Tags: 9/11

Saudi Man Receives 3 Year Prison Sentence and 450 Lashes for Being Gay

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 1.14.41 PMSaudi Arabia and its Medieval, inhumane monarchy has been a highlighted topic on Liberty Blitzkrieg for well over a year now. My government’s close alliance with this autocratic, homophobic and primitive fiefdom exposes the sham that is U.S. foreign policy more clearly than anything else. In exposing this authoritarian regime for what it really is, I hope that the American public will never again fall for war under the guise of false “humanitarian” purposes. There is nothing whatsoever humanitarian about U.S. foreign policy.

From the UK Independent:

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How the NSA is Actively Helping Saudi Arabia to Crackdown on Dissent

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 4.22.12 PMIt is not an exaggeration to say Saudi Arabia is one of the most oppressive, authoritarian regimes on the planet. Despite having been the main foreign instigator pushing for conflict in Syria, as well as its increasingly disturbing ties to the attacks on 9/11, it remains one of the U.S. government’s closest allies.

I’ve covered some of the human rights abuses of the Saudi regime on several occasions due to the fact that it so clearly exposes the total hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy. The most recent example was the recent sentencing of human rights lawyer and activist Waleed Abu Alkhair to 15 years in prison for “inciting public opinion,” i.e., effectively utilizing free speech. I covered this in detail in the post: Saudi Human Rights Lawyer and Activist Jailed for 15 Years for Free Speech Under New “Anti-Terror” Law.

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Saudi Human Rights Lawyer and Activist Jailed for 15 Years for Free Speech Under New “Anti-Terror” Law

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 11.14.53 AMBack in April, I published a post titled, Saudi Arabia Passes New Law that Declares Atheists “Terrorists.” In it, I highlighted an article from the UK Telegraph which noted:

In a string of royal decrees and an overarching new piece of legislation to deal with terrorism generally, the Saudi King Abdullah has clamped down on all forms of political dissent and protests that could “harm public order”.

The organization said the new “terrorism” provisions contain language that prosecutors and judges are already using to prosecute and convict independent activists and peaceful dissidents.

Concerns that this law would be used to silence dissent and crackdown on basic human rights were apparently well justified, as the Wall Street Journal reported today that a Saudi court has sentenced human rights lawyer and activist Waleed Abu Alkhair to 15 years in prison for “inciting public opinion,” i.e., effectively utilizing free speech. The WSJ reports that:

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America’s Disastrous Foreign Policy – My Thoughts on Iraq

But in the years they were getting started, a key component of ISIS’s support came from wealthy individuals in the Arab Gulf States of Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Sometimes the support came with the tacit nod of approval from those regimes; often, it took advantage of poor money laundering protections in those states, according to officials, experts, and leaders of the Syrian opposition, which is fighting ISIS as well as the regime.

“Everybody knows the money is going through Kuwait and that it’s coming from the Arab Gulf,” said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Studies. “Kuwait’s banking system and its money changers have long been a huge problem because they are a major conduit for money to extremist groups in Syria and now Iraq.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been publicly accusing Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding ISIS for months. Several reports have detailed how private Gulf funding to various Syrian rebel groups has splintered the Syrian opposition and paved the way for the rise of groups like ISIS and others.

- From the excellent Daily Beast article, America’s Allies Are Funding ISIS

The world is a very complicated place, and the Middle East is a particularly difficult region to try to get your head around. Between decades of colonialism, gigantic oil reserves, governments that are essentially feudal kingdoms, and the never-ending and always shifting Western government propaganda that often changes the targets of demonization on a whim, it’s no wonder people are so confused.I’m not writing this post proclaiming to be an expert on the region, nor am I saying I have all of the answers. What I am trying to do is give my perspective based on what I have seen so far, and more importantly, ask readers to ask their own set of questions.

