Wednesday, February 25, 2015
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On Tuesday, the Guardian revealed the existence of a secret interrogation facility operated by the Chicago Police Department, in what the newspaper called “the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.”
The article comes less than a week after the newspaper revealed that Richard Zuley, who was recruited to torture prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, had used similar torture methods as a police detective in Chicago.
That exposé inspired lawyers in the city, as well as Brian Jacob Church, one of the “NATO Three” protesters arrested on charges of terrorism in 2012, to come forward and share their experiences at the secret detention center, known as Homan Square.
The Guardian ’s sources allege that at Homan Square, officers regularly carry out prolonged shackling and severe beatings of detainees, often inflicting head wounds. The newspaper reports that, “At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square ‘interview room’ and later pronounced dead.”
Detainees, including those as young as 15, have been held at the site for up to 24 hours, denying them their constitutional right to legal counsel. All non-officers are denied access to the “secure” facility, and arrestees are intentionally kept out of any booking databases while at Homan Square.
Chicago lawyer Julia Bartmes told the Guardian, “It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place—if you can’t find a client in the system, odds are they’re there.”
Anthony Hill, a criminal defense attorney, told the newspaper, “They just disappear, until they show up at a district for charging or are just released back out on the street.”
Following the police raid that led to his arrest in 2012, Church was held at Homan Square for roughly 20 hours. He was handcuffed to a bench for approximately 17 hours straight, with officers “intermittently interrogating him without reading his Miranda rights to remain silent.”
Church said, “I had essentially figured, ‘All right, well, they disappeared us and so we’re probably never going to see the light of day again.’”
Three hours later, after Church’s lawyer, Sarah Gelsomino, was able to track him down, “he was finally charged with terrorism-related offenses at the nearby 11th district station, where he was made to sign papers, fingerprinted and photographed.”
On February 2, 2013, John Hubbard, 44, died in an interrogation room at Homan Square. To this day, police have not officially stated why Hubbard was taken into custody or what led to his death, and the Cook County medical examiner’s office was unable to find any autopsy report stating the cause of his death.
Eliza Solowiej of Chicago’s First Defense Legal Aid told the Guardian that in January 2013 officers changed the name of her client in the Chicago central bookings database, and then took him to Homan Square without leaving any record of his transfer to the site. After searching for 6-8 hours, Solowiej only learned of his whereabouts after he was taken to nearby Mt. Sinai Hospital with a head injury.
Chicago civil-rights attorney Flint Taylor told the Guardian that “This Homan Square revelation seems to me to be an institutionalization of the practice that dates back more than 40 years, of violating a suspect or witness’ rights to a lawyer and not to be physically or otherwise coerced into giving a statement.”
Chicago’s police superintendent from 1980-1983, Richard Brzeczek, said that Homan Square became a site for police activity in the late 1990s. Anti-gang, wiretapping and anti-drug police units conduct much of their work out of Homan Square, which they use as an off-the-books interrogation site.
Homan Square is located less than 10 miles from the headquarters of Chicago’s District 2 police station, known as “Area 2.” This station is infamously known as the site where police tortured hundreds of poor, mostly African American prisoners from the early 1970s to the late 1980s, under the leadership of former Chicago police commander John Burge.
It is suspected that former Chicago mayor Richard Daley and Cook County state’s attorney Richard Devine were privy to the ongoing use of torture, as they repeatedly declined to investigate charges against Area 2, eventually leading the statute of limitations to expire for any crimes committed by officers at the station.
Cook County, where Chicago is located, has already received roughly 1,700 pieces of military equipment, including a Humvee, through the Pentagon’s 1033 program, which is intended to arm local police with military-grade hardware. To date, at least 161 people have been killed by police in the US since the start of 2015.
The ongoing revelations of the use of torture and indefinite detention by police in the United States show that methods pioneered in the name of fighting “terrorism” abroad are increasingly being brought back to the US for use against the population. The ultimate aim of these methods will be to violently suppress any opposition to war and social inequality.
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While the US media is delighted to entertain the population with the latest diversionary "scandal" about what Rudy Giuliani may or may not have said about the president, to be replaced with another tabloid scandal in the next week and another the week after, things in the UK have suddenly become quite complicated as the entire facade of the media as one working on behalf of the "common man" and seeking to unearth the truth and publish "all the news that's fit to not anger one's advertisers" has come crashing down, in the aftermath of the Telegraph scandal which started last week when a "Political Commentator Quits Over HSBC Coverage, Accuses Telegraph Of "Fraud On Readers" followed by "Guardian Slams Telegraph Suggesting HSBC Coverage Was Biased Due To Owners' £250 MM Loan From Bank."
