Saturday, February 20, 2010

Five NATO states want U.S. nukes out of Europe, report says

From Global Security Newswire:

Five European nations are set to call on the United States to remove all nuclear weapons from the continent, Agence France-Presse reported today (see GSN, Feb. 17).

NATO members Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway are expected to make the request "in the coming weeks" that "nuclear arms on European soil belonging to other NATO member states are removed," according to a spokesman for Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme.

"It's a question of launching the debate at the heart of NATO," Dominique Dehaene said.

Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands are believed to hold some of the roughly 200 U.S. tactical nuclear weapons that remain in Europe, though most are estimated to be in Italy and Turkey. At the height of tensions with the then-Soviet Union, the United States reportedly fielded thousands of such armaments on the continent.

The request would not address the nuclear arsenals of France and the United Kingdom, AFP reported.

"Belgium is in favor of a world without nuclear weapons and advocates this position at the heart of NATO," ahead of the May review conference for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Leterme said in a prepared statement (Agence France-Presse I/Spacewar.com, Feb. 19).

The former head of NATO joined three other Belgian statesmen today in similarly calling for the withdrawal of the European-based U.S. deterrent, according to AFP.

"The Cold War is over. It's time to adapt our nuclear policy to the new circumstances," according to a statement signed by former NATO chief Willy Claes, former Belgian Prime Ministers Jean-Luc Dehaene and Guy Verhofstadt and former Foreign Minister Louis Michel.

"The U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Europe have lost all military importance," adds the statement, which was published in a number of Belgian newspapers.

"We call on our (Belgian) government to follow the example of the German government and to call in NATO for a rapid withdrawal of the nuclear arms," the authors wrote (see GSN, Oct. 30, 2009).

Present NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has cautioned any nation against rushing to divest itself of the U.S. weapons, AFP reported.

"I hope that any step will take place in the alliance in a multilateral framework and that no unilateral step be taken," Rasmussen said last fall. "This is a question which concerns all allies. It's a question of overall security and defense" (Agence France-Presse I/Spacewar.com, Feb. 19).

~ Link ~

Fallen Art



Dir: Tomek Baginski / Poland / 2005

In an old forgotten military base far from civilization, a group of deranged military officers nurture their insanity.

For more info: http://www.fallen-art.com/

Musical Innerlube: Gary Numan - Hybrid

U.S. 'Star Wars' laser plane successfully shoots down ballistic missile for first time

The U.S. have successfully taken out a ballistic missile with a high-powered laser beam mounted to a plane, it revealed yesterday.

The U.S. Missile Defence Agency (MDA) announced the feat after the test overnight on Thursday in central California.

The plane uses lasers to lock onto the missile and follow its trajectory and then brings it down with a single shot from its nose - all in a matter of seconds.

It is the first successful test of a futuristic, directed energy weapon and realises what had previously just been a science fiction fantasy.

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan controversially proposed 30 years ago having lasers in space to bring down missiles.

Iran and North Korea could now be forced to alter their missile programmes to make them faster and to look at how to counter the laser beams.

Aviation experts Boeing provide the airframe for the plane, which is a modified 747 jumbo jet.

Aerospace and defence contractor Northrop Grumman produce the high-energy laser and Lockheed Martin are developing the beam and fire control system.

'This was the first directed energy lethal intercept demonstration against a liquid-fuel boosting ballistic missile target from an airborne platform,' the U.S. MDA said.

It added: 'The revolutionary use of directed energy is very attractive for missile defence, with the potential to attack multiple targets at the speed of light at a range of hundreds of kilometres and at a low cost per intercept attempt compared to current technologies.'

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Chossudovsky: US will start WW3 by attacking Iran



A UN nuclear watchdog report suggests Iran could be developing a nuclear bomb, apparently confirming long-held suspicions in the West. But Tehran denies the claims, again insisting that its atomic intentions are peaceful. Michel Chossudovsky, who's from an independent Canadian policy research group, believes that what Iran says hardly matters, because the U.S. is planning for war...

Large Hadron Collider to fire up again next Thursday

By Lewis Page, Exclusive to The Register

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), most powerful particle-smasher ever assembled by the human race and possible portal to other dimensions, is to fire up its beams following the Xmas break in a week's time.

Official spokesmen for international particle-punishing science alliance CERN have thus far remained cagey about the exact date for the mighty machine's restart, but persons familiar with the matter tell the Reg that the 2010 proton billiards season is set to open on Thursday the 25th.

