i dunno why madsen gives oman such a plus – doesn’t he realise that it is owned and run by the british government?

Israel’s Future Vision of the Middle East
Wayne Madsen, Strategic Culture, Mar 28 2015

Beginning in 1982 with the «Yinon Plan», a proposed Israeli future for a Middle East based on a series of failed Arab states divided into warring smaller fiefdoms, and maturing in the 1990s with the Netanyahu-commissioned policy paper «A Clean Break,» which foresaw scrapping the entire peace process with the Plastelinans, Netanyahu enters his fourth term as prime minister in command of an Israel that has scrapped a Plastelinan state and which has provided assistance to the Salafi/Saudi axis in support of ISIS, AQ and other radical Jihadi groups. Today, as a result of Israeli right-wing/Saudi/Gulf Wahhabi collusion, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen are failed states and the Middle East is becoming increasingly balkanized.

In Dec 2014, a Shin Bet intelligence report revealed that during the first few months of 2015 the disintegration of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya into warring factions would accelerate. That prediction has materialized. The Israeli report also saw Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey becoming more autocratic states. That also has come about, especially in Saudi Arabia where the new king, Salman, has started to reverse some of the minor reforms instituted by his late predecessor, Abdullah. The Israelis predicted that Assad would rule over what the Israelis called “Little Syria,” with effective control of only 20% to 30% of the country. The Israelis saw the remainder of Syria in the hands of Jihadi groups like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, with smaller cantons in the hands of Syrian Kurds and non-Jihadi Sunni tribes, all of which would be fighting each other, as well as against the Assad government.

The report supported Israel enhancing its position in the Golan Heights. In fact, Israel has done much more than that. The Jewish state has actively supported logistically and with weapons and intelligence Syrian and foreign Jihadis, including Jabhat al-Nusra and the ISIS forces that have militarily engaged Assad’s forces and Hezbollah near the Golan Heights, which remains in Israeli hands without any threat to Israel’s interests in the region from ISIS. The ISIS/Jabhat al-Nusra alliance with Israel comes as a bitter pill for the Plastelinans of the West Bank and Gaza who have never been able to count on the support of the duplicitous Saudis and Gulf Arabs when it comes to the overall strategic and sectarian interests of the Saudis and Persian Gulf sheikhdoms. Riyadh, Doha, and Abu Dhabi place greater value on their unsigned pact with Israel against Shi’a Iran, Alawi Syria, and Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon than in any commitment to the Plastelinan cause of self-determination. This abandonment of the Plastelinans by the Wahhabis was always a foregone conclusion, since the pampered Saudis and their Gulf friends have historically harbored a deep-seated jealousy of the better-educated and more resourceful people of Plastelina.

The Shin Bet report also saw Libya being divided into three states: Cyrenaica in the east, Tripolitania in the west, and Fezzan in the Saharan south. Cyrenaica is dominated by local Jihadis who have pledged their loyalty to ISIS and showed their commitment to ISIS’ self-declared caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by beheading 21 Egyptian Coptic oil workers who were taken prisoner. Yemen and Iraq are the scenes of bloody civil wars between proxy forces loyal to the Saudis and the Iranians. In Iraq, ISIS swept into control of large portions of the north and west of the country, committing genocide against Kurds, Yazidis, Shi’as, resistant Sunnis, Christian Assyrians and Chaldeans, and Turkmen while destroying their religious and historical shrines. Pindostan under pro-Saudi director CA director John Brennan has never displayed a more inconsistent policy in the Middle East. Washington’s role is duplicitous in Iraq and Syria, where like Israel it supports groups allied with ISIS with weapons, while very much in opposition to Israeli and Saudi goals, it militarily supports Iranian counter-offensives near Tikrit and Syrian operations against the Jihadis in eastern Syria (not really – RB).

