MoD admits use of controversial 'enhanced blast' weapons in Afghanistan 30 May 2009
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Sat May 30 13:47:32 EDT 2009
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30 May 2009
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MoD admits use of controversial 'enhanced blast' weapons in Afghanistan --The missile's warhead is made with a mixture of chemicals rather than a simple blast mechanism. 28 May 2009 British pilots in Afghanistan are firing an increasing number of "enhanced blast" thermobaric weapons, designed to kill everyone in buildings they strike, the Ministry of Defence has revealed. Since the start of this year more than 20 of the US-designed [What a surprise!] missiles, which have what is officially described as a "blast fragmentation warhead", have been fired by pilots of British Apache attack helicopters. A total of 20 were also fired last year after they were bought by the MoD from the Americans last May. ['Enhanced blast' -- 'enhanced interrogation.' It's time for 'enhanced social uprising.' --LRP]
US defence secretary Robert Gates warns North Korea 30 May 2009 Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, delivered a stark warning to North Korea on Saturday, declaring that America would not "stand idly by" while the regime threatened to "wreak destruction" with nuclear weapons. Instead, Mr Gates urged "tough sanctions" against North Korea and pledged that Washington would not accept its possession of a nuclear arsenal. Kim Jong-il's regime was, he said, starving its own people in order to develop [US-style] weapons of mass destruction.
Gates calls for tough sanctions on North Korea, Iran --Gates: US 'will respond quickly' to threats by N. Korea 30 May 2009 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Saturday compared North Korea's nuclear program to Iran's and called for tough sanctions against both countries that bring home real pain for their failure to adhere to international norms. Gates said that Pyongyang's nuclear program is further along than that of Tehran, and insisted that the United States would respond quickly if moves by North Korea's government threatened America or its Asian allies.
U.S. 'Likely' Could Intercept North Korean Missile 29 May 2009 U.S. ground-based interceptor rockets would "likely" knock out a long-range North Korean missile before it could reach the American mainland, the Pentagon’s independent testing official said today. "I believe we have a reasonable chance" of an intercept, Charles McQueary, director of operational test and evaluation, said in an interview as North Korea defied international condemnation of a nuclear test with another short-range missile launch.
N Korea prepares site for launch of ballistic missile 29 May 2009 US officials said that satellite images had detected activity at a site in North Korea that suggested the rogue state could be preparing to launch a long-range ballistic missile. Speaking after the country launched another short-range missile off its east coast, the seventh this week, Pentagon officials said that the activity of several vehicles in the photographs echoed the preparations seen before a long-range rocket was launched last month.
'The second part studies its strategy for surviving a nuclear war.' Pakistan enhances second strike N-capability: US report 30 May 2009 Pakistan has addressed issues of survivability in a possible nuclear conflict through second strike capability, says a US congressional report. The first part of the report, published on Friday, deals with Islamabad’s efforts to develop new weapons, while the second part studies its strategy for surviving a nuclear war. According to the report, Pakistan has built hard and deeply buried storage and launch facilities to retain a second strike capability in a nuclear war.
U.S. urges more foreign aid for Afghanistan 30 May 2009 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates Saturday urged the international community to give more aid to Afghanistan to [re]build infrastructure [that the US/UK destroyed], expand its military and police, and ensure security for elections [sic of the century] this year.
Afghan governor wounded in blast 30 May 2009 The governor of the northern Afghan province of Kunduz was slightly wounded Saturday when his car was struck by a roadside bomb, his spokesman told CNN. Gov. Mohammad Omar was returning from neighboring Takhar Province when the remotely detonated bomb went off, said his spokesman Mahbublah Saydi. The attack, which happened at 8 a.m. (11:30 p.m. ET), damaged his car and also left his driver slightly wounded, Saydi said.
Twin roadside bombings kill 4 Afghan civilians, wound 3 police 30 May 2009 Two roadside bombings rocked Kandahar, the former stronghold of Taliban in south Afghanistan on Saturday, leaving four civilians dead and injuring three police constables, an official said. The first attack, which hit a civilian car in Khakriz district killing four civilians including a woman Saturday morning while the other attack targeted a police van in Dand district wounding three police constables, a police officer Ghulam Hazrat, told Xinhua.
