774: Morally Deformed

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 55m
November 15th, 2015
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Executive Producers: Sir Matt Greensmith Baron of Melbourne, Sir David Julian, Sir Luke of London

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Sean Connelly, James Richard, Alan Chao, Sir Festus

Cover Artist: Nick the Rat

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Mizzou Releases Photos Of Poop Swastika
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 16:08
E-mails provided to The Federalist also reveal that police were called the previous week after racial slurs were hurled at a white student in the same dorm
In response to a public records request filed earlier this week by The Federalist, the University of Missouri's custodian of records released pictures today of the vandalism incident, reports of which shocked the campus and sparked protests that eventually led to the resignations of the university's two top administrators.
The pictures released by the university show a swastika drawn on the wall of a unisex bathroom stall on the third floor of Gateway Hall, a university dormitory. According to an accompanying incident report which was also provided pursuant to a public records request, photos were taken by dormitory advisors and two police officers. A heavily redacted police report detailing the the university police department's response to the incident was provided to a handful of media outlets on Wednesday evening.
In the initial incident report filed summarizing the incident, university officials classified the situation as a ''hate crime.'' Although the situation was originally called in as ''vandalism,'' Maj. Brian Weimer, the public information officer for the university police department, informed university officials via e-mail that the charge had been reclassified to ''tampering,'' since no permanent damage was done to the bathroom.
''Just so everyone knows this case from our end will be reclassified as tampering,'' Weimer noted in an October 26 e-mail. When Frankie Minor, the head of the university's residential life department asked why the reclassification was necessary, Weimer explained that the lack of damage necessitated the reclassification.
''[T]here is no damage just the cleaning up,'' Weimer responded. ''If they would have carved into the wall with knife or something and caused damage it would be vandalism.''
E-mails released to The Federalist today show that university officials immediately responded to reports of the October 24 incident. The school's Title IX office was immediately notified, as were representatives of the school's minority communities. Officials discussed in detail the best ways to respond to the incident, who to notify, and how to convene meetings with students and dormitory residents to discuss the incident.
Just hours after he learned of the incident, Minor, the residential life director, e-mailed the executive director of Mizzou Hillel to notify her of the anti-Semitic symbol that had been scrawled on the wall.
''Thank you for letting me know about this and including me in these discussions,'' Mizzou Hillel executive director Jeanne Snodgrass responded. ''As always, myself, our Hillel, and members of the Jewish Student Organization would like to help in any way we can.''
The e-mails also detail a disturbing and previously unpublicized racial incident that happened on the same floor of the same dormitory the previous week. According to a dorm hall coordinator, a white dorm resident was the subject of racial slurs.
''We did have another incident that was just reported last week where an intoxicated individual said 'bitch ass nigga' to a white resident, when having a heated interaction with multiple black residents in the third floor lounge, which is the same floor this bathroom incident happened on,'' Gateway Hall hall coordinator Susan Cohn wrote to multiple university officials on the morning of October 24. ''The individual that reported said he was offended by this but felt like it was not directed towards him or the other black residents in the lounge.''
''[The University of Missouri Police Department] followed up with this resident Friday afternoon,'' Cohn noted.
Salama Gallimore, the lead investigator in the university's Title IX office, responded to Cohn's e-mail and suggested that the student involved in that particular incident may well have been responsible for the poop swastika in the bathroom.
''The accused student in the above incident has also been reported to have made anti-semitic remarks to the members of a Jewish fraternity,'' Gallimore wrote.
''It is possible that the aforementioned student may be responsible for the swastika vandalism as he is a resident of Gateway. Since the student has allegedly engaged in acts of racism and anti-semitism, I feel that it is important to consider that the swastika drawn in fecal matter (even if it was not drawn by the student under investigation) was meant to offend and threaten a larger population of our campus community in addition to Jewish students.''
''When discussing a response to the vandalism, please be mindful that the swastika is offensive and threatening to individuals from various racial, religious, and regional backgrounds, myself included,'' Gallimore concluded.
Neither the race nor the ethnic background of the suspect in that incident are mentioned in the e-mails released by Mizzou. Additionally, no potential suspects for the poop swastika incident were specifically mentioned by name in any of the documents released this week by the university.
Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.
Mot¶rhead zegt concert Parijs af
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 15:53
Exclusieve artikelen van de Telegraaf redactie
zo 15 nov 2015, 14:18
Mot¶rhead heeft in navolging van andere artiesten eveneens hun optreden in Parijs afgezegd. Het optreden wordt uitgesteld tot januari.
De Britse rockband zou zondagavond in The Zenith spelen, maar vinden de situatie te onveilig in Parijs. "Omwille van de ernstige situatie in Parijs stellen wij ons optreden uit tot januari. We gooien nu het schema om en komen zo snel mogelijk met details", laat de band weten op social media.
Ook Foo Fighters en U2 zegden hun optreden in Parijs af vanwege de aanslagen van vrijdagavond. Coldplay blies een live stream van een concert af 'uit respect voor de verschrikkelijke gebeurtenissen in Parijs'.
(C) 1996-2015 TMG Landelijke Media B.V., Amsterdam.Alle rechten voorbehouden.e-mail: redactie-i@telegraaf.nlGebruiksvoorwaarden | Privacy | Cookies | Cookie-voorkeuren
Beware of ads that use inaudible sound to link your phone, TV, tablet, and PC | Ars Technica
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 15:46
1939, back when ads used to be safe.
Privacy advocates are warning federal authorities of a new threat that uses inaudible, high-frequency sounds to surreptitiously track a person's online behavior across a range of devices, including phones, TVs, tablets, and computers.
The ultrasonic pitches are embedded into TV commercials or are played when a user encounters an ad displayed in a computer browser. While the sound can't be heard by the human ear, nearby tablets and smartphones can detect it. When they do, browser cookies can now pair a single user to multiple devices and keep track of what TV commercials the person sees, how long the person watches the ads, and whether the person acts on the ads by doing a Web search or buying a product.
Cross-device tracking raises important privacy concerns, the Center for Democracy and Technology wrote in recently filed comments to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has scheduled a workshop on Monday to discuss the technology. Often, people use as many as five connected devices throughout a given day'--a phone, computer, tablet, wearable health device, and an RFID-enabled access fob. Until now, there hasn't been an easy way to track activity on one and tie it to another.
"As a person goes about her business, her activity on each device generates different data streams about her preferences and behavior that are siloed in these devices and services that mediate them," CDT officials wrote. "Cross-device tracking allows marketers to combine these streams by linking them to the same individual, enhancing the granularity of what they know about that person."
The officials said that companies with names including SilverPush, Drawbridge, and Flurry are working on ways to pair a given user to specific devices. Adobe is developing similar technologies. Without a doubt, the most concerning of the companies the CDT mentioned is San Francisco-based SilverPush.
CDT officials wrote:
Cross-device tracking can also be performed through the use of ultrasonic inaudible sound beacons. Compared to probabilistic tracking through browser fingerprinting, the use of audio beacons is a more accurate way to track users across devices. The industry leader of cross-device tracking using audio beacons is SilverPush. When a user encounters a SilverPush advertiser on the web, the advertiser drops a cookie on the computer while also playing an ultrasonic audio through the use of the speakers on the computer or device. The inaudible code is recognized and received on the other smart device by the software development kit installed on it. SilverPush also embeds audio beacon signals into TV commercials which are "picked up silently by an app installed on a [device] (unknown to the user)." The audio beacon enables companies like SilverPush to know which ads the user saw, how long the user watched the ad before changing the channel, which kind of smart devices the individual uses, along with other information that adds to the profile of each user that is linked across devices.
The user is unaware of the audio beacon, but if a smart device has an app on it that uses the SilverPush software development kit, the software on the app will be listening for the audio beacon and once the beacon is detected, devices are immediately recognized as being used by the same individual. SilverPush states that the company is not listening in the background to all of the noises occurring in proximity to the device. The only factor that hinders the receipt of an audio beacon by a device is distance and there is no way for the user to opt-out of this form of cross-device tracking. SilverPush's company policy is to not "divulge the names of the apps the technology is embedded," meaning that users have no knowledge of which apps are using this technology and no way to opt-out of this practice. As of April of 2015, SilverPush's software is used by 67 apps and the company monitors 18 million smartphones.
SilverPush's ultrasonic cross-device tracking was publicly reported as long ago as July 2014. More recently, the company received a new round of publicity when it obtained $1.25 million in venture capital. The CDT letter appears to be the first time the privacy-invading potential of the company's product has been discussed in detail. SilverPush officials didn't respond to e-mail seeking comment for this article.
The CDT letter went on to cite articles reporting that cross-device tracking has been put to use by more than a dozen marketing companies. The technology, which is typically not disclosed and can't be opted out of, makes it possible for marketers to assemble a shockingly detailed snapshot of the person being tracked.
"For example, a company could see that a user searched for sexually transmitted disease (STD) symptoms on her personal computer, looked up directions to a Planned Parenthood on her phone, visits a pharmacy, then returned to her apartment," the letter stated. "While previously the various components of this journey would be scattered among several services, cross-device tracking allows companies to infer that the user received treatment for an STD. The combination of information across devices not only creates serious privacy concerns, but also allows for companies to make incorrect and possibly harmful assumptions about individuals."
Further ReadingUse of ultrasonic sounds to track users has some resemblance to badBIOS, a piece of malware that a security researcher said used inaudible sounds to bridge air-gapped computers. No one has ever proven badBIOS exists, but the use of the high-frequency sounds to track users underscores the viability of the concept.Now that SilverPush and others are using the technology, it's probably inevitable that it will remain in use in some form. But right now, there are no easy ways for average people to know if they're being tracked by it and to opt out if they object. Federal officials should strongly consider changing that.
Hillary Aide Huma Abedin Signed State 'Separation Agreement' | The Daily Caller
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 15:45
''I am not retaining in my possession, custody, or control, documents or material containing classified or administratively controlled information furnished to me during the course of such employment or developed as a consequence thereof,'' the form reads.
''I have surrendered to responsible officials all unclassified documents, and papers relating to the official business of the Government acquired by me while in the employ of the Department.''
In signing the form, outgoing employees acknowledge that they have been advised that ''Section 1001 of Title 18, United States Code, provides criminal penalties for knowingly and willfully falsifying or concealing material fact in a statement or document submitted to any department or agency of the United States Government.''
It was recently reported that the FBI has expanded its investigation of Clinton's home-brew email system. The agency is now looking at whether ''materially false'' statements were given to federal agents, Fox News reported on Thursday. It is unclear whether the probe is focusing on Abedin's OF-109. (RELATED: Report: FBI Investigating Whether 'Materially False' Statements Given In Hillary Email Probe)
Abedin's attorney, former State Department official Miguel Rodriguez, did not immediately respond to TheDC's request for comment. Nor did the Clinton campaign.
Abedin and other Clinton aides, including Cheryl Mills and Philippe Reines, were ordered by a federal judge this summer to turn over all of the work-related emails they sent and received while in office.
TheDC also sued for Mills' and Reines' OF-109 forms, as well as for Clinton's.
Abedin, who used the email address [email protected], returned 6,714 emails in her possession in September. Mills and Reines, who used Yahoo and Google accounts, respectively, turned their emails over to the State Department in June. Clinton gave hers to the agency last December.
The records that the State Department provided to TheDC do not make it entirely clear if either Mills or Reines signed the OF-109.
An internal State Department memo included in the FOIA release states that the agency ''has both an OF-109 and SF-312 for Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin.''
But while one of the documents provided to TheDC is an OF-109 with Mills' name typed on it, it does not bear her signature.
Reines was not serving in the secretary's bureau when he stopped working at the State Department. ''His separation documents may be found elsewhere,'' the memo states.
A State Department official could neither explain the discrepancy nor confirm that Mills did not sign the agreement. If she did sign the form, she would come under the same scrutiny as Abedin. If she did not, that would raise questions over how and why the State Department allowed her to avoid such a routine measure.
State Department whistleblowers told TheDC in March that rank-and-file agency employees are required to sign the form. Failure to do so could result in the agency withholding benefits and conducting investigations into why the employees declined to sign the form, a whistle-blower said. (RELATED: Whistle-Blower: State Department Employees Who Don't Sign Separation Agreement Face Dire Consequences)
As for Clinton, a memo provided in the FOIA release shows that she did not sign an OF-109. While the State Department has already stated that it had no record of Clinton having signed the document, the memo provides the agency's rationale for why she didn't.
''Departing secretaries of state do not complete an OF-109 due to their continued need for a security clearance after their resignation,'' the memo reads.
On March 17, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the agency could find no record of Clinton having signed the OF-109.
''I think we're fairly certain that she did not, we don't have record of it,'' Psaki said then.
The State Department declined to specifically address the significance of Abedin's signing the OF-109.
''The State Department has undertaken great efforts to retrieve records from some individuals, including Huma Abedin. The State Department asked her to send any records in her possession and we're doing due diligence to make sure that we're retrieving all of them,'' an official told TheDC.
Follow Chuck on Twitter
Editor's note: At the request of the State Department, The Daily Caller has agreed to redact the names of the interviewing officers, as well as the birth dates of both Abedin and Mills.
SEE THE DOCUMENTS:
''I am not retaining in my possession, custody, or control, documents or material containing classified or administratively controlled information furnished to me during the course of such employment or developed as a consequence thereof,'' the form reads.
''I have surrendered to responsible officials all unclassified documents, and papers relating to the official business of the Government acquired by me while in the employ of the Department.''
In signing the form, outgoing employees acknowledge that they have been advised that ''Section 1001 of Title 18, United States Code, provides criminal penalties for knowingly and willfully falsifying or concealing material fact in a statement or document submitted to any department or agency of the United States Government.''
It was recently reported that the FBI has expanded its investigation of Clinton's home-brew email system. The agency is now looking at whether ''materially false'' statements were given to federal agents, Fox News reported on Thursday. It is unclear whether the probe is focusing on Abedin's OF-109. (RELATED: Report: FBI Investigating Whether 'Materially False' Statements Given In Hillary Email Probe)
Abedin's attorney, former State Department official Miguel Rodriguez, did not immediately respond to TheDC's request for comment. Nor did the Clinton campaign.
Abedin and other Clinton aides, including Cheryl Mills and Philippe Reines, were ordered by a federal judge this summer to turn over all of the work-related emails they sent and received while in office.
TheDC also sued for Mills' and Reines' OF-109 forms, as well as for Clinton's.
Abedin, who used the email address [email protected], returned 6,714 emails in her possession in September. Mills and Reines, who used Yahoo and Google accounts, respectively, turned their emails over to the State Department in June. Clinton gave hers to the agency last December.
The records that the State Department provided to TheDC do not make it entirely clear if either Mills or Reines signed the OF-109.
An internal State Department memo included in the FOIA release states that the agency ''has both an OF-109 and SF-312 for Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin.''
But while one of the documents provided to TheDC is an OF-109 with Mills' name typed on it, it does not bear her signature.
Reines was not serving in the secretary's bureau when he stopped working at the State Department. ''His separation documents may be found elsewhere,'' the memo states.
A State Department official could neither explain the discrepancy nor confirm that Mills did not sign the agreement. If she did sign the form, she would come under the same scrutiny as Abedin. If she did not, that would raise questions over how and why the State Department allowed her to avoid such a routine measure.
State Department whistleblowers told TheDC in March that rank-and-file agency employees are required to sign the form. Failure to do so could result in the agency withholding benefits and conducting investigations into why the employees declined to sign the form, a whistle-blower said. (RELATED: Whistle-Blower: State Department Employees Who Don't Sign Separation Agreement Face Dire Consequences)
As for Clinton, a memo provided in the FOIA release shows that she did not sign an OF-109. While the State Department has already stated that it had no record of Clinton having signed the document, the memo provides the agency's rationale for why she didn't.
''Departing secretaries of state do not complete an OF-109 due to their continued need for a security clearance after their resignation,'' the memo reads.
On March 17, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the agency could find no record of Clinton having signed the OF-109.
''I think we're fairly certain that she did not, we don't have record of it,'' Psaki said then.
The State Department declined to specifically address the significance of Abedin's signing the OF-109.
''The State Department has undertaken great efforts to retrieve records from some individuals, including Huma Abedin. The State Department asked her to send any records in her possession and we're doing due diligence to make sure that we're retrieving all of them,'' an official told TheDC.
Follow Chuck on Twitter
Editor's note: At the request of the State Department, The Daily Caller has agreed to redact the names of the interviewing officers, as well as the birth dates of both Abedin and Mills.
SEE THE DOCUMENTS:
Angela Merkel's future under scrutiny for the first time as German asylum process criticised
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 15:41
But other guests on the television show were dismissive of the possibility of an internal party coup against the chancellor.
''Anyone who tries to overthrow some one like her will destroy himself,'' Karl-Rudolf Korte, a political scientist at the University of Duisberg-Essen, said, adding that she was protected by an ''armour of popularity''.
But he added: ''The situation is not flattering for the chancellor, a loss of power is quite evident''.
Peter Altmaier, Mrs Merkel's national refugee coordinator and the head of her chancellery office, tried to downplay the disputes with Mr de Maiziere as a ''communication misunderstanding''.
''It is clear there are a lot of discussions over this issue,'' he told the talk show. ''I hope that we can discuss this internally and behind closed doors. However it is vital that we act as one '' as we do.''
Mr Sch¤uble has come under fire for his intervention from coalition partners, and from Joachim Gauck, the country's usually non-political president.
Mr Gauck broke with protocol to warn against those who ''voice assumptions and perpetuate stereotypes'', in remarks widely seen as directed at the finance minister.
Mrs Merkel came under intense questioning in a special half-hour interview on ZDF television entitiled What Now, Mrs Merkel? on Friday evening.
In the interview, she vowed to continue her ''open-door'' refugee policy: ''It is our principle to help people in need,'' the German chancellor said. ''We need to show the freedoms we enjoy in practice and help those in need.''
''I cannot unilaterally define a limits. We in Germany cannot simply determine unilaterally who can come and who cannot.''
Angela Merkel
Mrs Merkel dismissed claims that her government was in crisis at the end of a week that has seen two of her most senior ministers openly challenge her refugee policy.
''The chancellor has the situation under the control, the federal government has the situation under control,'' she said.
''I am sure that we will continue to show a friendly face. That is my sort of welcoming culture.''
But she refused to give way on her insistence that Germany can handle a record influx of some 800,000 asylum-seekers this year.
Asked about her earlier slogan of ''We can do it'', she replied: ''I think we have to work to make sure we can do it, and I believe we can do it.''
She refused to set a limit for the number of refugees Germany could take in.
''I cannot unilaterally define a limits,'' she said. ''We in Germany cannot simply determine unilaterally who can come and who cannot.''
Mrs Merkel refused the discuss the alleged rebellion. ''Wolfgang Sch¤uble is in a class of his own,'' she said enigmatically.
The chancellor admitted she had made mistakes in the past and said it was up to her to reduce the numbers of asylum-seekers and to crack down on illegal immigration.
But she vowed Germany would continue to open its doors to genuine refugees.
''I'm not the first chancellor to fight for something,'' she said, comparing her situation to that of Helmut Kohl, the chancellor who oversaw the reunification of Germany.
She was critical of Germany's European partners, saying she regretted the EU had not been able to come up with a common solution.
She compared the numbers arriving in Europe to the more than two million Syrian refugees Turkey has taken in, including some 900,000 children.
''We are a much richer continent than Turkey, I think it's obvious,'' she said. ''We talk about human dignity, then we say we have be careful about refugees.''
While ministers argue, civil servants at the federal office for migration and refugees have published an open letter warning of serious flaws in procedures.
Asylum-seekers are being accepted as Syrians without being asked for any proof of their nationality, they warned.
Those claiming to be Syrian do not need to show passports, according to the letter. The only checking of their identity is carried out by freelance translators who often have little or no experience of Syrian dialects or accents, and are not accountable for any mistakes.
A ''large proportion'' of asylum-seekers were giving false identities in order to stay in Germany, the letter warned.
''The discontinuation of identity checks has also facilitated infiltration by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists into Europe,'' it claimed.
Austria on Friday announced plans to build a 2.5-mile stretch of fence on either side of its busiest border crossing with Slovenia.
Hungary and Slovenia have already built fences along sections of their borders.
Austrian officials said the new fence was not intended to prevent asylum-seekers from entering the country, but to control the flow.
''It's about an orderly entry, not a barrier,'' Josef Ostermayer, a minister at the Austrian chancellery said.
Meanwhile in eastern Germany, an eight-month pregnant asylum-seeker from Somalia was attacked and badly beaten.
The 21-year-old woman was taken to hospital. She has not been named and details of her injuries have not been released.
Police said they suspect two boys aged 14 and 15 and a 14-year-old girl of carrying out the attack.
China's yuan takes leap toward joining IMF currency basket | Reuters
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 15:40
WASHINGTON China's yuan moved closer to joining other top global currencies in the International Monetary Fund's benchmark foreign exchange basket on Friday after Fund staff and IMF chief Christine Lagarde gave the move the thumbs up.
The recommendation paves the way for the Fund's executive board, which has the final say, to place the yuan CNY=CFXSCNY= on a par with the U.S. dollar .DXY, Japanese yen JPY=, British pound GBP= and euro EUR= at a meeting scheduled for Nov. 30.
Joining the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket would be a victory for Beijing, which has campaigned hard for the move, and could increase demand for the yuan among reserve managers as well as marking a symbolic coming of age for the world's second-largest economy.
Staff had found the yuan, also known as the renminbi (RMB), met the criteria of being ''freely usable,'' or widely used for international transactions and widely traded in major foreign exchange markets, Lagarde said.
''I support the staff's findings," she said in a statement immediately welcomed by China's central bank, which said it hoped the international community would also back the yuan's inclusion.
Staff also gave the green light to Beijing's efforts to address operational issues identified in a report in July, Lagarde said.
The executive board, which represents the Fund's 188 members, is seen as unlikely to go against a staff recommendation and countries including France and Britain have already pledged their support for the change. This would take effect in October 2016, during China's leadership of the Group of 20 bloc of advanced and emerging economies.
China has rolled out a flurry of reforms recently to liberalize its markets and also help the yuan meet the IMF's checklist, including scrapping a ceiling on deposit rates, issuing three-month Treasury bills weekly and improving the transparency of Chinese data.
Economists said with the yuan's inclusion in the IMF basket as a reserve currency now looking like a formality, China should step up efforts to build trust between global investors and its policy makers.
China's heavy-handed intervention to stem a stock market rout over the summer, and an unexpected devaluation of the yuan in August, had raised some doubts about Beijing's commitment to reforms.
Singapore-based Commerzbank economist Zhou Hao said China needs to further accelerate domestic reforms and improve policy transparency.
"The PBOC should reduce the frequency of market intervention, allowing market forces to really play a critical role."
The United States, the Fund's biggest shareholder, has said it would back the yuan's inclusion if it met the IMF's criteria, a U.S. Treasury spokesperson said, adding: "We will review the IMF's paper in that light."
If the yuan's addition wins 70 percent or more of IMF board votes, it will be the first time the number of currencies in the SDR basket - which determines the composition of loans made to countries such as Greece - has been expanded.
"I would say that the likelihood of China's yuan joining the IMF currency basket this year is very high," said Hong Kong-based Shen Jianguang, chief economist at Mizuho Securities Asia.
"The only thing that could deter this is if the U.S. led a group rejecting the yuan's inclusion, which could complicate things. But the United States' current official stance doesn't reflect such an attitude," he said.
Some currency analysts say making the yuan the fifth currency in the basket could eventually lead to global demand for the currency worth more than $500 billion.
But China's extensive capital controls mean it would take a while before the yuan rivals the dollar's dominant role in international trade and finance, analysts say.
Its closed capital account still limits foreigners from buying yuan-denominated assets and places caps on how much cash residents can take out of the country. These restrictions, along with concerns that the yuan is set to come under steady depreciation pressure, may cause corporates to back off from holding yuan.
Nonetheless, the People's Bank of China said the IMF statement was an acknowledgment of the progress China had made in reforms and opening up its economy.
"The inclusion of the RMB in the SDR basket would increase the representativeness and attractiveness of the SDR, and help improve the current international monetary system, which would benefit both China and the rest of the world," the PBOC said in a statement.
China would respect the board's decision and continue to deepen economic reforms, the PBOC said.
(Additional reporting by Timothy Ahmann in Washington, Jason Subler in Beijing and Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Editing by James Dalgleish & Shri Navaratnam)
The COMPLETE Timeline of the Paris Attacks Viewed in Context of the Failing Regime Change Operation in Syria
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 15:38
by Scott Creighton
UPDATE: (H/T ninel) The ultra-stealthy black SEAT car that was able to avoid all police detection while they went on a multi-site prolonged shooting rampage in busy Paris Friday night has been found'... abandoned'... in a nearby town. The perps were nice enough to leave behind all their weapons as the got away Scot-free. So aside from the assailants who were found dead or blew themselves up'... the only living ones'... escaped.
'--''
Drive-by terrorism in a SEAT car? Suicide bombers electing to blow themselves up with no victims around? Lengthy monologues delivered to future ''witnesses'' mentioning ''Iraq and Syria''? Three suicide bombers at a stadium full of people and only one victim outside (a person walking past the stadium)? Not one attacker taken alive? How did the guys in the SEAT car get away after witnesses reported the make and model of the vehicle, described it's ''spoke alloy wheels'' and even gave them the number of the license plate (GUT 18053)?
Details of the Paris attacks this past Friday night are finally taking shape and they are confusing at best.
However, looking at only the events of that night, you will miss the entirety of the event: how it fits in the geopolitical context of what is currently happening, who the players are and what is at stake.
If the story is ''ISIS did it because of Syria and Iraq'' then we have to look at the whole picture of what recently happened in Syria and Iraq leading up to the attack. Not to do so would be like looking at a murder investigation and not trying to examine the motive involved.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the timeline of events, shall we? The complete timeline of events that is. Not just what happened that night.
PreambleSept. 23, 2014 '' Obama violates US and international law by authorizing illegal airstrikes in Syria targeting civilian infrastructure in order to help the CIA's and the State Department's Wahhabist mercenaries fighting in the country to force regime change.
'''.... the U.S. has repeatedly bombed oil refineries, bridges, grain silos, food distribution facilities, and other civilian infrastructure and civilian areas.'' Brandon Tuberville
* Sept. 30, 2015 '' Russia begins bombing real terrorist targets in Syria, killing scores of the CIA's ''moderate'' assets in the country working for regime change through a terrorist destabilization campaign (strategy of tension). John Kerry promises more terrorism if Russia fails to withdraw from Syria.
'This is the ultimate disrespect,' Senate Armed Service Chairman John McCain declared during an on-stage interview at the Washington Ideas Forum'... ''This is not an offensive to defeat ISIS, but a naked effort by one dictator to protect another and crush moderate Syrian opposition forces,' he argued.
Oct. 12, 2015 '' While Russia turns the tide bombing the CIA's terrorists including both ''ISIS'' and the ''moderates'', the US continues to bomb civilian infrastructure increasing the strategy of tension.
''As Russian forces drop bombs and missiles on top of ISIS fighters all across Syria, lobbing cruise missiles from the Caspian, regular sortie missions, and combat helicopter attacks against ISIS and other ''relatively moderate'' cannibals and terrorists, the United States launched a bombing mission of its own against two power plants in Aleppo.
The power plants were located in al-Rudwaniya east of Aleppo and resulted in power outages affecting the Syrian people, adding to the American tradition of bombing civilian infrastructure instead of ISIS and other terrorist targets in Syria.'' Brandon Tuberville
Oct. 27, 2015 '' In a desperation move, Obama announces he will deploy 50 Special Forces soldiers to Syria to serve as human shields for our destabilization terrorists in the country because we are clearly losing the regime change operation.
The recommendations came at Obama's request and reflect the president's and his top advisers' concern that the battle in Iraq and Syria is largely stalemated and in need of new ideas to generate momentum against Islamic State forces. Washington Post
* Oct. 27-29, 2015 '' CIA-GW Intelligence Conference: Panel on The Shared 21st Century International Mission
''GW Center for Cyber and Homeland Security29 Oct 2015 Panel on ''The Shared 21st Century International Mission'' featuring CIA Director John Brennan, former UK MI6 Chief John Sawers, Director of the French Directorate for External Security Bernard Bajolet, and formerIsraeli National Security Advisor Yaacov Amidror''
Oct. 29, 2015 '' ''ISIS'' releases a ''tank video''. Another faked execution video designed to gin-up fear and loathing toward ''ISIS'' and help Obama justify putting ''boots on the ground'' in Syria.
* Oct. 30, 2015 '' The first round of peace talks regarding Syria take place in Vienna. The Iranians are invited to participate and they agree to a set of principles but sharply disagree about who is to be considered a ''terrorist group'' in the country and the future of Assad. But it is clear the Russian, Syrians and Iranians are making headway and the plan is to bring in the UN to establish a political solution. They decide on a second round of talks to be held on Nov. 14, 2015.
On 30 October 2015, the ministers participating in the talks signed a joint statement Final declaration on the results of the Syria Talks in Vienna as agreed by participants, which among other things stated that ''Syria's unity, independence, territorial integrity and secular character are fundamental''.[13][1]The participants agreed to ask the United Nations to convene Syria's government and opposition to start a ''a political process leading to credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance, followed by a new constitution and elections'' to be administered under UN supervision;[13] but they disagreed over Bashar Assad's future.[1][14]
* Oct. 31, 2015 '' Metrojet Flight 9268 is downed over Sinai a mere 40 miles from ongoing US/Israeli aerial war games ''Blue Flag'', ''ISIS'' is blamed (guys in fake beards take credit after the fact) and ''military grade explosives'' are suspected (yes, air-to-air missiles can have a range of up to 100 miles). The airport Flight 9268 departed from is controlled by Egyptian security and intelligence forces which are loyal to their US installed dictator, al Sisi. After repeatedly making false statements about the downing of the plane, Egyptian authorities begin dragging their feet with regard to the investigation.
Nov. 7, 2015 '' The ''coalition of the willing'' in Syria is falling apart with Saudi Arabia and other Arab League states pulling out of the conflict while the US PREPARES FOR AN ESCALATION.
''As the United States prepares to intensify airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria, the Arab allies who with great fanfare sent warplanes on the initial missions there a year ago have largely vanished from the campaign.'' New York Times
Over the previous two months since Russia began their bombing campaign in Syria, the United States had dramatically reduced the numbers of airstrikes in the country as shown here in a graphic from the New York Times:
Nov. 9, 2015 '' Russia announces they will release critical details of their explosive residue tests on the wreckage of Flight 9268 in two weeks. They imply they have found residue and are in the process of tracking it back to the source via ''taggants''
Nov. 11, 2015 '' A US ''insider'' at the Defense Department says we need more ''boots on the ground'' in Syria in order to occupy the country.
Nov. 13, 2015 (morning) '' The US announces they ''might'' have killed the actor playing the role of ''Jihadi John'' in some of the ''ISIS'' fake beheading videos.This is clearly meant to establish a new history of the United States targeting 'ISIS' elements in Syria. His body is reportedly ''vaporized''
Nov. 13, 2015 (morning) '' An actor and EMT in France stated during an interview that a ''multi-site attack exercise'' had been planned for the morning either that morning or for the next which brought police and rescue personnel from around France to Paris that day. This man just happened to be involved in the Charlie Hebdo attack aftermath being right outside their offices when it took place and reportedly calling the French president to inform him of the attack.
''As luck would have it, in the morning at the Paris SAMU (EMT), a multi-site attack exercise had been planned so we were prepared. What needs to be known was there was a mobilization of police forces, firemen, EMTs, associations who came (to participate) and we tried to save as many people as possible'' Patrick Pelloux , French EMT and film actor
UPDATE: A reader, Tim Groves, pointed out this guy has confirmed his story about the drill to the Guardian yesterday. He is not only an actor, but has released a book about the Charlie Hebdo attacks'... and it came out the day before the new attacks. He also states ''this is a war'' which goes right along with the French president declaring this is a 'war'' which will help NATO countries put pressure on Russia with regard to Syria.
The Night of the Paris Attacks, Nov. 13, 2015 (Friday the 13th)(Sources for this timeline of events include CNN , LA Times and the New York Times, whose timelines are nearly identical and were all three published this morning, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Therefore it is my contention that this is the most accurate description of the ''official story'' of these events available at this point)
9:20 pm '' At Stade de France, during a soccer match between France and Germany, a single explosion can be heard coming from outside the stadium. It is reported that fans attending the match thought it was fireworks going off. One suicide bomber is reportedly killed along with a pedestrian who just happened to be walking by the event. No one else is harmed. The bomber wore a suicide vest embedded with shrapnel material. Why he detonated his vest outside without going into the event is unclear with some saying a security guard stopped him.
9:25 pm '' Witnesses claim a black SEAT car with custom spoke wire rims and the license plate GUT 18053 , opened fire in a drive-by shooting on two separate restaurants, Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge, killing a total of 15 people and wounding several others.
9:30 pm '' A full ten minutes after the first attack, another suicide bomber detonates himself, again, outside the stadium, this time harming no one. His body was found ''later'' supposedly carrying ''many weapons'' and this time, there is no explanation as to why he detonated his suicide vest with no victims in the vicinity.
9:32 pm '' The black SEAT car with custom wheels attacks La Bonne Biere bar a few blocks away from the first attack 7 minutes earlier. 5 people are killed, several more wounded. How the car, already described to police, was able to drive around the populated area for those 7 minutes without being chased by the police is a mystery.
9:36 pm '' The black SEAT car with custom wheels attacks La Belle Equipe Cafe on Rue de Charonne. 19 people were reportedly killed. ''Several types of weapons'' were reportedly used during this apparently lengthy attack. Again, we are now 11 minutes after the first drive-by and some 16 minutes after the first bombing and no police arrive to challenge the attackers.
9:40 pm '' A suicide bomber enters a bar on Boulevard Voltaire and detonates his bomb. No one is killed and only one is seriously injured. Many others are ''slightly injured''?
9:40 pm '' Three assailants open fire at Bataclan while an American death metal band is playing. A thousand people are in the venue at the time and 89 are reportedly killed with many more being wounded. The band escapes without harm (why would ''ISIS'' let them go?) as do their crew. Reportedly they take hostages and give them a little monologue about the situation in Iraq and Syria so they can tell the press when they get out. The standoff lasts til 12:20 am the next morning when French police enter the facility killing one assailant in the process with the other two taking their own lives via suicide vests.
9:53 pm '' A third and final suicide bomber detonates outside the stadium. He kills only himself and his body is found later at the scene.
Some legitimate questions:
There is as of yet no word as to the fate of the black SEAT car with custom wire rims and a license plate that reads GUT 18053How is it possible that this vehicle was able to drive around a populated area in Paris early Friday night shooting scores of people without it being at least chased by law enforcement? How could it have left the scene unobstructed and even undetected?How is it that a total of 6 suicide bombers managed to detonate their explosives without killing anyone other than themselves with the single exception of a person who just happened to be walking by and appears to have been killed by accident?Why did multiple suicide bombers detonate their explosive devices outside a packed stadium rather than make entrance to it so they could target more people? Any people?And of course, how did two passports survive being blown up while they just happen to be from Syria and Egypt?PostscriptNov. 14, 2015 '' The peace talks in Vienna resumed with the US in a new position of authority when it comes to promoting their ''war on ISIS'' but the talks themselves yielded very little in terms of them being able to 1. force Assad out of power and 2. dictate which of the CIA's terrorist groups would be allowed to participate in the formation of a new government after the regime change operation in the country takes shape.
The U.S., Europe, and Sunni Middle Eastern powers pin blame for the conflict, including the rise of ISIS, on Assad, and say he must step down. The issue can't be avoided forever: Saudi Arabia made clear Saturday that it would continue to support Syrian rebel groups if Assad does not step down. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested Saturday that Syrians could decide Assad's fate through the democratic process, saying, ''We did not come here to impose our collective will on the Syrian people.'' This would seem to suggest that Washington is now open to him playing a role in the transition'...
Any cease-fire between Assad, the rebels, and their respective international backers, would not apply to ISIS and the al-Qaida''linked Jabhat al-Nusra, but beyond that it gets a little murky. Russia is skeptical of the view that the non-Jihadist opposition to Assad exists at all.Saudi Arabia and Turkey, meanwhile, want the list of legitimate groups expanded to include several Islamist factions. Slate
An open election in Syria would surely result in the reelection of Assad to office and the continuation of the anti-neoliberal government, the secular Ba'athists, remaining in power. To that end, the entire regime change operation in Syria, a four-year plan initiated by the ''progressive'' Obama and current democratic party front-runner, Hillary Clinton, would come to a failed conclusion.
The attacks in Paris this past Friday have provided the US and her allies a distinct bargaining chip: the threat of France declaring open war on ''ISIS'' and that being used to justify all of NATO invading Syria to get to the mythical ''ISIS''
My EvaluationThe history of the ''ISIS'' ''hearts and minds'' psyop is riddled with moments where they have provided just the right motivation for various objectives needed by Western nations when it comes to our efforts in places like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and even Egypt. They always turn up where we need them, when we need them and doing unspeakable things we need them to do. That is an unavoidable fact.
In this case, the timing of these attacks combined with the rather curious specifics of those attacks, leads me to believe they definitely serve another purpose.
The timing is unmistakable. The pattern is unavoidable. Someone desperately needed ''ISIS'' to do something big, something awful right at this moment in time in order to salvage someone's plan for a new Greater Kurdistan. And that someone certainly wasn't ''ISIS''
'---
Speaking truth ABOUT power since 2007(For my mailing address, please email me at RSCdesigns@tampabay.rr.com)
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TRIGGERS AND DEMANDS-The Rise of the College Crybullies - WSJ
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 15:32
For more than a week now, the country has been mesmerized, and appalled, by the news emanating from academia. At Yale the insanity began over Halloween costumes. Erika Christakis, associate master of a residential college at Yale, courted outrage by announcing that ''free speech and the ability to tolerate offense are the hallmarks of a free and open society'' and it was not her business to police Halloween costumes.
To people unindoctrinated by the sensitivity training that is de rigueur on most campuses today, these...
#ParisAttacks UPDATES: EMT Talking About a ''Drill'' and CIA Chief Met with French Intel Oct. 28th | American Everyman
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 15:23
by Scott Creighton
A couple new aspects of this story have been brought to my attention. I'm not saying either is critically important, but they need to be registered in the archives here, so'... have a look.
1. (H/T Stan ) French EMT (and Actor?) talks about the ''multi-site attack exercise'' scheduled to take place the following morning.
There is a YouTube video from ''France info'' out there of a purported interview with a French EMT named Patrick Pelloux who claims, if the translation is correct, that there was a ''multi-site'' emergency response drill ''planned for the morning'' and that they were lucky because it made things go a lot smoother.
The actual translation they provide on the video is as follows:
''As luck would have it, in the morning at the Paris SAMU (EMT), a multi-site attack exercise had been planned so we were prepared. What needs to be known was there was a mobilization of police forces, firemen, EMTs, associations who came (to participate) and we tried to save as many people as possible''
If this sounds a lot like the drills planned the morning of Sept. 11th and on 7/7, I'm sure you are not alone in making that connection.
However. Keep in mind this is one source of this intel and frankly, it may be a faulty translation, or an old recording. It may be a hoax altogether, so don't put too much stock in it.
On the other hand'... this particular EMT has his own Wiki page. Yes, I wrote that correctly'... he is an EMT with a Wiki page. I don't even have a Wiki page.
So how did he get his?
During the Charlie Hebdo shooting, on 7 January 2015, he was near the magazine's building, so he was one of the first people on the spot after the shooting, being called by someone who worked for the magazine. He immediately phoned French President Fran§ois Hollande to tell him what had happened. He saw that some of his friends were dead and provided first aid to the others.[2]
He was one of the first on the scene at the Charlie Hebdo false flag event and was partially responsible for promoting the official story about all the deaths that took place that day. He also supposedly called the French president and let him know what was going on.
How many EMTs have the French president's phone number in their cell phones? How many have their own Wiki pages?
Want to know something else?
This EMT who always ends up on the scene when these events take place in Paris'... just happens to be an actor.
yeah. he's an actor
Sounds fishy? Me to. I will wait for confirmation on this one. But the actor info is definitely interesting. Seems more and more of those guys are turning up in these events. Guess I'm glad I quit.
2. (H/T ScoopFeed ) CIA Director Was In France Talking With French Secret Services on Oct. 28th of This Year.
This is interesting: The panel discussion was titled ''Shared 21st Century International Mission'' and attending were representatives from the fascist states of the US, the UK, France and Israel.
CIA Director Brennan Met With French Security Chief Before Paris Attacks '' Report by Lori Price, www.legitgov.org | 13 Nov 2015 | The White House correspondent for French television network Canal+, Laura Haim, reported an interesting tidbit during a live report with MSNBC's Brian Williams Friday evening. Haim stated that the Central Intelligence Agency director, John O. Brennan, recently met with his counterpart, French intelligence (DGSE) director Bernard Bajolet. The French equivalent of MI6 and CIA is the Direction g(C)n(C)rale de la s(C)curit(C) ext(C)rieure. See: CIA-GW Intelligence Conference: Panel on The Shared 21st Century International Mission ''GW Center for Cyber and Homeland Security29 Oct 2015 Panel on ''The Shared 21st Century International Mission'' featuring CIA Director John Brennan, former UK MI6 Chief John Sawers, Director of the French Directorate for External Security Bernard Bajolet, and former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaacov Amidror. Held as part of the 2nd Annual Ethos and Profession of Intelligence Conference, co-hosted by the Central Intelligence Agency and the George Washington University. Held on October 27, 2015.
Funny isn't it how all the talk right now is about the ''shared mission'' we face in the wake of the Paris attacks just two weeks after their ''shared mission'' conference.
Makes you wonder doesn't it?
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SITE-GROUP-IS Claims Paris Attacks, Warns Operation is ''First of the Storm'' | Statements | Jihadist News | Articles
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 15:15
The Islamic State (IS) claimed credit for the deadly attacks in the French capital, Paris, indicating that the targeted locations were ''accurately chosen,'' and threatening that the operation is the ''first of the storm''.
In a communique published in Arabic and French, and corresponding audios, all of which were distributed on Twitter and pro-IS Telegram channels on November 14, 2015, the IS reported that eight suicide attackers struck multiple sites in Paris, or what it called the ''capital of prostitution and obscenity'' and the ''carrier of the banner of the Cross in Europe''. It declared:
''Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State, and that the smell of death will never leave their noses as long as they lead the convoy of the Crusader campaign, and dare to curse our Prophet, Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and are proud of fighting Islam in France and striking the Muslims in the land of the Caliphate with their planes, which did not help them at all in the streets of Paris and its rotten alleys. This attack is the first of the storm and a warning to those who wish to learn''.
Update: The IS later provided an English translation of the claim and an audio, as well as a Russian audio.
Following is a translation of the message:
Islamic StateFrance
Urgent: Statement about the Blessed Paris Invasion on the French Crusaders
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The Almighty said: ''And they thought that their fortresses would defend them from Allah! But Allah's (Torment) reached them from a place whereof they expected it not, and He cast terror into their hearts so that they destroyed their own dwellings with their own hands and the hands of the believers. Then take admonition, O you with eyes (to see).'' [Al-Hashr: 2]
In a blessed attack for which Allah facilitated the causes for success, a faithful group of the soldiers of the Caliphate, may Allah dignify it and make it victorious, launched out, targeting the capital of prostitution and obscenity, the carrier of the banner of the Cross in Europe, Paris'... Youths who divorced the world and went to their enemy seeking to be killed in the cause of Allah, in support of His religion and His Prophet, Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and his charges, and to put the nose of His enemies in the ground. So they were honest with Allah, we consider them thusly, and Allah conquered through their hands and cast in the hearts of the Crusaders horror in the middle of their land, where eight brothers wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles, targeted sites that were accurately chosen in the heart of the capital of France, including the Stade de France during the match between the Crusader German and French teams, where the fool of France, Francois Hollande, was present.
[They also targeted] the Bataclan Conference Center, where hundreds of apostates had gathered in a profligate prostitution party, and other areas in the 10th and 11th and 18th [arrondissements] and in a coordinated fashion. So Paris shook under their feet, and its streets were tight upon them, and the result of the attacks was the death of no less than 100 Crusaders and the wounding of more than those, and unto Allah is all praise and gratitude.
Allah had granted our brothers their wish and gave them what they loved, for they detonated their belts in the gatherings of the disbelievers after running out of ammunition, we ask Allah to accept them among the martyrs and make us follow them.
Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State, and that the smell of death will never leave their noses as long as they lead the convoy of the Crusader campaign, and dare to curse our Prophet, Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and are proud of fighting Islam in France and striking the Muslims in the land of the Caliphate with their planes, which did not help them at all in the streets of Paris and its rotten alleys. This attack is the first of the storm and a warning to those who wish to learn.
Allah is Great
''But honor, power and glory belong to Allah, and to His Messenger (Muhammad), and to the believers, but the hypocrites know not.'' [From Al-Munafiqun: 8]
------------
A return of French Syria was planning an attack in a concert hall
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 15:09
L'homme dort en prison depuis le 15 ao>>t. Selon nos informations, la Direction g(C)n(C)rale de la s(C)curit(C) int(C)rieure (DGSI) a arrªt(C) le mois dernier un homme, pr(C)nomm(C) Reda, et soup§onn(C) d'avoir voulu perp(C)trer des attentats dans des salles de concert en France.
Mis en examen le 15 ao>>t, il s'agit d'un djihadiste fran§ais qui a s(C)journ(C) en Syrie au mois de mai. C'est l qu'il aurait re§u pour instruction de perp(C)trer une attaque dans une salle de concert, un endroit tr¨s fr(C)quent(C) o¹ il aurait pu faire un maximum de victimes.
Selon les informations de BFMTV, il a reconnu son projet au troisi¨me jour de sa garde vue, dans les locaux de l'antiterrorisme. Il a aussi expliqu(C) s'ªtre rendu en Syrie Raqqa, le fief de l'Etat islamique, en mai 2015. Il aurait alors (C)t(C) pris en main par un commanditaire qui lui aurait demand(C) de retourner en France pour frapper.
Un projet jug(C) "s(C)rieux"Le suspect n'a vraisemblablement pass(C) que six jours en Syrie. Bless(C) la jambe par une grenade lors d'un entra®nement, il est reparti en France via un itin(C)raire assez compliqu(C): Gaziantep - Istanbul - Varsovie - Prague - Amsterdam puis Paris. Il (C)tait cens(C) recontacter le commanditaire son arriv(C)e.
Inconnu des services de renseignements, personne ne s'aper§oit de son retour. C'est un djihadiste espagnol, arrªt(C) dans un autre pays europ(C)en, qui va donner son nom lors d'une audition et permettre la DGSI de l'interpeller, le 11 ao>>t, apr¨s un mois et demi de surveillance. Le suspect n'avait pas encore choisi de date ni de lieu de son attentat. Il n'avait pas encore achet(C) d'armes. Mais les enquªteurs consid¨rent que son projet (C)tait s(C)rieux, suffisamment pour l'arrªter. L'avocat du suspect affirme de son c´t(C) que son client n'avait pas l'intention de passer l'acte et qu'il avait acquiesc(C) au projet du commanditaire pour pouvoir r(C)cup(C)rer son passeport et rentrer en France.
Au mois de juillet, un autre jihadiste fran§ais de retour avait aussi d(C)clar(C) qu'on lui avait demand(C) de frapper dans une salle de concert.
Player indisponible
Memorandum -- Distribution of Department of Defense Funded Humanitarian Assistance in Syria
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 14:56
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
SUBJECT: Distribution of Department of Defense Funded Humanitarian Assistance in Syria
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 2249a(b)(1)(B) of title 10, United States Code, I hereby:
Determine that section 2249a(a) of title 10, United States Code, would impede the distribution of urgently needed humanitarian assistance in Syria to alleviate the current refugee crisis, as well as other United States Government objectives in the Middle East for stability and humanitarian relief; and
Waive the prohibition in section 2249a(a) of title 10, United States Code, for humanitarian reasons and to the extent necessary to allow the Department of Defense to carry out the purposes of section 2561 of title 10, United States Code, for the distribution of humanitarian assistance into Syria.
You are authorized and directed to publish this determination in the Federal Register.
BARACK OBAMA
Australia Sees Spike in Gun Crime Despite Outright Ban - Washington Free Beacon
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 14:55
AP
BY:Stephen GutowskiNovember 11, 2015 4:21 pm
Australia has seen a rise in gun crime over the past decade despite imposing an outright ban on many firearms in the late 1990s.
Charges for crimes involving firearms have increased dramatically across the island nation's localities in the past decade according to an analysis of government statistics conducted by The New Daily. It found that gun crimes have spiked dramatically in the Australian states of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania. In Victoria, pistol-related offenses doubled over the last decade. In New South Wales, they tripled. The other states saw smaller but still significant increases.
Experts said that the country's 1996 ban on most semi-automatic firearms has actually driven criminals to those guns. ''The ban on semi-automatics created demand by criminals for other types of guns,'' professor Philip Alpers of the University of Sydney told The New Daily. ''The criminal's gun of choice today is the semi-automatic pistol.''
Gun control advocates in the country insist that the problem is too little regulation. They said, while most modern firearms are illegal and all legal firearms owners must obtain licenses from the government, ammunition is not controlled tightly enough.
''There is very little regulation of ammunition purchase,'' Samantha Lee, a spokesperson for Gun Control Australia, told the publication. ''In most jurisdictions you can purchase ammunition because you have a firearm licence and there is no restriction on the type you can purchase '' so if you own a rifle you can still purchase ammunition for a handgun.''
''Gun enthusiasts are quite right when they say guns don't kill''it's the bullets that kill,'' Professor Alpers added. ''For many years we just focused on the guns and ignored the ammunition that was lying around''now people are starting to realise that ammunition control is just as important.''
Law enforcement said the rising gun crime was in relation to increased efforts to crack down on guns, especially those used in the drug trade.
''In recent years police have been more proactive in their targeting of illegal weapons, particularly in relation to known or suspected criminals,'' New South Wales Detective Superintendent Mick Plotecki told the paper. ''We often find a link between firearms offences and mid-level drug crime.''
Regardless of the reasons for the jump in gun crime, the numbers reveal the true size of Australia's illegal gun market. ''Taken together, the data suggests that despite our tough anti-gun laws, thousands of weapons are either being stolen or entering the country illegally,'' The New Daily said. ''The fourfold rise in handgun-related charges in NSW in the past decade points to the existence of a big illegal market for concealable firearms that seems to have been underestimated in the past.''
Pro-IS Telegram Channel Publishes Video Tutorial for Obtaining Secure Email Addresses, Virtual Phone Numbers
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 14:53
NOTE: The following materials are for information purposes only and may not be copied, reproduced, or transmitted without the explicit permission of SITE Intelligence Group and specific attribution to SITE Intelligence Group.
DetailsMultimediaCreated: 13 November 2015
A pro-Islamic State (IS) Telegram channel called ''The Technical Library'' published a video tutorial for obtaining secure email addresses and virtual phone numbers with the intent of using them to create Telegram and other social media accounts.Register to read more ...
Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on Today's Terrorist Attacks in Beirut, Lebanon
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 14:47
The United States condemns in the strongest terms today's horrific terrorist attacks in Beirut, Lebanon that killed dozens and wounded hundreds more. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and other loved ones of those killed and injured in this violence. The United States will stand firm with the Government of Lebanon as it works to bring those responsible for this attack to justice. Such acts of terror only reinforce our commitment to support the institutions of the Lebanese state, including the security services, to ensure a stable, sovereign, and secure Lebanon.
TruthMove - Operation Gladio
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 14:38
Operation Gladio is undisputed historical fact. Gladio was part of a post-World War II program set up by the CIA and NATO supposedly to thwart future Soviet/communist invasions or influence in Italy and Western Europe. In fact, it became a state-sponsored right-wing terrorist network, involved in false flag operations and the subversion of democracy.
The existence of Gladio was confirmed and admitted by the Italian government in 1990, after a judge, Felice Casson, discovered the network in the course of his investigations into right-wing terrorism. Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti admitted Gladio's existence but tried to minimize its significance.
The main function of the Gladio-style groups, in the absence of Soviet invasion, seems to have been to discredit left-wing groups and politicians through the use of ''the strategy of tension,'' including false-flag terrorism. The strategy of tension is a concept for control and manipulation of public opinion through the use of fear, propaganda, agents provacateurs, terrorism, etc. The aim was to instill fear into the populace while framing communist and left-wing political opponents for terrorist atrocities.
Gladio and its ''stay-behind'' networks may be one of the most historically ''accepted'' or ''confirmed'' examples of false-flag terrorism. The documentation, the resolutions, confessions, and convictions all confirm that Gladio is much more than the media or government would have you believe'--a mere ''conspiracy theory.'' See the State Department's special site dedicated to dismissing ''conspiracy theories,'' including their page on Gladio.
Truth movers should take advantage of Gladio and the stay-behind networks as a confirmed precedent of the US and western governments participating in ruthless terrorist attacks against their own people in order instill fear, control the population, and frame left-wing political opponents. People who believe that such things do not or cannot happen should be forcefully made aware of such examples as Operation Gladio.
The August 2, 1980 bombing of the Bologna train station which killed 85 people, is widely recognized as a Gladio operation. While it was initially blamed on the communist ''Red Brigades,'' eventually, right-wing and fascists elements were discoverd to be the culprits. Two Italian secret service agents and Licio Gelli, the head of the infamous P2 Masonic lodge, were convicted in connection to the bombing. 1
''The makings of the bomb'... came from an arsenal used by Gladio'... according to a parliamentary commission on terrorism'... The suggested link with the Bologna massacre is potentially the most serious of all the accusations levelled against Gladio, and comes just two days after the Italian Prime Minister, Giulio Andreotti, cleared Gladio's name in a speech to parliament, saying that the secret army did not drift from its formal Nato military brief'' The Guardian January 16, 1991 1
1969: ''In Italy, the Piazza Fontana massacre in Milan kills 16 and injures and maims 80 ['....] during a trial of rightwing extremists General Giandelio Maletti, former head of Italian counterintelligence, alleges that the massacre had been carried out by the Italian stay-behind army and rightwing terrorists on the orders of the US secret service CIA in order to discredit Italian Communists.'' 10
1985: ''In Belgium, a secret army attacks and shoots shoppers in supermarkets randomly in the Brabant county killing 28 and leaving many wounded. Investigations link the terror to a conspiracy among the Belgian stay-behind SDRA8, the Belgian Gendarmerie SDRA6, the Belgian right-wing group WNP and the Pentagon secret service DIA.'' 10
According to Vincenzo Vinciguerra, a far-right terrorist linked to Gladio and currently serving a life-sentence for the car bomb murder of 3 policement, ''The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security. This is the political logic that lies behind all the massacres and the bombings which remain unpunished, because the state cannot convict itself or declare itself responsible for what happened.'' 6
Vinciguerra also made this statement to The Guardian, ''The terrorist line was followed by camouflaged people, people belonging to the security apparatus, or those linked to the state apparatus through rapport or collaboration. I say that every single outrage that followed from 1969 fitted into a single, organised matrix'... Avanguardia Nazionale, like Ordine Nuovo (the main right-wing terrorist group active during the 1970s), were being mobilised into the battle as part of an anti-communist strategy originating not with organisations deviant from the institutions of power, but from within the state itself, and specifically from within the ambit of the state's relations within the Atlantic Alliance.'' 1
In 1990, the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning Gladio. The resolution requested full investigations and a total dismantlement of the paramilitary structures involved'--neither of which have come to pass.
Similar Gladio-like operations have been discovered across Europe, including France, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Switzerland'...
Bono on Paris Concert Shootings: 'This Is the First Direct Hit on Music' | Billboard
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 14:13
Bono and U2 place flowers on the pavement near the scene of yesterday's Bataclan Theatre terrorist attack on Nov. 14, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital.
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty ImagesAfter U2 visited a makeshift memorial at Le Batalcan to pay homage to the (at least) 127 people gunned down by terrorists at the venue during a Friday night concert, frontman Bono spoke to Irish DJ Dave Fanning about the Paris shootings.
"Our first thoughts at this point are with the Eagles of Death Metal fans,'' Bono said, via Rolling Stone. ''If you think about it, the majority of victims last night are music fans. This is the first direct hit on music that we've had in this so-called War on Terror, or whatever it's called. It's very upsetting. These are our people. This could be me at a show, you at a show, in that venue. It's a very recognizable situation for you and for me and the cold-blooded aspect of this slaughter is deeply disturbing and that's what I can't get out of my head.''
