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Selected News For The Week Dec 10 – Dec 16

This thread is for the busy bees of S&L to post news articles that may not warrant their own thread.

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This article was posted by Steve on Friday, December 9th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Selected News For The Week Dec 10 – Dec 16”

  1. canary says:

    Soldiers & troops are now be labeled peacekeepers by media.

    BBC: Bomb Blast Injures UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon

    Dec 9 2011

    At least five French UN peacekeepers and a Lebanese civilian have been injured by a bomb blast southern Lebanon, security officials have said.

    The bomb went off in the Bourj al-Shamali area, on the outskirts of the port city of Tyre, as a vehicle carrying the troops drove past.

    The 4×4 carrying soldiers from the French contingent was passing on a main road that skirts the eastern side of Tyre when the bomb went off.

    The five soldiers mainly suffered head injuries.

    The bombing was very similar to one that wounded six French troops in July at Sidon, a city further to the north. Six Italian peacekeepers were also hurt in a similar attack in Sidon two months earlier.

    However, attacks on Unifil have been taking place long before the uprising began in Syria in March, including one in 2007 in which seven Spanish peacekeepers were killed, he adds.

    The 12,000-strong force has been deployed in southern Lebanon since 1978 to monitor the border with Israel.


  2. DW says:

    The term “peacekeepers”is a warm, fuzzy, and completely destructive term used by the media, leftist politicians and soccer moms who just don’t know any better.
    As the old saying goes: Soldiers can do peacekeeping but peacekeepers can’t do soldiering.
    Soldiers hate the term when it is applied to them. They utterly loathe and despise it -and with good reason. The above mentioned groups would love nothing more than to turn proud, effective armies into fuzzy, feel-good constabularies.

    • canary says:

      yes, and then Obama calling Afghanistan our partner.
      Afganistan is mad claiming India ref is cheating at some sports game the 2 are playing.

      Also, several U.S. soldiers were blown away last few days and don’t hear about it.

      Shame on the media for no longer noting this so that people understand our soldiers are still fighting a war and…..

      Another Unit just deployed to Afghanistan after Obama says they are coming home. Same ol b.s.

  3. canary says:

    Update on Iran using cyber warfare to capture of U.S. top secret drone

    Defense News: Iran’s Captured RQ-170: How Bad Is the Damage?

    By Dave Majumdar Dec 9 2011
    and Share

    Iranian state TV broadcast footage Dec. 8 claiming to show a U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel high-altitude reconnaissance drone. (AFP Photo / Iranian TV)

    “There is the potential for reverse engineering, clearly,” said Air Force Chief Gen. Norton Schwartz…

    The Iranian broadcast showed apparent footage of a mostly intact RQ-170 put on public display. While the craft showed some damage, it seemed to be in remarkably good shape.

    One source said the aircraft in the footage was definitely the Sentinel, a subsonic, high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft built by Lockheed Martin….

    However, the Pentagon had no official comment on the Iranian video footage.

    “We’re not going to add to what we said over the weekend,” said George Little, a spokesman for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

    Dan Goure, an analyst at the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Va., compared it to the Soviet shoot-down of Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 spy plane, a tactical and strategic disaster for the U.S.

    The Iranians will undoubtedly share the technology or even the crashed aircraft with other nations, he said – and Iranian news site Nasim reported Dec. 8 that Russian and Chinese experts were already on their way to visit.

    Still, reverse engineering is inevitable, he said: “Please insert Ethernet cable and download operating instructions here.”

    Tehran claims to have used cyberwarfare to hack the drone’s systems.

    Goure said the largely intact airframe ruled out the possibility of an engine or navigational malfunction.

    “Either this was a cyber/electronic warfare attack system that brought the system down or it was a glitch in the command-and-control system,” he said.

    Aboulafia pronounced himself flummoxed that the RQ-170 was not programmed to self-destruct.


  4. canary says:

    FoxNews: Hezbollah Identifies Undercover CIA Officers Working in Lebanon

    Dec 12, 2011

    WASHINGTON – The militant group Hezbollah has revealed the identities of CIA officers working undercover in Lebanon, a blow to agency operations in the region and the latest salvo in an escalating spy war.

    The disclosure comes after Hezbollah managed to partially unravel the agency’s spy network in Lebanon after running a double agent against the CIA, former and current U.S. intelligence officials said. They requested anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence.

