Finally Fingering The Usual Suspects

I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

Intell report says China, Russia stealing US secrets

After years of suspicions and mounting evidence, the United States has formally called out China and Russia on cyber espionage, accusing the countries of stealing U.S. economic and technology secrets. China quickly denied the accusation.

In a report, “Foreign Spies Stealing U.S. Economic Secrets in Cyberspace,” the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive also said U.S. allies have used online methods to help themselves to sensitive information, although the report does not name those countries. 

Read the report:
Foreign Spies Stealing U.S. Economic Secrets in Cyberspace 

See also:
In a world of cybertheft, U.S. names China, Russia as main culprits
Foreign cyber thieves stealing U.S. trade secrets, agency warns
China Singled Out for Cyberspying
US calls out Russia and China over hacking attacks
U.S. finally acknowledges Chinese and Russian cyberthreat
DNI Report on Economic Cyberespionage
US Report Cites Growing Economic Cyber Espionage
Report: Russia and China are top thieves of U.S. technology
Here’s The U.S. Government Report That Openly Calls Out China On Economic Cyberspying
US Official Singles Out China, Russia on Cyber-Spying
China, Russia top offenders in cyber stealing: US
US report blasts China, Russia for cybercrime
China hits back over US claims of online spying
China scorns U.S. cyber espionage charges

Gee, what have I been posting here for years now? It’s not like the massive, out of control Chinese and Russian cyberspying has been some sort of well kept secret. Oh well, I suppose better late than never, at least now the United States government is actually, publicly acknowledging the problem.

/and now I ask again, what are we going to do about the problem, can we please stop being the world’s cyberdoormat and speed bump on the superhighway to stolen intellectual property?

How’s Your Kinetic Military Action Going Samantha?

Hey, check out our U.S. allies in Libya. It’s bad enough that they’re militarily inept and have dragged us, willingly, into an expensive quagmire, but now they’re killing each other!

Libya rebel leader Younes killed, Benghazi wobbles

That Abdel Fateh Younes, the longtime enforcer for Muammar Qaddafi whose stunning defection to the Libyan rebellion in February was an early indication of the depth of the challenge to Qaddafi’s regime, is dead, you can take to the bank. General Younes had been head of the embryonic rebel army from practically the moment he’d switched sides.

As far as the rest of the story – who killed him, when, precisely where, and why – all remains murk and conjecture, created by cross-cutting rivalries within the rebellion and the often misleading and contradictory way that Libya’s Transitional National Council (TNC) communicates with the press and the Libyan public.

See also:
Libyan Rebels Military Leader Killed in Mysterious Circumstances
Libyan Rebels Say Military Chief Shot Dead
Libyan rebels say their military chief is dead
Libyan rebel chief dead
Libyan rebel leader Younis shot dead
Death of military chief weakens Libyan rebels
US says commander’s mysterious killing is another challenge for Libyan rebels fighting Gadhafi
Libyan rebels in disarray after mysterious killing of leading military commander
Commander’s Killing Creates Challenges for Post-Al Qathafi Libya
Libyan Rebel Leader’s Death Fuels Fears Of Fracturing
Libya: Who Killed Abdel Fattah Younis, the Rebel Leader?
Who killed Abdel-Fattah Younis? Death of military chief worries Libyan rebels’ Western backers
Killing of general risks Libya rebel split
WRAPUP 7-Mystery surrounds killing of Libyan rebel army head
Libyan rebels ‘killed their own leader’
‘Double agent’ Libyan rebel leader Abdel Fattah Younis shot dead
Editorial: Body blow to TNC
Libya: Thousands Attend Abdel-Fattah Younis Funeral, But Death Remains Unexplained
Funeral Held For Libyan Rebel Military Chief

Let’s recap, we can drop thousands of tons of bombs on Libya, kill civilians, destroy infrastructure, and yet Muammar Gaddafi is still alive and well, thumbing his nose at Obama. Meanwhile, our Libyan allies, the Transitional National Council (TNC) are busy killing each other and they have no hope of ever sacking Tripoli. So, The Beat Goes On, a stalemate and, adding insult to ridiculousness, the U.S. taxpayer is stuck picking up the tab for this “Three Stooges go to war” farce.

/where’s Samantha Power been these last few months, anyone seen her, she’s got a hell of a lot of explaining to do?

