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No Agenda Episode 461 - No-Stray Spray

By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 1:48 PM.

No-Stray Sray

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By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 1:48 PM.

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Credits

By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 1:48 PM.

No-Stray Spray

Executive Producers: Sir Mark Dytham, Daniel Mack,

Associate Executive Producers: Diego Medina, Sir Eric Hertha, Sir Michael Shoemaker, Rodney Earl Gravenstein, Jeffrey Fitch, Honcho Bongs, Brett Corbett, Sir Bruce Salkovitz

461 Club Members: Daniel Mack

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Knighthoods: Michael Shoemaker, Bruce Salkovitz

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iOS 6.0 Causes CDN Overages | PRX Labs

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 21:57

chris posted on Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 | iPad, iPhone, MobileWe received a report from the folks at This American Life of extremely high bills from their CDN for the month of October. It is our belief after researching the problem that this is caused by bugs in the iOS 6 Audio Playback frameworks resulting in files being downloaded multiple times '' this could result in dramatic overage charges for both content distributers and data plan customers.

BackgroundWe had seen a pretty intense spike in traffic on 99% Invisible and The Moth (both of which we host) last month, and had a pretty good idea of the when the spike began as a result. At the time, we had chalked the rather extreme increase in bandwidth (seen below) to the release of Apple's new Podcast app, which featured 99% Invisible prominently at release. We figured that Apple had brought 99% Invisible and The Moth some new subscribers, and were pretty happy once we had battened the hatches a bit.

But when we heard from This American Life that they were seeing an order of magnitude increase in their bandwidth usage, we needed to ensure that there wasn't a problem with our apps that was causing unusual download behavior. Based on our research, it looks like the issue is iOS 6.

The BehaviorTo begin, we wanted to know if there was a way that we could differentiate traffic originating from one of our apps from traffic originating from other apps. Because we are using the AV Foundation framework, it turned out that we couldn't (the User Agent String is the OS Standard one, not app specific). We were able to see that the version of iOS was 6.0 but not the name of the app playing the audio. However, the Apache logs we looked at suggested something unusual. In the following screenshot, the file being downloaded is 8614457 bytes long.

Click to view full size.

What you can see is that the first 2 bytes of the file (in most cases, this will be ID, as in ID3) are downloaded in one request and then what appears to be the file being downloaded multiple times on iOS 6 and only once on iOS 5. (This appears to be an artifact of the way that Apache logs range requests, and we have reason to believe that the file was not downloaded many complete times, but there are still clearly problems.)

Following this, we set up a proxy so that we could watch requests as they were coming from the app. The player appears to get into a state where it makes multiple requests per second and closes them rapidly. Because the ranges of these requests seem to overlap and the requests themselves each carry some overhead, this causes a single download of an MP3 to use significantly more bandwidth than in iOS 5. In one case, the playback of a single 30MB episode caused the transfer of over 100MB of data.

We saw this behavior start after a period of behaving correctly (in some cases behaving correctly for about 5 minutes before the issue appeared) in both our own apps and the Apple Podcast app. We were able to reproduce the issue with several podcasts in the Podcast app, including podcasts using Limelight and Akamai CDNs. We have been unable to reproduce the issue using iOS 5 or using iOS 6.0.1, but there are still many people using iOS 6.0.0. We believe that this issue, combined with the bug causing the phone to behave as though it is connected to WiFi even when it is not, could account for the significant data overagesreported with the release of iOS 6.

The strangest bit of behavior happens when the ranges on these requests reach the end of the file. We were able to consistently see that when the file has completed downloading, it begins downloading again from the beginning of the file and continues for as long as one is streaming the file. This means that, for as long as one is listening to audio being streamed with iOS 6, it is using significant amounts of data. Watch the range headers in this video, which is monitoring the HTTP activity of the stock Podcast app (v1.1.2) on iOS 6.0.0 playing back an episode of This Week in Tech. The file finishes buffering and is completely downloaded at around 0:36.

ConclusionThere appears to be a system-wide problem with the AV Foundation framework in iOS 6.0.0, resulting in significantly higher data costs to iPhone users and internet distributors. Users who have not done so should immediately upgrade iOS 6.0.0 devices to iOS 6.0.1, which we can confirm appears to fix the issue on Wifi. While some carriers are offering concessions to customers who may have been affected by this problem, Apple does not appear to have acknowledged the specific issue. The release notes for iOS 6.0.1 mention a change related to Wifi (likely referring to the problem with devices that reported that they were connected to Wifi while connected to 3G and LTE networks), which may be related to the change which fixed this issue.

CaveatsOur tests did not cover 3g or LTE data, as we relied on connecting to Wifi to perform them. Because of the server logs we have access to, it appears that this issue exists over mobile broadband as well.

Kaht/Bathsalts

Exclusive: John McAfee Wanted for Murder (Updated)

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Mon, 12 Nov 2012 19:58

Jeff Wise

Antivirus pioneer John McAfee is on the run from murder charges, Belize police say. According to Marco Vidal, head of the national police force's Gang Suppression Unit, McAfee is a prime suspect in the murder of American expatriate Gregory Faull, who was gunned down Saturday night at his home in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye.

Details remain sketchy so far, but residents say that Faull was a well-liked builder who hailed originally from California. The two men had been at odds for some time. Last Wednesday, Faull filed a formal complaint against McAfee with the mayor's office, asserting that McAfee had fired off guns and exhibited "roguish behavior." Their final disagreement apparently involved dogs.

UPDATE: Here is the official police statement:

MURDEROn Sunday the 11th November, 2012 at 8:00am acting upon information received, San Pedro Police visited 5 ¾ miles North of San Pedro Town where they saw 52 year old U.S National Mr. GREGORY VIANT FAULL, of the said address, lying face up in a pool of blood with an apparent gunshot wound on the upper rear part of his head apparently dead. Initial investigation revealed that on the said date at 7:20am LUARA TUN, 39years, Belizean Housekeeper of Boca Del Rio Area, San Pedro Town went to the house of Mr. Faull to do her daily chores when she saw him laying inside of the hall motionless, Faull was last seen alive around 10:00pm on 10.11.12 and he lived alone. No signs of forced entry was seen, A (1) laptop computer brand and serial number unknown and (1) I-Phone was discovered missing. The body was found in the hall of the upper flat of the house. A single luger brand 9 mm expended shells was found at the first stairs leading up to the upper flat of the building. The body of Faull was taken to KHMH Morgue where it awaits a Post Mortem Examination. Police have not established a motive so far but are following several leads.

As we reported last week, McAfee has become increasingly estranged from his fellow expatriates in recent years. His behavior has become increasingly erratic, and by his own admission he had begun associating with some of the most notorious gangsters in Belize.

Since our piece ran on last week, several readers have come forward with additional information that sheds light on the change in McAfee's behavior. In July of 2010, shortly before Allison Adonizio pulled the plug on their quorum-sensing project and fled the country, McAfee began posting on a drug-focused Russian-hosted message board called Bluelight about his attempts to purify the psychoactive compounds colloquially known as "bath salts."

Writing under the name "stuffmonger," a handle he has used on other online message boards, McAfee posted more than 200 times over the next nine months about his ongoing quest to purify psychoactive drugs from compounds commercially available over the internet. "I'm a huge fan of MDPV," he wrote. "I think it's the finest drug ever conceived, not just for the indescribable hypersexuality, but also for the smooth euphoria and mild comedown."

Elsewhere, he described his pursuit of "super perv powder" and warned about the dangers of handling the freebase version of the drug: "I had visual and auditory hallucinations and the worst paranoia of my life." He recommended that the most effective way to take a dose is via rectal insertion, a procedure known as "plugging," writing: "Measure your dose, apply a small amount of saliva to just the tip of your middle finger, press it against the dose, insert. Doesn't really hurt as much as it sounds. We're in an arena (drugs/libido) that I navigate as well as anyone on the planet here. If you take my advice about this (may sound gross to some of you perhaps), you will be well rewarded."

Just before posting for the last time on April 1, 2011 (a date that for McAfee may well have been freighted with intentional significance), Stuffmonger identified himself as "John" and described his work pursuing quorum-sensing compounds and posted photos of his property in Orange Walk. In signing off, he explained that "the on-line world is more of a distraction than the self induced effects of the many experiments I've done using my own body over the past year or so, and I have work to do."

MDPV, which was recently banned in the US but remains legal in Belize, belongs to a class of drugs called cathinones, a natural source of which is the East African plant khat. Users report that it is a powerfully mind-altering substance. In the comments section to my last Gizmodo piece, reader fiveseven15writes: "mdpv is serious shit. would explain his paranoia and erraticness. i've been thru that. i played with mdpv for about two weeks, then started seeing shadow people in the corner of my eye, and what amphetamine heads call 'tree-cops'... its essentially really, REALLY f-ed up meth."

On his website, addiction specialist Paul Earley warns about the dangers of MDPV: "Our experience clearly warns of the psychiatric and medical dangers of this drug. We have cared for multiple patients who have abused MDPV; they report intense and unpleasant visual hallucinations after a short binge. The drug feels non-toxic with its first use, but following a moderate binge users suffer mild to moderate paranoia'... in about 10% of individuals who use higher doses, we have observed a sustained psychotic state with intense anxiety lasting 3 to 7 days."

McAfee's intensive use of psychosis-inducing hallucinogens would go a long way toward explaining his growing estrangement from his friends and from the community around him. If he was producing large quantities of these chemicals, as implied on Bluelight, that would also shed light on his decision to associate with some of Belize's most hardened drug-gang members.

McAfee's purported interest in extracting medicine from jungle plants provided him a wholesome justification for building a well-equipped chemistry lab in a remote corner of Belize. The specific properties of the drugs he was attempting to isolate also fit in well with what those closest to him have reported: that he is an enthusiastic amateur pharmacologist with a longstanding interest in drugs that induce sexual behavior in women. Indeed, former friends of McAfee have said he could be extremely persistent and devious in trying to coerce women who rebuff his advances to have sex with him.

One other aspect of Stuffmonger's postings gibe with McAfee's general MO: his compulsion for making outrageous or simply erroneous assertions, even attached to subjects about which he is being generally sincere. Along with photographs of his lab near Orange Walk, for instance, he posted a picture of a decrepit thatched-roof hut and described it as original home in Belize. He seemed similarly to have embellished his descriptions of his feats of chemical prowess on the Bluelight discussion board, and this ultimately aroused the suspicions of his fellow posters. "Stuffmonger's claims were discredited," a senior moderator later wrote, "and he vanished."

Jeff Wise is a science journalist, writer of the "I'll Try Anything" column for Popular Mechanics, and the author of Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger. For more, visit JeffWise.net.

Ho's and Heavy Weapons

seven days in may: part 1 - YouTube

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 21:47

Seven Days in May - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 21:36

Seven Days in May is an American political thriller novel written by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II which was published in 1962. It was made into a motion picture and released in February 1964, with a screenplay by Rod Serling, directed by John Frankenheimer, and starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, and Ava Gardner.

The story is said to have been influenced by the right-winganti-Communist political activities of General Edwin A. Walker after he resigned from the military. An additional inspiration was provided by the 1961 interview by Knebel, who was also a political journalist and columnist, conducted with the newly-appointed Air Force Chief of Staff, Curtis LeMay, an advocate of preventive first-strike nuclear option.

President John F. Kennedy had read the novel and believed the scenario as described could actually occur in the United States. According to Frankenheimer in his director's commentary, production of the film received encouragement and assistance from Kennedy through White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger, who conveyed to Frankenheimer Kennedy's wish that the film be produced and that, although the Pentagon did not want the film made, the President would conveniently arrange to visit Hyannis Port for a weekend when the film needed to shoot outside the White House.

The story is set several years into the continued cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union, not long after a stalemated conflict in Iran similar to the Korean War (the novel gives the date of May 1974, while the film shows a California license plate with a 1970 registration decal, a Texas 1970 license plate, and an electronic map of active military bases displaying the date of May 9, 1970). With the ever-present possibility of nuclear war and mutually assured destruction, U.S. President Jordan Lyman signs a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union, with both nations simultaneously destroying their nuclear weapons under mutual international inspection. The ratification produces a wave of public dissatisfaction, especially among the President's opposition and the military, who believe the Soviets cannot be trusted.

As the debate rages, a Pentagon insider, United States Marine Corps Colonel Martin "Jiggs" Casey, becomes aware of a conspiracy among the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) led by his own superior officer, the charismatic Air ForceGeneral James Mattoon Scott. He uncovers a shocking secret: Scott and his JCS cohorts, along with allies in the United States Congress, led by Senator Frederick Prentice and influential media personality Harold McPherson, are plotting to stage a coup d'etat to remove President Lyman and his cabinet seven days hence. Under a procedure known as ECOMCON (Emergency COMmunications CONtrol), the nation's telephone, radio and television network infrastructure is to be seized by a secret United States Armycombat unit secretly created by Scott and based near Fort Bliss, Texas. From their headquarters within a vast underground nuclear shelter called "Mount Thunder" (based on the actual continuity of government facility maintained by the U.S. at Mount Weather in Berryville, Virginia), the general will use the power of the media and the military to prevent the implementation of the treaty.

Although personally opposed to President Lyman's position, Casey is appalled by the unconstitutional cabal. He alerts Lyman and his inner circle: Secret Service Director Art Corwin, Secretary of the Treasury Christopher Todd, presidential adviser Paul Girard, and United States Senator Raymond Clark of Georgia, a political and personal ally of the president. Lyman sends Casey to New York City to ferret out secrets that can be used against Scott, which forces Casey to cruelly deceive the general's former mistress, the vulnerable Ellie Holbrook. He leaves in possession of letters between her and General Scott which would compromise his moral credibility with the public. The president also sends the aging, alcoholic Clark to El Paso, Texas to see if he can locate the base (covertly known as "Site Y"). Girard leaves for the Mediterranean to obtain a confession from Vice Admiral Farley C. Barnswell, the 6th Fleet commander stationed on the USS Kitty Hawk, who knows of the plot but decides not to actively support or oppose it (responding through a code involving the Preakness Stakes horse race). Girard gains the admiral's written confession, and telephones the President before boarding a plane from Madrid back to Washington.

Girard is killed when the passenger airliner he is on crashes into a mountain in Spain. Clark finds the secret base, but is taken captive by conspirator Colonel Broderick and held incommunicado. Clark is visited by the base's deputy commander, Colonel Mutt Henderson, a friend of Jiggs, and who knows nothing of the plot. The senator persuades Henderson to help him escape, but at the airport, while Clark makes a call to the president, Henderson is arrested by Scott's men.

A showdown with Scott is scheduled in the Oval Office. The president confronts him and demands his resignation "along with the other members of the Joint Chiefs involved with this treason." Scott initially denies any guilt, claiming that the president had verbally approved the secret base in Texas. When Scott fails to convince the president of his innocence, he begins to talk freely and launches into a debate with Lyman, arguing that approval of the treaty would weaken the U.S. and lead to an attack by the Soviets. Lyman tries to reason with Scott, explaining that a military coup would send a signal that could result in a preemptive strike by Moscow. Scott is unmoved, stating that he feels the American people are behind him and his position. Lyman considers using the blackmail letters, but decides against it. Scott is allowed to leave.

Shortly thereafter, Scott briefs the other three members of the JCS, who are close to panicking. He demands everyone stay in line, pointing out that the president does not seem to have the evidence he would need to bring charges of treason successfully. Somewhat reassured, the others agree to stick to the plan to appear on all television and radio networks simultaneously on Sunday to denounce the president. However, Lyman first holds a press conference where he demands the resignation of Scott and all members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The conference is interrupted when an attach(C) from the U.S. Embassy in Spain arrives. He has brought the handwritten confession that Girard obtained from Vice Admiral Barnswell, which survived the crash in Girard's cigarette case. A copy is given to Scott and the other officers in on the plot, who have no choice but to resign and call off the coup. The ending has Lyman addressing the American people on the country's future.

[edit]ProductionKirk Douglas and director John Frankenheimer were the moving forces behind the filming of Seven Days in May; the film was produced through Douglas's Joel Productions. Douglas agreed to star in it, but he also wanted his frequent co-star Burt Lancaster to star in the film as well. This almost caused Frankenheimer to back out, since he and Lancaster had butted heads on The Birdman of Alcatraz several years before. Only Douglas's assurances that Lancaster would behave kept the director on the project.[1] Ironically, Lancaster and Frankenheimer became close friends during the filming, while Douglas and the director had a falling out.[2][3]

Some of the other actors had problems with Frankenheimer. Ava Gardner thought he favored the other actors over her, and Martin Balsam objected to his habit of shooting off pistols behind him during important scenes.[1]

John Houseman, then a well-known producer, made his American feature acting debut in a small role as a vice-admiral. (He would not appear onscreen again until his Oscar-winning role in 1973's The Paper Chase.)

Interiors for Seven Days in May were shot at the Paramount studios in Hollywood, and on location in Paris, France, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Arizona and in California's Imperial Valley.[4][5] In an early example of guerrilla filmmaking, Frankenheimer photographed Martin Balsam being ferried out to the supercarrier USS Kitty Hawk, berthed at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, without prior Defense Department permission. He also wanted a shot of Kirk Douglas entering the Pentagon, but could not get permission because of security considerations, so he rigged a movie camera in a parked station wagon to photograph Douglas walking up to the Pentagon. Douglas actually received salutes from military personnel inasmuch as he was wearing the uniform of a U.S. Marine Corpscolonel.[6]

Getting permission near the White House was easier. Frankenheimer said that Pierre Salinger conveyed to him President Kennedy's wish that the film be made, "these were the days of General Walker" and, though the Pentagon did not want the film made, the president would conveniently arrange to visit Hyannis Port for a weekend when the film needed to shoot outside the White House.[7] Kirk Douglas recalled President Kennedy approving of the making of the film.[8]

Some efforts were made in the film to have the film appear to take place in the near future, for instance the use of the then-futuristic technology of video teleconferencing. The film also featured the then recently issued M16 rifle.

[edit]Alternate endingAccording to Douglas, an alternate ending was shot, but discarded:

General Scott, the treacherous Burt Lancaster character, goes off in his sports car, and dies in a wreck. Was it an accident or suicide? Coming up out of the wreckage over the car radio is President Jordan Lyman's speech about the sanctity of the Constitution.[3]

This alternate ending echoes the novel, which ends with the apparent vehicular suicide of Senator Prentice.

[edit]ReceptionSeven Days in May premiered on 12 February 1964, appropriately in Washington, D.C.[9] It opened to good critical notices and audience response.[1]

The film was nominated for two 1965 Academy Awards,[10] for Edmond O'Brien for "Best Actor in a Supporting Role", and for "Best Art Direction-Set Decoration/Black-and-White" for Cary Odell and Edward G. Boyle. In that year's Golden Globe Awards, O'Brien won for "Best Supporting Actor", while Frederic March, John Frankenheimer and composer Jerry Goldsmith received nominations.

Frankenheimer won a Danish Bodil Award for directing the "Best Non-European Film" and Rod Serling was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for "Best Written American Drama".

[edit]RemakeThe film was remade in 1994 by HBO as The Enemy Within with Sam Waterston as "President William Foster", Jason Robards as "General R. Pendleton Lloyd", and Forest Whitaker as "Colonel MacKenzie 'Mac' Casey". This version followed many parts of the original plot closely, while updating it for the post-Cold War world, omitting certain incidents, and changing the ending.

[edit]See also^ abcJeff Stafford "Seven Days in May" (TCM article)^Frankenheimer, John and Champlin, Charles. John Frankenheimer : A Conversation Riverwood Press, 1995. ISBN 1-880756-13-7^ abDouglas, Kirk. The Ragman's Son. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988.^IMDB Filming Locations^TCM Notes^Pratley, Gerald. The Cinema of John Frankenheimer London: A. Zwemmer, 1969. ISBN 978-0-302-02000-5.^"Robert Kennedy and his Times", Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Futura Publications, p485, 1979, ISBN 0-7088-1633-9^Seven Days in May commentary as part of the Kirk Douglas Featured Collection at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research^TCM Overview^"NY Times: Seven Days in May". NY Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/43837/Seven-Days-in-May/awards. Retrieved 2008-12-25. [edit]External links

Turkey recognises new Syria opposition

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Source: The Daily Star >> Live News

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 14:01

ANKARA: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday that turkey "recognises the Syrian National Council as the sole legitimate representative of the people of Syria."

The Turkish minister made the comments during a ministerial meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation which is being held in Djibouti, according to Anatolia news agency.

Natalie Khawam Wolfe

Natalie Khawam Wolfe (born January 1, 1975) is the identical twin sister of Jill Kelley and was reportedly also friends with both General David Petraeus and General John R. Allen. She is a lawyer and was married to Grayson Wolfe, a former Bush administration official who directed Middle East initiatives and Iraqi reconstruction efforts at the Export-Import Bank.[22]

Natalie lives with her twin sister Jill according to media reports.[23] Both Natalie and Jill are friends with both Generals Petraeus and Allen.

Both Petraeus and Allen wrote letters of support for Khawam in the custody dispute concerning her son.[24][25] The judge handling the custody battle took issue with Khawam's claims of domestic violence, calling them "patently incredible" and "obviously fabricated." In addition, the court papers reveal that Khawam had built relationships with Washington elite, including with U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts[26] According to Tampa police, both sisters called local police frequently between 2009 and 2012 to make various allegations.[27]

Mini-Me: CENTCOM Sisters Khawam Fronted for Sadaam Hussein Then Brokered Lots and Lots of MNF-I Contracts for Akkadian Et Al '-- Time to Follow the Money (And Take Their Passports)

Link to Article

Source: Public Intelligence Blog

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 23:46

Who? Mini-Me?

Huh?

HAS THE PETRAEUS AFFAIR EXPOSED A BIGGER, DARKER MORE DISGUSTING SCANDAL?

The Astute Bloggers, Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Read full post in annoying capital letters.

Phi Beta Iota: Here is the executive summary '-- none of this has been validated from other sources, but what keeps coming back to us, in relation to both who the US Government does business with and who major commanders socialize with, is ZERO counter-intelligence. We have no clue. Amateur hour continues.

01 The Lebanese sisters are part of the Khawam family that fronted for Saadaam Hussein in assigning contracts where 50% came back to him. The family name is allegedly feared still in Iraq.

02 The twin married Washington insider Grayson Wolfe, founding partner of Akkadian Private Ventures LLC and affiliate companies.

03 They work in all the CENTCOM hotspots and many of their contracts can be traced to Petraeus / Allen command periods.

04 Grayson himself was Iraqi Reconstruction and Special Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer of the Export-Import Bank of the USA, appointed by President Bush. He also served in 2004 as Manager of the Private Sector Development Office of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad.

See Also:

Graphic: Benghazi Fiasco UPDATED II w/ Marines (FAST Yes, MEU/MSG No) & 173rd Airborne ( '' ) + RECAP Adding Bimbo-Gate

Nov 14

Mohamed Khawam

COALITION FOR A DEMOCRATIC SYRIA CALLS FOR SPECIFICS ON HOW CANDIDATES WILL SUPPORT THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION | Syrian American Council

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 15:34

Dr. Mohammad Khawam, Chairman of the Syrian Emergency Task Force and Board Member of the Coalition for a Democratic Syria, released the following statement in advance of tonight's Presidential Debate on foreign policy:

''Given the vital national security interests at stake in Syria, the American people deserve a substantive and thorough discussion of U.S. policy in tonight's debate.

''The decisions we make now will have a profound impact on Syria and the Middle East for years to come. We look forward to hearing the candidates' views on how we can achieve our policy goal of ending the brutal reign of the Assad regime and fostering a transition to a free and democratic Syria. We believe the candidates should spell out specifically how they would support the Syrian opposition, empower those groups who share our values and end the regime's vicious attacks on its own people.

''The longer the crisis continues, the more civilians will die, the more the extremists will gain strength and the faster the US will lose its credibility. Acting now means preserving our ability to help shape Syria's future and preventing further regional instability. The world is watching.''

The Syrian American Council is a member of the Coalition for a Democratic Syria.

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International Visitor Leadership Program - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 15:38

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is a professional exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of StateOffice of International Visitors in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The purpose of the program is to help build mutual understanding between citizens of the U.S. and other countries.

