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Posted on 09/09/2007 3:57:28 AM PDT by George Maschke
Osama Bin Laden's widely reported video address to the American people has a peculiarity that casts serious doubt on its authenticity: the video freezes at about 1 minute and 36 seconds, and motion only resumes again at 12:30. The video then freezes again at 14:02 remains frozen until the end. All references to current events, such as the 62nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan, and Sarkozy and Brown being the leaders of France and the UK, respectively, occur when the video is frozen! The words spoken when the video is in motion contain no references to contemporary events and could have been (and likely were) made before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The audio track does appear to be in the voice of a single speaker. What I suspect was done is that an older, unreleased video was dubbed over for this release, with the video frozen when the audio track departed from that of the original video.The video may be downloaded as a 677 mb MPEG file here.
Read this: let it sink in FIRST:
Posted: 05 Sep 2007 11:08 AM CDT
When computer scientist Jim Gray was lost at sea earlier this year, Amazon stepped in to help. They arranged for a satellite sweep of the area and stored the images on their S3 storage service. They then created a task on their Mechanical Turk service to allow volunteers to scan the images to look for the boat. Thousands of people joined the search, but he was never found.
Now Steve Fossett, a 63 year old aviator, sailor and adventurer with a number of world records, has disappeared as well. On September 3, an airplane he was flying in Nevada failed to return. No one has any idea where he is.
His friend Richard Branson now says he will use Google Earth to try and find Fossett. Google may have taken new satellite photos over the last few days which may have information that can help find him.With Gray, there was a lot of data to review and a boat appears as a very small number of pixels in a given satellite image. Looking for a plane, or even a weather disturbance, in the Nevada desert may not be much easier. Still, if Branson and/or Google call for volunteers to help with the search, I am sure that thousands will join the effort. And once again, Mechanical Turk would be a perfect way to organize the volunteers, even if they are looking at Google data.
The deceased, AKA Abu Abdallah al-Maqdisi, was the admin of the al-Nusra forum. He achieved his martyrdom in Nahr al-Bared.
FWIW, the average life expectancy of so-called "Internet Jihadis" appears to be about two years, before they either drop out, blow up, get captured or killed, etc. al-Muhajir's run appears to have lasted about three years, starting when he was 20 +- and ending when he was 23.
BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Tuesday rejected a report that hackers controlled by its military had successfully entered a Pentagon network, calling the claim a product of "Cold War" thinking.
The Financial Times, citing former and serving U.S. officials, said Chinese People's Liberation Army hackers broke into a U.S. Defence Department network in June, taking data and prompting the shutdown of a system serving department secretary Robert Gates.
The report came a week after German Chancellor Angelaraised similar claims that Chinese hackers had infected German government ministries with spying programs.
China deflected the German reports, and now it has flatly rejected the U.S. claims, as well as denying reports that Chinese-made weapons have been used by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
"The Chinese government has consistently opposed and vigorously attacked according to the law all Internet-wrecking crimes, including hacking," Foreign Ministry spokeswomansaid.
"Some people are making wild accusations against China ... They are totally groundless and also reflect a Cold War mentality."
Beijing has devoted a large part of its rising defence budget to developing more advanced technology, including computer capabilities. Butsaid her government was also the victim of computer attacks.
The Financial Times cited one source familiar with the event as saying there was a "very high level of confidence ... trending towards total certainty" that the army was behind it. Continued...
Defense Department Responds to Cyber Threats, Official Says
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2007 – The Defense Department receives many attempted cyber attacks each day and has measures in place to aggressively respond to and deter these attacks, a department spokesman said today.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman addressed media reports that a computer system in the Office of the Secretary of Defense was hacked into by the Chinese military earlier this year. Whitman confirmed that an attack did occur in June but declined to identify the origin of the threat. It is often difficult to pinpoint the true origin of an intrusion into computer systems and even more difficult to tie the intrusion to a specific nation or government, he noted.
"Cyber or non-kinetic type threats to military computer networks are viewed as just as real and just as significant as physical or kinetic threats," Whitman said. "The department aggressively responds to deter all intrusions to defend what is known as the GIG, the global information grid."
When the intrusion occurred in June, elements of an unclassified e-mail system in the Office of the Secretary of Defense were taken off-line briefly, Whitman said. However, the department has redundant systems in place, so ongoing operations were not disrupted, he said. The system was restored to full service within two or three weeks.
There are hundreds of attempted intrusions into the Defense Department computer network each day, the majority of which are detected and stopped, Whitman said. The nature of the threat is large and diverse and includes recreational hackers, self-styled cyber vigilantes, various groups with nationalistic or ideological agendas, transnational actors, and nation states. When appropriate, the department turns cases over to law enforcement officials for investigation, he said.
"We continue to aggressively monitor our networks for intrusions," Whitman said. "We have appropriate procedures to address events of this nature."
Since the incident in June, Whitman said, he knows of no successful intrusions into the Defense Department computer system.
