Posts Tagged ‘Federal Bureau of Investigation’


Infowars is hardly a universally accepted or reliable source of rumours or news, but the assertion that Obama has been warned by ex CIA and FBI operatives that the infamous Syrian sarin attack was, indeed, carried out by rebels as a false flag attack is a new one. We’d very much like to see the story properly sourced …

We are on record as saying that we cannot understand why on earth Assad would use gas on his own people, thus ensuring Western intervention that would tip the balance in favour of the opposition.

That this was a “false flag” attack was always, of course, a possibility. And if it turns out to have been so, then external powers will rush to deny involvement. The story will be blamed on rogue elements in the Syrian opposition.

However, if Obama still proceeds to attack Syria (if talks fail to deal with the gas stockpiles, for example) and it is later shown he was warned that the intelligence he was acting upon was false – and that intelligence then is then duly shown to be false – then that will surely be the end of Obama.

Little wonder his apparent enthusiasm for a cruise missile attack on Syria seems to wane daily.

Meanwhile, we seem as far as ever from a solution to the overall crisis.


Against continuing denials by the Assad regime that they were responsible for the recent sarin gas attack, Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.N. General Assembly should move swiftly to approve a U.S.-Russia deal to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, saying that there is no time to argue with those who are remain unconvinced that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government carried out a chemical attack last month.

Speaking Thursday at the State Department, Kerry didn’t mention Russian President Vladimir Putin, but his remarks were a clear attempt to rebut Putin’s statement that Russia has strong ground to believe that Syrian rebels – not Assad – were responsible for the attack.

Putin, however, says the perpetrators relied on “primitive” technology using old Soviet-made ammunition no longer in the Syrian army’s inventory.

Kerry says the U.S. believes a report by U.N. inspectors proves Assad conducted the attack. However, he also insists that the rebels do not have access to sarin, despite known evidence to the contrary. (See the third link below.)

Related articles

(AP, Clarion Ledger, and others)

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon issued a stay of execution until further notice for Willie Jerome Manning, who had been set to be executed at 6 p.m.

Previously having voted 5-4 in favour of execution as recently as last week, the high court voted eight to one to defer, possibly until new evidence can be examined, with Justice Mike Randolph objecting.

Attorney General Jim Hood had opposed the request for a stay, saying it is just a delay tactic and that there was a “mountain of evidence” against Manning, including a confession to his cousin. (Note, that cousin has since retracted that testimony and specifically said he was lying to curry favour with police.) On Tuesday, he apologized to the victims’ families.

“I am sorry that the victims’ families will have to continue to live with this 20-plus year nightmare,” Hood said. “Out of an abundance of caution, our Court stayed the sentence until it had time to review this flurry of last minute filings.”

(Presumably Mr Hood thinks it would be better to judicially murder the wrong man than try and find the real perpetrator if the DNA and other evidence exonerates Manning? Perhaps he thinks the victim’s families would rather an innocent man was executed than no-one?)

Manning was given two death sentences for the 1992 slayings of Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller, two college students. His attorneys had asked the state Supreme Court on Monday to stop his execution and allow him to seek DNA testing of evidence.

The U.S. Justice Department had sent letters saying FBI testimony on testing of bullet and hair evidence in the case had been over-reaching for technology at the time.

Manning’s attorney, David Voisin, said: “The order demonstrates that the court is taking our pleading seriously and giving serious consideration to giving us (DNA) testing or a new trial.”

Judge Randolph, in his lonely written objection to the stay, said Manning’s defense has had years to deal with hair and ballistics evidence and that the issues were dealt with “in a long string of litigation in state and federal courts.”

(This, of course, ignores the fact that he had been denied to right to new DNA testing. What’s more, this particular judge then proceeded to make a series of astonishing remarks regarding the Department of Justice.)

Randolph also strongly criticized the DOJ for working with the Innocence Project and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in their evaluations.

“I should not be surprised,” Randolph wrote, “given that the families of victims of the clandestine ‘Fast and Furious’ gun running operation can’t get the Department of Justice to identify the decision makers (whose actions resulted in the death of a border agent and many others) after years of inquiry, and that this is the same Department of Justice that grants and enforces Miranda warnings to foreign enemy combatants.”

(It seems like “hang ’em high” as a solution to all the world’s problems is still alive and well in some people’s minds. But credit must be given to the court, it has to be said, in reversing its previous decision so emphatically. Still, Manning is not out of the woods yet …)

Mississippi Department of Corrections spokeswoman Tara Booth said the agency is “standing down until we hear from the court.”

Booth said it is unclear at this point how temporary the stay might be. Manning will be immediately moved from the execution unit, where he was placed Sunday, back to death row.

Manning had not requested a last meal Tuesday. Too, none of his family members had planned to attend the execution at Manning’s request. Manning’s brother, Marshon Manning, however, was visiting with Manning Tuesday.

Family members of one of the victims were on route to view the 6 p.m. scheduled execution at Parchman, Miss., where the Mississippi State Penitentiary is located, when victims advocated made them aware Manning had been granted a stay, Booth said.

In a written statement, Hood said: “Yesterday evening our office filed a report with the Court, which I obtained from the district attorney’s office around 6 yesterday afternoon.

The report states that there was no serological evidence from the victims’ fingernail scrapings or semen on the vaginal swabs from the rape test kit for a DNA test to identify.

