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A Zero Hedge Premium Preview: The Dionysian Rites of Henry Kissinger's CIA and the Iranian Revolution of 2010

Marla Singer's picture


As you may or may not know, Zero Hedge is in the process of developing a number of premium offerings for 2010.  One of these is "Cf., The Journal of Irreverent Attacks on Conventional Wisdom, Entrenched Dogma and Sacred Cows."  For your reading pleasure, and to act as a preview of premium things to come, we attach Volume I, Issue I entitled "The Dionysian Rites of Henry Kissinger's CIA and the Iranian Revolution of 2010."


Failing to foresee the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is, rightly or wrongly, often cited as one of the most significant and dramatic of Western intelligence failures. After enduring a superlatively ignominious electoral defeat in the history of the United States (Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter with 89.7% of votes in the Electoral College in 1980) and in what may have been the record holder for rapidly published post-presidential memoirs up to that point, Jimmy Carter's 1982 book "Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President" pointed an accusing finger at the Intelligence Community's Iranian performance.  His recollections lamented the work of the Central Intelligence Agency in particular, citing an analyst report on Iran from August of 1978 indicating that the country "…is not in a revolutionary or even a pre-revolutionary situation."  By January of 1979 the Shah had fled. As might be imagined, what followed was a full court press, prompted by constant policy-maker pressure as well as the personal intervention of Henry Kissinger, who was badly embarrassed by the failure, to develop an organic revolution early warning system capability within the various appendages of United States intelligence.  We review one such system outlined in the Central Intelligence Agency report "Warnings of Revolution," dated March 1980 and apply the methodology to present-day Iran.  We find generally that the methodology's results are consistent with a finding of probable revolution (as it is defined in the report) in present-day Iran. Our open source version of this tool with general application to a wide span of national targets is available for public use courtesy of Zero Hedge.


- Marla Singer and Geoffrey Batt

You can read the entire piece here.

Original source material is available here: on Revolutionary Indicators.pdf on Revolutionary Indicators II.pdf

The first version of the online tool developed as part of this work can be accessed here.



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Thu, 12/31/2009 - 16:46 | Link to Comment minimoose
minimoose's picture

"The instant utility to the investor with exposure to crude, energy or the Middle East should be self-evident."

Indeed it is, and this miniature moose welcomes the entrance of ZH into OSINT for those of us with investments subject to political risk.

Excellent post.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 21:22 | Link to Comment impending doom
impending doom's picture

Wait for it... Wait for it... CAPITALISM!!!! Surpise, the goal of project mayhem is to seat new capitalist leaders, not fix the problems of the old system. Meet the new jefe, same as the old jefe. Don't blame me; I voted for Kodos...

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 21:26 | Link to Comment impending doom
impending doom's picture

Time until ban hammer... 3...2...1...

Tue, 01/12/2010 - 00:54 | Link to Comment Missing_Link
Missing_Link's picture


Hey, paranoid loser.  You might be surprised to find this out, but those of us who read ZH are mostly investors and traders of one form or another.  As much as we care about changing the world, we're realistic about our ability to implement change, and as capitalists we care even more about making money.

No need to go cooking up paranoid fantasies about ZH when the truth is much simpler.

Tue, 01/12/2010 - 14:21 | Link to Comment SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

As much as we care about changing the world, we're realistic about our ability to implement change, and as capitalists we care even more about making money.

Wow.  If I ever needed a quote to encapsulate the problems we face, it is yours above.  Who gives a rat's ass about liberty as long as we're rich?  The only thing worse would have been if you'd implied that you'll let others secure your liberty while you go about getting rich off of the liberty they provide.  I am disgusted.

"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

- Samuel Adams

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 07:52 | Link to Comment squid_pro_quo
squid_pro_quo's picture

Change you can believe in. Oh well, at least the old handlers get scared a bit.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 16:55 | Link to Comment bugs_
bugs_'s picture

The Mullahs are US Puppets,

Down with the Mullahs!

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 17:09 | Link to Comment Steak
Steak's picture

A bit off topic I know.  But I can't resist when seeing a reference to Dionysus dropping my own reference:

Hedonism Bot: I apologise for nothing! 

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 01:01 | Link to Comment Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

Apt reference chain-



"I bring love to give you solace,
In the darkness of the night,
In the Heart's eternal light.
You need only trust your feelings;
Only love can steer you right.

I bring laughter, I bring music,
I bring joy and I bring tears.
I will soothe your primal fears.
Throw off those chains of reason
And your prison disappears."

The cities were abandoned,
And the forests echoed song.
They danced and lived as brothers;
They knew love could not be wrong.

Food and wine they had aplenty
And they slept beneath the stars.
The people were contented
And the Gods watched from afar.

But the winter fell upon them
And it caught them unprepared,
Bringing wolves and cold starvation,
And the hearts of men despaired.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 17:10 | Link to Comment carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Wow - Good Stuff!

"Within the constraints of the methodology it will be seen that Revolution Warnings the in Social, Political and Countermeasures categories have all increased significantly between the two timeframes. High scores for the recent election fraud, the increase of terrorism in a highly controlled and regimented society and oppression pushed these categories out significantly on the Comparative Revolutionary Environment scale.

In our estimation these results would trigger a policy-maker "Revolution Warning" from the analyst conducting the study."

Iranian Revolutionary Warnings 2008-2009

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 18:52 | Link to Comment alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

"High scores for the recent election fraud, the increase of terrorism in a highly controlled and regimented society and oppression pushed these categories out significantly on the Comparative Revolutionary Environment scale."

Is that talking about Iran or America? Seems to fit both rather neatly.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 17:18 | Link to Comment Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 Weird.I like the high score for revolution in Iran now.This has nothing to do with the CIA's activities there now, right?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 20:07 | Link to Comment ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Correct... nor the $400MM that was spent to destabilise Iran.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 10:54 | Link to Comment Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

Jesus Christ man, here we go.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 00:46 | Link to Comment bchbum
bchbum's picture

Thank god no one could do that in the u.s. ;)

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 00:59 | Link to Comment Andrei Vyshinsky
Andrei Vyshinsky's picture

Oh, my goodness, no.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 17:24 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Wow and cool. Can we get one of these for Mexico? Arriba! Did I miss the one on the US?

Good work!

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 02:21 | Link to Comment Reductio ad Absurdum
Reductio ad Absurdum's picture

More than 15,000 people have died in drug violence in Mexico in the last three years ( What makes you think Mexico has a government to overthrow?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 18:36 | Link to Comment heatbarrier
heatbarrier's picture

Multiple news sources flagging possible "regime change" in Iran, also escalation of nuclear angle by the MSM and the recent Yemen factor, makes uneasy, call it Open Source Counter-Intelligence. What better way to "justify" an attack on Iran than fighting for Iranian people's freedom?

Same goes for Venezuela, BTW, run the matrix.  The Axis falls by itself, we should be so lucky, eh?  

I like the title, though: The Journal of Irreverent Attacks on Conventional Wisdom, Entrenched Dogma and Sacred Cows. May I suggest interviews at Radio Zero, a high point of 2009.  "Ms. Singer, attractive woman such as yourself, perhaps we should leave that to be decided by the spooks in the audience?"

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 17:32 | Link to Comment lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

I really enjoyed this & want to thank you for educating me .    sincere thanks.  

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 17:33 | Link to Comment Zippyin Annapolis
Zippyin Annapolis's picture

"""After enduring a superlatively ignominious electoral defeat in the history of the United States (Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter with 89.7% of votes in the Electoral College in 1980) and in what may have been the record holder for rapidly published post-presidential memoirs up to that point, Jimmy Carter's 1982 book "Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President" pointed an accusing finger at the Intelligence Community's Iranian performance.  """""

Other than that Carter had it right, huh?

....hey loved that cardigan, lets throw a log on the fire and chat about energy..what a complete weezer. 


So Reagan turned it around based on what--scaring the crap out of the CIA or the Iranians? You pick.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 03:04 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 12/31/2009 - 17:39 | Link to Comment svendthrift
svendthrift's picture

Marla, by "premium" do you mean that ZH will be establishing a pay-for-content section of this site?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 18:06 | Link to Comment Veteran
Veteran's picture

My first thought as well.  What the feck?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 19:48 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Heh, a girl's gotta turn a dime, right? You didn't think Tyler and Marla were going to spend endless hours each day producing content and pay the bills out of their own pockets, did you? How much money do you think they pull down from those silly ads? I doubt it even covers the hosting/server fees. And nobody seems to be hitting the "Donation" button either.

Typical of us, isn't it. We find something outstanding but we still want it all for nothing. I suspect what you see today will still be "free" but if you want more, pony up boys. To be fair, ZH has never hidden the fact they want the web site to eventually be a money making enterprise.

Money for nothing and the chicks are free only works with the Fed or if you're a rock star. I'm neither but I do have a couple spare rolls of quarters on hand, left over from that trip out west where the motel room had one of those vibrating beds. Since it just made me sick to my stomach, I'll happily spend then here Marla. Where do I sign up?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 20:26 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I agree about the donation/anonymity thing. It kept me from pushing the button to send money. But I got around it by having a friend purchase a money order with cash I sent him and then mailing it from where he lives, on the other coast.

At least he told me he did it. I guess I'll never know for sure that my $50 made it to Marla/Tyler. The joke might just be on me. Hey, it's the thought that counts, right?  :>)

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 23:17 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Fri, 01/01/2010 - 16:01 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

If I give paypal my money (I did) and they give it to ZeroHedge, I don't think my identity is in danger. ZeroHedge does not know MsCreant gave them money, they just have the cash show up in their paypal account which they can then draw on to pay bills. Paypal knows I gave them money on behalf of ZeroHedge though.

If I am wrong, then lets get clear. Personally I don't give a motherf@cking care about ZH or the gov knowing who I am.

You fuckers on the other hand...

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 19:25 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture


Paypal does communicate the e-mail address you use to interact with PayPal to the person you send money to. In addition, your "shipping" address is also given to the recipient, even if they aren't shipping you anything. If you're name is on the shipping address, you have been exposed in the e-mail the recipient receives and which the black helicopters intercept and scan. Plus, PayPal is now owned by eBay, which I wouldn't trust in the least.

Other than that, you're fine.

Based upon the research I've done over the past 3 weeks, I now assume anything I do on line is exposed because it probably is. And I wouldn't trust me either. :>)

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 21:47 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Thanks for the info. My occupation/history, I am already screwed and probably one of the first ones going down if it rolls overt fascist like that. The funny thing is both the Bourgeoisie and Proletariat may hunt me down for a pound of flesh. I'm a state worker baby...who openly speaks out against the government as part of her job. So fucked. So I can't worry about it. I don't really have the option to be a coward or brave so I'll just be.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 23:57 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Fri, 01/01/2010 - 22:09 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I really like how they don't solicit me. I feel okay about them having services you pay for. I can't pretend that I know the mind of "Marla" and sometimes when she posts in the comments section she's a little rough. I feel like I might understand.

