Archive for germany – Page 2

Overnight: Carnival in Cologne, Germany

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KarnevalKoelnw398h264Cologne (in German 'Koeln' or 'Köln') - is on the Rhine River in Northern Germany. It celebrates 'Carnival' - or 'Fastnacht' - the weeks time before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday in a very different way than the southern Germans do. There are parades but there are also fancy dress parties, a feature of which, as you might guess, is much drinking, the presenting of kings and queens, and a 'Buettenredner' - a teller of jokes in 'Koelnisch' - the dialect of German spoken in and around Cologne.

Here's one of those parties:

Here's a Wiki on the Carnival in Cologne.

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CIA Attempt To Kill Fmr. Spy Chief And Defense Secretary Gates Foiled

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Robert Gates

It's actually quite easy to start rumors. Both major political parties do it all the time. They take minuscule facts -- it's always good to start with a little verifiable foundation -- then spin it in fantastical ways.

Take the case of Robert Gates, the 26 year spy veteran, former CIA chief as well as Bush US Defense Secretary. He's the guy with all the secrets and knows literally where all the bodies are buried. He's been retired for a few years now, so chances are he doesn't pose too much of a risk. Or does he?

He's got a new book coming out, a tell-all memoir, later this month. That's got a lot of politicians and spies jumpy. What if he does a Snowden or Chelsea Bradley job. His publisher, Knopf has described "DUTY: Memoirs of a Secretary At War" as an eye-opening exposé . Biographile.com:

In his new book, Gates notes his story will be "principally about" Iraq and Afghanistan. Our gains in both countries were "squandered," Gates says, "by mistakes, shortsightedness, and conflict in the field as well as in Washington, leading to long, brutal campaigns to avert strategic defeat.

Something as potentially explosive as this sent shivers through Washington and especially the 'Company.' Those spies don't like having their secrets revealed and they might have taken steps to silence their former darling and Republican operative.

Just a few days ago, New Years Day, the top secrets keeper took a suspicious fall in his home, fracturing his first vertebrae.

This injury is not expected to curtail his book promotion. Then again, Gen. George S. Patton sustained a a similar 3rd vertebrae injury, not unlike the one Gates suffered, and he was dead within two days of a hospital stay. Controversy and conspiracy theories continue today as to how Patton, who Eisenhower despised, was recovering enough to be readied to leave the German hospital for a return to the US, then suddenly died. And in his case, there was no autopsy and no formal investigation into the "accident" driver responsible.

Will this happen to Gates?

Taking the facts and spinning them just a little, here's the story as a rumor monger or conspiracy theorist might analyze it.

Early New Year's Day, two operatives secretly entered the home of Robert Gates who's in his bedroom on the second floor in his two story home. He's just gotten dressed and hears a noise downstairs. He goes to investigate. At the top of the landing he sees operative number one. Gates turns to retrieve his gun from his bedside nightstand. That's when he's surprised by operative number two who pushes Gates down the stairs, tumbling toward his death. While operative number two hurries down the stairs, operative number one checks for vital signs, to see if the "accidental fall" permanently took out the former Director. When they see he's still alive, they're about to inject him with a lethal dose of meds that will make it look like he's had a heart attack -- to make the fall look accidental.

But suddenly the two "spooks" hear someone coming from upstairs, responding to the thuds of Gates fall. The approaching footsteps scare away the two agents before they can finish their job.

Gates, who's book was going to reveal some very shameful and illegal activities by the Bush administration during the Iraq war survives. He decides its safer to keep the details of the botched assassination attempt on his life quiet for now, hoping once the book is released he won't be harmed. Now, with 24 hour security covering him like stink on fresh dog poop, the next CIA assassination attempt will have to wait or be called off.

Of course the Republican spin machine is torn on whether to blame the Democrats or keep silent, as the condemning material in the Gates book might get some unwanted attention, embarrassing the GOP demagogues and setting the more liberal or progressive tongues wagging. Only time will tell.

Watch for Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity to grab this story and run with it.

Okay, this is just speculation. But take the facts. Put a little GOP conservative fairy dust on them and you have this story. Will this be tomorrow's headlines? I'm just sayin'!

