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No Agenda Episode 446

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 1:12 PM.

The Convincibles

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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 1:13 PM.

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Art By: Nick the Rat

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Credits

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 1:13 PM.

The Convincibles

Executive Producers: Sir Patrick Wilson, Paul Richardson

Become a member of the 447 Club, support the show here

Knighthoods: Patrick Wilson, Joe Collins

Art By: Nick the Rat

ShowNotes Archive of links and Assets (clips etc) 446.nashownotes.com

Fanscribed Transcription: 446.readnoagenda.com (Pitch in!)

New: Directory Archive of Shownotes (includes all audio and video assets used) nashownotes.com

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RSS Feed for the newsletter

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Jubilee (Christianity) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bad Actors

Josh Kilbourn: Muslim Blasphemy Film Traced to Federal Informant and Stanley Inc. as well as Divine Relevations.info and Who Is Spirit (Both in Florida with the Alleged CIA Asset Terry Jones)

Link to Article

Source: Public Intelligence Blog

Sat, 22 Sep 2012 15:24

Links as discussed in Video '-- Absolutely Worth 20 Minutes of Your Time

UPDATE: ''Innocence of Muslims'' Filmaker, Federal Informant '' Huffingtonpost link . UPDATE: Glen Beck reported that the Embassy staff were communicating via a gaming forum! Go to ''DarthF3TT'' channel on YT and will notice that out of 11 videos, NINE of them are [Gaming Videos] ONE is the Innocence of Muslims and TWO are about the Embassy Killings. Screen Cap It '' I Did! Here is the link!!! . UPDATE: Look who created this now deleted page. This url was captured via a Google Cache trying to sell the Christopher Stevens was killed because of the Innocence of Muslim ''Film'', look who posted it! ''NPN'' NewsPoliticsNow3

Please follow the links in the order in which listed and come to your own conclusions!

The ''Original Video'' called The Real Life Of Mohammad posted on July 1st 2012 on Sam Bacile's YT Channel . Movie name changed to ''Innocence of Muslims'' posted on September 11 2012 by Youtube user NewsPoliticsNow3 . Youtube page NewsPoliticsNow sporting a [TM] Trademark to the right of their name . Youtube page NewsPoliticsLeaks appears to be associated with NewsPoliticsNow notice the trademark listed to the right . Trademark search results for NewsPoliticsNow (none) . Trademark results for NewsPoliticsLeaks (none) . Image search for NPN . Image search for NPL . Results for Stanley Inc. It has been brought to my attention that Youtube has shielded everyone's age within the past 24 hours. [34 year old shown originally].

Again, I wanted to thank ''TheAntiPC'' http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAntiPC for your original video pointing out the facts on how the Muslim Movie was posted months ago, for it is Your Video, that made me really look into this situation!

Phi Beta Iota: Citizen intelligence minuteman doing very impressive work. From ''Desert Warriors'' to ''Innocence of Bin Laden'' to ''Life of Mohammed'' to ''Innocence of Muslims,'' all with a strong connection to the 2008 Dutch film Fitna known to have incited violence among Muslims. We have no direct knowledge but clearly there are forces at work here that are not acting in the public interest.

Sep 22

Stanley, Inc. - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stanley, Inc. (NYSE:SXE), acquired by CGI Group in 2010, is an information technology company based in Arlington, Virginia. Founded in 1966, it operated as a small, entrepreneurial consulting company.

The company's largest customer is the U.S. Army. It also holds contracts with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, Department of State, and Department of Homeland Security. It operates facilities for the production of United States passports[1][2] and for mailroom work and data entry for applications for U.S. visa and citizenship.

Stanley made its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in October 2006, selling 6.3 million shares for $13.00/share, raising $81.9 million. A majority of stocks are owned by officers, directors and employees (the latter through an employee stock ownership plan).

Al Qaeda offshoot a prime suspect in Libya attack - CBS News

CNN finds, returns journal belonging to late U.S. ambassador. (CNN video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:45

By the CNN Wire Staff

September 22, 2012 -- Updated 1351 GMT (2151 HKT)

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was killed in a September 11 attack in BenghaziCNN found his journal on a largely unsecured consulate compoundStevens' family was notified in hours, and the journal was given to them via a third party(CNN) -- Four days after he was killed, CNN found a journal belonging to late U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. The journal was found on the floor of the largely unsecured consulate compound where he was fatally wounded.

CNN notified Stevens' family about the journal within hours after it was discovered and at the family's request provided it to them via a third party.

The journal consists of just seven pages of handwriting in a hard-bound book.

For CNN, the ambassador's writings served as tips about the situation in Libya, and in Benghazi in particular. CNN took the newsworthy tips and corroborated them with other sources.

A source familiar with Stevens' thinking told CNN earlier this week that, in the months leading up to his death, the late ambassador worried about what he called the security threats in Benghazi and a rise in Islamic extremism.

Stevens died on September 11, along with three other Americans, when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi came under attack amid a large protest about a U.S.-made film that mocked the Muslim Prophet Mohammed.

The California-born Stevens joined the Peace Corps and attended law school before joining the Foreign Service, the career diplomatic corps, in 1991, according to his State Department biography.

He spent most of his career in the Middle East and North Africa, including postings to Israel, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia, in addition to serving as the deputy chief of the U.S. mission to Libya from 2007 to 2009, during the rule of Moammar Gadhafi, according to the State Department.

In May, one year after arriving aboard a cargo ship to work with those involved in the upstart rebellion, Stevens was appointed U.S. ambassador to Libya.

On Board the Argo! Affleck (director) and Clooney (producer) pushing the agenda.

Link to Article

Source: Dr. Jones reports

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 13:00

After rousing success with one hostage film, Ben Affleck may be set to take on the biggest hostage story of the 20th century.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Affleck, who had a surprise hit this summer when he directed and starred in the Boston bank heist movie 'The Town,' is in talks to direct a film called 'Argo,' based on the 1979-1981 hostage crisis in Tehran. The Iranian government took 52 Americans hostage, keeping them for 444 days.

The movie would be based on a Wired Magazine article titled, 'How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran,' which reported that the CIA created a lavish lie insisting that six US diplomats were actually on a film crew, enabling them to sneak home.

Joining Affleck on the project would be George Clooney, who is no stranger to Middle East-themed movies, executive producing and starring in 2005's 'Syriana.'

In January, Affleck was linked to a film called 'American Bullshit,' which, coincidentally, also is about 1979-1980 US politics, though this one would be about a scam on the domestic side of things.

He now can be seen in the economic family drama 'The Company Men,' another brick in his socio-political film wall.

For more, click over to The Hollywood Reporter.

No Agenda Episode 407: Home

Link to Article

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 13:02

No Agenda Episode 407

By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 12:31 PM.Cover Art

By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 12:32 PM.Search

PR

EUROLand

NL

UK

DE

'Greece out of euro' calls multiply in Germany - The Local

It must stick to a March deal agreed with its international backers and enact promised reforms to remain within the eurozone, Finance Minister Wolfgang Sch½uble said on Wednesday.

"If Greece wants to remain in the eurozone, there is no better solution than the path it has already taken," Schaeuble said, referring to austerity cuts and reforms in return for a 240-billion-euro debt bailout. "You can't have one without the other," he said.

Others were a few steps ahead. "We should make Greece the offer to leave the eurozone in an orderly fashion, without leaving the European Union," said Klaus-Peter Willsch, budgetary expert for Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.

He told Wednesday's business daily Handelsblatt it was not up to the Germans to tell the Greeks how to live, but the election results indicated that the Greeks were not willing to make the effort required to make their country competitive.

"The dogma that no country can leave the eurozone has already caused too much political damage in Europe," he said.

FR

ES

------------------------------------------------------

Farage: We face the prospect of mass civil unrest, even revolution - [VIDEO]

The Countdown To The Break Up Of The Euro Has Officially Begun

EU warns Greece to stick to austerity plan | euronews, Europe

BBC News - Child online safety plans unveiled by Brussels

European e-identity plan to be unveiled this month | Regulation | ZDNet UK

BBC News - Greece election: Vote risks EU bailout split

Squirrel!

Shut Up Slave!

Bank$ters

Ron Paul Is Hosting A Hearing On Ending The Federal Reserve Right Now | Dprogram.net

Texas Congressman-Ron Paul will once again face off against his central bank nemesis this morning, during a Congressional hearing on monetary policy and the Federal Reserve.

The hyped-up hearing is titled "The Federal Reserve System: Mend It Or End It?," and will be hosted by the House Finance Committee's Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee, which oversees the Federal Reserve and which, incidentally, is chaired by Ron Paul.

The hearing will feature testimony from several economists and lawmakers, all of whom have some problem with the central bank. No one who works for the Fed is scheduled to testify.

The subcommittee will also consider several bills, including Paul's Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act, which would abolish the Federal Reserve, its Board of Governors, and eliminate the Federal Reserve Act.

"More and more people are beginning to understand just how destructive the Federal Reserve's monetary policy has been," Paul said in a press release. "I hope that this hearing will kickstart a serious discussion on the need to rein in the Fed."

Federal Reserve Reform, Economists Panel - C-SPAN Video Library

Ministry of Truth

Elite$

Devil Weed

Scampaign

Call Clooney!

Trailer :: "ARGO" starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman | TheOriginalWinger

"Based on true events, Warner Bros. Pictures' and GK Films' dramatic thriller Argo chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis--the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades."

This movie stars Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Clea DuVall and John Goodman... is directed by Ben Affleck and is produced by Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Grant Heslov.

* BTW, Do we have to re-evaluate who is the more talented one out of the Matt Damon and Ben Affleck duo? It was a boatrace early with Damon taking a huge lead, but now Affleck is wrting screenplays, directing isht, producing and starring in these flicks. The only reason I'm hesitant to give Affleck the belt is because of Bourne. But thats just my opinion....

** And what happened to Casey Affleck? Seemed like there is some talent in that guy, but he only works like once a year right?

Fruit of the Boom

EPIC - Classified Report Finds Vulnerabilities in Body Scanner Program

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General has completed an investigation into the effectiveness of the body scanner program as deployed in airports as a primary passenger screening system. The unclassified summary of the report notes that several vulnerabilities were found in the program, which has already cost more than $87 million. The full report consists of "Sensitive Security Information" (SSI) and will not be released to the public, according to the Inspector General. EPIC has challenged the SSI designation, arguing that it is an improper standard for classification. The Government Accountability Office, technical experts, Members of Congress, and bloggers have also questioned the effectiveness of the devices. In a federal lawsuit, EPIC challenged the body scanner program, calling it "invasive, unlawful, and ineffective." For more information, see EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of body scanners).

It's Like An Advertisement For Airport Security Bomb Detecting Technology - [VIDEO]

Follow the Pipes

Israel

Syria

Message -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Actions of the Government of Syria | The White House

While the Syrian regime has reduced the number of foreign fighters bound for Iraq, the regime's own brutality and repression of its citizens who have been calling for freedom and a representative government endangers not only the Syrian people themselves, but could yield greater instability throughout the region. The Syrian regime's actions and policies, including obstructing the Lebanese government's ability to function effectively, pursuing chemical and biological weapons, and supporting terrorist organizations, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect the national emergency declared with respect to this threat and to maintain in force the sanctions to address this national emergency.

In addition, the United States condemns the Asad regime's use of brutal violence and human rights abuses and calls on the Asad regime to step aside and immediately begin a transition in Syria to a political process that will forge a credible path to a future of greater freedom, democracy, opportunity, and justice. The United States will consider changes in the composition, policies, and actions of the Government of Syria in determining whether to continue or terminate this national emergency in the future.

Chemtrails

Can Geoengineering Solve Global Warming? : The New Yorker

There is only one reason to consider deploying a scheme with even a tiny chance of causing such a catastrophe: if the risks of not deploying it were clearly higher. No one is yet prepared to make such a calculation, but researchers are moving in that direction. To offer guidance, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (I.P.C.C.) has developed a series of scenarios on global warming. The cheeriest assessment predicts that by the end of the century the earth's average temperature will rise between 1.1 and 2.9 degrees Celsius. A more pessimistic projection envisages a rise of between 2.4 and 6.4 degrees--far higher than at any time in recorded history. (There are nearly two degrees Fahrenheit in one degree Celsius. A rise of 2.4 to 6.4 degrees Celsius would equal 4.3 to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit.) Until recently, climate scientists believed that a six-degree rise, the effects of which would be an undeniable disaster, was unlikely. But new data have changed the minds of many. Late last year, Fatih Birol, the chief economist for the International Energy Agency, said that current levels of consumption "put the world perfectly on track for a six-degree Celsius rise in temperature. . . . Everybody, even schoolchildren, knows this will have catastrophic implications for all of us."

While such tactics could clearly fail, perhaps the greater concern is what might happen if they succeeded in ways nobody had envisioned. Injecting sulfur dioxide, or particles that perform a similar function, would rapidly lower the temperature of the earth, at relatively little expense½most estimates put the cost at less than ten billion dollars a year.

½Geoengineering½ actually refers to two distinct ideas about how to cool the planet. The first, solar-radiation management, focusses on reducing the impact of the sun. Whether by seeding clouds, spreading giant mirrors in the desert, or injecting sulfates into the stratosphere, most such plans seek to replicate the effects of eruptions like Mt. Pinatubo½s. The other approach is less risky, and involves removing carbon directly from the atmosphere and burying it in vast ocean storage beds or deep inside the earth. But without a significant technological advance such projects will be expensive and may take many years to have any significant effect.

The most environmentally sound approach to geoengineering is the least palatable politically. ½If it becomes necessary to ring the planet with sulfates, why would you do that all at once?½½ Ken Caldeira asked. ½If the total amount of climate change that occurs could be neutralized by one Mt. Pinatubo, then doesn½t it make sense to add one per cent this year, two per cent next year, and three per cent the year after that?½½ he said. ½Ramp it up slowly, throughout the century, and that way we can monitor what is happening. If we see something at one per cent that seems dangerous, we can easily dial it back. But who is going to do that when we don½t have a visible crisis? Which politician in which country?½

Gitmo Nation

Demon Drink

NEVER drink again

I deferred my 2nd DUI and I live I Washington state. As I entered my 2 year program with my forced breathalyzer that i skipped by not putting it in and just driving illegally, I was told in this class be cause I deferred my DUI which means I don't get it if I never again offend. I CAN NEVER DRINK AGAIN!! In my life! If I drink again and get caught ever again in my life I will get the DUI I deferred and the one I get at that time! But yes I'm never allowed to drink again EVER! Not just drink and drive. Just an Incite Into my experience. In the morning!

Ken-Dr. Foot

Poppie$

The Local - Zoo backs heroin theory in dead dolphins case

CIA Plane Crash Lands With Four TONS of Coke on Board

CIA Plane Crashes in Mexico

Seventeen months after an American-registered DC9 airliner was busted with 5.5 tons of cocaine, a major international scandal is brewing over a second drug trafficking incident in Mexico's Yucatan involving an American-registered jet owned by a dummy front company of the kind usually associated with the CIA.

A weekend visit to "Donna Blue Aircraft Inc" of Coconut Beach FL., the company which FAA records show owned the Gulfstream II business jet (N987SA) which crash-landed with 3.7 tons of cocaine aboard in Mexico's Yucatan two weeks ago, has revealed that the company's listed address is an empty office suite with a blank sign out front.

There was no sign of Donna Blue Aircraft, Inc., at the address listed at the Florida Dept. of Corporations, 4811 Lyons Technology Parkway #8 in Coconut Beach FL. .......

However, there were, oddly enough, a half-dozen unmarked police cars parked directly in front of the empty suite.

Agenda21

Drone Nation

USAF Drones May Conduct "Incidental" Domestic Surveillance | Secrecy News

"Air Force Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations, exercise and training missions will not conduct nonconsensual surveillance on specifically identified US persons, unless expressly approved by the Secretary of Defense, consistent with US law and regulations," the instruction stated.

On the other hand, "Collected imagery may incidentally include US persons or private property without consent."

"Collecting information on specific targets inside the US raises policy and legal concerns that require careful consideration, analysis and coordination with legal counsel.- Therefore, Air Force components should use domestic imagery only when there is a justifiable need to do so, and then only IAW [in accordance with] EO 12333, the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, DoD 5240.1-R, and this instruction," it said.

AF: F-22½ Extreme Performance May Be Behind Oxygen Problems | Defense Tech

Words Do Matter

Ca$h

Bank tells customer: We don't take cash anymore - The Local

Last week, Bjart Berge headed to his local Nordea branch in Stavanger city centre to deposit his remaining dollars after returning from a trip to the United States, only to be told the bank no longer handles cash of any kind over the counter, newspaper Bergens Tidende reports.

"I thought it was an April Fool's joke; I couldn't believe it was true," Berge told the newspaper.

The Stavanger branch stopped taking cash on May 1st, bringing it in line with company policy. Of Nordea's 98 branches in Norway, only nine still handle cash.

Nordea spokesman Thomas Sevang explained that the bank was in the process of automating all its cash services and was installing new machines for withdrawing and depositing cash across its network.

"He [Berge] has encountered the bank of the future," said Sevang.

But in the bank of the present, none of the deposit machines take dollars, and the bank was not able to say when this would become possible.

"You can take money out of an ATM in either Norwegian or foreign currency," said Berge. -

"The same should apply for deposits. But when that possibility doesn't exist, it's a bit early to cut the umbilical cord."

Gold

Nukes

Weekly Hooker Report

Techno Experts

BBC News - Child online safety plans unveiled by Brussels

Army wants to monitor your computer activity - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times

The Army wants to look at keystrokes, downloads and Web searches on computers that soldiers use.

Maj. Gen. Steven Smith, chief of the Army Cyber Directorate, said the software was one of his chief priorities, joking that it would take the place of a lower-tech solution: "A guy with a large bat behind every user as they go to search the Internet."

"Now we've been in the news -- I don't know if you've seen it -- with a little insider threat issue," Smith continued.

Smith did not mention Pfc. Bradley Manning by name. However, the effort comes in the wake of the former intelligence analyst's alleged leak of hundreds of thousands of pages of classified documents to the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks in 2009 and 2010. Manning faces a military trial on 22 counts, including aiding the enemy.

According to Smith, the Army will soon shop for software pre-programmed to detect a user's abnormal behavior and record it, catching malicious insiders in the act. Though it is unclear how broadly the Army plans to adopt the program, the Army has more than 900,000 users on its computers.

US government warns over gas pipeline cyberattacks - Spear-phishing attacks on critical infrastructure | TechEye

Alerts say major cyber attack aimed at gas pipeline industry | Citizens for Legitimate Government

Singularity University: meet the people who are building our future | Technology | The Observer

Follow the Pipes

Cultural Marxism

Magic Numbers

Vaccine$

HPV Scam

Only 1 percent!

This is from a medical text pathologists refer to as somewhat difinitive. Its an older edition but the numbers still hold true. The current US numbers are still coming but my feeling is they may be skewed.

If you can't read anything let me know but the bottom line is that low grade HPV resolves 60% of the time on its own and only progresses to invasive cancer 1% of the time.

The other important thing to remember is that HPV is not the only cause of cervical cancer

The Report [pdf]

QIAGEN-Selling the digene HPV Test Script

Military shots

Messrs. Dvorak and Curry,

Here's another view about the HPV shots from the military aspect.

As a listener of NA and being in the military, there is one time of year where I hate my job choice and that is shot season. The military, unlike any other profession has the ability to put you in jail, yes Fort Leavenworth, for refusing certain shots. Thankfully, HPV was not one of them but all the animal flu shots are and many other ones. Of course they are not generic and are usually made by GSK or Merck, I have them check the packaging.

For the HPV specifically, last year (and I think the military is their test ground because we can't say no most of the time) they offered me the HPV shot. Now the nurse who is administering the shot sold it as a way of preventing penis cancer. I heard this, and knew that the probability of getting penis cancer is extremely low versus the higher probability of being fucked up by some random GSK produced shot, so I said no. Of course, I started "hitting the nurse in the mouth" (figuratively of course) about big pharma and the panics they start to push their products. She really didn't know anything expect that someone told her to push the shot for whatever reason.

But here's the kicker. I started making a scene and telling people around me not to get the shot and I got about 5 people to say no. BUT if i would not of said anything they would have been obedient slaves and thought... 'penis cancer!?!!? hell yea give me the shot'. I'm sure about 80% of the people did that.