I am in a position with something right now where I run an organization. There are three factions there. All of them recently have complained that I don't focus enough on their kind of work. I have done a lot to try to please all three groups but one of the problems in the organization is they don't want to help do the work, they just want it to magically reflect them and their interests. I have gotten pissed lately, and a case of the "fuck-its" that comes and goes. An older colleague recently set me straight by telling me that if all of them are mad at you then you are doing it right. I have come to it that everyone bitches, and everyone wants it to represent their interests. My job is to listen to the bitching and then do the right thing (be fair and represent everyone) any way.

Why tell this story? Because I can imagine with all the hard work they are doing, it can be a lot to listen to the bitching and critique, when they are the one's doing so much work. And they have told us once, they are getting very few donations. Don't get me wrong, they chose this, and if they need us to appreciate them, then they are doing it for the wrong reasons and need an attitude adjustment. That is what I had to come to about my role in this organization, I said yes and this is what the job is. I want the organization to survive, so I will eat some shit.

But I gotta tell you what, it sure feels nice when the few folks that get my situation, pull me aside, tell me they understand it, and roll up their sleeves and ask what they can do to help. I actually want to cry, on the spot, and hug them.

So for me, here, the question is, what can I do to help ZeroHedge? My answer was to donate and spread the word.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 22:48 | Link to Comment merehuman
merehuman's picture

Thank you ..MsCreant ! Years ago I had a Guru. He suggested I use a word or phrase to help make my day..his suggestion..Fuck it!  I t works quite well. Its all a matter of letting go of a mental problem so as to be in the moment.

Some folks would rather take a valium.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 23:18 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 17:44 | Link to Comment agrotera
agrotera's picture

yes McCreant, i am a little quiet now, but don't want you to forget you are awesome and i always appreciate your words!  You take good care and happy new year and blessings to you!

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 20:01 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture


I've noticed that a large number of regular posters, including myself, have been relatively quiet for a while, for a month or so. It happened suddenly and I'm not sure why. While I suspect each of us has his or her reasons for dropping off the radar, collectively we all stopped and took a breather.

At the same time, an influx of new names replaced us. Whether they've always been there and I simply began noticing them when the regulars grew quiet or it was an invasion of new names and avatars I'm not sure. But I've been viewing it as an event or a phenomenon.  

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 22:30 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Well, I got tired of Alex Jones and other alarmists. I kind of accept it now. I know I don't contribute unique information, but I check to see if I've been junked to at least discover whether or not I'm still 'sane'. I thoroughly enjoy the fray - I have yet to decide if this is a phase - it definitely is an addiction. Reading the obvious veterans here is a real treat! Come back! 

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 10:16 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Yep, you're sane.  Yes, you're in a phase.  One of many that will forge you into a new human capable of handling anything that comes your way.

I am Chumbawamba.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 22:59 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I have noticed the same thing. Can even name names. I get on every day, most days, but I am quieter too. There is processing, and then there is the business of living. Like your posts, still. I saw someone else (besides me) accuse you of being a therapist. It was someone who claims to be a therapist, no less. Me, I'm married to one and social psychology was my minor area for my doctorate. What does that say friend? :-)

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 01:41 | Link to Comment Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Perhaps it is because there are an increasing number of users that are kissing ass and not contributing to the discourse. I am certainly one that now poses more as a voyear. Or maybe I feel that there is a negative quality to the whole scene here, so much gloom that we aren't able to continue. I, for one, have been here for a while and through sickness sitting on the sidelines. I also believe that there is a better option to get through this nightmare than to be in fear. So that's where I stand. On the posts--definitely stood my ground on Marla's piece on the GSE's because I think she is off the mark. I look forward to Miles, DH, and others to chime in here. DH at least found me and I am grateful for that. These newbies, while welcome, are a bit sheeple to the ZH mantra. We must all fight for what is right and bring the truth out whether it agrees with ZH or not.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 04:43 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

are a bit sheeple to the ZH mantra

Do tell. I severely wonder if my disillusionment is well-founded or unreasonable.

But to be clear on my perspective: I have seen plenty of way-over-my-head-but-fascinatingly-worded comments here at ZH and it is such a rare treasure to be in a room of individuals that want to contribute a unique perspective. DH, MsCreant, Kendig, CB, A Now, Chummers, Gecko, CogDis, CD, geo,,,, Careless, GW, Leo, Bruce, Reggie, (ZH sadomasochists) et al (you know who you are; how can you not?). I didn't want this to turn into a shoutout but I hunger for the ability to propose ideas and either be validated or torn apart. Damn the torpedoes, we're going toe-to-toe with the Ruskies!

I can lurk again at any time I want, yet something compels me to speak. And I attempt to maintain some form of reputation. I could post 'anon', or under a different avatar, but I choose to post consistently because I prefer to hear criticism from those that have seen my pattern of thinking. My perceived reputation is derived from comments and 'junks'. If I am a zombie follower I would always appreciate the context of the view. It is easy to criticize when you don't provide any substance.

When I see a poster express their dissatisfaction with the government, yet exclaim their choice for Fed Chairman, my incredulous (in my worldview) reaction is, "Why the **** would you reappoint anyone! That institution is completely unconstitutional and should be wiped off the map completely. There ain't no change if we don't fundamentally change!"

Now, I would love it if everyone patted me on the back for my comments, insight, and how much of a god-king I am, but I know there is absolutely no way I would win an intellectual 'king of the hill' in the comments section if it came down the real fundamentals of what holds our society together. Which, in my view, is: less laws = less tyranny.

I was a lurker for a very short while after following a hyperlink for the second or third time. I decided, again, "Damn the torpedoes!". I want to put my brain on the free market and see what happens. It would be much more interesting if all those that can pass the captcha would throw in some 'two cents' more often.

I genuinely believe that what goes around comes around here on the site. I've seen plenty of unique posters come out of nowhere and describe, in a fascinating way, their take on things. All we, as a community of posters, could ever gain from that is to analyze it and compare it to our own worldview. Once the insults start flying it really loses the quality. I would be the first to admit I've fallen for the bait. But, yes, we have to have thick skin or much will be lost because of delicate sensibilities.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 10:33 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Here is a good one. Getting your feelings hurt, and maybe thinking for a while about something that was said to you on the blog.

After you are done feeling like an idiot for allowing something that happened on a blog to get under your skin, you get to process just why said thing got under your skin. I have both been provoked by and provoked this kind of thing. That is another kind of learning to take away, if you are game to do the work on yourself.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 10:52 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

It's all a mindfuck.  Sometimes it's nice and loving, other times it's unexpected anal.  Just use a condom and plenty of lube and everything will be fine.

I am Chumbawamba.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 10:51 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

I've noticed a lot of...frustration perhaps?...emanating from a lot of postings being made lately.  Many little flame wars breaking out here and there and it's just become a little bit too much as of late.  Maybe it's the holidays, or maybe it's the natural cycle of a new group of people finding out that, yes, we are indeed fucked and there's nothing we can do about it (reference MsCreant's "meltdown" several months ago after the post that discussed the 600 trillion dollars of OTC derivatives out there waiting to implode and take us into the next phase of fuckedness).  It then takes several days to weeks for the brain to be re-wired to deal with the new reality they have discovered.  Or maybe we have a gaggle of GS-hired interlopers who want to try to cause enough stress and drama to drive off ZH readers?  Maybe all of the above.

Has there become a "ZH Mantra"?  If so, I haven't noticed, and I don't know what that mantra is (mine personally is...well, you know what it is :)

As far as worrying what other people think of what you write: welcome to the jungle.  The only way you can learn is to have 100 rabid hyenas tear apart your comment while you try to defend it.  If you're right and hold your ground then you will have won converts and earned respect.  If you're wrong you'll be eaten alive but will be shit out into a new perspective from whence you can go forward.  This is a learning experience for all.  No one person has the right answers, but I think collectively we do, as long as we keep the discourse civil and respectful.  Sometimes it's easy to forget that you're not replying to symbols on a screen, but a real person behind them.

And don't assume you wouldn't be able to defend your thesis (to wit: "less laws = less tyranny", which I take as a given).  Sometimes it's easy to overestimate the intelligence of anonymous people behind pseudonyms.  I mean, look at me.  I think the only reason anyone actually reads my postings is because I assert myself at the end of nearly every message.  You should try it, too.  Catchphrases always engender admirers and mindless followers.  Other examples are: "Watchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis!?", "It's dynomite!!", and "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?"  Try it!

I am Chumbawamba.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 15:58 | Link to Comment agrotera
agrotera's picture


That is really interesting...i wonder what you and others are thinking? 

In a nutshell, year end stuff is demanding but that isn't really the full picture.  For me, it is a little bit of uncertainty about what good i can do at this point.  My previous postings were all very obsessing broken record routines trying to spread the word about certain things.  At this point, i feel a little uncertain about what else i can do--now i am looking at the fact that our government is a corrupt massive machine and the prospects of that changing look so unlikely, it really gets me kind of overwhelmed, and i think that is where my quiet set in...maybe we could start a forum about all of this?  Take care CD...

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 22:55 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Thanks for the support. I look for you from time to time and get it that you come through later (when you have the time) and don't get to directly interact as much. Do stay with us though. I like your style!

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 01:32 | Link to Comment Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Love you my dear are a shining star.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 10:38 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I want to hear that you are slowly on the mend. I don't want to ask you to talk about anything you don't want to talk about.

So there it is.

I do hope you are well. The sun shines. The wind blows. We have this one prescious instant we call now. The past could be a trick, the future an idea.

You are loved too.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 17:43 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 12/31/2009 - 18:04 | Link to Comment Comrade de Chaos
Comrade de Chaos's picture

I just want to wish you all and especially ms. MARLA one hell of a happy New Year !

May all of the bloodsuckers kiss the dust so decent people can smell some profits in the morning.


Thu, 12/31/2009 - 18:19 | Link to Comment carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Reuters reporting this morning...

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian hardline authorities ordered their opponents on Thursday to cease anti-government protests and denied an opposition website report that troops were heading for Tehran ahead of a planned opposition rally.
The Jaras opposition website said troops and armored vehicles were moving toward Tehran and that security forces had deployed in several city squares to foil the opposition rally.
Independent verification was impossible because foreign media have been barred from covering protests directly.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 19:04 | Link to Comment alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Maybe America should suggest they set up "free speech zones"...You we did during our campaigns.

