The Pentagon has been stonewalling on my requests for answers to key questions. For two weeks, a public affairs office has been declining to respond to my question about whether the six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles flown by a B-52 from Minot AFB to Barksdale AFB were programmed for specific targets, and, if so, what those targets were or even whether the team that investigated the incident checked to see if they were targeted.
The Air Force and Pentagon have also declined to explain whether U.S. nuclear weapons in storage in U.S. bunkers have been provided with the same alarm and motion-detection sensors that the National Nuclear Security Agency helped to install on the nukes being stored on Russian bases.
Clearly if such devices are standard on U.S. nukes, as several Air Force active and retired personnel have assured me is the case, then there is no way those weapons could have been removed from the Minot bunker by “mistake” as claimed the Air Force’s official report on the incident.
The Pentagon has also refused to state whether the missiles were fueled up or not.
Sarkozy’s bad week
As if his marital challenges were not enough cause for concern, “Sarco the Sayan” has suddenly emerged as the most infamous accolade of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The influential French daily Le Figaro last week revealed that the French leader once worked for — and perhaps still does, it hinted — Israeli intelligence as a sayan (Hebrew for helper), one of the thousands of Jewish citizens of countries other than Israel who cooperate with the katsas (Mossad case-officers).
A letter dispatched to French police officials late last winter — long before the presidential election but somehow kept secret — revealed that Sarkozy was recruited as an Israeli spy. The French police is currently investigating documents concerning Sarkozy’s alleged espionage activities on behalf of Mossad, which Le Figaro claims dated as far back as 1983. According to the author of the message, in 1978, Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin ordered the infiltration of the French ruling Gaullist Party, Union pour un Mouvement Populaire. Originally targeted were Patrick Balkany, Patrick Devedjian and Pierre Lellouche. In 1983, they recruited the “young and promising” Sarkozy, the “fourth man”.
Ex-Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky describes how sayanim function in By Way Of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer. They are usually reached through relatives in Israel. An Israeli with a relative in France, for instance, might be asked to draft a letter saying the person bearing the letter represents an organisation whose main goal is to help save Jewish people in the Diaspora. Could the French relative help in any way? They perform many different roles. A car sayan, for example, running a rental car agency, could help the Mossad rent a car without having to complete the usual documentation. An apartment sayan would find accommodation without raising suspicions, a bank sayan could fund someone in the middle of the night if needs be, a doctor sayan would treat a bullet wound without reporting it to the police.
And, a political sayan ? It’s rather obvious what this could mean. The sayanim are a pool of people at the ready who will keep quiet about their actions out of loyalty to “the cause”, a non-risk recruitment system that draws from the millions of Jewish people outside Israel.
The US is secretly upgrading special stealth bomber hangars on the British island protectorate of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to military sources.
The improvement of the B1 Spirit jet infrastructure coincides with an “urgent operational need” request for £44m to fit racks to the long-range aircraft.
That would allow them to carry experimental 15-ton Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bombs designed to smash underground bunkers buried as much as 200ft beneath the surface through reinforced concrete.
So now we have a groups of loonies helped by a crazy rich guy with a private army running around causing mayhem in the part of the world that they deem to be the theater of the coming Armageddon.
Today, Blackwater founder Erik Prince defended all of his company’s actions in Iraq to the Congress (and to the American people) as being as close to earthly perfection as humans can achieve on god’s earth. Prince, who is a also a founder of a right-wing foundation called “Freiheit,” which is German for “liberty,” aimed a laser-like scowl at the forehead of Chairman Henry Waxman and the other Democrats as they dared to ask questions of a CEO who has clearly grown accustomed to operating without oversight.
Herr Prince’s appearance before the committee led me to wonder what he has been discussing behind closed doors lately as a member of the super-secret “Council for National Policy.” Other right-wing luminaries who belong to the Council for National Policy include the Armageddonist novelist Tim LaHaye, and the right-wing evangelical leaders Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Gary Bauer, and Ralph Reed. The late Jerry Falwell was also a member. There also close ties between the CNP and the beer magnate Holland Coors, the NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, Phyllis Schlafly, Oliver North, Grover Norquist, and Frank Gaffney.
The Council for National Policy recently held a top-secret meeting in Utah that Vice President Dick Cheney attended. “The media should not know when or where we meet,” the Council instructs its members, “or who takes part in our programs, before or after a meeting.”
The Bush administration has long held that President Bush’s expanded executive power is justified due to 9/11. “I believe in a strong, robust executive authority and I think that the world we live in demands it,” claimed Vice President Cheney in 2005.
But in his new book, Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy, Boston Globe reporter Charlie Savage reveals that Cheney has been on a thirty-year quest to implement his views of unfettered executive power.
Why is the US doing business with a sleezy serb weapons dealer?
NIS, Serbia — For the past four years Tomislav Damnjanovic has played a crucial role in the United States’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2003, he has delivered millions of rounds of ammunition, guns, grenades and mortars to the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, United Nations officials say, facts he does not dispute. His aircraft have even been used to shuttle supplies between American bases in Iraq, saving troops from having to make hazardous trips by land.
But it was not always so.
Five Maryland families, all of whom agreed to an out-of-court settlement with the airline industry over their loved ones’ deaths on Sept. 11, are drawing some pointed criticism for agreeing to keep silent about what they learned during the course of the lawsuit.The families, who chose not to receive money through the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, say they pursued a legal route in hopes that their suits would give them a better understanding of the security breakdowns that allowed the tragedy to occur.
But whatever knowledge they gained, they’re not allowed to talk about it.