updated below...

Another family on board the underpants bomber plane says that a man videotaped the entire flight. The FBI is looking for him intensely. Did he get away? How could he possible walk off with his videotape of the entire flight. Another human error?

They were sitting about 20 rows behind Abdulmutallab, in a center aisle with her husband and daughter a row ahead of her and their two new adopted children, a six-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy. Her daughter said that ahead of them was a man who videotaped the entire flight, including the attempted detonation. "He sat up and videotaped the entire thing, very calmly," said Patricia. "We do know that the FBI is looking for him intensely. Since then, we've heard nothing about it."

They were returning home with their newly adopted children from Ethiopia.
"As the seriousness progressed, and we knew that this could possibly be it, my husband and daughter put their hand through their seats and we all held hands in a circle and sang 'Jesus Loves Me' and we prayed, and we just made it as much of a game as we could and make them completely innocent as to what was happening."

...Once the flight attendants told everyone that the suspect was under control, and the fire was contained, Patricia said that most of the people handled the rest of the flight "fabulous."

"We all sat in our seats. We stayed calm, other than (hearing) crying. Shortly thereafter, the captain said they were making an emergency landing.

"They got us off faster than anything you've ever seen, and then they shuffled us off to a room where we spent quite a few hours. They were doing their very best. We were frustrated, because there was never water distributed. There was one bathroom for 300 people, and it was very hard because there were kids crying. Nobody knew what was going on. We were not allowed to call anybody."

You know, that's funny, because the other witness -- the couple coming back from safari who saw the sharp-dressed man in Amsterdam who got the Nigerian on the plane without a passport? -- they were upset about what happened after the plane landed. (also here in case the link goes defunct)
What also didn't make the news is that we were held on the plane for 20 minutes AFTER IT LANDED!. A bomb could have gone off then. This wasn't too smart of security to not let us off the plane immediately.
Well, maybe they weren't too worried about a bomb going off. That would explain it.

I mean, surely this is just another small detail in the whole scheme of things, that a man can videotape the entire flight including the explosion and we don't know about it. He disappears into the woodwork just like the sharp-dressed man in Amsterdam.

Penny has the rundown on how much "aid" we've been pouring into Yemen, along with the UK.

And as I pointed out yesterday, the CIA has been in Yemen since 2008.

Yemen is a desperately poor country.

So we are to believe that our military and intelligence assets have been crawling all over this desperately poor country for three fucking years, and now all of a sudden, surprising us no end, practically inconceivable, an al Qaeda terrorist bursts out of the birthday cake with a firecracker in his underpants. And those things aren't connected.

Well anyway, now they're talking about retaliatory strikes. It's all hush hush you understand. Sensitive information.

And they're just working on connecting it back to Iran.

Judging from the way they've gotten this much past the American people, in clown pants, that shouldn't be too difficult. But I really hope to be wrong.

UPDATE: Ok now Alex Jones is on this stuff, which is alarming to be honest. Because he's a tool.

Looks like the FBI is going unner da bus. Also the Nigerian CIA agent who didn't forward the information received from the banker. Human error, incompetence...this will be the mantra. These mistakes cost us big before 911, and now we see the same kind of mistakes again. The law enforcement and intelligence agencies behaving badly, not cooperating with each other, etc. So you know what happens next, right? Another 911. And this will be the reason why. Human error, incompetence. al Qaeda. Regrettable.

Well we already know the intelligence agencies behave badly and don't cooperate with each other, because a giant hunk of them are totally corrupt!

And did that get fixed after 911? No, of course not. Did the real perpetrators of 911 meet justice? NO. Things don't get blamed on the corrupt people in high places. They do get blamed on incompetent people, however.

There *must* be incompetence, otherwise how can all these mistakes be allowed to happen? They need cracks for things to fall through. Then they can point to "human error" and all we humans will shake our heads sadly and say, yes, of course, human error. Nobody's perfect. We understand. Human error is so much easier to accept than corruption and treason.


next stop on the AQ Express: Lebanon

Naharnet News reports al Qaeda in Lebanon, plotting with Fatah and a wanted Palestinian fighter, according to a "well-informed source." The al Qaeda militants, from Pakistan, supposedly enter Lebanon from Turkey, Greece and Syria, and they hide out in Lebanese apartments before infiltrating Palestinian refugee camps, where they train other militants, also in the camps, to attack UN peacekeepers. Mm hmm.

So, if some UN peacekeepers in Lebanon (UNIFIL) get attacked, that will justify bombing Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, because they harbor al Qaeda terrorists. Right?
Al-Qaida militants are plotting terrorist attacks against state institutions and foreign missions in coordination with Fatah al-Islam and wanted Palestinian fighter Abdel Rahman Awad, a well-informed security source told An Nahar daily. The source said that Lebanese security agencies have also received information about the infiltration of al-Qaida militants into the country from Pakistan via Turkey, Greece and the Lebanese-Syrian border. The militants are seeking refuge in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, the source told An Nahar. The militants are residing in apartments in the north and Mount Lebanon pending their infiltration into the refugee camps, according to the security source. Al-Qaida members are also training other militants in the refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh to carry out attacks against U.N. peacekeepers stationed in southern Lebanon, the source said. He added that two weeks ago Jund al-Sham received financial assistance from a top al-Qaida official for the purpose of activating sleeper cells in the camp.
This may explain some of the events going on in Israel, like calling all their ambassadors back for an important meeting in Jerusalem -- to get their stories straight? --, flying fighter jets low over Southern Lebanon and reports of increasing military activity around Shebaa Farms on the Syrian border, and harrassing Mordechai Vanunu.

The opportunity ripens. Al Qaeda has resurged to attack The West through the vicious underpants bomber, a scrawny waif who offered no resistance as he flubbed his chance to murder a couple hundred Americans, singeing his balls instead. Idiot. But no matter. The organization must be as deadly as ever seeing how they manage to evade capture for years on end, blithely waltzing into every dangerous area crawling with US or Israeli military and intelligence assets, apparently unafraid to hold news conferences and flash the Texas Longhorn sign in broad daylight.

You see the diabolical genius of these people, right? They seem to either brazenly follow our intelligence and military assets around, or they pop up whack-a-mole fashion in some other hot spot, forcing us to hunt 'em down.

Who are you? - Inigo Montoya

The war on terror is continuing in Yemen as the battle escalates and United States involvement grows by the day. A new report released on Monday shows that the CIA has been involved in Yemen since 2008.

Digital Journal has been reporting for about a month of the increase in violence and civilian deaths in Yemen, United President Barack Obama’s devotion to the region by supplying the country with intelligence, weaponry and tens of million dollars in aid and prominent officials declaring that Yemen will be “tomorrow’s war.” A new report released shows that the US and the CIA have opened a covert operation in Yemen against al-Qaeda to assist the nation’s military operations, according to AFP. In 2008, the CIA sent field operatives, who have experience in counterterrorism, to the region. The report further cites that the most secretive US special operations commandoes have begun training Yemeni security forces.

