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Friday, September 7, 2012

Spain's Capital Flight Now Worse Than Asian Financial Crisis

The flight of capital from Spain is now worse than what Indonesia, one of the hardest hit countries during the Asian financial crisis, experienced in the late 1990s, according to analysis by Nomura.

On a three-month rolling basis, portfolio and investment outflows from Spain totaled 52.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), (that's) more than double the outflows from Indonesia, which reached 23 percent of GDP at the time of the Asian crisis, Jens Nordvig, global head of G10 FX strategy at Nomura wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday.

Spaniards and foreign investors have been pulling money out of Spanish banks as the economy has worsened in recent months, and Nordvig said without the single currency and the flows from the ECB, Spain would already be going through a major currency crisis. (Read More: Depression, Suicides Rise as Euro Debt Crisis Intensifies)

We would stress that the broad-based nature of the capital flight, which involves both banking claims and securities and flows from both residents and non-residents, makes for a rather extreme overall outflow, and one that raises serious concerns about the implications for banking sector stability and economic growth,” Nordvig wrote.

According to Nomura, there are plenty of explanations for this, including the fact that the Spanish economy is more leveraged than Indonesia’s and the currency union allows very large capital movements to take place.

Data from the Bank of Spain, which Nomura highlighted, showed foreigners were large sellers of Spanish securities in the latest quarter, which generated an outflow of 19.4 percent of GDP. There was also a large outflow from Spanish residents accumulating foreign bank claims. In the latest quarter, the outflow from this source was 16.7 percent of GDP.

Spain is now front and center in the latest round of the euro zone debt crisis but the Spanish government has so far resisted asking for a bailout from the European Union and other international creditors, except for the aid already agreed to for its banking sector. (Read More: Spain Faces Post-Holiday Detox as Time Runs Out)

But Nomura’s economics team believes that Spain won’t be able to avoid a full-blown bailout, which would include a more active role of the ECB in the Spanish bond market.

“The scale of capital flight that took place over the last few months in Spain supports this view,” Nordvig said.

Italy and Spain Diverge

The capital outflows also show that Spain’s fortunes seem to be worsening much faster than those of Italy, a country with a much higher debt-to-GDP ratio.

“In Italy's case, both portfolio outflows and other investment outflows represent a touch more than 5 percent of GDP. For Spain, both sources of outflows are much larger; about 20 percent of GDP in the case of portfolio outflows and about 30 percent in the case of other investment outflows,” Nordvig said.

Nordvig also pointed out that while bank deposits had fallen at Spanish banks, they had remained quite stable at Italian banks.


New Russian ICBM can Carry bigger warhead

Russia’s new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile will have a 5-ton warhead, which is four times that of its predecessors, a former military commander said on Friday.

“The new ICBM will have a payload four times bigger than that of the Yars missile,” said Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin (Ret.), advisor to the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) commander, who served as SMF chief of staff in 1991-93.

“The 45-ton Yars has a payload of 1.2 tons. The new missile will be able to orbit a payload of 5 tons.”

The new missile will have a greater capability for missile defense penetration, he said.

R-36M2 Voyevoda ICBM

SMF chief Col. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said this past Monday that Russia will build a new ICBM by 2018. The new missile is to replace the R-36M2 Voyevoda (NATO reporting name SS-18 Satan) missile.

So far all of Russia’s recent ICBM projects, both sea-launched (Bulava) and ground-based (Topol-M, Yars), have been solid fuel.

RIA Novosti.

Topol-M ballistic missile

Karakayev said the new ICBM will have a launch mass of around 100 tons with a better payload-launch weight ratio than in a solid fuel missile.

Such ICBMs can only be deployed in silos.

The Russian Defense Ministry previously said that unless the United States abandons its plans to create a missile defense system in Europe, Russia will take counter measures, including building a new heavy liquid-propellant missile.

RIA Novosti

25,792,000 Unemployed And Underemployed

Sadly for the US labor force, today's number of reported unemployed people according to the Household Survey, which came at 12,544,000, or a drop from 12,794,000 (even as the number of employed declined as well from 142.2MM to 142.1MM), tells only half the story. 

As the following chart of the day, a bigger problem comes from the fact that in August another 8 million Americans were working part time, double what it was at the start of the Depression. 

