December 9, 2010
Latest Update on the Rape Gate Attack on Civil Rights & on the WikiLeaks Saga & on the Climate Conference in Cancun
Finally I've added some key updates on the Wikileaks saga and on the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun to the update I have prepared for you about what I call the Rape Gate Attack on Civil Rights. Incidentally, you've probably noticed that the initial media hoopla about the government-sanctioned gropers and naked-body scanners has pretty much died down. And now air travelers are wary of complaining about the whole thing for fear of being added to the infamous no-fly list and thus being barred from air travel. Which is exactly what Big Brother planned all along. Many of course also bought into the 'it's for your own protection' propaganda. And now they have started doing randomly the same naked/groping screening at some bus terminals in the US. And they are only going to get more invasive and in your pants, and perhaps even deeper... for your own protection...
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I'll be back in a couple days with the main 185+ pages compilation (to be archived HERE) which I've also prepared for you... Hey! I told you I had LOTS of stuff for you this week...
After this next big one I'll probably give us all a well deserved break till January ;-)
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
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LATEST UPDATE ON THE RAPE GATE ATTACK ON CIVIL RIGHTS
1. TSA turns off naked body scanners to avoid opt-out day protests
2. DHS & TSA: Making a list, checking it twice
3. Police State USA: TSA Gestapo Empire
4. TSA feels inside underwear of female ABC News employee
5. In defense of our children - an important message from Brasscheck TV
6. Another TSA Outrage
7. TSA-Style Pat Downs Hit The Streets
LAST MINUTE ADDITION
THE BLOWBACK HAS BEGUN! THE MILLIONS OF SOULS WHO CHERISH FREEDOM AND JUSTICE WILL RALLY TO SUPPORT THE EFFORTS OF WIKILEAKS AND WILL HELP TURN THE TIDE AGAINST THE OPPRESSORS WHO THOUGHT THEY COULD OPPRESS, TORTURE, KILL AND ULTIMATELY ENSLAVE THE WORLD WITH IMPUNITY.
From: Voters for Peace (email@example.com)
Date: Dec 8, 2010
Subject: ON BEHALF OF JULIAN ASSANGE AND WIKILEAKS
Challenging U.S. Empire and its illegal and unjust wars are at the heart of our work at VotersForPeace.US.
This mission calls us to the active defense of journalist Julian Assange, WikiLeaks.org and the courageous whisteblower(s) who are dealing the most powerful blow to U.S. Empire in recent memory with the continuous massive release of documents now rocking world capitals and dominating the global media.
In an attempt to intimidate and silence others, there is serious concern that the U.S. government will try to make Assange an example by manipulation of existing law or the creation of new laws retroactively applied charging him with crimes in the United States and pressuring other governments to extradite him to the USA.
We must create a culture where it is safe and supported to tell the truth about our governments activities. We must encourage more people to have the courage to reveal what they know about the murder, torture and corruption committed in our name.
We must stand up to protect all whisteblowers and truth tellers in the face of a U.S. government which is increasingly unaccountable to citizens, to domestic or international laws, or to our Constitution.
Recall that The New York Times has admitted it checked every document it published with the government beforehand. We must say to the Empire, "We draw the line HERE. Step back. We will not sit silently while you make this journalist and good government activist into a criminal to drive fear into the hearts of any other who would oppose you. We will resist.
Please consider signing this petition as an expression of your support for peace, justice, and democracy, http://www.WikileaksIsDemocracy.org
Co-founder, Voters for Peace
HERE IS THE TEXT OF THE PETITION YOU ARE INVITED TO SIGN. SIGN IT AND PASS THIS ON TO ALL YOUR CONTACTS...
We, the undersigned, stand in defense of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and their courageous actions to safeguard and advance democracy, transparency and government accountability, as protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Wikileaks performs an invaluable and heroic service to the broad U.S. and global public with a commitment to the protection of human rights and the rule of law. Government representatives have issued serious and unjustified threats against Mr. Assange and his non-profit media organization which serve only to maintain a cloak of secrecy around high crimes and violations of international law, including torture, tampering with democratically elected governments, illegal bombings and wars, surveillance, mass slaughter of innocent civilians and more.
We call on all governments, organizations, and individuals of conscience to forcefully condemn and reject all U.S. efforts to fraudulently criminalize the legitimate journalism of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and related efforts to expose an increasingly lawless U.S. government to the indispensable democratic requirement of public scrutiny. True or false, any charges which the Swedish government may pursue are irrelevant to the primacy of an independent free press.
Further, we reject any efforts to extradite Julian Assange to the United States or allied client states in relation to these matters. We condemn and reject every incitement to murder, incarcerate or in any way harm Mr. Assange. We encourage all those with information on corruption and violations of law to take courage from the example of Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks by acting to expose all such information into the light of public and judicial review.
The following excerpts from a key article are worth our attention as a complement to the material I've sent you 2 days ago in Wikileaks or WikIsrael? WikiAngel or WikiWeasel? We Won't Let Them Pull The Wool Over Our Eyes!
I found the following article most comprehensive, balanced and thought-provoking. I've excerpted some particularly important segments - to me anyway - and encourage you to read the whole thing. I especially agree with what the author suggests in "Wikileaks and the Media" and "Wikileaks as an Opportunity". I think you will concur with him as well.
Wikileaks and the Worldwide Information WarPower, Propaganda, and the Global Political Awakening
by Andrew Gavin Marshall
Global Research, December 6, 2010
The recent release of the 250,000 Wikileaks documents has provoked unparalleled global interest, both positive, negative, and everywhere in between. One thing that can be said with certainty: Wikileaks is changing things.
There are those who accept what the Wikileaks releases say at face value, largely due to the misrepresentation of the documents by the corporate-controlled news.
There are those who see the documents as authentic and simply in need of proper interpretation and analysis.
Then there are those, many of whom are in the alternative media, who approach the leaks with caution and suspicion.
There are those who simply cast the leaks aside as a psy-op designed to target specific nations that fit into U.S. foreign policy objectives. Finally, then, there are those who deplore the leaks as treason or threatening security. Of all the claims and notions, the last is, without a doubt, the most ridiculous. This essay aims to examine the nature of the Wikileaks releases and how they should be approached and understood. If Wikileaks is changing things, lets hope people will make sure that it changes things in the right direction.
Media Propaganda Against Iran: Taking the Cables at Face Value
This perspective is perhaps the most propagated one, as it is largely influenced and undertaken by the mainstream corporate media, which present the leaked diplomatic cables as proof of the medias take on major world issues; most notably among them, Irans nuclear program. As per usual, the New York Times steps center stage in its unbridled contempt for truth and relentless use of propaganda to serve U.S. imperial interests, headlining articles with titles like, Around the World, Distress Over Iran, which explained how Israel and the Arab leaders agree on Iran as a nuclear threat to the world, with the commentary in the article stating that, running beneath the cables is a belief among many leaders that unless the current government in Tehran falls, Iran will have a bomb sooner or later. Fox News ran an article proclaiming that, Leaked Documents Show Middle East Consensus on Threat Posed by Iran, and commented that, the seismic document spill by WikiLeaks showed one area of profound agreement -- that Iran is viewed in the Middle East as the region's No. 1 troublemaker.
This, it should be understood, is propaganda. Yet, we need to properly refine our understanding of propaganda in order to assess what is specifically propagandistic about these stories.
Is Wikileaks a Propaganda Effort?
The leaders of Israel have been very adamant that the Wikileaks documents do not embarrass Israel to any extent. Prior to the release, the U.S. government briefed Israeli officials on the type of documents that would be released by Wikileaks regarding Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, there is no disparity between the public discourse between us and Washington, and the mutual understanding of each others positions. The Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, claimed that the documents show a more accurate view of reality. One top Turkish politician stated that looking at which countries are pleased with the releases says a lot, and speculated that Israel engineered the release of documents in an attempt to advance its interests and to pressure Turkey.
Further, the Internet and various alternative news organizations are abuzz with speculation that Wikileaks itself may be a propaganda front, perhaps even a CIA front organization, a method of controlling the opposition (which, historically we know, is no stranger to CIA activities). Yet, this speculation is based upon the use of the information that is released in the cables, and it strikes me as a lack of contextualizing the documents.
So, how should one contextualize this? Lets begin with Israel. Certainly, Israel is without a doubt a criminal state (as all states essentially are), but its criminality is amplified more so than most states on this planet, possibly outdone only by America, itself. Israels ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is one of the most horrific and long-lasting crimes against humanity seen in the past 50 years, and posterity will view Israel as the vicious, war-mongering, dehumanizing and abhorrent state it is. Yet, for all that Israel is, one thing Israel is not, is subtle. When the Israeli PM states that the Wikileaks releases are not embarrassing to Israel, he is mostly correct. This is not because Israel has nothing to hide (remember, the Wikileaks documents are not top secret documents, but merely diplomatic cables), but because the diplomatic exchanges Israel makes largely reflect the reality of the public statements Israel makes. Israel and its political elite are no strangers to making absurd public statements, to constantly threatening war with Iran and other neighbours, or to propagandizing their beliefs that Iran is making nuclear weapons (something which has never been proven). Thus, the leaks do not hurt Israels image, because Israels image, internationally, is already so abysmal and despicable, and because Israeli diplomats and politicians are generally as brazen in what they say publicly as they say to each other, that Israels image has largely remained the same. Of course, Israeli leaders political and military are using the leaks to suggest that it vindicates their perspective on Iran as a threat, which of course is an absurd propaganda ploy, the exact same technique taken on by the corporate media, in taking the cables at face value.
The Truth About Diplomacy
Craig Murray is one voice that should be heard on this issue. Craig Murray was a former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan who made a name for himself in exposing intelligence from Uzbekistan related to al-Qaeda as entirely unreliable, due to the methods of torture used to get the information (such as boiling people alive). This intelligence was passed to the CIA and MI6, which Murray said was factually incorrect. When Murray expressed his concerns with the higher-ups in the British diplomatic services, he was reprimanded for talking about human rights. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) told Murray that he had one week to resign, and was threatened with possible prosecution or jail time for revealing state secrets. He was subsequently removed from his ambassadorial position, and has since become something of a political activist. In short, Murray is exactly the type of diplomat a person should want: honest. But he was also exactly the type of diplomat that Western imperial powers dont want: honest.
In the midst of the latest Wikileaks releases of diplomatic documents, Craig Murray was asked to write an article for the Guardian regarding his interpretation of the issue. As Murray later noted, the paper placed his article, largely reduced, hidden in the middle of a long article which was a compendium of various commentaries on Wikileaks. Murray, however, posted the full version on his website.
Further, for those who posit that Wikileaks is a psy-op or propaganda operation or that Wikileaks is a CIA front, Murray had this to say:
Of course the documents reflect the US view they are official US government communications. What they show is something I witnessed personally, that diplomats as a class very seldom tell unpalatable truths to politicians, but rather report and reinforce what their masters want to hear, in the hope of receiving preferment.
There is therefore a huge amount about Iran's putative nuclear arsenal and an exaggeration of Iran's warhead delivery capability. But there is nothing about Israel's massive nuclear arsenal. That is not because wikileaks have censored criticism of Israel. It is because any US diplomat who made an honest and open assessment of Israeli crimes would very quickly be an unemployed ex-diplomat.
Murray concluded his article with the statement that all would do well to keep in mind: Truth helps the people against rapacious elites everywhere.
Wikileaks and the Media
Instead of deriding Wikileaks as not telling us anything we didnt know before, perhaps the alternative media should use the popularity and momentum of Wikileaks to take from it the documentation and analysis that further strengthens our arguments and beliefs. This will allow for others, especially new audiences of interested people worldwide, to place the Wikileaks releases within a wider context and understanding. The reports from Wikileaks are revelations only to those who largely adhere to the illusions of the world: that we live in democracies promoting freedom around the world and at home, etc. The revelations however, are not simply challenging American perceptions of America, but of all nations and their populations. The fact that these people are reading and discovering new things for which they are developing an interest is an incredible change. This is likely why the corporate media is so heavily involved in the dissemination of this information (which itself is a major source of suspicion for the alternative media): to control the interpretation of the message. It is the job of the alternative media and intellectuals and other thinking individuals to challenge that interpretation with factual analysis. The Wikileaks releases, in fact, give us more facts to place within and support our interpretations than they do for the corporate media.
We must ask why the Wikileaks releases were revelations for most people? Well, it was surprising simply for the fact that the media itself has such a strong hold on the access, dissemination and interpretation of information. They are revelations because people are indoctrinated with myths. They are not revelations to the alternative media because we have been talking about these things for years. However, while they may not necessarily be revelations, they are in fact, confirmations and vindications and bring more information to the analysis. It is in this, that a great opportunity lies. For since the leaks support and better inform our perspectives, we can build on this concept and examine how Wikileaks adds to and supports critical analysis. For those who are newly interested and looking for information, or for those who are having their previous perceptions challenged, it is the alternative media and critical voices alone who can place that information in a wider context for everyone else. In this, more people will see how it is the alternative media and critical perspectives which were more reflective of reality than say, the mainstream media (for which Wikileaks is a revelation). Thus, more people may soon start turning to alternative media and ideas; after all, our perspectives were vindicated, not those of the mainstream media (though they attempt to spin it as such).
We are under a heavy propaganda offensive on the part of the global corporate and mainstream media to spin and manipulate these leaks to their own interests. We, as alternative media and voices, must use Wikileaks to our advantage. Ignoring it will only damage our cause and undermine our strength. The mainstream media understood that; so too, must we. Wikileaks presents in itself a further opportunity for the larger exposure of mainstream media as organized propaganda. By surprising so many people with the revelations, the media has in effect exposed itself as deeply inadequate in their analysis of the world and the major issues within it. While currently it is giving the mainstream media a great boost, we are still immersed in the era of the Technological Revolution and there is still (for now, anyway) Internet freedom, and thus, the tide can quickly turn.
