Archive | October 28th, 2013

Nazi Forces Arrest 2 PLC Members and 20 Other Palestinians Affiliated to Hamas



The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Israeli forces’ detention of 2 Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from the Change and Reform Bloc of Hamas: Nizar Abdul Aziz Abdul Hamid Ramadan (53); and Mohammed Maher Yusef Bader (55), both from Hebron, in addition to 20 other Palestinians, including active university students and a number of persons affiliated to Hamas, in different areas in the West Bank. PCHR emphasizes this arrest campaign constitutes a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian civilians, which is prohibited under article 33 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.


According to investigations conducted by PCHR, on Monday morning, 28 October 2013, Israeli forces moved into different areas in the West Bank, including Hebron, Nablus, Tulkarm and Tubas, and arrested 20 Palestinian civilians.


In Hebron, Israeli forces arrested Ramadan (53), Bader (55), and Dr. ‘Adnan Yunis Abdul Majid Abu Tabbanah (43), Mos’ab Nidal Mohammed al-Zgheer (21) and Mos’ab Khamis Abdul Khaleq Qafisha (19).


In Nablus, they arrested 10 civilians:

1.     Amjad Bushkar (24), a student at the Faculty of Education and representative of the Islamic Bloc at an-Najah National University;

2.     Amir Mohammed Ishtaiya (24), a student at the Faculty of Arts and member of the Students’ Union at an-Najah National University;

3.     Abdul Rahman Nasouh Ishtaiya (29), a student at the Faculty of Engineering at an-Najah National University;

4.     Mo’athe Abu Baker (22), a student at the Faculty of Science at an-Najah National University;

5.     Abdul Rahman al-Bashtawi (23), a student at the Faculty of Economics at an-Najah National University;

6.     Kamal Hussam Qatalouni (25), a student at the Faculty of Shari’a at an-Najah National University;

7.     Amir al-Tambour (28);

8.     Mas’oud al-Kouni (26);

9.     ‘Awni al-Shakhshir (23); and

10.  Samir Saleh Abu Shu’aib (23).


In Tulkarm, Israeli forces arrested Anas Manna’ Ibrahim Ghanem (22), from Tulkarm, and Mahmoud Dawood Raddad (23), from Saida village, northeast of the city. They also arrested Basem Rashid Mostafa Hamdan (35) and Abdullah Bani Ouda (23), a student at the Faculty of Information Technology at al-Najah National University, from Tamoun village, southeast of Tubas.

At approximately 10:30, Israeli military undercover units sneaked into Deir Sharaf village, northwest of Nablus, by a Volkswagen minibus with a Palestinian registration plate. The vehicle stopped in front of al-Amani butchery at Nablus-Tulkarm-Jenin intersection. Israeli soldiers stepped out of the vehicle and pointed their guns at 3 young men in their twenties. The young men were sitting in the abovementioned butchery having breakfast when Israeli undercover members kidnapped them and took them to an unknown destination. PCHRs fieldworker has not been able to identify them so far. In the meantime, Israeli forces confiscated cameras established in the butchery, Mousa supermarket and Wad al-Sha’ir butchery.

PCHR condemns this arrest campaign and:

1.     Stresses that it is part of reprisals and collective punishment exercised against Palestinian civilians, which is prohibited under the Fourth Geneva Convention;

2.     Calls for the immediate release of the PLC members and all Palestinian ministers detained in Israeli jails.


Public Document


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For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 – 2825893

PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. E-mail:, Webpage

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U.S. Imperialism and America’s War Machine: A Destructive Apparatus

Global Research

Corporate imperial militarism controls U.S. society and wages destructive occupations abroad to serve the capitalist interests of the war-making, armaments manufacturing class whose bombs eradicate human beings for profit.

Externalized racism and depleted uranium radiation warfare smashes the aspirations of target victims in Afghanistan and Iraq, CIA drones slaughter civilians mercilessly in Pakistan, napalm and agent orange used in Vietnam is still effecting children with birth defects, hundreds of thousands in El Salvador and Guatemala miss their disappeared relatives that the U.S. military and CIA trained Latin American dictators and their police constabularies in racist anticommunist doctrine to murder and justify the imperial extraction of natural resources to protect the elite wealthy classes and rich landowner death squads using secret police assassination methods.

The CIA trains murderous guerillas as part of proxy sabotage whenever a government the U.S. imperial corporate war masters don’t like achieves advances in health care and education for their population while simultaneously offering land reform or industrialization beneficial to the population and plentiful jobs. Whether CIA-contra proxy mercenary guerilla insurgent violence against teachers, priests and peasant farmers supporting the Sandinista revolutionary government or NATO massive aerial bombardment of infrastructure and terrorization of the Libyan African population with jihadist barbaric killers, the goal is to undermine systems that are functioning for the majority of people and therefore undermining the control of the U.S imperial wall street armaments manufacturing oil mafia elite.

The U.S. massacre armaments machine didn’t like the Sandinista revolution because El Salvador and Guatemala were stable customers of armaments to terrorize their populations and one leftist regime left standing in the hemisphere perhaps might result in the strengthening of revolutionary upheavals in the neighboring colonies and therefore represented a threat to the sale of counterinsurgency equipment to these nations. Gaddafi’s Libya featured a free health care system, free university, public infrastructure projects for his population and this leader threatened to demand payment of his nations’ oil in gold rather than the dollar.