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Commuters Herded Like Cattle as China Escalates its Own “War on Terror”

I have often said that while 9/11 was a horrible event, our collective response to it has been the real tragedy (read my How I Remember September 11, 2001 post). A terrible event is no excuse to become such scared children that we would relinquish the basic freedoms our ancestors fought so hard to secure for us.

The only people who really benefit from an expansion of the surveillance state and a loss of liberties are the rich and powerful. With China’s economy in free fall and increased violence occurring, it appears the leadership there is taking a page out of our post 9/11 playbook. This is what the commute looks like at train stations in Beijing:

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 11.46.34 AM

This is what cattle in pens look like:

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Actually, the cattle have more space. Seriously though, this is all security theatre. As I have mentioned on prior occasions, I have never gone through one of those naked body scanners. Instead, I opt out for the TSA “freedom grope.” Why? Because I know it’s total bullshit and I’m not going along with it.

I fly from Denver to New York City quite a bit and you know what I’ve noticed. While every machine in Denver is now a naked body scanner, all of the machines from the security checkpoint I use in New York are regular metal detectors. I find this bizarre. If the number one target for terrorism can get away with metal detectors, why can’t everywhere else? Because people like former head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Michael Chertoff, need to get paid.

More from the Wall Street Journal:

Already difficult commutes in China’s capital became even more punishing this week, as Beijing beefed up subway security checks in the wake of deadly attacks targeting civilians.

Hundreds of unhappy commuters stood in long lines across the city Wednesday morning to undergo enhanced security screenings, which now include body checks as well as bag screenings in several stations. At stations in the city’s north, subway staff said passengers had to wait between 20-30 minutes to get through the security line, up from about 10-15 minutes prior to the new screening requirements.

“This is such a hassle,” said Zhi Yajuan, 23, as she stood in line Tuesday at Tiantongyuan North Station. “It’s just going through the motions. They don’t care even if the machine beeps.”

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Meet the U.S. Allies – Saudi Arabia Passes Draconian, Medieval Laws to Crush Dissent

One of the most significant geopolitical events of 2013 was the failed push for war in Syria by the Obama Administration. It didn’t merely fail as a result of a war weary public (although that played a key role), it also failed due to the fact our clownish “leaders” were attempting to offer military support to rebels with a large al-Qaeda element. So the pathetic “sell” by the U.S. establishment was to push the nation into a conflict allied with the very terrorist group against which we are fighting the “war on terror,” and have given up so many of our civil liberties to wage. Ridiculous, yet they tried anyway. That is how stupid they think the public is.

What that failed attempt at war mongering demonstrated to anyone paying attention is that our foreign policy is a complete joke and total sham. We publicly claim to support “democracy” and “freedom” around the world, yet in reality support some of the most oppressive regimes out there.

No relationship highlights this hypocrisy as clearly as our extremely close alliance with the Saudi regime, one of the last “absolute monarchies” on the planet. Not only that, but increasing evidence points to its direct involvement in the 9/11 attacks. But it gets worse. A lot worse. The regime has just passed a series of Medieval laws to crack down on all dissent. In a nutshell: Dissent = Terrorism.

From the New York Times:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia put into effect a sweeping new counterterrorism law Sunday that human rights activists say allows the kingdom to prosecute as a terrorist anyone who demands reform, exposes corruption or otherwise engages in dissent.

The law states that any act that “undermines” the state or society, including calls for regime change in Saudi Arabia, can be tried as an act of terrorism. It also grants security services broad powers to raid homes and track phone calls and Internet activity.

Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s last absolute monarchies. All decisions are centered in the hands of 89-year-old King Abdullah. There is no parliament. There is little written law, and judges — implementing the country’s strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam — have broad leeway to impose verdicts and sentences.

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Chris Christie is Backed by War Criminal Henry Kissinger for 2016 Presidential Run

In the seemingness endless sham that is the false choice between a crony, Wall Street owned Democrat and a crony, Wall Street owned Republican, political analysts are already desperately scrambling to guess who the GOP will run against establishment hack Hilary Clinton in 2016 (who was recently paid $400k by Goldman Sachs for two speeches).

