Boletín de Noticias / Newsbulletin

No. 1617

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23 – 07 – 2012



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El Pentágono expande red estadounidense de drones espías

Domingo, 22 de Julio de 2012 21:06

Jorge V. Jaime*


La Habana (PL) Docenas de universidades, instituciones privadas y agencias controladoras de fuerzas del orden en Estados Unidos han recibido permisos federales para utilizar aviones teledirigidos o drones en el propio territorio norteamericano.

Este hecho había circulado por las redes de prensa con bajo perfil editorial hasta que la organización independiente Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), dio cuenta de la situación sobre la base de documentos obtenidos con el amparo del Acta para la Libertad de la Información.

Pese al aumento de controversias relacionadas con el uso de estas aeronaves, entre los organismos beneficiados están el Departamento de Seguridad Interior, estaciones policiales en Ogden, Utah, y North Little Rock, Arkansas, además de las universidades Nicholls de Louisiana y la North Dakota.

Los congresistas Edward Markey, demócrata por Massachusetts, y Joe Barton, republicano por Texas, pidieron a directivos de la Administración Federal de Aviación (AFA) responder algunas interrogantes relacionadas con la privacidad de la ciudadanía y el uso extensivo de estos artefactos con mando a distancia.

Varios subcomités en el Congreso de Washington analizan un nuevo proyecto legislativo para integrar, a más tardar en el otoño de 2015, la operación de los drones a la reglamentación general que rige la circulación de los aviones tradicionales.

El Departamento de Defensa trabaja junto con la AFA para legalizar el uso cotidiano y sin interferencias judiciales de las naves militares no tripuladas en el espacio aéreo estadounidense.

Un comunicado del Pentágono menciona un inventario de siete mil 500 drones, los cuales no tienen mucha previsión de misiones en la agenda futura, una vez concluidas las operaciones bélicas en Iraq y Afganistán.

Actualmente la AFA permite la utilización de estos aparatos solo en ocasiones específicas y para tal acción debe expedir un certificado especial que conlleva un cierto nivel de burocratismo. No obstante, en el 2011 se firmaron 113 de estas autorizaciones.

Defensa quiere que la gestión sea expedita y sellar una normativa que suprima los obstáculos al despliegue rápido de aviones sin tripulación en cualquier momento que considere el Comando Central.

La exrepresentante demócrata Jane Harman alertó que la utilización de drones para operaciones policiales de rutina es un error grave, porque los procedimientos no se someten a un debate público o al escrutinio parlamentario.

Está en juego la garantía de la privacidad individual ciudadana, además de que estos casos violan la normativa Posse Comitatus Act, que prohíbe el uso de fuerzas militares en tareas asignadas a la policía en suelo estadounidense, apuntó Harman.

Pero la red del Pentágono pretende alcanzar más allá de fronteras. El Departamento de Seguridad Interior (DSI) confirmó que activará una flotilla de drones sobre el Mar Caribe y el Golfo de México, con el alegado propósito de vigilar a narcotraficantes.

La AFA ya aprobó nuevas rutas que deberán cumplir estos aeroplanos, conocidos mundialmente debido a su accionar bélico en las guerras implementadas por Washington en Iraq y Afganistán.

El perímetro estipulado abarca un radio de dos mil kilómetros y sombrea a países como Bahamas, República Dominicana, el estado asociado de Puerto Rico y otras islas antillanas.

Esta decisión del DSI duplicará el uso de aviones teledirigidos en el hemisferio occidental así como el número de kilómetros cubiertos por estos supervisores aéreos del gobierno norteamericano.

La primera base de drones para el Caribe estará instalada en la localidad de Corpus Christi, Texas, y la siguiente será construida en Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Los aparatos a utilizar serán los Predator B, el mismo modelo que la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA) usa en Pakistán y Yemen con el argumento oficial de perseguir partidarios de Al Qaeda y otros grupos extremistas.

Desde hace más de un lustro Washington ya mantiene un sistema de vigilancia en el Caribe con las llamadas aeronaves de espionaje y ultra-altitud denominadas Global Hawk, que según expertos cubren más espacio marítimo que los drones.

Estados Unidos también anunció recientemente que planea fabricar aviones militares sin tripulación de propulsión nuclear que podrían volar y ejecutar misiones de bombardeo masivo durante meses sin necesidad de reabastecimiento.

El Pentágono encargó esa tarea a los laboratorios Sandia National, la principal agencia gubernamental para investigaciones y desarrollo atómico, y al consorcio armamentístico Northrop Grumman.

