuccessful, to remove from a Pakistani research reactor highly enriched uranium that American officials fear could be diverted for use in an illicit nuclear device. In May 2009, Ambassador Anne W. Patterson reported that Pakistan was refusing to schedule a visit by American technical experts because, as a Pakistani official said, “if the local media got word of the fuel removal, ‘they certainly would portray it as the United States taking Pakistan’s nuclear weapons,’ he argued.”

¶ Gaming out an eventual collapse of North Korea: American and South Korean officials have discussed the prospects for a unified Korea, should the North’s economic troubles and political transition lead the state to implode. The South Koreans even considered commercial inducements to China, according to the American ambassador to Seoul. She told Washington in February that South Korean officials believe that the right business deals would “help salve” China’s “concerns about living with a reunified Korea” that is in a “benign alliance” with the United States.

¶ Bargaining to empty the Guantánamo Bay prison: When American diplomats pressed other countries to resettle detainees, they became reluctant players in a State Department version of “Let’s Make a Deal.” Slovenia was told to take a prisoner if it wanted to meet with President Obama, while the island nation of Kiribati was offered incentives worth millions of dollars to take in Chinese Muslim detainees, cables from diplomats recounted. The Americans, meanwhile, suggested that accepting more prisoners would be “a low-cost way for Belgium to attain prominence in Europe.”

¶ Suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government: When Afghanistan’s vice president visited the United Arab Emirates last year, local authorities working with the Drug Enforcement Administration discovered that he was carrying $52 million in cash. With wry understatement, a cable from the American Embassy in Kabul called the money “a significant amount” that the official, Ahmed Zia Massoud, “was ultimately allowed to keep without revealing the money’s origin or destination.” (Mr. Massoud denies taking any money out of Afghanistan.)

¶ A global computer hacking effort: China’s Politburo directed the intrusion into Google’s computer systems in that country, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing in January, one cable reported. The Google hacking was part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government. They have broken into American government computers and those of Western allies, the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002, cables said.

¶ Mixed records against terrorism: Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda, and the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, a generous host to the American military for years, was the “worst in the region” in counterterrorism efforts, according to a State Department cable last December. Qatar’s security service was “hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals,” the cable said.

¶ An intriguing alliance: American diplomats in Rome reported in 2009 on what their Italian contacts described as an extraordinarily close relationship between Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian prime minister, and Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister and business magnate, including “lavish gifts,” lucrative energy contracts and a “shadowy” Russian-speaking Italian go-between. They wrote that Mr. Berlusconi “appears increasingly to be the mouthpiece of Putin” in Europe. The diplomats also noted that while Mr. Putin enjoys supremacy over all other public figures in Russia, he is undermined by an unmanageable bureaucracy that often ignores his edicts.

¶ Arms deliveries to militants: Cables describe the United States’ failing struggle to prevent Syria from supplying arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon, which has amassed a huge stockpile since its 2006 war with Israel. One week after President Bashar al-Assad promised a top State Department official that he would not send “new” arms to Hezbollah, the United States complained that it had information that Syria was providing increasingly sophisticated weapons to the group.

¶ Clashes with Europe over human rights: American officials sharply warned Germany in 2007 not to enforce arrest warrants for Central Intelligence Agency officers involved in a bungled operation in which an innocent German citizen with the same name as a suspected militant was mistakenly kidnapped and held for months in Afghanistan. A senior American diplomat told a German official “that our intention was not to threaten Germany, but rather to urge that the German government weigh carefully at every step of the way the implications for relations with the U.S.”

The 251,287 cables, first acquired by WikiLeaks, were provided to The Times by an intermediary on the condition of anonymity. Many are unclassified, and none are marked “top secret,” the government’s most secure communications status. But some 11,000 are classified “secret,” 9,000 are labeled “noforn,” shorthand for material considered too delicate to be shared with any foreign government, and 4,000 are designated both secret and noforn.

Many more cables name diplomats’ confidential sources, from foreign legislators and military officers to human rights activists and journalists, often with a warning to Washington: “Please protect” or “Strictly protect.”

The Times has withheld from articles and removed from documents it is posting online the names of some people who spoke privately to diplomats and might be at risk if they were publicly identified. The Times is also withholding some passages or entire cables whose disclosure could compromise American intelligence efforts.

Terrorism’s Shadow

The cables show that nearly a decade after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the dark shadow of terrorism still dominates the United States’ relations with the world. They depict the Obama administration struggling to sort out which Pakistanis are trustworthy partners against Al Qaeda, adding Australians who have disappeared in the Middle East to terrorist watch lists, and assessing whether a lurking rickshaw driver in Lahore, Pakistan, was awaiting fares or conducting surveillance of the road to the American Consulate.

They show American officials managing relations with a China on the rise and a Russia retreating from democracy. They document years of painstaking effort to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon — and of worry about a possible Israeli strike on Iran with the same goal.

Even when they recount events that are already known, the cables offer remarkable details.

For instance, it has been previously reported that the Yemeni government has sought to cover up the American role in missile strikes against the local branch of Al Qaeda. But a cable’s fly-on-the-wall account of a January meeting between the Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and Gen. David H. Petraeus, then the American commander in the Middle East, is nonetheless breathtaking.

“We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours,” Mr. Saleh said, according to the cable sent by the American ambassador, prompting Yemen’s deputy prime minister to “joke that he had just ‘lied’ by telling Parliament” that Yemeni forces had carried out the strikes.