The thing that got me upset is that the nurse really had no idea. She was just pushing the shot on all these slaves.

Hopefully this anecdote helps with your HPV deconstruction work.

BBC News - 'One in six cancers worldwide are caused by infection'

Researcher death highlights dangers of pathogen work - health - 09 May 2012 - New Scientist

Ritalin use soars fourfold in U.K. as psychologists warn of untested drug cocktails | The Raw Story

Space Wars

Europe writes off biggest environment satellite | The Raw Story

The satellite failed to make a radio call on April 8 as it passed over a ground station at Kiruna in Sweden.

ESA had hoped to keep Envisat going until its seven replacements, the so-called Sentinel satellites, start being launched in 2013.

Their launch ½has become even more urgent to ensure the continuity of data to users, improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security,½ said ESA.

The cause of the communications failure has not been established.

"Following rigorous attempts to re-establish contact and the investigation of failure scenarios, the end of the mission is being declared," the agency said in a statement.

"Envisat had already operated for double its planned lifetime, making it well overdue for retirement."

Out There

Canadians Wrongly Linked To Anti Muslim Video Seeking Government Protection

Islam's War on Kentucky Fried Chicken (& Hardee's & Krispy Kreme) '' VIDEO

Link to Article

Source: Debbie Schlussel

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 04:19

By Debbie Schlussel

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Hardee's restaurants inTripoli, Lebanon are owned by Muslim franchisees. So, I can'tshed a single tear over Muslims burning down the businesses ofother Muslims to show their hatred of America. The moronism ofMuslims is evident in this little display of what halal KFC chickenlooks like: burnt to a crisp. In other news, Muslims just gave newmeaning to the ''Krispy'' in Krispy Kreme (not to beconfused with Chris ChrispieChreme, the halal Governor of NewJersey), when they burnt that down, too. I think they heard thatthese two Americans, Col. Harlan Sanders and Mr. Hardee made amovie against Mohammed, ''Innocence of Muslim Fast FoodConsumers.'' Check out the videos below, and remember, these''peaceful'' Muslims are the ones we keep telling Israelto make peace with. This ain't about an alleged movie.It's what Muslims do, movie or no movie.

From Heba Rach, a Lebanese Arab (whoincorrectly blames this on the Lebanese government and who made thefirst video, above):

As I finished my lunch break and went back to my office, theMuslim salafists happened to just finish their weekly prayer at themosque. I've been to numerous gatherings and huge eventswhere crowds were uncountable and beyond what my vision field couldcontain, but today was simply a new level. I sat behind my desk tosuddenly catch thousands of black shirted men with long beards anddark flags running towards me, and I then remembered that my officeis just 10 meters away from the ''infidel'' AmericanKFC.

The troops were headed like they're going to war, to theborders, to liberate Lebanon from the Israeli soldiers. I felt asif Israel or America was feet away. The masses that I saw wereindescribable, the look on their faces was full with rage andharmful intentions. I couldn't help myself from staring atthese vicious Tripolitans.

Few seconds in, I start hearing gunshots and the echo of agrenade dropped inside the restaurant that they personally dine inday in day out, the restaurant in which their friends or at leastfellow citizens and neighbors work. And as usual, so predicted, thepolice came few minutes later, on foot, entering slowly theconflict zone, and running out like a bunch of chickens in seconds. . .

The number of people now blocking my view was huge. Trying toblock out the disturbing noises, I started noticing things on thestreet, in mid-chaos, I noticed a little kid holding a stuffedanimal stolen from KFC as if he just went out of Disney Land,holding his FATHER's hand, and walking happily across thestreet. I also came across another kid with two footballs in hishands (also stolen from KFC) walking proudly like he just won awar. . . .

It is really enough to cover any idea with a religious outlookto convince Arabs to blindly follow your wishes.

Again, THIS. IS. ISLAM. It's Islam in Lebanon. It'sIslam in Libya. It's Islam in Egypt. It's Islam inIran. And, make no mistake, it's Islam throughout the West,including in the United States.

And it's Islam, movie or no movie about Mohammed.

Daily Press Briefing - September 21, 2012

Link to Article

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 21:56

12:51 p.m. EDT

MS. NULAND: All right. So that's a rundown of what you can expect on our side up at the UN General Assembly. Just to remind you all that because U.S. diplomacy effectively moves to New York next week, we will not be doing the daily press briefing here. Instead, as you know, we're running our usual press room up there and we will keep you fed with on-the-record and background briefings throughout the week, in addition to all of the Secretary and the President's public remarks.

I don't have anything else at the top. Let's go to what's on your minds.

Andy.

QUESTION:I just have a quick one on the Secretary's schedule, and maybe this is one of those things that remains TBD, but I was wondering if '' there's been some suggestion the P-5+1 might be gathering or discussing this, either formally or informally, on the Iran issue. Do you know if that's on the cards?

MS. NULAND: Well, as Esther said, we're still working on the Secretary's schedule. I think we do intend that P-5+1 countries will get together, minus Iran, next week. We are not yet at the point where we know whether this will be at Under Secretary Sherman's level or whether it'll be at the Secretary's level, so stay tuned on that one. But again, it's going to be minus Iran, to take a look at where we are.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: Victoria --

QUESTION: Victoria, on --

MS. NULAND: Is Mr. Lee ready to assume his usual --

QUESTION: No, no. Go ahead.

QUESTION: On the schedule --

QUESTION: Did the White House drop the ball in terms of --

QUESTION: Excuse me --

QUESTION:-- not demanding '' one second, sir '' not demanding security at the facilities in Benghazi? Did the White House drop the ball? There were so many warnings weeks ahead of time. Ambassador Stevens had himself declared that he probably was a target for al-Qaida. There was a story in The Independent two days ahead of time that there were warnings put out of the situation in Benghazi, and nothing was done.

Who was responsible? Was it the Commander-in-Chief or was it something else?

MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, I'm not going to comment on rumors; I'm not going to comment on other people's press reporting. We have, over the course of the last 10 days, given you as much as we can at the moment. We said that those were interim reports based on the information that we have. As you know, various members of the government, including the intelligence community, have spoken on the record about what they know at the moment. However, we now have an FBI investigation. We now have an Accountability Review Board established by the Secretary, as she's required to do by law, which will also do a full investigation, including of all of the questions that you are asking as to how we were postured ahead of time, how the reaction went after, and whether we are in the right place now.

So I am not going to comment on any of these things until we have the results of those investigations, which will tell us the answers to many of these questions that you're asking.

QUESTION: Does the State Department feel that we're maybe facing something like a 9/11 chapter two, and that what happened in Benghazi was the beginning of another offensive against the United States?

MS. NULAND: I'm not going to get into characterizing this until we see what these investigations lead to. I think you have seen that '' this week, we have seen peaceful protests in a lot of countries. We've seen a few of those turn violent. But we've also seen very good reaction around the world from government security forces to ensure that even in those places where they've become violent, they haven't gotten out of hand in terms of destroying diplomatic facilities or diplomatic property. We are very appreciative of that, including, as you know, in Pakistan today, where there were relatively large demonstrations around the country '' Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar '' that have now been dispersed.

So we are obviously going to wait for the results of the investigations '' the FBI investigation, the result of the Accountability Review Board. This is the appropriate and normal way to review the situation and to learn whatever lessons there are to be learned. But as the President, as the Secretary, as all of us have said, security of our people, of our facilities around the world is of utmost importance.

QUESTION: Victoria, can I just --

MS. NULAND: Please.

QUESTION: On the schedule, please.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION:Okay. Now, you said that Friday, she's '' or she said that on Friday, she will deal with the Middle Eastern issues. She's going to have a meeting on Syria, the Gulf Cooperation Council. Is there anything on the peace process for that day --

MS. NULAND: There will be, obviously, a variety of bilateral meetings with various stakeholders. There will be a Quartet-level meeting at David Hale's level '' our Special Envoy David Hale. She'll have an opportunity to see various people, including EU High Representative Ashton, et cetera. But I don't have any particular Middle East-focused meeting at her level besides the broader one that Assistant Secretary Brimmer discussed, which is not strictly on the peace process; it's on --

QUESTION: I understand.

MS. NULAND: -- the entire set of events in the region.

QUESTION: But that Quartet at the David Hale-level meeting, is that on Friday as well?

MS. NULAND: I don't know the answer to that, Said. I think it's earlier in the week. I think it's Thursday, probably.

QUESTION: Can we go back to --

QUESTION: (Inaudible) Libya?

QUESTION: Yeah, Libya first, and --

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: Can we start with Libya?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: After the '' I mean --

QUESTION: Please, just go around.

QUESTION: I came in late. I don't really care what you guys want to talk about. If you want to go to Pakistan --

QUESTION: Go, go, go, Matt.

QUESTION:No, I wanted to go to Libya, but I just (inaudible).

QUESTION: On the ARB, I just want to make one thing '' the '' they are '' are they going to incorporate the FBI report into their report? They're not going to do a separate report on the actual incident, are they? As I understand, the ARB is '' will look at and make recommendations for how something like this could be '' might be able to be prevented in the future. And that is '' that's their mandate, in addition to investigating the actual '' what happened. But I'm curious; I mean, are they really going to waste their time doing a '' their own report, their own '' sorry, their own investigation, interviewing witnesses, et cetera, after the FBI has already talked to these people and reached their own conclusions?

MS. NULAND: Well, I can't speak to how the ARB will decide to proceed with its mandate, whether it will decide it needs to call people in, who, how extensive. I would guess, obviously, they'll want to talk to people. But you are right in the sense that the mandate of the FBI investigation is to respond to the fact that we have Americans killed overseas. They have to investigate all of the circumstances under which that happened. They have to then determine whether there are judicial follow-on steps that need to be taken in the United States or in collaboration with our partners.

With regard to the mandate of the Accountability Review Board, we put a little information out last night, but let me just repeat it here on the record. The ARB, under statute, is responsible for making written findings determining the extent to which the incident was security-related; whether security systems and security procedures at the mission were adequate; whether the security systems and security procedures were properly implemented; the impact of intelligence and available information; and any other facts or circumstances which can be relevant to the appropriate security management of U.S. missions abroad.

So further to the question you asked, all of those things will be looked at in the ARB context. The FBI will look at many of the same things, but in the context of a criminal case.

QUESTION: All right. Is it still the Administration's position, at least publicly, that the information you have suggests that this was a protest, or a somewhat peaceful protest, that got hijacked by militants? Was that ''

MS. NULAND: Well, we --

QUESTION: That's what Secretary '' or Ambassador Rice said on Sunday. That's what people have said. And I'm just wondering, is that '' are you sticking with that or is that changing? Is that position evolving?

MS. NULAND: Well, I don't have any update to the public statements that have been made by many Administration principals over the course of the week. Some of them have been updated, particularly on the intelligence side, as more information has become available. From this podium, we are simply going to say that we now have an FBI investigation, we have the ARB, and we don't anticipate having further information to share until those two come forward.

QUESTION: Well, can I just follow up? Two things.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: First of all, people that were at the scene on the ground '' and Libyans in particular '' are saying that they didn't see anything around the Embassy until these people stormed the Embassy. So that would contradict with your assessment that this was a planned protest, was '' sorry, was a peaceful protest gone astray.

And then also, there is a '' there are some reports that the compound '' the building '' certain buildings of the compound were '' that diesel fuel was poured around the compound and set afire. And that would also indicate that it was preplanned, because I'm not sure that people just walk around with cans of diesel fuel. I mean, I just '' it's not about, like, little details. It's about the picture, that you say this isn't preplanned. Some of the things that are coming out of the scene directly contradict that.

MS. NULAND: Elise, as everybody who has spoken to any of these details has said, starting with what we said here, what everybody along the way has said, the information we've given to date is based on initial assessments. We've given you all kinds of caveats, including from here, that the investigation was going to have to tell us the complete and final story. So I can't speak to whether there will ultimately '' it will ultimately prove out that some of the initial information that some of us had wasn't accurate. We're going to have to wait now.

And with regard to diesel fuel, without being able to speak directly to whether that assertion is right, diesel --

QUESTION: Do you not know?

MS. NULAND: Can I just finish my --

QUESTION: Sorry.

MS. NULAND: Yeah. Diesel is the '' one of the main fuels that goes into Libyan cars, and most Libyans have it in the back '' in the trunk of their car. So it is broadly available, but again, I can't speak to the veracity of the report, okay?

QUESTION: So on that point, has it been determined whether it was actually arson, the fire was caused by arson, or firing?

MS. NULAND: None of this has been determined, as I've said about four times already.

QUESTION: Is there a time limit under which the ARB has to prepare its report?

MS. NULAND: My understanding is under statute, there's no time limit, but as we said last night, historically ARBs have completed their work in an average of about 65 days.

QUESTION: So the Secretary hasn't actually set a time limit when she --

MS. NULAND: It's not her place to set a time limit. It's the board's place to tell her and the Congress when they are ready.

QUESTION: Toria, the '' some of the legislators who met with the Secretary and others from the Executive Branch yesterday said that they found their explanations wanting '' that they wanted more information, and some have repeated a call for an independent commission to look into what happened last week. Would this building oppose that, support that? And has there been any discussion about participating in an independent probe?

MS. NULAND: Well, with regard to the ARB, that is an independent group that is '' it's established, obviously, by the government, but the expectation is that they will make an independent set of judgments based on what they find.

QUESTION: New topic?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: This is in the probably blatantly understating the obvious category, but there are reports --

MS. NULAND: What country, Elise?

QUESTION:This is on Iran. Apparently, the head of the Iran's Atomic Energy Agency told a reporter for the Arabic newspaper Al Hayat that he sometimes lies about the country's nuclear capabilities in order to evade espionage by the West. And I was wondering if you've seen this report and what your response to it would be.

MS. NULAND: Imagine that, Iran lying. It's telling that Iran is finally admitting in public that it lies about its nuclear program. This just further increases the international community's concern about what the real story is in Iran. And as you know, the Board of Governors of the IAEA issued a very strong resolution yesterday calling on Iran to come clean with the IAEA and with the international community.

QUESTION: But on a more serious note, though, if they're admitting that they're lying, then what is the kind of futility of working through the IAEA on this process if they're blatantly admitting that they're not being upfront about it? I mean, how relevant is '' are these inspections or the information that they're providing to the IAEA if they're saying publicly that they're lying?

MS. NULAND: Well, Elise, as you know, we are pursuing a dual-track policy here. We've got diplomacy going, we've got pressure going. On the diplomacy side, that involves not only the P-5+1 process, where we're giving them an opportunity to come clean, to answer our questions, to engage in a step-by-step process of solving this set of issues and the international community's concerns, and it also involves continuing to encourage the IAEA to get what it needs to answer the questions that it has, and encouraging Iran to consider finally complying with their requests, including getting into facilities.

But in the meantime, and as they continue to stall and waste the time that they've been given, the international community is upping the pressure, and we're increasing the pressure through sanctions and through the tightening of them on a weekly/monthly basis.

So we're going to continue to work that way. We think, as you know, that they would never have come back to the P-5+1 table at all if there weren't the kind of sanctions that we're seeing now. And we think the sanctions are having an effect, and we'll just have to see where this goes.

QUESTION: So are you --

QUESTION: Can we go back to Pakistan?

QUESTION: Hold on. Did they waste the time that they've been given?

MS. NULAND: Well, again, they --

QUESTION: I mean, I think that they haven't wasted the time at all. They've used the time to plunge further ahead with their program and with enrichment, right?

MS. NULAND: My point was that they have been given a lot of opportunity to come clean, to engage with the international community through the diplomatic track, and they have so far squandered that.

QUESTION: Pakistan?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION:Can we go back? Because I think we skipped over it a bit. There's actually '' demonstrations today have been very violent in Pakistan. I think we have up to something like 50 people dead and more than 200 people injured on a day that was called by the Government in Pakistan as a holiday to honor the Prophet Mohammed. I wonder if there's a sense that maybe these are spiraling out of control, and is it perhaps the U.S. position that this could have been avoided if there hadn't been a national holiday?

MS. NULAND: Well, I'm not going to speak to Pakistani decision about whether to have a holiday or not to have a holiday. You are right that the demonstrations were very large in many cities, that there was some violence, that people lost their lives. This speaks to our continuing concern that everybody needs to speak out in support of expressing concern about these videos or any other issues that they have through peaceful means and not through violence.

But what we've also seen in Pakistan today is that security forces, police, riot police, even the military, mounted a very serious effort to do what they could to keep these under control, that they were able to protect diplomatic facilities throughout the day, and that they have now been able to disperse the crowd, but regrettably, there were acts of violence.

QUESTION: Has the U.S. been satisfied with the level of public, high-level Pakistani official pronouncements on this issue? I mean, would it be useful, do you think, for President Zardari to get on the television and to make the same points that President Obama made in his ad, that this isn't a U.S. Government effort to denigrate Muslims and so on and calling for people to protest peacefully? That doesn't seem to have happened yet.

MS. NULAND: Well, I don't have his statement in front of me, but my understanding is that President Zardari has made statements against violence and in support of tolerance, in support of democratic values. He did that last week, has continued to do that. We're going to have Foreign Minister Khar in the building shortly. She's going to be making public statements. So I think that --

QUESTION: Well, is she (inaudible) making public statements?

MS. NULAND: Yeah '' that she and the Secretary are going to meet in a few minutes. I think the plan is '' in fact I'm about to be handed a note, I think. No? No. The plan is for she and the Secretary, before they sit down for their meeting, to come out and speak to all of you today in separate statements.

QUESTION: There's also --

QUESTION: In terms of the ad that Andy mentioned, what's the initial feedback you've gotten from the airing of this PSA?

MS. NULAND: I think it's '' I mentioned to you yesterday that we were only beginning to be able to measure metrics. I don't think it's going to be realistic to give you kind of a metric report on our efforts in this week or next.

QUESTION: Well, you're aware that the Embassy posted a link to this ad on its Facebook page?

MS. NULAND: I am.

QUESTION: Are you aware of what the Embassy says about the comments that have been posted?

MS. NULAND: Why don't you --

QUESTION: Overwhelmingly negative. And, in fact, I went on and looked at some of these comments, a lot of which couldn't be repeated publicly in this forum. It was a hundred '' they say they had at least 155,000 views of this ad and that the response, the comments that they have gotten are, quote, ''overwhelmingly negative.'' And I'm just wondering if you've taken a look at that. And that would seem to be a pretty early metric, although obviously it's '' I guess it's limited in what you can actually tell from it '' who is actually responding to it, and it's a self-selecting group of response. But that would seem to be an early metric that you can judge the effectiveness by.

MS. NULAND: Well, again, I haven't looked at what you're looking at. I will --

QUESTION: Okay, well, it's on Facebook.

MS. NULAND: -- I will do a little bit of research on that. I haven't been on Facebook, let's see, since breakfast. (Laughter.) But what I will say is that what we're seeing throughout this is that we have a lot of '' we have the people who are most vocal are on the most extreme side of it. And we have these silent majorities who are staying home, not participating, and not getting on Facebook and putting up negative comments, but also not associating themselves with these things.

So it's obviously early to look at whether the methods that we've used to try to reach Pakistanis have been effective, but we'll have to look at this going forward.

QUESTION: All right. So you're looking at '' then you would look at the protests not as several hundred thousand people gathered, but that several million people decided to stay home.

MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, I think your numbers are off. We've seen about '' I think the largest protest today was something like 80,000. But the issue is --

QUESTION: Well, that's one of four or five.

MS. NULAND: Obviously, look, we're going to have to look at this whole thing going forward, but what's most important is that people who support democratic values in their country, understand that in a democracy '' and speak out for the fact that in a democracy, if you are aggrieved, if you are insulted, if you don't agree with policy, you have all kinds of mechanisms, whether it's the ballot box, whether it's joining a party, whether it is a peaceful protest to express your views, but in a democracy there are also responsibilities, and those include respecting law and order and not resorting to violence to express yourself.

QUESTION: But to take Matt's point '' yes, you have the video that was circulating on the TV stations, and yes, many people may have watched the video and may have been persuaded between that and the government's decision to declare a holiday to do something else. But isn't that, in a way, preaching to the choir? What about trying to reach the people whom some analysts have suggested are being motivated by imams with their own political agendas? How do you reach them, since they're the ones who are going out into the streets, have set things on fire, and as Jo mentioned, there have been deaths today. How do you reach those people?