Like the saying goes, the rich man will sell you the rope to hang him with if he thinks he can make a buck on it. Perhaps the mainstream media has done the same. No other organized apparatus was as capable of disseminating as much material as quickly and with such global reach as the mainstream media. If the leaks initially only made it into alternative media, then the information would only reach those whom are already reading the alternative press. In that, they would not be such grand revelations and would have had a muted effect. In the mainstream medias global exposure of Wikileaks material (never mind their slanted and propagandistic interpretations), they have changed the dynamic and significance of the information. By reaching wider and new audiences, the alternative and critical voices can co-opt these new audiences; lead them away from the realm of information control into the realm of information access. This is potentially one of the greatest opportunities presented for the alternative and critical voices of the world.
Wikileaks is a globally transformative event. Not simply in terms of awakening new people to new information, but also in terms of the effect it is having upon global power structures, itself. With ambassadors resigning, diplomats being exposed as liars and tools, political rifts developing between Western imperial allies, and many careers and reputations of elites around the world at great risk, Wikileaks is creating the potential for an enormous deterioration in the effectiveness of imperialism and domination. That, in itself, is an admirable and worthy goal. That this is already a reality is representative of how truly transformative Wikileaks is and could be. People, globally, are starting to see their leaders through a lens not filtered by public relations. Through mainstream media, it gets filtered through propaganda, which is why it is an essential duty of the alternative media and critical thinkers to place this information in a wider, comprehensive context. This would further erode the effectiveness of empire.
With the reaction of several states and policing organizations to issue arrest warrants for Julian Assange, or in calling for his assassination (as one Canadian adviser to the Prime Minister suggested on television), these organizations and individuals are exposing their own hatred of democracy, transparency and freedom of information. Their reactions can be used to discredit their legitimacy to rule. If policing agencies are supposed to protect and serve, why are they seeking instead to punish and subvert those who expose the truth? Again, this comes as no surprise to those who closely study the nature of the state, and especially the modern phenomenon of the militarization of domestic society and the dismantling of rights and freedoms. However, it is happening before the eyes of the whole world, and people are paying attention. This is new.
This is an incredible opportunity to criticize foreign policy (read: imperial strategy), and to disembowel many global power structures. More people, now, than ever before, will be willing to listen, learn and investigate for themselves. Wikileaks should be regarded as a gift, not a distraction. Instead of focusing on the parts of the Wikileaks cables which do not reflect the perspectives of the alternative media (such as on Iran), we must use Wikileaks to better inform our own understanding not simply of the policy itself, but of the complex social interactions and ideas that create the basis for the policy to be carried out. In regards to the diplomatic cables themselves, we are better able to understand the nature of diplomats as agents of empire, and so instead of discounting the cables as propaganda we must use them against the apparatus of empire itself: to expose the empire for what it is. Wikileaks helps to unsheathe and strip away the rhetoric behind imperial policy, and expose diplomats not as informed observers, but as agents of power. The reaction by nations, organizations and institutions around the world adds further fuel to this approach, as we are seeing the utter distaste political leaders have for democracy and freedom of information, despite their rhetoric. Several institutions of power can be more widely exposed in this manner.
A recent addition to this analysis can be in the role played by universities not in education but in indoctrination and the production of new agents of power. For example, Columbia University is one of the most respected and revered universities in the world, which has produced several individuals and significant sectors of the political elite (including diplomats). In reaction to the Wikileaks releases, Columbia University has warned students they risk future job prospects if they download any of the material, which followed a government ban on employees, estimated at more than two-and-a-half million people, using work computers and other communication devices to look at diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks. The University emailed students at the university's school of international and public affairs, a recruiting ground for the state department. Good for Columbia! What do they think university is for, education or something? How dare students take education into their own hands, especially students who will likely be future diplomats. This university reaction to Wikileaks helps call into attention the role of universities in our society, and specifically the role of universities in shaping the future managers of the imperial apparatus.
Wikileaks as an Opportunity
If Wikileaks is a psy-op, it is either the stupidest or most intelligent psychological operation ever undertaken. But one thing is for sure: systems and structures of power are in the process of being exposed to a much wider audience than ever before. The question for the alternative media and critical researchers, alike, is what will they do with this information and this opportunity?
Julian Assange was recently interviewed by Time Magazine about Wikileaks, in which he explained to the inadequately informed editor of Time Magazine that organizations which are secretive need to be exposed:
If their behavior is revealed to the public, they have one of two choices: one is to reform in such a way that they can be proud of their endeavors, and proud to display them to the public. Or the other is to lock down internally and to balkanize, and as a result, of course, cease to be as efficient as they were. To me, that is a very good outcome, because organizations can either be efficient, open and honest, or they can be closed, conspiratorial and inefficient.
Assange further explained some of his perspectives regarding the influence of and reactions to Wikileaks, stating that the Chinese:
appear to be terrified of free speech, and while one might say that means something awful is happening in the country, I actually think that is a very optimistic sign, because it means that speech can still cause reform and that the power structure is still inherently political, as opposed to fiscal. So journalism and writing are capable of achieving change, and that is why Chinese authorities are so scared of it. Whereas in the United States to a large degree, and in other Western countries, the basic elements of society have been so heavily fiscalized through contractual obligations that political change doesn't seem to result in economic change, which in other words means that political change doesn't result in change.
In the interview, Assange turned to the issue of the Internet and community media:
For the rise of social media, it's quite interesting. When we first started [in 2006], we thought we would have the analytical work done by bloggers and people who wrote Wikipedia articles and so on. And we thought that was a natural, given that we had lots of quality, important content... The bulk of the heavy lifting - heavy analytical lifting - that is done with our materials is done by us, and is done by professional journalists we work with and by professional human-rights activists. It is not done by the broader community. However, once the initial lifting is done, once a story becomes a story, becomes a news article, then we start to see community involvement, which digs deeper and provides more perspective. So the social networks tend to be, for us, an amplifier of what we are doing. And also a supply of sources for us.
As researchers, media, and critics, we must realize that our perspectives and beliefs must be open to change and evolution. Simply because something like this has never happened before does not mean that it isnt happening now. We live in the era of the Technological Revolution, and the Internet has changed economics, politics and society itself, on a global scale. This is where the true hope in furthering and better informing the global political awakening will need to take speed and establish itself. True change in our world is not going to come from already-established or newly-created institutions of power, which is where all issues are currently being addressed, especially those of global significance. True change, instead, can only come not from global power structures, but from the global community of people, interacting with one another via the power unleashed by the Technological Revolution. Change must be globally understood and community organized.
We are on the verge of a period of global social transformation, the question is: will we do anything about it? Will we seek to inform and partake in this transition, or will we sit and watch it be misled, criticizing it as it falters and falls? Just as Martin Luther King commented in his 1967 speech, Beyond Vietnam, that it seemed as if America was on the wrong side of a world revolution, now there is an opportunity to remedy that sad reality, and not simply on a national scale, but global.
Despite all the means and methods of power and domination in this world, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As things progressively get worse and worse, as any independent observer of the world has noticed, life has a way of creating means and methods to counter these regressions. As globalization has facilitated the emergence of a global elite, and several global institutions and ideologies of global power, so too has this process facilitated the globalization of opposition. So while elites, globally, actively work to integrate and expand global power structures, they are inadvertently integrating and expanding global opposition to those very same power structures. This is the great paradox of our time, and one which we must recognize, for it is not simply a factual observation, but it is a hopeful situation.
Hope should not be underestimated, and it is something that I have personally struggled with in my views of the world. It is hard to see hope when you study so much horror in the world, and see how little is being done about it. But activism and change need hope. This is very evident from the Obama campaign, which was splashed with rhetoric of hope and change, something that all people rightfully want and need. However, Obamas hope and change were Wall Street brands and patents, it was a glorious practice in the art of propaganda, and a horrific blow to true notions of hope and change. There is a reason why the Obama campaign took the top prizes in public relations industry awards.
Hope is needed, but it cannot be misplaced hope, as it was with Obama. It must be a hope grounded not in blind faith but in honest analysis. While indeed on most fronts in the world, things are getting progressively worse, the alternative media has focused almost exclusively on these issues that they have blinded themselves to the positive geopolitical developments in the world, namely the global political awakening and the role of the Internet in reshaping global society. While these issues are acknowledged, they are not fully understood or explained within the wider context: that these are in fact, hopeful developments; that there is hope. Wikileaks strengthens this notion, if it is to be taken as an opportunity. A critique without hope falls on deaf ears. No one wants to hear that things are hopeless, so while an examination of what is wrong in the world is integral to moving forward, so too is an examination of what is hopeful and positive. This spreads the message and builds its supporters. The Internet as a medium facilitates the spread of this message, and after all, as one of the foremost media theorists, Marshall McLuhan, noted, The medium is the message.
CLIP - To read the entire unabridged article, please go at http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22278
Related latest developments:
WikiLeaks: Stop the crackdown
The chilling intimidation campaign against WikiLeaks (when they have broken no laws) is an attack on freedom of the press and democracy. We urgently need a massive public outcry to stop the crackdown -- let's get to 1 million voices and take out full page ads in US newspapers this week! The massive campaign of intimidation against WikiLeaks is sending a chill through free press advocates everywhere. Legal experts say WikiLeaks has likely broken no laws. Yet top US politicians have called it a terrorist group and commentators have urged assassination of its staff. The organization has come under massive government and corporate attack, but WikiLeaks is only publishing information provided by a whistleblower. And it has partnered with the world's leading newspapers (NYT, Guardian, Spiegel etc) to carefully vet the information it publishes. The massive extra-judicial intimidation of WikiLeaks is an attack on democracy. We urgently need a public outcry for freedom of the press and expression. Sign the petition to stop the crackdown and forward this email to everyone -- let's get to 1 million voices and take out full page ads in US newspapers this week! CLIP
Hackers Attack Companies That Hindered WikiLeaks (December 8, 2010)
LONDON - A small army of activist hackers orchestrated a broad campaign of cyberattacks on Wednesday in support of the beleaguered antisecrecy organization WikiLeaks, which has drawn governmental criticism from around the globe for its release of classified American documents and whose founder, Julian Assange, is being held in Britain on accusations of sex offenses. Targets included Mastercard.com, which had stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks; Amazon.com, which revoked server space from the group; the online payment service PayPal, which cut off its commercial cooperation, and the lawyer representing the two Swedish women who have accused Mr. Assange in the sex case. The hackers also accused Visa of stopping the processing of donations for Wikileaks, and Visa.com was also affected. By Wednesday afternoon, a counterattack had begun with Netcraft, a British Internet monitoring firm, reporting that the Web site being used by the hackers to distribute denial-of-service software had been suspended by a Dutch hosting firm, Leaseweb. The hackers- a loosely affiliated group who call themselves Anonymous - continued to give instructions for the denial of service attacks via a Twitter account until it was suspended later in the afternoon. (...) The hacker army has rallied around the theory that all the actions against the organization and against Mr. Assange, including the rape accusations, are politically motivated efforts to silence those challenging authority. "To all of us," Mr. Housh said, "there is no distinction. He is a political prisoner and the two things are completely entwined." In an online chatroom at Anonops.net, activists who announced their nationalities from around the world - "hello from Sierra Leone" - "hi from Austria" - talked openly of the attacks and said they would need 5,000 people to effectively paralyze PayPal. Many also plotted a rumor campaign to further destabilize Mastercard - suggesting that others spread stories that credit card numbers were not safe. CLIP CHECK ALSO WikiLeaks controversy sparks cyber war (AlJazeera) Wikileaks condemns companies for cutting ties with website
Wikileaks: Barriers to possible US Assange prosecution (8 December 2010)
The US government will face significant legal and diplomatic hurdles if it attempts to prosecute Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in connection with the massive internet dump of secret US documents, legal scholars, defence lawyers and former prosecutors say. Mr Assange is currently held in Britain awaiting possible extradition to Sweden on sex crime charges. But the US authorities have made it clear they hope to prosecute him in the US over the release of thousands of classified diplomatic cables. US Attorney General Eric Holder said officials were pursuing a "very serious criminal investigation" into the matter.Yet while Mr Assange has widely acknowledged his role in disseminating classified documents, legal experts say US criminal statutes and case law do not cleanly apply to his case. CLIP
Julian Assange cast as common enemy as US left and right unite (8 December 2010)
Growing clamour sees Republicans and Democrats demanding action against WikiLeaks founder -- The outcry against Julian Assange is intensifying in the US, drawing a rare degree of political consensus across the spectrum from politicians and pundits who have cast the WikiLeaks founder in the role of a common enemy. In the past few days the calls for action against Assange have grown steadily louder and more shrill, with leading Republicans labelling him a terrorist and top liberal Democratic politicians, albeit in more moderate language, also calling for his prosecution. The highly unusual bi-partisanship of the hounding of Assange has led some free speech campaigning groups to warn of a "chilling effect" in which the threats of legal action are already having an impact on the open spirit of the internet. The most extreme attacks have come from prominent Republicans including Sarah Palin, who has likened Assange to an al-Qaida operative; Mitch McConnell the Republican leader in the Senate who called him a "hi-tech terrorist''; and Newt Gingrich, who dubbed him an information terrorist and said he should be arrested as an "enemy combatant" .Assange was also attacked by leading Democrats such as Dianne Feinstein, who said he should be charged under the US espionage act and John Kerry, who has called for the law to be changed to allow a prosecution of WikiLeaks.