Mr. Saleh, who at other times resisted American counterterrorism requests, was in a lighthearted mood. The authoritarian ruler of a conservative Muslim country, Mr. Saleh complains of smuggling from nearby Djibouti, but tells General Petraeus that his concerns are drugs and weapons, not whiskey, “provided it’s good whiskey.”

Likewise, press reports detailed the unhappiness of the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, when he was not permitted to set up his tent in Manhattan or to visit ground zero during a United Nations session last year.

But the cables add to the tale a touch of scandal and alarm. They describe the volatile Libyan leader as rarely without the companionship of “his senior Ukrainian nurse,” described as “a voluptuous blonde.” They reveal that Colonel Qaddafi was so upset by his reception in New York that he balked at carrying out a promise to return dangerous enriched uranium to Russia. The American ambassador to Libya told Colonel Qaddafi’s son “that the Libyan government had chosen a very dangerous venue to express its pique,” a cable reported to Washington.

The cables also disclose frank comments behind closed doors. Dispatches from early this year, for instance, quote the aging monarch of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, as speaking scathingly about the leaders of Iraq and Pakistan.

Speaking to another Iraqi official about Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, King Abdullah said, “You and Iraq are in my heart, but that man is not.” The king called President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan the greatest obstacle to that country’s progress. “When the head is rotten,” he said, “it affects the whole body.”

The American ambassador to Eritrea reported last year that “Eritrean officials are ignorant or lying” in denying that they were supporting the Shabab, a militant Islamist group in Somalia. The cable then mused about which seemed more likely.

As he left Zimbabwe in 2007 after three years as ambassador, Christopher W. Dell wrote a sardonic account of Robert Mugabe, that country’s aging and erratic leader. The cable called Mr. Mugabe “a brilliant tactician” but mocked “his deep ignorance on economic issues (coupled with the belief that his 18 doctorates give him the authority to suspend the laws of economics).”

The possibility that a large number of diplomatic cables might become public has been discussed in government and media circles since May. That was when, in an online chat, an Army intelligence analyst, Pfc. Bradley Manning, described having downloaded from a military computer system many classified documents, including “260,000 State Department cables from embassies and consulates all over the world.” In an online discussion with Adrian Lamo, a computer hacker, Private Manning said he had delivered the cables and other documents to WikiLeaks.

Mr. Lamo reported Private Manning’s disclosures to federal authorities, and Private Manning was arrested. He has been charged with illegally leaking classified information and faces a possible court-martial and, if convicted, a lengthy prison term.

In July and October, The Times, the British newspaper The Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel published articles based on documents about Afghanistan and Iraq. Those collections of dispatches were placed online by WikiLeaks, with selective redactions of the Afghan documents and much heavier redactions of the Iraq reports. The group has said it intends to post the documents in the current trove as well, after editing to remove the names of confidential sources and other details.

Fodder for Historians

Traditionally, most diplomatic cables remain secret for decades, providing fodder for historians only when the participants are long retired or dead. The State Department’s unclassified history series, entitled “Foreign Relations of the United States,” has reached only the year 1972.

While an overwhelming majority of the quarter-million cables provided to The Times are from the post-9/11 era, several hundred date from 1966 to the 1990s. Some show diplomats struggling to make sense of major events whose future course they could not guess.

In a 1979 cable to Washington, Bruce Laingen, an American diplomat in Teheran, mused with a knowing tone about the Iranian revolution that had just occurred: “Perhaps the single dominant aspect of the Persian psyche is an overriding egoism,” Mr. Laingen wrote, offering tips on exploiting this psyche in negotiations with the new government. Less than three months later, Mr. Laingen and his colleagues would be taken hostage by radical Iranian students, hurling the Carter administration into crisis and, perhaps, demonstrating the hazards of diplomatic hubris.

In 1989, an American diplomat in Panama City mulled over the options open to Gen. Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian leader, who was facing narcotics charges in the United States and intense domestic and international political pressure to step down. The cable called General Noriega “a master of survival”; its author appeared to have no inkling that one week later, the United States would invade Panama to unseat General Noriega and arrest him.

In 1990, an American diplomat sent an excited dispatch from Cape Town: he had just learned from a lawyer for Nelson Mandela that Mr. Mandela’s 27-year imprisonment was to end. The cable conveys the momentous changes about to begin for South Africa, even as it discusses preparations for an impending visit from the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson.

The voluminous traffic of more recent years — well over half of the quarter-million cables date from 2007 or later — show American officials struggling with events whose outcomes are far from sure. To read through them is to become a global voyeur, immersed in the jawboning, inducements and penalties the United States wields in trying to have its way with a recalcitrant world.

In an era of satellites and fiber-optic links, the diplomatic cable retains the archaic name of an earlier technological era. It has long been the tool for the secretary of state to dispatch orders to the field and for ambassadors and political officers to send their analyses back to Washington.

The cables come with their own lexicon: “codel,” for a visiting Congressional delegation; “visas viper,” for a report on a person considered dangerous; “démarche,” an official message to a foreign government, often a protest or warning.

Diplomatic Drama

But the drama in the cables often comes from diplomats’ narratives of meetings with foreign figures, games of diplomatic poker in which each side is sizing up the other and neither is showing all its cards.

Among the most fascinating examples recount American officials’ meetings in September 2009 and February 2010 with Ahmed Wali Karzai, the half brother of the Afghan president and a power broker in the Taliban’s home turf of Kandahar.

