Saturday, September 20, 2014

Scottish referendum result undoubtedly rigged

© Sott.net
SOTT | Sep 20, 2014 | Niall Bradley

Apparently terrorized by the fear-mongering tactics of the British establishment media, in the form of hysterical warnings about food price rises and "societal disintegration", the fiercely independent Scottish people voted to remain in the UK. Or so the British establishment media would have us believe.

The official result matched the predictions of polls conducted by huge for-profit City of London market research companies. Prime Minister David Cameron declared that "this settles the independence debate for a generation." Case closed? I don't think so. We're being asked to believe that a majority of Scots voted 'Yes' to more austerity, 'Yes' to more wars in their name, 'Yes' to keeping nuclear weapons, 'Yes' to the continued theft of Scottish natural resources and 'Yes' to less democracy.

If all of that sounds unbelievable, it's because it is:
"It's not who votes that counts. It's who counts the votes."

~ Attributed to Stalin

International observers

222 international observers registered with the referendum organising body, Britain's Electoral Commission. They were apparently required to pay their own way, costing these Canadian observers over $4,000 to attend. As far as I can tell at this juncture, the observations of just one party of these accredited observers has been reported anywhere.

Speaking on behalf of the four accredited observers from Moscow's Public Institute of Suffrage, Igor Borisov reported that the Scottish referendum was "badly flawed" and did not meet international standards, specifically pointing out that the vote counting took place in rooms that were too big.

The counting centre his team visited was a huge aircraft hangar - 100 metres by 300 metres - next to an airfield. They reported that it was impossible to see what was going on because the observers were kept behind a perimeter, away from the tables where votes were being counted. Most alarmingly, they couldn't tell where the boxes with ballot papers were coming from:
"Nobody was interested in who was bringing in the voting slips. There were no stamps or signatures as the bulletins were handed over."
Russian official Georgy Fyodorov added:
"There were more Yes votes during the vote count. Scotland found itself under immense pressure... Those on the UK side campaigning for a No vote resorted to every violation imaginable."
Other irregularities

The following video is strongly suggestive of - at the very least - serious mismanagement of the ballots during the count:



Just what was that female counter doing removing votes from the Yes pile to the No pile? Some have argued that she may have been sorting them beforehand, then assigning them to the correct pile. But how hard is it for a supposedly intelligent person (I presume they chose intelligent people to do the counting) to look at a piece of paper, determine if there is an 'X' in the 'Yes' or 'No' box and then put it the corresponding pile? This is either evidence of extreme incompetence or of deliberate vote fraud.

And what are we to make of the Sky News footage from the Dundee counting centre in which we clearly see Yes votes on the No table? Every caution should be taken to avoid cross-contamination, so the explanation that they were bundled that way prior to sorting into Yes and No is, again, evidence of gross incompetence or deliberate manipulation of the votes.

Meanwhile in Glasgow, police reported at least 10 instances of people attempting to vote multiple times at polling stations across the city:


There are countless ways to rig elections and referendums, as awake and aware Americans know well. Stuffing the ballot boxes is a relatively easy thing to do, and given the motives and track record of the British elite, and what they stood to lose with an independent Scotland, there is every reason to assume that vote fraud did indeed take place. Indeed, for those who have equipped themselves with an objective understanding of the true nature of the 'democracy' under which we live in the Western hemisphere, it was always a foregone conclusion.

The Russian observers noted boxes of ballots papers that "could have come from anywhere," suggesting that, for example, boxes of stacked votes could be swapped with actual votes during transport from the polling stations to the counting centres.

Another possible point of entry is via the postal system. Some 790,000 postal votes were registered, the largest ever volume for postal votes in Scotland. How difficult would it be to 'flip' some or many of these? The SOTT.net crew knows from direct experience that Western intelligence services can and do routinely open people's mail. For something as important as this referendum, they could have had teams in place, either within postal depots, positioned throughout postal transportation networks, or in separate facilities.

Too many people to be involved in such a conspiracy? Don't underestimate some people's naivety, and others' perfidy; there are more than enough people out there who carry out such treacherous tasks gladly, believing it to be fully justified 'for Queen and country'. The simplicity of a referendum in which people are asked to place an X beside a simple Yes or No answer works great in a world where people can be assumed to be honest and to 'play by the rules'. But when a couple of trillion pounds in oil is at stake, well, the 'rules' bend.

Speaking of British establishment media, of Scotland's 37 newspapers, only one, the Sunday Herald, came out in favour of independence. In fact, it was the only mainstream media outlet - local, regional or national, English or Scottish - that supported independence.

Think about that. Only one media outlet.

University of Edinburgh researchers found that the more information a voter had, the more likely he or she was to vote Yes. Right there, we see that the media's role is to lie to the people, to spellbind them through fear and disinformation.

Online, meanwhile, analyses of Twitter and Facebook chatter put the Yes:No ratio at around 2-to-1, about 65% versus 35% in favour of independence. The Russian observer's statement about the greater presence of Yes voters is obvious even to casual observers of the build-up to this referendum: besides their pronounced dominance of online discussions, the streets of Scotland were clearly thronged with large majorities in support of independence.

Just where did this 'silent majority' of Scottish No voters emerge from? From the high turn-out of voters which, we're told, was up to 97% in places? Sounds plausible, except for one important historical detail: when people turn out like that, it's because they relish the chance to engage with a popular cause and change the status quo in their favour, not to keep things as they are.

The problem, as always, is that people forget. Although we've yet to hear from other international observers, the Scottish referendum result - despite overwhelming media bias and Westminster scaremongering - has been accepted by many in the Yes campaign. People forget that this time last year they learned through Snowden's leaks what GCHQ - Britain's NSA - gets up to. British intelligence agencies are permanently engaged in domestic and international spying, subversion, disinformation, and blackmail, and their activity increased dramatically after 9/11.

In this context, from the British government's perspective, Scotland seceding from the UK isn't just a matter of Scots' democratic right to self-determination: it's a flashing-red threat to national security. THIS is the very thing they were created to counter; this is the meat-and-potatoes of the British intelligence services.

Think about the lengths they were prepared to go to retain Northern Ireland in the UK: beyond all-out information war, they conducted false-flag bombings, assassinations, internment, torture, curfews... up to and including a policy of conducting shooting sprees of both random Catholic Nationalists and Protestant Loyalists. Does a tiger change its stripes?

Scots independent MP Margot MacDonald warned last year that the Scottish referendum would be subject to 'dirty tricks' by MI5, saying the Yes movement and Scottish National Party was riddled with British agents. Indeed, many Scots knew in advance of the referendum that British intelligence was actively working against the Yes campaign, hiding the true extent of new North Sea oil reserves, and believed the intelligence services would probably rig the referendum result.

