Friday, January 13, 2012

TAKE A BREAK : Pink Floyd - The Turning Away

5th Estate editor loses it; has to take Pink Floyd break

The 5th Estate

 It's happened more than a few times in his career, the old man has lost it.

 It might have been the AWACS crash at Elmendorf Airbase, Alaska... or the Bali bombings of 2002, or after he buried his partner investigator Bill Hall, assassinated for his reporting in Eagle River, AK.  Maybe it was Beirut.  Thing is we don't know and we don't WANT to know.

We do know that he was so upset at the recent revelation of Marines pissing on dead Afghan combatants that he put on his Corps 782 gear and split... on foot.  Leaving behind his insulin.  A bad sign.  We are hoping like hell he isn't headed for the U.S. Embassy here in Jakarta.... that would be a fucking disaster.  His Dayak blow-gun and kris are MIA.

     So, while we await his return either breathing or in an urn from Borobudur and Prambanan here are a few of his favorite tapes from the only band he listens to these days, the immortal Pink Floyd.

This dedicated to CWO-3 Steve Wilder, USMC, KIA Beirut 1983

To those we left behind

STRATFOR : The Use of Mercenaries in Syria's Crackdown

Backed into corner, faced with death, Assad has every reason to hang on now thanks to Obama, CIA, Panetta, Clinton, Israel


The regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad has relied heavily on a local mercenary force known as the Shabiha in its crackdown on protests. Because of the sectarian makeup of the Syrian military, Damascus will likely continue this approach, despite the Shabiha's deficiencies in skill and strategy and growing objections from Syria's allies in Iran.

   Assad even deadlier now, thanks to Obama  Clinton, CIA


Regimes in the Middle East have used hired thugs in crackdowns for some time, as seen in Iran, Egypt and Libya. In Syria, the government of President Bashar al Assad has relied particularly heavily on a group of loyalist mercenaries known as the Shabiha. This reliance exposes the constraints faced by the Syrian military, which is dominated by the minority Alawite sect, in trying to put down the unrest, as well as the high level of sectarianism that continues to distinguish the Syrian conflict from other instances of regional unrest.


The Shabiha: Origin and Expansion

The Shabiha, which means "phantom-like," first appeared in 1976 when the Syrian army entered Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war. The group consisted of young, mostly Alawite men from the coastal Syrian cities of Latakia, Tartus and Banias, which have high concentrations of Alawites. Operating along the Syrian coast and across the Syrian-Lebanese borderland, the Shabiha were mostly involved in the smuggling and sale of stolen goods between Syria and Lebanon, while many also robbed households and warehouses.

The Shabiha grew in number in the 1980s after an unsuccessful 1983 coup attempt by Rifaat al Assad, the brother of late former Syrian President Hafez al Assad. In the wake of the failed coup, Rifaat's Defense Companies, an elite Alawite force of roughly 55,000 soldiers that led the 1982 massacre of Sunni protesters in Hama, and intelligence units loyal to him were dismantled, and Rifaat was stripped of power and later forced into exile. Many of the fighters from the defunct Defense Companies eventually joined the ranks of the Shabiha.

Currently the Shabiha have around 20,000 members, who are paid on average about $40 per day, according to Stratfor sources. Many of the Shabiha the Syrian regime has recruited to deal with the unrest were uneducated, unemployed youths or criminals released from prison on the condition that they would go to extreme lengths to demonstrate their loyalty to the regime, and most work for the regime on a part-time basis while working other menial jobs. However, some have also reportedly made their way into the Sunni business community in Damascus and Aleppo, where they perform a range of bureaucratic functions. Not all Shabiha are involved in security operations; a significant portion is involved in media operations to help the regime disseminate messages that portray the opposition fighting the army as militant jihadists.

According to accounts by opposition activists, journalists and human rights monitors, the Syrian regime will typically bus Shabiha in to the more restive urban areas of the country, such as Homs and Hama, the outskirts of Damascus and Aleppo, and the border cities of Daraa and Talkalakh. Once there, the Shabiha will go door to door assaulting, jailing or killing suspected opposition members -- and their families, in some cases.