[edit]HistoryIn 1948 representative Karl E. Mundt and Senator H. Alexander Smith marshaled the Informational and Educational Exchange Act, also known as the Smith-Mundt Act which was passed by the 80th United States Congress and approved by President Harry S. Truman. During a time when Americans grew increasingly concerned about Sovietpropaganda, the purpose of the Smith-Mundt was "to promote a better understanding of the United States in other countries, and to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries" though educational and cultural exchanges.[1] From this legislation birthed the Foreign Leaders Program, which was eventually consolidated into the International Visitor Program (IVP) in 1952. In 2004 the IVP was renamed the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).

While the IVLP has no written statement of purpose, Dr. Sherry L. Mueller (President Emeritus, National Council for International Visitors) has identified at least two goals that have remained consistent since the inception of the program:

Link the foreign leaders with their U.S. counterparts, providing a solid professional experience and in-depth, substantive exploration of key issues and diverse, balanced approaches to these issues.Enable the visitors to gain a better understanding of the history and heritage of the United States, a better sense of who [Americans] are as a people and what [Americans] value.[2][edit]Notable alumniThe following tables list current and former chiefs of state and heads of government who have participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program.[3][4]

[edit]East Asia & Pacific[edit]Europe[edit]North Africa, Near East & South and Central Asia[edit]Sub-Saharan Africa[edit]Western Hemisphere[edit]Agencies involvedThe IVLP functions through a public-private partnership with several National Program Agencies (NPA) that arrange the itineraries for the foreign visitors.

[edit]References[edit]External links

National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 15:29

The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCSROF; Arabic: اÙاØ...تÙاف اÙÙطني ÙÙ‚ÙÙ‰ اÙØÙرØ(C) ÙاÙمعارضØ(C) اÙØ"ÙريØ(C)'Ž) is a coalition of opposition groups in the Syrian civil war that was founded in Doha, Qatar in November 2012. Former imam of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Moaz al-Khatib, considered a moderate, was elected the president of the coalition. Riad Seif and Suheir Atassi, both prominent democracy activists and the latter a secular feminist, were elected vice presidents. Mustafa Sabbagh was elected as the coalition's secretary-general.[1] The council has 60 seats, of which 22 are to be filled by the Syrian National Council.[2]

[edit]International supportOn 12 November the member states of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman, recognised the coalition as "the legitimate representative" of the Syrian people, ceasing recognition of the Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad.[3]

Later, the Arab League (with the exception of Algeria, Iraq and Lebanon)[2][4] recognised the coalition as "the legitimate representative and main interlocutor with the Arab League".[5] The League did not give full recognition to the opposition; although, this statement was disputed by the Prime Minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani.[2] He stated, "That claim is absolutely untrue, and the position of the two parties is identical" in response to the idea that the Arab League's support was different from the support of the Cooperation Council.[4] He also stated that the Arab League "urges regional and international organisations to recognise [the National Coalition] as a legitimate representative for the aspirations of the Syrian people".[2]

The National Coalition is supported by NATO countries Turkey, United States, United Kingdom, and France.[5] The United States issued a press statement on 11 November 2012 congratulating representatives of the Syrians for forming the coalition.[6] The press statement stated that "We look forward to supporting the National Coalition as it charts a course toward the end of Assad's bloody rule and the start of the peaceful, just, democratic future that all the people of Syria deserve."[6] It also restated its commitment to humanitarian and non-lethal assistance and commended Qatar for its role in the conference.[6]

On 13 November, France recognised the coalition as the "only representative of the Syrian people" and as the "future interim government of democratic Syria", and called for all European nations to do so as well.[7][8] The United States regards the coalition as "a legitimate representative" of the Syrian people. [9]

[edit]References[edit]External links

akkadian-Wolfe bio

Link to Article

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 02:17

Grayson P. Wolfe

Grayson Wolfe is a Partner at Akkadian. He previously served as Director of Broader Middle East Initiatives and Iraqi Reconstruction and Special Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. He was appointed to the bank by President Bush in June 2002. Between January and August 2004, Wolfe served as Manager of the Private Sector Development Office of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq. In this capacity he was directly responsible for implementing a wide range of initiatives to attract foreign direct investment and provide financing to Iraqi companies. During this time, Wolfe worked extensively on the ground with senior Iraqi and Kurdish officials, and with the Ministries of Finance, Trade and Oil.

From 2001 to 2002 Wolfe worked as an attorney for the law firm of Fleischman and Walsh, LLP, where he represented clients engaged in Homeland Security, Telecommunications and Intellectual Property matters. He served as a member of a seven-person team that worked with the North American Railroads and Chlorine Chemical Industries to develop a National Homeland Security Risk Analysis and Management Plan. This plan was adopted by the Class I Freight Railroad CEOs on Dec 6, 2001. Wolfe served as Legislative Director and Counsel for members of Congress from 1999-2002. He has also served in numerous positions in presidential, federal and state political campaigns. Before this, he worked for Citicorp in Poland focusing on emerging markets and franchise development opportunities in Central and Eastern European countries.

Syria's Opposition Wins Western Backing, But What About Western Weapons? | TIME.com

A spokesman for the new Syrian leadership coalition claimed Monday that the group had already been led to expect military support from the West. "We have assuaged a lot of the concerns and fulfilled a lot of preconditions on the Syrian armed opposition in terms of accountability and unity," Yaser Tabbara told the Guardian, "and I believe the international community is ready to invest in the opposition both militarily and politically. That is the sense we got in Doha."

The problem, however, is that precisely because of the foreign provenance of the new Coalition, its prospects for winning recognition on the ground as the national leadership of the rebellion may depend heavily on it becoming the sole conduit for foreign political and military aid. A cart-or-horse dilemma for Western policy makers, then, as well as for the rebels: "We are in a Catch 22," Tabbara told the Guardian. "We are told we will get the serious support once we have operational structures in place but we in the middle know things are more complex. In order to build a government with full authority inside the country, we need support and political recognition."

Pentagon Islamic Adviser Reappears as Political Leader for Syrian Muslim Brotherhood-Dominated Group

Safi himself has been fairly influential in government circles. For several years, he was only one of two endorsing agents for the Pentagon's Muslim military chaplain program as Director of Leadership Development for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He was also responsible for teaching about Islam to American troops deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq.

So it was particularly curious last year when Safi reappeared last August as the director of the political office of the newly-formed Syrian National Council (SNC). His profile appears on the SNC's website, and pictures taken at the unveiling of the SNC in Istanbul shows Safi front and center of the leadership.-

"So not only did the FBI - again, all without any real evidence of a crime - trace the locations and..."

Link to Article

Source: oswald of guadalupe

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 04:03

So not only did the FBI - again, all without any real evidence of a crime - trace the locations and identity of Broadwell and Petreaus, and read through Broadwell's emails (and possibly Petraeus'), but they also got their hands on and read through 20,000-30,000 pages of emails between Gen. Allen and Kelley.

This is a surveillance state run amok. It also highlights how any remnants of internet anonymity have been all but obliterated by the union between the state and technology companies.

But, as unwarranted and invasive as this all is, there is some sweet justice in having the stars of America's national security state destroyed by the very surveillance system which they implemented and over which they preside. As Trevor Timm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation put it this morning: ''Who knew the key to stopping the Surveillance State was to just wait until it got so big that it ate itself?''

FBI agent who exposed Petraeus-Broadwell affair identified as Frederick W. Humphries II - NY Daily News

Link to Article

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 03:48

Steve Ringman/The Seattle TimesFBI Special Agent Frederick Humphries seen in a 2002 photo during his time with the bureau's Seattle office.

The FBI agent who exposed the affair between Gen. David Petraeus and his married mistress, which led to Petraeus' public downfall as head of the CIA, has been identified as Frederick W. Humphries II, according to a New York Times report Wednesday.

Associates of Humphries, 47, described him as a ''hard-charging'' veteran counterterrorism investigator who helped foil the terrorist plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on New Year's Eve in 1999.

''Fred is a passionate kind of guy,'' a former colleague told The Times. ''He's kind of an obsessive type. If he locked his teeth onto something, he'd be a bulldog.''

PHOTOS: THE KEY PLAYERS IN THE PETRAEUS SCANDAL

RELATED: OBAMA: PETRAEUS AFFAIR POSED 'NO THREAT' TO NATIONAL SECURITY

Since the under-the-sheets scandal broke Friday, when Petraeus, 60, resigned as the nation's top spy, Humphries had only been referred to in news reports as the ''shirtless'' FBI agent who helped to jump-start the federal investigation of the four-star general.

According to reports, the agent was a friend of Jill Kelley, a Tampa socialite who was also chummy with Petraeus and his wife. She complained to the agent in late June or early July that she was allegedly receiving threatening emails accusing her of being ''flirtatious'' with Petraeus.

RELATED: LISTEN: JILL KELLY ASKS FOR DIPLOMATIC PROTECTION

As it turned out, investigators discovered the emails were coming from Paula Broadwell, Petraeus' brainy biographer. She reportedly considered Kelley a romantic rival, although Petraeus has denied having a relationship with her.

Petraeus' romance with Broadwell started last year, two months after he became CIA chief in September 2011, a Petraeus family friend said Monday. During that time, Broadwell co-authored a biography about Petraeus. They reportedly ended their relationship four months ago.

Humphries, meanwhile, wasn't put on the Petraeus case, but it was reported earlier this week that the agent had grown obsessed with the story and had even sent a shirtless picture of himself to Kelley.

The Times said Humphries believed the case wasn't getting attention for political reasons and had gone to Republican lawmakers in late October for help.

Lawrence Berger, Humphries' lawyer, clarified to The Times that Humphries and his wife ran in the same social circles as Kelley and her husband. The shirtless photo, he said, was taken years ago as a joke and included him ''posing with a couple of dummies.''

A man appearing to be Humphries declined to speak with The Times outside of his Florida home Wednesday.

eortiz@nydailynews.com

Ingmar Guandique convicted of first-degree murder of former intern Chandra Levy

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 19:42

Prosecutors overcame a lack of any scientific evidence to secure a conviction Monday of Ingmar Guandique in the killing of former federal intern Chandra Levy.

Guandique, 29, will be sentenced in February on two counts of first-degree felony murder, one related to her kidnapping and one related to attempted robbery. He could face up to life in prison without parole.

The Levy case was challenging from the start. There was no forensic evidence linking Guandique to the crime scene in Rock Creek Park, no murder weapon, no eyewitness and no definitive ruling from the medical examiner on what killed Levy. Numerous mistakes by police and forensic scientists further hampered the investigation.

But prosecutors offered a compelling theory of how Levy died nine years ago. They presented believable testimony from a former cellmate of Guandique's who said Guandique confessed to the attack and the gripping stories of two women who were attacked by Guandique in Rock Creek Park about the same time as Levy went missing in 2001.

Jurors said that was enough to reach a guilty verdict.

"I don't know that it was particularly difficult," said juror Linda Norton, an interior designer.

When asked about the lack of DNA and other science in the case, Norton said: "Well . . . there was a lot of evidence. . . .You know how much evidence there was, all kinds of evidence, and we were in a very small room with all of that evidence every day and we went through it in a very deliberate manner." She said the length of the deliberation was a direct result of the volume of that evidence.

The jury of nine women and three men reached its verdict after 31/2 days of deliberations.

Juror Sharae Bacon said the cellmate's testimony convinced her that Guandique killed Levy. "There were no holes in his testimony," she said.

Levy's mother, Susan Levy, let out a sigh and looked at Guandique as the verdict was read and the jurors were polled. Two of the jurors seemed to wipe away tears.

Guandique, 29, wearing a blue turtleneck and a gray sweater vest, listened through headphones that translated the verdict into Spanish. He stared straight ahead and had no visible reaction.

But as he was led from the courtroom, he ripped off the headphones and threw them onto the defense table.

Paula Broadwell's License Discovered in D.C. Park - US News and World Report

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 19:41

The woman revealed to have been carrying on an affair with former CIA Director David Petraeus lost her driver's license in a Washington, D.C., park recently, sources tell U.S. News.

A Maryland National Capital Park Police spokesman confirmed that a jogger found a North Carolina license in Rock Creek Park belonging to Paula Broadwell. Park Police planned to hold it for 90 days, per policy, and then send it back to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

[PHOTOS: Gen. Petraeus Behind the Scenes]

The Park Police also alerted the FBI, says Bill Kellogg, a spokesman for the Park Police. The FBI did not initially return calls for comment on the report.

Broadwell's attorney, Robert F. Muse, confirmed that Broadwell, a North Carolina resident, lost her driver's license in the park.

['All In': The 15 Funniest Petraeus Headlines]

The FBI searched Broadwell's Charlotte, N.C., home Monday for at least four hours. It is unclear if Broadwell was home at the time, though she is not mentioned in any subsequent reporting about the search.

Muse did not immediately return calls regarding Broadwell's current whereabouts.

[ENJOY: The Best Petraeus Scandal Cartoons]

Broadwell allegedly sent threatening E-mails to Jill Kelley, which sparked a subsequent FBI investigation, and eventually led to Petraeus' resignation from the CIA.

Valerie Bonk contributed to this report.

More Petraeus Coverage:

Paul D. Shinkman is a national security reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at pshinkman@usnews.com

Paula Broadwell's Driver's License Found in Rock Creek Park: DCist

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 19:41

As with any scandal involving a spymaster, the evolving story of former CIA Director David Petraeus and mistress Paula Broadwell just gets better and better'--and more movie-like'--as the days go by. Today brings quite the Hollywood-esque twist: U.S. News & World Report writes that Broadwell's driver's license was found in Rock Creek Park:The woman revealed to have been carrying on an affair with former CIA Director David Petraeus lost her driver's license in a Washington, D.C., park recently, sources tell U.S. News.

A Maryland National Capital Park Police spokesman confirmed that a jogger found a North Carolina license in Rock Creek Park belonging to Paula Broadwell. Park Police planned to hold it for 90 days, per policy, and then send it back to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The Park Police also alerted the FBI, says Bill Kellogg, a spokesman for the Park Police. The FBI did not initially return calls for comment on the report.

Broadwell's attorney, Robert F. Muse, confirmed that Broadwell, a North Carolina resident, lost her driver's license in the park.

Seriously, what's next? You know what? We kinda don't want to know.

Petraeus scandal: Jill Kelley ran a bogus cancer charity - Boing Boing

Link to Article

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 06:37

Tampa military socialite and Petraeus scandal figure Jill Kelley ran the "Doctor Kelley Cancer Foundation," which claimed on its tax forms that it "shall be operated exclusively to conduct cancer research and to grant wishes to terminally ill adult cancer patients." Huffington Post:From the records, it appears that the charity fell far short of its mission. While the origins of the seed money used to start the charity in 2007 are unclear, financial records reviewed by The Huffington Post reveal that the group spent all of its money not on research, but on parties, entertainment, travel and attorney fees.

More at HuffPo.Mrs. Kelley also made 911 calls to Tampa police this week about trespassing reporters, and claims her property is considered diplomatic soil. "I'm the honorary consul general so they should not be on my property," Kelley said. "I don't know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well."

Consul general of what? CrazyVaginaStan?

(Thanks, Antinous)

Panetta Heads to Australia to Ramp Up Marine Presence- Bloomberg

Link to Article

Tue, 13 Nov 2012 14:17

Panetta Heads to Australia to Ramp Up Marine Presence

By Gopal RatnamNovember 12, 2012 8:18 PM EST

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrives in Australia today to discuss ways to increase the U.S. Marine Corps presence in the country as well as secure Air Force access to its bases, a senior U.S. defense official said.

The two countries are in the first phase of deploying 250 Marines to the northern port city of Darwin on six-month rotations with the goal of expanding to as many as 2,500 troops. Panetta will discuss with Defense Minister Stephen Smith how to increase Air Force access to bases in northern Australia and the arrangements necessary to achieve those goals, according to the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced last November the deployment accord as part of an increased American commitment to the Asia-Pacific region in the face of China's rising regional influence. The U.S. presence aids Australia in safeguarding sea lanes that host more than $5 trillion in annual trade.

Panetta is attending the annual Australia-U.S. ministerial meeting along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The bilateral talks come at a time when Australia is cutting defense spending by A$5.4 billion ($5.6 billion) over four years to help eliminate a budget deficit.

Increasing the Marines' presence in Darwin will require building additional housing for the troops, and the two sides will discuss how to accomplish that, an Australian official told reporters in Washington Nov. 8, speaking on the condition of anonymity to preview official discussions.

Panetta and Smith also are likely to discuss improvements to airfields near Darwin that are necessary to allow landing of heavier U.S. aircraft like the B-52 bombers and those questions are unlikely to be resolved in the short term, the Australian official said.

After Australia, Panetta will travel to Thailand, becoming the first top U.S. defense official to visit the country since 2008. He will meet with counterpart Sukumpol Suwannatat as well as Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Panetta also will visit Siem Reap, Cambodia, to meet with the defense minister, General Tea Banh, as well as other defense ministers from the region.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gopal Ratnam on board U.S. military airplane via at gratnam1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at jwalcott9@bloomberg.net

David Petraeus scandal: Jill Kelley 'tried to halt investigation'.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 23:40

She may have been anxious to protect members of America's military and political elite to whom she remained close right up until the moment she was named as "the other woman" in the Petraeus saga.

As her name was made public on Sunday, Mrs Kelley was entertaining a group including the current deputy commander at US Central Command, Vice Adm Robert Harward, at her Tampa mansion.

It also emerged in court documents that Mrs Kelley's brother-in-law was employed as a "consultant" by a private intelligence firm that carries out work for US intelligence agencies such as the CIA.

Working as an operative for EWA ITT, Grayson Wolfe, who is now estranged from Mrs Kelley's twin sister Natalie, travelled frequently Pakistan and took his wife to the Middle East in 2008, while Gen Petraeus was leading the war in Iraq.

Mrs Broadwell, meanwhile chose to head back into the centre of the political storm by staying at her brother's listed seven-bedroom home in one of Washington DC's wealthiest neighbourhoods.

She could be seen pacing through the kitchen of the $2 million (£1.3 million) house in Mount Pleasant, sometimes holding a small child. It was not clear if this was her own sons or a niece or nephew.

Her brother Stephen Kranz, a tax lawyer, was seen walking past large framed oil paintings inside the house. There was no sign, however, of Mrs Broadwell's husband, Scott. No one would come to the door when the Daily Telegraph knocked.

Apparently determined to keep to her strict exercise regimen, the 40-year-old author slipped out of the house for a pre-dawn run yesterday, startling journalists camped outside as she sprinted back inside at about 6.25am.

Mrs Broadwell's driving licence was found in a Washington park frequently packed with joggers on November 11, two days after Mr Petraeus's abrupt resignation.

Jill Kelley and Natalie Khawam at the point of bankruptcy | BelleNews.com, Latest News

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 21:28

Jill Kelley and Natalie Khawam have pushed themselves to the point of bankruptcy trying to keep up with the lifestyles of the rich and famous in the Sunshine State with both currently millions of dollars in debt.

Jill Kelley, the woman whose complaint to the FBI over Paula Broadwell's threatening emails is currently fighting lawsuits worth up to $4 million against banks in Florida.

While her sister Natalie Khawam declared herself bankrupt earlier this year, owing $3.6 million, court filings show.

The twins are well known among the elite political circles of Florida and Natalie Khawam is known to have once dated Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida from 2003 to 2007.

Indeed, the sister's GOP links extend all the way to defeated presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whose close ally and Florida Attorney General has attended a function at Jill Kelley's home.

The two social climbing sisters are even believed to have attended party to bid farewell to the former British ambassador to the U.S. Sir Nigel Sheinweld.

Jill Kelley, who is a married mother of three is renowned for her no-expense spared parties for top military brass who are stationed at the nearby U.S. Central Command.

At one such event at her $1.2 million dollar Tampa mansion she was pictured with General David Petraeus, who arrived in a 28-man police motorcycle escort.

At these parties guests were treated copious amounts of champagne and were even entertained by string quartets while cigars were handed out.

However, keeping up appearances has come at a cost for the social climbing sisters.

Twin sisters Jill Kelley and Natalie Khawam pose with David Petraeus' wife, Holly, and daughter, Anne

Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, 37, and her cancer surgeon husband Scott owe millions to banks after the collapse of their real estate holdings in 2010.

The Kelley's are currently the targets of at least four indebtedness lawsuits and two foreclosures in Hillsborough County, according to court records.

Central Bank have a suit against the Kelleys and Kelly Land Holdings, centered on a three-story office building downtown Tampa.

Court records show they owed the bank nearly $2.2 million, including attorney fees. In 2011, a judge ordered the property to be put up for sale.

Regions Bank, meanwhile, is trying to foreclose on the couple's historic $1.3million waterfront house, claiming they defaulted on a $271,000-credit line with their five bedroom house as collateral, according to Gossip Extra.

It is currently worth $840,000 and though it is one of the most spectacular on Bayshore Boulevard from the outside, the 1923 built home is in need of repair.

Paintwork on the home is peeling and behind the home the driveway leading to a triple garage is cracked and covered with weeds.

The front lawn, where Jill Kelley would host catered parties attended by the military, remains immaculate but out of sight in an alleyway running at the rear of the property rubbish is piled high against a wall.

''There are obviously financial issues,'' said one associate of the Kelley's.

''Scott goes to work and works his ass off, and Jill takes care of the social stuff, and gets them into the society pages. They are nice people, and I feel sorry for them.''

The friendship between the twins and generals John Allen and David Petraeus has extended to letters supporting Natalie Khawam's case to overturn a ruling denying her custody of her four-year-old son in Washington earlier this year.

Supplying the court a letter confirming that he knew Natalie Khawam well and had even had her over for Christmas dinner, General David Petraeus testified that she had ''a very loving relationship '' a mother working hard to provide her son enjoyable, educational and developmental experiences''.

General John Allen made his own intervention two days later by writing on headed notepaper that ''she clearly loves'' her son.

Going on to say that: ''In light of Natalie's maturity, integrity and steadfast commitment to raising her child, I humbly request your reconsideration of the existing mandated custody settlement.''

In April of this year, Natalie Khawam filed for bankruptcy on more than $3 million in taxes, property debts and loans.

Natalie Khawam is being sued in Florida by her former boss Barry Cohen, who says that she ''fraudulently omitted Rolex watches, sable mink furs and a diamond ring'' from her bankruptcy filing.

Related search articles:Additional Reading...

General John Allen and Jill Kelley exchanged emails likened to ''phone sex''Jill Kelley flirted outrageously with a string of senior military figures invited at her partiesJill Kelley high school yearbook reveals how Jill Khawam was showing an early interest in powerful menNatalie Khawam, twin sister of Jill Kelley, helped by David Petraeus and John Allen in bitter custody battlePaula Broadwell sent anonymous email to General John Allen about Jill Kelley and David PetraeusJill Kelley speaks for the first time saying she is an innocent victim of David Petraeus scandalJill Kelley received shirtless photos from FBI agent involved in David Petraeus investigationJill Kelley steps out as friends claim her husband tipped FBI about Paula Broadwell emailsJill Kelley biography: Tampa housewife whose complaint to the FBI brought the downfall of David PetraeusJill Kelley pictured with David Petraeus and his wife at her family's homeTags: david petraeus, jill kelley, natalie khawamShort URL: http://www.bellenews.com/?p=26481

Natalie Khawam, twin sister of Jill Kelley, helped by David Petraeus and John Allen in bitter custody battle | BelleNews.com, Latest News

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 21:27

Divorced mother-of-one Natalie Khawam, 37, lives in the same $1.3 million house in Tampa, Florida, as her sister Jill Kelley and cancer surgeon husband Scott.

It emerged today that Generals David Petraeus and John Allen wrote letters supporting the child-custody battle between Natalie Khawam '' who was described as being ''psychologically unstable'' '' and her ex-husband Grayson Wolfe.

The New York Post reported David Petraeus wrote the letter just two months ago, supporting a motion to overturn a ruling made almost a year earlier by a judge.

At this time, the judge resoundingly denied custody to Natalie Khawam, saying he had serious concerns and reservations over her mental stability and her grasp on reality.

He also cited her with ''outrageous conduct'', ''bad faith litigation tactics'', and ''illogical thinking'' before awarding full custody to the father, Grayson Wolfe '' who had been unable to see his child for more than a year.

According to court documents, David Petraeus wrote in the September 20 letter to the DC judge: ''My wife and I have known Natalie for approximately three years, getting to know her while serving in Tampa, Florida, through our friendship with Dr. and Mrs. Scott Kelley.