And now those same Scots don't believe the official referendum result. Campaigns to collect signatures and bolster demands for an enquiry are already well underway. While that's a good start, I'm afraid that it will take more than public enquiries, recounts, or revotes to achieve independence. This referendum did not catch the British elite by surprise (although the cabinet at 10 Downing Street was certainly caught out by the strength of support in favour of independence by the end of the campaign). The referendum was years in the making, and its September 2014 date was formally fixed in January 2012; the intelligence services therefore had the better part of two years to prepare for this.

If they will co-create and fund Chechen terrorism and Ukrainian Nazis to blackmail Russia, if they will co-create and fund Al Qaeda and ISIS to institute a Global War on Terror, justify police state measures at home, and invade, occupy and bomb sovereign countries abroad... do you think they will remain 'neutral' and 'impartial' in a referendum that would end the Union, stir nationalist sentiment in Wales, and hasten a United Ireland?

Let's not forget, this is 'Perfidious Albion' we're talking about - by which I mean the perennial British elites, primarily ensconced in London, though certainly also long-since woven into Scottish tartan. They will not 'surrender' Scotland lightly. British democracy has always been a sham - both in the UK, and then transported across the world when it was an empire, and still today it's used as a tool to enforce the rule of tiny oligarchic elites.

They have stolen this landslide election from Scots, who have always been fiercely independent. Until more evidence emerges of fraud, I encourage Scots to gauge for themselves just how many of their fellow Scotsmen voted Yes or No, perhaps by forming local committees to conduct informal polls, then watch as you learn that the true result was 70%+ in favour of independence.

Alba gu brĂ th

Born in Ireland, Niall Bradley has a BA in political science, a background in media consulting, and is now an editor, writer and researcher for SOTT.net. Co-author with SOTT.net colleague Joe Quinn of Manufactured Terror: The Boston Marathon Bombings, Sandy Hook, Aurora Shooting and Other False Flag Terror Attacks, Niall and Joe also co-host a weekly SOTT Talk Radio show. Niall's SOTT Focus articles on the elites' geopolitical shenanigans and so-called climate change are cross-posted on his personal blog, NiallBradley.net.

It’s not over: ‘Scots to hold a referendum in future’

AFP Photo / Ben Stansall
RT | Sep 19, 2014

The 'no' result in Scotland mostly resulted from fear of the consequences of secession, although the knock-on effect will be considerable for Catalonia, defense analyst Dr. Binoy Kampmark told RT.

RT: The 'Better Together' campaign won. Will independence supporters make another attempt to separate?

Binoy Kampmark: I do think that the voting outcome has indicated that there was a considerable interest in the movement and that the campaign run by Alex Salmond was quite professional and quite remarkable in many ways. To a larger extent, the “better together” campaign was quite mad… complacency on the one hand, and on the other hand, the degree of fear for consequences that might arise from the secession. So I do think that this is not by any means over, and it will probably go to a vote at some point in the future again.

RT: Why do you think the NO campaign appears to have swayed more voters?

BK: It seems to be the last minute thing or of the last couple of days. One of the issues was the increased interest by politicians in London and certainly the “better together” campaign they woke up to the shock that YouGov polls were showing that the “yes” campaign seemed to be edging them slightly out. So there was a certain urgency and suddenly we had every notable figure from Downing Street and White Hall talking about the implications of secession. That was largely one of the shocks that triggered greater interest because until then essentially the “better together” campaign just thought that they had it in the bag.

RT:Will other independence movements across Europe be bolstered by Scotland's example?

BK: It’s a very important point that this particular experiment in democracy and secession demonstrates that there is a lot of interest in this. There were certainly quite a few Catalonian observers in this particular case to see what things they could learn from the campaign. And this is certainly one of the reasons why Spain has been on public record as being against Scottish secession because the knock-on effect will still be considerable and may still be considerable. We have yet to see the implications of the vote in a broader European sense but no doubt other groups have taken considerable heart that a campaign like this can be run very professionally and remarkably well, which suggests a lot about the skills of individuals such as Salmond.

RT: What regions across Europe have a realistic chance of independence?

BK: It’s a good question. We already had a vote in fact, which is a non-binding one in the Veneto area in Italy, we will also have one coming up in November with Catalonia. So we have areas where there are non-binding decisions and in terms of non-binding referendum. There is certainly some interest that is going to be expressed, but unfortunately it is not like the Scottish case where there is actually an instance where people did go with the possibility of a binding vote. It remains to be seen where we go from there.

RELATED:

Scotland Yet: A film about independence
Westminster Fear & Media Bias Shafted Scotland: Russell Brand
Evidence the Scottish Independence Vote Was Rigged? Balderdash!

The NSA 'Lost' its UFO files - Spacing Out!

Open Minds TV | Sep 19, 2014

The NSA claims that it cannot locate the non-redacted versions of its UFO files. Plus, Jason McClellan has an update to that diamond-shaped UFO story discussed during the previous episode. That, and other space and UFO news on this episode of Spacing Out!



Stories discussed on this episode:

- Shirley MacLaine's UFO spotting w/ an Australian ambassador
http://www.openminds.tv/shirley-macla...

- Meteorite provides additional evidence for life on Mars
http://www.openminds.tv/another-meteo...

- Northern California UFO leaves witnesses, experts perplexed
http://www.openminds.tv/ufo-northern-...

- NSA lost its UFO files
http://www.openminds.tv/nsa-says-lost...

------
CREDITS:
Developed and Produced by Jason McClellan & Maureen Elsberry
Hosted by Maureen Elsberry and Alejandro Rojas
Edited by Michael Cline
Music by Caleb Hanks

Follow Jason on Twitter @acecentric
Follow Maureen on Twitter @maureenelsberry
Follow Alejandro on Twitter @astroatr
Like Spacing Out! on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/spacingout.tv

http://www.openminds.tv
http://www.openminds.tv/spacingout

UFO mystery as plane passenger films flying saucer shaped lights hovering next to aircraft

NewsHD | Sep 18, 2014


UFO mystery as plane passenger films flying saucer shaped lights hovering next to aircraft

The unnamed passenger filmed the hovering lights - which appear to be in a saucer-shaped formation - as his flight from Greece approached Cardiff, Wales

An aeroplane passenger claims to have captured genuine UFO evidence on camera.

The man was returning from a holiday in Greece when he spotted a series of strange lights hovering in a flying saucer-shaped formation next to his plane.

He spent several minutes filming the lights in the pitch black night sky, between 20 and 30 minutes before the plane landed in Cardiff, reports WalesOnline.

While the man is unable to conclude what it was he saw and filmed, he's certain it constitutes an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO).

The unnamed man, 29, said: "We were flying from Greece to Cardiff. It was on Tuesday night and happened about 20­ to 40 minutes before we arrived at 10pm.

"The lights could have been from a few miles away - it was pitch black outside, so it's hard to say what it was.