They describe Mr. Karzai, “dressed in a crisp white shalwar kameez,” the traditional dress of loose tunic and trousers, appearing “nervous, though eager to express his views on the international presence in Kandahar,” and trying to win over the Americans with nostalgic tales about his years running a Chicago restaurant near Wrigley Field.

But in midnarrative there is a stark alert for anyone reading the cable in Washington: “Note: While we must deal with AWK as the head of the Provincial Council, he is widely understood to be corrupt and a narcotics trafficker.” (Mr. Karzai has repeatedly denied such charges.) And the cables note statements by Mr. Karzai that the Americans, informed by a steady flow of eavesdropping and agents’ reports, believe to be false.

A cable written after the February meeting coolly took note of the deceit on both sides.

Mr. Karzai “demonstrated that he will dissemble when it suits his needs,” the cable said. “He appears not to understand the level of our knowledge of his activities. We will need to monitor his activity closely, and deliver a recurring, transparent message to him” about the limits of American tolerance.

Not all Business

Even in places far from war zones and international crises, where the stakes for the United States are not as high, curious diplomats can turn out to be accomplished reporters, sending vivid dispatches to deepen the government’s understanding of exotic places.

In a 2006 account, a wide-eyed American diplomat describes the lavish wedding of a well-connected couple in Dagestan, in Russia’s Caucasus, where one guest is the strongman who runs the war-ravaged Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov.

The diplomat tells of drunken guests throwing $100 bills at child dancers, and nighttime water-scooter jaunts on the Caspian Sea.

“The dancers probably picked upwards of USD 5000 off the cobblestones,” the diplomat wrote. The host later tells him that Ramzan Kadyrov “had brought the happy couple ‘a five-kilo lump of gold’ as his wedding present.”

“After the dancing and a quick tour of the premises, Ramzan and his army drove off back to Chechnya,” the diplomat reported to Washington. “We asked why Ramzan did not spend the night in Makhachkala, and were told, ‘Ramzan never spends the night anywhere.’ ”


all ammunition above .50 caliber would now be classified as an explosive.

breaking news Recently, the NFATCA took the lead on an issue that could have far-reaching consequences in the NFA and Sporting communities. It was learned that ATF was seeking to create a definition of small arms ammunition under the aegis of the Safe Explosives Act. The definition was being created as an opinion letter and had no input from the firearms community. More importantly, it could have arrived as a declaration that all ammunition above .50 caliber would now be classified as an explosive. New licensing, regulation, administration and the prospect of re-classifying all weapons that used these new explosives were a very real possibility. The fact that this was "flying under the radar" of traditional firearms advocacy groups was troubling, to say the least.

John Brown, NFATCA's President, arranged for a meeting with Acting Director Melson and his senior staff on November 19, 2010. Invitees to the meeting included senior officials from the NRA, SAAMI, Safari Club International and the NSSF.The prospects for calamity were reviewed and Mr. Melson agreed to assemble a working group, led by NFATCA, to make certain that "we get this right". Check back for regular updates.

welcome The National Firearms Act Trade & Collectors Association (NFATCA) is the only organization that champions the interests of the entire NFA community. It doesn't matter if you are a collector, a dealer, manufacturer, importer or just an enthusiast. We take on the issues that no other organization would even consider.

The NFATCA is a 501(c)(6) organization incorporated to get things done. We work with the BATF on a daily basis to insure that the things that matter to you are addressed. We do not flood your mailbox with junk, we do not jump at every hiccup. We take our time to methodically insure that your interests are fairly and properly represented.


Expats recalled as North Korea prepares for war

A mass exodus of North Korean workers from the Far East of Russia is under way, according to reports coming out of the region. As the two Koreas edged towards the brink of war this week, it appears that the workers in Russia have been called back to aid potential military operations.

Vladnews agency, based in Vladivostok, reported that North Korean workers had left the town of Nakhodka en masse shortly after the escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula earlier this week. "Traders have left the kiosks and markets, workers have abandoned building sites, and North Korean secret service employees working in the region have joined them and left," the agency reported.

Russia's migration service said that there were over 20,000 North Koreans in Russia at the beginning of 2010, of which the vast majority worked in construction. The workers are usually chaperoned by agents from Kim Jong-il's security services and have little contact with the world around them. Defectors have suggested that the labourers work 13-hour days and that most of their pay is sent back to the government in Pyongyang. Hundreds of workers have fled the harsh conditions and live in hiding in Russia, constantly in fear of being deported back to North Korea.

"North Korea's government sends thousands of its citizens to Russia to earn money, most of which is funnelled through government accounts," says Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist who discovered secret North Korean logging camps in the northern Siberian taiga. "Workers are often sent to remote locations for years at a time to work long hours and get as little as three days off per year." Now it appears that some kind of centralised order has been given for the workers to return home.

Russia's Pacific port of Vladivostok is thousands of miles and seven time zones from Moscow, but only around 100 miles from the country's heavily controlled border with North Korea. In 1996, a diplomat from the South Korean consulate in the city was murdered with a poisoned pencil, in what was widely believed to be a hit carried out by the North's secret agents. There are even two North Korean restaurants in the city. It is not known how many of the workers in other Russian towns have been called back to their homeland this week, or whether the exodus is permanent or temporary.


