MUTE THE VIDEO! The alarm clock beeping at the beginning should be your signal to mute, unless you like harsh noises and jihadi singing. Make it fullscreen to be able to read the numbers. Please say something thoughtful if you comment other than "propaganda bullshit" because we already know it's made by the enemy.
If this is directed towards the West, it is not particularly effective for several reasons: 1. the numbers appear inflated, 2. the numbers appear inconsistent, and 3. it misses its intended audience, and 4. the distortions are not believable. If it is a pep talk for the jihadis, it is probably effective to give them a boost for the some of the same reasons it is ineffective in the West. Now, if this propaganda threw in some frames of people in the West burning a Koran or slandering the profit, they would most likely go nuts.
Kenyan security forces must end the abuse of residents in crackdowns and reprisal raids in the hunt for suspected backers of Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab cut-thoats, Human Rights Watch ... dedicated to bitching about human rights violations around the world... warned Thursday.
Since Nairobi invaded southern Somalia last October to attack Shebab bases, a string of attacks have rocked the volatile northeastern region, including grenade blasts targeting both the security forces and civilians.
In response, security forces have beaten and shot at civilians, as well as looting and destroying their property, the New York-based rights group said in a report.
"Kenyan coppers are apparently responding to attacks on their forces with abuses against entire villages," said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at HRW.
"Kenyan police need to investigate attacks on their forces carefully, and arrest and prosecute the people responsible instead of attacking everyone in sight."
According to the report, Kenyan security forces have repeatedly accused residents of either harboring Shebab gunnies or participating in attacks, and have carried out abusive operations against them.
HRW says that officers named by villagers who have made formal complaints should be investigated.
"Senior police officials should immediately follow up on the many complaints of police abuse," Lefkow said.
"The victims have shown courage in coming forward and lodging complaints. Now we need to see accountability for these crimes."
In May, the rights group also accused Kenyan security forces of abusing ethnic Somalis in the same region in similar reprisal attacks, accusing them of rape, arbitrary detention of civilians, looting and extortion.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he and other senior military leaders, including Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey, withheld U.S. forces from responding to the scene of the September 11 attack in Benghazi because the situation was deemed too unclear and risky. Panetta said there was not enough "real time information" for him, Dempsey and Africa Command's Gen. Carter Ham, all of whom felt "very strongly" at the time not to deploy any military assistance to the American compound. Panetta and Dempsey, speaking in a Pentagon press briefing, said U.S. forces were on alert and ready.
Panetta also indicated the seven-hour attack was over too quickly for the Pentagon to have enough information to respond effectively. Dempsey would not comment on ongoing Pentagon and State Department investigations, saying "It's not helpful in my view to provide partial answers. ... I can tell you, however, sitting here today that our forces were alert and responsive to what was a very fluid situation."
Well gentlemen, with a Predator or other collection platform flying overhead providing persistent surveillance and real-time situational awareness, just how much time is needed to insert a rescue or stabilization force, or execute an on-the-shelf NEO plan? Was a stay-behind plan in effect, or was every last clandestine intelligence respresentative extracted from Benghazi? Were local national recruited sources unable to provide any situational updates? Were contacts from other friendly, third party counties unavailable? Had towering Pin Oaks overgrown the emergency helicopter LZ's on the mission compounds? Would a helicopter tailboom have hit a compound wall and resulted in "mechanical problems" as in the Abbattabad takedown?
Please release the predator feeds if you will. They should have a digital clock with the DTG visibly ticking away at the margin. This should help you frame precisely, what you knew and when you knew it!
In other news: Israeli rescue mission flis 2500 miles and lands undetected 23hrs01, 3 July 1976. The operation which lasted 58 minutes results in one friendly KIA, 20 Uganda defense force KIA, and 7 terrorist hijacker KIA. All 100 hostges were successfully rescued.
The technology and willing shooters are available. I doubt there could be found a man on Fort Bragg who would not have instantly volunteered. The only thing lacking was.... well, we all know what it was don't we.
Just remember the two former SEALs who took the risk. Anyone who puts on the uniform knows that one day they may be asked to give that last full measure of devotion. If it means getting others out alive and you staying, you do it.
Panetta also indicated the seven-hour attack was over too quickly for the Pentagon to have enough information to respond effectively.
Classic management approach - give me more information so I can avoid making hard decisions. There is no leadership.
Nothing - nothing stops you from putting assets into a 'front leaning position' to be minutes away without any delay.
We need sackings, lots of sackings - pour encourager les autres!
Petraeus has a chain of command boss, and the discipline to follow lawful orders.
