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Moscow to spend over $720 bln on new military aircraft

Moscow to spend over $720 bln on new military aircraft

Russia’s air force will get 1,600 new warplanes and choppers by 2020, announced President Vladimir Putin. The program will cost Moscow some US $723 billion.

­“We are talking primarily about providing our forces with state-of-the-art modern technology,” Putin said at an air show in the Moscow Region ahead of the 100th anniversary of the country’s air force. “Over 600 new warplanes and 1,000 helicopters will come into service by 2020 – not mentioning the upgrade to already existing systems.”

Putin thanked industry workers and officers for helping the aviation “endure the difficult times of the 1990’s and early 2000’s.” He also added that the role of a strengthened air force in Russia’s armed forces will be increasing.

The renovation will primarily cover the long-range strategic aviation, tactical aviation, army air force, combined with the introduction of high-precision armament, electronic warfare defense systems, and unmanned reconnaissance aircraft systems.

Speaking at the air show, Putin pointed out that much of this planned work has already begun.

The Russian military faced tremendous spending cuts in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. During his presidential campaign, Putin defined the strengthening of the country’s military as one of his primary goals.

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FBI StagedTerror Plots – Convincing You the Threat is Real

Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

By DAVID K. SHIPLER

War on Terror – Saving us from ourselves.

THE United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts.

But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested.

When an Oregon college student, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, thought of using a car bomb to attack a festive Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in Portland, the F.B.I. provided a van loaded with six 55-gallon drums of “inert material,” harmless blasting caps, a detonator cord and a gallon of diesel fuel to make the van smell flammable. An undercover F.B.I. agent even did the driving, with Mr. Mohamud in the passenger seat. To trigger the bomb the student punched a number into a cellphone and got no boom, only a bust.

This is legal, but is it legitimate? Without the F.B.I., would the culprits commit violence on their own? Is cultivating potential terrorists the best use of the manpower designed to find the real ones? Judging by their official answers, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department are sure of themselves — too sure, perhaps.

Carefully orchestrated sting operations usually hold up in court. Defendants invariably claim entrapment and almost always lose, because the law requires that they show no predisposition to commit the crime, even when induced by government agents. To underscore their predisposition, many suspects are “warned about the seriousness of their plots and given opportunities to back out,” said Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman. But not always, recorded conversations show. Sometimes they are coaxed to continue.

Undercover operations, long practiced by the F.B.I., have become a mainstay of counterterrorism, and they have changed in response to the post-9/11 focus on prevention. “Prior to 9/11 it would be very unusual for the F.B.I. to present a crime opportunity that wasn’t in the scope of the activities that a person was already involved in,” said Mike German of the American Civil Liberties Union, a lawyer and former F.B.I. agent who infiltrated white supremacist groups. An alleged drug dealer would be set up to sell drugs to an undercover agent, an arms trafficker to sell weapons. That still happens routinely, but less so in counterterrorism, and for good reason.

“There isn’t a business of terrorism in the United States, thank God,” a former federal prosecutor, David Raskin, explained.

“You’re not going to be able to go to a street corner and find somebody who’s already blown something up,” he said. Therefore, the usual goal is not “to find somebody who’s already engaged in terrorism but find somebody who would jump at the opportunity if a real terrorist showed up in town.”

And that’s the gray area. Who is susceptible? Anyone who plays along with the agents, apparently. Once the snare is set, law enforcement sees no choice. “Ignoring such threats is not an option,” Mr. Boyd argued, “given the possibility that the suspect could act alone at any time or find someone else willing to help him.”

Typically, the stings initially target suspects for pure speech — comments to an informer outside a mosque, angry postings on Web sites, e-mails with radicals overseas — then woo them into relationships with informers, who are often convicted felons working in exchange for leniency, or with F.B.I. agents posing as members of Al Qaeda or other groups.

Some targets have previous involvement in more than idle talk: for example, Waad Ramadan Alwan, an Iraqi in Kentucky, whose fingerprints were found on an unexploded roadside bomb near Bayji, Iraq, and Raja Khan of Chicago, who had sent funds to an Al Qaeda leader in Pakistan.

But others seem ambivalent, incompetent and adrift, like hapless wannabes looking for a cause that the informer or undercover agent skillfully helps them find. Take the Stinger missile defendant James Cromitie, a low-level drug dealer with a criminal record that included no violence or hate crime, despite his rants against Jews. “He was searching for answers within his Islamic faith,” said his lawyer, Clinton W. Calhoun III, who has appealed his conviction. “And this informant, I think, twisted that search in a really pretty awful way, sort of misdirected Cromitie in his search and turned him towards violence.”

THE informer, Shahed Hussain, had been charged with fraud, but avoided prison and deportation by working undercover in another investigation. He was being paid by the F.B.I. to pose as a wealthy Pakistani with ties to Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist group that Mr. Cromitie apparently had never heard of before they met by chance in the parking lot of a mosque.

“Brother, did you ever try to do anything for the cause of Islam?” Mr. Hussain asked at one point.

“O.K., brother,” Mr. Cromitie replied warily, “where you going with this, brother?”

Two days later, the informer told him, “Allah has more work for you to do,” and added, “Revelation is going to come in your dreams that you have to do this thing, O.K.?” About 15 minutes later, Mr. Hussain proposed the idea of using missiles, saying he could get them in a container from China. Mr. Cromitie laughed.

Reading hundreds of pages of transcripts of the recorded conversations is like looking at the inkblots of a Rorschach test. Patterns of willingness and hesitation overlap and merge. “I don’t want anyone to get hurt,” Mr. Cromitie said, and then explained that he meant women and children. “I don’t care if it’s a whole synagogue of men.” It took 11 months of meandering discussion and a promise of $250,000 to lead him, with three co-conspirators he recruited, to plant fake bombs at two Riverdale synagogues.