It is also noteworthy that ISIS, which is now active near Jordan’s Ma’an region and in the Sinai Peninsula, where the Ansar Bait al-Maqdis group, a group allied with ISIS, has targeted Egyptian security personnel but has not made any moves against Israel, which has a significant presence in both Jordan and Sinai. Israel is more interested in supporting any group, including Sunni Jihadis who have beheaded Americans, Britons, Japanese, and others, against Shi’a Iran, Syria, Lebanese Hezbollah, and the Houthis in Yemen. Hamas in Gaza, like the Fatah government of the Plastelinan Authority in Ramallah in the West Bank, feels betrayed by the Saudis, Qataris, and other Wahhabi nations. For that reason, Iran began providing covert military aid to Hamas in the West Bank. It is clear that ISIS would take the beheading swords to both Hamas and Fatah Plastelinans if they were ever to take over in Gaza or Plastelinan sectors of the West Bank. Covertly, the Israelis relish in such a prospect. The Saudis claim nine other nations, including Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, the Gulf states, and Sudan, have joined its military campaign in Yemen against the Shi’a Houthis. The Saudis have called their assault in Yemen Operation DECISIVE STORM, which sounds much like America’s Operation DESERT STORM against Saddam Hussein in 1991. The Houthis, backed by Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah, succeeded in driving out the pro-Saudi and pro-Pindo Yemeni government from Sana’a, Taiz, and Aden.

Behind Saudi Arabia’s DECISIVE STORM is the hidden hand of Israel, which has made no secret of its military and intelligence alliance with the Saudis against Iranian influence in the Middle East. One country that has rejected any role in Saudi aggression in the region is Oman, which has served as a diplomatic bridge between the West and Iran and between Sunnis and Shi’as. Oman also has an interest in countering Saudi Jihadi expansion in the former independent nation of South Yemen, which has always adhered to a secular profile against Saudi-financed radicalization in the Hadhramaut, the South Yemeni region that borders Oman. Houthi leaders said their interest in driving into South Yemen was to root out ISIS and AQ elements and that they had no desire to remain in control. Indeed, there is some indication that the Houthis agreed to allow South Yemen to have its independence restored. But that was not in the interest of the Saudis, who worked behind the scenes with Zionists in the Pindo State Dept to create a six-region federation of Yemen which would see the rights of the Houthis diminished. It was this Feierstein Plan, named after Gerald Feierstein, the Jewish former ambassador to Yemen, which triggered the Houthi rebellion in the first place. Feierstein wanted to diminish the role of the Houthis and the Southern Yemeni independence Hirak movement in his plan for a federal Yemen because he saw both groups as proxies for Iran.

Yemen’s disintegration is a direct result of the actions of a dupe for Israel who also happened to control the Pindosi embassy in Sana’a. The Omanis know this is the case and so do the Iranians. In fact, Houthi leaders have correctly ascertained that ISIS and AQ were formed as the result of a conspiracy hatched by Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Brennan’s CIA. Brennan recently told Fox News that ISIS was on the run in Syria and Iraq. Not only is Brennan’s contention patently false, and Brennan knows it is because he tacitly supports Saudi, Israeli, and Qatari assistance to Sunni Jihadis in both countries, but ISIS has expanded its operations from Libya into Tunisia, as witnessed by the recent attack on tourists in Tunis, and Nigeria, as shown by the fealty sworn to ISIS by the Jihadis of Boko Haram, whose operations have also spread into Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. Brennan has every reason to soft-pedal the Saudi/Israeli/Gulf Arab alliance that supports the most radical elements of Sunni Wahhabism. Brennan’s support for the Yinon Plan, Clean Break, and Saudi Arabia’s DECISIVE STORM stems from his taking his marching orders from Jayloomia, Riyadh, and Doha.

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i do realise some people find it hard to believe that top jews quite simply own the pindo govt, but i never have any trouble finding evidence of the fact

Court Accepts DOJ’s ‘State Secrets’ Claim to Protect Shadowy Neocons
Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, Mar 26 2015

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A truly stunning debasement of the Pindosi justice system just occurred through the joint efforts of the Obama Justice Dept and a meek and frightened Obama-appointed federal judge, Edgardo Ramos, all in order to protect an extremist neocon front group from scrutiny and accountability. The details are crucial for understanding the magnitude of the abuse here. At the center of it is an anti-Iranian group calling itself “United Against Nuclear Iran” (UANI), which is very likely a front for some combination of the USraeli intelligence services. When launched, NBC described its mission as waging “economic and psychological warfare” against Iran. The group was founded and is run and guided by a roster of USraeli and British neocon extremists such as Joe Lieberman, former Bush Homeland Security adviser (and current CNN “analyst”) Fran Townsend, former CIA Director James Woolsey, and former Mossad Director Meir Dagan. One of its key advisers is Olli Heinonen, who just co-authored a WaPo Op-Ed with former Bush CIA/NSA Director Michael Hayden arguing that Washington is being too soft on Tehran.

