March 25, 2011
Blood soaked oil money from the terrorist state of Saudi Arabia comes back to America in the form of a mega-million dollar mansion in Beverly Hills, Ca.
A mystery landowner's plan to build an 85,000-square-foot family compound has set off a major kerfuffle in a tony Hollywood hills neighborhood whose residents include Bruce Springsteen, Jay Leno, and David Beckham, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The proposed "mega-mansion"—which would be located in the iconic 90210 zip code—will include a 42,681-square-foot main house, a double-winged "son's villa" of more than 27,000 square feet, a 4,400-square-foot guest house, a 5,300-square-foot staff quarters and a 2,700-square-foot gatehouse.
The owner's identity is being kept secret. But there are indications he could be a member of the Saudi royal family. A special business created to buy the land lists as its president Mansour Fustok of London. Fustok--who described the mansion to the Times as "just a normal Mediterranean-style house"--is the uncle of Prince Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz al Saud, one of Saudi King Abdullah's sons.
The owner of the 5.2-acre property in Tower Lane has kept his identity well-hidden behind an especially set-up property firm, fuelling rumours he could be a senior Saudi prince.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368975/Beverly-Hills-Benedict-Canyon-residents-fight-Saudi-princes-mega-mansion-plans.html#ixzz1Hbwyul7a
And the complex may be intended for the prince himself. According to a representative of Fustok's business, the owner is a single father of three.Â Prince Abdulaziz is divorced and has three children.
But residents of the Benedict Canyon neighborhood—including Hollywood honcho Michael Ovitz (pictured)—are worried about the project's potential for noise, pollution, and environmental damage. They've organized a campaign to block it, arguing that the owners are trying to get around a legally mandated environmental review.
Ovitz may not be the best front-man for the campaign. He himself once proposed a 28,000-square-foot megamansion on property straddling the Los Angeles-Beverly Hills border, which also generated heated opposition. The home, which ultimately was built, sits a stone's throw away from the site of the proposed compound.
One neighbour, Martha Karsh, told the Los Angeles Times: 'It's commercial-scale construction, like building a Wal-Mart in the heart of a quiet residential neighbourhood.'
The project was too big for the area's narrow streets, the house would create mudslide and fire hazards - and claimed the mystery developer wasn't being 'neighbourly'.
The entire development would dwarf even the Griffith Observatory, as well as Spelling's $150million 'The Manor' in Holmby Hills, which covers 56,500 square feet.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the owner of the existing property has created a firm called Tower Lane Properties Inc to buy the three neighbouring plots of land for $12million.
at 7:52 AM
March 19, 2011
Let Death and Destruction Reign!!!
The War Whores of the Great Satan march forward, leaving mangled corpses, desolation and utter destruction in its wake, all the while turning the other cheek as Israel murders, rapes, robs and pillages the people of Palestine. The War whores look away as the oil soaked Dictator King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud rapes the economies of every nation on Earth as the Saudis continue to train and support terrorist regimes to do their bidding.
War, death and destruction, terrorism, conflict, fear and strife all lead to one thing: rising oil prices.. And this equals more money for the Terrorist nation of Saudi Arabia.
Bomb on War Whores, Bomb on...
U.S.-led coalition forces have launched more than 100 Tomahawk missiles on key air defense sites across Libya as part of operations to protect the population from the forces of long-time leader Moammar Gadhafi.
U.S. Vice Admiral William Gortney outlined what is being called "Operation Odyssey Dawn" several hours after he said the missiles started hitting more than 20 Libyan sites.
"The United States military has and will continue to use our unique capabilities to create the conditions from which we and our partners can best enforce the full measure of the U.N. mandate. Our mission right now is to shape the battle space in such a way that our partners may take the lead in execution," he said.
He said Admiral Sam Locklear was leading the operations from the USS Mount Whitney in the Mediterranean Sea.
A U.N. Security Council resolution was approved Thursday in New York allowing outside forces to use all measures necessary to protect civilians in Libya, where eastern rebel-controlled areas have been under attack.
Admiral Gortney said one British submarine was used as part of Saturday’s strikes as well as U.S. ships and submarines. He described Libya’s air defense sites as being built with old Soviet technology.
He said some countries who were taking part in the military operation had asked to be identified, while others wanted to announce their involvement themselves.
"Of the coalition, the countries that have asked us to mention their names, of course, the United States, UK, French, Italy and Canada. The other countries have asked for them, that they want to be able to make the announcement and it is the same for the Arab countries as well," he said.
A mediation delegation from the African Union was due in the capital Tripoli Sunday, but as sites in and around Tripoli were also reported hit, it was unclear if that mission would go ahead.
Earlier Saturday, French fighter planes which had departed from France flew over Libya bombing at least one tank that a senior French military official identified as belonging to forces loyal to Mr. Gadhafi.
Leaders from France, Britain and the United States have said the operations are necessary and that Mr. Gadhafi’s forces were still staging attacks despite warnings to stop.
Libya’s head of parliament, Abdul Qasim al-Zuai denied this, saying a ceasefire was in place and that the missile strikes were what he called a "barbaric aggression" from Western powers. He said civilian areas and civilian infrastructure were being targeted.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Gadhafi wrote a letter to President Obama and other world leaders saying they would regret what he called "intervention in the internal affairs of Libya."
Libyan state media said the strikes caused casualties in Tripoli.
At a summit earlier Saturday in Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Libyans like other Arabs were fighting for democracy and freedom from oppressive regimes and that it was the duty of outside powers to help them.
The British Prime Minister David Cameron said British forces were helping end what he called "the appalling brutality" of Mr. Gadhafi’s government.
Several countries have spoken out against the operations including Russia and Venezuela. Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez said it was irresponsible to create more deaths and more war.
The International Committee of the Red Cross called on all warring parties to spare civilians and respect international humanitarian law.
The armed rebellion against Mr. Gadhafi began last month, following people power movements which successfully toppled long-time leaders in Egypt and Tunisia and spurred uprisings across north Africa and the Middle East.
at 9:18 PM
Military action against Gaddafi 'within hours' of UN vote
The Great Satan Speaks (Israel, USA, UK and France), next they will bomb Libya into submission.. While the greasy Saudis look on, with blood lust coursing their oily veins as they jack up oil prices around the globe.. 15 of the 19 'hijackers' CAME FROM SAUDI ARABIA! (RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia acknowledged for the first time that 15 of the Sept. 11 suicide hijackers were Saudi citizens, but said Wednesday that the oil-rich kingdom bears no responsibility for their actions.)