“Only the government could have made a ‘terrorist’ out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in its scope,” said Judge Colleen McMahon, sentencing him to 25 years. She branded it a “fantasy terror operation” but called his attempt “beyond despicable” and rejected his claim of entrapment.

The judge’s statement was unusual, but Mr. Cromitie’s characteristics were not. His incompetence and ambivalence could be found among other aspiring terrorists whose grandiose plans were nurtured by law enforcement. They included men who wanted to attack fuel lines at Kennedy International Airport; destroy the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) in Chicago; carry out a suicide bombing near Tampa Bay, Fla., and bomb subways in New York and Washington. Of the 22 most frightening plans for attacks since 9/11 on American soil, 14 were developed in sting operations.

Another New York City subway plot, which recently went to trial, needed no help from government. Nor did a bombing attempt in Times Square, the abortive underwear bombing in a jetliner over Detroit, a planned attack on Fort Dix, N.J., and several smaller efforts. Some threats are real, others less so. In terrorism, it’s not easy to tell the difference.

SOURCE

10 Lies Enshrined by H.Res. 391 to “Never Forget” 9/11

10 Lies Enshrined by H.Res. 391 to “Never Forget” 9/11

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The official version of the events of 9/11 are deemed written in stone according to a new 5-page House Resolution (pdf) which was passed to Never Forget 9/11. The intention is great, in theory. However, the facts are completely warped.

Enumerated below is a summary of the points of the Resolution, with links providing outright refutation, or questions surrounding such statements.

Whereas,

1. The fourth plane was prevented from being used as a weapon against America by brave passengers: While this narrative is emotionally compelling, the facts of flight 93 remain open for debate. For starters, there are too many inconsistencies with the notion that cell phone calls could have been made from the plane that day. Thus, this storyline seems immediately debunked considering the faulty source of supposed communication. Most likely the plane was shot down, as Donald Rumsfeld said on video. The size of the debris field also indicated a break-up prior to impact.

2. The attacks destroyed both towers of the World Trade Center, as well as adjacent buildings: This seems to acknowledge Building 7 — a building that was not mentioned by the 9-11 Commission report. Building 7 was undeniably a controlled demolition, never having been hit by a plane. WTC lease-owner Larry Silverstein is even on video admitting to the planned demolition.

3. The attacks targeted symbols of America’s success and were intended to assail its noble principles, values and freedoms. Since 9/11, the United States has grossly assailed its own principles, values, and freedoms in the reaction to the attacks through preemptive wars, torture, removal of Habeas Corpus, and all of the atrocities to freedom that the PATRIOT Act and the Department of Homeland Security have inflicted. The current principles don’t seem so noble when your child is being fondled by the TSA.

4. Memorials have been constructed to honor the victims of these attacks and to pay tribute to the heroic action of those who have served our communities and our country: First responders who risked their lives were first deceived about the air quality by the EPA, made to fight and beg for sufficient health care, run through a terror watch list, and have been denied a place at 10th Anniversary Ceremony, which is supposedly being given to honor courage and resolve. Quite a tribute!

5. 10 years after 9/11, 2001, the U.S. continues to fight terrorists and other extremists. All major terror groups, and their actions — most notably Al Qaeda — have in fact been supported by the U.S. government, while the anti-terror apparatus now ignores even its own justification by turning it on average, law-abiding, peaceful Americans. Are we supposed to honor that this misguided war continues with no end in sight?

6. Numerous laws have been enacted to assist victims of terrorism, combat terrorism at home and abroad, and support members of the Armed Forces: The American government lied them into wars of aggression, allowed private insurers to steal death benefits from the families of veterans, and demonized returning veterans as potential terrorists. Bravo!

7. To express gratitude to the efforts of personnel involved in the removal of Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden had been dead 9 times over before the staged hoax of his “removal.” His initial training and funding provably came from the CIA, and the FBI could never provide evidence of his involvement in the September 11th attacks. At this point, who cares about bin Laden anyway? He seems to be just one of the many puppets being used to continue the phony War on Terror.

8. The terrorist attacks that have occurred around the world since 9/11/01 remind us of the hateful inhumanity of terrorism: Excellent point, so long as the Western-backed NATO “humanitarian missions” are included as terrorist attacks being referred to.

9. The Nation is indebted to all personnel serving in war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan in advancement of national interests. The interests served are actually global corporate interests, not American interests, as they have provably weakened America financially and morally.

10. Thousands of families have lost loved ones in the defense of freedom and liberty against the tyranny of terror and not diminished the pain caused by the senseless loss of 3,000 persons killed on 9/11/01. They were not the only ones. Mass tyrannical invasions and drone strikes have killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions more around the world. It’s true that freedom fighters, defending their homeland from outside invasion, have been tortured and maimed. Wait, who’s defending freedom and liberty, and who is initiating violence and tyranny?

This Resolution is an appalling attempt to convince the nation to lie to itself, despite polls which continue to show that a majority of Americans think we overreacted, overspent and weakened ourselves through the War on Terror. This proposal by Eric Cantor wishes to enshrine a false view of both history and the present . . . and set it in stone for the future. How can America hope to reverse the race downhill to tyranny and infamy without analyzing facts? We need to voice our outrage over this despicable cover-up and propagandizing of a national tragedy — that tragedy being 9/11 AND the decade of worldwide oppression that has followed. Indeed, let us never forget.

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