Babylon The Great Conceals Israel’s Nuclear Program (Rev 14:8)

Pentagon Refuses to Release Unclassified 1987 Report about Israel’s Nuclear Program and Super Computers
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A think tank researcher has been fighting with the Pentagon to get a 1987 report on Israel’s nuclear program and supercomputers released despite the fact that the document in question is not classified.
Grant Smith, founder of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Inc., first asked the Department of Defense (DoD) to release the report (“Critical Technology Issues in Israel and NATO Countries”) three years ago through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Last fall, after numerous delays by the DoD, Smith went to court to force the report’s disclosure.
Defense lawyers contend it was necessary for officials to ask Israel to review the report before complying with Smith’s request—an unusual move on the part of a U.S. agency involving an American FOIA issue.

Meanwhile, the judge hearing the FOIA case, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, has wondered why it has taken three years without a decision by the Pentagon.

“I’d like to know what is taking so long for a 386-page document. The document was located some time ago,” Chutkan said in November, according to Courthouse News Service. “I’ve reviewed my share of documents in my career. It should not take that long to review that document and decide what needs to be redacted.”

The report may contain details about an internal debate nearly 30 years ago among U.S. officials about whether Washington should authorize the sale of a Cray supercomputer to a coalition of Israeli universities.

“The United States approved the sale of powerful computers that could boost Israel’s well-known but officially secret A-bomb and missile programs,” wrote the author of a 1995 Risk Report article about the Cray controversy that cited the Pentagon document. “A 1987 Pentagon-sponsored study found that Technion University, one of the schools in the network, was helping design Israel’s nuclear re-entry vehicle. U.S. officials say Technion’s physicists also worked in Israel’s secret weapon complex at Dimona.”

Smith’s effort “to get hold of the Pentagon report is set against the backdrop of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” wrote Janet McMahon at Courthouse News Service. “Israel has not signed the treaty. Iran, on the other hand, has signed the treaty.”

The current negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program is part of that backdrop. “The reason this would be seen as controversial is you have this real concerted push for Iran to come clean on its nuclear program and to relinquish its infrastructure,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies VP Jonathan Schanzer told the Washington Examiner. He said he saw “no reason” why the U.S. government would authorize the report’s release, but adding that if it was released, it would probably not affect the Pentagon’s publicly ambiguous stance regarding Israeli nuclear capabilities.

Smith has grown frustrated over the government’s stalling on the issue, saying: “So what we’ve seen most recently is that the government is now coming up with novel ways to try and delay this by talking about mandatory disclosure reviews. We don’t think it’s meaningful that their captive think tank may have signed NDAs. Perhaps they even have a sock puppet in the Pentagon that signs NDAs on their behalf. It would be the same from our perspective.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman

Too Late To Stop The Third Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Threats to Pakistan’s nuclear future

 
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It is not known when the ongoing war on terror will be over. However, it is known that whenever it is finished, Pakistan may be subjected to certain sanctions related to its nuclear programme.

Furthermore, as the delivery system is part of Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence strategy, sanctions can also be imposed on Pakistan’s missile testing spree.

After nuclear tests in May 1998, the US (under then President Bill Clinton) invoked, for the first time, Section 102 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) of 1994 famously known as the Glenn Amendment (after the name of former US Senator John Glenn) adopted in 1977 to impose a set of seven sanctions on both Pakistan and India when they, as non-nuclear weapon states, tested their nuclear devices. Amongst them, the main sanctions hitting Pakistan were the suspension of foreign aid (except for humanitarian assistance or food and other agricultural commodities), the termination of sales of any military items and other military assistance, voting against credits or assistance by international financial institutions such as the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the prohibition of exports of certain dual use goods and technology with civilian and military nuclear applications. The main aims were to compel both the governments of Pakistan and India to do certain things: sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) immediately as non-nuclear states, cooperate in the proposed Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), refrain from deploying and testing missiles and reduce bilateral tensions on various issues including the issue of Kashmir. Besides the G-8 countries (G-7 plus Russia), 14 other countries including Australia, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Denmark and Germany also joined hands in imposing bilateral and institutional economic sanctions (especially in non-humanitarian sectors), including the flow of money from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB), on both Pakistan and India.