Which brings us to the following op-ed by the Guardian's Owen Jones. Ideological beliefs of the author aside, his observations excerpted below are a must read for anyone who still believesanything the mainstream media presents as "fact" or even merely insinuation, and why when receiving information from anyone, anywhere on any topic, total skepticism is the best and only appropriate response.
By and large, Britain does not have a free press. Our media is not run by the government, and nor does it engage in widespread censorship. Instead, the media is run by a tiny group of politically motivated moguls, themselves in league with other private interests through advertising or personal networks.Journalists from non-privileged backgrounds are filtered out through unpaid internships and expensive post-graduate qualifications, ensuring the media is a closed shop for the well-to-do. According to a report published by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission last August, over half of the top 100 media professionals are privately educated. News coverage all too often reflects the priorities, concerns and prejudices of this tiny sliver of the British population. Rather than being a means to hold the powerful to account and fairly report issues, the media is the ultimate political lobbyist for our elite....Columnists who support the political status quo are treated as thoughtful and nuanced; the tiny few that deviate are treated as predictable....This doesn’t just go for the corporate-owned press. Detailed research by Cardiff University finds that the BBC is biased in favour of corporate and establishment voices. Its political coverage is dominated by former Tory or overtly rightwing figures; the Tories – including David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson – heavily recruit from Auntie Beeb. As anyone on the left who has appeared on the BBC will know, neoliberalism is its commonsense and starting point....We desperately need more opponents of the status quo in the mainstream media. The reason we don’t have any is because – in our deeply compromised democracy – the media is so often there to serve the interests of the rich.
And if for some reason the "elite" don't get their way with media propaganda, there is always plan B. What is Plan B? For the answer see "German Journalist Blows Whistle On How The CIA Controls The Media."
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There are no reports in the Western mainstream media pertaining to this issue.
This report is based on statements emanating from the Iraq parliament, with photographic evidence. We have not been in a position to corroborate this report by FARS News.
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Iraq’s army has shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province, a senior lawmaker disclosed on Monday.
“The Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL,” Head of the committee Hakem al-Zameli said, according to a Monday report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.
He said the Iraqi parliament has asked London for explanations in this regard.
The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.
The Iraqi lawmaker further noted the cause of such western aids to the terrorist group, and explained that the US prefers a chaotic situation in Anbar Province which is near the cities of Karbala and Baghdad as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.
Earlier today, a senior Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that US and Israeli-made weapons have been discovered from the areas purged of ISIL terrorists.
“We have discovered weapons made in the US, European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL’s control in Al-Baqdadi region,” the Al-Ahad news website quoted Head of Al-Anbar Provincial Council Khalaf Tarmouz as saying.
He noted that the weapons made by the European countries and Israel were discovered from the terrorists in the Eastern parts of the city of Ramadi.
Al-Zameli had also disclosed in January that the anti-ISIL coalition’s planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.
Al-Zameli underlined that the coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.
“There are proofs and evidence for the US-led coalition’s military aid to ISIL terrorists through air(dropped cargoes),” he told FNA in January.
He noted that the members of his committee have already proved that the US planes have dropped advanced weaponry, including anti-aircraft weapons, for the ISIL, and that it has set up an investigation committee to probe into the matter.
“The US drops weapons for the ISIL on the excuse of not knowing about the whereabouts of the ISIL positions and it is trying to distort the reality with its allegations.He noted that the committee had collected the data and the evidence provided by eyewitnesses, including Iraqi army officers and the popular forces, and said, “These documents are given to the investigation committee … and the necessary measures will be taken to protect the Iraqi airspace.”
Also in January, another senior Iraqi legislator reiterated that the US-led coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.
“The international coalition is only an excuse for protecting the ISIL and helping the terrorist group with equipment and weapons,” Jome Divan, who is member of the al-Sadr bloc in the Iraqi parliament, said.
He said the coalition’s support for the ISIL is now evident to everyone, and continued, “The coalition has not targeted ISIL’s main positions in Iraq.”
In late December, Iraqi Parliamentary Security and Defense Commission MP disclosed that a US plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province.
MP Majid al-Gharawi stated that the available information pointed out that US planes are supplying ISIL organization, not only in Salahuddin province, but also other provinces, Iraq TradeLink reported.
He added that the US and the international coalition are “not serious in fighting against the ISIL organization, because they have the technological power to determine the presence of ISIL gunmen and destroy them in one month”.
