Reuters photographer says reborn after freed by U.S. – REUTERS

10:46 AM EST – 2/10/10

image
By Suadad al-Salhy

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The U.S. military freed a Reuters photographer in Iraq on Wednesday, almost a year and a half after snatching him from his home in the middle of the night and placing him in military detention without charge.

The U.S. military has never said exactly why it detained Ibrahim Jassam Mohammed — who worked for Reuters as a freelance TV cameraman and photographer — and locked him away for so long, saying the evidence against him was classified.

“How can I describe my feelings? This is like being born again,” Jassam told Reuters by telephone as he was greeted emotionally by his family.

U.S. and Iraqi forces smashed in the doors of Jassam’s house in Mahmudiya town, south of Baghdad, in September 2008 and whisked him away, first to Camp Bucca, a desert prison on the Iraq-Kuwait border, then the smaller Camp Cropper detention center near Baghdad airport.

Jassam is one of several Iraqi journalists working for foreign news organizations who have been detained by the U.S. military, often for months at a time, since the 2003 U.S. invasion. None has ever been charged, triggering criticism from international journalism rights groups.

“I am very pleased his long incarceration without charge is finally over,” Reuters editor-in-chief David Schlesinger said.

“I wish the process to release a man who had no specific accusations against him had been swifter.”

In Mahmudiya, friends and relatives crowded into Jassam’s small family home, greeting him with hugs, tears and sweets.

“I still cannot believe my son is next to me,” said his mother, Fadhila Alwan. “Thanks be to God. I cannot speak. I will keep him in my arms for days but I will not be able to get enough of him.”

‘SECURITY THREAT’

The U.S. military has asserted that Jassam was a “security threat” because of “activities with insurgents,” it said last year, without giving details.

The term “insurgents” generally refers to Sunni Islamist groups. Jassam is a Shi’ite Muslim.

The military said on Wednesday he was freed under a security pact, effective last year, which required the United States to hand over its thousands of Iraqi detainees to Iraqi authorities.

“As such, detainees that are approved for release by the government of Iraq will be released according to their threat level. It was his time to be released,” the U.S. military said.

The U.S. military still has almost 6,000 detainees who must be handed to Iraqi authorities. If they face Iraqi criminal charges they will be tried, if not they will be freed.

The Iraqi Central Criminal Court ruled in 2008 that there was no case against Jassam.

A month before arresting him, U.S. forces detained Reuters cameraman Ali Mashhadani and held him for three weeks without charge, the third time he had been detained.

“This is happy news but at the same time sad news,” said Ziad al-Ajili, head of The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, and Iraqi press lobby group. “Who is going to compensate Ibrahim for the 17 months he spent in prison innocent of all the accusations the American army made against him?”

(Additional reporting by Aseel Kami; Writing by Jack Kimball and Michael Christie; editing by Tim Pearce)

Full Article

Obama Administration Approves Killing Americans Abroad

by Noel Brinkerhoff
http://www.allgov.com/Top_Stories/ViewNews/Obama_Administration_Approves_Killing_Americans_Abroad_100205
Friday, February 05, 2010
Being a U.S. citizen will not spare an American from getting assassinated by military or intelligence operatives overseas if the individual is working with terrorists and planning to attack fellow Americans. This policy was acknowledged by Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair while testifying on Wednesday before the House Intelligence Committee.   Blair tried to reassure lawmakers that the government would be careful before making the decision to kill Americans. “I just don’t want Americans who are watching this to think that we are careless about endangering—in fact, we’re not careless about endangering American lives as we try to carry out the policies to protect most of the country,” Blair said   One of the Americans most likely to be targeted is U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi, now living in Yemen. Born in New Mexico, al-Aulaki earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering at Colorado State University and an M.A. in Education Leadership at San Diego State University. He has has been linked to the Fort Hood shooter, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, and to Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian accused of attempting to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane on Christmas Day.   Apparently the U.S. did try to kill al-Aulaki in an air strike in Yemen the day before Abdulmutallab’s attempted plane bombing, but it would appear that he is still alive. -Noel Brinkerhoff   Intelligence Chief Acknowledges U.S. May Target Americans Involved in Terrorism (by Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post) US May Kill American Extremists Abroad (Agence France-Presse) Imam Says Fort Hood Killer Asked about Killing GIs a Year Ago.