Press TV notes that the Pentagon will be spending over $70 million over the next 18 months to train and equip the country’s military, while Yemen’s national security chief earlier declared that the US has been providing Yemen with assistance to stop al-Qaeda. Earlier this month, Houthi fighters accused the United States of conducting the military air raids that killed dozens of civilians but the government denied it and the Yemeni forces said they were the ones who attacked the northern region. Yemen is expected to receive a lot more attention since Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian man who attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet that flew from Amsterdam to Detroit, confessed that he trained in an al-Qaeda base in Yemen, reports The Australian. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s office in Yemen has been working with local authorities to track any recent travel by Abdulmutallab in the country. The next question is: Will Yemen turn out to be Afghanistan during the 1970s and 1980s with Operation Cyclone that effectively created the Taliban?
Aha, so the CIA went there and "discovered" al Qaeda. And also in October 2008, our CIA chief visited Lebanon:
CIA Director Michael Hayden sparks controversy by holding covert meetings with top Lebanese officials in a secret visit to the country. Michael Hayden arrived in Beirut on Thursday in a visit that gained little but controversial media attention. Hayden arrived in the Lebanese capital for talks with top Lebanese officials on security cooperation against regional and international terror, reported As-Safir daily, a local media outlet. "Over the past few years prominent security officials, including the heads of Interpol and FBI, have visited the country on propaganda trips meant to enhance cooperation in security matters," claims Elnashra.com, a local website. "Hayden's trip, however, does not fall under the security and intelligence category," it continues. "According to informed sources Hayden's trip to the region is aimed at gathering the most possible amount of intelligence in the least possible amount of time, as most foreign intelligence services have an established presence in the county," the website adds. "Lebanon's geographic position between Syria and Israel is an important factor as the US seeks to defend the security of Israel at any cost."
Of course, we can always rely on our best friends the Israelis to be in Lebanon, too, infiltrating and planting information via well-informed sources. But the Lebanese know all about Israel's games. It's the Americans who don't seem to understand a fooking thing, who still believe that the wily Nigerian could sneak in and out of Nigeria in one day, get on a plane -- past an Israeli airport security firm -- in Amsterdam without a passport, and get past security with Yemen-procured PETN taped to his body, while on watch lists and known to be radicalized, unless people in authority wanted him to.


who *is* that sharp dressed man?

So, who is the sharp-dressed man who arranged for Mutallab to get on the plane in Amsterdam?
A Michigan man who was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 says he witnessed Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab trying to board the plane in Amsterdam without a passport.

Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich., who posted an earlier comment about his experience, talked exclusively with MLive.com and confirmed he was on the flight by sending a picture of his boarding pass. He and his wife, Lori, were returning from a safari in Uganda when they boarded the NWA flight on Friday.

Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man.

Kurt and Lori Haskell are attorneys with Haskell Law Firm in Taylor. Their expertise includes bankruptcy, family law and estate planning.

Let's see the earlier comment:
MLive.com commenter, Pug, says he was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 and saw suspected terrorist Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab board the plane in Amsterdam.

It's unknown whether this story is true -- you're welcome to decide for yourself. But if Pug's story checks out, then it's certainly understandable he had trouble sleeping last night after returning home from the ordeal.

"I was on this flight today and am thankful to be alive. My wife and I were returning from an African safari and had this connecting flight through Amsterdam. I sat in row 27, which was 7 rows behind the terrorist. I got to see the whole thing take place and it was very scary. Thanks to a few quick acting people I am still alive today.

For those of you talking about airline security in this thread, I was next to the terrorist when he checked in at the Amsterdam airport early on Christmas. My wife and I were playing cards directly in front of the check in counter. This is what I saw (and I relayed this to the FBI when we were held in customs):

An Indian man in a nicely dressed suit around age 50 approached the check in counter with the terrorist and said "This man needs to get on this flight and he has no passport." The two of them were an odd pair as the terrorist is a short, black man that looked like he was very poor and looks around age 17(Although I think he is 23 he doesn't look it). It did not cross my mind that they were terrorists, only that the two looked weird together. The ticket taker said "you can't board without a passport". The Indian man then replied, "He is from Sudan, we do this all the time". I can only take from this to mean that it is difficult to get passports from Sudan and this was some sort of sympathy ploy. The ticket taker then said "You will have to talk to my manager", and sent the two down a hallway. I never saw the Indian man again as he wasn't on the flight. It was also weird that the terrorist never said a word in this exchange. Anyway, somehow, the terrorist still made it onto the plane. I am not sure if it was a bribe or just sympathy from the security manager.

FBI also arrested a different Indian man while we were held in customs after a bomb sniffing dog detected a bomb in his carry on bag and he was searched after we landed. This was later confirmed while we were in customs when an FBI agent said to us "You are being moved to another area because this area is not safe. Read between the lines. Some of you saw what just happened."(The arrest of the other Indian man). I am not sure why this hasn't made it into any news story, but I stood about 15-20 feet away from the other Indian man when he was cuffed and arrested after his search.

What also didn't make the news is that we were held on the plane for 20 minutes AFTER IT LANDED!. A bomb could have gone off then. This wasn't too smart of security to not let us off the plane immediately.

You can see what time I am writing this as I am having a hard time sleeping tonight. Just thought some of you would like to know what I saw, Merry Christmas."

And another piece of information:
In Nigeria, a prominent banker said Saturday that he was meeting with security officials there because he feared his son was the suspect. Alhaji Umaru Mutallab told The Associated Press said his son was a one-time university student in London who had left Britain to travel abroad. He said his son hadn't lived in London "for some time" but he wasn't sure exactly where he went to.

"I believe he might have been to Yemen, but we are investigating to determine that," the elder Mutallab said. He said he would provide more details later Saturday as he learned more from authorities.

One law enforcement official said the man claimed to have been instructed by al-Qaida to detonate the plane over U.S. soil, but other law enforcement officials cautioned that such claims could not be verified immediately, and said the man may have been acting independently — inspired but not specifically trained or ordered by terror groups.
Mmhmm. Let the drawing of conclusions commence!

UPDATE: Great commentary and rundown over at CLG. This is classic:
Got it? Write a book critical of the CIA -- you cannot fly. Carry explosives (allegedly from Yemen) on board when the US is trolling for an excuse to invade and occupy Yemen for its oil -- yes you can!


the way, way back machine

Look at Kazakhstan. Involved in the Thai plane incident. Making big pipeline deals with the Chinese. New city Astana full of symbolic buildings. Strategic partner of Israel. Sparsely populated but with vast natural resources.

Kazakhstan is next door to much smaller Kyrgyzstan.

Look at these amazing pictures of Kyrgyzstan from March of this year.
Late last month, the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan voted - by an overwhelming margin - to terminate their lease to the United States of Manas Air Base, and required the Americans to vacate the base within six months. The vote followed closely on the heels of an earlier announcement that Russia would be providing over $2 billion in financial aid to Kyrgyzstan. Manas is a crucial air base for operations in and around Afghanistan, and U.S. officials remain hopeful that there may still be room for negotiation. The majority of Kyrgyzstan's population appears to have little concern about the closure, instead focusing on their own struggles to get by, as migrant work in Russia has recently evaporated, and jobs at home in Kyrgyzstan are hard to come by. News photos from Kyrgyzstan are few and far between - that said, here is a collection of recent scenes from festivals, rural life, and Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan.
These people look pretty tough. They don't watch teevee. Most of them don't own teevees.

Kyrgyzstan has a rich cultural tradition of music and storytelling, and a thousand year old epic called Manas with a half-million poetic lines, which a few masters of each generation learn and recite.

I don't think these people would be easy to mind-control.


Journalists have been killed and beaten there recently.
Gennadyi Pavlyuk, a well-known political journalist and media-expert, was pronounced dead December 22 in Almaty, Kazakstan. Pavlyuk's death is the latest in a string of suspicious incidents and violent attacks against freelance reporters in Kyrgyz Republic.

According to Radio Free Europe's Kyrgyz branch, "Azattyk," on December 16 in the city of Almaty (Kazakstan), Kazakh police responded to a report, arriving to a scene where unconscious Pavlyuk was found on the ground by a residential building, after falling off the sixth floor. (See more)

Kazakh police confirmed that Pavlyuk's death was violent. RFE/RL reported that his feet and hands were bound behind his back with duct tape.

Pavlyuk has been working as freelancer for various Russian news agencies in Kyrgyzstan. He is also a founder of a popular and independent news outlet Parus.kg in the country.

Omurbek Tekebaev, a leader of the opposition "Ata Meken" party, told RFE/RL that Pavlyuk had been working closely with members of the opposition on media project prior to his departure to Almaty. By Tekebaev's assumption, the outspoken reporter Pavlyuk's incident was directly connected to his professional duties.