Our sources suggest that the initial beams will be relatively gentle 450 giga-electron-volt ones, for a mild 900 GeV collision energy. The following few weeks will see the Big Knob turned gradually up until the beams are at 3.5 tera-electron-volts and particles are thus colliding at 7 TeV.

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Rothschild's secret "solution" to Greek "problem"

By Jean D'Eau in Budapest (for Henrymakow.com)

A friend of mine who is a now a disilusioned high ranking member of the Jewish Freemasonry in Budapest has told me what is coming regarding the Greek crisis.

Greece was chosen to play the role of the European Union bankrupt member state in order to "create" the big problem to which the European Union is going to "find" the "solution" soon. Greece was chosen because it symbolizes Europe (nobody in Europe cares about countries like Hungary or Estonia) and because its economy was relatively easy to devastate after it renounced its own currency.

The European "elites" are using Greece to persuade the sheeple that if the Greek problem is not fixed,  Southern Europe will go bankrupt which will trigger the collapse of the whole European financial system and thus the bankruptcy of the whole European economy.    

The "problem" is that the so-called Eurozone (where the euro currency replaced the national currencies) is doomed to collapse since the Southern European states (as well as the Eastern ones) cannot sustain their economy if they are no longer in position to devalue their own currency in order to boost export and tourism (they are now sucked to the euro currency.)

That's where corrupt globalist politicians played their role in weakening their own economy by every means but the current "global recession" triggered by the international Khazar bankers was the main part of the plan to bring the Southern and Eastern European economies to a breaking point as well as to weaken the US economy and collapse the Chinese, Indian and Russian economies.

The "only solution" soon to be proposed soon by the EU is to suppress the national fiscal and budgetary policies in Europe and have a centralized European budget. All European states will have to send most of their tax money to a central European government and the national budgets will be established by this central government too.

It is going to be a bit more complicated but it will mean that the European national governments will cease to exist. In parallel, the European Union is already announcing the "necessary" creation of a big European Army to match the predominant military power of the US in the NATO.

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Bank Of North Dakota: America's only 'socialist' bank is thriving during downturn

(AP) The Bank of North Dakota - the nation's only state-owned bank - might seem to be a relic.

But now officials in other states are wondering if it is helping North Dakota sail through the national recession.

Gubernatorial candidates in Florida and Oregon and a Washington state legislator are advocating the creation of state-owned banks in those states. A report prepared for a Vermont House committee last month said the idea had "considerable merit." Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore promotes the bank on his Web site.

"There's a lot of hurt out there, a lot of states that are in trouble, and they're tying the Bank of North Dakota together with this economic success that we're having right now," said the bank's president, Eric Hardmeyer.

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Britain at risk of worse deficit crisis than Greece

In surprise news which sent the pound sliding on Thursday, official figures showed that the Government borrowed £4.3 billion last month.

It was the first time since 1993 that the public finances had gone into the red in January – a month in which tax revenues usually push the Exchequer into the black.

Economists said that the scale of the shortfall in the budget could this year mount to above £180 billion – higher than even the Chancellor's forecast of a record £178 billion.

Such a deficit would, at 12.8 per cent of British gross domestic product, be even greater than the deficit faced in Greece, which is facing a full-scale fiscal crisis and may need to be bailed out by fellow euro nations or the International Monetary Fund.

The public borrowing figures coincided with further bad news from the housing market, as the Council of Mortgage Lenders reported that mortgage lending dropped last month by 32 per cent, hitting the lowest monthly total in a decade.

The Bank of England also reported a decline in lending to businesses, indicating that the economic slowdown is far from over.

The poor economic figures came as a major blow for the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, coming a month ahead of the Budget, which he had hoped would provide proof that the economy was finally on the mend.

The news also came ahead of Gordon Brown's unofficial launch to the Labour election campaign, which the Prime Minister hopes to base on his party's economic record and policies.

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Wall Street's bailout hustle

On January 21st, Lloyd Blankfein left a peculiar voicemail message on the work phones of his employees at Goldman Sachs. Fast becoming America's pre-eminent Marvel Comics supervillain, the CEO used the call to deploy his secret weapon: a pair of giant, nuclear-powered testicles. In his message, Blankfein addressed his plan to pay out gigantic year-end bonuses amid widespread controversy over Goldman's role in precipitating the global financial crisis.

