Ugh. Iran’s ‘Nuclear Themed Domino’ Show Is BEYOND Disturbing

Iran isn’t up to anything. Nope. Nothing at all.

A nuclear-themed domino show was held in the Razavi Korasan Province of Iran last week. The purpose was to show off the progress of their nuclear projects.

During the show, domino structures depicting obstacles to the progress of Iran’s nuclear project – such as the assassination of scientists, sanctions, the Stuxnet virus, and various phases in the negotiations – were collapsed and were replaced by messages affirming Iran’s nuclear achievements. The show featured US-related models, such as the word “CIA,” the RQ-170 drone, and the US flag, some of which were collapsed.
Oh. And they ended the presentation completely destroying a domino structure of the Israeli flag.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. and Iran are in the works of reaching nuclear deal which would supposedly “halt” their nuclear progress for 10 years and ease restrictions from there.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to talk about the danger of a nuclear Iran in his address to congress in the coming weeks.

But Democrats don’t care. A lot of them will be too busy to attend. Right Pelosi?

Can you BLAME Bibi for being freaked? And honestly, seeing this makes me even more upset that the president won’t meet with Bibi when he comes to the states. Because election interference or something.

Yeah, nothing to see here whatsoever.

PRIVATE DONORS FROM GULF OIL STATES HELPING TO BANKROLL SALARIES OF UP TO 100,000 ISIS FIGHTERS

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 6.25.38 PMIS appears to have the human and financial resources to fight a long war

by PATRICK COCKBURN | COUNTERPUNCH | FEBRUARY 23, 2015

Islamic State is still receiving significant financial support from Arab sympathisers outside Iraq and Syria, enabling it to expand its war effort, says a senior Kurdish official.

The US has being trying to stop such private donors in the Gulf oil states sending to Islamic State (Isis) funds that help pay the salaries of fighters who may number well over 100,000.

Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of the Kurdish President, Massoud Barzani, told The Independent on Sunday: “There is sympathy for Da’esh [the Arabic acronym for IS, also known as Isis] in many Arab countries and this has translated into money – and that is a disaster.” He pointed out that until recently financial aid was being given more or less openly by Gulf states to the opposition in Syria – but by now most of these rebel groups have been absorbed into IS and Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate, so it is they “who now have the money and the weapons”.

Mr Hussein would not identify the states from which the funding for IS comes today, but implied that they were the same Gulf oil states that financed Sunni Arab rebels in Iraq and Syria in the past.
Dr Mahmoud Othman, a veteran member of the Iraqi Kurdish leadership who recently retired from the Iraqi parliament, said there was a misunderstanding as to why Gulf countries paid off IS. It is not only that donors are supporters of IS, but that the movement “gets money from the Arab countries because they are afraid of it”, he says. “Gulf countries give money to Da’esh so that it promises not to carry out operations on their territory.”

Iraqi leaders in Baghdad privately express similar suspicions that IS – with a territory the size of Great Britain and a population of six million fighting a war on multiple fronts, from Aleppo to the Iranian border – could not be financially self-sufficient, given the calls on its limited resources.

Islamic State is doing everything it can to expand its military capacity, as the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, and the US Central Command (CentCom) threaten an offensive later this year to recapture Mosul. Regardless of the feasibility of this operation, IS forces are fighting in widely different locations across northern and central Iraq.

On Tuesday night they made a surprise attack with between 300 and 400 fighters, many of them North Africans from Tunisia, Algeria and Libya, on Kurdish forces 40 miles west of the Kurdish capital, Irbil. The Kurds say that 34 IS fighters were killed in fighting and by US air strikes. At the same time, IS was battling for control of the town of al-Baghdadi, several hundred miles away in Anbar province. Despite forecasts by a CentCom spokesman last week that the tide has turned and that IS is on the retreat there is little sign of this on the ground.

On the contrary, IS appears to have the human and financial resources to fight a long war, though both are under strain. According to interviews by The Independent with people living in Mosul reached by phone, or with recent refugees from the city, IS officials are conscripting at least one young man from every family in Mosul, which has a population of 1.5 million. It has drafted a list of draconian punishments for those not willing to fight, starting with 80 lashes and ending with execution.