Gharawi added that “the US is trying to expand the time of the war against the ISIL to get guarantees from the Iraqi government to have its bases in Mosul and Anbar provinces.”
Salahuddin security commission also disclosed that “unknown planes threw arms and ammunition to the ISIL gunmen Southeast of Tikrit city”.
Also in Late December, a senior Iraqi lawmaker raised doubts about the seriousness of the anti-ISIL coalition led by the US, and said that the terrorist group still received aids dropped by unidentified aircraft.
“The international coalition is not serious about air strikes on ISIL terrorists and is even seeking to take out the popular (voluntary) forces from the battlefield against the Takfiris so that the problem with ISIL remains unsolved in the near future,” Nahlah al-Hababi told FNA.
“The ISIL terrorists are still receiving aids from unidentified fighter jets in Iraq and Syria,” she added.
Hababi said that the coalition’s precise airstrikes are launched only in those areas where the Kurdish Pishmarga forces are present, while military strikes in other regions are not so much precise.
In late December, the US-led coalition dropped aids to the Takfiri militants in an area North of Baghdad.
Field sources in Iraq told al-Manar that the international coalition airplanes dropped aids to the terrorist militants in Balad, an area which lies in Salahuddin province North of Baghdad.
In October, a high-ranking Iranian commander also slammed the US for providing aid supplies to ISIL, adding that the US claims that the weapons were mistakenly airdropped to ISIL were untrue.
“The US and the so-called anti-ISIL coalition claim that they have launched a campaign against this terrorist and criminal group – while supplying them with weapons, food and medicine in Jalawla region (a town in Diyala Governorate, Iraq). This explicitly displays the falsity of the coalition’s and the US’ claims,” Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said.
The US claimed that it had airdropped weapons and medical aid to Kurdish fighters confronting the ISIL in Kobani, near the Turkish border in Northern Syria.
The US Defense Department said that it had airdropped 28 bundles of weapons and supplies, but one of them did not make it into the hands of the Kurdish fighters.
Video footage later showed that some of the weapons that the US airdropped were taken by ISIL militants.
The Iranian commander insisted that the US had the necessary intelligence about ISIL’s deployment in the region and that their claims to have mistakenly airdropped weapons to them are as unlikely as they are untrue.
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Another radioactive water leak in the sea has been detected at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, the facility’s operator TEPCO announced. Contamination levels in the gutter reportedly spiked up 70 times over regular readings.
The sensors are connected to the gutter that pours rain and ground water from the plant to a bay adjacent to the facility.
The levels of contamination were between 50 and 70 times higher than Fukushima’s already elevated radioactive status, and were detected at about 10 am local time (1.00 am GMT), AFP reported.
After the discovery, the gutter was blocked to prevent leaks to the Pacific Ocean.
Throughout Sunday, contamination levels fell, but still measured 10 to 20 times more than prior to the leak.
“We are currently monitoring the sensors at the gutter and seeing the trend,” a company spokesman said.
He did not specify the cause of the leak.
It has proved difficult for TEPCO to deal with plant decommissioning. Postponed deadlines and alarming incidents occur regularly at the facility.
Earlier this week, the UN nuclear watchdog (IAEA) said Japan had made significant progress, but there is still a radioactive threat, and a “very complex” scenario at Fukushima.
About a month ago, TEPCO announced it would miss their toxic water cleanup deadline, suspending it until the end of May, after earlier pledges it would be done by March.
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War party bigotry and hate may be enough to drive neo-Nazis leading Kiev in the Ukraine civil war. But the reverse blame of Putin and Russia by corporate media and states has a deeper interest. It propels the geostrategic economic and military war of movement through East Europe to Russia. It is the indispensible big lie to mask their set up for foreign financial predation. A big pay-off matrix looms in Ukraine for US-led arms corporations and military services, agribusiness and GMO’s, speculator funds on debts and currency, monopoly providers of privatized social services, Big Oil frackers for newly discovered rich deposits, junk food suppliers like Poroshenko in US-frankenfood alliance, and – last but not least – the IMF money party waging a war of dispossession by financial means.
