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From: Les H9/25/2011 4:00:50 PM
1 Recommendation   of 14313
 
Russia Using Psy Ops on Western Diplomats

guardian.co.uk

Russia's spy agency is waging a massive undercover campaign of harassment against British and American diplomats, as well as other targets, using deniable "psychological" techniques developed by the KGB, a new book reveals.

The federal security service (FSB) operation involves breaking into the private homes of western diplomats – a method the US state department describes as "home intrusions". Typically the agents move around personal items, open windows and set alarms in an attempt to demoralise and intimidate their targets.

The FSB operation includes the bugging of private apartments, widespread phone tapping, physical surveillance, and email interception. Its victims include local Russian staff working for western embassies, opposition activists, human rights workers and journalists.

The clandestine campaign is revealed in Mafia State, a book by the Guardian's former Moscow correspondent Luke Harding, serialised in Saturday's Weekend magazine ( guardian.co.uk ).

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From: Les H9/26/2011 10:57:51 AM
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Disturbing footage of Apache attack helicopters killing people in Afghanistan is being shown to frontline British soldiers in "Kill TV nights" designed to boost morale, a television documentary will reveal.

The discovery of the practice comes in the wake of the damning verdict of the Baha Mousa inquiry into the conduct of some in the military. It casts fresh questions over the conduct of soldiers deployed abroad and has provoked a furious response from peace campaigners.

Andrew Burgin from Stop the War last night described it as the "ultimate degradation of British troops", comparing it to the desensitisation to death of US soldiers in the final stages of the Vietnam War.

The footage, seen by The Independent on Sunday, shows ground troops at the British headquarters in Helmand province, Camp Bastion, gathered for a get-together said to be called "Kill TV night".

Described as an effort to boost morale among soldiers, it shows an Apache helicopter commander admitting possible errors of judgement and warning colleagues not to disclose what they have seen. "This is not for discussion with anybody else; keep it quiet about what you see up here," he says in the film. "It's not because we've done anything wrong. But we might have done."

independent.co.uk

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From: Les H9/26/2011 12:38:02 PM
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Haqqani Network, Former CIA Asset, Now Super-Villain in Pakistan

news.firedoglake.com

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To: Les H who wrote (11659)9/27/2011 10:12:44 PM
From: microhoogle!
   of 14313
 
Pakistan is much slick a country than Iraq. It is playing USA like a fiddle and now openly defying us.

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From: Les H9/28/2011 9:48:30 AM
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U.S. secretly asked Japan to help dump nuclear reactors
BY TAKUYA SUZUKI STAFF WRITER

The United States secretly sought Japan's support in 1972 to enable it to dump decommissioned nuclear reactors into the world's oceans under the London Convention, an international treaty being drawn up at the time.

Countries working on the wording of the pact wanted to specifically prohibit the dumping of radioactive waste at sea.

But Washington wanted to incorporate an exceptional clause in the case of decommissioned nuclear reactors.

These facts came to light in diplomatic records held by the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo and released at the request of The Asahi Shimbun.

Japan did not offer a clear answer when it was approached by the United States on the issue. Eventually, however, Washington succeeded in incorporating the clause into the treaty.

In 1972, the United States was already dismantling early-stage nuclear reactors that had been used for testing. However, the disposal method of large-scale nuclear reactors for commercial purposes had not been decided although it was an issue that could not be shelved indefinitely.

Since Japan, a key U.S. ally, had already started its own nuclear power generation program, Washington did not hesitate to seek Tokyo's backing for its request.

It was apparent that the United States constructed nuclear reactors without having decided on disposal methods, forcing it to consider dumping them at sea after they were decommissioned.

The documents obtained by The Asahi Shimbun were signed by Japan's ambassador to Britain and designated as top secret.

According to the records, a U.S. State Department official who was part of the U.S. delegation discussing the terms of the treaty, met his Japanese counterpart in November 1972. In that meeting, the official explained that the United States had a number of early-stage nuclear reactors which had reached their life spans. He said Washington was facing problems disposing of them.

The official noted that any attempt to bury the reactors on land would invite a public backlash.

He also pointed to the financial difficulty of scientifically processing the reactors until the risk of radioactive contamination was totally eliminated.

Then, the official said the only other option was to dump them at sea, and asked Japan for cooperation.

According to Kumao Kaneko, now aged 74 and then a member of the Foreign Ministry team involved in the negotiations, Japan did not take specific steps to assist the United States in this delicate matter.

Eventually, during the general meeting of countries for the London Convention, the United States proposed incorporating a clause that would enable it to dump nuclear reactors at sea in exceptional cases in which all other means of disposal presented a risk to human health.

When presenting the proposal, the United States made no mention of its intention to dump its nuclear reactors at sea far into the future. The proposal was accepted.

In the early 1970s, sea pollution was a huge international issue.

Against that backdrop, countries worked feverishly to put the finishing touches on the London Convention. The treaty designated high-level radioactive substances as well as other materials, including mercury and cadmium, as waste whose dumping at sea is prohibited.

