Monday, February 28, 2011

Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators

Michael Hastings is the author of the profile of Stanley McChrystal that ended his military career. Now, Hastings offers a brilliant and revealing look into Lt. General William Caldwell, who devised and implemented a plan to use psy-ops against U.S. senators and congressmen when they visited Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Source: Rolling Stone

The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in "psychological operations" to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war, Rolling Stone has learned – and when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators.

The orders came from the command of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops – the linchpin of U.S. strategy in the war. Over a four-month period last year, a military cell devoted to what is known as "information operations" at Camp Eggers in Kabul was repeatedly pressured to target visiting senators and other VIPs who met with Caldwell. When the unit resisted the order, arguing that it violated U.S. laws prohibiting the use of propaganda against American citizens, it was subjected to a campaign of retaliation.

"My job in psy-ops is to play with people’s heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave," says Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, the leader of the IO unit, who received an official reprimand after bucking orders. "I’m prohibited from doing that to our own people. When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you’re crossing a line."

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Rolling Stone.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers


Environmentalists say using natural gas will help slow climate change because it burns more cleanly than coal and oil. But the relatively new drilling method —known as high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking —carries significant environmental risks. It involves injecting huge amounts of water, mixed with sand and chemicals, at high pressures to break up rock formations and release the gas.

With hydrofracking, a well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself.

While the existence of the toxic wastes has been reported, thousands of internal documents obtained by The New York Times from the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and drillers show that the dangers to the environment and health are greater than previously understood.

The documents reveal that the wastewater, which is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle.


In other words, there is no way of guaranteeing that the drinking water taken in by all these plants is safe.

This is a Suspiciois News Brief.
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ret. Col. Says UFOs Are Real, but Denies Government Cover-Up

Source: AOL News

Retired Col. John Alexander, using his military savvy and high security clearance, spent a quarter of a century going through the top levels of the U.S. government and military searching for the group of people who were allegedly responsible for UFO information and the supposedly decades-old UFO cover-up. His conclusions: Not only is there no such group and no cover-up, but disclosure about UFOs has already occurred on different official levels.

The 74-year-old former Green Beret A-Team commander and developer of weapons at Los Alamos, N.M., is one of many speakers presenting his views at this week's International UFO Congress in Scottsdale, Ariz. He takes issue with both true believers (who assume any strange light in the sky is from another planet) and hard-nosed skeptics (who debunk any and all UFO reports and evidence to the contrary).

With so many people crying out these days for the U.S. government or the United Nations or even the Vatican to issue some sort of "we are not alone in the universe" disclosure statement, Alexander says the information has been dripping out all around us, over decades, with top officials casually making statements about UFOs.

After many years of deep research into UFOs, Alexander is convinced from both a personal and military point of view that it's a much more complex issue than the idea of Earth being visited by extraterrestrials.

He proposes a concept called precognitive sentient phenomena. "The point is there is something out there that is sentient. When I say precognitive, it knows --whatever it is --not only what it is going to present, but how we are going to respond to it.

"The public is interested but ambivalent in general. The public believes in UFOs, but it doesn't affect their daily lives," Alexander explained. "In the military, you learn very quickly it is not career-enhancing to bring up anomalies that you don't have good answers for.

"There's a euphemism in the military: If you bring me a problem, bring me a solution."

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at AOL News.e
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Our Government-Funded Mission to Make Haiti Christian: Your Tax Dollars, Billy Graham's Son, Monsanto and Sarah Palin

Source: The Awl

During a November 2008 USAID conference session ("USAID Partnership 101"), Terri Hasdorff, USAID director of community and faith-based initiatives, said in the very first part of her address, "First and foremost, the government can fund compassion, but cannot fund conversion. No witnessing or actually proselytizing." Later at the event, Heather MacLean, USAID senior advisor for faith-based initiatives, reiterated, "Any religious activities, which can take place, but they must take place in a separate time or place from U.S. government funded activities and they must be voluntary on part of the beneficiary. The beneficiary shouldn’t feel any pressure to participate."

One of the ways that Samaritan's Purse is able to skirt attention for hard core evangelizing with federal funds is by splitting duties. Samaritan's Purse is the aid arm. It applies for USAID loans and providing tents and medical equipment and the like. Meanwhile, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association maintains a "Rapid Response Team" of chaplains that go into Samaritan's Purse aid stations and set upon converting the weak and needy. In this arrangement, Samaritan's Purse can technically say it manages no organized proselytizing agency.