The IMF enforces the global money-sequence cancer system by its defining policy commands on debt-impoverished countries to open them up to foreign feeding on their domestic markets and fire-sale enterprises, drastically reduced workers’ wages and benefits, stripped public pensions, healthcare and education, sell-off of historic infrastructures to pay ever more bank-created debts, and – in general- multiplying transnational money demand and profit invading their life functions at all levels. The IMF and Wall Street have been cumulatively hollowing out Africa, Latin America, South-East Asia, South Europe and the US itself in these ways over 35 years. Now it is the turn of the once social democratic Europe, state by state, beginning with the most indebted and helpless. Ukraine on the outskirts of Europe next to Russia is where the military option has been required to strip it and its former Slavic economic union with Russia. This historic relationship has been the last line of life defence in the way, a conservative but sharing ethos of resource-rich societies with Putin as a superior leader facing the US-EU’s many-times more powerful economic levers and lethal arms to bully him and Russia into submission.
To take the naturally rich Ukraine for transnational bank and corporate looting, the public must be sold the story of Putin as the villain. Only then can debt screws be applied and the country opened to long-term and full-spectrum financial, foreign and oligarch control beneath the people’s notice. The IMF is already in motion to ensure that the Kiev coup state provides all of this. Few observe the underlying fact that the crushing bank debt eating societies alive across the world is all debt money created by big private banks with no legal tender to back 97% of it. Ukraine is the latest nation to fall into the deadly trap without a sound. Here public money for public need is ended, although it created the US itself. As Ben Franklin has testified, to regain public money issue was the prime reason for the American Revolution. Public banking was also what made modern Canada from 1938 to 1974 by public investment money without private debt-servicing loaned by the public Bank of Canada for construction of Canada’s material and social infrastructures from the St Lawrence Seaway to public pensions and universal healthcare.
The same is true of almost every society that has economically succeeded in the modern world. . The Depression and the War especially taught the world’s real leaders something about public banking as the only thing that works for real social development. Germany in peace, China, India, Japan in their most prosperous periods have all relied on public investment banking in some form. But the Wall Street counter-revolution happened invisibly in 1974 by Bank of International Settlements policy to stop governments from lending their own money for their public investments – the BIS being a coterie of bank heads meeting in Switzerland led by Wall Street bankers and with no accountability to any public interest or body. On the contrary, against their constitutional rights, all governments have been made accountable to the Wall Street system which runs the US Treasury and the IMF by the revolving door method. This silent BIS policy destroyed public investment free of the self-multiplying debt charges now eating away at every level of the Western economy including sovereign public investment. Ukraine, with few noticing, has just been privatized at the bank debt and investment level by the US-led coup state. Its arrangements with the IMF now loaning money on Wall Street permanent debt-servicing terms have replaced the $20 billion it had from Russia on payable public terms along with 30% cut-rate oil and gas.
This most far-reaching change of all has been erased from view by the official story – the delivery of Ukraine by the US-led coup into the ever-devouring funnels of the Wall-Street-and-company private banking system. With all the permanent new debt servicing of an already broken country spending its future debt on fighting a US-manufactured civil war fueled by neo-Nazi war thugs, Ukraine will be bled dry. A revealing example of how IMF debt bondage leverages transnational corporate control of Ukraine’s greatest resources is the new IMF $17 billion loan on the condition that Ukraine opens up its peerless vast stretches of black soil and fertile lands to the biotech cycles of Monsanto, Dupont, Deere and factory looting of the earth. Similar plans are also in motion for Big Oil racking of Ukraine’s large newly discovered gas deposits (fracking is prohibited in Russia).
The transnational corporate and bank looting of Ukraine is the shadow reason for the US block against any reasonable truce in the civil war that it has created. This is why a jackal government like Canada’s Harper’s refuses to respond to any diplomatic correspondence from Russia, blocking information flows, and proclaiming inflammatory falsehoods. The profound common life interests at stake are exactly what the war party is out to make impossible to act on. Ukraine is a prime agricultural land source of the world and Europe’s biggest landmass, and it is set for US-EU financial and corporate takeover. Ukraine is also facing the same ultimate crisis as every country and people – its government being mutated into a corporate satrap to ensure the country as an unlimited profit site at least costs and accountability for foreign corporate and local oligarch profit. It is a paradigm case of the carcinomic global dispossession that knows no growth but its own. But it is also the leading current case of armed resistance against this takeover. Donbas, Putin and Russia are alone in stopping the life-devouring system’s advance East, with Syriza in Greece the newly elected resistance within Europe.
All face the same stripping of collective life capital bases to grow the global money sequences of the apical few with no life function. Ukraine is the new major feeding zone opening towards Russia. Here as much as Greece, public assets are on the privatization block. Slash-and-burn budgets are set to service new unpayable debts to foreign banks, with far more rich natural and soil wealth to marketize and expropriate for debt servicing. Ukraine also has large and untapped fossil-fuel deposits, and it provides new strategic military control up to Russia’s main border and colossally rich natural resources on the other side.
