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Russian Spy Ship Returns to East Coast of U.S.

Feb. 27, 2014: A Russian spy ship Viktor Leonov SSV-175, is seen docked at a Havana port. REUTERS

Russian spy ship that made a foray near a U.S. Navy submarine base in Connecticut in February is once again in international waters off the East Coast of the United States, presumably to monitor activity at American Navy bases.

The Viktor Leonov spy ship is now 50 miles east of the U.S. Navy’s submarine base at Kings Bay, Georgia, according to a defense official. The ship traveled there from a port in Havana, Cuba, where it docked for five days.

The Leonov’s earlier visit off the Eastern Seaboard in mid-February drew international attention although American officials noted at the time that the visits have become a regular occurrence in recent years.

Serena Marshall/ABC News The Russian spy ship Viktor Leonov CCB-175 is parked at a Havana port as the US starts talks Cuba, Jan. 21, 2015.

Serena Marshall/ABC News. The Russian spy ship Viktor Leonov CCB-175 is parked at a Havana port as the US starts talks Cuba, Jan. 21, 2015.

For one day in February the ship was offshore of the U.S. Navy submarine base in New London, Connecticut, the furthest north the Russian intelligence ship had ever traveled up the East Coast of the United States.

Following that brief stop off New England, the Leonov headed south where it spent almost two weeks east of the U.S. Navy base at Norfolk, Virginia. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] Cold War Files: Soviet Espionage Revisted: Forum on the Rosenberg Case 

Journalist Marvin Kalb moderates a discussion on the espionage case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. The panel will examine how the Soviet spy network that Julius Rosenberg set 51hVyBUQmRL._SL250_.jpgup worked and how it helped the Soviets.

[Order Allen Hornblum’s book The Invisible Harry Gold: The Man Who Gave the Soviets the Atom Bomb from Amazon.com]

Panelists include Ronald Radosh, co-author of The Rosenberg File; Mark Kramer, director of Cold War Studies, Harvard University, and Senior Fellow of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies; Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes, co-authors of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America; Steven Usdin, author of Engineering Communism: How Two Americans Spied for Stalin and Founded the Soviet Silicon Valley; and Allen Hornblum, author of The Invisible Harry Gold: The Man Who Gave the Soviets the Atom Bomb.

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[VIDEO] Krauthammer: Latest WikiLeaks Breach ‘Worse Than Snowden’ 

Charles Krauthammer described the latest leaks at the CIA as more damaging than even those of Edward Snowden, and he casts blame on the vetting procedure for contractors.


Obama Wholeheartedly Endorses Wikileaks, Commutes Bradley Manning’s Sentence

obama-wikileaks


NSA ‘Shadow Brokers’ Hack Shows SpyWar with Kremlin Is Turning Hot 

Russ-Hack

Western intelligence bosses recently have become open about stating what they’ve known for years, that Snowden is a Kremlin pawn designed to inflict pain on Russia’s adversaries in the SpyWar.

 writes: The National Security Agency can’t catch a break. Over three years ago, Edward Snowden, an IT contractor for the agency, defected to Moscow with more than a million classified documents. Since then, Snowden’s vast trove has been used to embarrass NSA about the extent of its global espionage reach.

“Significant questions loom over this new scandal.  In the first place, what really is The Shadow Brokers? They appear to be a transparent front for Russian intelligence. Indeed, they’re not really hiding that fact, given the broken English they used in their online auction notice asking for bitcoin in exchange for NSA information.” 

I’ve been warning from Day One that the Snowden Operation was a Russian propaganda ploy aimed at inflicting pain on NSA, America’s most important spy agency, and its global alliance of espionage partnerships that’s been the backbone of the powerful Western intelligence system since it helped defeat the Nazis and Japan in World War II.

“From his Russian exile, even Snowden admitted on Twitter that this was pretty obviously a Kremlin spy game.”