"Not an Activity Sanctioned by the U.S. Government" USAID is completely aware of Samaritan's Purse's misuse of funds. A 2009 report by the Inspector General identified Samaritan's Purse as having received $3,249,557 in USAID funding in 2006 and 2007 despite "deficiencies in partner notification of the requirements of title 22 Code of Federal Regulations, part 205." The IG report provided recommendations on how USAID should control future grants, recommendations it seems to have ignored. Why would USAID fund Samaritan's Purse in Haiti if it had already been identified as an organization with a proven unconstitutional use of funds?

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The Awl.

This is only a few paragraphs taken from the article. Please take the time to read the entire article, because it contains many important facts and observations that shed some light on the deep corruption in USAID and the many ways US tax dollars are illegally used to proselytize and exploit.
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Friday, February 18, 2011

What is actually being proposed in Wisconsin?

What are all of the protests in Wisconsin all about?

Ezra Klein explained in a recent Washington Post article that a lot of people are confused about what's actually being proposed in Gov. Scott Walker's "Budget Repair bill."

The bill takes away the right to collectively bargain from most, but not all state and local workers. "Local law enforcement and fire employees, and state troopers and inspectors would be exempt from these changes." As Harold Meyerson notes, these are the unions that happened to be more supportive of Walker in the last election.

Why did Walker decide to eliminate collective bargaining for the unions who didn't support him? MSBNC explains this well:

Walker's Democratic predecessor, Jim Doyle, estimated that in June of 2011, Wisconsin would still have a $10 million surplus, but Walker has said the state is facing a $137 million deficit today. Why the discrepancy?

--Walker made a number of adjustments to Doyle’s estimates, mainly accounting for higher-than-expected Medicaid costs.
--Walker also pushed through three tax cut bills negatively impacting projected tax revenues by $117 million
--the tax cuts went toward health savings accounts, deductions for relocated businesses, and exclusions for hiring new employees.

So, basically Walker gave tax breaks to corporations and now he is taking collective bargaining rights away from state workers to pay for it.
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Most Americans think China is No. 1 economy; it isn't


In reality, the U.S. is by far the world's largest economy.
US 2010 GDP $14.62 trillion.
China's 2010 GDP $5.75 trillion.
Japan's 2010 GDP $5.4 trillion.

By some economic measures, the gaps between the world's leaders are even wider: China's per-capita GDP is about $4,000, compared with Japan's $42,000 and the USA's $47,000.

This is a Suspicious News Brief.
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ron Paul Wins Presidential Straw Poll At CPAC


Representative Ron Paul of Texas won the straw poll at CPAC for the second year in a row, and Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, took second place. The results reflected the challenges that lie ahead for Republicans as they weigh arguments of electability and ideology and try to unite the party. Mr. Paul received 30 percent of the vote, and Mr. Romney won 23 percent. The rest of the potential contenders finished in single digits, including Sarah Palin, who declined an invitation to speak here; she received support from only 3 percent of the poll’s voters.

Andrew Breitbart, the owner of several conservative Web sites, was served at the conference on Saturday with a lawsuit filed by Shirley Sherrod, the former Agriculture Department employee who lost her job last year over a video that Mr. Brietbart posted at his site The video was selectively edited so that it appeared Ms. Sherrod was confessing she had discriminated against a farmer because he was white.

This is a Suspicious News Brief.
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Montana Bill Would Create Armed State Militia Force

Source: TPMMuckraker

Montana State Rep. Wendy Warburton (R) introduced House Bill 278, which she said was "just about local volunteers being prepared in case of emergency to support the National Guard, support the sheriff, support the governor as needed," the Associated Press reports.

If the bill passes, the governor will be required to "recruit, mobilize, administer, train, discipline, equip, and supply the organized militia."

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at TPMMuckraker.
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Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance -In 1798

Source: Forbes

In July of 1798, Congress passed –and President John Adams signed -“An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.

Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of its members were the drafters of the Constitution.

And when the Bill came to the desk of President John Adams for signature, I think it’s safe to assume that the man in that chair had a pretty good grasp on what the framers had in mind.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Forbes.
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Monday, February 7, 2011

UFO over Temple Mount in Jerusalem?

Several YouTube videos have been posted showing UFO footage that was allegedly taken from several vantage points in Jerusalem around 1:00 AM on Jan 29.