Trinity MirrorUFO
 Mystery: The hovering lights remained beside the plane for a few minutes

"It was quite weird. It was very bright, it was the brightest thing I've ever seen. I just realised how bright it was and said to my girlfriend 'look at that!'"

Considering the footage was captured so near to landing, it is thought the spectacle was spotted in UK airspace.

The man added: "I was staring at it for a while before I picked up my phone to film it, but it was there for about three or four minutes.

"I thought it maybe could have been lanterns, but they didn't go away, they kept flying until I couldn't see them anymore.

"I really have no idea what it could have been - it was just really, really bright.

"UFO is a really broad term. That's what it is, you know, an unidentified flying object."

Congress Votes To Fight ISIS By Funding ISIS To Fight Assad

Image source

On September 17, 2014, the United States House of Representatives voted to approve the White House plan to arm and train the alleged “moderate” Syrian rebels. The vote was 273-156 in favor of the $500 million plan. Of course, the bill in question was actually an amendment that was cynically attached to a bill designed to continue funding for the federal government in the short-term, ensuring maximum support from members of the House.

Then, on Thursday September 19, the U.S. Senate followed suit by approving the plan as well. The support for the plan in the Senate was, as expected, bipartisan with members such as Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, John McCain, John Boehner, and Lindsey Graham voting “Yes” on the bill.

The Obama administration reiterated that it was neither asking for permission nor for a new authorization to use military force. The White House asserts that it has all the authority it needs to achieve its goals under the authorizations to use military force that were approved after the 9/11 attacks and in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Essentially, as Obama stated in his address to the American people on September 10, the consultation of Congress was a mere formality. The plan to aid the “moderate rebels” fighting against Assad and engage in airstrikes against the secular government was going ahead regardless of the decision by Congress.

Much like the decision to invade Afghanistan and Iraq as well as passing the PATRIOT ACT, and other Constitution-shredding legislation, Congress was convinced to support the plan both because their handlers directed them to do so or because the risk of revealing themselves as completely irrelevant was too damaging to undertake.

Yet, while the amendment was sold to the American people and even members of Congress as Obama’s plan to “detect and degrade” ISIS, the reality is that the plan is nothing more than a plan to detect and destroy the Syrian government to benefit of ISIS and other fundamentalist groups that the United States has created, funded, trained, and directed since the very beginning of the Syrian crisis.

Even Congressman Justin Amash was able to recognize the fact that this new amendment was a clever disguise for a war on the secular government of Syria with no options off the table, including the use of ground troops.

In his own statement announcing his opposition to the amendment, Amash stated,
Today’s amendment ostensibly is aimed at destroying ISIS—yet you’d hardly know it from reading the amendment’s text. The world has witnessed with horror the evil of ISIS: the public beheading of innocents, the killing of Christians, Muslims, and others. 
The amendment’s focus—arming groups fighting the Assad government in Syria—has little to do with defeating ISIS. The mission that the amendment advances plainly isn’t the defeat of ISIS; it’s the defeat of Assad.
[...] 
The Obama administration has tried to rally support for U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war by implying that our help would be at arm’s length. The amendment Congress will vote on broadly authorizes “assistance” to groups in Syria. It does not specify what types of weapons our government will give the groups. It does not prohibit boots on the ground. (The amendment is silent on the president’s power to order our troops to fight in the civil war; it states only that Congress doesn’t provide “specific statutory authorization” for such escalation.) It does not state the financial cost of the war.
[...] 
If the Syrian groups that are “appropriately vetted” (the amendment’s language) succeed and oust Assad, what would result? Would the groups assemble a coalition government of anti-Assad fighters, and would that coalition include ISIS? What would happen to the Alawites and Christians who stood with Assad? To what extent would the U.S. government be obligated to occupy Syria to rebuild the government? If each of the groups went its own way, would Syria’s territory be broken apart, and if so, would ISIS control one of the resulting countries?
While Amash was correct to suggest that Congress should have opposed the amendment and that the amendment was actually a plan for an assault against the Syrian government as well as the fact that that anarchy, chaos, and unspeakable violence will reign supreme in Syria if the “appropriately vetted” groups managed to gain control of the country, Amash does miss part of the point.

The truth is not that “we don’t know much about the groups we are funding in Syria.” The truth is that “we” know full well that they are ISIS/Al-Qaeda terrorists, with only an occasional name change and branch off due to Western political motives or internal squabbling. That has been and still is the whole point.

There never were any moderates to support in Syria to begin with.

There Are No Moderate Syrian Rebels

As Tony Cartalucci wrote in his article, “In Syria, There Are No Moderates,”
. . . . . there were never, nor are there any "moderates" operating in Syria. The West has intentionally armed and funded Al Qaeda and other sectarian extremists since as early as 2007 in preparation for an engineered sectarian bloodbath serving US-Saudi-Israeli interests. This latest bid to portray the terrorists operating along and within Syria's borders as "divided" along extremists/moderate lines is a ploy to justify the continued flow of Western cash and arms into Syria to perpetuate the conflict, as well as create conditions along Syria's borders with which Western partners, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey, can justify direct military intervention.
Indeed, even the New York Times has been forced to admit that there are, as Cartalucci expertly argues in his article, no moderates in the ranks of the Syrian death squads. As Ben Hubbard wrote in April, 2013,
In Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, rebels aligned with Al Qaeda control the power plant, run the bakeries and head a court that applies Islamic law. Elsewhere, they have seized government oil fields, put employees back to work and now profit from the crude they produce. 
Across Syria, rebel-held areas are dotted with Islamic courts staffed by lawyers and clerics, and by fighting brigades led by extremists. Even the Supreme Military Council, the umbrella rebel organization whose formation the West had hoped would sideline radical groups, is stocked with commanders who want to infuse Islamic law into a future Syrian government. 
Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of. [emphasis added]
Even one of the FSA commanders, Bassel Idriss, recently admitted to openly collaborating with ISIS and al-Nusra, revealing yet another example of the fact that the “moderate rebels” are not moderate at all.

In an interview with the Daily Star of Lebanon, Idriss stated “We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in . . . Qalamoun . . . . Let’s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values.”

 Idriss also admitted that many FSA fighters had pledged allegiance to ISIS. He said, “[ISIS] wanted to enhance its presence in the Western Qalamoun area. After the fall of Yabroud and the FSA’s retreat into the hills [around Arsal], many units pledged allegiance [to ISIS]”.

Abu Fidaa, a retired Syrian Army Colonel who is now a part of the Revolutionary Council in the Qalamoun, corroborated Idrisss’ statements by saying that “A very large number of FSA members [in Arsal] have joined ISIS and Nusra. In the end, people want to eat, they want to live, and the Islamic State has everything.”

Not only the FSA, but also the Syrian Revolutionary Front has also openly admitted to working with Nusra and al-Qaeda. The leader of the SRF, Jamaal Maarouf admitted that his brigades coordinate with Nusra and al-Qaeda regularly.