Western intelligence bosses recently have become open about stating what they’ve known for years, that Snowden is a Kremlin pawn designed to inflict pain on Russia’s adversaries in the SpyWar. There’s no doubt that’s the case, especially since the Kremlin now has admitted that Snowden is their agent.

putin-computer

For more than three years NSA has been subjected to an unprecedented stream of leaks about myriad Top Secret intelligence programs. Although Snowden claimed his motivation was to protect the civil liberties of fellow Americans by exposing secrets, it’s impossible to miss that well over 95 percent of the programs he’s compromised are purely involved with foreign intelligence. The impact of all this on agency morale has been devastating and NSA is in a state of crisis thanks to Snowden.

[Read the full story here, at the Observer]

This week things took a marked turn for the worse, however, with the exposure of highly sensitive NSA hacking tools on the Internet by a murky group calling itself “The Shadow Brokers” which announced it planned to sell programs purloined from the agency. Like clockwork, NSA’s public website crashed and stayed down for almost a full day. Although there’s no indication this was linked to The Shadow Brokers, the optics for NSA were terrible.

hillary-computer

First, some explanation is needed of what’s been compromised. The crown jewel here is a 300-megabyte file containing “exploits”—that is, specialized sophisticated cyber tools designed to burrow through firewalls to steal data. What The Shadow Brokers has, which it claims it stole from an alleged NSA front organization termed the Equation Group, appears to be legitimate.

Here we are, three years after Snowden, dealing with the consequences of allowing Russian moles to run amok inside NSA.

These exploits—or at least some of them—appear to come from NSA’s elite office of Tailored Access Operations, which is the agency’s hacking group. Arguably the world’s most proficient cyber-warriors, the shadowy TAO excels at gaining access to the computer systems of foreign adversaries. TAO veterans have confirmed that, from what they’ve seen of what The Shadow Brokers has revealed, they’re bona fide NSA exploits.

This represents a security disaster for an agency that really didn’t need another one. How this happened, given the enormous security that’s placed on all NSA Top Secret computer systems, raises troubling questions about what’s going on, since the agency instituted much more strenuous online security after Snowden’s defection, which revealed how slipshod NSA counterintelligence really was.

However, significant questions loom over this new scandal.  In the first place, what really is The Shadow Brokers? They appear to be a transparent front for Russian intelligence. Indeed, they’re not really hiding that fact, given the broken English they used in their online auction notice asking for bitcoin in exchange for NSA information. From his Russian exile, even Snowden admitted on Twitter that this was pretty obviously a Kremlin spy game.

hacker-hacking-ddos-keyboard

Pro-Russian sources have pointed to the Equation Group as an NSA front for more than a year. In early 2015, Kaspersky Labs, one of the world’s leading cybersecurity firms, announced the discovery of the Equation Group and fingers were quickly pointed at NSA as being the culprit behind those hackers. It should be noted that Kaspersky Labs has a very cozy relationship with the Kremlin and is viewed by most espionage experts in the West as an extended arm of Russian intelligence. The firm’s founder, Eugene Kaspersky, was trained in codes and ciphers by the KGB in the waning days of the Soviet Union, even meeting his first wife at a KGB resort. Read the rest of this entry »


Hillary Clinton Paves the Way For Easy Treason Against America 

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Fr. Marcel Guarnizo writes: With each passing news day, the scandal deepens around Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized removal of U.S. secrets during her tenure as Secretary of State.

The process of this unauthorized extraction of U.S. secrets by Mrs. Clinton makes one thing impossibly clear. This conspiracy was anything but convenient to Mrs. Clinton. Contrary to what she disingenuously claimed, convenience was most definitely not the reason for her actions. To remove Top Secret information and hundreds of other classified documents from the government’s care, she had to risk jail and even get others to collude in this process.

For nearly eight months, I observe that the most important question is still not being asked of Hillary Clinton and her partisans. Why was Clinton doing this?

As anyone knows it is impossible for Hillary Clinton to end up with a colossal stash of U.S. national secrets on her personal server by accident. She could not simply email herself most of this information. She had to engage others to do that which put them at obvious risk of breaking the espionage act and ending up in jail. It is absurd that the F.B.I. director Comey and several pundits continue to give her a pass on the absolutely bogus and irrational excuse that it was all done for the sake of convenience.

