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Showing posts from January 4, 2016

The Big Lie in the War Against Drugs

(Image: SWAT team, tea bags via Shutterstock; Edited: JR / TO)

If you've shopped at a gardening supply store in the last year, and if you happen to live with someone who drinks tea, guess what?

Your local sheriff could just send a SWAT team into your house.

It's not a far-fetched scenario, in fact it actually happened, here in the US, just three short years ago.

Back in 2012, a Kansas SWAT team raided the home of Robert and Addie Harte and tore their house apart looking for evidence of a major marijuana growing operation.

The investigation began when a state trooper stationed at a gardening supply store (yes, they had the gardening store staked out!) spotted Robert Harte and his son purchasing supplies to grow hydroponic tomatoes.

According to the Washington Post, having seen the Hartes buying hydroponic growing accessories, the Johnson County Sheriff's Department started investigating the Harte family.

They searched the family's trash and found "saturated plant material…

How False Stories of Iran Arming the Houthis Were Used to Justify War in Yemen

By Gareth Porter

Peace talks between the Saudi-supported government of Yemen and the Houthi rebels ended in late December without any agreement to end the bombing campaign started by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies with US support last March. The rationale for the Saudi-led war on Houthis in Yemen has been that the Houthis are merely proxies of Iran, and the main alleged evidence for that conclusion is that Iran has been arming the Houthis for years.

The allegation of Iranian arms shipments to the Houthis - an allegation that has often been mentioned in press coverage of the conflict but never proven - was reinforced by a report released last June by a panel of experts created by the UN Security Council: The report concluded that Iran had been shipping arms to the Houthi rebels in Yemen by sea since at least 2009. But an investigation of the two main allegations of such arms shipments made by the Yemeni government and cited by the expert panel shows that they were both crudely const…

The Saudi Execution Of Al-Nimr Was A Smart Move?

By Moon Of Alabama

The Saudi government executed 47 longtime prisoners who had be sentenced to death over terrorism and general revolting against the government.

From its viewpoint it was a smart political move.

The Saudis are in trouble over their war on Yemen. After nine month of bombing the hell out of the country there is no chance that the aim of their war, reinstalling their proxy government in Sanaa, will be reached anytime soon. Meanwhile Yemeni forces raid(vid) one Saudi town after another. The Saudi regime change projects via Salafi jihadists in Iraq and Syria are also faltering. The low oil price make it necessary for the Saudi government to introduce taxes on its people. New taxes are hardly ever popular.

To divert from these problems the Saudis decided to get rid of a bunch of prisoners and to use the event to regain some legitimacy. Many of the 47 killed were truly al-Qaida types who a decade ago had killed and blown up buildings in Saudi Arabia and wanted to violently over…

Saudi Arabia cuts diplomatic ties with Iran over embassy storming

Saudi Arabia has cut diplomatic ties with Iran over the storming of its embassy in Tehran on Saturday. The move comes while relations between the regional rivals are plunging over the execution of a top Shiite cleric.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir demanded that the Iranian diplomatic mission and related entities leave the country within 48 hours.

He said Riyadh would not allow the Islamic Republic to undermine the Sunni kingdom’s security.

Jubeir claimed the Tehran attack was similar to what he called earlier Iranian assaults on foreign embassies there, accusing Iran of creating “terrorist cells’ inside Saudi Arabia.

“The kingdom, in light of these realities, announces the cutting of diplomatic relations with Iran and requests the departure of delegates of diplomatic missions of the embassy and consulate and offices related to it within 48 hours. The ambassador has been summoned to notify them,” the foreign minister said.

The Saudi diplomats who…