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This group of neocon extremists was literally just immunized by a federal court from the rule of law. That was based on the claim, advocated by the Obama DoJ and accepted by Judge Ramos, that subjecting them to litigation for their actions would risk disclosure of vital “state secrets.” The court’s ruling was based on assertions made through completely secret proceedings between the court and the government, with everyone else including the lawyers for the parties, kept in the dark. In May 2013, UANI launched a “name and shame” campaign designed to publicly identify and malign any individuals or entities enabling trade with Iran. One of the accused was the shipping company of Greek billionaire Victor Restis, who vehemently denies the accusation. He hired a Pindosi law firm and sued UANI for defamation in a New York federal court, claiming the “name and shame” campaign destroyed his reputation. Up until that point, there was nothing unusual about any of this: just a garden-variety defamation case brought in court by someone who claims that public statements made about him are damaging and false. That happens every day. But then something quite extraordinary happened. In September of last year the government, which was not a party, formally intervened in the lawsuit and demanded that the court refuse to hear Restis’s claims and instead dismiss the lawsuit against UANI before it could even start, on the ground that allowing the case to proceed would damage national security. When the DoJ intervened in this case and asserted the “state secrets privilege,” it confounded almost everyone. The NYT’s Matt Apuzzo noted at the time:

The group is not affiliated with the government, and lists no government contracts on its tax forms. The government has cited no precedent for using the so­-called state­ secrets privilege to quash a private lawsuit that does not focus on government activity.

He quoted the ACLU’s Ben Wizner as saying:

I have never seen anything like this.

Reuters’s Allison Frankel labelled the DOJ’s involvement a “mystery” and said:

The government’s brief is maddeningly opaque about its interest in a private libel case.

Usually, when the government asserts the “state secrets privilege,” it is because they are a party to the lawsuit, being sued for their own allegedly illegal acts such as torture or warrantless surveillance, and they claim that national security would be harmed if they are forced to defend themselves. In rare cases, they do intervene and assert the privilege in lawsuits between private parties, but only where the subject of the litigation is a government program and one of the parties is a government contractor involved in that program, such as when torture victims sued Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen for its role in providing airplanes for the rendition program, and the Obama DoJ insisted successfully that the case not go forward, and the victim of Pindosi torture was thus told that he could not even have a day in court. But in this case, there is no apparent government conduct at issue in the lawsuit. At least based on what they claim about themselves, UANI is just “a not-for-profit, non-partisan, advocacy group” that seeks to “educate” the public about the dangers of Iran’s nuclear program.

Why would such a group like this even possess “state secrets”? It would be illegal to give them such material. Or could it be that the CIA or some other government agency has created and controls the group, which would be a form of government-disseminated propaganda, which happens to be illegal? What else could explain the basis for the government’s argument that allowing UANI to be sued would risk the disclosure of vital “state secrets” besides a desire to cover up something quite untoward if not illegal? What “state secrets” could possibly be disclosed by suing a nice little “not-for-profit non-partisan advocacy group”? We don’t know the answers to those questions, nor do the lawyers for the plaintiffs whose lawsuit the DoJ wants dismissed. That’s because beyond the bizarre DoJ intervention itself, the extreme secrecy that shaped the judicial proceedings is hard to overstate. Usually, when the government asserts the “state secrets privilege,” at least some information is made public about what they are claiming: which official or department is invoking the privilege, the general nature of the secrets allegedly at risk, the reasons why allowing the claims to be adjudicated would risk disclosure, etc. Some redacted version of the affidavit from the government official making the secrecy claim is made part of the case. Here virtually everything has been hidden, even from the plaintiffs’ lawyers. Not only did the government provide no clue as to what the supposedly endangered “state secrets” are, but they concealed even the identity of the agency making the claim: was it the CIA, the Treasury Dept, the State Dept, some combination?

