7/22/12 Colorado & Syria: Terror War

...Obama cut short a Florida campaign trip, returning to D.C. to meet with FBI Director Robert Mueller, Homeland Security adviser John Brennan and other federal officials....he ordered US flags flown at half-staff “as a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colorado.”

Assassination Nation Fifty Years of US Targeted ‘Kill Lists’: From the Phoenix Program to Predator Drones
By Doug Noble 7/19/12 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31925.htm

Digest: A timely distraction and opportunity: as reports of US strategy to dump Assad for US 'transition' to democracy regime' in collaboration with its surrogate Syrian 'opposition' Obama gets an opportunity to preside over uniting the bogus 'partisan opposition' - nationally and internationally against Syria. - the ruling bipartisan state desperate now, must expand and deepen its claas war for world supremacy. Physically disarming the potentially revolutionary international working class - strategically ravaged by the GWOT (semantically deleted and born again as 'the middle class'- necessary since the capitalist class knows its real enemy will ultimately lead the struggle everywhere to uproot its tyranny - despite its 'exceptional american' pacification still.

Digest: Aurora, Colorado 'not terrorist connected' terror. Officials at all levels immediately 'determined' that 'suspect' was not connected with any
terrorist group: such State stories are contradictory - and revealing.

Authorities recovered two Glock pistols, a Remington 12-gauge shotgun and a Smith & Wesson AR-15 assault rifle. Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said Oates said the assailant was dressed all in black, wearing a “tactical ballistic helmet, bulletproof vest, leggings, a throat protector, a groin protector, protective gloves abd a gas mask.". The gunman looked calm and said nothing as he walked up an aisle, firing as he went, witnesses said. Investigators believe the shooter acted alone and not as part of a terrorist group. “We are not looking for any other suspects,”Oates told reporters. “We are confident that he acted alone, but we will do a thorough investigation to make sure that is the case.”...The FBI said there was no indication of ties to any terrorist groups....The Pentagon said three military personnel were injured in the shooting and another sailor at the theater remained unaccounted for. Two of the injured are members of the Air Force, while the third serves in the Navy, the Defense Department announced Friday afternoon. The Pentagon did not identify any of the individuals, their units, or provide details of their medical condition. The department said Holmes “is not a past or current member of any branch or component of the U.S. Armed Forces.”

...Several victims...were service personnel from nearby military bases. ...Holmes headed for the theater in body armor, an assault rifle with a high-volume drum magazine attached, a shotgun and two Glock handguns..authorities said all bough legally....In the age of widespread social media, no trace of Holmes could be found on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter or anywhere on the web...http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/1-suspect-arrested-in-denver-area-mass-shooting-involving-gunman-who-wore-gas-mask/2012/07/20/gJQANSmixW_story_1.html

...Holmes bought a ticket to the show, went into the theater as part of the crowd and propped open an exit door as the movie was playing. The suspect then donned protective ballistic gear and opened fire, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.

public diplomacy 'news' studiously avoids any mention of contradictory stories and military connections with endless emotional exploitation fodder

Aurora, Colorado’s largest employers: Buckley Air Force Base, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and ADT Security Services
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warmongering class can only hope its 24/7 surveillance, suppression, lies & gun control laws will stop revolutionary class war

Will Colorado shootings inject gun control into 2012 race?
That’s what New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hopes. Mayor Bloomberg has long been one of the nation’s loudest voices calling for greater restrictions on American gun access, and on a radio show Friday morning he demanded President Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney say what they’d do about this issue. New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said: “It clearly looks like a deranged individual. He has his hair painted red. He said he was the Joker, obviously the enemy of Batman.” Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates...said he had spoken to Kelly. The two used to work together in New York. Asked if Holmes had madeup to look like the Joker, Oates said: “That to my knowledge is not true.”