There were two more separate attacks reported in the country in the past two weeks. On December 9, a pro-Kremlin Russian political analyst and critic of Kyrgyz President Bakiev's foreign policy, Aleksander Knyazev, was beaten by unknown attackers, RFE/RL reported. The assailants, as Knyazev recalls, made it specifically clear to him that his job is a primary reason for such action.

On December 15, in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh, the independent local newspaper Osh Shamy received a letter containing a pistol bullet and printed warning of consequences caused by Osh Shamy's publications, RFE/RL Kyrgyz branch reported.

The newspaper chief-editor Aldakulov expressed his concern in an interview with RFE/RL on the current status of fellow journalist's safety in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Osh Shamy staff journalist Djoldoshev was in the spotlight last month when he was brutally assaulted by unknown attackers.

Yet another attack took place on December 16 in Bishkek city. Aleksandr Evgrafov, a correspondent for the Russian BaltInfo news agency was beaten by two individuals in Kyrgyz police uniform. The Russian journalist, Evgrafov, told RFE/RL that they forced him into a car without license plates. His refusal to be searched led to a beating after which men told him not to criticize Kyrgyzstan in his articles.

Kyrgyzstan recently has been harshly criticized by Western Human Rights Organizations due to the worsening political situation with freedoms and rights.

The Kyrgyz government routinely deports the foreign representatives of such human rights organizations, which was a special subject of OSCE statement on Kyrgyzstan.
What is the explanation? What are these journalists doing that merits death threats, beatings, and murder? The violence targets Russian journalists and news outlets in particular. The police do not seem to be overly interesting in solving the cases.
"Listen, we warn you. All of you . . . must leave our Kyrgyzstan and stop meddling in our lives."


Central Asia's natural resources make it critical to the strategic goals of the US, China, Russia and of course our good friends Israel.
World's second largest oil and gas reserves are present in Central Asia, and keeping Peak oil in mind, the race is on for oil reserves. In words of one of my friend, Mid East and Central Asia are the two weights on a power dumbbell, while Pakistan and Afghanistan are the rod joining the weights. Whoever holds this dumbbell holds it through Pakistan and Afghanistan. Whoever holds this dumbbell is the most powerful in the world.
So far China and Russia seem to be coming out ahead, way ahead, in aligning with the Central Asian countries. The president of Kazakhstan knows the value of his country, and he is not just giving it away. According to this article, the West is freaking out now because China has eaten our lunch. And it's basically too late to do a damn thing about it, except maybe try to start some civil unrest.
Nursultan Nazarbayev has a way of drawing lines in the sand. The president of Kazakhstan recently told global oil and metal majors that new laws would allow only those foreign investors that cooperate with his industrialization program to tap his nation's mineral resources.

"We will work only with those who propose projects helping diversification of the economy," he said at a December 4 investment conference in Astana, the Kazakh capital, which was attended by ArcelorMittal, Chevron, Total, ENRC and other investors. To any unwilling to collaborate, he said: "We will look for new partners, offer them favorable conditions and resources to fulfill projects."

For good measure, he added that Beijing has asked Kazakhstan - a country the size of Europe but with just 16 million people - to allow Chinese farmers to use one million hectares of Kazakh land to cultivate crops such as soya and rape seed.

Pro-Western elements in Kazakh politics have since taken to the streets. On December 17, addressing a rally in Almaty, Bolat Abilov, co-chairman of the opposition party Azat [United Social Democratic Party] drew an apocalyptic scenario: "If we tomorrow give, or distribute, one million hectares of land, it would mean 15 people working per hectare. That means 15 million people would be brought from China. If one of those 15 people were to give birth each year, that would be the end. In 50 years, there would be 50 million Chinese [in Kazakhstan]."
The new pipeline has been commissioned, connecting gas fields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan (and possibly Russia) to China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Some experts predict that security for this pipeline will be an issue (WINK WINK WINK).
The implication was obvious: that China's Central Asian pipeline could become a sitting duck for terrorists. As Robert Ebel, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, put it, security could be impossible if the pipelines become targets as they pass through vast stretches of sparsely populated areas in Central Asia and Xinjiang. "There is no way you can protect a pipeline along its entire length. It just can't be done", Ebel, a security expert, maintained. Unrest in Xinjiang, particularly, threatens the Central Asian pipeline, he added. "I'm sure it's causing grey hairs on the people in Beijing," he said.

The American experts have drawn a doomsday scenario for the Chinese pipeline.
(It's always important to telegraph and predict terrible things before you secretly arrange them. That way you look really smart after the fact.)
Growing nervousness in Washington about the Chinese pipeline was quite palpable...."China is having increasing and heavy influence in Central Asia,'' Morningstar said. ``It is hard for us [the US] to compete with China in some of these countries. It's easy for Turkmenistan to make a deal with China when China comes in and says, 'Hey, we're going to write a check for X amount of money, we're going to build a pipeline'. That's not a hard deal to accept, and we [US] can't compete in that way."
The Chinese have totally outmaneuvered The West. They started early, they worked it long, they have the money. What does The West bring to the table anymore?? Nothing. Our leaders have squandered everything we had, even, and especially, any kind of moral standing that might have tipped the strategic scales in our favor in years past. It is all gone buh-bye.
Western experts often speak in a dismissive tone that the Central Asians prefer the Chinese because they never raise difficult issues such as democracy and human rights. But this is far too simplistic a reading. Central Asian countries see Western discourse on democracy and human rights as doublespeak from countries that pander to authoritarian regimes without scruples when it suits their business interests.


Do outsiders want to "own" Central Asian culture? Why would they? Because lineage matters to some people. History matters. Being the oldest matters.

I think some people might have their eyes on more than natural resources.

It's just a suspicion.

Knowing how people are.

But I could be wrong.

If you wanted to control how the Kyrgyz people think, aside from the terrorism method, you'd have to insinuate yourself somehow into their Manas epic, into their ancient history.

It would take time, decades perhaps, of scholarly work. Of cultural appreciation. Of sharing and helping, until the "discovery" of long lost brotherhood, before. Before.

Who would do such a sick thing? Stolen identities? Nothing new under the sun.


fantasy island

Boss...the plane, the plane...

Wayne Madsen reports that it was a CIA sting operation to embarrass North Korea. Maybe.
WMR's Asian intelligence sources strongly suspect that an Ilyushin-76 cargo plane seized in Bangkok on December 12 transporting 40 tons of North Korean weapons was a CIA sting operation designed to obtain, using a "front" airline and regular arms smuggling route, the latest North Korean weaponry available for purchase on the black market.
Salient points:

1. The plane was registered in Georgia, close ally of the US and Israel.
2. Before that the plane was registered to two separate Kazakhstan private airlines, where it had allegedly been involved in arms smuggling to places like Eritrea, Somalia, India and possibly Hanoi.
3. A New Zealand company which also does business in Ukraine chartered the flight.
4. The New Zealand company's parent company is registered in Vanuatu.
5. The owner of these businesses is a Mr. Geoffrey Taylor, of New Zealand, who has brokered Azerbaijani oil sales.
6. The four men on board carried Kazakhstan passports and the pilot carried a Belarus passport.

When Thai authorities seized the weapons, reportedly after a "tip" from U.S intelligence sources, the plane was discovered to have a false cargo declaration stating the plane was carrying oil drilling equipment, a rather strange export from North Korea, a non-oil producing or exploration nation. Instead, the plane was found to be transporting rocket-propelled grenades and launchers, missile tubes, surface-to-air missile launchers, military spare parts and other weapons. Thai authorities stated that the U.S. intelligence sources that tipped them off stated that the final destination for the cargo was "sensitive information." Thai authorities claimed the military cargo would be "destroyed" but the crates and boxes were trucked to a secure warehouse at a Thai air force base in Nakhon Sawan province outside of Bangkok.

