No Complaining About the No Plane Evidence
I love the beginning about the engine that miraculously appeared on Church and Murray St.
I had done some work on that engine before, many years ago...
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President Obama received a rather lukewarm reception from Saudi royals when he landed in Riyadh on Wednesday. Saudi social media commentators noted that he was met with a reception led by the city’s mayor instead of King Salman, who greeted regional leaders with a great deal more gusto right after they landed. Nor did Obama exchange kisses with the Saudi leader, as his predecessor George W. Bush once did. But the alliance between Saudi Arabia and the United States is not quite what it used to be.
Tensions have reached new heights in recent weeks among suggestions that the Kingdom’s money was used to fund the 9/11 hijackers – three-fourths of whom were Saudi nationals. A proposal in Congress that might allow victims of that attack to sue the Kingdom if it’s found to have supported terrorism has further chilled relations. Saudis also feel snubbed by Obama’s suggestion that they could be among the “free-riders” he mentioned in an interview who benefit from the U.S. War on Terror but don’t contribute their fair share to the fight. More open relations with the Kingdom’s sworn enemy Iran haven’t helped either.
President Obama’s fourth visit to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council comes as human rights organizations have been pressing Congress to block arms sales to the kingdom in the wake of Saudi-led coalition strikes in Yemen. The United Nations estimates more than 3,000 civilians have been killed since the Saudi bombing campaign began last March.The Ugly, with a nice fat 33:
To talk more about the significance of President Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia, we’re joined by Bill Hartung, senior adviser to the Security Assistance Monitor, also director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Bill. The significance of this, President Obama’s fourth trip to Saudi Arabia?
WILLIAM HARTUNG: Well, the thing that amazes me is that since he met with the GCC leaders in May at Camp David last year, he’s approved $33 billion in weapons sales to the Gulf states, mostly to Saudi Arabia, at a time when the Saudis have been engaged in a brutal bombing campaign in Yemen, accused of possible war crimes, using cluster bombs, at least 3,200 civilians killed. And it’s not clear to what degree he brought this up, to what degree he’s threatened to cut off arms supplies. So, to me, that colors the whole event, because, basically, in the name of reassuring the Saudis about Iran, they’re allowing this to go on and actually facilitating the Saudi killing in Yemen.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Bill Hartung, you wrote a piece in The New York Times earlier this week headlined "Obama Shouldn’t Trade Cluster Bombs for Saudi Arabia’s Friendship." Now, in the piece, you write that Saudi-American arms deals are a, quote, "continuation of a booming business that has developed between Washington and Riyadh during the Obama years." So could you elaborate on that and also on the pressure that’s being put on the Obama administration, especially with respect to the use of cluster munitions in Saudi Arabia—in Yemen by Saudi Arabia?
WILLIAM HARTUNG: Well, under the Obama administration, we’ve made more arms deals with the Saudis than in other—any other time in history. And it’s been the full gamut. They’ve been combat ships, missile defense systems, fighter planes, attack helicopters, guns, bombs, missiles—basically, an entire arsenal. And on top of that, they are providing targeting information to the Saudis, refueling their aircraft. So they’re right in the middle of this conflict. And I think there’s a couple reasons for that. One is this notion of reassuring the Saudis about Iran. One is the underlying issue of oil politics, which I don’t believe has gone away. And one is the fact that it benefits large numbers of weapons contractors, like Boeing and Lockheed Martin and others.
WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.
Saudi officials have long denied that the kingdom had any role in the Sept. 11 plot, and the 9/11 Commission found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.” But critics have noted that the commission’s narrow wording left open the possibility that less senior officials or parts of the Saudi government could have played a role. Suspicions have lingered, partly because of the conclusions of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the attacks that cited some evidence that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot.
Those conclusions, contained in 28 pages of the report, still have not been released publicly.
The Saudi government and its affiliates have spent millions of dollars on U.S. law, lobby and public relations firms to raise the country’s visibility in the United States and before the United Nations at a crucial time. And some of Washington’s premier law and lobby firms — including Podesta Group, BGR Government Affairs, DLA Piper and Pillsbury Winthrop — have been tasked with the job, according to a review of Justice Department filings. Five lobby and PR firms were hired in 2015 alone, signaling a stepped-up focus on ties with Washington.And this...