Although, I must admit to having been more fond of America when our free speech zones ran from coast to coast and boarder to boarder.

Ah..the good old days.

As Jack Nicholson says in Easy Rider: "This used to be such a great country".

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 22:32 | Link to Comment carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

You gotta wonder if the Chinese have been briefing Mohammad Ali Jafari of the IRG on how to deal with student protesters since they have been keeping the media way from the crowds like the Chinese did back in 1989.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 02:21 | Link to Comment faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

I wonder how Twitter would have affected the events of 1989, or our knowledge of them anyway.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 21:08 | Link to Comment impending doom
impending doom's picture

Just wanted to say that J.C. Denton is my hero...

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 03:00 | Link to Comment carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture


Sat, 01/02/2010 - 14:27 | Link to Comment canhandlethetruth
canhandlethetruth's picture

They have.

The IRGC/Pasdaran/Basij are vertically integrated with Chinese and Russian 'guidance', in large part due to the latter two's continuing energy/geopolitical interests in Iran.

That botched excuse for a national election in 06/09, along with its bloody aftermath, could be seen as the rope in a tug-of-war for influence between the US/UK/EU and China/Russia/non-aligneds.  Ahmadinejad is 'good for business', from the POV of Beijing & Moscow (in that order), and he's the CEO of the IRGC.

It's tragically comical how our press & pundits don't bother to view the wider '[great?] game' involving global attempts at 'owning' Iran. 

P.S. Tehran probably also outsources some of its domestic online security imperatives/protocols to said allied powers as well.  No, no 'hard evidence' for any of this; just seasoned Intuition...

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 15:03 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture

Great post and very insightful imho

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 18:32 | Link to Comment faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Really interesting analytical tool, by the way. Has anyone applied it to the US yet? Interested to see a quantification of our complacency.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 18:35 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 12/31/2009 - 19:39 | Link to Comment wang
wang's picture


I share your perspective and would add that the western media have distorted and exaggerated the current protest situation.

One of the challenges in the model Zero is attempting to apply is its media based data sources, which are subject to manipulaiton  and/or misrepresentation.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 00:15 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 12/31/2009 - 19:33 | Link to Comment geopol
geopol's picture

WTNigerian Terrorist Patsy Yet Another CIA Ploy in US-backed Buildup of al Qaeda in Yemen Civil War.

The case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is not a matter of unconnected dots, but rather that of a protected patsy or puppet deliberately used by the US intelligence community for a Christmas Day provocation designed to facilitate US meddling in the civil war in Yemen, which is where Umar Farouk allegedly trained and was given his PETN device. Banker's son Umar Farouk had been denied an entrance visa to Great Britain and had been denounced to the US Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria as a possible terrorist by his own father in mid-November. His one-way ticket to Detroit was bought in Ghana for $2800 in cash, and he reportedly entered Nigeria illegally. In Amsterdam, he was assisted at the Northwest Airlines gate by a "well-dressed Indian" who explained that Umar Farouk had no passport. He did have PETN, the same substance supposedly used by the mentally impaired shoe bomber Richard Reid in his abortive attack of eight years ago. In spite of all this, Umar Farouk's US entry visa was never revoked, he never made it onto the no-fly list, and he was never thoroughly searched. These egregious lapses in normal procedure show that Umar Farouk was part of an orchestration sponsored by the CIA, which has now yielded 4 solid days of media hysteria. Obama has formulated his new version of the Axis of Evil, composed of Afghanistan-Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. In Yemen, a civil war pits the Saudi-backed central government against the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels, whom the US has bombed at least twice this month. The goal here is to play Iran against Saudi Arabia so as to weaken both the pro-Moscow Achmadinejad government in Iran, and also those Saudi forces that are fed up with their status as a US protectorate. The US is openly now sponsoring a regroupment of "al Qaeda" (the CIA Moslem legion) in Yemen, by sending fighters direct from Guantanamo. The new CIA-promoted entity synthetic entity is "Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula" or AQAP, a gaggle of US patsies, dupes, and fanatics which is claiming credit for the Umar Farouk incident. The US hopes to further dominate the exit from the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, while also easing pressure on the battered US dollar by jacking up the price of oil in an atmosphere of tension on the Arabian peninsula.


Happy New Year

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 19:41 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture


Would you be so kind as to post the link where you found this little gem? Personally I find it completely believable and I actually expected this type of false flag attack earlier this year. The conditions are now ripe for the next axis of evil member to be exposed.

After all, they gotta find someone external to blame the coming disastrous economic downturn on. They can't have US citizens thinking we came this close to economic salvation only to blow it ourselves. Best to have external bad guys screwing up the recovery that really wasn't.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 17:48 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Fri, 01/01/2010 - 19:33 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Al Queda was created as a CIA black bag operation. Regardless of what anyone wishes to think, Al Queda is still a CIA black bag operation. The Pakistani secret service was and is supported and controlled by the CIA. I could go on but you either accept the fact that the US is screwing with the world through covert and overt means or you don't. One is the truth and the other is emotionally safer to believe. 

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 20:15 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Fri, 01/01/2010 - 20:34 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture

Ever read Al Qutb or Lawrence Wright?

Ever think people have their own journeys and arrive at conclusions without the CIA?

Ever think that more than just the US and the CIA is screwing with the world for their own reasons?

Ever think that you are the one with a simple reductionist and emotionally safer to believe outlook? Not only on this page but in most of your posts on every topic? Self aware much?

Ever get that mixing partial truths into a strawman arguement still leaves you making a juvenile arguement?

Ever really understand the antecedents of the ISI and understand that it has many influences on its amoeba like cells...its not one organism with one belief system (as is true of almost everything about Pakistan). Ever understand that the Saudi Interior Ministry has more influence there then the CIA? Ever understand that Kashmiri nationalists have more influence than the CIA within the ISI? Ever understand that anti Army resentment has more influence within the ISI than the CIA?

Why issue blanket statements about stuff you do not understand or do the research on or did not personally experience?

About the only thing we agree with is that there is a lot of cognitive dissonance at work here.

I wrote a post not realizing I was not logged in under my name here that was fairly helpful and actually had a lot of accurate factual information and agreed with you on the major point about our likely eventual misuse of a foreign demons to cover domestic policy failures, but disagreed with the believeability of this particular rumor about Yemen.

Your response was that of a juvenile, not a serious analyst knowledgeable about that part of the world or geopolitics or history (ours or theirs). In the future I will leave you to fantasy.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 20:49 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Did you manage to get all your bullet talking points posted or did you miss any? What page of your disinformation manual did you pull this crap? I notice you didn't respond to my actual post. I wonder why?

I don't blame the CIA/NSA etc for all the ills of this extremely complex world and there certainly are other people and nations stirring the pot. But the USA and all it's various official and unofficial minions are most definitely leading the shit spreaders. And no amount of rationalization or justification by you or any other apologists can make the shit smell better.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 21:14 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture

My remarks are not from a manual nor from your rarely right but always certain simple view of the world.

My family is Iranian. I have worked in Saudi, Eygpt, Yemen and Pakistan for decades. I was in Yemen three times last year. Saudi Five, Cairo six, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad eight times. I was in Tajikstan and Uzbekistan twice. I was in Iraq three times.

And so on every year for decades. I went to boarding school with the person who was the last Saudi Interior Minister. I worked and lived in Central Asia and the ME for many many years.

I have been very disillusioned with the USA for the past two decades. I know and have dealt with many members of the CIA in several capacities. Same for the Treasury Department and DOD. As I said, I have been very disillusioned for a long time with the policies and the people who selected themselves as worthy to work in vital institutions in the USA.

I apologize for my failure to suffer the blindly confident fools I see wherever I see them.

I do not know anyone who knows with any degree of certainty the Middle East or the non nations of Central Asia...yet somehow you do?

And once again, you claim in your post that I am an apologist and that I claimed the USA is not the leading shit spreader.

I said no such thing. Once again making up and then attacking a strawman is juvenile and a sign of low intelligence and insecurity in what you really do actually do know.

For the record, I think the USA is the second leading shit spreader in the world. After the self appointed brilliant but proudly ignorant you can find anywhere.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 21:30 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

And STILL you do not respond to my post.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 22:13 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture

I am having trouble with the site tonight so another post may show up at some point

Essentially, I agreed with you far above about the main allegation: Someone/some group in the USA will start to demonize some other nation or events or group as a distraction from domestic failures.

I "respectfully" disagreed that it would be Yemen (do you really think Yemen or al Queda is large enough or right enough of a spectre to do the trick for the size of the distraction required? really?)

That fact based historically sound analysis of the facts on the ground obviously caused some cosmic storm challenge to your grandiosity. It made you assert you could mind read what I think, the "side" I am on and the perspectives I have. Very amusing. Also a personality disorder.

It also sounds like you think you posed a question....I honestly do not see it.

I also remind you that you answered none of my actual all

All sounds kinda silly and not worth more time

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 22:47 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture

Seriously, today one of the Administrations favorite mouthpieces and party spokesperson (Krugman) claims in his op-ed peice in the NYT:

"There's the claim that protectionism is always a bad thing in any circumstances. If that's what you believe, however, you learned Econ 101 from the wrong people- because when unemployment is high and the government cannot restore full employment, the usual rules do not apply"

So the very same day as the big obvious next step comes further out of the closet you guys think its suddenly really going to be about a Seventh Century backwater non nation out take of Saudi Arabia ...and you base that on an alleged alliance between the Iranians and the American killing, Shite killing branch of psychopaths you call a branch of the CIA trying to overthrow the House of Saud and their actual CIA connections?

And you are insulted when this allegation is questioned?

Because thats what just happened here above...

And you want to be taken seriously?

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 16:22 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Dude, enough of the vitriole.  You have good background on these issues and I, for one, welcome your contributions, but please don't be so damn combative.  This all boils down to a lack of nuance in written communication.

CD is a good guy.  Each of you should cut the other some slack.  Everyone has their theory.  No one knows for sure.  One can only look at the evidence at face value, place your bets, then wait for the wheel to stop spinning to see who wins...and loses.

I am Chumbawamba.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 17:30 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture


Thank you. To be honest, it was the reaction to my first post, which I thought was respectful as possible and valuable to any truly thoughful person trying to understand the chaos that is the world, especially given the fallacies involved in the original hypothesis, that struck me as rude and juvenile a reaction of a person who does not like to be challenged....or exposed.

