Category: America

DISAPPOINTED WITH THE US, SAUDI ARABIA EYES THE BOMB

These are dangerous times and our President needs to remember this. Whether you agree with him or not please pray for him and our country as we are clearly in the last of the end days!

Egypt and ‘maybe even Turkey’ will also seek to acquire atomic weapons if Iran’s nuclear ambitions aren’t reined in, expert says

By Elhanan Miller November 10, 2013, 9:56 pm

With the prospect of an interim nuclear deal with Iran gaining traction, Saudi Arabia has been expressing growing disappointment with the Obama administration and mulling alternatives to a diplomatic solution, including obtaining atomic warheads.

A series of unusually critical statements by Saudi officials in recent weeks has highlighted Riyadh’s mistrust of Washington’s treatment of the Iranian nuclear issue. And the Saudis, who rarely speak publicly about their fear of a nuclear Iran, are seemingly distancing themselves from the United States and moving to a policy of self-reliance.

The first official to speak up was Prince Bandar bin Sultan. The head of Saudi intelligence and former ambassador to the US told a group of European diplomats on October 22 that his kingdom plans to make “a major shift” in its relations with the US over the American laxity in Syria and softness in dealing with Iran.

“Relations with the US have been deteriorating for a while, as Saudi feels that the US is growing closer with Iran and the US also failed to support Saudi during the Bahrain uprising,” a source “close to Saudi policy” told Reuters.

Next came Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi chief of intelligence and brother of the current foreign minister. In an interview with The Washington Post on November 5, Prince Turki said Saudi Arabia supported a nuclear-free Middle East — encompassing Israel as well as Iran — with the US providing a “nuclear security umbrella” to the Middle East, as it does with Germany and Japan.

“I suggested two years ago that the [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries should consider seriously all options, including acquiring nuclear weapons, if Iran acquires nuclear weapons,” the Saudi statesman told the paper.

That vision may have already been translated into action. According to a report in BBC’s Newsnight on November 6, Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistan’s nuclear program in return for the possibility of quickly deploying Pakistani nuclear warheads in Saudi Arabia upon demand.

“I do think that the Saudis believe that they have some understanding with Pakistan that, in extreme, they would have claim to acquire nuclear weapons from Pakistan,” Gary Samore, until March 2013 President Barack Obama’s counter-proliferation adviser, told the BBC.

But Ephraim Asculai, an expert on nuclear proliferation at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, told The Times of Israel that no conclusive evidence existed on Saudi Arabia’s nuclear ambitions.

“Saudi Arabia makes no statements. We have assumptions that Saudi Arabia could use Pakistan if Iran obtained nuclear weapons, but there’s no solid information on this,” Asculai said, but noted that a nuclear Iran would certainly motivate Saudi Arabia to get the bomb.

“I don’t exactly know what the schedule will be, but there will certainly be countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and maybe even Turkey that will want to obtain nuclear capabilities.”

“Who trusts Kerry and Obama?” wondered columnist Abdulla al-Otibi in an op-ed published Sunday in A-Sharq al-Awsat, a daily funded by the Saudi royal family, following US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Riyadh last week.

“In reality, no one. [He is trusted] neither internationally — having weakened his country in the face of powerful rivals — nor regionally, having no strategy to tie the strings together and deal with contradictions… he continues to communicate with Iran and has taken no serious position on Syria.”

Obama, continued Otibi, should be no less cognizant of his allies in the Sunni Arab world than of his adversaries in Iran and Syria.

“Obama must understand that his most difficult decisions are not with regards to Iran or Syria, but with Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Egypt and Jordan, and the new bloc they have formed,” he wrote. “He must understand that the allies have their internal force, which should cause him to reconsider his policies which promise no good.”

20110412_MideastCrescentMap

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5822

Radio Silence

Pentagon, State Department silent on threatening reports outlining Chinese plans for nuclear attacks on U.S. cities

BY: Bill Gertz

The Obama administration declined to comment on Sunday on provocative state-run Chinese media reports outlining Beijing’s nuclear war plans, including land-based and submarine-launched missile strikes on U.S. cities that would kill up to 12 million people.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf and Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith would not respond when asked about the highly unusual Chinese reports published Oct. 28 in numerous major Communist Party-controlled television and newspaper outlets.

The Chinese reports included maps showing nuclear strikes on Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest, along with the resulting radiation plumes stretching thousands of miles across the western United States.

Global Times, viewed as China’s most xenophobic anti-U.S. media outlet, stated in its report that “the 12 JL-2 [submarine-launched ballistic missile] nuclear warheads carried by one single Type 094 SSBN can kill and wound 5 million to 12 million Americans.” The newspaper is a subsidiary of the People’s Daily, the organ of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

Harf referred questions about the attack scenarios to the Pentagon, where Smith would not comment directly, despite the fact that a key mission of the Pentagon is to deter nuclear attacks like those outlined in the Chinese press.

Smith said annual Pentagon reports to Congress documented what she called China’s “long-term modernization of strategic nuclear forces featuring the introduction of road-mobile, solid propellant ICBMs and continued development on ballistic missile submarine, the Type 094 and an accompanying new submarine launched ballistic missile, JL-2.”

“We continue to monitor these development very closely,” she said.

The Chinese nuclear saber rattling is expected to complicate the administration’s push for a new round of strategic arms cuts with Russia. President Barack Obama in June repeated his call for ultimately eliminating all nuclear weapons and called for a one-third cut in the projected New START arms treaty warhead level of 1,550 warheads.

However, Russia has balked at further cuts and is developing a new medium-range nuclear missile partly as a result of China’s growing arsenal of nuclear missiles.

China is rapidly expanding its nuclear forces with new missiles, submarines, and warheads. At least one of the warheads is based on warhead designs stolen from U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories in the 1990s, U.S. officials have said.

The Chinese reports last week stated that the nuclear forces revelations were the first time Chinese media had discussed detailed plans to counter U.S. nuclear deterrence in the Pacific.

Previously, details of China’s nuclear forces were among the most closely guarded secrets in the Chinese military.

In addition to Global Times, the reports also appeared in other Party organs, including China Central TV, People’s Daily, PLA Daily, China Youth Daily, and Guangmin Daily newspapers.

The reports also coincided with China’s first official disclosure of new ballistic missile submarine capabilities, described by Global Times as “secrets of our first-generation underwater nuclear force.”

