Ted Cruz, Rand Paul want drone language in CR 08 Mar 2013 Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) plan to try to attach a prohibition on drone strikes against American citizens on U.S. soil to the government-wide spending bill due up on the Senate floor next week, according to sources familiar with their legislation. The Cruz-Paul bill would serve as the framework for an amendment to the continuing resolution, which would fund federal agencies, including the Pentagon, through Sept. 30. The amendment would build on Paul's nearly 13-hour filibuster against new CIA director John Brennan over the program of aerial strikes from unmanned planes known as drones.
Monday, March 11, 2013
U.S. Government State Websites Hacked in Preparation for #OpBlackSummer !
U.S. Government State Websites Hacked in Preparation for #OpBlackSummer 10 Mar 2013 Hacktivist group Tunisian Cyber Army have started preparing for #OpBlackSummer by targeted two state.gov domains. The hacktivists started their operating by exploiting SQL injection vulnerabilities in the U.S. Department of State (Diplomacy In Action) Website and the Official U.S. Government State Magazine website. The hackers have managed to successfully extract data from databases on both sites, but say they are still currently trying to grab more confidential data for further use. Much of $60B from US to 'rebuild' Iraq wasted; $90B spent on Afghanistan 'reconstruction' projects 06 Mar 2013 Ten years and *60 billion in American taxpayer funds later, Iraq is still so unstable and broken that even its leaders question whether U.S. efforts to rebuild the war-torn nation were worth the cost. In his final report to Congress, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen's conclusion was all too clear: Since the invasion a decade ago this month, the U.S. has spent too much money in Iraq for too few results. The abysmal Iraq results forecast what could happen in Afghanistan, where U.S. taxpayers have so far spent *90 billion in reconstruction projects during a 12-year military campaign... Overall, including all military and diplomatic costs and other aid, the U.S. has spent at least *767 billion since the American-led invasion of Iraq, according to the Congressional Budget Office. National Priorities Project, a U.S. research group that analyzes federal data, estimated the cost at *811 billion, noting that some funds are still being spent on ongoing projects. [Right, pretending to 'rebuild' that which the US destroyed. We all know the money -- *150 billion and counting -- went to US corpora-terrorists. Notice that the GOP refuses to spend a dime on US infrastructure but never cuts one cent in foreign 'reconstruction' funds? That's because they know that the only recipients are US corporations. And, these are the same austerity-pimping predators and sociopaths -- having also spent *700 billion to bail out Wall Street -- that are pushing to slash Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.]
US Spending Hundreds of Millions on Secret Israeli Bunkers --The Washington Post fleshed out the original Construction Project in Israel, called 'Site 911,' in November. 09 Mar 2013 Last year, it was announced the U.S. was looking to build a secret underground complex in Israel. On February 13, a contract was awarded to Conti Corp Federal Services in Edison, NJ to complete the project. Their bid of almost *63 million came in well below the possible *100 million set aside for the project. Conti's bid went toward building five underground levels and six above ground buildings that they have 900 days from February 13 to complete. The U.S. government then issued another request for proposal December 28 to construct Site 81 Phase II. Also in Israel, also partially underground, this project calls for up to *100,000,000 to refinish six underground facilities and some currently occupied surface buildings.
General Says 20,000 Troops Should Stay in Afghanistan 06 Mar 2013 The American commander in the Middle East said on Tuesday that he had recommended that 13,600 United States troops remain in Afghanistan after the combat mission [to protect the CIA's opium routes] ends in 2014, a number slightly higher than the one being considered by NATO and Pentagon officials. The officer, Gen. James N. Mattis of the Central Command, revealed his recommendation during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he also said that a NATO contribution to an enduring mission occupation in Afghanistan could equal half of the American deployment, for a total alliance troop presence of 20,000 under his proposal.
Large Explosion Hits Kabul as Hagel Visits 09 Mar 2013 A Taliban suicide bomber killed at least nine Afghans at the entrance to the Ministry of Defense in Kabul on Saturday morning, just as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited the Afghan capital to discuss ending America's longest foreign war. The bomber, Afghan officials on the scene said, approached on bicycle the ministry compound's gate on a busy riverside street and detonated his device in the middle of Afghan civilians lining up for security checks. The bomb, while lethal, was relatively small: the compound's outer wall was pockmarked with shrapnel but withstood the blast.