And the Great Satan responds by destroying Iraq, decimating life there and are now in their 9th year of death and destruction in Afghanistan...
All the while, the snakes, the oily serpents, the TRUE terrorist of the WORLD, Saudi Arabia reap the benefits of the war machine that chugs along on its path of global destruction and global domination..
Security council resolution calls for states to protect Libyan civilians, with Britain, France and US confident bill will pass
By Ewen MacAskill in Washington and Nicholas Watt
March 17, 2011 "The Guardian" -- Britain, France and the US, along with several Arab countries, are to join forces to throw a protective ring around the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi as soon as a UN security council vote on military action is authorized, according to security council sources.
A source at UN headquarters in New York said military forces could be deployed "within hours" of a new security council resolution calling for states to protect civilians by halting attacks by Muammar Gaddafi's forces by air, land and sea.
The resolution would impose a no-fly zone over Libya – but a no-fly zone was no longer enough, the source said. "The resolution authorizes air strikes against tank columns advancing on Benghazi or engaging naval ships bombarding Benghazi," he said.
Britain, France and Lebanon sponsored the new resolution, which provides the moral and legal basis for military action.
British and French forces are understood to have been placed on standby after the US said it was prepared to support the measure if Arab countries agreed to take an active role.
The security council was scheduled to vote on the new resolution this evening, and its backers expressed confidence it would pass after hours of negotiation.
In London, William Hague, the foreign secretary, indicated to MPs that military preparations to protect Benghazi were at an advanced stage. The no-fly zone would be imposed from land, and not from aircraft carriers.
"No, it is not the case that carrier-borne aircraft are necessary to do such a thing," Hague said. "In the contingency plans of all the nations, none of them involve an aircraft carrier."
The increase in military preparations came as Gaddafi announced that his forces would invade Benghazi tonight and would show no mercy on fighters who resisted them.
"No more fear, no more hesitation, the moment of truth has come," he declared. "There will be no mercy. Our troops will be coming to Benghazi tonight."
Residents and a rebel spokesman reported three air strikes on the outskirts of the city, including at the airport, and another air raid further south.
There was also heavy fighting in residential areas of nearby Ajdabiyah, where around 30 people were killed, Al Arabiya reported.
Libyan authorities also warned that all maritime traffic in the Mediterranean would be in danger if it was targeted by foreign forces.
In a statement broadcast on Libyan television, the defense ministry said: "Any foreign military act against Libya will expose all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea to danger, and civilian and military [facilities] will become targets of Libya's counterattack," the statement said. "The Mediterranean basin will face danger not just in the short-term, but also in the long-term."
The UN resolution, which calls for "all necessary measures short of an occupation force" to protect civilians, needs the support of a further six further members of the security council to pass – and to avoid vetoes from Russia and China.
A Downing Street spokesman said: "The prime minister has been making a series of calls on Libya. He has spoken to a number of Arab and African leaders. We can now confirm that he has also spoken to several European leaders.
"In all his calls, the prime minister has made the case for strong action by the UN security council, to increase the pressure on Gaddafi and put a stop to the campaign he is waging against the Libyan people. The prime minister will be making further calls this evening."
The move marks a last-gasp attempt to keep the Libyan uprising alive.
It has been relatively rare in recent years for the UN to give the go-ahead for military action – the security council, for example, refused to support the Iraq invasion. The resolution reflects the extent of despair felt in Britain, France, the US and parts of the Arab world at the prospect of total victory by Gaddafi and fears of a massacre in Benghazi.
After weeks of prevarication by the US, Washington backed the resolution. The Obama administration was stalled by a split between the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who favored a no-fly zone, and the defense secretary, Robert Gates, who was opposed. The White House, caught in the middle, dithered.
Gates redeployed US naval vessels close to the Libyan coast and told Barack Obama that, though heavily engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military was capable of fighting on a third front.
The US, crucially, insisted it would only act if there was Arab support, in order to avoid it being seen as a western intervention. Several Arab countries have promised to provide planes, but insisted upon their identity being withheld until the resolution was passed.
Speculation as to which countries would participate include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
There is no plan to send in ground troops, other than for isolated incidents such as rescuing downed pilots.
Supporters of the resolution, speaking before the vote, said they were confident of achieving the necessary nine votes in the 15-member chamber. A source who was present at the talks said that China and Russia have vetoes that could scupper the resolution, but indicated they would abstain.
Brazil, Germany and India expressed skepticism over military action, but their votes were not needed to secure a majority.
John Kerry, the chairman of the US Senate foreign affairs committee, said: "The international community cannot simply watch from the sidelines as the Libyan people's quest for democratic reform is met with violence … Time is running out for the Libyan people. The world needs to respond immediately."
See also - US Pushing for Broader Military Authorization Against Libya: The U.S.is pushing for the resolution to authorize international forces to stop attacks by Gadhafi's forces on its people conducted on land and by sea as well.
at 11:49 AM
March 10, 2011
Here we go again... Do these idiots ever learn? Iran-Contra, Taliban, etc.. Now the slimey Americans beg for permission from the greasy Saudis to arm the rebels against Gaddafi. Isn't that like the thief asking the mugger for a dime?
March 07, 2011 "The Independent" -- Desperate to avoid US military involvement in Libya in the event of a prolonged struggle between the Gaddafi regime and its opponents, the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a "day of rage" from its 10 per cent Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington's highly classified request, although King Abdullah personally loathes the Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago.
Washington's request is in line with other US military co-operation with the Saudis. The royal family in Jeddah, which was deeply involved in the Contra scandal during the Reagan administration, gave immediate support to American efforts to arm guerrillas fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in 1980 and later – to America's chagrin – also funded and armed the Taliban.
But the Saudis remain the only US Arab ally strategically placed and capable of furnishing weapons to the guerrillas of Libya. Their assistance would allow Washington to disclaim any military involvement in the supply chain – even though the arms would be American and paid for by the Saudis.
The Saudis have been told that opponents of Gaddafi need anti-tank rockets and mortars as a first priority to hold off attacks by Gaddafi's armour, and ground-to-air missiles to shoot down his fighter-bombers.