Nothing is known about any of this, not even who is making the secrecy claim. Instead, the DoJ’s arguments about why “secrecy” compels dismissal of the entire lawsuit were made in a brief that only Judge Ramos (and not even the parties) gets to read, but even more amazingly, were elaborated on in secret meetings by DoJ lawyers in the judge’s chambers with nobody else present. Were recordings or transcripts of these meetings made? Is there any record of what the government whispered in the ear of the judge to scare him into believing that National Security Would Be Harmed™ if he allowed the case to proceed? Nobody knows. The whole process is veiled in total secrecy, labelled a “judicial proceeding” but containing none of the transparency, safeguards or adversarial process that characterizes minimally fair courts. This sham worked. This week, Judge Ramos issued his ruling dismissing the entire lawsuit (18 pp, pdf). As a result of the DoJ’s protection, UANI cannot be sued. Among other things, it means this group of neocon extremists now has a license to defame anyone they want. They can destroy your reputation with false accusations in a highly public campaign, and when you sue them for it, the DoJ will come in and whisper in the judge’s ear that national security will be damaged if, like everyone else in the world, UANI must answer in a court of law for their conduct. And subservient judicial officials like Judge Ramos will obey the government’s dictates and dismiss your lawsuit before it begins, without your having any idea why that even happened.

Worse, in his written ruling, the judge expressly acknowledges that dismissal of the entire lawsuit at the start on secrecy grounds is what he calls a “harsh sanction,” and also acknowledges that “it is particularly so in this case because Plaintiffs not only do not get their day in court, but cannot be told why.” But he does it anyway, in a perfunctory 18-page opinion that does little other than re-state some basic legal principles, and then just concludes that everything the government whispered in his ear should be accepted. Just read for yourself what Judge Ramos said in defending his dismissal to see how wildly disparate it is from everything we’re propagandized to believe about the Pindosi justice system:

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What kind of “justice system” allows a neocon “advocacy” group to be immunized from the law, because the government waltzed into court, met privately with the judge, and whispered in secret that he had better dismiss all claims against that group lest he harm national security? To describe what happened here is to illustrate what a perverse travesty it is. Restis’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said in a statement this week:

We are disappointed that some secret relationship between UANI and the government allows UANI to hide from disclosing that association or to defend what has now been proven to be its false and defamatory allegations directed at Mr Restis and his company. We are mystified that the government has such a stake in this case that it would take such extraordinary steps to prevent full disclosure of the secret interest it has with UANI or others. And, we are concerned that, in our court system, such a result could occur on the basis of sealed, one-sided filings and meetings in which we were not allowed to participate.

Even more critical is what this says about the Obama DoJ. One of the earliest and most intense grievances of civil libertarians during the Bush 43 presidency was its radical abuse of the “state secrets privilege.” That doctrine began as a narrowly crafted evidentiary rule whereby parties to litigation would be barred from using specific documents that could reveal sensitive national security secrets. But it morphed into the legal equivalent of a nuclear bomb whereby the government could literally demand not that specific documents be excluded but that courts dismiss entire lawsuits before they began, even when those lawsuits alleged criminal behavior by top government officials, on the ground that the subject matter of the lawsuit was too sensitive to be safely adjudicated. The Bush 43 Justice Dept used this weapon to prevent its torture, detention, rendition and surveillance victims, even those everyone acknowledged were completely innocent, from having a day in court. They would simply say that the treatment of the plaintiffs was classified, and that disclosure would risk harm to national security, and subservient federal judges (an almost redundant term) would dutifully dismiss the lawsuits before they even began. It literally removed high government officials from the rule of law. If you commit crimes or brutally abuse people, you will be immunized from legal accountability if you did it in a classified setting.