The IL-76 landed at Hostomel Airport, near Kiev on October 13, reportedly without any cargo, and flew to Baku, Azerbaijan on December, 8 and onward to the United Arab Emirates (reportedly Sharjah), landing in Bangkok on the morning of December 12 for refueling.

The plane took off for Pyongyang and after picking up the weapons landed back in on Mueang, Bangkok at 4 pm on December 12.

The plane's onward destinations from Bangkok were reportedly Colombo, Sri Lanka and Ukraine.

WMR's Asian intelligence sources believe that the CIA knew the plane was planning to pick up weapons in North Korea and may have even chartered the aircraft and arranged a deal to purchase the North Korean weapons through shadowy front companies to both embarrass the North Koreans and discover what was being sold on the global weapons black market.

So how do they know the plane was empty when it refueled in Bangkok on the morning of the 12th? It had already made two stops. It sounds like they know a lot more about this flight than they let on, considering that the cargo destination is "sensitive information." Could the weapons have been loaded in Azerbaijan or the UAE?

Was it heading to Sri Lanka, as reported here?
A plane heading from North Korea to Sri Lanka with weapons onboard was detained together with its crew in Thailand today, the Thai media reported. The Thai authorities found massive numbers of the shoulder-launched missile weapon including rocket-propelled grenades (RPG), anti-aircraft SAM (surface to air missiles) and ammunition.

...More than 100 Thai security personnel searched a Russian-built IL-76 military air transport bearing the designation AWG 732 when aircraft, which flew from North Korea asked permission to land at Bangkok`s domestic Don Mueang airport to refill fuel.

...The Thai authorities said the airplane was believed to be carrying the weapons to Sri Lanka, where a long civil war recently ended.

According to the authorities, the plane earlier arrived at Don Mueang airport once in the morning for refueling before departing for North Korea after it had loaded with the heavy weaponry and asked to refuel again at the airport at 4pm.
If true, why would that be "sensitive information?"

Well, there are reasons.
Compare the international outcry over the Gaza massacre to the relative silence toward Sri Lanka's war against the Tamil people in 2008 and 2009. Conservative estimates place the death roll at over 20,000 people, perhaps as high as 50,000. The Colombo regime dismissed all attempts to cease its military operations, negotiate with the Tamil Tigers or allow the transfer of hundreds of thousands of civilians to safety. Today, close to 300,000 Tamils are trapped in government-imposed camps, surrounded by barbed wire and unable to leave.

...Sri Lanka was fighting its own war on terror with the Israeli playbook. Ban all independent media from the war zone, demonize human rights groups as sympathetic to terrorists, dismiss all questioning of tactics as giving in to terrorism and support the doctrine of overwhelming fire-power. Like Israel, Sri Lanka won the battle, but will inevitably lose the war.

Sri Lanka doesn't enjoy favored nation status like Israel but it should face a thorough examination of its conduct during the war. Many states, such as Israel and China, have no desire to discover the truth behind the conflict because they provided arms to the Sri Lankan government. Israel is reportedly protecting Sri Lanka from any American pressure against its actions. But obstacles to international justice should not preclude their commencement. Crimes in Congo, Sierra Leone, Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia were thoroughly investigated by legal bodies, even if the final outcomes were not perfect.
So now the weapons, wherever they came from and wouldn't we like to know, are in Thailand. At first, on the 15th, Thailand was definitely going to destroy the weapons, they just needed some money from the UN to help with that not sure how much.

Now the story is they have to investigate some more, and then they will decide whether to destroy the weapons or keep them for the Thai military. Finders keepers.

And according to the New York Times (hahaha), you can read an entirely different story! The destination and buyer remain mysteries, but the weapons appeared to be destined for Iran according to a Belgium research organization. Meh, there's so much smoke and mirrors who can say for sure, but yeah it looks like Iran.

A research organization based in Belgium that specializes in the analysis of arms trafficking posted documents this week on its Web site that appear to show Iran as the drop-off point.

...The report by the International Peace Information Service, the Belgian organization, said the flight plan of the Ilyushin-76 is consistent with the range and cruise speed of the aircraft. A copy of the documents are posted on their Web site. The report also includes copies of what the authors say are the aircraft’s charter agreement, the air waybill and the aircraft’s certificate of registration.

The report was written in collaboration with TransArms, a U.S.-based group based that researches arms shipments.

The documents appear to show that the flight was chartered early this month by Union Top Management Ltd., a company registered in Hong Kong that was set up in November.

The document is signed by Dario Cabreros, who is described as the company’s representative.

Somsak Saithong, the lawyer for the crew, said he had seen the documents but that his copy of the flight plan shows that the cargo was bound for Ukraine. “I can certify that Iran was not the final destination,” Mr. Somsak said in an interview.

The crew members are being held at a detention center here while the police conduct their investigation. They said in an interview last week that they had traveled the world on similar missions and that they rarely asked about the nature of the cargo they were carrying.

The Thai authorities have not offered more detail on the exact nature of the weapons seized and say they will destroy the arms after they take an inventory and report it to the United Nations Security Council.

But the Thai government also appears wary to investigate too deeply into to the arms shipment.

The deputy prime minister, Suthep Thaugsuban, said last week that the inquiry would not focus on where the weapons were headed. “Thai authorities will not pinpoint where the weapons were destined for delivery in order not to displease a certain country,” he was quoted as saying in the Thai media. He did not elaborate.


And now Bloomberg with the "paper trail" dragging Hong Kong and Spain into the loop, making the whole thing completely confusing. Notice that nobody questions that the weapons are from North Korea, but has that actually been proven anywhere? I missed that part. It *appears* to be assumed as fact in every source.
Dario Cabreros Garmendia, the director of Union Top whose signature is on the charter agreement, owns 99.99 percent of the company’s shares and is based in Barcelona, according to Hong Kong registry records. The Hong Kong company’s link to the North Korean weapons was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

...“If you wanted to make a clandestine flight from Pyongyang to Tehran you would go over Chinese and Mongolian airspace and then drop down through the Stans,” he said, referring to countries in central Asia. “To fly it through Bangkok, which is so well known for drugs smuggling, seems so damn stupid. For some reason Union Top Management insisted the flight had to go where it went.”
Another mystery man, like David Headley, coming and going like the wind.
Among difficulties facing investigators is a fly-by-night infrastructure seemingly rigged up for the flight, including a Hong Kong-based company reportedly involved which was only incorporated Nov. 2 and whose director could not be traced there or at his address in Spain....But according to a flight plan seen by arms trafficking researchers, the aircraft was chartered by Hong Kong-based Union Top Management Ltd. to fly oil industry spare parts from Pyongyang to Tehran, Iran, with several other stops, including Bangkok, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan and Ukraine.

Union Top was set up by a company called R & G Management Consultancy, according to a woman who answered the door at Union Top's registered office. She said she didn't know a man called Dario Cabreros Garmendia _ who signed Union Top's incorporation in Hong Kong on Nov. 2 _ and did not know how to reach anyone at the company....Garmendia listed Barcelona, Spain, as his address on another document related to the set up of the company. But AP reporters asked four people living next to the location and none had heard of him or the company.

Obviously some of the information circulating in the NYT, Bloomberg, and the AP contradicts the Wayne Madsen report, up top, which concludes like this:

After the plane was seized in Bangkok, dubious sources reported that the plane was en route to Pakistan, Afghanistan, or an unnamed "Middle Eastern" country, such as Iran, to deliver its weapons.

The IL-76's most recent owner, Air West Georgia, has close links with the same ownership, to Sun Air, a privately-owned airline headquartered in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, which runs service to Nyala, the largest city in war-torn Darfur.

The "arms-napping" operation against North Korea came just days after the US Special Envoy to North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, announced, after a three-day trip to Pyongyang, an agreement to restart six-party talks with North Korea. The covert operation to seize the North Korean weapons put the planned talks at risk.

And if you're still with me, back to the AP article which is surprisingly good, in that it points out a few things that MAKE NO SENSE.