In my opinion, it will be between the libertarian-leaning Rand Paul and the obese, neocon Chris Christie. Christie is already quite aware of this, and since he doesn’t really stand for anything, he recently decided to take a stand against something. That something is libertarianism, which he slammed in an irrational rant this summer in Aspen.

In case you had any doubt who the war mongering, establishment Republicans will stand with in 2016, you needn’t doubt any longer. PolicyMic just published an interesting article demonstrating that war criminal Henry Kissinger is solidly behind Chris Christie.

We learn that:

Christie has made no secret of his dislike of “this strain of libertarianism” in the GOP that, in his view, ignores the lessons that New Yorkers and New Jerseyans learned after 9/11. In fact, Kissinger himself encouraged Christie to run in 2012 and according to Dave Weigel of Slate, brushed away the governor’s thin foreign policy resume by saying, “We can work with you on that. Foreign policy is instinct, it’s character, that’s what foreign policy is.” (Say all this in a Kissinger accent and it either starts to sound super badass or super creepy, depending on your views.) Kissinger himself has gone on record saying he thinks Christie would be an ideal national candidate for the GOP.

Just makes you wonder why folks like Kissinger never go away and seem to live to 120, while folks like Gandhi, Martin Luther King and John Lennon are always assassinated?

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

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A Thoughtful View on Boston: Empathize but Don’t be Terrorized

I have highlighted security expert Bruce Schneier’s writings in the past, including his recent excellent article: “The Internet is a Surveillance State.”  In his piece yesterday published in The Atlantic, he offers us some serious wisdom about how to think about the tragic event in Boston.  His key message is to “empathize, but not be terrorized.”  My favorite excerpts are below:

As the details about the bombings in Boston unfold, it’d be easy to be scared. It’d be easy to feel powerless and demand that our elected leaders do something — anything — to keep us safe. 
 
It’d be easy, but it’d be wrong. We need to be angry and empathize with the victims without being scared. Our fears would play right into the perpetrators’ hands — and magnify the power of their victory for whichever goals whatever group behind this, still to be uncovered, has. We don’t have to be scared, and we’re not powerless. We actually have all the power here, and there’s one thing we can do to render terrorism ineffective: Refuse to be terrorized. 
 
It’s hard to do, because terrorism is designed precisely to scare people — far out of proportion to its actual danger. A huge amount of research on fear and the brain teaches us that we exaggerate threats that are rare, spectacular, immediate, random — in this case involving an innocent child — senseless, horrific and graphic. Terrorism pushes all of our fear buttons, really hard, and we overreact.

There are things we can do to make us safer, mostly around investigation, intelligence, and emergency response, but we will never be 100-percent safe from terrorism; we need to accept that.
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How to Spot a Hypocrite in the Gun Debate and Other Reflections on Newtown

Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law-breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.

- Justice Louis D. Brandeis

How to Spot a Hypocrite in the Gun Debate and Other Reflections on Newtown
For those of you that follow me on twitter, some of the statements and themes you will read in this article will sound familiar.  What happened on December 14, 2012 was obviously a horrific tragedy that my simple mind can’t possibly wrap itself around, but what I can do is send my deepest thoughts, prayers and sympathies to all of those affected.  I can’t imagine the level of pain and suffering you are all experiencing.  This article; however, isn’t directed at you.  There is nothing I can do to ease your pain.  This article is for the rest of us who weren’t directly affected by the incident, but may be indirectly affected by certain parties’ emotional response to it and by those that will exploit it to justify agendas.