ISIS Is Controlled By The U.S. And NATO

It is important to point out that the Islamic State is not some shadowy force that emerged from the caves of Afghanistan to form an effective military force that is funded by Twitter donations and murky secretive finance deals. IS is entirely the creation of NATO and the West and it remains in control of the organization.

As Tony Cartalucci writes in his article “Implausible Deniability: West’s ISIS Terror Hordes In Iraq,”

Beginning in 2011 - and actually even as early as 2007 - the United States has been arming, funding, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and a myriad of armed terrorist organizations to overthrow the government of Syria, fight Hezbollah in Lebanon, and undermine the power and influence of Iran, which of course includes any other government or group in the MENA region friendly toward Tehran.

Billions in cash have been funneled into the hands of terrorist groups including Al Nusra, Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and what is now being called "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria" or ISIS. One can see clearly by any map of ISIS held territory that it butts up directly against Turkey's borders with defined corridors ISIS uses to invade southward - this is because it is precisely from NATO territory this terrorist scourge originated.

ISIS was harbored on NATO territory, armed and funded by US CIA agents with cash and weapons brought in from the Saudis, Qataris, and NATO members themselves. The "non-lethal aid" the US and British sent including the vehicles we now see ISIS driving around in.

They didn't "take" this gear from "moderates." There were never any moderates to begin with. The deadly sectarian genocide we now see unfolding was long ago predicted by those in the Pentagon - current and former officials - interviewed in 2007 by Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh. Hersh's 9-page 2007 report, "The Redirection" states explicitly:
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
"Extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam" and are "sympathetic to Al Qaeda" - is a verbatim definition of what ISIS is today. Clearly the words of Hersh were as prophetic as they were factually informed, grounded in the reality of a regional conflict already engineered and taking shape as early as 2007. Hersh's report would also forewarn the sectarian nature of the coming conflict, and in particular mention the region's Christians who were admittedly being protected by Hezbollah.
While Hersh’s report was written in 2007, knowledge of the plan to use death squads to target Middle Eastern countries, particularly Syria, had been reported on even as far back as 2005 by Michael Hirsh and John Barry for Newsweek in an article entitled “The Salvador Option.”

Regardless, Cartalucci states in a separate article, “NATO’s Terror Hordes In Iraq A Pretext For Syria Invasion,”
In actuality, ISIS is the product of a joint NATO-GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] conspiracy stretching back as far as 2007 where US-Saudi policymakers sought to ignite a region-wide sectarian war to purge the Middle East of Iran's arch of influence stretching from its borders, across Syria and Iraq, and as far west as Lebanon and the coast of the Mediterranean. ISIS has been harbored, trained, armed, and extensively funded by a coalition of NATO and Persian Gulf states within Turkey's (NATO territory) borders and has launched invasions into northern Syria with, at times, both Turkish artillery and air cover. The most recent example of this was the cross-border invasion by Al Qaeda into Kasab village, Latikia province in northwest Syria.
Cartalucci is referring to a cross-border invasion that was coordinated with NATO, Turkey, Israel, and the death squads where Israel acted as air force cover while Turkey facilitated the death squad invasion from inside its own borders.

Keep in mind also that, prior to the rapid appearance and seizure of territory by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, European media outlets like Der Spiegel reported that hundreds of fighters were being trained in Jordan by Western intelligence and military personnel for the purpose of deployment in Syria to fight against Assad. The numbers were said to be expected to reach about 10,000 fighters when the reports were issued in March, 2013. Although Western and European media outlets would try to spin the operation as the training of “moderate rebels,” subsequent reports revealed that these fighters were actually ISIS fighters.

Western media outlets have also gone to great lengths to spin the fact that ISIS is operating in both Syria and Iraq with an alarming number of American weapons and equipment. As Business Insider stated, “The report [study by the London-based small arms research organization Conflict Armament Research] said the jihadists disposed of ‘significant quantities’ of US-made small arms including M16 assault rifles and included photos showing the markings ‘Property of US Govt.’” The article also acknowledged that a large number of the weapons used by ISIS were provided by Saudi Arabia, a close American ally.

ISIS Attack On Taqba Airbase – The Precursor To A NATO Attack On Syria

Keeping in mind that ISIS is controlled and directed by NATO and Western intelligence, the fact that the death squads have recently focused on the Taqba Airbase in Raqqa province is significant. Particularly when viewed in context of the recent “debate” taking place in front of the American public by the Obama administration on whether or not to engage in targeted airstrikes inside Syria.

For those who may not see the pattern – while the United States and NATO deliberated engaging in targeted airstrikes in Syria and the Syrian government subsequently states its opposition to those attacks and its intentions to shoot down the planes delivering those strikes if they do not coordinate with the Syrian government, death squads have effectively eliminated the air defense capability of the Syrian government in the east of the country.

After all, the Pentagon even stated that one of the biggest threats to an airstrike operation in Syria is the Syrian government’s air defenses. Thanks to ISIS, those air defenses no longer exist in the east of Syria.

This was the end game of the ISIS battle to take over Taqba from the start – eliminate air defenses so that the NATO powers can launch airstrikes against the Syrian military and thus freeing up a launching pad for the terrorists to conduct attacks even deeper into Syria.

Even as the U.S. House was debating whether or not to pass token legislation to passively allow the Obama administration to perpetrate yet another foreign war against a sovereign nation that poses no threat to the United States, rabid warmonger John McCain was grilling Secretary of State John Kerry in what amounted to nothing more than some mildly entertaining D.C. theatre.

McCain grilled Kerry on the reason why the United States is not engaging in airstrikes against Assad’s air defenses as well as a full-scale ground invasion. Attempting to somehow paint Assad as worse than ISIS, McCain stated,
I think at least we owe the Free Syrian Army, negate the air attacks that they will be subjected to when they finish their training and equipping, and go into the fight. So why is it that we won’t at least news release Bashar al Assad’s air activity which has slaughtered thousands and thousands and thousands, 192,000 dead, 3 million refugees, and we’re not going to do anything about Assad’s air capabilities? And finally, ISIL first, that’s what you’re telling these young men who really view Assad as the one who has slaughtered their family members. Not ISIL. As bad as ISIL is.
McCain’s position is not surprising considering the fact that he apparently has a close relationship with al-Qaeda, ISIS, and its affiliates. After all, it was McCain who was photographed in a meeting with Salem Idriss, the leader of the Free Syrian Army and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and ISIS.

source
Remember also that McCain was photographed cavorting around with Abu Bakr, the “moderate rebel” who was seen cutting out a Syrian soldier’s heart and eating it for the camera.

source


source


ISIS IS Al-Qaeda

It is important to remember that the so-called leader of ISIS is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. As Voltaire Net describes Baghdadi,

