File:Red-necked wallaby.gk.jpgNot the life it expected!

A wallaby called “Tomb” is dying for authorities to explain why it is living in the Highgate cemetery.

West Cemetery, Highgate Cemetery, London

Tomb has been spotted hopping mournfully in the North London cemetery amongst the sepulchers, vaults and graves of the “masters of the empire” .

Little is know about Tomb’s other-worldly experiences, and though local writer Douglas Adams might offer an explanation similar to the mattress he reported in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…

there is an even more uncanny and eerie correlation with the base of Highgate Hill… In and Around London... Dick Whittington’s Cat

where Dick Whittington’s cat still sits on the rock where the popular Lord Mayor of London heard the mysterious voice telling him “turn again Whittington”. This might suggest that Boris was himself leaving the city paved with gold along with his companion, Tomb the Wallaby, when he heard the words “bike lanes, Johnson”, waft on the winds blowing up from Bow church as the bells peeled the midday hour…

then, tossing Tomb in the cemetery for safe keeping…

Boris peddled down the hill…

and the rest is history.




The US Navy has been training bottlenose dolphins to patrol and protect warships, hunt for mines and target suspicious scuba divers with killer darts. The able-bodied sea-mammals are fitted with electronic harnesses allowing their operators to send commands that allow them to be directed, and when necessary “activate” their weapons.


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has been working to develop cyborg spy moths. Darpa, the research arm of the Department of Defense, has already successfully implanted chips in cockroaches and rats, allowing humans to “drive” the animals with joysticks. In the case of the moths, the chip will be implanted at the pupal stage so that the animal grows around it and develops a “reliable tissue-machine interface.” The spy moth will then be and remotely piloted to desired locations allowing for video and audio “bugging”.

 moth face close-up

A stack of rods, know under the working title The Rods from God, are a foot in diameter and twenty feet long, housed in an orbiting “quiver” satellite.  The quiver will be accompanied by a control satellite.  When a target has been identified they will be released and guided back to earth.  Gravity is all it will take to accelerate these rods to a speed of 36,000 feet per second.  Their mass falling at this velocity will generate enough kinetic energy to produce the destructive force of a nuclear warhead when they strike their target.


DARPA mission statement for their TTO, Tactical Technology Office, is to “rapidly develop new prototype military capabilities that create an asymmetric technological advantage and provide U.S. forces with decisive superiority and the ability to overwhelm our opponents.”  

One of these programs, the Hydra program, “will develop and demonstrate an unmanned undersea system, providing a novel delivery mechanism for insertion of unmanned air and underwater vehicles into operational environments. Situated underwater, Hydra will use modular payloads within a standardized enclosure to enable scalable, cost-effective deployment of rapid response assets and will integrate existing and emerging technologies in new ways to create an alternate means of delivering a variety of payloads close to the point of use.” Dugan, shown here with the Nano Hummingbird, a miniature flying robot with a camera that can transmit live video. | Photo by Douglas Sonders

DARPA’s director, Regina Dugan with a flock of robot humming birds.

Recently a hypersonic military plane flying at 20 times the speed of sound (utilizing these hypersonic crafts was compromised in the nineties by the complication of this speed on the crew) vanished into the Pacific Ocean, nine minutes after launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base, in Lompoc, California. The unmanned flight was a DARPA experiment . 

Artist's concept of Lightcraft in hypersonic mode

Blast! The Blast Door is Open

File:NORADBlast-Doors.jpg US Air Force officers entrusted with the launch keys to long-range nuclear missiles have been caught twice this year leaving the blast door open.  SHUT THE G*D’M DOOR!, that’s what you would expect their senior officers to yell.  The blast door is intended to stop the uninvited from entering their underground command post WHERE THEY CONTROL THE RELEASE OF INTERCONTINETAL BALISTIC MISSILES.  File:NORADCommandCenter.jpg The Associated Press reported that such violations have occurred multiple times, however two recent incidents have lead to two launch crew commanders and two deputy commanders given administrative punishments this year. Digital art selected for the Daily Inspiration #1267 The missileers (as they are called) hold the keys that could launch nuclear devastation. The missiles are nuclear warheads multiple times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. Each underground launch center, known as a capsule for its pill-like shape, monitors and operates 10 Minuteman 3 missiles. Digital art selected for the Daily Inspiration #1267 The missiles stand in reinforced concrete silos and are linked to the control center by buried communications cables. The ICBMs are split evenly among “wings” based in North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Each wing is divided into three squadrons, each responsible for 50 missiles.