US strategy and tactics for Syria's 'democratic transition': Inside the quiet effort to plan for a post-Assad Syria
Josh Rogin July 20, 2012 http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/07/20/inside_the_secret_eff...
For the last six months, 40 senior representatives of various Syrian opposition groups have been meeting quietly in Germany under the tutelage of the U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP) to plan for how to set up a post-Assad Syrian government. The project called "The day after: Supporting a democratic transition in Syria."...The USIP-led project, funded by the State Department... The project leader, USIP's Steven Heydemann, an academic expert on Syria, has briefed administration officials on the plan, as well as foreign officials, including on the sidelines of the Friends of Syria meeting in Istanbul last month...The absence of Obama administration officials at these meetings, even as observers, was deliberate. "... too visible a U.S. role would have been deeply counterproductive. It would have given the Assad regime and elements of the opposition an excuse to delegitimize the process," Heydemann said. "We have very purposely stayed away from contributing to directly to the overthrow of the Assad regime," Heydemann said. "Our project is called ‘the day after' ...other groups are working on the day before."
...opposition leaders involved in the USIP project have been meeting since January and providing updates on their work to the Arab League, the Friends of Syria group, the team of U.N. Special Envoy Kofi Annan, and the opposition Syrian National Council...USIP intends to release a report on the project that will serve as a transition strategy document to be used by the next government. The next phase is to stand up a transition support network "to begin to implement these recommendations about stuff that needs to happen now," Heydemann said...

The United States Institute of Peace
www.usip.org, http://www.usip.org/aboutus/board.html
USIP is our country's global conflict management center. A Independent, bipartisan federal institution created and funded by Congress to strengthen the nation's capacity to promote the peaceful resolution of international conflict...USIP trained experts are on the ground, actively engaged in global conflict management....
By law, the United States Institute of Peace is governed by a bipartisan Board of Directors. The board is composed of twelve members from outside federal service appointed by the President of the United States, confirmed by the Senate, and four ex-officio members: the secretary of state (who may designate another Senate-confirmed State Department official), the secretary of defense (who may designate another Senate-confirmed Defense Department official), the president of the National Defense University...the Board is prohibited by law from having more than eight voting members of the same political party.

7/20 Syria’s rebels gaining momentum, but U.S. officials still can’t identify a leader
As rebels rack up important victories... U.S. officials are still struggling to identify a credible opposition authority to keep fragile Syria from civil war once the leader is gone

Syria, the US and The El Salvador Option
By Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince
7/12/12 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31826.htm
Every day the news from Syria is more and more somber as the country and the region continue their journey to unknown and more dangerous realms.  Syria appears headed for “beyond explosion”, for implosion and NATO foreign military intervention that could result in unpredictable dangerous consequences.
The most recent news reports are alarming. A curious person asking about the situation would get the following predictable reply: Syria is on the verge of civil war; it is run by a ruthless leader that violates human rights on a biblical scale and needs to be removed so that the `peace loving’ Syrian people can live in harmony and tranquility and it appears the only way to achieve this goal is through yet another NATO-led military `humanitarian’ intervention under the auspices of the United States.
Stepping back from the official (and Fox’s) version of the Syrian analysis, and remembering a few historical facts, changes the picture considerably.
Through repeated presidential doctrines, U.S. administrations – starting at least with Truman – have made clear the Middle East holds a strategic position in U.S. regional and global policy

It’s an historical fact that to protect those strategically declared interests, the United States will partner with anyone from Netanyahu in Israel to Erdogan in Turkey, to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, to Hosni Mubarek in Egypt, to Osama Bin Laden (when it serves U.S. purposes) and do anything – kosher or not – .

Since World War Two, the US has repeatedly engaged in the destabilization of unwanted regimes by various means (boycotts, bribes, CIA clandestine operations, infiltrating foreign militaries). All to change regimes that oppose U.S. interests in one way or the other.

The destabilization of Syria and Lebanon as sovereign countries has been on the drawing board of the US-NATO-Israel military alliance for at least ten years. Action against Syria is part of a “military roadmap”, a sequencing of military operations being put into operation. According to former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark–the Pentagon had clearly identified a total of seven countries, namely Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan” (Pentagon official quoted by General Wesley Clark in “Winning Modern Wars” [page 130]).