''It is clear to me that [child's name] would benefit from much more time with his Mother and from removal of the burdensome restrictions imposed on her when she does get to spend time with him.''

David Petraeus added that he had observed Natalie Khawam and her son, ''including when we hosted them and the Kelley family for Christmas dinner this past year. In each case, we have seen a very loving relationship '' a mother working hard to provide her son enjoyable, educational and developmental experiences''.

A separate letter from General John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, dated two days later said: ''Natalie clearly loves [child's name] and cherishes each and every opportunity she has to spend time with him. She is a dedicated mother.

''In light of Natalie's maturity, integrity and steadfast commitment to raising her child, I humbly request your reconsideration of the existing mandated custody settlement.''

David Petraeus and John Allen helped Natalie Khawam, the twin sister of Jill Kelley, in a nasty custody battle with her ex-husband

John Allen said he got to observe the mother and child ''at command social functions''.

He is currently under investigation by the FBI after the agency discovered between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of communication between him and Jill Kelley.

According to the New York Post, a judge in November 2011 gave Grayson Wolfe sole custody of the couple's son after finding that Natalie Khawam, a lawyer, repeatedly lied under oath and filed false domestic-violence and child-abuse claims against her husband.

Natalie Khawam was also accused of defying court orders to allow her estranged husband Grayson Wolfe access to their son and sent emails to his friends and colleagues telling them he was a ''horrible father and husband''.

She was reprimanded for giving false evidence and a psychiatrist found the allegations against her ex-husband were a ''part of an ever-expanding set of sensational accusations'...that are so numerous, so extraordinary and so distorted that they defy any common-sense view of reality''.

But Natalie Khawam's troubles don't just end there. She is also currently being sued in Montgomery County for failing to pay the lawyer's fees in her divorce '' believed to be in the region of $100,000.

The case has been on the court docket for nearly a-year-and-a-half but took a backward step in April when she filed for bankruptcy.

On the bankruptcy filing, Natalie Khawam lists $3.2 million in unpaid debt, plus $53,000 she owes the Internal Revenue Service.

Earlier this year, Natalie Khawam's former employer, prominent Tampa Bay lawyer Barry Cohen, claimed that she ''fraudulently omitted Rolex watches, sable mink furs and a diamond ring'' from her list of assets in the April bankruptcy.

In July of this year, Natalie Khawam and her attorney Will Florin sued Barry Cohen on six counts including sexual harassment and breach of contract claims.

Natalie Khawam said that Barry Cohen owed her money and failed to properly take action when she reported a sexual harassment issue involving a financial officer doing work for the law firm.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Barry Cohen is trying to dismiss the case and is fighting back with claims of perjury and bankruptcy fraud against Natalie Khawam.

He told the paper he has been delving into her background ever since the filing and, as well as discovering the bankruptcy documents, he found the 19-page child custody order from the Washington DC, superior court judge calling Natalie Khawam out in 2011 for a lengthy ''history of abusing the litigation process'' and a ''willingness to say anything, even under oath, to advance her own personal interests''.

Barry Cohen said in August the lawsuit has only further inspired him to continue advocating for his own clients.

''It takes a long time to build a good reputation, and it only takes a one accusation to tear it down,'' Barry Cohen said.

''What this did was re-inspire me to protect the people I protect. It makes me able to better empathize when they're falsely accused and gives me more motivation because I've been there.''

Related search articles:Additional Reading...

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DefDog: Bimbo-Gate Covering Up CIA's Continuing Use of Proxy Terrorists, Regime Change, and Triad of Drugs, Arms, and Money-Laundering

Link to Article

Source: Public Intelligence Blog

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 03:45

DefDog

Open Season indeed. A seismic shift appears to be occurring, and CIA is the new ''best target.'' Below is s summary that represents the ''worst-case'' view of post Viet-Nam CIA.

The Petraeus Affair vs. the CIA's Long Criminal History

By Julie L(C)vesque

Global Research, November 15, 2012

The Petraeus Affair has demonstrated yet again how a sex scandal story can be fed into the U.S. media to serve both as a ''political assassination'' and as the tree hiding the forest. Even though what lies behind the salacious smoke screen is still the object of speculation, most of those speculations are more credible than a simple extramarital affair.

One of the possible explanations of Petraeus' departure is his stance on Israel which he saw as a liability to US interests in the Middle East:

The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR [Area of Operations]. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas. (Ali Abunimah, When Former CIA Chief David Petraeus Enraged the Israel Lobby, Electronic Intifada, November 12, 2012.)

As Stephen Lendman observes, sex scandals don't necessarily lead to resignations unless state secrets are at stake:

Forget resignation over extramarital sex nonsense unless state secrets were compromised. Lots of elected and appointed Washington officials had affairs. Many likely have current ones. Resignations don't generally follow. Newt Gingrich survived sex and ethics scandals. He resigned as House Speaker after the Republicans faired poorly in 1998 off-year elections [...]

Overlooked are secret CIA Benghazi operations. Involved are heavy weapons sent to Syrian opposition fighters. Petraeus left days before his scheduled congressional testimony [...] The Benghazi operation is erroneously called a US consulate. It's ''a meeting place to coordinate aid for the rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East.''

Tasks performed include ''collaborating with Arab countries on the recruitment of fighters '' including jihadists '' to target Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria.''Consulate designation provides cover. Obama and Clinton call the post a ''US mission.'' The State Department lists no consulate in Benghazi. (Stephen Lendman, Petraeus: Resignation or Sacking?, Global Research, November 12, 2012.)

Knowing the CIA's shadow history, the cover-up of a secret CIA operation supporting terrorists used as proxy warriors to overthrow a foreign government seems the most likely explanation for Petraeus' departure as Washington's Blog explains:

Whatever the scope of the CIA's operation in Benghazi '' and whatever the real reason for the resignation of the CIA chief '' the key is our historical and ongoing foreign policy.

For decades, the U.S. has backed terrorists for geopolitical ends.

The U.S. government has been consistently planning regime change in Syria and Libya for 20 years, and dreamed of regime change '' using false flag terror '' for 50 years.

Obama has simply re-packaged Bush and the Neocons' ''war on terror'' as a series of humanitarian wars.

And the U.S. and its allies will do anything to topple Iran '... and is systematically attempting to pull the legs out from Iran's allies as a way to isolate and weaken that country. (Why Did CIA Director Petraeus Resign? Why Was the U.S. Ambassador to Libya Murdered?, Washington's Blog, November 10, 2012.)

Regime change through terrorism is not the sole vocation of the CIA. Over the years it has proven to be very efficient in money laundering, arms and drug trafficking. Was the drug/arms trade called ''The Enterprise'' in the Iran-Contragate just an isolated misdeed? Several testimonies of former CIA, DEA and police officials, in addition to numerous books, articles and documentaries on the CIA indicate it was just business as usual.

At a very turbulent town hall meeting November 15, 1996 former LAPD Narcotics Detective Michael Ruppert told then CIA Director John Deutch quite bluntly: ''I will tell you Director Deutch as a former Los Angeles Police Narcotics Detective that the Agency has dealt drugs throughout this country for a long time.'' The crowd started cheering loudly. A crack cocaine epidemic had been ravaging LA's poor neighbourhoods since the early 80's and had devastating effects on the black community. (Watch the video: Former LA Police Officer Mike Ruppert Confronts CIA Director John Deutch on Drug Trafficking)

Michael Ruppert was recruited to protect the Agency's drug operations in the US. He had the evidence to prove it. He got shot at and was kicked out of LAPD because of it.

Earlier that year, San Francisco Chronicle journalist Gary Webb published a series of articles about the L.A. crack explosion titled The Dark Alliance. The story behind the crack explosion:

For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found. This drug network opened the first pipeline between Colombia's cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the crack capital of the world. (The Dark Alliance. The story behind the crack explosion, San Jose Mercury News.)

While he was working for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Michael Levine witnessed how the CIA AND the State Department were protecting the drug trade:

The Chang Mai factory the CIA prevented me from destroying was the source of massive amounts of heroin being smuggled into the US in the bodies and body bags of GIs killed in Vietnam. (p. 165)

My unit, the Hard Narcotics Smuggling Squad, was charged with investigating all heroin and cocaine smuggling through the Port of New York. My unit became involved in investigating every major smuggling operation known to law enforcement. We could not avoid witnessing the CIA protecting major drug dealers. Not a single important source in Southeast Asia was ever indicted by US law enforcement. This was no accident. Case after case was killed by CIA and State Department intervention and there wasn't a damned thing we could do about it. CIA-owned airlines like Air America were being used to ferry drugs throughout Southeast Asia, allegedly to support our ''allies.'' CIA banking operations were used to launder drug money. (pp. 165, 166) (Michael Levine, America's ''War on Drugs'': CIA- Recruited Mercenaries and Drug-Traffickers, wanttoknow.info, January 13, 2011.)

The Jamaican Shower Posse is another criminal organization which thrived with the help of the CIA and the American governement:

With the recent violence in Jamaica and the controversy over alleged drug lord, Christopher ''Dudus'' Coke, many people are talking about the infamous Jamaican Shower Posse and the neighborhood of Tivoli Gardens, where they have their base. What is being ignored largely by the media, is the role that the American government and the CIA had in training, arming and giving power to the Shower Posse.

It is interesting that the USA is indicting Christopher ''Dudus'' Coke, the current leader of the Shower Posse for drug and gun trafficking, given that the CIA was accused of smuggling guns into Jamaica and facilitating the cocaine trade from Jamaica to America in the 70s and 80s. In many ways Dudus was only carrying on a tradition of political corruption, drug running, guns and violence that was started with the help of the CIA ['...]

Former CIA agent, Philip Agee, said ''the CIA was using the JLP as its instrument in the campaign against the Michael Manley government, I'd say most of the violence was coming from the JLP, and behind them was the CIA in terms of getting weapons in and getting money in.'' Casey Gane-McCalla, Jamaica's Shower Posse: How The CIA Created ''The Most Notorious Criminal Organization'' Newsone, June 3, 2010.)

Back in 1995, Philip Agee also warned:

[O]ther targets which are coming up all the time in terms of the intelligence community are the rogue states '' the so-called rogue states: Iraq, Libya, Iran, North Korea and, for some, Syria. (Video: Philip Agee '' Inside the CIA (the Intelligence Community)(1995)(1-9)(MODERN GOVERNMENT series))

Iraq and Libya have been dealt with. Syria is the current victim and Iran and North Korea are being threatened regularly by the US. Forget WMDs, and the Arab Spring. Those, just as the Petraeus Affair, are only smoke screens and mirrors.

And most of all, forget the ''War on Terror'' and the ''War on Drugs''.

Afghanistan's opium production, which had been virtually eradicated under the Taliban, has been booming under US occupation and US troops admitted they were protecting poppy fields. (Washington's Blog, Are American Troops Protecting Afghan Opium?, October 28, 2012.)

The CIA, the US military as well as other governmental agencies are allegedly linked to the Mexican drug war and their goal is said to be far from their stated objective:

A high-ranking Mexican drug cartel operative [Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla] currently in U.S. custody is making startling allegations that the failed federal gun-walking operation known as ''Fast and Furious'' isn't what you think it is.

It wasn't about tracking guns, it was about supplying them '-- all part of an elaborate agreement between the U.S. government and Mexico's powerful Sinaloa Cartel to take down rival cartels [...]

Zambada-Niebla claims that under a ''divide and conquer'' strategy, the U.S. helped finance and arm the Sinaloa Cartel through Operation Fast and Furious in exchange for information that allowed the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal agencies to take down rival drug cartels. The Sinaloa Cartel was allegedly permitted to traffic massive amounts of drugs across the U.S. border from 2004 to 2009 '-- during both Fast and Furious and Bush-era gunrunning operations '-- as long as the intel kept coming. (Jason Howerton, Mexican Drug Cartel was working alongside the US Government, The Blaze 9 August 2012.)

Compared to all these crimes, an extramarital affair is quite insignificant.

Global Research brings to its readers a list of selected articles on Petraeus' resignation and serious crimes committed by the CIA over the years which deserve far more attention from the media.

Global Research relies solely on its readership to finance its operations and does not engage in illicit activities such as drugs or arms trade.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

SELECTED ARTICLES

The Petraeus Case:

When Former CIA Chief David Petraeus Enraged the Israel Lobby Ali Abunimah

Petraeus: Resignation or Sacking? Stephen Lendman

The Petraeus Affair Barry Grey

Why Did CIA Director Petraeus Resign? Why Was the U.S. Ambassador to Libya Murdered?, Washington's Blog

Petraeus Scandal Expands to Cabinet as Benghazi Ties Hinted, Jason Ditz

Top NATO Commander in Afghanistan Implicated In Petraeus Scandal, Russia Today

American Blackmail: Petraeus Affair Used to Cloud Obama's ''Benghazigate''?, Patrick Henningsen

A Covert Affair: Petraeus Caught in the Honeypot?, Justin Raimondo

The Petraeus Affair and the Benghazi Cover-up, James Corbett

The CIA, Terrorism, Money Laundering, Drug and Arms Trade

Are American Troops Protecting Afghan Opium?, Washington's Blog, October 2012

America's ''War on Drugs'': CIA- Recruited Mercenaries and Drug-Traffickers, Michael Levine, January 2011

America's Secret Deal with the Mexican Drug Cartels, Tom Burghardt ,September 2012

Drugs, Guns and Nukes: Iran as the New 'Dope, Incorporated', Tom Burghardt, March 2012

Deep Events and the CIA's Global Drug Connection Peter Dale Scott, September 2008

Financial Fraud, The Laundering of Drug Money and the CIA Tom Burghardt, August 2010

The Spoils of War: Afghanistan's Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade, Michel Chossudovsky, May 2005

The Afghan War: ''No Blood for Opium'' John Jiggens, April 2010

Drugs, the CIA and Faustian Alliances, John Stanton, June 2004

CIA, US Military Operating Inside Mexico's ''Drug War'', Bill Van Auken, August 2011

CIA Plot Against Correa Funded by Drug Money, Craig Murray, November 2012

NARCOTICS: CIA-Pentagon Death Squads and Mexico's 'War on Drugs'', Tom Burghardt May 2012

Mexican Drug Cartel was working alongside the US Government, Jason Howerton, August 2012.)

CONFIRMED: US CIA Arming Terrorists in Syria, Tony Cartalucci, June 2012

The CIA's Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists who Killed US, NATO Troops in Iraq, Webster G. Tarpley, March 2011

War on terrorism skipped the KLA, James Bissett, November 2001

CIA and School of The Americas, Raymond Ker, December 2001

Former CIA Asset Luis Posada Goes to Trial Peter Kornbluh, January 2011

Phi Beta Iota: In relation to Benghazi, the author misses the possibility that this was a directed attack sponsored by Syria (the existing legitimate government) or Russia. Now that state petitions for secession from the USA have reached 50 '-- one for each state, one cannot but wonder what will happen when the Chinese offer to recognize the Pacific Northwest while Mexico recognizes Texas and Venezuela recognizes Florida and Louisiana. The real lesson here is that immunity is over. CIA is going to find itself increasingly subject to a combination of arrest by local authorities, or assassination by sub-state groups that now see how easy it is. And because CIA has refused to be serious about neighborhood level granularity since it was first proposed by Stephen Cambone in 2000, the fact is that the USA is helpless in the face of a thousand street-level cuts against CIA, most of whose ''case officers'' are well known in all but a handful of countries.

See Also:

Israel: Petraeus was unfaithful to us

Petraeus Resignation Reveals Divisions Over Iran

Tough choice for Obama on Petraeus' successor

VIDEOS

The Head Of NATO Gives His Support To General John Allen

David Petraeus Is In the Next Call of Duty As America's New Secretary of Defense

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 14:25

By Stephen Totilo, Nov 13, 2012 3:01 AM

A sex scandal may have prompted David Petraeus to resign from running the CIA last Friday, but the new Call of Duty predicts that he's got a really bright future. The new first-person shooter features the former general as the Secretary of Defense in the year 2025, serving loyally to a female President who looks a whole lot like Hillary Clinton.

Nothing can stop this guy.

Bonus optimistic Call of Duty prediction: We first see virtual Petraeus on board an aircraft carrier called the USS Barack Obama. (More carriers named after winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, please!)

All of this adds up to an incredibly awkward coincidence and a bit of unintentional comedy for the otherwise ultra-serious Tom Clancy-style military fantasy that is Black Ops II. The game's creators at Activision and Treyarch probably thought they had a safe a pick for real-life-hero-turned-futuristic-video-game-politician.

At least Petraeus wasn't spending his off-hours at the CIA working on the game, though maybe that would have helped him avoid his current jam. A rep for Call of Duty: Black Ops II publisher says Petraeus was "not involved in making the game." Actor and political impressionist Jim Meskimen is credited with voicing the game's Secretary of Defense.

MinorBlack Ops II spoilers follow.

Petraeus doesn't do much in the game, and there's no sign of Paula Broadwell, the woman with whom Petraeus had his affair. When we first see Petraeus, he's receiving a terrorist prisoner on board the Obama. Another mission in the game starts with Petraeus and the Clinton-esque President Bosworth on board a futuristic version of Marine One before it is shot down over L.A. The crash should kill everyone, but this is Call of Duty. The important people tend to survive. We don't see Petraeus again, but an audio message indicates that he survived.

Black Ops II rips plenty of its content from the headlines of today and the 80s. In the game, you're doing everything from dealing with hacked U.S. drones to, in a flashback mission, running through Panama with Manuel Noriega during the 1989 U.S. invasion of that country. Petraeus' inclusion was doubtless programmed into the game before the specter of scandal emerged over the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and before the Broadwell incident ensured the former general would be out of a job. What was once plausible'--that Petraeus would serve as Secretary of Defense to a President Hillary Clinton'--now seems ridiculous.

But don't go thinking that Black Ops II is all too-good-to-be-true Liberal fantasy. The game's very first mission begins with an appearance of that paragon of the Right and the central figure in the Iran-Contra affair, former Lt. Col. Oliver North. He advised the production of the game and, unlike Petraeus, did his own voice-work.Next story >>

Paula Broadwell Leaks Info on Benghazi Annex - YouTube

Link to Article

Tue, 13 Nov 2012 15:22

Daily Press Briefing - November 13, 2012

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 15:30

1:31 p.m. EST

MR. TONER: Well, I have nothing to announce today, so I'll open up to your questions. Sorry for being just a '' well, actually, a little bit late.

QUESTION: Just a little?

MR. TONER: Okay, all right, all right. My goodness.

QUESTION: I've got a lot of stuff but nothing really huge to start with except for perhaps Syria. You guys welcomed the creation of the SOC. Pretty nice?

MR. TONER: You're talking about the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces?

QUESTION: That would be the one.

MR. TONER: Yeah.

QUESTION: What do you '' what have they done so far? Have they inspired you with confidence so far in their short existence?

MR. TONER: Well, you're correct, Matt; we did issue a statement the other day congratulating the representatives of the Syrian people who gathered in Doha for their formation of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. We look forward, obviously, to supporting the National Coalition as it charts a course for the end of Assad's bloody rule and marks the start, we believe, of a peaceful, just, and democratic future for the people of Syria.

Obviously, we're going to work with them in the coming days to ensure that our humanitarian and nonlethal assistance serves the needs of the Syrian people. In answer to your '' in direct answer to your question, what happens now or what are you looking for next, I think we now have a structure in place that can prepare for a political transition, but that we're looking for it to still establish the types of technical committees that will allow us to make sure our assistance gets to the right places, both nonlethal and humanitarian.

Yeah.

QUESTION: Before the meeting happened, the Secretary and you and Toria, as well as countless other officials, were talking about now the '' how whatever body emerged from this meeting had to be more broad and more inclusive. Does it do that? Did it meet your --

MR. TONER: We do think this is a legitimate representative of the Syrian people, that it does reflect the Syrian people, as we talked about, that diverse group of Syrian people. We think it meets those needs. I think as we move forward though, we're going to look to see it, as I said, finalize the establishment of its organizational structures. We also want to see that it has a demonstrated ability to represent Syrians within Syria. I think that's another aspect we're going to look at.

QUESTION: You're not confident of that at the moment?

MR. TONER: Well, again, I think what we've '' we've seen a good, positive, constructive step forward with the formation of this group. But I think we're going to be looking, again, for it to finalize those technical committees to do the kind of work, frankly, we're looking for, we're looking for the opposition group to do, which is funnel aid, funnel assistance, to where it's needed most. But also we do want to see it prove itself as an effective --

QUESTION: Okay. One last one?

MR. TONER: Yeah. Go ahead. Yeah.

QUESTION: For it to be truly '' for whatever this is to be truly representative, doesn't it need to have some elements of the existing regime in it?

MR. TONER: Well, we've been very clear where we stand on that, in terms of any kind of dialogue, that anyone with blood on their hands can't be a part of that political dialogue that's going to lead to a political transition eventually.

QUESTION: So the answer is no? So you've given up on the whole Geneva idea that there was going to be this transitional --

MR. TONER: I think the Geneva idea '' look, I think very clearly what we've said all along was a political dialogue needs, at some point, to take place, but those with blood on their hands can't be a part of that process.

Yeah. Jo.

QUESTION: France has just come out and recognized this group as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Are they moving too fast by your calculations then?

MR. TONER: I'm not going to judge the actions or the '' that the Government of France has taken. I think we all see this as a very positive sign, a very positive development. For our part, we do view them as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people, but we're going to look for --

QUESTION: Just one of many?

MR. TONER: We're going to look for, again, more concrete action, the establishment of these technical committees going forward, and to see that they have a demonstrated ability to represent the Syrian people.

QUESTION: But Mark --

MR. TONER: Yeah. Go ahead.

QUESTION: -- could you conceivably see this as, like, a government in exile and actually recognize them as such? I mean, the region seems to be moving in that direction.

MR. TONER: I think I just laid out where we are on this. Again, this was '' there was a tremendous amount of hard work put into this over the weekend in Doha. We're in no way trying to downplay the significance of this event. It's a very important step forward. Going into this, there was no sure thing coming out of it. We've got an organization in place. We're going to look for it to develop in the coming days and weeks. And I might also mention that we are going to send a high-level delegation to this emergency aid meeting that's going to take place in London on November 16th, and it's going to be our Ambassador Bill Taylor, who's our Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions, who's going to represent us at that meeting.

So look, we're very much engaged with this national council and very much looking forward to working with them.

Yeah. Go ahead, Jill.

QUESTION: Could you tell us '' you said one element that's important is representing Syrians within Syria. Now, does that mean people who are fighting in --

MR. TONER: I think one of the things we talked about '' sorry to interrupt you. Are you ''

QUESTION: No, that's okay.

MR. TONER: Okay. One of the things we talked about prior to Doha was the fact that the SNC we felt did not have a legitimate voice or was not legitimately represented '' or representing the Syrian people who are, if you will, in the struggle within Syria out there risking their lives, making tremendous sacrifices every day and standing up to the regime. And so we believe that this national council is representative, but we're looking to see, going forward, a demonstrated ability.

QUESTION: But that's ''

MR. TONER: Yeah. Go ahead. Sorry.

QUESTION: Still I'm not quite sure that I understand, because if you say that it represents '' it should represent Syrians who are shedding their blood, et cetera, well, the ones who are on the frontline are shedding their blood. So the question, I guess, would be: If you provide assistance, which could be what you've been providing so far or cash, does it go only to civilian groups, or could it actually go to the fighters who are shedding their blood?

MR. TONER: Well, let's be very clear. What we're talking about when we talk about assistance is we're talking about nonlethal aid as well as humanitarian assistance. So that's '' there's been no movement there. That's where our own efforts remain focused, and I believe the current total is over 160 million in U.S. assistance, and that's going to be the focus of Bill Taylor's trip to London later this week.

But I think what I would just say in response to your question is we do have this structure now set up. What we're going to look for now is that it can establish the kinds of technical committees, however you want to put it, but the kind of organizational structure that will allow us to effectively funnel aid to where it's needed. So '' but again, that's humanitarian assistance and nonlethal aid.

Go ahead, Said.

QUESTION: Mark, just a quick follow-up now: On the issue with '' of blood on their hand, I mean, a lot of these groups really have a lot of blood on their hand. I mean, they explode car bombs and suicide bombings and so on, things '' they do things that in any other place would be considered as terrorism.

MR. TONER: I think, Said, we've been pretty consistent in condemning --

QUESTION: Right.