One of the key lessons from all of human history is that the easy way to deal with any tragedy is to scapegoat.  In some cases, like in Nazi Germany, the scapegoat proved to be unpopular minorities, especially Jews.  These days, many Americans have fallen into the trap of scapegoasting Muslims and the Islamic religion for all the bad things that happen on the planet.  The key similarity I see in these sorts of situations is that the population affected by some trauma (hyperinflation and economic collapse in Germany and 9/11 in the United States) tends to resort to the knee-jerk reaction of scapegoating an easy target rather than diving into the complexities of the issue and engaging in societal self-reflection.  This is extraordinarily dangerous.

From what I can tell, some of the most ridiculous polices are the direct result of a trauma, people getting emotional, and then begging for a response.    In my own lifetime, 9/11 is the perfect example.  Our national response to a gruesome attack that killed thousands of innocent civilians was to tear up the Constitution, specifically the cherished Bill of Rights, with insane Big Brother type legislation like the “Patriot” Act.  We basically launched the war on terror by waving a white flag.  Truly defeating terrorists wouldn’t have consisted of running to the mall and shopping, as George W. Bush insisted, or giving up the freedoms that made America the most attractive country to move to for the last two hundred years.  The way to judge victory or defeat in the “war on terror” eleven years later is not to check the statistics on terrorist attacks.  They way to judge victory or defeat is to look at the nation economically, socially and politically and ask yourself are we better off or worse off?  I think the verdict is clear on that front, and I do in large part blame our childish and emotionally reaction to the national tragedy of 9/11.

Well here we stand in mid-December 2012, just days from the Mayan end of the world and another national tragedy has been unleashed on the land.  Most of the victims were innocent, helpless six and seven year old children that never even had the chance to fulfill their potential on this planet.  Unfortunately, just as Ron Paul told us, key parts of the Patriot Act were written and desired by certain factions well before 9/11, there is a powerful faction in the highest echelons of the elite that have wanted and continue to want to remove guns from the hands of innocent American citizens.  These people are not interested in easing violence; these folks want to disarm the public before the mathematically inevitable economic collapse occurs (see my article “Slaves are Always Disarmed”).  While many of these folks claims publicly that there is an “economic recovery” and happy days are just over the horizon, they know better and privately want to get all their ducks in a row before the final and horrific collapse occurs.  This is why the surveillance state is making such aggressive strides at the moment.  It is also why there is a panic to remove firearms from the public.

The person who bothers me the most on this entire topic is Mayor Michael Bloomberg, of my hometown NYC.  You can tell when someone is disingenuous if they freak out over gun violence like it is the biggest issue in America today and at the same time protect the banksters and their “too big to fail” culture, which has and continues to systemically steal trillions of dollars from the poor.  This is Michael Bloomberg to a tee, so this man should have no credibility on any moral subject when he protects and coddles the most dangerous criminal organizations on this planet.  I guess there is something “liberal” about white collar crime.

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Six Months Left…Can They Do It?

The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. With something so important, a deeper mystery seems only decent.

- John Kenneth Galbraith

Today what we are doing is modernizing the financial services industry, tearing down those antiquated laws and granting banks significant new authority.

-Bill Clinton at the signing of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999 (which ended Glass-Steagall and gave banks full control of the United States of America)

Obama delivered heated rhetoric, but his actions signaled different priorities. Had Obama wanted to strike real fear in the hearts of bankers, he might have appointed former special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald or some other fire-breather as his attorney general. Instead, he chose Eric Holder, a former Clinton Justice official who, after a career in government, joined the Washington office of Covington & Burling, a top-tier law firm with an elite white-collar defense unit. The move to Covington, and back to Justice, is an example of Washington’s revolving-door ritual, which, for Holder, has been lucrative–he pulled in $2.1 million as a Covington partner in 2008, and $2.5 million (including deferred compensation) when he left the firm in 2009.

Putting a Covington partner–he spent nearly a decade at the firm–in charge of Justice may have sent a signal to the financial community, whose marquee names are Covington clients. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Deutsche Bank are among the institutions that pay for Covington’s legal advice, some of it relating to matters before the Department of Justice. But Holder’s was not the only face at Justice familiar to Covington clients. Lanny Breuer, who had co-chaired the white-collar defense unit at Covington with Holder, was chosen to head the criminal division at Obama’s Justice. Two other Covington lawyers followed Holder into top positions, and Holder’s principal deputy, James Cole, was recruited from Bryan Cave LLP, another white-shoe firm with A-list finance clients.

