Sunday, April 6, 2014

In The News

IAF Jets Reported Over Southern Lebanon

[This time it looks like preparations for future wars as flights are called "mock attack" runs]

IAF fighter jets were reportedly engaged in a series of flights over southern Lebanon on Sunday morning, according to Lebanese media reports. Last week, Israeli planes were reported to be operating over Lebanese territory on both Wednesday and Thursday.

According to Lebanese reports cited by the Israeli media on Sunday, IAF jets spent several hours Sunday morning flying over south Lebanese territory. The jets were reported to be flying at low and medium altitudes and to be engaging in “mock attack” runs.

Last week, according to the official National News Agency, which quoted the Lebanese military, three Israeli planes entered Lebanese airspace on Wednesday morning, flew in circles over towns in southern and eastern Lebanon, even going as far north as Beirut, and then returned to Israeli airspace by 6:10 p.m.

On Thursday morning, Israeli jets were once again seen over southern Lebanon, this time conducting “mock raids… at a medium altitude,” the news agency reported.

Tensions have been high in recent months along the border, flaring occasionally into attacks on IDF patrols by Lebanese paramilitary groups and Israeli strikes against Hezbollah weapons shipments from Syria.

Unilateral steps by the Palestinians to harm Israel and achieve statehood will invite unilateral steps by Israel in response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday morning.

The Palestinians will achieve a state only through negotiations and not through “empty declarations or one-sided actions that only push a peace agreement further away,” Netanyahu said, speaking before the weekly cabinet meeting.

“Unilateral actions from the Palestinians will be answered with unilateral actions from our side,” the prime minister added, and decried the Palestinian decision last week to apply for state-level membership in a group of international treaties and conventions.

He said that Israel wants to continue the talks, but not at “any price.” Netanyahu noted that Israel has “made difficult moves” during the negotiations in an effort to create a framework to end the conflict while PA President Mahmoud Abbas has ruled out considering the central Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as “the Jewish state,” even though he knows this is necessary to end the conflict.

On Monday I reported that a transmission and picture from Philip Wood's cell phone was allegedly sent from Diego Garcia Naval & Intelligence Base and received by an internet forum. The transmission was, in fact, traced back to this area of the Indian Ocean. It clearly could have been some type of forgery that doesn't mean that it was. 

I have to believe that someone knows what happened to that plane. In 2014, our technology is so advanced that it is hard to imagine that a Boeing 777 could simply disappear.

Now Sarah Bajc, partner of Philip Wood, has publicly stated that she believes the flight is still intact and that the passengers are alive. She claims that a source revealed to her that this plane had a military escort and she, like many of us, believes that the whole story is not being told.
The credibility of her source is as questionable as anything else we have heard about Malaysian Flight 370. However, if true, the escort of fighter jets might bring some other possibilities into play. If the plane had an escort then a scenario of it landing at Diego Garcia would seem to make more sense.

Conspiracy theories abound, and we must take them all with the proverbial grain of salt. However, there is a growing consensus that this disappearance, crash or hijacking centered on a group of important individuals that worked for Freescale Semiconductor.

If this plane did carry people that were working on sensitive technology, then a military escort would seem to be prudent. The Voice of Russia reports:

MH370 could have been kidnapped to get to the technical brain-trust on board – 20 Freescale Semiconductor employees travelling to China. Freescale attracted attention because it is a Texas-based technology firm that develops components for hi-tech weapons systems and aircraft navigation among other things.
Interestingly, that leading innovative company has been oddly unwilling to provide information on the missing people. Only the nationalities of the employees were made public: 12 of them were from Malaysia and eight from China. However, Freescale has persistently declined to release their identities. "Out of respect for the families' privacy during this difficult time, we will not be releasing the names of the employees who were on board the flight at this time," Freescale spokeswoman Jacey Zuniga said.

The U.K.-based Express also reported this angle of the story:

Freescale Semiconductor, which makes powerful microchips for industries including defence, released the powerful new products to the American market on March 3.
Five days later, Flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 people on board including 20 working for Freescale.

Twelve were from Malaysia, while eight were Chinese nationals.
Freescale's spokesman Mitch Haws has said: "These were all people with a lot of experience and technical background and they were very important people.
"It's definitely a loss for the company."Freescale's shareholders include the Carlyle Group of private equity investors whose past advisers have included ex-US president George Bush Sr and former British Prime Minister John Major.

Those are certainly some interesting connections. To give a quick synopsis of my report Monday, this transmission that was allegedly from Philip Wood made claim that he was being held by unknown military personnel. The Diego Garcia connection was made by tracing the transmission back to the supposed coordinates that it originated from.

There are lots of "ifs" here. If all of this information were true, then it would certainly not be out of the question that America might want to monopolize and protect such a powerful technology. Garrow claimed that the Russians and Chinese were working on a joint effort to steal this technology. Could we (our government) have possibly taken control of this plane? Are the passengers still alive?
Alternatively, could there have been a hijacking led by someone other than The United States in an attempt to gain this technology? (Garrow believes the jet landed in Pakistan, for instance).

mere two weeks since former JPMorgan banker, Kenneth Bellando jumped to his death, Bloomberg reports that the former CEO of Dutch Bank ABN Amro (and his wife and daughter) were found dead at their home after a possible "family tragedy." This expands the dismal list of senior financial services executive deaths to 12 in the last few months. The 57-year-old Jan Peter Schmittmann, was reportedly discovered by his other daughter when she arrived home that morning. Police declined to comment on the cirumstances of his (and his wife and daughter's) death. This is not the first C-level ABN Amro banker to be found dead. In 2009, former CFO Huibert Boumeester was discovered with (assumed self-inflicted) shotgun wounds.

Former ABN Amro Group NV Netherlands Chief Executive Officer Jan Peter Schmittmann, his wife and a daughter were found dead at their home today after a possible “family tragedy,” Dutch police said.

The bodies of a father and mother and their daughter were found at the property” in the town of Laren, 32 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of Amsterdam, Dutch police said in a statement on their website today. Leonie Bosselaar, a police spokeswoman, said in a telephone call with Bloomberg News that the deceased were Schmittmann and two family members.

Sadly, given recent trends, the default assumption is that it is suicide until proven otherwise which is just as disturbing from a sociological perspective. (on the bright side, at least as far as we know, we was not involved in HFT) but further to that, this is not the first ABN Amro seniot executve to be found dead. In 2009, Schmittmann's former CFO was found dead from shotgun wounds:

Edward Snowden and reporter Glenn Greenwald, who brought to light the whistleblower's leaks about mass U.S. government surveillance last year, appeared together via video link from opposite ends of the earth on Saturday for what was believed to be the first time since Snowden sought asylum in Russia.
A sympathetic crowd of nearly 1,000 packed a downtown Chicago hotel ballroom at Amnesty International USA's annual human rights meeting and gave Greenwald, who dialed in from Brazil, a raucous welcome before Snowden was patched in 15 minutes later to a standing ovation.
The pair cautioned that government monitoring of "metadata" is more intrusive than directly listening to phone calls or reading emails and stressed the importance of a free press willing to scrutinize government activity.
Metadata includes which telephone number calls which other numbers, when the calls were made and how long they lasted. Metadata does not include the content of the calls.
Amnesty International is campaigning to end mass surveillance by the U.S. government and calling for Congressional action to further rein in the collection of information about telephone calls and other communications.

"Metadata is what allows an actual enumerated understanding, a precise record of all the private activities in all of our lives. It shows our associations, our political affiliations and our actual activities," said Snowden, dressed in a jacket with no tie in front of a black background.

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