For Pakistan, the Glenn Amendment was an improvement over two former amendments considered Pakistan specific. The first was, in 1976, the Symington Amendment (after the name of former US Senator Stuart Symington) to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which called for prohibitions on US economic assistance and military aid to Pakistan if the latter was involved in any kind of nuclear proliferation not governed by international safeguards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Now, Section 101 of the US AECA reflects that amendment. The second was the Pressler Amendment (after the name of former US Senator Lerry Pressler), which called for stopping US economic aid and the sale of military equipment to Pakistan in 1985 if Pakistan possessed a nuclear explosives device. The major effect of this was felt when the delivery of 28 F-16s was denied to Pakistan despite the fact that Pakistan had paid $ 658 million for them. Pakistan has also been denied improvement in F-16s so that it would not carry nuclear weapons. Sanctions that remained lifted during the Afghan war (1979-1989) were imposed on Pakistan under this amendment in 1990.

Within three months (from May to July 1998) certain adverse developments took place. For instance, in the open market, against one US dollar, the Pakistani rupee devalued by 28 percent (from Rs 45 to Rs 63), foreign exchange reserves fell from $ 1,300 million to about $ 500 million, the Karachi Stock Exchange crashed by 34 percent and GDP growth was revised from the expected six percent to three percent for the financial year (1998-99). On the other hand, the effects were less pinching for India because it was not dependent on the US for military and economic help nor was it dependent on international financial institutions. India coped with the crisis better than Pakistan did.
Against this background, Pakistan entered the war on terror, though a little humanitarian relief was provided to it through the Brownback Amendments (after the name of former US Senator Sam Brownback) called the India-Pakistan Relief Act of 1998 and 1999. Furthermore, in September 2001, US President George W Bush lifted sanctions imposed through the Symington, Pressler and Glenn Amendments to make Pakistan (and India) cooperate in the war on terror.

In the post-2001 phase, there have taken place seven major developments: the network of Dr Abdul Qadir Khan is alleged in October 2003 to have been involved in nuclear proliferation, North Korea, which came out of the NPT in 2003, sought the auspices of China and tested a nuclear device in October 2006, the US entered into a nuclear energy deal with India in 2008 approved by the IAEA and seconded by the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) in the same year to allow India access to civilian nuclear technology and fuel from other countries, Pakistan drifted towards China to make a competitive nuclear energy deal outside the ambit of the IAEA and not seconded by the NSG, Pakistan and India entered into a de facto missile testing competition in South Asia, extremism worsened in Pakistan, non-state actors became active and the world perceived the threat of nuclear terrorism, and, on Pakistan, debt liabilities that were $ 36 billion in 2001 rose to $ 65 billion in September 2014.

On the one hand, the ongoing war on terror offers Pakistan the central focus of attention. Conversely, the issues of Pakistan not signing the CTBT and NPT, and not respecting the safeguard protocols given by the IAEA are still there. Secondly, both the Symington Amendment (Section 101 of the AECA) and the Glenn Amendment (Section 102 of the AECA) are still there. Thirdly, Pakistan has been bracketed with North Korea for their defiance and taking refuge under the Chinese umbrella together. Fourth, Pakistan has rebuffed the international consensus expressed through the NSG, though China is a part of the NSG. In short, Pakistan is running out of time and needs to tread carefully.