Pakistan: Number of displaced persons exceeds 3 million 30 May 2009 The number of internally displaced persons (IDP) has crossed the three million mark, according to the NWFP government. Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said at a press conference at the Officers' Mess here on Friday that the number of IDPs now stood at 3.4 million -- 2.8 million of them from Malakand division alone.
Report: Iran hangs three over Zahedan mosque bombing 30 May 2009 Iran hanged in public three men convicted of involvement in a bloody mosque bombing in Zahedan, capital of southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, the official IRNA news agency reported Saturday. The three were hanged in public at 6:00 a.m. local time (0130 GMT) near the Amir al-Momenin mosque, where the deadly bombing took place on Thursday, killing 25 people and wounding at least 125 others, IRNA quoted a provincial official as saying.
White House condemns 'terrorist attacks' against Iran 30 may 2009 The White House has denounced the "terrorist attacks" in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan which resulted in the deaths of 25 people. "The United States strongly condemns the recent terrorist attacks inside Iran," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement on Friday.
Iran cleric suspects U.S. and Israel behind mosque bombing 29 May 2009 A leading cleric in Iran has condemned the terrorist attack on a mosque, 1,600 kilometres southeast of the capital Tehran, saying that clues had emerged which indicated it may have been carried out by the United States and Israel. A spokesman for the U.S. State Department on Friday rejected the accusation.
3 shot at office of President of Iran 29 May 2009 Three people have been wounded after a shooting at a campaign office of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The government-operated IRNA news agency said the shooting took place Friday in the southeastern city of Zahedan, which is located near the border with Pakistan.
Israel to hold massive military exercise 29 May 2009 Surrounded by enemies on every side as well as inside their country, Israel will Sunday launch a massive military exercise to help ready the nation for a full-scale war. Operation 'Turning Point 3' is set to last for five days, and will simulate a simultaneous war against the Hamas in Gaza, the Hizb'allah in Lebanon, the Syrian army, the Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria and Israel's Arab citizens, who are expected to riot and in other ways assist Israel's enemies in the case of such a war.
Germany: West Bank settlement expansion is 'not acceptable' 30 May 2009 German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has demanded that Israel put an end to all settlement building in the Palestinian territories, in a newspaper interview published Saturday. It is "not acceptable" to found new settlements or expand existing ones in East Jerusalem or the West Bank, Steinmeier said in a joint interview with the German Press Agency dpa and German daily Sueddeutsche.
US senator rejects Cheney torture claim as 'lie' 30 May 2009 A US senator says claims by former Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney that enhanced interrogation techniques -- torture -- saved countless American lives are wrong. The powerful chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Carl Levin, said an investigation into detainee abuse charges over the use of the tactics "gives the lie to Mr. Cheney's claims," CNN reported.
Levin: Memos don't show what Cheney says they do 29 May 2009 Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says former Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's claims -- that classified CIA memos show enhanced interrogation techniques torture like waterboarding worked -- are wrong. Levin, speaking at the Foreign Policy Association's annual dinner in New York on Wednesday, said an investigation by his committee into detainee abuse charges over the use of the techniques -- now deemed torture by the Obama administration -- "gives the lie to Mr. Cheney's claims."
Censorship we can believe in: Obama to ban PoW photos exposing rape, torture 30 May 2009 The US administration asks an appeals court to stop the release of prisoner abuse images, showing that Obama has fully backtracked on his promise of transparency. In a motion filed Thursday in a New York federal appeals court, the Obama administration said that it did not want the photos to be available to the public, arguing that they could lead to violence against US troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and even Pakistan.
Torture photos: US soldiers raped, sodomized Iraqi prisoners By Tom Eley 29 May 2009 In an interview with the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph published Wednesday, former US General Antonio Taguba said that photographs the Obama administration is seeking to suppress show images of US soldiers raping and sodomizing Iraqi prisoners. Taguba, who conducted the military inquiry of prisoner abuse at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in 2004 after some photos of US soldiers torturing prisoners became public, said that among the photos are images of soldiers raping a female prisoner, raping a male detainee, and committing "sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and phosphorescent tube," according to the Telegraph. Gen. Taguba said even the description of the photos is explosive.