Locusts arrive in Tel Aviv, northern Israel --After swarms of grasshoppers swooped en masse on south, few manage to make way to center and even north of country. 09 Mar 2013 Despite an additional round of insecticide spraying in the south, Saturday saw swarms of the reddish grasshoppers descend upon the country, with some successfully making their way out of the south and into the center, and even northern parts of Israel. Ynet's Red EMail received countless photographs of the locusts from all over, all the way from the Negev in the south, through Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion Airport and even a few from Haifa, Nahariya and Tiberias in the north.
Brennan takes oath on draft Constitution--without Bill of Rights 08 Mar 2013 Hours after CIA Director John Brennan took the oath of office--behind closed doors, far away from the press--the White House took pains to emphasize the symbolism of the ceremony. Spokesman Josh Earnest spoke to reporters at their daily briefing. "Director Brennan was sworn in with his hand on an original draft of the Constitution that had George Washington's personal handwriting and annotations on it, dating from 1787." Earnest said Brennan had asked for a document from the National Archives that would demonstrate the U.S. is a nation of laws. "Director Brennan told the president that he made the request to the archives because he wanted to reaffirm his commitment to the rule of law as he took the oath of office as director of the CIA," Earnest said. The Constitution itself went into effect in 1789. But blogger Marcy Wheeler points out that what was missing from the Constitution in 1787 is also quite symbolic: The Bill of Rights, which did not officially go into effect until December 1791 after ratification by states.
US Senate Approves John Brennan to CIA Post 07 Mar 2013 The US Senate has confirmed John Brennan as head of the CIA after the Obama administration bowed to demands from Republicans to clarify its drone strikes policy. The appointment of Mr Obama's chief counterterrorism advisor to the nation's top spy post had been delayed as lawmakers pressed the president for specific limits on his authority to order drone strikes against American citizens on US soil. The 63-34 vote moved forward only after reassurances were contained in a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder to Republican Senator Rand Paul, who made a 13-hour speech on Wednesday demanding an answer to the question.
Air Force removes drone airstrike number from summary and scrubs earlier reports 08 Mar 2013 As scrutiny and debate over the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) by the American military increased last month, the Air Force reversed a policy of sharing the number of airstrikes launched from RPAs in Afghanistan and quietly scrubbed those statistics from previous releases kept on their website. Last October, Air Force Central Command started tallying weapons releases from RPAs, broken down into monthly updates. The Air Force maintained that policy for the statistics reports for November, December and January. But the February numbers, released March 7, contained empty space where the box of RPA statistics had previously been. Additionally, monthly reports hosted on the Air Force website have had the RPA data removed -- and recently.
Florida Police Drones: House Committee Unanimously Passes New Bill Restricting Use --Since 2011, FAA has since authorized 81 public entities to fly UAVs in U.S. airspace 08 Mar 2013 Florida lawmakers are hoping to restrict the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, in Sunshine State skies. Thursday a House committee unanimously passed the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, which limits police to use camera drones only if they have a search warrant or can prove "imminent danger." In 2011 Miami-Dade Police were the first in the country to have a Federal Aviation Administration permit to use drones similar to those used in Afghanistan.
Carney: Obama won't use drones against Americans in U.S. 07 Mar 2013 President Barack Obama would not use a drone to kill an American on U.S. soil, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday, responding to Sen. Rand Paul's 13-hour filibuster a day earlier on the Senate floor. "The president has not and would not use drone strikes against American citizens on American soil," Carney said at a press briefing. Carney said Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul Thursday clarifying the administration's stance on the issue, which generated considerable controversy on Twitter Wednesday as Paul's filibuster unfolded. "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?...The answer to that question is no," Carney said, quoting Holder's letter. On Monday, Holder sent Paul another letter that was a bit less categorical.