Taking Questionable Sides In A Foreign Civil War

It’s official, we’re no longer hiding behind the fictitious fig leaf of “responsibility to protect” civilians (R2P), we’re now showing our true colors. We’re in Libya for regime change. I’m not quite sure when the United Nations approved that?

US, allies formally recognize Libya rebels

The United States granted Libyan rebel leaders full diplomatic recognition as the governing authority of Libya yesterday, after five months of fighting to oust longtime ruler Moammar Khadafy.

The decision at a meeting here of more than 30 Western and Arab nations is the first step in giving the rebels access to Libya’s frozen US assets, worth more than $30 billion.

“I am announcing today that, until an interim authority is in place, the United States will recognize the TNC as the legitimate governing authority for Libya,’’ Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said, referring to the rebels’ Transitional National Council, prompting other ministers to break out in applause.

Who, exactly, are we now in bed with?

Rights group: Libyan rebels looted and beat civilians

Libyan rebels have looted and burned homes and abused civilians, a human rights group said Wednesday.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said that, in “four towns captured by rebels in the Nafusa Mountains over the past month, rebel fighters and supporters have damaged property, burned some homes, looted from hospitals, homes, and shops, and beaten some individuals alleged to have supported government forces.”

See also:
U.S. recognition of the Libyan rebel government leaves many questions unanswered
US Formally Recognizes Libyan Rebels
United States recognizes Libyan rebels as legitimate government
U.S. recognizes Libyan rebels as ruling authority
Libyan Rebels Get U.S. Recognition, Await Cash
Libyan rebels win recognition and promise of financial support
Libyan Rebels Get U.S. Recognition Yet Must Wait for Cash
Mary E. Stonaker: What formal recognition given to Libyan rebels means for the oil markets
Rights Group: Libyan Rebels Loot Seized Towns
Rights group accuses Libyan rebels of abuse
Libya rebels loot seized towns, says rights group
Human Rights Watch criticizes Libyan rebels
Rights group exposes Libyan rebel abuses

Lets recap: The United States has now formally aligned itself with accused war criminals we hardly know, in a foreign civil war that we have absolutely no business being militarily involved with in the first place, and our mission creep to regime change isn’t even authorized or approved under international law. Is that about it?

/well played Obama administration, what are we now, a rogue nation?

Do You Believe In Iranian Magic?

It looks like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is on his way out as Iran’s president. You know you’re in real trouble when they start arresting your staff for witchcraft.

Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery

Close allies of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being “magicians” and invoking djinns (spirits).

Ayandeh, an Iranian news website, described one of the arrested men, Abbas Ghaffari, as “a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds”.

See also:
Ahmadinejad Staffers Accused of Sorcery
Ahmadinejad’s Advisers Jailed for Practicing Witchcraft
Close aide to Ahmadinejad arrested
Ahmadinejad supporters arrested
In Iran, do they burn witches too?
Internal strife emerges as Tehran looks westward
Trouble at the top
Ahmadinejad in the Crosshairs
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to resign as Iranian president?
Breaking: Ahmadinejad to resign

The bizarre arrests seem to have something to do with the production and distribution of the Iranian end times documentary The Coming. Is Ahmadinejad being sacked for his fervent belief that the return of the 12th Imam is near? Will his ouster be a positive development for the West’s relations with Iran? Who knows?

/although, as long as Iran’s theocracy is still in power, I doubt it

Are We There Yet?

And so the end begins. You just knew this was bound to happen, given that there’s no actual strategy involved. Run away! Italy doesn’t want to play anymore.

Italy to try to seek date for end of Libya mission

Italy pledged on Tuesday to seek an end date for NATO’s Libya operations as Premier Silvio Berlusconi sought to placate a key government partner opposed to Italian participation in the bombing missions.

Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told reporters that Rome “will try, along with international organizations, and until, until I’m proven wrong, NATO, and its allies, to set an end” date for the operations.

See also:
Italy says it will try to discuss date with NATO, allies for end of Libyan operations
Italy says it will try to work out a date with NATO, allies for end of Libyan operations
Italy to try to seek date for end of Libya mission
Libya: End of mission to be decided with Nato allies says Italian foreign minister
Berlusconi Says Bid to Limit Libya Role Not a Problem
Berlusconi patches up row with allies over Libya
Leave Libya or we will bring you down, allies tell Berlusconi
Interview: Italian experts urge Rome meeting on Libya to change strategy
Libya’s Rebels Spending $60 Million A Day

How is it that it’s suddenly fashionable to start a war and then declare a time limit as to how long you’re willing to fight? Even a five year old can figure out that all the enemy has to do is to wait until you leave and then declare victory. Other than to waste lives and resources, what’s the point of starting a war you’re not going to finish?