Kim Tae-woon, a security expert at the Korea Institute of Defense Analyses, said the weapons known to be aboard the plane _ rocket-propeled grenades, explosives and components for surface-to-air missiles _ were those used by insurgents, not regular armies.

[SUCH AS:] "There are no insurgents in Iran, and in that sense, Iran may not be the destination," Kim said.

[SUCH AS:] Another puzzle is why the aircraft chose to risk landing in relatively well-policed Bangkok rather than taking a "safer" route. Given the aircraft's maximum range of more than 4,000 miles (6,440 kilometers), it had a number of landing options.

The complex web of companies set up to facilitate shipments adds further stumbling blocks for investigators. Brian Johnson-Thomas of IPIS said that "this is normal it tends to be a pattern. It is normal (for traffickers) to put in as much obfuscation as possible so that they can't be traced backward."

[SUCH AS:] But he said that it was "somewhat strange" that the company contracted for only just one flight rather than a series of flights after going through all the trouble.

And the AP story also introduces other people who reportedly owned and chartered the plane, not Geoffrey Taylor, and questions the stop in Sharjah.

The report says the plane was registered to Air West, a cargo transport company in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Asked to comment on whether the plane was bound for Tehran, company owner Levan Kakabadze told AP he was unaware of the plane's final destination.

...The plane, according to the researchers, was owned by Overseas Cargo FZE, based in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates where the plane also made a landing. Officials at the company did not respond to repeated requests for comment and the extent of its physical operations in Sharjah was also unclear.

In recent years, Sharjah's international airport has become a hub of many small charter and cargo carriers serving Asia, Africa and the former Soviet republics.

Lastly, a few more holes in the story:

Somsak said the five men complained that they had been forced by police investigators into signing documents written in Thai. They asked to be provided with a translator.

The report on the flight plan from the nonprofit groups TransArms in the United States and IPIS of Belgium was funded by the Belgian government and Amnesty International. It could not be independently verified.

...Speaking by telephone from Batumi, Georgia, Kakabadze said he leased the plane to the SP Trading company and could bear no responsibility for what happened next.

Researchers say the plane's previous registration documents link it to Air Cess and Centrafrican Airlines, which are allegedly connected to Bout, who has been in prison in Thailand since he was arrested March 6.

Pretty confusing. I think that must be on purpose.

So, shorter is:

NORTH KOREA Weapons Thailand Georgia Ukraine Kazakhstan US Israel Belgium Sri Lanka Azerbaijan Belarus Eritrea Somalia India Vanuatu Hanoi Hong Kong Spain New Zealand Sharjah UAE Russia RPG CIA SAM IL AWG GT SP IPIS FZE Bout IRAN.



So the lovely lady Mossad spies in the psychiatric ward has sparked considerable curiosity. Hat tip to Peter for spotting it over at his place. In looking around, however, the story just dead-ends. There's the one article on Ynet, and that's it for official explanations. Is it a red herring or something?
Something’s wrong with this story. Our alarm bells are going off because of the following:

1. Despite the fact that Israel has (by far) the loosest censorship laws in the Middle East, official and unofficial censorship still exists in all issues related to intelligence and national security. This means that either the Mossad let this article be published, that Yedioth’s reporter still managed to finagle the story, that censors let the story slide or some combination of the three.

2. The Mossad is a well-funded government agency that presumably has on-staff psychiatrists, mental health professionals and on-site medical facilities. Presumably, in the agency’s 50+ year history, there have been operatives who became mentally ill. So why the need to outsource to a hospital?

3. The Mossad only operates outside Israel and the West Bank’s borders; the secret police (Shin Bet) handle those duties in a FBI-CIA style divide. Was the psychological condition of these agents the result of an operation? Are the agents trying to be placed out of the public eye for another reason?

4. This story was published in the English-language edition of Yedioth, which only publishes a fraction of the Hebrew-language edition’s output. Why, out of all the stories the newspaper publishes, was this one chosen for foreign consumption?

Well… the spooks will keep on being spooky we guess.

And the talkbacks here are exceedingly entertaining. Samples:
1. anything - as long as it's 'a story' - Ynet's done it again! Why would yopu even publish such a sensitive State security issue on these pages?! Are you guys completely nuts - should it be you that should be commited?

2. small wonder with all the jobs they are forced to do to betray other Jews. At least these two will someday do teshuva and be forgiven

3. What did Hezbollah do to these women???

4. Were they in contact with Hezbollah by any chance?

5. #2 Always this..... ridiculous and childish whining about some containers on a hill. By the way: Usually the Mossad operates outside Israeli controlled territory – and has therefore nothing to do with any "settlements."

6. Mossad operatives should be seen for psychiatric issues Just to be save

7. #2 <- Stupid ignorant Moron The Mossad deals with issues outside our boundaries - it's the Shabak that deal with internal issues. You dumb ass! Go get an education.

9. Probably went mad listening to the E10 Mossad station That lady's voice will eventually send anyone barmy.

16. This is common......where mind altering substances are used in conjunction with intense mind manipulation techniques in order to create mindless robotic Manchurian Candidates. Clearly these women were subjected to such MKUltra type techniques and were unable to be "brought back" I am surprised they were not just terminated, they must have some important intelligence that needs to be "retrieved" before they can be "de-commissioned"

18. Two crazy Mossad agents. They probably were exposed to something which made them realise the truth of the state they serve and had enough soul and human decency to react like normal humans would to realise they are serving a demonic cause.

19. Ever See The Bourne Identity Movies? Sometimes when you are trained to do evil things to innocent people by a corrupt intelligence agency it messes with your mind. I hate to be blunt but the fact that at least one of them was good looking means that she was probably having sex with anyone the Mossad thought was a source of foreign military and state secrets. That kind of life can mentally screw one up (pun intended).

Yes. Like Monica Lewinsky and Chandra Levy, perhaps? That's what I was thinking.
In the parlance of the shadowy underworld of international espionage, the use of "sex" by foreign spies to obtain information or concessions from government officials is called "sexpionage". The sexual seduction of high level government officials by foreign spies is usually of the illicit category which provides foreign operatives the added advantage of being able to better bribe the targeted victims which may be married with children. The operation may involve compromising the government officials through the use of professional prostitutes, underage girls (or boys) or by providing homosexual lovers to not yet "out-of-the-closet" targets, as was the case with Governor James McGreevey of New Jersey.

...Today, after the "Cold War against the Soviets" and the beginning of the "War of Civilizations against Islam", Israeli covert sexpionage operations are on the increase in the USA and around the globe. In fact, a significant number of ex-Soviet sexpionage agents of Jewish descent, who once worked for the KGB and the Stasi, have emigrated to Israel. They now work for the Zionist government. These sexpionage agents were well trained in special Soviet spy schools, a practice that continues to this day in Israel. A secret training ground for many of these Zionist sexpionage agents is the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. Among the papers in the archives of the Israel Institute of Technology is one authored by Golan Cipel, Governor McGreevey's lover, titled "Shabtai Shavit Identified as Outgoing Mossad Chief".

In the parlance of the Israeli intelligence services, female sexpionage agents are called "Swallows" and males who are trained to compromise women or other men are called "Ravens." Under this nomenclature, the Israeli who was former Chief of Homeland Security for New Jersey, Golan Cipel, can be properly called a "Raven", and the Jewesses Chandra Levy and Monica Lewinsky, which I will discuss later, can be called "Swallows".

Zionist Israel places great importance in its "symbiotic" relationship with the USA. In fact, the State of Israel would be unable to exist without the vast amounts of aid, both military and social welfare, that is sent yearly to prop up the Zionist government. This total amount is estimated to be more than 5 Billion dollars per year. In addition, Israel survives and depends on critical technology transfers that are obtained both through cooperation and covertly. For example, Israel now possess thermonuclear bombs and missiles, thanks to an American Jew, Jonathan Pollard, who stole the "nuclear secrets" while working as a US Naval Analyst. Pollard, it was admitted by the Israeli government, was a MOSSAD spy. He is presently doing a life term in a US Federal Prison for his crime.

