Arab and Turkish journalists and media are big time lairs and biased to the core
By Mike Evans
On May 31, Israel walked straight into a trap—a trap set by a group of so-called activists determined to break Israeli attempts to halt the flow of arms and war materiel into the Gaza strip.
Having been warned in advance that the intent of the Free Gaza movement flotilla was to shatter the Israeli blockade, the IDF prepared to board the ships and divert them to Ashdod for inspection. A member of the Free Gaza organization credited with launching the flotilla, Greta Berlin, clarified the intent of the group: “We’re not trying to be a humanitarian mission.”
Apparently, Israel was ill-informed that the ship carried 700 pro-Palestinian activists prepared to do whatever necessary to reach their goal. American-born pro-Palestinian activist Hawaida Arraf threw down the gauntlet with the assertion: “We fully intend to go to Gaza regardless of any intimidation or threats of violence against us. They are going to have to forcefully stop us.”
According to Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon “the armada of hate and violence in support of the Hamas terror organization was a premeditated and outrageous provocation. The organizers are well-known for their ties to Global Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror. On board the ship we found weapons that were prepared in advance and used against our forces…”
A number of the passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara Turkish passenger ship suspected of having connections with Global Jihad-affiliated terrorist organizations have refused to provide proper identification to the Israeli authorities. Many were carrying envelopes containing thousands of dollars in cash.
During a search of the ship on Tuesday a cache of bulletproof vests, night-vision goggles, and gas masks was discovered. A defense official stated, “This is the group that was behind the violent [attack] against the naval commandos. They came on board the ship prepared and after they had trained for the expected Navy takeover.”
When confronted by the Israelis, five of the six ships’ captains diverted to Ashdod; the sixth was decidedly on a mission of defiance. Obviously, the mistake made by the IDF was to assume that the voyagers on board the Mavi Marmara were a charitable group. Rather, it was loaded with pro-Palestinian terrorists, not with the specified humanitarian agenda, and determined to create an international media incident.
The IDF deployed about a dozen soldiers with the intent of taking the bridge and diverting the flotilla to the Israeli port. Instead, the troops fell into the hands of an angry mob of rioters armed with clubs, knives, scissors, pepper spray, and with side arms after having disarmed several IDF soldiers.
The Israelis boarded with non-lethal paintball guns, the kind used by teens on paintball courses, and pistols they never thought they would have to unholster. Video shows the unsuspecting IDF paratroopers being assaulted as they reached the deck. One IDF soldier was thrown over a railing to a deck 30 feet below.
In a statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he reiterated that this was “a clear case of self-defense because as our soldiers were inspecting these ships, they were attacked—they were almost lynched. They were attacked…and they had to defend themselves—they were going to be killed. Israel will not allow its soldiers to be lynched and neither would any other self-respecting country.”
Israel will become the target for every terrorist worldwide. Now more than ever America must stand with our only true ally in the Middle East
Israel has maintained the 4-year blockade to halt the flow of weapons from Iran to Hamas, its armed and funded proxy in Gaza. In November 2009, the Israeli navy intercepted a huge cache of weapons headed from Iran to Hezbollah and Hamas onboard Francop, a German container ship. The markings on the materiel discovered were clearly Iranian. The ship carried some 3,000 missiles including Katyusha rockets.
The Israeli embargo against Gaza has become more powerful than rockets; it created the perfect storm, the Vietnam, for the State of Israel. The secular media, which has always been prone to call terrorists “activists,” only encourages such actions.
In 2008, Israeli President Shimon Peres held a “Facing Tomorrow” conference to which he invited some of the most noted thinkers in the world. One of the conclusions of the meeting was that wars of the 21st Century would be fought first as a media war, secondly as an economic war, thirdly as a proxy war, and finally with boots on the ground. Israel has lost this media war and is well on the way to losing the economic war.
Israel ceded Gaza in hopes of achieving peace in the region; its hopes were dashed. Hamas continued to lob some 1,200 missiles across the border at innocent Jewish civilians. Despite the ongoing provocation, Israel has allowed food and humanitarian supplies into Gaza through the Red Cross and UN.
This skirmish came amid plans for a meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Barack Obama. The aim of the summit was to keep Iran at the top of the agenda, not the Palestinian Authority.
Iran found the perfect means to distract the liberal media—create a flag-waving, humanitarian crisis. The resulting propaganda-driven riots worldwide would certainly take attention from the IAEA announcement that Iran now possesses more than two tons of enriched uranium—enough for two nuclear warheads.
If you were sitting in the seat of power in ancient Persia, what would you do when confronted with new sanctions against your nuclear program? You would sponsor a David-versus-Goliath flotilla—a media extravaganza—carrying a Nobel Peace Prize winner, an American activist, and a Holocaust survivor. Central casting could not have done it better.
The question becomes: When is a humanitarian mission not a humanitarian mission? It fails the test when it is peopled with terrorists on a suicide mission.
A report accidentally published on the Internet provides insight into a secretive European Union surveillance project designed to monitor its citizens, as reported by Wikileaks earlier this month. Project INDECT aims to mine data from television, internet traffic, cellphone conversations, p2p file sharing and a range of other sources for crime prevention and threat prediction. The €14.68 million project began in January, 2009, and is scheduled to continue for five years under its current mandate.