All these new recruits receive pay, as well as their keep, which until recently was $500 (£324) a month but has now been cut to about $350. Officers and commanders receive much more. A local source, who did not want to be named, says that foreign fighters, of whom there are an estimated 20,000 in IS, get a much higher salary – starting at $800 a month.

“I know three foreign fighters,” said Ahmad, a 45-year-old shopkeeper still working in Mosul. “I usually see them at checkpoints in our neighbourhood: one is Turkish and the others are Europeans. Some of them speak a little Arabic. I know them well because they buy soft drinks from the shops in our neighbourhood. The Turkish one is my customer. He says he talks to his family using the satellite internet service that is available for the foreigners, who have excellent privileges in terms of salaries, spoils and even captives.”

Ahmad added: “Isis fighters have arrested four high-school teachers for telling their students not to join Isis.” Islamic State fighters have entered the schools and demanded that students in their final year join them. Isis has also lowered the conscription age below 18 years of age, leading some families to leave the city. Military bases for the training and arming of children have also been established.

Given this degree of mobilisation by Islamic State, statements from Mr Abadi and CentCom about recapturing Mosul this spring, using between 20,000 and 25,000 Baghdad government and Kurdish forces, sound like an effort to boost morale on the anti-Isis side.

The CentCom spokesman claimed there were only between 1,000 and 2,000 Isis fighters in Mosul, which is out of keeping with what local observers report. Ominously, Iraqi and foreign governments have an impressive record of underestimating Isis as a military and political force over the past two years.

Mr Hussein said at the end of last year that Isis had “hundreds of thousands of fighters”, at a time when the CIA was claiming they numbered between 20,000 and 31,500. He does not wholly rule out an offensive to take Mosul but, as he outlines the conditions for a successful attack, it becomes clear that he does not expect the city to be recaptured any time soon. For the Kurdish Peshmerga forces to storm Mosul they would need far better equipment “in order to wage a decisive war against Isis and defeat them”, he says. “So far we are only defeating them in various places in Kurdistan by giving our blood. We have had 1,011 Peshmerga killed and about 5,000 wounded.”

The Kurds want heavy weapons including Humvees, tanks to surround but not to enter Mosul, snipers’ rifles, because Isis has many highly accurate snipers, as well as equipment to deal with improvised explosive devices and booby traps, both of which Isis uses profusely.

Above all, Kurdish participation in an offensive would require a military partner in the shape of an effective Iraqi army and local Sunni allies. Without the latter, a battle for Mosul conducted by Shia and Kurds alone would provoke Sunni Arab resistance. Mr Hussein is dubious about the effectiveness of the Iraqi army, which disintegrated last June when, though nominally it had 350,000 soldiers, it was defeated by a few thousand Isis fighters.

“The Iraqi army has two divisions to protect Baghdad, but is it possible for the Iraqi government to release them?” asks Mr Hussein. “And how will they get to Mosul? If they have to come through Tikrit and Baiji, they will have to fight hard along the way even before they get to Mosul.”

Of course, an anti-Isis offensive has advantages not available last year, such as US air strikes, but these might be difficult to use in a city. The US air force carried out at least 600 air strikes on the Isis-held part of the small Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani before Isis finally retreated after a siege of 134 days. In the most optimistic scenarios Isis splits or there is a popular uprising against it, but so far there is no sign of this and Isis has proved that it exacts merciless vengeance against any individual or community opposed to it.

Mr Hussein makes another important point: difficult and dangerous though it may be for the Kurds and the Baghdad government to recapture Mosul, they cannot afford to leave it alone. It was here that Isis won its first great victory and Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi declared the caliphate on 29 June last year.

“Mosul is important politically and militarily,” he says. “Without defeating Isis in Mosul, it will be very difficult to talk about the defeat of Isis in the rest of Iraq.”

At the moment, Peshmerga forces are only eight miles from Mosul. But Isis fighters are likewise not much further from the Kurdish-held oil city of Kirkuk, which Isis assaulted last month. Given the size of Iraq and the small size of the armies deployed, each side can inflict tactical surprises on the other by punching through scantily held frontlines.

There are two further developments to the advantage of Islamic State. Even in the face of the common threat, the leaders in Baghdad and Erbil remain deeply divided. When Mosul fell last year, the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki claimed that the Iraqi army had been stabbed in the back by a conspiracy between Kurds and Isis. The two sides remain deeply suspicious of each other and, at the start of last week, a delegation led by the Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani failed to reach an agreement in Baghdad on how much of Iraq’s oil revenues should go to the Kurds in exchange for a previously agreed quantity of oil from Kurdish-held northern oilfields.