I'll take your word for it...but until I see it I just match the tone of the people I am talking to. What I saw was a guy trying to drown a sound arguement in a swirl of allegations about my "naive" views of the world...and attacking the messenger is ratcheting the conversation to another place. In my book if you want to play then bring your game. Sorry he had no game so it looks so one sided.

But its over so we shall see what happens the next time.

I do not think this is a time when we can afford sloppy thinking and if I think silly stuff I expect it goal is not to look good on a website or "win" My goal is to be a better person, make better sense of what is streaming towards us and make a beneficial and altruistic difference in the world. I did not see the same and responded accordingly.

Thanks for your post...I appreciate the feedback and will keep it in mind 

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 18:08 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

I "respectfully" disagreed that it would be Yemen (do you really think Yemen or al Queda is large enough or right enough of a spectre to do the trick for the size of the distraction required? really?)

Yeah? Well, we're still in Afghanistan for some reason. The mass media will spin anything into a problem to alter the perception of the public - it doesn't matter if the Yemeni people are just a bunch of goat herders - bombs away for freedom! We kill for peace. And going along with your attack on CD about his worldview is quite ironic.

Also a personality disorder.

What Chummers said. I'm looking up those two authors. Thanks.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 20:14 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Happy New Year, geo and CD.

Thanks for putting this all in one little ditty.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 07:20 | Link to Comment Gold_Buggery
Gold_Buggery's picture

Hey Geo,

which are the best sites that aggregate these kinds of intelligent, non-MSM, geo-political analyses ...

Grateful for any pointers ...

Bugger Me

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 12:31 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

I can throw down a few that are at least 80% of what you might be looking for: has some spin to help sell advertisers' products, but good content to chew on. Look for pieces written by Paul Joseph Watson and Kurt Nimmo. is a lot less hoopla. is a surprise for many; it's not geo-political, but it is very, very relevant. is really entertaining; ain't nothin' like Mr. Willie.

Hope this helps. I'm sure geo has other sources, but the above is what I can recommend for the average cat that still has an active bullshit detector and can decide for themselves whether or not to believe what they are reading.

There are a few more I could point out, but the noise-to-signal ratio is overwhelming. It's pretty murky out there.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 23:14 | Link to Comment merehuman
merehuman's picture

Wepollock on utube. This man actually THINKS!

Denninger, a bit bitchy, but apparantly straight up!

Utube has the best chance of informing the most people fastest. It is an incredible site for learning a LOT of things.

But nothing beats Zerohedge . I spend a lot of time researching our mutual dilemma. Good luck to all of you.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 16:25 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Geopol, you rock, dude.

I am Chumbawamba.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 01:43 | Link to Comment Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Are you sure you are not Wynonnawamba?

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 18:48 | Link to Comment brodix
Sun, 01/03/2010 - 12:10 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Essential reading if you want to understand ME politics:

No one, and I mean NO ONE, beats the Angry Arab.

I am Chumbawamba.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 16:11 | Link to Comment ToNYC
ToNYC's picture

oops!! looks like an informer was outed and on the way home tried to buy an insurance policy for his family..blowback from the kool drones and kruisers..looks like his family is safe now. The saudi-backed blokes noted in aug 6 '01 directive are still in full effect and in league with the NWT/ISIs..gee whiz, batman, now what!

What would Geo. Washington say?

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 16:27 | Link to Comment sepmeier
Fri, 01/01/2010 - 19:37 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I always love this response.

"The story is from "Russia Today""

As if anything printed in the NY Times, Washington Post or the WSJ is any more believable? Like the US mass media has a franchise on truth?

Please, wake up.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 16:31 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

For real.  I find the National Enquirer (US tabloid for you foreigners) to be more rational and credible than any mainstream so-called "news" organization.  Heck, The Onion publishes more truth and facts in its comedy than NY Times does on its front AND back page.

If you want journalism, there are many great sources out there (Geopol's list above is an excellent resource).  If you want to re-live all the awkwardness and drama of high school, CNN/Fox/NBC/ABC/CBS/etc are there to serve you.  Be sure to support their sponsors!

I am Chumbawamba.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 10:55 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture


How does an increase in the price of oil help the USA?

It is a mathmatical truth that the economy declines for every dollar oil increases over $85 a barrel. Even if the dollar rises as well. So just how is the oligarchs plan to extract more money for them aided by having to extract it from a poorer USA given higher oil prices?

How would increasing the almost complete control we have over the sea lanes lead to an increase in the price of oil? The safer the oil transport....the lower the price. In fact for the oil that flows past Yemen (far from the majority of oil out of the Gulf) the insurance premium for the Yemen run  after the 2002 attack on a French tanker is equal to $.15 per barrel.

So this grand CIA plan would have the net effect of lowering the price of oil for transported on that particular run.

All in all the proposed objective makes no sense. Add in the mis understanding of the historical nature of Yemen, AlQueda's lack of connection to the Shite tribes of the inner wildlands and the misunderstanding of how Saudi and Iran compete and the mis read of Irans and all Shia's and AlQueda's hatred and the proposed direction of AlQueda by the CIA ...which proposes that after five years of torture in Guantanamo...the CIA can direct said robots in Yemen to do their bidding...much like they did when they directed them to fly into the Twin Towers...and this is one mess of a hypothetical.

This is the kind of tin foil hat thinking that ruins the audiences of legitimate and necessary questioning of actual American policies.

You are the same guys who wonder why the sheeple do not follow you into action.

Answer: They are smarter than you are and have better BS detectors. These kinds of rumors actually make it look like the average person would be better off under the oligarchs.

I am willing to bet these common sense questions may prompt a response along the lines of scorn for my inability to understand how the Trilateral Commission and its long standing connections to the Illuminati really works.

I am sorry for being mean...but the paucity of realistic thinking behind stuff like this is a tragedy to perpetutate in a time when we need all good minds on I hope the impatient tone of the critique shocks some (asking all would be an impossible dream) into being more rigorous in their thoughts


Sat, 01/02/2010 - 14:14 | Link to Comment canhandlethetruth
canhandlethetruth's picture

Petrodollar recycling benefits the NYC, London and select European banks through which they pass...the same banks that essentially run the NYMEX and ICE, free from governmental/regulatory interference.

Case in point, the 'energy crisis' of the early 1970s was a concocted one, triggered (in part) by the equally concocted Six Day War, in order to spike energy prices and thus benefit the bottom lines of the imminently custody-exercising banks (Chase, anyone?) that were to benefit.

Conjecture?  Nah.  It's brilliantly and painstakingly detailed in the works of independent (of Foundation-funded institutions, for sure) economists and historians like Michael Hudson and Bill Engdahl. In the latter's seminal A Century of War, said situation - along with revelations about the Shah's compliances with Kissinger's pricing directives - are synopsized. [Former Saudi Oil Minister Sheikh Yamani on Engdahl's account, as per the book's back cover: "This is the only acurate account I have seen of what really happened with the price of oil in 1973. I strongly recommend reading it."]

I.E. High energy prices benefit our nation's owning interests, who control the bank.  I.E. The highly fluctuating oil prices of the past 24 months have been tactical, and thus by design.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 17:35 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture

I do not disagree with the petrodollar recycling thesis as it analyzes petrodollar flows.

However, the negative impact from higher energy prices on all the other aspects of the economy that also could benefit the banks is more than negative enough to drown out that effect.

Appreciate the response

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 19:12 | Link to Comment brodix
brodix's picture

What other economy? The banks view the rest of the economy as foodsource. First and foemost, they understand world oil sources are finite and it is in their long term interest to preserve them. The best way is through higher prices.

 To pick your brain, why the obsession with Iran? They can't even refine their own gas so it seems unlikely they will ever build an effective nuclear weapons system, but it seems in everyone's interest to promote the fear of it. It doesn't seem an actual war would really be to anyone's benefit though, but the Israelis seem intent on pushing one for all it's worth and the administration seems to be captured by them. Are the Israelis just playing the attack dog, with the Americans acting like they are holding them back? I guess the people who might really know are not talking, but there is an uncomfortable amount of brinksmanship going on there.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 20:04 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture

1)  Please do the math. Just take the annual oil purchases of the USA out of the annual gdp number. Ok now raise the annual oil prices number by 10%. Now lower the other parts of the economy number by 5% (impact of increased energy prices). Which one impacts the banks more?

OK now do it by increasing the oil prices by 10% and the non oil by 1%. Notice which is larger?

Thanks for getting smarter. By the way there is tons of research done on the impact of rising oil prices beyond $85 per barrel and the negative impact on the economy.

Just think a moment. If Starbucks is an American company and 73% of the US economy is consumer purchases...what benefits an American bank more....$10 more per month minus what goes to the oil producing country and the transport country and maybe the American refiner/distributor or $10 more to the American Company Starbucks in every strip mall in every city in America?

As for your other question...imho...America makes out much better economically when we demonize Iran and the Sunni Gulf nations buy our planes and radar and our protection. Further, Iran is such a poorly equipped and inefficient a oil producer that it leaves tons more in the ground than the modernized Aramco's etc etc. Iranian oil and gas goes east to Asia and north to Russia...ineffieciently and expensively. America's isolation of them has had a lot to do with that impovrishment...but its also a two way street

Iran has always been verbally truculent for domestic consumption but has not been expansionist. If you look at it from their point of view, they are surrounded by American bases in the Straights of Hormuz, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi, Kuwait, Afghan, Diego Garcia, Tajikstan and Uzbekistan. Of course they talk aggresively. The USa did as well when Russia and China and Cuba and Eastern Europe and most of the Third World were on the other side in the Cold War.

Now...that said...Iran is an actual enemy of stability in the world and has never been very good at integrating with the rest of the lets be careful here and not make the current regime less than the trouble they are.

One last thing...we did play a part in the overthrow of Mossedegh. But the clerics (lead by Khomeni) had a greater and more treacherous part in the story and some of their continuily perpetutating and enlarging the CIA role was to cover up their treachery to Mossedegh when they thought the Tudeh (the communist Party of Iran ) needed to go first. The role and history the clerics played in Iran since 1922 is not the story of kindly priests and rabbi's helping the poor. Its the story of knifings in the alleys in the pursuit of power

Its complicated.

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 10:56 | Link to Comment TumblingDice
TumblingDice's picture

If Starbucks is an American company and 73% of the US economy is consumer purchases...what benefits an American bank more....$10 more per month minus what goes to the oil producing country and the transport country and maybe the American refiner/distributor or $10 more to the American Company Starbucks in every strip mall in every city in America?