In 1993 revisions to the London Convention, the dumping of radioactive waste at sea was totally prohibited. However, the clause that approved of dumping in exceptional cases remained.

For this reason, under the London Convention, it is possible for member countries of the treaty to dump radioactive waste at sea if they obtain the OK from the other parties as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency.

According to the IAEA, the United States has not dumped radioactive waste at sea since 1970. Instead, it buries decommissioned nuclear reactors underground.

asahi.com

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From: Les H9/29/2011 9:42:54 AM
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Mass. man accused of plotting to hit Pentagon and Capitol with toy aircraft laden carrying fake C-4 explosive
By Peter Finn, Published: September 28

A 26-year-old physics graduate and model hobbyist from Massachusetts was arrested Wednesday in an FBI undercover operation and accused of planning to build small, explosive-laden drones to attack the Pentagon and the Capitol, according to an FBI affidavit and law enforcement officials.

Rezwan Ferdaus, a U.S.-born citizen of South Asian background, traveled to Washington last May to conduct surveillance and intended to launch three small GPS-guided aircraft from East Potomac Park — two against the Pentagon and one against the Capitol, according to a detailed plan he gave to the FBI.

When he was arrested in Framingham, Mass., Ferdaus had already acquired one remote-controlled aircraft, a small-scale model of the F-86 Sabre, a Cold War-era U.S. fighter jet, the FBI affidavit said. He was also planning to expand his attack to include an immediate follow-on assault at both sites with two three-man teams wielding automatic weapons, the FBI said.

In recent years, the FBI has increasingly relied on undercover operatives to build cases against suspected terrorists, an approach that officials say has been effective in preventing attacks. Undercover law enforcement operatives have secretly befriended those suspected of plotting terrorist attacks and, in some case, made available the means to carry them out. These methods have drawn criticism from some Muslims who accuse the government of unfairly targeting their community, and from defense lawyers who say such tactics can constitute entrapment.

The FBI undercover agents provided Ferdaus with the money to buy the drones, but law enforcement officials said Ferdaus came up with the idea for the attack. Prosecutors said Ferdaus “was presented with multiple opportunities to back out of his plan, including being told that his attack would likely kill women and children,” but that he “never wavered in his desire to carry out the attacks.”

washingtonpost.com

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From: Les H9/29/2011 1:02:35 PM
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Steven Powell, Missing Mom Susan Powell's Father-in-Law, Busted for Child Porn
Husband Josh Powell Being Investigated for Same

truecrimereport.com

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From: Les H9/29/2011 11:58:49 PM
   of 14313
 
Why You Shouldn't Take Notes on Terrorist Plots
—By Adam Serwer
| Thu Sep. 29, 2011 5:05 PM PDT

On Wednesday the FBI announced that it had arrested Rezwan Ferdaus, a Northeastern University graduate in physics, for allegedly plotting to fly model planes packed with explosives into government buildings in Washington, DC and elsewhere. As with previous sting operations, the actual plot, reliant on equipment provided by undercover FBI agents, was never going to take place. Unlike previous sting operations, the FBI got the target to outline the entire thing in writing.

"It seems like the FBI intentionally trying to ensure the entrapment defense couldn't be mounted," says Karen Greenberg of the Fordham Center on National Security.

According to the criminal complaint, Ferdaus handed the FBI agents a thumb drive with a plan described as "extremely detailed, well-written, and annotated with numerous pictures." Ferdaus doesn't appear to have found anything suspicious about two supposed Al Qaeda operatives asking for what sounds, essentially, like a grant proposal.

As Trevor Aaronson reported in the September/October issue of Mother Jones, the FBI has relied increasingly on these kinds of sting operations as they try to shift focus from "professional" terrorists to Lone-Wolf type individuals who haven't received any kind of formal training. The government has come under criticism from civil liberties advocates who say that the government is using agent provocateurs to manufacture terror plots involving people who might not otherwise have committed crimes.

motherjones.com

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To: Les H who wrote (11664)9/30/2011 12:04:48 AM
From: Les H
   of 14313
 
FBI faces entrapment questions over Rezwan Ferdaus bomb plot arrest

Sting operation to arrest physics graduate, 26, raises concerns that US Muslims might be targeted using entrapment techniques

guardian.co.uk



The lengthy affidavit filed by prosecutors against Ferdaus details an elaborate plot in which he repeatedly expressed his desire to kill Americans and his support for Islamic jihad. The affidavit showed he came up with a detailed plan of attack and even scouted his targets in Washington in person. He also built mobile phone "detonators" that he supplied to undercover FBI agents posing as al-Qaida terrorists and expressed his pleasure when told him they had been used to kill American soldiers in Iraq.

However, the affidavit also raises several questions. Few details are given as to how Ferdaus came to the attention of the FBI. Mention is only made of a co-operating witness, known as CW, who met Ferdaus in December 2010 and soon began recording his conversations.