On the other hand, just maybe there is a real reason to avoid revealing too much of the whole, true story. If there is, he would know, and we would/could/should not. While I suspect it is mainly bureaucratic inertia and butt-covering, in the greater scheme of things we have more important issues to face (though maybe not more important if you are Amb. Stevens' family or such.)
Yes Glenmore, an admission of a F&F gun running and MANPAD training program collaborated with the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and targeted against Bashar Assad would be certaily be something to.... avoid. Particulaly just prior to a presidential election.
So not one senior military leader wanted to take a chance? Not one? And are these the same guys who thought it was an acceptable risk to put 20-plus Seal Team 6 operators on a single helicopter a few months ago? I'm not even close to buying this tale.
I have yet another question. Was the Pred or other platform conducting persistent surveillance over the consulate launched specifically for that target area or ROZ (restricted operating zone)....or was it on-station locally elsewhere and dynamically re-tasked from another ROZ?
If dynamically re-tasked, what was the original ROZ and for what purpose?
Once again, the feeds and screen date time group (DTG) would be most helpful in removing the "fog of war". Just say'n.
Again, nothing stops the Generals of moving into a position/posture to act.
One of the points of "Blackhawk Down" that was inferred but not hammered on, was the long delay from when the copter went down till the Task Force Ranger Commander sitting before the screens decided to get around to calling the UN for the QRF [Quick Relief Force]. We're talking hours. On that day the Paks were the QRF and yet the element of 10th Mtn Div from the time they were notified to the time they loaded up to get out the gate was faster than the Paks. That dawdle time killed too many people.
We keep seeing the same behavior, time and again, of managers in positions managing, not leading. Van Greveld in Command in War documents the inertia of the Israeli command in the war of 1973. Demand more information, group think, delaying actions. It's an common organizational behavior and dangerous if it straightjackets the ability to act.
So the "O" bunch didn't mind spiking the football when Bin Laden was killed. They seemed to be omnipotent about Islamabad but really dumb about Benghazi. They were eager to announce the killing of Bin Laden the same night but now the fog of war keeps them from knowing anything about Benghazi until after the election. "O" and Biden had little to do with the success of getting Bin Laden; it was the Navy Seals. They have a great deal to do with the failure of Benghazi and the negligence that allowed the murder of four Americans.
In situations such as this, NO decision... becomes the default decision. In the Rose Garden the next day, it looked to me like the Hildebeast had been up all night. The Champ looked well rested. You decide.
The leaks are coming. Fox is now reporting JSOC was on station and waiting for the "GO" at Sigonella. Also reporting drone(s) were already on station near Benghazi and were re-tasked. Further reporting Doherty and Woods (former SEALS KIA) had phone CONUS, asked for permission to return to the consulte, but were told to "stand-down". They eventually disobeyed the stand-down order and engaged the terorists and conducted a limited rescue. Doherty and Woods were asking for air support/extraction, and were "positioned on the roof with a laser designator pointed at the terrorist mortar position".
Before we start calling the commanders who made the call cowards and all that stuff, let's take a few points into consideration. First, despite of our feelings on Obama and excluding him, the QRF and the military leaders in charge do know what they are doing, lets not let our disgust for Obama cloud this point. Second, it is clear they had a UAV of some type keeping eyes on the events. Now lets look at what we don't know. We do not know if the UAV was armed and with what type of weapons. But we do know they could see the attack in detail. With the constant movement of the SEALs between the home, warehouse and annex, It seems clear they were in communication and getting help in movement oversight. With the UAV they would be able to see and understand the enemy array of forces, this was coordinated, planned and executed buy a competent military force, my guess QUD. Meaning they understood our capabilities and procedures for a NEO or extraction and how to defeat it. If they had SA7 systems in the fight, and some open source report are that they were there, it would be a fools move to send in a lone blackhawk and try a rescue. From the perspective on the ground, the retired seals would have refused airlift support if they knew SA7s were present. They would never put their lives in front of the QRFs safety. The leadership decision must be made on the ability of the QRF to reach the target and this was not a textbook NEO, was it a Navy crew, Army, TF160? Did they have the ability to defeat or avoid the AAA/SAM threat, did they have eyes on the threat? Were there forces in place to help if they got shot down? We learned from Somalia these questions must be dealt with prior to sending in the QRF. They were prepared to perform a NEO, Not a hot extraction, two different fights.
Now on the politics of it all, Leon Panetta is in a bad position. Say they had the SA7s. Say it was a coordinated attack with competent advisors on the ground and the forces were arrayed in a manner where we would not be successful with our forces at hand. And lets say we could see it all from the UAV. Would you go out in public afterward and tell the world we were gamed confirming to the enemy we were gamed? Our would you use some term like "unclear and risky", blaming it on the fog of war.