Additionally, 5.2 million, also double the number 4 years ago, are marginally attached to the labor force. Combined, this adds up to 25.8 million, which is the real number of interest, even ignoring the nearly 400,000 who mysteriously dropped out of the labor force. 

As Bloomberg concludes, "It is likely firms have altered their hiring behavior following the recession, which has resulted in a low-wage bias that favors part-time and temporary workers." Sadly, this means that the change in the labor market is now secular, and the Fed will have to reassess everything it knows, just as it had to reevaluate its flawed understanding of Stock vs Flow, and why more and more are now calling for endless QE.

Federal judge awarded the U.S. government ownership of gold coins

A federal judge awarded the U.S. government ownership of 10 rare gold coins valued at roughly $80 million that have been missing for decades.
The 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle, named after its designer Augustus St. Gaudens, is "one of the most sought-after rarities in history," according to the U.S. Mint.

Though the double eagle was originally valued at $20, one such coin that belonged to King Farouk of Egypt sold for more than $7.5 million at a Sotheby's auction in the summer of 2002, making it the most valuable coins ever auctioned at the time.

The Philadelphia Mint struck 445,500 double eagles at the height of the Great Depression, but it pulled them back weeks later as President Theodore Roosevelt ordered U.S. banks to abandon the gold standard.
With most 1933 double eagles having been melted into gold bars, the Smithsonian was thought to have the only two coins left in existence.
It was eventually discovered, however, that Philadelphia Mint cashier George McCann spirited some away to local coin dealer Israel Switt.
In 2003, Switt's daughter and two grandsons - Joan, Roy and David Langbord - drilled open a safety deposit box. Inside that box, nestled among Switt's belongings, sat a gray paper Wanamaker's department store bag.
That bag contained 10 of the 1933 double eagles, wrapped in tissue paper.
After the Langbords handed over the coins to the Mint for authentication, the government seized the coins and stashed them in a vault at Fort Knox without compensating the family.

In July 2011, the Langbords tried to convince a federal jury that the coins could have escaped the Mint legitimately through a "window of opportunity" between March 15 and April 5, 1933.

The government's star expert, David Tripp, acknowledged gold coins could have left the Mint during that window, but he added that there were no records that 1933 Double Eagles did.

Jurors found that the coins were forfeited to the government, and U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis Jr. refused to disturb the verdict Wednesday.
"In the end, Tripp admitted on cross examination that there was a small 'window of opportunity' during which gold coin was authorized to be released from the Philadelphia Mint," Davis wrote. "And many gold coins did, in fact, leave the Mint during this period of time. ... But as Tripp correctly noted, the Mint records reflect that no 1933 Double Eagles were part of those transactions."
Nobody witnessed the disappearance of the 10 coins, but the jury "could - and did - properly infer criminal intent," he added.

"Not surprisingly, the jury in this case heard no testimony from anyone who was actually present at the Mint when the '33 Double Eagles first disappeared so many years ago - all the primary actors who might have told that tale have passed away," the 54-page order states. "But that certainly does not doom the Government's case because 'explicit evidence is not required to support a finding of specific intent.'"

Absent records surrounding the '33 Double Eagles speak to criminal intent.
"The Mint meticulously tracked the '33 Double Eagles, and the records show that no such transaction occurred," Davis wrote. "What's more, this absence of a paper trail speaks to criminal intent. If whoever took or exchanged the coins thought he was doing no wrong, we would expect to see some sort of documentation reflecting the transaction, especially considering how carefully and methodically the Mint accounted for the '33 Double Eagles. The jury saw no record of a legitimate '33 Double Eagle release, and from this lack of documentation one may reasonably infer that the responsible party appropriated the coins in secret, knowing full well the wrongfulness and illegality of his actions. 

Courthouse News Service

Earthquakes shake south-west China's Yunnan

A series of earthquakes has hit south-west China, leaving at least 50 people dead and 150 injured, state-run media say.

The quakes struck the border of Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, with the largest felt at 11:19 Beijing time (03:19 GMT), Xinhua news agency said.

The US Geological Survey registered the two strongest of the series of quakes at 5.6 magnitude.

The quakes affected mostly mountainous areas that saw landslides, reports say.