(...) So far key Obama administration figures have adopted a more temperate tone than much of the swirling debate around them. Robert Gates, the defence secretary, has called the embassy cables "moderate" in their seriousness and said arguments that they had damaged national security were "fairly significantly overwrought". The secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has played a double game, threatening to take "aggressive steps" against disseminators of the cables while emphasising the positive worth of an open internet. CLIP
Fraction of 1 percent of WikiLeaks cables released (December 8th, 2010)
Although it may seem as though WikiLeaks has flooded the Web with a mind-boggling number of classified diplomatic cables, the site says it has actually published only a fraction of 1 percent of the trove of secret State Department information it has.WikiLeaks claims to have an archive of 251,287 cables. It has published fewer than 1,000.Julian Assange, the face and founder of the Web site, was arrested Tuesday in Britain on a sex crime case in Sweden - a case separate from WikiLeaks. One of his attorneys, Jennifer Robinson, said that the remaining contents of the State Department trove will continue to be published "unabated as scheduled, in a very orderly fashion" in the coming months. The documents could even be released in parts throughout 2011 in conjunction with media that had advance access to WikiLeaks' documents about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, as well as the cables, said Robinson. At least three media organizations have obtained advance copies of WikiLeaks' documents: The Guardian, The New York Times and Germany's Der Spiegel. CLIP - MANY MORE RELATED NEWS HERE
WikiLeaks a modern-day Hydra (December 8th, 2010) - Many embedded links at the URL below
Each time Hercules cut off a head of the Hydra, two more would grow back. The enemies of Wikileaks are now having the same problem!Over the past week or so, Wikileaks and its founder have been under serious attack. It probably started about the time of my first article on them. Then, late last Thursday evening, their Internet provider deactivated their service. No problem. Wikileaks immediately began operations using another web server. The attack also inspired the birth of many new mirror sites. They may have cut off the head of that Hydra last Thursday, but in doing so, they've created a monster!! The mirror sights grew from a few dozen last week to 200 by Sunday. By early Wednesday, the number of such sites surpassed 1,000. This period between now and the end of 2012 has been prophesied as a time when secrets will be revealed. That was part of the Mayan prophesy and Alice Bailey once stated that "Pain there will be for planetary governments that seek to hide and conceal, yet on a global scale we are part of that dweller and he that caste a stone will be the first to be judged, on a planetary and impersonal scale via lighted revelation. ... 'Leaks' and revelations will be the order of the day no matter how humanity seeks to conceal." This week, these prophesies are proving to be true! Evidence of more open communications (even when that's not always desired by all) is all around. Everyone is revealing secrets as fast as they can. However, it seems that Wikileaks has emerged as the main monster, tearing the lids off hidden agendas and leaving politically incorrect secrets strewn across the countryside -- worldwide!It's simply a monster whose time has come, and it looks like it's not going to be put down by the Powers That Be anytime soon. The revolution to reveal the truth has begun! Viva la Revolution!!
SPECIAL FOCUS ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CLIMATE CONFERENCE IN CANCUN
AT FIRST I THOUGHT THIS BELOW WAS A GOOD THING BUT WHEN I READ THE NEXT ARTICLE BELOW, I BECAME DISILLUSIONED - SADLY...
What Cancún can take from California
California's climate law which gives carbon credit to developing countries to conserve rainforest is a win-win the world can copy
Stuart Eizenstat and Jeffrey Horowitz - 6 December 2010
As negotiators huddle in Cancún to try to eke out some progress on a global climate agreement, they would do well to look north to California for an example of how to achieve real progress while maintaining strong political support.
In November, California voters resoundingly defeated well-funded attempts to roll back the state's climate law. There were many good reasons for this victory: first among them were a desire to protect the planet and a strongly-held belief that a modern, green economy is California's ticket to a prosperous, competitive future. But this stunning triumph also came about because the law's architects went out of their way to make sure that their plan was cost-effective. As environmentally-conscious as Californians may be, it was clear that an unduly costly approach would test that commitment, especially in the face of a slow economy and serious budget concerns.
California's emphasis on cost-effectiveness and innovation is one that Cancún climate summit negotiators must take to heart if they are to achieve a breakthrough of any kind. Strong economic incentives and clear co-benefits are key to earning domestic support for a global climate agreement, both in the United States and around the world.
Central to California's cost control effort was the inclusion of provisions to protect tropical rainforests around the globe. Forests in countries like Brazil, Indonesia and India keep the planet cool by sequestering carbon dioxide and delivering oxygen to us all. But 1,000-year-old forests are being logged and burned at the staggering rate of over a football field a second to make room in developing countries for unsustainable and often illegal cattle ranching, palm oil and soybean plantations. That forest destruction sends more pollution into our shared atmosphere than do all the cars, trucks, ships and trains in the world combined.
California's sensible insight was that protecting the world's tropical forests would deliver outsize benefits to the climate at a relatively low cost. Because tropical land is relatively inexpensive, compensating landowners, governments and indigenous peoples for protecting their forests can dramatically reduce deforestation, keeping a huge amount of carbon out of the atmosphere, while also preserving valuable plants, animals and watersheds. This approach finally reflects that forests are worth more alive than dead.
And because carbon dioxide is a globally distributed pollutant, cutting carbon at a low cost in Cameroon or Indonesia provides the exact same benefit to the climate as reducing carbon emissions in downtown Los Angeles. Knowing this, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger concluded agreements with rainforest states and provinces - including Acre in Brazil, Chiapas in Mexico and East Kalimantan in Indonesia - to allow credit under the California climate law for pollution reductions achieved in those areas through forest conservation.
These agreements slashed the climate bill's cost, making it very hard for powerful opponents to get traction with arguments that it would bring economic ruin to California. Meanwhile, the law is helping to protect orangutans, tigers, birds of paradise and other creatures that, like billions of forest-dependent people, need living forests to survive.
Even as saving rainforests helps keep the cost of climate action low for people in developed countries, it will also provide a critical boost for developing economies like Brazil and Indonesia. Climate-related incentives to preserve tropical forests enable more sustainable and efficient agricultural practices in developing countries, encouraging them to compete in global markets without using deforestation to keep costs low. Better pasture management, for instance, has allowed ranchers in the Amazon to raise the average number of cattle per hectare substantially, taking significant pressure off pristine forests. Building on forest protection incentives, Brazil has been able to cut deforestation rates by more than half, while still increasing agricultural production. Brazilian farmers and ranchers are now moving towards sustainable production, and proving that developing country producers can compete on level playing field with their competitors without resorting to wasteful deforestation.
Brazil and other rainforest nations are proving that, with the right incentives, it is possible to break the link between pollution and growth. In order for the global community to achieve that elusive goal, governments should take a close look at California's model. Europe, for instance, is locked in an intense debate about whether to commit to achieving a 20% or a 30% carbon reduction by 2020. If Europeans would finally decide to give credit in carbon markets for tropical forest conservation, actually reaching the more ambitious target would be far easier economically and politically - and encourage rainforest nations to be part of the shift to a low-carbon economy. The same is true with respect to carbon markets emerging in Japan, China, Australia and elsewhere around the world.
The negotiators at Cancún could give these efforts a huge boost by finalising agreement on global rules for forest conservation, thereby unleashing billions of dollars of investments urgently needed to halt deforestation. There will be pressure simply to delay final agreement on these rules for another year, or longer - but the forests and the climate can't wait.
Related articles and videos:
Big business backs deforestation deal (8 December 2010)
Cancún meeting designed to demonstrate corporate approval of efforts to protect tropical forests -- Titans of the corporate world arrived in Cancún today to endorse a deal in the works at the UN summit to take on climate change by protecting tropical forests. Today's gathering of financier George Soros, Walmart chief executive Robson Walton, World Bank president Robert Zoellick, Norway's prime minister Jens Stoltenberg, and others was designed to demonstrate corporate approval for efforts to prevent deforestation in countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Guyana. There was intense speculation today about new funding. Mexico is also expected to make an announcement, and there are indications Walmart is nearing a more sustainable policy of sourcing materials. Negotiations are the most promising aspect of the summit so far. The UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon who is due to attend the event, said on his arrival on Tuesday that conditions were "ripe" for a deal. Destruction of forests for sprawling cattle ranches or vast soya bean and palm oil plantations is responsible for 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The deal would set up a system under which developed countries could pay developing countries not to cut down their forests, which act as one of the biggest carbon stores on earth. Campaigners nearly reached a deal on forests at the Copenhagen climate summit last year. Led by Norway and America, the international community has pledged $4.5bn for forest protection. A number of corporates are also interested in forest protection - to gild their image, or in anticipation of using them to offset their own greenhouse gas emissions.But prospects for a deal at Cancun are hostage to the American all-or-nothing negotiating position. The US envoy, Todd Stern, has said repeatedly he will not sign on to a deal on deforestation or other issues unless he sees progress on the core US demand of transparency. Bolivia also has strong objections to creating a market system around forests. The US stance has frustrated campaigners. "An agreement on forests is very much within reach here in Cancún," said Avoided Deforestation Partners.
Cancún climate change summit: America plays tough (30 November 2010)
US adopts all-or-nothing position in Cancún, fuelling speculation of a walk-out if developing countries do not meet its demands -- America has adopted a tough all-or-nothing position at the Cancún climate change summit, fuelling speculation of a walk-out if developing countries do not meet its demands.At the opening of the talks at Cancún, the US climate negotiator, Jonathan Pershing, made clear America wanted a "balanced package" from the summit.That's diplomatic speak for a deal that would couple the core issues for the developing world - agreement on climate finance, technology, deforestation - with US demands for emissions actions from emerging economies and a verifiable system of accounting for those cuts.In a briefing with foreign journalists in Washington, the chief climate envoy, Todd Stern, was blunt. "We're either going to see progress across the range of issues or we're not going to see much progress," said Stern. "We're not going to race forward on three issues and take a first step on other important ones. We're going to have to get them all moving at a similar pace."In the run-up to the Cancún talks, Stern has said repeatedly that America will not budge from its insistence that fast-emerging economies such as India and China commit to reducing emissions and to an inspection process that will verify those actions. The hard line - which some in Washington have seen as ritual diplomatic posturing - has fuelled speculation that the Obama administration could be prepared to walk out of the Cancún talks. It is already under pressure for its green agenda from a new conservative Republican power bloc in Congress determined to block the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency to act on greenhouse gases and other sources of pollution, and defund programmes dealing with climate change. There is next to no chance Congress would take up cap-and-trade legislation or ratify any UN treaty. The administration's weak domestic position, in turn, has cast doubts on its ability to deliver even the very modest 17% cut on 2005 emissions Obama agreed at the Copenhagen summit last year. But a walk-out would wreck any lingering hopes that small progress in Cancún might put the UN negotiations process back on track after the debacle of Copenhagen. (...) Developing countries, and some in Europe, see Cancún as a last chance to reach agreement on the building blocks of an eventual treaty - with or without the US. However, the Obama administration - more than ever with hostile Republicans in Congress - cannot walk away empty-handed, Levi wrote. "Rule number one for US climate negotiators has always been to make sure that what happens in the UN talks doesn't hurt prospects for domestic action. Headlines that say 'US gives money, technology to developing world; gets nothing in return' won't exactly fit that bill," he wrote.
Wangari Maathai message to Cancun: Save Forests and Save the Climate
Professor Maathai's message at the high-level U.N. event hosted by Avoided Deforestation Partners focused on new pathways and partnerships for advancing international forest protection
Did You Know? - Save the Forests, Save the Climate
Protecting the Climate by Saving the Forests. 17% of all global emissions, come from global deforestation. More than all of the annual emissions from the U.S. More than all of the cars, trucks, planes, and ships combined. We cannot save the climate, if we do not end deforestation.
STRONGLY OPPOSED TO THE DEFORESTATION DEAL IN CANCUN AND WITH GOOD REASONS!...
Because developed countries need a token 'win' at the climate talks, Cancún will approve a ruinous forest protection scam
Simon Counsell - 8 December 2010
Sir Nicholas Stern's seminal 2007 report for the UK Treasury had hugely important and mostly positive impacts on UK government policy on how to stop greenhouse gas emissions at home and worldwide. But propelling the problem of tropical deforestation into the limelight of climate change negotiations was probably less helpful than he would have imagined and, if this week's events at the UN summit in Cancún, Mexico, are anything to go by, could help undermine the integrity of global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
One of the more curious features about the current climate discussions in Cancún is that those who are most passionate about stopping the destruction of rainforests are also those most adamantly opposed to a scheme known as Redd - reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation - which basically aims to pay tropical countries to stop cutting down their forests and releasing the carbon they contain to the atmosphere. Common sense dictates that the green lobby should welcome such a scheme, which promises the conservation of wildlife-rich forests, while reducing the 12%-14% of global carbon emissions that come from their destruction in countries such as Brazil and Indonesia.
It has become commonplace to hear Redd described as the "low-hanging fruit" of efforts to prevent climate change: everybody (so the received wisdom goes) wants to protect forests and, if you believe the economic analysis from the likes of influential management consultants, McKinsey's, it should also be much cheaper and quicker to save rainforests overseas than doing things like building windfarms in the UK or converting the national car fleet to hybrid vehicles. So convinced of this logic are wealthy countries that they have promised over $4.5bn to the scheme for the coming years.
But what looks good on a spreadsheet in an office in London, New York or Los Angeles can look quite different when it comes down to realities. Most of the countries where rainforests are found are notoriously corrupt and badly governed. Theft of international funding is endemic, and governmental ability to exert any real control over remote forested areas is nil, even where there is the willingness to do so. Long-term contracts that simply cannot be reneged upon have been handed by officials to logging and other forest-destroying companies; the kickbacks that came with the deals have already been spent or banked in offshore accounts.