The reports were unique due to the level of threatening rhetoric and rare public discussion of plans for nuclear attacks, including plans to fire road-mobile DF-31A road-mobile long-range missiles over the North Pole to attack U.S. cities. The missile has a range of up to 7,500 miles.

“If we launch our DF-31A ICBMs over the North Pole, we can easily destroy a whole list of metropolises on the East Coast and the New England region of the U.S., including Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Portland, Baltimore, and Norfolk, whose population account accounts for about one eighth of America’s total residents,” Global Times stated.

For submarine-launched nuclear missiles, the Chinese plan to target key west coast cities.

“Because the Midwest states of the U.S. are sparsely populated, in order to increase the lethality, [our] nuclear attacks should mainly target the key cities on the West Coast of the United States, such as Seattle, Los Angles, San Francisco, and San Diego,” Global Times said.

One graphic showed eight warheads hitting Washington state and Oregon and the nuclear radiation spreading as far east as Chicago. Another map shows five nuclear warhead destruction radii in downtown Los Angeles.

The Chinese nuclear war stories were first disclosed by the Washington Times on Thursday.

Former State Department official and China hand John Tkacik said the threatening Chinese reports are “wholly orchestrated by the Central Propaganda Department for well-planned strategic purposes.”

“While there’s no doubt Beijing’s media coverage of China’s nuclear missile submarines is aimed at psyching out Washington, the real targets of this new nuclear propaganda are Japan, India, and the South China Sea states, all of which place heavy reliance on their relations with the United States in balancing China,” Tkacik said.

The failure to respond to the threats is undermining the confidence among U.S. allies and friends in Asia concerned with the American commitment to protecting Asia.

“These stories should be a fire bell in the night for Washington to step up America’s cooperation with allies in anti-submarine warfare.”

However, Beijing appears to be calculating that U.S. war weariness will lead to further slashed budgets for counter-nuclear programs, anti-submarine warfare, and missile defense, he said.

“Even with deliberately provocative articles like this series of reports on China’s nuclear missile submarines and targeting American cities, the general inclination inside the beltway is to treat China as a friend. I just don’t understand it,” Tkacik said.

Richard Fisher, a Chinese military affairs expert, also said the propaganda highlighting nuclear strikes on the United States appears part of Beijing’s calculated strategy to stoke nationalism and military worship in China.

The Global Times report, in particular, “is most provocative when it speculates about the possible damage that a JL-2 missile strike would cause against the West Coast of the United States.”

“Official and semi-official U.S. threat assessment publications usually are not so indelicate as to speculate on the potential for millions of Chinese or Russian deaths in a nuclear war,” Fisher said. “We usually leave that up to the imagination of their governments.”

One of the graphics published showed patrol areas southeast of Taiwan where new Type 094 ballistic missile submarines will conduct patrols.

Fisher said China’s large-scale Maneuver 5 war games last week included submarine, surface ship, and bomber exercises.

“Could the PLA Navy be starting to practice [missile submarine] operations to support the deployment of their nuclear missiles submarines [set to begin next year]?” Fisher said.

Fisher also said the nuclear war reports and estimates of killing Americans may be linked to Chinese pique at the United States over the late-night ABC comedy show “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” A recent unscripted segment on the show featured children answering questions and one boy suggested that the U.S. response to China should be to “kill all the Chinese.” ABC later apologized for the segment.

Also last week, China’s military released a feature-length film that accused the U.S. government of subverting China’s communist system and imposing American values.

The military film said the Pentagon was using military-to-military exchanges for those ends and to corrupt Chinese military officers who take part in the exchanges.

The film, titled “Silent Contest” also criticized western non-governmental groups, exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama and Uighur human rights activist Rebyia Kadeer.

Groups singled out as subversive included the Carter Center, the Asia Foundation, the International Republican Institute and the Ford Foundation who are behind an “America’s cultural invasion” of China.

china 1

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5808

PROPHECY SCHOLAR: AMERICA AT CROSSROADS

Repent and experience awakening or reject God and face destruction

Published: 15 hours ago

By Troy Anderson

America faces two futures, says internationally-recognized prophecy expert and Fox News, CNN and History Channel commentator Paul McGuire in his new book, “A Prophecy of the Future of America.”

In one scenario, the church and the nation turns back to God and experiences what world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham calls an end-times “great spiritual awakening.”

In the other, America doesn’t repent of its immorality and experiences a “crisis of unprecedented proportions” – a complete economic collapse, a surprise nuclear or terrorist attack or a wave of devastating earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, solar flares and other cataclysmic disasters.

“Billy Graham is the closest thing we have in America to a genuine prophet of God, and I believe God is using him to issue a prophetic warning and a prophetic message of hope to America,” said McGuire, who hosted the nationally syndicated “Paul McGuire Show” for a decade.

On his show, he interviewed numerous world leaders and New York Times bestselling authors, including President Jimmy Carter, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Sen. John McCain, Rev. Rick Warren, author Joel Rosenberg and author Tim LaHaye.

 “It is one every one of us should heed, and I totally agree with him, I support what he’s doing, and I urge everyone to get involved in the kind of repentance he’s calling for,” McGuire said. “I personally urge everyone to get involved because this is the only hope for America.”

The release of McGuire’s book comes as more than 25,000 churches and hundreds of thousands of people are preparing for the My Hope America with Billy Graham evangelistic outreach in early November.

End of the age

In an exclusive email interview with WND, Graham said the signs of the “end of the age” are “converging now for the first time since Jesus made those predictions.” In his new book, “The Reason for My Hope: Salvation,” the famed preacher wrote he believes the Second Coming is “near” and that America “can’t go on much longer in the sea of immorality without judgment coming.”

“The United States is going to have to turn from its evil ways as God said to the children of Israel,” Graham told WND. “First, we need to repent of our sin and turn back to God; that’s the biblical admonition through the Old and New Testament. Second, we need faith to believe. And then obedience. God gave us the Ten Commandments, which we need to take seriously.”

Graham will give what could be his last message to the world the week of Nov. 7, his 95th birthday. The “My Hope” programs will be available for viewing online, including on YouTube. “The Cross,” the primary program in the “My Hope” series, will be broadcast on the Fox News Channel, TBN, Christian networks and local television stations in a number of cities.

‘Something big is about to happen’

In his new book, McGuire wrote that people sense something big is about to happen – “something that will change life as we know it forever.”