The overthrow of Syria’s government plan was instituted long before the outset of the Arab Spring. A concerted campaign to isolate, destabilize and overthrow the government of Syria began as early as 2002, a year after Clark was informed of the Pentagon’s plan to blitzkrieg through the Middle East. It was then that Secretary of State John Bolton added Syria to the growing “Axis of Evil .” It would later be revealed that Bolton’s threats against Syria included covert funding and support for opposition groups inside of Syria spanning both the Bush and Obama administrations. In 2011, State Department spokesperson Mark Toner  remarked that the US has been funding Syrian opposition groups since at least 2005 and the funding continues until today.  In an April 2011 AFP report (14), Michael Posner, the assistant US Secretary of State for Human Rights and Labor, stated that the “US government has budgeted $50 million in the last two years to develop new technologies to help activists protect themselves from arrest and prosecution by authoritarian governments.”
A Washington Post report explained that the US “organized training sessions for 5,000 activists in different parts of the world. A session held in the Middle East then gathered activists from Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon who returned to their countries with the aim of training their colleagues there,” The same Michael Posner would add, “They went back and there’s a ripple effect.” That ripple effect of course is the “Arab Spring,” and in Syria’s case, the impetus for the current unrest threatening to unhinge the nation and invite in foreign intervention .”(emphasis added). What we have here is not a humanitarian gesture to democratize Syria, but to the contrary, a pro-active policy of regime change similar to what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan that was planned many years ago, the only thing missing was the proper context to implement the plan. [...]

Syrian opposition: who's doing the talking?
7/12/12 by Charlie Skelton
The director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdulrahman, speaks on the phone in his home in Coventry on December 6, 2011. Photograph: Reuters
A nightmare is unfolding across Syria, in the homes of al-Heffa and the streets of Houla. And we all know how the story ends: with thousands of soldiers and civilians killed, towns and families destroyed, and President Assad beaten to death in a ditch.This is the story of the Syrian war, but there is another story to be told. A tale less bloody, but nevertheless important. This is a story about the storytellers: the spokespeople, the "experts on Syria", the "democracy activists". The statement makers. The people who "urge" and "warn" and "call for action".
It's a tale about some of the most quoted members of the Syrian opposition and their connection to the Anglo-American opposition creation business. The mainstream news media have, in the main, been remarkably passive when it comes to Syrian sources: billing them simply as "official spokesmen" or "pro-democracy campaigners" without, for the most part, scrutinising their statements, their backgrounds or their political connections....a passionate hatred of the Assad regime is no guarantee of independence. Indeed, a number of key figures in the Syrian opposition movement are long-term exiles who were receiving US government funding to undermine the Assad government long before the Arab spring broke out. Though not yet stated US policy to oust Assad by force, these spokespeople are vocal advocates of foreign military intervention in Syria ...several have found support, in some cases long and lucrative relationships with advocates of military intervention on both sides of the Atlantic. "The sand is running out of the hour glass," said Hillary Clinton on Sunday. So, as the fighting in Syria intensifies, and Russian warships set sail for Tartus [US-israeli build up prompt it] it's high time to take a closer look at those who are speaking out on behalf of the Syrian people.

The Syrian National Council
The most quoted of the opposition spokespeople are the official representatives of the Syrian National Council. The SNC is not the only Syrian opposition group – but it is generally recognised as "the main opposition coalition" (BBC). The Washington Times describes it as "an umbrella group of rival factions based outside Syria". Certainly the SNC is the opposition group that's had the closest dealings with western powers – and has called for foreign intervention from the early stages of the uprising. In February of this year, at the opening of the [US led] Friends of Syria summit in Tunisia, William Hague declared : "I will meet leaders of the Syrian National Council in a few minutes' time … We, in common with other nations, will now treat them and recognise them as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people."
The most senior of the SNC's official spokespeople is the Paris-based Syrian academic Bassma Kodmani. Here is Bassma Kodmani, seen leaving this year's Bilderberg conference in Chantilly, Virginia. Kodmani, a member of the executive bureau and head of foreign affairs, Syrian National Council, is one of the council's most vocal spokespeople. "No dialogue with the ruling regime is possible. We can only discuss how to move on to a different political system," she declared this week... here she is, quoted by the newswire AFP : "The next step needs to be a resolution under Chapter VII, which allows for the use of all legitimate means, coercive means, embargo on arms, as well as the use of force to oblige the regime to comply." This statement translates into the headline "Syrians call for armed peacekeepers"....
This was Kodmani's second Bilderberg. At the 2008 conference, Kodmani was listed as French; by 2012, her Frenchness had fallen away and she was listed simply as "international" – her homeland had become the world of international relations. Back a few years in 2005, Kodmani was working for the Ford Foundation in Cairo, where she was director of the governance and international co-operation programme.... in February 2005, US-Syrian relations collapsed, and President Bush recalled his ambassador from Damascus. A lot of opposition projects date from this period. "The US money for Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W Bush after he effectively froze political ties with Damascus in 2005," .
In September 2005, Kodmani was made the executive director of the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) research programme initiated by the powerful US Council on Foreign Relations ...an elite US foreign policy thinktank...ARI is described on its website as a "CFR Project" . More specifically, the ARI was initiated by a group within the CFR called the "US/Middle East Project " a body of senior diplomats, intelligence officers and financiers, the stated aim of which is to undertake regional "policy analysis" in order "to prevent conflict and promote stability". The US/Middle East Project pursues these goals under the guidance of an international board chaired by General (Ret.) Brent Scowcroft.