Scouts of the 173rd Airborne Brigade's 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, react as villagers below run after spotting the soldiers moving on the hillside during Operation Destined Strike in Chowkay Valley, Afghanistan Aug. 22, 2007. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Aird
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
BY JOSEF JOFFE
Sunday, September 2, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
Here is a short list. Iran advances to No. 1, completing its nuclear-arms program undeterred and unhindered. America’s cowed Sunni allies–Saudi-Arabia, Jordan, the oil-rich “Gulfies”–are drawn into the Khomeinist orbit.
You might ask: Wouldn’t they converge in a mighty anti-Tehran alliance instead? Think again. The local players have never managed to establish a regional balance of power; it was always outsiders–first Britain, then the U.S.–who chastened the malfeasants and blocked anti-Western intruders like Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.
With the U.S. gone from Iraq, emboldened jihadi forces shift to Afghanistan and turn it again into a bastion of Terror International. Syria reclaims Lebanon, which it has always labeled as a part of “Great Syria.” Hezbollah and Hamas, both funded and equipped by Tehran, resume their war against Israel. Russia, extruded from the Middle East by adroit Kissingerian diplomacy in the 1970s, rebuilds its anti-Western alliances. In Iraq, the war escalates, unleashing even more torrents of refugees and provoking outside intervention, if not partition.
Now, let’s look beyond the region. The Europeans will be the first to revise their romantic notions of multipolarity, or world governance by committee. For worse than an overbearing, in-your-face America is a weakened and demoralized one. Shall Vladimir Putin’s Russia acquire a controlling stake? This ruthlessly revisionist power wants revenge for its post-Gorbachev humiliation, not responsibility.
China with its fabulous riches? The Middle Kingdom is still happily counting its currency surpluses as it pretties up its act for the 2008 Olympics, but watch its next play if the U.S. quits the highest stakes game in Iraq. The message from Beijing might well read: “Move over America, the Western Pacific, as you call it, is our lake.”
Europe? It is wealthy, populous and well-ordered. But strategic players those 27 member-states of the E.U. are not. They cannot pacify the Middle East, stop the Iranian bomb or keep Mr. Putin from wielding gas pipelines as tools of “persuasion.” When the Europeans did wade into the fray, as in the Balkan wars of the 1990s, they let the U.S. Air Force go first.
Now to the upside. The U.S. may have spent piles of chips foolishly, but it is still the richest player at the global gaming table. In the Bush years, the U.S. may have squandered tons of political capital, but then the rest of the world is not exactly making up for the shortfall.
Nor has the U.S. become a “dispensable nation.” That is the most remarkable truth in these trying times. Its enemies from al Qaeda to Iran–and its rivals from Russia to China–can disrupt and defy, but they cannot build and lead.
For all the damage to Washington’s reputation, nothing of great import can be achieved without, let alone against, the U.S. Can Moscow and Beijing bring peace to Palestine? Or mend a global financial system battered by the subprime crisis? Where are the central banks of Russia and China?
|Pentagon: 'Three-Day Blitz' plan for Iran -|
|From The Sunday Times|
September 2, 2007
Sarah Baxter, Washington
THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive air strikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians' military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.
Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for "pinprick strikes" against Iran's nuclear facilities. "They're about taking out the entire Iranian military," he said.
Debat was speaking at a meeting organized by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: "Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same." It was, he added, a "very legitimate strategic calculus".
President George Bush intensified the rhetoric against Iran last week, accusing Tehran of putting the Middle East "under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust". He warned that the US and its allies would confront Iran "before it is too late".
One Washington source said the "temperature was rising" inside the administration. Bush was "sending a message to a number of audiences", he said – to the Iranians and to members of the United Nations security council who are trying to weaken a tough third resolution on sanctions against Iran for flouting a UN ban on uranium enrichment.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last week reported "significant" cooperation with Iran over its nuclear programme and said that uranium enrichment had slowed. Tehran has promised to answer most questions from the agency by November, but Washington fears it is stalling to prevent further sanctions. Iran continues to maintain it is merely developing civilian nuclear power.
Bush is committed for now to the diplomatic route but thinks Iran is moving towards acquiring a nuclear weapon. According to one well placed source, Washington believes it would be prudent to use rapid, overwhelming force, should military action become necessary.
Israel, which has warned it will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, has made its own preparations for air strikes and is said to be ready to attack if the Americans back down.
Alireza Jafarzadeh, a spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which uncovered the existence of Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, said the IAEA was being strung along. "A number of nuclear sites have not even been visited by the IAEA," he said. "They’re giving a clean bill of health to a regime that is known to have practiced deception."
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, irritated the Bush administration last week by vowing to fill a "power vacuum" in Iraq. But Washington believes Iran is already fighting a proxy war with the Americans in Iraq.
The Institute for the Study of War last week released a report by Kimberly Kagan that explicitly uses the term "proxy war" and claims that with the Sunni insurgency and Al-Qaeda in Iraq "increasingly under control", Iranian intervention is the "next major problem the coalition must tackle".
Bush noted that the number of attacks on US bases and troops by Iranian-supplied munitions had increased in recent months – "despite pledges by Iran to help stabilize the security situation in Iraq".
It explains, in part, his lack of faith in diplomacy with the Iranians. But Debat believes the Pentagon's plans for military action involve the use of so much force that they are unlikely to be used and would seriously stretch resources in Afghanistan and Iraq.