Supplies could reach Benghazi within 48 hours but they would need to be delivered to air bases in Libya or to Benghazi airport. If the guerrillas can then go on to the offensive and assault Gaddafi's strongholds in western Libya, the political pressure on America and Nato – not least from Republican members of Congress – to establish a no-fly zone would be reduced.
US military planners have already made it clear that a zone of this kind would necessitate US air attacks on Libya's functioning, if seriously depleted, anti-aircraft missile bases, thus bringing Washington directly into the war on the side of Gaddafi's opponents.
For several days now, US Awacs surveillance aircraft have been flying around Libya, making constant contact with Malta air traffic control and requesting details of Libyan flight patterns, including journeys made in the past 48 hours by Gaddafi's private jet which flew to Jordan and back to Libya just before the weekend.
Officially, Nato will only describe the presence of American Awacs planes as part of its post-9/11 Operation Active Endeavour, which has broad reach to undertake aerial counter-terrorism measures in the Middle East region.
The data from the Awacs is streamed to all Nato countries under the mission's existing mandate. Now that Gaddafi has been reinstated as a super-terrorist in the West's lexicon, however, the Nato mission can easily be used to search for targets of opportunity in Libya if active military operations are undertaken.
Al Jazeera English television channel last night broadcast recordings made by American aircraft to Maltese air traffic control, requesting information about Libyan flights, especially that of Gaddafi's jet.
An American Awacs aircraft, tail number LX-N90442 could be heard contacting the Malta control tower on Saturday for information about a Libyan Dassault-Falcon 900 jet 5A-DCN on its way from Amman to Mitiga, Gaddafi's own VIP airport.
Nato Awacs 07 is heard to say: "Do you have information on an aircraft with the Squawk 2017 position about 85 miles east of our [sic]?"
Malta air traffic control replies: "Seven, that sounds to be Falcon 900- at flight level 340, with a destination Mitiga, according to flight plan."
But Saudi Arabia is already facing dangers from a co-ordinated day of protest by its own Shia Muslim citizens who, emboldened by the Shia uprising in the neighbouring island of Bahrain, have called for street protests against the ruling family of al-Saud on Friday.
After pouring troops and security police into the province of Qatif last week, the Saudis announced a nationwide ban on all public demonstrations.
Shia organisers claim that up to 20,000 protesters plan to demonstrate with women in the front rows to prevent the Saudi army from opening fire.
If the Saudi government accedes to America's request to send guns and missiles to Libyan rebels, however, it would be almost impossible for President Barack Obama to condemn the kingdom for any violence against the Shias of the north-east provinces.
Thus has the Arab awakening, the demand for democracy in North Africa, the Shia revolt and the rising against Gaddafi become entangled in the space of just a few hours with US military priorities in the region.
at 10:40 PM
Today in Libya, civilians are being killed by a besieged and isolated dictator. Libyan warplanes have been used to attack civilians, although the vast majority of the violence has come from ground attacks. The Libyan opposition’s provisional national council, meeting in Benghazi, is debating whether they should request military support from the international community, maybe the UN or NATO, starting with a no-fly zone. The Arab League announced that it was also considering establishing a no-fly zone, perhaps with the African Union.
It is unclear what casualties the airstrikes may have caused. The anti-regime forces have some access to anti-aircraft weapons, and Qaddafi has already lost planes and pilots alike to the opposition — but it is far from clear where the military balance lies.
Powerful U.S. voices — including neo-conservative warmongers and liberal interventionists in and out of the administration, as well as important anti-war forces in and out of Congress — are calling on the Obama administration to establish a no-fly zone in Libya to protect civilians.
A Libyan activist writes in The Guardian, “we welcome a no-fly zone, but the blood of Libya's dead will be wasted if the west curses our uprising with failed intervention.” He says that his hopes for a happy ending are “marred by a fear shared by all Libyans; that of a possible western military intervention to end the crisis.” He seems to believe that a U.S. or NATO no-fly zone would mean something other than a Western military intervention.
Ironically it was Secretary of Defense Robert Gates who warned that establishing a no-fly zone “begins with an attack on Libya.” It would be an act of war. And the Middle East doesn’t need another U.S. war.
What would a no-fly zone in Libya mean? A bit of history may provide some perspective.
March 10, 2011 "The Hill" -- Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) on Thursday argued that establishing a no-fly zone over Libya is an act of war that should require congressional approval, and will introduce a sense-of-Congress resolution saying the administration should seek input from the branch before imposing a no-fly policy.
"Congress should act," Paul said. "I'm preparing to introduce a resolution next week, and it's a sense of Congress, that the executive branch can't do this without approval from the Congress.
"We have to remember, a no-fly zone is an act of war," he added.
Paul equated a no-fly zone with an act of war based on the U.S. experience in Iraq, which started with a no-fly zone in the 1990s and ultimately ended in war. He also said it is difficult to establish a no-fly zone without some military activity.
"You can't just all of a sudden turn a switch and say don't fly over Libya," Paul said. "You have to bomb a lot of anti-aircraft sites and a lot of military establishment. So the war is on."
Paul also argued that there is no legitimate reason for a no-fly zone over Libya, which is entering a civil war but does not pose any national security threat to the United States.
"Now, what moral right do we have to participate in war activity against Libya?" he asked. "Libya hasn't done anything to the United States. It would be foolish, it would have a downside, and we should think very, very carefully before we go expanding the wars that we're already involved in."
Paul is one of 10 House members who sponsored a resolution on Wednesday to direct the president to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Give them HELL Ron!! Someone needs to wake these idiot fuckers ruining the country!! The WAR WHORES are screaming for ANOTHER WAR, when they can't handle the ones that are on their plate now. Perhaps it's because NONE of the gutless bastards have ever suited up in a military uniform and had defend our country! The rich pricks are quick to send the average Joe off to war, and for what reason, at what cost to them?
at 10:19 PM
February 12, 2011
The details of the deposed Criminal Dictator Mubarak’s fortune are a bit muddy, but according to various press reports, the family’s total wealth runs well into the tens of billions of dollars.