MS. NULAND: Well, we obviously have '' from all of our embassy platforms reach out to as many people as we can, even people who don't agree with us. It doesn't always change their view, but we're going to continue to do that.

I'm getting the one minute signal here because I have to go upstairs for the Khar meeting. Can we just go over here? Yep, go ahead.

QUESTION:I just wanted to ask what you could say about the MEK and the de-listing.

MS. NULAND: I cannot say a lot at the moment, but what I can say is as part of the review process that we have made clear has been ongoing here for some time, the Department is now in the process of sending a classified communication from the Secretary to the Congress today regarding the designation of the MEK. I'm not in a position to confirm the contents of this because it's classified, but we anticipate being able to make a public announcement about it sometime before October 1st.

So with that, I'm going to have to excuse ''

QUESTION: October 1st.

MS. NULAND: Yeah, exactly.

QUESTION: What's today?

QUESTION: It's September 21st.

QUESTION: The 21st?

MS. NULAND: Exactly.

QUESTION: Sometime in the next ten days?

MS. NULAND: Correct.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. NULAND: I apologize, I've got to go upstairs and be with the Secretary and Foreign Minister Khar. Thanks very much.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:15 p.m.)

DPB # 167

Remarks With Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar Before Their Meeting

Link to Article

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 21:54

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, and let me begin by welcoming Foreign Minister Khar on her first visit to Washington as foreign minister. We've had the opportunity to meet in Islamabad and other settings, but I am very pleased that we would have this chance to exchange views on our bilateral relationship as well as regional and global issues.

I want to begin by addressing the events of the day and the past week. Today, we've once again seen protests in several cities in Pakistan. Unfortunately, some of those protests have turned violent and, sadly, resulted in loss of life. I want to thank the Government of Pakistan for their efforts to protect our Embassy in Islamabad and consulates in Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi.

And I want to be clear, as I have said on numerous occasions, the violence we have seen cannot be tolerated. There is no justification for violence. Of course, there is provocation, and we have certainly made clear that we do not in any way support provocation. We found the video that's at the core of this series of events offensive, disgusting, reprehensible.

But that does not provide justification for violence, and therefore it is important for responsible leaders, indeed responsible people everywhere, to stand up and speak out against violence and particularly against those who would exploit this difficult moment to advance their own extremist ideologies.

Yesterday afternoon when I briefed the Congress, I made it clear that keeping our people everywhere in the world safe is our top priority. What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and we will not rest until we have tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four Americans. And we are taking aggressive measures at all of our posts to protect our staffs and their families along with locally employed people who provide so many important contributions to the work of our missions.

The Foreign Minister and I will have a chance to cover a full range of subjects today, and it is no secret that the past year and a half has been challenging for Pakistan and the United States. And we still have work to do to get our bilateral relationship to the point where we would like it to be, but we both recognize that we can achieve more when we work together on a focused agenda. So today is the latest in a series of high-level meetings. Ambassador Marc Grossman has just returned from consultations in Islamabad. I look forward to seeing President Zardari next week at the UN General Assembly. At each meeting, we are working to identify the strategic goals we share '' and there are many '' and the concrete actions we can each take to accomplish them.

Our number one shared priority remains pursuing our joint counterterrorism objectives to ensure the security of American and Pakistani citizens alike. We face a common threat from a common enemy, and we must confront terrorism and extremism together. Earlier this month, I designated the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization so we could make full use of every available legal authority to end their deadly attacks. Pakistan's parliament has called for expelling foreign fighters so that Pakistan's territory can be fully under control of the Pakistani Government and cannot be used to launch attacks against other nations.

And the follow-through on this is challenging but necessary, and we look forward to working with Pakistan as they continue to address these problems. We have both pledged to support a secure, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan, which is vital for the security of the region. And I want to thank Foreign Minister Khar for Pakistan's reopening of the NATO supply lines to allow the movement of goods to Afghanistan.

We will discuss the successful first meeting of the Safe Passage Working Group in Islamabad which brought together Afghan, Pakistani, and U.S. representatives to advance the peace process in Afghanistan. The Pakistani Government's public call for insurgents to come forward and talk with the Afghan Government was particularly important. We are ready to work together to build on these steps, and we will continue our discussions through bilateral consultations and the U.S.-Afghanistan-Pakistan Core Group.

Now, of course, our relationship goes far beyond our shared security concerns, and today we will discuss the many other ways in which we work together, particularly to create economic opportunity for Pakistanis. Foreign Minister Khar and I agree that we need to shift our economic relationship from aid to trade and investment. We are working to help Pakistan attract more private sector investment. We hope to finalize a bilateral investment treaty soon. And we've created a Pakistan private investment initiative to help more of Pakistan's small and medium sized companies get access to capital.

Over the past few years, we have seen Pakistan's civilian government begin to put down stronger roots. And if elections proceed as planned next year, it will mark the first time in Pakistan's history that a civilian-led government has served its full term. The United States supports Pakistan's economic development, and we have said many times that we want to see democracy succeed in Pakistan.

We also support Pakistan's sovereignty, but we are clear that all sovereign nations carry certain obligations to protect the human rights of their citizens, to control their territory, to prevent threats to their neighbors and the international community.

So we know that there is still much to be done, but I can assure the people of Pakistan that the United States remains committed to this important relationship and we are confident we can continue to move forward together one step at a time to reach our shared strategic objectives.

Thank you very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER KHAR: Thank you, Madam Secretary. Good afternoon to everyone. It is a pleasure for me to be here standing beside you. Allow me to begin from where you began, Madam Secretary, and to say that we appreciate the very strong condemnation and the very strong condemnation and the very strong words that were used by yourself, Madam Secretary, by President Obama, and as I met the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, by Senator Kerry; the condemnation of this blasphemous video, which has certainly stroked the sensitivities of the Muslims in the wrong way. Your condemnation has given a strong message that the United States Government not only condemns it but has absolutely no support to such blasphemous videos or content anywhere. I think that is an important message, and that message should go a long way in ending the violence on many streets in the world.

Madam Secretary, as we stand today, let's recognize, first of all, that we have been through some of the most difficult times in our 60-year history as far as our relations with the United States are concerned. The last 18 months were very, very difficult, and they were difficult for many reasons. However, the fact that the two countries braved these last 18 months together shows that we have both a deep understanding of the importance of this relationship for the bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States, also for the goals that we hope to achieve together of regional peace and stability.

So today, as we meet '' which is, as you said, a continuation of series of important meetings which have already taken place '' if I were to take a judgment call today, I think in the last few months we have done rather well, in some ways almost better than we could have expected to do in building the trust. And therefore, today we stand at a time of opportunity, at a time of opportunity to be able to seize the trust deficit mantra and start building on the trust by walking the talk that takes or achieves the interests which are clearly common.

So as we move forward, let me, first of all, appreciate the role that you personally played in building this relation, in bringing it back together. And let me say that Pakistanis are thankful for the support that the United States has given to Pakistan. I think the very recent example of Peshawar-Torkham Road is a very good example. There are many other examples. And as you said, it is important that we are able to build on the relations, build on the positives.

In this, I am happy that today, as we go through this meeting, we will be talking about building on an architecture of cooperation which will take these relations to be sustainable, to be predictable*, and most importantly, to be viewed by both the publics '' the Americans here and Pakistanis there '' to be pursuing their national interests; to be a relation which is based on mutual respect, which is based on mutual understanding, and which is seen to be pursuing the national goals and objectives of each country.

I see a lot of convergence between the two countries. I want to start on the bilateral track. I think we both agree that it is important that as we create this architecture of cooperation, fields in which this cooperation will be very important is that of economic and trade. Within the trade, we are, of course, happy to move on with BIT and we would be even more interested to work towards a preferential trade agreement or a preferential market access system whereby Pakistanis can be given the strong message that they '' that the U.S. is committed to providing economic opportunities to Pakistanis who have suffered, who have suffered economically, who have suffered socially, and who have suffered in many, many ways.

What is also very important within this architecture is the counterterrorism cooperation that we can do together. I think the last few months, maybe the biggest negative externality of the dip in relations has been the counterterrorism objectives of both the countries. Because make no mistake: Terrorists of any type, breed, color, anywhere, are a threat to Pakistan as much as they are a threat to anyone. And it is for that reason that Pakistan stands today at the vanguard having compromised, having made the most sacrifices in blood and treasure than any other country in the world, having lost 30,000 civilians, having lost 6,000 soldiers to this fight, having a huge economic cost. Believe you me, Pakistan is a country which is committed to ridding this scourge from the region, especially for our country. And we do it to secure the future of our children and we do it to secure the future of the region.

Madam Secretary, we also have room to cooperate as we have cooperated in the energy sector. Allow me to share with you that with the assistance of the United States, we will be adding a few hundred megawatts to the Pakistani grid. We hope this cooperation will extend further and we will see U.S. cooperation even in Bhasha Dam, which is clearly a consensus project in Pakistan. Defense cooperation has already worked well, and we hope that this will be enhanced as we move forward.

Madam Secretary, perhaps today the strongest convergence of interests that we have is not in any of these bilateral tracks but in Afghanistan, because Afghanistan today represents a common challenge to both the countries. We are, of course, concerned of the reports that we hear from Afghanistan. We are concerned of some of the infiltration which is coming from Afghanistan inside Pakistan. We are also concerned about the security situation. And I think that the United States and Pakistan today have a unique opportunity to be able to work together to ensure that there is no security vacuum left in Afghanistan as we go through transition, that the Afghan people are able to decide for their own future and live as a sovereign, independent country which is a source of stability and peace in the region for the next 30 years.

So, Madam Secretary, I think we have a lot which unites us. We have a lot of convergences, and I just want to end by saying that one thing which has created challenges for us in Pakistan is for this relationship to be viewed singularly to be pursuing the national interest of the United States of America. Let me correct that perception and say that in pursuing our counterterrorism goals, in pursuing a better future within the region and pursuing a more stable and peaceful Afghanistan, we are indeed pursuing our own national interest.

And even though we may have differences of approach on some issues, I'm quite sure that as we talk more and as we go through this architecture of cooperation that I talked about, we can manage to find solutions to each of the difficulties also.

Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all.

Former GITMO Detainee Now Being Blamed For Attack In

WHITE HOUSE INSIDER: '' Barack Obama '' The Butcher of Benghazi. ''

Link to Article

Source: The Ulsterman Report

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 04:20

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Ministry of Truth

Statements on Blogs Will be Punishable in Norway

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:59

Government will amend a law to make it possible to prosecute blog statements.

The regulation has been sent out for consultation after blogger Eivind Berge, who promoted killing of police officers, was released in July.

- The purpose is to enable the prosecution of expressions in the public domain when their content is illegal, regardless of the medium used to spread utterance, according to the consultation document.

This summer blogger Eivind Berge had been arrested after he made death threats against policemen on his blog. The Supreme Court had decided, however, that the statements were made on the internet and it does not count as public and does not fall under the definition of printed material. Thus, Berge was released.

According to the new Penal Code, statements on the Internet is considered as public. The proposal has now been submitted for consultation, and is intended as a temporary solution until the new criminal law is introduced.

Elite$

Follow the Pipes

Growing protests in Georgia threaten to unseat ruling party

Link to Article

Source: euronews

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:47

In the city of Minsk and across Belarus polls have opened for the country's parliamentary election. The two main opposition parties have boycotted the ballot. President Alexander Lukashenko who has held power in the former Soviet country since 1994 was flanked by his'...

Pussy Putin

Lennon Ono Grant For Peace 2012 will be awarded to Rachel Corrie, John Perkins, Christopher Hitchens, Pussy Riot and one other

Lennon Ono Grant For Peace 2012 will be awarded to Rachel Corrie, John Perkins, Christopher Hitchens, Pussy Riot and one other

Yoko Ono with the backing of Amnesty International, awarded the grant to Pussy Riot in New York City on 21st September 2012 in the hope that they will be released as soon as possible.

Suzanne Nossel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yoko Ono bestows peace grant on Russian punk band Pussy Riot

Link to Article

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:34

NEW YORK -- Yoko Ono and Amnesty International awarded the Russian punk band Pussy Riot this year's LennonOno grant for peace.

Ono presented the award to Pyotr Verzilov, husband of Nadia Tolokonnikova - one of three imprisoned members of Pussy Riot sentenced in August to two years in prison for performing an irreverent song mocking Russian President Vladimir Putin inside Moscow's main cathedral.

"It's a terrible thing that all three girls have been jailed for not doing anything wrong. They were just standing for freedom of speech," Ono said at a ceremony in New York City.

Verzilov thanked Ono, saying the grant increased international pressure on Russian authorities to release the women.

The LennonOno Grant for Peace is given every two years to honor Yoko Ono's late husband John Lennon's dedication to peace and human rights.

(Copyright (C)2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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protest, music, murder, prison, celebrity, national/world

EARon

Iran Accuses German Siemens Of Sabotaging Its Nuclear Plant As Turkey Sends Heavy Weapons To Syria Border

Link to Article

Source: Infowars » Featured Stories

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:30

Turkey Sends Heavy Weapons To Syria Border

Zero HedgeSunday, September 23, 2012

It seems you can't turn your back on the Middle East for more than a few minutes without something going bump in the desert. Sure enough, a few shorts hours after we reported that the leader of Iran's Revolutionary Guards is certain war with Israel is coming, here comes Iran again with the stunning admission that none other than German industrial conglomerate, and occasional maker of nuclear power plants, Siemens was reponsible for ''implanting tiny explosives inside equipment the Islamic Republic purchased for its disputed nuclear program.

Prominent lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi said Iranian security experts discovered the explosives and removed them before detonation, adding that authorities believe the booby-trapped equipment was sold to derail uranium enrichment efforts. ''The equipment was supposed to explode after being put to work, in order to dismantle all our systems,'' he said. ''But the wisdom of our experts thwarted the enemy conspiracy.'' Expert wisdom aside, what is stunning is not the ongoing attempts by everyone and the kitchen sink to terminally corrupt the Iranian nuclear power plant: after Stuxnet one would expect nothing less than every form of conventional and ''new normal'' espionage thrown into the pot to cripple the only peaceful argument Iran would have for demanding nuclear power, which by implication would mean that all ongoing nuclear pursuits are geared solely toward aggressive, military goals, of the type that demand immediate military retaliation by the democratic superpowers. No, what is stunning is the implicit admission that Germany's, and Europe's, largest electrical engineering company, has been not only quietly transacting with none other than world peace (as portrayed by the MSM) enemy #1, Iran, but instrumental in its nuclear program.

Obviously it took a Stuxnet second before Siemens denied everything and then some. Via Reuters:

Siemens denied the charge and said its nuclear division has had no business with Iran since the 1979 revolution that led to its current clerical state.

''Siemens rejects the allegations and stresses that we have no business ties to the Iranian nuclear program,'' spokesman for the Munich-based company Alexander Machowetz said.

Oh well, Iran must have bought all those Siemens nuclear centrifuges, concrete dome and steam plant in near perfect condition on eBay from anonymous sellers (who accept PayPal and even credit cardsas long as the purchase does not have an Indonesian shipping address).

Iran, however, isn't afraid of trowing Siemens into even deeper water, alleging not only breach of international embargos, but also masterful sabotaging of ones own product:

Boroujerdi, who heads the parliamentary security committee, alleged that the explosives were implanted at a Siemens factory and demanded the company take responsibility.

There is of course another possibility: that the shipping address of the mysterious and anonymous ebay seller was somewhere in Langley, VA:

Some Iranian officials have also suggested in the past that specific European companies may have sold faulty equipment to Iran with the knowledge of American intelligence agencies and their own governments, since the sales would have harmed, rather than helped, the country's nuclear program.

According to Iran, the alleged campaign has included the abduction of scientists, the sale of faulty equipment and the planting of a destructive computer worm known as Stuxnet, which briefly brought Iran's uranium enrichment activity to a halt in 2010.

Certifying that there is undoubtedly a Jason Bourne episode in the works over this entire incident is the following:

Abbasi also told the U.N. nuclear agency in Vienna that ''terrorists and saboteurs'' might have infiltrated the International Atomic Energy Agency, after the watchdog's inspectors arrived at the Fordo underground enrichment facility shortly after power lines were blown up through sabotage on Aug. 17.

Iran has repeatedly accused the IAEA of sending spies in the guise of inspectors to collect information about its nuclear activities, pointing to alleged leaks of information by inspectors to U.S. and other officials.

Five nuclear scientists and researchers have been killed in Iran since 2010. Tehran blames the deaths on Israel's Mossad spy agency as well as the CIA and Britain's MI-6. Washington and London have denied any roles. Israel has not commented.

Boroujerdi said the alleged leaks of nuclear information to its adversaries by the IAEA may finally push Tehran to end all cooperation with the agency.

''Iran has the right to cut its cooperation with the IAEA should such violations continue,'' he said.

If anyone follows the game theory in this one, and has any idea who has not defected, or where the Nash equilibrium is at this point, please speak up. The rest of us just want the popcorn.

And in far simpler plotlines, Reuters reports that Syria (which for those who have a 15 minutes attention span, was accused three months ago by everyone, and certainly Hillary Clinton, of offensively taking down a Turkish plane before it turned out to be a self-defensive move, at which point the entire false flag story promptly disappeared as it could no longer be pre-spun) is once again being provoked by NATO-member Turkey, which is now deploying heavy armored vehicles and weapons to the border with Syria. The spin this time around:

The deployment is reportedly in an area where earlier this week Turkish civilians were wounded when stray bullets and shelling crossed the border from the Syrian province of al-Raqqa.

CNN Turk television said artillery fire had landed close to the Turkish border overnight, causing panic among local residents.

The Turkish army moved three Howitzers and one anti-aircraft weapon to the border, the channel said.

Turkey, a member of NATO, has conducted a number of troop deployments in recent months along its 911-km (566-mile) border with Syria, where rebels are fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

And on, and on, until the interminable foreplay finally ends, whenever one of the abovementioned democracies decides the quiet period is over, and the time for real GDP building (if only in a hard core Keynesian-cum-Krugman sense) once the ability to generate even one additional dollar in debt is no longer available, is upon us.

Tags: terrorism, war

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Siemens denies Iran sabotage link

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Middle East

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:44

23 September 2012Last updated at06:33 ETGerman engineering company Siemens has denied allegations that it planted explosive devices inside nuclear equipment destined for Iran.

Siemens said it has "no business ties to the Iranian nuclear programme".

An Iranian MP said the devices had been discovered before they could explode.

Iran is under UN sanctions and the MP did not say where the equipment had come from. Tehran is engaged in a standoff with Western countries which suspect it is building a nuclear bomb.

The UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has expressed "serious concern" that Iran had continued to defy UN Security Council resolutions which demand the suspension of uranium enrichment and had failed to resolve questions about possible nuclear weapons development.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that Iran is only six or seven months from having "90%" of what it needs to make a nuclear bomb, and has urged the US to draw a "red line" which if crossed would lead to military intervention.

Iran has insisted that its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes, and warned that it will retaliate if it comes under attack.

Mystery deepensIranian lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of parliament's security committee, said on Saturday that the authorities believed the equipment "was supposed to explode after being put to work, in order to dismantle all our systems".

"But the wisdom of our experts thwarted the enemy conspiracy."

Continue reading the main storyUS

Longstanding ban on all trade with Iran except for activities "intended to benefit the Iranian people"New sanctions against foreign firms dealing with Iran's oil sector and central bankEU

Restrictions on trade in equipment which could be used for uranium enrichmentAsset freeze on individuals and organisations linked with nuclear programmeExport ban on natural gas technologyUN

Ban on sales of heavy weaponry and nuclear technology to IranIranian arms exports blocked, and asset freeze for key individuals and firmsCargo inspections to detect and stop Iran's acquisition of illicit materialsMr Boroujerdi said the explosives were planted at a Siemens factory and the company had to take responsibility.

The Munich-based German firm denied the charge. It said it its nuclear division has had no business links with Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

"Siemens rejects the allegations and stresses that we have no business ties to the Iranian nuclear program," spokesman Alexander Machowetz said.

The Iranian accusation raises some intriguing questions, says the BBC's Steve Evans in Berlin.

They include, he says:

Has the Iranian MP simply got it wrong?Is Iran buying Siemens equipment through a third party?Is there something more underhand going on, with sabotaged equipment being sold with the secret approval of Western intelligence agencies?In June 2010, a virus - the Stuxnet - was found to have infected computer systems at Iranian nuclear plants.