When Obama was in the Senate and then running for President in 2007, he was highly critical of the Bush 43 use of the “state secrets privilege” to get rid of troublesome lawsuits. His official campaign website cited Bush’s abuse of the privilege as a hallmark of excessive secrecy. But like so many of his purported views, this concern about the use of the “state secrets privilege” was abandoned almost immediately upon his inauguration. His DoJ invoked the privilege to demand victims of Bush 43 programs of torture, rendition, detention, and surveillance be denied any opportunity to be heard in court, even when the government itself acknowledged they were innocent. Obama lawyers even invoked secrecy to argue that a lawsuit challenging the legality of their own targeted assassination program against a Pindosi citizen could not be heard in court. As an early headline in the Obama-supporting TPM site recognized: “Expert Consensus: Obama Mimics Bush On State Secrets. And it worked in virtually every case.

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Writing in 2009, Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff cited one of the earliest such cases and said:

[This] is among the strongest examples yet of how Obama administration officials are adopting Bush-era secrecy positions in major national security cases.

But in some important respects, this latest abuse is a step beyond that. It’s certainly true that legally immunizing brutal violations of human rights on secrecy grounds, as both the Bush 43 and Obama DoJs have done, is worse than preventing a Greek billionaire from prosecuting a lawsuit. But to intervene in a private lawsuit in order to shield an extremist neocon group from the consequences of their actions, through secret meetings with the judge in which unaccountable “secrecy” assertions are made, is even more offensive to basic legal rights than what has preceded it. Whatever else is true, it is certainly worth knowing why the Obama administration is so eager to protect this group. As Frankel wrote, the Obama DOJ’s “invocation of the state secrets privilege and motion to toss the case can be inferred as an endorsement of UANI’s campaign against Restis.” Why they are so eager to prevent discovery and investigation into this Iran-obsessed neocon group should be of great interest to everyone. Who funds it, who controls it, what are its objectives?

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It is worth noting in passing how often CNN’s “National Security Analyst” Fran Townsend is at the center of the most extreme neocon activism. She was one of those DC operatives taking cash from the anti-Iranian cult MeK at a time when the group was on the Pindo list of designated terror groups. And now here she is on the board of advisers of this group waging “warfare” against Iran. And then CNN trots her out regularly to offer “analysis” on national security matters, including on The Iran Threat, without any hint of her very vested activism in many of the issues which she’s “analyzing” for the “news network.”

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the nyt is beginning to show a pattern of deliberate mistakes which suggest an underlying fed-upness with israel

NYT ‘Accidentally’ Undermines Bonkers Bolton “Bomb Iran” Op-Ed in Own Pages
Jon Schwarz, The Intercept, Mar 17 2015

AP070117052616-article-display-bBonkers: yeah, we love him too – RB

The NYT yesterday published an op-ed by the characteristically bellicose Bonkers Bolton headlined ‘To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.’ Bonkers, now a senior fellow global ZOG operative at the Pindosi Enterprise Institute, was Pindo Ambassador to the UN during the Bush 43 administration. In an unusual touch, a link added to the original online edition of Bonkers’ op-ed directly undermines his case for war:

Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program. Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure. The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq can accomplish what is required.

USraeli politicians often claim that Israel’s bombing of Iraq in 1981 significantly set back an already-existing Iraqi nuclear weapons program. The truth is almost exactly the opposite. Harvard Physics Professor Richard Wilson, who visited the ruins of Osirak in 1982 and followed the issue closely, has said the available evidence “suggests that the bombing did not delay the Iraqi nuclear-weapons program, but started it.” This evidence includes the design of the Osirak reactor, which made it unsuitable for weapons production, and statements by Iraqi nuclear scientists that Saddam Hussein ordered them to begin a serious nuclear weapons program in response to the Israeli attack. This perspective rarely appears in mainstream Pindo media outlets. One time it did, however, was in a 2012 WaPo op-ed titled ‘An Israeli attack against Iran would backfire, just like Israel’s 1981 strike on Iraq.’ And it was that WaPo op-ed to which the NYT chose to link as backup for Bonkers. In other words, anyone looking for additional facts about Bonkers’ case were led to an explanation of how what he was saying was factually wrong, and that following the advice of people like him would be disastrous. Sewell Chan, Deputy Editor of the NYT op-ed section, said:

[The link was] mistakenly added by an editor, not the writer, during the fact-checking process.

