Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CIA Had Propaganda Campaign Which Involved Leaking Classified Information to Sell Torture - Firedoglake

The CIA had a propaganda campaign to defend its detention and interrogation program. It involved the leaking of classified information to shape the public’s opinion, undermine criticism and deceive Congress and is detailed in the executive summary of the Senate intelligence committee’s torture report, which shows the extent to which CIA officials were willing to engage in unauthorized disclosures, even as it fought to keep the program secret in the courts.
The torture report summary additionally highlights how the agency would not file crimes reports when leaked information was flattering to the agency.
In a conversation on April 13, 2005, with the chief of ALEC Station, the CIA unit hunting down Osama bin Laden, Deputy Chief of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC), Philip Mudd, declared, “We either get out and sell, or we get hammered, which has implications beyond the media. [C]ongress reads it, cuts our authorities,” and “messes up our budget.”
Mudd added, “We either put out our story or we get eaten. There is no middle ground.”
The CIA developed a campaign to push propaganda on the “effectiveness” of using torture techniques on detainees into the media....

Sunday, December 07, 2014

ISIS fuel status December 5, 2014

Bth - Evidence indicates fuel prices and shortages of refined gasoline are putting pressure on ISIS and its subjects.
, Iraq – The Islamic State (ISIS) is offering good salaries in its reported search for oil refinery managers, as it tries to keep up on oil smuggling operation that has been going to fund its war against the world.
ISIS has reportedly advertised on the black market, especially appealing to Saudis, and offering experts who can manage its oil operations an annual salary of $225,000....
ISIS is believed to have been generating at least $2 million daily from illegal oil sales.  Kirkuk was initially the main route for its illegal exports. But the group stopped using this route after Rudaw released video of their oil tankers. Most of ISIS’ oil sales now take place inside Syria. 
Experts say that widespread poverty and unemployment in ISIS controlled areas could lead to local resistance against the group. 
They believe that the group’s oil revenues and external support -- estimated at around $40 million per year -- will not meet the economic needs of the people under ISIS rule....
According to Bloomberg

A liter of refined crude was going for about 1,750 to 2,000 Iraqi dinars ($1.45 to $1.66) last week in Mosul, northern Iraq’s biggest city, according to locals. It’s mostly sold from oil tankers from Syria and the quality is so bad, it’s damaging car engines and fuel pumps, they said. Before the city fell, the average price was about 400 to 750 dinars a liter and the crude on offer was from Iraq and of better quality....
 In Mosul, where temperatures can plunge as low as minus 15 degrees Celsius (5 Fahrenheit), residents unable to afford kerosene for heating are collecting wood for open fires.

A 200-liter barrel of Iraqi kerosene used for heating costs about 300,000 dinars. Two weeks ago, one resident said she paid 280,000 for Iraqi kerosene. Before the fall of Mosul, the price of kerosene was 50,000 dinars a barrel....
The militants will have to rely more on ransoms, racketeering and the taxation of people and goods at border crossings, said Marcel. She estimates the group is pumping about 10,000 barrels a day in Iraq. That’s down from a high of about 70,000 barrels a day in August.
“Islamic State was making significant amounts for its budget size with its crude, and was creating a whole constellation of criminals and smugglers benefiting from the trade,” she said. “Those days of them selling at $60 a barrel are long gone. It has fallen back to about $20 a barrel.”
Islamic State consumes about half the oil it controls, Hamza al-Jawheri, an Iraqi economist and oil analyst, said from Baghdad. It’s used mainly to power Humvee military vehicles, tanks and trucks captured in its conquest of Mosul.....