Google Attacks China as Washington-Beijing Hostility Deepens – Webster G. Tarpley www.tarpley.net

Webster G. Tarpley
www.tarpley.net
January 18, 2010

Washington, January 18, 2010 — In an interview with Dina Gusovsky of Russia Today, Webster Tarpley pointed out that the escalating clash between Google and the People’s Republic of China comes in the context of rapidly deteriorating relations between the two countries on a broad front. Google is part of a cartel of Internet companies which notoriously works closely with the US intelligence community for political purposes, including the subversion and overthrow of foreign governments. We need only recall the central role of Twitter in the CIA’s attempted coup d’état in Iran last summer. Political manipulation by means of the Internet is an indispensable part of the CIA’s recipe for color revolutions, velvet revolutions, people power coups, and postmodern coups. When the Internet is introduced into previously authoritarian countries, it is often possible to dupe, manipulate, and stampede large numbers of enthusiastic young people who are not politically sophisticated. The results are often disastrous. In Georgia, a color revolution installed into power the madman Sakaashvili, who has already started one war. Yushenko, the beneficiary of the Orange Revolution of 2004, has just been massively repudiated by voters after a catastrophic presidency. The hangover of disillusionment surrounding Obama is related to the fact that he took power in something of the same way. The Chinese government therefore feels that there are valid reasons to prevent Western intelligence agencies from massively pumping black propaganda into China using the Internet. This is in any case a purely domestic Chinese issue, and Americans in particular ought to focus on putting their own house in order before starting to give lectures to the rest of the world.

On the morning of January 4, it was reported by the Los Angeles Times that the Great Firewall maintained by the Chinese government to filter Internet content had momentarily come down. Was this the handiwork of the United States, or did China believe that it was the handiwork of the United States? About 10 days later, Google, Adobe, and Northrop Grumman accused Chinese hackers of entering their sites to gather information. The Chinese government has informed Google if they insist on violating Chinese law, they cannot continue to operate, and Google has announced their imminent departure from the Chinese market. Rumors of espionage swirl around the Google offices in China.

Many press accounts allege that Google is opposed to censorship in principle. This is pure baloney. Google supports censorship to the extent that it is dictated by the United States intelligence community. Analysts and researchers delving into questions about the September 11 attacks or the London 7/7 bombings of 2005 are familiar with the many ways that Google attempted to hinder public access to facts and analysis that were not part of the official narrative. Google has been fundamentally hostile to anyone criticizing the US government official versions of these false flag terror provocations. To say that Google is opposed to censorship is therefore monumental hypocrisy.

US-Chinese relations are now rapidly deteriorating towards a new Cold War or something worse. The entire foreign policy of the United States is strongly motivated by anti-Chinese considerations.Pakistan is targeted for destruction in large part because it could function as an energy corridor between Iran and China, to the benefit of the latter. What is done by the United States inYemen, Somalia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Burma, and many other points across the globe is fundamentally dictated by a desire to checkmate China. The news is that China is fighting back far more effectively. At the recent Copenhagen climate change conference, the basic strategy of the US and the British was to use the big lie of global warming to institute a world carbon dictatorship which could then be used to strangle the economic development of China, India, and other developing sector nations. As accounts in the British Guardian have pointed out, Chinese Prime Minister Wen directed a successful blocking operation with the help of countries such as Sudan, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, and others, personally snubbing Obama several times in the process. When it comes to sanctions against Iran, the Chinese are signaling that they will block them in the UN Security Council, and they are also circumventing them in various ways.

China has now passed Germany to become the world’s largest exporter, and is estimated to possess about 2.5 trillion dollars of foreign exchange, much of it denominated in dollars. A trade war between China and the United States over such issues as tires and steel is now a distinct possibility. The US is keeping up a ceaseless whining about the alleged dirty float of the Chinese currency unit, the renminbi. The US is on the verge of a major arms sale to the Republic of China on Taiwan, something which Beijing is bound to oppose. Even worse is the visit of the Dalai Lama to Obama’s White House, which is now reported as imminent. The Dalai Lama, although lionized by a gaggle of Hollywood degenerates, is in fact a notorious Western intelligence asset who was the figurehead of a brutal regime of feudal oppression which kept the majority of the population as serfs and a significant minority as slaves. The United States government continues to transfer significant sums of money to the sinister Rebiya Kadeer and her “World Uighur Congress,” which the Chinese government accuses of being responsible for the murder spree in Xinjiang province (Chinese Turkestan) in July of 2009 for which two dozen death sentences have now been handed down. A British citizen accused of functioning as a drug pusher has just been executed by the Chinese, who have not forgotten the three Opium Wars waged against them by London for the purpose of forcing deadly narcotics onto the Chinese market.