MR. TONER: -- that kind of violence on either side.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. TONER: However, we've also been very clear all along in saying the preponderance or the greatest responsibility of the burden rests squarely on the shoulders of the regime which instigated this in the first place and has '' there's no comparison between the acts of Syrians in defense of their own citizens and the actions of the regime. But there have been violent extremists within the groups fighting the regime, absolutely.

QUESTION: I fully understand what you're saying, but I wanted to ask you if there was some sort of vetting process. Were these groups vetted in any way?

MR. TONER: The groups who are in Doha?

QUESTION: The groups that formed this coalition, this ''

MR. TONER: Well, again, we were very clear going into this that this wasn't a U.S.-led process; this was a Syrian-led process. And the Syrians got together, they've chosen their leadership going forward, and this is about being responsive to the Syrian people who are engaged in a struggle right now against a violent and brutal regime.

So the short answer to your question is we didn't play that role. We certainly worked with the Syrians, with the other partners, and Friends of Syria who were there in Doha as best we could, but this was a Syrian-led process.

Yeah, Jill.

QUESTION: Mark, one more. The way you're describing it --

MR. TONER: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- you're going to look to see whether they can create the organizational structures to provide money where it's needed. So is that what people are referring to as sequencing? In other words, you look at whether they have the structure, whether they live up to the promises they made in Cairo, then you give some money, and then you watch more to see whether '' is that how it's going to work, in tranches?

MR. TONER: I just think that we're '' this is an initial step. It's a pivotal step, it's an important step, what took place in Doha, but it's an initial step. So we need to see in the coming days and weeks, indeed, that kind of follow-up that I've discussed, which is the formulation of technical committees, of ways to channel this assistance. And I would just say that Moaz has, in fact, talked about some of this stuff, talked about the need to create these kinds of groups that are able to channel assistance on the ground. So we've seen some positive signals out of it.

QUESTION: He's also called for arms, though, as well. He said that the rebels need more arms if there's going to be effectively a difference made on the ground.

MR. TONER: Again, that's '' this is '' we're focused on nonlethal assistance and humanitarian assistance.

QUESTION: I don't really understand what's changed.

MR. TONER: Yeah. Go ahead, Brad.

QUESTION: Because you say this is a very positive step, but you're calling on a legitimate representative, which is what you called the Syrian National Council a year ago, and I guess at some point you secretly delegitimized them, because now they no longer were. But now this one is what they were a year ago, and now you're talking about technical committees for aid that you're already giving them, over a $100 million, I think, and they don't seem to be asking for it.

MR. TONER: First off, it's 160 million in humanitarian assistance, and as we have said previously, some of that's going through international aid organizations. But I think we all recognize that it needs to be used more effectively, need to be channeled more effectively.

QUESTION: You talk about that. They're not talking about that.

MR. TONER: Well, indeed they are. I mean, they ''

QUESTION: I mean, if it's a Syrian-led process, they're talking about ''

MR. TONER: They are talking about this.

QUESTION: They're talking about weapons, and they're talking about a lot of things that you're not talking about.

MR. TONER: Well, again, our focus all along here has been on several different fronts, but with our own assistance, it's been focused on nonlethal assistance, humanitarian assistance. You're ''

QUESTION: Right. But why would they then need to work on these technical committees for money that you're giving them anyway and which isn't their priority? That seems to be all about what you want to do.

MR. TONER: Well, again, there's an emergency aid meeting in London next week, so clearly this is a priority for them as well.

Yeah, Said.

QUESTION: One more, just to clarify for us.

MR. TONER: Yeah.

QUESTION: Which budget does it go on? I mean, is it allocated through the State Department, through '' what agency is giving the money?

MR. TONER: It's through the State Department. Much of it goes '' and we haven't put out a '' I don't know when our last fact sheet was, but we do periodically update our fact sheets on Syrian humanitarian assistance. But much of the humanitarian assistance goes through international organizations.

Yeah.

QUESTION: And just why was this such a positive step forward, in kind of simple terms?

MR. TONER: Well, again, sure. This was '' we believe '' we had issues, if you will, with the Syrian National Council, that we didn't believe it was broadly representative, that we didn't believe it represented the Syrians in Syria who were leading this struggle for freedom and for democracy. So one of the goals of Doha was to see '' or one of the outcomes we wanted to see, and certainly the Syrians wanted to see and all the Friends of Syria wanted to see, was the creation of a political body that is more representative of the Syrian people.

We do believe that has been accomplished, but looking '' going forward, we wanted to see more action on the ground, as I said, the establishment of an organizational structure that can funnel assistance more effectively to the Syrian people who are in greatest need, and also do the kind of work that Ambassador Ford talked about previously, which is garner more international pressure and bring it to bear on Assad, and also work within Syria to convince those who still may be sitting on the fence, if you will, that they are a truly representative government.

So we're going to look for more, but we do believe that initially we've accomplished '' or they've accomplished a great deal, rather.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: I know you've been saying this was a Syrian-led process, but I think actually the perception abroad is it was a '' it may have been the Syrians in the room who ultimately chose the body of people they came up with and agreed on on Sunday, but it was very much instigated by the United States. You put forward recommendations of names and people you thought might be useful. And I think certainly the perception abroad is that this is a U.S.-led initiative. So --

MR. TONER: First of all, the U.S. was one of many governments that was represented there, all of whom have been very vocal supporters of the Syrian people's struggle against the Assad regime. Secondly, and I've been remiss in thanking and commending the Government of Qatar, who hosted this event, who provided steadfast leadership throughout this event and support for the conference, and really worked tirelessly on the margins of this conference to make sure there was a successful outcome. So they deserve a lot of credit.

In answer to your question of whether this '' this was not some U.S.-orchestrated thing. We've been very clear about that. This was a process led by and accomplished by the Syrian people.

QUESTION: So the Obama Administration is accused of showing leadership, and you deny it?

MR. TONER: Matt ''

QUESTION: Well, I'm sorry, that's just the way it sounds. I mean, you're saying --

MR. TONER: No, I think I said it was not a U.S.-orchestrated event.

QUESTION: Jo said --

MR. TONER: I said it wasn't a U.S.-orchestrated --

QUESTION: -- the perception abroad is that the U.S. showed leadership here, that this was a U.S.-led initiative, and you're saying, after months and months of being hammered by the Republicans for leading from behind ''

MR. TONER: Okay, can I answer your question? Can I answer your question?

QUESTION: -- given the opportunity to say that the Administration is showing leadership, you're saying no, we're not?

MR. TONER: Can I answer your question? U.S. leadership has been pivotal.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. TONER: We've obviously been instrumental in the creation of, and the Secretary in fact has been instrumental in this creation of this group, the Friends of the Syrian People. They were obviously there in force in Qatar to help however we could what was essentially a Syrian-led process. And that's important. It's important to delineate that this was a Syrian-led process, that the Syrians took charge of this, that they were the ones who worked through the long hours over the weekend and created this national council.

QUESTION: So are there plans to bring Moaz and some of his people here to the United States now to discuss further how you guys might be able to help them?

MR. TONER: It's a good question. I think we're looking to London for the next '' later this week, and from then, perhaps. I don't know.

Are we done with Syria?

QUESTION: No, I have one more on Syria.

MR. TONER: One more and then '' you're not Syria are you, Margaret? Okay.

QUESTION: I wanted to ask about '' I don't recall there's been yet a United States reaction to the shelling that happened between Israel and Syria over the weekend because of our long weekend. I just wonder how the United States is viewing this and whether you were concerned by what happened in the Golan Heights.

MR. TONER: Well, right. No, we very much condemn Syrian shelling across the ceasefire line in the Golan Heights and we stand closely with our friend and ally, Israel, and are continuing to consult closely on the path forward.

QUESTION: But you don't condemn the Israelis firing back then?

MR. TONER: They have a right to self-defense.

QUESTION: So you think that the Syrians are trying to sort of widen this war and provoke a confrontation with Israel to deflect what is going on?

MR. TONER: That's a fair question, Said. ''I don't know'' is my simple answer to you. I think it's disconcerting, to say the least. We've seen, obviously, incidents with Turkey, and now this. We've said all along that what's going on in Syrian is creating tensions along its borders and within the region, and it's a matter of concern to us.

Margaret.

QUESTION: Toria, on Friday, went through in great detail some of the process and documents that are being shared with members of Congress in regard to the attack in Benghazi. Can you clarify for us whether those documents presented, made available to those committees, are they the only items being referenced or presented by the State Department, by Under Secretary Kennedy, this week?

MR. TONER: I'm sorry, the last part of your question?

QUESTION: Are those things that Toria described for us '' the thousands of pages of emails and telegrams and all that '' are those the only items that the State Department is putting forth this week? Because there are the series of hearings and Under Secretary Kennedy will be speaking.

MR. TONER: I don't have a specific answer for you on that question except to say that we continue, obviously, to cooperate closely with Congress and provide them the documents that they request and that they need. I don't --

QUESTION: So you don't know that '' whether what he's briefing on in any way differs from just the documents that were made available?

MR. TONER: Again, we continue to provide the documents that Congress is seeking, has asked about. We're going to continue that cooperation. But in terms of which documents he might be referring to, I don't know.

Yeah, Jill.

QUESTION: Mark, some members of Congress think that General Petraeus should testify, that he has information that's very important. Does the State Department agree that it's important for him to testify?

MR. TONER: Jill, nice try. I don't have '' I'm not going to respond to that. We're cooperating with these Hill hearings this week. As Toria mentioned, Pat Kennedy, Under Secretary Kennedy, has a number of committee appearances this week, and that's our contribution.

QUESTION: Do you know if there have been any changes in terms of who is going up to do these --

MR. TONER: I don't think there's any changes from what Toria said last week.

QUESTION: Is it exactly the same as what she --

MR. TONER: That's my understanding.

QUESTION: A different issue?

QUESTION: No. Still the same. One more. Sorry.

MR. TONER: It's all right. Take your time.

QUESTION: Jill Kelley, who is part of this investigation, has variously been described as somebody who is connected in some way, perhaps on a volunteer basis, with programs that the State Department sponsors. One of them is the International Visitor Leadership Program. Can you just set us straight? What is her role? What, if any '' what is she doing? Is it all voluntary? What?

MR. TONER: Well, I can assure that she does not work for the State Department and has no formal affiliation with the State Department. That was made clear, I believe, on Sunday. And certainly appreciate your efforts, Matt, to clarify that. But there was some erroneous reporting that was then corrected.

In terms of your second question, I'm going to have to take that question. I don't have the information handy.

QUESTION: What is that program, (inaudible) definition?

MR. TONER: I will repeat it. It's the International Voluntary Visitor --

QUESTION: International Visitor Leadership Program (inaudible).

MR. TONER: Yeah, I mean, it's our IV program, which we carry out overseas in almost all of our embassies and missions overseas, which focuses on anywhere from young leaders to established professionals within the government and private sector, bring them to America and let them have an experience of American culture and life.

Yeah.

QUESTION: Theme of the week '' are you aware of any FBI probe of any State Department employee, official, unofficial liaison '' however you describe their relationship?

MR. TONER: I have not, no.

QUESTION: No FBI probe?

MR. TONER: No.

Yeah. Sure.

QUESTION: On Venezuela, Venezuela being elected for the UN '' I mean, as a human '' at the Human Rights Council of the UN. I was wondering if you have some comments. Any reaction?

MR. TONER: Sure.

QUESTION: What will be the meaning for the U.S. (inaudible)?

MR. TONER: Well, you buried the lead, because we're very pleased to have been elected by the UN General Assembly to a second term on the Human Rights Council. And I believe Ambassador Rice spoke to this yesterday from New York. We certainly thank the countries that have voted for us in what was a very highly competitive race among several well-qualified Western European and Others Group candidates.

QUESTION: What was it, three out of five got elected?

MR. TONER: We received 131 votes, first-place in the WEOG group.

QUESTION: Ooh, first place.

MR. TONER: That's right. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: (Inaudible) more winners and losers in this election, correct?

MR. TONER: Keep your comments to yourself, please. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: I didn't --

MR. TONER: In answer to your question, I think Susan also spoke a little bit to that yesterday. It's '' we're believers in this group. We believe that it allows us to effectively work from the inside and work '' and we believe it's accomplished a great deal since we've been a member. But we support competitive elections for the regionally allocated spots on the Human Rights Council, and we're disappointed that, outside of the WEOG group, which we're a member of, the West European and Others Group, none of the other slates of candidates were, in our view, competitive.

QUESTION: So, Mark, can we --

MR. TONER: Yeah.

QUESTION: A follow-up --

QUESTION: Yeah. It's the same thing.

MR. TONER: Yeah. Go ahead, Matt, and then --

QUESTION: No. Let her finish.

MR. TONER: Okay. Go ahead.

QUESTION: All right. It is: Don't you think there is like a contradiction because Venezuela has been pointed out at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for not accomplish with human rights? So how do you put this in context, or --

MR. TONER: Well, in creating the Council, member states pledge to take into account the contribution of candidates, the promotion and protection of human rights. We think some countries elected to the Human Rights Council on clean slates have failed to show their commitment.

QUESTION: Aha. That's what I want to get at. Because quite apart from Venezuela, you've got such paragons of human rights protection as Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan --

MR. TONER: I didn't single out Venezuela.

QUESTION: -- Pakistan, Gabon. Are you comfortable sitting on a body that's supposed to make judgments about other countries' human rights records when there are serial offenders on it?

MR. TONER: Again, Ambassador Rice in New York spoke to this very effectively yesterday.

QUESTION: All right.

MR. TONER: You know where we stand on this.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. TONER: We decided four years ago that we could best improve the Council by working within it rather than criticizing from outside.

QUESTION: All right. Can we stay with the UN just for a second?

MR. TONER: Yeah. Sure.

QUESTION: Earlier today, the UN General Assembly, as it has every year for the past several decades, voted overwhelmingly to condemn the U.S. embargo of Cuba. The vote, I'm sure you're aware of it, was 188-3. You and Israel and Palau voted against, as the same that's it been for the last several decades. My question is this: When are you guys going to realize that the rest of the world thinks that this is a really crappy policy?

MR. TONER: Matt, your opinion to the contrary, we are --

QUESTION: Not my opinion. It's the rest of the world. You're always talking about the international community. The international community has spoken here, yet again.

MR. TONER: Our policy remains in place.

QUESTION: I know. But when '' is it the international community speaks and unless you're part of that '' unless you're part of it, it's not really the international community? Do you recognize that the international community, all countries in the world except for the three and the three who abstained, say that this policy is bad and should be reversed? Do you take that as the international community speaking as '' with a single voice here?

MR. TONER: Look, our Cuba policy is generated towards creating better ties with the Cuban people outside of the government. You know our concerns about the Cuban Government. Our policy remains the same. It's not going to change.

QUESTION: Can you accept that the international community is speaking out here, and speaking out against a policy that you've had in place for five decades?

MR. TONER: I'm just telling you that --

QUESTION: No? You can't.

MR. TONER: -- our Cuban policy remains intact.

Yes.

QUESTION: No, no.

MR. TONER: Oh, you want to stay on Venezuela?

QUESTION: Yeah, because I have '' no. On Colombia.

MR. TONER: Okay.

QUESTION: I was wondering if you have any update on Simon Trinidad, if there is any possibility that he will be at some way part of these peace dialogues between Colombia and the guerilla --

MR. TONER: I don't. I'll try to get an update for you. I don't know. I don't have any information on that.

QUESTION: All right. Thank you.

MR. TONER: Said.

QUESTION: Can we go to the Palestinian issue?

MR. TONER: Sure.

QUESTION: Despite the President's direct expression of displeasure to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority President, it seems that they are going ahead to the General Assembly. So '' which will engender reaction, I guess, or then enforcement of the law as on the books. Could you share with us how, mechanically, how this happens? I mean, they go to the UN, they get accepted, then you shut off, let's say, the PLO office like immediately?

MR. TONER: I'm not going to get into next steps. We're still at the stage where we're actively trying to convince them that this is a bad idea, that this is not going to get them the results ultimately that they seek. So we've been clear in the past about what some of the consequences that this would generate or engender. I think we put out a taken question about it a couple weeks ago. But in terms of next steps, our focus remains on convincing the Palestinian Authority that the only way to achieve the goals it seeks is through the negotiation table.

QUESTION: Okay. Just a quick follow-up.

QUESTION: Can I ask how much more active can you be than having the President of the United States with an hour-long phone call to the President of the Palestinian Authority?

MR. TONER: Well, I think that shows how active and how serious --

QUESTION: And he still came out --

MR. TONER: -- and how seriously we take it.

QUESTION: -- in less than 24 hours and said basically I'm not going to listen to you, I'm going to go ahead and do it. What more active trying '' what more active are you doing --

MR. TONER: Well, look, I mean --

QUESTION: -- to get them to change their mind when it's clear when an hour-long phone call with the leader of the free world doesn't do it?

MR. TONER: I think that we're going to continue to press our case. David Hale is actually going to Europe this week. He'll be in Bern and he'll meet with President Abbas there.

QUESTION: And so you think that the Special Envoy for the Middle East '' for Middle East Peace efforts has more weight than the President, than the recently reelected President of the United States?

MR. TONER: This is not a question of who has more weight. This is a question of us continuing to pursue --

QUESTION: Well, I'm just '' do you --

MR. TONER: -- what we believe is the best course of action.

QUESTION: Is it your hope that David Hale's meeting with President Abbas is going to produce a result that was different than an hour-long phone conversation from the President?

MR. TONER: You know how diplomacy works, right? This is '' there's --

QUESTION: Yeah, I do. And it's usually when you get to the presidential --

MR. TONER: It's incremental and it's --

QUESTION: Yeah, but usually it goes the other way around. You start with the special envoy and get to the President.

MR. TONER: Well, again, our engagement speaks for itself.

Yeah, Said.

QUESTION: Yes. Just a quick follow-up. The money that had been approved, and it would be held, does it go into a trust? What happens to it?

MR. TONER: I'm not sure technically what happens to it.

QUESTION: Could you find out for us what happens?

MR. TONER: I can try to look into it though, sure.

QUESTION: Can we stay on Israel for just a second?

MR. TONER: Yeah.

QUESTION: And that is, there have been a bunch more rockets, bombs launched into Israel from Gaza.

MR. TONER: Correct.

QUESTION: And I'm just wondering --

MR. TONER: And we obviously condemn that as well.

QUESTION: Yes. I'm sure. Are you in contact with the Egyptians, with other countries, to try and get this '' to tamp this down?

MR. TONER: Tamp '' you're talking about the Hamas --

QUESTION: Yeah.

MR. TONER: I'm not sure diplomatically if we're engaged with the Egyptians on this.

QUESTION: Well, I mean, is there any effort being made? Because you don't have any contacts with Hamas because they're --

MR. TONER: Right, clearly.

QUESTION: But are you talking to people who talk to Hamas to tell them to cut this out --

MR. TONER: I can take the question. I don't know what our '' I don't know what our --

QUESTION: -- particularly when the situation up north in the Golan is also flaring up?

MR. TONER: I'm not sure if we've '' I can '' what I can find out for you is if we've expressed our concerns through other governments, but I'm not sure we would even discuss the '' our contents of our diplomatic conversations.

QUESTION: You mean you --

MR. TONER: I can '' I said I'll check and see if --

QUESTION: If you were saying '' if you were telling countries that have relations ''

MR. TONER: That's what I said to you. But --

QUESTION: -- like the Qataris, who just sent their Amir there --

MR. TONER: But I'm not going to '' I'm not going to --

QUESTION: You wouldn't say that if you told the Amir of Qatar to tell Hamas to stop firing rockets?

MR. TONER: I think I just said to you I said I can see if we can talk about it, whether we've raised it.

Is that it? Thanks, guys.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:01 p.m.)

Napolitano Blasts FBI: Petraeus An Adulterer But Doesn't Lose Constitutional Rights | Mediaite

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Thu, 15 Nov 2012 02:44

video

Appearing on Fox News' Studio B this afternoon, Judge Andrew Napolitano broke down the legal questions surrounding the FBI's investigation into Gen. David Petraeus' extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, criticizing it as ''unwarranted'' and ''troubling.''

''In order for the FBI to be reading the e-mails of the chief spy of the United States, the director of the CIA, they would either need a search warrant from a federal judge in which case they would have to demonstrate to him that the general himself was involved with, or possessing evidence of a crime,'' the judge explained to host Shepard Smith. ''Or they would have to write their own search warrant under the PATRIOT Act in which case they'd have to satisfy themselves that the general was involved in terrorist activity. Both of these is absurd. Neither of them could form the basis for this.''

The Fox News judicial analyst then said that ''the FBI has a lot of explaining to do'' because the only other way to watch the emails of Petraeus would have been to hack into a CIA computer, constituting a crime.

''What were FBI agents doing monitoring the secret emails of the director of the CIA?'' a baffled Napolitano asked. ''How is it that the CIA didn't know about it? Because the FBI surely knew about General Petraeus' personal behavior long before this. They knew about it when they investigated him, when they did a background check of him prior to his confirmation. They knew of the relationship with Mrs. Broadwell then.''

He continued: ''It is troubling because there are laws that the FBI has to follow, and General Petraeus, just because he is an adulterer, doesn't lose his constitutional rights. He has the right to be protected from an unwarranted, unjustified investigation by the FBI or anyone.''

Smith remarked that there seem to be a whole host of elephants in the room with this story.

In response, Napolitano noted that the FBI and CIA have long been rivals, adding that ''we do not know if this is anything more than the FBI poking itself into the ribs of their long time rival, the CIA.''

Smith and Napolitano then noted the possibility that Petraeus no longer has to testify about the September 11th Benghazi attacks. ''If he was going to testify next week as the CIA director, he would have been met with a mountain of evidence to contradict what he said under oath,'' Napolitano said. ''So this trigger could have been pulled to save him from perjury or to save the president from severe embarrassment.''

''We have no information to suggest neither of those is right,'' Smith cautioned and Napolitano agreed, but the host concluded that either way, ''it appears that could be the outcome.''

Watch below, via Fox News:'' ''>> Follow Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) on Twitter

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Uncle Don

Pete Mcloskey navy war hero

Met him on war crimes comittee, became friends

No nonsense no bullshit guy

1967 israelis sank our ship he blew the whistle (Gulf of Tonkin, Maddox)

Needed address for GHW Bush for chat

Wheelchair, parkinsons

Jesus loves you, everyone else thinks you're an asshole

George H.W. Bush can no longer walk on his own: Parkinson's struggle revealed with new HBO documentary - 2012-Jun-08 - CultureMap Houston

Link to Article

Mon, 12 Nov 2012 18:36

With a documentary on the life of George H.W. Bush set to air on HBO, friends and family are opening up about the Houstonian and 41st president.

Speaking to Charlie Rose on CBS, son Jeb Bush revealed that his father at 87 year of age can no longer walk on his own, instead relying on a wheelchair and a stroller to get around.

Bush has been known for his vitality despite his advanced age, famously going skydiving to celebrate turning 75, 80 and 85 years old.

"That's hard for a guy who's been so vital and vigorous in life," said Jeb Bush, who also called his father his "hero" and added, "I've never met a man as near perfect as George H.W. Bush."

Bush has been known for his vitality despite his advanced age, famously going skydiving to celebrate turning 75, 80 and 85 years old.

On Good Morning America, documentary producer and Bush family friend Jerry Weintraub said that Bush has struggled increasingly with the symptoms of Parkinson's disease in recent years.

"He's not doing great, he's not terrible but he's not doing great. He's a very active guy and when you get Parkinson's and all of a sudden you're riding around in a wheelchair and this and that and he can't do things for himself . . . it's tough."

The HBO documentary, titled simply 41, features unprecedented access to the former president, filmed over 17 months from September 2009 to February 2011. In his own words, the typically reticent Bush speaks about his life, from childhood summers in Kennebunkport and meeting his wife to his experiences as a naval aviator in World War II to his run as a wildcatter in Texas and his rise to the top of politics.

"It shows him as a man. It's not just a documentary about a president. It's not him making big speeches out there, rallying the troops and so on and so forth, it's about his life and his service," Weintraub said.

41 premieres on June 14, two days after Bush's 88th birthday.

Cuba Gooding Jr. & George H.W. Bush go t...Weepy tributes to George H.W. Bush and J...One Houston restaurant emerges as a pres...