Lastly, the QRF will go if ordered, no matter the threat. It is incumbent on the forces on the ground to realize the position they are in and understand the cost to others for their rescue and the leadership to protect those that will fly blindly into battle on honor alone. As someone who has sat in both seats, it is discussed and both sides, the commanders and those being extracted do get a vote.
The Ambo and his PSD were dead long before the attack ever happened. The enemy mission planner won the fight the day the Ambo was denied enhanced security. The PSD were retired SEALs, they had to have known it as well. The responsibility lands clearly on the shoulders of whoever denied the military and Ambo the security they asked for. As we look through history, Mogadishu being another shining example of military requests hobbled for political optics with tragic results, we must pick our political leader more carefully and not allow them to spin hawks like us into blaming the military leaders who were hobbled into vulnerable operational states.
When political leaders deny the military planners the required forces events like this will happen over and over.
Posted by: 49 Pan ||
This whole thing is just going to get uglier and uglier. JSOC was there? With what kind of force? WOW!
Posted by: 49 Pan ||
At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied.
There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to
Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours -- enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.
49 Pan, thanks for the detailed perspective. What about sending in some air assets to provide cover? Would the threat of SA-7's be so great as to render any air support too dangerous? That doesn't make much sense to me, but I don't have your experience.
Good discussion. Let's talk about MANPAD's (SA-7, SA-14, or SA-16) Remember, this tragedy took place AT NIGHT! Slow moving aircraft such as helicopters or aircraft taking off or landing are most susceptable. Our aircraft have onboard systems (flares) which detect and defeat these threats. MANPAD's require training in proper emplacement, target identification, and tracking. There are other flight techniques such as evasive manoeuvring, NOE (Nap of the Earth) flight approaches which also mitigate, but do not eliminate these threats. Flying above the operational altitude of such weapons also limits their ineffective. There have been no (zero) reporting of MANPAD use VIC Benghazi. There was a recent (last week I believe) report of rebels in Syrian using a MANPAD to down a fighter.
Bottom line, there was no credible evidence of a MANPAD threat at Benghazi.
Bottom line, there was no credible evidence of a MANPAD threat at Benghazi.
Unless we supplied them. Double promise you'll only take them to Syria?
Then we know they have them.
Then they have a tool to checkmate your own security.
Anyone going to admit they've been had by the baddies?
Iran-Contra+Blackhawk Down+Desert One cluster.
49 Pan, thanks for that perspective. Food for thought.
Yes, the original mistake(s) were --
1) putting the ambassador into Benghazi in the first place, when both the Red Cross and the Brit consulate personnel had pulled out
2) not providing a robust security presence to the ambassador (screw what it 'looks like' to the locals; what it's SUPPOSED to look like is, "don't fuck with us, we're serious").
3) presuming that the security situation in Benghazi had to be getting better because, after all, 'the civil war is over'.
4) not being willing and able to make correct decisions when rapid correct decisions were required.
It may be also that there were plenty of mistakes made during the firefight, in Benghazi, in Italy and Europe, and at the White House. But your point about the outcome of the fight being (mostly) decided before the first round was fired is a good one, and I appreciate that insight.
Posted by: Steve White ||
49 Pan, thanks for the mil perspective. The military commanders ultimately answer to the CIC. We have a CIC that is unqualified to be in the position. He has been AWOL for sometime now. He would rather hustle bucks from the pretty people in Hollywood so he can get re-elected. God help us if he gets re-elected. Should he get re-elected I see dire consequences for this country--none of them good.
While we are making assumptions about SA-7s in Benghazi:
The Iraqi insurgents fired a surprisingly large number of SA missiles during the conflict. The statistics were:
a) 1 hit on a helicopter per 100 missiles fired b) 1 hit on an airplane per several hundred missiles fired.
Even the hit on an airplane tended to only damage it. The risks were not zero, but they were manageable.
I agree with that it probably would have been too "hot" to try a helicopter extract, but they could have landed at Benghazi airport and driven to the compound. This would have required the SF operators be provided with motor transport, ammo and fuel; but the CT and QRF train for this constantly and the Air Commandos can combat load a C-130 in their sleep.
The big problem was that BHO received his 3:00 AM phone call and he voted "present" and went back to sleep.
Posted by: Frozen Al ||
I hope, in time, the military involve let out what happened. This whole event is disturbing and angers me to no end...
Posted by: 49 pan ||
What I don't get about the "too risky" stuff is that at some point in the course of events eight Marines seem to have flown in from Tripoli and taken part in the fighting. Why wasn't it too risky to send those guys in?
