Showing posts from December 20, 2014

Leaked Internal CIA Document Admits US Drone Program "Counterproductive"

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[Wikileaks is up and at 'em again for the first time in around 3 years and says it will be releasing a series of CIA documents in the near future. This document reveals that the agency's own internal review found key counter-terrorism strategy "may increase support" for the groups it targets, yet the release of this report was still followed by a massive increase in the number of drone attacks. *RON*]

Jon QueallyCommon Dreams, 18 December 2014

Wikileaks on Thursday has made public a never-before-seen internal review conducted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency that looked at the agency's drone and targeted assassination programs in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere.

The agency's own analysis, conducted in 2009, found that its clandestine drone and assassination program was likely to produce counterproductive outcomes, including strengthening the very "extremist groups" it wa…

The War Nerd: More proof the US defense industry has nothing to do with defending America

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[This is the jet that Harper, that desperate corporatocrat, wants for Canada. "The armed services are trying to boost their worst aircraft, the totally worthless F-35, by trashing their best, the simple, effective, proven A-10 Warthog....There are no secret reasons here, no top-security considerations that justify any of this. It’s corruption, pure and simple. The sooner you understand that the US defense industry has nothing at all to do with defending America, and everything to do with making Dick Cheney’s buddies even richer, the more quickly you’ll be able to understand what’s going on." *RON*]

By Gary Brecher, Pando Daily, 18 December 2014

KUWAIT CITY—This has been a classic week in the defense procurement industry. The armed services are trying to boost their worst aircraft, the totally worthless F-35, by trashing their best, the simple, effective, proven A-10 Warthog.

The A-10 is popular enough that the USAF had to come up with a

Meet Alfreda Bikowsky, the Senior Officer at the Center of the CIA's Torture Scandals

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[Many good links to additional details. Greenwald and The Intercept refuse to yield to the CIA pressure to keep Bikowsky anonymous, despite the fact that her name has been publicly well known for a long time. See her Wikipedia page, for instance! *RON*]
By Glenn Greenwald and Peter Maass, The Intercept, 19 December 2014

NBC News yesterday called her a “key apologist” for the CIA’s torture program. A follow-up New Yorker article dubbed her “The Unidentified Queen of Torture” and in part “the model for the lead character in ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’” Yet in both articles she was anonymous.

The person described by both NBC and The New Yorker is senior CIA officer Alfreda Frances Bikowsky. Multiple news outlets have reported that as the result of a long string of significant errors and malfeasance, her competence and integrity are doubted — even by some within the agency.

The Intercept is naming Bikowsky over CIA objections because of her key role in mislead…

Feds Pay $1.25M For ‘News' Handouts To Media Editors

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[The sneer quotes around 'News' are well earned. The media ARE the 1%: look for stories bearing a "News Canada" credit and ignore them. This was one of the comments attached to the version of this story that was on Huffington Post: "Emerson Killam · The official office of Propaganda is now spoon-feeding the lines to an already compliant media. I can think of a few other less than reputable nations that have the government tell the news outlets what to write. Don't you just love having your tax money spent to falsely glorify this government's meagre and questionable achievements?" *RON*]
By Tom Korski, Blacklock's Reporter, 19 December 2014

Public Works Canada is awarding a $1.25 million contract to a publicist to distribute government-vetted “news” to publishers and radio and TV stations. The budget for handout “news” increased 25 percent from a previous contract. The department said it wanted to “inform a…

Why Has Canada Still Not Signed the UN's Optional Protocol on Torture?

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[Why indeed? "Is it possible that the Canadian government is concerned that ratifying this Optional Protocol will bring its own practices under greater scrutiny?" *RON*]
Amira Elghawaby, Huffington Post, 19 December 2014

Canada, along with other democratic nations, is against mob rule. That's essentially what groups like ISIS and their ilk, of various faith denominations and political persuasions, represent. These groups have no time for the rule of law, human rights, or internationally recognized rules of engagement.

Their words and deeds are in direct contradiction with the principles that Canada, and its coalition partners, claim to be defending whenever launching military action to stop their spread. So why is it so difficult for Canada to ratify a document that ensures the type of horrific actions perpetrated by these groups -- including torture -- are stamped out? What is preventing Canada from fulfilling its commitment to ratif…

B.C. KSM Gold Mine Gets Environmental Approval From Federal Government

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[This is a mine with multiple open pits and tailings ponds at the headwaters of a river system with crucial salmon habitat, just like Mount Polley and Red Chris, except KSM will be one of the largest such mines in the world. Such mines, according to a US study, experience a 28% failure rate of their tailings ponds' dams. This enormous project, which the state of Alaska fears, was quietly being reviewed for this approval while the Mount Polley disaster was unfolding in the press. See Mount Polley highlights risk of Red Chris, KSM tailings dam failures. *RON*]
By Terri Theodore, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 19 December 2014

VANCOUVER - The federal government approved the environmental assessment application on Friday for the massive KSM gold and copper mine in northwestern British Columbia near the Alaska border.

The mine, which is owned by Seabridge Gold Inc., is considered the largest undeveloped gold reserve in the world and also has …

Chevron cancels Canadian Arctic drilling as oil prices slide

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[This is the first concrete instance I've seen of an oil project being cancelled because of low prices. *RON*]

Reuters, 17 December 2014

Dec 17 (Reuters) - Chevron Corp is putting a plan to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea in Canada's Arctic on hold indefinitely because of what it called "economic uncertainty in the industry" as oil prices fall.

In a letter to Canada's National Energy Board on Wednesday, the company withdrew from a hearing on Arctic drilling rules because it has walked away from plans to drill in the EL 481 block, 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories.

The drilling project is the largest yet put on hold after oil prices dropped by nearly half over the last six months, even as a long list of oil companies cut their budgets for 2015 because of the price drop.

"Chevron has put its drilling plans for EL 481 on hold indefinitely," the company said in its letter to the r…