It, too, was connected to a Siemens product but the company denied all knowledge.

Unconfirmed reports linked the virus to a government agency, perhaps in the US or Israel.

The latest allegations deepen the mystery, says our Berlin correspondent.

Don't Look Over Here

War on Vets

Pittsburgh Hostage Situation Ends Peacefully

ex-military, 3 names: http://t.co/1HyHHcol

Link to Article

Source: @adamcurry - Twitter Search

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 15:56

Pittsburgh police are trying to negotiate with a man who claimed to be armed with a bomb and a gun on the 16th floor of 3 Gateway Center, Downtown.

Pittsburgh police chief Nate Harper identified the man as Klein Michael Thaxton and said he is in Suite 1625 of the building at 401 Liberty Ave. The suite is occupied by CW Breitsman Associates, LLC, a third-party firm that helps administer others' insurance, retirement and pension plans.

Mr. Thaxton is ex-military and "relatively calm," the chief said. He is not making threats, the chief said.

"We are negotiating with that individual," the chief said. "... We are willing to talk as long as it takes to resolve this in a safe and orderly fashion."

No shots have been fired and no one has been injured, Chief Harper said. Police cannot confirm what weapons Mr. Thaxton has nor his specific motivation, Chief Harper said.

"We don't know what upset this individual to go to that floor and take that hostage," he said.

The hostage was targeted specifically, Chief Harper said.

The city bomb squad and special weapons and tactics officers are at the scene, along with scores of police officers. The FBI is also there.

A search of public records showed only one Klein Thaxton in Pennsylvania, in McKeesport. A Facebook page belonging to a Klein Michael Thaxton who says he is from McKeesport has been updated even after the hostage was taken.

8:54 a.m.: "i cant take it no more im done bro"

8:56 a.m.: "how this ends is up to yall bro"

9 a.m.: "welln pops youll never have to woryy about me again you'll nevr need to by me anything no need to ever waste ur hard earned money on me. i'll live n jail you dnt want me around anymore thats kool bye"

9:03 a.m.: "this life im livn rite now i dnt want anymore ive lost everything and i aint gettn it back"

11:16 a.m.: In a plea for people to stop posting "silly" things to his page, "i aint laughin rite now"

The firm was founded in 2007 by Charles W. Breitsman, an employee benefits expert who formerly served as president of the board of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

The building, completed in 1952, is 24 stories -- 344 feet -- high.

Chief Harper said Mr. Thaxton walked into the suite at 8:10 a.m. and claimed he had a gun and a bomb. He asked questions about "an individual," the chief said, then took a hostage.

At least three other people in the office were ordered to leave, witnesses said.

Kathi Dvorak, who works across the hall from CW Breitsman, said a woman ran into her office yelling "Somebody's robbing us! Call 911!"

Another woman ran in, who grabbed a phone and also called 911.

They locked the door and stayed for five or 10 minutes until building security arrived to evacuate them.

Kevin Gormly works in a law firm on the 15th floor. He said he arrived for work about 8:05 a.m. and saw people running from lobby elevators yelling about a man with a gun.

He went up to the 15th floor anyway, he said, to make sure everyone was OK but instead met police, who escorted him back down and told him there was an "emergency situation."

"In the lobby the security guards were running everywhere and calling 911 and people were running out of the building," Mr. Gormly said.

Then police began evacuating the lobby and the 16th floor.

"We were thankful," he said. "We wanted to get out of there and we didn't want to risk going through the hallways."

Police have blocked streets and secured other floors of the building. Chief Harper said only the lobby and the 16th floor were evacuated because the situation is still fluid, though police believe the man is confined to one room.

Police have closed blocks of Penn Avenue, Commonwealth Place and Boulevard of the Allies. The Gateway Center T station is closed as is the Fort Pitt Bridge ramp into Downtown.

People evacuated from Gateway 3 massed outside 4 Gateway Center and were being directed toward Point State Park. Officers also cleared the Gateway Center courtyard.

Telling evacuees the man inside could have a rifle, authorities are asking them to move outside all sight lines to the building.

Cyber War$

CNBC: Government Of Iran Behind Cyber Attacks On Bank Of America & Chase Websites

Finance group warns of US cyber attacks - Anti-Islam film is cover for bank jobs.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:42

A financial services industry group warned US money men to be on the look out for cyber attacks after Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase experienced unexplained outages.

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, better known as FS-ISAC said that it had some credible intelligence regarding the potential for cyber attacks.

Apparently an unidentified person posted a statement on the internet threatening to attack Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange as a "first step" in a campaign against US companies.

It is believed that the attacks are due to the anti-Islam film that has made its way around the internet.

Dan Holden, director of security research at Arbor Networks, told Reuters that several US banks were under assault by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) campaign.

Apparently the attacks are pretty big and aimed to disrupt websites and other computer systems at the targeted organisation by overwhelming their networks with computer traffic.

Two days ago the FBI published a "fraud alert" advising financial services firms that cyber criminals may be disrupting service to their websites in a bid to keep banks from noticing a recent surge in fraudulent large-sized wire transfers.

The theory is that the film is being used as cover for a good old fashioned cyber bank job.

Bank group warns of heightened risk of cyber attacks

Link to Article

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:42

Bank group warns of heightened risk of cyber attacksTop News

Bank group warns of heightened risk of cyber attacks

Wed, Sep 19 20:37 PM EDT

By Jim Finkle and David Henry

(Reuters) - A financial services industry group warned U.S. banks, brokerages and insurers on Wednesday to be on heightened alert for cyber attacks after Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase experienced unexplained outages on their public websites.

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which is widely known as FS-ISAC, raised the cyber threat level to "high" from "elevated" in an advisory to members, citing "recent credible intelligence regarding the potential" for cyber attacks as its reason for the move.

The problems with the websites at the two banks came after an unidentified person posted a statement on the Internet threatening to attack Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange as a "first step" in a campaign against U.S. companies. The posting said the attacks would continue until the film that had stirred up anti-U.S. protests across the Middle East was "erased" from the Internet.

It was not possible to identify the person who posted the statement. Nor was it clear if the threat had anything to do with the issues at either of the two banks.

Dan Holden, director of security research at Arbor Networks, said that several U.S. banks were under assault by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) campaign. He declined to identify them by name.

An outside security contractor who was familiar with the attacks said that they were "massive" in scope.

Denial-of-service attacks seek to disrupt websites and other computer systems at the targeted organization by overwhelming their networks with computer traffic.

FRAUD ALERT

The move by FS-ISAC came just two days the FBI published a "fraud alert" advising financial services firms that cyber criminals may be disrupting service to their websites in a bid to keep banks from noticing a recent surge in fraudulent large-sized wire transfers. (http://1.usa.gov/SUGCDZ)

"Often these DDoS attacks are part of a more sophisticated blended threat - One that utilizes DDoS as a diversion for more complex, difficult to detect techniques with the intention to extract customer data or financial information," said Holden of Arbor Networks.

An FBI spokeswoman declined to say if the tactics cited in the fraud alert were related to the problems experienced by the two banks.

On Wednesday the consumer banking website of JPMorgan Chase & Co was intermittently unavailable to some customers. The problems followed issues with the website of Bank of America Corp on Tuesday amid threats on the Internet that a group was planning to launch cyber attacks on a U.S. bank.

JPMorgan Chase spokesman Patrick Linehan said: "We're experiencing intermittent issues with Chase.com. We apologize for any inconvenience and are working to restore full connectivity."

A Bank of America spokesman reported no continuing problems on Wednesday. "Our online banking services have been, and are, up and running," Mark Pipitone said. "The vast majority of our customers have not experienced any issues."

'ENSURE CONSTANT DILIGENCE'

The short advisory from the industry group urged banks and other industry members to "ensure constant diligence in monitoring and quick response to any malicious events."

The Reston, Virginia-based group is owned by dozens of firms, including the two banks, as well as Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley. Insurers including American International Group, Allstate Corp and State Farm Insurance also belong to the group, as do credit card companies MasterCard Inc and Visa Inc.

The advisory also cited a warning from Microsoft Corp that hackers have attacked some of its customers by means of a security bug in its widely used Internet Explorer browser.

Microsoft has yet to release software to fix that security flaw. The German government advised the public to stop using Internet Explorer until an update is released. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has advised users to follow steps recommended by Microsoft to reduce the risk of attacks but noted that those measures may not fully secure the browser.

POLICY DEBATE

The warning from FS-ISAC comes as the Obama Administration is considering issuing an executive order that could instruct government agencies to take action to help better protect the nation's critical infrastructure from cyber attacks.

Legislation that would strengthen the government's ability to help secure private networks has so far been stalled in Congress by groups concerned about privacy issues as well as business groups that oppose increased regulation of their activities.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, who heads the Senate Commerce Committee, on Wednesday sent letters to the 500 biggest U.S. companies, challenging them to improve their computer security. He blamed the defeat of the legislation on concerns raised by "a handful of business lobbying groups and trade associations."

He asked the companies to identify their own best practices and to spell out their concerns about government-conducted risk assessments that were part of the cyber security bill. He warned that the companies could face "reactive and overly prescriptive legislation" if nothing were done until some cyber disaster.

During a speech to the annual Air Force Association conference, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter complained that businesses are not doing enough to protect their own networks, saying he was disappointed that the legislation has not passed Congress.

Officials with FS-ISAC could not be reached to comment on the decision to raise its cyber threat level. A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security declined to comment on the advisory from the industry group.

(Reporting by David Henry in New York, Rick Rothacker in Charlotte, North Carolina, Jim Finkle in Boston. Additional reporting by Joseph Menn in San Franciso and Andrea Shalal-Esa in Washington; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Steve Orlofsky, Bob Burgdorfer and Prudence Crowther)

Bank group warns of heightened risk of cyber attacksTop News

Bank group warns of heightened risk of cyber attacks

Wed, Sep 19 20:37 PM EDT

By Jim Finkle and David Henry

(Reuters) - A financial services industry group warned U.S. banks, brokerages and insurers on Wednesday to be on heightened alert for cyber attacks after Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase experienced unexplained outages on their public websites.

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which is widely known as FS-ISAC, raised the cyber threat level to "high" from "elevated" in an advisory to members, citing "recent credible intelligence regarding the potential" for cyber attacks as its reason for the move.

The problems with the websites at the two banks came after an unidentified person posted a statement on the Internet threatening to attack Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange as a "first step" in a campaign against U.S. companies. The posting said the attacks would continue until the film that had stirred up anti-U.S. protests across the Middle East was "erased" from the Internet.

It was not possible to identify the person who posted the statement. Nor was it clear if the threat had anything to do with the issues at either of the two banks.

Dan Holden, director of security research at Arbor Networks, said that several U.S. banks were under assault by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) campaign. He declined to identify them by name.

An outside security contractor who was familiar with the attacks said that they were "massive" in scope.

Denial-of-service attacks seek to disrupt websites and other computer systems at the targeted organization by overwhelming their networks with computer traffic.

FRAUD ALERT

The move by FS-ISAC came just two days the FBI published a "fraud alert" advising financial services firms that cyber criminals may be disrupting service to their websites in a bid to keep banks from noticing a recent surge in fraudulent large-sized wire transfers. (http://1.usa.gov/SUGCDZ)

"Often these DDoS attacks are part of a more sophisticated blended threat - One that utilizes DDoS as a diversion for more complex, difficult to detect techniques with the intention to extract customer data or financial information," said Holden of Arbor Networks.

An FBI spokeswoman declined to say if the tactics cited in the fraud alert were related to the problems experienced by the two banks.

On Wednesday the consumer banking website of JPMorgan Chase & Co was intermittently unavailable to some customers. The problems followed issues with the website of Bank of America Corp on Tuesday amid threats on the Internet that a group was planning to launch cyber attacks on a U.S. bank.

JPMorgan Chase spokesman Patrick Linehan said: "We're experiencing intermittent issues with Chase.com. We apologize for any inconvenience and are working to restore full connectivity."

A Bank of America spokesman reported no continuing problems on Wednesday. "Our online banking services have been, and are, up and running," Mark Pipitone said. "The vast majority of our customers have not experienced any issues."

'ENSURE CONSTANT DILIGENCE'

The short advisory from the industry group urged banks and other industry members to "ensure constant diligence in monitoring and quick response to any malicious events."

The Reston, Virginia-based group is owned by dozens of firms, including the two banks, as well as Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley. Insurers including American International Group, Allstate Corp and State Farm Insurance also belong to the group, as do credit card companies MasterCard Inc and Visa Inc.

The advisory also cited a warning from Microsoft Corp that hackers have attacked some of its customers by means of a security bug in its widely used Internet Explorer browser.

Microsoft has yet to release software to fix that security flaw. The German government advised the public to stop using Internet Explorer until an update is released. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has advised users to follow steps recommended by Microsoft to reduce the risk of attacks but noted that those measures may not fully secure the browser.

POLICY DEBATE

The warning from FS-ISAC comes as the Obama Administration is considering issuing an executive order that could instruct government agencies to take action to help better protect the nation's critical infrastructure from cyber attacks.

Legislation that would strengthen the government's ability to help secure private networks has so far been stalled in Congress by groups concerned about privacy issues as well as business groups that oppose increased regulation of their activities.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, who heads the Senate Commerce Committee, on Wednesday sent letters to the 500 biggest U.S. companies, challenging them to improve their computer security. He blamed the defeat of the legislation on concerns raised by "a handful of business lobbying groups and trade associations."

He asked the companies to identify their own best practices and to spell out their concerns about government-conducted risk assessments that were part of the cyber security bill. He warned that the companies could face "reactive and overly prescriptive legislation" if nothing were done until some cyber disaster.

During a speech to the annual Air Force Association conference, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter complained that businesses are not doing enough to protect their own networks, saying he was disappointed that the legislation has not passed Congress.

Officials with FS-ISAC could not be reached to comment on the decision to raise its cyber threat level. A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security declined to comment on the advisory from the industry group.

(Reporting by David Henry in New York, Rick Rothacker in Charlotte, North Carolina, Jim Finkle in Boston. Additional reporting by Joseph Menn in San Franciso and Andrea Shalal-Esa in Washington; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Steve Orlofsky, Bob Burgdorfer and Prudence Crowther)

Techno Experts

Hillary Clinton Opens the Social Good Summit [VIDEO]

Link to Article

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 03:59

Mashable is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's 20 million unique visitors and 6 million social media followers have become one of the most engaged online news communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

(C)2005-2012 Mashable, Inc.Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. All Rights Reserved.

How the U.S. Chief Technology Officer Is Making Data Awesome

Link to Article

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 02:14

Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer at the White House, gave the audience at the 2012 Social Good Summit on Saturday a high-energy lesson in the importance of making government data more useful and available to anyone.

Park, who previously served as Chief Technology Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services, became the White House's second CTO in March of this year.

''We've really embraced the power of open innovation,'' said Park, who broke his job down into three primary tasks: making new data available to the public, take already publicly available data that's unusable and make it usable, and making entrepreneurs and innovators aware of government data.

''You take the data that's already there and jujitsu it, put it in machine-readable form, let entrepreneurs take it and turn it into awesomeness,'' he said. ''It's about turning government into a platform for open innovation. Data by itself is useless. I can't feed my baby daughter data, as much as I'd love to because I love data. It's only useful if you apply it to create an actual public benefit. You need appliers '-- you need entrepreneurs to know data's there available in order for them to turn it into awesomeness.''

Park, however, encountered a problem with that step.

''95% of entrepreneurs who could turn our data into awesomeness didn't know what HHS stood for,'' said Park, speaking of his time at Health and Human Services.

To change that, Park's offices '-- both at HHS and now at the White House '-- have held hackathons, ''datapaloozas'' and other events geared towards eliminating the barriers between entrepreneurs and government data.

''In March of 2010, we persuaded some very skeptical entrepreneurs to check out some data we made available,'' said Park. ''Fast forward, two years later in June of 2012 we held our '2012 Health Datapalooza.' There were 1600 entrepreneurs over 2 days, 242 companies competing for 100 spots to present amazing innovations powered by open data from the government and other sources.''

For Park, it's always a good day when open data projects don't put a new burden on taxpayers.

''One of my favorite parts about these 242 companies, guess what the total total taxpayer expenditure was? Zero,'' he said gleefully. ''We took data that was already paid for and jiu-jitsued it into the public domain. We got awesomeness in the form of products or services helping tens of thousands of people improve their health service experience around the country.''

Park also pointed to data.gov, the federal government's online home for a wealth of machine-readable, cost-free data.

''There's so much data it's a little overwhelming, we had to create specialized communities,'' said Park. ''There's health.data.gov, energy.data.gov, education.data.gov, it's awesome stuff. Check it out and see what you can do with it.''

Park also came with an announcement: on Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be introducing the Equal Futures Partnership to encourage young girls to become leaders in democracy, part of which will be the Equal Futures App Challenge.

''We want apps that leverage open data, promote civic education, inspire girls to envision themselves as public leaders,'' said Park. ''Apps that educate girls about gender gaps in elected office, apps that connect girls to inspiring role models by providing access to biographies and articles, apps that teach girls about what it takes to run a successful campaign.

How does Park view the future of open government and open data? In a word, it will be awesome.

''We're committed as a government to make more and more data available in machine-readable form,'' concluded Park. ''There's already so much we've seen that's awesome, we know there's more awesomeness to come.''

Images courtesy of Flickr, jdlasica

About EricssonRead more of Mashable's coverage of the 2012 Social Good Summit:Day One:

Nukes

Drone Nation

NDAA Trojan Unleashed '' Massive Military Drone Deployment In U.S. Airspace

Link to Article

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 23:23

Posted byAlexander Higgins -February 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm -Permalink -Source viaAlexander Higgins BlogDespite promises the 2012 NDAA did not apply to military operations on U.S. soil or against American Citizens, a massive military drone deployment into U.S airspace has been approved by Congress.Despite all of the concerns regarding the language of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) for fiscal year 2012 our beloved politicians once again turned a deaf to the American people and the atrocious bill was pushed into law.

We now learn that of the NDAA is being interpreted as authorization to deploy military drones (unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs) into United States airspace in the latest escalation of U.S. military actions in the War of Terror. To support the deployment a massive overhaul of the FAA control system is underway.

NDAA TROJAN UNLEASHED - MASSIVE US DRONE DEPLOYMENT OVER US SKIES

The Congressional Record makes it clear the act will deploy military drones controlled by NASA and the DOJ under authorization contained with the 2012 NDAA. The deployment of the military drones will be rolled out following the establishment test ranges to develop the system needed to integrate military drones into the U.S Airspace System.

CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 658, FAA REAUTHORIZATION AND REFORM ACT OF 2012[page h280] '... Instead, the Administrator is directed to coordinate with, and leverage resources from, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Defense to select the test ranges based on the criteria set forth in this section. This language is consistent with legislative direction in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81)

H326 [House Bill] Section 326 directs the Administrator no later than one year after enactment to establish a program to integrate UASs into the national airspace system at no fewer than four test ranges. The program will include safely designating nonexclusionary airspace for integrated unmanned flight operations, develop certification standards and air traffic requirements, coordinate and leverage the resources of National Air and Space Administration and Department of Defense, address both civil and public UAS, ensure the program is coordinated with NextGen, and provide for verification of safety of UASs. In determining test range locations the Administrator shall consider geographic and climate diversity and consult with NASA and the Air Force.

Senate bill

Section 607(c) is a similar provision, but it allows the Administrator to include testing at three test sites as part of the integration plan by 2012. It directs the FAA to work with DOD to certify and develop flight standards for military UASs and to integrate these systems into the NAS as part of the UAS integration plan. Section 320 establishes a test range program for 10 sites.

Source: The Congressional Record Via the Federation of American Scientists

As noted in the Congressional Record:

Conference Substitute House and Senate bills merged into language that is included in Section 332 ''Integration of civil unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system''.

To put that into terms simpletons can understand, the Senate and House versions have been ''merged'' substituting the word ''Military'' with the word ''Civil'' when referring to the integration of the drone program into U.S Airspace.

The Activist Post also cites the report in the Congressional record '' ''CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 658, FAA REAUTHORIZATION AND REFORM ACT OF 2012''

Congress Welcomes Drones Into American Skies ASAPMichael EdwardsActivist PostFebruary 5, 2012

The stage has already been set and played upon for divisions of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to patrol and strike undeclared war zones abroad.