No ha trascendido el costo por unidad de esta próxima generación de Vehículos Aéreos No Tripulados (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAV), aunque se conoce que los actuales Reaper y Sky Warrior valen unos 22 millones de dólares la pieza.

Es un proyecto terrorífico. Los UAV son artefactos menos seguros que los aviones tradicionales y tienden a estrellarse con más facilidad. Washington no tiene en cuenta las consecuencias de su plan, subrayó Chris Coles, del foro Drone Wars UK, crítico de estos sistemas.

Al margen de la polémica generada en este sector de la aeronáutica, la CIA informó que busca mayor libertad para atacar con drones a supuestos terroristas en Yemen, sin el requisito de conocer la identidad de los bombardeados.

El organismo de espionaje pretende modificar los protocolos de permiso para que los aviones no tripulados puedan lanzar misiles contra blancos terrestres solamente sobre la base de patrones y datos de inteligencia o "comportamientos sospechosos".

De aprobarse el pedido de la CIA, las aeronaves militares teledirigidas podrían bombardear a sujetos que simplemente se asemejen a militantes de Al-Qaeda, visiten zonas catalogadas como campamentos terroristas o se sospeche carguen algún explosivo.

Durante años esta práctica ha sido un elemento central en el programa de drones de la CIA en Paquistán, Afganistán e Iraq, y ahora el director de la agencia, David Petraeus, quiere aplicar igual procedimiento en Yemen, comentó el diario The Washington Post.

Antes de septiembre de 2001 las instituciones militares norteamericanas contaban con 50 drones, y a inicios de 2012 la relación es de uno de estos modelos por cada tres aviones militares tradicionales.

*Jefe de la Redacción Norteamérica de Prensa Latina.

http://www.matrizur.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22250:el-pentagono-expande-red-estadounidense-de-drones-espias&catid=45:imperio



DARPA elabora una máquina de 'hacking' con forma de regleta

El dispositivo permite lanzar ataques a redes a distancia

Publicado: 23 jul 2012 | 11:42 GMT

Este dispositivo puede parecer simplemente una regleta de enchufes, pero en realidad es una herramienta de 'hacking' que permite lanzar ataques virtuales mediante Wi-Fi, Bluetooth o Ethernet, una red de área local.

La elaboración del Power Pwn fue financiada por DARPA, una agencia del Departamento de Defensa de Estados Unidos responsable del desarrollo de nuevas tecnologías para uso militar. El Power Pwn puede identificar las debilidades de una red a distancia. Recibe comandos a través de una interfaz virtual, accesible mediante una unidad de radio integrada o directamente por un mensaje de texto. Incluso se puede utilizar la aplicación Siri de Apple con reconocimiento de voz para enviar instrucciones a la herramienta. Las empresas pueden comprar el dispositivo por 1.295 dólares y mandarlo por correo a sus sucursales para hacer pruebas rápidas de seguridad de sus redes remotas, explica Dave Porcello, el director de la compañía que lo diseñó, Pwnie Express. Alrededor del 90% de los clientes de la compañía trabajan para grandes corporaciones o para el Gobierno federal. Según Porcello, lo que han logrado es “tomar las herramientas que normalmente son usadas por los hackers y ponerlas en manos de la gente que las necesita para defenderse de los hackers”. No obstante, la discreta forma de este dispositivo concreto le dota de capacidades muy amplias de penetración en las redes corporativas y privadas, ya que la mayoría de la gente ni siquiera se percataría de que está bajo su mesa.
http://actualidad.rt.com/ciencias/view/49838-DARPA-elabora-una-m%C3%A1quina-de-hacking-con-forma-de-regleta


EMBAJADA DE EE.UU. PREVÉ "EVENTO EXTRAORDINARIO" QUE CAMBIARÁ RESULTADOS DEL 7-0

Contrario a lo que revelan la mayoría de las encuestas confiables, funcionarios de la Embajada estadounidense "prevén un resultado cerrado" y están interesados en un "evento extraordinario".

En su sección Los Confidenciales de este domingo, el periodista José Vicente Rangel, denunció que un directivo de una encuestadora se reunió recientemente durante tres horas con funcionarios de la Embajada de Estados Unidos en Venezuela y les informó la mala noticia de que sus trabajos arrojan un resultado ampliamente favorable al presidente de la República y candidato socialista Hugo Chávez. Los trabajadores norteamericanos expresaron que “prevén un escenario diferente con un resultado cerrado y que confían en las supuestas potencialidades de Capriles para cerrar la brecha existente”, dijo Rangel.