The NYT said it plans to replace the link with one sending readers to a NYT news article. Bonkers helped force out José Bustani, director general of the OSCE, in 2002. According to Bustani and others, Bonkers was infuriated that Bustani was making plans for the OSCE to determine whether Iraq still possessed chemical weapons, since it would undermine the Bush 43 administration’s plans for war. Bonkers also appears to have played a key role in the notorious Pindo claims that Iraq was seeking yellowcake uranium from Niger. Bonkers  claimed in a 2002 speech:

[Cuba is making] at least a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort.

When a government intelligence analyst had disputed stronger language in the original draft of his speech, Bonkers and his staff berated him and attempted to have him removed from his job. For its part, the NYT famously helped the Bush 43 administration make its case for invading Iraq by providing a conduit for false prewar claims by government officials. In addition, the NYT’s 2002 story about Bonkers’ Cuba speech was written by Judith Miller, the same reporter responsible for much of the NYT’s worst coverage of Iraq.

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jeb bush not zoggy enough yet

GOP Hawks Upset With Bush After Baker Speech on Israel
Nicholas Confessore, Maggie Haberman, NYT, Mar 27 2015

The warnings trickled in soon after an announcement began circulating last month that James Baker, the former diplomat who is now a foreign policy adviser to Jeb Bush, would be a featured speaker at a conference hosted by J Street, the liberal pro-Israel advocacy organization. It could be problematic if Baker spoke at the event, conservative donors and Israel hawks told Bush’s team, according to three people briefed on the discussions. But Bush’s team ultimately concluded that Baker, a former Sec State and long-time Bush family friend, was not someone they could pressure. And in the days since Baker’s speech, in which he criticized Netanyahu for failing to work harder for Mideast peace, the criticism from Republicans has only intensified. The perceived breach presents a new and potentially significant obstacle for Bush as he seeks to lock up prohibitive support of the Republican donor class for his presidential campaign. Sheldon Adelson is among those who have expressed concerns to Bush’s friends and allies, several of them said. Adelson is said to be incensed over Baker’s comments and the lack of pressure put on him by the Bush team before his address, a significant concern given that Adelson has the resources to pour tens of millions of dollars into the Republican presidential primary. The flare-up could thrust Bush into conflict with some of the most hawkish voices in his party, including some leading Republican donors, and a constituency determined to demonstrate its strength in the primary. Morton Klein of ZIA said:

A few months ago, people I speak to thought Jeb Bush was the guy. That’s changed.

Bush has responded to the criticism carefully. His spokesman issued statements criticizing J Street ahead of the speech. On Wednesday, after the speech, Bush wrote an opinion article for the National Review criticizing Obama’s handling of nuclear talks with Iran. But he declined to disavow Baker, even though he described the J Street appearance in a television interview as not “appropriate.” A spokesman for Adelson did not respond to requests for comment. Kristy Campbell, a spokeswoman for Bush, said in an email in response to questions:

Governor Bush publicly and privately has expressed that he has a great deal of respect for Secretary Baker and his accomplishments, but he thinks J Street is wrong and their actions undermine the safety and security of our close ally, Israel. Governor Bush’s support for Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu is unwavering, and he believes it’s critically important our two nations work seamlessly to achieve peace in the region.

The tension has created awkwardness for some long-time Bush allies who are also active in pro-Israel groups like the Republican Jewish Coalition, which is principally funded by Adelson. In interviews or e-mails, several played down the disagreements, echoing the fledgling Bush campaign’s argument that Baker is an accomplished statesman and only one of a dozen foreign policy advisers to Bush.

The NYT have an extremely lengthy retrospective today on Zoggyness in the GOP, as viewed across the decades, but it isn’t really very interesting – RB

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the only facebook site i read is the quite valuable “truth from ukraine” (ie the russ family in ontario)

Leave Facebook if you don’t want to be spied on, warns EU
Samuel Gibbs, Graun, Mar 26 2015

The European Commission has warned EU citizens that they should close their Facebook accounts if they want to keep information private from Pindosi security services, finding that current Safe Harbour legislation does not protect citizens’ data. The comments were made by EC attorney Bernhard Schima in a case brought by privacy campaigner Maximilian Schrems, looking at whether the data of EU citizens should be considered safe if sent to the US in a post-Snowden revelation landscape.Schima told attorney general Yves Bot in a hearing of the case at the European court of justice in Luxembourg:

You might consider closing your Facebook account, if you have one.