INDECT produced the accidentally published report as part of their “Extraction of Information for Crime Prevention by Combining Web Derived Knowledge and Unstructured Data” project, but do not enumerate all potential applications of the search and surveillance technology. Police are discussed as a prime example of users, with Polish and British forces detailed as active project participants. INDECT is funded under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), and includes participation from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Testing Project INDECT’s potential usefulness, and the leaked ‘sales-pitch’
Indicated in the initial trial’s report, the scope of data collected is particularly broad; days of television news, radio, newspapers, and recorded telephone conversations are included. Several weeks of content from online sources were agglomerated, including mining Wikipedia for users’ and article subjects’ relations with others, organizations, and in-project movements.
Watermarking of published digital works such as film, audio, or other documents is discussed in the Project INDECT remit; its purpose is to integrate and track this information, its movement within the system and across the Internet. An unreleased promotional video for INDECT located on YouTube is shown to the right. The simplified example of the system in operation shows a file of documents with a visible INDECT-titled cover taken from an office and exchanged in a car park. How the police are alerted to the document theft is unclear in the video; as a “threat”, it would be the INDECT system’s job to predict it.
Throughout the video use of CCTV equipment, facial recognition, number plate reading, and aerial surveillance give friend-or-foe information with an overlaid map to authorities. The police proactively use this information to coordinate locating, pursuing, and capturing the document recipient. The file of documents is retrieved, and the recipient roughly detained.
Conclusions, implications, potential investigative journalism impact
Technology research performed as part of Project INDECT has clear use in countering industrial and international espionage, although the potential use in maintaining any security and predicting leaks is much broader. Quoted in the UK’s Daily Telegraph, Liberty‘s director, Shami Chakrabarti, described a possible future implementation of INDECT as a “sinister step” with “positively chilling” repercussions Europe-wide.
“It is inevitable that the project has a sensitive dimension due to the security focused goals of the project,” Suresh Manandhar, leader of the University of York researchers involved in the “Work Package 4″ INDECT component, responded to Wikinews. “However, it is important to bear in mind that the scientific methods are much more general and has wider applications. The project will most likely have lot of commercial potential. The project has an Ethics board to oversee the project activities. As a responsible scientists [sic] it is of utmost importance to us that we conform to ethical guidelines.”
Although Wikinews attempted to contact Professor Helen Petrie of York University, the local member of Project INDECT’s Ethics board, no response was forthcoming. The professor’s area of expertise is universal access, and she has authored a variety of papers on web-accessibility for blind and disabled users. A full list of the Ethics board members is unavailable, making their suitability unassessable and distancing them from public accountability.
One potential application of Project INDECT would be implementation and enforcement of the U.K.’s “MoD Manual of Security“. The 2,389-page 2001 version passed to Wikileaks this month — commonly known as JSP-440, and marked “RESTRICTED” — goes into considerable detail on how, as a serious threat, investigative journalists should be monitored, and effectively thwarted; just the scenario the Project INDECT video could be portraying.
When approached by Wikinews about the implications of using INDECT, a representative of the U.K.’s Attorney General declined to comment on legal checks and balances such a system might require. Further U.K. enquiries were eventually referred to the Police Service of Northern Ireland, who have not yet responded.
E.F.F. Europe reacts
Wikinews’ Brian McNeil contacted Eddan Katz, the International Affairs Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (E.F.F.). Katz last spoke to Wikinews in early 2008 on copyright, not long after taking his current position with the E.F.F. He was back in Brussels to speak to EU officials, Project INDECT was on his agenda too — having learned of it only two weeks earlier. Katz linked Project INDECT with a September report, NeoConopticon — The EU Security-Industrial Complex, authored by Ben Hayes for the Transnational Institute. The report raises serious questions about the heavy involvement of defense and IT companies in “security research”.
On the record, Katz answered a few questions for Wikinews.
- Eddan Katz When the European Parliament issued the September 5, 2001 report on the American ECHELON system they knew such an infrastructure is in violation of data protection law, undermines the values of privacy and is the first step towards a totalitarian surveillance information society.
- E.K. What’s concerning to such a large extent is the fact that the projects seem to be agnostic to that question. These are the searching systems and those people that are working on it in these research labs do search technology anyway. [...] but its inclusion in a database and its availability to law enforcement and its simultaneity of application that’s so concerning, [...] because the people who built it aren’t thinking about those questions, and the social questions, and the political questions, and all this kind of stuff. [... It] seems like it’s intransparent, unaccountable.
The E.U. report Katz refers to was ratified just six days before the September 11 attacks that brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Center. In their analysis of the never-officially-recognized U.S. Echelon spy system it states, “[i]n principle, activities and measures undertaken for the purposes of state security or law enforcement do not fall within the scope of the EC Treaty.” On privacy and data-protection legislation enacted at E.U. level it comments, “[such does] not apply to ‘the processing of data/activities concerning public security, defense, state security (including the economic well-being of the state when the activities relate to state security matters) and the activities of the state in areas of criminal law’”.
Part of the remit in their analysis of Echelon was rumors of ‘commercial abuse’ of intelligence; “[i]f a Member State were to promote the use of an interception system, which was also used for industrial espionage, by allowing its own intelligence service to operate such a system or by giving foreign intelligence services access to its territory for this purpose, it would undoubtedly constitute a breach of EC law [...] activities of this kind would be fundamentally at odds with the concept of a common market underpinning the EC Treaty, as it would amount to a distortion of competition”.
Ben Hayes’ NeoConoptiocon report, in a concluding section, “Following the money“, states, “[w]hat is happening in practice is that multinational corporations are using the ESRP [European Seventh Research Programme] to promote their own profit-driven agendas, while the EU is using the programme to further its own security and defense policy objectives. As suggested from the outset of this report, the kind of security described above represents a marriage of unchecked police powers and unbridled capitalism, at the expense of the democratic system.