U2 'Devastated' After Attacks, Cancels Paris Concert
U2 are in Paris for now-canceled Saturday and Sunday night concerts, the former of which was to be broadcast live on HBO. The band was rehearsing just minutes away from Le Bataclan last night when the attack went down.
''Our security locked it down pretty quickly and we got our team and our crew out of there safely,'' Bono said. ''We came to the back door of the hotel. Everyone congregated and watched the TV like everybody else in disbelief with what was happening. We're all safe.''
ISIS Claims Responsibility, Calling Paris Attacks 'First of the Storm' - NYTimes.com
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 13:54
SINONE, Iraq '-- The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Saturday for the catastrophic attacks in the French capital, calling them ''the first of the storm'' and mocking France as a ''capital of prostitution and obscenity,'' according to statements released in multiple languages on one of the terror group's encrypted messaging accounts.
The remarks came in a communiqu(C) published in Arabic, English and French on the Islamic State's account on Telegram, a messaging platform, and then distributed via its supporters on Twitter, according to a transcript provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist propaganda.
An earlier statement was released but was deemed unlikely to be authentic because of anomalies in the language, as well as an error in a date provided, according to experts on jihadist propaganda.
The statement was released on the same Telegram channel that was used to claim responsibility for the crash of a Russian jet over the Sinai Peninsula two weeks ago, killing 224 people. As in that case, it made the announcement in multiple languages and audio recordings.
Interactive Feature | Latest Updates Get the latest from the attacks Friday in Paris.
President Fran§ois Hollande of France said on Saturday that the Islamic State was responsible. Analysts said the nature of the attacks was more in keeping with actions of the Islamic State than with those of Al Qaeda, and the timing and extent of the celebration expressed online by the group's supporters added weight to the claim.
''Eight brothers, wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles, targeted sites that were accurately chosen in the heart of the capital of France,'' the group said in the statement, ''including the Stade de France during the match between the Crusader German and French teams, where the fool of France, Fran§ois Hollande, was present.''
''Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State,'' the statement added, referring to the attacks at the Bataclan concert hall and elsewhere in Paris.
The style of the attack was in line with the Islamic State's tactic of indiscriminate killings and goes against Al Qaeda's guidelines. In a 2013 directive, the leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri, stated that Qaeda operatives should avoid attacks that could inadvertently cause the death of Muslim civilians and noncombatant women or children.
Graphic | Paris Bloodshed May Be the Latest of Many ISIS Attacks Around the World At least a dozen countries have had attacks since the Islamic State, or ISIS, began to pursue a global strategy in the summer of 2014.
He argued that targeting markets, for example, was unadvisable because innocent Muslims might accidentally be killed.
Although Qaeda branches have deviated from these guidelines on numerous occasions, their attacks reflect more carefully defined targeting. That was the case in the killings at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris in January, when cartoonists were singled out and defined as legitimate targets because of what the group considered to be blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.
A Dutch fighter for Al Qaeda's branch in Syria commented on the distinction in a series of posts on Twitter. ''Al Qaeda focuses mostly on political & military targets instead of civilians. That's why this could be an I.S. attack,'' wrote the fighter, who goes by the name Abu Saeed Al-Halabi.
Celebrations by Islamic State supporters online were such that the SITE monitoring group said they could suggest the Islamic State's involvement.
''The extent of the celebration far exceeded past online rallying by I.S. supporters,'' SITE said in an analysis. ''The way I.S. supporters have embraced this attack appears much more coordinated at a much earlier stage than massive reactions to past attacks.''
SCHIFF FIRSTWITH ISIS MEME-Paris Terror Attacks May Prompt More Aggressive U.S. Strategy on ISIS - The New York Times
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:59
PhotoForensic experts on Saturday studied the scene of one of the attacks that unfolded across the Paris area. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks.Credit Marius Becker/European Pressphoto AgencyWASHINGTON '-- When the Islamic State stormed onto the scene in Syria and Iraq, it seemed focused on seizing territory in its own neighborhood. But in the last two weeks, the so-called soldiers of the caliphate appear to have demonstrated a chilling reach, with terrorist attacks against Russia, in Lebanon and now in France.
The seemingly synchronized assaults that turned Paris into a war zone on Friday came just days after a bombing targeted a Shiite district of Beirut controlled by Iran's ally, Hezbollah, and a Russian passenger jet was downed over Egypt. The rapid succession of strikes, all claimed by the Islamic State, suggested that the regional war has turned into a global one.
For President Obama and American allies, the attacks are almost certain to force a reassessment of the threat and may prompt a more aggressive strategy against the Islamic State, known variously as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh. Mr. Obama met with national security aides Saturday before his scheduled departure for Antalya, Turkey, where he was to consult with other world leaders in a Group of 20 summit meeting now sure to be dominated by discussion of the Paris attacks.
Continue reading the main storyLatest Updates''ISIS is absolutely a threat beyond the region,'' said Frances Fragos Townsend, the top White House counterterrorism adviser under President George W. Bush. ''We must not continue to assume that ISIS is merely an away threat. It clearly has international ambitions beyond its self-proclaimed caliphate.''
The situation was already complex enough, with varied players with separate interests involved in the war.
Iran is fighting the Islamic State, but is hardly an ally of the United States. Russia says it is fighting the Islamic State as well, but mainly seems to be trying to bolster the government of President Bashar al-Assad, who Mr. Obama has said must step down.
To an extent, the United States had viewed the Islamic State as a regional problem to fence in; indeed, just the day before the Paris attacks, Mr. Obama told ABC News that ''we have contained them'' in Iraq and Syria. But now the debate will be transformed and Mr. Obama may have to rethink the contours of the war he has been waging.
Continue reading the main storyVideoObama on the Paris AttacksPresident Obama called the attacks ''an outrageous attempt to terrorize civilians.''
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS on Publish Date November 13, 2015.Watch in Times Video >>''Truthfully, I can't imagine how it doesn't change their approach,'' said Michael E. Leiter, who was the director of the National Counterterrorism Center under Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama. ''When you give this kind of organization this much freedom of movement and go after it this incrementally, people shouldn't be surprised by things like the aircraft bombing.''
Matthew G. Olsen, another former director of the counterterrorism center, said the series of major attacks would compel the White House to take additional steps. ''All of this raises the stakes for the U.S. and increases pressure on the U.S. and the West to respond more aggressively,'' he said.
Escalating action against the Islamic State carries its own risks. The Russian airliner was attacked after Moscow intervened in Syria. And the Islamic State has warned it would step up strikes against those countries that have joined the American-led coalition fighting the group in Iraq and Syria.
''The operational tempo is increasing on both sides,'' Mr. Olsen said. ''We're increasing our attacks in Syria and Iraq, and ISIS is increasing their attacks as well.''
PhotoPolice officers outside the Bataclan music hall, which was a scene of carnage on Friday night.Credit Pierre Terdjman for The New York TimesRepresentative Adam B. Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said the attacks should dispel any illusions about the nature of the Islamic State. ''It will add another sense of urgency to defeating'' it, he said, ''and that will be very hard to do without eliminating its sanctuary. If this doesn't create in the world a fierce determination to rid ourselves of this scourge, I don't know what will.''
The Paris attacks will inevitably raise the question of whether to escalate American and Western military operations in Syria and Iraq. Mr. Obama has authorized airstrikes and sent small teams of Special Operations forces acting as advisers to aid Iraqi military units, Syrian rebels and Kurdish fighters on the ground. But he has strongly resisted a more extensive involvement of American ground troops to avoid repeating what he sees as the mistakes of the Iraq war.
In Mr. Obama's view, the United States made things worse after Sept. 11 by invading Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein, stoking a wider anti-American militant movement that ultimately led to the rise of the Islamic State. While critics fault him for pulling American troops out of Iraq in 2011, leaving a vacuum, he has long believed that a greater involvement by the United States would only entangle it in another quagmire without successfully resolving the conflict.
Ms. Townsend and others said that the White House had been too reluctant to acknowledge an ''inconvenient truth'' '-- that the Islamic State threat extends beyond the Middle East and could easily lead to a Paris-style attack in the United States.
Continue reading the main storyGraphicAt least a dozen countries have had attacks since the Islamic State, or ISIS, began to pursue a global strategy in the summer of 2014.
If there were doubts about that before, American agencies on Saturday were busy trying to make sure that that was not the case, scouring passenger manifests on airliners bound for the United States and searching surveillance resources for chatter about plots.
Mr. Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made it clear in statements after the Paris attacks that the United States would stand firm against terrorism, whatever its source. In Vienna, where Mr. Kerry was trying to negotiate a settlement of the Syrian war, which helped give rise to the Islamic State, he said the Paris attacks would ''stiffen our resolve'' to fight back.
''You're going to see several things,'' said Steven Simon, a former Middle East adviser to Mr. Obama. ''Tighter border controls, more intensive surveillance in the U.S. and more outreach to local communities in the hope that extremists will be fingered by their friends and family. And a tightening of already intimate cooperation with European intelligence agencies.''
Juan Carlos Zarate, a former counterterrorism adviser to Mr. Bush, said the spreading threat would require action on multiple fronts. ''In the wake of the Paris, Beirut and Sinai attacks, the U.S. government and allies may now realize that there may not be time to contain this threat '-- and instead need to be much more aggressive in disrupting terrorists' hold on territory, resources and the minds of Muslim youth.''
Continue reading the main storyVideoHollande Blames ISIS for AttacksThe president of France declared Saturday that the massacre in Paris should be considered an act of war planned by the Islamic State and carried out with help from inside the country.
By REUTERS on Publish Date November 14, 2015.Photo by Pool photo by Stephane De Sakutin.Watch in Times Video >>The Paris attacks, coming so soon after the deadly shootings at Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper, in January will force American analysts to review their assumptions about the potential threat at home.
While attacks in places like Mumbai, India, have been highly coordinated, much attention in the United States has focused on the possibility of lone-wolf attackers inspired by, if not directed by, radicals overseas, as manifested by the shootings at Fort Hood, Tex., in 2009 or the bombing of the Boston Marathon in 2013.
''The multiple coordinated attacks defy the lone-wolf narrative we had constructed,'' said Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant secretary of homeland security under Mr. Obama. ''The fact this could happen is remarkable, and not in a complimentary way. We can withstand random guys with low-level attacks and minimal consequences. This means the 'war' we thought we had put to rest has resurfaced.''
Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown, said it was never an either-or choice between lone wolves and foreign attackers.
''The emphasis on lone wolves was all part of the wishful thinking that ISIS was purely a local phenomenon that could be contained to Syria and Iraq,'' Mr. Hoffman said.
Indeed, the initial assumptions on Friday were that the Paris attacks must be the work of Al Qaeda, a group that traditionally has had wider reach and aspirations than the Islamic State.
In 2010, Mr. Hoffman recalled, Osama bin Laden called on Qaeda franchises to stage Mumbai-style attacks in European cities, but his order fell on deaf ears because there was no group then capable of such an operation.
Today, the Islamic State seems to have filled that void.
''They wanted to be considered a global terrorist organization,'' said John D. Cohen, a Rutgers University professor who was a senior Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism and intelligence official until last year. ''If so, they'll have sent a loud message they are.''
A version of this news analysis appears in print on November 15, 2015, on page A18 of the New York edition with the headline: Attacks May Prompt Hardening of U.S. Strategy on ISIS.
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Prison Planet.com >> Amid Bataclan Hostage Crisis, Did Paris Police Wait Too Long To Rescue Victims?
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:57
Christopher HarressIBTNovember 14, 2015
The Paris SWAT team waited around two hours before entering the building, despite tweets from hostages suggesting that the terrorists were killing people indiscriminately.
More than 115 people were killed during a hostage crisis before police SWAT teams stormed the Bataclan theater in central Paris at around 1 a.m. Saturday local time, freeing an unknown number of victims and killing three terror suspects, according to a live TV broadcast by CNN.
It was not immediately clear how many hostages died before the rescue operation took place, but it's likely the length of time the police waited will be the subject of scrutiny in the aftermath of the attacks, according to an expert in hostage situations and counterterrorism. ''In this case, the police tactical teams should have just gone in straight away, using the quickest preliminary plan they had,'' said former Army Special Forces Col. Steve Bucci, now director of the Center for Foreign and National Security Policy at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C., think tank. ''With their high level of training they could have gone in and used their instincts to resolve this situation quickly.''
Bucci said police would have encountered a rare scenario where possible suicide bombers had taken hostages, making the job of the SWAT team increasingly difficult as they would be essentially putting more lives at risk by storming the theater. ''They would normally try to get into a difficult area like that using unpredictable methods like going through walls, through the ceiling, while also trying to confuse the bad guys by using flash bangs, giving them the split-second advantage they need to shoot the hostage takers,'' Bucci said.
The hostage situation unfolded during a night of reported coordinated terror attacks at several different locations across France's capital. Suicide bombers hit a bar near the Stade de France, a soccer stadium in northern Paris where the French and German international teams were playing. Footage from the game shows players looking around nervously as the noise of the suicide bombers who blew themselves up outside reverberated around the stadium. Additional attacks took place at other locations in central Paris.
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This article was posted: Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 6:33 am
Operation Gladio - Wikispooks
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:56
Secret for over 40 years, Gladio is a NATO-backed network of armed soldiers inside the nations of Europe which bypasses the control of nation governments. Ostensibly intended for use only in case of a Soviet invasion, Gladio has in fact carried out a string of false flag terror attacks. In 1990, the European parliament called for national political investigations, but most national governments have chosen not to investigate it.
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Page Name SizeDescriptionOperation Gladio/B13,878A development of Operation Gladio to help roll out the "war on terror" by promoting false flag US-sponsored terrorism to be blamed on Muslim extremists.Official narrativeWhat has come to be called Operation Gladio was never intended to be publicly acknowledged. It was a multi-national military plan to arm and train clandestine groups in many (perhaps all) of its member countries and elsewhere in Europe. The official narrative on these networks is confused, contradictory and definitely incomplete, with many basic questions unanswered. The stated reasons for establishing undercover armed groups has tended to focus on use of the secret armies as a fifth column to provide armed resistance in the case of a Soviet invasion.
ProblemsThe power hierarchy of Gladio remains unclear to this day, but has frequently bypassed elected national leaders. When the European Union learned of the existence of Gladio, it passed a resolution mandating national investigations to reveal what was going on, but as of 2014, only Italy, Belgium and Switzerland have carried out such parliamentary investigations. A large question mark therefore remains over the role that Operation Gladio has played, and continues to play in influencing events. It seems very likely that the deep state controls these forces whether through the national intelligence services or in more informal fashion. The connection, in particular, with false flag terrorist attacks is particularly concerning.
IntroductionOperation Gladio first came to light in Italy in 1990, after over 40 years of clandestine operations. Members of the project revealed that similar projects existed in most if not all countries of Western Europe.[1] These stay-behind networks were, in essence, super secret armies in at least 14 European countries, which were kept secret from the official governmental structures of the host countries '' being controlled by other forces such as the CIA and MI6. They remained mostly dormant but were also involved in anti-communist activities including anti-democratic agitation and false flagterrorism.
The name Gladio, (or 'Sword' in Italian) was technically the name given to their operations in Italy, but has since come by extension to stand for the phenomenon as a whole. Evidence of such arrangements, which had been kept secret from both public and politicians democratically elected governments in the host countries for a quarter of a century was revealed through a series of scandalous revelations in Italy and other NATO countries during the 90s, and meticulously documented by Swiss historian Daniele Ganser in his 2004 book NATO's Secret Armies,[2] arguably the most shocking book ever to be ignored by the corporate media. The evidence contained in Ganser's book, of terrorism directed against the people by secret armies funded and organised by NATO and answerable to deep state elements within NATO, MI6 and the CIA rather than the respective governments is so shocking that the initial reaction of most people would be to reject it. And yet the claims have been substantiated by juridical inquiries in Italy, Switzerland and Belgium and have been debated (and condemned) in the European Parliament.
Judge Felice CassonThe scandal originally came to light in Italy in 1984 when an Italian judge Felice Casson reopened the case of a terrorist car bomb in Peteano in 1972 and uncovered a series of anomalies in the original investigation. The atrocity which had originally been blamed on the communist Red Brigades turned out to be, in fact, the work of a right wing organization called Ordine Nuovo. Following the discovery of an arms cache near Trieste in 1972 containing C4 explosives identical to that used in the Peteano attack, Casson's investigation revealed that the bombing in Peteano was the work of the military secret service SID (Servizio Informazioni Difesa) in conjunction with Ordine Nuovo. The intention had been to blame the bombing on the extreme left wing militant outfit, the Red Brigades. The right wing terrorist, Vincenzo Vinciguerra was arrested and charged and confessed to planting the bomb.
Judge Casson's investigation also revealed that the Peteano bombing was the continuation of a series of bombings begun at Christmas 1969, the most well-known of which, on the Piazza Fontane in Milan, killed 16 and injured 80. The bombing campaign culminated on 2 August 1980 with a massive bomb in the waiting room of Bologna railway station which killed 85 and injured 200. It was one of the largest terrorist outrages on mainland Europe in modern times.
The Strategy of TensionFull article: Strategy of TensionDuring his trial, Vincenzo Vinciguerra revealed that, in addition to discrediting left wing political groups, there had been a second, even darker aim behind the bombings, namely to inculcate a climate of fear among the general populace. This was known as the 'strategy of tension' which was intended to generate a pervasive sense of fear which would encourage the population to appeal to the state for protection.
Vincenzo Vinciguerra claimed during his trial:
'You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public to turn to the State to ask for greater security.'
In a BBC documentary Gladio, he described the aim as to 'destabilise in order to stabilise''... 'To create tension within the country to promote conservative, reactionary social and political tendencies.'
In 1990 Judge Casson was given permission by prime minister Giulio Andreotti to search the archives of the Italian military secret service Servizio informazioni sicurezza Militare (SISMI) where he found proof of the existence of the Gladio network, and links to NATO and the United States. Following this, on 3 August 1990 prime minister Andreotti confirmed to parliament the existence of the Gladio networks but claimed they had ceased operating in 1972. This was subsequently revealed to be false by the Italian press. Andreotti then admitted the existence of the Gladio networks and their connection to NATO.
The secret Gladio army, as Andreotti revealed, was well armed. The equipment
provided by the CIA was buried in 139 hiding spots across the country in forests, meadows and even under churches and cemeteries. According to the explanations of Andreotti the Gladio caches included 'portable arms, ammunition, explosives, hand grenades, knives and daggers, 60 mm mortars, several 57 mm recoilless rifles, sniper rifles, radio transmitters, binoculars and various tools'. Andreotti's sensational testimony did not only lead to an outcry concerning the corruption of the government and the CIA among the press and the population, but also to a hunt for the secret arms caches. Padre Giuciano recalls the day when the press came to search for the hidden Gladio secrets in his church with ambiguous feelings: 'I was forewarned in the afternoon when two journalists from "Il Gazzettino" asked me if I knew anything about arms deposits here at the church. They started to dig right here and found two boxes right away. Then the text also said a thirty centimetres from the window. So they came over here and dug down. One box was kept aside by them because it contained a phosphorous bomb. They sent the Carabinieri outside whilst two experts opened this box, another had two machine guns in it. All the guns were new, in perfect shape. They had never been used.'(DG p. 12)
But he denied the claim of Vinceguerra that the Gladio armies had been involved in the domestic terrorism the country had witnessed. Despite that, a parliamentary commission in 2000 investigating Gladio explicitly rejected his denial and concluded to the contrary:
'Those massacres, those bombs, those military actions had been organised or promoted or supported by men inside Italian state institutions and, as has been discovered more recently, by men linked to the structures of United States intelligence.'
(DG p.14)
The Scandal SpreadsFortuitously for the powers-that-be Andreotti's revelations coincided with Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait and as a result did not garner the publicity they almost certainly otherwise would have. Even so, the scandal began to spread. In October Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou confirmed there had been a Gladio network in Greece. In Germany a TV programme shocked the nation by revealing how former members of Hitler's Special Forces SS had been part of a German stay-behind network. The Belgian Parliament appointed a special committee to investigate the existence '' confirmed by the defence minister '' of a Belgian Gladio network.
Most sensitively the Belgian parliamentarians discovered that the secret NATO army was still active. They found that a secret meeting of Generals directing the secret stay-behind armies in the numerous countries in Western Europe had been held in the secret NATO-linked Gladio headquarters ACC as recently as October 23 and 24, 1990. The meeting of the ACC had taken place in Brussels under the chairmanship of General Raymond Van Calster, chief of the Belgian military secret service SGR (Service General de Renseignement).[3]
In FrancePresident Mitterand claimed that the French Gladio network had been dissolved long ago but to his enormous embarrassment Andreotti then claimed the French had taken part in the recent meeting in Brussels. And so it went on. British defence officials refused to comment. In Portugal, contrary to official denials, a retired general confirmed there had been such a network in Portugal, while in Spain former defence minister Alberto Oliart claimed it was childish to "ask whether also under dictator Franco a secret right-wing army had existed in the country because 'here Gladio was the government'."[4]
In Turkey former prime minister Bulent Ecevit went even further and admitted that a secret army had been involved in torture, massacres, assassinations and coups d'etat, prompting the serving defence minister Giray to retort "Ecevit had better keep his fucking mouth shut!"[5]
The EU DebateIn all, 12 EU countries were affected and on November 22 1990 the European Parliament debated the issue.
The tone was set by Greek parliamentarian Ephremidis:
'Mr. President, the Gladio system has operated for four decades under various names. It has operated clandestinely, and we are entitled to attribute to it all the destabilization, all the provocation and all the terrorism that have occurred in our countries over these four decades, and to say that, actively or passively, it must have had an involvement.' Ephremidis sharply criticised the entire stay-behind network: 'The fact that it was set up by the CIA and NATO which, while purporting to defend democracy were actually undermining it and using it for their own nefarious purposes.'
(DG p.21)
Ganser writes of the EU debate:
Thereafter, as a first point of criticism following the preamble, the resolution of the EU parliament 'Condemns the clandestine creation of manipulative and operational networks and calls for a full investigation into the nature, structure, aims and all other aspects of these clandestine organisations or any splinter groups, their use for illegal interference in the internal political affairs of the countries concerned, the problem of terrorism in Europe and the possible collusion of the secret services of Member States or third countries.' As a second point the EU 'Protests vigorously at the assumption by certain US military personnel at SHAPE and in NATO of the right to encourage the establishment in Europe of a clandestine intelligence and operation network.' As a third point the resolution 'Calls on the governments of the Member States to dismantle all clandestine military and paramilitary networks.' As a fourth point the EU 'Calls on the judiciaries of the countries in which the presence of such military organisations has been ascertained to elucidate fully their composition and modus operandi and to clarify any action they may have taken to destabilize the democratic structures of the Member States.' Furthermore as a fifth point the EU 'Requests all the Member States to take the necessary measures, if necessary by establishing parliamentary committees of inquiry, to draw up a complete list of organisations active in this field, and at the same time to monitor their links with the respective state intelligence services and their links, if any, with terrorist action groups and/or other illegal practices.' As a sixth point the EU parliament addresses the EU Council of Ministers, above all in its reunion as Defence Ministers, and 'Calls on the Council of Ministers to provide full information on the activities of these secret intelligence and operational services.' As a seventh point, the resolution 'Calls on its competent committee to consider holding a hearing in order to clarify the role and impact of the "GLADIO" organisation and any similar bodies.' Last but not least in its final point the resolution explicitly addresses both NATO and the United States, as the EU parliament 'Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Secretary-General of NATO, the governments of the Member States, and the United States Government.'
He concludes:
The dog barked loudly, but it did not bite. Of the eight actions requested by the EU parliament not one was carried out satisfactorily. Only Belgium, Italy and
Switzerland investigated their secret armies with a parliamentary commission, producing a lengthy and detailed public report.(DG pp. 23''24)
Silence from NATO, CIA & MI6NATO reacted to these revelations in November 1990 with confusion. Against a background of newspaper headlines typified by the Guardian's 'Bombs Used at Bologna came from NATO unit', spokesmen first denied the stories and then denied the denials by saying it was a subject which couldn't be discussed on grounds of military secrecy.
The Portuguese press reported on November 7 a confirmation, NATO secretary General Manfred Woerner was quoted as telling in secret 16 ambassadors of NATO countries,
Worner confirmed that the military command of the allied forces - Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) - coordinated the activities of the "Gladio Network", which had been erected by the secret services in various countries of NATO, through a committee created in 1952.(DG p.27)
German press confirmed that the so-called Secret Armies were co-ordinated in a special secure wing of NATO HQ in Casteau. Access was via a bank vault type door and papers were circulated with the stamp 'American Eyes Only.'
The revelations began to mount and a picture emerged of a NATO Clandestine Planning Committee, responsible for the Gladio armies; of protocols which actively protected right-wing extremists from pursuit since they would be useful in anti-Communist activities. The CPC was run by the US with the UK and France as junior partners, with CIA members present at their meetings. Despite numerous revelations from those who took part, the official NATO position was (and is) one of denial. Official CIA response to information requests has been to neither confirm nor deny. In the UK, MI6 was even more cagey, prompting John Simpson on BBC 2's Newsnight programme in April 1991 to say
'Britain's role in setting up stay-behinds throughout Europe was absolutely fundamental... it has emerged that other European countries had their own stay-behind armies - Belgium, France, Holland, Spain, Greece, Turkey. Even in neutral Sweden and Switzerland there has been public debate. And in some cases enquiries have been set up. Yet in Britain, there is nothing.
Save the customary comment of the ministry of defence that they don't discuss matters of national security.'(DG p.36)
Paradoxically, despite the secrecy, an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum tacitly admitted the existence of the stay behind networks, and subsequent to this, two former Royal Marine officers admitted to having spent time at Fort Monckton near Portsmouth where MI6 and members of the SAS trained foreign gladiators.
PrecursorsThe original models for the secret armies had been set up in the UK during WW2 by Section D of MI6. Arms caches were buried in anticipation of a German invasion. Initially, this was a purely domestic affair, but in 1940 with the inception of Special Operations Executive (SOE) the same tactics were taken behind enemy lines throughout occupied Europe. Officially SOE was closed down in 1946 and gave way to a successor - Special Operation (SO) - created under the auspices of MI6 to translate the same networks into resistance in countries overrun by the Soviets. Surviving secret units of the Axis powers were targeted and members of the defeated were sometimes recruited for the new anti-Soviet stay-behind networks.
As the Gladio scandal erupted in 1990 the British press observed that 'it is now clear that the elite Special Air Service regiment (SAS) was up to its neck in the NATO scheme, and functioned, with MI6, as a training arm for guerrilla warfare and sabotage'. Specifically the British press confirmed that 'an Italian stay-behind unit trained in Britain. The evidence now suggests that it lasted well into the 1980s', adding 'it has been proved that the SAS constructed the secret hides where arms were stockpiled in the British sector of West Germany'. Some of the best data on the secret British hand came from the Swiss parliamentary investigation into the secret Swiss stay-behind army P26. 'British secret services collaborated
closely with an armed, undercover Swiss organisation [P26] through a series of covert agreements which formed part of a west European network of "resistance" groups', the press informed a stunned public in neutral Switzerland. Swiss judge Cornu was given the task to investigate the matter and in his report 'describes the group's [P26] collaboration with British secret services as "intense", with Britain providing valuable know-how. P26 cadres participated regularly in training exercises in Britain, the report says. British advisers - possibly from the SAS - visited secret training establishments in Switzerland.' Ironically the British knew more about the secret Swiss army than the Swiss government, for 'The activities of P26, its codes, and the name of the leader of the group, Efrem Cattelan, were known to British intelligence, but the Swiss government was kept in the dark, according to the report. It says that documents giving details about the secret agreements between the British and P26 have never been found.' Swiss Gladiators during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s trained in Great Britain under British Special Forces instructors. Training, according to Swiss military instructor and alleged Gladio member Alois Hurlimann, also included non-simulated real action operations against IRA activists, probably in Northern Ireland. This Hurlimann carelessly revealed in Switzerland during an English language course conversation hour when in poor English he reported that in May 1984 he had taken part in secret trainings in England which had also included a real, non-simulated assault on an IRA arms depot, in which Hurlimann, fully dressed in battle fatigues, had participated, and in which at least one IRA activist had been killed.(DG p.45)
John Major's government continued to peddle the line of not commenting on security matters but headlines continued. Newsnight in April 1991 highlighted the evidence that the Gladio networks had operated politically with subversion of the Left. This was reinforced a year later in three ground-breaking documentaries for the BBC by Allan Francovich.
Mainly based on interviews, and focusing almost exclusively on Gladio in Italy and Belgium, Francovich's BBC documentaries feature in front of the camera such key Gladio players as Licio Gelli, head of the P2, Italian right-wing activist Vincenzo Vinciguerra, Venetian judge and Gladio discoverer Felice Casson, Italian Gladio commander General Gerardo Serravalle, Senator Roger Lallemand, head of the Belgian Parliamentary inquiry into Gladio, Decimo Garau, former Italian instructor at the Sardinian Gladio base, William Colby, former Director of CIA, and Martial Lekeu, former member of the Belgian Gendarmerie to name but a few.
'The stay-behind effort, in my view, was simply to be sure that if the worst came to worst, if a Communist Party came into power, that there would be some agents there who would tip us off, and tell us what was happening and be around', Ray Cline, Deputy Director of the CIA from 1962 to 1966, explained for instance in front of Francovich's camera. 'It's not unlikely that some right-wing groups were recruited and made to be stay-behinds because they would indeed have tipped us off if a war were going to begin, so using right-wingers, if you used them not politically, but for intelligence purposes, is o.k.', Cline went on the record. The papers on the next day in London reported that 'It was one of those programmes which you imagine will bring down governments, but such is the instant amnesia generated by television you find that in the newspapers the next morning it rates barely a mention.(DG p.50)
Made in the USAMost people would no doubt be deeply surprised to learn which country became the first target of covert action by the CIA after its inception in 1947. It was Italy. Under the auspices of top secret document NSC 4-A CIA DirectorHillenkoetter was empowered to take a range of covert actions to prevent a communist victory in Italy's forthcoming elections.
The 'reason for so great secrecy was altogether clear', the official CIA history records, for 'there were citizens of this country at that time who would have been aghast if they had learned of NSC 4-A'.
(DG p.53)
A year later and another directive, the notorious, NSC 10/2 was passed which authorised the CIA to carry out covert actions anywhere in the world. Covert action was defined as activities
'which are conducted or sponsored by this government against hostile foreign states or groups or in support of friendly foreign states or groups but which are so planned and conducted that any US Government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorised persons and that if uncovered the US Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them'.
Specifically this included
'propaganda; economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition, and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world'.
(DG p.54)
Even though the definition seemed to include everything imaginable - including activities in countries of the 'free world' - Hillenkoetter's successor claimed that by 1951 the CIA covert ops had already 'far exceeded' even this.
Gladio-orchestrated coups in Italy.One reason the US focussed such attention on Italy was the country had become an ideological battleground between left and right after the Second World War. The communist party was popular and strong and ranged against it on the right stood an ad hoc coalition of the Italian military secret service, right wing extremists as well as the Mafia and the CIA. Much of the wartime fascist bureaucracy survived, with the support of the US. Most notoriously, Prince Valerio Borghese (whose partisan army had killed hundreds of communists during the war), was saved from execution by the protection of the US. Such was the American determination that Italy should not go communist that President Truman signed a top secret order in 1950 which explicitly included invasion of Italy as an option if the country should turn red.
In April 1963 the socialists and communists did well in the polls, with members of the socialist party given cabinet posts but the success was short-lived. The following November Kennedy was assassinated and five months later the Italian socialists were forced out of office by a right-wing coup orchestrated by the CIA and Gladio units.
Code-named 'Piano Solo' the coup was directed by General Giovanni De
Lorenzo whom Defence Minister Giulio Andreotti of the DCI had transferred from chief of SIFAR to chief of the Italian paramilitary police, the Carabinieri. In close cooperation with CIA secret warfare expert Vernon Walters, William Harvey, chief of the CIA station in Rome, and Renzo Rocca, Director of the Gladio units within the military secret service SID, De Lorenzo escalated the secret war. Rocca first used his secret Gladio army to bomb the offices of the DCI and the offices of a few daily newspapers and thereafter blamed the terror on the left in order to discredit both Communists and Socialists.47 As the government was not shaken, De Lorenzo in Rome on March 25, 1964 instructed his secret soldiers that upon his signal they were to 'occupy government offices, the most important communication centres, the headquarters of the leftist parties and the seats of the newspapers closest to the left, as well as the radio and television centres. Newspaper agencies were to be occupied strictly for the time only that it takes to destroy the printing machines and to generally make the publication of newspapers impossible.'48 De Lorenzo insisted that the operation had to be carried out with 'maximum energy and decisiveness, free of any doubts or indecisiveness' and, as the Gladio investigation put it, made his men 'feverish and biting'.49 The Gladiators equipped with proscription lists naming several hundred persons had the explicit order to track down designated Socialists and Communists, arrest and deport them to the island of Sardinia where the secret Gladio centre was to serve as a prison. The document on 'The Special Forces of SIFAR and Operation Gladio' had specified that 'As for the operating headquarters, the Saboteur's Training CAG is being protected by a particularly sensitive security system and equipped with installations and equipment designed to be useful in case of an emergency.'50 In an atmosphere of greatest tension the secret army was ready to start the coup. Then, on June 14, 1964, De Lorenzo gave the go-ahead 71and with his troops entered Rome with tanks, armoured personnel carriers, jeeps and grenade launchers while NATO forces staged a large military manoeuvre in the area to intimidate the Italian government. Cunningly the General claimed that the show of muscle was taking place on the eve of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Carabinieri and, together with feverishly anti-Communist Italian President Antonio Segni of the right-wing of the DCI, saluted the troops with a smile. The Italian Socialists noted that somewhat unusually for a parade the tanks and grenade launchers were not withdrawn after the show but stayed in Rome during May and most of June 1964 .(DG p.72)
A second CIA-backed right-wing coup, code-named Tora-Tora,, was planned for December 1970 but was called off at the last minute. Reportedly, the phone call that aborted it came from President Nixon himself.
As a consequence, the Left continued to gain ground in Italy. Foreign secretary Aldo Moro together with president Giovanni Leone flew to the US but were told by Kissinger that on no account should the Left be included in government. Aldo Moro's wife Eleonora later testified that the words used to her husband were, "You must abandon your policy of bringing all the political forces in your country into direct collaboration. Either you give this up or you will pay dearly for it.'" (DG p.79)
Subsequently Moro was kidnapped and murdered.
The Senate commission investigating Gladio and the terrorist bombings suspected the CIA and the Italian military secret service to have organised the abduction and murder of Moro. It therefore reopened the case but found that almost all files on the Moro kidnapping and murder had mysteriously disappeared from the archives of the Ministry of the Interior. The final 370-page report of the commission concluded in 1995 that, 'It emerges without the shadow of a doubt that elements of the CIA started in the second half of the 1960s a massive operation in order to counter by the use of all means the spreading of groups and movements of the left on a European level.' However these words were not strong enough for some Senators who continued the investigation under the chairmanship of Senator Pellegrini and concluded in June 2000 that
'those massacres, those bombs, those military actions had been organized or promoted or supported by men inside Italian state institutions and, as has been discovered more recently, by men linked to the structures of United States intelligence.
(DG p.82)
Ganser continues his inquiry with an exhaustive but depressingly familiar account of the same anti-democratic crimes being played out in the other countries of Western Europe, both within and without NATO, namely: France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxemburg, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Greece and Turkey.
Prudent precaution or Source of Terror?At the end of his book, Ganser asks this question in an attempt to draw out the historical lessons. The answer is of course both. The strategic need for the stay-behind armies was reasonable in the light of what was known at the time, but the excesses directed against the people and democratic institutions of the host countries amounted to a wholly unacceptable assault on the sovereignty of these countries, of a sort that was familiar in Warsaw Pact countries but which was assumed to be absent from NATO countries. The terrorist bombings proved to be a means by which Pentagon planners were able to take their own (imaginary or delusional) fears about the rise of the Left and turn them into very real and concrete fears for the populace. The swiftness with which the fear of Communism has since been transmuted following the end of the Cold War into a fear of Islamic terrorism, along with the arrival of the whole security-military- industrial-complex paraphernalia of the 'War on Terror' illustrates that this is almost a modus operandi of military planners. It's as if they can't help themselves. In light of this information, there is now a vast army of people around the world who reject the official government narrative of what happened on 9/11 and suspect there may have been US government complicity in the attacks. Opponents cry out that such a thing is unthinkable and that 'they' would never do such a thing. But as Ganser's meticulously footnoted history of the Gladio armies makes clear: it may be unthinkable but it certainly isn't unprecedented.
Ganser's Conclusion in full:
Conclusion'Prudent Precaution or source of Terror?' the international press pointedly asked when the secret stay-behind armies of NATO were discovered across Western
Europe following the Gladio revelations in Italy in late 1990. After more than ten years of research and investigation the answer is now clear: Both. The secret stay-behind armies of NATO were a prudent precaution, as the available documents and testimonies amply demonstrate. Based on the experiences of the Second World War and the rapid and traumatic occupation of most European countries by the German and Italian forces, military experts feared the Soviet Union and became convinced that a stay-behind army could be of strategic value when it came to the liberation of the occupied territory. Behind enemy lines the secret army could have strengthened the resistance spirit of the population, helped in the running of an organised and armed national resistance, sabotaged and harassed the occupying forces, exfiltrated shot down pilots, and gathered intelligence for the government in exile.
Based on the fear of a potential invasion after the Second World War highly placed officials in the national European governments, in the European military secret services, in NATO as well as in the CIA and the MI6 therefore decided that a secret resistance network had to be set up already during peacetime. On a lower level in the hierarchy citizens and military officers in numerous countries of Western Europe shared this assessment, joined the conspiracy and secretly trained for the emergency. These preparations were not limited to the 16 NATO member countries, but included also the four neutral countries in Western Europe, namely Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland, on which the author is preparing a second publication. In retrospect it has become obvious that the fear was without reason and the training had been futile for the invasion of the Red Army never came. Yet such a certainty was not available at the time. And it is telling that the cover of the network, despite repeated exposures in many countries during the entire Cold War, was only blown completely at exactly the same moment when the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union collapsed. The secret stay-behind armies of NATO, however, were also a source of terror, as the evidence available now shows. It has been this second feature of the secret war that has attracted a lot of attention and criticism in the last decade, and which in the future will need more investigation and research. As of now the evidence indicates that the governments of the United States and Great Britain after the end of the Second World War feared not only a Soviet invasion, but also the Communist Parties, and to a lesser degree the Socialist Parties. The White House and Downing Street feared that in several countries of Western Europe, and above all in Italy, France, Belgium, Finland and Greece, the Communists might reach positions of influence in the executive and destroy the military alliance NATO from within by betraying military secrets to the Soviet Union. It was in this sense that the Pentagon in Washington together with the CIA, MI6 and NATO in a secret war set up and operated the stay-behind armies as an instrument to manipulate and control the democracies of Western Europe from within, unknown to both European populations and parliaments. This strategy lead to terror and fear, as well as to "humiliation and maltreatment of democratic institutions', as the European press correctly criticised.
Experts of the Cold War will note that Operation Gladio and NATO's stay-behind armies cast a new light on the question of sovereignty in Western Europe. It is now clear that as the Cold War divided Europe, brutality and terror was employed to control populations on both sides of the Iron Curtain. As far as Eastern Europe is concerned, this fact has long been recognised, long before it had been openly declared. After the Red Army had in 1968 mercilessly crushed the social reforms in Prag, Soviet leader Leonid Breschnew in Moscow with his infamous 'Breschnew doctrine' had openly declared that the countries of Eastern Europe were only allowed to enjoy 'limited sovereignty'. As far as Western Europe is concerned the conviction of being sovereign and independent was shattered more recently. The data from Operation Gladio and NATO's stay-behind armies indicates a more subtle and hidden strategy to manipulate and limit the sovereignty, with great differences from country to country. Yet a limitation of sovereignty it was. And in each case where the stay-behind network in the absence of a Soviet invasion functioned as a straightjacket for the democracies of Western Europe, Operation Gladio was the Breschnew doctrine of Washington. The strategic rationale to protect NATO from within cannot be brushed aside lightly. But the manipulation of the democracies of Western Europe by Washington and London on a level which many in the European Union still today find difficult to believe clearly violated the rule of law and will require further debate and investigation. In some operations the secret stay-behind soldiers together with the secret military services monitored and filed left-wing politicians and spread anti-Communist propaganda. In more violent operations the secret war led to bloodshed. Tragically the secret warriors linked up with right-wing terrorists, a combination that led - in some countries including at least Belgium, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Turkey - to massacres, torture, coup d'etats and other violent acts. Most of these state-sponsored terrorist operations, as the subsequent cover-ups and fake trials suggest, enjoyed the encouragement and protection of selected highly placed governmental and military officials in Europe and in the United States. Members of the security apparatus and the government on both sides of the Atlantic who themselves despise being linked up with right-wing terrorism must in the future bring more clarity nd understanding into these tragic dimensions of the secret Cold War in Western Europe.
If Cold War experts will derive new data from NATO's stay-behind network for their discourse on limited sovereignty during the Cold War, then international legal experts and analysts of dysfunctions of democracies will find data on the breakdown of checks and balances within each nation. The Gladio data indicates that the legislative was unable to control the more hidden branches of the executive, and that parliamentary control of secret services is often non-existing or dysfunctional in democracies on both sides of the Atlantic. Totalitarian states have long been known to have operated a great variety of largely uncontrolled and unaccountable secret services and secret armies. Yet to discover such serious dysfunctions also in numerous democracies comes as a great surprise, to say the least. Within this debate of checks and balances military officials have been correct to point out after the discovery of Operation Gladio and NATO's stay-behind network that there can never be such a thing as a 'transparent stay-behind army', for such a network would be exposed immediately in case of invasion and its members would be killed by the invasion force. Parliamentarians and constitutional lawyers meanwhile have been equally correct to emphasise that both the armed forces and the secret services of a democracy must at all times be transparent, accountable, controlled and supervised closely by civilian representatives of the people as they represent the most powerful instruments of the state.
This clash between mandatory secrecy and mandatory transparency, which lies at the heart of the Gladio phenomenon, directly points to the more general question of how much secrecy should be granted to the executive branch of a democracy. Judged from the Gladio evidence, where a lack of transparency and accountability has lead to corruption, abuse and terror, the answer is clear: The executive should be granted no secrecy and should at all times be controlled by the legislative. For a secret government, as it manifested itself in the United States and parts of Western Europe, can lead to abuse and even state terrorism. The growth of Intelligence abuses reflects a more general failure of our basic institutions', US Senator Frank Church had wisely noted after a detailed investigation of CIA covert operations already in the 1970s. Gladio repeats this warning with a vengance.
It can hardly be overemphasised that running a secret army and funding an unaccountable intelligence service entails grave risks every democracy should seek to avoid. For the risks do not only include uncontrolled violence against groups of citizens, but mass manipulation of entire countries or continents. Among the most far-reaching findings on the secret war, as seen in the analysis, ranges the fact that the stay-behind network had served as a tool to spread fear amongst the population also in the absence of an invasion. The secret armies in some cases functioned as an almost perfect manipulation system that transported the fears of high-ranking military officers in the Pentagon and NATO to the populations in Western Europe. European citizens, as the strategists in the Pentagon saw it, due to their limited vision were unable to perceive the real and present danger of Communism, and therefore they had to be manipulated. By killing innocent citizens on market squares or in supermarkets and blaming the crime on the Communists the secret armies together with convinced right-wing terrorists effectively translated the fears of Pentagon strategists into very real fears of European citizens.
The destructive spiral of manipulation, fear and violence did not end with the fall of the Soviet Union and the discovery of the secret armies in 1990, but on the contrary gained momentum. Ever since the vicious terrorist attacks on the population of the United States on September 11, 2001 and the beginning of the 'War on Terrorism' fear and violence dominate not only the headlines across the globe but also the consciousness of millions. In the West the 'evil Communist' of the Cold War era has swiftly been replaced with the 'evil Islamist' of the war on terrorism era. With almost 3,000 civilians killed on September 11, and several thousands killed in the US-led war on terrorism so far with no end in sight, a new level of brutality has been reached.
Such an environment of fear, as the Gladio evidence shows, is ideally suited to manipulate the masses on both sides into more radical positions. Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaida terror network manipulated millions of Muslims, above all young male adults, to take up a radical position and believe in violence. On the other side also the White House and the administration of George Bush junior has fuelled the spiral of violence and fear and lead millions of Christians and seculars in the United States and in Europe to believe in the necessity and justice of killing other human beings in order to enhance their own security. Yet human security is not being advanced, but on the contrary decays, as the atmosphere is drenched with manipulation, violence and fear. Where the manipulation and the violence originate from and where they lead to, is at times very difficult to dissect. Hitler and the Nazis had profited greatly from manipulation and the fear in the wake of the mysterious Reichstagsbrand in Berlin in 1933, whereupon the Third Reich and Second World War followed. In 2001 the war on terrorism began, and once again radical critics have argued that the White House had manipulated 9/11, the largest terrorist attack in history, for geostrategic purposes.
As people across the globe share a vague sensation 'that it cannot go on like that' many search for an exit strategy from the spiral of violence, fear and manipulation. In Europe a consensus is building that terrorism cannot be defeated by war, as the latter feeds the spiral of violence, and hence the war on terrorism is not part of the solution but part of the problem. Furthermore also more high-tech - from retina scanning to smart containers - seems unable to really protect potential targets from terror attacks. More technology might even increase the challenges ahead when exploited for terrorist purposes and asymmetric warfare, a development observable ever since the invention of dynamite in the nineteenth century. Arguably more technology and more violence will therefore not solve the challenges ahead. A potential exit strategy from the spiral of fear, manipulation and violence might have to focus on the individual human being itself and a change of consciousness. Given its free will the individual can decide to focus on non-violent solutions of given problems and promote a dialogue of understanding and forgiveness in order to reduce extremist positions. The individual can break free from fear and manipulation by consciously concentrating on his or her very own feelings, thoughts, words and actions, and by focusing all of them on peaceful solutions. As more secrecy and more bloodshed are unlikely to solve the problems ahead the new millennium seems a particularly adequate time to begin with such a shift in consciousness which can have positive effects both for the world and for oneself.
Operation Gladio BFull article: Operation Gladio BSibel Edmonds has exposed an international development of the original Gladio program referred to as "Operation Gladio B", which can be understood as a response to the subsidence of the Soviet threat after the end of the cold war. As a way of kickstarting the "war on terror", instead of nationalist extremists in European countries, radical Muslims are armed and trained to carry out terrorist attacks.
Related DocumentsRefrences'†‘http://www.danieleganser.ch/Gladio_in_Spain_Los_ejercitos_secretos_de_la_OTAN_1315413180.html'†‘Paperback: ISBN 0-7146-8500-3, Hardback: ISBN 0-7146-5607-0'†‘DG p.17'†‘(DG p.19)'†‘DG p.20See Also
Sweden's Self-Inflicted Nightmare - The New York Times
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:47
Sweden's message to migrants in Europe is clear: Don't come here. ''Even we have our limits, and now they have been reached,'' a defeated-sounding migration minister, Morgan Johansson, explained during a press conference on Nov. 5. ''Those who come to our borders may be told that we cannot guarantee them housing.''
That message, nailed down this week when the government announced that Sweden was reintroducing border controls, was a sudden shift from an administration that had claimed there were ''no limits'' to the number of refugees it could accept. The reversal testifies not only to intensifying challenges Sweden faces abroad, but also to the dysfunctional nature of its immigration debate at home.
Sweden's backtracking is part of a larger trend as Europe struggles to deal with the hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern and African asylum seekers. States that together with Sweden had been advocating generosity and openness '-- like Austria and Germany '-- now too are tightening their policies and calling for Europe to reinforce its external borders. Their efforts have turned to repatriating those without legitimate claims to asylum as well as relocating part of their migrant populations to other, less inundated E.U. states like Poland, France or Denmark.
Making progress on either front promises to be a challenge. Indeed, responding to the Swedish government's cries for neighboring states to take some of their refugees, the Danish migration minister, Inger Stojberg, said her country would not be coming to the rescue, and added: ''Sweden has had an irresponsible refugee policy for years. They have put themselves in this situation.''
Sweden, a country of 9.6 million, lately has been absorbing 10,000 asylum seekers per week, and expects the total number coming into the country this year alone to reach 190,000 '-- a population greater than that of its fourth largest city. Since the intensification of the immigration crisis in September, municipalities have complained that they lack housing, teachers and classroom space, and doctors for the newcomers. The police have acknowledged that they've lost the ability to monitor the whereabouts of foreign nationals within the country. Migration agencies have signaled that they can no longer ensure that unaccompanied minors passing through their offices will be transferred into acceptable living conditions. And leaked emails have shown that government officials are panicking over how they will pay for associated costs.
Sweden, like Germany and Austria, overestimated its capacity. Casualties of this miscalculation will not only include its domestic welfare institutions, but also '-- tragically '-- its global humanitarianism. In an effort to pay for increased immigration, the government is now dipping into its foreign aid budget. Sweden consistently ranks as one of the most generous providers of foreign aid worldwide, supporting efforts to expand educational opportunities, provide access to water, and promote political and economic development in regions producing the bulk of asylum seekers in Europe. But 20 percent of this year's foreign aid budget has been redirected to domestic migration agencies, and officials have suggested they will take even more out of next year's budget. Reducing foreign aid in such substantial amounts promises to fuel the same instability and desperation that is causing the migrant crisis. Worse yet, by refocusing its humanitarian effort on individuals healthy enough and wealthy enough to take themselves to its shores, Sweden is shunning those abroad in greatest need.
The government's slow response to all of this seems baffling. But the seeds of the current debacle were sown earlier, when immigration became an untouchable centerpiece of Sweden's politics. For the past five years, the nationalist Sweden Democrats party has been the only force opposing the country's refugee policies. Born in the late 1980s through the fusion of an anti-tax populist party and a neo-Nazi activist group, the Sweden Democrats have grown exponentially since entering Parliament in 2010. Their rise has nonetheless been condemned and hotly contested by a mainstream weary of seeing the country's reputation for tolerance tarnished. Far from introducing new restrictions to immigration, the Sweden Democrats have caused the political establishment to entrench itself: Any move to restrict immigration is now seen as a concession to paranoid nativism.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has called the Sweden Democrats ''neo-fascists,'' and like all other mainstream party leaders '-- on the left as well as the right '-- he has refused to communicate with them. But on the heels of his administration's about-face on its own immigration policy, his past attacks on the party seem awkward. When members of the Sweden Democrats began criticizing his policy months ago for its blindness to logistical and economic pitfalls, he dismissed them. The party also argued early on that money for humanitarian purposes would be more efficiently and equitably spent through foreign aid than immigration, and he disregarded their argument as a convenient excuse for a xenophobic agenda. He may have been right, but so were they.
And therein lies the problem. The real nightmare for Swedish politics is not that it now includes the kind of continental-style far-right party it once thought itself immune to. It is rather that mainstream forces have surrendered all critical perspectives on immigration to a party with which they can neither collaborate nor bear to see affirmed. Had a transparent and dynamic public discussion been taking place in Sweden during the past months '-- a discussion that acknowledged both the need for human solidarity and the limitations of the country's infrastructure '-- a more sustainable immigration policy might have emerged. Instead, it seems ill-fated policies will not be altered until the country brings itself to the brink of collapse.
Benjamin R. Teitelbaum, who teaches Nordic Studies and International Affairs at the University of Colorado, Boulder, is the author of the forthcoming book ''Lions of the North: Sounds of the New Nordic Radical Nationalism.''
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NATO - News: Chairman of the NATO Military Committee delivers keynote address at LANDCOM Conference , 06-Oct.-2015
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:33
General Pavel joined NATO's Commanders at the Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) Corps Commanders' Conference on the 6th of October 2015, at the Rapid Reaction Corps France in Lille.
High-level NATO leaders met this week to consider the future of the Alliance's ground forces in an ever-changing security environment. The Conference's overarching theme ''Road to Warsaw: RAP and NATO's Southern Strategic Direction'' reflected the recent turmoil around NATO's southern flank, the Alliance's response to these new challenges and the implementation of the Readiness Action Plan (RAP).
Following an introduction by Lieutenant General John Nicholson, Commander of Allied Land Command (LANDCOM), General Petr Pavel, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee delivered a comprehensive briefing on the Alliance's strategic posture '' underlining the progress of RAP '' and its response to new challenges, such as Hybrid Warfare and terrorism.
General Pavel highlighted LANDCOM's central role within the RAP: ''LANDCOM directly contributes to the Alliance's continued Readiness, Relevance and Responsiveness by enhancing the NATO Land Forces' interoperability. This is achieved by organizing, training and standardizing the Allied Land Forces to counter conventional, strategic and transnational threats while maintaining regional security and stability''.
The Chairman also took this opportunity to commend LANDCOM for its active contribution to Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2015 which will advance the Alliance's Readiness and showcase NATO's capabilities in the air, on land and at sea with over 36,000 personnel from more than 30 Allied and Partner Nations and multiple locations including Italy, Portugal and Spain.
The NATO Commanders also took this opportunity to discuss the lessons learned from EXERCISE NOBLE JUMP (9 to 19 June 2015) and to highlight the importance of the Alliance's collective training.
Jewish owners recently sold Paris's Bataclan theater, where IS killed dozens | The Times of Israel
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:32
The Bataclan theater, targeted in Friday night's Paris terror attacks, was Jewish-owned for decades, but was sold two months ago, its former owners said.
French magazine Le Point said early Saturday that the Bataclan, where at least 80 people were massacred by Islamic State gunmen on Friday night, has for years been the target of anti-Zionist groups as the Jewish owners often put on pro-Israel events. The publication quoted a member of the extremist group Army of Islam, who told French security services in 2011 that, ''We had planned an attack against the Bataclan because its owners are Jews.''
The Eagles of Death Metal, the band performing at the theater when the attacks began, played in Tel Aviv's Barby club in July.
Pascal Laloux, one of the theater's former owners, said Saturday that the theater was ''sold in September after 40 years.''
''We're devastated because we knew everyone who worked there,'' he told Israel's Channel 2 news.
His brother Joel, the co-owner, told Channel 2 that they sold the theater on September 11, and he recently immigrated to Israel. He said he took a call from the theater at the time of the attack ''and I could hear the gunfire.''
He also said a member of the Eagles of Death Metal was ''hit by a bullet and killed.'' There was no confirmation of this. ''There is blood everywhere,'' he said. ''It will take three days just to clean that up.''
Pascal said Parisians no longer feel safe ''after what happened here.''
''The terrorists have no rules,'' Pascal said. ''We have to take the bull by the horns'' in the battle against terror, ''and France and the government never do.''
Rescuers evacuate an injured person near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, early on November 14, 2015. (AFP PHOTO/MIGUEL MEDINA)
Paris Bataclan Theater Targeted By ISIS Because Of Jewish Owner? Concert Venue Has History Of Anti-Semitic Attacks
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:31
A Paris concert hall where Islamic State militants killed and injured scores of people has long been a target of anti-Zionist radicals, Jewish and French media reported Saturday. The Bataclan theater where ISIS fighters held dozens of hostages Friday night was Jewish-owned for decades, but was sold two months ago, its former owners said.
The theater often hosted pro-Israel events that drew fierce opposition, including last month's conference of approximately 500 Christian Zionists. The extremist group Army of Islam told French security services in 2011 that, ''We had planned an attack against the Bataclan because its owners are Jews.''
Pascal Laloux, one of the theater's former owners, told reporters Saturday the theater was ''sold in September after 40 years.'' ''We're devastated because we knew everyone who worked there,'' he told Israel's Channel 2 news. His brother Joel, the co-owner, told Channel 2 that he had recently moved to Israel. He said he took a call from the theater at the time of the attack ''and I could hear the gunfire.'' He added: ''There is blood everywhere. It will take three days just to clean that up.''
More than 100 people were killed Friday night at the venue during a rock concert after the terrorists randomly shot victims while shouting ''Allahu akbar!'' The Eagles of Death Metal, the band performing when the attacks began, played in Tel Aviv's Barby club in July.
The Eiffel Tower was dark Saturday night as France struggled to recover from its deadliest attack since World War II. The coordinated gun-and-suicide bombing attacks across Paris left at least 129 people dead and 352 injured. President Francois Hollande vowed that France would wage "merciless" war against the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the killings. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said three groups of attackers, including seven suicide bombers, carried out the "act of barbarism."