Yet the operation of reverse blame goes from Iraq to Libya to Syria to Ukraine to Russia in one society destruction to the next. With one-way pervasive media abuse, cumulatively destructive sanctions, and incremental arming of neo-fascist-led Ukrainian forces, vast global power, treasure and most of all direction are at stake which affect all humanity. The line is drawn on the global disorder’s runaway aggression and trail of social ruin. Or it is stopped by intelligent mass resistance that does not let up.
This resistance has grown stronger. A new truce was formed for February 15 by the EU, Kiev-Ukraine and Russia for this reason. Predictably all voices of the official story warn that “Russia and the separatists” will not obey its terms. Yet when we examine the record of international law and agreements, life-protective promises and agreements, who always overrides them at will? The track record tells us very plainly, but the record is always excluded from the ruling story. What is presupposed instead is the most inane of all moral equations unconsciously assumed as first principle of judgement in international affairs: the US = Good and its Enemy = Evil. Search for any exception to this inner logic of the official narrative in any major conflict across the globe in 50 years. What is never stated are the actual facts of “lawless aggression”, “gross violations of international law” and “innocent civilians terrorized and murdered”. That the US is by far the knock-down leader on all counts of war crime, killing, terror and, in general, violence against human life of every kind is taboo to understand. While always accusing others of violating “the international laws and norms of the community of nations”, it repudiates and sabotages them without evident exception.
Consider the systemic violations and subversions across the spectrum. The US government has refused to ratify the International Criminal Court to uphold the law against war crimes and crimes against humanity, and it has publicly repudiated the Court’s right to investigate US criminal violations including the “supreme crime” of initiating a war of aggression. While it perpetually invokes international laws to accuse others, it repudiates any life-protective law whatever in its actions. In truth, the US (and its key ally Israel) has systematically undermined virtually all international laws to protect human life – treaties and conventions against landmines, against biological weapons, against international ballistic missiles, against small arms, against torture, against racism, against arbitrary seizure and imprisonment, against military weather distortions, against biodiversity loss, against climate destabilization, and even international agreements on the rights of children and of women.
The big-lie system runs to the moral DNA of the US state. Its record of continual war crimes and crimes against humanity by direct or proxy violation should be foremost in the minds of those observing what happens next in Ukraine. It can only continue if NATO-country public opinion does not join the dots in the ultimate failure of Western civilization.
Obama’s “Fake War” against the Islamic State (ISIS). The Islamic State is Protected by the US and its Allies
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Since August 2014, the US Air Force with the support of a coalition of 19 countries has relentlessly waged an intensified air campaign against Syria and Iraq allegedly targeting the Islamic State brigades.
According to Defense News, over 16,000 airstrikes were carried out from August 2014 to mid January 2015. Sixty percent of the air strikes were conducted by the US Air Force using advanced jet fighter and bombing capabilities (Aaron Mehta, “A-10 Performing 11 Percent of Anti-ISIS Sorties”. Defense News, January 19, 2015.)
The airstrikes have been casually described by the media as part of a “soft” counter-terrorism operation, rather than an act of all out war directed against Syria and Iraq.
This large scale air campaign which has resulted in countless civilian casualties has been routinely misreported by the mainstream media. According to Max Boot, senior fellow in national security at the Council on Foreign Relations. ”Obama’s strategy in Syria and Iraq is not working… [ because] the U.S. bombing campaign against ISIS has been remarkably restrained”. (Newsweek, February 17, 2015, emphasis added).
Americans are led to believe that the Islamic State constitutes a formidable force confronting the US military and threatening Western Civilization. The thrust of media reporting is that the US Air Force has failed and that “Obama should get his act together” in effectively confronting this ”Outside Enemy” of America.
According to CFR Max Boot, military escalation is the answer: what is required is for the president “to dispatch more aircraft, military advisers, and special operations forces, while loosening the restrictions under which they operate.” (Ibid)
What kind of aircraft are involved in the air campaign? The F-16 Fighting Falcon,(above right), The F-15E Strike Eagle (image below) , The A-10 Warthog, not to mention Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor stealth tactical fighter aircraft.
Question for Our Readers
Why has the US Air Force not been able to wipe out the Islamic State which at the outset was largely equipped with conventional small arms not to mention state of the art Toyota pickup trucks?
From the very outset, this air campaign has NOT been directed against ISIS. The evidence confirms that the Islamic State is not the target. Quite the opposite.