Pete McCloskey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Mon, 12 Nov 2012 18:30

Paul Norton "Pete" McCloskey, Jr. (born September 29, 1927) is a former Republican politician from the U.S. state of California who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1967 to 1983. He ran on an anti-war platform for the Republican nomination for President in 1972 but was defeated by incumbent President Richard Nixon.[1] In April 2007, McCloskey switched his affiliation to the Democratic Party. He is a decorated United States Marine Corps veteran of combat during the Korean War, being awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, and two awards of the Purple Heart.

He published a book called Truth and Untruth: Political Deceit in America in 1972. One of McCloskey's enduring legacies is his co-authorship of the 1973 Endangered Species Act.[1]

[edit]Early lifePete McCloskey's great-grandfather was orphaned in the Great Irish Famine and came to California in 1853 at the age of 16. He and his son, McCloskey's grandfather, were farmers in Merced County. The family were lifelong Republicans.[2]

McCloskey was born on September 29, 1927, in Loma Linda, California, and attended public schools in South Pasadena and San Marino. He was inducted into South Pasadena High School Hall of Fame for the sport of baseball.[3] He attended Occidental College and California Institute of Technology under the U.S. Navy'sV-5 Pilot Program. He graduated from Stanford University in 1950 and Stanford University Law School in 1953.

[edit]Military serviceMcCloskey voluntarily served in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1947, the U.S. Marine Corps from 1950 to 1952, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1952 to 1960 and the Ready Reserve from 1960 to 1967. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1974, having attained the rank of Colonel.

He was awarded the Navy Cross and Silver Star decorations for heroism in combat and two Purple Hearts as a Marine during the Korean War.[1] He then volunteered for the Vietnam War before eventually turning against it.[1] In 1992, he wrote his fourth book, "The Taking of Hill 610", describing some of his exploits in Korea.

[edit]Political careerMcCloskey served as Deputy District Attorney for Alameda County, California, from 1953 to 1954 and practiced law in Palo Alto, California, from 1955 to 1967, cofounding the firm that eventually became Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He was a lecturer on legal ethics at the Santa Clara and Stanford Law Schools from 1964 to 1967. He was elected as a Republican to the 90th Congress, by special election, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of U.S. Rep.J. Arthur Younger and was reelected to the seven succeeding Congresses, serving from December 12, 1967 to January 3, 1983. In a 1981 interview, he stated that he thought he "was the first Republican elected opposing the war" despite the fact that his "constituency, two to one, favored the war in 1967."[4]

He sought the 1972 Republican Presidential nomination on a pro-peace/anti-Vietnam War platform, and obtained 11% of the vote against incumbent President Richard M. Nixon in the New Hampshire primary. At the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida, Rep. McCloskey received one vote (out of 1324) from a New Mexico delegate. All other votes cast went to President Nixon, thus McCloskey finished second place in the race for the Presidential nomination. Congressman John Ashbrook of Ohio had also challenged President Nixon's bid for re-nomination, albeit on a conservative platform.

McCloskey was not a candidate for reelection in 1982, but was instead an unsuccessful Republican candidate for nomination to the United States Senate. The 1982 California Republican Senatorial primary was a contentious battle between Rep. McCloskey, Maureen Reagan (daughter of then-President Ronald Reagan), Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr. (son of Arizona Senator and 1964 Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater), and San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson. Wilson was the eventual victor.

His book The Taking of Hill 610 put an end to Pat Robertson's 1988 Presidential run.

McCloskey, who served with Robertson in Korea, wrote a public letter which said that Robertson was actually spared combat duty when his powerful father, a U.S. Senator, intervened on his behalf, and that Robertson spent most of his time in an office in Japan. According to McCloskey, his time in the service was not in combat but as the "liquor officer" responsible for keeping the officers' clubs supplied with liquor. Robertson filed a $35 million libel suit against McCloskey in 1986. He dropped the case in 1988, before it came to trial and paid McCloskey's court costs.McCloskey was the first member of Congress to publicly call for the impeachment of President Nixon after the Watergate scandal and the Saturday Night Massacre. He was also the first lawmaker to call for a repeal of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that allowed for the War in Vietnam.[1]

An opponent of the Iraq War,[5] McCloskey broke party ranks in 2004 to endorse John Kerry in his bid to unseat George W. Bush as President of the United States.[1]

In 1989, McCloskey co-founded the Council for the National Interest along with former Congressman Paul Findley. He taught political science at Santa Clara University in the early 1980s. For many years, he practiced law in Redwood City, California and resided in Woodside, California.

[edit]2006 run for CongressOn January 23, 2006, McCloskey announced at a press conference in Lodi, California that he would return to the political arena by running against seven-term incumbent Republican Richard Pombo in the Republican primary for California's 11th congressional district.[6] Earlier in the year, he formed a group called the "Revolt of the Elders" to recruit a viable primary candidate to run against Pombo. McCloskey's aging campaign bus sported the slogan "Restore Ethics to Congress." McCloskey said, "Congressmen are like diapers. You need to change them often, and for the same reason."[1] McCloskey was endorsed in the Republican Party primary by the San Francisco Chronicle[7] and the Los Angeles Times.[8] In the June 6, 2006, primary, McCloskey was defeated by Pombo. McCloskey received 32% of the vote.[9]

On July 24, 2006, McCloskey endorsed Jerry McNerney, a Democrat who would go on to unseat Pombo in the 2006 midterm elections.[10] McCloskey even spent most of Election Night at McNerney's victory party.[11] The Sierra Club recognized McCloskey for helping to unseat Pombo with their 2006 Edgar Wayburn Award.[12]

[edit]Change of political affiliationIn the spring of 2007, McCloskey announced that he had changed his party affiliation to the Democratic Party. In an email and letter to the Tracy Press, McCloskey stressed that the "new brand of Republicanism" had finally led him to abandon the party that he had joined in 1948.[13][14] He followed this up with an op-ed column in which he explained that "Disagreement [with party leadership] turned into disgust" and "I finally concluded that it was fraud for me to remain a member of this modern Republican Party", although it was a "decision not easily taken."[2]

[edit]Political positionsMcCloskey is pro-choice, supports stem cell research and Oregon'sassisted suicide law. He was a co-chair of the first Earth Day in 1970.[1]

[edit]IHR controversyPete McCloskey gave a featured address on "Machinations of the Anti-Defamation League" to the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) in 2000.[15][16] According to the San Jose Mercury News, February 20, 2006:[17]

Campaign charges are exploding over a 2000 speech McCloskey gave to the controversial Institute for Historical Review, some of whose members question the severity of the Holocaust. McCloskey said at the time, "I don't know whether you are right or wrong about the Holocaust," and referred to the "so-called Holocaust". McCloskey said Friday that he has never questioned the existence of the Holocaust, and the 2000 quote referred to a debate over the number of people killed.

McCloskey said in an interview with the Contra Costa Times on January 18, 2006 that the IHR transcript of his speech was inaccurate.[18] Journalist Mark Hertsgaard of The Nation, in response to criticism of an article he wrote praising McCloskey's campaign against Pombo, stated that a tape he had viewed of McCloskey's speech to the IHR did not contain the "right or wrong" wording present in the transcript.[19]

[edit]Family and personal lifeMcCloskey's first marriage was to Caroline; they had four children, Nancy, Peter, John, and Kathleen, before divorcing. He later married Helen V. Hooper.[20]

[edit]See also[edit]References^ abcdefgh"White knight in a battle-bus". The Economist. 2006-06-01. http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=7008750. Retrieved 2007-08-05. ^ abMcCloskey, P. "Another Point of View: What Happened to the Party of Ford & Eisenhower?". (Auburn, Calif.) Sentinel, April 27, 2007.^South Pasadena High School^"Interview with Paul N. Mccloskey, 1981.'' 10/14/1981. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved 3 November 2010.^Mark Hertsgaard, A Dragon Slayer Returns, The Nation, posted March 9, 2006 (March 27, 2006 issue). Accessed June 20, 2006.^map^McCloskey over Pombo, San Francisco Chronicle editorial, May 24, 2006.^James Taranto, From the WSJ Opinion Archives, Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2006.^Brian Foley, Pombo to face McNerney in November; Zone 7 candidates tight, Tri-Valley Herald, June 8, 2006. Accessed June 20, 2006.^McCloskey Bucks GOP, Backs Democrat, Washington Post, July 24, 2006^McNerney, enviros take down Richard Pombo, Capitol Weekly, November 9, 2006^John Upton,Greens honor McCloskey, Tracy Press, November 25, 2006^Lisa Vorderbrueggen, McCloskey leaves Republican Party, Contra Costa Times Politics Weblog, April 16, 2007^McCloskey, Pete (April 21, 2007). "McCloskey: Why I have switched political parties" ('' Scholar search). Tracy Press. http://tracypress.com/content/view/8874/2/ [dead link]^13th IHR Conference: A Resounding Success, The Journal of Historical Review, May''June 2000 (Vol. 19, No. 3), pages 2-11. Accessed online June 20, 2006.^Paul N. McCloskey, Jr., Machinations of the Anti-Defamation League, The Journal for Historical Review, September/December 2001, Volume 20 number 5/6, page 13, ISSN 0195-6752. Accessed online June 20, 2006.^Mary Anne Ostrom, At 78, Spoiling for One Last Fight, San Jose Mercury News, February 20, 2006, reprinted on McCloskey's web site. Accessed online June 20, 2006.^Lisa Vorderbrueggen, McCloskey takes challenge to run against Pombo, Contra Costa Times, January 19, 2006. Archived.^Mark Hertsgaard, 'Dragon Slayer' No Saint George? Hertsgaard Replies, The Nation, May 1, 2006. Accessed July 04, 2008.^Pete McCloskey. NNDB. Retrieved 2009-07-06.[edit]External linksPersondataNameMcCloskey, PeteAlternative namesShort descriptionRecipient of the Purple Heart medalDate of birthSeptember 29, 1927Place of birthLoma Linda, CaliforniaDate of deathPlace of death

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Mon, 12 Nov 2012 18:30

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (officially, the Southeast Asia Resolution, Public Law 88-408) was a joint resolution that the United States Congress passed on August 7, 1964, in response to a sea battle between the North Vietnamese Navy's Torpedo Squadron 135 (Moise 1996, p. 78) and the destroyer USS Maddox on August 2 and an alleged second naval engagement between North Vietnamese boats and the U.S. destroyers USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy on August 4 in the Tonkin Gulf; both naval actions are known collectively as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. The attack was provoked from the HF net orders to the Admiral's bridge taken by AR Krohnert USN 686 86 30 to "Lionheart" the USS Topeka CLG-8 to pass on to the destroyers of the task force orders to make increasingly closer 20 mile sweeps into the gulf until hostile engagement was experienced, then to leave and await congress to declare war.[citation needed] It is of historical significance because it gave U.S. PresidentLyndon B. Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of "conventional'' military force in Southeast Asia. Specifically, the resolution authorized the President to do whatever necessary in order to assist "any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty". This included involving armed forces. The unanimous affirmative vote in the House of Representatives was 416''0. (However, Congressman Eugene Siler of Kentucky, who was not present but opposed the measure, was "paired" with another member who favored the resolution'--i.e., his opposition was not counted, but the vote in favor was one less than it would have been.) (Beito & Beito 2006) It was opposed in the Senate only by Senators Wayne Morse (D-OR) and Ernest Gruening (D-AK). Senator Gruening objected to "sending our American boys into combat in a war in which we have no business, which is not our war, into which we have been misguidedly drawn, which is steadily being escalated". (Tonkin Gulf debate 1964) The Johnson administration subsequently relied upon the resolution to begin its rapid escalation of U.S. military involvement in South Vietnam and open warfare between North Vietnam and the United States. (NYT 1970) Of some potential relevance, a few weeks earlier, on July 16, 1964, in his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, the Republican nominee Barry Goldwater had put forth as a theme of his campaign the charge that Johnson was "soft on communism", a charge that became more difficult to sustain after the resolution.

[edit]Background and Congressional actionThe USS Maddox, a U.S. destroyer, was conducting a DESOTO patrol (Moise 1996, p. 50) in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin on August 2, 1964, when it was attacked by three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats from the 135th Torpedo Squadron (Moise 1996, p. 78), which were attempting to close their range on the Maddox for effective torpedo fire (1,000 yards was maximum effective range for the torpedoes) (Moise 1996, p. 71) (Hanyok 2000) Maddox fired over 280 5-inch shells (Moise 1996, p. 78) and the boats expended their 6 torpedoes (all misses) and some 14.5-mm machinegun fire. Breaking contact, the combatants commenced going their separate ways, when the three torpedo boats, T-333, T-336, and T-339 were then attacked by four USN F-8 Crusader jet fighter bombers from the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga. (Moise 1996, p. 82) The Crusaders reported no hits with their Zuni rockets, but scored hits on all three torpedo boats with their 20-mm cannons; damaging all three boats. Two days later, on August 4, the Maddox and the destroyer Turner Joy both reported to be under attack, again, by North Vietnamese torpedo boats; during this alleged engagement, the Turner Joy fired approximately 220 3-inch & 5-inch shells at radar controlled surface targets. (Moise 1996, p. 158) Hanoi subsequently insisted that it had not launched a second attack. A later investigation by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee revealed that the Maddox had been on an electronic intelligence (DESOTO) mission. It also learned that the U.S. Naval Communication Center in the Philippine Islands, in reviewing ships' messages, had questioned whether any second attack had actually occurred. (NYT 1968) In 2005, an internal National Security Agency historical study was declassified; it concluded that the Maddox had engaged the North Vietnamese Navy on August 2, but that there may not have been any North Vietnamese Naval vessels present during the engagement of August 4. The report stated:

It is not simply that there is a different story as to what happened; it is that no attack happened that night. [...]

In truth, Hanoi's navy was engaged in nothing that night but the salvage of two of the boats damaged on August 2. (Hanyok 2000, p. 3)

In 1965, President Johnson commented privately: "For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there." (KQED 2006) He was also reported to have said "''Hell, those dumb, stupid sailors were just shooting at flying fish!''

Within hours, President Johnson ordered the launching of retaliatory air strikes (Operation Pierce Arrow) on the bases of the North Vietnamese torpedo boats and announced, in a television address to the American public that same evening, that U.S. naval forces had been attacked. Johnson requested approval of a resolution "expressing the unity and determination of the United States in supporting freedom and in protecting peace in southeast Asia", stating that the resolution should express support "for all necessary action to protect our Armed Forces", but repeated previous assurances that "the United States ... seeks no wider war". As the nation entered the final three months of political campaigning for the 1964 elections (in which Johnson was standing for election), the president contended that the resolution would help "hostile nations ... understand" that the United States was unified in its determination "to continue to protect its national interests". (President's Message to Congress 1964)

On August 6, U.S. Secretary of DefenseRobert S. McNamara testified before a joint session of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees. He stated that the Maddox had been "carrying out a routine mission of the type we carry out all over the world at all times" and denied that it had been in any way involved in South Vietnamese patrol boat raids on the offshore islands of Hon Me and Hon Nieu on the nights of July 30 and July 31. (NYT 1968) The administration did not, however, disclose that the island raids, although separate from the mission of the Maddox, had been part of a program of clandestine attacks on North Vietnamese installations called Operation Plan 34A. These operations were carried out by U.S.-trained South Vietnamese commandos under the control of a special operations unit of the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam called the Studies and Operations Group. (Andrad(C) & Conboy 1999)

After fewer than nine hours of committee consideration and floor debate, Congress voted, on August 10, 1964, on a joint resolution authorizing the president "to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance in defense of its freedom". (H.J. RES 1145 1964) The unanimous affirmative vote in the House of Representatives was 416''0. (However, Republican Congressman Eugene Siler of Kentucky, who was not present but opposed the measure, was "paired" with another member who favored the resolution'--i.e., his opposition was not counted, but the vote in favor was one less than it would have been.) The Senate conferred its approval by a vote of 88''2. Some members expressed misgivings about the measure, but in the end, Democratic Senators Wayne Morse of Oregon and Ernest Gruening of Alaska cast the only nay votes. (Kenworthy 1964) At the time, Senator Morse warned that "I believe this resolution to be a historic mistake." (Tonkin Gulf debate 1964)

[edit]RepealBy 1967, the rationale for what had become a costly U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War was receiving close scrutiny. With opposition to the war mounting, a movement to repeal the resolution'--which war critics decried as having given the Johnson administration a "blank check"'--began to gather steam.

An investigation by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee revealed that the Maddox had been on an electronic intelligence collection mission off the North Vietnamese coast. (Finney 1968) It also learned that the U.S. Naval Communication Center in the Philippine Islands, in reviewing ships' messages, had questioned whether any second attack had actually occurred. (NYT 1968)

The administration of President Richard Nixon, which took office in January 1969, initially opposed repeal, warning of "consequences for Southeast Asia [that] go beyond the war in Vietnam". In 1970 the administration began to shift its stance. It asserted that its conduct of operations in Southeast Asia was based not on the resolution but was a constitutional exercise of the President's authority, as Commander in Chief of U.S. military forces, to take necessary steps to protect American troops as they were gradually withdrawn (NYT 1970) (the U.S. had begun withdrawing its forces from Vietnam in 1969 under a policy known as "Vietnamization").

Mounting public opinion against the war eventually led to the repeal of the resolution, which was attached to a bill that Nixon signed in January 1971. (NYT 1971) Seeking to restore limits on presidential authority to engage U.S. forces without a formal declaration of war, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution in 1973, over Nixon's veto. The War Powers Resolution, which is still in effect, sets forth certain requirements for the President to consult with Congress in regard to decisions that engage U.S. forces in hostilities or imminent hostilities.

[edit]ReferencesAndrad(C), David; Conboy, Kenneth (August 1999). "The Secret Side of the Tonkin Gulf Incident". Naval History. http://www.usni.org/navalhistory/Articles99/NHandrade.htm. Beito, David T.; Beito, Linda Royster (August 21, 2006). "The Christian Conservative Who Opposed the Vietnam War". History News Network. http://hnn.us/articles/28879.html. Finney, John (January 31, 1968). "Tonkin Inquiry by Fulbright to Call McNamara". The New York Times. Hanyok, Robert J. "Skunks, Bogies, Silent Hounds, and the Flying Fish: The Gulf of Tonkin Mystery, 2''4 August 1964", Cryptologic Quarterly, Winter 2000/Spring 2001 Edition, Vol. 19, No. 4 / Vol. 20, No. 1.Kenworthy, E.W. (August 8, 1964). "Resolution Wins". The New York Times. Moise, Edwin E. (1996). Tonkin Gulf and the Escalation of the Vietnam War. The University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-2300-7. "Excerpts from McNamara's Testimony on Tonkin". The New York Times. February 25, 1968. "Gulf of Tonkin Measure Voted In Haste and Confusion in 1964". The New York Times. June 25, 1970. "Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is Repealed Without Furor". The New York Times. January 14, 1971. "Freedom of Information Past and Present". NOW on PBS. KQED. March 17, 2006. http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/foia06.html. Retrieved May 16, 2012. "Excerpts from Senate Debate on Tonkin Gulf Resolution". Vassar College. http://vietnam.vassar.edu/doc9.html. Wikisource: H.J. RES 1145"Excerpts from President's Message to Congress". Mount Holyoke College. http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/tonkinsp.htm. [edit]External links

Drone Nation

Mythbusters Blue Ice (Methane House Explosion) - YouTube

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 19:57

Indianapolis News Video | Weather Video Forecast | Sports - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 19:50

Links to the FCC website to view WTHR and/or WALV's on-line public inspection files:WTHR: https://stations.fcc.gov/station-profile/WTHR || WALV: https://stations.fcc.gov/station-profile/WALVIndividuals with disabilites may contact Jerry Luna at publicfile@wthr.com, or 317.655.5680, for assistance with access to the public inspection files.

Agenda 21

The List of Names the BBC Did Not Want You to See Scientist Exposed by Climategate Set BBC Policy

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Tue, 13 Nov 2012 14:26

Last month Guido reported that the BBC were refusing to respond to a Freedom of Information request asking for the names of scientists who attended the now infamous climate change seminar in 2006, that was convened to decide BBC climate change policy. The BBC Trust admitted that the evidence given at the seminar led to an unprecedented editorial decision to no longer give equal airtime to opponents of the climate change . At the time Guido wondered why the BBC was spending a six-figure sum to keep the names of the specialists who dictated their editorial policy secret? So who was there?

Well if the BBC had their way we would never know, they are still trying to fight the publication of this list, however what is believed to be the complete who's who has now been acquired by legitimate sleuthing by Maurizio Morabito:

Specialists:Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College LondonMike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEABlake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, GreenpeaceDorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, CopenhagenMichael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of CambridgeAndrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultantTrevor Evans, US EmbassyColin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate ChangeAnuradha Vittachi, Director, Oneworld.netAndrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics FoundationClaire Foster, Church of EnglandSaleemul Huq, IIEDPoshendra Satyal Pravat, Open UniversityLi Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace ChinaTadesse Dadi, Tearfund EthiopiaIain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP InternationalAshok Sinha, Stop Climate ChaosAndy Atkins, Advocacy Director, TearfundMatthew Farrow, CBIRafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producerCheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the EnvironmentKevin McCullough, Director, Npower RenewablesRichard D North, Institute of Economic AffairsSteve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine LabsJoe Smith, The Open UniversityMark Galloway, Director, IBTAnita Neville, E3GEleni Andreadis, Harvard UniversityJos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFIDTessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia

BBC attendees:Jana Bennett, Director of TelevisionSacha Baveystock, Executive Producer, ScienceHelen Boaden, Director of NewsAndrew Lane, Manager, Weather, TV NewsAnne Gilchrist, Executive Editor Indies & Events, CBBCDominic Vallely, Executive Editor, EntertainmentEleanor Moran, Development Executive, Drama CommissioningElizabeth McKay, Project Executive, EducationEmma Swain, Commissioning Editor, Specialist FactualFergal Keane, (Chair), Foreign Affairs CorrespondentFran Unsworth, Head of NewsgatheringGeorge Entwistle, Head of TV Current AffairsGlenwyn Benson, Controller, Factual TVJohn Lynch, Creative Director, Specialist FactualJon Plowman, Head of ComedyJon Williams, TV Editor NewsgatheringKaren O'Connor, Editor, This World, Current AffairsCatriona McKenzie, Tightrope PicturesLiz Molyneux, Editorial Executive, Factual CommissioningMatt Morris, Head of News, Radio Five LiveNeil Nightingale, Head of Natural History UnitPaul Brannan, Deputy Head of News InteractivePeter Horrocks, Head of Television NewsPeter Rippon, Duty Editor, World at One/PM/The World this WeekendPhil Harding, Director, English Networks & NationsSteve Mitchell, Head Of Radio NewsSue Inglish, Head Of Political ProgrammesFrances Weil, Editor of News Special Events

What you might call fair and balanced: the conference was billed as bringing together ''the best scientific experts''. Scientists, ''scientists'' and hippy campaigners, but what the Beeb will be most embarrassed by is the representative from the disgraced Climatic Research Unit who were exposed three years later for manipulating data to fit their arguments.

Emails from Mike Hulme, second on that list, were at the heart of the Climategate scandal.

Why the Maya Fell: Climate Change, Conflict'--And a Trip to the Beach?

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 20:26

Part of our weekly "In Focus" series'--stepping back, looking closer.

Every civilization has its rise and fall. But no culture has fallen quite like theMaya Empire, seemingly swallowed by the jungle after centuries of urban, cultural, intellectual, and agricultural evolution.

What went wrong? The latest discoveries point not to a cataclysmic eruption, quake, or plague but rather to climate change. And faced with the fallout, one expert says, the Maya may have packed up and gone to the beach.

But first came the boom years, roughly A.D. 300 to 660. At the beginning of the so-called Classic Maya period, some 60 Maya cities'--each home to between 60,000 and 70,000 people'--sprang up across much of modern-day Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico's Yucatn Peninsula. (Explore an interactive map of key Maya sites.)

Surrounded by pyramids, plazas, ball courts, and government buildings, the urban Maya discussed philosophy, developed an accurate solar-year calendar, and relished a thick, bitter beverage made from cacao beans: the world's first hot chocolate.

Farmers, too, were riding high, turning hillsides into terraced fields to feed the burgeoning population.

Then came the bust, a decline that lasted at least two centuries. By 1100 the residents of once thriving Maya cities seem to have just up and left. But where did they flee to, and why?

