Lieberman Demands YouTube Censorship

Joe Lieberman, senator and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chairman, wants to censor what you watch on Google and YouTube. Lieberman has sent a letter to Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, accusing the corporation of allowing “offensive material” on its site, namely “videos produced by al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups.” Joe wants these taken down immediately and demands Google “prevent them from reappearing.” No word if Schmidt has responded, but a letter sent by a bigwig commissar such as Lieberman is nothing to take lightly. Schmidt and his corporate lawyers have likely confabbed.

“Today, Islamist terrorist organizations rely extensively on the Internet to attract supporters and advance their cause. The framework for much of this Internet campaign is described in a bipartisan staff report released last week by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which I am privileged to chair, titled Violent Islamist Extremism, the Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat,” writes Lieberman. “The report explains, in part, how al-Qaeda created and manages a multi-tiered online media operation that produces content intended to enlist followers in countries all over the world, including the United States. Central to this media campaign is the branding of content with an icon or logo to guarantee authenticity that the content was produced by al-Qaeda or allied organizations like al-Qaeda in Iraq, Ansar al-Islam (a.k.a Ansar al-Sunnah) or al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb.”

Or how about an “allied organization” such as the CIA, military intelligence or one of its cutouts? An expert computer analyst has presented evidence that so-called ‘Al-Qaeda’ tapes are routinely digitally doctored and has also unwittingly exposed an astounding detail that clearly indicates a Pentagon affiliated organization in the U.S. is directly responsible for releasing the videos,” Paul Joseph Watson wrote last August. Neal Krawetz, a researcher and computer security consultant, examined the image quantization table of a 2006 Ayman al-Zawahiri tape and made a fascinating discovery – al-Qaeda’s As-Sahab logo (supposedly the media arm of al-Qaeda) was placed on the tape at the same time as the IntelCenter logo. As it turns out, IntelCenter, notorious for releasing al-Qaeda videos, is run by Ben Venzke, former director of intelligence at a company called iDefense, a Verisign company. Jim Melnick, a senior military psy-op intelligence officer who worked directly for Donald Rumsfeld, is billed as iDefense’s director of threat intelligence. In short, there is a distinct possibility the al-Qaeda videos mentioned by Lieberman are fake.

Read moreLieberman Demands YouTube Censorship

30,000 Scientists Rejecting Global Warming Hypothesis

Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM)

Who: Dr. Arthur Robinson of the OISM

What: release of names in OISM “Petition Project”

When: 10 AM, Monday May 19

Where: Holeman Lounge at the National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW, Washington, DC

Why: The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) will announce that more than 31,000 scientists have signed a petition rejecting claims of human-caused global warming. The purpose of OISM’s Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of “settled science” and an overwhelming “consensus” in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climate damage is wrong. No such consensus or settled science exists. As indicated by the petition text and signatory list, a very large number of American scientists reject this hypothesis.

It is evident that 31,072 Americans with university degrees in science – including 9,021 PhDs, are not “a few.” Moreover, from the clear and strong petition statement that they have signed, it is evident that these 31,072 American scientists are not “skeptics.”

CONTACT: Audrey Mullen, +1-703-548-1160, for the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine

/PRNewswire-USNewswire — May 15/

SOURCE Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine

Source: Street Insider

Laser Gunship Blasts Beams, Preps for ’08 Flight Test

Step by step, Boeing and the Defense Department are getting closer to flying a gunship that fires lasers, instead of bullets.

After years and years of development, Boeing’s Advanced Tactical Laser, a modified C-130H turbprop plane, last week fired its chemically-powered ray gun “in ground tests for the first time,” the company says in a statement.

The plane is supposed to be a prototype for a flying laser blaster that can “destroy, damage or disable targets with little to no collateral damage, supporting missions on the battlefield and in urban operations.”

If “it performs to spec,” Lew Page at the Register notes, the ATL could “take out targets such as individual vehicles or cellphone towers, silently and from as far as 18-20 kilometers. People in the vicinity of an ATL strike might not realize what had happened until well after the event, if at all. This could be especially handy for Boeing’s initial customer – the US military’s secretive Special Operations Command.”

Last year, in lab tests at Kirtland Air Force Base, the ATL’s laser was fired 50 times. By the end of 2008, the plane is scheduled to “fire the chemical laser in-flight at mission-representative ground targets… through a rotating turret that extends through the aircraft’s belly,” according to the company.

“Later this year, we will fire the laser in-flight at ground targets, demonstrating the military utility of this transformational directed energy weapon,” Scott Fancher, vice president of Boeing Missile Defense Systems, says.