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The real question is why was Hillary Clinton doing this? Here is one theory. She was trafficking in U.S. National Security secrets for personal gain, money. She was also making this information available to Bill Clinton and the Clinton foundation people. Their information being extremely valuable to intelligence services and private corporations was being rewarded through contributions to the Clinton foundation. The Clinton foundation essentially was being used to launder payments for influence and information under the guise of a legitimate charitable purpose.

[Read the full story here, at townhall.com]

The Clinton National Security Scandal is a more accurate name for what is occurring than the cynical euphemism, “ The Clinton E-mail scandal.” E-mail scandals are a dime a dozen.

Her unprecedented actions are materially no different than the actions of any person (formally charged for espionage), who provides or makes available secrets of the highest caliber to a host of “contributors”.

It matters little, that someone trafficking in U.S. secrets may not have been enlisted formally by a foreign government. Trafficking in U.S. National security secrets is exactly what these notorious spies were doing and in this regard it is becoming apparently clear, that Clinton’s actions are really all that any mole or spy would have to do to sell or profit from revealing U.S. secrets.

Allegedly the Clinton breach also contained names of our human assets and their methods, endangering thus their lives and indeed making available by her actions the most coveted information sought by foreign intelligence services.

Selling Secretes in the Age of Cyber Space

From a philosophical point of view, the essence of spying and treason (trafficking in U.S. National Security secrets), requires that fundamentally two necessary actions take place:

1. The spy or traitor has to accomplish the removal in an unauthorized manner of sensitive information, classified information, or, even graver, top secret information, from its rightful owner, namely the U.S. government. Indeed Clinton had authority to read the information, she had access. But she certainly did not have the authority to remove top secret information and put it on an unsecured server. Or allow others not authorized, access to U.S. National secrets.

Stealing information, or removing the information from its proper owner (The U.S. government) without proper authorization is half of the operation required for a mole to betray secrets.

Treason

Most information mercenaries and spies have licit access to the information, but they certainly do not have permission to remove it or make it their own and certainly they are not allowed to put it on an unsecured servers where the enemies of America can come and collect the information. Read the rest of this entry »


U.S. Naval Flight Officer Lt. Commander Accused of Giving U.S. Secrets to China

Lt. Cmdr. Edward C. Lin

Sam LaGrone reports: A U.S. naval flight officer with an extensive signals intelligence background was accused by the service of passing secrets to China, USNI News has learned.

Lt. Cmdr. Edward C. Lin, who served on some of the Navy’s most sensitive intelligence gathering aircraft, faces several counts of espionage and other charges outlined during a Friday Article 32 hearing in Norfolk, Va.

Lin, originally a Taiwanese national before his family moved to the U.S., had a career as a signals intelligence specialist on the Navy’s Lockheed Martin EP-3E Aries II reconnaissance aircraft, several sources confirmed to USNI News.

China Policeman

Several sources familiar with the case told USNI News the country to which Lin passed secrets was China, however, few other details are known about the case given much of the evidence is classified.

[Read the full story here, at USNI News]

The redacted charging documents say Lin allegedly transported secret information out of the country without permission and then lied about his whereabouts when he returned to duty. The charging documents allege he successfully committed espionage twice and attempted espionage on three other occasions.

Then-Lt. Edward Lin speaking at 2008 U.S. naturalization ceremony in Hawaii. US Navy Photo

Then-Lt. Edward Lin speaking at a 2008 U.S. naturalization ceremony in Hawaii. US Navy Photo

In addition to the accusations related to transmitting secrets to a foreign power, Lin was also accused of violating military law by patronizing prostitutes and committing adultery. Read the rest of this entry »


Exposed: China’s Covert Global Radio Network

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WCRW is just one of a growing number of stations across the world through which Beijing is broadcasting China-friendly news and programming.

