February 21, 2012
By Keelan Balderson
“If the US goes to war with Iran over nuclear weapons, you should know it’s a huge lie. Remember the weapons of mass destruction?” –KTRN
The Iranian Government once again welcomed the IAEA into the country to discuss their nuclear energy program, and to dispel unfounded allegations from the West and Israel that they are pursing a nuclear weapon.
This second supplemental discussion was agreed during a meeting earlier in the month, which was described as “a good trip” by IAEA deputy director general Herman Nackaerts .
“The IAEA would not be scheduling another trip unless they had an expectation of progress,” says Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
All previous IAEA reports have confirmed that Iran is not producing uranium at anywhere near the level needed for a nuclear weapon.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expressly told CBC News in 2010 that:
The nuclear bomb is a fire against humanity rather than weapon for defense…Its possession is disgusting and shameful…even more shameful is the threat to use such weapons.
Despite this, politicized pressure has forced the IAEA to continually address so called “intelligence” that is clearly propaganda concocted by the West and Israel (who ironically have never cooperated over their own nuclear weapons).
February 7, 2012
“Obama makes yet another executive order. Ron Paul has said repeatedly that he would not use the executive order to govern, yet Obama seems to use them all the time.” –KTRN
US President Barack Obama has signed an executive order to freeze all Iranian government assets held in America and US banks abroad.
“I have determined that additional sanctions are warranted, particularly in light of the deceptive practices of the Central Bank of Iran and other Iranian banks to conceal transactions of sanctioned parties, the deficiencies in Iran’s anti-money laundering regime and the weaknesses in its implementation” Obama said in a letter to Congress.
Obama claimed Iranian financial activities are posing “continuing and unacceptable risk” to the international financial system.
The executive order prevents any Iranian assets deemed within US jurisdiction – including foreign branches of American banks – from being transferred, paid, exported or withdrawn.
Obama’s decision comes just four days after the US Senate backed new economic sanctions against Iran. The sanctions targeted companies in joint uranium mining projects and organizations supplying the country with weapons.
December 29, 2011
By David Jackson
“Why are we selling weapons to any other country? Didn’t we sell weapons to Iraq too – how did that turn out?” –KTRN
The United States has completed a $29.4 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, the Obama administration announced today, saying the deal “will support more than 50,000 American jobs.”
The sale may also be seen as a message to Iran.
Under the agreement signed by the governments of each country, the United States will provide advanced F-15SA combat aircraft to the Royal Saudi Air Force.
The sale comes amid U.S. and Saudi concerns about the military intentions of Iran.
The Saudis are concerned about Iranian efforts to influence events in Iraq, which is on the Saudi border; the U.S., meanwhile, has cautioned Iran against any effort to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil transport traffic, saying “any disruption will not be tolerated.”
Iran’s government warned this week it might restrict the Strait of Hormuz if Washington levies new sanctions targeting Iran’s crude exports over concerns about its nuclear program.
October 25, 2011
By Jonathan Dienst, Shimon Prokupecz and Joe Valiquette
“Here is another example of New York’s finest at work. This comes just after a NYPD cop plead guilty to planting drugs on people just so he could make arrests. I thought police were supposed to serve and protect, not harass and hurt.” –Chris KTRN
Eight NYPD officers and one New Jersey corrections officer have been arrested on charges that they were running a gun-smuggling ring that trafficked more than $1 million in illegal weapons and stolen goods.
The officers arrested include five active-duty officers assigned to Brooklyn and three retired NYPD officers, although two of the retired officers were active when committing the alleged crimes, prosecutors said. All those arrested were picked up by FBI agents and NYPD Internal Affairs investigators early Tuesday.
According to the criminal complaint, some of those arrested smuggled 20 firearms as recently as Sept. 22. The cache included three M-16 rifles, one shotgun and 16 handguns, most of which had their serial numbers removed.
One officer bragged to an informant in July, as an associate displayed a shotgun for sale, that it was a “sample” and that they could get anything “from A to Z.”
The allegations are no doubt troubling for the NYPD, whose commissioner, Ray Kelly, has joined with Mayor Bloomberg in speaking out on illegal guns as a nationwide scourge that threatens public safety, particularly that of police officers.
Several of those arrested are also accused of illegally transporting other stolen goods. The group is accused of transporting stolen slot machines from Atlantic City, N.J., to Port Chester, N.Y., in March. Two months later, they allegedly stole more than 200 cases of cigarettes from trucks in Virginia and hauled them to New York.