Even though lip service has been paid to express minor outrage over villages bombed in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, or someplace ''over there,'' there has been relatively little true outrage by countries heretofore unaffected by computer bombing raids upon their own Homeland '-- countries like America.

Well, seeing is believing they say.

Americans are next in line to get their chance to see firsthand what has been happening overseas '-- a close-up view of what takes place on computer screens in Tel Aviv or Las Vegas.

The Boomerang Effect has taken flight.

The treason of American Congress seems to know no bounds, as it has submitted an urgent official request to the Secretary of Transportation to invite potential remote-controlled war upon American soil by integrating Unmanned Aerial Systems into civilian airspace to be overseen by the FAA. (Source)

The drone program inside the United States has advanced at warp speed since 2007 when tests were first captured by the media. Since that time, we have witnessed local police departments such as Miami-Dade County, FL outfit their force with micro-drones.

However, it wasn't until the first drone test-run for law enforcement was conducted in North Dakota, that even staunch naysayers to claims of militarization had to pay closer attention. Drones for cattle rustling? WTF?

Now, just a couple of months later, we can read the ''Conference Report on FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2012,'' which does nothing less than give approval to turn American skies into a virtual battlefield that threatens to mirror the declaration of the NDAA that America (indeed the entire planet) should be outfitted with the tactics and technology of the War on Terror.

An open fly zone for drones has been declared, with Department of Defense authorization to maximize capabilities.

The report's opening paragraph ends with ominous foreshadowing after stating the normal bureaucratic political lingo about an effort to ''streamline programs'' and ''create efficiencies.''

Mr. Mica submitted the following conference report and statement on the bill (H.R. 658) to amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for the Federal Aviation Administration for fiscal years 2011 through 2014, to streamline programs, create efficiencies, reduce waste, and improve aviation safety and capacity, to provide stable funding for the national aviation system, and for other purposes:

''And for other purposes'...''

Source: Activist Post

Watch: The Future Of Warfare '' Predator Drones.Watch: Police Secretly Using DRONES to spy on AMERICANS!!Cloaking Military Drone Deployment By Using The Term ''Civil''While the most recent version of the act, which has been passed by the House and The Senate refers to the deployment of a ''Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)'' and integration into the National Airspace System, the terms ''Civil'' is mere doublespeak meant to cloak the deployment of Military drones into U.S. airspace. This is clear as you read through the bill text and note the references to two separate systems, the ''Civil'' drone system and the ''Public'' drone system and the designation of test ranges to plan and integrate the two separate drone systems.

FAA Upgrades Underway In Your Neighborhood To Support Massive Military Drone DeploymentsWhile the deployment of military drones into the skies over your house may seem like a disconnected, abstract idea make no mistake about it. This bill authorizes the modernization FAA and the truth be told the aviation control systems near you will be upgraded for the mass deployment of military drones in the skies above your house. Just do a Google search for the NextGen systems that will be rolled out in your area.

Here's an article from a local representative touting what the bill means to residents in my area and the passage of the act as a political victory. The article also gives you stunning insight into how the threat of the shutdown of the FAA has been used to push though congress such an egregious bill containing authorization of military drones in U.S. airspace.

LoBiondo Applauds Passage of FAA Reauthorization BillWASHINGTON, D.C. '' Working with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle for months, U.S. Representative Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) today applauded the passage of H.R. 658, the ''Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization & Reform Act of 2012.'' The legislation includes a number of provisions benefiting South Jersey and would reauthorize the FAA for four years, preventing another partial shutdown that affected thousands of employees including those at the William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township last summer.

''This is outstanding news for the FAA Tech Center, its employees and the entire region. This bill reaffirms the exceptional work being conducted at the Tech Center to modernize the nation's antiquated air traffic control system and will ensure reliable funding for the next four years so that substantial work on NextGen can be completed,'' said LoBiondo, the only New Jersey Representative on the House Aviation Subcommittee.

''I applaud Rep. LoBiondo's relentless efforts to bring all sides together to pass a multi-year FAA authorization. Modernizing our aviation network through the NextGen project, increasing safety for the flying public, and ensuring thousands of FAA employees along with hundreds of thousands of contractors remain working is a key priority of House Republicans. I appreciate Rep. LoBiondo's hard-work and leadership on this critical bill,'' said House Speaker John Boehner.

In addition to protecting the jobs of the estimated 1,500 FAA employees and related service providers in South Jersey, LoBiondo was pleased that the multi-year FAA Reauthorization bill included a number of provisions he had sought, such as:

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL MODERNIZATION AND NEXTGEN

$10.9 billion for FAA Facilities & Equipment to accelerate the implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), which is currently being developed at the FAA Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township. This funding would also enable FAA to make needed repairs and replacement of existing facilities and equipment and also provide for the implementation of high-priority safety-related systems.Strengthens accountability and oversight of the NextGen program by: Clarifying new authorities for the FAA to acquire and fund expenses related to the NextGen program; Directing the Secretary of Transportation to give priority to NextGen specific programs when allocating funds; and, Establishing timelines and milestones for the FAA to bring NextGen technologies online and requires the FAA to establish performance metrics to meet these goals.CENTER OF EXCELLENCE

Establishes a Center of Excellence in the research and development of NextGen - Long advocated for by LoBiondo, the FAA Administrator will now have the option to establish a Center of Excellence for NextGen that would bring together professionals at the FAA Technical Center with experts in the aviation industry and academia to research and develop the new technologies that will power the next generation of air travel in the U.S. It also allows the FAA to provide funding to support such activities. If established, the Center of Excellence would build on efforts already underway locally by Atlantic County, the Richard Stockton College, local industry and the FAA Technical Center thus strengthening the NextGen Aviation Research & Technology Park.GENERAL FUNDING LEVELS

$13.4 billion for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), which distributes formula grants to airports across the country, such as the Atlantic City International Airport, to improve safety and reduce congestion;$38.4 billion for FAA Operations which includes the daily operating costs and payroll of FAA employees.After twenty-three extensions and a two-week partial shutdown that affected nearly 4,000 FAA employees nationwide including approximately 650 at the FAA Technical Center in South Jersey, Congress has approved the 4-year reauthorization bill which funds FAA programs through fiscal year 2015.

Since the partial shutdown that began at midnight on July 22, 2011 and ended on August 5, 2011, LoBiondo has aggressively pushed both parties in the House and Senate to come to a multi-year agreement on the FAA's authorization. He joined Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt at a private townhall meeting with employees at the FAA Technical Center. And LoBiondo authored legislation to ensure back-pay for furloughed FAA employees, who received compensation in mid-October.

''While Congress cannot erase the damage it caused by allowing a partial shutdown of the FAA last summer, it has begun to redeem itself by approving this four year authorization with strong bipartisan support. We must continue in this bipartisan fashion throughout the NextGen project and on other critical issues facing our country,'' concluded LoBiondo.

The Senate is expected to pass the ''Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization & Reform Act of 2012'' early next week, thus sending the bill to the President for his signature.

Source: Liobondo.House.Gov

The NDAA Authorization Of Global War Spreads To The HomelandMake no mistake about it the NDAA officially authorized an endless global war with no borders and no clearly defined enemies. Critics of the bill quickly pointed out that the bill suspended the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens and authorized military strikes against U.S. citizens even within the U.S.

The language in the NDAA is equivalent to the official declaration of World War III. The legislation gives unchecked authority for the president to launch military strikes against any and all nations across the word without any need for congressional approval, including attacks within the United States. Skeptics said the bill would never be interpreted for use on U.S. soil. Still the was widespread public outcry demanding the language of the bill be changed to make it clear the bill was not to be used against U.S citizens of on U.S soil. The calls to change the language from the public, the media and many organizations, including the ACLU, went ignored.

Another provision of the bill that conjured wave of widespread opposition was the authorization to permanently detain American citizen's indefinitely without trial for as long as the War on Terror continues.

To placate the public President Obama asserted while signing the bill into law that NDAA did not apply to American citizens or operations on U.S. soil.

However, there is plenty of evidence to show that in actual practice and implementation of the law, nothing could be further from the truth. For example, the American college student accused of having ties to terrorism who was gun downed, kidnapped, and hauled off to a secret CIA torture prison.

Then there is the targeted assassination U.S citizen, accused of having ties to terrorism, using a drone strike. Truth be told there is no evidence the assassination victim, Anwar al-Awlaki, has done anything more than give speeches that denounce the U.S. government for their illegal activities and call for people to stand against and fight against what he viewed as an evil empire responsible for the death of millions. Then there are the plethora of allegations of many other U.S. citizens being placed on the U.S. assassination list, a list which may include Judicial reform activist William (Bill) Windsor Let's not forget the targeted assassination of Osama Bin Laden.

Nor can we forget the targeted assassination of thousands of Iraqi citizens by U.S. death squads.

While many can justify the need for such assassination alleged terrorist in the name of the War on Terror, the bottom line is our Founding Fathers gave their blood to give us the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution to assure that anyone accused of crimes have a right to trial by jury and to the opportunity to defend themselves against any evidence against them. The problem is the U.S. government has established a pattern of lying to the public and to nation's around the world to justify the invasion of sovereign nations that do submit to U.S. imperialism. Take for example the fabrication of intelligence reports that saying Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Unsubstantiated allegations to justify attacks are not just limited to opposing nation states.

The truth is an overbearing government with power to commit such actions can simply accuse anyone of being a terrorist, supporting terrorism, or having ties to terrorism just to crush any dissent or political views in opposition to the government.

Take for example Obama's Department of Justice has taken the opinion one step farther and released a publication that states Constitutionalists, Anti New World Order Activists, and Survivalists such as the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ron Paul, and Rand Paul are all ''potential terrorists''.

Or consider the Feds charging a man as an enemy combatant supporting terrorism for uploading YouYube videos.

For example the Government think tank, DEMOS, has recently released documents labeling conspiracy theorists as potential terrorists calling conspiracy theories ''dangerous thoughts'' that ''lead to violence''.

In fact Demos has responded to public outrage over the report and has specifically called The Intel Hub a conspiracy echo chamber, which is a site that ''echoes'' my writings on The Alexander Higgins Blog in their ''conspiracy echo chamber''. That would imply that I am a ''potential terrorist'' pushing ''dangerous thoughts'' that could ''lead to violence''.

Clearly the NDAA's legalization of the U.S. government's policy of torture, abduction, assassination and violation of human rights is not aimed at actual terrorists. To contrary, the U.S. government has aimed their cross hairs on every single political dissident who disagrees with any aspect of the tyrannical totalitarian oppression the U.S. government imposes both at home and abroad.

Recently, Occupy Wall Street was officially labeled as a terrorist organization by the United States greatest ally, Great Britain. Yes, Occupy Wall Street protestors are now being listed as a Domestic Terrorist Group being disseminated on a list that includes Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.

Being labeled as a terrorist for such a simple public displays of government dissent is extremely alarming when Uncle Sam has turned its multi-billion dollar spy network against U.S. citizens. Once that spy network targets you their is no legal recourse.The Supreme has already legalized CIA abduction, indefinite overseas detention, and the torture of innocent American citizens

Even more alarming is you don't have a right to defend yourself or to any legal recourse when the government claims you a threat national security, e.g. being a so-called ''terrorists''. In fact, as a terrorist you may not even be able to hire a lawyer, as it is illegal for anyone, including lawyers, to do business with terrorists.

We witness 1 in 7 drone strikes around the world killing a child. Even worse is alarming 1 and 3 drone strikes in Pakistan killing a child.

Now that the U.S military is preparing for a massive military drone deployment into U.S. Airspace. It is only a matter of time before targeted ''terrorist'' assassinations using drone strikes are launched on U.S. soil.

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Scampaign

SNL Weekend Update Thursday Edition on Romney's Gaffes with Fox & Friends

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 22:43

Saturday Night Live had a special Thursday night political edition. They opened with this segment spoofing Fox's incredibly lame Fox & Friends. That part was as usual just ok, and it's probably already impossible to make that show more inane than it already it is. The parts spoofing the out-of-touch, rich guy Mitt Romney though are getting a lot rougher than we've seen from SNL. Gone is goofy Mitt, replaced by nasty sociopath plutocrat Mitt. This in my estimation is a good thing.

EUROLand

Greece: IMF makes deal tougher

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:38

A hardening in the stance of the International Monetary Fund and its representative in the troika, Poul Thomsen, appears to have been behind the Greek government's inability to reach an agreement with its lenders over a package of 11.5 billion euros in cuts and another 2 billion euros in tax hikes.

The troika, which includes the European Central Bank and the European Commission, ended talks with the coalition on Friday and its representatives are due back in Athens by next Tuesday at the latest. Following negotiations with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras on Friday, about a third of the 13.5 billion euros in measures remained to be agreed between the two sides.

Government sources said that Thomsen had raised objections to the coalition's proposals throughout the week and had persisted with the need for further cuts to wages and pensions in order to complete the package. Amid tense exchanges between Stournaras and Thomsen, the IMF official is said to have been unmoved by the finance minister's concerns about the survival of the three-party government should the cuts be deeper than expected.

Sources said the government believes that by either endangering a deal or by getting Greece to agree to measures it will not be able to implement, the IMF hopes that it will be able to highlight in the troika report on the Greek adjustment program the need for a second debt restructuring.

The government still hopes that it will be able to seal the package of measures in time for them to be voted through Parliament before the Eurogroup meeting on October 8 and in time for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to be in a stronger position ahead of negotiations at the European Union leaders' summit on October 18.

By the time the troika returns to Athens, Greece must be in a position to quell the inspectors' doubts about 2 billion euros worth of savings that are due to be produced through public administration reforms. The lenders are also expecting more detailed plans about the tax measures that will raise 2 billion euros over the next two years.

The two sides will also have to agree on how the cuts will be spread over the next two years. The troika is demanding that 10 billion euros be saved next year and 1.5 billion in 2014. This would put into doubt Greece's call for an extra two years to apply the measures.

A source in Greece relays the hot Athens cafe Neo-Nazi conspiracy theory http://t.co/cI7LpsCF #noagenda #greece @adamcurry @therealdvorak

Link to Article

Source: @adamcurry - Twitter Search

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 17:08

There is a new Reuters report that says the next decision on Greek aide has been delayed, so as to not create any "surprises" for Obama before the election.

We asked a source in Greece very familiar with the international aide scene whether this theory rang true, and what we got back was an even more interesting response than we had anticipated.

Absolutely. Everyone is talking about it here, but the conspiracy caf(C) guys will tell you that Golden Dawn is being supported/encouraged secretly by government allies so as to scare the Troika into not pushing too hard. That's the Greek angle. There is also the fact the Golden Dawn provides neighborhood security and other services (like rent collections) when normal legal methods fail. These guys are seen more and more as "go-to" people, despite the fact that the Greek left is pretty wary of their rise. European history gives them a good reason to worry....

But every US Ambassador everywhere (and their trusty staff, of course) ALWAYS sends reports about the worrisome rise of extremists to Washington to justify more Washington attention and aid to whatever country they are reporting from.

The reliability of Athens cafe rumors is perhaps not ironclad, but the fact that this is a well known phenomenon (to goose up the attention to the right wing) is interesting.

That of course doesn't diminish from the fact that polls showing the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn in 3rd place is incredibly scary, and one reason to figure that mainstream Greek and European leaders are terrified about the prospects of a Greek exit, and the ensuing political mayhem.

SEE ALSO: Ray Dalio's warning about the rise of Hitler >

Trains Good, Planes Bad (Whoo Hoo!)

We Can't Wait: Obama Administration Announces Two California Transportation Projects to Be Expedited

Link to Article

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 15:58

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

September 21, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC '' Today, as part of his We Can't Wait initiative, President Obama announced that two nationally and regionally significant surface transportation projects in California will be expedited to put Americans to work building a 21st century infrastructure and providing California with more transportation choices. These projects will improve local and regional connectivity, providing for the safe and efficient movement of people, goods and services. Early, intensive coordination among agencies is expected to save up to 6 months on project schedules.

As part of a Presidential Executive Order issued in March of this year, the Office of Management and Budget is charged with overseeing a government-wide effort to make the permitting and review process for infrastructure projects more efficient and effective, saving time while driving better outcomes for local communities. The Administration's efforts to continuously add more transparency, accountability, and certainty into the permitting and review process will enable project developers and private investors to more efficiently modernize our nation's infrastructure. Additional expedited infrastructure projects will be announced in the coming weeks.

''Investments in infrastructure are putting people back to work in California by building and modernizing our transportation systems,'' said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. ''This is good news for the local economy, and it's one more sign of President Obama's commitment to help communities across the country move forward with these critical projects as quickly and efficiently as possible.''

California High Speed Rail '' Central Valley ConstructionState: CaliforniaCoordinating Agency: Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad AdministrationTarget date for completing Federal permit and review decisions: October 2013

The Fresno to Bakersfield section of the California High Speed Train (HST) System extends approximately 114 miles in California's Central Valley and is a portion of Phase 1 of the HST system. Stations are planned at Fresno and Bakersfield, and a third Kings/Tulare Regional Station is being considered near Hanford.

The high-speed train project will support job creation in a region that is currently experiencing some of the nation's highest unemployment rates. Once operating, projections estimate 4,500 boardings daily in Fresno and 5,100 in Bakersfield, with travel time between Fresno and Bakersfield estimated at 37 minutes.

Early, intensive coordination for project environmental reviews has supported a project schedule that is projected to save up to 6 months, enabling the project to meet funding deadlines and an aggressive construction schedule.

San Francisco Downtown Ferry TerminalState: CaliforniaCoordinating Agency: Department of Transportation, Federal Transit AdministrationTarget date for completing Federal permit and review decisions: July 2014

The Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal expansion project will improve waterside and landside facilities at the city's busy Ferry Terminal. The project, managed by the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority, will expedite boarding for more than 10,000 daily passengers, provide better access to jobs and entertainment centers downtown, and improve connections to area pedestrian, bicycle, and transit facilities. Ferry Terminal improvements will also expand the region's ability to provide vital transportation services in the event of an emergency.

The project is funded in part by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which is using new project management tools to engage other Federal agencies in order to improve the efficiency of environmental reviews and to facilitate greater interagency collaboration in the process. These innovations, in addition to leveraging lessons learned from prior projects, are projected to shave several months off the project schedule.

FnF

Senior ATF Agent In Charge Of Fast 'N Furious Gun Running Program Was Also Working For JPMorgan

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:35

Nice hire, Dimon.

Is there any fraud, theft, or border-patrol murder that doesn't have JPMorgan's fingerprints on it.

---

Meet Deputy Assistant ATF Director William McMahon

Washington Post

In an unusual arrangement, a senior official of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives involved in the controversial gun operation Fast and Furious is receiving his government salary while working full time for the investment bank J.P. Morgan, according to two Republican lawmakers.

In a letter Tuesday to B. Todd Jones, the acting ATF director, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said that Deputy Assistant ATF Director William McMahon,who oversaw the agency's Western region during the Fast and Furious operation, has been receiving two salaries simultaneously.

The lawmakers said the ATF apparently approved allowing McMahon to remain on paid leave for four or five months while working for the investment bank in order to reach retirement eligibility.

''ATF has essentially facilitated McMahon's early retirement and ability to double dip for nearly half a year by receiving two full-time paychecks '-- one from the taxpayer and one from the private sector,'' Issa and Grassley wrote.

McMahon is receiving a six-figure salary as an official in the ATF Office of Professional Responsibility and is serving as executive director of global security and investigations for J.P. Morgan in the Philippines, according to Issa and Grassley.

McMahon was one of five ATF officials recently singled out in a congressional report on the botched gun operation. The report alleged that McMahon knew that no safeguards were in place to prevent a large number of guns from getting into Mexico, but he made no effort to stop them.

Washington Post

---

Today's Updates:

IG Says White House 'Made it Impossible' to Pursue Lead in Fast & Furious Probe

ABC News: Obama Falsely Claims Fast & Furious "Begun Under Previous Administration"

2TTH

Arizona sheriff who exposed Obama administration on border arrests is dead

Link to Article

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 21:52

On Tuesday, night, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever was killed in a single vehicle crash while on his way to join his sons on a family hunting trip near White Horses Lake, according to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.

The Tucson Sentinel reports that an unidentified driver was actually following Sheriff Dever on the lonely Forest Service road, but lost sight of his 2008 Chevrolet pickup for brief period.