BEIJING/WASHINGTON – In August, foreign ministers from 10 nations blasted China for building artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea. As media around the world covered the diplomatic clash, a radio station that serves the most powerful city in America had a distinctive take on the news.

Located outside Washington, D.C., WCRW radio made no mention of China’s provocative island project. Instead, an analyst explained that tensions in the region were due to unnamed “external forces” trying “to insert themselves into this part of the world using false claims.”

Behind WCRW’s coverage is a fact that’s never broadcast: The Chinese government controls much of what airs on the station, which can be heard on Capitol Hill and at the White House.

drudge-china-radio

WCRW is just one of a growing number of stations across the world through which Beijing is broadcasting China-friendly news and programming.

A Reuters investigation spanning four continents has identified at least 33 radio stations in 14 countries that are part of a global radio web structured in a way that obscures its majority shareholder: state-run China Radio International, or CRI.

Many of these stations primarily broadcast content created or supplied by CRI or by media companies it controls in the United States, Australia and Europe. Three Chinese expatriate businessmen, who are CRI’s local partners, run the companies and in some cases own a stake in the stations. The network reaches from Finland to Nepal to Australia, and from Philadelphia to San Francisco.

At WCRW, Beijing holds a direct financial interest in the Washington station’s broadcasts. Corporate records in the United States and China show a Beijing-based subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned radio broadcaster owns 60 percent of an American company that leases almost all of the station’s airtime.

China has a number of state-run media properties, such as the Xinhua news agency, that are well-known around the world. But American officials charged with monitoring foreign media ownership and propaganda said they were unaware of the Chinese-controlled radio operation inside the United States until contacted by Reuters. A half-dozen former senior U.S. officials said federal authorities should investigate whether the arrangement violates laws governing foreign media and agents in the United States.

A U.S. law enforced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prohibits foreign governments or their representatives from holding a radio license for a U.S. broadcast station. Under the Communications Act, foreign individuals, governments and corporations are permitted to hold up to 20 percent ownership directly in a station and up to 25 percent in the U.S. parent corporation of a station.

CRI itself doesn’t hold ownership stakes in U.S. stations, but it does have a majority share via a subsidiary in the company that leases WCRW in Washington and a Philadelphia station with a similarly high-powered signal. Read the rest of this entry »


Ethel Rosenberg: War Criminal, Soviet Spy, Executed for Treason, Lovingly Celebrated by the American Left for Her ‘Bravery’

NYC-city-council-NYPost

Born in 1915 in New York City, Ethel Rosenberg went to Seward High School. After finishing school in 1931, she went to work for the National New York Packing and Shipping Company. Rosenberg became involved in a workers’ union there and soon became a supporter of the Communist Party.

Ethel_Rosenberg_mugshot

Ethel Rosenberg, Still Dead

“Karl Marx, in whatever spectral afterlife the old monster is enjoying, must be smiling as American history repeats itself, moving on from tragedy to farce. Just as denunciations of the “Red Scare” were used to draw attention away from the crimes of American individuals and institutions undertaken in service of the Soviet Union, now cries of “Islamophobia!” are being used to muddy the waters in the matter of the participation of American and Western people and institutions in the worldwide Islamic jihad against the West… (read more)

Rosenbergs_coffin

From AceOfSpadesHQ:

Look, there’s no question that “OSA” (Russian for “bee;” Ethel’s code-name) was a member of Karl Fuch’s (code-name: KALIBR) spy ring charged with working on “ENORMOZ” (the code-name for the US atomic bomb program). She urged Ruth Greenglass to recruit her husband David Greenglass (who worked for the Manhattan Project) into the spy ring; she did, Greenglass joined, and Greenglass delivered over key information to the Soviet Union.

stalin-head

We read their secret communications at the time; we have since disclosed this fact; and former Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev said so in his pothumously-published memoirs.

From Wikipedia:

In his posthumously published memoirs, Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, said that he “cannot specifically say what kind of help the Rosenbergs provided us” but that he learned from Joseph Stalin and Vyacheslav M. Molotov that they “had provided very significant help in accelerating the production of our atomic bomb”.