Aangirfan: PARIS ATTACK LIKE MUMBAI AND GLADIO ATTACKS
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:23
The Paris attackers did not hit any important assets such as Paris Disneyland or Notre Dame but hit the city's young, progressive coreOne witness who was in the road front of the Bataclan concert hall before the attack and saw at least one of the assassins told BMFTV that he wasn't hooded: 'I saw a guy, quite small, white, European looking.
Some reported hearing at least two of the terrorists at the Bataclan Theatre speaking perfect French.Some of the attackers in Mumbai in 2008 were described as being white men, and not Moslems.Journalist Julien Pierce told CNN that the gunmen did not shout slogans as they massacred their victims.He said: 'They didn't say anything. Not Allah akhbar or something like this. They said nothing. They just shot. They just shoot.'
dailymail.
The Bataclan Theatre, according to Le Point, had Jewish owners.dailymail.
According to the Times of Israel November 14, 2015
"The Bataclan theater, targeted in Friday night's Paris terror attacks, was Jewish-owned for decades, but was sold two months ago, its former owners said."
On Friday 13 November 2015, in Paris, a series of 'terror' attacks killed young concert-goers, soccer fans and people at popular nightspots.At least 120 people were killed.Allegedly, "all the 8 attackers are dead."On 6 October 2015 there was a high level meeting of NATO generals at Lille near Paris. NATO - News On 7 July 2015, around 200 detonators, 40 grenades and one 'pile' of plastic explosives mysteriously disappeared from a military instillation in southeastern France.
On 6 October 2015 there was a high level meeting of NATO generals at Lille near Paris.NATO - NewsOn 29 October 2015, The CIA director, John O. Brennan, met with his counterpart, French intelligence (DGSE) director Bernard Bajolet and with former UK MI6 Chief John Sawers, and former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaacov Amidror.
On 11 November 2015, there was a practice Terror drill in Denmark.President Assad.
The objective of the Paris psy-op is to get more attacks on Syria - to topple Assad.
Assad is the moderate secular guy who protects Christians, but who stands in the way of Israel's plans for a greater Israel.
San Francisco knew in advance?
"The Media is now airing images of landmarks - SF City Hall , One World Trade Center, London Eye, CN Tower Canada, Sky Tower NZ - all lit in French colours.
"That all seems indicative of a mighty fast and co-ordinated effort."
Don't fall for the psy-op.
The attack in Paris is like the CIA-Mossad attack on Mumbai in 2008.The organiser of the Mumbai Attack, David Headley, told his close friend that he worked for the CIA.The police and security services in India reportedly helped to carry out the Mumbai attack.A top intelligence officer admitted that the CIA carried out terror attacks.Operation Gladio - WikispooksAccording to the Paris police, there were "two suicide bombings and an explosion outside the national stadium during a soccer match between the French and German national teams."Within minutes, "another group of attackers sprayed cafes outside a concert hall with machine gunfire ... As police closed in, they detonated explosive belts, killing themselves...
"Dozens were killed in an attack on a restaurant ... and several other establishments."
"People inside the concert hall were begging for help on social media but the police did nothing for 2 hours. This allowed two gunmen to shoot dead around 100 people"This suggests that the Paris Attack was an inside-job?Amid Bataclan Hostage Crisis, Did Paris Police Wait Too Long To Rescue Victims?. Some of the accounts of this event seem somewhat contradictory - Black Friday- Paris Terror Attacks.
Psy op - prepared in advance.Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told AP that ISIS may have carried out the Paris attack.ISIS works for the CIA, Mossad and NATO, apparently.Operation Strong Tower - UK terror drill. Deliberately fake, as in the Woolwich attack on Lee Rigby.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was too soon to say whether the attacks in Paris would lead him to reconsider his pledge to withdraw Canada from airstrikes against ISIS.The CIA and NATO have a long history of carrying out terror attacks in Europe.Operation GladioFrance's Minister of the Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve (above), is reportedly linked toMossad.Hausfrauleaks points out that the CIA-NATO's Operation Gladio terrorism in Italy is linked to the P2 masonic lodge in Italy"P2 had a sister lodge in Paris also linked to Gladio named 'Le Grand Orient de Paris'.
"The most influential mason now at that lodge is France's current Prime Minister Manuel Valls. "Valls appointed interior ministerCazeneuve who was directly in charge of handling the investigation of Charlie Hebdo, the Belgian train attack and the migrant riots in Calais which were recently proven to be instigated by Black Bloc (run by western intel) and a pro-migrant Soros group together. "Cazeneuve is known to be a significant high mason as well like Valls who appointed him. "Cazeneuve and Valls are both known to be extreme zionist Jews who are also high masons tied to the elite establishment."Note that Gladio authority Daniele Ganser documents that interior ministers of complicit countries were always Gladio players."
CossigaFrancesco Cossiga is a former President, former Prime Minister, and former Minister of the Interior, in Italy.Italian President Francesco Cossiga said: provoke riots then ''beat the shit out of the protesters''
He was one of the founders of the NATO-CIA Operation GLADIO secret intelligence group.
Recently he gave advice to the current Italian Minister of the Interior Robert Maroni about how to deal with protestors.
Cossiga's statement translated reads as follows:
"Maroni should do what I did when I was Minister of the Interior.
"University students? ... infiltrate them with agents provocateurs ... and let the agents provocateurs devastate shops, set fire to cars and put cities to the sword for ten days.
"Then, having won the sympathy of the public ... the police should pitilessly beat the shit out of protesters and send them all to hospital. "
Fascism survived after 1945It was the CIA chief Allen Dulles who devised the plan to set up secret Gladio forces across Europe.
Dulles, Sir Stewart Menzies (MI6) and the Belgian Premier Paul Henri Spaak were in on the plan.
A few years ago, CIA-NATO Gladio agent Vincezo Vinciguerra explained the Gladio "strategy of tension" in sworn testimony.
He said:
"You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game ... to force the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security.
"This is the political logic that lies behind all the massacres and the bombings which remain unpunished, because the state cannot convict itself or declare itself responsible for what happened."NATO's secret armies linked to terrorism?
According to historians, Gladio carried out false flag terror attacks, such as the Bologna train bombing in 1980 which killed 85 people.
According to the Italian Senate, after its investigation in 2000, the bombers were "men inside Italian state institutions and ... men linked to the structures of United States intelligence."
...The book "NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe," by Daniele Ganser documents the terrorist activities of the security services.
Evidence of Gladio terrorism was revealed during an Italian parliamentary investigation.
The terrorists are usually working for the security services.
Certain 'Palestinian terrorists' were reportedly working for the CIA and MOSSAD.
(Abu Nidal reportedly worked for the CIA and MOSSAD...)
Terrorist working for the CIA.At thirdworldtraveller Peter Dale Scott, Jonathan Marshall, and Jane Hunter have an article which refers to the Bologna Bomb and the P2 freemason fascists who were Italy's secret government.
(Cached)
"According to the Italian Parliamentary Report on P-2:
"P-2 contributed to the strategy of tension...
"The purpose was to destabilize Italian politics ... to bring about an authoritarian solution to Italy's problems."
The London Bombings and 9 11 - reportedly part of the 'strategy of tension', designed to advance a Zionist-Fascist agenda.
Stefano Delle Chiaie worked for the CIA's Gladio operation.
According to the Italian Parliamentary Report on P-2:
"Delle Chiaie was a principal organizer for ...
"The 1969 bomb (in a bank) in Piazza Fontana of Milan (16 deaths, 90 injuries),"The 1970 coup attempt of Prince Valerio Borghese (a CIA client since 1945), "And the Bologna station bombing of August 2, 1980 (85 deaths, 200 injuries).
"In December 1985 magistrates in Bologna issued 16 arrest warrants ... accusing members of the Italian intelligence service SISMI of planning and then covering up the Bologna bombing.
"One of these 16 was P-2's leader Licio Gelli...
"A small group of anarchists ... were blamed at first for the Piazza Fontana bombing, even though SISMI knew ... that delle Chiaie was responsible..."
In 2007, Cossiga declared that 9/11 was an inside job and that this fact was "common knowledge" among intelligence agencies.
Bologna 1980 www.stragi.it/
Operation Gladio was organised by the security services of the West.Reportedly, the idea was to kill innocent people and then blame this on others.
Gladio was about keeping the right-wing elite in power.
Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti revealed the existence of Gladio in 1991.
Parliamentary investigations in Italy, Switzerland and Belgium have revealed the truth.
The CIA, MI6, Pentagon and NATO have carried out their Gladio terrorist activities in many countries including Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and West Germany.
Deir Yassin - Jewish terrorists, called Irgun, massacred women and childrenGladio was the name used in Italy.In Austria the name was Schwert,
Greece -Operation Sheepskin, Turkey -Special War Department.Notes on Operation Stay Behind
On 7 September 1947, Associated Press reported: "The Paris police today arrested a number of persons after discovering six home-made aerial bombs with which, it is suggested, the Stern Gang intended to bomb London.." JEWISH PLOT TO RAID LONDON"As early as 1947, the United States was constructing a clandestine network in Northern Italy..."(Wolfgang Achtner, Sunday Independent, 11/11/90)
gladio / gladio 2
www.motherjones.com. Terrorism is used to help keep the rich elite in power. "Some of the biggest declines in worker's wages have been egalitarian societies such as Norway, where labour's share has fallen from 64% in 1980 to 55% now." Pay and economic growth: A shrinking slice | The Economist
According to the newspaper Die Welt, western security services set up a committee to oversee the secret guerrilla forces.
"Former defence minister Paulo Taviani (told Magistrate Casson during his1990 investigation) that during his time in office (1955-1958), the Italian secret services were bossed and financed by 'the boys in Via Veneto' - ie the CIA agents in the US Embassy in the heart of Rome."
(William Scobie, Observer, 18/11/90)The real terrorists are people like Irgun and the Stern Gang.
"General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley, a former commander-in-chief of Nato forces in northern Europe said...that a covert intelligence service was set up in Italy with the help of British agents and the CIA - which also partly funded it.
"The Italian branch of the network was known as Operation Gladio" (Richard Norton Taylor, Guardian, 15/11/90)"Gladio was ... set up with British help in the 1950's, operated by the secret services and partly financed bythe United States CIA."
(Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian, 16/11/90)Jewish terrorists bombed the King David Hotel, killing many British people.
"Declassified secret service papers reveal that Ted Shackley, deputy chief of the CIA station in Rome in the 1970's introduced the notorious Licio Gelli - head of the neo-fascist P2 masonic lodge and for years a fugitive in Argentina - to General Alexander Haig, then Nixon's chief ofstaff, and later, from 1974 to 79, Nato Supreme Commander.
"P2 was a right-wing shadow government, ready to take over Italy, that included four Cabinet Ministers, all three intelligence chiefs, 48 MPs, 160 military officers, bankers, industrialists, top diplomats and the Army Chief of Staff. "After meetings between Gelli, Italian military brass and CIA men in the embassy, Gladio was given renewed blessing - and more money - byHaig and the then head of the National Security Council, Henry Kissinger. Just how those and later funds were spent is a key point in the [Casson]investigation." (William Scobie, Observer, 18/11/90)Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Shakes Hand with an Al Qaeda Terrorist. Is the wounded terrorist an Israeli intelligence asset? Israeli military field hospital at the occupied Golan Heights' border with Syria, 18 February 2014'". Israel's Mossad 'to the Rescue'
"The makings of the bomb which killed 85 people at Bologna railway stationin 1980 came from an arsenal used by Gladio, the Italian wing of Nato's communist-resistance network, according to a parliamentary commission on terrorism...
"The suggested Link with the Bologna massacre is potentially the most serious of all the accusations levelled against Gladio." (Ed Vulliamy, Guardian,16/1/91)John McCain in Syria in 2013. In the left foreground, we see the boss of ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
"P2 was not uncovered until 1981. Later it was found that every member ofthe crisis committee set up by Francesco Cossiga, then interior minister, now President of the Republic, was a member of P2."
(Charles Richards &Simon Jones, Independent, 16/11/90)India has its 'Deep State'. Brijesh Mishra holds a meeting with Tony Blair's Jewish security adviser Sir David Manning in New Delhi on July 10, 2002. Manning was in New York on 9 11 and saw the Twin Towers attacked. Brijesh Mishra has connections with Sonia Gandhi's Italian family through his daughter Jyotsna.Between 28/6/90 and 2/7/90, four programmes on Italian state television (RAI) alleged that the CIA paid LucioGelli to "foment terrorist activities. "In the first programme someone described as 'Agent Zero' described how (ex-Swedish Prime Minister) Olaf Palme had been caught in a deal between the CIA and Iran to release American hostages in Tehran.
"Palme was a fly in the ointment so we got P2 to rub him out," the agent said.
The second programme, which showed the gaunt silhouette of 'Agent Zero One', alleged that P2 was not wound up in the mid-1980s, after the arrest of its leader Licio Gelli.
"It still exists. It calls itself P7," he said.
According to the agent, the lodge is till functioning with branches in Austria, Switzerland and East Germany.
"Zero One" has now been revealed by the Italian press to be Dick Brenneke, allegedly a career CIA officer."
(Richard Bassett, Times, 24/7/90)This policeman was 'shot' with blanks; there is no sign of blood."In the programme, Mr Brenneke alleged that, throughout the 1970's the CIA had made large sums of money available to the subversive Masonic Lodge, P2, widely believed to have been involved in the August, 1980 Bologna trainstation bombing in which 85 people were killed.
"Furthermore Mr Brenneke claimed that, not only does the CIA continue to secretly finance a revived P2, but that it was involved in the 1986 killing of the Swedish PrimeMinister, Mr Olaf Palme.
"According to Mr Brenneke, P2, under the guidanceof its Grand master, Mr Licio Gelli, used some of the finance made available by the CIA to set up agencies in West Germany, Austria andSwitzerland.
"These agencies in turn were used by P2 to set up the assassination of Mr Palme, on the orders of the CIA. Finally, and perhaps most sensationally, Mr Brenneke alleged that President Bush, then director of the CIA, not only knew about these CIA activities in Italy (during the late 1970s and early 1980s) but was in fact one of the masterminds behind them.
"In a four part special on RAI, the main Italian state-run televisionnetwork, Brenneke claimed he had been making payments to members of P2, a right-wing Masonic lodge, on behalf of the CIA from 1969 to 1980. He said he had made payments which ranged from $lm to $10m a month ... He said P2 was also involved in arms and drugs trafficking for the CIA..."
(Mark Hosenball, Sunday Times, 29/7/90)NATO Deputy Secretary General, Alexander Vershbow welcomes the Prime Minister of Tunisia, Habib Essid. TUNISIAN SPECIAL FORCES LINKED TO SOUSSE HOTEL ATTACK...
BELGIUM (SDR-8)
"The Belgian government said it was investigating ... links between its own clandestine network and a spate of particularly brutal raids on supermarkets around Brussels in the mid 1980's, in which 28 people died. Several policemen and well-known right-wingers were arrested after ballistic tests, but no one was brought to trial."
(Fiona Leney & WolfgangAchtner, Independent, 10/11/90)
GREECE (Operation Sheepskin)
"In Greece, where it was given the code-name, Sheepskin, a cell was set up by the CIA in the 1950s but was dismantled in 1988, according to thegovernment.
"Officers in the underground unit were involved in theColonel's coup in 1967."
(Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian, 5/12/90)PORTUGAL
"In Portugal, a Lisbon radio station has reported that cells of the networkassociated with Operation Gladio were active there during the 1950s to defend the rightist dictatorship of Dr Salazar."
(John Palmer, Guardian,10/11/90)TURKEY(Special War Department)
"The paper [Milliyet] quoted former Premier Bulent Ecevit as saying the unit had first been funded by the United States...
"During a wave of terrorism in the 1970s, leftist groups questioned the possible role of the organisation, also known as 'kontrgerilla', in right-wing terrorism."
Operation Gladio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:05
Operation Gladio (Italian: Operazione Gladio) is the codename for a clandestine North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) "stay-behind" operation in Italy during the Cold War. Its purpose was to continue armed resistance in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion and conquest. Although Gladio specifically refers to the Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind organizations, "Operation Gladio" is used as an informal name for all of them. The name Gladio is the Italian form of gladius, a type of Romanshortsword. Stay-behind operations were prepared in many NATO member countries, and some neutral countries.[1]
The role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Gladio and the extent of its activities during the Cold War era, and any relationship to terrorist attacks perpetrated in Italy during the "Years of Lead" (late 1960s to early 1980s) is the subject of debate. Switzerland and Belgium have had parliamentary inquiries into the matter.[2]
History and general stay-behind structure[edit]World War Two experience[edit]In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Winston Churchill created the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in 1940 to assist resistance movements and carry out subversive operations in enemy-held territory across occupied Europe. Guardian reporter David Pallister wrote in December 1990 that a guerrilla network with arms caches had been put in place following the fall of France. It included Brigadier "Mad Mike" Calvert, and was drawn from the 5th (ski) battalion of the Scots Guards, which was originally intended to fight against the Soviet forces attacking Finland.[3] Known as Auxiliary Units, they were headed by Major Colin Gubbins, an expert in guerrilla warfare who later led the SOE. The Auxiliary Units were attached to GHQ Home Forces, and concealed within the Home Guard. The units were created in preparation of a possible invasion of the British Isles by the Third Reich. These units were allegedly stood down only in 1944. Several of their members subsequently joined the Special Air Service and saw action in France in late 1944. The units' existence did not generally become known by the public until the 1990s despite a book on the subject being published in 1968,[4] although in recent years, much more research has been undertaken on the Auxiliary Units, such as the books by John Warwicker (Churchill's Underground Army and With Britain In Mortal Danger) and the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART), which publishes its work on-line. In fiction, Owen Sheers' Resistance (2008), set in Wales, takes as one of its central characters a member of the Auxiliary Units called to resist a successful German invasion.
Post War creation[edit]After World War II, the UK and the US decided to create "stay-behind" paramilitary organizations, with the official aim of countering a possible Soviet invasion through sabotage and guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines. Arms caches were hidden, escape routes prepared, and loyal members recruited, whether in Italy or in other European countries. Its clandestine "cells" were to stay behind (hence the name) in enemy-controlled territory and to act as resistance movements, conducting sabotage, guerrilla warfare and assassinations.
The stay-behind armies were created with the experience and involvement of former SOE officers.[5] Following Giulio Andreotti's October 1990 revelations, General Sir John Hackett (1910''1997), former commander-in-chief of the British Army on the Rhine, declared on November 16, 1990 that a contingency plan involving "stay behind and resistance in depth" was drawn up after the war. The same week, Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley (1924''2006), former commander-in-chief of NATO's Forces in Northern Europe from 1979 to 1982, declared to The Guardian that a secret arms network was established in Britain after the war.[6] Hackett had written in 1978 a novel, The Third World War: August 1985, which was a fictionalized scenario of a Soviet Army invasion of West Germany in 1985. The novel was followed in 1982 by The Third World War: The Untold Story, which elaborated on the original. Farrar-Hockley had aroused controversy in 1983 when he became involved in trying to organise a campaign for a new Home Guard against a potential Soviet invasion.[7]
Operating in all of NATO and even in some neutral countries such as Spain before its 1982 admission to NATO, Gladio was first coordinated by the Clandestine Committee of the Western Union (CCWU), founded in 1948. After the creation of NATO in 1949, the CCWU was integrated into the "Clandestine Planning Committee" (CPC), founded in 1951 and overseen by the SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe), transferred to Belgium after France's official retreat from NATO '' which was not followed by the dissolution of the French stay-behind paramilitary movements.[citation needed]
Historian Daniele Ganser alleges that:[8]
Next to the CPC, a second secret army command center, labeled Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC), was set up in 1957 on the orders of NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR). This military structure provided for significant US leverage over the secret stay-behind networks in Western Europe as the SACEUR, throughout NATO's history, has traditionally been a US General who reports to the Pentagon in Washington and is based in NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium. The ACC's duties included elaborating on the directives of the network, developing its clandestine capability, and organizing bases in Britain and the United States. In wartime, it was to plan stay-behind operations in conjunction with SHAPE. According to former CIA director William Colby, it was 'a major program'.
Coordinated by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), {the secret armies} were run by the European military secret services in close cooperation with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the British foreign secret service Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, also MI6). Trained together with US Green Berets and British Special Air Service (SAS), these clandestine NATO soldiers, armed with underground arms-caches, prepared against a potential Soviet invasion and occupation of Western Europe, as well as the coming to power of communist parties. The clandestine international network covered the European NATO membership, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey, as well as the neutral European countries of Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Central Intelligence Agency responded to the series of accusations made by Ganser in his book regarding the CIA's involvement in Operation Gladio, by claiming that neither Ganser nor anyone else could have solid evidence supporting their accusations. At one point in his book, Ganser even talks about the CIA's covert action policies as being "terrorist in nature" and then accuses the CIA of using their "networks for political terrorism". The CIA has responded by noting that Daniele Ganser's sourcing is "largely secondary" and that Ganser himself has complained about "not being able to find any official sources to support his charges of the CIA's or any Western European government's involvement with Gladio".[9]
The existence of these clandestine NATO units remained a closely guarded secret throughout the Cold War until 1990, when the first branch of the international network was discovered in Italy. It was code-named Gladio, the Italian word for a short double-edged sword [gladius]. While the press said that the NATO stay-behind units were 'the best-kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II', the Italian government, amidst sharp public criticism, promised to close down the secret army. Italy insisted identical clandestine units had also existed in all other countries of Western Europe. This allegation proved correct and subsequent research found that in Belgium, the secret NATO unit was code-named SDRA8, in Denmark Absalon, in Germany TD BJD, in Greece LOK, in Luxemburg Stay-Behind, in the Netherlands I&O, in Norway ROC, in Portugal Aginter Press, in Spain Red Quantum, in Switzerland P26, in Turkey –zel Harp Dairesi, In Sweden AGAG (Aktions Gruppen Arla Gryning), Plan Bleu in France, and in Austria OWSGV. However, the code name of the stay-behind unit in Finland remains unknown.[8]
Upon learning of the discovery, the parliament of the European Union (EU) drafted a resolution sharply criticizing the fact.[clarification needed] Yet only Italy, Belgium and Switzerland carried out parliamentary investigations, while the administration of President George H. W. Bush refused to comment.[10]
If Gladio was effectively "the best-kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II",[11] it must be underlined, however, that on several occasions, arms caches were discovered and stay-behind paramilitary organizations officially dissolved.[citation needed]
NATO's "stay-behind" organizations were never called upon to resist a Soviet invasion. According to a November 13, 1990 Reuters cable,[12] "Andr(C) Moyen '' a former member of the Belgian military security service and of the [stay-behind] network '' said Gladio was not just anti-Communist but was for fighting subversion in general. He added that his predecessor had given Gladio 142 million francs ($4.6 millions) to buy new radio equipment."[13]
Gladio operations in NATO countries[edit]First discovered in Italy[edit]The Italian NATO stay-behind organization, dubbed "Gladio", was set up under Minister of Defense (from 1953 to 1958) Paolo Taviani's (DC) supervision.[14] Gladio's existence came to public knowledge when Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti revealed it to the Chamber of Deputies on October 24, 1990, although far-right terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra had already revealed its existence during his 1984 trial. According to media analyst Edward S. Herman, "both the President of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, and Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, had been involved in the Gladio organization and coverup..."[15][verification needed]
Giulio Andreotti's October 24, 1990 revelations[edit]Christian Democrat Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti publicly recognized the existence of Gladio on October 24, 1990. Andreotti spoke of a "structure of information, response and safeguard", with arms caches and reserve officers. He gave to the Commissione Stragi, the parliamentary commission led by senator Giovanni Pellegrino in charge of investigations on bombings committed during the Years Of Lead in Italy, a list of 622 civilians who according to him were part of Gladio. Andreotti also stated that 127 weapons' cache had been dismantled, and said that Gladio had not been involved in any of the bombings committed from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Andreotti declared that the Italian military services (predecessors of the SISMI) had joined in 1964 the Allied Clandestine Committee created in 1957 by the US, France, Belgium and Greece, and which was in charge of directing Gladio's operations.[16] However, Gladio was actually set up under Minister of Defense (from 1953 to 1958) Paolo Taviani's supervision.[14] Beside, the list of Gladio members given by Andreotti was incomplete. It didn't include, for example, Antonio Arconte, who described an organization very different from the one brushed by Giulio Andreotti: an organization closely tied to the SID secret service and the Atlanticist strategy.[17][18] According to Andreotti, the stay-behind organisations set up in all of Europe did not come "under broad NATO supervision until 1959."[19]
General Serravalle's statement[edit]General Gerardo Serravalle, who commanded the Italian Gladio from 1971 to 1974, related that "in the 1970s the members of the CPC [Coordination and Planning Committee] were the officers responsible for the secret structures of Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and Italy. These representatives of the secret structures met every year in one of the capitals... At the stay-behind meetings representatives of the CIA were always present. They had no voting rights and were from the CIA headquarters of the capital in which the meeting took place... members of the US Forces Europe Command were present, also without voting rights. "[20] Next to the CPC a second secret command post was created in 1957, the Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC). According to the Belgian Parliamentary Committee on Gladio, the ACC was "responsible for coordinating the 'Stay-behind' networks in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, United Kingdom and the United States". During peacetime, the activities of the ACC "included elaborating the directives for the network, developing its clandestine capability and organising bases in Britain and the United States. In wartime, it was to plan stay-behind operations in conjunction with SHAPE; organisers were to activate clandestine bases and organise operations from there".[21] General Serravale declared to the Commissione Stragi headed by senator Giovanni Pellegrino that the Italian Gladio members trained at a military base in Britain.[6]
Belgium[edit]After the 1967 withdrawal of France from NATO's military structure, the SHAPE headquarters were displaced to Mons in Belgium. In 1990, following France's denial of any "stay-behind" French army, Giulio Andreotti publicly said the last Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) meeting, at which the French branch of Gladio was present, had been on October 23 and 24, 1990, under the presidency of Belgian General Van Calster, director of the Belgian military secret service SGR. In November, Guy Come, the Minister of the Defense, acknowledged the existence of a Belgium "stay-behind" army, raising concerns about a similar implication in terrorist acts as in Italy. The same year, the European Parliament sharply condemned NATO and the United States in a resolution for having manipulated European politics with the stay-behind armies.[5]
New legislation governing intelligence agencies' missions and methods was passed in 1998, following two government inquiries and the creation of a permanent parliamentary committee in 1991, which was to bring them under the authority of Belgium's federal agencies. The Commission was created following events in the 1980s, which included the Brabant massacres and the activities of far right group Westland New Post.[22]
Denmark[edit]The Danish stay-behind army was code-named Absalon, after a Danish archbishop, and led by E.J. Harder. It was hidden in the military secret service Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE). In 1978, William Colby, former director of the CIA, released his memoirs in which he described the setting-up of stay-behind armies in Scandinavia:[23]
"The situation in each Scandinavian country was different. Norway and Denmark were NATO allies, Sweden held to the neutrality that had taken her through two world wars, and Finland were required to defer in its foreign policy to the Soviet power directly on its borders. Thus, in one set of these countries the governments themselves would build their own stay-behind nets, counting on activating them from exile to carry on the struggle. These nets had to be co-ordinated with NATO's plans, their radios had to be hooked to a future exile location, and the specialised equipment had to be secured from CIA and secretly cached in snowy hideouts for later use. In other set of countries, CIA would have to do the job alone or with, at best, "unofficial" local help, since the politics of those governments barred them from collaborating with NATO, and any exposure would arouse immediate protest from the local Communist press, Soviet diplomats and loyal Scandinavians who hoped that neutrality or nonalignment would allow them to slip through a World War III unharmed."
France[edit]In 1947, Interior Minister Edouard Depreux revealed the existence of a secret stay-behind army in France codenamed "Plan Bleu". The next year, the "Western Union Clandestine Committee" (WUCC) was created to coordinate secret unorthodox warfare. In 1949, the WUCC was integrated into NATO, whose headquarters were established in France, under the name "Clandestine Planning Committee" (CPC). In 1958, NATO founded the Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) to coordinate secret warfare.[citation needed]
The network was supported with elements from SDECE, and had military support from the 11th Choc regiment. The former director of DGSE, admiral Pierre Lacoste, alleged in a 1992 interview with The Nation, that certain elements from the network were involved in terrorist activities against de Gaulle and his Algerian policy. A section of the 11th Choc regiment split over the 1962 Evian peace accords, and became part of the Organisation arm(C)e secr¨te (OAS), but it is unclear if this also involved members of the French stay-behind network.[24][25]
La Rose des Vents and Arc-en-ciel ("Rainbow") network were part of Gladio. Fran§ois de Grossouvre was Gladio's leader for the region around Lyon in France until his alleged suicide on April 7, 1994. Grossouvre would have asked Constantin Melnik, leader of the French secret services during the Algerian War of Independence (1954''62), to return to activity. He was living in comfortable exile in the US, where he maintained links with the Rand Corporation. Constantin Melnik is alleged to have been involved in the creation in 1952 of the Ordre Souverain du Temple Solaire, an ancestor of the Order of the Solar Temple, created by former A.M.O.R.C. members, in which the SDECE (French former military intelligence agency) was interested.[26]
Germany[edit]US intelligence also assisted in the set up a German stay-behind network. CIA documents released in June 2006 under the 1998 Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, show that the CIA organized "stay-behind" networks of German agents between 1949 and 1953. According to the Washington Post: "One network included at least two former Nazi SS members -- Staff Sgt. Heinrich Hoffman and Lt. Col. Hans Rues -- and one was run by Lt. Col. Walter Kopp, a former German army officer referred to by the CIA as an "unreconstructed Nazi. "The network was disbanded in 1953 amid political concerns that some members' neo-Nazi sympathies would be exposed in the West German press."[27]
Documents shown to the Italian parliamentary terrorism committee revealed that in the 1970s British and French officials involved in the network visited a training base in Germany built with US money.[6]
In 1976, the secret service BND secretary Heidrun Hofer was arrested after having revealed the secrets of the German stay-behind army to her husband, who was a spy of the KGB.[5]
In 2004 the German author Norbert Juretzko published a book about his work at the BND. He went into details about recruiting partisans for the German stay-behind network. He was sacked from BND following a secret trial against him, because the BND could not find out the real name of his Russian source "R¼bezahl" whom he had recruited. A man with the name he put on file was arrested by the KGB following treason in the BND, but was obviously innocent, his name having been chosen at random from the public phone book by Juretzko.[28] According to Juretzko, the BND built up its branch of Gladio, but discovered after the fall of the German Democratic Republic that it was 100% known to the Stasi early on. When the network was dismantled, further odd details emerged. One fellow "spymaster" had kept the radio equipment in his cellar at home with his wife doing the engineering test call every 4 months, on the grounds that the equipment was too "valuable" to remain in civilian hands. Juretzko found out because this spymaster had dismantled his section of the network so quickly, there had been no time for measures such as recovering all caches of supplies.[29]
Civilians recruited as stay-behind partisans were equipped with a clandestine shortwave radio with a fixed frequency. It had a keyboard with digital encryption, making use of traditional Morse code obsolete. They had a cache of further equipment for signalling helicopters or submarines to drop special agents who were to stay in the partisan's homes while mounting sabotage operations against the communists.[28]
Greece[edit]When Greece joined NATO in 1952, the country's special forces, the LOK (Lochoi Oreinōn Katadromōn, i.e. "Mountain Raiding Companies") were integrated into the European stay-behind network. The CIA and LOK reconfirmed on March 25, 1955 their mutual co-operation in a secret document signed by US General Trascott for the CIA, and Konstantinos Dovas, chief of staff of the Greek military. In addition to preparing for a Soviet invasion, the CIA instructed LOK to prevent a leftist coup. Former CIA agent Philip Agee, who was sharply criticized in the US for having revealed sensitive information, insisted that "paramilitary groups, directed by CIA officers, operated in the sixties throughout Europe [and he stressed that] perhaps no activity of the CIA could be as clearly linked to the possibility of internal subversion."[30]
The LOK was involved in the military coup d'(C)tat on April 21, 1967,[31] which took place one month before the scheduled national elections for which opinion polls predicted an overwhelming victory of the centrist Center Union of George and Andreas Papandreou. Under the command of paratrooper Lieutenant Colonel Costas Aslanides, the LOK took control of the Greek Defence Ministry while Brigadier General Stylianos Pattakos gained control over communication centers, the parliament, the royal palace, and according to detailed lists, arrested over 10,000 people. Phillips Talbot, the US ambassador in Athens, disapproved of the military coup which established the "Regime of the Colonels" (1967''1974), complaining that it represented "a rape of democracy" '' to which Jack Maury, the CIA chief of station in Athens, answered: "How can you rape a whore?"[32]
Arrested and then exiled in Canada and Sweden, Andreas Papandreou later returned to Greece, where he won the 1981 election, forming the first socialist government of Greece's post-war history. According to his own testimony, he discovered the existence of the secret NATO army, then codenamed "Red Sheepskin", as acting prime minister in 1984 and had given orders to dissolve it.[33]
Following Giulio Andreotti's revelations in 1990, the Greek defence minister confirmed that a branch of the network, known as Operation Sheepskin, operated in his country until 1988.[34]
In December 2005, journalist Kleanthis Grivas published an article in To Proto Thema, a Greek Sunday newspaper, in which he accused "Sheepskin" for the assassination of CIA station chief Richard Welch in Athens in 1975, as well as the assassination of British military attach(C) Stephen Saunders in 2000. This was denied by the US State Department, who responded that "the Greek terrorist organization '17 November' was responsible for both assassinations", and that Grivas's central piece of evidence had been the Westmoreland Field Manual which the State department, as well as an independent Congressional inquiry have alleged to be a Soviet forgery.[35] The State Department also highlighted the fact that, in the case of Richard Welch, "Grivas bizarrely accuses the CIA of playing a role in the assassination of one of its own senior officials" while "Sheepskin" couldn't have assassinated Stephen Saunders for the simple reason that, according to the US government, "the Greek government stated it dismantled the "stay behind" network in 1988."[35]
Netherlands[edit]In 1983, people walking in a forest near the village of Velp, North Brabant chanced upon a large hidden cache of arms. The discovery forced the Dutch government to confirm that the arms were related to NATO planning for unorthodox warfare.[36] In 1990 Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers told Parliament that the government was running a secret guerrilla organization similar to the groups whose existence at that time was just discovered in Italy and Belgium. He said in a letter that successive prime ministers and defence chiefs always preferred not to inform other Cabinet members or Parliament about the secret organization. Former Dutch Defense Minister Henk Vredeling said the group set up arms caches around the Netherlands for sabotage purposes.[37] Lubbers said that a secret organisation had also been set up in his country in the 1950s to organise resistance and gather information in the event of a foreign invasion. But he denied that the group was supervised directly by NATO. Speculation that the Netherlands was involved in Gladio arose from the accidental discovery of large arms caches in 1980 and 1983.[38] Lubbers, told parliament that the secret organisation had been set up inside the defence ministry in the 1950s originally to provide intelligence to a government in exile. Members of the cell are believed to have taken part in a training exercise in Sicily.[39] The operating bureaus of the organisation would also move to safety in England or the USA at the first sign of trouble.[citation needed]
A Dutch investigative television program revealed on September 9, 2007, that an arms cache that belonged to Gladio was ransacked in the 1980s. The cache was located in a park near Scheveningen. Some of the stolen weapons later turned up, including hand grenades and machine guns, when police officials arrested criminals Sam Klepper and John Mieremet in 1991. The Dutch military intelligence agency, MIVD, feared at that time that the disclosure of the Gladio history of these weapons was politically explosive.[40][41]
Norway[edit]In 1957, the director of the secret service NIS, Vilhelm Evang, protested strongly against the pro-active intelligence activities at AFNORTH, as described by the chairman of CPC: "[NIS] was extremely worried about activities carried out by officers at Kols¥s. This concerned SB, Psywar and Counter Intelligence." These activities supposedly included the blacklisting of Norwegians. SHAPE denied these allegations. Eventually, the matter was resolved in 1958, after Norway was assured about how stay-behind networks were to be operated.[42][page needed]
In 1978, the police discovered an arms cache and radio equipment at a mountain cabin and arrested Hans Otto Meyer, a businessman accused of being involved in selling illegal alcohol. Meyer claimed that the weapons were supplied by Norwegian intelligence. Rolf Hansen, defense minister at that time, stated the network was not in any way answerable to NATO and had no CIA connection.[43]
Portugal[edit]In 1966, the CIA set up Aginter Press which, under the direction of Captain Yves Gu(C)rin-S(C)rac (who had taken part in the founding of the OAS), ran a secret stay-behind army and trained its members in covert action techniques amounting to terrorism, including bombings, silent assassinations, subversion techniques, clandestine communication and infiltration and colonial warfare.[5]
Turkey[edit]As one of the nations that prompted the Truman Doctrine, Turkey is one of the first countries to participate in Operation Gladio and, some say, the only country where it has not been purged.[44]
The counter-guerrillas' existence in Turkey was revealed in 1973 by then prime minister B¼lent Ecevit.[45]
Parallel stay-behind operations in non-NATO countries[edit]Austria[edit]In Austria, the first secret stay-behind army was exposed in 1947. It had been set up by far-right Soucek and R¶ssner, who both insisted during their trial that "they were carrying out the secret operation with the full knowledge and support of the US and British occupying powers." Sentenced to death, they were then pardoned under mysterious circumstances by President K¶rner (1951''1957).
Franz Olah set up a new secret army codenamed –sterreichischer Wander-, Sport- und Geselligkeitsverein (OWSGV, literally "Austrian hiking, sports and society club"), with the cooperation of MI6 and the CIA. He later explained that "we bought cars under this name. We installed communication centres in several regions of Austria", confirming that "special units were trained in the use of weapons and plastic explosives". He precised that "there must have been a couple of thousand people working for us... Only very, very highly positioned politicians and some members of the union knew about it".[citation needed]
In 1965, the police forces discovered a stay-behind arms cache in an old mine close to Windisch-Bleiberg and forced the British authorities to hand over a list with the location of 33 other caches in Austria.[5]
In 1990, when secret "stay-behind" armies were discovered all around Europe, the Austrian government said that no secret army had existed in the country. However, six years later, the Boston Globe revealed the existence of secret CIA arms caches in Austria. Austrian President Thomas Klestil and Chancellor Franz Vranitzky insisted that they had known nothing of the existence of the secret army and demanded that the US launch a full-scale investigation into the violation of Austria's neutrality, which was denied by President Bill Clinton. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns '' appointed in August 2001 by President George Bush as the US Permanent Representative to the Atlantic treaty organization, where, as ambassador to NATO, he headed the combined State-Defense Department United States Mission to NATO and coordinated the NATO response to the September 11, 2001 attacks '' insisted: "The aim was noble, the aim was correct, to try to help Austria if it was under occupation. What went wrong is that successive Washington administrations simply decided not to talk to the Austrian government about it."[8]
Finland[edit]In 1944, the Swedes worked with Finnish Intelligence to set up a stay-behind network of agents within Finland to keep track of post-war activities in that country. While this network was allegedly never put in place, Finnish codes, SIGINT equipment and documents were brought to Sweden and apparently exploited until the 1980s.[46]
In 1945, Interior Minister Yrj¶ Leino exposed a secret stay-behind army which was closed down (so called Weapons Cache Case). This operation was organized by Finnish general staff officers (without foreign help) in 1944 to hide weapons in order to sustain a large-scale guerrilla warfare in the event the Soviet Union tried to occupy Finland in the aftermath of the Continuation War. See also Operation Stella Polaris.
In 1991, the Swedish media claimed that a secret stay-behind army had existed in neutral Finland with an exile base in Stockholm. Finnish Defence Minister Elisabeth Rehn called the revelations "a fairy tale", adding cautiously "or at least an incredible story, of which I know nothing."[5] However, in his memoirs, former CIA director William Colby described the setting-up of stay-behind armies in Scandinavian countries, including Finland, with or without the assistance of local governments, to prepare for a Soviet invasion.[23]
Spain[edit]Several events prior to Spain's 1982 membership in NATO have also been tied to Gladio: In May 1976, half a year after Franco's death, two right-wing Carlist members were shot down by far-right terrorists, among whom were Gladio operative Stefano Delle Chiaie and members of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (Triple A), demonstrating connections between Gladio and the South American "Dirty War" of the Operation Condor. This incident became known as the Montejurra incident.[47] According to a report by the Italian CESIS (Executive Committee for Intelligence and Security Services), Carlo Cicuttini (who took part in the 1972 Peteano bombing in Italy alongside Vincenzo Vinciguerra), participated in the 1977 Massacre of Atocha in Madrid, killing five people (including several lawyers), members of the Workers' Commissions trade-unions closely linked with the Spanish Communist Party. Cicuttini was naturalized Spanish and exiled in Spain since 1972 (date of the Peteano bombing)[48]
Following Andreotti's 1990 revelations, Adolfo Surez, Spain's first democratically elected Prime minister after Franco's death, denied ever having heard of Gladio.[49] President of the Spanish government in 1981''82, during the transition to democracy, Calvo Sotelo stated that Spain had not been informed of Gladio when it entered NATO. Asked about Gladio's relations to Francoist Spain, he said that such a network was not necessary under Franco, since "the regime itself was Gladio."[50]
According to General Fausto Fortunato, head of Italian SISMI from 1971 to 1974, France and the US had backed Spain's entrance to Gladio, but Italy would have opposed its veto to it. Following Andreotti's revelations, however, Narc­s Serra, Spanish Minister of Defense, opened up an investigation concerning Spain's links to Gladio.[51][52] Furthermore, Canarias 7 newspaper revealed, quoting former Gladio agent Alberto Volo, who had a role in the revelations of the existence of the network in 1990, that a Gladio meeting had been organized in August 1991 in the Gran Canaria island.[53] Alberto Vollo also declared that as a Gladio operative, he had received trainings in Maspalomas, in the Gran Canaria island between the 1960s and the 1970s.[54]El Pa­s daily also revealed that the Gladio organization was suspected of having used former NASA installations in Maspalomas, in the Gran Canaria island, in the 1970s.[55]
Andr(C) Moyen, former Belgian secret agent, also declared that Gladio had operated in Spain.[56] He said that Gladio had bases in Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastin and the Canary islands.
Sweden[edit]In 1951, CIA agent William Colby, based at the CIA station in Stockholm, supported the training of stay-behind armies in neutral Sweden and Finland and in the NATO members Norway and Denmark. In 1953, the police arrested right winger Otto Hallberg and discovered the preparations for the Swedish stay-behind army. Hallberg was set free and charges against him were dropped.[5]
Switzerland[edit]In Switzerland, a secret force called P-26 was discovered, by coincidence, a few months before Giulio Andreotti's October 1990 revelations. After the "secret files scandal" (Fichenaff¤re), Swiss members of parliament started investigating the Defense Department in the summer of 1990. According to Felix W¼rsten of the ETH Zurich, "P-26 was not directly involved in the network of NATO's secret armies but it had close contact to MI6."[57] Daniele Ganser (ETH Zurich) wrote in the Intelligence and National Security review that "following the discovery of the stay-behind armies across Western Europe in late 1990, Swiss and international security researchers found themselves confronted with two clear-cut questions: Did Switzerland also operate a secret stay-behind army? And if yes, was it part of NATO's stay-behind network? The answer to the first question is clearly yes... The answer to the second question remains disputed..."[58]
In 1990, Colonel Herbert Alboth, a former commander of P-26, declared in a confidential letter to the Defence Department that he was willing to reveal "the whole truth". He was later found in his house, stabbed with his own military bayonet. The detailed parliamentary report on the Swiss secret army was presented to the public on November 17, 1990.[5] According to The Guardian, "P-26 was backed by P-27, a private foreign intelligence agency funded partly by the government, and by a special unit of Swiss army intelligence which had built up files on nearly 8,000 "suspect persons" including "leftists", "bill stickers", "Jehovah's witnesses", people with "abnormal tendencies" and anti-nuclear demonstrators. On November 14, the Swiss government hurriedly dissolved P26 '' the head of which, it emerged, had been paid £100,000 a year."[59]
In 1991, a report by Swiss magistrate Pierre Cornu was released by the Swiss defence ministry. It found that P-26 was without "political or legal legitimacy", and described the group's collaboration with British secret services as "intense". "Unknown to the Swiss government, British officials signed agreements with P-26 to provide training in combat, communications, and sabotage. The latest agreement was signed in 1987... P-26 cadres participated regularly in training exercises in Britain... British advisers '' possibly from the SAS '' visited secret training establishments in Switzerland." P-26 was led by Efrem Cattelan, known to British intelligence.[60]
In a 2005 conference presenting Daniele Ganser's research on Gladio, Hans Senn, General Chief of Staff of the Swiss Army between 1977 and 1980, explained how he was informed of the existence of a secret organisation in the middle of his term of office. According to him, it already became clear in 1980 in the wake of the Schilling/Bachmann affair that there was also a secret group in Switzerland. But former MP, Helmut Hubacher, President of the Social Democratic Party from 1975 to 1990, declared that although it had been known that "special services" existed within the army, as a politician he never at any time could have known that P-26 was behind this. Hubacher pointed out that the President of the parliamentary investigation into P26 (PUK-EMD), the right-wing politician from Appenzell and member of the Council of States for that Canton, Carlo Schmid, had suffered "like a dog" during the commission's investigations. Carlo Schmid declared to the press: "I was shocked that something like that is at all possible," and said to the press he was glad to leave the "conspirational atmosphere" which had weighted upon him like a "black shadow" during the investigations.[61] Hubacher found it especially disturbing that, apart from its official mandate of organizing resistance in case of a Soviet invasion, P-26 had also a mandate to become active should the left succeed in achieving a parliamentary majority.[57]
Daniele Ganser and "Strategy of Tension"[edit]Swiss historian Daniele Ganser in his 2005 NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe accused Gladio of trying to influence policies through the means of "false flag" operations and a "strategy of tension." Ganser alleges that on various occasions, stay-behind movements became linked to right-wing terrorism, crime and attempted coups d'(C)tat:[8] InNATO's Secret Armies Ganser states that Gladio units were in close cooperation with NATO and the CIA and that Gladio in Italy was responsible for terrorist attacks against its own civilian population.[62]
Peer Henrik Hansen, a scholar at Roskilde University, wrote two scathing criticisms of the book for the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence and the Journal of Intelligence History, describing Ganser's work as "a journalistic book with a big spoonful of conspiracy theories" that "fails to present proof of and an in-depth explanation of the claimed conspiracy between USA, CIA, NATO and the European countries." Hansen also criticized Ganser for basing his "claim of the big conspiracy" off the US Army Field Manual 30-31B, a Cold War era hoax document.[63][64] Hayden Peake's book review Intelligence in Recent Public Literature describes: "Ganser fails to document his thesis that the CIA, MI6, and NATO and its friends turned GLADIO into a terrorist organization."[65] Philip HJ Davies of the Brunel University Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies likewise concludes that the book is "marred by imagined conspiracies, exaggerated notions of the scale and impact of covert activities, misunderstandings of the management and coordination of operations within and between national governments, and... an almost complete failure to place the actions and decisions in question in the appropriate historical context." According to Davies, "The underlying problem is that Ganser has not really undertaken the most basic necessary research to be able to discuss covert action and special operations effectively."[66] Olav Riste of the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, writing for the journal Intelligence and National Security, mentions several instances where his own research on the stay-behind network in Norway was twisted by Ganser and concludes that "A detailed refutation of the many unfounded allegations that Ganser accepts as historical findings would fill an entire book."[67] In a later joint article with Leopoldo Nuti of the University of Rome, the two concluded that the book's "ambitious conclusions do not seem to be entirely corroborated by a sound evaluation of the sources available."[68]
Lawrence Kaplan wrote a mixed review commending Ganser for making "heroic efforts to tease out the many strands that connect this interlocking right-wing conspiracy", but also arguing that "Connecting the dots between terrorist organizations in NATO countries and a master plan centred in NATO's military headquarters requires a stretch of facts that Ganser cannot manage." Kaplan believes that some of Ganser's conspiracy theories "may be correct", but that "they do damage to the book's credibility."[69] In a mostly positive review for the journal Cold War History, Beatrice Heuser praises Ganser's "fascinating study" while also noting that "It would definitely have improved the work if Ganser had used a less polemical tone, and had occasionally conceded that the Soviet Empire was by no means nicer."[70] Security analyst John Prados writes "Ganser, the principal analyst of Gladio, presents evidence across many nations that Gladio networks amounted to anti-democratic elements in their own societies."[71]
The US State Department stated in 2006 that Ganser had been taken in by long-discredited Cold-War era disinformation and "fooled by the forgery". In an article about the Gladio/stay-behind networks and US Army Field Manual 30-31B they stated, "Ganser treats the forgery as if it was a genuine document in his 2005 book on "stay behind" networks, Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe and includes it as a key document on his Web site on the book.[72]
US State Department's 2006 response[edit]The US State Department published a communiqu(C) in January 2006 which, while confirming the existence of NATO stay-behind efforts, in general, and the presence of the "Gladio" stay-behind unit in Italy, in particular, with the purpose of aiding resistance in the event of Soviet aggression directed Westward, from the Warsaw Pact, dismissed claims of any United States ordered, supported, or authorized terrorism by stay-behind units.
The State Department stated that the accusations of US-sponsored "false flag" operations are rehashed former Soviet disinformation based on documents that the Soviets forged; specifically the Westmoreland Field Manual, whose forged nature was confirmed by former KGB operatives, following the end of the Cold War. The alleged Soviet-authored forgery, disseminated in the 1970s, explicitly formulated the need for a "strategy of tension" involving violent attacks blamed on radical left-wing groups in order to convince allied governments of the need for counter-action. It also rejected a Communist Greek journalist's allegations made in December 2005.[35]
Gladio in fiction[edit]A precise analogue of Operation Gladio was described in the 1949 fiction novel An Affair of State by Pat Frank.[73] In Frank's version, U.S. State Dept officers recruit a stay-behind network in Hungary to fight an insurgency against the Soviet Union after the Soviet Union launches an attack on and captures Western Europe.
In the Archer episode "Lo Scandalo", the character Mallory Archer mentions having been involved in Operation Gladio when younger.