In Asia Times Online, Pepe Escobar reports:
According to a mix of United States, Syrian and Algerian sources his personal fortune amounts to no less than US $40 billion – stolen from the public treasury in the form of “commissions”, on weapons sales, for instance. The Pharaoh controls loads of real estate, especially in the US; accounts in US, German, British and Swiss banks; and has "links" with corporations such as MacDonald’s, Vodafone, Hyundai and Hermes. Suzanne, the British-Irish Pharaoh’s wife, is worth at least $5 billion. And son Gamal – the one that may have fled to London, now stripped of his role as dynastic heir – also boasts a personal fortune of $17 billion. Or some $60 billion. Some speculate the fortune is around $70 billion.’
Should Mubarak skip the country, as Corey Pein points out in War Is Business, he might well do it in a business jet provided free of charge by the US taxpayers. “Pentagon contracts show that the US government has spent at least $111,160,328 to purchase and maintain Mubarak’s fleet of nine Gulfstream business jets. (For those keeping score, Gulfstream is a subsidiary of General Dynamics.)” War Is Busines provides copies of the actual contracts. Here is one of them:
Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Savannah, Ga., is being awarded a $19,825,221 firm fixed price contract modification to provide for the Foreign Military Sales Program in support of FMS Case Egyptian. The Air Force provides follow-on maintenance support for the Egyptian Government’s Presidential fleet of Gulfstream aircraft. The program will provide depot maintenance support, parts and material repair, and supply, field team, and Aircraft on Ground or urgent situation support. At this time, $14,825,221 of the funds has been obligated. Further funds will be obligated as individual delivery orders are issued. This work will be complete by November 2005. Solicitation began October 2003 and Negotiations were completed October 2003. The Headquarters Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8106-04-C-0001).
It’s tit for tat with Egypt. Pein again:
When the two military leaders met in May 2009 to discuss “a wide range of security issues,” Egyptian Defence Minister Hussein Tantawi presented US Defense Secretary Robert Gates with a set of gifts. They included a shotgun (with five bullets), a decorative rug and a gilded photo album.With a confidence that, in retrospect, seems dubious, Gates said “he looks forward to expanding the two countries’ military-to-military relationships in ways that promote regional stability.’Five months after that meeting, the Pentagon announced it would sell a new batch of two dozen F-16 fighter aircraft to Egypt—a $3.2 billion deal that is among the most recent of a long string of arms deliveries from America to its North African ally. These F-16s, according to the Pentagon announcement (pdf) would support “Egypt’s legitimate need for its own self-defense.”
In her blog, Sibel Edmonds, the former FBI translator who exposed corruption and incompetence at the Bureau, writes:
This is where our government takes our dollars, gives it to dictator allies, and then asks them to turn around, give that money (minus the personal share for personal wealth) to our military industrial complex corporations. Then, we have those CEO’s with $$$$$$$ salaries, and $$$$$$$ to the lobbyists and $$$$$$ to our elected representatives, who then in turn, sanction giving more money, aid, tax payers’ dollars, to these dictators; and the cycle repeats, repeats, repeats…well, it’s been repeating nonstop for more than half a century.
James Ridgeway is a senior correspondent at Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here. Get James Ridgeway's RSS feed.
at 10:20 AM
February 10, 2011
Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian Dictator, has refused to step down from his post, saying that he will not bow to "foreign pressure" in a televised address to the nation.
Mubarak announced that he had put into place a framework that would lead to the amendment of six constitutional articles in the address late on Thursday night.
"I can not and will not accept to be dictated orders from outside, no matter what the source is," the Dictator Mubarak said.
He said he was addressing his people with a "speech from the heart"
Earlier, the Supreme Council of Egyptian Armed Forces had met to discuss the ongoing protests against Dictator Mubarak's government.
In a statement entitled 'Communique Number One', televised on state television, the army said it had convened the meeting response to the current political turmoil, and that it would continue to convene such meetings.
Thurday's meeting was chaired by Mohamed Tantawi, the defence minister, rather than Mubarak, who, as Dictator, would normally have headed the meeting.
"Based on the responsibility of the armed forces and its commitment to protect the people and its keenness to protect the nation... and in support of the legitimate demands of the people [the army] will continue meeting on a continuous basis to examine measures to be taken to protect the nation and its gains and the ambitions of the great Egyptian people," the statement.
Tens of thousands poured into Tahrir Square after the army statement was televised. Thousands also gathered in Alexandria, Egypt's second city, our correspondent said.
Earlier, Hassan al-Roweni, an Egyptian army commander, told protesters in the square that "everything you want will be realized".
Hassam Badrawi, the secretary general of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), told the BBC and Channel 4 News earlier on that he expected Dictator Mubarak to hand over his powers to Omar Suleiman, the vice-Dictator.
"I think the right thing to do now is to take the action that would satisfy ... protesters," Badrawi told BBC television in a live interview.
Ahmed Shafiq, the country's prime minister, also told the BBC that the president may step down on Thursday evening, and that the situation would be "clarified soon". He told the Reuters news agency, however, that Mubarak remained in control, and that "everything is still in the hands of the president".
However, Anas el-Fekky, Egypt's information minister, denied all reports of Mubarak resigning.
"The president is still in power and he is not stepping down," el-Fekky told Reuters. "The president is not stepping down and everything you heard in the media is a rumour."
Mubarak met with Omar Suleiman, the vice-Dictator, at the presidential palace ahead of his address.
'Witnessing history unfold'
Mahmoud Zaher, a retired general in the Egyptian army, said that Mubarak's absence from the army meeting was a "clear and strong indication that [Mubarak] is no longer present", implying that the Egyptian Dictator was not playing a role in governance any longer.
In short comments ahead of a scheduled speech at Northern Michigan University, Barack Obama, the US president, said the US was watching the situation in Egypt "very closely". Mubarak had not spoken at that time.
"What is absolutely clear is that we are witnessing history unfold," he said, adding that this was a "moment of transformation" for Egypt.
"Going forward, we want ... all Egyptians to know that America will continue to do everything that we can to support an orderly and genuine transition to democracy."
Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, responded to reports that Mubarak may resign by saying that he hoped whoever replaced him would uphold Egypt's peace treaty with Israel, according to an Israeli radio report.
Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foriegn affairs chief, said that the 27-nation bloc is ready to help Egypt build a "deep democracy".