En la conversación los norteamericanos se mostraron interesados en disminuir la brecha a partir de la ocurrencia de un evento extraordinario, cuya magnitud y características no precisaron, pero que podría impactar en los resultados finales de las elecciones del 7 de octubre y generar hechos impredecibles”. Se preguntó el comunicador: “¿a qué se referían los funcionarios de la embajada y qué información manejan?”.

http://www.laiguana.tv/noticias/2012/07/22/833/EMBAJADA-DE-EEUU-PREVE-EVENTO-EXTRAORDINARIO-QUE-CAMBIARA-RESULTADOS-DEL-7-0.html


Acción política en el Ciberespacio

Javier Couso (Mundo Obrero/Cubadebate)

El pasado noviembre de 2011 se desarrolló en La Habana el Taller Internacional “Medios alternativos y redes sociales, nuevos escenarios de la comunicación política en el ámbito digital” con la presencia de participantes llegados de 15 países y pertenecientes a todos los ámbitos del espectro que podemos llamar genéricamente, digital.

Formar parte de una reunión de este nivel, además de ser un honor, es una increíble fuente de información que necesariamente, aunque de manera sucinta, debe ser compartido para extender lo que fue una reflexión colectiva sobre un cosmos que, como señalaba Rosa Miriam Elizalde de la web Cubadebate, «… es solo una extensión simbólica de la realidad. Por tanto, ante los hechos que allí se expresan hay que aprender a lidiar primero con los fenómenos del mundo físico para entender las sombras que este proyecta, o de lo contrario podríamos terminar creyéndonos que es legítimo dispararle un misil al ladrón de una caja registradora…».

 

Los aspectos que se trataron en el Taller abarcaron cuestiones políticas, técnicas, estratégicas y legales que, al igual que en la vida real, afectan a la acción virtual de lo digital y a la vez revierten de nuevo en la vida real.

 

Una de las cosas que quedaron claras fue el extenso campo que se nos presenta para accionar. La contradicción que supone la democratización de los aparatos digitales por el afán de extender el consumo a las clases más empobrecidas, abre una puerta de acceso al conocimiento y a la acción política global-virtual.

 

Las declaraciones de Hillary Clinton acerca del control de Internet, los comentarios de Zbigniew Brzezinski en Canadá sobre cómo, por primera vez, activistas de todo el mundo tienen una visión común global o la construcción de estructuras militares especializadas en guerra cibernética como el Comando del Ciberespacio dirigido por un General de cuatro estrellas y que reúne cerca de noventa mil efectivos, evidencian que lo digital y cibernético son un terreno prioritario para el poder y el imperialismo.

 

En el marco del Taller hay que resaltar las intervenciones de la citada Rosa Miriam Elizalde sobre Ciberguerra y Ciberdefensa, de la profesora del Instituto Internacional de Periodismo Milena Recio haciendo hincapié en la no inocencia de Internet, el relato de Ysmel Serrano de @chavezcandanga, acerca del tremendo impacto popular que consigue la cuenta Twitter del presidente Chávez o la intervención del Ministro de Exteriores cubano Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, resaltando que la Revolución Cubana no tiene un problema político con el uso masivo y social de Internet, pero que no se puede olvidar que «el acceso de todos los cubanos [a Internet] está sujeto a grandes inversiones que el país no está en condiciones hoy de financiar».

 

Aparte de estas intervenciones especializadas o de evidente importancia política, el encuentro supuso el intercambio de información y análisis por parte de personas que se dedican a batallar en este nuevo escenario comunicativo. La opinión generalizada, es la de que nos encontramos ante unos medios de una importancia fuera de toda duda por el abaratamiento del que hablábamos antes y por su amplificación global. La mayoría (sobre todo Twitter) son fantásticas herramientas de difusión política que, además, rompen las barreras de contención que suponen los medios de (des)información tradicionales al eliminar los filtros previos.

 

Pero no todo fue euforia pues no se obviaron, en ningún momento, los problemas asociados al uso de una tecnología tan potente que está en manos de grandes corporaciones, es decir, del enemigo.

 

Unas semanas después y tras una breve coordinación de algunas de las personas participantes en el Taller, se comprobó el impacto social que se puede lograr en la defensa y difusión ante graves amenazas, cuando se convocó el primer «Tuitazo por los #DerechosdeCuba» para responder a una maniobra desestabilizadora junto a aguas cubanas que, a la manera de las revoluciones de colores, pretendía instigar disturbios sociales en La Habana.