Added to these prosaic realities, the UN itself has helped undermine the chances of Redd ever succeeding. Bizarrely, the UN's definition of "forests" includes many things that actually cause their destruction, such as plantations of oil palm and fast-growing exotic tree species, which often replace natural forest. Areas that have been smashed up by logging companies equally count as "forest", as does bare land which, in the UN's gloriously euphemistic term, is "temporarily unstocked" of trees. Some tropical countries have spotted an opportunity here to cash in on payments to protect "forests" in order to subsidise yet more plantations of oil palm and "fastwood". Early attempts to set up well-meaning Redd schemes in countries such as Guyana and Indonesia have quickly hit the buffers of vested interest and corruption, with "avoided deforestation funds" already being lined up for projects - such as hydroelectric dams and associated infrastructure - that will increase the destruction of forests.
In the absence of any internationally-agreed and mandatory safeguards, it is very probable that these kinds of abuses of Redd funding will be widespread. However, this week in Cancún, tropical countries have successfully stripped from the summit's draft decision any wording obliging them to protect the environment or the rights of indigenous forest people, and have similarly purged all such references from the Redd "plan of action". The consequence of this could be a lose-lose situation whereby schemes such as recently introduced in California to trade continuing carbon emissions from factories and power stations there against putative reductions in deforestation in developing countries will see neither the rich world's carbon emissions coming down, nor effective measures introduced to genuinely protect tropical forests. Advocates of these forest conservation offset schemes seem not to have appreciated that the resulting continued rise in atmospheric temperatures will eventually destroy large areas of rainforest anyway.
So, why are rich countries falling for this flawed and potentially planet-wrecking scam?
Industrialised countries, especially the US, have found it politically impossible to introduce domestic emissions-reduction measures that interfere in the slightest with our high-carbon lifestyles. Consequently, with the UN's efforts to forge binding global commitments having now run into the ground, and with the Cancún talks degenerating into acrimony, agreement on Redd is possibly the one face-saver left to them. Because rich countries politically now need Redd much more than tropical ones do, it is the latter that are dictating the terms of the debate - and it is why they will probably get their Redd payments, for a few years anyway, even if they use them to destroy forests rather than protect them.
Rich countries will never be able to exert the moral authority required to genuinely convert poor countries to the cause of forest conservation until they themselves show a willingness to take tough political decisions and reduce carbon emissions at home. So far, this week, they have totally failed to do so, and it is why forest conservationists such as myself now expect only the worst to emerge from Cancún - a deal that promises to reduce emissions from deforestation, but will almost certainly fail to do so, while we continue spewing carbon dioxide into an ever-warming atmosphere.
YET MORE EVIDENCE
Massive corruption undermines forest protection plan
The UN's forest protection plan hasn't even started yet but already we are seeing massive fraud, bribery and backdoor deals across the world
John Vidal - 27 October 2010
Tropical forestry is dominated by big companies close to some of the most corrupt governments on earth, who treat people like dirt after promising them "development" in return for cutting the trees down. Now they are being joined by a new breed of entrepreneur, ranging from carbon cowboys, bogus lawyers and even environment groups all offering riches to people who leave the trees standing.
The lure is the potential billion of dollars to be made from buying and selling the carbon rights to forests. If you hold the rights and can prove that "your" forest is in danger, you can - after you've been through qualifying hoops - sell the carbon not released to rich consumers or companies who cannot offset their own emissions.
So far, this nascent carbon capitalism has all been in the voluntary carbon market and is worth a few billion dollars a year to companies and individuals; but if the UN comes up with a global climate change plan in Cancun, Mexico, next month the floodgates will open and over a few years there could be $35bn a year flooding into forestry protection from country to country.
The great green hope is the UN's Redd (Reduced emissions form deforestation and degradation) programme, which is fine in theory but proving a legal nightmare in practice. Redd hasn't even started yet but already we are seeing massive fraud, bribery, backdoor deals, and corruption from Asia to Africa and all points between. Developing countries are hungry for new forestry funds; rich countries want a deal because it will allow them to carry on polluting as before; environment groups can see a way to broker conservation and protect the forests; politicians see influence. Win, win, win?
Perhaps but you can see the legal problems a mile away. A minute Australian company working from what appears to be a shopping mall in an Australian suburb claims to have grabbed the carbon rights to the entire Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); a three-man Kenyan company reckons it can earn $10m a year from the rights to a stretch of Cameroonian forest; the family of Papua New Guinea's prime minister has been accused of pressuring remote villagers to sign away their land, one of the lead negotiators for Indonesia's climate delegation, and the architect of its Redd programme, has been named as a corruption suspect by the country's anti-corruption agency. The list goes on.
Everyone agrees with Interpol that the potential for criminality with Redd is vast, ranging across ownership of the rights, who collects the money, how it is distributed; how the forests and the money are monitored and how the carbon in them is assessed.
Meanwhile, the big companies are confident they can continue logging as normal.
The warnings have come thick and fast in the last few weeks:
Liberian president Ellen Sirleaf Johnson has began extradition proceedings against a British businessman, for allegedly negotiating a closed-doors deal with a group of corrupt Liberian officials to purchase one-fifth of Liberia's rainforest; Greenpeace has declared that Papua New Guinea is not ready to implement Redd and Global Witness has warned that the whole scheme will be undermined by corruption.
There's a common perception among development groups that forestry is best left to environment groups, and need not be tackled by people involved in poverty reduction. The danger here is that a badly thought through Redd deal is shovelled through by eager countries in Cancun and leads not to untold wealth and resource protection, but to more poverty and more corruption. Its effect on development prospects then would be enormous and tragic.
Cancún climate change summit: Japan defiant in face of diplomatic pressure (8 December 2010)
A senior Japanese negotiator today said that it had come under intense diplomatic pressure to soften its stance at the UN climate talks in Cancún and admitted that it was causing a "big problem" for the negotiations. But he repeated the country's position that it would not compromise on its refusal to sign up to a second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol - the international treaty that legally binds rich countries to cut emissions. In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Akira Yamada, ambassador for civil society in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the issue was a red line. "We are not moving. This is a fact. Many people have had the illusion that Japan might change its position. Well, we are sorry, but we are not going to. There is 0% possibility.
(...) the Kyoto protocol was "vital" to the success of the negotiations. "But Kyoto alone is not enough to protect us from a temperature rise of more than 2C. "Along with the EU, we want a second commitment period as part of a wider outcome engaging all major economies, and as long as concerns around environmental integrity are met." Yamada said the only way forward for the summit would be for negotiators to find a new form of words in the final draft. "We need to find a form of words that is unsatisfactory for all but which is not unacceptable. We have to find some concrete wording, or new paragraphs. I admit [Japan] is making a big problem." CLIP
WikiLeaks cables reveal how US manipulated climate accord (3 December 2010)
Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord -- Hidden behind the save-the-world rhetoric of the global climate change negotiations lies the mucky realpolitik: money and threats buy political support; spying and cyberwarfare are used to seek out leverage. The US diplomatic cables reveal how the US seeks dirt on nations opposed to its approach to tackling global warming; how financial and other aid is used by countries to gain political backing; how distrust, broken promises and creative accounting dog negotiations; and how the US mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the controversial "Copenhagen accord", the unofficial document that emerged from the ruins of the Copenhagen climate change summit in 2009.Negotiating a climate treaty is a high-stakes game, not just because of the danger warming poses to civilisation but also because re-engineering the global economy to a low-carbon model will see the flow of billions of dollars redirected. Seeking negotiating chips, the US state department sent a secret cable on 31 July 2009 seeking human intelligence from UN diplomats across a range of issues, including climate change. The request originated with the CIA. As well as countries' negotiating positions for Copenhagen, diplomats were asked to provide evidence of UN environmental "treaty circumvention" and deals between nations. (...) Perhaps the most audacious appeal for funds revealed in the cables is from Saudi Arabia, the world's second biggest oil producer and one of the 25 richest countries in the world. A secret cable sent on 12 February records a meeting between US embassy officials and lead climate change negotiator Mohammad al-Sabban. "The kingdom will need time to diversify its economy away from petroleum, [Sabban] said, noting a US commitment to help Saudi Arabia with its economic diversification efforts would 'take the pressure off climate change negotiations'." The Saudis did not like the accord, but were worried they had missed a trick. The assistant petroleum minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told US officials that he had told his minister Ali al-Naimi that Saudi Arabia had "missed a real opportunity to submit 'something clever', like India or China, that was not legally binding but indicated some goodwill towards the process without compromising key economic interests".The cables obtained by WikiLeaks finish at the end of February 2010. Today, 116 countries have associated themselves with the accord. Another 26 say they intend to associate. That total, of 140, is at the upper end of a 100-150 country target revealed by Pershing in his meeting with Hedegaard on 11 February. The 140 nations represent almost 75% of the 193 countries that are parties to the UN climate change convention and, accord supporters like to point out, are responsible for well over 80% of current global greenhouse gas emissions.At the mid-point of the major UN climate change negotiations in Cancún, Mexico, there have already been flare-ups over how funding for climate adaptation is delivered. The biggest shock has been Japan's announcement that it will not support an extension of the existing Kyoto climate treaty. That gives a huge boost to the accord. US diplomatic wheeling and dealing may, it seems, be bearing fruit. CHECK ALSO US envoy rejects suggestion that America bribed countries to sign up to the Copenhagen Accord
WikiLeaks cables: Cancún climate talks doomed to fail, says EU president (3 December 2010)
Herman van Rompuy dismisses Copenhagen climate summit as 'incredible disaster' and expects Cancún to be no better. The European Union's new president, Herman Van Rompuy, has predicted "disaster" at the latest crucial round of global climate change negotiations in Mexico and voiced relief that he stayed away from the Copenhagen summit a year ago.Reporting on a meeting with Van Rompuy in December last year, just after he was the surprise choice to be the first president of the European council, a senior US diplomat described the Belgian as "animated and frustrated".Van Rompuy said the Copenhagen climate change talks had been "an incredible disaster". Looking forward to the current negotiations in Cancún in Mexico, the European leader predicted that these would be a disaster too.The US cable paints a picture of an isolated Van Rompuy. The devoutly Catholic former Belgian prime minister has been chairing all EU summits this year.His first in February amounted to a Copenhagen postmortem of why the EU, proudly branding itself the world pioneer in combating climate change, had been snubbed by the US and China at the talks in Denmark, delivering a blow to prestige from which the EU has yet to recover. CLIP
Committee on Climate Change advises UK to cut emissions 60% by 2030 (7 December 2010)
A SHINING EXAMPLE IF IMPLEMENTED!! THE WAY TO GO BRITAIN!
Britain is set world-leading carbon emissions cut target requiring complete overhaul of energy, farming and motoring -- The UK would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2030 under world-leading proposals from the government's advisers on climate change. Achieving the target proposed by the Committee on Climate Change requires a complete revamp of the nation's electricity market, making it virtually zero-carbon, as well as an overhaul of heat-leaking homes and the replacement of petrol-driven cars with 11m electric or plug-in hybrid models.The CCC's 2030 target, if passed into law as previous CCC targets have been, would be the first legally binding 2030 target in the world. The target - which is a cut relative to 1990 emissions levels - is intended to lead the way to a legally binding 80% UK cut by 2050. "We are recommending a stretching but realistic fourth carbon budget and 2030 target, achievable at a cost of less than 1% of GDP. We therefore urge the government to legislate the budget, and to develop the policies required to cut emissions," said Lord Turner, who is the CCC's chair, as well as chairman of the Financial Services Authority. "The case for action on climate change is as strong as ever: climate science remains robust and suggests that there are very significant risks if we do not cut emissions. And countries acting now will gain economic benefits in an increasingly carbon-constrained world."
In hot seat at climate talks, China softening (December 7, 2010)
China, the world's largest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions, said it's willing to slow the growth of such greenhouse gases as environment ministers began arriving Tuesday in Cancun, Mexico, for the final days of climate treaty talks. As the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference headed toward its Friday conclusion, there were signs of movement toward a global response to climate change."So far, we have made some progress," said European Union representative Joke Schauvliege at a Monday news conference. China's climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, on Monday, for example, said his nation would consider making its domestic energy-efficiency goals "binding" in a Kyoto Protocol-style agreement produced by UNFCCC talks. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol, due to expire in 2012, pledged developed-nation signatories to cut their greenhouse gas emissions 5.2% compared with 1991 levels."Not so much that this is any change in their policies, but that China has said it here is an important signal they are prepared to make voluntary agreements binding," said Barry Coates of Oxfam New Zealand, an environmental advocacy group. He and other observers point to progress in three areas: - Deforestation. Efforts focus on rules to measure forest conservation that also allow poor nations such as Bolivia to exercise control over who gets to profit from selling preservation rights. "This looks like the area that has moved the most forward at the meeting," said Linda Krueger of the Wildlife Conservation Society. - Verification. A compromise text released by India has been seen as "a good starting point," Coates said, toward a global system for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions cuts. - Finances. Among others, European Union pledges toward a global finance fund have added to hopes of a financing agreement for clean energy technologies in poor nations, and payments to communities already affected by sea-level rise, flooding and other climate changes, according to U.S. State Department negotiator Todd Stern."The big question," Coates said, is whether U.S., Chinese and other large greenhouse gas emitters will sign an agreement that allows them to move cuts pledged last year at the Copenhagen climate meeting, into the U.N. treaty talks. That could quell worldwide doubts about U.S. commitment to addressing climate, and reassure poor nations they will receive help. Last year, President Obama called for 17% U.S. emissions cuts compared with 2005 levels, by 2020. Without significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, a U.S. National Academy of Sciences report last year said that global average atmospheric temperatures would likely rise another 2 to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit in this century.Elliot Diringer of the Pew Center on Climate Change suggested a successful meeting would produce agreements on issues such as deforestation, and a willingness to continue working on the big issue of a way to reduce fossil fuel emissions globally. "Everyone says they support a goal of a binding agreement, but they have very different notions of what it would look like," Diringer said. "We'll see if those differences can start to be bridged."