And the Russians were blaming the Paki's fro training the Norks

N. Korea deploys SA-2 surface-to-air missiles near Yellow Sea border

SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has deployed SA-2 surface-to-air missiles to its west coast near the Yellow Sea border with South Korea as U.S.-led naval drills got underway in a show of force against the North's deadly artillery attack on a South Korean island earlier last week, government sources said Sunday.

"(The missiles) appear to be targeting our fighter jets that fly near the Northern Limit Line (NLL)," the source said on customary condition of anonymity, referring to the Yellow Sea border.

South Korea and the U.S. on Sunday launched large-scale naval drills off the Korean Peninsula's west coast, far south of the border where four people were killed and 18 others wounded in Tuesday's surprise attack on Yeonpyeong Island.

The Soviet-designed SA-2 missile has a range of between 13 and 30 kilometers. Other missiles on the North's west coast, such as the Samlet and Silkworm with ranges of up to 95km, have also been put onto launch pads, the source said.

"The military is preparing for the possibility of further provocations as the North Korean military has deployed firepower near the NLL and is preparing to fire," the source said.

Yonhap News

If O losses the GW, he'll need more than 12 stitches.

Arkansas Man Arrested in Smyth Co. for Possession of Explosives

Smyth Co.,VA- An Arkansas man was arrested, and charged with multiples counts of manufacturing and possessing explosive devices after a traffic stop in Smyth County.

Around 10:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving State Trooper L. J. Testerman was traveling through Chestnut Ridge Road and Grubmore Road when he observed someone throwing some type of bottles out of a black Ford Ranger pickup. Moments later the trooper heard a loud bang come from the pickup.

Trooper Testerman stopped the pickup truck on Chestnut Ridge Road. After a search of the vehicle the officer found explosive devices.

21-year-old Emad Hatem Abdullah of Little Rock, Arkansas was arrested, and taken to the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon where he is being held on $5,000 bond.

Abdullah has been charged with one felony count of throwing a missile at a vehicle and four counts of manufacturing and possessing an explosive device.

A 20-year-old passenger in the pickup truck from Marion, Virginia was not charged. The Smyth County Sheriff's Office assisted State Police with its investigation into the incident


adn Kronos International: Iraq: Death threats continue to menace nation's Christians

ultimo aggiornamento: 26 novembre, ore 14:14
Fresh death threats against Christians residing in Iraq are terrorising families and inciting them to flee, according to reports from 'al-Hayat' newspaper citing interviews with Iraqi security officials.

Baghdad Nov. 26 (AKI) - Fresh death threats against Christians residing in Iraq are terrorising families and inciting them to flee, according to reports from 'al-Hayat' newspaper, which cites interviews from Iraqi security officials.

Seven hand written messages for which Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility were found in various locations throughout the city, Abdullah al-Nawafili, a Christian community leader in the Iraqi capitol, Baghdad confirmed.

"Threats of these types have been coming in over the past few days that push us to leave the country," he said. Read more...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Karzai's aide: UK 'to blame' for Taliban impostor

LONDON (AP) - A senior Afghan official has blamed the British secret service for bringing a Taliban impostor to take part in top-level peace talks with the Afghan government, newspapers reported Friday.

The reports in U.S. and British newspapers follow the revelation that a man leading the Taliban side of peace talks with the Afghan government was impersonating former Taliban Cabinet minister Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour.

The Washington Post quoted Mohammad Omar Daudzai, President Hamid Karzai's chief of staff, as saying Thursday that British authorities brought the man to meet with Karzai in July or August. Karzai has denied meeting with Mansour.

Prime Minister David Cameron's office and Britain's Foreign Office both declined comment on the reports.

Daudzai was quoted as saying that an Afghan who participated in the meetings knew the man was not Mansour. Afghan intelligence later found that the impostor was a shopkeeper from the Pakistani city of Quetta, he said.

"International partners should not get excited so quickly with those kinds of things," he was quoted saying, adding that the incident shows that the Afghan peace talks should be "Afghan-led and fully Afghanized."

The Times of London reported that MI6, Britain's foreign spy service, paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to the impostor to keep the talks on track.

The paper quoted an unnamed Afghan government official as saying: "British intelligence was naive and there was wishful thinking on our part."

According to the report, MI6 agents in Pakistan believed they had made a breakthrough after making contact with a man claiming to be Mansour and flew him from Quetta to Kabul on British aircraft several times.

Asked about the report, Cameron's spokesman only said: "I don't want to get into operational details."

According to the New York Times and the Washington Post, the impostor met with Afghan and NATO officials three times - including once with Karzai - before they discovered he was not Mansour. He was allegedly paid to attend.

Asked about the report, Cameron's spokesman only said: "I don't want to get into operational details."

According to the New York Times and the Washington Post, the impostor met with Afghan and NATO officials three times - including once with Karzai - before they discovered he was not Mansour. He was allegedly paid to attend.

Mansour, a former civil aviation minister during Taliban rule, was a well-known leader and had a high profile job in the movement's ruling council. It is not clear why officials would have had such a difficult time identifying him.

President Hamid Karzai's younger brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from southern Kandahar that high-profile Taliban seeking contacts with the government are nervous and rarely want their identities divulged.

"When someone high level from the Taliban meets with anyone they always say 'don't mention my name to anyone'" because they are afraid of the Taliban, Karzai's youngest brother and chairman of the Kandahar provincial council said by way of an explanation for how NATO may have been fooled.