Zhang Junwei, a spokesman from the Yunnan seismological bureau, told the Associated Press (AP) agency that most of the deaths were from Yunnan's Yiliang county.

"The casualty number is still being compiled. I don't know what was like for the other towns, but my town got hit badly," another government official in Yiliang told AP.

No deaths have been reported in Guizhou so far.
'Roads blocked'

The death toll is expected to rise further, especially in areas affected by landslides, Xinhua says.

"Roads are blocked and rescuers have to climb the mountains to reach hard-hit villages," Li Fuchun, head of Yunnan's Luozehe town, was quoted as saying.

Xihua reported that at least 100,000 people have been evacuated and earlier reports said that more than 20,000 houses were damaged.

Mobile and regular phone service in the area was experiencing disruption, according to reports.

Hundreds of local residents had gathered on streets littered with bricks and rocks, television footage from state-run broadcaster CCTV showed.

Users of the Twitter-like weibo reported people rushing out of shaking office buildings, and photos posted online also showed streets strewn with rubble.

Hotel staff in the city of Zhaotong in Yunnan told the BBC that the quake shook the building, knocking things from tables and shelves, reports the BBC's John Sudworth.

They said that people had been asked to leave their rooms and traffic had stopped in the streets, but there are no sign of panic, our correspondent adds.

Local officials said teams had been sent to distribute tents and blankets to those affected.

The largest of the quakes was also felt in the neighbouring province of Sichuan, where a 7.8 magnitude quake in 2008 left tens of thousands dead.


Dragon Flood The Hidden Hand

Joseph Herrin (09-04-2012)

Salomon Rothschild

To clearly have unveiled to one’s eyes the vast deception that inundates the nations today the Christian must look beyond the realm of man to perceive those dark spiritual forces that have been at work among man since the fall of our first forebears in the Garden of Eden. Many people, and myriads of websites, books, and videos today are focused upon man’s part in the deception of this world. The Illuminati, Freemasonry, and organizations such as the Bildebergers, the Trilateral Commission, and the Counsel on Foreign Relations are real. These are instruments of Satan, pawns in his hand to accomplish his evil plans. However, if one does not perceive the hand behind these groups of men and women they will surely find it difficult to conceive of such wickedness being carried out over centuries, even millennia, ever marching forward to a goal.

Men are by consequence of the fall and a shortened lifespan quite impatient. They want to quickly partake of their happiness, pleasure, power, fame, wealth, or whatever it is their soul lusts after. It is unusual for a man to plan beyond his own generation. He may perhaps give some attention to leaving an inheritance to his living offspring, but seldom does any man make earthly plans that will not be realized until well after his generation has passed.

Satan, however, has a longer view of things. Satan is not constrained by the same mortal lifespan that God placed upon mankind. He has been alive and present throughout the entire history of humanity. He has been steadily advancing his plan to bring all earthbound creation under his dominion. We do err when we see no further than the human agents that Satan operates through. We must perceive the greater mind and power behind the scenes. The apostle Paul perceived that mankind’s greatest adversaries were not flesh and blood, but spiritual forces of darkness in league with Satan.

Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Martin Luther was confronted with many of the human agents of Satan during his struggle against the lies, corruption, and tyranny of the Roman Catholic Church. Nevertheless, Luther realized that the Christian’s greatest adversary was not the Pope, nor the emissaries of the Roman Church. He saw the diabolical hand behind evil men acting as their puppet master. In his famous song A Mighty Fortress is Our God, written in the year 1529, Luther made reference to mankind’s great and ancient enemy.

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us;
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

The saints of God are in a similar struggle today. There are many adversaries that threaten the disciples of Christ. We would err if we saw no further than the governments of men, including those invisible governments that appoint and control the leaders of nations.

About twenty years ago a friend presented to me a copy of the book The Unseen Hand: An Introduction to the Conspiratorial View of History by Ralph A. Epperson. It is an excellent book, extensively documented, revealing that there has been a cabal of international elites who have been orchestrating many world events for centuries. These men have started wars, overthrown governments, incited insurrections, and collapsed economies, all the while remaining unseen, hiding behind the visible governments and institutions of the nations.