See also[edit]References[edit]^Haberman, Clyde; Times, Special to The New York (Nov 16, 1990). "EVOLUTION IN EUROPE; Italy Discloses Its Web Of Cold War Guerrillas". The New York Times. Retrieved Feb 20, 2015. ^"Belgian parliamentary report concerning the stay-behind network", named "Enquªte parlementaire sur l'existence en Belgique d'un r(C)seau de renseignements clandestin international" or "Parlementair onderzoek met betrekking tot het bestaan in Belgi van een clandestien internationaal inlichtingenetwerk" pp. 17''22^"History". Scots Guards Association. Retrieved 19 June 2014. ^David Lampe, The Last Ditch: Britain's Resistance Plans against the Nazis Cassell 1968 ISBN 0-304-92519-5^ abcdefghChronology, Secret Warfare: Operation Gladio and NATO's Stay-Behind Armies, ETH Zurich^ abcNorton-Taylor, Richard and David Gow. Secret Italian Unit," The Guardian, November 17, 1990^Dan van der Vat. "Obituary: General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley," Guardian. 15 March 2006^ abcdGanser, Daniele. "Terrorism in Western Europe: An Approach to NATO's Secret Stay-Behind Armies". ISN. Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, South Orange NJ, Winter/Spring 2005, Vol. 6, No. 1. Retrieved Feb 19, 2015. ^Peake, Hayden B. "Intelligence in Recent Public Literature". The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf. Central Intelligence Agency. ^Len Scott, R. Gerald Hughes Intelligence, Crises and Security: Prospects and Retrospects, Routledge, 2008, p. 123^O'Shaughnessy, Hugh. "Gladio: Europe's Secret Networks," The Observer, 18 November 1990.^"Secret Cold-War Network Group Hid Arms, Belgian Member Says". Brussels: Reuters. 1990-11-13. ^Pedrick, Clare; Lardner, George Jr (1990-11-14). "CIA Organized Secret Army in Western Europe". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-07-31. ^ abWillan, Philip. "Paolo Emilio Taviani", The Guardian, June 21, 2001. (Obituary.)^Herman, Edward S (June 1991). "Hiding Western Terror". Nation: 21''22. ^Barbera, Myriam. "Gladio: et la France?," L'Humanit(C), November 10, 1990 (French).^"Caso Moro. Morire di Gladio". La Voce della Campania (in Italian). January 2005. ^Gladio e caso Moro: Arconte su morte Ferraro, "La Nuova Sardegna" (Italian)^Pallister, David. "How M16 and SAS Join In," The Guardian, December 5, 1990^Gerardo Serravalle, Gladio (Rome: Edizione Associate, ISBN 88-267-0145-8, 1991), p.78-79 (Italian)^Belgian Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry into Gladio, quoted by Daniele Ganser (2005)^Official site of the Belgian Permanent Committee for the Control of Intelligence Services See "history" section in the "Presentation" part.^ abColby, William. "A Scandinavian Spy," Chapter 3. (Former CIA director 's memoirs.)^Kwitny, Jonathan (1992-04-06). "The C.I.A.'s Secret Armies in Europe". The Nation. pp. 446''447. Quoted in Ganser's "Terrorism in Western Europe".^Cogan, Charles (2007). "'Stay-Behind' in France: Much ado about nothing?". Journal of Strategic Studies30 (6): 937''954. doi:10.1080/01402390701676493. ^Daeninckx, Didier. "Du Temple Solaire au r(C)seau Gladio, en passant par Politica Hermetica...," February 27, 2002.^Lee, Christopher. CIA Ties With Ex-Nazis Shown, Washington Post, June 7, 2006.^ abHeinz Duthel (23 July 2008). Global Secret and Intelligence Service - I. Lulu Enterprises Incorporated. pp. 235''. ISBN 978-1-4092-1088-7. ^Heinz Duthel (14 November 2014). Global Secret and Intelligence Services I: Hidden Systems that deliver Unforgettable Customer Service. Books on Demand. pp. 204''. ISBN 978-3-7386-6375-4. ^Philip Agee and Louis Wolf, Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe (Secaucus: Lyle Stuart Inc., 1978), p.154 (quoted by Daniele Ganser) (2005) p.216^NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe by Daniele Ganser, p. 221.)^NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe by Daniele Ganser, p. 221.^NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe by Daniele Ganser, p. 223.^"NATO's secret network 'also operated in France'", The Guardian, November 14, 1990, p. 6^ abc"Misinformation about "Gladio/Stay Behind" Networks Resurfaces". United States Department of State. Cite error: Invalid tag; name "StateDept" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).^http://www.php.isn.ethz.ch/collections/coll_gladio/chronology.cfm?navinfo=15301^"Secret Gladio Network Planted Weapons Caches in NATO Countries". AP News Archive. Nov 13, 1990. Retrieved Feb 20, 2015. ^"Clarion: Nato network in France, Guardian 14 Nov 1990". Cambridge Clarion Group. Nov 14, 1990. Retrieved Feb 19, 2015. ^"Clarion: gladio, Norton-Taylor, Guardian 5 Dec 1990". Cambridge Clarion Group. Dec 5, 1990. Retrieved Feb 20, 2015. ^"MIVD verzwijgt wapenvondst in onderwereld" (in Dutch). Nu.nl. 2007-09-09. Retrieved 2015-01-11. ^"Gladio". Brandpunt Reporter. 2007-09-09. Retrieved 2015-01-11. ^Olav Riste (1999). The Norwegian Intelligence Service: 1945''1970. Routledge. ISBN 0-7146-4900-7. ^"Secret Anti-Communist Network Exposed in Norway in 1978". Associated Press. 1990-11-14. ^"28 Nisan 2008, Pazartesi - Ä°talyan Gladiosu'nu §¶zen savcı: En etkili Gladio sizde". SABAH (in Turkish). Apr 28, 2008. Retrieved Feb 20, 2015. ^'stel, Aziz (2008-07-14). "Savcı, Ergenekon'u Kenan Evren'e sormalı asıl!". Star Gazete (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-10-21. T¼rkiye'deki gizli ordunun adı kontr gerilladır. ^C. G. McKay, Bengt Beckman, Swedish Signal Intelligence, Frank Cass Publishers, 2002, p. 202^Crimes of Montejurra (Good Google translation)^Un informe oficial italiano implica en el crimen de Atocha al 'ultra' Cicuttini, relacionado con Gladio, El Pa­s, December 2, 1990 (Spanish)^Surez afirma que en su etapa de presidente nunca se habl" de la red Gladio, El Pa­s, November 18, 1990 (Spanish)^Calvo Sotelo asegura que Espa±a no fue informada, cuando entr" en la OTAN, de la existencia de Gladio, El Pa­s, November 21, 1990 (Spanish)^Italia vet" la entrada de Espa±a en Gladio, segºn un ex jefe del espionaje italiano, El Pa­s, November 17, 1990 (Spanish)^Serra ordena indagar sobre la red Gladio en Espa±a, El Pa­s, November 16, 1990 (Spanish)^La 'red Gladio' continºa operando, segºn el ex agente Alberto Volo, El Pa­s, August 19, 1991 (Spanish)^El secretario de la OTAN elude precisar si Espa±a tuvo relaci"n con la red Gladio, El Pa­s, November 24, 1990 (Spanish)^Indicios de que la red Gladio utiliz" una vieja estaci"n de la NASA en Gran Canaria, El Pa­s, November 26, 1990 (Spanish)^La red secreta de la OTAN operaba en Espa±a, segºn un ex agente belga, El Pa­s, November 14, 1990^ abThe Dark Side of the West, Conference "Nato Secret Armies and P-26," ETH Zurich, 2005. Published 10 February 2005. Retrieved February 7, 2007.^Ganser, Daniele. "The British Secret Service in Neutral Switzerland: An Unfinished Debate on NATO's Cold War Stay-behind Armies", published by the Intelligence and National Security review, vol.20, n°4, December 2005, pp. 553''580 ISSN 0268''4527 print 1743''9019 online.^Richard Norton-Taylor, "The Gladio File: did fear of communism throw West into the arms of terrorists?", in The Guardian, December 5, 1990^Norton-Taylor, Richard. UK trained secret Swiss force" in The Guardian, September 20, 1991, p. 7.^"Schwarzer Schatten". Der Spiegel (in German) 50: 194b''200a. 1990-12-10. Retrieved 2008-10-28. [verification needed]^Andreas Anton, Michael Schetsche, Michael K. Walter Konspiration p. 175, Springer VS 2014, ISBN 978-3-531-19324-3^Peer Henrik Hansen, "Review of NATO's Secret Armies," Journal of Intelligence History, Summer 2005. Web Archive - archived website of August 26, 2007^Peer Henrik Hansen, "Falling Flat on the Stay-Behinds," International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, January 2006, 182-186.^The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf Hayden Peake, CIA, April 15, 2007^Philip HJ Davies, "Review of NATO's Secret Armies," The Journal of Strategic Studies, December 2005, 1064-1068.^Olav Riste, "Review of NATO's Secret Armies," Intelligence and National Security, September 2005, 550-551.^Olav Riste and Leopoldo Nuti, "Introduction: Strategy of 'Stay-Behind'," The Journal of Strategic Studies, December 2007, 930.^Lawrence Kaplan, "Review of NATO's Secret Armies," The International History Review, September 2006, 685-686.^Beatrice Heuser, "Review of NATO's Secret Armies," Cold War History, November 2006, 567-568.^John Prado Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA 2006, p. 95, ISBN 9781615780112^State Department.^Pat Frank. An Affair of State. J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1949Further reading[edit]William Egan Colby; Peter Forbath: Honorable men : my life in the CIA New York : Simon and Schuster, (C)1978., ISBN 0671228757The Lone Gladio: Assassinations. Drug running. False flag ops. A shadow paramilitary global network. Synthetic wars., by Ms. Sibel D Edmonds, 2014, ISBN 0-692-21329-5NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe (Contemporary Security Studies), by Daniele Ganser, 2005, ISBN 0-7146-8500-3Puppetmasters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy, by Philip Willan, 2002, ISBN 0-595-24697-4Further reading (Non-English)[edit]Claudio Sestieri; Giovanni Pellegrino; Giovanni Fasanella: Segreto di Stato : la verit da Gladio al caso Moro Torino : Einaudi, 2000., ISBN 9788806156251 (see civic website of Bologna) (Italian)Jan Willems, Gladio, 1991, EPO-Dossier, Bruxelles (ISBN 2-87262-051-6). (French)Jens Mecklenburg, Gladio. Die geheime Terrororganisation der Nato, 1997, Elefanten Press Verlag GmbH, Berlin (ISBN 3-88520-612-9). (German)Leo A. M¼ller, Gladio. Das Erbe des kalten Krieges, 1991, RoRoRo-Taschenbuch Aktuell no 12993 (ISBN 3499 129930). (German)Jean-Fran§ois Brozzu-Gentile, L'Affaire Gladio. Les r(C)seaux secrets am(C)ricains au cÅ'ur du terrorisme en Europe, 1994, Albin Michel, Paris (ISBN 2-226-06919-4). (French)Anna Laura Braghetti, Paola Tavella, Le Prisonnier. 55 jours avec Aldo Moro, 1999 (translated from Italian: Il Prigioniero), ‰ditions Denol, Paris (ISBN 2-207-24888-7) (Italian)/(French)Regine Igel, Andreotti. Politik zwischen Geheimdienst und Mafia, 1997, Herbig Verlagsbuchhandlung GmbH, Munich (ISBN 3-7766-1951-1). (German)Fran§ois Vitrani, "L'Italie, un Etat de 'souverainet(C) limit(C)e' ?", in Le Monde diplomatique, December 1990. (French)Patrick Boucheron, "L'affaire Sofri : un proc¨s en sorcellerie?", in L'Histoire magazine, n°217 (January 1998) Concerning Carlo Ginzburg's book The judge and the historian about Adriano Sofri(French)"Les proc¨s Andreotti en Italie" ("The Andreotti trials in Italy") by Philippe Foro, published by University of Toulouse II, Groupe de recherche sur l'histoire imm(C)diate (Study group on immediate history). (French)Angelo Paratico: Gli assassini del karma Roma : Robin, 2004., ISBN 978-8873710646External links[edit]
Operation Gladio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:04
Operation Gladio (Italian: Operazione Gladio) is the codename for a clandestine North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) "stay-behind" operation in Italy during the Cold War. Its purpose was to continue armed resistance in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion and conquest. Although Gladio specifically refers to the Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind organizations, "Operation Gladio" is used as an informal name for all of them. The name Gladio is the Italian form of gladius, a type of Romanshortsword. Stay-behind operations were prepared in many NATO member countries, and some neutral countries.[1]
The role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Gladio and the extent of its activities during the Cold War era, and any relationship to terrorist attacks perpetrated in Italy during the "Years of Lead" (late 1960s to early 1980s) is the subject of debate. Switzerland and Belgium have had parliamentary inquiries into the matter.[2]
History and general stay-behind structure[edit]World War Two experience[edit]In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Winston Churchill created the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in 1940 to assist resistance movements and carry out subversive operations in enemy-held territory across occupied Europe. Guardian reporter David Pallister wrote in December 1990 that a guerrilla network with arms caches had been put in place following the fall of France. It included Brigadier "Mad Mike" Calvert, and was drawn from the 5th (ski) battalion of the Scots Guards, which was originally intended to fight against the Soviet forces attacking Finland.[3] Known as Auxiliary Units, they were headed by Major Colin Gubbins, an expert in guerrilla warfare who later led the SOE. The Auxiliary Units were attached to GHQ Home Forces, and concealed within the Home Guard. The units were created in preparation of a possible invasion of the British Isles by the Third Reich. These units were allegedly stood down only in 1944. Several of their members subsequently joined the Special Air Service and saw action in France in late 1944. The units' existence did not generally become known by the public until the 1990s despite a book on the subject being published in 1968,[4] although in recent years, much more research has been undertaken on the Auxiliary Units, such as the books by John Warwicker (Churchill's Underground Army and With Britain In Mortal Danger) and the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART), which publishes its work on-line. In fiction, Owen Sheers' Resistance (2008), set in Wales, takes as one of its central characters a member of the Auxiliary Units called to resist a successful German invasion.
Post War creation[edit]After World War II, the UK and the US decided to create "stay-behind" paramilitary organizations, with the official aim of countering a possible Soviet invasion through sabotage and guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines. Arms caches were hidden, escape routes prepared, and loyal members recruited, whether in Italy or in other European countries. Its clandestine "cells" were to stay behind (hence the name) in enemy-controlled territory and to act as resistance movements, conducting sabotage, guerrilla warfare and assassinations.
The stay-behind armies were created with the experience and involvement of former SOE officers.[5] Following Giulio Andreotti's October 1990 revelations, General Sir John Hackett (1910''1997), former commander-in-chief of the British Army on the Rhine, declared on November 16, 1990 that a contingency plan involving "stay behind and resistance in depth" was drawn up after the war. The same week, Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley (1924''2006), former commander-in-chief of NATO's Forces in Northern Europe from 1979 to 1982, declared to The Guardian that a secret arms network was established in Britain after the war.[6] Hackett had written in 1978 a novel, The Third World War: August 1985, which was a fictionalized scenario of a Soviet Army invasion of West Germany in 1985. The novel was followed in 1982 by The Third World War: The Untold Story, which elaborated on the original. Farrar-Hockley had aroused controversy in 1983 when he became involved in trying to organise a campaign for a new Home Guard against a potential Soviet invasion.[7]
Operating in all of NATO and even in some neutral countries such as Spain before its 1982 admission to NATO, Gladio was first coordinated by the Clandestine Committee of the Western Union (CCWU), founded in 1948. After the creation of NATO in 1949, the CCWU was integrated into the "Clandestine Planning Committee" (CPC), founded in 1951 and overseen by the SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe), transferred to Belgium after France's official retreat from NATO '' which was not followed by the dissolution of the French stay-behind paramilitary movements.[citation needed]
Historian Daniele Ganser alleges that:[8]
Next to the CPC, a second secret army command center, labeled Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC), was set up in 1957 on the orders of NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR). This military structure provided for significant US leverage over the secret stay-behind networks in Western Europe as the SACEUR, throughout NATO's history, has traditionally been a US General who reports to the Pentagon in Washington and is based in NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium. The ACC's duties included elaborating on the directives of the network, developing its clandestine capability, and organizing bases in Britain and the United States. In wartime, it was to plan stay-behind operations in conjunction with SHAPE. According to former CIA director William Colby, it was 'a major program'.
Coordinated by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), {the secret armies} were run by the European military secret services in close cooperation with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the British foreign secret service Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, also MI6). Trained together with US Green Berets and British Special Air Service (SAS), these clandestine NATO soldiers, armed with underground arms-caches, prepared against a potential Soviet invasion and occupation of Western Europe, as well as the coming to power of communist parties. The clandestine international network covered the European NATO membership, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey, as well as the neutral European countries of Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Central Intelligence Agency responded to the series of accusations made by Ganser in his book regarding the CIA's involvement in Operation Gladio, by claiming that neither Ganser nor anyone else could have solid evidence supporting their accusations. At one point in his book, Ganser even talks about the CIA's covert action policies as being "terrorist in nature" and then accuses the CIA of using their "networks for political terrorism". The CIA has responded by noting that Daniele Ganser's sourcing is "largely secondary" and that Ganser himself has complained about "not being able to find any official sources to support his charges of the CIA's or any Western European government's involvement with Gladio".[9]
The existence of these clandestine NATO units remained a closely guarded secret throughout the Cold War until 1990, when the first branch of the international network was discovered in Italy. It was code-named Gladio, the Italian word for a short double-edged sword [gladius]. While the press said that the NATO stay-behind units were 'the best-kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II', the Italian government, amidst sharp public criticism, promised to close down the secret army. Italy insisted identical clandestine units had also existed in all other countries of Western Europe. This allegation proved correct and subsequent research found that in Belgium, the secret NATO unit was code-named SDRA8, in Denmark Absalon, in Germany TD BJD, in Greece LOK, in Luxemburg Stay-Behind, in the Netherlands I&O, in Norway ROC, in Portugal Aginter Press, in Spain Red Quantum, in Switzerland P26, in Turkey –zel Harp Dairesi, In Sweden AGAG (Aktions Gruppen Arla Gryning), Plan Bleu in France, and in Austria OWSGV. However, the code name of the stay-behind unit in Finland remains unknown.[8]
Upon learning of the discovery, the parliament of the European Union (EU) drafted a resolution sharply criticizing the fact.[clarification needed] Yet only Italy, Belgium and Switzerland carried out parliamentary investigations, while the administration of President George H. W. Bush refused to comment.[10]
If Gladio was effectively "the best-kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II",[11] it must be underlined, however, that on several occasions, arms caches were discovered and stay-behind paramilitary organizations officially dissolved.[citation needed]
NATO's "stay-behind" organizations were never called upon to resist a Soviet invasion. According to a November 13, 1990 Reuters cable,[12] "Andr(C) Moyen '' a former member of the Belgian military security service and of the [stay-behind] network '' said Gladio was not just anti-Communist but was for fighting subversion in general. He added that his predecessor had given Gladio 142 million francs ($4.6 millions) to buy new radio equipment."[13]
Gladio operations in NATO countries[edit]First discovered in Italy[edit]The Italian NATO stay-behind organization, dubbed "Gladio", was set up under Minister of Defense (from 1953 to 1958) Paolo Taviani's (DC) supervision.[14] Gladio's existence came to public knowledge when Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti revealed it to the Chamber of Deputies on October 24, 1990, although far-right terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra had already revealed its existence during his 1984 trial. According to media analyst Edward S. Herman, "both the President of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, and Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, had been involved in the Gladio organization and coverup..."[15][verification needed]
Giulio Andreotti's October 24, 1990 revelations[edit]Christian Democrat Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti publicly recognized the existence of Gladio on October 24, 1990. Andreotti spoke of a "structure of information, response and safeguard", with arms caches and reserve officers. He gave to the Commissione Stragi, the parliamentary commission led by senator Giovanni Pellegrino in charge of investigations on bombings committed during the Years Of Lead in Italy, a list of 622 civilians who according to him were part of Gladio. Andreotti also stated that 127 weapons' cache had been dismantled, and said that Gladio had not been involved in any of the bombings committed from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Andreotti declared that the Italian military services (predecessors of the SISMI) had joined in 1964 the Allied Clandestine Committee created in 1957 by the US, France, Belgium and Greece, and which was in charge of directing Gladio's operations.[16] However, Gladio was actually set up under Minister of Defense (from 1953 to 1958) Paolo Taviani's supervision.[14] Beside, the list of Gladio members given by Andreotti was incomplete. It didn't include, for example, Antonio Arconte, who described an organization very different from the one brushed by Giulio Andreotti: an organization closely tied to the SID secret service and the Atlanticist strategy.[17][18] According to Andreotti, the stay-behind organisations set up in all of Europe did not come "under broad NATO supervision until 1959."[19]
General Serravalle's statement[edit]General Gerardo Serravalle, who commanded the Italian Gladio from 1971 to 1974, related that "in the 1970s the members of the CPC [Coordination and Planning Committee] were the officers responsible for the secret structures of Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and Italy. These representatives of the secret structures met every year in one of the capitals... At the stay-behind meetings representatives of the CIA were always present. They had no voting rights and were from the CIA headquarters of the capital in which the meeting took place... members of the US Forces Europe Command were present, also without voting rights. "[20] Next to the CPC a second secret command post was created in 1957, the Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC). According to the Belgian Parliamentary Committee on Gladio, the ACC was "responsible for coordinating the 'Stay-behind' networks in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, United Kingdom and the United States". During peacetime, the activities of the ACC "included elaborating the directives for the network, developing its clandestine capability and organising bases in Britain and the United States. In wartime, it was to plan stay-behind operations in conjunction with SHAPE; organisers were to activate clandestine bases and organise operations from there".[21] General Serravale declared to the Commissione Stragi headed by senator Giovanni Pellegrino that the Italian Gladio members trained at a military base in Britain.[6]
Belgium[edit]After the 1967 withdrawal of France from NATO's military structure, the SHAPE headquarters were displaced to Mons in Belgium. In 1990, following France's denial of any "stay-behind" French army, Giulio Andreotti publicly said the last Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) meeting, at which the French branch of Gladio was present, had been on October 23 and 24, 1990, under the presidency of Belgian General Van Calster, director of the Belgian military secret service SGR. In November, Guy Come, the Minister of the Defense, acknowledged the existence of a Belgium "stay-behind" army, raising concerns about a similar implication in terrorist acts as in Italy. The same year, the European Parliament sharply condemned NATO and the United States in a resolution for having manipulated European politics with the stay-behind armies.[5]
New legislation governing intelligence agencies' missions and methods was passed in 1998, following two government inquiries and the creation of a permanent parliamentary committee in 1991, which was to bring them under the authority of Belgium's federal agencies. The Commission was created following events in the 1980s, which included the Brabant massacres and the activities of far right group Westland New Post.[22]
Denmark[edit]The Danish stay-behind army was code-named Absalon, after a Danish archbishop, and led by E.J. Harder. It was hidden in the military secret service Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE). In 1978, William Colby, former director of the CIA, released his memoirs in which he described the setting-up of stay-behind armies in Scandinavia:[23]
"The situation in each Scandinavian country was different. Norway and Denmark were NATO allies, Sweden held to the neutrality that had taken her through two world wars, and Finland were required to defer in its foreign policy to the Soviet power directly on its borders. Thus, in one set of these countries the governments themselves would build their own stay-behind nets, counting on activating them from exile to carry on the struggle. These nets had to be co-ordinated with NATO's plans, their radios had to be hooked to a future exile location, and the specialised equipment had to be secured from CIA and secretly cached in snowy hideouts for later use. In other set of countries, CIA would have to do the job alone or with, at best, "unofficial" local help, since the politics of those governments barred them from collaborating with NATO, and any exposure would arouse immediate protest from the local Communist press, Soviet diplomats and loyal Scandinavians who hoped that neutrality or nonalignment would allow them to slip through a World War III unharmed."
France[edit]In 1947, Interior Minister Edouard Depreux revealed the existence of a secret stay-behind army in France codenamed "Plan Bleu". The next year, the "Western Union Clandestine Committee" (WUCC) was created to coordinate secret unorthodox warfare. In 1949, the WUCC was integrated into NATO, whose headquarters were established in France, under the name "Clandestine Planning Committee" (CPC). In 1958, NATO founded the Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) to coordinate secret warfare.[citation needed]
The network was supported with elements from SDECE, and had military support from the 11th Choc regiment. The former director of DGSE, admiral Pierre Lacoste, alleged in a 1992 interview with The Nation, that certain elements from the network were involved in terrorist activities against de Gaulle and his Algerian policy. A section of the 11th Choc regiment split over the 1962 Evian peace accords, and became part of the Organisation arm(C)e secr¨te (OAS), but it is unclear if this also involved members of the French stay-behind network.[24][25]
La Rose des Vents and Arc-en-ciel ("Rainbow") network were part of Gladio. Fran§ois de Grossouvre was Gladio's leader for the region around Lyon in France until his alleged suicide on April 7, 1994. Grossouvre would have asked Constantin Melnik, leader of the French secret services during the Algerian War of Independence (1954''62), to return to activity. He was living in comfortable exile in the US, where he maintained links with the Rand Corporation. Constantin Melnik is alleged to have been involved in the creation in 1952 of the Ordre Souverain du Temple Solaire, an ancestor of the Order of the Solar Temple, created by former A.M.O.R.C. members, in which the SDECE (French former military intelligence agency) was interested.[26]
Germany[edit]US intelligence also assisted in the set up a German stay-behind network. CIA documents released in June 2006 under the 1998 Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, show that the CIA organized "stay-behind" networks of German agents between 1949 and 1953. According to the Washington Post: "One network included at least two former Nazi SS members -- Staff Sgt. Heinrich Hoffman and Lt. Col. Hans Rues -- and one was run by Lt. Col. Walter Kopp, a former German army officer referred to by the CIA as an "unreconstructed Nazi. "The network was disbanded in 1953 amid political concerns that some members' neo-Nazi sympathies would be exposed in the West German press."[27]
Documents shown to the Italian parliamentary terrorism committee revealed that in the 1970s British and French officials involved in the network visited a training base in Germany built with US money.[6]
In 1976, the secret service BND secretary Heidrun Hofer was arrested after having revealed the secrets of the German stay-behind army to her husband, who was a spy of the KGB.[5]
In 2004 the German author Norbert Juretzko published a book about his work at the BND. He went into details about recruiting partisans for the German stay-behind network. He was sacked from BND following a secret trial against him, because the BND could not find out the real name of his Russian source "R¼bezahl" whom he had recruited. A man with the name he put on file was arrested by the KGB following treason in the BND, but was obviously innocent, his name having been chosen at random from the public phone book by Juretzko.[28] According to Juretzko, the BND built up its branch of Gladio, but discovered after the fall of the German Democratic Republic that it was 100% known to the Stasi early on. When the network was dismantled, further odd details emerged. One fellow "spymaster" had kept the radio equipment in his cellar at home with his wife doing the engineering test call every 4 months, on the grounds that the equipment was too "valuable" to remain in civilian hands. Juretzko found out because this spymaster had dismantled his section of the network so quickly, there had been no time for measures such as recovering all caches of supplies.[29]
Civilians recruited as stay-behind partisans were equipped with a clandestine shortwave radio with a fixed frequency. It had a keyboard with digital encryption, making use of traditional Morse code obsolete. They had a cache of further equipment for signalling helicopters or submarines to drop special agents who were to stay in the partisan's homes while mounting sabotage operations against the communists.[28]
Greece[edit]When Greece joined NATO in 1952, the country's special forces, the LOK (Lochoi Oreinōn Katadromōn, i.e. "Mountain Raiding Companies") were integrated into the European stay-behind network. The CIA and LOK reconfirmed on March 25, 1955 their mutual co-operation in a secret document signed by US General Trascott for the CIA, and Konstantinos Dovas, chief of staff of the Greek military. In addition to preparing for a Soviet invasion, the CIA instructed LOK to prevent a leftist coup. Former CIA agent Philip Agee, who was sharply criticized in the US for having revealed sensitive information, insisted that "paramilitary groups, directed by CIA officers, operated in the sixties throughout Europe [and he stressed that] perhaps no activity of the CIA could be as clearly linked to the possibility of internal subversion."[30]
The LOK was involved in the military coup d'(C)tat on April 21, 1967,[31] which took place one month before the scheduled national elections for which opinion polls predicted an overwhelming victory of the centrist Center Union of George and Andreas Papandreou. Under the command of paratrooper Lieutenant Colonel Costas Aslanides, the LOK took control of the Greek Defence Ministry while Brigadier General Stylianos Pattakos gained control over communication centers, the parliament, the royal palace, and according to detailed lists, arrested over 10,000 people. Phillips Talbot, the US ambassador in Athens, disapproved of the military coup which established the "Regime of the Colonels" (1967''1974), complaining that it represented "a rape of democracy" '' to which Jack Maury, the CIA chief of station in Athens, answered: "How can you rape a whore?"[32]
Arrested and then exiled in Canada and Sweden, Andreas Papandreou later returned to Greece, where he won the 1981 election, forming the first socialist government of Greece's post-war history. According to his own testimony, he discovered the existence of the secret NATO army, then codenamed "Red Sheepskin", as acting prime minister in 1984 and had given orders to dissolve it.[33]
Following Giulio Andreotti's revelations in 1990, the Greek defence minister confirmed that a branch of the network, known as Operation Sheepskin, operated in his country until 1988.[34]
In December 2005, journalist Kleanthis Grivas published an article in To Proto Thema, a Greek Sunday newspaper, in which he accused "Sheepskin" for the assassination of CIA station chief Richard Welch in Athens in 1975, as well as the assassination of British military attach(C) Stephen Saunders in 2000. This was denied by the US State Department, who responded that "the Greek terrorist organization '17 November' was responsible for both assassinations", and that Grivas's central piece of evidence had been the Westmoreland Field Manual which the State department, as well as an independent Congressional inquiry have alleged to be a Soviet forgery.[35] The State Department also highlighted the fact that, in the case of Richard Welch, "Grivas bizarrely accuses the CIA of playing a role in the assassination of one of its own senior officials" while "Sheepskin" couldn't have assassinated Stephen Saunders for the simple reason that, according to the US government, "the Greek government stated it dismantled the "stay behind" network in 1988."[35]
Netherlands[edit]In 1983, people walking in a forest near the village of Velp, North Brabant chanced upon a large hidden cache of arms. The discovery forced the Dutch government to confirm that the arms were related to NATO planning for unorthodox warfare.[36] In 1990 Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers told Parliament that the government was running a secret guerrilla organization similar to the groups whose existence at that time was just discovered in Italy and Belgium. He said in a letter that successive prime ministers and defence chiefs always preferred not to inform other Cabinet members or Parliament about the secret organization. Former Dutch Defense Minister Henk Vredeling said the group set up arms caches around the Netherlands for sabotage purposes.[37] Lubbers said that a secret organisation had also been set up in his country in the 1950s to organise resistance and gather information in the event of a foreign invasion. But he denied that the group was supervised directly by NATO. Speculation that the Netherlands was involved in Gladio arose from the accidental discovery of large arms caches in 1980 and 1983.[38] Lubbers, told parliament that the secret organisation had been set up inside the defence ministry in the 1950s originally to provide intelligence to a government in exile. Members of the cell are believed to have taken part in a training exercise in Sicily.[39] The operating bureaus of the organisation would also move to safety in England or the USA at the first sign of trouble.[citation needed]
A Dutch investigative television program revealed on September 9, 2007, that an arms cache that belonged to Gladio was ransacked in the 1980s. The cache was located in a park near Scheveningen. Some of the stolen weapons later turned up, including hand grenades and machine guns, when police officials arrested criminals Sam Klepper and John Mieremet in 1991. The Dutch military intelligence agency, MIVD, feared at that time that the disclosure of the Gladio history of these weapons was politically explosive.[40][41]
Norway[edit]In 1957, the director of the secret service NIS, Vilhelm Evang, protested strongly against the pro-active intelligence activities at AFNORTH, as described by the chairman of CPC: "[NIS] was extremely worried about activities carried out by officers at Kols¥s. This concerned SB, Psywar and Counter Intelligence." These activities supposedly included the blacklisting of Norwegians. SHAPE denied these allegations. Eventually, the matter was resolved in 1958, after Norway was assured about how stay-behind networks were to be operated.[42][page needed]
In 1978, the police discovered an arms cache and radio equipment at a mountain cabin and arrested Hans Otto Meyer, a businessman accused of being involved in selling illegal alcohol. Meyer claimed that the weapons were supplied by Norwegian intelligence. Rolf Hansen, defense minister at that time, stated the network was not in any way answerable to NATO and had no CIA connection.[43]
Portugal[edit]In 1966, the CIA set up Aginter Press which, under the direction of Captain Yves Gu(C)rin-S(C)rac (who had taken part in the founding of the OAS), ran a secret stay-behind army and trained its members in covert action techniques amounting to terrorism, including bombings, silent assassinations, subversion techniques, clandestine communication and infiltration and colonial warfare.[5]
Turkey[edit]As one of the nations that prompted the Truman Doctrine, Turkey is one of the first countries to participate in Operation Gladio and, some say, the only country where it has not been purged.[44]
The counter-guerrillas' existence in Turkey was revealed in 1973 by then prime minister B¼lent Ecevit.[45]
Parallel stay-behind operations in non-NATO countries[edit]Austria[edit]In Austria, the first secret stay-behind army was exposed in 1947. It had been set up by far-right Soucek and R¶ssner, who both insisted during their trial that "they were carrying out the secret operation with the full knowledge and support of the US and British occupying powers." Sentenced to death, they were then pardoned under mysterious circumstances by President K¶rner (1951''1957).
Franz Olah set up a new secret army codenamed –sterreichischer Wander-, Sport- und Geselligkeitsverein (OWSGV, literally "Austrian hiking, sports and society club"), with the cooperation of MI6 and the CIA. He later explained that "we bought cars under this name. We installed communication centres in several regions of Austria", confirming that "special units were trained in the use of weapons and plastic explosives". He precised that "there must have been a couple of thousand people working for us... Only very, very highly positioned politicians and some members of the union knew about it".[citation needed]
In 1965, the police forces discovered a stay-behind arms cache in an old mine close to Windisch-Bleiberg and forced the British authorities to hand over a list with the location of 33 other caches in Austria.[5]
In 1990, when secret "stay-behind" armies were discovered all around Europe, the Austrian government said that no secret army had existed in the country. However, six years later, the Boston Globe revealed the existence of secret CIA arms caches in Austria. Austrian President Thomas Klestil and Chancellor Franz Vranitzky insisted that they had known nothing of the existence of the secret army and demanded that the US launch a full-scale investigation into the violation of Austria's neutrality, which was denied by President Bill Clinton. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns '' appointed in August 2001 by President George Bush as the US Permanent Representative to the Atlantic treaty organization, where, as ambassador to NATO, he headed the combined State-Defense Department United States Mission to NATO and coordinated the NATO response to the September 11, 2001 attacks '' insisted: "The aim was noble, the aim was correct, to try to help Austria if it was under occupation. What went wrong is that successive Washington administrations simply decided not to talk to the Austrian government about it."[8]
Finland[edit]In 1944, the Swedes worked with Finnish Intelligence to set up a stay-behind network of agents within Finland to keep track of post-war activities in that country. While this network was allegedly never put in place, Finnish codes, SIGINT equipment and documents were brought to Sweden and apparently exploited until the 1980s.[46]
In 1945, Interior Minister Yrj¶ Leino exposed a secret stay-behind army which was closed down (so called Weapons Cache Case). This operation was organized by Finnish general staff officers (without foreign help) in 1944 to hide weapons in order to sustain a large-scale guerrilla warfare in the event the Soviet Union tried to occupy Finland in the aftermath of the Continuation War. See also Operation Stella Polaris.
In 1991, the Swedish media claimed that a secret stay-behind army had existed in neutral Finland with an exile base in Stockholm. Finnish Defence Minister Elisabeth Rehn called the revelations "a fairy tale", adding cautiously "or at least an incredible story, of which I know nothing."[5] However, in his memoirs, former CIA director William Colby described the setting-up of stay-behind armies in Scandinavian countries, including Finland, with or without the assistance of local governments, to prepare for a Soviet invasion.[23]
Spain[edit]Several events prior to Spain's 1982 membership in NATO have also been tied to Gladio: In May 1976, half a year after Franco's death, two right-wing Carlist members were shot down by far-right terrorists, among whom were Gladio operative Stefano Delle Chiaie and members of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (Triple A), demonstrating connections between Gladio and the South American "Dirty War" of the Operation Condor. This incident became known as the Montejurra incident.[47] According to a report by the Italian CESIS (Executive Committee for Intelligence and Security Services), Carlo Cicuttini (who took part in the 1972 Peteano bombing in Italy alongside Vincenzo Vinciguerra), participated in the 1977 Massacre of Atocha in Madrid, killing five people (including several lawyers), members of the Workers' Commissions trade-unions closely linked with the Spanish Communist Party. Cicuttini was naturalized Spanish and exiled in Spain since 1972 (date of the Peteano bombing)[48]
Following Andreotti's 1990 revelations, Adolfo Surez, Spain's first democratically elected Prime minister after Franco's death, denied ever having heard of Gladio.[49] President of the Spanish government in 1981''82, during the transition to democracy, Calvo Sotelo stated that Spain had not been informed of Gladio when it entered NATO. Asked about Gladio's relations to Francoist Spain, he said that such a network was not necessary under Franco, since "the regime itself was Gladio."[50]
According to General Fausto Fortunato, head of Italian SISMI from 1971 to 1974, France and the US had backed Spain's entrance to Gladio, but Italy would have opposed its veto to it. Following Andreotti's revelations, however, Narc­s Serra, Spanish Minister of Defense, opened up an investigation concerning Spain's links to Gladio.[51][52] Furthermore, Canarias 7 newspaper revealed, quoting former Gladio agent Alberto Volo, who had a role in the revelations of the existence of the network in 1990, that a Gladio meeting had been organized in August 1991 in the Gran Canaria island.[53] Alberto Vollo also declared that as a Gladio operative, he had received trainings in Maspalomas, in the Gran Canaria island between the 1960s and the 1970s.[54]El Pa­s daily also revealed that the Gladio organization was suspected of having used former NASA installations in Maspalomas, in the Gran Canaria island, in the 1970s.[55]
Andr(C) Moyen, former Belgian secret agent, also declared that Gladio had operated in Spain.[56] He said that Gladio had bases in Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastin and the Canary islands.
Sweden[edit]In 1951, CIA agent William Colby, based at the CIA station in Stockholm, supported the training of stay-behind armies in neutral Sweden and Finland and in the NATO members Norway and Denmark. In 1953, the police arrested right winger Otto Hallberg and discovered the preparations for the Swedish stay-behind army. Hallberg was set free and charges against him were dropped.[5]
Switzerland[edit]In Switzerland, a secret force called P-26 was discovered, by coincidence, a few months before Giulio Andreotti's October 1990 revelations. After the "secret files scandal" (Fichenaff¤re), Swiss members of parliament started investigating the Defense Department in the summer of 1990. According to Felix W¼rsten of the ETH Zurich, "P-26 was not directly involved in the network of NATO's secret armies but it had close contact to MI6."[57] Daniele Ganser (ETH Zurich) wrote in the Intelligence and National Security review that "following the discovery of the stay-behind armies across Western Europe in late 1990, Swiss and international security researchers found themselves confronted with two clear-cut questions: Did Switzerland also operate a secret stay-behind army? And if yes, was it part of NATO's stay-behind network? The answer to the first question is clearly yes... The answer to the second question remains disputed..."[58]
In 1990, Colonel Herbert Alboth, a former commander of P-26, declared in a confidential letter to the Defence Department that he was willing to reveal "the whole truth". He was later found in his house, stabbed with his own military bayonet. The detailed parliamentary report on the Swiss secret army was presented to the public on November 17, 1990.[5] According to The Guardian, "P-26 was backed by P-27, a private foreign intelligence agency funded partly by the government, and by a special unit of Swiss army intelligence which had built up files on nearly 8,000 "suspect persons" including "leftists", "bill stickers", "Jehovah's witnesses", people with "abnormal tendencies" and anti-nuclear demonstrators. On November 14, the Swiss government hurriedly dissolved P26 '' the head of which, it emerged, had been paid £100,000 a year."[59]
In 1991, a report by Swiss magistrate Pierre Cornu was released by the Swiss defence ministry. It found that P-26 was without "political or legal legitimacy", and described the group's collaboration with British secret services as "intense". "Unknown to the Swiss government, British officials signed agreements with P-26 to provide training in combat, communications, and sabotage. The latest agreement was signed in 1987... P-26 cadres participated regularly in training exercises in Britain... British advisers '' possibly from the SAS '' visited secret training establishments in Switzerland." P-26 was led by Efrem Cattelan, known to British intelligence.[60]
In a 2005 conference presenting Daniele Ganser's research on Gladio, Hans Senn, General Chief of Staff of the Swiss Army between 1977 and 1980, explained how he was informed of the existence of a secret organisation in the middle of his term of office. According to him, it already became clear in 1980 in the wake of the Schilling/Bachmann affair that there was also a secret group in Switzerland. But former MP, Helmut Hubacher, President of the Social Democratic Party from 1975 to 1990, declared that although it had been known that "special services" existed within the army, as a politician he never at any time could have known that P-26 was behind this. Hubacher pointed out that the President of the parliamentary investigation into P26 (PUK-EMD), the right-wing politician from Appenzell and member of the Council of States for that Canton, Carlo Schmid, had suffered "like a dog" during the commission's investigations. Carlo Schmid declared to the press: "I was shocked that something like that is at all possible," and said to the press he was glad to leave the "conspirational atmosphere" which had weighted upon him like a "black shadow" during the investigations.[61] Hubacher found it especially disturbing that, apart from its official mandate of organizing resistance in case of a Soviet invasion, P-26 had also a mandate to become active should the left succeed in achieving a parliamentary majority.[57]
Daniele Ganser and "Strategy of Tension"[edit]Swiss historian Daniele Ganser in his 2005 NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe accused Gladio of trying to influence policies through the means of "false flag" operations and a "strategy of tension." Ganser alleges that on various occasions, stay-behind movements became linked to right-wing terrorism, crime and attempted coups d'(C)tat:[8] InNATO's Secret Armies Ganser states that Gladio units were in close cooperation with NATO and the CIA and that Gladio in Italy was responsible for terrorist attacks against its own civilian population.[62]
Peer Henrik Hansen, a scholar at Roskilde University, wrote two scathing criticisms of the book for the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence and the Journal of Intelligence History, describing Ganser's work as "a journalistic book with a big spoonful of conspiracy theories" that "fails to present proof of and an in-depth explanation of the claimed conspiracy between USA, CIA, NATO and the European countries." Hansen also criticized Ganser for basing his "claim of the big conspiracy" off the US Army Field Manual 30-31B, a Cold War era hoax document.[63][64] Hayden Peake's book review Intelligence in Recent Public Literature describes: "Ganser fails to document his thesis that the CIA, MI6, and NATO and its friends turned GLADIO into a terrorist organization."[65] Philip HJ Davies of the Brunel University Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies likewise concludes that the book is "marred by imagined conspiracies, exaggerated notions of the scale and impact of covert activities, misunderstandings of the management and coordination of operations within and between national governments, and... an almost complete failure to place the actions and decisions in question in the appropriate historical context." According to Davies, "The underlying problem is that Ganser has not really undertaken the most basic necessary research to be able to discuss covert action and special operations effectively."[66] Olav Riste of the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, writing for the journal Intelligence and National Security, mentions several instances where his own research on the stay-behind network in Norway was twisted by Ganser and concludes that "A detailed refutation of the many unfounded allegations that Ganser accepts as historical findings would fill an entire book."[67] In a later joint article with Leopoldo Nuti of the University of Rome, the two concluded that the book's "ambitious conclusions do not seem to be entirely corroborated by a sound evaluation of the sources available."[68]
Lawrence Kaplan wrote a mixed review commending Ganser for making "heroic efforts to tease out the many strands that connect this interlocking right-wing conspiracy", but also arguing that "Connecting the dots between terrorist organizations in NATO countries and a master plan centred in NATO's military headquarters requires a stretch of facts that Ganser cannot manage." Kaplan believes that some of Ganser's conspiracy theories "may be correct", but that "they do damage to the book's credibility."[69] In a mostly positive review for the journal Cold War History, Beatrice Heuser praises Ganser's "fascinating study" while also noting that "It would definitely have improved the work if Ganser had used a less polemical tone, and had occasionally conceded that the Soviet Empire was by no means nicer."[70] Security analyst John Prados writes "Ganser, the principal analyst of Gladio, presents evidence across many nations that Gladio networks amounted to anti-democratic elements in their own societies."[71]
The US State Department stated in 2006 that Ganser had been taken in by long-discredited Cold-War era disinformation and "fooled by the forgery". In an article about the Gladio/stay-behind networks and US Army Field Manual 30-31B they stated, "Ganser treats the forgery as if it was a genuine document in his 2005 book on "stay behind" networks, Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe and includes it as a key document on his Web site on the book.[72]
US State Department's 2006 response[edit]The US State Department published a communiqu(C) in January 2006 which, while confirming the existence of NATO stay-behind efforts, in general, and the presence of the "Gladio" stay-behind unit in Italy, in particular, with the purpose of aiding resistance in the event of Soviet aggression directed Westward, from the Warsaw Pact, dismissed claims of any United States ordered, supported, or authorized terrorism by stay-behind units.
The State Department stated that the accusations of US-sponsored "false flag" operations are rehashed former Soviet disinformation based on documents that the Soviets forged; specifically the Westmoreland Field Manual, whose forged nature was confirmed by former KGB operatives, following the end of the Cold War. The alleged Soviet-authored forgery, disseminated in the 1970s, explicitly formulated the need for a "strategy of tension" involving violent attacks blamed on radical left-wing groups in order to convince allied governments of the need for counter-action. It also rejected a Communist Greek journalist's allegations made in December 2005.[35]
Gladio in fiction[edit]A precise analogue of Operation Gladio was described in the 1949 fiction novel An Affair of State by Pat Frank.[73] In Frank's version, U.S. State Dept officers recruit a stay-behind network in Hungary to fight an insurgency against the Soviet Union after the Soviet Union launches an attack on and captures Western Europe.
In the Archer episode "Lo Scandalo", the character Mallory Archer mentions having been involved in Operation Gladio when younger.
See also[edit]References[edit]^Haberman, Clyde; Times, Special to The New York (Nov 16, 1990). "EVOLUTION IN EUROPE; Italy Discloses Its Web Of Cold War Guerrillas". The New York Times. Retrieved Feb 20, 2015. ^"Belgian parliamentary report concerning the stay-behind network", named "Enquªte parlementaire sur l'existence en Belgique d'un r(C)seau de renseignements clandestin international" or "Parlementair onderzoek met betrekking tot het bestaan in Belgi van een clandestien internationaal inlichtingenetwerk" pp. 17''22^"History". Scots Guards Association. Retrieved 19 June 2014. ^David Lampe, The Last Ditch: Britain's Resistance Plans against the Nazis Cassell 1968 ISBN 0-304-92519-5^ abcdefghChronology, Secret Warfare: Operation Gladio and NATO's Stay-Behind Armies, ETH Zurich^ abcNorton-Taylor, Richard and David Gow. Secret Italian Unit," The Guardian, November 17, 1990^Dan van der Vat. "Obituary: General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley," Guardian. 15 March 2006^ abcdGanser, Daniele. "Terrorism in Western Europe: An Approach to NATO's Secret Stay-Behind Armies". ISN. Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, South Orange NJ, Winter/Spring 2005, Vol. 6, No. 1. Retrieved Feb 19, 2015. ^Peake, Hayden B. "Intelligence in Recent Public Literature". The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf. Central Intelligence Agency. ^Len Scott, R. Gerald Hughes Intelligence, Crises and Security: Prospects and Retrospects, Routledge, 2008, p. 123^O'Shaughnessy, Hugh. "Gladio: Europe's Secret Networks," The Observer, 18 November 1990.^"Secret Cold-War Network Group Hid Arms, Belgian Member Says". Brussels: Reuters. 1990-11-13. ^Pedrick, Clare; Lardner, George Jr (1990-11-14). "CIA Organized Secret Army in Western Europe". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-07-31. ^ abWillan, Philip. "Paolo Emilio Taviani", The Guardian, June 21, 2001. (Obituary.)^Herman, Edward S (June 1991). "Hiding Western Terror". Nation: 21''22. ^Barbera, Myriam. "Gladio: et la France?," L'Humanit(C), November 10, 1990 (French).^"Caso Moro. Morire di Gladio". La Voce della Campania (in Italian). January 2005. ^Gladio e caso Moro: Arconte su morte Ferraro, "La Nuova Sardegna" (Italian)^Pallister, David. "How M16 and SAS Join In," The Guardian, December 5, 1990^Gerardo Serravalle, Gladio (Rome: Edizione Associate, ISBN 88-267-0145-8, 1991), p.78-79 (Italian)^Belgian Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry into Gladio, quoted by Daniele Ganser (2005)^Official site of the Belgian Permanent Committee for the Control of Intelligence Services See "history" section in the "Presentation" part.^ abColby, William. "A Scandinavian Spy," Chapter 3. (Former CIA director 's memoirs.)^Kwitny, Jonathan (1992-04-06). "The C.I.A.'s Secret Armies in Europe". The Nation. pp. 446''447. Quoted in Ganser's "Terrorism in Western Europe".^Cogan, Charles (2007). "'Stay-Behind' in France: Much ado about nothing?". Journal of Strategic Studies30 (6): 937''954. doi:10.1080/01402390701676493. ^Daeninckx, Didier. "Du Temple Solaire au r(C)seau Gladio, en passant par Politica Hermetica...," February 27, 2002.^Lee, Christopher. CIA Ties With Ex-Nazis Shown, Washington Post, June 7, 2006.^ abHeinz Duthel (23 July 2008). Global Secret and Intelligence Service - I. Lulu Enterprises Incorporated. pp. 235''. ISBN 978-1-4092-1088-7. ^Heinz Duthel (14 November 2014). Global Secret and Intelligence Services I: Hidden Systems that deliver Unforgettable Customer Service. Books on Demand. pp. 204''. ISBN 978-3-7386-6375-4. ^Philip Agee and Louis Wolf, Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe (Secaucus: Lyle Stuart Inc., 1978), p.154 (quoted by Daniele Ganser) (2005) p.216^NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe by Daniele Ganser, p. 221.)^NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe by Daniele Ganser, p. 221.^NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe by Daniele Ganser, p. 223.^"NATO's secret network 'also operated in France'", The Guardian, November 14, 1990, p. 6^ abc"Misinformation about "Gladio/Stay Behind" Networks Resurfaces". United States Department of State. Cite error: Invalid tag; name "StateDept" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).^http://www.php.isn.ethz.ch/collections/coll_gladio/chronology.cfm?navinfo=15301^"Secret Gladio Network Planted Weapons Caches in NATO Countries". AP News Archive. Nov 13, 1990. Retrieved Feb 20, 2015. ^"Clarion: Nato network in France, Guardian 14 Nov 1990". Cambridge Clarion Group. Nov 14, 1990. Retrieved Feb 19, 2015. ^"Clarion: gladio, Norton-Taylor, Guardian 5 Dec 1990". Cambridge Clarion Group. Dec 5, 1990. Retrieved Feb 20, 2015. ^"MIVD verzwijgt wapenvondst in onderwereld" (in Dutch). Nu.nl. 2007-09-09. Retrieved 2015-01-11. ^"Gladio". Brandpunt Reporter. 2007-09-09. Retrieved 2015-01-11. ^Olav Riste (1999). The Norwegian Intelligence Service: 1945''1970. Routledge. ISBN 0-7146-4900-7. ^"Secret Anti-Communist Network Exposed in Norway in 1978". Associated Press. 1990-11-14. ^"28 Nisan 2008, Pazartesi - Ä°talyan Gladiosu'nu §¶zen savcı: En etkili Gladio sizde". SABAH (in Turkish). Apr 28, 2008. Retrieved Feb 20, 2015. ^'stel, Aziz (2008-07-14). "Savcı, Ergenekon'u Kenan Evren'e sormalı asıl!". Star Gazete (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-10-21. T¼rkiye'deki gizli ordunun adı kontr gerilladır. ^C. G. McKay, Bengt Beckman, Swedish Signal Intelligence, Frank Cass Publishers, 2002, p. 202^Crimes of Montejurra (Good Google translation)^Un informe oficial italiano implica en el crimen de Atocha al 'ultra' Cicuttini, relacionado con Gladio, El Pa­s, December 2, 1990 (Spanish)^Surez afirma que en su etapa de presidente nunca se habl" de la red Gladio, El Pa­s, November 18, 1990 (Spanish)^Calvo Sotelo asegura que Espa±a no fue informada, cuando entr" en la OTAN, de la existencia de Gladio, El Pa­s, November 21, 1990 (Spanish)^Italia vet" la entrada de Espa±a en Gladio, segºn un ex jefe del espionaje italiano, El Pa­s, November 17, 1990 (Spanish)^Serra ordena indagar sobre la red Gladio en Espa±a, El Pa­s, November 16, 1990 (Spanish)^La 'red Gladio' continºa operando, segºn el ex agente Alberto Volo, El Pa­s, August 19, 1991 (Spanish)^El secretario de la OTAN elude precisar si Espa±a tuvo relaci"n con la red Gladio, El Pa­s, November 24, 1990 (Spanish)^Indicios de que la red Gladio utiliz" una vieja estaci"n de la NASA en Gran Canaria, El Pa­s, November 26, 1990 (Spanish)^La red secreta de la OTAN operaba en Espa±a, segºn un ex agente belga, El Pa­s, November 14, 1990^ abThe Dark Side of the West, Conference "Nato Secret Armies and P-26," ETH Zurich, 2005. Published 10 February 2005. Retrieved February 7, 2007.^Ganser, Daniele. "The British Secret Service in Neutral Switzerland: An Unfinished Debate on NATO's Cold War Stay-behind Armies", published by the Intelligence and National Security review, vol.20, n°4, December 2005, pp. 553''580 ISSN 0268''4527 print 1743''9019 online.^Richard Norton-Taylor, "The Gladio File: did fear of communism throw West into the arms of terrorists?", in The Guardian, December 5, 1990^Norton-Taylor, Richard. UK trained secret Swiss force" in The Guardian, September 20, 1991, p. 7.^"Schwarzer Schatten". Der Spiegel (in German) 50: 194b''200a. 1990-12-10. Retrieved 2008-10-28. [verification needed]^Andreas Anton, Michael Schetsche, Michael K. Walter Konspiration p. 175, Springer VS 2014, ISBN 978-3-531-19324-3^Peer Henrik Hansen, "Review of NATO's Secret Armies," Journal of Intelligence History, Summer 2005. Web Archive - archived website of August 26, 2007^Peer Henrik Hansen, "Falling Flat on the Stay-Behinds," International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, January 2006, 182-186.^The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf Hayden Peake, CIA, April 15, 2007^Philip HJ Davies, "Review of NATO's Secret Armies," The Journal of Strategic Studies, December 2005, 1064-1068.^Olav Riste, "Review of NATO's Secret Armies," Intelligence and National Security, September 2005, 550-551.^Olav Riste and Leopoldo Nuti, "Introduction: Strategy of 'Stay-Behind'," The Journal of Strategic Studies, December 2007, 930.^Lawrence Kaplan, "Review of NATO's Secret Armies," The International History Review, September 2006, 685-686.^Beatrice Heuser, "Review of NATO's Secret Armies," Cold War History, November 2006, 567-568.^John Prado Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA 2006, p. 95, ISBN 9781615780112^State Department.^Pat Frank. An Affair of State. J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1949Further reading[edit]William Egan Colby; Peter Forbath: Honorable men : my life in the CIA New York : Simon and Schuster, (C)1978., ISBN 0671228757The Lone Gladio: Assassinations. Drug running. False flag ops. A shadow paramilitary global network. Synthetic wars., by Ms. Sibel D Edmonds, 2014, ISBN 0-692-21329-5NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe (Contemporary Security Studies), by Daniele Ganser, 2005, ISBN 0-7146-8500-3Puppetmasters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy, by Philip Willan, 2002, ISBN 0-595-24697-4Further reading (Non-English)[edit]Claudio Sestieri; Giovanni Pellegrino; Giovanni Fasanella: Segreto di Stato : la verit da Gladio al caso Moro Torino : Einaudi, 2000., ISBN 9788806156251 (see civic website of Bologna) (Italian)Jan Willems, Gladio, 1991, EPO-Dossier, Bruxelles (ISBN 2-87262-051-6). (French)Jens Mecklenburg, Gladio. Die geheime Terrororganisation der Nato, 1997, Elefanten Press Verlag GmbH, Berlin (ISBN 3-88520-612-9). (German)Leo A. M¼ller, Gladio. Das Erbe des kalten Krieges, 1991, RoRoRo-Taschenbuch Aktuell no 12993 (ISBN 3499 129930). (German)Jean-Fran§ois Brozzu-Gentile, L'Affaire Gladio. Les r(C)seaux secrets am(C)ricains au cÅ'ur du terrorisme en Europe, 1994, Albin Michel, Paris (ISBN 2-226-06919-4). (French)Anna Laura Braghetti, Paola Tavella, Le Prisonnier. 55 jours avec Aldo Moro, 1999 (translated from Italian: Il Prigioniero), ‰ditions Denol, Paris (ISBN 2-207-24888-7) (Italian)/(French)Regine Igel, Andreotti. Politik zwischen Geheimdienst und Mafia, 1997, Herbig Verlagsbuchhandlung GmbH, Munich (ISBN 3-7766-1951-1). (German)Fran§ois Vitrani, "L'Italie, un Etat de 'souverainet(C) limit(C)e' ?", in Le Monde diplomatique, December 1990. (French)Patrick Boucheron, "L'affaire Sofri : un proc¨s en sorcellerie?", in L'Histoire magazine, n°217 (January 1998) Concerning Carlo Ginzburg's book The judge and the historian about Adriano Sofri(French)"Les proc¨s Andreotti en Italie" ("The Andreotti trials in Italy") by Philippe Foro, published by University of Toulouse II, Groupe de recherche sur l'histoire imm(C)diate (Study group on immediate history). (French)Angelo Paratico: Gli assassini del karma Roma : Robin, 2004., ISBN 978-8873710646External links[edit]
The Origins of ''Privilege'' - The New Yorker
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 06:59
''The Origins of 'Privilege,' '' by Joshua Rothman.The idea of ''privilege'''--that some people benefit from unearned, and largely unacknowledged, advantages, even when those advantages aren't discriminatory '--has a pretty long history. In the nineteen-thirties, W. E. B. Du Bois wrote about the ''psychological wage'' that enabled poor whites to feel superior to poor blacks; during the civil-rights era, activists talked about ''white-skin privilege.'' But the concept really came into its own in the late eighties, when Peggy McIntosh, a women's-studies scholar at Wellesley, started writing about it. In 1988, McIntosh wrote a paper called ''White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's Studies,'' which contained forty-six examples of white privilege. (No. 21: ''I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.'' No. 24: ''I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the 'person in charge,' I will be facing a person of my race.'') Those examples have since been read by countless schoolkids and college students'--including, perhaps, Tal Fortgang, the Princeton freshman whose recent article, ''Checking My Privilege,'' has been widely debated.
McIntosh is now seventy-nine. She still works at Wellesley, where she is the founder and associate director of the SEED Project, which works with teachers and professors to make school curricula more ''gender fair, multiculturally equitable, socioeconomically aware, and globally informed.'' (SEED stands for Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity.) In the next few months, she'll give talks about privilege to groups at the American Society for Engineering Education, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church, the Ontario Nurses Association, and NASA's Goddard Space Center. McIntosh was born in Brooklyn, grew up in New Jersey, and went to a Quaker boarding school. She attended Radcliffe and got a Ph.D. in English from Harvard. (Her thesis was on Emily Dickinson.) With privilege so often in the news lately'--there's even a BuzzFeed quiz called ''How Privileged Are You?'''--I thought I'd ask McIntosh what she thinks about the current debates about privilege, and how they compare with the ones of past decades.
How did you come to write about privilege?
In those days, I worked at what was called the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women. I was hired to conduct and administer a monthly seminar for college faculty members on new research on women, and how it might be brought into the academic disciplines. I led that seminar for seven years, and it was always expanding. Eventually, it expanded to twenty-two faculty from places like New York, New Jersey, and New England. We were asking, What are the framing dimensions of every discipline, and how could they be changed by the recognition that women are half the world's population, and have had half the world's lived experience?
I noticed that, three years in a row, men and women in the seminar who had been real colleagues and friends for the first several months had a kind of intellectual and emotional falling out. There was an uncomfortable feeling at the end of those three years. I decided to go back through all my notes, and I found that at a certain point the women would ask, ''Couldn't we get these materials on women into the freshman courses?'' And, to a person, the men would say, ''Well, we're sorry, we love this seminar, but the fact is that the syllabus is full.'' One year, a man said'--I wrote it down'--''When you are trying to lay the foundation blocks of knowledge, you can't put in the soft stuff.''
The thing was, he was a very nice man. All the men who attended the seminars were very nice men'--also quite brave men, because they'd catch flak on their campuses for going to a women's college to do a feminist seminar. And I found myself going back and forth in my mind over the question, Are these nice men, or are they oppressive? I thought I had to choose. It hadn't occurred to me that you could be both. And I was rescued from this dilemma by remembering that, about six years earlier, black women in the Boston area had written essays to the effect that white women were oppressive to work with. I remember back to what it had been like to read those essays. My first response was to say, ''I don't see how they can say that about us'--I think we're nice!'' And my second response was deeply racist, but this is where I was in 1980. I thought, I especially think we're nice if we work with them.
I came to this dawning realization: niceness has nothing to do with it. These are nice men. But they're very good students of what they've been taught, which is that men make knowledge. And I realized this is why we were oppressive to work with'--because, in parallel fashion, I had been taught that whites make knowledge.
This is when you came up with the forty-six examples of white privilege?
I asked myself, On a daily basis, what do I have that I didn't earn? It was like a prayer. The first one I thought of was: I can, if I wish, arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
Other people had been writing about privilege before you'--why did your paper attract so much attention?
I think it was because nobody else was writing so personally, and giving such clear examples, drawn from personal experience, which allowed readers to understand this rather complicated subject without feeling accused.
How did people respond?
Well, at first, the most common responses were from white people. Their most common response was ''I never thought about this before.'' After a couple of years, that was accompanied by ''You changed my life.'' From people of color, from the beginning, it was ''You showed me I'm not crazy.'' And if they said more than that it was along the lines of ''I knew there was something out there working against me.''
But there was a negative reaction to it, too.
The right wing wanted to paint it as craziness. But there were so many people saying it wasn't crazy that I was able to put them aside. David Horowitz named me one of America's ten wackiest feminists; that used to get to me. Now I think, If you're going to do work for racial justice, you're going to get attacked.
Have those reactions changed much? It's been more than twenty-five years.