Michael Scheuer, a CIA veteran who was the point man in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden until 2004, told The AP in an e-mail that the agency did not have a good understanding of the Taliban before the Sept. 11 attacks and that it lacked experienced officers in Afghanistan.

"The agency as an organization was directed not to pay much attention to the Taliban between their coming to power and 9/11; official Washington simply did not give a hoot and money for Taliban-specific operations was very short," he said.

He said the Taliban's strength and the U.S. administration's stated goals of getting out of Afghanistan has created desperation for successes.

The intelligence services "are being pushed to make something happen, really to pull a turbaned rabbit out of a hat. So they are likely moving too fast to please their fretting masters," he said, adding that the U.S. intelligence community is ill-prepared for the task it faces in Afghanistan.

"I also think it is hard to overestimate how short of experienced officers the CIA is and how exhausted the organization is as a whole. With few staying in Afghanistan more than 90 or 120 days it's hard to build relationships and street smarts and so mistakes happen with more frequency. And there is much else going on in the world that requires agency manpower and resources."


Friday, November 26, 2010

O must really believe his own rhetoric, he's on two channels right now, PBS and ABC communicating.
More like propaganda if you ask me. But who knows, maybe the sheeple are that gullible and it works.

Ross Kemp In Afghanistan - Taliban Attack

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Profiles In Courage: Rukhsana Kausar

Rukhsana Kausar
Rukhsana Kausar with mother Rashida

Displaying rare courage, a 20-year-old Kashmiri woman axed to death an armed Lashkar-e-Toiba commander and then, along with her 18-year-old brother, snatched guns and opened fire on two other militants, wounding one and forcing them to flee. The incident took place at Shahdra Sharief in the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir late Sunday night...

She did it James Bond style. It's amazing...

the militants broke open a window and entered the house. By then, Noor Hussain and his wife Rashida Begum had hidden daughter Rukhsana Kausar beneath a cot. On not finding Rukhsana, the militants started beating Rashida. Son Aijaz Ahmed tried to pick up a lathi but one of the militants hit him.

It was at this point that Rukhsana emerged from her hiding place with an axe and hit the Lashkar commander on his head. One of the militants opened fire, the bullet striking Waqalat Hussain in the arm. Other family members jumped in, joining Rukhsana who was battling the militants.

Rukhsana picked up the Lashkar commander’s gun, snatched another from one of the militants and tossed it to her brother. Both then opened fire, wounding one of the militants and forcing them to flee.

Read more at India Express.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Danger Room: Koreas Clash: Howitzers Blast, Jets Readied, 2 Dead

At least two South Korean marines are dead and over a dozen are wounded after North Korea fired off hundreds of artillery rounds at a South Korean island. Seoul called it a clear violation of the shaky armistice that’s held between the two nations since 1953. Can the Koreas back down before another disastrous war starts on the peninsula?

Every year, the South Korean military holds a massive exercise called Hoguk, or “Defending the Nation,” in which tens of thousands of troops from across the services work on their coordination in the face of an attack. And every year, the North Koreans denounce it as “dangerous war maneuvers” as that simulate an invasion. So this year’s exercise, featuring 70,000 troops, many drilling in the Yellow Sea, should come as no surprise. It’s expected to begin shortly.

Read more at the Danger Room...

Monday, November 22, 2010

CBS: Air Force Launches Massive, Secret Spy Satellite

Delta 4 Rocket Blasts Off With U.S. Spy Agency's "Largest Satellite in the World" - Believed to be 328 Feet Wide

Play CBS Video

A powerful Delta 4 rocket roared to life and climbed away from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Sunday evening on a high-priority mission to boost a National Reconnaissance Office spy satellite into orbit.

Under a cloudy sky, the hydrogen-fueled engines in the three common core boosters of the United Launch Alliance Delta 4 ignited with a rush of orange fire at 5:58 p.m. EST and quickly throttled up to nearly 2 million pounds of thrust. Read more...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Eastern Liberty: Peace, Peace Then Peace....

After this picture I don't have any word to tell, really I don't have, my eyes filled with tears...
I feel that, they were my family, I feel I lost them in this barbarian crime at Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad, I can't find any word to say...

We are calling for peace, we are calling for love into our land...

Why,Why & Why???????????????? Read more at the great Eastern Liberty...

Labels: , ,

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NATO invites Russia to join Europe missile shield

LISBON, Portugal (AP) - Russia was receptive but stopped short of accepting a historic NATO invitation Saturday to join a missile shield protecting Europe against Iranian attack.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to involve technicians in development plans, but did not make a commitment if it becomes operational and warned that Russia might decide against joining the U.S.-led effort if it doesn't feel it is being treated equally as a partner.

"Our participation has to be a full-fledged exchange of information, or we won't take part at all," he told reporters after the announcement by NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

President Barack Obama won NATO support a day earlier to build the missile shield over Europe, an ambitious commitment to protect against Iran' increasingly sophisticated ballistic missiles and a nuclear program the West says is aimed at producing a bomb.

Obama praised Russia's decision Saturday, saying it "turns a source of past tensions into a source of potential cooperation against a shared threat."

Rasmussen was similarly upbeat: "We could cooperate one day in shooting down missiles."

Two key unanswered questions about the missile shield - will it work and can the Europeans afford it? - were put aside for the present by NATO members in the interest of celebrating the agreement as a boost for NATO solidarity.

Medvedev addressed those issues point blank, saying "it is quite evident that the Europeans themselves don't have a complete understanding how it will look, how much it will cost. But everybody understands the missile defense system needs to be comprehensive."