“Unbelievably, the divisions now are as great as under Maliki,” says Dr Othman. Islamic State has made many enemies, but it may be saved by their inability to unite.

DAILYKOS’S COVER-UP OF OBAMA’S UKRAINIAN ATROCITIES

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 6.38.19 PMThis is how democracy is conquered: by presenting any type of dictatorship as being ‘democracy’

By Eric Zuesse
Generally speaking, the falsely-called ‘liberal’ (some even call it ‘progressive’) website dailykos has ignored President Barack Obama’s coup a year ago in Ukraine, which violently overthrew that country’s unpopular but democratically elected President and replaced him with a racist-fascist (i.e., ideologically nazi) anti-Russian regime. It’s a regime that quickly set to work on a euphemistically called ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’ in its far-eastern region Donbass, where the voters had voted 90% for the very same man whom Obama’s State Department and CIA had just overthrown — an ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’ that kills its ‘Terrorists’ (i.e., the residents there) en-masse by firebombing, cluster-bombing, and shelling, the cities, towns, and villages, throughout the region. If those people survive and vote in future Ukrainian national elections, the nazi regime that Obama installed will be voted out of power; Obama’s 2014 Ukrainian coup will have been for naught. This is why he demands extermination, doesn’t object to it at all.

(NOTE: I request here that anyone who disagrees with anything in that paragraph, please first click onto the link or links to what’s being objected to in it, and check out that cited evidence there, before posting a reader-comment objecting to what is already shown in those links to be the case. And, if a person still questions whether Obama perpetrated a coup in Ukraine last year, then additional citations that should be checked out, before posting a reader-comment objecting to it, are: this and this and this and this. Disagreements should be on the facts, nothing else. Thanks for considering that.)

Here are typical examples of how this ‘liberal’ (or even some fools call it ‘progressive’) site, dailykos, has ‘reported’ on these events during the past year. (And, please consider that all of these articles were published after the U.S. President whom that site supports had already installed in Ukraine, via a violent coup, an outright exterminationist nazi regime; and, that this is supposed to be a ‘liberal,’ or even ‘progressive,’ ‘news’ site — this site that hides its hero’s nazism, is supposed to be taken as being instead liberal, or even progressive.)

On 19 March 2014, a post at dailykos said, “The Russian claims that the entire upheaval in Ukraine that resulted in the ouster of Yanukovych was a fascists directed coup are pretty clearly overblown propaganda.”
On 15 February 2015, another said, “The rebels trying to create a new country or attach themselves to Moscow are only there because of Stalin.”

On 6 February 2015, another said, “February 21st is the one-year anniversary of the culmination of the Euromaidan protest in Ukraine. The Putin sympathizers will be very busy pushing their BS conspiracy theories about Nuland’s cookies, but here’s some images that show what an inspiring moment it was in history.”

On 13 November 2014, another said (and strongly disagreed with) “Henry Kissinger, that notorious Russian commie sympathizer, says that the West in effect caused the crisis in Ukraine (not, of course, that it’s OK for Russia to have, in response, intervened in Ukraine) because it failed to understand Russian strategic interests.”

A rare exception, of opposing Obama’s policy there, was on 19 September 2014: “Under Poroshenko, the new Ukrainian President, the rebels and the cities they occupied were shelled and bombed. We were outraged when Assad did something similar, but Europe and the US only mildly objected when the Ukraine bombed its own people. That’s when Putin, apparently, sent in Russian soldiers to turn the tide. But notice: with the exception of the special case of Crimea (host to the Russian Black Sea Navy, ethnically heavily Russian), Putin has not moved to take over Eastern Ukraine, only to stop Poroshenko’s brutal ‘anti-terrorist’ campaign against ethnic Russians. Since the ceasefire, Putin has pushed for a weak federal state for Ukraine, which would create a neutral country, much like Finland. The US should not be promoting NATO expansion to Russian borders.”