 

La movilización en la red Twitter resultó abrumadora, sepultando en la más absoluta, invisibilidad los hashtags usados por los provocadores de dentro y fuera de la isla. Pero por otro lado, demostró la no inocencia de la red, cuando se vio que a pesar de la extensión del uso del hashtag #DerechosdeCuba, medido con diferentes herramientas y comparado a otros con menor impacto, nunca se convirtió en Trending Topic debido a la intervención política de la propia maquinaria de Twitter.

 

El uso de las tecnologías de la información y comunicación digital es una forma más del combate político. El Capital las utiliza para fomentar el consumo, tener más control social e incluso para operaciones de desestabilización como antesala de cambios de régimen y/o intervenciones militares. Nosotros tenemos la obligación de usarlas para coordinarnos, posicionar temas y extender el discurso de la izquierda, sin olvidar que en los polos de soberanía se debe hacer un esfuerzo por dotarse de tecnologías propias que no estén en manos del enemigo.

 

Pero lo que no debemos olvidar jamás, es que los cambios sociales los hacen las personas organizadas en la vida real, no en el espectro cibernético.

http://www.visionesalternativas.com/index.php/component/content/article/2-uncategorised/10-accion-politica-en-el-ciberespacio


English


London’s Militarised Olympic Games Conjures Up Orwell’s 1984


by Finian Cunningham

The London Olympics are fast taking on the appearance and tone of a full-scale land, sea and air military operation rather than an international sporting event.

With surface-to-air missiles stationed on top of residential apartment blocks, Royal Navy battleships on alert and Royal Air Force fighter jets and helicopters patrolling the skies over Britain’s capital there is a foreboding sense of a nation at war instead of an occasion of internationalist fraternity that the ancient Games are supposed to embody.

The Games begin in just under two weeks. The latest development is the announcement by Britain’s Ministry of Defence that 3,500 extra troops are to be deployed to ensure security at the 30 venues hosting sporting events. This is in addition to the 13,500 military personnel already assigned to protect members of the public and sports teams from the risk of terrorist attack.

British General Sir Nick Parker, overseeing the security arrangements, has said that one of the contingencies being planned for is dealing with a “9/11 type event”.

The total troop deployment in and around London represents 7,000 more personnel than is currently on British operations in Afghanistan.

This figure is in addition to the 10,000 extra police officers and a division of 10,000 private security guards. It was the disclosure that G45, the private security firm with the Olympics contract, could not fulfill its manpower requirements to cover the Games that prompted the latest enlisting of additional soldiers.

The militarization of the Olympics was conveyed inadvertently by a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence when he said: “Many of the people whom the public will meet at the point of entry to any Olympic event will now be a serving member of the armed forces.”

Boris Johnson, the maverick Mayor of London, said in a statement: “The mayor takes the issue of Olympics security extremely seriously, and having the finest and bravest service men and woman in the world at our disposal during the Games should be a source of great comfort.”

The Royal Navy’s largest battleship, HMS Ocean, will be moored on the Thames at Greenwich, providing a logistical command centre during the event. It will  also provide a base for Lynx helicopters manned with snipers to make round-the-clock sorties over the capital.

Royal Marines on patrol boats and inflatable dinghies are also assigned on the iconic river that snakes its way through London’s historic landmarks.

The RAF will also be patrolling the skies over the capital with Puma helicopters and Typhoon fighter jets operating out of RAF Northolt in West London and Ilford in East London.

But the most controversial deployment has been the installation of surface-to-air missile batteries in residential apartment blocks in the impoverished, rundown East End of London. Residents recently lost a court battle to prevent the Rapier SAM batteries being installed.

The mainly working-class local communities objected to the militarization of their neighbourhoods. They also questioned the safety for residents in the event of the weapons being used to bring down aircraft suspected of carrying out terror attacks. One local man said: “What’s going to happen if our houses get showered with debris?”

The military invasion of poor neighbourhoods for the four-week duration of Olympics has served to rankle already ill feeling towards the colossal spectacle. East London areas such as Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest lie in the shadow of some of the purpose-built venues. The staging of the Olympics, including the massive security operation, is reckoned to come to a total cost between $20 and $40 billion, much of which will be footed by the taxpayer. This is at time of swingeing austerity cuts by the British government amounting to a total of $140 billion axed from public spending.

Socially deprived communities in London’s East End have borne the brunt of government cutbacks required to balance Treasury books thrown into disarray from lavishing billions of dollars on bailing out corrupt private banks.

With unemployment and deprivation being felt keenly in areas like London’s East End, not many of the residents there will be able to afford the admission to the Olympics, with tickets fetching as much as $3,000.

