“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, July 22, 2013

"I’ve long thought Michael Hayden (ex NSA chief) belongs in prison for implementing illegal warrantless eavesdropping at Americans "- Glenn Greenwald

Former NSA Chief Smears Glenn Greenwald

"The Guardian newspaper's Glenn Greenwald," writes former NSA director Michael Hayden today in a CNN op-ed, is "more deserving of the Justice Department's characterization of a co-conspirator than Fox's James Rosen ever was." Hayden's smear came in a column in which he argues that Edward Snowden, whose story Greenwald has been telling in the Guardian, "will likely prove to be the most costly leaker of American secrets in the history of the Republic."

Those thuggish words are particularly disturbing coming from a figure who is, as CNNs editor's note at the top of the column explains, still tied to military and intelligence elites.

When powerful bullies like Hayden attempt to smear or criminalize journalists, it should stir anger, particularly among journalists. Though it should come as little surprise that an official who launched warrantless surveillance programs–in spite of the Fourth Amendment protections against them–also has a tenuous grasp on the First Amendment. 

Hayden's sordid attack on Greenwald is just the latest in a string of NSA smears and lies emitting from current and former government officials. After the Snowden story broke in early June, and the official wagons began circling, I noted how officials including U.S. senators, the current NSA chief, the Director of National Intelligence, and the White House itself, were spreading falsehoods about NSA surveillance programs and their successes. With a couple of noted exceptions, those falsehoods went unchallenged by journalists. 
As this latest propaganda in the campaign to burnish the NSA's reputation and tarnish those of its critics comes at the expense of a reporter, it might be a good time for journalists to ask hard questions about the smear artists, liars and constitutional scofflaws in charge of surveillance programs. Or as veteran journalist and media watcher Dan Froomkin tweeted about Hayden's attack on Greenwald: "Surprise: The people we're supposed to blindly trust with absolute surveillance power engage in smears & innuendo."
Speaking for himself, Glenn Greenwald responded to Hayden's smear this way:

I've long thought Michael Hayden belongs in prison for implementing illegal warrantless eavesdropping at Americans 


  1. US Secretary of State John Kerry has reportedly promised his Venezuelan counterpart to close NATO airspace to the country’s flights and stop crucial oil product deliveries if Caracas grants asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

    Last Friday night, just hours after Venezuela agreed to provide political asylum to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Kerry personally called Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua, a Spanish ABC media outlet cites a source familiar with the conversation as saying.

    Kerry reportedly threatened to ground any Venezuelan aircraft in America’s or any NATO country’s airspace if there is the slightest suspicion that Snowden is using the flight to get to Caracas.

    The media outlet's source said that the US’ top diplomat sent a clear signal that Venezuela’s Air Force One is not immune and President Nicolas Maduro could easily face the same fate as his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales, whose plane was grounded for inspection in Austria earlier this month in violation of all international diplomatic agreements.

    “Immunity is for the president, not the plane,” the ABC source cites Kerry’s personal message to President Maduro as saying.

    Closing all NATO member countries’ aerospace to Venezuelan flights means avoiding 26 countries in Europe and two in North America. Under this scenario, it would be safer for Snowden to fly across the Pacific from Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok instead of crossing the Atlantic.

    Kerry also reportedly promised to intensify the ongoing process of revoking US entry visas to Venezuelan officials and businessmen associated with the deceased President Hugo Chavez.

    Washington will also begin prosecuting prominent Venezuelan politicians on allegations of drug trafficking, money laundering and other criminal actions, Kerry allegedly said, and specifically mentioned some names in his conversation with the Venezuelan FM.

    He reportedly also said that Washington is well aware of Venezuela’s dependence on the US when it comes to refined oil products. Despite being one of the world’s largest oil producers, Venezuela requires more petrol and oil products than it can produce, buying around 500,000 barrels of gasoline every month, roughly another half million barrels of fuel for power plants, and some 350,000 barrels of MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether) – the additive used for to increase octane in gasoline.