These nations are seen as targets for obliteration and destruction of the U.S. military corporate war imperial NATO masters who thrive on death and arms sales to profit their personal bank accounts.

The destructive apparatus known as the U.S. war machine builds bases all around the world for the private corporate profit of Halliburton, Kellogg Brown and Root and maintains concentration camps with emaciated prisoners cleared for release at Guantanamo who are being force fed and choked to maintain the profitability of running overseas prison garrisons for the sake of a bloody empire run by the rich.

Lies make money.

Lies are an immensely profitable undertaking.

A lying industry prevails in the United State serving the corporate military war factory interests that enriches the capitalist ruling class. Televisions and armaments factories are running in smooth operating precision as the conditioned masses are left to stare at their leaders who threaten to crash the global financial system and lie about a lack of funds for the civilian government while innocent civilians are blown to smithereens with National Security Agency reconnaissance assisted CIA-military piloted drones from the skies during a shutdown of basic services for the poor.

Mass media deception is a perpetual function of the armaments industry as it uses the avenues of print, electronic television and radio to sell the homicidal lies of the arms merchants who wanted to lay waste to Syria as part of the NATO/U.S. imperialist capitalist destruction of this land with Tomahawk missiles. A study of the mass media on reveals that MSNBC, Fox, PBS and CNN television anchors interviewing former Bush national security advisor Stephen Hadley, who made various arguments in favor of a U.S./NATO military attack against Syria, failed to mention that he is a director of Raytheon which manufactures the Tomahawk missile. Raytheon paid Hadley $128,500 in compensation last year, and he is owner of 11,477 shares of stock in this armaments company, worth $900,000. Out of the four times Hadley’s arguments for U.S. military violence against Syria were featured in mainstream media, including three televised interviews—on Bloomberg TV, Fox News and CNN and once in a Washington Post opinion editorial, media anchor or editorial personnel responsible for identifying a guest experts’ official title only mentioned his position as former national security advisor and nothing about his war profiteering affiliation with Raytheon.

A variety of other guests which appeared on the mainstream corporate networks and advocated for militarized violence against Syria during the attempted run-up for war are affiliated with munitions company or “defense” or intelligence contracting interests. The study shows that 22 different commentators with connections to defense and intelligence contractors or defense related investment firms made 111 appearances as quoted guests, experts on news shows or opinion editorial authors and mass media news personnel made only 13 attempts within the various media outlets to disclose the guest commentators’ connections to the military-intelligence weapons industry. Former Centcom commander Anthony Zinni expressed support for attacking Syria with NATO/U.S weaponry three times on CNN, once on CBS This Morning and in an opinion editorial in the Washington Post and none of the media personnel working in an interviewer or editorial capacity for these outlets mentioned that he is an outside director of BAE Systems, the third largest military services company in the world, based in London.

So much for the mass media serving as a fourth branch of government to check the powerful when reporters at media outlets that reach the vast majority of the population are completely bought off by the armaments industry and reporters who are actually doing their jobs are repeatedly spied on and more whistleblowers are persecuted than any other administration combined under the Espionage act of 1917.

Armament factory military corporate war interests of the U.S. Pentagon war machine cause Pakistani teenagers to commit suicide due to the ever present trauma of assassination squad drones hovering over their land. What does this say about the moral level of the United States when because of a lack of investment in socially uplifting employment prospects, students are now being channeled into this industry tainted with the blood of innocent men, women and children because of the massive influence of the military industrial armaments complex in shaping the educational institutions that are the main determinant in producing the array of occupations, industries goods and services that we call the economy? Newspaper columnists blurt obscenities of internalized racism such as murdering Pakistani children is better from an American standpoint because they could somehow harm U.S. citizens in the future.

How many of these future drone operators will work for humanitarian purposes such as rescuing people during disasters or delivering food to the homeless versus violating the fourth amendment of U.S. citizens with a constitutional right from unreasonable searches and seizures and, worse yet, political assassination of activists deemed criminals by an elite corporate militarized cabal? Perhaps this is an unknown, but we might ask how many of them are affiliated with progressive social causes or anti-racist, ant-imperialist views or know that imperialism is a process by which military empires extract natural resources for corporate profit as is the case with Afghanistan’s lithium as well as geostrategic positioning for oil pipelines and that U.S./NATO/ CIA military attacks against target nations always involve the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians.

Thirty thousand drones will fly over the U.S. by 2020. This war-surveillance machinery is already used in a global assassination campaign that denies both foreigners and U.S. citizens the right of trial before execution. Surveillance drones deny the target freedom from unreasonable searches, seizures and surveillance under the fourth amendment, domestically, not to mention the national sovereignty and lives of the targets of U.S-CIA-military imperial violence including scores of innocent civilians deemed “collateral damage,” or worse yet, associates of the target deliberately murdered for political assassination purposes. U.S. Imperialism—it’s no delight for the people of the world and increasingly not for U.S. citizens unaffiliated with the war machine either.

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Experts: Cellphone Users Are ‘Guinea Pigs’ In Worldwide Test

By Anthony Gucciardi

Just look at the Apple warning for the iPhone, which clearly states to never even use your phone near your head or even carry it in your pocket

cell phone

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The average phone per person ratio inside of the United States is around 1.57, meaning that there are more cellphones in the nation than there are people — and the numbers are climbing. In the past, we have seen a number of alarming studies regarding the effects of cellphone radiation after it has permeated the human skull for hours on end. One study even found around a 290% increase in brain tumor risk through the use of a cellphone on the side in which it was used.