But even that article was profoundly dishonesst, because it failed to so much as just mention, merely once, the ‘Democratic’ U.S. President, Barack Obama, who was behind all this policy, which the writer here was objecting to, the man whose coup had installed this nazi regime, and who requires, even to this day, extermination of the residents in the area of Ukraine where the voters had voted 90% for the man whom Obama had overthrown a year ago. In other words: it’s like condemning the Holocaust without once mentioning Adolf Hitler. It’s phony. Even that dailykos post was fraudulent.

On 5 August 2014, another post addressed the President directly, and complained that he wasn’t helping the extermination campaign as much as he should: “Despite the fact that Russia is brazenly sending over tanks, artillery, weapons and personnel, across Ukraine’s border, you persist in assuming that sanctions are some economic nuclear weapon that will, once again – make Vladimir Putin see reason. And your ‘military assistance’ consists of what? Non-lethal aid?”

Dailykos also essentially ignored altogether the massacre of anti-nazis in the Trade Unions Building in Odessa on 2 May 2014, the event that so terrified the residents in the nation’s pro-Russian area (Donbass) as to cause them to seek separation from Ukraine, which the Obama-installed Government needed to have them seek so as to be able to call them ‘terrorists’ and thus get the support from suckers in the West for the Obama-demanded ethnic-cleansing or extermination of the residents in Donbass in order to make Obama’s nazi anti-Russian regime stick. (So, in a perverse way, exterminating these people assists their becoming despised; it also increases their determination to separate from Ukraine.) That’s why the White House wanted this massacre — which massacre dailykos thus virtually ignored.

In other words: dailykos is a Democratic Party shill operation, like Fox ‘News’ is a Republican Party shill operation. It’s not an authentic news-site; it is a PR or “propaganda” operation, for the Democratic Party, in order to fool liberal suckers to think that America’s aristocracy don’t control both Parties, and to deceive them to think that the United States is still a democracy — even though it no longer is.

For the most part, Obama’s “policy failures” (such as the ‘failure’ of Obamacare to achieve his promised “universal coverage,” or 100% of Americans being insured) are not really due to bugs (such as Republicans accuse); they’re due to features of his programs; they are intended to produce the type of results that they do. (Just ignore his rhetoric, which is intended to deceive.) This is also the reason why for the first time in history there is a continued widening of the gap between rich and poor even after an economic crash, which is precisely the period in the economic cycle when historically the income-gap has narrowed, instead of gotten wider.

The American public are massively deceived. How many news-media are there, which will report this fact, and report it honestly, not in such a way that itself deceives? How many news-media are there that serve their readers, instead of serving their owners and the people who serve them? No democracy can survive like that. This is the reality.

As a general rule: truth is not being rewarded; it is being punished — by ‘both’ sides, as well as in the ‘middle,’ between ‘leftist’ dictatorship, and ‘rightist’ dictatorship.

This is how democracy is conquered: by presenting any type of dictatorship as being ‘democracy.’

Dailykos pretends to be a progressive news site but it not only supports a pro-nazi anti-Russia President, it supports his nazi policy, to such an extent that it ignores the extermination-program that he initiated and supports, which wouldn’t even exist at all but for his decisions, and his policies. All of the estimated “up to 50,000” corpses thus far produced in Donbass are due to Obama, yet he threatens to send more weapons.

Dailykos is not America’s disease; it’s a symptom of America’s disease. The source of this disease goes much deeper. The source is America’s worship of power (in any form, “the Almighty,” or “the mainstream,” or “the successful,” or “the Establishment”) rather than of truth (“science,” “honesty,” etc.). And America isn’t unique in having this disease. Instead, this disease is normal; so, it’s not even being called a “disease.” But maybe now, it’s becoming terminal. That could happen. Think about it. Because not to, would be unrealistic, at the present moment in history. There is too much power now, concentrated in the hands of psychopaths (the people who naturally tend to hold and to increase their power). Nurturing power-worship, regardless of whether “Macht macht recht” or “the Almighty,” or any other, leads to this result. It led to this result. The underlying value-system is the problem. If that doesn’t change, then there is no realistic hope for the world’s future. None.

That’s the disease, of which dailykos is merely a symptom.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

THE GOVERNMENT’S WAR ON FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 6.30.19 PMPress freedom has declined in recent years

Ken Silva | February 21, 2015
The index cited “judicial harassment” of New York Times reporter James Risen, the arbitrary arrest of at least 15 journalists during the Ferguson, Missouri clashes, and the fact that U.S. journalists are still not legally entitled to protect sources who reveal confidential information about their work.