    The source added that the US Secretary of State bluntly warned that fuel supplies would be halted if President Maduro continues to reach out to the fugitive NSA contractor.



  2. {…}

    Later on Friday US State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf has denied that Kerry ever touched upon the possible nature of US response to Venezuela granting asylum to Snowden in his conversation with Jaua. She dismissed the report that Kerry has threatened Venezuela as “utterly wrong.”

    However, Harf said that there would be “an appropriate response” from the US, should the South American country help the NSA leaker.

    The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry have not so far commented on ABC’s report.

    On July 19 President Maduro sharply criticized a statement by the Obama administration's nominee for UN envoy, Samantha Powers, who accused countries like Cuba, Iran, Russia and Venezuela of being guilty of a “crackdown on civil society”. Maduro called on Washington to retract the “despicable” statement.

    “I want an immediate correction by the US government,” Maduro said live on state television, as quoted by Reuters.

    “Power says she'll fight repression in Venezuela? What repression? There is repression in the United States, where they kill African-Americans with impunity, and where they hunt the youngster Edward Snowden just for telling the truth,” Maduro fumed.

    Former CIA technician and NSA contractor Snowden remains a fugitive without a passport, as he has remained stuck in Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport for nearly a month. Snowden requested temporary asylum from Russia and has not officially accepted Maduro's asylum offer, WikiLeaks says.

    If extradited to the US, where Showden is wanted on espionage charges, he fears he could face inhumane treatment and even the death penalty for leaking details of the National Security Agency’s dragnet surveillance programs.

  3. Who cares about Snowden and all this spooking.

    There are more important things going on.


    After what seems to me the shortest nine month pregnancy on record. Didn't she only get married three months ago?

    (the time sense is the first thing to go - :) )

  4. The National Security Agency has been allowed to extend its dragnet of the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon through a court order issued by the secret court that oversees surveillance.

    In an unprecedented move prompted by the Guardian's disclosure in June of the NSA's indiscriminate collection of Verizon metadata, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has publicly revealed that the scheme has been extended yet again.

    The statement does not mention Verizon by name, nor make clear how long the extension lasts for, but it is likely to span a further three months in line with previous routine orders from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa).

    The announcement flowed, the statement said, from the decision to declassify aspects of the metadata grab "in order to provide the public with a more thorough and balanced understanding of the program".

    According to Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein, the Verizon phone surveillance has been in place – updated every three months – for at least six years, and it is understood to have been applied to other telecoms giants as well.

    The decision to go public with the latest Fisa court order is an indication of how the Obama administration has opened up the previously hidden world of mass communications surveillance, however slightly, since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden exposed the scheme to the Guardian.

    The ODNI statement said "the administration is undertaking a careful and thorough review of whether and to what extent additional information or documents pertaining to this program may be declassified, consistent with the protection of national security."

    The Verizon metadata was the first of the major disclosures originating with Snowden, who remains in legal limbo in the international airport in Moscow.

    1. .

      The decision to go public with the latest Fisa court order is an indication of how the Obama administration has opened up the previously hidden world of mass communications surveillance, however slightly, since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden exposed the scheme to the Guardian.

      The ODNI statement said "the administration is undertaking a careful and thorough review of whether and to what extent additional information or documents pertaining to this program may be declassified, consistent with the protection of national security."


      Sure. They will 'open up' when forced to either by whistleblowers or the courts.


  5. Israel's Fast Evolving Demography
    By Paul Morland

    Compared with the rapidly developing political and military situation in the Middle East, demographics change at a glacial pace. Yet demographic developments in Israel in recent years have been unfolding with unusual speed, and seem to be accelerating.

    In the first 12 years of the current century the number of Arab births in Israel has almost completely flatlined at around 40,000 per annum. This despite the growing size of the Arab population, which means that the Arab birth rate - births relative to population size - has fallen. Over the same period, Jewish births have risen from 95,000 to 130,000. In the first four months of 2013, the most recent period for which data is available, Jewish births were up 38 percent during the same period for 2001, and Arab births down 6%.