More important perhaps than any other single concrete disagreement have been the new self-assurance, self-confidence, and assertiveness of the Chinese government emerging after the bankruptcy of the United States and British banking systems in the fall of 2008. For a number of decades, Chinese diplomacy was typically extremely cautious, with a very low profile and a low-key approach. Prime Minister Wen’s successful operations in Copenhagen are a clear indication that major changes are afoot in this department. The Chinese evidently see Google as a symbol of arrogance and hegemonism which they are no longer disposed to tolerate

Is The U.S. Economy Being Tanked By Mistake or By Intent? by Bill Sardi

Is The U.S. Economy Being Tanked By Mistake or By Intent?

by Bill Sardi

Recently by Bill Sardi: Who Is Left Holding the Bag on US Debt?

The government wants Americans to believe the greatest economic collapse in history was the result of ineptness and mistakes yet still have confidence in their financial institutions.

Should American bankers be let off the hook because they self-declare, before an investigational panel, that the failure of their newly invented risk swaps and other highly leveraged investment schemes was simply due to “mistakes”? Not malfeasance – just every-day mistakes? Bankers just fell asleep at the helm at a critical juncture in American history. Is that what we are being led to believe?

Oh well, it’s just 18 million American homes that now lay empty in the wake of unprecedented foreclosures, and the bankers have collected obscene bonuses for reckless lending of their depositors’ money. It’s like the captain and crew of a ship saying, not to worry, twenty-percent of the passengers were lost overboard, but this was due to unavoidable mistakes, and then being rewarded with bonuses when they reach port.


FULL ARTICLE

YAHOO: Preparing for the Worst

by Robert Kiyosak

Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009, 12:00AM

“Is the crisis over?” is a question I am often asked. “Is the economy coming back?”
My reply is, “I don’t think so. I would prepare for the worst.”

Like most people, I wish for a better future for all of us. Life is better when people are working, happy, and spending money.

The stock market has been going up since March 9, 2009. Talk of “green shoots” fill the air. Yet, in spite of the more positive news, I continue to recommend that people prepare for the worst. The following are some of my reasons:

1. I believe the stock market is being manipulated. I suspect the government, banks, and Wall Street are doing everything they can to keep the market from crashing. Our leaders know that nothing makes the world feel better than a raging bull market.

Do I have any proof that the market is being manipulated? No. I just smell a rat, or a pack of rats. I believe greed, self-interest, arrogance, and fear control the financial markets. I suspect those in charge will do anything to keep us all from panicking… and I don’t blame them. A global panic would be ugly and dangerous.

2. In my view, this global crisis has been caused by the Federal Reserve Bank, the U.S. Treasury, Wall Street, and the central banks of the world. They caused the problem, profited excessively in doing so, and now profit by being asked to fix the problem.

Every time I hear a politician mention the word stimulus, my mind flashes back to high school biology class, when I touched battery wires to a dead frog to make it twitch. Today, you and I are the dead frogs. Pretty soon the dead frog will be fried frog.

In the 1980s, our government’s hot money stimulus was measured only in the millions of dollars. By the 1990s, the government had to ramp the stimulus voltage into the billions in order to get the frog to twitch. Today the frog has jumper cables with trillions in high-voltage hot money pouring through the lines.

While most us feel better when we have more high-voltage money in our hands, none of us feel good about higher taxes, increasing national debt, and rising inflation for the long term. Another old saying goes, “Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.” I say the government stimulus cure is killing us frogs.

3. Old frogs don’t hop. Another reason I am cautious about the future is that the Western world has a growing number of old frogs. Between 1970 and 2000, the economy responded to bailouts and stimulus packages because the baby boomers of the world were entering their greatest earning years — their purchasing power increased, and demand for homes, cars, refrigerators, computers, and TVs boosted the economy.