The U.S.’s slip in press freedom rankings mirrors its seven-place drop in Freedom House’s Global Press Freedom Index from 2013-2014, though the country still ranks among the 14 percent of countries whose press is classified as “free” in the latter scale.

Reality may be even worse than the rankings suggest. Legal protections for the press have only eroded since the 2006 trough year when the Bush Administration threatened to prosecute Risen for publishing stories chronicling warrantless wiretapping of citizens’ phone calls.

Since the Obama Administration took power, it has used the Espionage Act to prosecute data leakers a record seven times—more than every other president combined in the law’s nearly 100-year history—a Fox News journalist has been spied on by the Justice Department under the justification that he’s a criminal conspirator, Wikileaks creator Julian Assange has been declared “a hi-tech terrorist,” and the Supreme Court refused to overturn a lower court ruling against Risen stating that the First Amendment doesn’t protect him from refusing to testify about a whistleblower that allegedly leaked classified information about the CIA’s efforts to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

Reports from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald even suggest that media outlets routinely vet their articles with government officials before publishing them.

“This consultative process with the government, The Guardian lawyers explained, is what enables newspapers to demonstrate they have no intent to harm national security by publishing top secret documents, and thus lack the requisite criminal intent to be prosecuted,” Greenwald wrote in his 2014 book No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, explaining that papers such as The New York Times and Washington Post often spend weeks having controversial stories reviewed by the feds.

Greenwald scoffs at what he regards as a subservient process, and even wrote that he threatened his editors at The Guardian that he would publish the stories about the National Security Administration’s massive surveillance system on his own website if they kowtowed to the government.

What’s scary, however, is the fact that no one knows what would have happened to Greenwald had he had made good on his threats, because there are no court precedents on the issue of publishing information sensitive to national security. A provision of the Espionage Act outlaws “unauthorized communication” of national defense information, and some have argued that it could indeed be used to punish the media for publishing classified information, regardless of what the First Amendment says.

So far, none of the law’s targets have been journalists. Since the “unauthorized communication” provision has never been tested against the media, watchdogs have no idea where they stand with respect to the law. Who knows what the courts might rule if such an issue is brought before them now?

Many people mistakenly think that the American press is protected by the 1971 decision in the famous Pentagon Papers case, where the Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. government did not have the authority to prevent The New York Times from printing classified documents revealing that the military had secretly bombed Cambodia and Laos in the Vietnam War, among other transgressions. However, the Pentagon Papers case only raised the issue of whether the U.S. had the power to issue an injunction against publication, not whether it could criminally prosecute someone after the fact. We still don’t know whether such a charge would withstand court scrutiny.

The inconclusive ruling even prompted legal scholars Harold Edgar and Benno Schmidt Jr. to declare that the Espionage Act remained a “loaded gun pointed at newspapers and reporters who publish foreign policy and defense secrets” in their 1973 analysis of the case in Columbia Law Review. Fast-forward four decades, and the government seems to have taken the safety off.

Granted, there have been a few victories for the press this century. In 2001 the Supreme Court ruled that a reporter wouldn’t be held liable for broadcasting a conversation that had been illegally taped, and in 2009 the government dropped its case against two lobbyists charged under the Espionage Act for essentially doing what (good) journalists do: Trying to get government officials to reveal secret information.

Those victories are small ones, though, when one considers the overall decline in press freedom since the RWB first created its rankings. In another 10 years, a journalist like Greenwald could be collecting his or her Pulitzer from behind bars if the downward trend continues.

Ken Silva is a freelance journalist.

CIA bought, destroyed chemical weapons in Iraq following invasion – report

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Following the US invasion of Iraq, the CIA worked with US troops in 2005 and 2006 to quietly purchase and recover 1980s-era nerve-agent rockets from a clandestine Iraqi seller during the previously undisclosed Operation Avarice, according to a new report.

Operation Avarice led to the destruction of at least 400 Borak warheads, chemical weapons used by Saddam Hussein’s government that were reportedly manufactured domestically for Iraq’s war against Iran during the 1980s.

Pieces of the leftover cache acquired in 2005 and 2006 by the CIA are believed to have been those not accounted for by the United Nations following the 1991 Persian Gulf war, according to the New York Times.