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered additional security for the U.S. mission in Benghazi ahead of the terrorist attack but the orders were never carried out, according to "legal counsel" to Clinton who spoke to best-selling author Ed Klein. Those same sources also say former President Bill Clinton has been "urging" his wife to release official State Department documents that prove she called for additional security at the compound in Libya, which would almost certainly result in President Obama losing the election.
Appearing on TheBlazeTV's "Wilkow!" on Wednesday night, Klein told host Andrew Wilkow that Bill and Hillary Clinton have been having "big fights" for "two or three weeks" about the issue, according to his two sources on Clinton's legal counsel. While Bill Clinton wishes his wife would "exonerate" herself by releasing the documents that show she wasn't at fault for the tragic security failure in Libya, the secretary of state refuses to do so because she doesn't want to be viewed as a traitor to the Democratic party.
Sorry I don't believe that Bill Clinton wants Obama to lose the elections. The Clintons want to regain power in the Democratic Party and they need Obama depending on them.
A (successful) Romney presidency would destroy any hopes for Hillary to win in 2016.
Posted by: European Conservative ||
Yes EC, a classic case of wants vs needs. If the Clintons wanted the Champ, the Hildebeast would not have ran against him. They are now desperate to set the stage for 2016. They need the Champ to defeat Willard.
New day, new strategy. Nothing personal, it's just business. SWell, nothing personal as far as the Hildebeast anyway.
[Ynet] Sources in Khartoum say closure indicates US knew Israel was behind strike on arms facility. Top Israeli Defense Ministry official: Sudan is a dangerous terrorist state
The US embassy in Khartoum closed its gates on Wednesday, shortly after a weapons facility just south of the Sudanese capital was attacked, the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported.
Sudan claims Israel was behind the attack on the 'Yarmouk' arms factory. Analysts say Sudan is used as an arms smuggling route to the Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason,-controlled Gazoo Strip via neighboring Egypt.
According to Al-Hayat's report, published Thursday, the American embassy in Khartoum stopped providing consular services in September after it was attacked by rioters who were protesting against the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Moslems."
The report said sources in Khartoum speculated that the fact that the embassy closed before Sudan accused Israel of launching the attack indicates that the US knew the Jewish state was behind the strike and feared it would be targeted by angry protesters.
Egypt's foreign ministry said it opposes any attack that violates Sudan's illusory sovereignty, and that it will cooperate with the authorities in Khartoum in the investigation into the strike.
Israel refused to comment on Sudan's accusations.
'Sudan a terrorist state'
Following the attack, which left two people dead, Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman said his country "reserves the right to strike back at Israel."
Sudan has accused the Jewish state of launching similar attacks in the past.
A top Israeli defense official said Thursday that Sudan is a "dangerous terrorist state," although Israel has refused to directly comment on the claim it was responsible for the attack.
"Sudan is a dangerous terrorist state. To know exactly what happened (there), it will take some time to understand," Amos Gilad told Israel's army radio.
Asked directly whether Israel was involved in the attack, Gilad, who serves as director of policy and political-military affairs at the Defense Ministry, refused to reply directly.
The Israeli air force, he noted, was "one of the most prestigious in the world, a fact which had been proved many times in the past."
Residents living near the Yarmouk factory told AFP an aircraft or missile had flown over the facility shortly before the plant went kaboom! in flames.
An AFP news hound several kilometers away saw two or three fires flaring across a wide area, with thick smoke and intermittent flashes of white light bursting above the state-owned factory.
Sudan appeals to UN
Sudan took its case to the UN Security Council, where its envoy Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman called on the council to condemn Israel.
"We reject such aggression and expect your esteemed council to condemn this attack because it is a blatant violation of the concept of peace and security" and the UN charter, the ambassador said.
The envoy also accused Israel of arming rebels and helping to transport rebel leaders in Sudan's Darfur states, and said Israel was "jeopardizing peace and security in the entire region."
In 1998, Human Rights Watch ... dedicated to bitching about human rights violations around the world... said a coalition of opposition groups had alleged that Sudan stored chemical weapons for Iraq at the Yarmouk facility. Government officials strenuously denied the charge at the time.
In August of that year, US cruise missiles struck the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in North Khartoum, which Washington alleged was linked to chemical weapons production.
Evidence for that claim later proved questionable.
The sprawling Yarmouk facility is surrounded by barbed wire and set back about two kilometers (one mile) from the main road, so signs of damage were not visible later Wednesday when an AFP news hound visited.
But state-linked media said 65 houses in the area had been "affected."
The Yarmouk factory made "traditional weapons", Information Minister Osman said.
