## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Permanent Link posted by Rice Farmer
China said it launched two fighter planes Friday to investigate flights by a dozen U.S. and Japanese reconnaissance and military planes in its new maritime air defense zone over the East China Sea.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday the United States has told Japan that it did not advise American airlines to comply with Chinese demands for prior notice before their aircraft enter Beijing’s new air defense identification zone over the East China Sea.
posted by askousen – Saturday, November 30 2013
China’s development of space warfare capabilities is continuing. The U.S. government recently translated a technical paper published earlier this month that reveals Beijing’s research on “space countermeasures,” the military term for kinetic anti-satellite missiles, electronic jamming and laser attacks that can destroy, cripple or electronically blind satellites in orbit. — Washington Times
posted by askousen – Friday, November 29 2013
…Named Manoeuvre 5, these were no ordinary exercises. They were the latest in a series of increasingly complex and powerful thrusts through the first island chain into the Pacific. For the first time in centuries, China is building a navy that can break out of its confined coastal waters to protect distant sea lanes and counter regional rivals. Beijing’s military strategists argue this naval punch is vital if China is to avoid being bottled up behind a barrier of U.S. allies, vulnerable to a repeat of the humiliation suffered at the hands of seafaring Europeans and Japanese through the colonial period. “It tells Japan and the United States that they are not able to contain China within the first island chain,” says Shen Dingli, a security expert and professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University. “So don’t bet on their chances to do so at a time of crisis.” — Reuters
December 1st, 2013
[ by Charles Cameron — just musing on the old and sacred meaning of the word ]
Ukraine Leader Called to Resign as Anger Swells
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2013
“Pretending a Name Is Still Secret–in the Name of the Cult of Secrecy”
“CIA Officer Craig Peters Osth” (also from the same source some internationally wanted fugitives from the ‘Milan job’, Peter Chung-Sik Baek and Thomas James Sullivan; you’ll remember that Robert Seldon Lady – who you are supposed to feel sorry for – escaped only by the skin of his teeth and some CIA bribes paid to officials in Panama).
“Information Monopoly Defines the Deep State” Update of Max Weber’s monopoly-of-force definition of ‘state’.
This obsession of the !% and its minions in collecting secrets has a very fin-de-siècle air about it. They have a lot more wealth tied up in secrecy than the 99% do, and a lot of people working for the 1% know these secrets and could reveal them. We’re seeing more and more wealth tied up in secrets as the truth would be too embarrassing or too revealing of illegality and general sociopathic behavior.
Any country that is a victim of the United States could start revealing the names of CIA station chiefs and other employees. There is a kind of ‘gentleman’s agreement’ not to do this, but the Americans are behaving so abominably that nobody considers them to be gentlemen.
Dutch intelligence agency hacks internet forums 01 Dec 2013 The Dutch intelligence service, AIVD, had hacked internet web forums to collect the data of all users. The majority of these people are unknown to the intelligence services and are not specified as targets when the hacking and data collection process starts. A secret document of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden shows that the AIVD use a technology called Computer Network Exploitation, CNE, to hack the web forums and collect the data.
Lots more on “Penny Lane”, that small sub-set of the Gitmo complex in which detainees were fashioned into a weapon of war, can be found here:
Tehreek e-Taliban Pakistan/Guantanamo
On November 25, The Associated Press released a news report which strengthens the beliefs held by many security analyts, that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or ‘TTP’ for short, a terrorist organization which repeatedly claims ties to the Afghan Taliban, is a fake group bred by the American intelligence community.
According to the report, the CIA had a secret facility (until 2006) near the main Guantanamo Bay prison, dubbed “Penny Lane“, where captured jihadists and fighters from Afghanistan were turned into double agents. This fundamentally required that those who agreed in being American spies would guarantee full cooperation in “killing terrorists” (or, in other words, targeting elements who are eyesore for the US).
Captives who signed up to be double agents were offered millions of dollars from the CIA’s (read American taxpayers’ money) secret account (Codename ‘Pledge’), along with safety for their families.