Then, the driver "saw what appeared to be a cloud of dust, and as he came closer he learned that the vehicle had rolled over and was resting on its wheels."

The witness told 911 operators: "he did not detect any signs of life from the single occupant of the vehicle," according to a CCSO press release.

Sheriff Dever leaves behind a wife, six children and 11 grandchildren.

He will be remembered as a man who spoke truth to power and was not afraid to point out the lies coming out of Washington concerning the dangers faced by Americans living along our the Mexican border.

In March 2011, Dever told Fox News that for two years, U.S. Border Patrol officials had been telling him they were ordered on multiple occasions to reduce and even stop apprehending illegal aliens crossing the U.S./Mexican border.

Sheriff Dever said that a Border Patrol supervisor informed him that the agency was ordered to keep the number of arrests down during specific reporting periods.

"The senior supervisor agent is telling me about how their mission is now to scare people back. He said, 'I had to go back to my guys and tell them not to catch anybody, that their job is to chase people away. '... They were not to catch anyone, arrest anyone. Their job was to set up posture, to intimidate people, to get them to go back,'" Dever said.

The following month, Dever testified before the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security that the Border Patrol's new policy of giving a warning to illegal crossers rather than taking them into custody, known as "Turn Back South" was not only being practiced near the border, but far north of it as well.

Dever reported: "It appears, according to numerous reports from current and former border agents, that this practice has gravitated many miles north of the border. That means that, regardless of proximity to the border, people who are detected but not caught are considered to be 'Turned Back South.'"

The testimony was in direct conflict with the Obama administration's public assertions on border security.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been continuously telling us that the number of illegal aliens entering this country from Mexico has dropped substantially since Obama has become president, based on declining border apprehensions.

In February 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that during 2010, illegal alien apprehensions fell by 36 percent from the previous year...Dever's revelation may explain why.

BREAKING: Ann Romney plane makes emergency landing '' CNN Political Ticker

Link to Article

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 21:53

(CNN) '' Ann Romney's plane made an emergency landing in Colorado on Friday, a spokeswoman from Mitt Romney's presidential campaign tweeted.

"All okay. Thank goodness," the spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, wrote on Twitter.

'' Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Saul added the cause of the emergency was apparently "an electrical fire" after the cabin of the plane filled with smoke. Romney's plane was headed to Los Angeles but landed in Denver, where it was met with emergency vehicles on the runway.

Ann Romney's press secretary, Sarah Haley, was also on the plane.

An official with the Federal Aviation Administration said no injuries were reported on the plane, which was on its way from Omaha, Nebraska.

"A Canadair regional jet charter flight operated by World Wide Jet, diverted to Denver today at about 2:40 p.m. MDT after the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit. The flight was en route from Omaha, NE to Santa Monica, CA. The aircraft landed safely on runway 35L and passengers exited the aircraft via stairs on a taxiway. No injuries were reported," Laura J. Brown, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs with the FAA, said in a statement.

A Secret Service official confirmed the incident.

"We can confirm that a plane carrying Mrs. Romney and two Secret Service personnel did make an emergency landing about 4:25 ET. It was at the Denver airport," the official said. "Basically what we understand there was some type of smoke in the cabin. All personnel were safe."

The official could not say who else was on board.

Campaign spokesman Rick Gorka said Mitt Romney spoke with his wife on the phone and is set to take the stage at a campaign event in Las Vegas.

Unrelatedly, the emergency landing came days after Romney's campaign canceled an event in Colorado on Sunday due to investigations of a plane crash at the Pueblo airport. The campaign said they did not want to "interfere" with the investigation.

'' CNN's Rachel Streitfeld, Kevin Liptak, Ashley Killough and Aaron Cooper contributed to this report.

Fal$e Flag$

The Joker

Monsantooo

Shut Up Slave!

Police Kill Double Amputee In A Wheelchair Who Threatened Them With A PEN

Cops Pull Innocent Women & Children From Their Cars And Hold Them At Gunpoint

Homeland Security Officials Encourage Citizens to Utilize New Anti-Terrorism Mobile FORCE 1-2 App to - DailyFinance

DOVER, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Delawareans can now use their smartphones to help protect the First State from possible threats related to terrorist activity.

The Delaware Information and Analysis Center (DIAC) now offers a mobile app to report suspicious activities in real-time by attaching a photo, sending location information, or entering details about suspicious vehicles or persons. In addition, users can choose to make their report anonymously or can include contact information for follow-up by law enforcement.

Homeland Security Encouraging Citizens to use Cameras toReport "Suspicious Behavior"

Link to Article

Thu, 20 Sep 2012 21:56

Homeland Security officials routinelyassociatecamera-wieldingcitizens as bomb-strapped terrorists, as you can see in the abovevideo, so it's a little surprising they are now askingcitizens to use their smart phone cameras to report suspiciousbehavior.

The only catch is that you would have to download a specialHomeland Security app in order to send the photos or videos to yourlocal Homeland Security fusion center, where they would be forcedto stop monitoring citizens' Facebook pages for a few moments inorder to check out your report

The program has kicked off in Delaware, according to a press release.

"The suspicious activity reporting app provides the citizenswith a new method to communicate their concerns to law enforcementby leveraging the smart phone technology that most citizens nowpossess and improving the safety of our communities and State."

Homeland Security officials even promise that you could do allthis anonymously, which is as believable as saying terroristsprefer to use DSLRs over Google Earth to study their targets (thereis actually no evidence of either).

After all, why would they go through all this trouble ofdeveloping this app without including a geo-tracking device (for"safety reasons," of course)?

The whole idea seems stupid because if you are really witnessinga crime taking place, you should just dial 911 in the hopes thatpolice officers can be dispatched immediately.

Otherwise, you should mind your own business becauseyou're just going to end up profiling innocent citizens.

Please send stories, tips and videos to carlosmiller@magiccitymedia.com.

CARLOS MILLER'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clearmy criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to suethe Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which Iwas able to recover.

My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this doesnot happen as often as it does today where cops simply get awaywith it.

So if you would like to contribute, please click on the"donate" button below and contribute whatever you canafford.

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You can keep up with my stories by friending me on Facebook or following me on Twitterand/or Google + or by liking the PINAC Facebook page.

BE AFRAID SHITIZENS

Zombies!

Vaccine$

New study indicates male genitalia is shrinking

Link to Article

Source: charlesa's linkblog feed

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:27

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) '' In news that could affect every man's pride, a new Italian study shows male genitalia is shrinking.

The leaders of the study say they have genuine research that indicates the average penis size is about 10 percent smaller than it was a half-century ago.

While the study does not say how the research was conducted or give numbers, it provides several reasons for the decrease in size.

Those reasons include stress, smoking, weight gain and alcohol.

Researchers also claim air pollution has been shown to lead to the shrinkage.

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The drugs don't work: a modern medical scandal

Link to Article

Source: @adamcurry - Twitter Search

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:48

Reboxetine is a drug I have prescribed. Other drugs had done nothing for my patient, so we wanted to try something new. I'd read the trial data before I wrote the prescription, and found only well-designed, fair tests, with overwhelmingly positive results. Reboxetine was better than a placebo, and as good as any other antidepressant in head-to-head comparisons. It's approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (the MHRA), which governs all drugs in the UK. Millions of doses are prescribed every year, around the world. Reboxetine was clearly a safe and effective treatment. The patient and I discussed the evidence briefly, and agreed it was the right treatment to try next. I signed a prescription.But we had both been misled. In October 2010, a group of researchers was finally able to bring together all the data that had ever been collected on reboxetine, both from trials that were published and from those that had never appeared in academic papers. When all this trial data was put together, it produced a shocking picture. Seven trials had been conducted comparing reboxetine against a placebo. Only one, conducted in 254 patients, had a neat, positive result, and that one was published in an academic journal, for doctors and researchers to read. But six more trials were conducted, in almost 10 times as many patients. All of them showed that reboxetine was no better than a dummy sugar pill. None of these trials was published. I had no idea they existed.

It got worse. The trials comparing reboxetine against other drugs showed exactly the same picture: three small studies, 507 patients in total, showed that reboxetine was just as good as any other drug. They were all published. But 1,657 patients' worth of data was left unpublished, and this unpublished data showed that patients on reboxetine did worse than those on other drugs. If all this wasn't bad enough, there was also the side-effects data. The drug looked fine in the trials that appeared in the academic literature; but when we saw the unpublished studies, it turned out that patients were more likely to have side-effects, more likely to drop out of taking the drug and more likely to withdraw from the trial because of side-effects, if they were taking reboxetine rather than one of its competitors.

I did everything a doctor is supposed to do. I read all the papers, I critically appraised them, I understood them, I discussed them with the patient and we made a decision together, based on the evidence. In the published data, reboxetine was a safe and effective drug. In reality, it was no better than a sugar pill and, worse, it does more harm than good. As a doctor, I did something that, on the balance of all the evidence, harmed my patient, simply because unflattering data was left unpublished.

Nobody broke any law in that situation, reboxetine is still on the market and the system that allowed all this to happen is still in play, for all drugs, in all countries in the world. Negative data goes missing, for all treatments, in all areas of science. The regulators and professional bodies we would reasonably expect to stamp out such practices have failed us. These problems have been protected from public scrutiny because they're too complex to capture in a soundbite. This is why they've gone unfixed by politicians, at least to some extent; but it's also why it takes detail to explain. The people you should have been able to trust to fix these problems have failed you, and because you have to understand a problem properly in order to fix it, there are some things you need to know.

Drugs are tested by the people who manufacture them, in poorly designed trials, on hopelessly small numbers of weird, unrepresentative patients, and analysed using techniques that are flawed by design, in such a way that they exaggerate the benefits of treatments. Unsurprisingly, these trials tend to produce results that favour the manufacturer. When trials throw up results that companies don't like, they are perfectly entitled to hide them from doctors and patients, so we only ever see a distorted picture of any drug's true effects. Regulators see most of the trial data, but only from early on in a drug's life, and even then they don't give this data to doctors or patients, or even to other parts of government. This distorted evidence is then communicated and applied in a distorted fashion.

In their 40 years of practice after leaving medical school, doctors hear about what works ad hoc, from sales reps, colleagues and journals. But those colleagues can be in the pay of drug companies '' often undisclosed '' and the journals are, too. And so are the patient groups. And finally, academic papers, which everyone thinks of as objective, are often covertly planned and written by people who work directly for the companies, without disclosure. Sometimes whole academic journals are owned outright by one drug company. Aside from all this, for several of the most important and enduring problems in medicine, we have no idea what the best treatment is, because it's not in anyone's financial interest to conduct any trials at all.

Now, on to the details.

In 2010, researchers from Harvard and Toronto found all the trials looking at five major classes of drug '' antidepressants, ulcer drugs and so on '' then measured two key features: were they positive, and were they funded by industry? They found more than 500 trials in total: 85% of the industry-funded studies were positive, but only 50% of the government-funded trials were. In 2007, researchers looked at every published trial that set out to explore the benefits of a statin. These cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce your risk of having a heart attack and are prescribed in very large quantities. This study found 192 trials in total, either comparing one statin against another, or comparing a statin against a different kind of treatment. They found that industry-funded trials were 20 times more likely to give results favouring the test drug.

These are frightening results, but they come from individual studies. So let's consider systematic reviews into this area. In 2003, two were published. They took all the studies ever published that looked at whether industry funding is associated with pro-industry results, and both found that industry-funded trials were, overall, about four times more likely to report positive results. A further review in 2007 looked at the new studies in the intervening four years: it found 20 more pieces of work, and all but two showed that industry-sponsored trials were more likely to report flattering results.

It turns out that this pattern persists even when you move away from published academic papers and look instead at trial reports from academic conferences. James Fries and Eswar Krishnan, at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, studied all the research abstracts presented at the 2001 American College of Rheumatology meetings which reported any kind of trial and acknowledged industry sponsorship, in order to find out what proportion had results that favoured the sponsor's drug.

In general, the results section of an academic paper is extensive: the raw numbers are given for each outcome, and for each possible causal factor, but not just as raw figures. The "ranges" are given, subgroups are explored, statistical tests conducted, and each detail is described in table form, and in shorter narrative form in the text. This lengthy process is usually spread over several pages. In Fries and Krishnan (2004), this level of detail was unnecessary. The results section is a single, simple and '' I like to imagine '' fairly passive-aggressive sentence:"The results from every randomised controlled trial (45 out of 45) favoured the drug of the sponsor."

How does this happen? How do industry-sponsored trials almost always manage to get a positive result? Sometimes trials are flawed by design. You can compare your new drug with something you know to be rubbish '' an existing drug at an inadequate dose, perhaps, or a placebo sugar pill that does almost nothing. You can choose your patients very carefully, so they are more likely to get better on your treatment. You can peek at the results halfway through, and stop your trial early if they look good. But after all these methodological quirks comes one very simple insult to the integrity of the data. Sometimes, drug companies conduct lots of trials, and when they see that the results are unflattering, they simply fail to publish them.

Because researchers are free to bury any result they please, patients are exposed to harm on a staggering scale throughout the whole of medicine. Doctors can have no idea about the true effects of the treatments they give. Does this drug really work best, or have I simply been deprived of half the data? No one can tell. Is this expensive drug worth the money, or has the data simply been massaged? No one can tell. Will this drug kill patients? Is there any evidence that it's dangerous? No one can tell. This is a bizarre situation to arise in medicine, a discipline in which everything is supposed to be based on evidence.

And this data is withheld from everyone in medicine, from top to bottom. Nice, for example, is the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, created by the British government to conduct careful, unbiased summaries of all the evidence on new treatments. It is unable either to identify or to access data on a drug's effectiveness that's been withheld by researchers or companies: Nice has no more legal right to that data than you or I do, even though it is making decisions about effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness, on behalf of the NHS, for millions of people.In any sensible world, when researchers are conducting trials on a new tablet for a drug company, for example, we'd expect universal contracts, making it clear that all researchers are obliged to publish their results, and that industry sponsors '' which have a huge interest in positive results '' must have no control over the data. But, despite everything we know about industry-funded research being systematically biased, this does not happen. In fact, the opposite is true: it is entirely normal for researchers and academics conducting industry-funded trials to sign contracts subjecting them to gagging clauses that forbid them to publish, discuss or analyse data from their trials without the permission of the funder.

This is such a secretive and shameful situation that even trying to document it in public can be a fraught business. In 2006, a paper was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Jama), one of the biggest medical journals in the world, describing how common it was for researchers doing industry-funded trials to have these kinds of constraints placed on their right to publish the results. The study was conducted by the Nordic Cochrane Centre and it looked at all the trials given approval to go ahead in Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. (If you're wondering why these two cities were chosen, it was simply a matter of practicality: the researchers applied elsewhere without success, and were specifically refused access to data in the UK.) These trials were overwhelmingly sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry (98%) and the rules governing the management of the results tell a story that walks the now familiar line between frightening and absurd.For 16 of the 44 trials, the sponsoring company got to see the data as it accumulated, and in a further 16 it had the right to stop the trial at any time, for any reason. This means that a company can see if a trial is going against it, and can interfere as it progresses, distorting the results. Even if the study was allowed to finish, the data could still be suppressed: there were constraints on publication rights in 40 of the 44 trials, and in half of them the contracts specifically stated that the sponsor either owned the data outright (what about the patients, you might say?), or needed to approve the final publication, or both. None of these restrictions was mentioned in any of the published papers.

When the paper describing this situation was published in Jama, Lif, the Danish pharmaceutical industry association, responded by announcing, in the Journal of the Danish Medical Association, that it was "both shaken and enraged about the criticism, that could not be recognised". It demanded an investigation of the scientists, though it failed to say by whom or of what. Lif then wrote to the Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty, accusing the Cochrane researchers of scientific misconduct. We can't see the letter, but the researchers say the allegations were extremely serious '' they were accused of deliberately distorting the data '' but vague, and without documents or evidence to back them up.

Nonetheless, the investigation went on for a year. Peter G¸tzsche, director of the Cochrane Centre, told the British Medical Journal that only Lif's third letter, 10 months into this process, made specific allegations that could be investigated by the committee. Two months after that, the charges were dismissed. The Cochrane researchers had done nothing wrong. But before they were cleared, Lif copied the letters alleging scientific dishonesty to the hospital where four of them worked, and to the management organisation running that hospital, and sent similar letters to the Danish medical association, the ministry of health, the ministry of science and so on. G¸tzsche and his colleagues felt "intimidated and harassed" by Lif's behaviour. Lif continued to insist that the researchers were guilty of misconduct even after the investigation was completed.Paroxetine is a commonly used antidepressant, from the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. It's also a good example of how companies have exploited our long-standing permissiveness about missing trials, and found loopholes in our inadequate regulations on trial disclosure.

To understand why, we first need to go through a quirk of the licensing process. Drugs do not simply come on to the market for use in all medical conditions: for any specific use of any drug, in any specific disease, you need a separate marketing authorisation. So a drug might be licensed to treat ovarian cancer, for example, but not breast cancer. That doesn't mean the drug doesn't work in breast cancer. There might well be some evidence that it's great for treating that disease, too, but maybe the company hasn't gone to the trouble and expense of getting a formal marketing authorisation for that specific use. Doctors can still go ahead and prescribe it for breast cancer, if they want, because the drug is available for prescription, it probably works, and there are boxes of it sitting in pharmacies waiting to go out. In this situation, the doctor will be prescribing the drug legally, but "off-label".

Now, it turns out that the use of a drug in children is treated as a separate marketing authorisation from its use in adults. This makes sense in many cases, because children can respond to drugs in very different ways and so research needs to be done in children separately. But getting a licence for a specific use is an arduous business, requiring lots of paperwork and some specific studies. Often, this will be so expensive that companies will not bother to get a licence specifically to market a drug for use in children, because that market is usually much smaller.

So it is not unusual for a drug to be licensed for use in adults but then prescribed for children. Regulators have recognised that this is a problem, so recently they have started to offer incentives for companies to conduct more research and formally seek these licences.

When GlaxoSmithKline applied for a marketing authorisation in children for paroxetine, an extraordinary situation came to light, triggering the longest investigation in the history of UK drugs regulation. Between 1994 and 2002, GSK conducted nine trials of paroxetine in children. The first two failed to show any benefit, but the company made no attempt to inform anyone of this by changing the "drug label" that is sent to all doctors and patients. In fact, after these trials were completed, an internal company management document stated: "It would be commercially unacceptable to include a statement that efficacy had not been demonstrated, as this would undermine the profile of paroxetine." In the year after this secret internal memo, 32,000 prescriptions were issued to children for paroxetine in the UK alone: so, while the company knew the drug didn't work in children, it was in no hurry to tell doctors that, despite knowing that large numbers of children were taking it. More trials were conducted over the coming years '' nine in total '' and none showed that the drug was effective at treating depression in children.

It gets much worse than that. These children weren't simply receiving a drug that the company knew to be ineffective for them; they were also being exposed to side-effects. This should be self-evident, since any effective treatment will have some side-effects, and doctors factor this in, alongside the benefits (which in this case were nonexistent). But nobody knew how bad these side-effects were, because the company didn't tell doctors, or patients, or even the regulator about the worrying safety data from its trials. This was because of a loophole: you have to tell the regulator only about side-effects reported in studies looking at the specific uses for which the drug has a marketing authorisation. Because the use of paroxetine in children was "off-label", GSK had no legal obligation to tell anyone about what it had found.

People had worried for a long time that paroxetine might increase the risk of suicide, though that is quite a difficult side-effect to detect in an antidepressant. In February 2003, GSK spontaneously sent the MHRA a package of information on the risk of suicide on paroxetine, containing some analyses done in 2002 from adverse-event data in trials the company had held, going back a decade. This analysis showed that there was no increased risk of suicide. But it was misleading: although it was unclear at the time, data from trials in children had been mixed in with data from trials in adults, which had vastly greater numbers of participants. As a result, any sign of increased suicide risk among children on paroxetine had been completely diluted away.

Later in 2003, GSK had a meeting with the MHRA to discuss another issue involving paroxetine. At the end of this meeting, the GSK representatives gave out a briefing document, explaining that the company was planning to apply later that year for a specific marketing authorisation to use paroxetine in children. They mentioned, while handing out the document, that the MHRA might wish to bear in mind a safety concern the company had noted: an increased risk of suicide among children with depression who received paroxetine, compared with those on dummy placebo pills.