"The attack destroyed part of the compound infrastructure, killed two people inside and injured another who is at death's door," he said.
There have been other mysterious blasts in Sudan - and allegations of Israeli involvement.
In April last year, Sudan said it had irrefutable evidence that Israeli attack helicopters carried out a missile and machine-gun strike on a car south of Port Sudan.
Last year's attack mirrored a similar strike by foreign aircraft on a truck convoy reportedly laden with weapons in eastern Sudan in January 2009.
Khartoum is seeking the removal of US sanctions imposed in 1997 over its alleged support for international terrorism, its human rights One man's rights are another man's existential threat. record and other concerns.
The British government rejected U.S. requests to use military bases in the United Kingdom as part of a build-up in the Gulf, citing legal concerns that a pre-emptive strike on Iran would violate international law, The Guardian reported.
Citing unnamed U.K. officials, the Guardian reported that the United States has made informal requests for access to British bases in Cypress and British territories in the Atlantic and Indian oceans as part of contingency planning for Iran.
But British ministers have responded with legal advice from the U.K. attorney general's office that says Iran does not currently represent "a clear and present danger."
As a result, providing assistance to U.S. forces potentially involved in a strike on Iran would violate international law, according to the Guardian.
"The UK would be in breach of international law if it facilitated what amounted to a pre-emptive strike on Iran," said a British defense official. "It is explicit. The government has been using this to push back against the Americans."
The B.O. regime has not made a formal request to the British government for military access. U.K. officials said they did not believe there was any movement toward a conflict, but that the United States was exploring the "British position" on the use of bases.
Pentagon officials did not immediately respond to request for comment on the report. A U.S. State Department official told the Guardian: "The U.S. and the U.K. co-ordinate on all kinds of subjects all the time, on a huge range of issues. We never speak on the record about these types of conversations."
The B.O. regime says it wants a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear dispute, although President B.O. has said he will not rule out using military force to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Methinks the Brits think they'll be biting off more than they can chew iff post-strike Iran orders its MilTerr proxies to initiate TerrOps agz Israel + the US-NATO, its poor Domestic economy, Falklands + the Scottish independence referendum come 2014. Lets also not fergit China-vs-Japan,ASEAN in ECS + SCS, of which no one can doubt Diego Garcia will be a de facto target for the PLA.
London may stay for Afghanistan or AFPAK, but its "no" or "hell no" per Iran.
The bomber who blew up an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria in July, killing six people, had up to five foreign helpers locally and the attack was planned abroad, the interior minister said Thursday.
"The number of people who participated on Bulgarian territory is between three and five," Tsvetan Tsvetanov told the 24 Hours newspaper.
"To date we have no proof that any of them was Bulgarian," Tsvetanov added. He said the attack at Burgas airport was plotted outside Bulgaria over a period of a year and a half.
The probe into the identity of the foreign bomber, who killed five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian driver as well as himself in the July 18 attack, has collected "lots of evidence," the minister said.
"Still, the time has not yet come to voice any concrete accusation against the people or groups who performed this terrorist act (...) We must work with concrete evidence. We have to be very cautious as national security is concerned," he added.
The accomplice theory gained ground right from the start of the investigation but Bulgarian police have so far released only one computer-generated image of a suspected helper, in addition to a composite portrait of the presumed bomber himself.
Israel had immediately blamed Iran and its "terrorist proxy" Hizbullah for the bombing, which was the deadliest on Israelis abroad since 2004. Iran denied any involvement.
Bulgaria has so far refrained from pointing a finger at anyone.
[Jerusalem Post] An increasing majority of people in La Belle France believe Islam plays too influential a role in their society and almost half see Mohammedans as a threat to their national identity, according to a poll published on Thursday.
That's nice. Are they going to do anything about it, beyond selling their unused churches to the Muslims for mosques, as is happening all over Europe and Britain?
The survey by pollster Ifop in Le Figaro newspaper showed that 60 percent of people believed that Islam was "too important" in La Belle France in terms of its influence and visibility, up from 55 percent two years ago.
It found that 43 percent of respondents considered the presence of the Mohammedan community as a threat to their national identity, compared with just 17 percent who said it enriched society. Forty percent of those questioned were indifferent to the presence of Islam, Le Figaro said.
"Our poll shows a further hardening in French people's opinions," Jerome Fourquet, head of Ifop's opinion department, told the newspaper.
The struggle of secular La Belle France, whose people are mainly Catholic, to assimilate the largest Islamic population in Europe was thrust into the spotlight in March when Mohammedan Mohamed Merah, went on a shooting spree in southwest La Belle France that killed three Jewish children, a rabbi and three soldiers.