After Waterboarding: How to Make Terrorists Talk? 29 May 2009 The most successful interrogation of an Al-Qaeda operative by U.S. officials required no sleep deprivation, no slapping or "walling" and no waterboarding. All it took to soften up Abu Jandal, who had been closer to Osama bin Laden than any other terrorist ever captured, was a handful of sugar-free cookies... "There is nothing intelligent about torture," says Army staff sergeant Eric Maddox. "If you have to inflict pain, then you've lost control of the situation, the subject and yourself."
Do-It-Yourself Waterboarding 29 May 2009 Demonstrators protest the use of water torture by creating frighteningly realistic simulations (Photos)
Speaking of terrorists: KBR faults media in coverage of electrocution issue 30 May 2009 Former [Cheney] Halliburton subsidiary KBR Inc. on Friday accused media outlets of using electrocution death statistics to fuel a "politically-driven campaign" against the company. A statement released by KBR's interim president of government and infrastructure, William Bodie [Bill.Bodie at KBR.com], objected to "false reports and innuendo" in a New York-based newspaper and other media outlets concerning electrical issues in Iraq, where the Houston-based firm holds more than $16 billion in government contracts for services at thousands of U.S.-controlled facilities.
'Fleeing' ex-Iraq minister arrested 30 May 2009 Abdel Falah al-Sudani, Iraq's former trade minister who resigned last week amid a corruption scandal, has been arrested at Baghdad airport while trying to flee the country, a senior Iraqi official has said. Al-Sudani and his wife were on board a flight to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) when the plane was turned back after takeoff so that he could be arrested, Sabah al-Saedi, the chairman of the parliamentary integrity committee, said on Friday.
US soldier killed in northern Iraq 29 May 2009 An American soldier was killed when a grenade exploded near his patrol in Nineveh province in northern Iraq on Friday, the US army said in a statement. The death took the number of US troops killed in the nation in May to 22, the highest monthly toll since last September.
US Army base shuts down after rise in suicides 29 May 2009 The commander of Fort Campbell army base in Kentucky has ordered a three-day suspension of regular duties to focus on a spike in suicides among his troops amid concern over a wider trend across the armed services. The "stand-down" on Friday entered its third day at Fort Campbell, which is home to the famed 101st Airborne Division and has recorded the highest rate of suicide in the army, with at least 11 confirmed or suspected suicides.
Richard Gage on KMPH Fox 26 in Fresno, CA Posted by fresnofreedom 28 May 2009 More info at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. (Video)
CIA Announces Push to Improve Agency's Language Proficiency 30 May 2009 Five years after it was faulted by the 9/11 Commission for inadequate language skills among its employees, the CIA yesterday launched an ambitious program to double the number of analysts proficient in languages deemed critical in the fight against America's [so many] enemies. The new initiative, announced by CIA Director Leon Panetta, was an acknowledgment of the agency's slow progress in adding employees fluent in languages such as Arabic, Farsi and Urdu.
Apologise for terror arrests Labour MP tells Govt 29 May 2009 Labour MP for Glasgow Central, Mohammad Sarwar, has asked the Government to apologise for its part in the recent high-profile arrests of innocent Muslim students under anti-terror laws on April 8. The case against 12 men involved in what Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, called a "major terrorist plot" amounted to no more than an email and a few telephone conversations, it emerged; all the men were subsequently released without charge on April 22.
Darpa's Simple Plan to Track Targets Everywhere By Nathan Hodge 21 May 2009 Most confusing briefing ever? Not just. It’s also a sketch of Pentagon far-out research arm Darpa’s plan to track down and tag "elusive targets" --adversaries who can move, hide and blend in with cluttered environments. And that means more than just next-generation sensors that can penetrate foliage or peer inside "urban canyons." It means stitching together information collected by different sensors to track a moving object. Darpa’s 2009 strategic plan offers a fascinating overview of the different approaches the agency is taking to better track and identify these elusive targets.