It’ll certainly be a major day in ray gun history, if it happens. But the ATL relies on vats of toxic chemicals, to produce its laser blasts — which seriously limits its utility. So the military is hoping to get the integration, aiming, and beam-control kinks worked out with this chemical-powered ATL — and then switch over to electric lasers in the coming decade, to make for a more manageable airborne ray gun.

Read moreLaser Gunship Blasts Beams, Preps for ’08 Flight Test

Drug Cartels to Mexican Police: ‘Join Us or Die’

Drug cartels are sending a brutal message to police and soldiers in cities across Mexico: Join us or die.

The threat appears in recruiting banners hung across roadsides and in publicly posted death lists. Cops get warnings over their two-way radios. At least four high-ranking police officials were gunned down this month, including Mexico’s acting federal police chief.

Mexico has battled for years to clean up its security forces and win them the public’s respect. But Mexicans generally assume police and even soldiers are corrupt until proven otherwise, and the honest ones lack resources, training and the assurance that their colleagues are watching their backs. Here, the taboo on cop-killing familiar to Americans seems hardly to apply.

Police who take on the cartels feel isolated and vulnerable when they become targets, as did 22 commanders in the border city of Ciudad Juarez when drug traffickers named them on a handwritten death list left at a monument to fallen police this year. It was addressed to “those who still don’t believe” in the power of the cartels.

Of the 22, seven have been killed and three wounded in assassination attempts. Of the others, all but one have quit, and city officials said he didn’t want to be interviewed.

“These are attacks directed at the top commanders of the city police, and it is not just happening in Ciudad Juarez,” Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz said at the funeral of the latest victim, police director Juan Antonio Roman Garcia. “It is happening in Nuevo Laredo, in Tijuana, in this entire region,” he said. “They are attacking top commanders to destabilize the police force.”

The killings are in response to a crackdown launched by President Felipe Calderon, who has sent thousands of soldiers and federal police across the nation to confront the cartels. Drug lords have hit back by sending killers to attack police with hand grenades and assault rifles.

Police are increasingly giving up. Last week, U.S. officials revealed that three Mexican police commanders have crossed into the United States to request asylum, saying they are unprotected and fear for their lives.

Read moreDrug Cartels to Mexican Police: ‘Join Us or Die’

Police State 2008

Paul Craig Roberts, a Republican who worked in the Reagan administration, is predicting a 9-11 type of attack before the 2008 elections. If that occurs, Bush can declare martial law and begin arresting those who disagree with his foreign policy (based on Executive Orders recently issued by the Bush Administration that grant the president these powers and more.) Wild Stuff.

The original 28 minute audio clip was found at http://www.archive.org/details/71907T… under the heading “Open Source Audio”.

(This also confirms what I have written about in the “World Situation”. – The Infinite Unknown)

Barcelona: Unprecedented Emergency Plan to Alleviate a Drought in the City

This week, it began importing potable water by ship as part of a broader effort to meet needs. Its reservoirs are down to 20 percent capacity.

A ship loaded with drinking water is seen docked in the northern Spanish port of Barcelona as part of an unprecedented emergency plan to alleviate a drought in the city. The ship was carrying some 5.3 million gallons of water, roughly enough to satisfy a day’s requirements for 180,000 people. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
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With Spain’s average rainfall down 40 percent last year, many cities have restricted residents from filling their swimming pools or watering their lawns. But perhaps no municipality has developed such diverse and creative solutions as hard-hit Barcelona, which this week began a €44 million ($68 million) operation to bring in drinking water by ship.

On Tuesday, the first vessel – from the southern city of Tarragona – arrived in Barcelona’s port, where firemen discharged the ship’s 20 tanks into a pipeline linked to the city’s water distribution network. The next day, Barcelona residents were drinking Tarragona water from their taps.

The measure is designed to stave off a water crisis that has been building for some time and has reduced Barcelona’s reservoirs to 20 percent of their capacity.

“For the past four years, we’ve had a shortage of rain,” says Narcis Prat, a water expert at the University of Barcelona. “Now we have a shortage of water. Without significant rain, we only have enough to last until December.”

Professor Prat points out that the population of Spain’s second-largest city has grown by more than 1.5 million in the past 15 years, stretching limited resources further. That means the citizens’ “excellent” conservation habits aren’t enough, says Barcelona’s mayor, Jordi Hereu.

Read moreBarcelona: Unprecedented Emergency Plan to Alleviate a Drought in the City

U.S. Planning Big New Prison in Afghanistan

Some detainees have been held without charge for more than five years, officials said. As of April, about 10 juveniles were being held at Bagram, according to a recent American report to a United Nations committee.
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WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is moving forward with plans to build a new, 40-acre detention complex on the main American military base in Afghanistan, officials said, in a stark acknowledgment that the United States is likely to continue to hold prisoners overseas for years to come.