So there’s no question she did what she was alleged to have done; nor, in fact, was there much doubt at the time — most Soviet-leaning/communist-sympathizing progressives made the Rosenbergs their heroes not because they thought they were innocent, but rather because they knew they were guilty.

Or, as they would put it: they knew the Rosenbergs had “demonstrated great bravery” on behalf of the Worker’s Paradise of Mother Russia….(read more)

New York City Honors a Monster

For National Review, Kevin D. Williamson:

…There is practically no one left defending the innocence of Julius Rosenberg — even his children have admitted that he was a traitor and a spy. The only people who doubt the guilt of his wife, Ethel, are those with a very strong ideological resistance to the facts of the case. Among other things, we have the word of Nikita Khrushchev, who writes in his memoirs of the help the Rosenbergs, plural, provided in the Soviet nuclear-weapons program; we have the communications of the Soviet spymaster to whom they answered, who in his missives to Moscow describes Ethel as an operative; we have the Vedona papers, the declassified Soviet archives in which that same handler, Aleksandr Feklisov, writes of Ethel’s role in recommending new espionage recruits, etc. Yes, there are instances of conflicting testimony in the case, as there are in every mugging, and Ethel’s brother, who had originally omitted any mention of his sister’s role in the spy ring, changed his testimony when his wife told a different story. None of this is enough — not nearly — to outweigh the plain archival evidence in Soviet records.

“‘But, McCarthy was mean!’ Not mean enough. Not by half.”

There is some controversy, a matter of historical trivia, about whether the Rosenbergs were effective spies; some Soviet scientists involved in the nuclear-weapons program have dismissed the information they provided as useless. Being a bad spy, however, is not a defense against espionage charges. The record is clear that in the matter of the crimes with which they were charged — treason and conspiracy to commit espionage — the Rosenbergs, both of them, were guilty as charged.

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The Communist movement worldwide murdered some 100 million people over the course of the 20th century The Soviet enterprise specifically, to which the Rosenbergs were fiercely committed — they are described as “devoted” in the Soviet literature — had at the time of the Rosenbergs’ recruit already intentionally starved to death some 8 million people in Ukraine for the purposes of political terror. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] REWIND: Everything Wrong With ‘Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol’

Just in time for Rogue Nation, we finish up the Mission Impossible series with what is easily the best of the bunch to date. Still gots sins, yo.


Richard Whittle : Military Exercise ‘Black Dart’ to Combat Nightmare Drone Scenario

Three images here of Outlaw G2 made by Griffon Aerospace. Photos provided by JIAMDO. For Sunday PostScript story on drones.

Richard Whittle writes: Sweat the small stuff.

A nuclear power station in France. In October and November, French security officials were investigation a wave of drones that illegally flew over more than a dozen nuclear plants across France.Photo: Reuters

That’s the unofficial motto for this year’s edition of the military exercise Black Dart, a two-week test of tactics and technologies to combat hostile drones that begins Monday on the Point Mugu range at Naval Base Ventura County in California.

Steam rises at night from the cooling towers of the Electricite de France (EDF) nuclear power station in Dampierre-en-Burly, France in this March 8, 2015 file photo. French power utility EDF is expected to hold its AGM this week.   REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Files   GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD PACKAGE - SEARCH "BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD MAY 18" FOR ALL IMAGES

The military categorizes Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) by size and capability, from Group 5 drones that weigh more than 1,320 pounds and can fly above 18,000 feet like the Reaper, down to Group 1, mini- and micro-drones less than 20 pounds that fly lower than 1,200 feet. Previous Black 51pQLTbdHvL._SL250_Darts have covered threats to troops overseas and targets at home posed by drones of all sizes.

Order Richard Whittle’s book “Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution” from Amazon.com

But small drones are this year’s focus, said the director of this 14th edition of Black Dart, Air Force Maj. Scott Gregg, because of worrisome incidents since the last exercise.