    In June, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah bragged that his group had identified at least two spies working for the CIA. It is not clear whether one of those spies was, in fact, the same double agent working for Hezbollah, which is considered a terrorist group by the U.S. Nasrallah has called the U.S. Embassy in Beirut a “den of spies.”

    Former officials said one of the named officers was considered a rising star at the CIA and had been involved in many important operations in Iraq. Whether or not this employee would be able to continue a CIA career outside the U.S. is unknown. Former officials said it is likely Hezbollah has already shared photographs of the case officers with Iran, its closest ally.

    Revealing the identities of CIA officers has happened in the past. The last instance came about one year ago when the name of the CIA’s Pakistan station chief was leaked to reporters there. The CIA initially let him stay but eventually decided it was too dangerous for him to remain in the country.

    Case officers met with informants at locations more than once, a practice frowned upon because it risks their exposure.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/12/12/hezbollah-identifies-undercover-cia-officers/#ixzz1gOl6dz8F

    The Washington Post: Hezbollah claims to release names of CIA officers in Lebanon

    By Greg Miller Dec 12 2011

    Escalating its confrontation with the CIA, the militant organization Hezbollah released what it said were the names of agency officers working in Lebanon in a television broadcast that aired there last week.

    The exposure creates new security risks for CIA officers in a country where American espionage operations had already been damaged by Hezbollah’s capture of a group of agency-paid informants.

    Former CIA officials indicated that at least one of the names mentioned — that of the station chief in Beirut — appeared to be accurate.

    Last month, U.S. officials acknowledged that a group of informants on the CIA payroll had been identified and detained by Hezbollah. The organization apparently used software analysis of cellphone records and calling patterns to track the communications of suspected spies.

    The names included in the al-Manar report are not being published by The Washington Post.

    In the past year, the CIA has recalled two of its chiefs in Islamabad, Pakistan, after their names were exposed in the country’s press.

    Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.


    BBC: Hezbollah names ‘CIA spies with informers at Starbucks’

    Dec 12 2011

    Hezbollah broadcast what it said were the names of the American spies on a Lebanese television station, al-Manar, on Friday night.

    Video animations were used to show alleged meetings between CIA officers and informers at Starbucks and Pizza Hut.

    Al-Manar said the CIA had 10 officers in Lebanon, all using diplomatic cover to run intelligence networks in the country, which is Israel’s northern neighbour[sic].

    Hezbollah has probably already shared images of the alleged CIA officers with its closest ally, Iran, according to unnamed “former officials” quoted by the Associated Press.

    The CIA reportedly reviewed its potential vulnerabilities in Lebanon after scores of alleged Israeli spies were arrested there in 2009.

    Iran said last month it had arrested a dozen CIA spies who were allegedly targeting that country’s military and nuclear programme[sic].

    In the last year, two CIA station chiefs’ names have been leaked in the Pakistani media, prompting at least one to be recalled from the capital, Islamabad.


    Interesting to note by reading entire articles is CIA spokesman claims this is all false. No word on
    if CIA agents are safe. Is this related to Iran’s recent claim of capturing CIA agents.

    One thing is for sure – Obama has more CIA deaths under his belt and now exposed CIA agents than ever in U.S. History. The Clintons must be thankful.
    And to think it’s namely Hezbollah terrorists that are embedded in Mexico and partners with their drug cartel who benefited from Obama’s Fast & Furious operation to make it a top priority to get U.S. weapons to Terrorists.

    • The Redneck says:

      One thing is for sure – Obama has more CIA deaths under his belt and now exposed CIA agents than ever in U.S. History. The Clintons must be thankful.

      And I’m sure the Left and the Media (redundant, I know) are going to be just as eager to get to the bottom of this as they were to find out who outed “spy” Valerie Plame….

    • wtd says:

      The outing of intel operatives reminds me of (and may be linked to) this speech given by Frank Gaffney at the David Horowitz Restoration Weekend in West Palm Beach, Florida (Nov. 17-20, 2011). http://frontpagemag.com/2011/12/16/the-islamists-within/ Go to page 2 of the video transcript and scroll down to this revealing quote:

      In fact, I’m going to show you a short clip — if, God willing, this works — on the occasion of his presentation to that largest Muslim Brotherhood front, the Islamic Association of Palestine. Excuse me — the Islamic Society of North America, 1999.

      (Video played)

      Work for the ummah, the Muslim world. At the time he made that speech, he was working for this gentleman. You may know him — Tom Campbell, a RINO, who used to represent Northern California in the Congress. He was his policy and press guy in that capacity. He worked to try to get a ban on something called secret evidence.