The success and effectiveness of the Israel/USA symbiotic relationship depends on many factors. One is massive propaganda through the US based Zionist press that keeps the American people in a constant stupor about certain political and economic realities. Another is the near total subserviency of corrupt politicians, especially of the Democratic Party, who do not speak up because they are on the take. Another is the massive infiltration into government of what are nothing less than Israeli agents. Israeli agents in the Pentagon, for example, has caused the USA dearly in terms of the costs of the "War on Iraq" and in terms of its "hated image" around the world.

Lastly, a factor that is very important for Israel in keeping a profitable symbiotic relationships with the USA is effective sexpionage. Sexpionage is so important to Israel, that it has opened an office for this purpose right smack in the center of US political power -- Washington D.C. The office fronts as a post 911 anti-terrorism institute and is located at 3811 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 720 Arlington, VA 22203. The Chief of the office is non other that the immediate former Director of the Israeli MOSSAD, Shabtai Shavit.

Speculation, speculation. Keep this one in your peripheral vision.

ethnicity: white

Q: Is the US's top diplomat for the Middle East, Jeffrey Feltman, Jewish? What is his short resume?

A: Jeffery Feltman is identified as white not Jewish he was the US Ambassador to Lebanon (2004-08). He went to Ball State.

Oooohh, he's just "white." Mmhmm, that explains everything. Actually, according to Jeffrey, he's a Presbytarian from Greenville, Ohio.

So no, the US top diplomat for the Middle East is not a Jew, he just acts like one.


nobody ever authorized anything wrong

So aangirfan has the Headley fish on the line. It's a big one. He was over there in Mumbai interrogating the alleged terrorists *after* the attacks, introducing himself as CIA *before* the attacks. His visa papers go missing in Chicago -- oh wait breaking news they have been found!
Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor on Saturday said that the missing visa application papers of Mumbai terror suspect David Coleman Headley, have been found. “Yes, it has been found. It is being looked at. Far more important is to find out what he did in India. The investigations are on,” Tharoor said on the sidelines of a CII conference. The visa application papers found by the Indian Consulate in Chicago will be sent to the External Affairs Ministry headquarters. Indian Consulate in Chicago had earlier found the visa papers of the other suspected conspirator — Tahawwur Rana. The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash had then asserted that it was not “accurate to conclude that these visa application papers are missing”. “All relevant information in this regard is being shared with the investigating agencies,” he said.

They will try to pass him off as a rogue intelligence operative. The point being, of course, that *real* CIA intelligence operatives would never commit terrorist acts. Or something like that. OK maybe they would but they wouldn't do it for LeT or al Qaeda. Right??!!???? Fucking boy scouts that they are, every single one of them. Come on if they're going to do something wicked bad like commit terrorist acts that get lots of innocent bystanders killed they'd do it for the right side. Right?? RIGHT????

A key terror suspect who allegedly helped to plan last year’s attacks in
Mumbai and plotted to strike Europe was an American secret agent who went rogue, Indian officials believe.

David Headley, 49, who was born in Washington to a Pakistan diplomat father and an American mother, was arrested in Chicago in October. He is accused of reconnoitring targets in India and Europe for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Pakistan-based terror group behind the Mumbai attacks and of having links to al-Qaeda. He has denied the charges.

He came to the attention of the US security services in 1997 when he was arrested in New York for heroin smuggling. He earned a reduced sentence by working for the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) infiltrating Pakistan-linked narcotics gangs.

Indian investigators, who have been denied access to Mr
Headley, suspect that he remained on the payroll of the US security services — possibly working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) — but switched his allegiance to LeT.

“India is looking into whether Headley worked as a double agent,” an Indian Home Ministry official said yesterday.

Mr Headley, who changed his name from Daood Gilani, was in Mumbai until two weeks before the attacks on the city, which claimed 166 lives last November. It is alleged that he spent months checking targets in India’s commercial capital, using his Western looks and anglicised name to move in elite social circles, hobnob with Bollywood actors and even to pass himself off as Jewish.

Despite being firmly on the radar of the US intelligence agencies, he was allowed to return to India as recently as March. Indian
officials are furious that their American counterparts did not share details of that visit at the time. The Indian media has raised the possibility that Mr Headley was being protected by his American handlers — a theory that experts say is credible.

“The feeling in India is that the US has not been transparent,” said B. Raman, a former counter-terrorism chief in the Indian foreign intelligence service, the Research and Analysis Wing.

“That Headley was an agent for the DEA is known. Whether he was being used by the CIA as well is a matter of speculation, but it is almost certain that the CIA was aware of him and his movements across the subcontinent.”

According to Mr Raman, it is probable that Mr Headley, who was arrested when the US authorities learned that he was about to fly to Pakistan, was listed on the main database of the US National Counterterrorism Centre, a facility used by the CIA and several other American agencies to track terror suspects.

Indian officials suspect that US agencies declined to share intelligence to avoid compromising other secret operations and to to be able to deny any link with Mr Headley.

Analysts believe that the US may also have been anxious to avoid sharing information that could further raise tensions between India and Pakistan, nuclear-armed neighbours who have fought three wars.

According to documents put before a court in Chicago, Mr
Headley had links with the Pakistan Army and, through it, with

As well as helping to co-ordinate the Mumbai atrocity, Mr Headley is accused of planning attacks on Mumbai’s Bollywood film industry, the Shiv Sena, a Hindu extremist group also based in Mumbai, a major Hindu temple, and a Danish newspaper that had published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

The US authorities allege that he was close to Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a former Pakistani schoolmate and businessman who is also being charged with planning to attack the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. Mr Rana is accused of having known about the attack on Mumbai in advance.

The CIA denied that Headley had worked for the organisation.

“Any suggestion that Headley was working for the CIA is complete and utter nonsense. It’s flat-out false,” Paul
Gimigliano, from the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs,

The Indian Home Secretary, Gopal Krishna Pillai, has said that his Government would seek the extradition of Mr Headley — a request that has so far been stonewalled by US officials.

So you see, it's one thing to work for the CIA, even though the CIA says he didn't. Of course they will deny it that's the CIA. But to work for the CIA and then switch sides and become a double agent working for LeT, that's where he went supposedly "rogue." I find it ridiculous that in a culture wading neck deep in Hollywood movies about spies and terrorists that anyone could possibly accept such a simple-minded explanation, but they will. It goes along with all those myths about American Exceptionalism and Patriotism and the whole pail of worms that our Men and Women in Uniform and all those who Serve This Country always and at every moment, at every branch of the complex decision tree in this terror-filled world which has been nurtured for our constant manipulation, the deliberate nature of this work being itself an evil beyond imagining, and yet they always do the right thing even if it's the wrong thing, because "you can't handle the truth," or some such shit like that. And when one gets caught doing something wrong, well, then he or she went "ROGUE." Because nobody ever authorized anything wrong.

I'm sorry was that confusing? Let me simplify: they fucking lie about everything. The CIA. All intelligence agencies. They lie for a living, and yes, they will lie to you, especially to you. It's all for you if you're a patriotic flag waving American. If you liked believing that Muslim terrorists did Mumbai, the lie about Headley being rogue is a little consolation prize for you, so that you don't have to face the truth.


what has two thumbs and looks really really bad?

1. DynCorp

2. DynCorp

Stiglitz notes that in 2007 private security guards working for firms like Blackwater and Dyncorp were earning up to $1,222 a day or $445,000 a year. By contrast, an Army sergeant earned $140 to $190 a day in pay and benefits, a total of $51,100 to $69,350 a year.

Since U.S. taxpayers are underwriting private soldiers’ paychecks, where’s the savings? It is money from taxpayer’s pockets that has made these shadow armies great.

