US Intelligence Planned To Destroy WikiLeaks

From Slashdot:

An anonymous reader writes “This document is a classified (SECRET/NOFORN), 32-page US counterintelligence investigation into WikiLeaks (PDF). ‘The possibility that current employees or moles within DoD or elsewhere in the US government are providing sensitive or classified information to cannot be ruled out.’ It concocts a plan to fatally marginalize the organization. Since WikiLeaks uses ‘trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers or whistleblowers,’ the report recommends ‘The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Web site.’ [As two years have passed since the date of the report, with no WikiLeaks’ source exposed, it appears that this plan was ineffective.] As an odd justification for the plan, the report claims that ‘Several foreign countries including China, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe have denounced or blocked access to the website.’ The report provides further justification by enumerating embarrassing stories broken by WikiLeaks — US equipment expenditure in Iraq, probable US violations of the Chemical Warfare Convention Treaty in Iraq, the battle over the Iraqi town of Fallujah and human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay.”


Insurgents ‘have US ammo’


Kabul – Television footage broadcast on Tuesday showed insurgents handling what appears to be US ammunition in a remote area of eastern Afghanistan that American forces left last month following a deadly firefight that killed eight troops.

The US military said the forces that left the area said they removed and accounted for their equipment.

Al-Jazeera broadcast video showing insurgents handling weapons, including anti-personnel mines with US markings on them. The television station reported that insurgents said they seized the weapons from two US remote outposts in Nuristan province. It was unclear when the video was filmed.

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Iraq Swears by Bomb Detector U.S. Sees as Useless

From The New York Times:

BAGHDAD — Despite major bombings that have rattled the nation, and fears of rising violence as American troops withdraw, Iraq’s security forces have been relying on a device to detect bombs and weapons that the United States military and technical experts say is useless.

The small hand-held wand, with a telescopic antenna on a swivel, is being used at hundreds of checkpoints in Iraq. But the device works “on the same principle as a Ouija board” — the power of suggestion — said a retired United States Air Force officer, Lt. Col. Hal Bidlack, who described the wand as nothing more than an explosives divining rod.

Still, the Iraqi government has purchased more than 1,500 of the devices, known as the ADE 651, at costs from $16,500 to $60,000 each. Nearly every police checkpoint, and many Iraqi military checkpoints, have one of the devices, which are now normally used in place of physical inspections of vehicles.

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US drone strikes may break international law: UN

From AFP via Google:

UNITED NATIONS — US drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan could be breaking international laws against summary executions, the UN’s top investigator of such crimes said.

“The problem with the United States is that it is making an increased use of drones/Predators (which are) particularly prominently used now in relation to Pakistan and Afghanistan,” UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions Philip Alston told a press conference.

“My concern is that drones/Predators are being operated in a framework which may well violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” he said.

US strikes with remote-controlled aircraft against Al-Qaeda and Taliban targets in Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan have often resulted in civilian deaths and drawn bitter criticism from local populations.

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Castro sister recounts role as CIA spy in Cuba

From Reuters:

* Juanita Castro says Brazilian friend recruited her

* Code named Donna, says helped foes of Fidel Castro flee

* She says Fidel “betrayed” Cuba revolution with communism

(Updates with Juanita Castro saying she accepted no payment from the CIA for her collaboration)

By Pascal Fletcher

MIAMI, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Using the code name Donna, the younger sister of Fidel and Raul Castro worked undercover for the CIA in Cuba in the early 1960s, helping opponents of their communist rule escape execution and imprisonment, she said in memoirs published in exile on Monday.

Revealing what the publishers called a closely guarded secret kept hidden for four decades, Juanita Castro described in the book how she was recruited by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in Havana two years after the 1959 Revolution led by her brothers, which she initially supported.

There was no immediate reaction to her revelation from the U.S. authorities or the Cuban government, which routinely dismisses critics as mercenaries in the pay of Washington.

Juanita Castro, 76, broke publicly with the Cuban government led by her brother Fidel Castro in 1964 after leaving Cuba for Mexico. She went into exile in Miami and has remained a firm critic of communist rule in Cuba.

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U.S., Israel Start Defense Drill

From The Wall Street Journal:

TEL AVIV — The U.S. and Israeli militaries began a combined air-defense exercise on Thursday involving about 1,000 American soldiers and simulating a scenario in which U.S. forces deploy to Israel to help defend the country against incoming missiles.

The three-week drill, the fifth since 2001, is part of a growing partnership between the two militaries that has coincided with rising fears in Israel about Iran’s growing arsenal of missiles and nuclear ambitions.

“In time of need the Israel Defense Forces will protect our country, however, if decided, our defenses will be enhanced by the United States’ capabilities,” Israeli Air Defense Corps commander Brig. Gen. Doron Gavish told a news conference.

Iran and Israel both confirmed Thursday that representatives of their governments attended a conference in Cairo last month focused on global nonproliferation issues, a rare joint appearance by officials from the enemy states. Continue reading

Renewable Energy: The Myth of Germany’s “Grün Energie”


by Patrick Tuohey

On May 27, President Obama remarked to an audience gathered at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada that Americans, “pioneered solar technology, but we’ve fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in generating it, even though they get less sun than we do.  They certainly get less sun than Nevada.”  Today, Vice President Biden and a handful of Cabinet secretaries releases the Recovery through Retrofit report that will extol the virtues of green jobs and energy savings to be had if only the government had its way.


Observers of national policy may want to look at other countries’ experiences to see how they have fared with efforts to improve environmental policies.  Previous research on green jobs policies in Spain showed that costs were high and benefits short-lived.  But what of the President’s example of Germany?


The Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), an independent German economic policy think tank founded in 1926, has released its report on the matter entitled, “Economic impacts from the promotion of renewable energies: The German experience.”  To readers hoping for a government solution to  energy problems, page 4 delivers a devastating indictment of the German model:

German renewable energy policy, and in particular the adopted feed-in tariff scheme, has failed to harness the market incentives needed to ensure a viable and cost-effective introduction of renewable energies into the country’s energy portfolio.  To the contrary, the government’s support mechanisms have in many respects subverted these incentives, resulting in massive expenditures that show little long-term promise for stimulating the economy, protecting the environment, or increasing energy security.

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