Posted by: Chuck | September 1, 2013


U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show 30 Aug 2013 U.S. intelligence services carried out 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, the leading edge of a clandestine campaign that embraces the Internet as a theater of spying, sabotage and war, according to top-secret documents obtained by The Washington Post. That disclosure, in a classified intelligence budget provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, provides new evidence that the Obama administration’s growing ranks of cyber warriors infiltrate and disrupt foreign computer networks. Additionally, under an extensive effort code-named GENIE, U.S. computer specialists break into foreign networks so that they can be put under surreptitious U.S. control. Budget documents say the $652 million project has placed “covert implants,” sophisticated malware transmitted from far away, in computers, routers and firewalls on tens of thousands of machines every year, with plans to expand those numbers into the millions.

U.S. spy budget disclosed: $52.6 billion 29 Aug 2013 U.S. spy agencies have built an intelligence-gathering colossus since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but remain unable to provide critical information to the president on a range of national security threats, according to the government’s top-secret budget. The *52.6 billion “black budget” for fiscal 2013, obtained by The Washington Post from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, maps a bureaucratic and operational landscape that has never been subject to public scrutiny. Although the government has annually released its overall level of intelligence spending since 2007, it has not divulged how it uses the money or how it performs against the goals set by the president and Congress. The 178-page budget summary for the National Intelligence Program details the successes, failures and objectives of the 16 spy agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, which has 107,035 employees.

Ah yes, then came the dawn.Israel Grants First Golan Heights Oil Drilling License to Dick Cheney-Linked Company 22 Feb 2013 Israel has granted a U.S. company the first license to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights, John Reed of the Financial Times reports. A local subsidiary of the New York-listed company Genie Energy — which is advised by former vice president Dick Cheney and whose shareholders include Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch — will have exclusive rights to a 153-square mile radius in the southern part of the Golan Heights. That geographic location will likely prove controversial. Israel seized the Golan Heights in the Six-Day War in 1967 and annexed the territory in 1981. Its administration of the area — which is not recognized by international lawhas been mostly peaceful until the Syrian civil war broke out 23 months ago. “This action is mostly political – it’s an attempt to deepen Israeli commitment to the occupied Golan Heights,” Israeli political analyst Yaron Ezrahi told FT. “The timing is directly related to the fact that the Syrian government is dealing with violence and chaos and is not free to deal with this problem.”


US prepared to strike Syria despite rebuke from Britain, White House officials say 30 Aug 2013 White House officials are signaling that President Barack Obama is prepared for the United States to strike Syria — after a rejection from the British Parliament and in the face of deep reservations in Congress. An NBC News poll released Friday found that an overwhelming majority of Americans, roughly eight in 10, want the president to seek approval from lawmakers before any attack on the Syrian government for its alleged use of chemical weapons. On Thursday, top Obama administration officials — including National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel — scrambled to build support for a strike among key members of Congress.

29 Aug 2013 Russia has announced plans for deploying an anti-submarine ship and a missile cruiser to the Mediterranean, amid the escalating Western war rhetoric against Syria. “The well-known situation shaping up in the eastern Mediterranean called for certain corrections to the make-up of the naval forces,” an unnamed source in the Russian General Staff was quoted by Russian news agency Interfax as saying on Thursday. “A large anti-submarine ship of the Northern Fleet will join them (the existing Russian naval forces) over the next few days. Later it will be joined by the Moskva, a rocket cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet,” the source added.

U.S. readies strikes, Syrians prepare for attack 28 Aug 2013 People in Damascus stocked up on supplies on Wednesday and some left homes close to potential targets as U.S. officials sketched out plans for multi-national air strikes on Syria that could last for days. United Nations chemical weapons experts completed a second field trip to rebel-held suburbs, looking for evidence of what – and who (the ‘rebels’) – caused an apparent poison gas attack that residents say killed hundreds of people a week ago. But as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon appealed for unity among world powers and sought more time for the inspectors to complete their work, Washington and its European and Middle East allies said their minds were made up and that President Bashar al-Assad must face retribution for using banned weapons against his people.

Syria strike could bring Raytheon payday 29 Aug 2013 A U.S. attack on Syria could translate into big bucks for defense giant Raytheon, which makes the Tomahawk cruise missile that’s said to be President Barack Obama’s weapon of choice. Reports that the White House is planning an attack to punish Damascus for the [rebels’] use of chemical weapons sent Raytheon’s stock price to a 52-week high this week — and have reawakened grumblings in Congress that the military doesn’t buy enough Tomahawks. On paper, the Pentagon buys 196 Tomahawk missiles a year, considered the” minimum sustaining rate,” or just enough to maintain the supply chain. But the Navy, which did not respond to a request for comment, has had to ramp up production after firing hundreds of Tomahawks during US-instigated 2011 civil war in Libya.


US Forces ‘Used Chemical Weapons’ During Assault on City of Fallujah (Preview) 14 Jun 2013 Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon. (Video)

US reportedly offers drones to German military 28 Aug 2013 The US has offered to sell four unarmed drones to Germany’s army, the Bundeswehr, according to a newspaper report. However, the aircraft could be easily converted for combat use. The US government could deliver to Germany four unarmed MQ-9A Predator B drones, including ground control stations, the Suddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) reported in their Wednesday edition, citing a defense ministry answer to a request from the Left party’s parliamentary faction. The US “Letter of Offer and Acceptance” was submitted June 13, the newspaper reported.