But that’s not all. According to a report in the Voice of Russia compiled from various established sources, a few of these prospective double agents who were apparently lured by opportunities to be filthy rich and yet retain their iconic ‘warlord’ status, would sometimes request for porn material. It is said that Penny Lane was quite comfortable, in comparison to Guantanamo Bay prison, as it had beds, private kitchens and also a small patio.
The militants who decided once and for all to end fighting American forces signed formal agreements to work for the CIA. One prisoner though, was reportedly forced into agreeing because the CIA threatened of harming his children.
The CIA + Abdullah Mehsud = TTP is born
Abdullah Mehsud can be described as one of the key founders of the TTP, an organization whose country-wide attacks in Pakistan have resulted in 15,681 armed forces casualties. Similarly, approximately 5,152 civilians have been killed and 5,678 injured in bomb blasts and suicide attacks since 2008. These statistics were presented by legal counsels for Pakistan’s intelligence agencies at the Supreme Court on 26 March 2013.
Abdullah Mehsud had lost a leg in a landmine explosion in 1996 and was captured sometime later by Uzbek-origin Afghan commander Abdul Rashid Dostum while fighting the Northern Alliance. He was imprisoned at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay for two years and later, to much surprise and shock, released in March 2004. What’s even more astounding is that he was also gifted a prosthetic limb by his captors, according to a statement by Brigadier General Jay Hood who was then running the camp.
A document titled JTF-GTMO Information on Detainees mentions that Abdullah Mehsud was released because he “claimed to be an office clerk and driver for the Taliban from 1996 to 1998 or 1999. He consistently denied having any affiliation with al Qaida. He also claimed to have received no weapons or military training due to his handicap (an amputation resulting from when he stepped on a land mine 10 years ago). He claimed that after September 11, 2001 he was forcibly conscripted by the Taliban military“.
This same Abdullah was later named as the commander of Al Qaeda-affiliated militants who ordered his band of subordinate fighters to kidnap two Chinese engineers (one was killed during a rescue attempt gone bad).
The Afghan Taliban were displeased with the incident and reportedly booted Abdullah Mehsud out. They were also suspicious of his activities since he was mysteriously released by the US military “crusaders” from Guantanamo.
While in Afghanistan, Abdullah Mehsud had created his own parallel “Taliban” militia and proudly claimed while giving media interviews in Afghanistan, that he was behind a series of attacks on Pakistani security forces (unlike the Afghan Taliban who were focused on fighting ISAF-NATO). Upon his return through Zhob in Balochistan province of Pakistan, security forces were aware of his presence and raided the house of Sheikh Ayub Mandokhel to capture him on 24 July 2007. Sheikh Mandokhel was a leader affiliated with the Islamist JUI-F of Maulana Fazlur Rehman. However, before he could be arrested, Abdullah blew himself up.
It is worth noting that before Abdullah Mehsud was released from Guantanamo and dropped in Afghanistan, there were no attacks taking place against Pakistani security forces. This is where a large information vacuum exists and which must be explored further. Had Abdullah Mehsud created a new “Taliban” that would be America’s own brand of Islamists?
In an article for The New Tork Times dated 22 October 2009, journalist Scott Shane quoted an unnamed Afghan Taliban official as saying that for the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), “there will not be any support from us”. He added the Afghan Taliban “don’t have interest in fighting against other countries”.
Furthermore, the Afghan Taliban commander said their mission is to get occupation forces out (of Afghanistan) and “not get into a fight with a Muslim army”.
Many journalists and security officials in Western states have been alleging since long that the Afghan Taliban are aided by the Pakistani intelligence agencies. Had that been the case, their so-called assets would have prevented Colonel (retd) Sultan Amir Tarar alias “Colonel Imam”, their former teacher from the Afghan war era, from being killed at the hands of Hakeemullah Mehsud, the recently-killed TTP chief.