Follow me on Twitter: @Linzack

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This Should Scare The Bejesus Out Of You

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Plum Island sign

Run by the Department of Homeland Security, Plum Island is a top secret facility. Situated on a tiny parcel of land lurking a mere ten miles off the coast of Connecticut, and two miles off the tip of New York's Long Island, this place is the epicenter of U.S. top-secret biowarfare research.

TRU TV  reports this:

The U.S. government acknowledges that the island is home to a scientific facility. Its stated purpose is to study animal-borne diseases. But investigators are beginning to uncover startling new facts about this forbidding place. Insiders and ex-employees have come forward to tell their stories. From security breaches in germ labs, to escaped diseases and potential mass epidemics.

So just how safe are we from this facility? Here's an interesting thought. Do you remember the stories of the atrocities committed by the Nazi's during the war? Well what if they continued their abominable scientific experimentation after the war? And what if they took place on American soil and were not only condoned by the US Government but backed by them?

Welcome to Project Paperclip. If you thought Area 51 was some kind of freaky government secret facility...

ProjectPaperclip

This Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) recruited German scientists post-WWII. These (in many cases war criminals) and their families were relocated together on... wait for it, Plum Island.

From Project Paperclip's website:

MEMORANDUM

TO: Members of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments
FROM: Advisory Committee Staff
DATE: April 5, 1995
RE: Post-World War II Recruitment of German Scientists - Project Paperclip

At least 1,600 scientists and their dependents were recruited and brought to the United States by Paperclip and its successor projects through the early 1970s.

In recent years, it has been alleged that many of these individuals were brought to the United States in violation of American government policy not to permit the entrance of "ardent Nazis" into the country, that many were security risks, and that at least some were implicated in Holocaust-related activities.

The reason we should be interested in this comes from the not-so-distant past outbreak of Lyme Disease. The disease is named after the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut, where a number of cases were identified in 1975. Those two cities are just a few miles from Plum Island.

From Rense Watch:

An important chapter in the story of how the inquiry into the possible link between Plum Island, Erich Traub's (resident of Plumb Island under Operation Paperclip) work on behalf of the US and the spread of Lyme Disease concerns the work of former Justice Department prosecutor John Loftus. In his book The Belarus Secret, Loftus referred to work done on Plum Island in the early 1950's in which Nazi scientists were experimenting on diseased ticks.

Well, if that's not cause to pause, consider this: the high potential for terrorist attack on this facility.

PRINCETON EDU:

 In 2002, Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, well known for his contacts and sympathies for Taliban was captured in Afghanistan with a dossier in his possession on Plum Island.

His goal was to steal pathogens from Plum Island and turn them into a human biowarfare agent.

Ah, but the good Sultan wasn't alone in this germicide warfare. PJ MEDIA:

In 2008 Aafia Siddiqui was the FBI’s most wanted woman in the world. Now the U.S.-educated, Pakistani mother of three is being held in New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center facing attempted murder charges.Among the documents in her possession were handwritten notes referring to a “mass-casualty attack” listing locations commonly known to be targets: Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Plum Island and the Empire State Building.

Here's what our GAO (Government Accountability Office) reported on security at the Plum Island:

Security at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center has improved, but fundamental concerns leave the facility vulnerable to security breaches. First, Plum Island's physical security arrangements are incomplete and limited. Second, Plum Island officials have been assuming unnecessary risks by not adequately controlling access to areas where pathogens are located. Third, Plum Island's security response has limitations. For example, the guard force has been armed but has not had the authority from USDA to carry firearms or make arrests. Moreover, Plum Island's incident response plan does not consider the possibility of a terrorist attack.

plum Island facility

One thing's for sure, this is one hell of a frightening and dangerous place. We can't keep sequester cuts and risk security at places like this. Maybe the conversations in Washington need to shift from budget cuts and government shutdowns to reinforcement and even whether or not there's a need for facilities like this one.

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Video- Fox Cuts Away From Obama's Berlin Speech To Cover Tea Party Protests

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Via MM.

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