In rebuttal, telecom industries helped to prop up the opposition, stating that there was no increase in brain tumors after cellphone use. But what about overall brain changes? Or how about the environmental impact of mass cellphone use? We’ve seen research showing behavioral changes in children when their pregnant mothers are consistently using their cellphone, and we’ve even seen cell towers damaging wildlife through electromagnetic radiation in India.

I recently joined the international television network RT, which has an impressive reach of 53 million homes worldwide, to discuss the reality that mega cellphone providers are fully aware of the risks their inventions are presenting to the public. I also issued a prediction that we will begin to see a number of lawsuits come about regarding the damage from cellphone use, and telecom companies know this as they have already issued legal safeguards in their own safety manuals for the phone.

Just look at the Apple warning for the iPhone, which clearly states to never even use your phone near your head or even carry it in your pocket:

“For optimal mobile device performance and to be sure that human exposer to RF energy does not exceed the FCC, IC, and European Union guidelines, always follow these instructions and precautions: When on a call using the built-in audio receiver in iPhone, hold iPhone with the dock connector pointed down toward your shoulder to increase separation from the antenna. When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) away from the body, and only use carrying cases , belt clips, or holders that do not have metal parts and that maintain at least 15 mm (5/8″) separation between iPhone and the body.”

These companies put these ‘warnings’ in their safety guidelines booklets because they are fully aware that lawsuits will come from cellphone users developing serious conditions. Ultimately, it will be these ‘warnings’ and instructions that also help to keep them bulletproof from any responsibility. The reality is that we do not even fully know what the mass use of cellphones will truly result in.

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29 Incredible Facts Which Prove That Poverty In America Is Absolutely Exploding

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem Sr
By Michael Snyder | Economic Collapse Blog

The following are 29 incredible facts which prove that poverty in America is absolutely exploding…

homeless-and-addiction (Copy)

Did you know that the number of Americans on welfare is higher than the number of Americans that have full-time jobs?  Did you know that 1.2 million public school students in the U.S. are currently homeless?

Anyone that uses the term “economic recovery” to describe what is happening in the United States today is being deeply insulting to the nearly 150 million Americans that are considered to be either “poor” or “low income” at this point.

Yes, things are great in New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco, but almost everywhere else economic conditions continue to steadily get worse.  The gap between the wealthy and the poor is at a level that America has never seen before, and this is beginning to create a “Robin Hood mentality” that could cause a tremendous amount of social chaos in the years ahead.  Anger at the “haves” in America continues to rise at a very alarming pace, and the “have nots” are becoming increasingly desperate

At some point all of this anger is going to boil over, and you won’t want to be anywhere around major population centers when that happens.  Despite unprecedented borrowing by the federal government in recent years, and despite unprecedented money printing by the Federal Reserve, poverty in the United States keeps getting worse with each passing year. The following are 29 incredible facts which prove that poverty in America is absolutely exploding…

1. What can you say about a nation that has more people getting handouts from the federal government than working full-time?  According to the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people receiving means-tested welfare benefits is greaterthan the number of full-time workers in the United States.

2. New numbers have just been released, and they show that the number of public school students in this country that are homeless is at an all-time record high.  It is hard to believe, but right now 1.2 million students that attend public schools in America are homeless.  That number has risen by 72 percent since the start of the last recession.

3. When I was growing up, it seemed like almost everyone was from a middle class home.  But now that has all changed.  One recent study discovered that nearly half of all public students in the United States come from low income homes.

4. How can anyone deny that we are a socialist nation when half the people are getting money from the federal government each month?  According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau,49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program.

5. Signs of increasing poverty are even showing up in the wealthiest areas of the nation.  According to the New York Post, New York subways are being overrun with homeless“.

6. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately one out of every six Americans is now living in poverty.  The number of Americans living in poverty is now at a level not seen since the 1960s.

7. The gap between the rich and the poor in the United States is at an all-time record high.  The wealthy may not consider this to be much of a problem, but those at the other end of the spectrum are very awareof this.

8. The “working poor” is one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population.  At this point, approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.

9. According to numbers provided by Wal-Mart, more than half of their hourly workers make less than $25,000 a year.

10. A recent Businessweek article mentioned a study that discovered that 300 employees at one Wal-Mart in Wisconsin receive a combined total of nearly a million dollars a year in public assistance…

“A decent wage is their demand—a livable wage, of all things,” said Representative George Miller (D-Calif.). The problem with companies like Wal-Mart is their “unwillingness, not their inability, to pay that wage,” he said. “They hand off the difference to taxpayers.” Miller was referring to a congressional report (PDF) released in May that calculated how much Walmart workers rely on public assistance. The study found that the 300 employees at one Supercenter in Wisconsin required some $900,000 worth of public assistance a year.

11. The stock market may be doing great (for the moment), but incomes for average Americans continue to decline.  In fact, median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row.

12. The quality of the jobs in America has been steadily dropping for years.  At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

13. According to a Gallup poll that was recently released, 20.0% of all Americans did not have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed at some point over the past year.  That is just under the record of 20.4% that was set back in November 2008.