The air raids are intended to destroy the economic infrastructure of Iraq and Syria.
The USAF-15E Strike Eagle
We call on our readers to carefully reflect on the following image, which describes the Islamic State convoy of pickup trucks entering Iraq and crossing a 200 km span of open desert which separates the two countries.
This convoy entered Iraq in June 2014.
What would have been required from a military standpoint to wipe out an ISIS convoy with no effective anti-aircraft capabilities?
Without an understanding of military issues, common sense prevails.
If they had wanted to eliminate the Islamic State brigades, they could have “carpet” bombed their convoys of Toyota pickup trucks when they crossed the desert from Syria into Iraq in June.
The answer is pretty obvious, yet not a single mainstream media has acknowledged it.
The Syro-Arabian Desert is open territory (see map right). With state of the art jet fighter aircraft (F15, F22 Raptor, F16) it would have been –from a military standpoint– ”a piece of cake”, a rapid and expedient surgical operation, which would have decimated the Islamic State convoys in a matter of hours.
Instead what we have witnessed is an ongoing drawn out six months of relentless air raids and bombings, and the terrorist enemy is apparently still intact.
(In comparison, the NATO bombing raids of Yugoslavia in 1999 lasted about three months (March 24-June 10, 1999).
And we are led to believe that the Islamic State cannot be defeated by a powerful US led military coalition of 19 countries.
The air campaign was not intended to decimate the Islamic State.
The counter-terrorism mandate is a fiction. America is the Number One “State Sponsor of Terrorism”.
The Islamic State is not only protected by the US and its allies, it is trained and financed by US-NATO, with the support of Israel and Washington’s Persian Gulf allies.
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Very strange happenings in all things financial, perhaps the most strange is located within the COMEX.
First, for the last year and a half or more, we watched as gold and silver open interest steadily rises for several months and then suddenly falls in collapse fashion. The rise and collapse in open interest have not been parallel in gold and silver, often times they have been directly inverse as they now are currently. Open interest in gold is currently close to multi year lows while silver’s open interest is near multi year highs. Why is this? Why would these two metals have opposite moves in open interest? Some might say because of “spreading” or ratio trades being long one while short two the other or what have you, I don’t think so.
Going back for the last 18 months or so, we have seen an anomaly which previously did not exist. It seems as if the open interest in both gold and silver build and build and build leading up to about two weeks prior to first notice day. I have written about this several times and pointed out the huge open interest just prior to FND. Currently for example, the open interest in March silver with only 9 trading days left is about 380 million ounces. For perspective, this amount is in relation to 67 million ounces COMEX has registered and available to deliver and about 175 million ounces held in both the registered and eligible categories. Another astonishing comparison of these 380 million ounces would be to total global silver production of 800 million ounces. With only nine days left, COMEX contracts open for March are almost 50% of ALL annual silver production! For a little more perspective and in comparison in paper terms, this is less than $8 billion …or in reality, absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Each and every COMEX expiration for the last year and a half has witnessed an implosion of open interest going into a major delivery month and then during the month. It used to be traders would “roll” out and into the next big delivery month, this has changed and is the reason we are seeing such large drops in OI, very few are “rolling”. This really does not make any sense because there is almost zero premium paid to roll out. There used to be a $3-$5 premium in gold (and can be explained by higher interest rates in the past), now however, the premium is less than $1. What I am trying to say is that there is almost no disincentive or deterrent to rolling, yet very little gets rolled? It is this anomaly which has caused the dichotomy in OI for gold and silver, the only common large delivery month they share is December. The “build” of open interest and following collapses are happening because their big delivery months are staggered and don’t coincide with each other.
But why? Why does open interest collapse each time? Conspiracy theorists believe many of these contracts are “bought out” with a premium paid to make potential delivery demands simply go away. In the past, I was not sure and didn’t know what to think. I now believe this is probably occurring, here is why: A few years ago when gold or silver went into first notice day, there would be however many contracts standing for delivery and they all would be delivered on within the next two days. You see, there is absolutely ZERO incentive for a short not to deliver as soon as possible because of the carrying costs involved. Why would a short wait until the last few days of the delivery month when they must pay storage fees for the extra three weeks or more? The simple answer is “they wouldn’t”. One last point on this, the “delivery” is consummated when the short delivers the metal. The long can stand for delivery but does not know when, or what day the delivery will take place. It is ultimately the short who knows what day they will deliver.