He said the world is on the “very edge of World War III, through Syria or some other kind of conflict.”

A recent poll by the Ventura, Calif.-based Barna Group backs up McGuire’s contention, finding 4 in 10 Americans – and 77 percent of evangelical Christians – believe the “world is now living in the biblical end times.”

“There is an event coming to America, a crisis of unprecedented proportions that will happen suddenly and without apparent warning,” wrote McGuire, an adjunct professor of eschatology at Jack Hayford’s The King’s University in Van Nuys, Calif., and the author of 22 prophecy books, including “The Day the Dollar Died.”

“This event will strike fear in the hearts of Americans, and they will say over and over again, ‘I cannot believe this is happening. … I cannot believe this is happening in America!’”

McGuire said the statement is not “some kind of prophetic announcement” but rather a “wake-up call before the final wake-up call.”

“America has received numerous wake-up calls over the last two decades, and each time it has gone back to sleep. 9/11 was the biggest wake-up call in our nation’s history, and Americans stayed awake for about three months and then they went back to sleep. None of our real problems have been fixed.

“Our economy is apparently (and temporarily) doing well because it is being pumped up by the Federal Reserve who is printing dollars backed by nothing. America is like a bunch of addicts living on crack cocaine, and when we are hit by the inevitable hyperinflation our standard of living is going to go way down.”

What most people don’t understand, McGuire wrote, is that the U.S. is just one crisis away from an economic meltdown, a transformation into an entirely new governmental and economic system or worse.

Where is America in the forecast?

In the book, McGuire outlines several scenarios that scientists, economists, political leaders and geopolitical analysts are concerned about. These include an economic collapse; a major terrorist attack; a nuclear, biological or electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack; massive earthquakes, tsunamis; hurricanes, solar flares and other natural catastrophes; a lethal pandemic; or a major cyber-warfare attack.

“Many historians, scholars, political scientists, economists and theologians believe that it is highly possible that America may not exist in the near future,” McGuire wrote. “For example, there are political scientists that believe that America as an independent sovereign nation will cease to exist and that it will merge with some kind of global government.”

McGuire, host of an upcoming international prophecy show on GOD TV, wrote the book is the product of 35 years of “intensive and documented research.”

“I have had the opportunity to meet privately with some of the world’s most influential leaders – presidents, prime ministers, scientists and celebrities who have shared with me all kinds of information,” McGuire wrote. “In addition, the highest-ranking military generals and heads of the largest intelligence agencies in the U.S. have contacted me about my research into the future.”

In an interview with WND, McGuire said wealthy globalists and their network of secret societies, think tanks and quasi-government organizations such as the Bilderberg Group, Council on Foreign Relations and United Nations, are working to create a global government and economic system as predicted by the biblical prophets thousands of years ago.

“You’ll have a very tiny upper class, or as they like to say the 1 percent, and you’ll have a massive underclass, which will be unemployed or the working class,” said McGuire, who appeared on two highly-rated History Channel specials – “7 Signs of the Apocalypse” and “Countdown to Armageddon: Four Horsemen.”

Whenever people look to government as their savior, totalitarianism always rears its head and people lose their freedoms, McGuire said.

“There is, historically, a seduction that occurs,” McGuire said. “Hitler used it. The communist revolutionaries used it. Basically, the seduction goes like this: We’ll completely take care of you, we’ll protect you and provide for all your needs, but you’ll have to give up your freedoms.”

McGuire said it happens with “mathematical precision,” noting the nation is quickly transitioning into a socialistic system. Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows nearly half of all Americans now receive benefits from one or more government programs.

“If you give up your rights and freedoms to a government the outcome will be concentration camps, mass deaths and a level of brutality and cruelty we’ve never seen before in America,” McGuire said. “It happened in Nazi Germany and in communist Russia and China. People who haven’t studied history always react to that by saying, ‘Well, that sounds extreme,’ but it’s not extreme. That’s the historical precedent.”

McGuire said a “secretive elite” – a group of super-wealthy globalists and multi-national corporations – are “really in control of our nation.”

“With few exceptions, both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are essentially controlled by the same people, and they create the illusion of democracy, but it’s an illusion,” McGuire said. “These elite want to consolidate their power and control the world for economic and other reasons. They have no allegiance to any one nation. And they are currently moving the world forward at high speed into what H. G. Wells (author of “The New World Order”) and Bertrand Russell, the famous Fabian socialists, called a world socialist government.”

To back up this claims, McGuire cited numerous sources in his book, including Georgetown University Professor Carroll Quigley, who claimed secret societies played a significant role in world history. Former President Bill Clinton cited Quigley as an important influence.

“The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences,” Quigley wrote in his book “Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time.”

Behind the scenes

Charlie Daniels, the country music legend and host of the recent documentary “Behold a Pale Horse: America’s Last Chance,” told WND that people need to know what is really going on behind the scenes.

The film about a “looming world government” features interviews with retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin; trends forecaster Gerald Celente; Stan Monteith, author of Brotherhood of Darkness; and former Fort Worth Star-Telegram investigative reporter and New York Times bestselling author Jim Marrs, author of “The Rise of the Fourth Reich: The Secret Societies That Threaten to Take Over America” and “Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids.”

“It’s like the Bible says, ‘People perish for the lack of knowledge,’” said Daniels, who is best known for his No. 1 country hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” “People don’t know what is really going on. People are so brainwashed. A lot of this stuff is by design. There are devious forces out there that are interested in controlling the world. That’s what got the devil in trouble; that’s why he lost his place in heaven.

“That’s the age-old thing; that people want control and they want power. It’s happening faster and faster now. I don’t know how it’s going to manifest itself, but I do know it’s going to happen. I don’t think we are going to sit here and take it, though. I think above all else that people need to be informed and need to know what is going on.”

This “secret shadow government” also wants to control Eurasia and the Middle East, and specifically the oil fields of the Middle East, McGuire said.

“The conflict in Syria is really over massive oil deposits, the fact that Russia and Syria are partnering together through a pipeline and that Russia is selling oil all over Europe and China,” McGuire wrote. “So, if the U.S. goes in there, there is a very high likelihood of a regional, thermonuclear war involving Iran and possibly Israel, which could escalate into World War III. It could ignite the fuse, and that’s why it’s very, very dangerous.”

Cradle of civilization

In his book, McGuire wrote that the biblical book of Revelation predicts the emergence of an end-times “one-world government ruled by 10 kings under the Antichrist in the New World Order.”