Brent Scowcroft (chairman emeritus), a former national security adviser to the US president – took over the role from Henry Kissinger. Sitting alongside Scowcroft of the international board is fellow geo-strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who succeeded him as national security adviser (under Jimmy Carter), and Peter Sutherland, CEO of Goldman Sachs International. In September of that year, Kodmani was made full-time director of the programme. Earlier in 2005, the CFR assigned "financial oversight" of the project to the Centre for European Reform (CER)...overseen by Lord Kerr, deputy chairman of Royal Dutch Shell. Kerr is a former head of the diplomatic service and is a senior adviser at Chatham House ( thinktank showcasing the best brains of the British diplomatic establishment).
In charge of the CER on a day-to-day basis is Charles Grant, former defence editor of the Economist, these days a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a "pan-European thinktank" packed with diplomats, industrialists, professors and prime ministers. On its list of members : "Bassma Kodmani (France/Syria) – Executive Director, Arab Reform Initiative".

Another name on the list: George Soros – the financier whose NGO "Open Society Foundations" is a primary ECFR funding source . At this level, the worlds of banking, diplomacy, intelligence, policy institutes, foundations, corporate industry, mesh together... Kodmani is not some random "pro-democracy activist"...She has impeccable international diplomacy credentials: she holds the position of research director at the Académie Diplomatique Internationale -- headed by Jean-Claude Cousseran, former head of the DGSE – the French foreign intelligence service...
a trusted lieutenant of the Anglo-American democracy-promotion industry. Her "province of origin" ( ) is Damascus, but she has close, long-standing professional relationships with precisely those powers she's calling upon to intervene in Syria. And many of her spokesmen colleagues are equally well-positioned.

Another often quoted SNC representative is Radwan Ziadeh, Syrian National Council director of foreign relations: he's a senior fellow at the federally funded Washington thinktank, USIP, the US Institute of Peace (Board of Directors packed with alumni of the defence department and national security council (NSC) president Richard Solomon, a former adviser to Kissinger at the NSC)....in 2008, Ziadeh took part in a meeting of opposition figures in a Washington government building called "Syria In-Transition" ... co-sponsored by the US-based Democracy Council and a UK-based organisation called the Movement for Justice and Development (MJD) – their chairman, Anas Al-Abdah, had traveled to Washington from Britain for the event, along with their director of public relations. Here, from the MJD's website , is a description of the day: "The conference saw an exceptional turn out as the allocated hall was packed with guests from the House of Representatives and the Senate, representatives of studies centres, journalists and Syrian expatriats [sic] in the USA." The day opened with a keynote speech by James Prince, head of the Democracy Council. Ziadeh was on a panel chaired by Joshua Muravchik (author of the 2006 op-ed "Bomb Iran"). The topic of the discussion was "The Emergence of Organized Opposition". Sitting beside Ziadeh on the panel was the public relations director of the MJD – a man who would later become his fellow SNC spokesperson – Ausama Monajed....

Ziadeh is a relentless organiser, a blue-chip Washington insider with links to some of the most powerful establishment thinktanks. Ziadeh's connections extend all the way to London. In 2009 he became a visiting fellow at Chatham House , and in June of last year he featured on the panel at one of their events – "Envisioning Syria's Political Future" – sharing a platform with fellow SNC spokesman Ausama Monajed (more on Monajed below) and SNC member Najib Ghadbian.
Ghadbian was identified in 2005 by the Wall Street Journal as an early intermediary between the US government and the Syrian opposition in exile: "An initial contact between the White House and NSF [National Salvation Front] was forged by Najib Ghadbian, a University of Arkansas political scientist."
These days, Ghadbian is a member of the SNC general secretariat and on the advisory board of a Washington-based policy body called the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies (SCPSS) –co-founded by Ziadeh....