The truth is that it hasn't changed much, except in the universities. The colleges and the universities are the places where you get a hearing. They're where you learn to see both individually and systemically. In order to understand the way privilege works, you have to be able to see patterns and systems in social life, but you also have to care about individual experiences. I think one's own individual experience is sacred. Testifying to it is very important'--but so is seeing that it is set within a framework outside of one's personal experience that is much bigger, and has repetitive statistical patterns in it.
Is that the challenge'--or the usefulness'--of the idea of privilege, as you see it? That it asks you to combine an individual view of life with an abstract one?
When Tal Fortgang was told, ''Check your privilege'''--which is a flip, get-with-it kind of statement'--it infuriated him, because he didn't want to see himself systemically. But what I believe is that everybody has a combination of unearned advantage and unearned disadvantage in life. Whiteness is just one of the many variables that one can look at, starting with, for example, one's place in the birth order, or your body type, or your athletic abilities, or your relationship to written and spoken words, or your parents' places of origin, or your parents' relationship to education and to English, or what is projected onto your religious or ethnic background. We're all put ahead and behind by the circumstances of our birth. We all have a combination of both. And it changes minute by minute, depending on where we are, who we're seeing, or what we're required to do.
At SEED, thinking about privilege is deeply personal group work. We do an exercise where everybody reads out loud from something they've written based on Jamaica Kincaid's story called ''Girl,'' which ran in The New Yorker in the seventies. In ''Girl,'' Kincaid lists voices in her head from her early childhood, telling her how to be a girl. Everybody reads either their boy piece or their girl piece, and, listening, you get a systemic view of varieties of gender conditioning. One very sad thing'--very major to me'--is that almost all the men who are now over forty read, ''Boys don't cry,'' or something like ''Put the damn worm on the damn hook.'' And that's a lie'--a huge social lie that makes men of that age have to act tougher than they feel. It's a tragedy for the entire world, and it's inflicted on boys; they're not guilty of it. Usually the boy's crying, or about to cry, when he's told boys don't. This is wreckage to the psyche.
You seem to relate to the idea of privilege in a very compassionate way. But isn't that hard, since the effects of privilege are so unjust? Isn't it natural for privilege to make people angry, rather than openhearted? I imagine Tal Fortgang in a college seminar, and the rancor that must accompany conversations about privilege in the classroom. How do you defeat that?
The key thing is to let people testify to their own experience. Then they'll stop fighting with each other. One of my colleagues at SEED says, ''Unless you let the students testify to what they know, which schools usually don't let them do, they will continue to do just what the dominant society wants them to do, which is to tear each other apart.'' The students who are sitting there fighting with one another aren't allowed to have their lives become the source for their own growth and development. Adrienne Rich wrote, at the beginning of women's studies, ''Nobody told us we have to study our lives, make of our lives a study.''
It seems as though, for you, talking about privilege shouldn't lead to arguments; it should be a kind of therapy.
I wouldn't say therapy, because psychology isn't very good at taking in the sociological view. But it has to do with working on your inner history to understand that you were in systems, and that they are in you. It has to do with looking around yourself the way sociologists do and seeing the big patterns in the rest of society, while keeping a balance and really respecting your experience. Seeing the oppression of others is, of course, very important work. But so is seeing how the systems oppress oneself.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Photograph courtesy Peggy McIntosh.
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Strategy Shift for ISIS: Inflicting Terror in Distant Lands - The New York Times
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 06:57
PhotoThe Paris attacks appeared part of a larger campaign by the Islamic State.Credit Marius Becker/European Pressphoto AgencyWASHINGTON '-- Defying Western efforts to confront the Islamic State on the battlefield, the group has evolved in its reach and organizational ability, with increasingly dangerous hubs outside Iraq and Syria and strategies that call for using spectacular acts of violence against civilians.
But even as the militant attacks were playing out across Paris on Friday night, the United States carried out an airstrike '-- planned days in advance '-- against the leader of the Islamic State in Libya, which has emerged as a pivotal stronghold for the group in North Africa. American and British Special Operations forces have for months been conducting secret surveillance missions in Libya to monitor the rise of fighters aligned with the Islamic State.
The massacre in Paris on Friday, following bombings in Beirut, Lebanon, and the downing of a Russian passenger jet over Egypt, all claimed by the Islamic State, reveals a terrorist organization that has changed in significant ways from the West's initial understanding of it as a group focused on holding territory in Syria and Iraq and building a caliphate, or Islamic state.
And actions by the United States and its allies '-- including a Western bombing campaign of Islamic State-held fighting positions and oil facilities, coordinated with a ground offensive by Kurdish forces to cut off a major supply line '-- foreshadow how the West might respond to the growing menace in the coming weeks.
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, has for the first time engaged in what appears to be a centrally planned campaign of terrorist attacks aimed at inflicting huge civilian casualties on distant territory, forcing many counterterrorism officials in the United States and in Europe to recalibrate their assessment of the group.
''They have crossed some kind of Rubicon,'' said William McCants, a scholar at the Brookings Institution and author of ''The ISIS Apocalypse.'' ''They have definitely shifted in their thinking about targeting their enemies.''
When the Islamic State's Egyptian arm claimed responsibility for blowing up a Russian charter plane over Sinai two weeks ago, some analysts wondered if the group's so-called Sinai Province of the Islamic State had acted on its own and leapt out in front, even at the cost of risking a Russian military backlash on the parent group in Syria and Iraq.
But the attacks last week in Paris and Beirut, which the Islamic State also said it carried out, appear to have settled that question and convinced even skeptics that the central leadership was calling the shots.
Continue reading the main storyLatest Updates''There is a radical change of perception by the terrorists that they can now act in Paris just as they act in Syria or Baghdad,'' said Mathieu Guid¨re, a terrorism specialist at the University of Toulouse. ''With this action, a psychological barrier has been broken.''
Indeed, at a time when many Western officials were most concerned about Islamic State-inspired, lone-wolf attacks '-- terrifying in their randomness but relatively low in casualties '-- the attacks in Paris have revived the specter of coordinated, high-casualty attacks planned with the involvement of a relatively large number of perpetrators.
American and European authorities said the Paris assault bore the hallmarks of complex attacks conducted by Al Qaeda, or of the Mumbai plot in 2008, when 10 Islamic militants carried out a series of 12 shootings and bombings in the Indian city, lasting four days and killing 164 people.
''Their goal is an unconventional urban guerrilla war,'' said Franck Chaix, an officer of the Gendarmerie, France's semi-military police force, and a former head of its special intervention force, G.I.G.N.
Al Qaeda, the Islamic State's principal forebear, built its identity around spectacular terrorist attacks because its leaders saw themselves as insurgents seeking to overturn Arab governments that they deemed apostates. Al Qaeda wanted to bait the West into military actions that would destabilize Arab states. The Islamic State, in contrast, has increasingly styled itself a state and, in many ways, behaved like one.
The ideology and motivation behind the change may be opaque for years. Analysts suggest that the messianic and apocalyptic side of its jihadist ideology may have gotten the better of the pragmatic impulse that had previously appeared to guide the group's expansion. Or, experts say, the Islamic State may be seeking to use large terrorist attacks the way a more conventional power might use an air force as a tool of its defense policy, to retaliate against enemy attacks and seek to deter them.
But, if so, its tactics may be shortsighted, causing redoubled Western attempts to crush the militant organization '-- even as the spreading Islamic State structure makes those efforts more challenging.
The attacks come against a backdrop of signs that the Islamic State's leaders based in Raqqa, Syria, may have been building closer cooperation with its two most significant affiliates, or ''provinces,'' in Libya and Egypt.
Continue reading the main storyGraphicAt least a dozen countries have had attacks since the Islamic State, or ISIS, began to pursue a global strategy in the summer of 2014.
The main Libyan arm of the Islamic State '-- known as the Tripoli Province and centered in the midcoastal city of Sirte '-- has long demonstrated the closest coordination with the group's Syrian hub. The two operations began advertising their cooperation as early as February with a video of Islamic State fighters beheading at least a dozen Egyptian Christians.
Western intelligence agencies say Islamic State fighters with experience in Syria and Iraq have often turned up in Darnah, a militant stronghold east of Sirte, although the group's affiliate there was routed earlier this year in a dispute with militant rivals.
The United States broadened its fight against the Islamic State in Libya on Friday night, targeting the group's senior leader there, the Pentagon said on Saturday. The airstrike took place in Darnah shortly after the attacks in Paris began, but had been in the works for several days and was not related to the events in France, American officials said.
The strike was aimed at Abu Nabil, also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al Zubaydi. He is an Iraqi national who led Qaeda operations in western Iraq from 2004 until 2010. He later moved to eastern Libya to lead Islamic State operations there, the officials said.
Pentagon officials said they believed the strike, first reported by The Daily Beast, had killed Abu Nabil, though it would take a few days to confirm. It marked the first time the United States has targeted a senior Islamic State operative outside Iraq or Syria.
Libyan news media reported last week that a senior Islamic State leader had personally visited Sirte, stirring speculation about the main group's plans for its local branch. The leader, known as Abu Ali al-Anbari, arrived ''by the sea,'' the Libyan news network 218TV reported, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.
Mr. Anbari's arrival may represent what a senior Pentagon official said were signs that Libya could provide a redoubt for the Islamic State even if the group was driven completely out of Syria and Iraq.
With no functioning government, Libya provides a variety of havens and hiding places for Islamic State militants, so airstrikes or other military action on Sirte would merely push them elsewhere. And unlike Syria and Iraq, Libya is a failed state surrounded by weak ones.
The timing of the explosion aboard the Russian charter jet with the Islamic State attacks in Beirut and Paris is the most visible indication yet that the Sinai Province group may be taking directions from the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. If the attacks in all three countries were coordinated, some central planners must have been involved.
The plane crash was also at least the second time that the Sinai Province has cited retribution for the Western campaign against the faraway Islamic State '-- and not domestic Egyptian governance '-- as a motive for its acts. It cited the same reasoning this August when it released a video in the Islamic State's trademark style showing the beheading of a Croatian working for a French energy company.
Eric Schmitt reported from Washington and David D. Kirkpatrick from London. Katrin Bennhold and Adam Nossiter contributed reporting from Paris.
A version of this article appears in print on November 15, 2015, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Strategy Shift for ISIS: Inflicting Terror in Distant Lands .
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National Gendarmerie Intervention Group - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 06:56
The National Gendarmerie Intervention Group, commonly abbreviated GIGN (French: Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale), is a special operations unit of the French Armed Forces. It is part of the National Gendarmerie and is trained to perform counter-terrorist and hostage rescue missions in France or anywhere else in the world.
The GIGN was formed in 1973. On 1 September 2007, a major reorganization took place. The original GIGN absorbed the Gendarmerie Parachute Squadron (EPIGN) and the thirty gendarmes of the Presidential Security Group (GSPR) to form a "new" expanded GIGN.
There are now three distinct parts to the unit:
Intervention force (the original GIGN)Observation & search force (from the former EPIGN)Security & protection force (from the former EPIGN and gendarmes from the GSPR)History[edit]After the Munich massacre during the Olympic Games in 1972, and a prison mutiny in Clairvaux Prison the year before, France started to study the possible solutions to extremely violent attacks, under the assumptions that these would be difficult to predict and deflect.[1]
In 1973, the GIGN became a permanent force of men trained and equipped to respond to threats of this kind while minimizing risks to the public and hostages, for the members of the unit, and for the attackers themselves. The GIGN became operational on the first of March, 1974, under the command of Lieutenant Christian Prouteau.
Ten days later, it had its first intervention against a deranged person in Ecquevilly, proving the necessity of the unit. GIGN initially had 15 members, which increased to 48 by 1984, 57 by 1988, and 87 by 2000.[1]
In 2007, a major reorganization was implemented, with the GIGN, EPIGN and GSIGN staff merged into a single 380-member unit also called GIGN. In the future, newly recruited gendarmerie officers will be trained for intervention, and will have the opportunity to be trained in close protection and/or research/observation (missions of the old EPIGN). The total man power was expected to increase to about 420 soldiers in 2010. The reorganization goal was to enable the deployment of a 200 strong unit, trained together, for large-scale interventions, such as a Beslan-type mass hostage-taking - in French they're called POM (Prise d'Otage Massive). With the reorganization the acronym GSIGN has become moot and the acronym "GIGN" no longer refers to the same small unit. Collaboration between GIGN and RAID has become more and more focused upon large hostage-rescue scenarios.
Structure[edit]The GIGN is divided into a command cell, an administrative group, four operational troops of twenty operators, an operational support troop including negotiation, breaching, intelligence, communications, marksmanship, dogs and special equipment cells.[2] The special equipment group equips the unit with modified and high-tech equipment, by either selecting or designing it. GIGN is called about 60 times each year.[3]
All members go through training which includes shooting, long-range marksmanship, an airborne course and hand-to-hand combat training. Members of the GIGN are widely regarded as having some of the best firearms training in the world.[1] It is for this reason that many of the world's special operations and counterterrorist units conduct exchange programs with the GIGN.[1] Mental ability and self-control are important in addition to physical strength. Like most special forces, the training is stressful with a high washout rate - only 7''8% of volunteers make it through the training process. GIGN members must be prepared to disarm suspects with their bare hands.[3]
There are two tactical specialities in the group : HALO/HAHO and divers. Members learn several technical specialities among police dogs, breaching, long-range sniping, negotiation, etc.[1]
Operations[edit]Since its creation, the group has taken part in over 1000 operations, liberated over 500 hostages, arrested over 1000 suspects, and killed 15 terrorists. Until the November 2015 Paris attacks the unit had seen two members killed in action, and seven in training, since its foundation. It has also seen two of its dogs killed in action, and one in training.[4]
Past actions include:
The GIGN was selected by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to teach the special forces of the other member states in hostage-rescue exercises aboard planes.
Training[edit]Weapons handlingCombat shooting and marksmanship trainingAirborne courses, such as HALO or HAHO jumps, paragliding, and heliborne insertions.Combat/Underwater swimming, diving and assault of ships.Hand-to-hand combat trainingUndercover surveillance and stalking (support in investigating cases)Infiltration and escape techniquesExplosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and NRBC devices neutralizationSurvival and warfare in tropical, arctic, mountain and desert environments.Diplomacy skills, such as negotiating.GIGN leaders[edit]Lieutenant Christian Prouteau : 1973-1982Capitaine Paul Barril : 1982-1983 (Interim)Capitaine Philippe Masselin : 1983-1985Capitaine Philippe Legorjus : 1985-1989Chef d'Escadron (Major) Lionel Chesneau : 1989-1992Capitaine Denis Favier : 1992-1997Chef d'Escadron (Major) Eric Gerard : 1997''2002Lieutenant-Colonel Fr(C)d(C)ric Gallois : 2002-2007G(C)n(C)ral de BrigadelDenis Favier : 2007-2011G(C)n(C)ral de Brigadel Thierry Orosco: 2011''2014Colonel Hubert Bonneau: 2014-presentIn popular culture[edit]Books[edit]The group is mentioned in the Phoenix Force 1984 book Phoenix in Flames.
Cinema[edit]They are featured in L'Assaut, a 2010 French film about the Air France Flight 8969 hijacking. It was done with the collaboration and the advice of the GIGN.
L'Ordre et la Morale (Rebellion) was released in 2011 and is based on the war crimes[citation needed] of the 1988 Ouv(C)a cave hostage taking in New Caledonia as seen from the perspective of then GIGN leader Captain Philippe Legorjus, accused by many of weaknesses in command and to have had "dangerous absences" (some even said he fled) in the final stages of the case. He was forced to resign from the GIGN after this operation, since nobody wanted him as chief and to fight under him anymore.
In Michael Bay's The Island, Djimon Hounsou plays Albert Laurent, a French private military contractor and GIGN veteran hired to bring back Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson).
Video games[edit]GIGN members are present in several video games such as SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege, Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Hitman: Contracts, Battlefield 3, Modern War, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. GIGN uniforms are available in the games Counter-Strike and SWAT 4. Players can also choose their avatar on the Xbox 360 gaming platform to have the GIGN special ops costume, from the Modern Warfare 3 Avatar content pack on the avatar storefront. It is labeled as French Special Ops costume, but is the GIGN Special Ops uniform in reality.
See also[edit]References[edit][edit]External links[edit]
Joanna Leigh charged with scamming Boston bombing victims fund | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 05:52
Joanna Leigh, 41, was at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 Investigators claim she wasn't injured in the explosions that killed three and injured more than 260Police say she did not seek medical treatment for about two weeks Leigh blames the charges as punishment for criticizing The One Fund Boston over its compensation policies By Wills Robinson For Dailymail.com and Reuters
Published: 04:37 EST, 27 March 2015 | Updated: 13:38 EST, 27 March 2015
A Boston woman has been indicted with fraudulently obtaining $8,000 from the fund set up for victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and thousands more from other fundraising, officials said on Thursday.
Investigators found that Joanna Leigh, 41, was at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 when two bombs exploded, killing three people and injuring more than 260, but they argued that she was not injured, the Boston Police Department said in a statement.
Leigh was indicted earlier this month by a Suffolk County grand jury on five larceny counts and a charge of making a false claim to the government, the police department said.
Charged: Investigators said Joanna Leigh, 41, was at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 when two bombs exploded, , but they have argued that she was not injured
It said Leigh received $8,000 from The One Fund Boston, which raised nearly $80 million in the aftermath of the attack.
She also received a combined $28,700 from a middle school fundraiser, an online campaign and the Massachusetts Victims of Violent Crime Compensation fund, according to the police statement.
The news comes as the trial of accused bomber, 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev takes place in Boston. Tsarnaev could be sentenced to death if he is convicted.
Police said Leigh did not seek medical treatment for about two weeks after the bombing, and when she did, she called herself a 'hero' who ran toward the second explosion.
'At a time when most people were asking how they could help, others were wondering how they could benefit,' Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley was quoted as saying in the police statement.
Leigh claims the charges are punishment for criticism of The One Fund Boston over its compensation policies
Leigh, who is set to be arraigned on Monday, told the Boston Globe newspaper that she was injured in the blast, and that the charges were punishment for her criticizing The One Fund Boston over its compensation policies.
'I don't think this is about me; I think this is because I spoke out about The One Fund,' she told the Globe. 'I think this is about killing the messenger. I went after the governor and the mayor's charity, and I didn't shut up about it, and I caused them trouble.'
Several others have also been charged with theft from the fund.
In January a woman from Maine was arrested on charges of scamming $8,000 from The One Fund, and a New York woman was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty last May to fraudulently collecting $480,000 from the fund.
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CIA Director Brennan Met With French Security Chief Before Paris Attacks - Report | CLG News
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 05:32
November 14, 2015 by legitgovShareCIA Director Brennan Met With French Security Chief Before Paris Attacks - Report by Lori Price, www.legitgov.org | 13 Nov 2015 | The White House correspondent for French television network Canal+, Laura Haim, reported an interesting tidbit during a live report with MSNBC's Brian Williams Friday evening. Haim stated that the Central Intelligence Agency director, John O. Brennan, recently met with his counterpart, French intelligence (DGSE) director Bernard Bajolet. The French equivalent of MI6 and CIA is the Direction g(C)n(C)rale de la s(C)curit(C) ext(C)rieure. See: CIA-GW Intelligence Conference: Panel on The Shared 21st Century International Mission --GW Center for Cyber and Homeland Security 29 Oct 2015 Panel on "The Shared 21st Century International Mission" featuring CIA Director John Brennan, former UK MI6 Chief John Sawers, Director of the French Directorate for External Security Bernard Bajolet, and former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaacov Amidror. Held as part of the 2nd Annual Ethos and Profession of Intelligence Conference, co-hosted by the Central Intelligence Agency and the George Washington University. Held on October 27, 2015. Also, see: "Le Moyen-Orient d'avant ne reviendra pas" 28 octobre 2015 Le chef du renseignement ext(C)rieur fran§ais, Bernard Bajolet, a laiss(C) entendre que des pays comme l'Irak ou la Syrie ne retrouveraient jamais leur ancienne physionomie. "Le Moyen-Orient que nous avons connu est fini et je doute qu'il revienne", a d(C)clar(C), en anglais, le directeur de la DGSE (Direction g(C)n(C)rale de la s(C)curit(C) ext(C)rieure), dans une conf(C)rence mardi sur le renseignement laquelle participait (C)galement le directeur de la CIA John Brennan.
Philip Mudd - Home
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 05:11
Philip Mudd has decades of experience as an analyst and executive at the CIA, FBI, and the White House National Security Council, and has taught courses around the world on methodologies for understanding difficult analytic problems. He has also commented about terrorism in open and closed congressional testimony, and is regularly featured on CNN, NBC, Fox News, and NPR. His writing has appeared in Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and the Washington Post, and he is the author ofTakedown, a detailed account of intelligence gathering in the hunt for al-Qa'ida.
FORMER CIA-Buck Sexton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 04:58
Buck Sexton[1] is an American radio host, conservative political commentator, author, and former intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency.[3] His work has appeared in a number of prominent conservative publications including TheBlaze, National Review[4] and The Washington Times.[5]
Personal background[edit]Buck Sexton was born and raised in the upper east side of Manhattan. His elementary school years were spent at St. David's School followed by Regis High School, a private Jesuit university-preparatory school. After primary school, Sexton attended Amherst College in Massachusetts. He graduated cum laude in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.[6]
Professional life[edit]Counterterrorism[edit]Sexton began working for the Central Intelligence Agency Counterterrorism Center after graduating from college. He worked there for a year, and was transferred to the Iraq office. He was moved to the Afghanistan office in 2009.[6]
After four years with the CIA, Sexton joined the NYPD Intelligence Division.[6]
The Blaze[edit]In the summer of 2011 Buck Sexton became the national security editor of TheBlaze.[6]
Television & Radio[edit]Sexton has served as a fill-in host on the three largest nationwide conservative talk shows: Rush Limbaugh,[7]Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck[8]
Sexton was the co-host of TheBlaze TV's daily news program Real News from the program's launch in 2012 [9] to the end of its run in 2014 [10] Sexton currently hosts a daily radio show on The Blaze Radio and a one hour television show on The BlazeTV.
In 2014, Sexton became a contributor to CNN.[11]
References[edit]
Center for Security Policy | Center Staff
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 04:16
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
President
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Mr. Gaffney formerly acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during the Reagan Administration, following four years of service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy. Previously, he was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee under the chairmanship of the late Senator John Tower, and a national security legislative aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson.
Shaun Seifert
Chief Financial Officer
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Mr. Seifert manages and coordinates the various business activities with respect to the Center's operations, and oversees the Center's internship program. He has previously served on the staff of the Ways and Means Committee and House Committee on the Budget. He has a BA in Economics and an MBA.
Jim Hanson
Executive Vice President
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Mr. Hanson served in US Army Special Forces and conducted Counter-Terrorism, Counter-Insurgency and other operations in more than a dozen countries. Jim joined the Center to provide the expertise of a practitioner of the art of war. He is also a seasoned fighter in the war of ideas and is helping lead the Center to an information operations strategy that takes full advantage of the new media environment.
Fred Fleitz
Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs
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Mr. Fleitz served in U.S. national security positions for 25 years at the CIA, DIA, Department of State and the House Intelligence Committee staff. During the administration of President George W. Bush, Mr. Fleitz was chief of staff to John Bolton, then Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. During his tenure with the House Intelligence Committee, he was the staff expert on the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs and briefed key National Intelligence Estimates on these issues to committee members. After he left government in 2011, he founded and served as Director of the Langley Intelligence Group Network (LIGNET), Newsmax Media's global intelligence and forecasting service. Fleitz is a regular commentator on Secure Freedom radio and has appeared on the Fox News Channel. Mr. Fleitz is the author of Peacekeeping Fiascoes of the 1990s (Praeger) and is working on books on intelligence reform and the Iranian nuclear program. Mr Fleitz holds an MA in Political Economy from Fordham University and a BA in Politics from Saint Joseph's University.
Clare Lopez
Vice President for Research and Analysis
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Ms. Lopez manages the Center's counterjihad and shariah programs, bringing with her also an expertise on Iran, Hizballah, and southern border issues. From 2010-2014, she was a Sr. Fellow with the Center. Lopez began her professional career as a CIA operations officer and later applied her national security expertise as a consultant, intelligence analyst, and researcher in various contract positions within the defense sector. She has been an instructor for military intelligence and Special Forces students and lectures widely on Iran, Islam, and the Muslim Brotherhood around the country. Earlier an advisor to EMP Act America, in February 2012 Ms. Lopez was named a member of the Congressional Task Force on National and Homeland Security, which focuses on the Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) threat to the nation and is a member of the Center's Secure the Grid Coalition.
Lopez is the co-author of two published books on Iran, author of an acclaimed paper for the Center, The Rise of the Iran Lobby, and co-author/editor of the Center's Team B II study, ''Shariah: The Threat to America''. Ms. Lopez received a B.A. in Communications and French from Notre Dame College of Ohio and an M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She completed Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, Virginia before declining a commission to join the CIA.
Ben Lerner
Vice President for Government Relations
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Mr. Lerner manages the Center's educational efforts and interactions with the federal government. He also manages coalitions and projects addressing national security law, homeland security, nuclear deterrence, American sovereignty, and energy security, and is responsible for the researching and drafting of policy publications in these and other areas. His articles have appeared in The American Spectator, The Washington Times, Townhall, The Washington Examiner, and inFocus Quarterly, and he has been a guest lecturer at the U.S. Army War College, where he has discussed the legal/ethical issues surrounding the military's use of unmanned systems. Prior to joining the Center, Mr. Lerner served as counsel on energy, environment and homeland security issues in a government relations firm, held a senior government relations role with a foreign affairs advocacy organization, gained experience in both the House and Senate, and served as a senior adviser on a congressional campaign. He holds a law degree from Georgetown University, and received his bachelor's degree in political science, with highest distinction, from the University of Michigan.
Tommy Waller
Director of State Legislative Outreach
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Tommy Waller is Director of State Legislative Outreach at the Center for Security Policy. Mr. Waller came to the Center after twelve years as an Infantry Officer in the Marine Corps and service spanning multiple deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, and South America. His assignments have ranged from conducting basic infantry operations, special operations and reconnaissance in combat environments to assignments in staff planning, logistics, training support and professional instruction. His formal education includes numerous military schools and colleges, a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Tulane University and executive education in high stakes negotiation from the Wharton School.
David Yerushalmi, Esq.
General Counsel
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Mr. Yerushalmi is a lawyer specializing in litigation and risk analysis, especially as it relates to geo-strategic policy, national security, international business relations, securities law, disclosure and due diligence requirements for domestic and international concerns. David Yerushalmi has been involved in international legal and constitutional matters for over 25 years. David Yerushalmi is today considered an expert on Islamic law and its intersection with Islamic terrorism and national security. In this capacity, he has published widely on the subject including the principle critical scholarship on Shariah-compliant finance published in the Utah Law Review (2008, Issue 3). This work and the empirical investigation known as the Mapping Shariah project in America was the focus of a recent monograph published by the McCormack Foundation and the Center for Security Policy.
Adam Savit
Vice President for Media Production
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Mr. Savit administrates media projects across a range of formats, including books and monographs published by the Center for Security Policy Press, video production for the Center's YouTube channel and website production and maintenance. He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University specializing in the history of the Middle East and Mediterranean.
Nancy Menges
Editor-in-Chief of The Americas Report
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Mrs. Menges, the co-founder of the Menges Hemispheric Security Project, is in charge of the weekly edition of CSP's Americas Report. Fluent in Spanish, she holds a degree in International Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has studied at the University of the Americas in Mexico City. Her postgraduate degree has been earned from the University of Maryland. She has testified in Congress and submitted CSP's statement regarding US-Colombian relations to the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.
Kyle Shideler
Director of the Threat Information Office
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Kyle Shideler is the Director of the Threat Information Office (TIO) at the Center for Security Policy. Kyle has previously served as a Director of Research and Communications, Senior Researcher, and Public Information Officer for several organizations in the field of Middle East and terrorism policy since 2006. He is a contributing author to ''Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West's Fatal Embrace,'' and has written for numerous publications as well as briefed legislative aides, intelligence and law enforcement officials and the general public on national security issues.
Alex VanNess
Manager of Public Information
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Alex VanNess is the Manager of Public Information for the Center. Prior to coming to the Center, Mr. VanNess worked as an Intern for Congressman Doug Lamborn and then later as a member of staff for Congressman Tom McClintock of California. His articles have appeared in The American Thinker, Breitbart News, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, RealClearReligion, Arutz Sheva, The Jewish Press, The Washington Times, and The Jerusalem Post where he writes extensively on issues relating to U.S. defense spending, the U.S./Israel strategic relationship, and the existential threats posed by Islamic fundamentalism. Alex holds a degree in Political Science and Peace & Conflict Studies from Wayne State University, and has studied Jewish Law and Philosophy at Shor Yoshuv Rabbinical College in New York.
Center for Security Policy | Frank Gaffney
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 04:15
Frank Gaffney is the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. The Center is a not-for-profit, non-partisan educational corporation established in 1988. Under Mr. Gaffney's leadership, the Center has been nationally and internationally recognized as a resource for timely, informed and penetrating analyses of foreign and defense policy matters.
Mr. Gaffney is the host of Secure Freedom Radio, a nationally-syndicated radio program heard weeknights throughout the country. On Secure Freedom Radio, Mr. Gaffney addresses current and emerging threats to national security, sovereignty and our ways of life. Featured guests have included Newt Gingrich, John Bolton, Donald Rumsfeld and many current and former policymakers and elected officials.
Mr. Gaffney is the publisher and associate author of Shariah: The Threat to America(Center for Security Policy Press, 2010). With an introduction by former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, New York Times bestseller Andrew C. McCarthy and Lt. General Harry Soyster as well as contributions from the 19-member Team B II, this highly acclaimed report provides a comprehensive and articulate ''second opinion'' on the official characterizations and assessments of the threat of political Islam as put forward by the US Government. Shariah: The Threat draws upon the work of the Center for Security Policy and offers practical steps for mobilizing the our law enforcement, our elected officials and the American public to defend out country from those who would do us harm.
Mr. Gaffney also contributes actively to the security policy debate in his capacity as a weekly columnist for the Washington Times, TownHall.com, and Newsmax.com. He is a contributor to BigPeace.com and his columns also appear periodically in WorldNetDaily.com, and FrontPageMagazine.com. He is a featured weekly contributor to Lars Larson's syndicated radio program as well as Greg Garrison's show and a frequent guest on syndicated programs with hosts like: Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Hugh Hewitt, Janet Parshall, and Jim Bohannan. In addition, he appears often on national and international television networks such as Fox News, CNN and BBC. Over the years, his op.ed. articles have appeared in such publications as: The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New Republic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, National Review, Newsday, American Legion Magazine, and Commentary.
In April 1987, Mr. Gaffney was nominated by President Reagan to become the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, the senior position in the Defense Department with responsibility for policies involving nuclear forces, arms control and U.S.-European defense relations. He acted in that capacity for seven months during which time, he was the Chairman of the prestigious High Level Group, NATO's senior politico-military committee. He also represented the Secretary of Defense in key U.S.-Soviet negotiations and ministerial meetings.
From August 1983 until November 1987, Mr. Gaffney was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy under Assistant Secretary Richard Perle.
From February 1981 to August 1983, Mr. Gaffney was a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Senator John Tower (R-Texas). And, in the latter 1970's, Mr. Gaffney served as an aide to the late Senator Henry M. ''Scoop'' Jackson (D-Washington) in the areas of defense and foreign policy.
Mr. Gaffney holds a Master of Arts degree in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
Mr. Gaffney's leadership has been recognized by numerous organizations including: the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award (1987), the U.S. Business and Industry Council's Defender of the National Interest Award (1994), the Navy League of the United States' ''Alfred Thayer Mahan Literary Achievement Award'' (1999), and the Zionist Organization of America's ''Louis Brandeis Award'' (2003).
Mr. Gaffney was born in 1953 and resides in the Washington area.
Sen. Rand Paul Introduces Declaration Of War Against ISIS : The Two-Way : NPR
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 03:32
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul speaks to the Chase Federalist Society at Northern Kentucky University last month in Highland Heights, Ky. Timothy D. Easley/APhide caption
itoggle caption Timothy D. Easley/APKentucky Sen. Rand Paul speaks to the Chase Federalist Society at Northern Kentucky University last month in Highland Heights, Ky.
Timothy D. Easley/APSaying President Obama does not have the authority to wage a war against the so-called Islamic State, Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, introduced a measure declaring war against the Sunni militant group.
Obama declared a war against the group back in September. Administration officials have said that they believe Obama could order military action against the group, relying on the Authorization for Use of Military Force passed by Congress in 2001.
As we've reported, the authorization was passed shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and empowered the president "to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States."
"I believe the President must come to Congress to begin a war and that Congress has a duty to act," Paul said introducing his measure. "Right now, this war is illegal until Congress acts pursuant to the Constitution and authorizes it."
Interestingly, this is an issue that has brought some Republicans and Democrats together.
Yesterday, Bob Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The Hill that he was interested in bringing a measure forward, if President Obama cooperated.
The newspaper reports:
" 'The administration is not producing witnesses, which makes such an important issue very difficult to formulate,' said Menendez, whose committee would be responsible for working on an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) bill.
" 'You would think that they would want to work with us, so that we can fashion an AUMF that would give the president the wherewithal to fight ISIL successfully but by the same token, tailor it enough so we don't end up in an open-ended conflict as we have seen under the 2001 AUMF,' Menendez said, using an alternate name for the terrorist group."
Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, who authored a similar AUMF on the House side, praised Paul in a statement.
"Regrettably, it looks more and more likely that Congress will skip town before debating and voting on a new authorization for war against ISIS," Schiff said. "Senator Paul's introduction of a war resolution today is a welcome addition to the growing ranks of bipartisan members calling for a debate and vote over a new authorization to use force and a repeal of the existing ones."
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Edward Snowden and spread of encryption blamed after Paris terror attacks
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 03:21
As Paris reels from terror attacks that claimed at least 128 lives, fierce blame for the attack is being directed toward American whistleblower Edward Snowden and the spread of strong encryption catalyzed by his actions.
The latest deadly terror attack is bringing the "crypto wars" further toward the spotlight. The crypto wars refers to a decades-long political battle over the legality and popularity of encryption around the world.
In the years since Snowden revealed to the world the vast surveillance and spying done by Western governments, strong encryption has become an increasingly popular way for people to shield their Internet activity from prying eyes. Encryption is used by everyone from ecommerce websites to human rights activists to American soldiers to Islamist terrorists.
It's the latter group's adoption of strong encryption in particular that has attracted so much fiery rhetoric.
Fox News hosts Greg Gutfeld and Dana Perino, George W. Bush's former press secretary, took to Twitter to directly blame and even curse at Snowden.
In response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks that hit Paris in January of 2015, France adopted one of the most aggressive surveillance laws in the Western world. That was not enough to stop these attacks.There is no sign of how the Friday attacks were coordinated and executed. It's also not clear who exactly carried out the deadly massacres but witness accounts and video feature screams of "Allah Akbar" and mentions of Syria.
On television in America, on-screen experts quickly began speculating that encryption, as well as more precise knowledge of the West's intelligence capabilities, could have played a role in the attacks.
There is no public information about the planning behind the attack, so any suggestion that Snowden or encryption are to blame is conjecture. The pointed speculation against Snowden attracted criticism as well.
Illustration by Max Fleishman
Building 98 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 02:56
Building 98 at Fort D. A. Russell is the historic US army base bachelor officer quarters, officers club, and grand ballroom near Marfa, Texas; it was active from 1911 to 1946. Building 98 is Located at Fort David A. Russell's central fort complex. It is a project of the International Woman's Foundation and it is the home of the World War II German prisoners of war POW murals.[1][2][3]
The murals were painted in the state dining room and in the base library. Encompassing over 3,048 square feet of wall space, making them a unique historic national treasure. The Murals were completed in 1945 by Hans J¼rgen Press and Robert Humpel, both German prisoners of war held at the base. The artist and writer Hans J¼rgen Press was a sail plain glider pilot based in France during the war, and departed building 98 in 1945; While there he created two west Texas watercolors of local residents '-- one performing a Spanish dance and another playing the Spanish guitar. Building 98 stands as a testimony to Marfa's long standing history in the arts. West Texas regionalism has a history in Texas dating back to the cattle drive of which Marfa had many.[1][2][3][3]
In 1911 the United States Cavalry occupied the building where it served as the Bachelor Officer Quarters (BOQ) and as an entertainment center for West point Officers during World War I and the Mexican Revolution. The fort was established to protect local ranches and town citizens during dangerous times along the Texas and Mexico border. Building 98 also faced the main fort parade grounds and was the location of the original camp Albert's command headquarters. Also housed at Building 98 was the fort officer's mess which had a full-time chef and large dining room. Building 98 also features a World War II ASM-N-2 BAT Glide Bomb cart from the original air base.[1][2][3]
In 1949, the historic base was sold to J. Alfred Roosevelt. The International Woman's Foundation was responsible for placing Fort D. A. Russell on the National Register of Historic Places and for listing the base at the Texas Historical Commission, a long time dream of Roosevelt who had lived at the complex.[1][2][3]
The International Woman's Foundation has operated an artist in residency program and Camp Marfa fort museum since 2002. In 2002 Mona Blocker Garcia took on the task of creating the foundation for mature woman artists and healthful aging thus preserving the important history of Fort D. A. Russell to its exact state when the fort closed. The George Sugarman courtyard is a permanent installation highlighted at the Building 98 metal sculpture garden [1][2][3]
RenovationsEditThe International Woman's Foundation has been authentically restoring the building to its original integrity and is responsible for Fort D. A. Russell being placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Texas state historical society register of historic places. Major renovations began in 2002 with the complete replacement of the structures roof and outside integrity of the walls. Imphasis on floors, furnishings and ceilings are maintained with original features negating intrusive damages caused from modernization after 1949. The building also had serious damage that occurred after the great depression. Today the restored Building 98 museum is open to the public and a guided tour is available. Building 98 is one of Marfa's most important historic places with a rich history that has been brought back to life within its unique complex. Preserving the history of the original army camp for future generations allows Building 98 stand as an important resource to understand and appreciate the significant roles Texas has played during times past.[4]
Art galleriesEditBuilding 98 requires an artist in residence to exhibit their works and the foundation provides the Studio 98 galleries as a venue and hosts a reception in the historic officers club. Events are yearly and are published through media agencies by advertisement. Important exhibitions include a major retrospective of the works of Wilhelmina Weber Furlong in the grand ballroom featuring over 75 unseen works of the early American woman modernist. An exhibit of the private belongings of the artist was displayed including her Victorian easel. The event served as the ten year anniversary gala for the foundation in October 2012 [5]
ReferencesEditExternal linksEdit
Passport Found Next To Paris Suicide Bomber Belongs To Syrian "Political Refugee" Who Entered Greece | Zero Hedge
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 02:23
Exactly two months ago we reported that as Europe's biggest refugees crisis since World War II was getting worse with each passing day, suddenly Europe was flooded with reports of "ISIS Terrorists" posing as refugees.
What we said we disturbingly prophetic when looking at the immediate consequences of Europe's "infiltration" by the CIA-crated fighters meant to overthrow Assad's regime, also known as ISIS. Specifically, we said "focus on the propaganda, [which] is in full crisis mode: A recent article in the UK Express Daily claimed that IS ''smuggled thousands of covert jihadists into Europe.'' It cited a January BuzzFeed interview with an IS operative who said the militants have already sent some 4,000 fighters into Europe under guise of refugees.
This was the first of two punchlines, underlined for effect:
"These speculations have not been confirmed by Western security officials, although that's only temporary: as the need to ratchet up the fear factor grows, expect more such reports of asylum seekers who have penetrated deep inside Europe, and whose intentions are to terrorize the public. Expect a few explosions thrown in for good effect."
The second:
"And since everyone knows by now "not to let a crisis go to waste" the one thing Europe needs is a visceral, tangible crisis, ideally with chilling explosions and innocent casualties. We expect one will be provided on short notice."
Overnight we got both numerous "chilling explosions" as well as "innocent casualties" on a sufficiently short notice, just as predicted.
Just one thing was missing: a link between the Paris suicide bombers (for whose actions ISIS has already claimed responsibility) and refugees.
That missing link appeared earlier today today, when the Greek government said that not only was a Syrian passport found next to the body of one of the suicide bombers in Paris yesterday, but that passport was registered on the Greek island of Leros, suggesting that the holder came into Europe claiming to be a political refugee according to Bloomberg.
The passport was recorded by Greek officials on Oct. 3, Greek Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas said on a statement posted on the ministry's website Saturday. Toskas said he didn't know whether the passport was later processed by other authorities elsewhere in Europe.
The full statement, google translated:
Statement by the Deputy Minister of Citizen Protection Nikos Tosca on terrorist attacks in Paris
The Deputy Minister of Citizen Protection Nikos Toskas announces the following:
"On the case of the Syrian passport found at the scene of the terrorist attack.
We announce that the passport holder, had passed from Leros on 03.10.2015 where identified based on EU rules, as decided at the Summit on the refugee issue.
We do not know if the passport was checked by other countries which are likely to be passed by the holder.
We will continue the painstaking and persistent effort under difficult circumstances to ensure the security of our country and Europe, insisting on complete identification of passing through the refugee stream. "
A tangential point, and one again pointing to motive, is that also just two months ago, the Greek defense minister threatened that Greece would open borders to jihadis and other mideast terrorists, if there was no deal.
And just to cement the "refugee link", French newspaper Liberation also reported that an Egyptian passport was also found on one of the attackers the Stade de France.
Now, we admit to not being experts on the nuances, or even basics, of "suicide bombing for terrorists 101", but is bringing your own passport to an event that will be your last, really that crucial, especially when the passport is such a critical smoking gun?
Also, if a suicide bomber blows up while carrying the passport, does the passport survive intact every single time or just on specific occasions?
Whatever the reason, the trifecta has emerged: just as expected, the link between Syrian refugees, ISIS, and Terrorism has now been set in stone. And Marine Le Pen could not be any happier...
What happens next?
One possible chain of events involves Syria suddenly finding full-blown NATO support for a renewed attack on Syria and, of course, Assad.
And with the only French aircraft carrier already en route to Syria, and meant to support to mission against Assad ISIS, France is oddly prepared for an all out attack to take out the Syrian president. Most importantly, it now has the outraged, incensed public's blessing to do just that.
The second path of future events goes back to what we said on September 11 of this year when we predicted the French terrorist attacks:
... the second key role of ISIS is also starting to emerge: the terrorist bogeyman that ravages Europe and scares the living daylight out of people who beg the government to implement an even more strict government apparatus in order to protect them from refugees ISIS terrorists.
...
Certainly expect a version of Europe'a Patriot Act to emerge over the next year, when the old continent has its own "September 11" moment, one which will provide the unelected Brussels bureaucrats with even more authoritarian power.
So far things are panning out precisely as we expected they would; we expect this chain of events to continue.
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At least one man linked to Paris attacks registered as refugee in Greece: police - Yahoo News
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 23:44
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Islamist militants turn to less-governed social-media platform - The Washington Post
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 18:14
The Islamic State and other terror groups are flocking to a Berlin-based social-media service that imposes few barriers on the distribution of violent content or recruiting propaganda, according to a new report.
Thousands of followers have subscribed to Islamic State-related channels on the social-media platform called Telegram in recent weeks, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington-based organization that tracks online activities of terrorist groups.
Founded by a high-profile Russian programmer who fled that country last year, Telegram is designed to protect users' anonymity. Unlike Twitter, Facebook and other established platforms, Telegram has no clear mechanism for law enforcement agencies to track individuals or demand that material aimed at inciting terror attacks be taken down.
[Why the Islamic State leaves tech companies torn]
''Telegram's channels offer no way in to monitor them,'' the report concludes. Citing the ''large number of members'' that Islamic State channels are drawing, the report said, Telegram is poised ''to become a fertile and secure arena for jihad-related activities.''
Telegram, which is a nonprofit organization, did not respond to requests for comment.
The emergence of Telegram has complicated efforts by the FBI and other agencies to monitor or counter the surging volume of online propaganda from terror groups. The service is still relatively small in scale, but offers an alternative to Twitter, Facebook and other companies that police content more aggressively under pressure from the U.S. government.
Telegram was conceived as an encrypted communications tool but last month unveiled a new service enabling users to create ''channels'' that can disseminate images, videos and other material to thousands of anonymous subscribers.
A channel affiliated with the Islamic State supporters called ''Nasher'' has attracted more than 10,000 members and distributes propaganda in languages including Arabic, English, French and German, according to the report by the research institute, also known as MEMRI.
''The whole notion [for Telegram users] is 'we have a platform that we can use to attract followers and publish our stuff without anyone really stopping us,''‰'' said M. Khayat, the principal author of the study, who asked to be identified by his first initial out of security concerns.
Another new channel is devoted to encouraging attacks in Saudi Arabia. Users have posted ''repeated calls to carry out lone wolf attacks there'' and distributed information on how to train and acquire weapons, according to the report. So far, the channel has only 51 subscribers.
Experts said that Telegram is unlikely to supplant more mainstream social-media sites because of their global reach and massive user bases.
''Telegram, while it has a growing usage, is not anything on the same scale as Twitter,'' said Charlie Winter, a senior researcher at the Quilliam Foundation, a research organization in the United Kingdom. Islamist groups ''will still need to use Twitter and sites like that to bring new supporters and sympathizers into the echo chamber. But perhaps we can see Telegram become the hub for initial propaganda dissemination.''
Telegram has gained favor among militants in part because it has not banned the distribution of violent or gruesome images the way that Twitter and Facebook have or created a mechanism for users to report violations of the organization's terms of service, experts said.
Khayat said that he had contacted Telegram to ask about these policies and that the organization responded by saying that its channels are the ''private territory of their respective participants and we do not process any requests related to them.''
Winter said he had recently seen an online posting from an Islamic State follower, declaring that ''Twitter can suspend me 1,000 times but I will always be on Telegram.''
The service was created by Pavel Durov, who has been called Russia's Mark Zuckerberg because of his role in founding the social-networking site VKontakte, which is more popular in that country than Facebook.
Durov, 31, gained attention by offering a job to Edward Snowden when the former U.S. intelligence contractor was granted asylum in Russia after exposing massive U.S. eavesdropping operations overseas.
But Durov fled Russia himself last year after refusing to comply with Moscow's demands that he turn over account information on Ukrainian protesters. Durov engaged in a stand-off at his St. Petersburg home with a Russian SWAT team, and control of his company was subsequently seized by allies of President Vladimir Putin.
In an interview with the New York Times last year, Durov said he is ''not a big fan of the idea of countries,'' and that he had created Telegram to offer better privacy and security than other platforms.
Telegram also enables users to message one another directly through encrypted exchanges, a capability that is particularly worrisome to law enforcement agencies. Islamic State operatives have used similar tools to encourage supporters to travel to Syria or carry out attacks.
FBI Director James B. Comey warned last year that law enforcement agencies were at risk of ''going dark'' because of expanding encryption capabilities. The FBI declined to comment on the Islamic State's use of Telegram.
Ellen Nakashima contributed to this report.
Greg Miller covers intelligence agencies and terrorism for The Washington Post.
IG knocks State's handling of $3.5B contract
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 17:38
Oversight
IG knocks State's handling of $3.5B contractBy Sean LyngaasNov 12, 2015A State Department office charged with overseeing a $3.5 billion enterprise IT contract failed to validate certain performance metrics while the department paid incentive fees to contractors on the project, according to a new inspector general report.
The IG's inspection concerned State's Vendor Management Office, a shop set up by the CIO to support the Vanguard Acquisition Strategy to consolidate enterprise IT contracts at the Bureau of Information Resource Management under one contract with multiple task orders. The consolidated contract is worth $3.5 billion over 10 years, according to the IG, and constitutes 90 percent to 95 percent of the bureau's contract spending.
The inspection found that VMO performs some of its duties "without formal delegation from the contracting officer," as required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
Further, VMO was operating without authority to enforce its work, based on the fact that there were no guidelines for VMO in the Foreign Affairs Manual. (At the time of the inspection, there was draft language describing VMO's role that could be added to the manual.)
From April 2014 to March 2015, those charged with monitoring the Vanguard contract failed to validate, on average, 25 of 268 contractor performance metrics per month, the inspection found.
In January and February, the department paid $376,595 in incentive fees to contractors for "superior performance without a review or verification of 20 performance metrics, which could lead to the department paying for services that it did not receive," the report states.
The IG's inspection of the bureau also concluded that IRM directorates do not consistently use a project management tool known as iSchedule because the bureau has not made its use mandatory.
"The inconsistent use of iSchedule has resulted in inadequate bureau coordination and incomplete project data and limits visibility on projects, activities and risk," the inspection states.
Among the IG's recommendations was making iSchedule use mandatory and conducting a cost/benefit analysis to determine if the bureau needs a new performance metrics database system.
The State Department CIO did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The published version of the IG's inspection did not include responses from agency officials to the substance of the report or the recommendations for action.
About the Author
Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Follow him on Twitter: @snlyngaas
AT&T on board for Einstein, U.S.-U.K.run joint financial cyber exercise and more
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 17:31
News in Brief
AT&T on board for Einstein, U.S.-U.K.run joint financial cyber exercise and moreBy FCW StaffNov 12, 2015AT&T finally on board for EinsteinAT&T is the last big Internet service provider to agree to a contract to provide the latest iteration of the Department of Homeland Security's cyber intrusion blocking program, known as Einstein 3A.
"We expect to have our initial [Einstein 3A] countermeasures ready this year to help protect government data and .gov websites against cyberattack," Chris Smith, vice president for technology at AT&T Government Solutions, wrote in a blog post.
AT&T and DHS had been at odds over liability issues with the contract.
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has prioritized the Einstein program in the wake of the devastating hack of the Office of Personnel Management, which exposed personal data on more than 20 million current, former and potential federal employees. Johnson has directed DHS to make at least some Einstein 3A features available to all federal civilian agencies by the end of the year.
Federal Times was the first to report the AT&T contract.
U.K., U.S. run cyber exercise for financial sectorThe British and American governments on Nov. 12 conducted a joint cyber exercise with financial firms to test the resiliency of the financial sector.
The exercise focused on making improvements in incident response and recovery, information sharing, and public communications, according to a joint statement.
Among the U.S. participants were the departments of Treasury and Homeland Security, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The British side included the British Treasury and the Bank of England. Firms and trade groups on both sides of the Atlantic participated, but the statement did not specify which ones.
"In our increasingly interconnected world, cyber criminals do not respect national borders and they target government, private industry and individual citizens alike," U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said. "Today's exercise with our U.K. partners is an important step to ensure that we are doing all we can to share threat information, adopt best practices and support our collective resiliency."
The U.S.-U.K. relationship in cyberspace is a strong one. British Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this year appointed a cyber envoy to Washington to further bolster the collaboration.
FBI arrests Ohio man for threatening .gif reblogFederal authorities arrested a 25-year-old Akron, Ohio man on Nov. 12 on charges he used social media to solicit the murder of U.S. military personnel in the U.S.
According to the Justice Department, Terrence McNeil appeared in a federal courtroom in Ohio on Nov.12 where he was charged with one count of solicitation of a crime of violence. However the formal complaint lists dozens of specific of tweets, Facebook posts and messages supporting ISIL, or urging violence and mayhem. It also said law enforcement tracked down McNeil using his Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Time Warner Cable accounts.
DoJ officials said that in September, McNeil used a Tumblr account to reblog .gif image files supporting Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) and post headline banners that read "Islamic State Hacking Division," "Target: United States Military" and "Leak: Addresses of 100 U.S. Military Personnel."
"While we aggressively defend First Amendment rights, the individual arrested went far beyond free speech by reposting names and addresses of 100 U.S. service members, all with the intent to have them killed," said Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony of the FBI's Cleveland Office.
McNeil, according the complaint, had backed ISIL on social media sites "on numerous occasions" since June. The .gif file looped several dozen photographs, purportedly of U.S. military personnel, along with their respective names, address and military branch, with final image a picture of a handgun and a knife with text that read "'...and kill them wherever you find them."
Facebook sees increase in requests for user dataWorld governments increasingly requested Facebook user data in the first half of 2015, according to the social network's twice-yearly Global Government Requests Report released Nov. 11. The report, which has been released every six months since 2013 and covers 93 countries around the world, outlines the number of times Facebook was asked by global governments for user information as well as requests for content to be restricted.
Facebook reported that requests for account data rose by 18 percent across all countries compared to the same time period in 2014. The biggest jump, however, was seen in blocked content, with a 112 percent increase from the second half of the previous year.
The United States far outranked the other countries with 26,579 requests for user data, of which Facebook granted a little less than 80 percent. India and the United Kingdom had the second and third most requests, respectively.
While Facebook cannot reveal the exact number of requests from U.S. intelligence agencies as it does with law enforcement, it did provide requests in ranges of 1,000. According to the report, Facebook received between 0 and 999 national security requests in the first six months of 2015.
Facebook's deputy general counsel Chris Sonderby introduced the report by reiterating that Facebook will not provide governments with "back doors" or "direct access to people's data."
"If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back hard and will fight in court, if necessary," he said.
About the Author
Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.
EINSTEIN 3A-Enhancing cybersecurity for government and businesses
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 17:29
Cyber-attacks are growing at an alarming rate. Information security incidents reported by federal agencies jumped from less than 6,000 in 2006 to more than 65,000 in 20141. Networks are the first line of defense. We're helping our customers defend against cyber-attacks.
A key cyber defense is to know as much as you can about potential threats. Several years ago, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began a program to share classified threat information with approved organizations such as AT&T. The combination of government-classified and commercial non-classified threat information produces a richer set of data to help defend against attacks. It's allowed us to strengthen our Enhanced Cybersecurity Services, which we make available to commercial customers.
Our Enhanced Cybersecurity Services contain an email filtering feature that scans inbound emails and attachments and compares the data against all known threats. It helps defend against Advanced Persistent Threats: continuous attacks, usually by the same source, aimed at compromising computing systems and/or stealing information. It also includes a Domain Name ''sinkholing'' feature that blocks attempts to divert users' computers to unsafe websites.
The government is deploying similar capabilities to protect itself. DHS recently awarded us a contract to provide Intrusion Prevention Security Services (IPSS), or Einstein 3 Accelerated (E3A) protections, for federal civilian agencies. DHS set up E3A as part of the National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS) to stop malicious traffic from harming agency networks.
Like our Enhanced Cybersecurity Services, the IPSS platform detects potential email threats and blocks attempts to divert users' computers to unsafe websites. We expect to have our initial IPSS countermeasures ready this year to help protect government data and .gov websites against cyber-attack2.
Today, information is currency, power, and advantage. The combination of government threat information and commercial threat indicators boosts our ability to help the federal government and businesses in their ongoing fight against cyber threats.
1 Source: United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). Testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives. ''CYBERSECURITY Actions Needed to Address Challenges Facing Federal Systems.'' Statement of Gregory C. Wilshusen, Director, Information Security Issues. April 22, 2015. http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/669810.pdf- see page 6, bottom.
2 Government agencies seeking AT&T's Einstein/IPSS protections should contact the DHS Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, Network Security Deployment '' Services Integration Division at NCPSProgramOffice@hq.dhs.gov
Global Economy on the Verge of another Crisis (FREEPOM)
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 17:27
Canada Crashes, the Asian Monetary Fund, and the SDR2
By JC Collins
The world is only about four weeks away from the first Federal Reserve interest rate increase in ten years. While many have proclaimed that increasing rates in the current debt ridden world is impossible, the increasing odds of such an increase (now over 70%) would suggest that the majority of economists and investors feel differently. It wasn't that long ago that so many said the Fed could never end Quantitative Easing. The fact that QE ended has passed without much fanfare or notice by those promoting such conclusions.
The same will happen with the ''Fed can never raise interest rates'' crowd. Fortunately the focus will shift from whether rate increases are possible, to the effects which a rate increase, and subsequent rate increases, will have on the global economy. The negative effects of increases will put strain on the emerging economies and create additional exchange rate volatility. The dollar may initially strengthen, but will likely begin to depreciate in the weeks and months after the first rate increase.
The increased cost of borrowing will also create havoc with many banks, institutions, funds, derivatives, existing debt, and corporations with crashing EBITDA. The argument which has been made as to why interest rates cannot be increased revolve around this negative and at times, catastrophic response. What isn't considered is that an unwinding and cleansing of the existing system could very well be exactly what is intended. The insolvent companies and banks will fail and new and existing ones will purchase up the assets at reduced values.
Global liquidity is somewhat of a different issue, though tied to the draining of the US denominated tank.