3. DynCorp
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—The American defense contractor DynCorp is suspected of having bribed a personal assistant to the country’s interior minister to get a cache of sophisticated weapons into Pakistan without clearance from Pakistani security authorities.

Mr. Qadir, a personal assistant [P.S.] to Minister of State for Interior Tasnim Qureshi, is currently under arrest with the Federal Investigation Agency. He along with three others is suspected of receiving up to US $ 270,000 as bribe in exchange for issuing licenses to DynCorp that allow the company to use the sophisticated guns anywhere within the territory of Pakistan. The licenses were issued this summer without informing the country’s security agencies responsible for internal security, including the FIA.

...Up to US $ 270,000 were paid for 138 pieces of advanced weapons. Investigators have been able to account for only half of those weapons. The rest are believed to be hidden inside the US Embassy compound in Islamabad. The US Embassy won’t say where the remaining weapons have gone. The Embassy insists that DynCorp was hired to protect Embassy and Consulate buildings across the country. But Pakistani investigations and piles of evidence shows other activities that are typical of private US militias hired by US military and intelligence for covert missions.

...The US agenda included raising Iraq-style private US militias in the country. This reflects Washington’s strong desire to turn Pakistan into a third theater of war after Iraq and Afghanistan, by force if necessary; a desire that continues even now with President Obama and British prime minister’s blunt threats against Pakistan and cheap attempts to blame Islamabad for what essentially are Am-Brit failures.

There is little doubt that Blackwater operated in Pakistan in some capacity over the past few years but not in the same style as in Iraq. There were no private US militias let loose around Pakistan. But this is happening now. And this assignment has been outsourced to DynCorp. The company came to Pakistan in 2008 under the pretext of protecting US diplomatic interests. But it ended up launching a secret program to recruit retired Pakistani military officers. DynCorp has also been found working on creating some kind of rapid-intervention teams made up of former Pakistani army officers trained by American instructors, who in turn are mostly former US military and intelligence officers.

...There are reports that the embassy is planning with some influential officials in the Pakistani government to get the four arrested men in the case out of jail and then smuggle them out of the country, most probably by sea. The three accused know much more than what they have admitted during the interrogations, especially information about the network of informants and other recruits that the US Embassy and DynCorp have cultivated across Pakistan.


an investor's dream, a human being's nightmare

Read at the dentist's office today:
BusinessWeek: As BusinessWeek reports this week, global investors are snapping up thousands of acres of farmland in Africa. Money from everywhere—from Saudi Arabia to Wall Street-backed funds—is pouring in. Why the sudden focus on Africa?

Jim Rogers: The gigantic acreage in Africa has been underfarmed because there is not much infrastructure, not much machinery, not much expertise, not much fertilizer. I think the world is going to have huge food problems in the next few years. Other people seem to see that, too, so they’re buying up farmland. You can either buy it or lease it. It’s very, very cheap, it’s incredibly fertile, and it hasn’t been overexploited. And if you take in some expertise and some machinery and some fertilizer, you should make a lot of money. The labor’s cheap, everything’s cheap.

BusinessWeek: So you think Africa is a good investment opportunity?

Jim Rogers: I think it’s a fantastic investor opportunity. Now there are over 50 countries in Africa, so we can’t make too gross a generalization. But I mean, in the Congo, you don’t even have to plant anything. You just sit by the road long enough, something will grow. Yes, I am very, very optimistic.

BusinessWeek: What’s your outlook for commodities in 2010?

Jim Rogers: I’m not smart enough to know. But I will say that if the world economy gets better, then commodities will be one of the best places to be because of the shortages that are developing. If the world economy does not get better, commodities will still be the place to be because governments are printing all this money.

BusinessWeek: Tim Geithner has been under attack lately. How’s he doing?

Jim Rogers: Listen, I have been a critic for years. Geithner should never have been appointed to anything. He’s been wrong about just about everything for 15 years.

BusinessWeek: Do you think he’ll lose his job?

Jim Rogers: Of course he’s going to lose his job, because as Mr. Obama realizes that Geithner doesn’t know what he’s doing, he’s going to look for somebody else because he doesn’t want to take the heat himself. So he’s going to look to blame somebody, and the obvious person is Geithner.
Back at my think-tank office today, I read some crazy conspiracy stuff about Tim Geithner:
At about 3.00pm New York time on Tuesday 15th December 2009, the Secretary of the United States Treasury, Mr Timothy Geithner, was again confronted by enforcement personnel – from among the large and heavily armed contingent of Chinese police, Interpol officers, MI-6 operatives and Swiss enforcers acting for the injured plaintiffs, the Chinese parties and the British Monarchical Power, who are engaged in enforcing the World Court’s Writ of Execution and Lien(s) on the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve System.
And I also read some confirmed news about Congo, land of exceptional fertility, land where women and girls are brutally raped and murdered, along with their men. Because the land might be really fertile but the people -- evidently they have to go:
December 15, 2009

JOHANNESBURG — A U.N.-backed Congolese military operation to oust rebels from eastern Congo has caused more civilian casualties than damage to rebels, with more than 1,400 people deliberately killed over a nine-month period, human rights groups said Monday.

Human Rights Watch said it had documented “vicious and widespread” attacks against civilians by soldiers and rebels between January and September. Soldiers being fed and supplied with ammunition by the United Nations have killed civilians, gang-raped girls and cut the heads off some young men they accuse of being rebels or supporting the enemy, groups said.

“For every rebel combatant disarmed, one civilian has been killed, seven women and girls have been raped, six houses have been burned and destroyed and 900 people have been forced to flee their homes,” British-based organization Oxfam said.

Human Rights Watch said it documented the killings of 732 civilians between January and September by the Congolese army and troops from neighboring Rwanda fighting alongside it. In the same period, it counted 701 civilians killed by the rebels they are fighting.

“Some victims were tied together before their throats were, according to one witness, ’slit like chickens.’ The majority of the victims were women, children, and the elderly,” the group said.

More than 7,500 cases of sexual violence against women and girls were registered at health centers during that nine-month period, nearly double that of 2008 and likely representing only a fraction of the total.

Human Rights Watch said that the 19,000 peacekeepers in Congo – the biggest U.N. force in the world – must “immediately cease all support to the current military operation” until it can ensure there are no violations of international humanitarian law. The group also called for the U.N. to find “a new approach to protect civilians.”

“The U.N. peacekeepers are being put in an appalling situation where they are supporting an army that is attacking its own population,” it said.
You can read more about it here.

Human Rights Watch recommended the immediate creation and deployment of a civilian protection expert group that would put forward specific measures to improve strategies to protect civilians in eastern Congo. Alan Doss, special representative of the secretary-general in Congo, will address the Security Council on December 16. The Security Council is scheduled to vote on a renewal of the mandate of MONUC, the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo, on December 21.

...Over the first nine months of 2009, the UN recorded over 7,500 cases of sexual violence against women and girls across North and South Kivu in eastern Congo, nearly surpassing the figures recorded during all of last year, and probably representing only a fraction of the total. Most of the women and girls were gang raped, some so violently that they later died. Many women and girls were held as sex slaves by both the Congolese army and the FDLR for weeks or months at a time; they were raped repeatedly and some were mutilated and then killed by machete or shot in the vagina.

The women massacred in Maguindanao Philippines received similar treatment.
The members of the convoy, along with people believed to be just passing through, were later found murdered, mutilated, some bearing signs of torture and rape. Most were buried with their vehicles in Ampatuan tow. Ginalyn bore gunshot wounds in the mouth; her vagina was slashed four times before it too was shot; her legs were sawed off.
What does this mean, this hatred toward women? Where does this urge to utterly destroy women, to destroy their fertility, to destroy life itself come from? It is not enough to kill women, apparently. It must be done with brutal emphasis on the hatred for what women symbolize: LIFE.

But the land....the land is so fertile. And with all those wonderful buried treasures, minerals, gold, diamonds.....