“The end game is to destroy America as an independent sovereign nation and merge it into a globalist state ruled by a United Nations Constitution,” McGuire wrote. “Currently, the world is being divided into 10 separate unions or regions like the European Union, African Union, Asian Union, North American Union, and so on. In the future, all the nations of the world may join into one big global government that the prophet Daniel called the ‘Fourth Beast.’ ”

The Bible contains a code – beginning at the Tower of Babel in ancient Babylon in the book of Genesis and concluding with “Mystery, Babylon” in the book of Revelation – that predicts the “coming commercial Babylon and religious Babylon,” McGuire said.

“Archaeologists tell us that Babylon is the cradle of all human civilization,” McGuire wrote. “Located on the shores of the Euphrates River, this city was the world’s first attempt at a one-world government, a one-world economic system and a one-world religion, which God prevented by confusing their language. It is not an accident that the Book of Genesis contains this important account of the first New World Order. Babylon gives us powerful clues on what to expect in the future and that is why in the Book of Revelation Babylon reappears.”

While many Bible scholars point to the fact that America is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, McGuire said some experts believe “American can be found in the Bible, just under another name, such as Babylon.”

“Is America Babylon?” McGuire asked. “Is America named in Bible prophecy and is it possible to know what is going to happen to America and the world in the near future?”

Peering into the nation’s future, McGuire told WND the biggest problem America faces is the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program – “a fancy word for printing money from nothing.”

“It’s printing money to create an artificial economic bubble and every nation in the past that has done that has always gone into a hyperinflationary mode like Germany,” McGuire said. “So this is a highly dangerous situation for America because right now, whether we’re talking about Republicans or Democrats, they’re all part of this masquerade ball and are wearing masks for the American public.

“Most of them are basically playing the game and not telling the American people that our economy has absolutely no chance of recovery unless we begin radical steps to stimulate business growth and create high-paying jobs.”

But instead of doing this, McGuire said just about every official action in Washington, D.C., seems designed to stifle economic growth.

“The prognostication now is that we’re going over the cliff,” McGuire said. “There is no way we can’t. We haven’t addressed anything. We have done absolutely nothing but print money. And what compounds all this is that America has now become an Orwellian state where we have a media that is primarily owned by six corporations that control all the information. The American people basically just hear propaganda. They are not being told the truth.”

Concerns about growing government surveillance have captured the public’s attention in recent months. Last week, Hollywood director Oliver Stone, who has praised McGuire’s work, appeared with actor John Cusack in a public service announcement decrying the National Security Agency’s surveillance tactics on Americans and world leaders.

In the book, McGuire wrote the Bible predicts a charismatic global dictator, the Antichrist, will force the “mark of the beast on all those who have not acknowledged that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

“This microchip, Nano-chip, and biochip implant will allow the individual receiving it to participate in the economic system through buying and selling,” McGuire wrote. “The ‘chip’ will be the ultimate Big Brother surveillance device that can monitor your physical location and transmit your ideas, thoughts, beliefs and perceptions to some kind of ‘cloud system.’”

McGuire wrote the current devaluation of the dollar and the recent global economic crisis are “planned events.”

“The threat of World War III involving North Korea, China, Japan, America, Iran and Russia is a reflection of the fact that many of these nations are rejecting the U.S. dollar as a world currency and using the Chinese Yuan and other currencies to trade with each other,” McGuire wrote. “The goal is to create a one-world currency called the Phoenix by 2018.”

In his book, McGuire, who speaks to thousands of people at prophecy conferences and other events nationwide, said the most common question he’s asked is “Where is America in prophecy?”

“I believe America has a future in prophecy and that we are literally at the crossroads of either death or destruction or a legitimate end-times revival,” McGuire wrote.

McGuire said he believes the world is now experiencing the early “birth pangs” the Bible predicts will precede the seven-year Great Tribulation.

“We are now living in a time period when there is an unprecedented acceleration of prophetic events and a convergence of scientific, economic and social events that has never happened in all of human history,” McGuire wrote. “Biblical scholars disagree as to the exact timing of the most cataclysmic time period in the history of the world, known as the Tribulation Period. I believe that we are close … very close.”

Throughout the Bible, though, McGuire wrote biblical authors gave account after account of how God would respond if people prayed and asked for forgiveness.

“America like many other nations throughout history is literally hanging in the balance at this very moment,” McGuire wrote. “If God’s people will truly seek his face and repent of their sins, it may be that God will protect our nation, restore it in a temporal sense and grant us one more time to fulfill his purpose for our nation.”

As evidence, McGuire cited 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
“So, if the American church will fast and pray and cry out to God for revival – in the manner that Billy Graham and these other men of God and notable Christian leaders have said – then I believe there can still be tremendous hope for America,” McGuire told WND.

“Even though it appears to be the final hour, God has a brief window of opportunity that is still open for our nation, and I believe God is using Billy Graham as a prophet to our nation to call us to repentance so revival can occur.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5798

AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH …

Exclusive: Joseph Farah examines historical beginnings of abominable practice

Published: 19 hours ago

I think I might have been wrong about same-sex marriage.

When I have written about this phenomenon and discussed it and debated it in recent years, I have stated unequivocally that it is something new – not seen anywhere or at any time in the history of humankind.

But now I have reason to doubt that.

There may indeed have been a time in man’s history when it was practiced.

It wasn’t in ancient Greece.

It wasn’t in Sodom and Gomorrah.

It wasn’t in Rome.

It wasn’t in Babylon.

But it may have been routine in the days of Noah, just before the flood.

I am hardly a student of the Talmud, part of the oral tradition of Orthodox Judaism. I don’t believe it is the inspired word of God. But it is, nonetheless, a historical record. According to two notable experts, the Babylonian Talmud says that same-sex marriage was prevalent just before the Great Flood of Noah.

Jeffrey Satinover, who holds an MD from Princeton and doctorates from Yale, MIT and Harvard, has made the point that the Midrash Rabbah Genesis suggests such activity represented the last straw before God unleashed the floodwaters to destroy the Earth. He is backed up by Rabbi Aryeh Spero of New York.

But it’s not just conservative scholars and rabbis who see that message in the Talmud. Indeed, a feminist academic from Brandeis University, Gail Labovitz, senior research analyst for the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, dealt with this issue in a recent paper.