NATO says the cost of the system would be relatively cheap when spread across the entire 28-nation alliance - euro200 million euros, or about $260 million, over 10 years. But critics contend that's a big pricetag for Europe, suffering from a debt crisis that has led to higher unemployment while forcing governments to raise taxes, cut services and slash civil servant salaries amid austerity drives for many nations.

Obama said the missile system "responds to the threats of our times. It shows our determination to protect our citizens from the threat of ballistic missiles." He did not mention Iran by name, acceding to the wishes of NATO member Turkey, which had threatened to block the deal if its neighbor was singled out.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Saturday that NATO met his nation's demands and that the agreement "was within the framework of what we wished. We are pleased about this."

And France, which had had reservations that the missile shield plan might come across as a substitute from nuclear deterrence, said it too had signed on after its concerns were answered.

"France would have refused a unilateral project disconnected from reality, or costly - or if it had been for that matter hostile to Russia or had been a substitute for nuclear deterrence," French President Nicolas Sarkozy said.

He noted that no country was specifically mentioned as the object of the missile defense, but added: "France calls a cat a cat: the threat of the missiles today is Iran."

Under the arrangement, a limited system of U.S. anti-missile interceptors and radars already planned for Europe - to include interceptors in Romania and Poland and possibly radar in Turkey - would be linked to expanded European-owned missile defenses. That would create a broad system that protects every NATO country against medium-range missile attack.

Medvedev on Saturday joined a meeting of NATO's 28 leaders - a gesture that marked a sea change for a partnership created after World War II to defend Western Europe against the Soviet threat.

The allies opened their summit by agreeing on the first rewrite of NATO's basic mission - formally called its "strategic concept" - since 1999. They reaffirmed their bedrock commitment that an attack on one would be treated as an attack on all. In that context, the agreement to build a missile defense for all of Europe is meant to strengthen the alliance.

What remains in conflict, however, is the question of the future role of nuclear weapons in NATO's basic strategy. The document members agreed to on Friday says NATO will retain an "appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities" to deter a potential aggressor. Germany and some other NATO members want U.S. nuclear weapons withdrawn from Europe.

On the topic of a U.S.-Russia arms treaty, Obama was backed by Fogh Rasmussen, who told reporters that the treaty, called New START and signed in April by Obama and Medvedev, would improve security not only in Europe but beyond.

Ministers from six European countries - Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Norway and Bulgaria - on Saturday urged U.S. lawmakers to ratify the stalled nuclear treaty, saying failure to do so would be a setback for European security.

The pact would reduce the limits on strategic warheads held by the U.S. and Russia and would establish an inspection system. It would be a major setback for Obama if he's unable to get it ratified by the Senate after inking it with Russia's president earlier this year.

NATO and Moscow signed an agreement to expand the alliance's supply routes to Afghanistan through Russia and were expected to set up a new training program in Russia for counter-narcotics agents from Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries; and agree on a program to provide training to Afghan helicopter crews.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero hailed the expanded security cooperation, saying "it opens an unprecedented field of cooperation and expectations between NATO and the political and military power that is Russia."

lala land

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Daily Mail: Hitler's secret flying saucer: Did the Führer plan to attack London and New York in UFOs?

UFO: Was this bell-shaped craft being developed by the Nazis?Claims: Was this bell-shaped craft being developed by the Nazis? A Polish former journalist and historian of military claims the Germans built a UFO

As Hitler's armies began to crumble on fronts as far apart as Stalingrad and North Africa, he turned in increasing desperation to his scientists to create a war-winning super-weapon.

Some, like the V2 rockets and the first jet fighters, saw action but came too late to halt defeat.

Others were so outrageously ambitious that they never got past the drawing board. The idea of building flying saucers to bomb London and even New York could have been just such a scheme.

/p>True or false? These images have been published on the internet and claim to be the prototype of a German UFO

True or false? These images have been published on the internet and claim to be the prototype of a German UFO


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ABC News: Ethnic cleansing driving Christians out of Iraq

By Middle East correspondent Ben Knight

Updated Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:29am AEDT

Iraqi security forces survey the scene outside the Sayidat al-Nejat Catholic Cathedral

Fifty people were massacred in a Baghdad cathedral two weeks ago. (AFP: Sabah Arar)

Christians are fleeing Iraq, saying they are being ethnically cleansed by Islamic militants.

Ever since the fall of Saddam Hussein, Christians - like all Iraqis - have been caught up in the sectarian violence.

But in the past two weeks a series of horrific attacks have Iraqi Christians packing up and leaving like never before.

At St Ephraim's church in the Jordanian capital, Amman, the Syrian Orthodox mass goes back to the earliest years of Christianity.

Half of the liturgy is still delivered in Aramaic - the language spoken by Jesus.

This is where the Christian faith has its deepest roots. But the congregation is desperate to leave the Middle East. Read more...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Second squadron of F-35s is ‘an offer hard to refuse’

Top IDF officers and Defense Ministry officials claimed Sunday that the arrival of a second squadron of F-35 joint strike fighters was of critical importance for the security of the State of Israel.

In an effort to convince the Netanyahu government to impose a three-month moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank, the Obama administration offered Israel last week a long list of security and diplomatic benefits, including 20 F-35s for free.