More related articles by John Vidal through http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/johnvidal
Cancún: The crucial climate data
Find out how the key countries compare, from carbon emissions to climate aid. Source for climate aid pledges:
YET EVEN MORE EVIDENCE...
The peasant view of Cancún talks: 'They want to turn the air into a commodity'
As the world's politicians gather, protesters march against the Cancún climate change summit's 'false solutions
John Vidal, environment editor guardian.co.uk - 7 December 2010
Cancún is this week a city of buses. Every day several hundred ferry 5,000 of the world's diplomats, businessmen and non-government groups to and from the centre of the burgeoning holiday city to the plush Moon Palace seaside resort 35km away from where the UN climate summit is being held.
Barely noticed, another 100 buses carrying almost 3,000 peasant farmers, indigenous people and social movements from 12 countries have arrived from all over Mexico and Latin America, converging in eight "caravans" on an old basketball court in one of the poorest parts of the city.
The groups of diplomats and peasants could not be more different. One pays up to $400 a night for hotel rooms overlooking a turquoise sea, the other earns in the region of $400 a year and camps on the concrete floor of the sports hall. Both claim to have solutions to the global climate crisis, but one eats lobster, the other beans.
Today, as the politicians got down to talks, the peasants marched peacefully in Cancún and rejected what they called the "false solutions" being proposed in the Moon Palace.
"What they are proposing is good only for capitalists. Capitalism has caused climate change and now it wants to make new business from it. They want to turn the air into a commodity. They want to put a price tag on everything," says Luis Gomes de Maura of the Brazilian landless workers' movement, Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra. "These are false solutions to climate change."
"Cancún has been a hard experience for the peasants," says Paul Nicholson, a Basque co-ordinator of Via Campesina, the international movement of peasant farmers which organised Cancún's alternative climate conference. The meeting will be addressed by President Evo Morales of Bolivia on Thursday and possibly by other Latin American leaders later this week.
"The caravans on their way to Cancún visited environmental damage points across Mexico. They have seen face-to-face the impact of climate change, droughts, water pollution, giant hydro-electric dams, land-grabbing, big mining and rampant urbanisation," says Nicholson.
"Our caravan was 25 buses and we were stopped and searched five times by the army and the police. We had Mayan priests but they were not even allowed to hold ceremonies at ancient sites," says human rights activist and author Niels Barmeyer, who lives in central Mexico and travelled with the peasants to Cancún.
"People here have experienced climate crisis much more than people living in cities. They have had their farming devastated by the import of cheap GM maize and now it's just not worth them growing maize in many places now. People are leaving the fields and going to the US."
"Now they are threatened by conservation," says Barmeyer. "There is deep concern at moves in the climate summit to establish a forest protection scheme called Redd (reduced emissions from deforestation). This would allow rich countries to offset their climate emissions by better protecting forests.
"Countries are trying to sell conservation of the forest in the name of climate change, but it's a ruse. In fact they are taking forests over from ancestral land and declaring them biosphere conservation reserves. People are being denied access to land they have used for centuries or are having water denied them by conservation."
They reject carbon trading schemes, biofuel crops, geo-engineering and solutions proposed by the World Bank. "Peasant agriculture not only contributes positively to the carbon balance of the planet, it employs 2.8 billion people and remains the best way to combat malnutrition," says Josie Riffaud, a French farmer.
"Our message is that peasant agriculture can feed the world population and contribute to cooling down the planet. We small farmers and indigenous peoples are in grave danger. We will disappear if things continue like this. Who will feed people then? Industrial farming only leads to more hunger and climate change."
NOW BACK TO THE MAIN TOPIC OF THIS SPECIAL UPDATE
But first this letter from a fellow Canadian who requested to remain anonymous for a number of good reasons. Once you've read this, you'll understand why I feel no need to add more personal comment on this issue for the moment. If you wish to forward this section in part of as a whole to others, please make sure to also include this information:
For more on this matter, please review also...
SPECIAL FOCUS ON THE CREEPING FASCISM AT US AIRPORTS
Special Update on the TSA: Dignity RapeGate
Respond to the new naked body scanners
We have a choice at this time to continue along the current unsustainable corporate-consumer-treadmill-terror-security paradigm, or make new choices. Often we are too late in realizing problems in our current ways to prevent environmental or health destruction, or to prevent intrusions on personal freedom.
Naked body scanners have just arrived. The net is full of awful stories, incursions on personal rights and freedoms, and travelers fear of increased cancer. Not a pretty picture.
So today I called Ottawa airports security authority to find out if we have scanners at our airport. I went through endless menus with press this and that with no initial success. So I went to their staff directory and tapped in random numbers until I got a person. She gave me a number to call. At that number I got a receptionist who put me on hold for a while, then replied we dont know if Ottawa has scanners or not. I didnt buy it. Come on! These are big expensive pieces of equipment. I dont believe you dont know if you have them or not. The receptionist again asked if Id hold the line. Finally, thank you for waiting, yes we do have scanners. Im wondering why they were evasive in the first place.
I said, if you have these scanners, I wont be flying, and I wont fly until they are removed.
Put on hold. Finally she replied, you can ask to not be scanned and have a pat down instead. I replied Ive seen footage online about these pat downs inspectors groping peoples genitals, kids screaming as they are fingered right in the groin, invalids told to stand without their supports when they cant, and said again, if you have scanners at the airport, Im not flying, and will not fly until theyre gone. Please hold the line Then she connected me with a security officer.
At my direct questioning, he confirmed, All Canadian airports have these scanners. You can choose to have a pat down instead. I said, yeah, and have my genitals touched. He says the pat down is done by trained professionals. You can ask to have your pat down in a private area. I think it would be safer this were done in public so any indiscretion could be witnessed.
I then asked, Will the airport take responsibility for the increased skin cancer due to bouncing radiation off the skin? Health Canada has tested these machines and said they are safe. I thought, but now regret not having said, Health Canada OKd Thalidomide and numerous drugs we now know are lethally unsafe...
Why am I concerned? If they succeed in getting public acceptance for scanners at airports, next it could be trains, busses, concerts, shopping malls, you name it. All you need is one terrorist scare at a concert, and the scanners will be installed - for our safety.
I am speculating why this is being implemented in the first place since there are unasked questions surrounding that underwear bomber e.g. Passengers witnessed he didnt have a passport, and when refused at the check in counter, was ushered through airport security by a suave fellow in a suit saying hes with us. I thought at the time this was an event created for a reason. Could it be the underwear bomber created a perfect reason to put in these scanners? or was set up for this reason?
People hate having their genitals groped by strangers, so logic would have it theyd opt for the scan. Question is: what else might those scans also be used for? Getting out of insurance payouts because someone is fat? Eugenics? Seeing who is on certain drugs (many drugs now carry RFIDs)? This is a huge expense in security staff and machines (which we indirectly pay for) someone is profiting in some way. USA now has 500,000 security personnel rapidly rising, which means a growing part of the population given the job of monitoring people, given increasing rights to tap phone calls, monitor e-mails, know which library books you read, where you spend money, which websites you visit. This is not a time to be asleep at the wheel.
I grew up with constant IRA bomb scares bombings in transport, public places, cabinet ministers, you name it. Sometimes the newspapers reported deaths from IRA activities daily. Yet these numerous events were always considered isolated, like you couldnt stop living freely because of the tiny chance some IRA plot was going to hatch there. This is the opposite. One bungled terrorist threat, and the whole world is kitted out with these scanners. The media support the fear-threat-terrorist story, offering these scanners as a solution. The masses go along with the media. We arent asking why all this is happening with any depth or voice.
We have a right not to be seen naked. We also have a right to not have our genitals groped by a stranger. Further, the web maintains the scans are being stored - apparently there are 35,000 on record already.
There is increasing medical evidence that x rays cause cancer. What is a safe dose? A head-to-foot body scan has to be quite a dose!
If people are sufficiently hassled, they could give up flying, but since the airlines likely wont want their bottom line affected, people will in time be given another security option such as having a microchip implant that will allow them through all checkpoints un-hassled. And if so, we have to ask, who would this serve?
96% of people responding to a recent survey said these new scanners will affect their travel plans. Most are choosing to go by road, which is worrying transport and insurance authorities over Thanksgiving in the US because there is a much higher risk of accidents going by road than by plane. That be it, main thing is to hit the airlines at their bottom line while there is time to make changes.
For more info, see the material below.
Please circulate widely. People deserve to know about this before they reach security, by which time they have no time to make alternative travel plans. If they object to this treatment, they are in a cornered situation and have little choice but to either go through the procedure or turn around and go home.
Check also these latest developments:
ACLU: Flying Americans Fear Being Put On Government Watch List (December 3, 2010)
The American Civil Liberties Union announced today that it is still receiving high volumes of complaints about the new airport screening procedures, and that some travelers say they have not filed official complaints with the TSA because they are fearful of being placed on a government watch list.Last week the ACLU revealed that it had received over 900 complaints about the naked body scanners and the new pat down measures being implemented by the TSA. That number swelled to over 1000 before November was through, according to the privacy watchdog. These complaints came from men, women and children who reported feeling humiliated and traumatized by these searches, and, in some cases, comparing their psychological impact to sexual assaults. the ACLU website noted. Meanwhile, TSA head John Pistole says there were only 49 complaints from travelers over the Thanksgiving weekend, a figure that prompted the TSA to suggest that Americans were largely unconcerned with the new procedures, and were even appreciative of them. The ACLU disputes this notion, however: The low number of complaints received by the TSA is not an endorsement of the security procedures, but rather a result of real or perceived problems with the TSAs complaint system. notes Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst with the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. As the abundant complaints received by the ACLU illustrate, Americans do not want to be forced to choose between letting government agents touch their bodies or take naked pictures of them. Stanley added.The ACLU press release notes that the real reasons people have not filed official complaints with the government is because they believed they would either be totally ignored, or worse still, that their act of defiance would land them on a terror watch list.
The government should heed the very real complaints of countless Americans who object to the invasive new procedures and develop security measures that are safe, effective and respect civil liberties. the ACLUs Jay Stanley said. We must strive to be safe without abandoning our most sacred freedoms. the senior analyst added.According to the ACLU, recurring themes in the hundreds of reports they have received include:
- The searches are extremely invasive
- Many travelers are reporting intense feelings of violation and humiliation
- Some report being physically hurt by the searches
- Some feel their searches are punitive
- Reports of gawking by agents
- Reports of seemingly unnecessary repeated touching of intimate areas
- Many vow not to fly any more - Any traveler may be forced to undergo one of these searches.
This is the new America. The public fearing that they will be placed on a government database of subversives if they dare speak out over being zapped with ionizing radiation, photographed naked and aggressively groped by government agents, all in the name of protecting their liberties. The only way such outright abuse of power will be halted is if the majority of Americans say no. A government watch list comprised of hundreds of million people is useless anyway. If the American people continue to hold their tongues, this tyranny will quickly expand beyond the airports and into everyday life.If you have been on the receiving end of a TSA groping or have been forced through a naked body scanner, we implore you to file a complaint both with the ACLU here or here and with the TSA here. CLIP
NFL commercial makes joke of TSA selective screening (December 3, 2010)
The commercial below features arrogant NFL stars being waved past TSA security as they flash their Super Bowl rings, while ordinary passengers are forced to wait in line. At one point in the commercial Jimmy Johnson a former coach sets off a metal detector before the camera focuses on his hips and he displays a sword to the screener in an obvious representation of a phallus. The screener, smiling, compliments him and lets him proceed.In the final shot the viewer sees a man being held by an agent, stripped down to his underwear while menaced by snarling dogs. The message being pressed upon the viewer is that there are two classes of people those elite with power (able to bypass TSA screening, just like certain members of Congress) and the rest of us without power who are helpless subjects to the new police state being formed around us. The joke made of this message is the spoonful of sugar added to help Americans swallow it and subconsciously accept it with a laugh. MANY TELLING COMMENTS AT THE URL ABOVE...
Intelligence Contractor Floats Body Cavity Bomb Propaganda by Kurt Nimmo (December 6, 2010)
Get ready for the government to add body cavity searches to its intrusive airport repertoire. The intelligence disinformation operation known as the SITE Intelligence Group has scoured the internet and found jihadis on a forum used by supposed al-Qaeda affiliates discussing Frankenbombers on a forum, according to the New York Daily News. Full body cavity searches are the logical extension of the intrusive pat downs now conducted on grandmothers and nuns.An individual described as a doctor posted his thoughts about a new kind of terrorism surgically implanted bombs. The scheming comes amid controversy over body scanners and pat-downs in airports that some Americans complain are too invasive. The ideas for a surgically booby-trapped martyrdom seeker were chillingly concise for the doctor of death monitored by SITE, writes James Gordon Meek in a Daily News exclusive.
(...) Now that the NSA, FBI, and DHS contractor SITE has floated propaganda about the possibility of al-CIA-duh using surgically implanted bombs to kill apostates during the Christmas season, we can expect another absurd event like the one staged by the underwear non-bomber last year. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallabs stunt was exploited in order to excuse intrusive pat downs and rush dangerous naked body scanners into airports with the help of the former DHS boss, Michael Chertoff. The Stasi-like searches of Americans at airports has nothing to do with al-Qaeda and Islamic terrorism. The searches are designed to humiliate, intimidate, and control the American people and acclimate them to the militarization of society and prepare citzens to obey guards, as Lew Rockwell notes.