- Peter J. Boyer in his excellent recent article “Why Can’t Obama Bring Wall Street to Justice?”

Six Months Left…Can They Do It?
I have to hand it to the Central Planners.  They are good.  Really, really good.  Of course, they are battling a crippled opponent considering so much of America consists of lobotomized sheeple, but nevertheless to be able to steal so much from many people with such blatant and simplistic methods and not be widely discovered is an act of devious brilliance.  The reason I say this now is because ever since last fall TPTB have changed tactics and totally taken over the markets and with it shoved many people into what is best described as a trance.  The people know something is very wrong.  They know they are getting poorer; that life is getting harder, yet the television and the markets have cloaked a blanket of sedation upon their minds.

Ever since roughly early October 2011 the markets have been fed line after line of carefully crafted bureaucratic garbage couple with tactical market interventions to create reality that they wish to sell.  I remember back to those last months of 2011; what it was like.  It was pure madness.  There would be a crisis and then TPTB would come out with some meeting in the next week or two that would solve everything.  Then the date would come and go and nothing would be solved and they would move the meeting to the following week.  Meeting after meeting that would be “decisive” and “bold” and would save us poor ignorant peasants from the ravages of the mean world by thrusting us into the parental arms of those who know best.  Big government and big financial institutions.  They are your new overlords, get used to it.  Subliminally that has been and continues to be the message that these guys are trying to hammer into your head.  It’s the Stockholm Syndrome.  You are being programmed to love your abuser.

In any event, the point is this. Since around fall of last year, if we tally up the score of government  vs. markets as Angela Merkel so candidly noted in 2010, the government has had seven months of pretty much victory after victory.  At least this is how it appears on the surface.  Under the surface believe me they are not so smug and they know they are losing.  You could see the fear and doubt in The Bernank at his latest press conference.  You can see the reality of the situation as it pops up through to the surface every now and again despite the media blackout of any “unfavorable” news.  These bureaucrats know full well this is all a hologram, an illusion, but it is one they are trying to sustain for as long as possible.  A line my friend said yesterday really sums it up.  So the news headline came out that “Fed Exit Should Start in 6 to 9 Months: Kocherlakota (current President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis). ”  My friend’s response was: “is that the Apache to Paraguay midnight print.“

Well the past is the past and the future lies right ahead, so how should we be thinking about things?  The assumption that is being made, and to some extent has to be made, is that if they have been able to pull off this total coup of the financial markets for the past seven months why can’t they keep it going until the election.  Well if we are to assume this, it means we must assume they can pull it off for six more months, which would bring the total to thirteen months.  This would be quite a feat.  They know how difficult it will be to keep things “together” in the markets amid a real world that is falling apart.  This is why the Fed is pretending there will be no more liquidity added to the system.  In their minds, the best strategy is to talk down QE while at the same time attacking commodity markets behind the scenes.  In their mind, this will give them the cover to create trillions more for their banker shareholders.  I have stated that this would be the plan and as we can see in the markets lately, it has been executed to precision.

There is a problem to this strategy; however, and that problem is reality.  The reality is that pretty much all of the engines of global growth in the emerging markets have economies that were similarly fueled by ponzi finance and money creation and they are rolling over hard.  I don’t even need to mention Europe.  Then there is the United States of Propaganda, which has held up relatively well due to the reserve currency status.  That said, relatively wellI does not equal good and recent indicators are pointing to a serious loss in momentum here as every unemployed EBT carrying subprime borrower in these 50 states has just purchased a car they can’t afford with free money from Ally Financial (74% owned by the U.S. government and the former GMAC, or General Motors’ financing arm).
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