This was vitally important side-effect data, being presented, after an astonishing delay, casually, through an entirely inappropriate and unofficial channel. Although the data was given to completely the wrong team, the MHRA staff present at this meeting had the wit to spot that this was an important new problem. A flurry of activity followed: analyses were done, and within one month a letter was sent to all doctors advising them not to prescribe paroxetine to patients under the age of 18.

How is it possible that our systems for getting data from companies are so poor, they can simply withhold vitally important information showing that a drug is not only ineffective, but actively dangerous? Because the regulations contain ridiculous loopholes, and it's dismal to see how GSK cheerfully exploited them: when the investigation was published in 2008, it concluded that what the company had done '' withholding important data about safety and effectiveness that doctors and patients clearly needed to see '' was plainly unethical, and put children around the world at risk; but our laws are so weak that GSK could not be charged with any crime.

After this episode, the MHRA and EU changed some of their regulations, though not adequately. They created an obligation for companies to hand over safety data for uses of a drug outside its marketing authorisation; but ridiculously, for example, trials conducted outside the EU were still exempt. Some of the trials GSK conducted were published in part, but that is obviously not enough: we already know that if we see only a biased sample of the data, we are misled. But we also need all the data for the more simple reason that we need lots of data: safety signals are often weak, subtle and difficult to detect. In the case of paroxetine, the dangers became apparent only when the adverse events from all of the trials were pooled and analysed together.

That leads us to the second obvious flaw in the current system: the results of these trials are given in secret to the regulator, which then sits and quietly makes a decision. This is the opposite of science, which is reliable only because everyone shows their working, explains how they know that something is effective or safe, shares their methods and results, and allows others to decide if they agree with the way in which the data was processed and analysed. Yet for the safety and efficacy of drugs, we allow it to happen behind closed doors, because drug companies have decided that they want to share their trial results discretely with the regulators. So the most important job in evidence-based medicine is carried out alone and in secret. And regulators are not infallible, as we shall see.

Rosiglitazone was first marketed in 1999. In that first year, Dr John Buse from the University of North Carolina discussed an increased risk of heart problems at a pair of academic meetings. The drug's manufacturer, GSK, made direct contact in an attempt to silence him, then moved on to his head of department. Buse felt pressured to sign various legal documents. To cut a long story short, after wading through documents for several months, in 2007 the US Senate committee on finance released a report describing the treatment of Buse as "intimidation".

But we are more concerned with the safety and efficacy data. In 2003 the Uppsala drug monitoring group of the World Health Organisation contacted GSK about an unusually large number of spontaneous reports associating rosiglitazone with heart problems. GSK conducted two internal meta-analyses of its own data on this, in 2005 and 2006. These showed that the risk was real, but although both GSK and the FDA had these results, neither made any public statement about them, and they were not published until 2008.During this delay, vast numbers of patients were exposed to the drug, but doctors and patients learned about this serious problem only in 2007, when cardiologist Professor Steve Nissen and colleagues published a landmark meta-analysis. This showed a 43% increase in the risk of heart problems in patients on rosiglitazone. Since people with diabetes are already at increased risk of heart problems, and the whole point of treating diabetes is to reduce this risk, that finding was big potatoes. Nissen's findings were confirmed in later work, and in 2010 the drug was either taken off the market or restricted, all around the world.

Now, my argument is not that this drug should have been banned sooner because, as perverse as it sounds, doctors do often need inferior drugs for use as a last resort. For example, a patient may develop idiosyncratic side-effects on the most effective pills and be unable to take them any longer. Once this has happened, it may be worth trying a less effective drug if it is at least better than nothing.

The concern is that these discussions happened with the data locked behind closed doors, visible only to regulators. In fact, Nissen's analysis could only be done at all because of a very unusual court judgment. In 2004, when GSK was caught out withholding data showing evidence of serious side-effects from paroxetine in children, their bad behaviour resulted in a US court case over allegations of fraud, the settlement of which, alongside a significant payout, required GSK to commit to posting clinical trial results on a public website.

Nissen used the rosiglitazone data, when it became available, and found worrying signs of harm, which they then published to doctors '' something the regulators had never done, despite having the information years earlier. If this information had all been freely available from the start, regulators might have felt a little more anxious about their decisions but, crucially, doctors and patients could have disagreed with them and made informed choices. This is why we need wider access to all trial reports, for all medicines.

Missing data poisons the well for everybody. If proper trials are never done, if trials with negative results are withheld, then we simply cannot know the true effects of the treatments we use. Evidence in medicine is not an abstract academic preoccupation. When we are fed bad data, we make the wrong decisions, inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering, and death, on people just like us.

' This is an edited extract from Bad Pharma, by Ben Goldacre, published next week by Fourth Estate at £13.99. To order a copy for £11.19, including UK mainland p&p, call 0330 333 6846, or go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop.

Reboxetine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:50

Reboxetine is a drug marketed as an antidepressant for use in the treatment of clinical depression, panic disorder and ADD/ADHD, developed by Pharmacia (now Pfizer). Its mesylate (i.e. methanesulfonate) salt is sold under tradenames including Edronax, Norebox, Prolift, Solvex, Davedax or Vestra. It is approved for use in many European countries, but has not been approved for use in the United States because of a lack of proven efficacy.

According to a meta-analysis of 12 new-generation antidepressants, reboxetine was no more effective than placebo, was "significantly less" effective, and was less acceptable, than the other drugs in treating the acute-phase treatment of adults with unipolar major depression.[3][4][5]

According to a systematic review and meta-analysis by IQWiG, including unpublished data, published data on reboxetine overestimated the benefit of reboxetine versus placebo by up to 115% and reboxetine versus SSRIs by up to 23%, and also underestimated harm, concluding that reboxetine was an ineffective and potentially harmful antidepressant. The study also showed that nearly three quarters of the data on patients who took part in trials of reboxetine were not published by Pfizer until now.[6]

Reboxetine has two chiral centers. Thus, four stereoisomers may exist, the (R,R)-, (S,S)-, (R,S)-, and (S,R)-isomers. The active ingredient of reboxetine is a racemic mixture of two enantiomers, the (R,R)-('')- and (S,S)-(+)-isomer.[7]

[edit]Mode of actionUnlike most antidepressants on the market, reboxetine is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NRI); it does not inhibit the reuptake of serotonin.[8]

[edit]Side effectsCommon side effects of reboxetine include: dry mouth, constipation, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, excessive sweating and insomnia. Hypertension has been infrequently seen.

In 4 to 8% of all patients treated the medication has to be discontinued due to following reasons (percentages represent mean values):

insomnia 1.3%excessive sweating 1.1%vertigo/hypotension and paraesthesia 0.8%dizziness, impotence, and other urological problems 0.5% eachSome other rare side effects include anxiety, loss of appetite, loss of libido, urinary retention in men, pain on ejaculation, increased orgasm intensity, and premature/quickened ejaculation.

Reboxetine is normally well tolerated. So far no attributable fatalities have been noted.

[edit]MetabolismBoth the (R,R)-('') and (S,S)-(+)-enantiomers of reboxetine are predominantly metabolized by the CYP3A4isoenzyme.[9] The primary metabolite of reboxetine is O-desethylreboxetine, and there are also three minor metabolites'--Phenol A, Phenol B, and UK1, Phenol B being the most minor.[9]

[edit]Interactions with other medicationsBecause of its reliance on CYP3A4, reboxetine O-desethylation is markedly inhibited by papaverine and ketoconazole.[9]

According to Weiss et al., reboxetine is an intermediate-level inhibitor of P-glycoprotein, which gives it the potential to interact with ciclosporin, tacrolimus, paroxetine, sertraline, quinidine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine.[10]

The potency and duration of the effects of benzodiazepines can be increased because reboxetine interferes with their excretion.

[edit]HistoryBy mid-2007, reboxetine was licensed worldwide in over 50 countries, including Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom. In May 2007, however, the Food and Drug Administration declined Pharmacia's license application for the American market. Therefore it is yet to be available in the United States.

[edit]Chemistry

[11]

[edit]Notes and references^Fleishaker JC (2000). "Clinical pharmacokinetics of reboxetine, a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor for the treatment of patients with depression". Clinical Pharmacokinetics39 (6): 413''27. doi:10.2165/00003088-200039060-00003. PMID 11192474. ^Edwards DM, Pellizzoni C, Breuel HP, Berardi A, Castelli MG, Frigerio E, Poggesi I, Rocchetti M, Dubini A, Strolin Benedetti M (1995). "Pharmacokinetics of reboxetine in healthy volunteers. Single oral doses, linearity and plasma protein binding". Biopharmaceutics & Drug Disposition16 (6): 443''60. doi:10.1002/bdd.2510160603. PMID 7579027. ^Analysis shows sertraline and escitalopram are the best of 12 new-generation antidepressants Lancet Public release date: 28-Jan-2009^Comparative efficacy and acceptability of 12 new-generation antidepressants: a multiple-treatments meta-analysis, Andrea Cipriani, Toshiaki A Furukawa, Georgia Salanti, John R Geddes, et al. The Lancet, Published Online, January 29, 2009, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60046-5^Zoloft, Lexapro the Best of Newer Antidepressants, HealthDay News, Washington Post, January 29, 2009^Reboxetine for acute treatment of major depression: systematic review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished placebo and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor controlled trials British Medical Journal Public release date: 12-Oct-2010^Melloni P, Della Torre A, Lazzari E, Mazzini G and Meroni M (1985). "Configuration studies on 2-[alpha -(2-ethoxyphenoxy)benzyl]-morpholine FCE 20124". Tetrahedron41 (1): 1393''1399. doi:10.1016/S0040-4020(01)96541-X. ^Kent JM. (2000). "SNaRIs, NaSSAs, and NaRIs: new agents for the treatment of depression". The Lancet355 (9207): 911''918. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(99)11381-3. PMID 10752718. ^ abcWienkers LC, Allievi C, Hauer MJ, Wynalda MA. (1999). "Cytochrome P-450-Mediated Metabolism of the Individual Enantiomers of the Antidepressant Agent Reboxetine in Human Liver Microsomes". Drug Metabolism & Disposition27 (11): 1334''1340. PMID 10534319. ^Weiss J, Dormann SM, Martin-Facklam M, Kerpen CJ, Ketabi-Kiyanvash N, Haefeli WE (2003). "Inhibition of P-glycoprotein by newer antidepressants". Journal of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics305 (1): 197''204. doi:10.1124/jpet.102.046532. PMID 12649369. ^Brenner, Eric; Baldwin, Ronald M.; Tamagnan, Gilles (2005). "Asymmetric Synthesis of (+)-(S,S)-Reboxetine via a New (S)-2-(Hydroxymethyl)morpholine Preparation". Organic Letters7 (5): 937''9. doi:10.1021/ol050059g. PMID 15727479. 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VIDEO

Daily Press Briefing - September 21, 2012

Link to Article

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 21:56

12:51 p.m. EDT

MS. NULAND: All right. So that's a rundown of what you can expect on our side up at the UN General Assembly. Just to remind you all that because U.S. diplomacy effectively moves to New York next week, we will not be doing the daily press briefing here. Instead, as you know, we're running our usual press room up there and we will keep you fed with on-the-record and background briefings throughout the week, in addition to all of the Secretary and the President's public remarks.

I don't have anything else at the top. Let's go to what's on your minds.

Andy.

QUESTION:I just have a quick one on the Secretary's schedule, and maybe this is one of those things that remains TBD, but I was wondering if '' there's been some suggestion the P-5+1 might be gathering or discussing this, either formally or informally, on the Iran issue. Do you know if that's on the cards?

MS. NULAND: Well, as Esther said, we're still working on the Secretary's schedule. I think we do intend that P-5+1 countries will get together, minus Iran, next week. We are not yet at the point where we know whether this will be at Under Secretary Sherman's level or whether it'll be at the Secretary's level, so stay tuned on that one. But again, it's going to be minus Iran, to take a look at where we are.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: Victoria --

QUESTION: Victoria, on --

MS. NULAND: Is Mr. Lee ready to assume his usual --

QUESTION: No, no. Go ahead.

QUESTION: On the schedule --

QUESTION: Did the White House drop the ball in terms of --

QUESTION: Excuse me --

QUESTION:-- not demanding '' one second, sir '' not demanding security at the facilities in Benghazi? Did the White House drop the ball? There were so many warnings weeks ahead of time. Ambassador Stevens had himself declared that he probably was a target for al-Qaida. There was a story in The Independent two days ahead of time that there were warnings put out of the situation in Benghazi, and nothing was done.

Who was responsible? Was it the Commander-in-Chief or was it something else?

MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, I'm not going to comment on rumors; I'm not going to comment on other people's press reporting. We have, over the course of the last 10 days, given you as much as we can at the moment. We said that those were interim reports based on the information that we have. As you know, various members of the government, including the intelligence community, have spoken on the record about what they know at the moment. However, we now have an FBI investigation. We now have an Accountability Review Board established by the Secretary, as she's required to do by law, which will also do a full investigation, including of all of the questions that you are asking as to how we were postured ahead of time, how the reaction went after, and whether we are in the right place now.

So I am not going to comment on any of these things until we have the results of those investigations, which will tell us the answers to many of these questions that you're asking.

QUESTION: Does the State Department feel that we're maybe facing something like a 9/11 chapter two, and that what happened in Benghazi was the beginning of another offensive against the United States?

MS. NULAND: I'm not going to get into characterizing this until we see what these investigations lead to. I think you have seen that '' this week, we have seen peaceful protests in a lot of countries. We've seen a few of those turn violent. But we've also seen very good reaction around the world from government security forces to ensure that even in those places where they've become violent, they haven't gotten out of hand in terms of destroying diplomatic facilities or diplomatic property. We are very appreciative of that, including, as you know, in Pakistan today, where there were relatively large demonstrations around the country '' Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar '' that have now been dispersed.

So we are obviously going to wait for the results of the investigations '' the FBI investigation, the result of the Accountability Review Board. This is the appropriate and normal way to review the situation and to learn whatever lessons there are to be learned. But as the President, as the Secretary, as all of us have said, security of our people, of our facilities around the world is of utmost importance.

QUESTION: Victoria, can I just --

MS. NULAND: Please.

QUESTION: On the schedule, please.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION:Okay. Now, you said that Friday, she's '' or she said that on Friday, she will deal with the Middle Eastern issues. She's going to have a meeting on Syria, the Gulf Cooperation Council. Is there anything on the peace process for that day --

MS. NULAND: There will be, obviously, a variety of bilateral meetings with various stakeholders. There will be a Quartet-level meeting at David Hale's level '' our Special Envoy David Hale. She'll have an opportunity to see various people, including EU High Representative Ashton, et cetera. But I don't have any particular Middle East-focused meeting at her level besides the broader one that Assistant Secretary Brimmer discussed, which is not strictly on the peace process; it's on --

QUESTION: I understand.

MS. NULAND: -- the entire set of events in the region.

QUESTION: But that Quartet at the David Hale-level meeting, is that on Friday as well?

MS. NULAND: I don't know the answer to that, Said. I think it's earlier in the week. I think it's Thursday, probably.

QUESTION: Can we go back to --

QUESTION: (Inaudible) Libya?

QUESTION: Yeah, Libya first, and --

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: Can we start with Libya?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: After the '' I mean --

QUESTION: Please, just go around.

QUESTION: I came in late. I don't really care what you guys want to talk about. If you want to go to Pakistan --

QUESTION: Go, go, go, Matt.

QUESTION:No, I wanted to go to Libya, but I just (inaudible).

QUESTION: On the ARB, I just want to make one thing '' the '' they are '' are they going to incorporate the FBI report into their report? They're not going to do a separate report on the actual incident, are they? As I understand, the ARB is '' will look at and make recommendations for how something like this could be '' might be able to be prevented in the future. And that is '' that's their mandate, in addition to investigating the actual '' what happened. But I'm curious; I mean, are they really going to waste their time doing a '' their own report, their own '' sorry, their own investigation, interviewing witnesses, et cetera, after the FBI has already talked to these people and reached their own conclusions?

MS. NULAND: Well, I can't speak to how the ARB will decide to proceed with its mandate, whether it will decide it needs to call people in, who, how extensive. I would guess, obviously, they'll want to talk to people. But you are right in the sense that the mandate of the FBI investigation is to respond to the fact that we have Americans killed overseas. They have to investigate all of the circumstances under which that happened. They have to then determine whether there are judicial follow-on steps that need to be taken in the United States or in collaboration with our partners.

With regard to the mandate of the Accountability Review Board, we put a little information out last night, but let me just repeat it here on the record. The ARB, under statute, is responsible for making written findings determining the extent to which the incident was security-related; whether security systems and security procedures at the mission were adequate; whether the security systems and security procedures were properly implemented; the impact of intelligence and available information; and any other facts or circumstances which can be relevant to the appropriate security management of U.S. missions abroad.

So further to the question you asked, all of those things will be looked at in the ARB context. The FBI will look at many of the same things, but in the context of a criminal case.

QUESTION: All right. Is it still the Administration's position, at least publicly, that the information you have suggests that this was a protest, or a somewhat peaceful protest, that got hijacked by militants? Was that ''

MS. NULAND: Well, we --

QUESTION: That's what Secretary '' or Ambassador Rice said on Sunday. That's what people have said. And I'm just wondering, is that '' are you sticking with that or is that changing? Is that position evolving?

MS. NULAND: Well, I don't have any update to the public statements that have been made by many Administration principals over the course of the week. Some of them have been updated, particularly on the intelligence side, as more information has become available. From this podium, we are simply going to say that we now have an FBI investigation, we have the ARB, and we don't anticipate having further information to share until those two come forward.

QUESTION: Well, can I just follow up? Two things.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: First of all, people that were at the scene on the ground '' and Libyans in particular '' are saying that they didn't see anything around the Embassy until these people stormed the Embassy. So that would contradict with your assessment that this was a planned protest, was '' sorry, was a peaceful protest gone astray.

And then also, there is a '' there are some reports that the compound '' the building '' certain buildings of the compound were '' that diesel fuel was poured around the compound and set afire. And that would also indicate that it was preplanned, because I'm not sure that people just walk around with cans of diesel fuel. I mean, I just '' it's not about, like, little details. It's about the picture, that you say this isn't preplanned. Some of the things that are coming out of the scene directly contradict that.

MS. NULAND: Elise, as everybody who has spoken to any of these details has said, starting with what we said here, what everybody along the way has said, the information we've given to date is based on initial assessments. We've given you all kinds of caveats, including from here, that the investigation was going to have to tell us the complete and final story. So I can't speak to whether there will ultimately '' it will ultimately prove out that some of the initial information that some of us had wasn't accurate. We're going to have to wait now.

And with regard to diesel fuel, without being able to speak directly to whether that assertion is right, diesel --

QUESTION: Do you not know?

MS. NULAND: Can I just finish my --

QUESTION: Sorry.

MS. NULAND: Yeah. Diesel is the '' one of the main fuels that goes into Libyan cars, and most Libyans have it in the back '' in the trunk of their car. So it is broadly available, but again, I can't speak to the veracity of the report, okay?

QUESTION: So on that point, has it been determined whether it was actually arson, the fire was caused by arson, or firing?

MS. NULAND: None of this has been determined, as I've said about four times already.

QUESTION: Is there a time limit under which the ARB has to prepare its report?

MS. NULAND: My understanding is under statute, there's no time limit, but as we said last night, historically ARBs have completed their work in an average of about 65 days.

QUESTION: So the Secretary hasn't actually set a time limit when she --

MS. NULAND: It's not her place to set a time limit. It's the board's place to tell her and the Congress when they are ready.

QUESTION: Toria, the '' some of the legislators who met with the Secretary and others from the Executive Branch yesterday said that they found their explanations wanting '' that they wanted more information, and some have repeated a call for an independent commission to look into what happened last week. Would this building oppose that, support that? And has there been any discussion about participating in an independent probe?

MS. NULAND: Well, with regard to the ARB, that is an independent group that is '' it's established, obviously, by the government, but the expectation is that they will make an independent set of judgments based on what they find.

QUESTION: New topic?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: This is in the probably blatantly understating the obvious category, but there are reports --

MS. NULAND: What country, Elise?

QUESTION:This is on Iran. Apparently, the head of the Iran's Atomic Energy Agency told a reporter for the Arabic newspaper Al Hayat that he sometimes lies about the country's nuclear capabilities in order to evade espionage by the West. And I was wondering if you've seen this report and what your response to it would be.