1984 Arrives in America (December 6, 2010) with a video of Napolitano the Homeland Super Orwellian Nanny
Big Sis to address public via telescreens at checkout lanes.WASHINGTON Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the expansion of the Departments national If You See Something, Say Something campaign to hundreds of Walmart stores across the countrylaunching a new partnership between DHS and Walmart to help the American public play an active role in ensuring the safety and security of our nation. Homeland security starts with hometown security, and each of us plays a critical role in keeping our country and communities safe, said Secretary Napolitano. I applaud Walmart for joining the If You See Something, Say Something campaign. This partnership will help millions of shoppers across the nation identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to law enforcement authorities. The If You See Something, Say Something campaignoriginally implemented by New York Citys Metropolitan Transportation Authority and funded, in part, by $13 million from DHS Transit Security Grant Programis a simple and effective program to engage the public and key frontline employees to identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities. More than 230 Walmart stores nationwide launched the If You See Something, Say Something campaign today, with a total of 588 Walmart stores in 27 states joining in the coming weeks. A short video message, available here, will play at select checkout locations to remind shoppers to contact local law enforcement to report suspicious activity.
Walmart Public Service Announcement - Pretty Orwellian!
This public service announcement will air in all Walmart stores equipped with checkout screens.
Radiation scientists agree TSA naked body scanners could cause breast cancer and sperm mutations (December 03, 2010)
(NaturalNews) The news about the potential health dangers of the TSA's naked body scanners just keeps getting worse. An increasing number of doctors and scientists are going public with their warnings about the health implications of subjecting yourself to naked body scanners. These include Dr Russell Blaylock (see below) as well as several professors from the University of California who are experts in X-ray imaging.
Ten big concerns voiced by the scientists
Here are ten additional concerns raised by these scientists in their letter: (the bolded titles are my subheads, the subsequent explanation test is quoted straight out the scientists' letter)
#1) Cancer in senior citizens - The large population of older travelers, greater than 65 years of age, is particularly at risk from the mutagenic effects of the X-rays based on the known biology of melanocyte aging.
#2) Breast cancer - A fraction of the female population is especially sensitive to mutagenesis-provoking radiation leading to breast cancer. Notably, because these women, who have defects in DNA repair mechanisms, are particularly prone to cancer, X-ray mammograms are not performed on them. The dose to breast tissue beneath the skin represents a similar risk.
#3) White blood cells being irradiated - Blood (white blood cells) perfusing the skin is also at risk.
#4) HIV and cancer patients - The population of immunocompromised individuals -- HIV and cancer patients (see above) is likely to be at risk for cancer induction by the high skin dose.
#5) Radiation risk to children - The risk of radiation emission to children and adolescents does not appear to have been fully evaluated.
#6) Pregnant women - The policy towards pregnant women needs to be defined once the theoretical risks to the fetus are determined.
#7 Sperm mutations - Because of the proximity of the testicles to skin, this tissue is at risk for sperm mutagenesis.
#8 Radiation effects on cornea and thymus - Have the effects of the radiation on the cornea and thymus been determined?
#9 Problems with the machine - There are a number of 'red flags' related to the hardware itself. Because this device can scan a human in a few seconds, the X-ray beam is very intense. Any glitch in power at any point in the hardware (or more importantly in software) that stops the device could cause an intense radiation dose to a single spot on the skin.
Translation: This machine does not emit a "flood light" of radiation like you might get from a dental X-ray machine. Rather, this machine emits a thin, narrow beam of radiation that is quickly "scanned" across your body, back and forth, in much the same way that an inkjet printer prints a page (but a lot faster). Because the angle of the X-ray beam is controlled by the scanner software, a glitch in the software could turn the naked body scanner into a high-energy weapon if the beam gets "stuck" in one location for more than a fraction of a second.
#10 Higher radiation for the groin? - Given the recent incident (on December 25th, 2009), how do we know whether the manufacturer or TSA, seeking higher resolution, will scan the groin area more slowly leading to a much higher total dose?
None of these ten concerns are being answered by the TSA and its head John Pistole. The attitude from the TSA on these scanners, in fact, is downright belligerent, treating Americans as terrorists and threatening to arrest and detain individuals who refuse to be scanned and groped.
The TSA, it seems, believes it can do no wrong. Such is the inevitable outcome of granting too much power to any government department, as it will always seek to expand its power to the point of tyranny over the People.
Similarly, there has not been sufficient review of the intermediate and long-term effects of radiation exposure associated with airport scanners. There is good reason to believe that these scanners will increase the risk of cancer to children and other vulnerable populations.
We are unanimous in believing that the potential health consequences need to be rigorously studied before these scanners are adopted. Modifications that reduce radiation exposure need to be explored as soon as possible.
In summary we urge you to empower an impartial panel of experts to reevaluate the potential health issues we have raised before there are irrevocable long-term consequences to the health of our country. These negative effects may on balance far outweigh the potential benefit of increased detection of terrorists.
- CLIP You can read this letter for yourself HERE
TSA turns off naked body scanners to avoid opt-out day protests
November 24, 2010 by Mike Adams
(NaturalNews) Anticipating a nationwide grassroots surge of protests against naked body scanners and aggressive pat-downs, the TSA simply turned off its naked body scanners on Wednesday and let air travelers walk right through security checkpoints without being X-rayed or molested.
All across the country, air travelers are reporting that the TSA simply deactivated the naked body scanners and let people go right through without a scan. "Backscatter scanners are off. No scan. No patdown." reported a traveler from the Seattle airport. "Backscatter machines aren't being used at LAX," reported another traveler. "They're all roped off."
Much the same story is being reported all across the country.
The TSA is desperate to avoid protests
Shutting down the "National Opt-Out Day" by turning off the machines is the only logical move for the TSA, of course: The agency needed a way to defuse the growing grassroots resistance to its criminal violations of Americans' Fourth Amendment rights. So instead of facing what was sure to be widespread protest, the agency simply decided to turn off the machines for a day.
This action tells us all sorts of fascinating things about the TSA and its fabricated security excuses. Perhaps most importantly, it proves that the naked body scanners are not needed for air travel security in the first place. When it wants to, the TSA can just turn the machines off and resort to baggage X-rays and metal detectors. That's worked for years, and it apparently worked today, too.
And yet, up until today, the TSA has insisted that the naked body scanners are absolutely essential to detecting hidden bombs, and that "travelers won't be safe" unless they use the naked body scanners. So all of a sudden today it's okay for the TSA to put air travelers at risk of being blown up?
The TSA can't have it both ways. Either the naked body scanners are vital for air security and they need to be running 24/7 to keep everybody safe, or they're just another security con game being played out for the financial benefit of Chertoff and others who profit from the sale of such machines.
How can the TSA -- with a straight face -- say that naked body scanners are vital for air security but not on the busiest air travel day of the year?
As you can see, there are some serious holes in the TSA's mythology, and interestingly, this National Opt-Out Day indirectly exposed them by getting the TSA to turn off the naked body scanners. This is effectively an admission that they aren't important to air security.
Trying to avoid any challenge to its power
This action by the TSA also shows that the TSA is desperately trying to avoid being publicly embarrassed by the national-opt-out day protests. Lots of local and national news film crews were out at the airports today, hoping to catch something interesting on camera. But by turning off the naked body scanners, the TSA was able to stage a "calm looking" day at the airport.
As soon as the TV cameras leave, however, they can turn those machines right back on and start molesting people once again. This is classic behavior of police state tyrants: They present a calm, professional image to the media, but once the cameras leave, all of a sudden their hands are back down in your pants.
I predict the TSA will have the machines turned right back on by Friday, and more reports of sexual molestation and inappropriate pat-downs will continue to emerge.
Many people just skipped the airports altogether
The other big travel news today was that lots of travelers decided to simply skip the airports altogether. NaturalNews received emails from several travelers who described major U.S. airports as "nearly empty."
Meanwhile, traffic was terrible on the freeways. The Massachusetts Turnpike played host to a 30-mile traffic jam today (http://www.thebostonchannel.com/r/25910285/detail.html).
A new Zogby poll indicates that 43% of the American public will seek alternatives to flying due to the TSA's aggressive pat-downs and naked body scanners (http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.cfm?ID=1925). That's going to add up to a huge financial hit for the air travel industry in the months ahead. The TSA could end up destroying much of the air travel industry altogether!
Airport protest never takes off; few delays seen (Nov 24, 2010) THIS IS HOW THE PROPAGANDA MEDIA DESCRIBED THIS DAY. DO YOU PREFER TO BELIEVE THIS BELOW OR THE MORE ACCURATE VERSION ABOVE?
CHICAGO (AP) - The big Opt-Out looked like a big bust Wednesday as most of the Thanksgiving travelers selected for full-body scans and pat-down searches chose to submit to them rather than create havoc on one of the busiest flying days of the year (...) The Transportation Security Administration said few people seemed to be opting out. Some protesters did show up, including one man seen walking around the Salt Lake City airport in a skimpy, Speedo-style bathing suit, and others carrying signs denouncing the TSA's screening methods as unnecessarily intrusive and embarrassing. By most accounts, though, the lines moved smoothly, and there was no more or less congestion at major U.S. airports than in previous years on the day before Thanksgiving."I would go so far as to say that National Opt-Out Day was a big bust," said Genevieve Shaw Brown, a spokeswoman for the travel company Travelocity, which had staff at 12 of the nation's largest airports watching for problems. Protest organizers - some of whom had no plans themselves to fly on Wednesday - were not prepared to declare the event a flop, saying the publicity alone cranked up pressure on the White House and the TSA to review their security measures."The TSA now talks about re-evaluating everything," said James Babb, an organizer for one of the protest groups, We Won't Fly. "That is a tremendous victory for a grass-roots movement." For days, the X-ray scans that can see through people's clothing and the new pat-downs that include the crotch and chest have been the target of a backlash among politicians, bloggers and others. The security screenings have been lampooned on "Saturday Night Live" and mocked on T-shirts, bumper stickers and underwear emblazoned "Don't Touch My Junk," from a line uttered by a defiant traveler in San Diego. Not all air travelers are selected for full-body scans - the majority required only to walk through more common metal detectors. Passengers picked for body can opt for a pat-down instead. But once they have been randomly selected for the enhanced searches, they can't out of both the scan and the pat-down. At the Phoenix airport Wednesday, husband-and-wife protesters Patricia Stone and John Richards held signs decrying "porno-scans" and drew sidelong glances from some passengers but words of support from others, who told them, "Thank you for being here." "Just because you buy a plane ticket doesn't mean you have to subject yourself to awful security measures. It's not a waiver of your rights," said Stone, 44. "The TSA is security theater. They're not protecting us."At Denver International Airport, Chris Maj, a 31-year-old computer programmer, carried a sign that read, "END THE TSA ASK ME HOW." He and three others handed out pocket-size copies of the Constitution. "They're touching breasts, they're touching buttocks, all of these places that if you or I were to touch, we'd go to jail," he said. (...) More than 40 million people plan to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA, with more than 1.6 million flying - a 3.5 percent increase from last year. At least some people said they decided not to fly at all, in part because of the airport screening procedures. At an Amtrak station in Chicago, Pam Edwards said she decided to travel by train from Jackson, Miss., even though it would take 15 hours instead of two. CLIP
HELP YOU MAKE IT TO YOUR FLIGHT - Buck Howdy - Sarcastic humor
DHS & TSA: Making a list, checking it twice
By Doug Hagmann - November 23, 2010
Following the publication of my article titled "Gate Rape of America," I was contacted by a source within the DHS who is troubled by the terminology and content of an internal memo reportedly issued yesterday at the hand of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. Indeed, both the terminology and content contained in the document are troubling. The dissemination of the document itself is restricted by virtue of its classification, which prohibits any manner of public release. While the document cannot be posted or published, the more salient points are revealed here.
The memo, which actually takes the form of an administrative directive, appears to be the product of undated but recent high level meetings between Napolitano, John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA),and one or more of Obama's national security advisors. This document officially addresses those who are opposed to, or engaged in the disruption of the implementation of the enhanced airport screening procedures as "domestic extremists."
The introductory paragraph of the multi-page document states that it is issued "in response to the growing public backlash against enhanced TSA security screening procedures and the agents conducting the screening process." Implicit within the same section is that the recently enhanced security screening procedures implemented at U.S. airports, and the measures to be taken in response to the negative public backlash as detailed [in this directive], have the full support of the President. In other words, Obama not only endorses the enhanced security screening, but the measures outlined in this directive to be taken in response to public objections.
The terminology contained within the reported memo is indeed troubling. It labels any person who "interferes" with TSA airport security screening procedure protocol and operations by actively objecting to the established screening process, "including but not limited to the anticipated national opt-out day" as a "domestic extremist." The label is then broadened to include "any person, group or alternative media source" that actively objects to, causes others to object to, supports and/or elicits support for anyone who engages in such travel disruptions at U.S. airports in response to the enhanced security procedures.
For individuals who engaged in such activity at screening points, it instructs TSA operations to obtain the identities of those individuals and other applicable information and submit the same electronically to the Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division, the Extremism and Radicalization branch of the Office of Intelligence & Analysis (IA) division of the Department of Homeland Security.
For "any person, group or domestic alternative media source" that actively objects to, causes others to object to, supports and/or elicits support for anyone who engages in such travel "disruptions" at U.S. airports (as defined above) in response to the enhanced security procedures, the [applicable DHS administrative branch] is instructed to identify and collect information about the persons or entities, and submit such information in the manner outlined [within this directive].
It would appear that the Department of Homeland Security is not only prepared to enforce the enhanced security procedures at airports, but is involved in gathering intelligence about those who don't. They're making a list and most certainly will be checking it twice. Meanwhile, legitimate threats to our air travel security (and they DO exist) seem to be taking a back seat to the larger threat of the multitude of non-criminal American citizens who object to having their Constitutional rights violated.
As I have written before, it has nothing to do with security and everything to do with control.