    This means that the Arab share of Israeli births, at a little over 22% of the total, is now not much higher than the overall Arab share of the population, at a little under 21% of the total, and well down from its peak of around 30%. The birth rates of Arabs and Jews in Israel are close to converging. This is both significant and unsurprising.


    Paul Morland Demographics
    It is significant because it represents a dramatic drop in Arab fertility rates. Since the Arab population is younger and has more women of child-bearing age relative to its size than the Jewish population, it would be expected to have a higher birth rate. The fact that the birth rates of the two communities are close to convergence means that we are nearing the point, if we have not already passed it, when the average Jewish woman in Israel must be having more children than the average Arab woman.

    It is unsurprising, at least in terms of falling Arab fertility rates, because it reflects well-documented trends elsewhere. In the period between the early 1960s and 2005-2010, the UN reports that the average woman in Egypt went from having more than 6.5 children to having fewer than three. In Lebanon, over the same period, the fall was from more than 5.5 to around 1.5, well below replacement level. In Jordan and Syria, too, declines in fertility were dramatic, from eight and 7.5 children per woman respectively in the early 1960s to around three and 3.5 in the 2005-2010 period.

    Beyond the Arab world, in the wider Muslim community, similar trends have occurred, with the average Iranian and Bangladeshi woman, for example, going from having around seven children to 2.5 or fewer. No surprise, then, that Israeli Arab women have, albeit belatedly, followed a similar path.

    The surprising factor has been the steady rise of the fertility of Israel's Jewish women. At around three children per woman, this is a fertility rate of twice or more the level of Russia, Poland and Germany and half as many again as those of France, the UK and the US. It is an unprecedented level of child-bearing for women in a developed country.

  6. This is a subject we all agree on, except Rufus, who adheres to the idea that if you are innocent you have nothing to fear. I can't say how foolish this 'idea' is but for the rest of us no one likes the American Spook State.

    The Senate is in the process of overwhelmingly passing legislation requiring a real search warrant before the spooks can look at your e-mail, and phone records too I believe.

    The House will undoubtedly pass the same.

    It is widely supported and may be veto proof.

    Who is going to vote against a bill demanding a search warrant for your e-mails? Nobody cause it would be political suicide. So all it not lost yet.


    1. Would Obama veto this bill?

      My hunch is no, finger to the political winds. He'll probably get up there and try to take credit for it.

    2. .

      Congrats on the Bob, Bob.

      (It will be interesting to see how long this one lasts.)


    3. .


      I checked your profile to get a better look at the picture and while doing so I noticed your Introduction.

      It kinda makes you sound like a poof.

      Just saying.



  7. Israel Daily News Stream 07/22/2013

    JULY 22, 2013 15:04

    Everything you need to know about today’s coverage of Israel and the Mideast. Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.

    Today’s Top Stories

    1. The European Union unanimously agreed to designate Hezbollah as a terror organization. Sanctions to follow include travel bans and asset freezes. It’s a good start, but AP points out a big flaw: only Hezbollah’s “military wing” was proscribed.

    But the implementation would be complicated since officials would have to unravel the links between the different wings within Hezbollah’s organizational network and see who could be targeted for belonging to the military wing.

    Top Hezbollah officials themselves dismissed distinctions between their military and social “wings” years ago. Stay tuned . . .

    1. Meanwhile Hamas has come out in favor of TM over Z. In an ironical statement they say there is no justice in America.

  8. boobie is back!

    He proves he is not as stupid as his writings would make him appear.

    That he seems to believe that mere legislation would stop the NSA from spying upon US citizens, is proof enough.
    Clapper lied to Congress, of that there is no doubt, well exemplifying that the "Intelligence Community" has no respect for the laws against perjury. Clapper lied and there has been no repercussions against him or his agency.