On Sunday, Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders expressed their support for a bipartisan bill that would allow family members of 9/11 victims other terrorist attacks to sue foreign governments, such as Saudi Arabia, for restitution. The bill was introduced in September by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) and has sewn a rift between Senate Democrats and the White House.
The Saudi government has threatened to sell up to $750 billion in Treasury securities and other U.S. assets if the bill is passed. A White House spokesman on Monday hinted that Obama would veto the measure if Congress were to pass it.
In 2009, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make “the world free from nuclear weapons”. People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
It was all fake. He was lying. The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories. Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than $1 trillion.
A mini nuclear bomb is planned. It is known as the B61 Model 12. There has never been anything like it. General James Cartwright, a former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said, “Going smaller [makes using this nuclear] weapon more thinkable.” In the last eighteen months, the greatest build-up of military forces since World War Two — led by the United States — is taking place along Russia’s western frontier. Not since Hitler invaded the Soviet Union have foreign troops presented such a demonstrable threat to Russia. Ukraine – once part of the Soviet Union – has become a CIA theme park.
Having orchestrated a coup in Kiev, Washington effectively controls a regime that is next door and hostile to Russia: a regime rotten with Nazis, literally. Prominent parliamentary figures in Ukraine are the political descendants of the notorious OUN and UPA fascists. They openly praise Hitler and call for the persecution and expulsion of the Russian speaking minority. This is seldom news in the West, or it is inverted to suppress the truth.
In Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — next door to Russia – the US military is deploying combat troops, tanks, heavy weapons. This extreme provocation of the world’s second nuclear power is met with silence in the West. What makes the prospect of nuclear war even more dangerous is a parallel campaign against China. Seldom a day passes when China is not elevated to the status of a “threat”.
According to Admiral Harry Harris, the US Pacific commander, China is “building a great wall of sand in the South China Sea”. What he is referring to is China building airstrips in the Spratly Islands, which are the subject of a dispute with the Philippines – a dispute without priority until Washington pressured and bribed the government in Manila and the Pentagon launched a propaganda campaign called “freedom of navigation”. What does this really mean? It means freedom for American warships to patrol and dominate the coastal waters of China. Try to imagine the American reaction if Chinese warships did the same off the coast of California.
During the Clinton family seven-day vacation in August 1995 at the Rockefeller Teton Ranch outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the 85-year-old billionaire privately briefed the President and First Lady on UFOs and his hopes.
No one else knows exactly what was said, but at the time Mr Clinton, who had a personal interest in UFOs and was frustrated at the lack of information he could glean on it, was carrying out a review of how the Government handled confidential material.
Mrs Clinton was snapped later the same day walking through the ranch grounds deep in conversation with Rockefeller, clutching a copy of a book by Paul Davies called Are We Alone: Philosophical Implications of the Discovery of Extra-terrestrial Life.
Due to the persistence of researcher Grant Cameron, who used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain as much information about the initiative, before sharing it with the Paradigm group, we know the venture continued for just over another year.
A series of letters and memos between Rockefeller, co-campaigners, Dr Gibbons and other officials revealed the extent of discussions.
The documents also name both Clintons as being directly involved in the initiative after the meeting.(snip)
But Mr Bassett said Clinton's team has continued to "dance around the extra-terrestrial issue," citing these examples:
•Twenty-two months after Bill Clinton left office Mr Podesta called for the release of all UFO files to the public on October 22, 2002 at the National Press Club and did the same there a year later
•In March 2004 Clinton team member former Congressman Bill Richardson challenged the Air Force explanation for the Roswell in the foreword of the book, Roswell Dig Diaries, a Sci-Fi Channel publication
•In 2010 Mr Podesta restated his desire for disclosure in a foreword to the book UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record by Leslie Kean
•In February 2015 Mr Podesta tweeted: "My biggest failure of 2014: Once again not securing the #disclosure of the UFO files."
•On September 29, 2015 Mr Podesta tweeted about a reporter's interview with Mrs Clinton, saying: "Ask her about aliens next time! #thetruthisoutthere."
Afghan officials say at least 17 civilians were killed by U.S. drone strikes in Afghanistan on Wednesday. The first strike reportedly hit the truck of a local elder who was on his way to resolve a land dispute—killing the elder and 11 others. The second drone reportedly struck and killed two people were collecting their bodies. A third drone strike reportedly killed three more who had come to see what had happened.