Not only did men marry men and women marry women in the days of Noah, but they wrote marriage contracts for those relationships, just as the world is doing today.

I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the rabbis were right.

Could this have been what Jesus was referring to in Matthew 24:37-39, when He said: “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took all of them away; so shall the coming of the Son of man be.”

If that’s what Jesus had in mind, it doesn’t bode well for nations practicing this abomination today. But, as He suggests, it may very well be another sign that He is “at the door.”

I know. I know. You don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God – the Savior of the world, the Messiah. You don’t believe the Bible is God’s inspired word. You don’t believe a flood actually destroyed the world more than 4,000 years ago.

It really doesn’t matter what you believe about those things. It only matters what God believes. It only matters what is true. Opinions don’t count when it comes to God’s rules. Only obedience and repentance matter.

People deny the reality of God and sin usually because they don’t want to be accountable for their behavior. Sin is pleasurable for a season, and that’s all that matters to some people. So they reject God and pretend He doesn’t exist, as if that gives them a license to break His rules.

Some people reject God because they think He’s mean to judge them.

But God gives us all the desires of their hearts. That’s true for those who embrace Him just as it is true of those who don’t. Those who make Him the Lord of their lives get to spend eternity with Him. Those who don’t are eternally separated from Him. In other words, they, too, get their wish.

When I’m wrong I admit it. And it appears I was wrong when I stated repeatedly there is no historical precedent for same-sex marriage. But the one I have found is not exactly reassuring. The last time it happened, God destroyed the world.

I should have known better, because Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5780

Navy’s largest destroyer heading into the water in Maine

BATH, Maine –  After embarrassing troubles with its latest class of surface warships, the Navy is hoping for a winner from a new destroyer that’s ready to go into the water.

So far, construction of the first-in-class Zumwalt, the largest U.S. Navy destroyer ever built, is on time and on budget, something that’s a rarity in new defense programs, officials said. And the Navy believes the ship’s big gun, stealthy silhouette and advance features will make it a formidable package.

The christening of the ship bearing the name of the late Adm. Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt was canceled a week ago because of the federal government shutdown. Without fanfare, the big ship will be moved to dry dock and floated in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the public christening ceremony featuring Zumwalt’s two daughters will be rescheduled for the spring.

Adm. Zumwalt served in destroyers during World War II and was awarded a Bronze Star for valor at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. As the nation’s youngest chief of naval operations, appointed at age 49 by President Richard Nixon, he fought to end racial discrimination and allowed women to serve on ships for the first time.

Like its namesake, the ship is innovative.

It is so big that Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics subsidiary, built a 106-foot-tall, $40 million “Ultra Hall” to accommodate its large hull segments. The ship is 100 feet longer than the existing class of destroyers.

It features an unusual wave-piercing hull, electric drive propulsion, advanced sonar and guided missiles, and a new gun that fires rocket-propelled warheads as far as 100 miles. Unlike warships with towering radar- and antenna-laden superstructures, the Zumwalt will ride low to the water to minimize its radar signature, making it stealthier than others.

Originally envisioned for shore bombardment, the ship’s size and power plant that can produce 78 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 78,000 homes — make it a potential platform for futuristic weapons like the electromagnetic rail gun, which uses a magnetic field and electric current to fire a projectile at seven times the speed of sound.

There are so many computers and so much automation that it’ll need fewer sailors, operating with a crew of 158, nearly half the complement aboard the current generation of destroyers.

“The concept of the Zumwalt is sort of a bridge between the traditions of the past and the new world of networked warfare and precision guided munitions,” said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute. “It’s not so much a radical concept as it is an attempt to pull off a full range of missions with a ship that has one foot in the present and one foot in the future.”

The Navy once envisioned building more than 20 of the ships. But the ship has so many sophisticated features and its cost grew so high that senior Navy officials tried to kill the program. Instead, it was truncated to just three ships, the first being Zumwalt.

The Zumwalt will cost more than $3.5 billion — about three times that of current destroyers — but the program has not been beset by big cost overruns or delays, officials said.

The fact that construction has gone smoothly is a relief for the Navy, which has dealt with embarrassing troubles on its new class of speedy warship, dubbed the “littoral combat ship.”

Those smaller ships, designed to operate close to shore in littoral waters, have been plagued by escalating costs, production delays and mechanical problems. Mission modules that give them the flexibility to perform roles including anti-submarine warfare and minesweeping are not ready, even though the first ships have been commissioned.

“That ship is a total disaster,” said Norman Polmar, a naval historian, analyst and author.

Against that backdrop, shipbuilders at Bath Iron Works have been toiling away on the Zumwalt, the first entirely new ship built on the banks of the Kennebec River since the original Arleigh Burke was christened more than 20 years ago.

Dan Dowling, president of Local S6, which represents 3,200 shipbuilders, said it’s been a challenging project with a new hull design, composite materials and new technology.

“It is a radical departure from what we’ve known. Whether the Navy is satisfied with the design of the ship is up to them. We can only build what they asked for,” he said, adding, “I hope they’ll be pleased with it. We’d like to build as many of them as we can.”

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5759

Report: Massive Vulnerability Detected In National Power Grids: “There Is No Way to Stop This”

Mac Slavo
SHTFPlan.com
October 21, 2013

If you think that our multi-billion dollar electrical power grids are secure and capable of withstanding a coordinated attack, think again.

According to one group of engineers, the grid is so vulnerable that it wouldn’t even require a skilled hacker to compromise. In fact, when Adam Crain and Chris Sistrunk decided to test some new software they were developing they identified a vulnerability so serious that it could literally blind operational controllers to such an extent that they would be locked out of monitoring systems and unable to maintain grid integrity.

The consequences, according to the engineers who note they are in no way security specialists, could be a total downing of the national power grid with nodes across the nation being taken over all at once. Moreover, the same systems used to maintain the U.S. power grid are also being used in other industries, like water treatment facilities.

You’d think that such a vulnerability would be a top priority for the Department of Homeland Security, considering they are spending millions of dollars and promoting their coming Grid Ex exercise in November.

But you’d be wrong. The kicker is that when Crain and Sistrunk advised the DHS Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, they got what essentially amounts to no response. It took Homeland Security a full four months before they even acknowledged the problem.

The two engineers who discovered the vulnerability say little is being done.

Adam Crain and Chris Sistrunk do not specialize in security. The engineers say they hardly qualify as security researchers. But seven months ago, Mr. Crain wrote software to look for defects in an open-source software program.