The Jerusalem Post calls this a hoax saying, "The lack of higher intelligence seems more acute than ever".

Fox News thinks they're part of a viral marketing stunt for a Hollywood movie; most likely Battle LA, which opens on March 11. Several skeptical YouTube users have pointed out how the UFO clips appear to have been digitally manipulated.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Freeze knocked out coal plants and natural gas supplies, leading to blackouts in Texas

Photo By Loadmaster (David R. Tribble)

Source: Dallas Morning News
Here are just a few excerpts from this article:

Early Wednesday morning, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) began shutting off power to customers after a quick, deep freeze sliced through the state.

“My gut is that there were sources of power that were not contracted for and were not prepared to go when they were needed,” said Bill White, former Democratic candidate for governor and former No. 2 at the Department of Energy, where he had responsibility for the national energy grid.

If I am a generator, then I am going to make my calculations on the basis of cost and benefits. Period.” --Bill White

The cold wiped out four of Energy Future Holdings’ coal plants, three of them brand-new.

... gas wells in the Barnett Shale field began freezing and couldn’t pump supply into Atmos’ network.

Oncor , which operates the power lines in North Texas, agreed to omit Barnett Shale gas well equipment from rotating outages, but electricity regulators didn’t have a database of critical natural gas equipment.

... Luminant, already suffering from four downed coal plants, sought to ramp up its Lake Ray Hubbard natural gas-fired power plant, asking Atmos for a large amount of natural gas.

... providing the gas to Luminant would have meant shutting off residential customers and closing down part of Atmos’ system. It would have taken weeks to restore service to all of those homes.

... The issue, some say, is that Texas’ deregulated electricity system leaves reliability up to the free market.

... If supplies get tight, prices rise and more plants come online — in theory.

The problem was that no one has the responsibility to make sure that enough power was contracted for and ready for availability.” --Bill White

... one program designed to relieve an emergency isn’t fully subscribed. Emergency Interruptible Load Service pays customers to agree to shut down in an emergency. But it doesn’t have a full load of customers.

ERCOT CEO Trip Doggett is in the shower when the emergency notification comes in. When he sees the notice, he calls Ken Saathoff, ERCOT’s vice president of grid operations, to gather information. He then spends half an hour calling the three PUC members, the PUC executive director and one of the governor’s advisers. He then drives to ERCOT’s back-up control room in Austin and begins calling legislators.

PUC chairman Smitherman gets a call from ERCOT’s market monitor, Dan Jones. Smitherman, sick in bed with a sinus infection, doesn’t answer.

Producers struggle to get workers to the field to repair the equipment in the cold.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Dallas Morning News.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Oysters disappearing worldwide: study

Source: Yahoo! News
"They are functionally extinct --in that they lack any significant ecosystem role and remain at less than one percent of prior abundances in many bays (37 percent) and ecoregions (28 percent)" The one bright spot in the oyster world was in the Gulf of Mexico, where native oyster catches are "the highest in the world despite significant declines in abundance and reefs."

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Yahoo! News.
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Reducing USAID Support For Dictators

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has proposed a huge budget slashing bill that includes deep cuts to funding for the State Department:

"SEC. 15. STATE.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Including reductions made by subsection (b), amounts made available to the Department of State for fiscal year 2011 are reduced on a pro rata basis by the amount required to bring total reduction to $20,321,000,000."

Most Republican members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, who served on the State and foreign operations subcommittee in the last Congress are now gone. In the House, Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) was chosen to serve as chair of the House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee even though she has only two years of experience on the panel.

The ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Dick Lugar (R-Indiana) said, “I’m distressed that there is not enough recognition of the role the State Department is playing." Referring to the rookies, Lugar said, "It’s a new leadership group, and they are attempting to express that they are different and it’s a different time. And they’re apparently succeeding.”

Over in the House, the Republican majority proposes to lump Obama's State and foreign aid requests with “non-security” domestic spending and to cut appropriations to 2008 levels. The result could be a $16 billion, or nearly one-third, reduction in the resources available to the State Department.

The House Republican Study Committee (RSC) submitted their budget cut plan that reduces or eliminates federal funding for USAID, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the U.S. Trade Development Agency, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the USDA Sugar Program, economic assistance to Egypt, and many other programs.

Significant cuts in State Department funding and USAID could result in loss of control over puppet dictators around the world who are supported by US tax dollars.

History Lesson from "Where in the world is Osama bin Laden" by Morgan Spurlock