"I reiterated that no matter what happens in the next hours and days, the European Union stands ready to hep build the deep democracy that will underpin stability for the people of Egypt," she said in a statement, referring to a conversation she had with Aboul Gheit, the Egyptian foreign minister, earlier in the day.
Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who has played a key role in helping protesters get organised, said on Thursday evening: "Mission accomplished. Thanks to all the brave young Egyptians."
Jacky Rowland, our correspondent in Tahrir Square, described the atmosphere as "electric", with "standing room only" in the central Cairo area. She said that thousands gathered there were "celebrating a victory which has been anticipated, rather than actually achieved".
In Alexandria, Jamal ElShayyal, our correspondent, described the atmosphere as "festive and joyous".
Labour union strikes
The developments came as the 17th day of pro-democracy protests continued across the country on Thursday, with labour unions joining pro-democracy protesters.
Egyptian labour unions held nationwide strikes for a second day, adding momentum to the pro-democracy demonstrations in Cairo and other cities.
Al Jazeera correspondents in Cairo reported that thousands of doctors, medical students and lawyers, the doctors dressed in white coats and the lawyers in black robes, marched in central Cairo earlier on Thursday and were hailed by pro-democracy protesters as they entered Tahrir [Liberation] Square.
The artists syndicate and public transport workers, including bus drivers, also joined the strikes, our correspondents reported.
"It's certainly increasing the pressure on the government here," Al Jazeera's Steffanie Dekker, reporting from Cairo, said.
"I think it's worth making the distinction that the strikes going on are more of an economic nature, they are not necessarily jumping on the bandwagon of the protesters in Tahrir Square.
"Many of them are not actually calling for the president to step down, but fighting for better wages, for better working conditions."
Pro-democracy supporters across the country have meanwhile called for a ten-million strong demonstration to take place after this week's Friday prayers.
Hoda Hamid, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Cairo, said that the mood in Liberation Square was "one of defiance, and if we judge by what is happening today, then I think ... many more people will heed that call and turn up".
She reported that some protesters had drawn up a list of demands beyond simply the exit of Mubarak. They included the formation of a transition government, which would include a council of presidents, representation from the army and well-respected judges, for the period of one year.
They demanded that parliament be dissolved and that a temporary constitution be put in place while a new one was drawn up by legal experts.
Cairo reported that at least five government buildings, including the governor's office and the office for public housing, were set alight in two straight days of riots in the northeastern town of Port Said. The situation in the city had calmed by Thursday evening.
at 10:20 PM
January 31, 2011
Jew Lieberman Admires Dictator Mubarek's Power to Shut the Internet, Desires Same Might for US President
On Thursday Jan 27th at 22:34 UTC the Egyptian Government effectively removed Egypt from the Internet. Nearly all inbound and outbound connections to the web were shut down. The Internet intelligence authority Renesys explains it here and confirms that "virtually all of Egypt's Internet addresses are now unreachable, worldwide." This has never happened before in the entire history of the Internet, with a nation of this size. A block of this scale is completely unheard of, and Senator Joe (Jew) Lieberman wants to be able to do the same thing in the US.
This isn't a new move, last year Senators Lieberman and Collins introduced a fairly far-reaching bill that would allow the US Government to shut down civilian access to the Internet should a "Cybersecurity Emergency" arise, and keep it offline indefinitely. That version of the bill received some criticism though Lieberman continued to insist it was important. The bill, now referred to as the 'Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act' (PCNAA) has been revised a bit and most notably now removes all judicial oversight. This bill is still currently circulating and will be voted on later this year. Lieberman has said it should be a top priority.
It's worth noting that the US sends $1.3 billion in annual military aid to Egypt. That makes the US the primary benefactor of the current Egyptian government. Vice President Joe 'Heartbeat away Jew' Biden stated in an interview with Jim Lehrer on Thursday that Egyptian DICTATOR Hosni Mubarak, who has held that office since 1981, should not be considered a DICTATOR and therefore should not step down. Fortunately, his asinine opinion is not shared universally.
Mother Jones has a fantastic play-by-play explaining the situation right now in Egypt, and there are reports that some people using Tor are able to skirt around the governmental blocks. http://www.torproject.org/
This is something Americans should be paying very close attention to. Think about your daily life and how big a role the Internet plays in it. Now think about what it would be like if one person had the authority to turn that off completely. If you can't imagine what that would be like you aren't alone. A week ago this was a hypothetical scenario. Now, you can just ask any Egyptian citizen what that feels like. Pay close attention to what happens with this bill.
at 11:47 PM
January 30, 2011
CAIRO (Reuters) – Dictator Hosni Mubarak, refusing to step down despite unprecedented demands for an end to his 30-year rule, met on Sunday with the military which is seen as holding the key to Egypt's future while in Cairo, protesters defied a curfew.
Queen of Evil, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States wanted an "orderly transition" through free and fair elections in its key ally and the Arab world's most populous nation. 'Orderly transition', what a joke, or what Billary, are you going to BOMB Egypt into submission?
An earthquake of unrest is shaking Mubarak's authoritarian grip on Egypt and the high command's support is vital as other pillars of his ruling apparatus crumble, political analysts said as protests ran on through a sixth day.
As thousands gathered in the streets, unmolested by patient troops in their American-built tanks, the fragmented opposition gave a sign of coming together. Nobel peace laureate and retired international diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei said he had been given a mandate to reach out to the army and build a new government:
"Mubarak has to leave today," he told CNN.
Evil Clinton told Fox News, the US Govt's mouthpiece: "We want to see an orderly transition so that no one fills a void ... We also don't want to see some takeover that would lead not to democracy but to oppression and the end of the aspirations of the Egyptian people." Yes, please, show them how to be 'free', like you did to the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan. As many as 10,000 people, protested in Cairo's Tahrir Square, a rallying point to express anger at poverty, repression, unemployment and corruption.
As the curfew started and was ignored, warplanes and helicopters flew over the square. By late afternoon more army trucks appeared in a show of military force but no one moved.
"Hosni Mubarak, Omar Suleiman, both of you are agents of the Americans," shouted protesters, referring to the appointment on Saturday of intelligence chief Suleiman as vice president, the first time Mubarak has appointed a deputy in 30 years of office. Truest statement ever told in Egypt. Listen to the protesters voices and BACK DOWN Jew-SA!