Many governments, including that of America, are merely puppets to this secret cabal of hyper-wealthy bankers and industrialists. The reasons provided to the masses to justify wars and radical legislation are largely subterfuge and deceit. The citizenry are made to think that the national interests and security of their nation are under attack when the truth reveals that this is a ruse to further the ambitions and plans of an international coalition of men and women who believe it is their right to control the course of nations.

Although Epperson’s book was published in 1985, it is not difficult to perceive a continuance of the conspiratorial hand of a global elite in the last 27 years. The name of his book The Unseen Hand, is well chosen and insightful. Even as Satan seeks to operate through deception, so too do those servants of his among mankind seek to remain hidden, keeping their presence and activities obscured through deceit and anonymity.

Those who are in league with Satan have adopted the symbolism of the unseen hand to denote their occult (hidden from sight) activities. They have signaled their true allegiance and hidden agenda through symbols. A common symbol employed to denote that one is a servant of unseen masters is to have a picture or portrait made with one hand hidden inside of their clothing.

Napoleon Bonaparte

One of the best known depictions of a famous world leader with one hand hidden is that of Napoleon. Freemasonry claims Napoleon as one of their own. In the Royal Arch degree of Freemasonry the initiate is brought into deeper levels of the hidden mysteries of their organization. This is a key level, being the 7th degree of York Rite Freemasonry and the 13th degree of the Scottish Rite. At this level the Mason has disclosed before him the name of the god of Freemasonry. This name is Jahbulon.

The name Jahbulon is a perverse admixture of the name of Yah, the God of the Hebrews, with Bul (also known as Bel and Baal) of the Babylonians, and On (also called Osiris), the god of the Egyptians. Those things which have been hidden by secret societies out of fear of the reaction of the populace who hold other beliefs, are at the end of this age now beginning to come into the light of day. Satan’s influence upon society has increased to such an extent that he is beginning to show himself overtly, looking to the coming day when he will be worshiped openly by all men as the god of the world.

Jabulani Ball, 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer

At the World Cup match in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010, the soccer ball was custom made and bore the name Jabulani. The ball also bore a striking resemblance to a fly’s head. One of the names of Satan in the Bible is Beelzebub, which is translated “lord of the flies.” Furthermore, during these same South African games, the traditional vuvuzela horns were blown by the spectators. These horns make a sound described as similar to the buzzing of many flies.


During the initiation ceremony for the Royal Arch degree of Freemasonry, three men come together to form the Royal Arch. Each of the three men pronounce one part of the name of their god. The first man says “Jah,” the second “Bul,” and the third “On.” The name is considered too holy for any one man to declare fully. This is merely a deceit of Satan who wishes to have the individual names of the deities of Babylon and Egypt placed on the same level as the God of the Hebrew.

Jah-Bul-On Royal Arch

Satan is bringing these symbols more and more into the open as the end of the age nears. As he works to establish Babylon, his kingdom, upon the earth once more, these Satanic symbols will be expressed more openly. I perceived in the icon for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio De Janeiro that it is a stylized representation of the Royal Arch degree. This leads one to consider whether 2016 has been determined as the time when Satan will be declared openly as the god of this world.

Rio 2016 Royal Arch Icon

Returning to the symbol of the hidden hand and its relationship to government leaders who are directed by allegiances unknown to most of the population of their countries, we see that this is not an obscure matter. America’s very first president was a Freemason. George Washington’s Masonic apron is on display to this day in Philadelphia at the Masonic Lodge Museum in that city. The apron was presented to Washington in 1784 by the Marquis de Lafayette, a famous French Freemason who served in the Revolutionary War.

It should be noted that Washington began his first term as President in 1789, thus his allegiance and elevation within the lodge were already established.

George Washington’s Masonic Apron

There are a number of symbols and elements of this apron that indicate that Washington had passed the Royal Arch degree. Although it is not obvious from the picture due to fading over the years, one of the predominant colors is red. Red is the color of the Royal Arch degree. Around the circle at the top of the apron are letters that are associated with the Royal Arch degree, as is the rainbow that goes from one column to another forming an arch. It should not be surprising then that Washington had secret allegiances, having taken many oaths to serve a secret organization that was despised by the majority of Americans at the time. This secret allegiance is revealed in a number of portraits that were drawn of him as he posed with one hand hidden inside his garment.