Given the juxtaposition of this glitzy event and its garish corporate sponsorship alongside the sprawling grim poverty for many Londoners – amid the backdrop of full-scale military operations and surveillance – there is an eerie sense of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

Orwell’s classic story of an authoritarian police state was set mainly in London, which had become the capital of Airstrip One, a province of the American super-state, Oceania. The impoverished majority of the populace, the “proles”, had to content themselves with seedy pubs and the faint hope of winning a weekly lottery, while the “inner circle” lorded over the masses. The proles were kept in their place of servitude by emergency powers and a permanent state of war. There is also more than a suspicion in Orwell’s 1984 that the supposed state of war and incoming attacks from anonymous enemies were a contrivance by the elite to instill fear in the masses.

With the British government’s lead participation in America’s "global  war on terror” (commonly referred to as GWOT) and evidence that British intelligence colluded in the so-called 7/7 London underground terror bombings in 2005, Orwell’s 1984 looks increasingly like life imitating art.

The novel was published in 1949, one year after the last Olympics were staged in London. Those Games were held in the aftermath of World War II when much of London’s skyline would have still shown the devastation of the German Luftwaffe’s Blitzkrieg.

In 2012, London will also resemble a war zone, owing to the spurious “war on terror” that the British government and its American allies have embarked on in the pursuit of domestic and foreign dominance.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=31908


War On All Fronts

Jul-21-2012 16:44

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts Special to Salem-News.com

Washington's three-front war: Syria, Lebanon, Iran in the Middle East, China in the Far East, Russia in Europe...

(WASHINGTON DC) - The Russian government has finally caught on that its political opposition is being financed by the US taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy and other CIA/State Department fronts in an attempt to subvert the Russian government and install an American puppet state in the geographically largest country on earth, the one country with a nuclear arsenal sufficient to deter Washington’s aggression.

Just as earlier this year Egypt expelled hundreds of people associated with foreign-funded “non-governmental organizations” (NGOs) for “instilling dissent and meddling in domestic policies,” the Russian Duma (parliament) has just passed a law that Putin is expected to sign that requires political organizations that receive foreign funding to register as foreign agents. The law is based on the US law requiring the registration of foreign agents.

Much of the Russian political opposition consists of foreign-paid agents, and once the law passes leading elements of the Russian political opposition will have to sign in with the Russian Ministry of Justice as foreign agents of Washington. The Itar-Tass News Agency reported on July 3 that there are about 1,000 organizations in Russia that are funded from abroad and engaged in political activity. Try to imagine the outcry if the Russians were funding 1,000 organizations in the US engaged in an effort to turn America into a Russian puppet state. (In the US the Russians would find a lot of competition from Israel.)

The Washington-funded Russian political opposition masquerades behind “human rights” and says it works to “open Russia.” What the disloyal and treasonous Washington-funded Russian “political opposition” means by “open Russia” is to open Russia for brainwashing by Western propaganda, to open Russia to economic plunder by the West, and to open Russia to having its domestic and foreign policies determined by Washington.

Non-governmental organizations” are very governmental. They have played pivotal roles in both financing and running the various “color revolutions” that have established American puppet states in former constituent parts of the Soviet Empire. NGOs have been called “coup d’etat machines,” and they have served Washington well in this role. They are currently working in Venezuela against Chavez.

Of course, Washington is infuriated that its plans for achieving hegemony over a country too dangerous to attack militarily have been derailed by Russia’s awakening, after two decades, to the threat of being politically subverted by Washington-financed NGOs. Washington requires foreign-funded organizations to register as foreign agents (unless they are Israeli funded). However, this fact doesn’t stop Washington from denouncing the new Russian law as “anti-democratic,” “police state,” blah-blah. Caught with its hand in subversion, Washington calls Putin names. The pity is that most of the brainwashed West will fall for Washington’s lies, and we will hear more about “gangster state Russia.”

China is also in Washington’s crosshairs. China’s rapid rise as an economic power is perceived in Washington as a dire threat. China must be contained. Obama’s US Trade Representative has been secretly negotiating for the last 2 or 3 years a Trans Pacific Partnership, whose purpose is to derail China’s natural economic leadership in its own sphere of influence and replace it with Washington’s leadership.

Washington is also pushing to form new military alliances in Asia and to establish new military bases in the Philippines, S. Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere.

Washington quickly inserted itself into disputes between China and Vietnam and China and the Philippines. Washington aligned with its former Vietnamese enemy in Vietnam’s dispute with China over the resource rich Paracel and Spratly islands and with the Philippines in its dispute with China over the resource rich Scarborough Shoal.