It was the position Mubarak, 82, held before he become Dictator and many saw the appointment as ending his son Gamal's long-predicted ambitions to take over and as an attempt to reshape the administration to placate reformists.
Mubarak held talks with Suleiman, Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Chief of Staff Sami al-Anan and others.
Clearly those in Tahrir Square did not wish to see Mubarak's ruling structure replaced by a military line-up featuring his closest associates. "Mubarak, Mubarak, the plane awaits," they said. There was also a big protest in Alexandria.
A senior figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, the banned Islamist group that has long seemed the strongest single force against Mubarak, said it backed ElBaradei as negotiator.
The Muslim Brotherhood has stayed in the background although several of its senior officials have been rounded up. The government has accused it of planning to exploit the protests.
SHOCKWAVES AROUND MIDDLE EAST
The turmoil, in which more than 100 people have died, has sent shock waves through the Middle East where other autocratic rulers may face similar challenges, and unsettled financial markets around the globe as well as Egypt's allies in the West.
In Tunisia, the detonator of the regional movement, an exiled Islamist leader was welcomed home by thousands on Sunday. In Sudan, Egypt's southern neighbor, police beat and arrested students taking part in anti-government protests in Khartoum.
For Egyptians, the final straw seems to have been parliamentary elections in November last year, which observers said authorities rigged to exclude the opposition and secure Mubarak's ruling party a rubber-stamp parliament.
The military response to the crisis has been ambivalent. Troops now guard key buildings after police lost control of the streets, but have neglected to enforce a curfew, often fraternizing with protesters rather than confronting them.
It remains to be seen if the armed forces will keep Mubarak in power, or decide he is a liability to Egypt's national interests, and their own. It was also unclear if Mubarak had decided to talk with the generals or if he was summoned by them.
It was Tunisian generals who persuaded former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee last month after weeks of protests.
In Suez, on the canal, one senior local officer, Brigadier Atef Said said his troops would give protesters a free voice:
"We will allow protests in the coming days," he told Reuters. "Everyone has the right to voice their opinion. We're listening and trying to help and satisfy all parties. We're not here to stop anyone. These are our people."
The crisis deepened on Sunday with Egyptians facing lawlessness on the streets with security forces and citizens trying to stop rampaging looters.
Through the night, Cairo residents armed with clubs, chains and knives formed vigilante groups to guard neighborhoods from marauders after the unpopular police force withdrew following the deadly clashes with protesters.
As a result the army has deployed in bigger numbers across Egypt, easing some of the panic over law and order. In central Cairo, army check points were set up at some intersections.
"The armed forces urged all citizens to abide by the curfew precisely and said it would deal with violators strictly and firmly," state television issued a statement.
Residents expressed hope the army, revered in Egypt and less associated with daily repression than the police and security agencies, would restore order.
Army tanks and tracked vehicles stood at the capital's street corners, guarding banks as well as government offices including Interior Ministry headquarters. State security fought with protesters trying to attack the building on Saturday night.
TANKS SPRAYED WITH SLOGANS
In surreal scenes, soldiers from Mubarak's army stood by tanks covered in anti-Mubarak graffiti: "Down with Mubarak. Down with the despot. Down with the traitor. Pharaoh out of Egypt."
Asked how they could let protesters scrawl anti-Mubarak slogans on their vehicles, one soldier said: "These are written by the people, it's the views of the people."
Egypt's sprawling armed forces -- the world's 10th biggest and more than 468,000-strong -- have been at the heart of power since army officers staged the 1952 overthrow of the king. It benefits from about $1.3 billion a year in U.S. military aid.
Egypt's military appears to be showing restraint and there is no talk at this time about halting U.S. aid to Egypt, Clinton told ABC on Sunday.
Egyptian state television largely ignored protests until Friday, the biggest day when a curfew was announced. Since then it has given more coverage but has focused on disorder and shown pictures of small protests, not the mass gatherings.
The government has interfered with Internet access and mobile phone signals to try and disrupt demonstrators' plans.
TUMULT HITS TOURISTS
The tumult was affecting Egypt's tourist industry and the United States and Turkey said they were offering evacuation flights for citizens anxious to leave. Other governments advised their citizens to leave Egypt or to avoid traveling there.
The United States and European powers were busy reworking their Middle East policies, which have supported Mubarak, turning a blind eye to police brutality and corruption in return for a bulwark against first communism and now militant Islam.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was closely watching events in Egypt, the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish state in 1979. It has served a key role in Israel-Palestinian peace talks.
"This is the Arab world's Berlin moment," said Fawaz Gerges of the London School of Economics, comparing the events to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. "The authoritarian wall has fallen, and that's regardless of whether Mubarak survives."
(Additional reporting by Dina Zayed, Marwa Awad, Shaimaa Fayed, Sherine El Madany, Yasmine Saleh, Alison Williams and Samia Nakhoul in Cairo, Alexander Dziadosz in Suez, Arshad Mohammed in Washington and Peter Apps, Angus MacSwan and William Maclean in London; Writing by Peter Millership, editing by Alastair Macdonald)
at 11:45 AM
January 29, 2011
Dictator Mubarak Appoints His Intelligence Chief as Egypt's Next Dictator, Riots Ensue, Dead up to 74 now.
CAIRO – With protests raging, Egypt's president named his intelligence chief as his first-ever vice president on Saturday, setting the stage for a successor as chaos engulfed the capital. Soldiers stood by — a few even joining the demonstrators — and the death toll from five days of anti-government fury rose sharply to 74.
Saturday's fast-moving developments across the north African nation marked a sharp turning point in President Hosni Mubarak's three-decade rule of Egypt.
Residents and shopkeepers in affluent neighborhoods boarded up their houses and stores against looters, who roamed the streets with knives and sticks, stealing what they could and destroying cars, windows and street signs. Gunfire rang out in some neighborhoods.
Tanks and armored personnel carriers fanned out across the city of 18 million, guarding key government buildings, and major tourist and archaeological sites. Among those singled out for special protection was the Egyptian Museum, home to some of the country's most treasured antiquities, and the Cabinet building. The military closed the pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo — Egypt's premier tourist site.
But soldiers made no moves against protesters, even after a curfew came and went and the crowds swelled in the streets, demanding an end to Mubarak's rule and no handoff to the son he had been grooming to succeed him.