14. Young adults are particularly feeling the sting of poverty these days.  American families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

15. As I wrote about a few weeks ago, one out of every fivehouseholds in the United States is on food stamps.  Back in the 1970s,about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.

16. The number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of Spain.

17. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

18. We are told that we live in the “wealthiest nation” on the planet, and yet more than one out of every four children in the United States is enrolled in the food stamp program.

19. The average food stamp benefit breaks down to approximately $4 per person per day.

20. It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps before they reach the age of 18.

21. Today, approximately 17 million children in the United States are facing food insecurity.  In other words, that means that “one in four children in the country is living without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life.”

22. It may be hard to believe, but approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are currently living in homes that are considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.

23. The number of children living on $2.00 a day or less in the United States has grown to 2.8 million That number has increased by 130 percent since 1996.

24. In Miami, 45 percent of all children are living in poverty.

25. In Cleveland, more than 50 percent of all children are living in poverty.

26. According to a recently released report, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.

27. According to a Feeding America hunger study, more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.

28. The U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollarson welfare programs over the past five years.

29. It has been reported that 4 out of every 5 adults in the United States “struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives”.

These poverty numbers keep getting worse year after year no matter what our politicians do.

So is there anyone out there that would still like to argue that we are in an “economic recovery”?

And as I mentioned above, the “have nots” are becoming increasingly angry at the “haves”.  For example, just check out the following excerpt from a recent New York Post article

The maniac who butchered a Brooklyn mom and her four young kids confessed that he did it because he was jealous of their way of life, a police source told The Post on Sunday.

The family had too much. Their income (and) lifestyle was better than his,” the source said.

The bloody suspect was caught holding the kitchen knife he used during the Saturday night rampage inside the Sunset Park apartment where he had been staying with the victims, the source added.

Sadly, this was not an isolated incident.  All over the western world, a “Robin Hood mentality” is growing.  This is something that I am so concerned about that I made it a big part of my new book.  At this point, even wealthy Hollywood-types such as actor Russell Brand are calling for a socialist-style “revolution” and a massive redistribution of wealth“.

Perhaps Brand does not understand that what he is calling for would mean redistributing most of his own wealth away from him.

When the next major wave of the economic collapse strikes, I fear that all of this anger and frustration that are growing among the poor will boil over in some very frightening ways.  I believe that we will see a huge spike in crime and that we will eventually see communities all over America looted and burning.

But I am not the only one that is thinking along these lines.  A new National Geographic Channel movie entitled “American Blackout” attempts to portray the social chaos that could erupt in the event of an extended national power failure

American Blackout, National Geographic Channel’s two-hour, edge-of-your-seat movie event imagines the story of a national power failure in the United States caused by a cyberattack — told in real time, over 10 days, by those who kept filming on cameras and phones. You’ll learn what it means to be absolutely powerless.

You can view a clip of the film that was made available by NatGeo for the community right here.

What would you do if something like that happened to you?

How would you handle desperate, hungry people at your fence asking for food?

And what if those people were armed and were not “asking nicely” for your food?

Don’t ignore what is happening in America right now.  It is setting the stage for some very chaotic times.

Get ready while you still can.

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NSA Propaganda Video Among Highest Downvote Percentages in Youtube History

By Anthony Gucciardi

NSA Propaganda video is one of the most disliked videos on youtube ever

FT. MEADE, MD - UNDATED: (FILE PHOTO) This undated photo provided by the National Security Agency (NSA) shows its headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. (Photo by NSA via Getty Images)

FT. MEADE, MD – UNDATED: (FILE PHOTO) This undated photo provided by the National Security Agency (NSA) shows its headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. (Photo by NSA via Getty Images)

The very epitome of propaganda, a video put out by the Department of Defense Youtube channel featuring calls by the NSA Director to limit journalism and expand spying has now achieved one of the highest known percentage of downvotes in Youtube history (4500 downvotes, 70 upvotes).

Checkout the video below, which likely only achieved its 70 upvotes from government bot programs.

The fact that the video has even been released shows how desperate the NSA and DoD are to repair their tarnished reputation. Ultimately, of course, they have and will continue to fail.


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Francis pledges to further Jewish-Catholic dialogue


Vatican Pope Jews


Pope Francis reaffirmed his commitment to fighting discrimination and furthering Jewish-Catholic dialogue.

During an audience at the Vatican Thursday with a 60-member delegation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Francis said that he has “repeated many times, in recent weeks, the church’s condemnation of any form of anti-Semitism.”

Such condemnations were just part of the solution, he said, noting that Christians remain persecuted in some regions.

“I would like to underline that the problem of intolerance must be faced in its entirety,” he said, according to an official English text of his address released by the Vatican. “When any minority is persecuted and marginalized on account of its religious beliefs or ethnic origin, the good of society as a whole is placed in danger, and we must all consider ourselves affected.”

The church has raised particular alarm about discrimination and violence against Christians in some Arab countries.

“Let us unite our strengths to promote a culture of encounter, of mutual respect, understanding and forgiveness,” Francis said, stressing that education was key in transmitting experience, and not merely knowledge, to the younger generation.

“We must be able to transmit to them not only knowledge about Jewish-Catholic dialogue, about the difficulties overcome and the progress made in recent decades,” Francis said. “We must, above all, be able to transmit to them our passion for encounter and knowledge of the other, promoting the active and responsible involvement of young people.”