/whatever happened to that old fashioned concept of, you know, fighting wars to win?

These Are Not The Drones You Seek

Mission creep, what mission creep? Who are you going to believe, Robert Gates and Obama or your own lying eyes? Why, exactly, are we in Libya again?

U.S. will deploy Predators in Libya

President Barack Obama has given U.S. forces the go-ahead to use armed Predator drones in Libya after forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi changed their tactics in the fighting there, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Thursday.

“It’s an evolving situation. We saw an opportunity here and recommended it to the president. He took it,” Gates told reporters at a Pentagon briefing.

However, Gates said the use of the drones did not indicate that the U.S. was being sucked back into a military campaign that Obama has promised will be handled chiefly by other NATO countries and allied forces.

“This is a very limited addition on our part, but it does provide some additional capabilities to NATO,” Gates said. “I don’t think there’s mission creep at all….The primary strike role has been turned over to our allies, our friends.”

Now remember boys and girls, providing “additional capabilities to NATO” is not, I repeat, IS NOT mission creep. Um, it’s been at least a couple months now, whatever happened to “days, not weeks”?

See also:
U.S. begins using Predator drones in Libya
U.S. Launches Drone Strikes in Libya
Obama authorizes Predator drone strikes in Libya
US deploys armed drones over Libya
Obama Approves Use of Predator Drones in Libya
U.S. Sends Predators to Strike Qaddafi Troops Fighting Rebels
Libya: US sends armed drones to shield rebels
Pentagon: Robot War Over Libya Begins in 3, 2, 1 …
US begins using armed drones in Libya
U.S. introduces armed Predator drones in Libya

Of course, the U.N. resolution we’re operating under only authorizes humanitarian efforts, so I’m sure these armed Predator drones will only be used to deliver food to civilians and stuff like that.

The Council stressed the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis that responded to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people, noting actions being taken on the diplomatic front in that regard. It further demanded that Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance.

In that connection, the Council specified that the flight ban would not apply to flights that had as their sole purpose humanitarian aid, the evacuation of foreign nationals, enforcing the ban or other purposes “deemed necessary for the benefit of the Libyan people”.

I don’t know, what supposedly started out as a limited “kinetic military action” sure as hell seems to have blossomed over the weeks into the United States and NATO openly taking sides in a Libyan civil war.

/how is that not mission creep?

Lebanon Circling The Drain

About to be blamed by a U.N.-backed tribunal for the 2005 assasination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Hezbollah makes its move.

Lebanon Govt Collapses As 11 Ministers Quit

Lebanon’s Government has collapsed after Hezbollah ministers and their allies resigned from the Coalition.

Adnan Sayyed Hussein’s departure followed the resignation of 10 other ministers, a move which has effectively ended the government’s power-sharing agreement.

Without a stable government in place, fears are growing that the country could fall into a prolonged political crisis and could heighten sectarian tension in the region.

Dominc Waghorn, Sky News Middle East Correspondent, said the dispute was “complicated”, but stemmed from the killing of the country’s former Prime Minister in a car bomb explosion in 2005

See also:
Lebanon government fails as Hezbollah allies quit
Hezbollah exit from Lebanon government carefully planned
U.S. Ally Faces Fight in Lebanon
Eleventh minister resigns, toppling Lebanon government
Arab League ‘disturbed’ by Lebanon govt collapse
Israel Warns Hezbollah Against Any Spillover of Violence from Lebanese Crisis
US Government “closely monitoring” situation in Lebanon
Collapse of Lebanese Government Creates Worries of Deepening Crisis
Israeli troops go on alert amid Lebanon’s political turmoil
Israel troops on alert after Lebanon govt falls
Political crisis shakes Lebanon
Talks on new govt in Lebanon to start Monday

So, what will happen next, will Lebanon descend into sectarian violence or civil war? Hezbollah obviously planned this, no doubt with the blessing of or at the urging of Iran and Syria, what’s their endgame, I mean besides wiping Israel off the map?

/whatever happens, chances are that the outcome won’t be particularly pleasant