"This is the revolution of people of all walks of life," read black graffiti scrolled on one army tank in Tahrir Square. "Mubarak, take your son and leave," it said.
Thousands of protesters defied the curfew for the second night, standing their ground in the main Tahrir Square in a resounding rejection of Mubarak's attempt to hang onto power with promises of reform and a new government.
Police protecting the Interior Ministry near the site opened fire at a funeral procession for a dead protester, possibly because it came too close to the force. Clashes broke out and at least two people were killed.
A 43-year-old teacher, Rafaat Mubarak, said the appointment of the president's intelligence chief and longtime confidant, Omar Suleiman, as vice president did not satisfy the protesters.
"This is all nonsense. They will not fool us anymore. We want the head of the snake," he said in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria. "If he is appointed by Mubarak, then he is just one more member of the gang. We are not speaking about a branch in a tree, we are talking about the roots."
The crackdown on protesters has drawn harsh criticism from the Obama administration and even a threat Friday to reduce a $1.5 billion foreign aid program if Washington's most important Arab ally escalates the use of force.
Thousands of passengers were stranded at Cairo's airport as flights were canceled or delayed, leaving them unable to leave because of a government-imposed curfew. Several Arab nations, meanwhile, moved to evacuate their citizens.
The cancelations of flights and the arrival of several largely empty aircraft appeared to herald an ominous erosion of key tourism revenue.
The protesters united in one overarching demand — Mubarak and his family must go. The movement is a culmination of years of simmering frustration over a government they see as corrupt, heavy-handed and neglectful of poverty.
Egyptians were emboldened by the uprising in Tunisia — another North African Arab nation, and further buoyed by their success in defying the ban on gatherings.
At the end of a long day of rioting and mass demonstrations Friday, Mubarak fired his Cabinet and promised reforms. But the demonstrators returned in force again Saturday to demand a complete change of regime.
The president appeared to have been preparing his son Gamal to succeed him, possibly as soon as presidential elections planned for later this year. However, there was significant public opposition to the hereditary succession.
The appointment of Suleiman, 74, answers one of the most intriguing and enduring political questions in Egypt: Who will succeed 82-year-old Mubarak?
Another question is whether his appointment will calm Egypt's seething cities.
Mubarak appointed Suleiman shortly after the U.S. said he needed to take concrete action to achieve "real reform." Suleiman is well known and respected by American officials and has traveled to Washington many times.
Before word that Mubarak had picked his first vice president, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the U.S. wanted to see Mubarak fulfill his pledges of reform.
"The Egyptian government can't reshuffle the deck and then stand pat," Crowley said on his Twitter account. "President Mubarak's words pledging reform must be followed by action."
As the army presence expanded in Cairo Saturday, police largely disappeared from the streets — possibly because their presence seemed only to fuel protesters' anger. Egyptian police are hated for their brutality.
On Friday, 17 police stations throughout Cairo were torched, with protesters stealing firearms and ammunition and freeing some jailed suspects. They also burned dozens of police trucks in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez. On Saturday, protesters besieged a police station in the Giza neighborhood of Cairo, looted and pulled down Egyptian flags, then burned the building to the ground.
There were no clashes reported between protesters and the military at all, and many in the crowds showered soldiers with affection.
One army captain joined the demonstrators in Tahrir Square, who hoisted him on their shoulders while chanting slogans against Mubarak. The officer ripped apart a picture of the president.
"We don't want him! We will go after him!" demonstrators shouted. They decried looting and sabotage, saying: "Those who love Egypt should not sabotage Egypt!"
Some 200 inmates escaped a jail on the outskirts of the city, starting a fire first to cover their breakout. Eight inmates were killed during the escape.
On Saturday, feelings of joy over the sustained protest mingled with frustration over the looting and Mubarak's refusal to step down.
"To hell with Mubarak; We don't serve individuals. We serve this country that we love, just like you," yelled another soldier to protesters from atop a tank scrawled with graffiti that said: "Down with Mubarak!"
Like Mubarak, Suleiman has a military background. The powerful military has provided Egypt with its four presidents since the monarchy was toppled nearly 60 years ago. He has been in charge of some of Egypt's most sensitive foreign policy issues, including the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
Suleiman, additionally, is widely seen as a central regime figure, a position that protesters were likely to view with suspicion.
Mubarak also named his new prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, the outgoing civil aviation minister and fellow former air force officer.
Both appointments perpetuate the military's overriding role in Egyptian politics.
Suleiman's frequent trips to Israel could be held against him by a population that continues to view the Jewish state as a sworn enemy more than 30 years after the two neighbors signed a peace treaty.
With the two occupying the country's most important jobs after the president from the military, Gamal, a banker-turned-politician, appears out of the running for his father's job.
A leaked U.S. diplomatic memo said Gamal and his clique of ruling party stalwarts and businessmen were gaining confidence in 2007 about controlling power in Egypt and that they believed that Mubarak would eventually dump Suleiman, who was seen as a threat by Gamal and his coterie of aides.
Gamal launched his political career within the ranks of the ruling National Democratic Party, climbed over the past 10 years to become its de facto leader, dictating economic policies and bolstering his own political standing.
Gamal's close aide and confidant, steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz, resigned from the party on Saturday, according to state television. Gamal and Ezz are suspected of orchestrating the rigging of the last parliamentary election in November, making sure the ruling party won all but a small fraction of the chamber's 518 seats.
"There is nothing short of Mubarak leaving power that will satisfy the people," Mohamed ElBaradei, the country's leading pro-reform activist told The Associated Press on Saturday. "I think what Mubarak said yesterday was an insult to the intelligence of the Egyptian people."
Buildings, statues and even armored security vehicles were covered in anti-Mubarak graffiti, including the words "Mubarak must fall," which by morning had been written over to say "Mubarak fell."
The military extended the hours of the night curfew imposed Friday in the three major cities where the worst violence has been seen — Cairo, Alexandria and Suez. State television said it would begin at 4 p.m. and last until 8 a.m., longer than the 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. ban Friday night that appeared to not have been enforced.
The Internet appeared blocked for a second day to hamper protesters who use social networking sites to organize. And after cell phone service was cut for a day Friday, two of the country's major providers were up and running Saturday.
In the capital on Friday night, hundreds of young men carted away televisions, fans and stereo equipment looted from the ruling National Democratic Party, near the Egyptian Museum.