Good question. I would say that $10 going to both venues would give the banks the biggest benefit, with the consumer picking up the missing $10. The banks want to create as much debt as possible and a strong economy might not even be the objective at this point. I would argue that in the interest of serf preservation and increased sustainability of the system they would be more interested in a weaker economy with an increased debt load than what we had before. Two main reasons: one is that they want inflation and the best way to create it is to have a weak labor market with a strong credit market. That way the unemployed can go into debt that will always be paid off thanks to the taxpayers and the printing press. Two is that they might just realize that peak oil is past and want to limit current oil production for as long and as much as possible before figuring out a contingecy plan. Maybe this does not figure into their calculations but if they were smart, and I am guessing they aren't stupid, then it should.

Tue, 01/05/2010 - 19:20 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I too have had the thought that the slow down in the economy could be deliberately engineered to:

1. Slow down consumption of fossil fuels and other resources because we are running out.

2. Slow down the process of pollution.

3. Slow down climate change (if they believe in it).

4. A real doozy, help cut down on population growth.

Tue, 01/05/2010 - 19:21 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture


Sat, 01/02/2010 - 16:41 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

The one thing we can be certain about is that the truth of ME politics is so convoluted and confusing that NO ONE, not even the players themselves, know what's going on.

The repeating theme I find in all your postings is criticism of others' conjecture without any of your own evidence to refute them or bolster your own claims.

If you came here simply to get in pointless virtual fistfights with other readers then: SUCCESS.  Congratulations.  If you have something useful to contribute then please do.  I want to hear it.  You claim to have the background of someone with some interesting stories to contribute.  Let's hear them.

I am Chumbawamba.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 17:56 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture


respectfully, please examine the detailed set of reasons supporting the points I made on this thread.

If you think that it is useful to just let unexamined stuff fly by when it make no sense then we disagree on what it takes to be a force for a better world. Facts and rigor are inconvienient truths and I maybe mistakenly thought that truth was the point here.

Insightful and unanswerable questions/challenges are inconvienient truths. Asserting nonsense into spaces without challenge is masterbation.

If you think some of what passes for thought here is going to influence the world (or convince the "sheeple" so many of the same posters make fun of and look down on for not seeing what they see) that there is a more truthful way of seeing the world...then I will continue elsewhere as I have no lack of successful ways to use my time.

I'll give you an example: I agree wholeheartedly with what you say in your first sentence. Wholeheartedly. That said, using that reality as the justification for why just any old thought gets passed on to the majority of the viewers (people who lurk but do not post) as if it was all equally likely or valid does not serve anyone in a crucial time with vital things at stake in the world

Does anyone here expect change without challenge? Others to try your recipes without rigorous examination?

Because if you do then you are expecting a human species and a human society not yet discovered.

I do not disagree with a lot of the core perspective of many here on ZH. However, if the view is that any thought is as good as any other than not many here are ready for prime time. I am not sure the world can afford it this time ...because what I see is that the right ideas are mainly in the hands of ineffective people. Thought has to be actionable in a crisis otherwise it stays on the walls of the cave and the world moves on with the shallow in charge. imho.

Good luck

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 18:31 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

If you think that it is useful to just let unexamined stuff fly by when it make no sense then we disagree on what it takes to be a force for a better world. Facts and rigor are inconvienient truths and I maybe mistakenly thought that truth was the point here.

Huh? What rock have you been hiding under? What exactly was the CIA doing in Afghanistan? We don't need CIA in Afghanistan. The waste of 'taxpayer money' is incredible - the system is about control, not how how efficient it is. "You're doing a heckuva job, Browine." There is so much gross incompetence and corruption it's disgusting.

CD said it right, what kind of disinformation manual are you getting this from?

Any damn 13-year-old can see CIA evil right in front of them on YouTube; no tinfoil necessary:

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 18:51 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture


Ok...where in the world did I say anything about the CIA being in Afghanistan or it being a good decision or a good war??

Where? Seriously...where?

And you think I am the one who is being unreasonable. You guys are throwing one strawman after another out there that I never said.

Next...Yemen will be a small sideshow. the original posted hypothesis was that the CIA was inciting the ALQueda along with Iran. Not valid. Said the reason was to increase oil prices (net eeffect on the economy is bad and in truth safer routes means lower oil prices as the insurance premium placed on that route lowers the price per barrel by $.15 cents.

Next, you are finding me annoying when you guys are writing about the ME without having read the tortured founder of Al Queda (al Qutb) nor Lawrence Wright who traces their history and interviews (quite sympathetically) their teachers, parents and antecedents and evolving thinking in a way that has not been challenged by either side.

I grant no one knows the ME very well...but there ought to be a bar below which you simply are humble until you can take the time to learn more.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 19:40 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture

All right, let me take another shot at this:

1) All you guys are smart and trying to figure out the world. Me as well. There is tons you know that I do not...otherwise I would not be here

2) I found so many obvious mistakes in the hypothesis rasied above that I actually thought it would be HELPFUL to you (I knew the baseline material ages ago) to point out in my first post to CD some actual facts that made the original hypothesis very flawed. I never and do not defend the CIA. (What do you need a anti CIA badge to post here...gotta establish your bona fides ideologically approved by the group think police?) I actually know what real live CIA personnel do to a up close and personal.

never the less:

The Northern corner of Yemen has for centuries been where radical Sunni believers out of favor with the established tribes and mullahs and official teachings of the Hashemites and then the Sauds go to hide and plot. It has been an AlQueda (the label Interior Ministries and the CIA and Homeland Security applies to anyone Saudi labels as trouble) location. Bin Laden spent time their in his exile years, etc etc.

Al Queda is Sunni. They do not like and in fact hate Shites (witness how the Al Queda in Iraq variation targeted Shite proxies of Iran more than Americans).

Iran is Shite. Hezbollah and Hamas its proxies are Shite. Iran is surrounded by largely Sunni based nations and Afghan which is Pashtun based fundamentalist. Iraq is Sunni in the middle, Shia in the South and Kurd in the north with variations in all the big cities of citizens forced to re locate by Saddam.

There are Shia minorities in Saudi near the oil fields and their are Sunni minorities near the biggest Iranian fields. Both nations compete but do not incite the minorities in the opposite nation. Thats been true and a policy of both since 1939.

AlQueda in Yemen would have nothing to do with the Shia tribes who are also against the government of Yemen (such as it is) as are the significant number of non ideological criminal gangs in Yemen.

PS: The Brits and the French are still mroe influential in Yemen than the USA.

Iran hates their own Sunni extremists so much thay turned them over to the US at the beginning of the Afghan War (as testified by them and us). Iran keeps the Taliban and al Queda out and was recently the victims of a pipeline bombing by Al Queda types in eastern Iran. Iran recently lost several powerful Revolutionary Guard leaders to an AlQueda bombing in Iran. I did not say it was Al Queda who did it...Iran did and they had the choice to blame the CIA but in fact targeted their enemies the Sunni radical organization called Al Queda

Controlling the seas around Yemen even more would lower, not increase, the transport rates of the oil which goes past (not the majority) by 15 cents.

Lower oil prices from the transport around Yemen (remember a ton of European oil goes through pipeline to the MEditerranean) helps so many parts of the economy of Europe first and the US second that whatever advantages of higher oil prices the banks enjoy would be swamped by advantages of lower oil prices.

Al Queda has a history which forms before the CIA was formed. Those people genuinely hate the US and are genuinely independent of teh CIA (That does not mean the CIA is innocent of many many things...just not that)

Nor can one seriously claim that Al Queda was CIA controlled and attacked America several times especially on 9/11. To do that you have to demonstrate the money flows and advantages or you have to be a 9/11 conspiracist (which I have no interest in talking to)

Some people hate the USA and hate established order without ever meeting a CIA person. Somethings happen that have nothing to do with the bankers.

Lawrence Wrights Looming Towers reads like a novel and no one who considers themselves a citizen of the world and capable of understanding these times and this economic crisis has not read the is a classic and perhaps the best  and most important book of the last decade.

Read Al Zahwiri's personal story of torture in Egypt and then tell me he does what he does because the CIA influenced him. You know that all these people who lead Al Queda lost family members to the CIA or the Interior Minsitries ? As in sons and daughters ? And they believe in blood revenge as a religious commandment?

So if you want to claim that the USA is making a mess in the ME, I can cite you chapter and verse and personal family anecdotes in detail going back to the 1920's and my grandparents time. If you want to play fantasy without facts and read without comprehension making strawman allegations when your favorite fantasy is challenged than I am out and you are just not serious people likely to make a difference in the world.

Your choice

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 22:56 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

I actually thought it would be HELPFUL to you

No, please, yes, contribute! But we are as able to confirm your position as you. Who can really know. Few, if any, of the regular posters here are 'in the shit' as we speak. When we, as a choppy, evolving community, are lucky to get a peak into what is possibly the 'real world' from a lurker-turned-poster it is quite thrilling. However, when it is accompanied with insult the genuine nature of the post is brought into question. There is nothing wrong with attacking an idea, as long as the attack is with reason. But to attempt to insult the poster, beyond mere jest, brings the focus onto the intention of the poster.

Seemed like a troll move when I first saw your posts. I thought I would step in to see if I was wrong. But then you pulled the same moves, such as the "I never said that." Focus on the line of reasoning, not whether or not you had brought up the concept. I could tear you apart for spelling errors, but I'm more interested in the content than the delivery.

To do that you have to demonstrate the money flows and advantages or you have to be a 9/11 conspiracist (which I have no interest in talking to)

But you demonstrate a willing blindness, that is, if you really believe what you are saying. To accept the official 9/11 story with knowledge of all that was not included in the investigation makes one more willingly blind then the general public that has no knowledge of what was not included.

Who cares what you can spout, sentence after sentence about Yemen. You can't verify it. Neither can we. If you know so much tell then me what the New Mexican Megabucks winning number is next week. We can always only speculate. For all we know ZH is a CIA 'honeypot'. So by all means, please, we love a contrarian perspective, but not for the sake of being a contrarian.




Sat, 01/02/2010 - 23:47 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture

Water Wings

First, you can check all the facts. Please do so. I gave you two sources and their are tons more I could happily provide. All of them are unbiased, fact checked and not challenged on the facts by the USA or the facets of the ME

Second...and none of you are acknowledging this fairly important fact:

I first posted a very respectfull post of nothing but facts (all of which can be verified very easily)...and starting with guys attacked my motivations, intelligence, perspective and world view.

Thats also a chronological fact

Next...I never defended the CIA in any way...and never asserted that the USA should be in Afghanistan...yet you insulted me three times in your post above as if I had. I know more than you do that the CIA has been a big problem. And since I actually have been in Afghanistan several times I know by my own eyes how impossible the terrain, the situation and the folly of what we are doing there. Not just by reading knowing ordinary people being there and by decades of reading as well.