"Gate Rape" of America (22 November 2010)
(...) The continuity of criminalizing non-criminal behavior of free citizens while giving a pass to others transcends political parties and is an integral component of social conditioning. Although it did not begin with Obama, he is integral in accelerating the implementation of the global power elite's goals and objectives. Like the sand in the top of an hourglass appears to flow faster as it reaches its end, so too does the agenda of the proponents of a new world order. We are now at that point in time. It would be a mistake to believe that this administration is merely mishandling the current throw-down between the TSA and airline passengers at the boarding gate. It is not being mishandled, but carefully crafted into organized chaos designed to elicit social unrest. Anyone refusing to comply with the increasingly oppressive federal rules will be considered domestic terrorists, much like we've seen with individuals and groups concerned with our Constitution, second amendment rights, and pro-life causes. Many wonder how a regime in Germany could have rounded up and sent six million Jews to their deaths. Well, this is exactly how. It begins through conditioning, involves nationalization, and relies heavily on the conditioning and on the malaise of the people. "They" are the power elite - the globalists, who do not view themselves as Americans and don't care about national sovereignty and care less about state sovereignty. CLIP
It's gone too far (14 November 2010)
Naked Scanners paid for by Stimulus money; George Soros holds financial interest in company. It's about control, not security (...) It is important for the public to understand that the images of scanned passengers shown to the public have passed through filters to "tone down" their graphic nature. In reality, the images that are visible to TSA officials are much more revealing. Having seen actual images of a full body scan on a TSA computer for the purpose of completing my investigation, I can tell you that the images are extremely graphic and leave very little to the imagination. To be sure, they do not resemble the images that are being shown to the public.Additionally and despite assurances to the contrary, there have been many documented abuses and misuses of the scanned images taken by TSA officials. Despite denials, images are stored in databases, ostensibly for "training" purposes. However, the number of images currently being maintained, along with the location of their storage (in some cases, outside of the TSA), indicate a purpose beyond any legitimate training program. What has yet to be publicly disclosed is, in my professional opinion, most alarming.Based on the instructions from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, a directive was reportedly issued by the TSA on 29 October 2010. That directive instructs all TSA screening agents to perform "enhanced" pat down searches that involve the actual groping of women's breasts and the genitalia of all passengers, including children.Upon learning of that directive, I conducted an interview with a trusted source working within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on 12 November 2010. According to the information obtained during that interview, the enhanced pat down directive was not in response to any intelligence or actionable threat. Instead, it was issued as a result of the number of airline passengers "opting out" of the body scans. The reasoning was that passengers would be more likely to select the more passive and less invasive of the two options. In other words, the directive was meant to "convince" people to choose the (ostensibly) less personal and humiliating scrutiny of a full body scanner instead of being groped by a TSA agent. One might wonder why one option over the other would matter so much to the Department of Homeland Security. The answer might possibly be found in DHS documents described as "conceptual discussions" about trial deployments of the full body scanners to non-aviation public locations, such as sports stadiums, schools and malls. It appears that it is the intent of DHS to eventually install naked body scanners in these venues. But first, the public must be "conditioned" to accept their use at airports.
TSA Tactics Find Ominous Parallel in Nazi Germany (November 21, 2010)
The TSA is part of a larger effort to implement a slow motion surveillance and high-tech police state control grid in America. It is an element of the "alternative geography" of the military-corporate-intelligence establishment, an aspect specifically designed to acclimate Americans to the prospect of an ever encroaching police state. The tight integration of the corporate-government aspect of this alternative geography is demonstrated by the relationship the government has with the Chertoff Group, a public relations firm pushing naked body scanners founded by Michael Chertoff, the former boss of the Department of Homeland Security.The new procedures defended over the weekend by Barry Obama from a NATO summit in Portugal are not about finding the next underwear bomber and protecting the American people from al-Qaeda. The latest procedures are designed to get the American people accustomed to the idea that the police, the alternative geography of the military-corporate-intelligence network, and the government will micro-manage and control the public and eventually all aspects of our private lives. Events reveal that the government is not interested in preventing an al-Qaeda attack, but keeping tabs on and when possible subverting opposition to its power.
TSA airport screeners gone wild in San Diego- again (November 20th, 2010)
In what can only be described as TSA handlers gone wild, the San Diego Harbor Police arrested an area resident for refusal to complete the screening/security process yesterday. This is the same airport that created the TSA security catch phrase "don't touch my junk." John Tyner of San Diego started the airport screening firestorm last week as Americans head into the busiest travel week of the year in the United States. This time the defendant, Sam Wolanyk says he was asked to pass through the 3-D x-ray machine. When Wolanyk refused, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel told him he would have to be patted down before he could pass through and board his airplane. Wolanyk said he knew what was coming and took off his pants and shirt, leaving him in Calvin Klein bike undergarments. "It was obvious that my underwear left nothing to the imagination," he explained. "But that wasn't enough for the TSA supervisor who was called to the scene and asked me to put my clothes on so I could be properly patted down."It was clear to Wolanyk that TSA only wanted him to submit to a pat-down and if they were interested in ensuring the safety of all passengers they would have rifled through his clothes, carryon baggage and acknowledged that he was not carrying any illegal paraphernalia on his person. Once Harbor Police arrested Wolanyk, he was handcuffed and paraded through two separate airport terminals in his underwear to the Harbor Police office located inside a different terminal at the airport than Wolanyk had originally gone through during his TSA security process. The incident was confirmed by Harbor Police Sergeant Rakos who said Wolanyk was arrested on two misdemeanors, "failing to complete the security process; violation code 7.01 and illegally recording the San Diego Airport Authority (they confiscated his iPhone); violation number 7.14 (a)." Another confirmation came from Ronald Powell, director of communications, who said Wolanyk wasn't charged with any federal crimes, just the two misdemeanors. "The bottom line is that all our police officers did was enforce the law."Powell also stated that there was another arrest of a woman who was allegedly illegally filming the x-ray, and TSA screening process with a video camera. The young woman's camera was confiscated and she was given a citation and released from Harbor Police custody. TSA headquarters has told would-be airline travelers who enter an airport checkpoint process and refuse to undergo the method of inspection designated by TSA they will not be allowed to fly and can face possible charges for disrupting the airport security process. Wolanyk will appear in court on January 7, 2011 to dispute the charges with Jason Davis of Davis and Associates of Orange County by his side.
PETITION TO STOP 'ENHANCED' AIRPORT SCREENING TECHNIQUES NOW!
Senate Democrats back TSA 'virtual strip searches' (November 17, 2010)
Foes of the Transportation Security Agency's new air-screening procedures, including law enforcement-style pat-downs and what have been called "virtual strip searches," had hoped that today's Senate hearing would lead to a privacy outcry on Capitol Hill.Not quite. The hearing quickly cleaved along partisan lines, with Democratic senators applauding the Obama administration and Republicans offering only modest criticism."Mr. Pistole, you're doing a great job," Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat and chairman of the Senate committee overseeing air travel, told TSA chief John Pistole, a former FBI agent who's had the job since July. For emphasis, Rockefeller added a few minutes later: "I think you're doing a terrific job."
(...) Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, suggested that it was "sort of insensitive" for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to say this week that if Americans "want to travel by some other means, of course that's their right." That's not practical for someone flying from Georgia to San Francisco, he said."Does that worry you--that maybe we're at a point here where this is not a vocal minority, that people just think you've overstepped?" added Sen. Mike Johanns, a Nebraska Republican. (Pistole replied: "What I believe is that reasonable people can disagree as to the balance between privacy and security.") The only senator to raise significant concerns was George LeMieux, a Florida Republican, who said he had no problems with the full-body X-ray machines, "which I think are fine and appropriate."But, he said, "I'm frankly bothered by the level of these pat-downs. I've seen them first-hand in airports in Florida. I wouldn't want my wife to be touched in the way that these folks are being touched. I wouldn't want to be touched that way. And I think that we have to be focused on safety, but there's a balance."
FBI Staged Oregon Bomber - TSA Road Checks Next? (27 November 2010)
Sure enough, another holiday fear jolt sponsored by the Powers That Be. Just as the FBI set up the first WTC bombers and so many others, here they do it again. As many expected, the continued roll out of restrictions is coming down. Apparently we haven't been taking our TSA medicine quite so well so we needed a little incentive to yield to their police state controls and intrusions:FBI thwarts terrorist bombing attempt at Portland holiday tree lighting, authorities say (...) Now what--TSA Road Checks? Unfortunately, these blatantly staged tactics work on the unsuspecting populace. Even though the numbers of those awakening to what's going on are growing, with the current media stranglehold the propaganda barrage is going to be overwhelming to most. Besides, waking up means you have to take responsibility and action, and most have been so dumbed down and conditioned they don't even consider that an option. State of Alarm - Expect this state of alarm to heighten, sorry to say. There will be more staged incidents like this, strange outbursts, and seeming random acts of violence. All intended. It doesn't take much as long as the propaganda-machine media fans whatever flames they're told to. This overall climate will not be letting up in the foreseeable future, as it's the perfect milieu for the incremental perpetration of more TSA-Gestapo type controls and restrictions. A shackled populace is no threat to the state.Watch for False Flag 'Head Fakes'Korea is a perfect distraction from more serious economic, political and military situations. Keep your eyes peeled for what's really going on, including the engineered collapse of the dollar and free-fall world economy, and the US and Israeli military maneuvering in preparation for the coming world war. CLIP
Police State USA: TSA Gestapo Empire
by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts - November 23, 2010
It doesnt take a bureaucrat long to create an empire. John Pistole, the FBI agent who took over the Transportation Security Administration on July 1 told USA Today 16 days later that protecting trains and subways from terrorist attacks will be as high a priority for him as air travel.
It is difficult to imagine New Yorkers being porno-screened and sexually groped on crowed subway platforms or showing up an hour or two in advance for clearance for a 15 minute subway ride, but once bureaucrats get the bit in their teeth they take absurdity to its logical conclusion. Buses will be next, although it is even more difficult to imagine open air bus stops turned into security zones with screeners and gropers inspecting passengers before they board.
Will taxi passengers be next? In those Muslim lands whose citizens the US government has been slaughtering for years, favorite weapons for retaliating against the Americans are car and truck bombs. How long before Pistole announces that the TSA Gestapo is setting up roadblocks on city streets, highways and interstates to check cars for bombs? That 15 minute trip to the grocery store then becomes an all day affair.
Indeed, it has already begun. Last September agents from Homeland Security, TSA, and the US Department of Transportation, assisted by the Douglas County Sheriffs Office, conducted a counter-terrorism operation on busy Interstate 20 just west of Atlanta, Georgia. Designated VIPER (Visible Inter-mobile Prevention and Response), the operation required all trucks to stop to be screened for bombs. Federal agents used dogs, screening devices, and a large drive-through bomb detection machine. Imagine what the delays did to delivery schedules and truckers bottom lines.
There are also news reports of federal trucks equipped with backscatter X-ray devices that secretly scan cars and pedestrians.
With such expensive counter-terrorism activities, both in terms of the hard-pressed taxpayers money and civil liberties, one would think that bombs were going off all over America. But, of course, they arent. There has not been a successful terrorist act since 9/11, and thousands of independent experts doubt the governments explanation of that event.
Subsequent domestic terrorist events have turned out to be FBI sting operations in which FBI agents organize not-so-bright disaffected members of society and lead them into displaying interest in participating in a terrorist act. Once the FBI agent, pretending to be a terrorist, succeeds in prompting all the right words to be said and captured on his hidden recorder, the terrorists are arrested and the plot exposed.
The very fact that the FBI has to orchestrate fake terrorism proves the absence of real terrorists.
If Americans were more thoughtful and less gullible, they might wonder why all the emphasis on transportation when there are so many soft targets. Shopping centers, for example. If there were enough terrorists in America to justify the existence of Homeland Security, bombs would be going off round the clock in shopping malls in every state. The effect would be far more terrifying than blowing up an airliner.
Indeed, if terrorists want to attack air travelers, they never need to board an airplane.
All they need to do is to join the throngs of passengers waiting to go through the TSA scanners and set off their bombs. The TSA has conveniently assembled the targets.
The final proof that there are no terrorists is that not a single neoconservative or government official responsible for the Bush regimes invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the Obama regimes slaughters of Pakistanis, Yemenis, and Somalians has been assassinated. None of these Americans who are responsible for lies, deceptions, and invasions that have destroyed the lives of countless numbers of Muslims have any security protection. If Muslims were capable of pulling off 9/11, they are certainly capable of assassinating Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Libby, Condi Rice, Kristol, Bolton, Goldberg, and scores of others during the same hour of the same day.
I am not advocating that terrorists assassinate anyone. I am just making the point that if the US was as overrun with terrorists as empire-building bureaucrats pretend, we would definitely be experiencing dramatic terrorist acts. The argument is not believable that a government that was incapable of preventing 9/11 is so all-knowing that it can prevent assassination of unprotected neocons and shopping malls from being bombed.
If Al Qaeda was anything like the organization that the US government claims, it would not be focused on trivial targets such as passenger airliners. The organization, if it exists, would be focused on its real enemies. Try to imagine the propaganda value of terrorists wiping out the neoconservatives in one fell swoop, followed by an announcement that every member of the federal government down to the lowest GS, every member of the House and Senate, and every governor was next in line to be bumped off.
This would be real terrorism instead of the make-belief stuff associated with shoe bombs that dont work, underwear bombs that independent experts say could not work, and bottled water and shampoo bombs that experts say cannot possibly be put together in airliner lavatories.
Think about it. Would a terror organization capable of outwitting all 16 US intelligence agencies, all intelligence agencies of US allies including Israels Mossad, the National Security Council, NORAD, air traffic control, the Pentagon, and airport security four times in one hour put its unrivaled prestige at risk with improbable shoe bombs, shampoo bombs, and underwear bombs?
After success in destroying the World Trade Center and blowing up part of the Pentagon, it is an extraordinary comedown to go after a mere airliner. Would a person who gains fame by knocking out the world heavyweight boxing champion make himself a laughing stock by taking lunch money from school boys?