The admission of the Chinese renminbi into the exclusive Special Drawing Right basket of the International Monetary Fund is the hot button issue which will determine the path forward on many of these issues. It is expected that the IMF will announce on November 30th what its decision will be. Though it is speculated that the inclusion of the Chinese currency is all but certain.
The one factor which isn't considered when discussing the SDR and RMB probabilities is the IMF Quota and Governance Reforms which were agreed upon by the G20 back in 2010. The idea was to give the emerging economies a larger piece of the funds quota system which would help provide liquidity in the event of another financial crisis.
More on those reforms below.
The financial crisis of a few years back was sparked above and beyond all other things by the deficit and surplus imbalances in the global economy. The large accumulation of foreign exchange reserves will need to be reversed in order to prevent the coming contagion from collapsing the whole system.
But to think that a strategy has not been devised and rolled out in incremental steps over the last 7 years would be both foolish and illogical. The process of reserve diversification has already begun as the People's Bank of China has established bi-lateral swap lines with many central banks around the world. When the RMB is admitted into the SDR it is expected that over half a trillion dollars' worth of renminbi will be created overnight. Overtime a decrease in USD denominated reserves of equal amount take place, and will be offset by the accumulation of RMB reserves. But this will still not address the issue of reserve accumulation and the potential for further imbalances down the road.
The shift between reserves could further destabilize exchange markets and have unforeseen consequences. Such cause and effect could be used as a justification for replacing reserve currencies with SDR. There are multiple methods which could be used with the most probable solution revolving around the substitution account process where existing reserves are exchanged for SDR.
The IMF will take the financial burden under such an arrangement and would suffer the losses from exchange rate changes. The expectation that the Fund's members would share in the costs associated with those losses is what prevented the substitution account process from being implemented in the past.
Currently SDR are only created through allocation. This means that any reserve substitution will be self-limiting. If the International Monetary Fund was given the ability to sell SDR directly to central banks, some of those self-limiting challenges can be reduced. Not to mention that losses on existing reserves could be offset by gains realized on SDR loans, which would eliminate the need for one country or institution to take the losses when exchange rates adjust.
See the post The Case for Increasing Interest Rates and Depreciating the Dollar for further details on the use of substitution accounts and how a substitution account reserve fund could be used by the IMF to offset dollar denominated losses.
The IMF could use the newly created SDR to purchase the Treasury bonds, and other government obligations, from those countries whose currency is held at reserve status within the SDR itself. This is the most important reason for the renminbi to be added to the basket. The liquidity that could be created through such a process would be beneficial during the next financial crisis. A crisis which could very well start when the Fed begins to raise interest rates.
These specially allocated SDR's would allow the IMF to act as an international lender of last resort, lending which would take place in multiple currencies, namely those in the SDR composition, which will soon include the renminbi.
Another probability if the 2010 reforms are not implemented by the end of this year is to bypass the US veto by creating an SDR2 which would work in conjunction, but separate, with the main SDR. See the post Introducing the Alternative SDR2 for more information on the possibility and structure of such an arrangement.
Under an SDR2 arrangement, China could lend large amounts of its foreign reserves to both the International Monetary Fund and the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateral. As I've state before, the CMIM will evolve into the Asian Monetary Fund, a subservient institution under the IMF. See post Meet the Asian Monetary Fund. This sort of reserve-pooling would eliminate the need for quota reforms within the IMF and in effect bypass the United States on its delay of implementing the agreed upon 2010 Quota and Governance Reforms.
The American delay on these reforms is not an accident, or a partisan issue. It would appear that the US Treasury and Democrats are on one side of this diametric, while the Republicans are on the other. One wants the reforms while the other keeps delaying. But it is now looking probable to most that all parties involved within the US structure have been working towards an acceptable delay script which will end when interest rates increase and the turmoil begins to rumble through the global economy.
It has always been the POM analysis that a strategy of problem/reaction/solution is being used to corral the economic sovereignty of nations. The last two years of research and writing has only confirmed this for me further
When we consider that money market rule changes, which are set to take place in the US next October, will push half a trillion dollars' worth of investment into Treasuries, the path forward becomes even more obvious.
A massive shifting of reserves is set to begin in the coming months as the Fed increases interest rates. China will be forced to end the managed peg to the dollar so as to allow their currency to appreciate against the dollar. See the post The Mystery of the October SDR for more information on the changing money market rules, and the post Renminbi SDR Weight and the End of the Dollar Peg for additional insight.
With interest rates increasing, the pressure placed on the emerging economies will be offset by the exchange rate pressures placed upon the US by a shifting of the reserves, whether through substitution or lending. If the RMB is indeed added to the SDR basket as expected, at a potential weight of 14% to 16%, we could see a more orderly response to the changing dynamics of the international monetary framework.
Time will tell.
But what is certain is that the next crisis is close at hand, and it is a crisis which has been planned for since at least 2009 and 2010. How effectively the world responds will depend on the factors reviewed above.
It may appear easy to sit here and write words on a computer telling people not to panic, but appearances are deceiving. The main industry which I work within is being hammered by the collapse in crude and other commodity prices. Not a week goes by that I don't hear about more layoffs and project cancellations.
Along with that, Canada is set up for an epic housing market crash and our new Liberal government has just announced that the budget they committed to as a campaign platform is now all but dead in the water. It will take years for my country to climb back out of the financial hole it has dug for itself during the boom years.
Let's not forget that if the Fed in fact raises interest rates next month, the Bank of Canada will have to follow in short order, or the CND will depreciate even further against the USD. And when interest rates increase in Canada the housing bubble here will begin to contract with renewed vigor and those holding personal debt (Canadians have the highest personal debt in the world) will be left holding much heavier Visa card and personal line of credit statements.
At a truck stop the other week I saw the following graffiti written on a bathroom stall. ''Please god, bring another boom. I promise I will spend less and save more''. When I reflect on the last eight years I feel like the US may be ahead of the curve. The rest of the world, including my home Canada, are about to experience the crisis which America experienced in 2008. In the meantime my friends south of the border will be experiencing massive job creation as the USD depreciates and exports explode.
The boat will rock, of that there is no doubt, but the international strategy is coming more into focus, and perhaps, just perhaps, things may not be as bad as many expect. At least outside of Canada. '' JC
Interested and optimistic readers may also find value in the post The Coming Commodities Boom.
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Letter -- Termination of Emergency with Respect to the Actions and Policies of Former Liberian President Charles Taylor
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 17:26
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
Consistent with subsection 204(b) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1703(b), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order that terminates the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13348 of July 22, 2004, and revokes that Executive Order. I have determined that the situation that gave rise to this national emergency has been significantly altered by Liberia's advances to promote democracy and the orderly development of its political, administrative, and economic institutions.
The President issued Executive Order 13348 to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States posed by the actions and policies of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and other persons, in particular their unlawful depletion of Liberian resources and their removal from Liberia and secreting of Liberian funds and property. Executive Order 13348 helped to ensure the preservation of Liberia's resources, property, and funds and to deprive certain individuals of funding and arms for conflicts in West Africa, consistent with U.S. national security and foreign policy. Executive Order 13348 also implemented the United States asset freeze obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1532.
With the advancements in Liberia including presidential elections in 2005 and 2011, which were internationally recognized as freely held; the 2012 conviction of, and 50-year prison sentence for, former Liberian President Charles Taylor and the affirmation on appeal of that conviction and sentence; and the diminished ability of those connected to former Liberian President Charles Taylor to undermine Liberia's progress, and the United Nations Security Council's termination of asset freeze obligations on September 2, 2015, in UNSCR 2237, there is no further need for the blocking of assets imposed by Executive Order 13348. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to terminate the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13348 and revoke that order.
I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order I have issued.
Sincerely,
BARACK OBAMA
GAO sounds alarm bells on IRS financial systems
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 17:25
IRS
GAO sounds alarm bells on IRS financial systemsBy Zach NobleNov 12, 2015The Government Accountability Office has raised concerns about "significant deficiencies" in IRS financial systems and the security surrounding them. In its financial audit of the IRS for fiscal 2014 and 2015, released Nov. 12, GAO reported that those limitations are causing headaches.
Because the systems can't differentiate taxes receivable from compliance assessments and write-offs, IRS employees have to go through billions of dollars of adjustments in a "labor-intensive and manual estimation process" to prepare financial statements, the GAO report states. That means the IRS cannot trace balances back through its general ledger, which raises concerns about verifying accuracy, the auditors wrote.
On the security front, GAO found significant problems with internal controls, including skipped security updates and weak passwords. In one key financial system, auditors found an account with a password that was the same as the account name.
"Until IRS takes the necessary steps to fully address these control deficiencies over its financial reporting systems, its financial and taxpayer data will remain at increased risk of inappropriate and undetected use, modification or disclosure," the GAO report states.
In his response to the audit, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen noted challenges but said the agency was working on improving and was already known for "consistently [producing] accurate and reliable financial statements."
About the Author
Zach Noble is a staff writer covering cloud, big data and workforce issues. Connect with him on Twitter: @thezachnoble.
Nephews of Venezuelan First Lady Arrested by U.S. Officials for Alleged Drug Trafficking
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 17:16
Santa Elena, November 12th, 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com)- Two young men, reported to be the nephews of Venezuelan First Lady Cilia Flores, were arrested this weekend in Haiti by US authorities and will allegedly face charges of drug trafficking in a New York federal court.
The case was made public yesterday after an anonymous US law enforcement official told reporters that the suspects, Francisco Flores and Efrain Campos Flores, were attempting to transport 800 kilograms [over 1700 pounds] of cocaine in a deal with undercover US agents.
Venezuelan media reports that Campos Flores is the son of a deceased sister of the First Lady Flores, and was partly raised by the presidential couple as their godson.
According to Michael Vigil, a former head of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the two men were arrested after traveling from Venezuela to Port-au-Prince in a private plane.
Vigil, who claims to have been briefed by authorities who took part in the eight-month undercover operation leading up to the arrests, said the two were carrying diplomatic passports, but did not possess diplomatic immunity.
Venezuela does not produce cocaine as its neighbor Colombia does, but in a recent interview Vigil insisted that around 25 percent of the drugs produced in South America are transported through the country.
Former president Hugo Chavez kicked the DEA out of Venezuela in 2005 after accusing the organization of espionage and drug trafficking.
No official response has been made by Venezuelan authorities.
News analysts have claimed imbalanced media coverage regarding the Flores arrests, pointing to the general silence following last month's arrest of Olivier Martelly, son of Haitian President Michael Martelly, who is also facing alleged drug charges in the US.
Additionally, activists have juxtaposed the apparent efficiency with which US authorities trapped the Venezuelan men, when the DEA has been unable to locate the fugitive, notorious drug kingpin and accused death squad leader Guy Philippe, who ran for Haitian parliament in 2006.
Published on Nov 12th 2015 at 1.12pm
Letter -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Weapons of Mass Destruction
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 17:15
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice, stating that the national emergency with respect to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction that was declared in Executive Order 12938 is to continue in effect beyond November 14, 2015.
Sincerely,
BARACK OBAMA
the bombing of college students in Latakia
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 17:03
No Western correspondent in Beirut, among the contingent which covers Syria there, will bother to report to you that Syrian rebels bombed indiscriminately college students there.
IS Releases Russian Video Chant Threatening Attacks in Russia
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:59
NOTE: The following materials are for information purposes only and may not be copied, reproduced, or transmitted without the explicit permission of SITE Intelligence Group and specific attribution to SITE Intelligence Group.
Al-Hayat Media Center, the foreign language media division of the Islamic State (IS), released a Russian-language video chant threatening attacks in Russia and featuring gory scenes from beheading and gunshot execution productions.
Register to read more ...
Neoliberal News of the Day: Nov. 12, 2015 | American Everyman
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:59
by Scott Creighton
Many stories have dropped off the MSM radar recently. I thought I would do a little update on a couple of them for you.
With the residue test results due to be released in a few days, US ''experts'' prepare the masses for a connection between the downing of Flight 9268 and US military high explosives '' ''In the latest claim, two American officials speaking on condition of anonymity have proposed that it must have been a ''military-grade'' explosive placed in the cargo hold of the A321. They say something like C4 would be required to have caused the tragedy.''
(You see, military grade high explosives like those found in the warheads of missiles, are infused with things called post detonation taggants. These chemical markers make it possible for investigators to trace an explosive used in a crime back to it's source. Military grade high explosives typically have taggants and any Russian investigation of explosives used on Flight 9268 would involve tracking them back to their source. This announcement is preemptive spin. Once the news come out that they found residue of high explosives on the plane fragments, the US can claim ''ISIS'' got some of their C-4 and obfuscate from there.)
The US claims to be participating in the investigation of the downing of Flight 9268 on the ground in Egypt while Egypt has no idea what they are talking about '' ''The Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation has not received information on an alleged visit by US experts to the site of the Russian A321 plane crash in the Sinai Peninsula, a ministerial spokesperson said Thursday.''
(By trying to claim they participated in the investigation, the US can attempt to deny results released in the near future by the Russians or the Egyptians saying their results differ and therefore, the Russians are lying. Of course, to do that, the story of them being there investigating has to be established.)
Our brutal puppet dictator in Egypt says he's not going to ''rush'' the investigation because he's such a humanitarian '' ''''We do not want to rush the investigation of the Russian plane [crash]. Egypt will hide nothing, because these are human victims and we value them,'' Sisi said, as quoted by the Al Ahram daily.''
(He's on record ''rushing'' too say it was a mechanical failure when it first went down. Then he said the investigation could take ''months''. al Sisi is simply doing his best to protect the US and Israel from the fallout of this event)
Russian media ''accidentally'' broadcast an image of a secret underwater drone the Russians have that can be fitted with nuclear warheads '' ''''It is true that some classified information was captured on camera and subsequently deleted. We hope that this won't happen again,'' Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.''
(Deleted? The picture of the design of the torpedo is front and center on Sputnik right now. So much for ''deleted'')
the ''deleted'' image of the secret weapon
(These weapons aren't that new if you ask me. My father worked on similar torpedoes for about 15 years after he retired from the Navy. They had 7 on-board computer systems and were essentially under-water drones. And that was 20 years or more ago. I guess the Russians just wanted to leak a little positive propaganda to their citizens or maybe a little food for thought for the American ones.)
The Ukrainian army is still shelling their own civilians in the Donetsk People's Republic '' ''Donetsk, the administrative center of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), came under massive mortar fire from the Ukrainian military, head of a district administration Ivan Prikhodko has said. The northern part of the city was left without power.''
(So much for the peace plan. I guess Joe Biden's kid really wants that oil)
Obama's ''moderates'' in Syria are still picking soft targets for their mortar attacks '' ''The source added that 2 other mortar shells fell in the ''14'' neighborhood in al-Wafideen Camp, injuring 4 citizens, 3 of them women, who were rushed to al-Qtaifeh National Hospital for treatment. In Aleppo city, terrorists targeted al-Ashrafieh neighborhood with rocket shells, killing five civilians and injuring 20 others. A source in Aleppo province said in a statement to SANA that the terrorist attack claimed the lives of five civilians including a young girl and injured 20 others, noting that the number of casualties is likely rise due to the serious injuries of some of the victims.''
(With this kind of terrorism destabilization irregular warfare, you don't need a long line of Helix trucks driving down the road providing a target for Russian planes. All you need are a couple guys with a duffle bag large enough to carry a mortar launcher. The cowards find a quiet spot, they set up, launch 2 or 3 rockets and then pack up and go about their day. That's Obama's 'soft power'' at work.)
John Kerry to meet with world leaders this weekend to try to salvage his Greater Kurdistan project in northern Syria '' ''Mr. Kerry will travel to Vienna this weekend, summoning many of Syria's neighbors and European powers to turn a vague declaration of principles, settled on two weeks ago, into a plan for a political agreement. '...The White House is hoping that the Syrian, Arab and Kurdish coalition, aided by American pilots and special operators (terrorists) on the ground, can seize and hold territory.''
(Yes. This is the ''let's bust off a piece of Syria for our nation building project'' plan of action in Syria as it currently stands. a.k.a. ''Greater Kurdistan'' as I call it.)
A Fox ''News'' poll says 54% of American voters approve of Obama's plan to use US soldiers as human shields for our terrorists in Syria '' ''A 54-percent majority of American voters approves of President Obama's decision to send a small number of U.S. troops to Syria to help in the fight against the Islamic extremist group ISIS. ''
(Why does this not surprise me?)
US-backed Kurdish thug militias fight to retake Sinjar from the General Military Councils of Iraq (the Ba'athist revolution seeking to retake their country from our neoliberal puppets) '' ''Kurdish Iraqi fighters, backed by the U.S.-led air campaign, launched an assault Thursday aiming to retake the strategic town of Sinjar'...''
(No. We aren't fighting ''ISIS'' in Iraq. They are a propaganda fabrication. We are fighting former generals of Saddam's and other assorted groups who hate what we did to their country and they want it back.)
(In this case, we are using the Barzani Kurds and various airstrikes to drive them back so we can break off a piece of Iraq for Greater Kurdistan to go along with the piece of Syria Kerry is fighting for and a piece of Turkey we will eventually try to get the same way (now that our efforts to unseat Erdogan have failed))
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Filed under: News of the Day, Scott Creighton
Paris Attacks to Dominate Agenda at G-20 Conference in Turkey - NYTimes.com
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:38
WASHINGTON '-- President Obama will consult about the Paris terrorist attacks with world leaders in Turkey this weekend as the annual gathering of presidents and prime ministers from the world's largest economies there is poised to become an urgent summit meeting on confronting extremism.
The president is scheduled to depart on Air Force One on Saturday afternoon for a 10-day trip to Turkey, the Philippines and Malaysia, a day after a series of simultaneous attacks killed at least 127 people in Paris and prompted President Fran§ois Hollande of France to tighten the nation's border controls and mobilize the military.
On Friday evening, Mr. Obama called the situation in Paris an ''attack on all of humanity'' and pledged to do whatever it takes to join the French people in bringing the terrorists to justice. The president is expected to arrive early Sunday morning in Antalya, Turkey, on the Mediterranean coast, for the Group of 20 summit meeting.
The official economic agenda in Turkey and Asia was already likely to be overshadowed by a series of intense meetings between Mr. Obama and his counterparts about the Syrian civil war, the refugee crisis in Europe, disputes with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and ongoing tensions in the South China Sea.
But the Paris attacks are certain to push even those topics to the side, at least temporarily, as world leaders confront the scale of the terrorist attacks in the French capital. The leaders will grapple with the rising threat of the Islamic State, which President Hollande has blamed for the Paris attacks. American authorities on Saturday did not dispute Mr. Hollande's assessment or the Islamic State's own claim of responsibility.
There was no official word early Saturday about possible changes to the schedule of events in Turkey, which were to feature an opening ceremony and sessions on development, climate change, the global economy and growth. A dinner to discuss terrorism and refugees was already planned for Sunday night.
Mr. Obama had been scheduled to meet, one-on-one with Mr. Hollande, but the French president canceled his visit to Turkey soon after the scale of the attacks became clear.
Six years after Mr. Obama attended his first G-20 meeting at the height of the global economic crisis in 2009, the United States economy has rebounded and the president was looking forward to attending this year's gathering as the leader of one of the world's strongest economies.
In the Philippines and Malaysia, Mr. Obama will bring with him the just-negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, and a pledge to win its passage by Congress back home. The president planned to preview his hopes for a new, global climate pact that is scheduled to be concluded during a summit meeting in Paris that begins late this month. It was unclear Saturday what impact the terrorist attacks in that city might have on the climate meeting.
Mr. Obama had also planned to use the summit meetings to make diplomatic progress after recent military advances in Iraq against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, which has seized vast territory in both Iraq and Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry has been trying to forge a diplomatic path that could lead to the eventual departure from Syria of President Bashar al-Assad and an end to four years of conflict in the country.
Mr. Kerry met in Vienna on Saturday with diplomats from Europe and the Middle East, seeking progress on establishing a cease-fire and resolving differences about the future of Mr. Assad's government.
Mr. Obama's conversations with world leaders are scheduled to take place not far from Turkey's border with Syria, a transit point for refugees. Before the Paris attacks, aides to Mr. Obama had expressed hope for what they called ''incremental'' movement during the president's discussions, but they cautioned that negotiations would need to continue beyond the president's trip to the region.
''These issues are hugely complex and fraught,'' said Susan E. Rice, the president's national security adviser. ''If they weren't, they would have been resolved a long time ago.''
''I don't think anybody expects a single outcome that all of a sudden readily resolves all these difficult issues,'' she added.
Not on the official schedule is a meeting between Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin, who is expected at the summit meeting in Antalya. But even before the Paris attacks, White House officials said they had anticipated that the two leaders would have ''ample opportunity'' to talk privately. The last meeting between the two men, at the United Nations General Assembly in September, was described as confrontational, even before Mr. Putin expanded his country's own military involvement in Syria.
It was unclear Saturday whether the Paris attacks might alter the dynamic between Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin. The bloodshed in France comes after a terrorist attack in Lebanon and the crash in Egypt of a Russian airliner, which is thought to have been brought down by a terrorist bomb.
Speaking before the Paris attacks, Heather Conley, a former deputy assistant secretary of state under President George W. Bush, said ''Mr. Putin will be far from isolated'' at the summit meeting. Ms. Conley, now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, added that ''Russia now plays an increasing role in how to resolve the political transition in Syria.''
But Ms. Rice rejected that assessment of Mr. Putin. ''The Russians certainly have their ideas; we have ours; other players have theirs,'' she said, adding that she does not see ''any indication that President Putin's isolation is diminished.''
Later in his trip, Mr. Obama is expected to highlight the Pacific trade agreement to underscore what White House officials call his long-term commitment to a larger American presence in Asia.
Mr. Obama is not expected to meet with President Xi Jinping of China, although the two leaders will both attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in the Philippines. But officials said Mr. Obama will make concerns about freedom of navigation through the South China Sea a ''central issue of discussion'' during his visits.
''The United States takes no position on competing sovereignty claims'' in the South China Sea, Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said in a news briefing before the Paris attacks. ''But what we do take a strong position on is protecting the rights, freedoms and lawful uses of the sea and airspace that's guaranteed to all countries.''
Mr. Obama is certain to hear much on that subject from other Asian leaders, many of whom want help from the United States in standing against China's claims on the disputed waters off its coast. In late October, the administration sent a Navy destroyer through the disputed waters in what officials called a ''freedom of navigation'' exercise designed to send a signal to the Chinese.
Apple boss: Next generation of children 'will not know what money is' - Telegraph
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:33
Cash is still used for more than half of payments by consumers, according to Payments UK, the industry body, but its popularity is falling as people switch to cards and smartphone apps such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
Answering questions from students at Trinity College Dublin, Mr Cook said: "Your kids will not know what money is."
In an outspoken address, he also vowed to deepen his fight against the so-called snooper's charter. Mr Cook reiterated comments made to The Telegraph this week, stating that his company was commitment to full protection of customers' data from hackers.
"We plan to continue to encrypt end to end with no back door," he said. "We will productively work with the governments to try to convince them that's also in their best interests in the national security sense."
His views on the future of money represent one of the boldest predictions on the decline of traditional coins and notes.
We plan to continue to encrypt [customer data] with no back door
Tim Cook, Apple CEO
In a poll for Lloyds Bank this autumn 39 per cent of respondents said they didn't expect to need cash at all within a decade - around the time Mr Cook seemed to be referencing.
Barclaycard, one of the major innovators in digital technology, said so-called contactless transactions have more than doubled over the past year.
People can now use the "tap and go" technology for any transaction under £30, making it more likely to be used in restaurants and shops as well as cafes and newsagents.
Banks and companies such as Apple have an incentive to promote such messages because they earn money when people use a credit card or alternative payment system to pay.
For instance, banks charge retailers a percentage of the price paid every time a shopper uses a card terminal. The "interchange" fees are being capped at 0.2 per cent for debit cards and 0.3 per cent for credit cards under EU rules.
dan.hyde@telegraph.co.uk
As the US heads to climate talks, it seeks a plan to 'trust but verify'
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:26
The United States, like many other countries, has been participating in negotiations in the lead-up to the United Nations' conference on climate change in Paris. The goal is to craft a policy framework that is going to engage all countries in combating global warming and establish institutions that can continue to spur more ambitious efforts over time.
The United States has pledged to reduce its emissions 26%-28% below the 2005 level in 2025. This builds on its pledge at the 2009 Copenhagen conference to lower emissions by 17% below the 2005 level in 2020.
The US pledge, officially called the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), details the progress made to date: emissions are on a downward trajectory, but reductions need to accelerate in order to realize its 2025 pledge.
The same document highlights some of the specific policies the US is implementing to do this, including fuel economy standards that will double the efficiency of cars sold in America between 2009-2025, power sector carbon regulations that will cut CO2 emissions 32% below the 2005 level by 2030, ambitious appliance efficiency standards and potentially regulation of methane emissions from oil and gas operations.
The White House.
Highlighting domestically binding laws and regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions enhances the credibility of the US pledge. But US delegates going to Paris still face a complex set of negotiations.
Cracking verificationThere are two key challenges in the international negotiations. First, the international community needs to develop and implement a meaningful transparency-and-review mechanism to verify countries are meeting their voluntary pledges.
President Obama personally negotiated language on transparency during the 2009 Copenhagen negotiations, reflecting the importance of this issue to the United States. The United States advocated for a more sophisticated approach to transparency, in part, because of the poor track record of review and policy surveillance under the existing UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Obama personally negotiated terms for verification of countries' emissions reductions in Copenhagen in 2009.The White House
A country's pledge to be transparent publicly signals seriousness in taking on climate change and enhances the credibility of its commitment. Progressive political leaders who advance ambitious domestic emission mitigation policies would benefit from this transparency '' it would highlight their leadership.
Such transparency also increases the costs to political leaders who fail to deliver on commitments. It can publicly subject this failure to domestic stakeholder pressure and peer pressure from other leaders.
The ability to review the outcomes for a mitigation program can demonstrate whether a country undertook a good-faith effort to deliver on its pledged commitment and build trust among those participating in an agreement. An effective system to collect, analyze and disseminate information about countries' pledges can also facilitate subsequent negotiations.
Some countries oppose a robust system of review on the grounds that such efforts would violate their sovereignty. Yet, these countries willingly participate in regular policy surveillance conducted through the International Monetary Fund's Article 4 consultations and the World Trade Organization's Trade Policy Review Mechanism.
Indeed, these two institutions undertake expert review '' through the collection and analysis of data and public policies '' that feeds into a peer-review process that is substantially more rigorous, informative and credible than the status quo climate policy surveillance.
Countering competitiveness concernsTransparency is critical to the emerging ''pledge and review'' approach to international climate policy architecture.
Put simply, the current approach to climate policy asks countries to take a step forward in cutting their emissions. As countries do so, they will look among their peers, their trade partners and their regional neighbors, to see if they are all moving forward together. Once they see that all are making progress in lowering their emissions, they will be more confident in taking on more ambitious subsequent efforts in tackling climate change and will be able to build domestic support for these efforts.
This is especially important in countries like the United States, where domestic concerns about adverse competitiveness pressures '' for example, if US manufacturing faces a carbon price but their foreign competitors do not '' have served to block progress on climate policy. A well-functioning emissions reporting and verification regime can serve to counter concerns over competitiveness.
Transparency can also build trust for international climate finance. Donor industrialized countries and developing countries have expressed different opinions about the extent to which the former have delivered on their financial commitments to the latter. Country reporting and independent surveillance of climate finance can resolve the debate over the amount of money flowing among countries and direct the discussion to the effectiveness of climate finance.
Laying a foundationThe second challenge facing American negotiators in Paris lies with the goal of limiting warming to no more than two degrees Celsius.
Some stakeholders have claimed that the current round of pledges are insufficient to meet this goal. Underlying such claims are a number of assumptions, some of which are very strong while others are more opaque, including post-2030 emissions and related mitigation policies, climate sensitivity, risk attitudes and other factors.
Regardless, there is a real risk that pressuring countries to do more to mitigate emissions in this round of talks will distract from the necessary work of building a durable framework for reporting, monitoring and verifying pledges.
Countries have committed to lowering domestic emissions in light of their own national circumstances. Launching contentious debates about who can do what additional mitigation efforts ignores the real constraints of domestic politics. Moreover, it could crowd out time and effort on the important task of building the institutional infrastructure for pledge and review, and especially transparency.
As a result, success in Paris should not reflect some ''counting the tons'' exercise motivated by the two degrees Celsius goal. Success should be measured by the extent to which the international community can agree on a robust institutional infrastructure for pledging and transparency with review that can enable learning and build trust among countries.
This would provide the durable foundation for the long-term climate policy necessary to limit warming and mitigate the risks posed by climate change.
Local schools buy emergency toilets for lock-downs | SanDiegoUnionTribune.com
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:20
Shortly after San Diego schools kicked off the new year in September, 21,000 students at 11 campuses were locked in classrooms for up to three hours following a rash of violent '-- and ultimately false '-- threats.
Not surprisingly, some students had to use a bathroom.
Patrick Henry High School was among those to provide students with security escorts to restrooms, which critics later called dangerous. Some Grossmont High School classrooms made due with trash cans in adjoining rooms during a five-hour lock-down in February, upsetting parents who raised concerns about hygiene.
In a sign of the times, schools locally and nationwide are stocking up on emergency bathroom provisions to make increasingly frequent classroom lockdowns safer and more comfortable for students and educators.
The San Diego Unified School District is preparing to purchase toilet kits for every classroom that needs one at a cost of $180,000 to $200,000. Grossmont Union High School District has also purchased the kits for classrooms at about $30 each.
''School lockdowns are difficult and stressful times and the ability to use a restroom, even in the form of the emergency kit, is something we believe will help students and staff through the situation,'' said Drew Rowlands, San Diego Unified's chief operations officer.
The kits are being purchased from SOS Survival Products, a company based in Van Nuys, and include basic accommodations: A 5-gallon bucket with a toilet seat, a roll of toilet paper roll, 100 wet wipes, 25 waste bags, a roll of duct tape and a 5-by-7-foot tarp, ten pair of vinyl gloves, and a 4 1/2-pound bag of cat litter. A $59 upgrade will replace the tarp with a tall and narrow pop-up tent for increased privacy.
San Diego Unified has ordered a few kits as samples before it makes its final purchase. Rowlands expects to distribute the emergency toilets to schools and offices in about a month.
''We haven't worked out all the instructions for use '-- the kits themselves are pretty self-explanatory, and the kits are really intend to be a last resort,'' he said.
Not every classroom will need the emergency supplies because some have attached restrooms, or because their school has already purchased similar products.
''We certainly hope the times we encounter a lockdown are infrequent, and they are of a short duration,'' Rowlands said. ''But ultimately if the kits can provide a small amount of comfort for our students, it is something we want to do.''
With help from the campus's parent-run nonprofit foundation, Brad Callahan, principal of Lewis Middle School in Allied Gardens, assembled emergency toilet kits for all classrooms last year following a roughly 90-minute lockdown in February.
''It was the first prolonged lockdown this campus had experienced,'' said Callahan, who encouraged the district to follow Lewis's lead and equip all schools with similar kits. ''I heard from parents, and we decided this is something we wanted to do for our students and staff.''
Jeff Edlestein, who owns SOS Survival, said schools have been buying his products for more than 20 years. Orders increased after the 1999 Columbine High School shooting that left 13 dead and 21 wounded at the hands of two teenage shooters, who then committed suicide. Business has steadily increased with the frequency of lockdowns and school shootings, and since July orders have more than doubled over previous years, he said.
''I think it's the frequency of the lockdowns because kids are stuck in classrooms for a couple of hours so they need to have supplies. Plus, there's been talk about the possibility of a major earthquake hitting Southern California, plus El Nino,'' he said. ''Business has been crazy.''
Edlestein has customized his school survival kits up to 400 different ways to meet the needs or concerns of a particular district.
He said the website is intentionally subtle because ''We don't want to exploit the issue.''
The Los Angeles Unified School District also has purchased emergency toilets.
The Sweetwater Union High School District has not purchased such kits, according to spokesman Manny Rubio. He said the district has made recommendations to schools about what classrooms should have in case of emergency.
''It's pretty much the basics: water, a bucket, TP, snacks, flashlights, batteries,'' he said in an email. ''In our trainings we've also let people know that in case of a longer lockdown that a space in the classroom be designated for privacy.''
San Diego Unified, California's second-largest district, has also purchased ''Lock-Bloks'' for classroom and office doors. Invented by a former educator, the devices, which attach to the inside of a classroom door, include a sliding bar that prevents a locked door from slamming shut. In the event of an emergency, a teacher can quickly slide the bar to engage the lock without fumbling for keys.
Some teachers keep water, snacks and medical supplies on hand in the event of a long lockdown. Since most middle and high schools have eliminated lockers, students who pack a lunch usually have it with them in a backpack.
Booming crypto ransomware industry employs new tricks to befuddle victims | Ars Technica
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:19
Ransomware that uses strong cryptography to hold entire hard drives' worth of data hostage keeps getting nastier, as criminals attempt to find new ways to extort more people into paying increasingly hefty ransoms to recover their files.
A case in point is Chimera, a relative newcomer to the crypto ransom racket that targets primarily businesses. In an attempt to turn up the pressure on infected victims, the malware threatens to publish their pictures and other personal data somewhere on the Internet unless a ransom of $638 in bitcoins is paid. There's no evidence yet that the new cryptoware title has made good on the threat to post victims' private data online, but it's a likely bet the prospect is enough to convince some undecided victims to go ahead and pay the fee.
The threat, according to a blog post published Tuesday, comes only after the cryptoware has encrypted data stored not only on local hard drives but also those on network drives. To add drama to the attack, all file extensions are changed to .crypt. Chimera is also programmed to target specific employees within an infected company, presumably to make sure the ransom demand doesn't get missed.
A second example of cryptoware turning up the pressure on victims is the latest version of CryptoWall, one of the early entrants in the industry. The recently released CryptoWall 4.0 now replaces names of encrypted files with pseudo-randomly generated letters and numbers, presumably to further befuddle victims who are suddenly unable to access their data. The new version appears to continue encrypting data with 2,048-bit RSA keys, which when implemented correctly are practically impossible to break.
That's not the only attention-grabbing ploy. The notification the malware sends to deliver the news that victims' data has been encrypted congratulates them on becoming a part of the "large community CryptoWall." Besides the snarky tone, the notice is also notable for its almost pristine grammar and spelling and its clarity in explaining how strong crypto works.
"Encryption is a reversible transformation of information in order to conceal it from unauthorized persons but providing at the same time access to it for authorized users," the notice reads, according to this blog post published by antivirus provider Bitdefender. "To become an authorized user and make the process truly reversible i.e. to be able to decrypt your files you need to have a special private key. In addition to the private key you need the decryption software with which you can decrypt your files and return everything in its place."
The notice goes on to warn users not to attempt to break the encryption lest the files be lost forever. CryptoWall 4.0 also employs advanced mechanisms to avoid detection by antivirus and Firewall programs, according to researchers at Heimdal Security.
The refinements show that cryptoware purveyors operate much like other online businesses, which are constantly updating their products and services in an attempt to bring in new business. That dedication only makes sense, given FBI estimates earlier this year that CryptoWall alone generated losses of more than $18 million. A separate report estimated US damages of $325 million from CryptoWall 3.0. That translates into huge profits, especially when considering the revenue is tax-free.
Now that crypto ransomware is a threat that won't be going away any time soon, there's been a fair amount of debate about whether victims should pay the ransom as demanded. Recently, an FBI agent reportedly told businesses it may be easier for them to pony up. The comments generated howls of protest among security professionals, who warned there's no guarantee the fees will ensure the encrypted data is restored.
Further ReadingThe critics are right that there can be no certainty that the ransomware operators will make good on their promise. And there's always the possibility a programming error or law enforcement takedown will allow keys to be recovered without paying the fee, as was the case last year with the CryptoLocker brand. Then again, there are plenty of reports of victims with no other recourse who paid the ransom and recovered their files. Ultimately, the decision should be made on a case-by-case basis. No doubt, paying the increasingly large fees is a risk, and it only rewards truly pernicious and illegal behavior. Then again, for people who have lost data valued in the thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, paying a $700 ransom may be worth the risk and cost, although the move shouldn't be taken lightly.
Calais' Jungle migrant camp 'on fire' after Paris shootings but workers deny it was revenge | Daily Mail Online
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:14
Fire in 'jungle' camp believed to have been caused by an electrical fault2,500 metres of tents and shelters were burnt down in the fierce blazeNo casualties have been reported from the site and the fire has now been put out by firefighters For more from the Calais camp visit www.dailymail.co.uk/refugeecrisisBy Tom Wyke for MailOnline
Published: 21:53 EST, 13 November 2015 | Updated: 06:22 EST, 14 November 2015
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A huge fire broke out shortly after midnight at the refugee camp known as the 'Jungle' in Calais, France.
The fire is not thought to be related to the horrific terror events in Paris despite unsubstantiated claims that the fire was started by activists angered by the migrants presence in France.
No casualties have been reported from the site, where hundreds of migrants have been living in difficult conditions after making their long and dangerous journey to Europe.
Over 2,500 metres of tents and shelters were burnt down in the fierce blaze which was believed to have been caused by an electrical wire.
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Gas cylinders in the packed camps reportedly exploded as they were consumed by the flames as fire fighters battled the flames
No casualties have been reported from the site, where hundreds of migrants have been living in difficult conditions after making their long and dangerous journey to Europe
The fire appears to have centred in the southeastern heath camp, where as many as 4,500 migrants have been living.
Gas cylinders in the packed camps reportedly exploded as they were consumed by the flames as fire fighters battled the flames.
The strong wind is believed to have further added to the ferocity of the flames before it was eventually put out.
The news comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted Europe 'will manage' the migrant crisis despite the continent's continual struggle with heavy influx of refugees in recent months
The strong wind is believed to have further added to the ferocity of the flames before it was eventually put out
The news comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted Europe 'will manage' the migrant crisis despite the continent's continual struggle with heavy influx of refugees in recent months.
She has made little headway persuading Germany's European Union partners to share the burden.
Over recent days, her governing coalition squabbled over a plan to give many Syrians a restricted asylum status that wouldn't allow them to bring relatives to Germany for two years.
The program was announced by the interior minister apparently behind the chancellery's back, and quickly shelved, but then backed by prominent conservatives.
The chancellor appears to be inching toward more restrictive policies without dropping her broadly positive approach.
The fire is not thought to be related to the horrific terror events in Paris despite unsubstantiated claims that the fire was started by activists angered by the migrants presence in France
The fire appears to have centred in the southeastern heath camp, where as many as 4,500 migrants have been living
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European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - EU finalises proposal for investment protection and Court System for TTIP
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:12
The European Commission has today finalised its new and reformed approach on investment protection and investment dispute resolution for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This follows another round of extensive consultations with the Council and the European Parliament. The proposal for the Investment Court System has been formally transmitted to the United States and has been made public.
The final text includes all the key elements of the Commission's proposal of 16 September, which aims at safeguarding the right to regulate and create a court-like system with an appeal mechanism based on clearly defined rules, with qualified judges and transparent proceedings. The proposal also includes additional improvements on access to the new system by small and medium sized companies.
The new system would replace the existing investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in TTIP and in all ongoing and future EU trade and investment negotiations.
''Today marksthe end of a long internal process in the EU to develop a modern approach on investment protection and dispute resolution for TTIP and beyond,'' said Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstr¶m. ''This is the result of far-reaching consultations and debates with Member States, the European Parliament, stakeholders and citizens. This approach will allow the EU to take a global role on the path of reform, to create an international court based on public trust.''
Since the publication of the Commission's initial proposal, the text was circulated extensively for consultation to ensure broad endorsement of its main innovative elements, notably amongst co-legislators: EU Member States and the European Parliament.
These elements refer in particular to the strengthening of the right to regulate through a new article, the establishment of a new system for resolving disputes '' 'the Investment Court System' '', and the creation of an appeal mechanism to correct errors and ensure consistency.
One of the changes made to the 16 September proposal is an additional improvement for small and medium-sized enterprises that would benefit from faster proceedings and would enjoy privileged treatment in comparison with large multinational companies.
Next steps
The EU will now resume negotiations with the US on the subject of investment protection and resolution of investment disputes, and the Investment Court System. Negotiations in this area have been on hold since March 2014, when the European Commission launched a public consultation on ISDS in the TTIP.
In parallel to the EU-US negotiations, the European Commission will start work, together with other countries, on setting up a permanent International Investment Court. The Commission is also currently exchanging views with several international organisations in this field. The objective is to, over time, replace all investment dispute resolution mechanisms in EU agreements, in EU Member States' agreements with third countries, and trade in investment treaties concluded between non-EU countries, with the International Investment Court. This would lead to the full replacement of the "old ISDS'' mechanism with a modern, efficient, transparent and impartial system for international investment dispute resolution.
Background
Factsheet is available here.
The text of the proposal on Investment Protection and Resolution of Investment Disputes and Investment Court System in TTIP is available here.
Reading guide to the EU text of the proposal is available here.
The text of the Commission's text proposal published on 16 September 2015 on Investment Protection and Resolution of Investment Disputes and Investment Court System in TTIP is available here.
Commissioner Malmstr¶m's Blog.
Blog post by Commissioner Malmstr¶m on 16 September 2015: Proposing an Investment Court System.
European Commission Concept paper ''Investment in TTIP and beyond '' the path for reform. Enhancing the right to regulate and moving from current ad hoc arbitration towards an Investment Court'', published on 5 May 2015 is available here.
Directives for the negotiation on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the European Union and the United States of America adopted by the Council on 17 June 2013, available here.
Resolution of 8 July 2015 containing the European Parliament's recommendations to the European Commission on the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, available here.
Meet the GIGN Unit Operators on Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege - Crossmap Christian News | Entertainment
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 15:59
Upcoming video game Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, which features elite members from different counter-terrorist units from all over the world, recently released a new video featuring the 'heavily-armored Siege operators from GIGN, the storied French counter-terrorism unit'.
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Watch Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Official - Inside Rainbow #3 - The GIGN Unit [EUROPE]
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GIGN Unit BackgroundThe GIGN unit (French: Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale), or National Gendarmerie Intervention Group was formed back in 1973 and is the famous special operations unit of the French Armed Forces known for its counter-terrorism and hostage rescue missions not only in France but worldwide.
Following the hostage crisis in Munich during the 1972 Summer Olympics, France decided to create a specialized team which are trained and equipped to counter these kinds of threats in the future.
As posted by defense journalist and photographer Tyler Rogoway (http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/), "the core of GIGN was historically just four troops of about 20 commandos each. This small size limited the group's operational impact for larger potential terrorist events, but it also concentrated training to a limited number of operators which insured that GIGN 'shooters' are of the highest quality."
Ask why their faces are always covered?
"GIGN operators have such a sensitive job, that like the majority of France's anti-terrorism units, their faces are not allowed to be photographed fully exposed; therefore they are often seen wearing tactical ski masks when operating in public," Rogoway stated.
Watch Documentary: GIGN Selection Training and Operations
GIGN as Rainbow Six Siege OperatorRepresenting GIGN unit on the upcoming video game Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege are Twitch (Attackers) and Rook (Defenders).
Twitch: Surveillance is key Rainbow Six Siege, and with Twitch, your surveillance can do some damage. Twitch has a handy little drone that can deliver electric shocks, dealing minor damage and disabling traps. She's the perfect Operator for people who like to look before they leap.
Rook: Nobody wants to go into battle naked (or no one sane does, anyway). Rook ensures his teammates go into the fight with some extra armor that might mean the difference between living to finish the round and going out in the first 30 seconds. If you choose to play as Rook, I recommend dropping his box of armor in a central area during the prep phase so your team can start out the round with some extra protective covering.
My $120,000 Vacation - NYTimes.com
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 15:49
Thanks to the Four Seasons' new 24-day, round-the-world fantasy trip, you get all the indulgences of travel without any of its hassles. But like all fantasies, is this too much of a good thing?
I tried but failed to ward off the second bottle of champagne. I was sitting in my room at the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, on the phone with a friend. The hotel staff had already brought me chocolates and Turkish delight to welcome me. They'd put bookmarks in the books I'd left on the desk. They'd replaced my bathmat midday because I'd gotten the first one wet. They'd arranged my notes for this article in clean little stacks. There was already one ice-bucketed bottle of champagne on the dining room table when the door chime rang.
I ignored it, continuing my conversation. It rang a few more times. Then there were knocks. I eventually opened the door. A kind, young, liveried man stood there, beaming, with a second bottle. I tried to protest that this one was superfluous, but in a whisper he was past me. Left in the vapor trail of his hospitality, I watched him glide into the room and busy himself on the other side of the floral display, placing two fresh flutes between a second ice bucket and a tray of figs.
I went back to my long-distance conversation and heard him busying himself in the other room, perhaps having discovered that one of the nuts in the nut bowl was misaligned. Sometimes it is the structure of things that you shall be pampered and you have no choice but to sit back and accept that fact.
I was in Turkey as a temporary member of a 52-person group that was bouncing through Four Seasons hotels on a round-the-world tour. You put down roughly $120,000 a person and for 24 days you fly around the earth in a Four Seasons-branded private jet, taking off in Seattle and stopping in, among other places, Tokyo, Beijing, the Maldives, the Serengeti, St. Petersburg, Marrakesh and New York, going from Four Seasons to Four Seasons, with various outings off campus offered at every two- or three-night stop. I was joining the tour for days 15 through 21, which would take me from Istanbul to St. Petersburg to Marrakesh, after which I would return to New York. If Magellan had had his own 757 and a global archipelago of sumptuous breakfast buffets, his trip would have been something like this.
My job was to report back on the merits and demerits of such pampered high-end travel. If you wake up in Tanzania in the morning, take a dinner cruise along the Bosphorus in the evening and jet off a few days later to tour Catherine the Great's palace in Russia, are you really seeing the world? Or are you just playing spectacularly expensive hopscotch? Is this luxury '-- or a fast-moving bubble from which to view the world?
Luxury comes in many forms. There's the luxury of opulence. There's the luxury of excess. Then there's the luxury of service '-- having people around at each instant to take care of stuff so you can think about something else. This trip had a lot of the latter luxury. When I left the tour and returned to real life, I endured shambolic security lines, inexplicable delays and a four-hour layover sitting on the floor of the Casablanca airport, thinking it was nothing like the movie.
When you are on the Four Seasons round-the-world tour, you leave your luggage outside your hotel room in the morning and it appears in your new room in a distant city come dinnertime. The staff fills out those customs forms so you don't have to bother writing down your name and passport number. A van takes you to a private part of the airport, where you whisk through border control and onto the tarmac, where your plane's crew '-- the 15 friendliest people in the history of Great Britain '-- stand smiling at the foot of the stairs. The plane takes off when you are ready. The tour accomplishes in 24 days a journey that if you tried to do commercially, might take 90.
Four Seasons and its partner, TCS World Travel, a private jet tour company, have taken every measure to reduce your cognitive load. When you land at each new city, you're handed an envelope with a little local currency in case you want to buy some souvenirs. There's a squad of local greeters pointing you toward the vans so you don't have to exercise a neuron figuring out where to go. A 757 normally accommodates some 250 passengers, so each of the 52 guests gets a big leather lounging chair. There's champagne and superb snacks and a very cool on-flight chef. By midjourney, the guests and crew are hugging each other on boarding and exchanging gossip about their lives.
The second thing you are buying with all this cash is a certain sort of jam-packed experience. The tour arranges early entry into the State Hermitage Museum to avoid the crowds, and then a dinner that night in a Russian palace with opera and ballet. There was a balloon ride over the Serengeti, a lunch at a Turkish country restaurant near where the Virgin Mary (allegedly) spent some of her final years and a dinner on the Great Wall of China.
The pace of the trip is frenetic '-- three continents in a single day at one point. Each morning you get to choose from an array of options '-- a visit to a Russian ballet school? A tour of Nevsky Prospekt shopping street? An excursion to the Faberg(C) Museum? The people on this trip loved the experience. They were very satisfied customers. But they did have moments of exhaustion. Multiple bucket list items per day '-- the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul? Check. The main market in Marrakesh? Check! When I asked the guests what their favorite stop was, a plurality said the Maldives, where they got a chance to sit, pause and enjoy the beaches.
What sort of people go on a trip like this? Rich but not fancy. It is a sign of how stratified things have become that even within the top 1 percent there are differences between the single-digit millionaires and the double- or triple-digit millionaires. The people on this trip were by and large on the lower end of the upper class. One had a family carpet business. Another was an I.T. executive at an insurance company. There were a few law partners. There was a divorce coach who'd worked in finance, a woman who'd started a telecom business with her ex-husband and the vice chancellor from a medium-size university. Very few of these people were born to money. They did not dress rich, talk rich or put on airs. They have spent their lives busy with work and family, not jet-setting around or hanging out with the Davos crowd.
In other words, they were socially and intellectually unpretentious. They treated the crew as friends and equals and not as staff. Nobody was trying to prove they were better informed or more sophisticated than anybody else. There were times, in fact, when I almost wished there had been a little more pretense and a little more intellectual and spiritual ambition.
Travel comes in many forms. Some trips are a trek. You push yourself outside your comfort zone and come out of the adventure, one hopes, with greater fortitude and self-knowledge. Some trips are like adult university. You peer into some distant period, study large historical figures and great masterpieces and come away with new wisdom.
Some trips are a form of cultural immersion. You enter deeply into another people and another mentality, and come out more knowledgeable about another way of seeing the world.
This trip was sightseeing. It was about encountering, even if only for a few minutes, some of the great wonders of the world. Much of the appreciation was aesthetic. The guests were delighted by the intricate wall carvings in the Royal Harem building in Istanbul, by the vegetables in a Turkish restaurant, by 15 minutes of opera in a Russian palace. But over dinner, they mostly spoke with their new friends about their kids and lives back home, not about the meaning and depth of what they had just seen. The touches with the locals were sporadic; in St. Petersburg, one of the museum guides talked about what was better and what was worse under communism, but immersion with guides, drivers and restaurateurs isn't really immersion.
I'm generally a frenetic traveler, but there were moments when I was frustrated we couldn't stop for even three minutes to really look at what we were seeing. There were several moments when I was frustrated at how little time was set aside for solitary contemplation.
In the Hermitage we paused momentarily in front of Rembrandt's masterpiece ''The Return of the Prodigal Son.'' (The writer Henri Nouwen once spent four hours staring at this painting.) The central focus of the work is the hands of the father as he cradles his once proud but now humiliated son. The hands are the hands of mercy, forgiveness and unconditional love. One of the father's hands is notably masculine, one is notably feminine '-- Rembrandt's signal, perhaps, that parental love, like God's love, is equally strong and tender. The young boy's head is buried in his father's chest, but you can see his scarred heels and torn sandals, the residue of how he has been brought low and suffered pain. The older brother stands rigidly nearby. There's no welcome in his posture. His hands are folded in judgment. He has not yet risen to anger or envy. His father's forgiveness of the younger son is just happening at that instant, and the older brother is still on the cusp of having an emotion '-- not yet gripped with the spirit of cold-hearted and rigid legalism, the sense of having been wronged, that will soon erupt within him.
The painting is a masterpiece, emotionally gripping and morally complex. But on this tour, we talked about none of its meanings. The guide did not tell the story. There was no time to really pause before the passion. The painting was just another notable thing to notice on the way to a dozen more notable things. It left no mark.
One day in Turkey we took the jet on a day trip from Istanbul to Ephesus and back. First we stopped at the home where Mary purportedly lived after the crucifixion of her son. It was a small, quiet stone structure, with a spare altar at the front. Three popes have visited this place and there was an epic stillness. Whether she really lived there or not, you can feel the weight of prayers that pilgrims have said there over the centuries.
Ephesus was one of the great cities of the Roman world and its ruins are grand and well preserved. It was also one of the most decadent cities in the world, with brothels, grasping merchants, a desperate money scramble, sorcerers and soothsayers. Into this city walked two men who would alter the course of history, St. John and, later, St. Paul.
Paul must have been regarded as an extreme religious crank, preaching a life of poverty and love. His antimaterialistic and anti-achievement message was diametrically opposed to the prevailing ethos of classical Rome, with its emphasis on wealth, power and grandeur. ''If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal,'' Paul would write, ''If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. ... Love never fails.''
It would have been nice to stand amid these ruins reading Paul, or to talk about how to reconcile material happiness with spiritual joy as we were on the very spot where Paul preached, where the ethos of Athens met the ethos of Jerusalem. But our guide never really told us Paul's story. He spent most of his time instead taking us through the royal palaces, with the grand chambers, frescoes and meeting halls. He gave us those material facts about the place that tour guides specialize in (who built what when), but which no one remembers because they don't really have anything to do with us emotionally. The Ephesus visit was an occasion to have a good discussion about how to live and what really lasts. But if anybody was thinking such thoughts, they went unexpressed.
Sometimes money backfires. People buy a house with a huge yard, but they are so far removed from their neighbors they never really experience community. Sometimes people design an apartment so in line with Architectural Digest-level perfection that they can never really be rambunctious or feel at home.
For most people on this particular trip, money did not backfire. They were enthusiastic about the experiences and happy to be making new friends and traveling in this self-contained luxury caravan. Plus, it's important not to romanticize hassle. It's one thing to say you should have an authentic travel experience with the people, but sometimes sitting for four hours on the floor of the Casablanca airport is just a useless pain. If you've got money, one of the best ways to spend it is on things that will save you time.
But sometimes money allows you to see too many things, too quickly. Sometimes if you seize all the opportunities your money affords, you may end up skimming over life and nothing is deep enough to leave a mark. There is a piece of travel literature wisdom, of uncertain attribution, that reads, ''He who has seen one cathedral 10 times has seen something; he who has seen 10 cathedrals once has seen but little; and he who has spent an hour in each of a hundred cathedrals has seen nothing at all.'' If you're in a major city for 48 hours, is it best to sample the highlights, or drill down? I really enjoyed tagging along with this gang for part of their journey. But some of the most memorable moments came from breaking away, wandering alone through the astonishing streets of St. Petersburg, one of the world's great cities.
And, yet, I must confess, other sweet small moments came when I just said what the heck and enjoyed the self-indulgence. The caviar in Russia was really nice. So was the beautiful hotel pool in Morocco, the sweet staff at every stop and the little cubes of Turkish delight. And yes, over the course of the three days at the Four Seasons in Istanbul, I did drink both bottles of champagne.
Of course, we all have a responsibility to reduce inequality in our society. But maybe not every day.
It was late October: French military soon allowed to shoot in the street - Wikistrike
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 15:33
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Mizzou Would Need 400 More Black Faculty And Staff To Meet Students' Demands | FiveThirtyEight
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 15:27
Students cheer after the announcement that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe would resign.
Jeff Roberson / AP
University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe stepped down earlier this week to end a student hunger strike and a strike by the flagship campus's football team, but his resignation was just one of many demands from students who say the university isn't doing enough to handle racism and discrimination on the campus in Columbia. Another demand is to increase black representation among University of Missouri-Columbia staff and faculty members to 10 percent by the 2017-18 academic year. The school would have a lot of hiring to do to comply: It would take around 400 more black faculty or staff members to get representation that high.
The student group known as Concerned Student 1950, named after the first year that black students were admitted to Mizzou, also wants the university to improve retention for minority students. Black students are less likely than students of other races or ethnicities to stay enrolled in the university after one year and are ultimately less likely to graduate, according to data provided to FiveThirtyEight by the university.
Blacks who enroll at Mizzou are more likely to drop out after one year than they were a decade ago, and graduation rates have consistently been lower for blacks than whites or other minority groups, although both these statistics jump around from year to year. Last year's six-year graduation rate (so, for students who enrolled in 2008) was 57 percent for black students, compared with 71 percent for white students (though graduation rates for both groups are better than national averages).
Across Missouri's four-year public colleges and universities, blacks made up a slightly smaller percentage of the undergraduate population (12.3 percent) in 2011 than the overall population of 18- to 24-year-olds in the state (13.9 percent), according to a report from an interstate collaboration set up to improve post-secondary education; at Mizzou, 8 percent of undergraduates this year are black. Nationally, black students made up just over 14 percent of undergraduate enrollment in 2013.
As the state's designated land-grant university, Mizzou has the particular mission of providing higher education opportunities for all the state's residents. Black undergraduate enrollment at the University of Missouri-Columbia is on par with land-grant schools in many Northern states, which have just one, though like most Southern states, Missouri also has a second land-grant school, historically black Lincoln University. While graduation and retention rates are low, the University of Missouri has done a better job than many comparable institutions in enrolling black students.
And though the percentages of minority students, faculty and staff at Mizzou have increased over time, blacks are still underrepresented in all of those groups, compared with their overall state population.