    Snowden's access to the e-mails of the US public was illegal, there has been no legal repercussions against the NSA, for that piece of law breaking.

    boobie seems to think that another piece of legislation will do the trick. The current laws are ignored and violated, by the "Intelligence Community", what makes anyone think another law would be obeyed by those law breakers? Especially when there are no consequence to the law breakers now when their malfeasance is exposed.

  9. CBS News

    An aide to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has left the senator's office after coming under for his past remarks expressing admiration for the Confederacy.

    1. .

      Looks like The Libertarian will be blackballed by the libertarians.


    2. The biggest thing this country produces is US certified bullshit. Anyone that endagers the media or federal fecal process is blackballed.

  10. Even in its wildest dream Israel never expected such a move from Europe. Therefore, a stunned Israel reacted proportionately to its bewilderment. From Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu down to officials and even media all described the EU decision as "earthquake", a "brutality", "a miserable directive" and a move that will "undermine the peace process". Israeli media called Europe's decision a move which will lead Israel towards a "crisis." European Union decided not to bankroll settlements in West Bank and East Jerusalem.
    The EU decision is the first sanction imposed on Israel and this has hit Israel hard. The new funding guidelines have precisely expressed EU's refusal to finance and support Israeli establishments in territories occupied in 1967 and in Golan Heights. Europe hasn't stopped funding education, research and other projects in Israel but has insisted that Israel must give specific undertaking that European money will never ever be used to finance settlements.

    EU explicitly made it clear that it views settlements as illegal — the thing which it has long been saying and Israel persistently ignoring. For decades Europe has been asking Tel Aviv to freeze settlements but watched its advice being flouted with brazen impunity. Today, there are at least 520,000 settlers in West Bank, and East Jerusalem jeopardising peace and killing every possibility of two-state solution.

    The Zionists this year have announced to bring in E1 past of Jerusalem under fresh settlement as a punishment for the Palestinians for upgrading their UN membership.
    Over sixty per cent of Area C in East Jerusalem has already been usurped by the Zionists and to the Palestinians still living in the remaining forty per cent eviction notices have been served.

    1. .
      ...and a move that will "undermine the peace process".


      This sounds like something we would get from Kerry.



  11. Clapper lied. But the process isn't over yet. The hearings are on going.

    That is why we need to elect a Congress and executive branch that respects the law and gets rid of such people.

    So you are against the coming legislation then? Interesting.

    At the very least it will allow a person to complain to a court.

    out for most of the day....

    1. But not before this -

      Palestinians say peace talks might not happen, after all
      Monday, July 22, 2013 | Ryan Jones

      Netanyahu: The conflict is not about territory

      VIDEO: How America and Europe fund Palestinian hatred

      While American and Israeli leaders are already patting themselves on their respective backs over the reported resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the other party to the talks, the Palestinian Authority, is saying everyone should instead hold their respective horses.

      Israel is already setting up negotiating teams, and the Obama Administration is praising itself over ostensibly "closing the gaps" that had previously seemed like insurmountable obstacles.

      But on Sunday, two of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' most senior advisers said it was by no means certain that bilateral peace talks would take place in the coming weeks, as claimed by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

      Nabil Abu Rudeineh and Yasser Abed Rabbo, official spokesmen for Abbas, said the Palestinian leader had merely agreed to send a team to Washington to continue the low-level preliminary talks that had already been taking place.

      Both Rudeineh and Abed Rabbo would likely be on any official negotiating team. But they aren't heading to Washington, because official negotiations are not on the schedule.

      Both men said that from the Palestinians' point of view, the talks scheduled in Washington next week are aimed at convincing Israel to meet the remainder of Palestinian preconditions so that official negotiations can resume at some future date.

      Kerry's announcement that official peace talks are about to resume would seem, at best, premature, in light of this clarification.


    2. I am neither for or against it.

      I recognize that the legislation is meaningless.

  12. Think you are free? Think again. - To ensure that "every American is able to choose to live in a community they feel proud of," HUD has published a new fair-housing regulation intended to give people access to better neighborhoods than the ones they currently live in.

