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Archive for February 15th, 2011

Omar Suleiman, the new vice-president of Egypt, told the Israelis he wanted to start “cleansing the Sinai” of Palestinian arms smugglers, according to leaked cables.

The Telegraph

By Christopher Hope 9:00PM GMT 09 Feb 2011

The news is more evidence of the close ties between Israel, the United States and Mr Suleiman, who is tipped to replace Hosni Mubarak as Egypt’s president.

The close relationship has emerged from American diplomatic cables leaked to the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph.

Mr Suleiman is Israel’s preferred candidate to replace 82-year-old Mr Mubarak. A secret hotline between Mr Suleiman and the Israelis was said to be “in daily use”, according to US diplomatic cables.

The pledge to cleanse Sinai was made by Mr Suleiman to Yuval Diskin of the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) after he complained about the smuggling of weapons across the border with Gaza. According to a cable sent in November, 2007, Mr Diskin met Rob Danin, the US deputy assistant secretary of state, and Mark Kimmitt, the deputy assistant defence secretary, in Tel Aviv and told them that the Sinai peninsula had now become a “weapons and explosives warehouse” for operations in Gaza, Egypt and Israel.

The cable said: “Diskin told Danin and Kimmit [sic] that the ISA had, on several occasions provided Omar Suleiman, chief of Egypt’s intelligence services, with detailed intelligence on the names of smugglers.

“In 2005, Diskin said he met personally with Suleiman in Egypt, at which time Suleiman promised personally to take responsibility for ‘cleansing the Sinai’.”

The cable continued: “Despite these promises and Israeli offers to initiate joint operations, Diskin said Egypt has not acted to eliminate the smuggling networks. In Diskin’s view, there is a core policy problem in that the Egyptians saw themselves as the primary mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians, and are careful not to alienate either side.”

Mr Suleiman worked hard to position himself as the main Egyptian link with Israel. According to the cable, he was blocking attempts by the Israelis to form links with other members of the Cairo government.

This was, according to Mr Diskin, because of Mr Suleiman’s “desire to remain the sole point of contact for foreign intelligence”.

Kudos to GodlikeProductions

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Northrup Grumman

A leader in global security, Northrup Grumman is also involved with Internet security in cooperation with the commonwealth of Virginia. VITA Interesting…no?

The sun comes up over Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego on February 11, 2011, as the Centennial of Naval Aviation year-long celebration begins. The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D), built by Northrop Grumman Corporation, and first flown on February 4, 2011, will be just one of 190 aircraft featured during the Open House this weekend. Several legacy, present-day and future aircraft will be displayed including unmanned systems such as the X-47B UCAS, MQ-4A Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator (BAMS-D), and MQ-8B Fire Scout, as well as the manned aircraft: the E-2C Hawkeye, C-2A Greyhound, F-5E Tiger II, F/A-18F Super Hornet, F/A-18C Hornet, EA-18G Growler, EA-6B Prowler, T-38 Talon, Ryan Aeronautical Company’s STM Ryan, and Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company’s FM-2 Wildcat, F6F Hellcat, F8F Bearcat, TBM Avenger and the HU-16 Albatross. Northrop Grumman’s partnership with the Navy is represented by more than 100 years of shipbuilding and nearly 80 years of leadership in designing, producing, delivering and sustaining some 26,000 Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.

Remarkable: The similarity to the Beast of Kandihar

B

RQ-170 Sentinel

December 9, 2009

The US Air Force today confirmed that it is using a drone named the RQ-170 Sentinel, in Afghanistan. The stealthy unmanned aircraft system is developed by the Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works division, the same company that developed the F-117 Stealth Fighter. However, the RQ-170 looks like a scaled down version of the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber. The USAF confirms that the RQ-170 Sentinel is in development, and is expected “to provide reconnaissance and surveillance support to forward-deployed combat forces”, according to a statement released on 4 December.east of Kandihar, Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, Microwave Weapons, Northrup Grumman, RQ-170 Sentenel, surveilance, X-47B

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Iran Opposition Leaders Should Be Tried And Executed, Hardline Lawmakers Say

AP/The Huffington Post NASSER KARIMI  First Posted: 02/15/11 08:29 AM Updated: 02/15/11 12:40 PM

TEHRAN, Iran — Hardline Iranian lawmakers called on Tuesday for the country’s opposition leaders to face trial and be put to death, a day after clashes between opposition protesters and security forces left one person dead and dozens injured.