South Korea warns to destroy North as war of words escalate 08 Mar 2013 South Korea has warned that North Korea will “perish from earth” if Pyongyang goes ahead with its threats to attack the South. South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said in a statement on Friday that Pyongyang's threats to launch nuclear strikes against the US and the South would only lead to the collapse of its leadership. "If North Korea attacks South Korea with a nuclear weapon, Kim Jong-un's regime will perish from earth," said the statement carried out by Yonhap news agency.
Two Koreas Engage in Hostile Exchanges After Sanctions Vote 08 Mar 2013 Angrily responding to the United Nations Security Council’s unanimous decision to impose tightened sanctions, North Korea said on Friday that it was nullifying all nonaggression agreements with South Korea, with one of its top generals claiming that his country had nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles ready to blast off. Matching the harsh warning with a toughened stance, South Korea said on Friday that if Pyongyang attacks the South with a nuclear weapon, the regime of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, "will be erased from the earth." Such language marked the most hostile exchange between the two Koreas, still technically at war, since they engaged in an artillery skirmish three years ago.
Venezuela to hold election on April 14 10 Mar 2013 Venezuela will hold a presidential election on April 14 to vote for a replacement for late President Hugo Chavez. Acting President Nicolas Maduro will run as a candidate for the ruling party. Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, the executive secretary of the Democratic Unity Roundtable, which is the main opposition coalition in the country, announced that Henrique Capriles [the CIA-backed sociopath], who lost to Chavez in an election in October 2012, was chosen to run against Maduro.
5 suspicious packages found at NORAD base in Colorado 07 Mar 2013 Authorities are investigating five suspicious packages found at the home of NORAD in Colorado. Officials at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs said that the packages were found Thursday in the building where the North American Aerospace Defense Command and Northern Command are based. No biological or chemical agents were found on the packages but more tests are being conducted.
Army suspends tuition assistance program for troops 08 Mar 2013 The Army announced Friday it is suspending its tuition assistance program for soldiers newly enrolling in classes due to sequestration and other budgetary pressures. "This suspension is necessary given the significant budget execution challenges caused by the combined effects of a possible year-long continuing resolution and sequestration," Paul Prince, an army personnel spokesman at the Pentagon, wrote in an email to Stars and Stripes. The Army's announcement follows a similar move by the Marine Corps.
Court curbs Homeland Security's laptop border searches 08 Mar 2013 U.S. customs officials must have a reasonable justification before snatching your laptop at the border and scanning through all your files for incriminating data, a federal appeals court ruled today. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Homeland Security's border agents must have "reasonable suspicion" before they can legally conduct a forensics examination of laptops, mobile phones, camera memory cards, and so on. Today's opinion) is a limited -- but hardly complete -- rejection of the Obama administration's claim that any American entering the country may have his or her electronic files minutely examined for evidence of criminal activity.
Anonymous 'spokesperson' to spend year in jail without trial 07 Mar 2013 The federal trial against alleged computer criminal Barrett Brown has been delayed by six months. Now the activist once called the "spokesperson" of the Anonymous hacker movement will wait in prison for one full year before being tried. Brown, 31, was scheduled to stand trial later this month for a slew of charges that have handed down in three separate indictments filed by the government since last September. Per the request of his attorneys, however, legal proceedings have been pushed back for six months, delaying the trial until September 2013.
Conn. massacre records secret, media seeks access 05 Mar 2013 Authorities are withholding search warrants and police records related to the Newtown, Conn., school massacre even though the [alleged] shooter is dead and the prosecutor handling the case has said he does not expect any charges. Prosecutor Stephen Sedensky III successfully argued in December to keep search warrants related to the shooter's house and the car he drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School sealed for 90 days, saying disclosure would jeopardize an ongoing investigation. Media outlets have pressed for the release of more records. They say records may be sealed only when an investigation would be hurt by disclosure and that was unlikely.
CDC warns health officials to be alert for deadly new virus 07 Mar 2013 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday warned state and local health officials about potential infections from a deadly virus previously unseen in humans that has now sickened 14 people and killed 8. Most of the infections have occurred in the Middle East, but a new analysis of three confirmed infections in Britain suggests the virus can pass from person to person rather than from animal to humans, the CDC said in its Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report on Thursday. The virus is a coronavirus, part of the same family of viruses as the common cold and the deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that first emerged in Asia in 2003.