Another very strange anomaly and one which never ever happened until this last year is the odd fact of “longs” who are standing for delivery at the beginning of the month, slowly just bleed away during the delivery period. For instance, February gold saw its open interest decline by nearly 90% over the last two weeks of trading to finish with 26.85 tons left standing. Since then, amazingly the amount standing and demanding delivery has contracted from 27 tons to just about three tons! 90% of those initially standing for delivery have vanished? Who would do this? First, remember this, all longs MUST have 100% of the contract value in cash, in their account from first notice day on. Who would put the full money up to purchase and be delivered on …only to walk away? I challenge anyone to give me a credible reason for this, especially since it is a new phenomenon. Please don’t tell me something like “no one really wants delivery” because I will answer you with three words, “the Chinese do”. In fact, China imported over 250 tons of gold in January, nearly 100 times the size of the February COMEX delivery, 10 times the size of what COMEX claims as available for delivery and well more than COMEX holds in total …in just ONE MONTH! To me, this stinks to high heaven. For open interest to decline 90% DURING the delivery process is highly suspect and reeks of the shorts being unable to deliver because of the question, “why would a fully funded long turn away from taking possession?”. This has never ever happened to this extent as far as I know.
A few of the other very strange happenings within COMEX are as follows: the vast majority of inventory movements for the last year or so has been divisible by “32.15″.ounces. This is important because 32.15 ounces are equal to 1 kilo. COMEX deals in, and is contracted in 100 ounce bars. Three kilos for example are equal to 96.45 ounces, just shy of 100 ounces. Last year, JP Morgan reported the movement of 321,500 ounces for three consecutive weeks, (10,000 kilos), is this not an oddity in itself? Also, kilo bars are 99.99% pure gold, 100 ounce bars are 99.5% pure. Although these are only apart by 1/2% purity, who would want to be on the losing end of the 1/2% purity? This amounts to one half of an ounce of gold …or about $600 for every 100 ounces.
Another very odd and statistical impossibility is the reporting of 100 ounce bar movements. These bars are cast and then weighed out to 3 decimal points (99.723 or 100.295 for example), they can only land at 100.000 one time out of 1,000 statistically. Yet, day after day we are seeing reports of these “.000″ (triple zero) movements within inventory. This cannot possibly be correct! Another crazy oddity has been happening in the silver inventory, repeatedly 2,900.000 ounces are being reported as moving. How can this be? The number is not divisible by 32.15, it is a “triple zero” entry and COMEX is predominantly a 5,000 ounce contract (except for the minis). I have no explanation for this and cannot even dream up a scenario.
One must wonder where the CFTC has been during all of this? Or any other regulatory agency for that matter? All of these anomalies are not just “coincidence” and are blatantly obvious to anyone willing to take even a small peak at what’s going on. I have maintained all along we would end up with a two tier market, the physical markets and an increasingly irrelevant paper market. The above evidence argues that the “tricks” employed by paper are now larger, more frequent and far easier to detect.
Go To Original
With Western newspapers packed daily with reports of the US-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State ISIS/IS/ISIL in the Middle East, it is important to further illustrate the deceptive nature of this latest so-called ‘war against ISIS’. The Syrian Army, Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard have been the main forces battling against this Western-created group since the Syrian proxy war began, with the Iraqi army and factions of the Lebanese government also heavily involved.
Russia has been steadfast in fighting against international terrorism and its support for forces that are actively battling against rebel insurgency groups, with some reports speculating that Russian special forces have been active in Syria conducting counterterrorism operations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has repeatedly expressed his support for a coalition against ISIS, but one that is authorised through the UN Security Council and is in accordance with international law. These forces constitute the true players fighting against ISIS, not the US-led coalition, whose position on ISIS is duplicitous as they continue to fund the group they claim to be at war with.
“The US and the so-called anti-ISIL coalition claim that they have launched a campaign against this terrorist and criminal group – while supplying them with weapons, food and medicine in Jalawla region (a town in Diyala Governorate, Iraq). This explicitly displays the falsity of the coalition’s and the US’ claims”, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, told Fars news. Iran itself reportedly conducted airstrikes against ISIS positions outside of the US-led coalition in December 2014, which corroborates with Iran’s consistent policy of fighting against rebels that the West has been funding. Syrian government warplanes have also been bombing ISIS positions for years as the al-Assad regime has been fighting against Western-sponsored terror groups since 2011.
US Embassy in Baghdad – ISIS Command Base
Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) Force, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, has stated that the US Embassy in Baghdad is a command base of ISIS, and that the US still “directly supports” the terrorist faction:
“The US directly supports ISIL in Iraq and the US planes drop the needed aids and weapons for ISIL in Iraq”.