In the 19th century, when explorers began discovering the overgrown ruins of "lost cities," theorists imagined an immense volcanic eruption or earthquake or superstorm'--or maybe an empire-wide pandemic. (Related: "Maya Mystery Solved by 'Important' Volcanic Discovery?")

But today scientists generally agree that the Maya collapse has many roots, all intertwined'--overpopulation, warfare, famine, drought. At the moment, the hottest field of inquiry centers on climate change, perhaps of the Maya's own doing.

(Also see "Climate Change May Have Killed Off Maya Civilization, Study Says.")

Flowering With the Rain

The latest Maya climate-change study, published Friday in the journal Science, analyzes a Belizean cavern's stalagmites'--those lumpy, rocky spires on cave floors'--to link climate swings to both the rise and fall of the empire.

Formed by water and minerals dripping from above, stalagmites grow quicker in rainier years, giving scientists a reliable record of historical precipitation trends. One sample used in the new study, for example, documents fluctuations as far back as 2,000 years ago.

Among the trends revealed by the Belizean stalagmites: "The early Classic Maya period was unusually wet, wetter than the previous thousand years," according to study leader Douglas Kennett, an environmental anthropologist at Pennsylvania State University. "During this time, the population proliferated," aided by a surge in agriculture.

During the wettest decades, from 440 to 660, cities sprouted. All the hallmarks of Maya civilization'--sophisticated political systems, monumental architecture, complex religion'--came into full flower during this era.

(Read about the rise and fall of the Maya in National Geographic magazine.)

Climate Shift Sparks Conflict

But the 200-year-long wet spell turned out to be an anomaly. When the climate pendulum swung back, hard times followed.

"Mayan systems were founded on those [high] rainfall patterns," Kennett said. "They could not support themselves when patterns changed."

The following centuries, from about 660 to 1000, were characterized by repeated and, at times extreme, drought. Agriculture declined and'--not coincidentally'--social conflict rose, Kennet says.

The Maya religious and political system was based on the belief that rulers were in direct communication with the gods. When these divine connections failed to produce rainfall and good harvests, tensions likely developed.

Within the scant 25 years between 750 and 775, for example, 39 embattled rulers commissioned the same number of stone monuments'--evidence of "rivalry, war, and strategic alliances," according to Kennett's study.

But times would get even harder.

The stalagmite record suggests that between 1020 and 1100 the region suffered its longest dry spell of the last 2,000 years. With it, the study suggests, came Maya crop failure, famine, mass migration, and death.

By the time Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century, inland Maya populations had decreased by 90 percent, and urban centers had been largely abandoned. Farms had become overgrown and cities reclaimed by forest.

(Take a Maya quiz.)

A Cautionary Tale?

The collapse, though, wasn't exactly all natural. To some extent, the Maya may have designed their own decline.

"There were tens of millions of people in the area, and they were building cities and farms at the expense of the forest," climate scientist Benjamin I. Cook said.

Widespread deforestation reduced the flow of moisture from the ground to the atmosphere, interrupting the natural rain cycle and in turn reducing precipitation, says Cook, of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

According to computer simulations Cook ran for a study published in Geophysical Research Letters this past August, the localized drying decreased atmospheric moisture by 5 to 15 percent annually. Even a 10 percent decrease is considered an environmental catastrophe, he says.

Add this to the broader drying trend and the situation becomes dire'--a cautionary tale for modern society, according to Cook. Today, as more and more forestland is turned into farms and cities, and as global temperatures continue to rise, we may risk the same fate that befell the Maya, he says.

But, according to Arizona State University professor of environment and society B.L. Turner, "that's the kind of oversimplification we're trying to get away from. The Mayan situation is not applicable today'--our society is just so radically different now."

Lure of the Beach

In a study published in August by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Turner attempts to correct some common misconceptions, beginning with the idea that Maya civilization vanished after the conquistadores arrived.

"It didn't cease to exist; there are still today Mayan people in the area. The culture, the traditions have been maintained," he said. But the cities, historically, have not'--and that's odd.

Throughout global history, he said, "rarely can you find a large sustained population that just left and never came back," Turner said. The closest analogue he can think of is the sudden, and final, abandonment of Cambodia's Angkor Wat complex in the 15th century.

Turner's study concludes that the natural environment recovered rather quickly after the dry centuries. Why, then, didn't the Maya reclaim their glorious cities?

Turner points to the coasts. Fleeing starving, warring inland cities, many Maya made a beeline for the shore. Trade also shifted, from overland paths to coastal routes, he suggests.

With life relatively comfortable on the coast, the inland Maya cities may have simply been forgotten, Turner says. No catastrophic earthquake, no plague, no curse, but rather a gradual migration to the beach, where life was a bit mellower.

That is, until the Spanish arrived.

More: See National Geographic pictures of Maya ruins and artifacts >>

New Wave of Three Gorges-Sized Dams Raise Old Fears | International Rivers

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 20:22

The Jinsha River flows through the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site.

Photo: Joani Carpenter

As the last of the turbines at China's Three Gorges Dam was connected to the grid on Wednesday, a dams debate rages over the fate of the Upper Yangtze River and its main western tributary, the Jinsha River.

Known as the ''River of Golden Sands,'' the Jinsha is slated for a cascade of 25 dams designed to generate as much electricity as four Three Gorges Dams put together. After years of cautious construction and banning projects that either started illegally or had soaring cost overruns due to poor resettlement and environmental management, the government has identified the Jinsha as one of several dam-building hotspots to meet its goal of adding 140 GW of hydropower capacity by 2015.

Scientists and environmentalists in China fear that the cumulative impacts of this dam cascade could spell disaster not only for the health of China's largest river but also the safety of downstream populations and the future water availability for the region.

Cumulative Impacts on the Environment

According to Mr. Yang Yong, chief scientist at the Heng Duan Shan Society, the 25 proposed dams would slice up the rapidly flowing Jinsha River into a series of stillwater reservoirs. This drastic change to the hydrology of the river basin would fundamentally alter the habitat and lifecycles of state-protected fish like the Chinese paddlefish and the Dabry's Sturgeon.

The river is also one of the three major rivers in a UNESCO World Heritage Site that protects one of China's most important biodiversity hotspots. The Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge Dam is currently being planned adjacent to the site and would flood the first major bend of the Jinsha River. According to Mr. Weng Lida, former Director General of the Yangtze Valley Water Resources Protection Bureau and a member of the Changjiang Water Resources Commission, hydropower development in China has gotten out of control:

"There are too many dams on the rivers in the southwest, the rivers can hardly breathe."

Cumulative Impacts on Supply and Safety

Earlier studies by geologists have highlighted the seismic, safety, and water security risks of out-of-control dam building in this fragile region. One such study, published last year by Mr. Fan Xiao of the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau, claims that the Yangtze River will run dry because dam developers are planning to build so many dams that their combined reservoir volume would exceed the Yangtze's flow. The study asserts:

''There would not be enough water for all of the dam projects proposed for the Yangtze to operate simultaneously, ultimately leaving power consumers, river users and the environment to pay the price of unchecked, unwise development.''

Experts also warn against the risk of dam-building in China's seismically active and flood-heavy southwest, where one dam break could cause a tsunami that creates a domino effect of collapsing dams downstream. This occurred in China in 1975, when a major flood and poor communications caused dam breaks at 62 sites in Henan Province. The catastrophe killed over 26,000 people '' more casualties than any other dam failure in history. While such massive floods are rare (this was a once-in-1000-years flood), dam developers have yet to factor in the affects of climate change on extreme weather events such as droughts and floods, which are common in the southwest and have serious implications for dam operation.

Landslide caused by fluctuating levels at the Three Gorges reservoir.

The valleys in this region, including those formed by the Lancang/Upper Mekong and Nu/Salween, also experience disastrous landslides during the rainy season due to the steepness of the terrain. These can be exacerbated by the clearing of vegetation for dam construction and by the filling and emptying of reservoirs. The fluctuating water levels of the Three Gorges reservoir, for instance, have destabilized hundreds of miles of slopes and triggered massive landslides. A recent warning sign is the deadly mudslide that occurred on June 28, 2012, at the Baihetan Hydropower Station on the lower Jinsha River (it is under construction by the China Three Gorges Project Corporation). The mudslide killed four people and left 36 more missing '' all workers and their families at the dam construction zone. In response to this incident, Mr. Ma Jun, director of the Beijing-based Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, told the South China Morning Post:

"We believe that China is building too many dams on Jinsha River. Such disturbances of nature can lead to more fatal accidents...We urge the government to seriously reconsider and review its development strategy in this region."

The Cost of Over-damming

On top of these often ''hidden'' or external costs of dam projects is the actual cost of building the dams and paying for the massive relocation projects that usually accompany such large infrastructure endeavors. In the case of the Three Gorges project, the project's 185-meter dam and 600km reservoir have forced the relocation of at least 1.3 million residents. Reuters reports that the cost of the Three Gorges project has sky-rocketed to a total of RMB 254 billion (nearly US$40 billion), four times the original estimate. The government has also acknowledged that earthquake and landslide risks have also increased in the region, and another RMB 123.8 billion (about US$19.5 billion) has been spent on "follow-up work,'' which has included such mitigation measures as wastewater treatment to deal with the industrial pollutants and rubbish that accumulates in the reservoir, and the construction of massive retaining walls to prevent landslides and further soil erosion. Even the Chairman of the China Three Gorges Project Corporation '' the state-owned company behind the Three Gorges Dam and a number of other Upper Yantze River projects '' is cautious. According to the Chairman, Mr. Cao Guangjing:

''With more dams, the coordination of water storage and drainage will be problematic; you can't squeeze all the value out of every drop of water, you need to consider the environment's needs.''

Early last month, China Three Gorges Project Corporation, the Ministry of Water Resources' Changjiang River Scientific Research Institute, and WWF jointly published a report called "China's Environmental Flows Research and Practice." The report concluded that there were already too many hydropower plants on some parts of the Upper Yangtze River and that untrammelled development was affecting the basin's ecological balance.

Despite these warnings, large-dam cascades are being proposed for several of China's rivers, as well as for river basins in the Mekong, Brazil, and elsewhere. The true cost of over-damming these vital basins would be ecosystem collapse, social upheaval due to massive relocations, the unnecessary risk of dam-related hazards, project cost overruns, and poor returns on investment. When better water and energy solutions exist (in China see for instance Energy Transition Institute), the long-term costs of these risky ventures is just not worth the short-term profits.

Three Gorges Dam And The Earth's Rotation | Alternative

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 20:22

The Myth: The filling of the reservoir behind Three Gorges Dam in China changed the rotation of the Earth.

The Evidence: Three Gorges Dam, China crosses the Yangtze River in Hubei province, China. It the world's largest hydroelectric power station by total capacity, which will be 22,500 MW when completed. When the water level is maximum at 175 meters (574 ft) over sea level (91 meters (299 ft) above river level), the reservoir created by the dam is about 660 kilometers (410 mi) in length and 1.12 kilometers (0.70 mi) in width on average. The total surface area of the reservoir is 1045 km2, and it will will flood a total area of 632 km2 of land. The reservoir will contain about 39.3 cu km (9.43 cubic miles) of water. That water will weigh more than 39 trillion kilograms (42 billion tons).

A shift in a mass of that size would affect the rotation of the Earth due to a phenomena known as the moment of inertia, which is the inertia of a rigid rotating body with respect to its rotation. The moment of inertia of an object about a given axis describes how difficult it is to change its angular motion about that axis. The longer the distance of a mass to its axis of rotation, the slower it will spin. You may not know it, but you see examples of this in everyday life. For example, a figure skater attempting to spin faster will draw her arms tight to her bodies, and thereby reduce her moment of inertia. Similarly, a diver attempting to somersault faster will bring his body into a tucked position.

Raising 39 trillion kilograms of water 175 meters above sea level will increase the Earth's moment of inertia and thus slow its rotation. However, the effect would extremely small. NASA scientists calculated that shift of such as mass would increase the length of day by only 0.06 microseconds and make the Earth only very slightly more round in the middle and flat on the top. It would shift the pole position by about two centimeters (0.8 inch). Note that a shift in any object's mass on the Earth relative to its axis of rotation will change its moment of inertia, although most shifts are too small to be measured (but they can be calculated).

The Verdict: True.

Source:http://www.theenergylibrary.com/node/11435

Read more at Ye Olde False Flag

EARon

Workers exhuming Yasser Arafat's body in probe of death - CNN.com

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 21:33

By the CNN Wire Staff

updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue November 13, 2012

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

NEW: The work could take up to two weeksThe exhumation of the body of Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat beginsThe inquiry was launched after Arafat's widow, Suha Arafat, lodged a formal complaintThis comes after French authorities opened a murder inquiry into his deathRamallah, West Bank (CNN) -- Work began Tuesday to exhume the body of Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat amid an investigation of his 2004 death.

The exhumation process, which started with the removal of the mausoleum's glass and its marble tombstone, could take up to two weeks due to the delicate work that needs to be done by hand, a Palestinian source said.

The exhumation comes after French authorities opened a murder inquiry into his death this year after high levels of a radioactive substance were found on some of his personal belongings.

Read more: Palestinian leader signs off on Arafat exhumation, PLO official says

The inquiry was launched after Arafat's widow, Suha Arafat, lodged a formal legal complaint for murder.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas subsequently approved the exhumation of Arafat's body from his mausoleum, which is in the Palestinian presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Read more: Arafat's widow wants body exhumed after test for radioactivity

A CNN crew at the scene saw a huge tarp surrounding the mausoleum and said workers were starting to remove the tombstone.

Arafat died at age 75 at a Paris military hospital after he suffered a brain hemorrhage and slipped into a coma. In the days before his death, Palestinian officials said that he had a blood disorder -- though they ruled out leukemia -- and digestive problems.

Rumors of poisoning circulated at the time, but Palestinian officials denied them, and then-Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Sha'ath said he "totally" ruled them out.

Read more: French prosecutors launch murder inquiry in Arafat's death

But a Swiss doctor has said that investigators had found high levels of toxic polonium-210 on some of Arafat's belongings.

Francois Bochud, director of the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland, said his researchers had tested Arafat's toothbrush, clothing and keffiyeh, the distinctive black-and-white headscarf he often wore.

A body fluid stain contained 180 megabecquerels per liter of the radioactive isotope, while a typical sample would contain 5 megabecquerels per liter, Bochud said. A becquerel is a unit of measurement of radioactivity.

The fabric of Arafat's clothing, without body fluid, contained less than 10 megabecquerels per liter, Bochud said.

Suha Arafat told CNN she wanted her husband's body exhumed so investigators could be "100% sure" of the presence of polonium.

CNN's Sara Sidner contributed to this report.

Israel Opens The Gates Of Hell With Assassination Of Founder Of Hamas

VIDEO: Israel Assassinates Hamas Military Chief in Gaza Air Strike '' Video Recorded From Above

Link to Article

Source: BlackListedNews.com

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 01:05

Source:Telegraph

Jabari, who is the most senior Hamas official to be killed since an Israeli invasion of Gaza four years ago, was killed in an air strike on a vehicle, in a dramatic resumption of Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian militant leaders.

Jabari has long topped Israel's most-wanted list, the Associated Press reported, and was blamed for in a string of attacks, including the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit in 2006.

His son was also reportedly killed in the targeted air strike, according to Osama Hamdan, a Hamas representative in Lebanon, talking to Al Jazeera in Doha.

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Emergency Meeting Of UN Security Council Calls For An End To Aggression In Gaza

CNN: There Has Been Air Strike After Air Strike After Air Strike In Gaza

EUROLand

Christine Lagarde and Jean-Claude Juncker clash over Greek debt - Business Insider

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 21:49

A conflict between the International Monetary Fund and European Union erupted into the open on Monday night after Christine Lagarde publicly clashed with eurozone finance ministers over a critical target for reducing Greek debt levels.Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, announced Greece would be given an extra two years to meet its debt reduction target of 120pc of GDP by 2022 instead of 2020.

''The target, as far as the time-frame is concerned, has been postponed to 2022,'' he said.

A visibly angered Mrs Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, shook her head and rolled her eyes at the announcement that breaches the Washington-based fund's condition that Greek debt must become sustainable by 2020.

''We clearly have different views,'' she said. ''In our view the appropriate target is 120pc by 2020. It is critical that the Greek debt be sustainable."

The 2020 ''debt sustainability'' target was agreed as the condition for the IMF's involvement in the second Greek bail-out agreed in March this year and an EU decision to breach it could jeopardise the whole international package.

Amid the public disagreement, Mr Juncker admitted that finance ministers would have to meet again on November 20 to agree the final details on debt reduction and financing of Greek debt before paying '‚¬31.5bn in the next tranche of aid to Greece.

The Greek government will need a further '‚¬32.6bn (£26bn) of international aid if its austerity programme is relaxed by two years, according to an as-yet- unfinished EU-IMF troika report on Greece.

A draft of the long-delayed troika report on Greece said Athens would need '‚¬15bn of funding for 2013-14 and then another '‚¬17.6bn in 2015-16. The troika creditors '' the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund '' had estimated just '‚¬8bn of extra funding.

Athens, which was expecting the release of the vital aid having finally pushed through its 2013 budget at a nail-biting vote on Sunday night, was instead plunged deeper into uncertainty and confusion.

Just four days before Athens could default, Olli Rehn, the EU's economic and monetary affairs commissioner, insisted that Greece ''will be able to roll over T-bills'' to fund the government.

Kathleen Brooks of Forex.com said: ''These bail-outs are becoming a bit like bottomless pits for the creditor nations of the currency bloc. After two and half years, Greece remains a problem and it is hard to see the eurozone remaining patient with Greece when its problems seem never-ending.''

Meanwhile, Istat said Italian youth unemployment leapt to a 24-year high at 35.1pc. There were violent protests in Naples where the German labour minister met his Italian counterpart.

Mario Monti, Italy's premier, caused alarm when he said he was ''not against a wealth tax'' to try to raise funds for the country. ''I'm not against a wealth tax but it will depend on how it works and how it will be used '' either as a fiscal instrument or a one-off measure,'' he said. ''I don't want this to be considered too dramatic [though]. Wealth taxes exist in some extremely capitalist countries."

VIDEOS

Bank$ters

Q2 Total Gross Notional Derivatives Outstanding: $639 Trillion | ZeroHedge

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 21:32

Earlier today, the BIS, which has been doing everything in its power today to defend the 1.27 support in the EURUSD since the market open this morning, released its H1 OTC derivatives presentation update. There was little of material note: total OTC derivatives were virtually unchanged at $639 trillion gross, representing $25 trillion in net outstanding (market value), and $3.7 trillion in gross credit exposure. Here the PhD theorists will say gross is irrelevant because Finance 101 said so, while the market practitioners will point to Lehman, counterparty risk, and less than infinite collateral to fund sudden implosions of weakest links in counterparty chains, and say that it is gross (which until a recent revision of BIS data had been documented at over $1 quadrillion) that mattered, gross which matters, and gross which will always matter until finally everything inevitably collapses in a house of missing deliverable cards. Because not even the most generous sovereigns and central banks can halt the Tsunami once there is a failure of a major OTC Interest Rate swap counterparty. And whereas Basel III had some hopes it would be able to bring down the total notional in derivative notionals slowly over the next few years with a gradual deleveraging across all financial firms, the bankers fought, and the bankers won, because the last thing the current batch of TBTFs can afford it admit there is any hope they can ever slim down. The will... but never voluntarily.

Visually:

And in tabular form:

Some details from the OTC:

Total notional amounts outstanding of OTC derivatives amounted to $639 trillion at end-June 2012, down 1% from end-2011 (Graph 1, left-hand panel, and Table 1). The appreciation of the US dollar against key currencies between end-2011 and end-June 2012 contributed to the decline by reducing the US dollar value of contracts denominated in euros in particular. The overall decline was driven by interest rate contracts (''2%). Credit derivatives notional amounts also continued to decline (''6%). In contrast, foreign exchange contracts outstanding rose by 5% to $67 trillion.

Gross market values, which measure the cost of replacing existing contracts, dropped by 7% to $25 trillion (Graph 1, right-hand panel). This amounts on average to slightly less than 4% of notional amounts outstanding.

Gross credit exposures, which measure reporting dealers' exposure after taking account of legally enforceable netting agreements, mirrored the decline in total market values, falling to $3.7 trillion, which represents 14% of the total market value of OTC derivatives. Since the end of 2008, gross credit exposures have tended to move in a narrow band of 14''16% of market values. This compares with a range of 19''24% in the mid-2000s. Gyntelberg and Vause (2012) calculate that about half of dealers' gross credit exposures are covered by collateral.

Since gross notionals in most categories declined (boring) except for FX, here is the breakdown of what drove this rise:

Full report link

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VIDEO

Marc Faber: Global Markets Will 'Implode'. (CNBC video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 03:20

Tue 13 Nov 12 | 06:17 AM ET This term does not appear

Click text to jump within video

Tue 13 Nov 12 | 06:17 AM ETIn this "Squawk Box" excerpt, Marc Faber of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, warns investors to prepare for an eventual "'reset" of the global financial system.

MIC

S.3254

Link to Article

Source: Senate Floor Today

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 01:05

NEW SEARCH | HOME | HELP{link: 'http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.112s3254',title: 'THOMAS - Bill Summary and Status - S.3254' }

S.3254Latest Title: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013Sponsor:Sen Levin, Carl [MI] (introduced 6/4/2012) Cosponsors (None)Latest Major Action: 11/13/2012 Senate floor actions. Status: Motion to proceed to consideration of measure made in Senate.Senate Reports:112-173

Obama-Nation

Cornel West: Obama A 'Republican In Blackface,' Black MSNBC Hosts Are 'Selling Their Souls' | Mediaite

Link to Article

Mon, 12 Nov 2012 19:50

video

During an interview last week with Democracy Now, author and activist Cornel West offered harsh criticism of President Barack Obama, calling him a ''Rockefeller Republican in blackface'' and not someone who is actually looking out for the best interests of the impoverished. The prominent social critic also lashed out at black MSNBC personalities, accusing them of ''selling their souls'' in support of a president who has been anything but progressive.

''I think that it's morally obscene and spiritually profane to spend $6 billion on an election, $2 billion on a presidential election, and not have any serious discussion,'' West lamented to host Amy Goodman. ''Poverty, trade unions being pushed against the wall dealing with stagnating and declining wages when profits are still up and the 1 percent are doing very well, no talk about drones dropping bombs on innocent people,'' he continued.

He explained that the election season saw a ''truncated'' version of political discourse with climate change being overlooked.

West then took a stab at the president: ''It's very sad. I mean, I'm glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface, with Barack Obama, so that our struggle with regard to poverty intensifies,'' he said.

''That's a pretty rough assessment of President Obama,'' Goodman replied.

''Oh, that's what we have. Richard Nixon is to the left of him on health care. Richard Nixon's to the left of him on guaranteed income,'' West followed up.

Later on in the interview, West was asked to comment on black MSNBC hosts like Michael Eric Dyson, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Rev. Al Sharpton who regularly praise President Obama. He offered up a similarly harsh critique:

I love Brother Mike Dyson '... but we're living in a society where everybody is up for sale. Everything is up for sale. And he and Brother Sharpton and Sister Melissa and others, they have sold their souls for a mess of Obama pottage. And we invite them back to the black prophetic tradition after Obama leaves. But at the moment, they want insider access, and they want to tell those kind of lies. They want to turn their back to poor and working people.

He concluded by calling those MSNBC'ers ''apologists'' for the Obama administration despite having a rigorous background in progressive critical thought.

Watch below, via Democracy Now:[h/t Jordan Bloom]'' ''>> Follow Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) on Twitter

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Presidential News Conference - C-SPAN Video Library

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 20:40

White House

President Obama spoke to reporters and answered questions in his first formal news conference since his re-election.'‚Among the topics addressed were the resignation of General David Petraeus as CIA director, demographics of .. Read MorePresident Obama spoke to reporters and answered questions in his first formal news conference since his re-election.'‚Among the topics addressed were the resignation of General David Petraeus as CIA director, demographics of the American electorate, the state of the economy, budget negotiations and efforts to avoid the economic ''fiscal cliff'' in January 2013, potential cabinet appointments, and his agenda for a second term.

51 minutes | 91 Views

Rep. Pelosi to Stay in Congress and Run Again as Minority Leader | C-SPAN

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 20:29

Author & journalist Max Holland discusses his book, "Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat." Mark Felt was the FBI assistant director who in 1972 leaked Watergate investigation information to several reporters, including Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Holland argues that contrary to popular notions, Felt selfishly used journalists to discredit FBI director L. Patrick Gray in the hope that he would be appointed to the top spot; and that Nixon's resignation was an unintended consequence. The Kansas City Public Library hosted this event.