Others around the city looted banks, smashed cars, tore down street signs and pelted armored riot police vehicles with paving stones torn from roadways.
Banks and the stock market will be closed on Sunday, the first day of the week, because of the turmoil.
at 7:16 PM
Virtually all internet access in Egypt is cut off today as the government battles to contain the street protests that threaten to topple Dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Organizations that track global internet access detected a collapse in traffic in to and out of Egypt at around 10.30GMT on Thursday night.
The shut down involved the withdrawal of more than 3,500 Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routes by Egyptian ISPs, according to Renesys, a networking firm. Only one ISP out of 10, Noor Data Networks, appeared largely unaffected. It connects to the outside world via an undersea cable operated by Telecom Italia.
According to BGPMon, another networking firm, 88 per cent of Egyptian internet access was successfully shut down, however.
Renesys speculated that the apparent anomaly of Noor Data Networks may be a result of the fact it provides services to the Egyptian stock exchange.
BGP routes are one of the most vital parts of the internet. They are mostly used by ISPs so their networks can exchange information about how to best route the packets of data that make up all internet communications.
If an ISP withdraws its BGP routes, its customers effectively disappear from the internet, unable to access websites and services, send and receive email, or use voice services such as Skype.
The Egyptian government’s action is unprecedented in the history of the internet. Countries such as China, Iran, Thailand and Tunisia have cut off access to news websites and social networking services during periods of unrest, as Egypt did when it cut off Facebook and Twitter earlier this week.
The ongoing attempt by the Egyptian government to shut down all online communication is, however, a new phenomenon. It not only prevents ordinary Egyptian internet users from accessing any websites, it cripples Tor, an anti-censorship tool that technical experts and activists were using to circumvent the Facebook and Twitter blocks.
The action puts Egypt, temporarily at least, in the company of North Korea, which has never allowed its citizens access to the internet.
at 12:06 AM
January 22, 2011
High-ranking members of US military part of ‘Knights of Malta,’ ‘Opus Dei,’ Proof Wars Faught for Christianity.
Veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has broken some massive stories in his day, but uncovering secret societies within the highest echelons of America's military would probably be the biggest of his career.
Well, get ready for the media storm, because that's essentially what Hersh told an audience in Doha, Qatar recently, according to a report published earlier this week by Foreign Policy.
Speaking at a campus operated by Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, Hersh said he was working on a new book that details "how eight or nine neoconservative, radicals if you will, overthrew the American government."
"It's not only that the neocons took it over but how easily they did it -- how Congress disappeared, how the press became part of it, how the public acquiesced," he continued, according to the published quotes.
Hersh also lamented President Obama's continuance of the Bush administration's worst abuses.
"Just when we needed an angry black man, we didn't get one," he reportedly said.
The Foreign Policy report added that in 2003, those "in the Cheney shop" were not concerned about the havoc the invasion of Iraq was destined to cause.
"[The] attitude was, 'What's this? What are they all worried about, the politicians and the press, they're all worried about some looting?" Hersh was quoted as saying. "Don't they get it? We're gonna change moseques into cathedrals. And when we get all the oil, nobody's gonna give a damn.' That's the attitude. We're gonna change mosques into cathedrals. That's an attitude that pervades, I'm here to say, a large percentage of the Joint Special Operations Command [JSOC]."
He further claimed that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Vice Admiral William McRaven and others in the JSOC were members of the "Knights of Malta" and "Opus Dei," two little known Catholic orders.
"They do see what they're doing -- and this is not an atypical attitude among some military -- it's a crusade, literally," Hersh reportedly continued. "They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They're protecting them from the Muslims [as in] the 13th century. And this is their function."
He added that members of these societies have developed a secret set of insignias that represent "the whole notion that this is a culture war" between religions.
It was President George W. Bush who first invoked images of a holy war in the Middle East, when he suggested soon after Sept. 11, 2001 that the US was on a "crusade" in the region.
The "Knights of Malta" were a Catholic order founded in 1085 as a group of monks who cared for the wounded. It evolved into a military order that safeguarded Christian pilgrims from Muslims during the nine "Crusades," where Europe's Christian states laid siege to Muslims for control of Jerusalem.
"Opus Dei," popularly depicted in the Hollywood film "The DaVinci Code," was founded in 1928 and officially accepted as part of the Catholic church in 1947. The group's website claimed their principle calling was to bring about a "Christian renewal" around the world.
Doubts, denials and a distinctive trend
Raw Story reached out to Hersh and The New Yorker to confirm the accuracy of his quotes, placing this report on hold until they responded. Both declined to make any further statement, neither confirming nor denying the quotes.
However, one source close to Hersh who spoke to Raw Story off the record, suggested that Foreign Policy's report was indeed correct.
Raw Story followed-up on the quotes due to a widely-reported false claim attributed to Hersh in May 2009, where he'd allegedly said former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
The report, which appeared to have originated in Pakistan, was picked up by The Wall Street Journal and the conservative-leaning American Spectator, but both removed the links after Raw Story published a denial from Hersh. A link to Raw Story's original report was unavailable due to a database malfunction.
Hersh, a Pulitzer-winning author and reporter, has previously reported that the JSOC was set up by former Vice President Cheney as something of an "executive assassination squad" that operated outside of congressional authority.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who resigned after Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings quoted him mocking the US civilian command, led JSOC before taking command of America's war effort in Afghanistan.
In an email to the military's Stars and Stripes publication, McChrystal's spokesman, David Bolger, panned Hersh's claim.
“The allegations recently made by Seymour Hersh relating to General McChrystal’s involvement with an organization called The Knights of Malta are completely false and without basis in fact,” he reportedly wrote. “General McChrystal is not and has never been a member of that organization.”
The religious indoctrination of US soldiers has been in headlines in recent weeks as soldiers who "failed" the "spiritual fitness" portion of the "comprehensive soldier fitness" test claimed they were forced to attend Christian ceremonies and become "born again" by professing love for the Christian deity.
Similarly, GQ magazine uncovered last year a series of top-secret military briefings prepared by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that included passages from the Bible.
Trijicon Inc., a defense contractor, was also discovered last January to have been for years placing scriptural references on gun sights used by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Their actions revealed Trijicon was forced to provide the Pentagon with kits to remove the codes.
at 9:22 PM