US drone strikes could be classed as war crimes, says Amnesty International


READ MORE:  http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/will-i-be-next-us-drone-strikes-in-pakistan

The US has carried out unlawful killings in Pakistan in its drone attacks, some of which could amount to war crimes, Amnesty International said in a major new report released today (Tuesday 22 October).

Amnesty International’s Pakistan Researcher Mustafa Qadr, the author of the report, said: 

“Secrecy surrounding the drones program gives the US administration a license to kill beyond the reach of the courts or basic standards of international law. It’s time for the USA to come clean about the drones program and hold those responsible for these violations to account.


“What hope for redress can there be for victims of drone attacks and their families when the USA won’t even acknowledge its responsibility for particular strikes?”


International law prohibits arbitrary killing and limits the lawful use of intentional lethal force to exceptional situations. In armed conflict, only combatants and people directly participating in hostilities may be directly targeted. Outside armed conflict, intentional lethal force is lawful only when strictly unavoidable to protect against an imminent threat to life. In some circumstances arbitrary killing can amount to a war crime or extrajudicial executions, which are crimes under international law.


The US continues to rely on a “global war” doctrine to attempt to justify a borderless war with al-Qa’ida, the Taliban or other “enemies” of the US.  Amnesty reviewed all 45 known drone strikes that took place in North Waziristan in north-western Pakistan between January 2012 and August this year. Contrary to official claims that those killed were “terrorists”, Amnesty’s research indicates that in a number of cases the victims were not involved in armed activity and posed no threat to life. 





Here’s how it looks to the operator:


“…On a preset path, flying a circular from about orbit, watching them as they smoke from about , we’ll see two or three miles away, and you can be following them and they wont see you or hear you,” explains a former US drone-operator who flew drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


“I’ll set the laser on a spot, you’ll see a box pop up, and you see what it does is it locks in on those pixels as we’re circling, and the computer will, work out the projectory (sic), the distance and the speed, and come up with an estimated time it will take for the missile to impact.  The pilot will give all the clearances that are necessary to fire, he will release the missile and I will guide it in on to its target.”


Amnesty International’s Key Recommendations to the U.S. Government:

  • President Obama should disclose the facts and legal basis for the killings documented in this report. He should immediately commit to ensuring independent and impartial investigations into these killings and any other cases where there is reasonable ground to believe that drone strikes resulted in unlawful killings.
  • The Intelligence and Armed Services committees of Congress, which are charged with oversight of the CIA and Department of Defense, respectively, should promptly launch independent and impartial investigations into the killings documented in this report, and all cases where there is reasonable ground to believe that drone strikes resulted in unlawful killings.
  • The U.S. government should ensure that victims of unlawful drone strikes, including family members of victims of unlawful killings, have effective access to remedies, including reparation for harm suffered. Where there is sufficient admissible evidence, the U.S. should bring those responsible to justice in public and fair trials without recourse to the death penalty.
  • The U.S. government should end its practice of secrecy and disclose key factual and legal information about the drone program, including all available information on the number and identity of people killed or injured from drone strikes in Pakistan.

Brandon Bryant worked as a drone operator for the U.S. Air Force 

When the order to fire on a target arrives, Bryant paints the roof of a hut with the laser that will guide in a Hellfire missile released by the pilot beside him.

“These moments are like in slow motion,” he says to Abé.

No doubt, because on this occasion Bryant says a child walked from behind the building at the last second. Too late for him to do anything else but ask the other pilot, “Did we just kill a kid?”

From der Spiegel:

“Yeah, I guess that was a kid,” the pilot replied.

“Was that a kid?” they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.

Then, someone they didn’t know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. “No. That was a dog,” the person wrote.

They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?

The article follows another widely publicized story from the Marine Times about children killed by Americans on Afghan soil published just weeks ago. While obviously a tragedy for the victims and their families, Bryant describes the incredible toll taken on U.S. troops required to obey orders producing such dire results.

From his mother’s couch in Missoula, Montana Bryant talks of his 6,000 Air Force flight hours and says he used to dream in infrared. “I saw men, women and children die during that time,” he says. “I never thought I would kill that many people. In fact, I thought I couldn’t kill anyone at all.”

The Distinguished Warfare Medal

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/did-we-just-kill-a-kid-nicola-abe-der-spiegel-brandon-bryant-2012-12#ixzz2iTxBtKgw

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/did-we-just-kill-a-kid-nicola-abe-der-spiegel-brandon-bryant-2012-12#ixzz2iTwrigDV



The infographic below outlines the number of recorded drone strikes in Pakistan, the number of deaths reportedly caused by CIA drone strikes, and the number of civilian “non-combatant” deaths reportedly caused by drone strikes since 2004. It was created by Enora Denis from data provided by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and originally published in Le Jeu de l’Oie. Adapted into English by Owni.eu.


