News and Analysis (12/8/11)

“[T]he intact condition of the Sentinel tends to support the claim by Iran that its forces electronically hijacked the plane and steered it to the ground;” U.S. officials now admit it “was part of a fleet of secret aircraft that the CIA has used for several years in an escalating espionage campaign targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities,” just one part of  “a more confrontational approach … that also includes increased arms sales to Iran’s potential rivals in the Middle East as well as bellicose statements by U.S. officials and key allies”:

In a 150 page opinion, the Appeals Court shrugs off  objections to the admission of testimony from secret foreign witnesses on grounds that “no trial is perfect”” and rules that it is permissible to convict people of supporting terrorism if their otherwise legitimate charitable work frees a listed terrorist organization to “concentrate its efforts on violent activity”:

“Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, 62, acknowledged receiving funding from the Pakistani government, as well as committing tax violations;” expressing his deep regret for “personal mistakes,” even as he insisted he had “never compromised our goals of independence and self-determination for the Kashmiri people and our commitment to peaceful negotiations” …

… in the meantime:

“In theory, the new parliament will be entrusted with forming a 100-member assembly to write the constitution. But the ruling military council says the parliament will not be representative, so they are appointing the council” themselves on the pretext of avoiding religious extremism, but with the patent objective of protecting their own power:

Naming Cairo ex-police chief Mohammed Ibrahim Yusuf as Minister of Interior send s a bad message as “police were accused of brutality during recent protests against the military” in which over forty were killed:

You have no idea how right you are, Bashar!

“[A]rmed militia marched unstopped through Nigeria’s largest city, firing shotguns and rifles in the air in what they called a protest against … Boko Haram, a Muslim sect in Nigeria’s northeast that has killed at least 388 people this year alone” threatening retaliation that would jeopardize “those belonging to the Hausa Fulani ethnic group, Muslims who dominate the country’s north”:

“Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claiming responsibility for the Kabul attack;” although officially “banned in Pakistan … [the group] has a long history of receiving support from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate”:






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