The program targeted a very specific communications protocol called DNP3, which is predominantly used by electric and water companies, and plays a crucial role in so-called S.C.A.D.A. (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems. Utility companies use S.C.A.D.A. systems to monitor far-flung power stations from a control center, in part because it allows them to remotely diagnose problems rather than wait for a technician to physically drive out to a station and fix it.

Mr. Crain ran his security test on his open-source DNP3 program and didn’t find anything wrong. Frustrated, he tested a third-party vendor’s program to make sure his software was working. The first program he targeted belonged to Triangle MicroWorks, a Raleigh, North Carolina based company that sells source code to large vendors of S.C.A.D.A. systems.

It broke instantly.

“When Adam told me he broke Triangle, I worried everything else was broken,” said Mr. Sistrunk.

Over the course of one week last April, the two tested Mr. Crain’s software across 16 vendors’ systems. They did not find a single system they couldn’t break.

By the end of the week, the two had compiled a 20-page report replete with vulnerabilities in 16 different system vendors for the Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, I.C.S.-C.E.R.T., which notifies vendors of vulnerabilities and issues public advisories.

And then, they waited. It would take I.C.S.-C.E.R.T. another four months to issue a public advisory for Triangle MicroWorks’ system.

D.H.S. did not return a request for comment.

Mr. Crain found that he could actually infiltrate a power station’s control center from afar. An attacker could use that capability to insert malware to take over the system, and like Stuxnet, the computer worm that took out 20 percent of Iran’s centrifuges, inflict actual physical harm.

“This is low-hanging fruit,” said Mr. Crain. “It doesn’t require some kind of hacker mastermind to understand the protocol and do this.”

What makes the vulnerabilities particularly troubling, experts say, is that traditional firewalls are ill-equipped to stop them. “When the master crashes it can no longer monitor or control any and all of the substations,” said Dale Peterson, a former N.S.A. employee who founded Digital Bond, a security firm that focuses on infrastructure.

“There is no way to stop this with a firewall and other perimeter security device today.”

The New York Times

When outgoing DHS head Janet Napolitano suggested that a cyber attack on the nation’s power grid is imminent, she meant it.

They know that these systems are vulnerable, and the steps needed to protect the grid from cyber attacks and other potential hazards like a Super EMP or a severe geo-magnetic event would cost in the multiple billions of dollars to fix.

The fact of the matter is that DHS and the vendors who produce these software control systems are dragging their feet, leaving the entire country vulnerable.

Crain and Sistrunk are not hackers or security experts. They are software engineers and they were able to compromise our entire national power grid and water utility systems from remote locations.

What do you think China, Russia, and rogue hackers are capable of doing?

If you don’t think they’ve mapped our entire grid and its vulnerabilities you are kidding yourself.

This is deadly serious.

And when we say deadly, we mean it, because according to a report from the Center for Security Policy presented to Congress in 2010, if our power grid were to be taken offline for an extended period of time, 9 out of 10 Americans would be dead within a year.

There would be no way to transport food because gas stations pumps would be inoperable. And even if they did work, the commerce systems which makes the exchange of goods possible would be offline. Couple that with water utilities not functioning due to lack of electricity, and we’re talking about a worst-case scenario so bad that this country may never recover.

Former Congressman Roscoe Bartlet has urged those who can to move out of major cities for this reason.

You have been warned: you need to be ready for total grid failure. The threat is real.

american-flag

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5756

Martial Law and the Economy: Is Homeland Security Preparing for the Next Wall Street Collapse?

Can not stress this enough keep your eyes open and also upon the Lord!

 

By Ellen Brown

Global Research, October 07, 2013

Reports are that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is engaged in a massive, covert military buildup. An article in the Associated Press in February confirmed an open purchase order by DHS for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. According to an op-ed in Forbes, that’s enough to sustain an Iraq-sized war for over twenty years. DHS has also acquired heavily armored tanks, which have been seen roaming the streets. Evidently somebody in government is expecting some serious civil unrest. The question is, why?

Recently revealed statements by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the height of the banking crisis in October 2008 could give some insights into that question. An article on BBC News on September 21, 2013, drew from an explosive autobiography called Power Trip by Brown’s spin doctor Damian McBride, who said the prime minister was worried that law and order could collapse during the financial crisis. McBride quoted Brown as saying:

If the banks are shutting their doors, and the cash points aren’t working, and people go to Tesco [a grocery chain] and their cards aren’t being accepted, the whole thing will just explode.

If you can’t buy food or petrol or medicine for your kids, people will just start breaking the windows and helping themselves.

And as soon as people see that on TV, that’s the end, because everyone will think that’s OK now, that’s just what we all have to do. It’ll be anarchy. That’s what could happen tomorrow.

How to deal with that threat? Brown said, “We’d have to think: do we have curfews, do we put the Army on the streets, how do we get order back?”

McBride wrote in his book Power Trip, “It was extraordinary to see Gordon so totally gripped by the danger of what he was about to do, but equally convinced that decisive action had to be taken immediately.” He compared the threat to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Fear of this threat was echoed in September 2008 by US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who reportedly warned that the US government might have to resort to martial law if Wall Street were not bailed out from the credit collapse.

In both countries, martial law was avoided when their legislatures succumbed to pressure and bailed out the banks. But many pundits are saying that another collapse is imminent; and this time, governments may not be so willing to step up to the plate.

The Next Time WILL Be Different

What triggered the 2008 crisis was a run, not in the conventional banking system, but in the “shadow” banking system, a collection of non-bank financial intermediaries that provide services similar to traditional commercial banks but are unregulated.  They include hedge funds, money market funds, credit investment funds, exchange-traded funds, private equity funds, securities broker dealers, securitization and finance companies. Investment banks and commercial banks may also conduct much of their business in the shadows of this unregulated system.

The shadow financial casino has only grown larger since 2008; and in the next Lehman-style collapse, government bailouts may not be available. According to President Obama in his remarks on the Dodd-Frank Act on July 15, 2010, “Because of this reform, . . . there will be no more taxpayer funded bailouts – period.”

Governments in Europe are also shying away from further bailouts. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) in Switzerland has therefore required the systemically risky banks to devise “living wills” setting forth what they will do in the event of insolvency. The template established by the FSB requires them to “bail in” their creditors; and depositors, it turns out, are the largest class of bank creditor. (For fuller discussion, see my earlier article here.)