Thus, like England’s interference in the dispute between Poland and National Socialist Germany over the return to Germany of German territories that were given to Poland as World War I booty, Washington sets the stage for war.

China has been cooperative with Washington, because the offshoring of the US economy to China was an important component in China’s unprecedented high rate of economic development. American capitalists got their short-run profits, and China got the capital and technology to build an economy that in another 2 or 3 years will have surpassed the sinking US economy. Jobs offshoring, mistaken for free trade by free market economists, has built China and destroyed America.

Washington’s growing interference in Chinese affairs has convinced China’s government that military countermeasures are required to neutralize Washington’s announced intentions to build its military presence in China’s sphere of influence. Washington’s view is that only Washington, no one else, has a sphere of influence, and Washington’s sphere of influence is the entire world.

On July 14 China’s official news agency, Xinhua, said that Washington was interfering in Chinese affairs and making China’s disputes with Vietnam and the Philippines impossible to resolve.

It looks as if an over-confident US government is determined to have a three-front war: Syria, Lebanon, and Iran in the Middle East, China in the Far East, and Russia in Europe. This would appear to be an ambitious agenda for a government whose military was unable to occupy Iraq after nine years or to defeat the lightly-armed Taliban after eleven years, and whose economy and those of its NATO puppets are in trouble and decline with corresponding rising internal unrest and loss of confidence in political leadership.

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/july212012/war-all-fronts-pcr.php


Top Pakistani Politician Calls Drone Strikes “Insane, Immoral, War Crimes”

All it does is it turns more people against the US”

Steve Watson
Infowars.com
July 23, 2012

Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) has slammed the US policy of targeting militants in Pakistan and elsewhere with unmanned drone strikes, declaring that terrorists only benefit from such actions.

In an interview with the Pakistan Daily Times, Khan, a former high profile cricket champion, said that drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and any other part of the world are insane, immoral, illegal and counterproductive.

Of drones I think two words” Khan said. “It’s immoral and it’s insane. Immoral because you cannot justify eliminating suspects and insane because it’s counterproductive. All it does is it turns more people against the US, hatred grows and the beneficiaries of this insanity are the militants.”

It is too criminal to justify these acts, which are a violation of all humanitarian laws.” Khan added. “You can’t eliminate suspects, their families, their children and anyone else who is killed and pass it off as collateral damage. All it does is aid the militancy,” he added.

Khan noted that there was absolutely no evidence to show that drone strikes are effectively breaking up militant networks, and that US authorities never provide the names of the people killed in such strikes because to do so would highlight its engagement in war crimes.

I don’t know how anyone presses buttons and eliminates human beings on information that might or might not be correct. How can this be civilised?” he said.

Einstein defined madness as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Eight years we’ve been bombing them and what are the results? This is not the way. The way to do it is to win the people to your side,” Khan added.

Khan has vowed to take a convoy of journalists to Waziristan on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border in September, along with thousands of his supporters.

Things have gone from bad to worse. The only way to resolve the problem is to withdraw the drones, pull the Pakistani Army out of the Tribal Areas and let the people who live there weed out the alQaeda extremists and other foreign militants,” he added.

The PTI or “movement for Justice” leader hopes to shed more light on the issue by introducing the world’s media to some of the families of those who have been killed by drones over the past eight years.

Khan’s party has exploded in popularity over the past year and is expected to make significant gains in national elections against the two mainstream political parties in Pakistan later this year or early in 2013.

The Obama administration has been heavily criticized for moving to block the release of information relating to its overseas drone assassination programme, and will not even acknowledge that it exists, despite countless public references to the programme and the proven existence of an official “kill list”.

It is common knowledge that the Obama administration has exponentially increased the use of drone missile attacks in countries such as Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

The president has referred to the programme several times in public, as have officials such as counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan.

Earlier this year, the New York Times ran a major piece on the programme, revealing that the White House has asserted the right to carry out state-sponsored assassination anywhere in the world without having to provide any evidence or go through any legal process.

Furthermore, the Times revealed that Obama adopted a policy that “in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants.”

The administration merely has to state that the target is a terrorist and it doesn’t matter whether they are an American citizen or not, as we saw in the case of American-born Anwar al-Awlaki and his son, who were both killed last year.

In December of last year, Obama administration lawyers reaffirmed their backing for state sponsored assassination, claiming that “U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets” and do not have the right to any legal protection against being marked for summary execution.