Gregg cited the quadcopter that a drunk crashed onto the White House lawn in the wee hours of Jan. 26 and sightings of unidentified small drones flying over nuclear reactors in France. In the wake of those events, he said, “Even though we’ve been looking at [the small drone threat], it’s taken on a new sense of urgency.”

Gregg also could have mentioned how, to protest government surveillance, the Pirate Party of Germany flew a small drone right up to the podium as Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke in Dresden two years ago. Or how in Japan last April, a nuclear-energy foe landed a drone carrying radioactive sand on the roof of the prime minister’s residence. And there was a report last week that British officials are worried ISIS may try to bomb festival crowds using small drones.

Target practice

The drones that Black Dart participants will attempt to shoot down.Photo: Post Illustration

The drones that Black Dart participants will attempt to shoot down.Photo: Post Illustration

The United States enjoyed a near-monopoly on armed drones for much of the past 15 years, but with more than 80 countries now buying or building drones of their own, and with terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and ISIS known to have used unarmed drones in the Middle East, that advantage has evaporated.

[Read the full story here, at the New York Post]

Few countries and no terrorist groups are likely to emulate the complex and costly US system of undersea fiber-optic cables and satellite earth terminals in Europe that allows crews in the United States to fly drones carrying missiles and bombs over Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

The 30-kilowatt Laser Weapon System was successful at Black Dart 2011.Photo: U.S. Navy

The 30-kilowatt Laser Weapon System was successful at Black Dart 2011.Photo: U.S. Navy

But anyone can buy a Group 1 drone for a couple of hundred dollars and put it to nefarious use. Arm it with plastic explosives, radioactive material, biological or chemical agents, and it can be crashed, kamikaze-style, into a target.

“I’d say for the Department of Homeland Security, it’s one of the biggest concerns,” Gregg said.

The threat isn’t imaginary. Former Northeastern University student Rezwan Ferdaus is now serving 17 years in prison for plotting to pack C-4 plastic explosives into 1/10 scale radio controlled models of F-4 and F-86 fighter jets and fly them into the Capitol and Pentagon. Ferdaus also supplied cellphone detonators for IEDs to people he thought were agents of al Qaeda but turned out to be working for the FBI….(read more)

What’s worked

 Innovations that have previously found success at Black Dart.Photo: Post Illustration

Innovations that have previously found success at Black Dart.Photo: Post Illustration

This year the surrogate threats will include three Group 1 drones — a Hawkeye 400 hexacopter, a Flanker and a Scout II — and one Twin Hawk drone from the Group 2 category (21 to 55 lbs., slower than 250 knots, lower than 3,500 feet). Six Group 3 drones, all of them 13.5-foot wingspan Outlaw G2s made by Griffon Aerospace, also will be targets. Read the rest of this entry »


Putin Still Doing Donuts on Obama’s Lawn

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Bret Stephens: The Capitulationist

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The Obama administration refuses to negotiate openly, lest the extent of its diplomatic surrender to Iran be prematurely and fatally exposed.

Bret Stephens writes: For a sense of the magnitude of the capitulation represented by Barack Obama’s Iran diplomacy, it’s worth recalling what the president said when he was trying to sell his interim nuclear agreement to a Washington, D.C., audience in December 2013.

“We know they don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordo in order to have a peaceful program,” Mr. Obama said of the Iranians in an interview with Haim Saban, the Israeli-American billionaire philanthropist. “They certainly don’t need a heavy-water reactor at Arak in order to have a peaceful nuclear program. They don’t need some of the advanced centrifuges that they currently possess in order to have a limited, peaceful nuclear program.”