The bank had already set aside a tidy $16.2 billion for salaries and bonuses — meaning that Goldman employees were each set to take home an average of $498,246, a number roughly commensurate with what they received during the bubble years. Still, the troops were worried: There were rumors that Dr. Ballsachs, bowing to political pressure, might be forced to scale the number back. After all, the country was broke, 14.8 million Americans were stranded on the unemployment line, and Barack Obama and the Democrats were trying to recover the populist high ground after their bitch-whipping in Massachusetts by calling for a "bailout tax" on banks. Maybe this wasn't the right time for Goldman to be throwing its annual Roman bonus orgy.

Not to worry, Blankfein reassured employees. "In a year that proved to have no shortage of story lines," he said, "I believe very strongly that performance is the ultimate narrative."

Translation: We made a shitload of money last year because we're so amazing at our jobs, so fuck all those people who want us to reduce our bonuses.

Goldman wasn't alone. The nation's six largest banks — all committed to this balls-out, I drink your milkshake! strategy of flagrantly gorging themselves as America goes hungry — set aside a whopping $140 billion for executive compensation last year, a sum only slightly less than the $164 billion they paid themselves in the pre-crash year of 2007. In a gesture of self-sacrifice, Blankfein himself took a humiliatingly low bonus of $9 million, less than the 2009 pay of elephantine New York Knicks washout Eddy Curry. But in reality, not much had changed. "What is the state of our moral being when Lloyd Blankfein taking a $9 million bonus is viewed as this great act of contrition, when every penny of it was a direct transfer from the taxpayer?" asks Eliot Spitzer, who tried to hold Wall Street accountable during his own ill-fated stint as governor of New York.

Beyond a few such bleats of outrage, however, the huge payout was met, by and large, with a collective sigh of resignation. Because beneath America's populist veneer, on a more subtle strata of the national psyche, there remains a strong temptation to not really give a shit. The rich, after all, have always made way too much money; what's the difference if some fat cat in New York pockets $20 million instead of $10 million?

The only reason such apathy exists, however, is because there's still a widespread misunderstanding of how exactly Wall Street "earns" its money, with emphasis on the quotation marks around "earns." The question everyone should be asking, as one bailout recipient after another posts massive profits — Goldman reported $13.4 billion in profits last year, after paying out that $16.2 billion in bonuses and compensation — is this: In an economy as horrible as ours, with every factory town between New York and Los Angeles looking like those hollowed-out ghost ships we see on History Channel documentaries like Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, where in the hell did Wall Street's eye-popping profits come from, exactly? Did Goldman go from bailout city to $13.4 billion in the black because, as Blankfein suggests, its "performance" was just that awesome? A year and a half after they were minutes away from bankruptcy, how are these assholes not only back on their feet again, but hauling in bonuses at the same rate they were during the bubble?

The answer to that question is basically twofold: They raped the taxpayer, and they raped their clients.

The bottom line is that banks like Goldman have learned absolutely nothing from the global economic meltdown. In fact, they're back conniving and playing speculative long shots in force — only this time with the full financial support of the U.S. government. In the process, they're rapidly re-creating the conditions for another crash, with the same actors once again playing the same crazy games of financial chicken with the same toxic assets as before.

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Inquiry clears US lawyers who approved torture at Guanta'namo Bay

An inquiry by the US justice department last night reprimanded two senior Bush era lawyers who approved the use of torture at Guantánamo Bay. The department found the two lawyers, John Yoo and Jay Bybee, guilty of poor judgment but not professional misconduct.

The lawyers wrote controversial memorandums dating from 2002 after the 9/11 attacks that provided legal cover for the CIA to use torture and other harsh interrogation techniques. The conclusion of the report, which marks a significant softening of the original draft, will disappoint human rights organisations. Publication of the report has been delayed for months amid fierce internal debate. If the two had been found guilty of professional misconduct, it would have had consequences for their immediate careers and opened the way for legal challenges.

The techniques approved by the lawyers included waterboarding, which Barack Obama has described as torture but the former vice-president, Dick Cheney, insisted was not. Detainees accused of the 9/11 attacks such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were repeatedly subjected to waterboarding. Harsh techniques were used against others picked up in Afghanistan and Pakistan and taken to Guantánamo.

The assistant attorney-general, Ronald Weich, found the two lawyers "exercised poor judgment in connection with the drafting of the pertinent memoranda". No disciplinary action is to be taken.

~ more... ~

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