The stimulus plans seemed to work. But when a person turns 60, their spending habits change dramatically. They stop consuming and start conserving like a bear preparing for winter. The economy of the Western world is heading into winter. Hot wires and hot money will not get old frogs to hop. Old frogs will simply join the bears and stick that money in the bank as they prepare for the long, hard winter known as old age. The businesses that will do well in a winter economy are drug companies, hospitals, wheelchair manufacturers, and mortuaries.

4. The dying frog economy will lead us to the biggest Ponzi schemes of all: Social Security and Medicare. If we think this subprime financial crisis is big, it’s my opinion that this crisis will be dwarfed by the crisis brewing in Social Security and Medicare…Medicare being the biggest crisis of all. As old frogs head for the big lily pad in the sky, they will demand young frogs spend even more in tax dollars just to keep old frogs from croaking.

5. The 401(k)Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme, like the scheme Madoff ran, depends upon young money to pay off old money. In other words, a Ponzi scheme needs tadpoles to finance old frogs. The same is true for the 401(k) and other retirement plans to work. If young money does not come into the stock market, the old money cannot retire. One reason so many people my age are worried, not only about Social Security and Medicare, is because they’re concerned about getting their money out of the stock market before the other old frogs decide to drain the swamp.

The facts are that the 401(k) plan has a trigger that requires old frogs to begin withdrawing their money at a certain age. In other words, as baby boomers grow older, more and more will be required, by law, to begin withdrawing their money from the market. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that it is hard for a market to keep going up when more and more people are getting out.

The reason the 401(k) has this law related to mandatory withdrawals is because the Federal government wants to collect the taxes that they deferred when the worker’s money went into the plan. In other words, the taxman wants their pound of flesh. Since they allowed the worker to invest without paying taxes, the government wants their tax dollars when the employee retires. That is why the laws require older workers to sell their shares ¬– and pay their pound of flesh.

Demographics show that we are entering a battle between young and old. I call it the “Age War.” The young want to hang onto their money to grow their families, businesses, and wealth. The old want the tax and investment dollars of the young to sustain their old age.

This war is not coming…it is upon us now. This is one of many reasons why I remain cautious and say, “The worst is yet to come.”

LINK: For Those Who Want To Know

http://www.wanttoknow.info/index.shtml

This website provides a concise, reliable introduction to vital information of which few are aware. We specialize in providing fact-filled news articles and concise summaries of major cover-ups which impact our lives and world. All information is taken from the most reliable sources available and can be verified using the links provided. Sources are always noted, with links direct to the information source provided when possible. The WantToKnow.info team presents this information as an opportunity for you to educate yourself and others, and to inspire us to strengthen democracy and to work together for the good of all.

Did you know that:

  • Twenty leading journalists, including winners of several Emmys and a Pulitzer, have described being prevented by corporate media ownership from reporting riveting stories on major cover-ups.
  • BBC News has exposed plans of the U.S. military to “provide maximum control” of the Internet, as detailed in a declassified secret Pentagon document signed by the U.S. Secretary of Defense in 2003.
  • CBS News report quotes former U.S. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” That’s $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America.
  • Government documents released through the Freedom of Information Act show that the top Pentagon generals once approved plans to foment terrorism in major U.S. cities and even kill innocent civilians.
  • Multiple, reliable sources show that you may be eating genetically modified food every day whichscientific experiments have repeatedly demonstrated can cause sickness and even death in lab animals.
  • Detroit’s leading newspaper reported that the 1908 Ford Model T boasted a fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon. Yet 100 years later, the EPA average mileage for all cars is under 21 mpg.
  • A highly decorated US General wrote a book titled War is a Racket, which clearly depicts how he was manipulated and how most wars are waged largely to keep the coffers of certain big corporations filled.
  • The former chief of a prestigious medical journal has revealed that the total profits of the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 were more than the profits of the other 490 businesses combined.
  • Declassifed CIA documents open to the public leave no doubt that through hypnosis, drugs, and electric shock, secret mind control projects created super spies, terrorists, assassins, and more.
  • More than 50 senior government officials and 100 professors have publicly expressed significant criticism of the 9/11 Commission Report. Many even allege government complicity in the 9/11 attacks.
  • For more highly revealing media articles hidden in plain sight with links for verification, click here.

Note: If you are already aware of these cover-ups, please visit our page which will take you even deeper.