I sense an oxymoron in here "French think", then how prey tell do the French think that after having Algeria as a department of France until 1962 and Algerians having French nationality by virtue of having been a part of Greater France, that there would not be a rise in Islamic influence ?
Posted by: Au Auric ||
[Ynet] La Belle France's Union of Jewish Students, which last week forced Twitter to remove anti-Semitic posts under threat of legal action, says 50 new messages sighted over weekend using new keyword #unjuifmort (#adeadjew).
A Twitter front man refused to comment directly on the anti-Semitic tweets and reiterated the company's standard response that it "does not mediate content."
He added, "If we are alerted to content that may be in violation of our terms of service, we will investigate each report and respond according to the policies and procedures outlined in our support pages."
These state that Twitter cannot delete tweets but allow for accounts generating content in breach of its rules or considered illegal to be suspended.
The site will not hand over details of account holders unless obliged to do so by a judge.
Last week, Twitter suspended the account of a neo-Nazi group in Germany, responding to a request of that nature from a national government for the first time.
French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira has warned Twitter that it has a duty to uphold the country's laws on racism and anti-Semitism.
The row over the tweets has blown up against a background of increasing attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions in La Belle France.
A community watchdog said two weeks ago that anti-Semitic acts had surged by 45% since the start of the year and were given fresh impetus by attacks by Islamic bad boy Mohamed Merah.
Pakistain Mohammedan League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf... on Thursday categorically denied 'allegations' of accepting money from Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to stop the current ruling Pakistain People's Party (PPP) from winning the 1990 election, DawnNews reported.
Speaking to a private news channel, Sharif said that he was seriously considering filing a defamation case against Younus Habib, former president of the now defunct Mehran Bank.
The Supreme Court, on Friday last week, had ordered legal proceedings against former head of intelligence General (retd) Asad Durranand and former army chief General (retd) Aslam Baig over allegations that politicians were bankrolled against the PPP in 1990 election.
It was a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court 16 years after Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan filed a case, accusing the ISI agency of doling out money to a group of politicians including Sharif in the 1990s.
Acknowledging the ruling during an interview today, the PML-N chief said that probe in the Asghar Khan case should be conducted by the FIA as per the orders of the apex court.
Reminiscing his previous tenures in the government, Sharif claimed that he did not even take wages from the national exchequer when he was the chief minister Punjab and the federal finance minister. "I didn't withdraw a single penny from any secret fund during my tenures.....allegations hurled at me are totally baseless," he added.
Criticising Younus Habib, the PML-N chief said that apart from the PPP Habib remembers all names to whom he dolled out money. "I strongly reject all allegations of taking or giving away any money in this regard," he added.
Sharif went on further to deny any meeting with the former Mehran Bank chief. "He (Younus Habib) has a criminal track record...I can't even recall any meeting with the man," said Sharif.
Moreover, the PML-N chief revealed that former ISI chief Durrani was not even used to consider the then prime minister as the PM of the country.
Pakistain on Thursday clarified that the issue of Durand Line between Pakistain and Afghanistan is a settled issue as it is the internationally recognised border between the two countries.
"The Durand Line between Pakistain and Afghanistan is the internally recognised border between Pakistain and Afghanistan and it is a closed and settled issue," said Foreign Office Spokesman Mozzam Ahmed Khan in his weekly briefing here Thursday.
Khan's comments follow the US State Department's reaffirmation on Friday of the Durand Line as the internationally recognised boundary between Pakistain and Afghanistan and rejection of the Afghan government's protest over an earlier US statement on Pak-Afghan border.
The Durand Line was drawn up by the British in 1893 to delineate the boundary between what was then British India and the Kingdom of Afghanistan.
After 1947, it became the border between Pakistain and Afghanistan, although the Afghan government still refuses to recognise it.
[Ynet] The Pakistain Cricket Board has decided to buy bulletproof buses for visiting foreign teams. The move was announced on Wednesday in a statement. "Mahmoud! Bring me my elephant gun!"
Bulletproof buses will help "the PCB to achieve higher security measures for the teams visiting Pakistain in future," the statement added. Test teams have stayed away from Pakistain since 2009 when the Sri Lanka team convoy was attacked, killing six police and a van driver and injuring players and officials.
U.N.'s war on Israel puts American economy in crosshairs
The Washington Free Beacon has obtained a report soon to be released by the United Nations ...aka the Oyster Bay Chowder and Marching Society... that calls for an international campaign of legal attacks and economic warfare on a group of American companies that do business in Israel, including Hewlett-Packard, Caterpillar Inc., and Motorola Solutions Inc.