When asked directly, the commission could not confirm to the court that the Safe Harbour rules provide adequate protection of EU citizens’ data as it currently stands. The “Facebook data privacy case” concerns the current Safe Harbour framework, which covers the transmission of EU citizens’ data to Pindostan. Without the framework, it is against EU law to transmit private data outside of the EU. The case collects complaints lodged against Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Microsoft-owned Skype and Yahoo. Schrems maintains that companies operating inside the EU should not be allowed to transfer data to Pindostan under Safe Harbour protections, which state that Pindo data protection rules are adequate if information is passed by companies on a “self-certify” basis, because Pindostan no longer qualifies for such a status.

The case argues that the Pindo government’s Prism data collection programme, revealed by Edward Snowden in the NSA files, which sees EU citizens’ data held by Pindo companies passed on to Pindo intelligence agencies, breaches the EU’s Data Protection Directive “adequacy” standard for privacy protection, meaning that the Safe Harbour framework no longer applies. Poland and a few other member states, as well as advocacy group Digital Rights Ireland, joined Schrems in arguing that the Safe Harbour framework cannot ensure the protection of EU citizens’ data and therefore is in violation of the two articles of the Data Protection Directive. The commission, however, argued that Safe Harbour is necessary both politically and economically, and that it is still a work in progress. The EC and the Ireland data protection watchdog argue that the EC should be left to reform it with a 13-point plan to ensure the privacy of EU citizens’ data. Paula Barrett, a data protection expert at law firm Eversheds, said:

There have been a spate of cases from the ECJ and other courts on data privacy and retention showing the judiciary as being more than willing to be a disrupting influence. Bringing down the safe harbour mechanism might seem politically and economically ill-conceived, but as the decision of the ECJ in the so-called ‘right to be forgotten’ case seems to reinforce that isn’t a fetter which the ECJ is restrained by.

An opinion on the Safe Harbour framework from the ECJ is expected by Jun 24. Facebook declined to comment.

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apparently not a joke

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phil makes an intriguing point here, namely that the so-called “pindosi” negotiators report to israel, not washington

For Once, Don’t Blame the Israelis (That’s what it says – RB)
Philip Giraldi, Ron Paul institute, Mar 26 2015

The recent revelation that the Israelis had obtained classified information relating to the P5+1 negotiations with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program should not really surprise anyone. Israel has invested a great deal of political capital in confronting Iran and convincing the Pindosi public that it poses a genuine threat. So it would be a given that the Mossad would be tasked with finding out what information is not being shared by the White House. But the truly intriguing back story to this development is “How did the Israelis do it, and with whom exactly did they share their information?” The information obtained was described by the White House as “eavesdropping,” which would suggest some sort of electronic interception. But as the meetings undoubtedly took place in a technically secured room, which means that it was electronically “swept” before, during, and after meetings, the conversations could not be picked up either from bugs planted inside, which would be detected, or from penetration techniques originating outside, which is possible but would require a major deployment of high-tech gear close to the target.

Eliminating a “sigint” source suggests that the intelligence was either obtained from careless conversations on unsecured phones, which is possible but unlikely, given the tightened security in response to recent flaps over such use, or through a spy in the room feeding the information to the Israelis. A spy is regrettably more likely, and one has to wonder if the leaker was/is part of the Pindosi delegation, because the information appears to be of such a nature as to come from Pindo sources. This would mean that the Pindo negotiating team has been penetrated by the Israelis. The other issue is, of course, the question of who in Congress received the stolen information during the regular briefings that Israeli embassy staff, including intelligence officers, give to the critturs on Capitol Hill. Did they know or suspect that what they were being told was obtained through Israeli espionage? Did it occur to them that the Israeli narrative on what was taking place differed in detail from what they were hearing from the White House, suggesting that something was afoot? Deference to Israeli interests is normal among Congress critturs, perhaps all too normal, but a lack of awareness of the Pindosi interests at stake in the game constitutes malfeasance at a much higher level.

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