George Washington Portrait by Charles Wilson Peale

Note also the placement of Washington’s feet. The alignment of the feet indicate the height to which a man has advanced in Freemasonry. The stance in which Washington is portrayed here by Charles Wilson Peale indicates that Washington had attained to the level of a Master Mason. At such a level Washington would have taken repeated oaths, uttering terrible imprecations against his own life if he failed to uphold his allegiance to Freemasonry. The above portrait was made while Washington was 52 years old, five years before he began serving as President.

Another Portrait of Washington by Peale

Yet Another Portrait of Washington by Peale

The image of the hidden hand, like the all seeing eye, is intrinsically linked to Freemasonry. It reveals that the person has allegiances that are secret, that they serve a master that is kept hidden from the masses of the uninitiated. In the recently published book The Temple and the Lodge written by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, the history of the Knight’s Templar and the Freemasons are delved into. The book includes the following statements.

Of the fifty-six signatories of the Declaration of Independence, only nine can definitely be identified as Freemasons, while ten others may possibly have been. Of the general officers in the Continental Army, there were so far as documentation can establish, thirty-three Freemasons out of seventy-four. Granted the known Freemasons were, as a rule, more prominent, more instrumental in shaping the course of events than their unaffiliated colleagues...

On 25 May 1787, the Constitutional Convention opened in Philadelphia and commenced its efforts to devise the machinery of government for the new nation. The first voice to make itself heard in any significantly influential way was a characteristically Freemasonic one, that of Edmund Randolph.. Randolph...a member of a Williamsburg lodge, had become Washington's aide-de-camp. Subsequently he was to become Attorney-General, then governor of Virginia and Grand Master of Virginia's Grand Lodge. During Washington's presidency, he was to serve as the first Attorney-General of the United States, then the first Secretary of State...

There were ultimately five dominant and guiding spirits behind the Constitution - Washington, Franklin, Randolph, Jefferson and John Adams. Of these, the first three were active Freemasons, but men who took their Freemasonry extremely seriously - men who subscribed fervently to its ideals, whose entire orientation had been shaped and conditioned by it. And Adam's position, though he himself is not known to have been a Freemason was virtually identical to theirs. When he became president, moreover, he appointed a prominent Freemason, John Marshall, as first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
[End Excerpts]

The influence of Freemasonry in Washington’s life is further observed in that the oath he took as President on April 30, 1789 was administered by the Grand Master of Masons in New York, Robert R. Livingston. This strikes me as extremely significant that the oath of office for the first president of the United States was administered by a Masonic Grand Master. It gives one pause to consider to whom the true allegiance and oath was made.

I am quite certain that this information was not included in your American history lessons in the public school systems. From the cradle to the grave Americans are propagandized. They are fed a diet of falsehood and deception that will lead them to become good corporate citizens and patriotic supporters of a government that is at its heart Luciferian. If you find such a blunt declaration of the truth offensive, I consider you to judge this matter by the fruit you see, as Christ counseled His disciples to do. Can a government that began by giving implicit consent to the slave trade, that has declared it to be a basic right for a woman to murder her baby while in the womb, that has become the world’s chief proponent of homosexuality, be in any way deemed to be Christian? If it is true that a tree is known by its fruit, then as fruit inspectors we must conclude that Satan is the true guiding force in this nation’s government, and has been from its inception. This will be made abundantly clear in the next chapter.

My aim in pointing these things out is to reveal that the world is drowning in falsehood and deception. It is also my desire to exhort the saints of God to look beyond the human hand to see the dark spiritual forces that are ruling in the shadows.

Although Ralph Epperson does an admirable job of revealing the hidden works of a secret government behind the visible governments of men, one thing you will not find in his book is a deeper delving to see that there is a further layer of control behind all. The Masons at the highest levels acknowledge a higher spiritual power that is directing them. The eye atop the pyramid on the Great Seal of the United States represents that spiritual being that is above all governments in this fallen world system. It is a symbol of Satan who parades himself as the all wise, all knowing, Grand Architect of the Universe.