The writer is a freelance columnist and can be reached at qaisarrashid@yahoo.com

Babylon The Great Loses Its Might (Revelation 13:10)

Iran eclipses US as Iraq’s ally in fight against militants

Iraqi Hezbollah scouts parade with a portrait of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as they mark Al-Quds Day or Jerusalem Day in Baghdad, Iraq, in August 2013. The fight against the Islamic State has deepened the bond between Iraq’s Shiite-led government and Iran.
Shiite, non-Arab Iran has effectively taken charge of Iraq’s defense against the Sunni radical group, meeting the Iraqi government’s need for immediate help on the ground.
Two to three Iranian military aircraft a day land at Baghdad airport, bringing in weapons and ammunition. Iran’s most potent military force and best known general the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force and its commander Gen. Ghasem Soleimani are organizing Iraqi forces and have become the de facto leaders of Iraqi Shiite militias that are the backbone of the fight. Iran carried out airstrikes to help push militants from an Iraqi province on its border.
The result is that Tehran’s influence in Iraq, already high since U.S. forces left at the end of 2011, has grown to an unprecedented level.
Airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition have helped push back the militants in parts of the north, including breaking a siege of a Shiite town. But many Iraqis believe the Americans mainly want to help the Kurds. Airstrikes helped Kurdish forces stop extremists threatening the capital of the Kurdish autonomous zone, Irbil, in August. But even that feat is accorded by many Iraqis to a timely airlift of Iranian arms to the Kurds.
The meltdown of Iraq’s military in the face of the extremists’ summer blitz across much of northern and western Iraq gave Iran the opportunity to step in. A flood of Shiite volunteers joined the fight to fill the void, bolstering the ranks of Shiite militias already allied with Iran.
Those militias have now been more or less integrated into Iraq’s official security apparatus, an Iraqi government official said, calling this the Islamic State group’s “biggest gift” to Tehran.
“Iran’s hold on Iraq grows tighter and faster every day,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the sensitive subject.
Over the past year, Iran sold Iraq nearly $10 billion worth of weapons and hardware, mostly weapons for urban warfare like assault rifles, heavy machine-guns and rocket launchers, he said. The daily stream of Iranian cargo planes bringing weapons to Baghdad was confirmed at a news conference by a former Shiite militia leader, Jamal Jaafar. Better known by his alias Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis, Jaafar is second in command of the recently created state agency in charge of volunteer fighters.
Some Sunnis are clearly worried. Sunni lawmaker Mohammed al-Karbuly said the United States must increase its support of Iraq against the extremists in order to reduce Iran’s influence.
“Iran now dominates Iraq,” he said.
Equally key to Iran’s growing influence has been a persistent suspicion of Washington’s intentions, particularly among Shiite militiamen.
Hadi al-Amiri, a prominent Shiite politician close to Iran and leader of the powerful Badr militia, complained in a recent television interview that Iraq was a victim of decades of “wrong” U.S. policies in the Middle East. He charged that the precursors of the region’s Sunni extremists had in the past enjoyed U.S. patronage.
“We fear that the objective of the U.S.-led coalition is to contain Daesh, rather than exterminate it,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.
Speaking this week at a memorial service in Iran for a Revolutionary Guard officer gunned down by an Islamic State sniper, al-Amiri mused that Iraqi Shiite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s three-month-old administration would have been a “government-in-exile” if not for Iran’s swift help to protect Baghdad, according to Iran’s Fars news agency.
The praise does not just come from Shiite politicians.
During a trip to Tehran last week, Iraq’s Sunni defense minister, Khaled al-Obeidi, said Iran’s help against the militants is a “strategic necessity” for Iraq.
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones acknowledged to The Associated Press that Iran plays an important role in fighting the Islamic State group. He made clear there was no interaction between the U.S. and Iranian operations.
“Let’s face it, Iran is an important neighbor to Iraq. There has to be cooperation between Iran and Iraq,” he said in a Dec. 4 interview. “The Iranians are talking to the Iraqi security forces and we’re talking to Iraqi security forces . We’re relying on them to do the de-confliction.”
U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Iraqi leaders have kept the U.S. informed about Iranian activities against IS and that Washington is watching the relationship carefully.
He said if the two countries grow closer economically or politically, “as long as the Iraqi government remains committed to inclusivity of all the various groups inside the country, then I think Iranian influence will be positive.”
But Ali Khedery, a top U.S. official in Iraq from 2003 until 2009, warned that Iranian influence will be “strategically catastrophic.”
“It further consolidates Iran’s grip over the Levant and Iraq,” said Khedery, who resigned in protest over U.S. failure to thwart Iranian influence.
Iran’s sphere of influence extends to neighboring Syria, where it has stood by President Bashar Assad’s regime against the mostly Sunni opposition, and to Lebanon, where its main proxy, Hezbollah, is that nation’s most powerful group. Also, the Shiite Houthi rebels’ takeover of parts of Yemen in recent months has raised concerns of Iranian influence there.
The signs of Iran’s weight in Iraq are many. The prime minister, the Sunni parliament speaker and other top politicians have visited Tehran. Most senior Iraqi Sunni politicians have stopped publicly criticizing Iran and vilifying Shiite politicians for close ties to Tehran.
On billboards around Baghdad, death notices of Iraqi militiamen killed in battle are emblazoned with images of Iran’s late spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Last month, an unprecedented number of Iranians estimated at up to 4 million crossed into Iraq to visit a revered Shiite shrine south of Baghdad for a major holy day. Visa charges for the Iranians have been waived.
The two countries keep their military cooperation relatively quiet in public. Iran occasionally publicizes the death in battle of one of its senior officers in Iraq or speaks of its “advisory” military role. Iraq’s state media don’t mention Iranian military involvement. Paradoxically, they do publicize airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition or the arrival of American advisers.
Soleimani, the Iranian general, has spent much of the past seven months on Iraq’s front lines, leading militias and coordinating tactics with government forces.
A fluent Arabic speaker, the 58-year-old has reportedly been nicknamed the “living martyr” by Iran’s Khamenei.
A senior Shiite Iraqi militiaman who recently met him said he was impressed by his mix of piety and courage. He said he saw the Iranian general at a forward position in Baghdad’s western outskirts, discussing coordinates in Farsi with the gunner of an Iraqi army U.S.-made Abrams tank. The gunner was a member of the Revolutionary Guard, the militiaman said.
Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor and Ken Dilanian in Washington, and Vivian Salama and Sameer N. Yacoub in Baghdad contributed to this report.