The disparity is bigger for staff and faculty members. Just 3.2 percent of Mizzou's tenured and tenure-track faculty are black, compared with 5.2 percent nationally. There is slightly better representation if we look at the staff overall, however: In 2013, 5.7 percent of the total staff and faculty were black (497 out of 8,688 total), according to university data. The highest representation of blacks was among the service and maintenance staff, at 25.6 percent. The next highest was technical/paraprofessional staff, with 6.5 percent. Getting black representation up to 10 percent would require hiring 414 new people, based on the 2013 numbers, or replacing about 370 current staff and faculty.
CORRECTION (Nov. 13, 11:32 a.m.): An earlier version of this article misstated the year the student group Concerned Student 1950 asked for black representation among University of Missouri-Columbia staff and faculty members to be raised to 10 percent. The group is asking for that increase by the 2017-18 academic year, not the next academic year.
France is on the Verge of '... What?
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 07:13
''Is France Ripe for an Authoritarian Regime?'' What is remarkable about that Op Ed piece in the conservative Le Figaro newspaper, is that it was written not in the wake of today's horrific terrorist attacks in Paris'--but the day before.
As I write, it is still unclear how many have been killed in the French capital'--the reported total has reached at least 140''but there is no question that the massacre could have a devastating impact on France's already very shaky democratic institutions.
According to the Le Figaro, when asked by IFOP, a respected French poling agency, if they would accept a non-democratic form of government to bring necessary reforms to France, 67% of the French said they would opt for a government of non-elected technocrats. 40% percent said they would back a non-elected authoritarian regime.
Again, that survey was carried out the day before the bloody carnage in Paris. People may have poured out into the streets in an impressive show of unity earlier this year in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings, but that moment of attempted racial harmony was brief and the situation has been fraying ever since.
There is no question to my mind that in the wake of these Friday the 13th horrors in Paris, the great majority of French would back the most Draconian of measures (just as Americans reacted following 9/11). France has the largest Muslim population of any country in Europe, and the danger of a fatal fracture'--driven by hatred and suspicion and fear'--is very, very real.
The next moves are up to President Fran§ois Hollande, which is not at all reassuring.
Since he took office, he has been totally incapable of coping with France's huge and varied problems. He is one of the most unpopular French president's ever.
And now he faces his greatest challenge.
For France, and its peoples, these are very perilous times.
French president Hollande's televised address | Reuters
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 07:01
Fri Nov 13, 2015 | 7:41 PM EST
(Reuters) - Following is a translation of the televised address by President Francois Hollande during the deadly attacks in Paris on Friday:
"My dear compatriots,
As I speak, terrorist attacks of unprecedented proportions are underway in the Paris area. There are dozens killed, there are many injured. It is a horror.
We have, on my decision, mobilized all forces possible to neutralize the terrorists and make all concerned areas safe. I have also asked for military reinforcements. They are currently in the Paris area, to ensure that no new attack can take place. I have also called a cabinet meeting that will be held in a few minutes.
Two decisions will be taken: a state of emergency will be declared, which means that some places will be closed, traffic may be banned , and there will also be searches which may be decided throughout Ile de France (greater Paris). The state of emergency will be proclaimed throughout the territory (of France).
The second decision I have made is to close the borders. We must ensure that no one enters to commit any crimes and that those who have committed the crimes that we have unfortunately seen can also be arrested if they should leave the territory.
This is a terrible ordeal which once again assails us.
We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are.
In these difficult moments, we must - and I'm thinking of the many victims, their families and the injured - show compassion and solidarity. But we must also show unity and calm.
Faced with terror, France must be strong, it must be great and the state authorities must be firm. We will be.
We must also call on everyone to be responsible.
What the terrorists want is to scare us and fill us with dread. There is indeed reason to be afraid. There is dread, but in the face of this dread, there is a nation that knows how to defend itself, that knows how to mobilize its forces and, once again, will defeat the terrorists.
French citizens, we have not completed the operations. There are still some that are extremely difficult. It's at this moment that the security forces are staging an assault, especially in a place in Paris.
I ask you to keep all your trust in what we can do with the security forces to protect our nation from terrorist acts.
Long live the Republic and long live France."
(Reporting by Tom Heneghan; editing by Ralph Boulton)
Obama On Widening ISIS Threat: 'We Have Contained Them' - Investors.com
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 06:40
President Barack Obama is reflected in the sun glasses of a man in Saudi Arabia, 2009. View Enlarged Image
Jihad: Amid fresh terror strikes in Paris and Beirut, and the FBI arrest of an Ohio Islamic State operative who sought to kill U.S. soldiers and American shoppers and students, President Obama downplays the IS threat.
'ISIS is gaining strength, aren't they?" ABC's Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos asked the president Friday, citing this month's suicide bombings in Beirut and the bombing of a Russian commercial jetliner by the Islamic State, which killed 40 and 244, respectively.
"I don't think they're gaining strength," Obama asserted. "We have contained them."
This may go down as one of the most irresponsible statements uttered by this president. For nothing could be further from the truth.
Just hours after his remarks, Muslim terrorists carried out simultaneous attacks on at least three targets in the heart of Paris, where in February an IS foot soldier shot up a Jewish deli and took hostages.
Dozens have been killed, say new reports. Terror experts suspect that this latest round of attacks is the handiwork of the IS caliphate, which, contrary to Obama's fantasies, is projecting its power farther and farther from its base in Iraq and Syria.
In fact, it is now an existential threat to the American homeland. Within days of the IS-inspired stabbing of four on a California college campus, the FBI Thursday arrested an IS agent in Akron, Ohio, who solicited the murder of more than 100 U.S. service members.
Black Muslim convert Terrence J. McNeil, 25, allegedly distributed their names and addresses to IS websites along with the IS command: "Kill them in their own lands, behead them in their own homes, stab them to death as they walk their streets thinking that they are safe."
The federal complaint says that McNeil, who pressured the hospital he worked for to let him wear his beard out of respect for his religion, last year posted an Internet message: "I can't wait for another 9/11, Boston bombing or Sandy Hook."
In another, he said, "I'm an African-American and native American so this country has made my people suffer (for) years . ... I would gladly take part in an attack on this murderous regime and the people."
Added McNeil: "I'll be proud when I sled(sic) American blood," later suggesting the bombing of "a church, school or mall."
The case is just one of 900 active investigations of IS operatives inside the U.S., as FBI Director James Comey revealed earlier this month.
The Paris attackers hit the city's young, progressive core | Fusion
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 06:32
Tonight, the golden triangle of Parisian youth culture is covered in blood.
We do not yet know the full extent of the terrorist attacks in Paris that started Friday night, or even how many attacks there were. But we do know that the coordination and the scale of the attacks is unprecedented, at least for Paris. The latest victim count is north of 120 dead, according to Paris's prosecutor, and dozens more wounded.
The attacks were concentrated in the center of Paris, on the Right Bank. These are places and streets that burst with life on a Friday evening. It is where young and hip Parisians gather to drink and socialize. Le Carillon, La Belle Equipe, Le Petit Cambodge: these are ordinary neighborhood joints where you meet your buddies for a quick ''demi'' of watery French beer or a snack before going out somewhere else.
I know these places well. This is where I meet up with my old friends whenever I go to Paris. In the early 90s, I saw Prince playing an aftershow at the Bataclan'--now a venue which will forever be associated with tragedy and death. This is not the side of Paris seen by tourists or business travelers; rather, it's an area where actual Parisians and people from the banlieues hang out and mix together. They might have gentrified, yet these neighborhoods have retained their proletarian and ethnically-mixed flavor. That whiff of authenticity is part of the neighborhood's attraction for Parisian Bobos, as they call themselves. The banlieues are the cities and housing projects surrounding Paris, where most of the French youth of immigrant descent live (contrary to popular imagination, the banlieues are far from desolate ghettos, ''no-go zones'' or breeding grounds for jihadists: they are difficult yet vibrant and dynamic places).
This is the land of hipster socialists. These neighborhoods recently elected a female socialist mayor, as well as a slew of Green Party candidates, even as the rest of the country voted for the more conservative and anti-immigration parties on the Right.
The attackers, whomever they may be and whatever their motives, went after the heart of progressive Paris. They did not attack the more touristy Champs-Elys(C)es or Notre Dame, or the more bourgeois and conservative left bank, where most of the government ministries are located.
That message is reinforced by the site of the other attack, the Stade de France. That particular stadium is one of the few places where the promise of a more integrated France is realized, if only intermittently. The French soccer team, known as ''Les Bleus,'' is the paragon of the 'black-blanc-beur' ideal (black, white, arab). The national team is republican meritocracy in action, and it works. The Stade de France is where a French team led by the Algerian-Frenchman Zinedine Zidane won the greatest trophy in sports, the FIFA World Cup, in 1998.
Tonight's attacks show the same uncanny sense of symbolism as the January massacres. They targeted neighborhoods where people are more inclined to be tolerant, liberal and progressive. And they targeted the greatest monument to France's multi-ethnic, pluralistic success: the hallowed ground of the Stade de France.
These attacks will almost certainly strengthen the hand of hard-line conservatives, from anti-Islam popular intellectuals like Eric Zemmour and Michel Houellebecq to right wing extremists like Marine Le Pen. There are important regional elections coming up next month, and these attacks could seal the National Front's victory in several regional governments.
Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris and the granddaughter of Spanish Republican immigrants, called for unity in a tweet.
I doubt that she will be heard.
YouTube's Music App Could Rule All Streaming Services | WIRED
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 05:36
Streaming music is an incredibly crowded field. There's Apple Music, Spotify, and Pandora. There's Rdio, Rhapsody, and Deezer. Amazon throws in a music streaming service when you sign up for Prime. But you know who's really killing it with music, a company almost so obvious you wouldn't even know it? YouTube.
Think about it. While Taylor Swift once readily pulled her music off of platforms like Spotify and Apple Music (at least, until Apple agreed to pay), she never made the same move on YouTube. It's the same for other artists, who often put up exclusive music content on the video service as a way to reach 1 billion-plus users at once. Compare that to Spotify's 75 million users or Apple Music's 15 million.
'Put every other service in the world in a bathtub, and you won't begin to fill the bottom with respect to the size of YouTube's on-demand streaming service.' Larry Miller, NYU professor of music business
Plus, YouTube's audience is unique. They love to engage. They watch, like, and share. They make remixes, covers, lyrics clips, and response videos. And they do this for everything that's already part of the YouTube collection, including official music videos, fan videos, and concert footage.
Now, YouTube is taking this massive corpus, mixing in some neat new features, and opening it up to everyone as a standalone app with a clear focus on just the music. Today, the company is launching its first official standalone music app called, well, YouTube Music. ''It's all about high-reward, low-effort experiences,'' T.Jay Fowler, head of music products at YouTube, tells WIRED.
The FeaturesFrom day one, YouTube Music app is launching on iOS and Android in the US. As Sowmya Subramanian, an engineering director at YouTube explains, it's the culmination of everything YouTube learned from launching Music Key, its beta music subscription service, last year. (That service had only ever been available to heavy music listeners identified by YouTube.)
In YouTube Music, everything is personalized. You start with a home screen, which has three elements: ''My station'' plus two genre stations'--say, country and pop'--that come up based on your listening patterns. Choose your personalized station, and that sends you off on what Fowler calls ''an endless discovery journey.'' The station is based on stuff you like, and what YouTube's algorithm thinks you will like, based on how you're browsing.
''It represents the entirety of your musical tastes,'' Fowler says. You can dig deeper into the settings to tweak something called ''variety.'' Choose ''less variety'' to play more songs you've liked directly; ''balanced'' to get a mix of algorithmic and manual preferences; and ''more variety'' to let the machine go wild.
Once you've got a song playing, you're taken into a view with two tabs: Playing Now, and Explore. Flip over to Explore, and YouTube's algorithmic smarts stare you right in the face. The app combs through the huge pile of music in the entire YouTube collection and surfaces all related content, whether that's a fan video of the song you're currently listening to, a live concert, a lyrics video, remix, or cover by another artist'--all labeled. Fowler says the app can do this by leveraging YouTube's smart Content ID system'--an automated system originally for identifying pirated copies on the site. It also has a ''Melody ID'' algorithm for songs, Fowler says.
For those hoping to keep up with music trends, YouTube Music includes a tab called Trending. The app serves up categories like ''The Daily 40,'' or ''On the Rise,'' culled from the larger YouTube community.
YouTube Red subscribers enjoy added bonuses. A clever toggle in the upper right corner lets users tell the app they're not interested in watching video, and the frame instantly freezes on the screen, signaling an audio-only experience. That's a godsend, Fowler says YouTube beta users told the team, because it lets you use YouTube in the car or while you're out for a run, guilt-free'--since you're not burning all that video data. (Other benefits of a Red subscriber on YouTube Music include background play, ad-free watching and listening, and the ability to take your music offline.)
But my favorite feature of all is something called the offline mixtape. You determine how much of your phone's data you're willing to spare for songs, pick the audio quality, and let the app make you a playlist. It's a lot like Spotify's excellent Discover feature, except it's refreshed daily, not weekly. The offline mixtape is another exclusive for YouTube Red subscribers.
The Future of MusicOkay, so how big a deal is YouTube Music? It's already enormous, says Larry Miller, professor of music business at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. ''YouTube is already the world's largest on-demand streaming service by far,'' Miller says. ''In other words, put every other service in the world in a bathtub, and you won't begin to fill the bottom with respect to the size of YouTube's on-demand streaming service.'' Conveniently, all the licenses'--from record companies, music publishers, and even smaller, independent labels'--are already in place on YouTube.
YouTube, for its part, says it wants to help the artist community, pointing out that any artist'--at any stage in their music career'--can upload a music video to YouTube and get exposure to a billion plus viewers. This app offers artists yet another avenue for making money'--whether a cut from ads or subscription fees. And YouTube's work on Music is hardly over.
''What we're hearing from our partners and from the industry is that they're very excited there's a new experience coming to the market,'' Fowler says. ''This is our first product, but you're going to see a lot more soon.''
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Mobile Web - News - Mountain View: Google self-driving car pulled over for 'driving too slowly'
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 05:34
MOUNTAIN VIEW -- When one of Google's self-driving vehicles is pulled over, who gets the ticket? The passenger or the car?
The question was asked across the Internet on Thursday, after a police officer stopped one of the gumball-machine-shaped vehicles around noon on El Camino Real.
In a blog post, the Mountain View Police Department said the officer noticed traffic backing up behind a slow-moving car in the eastbound No. 3 lane, near Rengstorff Avenue.
The vehicle was traveling at 24 mph in a 35 mph zone.
"As the officer approached the slow-moving car he realized it was a Google Autonomous Vehicle," the post said.
Zandr Milewski photo A Mountain View police officer pulled over one of Google's self-driving cars on El Camino Real, near Rengstorff Avenue, on Thursday. The vehicle attracted the officer's attention because it was backing up traffic. No ticket, however, was issued. (Zandr Milewski)
"The officer stopped the car," the post continued, "and made contact with the operators to learn more about how the car was choosing speeds along certain roadways and to educate the operators about impeding traffic."
The vehicle didn't stop itself; a passenger took control and pulled over for the officer, according to police.
In a Google Plus post, the Google Self-Driving Car Project appeared to appreciate the humor of the situation.
"Driving too slowly?" the post asked. "Bet humans don't get pulled over for that too often."
"We've capped the speed of our prototype vehicles at 25 mph for safety reasons," the post explained. "We want them to feel friendly and approachable, rather than zooming scarily through neighborhood streets."
As it turns out, the cars are considered "neighborhood electric vehicles" under the California Vehicle Code, and can be operated on roadways with speed limits at or under 35 mph, according to the police department's blog post.
"In this case," the post continued, "it was lawful for the car to be traveling on the street, as El Camino Real is rated at 35 mph."
So, no ticket, and the question of who would get it remains unanswered.
"Like this officer, people sometimes flag us down when they want to know more about our project," the Google Self-Driving Car Project said in its post. "After 1.2 million miles of autonomous driving (that's the human equivalent of 90 years of driving experience), we're proud to say we've never been ticketed!"
Zandr Milewski photographed the car stop from an office building at 5150 El Camino Real in Los Altos. He was working on a project in a conference room when a colleague wandered in with news of what was transpiring outside.
"We all immediately dropped what we were doing to go look," Milewski said. "It's not something you see every day."
Email Jason Green at jgreen@dailynewsgroup.com or call him at 650-391-1337; follow him at twitter.com/jgreendailynews.
Prince: 'I was right about the internet '' tell me a musician who's got rich off it' | Music | The Guardian
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 05:27
In 1985, Prince released a single called Paisley Park, the first to be taken from his psychedelic opus, Around the World In a Day. It's one of several Prince songs that describe a location that's a kind of mystical utopia.
Related:Prince declares war on touts as his ticket sales are postponed
Paisley Park, the lyrics aver, is filled with laughing children on see-saws and ''colourful people'' with expressions that ''speak of profound inner peace'', whatever they look like. ''Love is the colour this place imparts,'' it continues. ''There aren't any rules in Paisley Park.''
It's all a bit difficult to square with Paisley Park, the vast studio complex Prince built a couple of years later. It sits behind a chainlink fence in the nondescript Minnesota suburb of Chanhassen, and there's no getting around the fact that, from the outside at least, it looks less like a mystical utopia, more like a branch of Ikea.
Inside, however, it looks almost exactly like you'd imagine a huge recording complex owned by Prince would look. There is a lot of purple. The symbol that represented Prince's name for most of the 90s is everywhere: hanging from the ceiling, painted on speakers and the studio's mixing desks, illuminating one room in the form of a neon sign.
There is something called the Galaxy Room, apparently intended for meditation: it is illuminated entirely by ultraviolet lights and has paintings of planets on the walls. There are murals depicting the studio's owner, never a man exactly crippled by modesty.
Prince, performing in 1985, in his superstardom heyday. Photograph: Michael Ochs ArchivesAnd there are two full-sized live-music venues: a vast, hangar-like space that also features a food concession '' form an orderly queue for Funky House Party In Your Mouth Cheesecake ($4) '' and a smaller room decked out to look like a nightclub. I am currently on the stage of the latter, along with four other representatives of the European press.
We are literally sitting at Prince's feet: feet, it's perhaps worth noting, that are wearing a pair of flip-flops with huge platform soles teamed with socks. The socks and flip-flops are white, as is the rest of his outfit: skinny flared trousers, a T-shirt with long sleeves, also flared. As skinny as a teenager, sporting an afro and almost unnecessarily handsome at 57 years old, Prince looks flatly amazing, exuding ineffable cool and panache while wearing clothes that would make anyone else look like a ninny is just one among his panoply of talents.
We are seated at his feet because we are supposed to be asking Prince questions: we've been summoned to Paisley Park at short notice, apparently because Prince ''had a brainstorm in the middle of the night, two nights ago'' and decided this was the best way to announce a forthcoming European tour.
First, there was a tour of the studio accompanied by Trevor Guy, who works for Prince's record label NPG: he's friendly, effusive about his boss's talents and a little evasive when someone asks him whereabouts in Minneapolis Prince actually lives. (''He doesn't live here. I don't know where he lives.'')
Then we were told we were getting a treat, which turned out to be listening to some cover versions Prince's current protege, Andy Allo, recorded with the man himself on guitar. While we're listening to Andy Allo sing Roxy Music's More Than This, Prince suddenly appears on the stage and beckons us over.
The Paisley Park complex. Photograph: Tim Roney/Getty ImagesPaisley Park looks less like a mystical utopia, more like a branch of Ikea
The dates haven't actually been confirmed yet, but the concept has: he's going to perform solo, playing the piano, in a succession of theatres. ''Well, I'm not one to get bad reviews,'' he deadpans.
''So I'm doing it to challenge myself, like tying one hand behind my back, not relying on the craft that I've known for 30 years. I won't know what songs I'm going to do when I go on stage, I really won't. I won't have to, because I won't have a band. Tempo, keys, all those things can dictate what song I'm going to play next, you know, as opposed to, 'Oh, I've got to do my hit single now, I've got to play this album all the way through,' or whatever. There's so much material, it's hard to choose. It's hard. So that's what I'd like to do.''
Prince, it has to be said, is proving the very model of softly spoken charm. He's also wryly funny on topics ranging from his songwriting (''I have to do it to clear my head, it's like '... shaking an Etch a Sketch'') to the activist Rachael Dolezal, or as he puts it, ''that lady who said she was black even though she was white'', to his famous 2010 pronouncement that ''the internet is completely over''.
''What I meant was that the internet was over for anyone who wants to get paid, and I was right about that,'' he says. ''Tell me a musician who's got rich off digital sales. Apple's doing pretty good though, right?''
It's all a far cry from the days when he refused to talk to the press, disparaged them in song '' ''Take a bath, hippies!'' he snapped in 1982's All The Critics Love U In New York '' or dismissed them ''mamma-jammas wearing glasses and an alligator shirt behind a typewriter''.
''Oh, I love critics,'' he smiles. ''Because they love me. It's not a joke. They care. See, everybody knows when somebody's lazy, and now, with the internet, it's impossible for a writer to be lazy because everybody will pick up on it. In the past, they said some stuff that was out of line, so I just didn't have anything to do with them. Now it gets embarrassing to say something untrue, because you put it online and everyone knows about it, so it's better to tell the truth.''
At the Brit awards in 2014. Photograph: David Fisher/RexNevertheless, it's turning out to be harder to ask questions than you might think. Prince is seated at a microphone behind a keyboard, which he keeps playing. This is quite disconcerting: if he doesn't like a question, he strikes up with the theme from The Twilight Zone and shakes his head. At one point, he presses a button on the keyboard and the intro to his legendary 1988 hit Sign o' the Times booms out of the PA.
He looks at me. ''You wanna do this?'' he says. I look back at him aghast: there are doubtless things I want to do less than sing Prince's legendary 1988 hit Sign o' the Times in front of Prince, but at this exact moment I'm struggling to think of any. For one thing, Prince is, by common consent, the one bona-fide, no-further-questions musical genius that 80s pop produced; a man who can play pretty much any instrument he choses, possessed of a remarkable voice that can still leap effortlessly from baritone to falsetto.
I, on the other hand, am a deeply unfunky Englishman with no discernible musical ability: the sound of my singing voice can ruin your day. For another, I'm a journalist, and thus aware that among Prince's panoply of talents lies a nonpareil ability to screw with journalists. Rumours abound of him demanding hacks dance in front of him. Only if their gyrations are deemed sufficiently funky do they get face time.
A recent visitor to Paisley Park found himself standing in the studio having a telephone conversation with Prince, who, it later transpired, was standing in the next room all along. The novelist Matt Thorne, author of a 500-page book that stands as the definitive work on Prince's oeuvre, tells a story of pursuing him for an interview, and being invited to attend a gig in New York.
Midway through a guitar solo, Prince spotted Thorne in the audience, walked over, whispered: ''How about that interview?'' then ran off, still soloing: Thorne never heard from him again. So I shake my head and say no: for a mercy, Prince shrugs and turns the music off and we plough on, albeit a little awkwardly.
Without wishing to bore you with the mechanics of interview technique, it's hard to get a conversational beat going '' or indeed to chase up answers that seem evasive or tangential to the actual question '' when there are four other people there, eager to have their say, among them a man who appears to have travelled from France with the specific intention of not asking any questions, but simply impressing on Prince how many times he's seen him live, and an Italian journalist keen to know how the artist's latterday religious beliefs affected what he insists on referring to as his ''Sex Issues''.
The latter is actually a fair question: few artists in history have had musical Sex Issues on quite the scale that Prince did. Incest (Sister), references to rape (Lust U Always), a queasy description of his first sexual partner's vagina (Schoolyard): before becoming a Jehovah's Witness, Prince once considered this all fair game in his concerted effort to shock.
It would be intriguing to know where he draws the line now '' among the covers he and Andy Allo recorded was an old song of his, I Love U in Me, which is hardly Sunday school fare, while a journalist invited to Paisley Park to hear his recent album Plectrumelectrum was startled to see Prince run from the room when a particularly spicy lyric he'd ''forgotten about'' blared from the speakers '' but his answer is a little vague. ''It just makes me think more in terms of detail.
Could I say things better, more succinctly, more truly? And wider, for example, if you want kids to come to your concerts. Now I've got older fans, they have families, so they want to bring their kids, so I think it's a pretty good move to take some of those songs out, so you can get a bigger audience, to experience the same thing.''
If he doesn't like a question, he strikes up with the theme from The Twilight Zone and shakes his head
No, he says, he never considered just changing the lyrics of a beloved but filthy old song like Head or Darling Nikki so that he could still perform it. ''You want to hear it? It's on an album. I write so many songs that I don't even think about those songs any more. I don't get attached to it. Because if I did, I couldn't move on and there'd be no space for a new song like Stare. That's what you want to listen to.''
The subject that really gets him going is his famous bete noir, the music industry. He's dallied with a number of record labels since his legendary 90s dispute with Warner Brothers, but he's still given to describing record business contracts as ''slavery'', protesting that the industry gives black artists a rough deal '' ''I think history speaks for itself. You know, U2 don't have a problem with their label. They love their record label'' '' and advising new artists not to sign anything.
''Larry King asked me once, didn't you need a record company to make it [in the music business]? But that has nothing to do with it. I was well known starting out, we had a great band and every time we played, we got better. We also had studio work, so the more we recorded the better we got. This is what you've got to do, and if you've got great folk around you and a good teacher, you're going to excel at it.
''You don't need a record company to turn you into anything. It wasn't like they were directing our flow whatsoever, you know. I had autonomous control from the very beginning to make my album.''
He says there's no danger in modern music: ''When was the last time you were scared by anyone? In the 70s, there was scary stuff then.'' He suggests that the blame for any malaise lies not merely with the record companies '' ''accountants and lawyers stepped in while producers were in the studio, they started looking for things that they thought would work, so dozens of rock bands come out every week and you can't even name them'' '' but also a lack of jazz-fusion bands. The latter, you have to say, seems a fairly unique interpretation of the situation.
''Well, I don't think people learn technique any more. There are no great jazz-fusion bands. I grew up seeing Weather Report, and I don't see anything remotely like that now. There's nothing to copy from, because you can't go and see a band like Weather Report. Al di Meola, the guitar player, he'd just stand in the centre of the stage, soloing, until everyone gives him a standing ovation. Those were the memories that I grew up with and that made me want to play.''
With the New Power Generation in 1991. Photograph: Rex/ShutterstockHe's keen to emphasise that it's an urge that's never left him. Last night, he says, he sat here alone, after everyone else had gone home, and played and sang for three hours straight. ''I just couldn't stop,'' he says. He'd got ''in the zone '... like an out-of-body experience'': it felt like he was sitting in the audience watching himself. ''That's what you want. Transcendence. When that happens'' '' he shakes his head '' ''Oh, boy.''
Still, it seems an oddly lonely image: sitting in an empty building in the middle of nowhere in the small hours. It makes me think of a heartbreaking interview he gave to Rolling Stone in the mid-80s, when he was clearly struggling to come to terms with the isolating effects of global superstardom.
He invited the writer back to his house and confided that his then-girlfriend had offered to show up while the journalist was there ''to make it seem like you have friends come by'', but Prince had declined because ''that would be lying''. I ask if there's anything he still misses from the years before he became one of the biggest stars in the world.
''No,'' he says firmly. ''These days, I can get more done. I'm far more respected than I was before, when I say something with regard to changes in the music industry.'' And then he changes the subject to Jay-Z's streaming service Tidal, with which Prince has recently signed, and draws the interview to a close: ''Are we good?''
Related:Nothing compares to Princestagram: has the purple one finally made peace with the internet?
Later that night, he's back on the stage again, playing one of the regular secret Paisley Park shows that locals pay $40 to attend, unaware of whether Prince will actually perform or not. I sit next to a mother and daughter who have turned up on three occasions: the only previous glimpse they got of Prince was spotting him riding a bicycle around the car park, which I suppose is a sight worth seeing in itself.
When he sits back at the piano and plays Raspberry Beret and Starfish and Coffee and Girls and Boys, they're beside themselves, and understandably so: he sounds magnificent. He plays covers of songs by of the Staples Singers and Chaka Khan, and a couple of funk jams with his band.
Then he invites the audience to come to the cinema and watch the new James Bond film with him, and vanishes before anyone can try take him up on the offer: presumably he's gone home, wherever that is.
24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth: The World Is Watching | Climate Reality | Climate Reality
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 04:27
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Officile Ubisoft-website - Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 04:24
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is de nieuwste game in de gerenommeerde shooterserie van de populaire studio Ubisoft Montreal voor Xbox One, Playstation 4 en pc.
Tom Clancy's Rainbox Six Siege is gebaseerd op terroristenbestrijding wereldwijd en daagt je uit om alles om je heen te vernietigen. Vecht in krappe ruimtes, dood je vijanden, speel samen en geniet van de explosieve actie. De multiplayer van Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is de nieuwe standaard voor intense vuurgevechten en strategie, en treedt in de voetsporen van eerdere Rainbow Six-games.
Urban Dictionary: live action
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 04:22
Used to indentify an acted interpretation of an activity usually portrayed through animation. This phrase grew out of the trend of using adult anime (or hentai) to show types of pornography too physically challenging or obscene to show using normal pornography (for example pornography involving tentacles, popularised in "La Blue Girl"). "live action" attempts to recreate these activities with real actors and actresses.This site had live action La Blue Girl, it was totally disgusting.
A term used in Hawaii with several different meanings, all of which denote that the speaker is either retarded or extremely uneducated.1. A phrase used by lower life-forms to describe something that excites them, usually when viewing something their brains struggle to comprehend.2. A phrase meaning "I am on welfare", usually used at random, surprising those who hear it.
Guy 1: "Man, those fireworks are intense!"Guy 2: "LIVE ACTION BRAH! LIVE ACTION!"Guy 1: "Studying for this test is killing me bro."Guy 2: "No worries, LIVE ACTION BRAH!"
Live-action - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 04:21
Live-action | Definition of live-action by Merriam-WebsterHTTP/1.1 200 OK Content-Encoding: gzip Accept-Ranges: bytes Age: 0 Cache-Control: no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0 Content-Type: text/html Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2015 04:21:57 GMT Expires: Thu, 19 Nov 1981 08:52:00 GMT Pragma: no-cache Server: Apache Set-Cookie: PHPSESSID=tmlv218usvqb83hagjn44abos7; path=/ Set-Cookie: pview=2; expires=Sat, 14-Nov-2015 04:31:57 GMT; path=/ Set-Cookie: ptime=1447475517; expires=Sat, 14-Nov-2015 04:31:57 GMT; path=/ Vary: Accept-Encoding Via: 1.1 varnish X-Powered-By: PHP/5.3.10-1ubuntu3.20 X-Varnish: 408468594 Content-Length: 8264
Dictionary
:‚ of, relating to, or featuring cinematography that is not produced by animation
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CYBER MAESTROS-Hillary Clinton ASTROTURFING Twitter | The Daily Caller
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 04:03
The Daily Caller signed up, and will now receive ''internet goodies that you can pass along so you can help get the message out for Hillary!''
''Thanks for signing up!'' the Clinton campaign immediately responded.
Then, the run-on sentence:
''We're excited to have you on board to spread the word for Hillary online '-- be on the lookout for your first email from our team!''
Another auto-generated email then offered the opportunity to ''sign up to join the in-depth training just for grassroots tweeters on Saturday.''
The link in this second email delivers clickers to Maestro Conference, a social conferencing website called. Maestro is orchestrating a big conference call with the title '''Hillary for America '' Pre-Debate Social Media Training.''
The conference call will occur on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time '-- just hours before the CBS News Democratic presidential debate .
The phone number to call if you want to learn all about Hillary Clinton's astroturfing strategy firsthand is: (916) 469-4760.
TheDC's pin number is: 513879.
''We recommend a landline,'' Maestro Conference advises.
The Clinton campaign promises that ''you'll enjoy'' the training more if you are sitting in front of a computer and ''you can see the presentation our staff will give.''
The CBS News Democratic presidential debate is slated for 9 p.m. Eastern time in Des Moines, Iowa.
Follow Eric on Twitter. Like Eric on Facebook. Send story tips to [email protected].
The Daily Caller signed up, and will now receive ''internet goodies that you can pass along so you can help get the message out for Hillary!''
''Thanks for signing up!'' the Clinton campaign immediately responded.
Then, the run-on sentence:
''We're excited to have you on board to spread the word for Hillary online '-- be on the lookout for your first email from our team!''
Another auto-generated email then offered the opportunity to ''sign up to join the in-depth training just for grassroots tweeters on Saturday.''
The link in this second email delivers clickers to Maestro Conference, a social conferencing website called. Maestro is orchestrating a big conference call with the title '''Hillary for America '' Pre-Debate Social Media Training.''
The conference call will occur on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time '-- just hours before the CBS News Democratic presidential debate .
The phone number to call if you want to learn all about Hillary Clinton's astroturfing strategy firsthand is: (916) 469-4760.
TheDC's pin number is: 513879.
''We recommend a landline,'' Maestro Conference advises.
The Clinton campaign promises that ''you'll enjoy'' the training more if you are sitting in front of a computer and ''you can see the presentation our staff will give.''
The CBS News Democratic presidential debate is slated for 9 p.m. Eastern time in Des Moines, Iowa.
Follow Eric on Twitter. Like Eric on Facebook. Send story tips to [email protected].
EU flag burned as tens of thousands join Warsaw nationalist demo - Telegraph
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 03:54
"God, honour, homeland," chanted the protesters as they marched under a sea of red-and-white Polish flags.
Demonstrators trampled and burned a European Union flag at one point, while a banner added to the anti-EU theme with the slogan "EU macht frei" ("Work makes you free" in German), a reference to the slogan over the gates at Auschwitz.
"Yesterday it was Moscow, today it's Brussels which takes away our freedom," chanted one group of protesters.
Other banners read "Great Catholic Poland" and "Stop Islamisation".
Several thousand riot police officers were deployed for the protest, which was punctuated by numerous firecrackers and smoke bombs but otherwise went off peacefully.
The annual march, organised by Poland's nationalist right, has seen clashes in previous years.
"I came here because I love Poland and want to show it," said 27-year-old Piotr, who came with his fiancee. He added: "I came here for my grandfather, who fought in the Warsaw Uprising (against the Nazi occupation of the Polish capital), and for his father, who fought for independence".
Poland is returning to conservative rule after eight years of centrist government, following the Law and Justice (PiS) party's landslide election victory last month on a platform playing strongly on fears over the European migrant crisis.
The Buffet Backlash: Anger Builds At "Hypocrite" Billionaire Hiding Behind "Folksy" Facade | Zero Hedge
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 03:51
Two days ago in ''Billionaire Bitch Fight: Ackman Slams Munger, Buffett For Profiting Off Fat Americans'' we highlighted an absurd back-and-forth exchange between Bill Ackman and Buffett's incorrigible right-hand man Charlie Munger who called Valeant's business strategy ''deeply immoral.''
That jab struck a nerve with Ackman who at certain times over the past 45 or so days has suffered dramatic paper losses in a matter of seconds on his Valeant stake as the stock plunged, and so, the Pershing Square chief fired back, accusing Munger and Buffett of essentially promoting childhood obesity and profiting from fat Americans' addiction to ''sugar water.''
As we noted on Wednesday, Ackman isn't the first person to implicitly (or explicitly for that matter), call Buffett a hypocrite. Indeed, we've been keen to note just how convenient it is that the Obama administration has come out against the Keystone Pipeline on environment grounds while the administration's friend Uncle Warren corners the railroad market. Of course the environment argument kind of goes out the window when Buffett-owned BNSF derailments seem to be a dime a dozen these days.
Perhaps the most poignant critique came earlier this year when Dan Loeb, speaking at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference in May, said the following about Omaha's favorite octogenarian:
''I love reading Warren Buffett's letters and I love contrasting his words with his actions. He's a very wise guy.''
''I love how he criticizes hedge funds, yet he had the first hedge fund. He criticizes activists, he was the first activist. He criticizes financial services companies, yet he loves to invest in them. He thinks that we should all pay taxes, yet he avoids them himself.''
Now, Ackman's spat with Munger seems to have prompted WSJ to take a look at Buffett's folksy hypocrisy. Here's more:
Behind the latest barbs is a paradoxical view of Mr. Buffett on Wall Street, where many people admire his investing record and envy his immense wealth'--Mr. Ackman is a self-confessed fan who made his comments at a New York symposium to commemorate Berkshire. Yet many of the same people also say Mr. Buffett hides behind the image of a folksy, benevolent businessman while he pursues the same profit-maximizing deals that are the target of some of his attacks.
There is even an adage in the investing community: ''Do as Warren Buffett does, not as he says.''
He routinely speaks out against the fees charged by hedge funds and investment banks, the tactics of activist shareholders, the danger of derivatives and the heavy use of debt by private-equity firms. He has needled Wall Street in 17 of his last 25 letters.
Mr. Buffett also readily dispenses his views on politics, business, finance and other matters that have little to do with Berkshire directly.
Take taxes. Critics often accuse Mr. Buffett, a Democrat, of advocating higher taxes while pursuing tax-saving moves at Berkshire. Over the years he has taken public stances that inflamed Republicans, including urging Congress not to repeal estate and gift taxes and opposing tax cuts on dividends. In 2011, he wrote an op-ed article in the New York
Timesarguing for higher taxes on the wealthy and pointing out that his office staff paid a higher tax rate than he did.
Even as Mr. Buffett has supported tax increases, Berkshire has been a savvy navigator of tax rules. As of the end of 2014, the company had been able to defer $61.9 billion in cumulative corporate taxes by taking advantage of credits and other incentives'--money that Berkshire invests and compounds until the taxes come due.
Another tax-related criticism of Mr. Buffett emerged last year when Berkshire participated in a deal to merge Burger King with a Canadian company. Critics said Mr. Buffett was supporting an ''inversion'' deal that could eventually reduce U.S. tax revenue. Burger King executives have said the deal was driven by global ambitions rather than by tax savings.
And then there's the Heinz deal. Recall that back in August, we said ''thanks uncle Warren'' on the heels of reports which indicated it was time for Kraft employees to do their part to facilitate merger "synergies'' in the wake of the Kraft-Heinz tie-up engineered earlier this year by Beuffett along with 3G.
In short, Kraft Heinz said it would lay off 700 workers at Kraft's corporate headquarters in north suburban Northfield, part of a cost-cutting plan that would slash the combined entity's headcount in the U.S. and Canada by 2,500 jobs.
Earlier this month we got more of the same with CNBC reporting that Kraft Heinz will close seven plants and lay off 2,600 employees.
Back to WSJ:
Perhaps the best example of Mr. Buffett's complex reasoning is his move in 2013 to team up Berkshire with Brazilian buyout firm 3G Capital for several joint acquisitions. 3G pushes for drastic change at the companies it buys, stripping costs, cutting jobs and installing new management. The partnership riled many shareholders of Berkshire, where subsidiaries operate with little interference and layoffs and management turnover are rare.
As one Florida hedge fund manager told The Journal: ''He has always been about: 'How can I compound money at the fastest after-tax rate in a sustainable way?'''
And to a certain extent that's Buffett's right as a successful capitalist, but when you publicly deride others for doing in some instances not only the very same things you do, but the very same things you do better than anyone else, well that's a whole different story.
More importantly, when you are able to move deftly between the public and private sectors while influencing policymakers' decisions along the way, it's important you don't appear to be profiting from those policy decisions - especially in a way that seems to undercut the reasoning the government employed when explaining those decisions to the public.
And that looks like exaclty what's going on with the Keystone Pipeline and Buffett's railroads.
There have been three BNSF oil train derailments in the past 8 months, but at least the environment is safe because Obama finally pulled the plug on the "dangerous" Keystone XL pipeline...
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Feds can't tweet that: New rules limit political posts for gov't workers '-- RT USA
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 03:48
The rules barring federal employees from engaging in political activities at work have received a 21st-century facelift for the 2016 election cycle. The new regulations cover how government workers can '' and can't '' get political on social media.
''Social media and email '-- and the ease of accessing those accounts at work, either on computers or smartphones '-- have made it easier for federal employees to violate the Hatch Act. Yet there are many activities employees can do on social media and email that do not violate the law,'' the guide issued by the Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency in charge of enforcing that law, said.
The Hatch Act of 1939 specifically prohibits most executive branch employees ''from engaging in political activity while on duty or in the Federal workplace,'' including soliciting and receiving political contributions.
''We're in a world where social media is everywhere,'' Nick Schwellenbach, spokesman for the Office of Special Counsel, told the Washington Post. ''Everyone has a smart phone, and it's very easy not to know where the line is. We hope our guidance lets people know what their rights are and what to do.''
With political campaigns increasingly using social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to reach younger voters and engage with their supporters, the 76-year-old rules were a bit too analog for the digital world. But the new rules are anything but binary.
Government workers found out on Thursday that they can legally ''like'' candidates' posts on social media sites, but re-sharing them is a big no-no. They can post, ''like,'' ''share,'' ''tweet'' or ''retweet'' their own personal opinions on a partisan group or political candidate, for instance'... unless they are on duty or in a federal building, refer to their official title while doing so, or link to a political contribution page. Using an alias doesn't prevent the Hatch Act from applying to the posts, either, the Office of Special Counsel said in its five-page set of rules.
It only gets more complicated from there.
Federal employees can use pictures of themselves posing with political candidates or of campaign logos as their profile pic, but they have to set it as such when they're off duty. On top of that, they would no longer be allowed to use any social media at work '' even if they want to post something completely unrelated to politics '' ''because each such action would show their support for a partisan group or candidate in a partisan race.''
The same ban doesn't apply to Facebook cover or Twitter header photos, however. The Office of Special Counsel did not explain why these background-type photos are not considered improper political activities but profile pictures are.
A particular sub-set of executive branch '' mainly those working in intelligence or federal law enforcement '' face even more restrictions. Those employees are prohibited from any political activities. As such, ''they may not engage, via social media and email, in any political activity on behalf of a partisan group or candidate in a partisan race.'' They can, for the first time, like and comment on political posts when they are off-duty, however. Anything more than that '' such as posting, sharing or retweeting '' remains strictly verboten for that group of workers.
The rules also outline what is and is not appropriate for both personal and work emails, based on the Hatch Act.
The new guidance is more nuanced than it has been in the past, but is it too nuanced?
''You don't want this to be looking like the tax code,'' Lee Tien, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group, told the Washington Post. ''Isn't it better to have simple rules that employees can follow?''
While feds' friends and families may be happy to have fewer people posting about politics this election season, civil rights organizations aren't happy about the updated rules.
''It's a bizarre distinction,'' Lee Rowland, an American Civil Liberties Union senior staff attorney, told the Washington Post. ''They're slicing up the digital platform very finely and irrationally.''
The ACLU called the way the new rules are parsed an overreach of federal power, and Rowland points out that the government may have gotten it wrong, as a ''like'' appears to more easily signify endorsement of a candidate than a retweet, which can be more neutral. (Just think of all those Twitter profiles that say ''RTs '‰ endorsements.'')
''It's a massive and inappropriate restriction on employees,'' Rowland said.
The Hatch Act guide, which is presented as a series of frequently asked questions, was last updated in 2012.
Ash Carter mysteriously fires top military aide | New York Post
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 03:45
WASHINGTON '-- Defense Secretary Ash Carter suddenly fired his top military aide Thursday citing allegations of misconduct, and referred the matter to the department's inspector general.
Defense officials would not provide any details about why Army Lt. Gen. Ron Lewis was removed from his job. A senior defense official said Carter learned of the allegations Tuesday night and later informed the inspector general. Carter was surprised by the allegations and met with Lewis Thursday morning, said the official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.
''I expect the highest possible standards of conduct from the men and women in this department particularly from those serving in the most senior positions,'' said Carter in a statement released Thursday. ''There is no exception.''
The firing severs a long, close professional relationship between Lewis and Carter, and sent shock waves across the Pentagon. Lewis served as Carter's military aide earlier in his career, including when Carter was the deputy secretary of defense. And when Carter was tapped to become defense secretary earlier this year, he chose Lewis, then an Army one-star brigadier general, to move into the three-star aide job.
Lewis had been slated for promotion to major general '-- with two-stars '-- but was quickly confirmed by the Senate for another promotion on June 23, after he started in the new job.
In his statement Thursday, Carter said that the Army may take any appropriate action against Lewis once the investigation by the inspector general is finished. Efforts to reach Lewis for comment were unsuccessful.
Defense officials said they could not even broadly characterize the allegations or say whether they involve any criminal activities, because of privacy law. The defense official said Lewis was not arrested and no other investigating authorities are involved.
Kathie Scarrah, communications director for the Defense Department inspector general, said the office has received the referral from Carter and will conduct an investigation.
Lewis, who is from Chicago, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and later did three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a one-star he served as the head of the Army's public affairs office, until Carter asked him to become his senior aide.
Lewis has been reassigned and will be serving in the office of the vice chief of the Army while the investigation continues. The defense official said that Carter will select someone else soon to serve as his acting senior military assistant.
Climate denial or climate doubt - what's in a name? | PR Week
Fri, 13 Nov 2015 20:31
Added 3 hours ago ,
Environmental campaigners established the phrase "climate change denier" as a de facto description of anyone who disagreed with their policies, but AP has now scrapped the term from its style guide.
Australia's Lake Hume parched by drought. Image via Tim J Keegan / Flickr; used under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license. Cropped from originalClimate change denier is a very interesting and emotive term that has come under tremendous scrutiny in the past few months, culminating in September when The Associated Press dropped it from its style guide.
Whoever first came up with the phrase has seen it become part of the mainstream language used around climate change and environmental issues. It has become a weapon to throw at people and a shorthand term for anyone who opposes the environmental lobby.
I don't want to get into the specifics of the arguments on both sides of the debate because that is not the purpose of this piece '' suffice to say there is little scientific doubt about the impact of global warming and tremendous changes it is bringing around the globe.
But I do want to analyze the issue in the context of communications, branding, and reputation.
In September, noted global style guide guru AP changed its policy on the term "climate change deniers" '' in fact it dropped it, as well as "climate change skeptics."
The bureau now advises journalists to use terms such as "climate change doubters" or "those who reject mainstream climate science" to describe people who don't accept climate science or dispute the world is warming from man-made forces.
AP provides two reasons for making the change. First, it says true skeptics, who "debunk mysticism, ESP and other pseudoscience," complain non-scientists who reject mainstream climate science have usurped the phrase "skeptic." Second, those who reject climate science say the phrase denier has "the pejorative ring of Holocaust denier."
AP also seems to accept in its ruling on the issue that the reality of climate change is difficult to question: "Though some public officials and laymen and only a few climate scientists disagree, the world's scientific organizations say that the world's climate is changing because of the buildup of heat-trapping gases, especially carbon dioxide, from the burning of coal, oil and gas."
So how does this affect business and branding, and where are the lines drawn when it comes to which industries and clients agencies should work with?
Last month, The White House announced new commitments from companies across the US economy that are joining the American Business Act on Climate Pledge - 81 companies signed the pledge to demonstrate support for "action on climate change and the conclusion of a climate change agreement in Paris that takes a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future."
The White House statement noted that "Climate change is a global challenge that demands a global response, and President Obama is committed to leading the fight."
The companies involved include Johnson & Johnson, Nike, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Procter & Gamble, Apple, Cargill, American Express, and a number of energy companies, including Berkshire Hathaway Energy and PG&E, though notably not Chevron and Exxon.
Edelman is one high-profile PR firm that has come under significant fire in recent years for its policies on working with clients campaigners say are associated with views that reject mainstream climate science (actually, they call them "climate change deniers," but I'm trying to stick to the AP's new guidance.)
This culminated in September with the agency telling The Guardian it had decided to cut ties with groups that produce coal or work to counter climate-change action.
This was signposted last August, when CEO Richard Edelman wrote in his blog that he "recognizes the reality of climate change and accepts the science behind the claim" and that Edelman does "not accept clients that seek to deny climate change."
Edelman does still work with energy companies such as Shell, with which it has a longstanding relationship, and it positions its role with clients in the energy sector as being willing to engage and have a rational conversation, to listen to people, and engage those who are willing to participate in constructive debate.
As has been noted before in this blog, the role of the PR pro is to be an advocate, not a surrogate, and that needs to be born in mind when firms decide which clients to work with, underpinned by some strict underlying principles.
In the real world, there are few issues that are purely black or white, reality exists in shades of gray. Unfortunately, in this harsh world of 24-hour social media scrutiny and bombardment, very few debates play out like this.
People now tend to deal in poorly researched "absolutes" and instant opinions '' and the likes of Donald Trump are playing into that culture (look at this week's facile debate about Starbucks' cups for example.)
It is within this context that the modern PR pro must operate and navigate, often quickly and always effectively. And climate change is one of the most complex of those areas.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference takes place in Paris from November 30 '' you can be sure there will be much more debate about these issues and the thorny topic of climate change denial in the coming weeks.
Denmark Tells Bernie Sanders It's Had Enough Of His 'Socialist' Slurs - Investors.com
Fri, 13 Nov 2015 15:27
The Danes apparently have grown weary of Sen. Bernie Sanders insulting their country. Denmark is not a socialist nation, says its prime minister. It has a "market economy."
Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate who calls himself a socialist, has used Denmark as the example of the socialist utopia he wants to create in America. During the Democrats' first debate last month, he said "we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people."
While appearing in New Hampshire in September, Sanders said that he had "talked to a guy from Denmark" who told him that in Denmark, "it is very hard to become very, very rich, but it's pretty hard to be very, very poor."
"And that makes a lot of sense to me."
So because something makes sense to him, he has the right to force that system on people who don't want it? Isn't that what he's saying?
But we digress. This is about Danes being offending by Sanders using the word "socialist" to describe their form of government. And who can blame them, especially when the free world has had enough of national socialists and Soviet socialists and North Korean socialists and Cuban socialists?
While speaking at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the center-right Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said he was aware "that some people in the U.S. associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism."
"Therefore," he said, "I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy."
Rasmussen acknowledged that "the Nordic model is an expanded welfare state which provides a high level of security to its citizens," but he also noted that it is "a successful market economy with much freedom to pursue your dreams and live your life as you wish."
To that we'll add that Sweden, another of Sanders' inspirations, has for decades quietly moved away from its cradle-to-grave form of government welfare. And the Swedes are better off for having done so, just as the Danes will continue to be better off as their government overhauls its welfare state.
If Sanders is going to continue to use these nations to guide his governing philosophy, he should base his policy positions on what they really are, not what he thinks they are or wants them to be. These countries have learned a harsh lesson. They don't deserve to be Berned again.
Follow Kerry Jackson on Twitter @IBD_KJackson.
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VIDEO: CNN implicates refugees in Paris attacks | Ricochet
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 16:13
This comment is hidden due to its negative score. Show"Reactionary Islamic fundamentalist terrorism has struck again last night in a coordinated attack on different sites in Paris leaving over 128 dead...We condemn the murderous gang which carried out these attacks and we express our solidarity with the people of Paris" Condemn the attack but know its causes. Many simply reduce it to Islam. In essence, many say Islamic terrorism is caused by Islamic terrorism which is caused by Islamic terrorism how dare you ask more? Deliberately superficial rejection of attempts to comprehend the problem only cause confusion. Its dangerous and does nothing to prevent reoccurence Islamic fundamentalism is the immediate actor, capitalism and imperialism are its fertile soil. An unholy combination. After causing the death of hundreds of thousands just in Syria, the inevitable result of bourgeois imperialist policy hit home killing new innocent victims http://www.marxist.com/paris-terrorist-attacks-how-should-the-workers-movement-respond.htm
VIDEO-Sanders: Climate change a bigger threat than terrorism | Washington Examiner
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 15:35
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders argued that climate change is a bigger threat to the world than terrorism during Saturday night's Democratic presidential debate.
When pressed by CBS's John Dickerson, Sanders doubled down on the claim, saying that, in fact, climate change is "directly related to the growth of terrorism" across the globe, pointing to limited amounts of water.
"Absolutely," Sanders said when asked if he still believed climate change was a bigger threat. "In fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism."
"[I]f we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you're going to see countries all over the world '-- this is this is what the CIA says '-- they're going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops and you're going to see all kinds of international conflict," Sanders said. "But, of course, international terrorism is a major issue that we have got to address today. And I agree with much of what the secretary and the governor have said."
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Sanders previously made the claim about climate change being a national security issue during the October debate.
"The scientific community is telling us if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, the planet that we're going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable," Sanders said at the time.
The Vermont socialist made the remark a day after the brutal terrorist attack on Paris, which killed 129 and injured 350, for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility.
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The Democratic presidential candidates agree with Elton John: Saturday night's alright for fighting.
'11/15/15 12:37 AM
VIDEO-Obama: 'We Will Redouble Our Efforts' in Syria After Paris Attacks | TIME
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 14:04
President Obama called the violence in Paris, as well as the recent bombing in Ankara, Turkey, attacks ''on the civilized world,'' reaffirming that the U.S. stands ''in solidarity'' with France.
Obama made his remarks after meeting Sunday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who shared his stance and said the two had discussed ''the fight that we are conducting against Daesh in Syria,'' using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). ''As model and strategic partners we will continue to show solidarity with each other with an understanding towards global peace.''
Obama said the U.S. ''will redouble our efforts, working with other members of the coalition, to bring about a peaceful transition in Syria and to eliminate Daesh as a force that can create so much pain and suffering for people in Paris, Ankara and other parts of the globe.''
VIDEO-Facebook Explains Why it Activated Safety Check for Paris Attack | TIME
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 14:02
Facebook on Saturday sought to tamp down criticism that it had rolled out its widely-used Safety Check feature amid the terrorist attacks in Paris when the social network had not done so during a recent attack in Beirut.
In a Facebook post,Vice President of Growth Alex Schultz outlined how Safety Check was first developed, and said Paris was the first time the feature had been implemented for an event that wasn't a natural disaster. ''There has to be a first time for trying something new, even in complex and sensitive times, and for us that was Paris,'' he said.
He also explained why Safety Check has never been applied to a non-natural disaster until now. ''During an ongoing crisis, like war or epidemic, Safety Check in its current form is not that useful for people: because there isn't a clear start or end point and, unfortunately, it's impossible to know when someone is truly 'safe,''' he explained.
The post came as critics pointed out on social media that the outpouring of support following Friday night's coordinated terror attacks in Paris far outstripped the public sympathy after recent similar attacks in Beirut and Baghdad. At least 41 people were killed and hundreds wounded in a pair of deadly suicide bombings in Beirut on Thursday, and 26 people were killed in a roadside bombing in Baghdad on Friday.
Over four million people used the Safety Check tool to tell their friends they were OK, and over 360 million people got notifications that their friends were safe, Facebook said. Around the world, 78 million people had 183 million interactions relating to the attacks.
VIDEO-Timeline of terror: Where Paris attacks took place
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 13:56
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A spectator who was inside the Stade de France, north of Paris, when the stadium was targeted by explosions on Friday night described how, initially, "no-one reacted at all" as it was unclear what had happened. (Nov. 14) AP
Spectators move onto the field at the Stade de France after three explosions near the stadium(Photo: AP)
In the space of about an hour, terrorists attacked multiple sites across Paris on Friday evening, killing at least 129 people. Here are the seven main locations and what happened at each one, according to media reports:
Stade de FranceThe wave of attacks started at about 9:20 p.m. local time with an explosion at the Stade de France, the country's national stadium, where a friendly match between France and Germany was taking place. French President Francois Hollande, who was attending the game, was whisked away from the stadium soon after the attacks began. Two more explosions occurred in the next 30 minutes. All could be clearly heard from within the stadium.
The match, however, was completed before the arena was evacuated. With a capacity of just over 80,000, the stadium is located in the gritty St. Denis district just north of the city. According to police, at least four people died in the blasts, which were suicide attacks. It was not immediately clear whether the bombers were among the four listed as dead.
A man leaves flowers at the main entrance of Le Carillon restaurant, the site of a terrorist attack. (Photo: David Ramos, Getty Images)
Le CarillonJust a few minutes later, gunmen opened fire at Le Carillon, a restaurant in the 10th Arrondissement (district), which is northeast of the city center. Witnesses said they initially thought that a firecracker had gone off until they saw two men brandishing automatic weapons.
"People dropped to the ground," Ben Grant, who was with his wife at the back of the bar, told the BBC. "We put a table over our heads to protect us." Pierre Montfort, a nearby resident, told London's Daily Telegraph that "We heard the sound of guns, 30-second bursts. It was endless. We thought it was fireworks."
Two women embrace as they hold a board that reads 'Meme Pas Peur' (Not Afraid) in front of the Petit Cambodge restaurant, one of the Paris attack sites. (Photo: David Ramos, Getty Images)
Le Petit CambodgeHaving attacked the Le Carillon, the gunmen crossed the street to Le Petit Cambodge, a Cambodian restaurant described as a "hipster noodle shop" by the The New York Times.