During the audience, Wiesenthal Center Dean Rabbi Marvin Hier called the pope “an ally in our struggles against anti-Semitism.”

“We want to reiterate to you that you have an ally in the Simon Wiesenthal Center in your struggle to secure the rights of religious minorities everywhere, especially endangered historic Christian communities in Egypt, Iraq and beyond,” Hier said.

Hier said the he hoped that Francis’s expected visit to Israel next year would “help all those committed to a lasting Middle East peace, to finally recognize the existence of a Jewish state alongside her twenty-three Arab neighbors.”

The pope has said he would like to visit the Holy Land next year but no date has yet been announced.

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FBI Probing Whether Russia Used Cultural Junkets to Recruit American Intelligence Assets


ed note–the obvious question that needs asking is whether there will be a similar investigation into all the junkets to Israel under the same auspices only instead of simply bringing over young people with no political influence they bring over hordes of elected officials???

On September 30, Richard Portwood, a 27-year-old Georgetown University graduate student, received a phone call from an FBI agent who said the bureau wanted to meet with him urgently. Portwood didn’t know why the FBI would have any interest in him, but two days later he sat down with a pair of agents at a coffee shop near his apartment. They told him they suspected that Yury Zaytsev, the US director of a Russian government-run cultural exchange program that Portwood had participated in, was a spy.

Since 2001, Zaytsev’s organization, Rossotrudnichestvo, has footed the bill for about 130 young Americans—including political aides, nonprofit advocates, and business executives—to visit Russia. Along with Portwood, Mother Jones has spoken to two other Rossotrudnichestvo participants who were questioned by the FBI about Zaytsev, who also heads the Russian Cultural Center in Washington.

Yury Zaytsev, a Russian diplomat. Multiple sources tell us he is the subject of an extensive FBI investigation. Rossotrudnichestvo
The FBI agents “have been very up front about” their investigation into whether Zaytsev is a Russian intelligence agent, says a 24-year-old nonprofit worker whom the FBI has interviewed twice and who asked not to be identified. The FBI agents, according to this source, said, “We’re investigating Yury for spying activities. We just want to know what interactions you’ve had with him.” The nonprofit worker was shocked. Zaytsev, he says, is “what you imagine when you imagine a Russian diplomat. He’s fairly stoic, tall, pale.” Zaytsev did not travel on the exchange trips he helped arrange, and his contact with the Americans who went on these trips was limited.

The agents who interviewed the Rossotrudnichestvo participants did not tell them what evidence they possessed to support their suspicions. FBI spokeswoman Amy Thoreson declined to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation into Zaytsev or answer any questions about FBI actions regarding the Russian. (The FBI did not ask Mother Jones to withhold this story.) But based on what the bureau’s agents said during the interviews, the Americans who were questioned concluded the FBI suspects that Zaytsev and Rossotrudnichestvo have used the all-expenses-paid trips to Russia in an effort to cultivate young Americans as intelligence assets. (An asset could be someone who actually works with an intelligence service to gather information, or merely a contact who provides information, opinions, or gossip, not realizing it is being collected by an intelligence officer.) The nonprofit worker says the FBI agents told him that Zaytsev had identified him as a potential asset. Zaytsev or his associates, the agents said, had begun to build a file on the nonprofit worker and at least one other Rossotrudnichestvo participant who had been an adviser to an American governor.

Many countries—including the United States—place spies abroad under diplomatic cover, and it’s common for law enforcement agencies to keep a close eye on foreign diplomats who might be engaged in espionage. The Americans interviewed by the FBI say the agents did not indicate whether they believed Zaytsev had succeeded in developing Americans as assets.

The FBI appears to be mounting an extensive investigation of Zaytsev. The three Americans interviewed by the FBI say the agents told them the bureau is trying to interview every American who has attended these trips. The nonprofit worker says that FBI agents went so far as to contact a married couple, who are Rossotrudnichestvo alums, while they were vacationing in Japan. He says the agents told him they were also scouring flight manifests associated with Rossotrudnichestvo trips for names that showed up repeatedly and could be Zaytsev collaborators.

All three former participants describe their Rossotrudnichestvo experience as a typical cultural exchange program, albeit a ritzy one. The organization paid for meals, travel, lodging, and every other expense associated with the trip, down to the visa fee. During the St. Petersburg leg of a June 2012 trip, participants stayed at the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge, a luxury hotel that has hosted delegations for the G8 and G20 summits. Participants on that trip met with the governors of Moscow and St. Petersburg and with Aleksander Torshin, a high-ranking member of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party. Since 2011, Rossotrudnichestvo has organized six trips. Most included about 25 people, although roughly 50 visited Russia during the group’s first trip in December 2011.

The application process for this exchange program is simple. The application form calls for basic personal details—including the applicant’s place of work and job title—copies of the applicant’s passport, and a one-page letter “briefly outlining why you should be selected, why you are interested and what interests you have in collaboration with Russia.” Applicants tend to find the program through referrals. (Portwood has referred about 50 people to Rossotrudnichestvo. To his knowledge, Rossotrudnichestvo never denied any applicants.) The group also offers similar exchanges to young professionals in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Europe.