Along with Kodmani and Ziadeh, Ausama Monajed is one of the most important SNC spokespeople. There are others... the SNC includes the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)...
But no doubt the primary opposition body is the SNC, Kodmani, Ziadeh and Monajed often representing it. Monajed frequently crops up as a commentator on TV news channels. Here on the BBC , speaking from their Washington bureau Monajed: "We are watching civilians being slaughtered and kids being slaughtered and killed and women being raped on the TV screens every day."... on Al Jazeera , Monajed talks about "what's really happening, in reality, on the ground" – about "the militiamen of Assad" who "come and rape their women, slaughter their children, and kill their elderly"....a few days ago, as a blogger on Huffington Post UK he explained, at length: "Why the World Must Intervene in Syria" – calling for "direct military assistance" and "foreign military aid"...Monajed is a member of the SNC, adviser to its president, and according to his SNC biography , "the Founder and Director of Barada Television", a pro-opposition satellite channel based in Vauxhall, south London. In 2008, a few months after attending Syria In-Transition conference, Monajed was back in Washington, invited to lunch with George W Bush, along with a handful of other favoured dissidents (you can see Monajed in the souvenir photo , third from the right, in the red tie, near Condoleezza Rice – up the other end from Garry Kasparov).

At this time, in 2008, the US state department knew Monajed as "director of public relations for the Movement for Justice and Development (MJD), which leads the struggle for peaceful and democratic change in Syria". Last year, the Washington Post picked up a story which had published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables (that) appear to show a remarkable flow of money from the US state department to the British-based Movement for Justice and Development...: "Barada TV is closely affiliated with the Movement for Justice and Development, a London-based network of Syrian exiles. Classified US diplomatic cables show the State Department has funneled as much as $6m to the group since 2006 to operate the satellite channel and finance other activities inside Syria." A state department spokesman responded to this story by saying: "Trying to promote a transformation to a more democratic process in this society is not undermining necessarily the existing government."... asked about the state department money, Monajed said he "could not confirm" US state department funding for Barada TV, but said: "I didn't receive a penny myself." Malik al -Abdeh, until very recently Barada TV's editor-in-chief insisted: "we have had no direct dealings with the US state department". The meaning of the sentence turns on that word "direct".... Malik al Abdeh also happens to be one of the founders of the Movement for Justice and Development (recipient of the state department $6m, according to the leaked cable). And he's the brother of the chairman, Anas Al-Abdah. He's also the co-holder of the MJD trademark : What Malik al Abdeh does admit is that Barada TV gets a large chunk of its funding from a US NGO: the Democracy Council. One of the co-sponsors (with the MJD) of Syria In-Transition mini-conference. So in 2008, at the same meeting, are the leaders of precisely those organisations identified in the Wiki:eaks cables as the conduit (the Democracy Council) and recipient (the MJD) of large amounts of US state department money.

The Democracy Council, a US-based grant distributor, lists the state department as one of its sources of funding. How it works is this: the Democracy Council serves as a grant-administering intermediary between the state department's "Middle East Partnership Initiative" and "local partners" such as Barada TV. As the wikileaks report:
"Several US diplomatic cables from the embassy in Damascus reveal that the Syrian exiles received money from a State Department program called the Middle East Partnership Initiative. According to the cables, the State Department funneled money to the exile group via the Democracy Council, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit."
The same report highlights a 2009 cable from the US Embassy in Syria that says that the Democracy Council received $6.3m from the state department to run a Syria-related programme, the "Civil Society Strengthening Initiative". The cable describes this as "a discrete collaborative effort between the Democracy Council and local partners" aimed at producing, amongst other things, "various broadcast concepts."...
Until a few months ago, the state department's Middle East Partnership Initiative was overseen by Tamara Cofman Wittes (now at the Brookings Institution thinktank . Of MEPI, she said it "created a positive 'brand' for US democracy promotion efforts" . While working there she declared: "There are a lot of organizations in Syria and other countries that are seeking changes from their government … That's an agenda that we believe in and we're going to support." ...nothing new...early 2006 you have the state department announcing a new "funding opportunity" called the "Syria Democracy Program ". On offer, grants worth "$5m in Federal Fiscal Year 2006".... the cash is flowing in faster than ever. At the beginning of June 2012, the Syrian Business Forum was launched in Doha by opposition leaders including Wael Merza (SNC secretary general). "This fund has been established to support all components of the revolution in Syria," said Merza. Some $300m...by no means clear where the money comes from, although Merza "hinted at strong financial support from Gulf Arab states (US client states) for the new fund" ...that about $150m had already been spent, in part on the Free Syrian Army. Merza's group of Syrian businessmen made an appearance at the World Economic Forum "Platform for International Co-operation conference" " in Istanbul in November 2011. All part of the process whereby the SNC has grown in reputation, to become, in the words of William Hague, "a legitimate representative of the Syrian people"...
Building legitimacy – of opposition, of representation, of intervention – is the essential propaganda battle.
In a USA Today February op-ed, US Ambassador Dennis Ross declared: "It is time to raise the status of the Syrian National Council...to create an aura of inevitability about the SNC as the alternative to Assad."...