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an Iraqi who joined Al-Qaeda to fight against President Saddam Hussein. During the U.S. invasion, he distinguished himself by engaging in several actions against Shiites and Christians (including the taking of the Baghdad Cathedral) and by ushering in an Islamist reign of terror (he presided over an Islamic court which sentenced many Iraqis to be slaughtered in public). After the departure of Paul Bremer III, al-Baghdadi was arrested and incarcerated at Camp Bucca from 2005 to 2009. This period saw the dissolution of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, whose fighters merged into a group of tribal resistance, the Islamic Emirate of Iraq
On 16 May 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named emir of the IEI, which was in the process of disintegration. After the departure of U.S. troops, he staged operations against the government al-Maliki, accused of being at the service of Iran. In 2013, after vowing allegiance to Al-Qaeda, he took off with his group to continue the jihad in Syria, rebaptizing it Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant. In doing so, he challenged the privileges that Ayman al-Zawahiri had previously granted, on behalf of Al-Qaeda, to the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, which was originally nothing more than an extension of the ISI.
Regardless, false assumptions surrounding the true leadership of ISIS would be called into question in January of 2014 when Al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned and operated news agency, published an article as well as a video of an interrogation of an ISIS fighter who had been captured while operating inside Syria.

When asked why ISIS was following the movement of the Free Syrian Army and who had given him the orders to do so, the fighter stated that he did not know why he was ordered to monitor the FSA’s movement but that the orders had come from Abu Faisal, also known as Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal of the Saudi Royal Family.

An excerpt from the relevant section of the interrogation reads as follows:
Interrogator: Why do you (ISIS) monitor the movement of the Free Syrian Army? 
ISIS Detainee: I don’t know exactly why but we received orders from ISIS command. 
Interrogator: Who among ISIS gave the orders? 
ISIS Detainee: Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal, who is also known as Abu Faisal.
Such revelations, of course, will only be shocking news to those who have been unaware of the levels to which the Saudis have been involved with the funding, training, and directing of death squad forces deployed in Syria. Indeed, the Saudis have even openly admitted to the Russian government that they do, in fact, a number of varied terrorist organizations across the world.

Even tired mainstream media organizations such as Newsweek (aka The Daily Beast) can no longer ignore the facts surrounding the Saudis’ involvement with the organization of terrorist groups across the world.

Note also that Voltaire Net describes al-Nusra, a documented al-Qaeda connected group, as merely an extension of the IEI (Islamic Emirate of Iraq) which itself was nothing more than a version of Al-Qaeda In Iraq. Thus, from Al-Qaeda in Iraq, came the IEI, which then became the Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant. IEIL then became ISIS/ISIL which is now often referred to as IS.

In other words, Nusra=Al-Qaeda-IEI=IEIL=ISIL=ISIS=IS.

With the information presented above regarding the nature of the Free Syrian Army and the so-called “moderate rebels,” it would be entirely fair to add these “moderate” groups to the list as well.

Although too lengthy of a study to be presented in this article, it is important to point out that al-Qaeda is entirely a creation of the West, created for the purpose of drawing the Soviets into Afghanistan in the 1970s and a host of other geopolitical goals in the middle east and around the world, 9/11 being the most memorable instance of Western intelligence al-Qaeda mobilization.[1]

While the White House’s recent “plan” to “detect and degrade” ISIS is simply more of the same rhetoric covering the fact that NATO has been funding, arming, training, and directing ISIS and related organizations for the purpose of overthrowing Assad.

Notes:

[1] Tarpley, Webster Griffin. 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made In USA. 5th Edition. Progressive Press. 2011.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius -- The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 300 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville's podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Bystander Effect - How Would You React?

ANONYMOUS | Sep 19, 2014

Bystander n. A person who is present at an event without participating in it.

Anti-Assad Extremists and Obama Plan Coordinated Attacks on Syria


Veterans Today | Sep 18, 2014 | Stephen Lendman

Wendy Sherman is Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. On September 16, she spoke at Georgetown University.

She claimed Washington “cares about the Middle East because of (its) economic, political, and security interests…”

“Its rich spiritual and ethnic traditions…” It’s Israel’s home and America’s Gulf partners.

It’s “where values we cherish are under intense strain.” Washington “is alarmed and moved to act by the upheaval” roiling the region.

America “must show the way.”

Fact check

America covets Middle East oil. It wants unchallenged regional control.

It wants independent governments toppled. It wants pro-Western vassal states replacing them.

It wants Israeli rivals removed. It wants democracy avoided at all costs.

America’s cherished values include wealth, power and privilege alone. It doesn’t give a damn about “rich spiritual and ethnic traditions.” It never did. For sure not now.

Sherman regurgitated Big Lies Obama repeated one after another in his September 10 address.

Great powers honor their commitments and principles, she said. We’ll “move forward…to end conflicts,” she claimed.

We’ll “improve governance; increase economic opportunities; highlight the value of education; and enhance respect for democratic institutions, including freedom of the press, religious liberty, human rights, and the rule of law.”

“America’s policy is to assist those who believe, as we do, that people of different nationalities, ethnicities and creeds can live alongside one another constructively and in peace.”

Longstanding US regional and global policies are polar opposite Sherman’s Big Lies.

She repeated one after another. She sounds like her boss (John Kerry), Obama, and other top administration officials.

Permanent war is official US policy. Escalating it is planned. ISIS “fighting has just begun,” it says.

It’s gaining new recruits at a remarkable clip. They’re US shock troops against Assad.

Its proxy army. Its dagger against legitimate Syrian governance. Its regime change plan.

TheNational is an Abu Dhabi, UAE English languish daily broadsheet.

On September 17, it headlined “Rebels on Syria’s southern front ‘closer to the doorstep of Damascus,’ ” saying:

“Western and Arab military advisers based in Amman have quietly stepped up their role on Syria’s southern front, helping win recent advances for opposition factions.”

“After weeks of heavy fighting, rebel groups announced the seizure of 80 per cent of Qunietra province on Saturday, including areas along the border with Israel.”

Doing so can aid southern-based ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Al Qaeda and likeminded groups advance north to Damascus.

They could establish reliable supply routes. They’ll be able to aid other opposition groups on Damascus’ Southern and Western fronts.

Seizing Damascus is key to toppling Assad. Opposition commanders say increased Southern Syria international support they’re getting is crucial in aiding their latest advances.

According to one unnamed anti-Assad commander:

“Efforts to bring us together on the southern front have been inconsistent but all countries are moving in that direction.”

“They now want us united and those efforts have been reflected on the outcome of recent battles, including the latest in Qunietra.”

“We are now more organized and this is reflected in our work and the implementation of our plans.”

“There is a centralized command, which is giving better results. Things are more under control.”

Changes unfolded gradually since June. They’re coincidental with increasing ISIS, Jabhat al Nusra and Al Qaeda strength.

According to another opposition commander:

“There is increased cooperation (among) countries supporting Syria, and increased cooperation among rebel factions.”