READ MORE: http://owni.eu/2012/01/25/obama-drone-wars-unmanned-usa-al-qaeda-taliban-terror/

UN Tells US – Don’t Drone On and On




Although drones are not illegal weapons, they can make it easier for States to deploy deadly and targeted force on the territories of other States. As such, they risk undermining the protection of life in the immediate and longer terms, according to a report presented by Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur, to the United Nations this week. 

“International standards provide adequate room for States to pursue their legitimate security interests, both at home and abroad,” wrote Heyns in his report.

“Abusing them to meet short-term needs, especially in counter-terrorism operations, could do long-term damage to the protection of human rights… life may be taken away by the State only as a way of protecting other lives”.

Given that drones greatly reduce or eliminate the number of casualties on the side using them, the domestic constraints — political and otherwise — may be less restrictive than with the deployment of other types of armed force. This effect is enhanced by the relative ease with which the details about drone targeting can be withheld from the public eye and the potentially restraining influence of public concern. Such dynamics call for a heightened level of vigilance by the international community concerning the use of drones.

While such operations may be designed to hit a particular target, civilian casualties remain, and it is used on such a large scale that it can hardly be described as targeted.

“The use of such methods by some States to eliminate opponents in countries around the world raises the question why other States should not engage in the same practices. The danger is one of a global war without borders, in which no one is safe,” stressed Mr. Heyns.

He called on the international community to engage in a serious debate on how to deal with this emerging and dangerous trend.

Armed drones and the right to life

Highlights from the report:

New methods of employing lethal force are continuously developed. On the horizon, for example, developments in nanotechnology and biotechnology2 and in autonomy and robotic present eventualities that the international community must address in coordinated ways. Drones, assumed for the purposes of the present report to be armed drones, have moved from the horizon into the realm of the known. The appeal of drones is clear. Among other things, they provide the strategic advantage of greatly reducing the time between the identification of a potential target that could be a great distance away and the deployment of deadly force against that target.

There is broad agreement that drones themselves are not illegal weapons. This is not the case, for example, with lethal autonomous robots. There is, however, a notable lack of consensus on how to apply the rules of international law that regulate the use of force to drones, the fact that drones are now an established technology notwithstanding. It is the aim of the Special Rapporteur in the present report to contribute to clarifying the application of those rules and to reiterate their authority, from the perspective of protection of the right to life.

Drones can be expected to become more sophisticated and available in more compact form, and also to become less expensive and therefore more accessible. They are likely to form part of the arsenals of an increasing number of States that may be able to deploy such force across international borders in relatively non-intrusive and sometimes non-attributable ways, on the battlefield and to pursue targets far removed from what would traditionally be seen as zones of armed conflict. Some States may also wish to use armed drones in domestic law enforcement contexts, such as for border patrols, operations against organized crime and crowd control in demonstrations. Armed drones may fall into the hands of non-State actors and may also be hacked by enemies or other entities. In sum, the number of States with the capacity to use drones is likely to increase significantly in the near future, underscoring the need for greater consensus on the terms of their use.

The ready availability of drones may lead to States, where they perceive their interests to be threatened, increasingly engaging in low-intensity but drawn-out applications of force that know few geographical or temporal boundaries. This would run counter to the notion that war — and the transnational use of force in general — must be of limited duration and scope, and that there should be a time of healing and recovery following conflict.

Peace should be the norm, yet such scenarios risk making its derogation the rule by privileging force over long-term peaceful alternatives. The expansive use of armed drones by the first States to acquire them, if not challenged, can do structural damage to the cornerstones of international security and set precedents that undermine the protection of life across the globe in the longer term. There is also uncertainty about the extent to which States are newly acquiring the technology and, because their engagement in the current debates is limited, about what their approach will be in the future.

On the one hand, it is often said that drones contribute towards more accurate targeting and can reduce civilian casualties. On the other, drones make it not only physically easier to dispatch long-distance and targeted armed force, but the proliferation of drones may lower social barriers in society against the deployment of lethal force and result in attempts to weaken the relevant legal standards.

Covert Drone War

Given that drones greatly reduce or eliminate the number of casualties on the side using them, the domestic constraints — political and otherwise — may be less restrictive than with the deployment of other types of armed force. This effect is enhanced by the relative ease with which the details about drone targeting can be withheld from the public eye and the potentially restraining influence of public concern. Such dynamics call for a heightened level of vigilance by the international community concerning the use of drones.