More Info >>

Gitmo Nation

White House 'secede' petitions reach 660,000 signatures, 50-state participation | The Daily Caller

Link to Article

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 06:13

Less than a week after a New Orleans suburbanite petitioned the White House to allow Louisiana to secede from the United States, petitions from seven states have collected enough signatures to trigger a promised review from the Obama administration.

By 6:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, more than 675,000 digital signatures appeared on 69 separate secession petitions covering all 50 states, according to a Daily Caller analysis of requests lodged with the White House's ''We the People'' online petition system.

A petition from Vermont, where talk of secession is a regular feature of political life, was the final entry.

Petitions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas residents have accrued at least 25,000 signatures, the number the Obama administration says it will reward with a staff review of online proposals. (RELATED: Will Texas secede? Petition triggers White House review)

The Texas petition leads all others by a wide margin. Shortly before 9:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, it had attracted 94,700 signatures. But a spokesperson for Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday afternoon that he does not support the idea of his state striking out on its own.

''Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it. But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government,'' according to a statement from the governor's office.

A backlash Monday night saw requests filed with the White House to strip citizenship rights from Americans who signed petitions to help states secede. (RELATED: Anti-secession forces fight back with White House deportation petitions)

And in a similar nose-thumbing aimed at Texas' conservative majority, progressives from the liberal state capital of Austin responded Monday with a petition to secede from their state if Texas as a whole should decide to leave the Union.

Late Tuesday a second group of Texans, this one from Houston, lodged their own White House petition. Secession-minded Texans, they wrote, ''are mentally deficient and [we] do not want them representing us. We would like more education in our state to eradicate their disease.''

Houstonian ''Kimberly F'' '-- The White House does not provide last names '-- submitted the petition. She told TheDC in an email that ''[w]e need both sides presented, or we all look like a bunch of fools.''

A group from El Paso, too, wants no part of an independent Texas. ''Allow the city of El Paso to secede from the state of Texas,'' their petition reads. ''El Paso is tired of being a second class city within Texas.''

But smaller petitions like theirs are a political side show of a political side show. One effort, aimed at Missourians, called for a nationwide catered pizza party to celebrate when the Show Me State left the U.S. (RELATED: Pizza party! White House petition silliness gets cheesy)

States whose active petitions have not yet reached the 25,000 signature threshold include Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

War on Ammo

Shut Up Slave!

Google Warns About Increased Government Surveillance. (In Other News- The Kettle Finally Met The Pot)

Link to Article

Source: DaDenMan news feed

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 14:00

Google today released its latest stats about government requests for data and content removal across its products, and the search giant said the feds are showing no signs of backing off.

"This is the sixth time we've released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise," Dorothy Chou, a senior policy analyst with Google, wrote in a blog post.

The data covers January to June 2012 and breaks out government requests for information and government requests to have content removed from Google's network.

In the first six months of the year, Google received 20,938 government requests to hand over information about 34,614 accounts. That's up from 18,257 requests betweeen July-Dec. 2011, and an increase from the 12,539 requests that were made between July-Dec. 2009, the first time period for which Google released these stats.

The United States had the highest number of user data requests at 7,696 regarding 16,281 accounts. Of that, Google complied fully or partially with 90 percent. The number of requests is up slightly in the U.S. from 6,321 in the second half of 2011, which resulted in a compliance rate of 93 percent.

India came in at No. 2 with 2,319 requests, followed by Brazil, France, and Germany, which all had about 1,500 requests, and the U.K. with 1,425.

Google said content removal requests were "flat" between 2009 and 2011, but have "spiked" this year - from 1,048 in the second half of 2011 to 1,791 in the first half of 2012.

In the U.S., most of the content removal requests focused on Google's Web Search and content on Google Groups.

The company received five requests to remove seven YouTube videos that criticized public officials, but Google declined. It received a court order to remove 1,754 posts from Google Groups relating to a case of continuous defamation against a man and his family, and Google removed 1,664 of the posts.

There were also three court orders regarding 641 search results that linked to allegedly defamatory websites. Google removed 233 of the search results. The company also pulled 156 search results for trademark violations.

Google said its data is "only an isolated sliver" of the actual number of Internet-related requests that governments make "since for the most part we don't know what requests are made of other technology or telecommunications companies." The company praised firms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Sonic.net, which have also started publishing stats on government requests.

For more from Chloe, follow her on Twitter @ChloeAlbanesius.

Bullying

Teachers hit by online bullying

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Home

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 13:33

15 November 2012Last updated at07:40 ETThe head teachers' union says it is increasingly concerned about internet bullying of teachers.

The NAHT says promising people could be forced out of the profession unless more is done to tackle the problem.

A help-line for teachers and other professionals who work with children has told the BBC about a third of its calls are about online attacks.

Laura Higgins, of the Professionals Online Safety Help-line, says parents are often to blame.

Ms Higgins said: "We have had incidents where teachers have been subjected to abuse for very long periods of time and have needed professional help on dealing with those issues."

Prof Andy Phippen, of Plymouth University, who has studied the problem, said teachers who had had false allegations made about them could be reluctant to counter the claims officially.

One teacher had found himself suspended because of a defamatory comment on Twitter, said Prof Phippen.

"Someone tweeted that he had been inappropriate with his step-niece and so he wasn't allowed to work or have contact with the school as a result of a nasty comment that someone made on Twitter," Prof Phippen said.

Andy Mellor, a head teacher in the north west of England, said the attacks could have a devastating effect on victims.

"There'll be those that are emotionally affected by it and will internalise it, there'll be those that shrug it off," he said.

"There will be those that eventually will walk. And you know we're suffering a crisis of recruitment in education in schools and particularly in school leadership and this sort of thing needs to be nipped in the bud because it is going to affect the ability to be able to recruit, particularly head teachers," Mr Mellor added.

Dame Mary Macdonald, an education consultant who has specialised in turning round failing schools, found herself subject to a campaign of lies and threats from parents.

Continue reading the main storySome nights you want to offload. Other nights you don't want to say a thing about it because it's just so foul ''

End QuoteDame Mary MacdonaldCyberbullying victimShe told BBC News: "The bee-word figures quite a lot. Then there was a fight between two parents within this Facebook page."

"It wasn't just the impact on your professional life. It impacts on your personal life because you don't go home at night to your partner, your husband, your family, feeling good about yourself. Some nights you want to offload. Other nights you don't want to say a thing about it because it is just so foul."

Some comments can be criminal and can result in prosecutions for posts, tweets, texts and emails deemed menacing, indecent, offensive or obscene.

Figures obtained by the Associated Press news agency, through a freedom of information request, show a steadily rising tally of prosecutions for electronic communications that are "grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character", from 1,263 in 2009 to 1,843 in 2011. The number of convictions grew from 873 in 2009 to 1,286 last year.

Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook say they take complaints of abuse and bullying seriously. Facebook for example has an online button to alert staff to any concerns

Bernadette Hunter, of the NAHT, said attacks by parents could be particularly damaging.

"Teachers, like most adults, do understand the difference between comments and fair criticism, and you know we're happy to deal with those type of complaints from parents, but protracted campaigns of abuse is not something I think we should be expected to ignore," she said.

"Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and we are a profession.

"This kind of behaviour is extremely hurtful for teachers and head teachers but also extremely damaging to the relationship between parents, and families, and the school," Ms Hunter added.

Internet Freedom

Twitter / MickyHoogendijk: Oh Hi Miss Texas! http://t.co/9FNhjK5f

Distraction of the Week

Peacefully grant the city of Austin Texas to withdraw from the state of Texas & remain part of the United States. | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 15:17

Signatures: 19 of 3,894

creator

caleb m

Austin, TXNovember 12, 2012Signature # 1

Seth E

November 14, 2012Signature # 3,894

Maria S

November 14, 2012Signature # 3,893

Steven M

Dallas, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 3,892

elton s

Austin, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 3,891

Erin C

November 14, 2012Signature # 3,890

Steffany N

Austin, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 3,889

Clint T

Dallas, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 3,888

Kristin C

Round Rock, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 3,887

Dominik K

November 14, 2012Signature # 3,886

Eric E

November 14, 2012Signature # 3,885

Rozmin D

November 14, 2012Signature # 3,884

Maya G

Austin, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 3,883

karen a

Seguin, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 3,882

Austin B

Arlington, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 3,881

Tai H

November 14, 2012Signature # 3,880

Judith C

Fort Worth, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 3,879

James M

Austin, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 3,878

Marybeth D

Austin, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 3,877

Load Next 20 Signatures50a3b451a9a0b1d44a000000

Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government. | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 15:12

Signatures: 19 of 95,965

creator

Micah H

Arlington, TXNovember 09, 2012Signature # 1

roland d

stickney, ILNovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,965

Gordon H

November 14, 2012Signature # 95,964

Cara P

Dallas, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,963

Lyndsey B

Poolville, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,962

Kathleen S

Bellaire, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,961

Abraham C

November 14, 2012Signature # 95,960

Greg M

Fort Worth, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,959

Diego P

Waxahachie, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,957

Josh G

Mitchell, INNovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,958

Hannah R

Burleson, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,956

Nancy R

Round Rock, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,955

Sebastian T

Raleigh, NCNovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,954

Daniel L

Arp, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,953

Turner B

November 14, 2012Signature # 95,952

john f

Bonita Springs, FLNovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,951

Janice R

November 14, 2012Signature # 95,950

steven r

Abernathy, TXNovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,949

Robert W

Kansas City, MONovember 14, 2012Signature # 95,948

Load Next 20 Signatures50a3b329adfd951c28000008

Vaccine$

Researchers believe oxytocin could be the key to controlling monogamy

Link to Article

Source: ccampeador

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 13:38

I am your pusher man!

Researchers believe oxytocin could be the key to controlling monogamy

PUBLISHED: 10:17 EST, 14 November 2012 | UPDATED: 06:48 EST, 15 November 2012

Researchers have found a 'monogamy hormone' they say may help men stay faithful to their partner.

The researchers found the chemical oxytocin could act as a 'fidelity marker' in men, and shows if they are really in a committed relationship.

The chemical also increases trust between partners or friends.

Researchers tested the hormone on male volunteers before leaving them alone, individually, with an attractive female researcher to see what happens.

The men who were either married or in a 'committed relationship' and given a dose of oxytocin (via a nasal spray) felt more comfortable with a greater distance between themselves and the attractive woman.

As the woman moved closer to the man, under the pretence of asking research questions, the married men given oxytocin started to feel more uncomfortable.

Single men who had been given oxytocin and married men given a placebo did not feel so uncomfortable with the woman getting closer to them during the research.

The researchers found oxytocin led the men in committed relationships, but not those who were single, to keep a greater distance (10-15 cm) between themselves and the woman.

All the men admitted to finding the woman attractive.

The experiments were conducted by professors from the University of Bonn, Germany for the Journal of Neuroscience.

Oxytocin is found in the animal kingdom where it is known to play a role in promoting bonding, such as that between mating couples or between a parent and child.

As in humans, it is found in the part of the brain called hypothalamus which governs social interactions, such as forming friendships or long term partnerships.

It can also influence levels of trust among people but the latest research shows it may also be a vital ingredient in monogamy and fidelity among men.

Bonn professor Rene Hurlemann said: 'Because oxytocin is known to increase trust in people, we expected men under the influence of the hormone to allow the female experimenter to come even closer, but the direct opposite happened.'

Previous animal research in prairie voles identified oxytocin as major key for monogamous fidelity in animals,' Hurlemann said.

'Here, we provide the first evidence that oxytocin may have a similar role for humans.

Other factors, like whether or not the men found the woman attractive or avoided making eye contact with the her, were not affected by the levels of oxytocin, the study added.

In a separate experiment, the researchers found oxytocin had no effect on the distance men kept between themselves and a male experimenter.

Link'...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2232888/The-hormone-make-men-distance-attractive-women.html

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War on Generics

Row flares over global fight against fake medicine - World Updates | The Star Online

Link to Article

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 15:21

LONDON (Reuters) - A group of experts calling for a global treaty to stop the lethal trade in fake medicines has been barred from attending a World Health Organisation meeting, highlighting deep divisions that are blocking progress on the subject.

Leading academics and health professionals hoped to provoke debate on the need for a new international law to prevent falsified and substandard drugs reaching the market with a paper published in the British Medical Journal on Wednesday.

Their article, which sets out a clear case for a fake drugs treaty similar to existing ones on money laundering and human trafficking, comes a week before 100 states hold the first meeting of its kind to discuss the problem in Buenos Aires.

But lead author Amir Attaran of the University of Ottawa said he was told on Monday by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that he and other non-governmental representatives could not attend, following an objection by India.

A WHO spokeswoman declined to comment on the details of particular invitations but said it was up to member states to determine who was permitted to attend. Indian officials, whose government is wary of multinational drug firms using the issue to curb competition, were not immediately available for comment.

Attaran called it a "scandal" that only government officials would be at the meeting in Argentina to discuss strategy.

The clash exposes distrust among governments, the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare campaigners about how to tackle fake and dangerous medicines, which are a growing problem in both poor countries and rich. Risks include ineffective material packaged as medication and real drugs made in poor conditions.

In developing countries, the WHO estimates that more than 10 percent of medicine may be fake or substandard, with bogus malaria drugs a particular threat in parts of Asia and Africa.

But the danger is real in the rich world, too.

Earlier this year, fake vials of Roche's cancer drug Avastin were found in the United States, while a recent U.S. meningitis outbreak, due to contaminated steroid injections, shows the country is not immune to quality problems.

In the European Union, medicines are now the top illicit product seized at the border and authorities have found fake versions of drugs purporting to come from companies including Sanofi, Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca.

LAW TOUGHER ON TOBACCO THAN FAKE DRUGS

The need for action seems clear enough - but advancing the debate involves navigating some big divides.

India, whose large drugs industry produces cheap generic versions, is concerned that Western governments backed by Big Pharma are using the fight against fakes as a cover to restrict trade in unpatented medicines much needed by the world's poor.

Some health activists support New Delhi's charge that worries about counterfeit drugs are being hijacked by "Big Pharma" global pharmaceutical companies to protect their profits and patented products against legitimate generic competitors.

In east Africa, for example, international drug companies have taken advantage of anti-counterfeiting laws that are sometimes poorly drafted to curb sales of otherwise legitimate generics, threatening the availability of essential drugs.

India is particularly resistant to any role for pharmaceutical firms in setting the agenda, and Brazil has expressed similar concerns in the past.

Given the distrust, the authors of the paper in the BMJ - who include leaders of nursing, pharmacy and public health bodies - argue there is a need to find neutral ground to address what appears to be a gaping hole in international law.

They point out that thanks to a new convention on tobacco control, international law is now tougher on counterfeit cigarettes than it is on fake medicines.

"We hope that this will form the basis for getting some consensus on a definition of counterfeit drugs, which would then be transferable into a legal instrument," said another of the paper's authors, Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The lack of a treaty means there is no agreement on which medicines are illegal and criminals can do business in countries where laws or enforcement are lax. There is also no requirement for police and prosecutors to co-operate across borders.

(Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

Copyright (C) 2012 Reuters

Real News

Jon Bon Jovi's Daughter Arrested After Possible Heroin Overdose

Link to Article

Source: Radar Online

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 03:29

Getty Images

By Radar Staff

Jon Bon Jovi's 19-year-old daughter, Stephanie, was arrested for drug possession Wednesday morning after she is believed to have suffered an overdose on heroin.Stephanie Rose Bongiovi is a student at Hamilton College in upstate New York.

PHOTOS: Stars Who OD'd

Police say they and a volunteer ambulance squad were called to the dorm where Bongiovi lived, at just before 2 a.m., to assist a woman who had possibly overdosed on heroin and was not responsive.

A small amount of heroin, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found on the scene, leading to the arrest of another student, Ian S. Grant, while the rocker's daughter was rushed to a nearby hospital.

PHOTOS: Celebrities Who Have Admitted To Smoking Pot

She's been charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana, and is expected to be released from the hospital later in the day.

"The college is cooperating with the police investigation," a Hamilton spokesperson said.

PHOTOS: Celebs Who Have Been In Rehab

Jon Bon Jovi is known as a devoted family man. Stephanie is the oldest of his four children with wife Dorothea Hurley.

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TYT Army - We Need Your Votes for the Podcast Awards!

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Ron Paul's Congressional Farewell Speech - C-SPAN 11/14/2012 - YouTube

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Thu, 15 Nov 2012 14:19

The Head Of NATO Gives His Support To General John Allen

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Marc Faber: Global Markets Will 'Implode'. (CNBC video)

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Tue 13 Nov 12 | 06:17 AM ET This term does not appear

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Tue 13 Nov 12 | 06:17 AM ETIn this "Squawk Box" excerpt, Marc Faber of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, warns investors to prepare for an eventual "'reset" of the global financial system.

Chuck Woolery on Assault Weapons - YouTube

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 19:45

Cornel West: Obama A 'Republican In Blackface,' Black MSNBC Hosts Are 'Selling Their Souls' | Mediaite

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Mon, 12 Nov 2012 19:50

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During an interview last week with Democracy Now, author and activist Cornel West offered harsh criticism of President Barack Obama, calling him a ''Rockefeller Republican in blackface'' and not someone who is actually looking out for the best interests of the impoverished. The prominent social critic also lashed out at black MSNBC personalities, accusing them of ''selling their souls'' in support of a president who has been anything but progressive.

''I think that it's morally obscene and spiritually profane to spend $6 billion on an election, $2 billion on a presidential election, and not have any serious discussion,'' West lamented to host Amy Goodman. ''Poverty, trade unions being pushed against the wall dealing with stagnating and declining wages when profits are still up and the 1 percent are doing very well, no talk about drones dropping bombs on innocent people,'' he continued.

He explained that the election season saw a ''truncated'' version of political discourse with climate change being overlooked.

West then took a stab at the president: ''It's very sad. I mean, I'm glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface, with Barack Obama, so that our struggle with regard to poverty intensifies,'' he said.

''That's a pretty rough assessment of President Obama,'' Goodman replied.

''Oh, that's what we have. Richard Nixon is to the left of him on health care. Richard Nixon's to the left of him on guaranteed income,'' West followed up.

Later on in the interview, West was asked to comment on black MSNBC hosts like Michael Eric Dyson, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Rev. Al Sharpton who regularly praise President Obama. He offered up a similarly harsh critique:

I love Brother Mike Dyson '... but we're living in a society where everybody is up for sale. Everything is up for sale. And he and Brother Sharpton and Sister Melissa and others, they have sold their souls for a mess of Obama pottage. And we invite them back to the black prophetic tradition after Obama leaves. But at the moment, they want insider access, and they want to tell those kind of lies. They want to turn their back to poor and working people.

He concluded by calling those MSNBC'ers ''apologists'' for the Obama administration despite having a rigorous background in progressive critical thought.

Watch below, via Democracy Now:[h/t Jordan Bloom]'' ''>> Follow Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) on Twitter

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Daily Press Briefing - November 13, 2012

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 15:30

1:31 p.m. EST

MR. TONER: Well, I have nothing to announce today, so I'll open up to your questions. Sorry for being just a '' well, actually, a little bit late.

QUESTION: Just a little?

MR. TONER: Okay, all right, all right. My goodness.

QUESTION: I've got a lot of stuff but nothing really huge to start with except for perhaps Syria. You guys welcomed the creation of the SOC. Pretty nice?

MR. TONER: You're talking about the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces?

QUESTION: That would be the one.

MR. TONER: Yeah.

QUESTION: What do you '' what have they done so far? Have they inspired you with confidence so far in their short existence?

MR. TONER: Well, you're correct, Matt; we did issue a statement the other day congratulating the representatives of the Syrian people who gathered in Doha for their formation of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. We look forward, obviously, to supporting the National Coalition as it charts a course for the end of Assad's bloody rule and marks the start, we believe, of a peaceful, just, and democratic future for the people of Syria.

Obviously, we're going to work with them in the coming days to ensure that our humanitarian and nonlethal assistance serves the needs of the Syrian people. In answer to your '' in direct answer to your question, what happens now or what are you looking for next, I think we now have a structure in place that can prepare for a political transition, but that we're looking for it to still establish the types of technical committees that will allow us to make sure our assistance gets to the right places, both nonlethal and humanitarian.

Yeah.

QUESTION: Before the meeting happened, the Secretary and you and Toria, as well as countless other officials, were talking about now the '' how whatever body emerged from this meeting had to be more broad and more inclusive. Does it do that? Did it meet your --

MR. TONER: We do think this is a legitimate representative of the Syrian people, that it does reflect the Syrian people, as we talked about, that diverse group of Syrian people. We think it meets those needs. I think as we move forward though, we're going to look to see it, as I said, finalize the establishment of its organizational structures. We also want to see that it has a demonstrated ability to represent Syrians within Syria. I think that's another aspect we're going to look at.

QUESTION: You're not confident of that at the moment?

MR. TONER: Well, again, I think what we've '' we've seen a good, positive, constructive step forward with the formation of this group. But I think we're going to be looking, again, for it to finalize those technical committees to do the kind of work, frankly, we're looking for, we're looking for the opposition group to do, which is funnel aid, funnel assistance, to where it's needed most. But also we do want to see it prove itself as an effective --

QUESTION: Okay. One last one?

MR. TONER: Yeah. Go ahead. Yeah.

QUESTION: For it to be truly '' for whatever this is to be truly representative, doesn't it need to have some elements of the existing regime in it?

MR. TONER: Well, we've been very clear where we stand on that, in terms of any kind of dialogue, that anyone with blood on their hands can't be a part of that political dialogue that's going to lead to a political transition eventually.

QUESTION: So the answer is no? So you've given up on the whole Geneva idea that there was going to be this transitional --

MR. TONER: I think the Geneva idea '' look, I think very clearly what we've said all along was a political dialogue needs, at some point, to take place, but those with blood on their hands can't be a part of that process.

Yeah. Jo.

QUESTION: France has just come out and recognized this group as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Are they moving too fast by your calculations then?

MR. TONER: I'm not going to judge the actions or the '' that the Government of France has taken. I think we all see this as a very positive sign, a very positive development. For our part, we do view them as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people, but we're going to look for --

QUESTION: Just one of many?

MR. TONER: We're going to look for, again, more concrete action, the establishment of these technical committees going forward, and to see that they have a demonstrated ability to represent the Syrian people.

QUESTION: But Mark --

MR. TONER: Yeah. Go ahead.

QUESTION: -- could you conceivably see this as, like, a government in exile and actually recognize them as such? I mean, the region seems to be moving in that direction.

MR. TONER: I think I just laid out where we are on this. Again, this was '' there was a tremendous amount of hard work put into this over the weekend in Doha. We're in no way trying to downplay the significance of this event. It's a very important step forward. Going into this, there was no sure thing coming out of it. We've got an organization in place. We're going to look for it to develop in the coming days and weeks. And I might also mention that we are going to send a high-level delegation to this emergency aid meeting that's going to take place in London on November 16th, and it's going to be our Ambassador Bill Taylor, who's our Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions, who's going to represent us at that meeting.

So look, we're very much engaged with this national council and very much looking forward to working with them.

Yeah. Go ahead, Jill.

QUESTION: Could you tell us '' you said one element that's important is representing Syrians within Syria. Now, does that mean people who are fighting in --

MR. TONER: I think one of the things we talked about '' sorry to interrupt you. Are you ''

QUESTION: No, that's okay.

MR. TONER: Okay. One of the things we talked about prior to Doha was the fact that the SNC we felt did not have a legitimate voice or was not legitimately represented '' or representing the Syrian people who are, if you will, in the struggle within Syria out there risking their lives, making tremendous sacrifices every day and standing up to the regime. And so we believe that this national council is representative, but we're looking to see, going forward, a demonstrated ability.

QUESTION: But that's ''

MR. TONER: Yeah. Go ahead. Sorry.

QUESTION: Still I'm not quite sure that I understand, because if you say that it represents '' it should represent Syrians who are shedding their blood, et cetera, well, the ones who are on the frontline are shedding their blood. So the question, I guess, would be: If you provide assistance, which could be what you've been providing so far or cash, does it go only to civilian groups, or could it actually go to the fighters who are shedding their blood?