An Iranian worker at the Uranium Conversion Facility at Isfahan, 410 kilometers, south of Tehran. The conversion facility in Isfahan reprocesses uranium ore concentrate, known as yellowcake, into uranium hexaflouride gas. The gas is then taken to Natanz and fed into the centrifuges for enrichment. (photo credit: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

An Iranian worker at the Uranium Conversion Facility at Isfahan, 410 kilometers, south of Tehran. The conversion facility in Isfahan reprocesses uranium ore concentrate, known as yellowcake, into uranium hexaflouride gas. The gas is then taken to Natanz and fed into the centrifuges for enrichment. (photo credit: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Hardly more than a year later, on the eve of what might be deal-day, here is where those promises stand:

Fordo: “The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites.”—Associated Press, March 26.

[Read the full text here, at the Wall Street Journal]

Arak: “Today, the six powers negotiating with Iran . . . want the reactor at Arak, still under construction, reconfigured to produce less plutonium, the other bomb fuel.”—The New York Times, March 7.

Advanced centrifuges: “Iran is building about 3,000 advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuges, the Iranian news media reported Sunday, a development likely to add to Western concerns about Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.”—Reuters, March 3.

nypost-obama-islam-blind

But the president and his administration made other promises, too. Consider a partial list:

Possible military dimensions: In September 2009 Mr. Obama warned Iran that it was “on notice” that it would have to “come clean” on all of its nuclear secrets. Now the administration is prepared to let it slide.

“It was never especially probable that a detailed, satisfactory verification regime would be included in the sort of substantive framework agreement that the Americans have been working for.”

— The Economist

“Under the new plan,” The Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon and Laurence Norman reported last week, “Tehran wouldn’t be expected to immediately clarify all the outstanding questions raised by the IAEA in a 2011 report on Iran’s alleged secretive work. A full reckoning of Iran’s past activities would be demanded in later years as part of a nuclear deal that is expected to last at least 15 years.”

Verification: Another thing the president said in that interview with Mr. Saban is that any deal would involve “extraordinary constraints and verification mechanisms and intrusive inspections.”

Iran isn’t playing ball on this one, either. Read the rest of this entry »


BLOSSOM FIGHT! ‘Cherry Blossom is Chinese, Not Japanese,’ Claim Growers in China

Artfully Awear Cherry Blossom 5

Old literary references prove flower synonymous with Japan originated on Chinese soil, argues association, after South Korea has also laid claim to the species

Alice Yan reports: A group in China has weighed into the debate about the non-stop-panic-pearlsorigins of a flower synonymous with Japan, the cherry blossom, saying it was first found on Chinese soil.

“We don’t want to start a war of words with Japan or Korea, but we would like to state the fact that many historical literary references prove that cherry blossom originated in China. As Chinese, we are obliged to let more people know about this part of history.”

He Zongru, executive chairman of the China Cherry Blossom Association, told a press conference that historical references proved that the flower originally came from China.

He’s comments came after media reports in South Korea earlier this month suggested that cherry blossom was first found in the country’s southern province of Jeju.

blossoms

”To put it simply, cherry blossoms originated in China and prospered in Japan. None of this is Korea’s business.”

“We don’t want to start a war of words with Japan or Korea, but we would like to state the fact that many historical literary references prove that cherry blossom originated in China. As Chinese, we are obliged to let more people know about this part of history.” he was quoted a saying by the Southern Metropolis News.

Tang Dynasty

He said the species spread to Japan from the Himalayan region during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).

Zhang Zuoshuang, an official at the Botanical Society of China, was quoted as saying that among the 150 types of wildly-grown cherry blossoms around the world, more than 50 could be found in China. Read the rest of this entry »


CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation Program, and Senate Democrats’ 9/11 Amnesia

Senate-Intelligence-Committee

Louis J. Freeh writes: Seventy-three years ago this week, on a peaceful, sunny morning in Hawaii, a Japanese armada carried out a spectacular attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, killing 2,403, wounding 1,178 and damaging or destroying at least 20 ships. Washington immediately declared war and mobilized a peaceful nation.

“The RDI program was not some rogue operation unilaterally launched by a Langley cabal—which is the impression that the Senate Intelligence Committee report tries to convey. Rather, the program was an initiative approved by the president, the national security adviser and the U.S. attorney general…”

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In another unfortunate Washington tendency, the government launched an investigation about who to blame for letting the devastating surprise attack happen. A hastily convened political tribunal found two senior military officers guilty of dereliction of duty, publicly humiliating them, as some political leaders sought to hold anyone but themselves accountable for the catastrophe.