The program was run out of the CIA’s Baghdad station with the aid of the US Army’s 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion as well as chemical-defense and explosive ordnance disposal troops, according to anonymous US officials that spoke to the Times.

Many of the 40-inch Borak rockets recovered were empty, others in poor shape or contained nonlethal material. Still others were found to have a higher level of sarin than was expected.

The amount of money paid to the secretive Iraqi Borak seller, the only person to offer the chemical munitions to the CIA, is unknown, as are his affiliations.

Read more
Washington concealed US troops exposure to chemical weapons in Iraq – intel docs

“Without speaking to any specific programs, it is fair to say that together with our coalition partners in Iraq, the U.S. military worked diligently to find and remove weapons that could be used against our troops and the Iraqi people,” said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Times reported.

Lauding the program’s success, retired Army Lt. Gen. Richard P. Zahner, the highest-ranking American military intelligence officer in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, said Operation Avarice neutralized what could have become an arsenal used against the US and its allies.

“This was a timely and effective initiative by our national intelligence partners that negated the use of these unique munitions,” he said.

Yet the disclosure of the program again highlighted the US military’s secrecy regarding chemical weapons US troops were or could have been exposed to during the war.

Read more
Veterans at risk: 6 key elements of suicide-prevention law

It was revealed in October that American soldiers discovered more than 4,990 mostly degraded chemical munitions in Iraq, yet veterans are now grappling with the effects of chemical exposure that the military did not adequately share with troops or the public.

Veterans have claimed their medical care following this exposure has been substandard, partly because military doctors were unaware of the presence of chemical weapons in Iraq.

“If we were aware of these compounds, and as it became clear over the course of the war that our troops had been exposed to them, why wasn’t more done to protect the guys on the ground?”
said Aaron Stein, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.

“It speaks to the broader failure.”

The US support for Iraq in its war against neighboring Iran is well documented.

“Reagan/Bush administrations permitted—and frequently encouraged—the flow of money, agricultural credits, dual-use technology, chemicals, and weapons to Iraq,” ABC’s Nightline reported in 1992.

In 1994, US Sen. Donald Riegle released a report — “U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual Use Exports to Iraq and their Possible Impact on the Health Consequences of the Gulf War” — that detailed how the US supplied biological research materials to Iraq.

“Records available from the supplier for the period from 1985 until the present show that during this time, pathogenic, toxigenic, and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq pursuant to application and licensing by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Records prior to 1985 were not available, according to the supplier. These exported biological materials were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction.”

Read more
4 in 10 Americans erroneously believe US found active WMDs in Iraq – survey

Operation Avarice began after the US military recovered a small collection of Borak warheads in 2005. The seller would occasionally notify the CIA when he had more for sale, officials said, meeting with American handlers of the program in Iraq’s southeast region to hand off the weapons.

The Boraks were disposed of afterwards, most by detonation, officials said. Some were taken to Camp Slayer, near Baghdad’s airport, for testing.

Sarin analysis of the warheads in 2005 found purity level as high as 13 percent, higher than expected. Borak sarin samples found in 2004 had yielded purity levels no more than 4 percent. One internal record from 2006 referenced “agent purity of up to 25 percent for recovered unitary sarin weapons.”

The relationship between the Borak seller and his American negotiators began to sour, NYT indicated, as the CIA and US troops increasingly pushed for more information on the cache.

Obama’s ‘Big Lie': US Has Supplied Ukraine With Arms From the Start

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 6.00.23 PM

President Obama is still considering arming Ukraine in case the latest ceasefire is breached and the conflict escalates; but political analyst Stephen Lendman told Sputnik in an exclusive interview that the US leader is lying, and that the US has been supplying arms to Kiev from the very start of the military operation.

The ceasefire between Kiev forces and independence supporters of Donetsk and Luhansk is generally holding, shelling in Donbas has stopped as the truce came in force on midnight, a spokesperson at the Kiev special operations headquarters said Sunday.
But a day earlier Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US President Barack Obama, during a meeting by phone, agreed on the further coordination of efforts in the case that the ceasefire fails and the Ukrainian conflict escalates.
Stephen Lendman, a Research Associate for the Centre for Research on Globalization explained to Sputnik, in an exclusive interview on the recent developments in Ukraine, that Washington has been lying the whole time – it has been supplying weapons to Kiev from the very start of the military operation.
“Washington supplied heavy weapons since the conflict began last April and maybe before it began in preparation for what was planned. I wrote about it several times including in a new article this (Saturday) morning,” he told Sputnik.