READ MORE: http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/category/projects/drones/

A decade or so ago, the use of armed drones was relatively novel and untested; their human impact and further technological development were hard to predict, and a full discussion of the proper application of the international legal framework had yet to emerge. A vast body of academic and advocacy literature has now developed, and civil society watchdogs are tracking the issue and pursuing transparency. Armed drones have been debated in various forums of the United Nations, intergovernmental bodies and national Governments and courts.3 Recent initiatives that help to shape the international response and consensus, for example by the European Parliament and an independent advisory committee of the Government of the Netherlands, deserve attention and support.

A United Nations investigation has so far identified 33 drone strikes around the world that have resulted in civilian casualties and may have violated international humanitarian law.

The report by the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson QC, calls on the US to declassify information about operations co-ordinated by the CIA and clarify its positon on the legality of unmanned aerial attacks.

Published ahead of a debate on the use of remotely piloted aircraft, at the UN general assembly in New York next Friday, the 22-page document examines incidents in Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan and Gaza.

It has been published to coincide with a related report released earlier on Thursday by Professor Christof Heyns, the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, which warned that the technology was being misused as a form of “global policing”.

Emmerson, who travelled to Islamabad for his investigation, said the Pakistan ministry of foreign affairs has records of as many as 330 drone strikes in the country’s north-western tribal areas since 2004. Up to 2,200 people have been killed – of whom at least 400 were civilians – according to the Pakistan government.

In Yemen, Emmerson’s report says that as many as 58 civilians are thought to have been killed in attacks by UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). “While the fact that civilians have been killed or injured does not necessarily point to a violation of international humanitarian law, it undoubtedly raises issues of accountability and transparency,” the study notes.

Reaper UAVs, used by the RAF in Afghanistan, have a range of 3,700 miles (5,900 km), a maximum airspeed of 250 knots and can ascend to 15,300 metres (50,000 feet), the document explains. Their missions can last up to 18 hours.

The Reaper carries three cameras as well as laser-guided bombs. Three communication networks relay information between the RAF ground station in the UK and the UAV: “a secure internet-based chat function, a secure radio routed via satellite and a secure telephone system”.

“The United Kingdom has reported only one civilian casualty incident, in which four civilians were killed and two civilians injured in a remotely piloted aircraft strike by the Royal Air Force in Afghanistan on 25 March 2011,” Emmerson’s report states. An RAF inquiry found that “the actions of the [ground] crew had been in accordance with the applicable rules of engagement”.

The special rapporteur said that he was informed that during RAF operations in Afghanistan, targeting intelligence is “thoroughly scrubbed” to ensure accuracy before authorisation to proceed is given. RAF strikes, he points out, are accountable in the UK through the Ministry of Defence and parliament.

By contrast, Emmerson criticises the CIA’s involvement in US drone strikes for creating “an almost insurmountable obstacle to transparency”. He adds: “One consequence is that the United States has to date failed to reveal its own data on the level of civilian casualties inflicted through the use of remotely piloted aircraft in classified operations conducted in Pakistan and elsewhere.”

Recent pronouncements from Barack Obama, however, have stressed that “before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured”.

Emmerson acknowledges that: “If used in strict compliance with the principles of international humanitarian law, remotely piloted aircraft are capable of reducing the risk of civilian casualties in armed conflict by significantly improving the situational awareness of military commanders.” But, he cautions, there is “no clear international consensus” on the laws controlling the deployment of drone strikes.

The special Rapporteur concludes by urging: “the United States to further clarify its position on the legal and factual issues … to declassify, to the maximum extent possible, information relevant to its lethal extraterritorial counter-terrorism operations; and to release its own data on the level of civilian casualties inflicted through the use of remotely piloted aircraft, together with information on the evaluation methodology used.”





In February 2012 Alan Rusbridger and his brother-in-law David Leigh might have assumed that WikiLeaks was close to being obliterated, Julian Assange faced sex crime allegations in Sweden; WikiLeaks had suffered a failed internal coup attempt which had resulted in the sabotaging of its servers and submissions systems, and it seemed very likely that at any moment the United States would act decisively to silence the flow of leaks. Surely this was a prudent time to bury Julian Assange, write a book, make a fortune in movie deals and talk about what the next Wikileaks would look like.