Protesters in Tokyo Demand End to Nuclear Power 09 Mar 2013 Thousands of people rallied in a Tokyo park Saturday, demanding an end to atomic power and vowing never to give up the fight, despite two years of little change after the nuclear disaster in northeastern Japan. Gathering two days ahead of the second anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that sent the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant into multiple meltdowns, demonstrators said they would never forget the world's worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl, and expressed alarm over the government's eagerness to restart reactors. Two years after the disaster, 160,000 people have left their homes around the plant, entire sections of nearby communities are still ghost towns, and fears grow about cancer and other sicknesses the spewing radiation might bring.
60% in Fukushima say more than 2 decades needed to return to pre-disaster lifestyles 05 Mar 2013 Sixty percent of Fukushima Prefecture residents said it will take more than 20 years to recoup the lifestyles they lost when the prefecture was hit by the triple Fukushima disaster of 2011, a survey showed. Nineteen percent said pre-disaster lifestyles can return in "20 years or so," 14 percent said around 10 years and just 3 percent picked "five years or so" among the four options. By age, 80 percent of those in their 30s and 73 percent of those in their 40s and 50s chose the answer "more than 20 years."
Bid to halt polar bear trade fails --Canada joined by WWF [apparently, also sociopaths] in rebuffing efforts at Cites conference to stop hunting and commercial exploitation 07 Mar 2013 The export of polar bear skins, teeth and paws from Canada will continue unabated after a bitter debate at the world's biggest wildlife summit ended in defeat for a US proposal to outlaw the trade. The US, strongly supported by former cold war foe Russia, had argued that while climate change and the increasing loss of the Arctic sea ice on which polar bears hunt was the greatest threat to the 20,000 remaining in the wild, hunting was an intolerable additional pressure. The US delegation leader told the 178-nation meeting of the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species in Bangkok: "Science paints a stark future for the polar bear. An [export ban] will give the polar bear a better chance to persist in the world until we can deal with climate change." The result was that 38 countries voted in favour of the US proposal, with 42 against, and 46 abstaining.
Global Temperatures Highest in 4,000 Years 08 Mar 2013 Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years, scientists reported Thursday, and over the coming decades are likely to surpass levels not seen on the planet since before the last ice age. Previous research had extended back roughly 1,500 years, and suggested that the rapid temperature spike of the past century, believed to be [and is] a consequence of human activity, exceeded any warming episode during those years. The new work confirms that result while suggesting the modern warming is unique over a longer period.
Surface temperature reconstructions of past 1,500 years suggest recent warming 'unprecedented' --A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years (Science) 08 Mar 2013 Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time. Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records. Early Holocene (10,000 to 5000 years ago) warmth is followed by ~0.7°C cooling through the middle to late Holocene (<5000 years ago), culminating in the coolest temperatures of the Holocene during the Little Ice Age, about 200 years ago.
Whole Foods GMO Labeling to Be Mandatory by 2018 08 Mar 2013 Whole Foods has announced that by 2018, all products in U.S. and Canada stores must be labeled if they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This is the first national grocery store to set a deadline from GMO labeling. "We are putting a stake in the ground on GMO labeling to support the consumer's right to know," said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, in a press release. During the November election, a mandatory GMO labeling initiative -- Prop 37 -- was introduced in California. Millions of d*llars poured in from various corporations such as [terrorists] Monsanto and PepsiCo against the ballot measure, which was ultimately defeated.
Unemployment rate falls to lowest level since 2008 --Unemployment rate dipped to 7.7% 08 Mar 2013 Hiring picked up in February, helping to bring the unemployment rate down to its lowest level since December 2008. The U.S. economy added 236,000 jobs in February, according to a Labor Department report released Friday. The gains were broad-based as offices, restaurants, construction firms and hospitals all added jobs.