    The goal is to help communities understand "fair housing barriers" and "establish clear goals" for "improving integrated living patterns and overcoming historic patterns of segregation."

    “This proposed rule represents a 21st century approach to fair housing, a step forward to ensuring that every American is able to choose to live in a community they feel proud of – where they have a fair shot at reaching their full potential in life,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

    “For the first time ever," Donovan added, "HUD will provide data for every neighborhood in the country, detailing the access African American, Latino, Asian, and other communities have to local assets, including schools, jobs, transportation, and other important neighborhood resources that can play a role in helping people move into the middle class."

    - See more at:

    1. Add that to the new free for all immigration plan.

    2. Well, this course of action certainly indicates that the Federals are moving hard against those that claim the US is an apartheid nation.

      As does the Immigration legislation.
      There seem to b many in the Republican Party that want to do away with the two tiered society that exists, today, in the US with regards the undocumented. Allowing the untold millions of undocumented residents of the United Stats the ability to call the police when they are attacked, raped, or stolen from.

      Whether the particulars of McCain's legislation are good or bad, those residents of the US that are not currently protected by the justice system, while here, should be addressed.
      Not addressing the problem is no solution at all.

      The Federal government and business community collects the benefits of their being here, it should legitimize the reality of their existence here in the US.

    3. .

      Tell it to Detroit and its neighbors.

      You can't do away with racism or segregation through legislation. Setting 'goals' which will eventually turn into 'targets' will only increase racism.

      Think school busing.


    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. All a bean counter can do, Q, is count the beans.

      There have been loud proclamations that the US is an apartheid nation, some right here on the Libertarian blog. The Federals are watching, reading every word.

      There has to be a way for the Federals to confirm or deny that these repugnant practices, ethnic, racial and religious discrimination, are not wide spread or systematic as claimed by our writers. Counting beans is what the Federals know. When bean counting is the only tool in the box, every problem looks like a bean. The claims that the US is an apartheid nation must be quantified, before those claims can be remedied.

      Both of the self identifying AIPAC members, here at the blog, made the claim that the US is an apartheid nation, the Federal government will respond to those AIPAC members claims.

      They will count the beans.

      It is my belief that the bean counters will find that the US is not an apartheid nation, that the AIPAC members are bloviating, hyperventilating and attempting a propaganda spin. That theyy are still telling the "Big Lie", but there it is, another Federal investigation has begun because of frivolous claims by the AIPAC members of the Libertarian blog community.


      None the less, there will be an investigation of the claims made by AIPAC members, here at the Libertarian.

    6. I wonder if the claims that the US is an apartheid nation is a coordinated effort by AIPAC.

      Since both of the AIPAC posters here at the Libertarian have struck the same note, it may be that it is a concerted and coordinated AIPAC campaign to discredit the United States government.

    7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    8. .

      You are naïve with your bean counting meme.

      We are talking a HUD regulation. They have already established goals. As soon as those goals aren't met, there will be pressure on those in the line of command to answer why they aren't met. Eventually, there will be targets, either official or de facto. This is a bureaucracy we are talking about here. Everyone gets a performance review.


    9. It is a proposed rule, Q

      The Federal bureaucratic representative tells us that it ... represents a 21st century approach to fair housing ...

      Who could possibly object to ensuring that every American is able to choose to live in a community they feel proud of ...

      It is right in line with the sentiments of the Declaration of Independence, providing every resident with an opportunity to find happiness in a nation ... where they have a fair shot at reaching their full potential in life,”

      Going to count up the beans, to ensure "fairness" and "equality" all across the land.

      What in particular the HUD proposed rule, or the immigration bill, has to do with the fifty year decline of the city of Detroit, I am not quite sure. Do you have any statistical data to confirm or deny what you think the folks in Detroit should be told, if queried?
      Do not the people of Detroit deserve to live in a city that they can be proud of?

      Where are the beans?

      Why have they left Detroit?