MS. NULAND: Imagine that, Iran lying. It's telling that Iran is finally admitting in public that it lies about its nuclear program. This just further increases the international community's concern about what the real story is in Iran. And as you know, the Board of Governors of the IAEA issued a very strong resolution yesterday calling on Iran to come clean with the IAEA and with the international community.

QUESTION: But on a more serious note, though, if they're admitting that they're lying, then what is the kind of futility of working through the IAEA on this process if they're blatantly admitting that they're not being upfront about it? I mean, how relevant is '' are these inspections or the information that they're providing to the IAEA if they're saying publicly that they're lying?

MS. NULAND: Well, Elise, as you know, we are pursuing a dual-track policy here. We've got diplomacy going, we've got pressure going. On the diplomacy side, that involves not only the P-5+1 process, where we're giving them an opportunity to come clean, to answer our questions, to engage in a step-by-step process of solving this set of issues and the international community's concerns, and it also involves continuing to encourage the IAEA to get what it needs to answer the questions that it has, and encouraging Iran to consider finally complying with their requests, including getting into facilities.

But in the meantime, and as they continue to stall and waste the time that they've been given, the international community is upping the pressure, and we're increasing the pressure through sanctions and through the tightening of them on a weekly/monthly basis.

So we're going to continue to work that way. We think, as you know, that they would never have come back to the P-5+1 table at all if there weren't the kind of sanctions that we're seeing now. And we think the sanctions are having an effect, and we'll just have to see where this goes.

QUESTION: So are you --

QUESTION: Can we go back to Pakistan?

QUESTION: Hold on. Did they waste the time that they've been given?

MS. NULAND: Well, again, they --

QUESTION: I mean, I think that they haven't wasted the time at all. They've used the time to plunge further ahead with their program and with enrichment, right?

MS. NULAND: My point was that they have been given a lot of opportunity to come clean, to engage with the international community through the diplomatic track, and they have so far squandered that.

QUESTION: Pakistan?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION:Can we go back? Because I think we skipped over it a bit. There's actually '' demonstrations today have been very violent in Pakistan. I think we have up to something like 50 people dead and more than 200 people injured on a day that was called by the Government in Pakistan as a holiday to honor the Prophet Mohammed. I wonder if there's a sense that maybe these are spiraling out of control, and is it perhaps the U.S. position that this could have been avoided if there hadn't been a national holiday?

MS. NULAND: Well, I'm not going to speak to Pakistani decision about whether to have a holiday or not to have a holiday. You are right that the demonstrations were very large in many cities, that there was some violence, that people lost their lives. This speaks to our continuing concern that everybody needs to speak out in support of expressing concern about these videos or any other issues that they have through peaceful means and not through violence.

But what we've also seen in Pakistan today is that security forces, police, riot police, even the military, mounted a very serious effort to do what they could to keep these under control, that they were able to protect diplomatic facilities throughout the day, and that they have now been able to disperse the crowd, but regrettably, there were acts of violence.

QUESTION: Has the U.S. been satisfied with the level of public, high-level Pakistani official pronouncements on this issue? I mean, would it be useful, do you think, for President Zardari to get on the television and to make the same points that President Obama made in his ad, that this isn't a U.S. Government effort to denigrate Muslims and so on and calling for people to protest peacefully? That doesn't seem to have happened yet.

MS. NULAND: Well, I don't have his statement in front of me, but my understanding is that President Zardari has made statements against violence and in support of tolerance, in support of democratic values. He did that last week, has continued to do that. We're going to have Foreign Minister Khar in the building shortly. She's going to be making public statements. So I think that --

QUESTION: Well, is she (inaudible) making public statements?

MS. NULAND: Yeah '' that she and the Secretary are going to meet in a few minutes. I think the plan is '' in fact I'm about to be handed a note, I think. No? No. The plan is for she and the Secretary, before they sit down for their meeting, to come out and speak to all of you today in separate statements.

QUESTION: There's also --

QUESTION: In terms of the ad that Andy mentioned, what's the initial feedback you've gotten from the airing of this PSA?

MS. NULAND: I think it's '' I mentioned to you yesterday that we were only beginning to be able to measure metrics. I don't think it's going to be realistic to give you kind of a metric report on our efforts in this week or next.

QUESTION: Well, you're aware that the Embassy posted a link to this ad on its Facebook page?

MS. NULAND: I am.

QUESTION: Are you aware of what the Embassy says about the comments that have been posted?

MS. NULAND: Why don't you --

QUESTION: Overwhelmingly negative. And, in fact, I went on and looked at some of these comments, a lot of which couldn't be repeated publicly in this forum. It was a hundred '' they say they had at least 155,000 views of this ad and that the response, the comments that they have gotten are, quote, ''overwhelmingly negative.'' And I'm just wondering if you've taken a look at that. And that would seem to be a pretty early metric, although obviously it's '' I guess it's limited in what you can actually tell from it '' who is actually responding to it, and it's a self-selecting group of response. But that would seem to be an early metric that you can judge the effectiveness by.

MS. NULAND: Well, again, I haven't looked at what you're looking at. I will --

QUESTION: Okay, well, it's on Facebook.

MS. NULAND: -- I will do a little bit of research on that. I haven't been on Facebook, let's see, since breakfast. (Laughter.) But what I will say is that what we're seeing throughout this is that we have a lot of '' we have the people who are most vocal are on the most extreme side of it. And we have these silent majorities who are staying home, not participating, and not getting on Facebook and putting up negative comments, but also not associating themselves with these things.

So it's obviously early to look at whether the methods that we've used to try to reach Pakistanis have been effective, but we'll have to look at this going forward.

QUESTION: All right. So you're looking at '' then you would look at the protests not as several hundred thousand people gathered, but that several million people decided to stay home.

MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, I think your numbers are off. We've seen about '' I think the largest protest today was something like 80,000. But the issue is --

QUESTION: Well, that's one of four or five.

MS. NULAND: Obviously, look, we're going to have to look at this whole thing going forward, but what's most important is that people who support democratic values in their country, understand that in a democracy '' and speak out for the fact that in a democracy, if you are aggrieved, if you are insulted, if you don't agree with policy, you have all kinds of mechanisms, whether it's the ballot box, whether it's joining a party, whether it is a peaceful protest to express your views, but in a democracy there are also responsibilities, and those include respecting law and order and not resorting to violence to express yourself.

QUESTION: But to take Matt's point '' yes, you have the video that was circulating on the TV stations, and yes, many people may have watched the video and may have been persuaded between that and the government's decision to declare a holiday to do something else. But isn't that, in a way, preaching to the choir? What about trying to reach the people whom some analysts have suggested are being motivated by imams with their own political agendas? How do you reach them, since they're the ones who are going out into the streets, have set things on fire, and as Jo mentioned, there have been deaths today. How do you reach those people?

MS. NULAND: Well, we obviously have '' from all of our embassy platforms reach out to as many people as we can, even people who don't agree with us. It doesn't always change their view, but we're going to continue to do that.

I'm getting the one minute signal here because I have to go upstairs for the Khar meeting. Can we just go over here? Yep, go ahead.

QUESTION:I just wanted to ask what you could say about the MEK and the de-listing.

MS. NULAND: I cannot say a lot at the moment, but what I can say is as part of the review process that we have made clear has been ongoing here for some time, the Department is now in the process of sending a classified communication from the Secretary to the Congress today regarding the designation of the MEK. I'm not in a position to confirm the contents of this because it's classified, but we anticipate being able to make a public announcement about it sometime before October 1st.

So with that, I'm going to have to excuse ''

QUESTION: October 1st.

MS. NULAND: Yeah, exactly.

QUESTION: What's today?

QUESTION: It's September 21st.

QUESTION: The 21st?

MS. NULAND: Exactly.

QUESTION: Sometime in the next ten days?

MS. NULAND: Correct.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. NULAND: I apologize, I've got to go upstairs and be with the Secretary and Foreign Minister Khar. Thanks very much.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:15 p.m.)

DPB # 167

Remarks With Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar Before Their Meeting

Link to Article

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 21:54

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, and let me begin by welcoming Foreign Minister Khar on her first visit to Washington as foreign minister. We've had the opportunity to meet in Islamabad and other settings, but I am very pleased that we would have this chance to exchange views on our bilateral relationship as well as regional and global issues.

I want to begin by addressing the events of the day and the past week. Today, we've once again seen protests in several cities in Pakistan. Unfortunately, some of those protests have turned violent and, sadly, resulted in loss of life. I want to thank the Government of Pakistan for their efforts to protect our Embassy in Islamabad and consulates in Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi.

And I want to be clear, as I have said on numerous occasions, the violence we have seen cannot be tolerated. There is no justification for violence. Of course, there is provocation, and we have certainly made clear that we do not in any way support provocation. We found the video that's at the core of this series of events offensive, disgusting, reprehensible.

But that does not provide justification for violence, and therefore it is important for responsible leaders, indeed responsible people everywhere, to stand up and speak out against violence and particularly against those who would exploit this difficult moment to advance their own extremist ideologies.

Yesterday afternoon when I briefed the Congress, I made it clear that keeping our people everywhere in the world safe is our top priority. What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and we will not rest until we have tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four Americans. And we are taking aggressive measures at all of our posts to protect our staffs and their families along with locally employed people who provide so many important contributions to the work of our missions.

The Foreign Minister and I will have a chance to cover a full range of subjects today, and it is no secret that the past year and a half has been challenging for Pakistan and the United States. And we still have work to do to get our bilateral relationship to the point where we would like it to be, but we both recognize that we can achieve more when we work together on a focused agenda. So today is the latest in a series of high-level meetings. Ambassador Marc Grossman has just returned from consultations in Islamabad. I look forward to seeing President Zardari next week at the UN General Assembly. At each meeting, we are working to identify the strategic goals we share '' and there are many '' and the concrete actions we can each take to accomplish them.

Our number one shared priority remains pursuing our joint counterterrorism objectives to ensure the security of American and Pakistani citizens alike. We face a common threat from a common enemy, and we must confront terrorism and extremism together. Earlier this month, I designated the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization so we could make full use of every available legal authority to end their deadly attacks. Pakistan's parliament has called for expelling foreign fighters so that Pakistan's territory can be fully under control of the Pakistani Government and cannot be used to launch attacks against other nations.

And the follow-through on this is challenging but necessary, and we look forward to working with Pakistan as they continue to address these problems. We have both pledged to support a secure, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan, which is vital for the security of the region. And I want to thank Foreign Minister Khar for Pakistan's reopening of the NATO supply lines to allow the movement of goods to Afghanistan.

We will discuss the successful first meeting of the Safe Passage Working Group in Islamabad which brought together Afghan, Pakistani, and U.S. representatives to advance the peace process in Afghanistan. The Pakistani Government's public call for insurgents to come forward and talk with the Afghan Government was particularly important. We are ready to work together to build on these steps, and we will continue our discussions through bilateral consultations and the U.S.-Afghanistan-Pakistan Core Group.

Now, of course, our relationship goes far beyond our shared security concerns, and today we will discuss the many other ways in which we work together, particularly to create economic opportunity for Pakistanis. Foreign Minister Khar and I agree that we need to shift our economic relationship from aid to trade and investment. We are working to help Pakistan attract more private sector investment. We hope to finalize a bilateral investment treaty soon. And we've created a Pakistan private investment initiative to help more of Pakistan's small and medium sized companies get access to capital.

Over the past few years, we have seen Pakistan's civilian government begin to put down stronger roots. And if elections proceed as planned next year, it will mark the first time in Pakistan's history that a civilian-led government has served its full term. The United States supports Pakistan's economic development, and we have said many times that we want to see democracy succeed in Pakistan.

We also support Pakistan's sovereignty, but we are clear that all sovereign nations carry certain obligations to protect the human rights of their citizens, to control their territory, to prevent threats to their neighbors and the international community.

So we know that there is still much to be done, but I can assure the people of Pakistan that the United States remains committed to this important relationship and we are confident we can continue to move forward together one step at a time to reach our shared strategic objectives.

Thank you very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER KHAR: Thank you, Madam Secretary. Good afternoon to everyone. It is a pleasure for me to be here standing beside you. Allow me to begin from where you began, Madam Secretary, and to say that we appreciate the very strong condemnation and the very strong condemnation and the very strong words that were used by yourself, Madam Secretary, by President Obama, and as I met the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, by Senator Kerry; the condemnation of this blasphemous video, which has certainly stroked the sensitivities of the Muslims in the wrong way. Your condemnation has given a strong message that the United States Government not only condemns it but has absolutely no support to such blasphemous videos or content anywhere. I think that is an important message, and that message should go a long way in ending the violence on many streets in the world.

Madam Secretary, as we stand today, let's recognize, first of all, that we have been through some of the most difficult times in our 60-year history as far as our relations with the United States are concerned. The last 18 months were very, very difficult, and they were difficult for many reasons. However, the fact that the two countries braved these last 18 months together shows that we have both a deep understanding of the importance of this relationship for the bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States, also for the goals that we hope to achieve together of regional peace and stability.

So today, as we meet '' which is, as you said, a continuation of series of important meetings which have already taken place '' if I were to take a judgment call today, I think in the last few months we have done rather well, in some ways almost better than we could have expected to do in building the trust. And therefore, today we stand at a time of opportunity, at a time of opportunity to be able to seize the trust deficit mantra and start building on the trust by walking the talk that takes or achieves the interests which are clearly common.

So as we move forward, let me, first of all, appreciate the role that you personally played in building this relation, in bringing it back together. And let me say that Pakistanis are thankful for the support that the United States has given to Pakistan. I think the very recent example of Peshawar-Torkham Road is a very good example. There are many other examples. And as you said, it is important that we are able to build on the relations, build on the positives.

In this, I am happy that today, as we go through this meeting, we will be talking about building on an architecture of cooperation which will take these relations to be sustainable, to be predictable*, and most importantly, to be viewed by both the publics '' the Americans here and Pakistanis there '' to be pursuing their national interests; to be a relation which is based on mutual respect, which is based on mutual understanding, and which is seen to be pursuing the national goals and objectives of each country.

I see a lot of convergence between the two countries. I want to start on the bilateral track. I think we both agree that it is important that as we create this architecture of cooperation, fields in which this cooperation will be very important is that of economic and trade. Within the trade, we are, of course, happy to move on with BIT and we would be even more interested to work towards a preferential trade agreement or a preferential market access system whereby Pakistanis can be given the strong message that they '' that the U.S. is committed to providing economic opportunities to Pakistanis who have suffered, who have suffered economically, who have suffered socially, and who have suffered in many, many ways.

What is also very important within this architecture is the counterterrorism cooperation that we can do together. I think the last few months, maybe the biggest negative externality of the dip in relations has been the counterterrorism objectives of both the countries. Because make no mistake: Terrorists of any type, breed, color, anywhere, are a threat to Pakistan as much as they are a threat to anyone. And it is for that reason that Pakistan stands today at the vanguard having compromised, having made the most sacrifices in blood and treasure than any other country in the world, having lost 30,000 civilians, having lost 6,000 soldiers to this fight, having a huge economic cost. Believe you me, Pakistan is a country which is committed to ridding this scourge from the region, especially for our country. And we do it to secure the future of our children and we do it to secure the future of the region.

Madam Secretary, we also have room to cooperate as we have cooperated in the energy sector. Allow me to share with you that with the assistance of the United States, we will be adding a few hundred megawatts to the Pakistani grid. We hope this cooperation will extend further and we will see U.S. cooperation even in Bhasha Dam, which is clearly a consensus project in Pakistan. Defense cooperation has already worked well, and we hope that this will be enhanced as we move forward.

Madam Secretary, perhaps today the strongest convergence of interests that we have is not in any of these bilateral tracks but in Afghanistan, because Afghanistan today represents a common challenge to both the countries. We are, of course, concerned of the reports that we hear from Afghanistan. We are concerned of some of the infiltration which is coming from Afghanistan inside Pakistan. We are also concerned about the security situation. And I think that the United States and Pakistan today have a unique opportunity to be able to work together to ensure that there is no security vacuum left in Afghanistan as we go through transition, that the Afghan people are able to decide for their own future and live as a sovereign, independent country which is a source of stability and peace in the region for the next 30 years.

So, Madam Secretary, I think we have a lot which unites us. We have a lot of convergences, and I just want to end by saying that one thing which has created challenges for us in Pakistan is for this relationship to be viewed singularly to be pursuing the national interest of the United States of America. Let me correct that perception and say that in pursuing our counterterrorism goals, in pursuing a better future within the region and pursuing a more stable and peaceful Afghanistan, we are indeed pursuing our own national interest.

And even though we may have differences of approach on some issues, I'm quite sure that as we talk more and as we go through this architecture of cooperation that I talked about, we can manage to find solutions to each of the difficulties also.

Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all.

Homeland Security Encouraging Citizens to use Cameras toReport "Suspicious Behavior"

Link to Article

Thu, 20 Sep 2012 21:56

Homeland Security officials routinelyassociatecamera-wieldingcitizens as bomb-strapped terrorists, as you can see in the abovevideo, so it's a little surprising they are now askingcitizens to use their smart phone cameras to report suspiciousbehavior.

The only catch is that you would have to download a specialHomeland Security app in order to send the photos or videos to yourlocal Homeland Security fusion center, where they would be forcedto stop monitoring citizens' Facebook pages for a few moments inorder to check out your report

The program has kicked off in Delaware, according to a press release.

"The suspicious activity reporting app provides the citizenswith a new method to communicate their concerns to law enforcementby leveraging the smart phone technology that most citizens nowpossess and improving the safety of our communities and State."

Homeland Security officials even promise that you could do allthis anonymously, which is as believable as saying terroristsprefer to use DSLRs over Google Earth to study their targets (thereis actually no evidence of either).

After all, why would they go through all this trouble ofdeveloping this app without including a geo-tracking device (for"safety reasons," of course)?

The whole idea seems stupid because if you are really witnessinga crime taking place, you should just dial 911 in the hopes thatpolice officers can be dispatched immediately.

Otherwise, you should mind your own business becauseyou're just going to end up profiling innocent citizens.

Please send stories, tips and videos to carlosmiller@magiccitymedia.com.

CARLOS MILLER'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clearmy criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to suethe Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which Iwas able to recover.

My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this doesnot happen as often as it does today where cops simply get awaywith it.

So if you would like to contribute, please click on the"donate" button below and contribute whatever you canafford.

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NYPD Staging Terror Drills On Set Of "Boardwalk Empire"

James Holmes Clearly On NEW Medication

Congressional Hearing On Homeland Security Threats And US Response

Police Kill Double Amputee In A Wheelchair Who Threatened Them With A PEN

Cops Pull Innocent Women & Children From Their Cars And Hold Them At Gunpoint

Growing protests in Georgia threaten to unseat ruling party

Link to Article

Source: euronews

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:47

In the city of Minsk and across Belarus polls have opened for the country's parliamentary election. The two main opposition parties have boycotted the ballot. President Alexander Lukashenko who has held power in the former Soviet country since 1994 was flanked by his'...

Yoko Ono awards Pussy Riot

Students Continue To Protest In The Streets Of Montreal Even Though Tuition Hikes Have Been Stopped

Pittsburgh Hostage Situation Ends Peacefully

Researchers Trying To Understand How Bath Salts Work

"The Celebration Of The Technology Of The Bomb Bespeaks A Moral Blindness To It's Effects!"

Former GITMO Detainee Now Being Blamed For Attack In

GMO Corn Producing Giant Tumors In Rats

Hillary Clinton Opens the Social Good Summit [VIDEO]

Link to Article

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 03:59

Mashable is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's 20 million unique visitors and 6 million social media followers have become one of the most engaged online news communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

(C)2005-2012 Mashable, Inc.Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. All Rights Reserved.

SNL Weekend Update Thursday Edition on Romney's Gaffes with Fox & Friends

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 22:43

Saturday Night Live had a special Thursday night political edition. They opened with this segment spoofing Fox's incredibly lame Fox & Friends. That part was as usual just ok, and it's probably already impossible to make that show more inane than it already it is. The parts spoofing the out-of-touch, rich guy Mitt Romney though are getting a lot rougher than we've seen from SNL. Gone is goofy Mitt, replaced by nasty sociopath plutocrat Mitt. This in my estimation is a good thing.

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