Most Shabiha operate in plainclothes, but more recently opposition members have described them as wearing newly manufactured police or black uniforms and carrying what appear to be new AK-47 assault rifles. These reports could not be confirmed, but it would not be surprising if the Syrian regime were investing extra money to formalize the Shabiha as one of its main lines of defense.


Iran and the Syrian Strategy

The al Assad regime's heavy reliance on the Shabiha is not a strategy that appears to have the full endorsement of Syria's main ally, Iran. According to a Stratfor source, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) helped train the Shabiha beginning in mid-March, when the first significant demonstrations broke out in Syria. Unlike Iran, which relied on young Basij militiamen -- who had been strongly indoctrinated in religion and integrated into the formal security apparatus -- to put down the so-called Green Revolution after the 2009 Iranian election controversy, Syria does not have well-trained militiamen at its disposal.

Iranian officials privately describe the Shabiha as unruly and grossly undisciplined. One Stratfor Iranian source labeled the Shabiha's use of violence as misguided and explained how the IRGC unsuccessfully attempted to convey to the Syrian militiamen that violence must be employed strategically so as to suppress and not proliferate unrest. The source's information suggests that the IRGC has concluded that the Shabiha could be doing more damage than good for the al Assad regime. For this reason, the source claims that the IRGC has given up on training the Shabiha and has instead deployed Hezbollah members to work with them and in some cases even defend Shabiha who have more recently become targets of attacks by the rebel Free Syrian Army.

Despite Iran's objections, the Syrian regime is unlikely to lessen its reliance on the Shabiha, primarily because of the sectarian environment in which the regime operates. Alawite officers, who are outnumbered by mostly low-to-mid-ranking Sunni conscript soldiers, dominate the Syrian military. Unwilling to fight against their coreligionists, many of the Sunni conscripts have deserted or defected to the Free Syrian Army. The regime crackdown has therefore been mostly led by all-Alawite forces, including the Republican Guard, Fourth Armored Division, the 14th and 15th Special Forces Divisions, riot police, Military Intelligence, Air Force Intelligence, the General Intelligence Directorate, the National Security Bureau, Baath Party security, the Political Security Directorate and, of course, the Shabiha. The regime has meanwhile been extremely hesitant to deploy more demographically mixed army divisions, which would be more prone to splitting along sectarian lines and undermining the unity of the army overall. The regime's reluctance to fully employ its armed forces means it will continue to rely on mercenaries for reinforcement in the crackdowns.

The heavy use of Shabiha could also help the al Assad regime moderate its rapidly growing dependence on Iran, which has taken advantage of the political crisis to expand the IRGC's presence in Syria. Al Assad's strategy concerning the Shabiha may be far from perfect, but, given the constraints he faces, it is one that appears to be helping the regime hold the line against Syria's still-fractured opposition and maintain cohesion in the army overall.

The regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad has relied heavily on a local mercenary force known as the Shabiha in its crackdown on protests. Because of the sectarian makeup of the Syrian military, Damascus will likely continue this approach, despite the Shabiha's deficiencies in skill and strategy and growing objections from Syria's allies in Iran.

This STRATFOR intelligence report republished with permission and thanks from The 5th Estate.

Bringing the ‘War on Terror’ Home

The Old Man is still AWOL, this is worth a second look -


"We" are bringing nothing home; it has been here all the time in DC and Langley

Global Research
By Coleen Rowley

U.S. intelligence says the terror threat from al-Qaeda is receding, but Congress keeps on expanding the scope of this “war” so as not to look “weak on terror,” now adding new military powers that could be used against American citizens, writes ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.

    The political, military industrial, corporate class in Washington DC continues to re-make our Constitutional Republic into a powerful, unaccountable Military Empire.

Coward cops taking aim at"Occupy" movements
The U.S. Senate has just voted 93 to 7 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012, which allows the military to operate domestically within the borders of the United States and to possibly (or most probably) detain U.S. citizens without trial.