TSA is a far greater threat to Americans than are terrorists. Pistole has given the finger to US senators and representatives, state legislators, and the traveling public who have expressed their views that virtual strip searches and sexual molestation are too high a price to pay for security. Indeed, the TSA with its Gestapo attitude and methods, is succeeding in making Americans more terrified of the TSA than they are of terrorists.
Make up your own mind. What terrifies you the most. Terrorists, who in all likelihood you will never encounter in your lifetime, or the TSA that you will encounter every time you fly and soon, according to Pistole, every time you take a train, a subway, or drive in a car or truck?
Before making up your mind, consider this report from antiwar.com on November 19: TSA officials say that anyone refusing both the full body scanners and the enhanced pat down procedures will be taken into custody. Once there the detainees will not only be barred from flying, but will be held indefinitely as suspected terrorists . . . One sheriffs office said they were already preparing to handle a large number of detainees and plan to treat them as terror suspects.
Who is cowing Americans into submission, terrorists or the TSA Gestapo?
TSA feels inside underwear of female ABC News employee
by Mike Adams, November 23, 2010
(NaturalNews) TSA agents, always looking to increase their reach (quite literally), are now reaching down the pants and into the underwear of female travelers. This is what happened to an ABC News employee, who described the experience as "worse than going to the gynecologist."
In an ABC News story, this ABC News employee went on to say, "It was embarrassing. It was demeaning. It was inappropriate."
TSA head says everything's great!
TSA head John Pistole, however, said the current system is working just as it was intended to work, and he refuses to back down on any changes. This means travelers can expect to continue to be subjected to these ionizing radiation scans (naked body scanners) as well as obscene X-rated pat-downs for the foreseeable future.
Apparently, the TSA feels it is entirely appropriate to feel your crotch, palm your breasts and even reach into your pants -- and you're supposed to just sit there and tolerate all this like good little sheeple.
In doing this, however, they are offending not just the patriots and freedom-oriented people in America; they're also feeling up members of the press! And that's a huge mistake because now all of a sudden the mainstream media is realizing this is no joke. This molestation of passengers is happening to them, too!
Suddenly it's all very "real" to the MSM, you see. In their minds, it's not just a bunch of conspiracy theorists yacking about this; now it's an ABC News employee. Now they know this is really happening, and it's really terrorizing innocent Americans who are merely trying to travel.
This is why I like Ron Paul's suggestion. Let's all just subject members of Congress to these obscene TSA pat-downs and see how they like it, eh? Let's see if Senator Harry Reid wants to have some low-pay-grade TSA agent shoving his hands down his underwear and feeling up his junk, just like the rest of us must endure.
And what about the U.S. President, his wife and his children? Are they immune to these same obscene pat-downs being offered by the TSA? If so, doesn't that mean we're back to a society where the "commoners" are treated like criminals, but the political elite are given special exceptions to this treatment? (Echoes of living under the King of England, anyone?)
This has all clearly gone too far. It's time to voice your opposition to this madness and stand firm on your Fourth Amendment rights which protect us from "unreasonable searches and seizures."
Having TSA agents shove their hands down our pants is clearly unreasonable. It is the kind of action that might be fully expected under a police state, but certainly not in the "land of the free."
Just doing their jobs? Psychology of TSA employees mirrors that of Nazi war criminals (November 29, 2010)
(NaturalNews) Some apologists are now attempting to defend the lewd, obscene behavior of TSA agents by claiming "they're just doing their jobs." This is the exact same quote that was used by Nazi war criminals to justify their treatment of Jewish concentration camp prisoners; or by Japanese soldiers who raped and pillaged Chinese villages in World War II; or even by government hit men throughout history who have killed innocents because their bosses told them to."I'm just doing my job" is the excuse of the weak-minded. It is a desperate attempt to shift responsibility for one's actions to someone else and therefore take on the actions of a mindless, immoral automaton who is incapable of independent thought. Throughout history, countless atrocities and war crimes have been conducted under the excuse of "I'm just doing my job." To hear it now cited in the United States of America is a worrisome red flag that we are headed into an era where rational thought is being overrun by fear mongering idiots.Individual human beings have a moral and ethical responsibility to protect their fellow countrymen (and women)In the real world, the excuse of "just doing my job" doesn't cut it. U.S. government workers have a personal and patriotic responsibility to ensure that their actions do not deprive American citizens of their Constitutional rights. A U.S. government employee who engages in behavior that violates the rights of American citizens -- even if ordered to do so -- is himself guilty of those violations under civil law (and perhaps criminal law, depending on the violation). CLIP
Sent: 23 November 2010
Subject: In defense of our children - an important message from Brasscheck TV
It's sick - plain and simple
There's been little discussion about the euphemistically-named full-body "pat downs" taking place in US airports as they effect CHILDREN.
We've put up numerous videos now of very young children being stripped searched in public, touched against their will, and, in any other place and under any other circumstances, molested by TSA screeners.
Parents are counseled to tell their children that these "screenings" are a game.
The US news media's comment on this?
Instead they ask us if we aren't being "too sensitive" and tell us there needs to be a "balance between security and privacy."
Children are being taught that anyone in uniform has free access to their bodies...that they can't say "no"...and that their parents are unable to protect them.
In turn, parents are being taught that they cannot protect their children.
The only word that comes to my mind to describe this enterprise is "criminal."
Did not the TSA, Homeland Security, and the White House (and the jackals in Congress that fund this insanity) anticipate this as an outcome?
There are two possibilities here: either this is official idiocy and arrogance of the highest order or this outcome was anticipated and deemed acceptable.
I don't know the answer...but I do know that as a governmenty agency that works closely with the CIA and FBI, Homeland Security and the TSA have access to hundreds of psychologists and psychiatrists, in their employ, under contract, and available at the drop of a dime.
I am not an expert in child abuse so I asked my friend and colleague Kenneth Wooden for his comment.
Wooden is a former journalist and author of the chilling and important book "The Children of Jonestown."
His experience covering the Jonestown story and seeing the hundreds of children's coffins that came back from Guyana motivated him to create a training company that teaches children how to identify and protect themselves from predators.
I asked him what he thinks of the TSA's policy of commanding its employees to strip search and conduct full body "pat downs" of small children.
I specifically asked him his opinion of the TSA advising that young children be told that these officially sanctioned intrusions of their bodies are a game.
Wooden's answer follows...
=== The TSA has crossed the line ===
As a national child personal safety expert, I submit the TSA crosses the line when it allows the patting down of children for security reasons, cloaked as a game.
The most recent Gallup Poll on childhood abuse revealed that in just one year, more than a million children were sexually and physically abused. Along the same lines, the American Medical Association has referred to the rape and sexual exploitation of women and children as a "violent and silent epidemic." Men increasingly reveal how they were sexually assaulted in their youth, by a rainbow of sexual predators, usually someone they knew.
Given that background - and the number of survivors that have been sexually abused and exploited - it is beyond comprehension how the Homeland Security Agency's TSA can conceive of such insensitive and invasive security checks on our children and youth. Even worse, they want to depict pat downs of children as a game! As an investigative researcher/reporter who has interviewed well over a thousand sexual offenders, I can document that one of the favorite ploys to lure children and youth into sexual abuse is to disguise it as a "game."
How can experts working at the TSA be so incredibly misinformed and misguided to suggest that full body pat downs for children be portrayed as a game?!To do so is completely contrary to what we in the sexual abuse prevention field have been trying to accomplish for the past thirty years. Such policy could essentially desensitize children to inappropriate touch and ultimately make it easier for sexual offenders to prey on our children. This policy is also incredibly insensitive to the countless victims who have already been traumatized by unwanted touching in their lives and could be re-traumatized by such pat-downs.
In my judgment as a lifelong journalist and child advocate, such unapprised actions by the TSA borders on criminal negligence and, legally speaking, "deliberate indifference to the future emotional well being of millions of victims and the potential for far too many more young victims."
Child Lures Prevention
What you can do
Please - if you think this information is important - share this e-mail far and wide.
As far as I know, this issue is not being discussed anywhere else in a public forum in America...not in Congress, not in the news media, not in the White House, and not in the self-justifying press conferences of the TSA.
The TSA, and the entire US government White House and Congress, has crossed the line here.
Think long and hard before you agree to allowing the small children in your care to be subjected to these searches.
Let the so-called public servants who conceived of and imposed this system - and now unashamedly defend it - know what you think.
Share this e-mail.
One of our videos on this subject:
HARD TO BEAT THE SHEER STUPIDITY OF THESES TSA DIMWITS
Another TSA Outrage
A friend of mine sent me this about his TSA experience. He, unlike most of us, was coming back into the country from Afghanistan on a military charter.
As the Chalk Leader for my flight home from Afghanistan, I witnessed the following:
When we were on our way back from Afghanistan, we flew out of Baghram Air Field. We went through customs at BAF, full body scanners (no groping), had all of our bags searched, the whole nine yards.
Our first stop was Shannon, Ireland to refuel. After that, we had to stop at Indianapolis, Indiana to drop off about 100 folks from the Indiana National Guard. Thats where the stupid started.
First, everyone was forced to get off the plane - even though the plane wasnt refueling again. All 330 people got off that plane, rather than let the 100 people from the ING get off. We were filed from the plane to a holding area. No vending machines, no means of escape. Only a male/female latrine.
Its probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons werent loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.
The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it reinspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to reinspect our Cargo - just to inspect us again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, reinspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.
This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.
So were in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that theyre going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:
TSA Guy: You cant take those on the plane.
Soldier: What? Ive had them since we left country.
TSA Guy: Youre not suppose to have them.
TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.
Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And Im allowed to take it on.
TSA Guy: Yeah but you cant use it to take over the plane. You dont have bullets.
Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?
TSA Guy: [awkward silence]
Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. Ill buy you a new set.
Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]
This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns - but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.
Boycott TSA - PETITION TO SIGN
Maybe the Obama regime is just incompetent, and maybe hiring the moronic Janet Napolitano is a cover, and the deeper purpose is to accustom Americans to giving up liberty, freedom of movement, and habituate them to regimentation, including strip searching and groping of their children. We will boycott American air travel until these wannabe fascists are tossed into the unemployment lines. We will drive, bus, use trains, take cruises, or travel to Canada to fly to Europe.
Check also: Breast-feeding passenger claims she was harassed by TSA for not wanting her pumped milk passed through X-ray machine
TSA-Style Pat Downs Hit The Streets
Paul Joseph Watson - December 6, 2010
In Philadelphia, you dont have to visit the airport to have the government molest you, TSA-style stop, question and frisk pat downs are already being conducted by police on the streets targeting people who act suspicious, by doing things like putting their hands in their coat pocket.
As we have repeatedly warned, everything unfolding in the airports, from naked radiation body scanners to pat downs, is now being implemented on mass transit as well as every major street corner in America. Constitutional protections of privacy and immunity from unreasonable search and seizure have been abolished, replaced with guilty until proven innocent.
As Judge Napolitano reports, residents in the city of brotherly love are being patted down by police officers on the streets as part of an aggressive stop, question and frisk policy instituted by Mayor Nutter. The program is now the subject of a class-action lawsuit filed by the ACLU which accuses police of routinely violating civil rights, including those of Rep. Jewell Williams, a former Temple University police officer, who was handcuffed and bundled into a squad car after enquiring about the safety of two elderly men police had detained and then threatened to beat up.
In the video, Philadelphia radio host Dom Giordano attempts to defend the unconstitutional policy by claiming residents were happy with being treated like criminals by specially trained squads who target people for holding their hands in their coat on a street corner.
Confronted with the fact that such policies are right out of North Korea or East Germany and have no place in a free country, Giordano invoked the non-existent constitutional right to not have your kid shot, which could also be enforced if authorities simply placed the entire population under house arrest and prevented them from ever going outside.
Much to Giordanos chagrin, Napolitano responded by paraphrasing the most famous Philadelphian of all, founding father Benjamin Franklin, who said, They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
The stops have increased from 102,319 in 2005 to 253,333 in 2009 an increase of 148 percent with just 8 per cent of all stops leading to arrests. An alarming one in six residents of the entire city of Philadelphia has been stopped and frisked under the program, far more than would ever be subjected to a TSA groping at an airport.
These unconstitutional actions have had and continue to have a devastating effect on the lives of many Philadelphians, attorney Paul Messing said. Beyond that, these police practices have had no real impact on stemming criminal conduct in our city. They just subject innocent people to humiliating and degrading treatment.
Most of those arrests had nothing to do with the reason they were stopped, Messing said. The charges were often for disorderly conduct because they complained they were stopped for no reason.
By harassing people for putting their hands in their pockets, US authorities are mimicking the British stop and search policy, which by no coincidence has become notorious for its failure to catch any real criminals.
Indeed, in 2008 our own writer Steve Watson was stopped by goons in yellow jackets who proceeded to bark orders at him while standing at a bus stop in Trafalgar Square, London. His crime? He adjusted his clothing and put his hand in his pocket, an action that put him into the category of a potential terrorist, according to section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
In Britain, stop and search powers have been routinely abused to intimidate political protesters and break up demonstrations. Out of the hundreds of thousands of stop and search incidents, not one has led to the arrest or apprehension of a terrorist, and the powers have recently been ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights.
Americans who believe they can avoid being molested by the authorities by simply not flying are going to be in for a rude awakening when they find that body scanners and pat downs have become mandatory to enter shopping malls, sports events, or to simply walk down the street.
Unless we stand up in unison and revolt against such unconstitutional intrusions no matter where they take place, America will increasingly resemble the former Soviet Union, where agents of the state ceaselessly demand to see our papers and feel us up as part of the process of humiliation that trains the slaves to fawn over and acquiesce to the orders of their masters.
Watch this related video:
POLICE STATE 2010: Philly Cops Stopping & Searching Random People On The Streets (Dec 3, 2010)