      Oh, wait, I heard the Mexicans are buying into the revitalization of Detroit.
      The bean counters say the Latino segment of Detroit's population is growing. Bucking the tide, as it were. Seeing opportunity where others see dismay and desolation.

      Perhaps that is a perception based upon experience in the real world of lack of opportunity.
      Detroit beats Ciudad Juarez, which is south of El Paso on the Rio Grande, in that regard.

    10. .

      It is a proposed rule, Q

      CNS News needs to finds someone who can write a news story.

      HUD has published a new fair-housing regulation intended to give people access to better neighborhoods than the ones they currently live in.


      The Federal bureaucratic representative tells us that it ... represents a 21st century approach to fair housing ...

      Right, and I'm sure HUD represented that the Jeffries Projects built in the 50's was the 20th Century approach to fair housing, from solution to slum in 5 years.

      It is right in line with the sentiments of the Declaration of Independence, providing every resident with an opportunity to find happiness in a nation ... where they have a fair shot at reaching their full potential in life,”

      Good lord, rat, your pontificating makes me want to puke. Do you really think some HUD rule is actually going to make a difference in these peoples' lives.

      What in particular the HUD proposed rule, or the immigration bill, has to do with the fifty year decline of the city of Detroit, I am not quite sure.

      You obviously didn't get the point of my initial post on this stream. No band of Washington elitist bureaucrats can write a 'regulation' that will do away with segregation without impinging on the rights of others and further aggravating the problem of racism. A perfect example was the 'busing' ruling that affected the entire metro Detroit area. It required school kids to be bussed between school districts to achieve desegregation, often sending them many miles away from their homes and neighborhoods. Instead of solving the problem it pissed off parents, aggravated racial tensions, sped white flight, built up the size of religious schools, and made the problem even worse since in the end all Detroit was doing was shipping black kids from one all-black school to another. The busing issue was one of the key reasons prompting flight out of the city.


    11. .

      Why have they left Detroit?

      All million reasons big and small. After the war, the auto companies and others fought mass transportation, even the trolleys went. Then there was the riot in the 60's. There was some white flight prior to the riots but it was in panic mode after the riots. Whole sections of the city were destroyed and never recovered. In the 70's, it was the school busing issue. You just don't mess with peoples kids. There was not stopping the white flight after the Milliken v Bradley decision. In 1973, Coleman Young cam in as mayor getting 91% of the black vote. He did good work in obtaining federal money but he was a racially polarizing figure. The white flight helped him. He was mayor for 20 years. In the 80's it was the decline of the domestic auto companies and subsequent loss of good paying jobs. There was not only white flight but also black and Hispanic flight. Anyone who could get out did. Under Young, crime escalated and he was blamed for it. The were numerous clack gangs that controlled the heroin trade in the 70's and the crack cocaine trade in the 80's and early 90's. As the crime grew, more people left. Under Young, Detroit held the title 'Murder Capital' numerous times. It also has held the title 'arson capital' with the 'Devil's Night' arsons making national headlines. Well, there is plenty of fuel, tens of thousands of abandoned and derelict buildings.

      Following Young was a whole string of incompetent or corrupt mayors and city council members finally culminating with Kwame Kilpatrick who now resides in federal prison. Wayne County surrounds Detroit and the Feds have ongoing investigations there also and it appears likely many of the honchos there including the County Executive will end up facing prison time.

      Which brings us to Snyder and Orr. Orr is the Emergency Manager and has been trying to get all sides, city council, pensioners, unions, bondholders, to come together and negotiate. All but a few have refused, therefore, the bankruptcy.

      You only have to turn on the evening news to see what they are up against. They have a city that stretches over an area similar to Philly yet with only a third of the population, a population with a high unemployment rate. As for crime, it's a war zone.