“There are also promises of quality weapons, and of increased amounts or weaponry, although we have not seen deliveries yet.”

Opposition groups believe things in southern areas are shifting their way.

According to Deraa-based anti-Assad commander Col. Nijem Abu Al Majd:

“We see this as a turning point in our operations in the south. We have control over most of the key areas and have destroyed two important regime army brigades.”

So-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) “moderates” called rebel progress a “strategic victory.”

They’re “closer to the doorsteps of Damascus,” they say.

Former Syrian Air Force Brig. General Assad Al Zaubi called captured Qunietra one of the most important victories since conflict began in the south.

“It helps the rebels in southern Syria create a direct line to the south-western countryside of Damascus,” he said.

“They now have made at least a partial connection to the outskirts of Damascus.”

They “now have more room for maneuver in southern Syria, while the regime’s presence and mobility has been seriously diminished,” he claims.

Moon of Alabama (MoA) reported the above information. It did so two days earlier.

It explained what should be widely reported. Jabhat al-Nusra and other anti-Syrian forces are trained and equipped at the Amman-based Arab/American Military Operations Command (MOC) center.

US special forces and CIA operatives are heavily involved. So is Israel in supporting extremist anti-Assad rebel groups.

Opposition groups moved into Quneitra governate. It’s in Southwest Syria. A partially executed spring 2013 plan began. It was later aborted.

“Quneitra governate is a strip next to the Israel occupied Golan heights with a southern border to Jordan and a north western border with Lebanon,” said MoA.

Anti-government forces cooperated against Assad. Seven rebel groups comprising the Islamic Front aided them.

Washington backed them. So did Saudi Arabia. Qatar supplied $20 million.

Combined forces infiltrated through Daara. They moved northwest along Israel’s border. The IDF supplied artillery support against Syrian units.

It’s providing medical treatment for injured opposition fighters. UN authorities evacuated peacekeepers from “the Syrian side of the Golan Heights demarcation line,” said MoA.

Rebels control the one Israeli/Syrian border crossing. They “control a 40 miles long, three miles wide strip…”

It runs “from Jordan along the Golan frontier up to Lebanon.” It may be used to launch attacks on Damascus from the south. It’s a short 40 miles away.

Syria won’t easily contest these anti-government forces. Israeli “anti-air and artillery fire” support them.

Obama intends bombing Syria. Doing so could open a route from Quneitra governate to Damascus. According to MoA:

“Recent truce agreements between the US supported Syrian Revolutionary Front and ISIS in the area south of Damascus may have been concluded with these attack plans in mind.”

Combined air and ground attacks could “seriously degrade” Syrian forces. Doing so could facilitate a “destructive push into Damascus.”

If Assad’s forces attack US warplanes entering Syrian airspace, it’ll be pretext for Obama to wage all-out war.

He’ll claim just cause to do it. He’ll get away with it because who’ll stop him.

He’ll ravage and destroy Syria more than already. He’ll go all-out to oust Assad. Israel partners with Washington to do it.

It attacked Syria sporadically for years. It’s doing it again now. It actively aids opposition fighters.

It protects them from Syrian government attacks. Its forces need to counterattack in Quneitra.

If southern approaches to Damascus aren’t secured, Israeli-protected opposition forces could advance toward Damascus.

Perhaps seize part of the city. Use it to launch more aggressive attacks.

Seizing surrounding areas would be catastrophic. Losing Damascus would be worst of all.

It would be game changing. It could turn Syrian victory into defeat. It could end up ousting Assad.

It would mean replacing him with pro-Western stooge governance. It would eliminate another Israeli rival.

It would isolate Iran. It would be disastrous for ordinary Syrians.

It would give America another regional colony. It would advance it closer to total Middle East control.

Hopefully it won’t happen. It’s vital to prevent it. The fullness of time alone will tell either way.

A Final Comment

On Wednesday, House Republicans and Democrats voted 273 – 156 to support anti-Assad groups. They did so without approving funding.

They authorized Obama to arm and train rebel fighters. To accept foreign financing. To wage war on Syria short of full authorization of force.

According to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D. CA):

Legislation enacted “is not to be confused with any authorization to go further. I will not vote for (US) combat troops to be engaged in war.”

She stopped short of expressing support for Obama’s planned bombing campaign. Failure to oppose it means backing what demands preventing.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D. CA) expressed thoughts few House or Senate members explain.

She called enacted legislation “more complex than just an up-or down vote on arming and training” anti-Assad forces.

“The consequences of this vote, whether it’s written in the amendment or not, will be a further expansion of a war currently taking place and” Washington’s involvement in it.

Congress moved one step closer toward approving Washington’s direct involvement in Obama’s three-and-a-half year proxy war.

They did it despite bipartisan misgivings about chances for success. They’re concerned about another war dragging on for years.

About one with no clear strategy to win. Or what happens when conflict ends. In a statement after the House vote, Obama said:

“There will be no US military personnel in Syria as part of this program.”

“We’ve learned over the last decade, and through our successful campaign to degrade al-Qaeda, that it is more effective to use America’s unique capabilities to take out terrorist targets in support of our partners’ efforts on the ground to secure their own future.”

Amendment legislation was part of a short-term spending bill. It lets Washington operate through mid-December.

On Thursday, Senate members are expected to approve similar legislation.

Obama declared war on Syria. The Islamic State is the pretext. Syria is the target. Regime change is the objective.

It’s replacing governance the vast majority of Syrians support. It’s replacing it with what they deplore.

What they won’t tolerate. What they’ll contest to control their own lives, welfare and futures.

They’re up for grabs. Obama’s war on humanity threatens them. They’re in the eye of the storm.

Their survival depends on confronting Obama’s aggression. Stopping it matters most of all.



About the Author: Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He writes for MoneyNewsNow.com and VeteransToday.com.

He is also author of the celebrated books “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity” and “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War“.
Lendman also hosts his own blog at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

He is host of a progressive radio show with cutting-edge discussions and distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

What Israel Has Done Since “Ceasefire” with Gaza

© Dees Illustrations

The following is by Omar Robert Hamilton, from the London Review of Books:

On 26 August a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was agreed, bringing a fragile end to a war that killed 2150 Palestinians (mostly civilians) and 73 Israelis (mostly soldiers). Since then Hamas has not fired a single rocket, attacked an Israeli target, or done anything to break the terms of the ceasefire. Israel has done the following:

1. Annexed another 1500 acres of West Bank land
2. Seized $56 million of PA tax revenue
3. Not lifted the illegal blockade (as required by the ceasefire)
4. Broken the ceasefire by firing at fishermen on four separate occasions
5. Detained six fishermen
6. Killed a 22-year-old, Issa al Qatari, a week before his wedding
7. Killed 16-year-old Mohammed Sinokrot with a rubber bullet to the head
8. Tortured a prisoner to the point of hospitalisation
9. Refused 13 members of the European Parliament entry into Gaza
10. Detained at least 127 people across the West Bank, including a seven-year-old boy in Hebron and two children, aged seven and eight, taken from the courtyard of their house in Silwad – and tear-gassed their mother
11. Continued to hold 33 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in prison
12. Continued to hold 500 prisoners in administrative detention without charge or trial
13. Destroyed Bedouin homes in Khan al Ahmar, near Jerusalem, leaving 14 people homeless, and unveiled a plan to forcibly move thousands of Bedouin away from Jerusalem into two purpose-built townships
14. Destroyed a dairy factory in Hebron whose profits supported an orphanage
15. Destroyed a family home in Silwan, making five children homeless
16. Destroyed a house in Jerusalem where aid supplies en route to Gaza were being stored
17. Destroyed a well near Hebron
18. Set fire to an olive grove near Hebron
19. Raided a health centre and a nursery school in Nablus, causing extensive damage
20. Destroyed a swathe of farmland in Rafah by driving tanks over it
21. Ordered the dismantling of a small monument in Jerusalem to Mohamed Abu Khdeir, murdered in July by an Israeli lynch mob
22. Continued building a vast tunnel network under Jerusalem
23. Stormed the al Aqsa mosque compound with a group of far right settlers
24. Assisted hundreds of settlers in storming Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus
25. Prevented students from entering al Quds University, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets at those who tried to go in
26. Earned unknown millions on reconstruction materials for Gaza, where 100,000 people need their destroyed homes rebuilt. The total bill is estimated at $7.8 billion

Nowhere To Hide As Minority Report-Style Facial Recognition Technology Spreads Across America


What is our society going to look like when our faces are being tracked literally everywhere that we go?  As part of the FBI's new Next Generation Identification System, a facial recognition database known as the Interstate Photo System will have collected 52 million of our faces by the end of 2015.  But that is only a small part of the story.  According to Edward Snowden, the NSA has been using advanced facial recognition technology for years.  In addition, as you will see below, advertising companies are starting to use Minority Report-style face scanners in their billboards and many large corporations see facial recognition technology as a tool that they can use to serve their customers better.  Someday soon it may become virtually impossible to go out in public in a major U.S. city without having your face recorded.  Is that the kind of society that we want?

To the FBI, this technology does not represent an invasion of privacy.  Rather, they are very proud of the fact that they are not going to be so dependent on fingerprinting any longer.  The FBI has been developing the Next Generation Identification System for years, and this month it was announced that it is finally fully operational...
The federal government's Next Generation Identification System — a biometric database that relies largely on facial-recognition technology — is now fully operational, the FBI announced Monday.

"This effort is a significant step forward for the criminal justice community in utilizing biometrics as an investigative enabler," the FBI said in a statement.

The latest advance in the technology gives users the ability to receive "ongoing status notifications" about individuals' criminal histories, the FBI said. That means if, for instance, a teacher commits an offense, law enforcement can be immediately informed — and then pass that information on to administrators.

It's to monitor criminal histories of those "in positions of trust," the FBI said.
As part of this new system, every American will eventually be assigned a "Universal Control Number".

Does that sound creepy to you?

Even mainstream news reports are admitting that it sounds like something out of a science fiction movie...
It aims to eventually replace fingerprinting with a complex array of biometrics, assigning everyone with a “Universal Control Number”, in what sounds like a plotline from a sci-fi movie.
And it won't just be the FBI using this database.

According to Fox News, more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies will have access to this information...
More than 18,000 law enforcement agencies and other authorized criminal justice partners across the country will have access to the system 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
So if your face is scanned somewhere or you do something noteworthy that is registered by the system, virtually every law enforcement agency in the country will instantly know about it.

Pretty scary stuff, eh?

But the FBI is actually lagging far behind the NSA.

According to Edward Snowden, the NSA has been using "sophisticated facial recognition programs" for many years...
The National Security Agency is harvesting huge numbers of images of people from communications that it intercepts through its global surveillance operations for use in sophisticated facial recognition programs, according to top-secret documents.

The spy agency’s reliance on facial recognition technology has grown significantly over the last four years as the agency has turned to new software to exploit the flood of images included in emails, text messages, social media, videoconferences and other communications, the N.S.A. documents reveal. Agency officials believe that technological advances could revolutionize the way that the N.S.A. finds intelligence targets around the world, the documents show.
Do you remember that stuff you saw in the Jason Bourne movies about how the NSA can track people?

Well, most of that stuff is real.

If you don't like it, that is just too bad.  At this point not even Congress has much control over what the NSA does.

And there are police departments around the nation that are also way ahead of the FBI.

For example, just check out what has been going on in southern California...
In a single second, law enforcement agents can match a suspect against millions upon millions of profiles in vast detailed databases stored on the cloud. It’s all done using facial recognition, and in Southern California it’s already occurring.

Imagine the police taking a picture: any picture of a person, anywhere, and matching it on the spot in less than a second to a personalized profile, scanning millions upon millions of entries from within vast, intricate databases stored on the cloud.

It’s done with state of the art facial recognition technology, and in Southern California it’s already happening.

At least one law enforcement agency in San Diego is currently using software developed by FaceFirst, a division of nearby Camarillo, California’s Airborne Biometrics Group. It can positively identify anyone, as long as physical data about a person’s facial features is stored somewhere the police can access. Though that pool of potential matches could include millions, the company says that by using the “best available facial recognition algorithms” they can scour that data set in a fraction of a second in order to send authorities all known intelligence about anyone who enters a camera’s field of vision.
Widespread use of facial recognition technology by our law enforcement authorities is becoming a way of life.

If the American people don't like this, they need to stand up and say something.

But instead, in an era of widespread Internet hacking and identity theft, many Americans are actually clamoring for the implementation of more biometric identification.

For instance, the following is a brief excerpt from a Fox News article entitled "Biometric security can’t come soon enough for some people"…
In a world where nearly every ATM now uses an operating system without any technical support, where a bug can force every user of the Internet to change the password to every account they’ve ever owned overnight, where cyber-attacks and identity theft grow more menacing every day, the ability to use your voice, your finger, your face or some combination of the three to log into your e-mail, your social media feed or your checking account allows you to ensure it’s very difficult for someone else to pretend they’re you.
As financial institutions adopt this kind of technology, a day may come when virtually all of us are required to have our faces scanned at the checkout counter.

That may sound crazy to you, but according to the Daily Mail a company in Finland has already launched this technology…
Bank cards are already being replaced by phones and wristbands that have payment technology built-in but the latest threat to the lowly plastic in your pocket could be your face.
A Finnish startup called Uniqul has launched what it calls the first ever payment platform based on facial recognition.
The system doesn’t require a wallet, bank card or phone – instead a camera is positioned at the checkout and takes a photo of a shopper’s face when they are ready to pay.