The very word Mason is associated with building. All builders must be directed by a chief architect. The chief architect of the Freemasons is Lucifer. Only those who have passed through many degrees and have been deemed worthy and loyal, having their minds amenable to accept Lucifer as the god of light and truth, have the true character of Freemasonry revealed to them. Albert Pike, author of the encyclopedic Masonic tome titled Morals and Dogma stated that to the brothers of the 30th degree and above it could be divulged that their teachings were “Luciferian doctrines.” Satan is the great deceiver who deceives the whole world. He practices deception even upon his own followers.

II Corinthians 4:4
The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

In a well staged puppet show the one hand that is not seen is that of the puppet master. Today Satan is pulling the strings of mankind. Billions are dancing to his tune. Satan’s chief instrument to manipulate mankind and shape their actions is deception. He is like the Pied Piper. As he pipes his tune the masses of mankind are responding, following blindly wherever he leads.

As a Christian growing up in America I was fully immersed in the flood waters of Satanic propaganda. The enemy has been setting forth a picture of reality that is completely false. Americans are saturated with a fictional world view whose author is Satan. There is no nation on earth that has escaped from this diabolical shaping of their views and beliefs. Tragically, the people of God have been no more successful in escaping the control of the puppet master than those who are strangers to the kingdom of God. The church has been drinking the waters pouring forth from the mouth of the dragon without discretion or discernment.

It is needful at this time for the people of God to wake up, to recognize the extent of the lies all around them. If they do not they will be swept away by the waters of the great dragon.

Joseph Herrin

Christian Family Refuses Mandatory RFID Chip at Texas School

Don’t attack Iran, Russia warns Israel and U.S.

MOSCOW — Russia has starkly warned Israel and the United States against attacking Iran, saying Moscow sees no evidence that Tehran’s nuclear program is aimed at developing weapons, the Interfax news agency reported on Thursday.

“We warn those who are no strangers to military solutions … that this would be harmful, literally disastrous for regional stability,” Interfax quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying.

An attack on Iran “would set off deep shocks in the security and economic spheres that would reverberate far beyond the boundaries of the Middle East region,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

Russian officials have issued similar warnings in the past, but Ryabkov’s remarks appeared to underscore Moscow’s concern about the possibility that Israel might attack Iranian nuclear facilities.

Heightened Israeli rhetoric about the facilities, which Western powers believe are part of a program to develop a nuclear weapons capability, has stoked speculation that Israel may attack Iran before the U.S. presidential election in November.

Ryabkov said there were no indications of a military nuclear program and suggested monitoring by the U.N. nuclear agency was a strong guarantee.

“We, as before, see no signs that there is a military dimension to Iran’s nuclear program. No signs,” Interfax quoted Ryabkov – Russia’s point man for diplomacy on Iran’s nuclear programme – as saying.

We, as before, see no signs that there is a military dimension to Iran’s nuclear program. No signs

“We see something different — that there is nuclear material … in Iran that is under the control of inspectors, specialists of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“This nuclear material is not being shifted to military needs, this is officially confirmed by the (IAEA).”

His remarks appeared to be at odds with mounting concern voiced by the U.N. atomic watchdog about possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.

The IAEA said last week that Iran had doubled the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges in an underground bunker in a few months, showing it continued to expand its nuclear program despite sanctions and the threat of an Israeli attack. The new machines are not yet operating, it added.

It also said that in the last decade, it had become “increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military related organizations”.

Nuclear proliferation expert Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the International Institute of Strategic Studies think-tank and a former senior U.S. state department official, said that on one level Ryabkov’s remarks were in line with Western views.

“If … he means (Russia sees) no evidence that Iran is aiming to cross the threshold from capability to weapons production, then Ryabkov’s statement is the same as the collective view of the United States and its European allies.

“But Ryabkov goes too far in giving Iran the benefit of the doubt when he says Russia sees no signs of a military dimension … Maybe he means that the evidence is not yet confirmed. But there are certainly ample ‘signs’,” he said.

“Surely Russian intelligence is not so blind.”

Surely Russian intelligence is not so blind

While Russia is a partner of the United States and four other powers in diplomatic efforts to ensure Tehran does not acquire nuclear weapons, it says the West is undermining those efforts with sanctions and the threat of attack.

“In recent times the tendency to use sanctions to achieve aims that are beyond reach in principle by means of pressure has become a passion that … politicians on both sides of the Atlantic cannot overcome,” Interfax quoted Ryabkov as saying.