When I called the Russian Cultural Center last week, Zaytsev answered. He declined to answer questions about the FBI’s investigation on the phone, but he eagerly invited me to visit him at the center two days later. “I welcome any questions you have for me,” he said. When I arrived, though, Galina Komissarova, a center employee, asked me to leave, saying I hadn’t sent questions in advance as Zaytsev had requested. (He hadn’t.) Komissarova would not disclose her title or role at the center. “I just clean,” she said sternly, showing me the door. I discovered later that Komissarova is Zaytsev’s wife.

Since then, Zaytsev has not replied to written questions or returned repeated phone calls.

A State Department spokeswoman confirms that Zaytsev is on a list of foreign mission staff who have diplomatic immunity. If it chose to, the United States could revoke his immunity, forcing Russia to call him home.

Portwood, who attended Rossotrudnichestvo trips in 2011 and 2012, and the other Americans questioned by the FBI were asked a similar set of questions. The agents wanted to know how they had heard about the exchange program and where in Russia they traveled. They also asked whether participants had encountered any anti-American sentiment on their trip, were offered jobs, or had suspicious interactions with Rossotrudnichestvo afterward. Portwood and the two other participants said they answered “no” to these questions.

According to three Rossotrudnichestvo alums, Zaytsev displayed no suspicious behavior and none developed an ongoing relationship with him after their excursion. For most Rossotrudnichestvo participants, they say, Zaytsev was merely the name on the congratulatory letter they received when they were accepted into the exchange program.

The third participant who spoke to Mother Jones about the exchange program, a 26-year-old resident of Washington, DC, is not surprised by the FBI’s allegations—and doesn’t care whether he was targeted as a possible intelligence asset. “There’s not a single American diplomat anywhere in the American sphere of influence who doesn’t have an open line of communication with the CIA. … [What Zaytsev is doing] is not something that every other single [foreign] cultural center in DC isn’t also doing,” he says. “And that doesn’t bother me. I don’t have a security clearance. I don’t work for an elected official. I run a social enterprise that has absolutely nothing to do with US-Russia relations.”

Rossotrudnichestvo’s most recent Russia trip was scheduled for mid-October and it’s unclear whether or not it went forward as planned. After he was questioned by the FBI, Portwood emailed people he had earlier referred to the organization to inform them of what he learned. His email read, in part: “The FBI disclosed to me that Yury Zaytsev is a Russian Foreign Intelligence officer and a professional spy, acting as the Director of the Russian Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.…only so that he can maintain a residence here in the United States. In fact, the FBI alleges that part of Mr. Zaytsev’s mission is sending young professionals from the United States to Russia as part of a cultural program wherein participants are evaluated and/or assessed for Russian counterintelligence purposes.”

Portwood was disappointed to learn the exchange program may have been a cover for Russian intelligence work. “It passed the smell test,” he says. “But I guess Russia’s Russia, you know?”

UPDATE, 6:00 p.m. EDT, Wednesday October 23: The Russian Embassy provided the following statement in an email to Mother Jones:

All such “scaring information” very much resembles Cold War era. A blunt tentative is made to distort and to blacken activities of the Russian Cultural Center in DC, which are aimed at developing mutual trust and cooperation between our peoples and countries. As a matter of fact, somebody intends to torpedo the guidelines of the Russian and U.S. Presidents, whose Joint Statement in Lough Erne emphasizes the importance of “expanding direct contracts between Americans and Russians that will serve to strengthen mutual understanding and trust and make it possible to raise U.S.-Russian relations to a qualitatively new level”.

Russian Cultural Center has been working to expand contacts and better understanding between Russian and American citizens and will continue this work.

Posted in USAComments Off on FBI Probing Whether Russia Used Cultural Junkets to Recruit American Intelligence Assets

The Victory Hour

The Victory Hour Oct 27, 2013

by crescentandcross


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Egyptian court forbids criticism of the president


According to the court, President Morsi betrayed his role to protect the status of his post.

Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court has ruled that all criticism of the Republic’s president is henceforth “forbidden”. The ruling came a day before the first episode of a new series of the renowned satirical TV programme “Al Bernameg”, trailed in advance as “Was that a Revolution or a Coup?” The court’s move sent a signal that the sort of criticism and mockery levelled at ousted President Mohamed Morsi will not be allowed under the coup government.Judge Mohamed Shehata Sabra read the Court’s ruling: “Throughout history, the Egyptian constitutions were keen to protect the authority of the Republic’s president who serves as the head of the Executive Authority and the country’s supreme ruler. The constitution protects the president both physically and morally, whoever assumes the post.”

According to the court, President Morsi betrayed his role to protect the status of his post when he announced in April that he would not take any legal action against the host of “Al Bernameg”, Bassem Yusuf, or any other person for criticising him, out of respect for freedom of expression and freedom of the media. The same court rejected a suit against Yusuf by Advocate Mahmoud Hasan Abu Al Enein, a Muslim Brotherhood lawyer. “Abu Al Enein did not have any legal status to pursue the legal action,” it claimed.