A common tactic, prosecutors said, included breaking into tractor-trailers that were hauling cigarettes.
At one point while transporting stolen slot machines, one of the officers said to an informant, “Listen, when you’re doing stuff like this you gotta be intelligent … you gotta set it up where if I’m a cop on the side of the road, am I gonna stop that Ryder truck there?”
The same officer later said all the policemen participating in the slot machine scheme were “risking a lot for a little,” the complaint said.
“They know what’s going, and how much trouble they could get in, and what they’re risking,” he said. “They’re risking a lot.”
The investigation involved interviews with the informant, undercover work, surveillance, and intercepted phone conversations.
Most of the officers worked out of the 68th Precinct, which serves the Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton neighborhoods.
One officer who allegedly participated in cigarette smuggling expressed concern about trafficking weapons, saying at one point he was fine “as long as there’s no drugs and guns involved.”
Before the details were unsealed, a PBA spokesman declined comment, saying he was unaware of the specific charges as well as which officers were being charged.
In all, 12 people are charged with multiple federal conspiracy counts expected to be announced later Tuesday by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and FBI officials.
The alleged NYPD corruption arrests come as other officers could also be charged this week in a separate ticket-fixing investigation headed by the Bronx District Attorney’s office.
Interestingly, the criminal complaint in the gun-smuggling case indicates that the investigation began in late 2009, when the informant was introduced to one of the officers as a person who could “fix” his traffic tickets. The informant then developed a relationship with that officer.
Officials have said more than a dozen NYPD officers could face charges in the ticket-fixing case, including some police union delegates.
In the gun-smuggling case, the suspects are expected to appear in federal court in Manhattan on the charges.
October 18, 2011
By Paul Joseph Watson
During an appearance on CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa acknowledged that an almost identical program to Fast and Furious, in which the federal government trafficked guns directly to suspected criminals, existed under the Bush administration.
Issa’s comments about a similar program being operational under the Bush administration appear at the 3:50 mark.
“We know that, under the Bush administration, there were similar operations, but they were coordinated with Mexico,” Issa, R-Calif., said. “They made every effort to keep their eyes on the weapons the whole time. So we’re not, per se, saying that tracing weapons is a bad idea.”
Based out of Arizona, the Bush-era program ran from 2006 to the end of 2007 and was dubbed “Operation Wide Receiver.” Similarly to Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed firearms to “walk” to suspected gun traffickers without them being interdicted.
Democrats will obviously cite the fact that an almost identical program was up and running during the Bush administration as a way to try and absolve the Obama administration and particularly Attorney General Eric Holder of blame for Fast and Furious.
Indeed, Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings immediately highlighted Issa’s comments to claim that Fast and Furious was a “local issue that never got to higher-ups,” and that AG Holder was unaware of its existence.
However, contrary to his Congressional testimony, records show that Holder was sent briefings on Fast and Furious by both Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer and the National Drug Intelligence Center in July 2010, almost a year before he told a Judiciary Committee hearing, “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”
However, what this really tells us is that there was a continuation of policy and a mere passing of the baton, with the ATF not letting a presidential election get in the way of business as usual.
The only real difference under the Obama administration is that prior to the program being publicly exposed, Obama exploited it as a method through which to demonize the second amendment by claiming that Mexican drug lords were sourcing their guns from the United States, while hiding the fact that this was a result of the federal government delivering truck loads to drug gangs directly.
This was likely what Obama was referring to during a March 30 meeting between Jim and Sarah Brady and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, at which Obama “dropped in,” when he told Brady that the administration was “working on” gun control “under the radar”.
Today, Kevin reveals even more proof that is always, always, ALWAYS about the money!
NPR Execs Caught in Candid Chat With Would-be Muslim Donors
Senators Seeking Tougher Background Checks For Guns
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February 24th, 2011
By: Hadeel al-Shalchi
Soldiers opened fire Friday on thousands of protesters defying a government ban and streaming toward the landmark square that had been the symbolic center of the uprising to break the political grip of the Gulf nation’s leaders.
Officials at the main Salmaniya hospital said at least 50 people were injured, some with gunshot wounds. Some doctors and medics on emergency medical teams were in tears as they tended to the wounded. X-rays showed bullets still lodged inside victims.
“This is a war,” said Dr. Bassem Deif, an orthopedic surgeon examining people with bullet-shattered bones.