US plans to press FBI into counter-terror ops 28 May 2009 The US plans to push the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Justice Department into global counter-terrorism operations in a shift away from the Bush administration's policy that relied largely on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), a media report said Thursday... Under the 'global justice' initiative, FBI agents will have a central role in overseas counter-terrorism cases.
Swine flu infects US official in France for Obama trip 29 May 2009 An American official sent to France to help prepare President Barack Obama's visit to D-Day landing beaches next week has been hospitalised for swine flu but is doing well, officials said on Friday. "Eleven people who were in close contact with her were given preventive treatment last night and confined to their hotel rooms for 24 hours," said Christian Leyrit, the state representative in the northern Normandy region.
Ariz. halts use of uncovered outdoor prison holding cells 30 May 2009 The Arizona Department of Corrections has halted the practice of holding Arizona state prison inmates in outdoor cages so workers can retrofit the cages to provide shade and water. Charles L. Ryan, the department's director, ordered the temporary suspension last week after the death of Marcia Powell at Arizona State Prison Complex-Perryville. Powell, 48, died of heat-related causes after spending four hours in temperatures that reached 107.5 degrees.
California now faces budget cuts "beyond draconian" --One of the first targets is 200 state parks, already causing a public outcry as summer approaches. 30 May 2009 Before this state’s May 19 vote on five initiatives intended to solve the state’s chronic fiscal difficulties, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- in person on the stump and via TV ad blitzes up and down the state -- told voters that if the measures did not pass, the resulting budget cuts would be "draconian." In the days after the measures went down in flames, the announcements have come rapid fire, and various constituencies are reeling -- calling the cuts "beyond draconian."
Mega barf alert! Retail giant Wal-Mart opens in India 31 May 2009 The world's number one retailer Wal-Mart opened its first sales venture in India on Saturday as part of an ambitious plan to establish a foothold in the country's vast consumer market. The US discount chain corpora-terrorist has teamed up with Bharti Enterprises, parent of India's biggest mobile firm Bharti Airtel, in a wholesale joint venture to be called Best Price Modern Wholesale.
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Previous lead stories: Pentagon Plans New Arm to Wage Cyberspace Wars --Obama expected to sign classified order in coming weeks that will create the military cybercommand 29 May 2009 The Pentagon plans to create a new military command for cyberspace, administration officials said Thursday, stepping up preparations by the armed forces to conduct both offensive and defensive computer warfare. The military command would complement a civilian effort to be announced by President Obama on Friday that would overhaul the way the United States safeguards its computer networks. The main dispute has been over whether the Pentagon or the National Security Agency should take the lead in preparing for and fighting cyberbattles. Under one proposal still being debated, parts of the N.S.A. would be integrated into the military command so they could operate jointly.
Iran mosque blast bears 'US, Israel thumbprints' 29 May 2009 A senior Iranian official says Israel and the US have had a hand in the mosque bombing that shook the southeastern city of Zahedan to its core. "The bomb tragedy that occurred yesterday in the city of Zahedan is awash with Israeli and US fingerprints," said Tehran's Interim Friday Prayers Leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami. "Without a doubt, it was a scheme to drive a wedge between the Shia population and the Sunni minority in Iran," he added. Ayatollah Khatami said that the perpetrators of the bomb attack have been identified and will be brought to justice.
Casey: Army would have to 'shift gears' for N. Korea battle 30 May 2009 It would take the Army time to "shift gears" if it needed to fight against North Korea, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said Thursday. Right now, the Army is focused on the counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, but North Korea’s recent [and perpetual US] saber rattling has raised the prospect that the Army might be called upon to fight a conventional war. "I have said publicly for some time that if we had to shift gears, it would probably take us about 90 days or so to shift our gears and to train the folks up that were preparing to go to Iraq and Afghanistan to go someplace else," Casey said after a speech at a Washington think tank. [How many wars -- on how many fronts -- would the US then be fighting?]
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