A local resident named Leo told radio network Europe 1 that his wife was among the first to help victims near the the site, describing the scene as a ''massacre'' and ''apocalyptic'' with bodies ''littered on the ground.'' It is reported that 14 people died in the attacks at the two restaurants.
Bullet holes are seen in the door of the Casa Nostra restaurant after Friday's terror attacks in Paris. (Photo: Christopher Furlong, Getty Images)
La Casa Nostra and Cafe Bonne BiereA few streets south, bullets were sprayed on diners at La Casa Nostra, a pizzeria that describes itself as "Italy in the heart of the Marais district of Paris," and Cafe Bonne Biere, located across the street.
A resident who gave his name as Phillipe told the Daily Telegraph that he smelled the gunpowder and heard the shots being fired as he watched from his apartment. "What was so chilling was that once the terrorists got back into their car after gunning those people down, they drove away very slowly, very calmly."
People react near the cafe La Belle Equipe in Paris. (Photo: Loic Venance, AFP/Getty Images)
La Belle EquipeThe next burst of gunfire came about 10 minutes later at the Belle Equipe, an eatery located east of the city center. As many as 19 people were reported to have died. The restaurant appears to be very popular, with online reviewers calling it ''a jewel of a bistro'' and many saying that the staff was especially attentive.
David Hadjadje, a tour leader who lives nearby, told the Telegraph that he was in the street when the attack occurred. "I saw people panicked, shocked," he said. "Some of the people were drunk '-- it was after all a Friday night '-- and they didn't understand what was going on."
Police forensic experts work on the scene of one the attacks that took place in Paris, at the Comptoir Voltaire restaurant. (Photo: Marius Becker, EPA)
Comptoir VoltaireMinutes after the attack on the Belle Equipe, a suicide bombing at a cafe called Comptoir Voltaire on Boulevard Voltaire left at least one person dead. The person was believed to have been a terrorist.
Le Monde journalist Daniel Psenny filmed from his window the injured who tried to escape via a back entrance of the Bataclan concert venue. (Photo: La Monde)
Bataclan concert hallAbout half an hour after the initial attack at the Stade de France, terrorists launched the bloodiest assault of the evening, at the Bataclan concert hall, where California-based band, Eagles of Death Metal, was playing. The attack started at the back of the venue, according to media reports, where at least two black-dressed men holding automatic weapons and tan suicide vests emptied their guns into the crowd.
"They were not moving," Julien Pearce, a journalist who was attending the concert, told CNN. "They were just standing at the back of the concert room and shooting at us. Like if we were birds." Marc Coupis, 57, told London's Guardian newspaper that he got on the ground and ended up pinned against a wall with one man on top of him and another on his side until police arrived and told them to run. ''It looked like a battlefield, there was blood everywhere, there were bodies everywhere," he said.
"I thought this was the end. I thought I'm finished, I'm finished," he added. "I was terrified. We must all have thought the same."
Attempts by concertgoers to exit the arena were captured in a horrific video taken by a Le Monde journalist who happened to be in a nearby building. At least 89 people were killed at the hall. The terrorists blew themselves up using their suicide vests.
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1j0VMp5
TOP VIDEOSA somber mood in Paris after attacks01:01
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No survivors on plane that crashed into home04:01
Intense video shows woman collide into cop car01:18
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A spectator who was inside the Stade de France, north of Paris, when the stadium was targeted by explosions on Friday night described how, initially, "no-one reacted at all" as it was unclear what had happened. (Nov. 14) AP
Spectators move onto the field at the Stade de France after three explosions near the stadium(Photo: AP)
In the space of about an hour, terrorists attacked multiple sites across Paris on Friday evening, killing at least 129 people. Here are the seven main locations and what happened at each one, according to media reports:
Stade de FranceThe wave of attacks started at about 9:20 p.m. local time with an explosion at the Stade de France, the country's national stadium, where a friendly match between France and Germany was taking place. French President Francois Hollande, who was attending the game, was whisked away from the stadium soon after the attacks began. Two more explosions occurred in the next 30 minutes. All could be clearly heard from within the stadium.
The match, however, was completed before the arena was evacuated. With a capacity of just over 80,000, the stadium is located in the gritty St. Denis district just north of the city. According to police, at least four people died in the blasts, which were suicide attacks. It was not immediately clear whether the bombers were among the four listed as dead.
A man leaves flowers at the main entrance of Le Carillon restaurant, the site of a terrorist attack. (Photo: David Ramos, Getty Images)
Le CarillonJust a few minutes later, gunmen opened fire at Le Carillon, a restaurant in the 10th Arrondissement (district), which is northeast of the city center. Witnesses said they initially thought that a firecracker had gone off until they saw two men brandishing automatic weapons.
"People dropped to the ground," Ben Grant, who was with his wife at the back of the bar, told the BBC. "We put a table over our heads to protect us." Pierre Montfort, a nearby resident, told London's Daily Telegraph that "We heard the sound of guns, 30-second bursts. It was endless. We thought it was fireworks."
Two women embrace as they hold a board that reads 'Meme Pas Peur' (Not Afraid) in front of the Petit Cambodge restaurant, one of the Paris attack sites. (Photo: David Ramos, Getty Images)
Le Petit CambodgeHaving attacked the Le Carillon, the gunmen crossed the street to Le Petit Cambodge, a Cambodian restaurant described as a "hipster noodle shop" by the The New York Times.
A local resident named Leo told radio network Europe 1 that his wife was among the first to help victims near the the site, describing the scene as a ''massacre'' and ''apocalyptic'' with bodies ''littered on the ground.'' It is reported that 14 people died in the attacks at the two restaurants.
Bullet holes are seen in the door of the Casa Nostra restaurant after Friday's terror attacks in Paris. (Photo: Christopher Furlong, Getty Images)
La Casa Nostra and Cafe Bonne BiereA few streets south, bullets were sprayed on diners at La Casa Nostra, a pizzeria that describes itself as "Italy in the heart of the Marais district of Paris," and Cafe Bonne Biere, located across the street.
A resident who gave his name as Phillipe told the Daily Telegraph that he smelled the gunpowder and heard the shots being fired as he watched from his apartment. "What was so chilling was that once the terrorists got back into their car after gunning those people down, they drove away very slowly, very calmly."
People react near the cafe La Belle Equipe in Paris. (Photo: Loic Venance, AFP/Getty Images)
La Belle EquipeThe next burst of gunfire came about 10 minutes later at the Belle Equipe, an eatery located east of the city center. As many as 19 people were reported to have died. The restaurant appears to be very popular, with online reviewers calling it ''a jewel of a bistro'' and many saying that the staff was especially attentive.
David Hadjadje, a tour leader who lives nearby, told the Telegraph that he was in the street when the attack occurred. "I saw people panicked, shocked," he said. "Some of the people were drunk '-- it was after all a Friday night '-- and they didn't understand what was going on."
Police forensic experts work on the scene of one the attacks that took place in Paris, at the Comptoir Voltaire restaurant. (Photo: Marius Becker, EPA)
Comptoir VoltaireMinutes after the attack on the Belle Equipe, a suicide bombing at a cafe called Comptoir Voltaire on Boulevard Voltaire left at least one person dead. The person was believed to have been a terrorist.
Le Monde journalist Daniel Psenny filmed from his window the injured who tried to escape via a back entrance of the Bataclan concert venue. (Photo: La Monde)
Bataclan concert hallAbout half an hour after the initial attack at the Stade de France, terrorists launched the bloodiest assault of the evening, at the Bataclan concert hall, where California-based band, Eagles of Death Metal, was playing. The attack started at the back of the venue, according to media reports, where at least two black-dressed men holding automatic weapons and tan suicide vests emptied their guns into the crowd.
"They were not moving," Julien Pearce, a journalist who was attending the concert, told CNN. "They were just standing at the back of the concert room and shooting at us. Like if we were birds." Marc Coupis, 57, told London's Guardian newspaper that he got on the ground and ended up pinned against a wall with one man on top of him and another on his side until police arrived and told them to run. ''It looked like a battlefield, there was blood everywhere, there were bodies everywhere," he said.
"I thought this was the end. I thought I'm finished, I'm finished," he added. "I was terrified. We must all have thought the same."
Attempts by concertgoers to exit the arena were captured in a horrific video taken by a Le Monde journalist who happened to be in a nearby building. At least 89 people were killed at the hall. The terrorists blew themselves up using their suicide vests.
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1j0VMp5
TOP VIDEOSA somber mood in Paris after attacks01:01
Hundreds gather in San Francisco to mourn victims of French tragedy02:31
Half a world away people in America react to Paris attacks02:44
FBI disrupts alleged 'race war' plot01:21
Ten dead after train derails in France00:27
What to watch for during Saturday's Democratic Debate01:28
Rousey, Holm separated after weigh-in confrontation03:20
Florida officer fired for fatal shooting01:00
Jared Fogle may go to jail for over 12 years00:43
5 things you may not know about Guantanamo Bay01:27
Long-lost WWII letters make way back to family01:18
Pregnant pastor's wife dies following shooting00:50
Missouri student files complaint against professor who called for 'muscle'00:56
Mass grave of Yazidis in Iraq tells horror story00:57
Dad buys $48 million diamond for 7-year-old daughter01:04
Undercover Israelis forces raid hospital, kill Palestinian00:40
Missouri professor resigns, staffer suspended01:00
U.S. veterans by the numbers01:28
Does this Target 'OCD' sweater offend you?00:33
Found underneath a porch in Miami: 9-foot python00:45
Korean War Memorial: 'Gotta see it before I die.'00:42
Migrants die as boat sinks off Turkey00:30
Deer breaks into home and jumps on the bed01:05
Custom rifle allows Marine to shoot with no hands06:39
8-year-old boy accused of killing 1-year-old girl01:38
Kids help firemen save adorable kitten from storm drain01:08
No survivors on plane that crashed into home04:01
Intense video shows woman collide into cop car01:18
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VIDEO-Migrants' Arctic route to a new life | Reuters.com
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:13
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VIDEO-Diabetes experts call on G20 sugar tax | Reuters.com
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:11
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China's only childrenThu, Oct 29, 2015 -(0:48)
Images of JulyFri, Jul 31, 2015 -(1:00)
Images of JuneThu, Jul 02, 2015 -(0:59)
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Images of AprilFri, May 01, 2015 -(1:00)
Images of MarchWed, Apr 01, 2015 -(1:00)
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VIDEO TO READ SUBTITLES-Hollande: Paris attacks 'act of war' by Islamic State | Reuters.com
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:09
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VIDEO-Stephanopoulos Tees Up Obama to Trash Americans as Bigots | MRCTV
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 06:26
[See NewsBusters for more.] Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Thursday and Friday threw softballs at Barack Obama, setting the President up to attack certain Americans as bigots and to trash Ben Carson. On Thursday's Nightline, the journalist asked about Donald Trump's immigration and deportation plans. Stephanopoulos wondered, ''So, what do you think when you hear people cheer for that?'' Obama sneered, ''I think is that there's always been a strain of anti-immigrant sentiment in America.'' He added, ''It's the job of leaders not to play into that sentiment. We don't want, I think, a president or any person in a position of leadership to play on those kinds of fears.'' The journalist offered no push back to the pointed attack.
VIDEO-Salon Writer: Those Raising Free Speech Concerns in Student Protests Want to Assert 'White Privilege' | MRCTV
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 06:23
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
Speaking on MSNBC's All In Thursday night about the ongoing protests on college campuses over race, Salon writer and Rutgers University professor Brittney Cooper asserted that the real focus of the discussion should about how black students supposedly feel ''physically and emotionally unsafe on these campuses'' and those raising concerns about ''the threat to freedom of speech'' really just want to assert their ''white privilege.''
Cooper debated Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individuals Rights in Education and largely tried to discredit his points. First, Cooper took issue with how ''young black students are saying to us that surveillance is a threat to them and so they're not talking about trying to limit the press or trying to limit freedom of expression.''
Hillary Clinton's claim that she tried to join the Marines - The Washington Post
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 06:20
''He looks at me and goes, 'Um, how old are you. And I said, 'Well I am 26, I will be 27.' And he goes, 'Well, that is kind of old for us.' And then he says to me, and this is what gets me, 'Maybe the dogs will take you,' meaning the Army.''
''Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking at a breakfast, Manchester, N.H., Nov. 10, 2015
One Clinton story that has often been greeted with skepticism is her claim, first made in 1994, that she once tried to join the Marines in 1975. On the campaign trail, she brought up the story again. (Go to the 1:35 mark.)
Can this story be confirmed?
The FactsClinton first told this story while addressing a lunch on Capitol Hill honoring military women, about 17 months after becoming first lady:
''You're too old, you can't see and you're a woman,'' Mrs. Clinton said she was told. ''Maybe the dogs would take you,'' she recalled the recruiter saying. (Actually the military slang is ''dogfaces.'')
''It was not a very encouraging conversation,'' she said. ''I decided maybe I'll look for another way to serve my country.''
It's fair to say The New York Times account, written by then-reporter Maureen Dowd, was highly skeptical. Dowd noted:
''At the time, Hillary Rodham was an up-and-coming legal star involved with an up-and-coming political star.''''She had made a celebrated appearance in Life magazine as an anti-establishment commencement speaker at Wellesley College, where, as president of the student government, she had organized teach-ins on her opposition to the Vietnam War.''''She was a Yale law school graduate who had worked on the anti-war Presidential campaigns of Eugene J. McCarthy and George McGovern.''''Mrs. Clinton told friends that she had moved to Arkansas for only one reason: to be with Bill Clinton.''The Clintons married on Oct. 11, 1975, in Fayetteville.Dowd asked: ''So, if she was talking to a Marine recruiter in 1975 before the marriage, was she briefly considering joining the few, the proud and the brave of the corps as an alternative to life with Mr. Clinton, who was already being widely touted as a sure thing for Arkansas Attorney General?''
Clinton's spokesman at the time, Neal Lattimore, speculated (without any apparent evidence) that perhaps the law school graduate was thinking of joining the Judge Advocate General's Corps.
(Update: A former Marine lawyer, who was actively recruiting for the JAG at the time, says it is ''ludicrous'' to suggest someone with Clinton's skills would have been rejected. Since the draft had ended, ''we were frantic for lawyers,'' he said, declining to be identified. Neither age nor eyesight would have been issue, he added. Many of the newly recruited lawyers were at least 26 years old and eyesight was only an issue for pilots, he said. Some lawyers he worked with had glasses the ''size of the bottle of Coke bottles.'' Another Marine lawyer, who served between 1973 and 1978, confirmed this account, saying that one of the Marine lawyers he served with was a woman who weighed 200 pounds. ''They desperately needed lawyers,'' he said.)
Tony Kornheiser, then a Washington Post columnist, was equally skeptical:
Last week, I was stunned to learn that in 1975 Hillary tried to enlist in the Marines. (Possibly she was looking for a few good men, as she was about to marry a man who was looking for a few good women.)
My first reaction was that it sounded like something that arose out of a drunken bar bet. You know, like when guys dare each other to do something stupid '-- say, take off their trousers, pull their underpants over their head and whistle the theme to ''Gilligan's Island'' '-- except this must have been a group of female lawyers. Imagine it. A bar scene. Hillary Rodham Clinton-to-be says, ''Yeah, well, if you're so smart, I dare you to argue the pro-life position, that the state has the right to force women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term.'' And Camille O'Rourke-Lefkowitz responds, ''Oh, yeah? Well, I dare you to shave your legs and join the Marines.''
Yet our former colleague David von Drehle reported that Clinton's friends at the time ''confirmed the story, though they were hazy on the details.'' Diane Blair, who passed away in 2000, told von Drehle, ''All I can remember is that she looked into it.''
Another friend, then University of Arkansas professor Ann Henry, said she recalled the incident happened in the context of the lack of opportunity for women. Sometimes female faculty members went out to conduct ''tests'' of access to various careers seemingly closed to women, Henry told von Drehle.
Reached by phone after Clinton's latest remarks, the now-retired Henry said that she still recalls the discussion about testing the limits. She said conversations grew out of the state's Commission on the Status of Women, which was created in 1971 and chaired by Blair, then known as Diane Kincaid. Henry said there were Marine recruiting offices on campus, and so Clinton could have easily stopped by one to conduct such a test.
But would women at the time need to test the Marines? Women have been part of the Marines since 1918, and were deployed to Korea in the 1950s. ''By the height of the Vietnam war, there were about 2,700 women Marines served [sic.] both stateside and overseas,'' according to the Women Marines Association. ''By 1975, the Corps approved the assignment of women to all occupational fields except infantry, artillery, armor and pilot/air crew.''
In fact, when Clinton first told this story in 1994, a Marine spokesman felt compelled to issue this statement: ''We won't attempt to dispute the first lady's recollection, but if she was ill-treated by a Marine recruiter in 1975, it certainly is unfortunate, unprofessional and a mistake we regret.''
Complicating matters is that in 2008, Bill Clinton told an audience that his future wife tried to join the Army. ''I remember when we were young, right out of law school, she went down and tried to join the Army and they said 'Your eyes are so bad, nobody will take you,''' he said.
Of course, this leaves open the possibility that she did try to join the ''dogs'' after the Marine Corps brush-off.
As far as we can tell, the only time a journalist quizzed Clinton about this incident was in 2007, when Michael Crowley wrote a profile for The New Republic. In a brief interview, he asked what should people make of the fact that she had briefly tried to enlist in the military. He wrote: ''At this her eyes narrowed and she threw me a glare of mistrust. 'I have very deep and quite broad relationships with people in the military,' she said. As for the meaning of the recruiting visit, 'I can't tell you,' she said with a dismissive wave. 'You go look at that.'''
A campaign spokesman initially did not offer a comment but on the evening of Nov. 12, spokesman Nick Merrill issued a statement appearing to take issue with the recollections of her friends. The statement also suggests the visit to the Marine recruiter took place in 1974, not 1975:
''As she has noted in the past, Hillary visited a Marine recruiter shortly after moving to Arkansas because she was interested in exploring options for serving in the military. She did not pursue the idea further and her sole reason for visiting the recruitment center was to determine if there was a suitable opportunity for her to serve in some capacity. Her interest was sincere and it is insulting, but not surprising, that Republicans would attack her for this, too.''
The Pinocchio TestAt first glance, this story doesn't really add up, for the reasons that Dowd initially outlined. But as we noted The Post did locate friends who recalled she had tried to join the Marines, though the circumstances are fuzzy.
Clinton suggests she simply decided to join the Marines, as part of way to serve the country. But it makes more sense that she approached the Marines as part of a deliberate effort to test the boundaries available to women, especially given her documented antiwar activities.
As Ben Carson can attest, memories can get hazy after 40 years (or even 21 years). There are enough holes here that Clinton has an obligation to address the circumstances under which she approached the Marines, now that she had once again raised it in a campaign context.
In a 2008 speech in Iraq, Hillary Clinton said she landed in Bosnia under heavy fire. But video of the landing shows otherwise. (AP)
So far, we do not have enough documentary proof to say the incident never happened, such as supposedly landing under sniper fire in Bosnia or getting the date wrong for hearing a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. (Both of these were written by Michael Dobbs, who originated The Fact Checker during the 2008 campaign.) This is simply a personal recollection '-- one that at least two friends have confirmed they had been told about at the time.
But the circumstances are in question. She pitches it as a matter of public service, but her friends suggest it was something different. So at this point Clinton's story is worthy of Two Pinocchios, subject to change if more information becomes available.
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Hillary Clinton Says She Once Tried to Be Marine - NYTimes.com
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 06:19
WASHINGTON, June 14'-- The First Lady has offered a kaleidoscope of images to the public, but today she added the most curious one yet: Private Hillary.
Speaking at a lunch on Capitol Hill honoring military women, Hillary Rodham Clinton said that she once visited a recruiting office in Arkansas to inquire about joining the Marines.
She told the group gathered for lunch in the Dirksen Office Building, according to The Associated Press, that she became interested in the military in 1975, the year she married Bill Clinton and the year she was teaching at the University of Arkansas law school in Fayetteville.
She was 27 then, she said, and the Marine recruiter was about 21. She was interested in joining either the active forces or the reserves, she recalled, but was swiftly rebuffed by the recruiter, who took a dim view of her age and her thick glasses. 'Not Very Encouraging'
"You're too old, you can't see and you're a woman," Mrs. Clinton said she was told, adding that the recruiter dismissed her by suggesting she try the Army. "Maybe the dogs would take you," she recalled the recruiter saying.
"It was not a very encouraging conversation," she said. "I decided maybe I'll look for another way to serve my country."
Mrs. Clinton offered the story to illustrate how far women had come. She said that "it was not an isolated situation" for women to be turned away by military recruiters. And she lauded efforts to bring women into more aspects of military service.
The First Lady's cascading, contradictory images have been the subject of much commentary. This month's Mirabella magazine runs a dizzying array of different looking Hillary Rodham Clintons, to match her blur of different roles, with a story that frets: "We sense that we aren't seeing the 'real' Hillary, and this makes us very nervous."
But, even given the fact that the nation has become accustomed to Mrs. Clinton's intriguing shape-shifting -- from liberal do-gooder to high-risk commodities trader, from power lawyer to cookie baker, from health care czar to housewife supervising the menu for the state dinner for the Emperor and Empress of Japan -- the latest one is still jarring. Macho Contrast to Clinton
First, it presented a macho contrast to a President who had just visited England, where news reports recalled the letter he wrote from there to a representative of the Reserve Officers Training Corps at the University of Arkansas, explaining why many members of his generation loved their country but still found themselves "loathing" the military.
And it did not seem to fit in with the First Lady's own persona. After all, Hillary Rodham was an up-and-coming legal star involved with an up-and-coming political star. She had made a celebrated appearance in Life magazine as an anti-establishment commencement speaker at Wellesley College, where, as president of the student government, she had organized teach-ins on her opposition to the Vietnam War.
She was a Yale law school graduate who had worked on the anti-war Presidential campaigns of Eugene J. McCarthy and George McGovern.
Mrs. Clinton told friends that she had moved to Arkansas for only one reason: to be with Bill Clinton. Years later, she would tell Vanity Fair that she had stayed because "I didn't see anything out there that I thought was more exciting or challenging than what I had in front of me."
She and Mr. Clinton married on Oct. 11, 1975 in Fayetteville.
So, if she was talking to a Marine recruiter in 1975 before the marriage, was she briefly considering joining the few, the proud and the brave of the corps as an alternative to life with Mr. Clinton, who was already being widely touted as a sure thing for Arkansas Attorney General?
Neal Lattimore, Mrs. Clinton's spokesman, said her visit to the recruiter had to be seen in the context of her dedication to public service.
"I'm never surprised when Mrs. Clinton is doing something service oriented," he said. "She was just taking in all her options, saying 'This is where I am in my life, this is what fits into my life right now.' "
But she had moved to Arkansas to be with Mr. Clinton, so why was she thinking about joining the Marines?
"Maybe she was thinking about the J.A.G. Corps," he said, referring to the legal branch of the service. "She was exploring all her options, the National Guard, everything."
Photo: Hillary Rodham Clinton listening as the president of the League of Women Voters, Becky Cain, spoke yesterday in Washington. (Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)
VIDEO-DNC Chair Freaks Out After Andrea Mitchell Actually Fact-Checks Hillary | MRCTV
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 06:17
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
On Friday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell actually fact-checked Hillary Clinton's suspicious tale of trying to join the Marines in 1975: ''Those comments are being mocked by Republicans today and they're getting two Pinocchios from Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler....Why on earth would she go to a Marine recruiter in 1975?...It doesn't make sense.''
Her guest, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was so taken aback that the Florida congresswoman attacked Mitchell for asking questions: ''With all due respect, Andrea, why on earth are we talking about this?'' Mitchell hit back: ''Because she brought it up in New Hampshire the other day. If she hadn't brought it up, it would not be an issue in this campaign.''
VIDEO-NYT Editor: I Would've Given Ed Snowden a ''Back Massage'' for Exclusive | MRCTV
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 06:14
Crossposted on Newsbusters.
On the November 9, 2015 edition of PBS's Charlie Rose show, Baquet revealed the following:
Charlie Rose: ''Suppose Edward Snowden had gotten on the phone to you?''Baquet: ''I would have met him anywhere. I would have given him a back massage. I would have done whatever he wanted.''Rose: ''Because?''Baquet: ''Because I think Edward Snowden's revelations were really important to an international debate and I wish they had been in The New York Times first.''
VIDEO-On Fox News, Dershowitz Rips 'Book Burners' '-- Anti-Free Speech College Students | MRCTV
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 06:11
[More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.]
On the 12 November 2015 edition of The Kelly File on Fox News Channel, Harvard Law's Alan Dershowitz blasted left-wing student activists over their chilling of free speech on many college campuses: "These are the same people who claim they're seeking diversity. The last thing many of these students want is real diversity '-- diversity of ideas." Dershowitz continued by pointing out that "it was the students at universities who first started burning books during the Nazi regime. And these students are book-burners." He later asserted that "the fog of fascism is descending quickly over many American universities."
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VIDEO-The Battle for Zionism at the UN: Marking 40 Years Since the Historic Speech of the Honorable Chaim Herzog
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 17:38
SECRETARY KERRY: Moran, thank you very, very much. Thank you for being here, and for lending your success and persona to this event. Mr. Secretary General, it is a privilege to be here with you always, and we thank you for your great work. Ambassador Danon, thank you for helping to sponsor this night. David Harris, good to see you, thank you for your leadership. Ambassador Power, always wonderful to be with you. I love your energy, enthusiasm, and your action. And I think everybody appreciates what you are doing here at the United Nations. (Applause.)
And it is a great privilege for me to be able to be here with all of you. I see many good friends out there, and many who have been laboring so hard in the vineyards. Particularly, I cite Stu Eizenstat over here, whose work I admire. And I thank him for his efforts. (Applause.) And most especially, I want to thank Bougie and Mike Herzog, and the entire Herzog family, for the chance to come here and share some thoughts. And I appreciate the special friendship with Bougie. I appreciate his leadership. I know what it's like to run for leader of your country and actually come short. (Laughter.) He's actually born a little shorter than me in that effort, but '' and Mike and I have worked very closely together in our efforts the last few years. And all I can say is he is a great intellect, a patriot, and far too young looking to be a retired general, folks. I admire his work. (Applause.)
So, I am honored to be here to share some thoughts, not just about Chaim Herzog and the extraordinary moment when he stood against the forces of ignorance and bigotry, but what this fight means to us today. We are here because we remember so well. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who I had the privilege of serving with in Senate, called it the Day of Infamy, when the abomination of anti-Semitism was given the appearance of international sanction. We are here because we dare not forget what happened to reason and to reasonableness right here, in the United Nations.
We are here to resolve that in our hearts and in our actions we will do all in our power to prevent the hijacking of this great forum for malicious intent. (Applause.) We are here to celebrate an Israeli leader who stood against the tide, and who spoke the truth with historic clarity and brilliant eloquence.
Knowing that I was coming here last night, I took the time at home to go on Google and YouTube. I wanted to revisit these speeches that were given in rebuttal. And I listened. I couldn't find the video, but I just sat there, mesmerized, listening to these voices, both of them. I listened to the stirring and determined, and passionate voice of Chaim Herzog. And after the vote, the equally passionate and lucid voice of Daniel Patrick Moynihan. And frankly, it was probably far more moving and stirring to simply hear the voices without the video, to listen to the clarity within which you could feel the emotion and the anger and the stakes.
Together, I will tell you, as somebody who has given speeches for a long time, these were remarkable speeches. It was clear to me that, though these speeches are part of history, we cannot confine them to history. And that is why we are here. As Ambassador Herzog so eloquently laid out, it was a bitter irony that this vote took place on the 37th anniversary of Kristallnacht, and all that it symbolized for the onslaught of the Holocaust, which he so brilliantly lays out in the beginning of that speech.
It was a bitter irony that this resolution against Zionism was originally a resolution against racism and colonialism, two evils the condemnation of which could have easily been voted for in this body. But that journey to reasonableness was detoured by a willful ignorance of history and truth.
History is full of painful reminders of the words of bigotry left unchallenged that spawns acts of bigotry. And I cannot tell you how proud I was to hear my future colleague speak up on behalf of the United States, declaring with passion and precision the United States rises to declare before the General Assembly of the United Nations and before the world that it does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act. Extraordinary words. (Applause.)
And Moynihan, Patrick Moynihan, understood that to equate the national movement of the Jewish people with racism and Nazism, as the resolution, in fact, did, was absurd. And, even more than that, it was ominous, because it sought nothing less than to grant a global license to hate. Moynihan spoke of a great evil that had been released on the world, and he was right. In 1975 Ambassador Herzog courageously spoke up against the rising tide of prejudice, which Bougie just told us had been growing over a period of time, and growing in his heart and in his gut at the same time. He spoke with logic and courage, humanity, and, most importantly, he spoke with truth on his side.
It would be too much and too easy to suggest that he turned the tide on that memorable day. But he gave us, all of us, an anchor to hold on to, a connection to justice and to right that has stood the test of time. It would ultimately prevail in 1991, and it is what brings us here today.
Ambassador Herzog, later to become President Herzog, had a keen appreciation of his own responsibilities. He was part of the generation that built the modern state of Israel, that made a desert bloom, and that dreamt and willed the country to life, literally. And so, when he famously warned of two great evils which menaced society in general, and particular '' and a society of nations in particular, we all understood the gravity behind those words, because we respected the statesman who spoke them.
When Chaim Herzog stepped forward to denounce hatred and intolerance, he was simply speaking the truth about Jewish history, about Zionism as the expression of a national liberation movement, about how a single resolution spurred a coalition of racists and despots, risked undermining the core values of the United Nations itself.
Too many outside this room fail to recognize the global reality of anti-Semitism today. Too many fail to realize that a witch's brew of old prejudices and new political grievances and economic troubles and nationalism combine to create dangerous new openings for extremism. So Herzog and Moynihan together have left us a major responsibility to continue to tell the world that anti-Semitism is as abhorrent and vile today as it was in 1975. (Applause.)
More than seven decades after World War II, even decades after the world's collective horror at the Holocaust, anti-Semitism remains a dangerous menace. And as we gather here, 40 years later, we are resolved to tell the world that we will condemn anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, no matter how their proponents attempt to cloak it in some false mantle of respectability. And just as Chaim reached out to this body in his speech, we need to reach out to the world to raise our voices on behalf of human rights and justice and the fundamental dignity of every human being.
Truth summons us and unites us in common action against anti-Semitism. But make no mistake. Bigotry isn't just a matter of a threat to Israel or to the Jewish people. It is a danger to all religions, and to all who believe in freedom. That is why truth must unite us in the struggle against violent extremism and against the terrorist bigots of Daesh, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, and so many others, and similar groups throughout the Middle East and elsewhere.
One hundred and seventy years ago, Henry David Thoreau wrote that, ''For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.'' If future generations are to prosper in a climate free from fear, we have to strike at the root. That task is by no means simple. But it is, in fact, within our power.
And here we have to acknowledge another truth: No child that any of you have ever met anywhere at any point in time age two or three hates anybody. Hate is taught. And before we can rid others' hearts of hate, we have to have the conviction to do so in our own hearts and in our own imaginations. In too many places the wall of ignorance is high and surrounded by a moat of insecurity and denial. In too many places our world is still torn by strife rooted in ignorance or in prejudice or in hate passed down through a generation after generation. In too many places ignorance is abetted by corruption and by the failure of leadership and governance, and a difference of religion or race or creed or culture, of homeland or sexual orientation are somehow seen as threats by too many people. In truth, they ought to be celebrated for enriching our societies through their diversity.
The fundamental struggle for dignity has always been the driving force in all of human history. And that is what guides us. It is a set of universal values and aspirations. And Daniel Patrick Moynihan, in his speech, so brilliantly caught the sweep of history with respect to that quest in every individual for those rights.
We in America know that, even in our own journey, there is still more work to be done. We also know that it is because of the courage and commitment of citizens in each generation that the United States has become closer over time to its own founding ideals, even though there is a journey yet to travel. Our journey has not been without setbacks and difficulties. But I think we can fairly say that we have dared to discuss our challenges openly, and hold ourselves accountable, including through our free press and unyielding commitment to protecting the freedom of expression.
So why do we Americans care so much about the rights of others being respected? Because, in an interconnected world, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Because we have learned the hard way through history that not to speak out is to condemn others to death and, in the end, to lose our own values and our own conscience. And we have learned that our citizens will, in fact, do better and feel safer in a world where citizens we '' where the values that we cherish are widely shared.
But there is also, I think, even a deeper reason. Because when human rights tragedies are supplanted by human rights victories, the very idea of progress becomes less rhetorical and more tangible, more real. Because there is no more meaningful agenda for the future than the shrinking of bigotry, the curtailment of conflict, the defeat of terrorism, the prevention of genocide, and a fuller commitment to the rights and dignity of every man, woman, and child.
Why do we care? Because respect for human rights provides the truest mirror of ourselves, the most objective test of how far we have come over the centuries, and how far we still have to go. Because human rights is an idea bequeathed to us by the past with distinct responsibilities. And, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned so clearly as he shredded any scintilla of logic behind the resolution in the United Nations in 1975, he talked to the history of human rights from its first sprouts in the 17th century. And he said, ''If we destroy the words that were given to us by the past centuries, we will not have words to replace them.''
Chaim Herzog was a man who understood that truth. And in his moving description of the road from Kristallnacht to Holocaust, he told us that truth as well as anyone I have ever heard. After all, the idea of a sovereign, self-sufficient state of Israel, a modern state in the historic homeland of the Jewish people, was never intended to just be a refuge from discrimination or persecution or worse. Israel has always had a bigger vision. Israel has always built strong defenses, yes. But it has also looked outward, building sturdy bridges around the world through education, culture, entrepreneurship, innovation, and alliances. And no alliance of Israel's is stronger than the one it shares with the United States of America. (Applause.)
Times may change, but one thing we do know: America's support for Israel's dreaming and Israel's security, that will never change. And that is why we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel here, at the United Nations, and at every international forum. That is why we speak forcefully against efforts to delegitimize or unfairly target Israel for criticism or condemnation. And it is why we remain unwavering in our pursuit of a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, because the vision of Israel itself is one for a Jewish state founded in democracy. And the only way to have that democracy is to have that peace.
The Zionist dream embraces the concept of Israel as a Jewish democracy, a beacon of light to all nations. And that dream can only be upheld by two states living side by side in peace and security. And we all know, from years of discussion and effort, this is not an impossible dream. It is achievable. And as Bougie suggested, it demands courage, it demands leadership, and the very same courage and the very same individual commitment to truth that Chaim Herzog carried with him to the rostrum of the General Assembly 40 years ago.
Change is possible. Fear and bigotry can be defeated. Those are choices we now get to make. As President Herzog reminded us, we all bear responsibility because we all stand before history. So now it is our turn. The rise of bigotry and intolerance and violent extremism is a challenge to nothing less than the nation state and the global rule of law. That is where we are. And the forces that contribute to it, and the dangers that flow from it compel us to prepare and plan, to unite and insist that our collective future will not be defined by primitive and paranoid ideas, but instead, by the universal values of decency, civility, knowledge, reason, and law.
In 2015, today, the legacy of Chaim Herzog that we honor tonight still guides us and more. It commits us to the legacy that we have to leave behind ourselves, and it does so urgently and persistently. That is what you will take away, I believe, from the brilliance of these speeches, from the clarity of their vision, and from the courage of their telling the truth. And let us use tonight, let us use these speeches, let us use this example to heed the call to action, and to define the future. Thank you. (Applause.)
VIDEO-U.S. and International Efforts to Counter Boko Haram
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 17:33
U.S. and International Efforts to Counter Boko Haram
2:00 P.M. EST
THE WASHINGTON FOREIGN PRESS CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C.
MODERATOR: Hello and welcome to the Washington Foreign Press Center. Today we have Todd Chapman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, and Steven Feldstein, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. They are here to talk and deliver a trip report on their recent trip to Nigeria and Cameroon, and to discuss the intersection of security assistance and human rights. Without further ado, here is PDAS Chapman.
MR CHAPMAN: Okay. Well, good afternoon. And very nice to be with you today, and thank you very much for coming out. It's a pleasure for me to be alongside my colleague, Steven Feldstein, and to talk a little bit about a recent trip that we took together to Nigeria. And then he went on to Cameroon, and we'll get into that very shortly.
(Audio interference.) Woah.
MODERATOR: Sorry.
MR CHAPMAN: Okay, there we go.
But it was a great opportunity for us to go to Nigeria to together make the important point that our security assistance and security relationship that we have with countries is intricately linked with human rights issues that we look at very closely here at the State Department. And so in this trip to Nigeria, we had the opportunity to meet with a number of senior military officials from the Nigerian Government as well as representatives from the private sector and the civil society to talk about that linkage that we consider so very vital and important as we're looking at how we build our security partnerships with our friends and allies.
So that was the genesis for the trip. For me personally, it was a significant opportunity to go back to Nigeria where I served from 1997 to '99 with our embassy in both Lagos and then in Abuja. So a great time to get reacquainted with the vibrant society of Nigeria and to get to meet with some of the new leadership.
Let me just underscore that we are very '' we look forward to with great promise the administration of President Buhari. He had a very successful visit here in July to meet with President Obama. There have been a number of visits since then between our two governments, and this was just another one of an ongoing series of engagement that we are having with the Nigerian Government.
So those were '' that was the genesis for this meeting '' for this trip, excuse me. So I'm going to turn it over to my colleague, Steven, and he'll give a few remarks, and then we'll be very happy to take whatever questions you might have. Steven.
MR FELDSTEIN: Great. Thanks, Todd. I would reiterate very strongly what my colleague said. We undertook this trip at the end of October, so just barely two weeks ago. And really what this represented was an important semblance of a bringing together both a bureau that focuses on the security assistance side of the house and my bureau, which really looks at democracy and human rights issues.
As Todd mentioned, we are very supportive and really want to find a way to constructively engage with the new regime of President Buhari. A lot of the rhetoric of what the regime and what the president has said when it comes about the importance of linking human rights protection, civilian protection, with the fight against Boko Haram and other elements is something that we view as essential pillars and cornerstones to how '' behind the approach that we think is important in this area. And so for us to be able to have these important conversations with our military counterparts but also with civil society groups, with human rights activists, with different '' other government counterparts, and really talk through what we think are important areas in which to make sure the right protections are in place, and really talk about how ultimately military success is more than just defeating on the ground Boko Haram elements, but actually coming up with a comprehensive way to think about rebuilding in areas and communities that have been devastated by war, violence, and conflict, was really a key part of what we want to emphasize and a key message for us that we wanted to discuss with our counterparts.
It was a really, I think, useful and important trip at a critical moment right now for Nigeria, and we'd be happy to take further questions on our visit.
QUESTION: I have one.
MODERATOR: Yes. Please state your name and publication for the transcript.
QUESTION: Okay, sure. My name is Aliyu Mustapha with the Voice of America [Hausa Service]. Considering that more than a thousand people have been killed since Buhari took over back in May and the deadline that he set for December to end Boko Haram, do you think that's achievable? That's one. Two, one of the issues that was prevalent in the last administration in Nigeria was serious corruption within the Nigerian military. So let's start with the first question. Do you think it's achievable for Buhari to end Boko Haram? And what do you understand by ending Boko Haram, from what he said?
MR CHAPMAN: Sure. I'll be happy to take that, Aliyu. First of all, I see from your card that you're from the Hausa, managing editor for Hausa. And I have wonderful memories of going up to Kano and participating in the Durbar up in Kano.
QUESTION: Oh, you did? Okay.
MR CHAPMAN: And at the time I actually had a few words with Hausa, but I can't remember them now. But very glad to see that you're transmitting our messages into Hausa. So greetings to all those Hausa speakers in northern Nigeria and elsewhere.
Concerning the fight against Boko Haram, of course we are working very closely in support of our friends and neighbors there, our friends and government there who are working so diligently to counter Boko Haram. We have had some security assistance programs that have been very active. We just completed some training through our Global Security Contingency Fund, which is a $40 million effort to help counter Boko Haram. We've also provided '' the Obama Administration authorized the use of presidential drawdown authority to provide another $45 million in support to the countries fighting Boko Haram. And this is all on top of an additional $50 million that we had already provided to the region to help with equipment training and logistics systems. So we are committed to supporting the governments that are fighting this terrorist organization, this Boko Haram counterinsurgency. So it's very important that we continue to work with Nigeria and others to help combat Boko Haram.
President Buhari has set ambitious goals for himself. I'll leave it up to others to determine whether or not those goals can be met, but we are committed to supporting them as they counter the threat. We heard many stories while we were there of some of the horrors that are being perpetrated in the northeast and elsewhere in Nigeria. And clearly, this government, the Buhari administration is committed very strongly to doing all that they can to defeat Boko Haram. And the things that we heard from civil society representatives, just from people who we met, their utter rejection of the activities and the ideology that Boko Haram is trying to advance in Nigeria.
MR FELDSTEIN: Yeah. No, I would only add to that that I think we were both very impressed by the seriousness, the thoughtfulness of the different interlocutors that we spoke to. I think they're approaching this fight in several different phases. And '' but they are very cognizant of the challenges that are in place. What we heard was very serious conversations about the impending fight, both '' over the next few months '' but also the longer-term rebuilding that will be needed. Because what I thought was important is that it isn't something where you defeat on the battlefield Boko Haram and then you're done. What we did talk about was about how do you actually build in resilience in communities. How do you build in place a perspective so that Boko Haram is unable to return, and that the conditions that allowed for the rise of Boko Haram in the first place are really tackled at their levels? And I think to that end, there is a lot of thought being given by our Nigerian partners about what that means in a more comprehensive way.
QUESTION: Oh. I have a question.
MODERATOR: Sure.
QUESTION: Phoenix TV'' Youyou Wang from Phoenix TV, [Hong Kong]. You just mention you have '' you're trying with the local government and NGOs to do some rebuilding programs in the local community. Can you elaborate more, like, the specific programs you're working on?
MR FELDSTEIN: Yeah. Well, why don't I talk a little more about approaches, and then we can refer you to other people who can give you the more specifics on some of the programmatic elements, especially my colleagues at USAID, our counterpart agency, who is doing a large amount of thinking when it comes to longer-term programs? But one of the things that we're trying to really do is we're trying to focus and work with local partners on a variety of issues that directly get to the core of how to rebuild and how to also make sure that communities are protected.
So let me give you an example of something that we're doing. We have in place an early warning, I guess, protection program that really works with communities on the front lines of the threat, those who are most vulnerable, and works to provide them with the means to communicate very quickly when they see an impending threat from Boko Haram coming forward. There's a particular emphasis on this program on sex- and gender-based violence because so much of that, so much of the brunt of the atrocities committed by Boko Haram, have focused on women and girls.
And so these are the type of preventative programs on the ground in communities, in the northeast in particular, that we think can be a vital part of a response to and a way to protect those who need it the most. But in addition to that, I know USAID and many of our other colleagues are actively working and thinking through with Nigerian counterparts, with local governments and so forth, what are the elements needed to make sure that communities can rebuild? And I'm sure they can give you more specific details on that.
MR CHAPMAN: Just a few months ago '' and I don't have the exact time '' USAID signed a over $2 billion five-year plan together with this administration, with the Buhari administration, to provide a broad range of assistance and support to economic development, security, and all these issues that are so important to both of us. So I'll encourage you to go onto our website and get that information. And I'm sure that USAID, whether out of Nigeria or here in Washington, would be happy to give you more information about some of the programmatic responses that we intend to implement in the coming years.
QUESTION: Thank you.
MODERATOR: Do we have additional questions?
QUESTION: Yes.
MODERATOR: Please go ahead.
QUESTION: You sent some military officials to Cameroon recently to fight Boko Haram. Why not Nigeria? Why didn't '' why weren't they sent to Nigeria? I think also some in Niger, I believe. What was the wisdom behind sending them to the Cameroon instead of the theater (inaudible)?
MR CHAPMAN: Yeah. We have a broad range of assistance programs and cooperation with all four countries in the Lake Chad Basin region, and how we work with each of those militaries and governments depends on the bilateral relationship, depends upon the requests that we receive. And so we are in the process of working with each of these governments to provide the support to help them counter Boko Haram. And so we are involved in active discussions with the entire region to talk about these kinds of issues. But I can assure that based on our experience recently, the channels of communication are wide open in terms of what we are looking to be able to do together with the Nigerians to help counter Boko Haram. So the relationship is good. We're looking forward, we're looking at training, we're looking at equipment, we're looking at a whole range of issues whereby the U.S. and the U.S. military and the U.S. Government can be helpful to the Nigerian Government as they take on this threat.
MODERATOR: Are there any further questions? If there are no further questions, this event is now concluded. Did you have one, or no? Okay. The event is now concluded.
# # #
VIDEO-Evacuation at Gatwick Airport: 'suspicious article' found - CNN.com
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:40
Multiple attacks in Paris
A forensic scientist works near Cafe Bonne Biere in Paris on Saturday, November 14, following a series of coordinated attacks in Paris the night before that killed scores of people. ISIS has claimed responsibility.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Police are seen near the Cafe La Belle Equipe at the Rue de Charonne on Saturday, November 14.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Forensic police search for evidence inside the Comptoir Voltaire cafe.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Rescuers evacuate an injured person near the Stade de France, one of several sites of attacks November 13 in Paris. Thousands of fans were watching a soccer match between France and Germany when the attacks occurred.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Forensics are working in the street of Paris after the terrorist attack on Friday, November 13. The words "horror," "massacre" and "war" peppered the front pages of the country's newspapers, conveying the shell-shocked mood.
Multiple attacks in Paris
A survivor of the terrorist attack in the Bataclan is assisted following terror attacks Friday, November 13. The violence at the Bataclan, which involved a hostage-taking, resulted in the highest number of casualties of all the attacks.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Spectators invade the pitch of the Stade de France stadium after the international friendly soccer match between France and Germany in Saint-Denis.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Spectators embrace each other as they stand on the playing field of the Stade de France stadium at the end of a soccer match between France and Germany in Saint-Denis, outside Paris, on November 13.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Security forces evacuate people on Rue Oberkampf near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris early on November 14, following a string of terror attacks across Paris that began Friday night. There were also explosions at the Stade de France, just north of Paris.
Multiple attacks in Paris
A woman is evacuated from the Bataclan theater early on November 14.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Victims of the shooting at the Bataclan concert venue in central Paris are evacuated to receive medical treatment on November 14.
Multiple attacks in Paris
A body, covered by a sheet, is seen on the sidewalk outside the Bataclan theater.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Medics evacuate an injured woman on Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, close to the Bataclan theater, early on November 14.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Police officers patrol Paris' Saint-German neighborhood on November 14.
Multiple attacks in Paris
A man with blood on his shirt talks on the phone on November 14. He is next to the Bataclan theater, where gunmen shot concertgoers and held hostages until police raided the building.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Police officers patrol the area around Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on November 14.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Police forces, firefighters and rescue workers secure the area near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, early on Saturday, November 14.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Rescuers evacuate an injured person on Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, close to the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Wounded people are evacuated outside the scene of a hostage situation at the Bataclan theater in Paris on Friday, November 13.
Multiple attacks in Paris
A medic tends to a wounded man following the attacks near the Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire.
Multiple attacks in Paris
A woman walks past police and firefighters in the Oberkampf area of Paris.
Multiple attacks in Paris
A riot police officer stands by an ambulance near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Wounded people are evacuated outside the Bataclan concert hall.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Police secure the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, following explosions during the soccer match between France and Germany.
Multiple attacks in Paris
A wounded man is evacuated from the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Spectators gather on the field of the Stade de France after the attacks. Explosions were heard during the soccer match between France and Germany.
Multiple attacks in Paris
French security forces rush in as people are evacuated in the area of Rue Bichat in the 10th District of Paris.
Multiple attacks in Paris
People leave the Stade de France after explosions were heard near the stadium during a soccer match between France and Germany on Friday. Paris Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman told CNN President Francois Hollande was at the match and was evacuated at halftime.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Victims lay on the pavement outside a Paris restaurant.
Multiple attacks in Paris
Rescue workers and medics tend to victims at the scene of one of the shootings, a restaurant in the 10th District. Attackers reportedly used AK-47 automatic weapons in separate attacks across Paris, and there were explosions at the Stade de France.
Multiple attacks in Paris
French security forces move people in the area of Rue Bichat in the 10th District. A witness told BFMTV that firefighters were on the scene to treat the injured.
VIDEO-Paris climate deal will not be a legally binding treaty - FT.com
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:31
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VIDEO-Aangirfan: Communist propaganda - Or common sense?
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:27
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VIDEO-During Paris Attacks, MSNBC's Brian Williams Asks About Impact On Climate Conference | BB4SP
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 15:44
A climate conference is underway in Paris, and Weather Channel Managing Editor Sam Champion is there, along with former Vice President Al Gore, filming the event and doing promotion there for the cause. Champion was on MSNBC to discuss the terror attacks in Paris as they were occurring. After some back and forth, tone deaf Williams asked Champion how the conference would be affected.
Williams did not merely ask about how the event would proceed, or whether security would be affected, which might be natural questions even if grossly untimely. But instead he asks specifically, how this attack would impact the messaging.''What becomes of what you had hoped to be this big public campaign leading up the climate summit?''
Because that is the important thing when hostages are still being held and gunfire is still being exchanged. How will the global warming conference's PR campaign go on? More
Please Comment, Like & Share. Your thoughts are important to us.
VIDEO-Paris attacks: At least 153 die in shootings, explosions - CNN.com
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 04:38
Scores were killed in the coordinated attacks late Friday, leaving a nation in mourning and the world in shock. CNN will update this story as information comes in:
[Latest developments, posted at 11:17 p.m. ET]
' U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with French President Francois Hollande to offer condolences and assistance in the investigation, the White House said. Earlier, Obama said, "This is an attack not just on Paris, not just on the people on France, but an attack on all humanity and the universal values we share." He called the attacks an "outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians."
' A total of six locations were attacked in and just outside the capital, Paris prosecutor Fran§ois Molins told reporters Saturday.
' Five suspected attackers have been "neutralized," said Molins. It was unclear whether that term meant the terrorists were dead.
' A witness tells Radio France that attackers inside the Bataclan concert hall entered firing rifles and shouting "Allah akbar."
' At least 153 people were killed in the Paris and Saint-Denis shootings and bombings, French officials said. Saint-Denis is home to the national stadium where the soccer match was being played.
' The worst carnage occurred at Bataclan, with at least 112 left dead. A journalist who was at a rock concert there escaped and told CNN: "We lied down on the floor not to get hurt. It was a huge panic. The terrorists shot at us for 10 to 15 minutes. It was a bloodbath." Julien Pearce didn't hear the attackers speak, but he said one friend who escaped heard them talk about Iraq and Syria. Later, he said the men were speaking French. Two men dressed in black started shooting and after wounded people fell to the floor, the gunmen shot them again, execution-style, he said.
According to French officials, at least:
112 were killed at the Bataclan theater.14 were killed on Rue Bichat at the site of the Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, in the 10th district.19 died on Rue de Charonne in the 11th district, outside a bar called La Belle Equipe.Four were killed on Avenue de la Republique, in the 10th district.Four others died outside the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis, north of Paris.' CNN affiliate BFMTV, citing French officials, said some gunmen were still at large.
' Charlotte Brehaut and a friend were dining in Le Petit Cambodge, a Cambodian restaurant, when the shooting started from the street, she told CNN. "All of a sudden we heard huge gunshots and glass coming through the windows. We ducked with the other diners," she said. She grabbed the arm of a woman on the floor. The woman didn't respond. The woman was shot in the chest and there was blood all around her. At least 14 people were killed in Le Petit Cambodge, authorities said.
Inside the Bataclan: 'A bloodbath,' witness says
' Four attackers were killed, including three who were wearing explosives belts, at Bataclan during the police raid, Paris police spokesman Michel Cadot told France Info radio.
' There is great alarm over the apparent methodology and likely planning that would have been needed to pull off such a series of attacks, one U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN. The attacks resembled tactics that have been used by a number of terror groups -- including al Qaeda's focus on mass casualties and visibility, and the small, tactical nature of attacks that are more the hallmark of ISIS and its acolytes. It is still not clear who is responsible.
' U.S. citizens in Paris who are safe are being asked by the State Department to call their families. Those Americans in France needing assistance should call 001-202-501-4444. Americans concerned about loved ones in Paris should call 1-888-407-4747. An official told CNN the hotline was flooded with calls.
Impact Your World: How you can help those affected by the attacks
' Michael Dorio, brother of a member of the band that was playing at the Bataclan concert, said he spoke to Eagles of Death Metal drummer Julian Dorio about 20-30 minutes after the attack. "He said he had been performing and heard the gunshots. They stopped playing and hit the deck and went backstage and exited," Michael Dorio told CNN.
' BFMTV reports that SWAT units stormed Bataclan and that the siege was over. Two attackers were killed, a police union said. Police brought out at least 100 hostages from the concert hall, a CNN producer said; some appear to be wounded. Hollande told reporters outside Bataclan that "terrorists capable of carrying out such atrocities must know that they will face a France that is determined and united."
' Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman told CNN the death toll is going to rise significantly. "We are facing an unknown and historic situation in Paris," he said.
' Hollande called the events "unprecedented terrorist attacks" and added, "This is a horror." In a tweet, he said, "Faced with terror, this is a nation that knows how to defend itself, how to mobilize its forces and once again, knows how to overcome the terrorists."
' One of the explosions at the Stade de France, home of the French national sports teams, outside Paris appears to be a suicide bombing, a Western intelligence source receiving direct intelligence from the scene told CNN's Deb Feyerick. A dismembered body, consistent with the aftermath of an explosion from that type of device, was found at the scene, the source said. Watch: Explosion heard at Paris soccer game
' People were inviting people off the streets into their apartments, reports Philip Crowther, Washington correspondent for France 24.
' Traffic on several subway lines has been interrupted following the attacks, the Paris police prefecture reported.
' There is no credible or specific threat in the United States, according to a U.S. government official. An FBI spokesperson said the agency and the Department of Homeland Security were closely monitoring the unfolding events.
' Hollande, in an address to the nation, said he had declared a state of emergency, meaning borders will be closed. "We have to show compassion and solidarity and we also have to show unity and keep our cool. France must be strong and great," he said.
' The Paris prefecture of police instructed residents to stay home. The prefecture said via Twitter that people should stay inside "unless there's an absolute necessity."
Facebook activates 'Safety Check' for users during attack
' French authorities have launched a terrorism investigation, Eric Pelletier, a reporter with Le Pariesien, tells CNN Paul Cruickshank. There has been no official claim of responsibility, though ISIS has applauded the attacks on Twitter, Cruickshank reports.
Obama calls Paris attacks 'outrageous'
Paris terror attacks: 2016 hopefuls express shock, condolences
' Russian leader Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Hollande and the people of France. "Russia strongly condemns this inhumane killing and is ready to provide any and all assistance to investigate these terrorist crimes," he said.
' Three explosions took place at the Stade de France, CNN affiliate BFMTV said.
' Counterterrorism officials around the United States convened secure conference calls to try to gather information, according to two U.S. counterterrorism officials. Immediate suspicion for the events in Paris falls to so-called returnees -- people who have traveled to Syria and Iraq and have returned, the officials said.
In early January of this year, two gunmen attacked the Paris offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 and wounding 11.
Said and Cherif Kouachi wanted to punish the magazine for the publication of cartoons that they believed mocked the Prophet Mohammed. The Kouachi brothers two days later were shot and killed in a standoff with police in Dammartin-en-Goele.
Amedy Coulibaly, an associate of Said and Cherif Kouachi, attacked a Jewish grocery store in Paris, taking more than a dozen people hostage and killing four. Coulibaly had killed a policewoman the day before, on January 8. Coulibaly was killed when police stormed the kosher market.
Support for Paris swells from around the world
CNN's Jim Bittermann reported from Paris and Steve Almasy and Pierre Meilhan reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN's Pierre Buet, Alanne Orjoux, Elise Labott, Margot Haddad, Peter Bergen, Pamela Brown, Michael Martinez, Evan Perez, Ralph Ellis, Josh Berlinger and Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.
VIDEO-President Obama Statement on Paris Terrorist Attacks 11/13/2015 [FULL SPEECH] - YouTube
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 04:20
VIDEO-South Park - Safe Space - "In My Safe Space" - YouTube
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 03:58
VIDEO-Welcome to Sweden - YouTube
Fri, 13 Nov 2015 20:32

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Agenda 2030

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BAustin

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