Protesters described a chaotic scene of tear gas clouds, bullets coming from many directions and people slipping in pools of blood as they sought cover. Some claimed the gunfire came from either helicopters or sniper nests, a day after riot police swept through the protest encampment in Pearl Square, killing at least five people and razing the tents and makeshift shelters that were inspired by the demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
An Associated Press cameraman saw army units shooting anti-aircraft weapons, fitted on top of armored personnel carriers, above the protesters, in apparent warning shots and attempts to drive them back from security cordons about 200 yards (200 meters) from the square.
Then the soldiers turned firearms on the crowd, one marcher said.
“People started running in all directions and bullets were flying,” said Ali al-Haji, a 27-year-old bank clerk. “I saw people getting shot in the legs, chest, and one man was bleeding from his head.”
“My eyes were full of tear gas, there was shooting and there was a lot of panic,” said Mohammed Abdullah, a 37-year-old businessman taking part in the protest.
The clash came hours after funeral mourners and worshippers at Friday prayers called for the toppling of the Western-allied monarchy in the tiny island nation that is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, the centerpiece of the Pentagon’s efforts to confront Iranian military influence. Some members of Bahrain’s Sunni ruling system worry that Shiite powerhouse Iran could use Bahrain’s majority Shiites as a further foothold in the region.
U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the reports of violence against the protesters in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen, urging government restraint.
“I am deeply concerned about reports of violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen. The United States condemns the use of violence by governments against peaceful protesters in those countries and wherever else it may occur,” Obama said. “The United States urges the governments of Bahrain, Libya and Yemen to show restraint in responding to peaceful protests and to respect the rights of their people.”
Day by day, the crisis in Bahrain has deepened.
The cries against the king and his inner circle – at a main Shiite mosque and at burials for those killed in Thursday’s crushing attack – reflect a sharp escalation of the political uprising, which began with calls to weaken the Sunni monarchy’s power and address claims of discrimination against the Shiite majority.
The mood, however, has turned toward defiance of the entire ruling system after the brutal crackdown on a protest encampment in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, which put the nation under emergency-style footing with military forces in key areas and checkpoints on main roads.
“The regime has broken something inside of me. … All of these people gathered today have had something broken in them,” said Ahmed Makki Abu Taki at the funeral for his 23-year-old brother, Mahmoud, who was killed in the pre-dawn sweep through Pearl Square. “We used to demand for the prime minister to step down, but now our demand is for the ruling family to get out.”
At a Shiite mosque in the village of Diraz, an anti-government hotbed, imam Isa Qassim called the Pearl Square assault a “massacre” and thousands of worshippers chanted: “The regime must go.”
In a sign of Bahrain’s deep divisions, government loyalists filled Manama’s Grand Mosque to hear words of support for the monarchy and take part in a post-sermon march protected by security forces. Many arrived with Bahraini flags draped over the traditional white robes worn by Gulf men. Portraits of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa were distributed.
“We must protect our country,” said Adnan al-Qattan, the cleric leading prayers. “We are living in dangerous times.”
He denounced attempts to “open the doors to evil and foreign influences” – an apparent reference to suspicions that Shiite powerhouse Iran could take advantages of any gains by Bahrain’s Shiites, who account for about 70 percent of the population.
The pro-government gathering had many nonnative Bahrainis, including South Asians and Sunni Arabs from around the region. Shiite have long complained of policies giving Sunnis citizenship and jobs, including posts in security forces, to offset the Shiite majority.
Outside a Shiite village mosque, several thousand mourners gathered to bury three of the men killed in the crackdown. The first body, covered in black velvet, was passed hand to hand toward a grave as it was being dug.
Amid the Shiite funeral rites, many chanted for the removal of the king and the entire Sunni dynasty that has ruled for more than two centuries in Bahrain – the first nation in the Gulf to feel the pressure for changes sweeping the Arab world.
November 22nd, 2010
NBC San Diego
By: R. Stickney
When a San Diego man opted out of security screening using the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) at Lindbergh Field Friday, he stripped down to his underwear in an attempt to avoid the pat-down procedures.
Samuel Wolanyk took the protest started Nov. 13 by Oceanside’s John Tyner to a whole new level.
While Tyner videotaped his refusal to be patted down, telling the agent “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested,” Wolanyk decided to give TSA a look at his body down to his Calvin Klein’s.