After having an opportunity to consider this new evidence, the senior attorneys in this office believe our Court will dissolve the stay and the sentence will be carried out. If, however, our Court orders that these items be re-tested, then we will carry out that order.”

Hood continued: “I am in conversations with the DOJ and FBI to determine how these last minute letters came about. After conversing with expert witnesses at our Crime Lab, it is clear that FBI experts and experts in all states used more conclusive language in their testimony up until around the time the 2009 National Academy of Science report was issued on forensics. Since then the policy of many experts has been to qualify their testimony by using the magic words ‘to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty.’

“The FBI agents in this case were simply following the standards used in their fields at the time. The letters sent from the forensic taskforce chairman at DOJ, merely state that the science was not that exact in 1993, not that these agents were not following the standard followed by all of their colleagues at the time, both state and federal, in testifying to the degree of certainty.”

(So if they made a mistake back then, the fact that they didn’t know they were making a mistake means it’s OK to execute someone incorrectly? I smell bullshit and arse covering.)

Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps said Manning was being taken from a holding cell back to Building 29, where death row is located.

Epps said Manning had expressed optimism to him earlier that the execution would be stopped.

“He said he had faith in God and all was in His hands,” Epps said.

Epps said the prison was being taken off lockdown — a usual procedure on an execution day and that Tiffany Miller’s family was alerted about the stay. Family members who had planned to witness Tuesday’s scheduled execution were already en route.

(What is certain is that this whole death penalty system is ridiculously cruel on both inmates and victim’s families. The anti death movement in the USA is gaining strength – especially because there is now clear evidence that many people are being executed on inconclusive or blatantly fraudulent evidence. If a country must impose the ultimate penalty, then certainty as regards guilt – and only certainty – must surely be the standard.)

I am updating and re-publishing this article, because if your computer is ever going to go tits up because of a virus you didn’t even know you had, it’s going to happen on Monday, and if it does, well, you are going to be bloody irritated with yourself that you didn’t check sooner.

For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing vital Internet connections this July.

Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world.

In a highly unusual response, the FBI set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. But that system is to be shut down.

So the FBI and other law enforcement authorities are encouraging users to visit a website run by the FBI’s security partner, , that will inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem. You must check now: because after July 9, infected users won’t be able to connect to the Internet.

This means you. Maybe.

About 300,000 computers worldwide remain infected, it is estimated, as at this weekend.

Most victims don’t even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.

Last November, the FBI and other authorities were preparing to take down a hacker ring that had been running an Internet ad scam on a massive network of infected computers.

“We started to realise that we might have a little bit of a problem on our hands because … if we just pulled the plug on their criminal infrastructure and threw everybody in jail, the victims of this were going to be without Internet service,” said Tom Grasso, an FBI supervisory special agent.

“The average user would open up Internet Explorer and get ‘page not found’ and think the Internet is broken.”

On the night of the arrests, the agency brought in Paul Vixie, chairman and founder of Internet Systems Consortium, to install two Internet servers to take the place of the truckload of impounded rogue servers that infected computers were using.

Federal officials planned to keep their servers online until March, giving everyone opportunity to clean their computers. But it wasn’t enough time. A federal judge in New York extended the deadline until July.

Now, said Grasso, “the full court press is on to get people to address this problem.” And it’s up to computer users to check their PCs.

This is what happened

Hackers infected a network of probably more than 570,000 computers worldwide. They took advantage of vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows operating system to install malicious software on the victim computers. This turned off antivirus updates and changed the way the computers reconcile website addresses behind the scenes on the Internet’s domain name system.

The DNS system is a network of servers that translates a web address — such as — into the numerical addresses that computers use. Victim computers were reprogrammed to use rogue DNS servers owned by the attackers. This allowed the attackers to redirect computers to fraudulent versions of any website.

The hackers earned profits from advertisements that appeared on websites that victims were tricked into visiting. The scam netted the hackers at least $14 million, according to the FBI. It also made thousands of computers reliant on the rogue servers for their Internet browsing.

When the FBI and others arrested six Estonians last November, the agency replaced the rogue servers with Vixie’s clean ones. Installing and running the two substitute servers for eight months is costing the federal government about $87,000.

The number of victims is hard to pinpoint, but the FBI believes that on the day of the arrests, at least 568,000 unique Internet addresses were using the rogue servers. Five months later, FBI estimates that the number is down to at least 360,000. The US has the most, about 85,000, federal authorities said.

Other countries with more than 20,000 each include Italy, India, England and Germany. Smaller numbers are online in Spain, France, Canada, China and Mexico.

Home users most at risk

Vixie said most of the victims are probably individual home users, rather than corporations that have technology staffs who routinely check the computers.

FBI officials said they organised an unusual system to avoid any appearance of government intrusion into the Internet or private computers. And while this is the first time the FBI used it, it won’t be the last.

“This is the future of what we will be doing,” said Eric Strom, a unit chief in the FBI’s Cyber Division. “Until there is a change in legal systems, both inside and outside the United States, to get up to speed with the cyber problem, we will have to go down these paths, trail-blazing if you will, on these types of investigations.”

Now, he said, every time the agency gets near the end of a cyber case, “we get to the point where we say, how are we going to do this, how are we going to clean the system” without creating a bigger mess than before.

(Thanks to AP, Yahoo and others)