      What’s that about? Secret evidence happened to be the personal priority of this man, Sami Al-Arian, you’ve already met — Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The idea being, he didn’t want us to be able to use classified information in prosecuting and deporting illegal aliens without giving them that information, which of course would compromise not only it, but also probably the sources and methods by which it was obtained. Why was he so keen on that? Because his brother-in-law was being held on the basis of secret evidence at the time — secret evidence that would also come ultimately to implicate old Sami.

      So, while Suhail Khan was working for RINO Campbell, he was made a board member of the Islamic Free Market Institute, Abdul Rahman Al-Amoudi’s organization, chaired by Grover Norquist. That helped credential him, helped move him into the Bush 2000 Campaign with his friend, Khaled Saffuri, thanks to Carl Rove, shown here in that meeting in the Governor’s Mansion in May 2000.

      Sami Al-Arian got, through Grover Norquist’s help, the President — the candidate, I should say — George W. Bush, to commit, if elected in the course of this second debate with Al Gore, to promise to get rid of secret evidence. This was made further possible by Suhail Khan being moved into the White House Office of Public Liaison after the election as a full-time volunteer, his job being the gatekeeper for the Muslim Brotherhood. In that capacity, he helped with their influence operation big time, including not only that the teachings of Islam are peace and good, but also that Islam is a religion of peace, jihad is just about personal struggle, and of course, al-Qaeda has hijacked this religion.

      Sami Al-Arian hammered Suhail Khan at the 2001 ISNA convention, saying — we want the President to deliver on this commitment. He called — he hectored the crowd to send 50,000 e-mails — faxes, phone calls, meetings, what have you — to try to get secret evidence prohibited by George W. Bush. Well, interestingly enough, Suhail said — I’m on the case, we’re working it. And they finally got a date for it. Guess what date that was? 9/11.

      I happen to know this because they all decamped when they couldn’t get into the White House. And this is, by the way, the access list, apparently, of that meeting — 49 Muslim Brotherhood organizations and representatives who were supposed to be at the White House to take delivery of the President’s commitment on secret evidence. Instead, they decamped to the conference room I shared with Grover Norquist, which is how I tumbled onto all of this.

      Interestingly enough, Grover Norquist’s name is at the top of this Muslim Brotherhood access list. Why would that be? Well, according to James — excuse me, John Zogby, James’s brother — both Arab Americans, not, by the way, Muslim Americans, but Arab Americans — Grover Norquist was, quote — he was absolutely central to the White House outreach.

      That all took place under Bush . . .contemplate the enormity of the damage currently undertaken with the current administration.

  5. TerryAnne says:

    And now for some bizarre crap from our Nanny State government:


    FCC acts to quiet blaring TV commercials
    Stations, cable providers will have to ensure ad volume doesn’t exceed shows’ average volume
    By Jasmin Melvin

    WASHINGTON — U.S. communications regulators cracked down on excessively loud TV commercials on Tuesday, implementing a bill passed last year to quiet commercials to the same volume as the programs they accompany.

    The Federal Communications Commission has been fielding viewer complaints about loud commercials almost as long as commercial television has existed, the agency said.

    The commission voted unanimously to require TV stations and cable and satellite operators to ensure that the average volume of a commercial does not exceed the average volume of the programming around it.

    The order adopted on Tuesday implements the CALM Act, authored by Representative Anna Eshoo and signed into law last December.

    The California Democrat told Reuters her idea for the bill started after “being subjected to the blast of the high volume of advertisements” while watching a football game with family.

    After discovering that loud commercials had been the top complaint to the FCC by consumers for decades, Eshoo said she drew up the bill, never anticipating it would garner such an overwhelming response from consumers and fellow lawmakers.

    “While this certainly doesn’t resolve the huge challenges that are facing the country … we may get some peace and quiet in households across the country,” she said, adding that the FCC’s action came on her birthday.

    The new FCC rules enacting the CALM Act will go into effect in a year, giving TV providers until Dec. 13, 2012, to comply.

    Using certain equipment and getting certifications from distributors for ads imbedded into programming will satisfy compliance requirements.

    Larger operators will have to perform annual spot-checks of commercials for two years, but smaller operators will only have to monitor commercials if a pattern of complaints specific to their station emerges.

    It marks the first time the FCC has attempted to regulate the loudness of commercials. The limitations of analog television made it too difficult previously, but the emergence of digital TV technology now makes it feasible.