A key combatant in this battle for hearts and minds is US journalist and Daily Telegraph blogger, Michael Weiss. One of the most widely quoted experts on Syria – and enthusiast for western intervention – Weiss echoes Ross: "Military intervention in Syria isn't so much a matter of preference as an inevitability." Some Weiss interventionist writings can be found on a Beirut-based, Washington-friendly website called "NOW Lebanon" – whose "NOW Syria" section is an important source of Syrian updates. NOW Lebanon was set up in 2007 by Saatchi & Saatchi executive Eli Khoury...described by the advertising industry as a "strategic communications specialist, specialising in corporate and government image and brand development".

Weiss told NOW Lebanon in May, that thanks to the influx of weapons to Syrian rebels "we've already begun to see some results. " He showed a similar approval of military developments a few months earlier, in a piece for the New Republic : "In the past several weeks, the Free Syrian Army and other independent rebel brigades have made great strides" – whereupon -- he laid out his "Blueprint for a Military Intervention in Syria". Weiss is the director of communications and public relations at the Henry Jackson Society foreign policy thinktank... uncompromising in its "forward strategy" towards democracy. And Weiss is in charge of the message. The Henry Jackson Society is proud of its PR chief: "He is the author of the influential report "Intervention in Syria? An Assessment of Legality, Logistics and Hazards", repurposed and endorsed by the Syrian National Council." ... The repurposing of the HJS report was undertaken by the founder and executive director of the Strategic Research and Communication Centre (SRCC) – Ausama Monajed...

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
The justification for the "inevitable" military intervention is the savagery of President Assad's regime: the atrocities, the shelling, the human rights abuses. Information is crucial and one source above all has been providing data about Syria... quoted at every turn: "The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights(SOHR) told VOA [Voice of America] that fighting and shelling killed at least 12 people in Homs province."
SOHR is commonly used as a standalone source for news and statistics. Just this week, news agency AFP carried this story : "Syrian forces pounded Aleppo and Deir Ezzor provinces as at least 35 people were killed on Sunday across the country, among them 17 civilians, a watchdog reported."...atrocities and casualty numbers listed all from a single source: "Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP by phone." Statistic after horrific statistic pours from "the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" his "Britain-based NGO" (AFP/NOW Lebanon)
(AP). It's hard to find a news report about Syria that doesn't cite them. But who are they? "They" are Rami Abdulrahman (Rami Abdel Rahman)...