Your line of reasoning does not matter. We do not disagree about the general line of reasoning....but the differences and details count...they count a lot.

The answer to someone who points out that AlQueda is a Sunni radical organization who targets Shia's (unlike the Yemen spin which stated this) is not "hey you under the rock with the disinformation manual ...what about the CIA in Afghanistan ?"

Thats a line of reasoning?

You can verify what I said about Yemen, Iran, etc etc. You can verify how the nation works, how the northwest corner has been a refuge for religious zealots and criminals for centuries. You can verify the insurance surcharge for transporting past the Yemen coast. You can verify the cost of oil would go down not up if Yemen was judged more under control as it did after the 2003 tanker shooting off the Yemen coast. I hope you do verify and do the homework required. The fact that you do not think it is easy to verify is very telling.

My reason for being here was to learn about the economic chaos I have seen coming for many years.

Oddly, I was voluntarily going to make a donation as of when I next could in a few weeks. Then I read this thread and its self congradulatory celebration of anything that pops into folks minds.

I posted a very factual and respectfull contribution first. I even agreed with the major premise CD made. I got ripped for my attempt. And ripped again. Despite the fact that you and he do not have the base knowledge to know (as many on many other blogs are knowledgeable enough to verify we are not talking about esoteric knowledge... sorry to say...its widely known) any better.

And yes you could tear me apart for spelling errors. I have dyslexia and I lost two fingers on my dominant that is not easy for me.

Why would one contribute to a group so smugly sure they are right not to know basic stuff and they refuse to verify pretty basic things about how the world works...yet insult those who would? 

You consider this a recipe for success?

You are also wrong that I am a troll. I actually think it is important for as many people as possible to understand some of this material...but I do know several other groups where the chances that they will figure out more and make more of a difference in the world are much greater than I am currently seeing here. Thats where I will prefer to spend my time and learn.

Good luck


Sun, 01/03/2010 - 00:53 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Well, most trolls just don't take the time to respond in such a lengthy fashion. Good on ya mate!

so we are not talking about esoteric knowledge

Uh, yeah. Where did you say you were from again? If this ground here is too unholy we wouldn't want to all burn to death in your celestial presence anyway. Merci beaucoup.

I have dyslexia and I lost two fingers on my dominant hand

It's slysdexia, and I'm sorry about your hand, but it's no excuse if you forget to spell check. Oh, and uh, and you started it, pal. It's a well known fact that 90% of all bar fights were started by the guy that ended up dead. You can check the facts! Everybody knows this - don't end up dead in a bar fight - you don't get to tell your side of the story. If you didn't know this already then why am I still here responding to you. I should have donated to the lottery instead, at least there I'd have had a chance at making a difference!

So go ahead and explain a $0.15 increase on the price per barrel. So what! If you were talkin' $15 I'd say, 'yowza!'. Daily price swings gobble up that difference - explain to me the effects of welfare on the cost efficiency of our gov't and you've got yourself a willing audience!

So your list of facts are either insignificant, unverifiable (Al Qaeda is 100% which one?), or uninteresting. But I do have to hand it to you when it comes to talkin' about it. In fact, I would consider it a personality disorder. That's a fact. You can ask anyone.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 11:18 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture

Water Wings,

First of all, I rarely get into disputes with people I interact with so I am not used to useless conflict. But just as you are,  am fortunate enough to pick and choose the places where I spend my time, so this is not worth my getting too upset about.

Second, as near as I can tell the site places my replies to people after the last thing they posted, not the post I replied to. As a result a contentious discussion has grown even more fragmented and difficult and my attempts to keep the discussion focused on one subject has not been successful. Perhaps this is how Afghanistan got dragged into the conversation.

Third, here is why I think facts and context count in the world and why I am surprised at the reactions on this thread:

1) In the world as I have known it information and discussion is useful when it helps one gain greater context so one can take A) USEFUL, as in more likely than not correct decisions and B) ACTIONABLE,  steps towards ones goals and a better world.

2) Discussions that hash out what is going on in the world with other knowledgeable people is necessary for there is much disinformation and much spin in the world.

3) An item appeared which scrambled a bunch of information about the potential for a greater conflict in Yemen and several people lept on it and said "Hey doesn't surprise me. Thanks for the down low. Thats the way they operate. Sounds like the next big thing"

Now, there were several ways one could tell from the writeup that the rumor was unlikely:

It was historically inaccurate,

It had people working together who do not work together.

It had people fighting each other who do not fight with each other.

It proposed an economic benefit as the reason d'etre which was not likely or plausble.

Now, in the world I know and the people I work with and the blogs I get information from...all that would have been processed instantly. In fact, anyone promoting the rumor posted here would have been dismissed as a useful source for not having known that instantly.

For example, yes....a $.15 cents transportation cost difference is not enough to merit Yemen being the next big when today the Brits and the US announced they would fund an increase in the number of trained police in Yemen it would have been no surprise at all that the response is tiny in the scheme of things.

Facts and context matter because:

1) You need to concentrate on the likely and the important for there are so many distractions

2) You need to penetrate misinformation fast

3) You need actionable information to succeed.

You guys all dismissed that kind of fact base and context as irrelevant in favor of PASSIONATELY holding on to the "big truth" (The USA, the Fed and the CIA is evil and has AlQueda as a black bag operation so the big banks can make money everywhere....and they are behind everything you hear and lots you do not)

Let me give you two examples of how your PASSION plus actionable facts and context are important if you want to change the world:

A) Lets say you are in charge of risk management at a new kind of IB (Good for the World Global Bank) where all the profits go to funding alternative energy enterprises so big oil and the ME is someday irrelevant.

CD comes running into the trading room waving the Yemen rumor: "This is the next big thing I can feel it. Its just how the CIA operates." and someone else goes "Yeah higher oil prices favors the big banks" and someone else goes "yeah its the next Afganistan"

So you as the head of Good for The World Global risk management let the trading desks go for it.

At Goldman, some junior kiss ass makes sure the rumor is properly contexturalized and issues a ten point dismissal of the rumor within 10 minutes

The next day the US and Britian make an announcement that tells the market Yemen is a footnote of an issue

Goldman wins...because they care about facts and context to narrow down the probable and ACT on it.

You and your merry band are soon out of business for you cannot judge and do not care about and do not value USEFUL and ACTIONABLE Information. You would rather have a circle jerk of PASSIONATE true believers who claim its all unverifiable as their defense for not being Ready for Prime Time.

You could have the Squid by the shorthairs...but you will not if you do not respect facts and context

You could have checked all of what I said in two hours. Easily. Or you could just plug into places where such stuff is easily known by all who are posting

B) Lets say you have Chumbawamba sweeping up the polls, momentum behind him and ready to defeat the candidate of the Old Oligarchs. Finally, truth and justice and a new way of living are in your grasp. The "sheeple" are finally starting to get it and the excitement is all over

The debate is last night. CD runs into the debate preparation room with the rumor on Yemen. "Hey...I got a feeling about this. Yeah, lets go with it. Sounds just like them...they are trying to scare the Sheeple and steal the election"

So you and your team around Chumbawamba read him the posting and you charge into the debate

In the 24 hour news cycle which follows your candiate is now exposed as on the same ninny level as Quayle and Palin.

Your beliefs never again get tried at a national level...because you demonstrate a sloppy regard for how the world works and no "sheeple" trusts someone who is so arrogant as to claim a superior "truth" but an inferior grasp of how to apply it in the real world

Thats the value of working harder to figure out the background and history and thinking of these you can catch the manipulations faster and in depth. You need all the time and all the resources you have...getting stuck on the unlikely is not the path to USEFUL and ACTIONABLE decisions and actions and leadership.

Now, when I first posted, it never occurred to me that you would not value the same eventual be useful and actionable and make a positive difference in the world. I actually thought it would be a one post entry and that would be it.

Thats sometimes happens when you make respectful assumptions about the positive openness of the people you are interacting with...and they are not about being as USEFUL and ACTIONABLE A SET of LEADERS AS THEY COULD BE. The next useful and actionable step on my end is to move on.

It was not that you guys didn't know about why the rumor was not going to pan out as the next big thing that matters ...there are tons of things anyone of us does not know...and no harm and no foul in not knowing something. What you should be most concerned about and what I will move on because of the reaction and lack of interest in getting it right and the sense that you think it does not matter and you cannot verify what others say so why bother. Thats the kind of self protecting defeatism that tells me I should spend time where folks are really serious about making a difference.

In fact Water Wings, the most wit you showed on the thread was in making fun of another persons disability. Thats a pretty clear sign of one of lifes permanent losers. No insights. No curiousity. No attempt to be better. No idea how to check out what someone else says. No idea of the most basic core readings on what influences 1 billion of the worlds people who have the worlds most valued resource. (I am stunned that was not read ages ago...everyone else I spend time with has mastered that information and about ten other sources as just the base level required to inquire further)

I will leave you to keep posting breathless denunciations, speculative gossip and sweeping claims. Sort of like Tiger Beat.

We all know how these things turn out. You coalesce around your values and dismiss the outsider and I will do the same.

One of us will be better off.

Good luck.




Sun, 01/03/2010 - 12:00 | Link to Comment Sisyphus
Sisyphus's picture



Thank you for your posts. I hope you stay around to debate others on this matter and not leave ZH because some of us are more comfortable blaiming the CIA for all that ails us. I, for one, appreciate your perspective, and you are right - CIA is not the root cause of all evil. I come from that part of the world, too, and have seen it first hand how indoctrination changes people, and, no, it wasn't CIA running those camps.


Sun, 01/03/2010 - 13:30 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture


Thank you.

We both know that terror is a really hard asymetric weapon to deal with.

The USA loses when it under reacts and when it over reacts.

There are several reasons why we need to filter out the static from the noise:

1) For the next fifty years or more Presidents will have to APPEAR to be very vigilent because even a small successful attack will result in the Administration losing control of their agenda and losing a chunk of potential voters for the duration of their tenure.

2) Terrorists need to talk a lot because thats how they recruit and thats how they raise money and because after all they are messianic

3) The Administration needs to talk tough to cover their flanks in this particular news cycle because of the CIA deaths in Afghan and there will soon be a lot of DOD announcements coming up about withdrawing from Iraq. The President wants to signal the foreign policy right and the always nervous leaders of the Gulf region.

That said, the actual real size of the response in Yemen is in the scheme of things small. And there is not real reason why it would ever be of strategic importance now as compared to five or ten or twenty years ago.