  6. TerryAnne says:

    From the homeless champions at the AP:


    ‘Dismal’ prospects: 1 in 2 Americans are now poor or low income

    WASHINGTON – Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

    The latest census data depict a middle class that’s shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government’s safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families.

    “Safety net programs such as food stamps and tax credits kept poverty from rising even higher in 2010, but for many low-income families with work-related and medical expenses, they are considered too ‘rich’ to qualify,” said Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor who specializes in poverty.

    “The reality is that prospects for the poor and the near poor are dismal,” he said. “If Congress and the states make further cuts, we can expect the number of poor and low-income families to rise for the next several years.”

    Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, questioned whether some people classified as poor or low-income actually suffer material hardship. He said that while safety-net programs have helped many Americans, they have gone too far, citing poor people who live in decent-size homes, drive cars and own wide-screen TVs.

    “There’s no doubt the recession has thrown a lot of people out of work and incomes have fallen,” Rector said. “As we come out of recession, it will be important that these programs promote self-sufficiency rather than dependence and encourage people to look for work.”

    Mayors in 29 cities say more than 1 in 4 people needing emergency food assistance did not receive it. Many middle-class Americans are dropping below the low-income threshold — roughly $45,000 for a family of four — because of pay cuts, a forced reduction of work hours or a spouse losing a job. Housing and child-care costs are consuming up to half of a family’s income.

    States in the South and West had the highest shares of low-income families, including Arizona, New Mexico and South Carolina, which have scaled back or eliminated aid programs for the needy. By raw numbers, such families were most numerous in California and Texas, each with more than 1 million.

    The struggling Americans include Zenobia Bechtol, 18, in Austin, Texas, who earns minimum wage as a part-time pizza delivery driver. Bechtol and her 7-month-old baby were recently evicted from their bedbug-infested apartment after her boyfriend, an electrician, lost his job in the sluggish economy.

    After an 18-month job search, Bechtol’s boyfriend now works as a waiter and the family of three is temporarily living with her mother.

    “We’re paying my mom $200 a month for rent, and after diapers and formula and gas for work, we barely have enough money to spend,” said Bechtol, a high school graduate who wants to go to college. “If it weren’t for food stamps and other government money for families who need help, we wouldn’t have been able to survive.”

    About 97.3 million Americans fall into a low-income category, commonly defined as those earning between 100 and 199 percent of the poverty level, based on a new supplemental measure by the Census Bureau that is designed to provide a fuller picture of poverty. Together with the 49.1 million who fall below the poverty line and are counted as poor, they number 146.4 million, or 48 percent of the U.S. population. That’s up by 4 million from 2009, the earliest numbers for the newly developed poverty measure.

    The new measure of poverty takes into account medical, commuting and other living costs. Doing that helped push the number of people below 200 percent of the poverty level up from 104 million, or 1 in 3 Americans, that was officially reported in September.

    Following the recession that began in late 2007, the share of working families who are low income has risen for three straight years to 31.2 percent, or 10.2 million. That proportion is the highest in at least a decade, up from 27 percent in 2002, according to a new analysis by the Working Poor Families Project and the Population Reference Bureau, a nonprofit research group based in Washington.

    Among low-income families, about one-third were considered poor while the remainder — 6.9 million — earned income just above the poverty line. Many states phase out eligibility for food stamps, Medicaid, tax credit and other government aid programs for low-income Americans as they approach 200 percent of the poverty level.

    The majority of low-income families — 62 percent — spent more than one-third of their earnings on housing, surpassing a common guideline for what is considered affordable. By some census surveys, child-care costs consume close to another one-fifth.

    Many mayors cited the challenges of meeting increased demands for food assistance, expressing particular concern about possible cuts to federal programs such as food stamps and WIC, which assists low-income pregnant women and mothers. Unemployment led the list of causes of hunger in cities, followed by poverty, low wages and high housing costs.

    Across the 29 cities, about 27 percent of people needing emergency food aid did not receive it. Kansas City, Mo., Nashville, Tenn., Sacramento, Calif., and Trenton, N.J., were among the cities that pointed to increases in the cost of food and declining food donations, while Mayor Michael McGinn in Seattle cited an unexpected spike in food requests from immigrants and refugees, particularly from Somalia, Burma and Bhutan.

  7. Reality Bytes says:

    Remember how much better it was when it was In God We Trust?

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