Hundreds of thousands of people turned out for the opposition rally Monday in solidarity with Egypt’s popular revolt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years in power. The demonstration was the first major show of strength from Iran’s beleaguered opposition in more than a year.

1,500 people have reportedly been arrested.

At an open session of parliament Tuesday, pro-government legislators demanded opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mahdi Karroubi and former reformist President Mohammad Khatami face be held responsible for the protests.

Pumping their fists in the air, the lawmakers chanted “death to Mousavi, Karroubi and Khatami.”

“We believe the people have lost their patience and demand capital punishment” for the opposition leaders, 221 lawmakers said in a statement.

Hardliners have long sought to put senior opposition figures on trial, but the calls for the death penalty signaled an escalation in their demands.

MORE HERE

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Obama says Iran should allow peaceful protests

AP- Feb 15, 11:29 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says peaceful protests similar to those that brought down the government in Egypt should be allowed to take place on the streets of Iran.

Instead, Obama says the Iranian regime has celebrated the undoing of Hosni Mubarak’s (HOHS’-nee moo-BAH’-rahks) government in Egypt but at the same time has gunned down and beat Iranians who similarly were trying to express themselves peacefully.

Obama says what has been true in Egypt should also be true in Iran.

MORE HERE

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“We’re Poisoned. We’re Sick.”

Truthout- Tuesday 15 February 2011

by: Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld, t r u t h o u t | Report

Residents who live along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, all the way from Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, to well into western Florida, continue to tell me of acute symptoms they attribute to ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals being released from BP’s crude oil and the toxic Corexit dispersants used to sink it.

Shirley Tillman from Pass Christian, Mississippi, and former BP Vessels of Opportunity oil cleanup worker wrote me recently:

“You can’t even go to the store without seeing sick people! You can hear them talking to people and they think they have the flu or a virus. I saw a girl that works at a local store yesterday that had to leave work because she was so sick! Others, throughout the entire store were hacking & coughing. It’s crazy that this has been allowed to happen to all of us!”

Oil continues to wash ashore. That which was already there, usually in the form of tar balls or mats of tar, is being uncovered by the weather.

Four of the fragile barrier islands of Mississippi have had four million pounds of oil removed, thus far. The embattled coastline never gets a break. However, BP cleanup crews, who returned to work the first week of January after an 11-day break, removed another 11,000 pounds of oil from Petit Bois Island Thursday, January 6, and another 3,800 pounds from Horn Island.

“The northerly wind seems to do the uncovering [of the oil],” a cleanup supervisor said. “Southerly winds appear to be covering it up.”

“This is the biggest cover-up in the history of America,” Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser told reporters on a boat trip he took with Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials last week.

MORE HERE

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Mick Jagger-  Performance at the Grammys 2011

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Exclusive: Frank Gaffney Was Barred From Participating In CPAC, So He Invented A Reason To ‘Boycott’ It

Think Progress- By Alex Seitz-Wald at 11:00 am

Frank Gaffney has been a leading figure in the neoconservative movement for over two decades, having served in the Reagan Pentagon and founded a national security think tank. But Gaffney was absent from the panels and podiums at the year’s biggest conservative conference, CPAC, despite having spoken at the annual event held this weekend for the past 15 years. Gaffney had vowed to boycott the conference this year because, he claimed, it had been infiltrated by Islamic extremists. Specifically, he pointed to Grover Norquist, the influential anti-tax activist, and Suhail Kahn, who directed Muslims outreach efforts for the Bush White House. He accuses the two of being moles for the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, ThinkProgress has learned that Gaffney was actually prohibited from participating in CAPC — disinvited from speaking this year by conference organizers fed up with his increasingly vicious attacks on fellow conservative leaders. Indeed, Gaffney appears to have invented the entire theory about the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating CPAC as a pretext to explain his absence from the event.

A source close to conference organizers told ThinkProgress that Gaffney was “specifically not to be invited” to speak at the conference this year because CPAC Chairman David Keene and other conservative were “sick of him” attacking other conservatives. “The whole boycott thing was just to save face,” the source said. (Gaffney did show up to CPAC to conduct some interviews, including one with ThinkProgress, but did not participate in any official capacity).

MORE HERE

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Obama Press Conference (LIVE VIDEO & UPDATES)

HuffPost- Posted: 02/15/11 10:55 AM

President Obama will hold a press conference at 11:00 AM ET. The president is expected to discuss his budget, which the White House unveiled yesterday. Scroll down for live video and updates from the press conference.

HERE

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