CLG Facebook page tops 5,000 'likes' Posted by Lori Price 07 Mar 2013 The Citizens for Legitimate Government page on Facebook topped 5,000 likes Thursday. If you're a CLG reader/subscriber, please join us there, so we can reach the 10K mark! A lively debate often ensues, and your comments are always welcome.
Just as CLG has asserted ('al-CIAduh') from the get-go: Taliban, US colluding on bombings to create 'need' for foreign troops to stay beyond 2014 - Karzai 10 Mar 2013 Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday accused the Taliban and the U.S. of working in concert to convince Afghans that violence will worsen if most foreign troops leave, an allegation the top American commander in Afghanistan rejected as "categorically false." [LOL!] Karzai said two suicide bombings that killed 19 people on Saturday -- one outside the Afghan Defense Ministry and the other near a police checkpoint in eastern Khost province -- show the insurgent group is conducting attacks to demonstrate that international forces will still be needed to keep the peace after their current combat mission ends in 2014. "The explosions in Kabul and Khost yesterday showed that they are at the service of America and at the service of this phrase: 2014. They are trying to frighten us into thinking that if the foreigners are not in Afghanistan, we would be facing these sorts of incidents," he said during a nationally televised speech.
Afghanistan urges coalition to stop 'abusing' university students 10 Mar 2013 Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government on Sunday accused U.S.-led forces and Afghans working with them of abusing and arresting university students and urged them to stop such acts. The allegations were made during a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Afghan pres. bans US-led forces from entering university campuses 10 Mar 2013 Afghan President Hamid Karzai has banned the US-led foreign forces from entering university premises and detaining students. On Sunday, Karzai also denounced the arrest of a university student by CIA operatives a day earlier, saying that he wants the operatives arrested. Earlier in the day, Afghanistan's Council of Ministers also issued a statement saying, "We notify the international coalition force's leadership to avoid such acts which are against Afghanistan's national sovereignty." Last month, Karzai ordered the US Special Forces out of the volatile provinces of Wardak and Logar.
Americans are training Syrian rebels in Jordan, Der Spiegel reports 10 Mar 2013 Americans are training Syrian anti-government fighters in Jordan, the German weekly Der Spiegel said on Sunday, quoting what it said were participants and organizers. Spiegel said it was not clear whether the Americans worked for private firms were mercenaries or were from the army but said some wore uniforms. The training focused on use of anti-tank weaponry. Some 200 men have already received such training over the past three months and there are plans in the future to provide training for a total 1,200 members of the "Free Syrian Army" in two camps in the south and the east of the country. [USociopaths always have billions on hand to fund terrorists to overthrow democratically elected leaders -- sequester or not.]
West training Syrian rebels in Jordan 08 Mar 2013 Western training of Syrian rebels is under way in Jordan. Jordanian security sources say the training effort is led by the US, but involves British and French instructors. The UK Ministry of Defence denied any British soldiers were providing direct military training to the rebels, though a small number of personnel, including special forces teams, have been in the country training the Jordanian military. But the Guardian has been told that UK intelligence teams are giving the rebels logistical and other advice in some form.
Undercover TSA Agent Smuggled Fake Bomb Past Security Screeners at Newark Airport --Inspector Got Through 2 Checkpoints, And Successfully Navigated a Pat-Down 08 Mar 2013 There is a demand for a top-to-bottom review of security operations at Newark Liberty International Airport after an undercover inspector with a bomb in his pants got through not one but two checkpoints and then was cleared to get on a plane. The latest security lapse at Newark almost seems like a really bad joke, but it's no joke. The agent even survived a pat-down, CBS 2 reported Friday.
Fukushima forests found to be radioactive --Forests covering 70 percent of Japanese prefecture found to have radiation two years after nuclear disaster 10 Mar 2013 Two years after the nuclear disaster ravaged Japan's northeastern Pacific coast, forests that cover 70 percent of the Fukushima Prefecture have been found to contain high concentrations of radioactive cesium. With traces revealed not only in the fallen leaves and soil, but in the trees themselves, the findings suggest that radiation has permanently found its way into the ecosystem. Scientists suggest cutting down the trees as soon as possible, because the cesium will gradually be transferred to the earth itself.