Quakes Add Up Leading To The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Small Earthquake Rattles Connecticut For 3rd Time In 5 Days

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HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP)The U.S. Geological Survey has confirmed a 3.3-magnitude earthquake near the Connecticut-Rhode Island state line, the third tremor felt in the area in the past five days.

Residents in Plainfield and Danielson in eastern Connecticut say a rumbling noise was heard shortly after 6:30 a.m. Monday.

Small Earthquake Rattles Connecticut For 3rd Time In 5 Days

Fran Schneidau reports

The U.S. Geological Survey said areas affected by the earthquake Monday were Plainfield, Killingly and Norwich in Connecticut, and Coventry and Providence in Rhode Island

Police in eastern Connecticut said they received several reports of homes shaking, but none of structural damage, WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported.

Last Thursday, an earthquake with a magnitude of 2.0 to 2.2 was felt in Plainfield. Homeowners reported that it was strong enough to shake picture frames off the walls.

On Friday, residents reported another loud boom in the form of a tremor that registered at 0.4.
John Ebel of the Weston Observatory told WCBS 880 that Monday’s 3.3-magnitude quake was preceded by some smaller tremors as well as three to four aftershocks.

Renee Toper, of Plainfield, said, like Thursday’s earthquake, the latest temblor sounded like an explosion and rattled her house. It also knocked food off shelves and shook her 15-year-old daughter out of her bed.

It has Toper doing some research.

“Of course, I did look up the impact of earthquakes, and it did indicate that from 3.0 to 3.9, they’re very light and usually don’t cause any structural damage,” Toper told Schneidau.