Through a statement released by his attorney Sunday night, Wolanyk said “TSA needs to see that I’m not carrying any weapons, explosives, or other prohibited substances, I refuse to have images of my naked body viewed by perfect strangers, and having been felt up for the first time by TSA the week prior (I travel frequently) I was not willing to be molested again.”
Wolanyk’s attorney said that TSA requested his client put his clothes on so he could be patted down properly but his client refused to put his clothes back on. He never refused a pat down, according to his attorney.
Wolanyk was arrested for refusing to complete the security process and for recording the incident on his iPhone, according to his attorney.
San Diego has played a central role in the debate over the need for AIT machines in our nation’s airports. From Tyner’s videotape and U.S. Rep. Bob Filner’s call for a Congressional hearing, to the parody song penned by Poway musician and Grammy-winner Steve Vaus. This Wednesday, one group is asking Americans to opt out of the AIT machines.
August 2nd, 2010
Sheriff Paul Babeu is hopping mad at the federal government.
Babeu told CNSNews.com that rather than help law enforcement in Arizona stop the hundreds of thousands of people who come into the United States illegally, the federal government is targeting the state and its law enforcement personnel.
“What’s very troubling is the fact that at a time when we in law enforcement and our state need help from the federal government, instead of sending help they put up billboard-size signs warning our citizens to stay out of the desert in my county because of dangerous drug and human smuggling and weapons and bandits and all these other things and then, behind that, they drag us into court with the ACLU,” Babeu said.
The sheriff was referring to the law suits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the U.S. Department of Justice challenging the state’s new immigration law.
“So who has partnered with the ACLU?” Babeu said in a telephone interview with CNSNews.com. “It’s the president and (Attorney General) Eric Holder himself. And that’s simply outrageous.”
Last week, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton placed a temporary injunction on portions of the bill that allowed law enforcement personnel during the course of a criminal investigation who have probable cause to think an individual is in the country illegally to check immigration status. The state of Arizona filed an appeal on Thursday with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Our own government has become our enemy and is taking us to court at a time when we need help,” Babeu said.
Babeu and Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County Ariz., spoke by phone with CNSNews.com last week about the May 17 ACLU class-action lawsuit, which charges the law uses racial profiling and named the county attorneys and sheriffs in all 15 Arizona counties as defendants. The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit on July 6, charging the Arizona law preempted the federal government’s sole right to enforce immigration law.
“If the president would do his job and secure the border; send 3,000 armed soldiers to the Arizona border and stop the illegal immigration and the drug smuggling and the violence, we wouldn’t even be in this position and where we’re forced to take matters into our own hands,” Babeu said.
Dever said the federal government’s failure to secure the border and its current thwarting of Arizona’s effort to control illegal immigration within its borders has implications for the entire country.
“The bigger picture is while what’s going on in Arizona is critically important, what comes out of this and happens here will affect our entire nation in terms of our ability to protect our citizenry from a very serious homeland security threat,” Dever said. “People who are coming across the border in my county aren’t staying there. They’re going everywhere USA and a lot of them are bad, bad people.”
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), about 250,000 people were detained in Arizona in the last 12 months for being in the country illegally. Babeu said that that number only reflects the number of people detained and that thousands more enter the country illegally each year.
The CBP also reports that 17 percent of those detained already have a criminal record in the United States.
Both Babeu and Dever said they want to remain involved in the legal battle over the law, which many experts predict will end up being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dever has hired an independent attorney to represent him in the ACLU case and his attorney has already filed a motion of intervention in the DOJ lawsuit so the “(Dever) will have a seat at the table.”
A Web site also has been launched by the non-profit, Iowa-based Legacy Foundation to raise money for the Babeu’s and Dever’s legal defense.
Both men said they believe the outcome of the case has national significance.“For us, this is a public safety matter and a national security threat,” Babeu said.
April 30, 2010
The Washington Post
By Howard Kurtz
The Justice Department’s decision to subpoena a New York Times reporter this week has convinced some press advocates that President Obama’s team is pursuing leaks with the same fervor as the Bush administration.
James Risen, who shared a Pulitzer Prize for disclosing President George W. Bush’s domestic surveillance program, has refused to testify about the confidential sources he used for his 2006 book “State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration.”
“The message they are sending to everyone is, ‘You leak to the media, we will get you,’ ” said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In the wake of the Bush administration’s aggressive stance toward the press, she said, “as far as I can tell there is absolutely no difference, and the Obama administration seems to be paying more attention to it. This is going to get nasty.”