      Oh, wait, I heard the Mexicans are buying into the revitalization of Detroit

      Hadn't heard that. There are numerous reports of young people moving back into the city; however, and don't believe it is in very large numbers. Now, there are some pretty savvy businessmen who buying up property in the city now at bargain basement prices. Illich, Gilbert, the Fords, etc. If Detroit comes back you can bet it won't be the Mexicans getting rich, it will be the rich getting richer. That is not a slam at these guys. they are willing to gamble that Detroit will make it back.


  13. Gaza control by it's rightful owners, Egypt, is shut down...

    A group of six Muslim Brotherhood officials escaped from Egypt after their president was overthrown in a military coup July 3 and smuggled themselves into the Gaza Strip to lead an uprising against the military in Cairo, DEBKAfile’s exclusive intelligence sources disclose. Headed by Mahmud Izzat Ibrahim, a senior deputy of the Supreme Guide, the group has established a command post at the Gaza Beach Hotel, to organize operations against Egyptian military and security targets, in conjunction with Hamas and armed Al Qaeda-linked Salafist Bedouin in Sinai.
    The ousted Islamist leaders hope their revolt will quickly spread out from Sinai to Egypt proper and topple the provisional rulers in Cairo.
    Mahmoud Izzat, a doctor of medicine, known as the Muslim Brotherhood’s “iron man,” ranks fourth after Supreme Guide Muhammed Badie in the Muslim Brotherhood hierarchy. He was a key figure in handing down the policy decisions of the Guidance Office, of which he has been a member since 1981, to the movement’s Freedom and Justice Party in government and parliament.
    Married to a former supreme guide’s daughter, he was imprisoned in 1995 as leader of an illegal organization, and jailed again in January 2008 for participating in Cairo demonstrations against an Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip.
    DEBKAfile: The MB leadership picked Mahmoud Izzat as the man best able to command the movement’s mutiny against its successors in Cairo.
    Our sources reveal that the group escaped from Egypt using the Hamas networks which operated underground in Egypt during the Mubarak presidency. In February 2011, when Mubarak was on his way out, those networks came out of hiding to engineer the mass jailbreak of Brotherhood leaders, including Morsi himself.
    To bypass Egyptian military and police roadblocks on Sinai roads, Hamas provided Izzat and his fellow Brethren with smugglers’ boats that ply the Mediterranean sea route between Alexandria and Gaza.
    Saturday, July 20, the Egyptian army imposed a total blockade on sea craft traffic along the Mediterranean coasts of Gaza and Sinai and clamped down heavily on other means of access to the Gaza Strip. Army engineers are destroying the hundreds of smuggling tunnels linking Sinai and the Palestinian enclave, which were an integral part of Gaza’s economy under Hamas rule.
    Last week, Egyptian Apache gun ships flew overhead to warn the Palestinian rulers that their movements was under surveillance.
    DEBKAfile’s military sources report that, in view of the Gaza Strip’s key role in abetting the uprising, the Egyptian army may decide to kick off its counter-terror operation in Sinai by dropping elite forces in Gaza by air or sea for commandeering the Beach Hotel and detaining the six Muslim Brotherhood leaders. They would be brought to Cairo and tried on charges of instigating revolt.
    Egypt’s military rulers don’t credit Hamas protests denying they collaborated with the Brotherhood’s actions in defiance of the military. They point to the new terrorist network in Sinai, which calls itself, “Communicators with the Mahdi,” as consisting almost entirely of Palestinian members of Hamas and Jihadi Islami from Gaza. This network is held responsible for the sharp escalation in attacks on Egyptian security forces since the Brotherhood leaders set up shop at the Beach Hotel.
    There is no doubt that the Brotherhood revolt leaders in Gaza are coordinating their actions with the Egyptian al Qaeda leader Ramzi Mowafi and the armed Salafist legion he commands in Sinai.

  14. "Stage IV:
    The cancer has spread from the colon to distant organs and tissues such as the liver, lungs, peritoneum, or ovaries."

    Just found out a friend of mine is in the fourth stage.
    I'm scheduling a colonoscopy.

    Anyone here that hasn't been checked in awhile should do it too.