When depositors cannot access their bank accounts to get money for food for the kids, they could well start breaking store windows and helping themselves. Worse, they might plot to overthrow the financier-controlled government. Witness Greece, where increasing disillusionment with the ability of the government to rescue the citizens from the worst depression since 1929 has precipitated riots and threats of violent overthrow.

Fear of that result could explain the massive, government-authorized spying on American citizens, the domestic use of drones, and the elimination of due process and of “posse comitatus” (the federal law prohibiting the military from enforcing “law and order” on non-federal property). Constitutional protections are being thrown out the window in favor of protecting the elite class in power.

 The Looming Debt Ceiling Crisis

 The next crisis on the agenda appears to be the October 17th deadline for agreeing on a federal budget or risking default on the government’s loans. It may only be a coincidence, but two large-scale drills are scheduled to take place the same day, the “Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill” and the “Quantum Dawn 2 Cyber Attack Bank Drill.” According to a Bloomberg news clip on the bank drill, the attacks being prepared for are from hackers, state-sponsored espionage, and organized crime (financial fraud). One interviewee stated, “You might experience that your online banking is down . . . . You might experience that you can’t log in.” It sounds like a dress rehearsal for the Great American Bail-in.

Ominous as all this is, it has a bright side. Bail-ins and martial law can be seen as the last desperate thrashings of a dinosaur. The exploitative financial scheme responsible for turning millions out of their jobs and their homes has reached the end of the line. Crisis in the current scheme means opportunity for those more sustainable solutions waiting in the wings.

Other countries faced with a collapse in their debt-based borrowed currencies have survived and thrived by issuing their own. When the dollar-pegged currency collapsed in Argentina in 2001, the national government returned to issuing its own pesos; municipal governments paid with “debt-canceling bonds” that circulated as currency; and neighborhoods traded with community currencies. After the German currency collapsed in the 1920s, the government turned the economy around in the 1930s by issuing “MEFO” bills that circulated as currency. When England ran out of gold in 1914, the government issued “Bradbury pounds” similar to the Greenbacks issued by Abraham Lincoln during the US Civil War.

Today our government could avoid the debt ceiling crisis by doing something similar: it could simply mint some trillion dollar coins and deposit them in an account. That alternative could be pursued by the Administration immediately, without going to Congress or changing the law, as discussed in my earlier article here. It need not be inflationary, since Congress could still spend only what it passed in its budget. And if Congress did expand its budget for infrastructure and job creation, that would actually be good for the economy, since hoarding cash and paying down loans have significantly shrunk the circulating money supply.

american-flag

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5727

America’s police are looking more and more like the military

 

A Defense Department program transfers military-grade weapons and vehicles to local law enforcement. It’s the last thing we need

America’s streets are looking more and more like a war zone. Last week, in a small county in upstate New York with a population of roughly 120,000 people, county legislators approved the receipt of a 20-ton Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, donated by the US Defense Department to the county sheriff.

Between the Armored Personnel Carriers locking down main streets in major American cities – mimicking our MRAPs in Afghanistan – or Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) and Special Forces units canvassing our country, if we’re not careful, this militarization of our domestic policing will make-over America, and fast.

Here’s how it all happened. A little-known Pentagon program has been quietly militarizing American police forces for years. A total of $4.2bn worth of equipment has been distributed by the Defense Department to municipal law enforcement agencies, with a record $546m in 2012 alone.

In the fine print of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 1997, the “1033 program” was born. It allows the Defense Department to donate surplus military equipment to local police forces.

Though the program’s existed since the 1990s, it has expanded greatly in recent years, due, in part, to post-9/11 fears and sequestration budget cuts. The expanse, however, seems unnecessary given that the Department of Homeland Security has already handed out $34bn in “terrorism grants” to local polices forces – without oversight mind you – to fund counter-terrorism efforts.

Additional militarization, then, deserves congressional attention as the program is harmful and must be scaled back for a number of reasons.

First, the program is transforming our police into a military. The results of such over-militarized law enforcement are apparent from the dispersion of Occupy protesters in Oakland to the city-wide lockdown in Boston. As retired police chief Norm Stamper stated to the Associated Press:

We make a serious mistake, I’m convinced, in equipping domestic law enforcement, particularly in smaller, rural communities, with this much military equipment.

Tanks, grenade launchers, armored vehicles, and assault rifles are just a few of the items that have been transferred from military control to municipal police forces. Law enforcement agencies need only to arrange and pay for shipment in order to receive the items of their choice (pdf). One particularly egregious example is found in South Carolina, where Richland County’s sheriff acquired a tank with 360-degree rotating machine gun turrets. Sardonically, the vehicle has been named “the Peacemaker“.

Swat teams, furthermore, are no longer found only in large, high-crime areas. Instead, even small rural towns now have the equipment to arm their own paramilitary units. Investigative reporter Radley Balko estimates that around 150 Swat raids are performed every day in the United States.

Second, the program encourages waste. Never mind, for a moment, that neither the Defense Department nor the Homeland Security Department has been audited – the only two unaudited government departments incidentally. Any waste from the 1033 program, then, has gone unnoticed thus far.

Municipalities’ stockpiles have grown exponentially with billions of dollars’ worth of weaponry and equipment they simply do not need. This giveaway has created a shopping frenzy among law enforcement officials keen to scoop up equipment before someone else does.

Take a look at these examples. A small town in Georgia without a body of water acquired boats and scuba gear. The same town ordered a shipment of bayonets, which is now collecting dust. In Texas, a town of only 835 residents received more than $3m worth of equipment, including deep-fat fryers, televisions, and playground equipment. The stories abound.

Authorities often claim that the program assists local law enforcement without incurring costs for taxpayers. Yet the program requires that localities accept equipment “as is”, meaning that taxpayers foot the bill (pdf) for all repairs, storage, or maintenance of the growing stockpile. Thus, the arms race ignited by these policies is as wasteful and costly as it is dangerous.

Lastly, the program’s lack of oversight is irresponsible. Indeed, the amount of unaccounted for weapons, fraud, and abuse is alarming. Officially, state coordinators are required to ensure that local law enforcement agencies keep full inventories (pdf) of the equipment they receive, and the localities must report any missing equipment and return any that is unused. But in practice, federal and state authorities infrequently check – if ever – to ensure that inventories are up to date. Effectively, then, it is the recipients of weapons who are left to regulate themselves. The results have been disastrous.