No details are given as to CW's identity, but it is mentioned that he or she has a criminal record and has served time in prison. That raises the possibility that the CW may have had some ulterior motive to bring an alleged terror suspect to the attention of the FBI or could be an unreliable witness.

Another potential area of concern is a meeting on 19 April 2011, when the undercover agents met with Ferdaus and questioned the "feasibility" of his plan. That raises the prospect that the FBI agents were somehow goading Ferdaus into more action. "Ferdaus responded in a defensive manner that he had made progress," the affidavit stated.

At the same meeting the undercover agents also gave financial assistance for Ferdaus to travel to Washington on a scouting trip: a fact that raises the question of whether he would have made the trip without that financial help. The undercover agents also supplied thousands of dollars in cash for Ferdaus to buy the F-86 Sabre miniature plane to be used in an attack.

Another portion of the affidavit also details Ferdaus's enthusiasm for making mobile phone detonation devices that he believed were being sent to Iraq and used by terrorists. Ferdaus suggested sending a box of 50 mobile phones to war zones where terrorists were in need of them. He even wanted to set up a sort of workshop to produce up to 30 of the devices a week.

"Ferdaus indicated that he could write instructions or make a video on how to construct the cell phone detonation devices," the affidavit said. Such an apparently outlandish idea that hinges on the idea that Islamic terrorists are desperately short of cheap mobile phones might suggest Ferdaus was, to some extent, a fantasist rather than a genuine threat.

However, some legal experts said that the case against Ferdaus appeared compelling, especially as he frequently and repeatedly indicated his desire and willingness to carry out terrorist attacks against Americans. In trying to mount a successful defence of entrapment it is vital to prove that a suspect has no pre-disposition to the crime they are accused of doing. In the Ferdaus case that would seem to be difficult, lawyers said.

"He took the weaponry and agreed to do it. That demonstrates a propensity and willingness to do it," said Anthony Barkow, a former terrorism prosecutor and executive director of the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law at New York University.

Barkow defended the FBI investigation and said that the US authorities took careful steps to avoid the issue of entrapment. "The Justice Department is very aware of this issue," he said.

Certainly the affidavit against Ferdaus paints a compelling picture of a man hellbent on waging jihad in America and eager to take the guns and explosives eventually supplied to him by the undercover FBI agents. He repeatedly states in recorded conversations that he is happy for Americans to die and that the idea for the attack was his own. "That's excellent," Ferdaus said when told one of his phone detonators had been used overseas and had killed Americans.

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From: Les H9/30/2011 12:57:34 PM
   of 14313
 
US Kills Al Qaeda-Linked Cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki
—By Adam Serwer
| Fri Sep. 30, 2011 7:11 AM PDT

Radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the only publicly known name on a "kill list" of US citizens abroad that the government believes it has the authority to assassinate without charge or trial, was reportedly killed in Yemen on Friday morning by an American airstrike. His death marks the first public example of the US government successfully targeting and killing an American citizen abroad based on the suspicion of terrorist activities.

Awlaki emerged in recent years as one of the most recognizable figures associated with Al Qaeda, largely because US officials had linked him to high-profile attacks (and attempted ones), including Nidal Malik Hasan's Fort Hood rampage, Faisal Shahzad's botched attempt to explode a car bomb in Times Square, and Umar Abdulmutallab's failed Christmas Day plane bombing. Nevertheless, the extent of Awlaki's operational role in any particular plot was never proven, raising the uncomfortable question of whether or not the US government had asserted the authority to kill a US citizen based solely on his ability to "inspire" terrorism through extremist sermons and magazine articles.

Though Awlaki was never indicted in a court of law, he was essentially convicted in the court of public opinion, with the mainstream media largely uncritical of the government's shifting explanations for why he was legally targetable. State Department Legal Adviser Harold Koh has argued that "a state engaged in an armed conflict or in legitimate self-defense is not required to provide targets with legal process before the state may use lethal force," meaning that killing Awlaki without trial is justifiable because he was a suspected member Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a faction at war with the United States.

Last December, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of Awlaki's father, Nasser, seeking to compel the government to disclose the internal legal process by which it determines that it has the authority to kill an American citizen based on the suspicion of terrorism. Judge John Bates ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the suit because Awlaki could have brought the case himself and chose not to, and that there were "no judicially manageable standards" by which the court could evaluate the government's authority to kill an American terrorism suspect.

The United States has wrongly announced the death of suspected terrorist figures before. However, if he has in fact been killed, he would be the second American citizen the US has acknowledged killing in the context of a strike against an Al Qaeda-affiliated target. The first was Kamal Derwish, who was born in Buffalo, New York, and killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2002. Back then, US officials felt compelled to assure reporters that he was not the actual target and that they weren't aware he was in the car that was destroyed until after the strike. Perhaps they were worried about the legal implications of asserting that a US president possesses the ultimate power of life or death over an American citizen.

motherjones.com

Drone kills AQAP propagandist and recruiter of lone wolf Islamic terrorists

reuters.com

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