The Human Rights Council (HRC), a body dominated by Islamic countries and known for its hostility to, and heavy focus on, the Jewish State, issued the report. The George W. Bush administration refused to participate in the HRC, but President Barack Obama Ready to Rule from Day One... joined it soon after taking office. Members of the HRC include infamous human rights ...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty... abusers such as Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face... , Qatar, Jordan, Libya, China, and Cuba.
The Obama-approved body maintains a "Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Paleostinian territories [sic]." The current rapporteur is American college professor Richard Falk, a 9/11 "truther" who once posted an anti-Semitic cartoon on his personal blog.
The report attempts to instigate a campaign of boycott, divestment, sanctions, and legal action against a litany of international companies doing business in Israel. In addition to American companies, the U.N. targets include major European firms such as Veolia Environnement, Group 4 Security, the Dexia Group, the Volvo Group.
I vote we get a list of the to-be-boycotted companies and throw our business their way whenever possible.
The members of a U.N. probe into rights abuses in Syria on Thursday said "crimes against humanity" and "war crimes" were happening in the country, and said they were trying to set up a visit to Damascus ...The City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti... One of the newest members of the four-person team, renowned former war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte, told news hounds in Geneva that "crimes against humanity and war crimes for sure" were being committed in Syria.
Del Ponte, who was yanked out of retirement late last month to join the U.N.'s Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said she would participate in the general investigation of tracking and documenting serious rights violations, but that she would perhaps focus most on determining "the high-ranking political and military figures (responsible for) these crimes."
Paulo Pinheiro, the Brazilian head of the commission, meanwhile said the Sherlocks had sent a letter to Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor... seeking access to the country.
"We expect that he will accept us in Damascus," he said.
The commission was created a just over a year ago, but has yet to actually gain access to Syria.
It has however conducted more than 1,000 interview with perpetrators and victims in the conflict, and has previously reported that war crimes appeared to have been committed by both the regime and, to a lesser extent, rebel forces.
Several Lebanese figures are targets of possible liquidations, reported al-Joumhouria newspaper on Thursday.
A widely informed western diplomatic source told the daily that at least 18 Lebanese officials are being monitored, urging them to take the greatest precautions to protect themselves.
It explained that these figures not only include prominent officials, but others that do not enjoy as much influence and media exposure.
He said that the targets include Lebanese Forces A Christian political party founded by Bashir Gemayel, who was then bumped off when he was elected president of Leb... leader Samir Geagea ... Geagea was imprisoned by the Syrians and their puppets for 11 years in a dungeon in the third basement level of the Lebanese Ministry of Defense. He was released after the Cedar Revolution in 2005 ... , head of the Mustaqbal ... the Future Movement, political party led by Saad Hariri... parliamentary bloc MP Fouad Saniora, former Defense Minister Elias al-Murr, Internal Security Forces chief Ashraf Rifi, MP Butros Harb and a number of Mustaqbal politicians, most notably the Sunni ones and former MP Fares Soaid.
In addition, said the source, every potential presidential candidate from the March 14 camp who enjoys strong popular support is also an liquidation target.
The source revealed that it had relayed this information to one of Leb's politicians, requesting that it in turn be relayed to the potential targets in order for them to take the necessary precautions.
It warned that the assassins may resort to new murder techniques that had not been adopted before, such as booby-trapping an elevator as had happened in the failed liquidation attempt against Harb in July.
Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau head Brigadier General Wissam al-Hasan was killed in a car boom on Friday, raising fears that the phase of liquidations in Leb had returned.
The March 14-led opposition and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Wally Jumblat ... Druze politician, head of the Progressive Socialist Party, who's been on every side in Leb at least four times. He'll sell you his friends for a dollar, but family comes higher because of shipping and handling... blamed Syria for Hasan's crime.
Geagea was the victim of a failed attempt Curses! Foiled again! on his life in April and Murr was the victim of a failed attempt in July 2005.
Former prime minister Saad Hariri Second son of Rafik Hariri, the Leb PM who was assassinated in 2005. He has was prime minister in his own right from 2009 through early 2011. He was born in Riyadh to an Iraqi mother and graduated from Georgetown University. He managed his father's business interests in Riyadh until his father's liquidation. When his father died he inherited a fortune of some $4.1 billion, which won't do him much good if Hizbullah has him bumped off, too. on Thursday expressed his grief and pain "because Eid al-Adha coincides this year with the liquidation of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau chief Wissam al-Hasan, who sacrificed his life to maintain the security of the Lebanese and their stability, and foil the plans of the enemies of Leb to ignite sectarian discord."