A permanent UN Security Council member with veto power, Russia says it opposes further sanctions beyond the measures approved in four Security Council resolutions, the most recent in 2010.

National Post

Invisible Russian submarine

In June-July, the Akula-class submarine, an attack warship capable of carrying long-range ballistic missiles, travelled in the Gulf of Mexico patrolling the US coast. The US satellites and hydro-acoustic sensors failed to spot it. The US Navy spotted only the submarine’s tail when it was leaving the waters of the Gulf.

Without breaking international law a Russian nuclear-powered submarine has successfully accomplished its training mission near the coast of the US. The submarine, which is equipped with long-range cruise missiles, shuttled for one month in the Gulf of Mexico without being detected by the US Navy, Washington Free Beacon reports citing unnamed high ranking sources in the Pentagon. The US Navy detected the submarine only when it was leaving the waters of the Gulf.

Without violating international legislation and the sovereignty of another state the Russian Navy has managed to accomplish several tactical and strategic tasks. First, the crew has completed a successful training mission. Second, the Russian military forces have received data about the routes of the US submarines and ships in the Gulf. Russia has also showed the US that an absolutely flawless security system does not exist, Vladimir Yevseyev, head of the Center of social and political studies, said:

"This is a good lesson for the US, demonstrating that it should not pursue its foreign policy interests all over the world using force. Other states also have some military potential. If the US pursues its national interests only by means of force a boomerang effect will take place. The US should realize that it is also vulnerable because the anti-missile system is not efficient enough when it comes to cruised missiles, that can fly at low altitudes. Nuclear submarines carry cruise missiles, that cannot be detected using conventional means designed for repelling ballistic missiles attacks. Cruise missiles create a breach in anti-missile defense. They show that an ideal anti-missile system does not exist. This destroys the image of the US’ invincibility, which backs its policy of all permissiveness on the global arena."

While Russian military experts are congratulating each other on the successful mission, the US’ inability to spot a submarine aroused concerns in the military circles. So far there have been no official statements from the US authorities and the military. But it is unlikely that the information leak was accidental. By disclosing this information the Pentagon is trying to convince the Congress not to reduce expenditure on military needs, Alexander Kramchikhin, expert with the Institute of political and military studies, says:

"I don’t doubt that this information was disclosed in connection with the budget. Now significant cuts of the US military budget are under way and this campaign is aimed at preventing budget cuts in the Navy."

Akula is a multi-purpose submarine of the Russian Navy, which is distinguished by a high level of stealth. Russia has produced 15 submarines of this class and transferred one of them to India.

Voice of Russia

The President criteria for approving drone attacks

President Obama doesn’t like to talk about how he uses drones to kill suspected militants — including American citizens. Explanations about who gets picked for remote-control death and who does the picking are left to underlings and aides. Just a few days ago, for example, Obama blew off a local Cincinnati television reporter who asked the president about his “kill list.”

On Wednesday, however, CNN’s Jessica Yellin managed to get Obama to open up, just a little, about his criteria for approving drone attacks. His comments may have been the president’s most extensive so far on robot warfare. They were also total baloney, outside experts say.

As the Bureau of Investigative Journalism notes, Obama told CNN that a terror suspect had to pass five tests before the administration would allow him to be taken out by a drone. “Drones are one tool that we use, and our criteria for using them is very tight and very strict,” the president said.

1 “It has to be a target that is authorised by our laws.”

2 “It has to be a threat that is serious and not speculative.”

3 “It has to be a situation in which we can’t capture the individual before they move forward on some sort of operational plot against the United States.”

4 “We’ve got to make sure that in whatever operations we conduct, we are very careful about avoiding civilian casualties.”

5 “That while there is a legal justification for us to try and stop [American citizens] from carrying out plots … they are subject to the protections of the Constitution and due process.”

At least two of those five points appear to be half-truths at best. In both Yemen and Pakistan, the CIA is allowed to launch a strike based on the target’s “signature” — that is, whether he appears to look and act like a terrorist. As senior U.S. officials have repeatedly confirmed, intelligence analysts don’t even have to know the target’s name, let alone whether he’s planning to attack the U.S. In some cases, merely being a military-aged male at the wrong place at the wrong time is enough to justify your death.