Africa is an investor's dream. If it weren't for all the people who live there. The people pose a problem. They must go. This is how it's done.


turning the screws in Colorado

Several companies did very well in the latest Iraq oil auction, especially Russia and China. American companies...not so much.
A Petronas-Shell alliance got the highly coveted Majnoon (reserves of more than 12 billion barrels, projected output of 1.8 million bpd), near the Iranian border. Russia's Lukoil (85%), with junior partner Statoil (15%), got phase 2 of the immense West Qurna (located 65 kilometers northwest of Basra; about 12 billion barrels of reserves; projected production of 1.8 million bpd) - which in theory it had already bagged under Saddam Hussein. When Lukoil was stripped of its contract by Saddam, it blamed US-instigated United Nations sanctions, while Saddam blamed Lukoil itself.

...What the early 2010s will definitely see is the rise of a relatively wealthy, Shi'ite-controlled Iraq friendly with Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah. Essentially, Shi'ite Islam on the rise. The US-friendly autocracies and dictatorships in the Gulf will cry again, "It's the return of the Shi'ite crescent!" United States think-tanks may be tempted to define Maliki as the new Saddam. The only difference is that by then, Cheney and company will be safely ensconced in the dustbin of history.
So, you know, people can debate whether the new power configuration in Iraq is an accident, but power configurations don't happen by accident. They might look like accidents, but that means accidentally on purpose, in order to gas up the tank on the Hegelian Mindfuck Endless Conflict for Fun and Profit bus for another World Tour.

And so what if Dick Cheney doesn't like it? That doesn't mean somebody else isn't loving it and planning to make a bloody fortune. These people are cut-throats and Dick had his turn, he's out of power, and he can try as he might to throw his weight around still or maybe he should just go be his cold-blooded retired reptile self back in Wyoming and enjoy, if that's the word, whatever life he has left, laying around on a stone wall or something, while his enemies fuck with the people of the world. Like I said, they take turns and his turn ended.

Speaking of people making bloody fortunes...this Lukoil might be worth watching as it connects back to some other topics of interest like oligarchs, diamonds, and Colorado. Yup! More Intersecting Circles. I'm sure Lev Leviev must be around here someplace...
Jul 23, 2009 (MENA News from Al-Bawaba via COMTEX) -- Court documents and testimony, presented recently in the Colorado District Court in Denver, expose substantial new evidence that LUKoil has operated a significant business in the state.

The new evidence, secret until now, stretches back for ten years, and shows a flow of cash every month from an alleged front company in Colorado to a LUKoil company in Israel.

The evidence reinforces the likelihood that LUKoil and its Russian subsidiary, Arkhangelskgeoldobycha (AGD), will be ordered to face trial on charges of defrauding Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC) of its rights to develop the Grib diamond mine project.

In addition to its stake in the future Grib diamond mine project, ADC's biggest current asset is its US lawsuit against LUKoil. This claims recovery of $30 million in investment, $400 million in ADC's share of profits, and another $800 million in potential profits.

The newly disclosed evidence appears in a transcript of court proceedings on May 12; the transcript was made available after diamond giant De Beers attempted to halt the court case, and put ADC into bankruptcy.

Jonathan Oppenheimer and Gareth Penny have been asked to explain why they appear determined to stop the legal proceedings against LUKoil and AGD, now that, according to the latest evidence, they are close to a judicial order to commence trial. They refuse to respond.

The new evidence was presented to District Judge Anne Mansfield by ADC's lawyer, Bruce Marks, a specialist on Russian racketeering. Marks presented the judge with invoices, and claimed that since 1998 until the present, LUKoil has been using a local company called DS Engineering to bill thousands of dollars every month for engineering and other services performed for LUKoil.

DS Engineering, Marks said, was "nothing more than a pass-through account." Cash was moved in both directions, he added - from Colorado to Moscow, and from Moscow to Colorado. Documents for one month, October 2001, showed $32,000 in cash invoiced and paid by LUKoil for running a variety of business operations in Colorado.

LUKoil's attorney, Frederick Baumann, told the judge in the hearing "there is no contact whatsoever between the facts of the plaintiff s claims and the State of Colorado."

Judge Mansfield disagreed. On May 12, she overruled LUKoil's objections, and ordered that "LUKOIL shall produce all information and documents responsive to all ADC s interrogatories and requests for production

If the judge had dismissed ADC's application, the court case would have had little chance of succeeding. However, the May 12 orders apply serious pressure on LUKoil either to disclose, and risk trial on the substance of ADC's charges; or else to negotiate a settlement on ADC's terms. This in turn has renewed the pressure on diamond giant De Beers to call off its attempt to liquidate ADC.

Well, to get serious (ahem), the oligarchs in question are Vagit Alekperov and Alisher Usmanov, as explained here this week by John Helmer.

Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC) has re-emerged from a bankruptcy proceeding initiated earlier this year by De Beers, to launch new charges in the Colorado state court against Russian oil company LUKoil, and well-known Russian oligarchs, Vagit Alekperov (lead bearer) and Alisher Usmanov (2nd bearer).

ADC is now being directed by a group of minority stakeholders, led by US attorney Bruce Marks; former board director, Clive Hartz; and the Firebird Global Master Fund of New York, with a stake of about 18%. De Beers owns 56% of ADC’s shares.
The new filing was lodged in the Denver city and county court for Colorado on November 24. It charges LUKoil, one of Russia’s largest oil companies, with racketeering, fraud, unjust enrichment, and civil conspiracy. Set out in detail is an alleged scheme by which LUKoil used Colorado, local companies, and at least a dozen Colorado employees to smuggle large sums of cash into Russia. The scheme has been revealed in order to buttress ADC’s claims that the Colorado court has jurisdiction over LUKoil to try the 11-year diamond mine case.

The new court papers charge that from March 1999 until now LUKoil has used a Colorado front company, DS Engineering, as “the fulcrum of illegal cash smuggling schemes in which the Lukoil Colorado Employees carried cash from Colorado to Russia, in amounts averaging $40,000 per month, totaling over $6 million.
...In other words, DS Engineering paid millions of dollars to Lukoil Israel which it then billed Lukoil Israel for reimbursement. Upon information and belief, this “circle” of monies paid to Lukoil Israel for “services” was wired to a different bank account from which DS Engineering received payment from Lukoil Israel and may constitute some type of fraud. Upon information and belief, Lukoil Israel never provided DS Engineering any invoices or billings which provided any substantive description of the services purportedly provided for the more than $3 million which DS Engineering wired out to Lukoil Israel from its bank account in Colorado.”

...the Cash Smuggling Schemes involved over 25 Lukoil Colorado Employees making over 1,000 separate trips over a ten year period smuggling over $6 million.
Et cetera.

But, for the record, Lukoil does tie back to Lev Leviev. (Doesn't everything?) Lukoil owned one of the two diamond suppliers that Leviev needed to secure for his consolidated diamond business.
12/07: Israeli entrepreneur Lev Leviev is planning to consolidate his Russian diamond interests, creating a vertically integrated mining, manufacturing, and retailing group which will be offered for public shareholding subscription. According to Leviev's Moscow representative, Valery Morozov, the assets to be combined include the small alluvial mining concern, Uralalmaz; Ruis Diamonds, Leviev's Moscow manufacturing plant; Kama Kristall, a smaller cutting plant in Perm; and the Moscow jewellery plant. ...It is clearly in Leviev's interest to assure his rough supplies by taking equity stakes in new Sakha mines, or in one of the two diamond projects in Arkhangelsk region - Lomonosov controlled by Alrosa, or Verkhotina controlled by LUKoil. He has made moves in each of these directions, and courted some well-known Russian asset raiders.
What does it mean? Damned if I know. Just noticing I guess. But if I were to venture a guess, and I'm not saying I am, it looks like some more interference with the oligarch business model.

legal mumbo jumbo

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