The proposed detention center would replace the cavernous, makeshift American prison on the Bagram military base north of Kabul, which is now typically packed with about 630 prisoners, compared with the 270 held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Until now, the Bush administration had signaled that it intended to scale back American involvement in detention operations in Afghanistan. It had planned to transfer a large majority of the prisoners to Afghan custody, in an American-financed, high-security prison outside Kabul to be guarded by Afghan soldiers.

But American officials now concede that the new Afghan-run prison cannot absorb all the Afghans now detained by the United States, much less the waves of new prisoners from the escalating fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The proposal for a new American prison at Bagram underscores the daunting scope and persistence of the United States military’s detention problem, at a time when Bush administration officials continue to say they want to close down the facility at Guantánamo Bay.

Military officials have long been aware of serious problems with the existing detention center in Afghanistan, the Bagram Theater Internment Facility. After the prison was set up in early 2002, it became a primary site for screening prisoners captured in the fighting. Harsh interrogation methods and sleep deprivation were used widely, and two Afghan detainees died there in December 2002, after being repeatedly struck by American soldiers.

Read moreU.S. Planning Big New Prison in Afghanistan

The Last Roundup: MAIN CORE

In my case, there’s no way the programs I want to talk to Congress about should be public ever, unless maybe in 200 years they want to declassify them. You should never learn about it; no one at the Times should ever learn about these things.
– Russell Tice, Former NSA SIGINT Officer


I’m going to provide a one paragraph summary, just to make sure that the implications of this are clear to everyone:

The U.S. Government has, almost certainly, established a database and tracking system for something like eight million Americans who have been designated as threats to national security. The system is called MAIN CORE and it is being run under the auspices of highly classified Continuity of Government (COG) operations. MAIN CORE uses a variety of intelligence sources as inputs, including your email, web activity, telephone and private financial information. In the event of a major national security crisis, it is alleged that Americans listed in the MAIN CORE database, “Could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.”

The Last Roundup, by Christopher Ketcham, appeared in the May/June 2008 issue of Radar Magazine. (Full text here and here.)

Below are some excerpts from The Last Roundup. I have provided explicit pointers to the related materials on Cryptogon:

Read moreThe Last Roundup: MAIN CORE

Germans said to plan major surveillance centre

Berlin – Germany is planning to set up a new authority to combine its various eavesdropping operations in a purpose-built headquarters near Cologne, the news magazine Der Spiegel said Saturday.

The combined police and espionage centre would be modelled on the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States or the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Britain.

The project was being pushed by the Interior Ministry, which oversees the police and domestic intelligence, the magazine said in a story to appear in print on Monday.

Approached for comment by Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, a ministry spokesman a possible merger of telecommunications surveillance was at the “consideration” stage.

Including surveillance by the 16 German states, Germany had more than 75 surveillance offices at present, Der Spiegel said.

The interior ministry was keen to take away surveillance functions from the BND foreign intelligence service, and would argue that a new authority similar to the NSA could provide foreign and domestic eavesdropping from one spot.

A revamp was needed because modern communications were mainly digital and used sophisticated new encryption methods, creating a risk that police and intelligence services would be unable to crack the codes, according to Der Spiegel.

Source: DPA

Thousands of children to get a DOUBLE jab of MMR in ’emergency’ move to tackle measles epidemic

Thousands of babies and toddlers are being given two doses of the MMR jab in three months under “emergency” measures to tackle the biggest outbreak of measles for decades.

The unprecedented step follows a growing epidemic of the potentially fatal disease caused after too few children were given MMR injections.

Around 40 per cent of parents in some areas are shunning MMR, which has faced controversy over suspected links to autism and bowel disease.

In South-East London, doctors have seen a record 226 cases in the first five months of the year – compared with 167 in the area during the whole of 2007.

Experts fear last year’s record of 1,000 infections nationally is certain to be broken, putting children’s health at risk.

Government advisers from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation warn the epidemic could spread across the UK and urgent measures are needed to halt the disease in its tracks.

Minutes from its last meeting said: “The committee expressed its concern about the ongoing measles epidemic in London, and noted that other parts of the country may be vulnerable to similar outbreaks.”

Two doses of MMR close together have been shown to boost protection to almost 100 per cent. But children whose parents shun the jab are still vulnerable.

Campaigners fear that giving two doses of the triple vaccine over a short period could “overload” infants’ immune systems.

But medical experts dismiss this. MMR contains live viruses to provoke an immune response against measles, mumps and rubella.

Read moreThousands of children to get a DOUBLE jab of MMR in ’emergency’ move to tackle measles epidemic