There are also many other incidents such as this which suggest that had the Afghan Taliban indeed been proxies of the Pakistani agencies, as is routinely alleged, they would have instructed the TTP to stop attacks on Pakistani forces. But this never happened. Instead, as reported earlier, more than 15,000 soldiers and high-ranking armed forces personnel from Pakistan lost their lives.
But then, the question arises, who are these Pakistani Taliban fighting a Muslim army (of Pakistan) which the Afghan Taliban do not wish to fight? Are they a band of militants who were recruited by Abdullah Mehsud and later on joined hands with Baitullah Mehsud?
The ominous release of Abdullah Mehsud, when reviewed today in context of the new disclosures published by the Associated Press, lay bare historical facts and confirm the fact that he (Abdullah) had been set free because he must have agreed on becoming a double agent for the CIA, hence the safe haven in Afghanistan and US forces not capturing him there again. This also explains why his ideological descendants who later on coalesced to form the TTP are hell-bent on destroying Pakistan.
This also explains why both the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban have been working on different lines, although appearing the same on the outset (basically we have the identical nomenclature to blame for mass confusion).
Felix Kuehn, renowned researcher on terrorism and author of “An Enemy We Created: The Myth of the Taliban/al-Qaeda Merger in Afghanistan 1970-2010″, said at an event organized by the Afghanistan Study Group and the Center for International Policy, that although the (Afghan) Taliban and Al Qaeda have some ties, “they are separate and distinct groups with different constituencies and different goals”. Kuehn had studied the Taliban and Al Qaeda closely while staying at Kandahar despite extreme risks to his life.
From a report by Bob Dreyfuss in The Nation:
For at least three years, Kuehn and Alex Strick van Linschoten have lived and worked in Kandahar, where they’ve studied the two organizations, lived with Kandahar citizens, and met people of all political persuasions there, including Taliban commanders.
Kuehn points out that the Taliban and Al Qaeda adhere to different strains of Islamic thought, the Taliban associated with Saudi-influenced, Wahhabi-style Hanafi beliefs, and Al Qaeda associated with the more radical, more rigid Hanbali school. The Taliban, of course, are Afghans, and Al Qaeda mostly Arab and almost entirely non-Afghan. Generationally, they are different, too, with most Al Qaeda leaders older than the young commanders of the Taliban, and whereas many Al Qaeda people are professionals and well educated, the Taliban are rural, unschooled, and grew up in places like Kandahar where newspapers were nonexistent and even radios were in the hands of only a privileged few.
When Al Qaeda arrived in Afghanistan from Sudan around 1996, says Kuehn, its membership was not more than 30. Al Qaeda fighters, and the growing number of recruits who came to Afghanistan from elsewhere, kept apart from Taliban fighters, who resented Al Qaeda, and there was a great deal of animosity between the two. Osama bin Laden insisted that international actions against the United States and other countries was crucial to his strategy, while Mullah Omar opposed such actions, says Kuehn.
“Osama bin Laden’s death will have zero impact on the Afghan Taliban,” says Kuehn. In part, that’s because they “didn’t have much a relationship to begin with.” Still, he says, it’s foolish to expect the Taliban to denounce Al Qaeda or to formally break with the organization, in part because bin Laden and Al Qaeda were Mullah Omar’s bridge to the Arab world. Yet when bin Laden was killed, the Taliban’s reaction was muted, and its statement—released via the Taliban’s semi-official web site—was mild and restrained. (If you haven’t spent time reading the Taliban in its own words, its web site is the place to start.)
Yet, we saw that Hakeemullah Mehsud and his groups under the umbrella of the TTP were openly supportive of, and aligned with, the global Al Qaeda. The attack on a CIA base by Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal Al-Balawi, who was seen in a video statement released by the Umar Media of TTP to be sitting next to Hakeemullah Mehsud, was most possibly a false attack which the CIA itself ordered as a stunt to prove it has no ties with the TTP.