Meanwhile, Yusuf surprised many when he told Al-Shorouq newspaper, “Interestingly, after weeks of censure and gloating because the show has finally stopped, we are challenged to criticise Al-Sisi and [Interim President] Adly Mansour. If we criticise them, people will think it is not enough and will demand that we go harder against them as we did with Morsi. Well, if they work like Morsi, I will not spare them.” Yusuf’s statement suggested that the satirist may be choosing to ignore the innocent victims of the coup since July 3, the details of whom include 5,000 murdered, 20,000 wounded and 30,000 in detention. Perhaps, say critics, he equates Morsi’s political mistakes with the brutality and crimes against humanity of the coup government. He could also believe that the generals should allow him the same freedom to criticise them as he had when they encouraged him to criticise Morsi. That, if true, is a clear testament to the freedom of expression that he enjoyed during Morsi’s period in office.

The show’s content will reveal whether or not the red lines pushed back by Morsi will be back in place, making such vitriolic criticism of the leadership taboo, and whether it will portray the events since July 3 as a revolution or a coup. Questions are already being raised about the timing of the return of the show to Egypt’s TV screens, with some commentators suggesting that it is part of an effort by the coup leadership to gloss over their crimes and crackdown on civil freedoms, including freedom of expression.

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عـاجل “اعترافات المعزول”.. “مرسى” يكشف امام النيابة عن اسرار خطيرة

عاشت مصر على مدى عام كامل اختبارا قاسيا، لم يكن يتوقعه أكثر المعارضين للنظام ضراوة، حينما اكتشف الشعب أن الرجل الذي نصبه رئيسا عليه يقوم بحياكة المؤامرات والمخططات منذ وصوله قصر الاتحادية الرئاسى.

عاشت مصر خلال عام واحد ما يكفي لتدريسه دهرا كاملا، فحينما يتآمر رئيس منتخب على بلده فإن الأمور تتشابك وتصبح مفترق طرق في تاريخ بلد عمرها يتجاوز 7 آلاف سنة.

محمد مرسي مندوب جماعة الإخوان في قصر الرئاسة والذي كان يحمل لقب رئيس مصر جلس على عرش مصر، وهو يفكر فقط في كيفية أن تصبح جماعته هي مصر، استخدم ما هو مشروع أو ما عكس ذلك لتحقيق أهداف جماعة عمرها 80 عاما.

عاش مرسي حلم الإمبراطورية الإسلامية حتي لو كانت مصر وأهلها هي المقابل، نصوص مكالمات مرسي مع قادة تنظيم القاعدة أيمن الظواهري إبان تولي الأول حكم مصر تكشف مدي ما كان يحاك ضد المصريين من مؤامرات.

المكالمات التي واجهت بها سلطات التحقيق محمد مرسي خلال اتصالاته مع تنظيم القاعدة وقائدها ومساعديها، تفاصيلها كارثية بكل ما تحمله الكلمة، بعدما أيقنت جماعة الإخوان أن الإرهاب هو الحل فلجأت لأعتي الإرهابيين لتنفيذ خطة التمكين الحقيقية، وأطلقت العنان لأفكار وخيالات تنظيم القاعدة لتأسيس جيش رسمي من المرتزقة، وتحت ستار الدين يوازي أهم جيوش العالم وهو الجيش المصري.

التفاصيل كما تكشفها نصوص مكالمات مرسي مع الظواهري والتي اعترف بصحتها الرئيس المعزول أمام سلطات التحقيق، تقول إن أول اتصال بين مرسي والظواهري بدأ بعد 25 يوما من جلوس مرسي على عرش مصر، بدأت خيوط هذه الكارثة عبر اتصالات أولية تمت بين رفاعة الطهطاوي رئيس ديوان رئيس الجمهورية في عهد المعزول إلى جانب نائبه أسعد الشيخة بتعليمات من مكتب الإرشاد مع محمد الظواهري شقيق قائد تنظيم القاعدة أيمن الظواهري، وذلك عقب قرار رئاسي بالعفو عن محمد الظواهري.

والتقي الطهطاوي والشيخة مع الظواهري في فيلا بمنطقة المقطم اتفق خلالها على أن يتولي الظواهري التنسيق بين مصر الإخوانية وتنظيم القاعدة في أفغانستان، على أن تكون هناك تعاملات وتخطيط لمساعدة الإخوان ومرسي في إرساء أركان الحكم.

التفاصيل التي وردت بتسجيلات الأجهزة الأمنية لمرسي وأعوانه تكشف أن الظواهري تواصل مع شقيقه الذي فرض عددا من المطالب لكي يوافق على مساعدة الإخوان، كان في مقدمتها قائمة تضم الإفراج عن 58 اسما لقيادات من التكفيريين المعتقلين في سجون مصر منذ عهد مبارك، إلى جانب أن يبدأ مرسي في تطبيق الشريعة وحدودها في مصر.

وطالب “الظواهرى” بإطلاق سراح آخرين على ذمة قضايا منها تهريب الأسلحة إلى جانب عدم القبض على أي ارهابى أو ملاحقة أي تكفيري وتركهم لممارسة أنشطتهم إلى جانب فتح معسكرات التدريب بعيدا عن أعين الأجهزة الأمنية دون مشاكل خاصة بسيناء.

وحسب مصادر سيادية، فإن أول قائمة عفو رئاسي من مرسي لمسجونين ضمت 20 اسما، من تلك التي طلبها أيمن الظواهري خاصة بعد أن سلم الظواهري رسالة شقيقه إلى رفاعة الطهطاوي وأسعد الشيخة في لقائهم الثاني بأحد المكاتب بشارع مكرم عبيد في مدينة نصر.