THE STAR: Flu scare a boon to body-bag sales

Full Article

Pandemic fears creating customers far and wide for Toronto company’s sombre product line

Aug 01, 2009 04:30 AM

As concerns grow of a possible flu pandemic onslaught this autumn, alert authorities worldwide have been stockpiling emergency supplies. Masks, gloves and anti-viral medications are on the list. And body bags.

Demand for the latter is prompting a surge of interest in the wares of a small Toronto custom bag manufacturer named Trevor Owen Ltd. Inquiries about its pandemic body bags are pouring in from as far away as the Sultanate of Oman on the Arabian Peninsula. 

TREVOR OWEN recently shipped several thousand of the thick plastic bags – sewn in its Scarborough factory and touted for their ability to “prevent leakage and seepage of bodily fluids” – to Alberta. It is bidding on a contract to supply Ohio with 12,500 of the white woven polyethylene pandemic bags.

“Some seniors’ residences are starting to buy five, 10 or 15 at a time,” said Trevor Owen president Pierre Barcik.

“There are state and provincial governments that are starting to stockpile pandemic body bags … It’s a bad pun, but (the business) is growing.”

The general fear is that the traditional fall flu season will this time bring a surge in H1N1 swine flu cases – and deaths.

Microbiologist Dr. Allison McGeer, director of infection control for Mount Sinai Hospital, recently warned there would be more deaths and infections in the city as a result of the labour disruption at Toronto Public Health.

Trevor Owen is not the only supplier thriving because of the fears. Richard Miller, owner of the U.S.-based web portal ToDieFor.Biz that sells a line of body bags, said demand has doubled this year.

Although the competition is considerable, Barcik’s company appears to have found a niche with its pandemic body bag, which differs from the bag typically used to transport and temporarily store the dead.

WHILE MORGUES and hospitals mostly use bags made of light-duty plastic – glorified garbage bags with a zipper down the middle – the pandemic body bag’s material is thicker and stronger, comparable to a light tarp.

It is coated on both sides with polyurethane for imperviousness and can be outfitted with six carry handles, an option that allows for the possibility of inexperienced personnel hastily hauling bodies at a time of crisis.

“It basically lets you handle bigger bodies with less care,” said Barcik.

“I don’t suggest we should handle the dead with anything but the utmost care, but if you’ve got a couple of volunteers moving people around in a pandemic centre, it’s a lot different than a morgue situation.”

HAULING DEATH ISN’T Trevor Owen’s stock and trade. Barcik’s company makes a variety of bags for everyday functions, from the giant padded envelopes that keep your pizza warm on its delivery route to the heavy-duty duffles in which hockey players like the Ontario Hockey League’s Soo Greyhounds tote their gear.

Still, Trevor Owen carries a substantial array of body bags; it’s a sector that appears to require a diversified product line.

Cindy Maguire, the controller of Centennial Products, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based distributor of body bags whose customers include public health centres in Nova Scotia, said that among coroners and other tenders to the departed, body bags “are like a fashion statement, almost.

“People are very particular about colour, style, the seal of the bag, the zipper.”

SOME CORONERS are partial to blue bags, which are known to provide a photo-friendly background for making a visual record of autopsies. Fluorescent orange bags are often the choice of urban police personnel who frequently work in darkness.

And manufacturers say there is growing demand for extra-large bags, such as the widely used Chinese-made bag known as the “Big Girtha” in the Trevor Owen catalogue.

Where a standard body bag runs about three feet wide and seven feet long, the Big Girtha is close to five feet by nine feet.

Said Miller at ToDieFor.Biz: “It’s for the 600-pounders. Our population is getting bigger. It’s made of very, very heavy-duty material.”

If death, by fat or by flu, is a heavy subject, some in the body-bag trade – the death-care industry, in its gentile parlance – see its lighter side. Maguire’s company designs and sells novelty T-shirts that have become popular among customers. One is emblazoned with the company’s slogan, “You tag it, we bag it.”

Another cribs a coroner’s theoretical lament during an obesity epidemic: “I think I need a bigger bag.”

Said Maguire: “The coroners do have a little bit of a morbid sense of humour. But I guess they use that to get through what they do.”

Barcik, whose company employs about 25 workers in an industrial mall near Eglinton and McCowan, said he expects body bags to remain a small part of his operation – currently about 10 per cent.