Later, we saw Baitullah Mehsud, then Hakeemullah Mehsud (who lived in a luxurious $120,000 mansion), continue the legacy of this fake brand of Taliban. Or putting it more precisely, the CIA brand of Taliban. A group which has caused more damage to Pakistan than any other through brainwashed suicide-attack blasts, IED explosions, urban warfare, destruction of strategic defence equipment in use by the Pakistan Army, Air Force and Navy, bombing of ISI offices, murder of thousands of innocent civilians, beheading of hundreds of Pakistan Army troops, and what not.
It is most likely that the birth of these murderers’ ideology took place at the once-secret Penny Lane facility.
And when the controllers of these cheap hirelings and ignorant “holy warriors” of the Pakistani Taliban, who liaise between Langley and FATA/Afghanistan are no longer needed, they are simply disposed by being “droned” to death, just like Baitullah and Hakeemullah were. That is the destiny awaiting every worthless CIA asset.
Many sectors of the Pakistani society were well-aware of these facts but these mainstream revelations (still not complete though) are ample proof that the US has played a major role in destabilizing Pakistan, as it wants to avenge its own strategic blunders which it committed by unnecessarily invading Afghanistan.
The US needs it’s own Taliban to keep Pakistan engaged in internal house-cleaning and meanwhile give free space to India to attain what is has always desired: a large strategic stake in Afghanistan.
Browse and scroll here:
Why Do You Think They Call it a Hard Drive?
Parts of a Raging Debate About Snowden:
Posted on November 30, 2013 by willyloman
by Scott Creighton
“Greenwald is a Brazilian based former porn industry executive, now assisting Edward Snowden leak national security information.” Continue
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2009
There are dozens of examples, one of whom is the author of a post this week at Pando.com which accuses me and Laura Poitras of having “promptly sold [the Snowden] secrets to a billionaire” Continue
[The link above might seem off-topic, but grab a cup of your favorite hot brew and sit down an read for a while]
Posted by samzenpus on Sunday December 01, 2013 @07:20PM
from the scuttle-the-gas dept.
An anonymous reader writes
“The organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has proposed destroying at least 1000 tones of the confiscated Syrian chemical weapon stockpile out at sea, which some fear will destroy delicate eco systems vital to sea and human life alike. The OPCW claims the plan is ‘technically feasible’ and is apparently willing to risk ecological disaster to destroy the toxic contents of the weaponry in or above the sea. Members of the press were told, the ‘group is considering whether to destroy the chemical weapons in the ocean, either on a ship or by loading them onto an offshore rig.'”
Sunday, December 1st, 2013 | Posted by Editor
U.S. Senators Call for an End to the N.S.A. Dragnet, Now
Americans’ trust has been undermined by the N.S.A.’s domestic surveillance programs, as well as by senior officials’ misleading statements about surveillance. Only by ending the dragnet collection of ordinary Americans’ private information can this trust be rebuilt.
China has launched its first lunar rover mission, the next key step in the Asian superpower’s ambitious space programme.
The Chang’e-3 mission blasted off from Xichang in the south at 01:30 Monday local time (17:30 GMT Sunday).
The Long March rocket’s payload includes a landing module and a six-wheeled robotic rover called Yutu (or Jade Rabbit).
The mission should land in the Moon’s northern hemisphere in mid-December.
- Tags: RUSSIA
Did you know that Russia is building submarines that are so quiet that the U.S. military cannot detect them? These “black hole” submarines can freely approach the coastlines of the United States without fear of being detected whenever they want. In fact, a “nuclear-powered attack submarine armed with long-range cruise missiles” sailed around in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks without being detected back in 2012. And now Russia is launching a new class of subs that have “advanced stealth technology”. The U.S. Navy openly acknowledges that they cannot track these subs when they are submerged. That means that the Russians are able to sail right up to our coastlines and launch nukes whenever they want. But instead of trying to find a way to counteract this potential threat, the Obama administration has been working very hard to dismantle the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal. In the end, we could potentially pay a great price for this utter foolishness.