For example, a sheriff in Illinois was accused of lending the assault rifles, which he got through the 1033 program, to his friends. Meanwhile, a firearms manager in North Carolina pled guilty to selling his on eBay. Worse, 11 districts in Indiana were completely suspended from the program because of the high volume of weapons they lost. And a county in Arizona acquired $7m worth of weapons and Humvees before giving them to unauthorized persons and attempting to sell them to boost their budget.

The lack of oversight is appalling. State coordinators admit that they conduct very few in-person inspections. In New York, the state is apparently outsourcing the majority of their inventory work to a part-time, unpaid intern. And in Mississippi, it took six years before federal authorities discovered that a state office, which was ineligible for the program, had received $8m worth of equipment, despite the fact that the Defense Department is supposed to review the program every two years.
 
The Pentagon program cannot continue in this manner. Congress should acknowledge the failure of this program and permanently ban military-grade weaponry, armored vehicles and aircraft from transfer to municipal police forces. If the Defense Department is to continue to lend surplus equipment to localities, it must vastly tighten oversight and ensure that no item go unaccounted for. On-site inspections must be frequent and consequences for noncompliance should be severe.

If America is concerned about helping its police forces prevent violence, there are more cost effective ways of doing that. Since we know that cities and states with lower levels of violence have higher levels of education, healthcare coverage and economic opportunity, and lower levels of poverty and income inequality, that is where we should be investing taxpayer dollars.

But when local police forces carry assault weapons and patrol America’s main streets with tanks and drones, the lines blur between the military and law enforcement. The growing militarization of the United States appears to be occurring at home as well as abroad, a phenomenon which is troublesome and sure to continue without decisive action. Scaling back the 1033 program is a much-needed start and would cast some light on the blurring line between military forces and the local police who are meant to protect and serve.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5722

Shhh … NSA’s Utah Data Center may be open already

By Thomas Burr | The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Sep 26 2013 01:01 am • Last Updated Sep 26 2013 05:02 pm

Washington • Don’t look for balloons or a big “Grand Opening” sign outside the National Security Agency’s new Utah Data Center.

The facility is expected this fall to quietly begin sucking in massive amounts of information for the intelligence community and storing it in the cavernous buildings in Bluffdale, according to NSA officials — and it could be open now even as the agency faces scrutiny over efforts to collect data on Americans domestically.

Top-secret technicians

About 200 people, mainly technicians, are expected to work at the Utah Data Center, which is closed to the public and protected by NSA’s police force.

NSA officials declined to say whether the center is already online, but the secret agency isn’t known for celebrating the opening of classified buildings.

“We turn each machine on as it is installed, and the facility is ready for that installation to begin,” NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said recently in an interview.

The data center, one of several large computer facilities run by the agency, is one of six major hubs for the NSA and will not only serve as backup storage but also be networked into the government’s intelligence gathering so analysts from other sites can access it in real time.

The $1.5 billion building, based on the Utah National Guard’s Camp Williams straddling Utah and Salt Lake counties, will be the NSA’s largest computing center in the world with about 1 million square feet of space, a tenth of that taken up by computer servers.

But the Utah center opens amid a firestorm over the NSA’s data collection after news reports, mainly in The Guardian and The Washington Post, revealed classified documents showing the agency is collecting data about Americans’ domestic phone calls and is able to tap into social-media platforms in its searches.

Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee and has been critical of the NSA’s methods, said this week that he plans in the next few days to sketch out what authority the agency is using to justify its collection of domestic intelligence and that hearings will be held.

“There is no question there is going to be increased scrutiny of these kinds of practices,” Wyden said, “because Americans understand this is a dangerous time, but the government, if it’s going to collect [this information], ought to have to say here’s how it contributes to security of the American people. They have not made that case.”

A week before former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began leaking classified information on the agency’s previously secret activities, Deputy Director John Inglis said that the Utah Data Center should be welcomed to the state because it plays such a critical role in protecting national security. Folks who live in its shadows or see it while driving on Interstate 15 or Redwood Road shouldn’t fret, he said.

 

“They shouldn’t be worried because, A, we’re Americans,” Inglis said. “We understand what the principles are that govern the nation; [and] B, we take an oath to the Constitution, and we take that very seriously.”

Inglis added that the agency tells its employees it’s “not just important that we do something … it’s important that we do it the right way. We have to do it in a principled manner.”

Some Utah politicians have been invited to tour the facility and were there for a ceremony earlier this year to mark the multiyear project’s completion. The event was closed to reporters and some local officials.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5706

Ohio State Gets Armored Fighting Vehicle: “Specifically Designed for Asymmetric Warfare”

If we’re not living in a militarized police state, then please explain what Ohio State University could possibly need with one of these.

The Ohio State University Department of Public Safety has acquired an armored military vehicle that looks like it belongs in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Gary Lewis, a senior director of media relations at OSU, told The Daily Caller via email that the “unique, special-purpose vehicle is a replacement” for the “police fleet.” He called the armored jalopy “an all-hazard, all-purpose, public safety-response vehicle” with “obviously enhanced capabilities.”

He noted that the vehicle was “acquired at no cost from Military Surplus.” He also bragged that it has “extremely low miles and is in nearly new condition” but elaborated no further concerning the acquisition.

“We are in the process of making it usable for our needs in an urban campus environment,” Lewis explained. “Specifically we are removing the top turret and repainting.”

The vehicle looks like an MRAP, which is the general name for an armored fighting vehicle designed to survive ambushes and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks. Lewis mentioned nothing about IEDs or ambushes in his email to TheDC.

Instead, the school envisions a number of uses for the vehicle including “officer rescue,” “hostage scenarios,” “bomb evaluation” and active killers loose on campus.

The vehicle also boasts a “sniper perch” and it is ideal “for crew protection under threat of explosives and small arms fire.”

Source: Daily Caller

According to the military, the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicle isspecifically designed for asymmetric warfare.

So let’s get this straight.

University students and teachers are forbidden from bringing a licensed handgun onto school property for personal protection in case of a hostage situation or active killer being loose, but it makes complete sense, because of the terroristic threats we face, to put a military fighting vehicle on campus?

Perhaps it’s yet another desensitization effort in the grand control grid. Our kids should get used to heavily armed vehicles and police, as they will soon be seeing them throughout communities all over America.

osu

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5688