It then scans a database for the face and matches it to stored payment details in order to complete the transaction.
And advertisers are even more eager to adopt facial recognition technology.  In fact, the kind of face scanning billboards that we saw in "Minority Report" are already a reality.  For example, a company called Amscreen says that it already has more than 6,000 face scanning digital screens that are being viewed by approximately 50 million people each week...
Advertising network Amscreen recently launched a unique face-detection technology, originally developed by automated audience measurement firm Quividi.

Cameras have been installed in Amscreen’s digital advertising displays that can scan a person’s face and determine their gender, age, date, time and volume of the viewers.

This is so adverts are served to the most appropriate audience.

Amscreen already has over 6,000 digital screens seen by a weekly audience of over 50 million people.
Even dating websites are starting to use facial recognition technology at this point.

Just check out what Match.com has been doing...
Popular dating site Match.com will use photos of users’ exes to determine which type of look they’re attracted to in order to find them a dating match.

The dating site has partnered with Three Day Rule, a Los Angeles-based matchmaking service, which has dating experts that act as personal dating concierges who hand-select and personally meet every potential match before making a formal introduction to clients, Mashable reports.
Members of Match.com will be able to upgrade to Three Day Rule’s premium service which will ask users to send pictures of exes to determine the type of look they’re attracted to. Three Day Rule will then use facial-recognition technology in an effort to help users find dates.
Our world is changing at a faster pace than ever before.

Powerful new technologies are literally being introduced every single day now, and the future is probably going to look far different than any of us are imagining.

But with all of this new technology, will we end up losing what little personal privacy that we have left?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The US-EU-Russia sanctions puzzle

AFP Photo/DOMINIQUE FAGET
RT | Sep 17, 2014 | Pepe Escobar

Whatever Russia does, doubt does not even enter the equation. The answer is sanctions. So here we go again. The US Treasury-EU latest sanction package targets Russian banking, the energy industry and the defense industry.

The sanctions are mean. The sanctions are nasty. And there’s no euphemism to describe them; they amount to a declaration of economic war.

Sberbank, Russia’s largest won’t be able to access Western capital for long-term funding, including every kind of borrowing over 30 days. And the current 90-day lending bans affecting six other large Russian banks – a previous sanctions package - will also be reduced to 30 days.

On the energy front, what the US-EU want is to shut down new Russian exploration projects in Siberia and the Arctic, barring Western Big Oil from selling equipment and technology to offshore, deepwater or shale gas projects.

This means Exxon and Shell, for instance, are frozen in their operations with five top Russian oil/gas/pipeline companies: Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz, and Rosneft.

No one ever lost money betting on the stupidity of the usual, unknown “senior US officials” – who are now spinning the latest sanction package is to force Moscow to “respect international law and state sovereignty.” A cursory examination of the historical record allows this paragraph to be accompanied by roaring laughter.

And then there’s the US Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David Cohen, who insists the package will further “isolate” Russia from the global financial system.

Members of the European Parliament stand to
applaud during a voting session on the
EU-Ukraine Association agreement at
the European Parliament in Strasbourg,
September 16, 2014.
(Reuters/Vincent Kessler)
The package was also described by Western corporate media as capable of “unnerving already jittery financial markets.” Well, they were not exactly “unnerved.” In Russia, the stocks of companies on the sanctions list went up. In the US, energy stocks went down. Short translation; the “unnerved” markets interpreted the latest package as yet another own goal by Washington and Brussels.

Splitting up Eurasia

As for Russia’s “isolation”, companies are barred from, in Washington-Wall Street newspeak, “important dollar-denominated funding sources.” Or, euphemistically, “Western capital.” This means the US dollar and the euro. Anyone following superimposed moves towards a multipolar world knows Russia does not need more US dollars and euro.

Moscow might use both to cross-purchase goods and services in the US and the EU. Yet these goods and services may be bought elsewhere around the world. For that, you don’t need “Western capital” – as Moscow is fast advancing the use of national currencies with other trade partners. The Atlanticist gang assumes Moscow needs goods and services from the US and the EU much more than the other way around. That’s a fallacy.

Russia can sell its abundant energy resources in any currency apart from US dollars and euro. Russia can buy all the clothing it needs from Asia and South America. On the electronics and high-tech front, most of it is made in China anyway.

Crucially, on the energy front, it would be no less than thrilling to watch the EU – which still does not even have a common energy policy - trying to come up with alternative suppliers. Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Qatar, for a number of complex reasons – ranging from insufficient gas to be committed, to an absence of pipelines – are out of the picture.

The Obama administration, for its part, simply won’t allow the EU to start importing energy from Iran like, virtually, tomorrow. Even with a now quite wobbly nuclear deal reached before the end of 2014 - presumably opening the way to an end to sanctions.

The “irrational” markets see what’s really goin’ on; they are not “irrational” but moved by profit derived from realpolitik.

And all this while Moscow has not even counterpunched. And that could be quite lethal – targeting EU exporters to Russia and even energy supplies from Russia. Then the EU will retaliate. And Russia will counter-counterpunch. That’s exactly what Washington wants: a trade/economic war ravaging and splitting up Eurasia.

About that $20 trillion… 
 
United States President Barack Obama
(Reuters/Gary Cameron)
On the political front, Ukraine and EU had initially agreed to “postpone the EU Association Agreement until the end of 2016.” You can’t make this stuff up; that’s exactly what Yanukovich did last November, as he knew Kiev could not allow itself to lose most of its certified trading with Russia in favor of a vague “free trade” with the EU. This agreement to “postpone” the agreement was in fact overseen by astonishing mediocrity and outgoing European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Barroso.

But then the European Parliament, during a plenary session in Strasbourg, hurried up to ratify Ukraine’s Association Agreement as President Petro Poroshenko simultaneously submitted it to the Ukrainian Parliament. This does not mean the agreement goes immediately into effect. Economic “integration” with the EU – a euphemism for a one-way invasion of Ukraine by EU products - will start only in January 2016. And there’s no way a crisis-hit EU will incorporate Ukraine anytime soon – or ever.

On Thursday, Poroshenko meets his master, US President Barack Obama, and addresses a joint session of the US Congress. Expect “evil empire” rhetoric to reach interstellar levels.

But it’s on Saturday in Berlin that the real thing starts unfolding; energy negotiations between Russia, the EU and Ukraine. Needless to say, Moscow holds all the key cards.

Washington’s humongous debt is reaching almost $20 trillion – and counting. With a monster crisis approaching like a tsunami from hell, no wonder Washington had to resort to the perfect diversionary tactic; the return of the “evil empire.” It’s the Marvel Comics school of politics all over again.

Russia has a huge surplus of foreign capital - and is able to weather the storm. Germany – the EU’s top economy – on the other hand, is already suffering. Growth is already at a negative 0.2%. This is the way the hysterical sanction wind is blowing – further derailing EU economies. And no one is betting the EU will have the balls to stand up to Washington. Not in vassal-infested Brussels.