On 1 January, Nick Cohen wrote in the Observer : "To grasp the scale of the barbarism, listen to Hamza Fakher, a pro-democracy activist, who is one of the most reliable sources on the crimes the regime's news blackout hides." He goes on to recount Fakher's horrific tales of torture and mass murder. Fakher tells Cohen of a new hot-plate torture technique that he's heard about.... The following day, Shamik Das, writing on "evidence-based" progressive blog Left Foot Forward, quotes the same source: "Hamza Fakher, a pro-democracy activist, describes the sickening reality …" ..
So who exactly is this "pro-democracy activist", Hamza Fakher? Fakher, it turns out, is the co-author of Revolution in Danger , a "Henry Jackson Society Strategic Briefing", published in February of this year. He co-wrote this briefing paper with the Henry Jackson Society's communications director, Michael Weiss. And when he's not co-writing Henry Jackson Society strategic briefings, Fakher is communications manager of the London-based Strategic Research and Communication Centre (SRCC). According to their website, "He joined the centre in 2011 and has been in charge of the centre's communication strategy and products."
As you may recall, the SRCC is run by Ausama Monajed: "Mr Monajed founded the centre in 2010. He is widely quoted and interviewed in international press and media outlets. He previously worked as a strategic communication consultant in the US and Europe and formerly served as the director of Barada Television …". Monajed is Fakher's boss.... for a final Washington twist, on the Strategic Research and Communication Centre board sits Murhaf Jouejati, professor at the National Defence University in DC "the premier center for Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) under the direction of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff."...whatever destabilisation done in the realm of news and public opinion is being carried out twofold on the ground...We already know (at the very least) "the Central Intelligence Agency and State Department … are helping the opposition Free Syrian Army develop logistical routes for moving supplies into Syria and providing communications training." The bombs doors are open. The plans drawn up . The sheer time, energy and meticulous planning that's gone into this change of regime – breathtaking...The soft power political reach of the big foundations and policy bodies is vast...selling... military intervention and regime change...Asking questions doesn't make you a cheerleader for Assad – a false argument...


IF CONFIRMED: Human Rights Watch on Syria
Look at this statement:  "Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch, said if the images were confirmed it would be the first documented use of cluster munitions in the conflict."  In the paper edition, he merely said: "IF CONFIRMED, it would be..."... In the case of Israel, Human Rights Watch does not confirm the death of an Arab, unless his/her body is personally examined by a White Man representative from the organization. If confirmed, Israel has nuclear weapons... If confirmed, HRW sees its role as a mere echo of US Department of State.

US/NGO soft power 'regime change' specialists also major public diplomacy 'news' specialists
Human Rights Watch "World Report 2012" to UN: Russia and China responsible for blocking UN action

The annual Human Rights Watch (HRW) review of more than 90 countries highlights the spread of the Arab Spring democratic movement and urges the international community to give strong support to the countries in North Africa and the Middle East that are seeking democratic reform, instead of backing autocrats who have kept oil exports flowing. Human Rights Watch reserved its strongest criticism for the events in Syria, where the government of President Bashar al-Assad has brutally put down anti-government protests.The report details large-scale military operations on several towns and the arbitrary arrest, torture and murder of thousands of citizens.

Since the 1960s, USAID has maintained "a close working relationship with the CIA, and Agency officers often operated abroad under USAID cover," writes historian William Blum.
Andrew Natsios, head of USAID and former World Vision director, declared in 2003 that USAID funded “NGOs are an arm of the U.S. government."
NED's role was made clear when Allen Weinstein, one of its founders, stated in a 1991 Washington Post article, "a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA."

Suicide bombers of the world unite
7/20/12 Pepe Escobar THE ROVING EYE http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NG20Ak02.html
It is, literally, a bomb. What kind of wily actor managed to get the precious intel needed to penetrate, disrupt and destroy a meeting at the National Security building in Damascus - killing Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha and his deputy Assef Shawkat, Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law? ... Reuters said it was a suicide bomber working as a bodyguard for Assad's inner circle. Agence France-Presse reported it was a suicide bomber detonating his belt. Beirut's Al-Akhbar said it was a planted bomb. Same for Lebanon's Al-Manar TV - detailing it was a 40-kilogram bomb. So who was it? Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)? MI6? Saudi intel? Turkish intel? Or that oh so pliable ghost - al-Qaeda?

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, five months ago, came up with a non-denial denial by admitting Washington was working side by side with al-Qaeda in Syria supporting the Not Exactly Free Syrian Army (FSA). [1] And there was Hillary "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton only 10 days ago warning there was still "a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault"[2] like her prophetic warning a few days before Muammar Gaddafi was captured, sodomized and executed, how could she be certain of this "catastrophic assault"?

The FSA - out of its Turkey digs - wasted no time in claiming responsibility; it was an improvised explosive device (IED) planted inside the room. There were no suicide bombers. FSA have been lying through their teeth for months. Anyway, FSA spokesman Qassim Saadedine insists this is "the volcano" they promised to awake a few days ago.
Much juicier, in parallel, is the Liwa al-Islam ("The Brigade of Islam") saying in its Facebook page that it "targeted the cell called the crisis control room in the capital of Damascus". That would be the al-Qaeda-style connection. In this case, where are they getting their intel from? Their good pals, the CIA?