“The Senate committee’s new report does not present any evidence that would support the notion that the CIA program was carried out for years without the concurrence of the House or Senate intelligence committees, or that any of the members were shocked to learn of the program after the fact.”

With the Democratic members of the SenateIntelligence Committee this week releasing a report on their investigation holding the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency accountable for the alleged “torture” of suspected terrorists after 9/11, some lessons from the Pearl Harbor history should be kept in mind.

CIA-floor

First, let’s remember the context of the immediate aftermath of 9/11, when President George W. Bush and Congress put America on a war footing. While some critics in and out of government blamed the CIA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for failing to prevent the terrorist attack, the 9/11 Commission later concluded that part of the real reason the terrorists succeeded was Washington’s failure to put America on a war footing long before the attack. Sept. 11, 2001, was the final escalation of al Qaeda’s war-making after attacking the USS Cole in 2000 and U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998.

“CIA leaders and briefers who regularly updated this program to the Senate Intelligence Committee leadership took what investigators call ‘copious, contemporaneous notes.’ Without a doubt, the Senate Intelligence Committee and congressional staffers at these multiple briefings also took a lot of their own notes…”

The Intelligence Committee’s majority report fails to acknowledge the Pearl Harbor-esque state of emergency that followed the 9/11 attack. One week after the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history, President Bush signed into law a congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which granted the president authority to use “all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States.”

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“…Will the committee now declassify and release all such notes so that Americans will know exactly what the senators were told and the practices they approved?”

This joint congressional resolution, which has never been amended, was not a broad declaration of a “war on terror,” but rather a specific, targeted authorization to use force against the 9/11 terrorists and to prevent their future attacks. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Spectre:’ Aston Martin to Provide Hero Car in a 12th James Bond Movie

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Spectre” will be Craig’s fourth film as Bond, following “Casino Royale,” “Quantum of Solace” and “Skyfall.” He has driven an Aston Martin in all of them.

James Bond has no plans to give up the keys to an Aston Martin anytime soon.

In what’s become the longest relationship between an automaker and a film franchise, Aston Martin will serve as 007’s preferred vehicle of choice in “Spectre,” the 24th film in the spy series.

The Sam Mendes-directed film will mark the 12th time Bond has driven an Aston Martin in the franchise throughout the company’s 50-year relationship with the films.

[See More:Bond 24 Titled ‘Spectre,’ New Cast Members Revealed – Christoph Waltz, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Andrew Scott, Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinnear…]

The British sports car maker on Thursday unveiled the DB10 that will appear in “Spectre” when the movie rolls into theaters on Nov. 6, 2015.

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What’s unique about the vehicle is that Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams worked closely with EON Prods, which produces the Bond films and Mendes to design the DB10 specifically for “Spectre.”

Only ten DB10s will be built, according to Aston Martin.

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In the past, the Bond series has featured cars that moviegoers could then purchase at dealerships, with the films helping promote the venerable brand throughout the years. Aston Martin isn’t known for having a sizable marketing budget, given that it doesn’t sell a large number of cars each year. One reason is price: The 2014 DB9 is $183,700.

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Instead, it’s sought out high-profile appearances in films as a way to boost its profile. And film productions like the Bond series are only happy to have a high-end halo car to associate its characters with — especially if they’re being custom-built for their film.

Aston Martin sold 3,800 units in 2012, and 4,200 in 2011. “Skyfall,” which prominently featured the DB5 from “Goldfinger,” was released in 2013, becoming the franchise’s highest-grossing sequel, earning $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office.

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Aston Martin sees “Spectre” as a way to promote the direction it’s going with its future lineup of vehicles, led by the company’s chief creative officer Marek Reichman.

Naturally, it’s already started to promote its tie-in with “Spectre” on social media channels. Read the rest of this entry »