This of course corroborates with the news that the US has airdropped weapons – including medical supplies, hand grenades, ammunition and other weaponry – to ISIS fighters, claiming these are just accidental drops that missed the drop zone. A captured Pakistani commander of ISIS also recently revealed that he received funds that were “routed” through the US to run an ISIS operation in Pakistan, which recruited rebels to fight against the Syrian regime. Head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Ammar al-Hakim, has criticised the US-led coalition for their hypocritical attitude towards ISIS, and has asserted that the coalition forces have not played a prominent role in “vital regions” that are strategically important for the terror group.
US-led airstrikes are “against international law”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has objected to airstrikes in Syria against ISIS without the consent of the Syrian government, and Russian FM Lavrov has stressed that using force without the governments consent “goes against international law”. As Lavrov also points out, if the coalition truly wanted to defeat ISIS it would fully cooperate with the Syrian army, Hezbollah and Iranian forces which would weaken ISIS dramatically in a matter of weeks, but this is about regime change in Syria under the pretext of fighting the terror group, not about actually wiping out the group. According to reports there has only been very limited cooperation between Iran and the US-led coalition (if any at all), with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calling the anti-ISIS coalition a “joke” since the alliance is comprised of nations that sponsor “terrorist activities”. ISIS may well be eradicated after they have served their purpose however, or if regional players turn against the agenda due to political instability.
US President Barack Obama is set to ask Congress for further use of force tomorrow (which is Wednesday 11th Feb at the time of writing). Even though the campaign has been operational for months; Obama has had no formal congressional authorisation to use military force, which is a violation of the US constitution. The most worryingly prospect in the near future is that the US gets authorisation for a boots on the ground invasion of Syria itself (or just does it without authorisation), which many analystshave been warning will be used to weaken the position of the Syrian government and oust al-Assad.
Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah is another prominent figure that has denounced the US-led coalition as he believes it is a “pretext” for US hegemony in the region. As the Times of Israel reported in an article titled: Hezbollah condemns US-led strikes on Islamic State, Nasrallah stated:
“We are against an international coalition, whether it is against the regime … or whether it is against Daesh/[ISIS]… This is an opportunity, pretext, for America to dominate the region again.”
The rise of ISIS is a direct result of Western foreign policy in the region that has facilitated, funded, trained and armed this assortment of rebel bandits for years, either directly or through regional channels – in the form of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. IS’s core objective is the toppling of the regime of Bashar al-Assad for the benefit of NATO powers and their regional allies such as Israel (also known as al-Qaeda’s air force).
Pre-planned Rebel Invasion of Syria
The former French minister of Foreign Affairs Roland Dumas has revealed that the war in Syria was planned at least “two years before the violence” erupted. Dumas reveals that he was approached in the UK by “top British officials” to see if he would participate in “organising an invasion of rebels into Syria”, a proposal Dumas refused. Syria’s U.N. ambassador, Bashar Ja’afari, filed a complaint to the UN against US Senator John McCain illegally entering Syria in June 2013 in violation of the country’s sovereignty to meet Syrian rebels – McCain was photographed talking with the so-called Caliph of ISIS, Ibrahim al-Badri also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Jordan is now the latest country to join this deceptive alliance, another country that has facilitated the rise of ISIS through allowing their territory to be used by NATO forces to train fighters for war in Syria. It seems that in order to join this US-led coalition in their ‘war against ISIS’, you must have been complicit in supporting the rise and growth of the group in the first place. As Stuart J. Hooper correctly pointed out in an article for 21st Century Wire, the Jordanian government may well have been involved in training the very ISIS fighters that burned their pilot alive.
There is a real war going on between coalition forces and ISIS on the ground which has claimed the lives of coalition troops however, but it is a manufactured war where high-level NATO strategists control both sides of the conflict. The cost of the overt side of this operation to the US taxpayer from August 8th, 2014 to January 30th, 2015 was $1.5 billion ($8.4million a day) according to the US Department of Defense, yet more money poured down the drain on this phony war on terror. The US would save itself a fortune along with a lot of bloodshed if it simply stopped funding and creating crazed terrorists in the first place. But of course the Military Industrial Complex would be far less wealthy if they did, in addition to there being no justification for a surveillance state in the West that the Stasi would be envious of.
How long the US-led coalition can pursue this duplicitous policy against ISIS is difficult to ascertain, but with the majority of the mainstream media complicit in promulgating the deception of the ‘anti-ISIS’ coalition, I won’t be holding my breath.