Israel signed a contract for 20 F-35s – a fifth-generation stealth fighter jet made by Lockheed Martin – in early October in a deal valued at $2.75 billion. Under the offer made to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his meeting last week with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Israel would receive a second, free squadron of the advanced fighter jet if it agrees to impose a three-month freeze on settlement construction.

The F-35 will be one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world and will enable Israel to phase out some of its older F-15 and F-16 models.

According to the IAF, the plane will significantly boost Israel’s deterrence in the Middle East and provide it with an edge over adversaries that operate advanced anti-aircraft systems, since it cannot be detected by existing radars.

The offer of a second squadron of F-35s was first made to Israel in early September, in talks which Defense Minister Ehud Barak led in Washington ahead of the expiration of the previous 10- month freeze on settlement construction, in a bid to get Israel to extend the freeze. At the time, Israel rejected the offer.

After the offer in September, the IDF established a team consisting of officers from the air force and the military’s Strategic Planning Division, which analyzed the effect the arrival of an additional squadron of F- 35s would have on Israel and its strategic standing in the Middle East.

“This is a very difficult offer to say no to,” a senior defense official said on Sunday, amid news that Netanyahu was working to obtain a majority in his cabinet to approve a new moratorium.

It is unclear when the additional squadron would arrive, if Israel accepts the US offer.

Delivery of the squadron Israel ordered last month is scheduled to begin sometime between 2016 and 2017.


The Daily Bleat: Hillary's Troubling Silence

Iraq’s 2,000-year-old Christian community is on the brink of extinction, its members targeted by al Qaeda attacks and fleeing abroad. But Hillary Clinton, the one person who could force the Iraq government to act, is keeping her mouth shut.

A full-scale genocide is under way in Iraq: a well-planned, well-financed, deliberate plot to cleanse the country of its Christian citizens. And thus far, neither the Iraqi government nor the United States is doing anything to stop it.

Article - Aslan Iraqi Christians

Iraqi Christians react during a mass at Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad, Iraq, following a bloody massacre that killed 58 people just days before. (Khalid Mohammed / AP Photo)


Calgary Herald: Silence around Christian massacre troubling

Credit: Iraqi Solidarity Blog

On Oct. 15, Syrian Catholic Archbishop Athanase Matti Shaba Matoka of Baghdad delivered one of the most memorable interventions during the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East -- words made even more poignant by the Oct. 31 attack on worshippers at his cathedral. What follows is an excerpt from his text:

" . . . Iraq does not cease living a situation of instability of trials and wars. The last being the American occupation. Christians have always had their part in the sacrifices and tribulations: with the martyrs in the wars and all sorts of different hardships.

"Since the year 2003, Christians are the victims of a killing situation, which has provoked a great emigration from Iraq . . . without a doubt there are only about 400,000 Christians left of the 800,000 that lived there.
The invasion of Iraq by America and its allies brought to Iraq in general, and especially to its Christians, destruction and ruin on all levels.

"Churches were blown up, bishops and priests and lay persons were massacred, many were the victims of aggression. Doctors and businessmen were kidnapped, others were threatened, storage places and homes were pillaged . . . here still is the fear of the unknown, insecurity and instability, as well as the continuation of emigration . . . . The tears are continuous between the different religious and political composing elements, as well as external influence by external powers, especially neighbouring countries.

"Seven years have passed and Christianity is still bleeding. Where is the world's conscience?"

His intervention was moving, prophetic and provocative.


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Taliban shoot down NATO chopper

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the helicopter went down in Kunar on Sunday. He added that the chopper was hit during an anti-militant offensive in the volatile region.

He claimed that several US-led soldiers were killed in the attack.

The US-led alliance has yet to comment on the incident. American soldiers make up the majority of the foreign forces stationed in the east and south of Afghanistan.

This comes after NATO announced eleven US-led foreign soldiers have been killed in southern and eastern Afghanistan over the past 24 hours.

The Taliban claim their militants have shot down several aircraft and NATO choppers in different parts of Afghanistan over the past few months.

On October 12, a cargo plane carrying supplies for the US-led forces in Afghanistan crashed into the mountains near Kabul, with all nine crew members onboard being killed.

Nine US soldiers were also killed in a chopper crash in September.

The developments also come as Taliban militants have been making inroads in different parts of Afghanistan.

At least 641 foreign troops have lost their lives in Afghanistan so far, making 2010 the deadliest year for US-led forces since the 2001 invasion of the country.

The war in Afghanistan has become the longest in US history. With civilian and military casualties at record highs, many question the motives in the ongoing conflict.

The rising number of the casualties among the US-led forces has increased opposition to the Afghan war in the countries which have contributed troops to the mission.

US President Barack Obama's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has said Washington has "no exit strategy" for Afghanistan.


Looks like they jacked it.

Chinese mine in Afghanistan threatens ancient find

MES AYNAK, Afghanistan (AP) - It was another day on the rocky hillside, as archaeologists and laborers dug out statues of Buddha and excavated a sprawling 2,600-year-old Buddhist monastery. A Chinese woman in slacks, carrying an umbrella against the Afghan sun, politely inquired about their progress.

She had more than a passing interest. The woman represents a Chinese company eager to develop the world's second-biggest unexploited copper mine, lying beneath the ruins.

The mine is the centerpiece of China's drive to invest in Afghanistan, a country trying to get its economy off the ground while still mired in war. Beijing's $3.5 billion stake in the mine - the largest foreign investment in Afghanistan by far - gets its foot in the door for future deals to exploit Afghanistan's largely untapped mineral wealth, including iron, gold and cobalt. The Afghan government stands to reap a potential $1.2 billion a year in revenues from the mine, as well as the creation of much-needed jobs.