During a CBS 60 Minutes interview in January, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta revealed that Obama himself personally approves the policy to kill American citizens suspected of terrorism without trial on a case by case basis.

Perhaps the real reason that the administration wants the details of the programme kept under wraps is that, as reported by Propublica recently, the programme is potentially much bigger in scope than anyone had previously thought.

The administration’s figures do not add up, they are chock full of contradictions and discrepancies, and there can be little doubt that there have been many many more civilian deaths as a result of drone attacks than have been publicly acknowledged.

Experts, including UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns, as well as Pakistan’s UN ambassador in Geneva, Zamir Akram, have described the drone assassination programme as a violation of the international legal system, saying that some attacks may constitute war crimes.

Akram, who noted that US drone strikes had killed more than 1,000 civilians in Pakistan, also said “We find the use of drones to be totally counterproductive in terms of succeeding in the ‘war against terror’. It leads to greater levels of terror rather than reducing them.

Many also contend that the attacks infringe the national sovereignty of Pakistan and constitute an act of war.

In 2010, a report by Washington think tank The New America Foundation found that 32% of the more than 1,200 people killed since 2004 in Pakistan, or around 1 in 3, were innocent bystanders rather than dangerous terrorists.

While the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has stated that the Pakistani government is actively facilitating the attacks by providing bases from which to launch the drones, Pakistani authorities have consistently voiced opposition to cross border missile strikes, which have been ongoing for years, but have accelerated since day one of Obama’s presidency. During Obama’s first year in office, there were 53 reported drone missile attacks; more than were carried out during the entirety of George W. Bush’s two four year terms in office.

Reports from 2009, drawn up by Pakistani authorities, indicated that close to 700 civilians had already perished, with just 14 wanted Al Qaeda leaders killed in the attacks.

The ACLU estimates that US drone strikes have killed as many as 4,000 people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia since 2002. Of those, a significant proportion were civilians.

Last week it was revealed that the families of three US citizens killed in drone strikes in Yemen last year – including al-Qaeda preacher Anwar al-Awlaqi – have filed a civil lawsuit against top US officials.

http://www.infowars.com/top-pakistani-politician-calls-drone-strikes-insane-immoral-war-crimes/


Venezuela: A Threat to Washington?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

From the first time Hugo Chavez was elected President of Venezuela in 1998, Washington and its allies have been trying to undermine his government. When Chavez was just a presidential candidate, the US State Department denied his visa to participate in television interviews in Miami. Later, when he won the presidential elections, Ambassador John Maisto called him personally to congratulate him and offer him a visa. The following months were filled with attempts to “buy” the newly elected President of Venezuela. Businessmen, politicians and heads of state from Washington and Spain pressured him to submit to their agendas. “Come with us”, urged Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, trying to seduce him with offers of wealth and luxury in turn for obeying orders.


When Chavez refused to be bought, he was ousted in a coup d’etat April 11, 2002, funded and planned by Washington. When the coup failed and Chavez’s supporters rescued their democracy and president in less than 48 hours, attempts to destabilize his government continued. “We must make it difficult for him to govern”, said former US State Department chief Lawrence Eagleberger.


Soon, Venezuela was overrun with economic sabotage, oil industry strikes, chaos in the streets and a brutal media war that distorted the reality of the country on a national and international level. A plan to assassinate Chavez with Colombian paramilitaries in May 2004 was impeded by state security forces. Months later, the US-backed opposition tried to revoke his mandate in a recall referendum, but again, the people saved him in a 60-40 landslide victory.


The more popular Chavez became, the more millions of dollars flowed from US agencies to anti-Chavez groups to destabilize, descredit, delegitimize, overthrow, assassinate or remove him from power by any means possible. In December 2006, Chavez was reelected president with 64% of the vote. His approval rating grew in Venezuela and throughout Latin America. New governments in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Uruguay and several Caribbean nations joined regional initiatives of integration, cooperation, sovereignty and unity, encouraged by Caracas. Washington began to lose its influence and control over its former “backyard”.  


The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA), the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), PetroCaribe, PetroSur, TeleSUR, Bank of ALBA, Bank of the South and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) were created. Washington isn’t included in any of these organizations, nor is the elite that previously dominated the region.


In January 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Chavez was a “negative force” in the region. In March, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) placed Venezuela on their list of “Top 5 Hot Spots”. A few months later, Reverend Pat Robertson publicly called for the assassination of Chavez, claiming it would cost less than “a $2 billion war”. That same year, when Venezuela suspended cooperation with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) because it was found committing acts of espionage and sabotage, Washington classified Venezuela as a nation “not cooperating with counter-narcotics” efforts. No evidence was presented to show alleged Venezuelan government ties to drug trafficking.