Heads up!NORAD to exercise over Northern Va. this week 28 Aug 2013 The North American Aerospace Defense Command will be training over the area twice this week, starting early Thursday morning. The exercises will be Thursday and Friday morning, beginning at midnight and lasting until 2 a.m., will include Civil Air Patrol aircraft and a U.S. Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter. NORAD has been conducting these training flights in the United States and Canada as part of Operation Noble Eagle since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

NYPD Secretly Designates Mosques as Terrorism Organizations 28 Aug 2013 The New York Police Department has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorist organizations, a designation that allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services there is a potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance. Since the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD has opened at least a dozen “terrorism enterprise investigations” into mosques, according to interviews and confidential police documents. The TEI, as it is known, is a police tool intended to help investigate terrorist cells and the like.

Muslims challenging U.S. ‘no fly’ list win partial court victory The 13 plaintiffs, all U.S. citizens who deny any links to terrorism, say they were placed on the government’s no-fly list without notice or any realistic avenue of appeal. 29 Aug 2013 Thirteen Muslim Americans challenging the U.S. governments’ secretive “no-fly” list won a partial victory in federal court when a judge found they “have a constitutionally protected liberty interest” in traveling internationally by air. But U.S. District Judge Anna Brown has yet to decide whether the government violated their constitutional rights to due process under a policy that excludes individuals from commercial air travel if they are suspected of having ties to terrorism. In her ruling late on Wednesday in Portland, the judge also asked both the plaintiffs and the Department of Justice for more information before deciding key parts of the case.

NY Judge Won’t Dismiss Preacher’s Terrorism Case 30 Aug 2013 A federal judge on Friday refused to toss out terrorism charges facing an Egyptian Islamic preacher extradited from Great Britain and said she’ll decide during a trial next year whether government references to ‘al-Qaida’ being led by Osama bin Laden more than a decade ago and other statements are inflammatory. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest left intact the 11-count indictment brought against Mustafa Kamel Mustafa as she ruled on pretrial motions. Mustafa faces trial in March on charges filed in Manhattan after his arrest in England in 2004.

US teenager charged with Chicago terror plot accused of seeking to have FBI agent killed Prosecutors say Daoud was introduced to an undercover FBI agent posing as a terrorist in New York. 30 Aug 2013 A teenager facing terrorism charges for allegedly trying to bomb a downtown Chicago bar is now accused of seeking to have an undercover FBI agent killed while the suspect was behind bars. Adel Daoud faces multiple charges, including solicitation of murder or attempted murder for allegedly trying to kill the agent, who the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago says played a role in a sting frame-up that led to the suspect’s initial arrest in 2012. The 19-year-old Hillside man has been jailed since that arrest for allegedly trying to ignite what he thought was a car bomb outside the bar; the bomb was fake and part of the sting.

Nidal Hasan sentenced to death for Fort Hood shooting rampage 28 Aug 2013 Nidal Malik Hasan was sentenced to death Wednesday for killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in a 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Tex., the worst mass murder at a military installation in U.S. history. Dressed in army fatigues, Hasan, who turns 43 next month, listened as the death penalty was handed down by a panel of 13 senior military officers in a unanimous decision. If even a single panel member had objected, Hasan would instead have been sentenced to life in prison.

The Sandy Hook security cash cow: U.S. Justice Department Gives State Police, Newtown $2.5M 28 Aug 2013 Attorney General Eric Holder announced Wednesday that the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance will give $2.5 million in funding to the Connecticut State Police and local law enforcement for their response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The Town of Newtown will receive *602,293 for police officers’ time during the past school year (Dec. 14, 2012 through June 2013) to respond to the shooting, provide public protection services afterward, and to monitor local schools. The State of Connecticut will receive *663,444 for State Police troopers’ overtime to assist Newtown police with tactical response and law enforcement activities… The Town of Monroe, which gave a vacant elementary school to the Newtown community to use as the new Sandy Hook Elementary School, will receive *882,812 for police officers’ time to secure and monitor the new school.

Shots fired during North Carolina high school fire drill 30 Aug 2013 A North Carolina student was injured and another taken into police custody after shots were fired in an altercation during a fire drill at a high school in Winston-Salem on Friday, authorities said. Gunfire was reported at 2:30 p.m. EDT at Carver High School as students began to walk back inside the school buildings at the end of a planned fire drill, Winston-Salem Police Chief Barry Rountree said at a press conference.

Obama to seek approval from Congress for Syria strike 31 Aug 2013 President Barack Obama says he has decided the US should take military action against Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack that reportedly took over 1,400 lives. However, he will first seek authorization from Congress. The Congress plans to hold a debate and a vote as soon as they come back in September, he added.

Syria: Putin rubbishes chemical attack claimsRussian president goes on offensive against Obama –US weighs up next move as UN team go to Lebanon –Two-thirds of French people oppose intervention, says poll 31 Aug 2013 Vladimir Putin has rejected US intelligence claims that Bashar al-Assad’s government used chemical weapons in Syria, saying it would be “utter nonsense” for government troops to use such tactics in a war it was already winning. “That is why I am convinced that [the chemical attack] is nothing more than a provocation by those who want to drag other countries into the Syrian conflict, and who want to win the support of powerful members of the international arena, especially the United States,” Putin told journalists in Vladivostok.



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