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 6.02.23 PM

NATO and Ukrainian aircraft have shipped in arms and munitions on a regular basis. Washington is the main culprit, he added.
‘Arms Supplied by US Are for Offense, Not Defense’
Another lie, the analyst says, is about the arms being “defensive.”
Ukraine, US Agree on Further Coordination if Donbas Conflict Escalates
“Heavy weapons are supplied for offense, not defense, of course,” he says. “Fighting continued after the Minsk agreement was concluded. Kiev forces kept shelling civilian areas.”

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 6.04.13 PM

“I expect a short-term mostly (but not entirely) quieter period beginning Sunday or Monday followed days or weeks later by Kiev initiated escalated conflict — with full US support and encouragement,” he predicts.
Ukrainian military convoy stop on the road between the towns of Dabeltseve and Artemivsk, Ukraine,
“Hardline Kiev elements like the Right Sector’s Dmitry Yarosh and likeminded extremists reject Minsk terms. They vow to keep fighting. Expect Russia and rebels to be blamed for their aggression. Expect vicious Putin bashing to continue. It’s evident in US weekend reports I’ve seen so far,” he added.
The political analyst predicts that Washington will continue supplying Kiev with heavy weapons. Hundreds of US combat troops are coming to Ukraine on the pretext of training Ukraine’s military, while hundreds of US special forces are already there.

‘The Big Question is Whether Obama Will Authorize Direct US Involvement in Ukraine’s Conflict’
The big question is whether Obama will authorize direct US involvement in Ukraine’s conflict. He’s already done it in Iraq with US boots on the ground and more on the way despite vowing months earlier never to do it.

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An escalation will bring the war to Russia’s borders, and the risk is it may spill over. With US combat forces in Ukraine and Obama determined to crush pro-independence fighters, the danger of East-West confrontation is huge.
‘Donbas is Obama’s War. He Didn’t Launch it to Quit’
“We could find ourselves in WW III whether or not anyone wants it. Global wars begin like what’s now ongoing. With neocon lunatics making policy in Washington, anything ahead is possible,” he added.
“I strongly believe chances for a durable, sustainable peace in Donbas are virtually nil despite, Putin’s best efforts to resolve things diplomatically.”
President Putin, Sergei Lavrov, and other Russian officials have gone all-out for peace throughout months of conflict.
“Obama wants war, not peace. Donbas is his war. He didn’t launch it to quit. CIA, FBI and US special forces infest Kiev. They’re involved in planning, implementing and directing

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/analysis/20150215/1018289444.html#ixzz3RrUk3I4O

Obama Administration Charges Most Whistleblowers in US History

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No fewer than eight whistleblowers, including Chelsea Manning, have been charged under the Espionage Act during Barack Obama’s two presidential terms, compared with just three under all the other administrations since its adoption in 1917, 2015 World Press Freedom Index report read.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Barack Obama’s administration has charged almost three times more whistleblowers than the rest US administrations all together, according to Reporters Without Borders’s report issued on Thursday.
“No fewer than 8 whistleblowers, including Chelsea Manning, have been charged under the Espionage Act during Barack Obama’s two presidential terms, compared with just three under all the other administrations since its adoption in 1917,” 2015 World Press Freedom Index report read.
The report explained that the security paranoia, which triggered the whistleblowers chargers in the United States, was steming from 9/11 attacks.
I think the government has not come to understand just how much the world has changed, and they can’t keep this stuff secret anymore, said New York Times editor Dean Baquet at an event at the Newseum Thursday.

NY Times Editor: Snowden Lessons Unlearned, Gov’t Secrecy Alive and Well
Manning, a former US Army private who unveiled in 2010 troves of classified information, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for espionage and theft of government data. She is currently serving the sentence at the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas military prison.
Another whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked information about the extensive surveillance practices conducted by US Intelligence in June 2013, is wanted in the United States on a number of charges, including espionage and government property theft.
The United States is listed number 49 in 2015 World Press Freedom Index down 3 places compared to 2014. Three Scandinavian countries, Finland, and Denmark top the media pluralism and independence list, while Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea are placed at the very bottom of the list.

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