But Mes Aynak is caught between Afghanistan's hopes for the future and its history. Archaeologists are rushing to salvage what they can from a major seventh century B.C. religious site along the famed Silk Road connecting Asia and the Middle East. The ruins, including the monastery and domed shrines known as "stupas," will likely be largely destroyed once work at the mine begins.

Hanging over the situation is the memory of the Buddhas of Bamiyan - statues towering up to 180 feet high in central Afghanistan that were dynamited to the ground in 2001 by the country's then-rulers, the Taliban, who considered them symbols of paganism.

No one wants to be blamed for similarly razing history at Mes Aynak, in the eastern province of Logar. The Chinese government-backed China Metallurgical Group Corp., or MCC, wanted to start building the mine by the end of 2011. But under an informal understanding with the Kabul government, it has given archaeologists three years for a salvage excavation.

Archaeologists working on the site since May say that won't be enough time for full preservation.

"That site is so massive that it's easily a 10-year campaign of archaeology," said Laura Tedesco, an archaeologist brought in by the U.S. Embassy to work on sites in Afghanistan. Three years may be enough time just to document what's there, she said.

Philippe Marquis, a French archaeologist advising the Afghans, said the salvage effort is piecemeal and "minimal," held back by lack of funds and personnel.

Around 15 Afghan archaeologists, three French advisers and a few dozen laborers are working within the 2-square-kilometer (0.77-square-mile) area - a far smaller team than the two dozen archaeologists and 100 laborers normally needed for a site of such size and richness.

"This is probably one of the most important points along the Silk Road," said Marquis. "What we have at this site, already in excavation, should be enough to fill the (Afghan) national museum."

The monastery complex has been dug out, revealing hallways and rooms decorated with frescoes and filled with clay and stone statues of standing and reclining Buddhas, some as high as 10 feet. An area that was once a courtyard is dotted with stupas standing four or five feet high.

More than 150 statues have been found so far, though many remain in place. Large ones are too heavy to be moved, and the team lacks the chemicals needed to keep small ones from disintegrating when extracted.

MCC appears to be pushing the archaeologists to finish ahead of schedule. In July, the archaeologists received a letter from the company asking that parts of the dig be wrapped up by August and the rest to be done by the end of 2010.

A copy of the letter - signed by MJAM, the acronym for the joint venture in charge of the mine, MCC-JCL Aynak Minerals Co. - was provided to The Associated Press by the head of the archaeological team. MCC and MJAM officials did not respond to requests for comment.

August has come and gone, and excavations at Mes Aynak continue. But the Afghan archaeologist overseeing the dig said he has no idea when MCC representatives might tell him his work is over. So he tries not to think about deadlines.

"We would like to work according to our principles. If we don't work according to the principles of archaeology, then we are no different from traffickers," Abdul Rauf Zakir said.

The team hopes to lift some of the larger statues and shrines out before winter sets in this month, but they still haven't procured the crane and other equipment needed.

Mes Aynak, 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of Kabul, lies in a province that is still considered a major transit route for insurgents coming from Pakistan. In July, two U.S. sailors were kidnapped and killed in Logar. Around 1,500 Afghan police guard the mine site and the road.

Promised funding from foreign governments has yet to materialize. The Afghan government has allotted $2 million for the dig and is trying to find another $5 million to $10 million, said Deputy Culture Minister Omar Sultan.

The United States has promised funding but hasn't yet figured out how much, said a U.S. Embassy spokeswoman, Mireille Zieseniss.

Mes Aynak's religious sites and copper deposits have been bound together for centuries - "mes" means "copper" in the local Dari language. Throughout the site's history, artisanal miners have dug up copper to adorn statues and shrines.

Afghan archaeologists have known since the 1960s about the importance of Mes Aynak, but almost nothing had been excavated. When the Chinese won the contract to exploit the mine in 2008, there was no discussion with Kabul about the ruins - only about money, security and building a railroad to transport the copper out of Logar's dusty hills.

But a small band of Afghan and French archaeologists raised a stir and put the antiquities on the agenda.

The mine could be a major boost for the Afghan economy. According to the Afghan Mining Ministry, it holds some 6 million tons of copper (5.52 million metric tons), worth tens of billions of dollars at today's prices. Developing the mine and related transport infrastructure will generate much needed jobs and economic activity.

Waheedullah Qaderi, a Mining Ministry official working on the antiquities issue, said MCC shares the government goal of protecting heritage while starting mining as soon as possible.

A good resolution is important for MCC "because it is their first-ever project in Afghanistan," Qaderi said. MCC is expected to make an offer for another lucrative mineral prize - the Hajigak iron mine in central Afghanistan, estimated to hold 1.9 billion tons (1.8 billion metric tonnes) of iron ore. Kabul opened bidding to develop the mine in late September and is expected to award the contract late this year or in early 2011.

Still, a diplomat briefed on internal meetings says MCC has pressured Kabul to stop archaeologists from looking for new places to dig beyond the 12 sites already found. The diplomat spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Marquis said MCC has been cooperative and has helped the archaeologists, hauling dirt away and asking what more needs to be done.

Zakir, the Afghan archaeologist, laughs. "Yes, they are very helpful. They want to help so that we can finish quickly. They want us gone."


Funny how that works.