For example, now that Iraq seems more peaceful the 48 inch Trans Arabian pipeline to the Mediterraean will be re-opened for shippping oil to Europe. That goes from Ras Tanura to the Mediterranean right past the Iraq border.

imho, quietly, the USA will probably ask Yemen for flyover rights for Predators stationed out of the not so secret but very quiet air bases in Southern Saudi.

In a few news cycles we will not hear much about Yemen unless we or they have visible success or the President's fighting credentials have to be polished up.

I think the far more important strategic news to be tracking is the increasing number of trial balloons out of Dem party strategists about the potential for trade protections against China....a growing prelude to how the party may try to run for the mid term elections.

just my 2 cents

Take care


Sun, 01/03/2010 - 12:33 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

I'm sorry, I just have to tune you out.  You post volumes of text, and maybe it's because I'm dumb or because I increasingly started to skim your messages as they made increasingly less sense, but it doesn't really relate to anything we're discussing here, does it?  You just went off on a wild tangent and started discussing...I really have no idea.  Just what the fuck is it we're talking about here?  Because as far as I can tell, the last few responses in this thread have been talking about talking about talking.

This is silly.

I am Chumbawamba.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 13:35 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture

This is silly. I just have to tune you out

We agree.

Too bad. I liked many of your posts on other threads

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 01:38 | Link to Comment CD
CD's picture

Wondering, for every response to your specific post here, there are at least a hundred, but probably more like thousands of other readers who did not feel strongly enough or informed enough about the matter to intervene on your behalf. I certainly am not and thus cannot. But I was struck by the phrase:

' I got ripped for my attempt. And ripped again."

Please try to acclimate yourself to the lack of polish, appropriate etiquette and develop a thicker skin. As many in the comments on other posts and this one point out, one of the main draws of the site is precisely the overall outstanding quality of comments, from people who know more about a variety of specific topics than one does.

You may be completely full of sh*t, you may be a brilliant, erudite 15-yr old with currently wounded ego, or you may be a person with exactly the background and travel history you described. My vote is for the last one, but I sense a rather limited exposure to responses online. Embrace your anonymity, and use it as a shield (or water repellent). The fact that you draw strong/vitriolic/inane responses may mean that your premise is flawed and your opinion considered weakly supported, but could also mean that you are generating a strong response b/c your own content is strong.

Just bear in mind that airs of superiority and threats of sulking off do not really help make your case. If I had buggered off just b/c Sacrilege ripped into me for no (discernible to me) reason during a Radio Zero session early on, I would be a much poorer person for it. We here at ZH (for all our other failings) seem to be relatively well attuned to the concept of the world being an extremely complicated construct, and my perspective is that it is impossible for ANY one person to understand/comprehend fully in every detai. Myself obviously included, but yourself included as well. If you want your opinion/viewpoint accepted and/or respected, try not to refer to others' along the lines of "childish prating" or "ill-reasoned drivel".

"...but I do know several other groups where the chances that they will figure out more and make more of a difference in the world are much greater than I am currently seeing here. Thats where I will prefer to spend my time and learn."

Throw us a bone, post a few? We need more good info sources, not less.

PS: No relation to Cog. Dis., though familiar with the concept and appreciate most of his/her comments here

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 15:10 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture

Thank you for the post CD. And you are right, I am not used to and not sure that online posting is an easy format for the way i learn or there is much wisdom in what you write. I will listen

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 12:24 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Hezbollah and Hamas its proxies are Shite.

Excuse me?

Something is start to smell fishy.

I am Chumbawamba.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 13:41 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture

Sorry for the bad grammer.

Hezbollah and Hamas are Shite based proxies (financially supported and military arms donated by Iran to native Lebanese and Gazan Shia mullah based opposition to Israel) for Iran's Revolutionary Guard faction to export war onto Israel proper in the event of an attack on Iran.


Sat, 01/02/2010 - 22:44 | Link to Comment Wondering
Wondering's picture


If you want to change the world you have to know it better than the current crowd. You have to be better than they are. You have to get your facts right and understand the world better than they do.

To convince "sheeple" to follow your views you have to convince them you are better prepared, more knowledgeable, more humble, more willing to work hard to learn, more willing to listen and evaluate the truth carefully even when its contradictory to things you like to believe. More willing to acknowledge moral and factual nuance and complexity

How does this thread demonstrate you are on the right track?

No answers needed. Just food for thought

Take care 


Sat, 01/02/2010 - 22:59 | Link to Comment delacroix
delacroix's picture

the second plane to hit WTC was a remote controlled, non commercial airliner ( no windows, and wrong color)

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 20:06 | Link to Comment geopol
geopol's picture

Milan verdict in which 23 CIA personnel have been found guilty of kidnapping in the case of Imam Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, who was abducted from a Milan street in 2003. The Moslem cleric was drugged, taken to Aviano air base, tortured, transported to Ramstein air base, and then moved to Cairo, where he was tortured and held for four years. This operation had been approved by Condolleezza Rice and George Tenet. Twenty-two CIA personnel were found guilty of kidnapping and sentenced to five years. Bob Lady, the Milan station chief, was given 8 years. All were fugitives tried in absentia. Also charged were 7 officials of SISMI, the Italian military intelligence, including SISMI boss Nicolò Pollari and anti-terror boss Marco Mancini. Five of the SISMI defendants got off because the evidence against them was classified as state secrets, but two were convicted as accomplices and given three-year sentences. Pollari and Lady were key players in the 2003 Niger yellowcake forgeries which were used by Bush in his 2003 State of the Union speech to set the stage for the Iraq war; Pollari is generally recognized as the person who delivered these forged documents to the White House. This is the world's first verdict on "extraordinary rendition," which indeed turns out to be kidnapping. It is the first major CIA trial in Italy in over 40 years of criminal abuses. It is also the most thorough juridical exposure of CIA covert operations ever carried out in a courtroom. Italian prosecutors Armando Spataro and Guido Salvini have struck a blow for the rule of law. Will Italian Justice Minister Alfano now finally request the extradition of the 23 CIA figures? If he does, will the US extradite them? In the meantime, kidnapping-rendition, black sites, and torture flourish under Obama.

I just gets better from here...

I can't imagine 2010




Thu, 12/31/2009 - 22:01 | Link to Comment Kayman
Kayman's picture

Hey Geopol


We will never know what the CIA has accomplished in their job of protecting this country for their failures get Media coverage, and their successes, rightly, are not made public.

To ascribe to them some kind of mastery of cause and effect though, is just a little too much.

While I do not condone everything done in the name of this country, I certainly give them a little more room to maneuver than others' might.

My heartfelt condolences go to the families of the CIA people that were killed in Afghanistan by another one of Bin Laden's sacrificial goats.




Thu, 12/31/2009 - 22:25 | Link to Comment geopol
geopol's picture

Bin Laden is a CIA asset, dead or alive..The history of killing your own agency operatives to divert eyes has a long and well documented history,,,Nato spheres of influence , stay behind networks, GLADIO.


The CIA is not an intelligence agency,, it is the Presidents private army.. I posted a video-link to Chalmers Johnson that will outline his experiences with the Company.


Fri, 01/01/2010 - 05:40 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 16:47 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Yes, let's applaud a secret presidential hist squad that violates every tenet of the Constitution.  Give them all the money they want!  We'll just work harder and pay more taxes because we LIKE suffering the consequences of their stunning failures.

Yes, I'm sure the CIA has had many successes that have made America great, but that's the funny thing about secret operations: no one really knows.  So it's really convenient that you can just say, "I'm sure the CIA has done plenty of good for us, they just can't talk about it!"  I can just as easily say, "Since the CIA operates in complete secrecy, which is anathema to the basic virtues of what is supposed to be our Republic, I can only assume whatever they are doing is undermining my own freedoms."  And based on the results of 50+ year's of CIA meddling in world affairs, I can only assume I'm right.

I am Chumbawamba.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 20:14 | Link to Comment ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Nice piece of work Marla...

And just a mere kiss away from Kissinger!

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 20:25 | Link to Comment geopol
geopol's picture

London Guardian that an aircraft belonging to the infamous CIA pirate fleet used for illegal kidnap-renditions over several years has been observed in a rendezvous with British Special Air Services commandos at Birmingham airport. Obama's executive order of January 22, 2009 explicitly allows such illegal renditions, so this should be no surprise. Also, Obama's order leaves a gaping loophole for the maintenance of US "black site" secret prisons/torture chambers, as long as the inmates are moved around periodically. The implication is that the identified black sites at Stare Kiejcuti in Poland and in Romania are still functioning. This is strong circumstantial evidence that the US is still delivering prisoners to countries where torture is routinely practiced. This was the case of Imam Nasr of Milan, in which a score of CIA employees, including Rome station chief Bob Lady, have been indicted by Italian prosecutors, and top officials of the Italian military intelligence SISMI arrested. The change is from Bush's open brutality to Obama's cynical hypocrisy. Human Rights Watch, which condemned rendition under Bush, now supports it under Obama.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 23:02 | Link to Comment delacroix
delacroix's picture

wasn't that the plane that crashed in mexico, with tons of cocaine onboard?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 20:33 | Link to Comment geopol
geopol's picture

Missiles from US Predator drones struck a village in Pakistan over the weekend, killing at least 13 people. The attack coincided with reports of intensified operations by US Special Forces killing squads on the Afghanistan side of the border.

Amounting to targeted assassinations, these forms of warfare are the most evident feature in the first stages of the “surge” ordered earlier this month by President Barack Obama, who is sending at least 30,000 more US troops into Afghanistan.

The methods are indicative of a dirty colonial-style war to suppress resistance to an occupation that is aimed at establishing Washington’s dominance in the energy-rich and strategically vital region of Central Asia.

Citing Pakistani officials, the Lahore-based daily The Nation reported Sunday that the death toll in a drone attack on a village in North Waziristan had risen to 13. Two missiles reportedly struck a compound in Saidgi village, about four miles from North Waziristan’s principal town, Miranshah.

The drones continued hovering over the area, while a US B-52 bomber also conducted over-flights, terrorizing the local population, according to Pakistani media reports.

The missile strike marked the third such attack on North Waziristan since December 17. The area is part of Pakistan’s northwest tribal region, which has been used by elements of the Afghan resistance, backed by fellow Pashtun tribesmen in Pakistan, to launch attacks on the US-led occupation forces in Afghanistan.

The deadly drone campaign has been directed by the US Central Intelligence Agency, using a clandestine airfield in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan and with CIA operatives sitting in front of video screens in Langley, Virginia, directing the missiles to their targets. The Pentagon is reportedly conducting its own drone attacks.

The Obama administration has sharply escalated the drone attacks, launching more than twice as many over the past year as the Bush administration carried out in its last year in office. The secretive nature of the CIA program is designed in large part to obscure the horrific toll in civilian lives inflicted through the firing of Hellfire missiles into Pakistani villages.