MR. TONER: Well, let's be very clear. What we're talking about when we talk about assistance is we're talking about nonlethal aid as well as humanitarian assistance. So that's '' there's been no movement there. That's where our own efforts remain focused, and I believe the current total is over 160 million in U.S. assistance, and that's going to be the focus of Bill Taylor's trip to London later this week.

But I think what I would just say in response to your question is we do have this structure now set up. What we're going to look for now is that it can establish the kinds of technical committees, however you want to put it, but the kind of organizational structure that will allow us to effectively funnel aid to where it's needed. So '' but again, that's humanitarian assistance and nonlethal aid.

Go ahead, Said.

QUESTION: Mark, just a quick follow-up now: On the issue with '' of blood on their hand, I mean, a lot of these groups really have a lot of blood on their hand. I mean, they explode car bombs and suicide bombings and so on, things '' they do things that in any other place would be considered as terrorism.

MR. TONER: I think, Said, we've been pretty consistent in condemning --

QUESTION: Right.

MR. TONER: -- that kind of violence on either side.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. TONER: However, we've also been very clear all along in saying the preponderance or the greatest responsibility of the burden rests squarely on the shoulders of the regime which instigated this in the first place and has '' there's no comparison between the acts of Syrians in defense of their own citizens and the actions of the regime. But there have been violent extremists within the groups fighting the regime, absolutely.

QUESTION: I fully understand what you're saying, but I wanted to ask you if there was some sort of vetting process. Were these groups vetted in any way?

MR. TONER: The groups who are in Doha?

QUESTION: The groups that formed this coalition, this ''

MR. TONER: Well, again, we were very clear going into this that this wasn't a U.S.-led process; this was a Syrian-led process. And the Syrians got together, they've chosen their leadership going forward, and this is about being responsive to the Syrian people who are engaged in a struggle right now against a violent and brutal regime.

So the short answer to your question is we didn't play that role. We certainly worked with the Syrians, with the other partners, and Friends of Syria who were there in Doha as best we could, but this was a Syrian-led process.

Yeah, Jill.

QUESTION: Mark, one more. The way you're describing it --

MR. TONER: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- you're going to look to see whether they can create the organizational structures to provide money where it's needed. So is that what people are referring to as sequencing? In other words, you look at whether they have the structure, whether they live up to the promises they made in Cairo, then you give some money, and then you watch more to see whether '' is that how it's going to work, in tranches?

MR. TONER: I just think that we're '' this is an initial step. It's a pivotal step, it's an important step, what took place in Doha, but it's an initial step. So we need to see in the coming days and weeks, indeed, that kind of follow-up that I've discussed, which is the formulation of technical committees, of ways to channel this assistance. And I would just say that Moaz has, in fact, talked about some of this stuff, talked about the need to create these kinds of groups that are able to channel assistance on the ground. So we've seen some positive signals out of it.

QUESTION: He's also called for arms, though, as well. He said that the rebels need more arms if there's going to be effectively a difference made on the ground.

MR. TONER: Again, that's '' this is '' we're focused on nonlethal assistance and humanitarian assistance.

QUESTION: I don't really understand what's changed.

MR. TONER: Yeah. Go ahead, Brad.

QUESTION: Because you say this is a very positive step, but you're calling on a legitimate representative, which is what you called the Syrian National Council a year ago, and I guess at some point you secretly delegitimized them, because now they no longer were. But now this one is what they were a year ago, and now you're talking about technical committees for aid that you're already giving them, over a $100 million, I think, and they don't seem to be asking for it.

MR. TONER: First off, it's 160 million in humanitarian assistance, and as we have said previously, some of that's going through international aid organizations. But I think we all recognize that it needs to be used more effectively, need to be channeled more effectively.

QUESTION: You talk about that. They're not talking about that.

MR. TONER: Well, indeed they are. I mean, they ''

QUESTION: I mean, if it's a Syrian-led process, they're talking about ''

MR. TONER: They are talking about this.

QUESTION: They're talking about weapons, and they're talking about a lot of things that you're not talking about.

MR. TONER: Well, again, our focus all along here has been on several different fronts, but with our own assistance, it's been focused on nonlethal assistance, humanitarian assistance. You're ''

QUESTION: Right. But why would they then need to work on these technical committees for money that you're giving them anyway and which isn't their priority? That seems to be all about what you want to do.

MR. TONER: Well, again, there's an emergency aid meeting in London next week, so clearly this is a priority for them as well.

Yeah, Said.

QUESTION: One more, just to clarify for us.

MR. TONER: Yeah.

QUESTION: Which budget does it go on? I mean, is it allocated through the State Department, through '' what agency is giving the money?

MR. TONER: It's through the State Department. Much of it goes '' and we haven't put out a '' I don't know when our last fact sheet was, but we do periodically update our fact sheets on Syrian humanitarian assistance. But much of the humanitarian assistance goes through international organizations.

Yeah.

QUESTION: And just why was this such a positive step forward, in kind of simple terms?

MR. TONER: Well, again, sure. This was '' we believe '' we had issues, if you will, with the Syrian National Council, that we didn't believe it was broadly representative, that we didn't believe it represented the Syrians in Syria who were leading this struggle for freedom and for democracy. So one of the goals of Doha was to see '' or one of the outcomes we wanted to see, and certainly the Syrians wanted to see and all the Friends of Syria wanted to see, was the creation of a political body that is more representative of the Syrian people.

We do believe that has been accomplished, but looking '' going forward, we wanted to see more action on the ground, as I said, the establishment of an organizational structure that can funnel assistance more effectively to the Syrian people who are in greatest need, and also do the kind of work that Ambassador Ford talked about previously, which is garner more international pressure and bring it to bear on Assad, and also work within Syria to convince those who still may be sitting on the fence, if you will, that they are a truly representative government.

So we're going to look for more, but we do believe that initially we've accomplished '' or they've accomplished a great deal, rather.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: I know you've been saying this was a Syrian-led process, but I think actually the perception abroad is it was a '' it may have been the Syrians in the room who ultimately chose the body of people they came up with and agreed on on Sunday, but it was very much instigated by the United States. You put forward recommendations of names and people you thought might be useful. And I think certainly the perception abroad is that this is a U.S.-led initiative. So --

MR. TONER: First of all, the U.S. was one of many governments that was represented there, all of whom have been very vocal supporters of the Syrian people's struggle against the Assad regime. Secondly, and I've been remiss in thanking and commending the Government of Qatar, who hosted this event, who provided steadfast leadership throughout this event and support for the conference, and really worked tirelessly on the margins of this conference to make sure there was a successful outcome. So they deserve a lot of credit.

In answer to your question of whether this '' this was not some U.S.-orchestrated thing. We've been very clear about that. This was a process led by and accomplished by the Syrian people.

QUESTION: So the Obama Administration is accused of showing leadership, and you deny it?

MR. TONER: Matt ''

QUESTION: Well, I'm sorry, that's just the way it sounds. I mean, you're saying --

MR. TONER: No, I think I said it was not a U.S.-orchestrated event.

QUESTION: Jo said --

MR. TONER: I said it wasn't a U.S.-orchestrated --

QUESTION: -- the perception abroad is that the U.S. showed leadership here, that this was a U.S.-led initiative, and you're saying, after months and months of being hammered by the Republicans for leading from behind ''

MR. TONER: Okay, can I answer your question? Can I answer your question?

QUESTION: -- given the opportunity to say that the Administration is showing leadership, you're saying no, we're not?

MR. TONER: Can I answer your question? U.S. leadership has been pivotal.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. TONER: We've obviously been instrumental in the creation of, and the Secretary in fact has been instrumental in this creation of this group, the Friends of the Syrian People. They were obviously there in force in Qatar to help however we could what was essentially a Syrian-led process. And that's important. It's important to delineate that this was a Syrian-led process, that the Syrians took charge of this, that they were the ones who worked through the long hours over the weekend and created this national council.

QUESTION: So are there plans to bring Moaz and some of his people here to the United States now to discuss further how you guys might be able to help them?

MR. TONER: It's a good question. I think we're looking to London for the next '' later this week, and from then, perhaps. I don't know.

Are we done with Syria?

QUESTION: No, I have one more on Syria.

MR. TONER: One more and then '' you're not Syria are you, Margaret? Okay.

QUESTION: I wanted to ask about '' I don't recall there's been yet a United States reaction to the shelling that happened between Israel and Syria over the weekend because of our long weekend. I just wonder how the United States is viewing this and whether you were concerned by what happened in the Golan Heights.

MR. TONER: Well, right. No, we very much condemn Syrian shelling across the ceasefire line in the Golan Heights and we stand closely with our friend and ally, Israel, and are continuing to consult closely on the path forward.

QUESTION: But you don't condemn the Israelis firing back then?

MR. TONER: They have a right to self-defense.

QUESTION: So you think that the Syrians are trying to sort of widen this war and provoke a confrontation with Israel to deflect what is going on?

MR. TONER: That's a fair question, Said. ''I don't know'' is my simple answer to you. I think it's disconcerting, to say the least. We've seen, obviously, incidents with Turkey, and now this. We've said all along that what's going on in Syrian is creating tensions along its borders and within the region, and it's a matter of concern to us.

Margaret.

QUESTION: Toria, on Friday, went through in great detail some of the process and documents that are being shared with members of Congress in regard to the attack in Benghazi. Can you clarify for us whether those documents presented, made available to those committees, are they the only items being referenced or presented by the State Department, by Under Secretary Kennedy, this week?

MR. TONER: I'm sorry, the last part of your question?

QUESTION: Are those things that Toria described for us '' the thousands of pages of emails and telegrams and all that '' are those the only items that the State Department is putting forth this week? Because there are the series of hearings and Under Secretary Kennedy will be speaking.

MR. TONER: I don't have a specific answer for you on that question except to say that we continue, obviously, to cooperate closely with Congress and provide them the documents that they request and that they need. I don't --

QUESTION: So you don't know that '' whether what he's briefing on in any way differs from just the documents that were made available?

MR. TONER: Again, we continue to provide the documents that Congress is seeking, has asked about. We're going to continue that cooperation. But in terms of which documents he might be referring to, I don't know.

Yeah, Jill.

QUESTION: Mark, some members of Congress think that General Petraeus should testify, that he has information that's very important. Does the State Department agree that it's important for him to testify?

MR. TONER: Jill, nice try. I don't have '' I'm not going to respond to that. We're cooperating with these Hill hearings this week. As Toria mentioned, Pat Kennedy, Under Secretary Kennedy, has a number of committee appearances this week, and that's our contribution.

QUESTION: Do you know if there have been any changes in terms of who is going up to do these --

MR. TONER: I don't think there's any changes from what Toria said last week.

QUESTION: Is it exactly the same as what she --

MR. TONER: That's my understanding.

QUESTION: A different issue?

QUESTION: No. Still the same. One more. Sorry.

MR. TONER: It's all right. Take your time.

QUESTION: Jill Kelley, who is part of this investigation, has variously been described as somebody who is connected in some way, perhaps on a volunteer basis, with programs that the State Department sponsors. One of them is the International Visitor Leadership Program. Can you just set us straight? What is her role? What, if any '' what is she doing? Is it all voluntary? What?

MR. TONER: Well, I can assure that she does not work for the State Department and has no formal affiliation with the State Department. That was made clear, I believe, on Sunday. And certainly appreciate your efforts, Matt, to clarify that. But there was some erroneous reporting that was then corrected.

In terms of your second question, I'm going to have to take that question. I don't have the information handy.

QUESTION: What is that program, (inaudible) definition?

MR. TONER: I will repeat it. It's the International Voluntary Visitor --

QUESTION: International Visitor Leadership Program (inaudible).

MR. TONER: Yeah, I mean, it's our IV program, which we carry out overseas in almost all of our embassies and missions overseas, which focuses on anywhere from young leaders to established professionals within the government and private sector, bring them to America and let them have an experience of American culture and life.

Yeah.

QUESTION: Theme of the week '' are you aware of any FBI probe of any State Department employee, official, unofficial liaison '' however you describe their relationship?

MR. TONER: I have not, no.

QUESTION: No FBI probe?

MR. TONER: No.

Yeah. Sure.

QUESTION: On Venezuela, Venezuela being elected for the UN '' I mean, as a human '' at the Human Rights Council of the UN. I was wondering if you have some comments. Any reaction?

MR. TONER: Sure.

QUESTION: What will be the meaning for the U.S. (inaudible)?

MR. TONER: Well, you buried the lead, because we're very pleased to have been elected by the UN General Assembly to a second term on the Human Rights Council. And I believe Ambassador Rice spoke to this yesterday from New York. We certainly thank the countries that have voted for us in what was a very highly competitive race among several well-qualified Western European and Others Group candidates.

QUESTION: What was it, three out of five got elected?

MR. TONER: We received 131 votes, first-place in the WEOG group.

QUESTION: Ooh, first place.

MR. TONER: That's right. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: (Inaudible) more winners and losers in this election, correct?

MR. TONER: Keep your comments to yourself, please. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: I didn't --

MR. TONER: In answer to your question, I think Susan also spoke a little bit to that yesterday. It's '' we're believers in this group. We believe that it allows us to effectively work from the inside and work '' and we believe it's accomplished a great deal since we've been a member. But we support competitive elections for the regionally allocated spots on the Human Rights Council, and we're disappointed that, outside of the WEOG group, which we're a member of, the West European and Others Group, none of the other slates of candidates were, in our view, competitive.

QUESTION: So, Mark, can we --

MR. TONER: Yeah.

QUESTION: A follow-up --

QUESTION: Yeah. It's the same thing.

MR. TONER: Yeah. Go ahead, Matt, and then --

QUESTION: No. Let her finish.

MR. TONER: Okay. Go ahead.

QUESTION: All right. It is: Don't you think there is like a contradiction because Venezuela has been pointed out at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for not accomplish with human rights? So how do you put this in context, or --

MR. TONER: Well, in creating the Council, member states pledge to take into account the contribution of candidates, the promotion and protection of human rights. We think some countries elected to the Human Rights Council on clean slates have failed to show their commitment.

QUESTION: Aha. That's what I want to get at. Because quite apart from Venezuela, you've got such paragons of human rights protection as Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan --

MR. TONER: I didn't single out Venezuela.

QUESTION: -- Pakistan, Gabon. Are you comfortable sitting on a body that's supposed to make judgments about other countries' human rights records when there are serial offenders on it?

MR. TONER: Again, Ambassador Rice in New York spoke to this very effectively yesterday.

QUESTION: All right.

MR. TONER: You know where we stand on this.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. TONER: We decided four years ago that we could best improve the Council by working within it rather than criticizing from outside.

QUESTION: All right. Can we stay with the UN just for a second?

MR. TONER: Yeah. Sure.

QUESTION: Earlier today, the UN General Assembly, as it has every year for the past several decades, voted overwhelmingly to condemn the U.S. embargo of Cuba. The vote, I'm sure you're aware of it, was 188-3. You and Israel and Palau voted against, as the same that's it been for the last several decades. My question is this: When are you guys going to realize that the rest of the world thinks that this is a really crappy policy?

MR. TONER: Matt, your opinion to the contrary, we are --

QUESTION: Not my opinion. It's the rest of the world. You're always talking about the international community. The international community has spoken here, yet again.

MR. TONER: Our policy remains in place.

QUESTION: I know. But when '' is it the international community speaks and unless you're part of that '' unless you're part of it, it's not really the international community? Do you recognize that the international community, all countries in the world except for the three and the three who abstained, say that this policy is bad and should be reversed? Do you take that as the international community speaking as '' with a single voice here?

MR. TONER: Look, our Cuba policy is generated towards creating better ties with the Cuban people outside of the government. You know our concerns about the Cuban Government. Our policy remains the same. It's not going to change.

QUESTION: Can you accept that the international community is speaking out here, and speaking out against a policy that you've had in place for five decades?

MR. TONER: I'm just telling you that --

QUESTION: No? You can't.

MR. TONER: -- our Cuban policy remains intact.

Yes.

QUESTION: No, no.

MR. TONER: Oh, you want to stay on Venezuela?

QUESTION: Yeah, because I have '' no. On Colombia.

MR. TONER: Okay.

QUESTION: I was wondering if you have any update on Simon Trinidad, if there is any possibility that he will be at some way part of these peace dialogues between Colombia and the guerilla --

MR. TONER: I don't. I'll try to get an update for you. I don't know. I don't have any information on that.

QUESTION: All right. Thank you.

MR. TONER: Said.

QUESTION: Can we go to the Palestinian issue?

MR. TONER: Sure.

QUESTION: Despite the President's direct expression of displeasure to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority President, it seems that they are going ahead to the General Assembly. So '' which will engender reaction, I guess, or then enforcement of the law as on the books. Could you share with us how, mechanically, how this happens? I mean, they go to the UN, they get accepted, then you shut off, let's say, the PLO office like immediately?

MR. TONER: I'm not going to get into next steps. We're still at the stage where we're actively trying to convince them that this is a bad idea, that this is not going to get them the results ultimately that they seek. So we've been clear in the past about what some of the consequences that this would generate or engender. I think we put out a taken question about it a couple weeks ago. But in terms of next steps, our focus remains on convincing the Palestinian Authority that the only way to achieve the goals it seeks is through the negotiation table.

QUESTION: Okay. Just a quick follow-up.

QUESTION: Can I ask how much more active can you be than having the President of the United States with an hour-long phone call to the President of the Palestinian Authority?

MR. TONER: Well, I think that shows how active and how serious --

QUESTION: And he still came out --

MR. TONER: -- and how seriously we take it.

QUESTION: -- in less than 24 hours and said basically I'm not going to listen to you, I'm going to go ahead and do it. What more active trying '' what more active are you doing --

MR. TONER: Well, look, I mean --

QUESTION: -- to get them to change their mind when it's clear when an hour-long phone call with the leader of the free world doesn't do it?

MR. TONER: I think that we're going to continue to press our case. David Hale is actually going to Europe this week. He'll be in Bern and he'll meet with President Abbas there.

QUESTION: And so you think that the Special Envoy for the Middle East '' for Middle East Peace efforts has more weight than the President, than the recently reelected President of the United States?

MR. TONER: This is not a question of who has more weight. This is a question of us continuing to pursue --

QUESTION: Well, I'm just '' do you --

MR. TONER: -- what we believe is the best course of action.

QUESTION: Is it your hope that David Hale's meeting with President Abbas is going to produce a result that was different than an hour-long phone conversation from the President?

MR. TONER: You know how diplomacy works, right? This is '' there's --

QUESTION: Yeah, I do. And it's usually when you get to the presidential --

MR. TONER: It's incremental and it's --

QUESTION: Yeah, but usually it goes the other way around. You start with the special envoy and get to the President.

MR. TONER: Well, again, our engagement speaks for itself.

Yeah, Said.

QUESTION: Yes. Just a quick follow-up. The money that had been approved, and it would be held, does it go into a trust? What happens to it?

MR. TONER: I'm not sure technically what happens to it.

QUESTION: Could you find out for us what happens?

MR. TONER: I can try to look into it though, sure.

QUESTION: Can we stay on Israel for just a second?

MR. TONER: Yeah.

QUESTION: And that is, there have been a bunch more rockets, bombs launched into Israel from Gaza.

MR. TONER: Correct.

QUESTION: And I'm just wondering --

MR. TONER: And we obviously condemn that as well.

QUESTION: Yes. I'm sure. Are you in contact with the Egyptians, with other countries, to try and get this '' to tamp this down?

MR. TONER: Tamp '' you're talking about the Hamas --

QUESTION: Yeah.

MR. TONER: I'm not sure diplomatically if we're engaged with the Egyptians on this.

QUESTION: Well, I mean, is there any effort being made? Because you don't have any contacts with Hamas because they're --

MR. TONER: Right, clearly.

QUESTION: But are you talking to people who talk to Hamas to tell them to cut this out --

MR. TONER: I can take the question. I don't know what our '' I don't know what our --

QUESTION: -- particularly when the situation up north in the Golan is also flaring up?

MR. TONER: I'm not sure if we've '' I can '' what I can find out for you is if we've expressed our concerns through other governments, but I'm not sure we would even discuss the '' our contents of our diplomatic conversations.

QUESTION: You mean you --

MR. TONER: I can '' I said I'll check and see if --

QUESTION: If you were saying '' if you were telling countries that have relations ''

MR. TONER: That's what I said to you. But --

QUESTION: -- like the Qataris, who just sent their Amir there --

MR. TONER: But I'm not going to '' I'm not going to --

QUESTION: You wouldn't say that if you told the Amir of Qatar to tell Hamas to stop firing rockets?

MR. TONER: I think I just said to you I said I can see if we can talk about it, whether we've raised it.

Is that it? Thanks, guys.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:01 p.m.)

Israel Opens The Gates Of Hell With Assassination Of Founder Of Hamas

CNN: There Has Been Air Strike After Air Strike After Air Strike In Gaza

Drone Aircraft - A Drone Again, Naturally - YouTube

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Sun, 11 Nov 2012 21:12

Napolitano Blasts FBI: Petraeus An Adulterer But Doesn't Lose Constitutional Rights | Mediaite

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Thu, 15 Nov 2012 02:44

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Appearing on Fox News' Studio B this afternoon, Judge Andrew Napolitano broke down the legal questions surrounding the FBI's investigation into Gen. David Petraeus' extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, criticizing it as ''unwarranted'' and ''troubling.''

''In order for the FBI to be reading the e-mails of the chief spy of the United States, the director of the CIA, they would either need a search warrant from a federal judge in which case they would have to demonstrate to him that the general himself was involved with, or possessing evidence of a crime,'' the judge explained to host Shepard Smith. ''Or they would have to write their own search warrant under the PATRIOT Act in which case they'd have to satisfy themselves that the general was involved in terrorist activity. Both of these is absurd. Neither of them could form the basis for this.''

The Fox News judicial analyst then said that ''the FBI has a lot of explaining to do'' because the only other way to watch the emails of Petraeus would have been to hack into a CIA computer, constituting a crime.

''What were FBI agents doing monitoring the secret emails of the director of the CIA?'' a baffled Napolitano asked. ''How is it that the CIA didn't know about it? Because the FBI surely knew about General Petraeus' personal behavior long before this. They knew about it when they investigated him, when they did a background check of him prior to his confirmation. They knew of the relationship with Mrs. Broadwell then.''

He continued: ''It is troubling because there are laws that the FBI has to follow, and General Petraeus, just because he is an adulterer, doesn't lose his constitutional rights. He has the right to be protected from an unwarranted, unjustified investigation by the FBI or anyone.''

Smith remarked that there seem to be a whole host of elephants in the room with this story.

In response, Napolitano noted that the FBI and CIA have long been rivals, adding that ''we do not know if this is anything more than the FBI poking itself into the ribs of their long time rival, the CIA.''

Smith and Napolitano then noted the possibility that Petraeus no longer has to testify about the September 11th Benghazi attacks. ''If he was going to testify next week as the CIA director, he would have been met with a mountain of evidence to contradict what he said under oath,'' Napolitano said. ''So this trigger could have been pulled to save him from perjury or to save the president from severe embarrassment.''

''We have no information to suggest neither of those is right,'' Smith cautioned and Napolitano agreed, but the host concluded that either way, ''it appears that could be the outcome.''

Watch below, via Fox News:'' ''>> Follow Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) on Twitter

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Presidential News Conference - C-SPAN Video Library

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 20:40

White House

President Obama spoke to reporters and answered questions in his first formal news conference since his re-election.'‚Among the topics addressed were the resignation of General David Petraeus as CIA director, demographics of .. Read MorePresident Obama spoke to reporters and answered questions in his first formal news conference since his re-election.'‚Among the topics addressed were the resignation of General David Petraeus as CIA director, demographics of the American electorate, the state of the economy, budget negotiations and efforts to avoid the economic ''fiscal cliff'' in January 2013, potential cabinet appointments, and his agenda for a second term.

51 minutes | 91 Views

Rep. Pelosi to Stay in Congress and Run Again as Minority Leader | C-SPAN

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Wed, 14 Nov 2012 20:29

Author & journalist Max Holland discusses his book, "Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat." Mark Felt was the FBI assistant director who in 1972 leaked Watergate investigation information to several reporters, including Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Holland argues that contrary to popular notions, Felt selfishly used journalists to discredit FBI director L. Patrick Gray in the hope that he would be appointed to the top spot; and that Nixon's resignation was an unintended consequence. The Kansas City Public Library hosted this event.

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