أضافت المصادر أن أول اتصال جري بين مرسي والظواهري في أفغانستان كان بعد شهر من تولي الأول رئاسة مصر واستمر الاتصال نحو 4 دقائق و56 ثانية، طلب خلالها مرسي دعم تنظيم القاعدة له والإخوان، فيما أكد له الظواهري نجاح الإخوان في بدء تأسيس الدولة للإسلامية بشكل رسمي وطالبه بالقضاء على العلمانيين الكفرة، والعمل على تمكين الإسلاميين من الحكم على طريقة الثورة الإسلامية في إيران.

وقال الظواهري لمرسي: «احكم بشرع الله لنقف إلى جوارك وليس هناك ما يسمى بالديمقراطية، ثم تخلص من معارضيك».

وقالت المصادر إن المكالمة الثانية في 5 سبتمبر، أي بعد تولي مرسي للحكم كشفت المكالمة عن دور التنظيم الدولي للإخوان في إدارة العلاقة بين الرئاسة وتنظيم القاعدة، فخلالها قال الظواهري لمرسي إن قيادات التنظيم وعدتنا بمنح مالية وتبرعات لمساعدة التنظيم في جهاده إلا أنها تأخرت عن الموعد المتفق عليه.

وعبر مرسي فيها عن عتابه بسبب انتقاد التنظيم له ومعاونيه خلال الفترة الأخيرة السابقة للاتصال، فقال له الظواهري: إننا ندعم ونؤيد من نراهم حريصون على الحكم بشرع الله.. فرد مرسي سنطبق الشريعة بما يرضي ويتوافق مع المشروع الإسلامي، ونحتاج مساندتكم في ذلك ولكننا نعمل الآن على استقرار الحكم.

وقالت المصادر إنه في إحدى المكالمات التالية طلب الظواهري من مرسي التمهيد لفتح معسكرات لتدريب الجهاديين في سيناء حسبما تم الاتفاق عليه مع قيادات الجماعة الدولية والتي طلبت منه التأسيس لإقامة حرس ثوري، فكان رد مرسي عليه: “إحنا جاهزين لذلك في أي وقت، لأننا نحتاج فعلا حرسا ثوريا لتأمين الحكم ضد أي محاولة للانقلاب عليه، وإحنا جاهزين بالشباب المتحمس لذلك وخطة أيضا لتأمين تلك المعسكرات وننتظر منكم إرسال المسئولين عن التنظيم والتدريب”.

وقالت المصادر إنه في أعقاب ذلك بنحو شهر ونصف الشهر وفر مرسي حسب اتفاقه مع الظواهري أربعة أماكن منها ثلاثة في سيناء والرابعة في الصحراء الغربية لتدريب وإعداد الجماعات والعناصر التكفيرية، ثم طالب الجيش بإيقاف جميع العمليات العسكرية بسيناء بزعم أنها تكلف خزينة الدولة أموالا كبيرة تحتاجها الحكومة في أماكن أخرى.

وحسب المصادر فإن هذا القرار أثار غضب الجيش بقوة وكانت بداية النهاية مع الجيش وقياداته بعد أن أعلنت رتبة كبيرة من المؤسسة العسكرية امتعاضها ورفضها للقرار وحدثت حينها اعتراضات خلال اجتماع مرسي مع الفريق أول السيسي لإبلاغه بالقرار لإبلاغ قيادة الجيش به في وقت لاحق.

المفاجأة التي كشفت عنها المصادر هي ما يتعلق بلقاء مرسي مع الظواهري وجها لوجه أثناء زيارة المعزول لباكستان الشهيرة، بعدما كثف التنظيم الدولي محاولاته الحثيثة لترتيب اللقاء بالتنسيق مع قيادة التنظيم الدولي.

وتم إعداد غرفة للقاء بأحد فنادق باكستان وصباح اليوم المحدد لهذا اللقاء تم إبلاغ مرسي ومساعدوه بباكستان عن إلغاء اللقاء بعد التأكد من رصد جهات أمنية دولية للقاء وأن هناك معلومات عن التخطيط لاقتحامه وإلقاء القبض على أيمن الظواهري فتم بالفعل إلغاؤه، واستعاض عنه مرسي بمكالمة هاتفية استمرت دقيقة و47 ثانية.

بعد عودة مرسي أصدر عفوا رئاسيا جديدا شمل 35 من العناصر الإرهابية الخطيرة، وقام التنظيم الدولي للإخوان بإرسال 65 مليون دولار لتنظيم القاعدة مقابل مساندته للإخوان والحكم في مصر.

وحسب المصادر فإن آخر مكالمة تمت بين مرسي وأيمن الظواهري كانت في صباح يوم 30 يونيو بحضور طهطاوي وأسعد الشيخة، وقال مرسي خلالها للظواهري: “نواجه مظاهرات كبيرة لبعض المعارضين ونحتاج دعمكم خاصة ضد الجيش في سيناء والضغط عليه لدعم الشرعية، لأن فيه ناس عايزة تنقلب علينا ونطلب من كل الجهاديين في العالم أجمع لمساعدتنا”.

وأضافت المصادر أن مرسي أقر واعترف بهذه المحادثات الهاتفية أمام سلطات التحقيق، وقال أنا الرئيس الشرعي للبلاد وعملت على حفظ واستقرار الحكم حسبما أراه في صالح مصر”.




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