As with virtually all of these attacks, the US media parroted unnamed intelligence officials in claiming that the victims of the latest missile strike were all “militants,” without any corroboration of who had been killed.

The Lahore newspaper The News, citing figures supplied by Pakistani officials, reported in April that 687 civilians had been killed in approximately 60 drone strikes that had been carried out since January 2008. Given that fatality rate, with nearly 30 drone attacks having been launched since, the number of Pakistani civilians slaughtered in this fashion could easily have topped 1,000.

Over the last two years, the Pakistani government—both that of military dictator Pervez Musharraf and that of his successor, Pakistan People’s Party President Asif Ali Zardari—had worked out a modus operandi with Washington whereby Pakistan publicly protested the drone attacks and demanded that they cease, while behind the scenes giving them a green light.

US officials had portrayed the missile strikes as an attempt to kill leaders of al Qaeda. The latest series of attacks, however, has been launched specifically against Afghanistan resistance elements that US military and intelligence agencies refer to as the Haqqani network, named for its leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, who operated out of the same North Waziristan sanctuary in the 1980s. Then he was one of the principal recipients of US arms and aid in the CIA-backed war against the Soviet-aligned regime in Kabul.

Since the announcement of the Afghanistan surge, Washington has been pressing the Pakistani government to send its troops against the Haqqani group and other forces aligned with the Afghan Taliban operating out of North Waziristan, just across border from Afghanistan. Islamabad has refused, however, citing its ongoing military campaign in South Waziristan, which is part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

The campaign in South Waziristan is directed against Pakistani Islamist insurgents blamed for a series of attacks across the northwest of the country.

As the Washington Post pointed out, the Pakistani government concluded a truce with the local warlord in North Waziristan, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, in return for his forces keeping out of the fighting in the south.

“Missile strikes on his territory could endanger that deal,” according to the Post, which added, “However, the United States has indicated in the past that it will not hesitate to launch the drone-fired missiles if it tracks down an important target.”

In recent weeks, US officials and military commanders have ratcheted up the pressure on the Pakistani government, warning that if it did not act in North Waziristan, the US military and CIA would intervene unilaterally.

The New York Times reported Monday that the US military is making increasing use of its secretive Special Operations units as a key component of Obama’s Afghanistan “surge.” These forces—including the Army Delta Force and Navy Seals—are employed in finding and killing Afghans who are identified as leaders or supporters of the fight against the US-led occupation of their country.

Raids by Special Operations forces had been halted last February on the orders of the head of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), Vice Admiral William McRaven. The raids were inflicting so many civilian casualties that they were generating popular support for the insurgents that outweighed the military importance of killing supposed leaders of the resistance. The suspension of these operations lasted only two weeks.

Now, General Stanley McChrystal, the top US commander in Afghanistan, has ordered that these attacks by Special Operations troops be greatly expanded. Before assuming command in Afghanistan, McChrystal had been McRaven’s predecessor as head of JSOC, where units under his command were implicated in the torture of detained civilians in Iraq.

The unleashing of these clandestine units against suspected leaders of the Afghanistan resistance will undoubtedly mean another sharp increase in the killing of civilian men, women and children.

The Times also reported that similar death squad operations are being mounted across the border in Pakistan, under the direction of the CIA.

Citing an unnamed official in Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Times reported that there have been “more than 60 joint operations involving the ISI and the CIA in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Baluchistan in the past year.”

According to the paper, “the missions included ‘snatch and grabs’—the abduction of important militants—as well as efforts to kill leaders.”

The surge ordered by Obama will mean a sharp escalation of the violence on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, as well as an intensification of the social and political crisis gripping the entire region as a result of the US war.

Both Afghanistan and Pakistan were included among the countries confronting the 10 worst humanitarian crises in an annual listing released by the French-based medical aid group, Doctors without Borders.

“Afghan civilians endured increasing levels of violence throughout the country” over the past year, the group reported. The fighting has brought the country’s health care system to the brink of collapse, and Afghans needing medical care “must now make an impossible choice: risk traveling hundreds of miles through a war zone to seek a medical care or allow a condition to worsen until it becomes life-threatening only to arrive at a health structure where services are greatly diminished.”

US-led occupation forces, the report said, “have co-opted [medical] assistance for ‘hearts and minds’ initiatives, occupied hospitals, and arrested patients in their beds.”

Pakistan “was convulsed by intense violence throughout 2009,” the report stated, worsening an already desperate situation. “Across the country, people suffer from a general lack of health care, and Pakistan features one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the region.”

The campaigns by the Pakistani military, egged on by Washington, created more than 2 million refugees from the Swat Valley and another 300,000 from North Waziristan, according to Doctors Without Borders. The military offensive forced the group to halt its medical assistance in Swat Valley, where it had supported the local hospital and provided ambulance services.

Hospitals and health clinics set up in displacement camps in neighboring districts were “overwhelmed,” the group reported, with patients suffering from “serious war-related injuries, among them children with gunshot- and explosive-related wounds.”

The past year has also seen a precipitous rise in the number of US troops killed and wounded. Fatalities in Afghanistan for US occupation forces have reached 310 since the beginning of 2009, double the number killed last year. Roughly 2,500 American troops have been wounded during the same period, many of them suffering amputations and severe burns and head injuries resulting from roadside bomb attacks.

As US military commanders readily acknowledge, the pouring of 30,000 more American troops and tens of thousands more private military contractors into Afghanistan will mean a dramatic increase in the killing and dying produced by the eight-year-old US war.


Reality is a pain in the ass...



Thu, 12/31/2009 - 20:51 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"As US military commanders readily acknowledge, the pouring of 30,000 more American troops and tens of thousands more private military contractors into Afghanistan will mean a dramatic increase in the killing and dying produced by the eight-year-old US war."

Hey, what's a few more faceless deaths half a world away when you're fighting for truth, justice and the American way. Now shut the fuck up. The Simpsons are coming on in a minute and I need to hit the can.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 21:35 | Link to Comment Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

CD, possibly your best post ever...

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 21:24 | Link to Comment bugs_
bugs_'s picture

"B-52 bomber also conducted over-flights"

This is generally not good for the bad guys.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 12:11 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

How do you stop an Al Qaeda bingo game?

Yell: 'B-52!'

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 16:56 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Wait, who exactly are the "bad guys" here?

Are they going to get time out if they don't behave?

In other words, please, we only use that term because our last "president" was an ineloquent dry-drunk who suffers from a limited vocabulary due to the brain damage incurred from excessive drinking and cocaine consumption.  You can speak with words that are longer than three letters again, OK?

I am Chumbawamba.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 22:15 | Link to Comment David449420
David449420's picture

Happy New Year ?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 22:39 | Link to Comment Marla Singer
Marla Singer's picture

Hey, geopol, if you are going to post massive stuff like this, I'm going to have to insist that either:

You restrict it to the forum.

It be related to the post you are comment on.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 23:06 | Link to Comment geopol
geopol's picture

I suppose I could show many examples of massive posts on this site without official intervention. The subject matter seemed relatively appropriate..and judging from other responses...


Fri, 01/01/2010 - 00:37 | Link to Comment Marla Singer
Marla Singer's picture

Zero Hedge moderation is not fair because we don't spend all our waking hours moderating you people. This means you have to be bad enough to actually break through the veil of total occupation required of us when writing 25-30 stories a day for you. Once you hit that level though, really, you need to tone it down. Thanks!

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 01:20 | Link to Comment Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

"...we don't spend all our waking hours moderating you people."

Who are "you people"?

Didn't Mike Barnicle of some Boston paper just jam his loafer in his mouth using that expression toward the follically challenged Michael Steele of token Republican National Committee fame?

Sorry, I could not help but make fun of "you people."

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 12:12 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

"The only hope for the future lies within the proles."

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 16:54 | Link to Comment Marla Singer
Marla Singer's picture

Well, it is composed of "you." That's all of you. And "people." That's all of "you" who are not something other than "people."

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 16:59 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture


I was not personally offended because I am not a People.

I am Chumbawamba.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 01:47 | Link to Comment Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Wow, honey, flagged as junk? Not you, my dear. But please go back to your GSE post and see what I wrote. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Wed, 01/06/2010 - 12:44 | Link to Comment geopol
geopol's picture

Over the top..

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 00:45 | Link to Comment Reductio ad Absurdum
Reductio ad Absurdum's picture

"judging from other responses"

Maybe that's because people like me consider your schtick so absurd as to not deem it worth responding to. Take that shit to Huffpo Land where it belongs.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 02:52 | Link to Comment geopol
geopol's picture

Again you show up not knowing what you just read..Try again.

people like me consider your schtick so absurd as to not deem it worth responding to.


So don't


How do you know whats on Huffington Post...?? BTW Do you remember this??

by Reductio ad Absurdum
on Thu, 11/12/2009 - 01:43


No, this is crammed full of ignorance. Sorry Zero Hedge, looks like you just sold your soul.

Perhaps Shakespeare would be banned from ZH:

“The first thing we do, lets kill all the lawyers.”

And keep in mind that the United States and all of the freedoms you people enjoy would not even exist if our forefathers had not been willing to discuss and USE violence:

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Marla, maybe you need to get back in the kitchen and let the boys handle things.


by Marla Singer
on Thu, 11/12/2009 - 02:42

Perhaps Shakespeare would be banned from ZH: “The first thing we do, lets kill all the lawyers.”

Uh... you do know:

1. That line is satire.

2. I cited it indirectly in this very post?  ("Henry VIesque")

3. I think you need to re-read what I said.  You missed it entirely.  Really.  On every level.




Fri, 01/01/2010 - 02:55 | Link to Comment Unscarred
Unscarred's picture

geopol, you need to come out of your shell.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 03:01 | Link to Comment geopol
geopol's picture

So nice of you to say...I'm working on it..


Fri, 01/01/2010 - 16:45 | Link to Comment Orly
Orly's picture

He gets his stuff from and infowars.  That's all well and good and everything but don't try to make it your own.

I guess Marla is trying to say- because YOU need to re-read what SHE said- was that your posts are tangential to the blog, though somewhat relevant to the topic.  Therefore, she is asking that you stop with monumental posts, cite your sources (with links, if possible...) and stop making the threads four miles long.

No one wants to scroll through all that shit, so a well-sourced, executive summary would do quite well, thank you.

Be pithy, Groucho.  Is it really so much to ask?

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 16:56 | Link to Comment Marla Singer
Marla Singer's picture


Wed, 01/06/2010 - 12:40 | Link to Comment geopol
geopol's picture


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!