"This terrorist crime, that also killed innocent victims and destroyed the houses and properties of many citizens in Ashrafiyeh, has deprived the Lebanese people of the usual joy of Eid and brought them back to the atmosphere of anxiety, fear of security risks and return of the specter of political liquidations that Leb witnessed before," said Hariri in a statement issued on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.
"But this will not deter us from continuing to face such terrorist plots with all our strength in order to consolidate the state project with its legitimate security and military forces, as the only project that guarantees the unity of Leb and the security of all the Lebanese without exception and prevents the attempts by some to bypass the state's role or replace it under any pretext or argument," added Hariri.
Former prime minister Saad Hariri Second son of Rafik Hariri, the Leb PM who was assassinated in 2005. He has was prime minister in his own right from 2009 through early 2011. He was born in Riyadh to an Iraqi mother and graduated from Georgetown University. He managed his father's business interests in Riyadh until his father's liquidation. When his father died he inherited a fortune of some $4.1 billion, which won't do him much good if Hizbullah has him bumped off, too. on Thursday hit back at Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Wally Jumblat ... Druze politician, head of the Progressive Socialist Party, who's been on every side in Leb at least four times. He'll sell you his friends for a dollar, but family comes higher because of shipping and handling... , describing slain Intelligence Bureau chief Maj. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan as "the martyr of Leb" and slamming the Druze leader for refusing to resign from government.
"Walid Jumblat is quoting me as saying that Wissam al-Hasan is the martyr of the Sunni sect. This is untrue and his ally (PM Najib) Miqati is the one who said that. Wissam al-Hasan is the martyr of Leb," said Hariri on the social networking website Twitter during Jumblat's live interview on LBCI television.
Jumblat snapped back immediately during the interview. "Great. If Miqati said that then he committed a mistake and let us consider Wissam al-Hasan the martyr of the Lebanese state," he said.
Earlier during the interview, Jumblat revealed that Hariri had telephoned him and asked him to withdraw his ministers from the government.
"Hariri telephoned me and asked me to resign and I told him that I won't resign. He said the Sunnis are being killed and I told him that Wissam al-Hasan is the martyr of Leb and that I won't subject the country to vacuum. I also said other things and he was dismayed by my remarks," Jumblat said.
"May God forgive you Walid Bek. You understand stability as staying in the Syrian-Iranian alliance, so congratulations," Hariri tweeted.
Jumblat, for his part, said, "May God forgive him about all these remarks."
Addressing the PSP leader, Hariri said: "Your partners in government are the ones who incited against him and accused him of treason like they accused Rafik Hariri."
"From now on, I will not remain silent in the face of anyone," Hariri vowed.
Lebanese Forces A Christian political party founded by Bashir Gemayel, who was then bumped off when he was elected president of Leb... leader Samir Geagea ... Geagea was imprisoned by the Syrians and their puppets for 11 years in a dungeon in the third basement level of the Lebanese Ministry of Defense. He was released after the Cedar Revolution in 2005 ... lashed out on Thursday at Lebanese security agencies, accusing some officials of carrying out an Iranian-Syrian plot undertaken by Hizbullah inside the country.
"If the case of (former information) Minister Michel Samaha, which led to the liquidation of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau head Brigadier General Wissam al-Hasan last week fell in the wrong hands, they might have covered the matter up and Leb would have witnessed greater havoc," Geagea said in comments published in the Saudi daily al-Watan.
Under Hasan, the ISF played a central role in the August arrest of Samaha, who has close links to Damascus ...The capital of Iran's Syrian satrapy... . He was charged with planning attacks to spark sectarian strife in Leb.
The agency was also deeply involved in seeking the arrest of those responsible for a host of attacks and liquidations between 2005 and 2008, starting with the former Premier Rafik Hariri's liquidation, for which Hasan blamed Damascus.
In October 2010, the Syrian courts issued arrest warrants against 33 Lebanese figures, including Hasan, for perjury in the case of the Hariri liquidation.
The LF leader refused to name the people or sides that these officials are affiliated with, but he indicated that they are "security officials" in Lebanese security agencies.
Geagea said that when Hasan unveiled Samaha's plot, he halted an attempt by Syria to make Leb a "mailbox" to regional and international countries.
"The regime of (Syrian president Bashar) Assad and Iran are responsible for the liquidation of Hasan, while Hizbullah carried out the crime," he told the daily.
[Ynet] Iran appears to have nearly finished installing centrifuges at its underground nuclear plant, Western diplomats say, potentially boosting its capacity to make weapons-grade uranium if it chose to do so.
The diplomats said they had heard of indications that Iran had put in place the last 640 or so uranium centrifuges of a planned total of some 2,800 at the site, but had not started running them yet.