“What I found most striking was his claim that legitimate targets are a ‘threat that is serious and not speculative,’ and engaged in ‘some operational plot against the United States,’ That is simply not true,” emails the Council on Foreign Relations’ Micah Zenko, who has tracked the drone war as closely as any outside analyst. “The claim that the 3,000+ people killed in roughly 375 nonbattlefield targeted killings were all engaged in actual operational plots against the U.S. defies any understanding of the scope of what America has been doing for the past ten years.”

A third point — that an American citizen is given the “protections of the Constitution” before he’s approved for unmanned killing — is dubious. Yes, there is a process that the White House uses to vet proposed drone targets. Several government officials review a suspected terrorist’s dossier before an attack on that person is okayed. This is an internal review by presidential aides, not subject to any kind of independent authority, and obviously not one in which a target’s representatives can contest the case. It’s enough to condemn someone to death. The Obama administration has argued that this is the same as the “due process of law” guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

Legal scholars have found the argument flimsy — with no coherent standard of evidence that amounts to an instant death sentence, and no limits to where that sentence can be carried out. in a January Google Hangout — one of the few other times Obama has even mentioned the drone campaign — he said that targeting decisions were not managed by “a bunch of folks in a room somewhere just making decisions.” Actually, it appears to be something rather close to that.

When Yellin pressed further, asking Obama if he himself made the ultimate decisions about who should live and who should die, Obama demurred, saying, “I’ve got to be careful here. There are classified issues… I can’t get too deeply into how these things work.”

But, as Zenko notes, “that is total BS. The President has the authority to declassify anything. That authority was reaffirmed by the White House in one of its first executive orders,” issued in 2009. If the president felt like talking about the drone approval process, he could. Obama doesn’t have to leave the discussion up to unnamed officials, former subordinates, and authored leakers. He chooses to do so, presumably because the issues involved are so thorny.

Twice in the interview, Obama complained about “misreporting” by the media about the drone campaign. “A lot of what you read in the press that purports to be accurate isn’t always accurate,” Obama said. What he didn’t mention was his own role in perpetuating the confusion.

Turkish officers take command of Syrian rebel brigades.

Turkish army officers have assumed direct command of the first two Syrian rebel brigades fighting Bashar Assad’s government forces, according toDEBKAfile’s exclusive sources. This step has sent military tensions rocketing on Israel’s northern borders with Syria and Lebanon in case of a backlash.

The rebel North Liberators Brigade in the Idlib region of northern Syria and the Tawhid Brigade fighting in the Al-Bab area northeast of Aleppo are now taking their operational orders from Turkish officers, who exercise their authority from headquarters outside Syria in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep. 

Nonetheless, Turkey is considered to have stepped directly into the Syrian conflict marking the onset of foreign intervention.

Western and Arab military circles in the Middle East expect Turkey to extend its command to additional rebel units – not all of them part of the Free Syrian Army.
This first step has already caused waves.

1. The consequences of Turkish military action in Syria were urgently aired with CIA Director David Petraeus when he arrived in Ankara Monday, Sept. 3, DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources reveal. After hearing how and when Ankara proposed to expand its role in the Syrian conflict, Petraeus discussed with Turkish military and intelligence chiefs the likely Syrian, Iranian and Hizballah responses.
He then flew to Israel to continue the discussion there.

2. By then, US, Turkish and Israeli intelligence watchers were reporting unusual military movements in Syria and on Hizballah turf in southern Lebanon – suspected of being preparations for a blowback from the Turkish intervention in Syria.
3. The IDF countered by placing its units guarding the Syrian and Lebanese borders on a state of alert. Wednesday, Sept. 5, an Iron Dome battery was installed in Gush Dan to head off a potential Hizballah missile barrage on central Israel and its hub, Tel Aviv.

4. Later that day, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan commented: "The regime in Syria has now become a terrorist state."

Only a few of Erdogan's listeners understood he was laying international legal grounding for expanding Turkish military intervention in Syria.

DEBKAfile's military sources report that Thursday, Sept. 6, military temperatures remained high-to-feverish along Syria's borders with Turkey and Israel, and along Lebanon's borders with Syria and Israel.