In February 2006, Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte referred to Venezuela as a “dangerous threat” to the US. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfled compared Chavez to Hitler. That same year, Washington created a special intelligence mission dedicated to Venezuela and Cuba, increasing resources for operations against them. In June 2006, the White House placed Venezuela on a list of countries “not cooperating sufficiently with the war on terror”. The classification included a sanction prohibiting the sale of military and defense equipment from the US and US companies or those using US technology to Venezuela. No evidence was ever shown to back such serious claims.


In 2008, the Pentagon reactivated its Fourth Fleet, the regional command in charge of Latin America and the Caribbean. It had been deactivated in 1950 and hadn’t functioned since then, until Washington decided it was necessary to increase its presence and “force” in the region. In 2010, the US established an agreement with Colombia to set up 7 military bases in its territory. An official US Air Force document justified the budget increase for these bases in order to counter the “threat from anti-American governments in the region”.


International media call Chavez a dictator, tyrant, authoritarian, narco, anti-American, terrorist, but they never present proof for such dangerous titles. They have converted the image of Venezuela into violence, insecurity, crime, corruption and chaos, failing to mention the incredible achievements and social advances during the last decade, or the causes of the social inequalities left behind from previous governments.


For years, a group of US congress members - democrats and republicans - have tried to place Venezuela on their list of “state sponors of terrorism”. They claim the relationships between Venezuela and Iran, Venezuela and Cuba, and even Venezuela and China evidence the “grave threat” represented by the South American nation to Washington.


They say again and again that Venezuela and Chavez are threats to the US. “He must be stopped”, they say, before he “launches Iranian bombs against us”.


In an interview a few days ago, President Barack Obama said Chavez was not a threat to US security. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he was. The ire of the Miami Cuban-Venezuelan community came down upon Obama. But they shouldn’t worry, because Obama increased funding to anti-Chavez groups this year. More than $20 million in US taxpayer dollars have been channelled from US agencies to help fund the opposition’s campaign in Venezuela.


Is Venezuela a threat to Washington? In Venezuela, the only “terrorists” are the groups trying to destabilize the country, the majority with political and financial support from the US. The drug traffickers are in Colombia, where the production and transit of drugs has increased during the US invasion disguised as Plan Colombia. Relations with Iran, Cuba, China, Russia and the rest of the world are normal bilateral – and multilateral – ties between countries. There are no bombs, no attack plans, no sinister secrets. 


No, Venezuela is not that kind of threat to Washington.


Poverty has been reduced by more than 50% since Chavez came to power in 1998. The inclusionary policies of his government have created a society with mass participation in economic, political and social decisions. His social programs – called missions – have guaranteed free medical care and education, from basic to advanced levels, and provided basic food items at affordable costs, along with tools to create and maintain cooperatives, small and medium businesses, community organizations and communes. Venezuelan culture has been rescued and treasured, recovering national pride and identity, and creating a sentiment of dignity instead of inferiority. Communication media have proliferated during the last decade, assuring spaces for the expression of all.


The oil industry, nationalized in 1976 but operating as a private company, has been recuperated for the benefit of the country, and not for multinationals and the elite. Over 60% of the annual budget is dedicated to social programs in the country, with the principal focus on eradicating poverty.


Caracas, the capital, has been beautified. Parks and plazas have turned into spaces for gatherings, enjoyment and safety for visitors. There’s music in the streets, art on the walls and a rich debate of ideas amongst inhabitants. The new communal police works with neighborhoods to battle crime and violence, addressing problems from the root cause.


The awakening in Venezuela has expanded throughout the continent and northward into the Caribbean. The sensation of sovereignty, independence and union in the region has buried the shadow of subdevelopment and subordination imposed by colonial powers during centuries past.


No, Venezuela is not a threat to US security. Venezuela is an example of how a rising people, facing the most difficult obstacles and the brutal force of empire, can build a model where social justice reigns, and human prosperity is cherished above economic wealth. Venezuela is a country where millions once invisible are today, visible. Today they have a voice and the power to decide the future of their country, without being strangled by foreign hands. Today, thanks to the revolution led by President Chavez, Venezuela is one of the happiest countries in the world.


That is the threat Chavez and Venezuela represent to Washington: The threat of a good example.


- Eva Golinger

http://www.chavezcode.com/2012/07/venezuela-threat-to-washington.html


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