Forget that the ACLU called it “an historic threat to American citizens,” this bill is so dangerous not only to our rights but to our country’s security that it was criticized by the Directors of the FBI and the CIA, the Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Defense Secretary!

    For the first time in our history, if this Act is not vetoed, American citizens may not be guaranteed their Article III right to trial. The government would be able to decide who gets an old-fashioned trial (along with right to attorney and right against self-incrimination) and who gets detained without due process and put into a modern legal limbo.

   Does anyone remember that none of the first thousand people the FBI rounded up after 9/11, and who were imprisoned for several months (some brutalized) were ever charged with terrorism? Does anyone remember that hundreds of the Gitmo detainees who were handed over to their American military captors in exchange for monetary bounties were found, after years of imprisonment, to have no connection to terrorism? 

Cops being given military gear and being militarised
When in doubt about a case, what do you think the government will again do? Does it prefer to submit its evidence to a jury’s scrutiny and its witnesses to the trouble of being cross-examined in court by a defense attorney or would it be easier to have no questions asked and dump the accused into detainee prison without rights? I think we already know that answer from the nearly ten years of experience at Guantanamo.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, declared that suspected citizens open themselves up “to imprisonment and death” He added: “And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them: ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer.’”

    Of course, the politicians will say we are just talking about a few cases. But in fact the sky’s probably the limit given the current legal ambiguity in the Patriot Act expansion of “material support for terrorism” to now include humanitarian aid and even mere advocacy speech without any need to prove an accused person intended to support any kind of terrorist violence. 

Cops rampaging through "Occupy" camp
The Department of Justice has been currently using this ambiguity for over a year to investigate 23 American citizens who are anti-war activists in Chicago and Minneapolis. Additionally, the “war on terror” will undoubtedly expand even more when it is de-linked from 9/11.

    See “The War on Terrorism Congress Never Declared — But Soon Might” by Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor, expert on these issues and associate dean for scholarship at American University Washington College of Law, which states:

    “An individual may be detained for providing ‘direct support’ (which, in the government’s view, may be nothing more than minor financial or logistical assistance) in aid of ‘associated forces’ that are ‘engaged in hostilities against … coalition partners.’

   “Thus, the NDAA effectively authorizes the military detention of any individual who provides such assistance anywhere in the world to any group engaged in hostilities against any of our coalition partners, whether or not the United States is in any way involved in (or even affected by) that particular conflict.” 

    Given this expansion of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force contained in the 2012 NDAA to encompass undefined “associated forces,” we could witness the U.S. government targeting a large range of political dissidents, human rights activists, humanitarians, and maybe even “occupiers.”

    The NDAA is deliberately confusing for political purposes but much is at stake. President Barack Obama’s determination as to whether or not he will veto the problematic 2012 war funding bill will determine how Benjamin Franklin’s glib response to the woman waiting outside the Constitutional Convention is ultimately answered. Franklin and other founding fathers had created “a Republic, Madam, if you can keep it.” 

Air Force has been penetrated by "Armageddonists"
But a lawless Military Empire could now await where U.S. “emergency war powers” trump the Constitution, where the Commander in Chief becomes king for a term(s), the military enters into domestic police-state actions in violation of 130 years of Posse Comitatus law, and the Constitution becomes as quaint as the Geneva Conventions were for Alberto Gonzalez and the Bush Administration.

    Corrupted, compliant politicians have already allowed their fears to get the better of them by going along with pre-emptive war in violation of the Nuremberg Principles and international law and torturing in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture.

   So why should they also not go for detaining American citizens without constitutional rights or trial?

    You can tell President Obama he needs to live up to his threat to veto this legislation or you can sign Sen. Mark Udall’s petition.

Coleen Rowley, a FBI special agent for almost 24 years, was legal counsel to the FBI Field Office in Minneapolis from 1990 to 2003. She wrote a “whistleblower” memo in May 2002 and testified to the Senate Judiciary on some of the FBI’s pre 9-11 failures. She retired at the end of 2004, and now writes and speaks on ethical decision-making and balancing civil liberties with the need for effective investigation.

  Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.

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The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of



The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.



Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.



By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...



UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak


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Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...



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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .



By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.