The attacks plastered onto the pages of the Guardian and David Leigh’s cash-in book (which will soon be plastered onto thousands of cinema screens in Hollywood’s fictional movie “The Fifth Estate”, based in part on Leigh’s book) were part of a crude public relations message that can be distilled into the following: Julian Assange is a mentally unstable, ideologically driven narcissist who cannot be trusted.


The conflict stemed from a batch of documents Assange had given to Rusbridge. The editor-in-chief of the British newspaper the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, signed a confidential agreement with Assange / WikiLeaks:


“Dear Julian,

I hearby undertake that, in return for access to the material known as Package 3 [U.S. diplomatic cables], the Guardian will observe the following conditions:

1. The material is for review only, and is not to be published without the express consent of Julian Assange or his authorized representatives.

2. The material will be held in conditions of strict confidence within the Guardian and will not be shown to any third party.

3. The material will not be viewed at any time on any computer terminal which is open to the Internet.

Signed, Alan Rusbridger


Rusbridger gave access to these documents to the New York Times.  When Julian Assange learned of the Guardian / New York Times double-cross from a Der Spiegel journalist, he confronted Alan Rusbridger (who refused to confirm or deny the transfer of the cables to the NYT) and, although mutual interest might have compelled Assange and Rusbridger to at least consider working together again, other forces seem to have swamped this possibility.

“Our beef with The New York Times was number one, they produced the hit story on Bradley Manning um where-, where they stripped him of any sort of um any admirable er motivation at all, stripped him down and talked about his homosexuality, I mean it was just-, just dirty tabloid crap, number two, that they killed the Taskforce 373 story, even though it had been written for them, and then number three, that a story the day after our collaboration with them on the Iraq war logs.  It’s not that we don’t deserve to be criticized in some way, all organizations that do anything have their faults and deserve to be criticized, it was that the criticisms were inaccurate, and then the style was sleaze.” – Julian Assange.



Now the movie The Fifth Estate purports to reveal the personalities and dynamics behind this embryo of the new age of information and communication.


Assange wrote in an open letter to the actor who plays him in the movie: “I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film. Your skills play into the hands of people who are out to remove me and WikiLeaks from the world…I believe that you should reconsider your involvement in this enterprise.”

This isn’t the first time WikiLeaks has criticized the Bill Condon-directed drama, which is partly based on the book “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website,” by Daniel Domscheit-Berg.  DDB jumped the WikiShip, or got left on a passing island (depending on which version you read) and has provoked his own share of scrutiny in an effort to distill his motivation and principles.

Renata Avila  a Human Rights activist knew DDB and wrote in an open letter: “The documents were only in hard copy. I entrusted those valuable documents – the only copy available – to Wikileaks because of the expertise of the people running it, their procedures and the mechanisms they used to maximize impact when published. I did not intend to give such material to Mr. Domscheit-Berg personally, as was made clear to him by me at the time. My intention was to give it to the platform I trusted and contributed to; to WikiLeaks. The material has not been published and I am disturbed to read public statements by Mr. Domscheit-Berg in which he states that he has not returned such documents to WikiLeaks.” – Renata Avila

Alien Invasion Held Up By Red Tape

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According to the British Outer Space Act 1986, the Secretary of State of the United Kingdom is permitted to use “reasonable force” to prevent an alien invasion of the UK – as long as the aliens don’t possess a license to invade.  THIS IS TRUE


Both NSA and GCHQ have recently intercepted cosmic chatter that reveals multiple mentions of applying for such a license.  The NSA has not commented on the target of this chatter, but it is believed by members of the both the World Last Chance Committee and the Leave Earth in an Orderly Manner Assembly that the rogue alien troop GreyDucks are behind planning an invasion at some point before we destroy some of the more delightful environments on Earth ourselves.  THIS MIGHT BE TRUE


“They (GreyDucks) have an agenda to not only invade Earth, but to colonize most, if not all, of the prime costal real estate in both Malibu and the Hamptons,” declared Glen Brook of Leave Earth in an Orderly manner.  GreyDucks are thought to be behind the Mars incident of LY 0117-296, which resulted in the price of beach property being so outrageous that the Martians took all the water and left in protest.   THIS IS PROPOGANDA


The Australians have been helping both the US and the UK in their effort to “get inside the GreyDucks heads” as Col. Taller.D. Rudawaker from The Coalition For Armed For Armed Sake, puts it, using their super telescope, the Square Kilometer Array:

http://www.skatelescope.org  YOU TELL ME IF ITS TRUE


The joint Australian, United States and United Kingdom, task force,  known as  A-USUK,  is going to be renamed as soon as they can come up with a catchy alternative acronym.

The World Last Chance Committee provided the only know image of a GreyDuck: