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Published on Jan 21, 2016In this video Luke Rudkowski breaks down the latest news and developments with the low price of oil, how it happened and most importantly why it happened. We mention how elites like the Rockefeller and Rothschild family along w…


Published on Jan 21, 2016
In this video Luke Rudkowski breaks down the latest news and developments with the low price of oil, how it happened and most importantly why it happened. We mention how elites like the Rockefeller and Rothschild family along with the fight for the U.S dollar holding world reserve currency status has affected the price of oil.

Zionism

 Treatment of Jews in the Arab World

“Arabs cannot possibly be anti-Semitic as they are themselves Semites.”
“Modern Arab nations are only anti-Israel and have never been anti-Jewish.”
“Jews who lived in Islamic countries were well-treated by the Arabs.”
“As ‘People of the Book,’ Jews and Christians are protected under Islamic law.”
The Situation Today

MYTH

“Arabs cannot be anti-Semitic as they are themselves Semites.”
FACT
The term “anti-Semite” was coined in Germany in 1879 by Wilhelm Marr to refer to the anti-Jewish manifestations of the period and to give Jew-hatred a more scientific sounding name.1 “Anti-Semitism” has been accepted and understood to mean hatred of the Jewish people. Dictionaries define the term as: “Theory, action, or practice directed against the Jews” and “Hostility towards Jews as a religious or racial minority group, often accompanied by social, economic and political discrimination.”2
The claim that Arabs as “Semites” cannot possibly be anti-Semitic is a semantic distortion that ignores the reality of Arab discrimination and hostility toward Jews. Arabs, like any other people, can indeed be anti-Semitic.
“The Arab world is the last bastion of unbridled, unashamed, unhidden and unbelievable anti-Semitism. Hitlerian myths get published in the popular press as incontrovertible truths. The Holocaust either gets minimized or denied….How the Arab world will ever come to terms with Israel when Israelis are portrayed as the devil incarnate is hard to figure out.”
— Columnist Richard Cohen3

MYTH
“Modern Arab nations are only anti-Israel and have never been anti-Jewish.”

FACT

Arab leaders have repeatedly made clear their animosity toward Jews and Judaism. For example, on November 23, 1937, Saudi Arabia’s King Ibn Saud told British Colonel H.R.P. Dickson: “Our hatred for the Jews dates from God’s condemnation of them for their persecution and rejection of Isa (Jesus) and their subsequent rejection of His chosen Prophet.” He added “that for a Muslim to kill a Jew, or for him to be killed by a Jew ensures him an immediate entry into Heaven and into the august presence of God Almighty.”4
When Hitler introduced the Nuremberg racial laws in 1935, he received telegrams of congratulation from all corners of the Arab world.5Later, during the war, one of his most ardent supporters was the Mufti of Jerusalem.
Jews were never permitted to live in Jordan. Civil Law No. 6, which governed the Jordanian-occupied West Bank, states explicitly: “Any man will be a Jordanian subject if he is not Jewish.”6
After the Six-Day War in 1967, the Israelis found public school textbooks that had been used to educate Arab children in the West Bank. They were replete with racist and hateful portrayals of Jews.7
According to a study of Syrian textbooks, “the Syrian educational system expands hatred of Israel and Zionism to anti-Semitism directed at all Jews. That anti-Semitism evokes ancient Islamic motifs to describe the unchangeable and treacherous nature of the Jews. Its inevitable conclusion is that all Jews must be annihilated.”8
An Arabic translation of Adolf Hitlers Mein Kampf was distributed in East Jerusalem and the territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and became a bestseller.The official website of the Palestinian State Information Service also published an Arabic translation of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”9
Arab officials have also resorted to blood libels.
King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, for example, said that Jews “have a certain day on which they mix the blood of non-Jews into their bread and eat it. It happened that two years ago, while I was in Paris on a visit, that the police discovered five murdered children. Their blood had been drained, and it turned out that some Jews had murdered them in order to take their blood and mix it with the bread that they eat on this day.”10
On November 11, 1999, during a Gaza appearance with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Suha Arafat, wife of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat stated: “Our people have been subjected to the daily and extensive use of poisonous gas by the Israeli forces, which has led to an increase in cancer cases among women and children.” Other specious allegations have been made by other Palestinian officials, such as the claims that Israel dumped toxic waste in the West Bank, marketed carcinogenic juice to Palestinians, released wild pigs to destroy crops in the West Bank, infected Palestinians with the AIDS virus, dropped poison candy for children in Gaza from airplanes, and used a “radial spy machine” at checkpoints that killed a Palestinian woman.11
The Arab/Muslim press, which is almost exclusively controlled by the governments in each Middle Eastern nation, regularly publish anti-Semitic articles and cartoons. Today, it remains common to find anti-Semitic publications in Egypt. For example,the establishment Al-Ahram newspaper published an article giving the “historical” background of the blood libel tradition while accusing Israel of using the blood of Palestinian children to bake matzos up to the present time.12
Cartoon, Egyptian daily Al-Ahram (May 23, 1998)
Anti-Semitic articles also regularly appear in the press in Jordan and Syria. Many of the attacks deal with denial of the Holocaust, its “exploitation” by Zionism, and a comparison of Zionism and Israel to Nazism. To its credit, the Jordanian government canceled the broadcast of an anti-Semitic television series base on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.13
In November 2001, a satirical skit aired on the second most popular television station in the Arab world, which depicted a character meant to be Ariel Sharon drinking the blood of Arab children as a grotesque-looking Orthodox Jew looked on. Abu Dhabi Television also aired a skit in which Dracula appears to take a bite out of Sharon, but dies because Sharon’s blood is polluted. Protests that these shows were anti-Semitic were ignored by the network.14
The Palestinian Authoritys media have also contained inflammatory and anti-Semitic material. A Friday sermon in the Zayed bin Sultan Aal Nahyan mosque in Gaza calling for the murder of Jews and Americans was broadcast live on the official Palestinian Authority television:
Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them. Wherever you are, kill those Jews and those Americans who are like them and those who stand by them they are all in one trench, against the Arabs and the Muslims because they established Israel here, in the beating heart of the Arab world, in Palestine….15
Even Palestinian crossword puzzles are used to delegitimize Israel and attack Jews, providing clues, for example, suggesting the Jewish trait is “treachery.”16
“Syrian President Bashar Assad on Saturday [May 5] offered a vivid, if vile, demonstration of why he and his government are unworthy of respect or good relations with the United States or any other democratic country. Greeting Pope John Paul II in Damascus, Mr. Assad launched an attack on Jews that may rank as the most ignorant and crude speech delivered before the pope in his two decades of travel around the world. Comparing the suffering of the Palestinians to that of Jesus Christ, Mr. Assad said that the Jews ‘tried to kill the principles of all religions with the same mentality in which they betrayed Jesus Christ and the same way they tried to betray and kill the Prophet Muhammad.’ With that libel, the Syrian president stained both his country and the pope….”
Washington Post editorial, (May 8, 2001)
MYTH
“Jews who lived in Islamic countries were well-treated by the Arabs.”
FACT
While Jewish communities in Islamic countries fared better overall than those in Christian lands in Europe, Jews were no strangers to persecution and humiliation among the Arabs. As Princeton University historian Bernard Lewis has written: “The Golden Age of equal rights was a myth, and belief in it was a result, more than a cause, of Jewish sympathy for Islam.”17
Muhammad, the founder of Islam, traveled to Medina in 622 A.D. to attract followers to his new faith. When the Jews of Medina refused to recognize Muhammad as their Prophet, two of the major Jewish tribes were expelled. In 627, Muhammad’s followers killed between 600 and 900 of the men, and divided the surviving Jewish women and children amongst themselves.18
The Muslim attitude toward Jews is reflected in various verses throughout the Koran, the holy book of the Islamic faith. “They [the Children of Israel] were consigned to humiliation and wretchedness. They brought the wrath of God upon themselves, and this because they used to deny God’s signs and kill His Prophets unjustly and because they disobeyed and were transgressors” (Sura 2:61). According to the Koran, the Jews try to introduce corruption (5:64), have always been disobedient (5:78), and are enemies of Allah, the Prophet and the angels (2:97-98).
Jews were generally viewed with contempt by their Muslim neighbors; peaceful coexistence between the two groups involved the subordination and degradation of the Jews. In the ninth century, Baghdad’s Caliph al-Mutawakkil designated a yellow badge for Jews, setting a precedent that would be followed centuries later in Nazi Germany.19
At various times, Jews in Muslim lands lived in relative peace and thrived culturally and economically. The position of the Jews was never secure, however, and changes in the political or social climate would often lead to persecution, violence and death.
When Jews were perceived as having achieved too comfortable a position in Islamic society, anti-Semitism would surface, often with devastating results. On December 30, 1066, Joseph HaNagid, the Jewish vizier of Granada, Spain, was crucified by an Arab mob that proceeded to raze the Jewish quarter of the city and slaughter its 5,000 inhabitants. The riot was incited by Muslim preachers who had angrily objected to what they saw as inordinate Jewish political power.
Similarly, in 1465, Arab mobs in Fez slaughtered thousands of Jews, leaving only 11 alive, after a Jewish deputy vizier treated a Muslim woman in “an offensive manner.” The killings touched off a wave of similar massacres throughout Morocco.20
Other mass murders of Jews in Arab lands occurred in Morocco in the 8th century, where whole communities were wiped out by the Muslim ruler Idris I; North Africa in the 12th century, where the Almohads either forcibly converted or decimated several communities; Libya in 1785, where Ali Burzi Pasha murdered hundreds of Jews; Algiers, where Jews were massacred in 1805, 1815 and 1830; and Marrakesh, Morocco, where more than 300 Jews were murdered between 1864 and 1880.21
Decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues were enacted in Egypt and Syria (1014, 1293-4, 1301-2), Iraq (854­-859, 1344) and Yemen (1676). Despite the Koran’s prohibition, Jews were forced to convert to Islam or face death in Yemen (1165 and 1678), Morocco (1275, 1465 and 1790-92) and Baghdad (1333 and 1344).22
The situation of Jews in Arab lands reached a low point in the 19th century. Jews in most of North Africa (including Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Morocco) were forced to live in ghettos. In Morocco, which contained the largest Jewish community in the Islamic Diaspora, Jews were made to walk barefoot or wear shoes of straw when outside the ghetto. Even Muslim children participated in the degradation of Jews, by throwing stones at them or harassing them in other ways. The frequency of anti-Jewish violence increased, and many Jews were executed on charges of apostasy. Ritual murder accusations against the Jews became commonplace in the Ottoman Empire.23
As distinguished Orientalist G.E. von Grunebaum has written:
It would not be difficult to put together the names of a very sizeable number Jewish subjects or citizens of the Islamic area who have attained to high rank, to power, to great financial influence, to significant and recognized intellectual attainment; and the same could be done for Christians. But it would again not be difficult to compile a lengthy list of persecutions, arbitrary confiscations, attempted forced conversions, or pogroms.24
The danger for Jews became even greater as a showdown approached in the UN. The Syrian delegate, Faris el-Khouri, warned: “Unless the Palestine problem is settled, we shall have difficulty in protecting and safeguarding the Jews in the Arab world.”25
More than a thousand Jews were killed in anti-Jewish rioting during the 1940’s in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Yemen.26 This helped trigger the mass exodus of Jews from Arab countries.
MYTH
“As ‘People of the Book,’ Jews and Christians are protected under Islamic law.”
FACT
This argument is rooted in the traditional concept of the “dhimma” (“writ of protection”), which was extended by Muslim conquerors to Christians and Jews in exchange for their subordination to the Muslims. Yet, as French authority Jacques Ellul has observed: “One must ask:‘protected against whom?’ When this ‘stranger’ lives in Islamic countries, the answer can only be: against the Muslims themselves.”27
Peoples subjected to Muslim rule usually had a choice between death and conversion, but Jews and Christians, who adhered to the Scriptures, were usually allowed, as dhimmis, to practice their faith. This “protection” did little, however, to insure that Jews and Christians were treated well by the Muslims. On the contrary, an integral aspect of the dhimma was that, being an infidel, he had to acknowledge openly the superiority of the true believer — the Muslim.
In the early years of the Islamic conquest, the “tribute” (or jizya), paid as a yearly poll tax, symbolized the subordination of the dhimmi.28
Later, the inferior status of Jews and Christians was reinforced through a series of regulations that governed the behavior of the dhimmi. Dhimmis, on pain of death, were forbidden to mock or criticize the Koran, Islam or Muhammad, to proselytize among Muslims, or to touch a Muslim woman (though a Muslim man could take a non-Muslim as a wife).
Dhimmis were excluded from public office and armed service, and were forbidden to bear arms. They were not allowed to ride horses or camels, to build synagogues or churches taller than mosques, to construct houses higher than those of Muslims or to drink wine in public. They were forced to wear distinctive clothing and were not allowed to pray or mourn in loud voices — as that might offend Muslims. The dhimmi also had to show public deference toward Muslims; for example, always yielding them the center of the road. The dhimmi was not allowed to give evidence in court against a Muslim, and his oath was unacceptable in an Islamic court. To defend himself, the dhimmi would have to purchase Muslim witnesses at great expense. This left the dhimmi with little legal recourse when harmed by a Muslim.29
By the twentieth century, the status of the dhimmi in Muslim lands had not significantly improved. H.E.W. Young, British Vice Consul in Mosul, wrote in 1909:
The attitude of the Muslims toward the Christians and the Jews is that of a master towards slaves, whom he treats with a certain lordly tolerance so long as they keep their place. Any sign of pretension to equality is promptly repressed.30

The Situation of Jews in Arab/Muslim Countries Today


Sources:
1Vamberto Morais, A Short History of Anti-Semitism, (NY: W.W Norton and Co., 1976), p. 11; Bernard Lewis, Semites & Anti-Semites, (NY: WW Norton &Co., 1986), p. 81.
2Oxford English Dictionary; Webster’s Third International Dictionary.
3Washington Post, (October 30, 2001).
4Official British document, Foreign Office File No. 371/20822 E 7201/22/31; Elie Kedourie, Islam in the Modern World, (London: Mansell, 1980), pp. 69-72.
5Howard Sachar, A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), p. 196.
6Jordanian Nationality Law, Official Gazette, No. 1171, Article 3(3) of Law No. 6, 1954, (February 16, 1954), p. 105.
7Modern World History, Jordanian Ministry of Education, 1966, p. 150.
8Meyrav Wurmser, The Schools of Ba’athism: A Study of Syrian Schoolbooks, (Washington, D.C.: Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI), 2000), p. xiii.
9Aaron Klein, “Official PA site publishes ‘Protocols’ in Arabic,” WorldNetDaily, (May 21, 2005).
10Al-Mussawar, (August 4, 1972).
11Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI); Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, (May 15, 1997); Jerusalem Post, (May 23, 2001); Palestine News Agency WAFA, (April 28, 2005).
12Al-Ahram,(October 28, 2000).
13Anti-Semitic TV Series Cancelled by Jordan,” History News Network, (October 27, 2005).
14Jerusalem Post,(November 19, 2001).
15Palestinian Authority television, (October 14, 2000).
16Palestinian Media Watch, (March 15, 2000).
17Bernard Lewis, “The Pro-Islamic Jews,” Judaism, (Fall 1968), p. 401.
18Bat Ye’or,The Dhimmi, (NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1985), pp. 43-44.
19Bat Ye’or, pp. 185-86, 191, 194.
20Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands, (PA: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1979), p. 84; Maurice Roumani, The Case of the Jews from Arab Countries: A Neglected Issue, (Tel Aviv: World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries, 1977), pp. 26-27; Bat Ye’or, p. 72; Bernard Lewis, The Jews of Islam, (NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984) p. 158.
21Stillman, pp. 59, 284.
22Roumani, pp. 26-27.
23G.E. Von Grunebaum, “Eastern Jewry Under Islam,” Viator, (1971), p. 369.
24New York Times, February 19, 1947).
25Roumani, pp. 30-31; Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times, (NY: Jewish Publication Society, 1991), pp. 119-122.
26Bat Ye’or, p. 61.
27Bat Ye’or, p. 30
28Louis Gardet, La Cite Musulmane: Vie sociale et politique, (Paris: Etudes musulmanes,1954), p. 348.
29Bat Ye’or, pp. 56-57.
30Middle Eastern Studies, (1971), p. 232.


As posted on Speedy Media blogspot
The vast majority of Leftists attitude toward Israel, particularly in the United Kingdom, have decided to trade in their civil liberties for the munificent benediction of those who would not think twice about destroying a secular democracy.
For example:

  • Why is it that many Muslim nations have legislated ‘Jew/Christian free’ land space (e.g.: Jordan), but Christians and Jews have no such right? Jews are not even allowed to be citizens in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Jews and Christians cannot live in Mecca or even enter it as tourists. It seems that Muslim entitlement to live free from infidels is unquestioned, but any intimation of the reverse is met with ardent accusations of ‘racism’.
  • Why is it that the 23 Muslim countries in the Middle East, that have 600 times the land of tiny Israel, demand that the Israelis give up parts of their infinitesimally small land space? The holy land was virtually absent in population prior to the 1880s. Arabs who call themselves ‘Palestinians’ hail from persons who lived in Egypt, ‘Trans-Jordan,’ Lebanon, and Syria 150 years ago. Such was the irony seen in PLO leader, Yassir Arafat. Muslim Arabs already “OCCUPY” 600 times the amount of land that tiny Israel does, so why deprive the Jews of this 1/600 fraction of land space?
  • Why is it that Jewish Settlers can’t live in parts of Israel, but Arabs can live anywhere in Israel, often living on Jewish owned land? The Israeli gov’t tosses Jews off of Arab land, but does not do the same to Arabs because of media hypersensitivity to Arabs.
  • Statistics from Arab sources about decimated Jewish populations in the M.E.:

Exodus from Arab Muslim countries:

Country 1948 vs 2011

Algeria (1948) 140,0000 – (2011) 0
Bahrain (1948) 550-600 – (20011) 37
Egypt (1948) 80,000 – (20011) 100 or less
Iraq (1948) 140,000 – (2011) 11
Lebanon (1948) 20,000 – (2011) 0
Libya (1948) 38,000 – (2011) 0
Morocco (1948) 300,000 – (2011) 3,000 or less
Syria (1948) 40,000 – (2011) 100 or less
Tunisia (1948) 105,000 – (2011) 500 or less
Yemen (1948) 80,000 – (2011) 350 or less
Jordan (1948) 10,000 – (2011) 0
Sudan (1948) 350 – (2011) 0
Total (1948) 953,950 (2011) 4,098 or less

Ma’abarot transit camp, 1950

Exodus from non-Arab Muslim countries:
Country 1948 vs 2011
Afghanistan (1948) 5,000 – (2011) 1
Iran (1948) 210, 000 – (2011) 35, 000 0r less
Kurdistan (1948) 120, 000 – (2011) 100 or less
Pakistan (1948) 2,500 – (2011) 100 or less
Turkey (1948) 115, 000 – (2011) 2,500
Total (1948) 452, 500 – (2011) 37, 701

Beit Lid’s Maabara 1950

Looking at these statistics, I think that Arab/Muslims definitely need more living space–NOT
After getting rid of the Jews in Arab/Muslim countries, I would like to say a word to my Christian friends: try paying a little bit of attention to how Christians are being massacred in tens of Muslim countries, the latest being Pakistan and Egypt where women and children are terrorized for going to Church!
Not to mention over than 2,000,000 (two millions) Christians already murdered in Indonesia.
The Islamic idea is: convert to Islam OR die!!!


Published on Oct 17, 2013
Some say Israel should withdraw its military from the Jordan Valley and rely on international forces for its security. Most Israelis oppose the idea. Our new video explains why.


Published on Jun 18, 2013

Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou examines how archaeological discoveries are changing the way people interpret stories from the Bible. Stavrakopoulou visits key archaeological excavations where ground-breaking finds are being unearthed, and examines evidence for and against the Biblical account of King David.

Was the God of Abraham unique? Were the ancient Israelites polytheists? And is it all possible that God had another half? Marshalling compelling evidence from archaeology, Islam and the Bible text itself, she identifies and visits the exact site of Eden.

Did God Have a Wife?
Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou asks whether the ancient Israelites believed in one God as the Bible claims.

She puts the Bible text under the microscope, examining what the original Hebrew said, and explores archaeological sites in Syria and the Sinai which are shedding new light on the beliefs of the people of the Bible.

Was the God of Abraham unique? Were the ancient Israelites polytheists? And is it at all possible that God had another half?

THE GIST

– God, also known as Yahweh, had a wife named Asherah, according to a British theologian.

– Amulets, figurines, inscriptions and ancient texts, including the Bible, reveal Asherah’s once prominent standing.

God had a wife, Asherah, whom the Book of Kings suggests was worshiped alongside Yahweh in his temple in Israel, according to an Oxford scholar.

In 1967, Raphael Patai was the first historian to mention that the ancient Israelites worshiped both Yahweh and Asherah. The theory has gained new prominence due to the research of Francesca Stavrakopoulou, who began her work at Oxford and is now a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter.

Information presented in Stavrakopoulou’s books, lectures and journal papers has become the basis of a three-part documentary series, now airing in Europe, where she discusses the Yahweh-Asherah connection.

“You might know him as Yahweh, Allah or God. But on this fact, Jews, Muslims and Christians, the people of the great Abrahamic religions, are agreed: There is only one of Him,” writes Stavrakopoulou in a statement released to the British media. “He is a solitary figure, a single, universal creator, not one God among many … or so we like to believe.”


Despite being regarded in Judaism as the primary factual historical narrative of the origin of the religion, culture and ethnicity, Exodus is now accepted by scholars as having been compiled in the 8th–7th centuries BCE from stories dating possibly as far back as the 13th century BCE, with further polishing in the 6th–5th centuries BCE, as a theological and political manifesto to unite the Israelites in the then‐current battle for territory against Egypt.[2]

Archaeologists from the 19th century onward were actually surprised not to find any evidence whatsoever for the events of Exodus. By the 1970s, archaeologists had largely given up regarding the Bible as any use at all as a field guide.

The archaeological evidence of local Canaan, rather than Egyptian, origins of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel is “overwhelming,” and leaves “no room for an Exodus from Egypt or a 40‐year pilgrimage through the Sinai wilderness.”[3] The culture of the earliest Israelite settlements is Canaanite, their cult objects are of the Canaanite god El, the pottery is in the local Canaanite tradition, and the alphabet is early Canaanite. Almost the sole marker distinguishing Israelite villages from Canaanite sites is an absence of pig bones.

It is considered possible that those Canaanites who started regarding themselves as the Israelites were joined or led by a small group of Semites from Egypt, possibly the Hyksos poeple, possibly carrying stories that made it into Exodus. As the tribe expanded, they may have begun to clash with neighbors, perhaps sparking the tales of conflict in Joshua and Judges.

William Dever, an archaeologist normally associated with the more conservative end of Syro-Palestinian archaeology, has labeled the question of the historicity of Exodus “dead.” Israeli archaeologist Ze’ev Herzog provides the current consensus view on the historicity of the Exodus: “The Israelites never were in Egypt. They never came from abroad. This whole chain is broken. It is not a historical one. It is a later legendary reconstruction—made in the seventh century [BCE]—of a history that never happened.”[4]


Top Israeli scientist says Ashkenazi Jews came from Khazaria, not Palestine

Posted on May 8, 2013 by Montecristo

An Israeli geneticist challenges the “Zionist” hypothesis that all Jews belong to one race and are intimately related, thus giving them a common ancestor in the Holy Land and a Biblical claim to Palestine. 

Scientists usually don’t call each other “liars” and “frauds.” But that’s how Johns Hopkins University post-doctoral researcher Eran Elhaik describes a group of widely respected geneticists, including Harry Ostrer, professor of pathology and genetics at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and author of the 2012 book “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People.”

For years now, the findings of Ostrer and several other scientists have stood virtually unchallenged on the genetics of Jews and the story they tell of the common Middle East origins shared by many Jewish populations worldwide. Jews — and Ashkenazim in particular — are indeed one people, Ostrer’s research finds. It’s a theory that more or less affirms the understanding that many Jews themselves hold of who they are in the world: a people who, though scattered, share an ethnic-racial bond rooted in their common ancestral descent from the indigenous Jews of ancient Judea or Palestine, as the Romans called it after they conquered the Jewish homeland. But now, Elhaik, an Israeli molecular geneticist, has published research that he says debunks this claim. And that has set off a predictable clash.
“He’s just wrong,” said Marcus Feldman of Stanford University, a leading researcher in Jewish genetics, referring to Elhaik. The sometimes strong emotions generated by this scientific dispute stem from a politically loaded question that scientists and others have pondered for decades: Where in the world did Ashkenazi Jews come from?
________________________________________________________________

The debate touches upon such sensitive issues as whether the Jewish people is a race or a religion, and whether Jews or Palestinians are descended from the original inhabitants of what is now the State of Israel.

________________________________________________________________
Ostrer’s theory is sometimes marshaled to lend the authority of science to the Zionist narrative, which views the migration of modern-day Jews to what is now Israel, and their rule over that land, as a simple act of repossession by the descendants of the land’s original residents. Ostrer declined to be interviewed for this story. But in his writings, Ostrer points out the dangers of such reductionism; some of the same genetic markers common among Jews, he finds, can be found in Palestinians, as well.
By using sophisticated molecular tools, Feldman, Ostrer and most other scientists in the field have found that Jews are genetically homogeneous. No matter where they live, these scientists say, Jews are genetically more similar to each other than to their non-Jewish neighbors, and they have a shared Middle Eastern ancestry.
The geneticists’ research backs up what is known as the Rhineland Hypothesis. According to the hypothesis, Ashkenazi Jews descended from Jews who fled Palestine after the Muslim conquest in the seventh century and settled in Southern Europe. In the late Middle Ages they moved into eastern Europe from Germany, or the Rhineland.
“Nonsense,” said Elhaik, a 33-year-old Israeli Jew from Beersheba who earned a doctorate in molecular evolution from the University of Houston. The son of an Italian man and Iranian woman who met in Israel, Elhaik, a dark-haired, compact man, sat down recently for an interview in his bare, narrow cubicle of an office at Hopkins, where he’s worked for four years.
In “The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses,” published in December in the online journal Genome Biology and Evolution, Elhaik says he has proved that Ashkenazi Jews’ roots lie in the Caucasus — a region at the border of Europe and Asia that lies between the Black and Caspian seas — not in the Middle East. They are descendants, he argues, of the Khazars, a Turkic people who lived in one of the largest medieval states in Eurasia and then migrated to Eastern Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries. Ashkenazi genes, Elhaik added, are far more heterogeneous than Ostrer and other proponents of the Rhineland Hypothesis believe. Elhaik did find a Middle Eastern genetic marker in DNA from Jews, but, he says, it could be from Iran, not ancient Judea.
Elhaik writes that the Khazars converted to Judaism in the eighth century, although many historians believe that only royalty and some members of the aristocracy converted. But widespread conversion by the Khazars is the only way to explain the ballooning of the European Jewish population to 8 million at the beginning of the 20th century from its tiny base in the Middle Ages, Elhaik says.
Elhaik bases his conclusion on an analysis of genetic data published by a team of researchers led by Doron Behar, a population geneticist and senior physician at Israel’s Rambam Medical Center, in Haifa. Using the same data, Behar’s team published in 2010 a paper concluding that most contemporary Jews around the world and some non-Jewish populations from the Levant, or Eastern Mediterranean, are closely related.
Elhaik used some of the same statistical tests as Behar and others, but he chose different comparisons. Elhaik compared “genetic signatures” found in Jewish populations with those of modern-day Armenians and Georgians, which he uses as a stand-in for the long-extinct Khazarians because they live in the same area as the medieval state.
“It&a

 Treatment of Jews in the Arab World

“Arabs cannot possibly be anti-Semitic as they are themselves Semites.”
“Modern Arab nations are only anti-Israel and have never been anti-Jewish.”
“Jews who lived in Islamic countries were well-treated by the Arabs.”
“As ‘People of the Book,’ Jews and Christians are protected under Islamic law.”
The Situation Today

MYTH

“Arabs cannot be anti-Semitic as they are themselves Semites.”
FACT
The term “anti-Semite” was coined in Germany in 1879 by Wilhelm Marr to refer to the anti-Jewish manifestations of the period and to give Jew-hatred a more scientific sounding name.1 “Anti-Semitism” has been accepted and understood to mean hatred of the Jewish people. Dictionaries define the term as: “Theory, action, or practice directed against the Jews” and “Hostility towards Jews as a religious or racial minority group, often accompanied by social, economic and political discrimination.”2
The claim that Arabs as “Semites” cannot possibly be anti-Semitic is a semantic distortion that ignores the reality of Arab discrimination and hostility toward Jews. Arabs, like any other people, can indeed be anti-Semitic.
“The Arab world is the last bastion of unbridled, unashamed, unhidden and unbelievable anti-Semitism. Hitlerian myths get published in the popular press as incontrovertible truths. The Holocaust either gets minimized or denied….How the Arab world will ever come to terms with Israel when Israelis are portrayed as the devil incarnate is hard to figure out.”
— Columnist Richard Cohen3

MYTH
“Modern Arab nations are only anti-Israel and have never been anti-Jewish.”

FACT

Arab leaders have repeatedly made clear their animosity toward Jews and Judaism. For example, on November 23, 1937, Saudi Arabia’s King Ibn Saud told British Colonel H.R.P. Dickson: “Our hatred for the Jews dates from God’s condemnation of them for their persecution and rejection of Isa (Jesus) and their subsequent rejection of His chosen Prophet.” He added “that for a Muslim to kill a Jew, or for him to be killed by a Jew ensures him an immediate entry into Heaven and into the august presence of God Almighty.”4
When Hitler introduced the Nuremberg racial laws in 1935, he received telegrams of congratulation from all corners of the Arab world.5Later, during the war, one of his most ardent supporters was the Mufti of Jerusalem.
Jews were never permitted to live in Jordan. Civil Law No. 6, which governed the Jordanian-occupied West Bank, states explicitly: “Any man will be a Jordanian subject if he is not Jewish.”6
After the Six-Day War in 1967, the Israelis found public school textbooks that had been used to educate Arab children in the West Bank. They were replete with racist and hateful portrayals of Jews.7
According to a study of Syrian textbooks, “the Syrian educational system expands hatred of Israel and Zionism to anti-Semitism directed at all Jews. That anti-Semitism evokes ancient Islamic motifs to describe the unchangeable and treacherous nature of the Jews. Its inevitable conclusion is that all Jews must be annihilated.”8
An Arabic translation of Adolf Hitlers Mein Kampf was distributed in East Jerusalem and the territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and became a bestseller. The official website of the Palestinian State Information Service also published an Arabic translation of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”9
Arab officials have also resorted to blood libels.
King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, for example, said that Jews “have a certain day on which they mix the blood of non-Jews into their bread and eat it. It happened that two years ago, while I was in Paris on a visit, that the police discovered five murdered children. Their blood had been drained, and it turned out that some Jews had murdered them in order to take their blood and mix it with the bread that they eat on this day.”10
On November 11, 1999, during a Gaza appearance with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Suha Arafat, wife of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat stated: “Our people have been subjected to the daily and extensive use of poisonous gas by the Israeli forces, which has led to an increase in cancer cases among women and children.” Other specious allegations have been made by other Palestinian officials, such as the claims that Israel dumped toxic waste in the West Bank, marketed carcinogenic juice to Palestinians, released wild pigs to destroy crops in the West Bank, infected Palestinians with the AIDS virus, dropped poison candy for children in Gaza from airplanes, and used a “radial spy machine” at checkpoints that killed a Palestinian woman.11
The Arab/Muslim press, which is almost exclusively controlled by the governments in each Middle Eastern nation, regularly publish anti-Semitic articles and cartoons. Today, it remains common to find anti-Semitic publications in Egypt. For example,the establishment Al-Ahram newspaper published an article giving the “historical” background of the blood libel tradition while accusing Israel of using the blood of Palestinian children to bake matzos up to the present time.12
Cartoon, Egyptian daily Al-Ahram (May 23, 1998)
Anti-Semitic articles also regularly appear in the press in Jordan and Syria. Many of the attacks deal with denial of the Holocaust, its “exploitation” by Zionism, and a comparison of Zionism and Israel to Nazism. To its credit, the Jordanian government canceled the broadcast of an anti-Semitic television series base on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.13
In November 2001, a satirical skit aired on the second most popular television station in the Arab world, which depicted a character meant to be Ariel Sharon drinking the blood of Arab children as a grotesque-looking Orthodox Jew looked on. Abu Dhabi Television also aired a skit in which Dracula appears to take a bite out of Sharon, but dies because Sharon’s blood is polluted. Protests that these shows were anti-Semitic were ignored by the network.14
The Palestinian Authoritys media have also contained inflammatory and anti-Semitic material. A Friday sermon in the Zayed bin Sultan Aal Nahyan mosque in Gaza calling for the murder of Jews and Americans was broadcast live on the official Palestinian Authority television:
Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them. Wherever you are, kill those Jews and those Americans who are like them and those who stand by them they are all in one trench, against the Arabs and the Muslims because they established Israel here, in the beating heart of the Arab world, in Palestine….15
Even Palestinian crossword puzzles are used to delegitimize Israel and attack Jews, providing clues, for example, suggesting the Jewish trait is “treachery.”16
“Syrian President Bashar Assad on Saturday [May 5] offered a vivid, if vile, demonstration of why he and his government are unworthy of respect or good relations with the United States or any other democratic country. Greeting Pope John Paul II in Damascus, Mr. Assad launched an attack on Jews that may rank as the most ignorant and crude speech delivered before the pope in his two decades of travel around the world. Comparing the suffering of the Palestinians to that of Jesus Christ, Mr. Assad said that the Jews ‘tried to kill the principles of all religions with the same mentality in which they betrayed Jesus Christ and the same way they tried to betray and kill the Prophet Muhammad.’ With that libel, the Syrian president stained both his country and the pope….”
Washington Post editorial, (May 8, 2001)
MYTH
“Jews who lived in Islamic countries were well-treated by the Arabs.”
FACT
While Jewish communities in Islamic countries fared better overall than those in Christian lands in Europe, Jews were no strangers to persecution and humiliation among the Arabs. As Princeton University historian Bernard Lewis has written: “The Golden Age of equal rights was a myth, and belief in it was a result, more than a cause, of Jewish sympathy for Islam.”17
Muhammad, the founder of Islam, traveled to Medina in 622 A.D. to attract followers to his new faith. When the Jews of Medina refused to recognize Muhammad as their Prophet, two of the major Jewish tribes were expelled. In 627, Muhammad’s followers killed between 600 and 900 of the men, and divided the surviving Jewish women and children amongst themselves.18
The Muslim attitude toward Jews is reflected in various verses throughout the Koran, the holy book of the Islamic faith. “They [the Children of Israel] were consigned to humiliation and wretchedness. They brought the wrath of God upon themselves, and this because they used to deny God’s signs and kill His Prophets unjustly and because they disobeyed and were transgressors” (Sura 2:61). According to the Koran, the Jews try to introduce corruption (5:64), have always been disobedient (5:78), and are enemies of Allah, the Prophet and the angels (2:97-98).
Jews were generally viewed with contempt by their Muslim neighbors; peaceful coexistence between the two groups involved the subordination and degradation of the Jews. In the ninth century, Baghdad’s Caliph al-Mutawakkil designated a yellow badge for Jews, setting a precedent that would be followed centuries later in Nazi Germany.19
At various times, Jews in Muslim lands lived in relative peace and thrived culturally and economically. The position of the Jews was never secure, however, and changes in the political or social climate would often lead to persecution, violence and death.
When Jews were perceived as having achieved too comfortable a position in Islamic society, anti-Semitism would surface, often with devastating results. On December 30, 1066, Joseph HaNagid, the Jewish vizier of Granada, Spain, was crucified by an Arab mob that proceeded to raze the Jewish quarter of the city and slaughter its 5,000 inhabitants. The riot was incited by Muslim preachers who had angrily objected to what they saw as inordinate Jewish political power.
Similarly, in 1465, Arab mobs in Fez slaughtered thousands of Jews, leaving only 11 alive, after a Jewish deputy vizier treated a Muslim woman in “an offensive manner.” The killings touched off a wave of similar massacres throughout Morocco.20
Other mass murders of Jews in Arab lands occurred in Morocco in the 8th century, where whole communities were wiped out by the Muslim ruler Idris I; North Africa in the 12th century, where the Almohads either forcibly converted or decimated several communities; Libya in 1785, where Ali Burzi Pasha murdered hundreds of Jews; Algiers, where Jews were massacred in 1805, 1815 and 1830; and Marrakesh, Morocco, where more than 300 Jews were murdered between 1864 and 1880.21
Decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues were enacted in Egypt and Syria (1014, 1293-4, 1301-2), Iraq (854­-859, 1344) and Yemen (1676). Despite the Koran’s prohibition, Jews were forced to convert to Islam or face death in Yemen (1165 and 1678), Morocco (1275, 1465 and 1790-92) and Baghdad (1333 and 1344).22
The situation of Jews in Arab lands reached a low point in the 19th century. Jews in most of North Africa (including Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Morocco) were forced to live in ghettos. In Morocco, which contained the largest Jewish community in the Islamic Diaspora, Jews were made to walk barefoot or wear shoes of straw when outside the ghetto. Even Muslim children participated in the degradation of Jews, by throwing stones at them or harassing them in other ways. The frequency of anti-Jewish violence increased, and many Jews were executed on charges of apostasy. Ritual murder accusations against the Jews became commonplace in the Ottoman Empire.23
As distinguished Orientalist G.E. von Grunebaum has written:
It would not be difficult to put together the names of a very sizeable number Jewish subjects or citizens of the Islamic area who have attained to high rank, to power, to great financial influence, to significant and recognized intellectual attainment; and the same could be done for Christians. But it would again not be difficult to compile a lengthy list of persecutions, arbitrary confiscations, attempted forced conversions, or pogroms.24
The danger for Jews became even greater as a showdown approached in the UN. The Syrian delegate, Faris el-Khouri, warned: “Unless the Palestine problem is settled, we shall have difficulty in protecting and safeguarding the Jews in the Arab world.”25
More than a thousand Jews were killed in anti-Jewish rioting during the 1940’s in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Yemen.26 This helped trigger the mass exodus of Jews from Arab countries.
MYTH
“As ‘People of the Book,’ Jews and Christians are protected under Islamic law.”
FACT
This argument is rooted in the traditional concept of the “dhimma” (“writ of protection”), which was extended by Muslim conquerors to Christians and Jews in exchange for their subordination to the Muslims. Yet, as French authority Jacques Ellul has observed: “One must ask:‘protected against whom?’ When this ‘stranger’ lives in Islamic countries, the answer can only be: against the Muslims themselves.”27
Peoples subjected to Muslim rule usually had a choice between death and conversion, but Jews and Christians, who adhered to the Scriptures, were usually allowed, as dhimmis, to practice their faith. This “protection” did little, however, to insure that Jews and Christians were treated well by the Muslims. On the contrary, an integral aspect of the dhimma was that, being an infidel, he had to acknowledge openly the superiority of the true believer — the Muslim.
In the early years of the Islamic conquest, the “tribute” (or jizya), paid as a yearly poll tax, symbolized the subordination of the dhimmi.28
Later, the inferior status of Jews and Christians was reinforced through a series of regulations that governed the behavior of the dhimmi. Dhimmis, on pain of death, were forbidden to mock or criticize the Koran, Islam or Muhammad, to proselytize among Muslims, or to touch a Muslim woman (though a Muslim man could take a non-Muslim as a wife).
Dhimmis were excluded from public office and armed service, and were forbidden to bear arms. They were not allowed to ride horses or camels, to build synagogues or churches taller than mosques, to construct houses higher than those of Muslims or to drink wine in public. They were forced to wear distinctive clothing and were not allowed to pray or mourn in loud voices — as that might offend Muslims. The dhimmi also had to show public deference toward Muslims; for example, always yielding them the center of the road. The dhimmi was not allowed to give evidence in court against a Muslim, and his oath was unacceptable in an Islamic court. To defend himself, the dhimmi would have to purchase Muslim witnesses at great expense. This left the dhimmi with little legal recourse when harmed by a Muslim.29
By the twentieth century, the status of the dhimmi in Muslim lands had not significantly improved. H.E.W. Young, British Vice Consul in Mosul, wrote in 1909:
The attitude of the Muslims toward the Christians and the Jews is that of a master towards slaves, whom he treats with a certain lordly tolerance so long as they keep their place. Any sign of pretension to equality is promptly repressed.30

The Situation of Jews in Arab/Muslim Countries Today


Sources:
1Vamberto Morais, A Short History of Anti-Semitism, (NY: W.W Norton and Co., 1976), p. 11; Bernard Lewis, Semites & Anti-Semites, (NY: WW Norton &Co., 1986), p. 81.
2Oxford English Dictionary; Webster’s Third International Dictionary.
3Washington Post, (October 30, 2001).
4Official British document, Foreign Office File No. 371/20822 E 7201/22/31; Elie Kedourie, Islam in the Modern World, (London: Mansell, 1980), pp. 69-72.
5Howard Sachar, A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), p. 196.
6Jordanian Nationality Law, Official Gazette, No. 1171, Article 3(3) of Law No. 6, 1954, (February 16, 1954), p. 105.
7Modern World History, Jordanian Ministry of Education, 1966, p. 150.
8Meyrav Wurmser, The Schools of Ba’athism: A Study of Syrian Schoolbooks, (Washington, D.C.: Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI), 2000), p. xiii.
9Aaron Klein, “Official PA site publishes ‘Protocols’ in Arabic,” WorldNetDaily, (May 21, 2005).
10Al-Mussawar, (August 4, 1972).
11Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI); Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, (May 15, 1997); Jerusalem Post, (May 23, 2001); Palestine News Agency WAFA, (April 28, 2005).
12Al-Ahram,(October 28, 2000).
13Anti-Semitic TV Series Cancelled by Jordan,” History News Network, (October 27, 2005).
14Jerusalem Post,(November 19, 2001).
15Palestinian Authority television, (October 14, 2000).
16Palestinian Media Watch, (March 15, 2000).
17Bernard Lewis, “The Pro-Islamic Jews,” Judaism, (Fall 1968), p. 401.
18Bat Ye’or,The Dhimmi, (NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1985), pp. 43-44.
19Bat Ye’or, pp. 185-86, 191, 194.
20Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands, (PA: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1979), p. 84; Maurice Roumani, The Case of the Jews from Arab Countries: A Neglected Issue, (Tel Aviv: World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries, 1977), pp. 26-27; Bat Ye’or, p. 72; Bernard Lewis, The Jews of Islam, (NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984) p. 158.
21Stillman, pp. 59, 284.
22Roumani, pp. 26-27.
23G.E. Von Grunebaum, “Eastern Jewry Under Islam,” Viator, (1971), p. 369.
24New York Times, February 19, 1947).
25Roumani, pp. 30-31; Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times, (NY: Jewish Publication Society, 1991), pp. 119-122.
26Bat Ye’or, p. 61.
27Bat Ye’or, p. 30
28Louis Gardet, La Cite Musulmane: Vie sociale et politique, (Paris: Etudes musulmanes,1954), p. 348.
29Bat Ye’or, pp. 56-57.
30Middle Eastern Studies, (1971), p. 232.


As posted on Speedy Media blogspot
The vast majority of Leftists attitude toward Israel, particularly in the United Kingdom, have decided to trade in their civil liberties for the munificent benediction of those who would not think twice about destroying a secular democracy.
For example:

  • Why is it that many Muslim nations have legislated ‘Jew/Christian free’ land space (e.g.: Jordan), but Christians and Jews have no such right? Jews are not even allowed to be citizens in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Jews and Christians cannot live in Mecca or even enter it as tourists. It seems that Muslim entitlement to live free from infidels is unquestioned, but any intimation of the reverse is met with ardent accusations of ‘racism’.
  • Why is it that the 23 Muslim countries in the Middle East, that have 600 times the land of tiny Israel, demand that the Israelis give up parts of their infinitesimally small land space? The holy land was virtually absent in population prior to the 1880s. Arabs who call themselves ‘Palestinians’ hail from persons who lived in Egypt, ‘Trans-Jordan,’ Lebanon, and Syria 150 years ago. Such was the irony seen in PLO leader, Yassir Arafat. Muslim Arabs already “OCCUPY” 600 times the amount of land that tiny Israel does, so why deprive the Jews of this 1/600 fraction of land space?
  • Why is it that Jewish Settlers can’t live in parts of Israel, but Arabs can live anywhere in Israel, often living on Jewish owned land? The Israeli gov’t tosses Jews off of Arab land, but does not do the same to Arabs because of media hypersensitivity to Arabs.
  • Statistics from Arab sources about decimated Jewish populations in the M.E.:

Exodus from Arab Muslim countries:

Country 1948 vs 2011

Algeria (1948) 140,0000 – (2011) 0
Bahrain (1948) 550-600 – (20011) 37
Egypt (1948) 80,000 – (20011) 100 or less
Iraq (1948) 140,000 – (2011) 11
Lebanon (1948) 20,000 – (2011) 0
Libya (1948) 38,000 – (2011) 0
Morocco (1948) 300,000 – (2011) 3,000 or less
Syria (1948) 40,000 – (2011) 100 or less
Tunisia (1948) 105,000 – (2011) 500 or less
Yemen (1948) 80,000 – (2011) 350 or less
Jordan (1948) 10,000 – (2011) 0
Sudan (1948) 350 – (2011) 0
Total (1948) 953,950 (2011) 4,098 or less

Ma’abarot transit camp, 1950

Exodus from non-Arab Muslim countries:
Country 1948 vs 2011
Afghanistan (1948) 5,000 – (2011) 1
Iran (1948) 210, 000 – (2011) 35, 000 0r less
Kurdistan (1948) 120, 000 – (2011) 100 or less
Pakistan (1948) 2,500 – (2011) 100 or less
Turkey (1948) 115, 000 – (2011) 2,500
Total (1948) 452, 500 – (2011) 37, 701

Beit Lid’s Maabara 1950

Looking at these statistics, I think that Arab/Muslims definitely need more living space–NOT
After getting rid of the Jews in Arab/Muslim countries, I would like to say a word to my Christian friends: try paying a little bit of attention to how Christians are being massacred in tens of Muslim countries, the latest being Pakistan and Egypt where women and children are terrorized for going to Church!
Not to mention over than 2,000,000 (two millions) Christians already murdered in Indonesia.
The Islamic idea is: convert to Islam OR die!!!


Published on Oct 17, 2013
Some say Israel should withdraw its military from the Jordan Valley and rely on international forces for its security. Most Israelis oppose the idea. Our new video explains why.


Published on Jun 18, 2013

Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou examines how archaeological discoveries are changing the way people interpret stories from the Bible. Stavrakopoulou visits key archaeological excavations where ground-breaking finds are being unearthed, and examines evidence for and against the Biblical account of King David.

Was the God of Abraham unique? Were the ancient Israelites polytheists? And is it all possible that God had another half? Marshalling compelling evidence from archaeology, Islam and the Bible text itself, she identifies and visits the exact site of Eden.

Did God Have a Wife?
Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou asks whether the ancient Israelites believed in one God as the Bible claims.

She puts the Bible text under the microscope, examining what the original Hebrew said, and explores archaeological sites in Syria and the Sinai which are shedding new light on the beliefs of the people of the Bible.

Was the God of Abraham unique? Were the ancient Israelites polytheists? And is it at all possible that God had another half?

THE GIST

– God, also known as Yahweh, had a wife named Asherah, according to a British theologian.

– Amulets, figurines, inscriptions and ancient texts, including the Bible, reveal Asherah’s once prominent standing.

God had a wife, Asherah, whom the Book of Kings suggests was worshiped alongside Yahweh in his temple in Israel, according to an Oxford scholar.

In 1967, Raphael Patai was the first historian to mention that the ancient Israelites worshiped both Yahweh and Asherah. The theory has gained new prominence due to the research of Francesca Stavrakopoulou, who began her work at Oxford and is now a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter.

Information presented in Stavrakopoulou’s books, lectures and journal papers has become the basis of a three-part documentary series, now airing in Europe, where she discusses the Yahweh-Asherah connection.

“You might know him as Yahweh, Allah or God. But on this fact, Jews, Muslims and Christians, the people of the great Abrahamic religions, are agreed: There is only one of Him,” writes Stavrakopoulou in a statement released to the British media. “He is a solitary figure, a single, universal creator, not one God among many … or so we like to believe.”


Despite being regarded in Judaism as the primary factual historical narrative of the origin of the religion, culture and ethnicity, Exodus is now accepted by scholars as having been compiled in the 8th–7th centuries BCE from stories dating possibly as far back as the 13th century BCE, with further polishing in the 6th–5th centuries BCE, as a theological and political manifesto to unite the Israelites in the then?current battle for territory against Egypt.[2]

Archaeologists from the 19th century onward were actually surprised not to find any evidence whatsoever for the events of Exodus. By the 1970s, archaeologists had largely given up regarding the Bible as any use at all as a field guide.

The archaeological evidence of local Canaan, rather than Egyptian, origins of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel is “overwhelming,” and leaves “no room for an Exodus from Egypt or a 40?year pilgrimage through the Sinai wilderness.”[3] The culture of the earliest Israelite settlements is Canaanite, their cult objects are of the Canaanite god El, the pottery is in the local Canaanite tradition, and the alphabet is early Canaanite. Almost the sole marker distinguishing Israelite villages from Canaanite sites is an absence of pig bones.

It is considered possible that those Canaanites who started regarding themselves as the Israelites were joined or led by a small group of Semites from Egypt, possibly the Hyksos poeple, possibly carrying stories that made it into Exodus. As the tribe expanded, they may have begun to clash with neighbors, perhaps sparking the tales of conflict in Joshua and Judges.

William Dever, an archaeologist normally associated with the more conservative end of Syro-Palestinian archaeology, has labeled the question of the historicity of Exodus “dead.” Israeli archaeologist Ze’ev Herzog provides the current consensus view on the historicity of the Exodus: “The Israelites never were in Egypt. They never came from abroad. This whole chain is broken. It is not a historical one. It is a later legendary reconstruction—made in the seventh century [BCE]—of a history that never happened.”[4]


Top Israeli scientist says Ashkenazi Jews came from Khazaria, not Palestine

An Israeli geneticist challenges the “Zionist” hypothesis that all Jews belong to one race and are intimately related, thus giving them a common ancestor in the Holy Land and a Biblical claim to Palestine. 

Scientists usually don’t call each other “liars” and “frauds.” But that’s how Johns Hopkins University post-doctoral researcher Eran Elhaik describes a group of widely respected geneticists, including Harry Ostrer, professor of pathology and genetics at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and author of the 2012 book “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People.”

For years now, the findings of Ostrer and several other scientists have stood virtually unchallenged on the genetics of Jews and the story they tell of the common Middle East origins shared by many Jewish populations worldwide. Jews — and Ashkenazim in particular — are indeed one people, Ostrer’s research finds. It’s a theory that more or less affirms the understanding that many Jews themselves hold of who they are in the world: a people who, though scattered, share an ethnic-racial bond rooted in their common ancestral descent from the indigenous Jews of ancient Judea or Palestine, as the Romans called it after they conquered the Jewish homeland. But now, Elhaik, an Israeli molecular geneticist, has published research that he says debunks this claim. And that has set off a predictable clash.
“He’s just wrong,” said Marcus Feldman of Stanford University, a leading researcher in Jewish genetics, referring to Elhaik. The sometimes strong emotions generated by this scientific dispute stem from a politically loaded question that scientists and others have pondered for decades: Where in the world did Ashkenazi Jews come from?
________________________________________________________________

The debate touches upon such sensitive issues as whether the Jewish people is a race or a religion, and whether Jews or Palestinians are descended from the original inhabitants of what is now the State of Israel.

________________________________________________________________
Ostrer’s theory is sometimes marshaled to lend the authority of science to the Zionist narrative, which views the migration of modern-day Jews to what is now Israel, and their rule over that land, as a simple act of repossession by the descendants of the land’s original residents. Ostrer declined to be interviewed for this story. But in his writings, Ostrer points out the dangers of such reductionism; some of the same genetic markers common among Jews, he finds, can be found in Palestinians, as well.
By using sophisticated molecular tools, Feldman, Ostrer and most other scientists in the field have found that Jews are genetically homogeneous. No matter where they live, these scientists say, Jews are genetically more similar to each other than to their non-Jewish neighbors, and they have a shared Middle Eastern ancestry.
The geneticists’ research backs up what is known as the Rhineland Hypothesis. According to the hypothesis, Ashkenazi Jews descended from Jews who fled Palestine after the Muslim conquest in the seventh century and settled in Southern Europe. In the late Middle Ages they moved into eastern Europe from Germany, or the Rhineland.
“Nonsense,” said Elhaik, a 33-year-old Israeli Jew from Beersheba who earned a doctorate in molecular evolution from the University of Houston. The son of an Italian man and Iranian woman who met in Israel, Elhaik, a dark-haired, compact man, sat down recently for an interview in his bare, narrow cubicle of an office at Hopkins, where he’s worked for four years.
In “The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses,” published in December in the online journal Genome Biology and Evolution, Elhaik says he has proved that Ashkenazi Jews’ roots lie in the Caucasus — a region at the border of Europe and Asia that lies between the Black and Caspian seas — not in the Middle East. They are descendants, he argues, of the Khazars, a Turkic people who lived in one of the largest medieval states in Eurasia and then migrated to Eastern Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries. Ashkenazi genes, Elhaik added, are far more heterogeneous than Ostrer and other proponents of the Rhineland Hypothesis believe. Elhaik did find a Middle Eastern genetic marker in DNA from Jews, but, he says, it could be from Iran, not ancient Judea.
Elhaik writes that the Khazars converted to Judaism in the eighth century, although many historians believe that only royalty and some members of the aristocracy converted. But widespread conversion by the Khazars is the only way to explain the ballooning of the European Jewish population to 8 million at the beginning of the 20th century from its tiny base in the Middle Ages, Elhaik says.
Elhaik bases his conclusion on an analysis of genetic data published by a team of researchers led by Doron Behar, a population geneticist and senior physician at Israel’s Rambam Medical Center, in Haifa. Using the same data, Behar’s team published in 2010 a paper concluding that most contemporary Jews around the world and some non-Jewish populations from the Levant, or Eastern Mediterranean, are closely related.
Elhaik used some of the same statistical tests as Behar and others, but he chose different comparisons. Elhaik compared “genetic signatures” found in Jewish populations with those of modern-day Armenians and Georgians, which he uses as a stand-in for the long-extinct Khazarians because they live in the same area as the medieval state.
“It’s an unrealistic premise,” said University of Arizona geneticist Michael Hammer, one of Behar’s co-authors, of Elhaik’s paper. Hammer notes that Armenians have Middle Eastern roots, which, he says, is why they appeared to be genetically related to Ashkenazi Jews in Elhaik’s study.
Hammer, who also co-wrote the first paper that showed modern-day Kohanim are descended from a single male ancestor, calls Elhaik and other Khazarian Hypothesis proponents “outlier folks… who have a minority view that’s not supported scientifically. I think the arguments they make are pretty weak and stretching what we know.”
Feldman, director of Stanford’s Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies, echoes Hammer. “If you take all of the careful genetic population analysis that has been done over the last 15 years… there’s no doubt about the common Middle Eastern origin,” he said. He added that Elhaik’s paper “is sort of a one-off.”
Elhaik’s statistical analysis would not pass muster with most contemporary scholars, Feldman said: “He appears to be applying the statistics in a way that gives him different results from what everybody else has obtained from essentially similar data.”
Elhaik, who doesn’t believe that Moses, Aaron or the 12 Tribes of Israel ever existed, shrugs off such criticism.
“That’s a circular argument,” he said of the notion that Jews’ and Armenians’ genetic similarities stem from common ancestors in the Middle East and not from Khazaria, the area where the Armenians live. If you believe that, he says, then other non-Jewish populations, such as Georgian, that are genetically similar to Armenians should be considered genetically related to Jews, too, “and so on and so forth.”
Dan Graur, Elhaik’s doctoral supervisor at U.H. and a member of the editorial board of the journal that published his paper, calls his former student “very ambitious, very independent. That’s what I like.” Graur, a Romanian-born Jew who served on the faculty of Tel Aviv University for 22 years before moving 10 years ago to the Houston school, said Elhaik “writes more provocatively than may be needed, but it’s his style.” Graur calls Elhaik’s conclusion that Ashkenazi Jews originated to the east of Germany “a very honest estimate.”

In a news article that accompanied Elhaik’s journal paper, Shlomo Sand, history professor at Tel Aviv University and author of the controversial 2009 book “The Invention of the Jewish People,” said the study vindicated his long-held ideas.

”It’s so obvious for me,” Sand told the journal. “Some people, historians and even scientists, turn a blind eye to the truth. Once, to say Jews were a race was anti-Semitic, now to say they’re not a race is anti-Semitic. It’s crazy how history plays with us.”
The paper has received little coverage in mainstream American media, but it has attracted the attention of anti-Zionists and “anti-Semitic white supremacists,” Elhaik said.
Interestingly, while anti-Zionist bloggers have applauded Elhaik’s work, saying it proves that contemporary Jews have no legitimate claim to Israel, some white supremacists have attacked it.
David Duke, for example, is disturbed by the assertion that Jews are not a race. “The disruptive and conflict-ridden behavior which has marked out Jewish Supremacist activities through the millennia strongly suggests that Jews have remained more or less genetically uniform and have… developed a group evolutionary survival strategy based on a common biological unity — something which strongly militates against the Khazar theory,” wrote the former Ku Klux Klansman and former Louisiana state assemblyman on his blog in February.
“I’m not communicating with them,” Elhaik said of the white supremacists. He says it also bothers him, a veteran of seven years in the Israeli army, that anti-Zionists have capitalized on his research “and they’re not going to be proven wrong anytime soon.” But proponents of the Rhineland Hypothesis also have a political agenda, he said, claiming they “were motivated to justify the Zionist narrative.” To illustrate his point, Elhaik swivels his chair around to face his computer and calls up a 2010 email exchange with Ostrer.
“It was a great pleasure reading your group’s recent paper, ‘Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era,’ that illuminate[s] the history of our people,” Elhaik wrote to Ostrer. “Is it possible to see the data used for the study?” Ostrer replied that the data are not publicly available. “It is possible to collaborate with the team by writing a brief proposal that outlines what you plan to do,” he wrote. “Criteria for reviewing include novelty and strength of the proposal, non-overlap with current or planned activities, and non-defamatory nature toward the Jewish people.” That last requirement, Elhaik argues, reveals the bias of Ostrer and his collaborators. Allowing scientists access to data only if their research will not defame Jews is “peculiar,” said Catherine DeAngelis, who edited the Journal of the American Medical Association for a decade. “What he does is set himself up for criticism: Wait a minute. What’s this guy trying to hide?”
Despite what his critics claim, Elhaik says, he was not out to prove that contemporary Jews have no connection to the Jewish people of the Bible. His primary research focus is the genetics of mental illness, which, he explains, led him to question the assumption that Ashkenazi Jews are a useful population to study because they’re so homogeneous.
Elhaik says he first read about the Khazarian Hypothesis a decade ago in a 1976 book by the late Hungarian-British author Arthur Koestler, “The Thirteenth Tribe,” written before scientists had the tools to compare genomes.
Koestler, who was Jewish by birth, said his aim in writing the book was to eliminate the racist underpinnings of anti-Semitism in Europe. “Should this theory be confirmed, the term ‘anti-Semitism’ would become void of meaning,” the book jacket reads. Although Koestler’s book was generally well reviewed, some skeptics questioned the author’s grasp of the history of Khazaria.
Graur is not surprised that Elhaik has stood up against the “clique” of scientists who believe that Jews are genetically homogeneous. “He enjoys being combative,” Graur said. “That’s what science is.”


TheThirteenth Tribe by Arthur Koestler

ABOUT THE BOOK
The Thirteenth Tribe is a book that attempts to explain the origins of Eastern Europe’s Jewish population,largely decimated by the Nazi onslaught during the Second World War. Koestler shows through extensive research, how a trading empire was set up by a tribe we know as the Khazars between the expanding power blocs of Christianity and Islam; how the people were converted to Judaism by their king as a way of standing apart from both, and how the people and their wealth were dispersed through the countries of Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Khazar Empire.

It is a controversial history; because it challenges both the assumptions of Nazi philosophy and Zionism that the European Jews were racially different from the populations of the countries in which they later settled.
Koestler, as a Hungarian Jew himself, was particularly interested in the major part the Khazars played in the founding of the Hungarian nation; a fact which later led to the tragedy of 1944, when the Nazis exterminated over half-a -million Hungarian Jews, who were virtually indistinguishable from their Christian neighbours.

First published in Britain in 1976, this classic book by Arthur Koestler in now largely unavailable.

The native form of this personal name is Kösztler Artúr.  

Arthur Koestler, CBE (5 September 1905 – 1 March 1983) was a Hungarian-British author and journalist. Koestler was born in Budapest and, apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria. In 1931 Koestler joined the Communist Party of Germany until, disillusioned by Stalinism, he resigned in 1938. In 1940 he published his novel Darkness at Noon, an anti-totalitarian work, which gained him international fame. Over the next 43 years from his residence in Great Britain, Koestler espoused many political causes and wrote novels, memoirs, biographies, and numerous essays. In 1968, he was awarded the Sonning Prize “for outstanding contribution to European culture” and, in 1972, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In 1976, Koestler was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and, in 1979, with terminal leukaemia.[2] In 1983 he and his wife committed suicide at home in London.

ARTHUR KOESTLER was born in 1905 in Budapest. Though he studied science and psychology in Vienna, at the age of twenty he became a foreign correspondent and worked for various European newspapers in the Middle East, Paris, Berlin, Russia and Spain. During the Spanish Civil War, which he covered from the Republican side, he was captured and imprisoned for several months by the Nationalists, but was exchanged after international protest. In 1939-40 he was interned in a French detention camp. After his release, due to British government intervention, he joined the French Foreign Legion, subsequently escaped to England, and joined the British Army.

Koestler saw in the Soviet experiment the only hope and alternative to fascism. He became a member of the Communist Party in 1931, but left it in disillusionment during the Moscow purges in 1938. His earlier books were mainly concerned with these experiences, either in autobiographical form or in essays or political novels. Among the latter, Darkness At Noon has been translated into thirty-three languages.

After World War II, Mr. Koestler became a British citizen, and all his books since 1940 have been written in English, He now lives in London. but he frequently lectures at American universities, and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford in 1964-65,

In 1968 Mr. Koestler received the Sonning Prize at the University of Copenhagen for his contributions to European culture. He is also a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, as well as one of the ten Companions of Literature, elected by the Royal Society of Literature. His works are now being republished in a collected edition of twenty volumes.

He died in 1981, in a ‘suicide pact’ with his wife – a tragedy that has aroused some suspicion since, in conspiracy circles.


This review is from: DNA and Tradition: The Genetic Link to the Ancient Hebrews (Paperback)

According to the author, the book is constructed around a scientific comparison of the genetical properties of sefardita and askhenazim Jews. But accordingly to the book, the samples were obtained from anatolian sefarditas, theoretically expelled from Spain in 1492.

But according to Kevin Alan Brooks and Arthur Koestler, when the massive, definitive khazarian diaspora occurred from the 11th to 13th centuries, many khazarians arrived to Spain, motivated by the known existence of a previous powerful, old Jewish comunity , stablished at the iberian peninsula since the roman empire times. Apparently these khazarians arrived to Spain in the same migratory wave than indostanian gypsies. The old iberian jews were, at the medieval times, solid propietors of land and commercial business, with complex ties with both christian and muslim comunities along the entire peninsula. When the pressure to conversion occurs in 1492, a considerable majority of spanish jews prefered to remain in the iberian peninsula, and accepted the conversion to christianism, at least publicaly. As a result, a vast majority of current spaniards have at least a 50% of their surnames from converse-jew origin (names like Garzon, Franco, Delgado, Blanco, Cerdán, Rojo and many thousands more tipical spanish names were originated from this massive jew-to-christian conversion process ).

If this hipotesis is correct, then the jews expelled from Spain in 1492, can be wrongly catalogued as true “sefarditas”, as they could be mainly composed of poor, khazarian jews newcomers, that were forced to return as near as possible to their original land -anatolia- when the conversion process was executed. In an opposed way, the old, well stablished jews from older diasporas to the iberian peninsula, surely melt in the spanish medieval society slowly, simply to mantain their well achieved “status quo” in the iberian society.

In other words, to compare askenazim DNA to this “sefarad” DNA can be poorly useful to clarify the true genetical origins of current jews.

I want to made a propossal, an interesting study to be done: I don’t see in the book any comparison -by example- between current spaniards and palestinian DNA haplotypes, to see the most than probable coincidences, then if the author wants to shut down forever the khazarian origin theory, this genetical study must be accomplished.

This is the correct starting point to clarify the question, isn’t? (Madrid, Spain)


Uploaded on Sep 25, 2010
Excerpt of a lecture by Dr. Jon Entine discussing why the Jewish people are interesting research subjects for genetic and DNA research. And how it helps us track the origins of and the differences between different Jewish Groups. Also in this lecture, Dr. Entine explores the myth about Khazar Jews (Khazars AKA the 13th tribe) and the fact that at least according to Rabbinical Judaism, most Jews today are not Jews according to the halakha (stuff for thought).

More info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genealog…
http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/conten…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khazars

ABOUT THE LECTURE:
The author of the highly acclaimed and controversial book, Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It, investigative journalist Jon Entine, in his new book Abraham’s Children, attempts to answer new taboo topics, such as: Did Moses really live? What was the real fate of the Lost Tribes? How did the advent of Christianity change the DNA of humanity, and why Jews — the tiniest fraction of the world’s population — score highest on intelligence tests and hold so many Nobel Prizes, why there are disproportionately so many more Jewish lawyers and doctors, and what the answers to such questions tell us about human nature and nurture. Entine vividly brings to life the profound human implications of the Age of Genetics, retelling the story of the Bible through the prism of DNA, while illuminating one of today’s most controversial topics: the connection between genetics and identity. The focus of genome research has shifted from our shared humanity to human differences, and we are now confronted with questions once considered taboo.


Orthodox Jewish Zionist harasses a Palestinian woman and calls her a whore (sharmouta) in front of her kids. This Orthodox Jewish Settler from Tel Rumeida will pay for all the damage they are causing to our people in our own land of Palestine. This Hebrew woman is known in the city for harassing Palestinians on a daily basis and throwing rocks at them with other Hebrew settlers.

Judaism is not the same than Zionism

What is Antisemitism today, two generations after the Holocaust? In his continuing exploration of modern Israeli life, director Yoav Shamir travels the world in search of the most modern manifestations of the “oldest hatred”, and comes up with some startling answers.

In this irreverent quest, he follows American Jewish leaders to the capitals of Europe, as they warn government officials of the growing threat of Antisemitism, and he tacks on to a class of Israeli high school students on a pilgrimage to Auschwitz.

On his way, Shamir meets controversial historian, Norman Finkelstein, who offers his views on the manner that Antisemitism is being used by the Jewish community and especially Israel for political gain. He also joins scholars, Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer, while they give a lecture in Israel following the release of their book “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”, about the disproportional influence the Israel lobby in Washington enjoys.

Yoav visits Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, the must stop for all world leaders on their visits to Israel. While in Jerusalem, he drops by the house of his grandmother that offers her insight on the issue and declares that she is the “real Jew”.

US Congressman Ron Paul – Israel created Hamas to destabilize Arafat who was very powerful at the time

Zionism is a geopolitical movement founded a little over 100 years ago by Theodore Herzl and pushed forward by the Rothschilds. Israel is a nuclear state Israelis an apartheid state Israelis not a US ally Israel is not a democracy

the risks of fracking

GASLAND

Politics and public policy

To control the hydraulic fracturing industry, some governments are developing legislation and some municipalities are developing local zoning limitations.[217] In 2011, France became the first nation to ban hydraulic fracturing.[10][11] Some other countries have placed a temporary moratorium on the practice.[218] The US has the longest history with hydraulic fracturing, so its approach to hydraulic fracturing may be modeled by other countries.[86] In August 2013 the Church of England, in an official statement, criticized those who advocate “blanket opposition” to fracking[219]
The considerable opposition against hydraulic fracturing activities in local townships has led companies to adopt a variety of public relations measures to assuage fears about hydraulic fracturing, including the admitted use of “mil­i­tary tac­tics to counter drilling oppo­nents”. At a conference where public relations measures were discussed, a senior executive at Anadarko Petroleum was recorded on tape saying, “Download the US Army / Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual, because we are dealing with an insurgency”, while referring to hydraulic fracturing opponents. Matt Pitzarella, spokesman for Range Resources also told other conference attendees that Range employed psychological warfare operations veterans. According to Pitzarella, the experience learned in the Middle East has been valuable to Range Resources in Pennsylvania, when dealing with emotionally charged township meetings and advising townships on zoning and local ordinances dealing with hydraulic fracturing.[220][221]
Police officers have recently been forced, however, to deal with intentionally disruptive and even potentially violent opposition to oil and gas development. In March 2013, ten people were arrested [222] during an “anti-fracking protest” near New Matamoras, Ohio, after they illegally entered a development zone and latched themselves to drilling equipment. In northwest Pennsylvania, there was a drive-by shooting at a well site, in which an individual shot two rounds of a small-caliber rifle in the direction of a drilling rig, just before shouting profanities at the site and fleeing the scene.[223] And in Washington County, Pa., a contractor working on a gas pipeline found a pipe bomb that had been placed where a pipeline was to be constructed, which local authorities said would have caused a “catastrophe” had they not discovered and detonated it.[224]

Media coverage

Josh Fox’s 2010 Academy Award nominated film Gasland became a center of opposition to hydraulic fracturing of shale. The movie presented problems with ground water contamination near well sites in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Colorado.[225]Energy in Depth, an oil and gas industry lobbying group, called the film’s facts into question.[226] In response, a rebuttal of Energy in Depth’s claims of inaccuracy was posted on Gasland’s website.[227] The Director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) offered to be interviewed as part of the film if he could review what was included from the interview in the final film but Fox declined the offer.[228]Exxon Mobil, Chevron Corporation and ConocoPhillips aired advertisements during 2011 and 2012 that claim to describe the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas and argue hydraulic fracturing is safe.[229]

The film Promised Land, starring Matt Damon, takes on hydraulic fracturing.[230] The gas industry has made plans to counter the film’s criticisms of hydraulic fracturing with informational flyers, and Twitter and Facebook posts.[229]

On January 22, 2013 Phelim McAleer, journalist and filmmaker, released a crowdfunded[231] documentary called FrackNation as a response to Gasland. FrackNation premiered on Mark Cuban‘s AXS TV. The premiere corresponded with the release of Promised Land.[232]

Hydraulic fracturing is the fracturing of rock by a pressurized liquid. Some hydraulic fractures form naturally—certain veins or dikes are examples. Induced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracturing, commonly known as fracking, is a technique in which typically water is mixed with sand and chemicals, and the mixture is injected at high pressure into a wellbore to create small fractures (typically less than 1mm), along which fluids such as gas, petroleum, uranium-bearing solution,[1] and brine water may migrate to the well. Hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, then small grains of proppant (sand or aluminium oxide) hold these fractures open once the rock achieves equilibrium. The technique is very common in wells for shale gas, tight gas, tight oil, and coal seam gas[2][3] and hard rock wells. This well stimulation is usually conducted once in the life of the well and greatly enhances fluid removal and well productivity, but there has been an increasing trend towards multiple hydraulic fracturing as production declines. A different technique where only acid is injected is referred to as acidizing.

The first experimental use of hydraulic fracturing was in 1947, and the first commercially successful applications were in 1949. George P. Mitchell is considered by some the modern “father of fracking” when he successfully applied it to the Barnett Shale in the 1990s.[4] As of 2010, it was estimated that 60% of all new oil and gas wells worldwide were being hydraulically fractured.[5] As of 2012, 2.5 million hydraulic fracturing jobs have been performed on oil and gas wells worldwide, more than one million of them in the United States.[6][7] Uranium Energy Corporation is planning to use hydraulic fracturing to mine uranium. Fracking for uranium involves injecting oxygenated water (to increase solubility) to dissolve the uranium, then pumping the solution back up to the surface.[1]

Halliburton Frack Job in the Bakken Formation, North Dakota, United States

Proponents of hydraulic fracturing point to the economic benefits from the vast amounts of formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons the process can extract.[8] Opponents point to potential environmental impacts, including contamination of ground water, depletion of fresh water, risks to air quality, noise pollution, the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flow-back, and the health effects of these.[9] For these reasons hydraulic fracturing has come under international scrutiny, with some countries suspending or banning it.[10][11] However, some of those countries, including most notably the United Kingdom,[12] have recently lifted their bans, choosing to focus on regulations instead of outright prohibition. The 2013 draft EU-Canada trade treaty includes language outlawing any “breach of legitimate expectations of investors” which may occur if revoking drilling licences of Canada-registered companies in the territory of the European Union after the treaty comes into force.[13] Under Chapter 11 of the existing North American Free Trade Agreement, private companies can sue governments when new laws reduce expected profits from existing contracts.[14]

High-pressure fracture fluid is injected into the wellbore, with the pressure above the fracture gradient of the rock. The two main purposes of fracturing fluid is to extend fractures, add lubrication, change gel strength and to carry proppant into the formation, the purpose of which is to stay there without damaging the formation or production of the well. Two methods of transporting the proppant in the fluid are used – high-rate and high-viscosity. High-viscosity fracturing tends to cause large dominant fractures, while high-rate (slickwater) fracturing causes small spread-out micro-fractures.[citation needed]
This fracture fluid contains water-soluble gelling agents (such as guar gum) which increase viscosity and efficiently deliver the proppant into the formation.[63]

Process of mixing water with fracking fluids to be injected into the ground

The fluid injected into the rock is typically a slurry of water, proppants, and chemical additives.[64] Additionally, gels, foams, and compressed gases, including nitrogen, carbon dioxide and air can be injected. Typically, of the fracturing fluid 90% is water and 9.5% is sand with the chemical additives accounting to about 0.5%.[56][65][66] However, fracturing fluids have been developed in which the use of water has been made unnecessary, using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and propane.[67]
A proppant is a material that will keep an induced hydraulic fracture open, during or following a fracturing treatment, and can be gel, foam, or slickwater-based. Fluids make tradeoffs in such material properties as viscosity, where more viscous fluids can carry more concentrated proppant; the energy or pressure demands to maintain a certain flux pump rate (flow velocity) that will conduct the proppant appropriately; pH, various rheological factors, among others. Types of proppant include silica sand, resin-coated sand, and man-made ceramics. These vary depending on the type of permeability or grain strength needed. The most commonly used proppant is silica sand, though proppants of uniform size and shape, such as a ceramic proppant, is believed to be more effective. Due to a higher porosity within the fracture, a greater amount of oil and natural gas is liberated.[68]
The fracturing fluid varies in composition depending on the type of fracturing used, the conditions of the specific well being fractured, and the water characteristics. A typical fracture treatment uses between 3 and 12 additive chemicals.[56] Although there may be unconventional fracturing fluids, the more typically used chemical additives can include one or more of the following:

The most common chemical used for hydraulic fracturing in the United States in 2005–2009 was methanol, while some other most widely used chemicals were isopropyl alcohol, 2-butoxyethanol, and ethylene glycol.[69]
Typical fluid types are:

For slickwater it is common to include sweeps or a reduction in the proppant concentration temporarily to ensure the well is not overwhelmed with proppant causing a screen-off.[70] As the fracturing process proceeds, viscosity reducing agents such as oxidizers and enzyme breakers are sometimes then added to the fracturing fluid to deactivate the gelling agents and encourage flowback.[63] The oxidizer reacts with the gel to break it down, reducing the fluid’s viscosity and ensuring that no proppant is pulled from the formation. An enzyme acts as a catalyst for the breaking down of the gel. Sometimes pH modifiers are used to break down the crosslink at the end of a hydraulic fracturing job, since many require a pH buffer system to stay viscous.[70] At the end of the job the well is commonly flushed with water (sometimes blended with a friction reducing chemical) under pressure. Injected fluid is to some degree recovered and is managed by several methods, such as underground injection control, treatment and discharge, recycling, or temporary storage in pits or containers while new technology is continually being developed and improved to better handle waste water and improve re-usability.[56]

Hydraulic fracturing has been seen as one of the key methods of extracting unconventional oil and gas resources. According to the International Energy Agency, the remaining technically recoverable resources of shale gas are estimated to amount to 208 trillion cubic metres (208,000 km3), tight gas to 76 trillion cubic metres (76,000 km3), and coalbed methane to 47 trillion cubic metres (47,000 km3). As a rule, formations of these resources have lower permeability than conventional gas formations. Therefore, depending on the geological characteristics of the formation, specific technologies (such as hydraulic fracturing) are required. Although there are also other methods to extract these resources, such as conventional drilling or horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing is one of the key methods making their extraction economically viable. The multi-stage fracturing technique has facilitated the development of shale gas and light tight oil production in the United States and is believed to do so in the other countries with unconventional hydrocarbon resources.[8]

The National Petroleum Council estimates that hydraulic fracturing will eventually account for nearly 70% of natural gas development in North America.[82] Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling apply the latest technologies and make it commercially viable to recover shale gas and oil. In the United States, 45% of domestic natural gas production and 17% of oil production would be lost within 5 years without usage of hydraulic fracturing.[83]

A number of studies related to the economy and fracking, demonstrates a direct benefit to economies from fracking activities in the form of personnel, support, ancillary businesses, analysis and monitoring. Typically the funding source of the study is a focal point of controversy.[84] Most studies are either funded by mining companies or funded by environmental groups, which can at times lead to at least the appearance of unreliable studies.[84] A study was performed by Deller & Schreiber in 2012, looking at the relationship between non-oil and gas mining and community economic growth. The study concluded that there is an impact on income growth; however, researchers found that mining does not lead to an increase in population or employment.[84] The actual financial impact of non-oil and gas mining on the economy is dependent on many variables and is difficult to identify definitively.

Hydraulic fracturing has raised environmental concerns and is challenging the adequacy of existing regulatory regimes.[85] These concerns have included ground water contamination, risks to air quality, migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, mishandling of waste, and the health effects of all these, as well as its contribution to raised atmospheric CO2 levels by enabling the extraction of previously-sequestered hydrocarbons.[9][56][69] Because hydraulic fracturing originated in the United States,[86] its history is more extensive there than in other regions. Most environmental impact studies have therefore taken place there.

 Concerns have been raised about research financed by foundations and corporations [87] that some have argued is designed to inflate or minimize the risks of development,[88] as well as lobbying by the gas industry to promote its activities.[89] Several organizations, researchers, and media outlets have reported difficulty in conducting and reporting the results of studies on hydraulic fracturing due to industry[90][91] and governmental pressure, and expressed concern over possible censoring of environmental reports.[90][92][93] A New York Times report claimed that an early draft of a 2004 EPA study discussed “possible evidence” of aquifer contamination but the final report omitted that mention.[90][94] Some have also criticized the narrowing of EPA studies, including the EPA study on hydraulic fracturing’s impact on drinking water to be released in late 2014.[91][92][95] In addition, after court cases concerning contamination from hydraulic fracturing are settled, the documents are sealed, reducing the information available about contamination.[96] The American Petroleum Institute denies that this practice has hidden problems with gas drilling.[citation needed] Researchers have recommended requiring disclosure of all hydraulic fracturing fluids, testing animals raised near fracturing sites, and closer monitoring of environmental samples.[97] Many believe there is a need for more research into the environmental and health impacts of the technique.[98][99]

When petroleum crude oil is extracted and produced from onshore or offshore oil wells, raw natural gas associated with the oil is produced to the surface as well. One gas which is commonly flared is hydrogen sulfide, which is an irritant and a chemical asphyxiant that can alter both oxygen utilization and the central nervous system, according to the U.S. OSHA.[100] Excessive H2S production in previously nonsour environments are “primarily anthropogenic and caused by certain operational practices”.[101] In areas of the world lacking pipelines and other gas transportation infrastructure, vast amounts of such associated gas are commonly flared as waste or unusable gas. In June 2013, the Enbridge corporation obtained an order to reject from its system crude that had high levels of sour gas.[100] Enbridge had found in one instance concentration levels of 1,200ppm.[100] The US FERC regulator sets 10ppm as a maximum for this noxious gas. A concentration 120 times as high “could cause death, or serious injuries”.[100]
A Pennsylvania family was forced to abandon because of pollution of their 10-acre farm. The family was paid 750,000USD by Range Resources Corporation to depart from a more recently installed petroleum well plant, though the family was required to sign an agreement which stated that they haven’t suffered nor ever will suffer any adverse medical effects from the toxic exposure.[102]
The air emissions from hydraulic fracturing are also related to methane leaks originating from wells, and emissions from the diesel or natural gas powered equipment such as compressors, drilling rigs, pumps etc.[56] Also transportation of necessary water volume for hydraulic fracturing, if done by trucks, can cause high volumes of air emissions, especially particulate matter emissions.[103] There are also reports of health problems around compressors stations[104] or drilling sites,[105] although a causal relationship was not established for the limited number of wells studied[105] and another Texas government analysis found no evidence of effects.[106]
Whether natural gas produced by hydraulic fracturing causes higher well-to-burner emissions than gas produced from conventional wells is a matter of contention. A 2012 report coauthored by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory found emissions from shale gas, when burned for electricity, were “very similar” to those from so-called “conventional well” natural gas, and less than half the emissions of coal.[107] In April 2013 the EPA lowered its estimate of how much methane gas is released to the atmosphere during the fracking process by 20 percent.[108] Some studies have found that hydraulic fracturing has higher emissions due to gas released during completing wells as some gas returns to the surface, together with the fracturing fluids. Depending on their treatment, the well-to-burner emissions are 3.5%–12% higher than for conventional gas.[85] Studies that estimate the amount of methane leakage from shale gas development and production find that leakage could be as low as less than 1% of total gas production, or as high as several percent, with most recent studies on the low end of that range.[109][110] A debate has arisen particularly around a study by professor Robert W. Howarth finding shale gas significantly worse for global warming than oil or coal.[111] Other researchers have criticized Howarth’s analysis.[112][113] Howarth has responded that “The latest EPA estimate for methane emissions from shale gas falls within the range of our estimates but not those of Cathles et al., which are substantially lower.”[114] The U.S. EPA has estimated the methane leakage rate to be about 2.4% – well below Howarth’s estimate. The American Gas Association, and industry trade group, calculated a 1.2% leakage rate [115] based on the EPA’s latest greenhouse gas inventory, although the EPA has not publicly stated a change to its prior estimate.

Hydraulic fracturing uses between 1.2 and 3.5 million US gallons (4.5 and 13.2 Ml) of water per well, with large projects using up to 5 million US gallons (19 Ml). Additional water is used when wells are refractured.[63][116] An average well requires 3 to 8 million US gallons (11,000 to 30,000 m3) of water over its lifetime.[56][116][117][118] Back in 2008 at the beginning of the shale boom in Pennsylvania, hydraulic fracturing accounted for 650 million US gallons per year (2,500,000 m3/a) (less than 0.8%) of annual water use in the area overlying the Marcellus Shale.[117][119] The annual number of well permits, however, increased by a factor of five[120] and the number of well starts increased by a factor of over 17 from 2008 to 2011.[121] According to the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, greater volumes of fracturing fluids are required in Europe, where the shale depths average 1.5 times greater than in the U.S.[122]
Appropriating large quantities of water for hydraulic fracturing diverts water from stream flow, water supplies for municipalities and industries such as power generation, as well as recreation and aquatic life.[123] The large volumes of water required have raised concerns about hydraulic fracturing in arid areas, such as Karoo in South Africa[86] and drought prone areas of North America.[124] It may also require water overland piping from distant sources.[117] A report by Ceres questions whether the growth of hydraulic fracturing is sustainable in Texas and Colorado. The report integrated well location and water use data from FracFocus.org with World Resources Institute‘s (WRI) water risk maps. Ninety-two percent of Colorado wells were in extremely high water stress regions and 51% percent of the Texas wells evaluated were in high or extremely high water stress regions. “Extremely high water stress” means that more than 80% of the available water is already allocated for agricultural, industrial and municipal water use.[1]
In Barnhart, Texas the aquifer ran dry because of industrial fracking: one landowner had 104 water wells (designed to supply fracking) dug into his land by his fracker tenants, and the population is left with little recourse for their dry taps.[125] In the Spring of 2013, new hydraulic fracturing water recycling rules were adopted in the state of Texas by the Railroad Commission of Texas. The Water Recycling Rules are intended to encourage Texas hydraulic fracturing operators to conserve water used in the hydraulic fracturing process for oil and gas wells.[126]
Recycling[85] and using carbon dioxide instead of water[127] have been proposed to reduce water consumption. While recycled flowback water cannot yet be made safe enough for drinking or growing crops, it can reused in hydraulic fracturing, though it can shorten the life of some types of equipment.[128]

There are concerns about possible contamination by hydraulic fracturing fluid both as it is injected under high pressure into the ground and as it returns to the surface.[129][130] To mitigate the impact of hydraulic fracturing to groundwater, the well and ideally the shale formation itself should remain hydraulically isolated from other geological formations, especially freshwater aquifers.[85] In 2009 state regulators from at least a dozen states have also stated that they have seen no evidence[131] of the hydraulic fracturing process polluting drinking water. In May 2011, former U.S. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson (appointed by President Barack Obama) has said on at least two occasions that there is either no proven case of direct contamination by the hydraulic fracturing process, or that the EPA has never made a definitive determination[132] of such contamination. By August 2011 there were at least 36 cases of suspected groundwater contamination due to hydraulic fracturing in the United States. In more recent congressional testimony in April 2013, Dr. Robin Ikeda, Deputy Director of Noncommunicable Diseases, Injury and Environmental Health at the CDC listed several sites where EPA had documented contamination.[133] In several cases EPA has determined that hydraulic fracturing was likely the source of the contamination.[134][135][136][137][138][139]
While some of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are common and generally harmless, some are known carcinogens.[69] A report prepared for House Democratic members Henry Waxman, Edward Markey and Diana DeGette stated that out of 2,500 hydraulic fracturing products, “more than 650 of these products contained chemicals that are known or possible human carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, or listed as hazardous air pollutants”.[69] The report also shows that between 2005 and 2009, 279 products had at least one component listed as “proprietary” or “trade secret” on their Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) required material safety data sheet (MSDS). The MSDS is a list of chemical components in the products of chemical manufacturers, and according to OSHA, a manufacturer may withhold information designated as “proprietary” from this sheet. When asked to reveal the proprietary components, most companies participating in the investigation were unable to do so, leading the committee to surmise these “companies are injecting fluids containing unknown chemicals about which they may have limited understanding of the potential risks posed to human health and the environment”.[69] Without knowing the identity of the proprietary components, regulators cannot test for their presence. This prevents government regulators from establishing baseline levels of the substances prior to hydraulic fracturing and documenting changes in these levels, thereby making it more difficult to prove that hydraulic fracturing is contaminating the environment with these substances.[140]
Another 2011 study identified 632 chemicals used in natural gas operations. Only 353 of these are well-described in the scientific literature. The study indicated possible long-term health effects that might not appear immediately. The study recommended full disclosure of all products used, along with extensive air and water monitoring near natural gas operations; it also recommended that hydraulic fracturing’s exemption from regulation under the US Safe Drinking Water Act be rescinded.[141] Industry group Energy In Depth, a research arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, contends that fracking “was never granted an ‘exemption’ from it… How can something earn an exemption from a law that never covered or even conceived of it in the first place?”[142]
Governments are responding to questions about the contents of hydraulic fracturing fluid by requiring disclosure via government agencies and public web site. The Irish regulatory regime requires full disclosure of all additives to Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (Ireland). The European Union also requires such disclosure.[143] In the US, the Ground Water Protection Council launched FracFocus.org, an online voluntary disclosure database for hydraulic fracturing fluids funded by oil and gas trade groups and the U.S. Department of Energy. The site has been met with some skepticism relating to proprietary information that is not included.[144][145] Some states have mandated fluid disclosure and incorporated FracFocus as the tool for disclosure.[146][147] Also in the US, FracTracker Alliance provides oil and gas-related data storage, analyses, and online and customized maps related to hydraulic fracturing on FracTracker.org.

Estimates of the amount of injected fluid returning to the surface vary. Some say approximately 15-20% of the injected fluid returns to the surface with the gas[150] and others say that in the weeks or months after gas production starts, about 30–70% of the original fracture fluid flows back to the surface with the gas, often mixed with natural formation water.[151][152] Some remains underground[150] and some may return to the surface through abandoned wells or other pathways.[153] After the frack flowback is recovered, formation water, usually brine, may continue to flow to the surface, and need treatment or disposal. These fluids, commonly known as flowback, produced water, or wastewater, are managed by underground injection, wastewater treatment and discharge, or recycling to fracture future wells.[107][152][154][155] Hydraulic fracturing can concentrate levels of uranium, radium, radon, and thorium in flowback.[156] One Duke University study reported that Marcellus [Shale] wells produce significantly less wastewater per unit gas recovered (~35%) compared to conventional natural gas wells.”[157] Treatment of produced waters may be feasible through either self-contained systems at well sites or fields or through municipal waste water treatment plants or commercial treatment facilities.[152] However, the quantity of waste water being treated, and the improper configuration of sewage plants to treat it, became an issue in Pennsylvania. When waste brine is discharged to surface waters through conventional wastewater treatment plants, the bromide in the brine usually passes through undiminished. Although not posing a health hazard by itself, in western Pennsylvania some downstream drinking water treatment plants using the surface water experienced increases in brominated trihalomethanes in 2009 and 2010. Trihalomethanes, undesirable byproducts of the chlorination process, form when the chlorine combines with dissolved organic matter in the source water, to form the trihalomethane chloroform. If bromine is present, it will substitute for some of the chlorine, forming brominated trihalomethanes. Because bromine has a higher atomic weight than chlorine, the partial conversion

GASLAND

Politics and public policy

To control the hydraulic fracturing industry, some governments are developing legislation and some municipalities are developing local zoning limitations.[217] In 2011, France became the first nation to ban hydraulic fracturing.[10][11] Some other countries have placed a temporary moratorium on the practice.[218] The US has the longest history with hydraulic fracturing, so its approach to hydraulic fracturing may be modeled by other countries.[86] In August 2013 the Church of England, in an official statement, criticized those who advocate “blanket opposition” to fracking[219]
The considerable opposition against hydraulic fracturing activities in local townships has led companies to adopt a variety of public relations measures to assuage fears about hydraulic fracturing, including the admitted use of “mil­i­tary tac­tics to counter drilling oppo­nents”. At a conference where public relations measures were discussed, a senior executive at Anadarko Petroleum was recorded on tape saying, “Download the US Army / Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual, because we are dealing with an insurgency”, while referring to hydraulic fracturing opponents. Matt Pitzarella, spokesman for Range Resources also told other conference attendees that Range employed psychological warfare operations veterans. According to Pitzarella, the experience learned in the Middle East has been valuable to Range Resources in Pennsylvania, when dealing with emotionally charged township meetings and advising townships on zoning and local ordinances dealing with hydraulic fracturing.[220][221]
Police officers have recently been forced, however, to deal with intentionally disruptive and even potentially violent opposition to oil and gas development. In March 2013, ten people were arrested [222] during an “anti-fracking protest” near New Matamoras, Ohio, after they illegally entered a development zone and latched themselves to drilling equipment. In northwest Pennsylvania, there was a drive-by shooting at a well site, in which an individual shot two rounds of a small-caliber rifle in the direction of a drilling rig, just before shouting profanities at the site and fleeing the scene.[223] And in Washington County, Pa., a contractor working on a gas pipeline found a pipe bomb that had been placed where a pipeline was to be constructed, which local authorities said would have caused a “catastrophe” had they not discovered and detonated it.[224]

Media coverage

Josh Fox’s 2010 Academy Award nominated film Gasland became a center of opposition to hydraulic fracturing of shale. The movie presented problems with ground water contamination near well sites in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Colorado.[225] Energy in Depth, an oil and gas industry lobbying group, called the film’s facts into question.[226] In response, a rebuttal of Energy in Depth’s claims of inaccuracy was posted on Gasland’s website.[227] The Director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) offered to be interviewed as part of the film if he could review what was included from the interview in the final film but Fox declined the offer.[228] Exxon Mobil, Chevron Corporation and ConocoPhillips aired advertisements during 2011 and 2012 that claim to describe the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas and argue hydraulic fracturing is safe.[229]

The film Promised Land, starring Matt Damon, takes on hydraulic fracturing.[230] The gas industry has made plans to counter the film’s criticisms of hydraulic fracturing with informational flyers, and Twitter and Facebook posts.[229]

On January 22, 2013 Phelim McAleer, journalist and filmmaker, released a crowdfunded[231] documentary called FrackNation as a response to Gasland. FrackNation premiered on Mark Cuban‘s AXS TV. The premiere corresponded with the release of Promised Land.[232]

Hydraulic fracturing is the fracturing of rock by a pressurized liquid. Some hydraulic fractures form naturally—certain veins or dikes are examples. Induced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracturing, commonly known as fracking, is a technique in which typically water is mixed with sand and chemicals, and the mixture is injected at high pressure into a wellbore to create small fractures (typically less than 1mm), along which fluids such as gas, petroleum, uranium-bearing solution,[1] and brine water may migrate to the well. Hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, then small grains of proppant (sand or aluminium oxide) hold these fractures open once the rock achieves equilibrium. The technique is very common in wells for shale gas, tight gas, tight oil, and coal seam gas[2][3] and hard rock wells. This well stimulation is usually conducted once in the life of the well and greatly enhances fluid removal and well productivity, but there has been an increasing trend towards multiple hydraulic fracturing as production declines. A different technique where only acid is injected is referred to as acidizing.

The first experimental use of hydraulic fracturing was in 1947, and the first commercially successful applications were in 1949. George P. Mitchell is considered by some the modern “father of fracking” when he successfully applied it to the Barnett Shale in the 1990s.[4] As of 2010, it was estimated that 60% of all new oil and gas wells worldwide were being hydraulically fractured.[5] As of 2012, 2.5 million hydraulic fracturing jobs have been performed on oil and gas wells worldwide, more than one million of them in the United States.[6][7] Uranium Energy Corporation is planning to use hydraulic fracturing to mine uranium. Fracking for uranium involves injecting oxygenated water (to increase solubility) to dissolve the uranium, then pumping the solution back up to the surface.[1]

Halliburton Frack Job in the Bakken Formation, North Dakota, United States

Proponents of hydraulic fracturing point to the economic benefits from the vast amounts of formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons the process can extract.[8] Opponents point to potential environmental impacts, including contamination of ground water, depletion of fresh water, risks to air quality, noise pollution, the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flow-back, and the health effects of these.[9] For these reasons hydraulic fracturing has come under international scrutiny, with some countries suspending or banning it.[10][11] However, some of those countries, including most notably the United Kingdom,[12] have recently lifted their bans, choosing to focus on regulations instead of outright prohibition. The 2013 draft EU-Canada trade treaty includes language outlawing any “breach of legitimate expectations of investors” which may occur if revoking drilling licences of Canada-registered companies in the territory of the European Union after the treaty comes into force.[13] Under Chapter 11 of the existing North American Free Trade Agreement, private companies can sue governments when new laws reduce expected profits from existing contracts.[14]

High-pressure fracture fluid is injected into the wellbore, with the pressure above the fracture gradient of the rock. The two main purposes of fracturing fluid is to extend fractures, add lubrication, change gel strength and to carry proppant into the formation, the purpose of which is to stay there without damaging the formation or production of the well. Two methods of transporting the proppant in the fluid are used – high-rate and high-viscosity. High-viscosity fracturing tends to cause large dominant fractures, while high-rate (slickwater) fracturing causes small spread-out micro-fractures.[citation needed]
This fracture fluid contains water-soluble gelling agents (such as guar gum) which increase viscosity and efficiently deliver the proppant into the formation.[63]

Process of mixing water with fracking fluids to be injected into the ground

The fluid injected into the rock is typically a slurry of water, proppants, and chemical additives.[64] Additionally, gels, foams, and compressed gases, including nitrogen, carbon dioxide and air can be injected. Typically, of the fracturing fluid 90% is water and 9.5% is sand with the chemical additives accounting to about 0.5%.[56][65][66] However, fracturing fluids have been developed in which the use of water has been made unnecessary, using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and propane.[67]
A proppant is a material that will keep an induced hydraulic fracture open, during or following a fracturing treatment, and can be gel, foam, or slickwater-based. Fluids make tradeoffs in such material properties as viscosity, where more viscous fluids can carry more concentrated proppant; the energy or pressure demands to maintain a certain flux pump rate (flow velocity) that will conduct the proppant appropriately; pH, various rheological factors, among others. Types of proppant include silica sand, resin-coated sand, and man-made ceramics. These vary depending on the type of permeability or grain strength needed. The most commonly used proppant is silica sand, though proppants of uniform size and shape, such as a ceramic proppant, is believed to be more effective. Due to a higher porosity within the fracture, a greater amount of oil and natural gas is liberated.[68]
The fracturing fluid varies in composition depending on the type of fracturing used, the conditions of the specific well being fractured, and the water characteristics. A typical fracture treatment uses between 3 and 12 additive chemicals.[56] Although there may be unconventional fracturing fluids, the more typically used chemical additives can include one or more of the following:

The most common chemical used for hydraulic fracturing in the United States in 2005–2009 was methanol, while some other most widely used chemicals were isopropyl alcohol, 2-butoxyethanol, and ethylene glycol.[69]
Typical fluid types are:

For slickwater it is common to include sweeps or a reduction in the proppant concentration temporarily to ensure the well is not overwhelmed with proppant causing a screen-off.[70] As the fracturing process proceeds, viscosity reducing agents such as oxidizers and enzyme breakers are sometimes then added to the fracturing fluid to deactivate the gelling agents and encourage flowback.[63] The oxidizer reacts with the gel to break it down, reducing the fluid’s viscosity and ensuring that no proppant is pulled from the formation. An enzyme acts as a catalyst for the breaking down of the gel. Sometimes pH modifiers are used to break down the crosslink at the end of a hydraulic fracturing job, since many require a pH buffer system to stay viscous.[70] At the end of the job the well is commonly flushed with water (sometimes blended with a friction reducing chemical) under pressure. Injected fluid is to some degree recovered and is managed by several methods, such as underground injection control, treatment and discharge, recycling, or temporary storage in pits or containers while new technology is continually being developed and improved to better handle waste water and improve re-usability.[56]

Hydraulic fracturing has been seen as one of the key methods of extracting unconventional oil and gas resources. According to the International Energy Agency, the remaining technically recoverable resources of shale gas are estimated to amount to 208 trillion cubic metres (208,000 km3), tight gas to 76 trillion cubic metres (76,000 km3), and coalbed methane to 47 trillion cubic metres (47,000 km3). As a rule, formations of these resources have lower permeability than conventional gas formations. Therefore, depending on the geological characteristics of the formation, specific technologies (such as hydraulic fracturing) are required. Although there are also other methods to extract these resources, such as conventional drilling or horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing is one of the key methods making their extraction economically viable. The multi-stage fracturing technique has facilitated the development of shale gas and light tight oil production in the United States and is believed to do so in the other countries with unconventional hydrocarbon resources.[8]

The National Petroleum Council estimates that hydraulic fracturing will eventually account for nearly 70% of natural gas development in North America.[82] Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling apply the latest technologies and make it commercially viable to recover shale gas and oil. In the United States, 45% of domestic natural gas production and 17% of oil production would be lost within 5 years without usage of hydraulic fracturing.[83]

A number of studies related to the economy and fracking, demonstrates a direct benefit to economies from fracking activities in the form of personnel, support, ancillary businesses, analysis and monitoring. Typically the funding source of the study is a focal point of controversy.[84] Most studies are either funded by mining companies or funded by environmental groups, which can at times lead to at least the appearance of unreliable studies.[84] A study was performed by Deller & Schreiber in 2012, looking at the relationship between non-oil and gas mining and community economic growth. The study concluded that there is an impact on income growth; however, researchers found that mining does not lead to an increase in population or employment.[84] The actual financial impact of non-oil and gas mining on the economy is dependent on many variables and is difficult to identify definitively.

Hydraulic fracturing has raised environmental concerns and is challenging the adequacy of existing regulatory regimes.[85] These concerns have included ground water contamination, risks to air quality, migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, mishandling of waste, and the health effects of all these, as well as its contribution to raised atmospheric CO2 levels by enabling the extraction of previously-sequestered hydrocarbons.[9][56][69] Because hydraulic fracturing originated in the United States,[86] its history is more extensive there than in other regions. Most environmental impact studies have therefore taken place there.

 Concerns have been raised about research financed by foundations and corporations [87] that some have argued is designed to inflate or minimize the risks of development,[88] as well as lobbying by the gas industry to promote its activities.[89] Several organizations, researchers, and media outlets have reported difficulty in conducting and reporting the results of studies on hydraulic fracturing due to industry[90][91] and governmental pressure, and expressed concern over possible censoring of environmental reports.[90][92][93] A New York Times report claimed that an early draft of a 2004 EPA study discussed “possible evidence” of aquifer contamination but the final report omitted that mention.[90][94] Some have also criticized the narrowing of EPA studies, including the EPA study on hydraulic fracturing’s impact on drinking water to be released in late 2014.[91][92][95] In addition, after court cases concerning contamination from hydraulic fracturing are settled, the documents are sealed, reducing the information available about contamination.[96] The American Petroleum Institute denies that this practice has hidden problems with gas drilling.[citation needed] Researchers have recommended requiring disclosure of all hydraulic fracturing fluids, testing animals raised near fracturing sites, and closer monitoring of environmental samples.[97] Many believe there is a need for more research into the environmental and health impacts of the technique.[98][99]

When petroleum crude oil is extracted and produced from onshore or offshore oil wells, raw natural gas associated with the oil is produced to the surface as well. One gas which is commonly flared is hydrogen sulfide, which is an irritant and a chemical asphyxiant that can alter both oxygen utilization and the central nervous system, according to the U.S. OSHA.[100] Excessive H2S production in previously nonsour environments are “primarily anthropogenic and caused by certain operational practices”.[101] In areas of the world lacking pipelines and other gas transportation infrastructure, vast amounts of such associated gas are commonly flared as waste or unusable gas. In June 2013, the Enbridge corporation obtained an order to reject from its system crude that had high levels of sour gas.[100] Enbridge had found in one instance concentration levels of 1,200ppm.[100] The US FERC regulator sets 10ppm as a maximum for this noxious gas. A concentration 120 times as high “could cause death, or serious injuries”.[100]
A Pennsylvania family was forced to abandon because of pollution of their 10-acre farm. The family was paid 750,000USD by Range Resources Corporation to depart from a more recently installed petroleum well plant, though the family was required to sign an agreement which stated that they haven’t suffered nor ever will suffer any adverse medical effects from the toxic exposure.[102]
The air emissions from hydraulic fracturing are also related to methane leaks originating from wells, and emissions from the diesel or natural gas powered equipment such as compressors, drilling rigs, pumps etc.[56] Also transportation of necessary water volume for hydraulic fracturing, if done by trucks, can cause high volumes of air emissions, especially particulate matter emissions.[103] There are also reports of health problems around compressors stations[104] or drilling sites,[105] although a causal relationship was not established for the limited number of wells studied[105] and another Texas government analysis found no evidence of effects.[106]
Whether natural gas produced by hydraulic fracturing causes higher well-to-burner emissions than gas produced from conventional wells is a matter of contention. A 2012 report coauthored by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory found emissions from shale gas, when burned for electricity, were “very similar” to those from so-called “conventional well” natural gas, and less than half the emissions of coal.[107] In April 2013 the EPA lowered its estimate of how much methane gas is released to the atmosphere during the fracking process by 20 percent.[108] Some studies have found that hydraulic fracturing has higher emissions due to gas released during completing wells as some gas returns to the surface, together with the fracturing fluids. Depending on their treatment, the well-to-burner emissions are 3.5%–12% higher than for conventional gas.[85] Studies that estimate the amount of methane leakage from shale gas development and production find that leakage could be as low as less than 1% of total gas production, or as high as several percent, with most recent studies on the low end of that range.[109][110] A debate has arisen particularly around a study by professor Robert W. Howarth finding shale gas significantly worse for global warming than oil or coal.[111] Other researchers have criticized Howarth’s analysis.[112][113] Howarth has responded that “The latest EPA estimate for methane emissions from shale gas falls within the range of our estimates but not those of Cathles et al., which are substantially lower.”[114] The U.S. EPA has estimated the methane leakage rate to be about 2.4% – well below Howarth’s estimate. The American Gas Association, and industry trade group, calculated a 1.2% leakage rate [115] based on the EPA’s latest greenhouse gas inventory, although the EPA has not publicly stated a change to its prior estimate.

Hydraulic fracturing uses between 1.2 and 3.5 million US gallons (4.5 and 13.2 Ml) of water per well, with large projects using up to 5 million US gallons (19 Ml). Additional water is used when wells are refractured.[63][116] An average well requires 3 to 8 million US gallons (11,000 to 30,000 m3) of water over its lifetime.[56][116][117][118] Back in 2008 at the beginning of the shale boom in Pennsylvania, hydraulic fracturing accounted for 650 million US gallons per year (2,500,000 m3/a) (less than 0.8%) of annual water use in the area overlying the Marcellus Shale.[117][119] The annual number of well permits, however, increased by a factor of five[120] and the number of well starts increased by a factor of over 17 from 2008 to 2011.[121] According to the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, greater volumes of fracturing fluids are required in Europe, where the shale depths average 1.5 times greater than in the U.S.[122]
Appropriating large quantities of water for hydraulic fracturing diverts water from stream flow, water supplies for municipalities and industries such as power generation, as well as recreation and aquatic life.[123] The large volumes of water required have raised concerns about hydraulic fracturing in arid areas, such as Karoo in South Africa[86] and drought prone areas of North America.[124] It may also require water overland piping from distant sources.[117] A report by Ceres questions whether the growth of hydraulic fracturing is sustainable in Texas and Colorado. The report integrated well location and water use data from FracFocus.org with World Resources Institute‘s (WRI) water risk maps. Ninety-two percent of Colorado wells were in extremely high water stress regions and 51% percent of the Texas wells evaluated were in high or extremely high water stress regions. “Extremely high water stress” means that more than 80% of the available water is already allocated for agricultural, industrial and municipal water use.[1]
In Barnhart, Texas the aquifer ran dry because of industrial fracking: one landowner had 104 water wells (designed to supply fracking) dug into his land by his fracker tenants, and the population is left with little recourse for their dry taps.[125] In the Spring of 2013, new hydraulic fracturing water recycling rules were adopted in the state of Texas by the Railroad Commission of Texas. The Water Recycling Rules are intended to encourage Texas hydraulic fracturing operators to conserve water used in the hydraulic fracturing process for oil and gas wells.[126]
Recycling[85] and using carbon dioxide instead of water[127] have been proposed to reduce water consumption. While recycled flowback water cannot yet be made safe enough for drinking or growing crops, it can reused in hydraulic fracturing, though it can shorten the life of some types of equipment.[128]

There are concerns about possible contamination by hydraulic fracturing fluid both as it is injected under high pressure into the ground and as it returns to the surface.[129][130] To mitigate the impact of hydraulic fracturing to groundwater, the well and ideally the shale formation itself should remain hydraulically isolated from other geological formations, especially freshwater aquifers.[85] In 2009 state regulators from at least a dozen states have also stated that they have seen no evidence[131] of the hydraulic fracturing process polluting drinking water. In May 2011, former U.S. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson (appointed by President Barack Obama) has said on at least two occasions that there is either no proven case of direct contamination by the hydraulic fracturing process, or that the EPA has never made a definitive determination[132] of such contamination. By August 2011 there were at least 36 cases of suspected groundwater contamination due to hydraulic fracturing in the United States. In more recent congressional testimony in April 2013, Dr. Robin Ikeda, Deputy Director of Noncommunicable Diseases, Injury and Environmental Health at the CDC listed several sites where EPA had documented contamination.[133] In several cases EPA has determined that hydraulic fracturing was likely the source of the contamination.[134][135][136][137][138][139]
While some of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are common and generally harmless, some are known carcinogens.[69] A report prepared for House Democratic members Henry Waxman, Edward Markey and Diana DeGette stated that out of 2,500 hydraulic fracturing products, “more than 650 of these products contained chemicals that are known or possible human carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, or listed as hazardous air pollutants”.[69] The report also shows that between 2005 and 2009, 279 products had at least one component listed as “proprietary” or “trade secret” on their Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) required material safety data sheet (MSDS). The MSDS is a list of chemical components in the products of chemical manufacturers, and according to OSHA, a manufacturer may withhold information designated as “proprietary” from this sheet. When asked to reveal the proprietary components, most companies participating in the investigation were unable to do so, leading the committee to surmise these “companies are injecting fluids containing unknown chemicals about which they may have limited understanding of the potential risks posed to human health and the environment”.[69] Without knowing the identity of the proprietary components, regulators cannot test for their presence. This prevents government regulators from establishing baseline levels of the substances prior to hydraulic fracturing and documenting changes in these levels, thereby making it more difficult to prove that hydraulic fracturing is contaminating the environment with these substances.[140]
Another 2011 study identified 632 chemicals used in natural gas operations. Only 353 of these are well-described in the scientific literature. The study indicated possible long-term health effects that might not appear immediately. The study recommended full disclosure of all products used, along with extensive air and water monitoring near natural gas operations; it also recommended that hydraulic fracturing’s exemption from regulation under the US Safe Drinking Water Act be rescinded.[141] Industry group Energy In Depth, a research arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, contends that fracking “was never granted an ‘exemption’ from it… How can something earn an exemption from a law that never covered or even conceived of it in the first place?”[142]
Governments are responding to questions about the contents of hydraulic fracturing fluid by requiring disclosure via government agencies and public web site. The Irish regulatory regime requires full disclosure of all additives to Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (Ireland). The European Union also requires such disclosure.[143] In the US, the Ground Water Protection Council launched FracFocus.org, an online voluntary disclosure database for hydraulic fracturing fluids funded by oil and gas trade groups and the U.S. Department of Energy. The site has been met with some skepticism relating to proprietary information that is not included.[144][145] Some states have mandated fluid disclosure and incorporated FracFocus as the tool for disclosure.[146][147] Also in the US, FracTracker Alliance provides oil and gas-related data storage, analyses, and online and customized maps related to hydraulic fracturing on FracTracker.org.

Estimates of the amount of injected fluid returning to the surface vary. Some say approximately 15-20% of the injected fluid returns to the surface with the gas[150] and others say that in the weeks or months after gas production starts, about 30–70% of the original fracture fluid flows back to the surface with the gas, often mixed with natural formation water.[151][152] Some remains underground[150] and some may return to the surface through abandoned wells or other pathways.[153] After the frack flowback is recovered, formation water, usually brine, may continue to flow to the surface, and need treatment or disposal. These fluids, commonly known as flowback, produced water, or wastewater, are managed by underground injection, wastewater treatment and discharge, or recycling to fracture future wells.[107][152][154][155] Hydraulic fracturing can concentrate levels of uranium, radium, radon, and thorium in flowback.[156] One Duke University study reported that Marcellus [Shale] wells produce significantly less wastewater per unit gas recovered (~35%) compared to conventional natural gas wells.”[157] Treatment of produced waters may be feasible through either self-contained systems at well sites or fields or through municipal waste water treatment plants or commercial treatment facilities.[152] However, the quantity of waste water being treated, and the improper configuration of sewage plants to treat it, became an issue in Pennsylvania. When waste brine is discharged to surface waters through conventional wastewater treatment plants, the bromide in the brine usually passes through undiminished. Although not posing a health hazard by itself, in western Pennsylvania some downstream drinking water treatment plants using the surface water experienced increases in brominated trihalomethanes in 2009 and 2010. Trihalomethanes, undesirable byproducts of the chlorination process, form when the chlorine combines with dissolved organic matter in the source water, to form the trihalomethane chloroform. If bromine is present, it will substitute for some of the chlorine, forming brominated trihalomethanes. Because bromine has a higher atomic weight than chlorine, the partial conversion to brominated trihalomethanes increases the concentration by weight of total trihalomethanes.[158][159][160]
Vengosh, the co-author of a Duke University study has advised the UK to impose better environmental regulation than US if it pursues shale gas extraction.[161] Before 2011, wastewater from gas wells in Pennsylvania was processed by public sewage treatment plants, which are not equipped to remove radioactive material and are not required to test for it.[162][163] In 2010 the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) limited surface water discharges from new treatment plants to 250 mg/l chloride. This chloride limitation was designed to also limit other contaminants such as radium. Existing water treatment plants were “grandfathered,” and are still allowed higher discharge concentrations. In April 2011, the DEP asked unconventional gas operators to voluntarily stop sending wastewater to the grandfathered treatment plants. The PADEP reported that the operators had complied.[164] A 2012 study by researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Colorado, and Colorado State University reported a reduction in the percentage of flowback treated through surface water discharge in Pennsylvania from 2008 through 2011.[107] By late 2012, bromine concentrations had declined back to previous levels in the Monongahela River, but remained high in the Allegheny.[165] In Colorado the volume of wastewater discharged to surface streams increased from 2008 to 2011.[107] A recent Duke University study sampled water downstream from a Pennsylvania wastewater treatment facility from 2010 through Fall 2012 and found the creek sediment contained levels of radium 200 times background levels, the surface water contained high levels of chloride and bromide, and the water had the same chemical signature as rocks in the Marcellus Shale formation. The facility denied processing Marcellus waste since 2011. In May 2013 the facility signed another agreement to not accept or discharge wastewater Marcellus Shale formations until it has installed technology to remove the radiation compounds, metals and salts.[166][167]

Methane

Groundwater methane contamination is also a concern as it has adverse impact on water quality and in extreme cases may lead to potential explosion.[163][168] In 2006, over 7 million cubic feet (200,000 m3) of methane were released from a blown gas well in Clark, Wyoming and shallow groundwater was found to be contaminated.[169] A scientific study reported in the PNAS investigated concerns over fracking and well water. The study found high correlations of drilling activity and methane pollution of the drinking water.[170] Methane contamination is not always caused by hydraulic fracturing. Drilling for ordinary drinking water wells can also cause methane release. Most recent studies make use of tests that can distinguish between the deep thermogenic methane released during gas/oil drilling, and the shallower biogenic methane that can be released during water-well drilling. While both forms of methane result from decomposition, thermogenic methane results from geothermal assistance deeper underground.[171][172]
According to the 2011 study of the MIT Energy Initiative, “there is evidence of natural gas (methane) migration into freshwater zones in some areas, most likely as a result of substandard well completion practices i.e. poor quality cementing job or bad casing, by a few operators.”[173] 2011 studies by the Colorado School of Public Health and Duke University also pointed to methane contamination stemming from hydraulic fracturing or its surrounding process.[168][172] A study by Cabot Oil and Gas examined the Duke study using a larger sample size, found that methane concentrations were related to topography, with the highest readings found in low-lying areas, rather than related to distance from gas production areas. Using a more precise isotopic analysis, they showed that the methane found in the water wells came from both the Marcellus Shale (Middle Devonian) where hydraulic fracturing occurred, and from the shallower Upper Devonian formations.[171] A 2013 Duke study suggested that both defective cement seals in the upper part of wells and faulty steel linings within deeper layers may be allowing methane and injected fluid to seep into surface waters.[130] Abandoned gas and oil wells also provide conduits to the surface.[153] A recent Duke University study found methane concentrations six times higher and ethane concentrations were 23 times higher at residences within a kilometer of a shale gas well. Propane was also detected in 10 homes within a kilometer of drilling. The researchers reported that the methane, ethane and propane data, and new evidence from hydrocarbon and helium content, all suggested that drilling has affected the drinking water. They noted that the ethane and propane data were notable because there was no biological source of ethane and propane in the region and Marcellus gas is higher in both than are Upper Devonian gases.[174]

Hydrogen sulfide

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S, sour gas), a gas which is toxic to humans and flammable, has been detected in some fracked crude by the Enbridge corporation.[175] A paper published by the Society of Petroleum Engineers stated in 2011 that increased concentration of H2S in crude oil presents challenges such as “health and environmental risks, corrosion of wellbore, added expense with regard to materials handling and pipeline equipment, and additional refinement requirements”.[101] Holubnyak et al. further state in their paper on the Bakken formation that “the causes of excessive H2S production in previously nonsour environments are primarily anthropogenic and caused by certain operational practices.”

Radioactivity

There are concerns about the levels of radioactivity in wastewater from hydraulic fracturing and its potential impact on public health. Tests conducted in Pennsylvania in 2009 found “no evidence of elevated radiation levels” in waterways.[176] At the time radiation concerns were not seen as a pressing issue.[176] The EPA called for more testing.[177] In 2011 The New York Times reported radium in wastewater from natural gas wells is released into Pennsylvania rivers,[163][178] and compiled a map of these wells and their wastewater contamination levels,[179] and stated that some EPA reports were never made public.[129] The Times’ reporting on the issue has come under some criticism.[180][181] A 2012 study examining a number of hydraulic fracturing sites in Pennsylvania and Virginia by Pennsylvania State University, found that water that flows back from gas wells after hydraulic fracturing contains high levels of radium.[182] A recent Duke University study sampled water downstream from a Pennsylvania wastewater treatment facility from 2010 through Fall 2012 and found the creek sediment contained levels of radium 200 times background levels.[161] The surface water had the same chemical signature as rocks in the Marcellus Shale formation. The facility denied processing Marcellus waste since 2011. In May 2013 the facility signed another agreement to not accept or discharge wastewater Marcellus Shale formations until it has installed technology to remove the radiation compounds, metals and salts.[166][167] Recycling this wastewater has been proposed as a partial solution, but this approach has limitations.[183]
Solid waste such as drill cuttings is also radioactive. In 2012 there were 1325 radiation alerts from all sources at dumps in Pennsylvania, up from 423 alerts in 2008. At least 1,000 of the 2012 alerts were set off by waste from gas and oil drilling hydraulic fracturing operations.[184]

Seismicity

Hydraulic fracturing routinely produces microseismic events much too small to be detected except by sensitive instruments. These microseismic events are often used to map the horizontal and vertical extent of the fracturing.[185] However, as of late 2012, there have been three instances of hydraulic fracturing, through induced seismicity, triggering quakes large enough to be felt by people: one each in the United States, Canada, and England.[186]
A 2012 US Geological Survey study reported that a “remarkable” increase in the rate of M ? 3 earthquakes in the US midcontinent “is currently in progress”, having started in 2001 and culminating in a 6-fold increase over 20th century levels in 2011. The overall increase was tied to earthquake increases in a few specific areas: the Raton Basin of southern Colorado (site of coalbed methane activity), and gas-producing areas in central and southern Oklahoma, and central Arkansas.[187] While analysis suggested that the increase is “almost certainly man-made”, the USGS noted: “USGS’s studies suggest that the actual hydraulic fracturing process is only very rarely the direct cause of felt earthquakes.” The increased earthquakes were said to be most likely caused by increased injection of gas-well wastewater into disposal wells.[188] The injection of waste water from oil and gas operations, including from hydraulic fracturing, into saltwater disposal wells may cause bigger low-magnitude tremors, being registered up to 3.3 (Mw).[189]

Induced seismicity from hydraulic fracturing

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has reported earthquakes induced by hydraulic fracturing, and by disposal of hydraulic fracturing flowback into waste disposal wells, in several locations. Bill Ellsworth, a geoscientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, has said, however: “We don’t see any connection between fracking and earthquakes of any concern to society.” [190] The National Research Council (part of the National Academy of Sciences) has also observed that hydraulic fracturing, when used in shale gas recovery, does not pose a serious risk of causing earthquakes that can be felt.[191]
A British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission investigation concluded that a series of 38 earthquakes (magnitudes ranging from 2.2 to 3.8 on the Richter scale) occurring in the Horn River Basin area between 2009 and 2011 were caused by fluid injection during hydraulic fracturing in proximity to pre-existing faults. The tremors were small enough that only one of them was reported felt by people; there were no reports of injury or property damage.[192]
A report in the UK concluded that hydraulic fracturing was the likely cause of two small tremors (magnitudes 2.3 and 1.4 on the Richter scale) that occurred during hydraulic fracturing of shale.[193][194][195]

Induced seismicity from water disposal wells

According to the USGS only a small fraction of roughly 40,000 waste fluid disposal wells for oil and gas operations in the United States have induced earthquakes that are large enough to be of concern to the public.[196] Although the magnitudes of these quakes has been small, the USGS says that there is no guarantee that larger quakes will not occur.[197] In addition, the frequency of the quakes has been increasing. In 2009, there were 50 earthquakes greater than magnitude 3.0 in the area spanning Alabama and Montana, and there were 87 quakes in 2010. In 2011 there were 134 earthquakes in the same area, a sixfold increase over 20th century levels.[198] There are also concerns that quakes may damage underground gas, oil, and water lines and wells that were not designed to withstand earthquakes.[197][199]
Several earthquakes in 2011, including a 4.0 magnitude quake on New Year’s Eve that hit Youngstown, Ohio, are likely linked to a disposal of hydraulic fracturing wastewater, according to seismologists at Columbia University.[200] A similar series of small earthquakes occurred in 2012 in Texas. Earthquakes are not common occurrences in either area. Disposal and injection wells are regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act and UIC laws.[201]

Health impacts

Concern has been expressed over the possible long and short term health effects of air and water contamination and radiation exposure by gas production.[156][202][203] A study on the effect of gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing, published by the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, concluded that exposure to gas drilling operations was strongly implicated in serious health effects on humans and animals [204] although scientists have raised concerns about that particular report.[205] As of May 2012, the United States Institute of Medicine and United States National Research Council were preparing to review the potential human and environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing.[206][207]
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers radioactive material in flowback a hazard to workers at hydraulic fracturing sites. Workers may inhale radon gas released by the process, raising their risk of lung cancer. They are also exposed to alpha and gamma radiation released during the decay of radium-226 and to gamma radiation and beta particles released by the decay of radium-228, according to EPA. EPA reports that gamma radiation can also penetrate the skin and raise the risk of cancer.[208]
A 2012 study concluded that risk prevention efforts should be directed towards reducing air emission exposures for persons living and working near wells during well completions.[209] In the United States the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a hazard alert based on data collected by NIOSH that workers may be exposed to dust with high levels of respirable crystalline silica (silicon dioxide) during hydraulic fracturing.[210] NIOSH notified company representatives of these findings and provided reports with recommendations to control exposure to crystalline silica and recommend that all hydraulic fracturing sites evaluate their operations to determine the potential for worker exposure to crystalline silica and implement controls as necessary to protect workers.[211]
According to the United States Department of Energy, hydraulic fracturing fluid is composed of approximately 95% water, 4.5% sand and 0.5% different chemicals.[56] These percentages are by weight, so hydraulically fracturing a well uses 4-7 million gallons of water (15000-27000 tons) and 80-140 tons of chemicals. There can be up to 65 chemicals and often include benzyne, glycol-ethers, toluene, ethanol and nonphenols.[69][212] Some[who?] have argued that although many of these chemicals are harmful, some of them are either non toxic or are non toxic at lower dosages.[213] However, their concentration in hydraulic fracturing fluid have proven toxic to animals and humans.[204] Many chemicals used in fracking, such as 2-BE ethylene glycol, are carcinogenic. This chemical is listed under chronic oral RFD assessment, chronic inhalation RFC assessment, and carcinogenicity assessment records of the US environmental protection agency’s website.
In a study done by Colborn and colleagues, they examined 353 out of 994 fracking chemicals identified by TEDX in hydraulic fracking operation. They found over 75% of the 353 chemicals affected the skin, eyes, and other sensory organs,52% affected the nervous system, 40% affected the immune system and kidney system, and 46% affected the cardiocascular system and blood.[214]

In a second study done by Colborn and colleagues, they examined the airborne chemicals due to the fracking process. The group categorized the human tissue types into 12 categories and found 35 chemicals affected the brain/nervous system, 33 the liver/ metabolism, and 30 the endocrine system, which includes reproductive and developmental effects. The categories with the next highest numbers of effects were the immune system (28), cardiovascular/blood (27), and the sensory and respiratory systems (25 each). Eight chemicals had health effects in all 12 categories.[215]

Airborne chemicals during the fracking process, such as benzene and benzene derivatives, naphthalene, methylene chloride, are either carcinogenic or suspected as a human carcinogen to the human body.[215][216]




Published time: October 31, 2013 22:24

Pennsylvania authorities have denied a doctor the right to challenge a so-called “medical gag rule” that prevents him and other physicians from warning the public about the health dangers associated with fracking.

Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez of Dallas, Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against the state last year, asserting that Act 13 of 2012 forces medical professionals to enter “a vague confidentiality agreement” that prevents them from having a completely honest dialogue with patients.

Hydraulic fracking involves drilling through underground shale rock with the help of chemicals – many of them toxic – to release natural gas. Earlier this month, a research team out of Duke University examined Pennsylvania wastewater and found what they described as “alarmingly” high levels of radioactivity, salts, metals, and other potentially harmful sediments.

Yet the “medical gag rule” forbids doctors like Rodriguez from going into depth about the health problems that chemicals from fracking can cause. Critics have said the bill’s passage, and the court’s refusal to grant Dr. Rodriguez the right to speak freely with his patients, is an indication of just how entrenched the oil and gas lobby is in state politics.

Rodriguez specializes in renal diseases, hypertension, and advanced diabetes. He “has recently treated patients directly exposed to high-volume hydraulic fracturing fluid as the result of well blowouts,” including a patient “with a complicated diagnosis with low platelets, anemia, rash and acute renal failure that required extensive hemodialysis and exposure to chemotherapeutic agents,” the complaint stated, as quoted by Courthouse News.

For fulfilling his true responsibility as a doctor, though, Rodriguez allegedly risks violating the American Medical Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics, an infraction that could cost him his medical license.

That may well happen, because the state requires professional healthcare providers “to enter into, upon request by gas drilling company or vendor, a vague confidentiality agreement to maintain the specific identity any amount of any chemicals claimed to be a trade secret by a gas drilling company and/or its vendor as a condition precedent to receiving such information deemed unnecessary to provide competent medical treatment to plaintiff’s patient,” according to the complaint.

Despite Rodriguez’s complaint that the provision is a violation of his First and 14th Amendment rights, and multiple briefs filed by medical associations on his behalf, a federal judge dismissed the suit upon deciding the issue was “too conjectural” to stand.

“Although plaintiff alleges that he requires the kind of information contemplated under the act for the treatment of his patients, he does not allege that he has been in a situation where he needed or attempted to obtain such information, despite the fact that he alleges that he has treated patients injured by hydraulic fracturing fluid in the past,” wrote Judge A. Richard Caputo. “Similarly, plaintiff does not allege that he has been in a position where he was required to agree to any sort of confidentiality agreement under the act.”

The decision goes on to state that any attempt Rodriguez made to notify his patients of Act 13’s impact were “merely a prophylactic measure to ease his fears of potential future harm.”


Published on Oct 19, 2013

Saturday is Global Frackdown Day – an international protest uniting activists worldwide, demanding a ban on shale gas drilling. ‘Fracktivists’, as they’re known, want their authorities to hear the truth about the risks of the technology. Demonstrations in Canada turned violent on Thursday with police using pepper spray and plastic bullets while trying to remove a blockade. 40 protesters were arrested, some of them threw molotov cocktails and set several police cars on fire. For more perspective on fracking practice RT is joined by environmental activist Rose Braz.


As the fracking boom is expanding in states across the country, New York state represents our best opportunity anywhere to win a ban against fracking, and take a stand against this practice that is polluting water and air, endangering public health, and exacerbating the climate crisis.
Activists in New York have kept the industry at bay for years, but New York Governor Cuomo recently took a dramatic step toward opening New York to fracking by proposing regulations that, if implemented, would lift New York’s moratorium on fracking.1
Governor Cuomo’s fracking plan is open for public comment until Friday, and national pressure is needed to convince him to stop trying to frack New York and instead take a stand for clean air, clean water and clean energy that doesn’t heat up our climate. Governor Cuomo is particularly susceptible to national pressure as he eyes a run for president in 2016.2 We need to make it clear to him that progressives across the country are watching what he does in New York.
Fracking in New York would dramatically exacerbate the climate crisis. Fracked gas is mostly methane, a potent greenhouse gas that leaks from natural gas wells, pipelines, and other infrastructure. Recent research suggests that methane emissions from fracked natural gas operations are so high that fracking may even be worse for the climate than coal.3
A recent report by the International Energy Agency concluded that a global transition toward fracked gas would push us past dangerous climate tipping points and into a world wracked by climate chaos.4
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Governor Cuomo bravely spoke out about the need to prepare for climate change. Now we need to hold him to those brave words by demanding a ban on fracking in New York. Nothing else in his power would do more to address the climate crisis and prevent more fossil-fueled superstorms, droughts, wildfires, and floods.
New Yorkers have already submitted tens of thousands of public comments on Cuomo’s fracking plan. Will you amplify their voices by submitting a public comment? Now is the time to send a message to Cuomo that the whole country is watching what he does next, and that we’ll remember his choice when we make ours in 2016.
Thanks for standing up to the fracking industry.
Zack Malitz, Campaign Manager 
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Take action now!
Learn more about this campaign
1. Tom Wilber, “Reading the regs: missing pieces confound NY gas policy. Some happier than others with signals from Albany,” Shale Gas Review, December 4, 2012
2. Danny Hakim, “Cuomo for President? Who Said That? Well, Dad,” New York Times, July 8, 2012
3. Jeff Tollefson, “Methane leaks erode green credentials of natural gas,” Nature, January 2, 2013
4. Joe Romm, “IEA’s ‘Golden Age of Gas Scenario’ Leads to More Than 6°F Warming and Out-of-Control Climate Change,” ThinkProgress, June 7, 2011 and Out-of-Control Climate Change,” ThinkProgress, June 7, 2011


Fracking was once seen by some environmentalists as a technology that, given the proper regulations, could be done safely and provide a fuel that emits far fewer greenhouse gases than coal. Natural gas was seen as a good alternative to coal, at least until renewables like wind and solar were ready for prime time. But declining costs for renewables, more instances of water contamination, uncertainly over the heat-trappng nature of natural gas that escapes from wells unburned, and a fear that cheap gas is crowding out wind and solar have led many to change their minds.

Several environmental groups are calling for an immediate ban on fracking, while others favor a gradual phase out combined with greater federal regulation.

On the other side are many analysts and economists that believe this technology can give the United States a significant economic and geopolitical advantage.


Damon was asked about the foreign-oil funding by documentary director Phelim McAleer at a Dec. 3 promotional event in New York. McAleer, who is directing the upcoming pro-fracking film “Frack Nation,” asked Damon:

“How does it feel to be a fully-paid advocate for an oil-rich Middle Eastern government – and, doesn’t that really negate any artistic credibility… that ‘The Promised Land” might have?”

Damon explained that part of the funding comes from Participant Media which has a “blind slate deal” with Image Nation that pays for ten percent of all of Participant’s films. Participant is known for making liberal issue movies such as “Food Inc.,” “Syriana,” and “An Inconvenient Truth.”


Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is the process of pumping large quantities of water, sand and chemicals deep underground at high pressures in order to release trapped natural gas from tight rock formations, especially shale. Over the last decade, advances in fracking methods, such as horizontal drilling, have led to a dramatic increase in U.S. shale gas production. Tens of thousands of fracking wells now operate in twenty states, producing over seven trillion cubic feet of shale gas per year, or 25% of the total U.S. supply of natural gas.

While fracking has been a boon for the oil and gas industry, it has been devastating to the environment. Each well is injected with millions of gallons of fresh water containing a mix of toxic chemicals. Up to 50% of this fluid returns to the surface, having been further contaminated with methane and other hazardous substances released from the shale, including the radioactive element radium-226. Much of this toxic wastewater leaks into nearby groundwater, polluting streams and aquifers. (In some cases the methane contamination is so high that residents living near fracking wells are able to light their drinking water on fire.) The rest of the wastewater is either injected into empty, underground rock formations or shipped off to conventional water treatment facilities. However, these facilities are not equipped to handle radioactive material or other types of contaminants found in fracking wastewater, which they simply discharge into rivers and streams. And questions remain as to whether underground rock formations, many of which have been damaged by fracking, can permanently contain the wastewater. Furthermore, the USGS confirmed in May, 2012 what many people had already suspected, that the underground disposal of fracking wastewater has been responsible for the twenty-fold increase in earthquakes seen in regions where fracking takes place.

Fracking wells also emit hazardous air pollutants, including benzene and toluene, that can cause cancer and other serious health effects. Residents of Dish, TX who live near fracking wells have reported headaches and blackouts, and many of their horses have gone blind or developed other neurological impairments. In six Texas counties with intensive shale gas development, asthma rates are three times higher than the Texas average. And in Wyoming, fracking has caused ground-level ozone pollution in some residential areas to exceed amounts recorded in Los Angeles. Fracking also releases large quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than CO2, giving shale gas a larger global warming footprint than oil.

While the oil and gas industry touts fracking as a “game changer” that will lead the U.S. to “energy independence,” these claims have been widely criticized as false and intentionally misleading. High drilling costs and rapid decline rates of fracked wells suggest shale gas is uneconomical in the long run, and hundreds of internal industry documents and emails leaked to the New York Times describe shale gas development as a “Ponzi scheme reminiscent of Enron,” where “flipping land leases” and “conning investors” is more profitable than the actual gas.

Despite the environmental consequences, congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which exempted the fracking industry from virtually all environmental regulations, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Safe Drinking Water Act. In May, 2012 the EPA outraged independent scientists and residents of Dimock, PA, by declaring the town’s water safe to drink even though it contained unsafe levels of arsenic, barium and other contaminants. And in June, 2012 the New York department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) secretly allowed fracking industry lobbyists to help draft the state’s proposed fracking legislation, watering it down in the interest of industry profits. This criminal collusion demands a broad-based movement of education, protest and civil disobedience to put pressure on the government to ban fracking and invest in a safe and renewable energy infrastructure.

References & external links:

http://waterdefense.org
http://foodandwaterwatch.org
http://catskillcitizens.org
http://gaslandthemovie.com
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/20/dimock-pa-fracking-epa-water…
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/us/natural-gas-drilling-down…
http://truth-out.org/news/item/9168-when-polluted-water-is-safe…
http://cluborlov.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/shale-gas-view-from…
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/07/doing-some-math…
http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/21…
http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/communication/news-archive/2011/shale…
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/us/27gas.html
http://www.waterdefense.org/blog/caught-red-handed
http://www.waterdefense.org/content/response-usepa…
http://www.stopthefrackattack.org/


Dear Friend,
What will it take for major corporations like Halliburton to stop treating our safety like it was just a speed bump along their way to obscene profits from fracking?
It will take levying major fines on the corporation when it makes reckless, unbelievable mistakes — like losing, for nearly a month, a radioactive rod used in the process of fracking wells in Texas, after it apparently just fell off a truck.1
That’s right. Fell. Off. A. Truck.


The Fracking of America

It’s almost impossible to overestimate the importance of fracking to the natural gas industry and the nation. It’s also difficult to understate the controversy surrounding the environmental issues of the rock fracturing technology.

The special report,“Who’s Winning The Natural Gas Game?” addresses both issues and more.
Just a few years ago, the operating assumption of both government and the industry was that the U.S. was running out of recoverable natural gas and would soon be importing large amounts to meet our needs. Shipping terminals to receive liquefied natural gas from abroad needed to be built — and fast.

Now, the industry is talking about a 100-year supply and is building export terminals to ship our liquid natural gas to other countries.




Gasland


Hydraulic Fracturing FAQs

How does hydraulic fracturing work?

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.

What is horizontal hydraulic fracturing?

Horizontal hydrofracking is a means of tapping shale deposits containing natural gas that were previously inaccessible by conventional drilling. Vertical hydrofracking is used to extend the life of an existing well once its productivity starts to run out, sort of a last resort. Horizontal fracking differs in that it uses a mixture of 596 chemicals, many of them proprietary, and millions of gallons of water per frack. This water then becomes contaminated and must be cleaned and disposed of.

What is the Halliburton Loophole?

In 2005, the Bush/ Cheney Energy Bill exempted natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act. It exempts companies from disclosing the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing. Essentially, the provision took the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) off the job. It is now commonly referred to as the Halliburton Loophole.

What is the Safe Drinking Water Act?

In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was passed by Congress to ensure clean drinking water free from both natural and man-made contaminates.

What is the FRAC Act?

The FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness to Chemical Act) is a House bill intended to repeal the Halliburton Loophole and to require the natural gas industry to disclose the chemicals they use.

How deep do natural gas wells go?

The average well is up to 8,000 feet deep. The depth of drinking water aquifers is about 1,000 feet. The problems typically stem from poor cement well casings that leak natural gas as well as fracking fluid into water wells.

How much water is used during the fracking process?

Generally 1-8 million gallons of water may be used to frack a well. A well may be fracked up to 18 times.

What fluids are used in the fracking process?

For each frack, 80-300 tons of chemicals may be used. Presently, the natural gas industry does not have to disclose the chemicals used, but scientists have identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.

In what form does the natural gas come out of the well?

The gas comes up wet in produced water and has to be separated from the wastewater on the surface. Only 30-50% of the water is typically recovered from a well. This wastewater can be highly toxic.

What is done with the wastewater?

Evaporators evaporate off VOCs and condensate tanks steam off VOCs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The wastewater is then trucked to water treatment facilities.

What is a well’s potential to cause air pollution?

As the VOCs are evaporated and come into contact with diesel exhaust from trucks and generators at the well site, ground level ozone is produced. Ozone plumes can travel up to 250 miles.

Nazis, the CIA, Oilman Slick, Hoaxes—and the Yeti

The search for the Yeti has included a wide array of colorful characters, including Nazis, CIA agents, oil millionaires, and TV producers known for their hoaxes

The search for the Yeti has included a wide array of colorful characters, including Nazis, CIA agents, oil millionaires, and TV producers known for their hoaxes

the petrodollar

Blood and Oil
Featuring Michael T. Klare

The notion that oil motivates America’s military engagements in the Middle East is often disregarded as nonsense or mere conspiracy theory. In Blood and Oil, bestselling author and Nation magazine defense correspondent Michael T. Klare challenges this conventional wisdom and corrects the historical record. The film unearths declassified documents and highlights forgotten passages in prominent presidential doctrines to show how concerns about oil have been at the core of American foreign policy for more than 60 years — rendering our contemporary energy and military policies virtually indistinguishable.

In the end, Blood and Oil calls for a radical re-thinking of US energy policy, warning that unless we change direction, we stand to be drawn into one oil war after another as the global hunt for diminishing world petroleum supplies accelerates.

Michael T. Klare

Michael T. Klare, one of the world’s most renowned experts on energy and security issues, is the Five College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies (a joint appointment at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst) and Director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS), positions he has held since 1985. He is the author of thirteen books, including, most recently Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy (Metropolitan Books, 2008), Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (Metropolitan Books, 2004), and Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict (Metropolitan Books, 2001).

Professor Klare has written widely on U.S. defense policy, the arms trade, global resource politics, and world security affairs. He is the defense correspondent of The Nation magazine and a Contributing Editor of Current History. He also regularly contributes to various publications including Foreign Affairs, ForeignPolicy, Harper’s, International Security, Le Monde Diplomatique, Newsweek, Scientific American, Technology Review, Third World Quarterly, and World Policy Journal. Professor Klare received his B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University in 1963 and 1968, respectively, and his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of the Union Institute in 1976.


Published on Sep 15, 2013

Canadian billionaire businessman Ned Goodman predicts the end of the U.S. Dollar as the world’s reserve currency. He says the transition out of the U.S. Dollar will become, “…quite ugly.” He delivered the lecture at Cambridge House’s Toronto Resource Investment Conference 2013 on Thursday, September 12, 2013.


Published on Jul 24, 2013

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—–
When will the economy collapse? Well in order to answer that question we have to first look at the geopolitical variables holding the dollar up, in particular the petrodollar.
—–
The derivatives black hole: http://business.time.com/2013/03/27/w…

America’s economic death spiral: http://moneymorning.com/ob/economist-…

65% of Americans think hard times are ahead:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/159596/ame…

The markets are in a bubble. The mainstream is in denial:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-…

Iraq pulled off of the Dollar in 2000: http://archives.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/me…

The real reason for the Libyan war: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfr…

Iran pushing to end the petrodollar: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/co…

Russia sending warships to Syria: http://www.timesofisrael.com/russia-s…


Two more countries have joined in the trend started by China and Japan recently, where they bypass the dollar and instead use their own currencies directly in trading. Iran and Russia have made a trade agreement on January 7th which moves the stakes ever closer to the end of the US’s reign as the reserve currency.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran and Russia have replaced US Dollar with their own currencies in their trade ties, a senior Iranian diplomat announced on Saturday.

Speaking to FNA, Tehran’s Ambassador to Moscow Seyed Reza Sajjadi said that the proposal for replacing US Dollar with Ruble and Rial was raised by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Astana on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting.
“Since then, we have acted on this basis and a part of our interactions is done in Ruble now,” Sajjadi stated, adding that many Iranian traders are using Ruble for their trade deals.
“There is a similar interest in the Russian side,” the envoy stated, adding that that Moscow is against unilateral sanctions on Iran outside the UN Security Council, specially the recent sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank (CBI).


China and Japan Getting Away From Dollars

By Dec 27, 2011, 5:23 PM Author’s Website 

The run on the dollar that could sink its value and bring surprise hyperinflation to the U.S. has just become a lot more likely. China and Japan are moving to trade each other’s currencies directly rather than use the U.S. dollar as an intermediary. This won’t lead to an immediate shift away from the dollar. After all, the greenback has constituted around 60% or so of central banks’ foreign currency holdings since at least 1995, according to the IMF’s COFER report.

The change does signal to other nations that America’s main trading partners will favor the illiquidity risk of less-traded currencies over the valuation risk of holding dollars tied to unsustainable spending. China and Japan do have debt problems of their own, but they may be wagering that two drunks trying to stand each other up over the Sea of Japan is less tiresome than levitating a much larger drunk off of his back from across the Pacific Ocean. They may even print some more of their own currencies just to have the liquidity to buy each others’ bonds. The Fed isn’t the only player around that can do quantitative easing.

The U.S. financial elite should take a breather from its construction of swap lines for the eurozone to pay attention to this news. America’s deficit spending since 9/11 constituted a transfer of wealth from Asian central banks and sovereign wealth funds to shareholders in U.S. defense contractors and Medicare vendors. Trade partners who opt out of petrodollar recycling will make it harder for the U.S. to peddle dollar-denominated debt outside the U.S., because there will be fewer nations willing to keep an inventory of dollars to buy it.

In any case, China and Japan have just quietly removed a source of demand for dollars. This deal is another sign of higher U.S. interest rates to come, hyperinflation or not.

Blood and Oil
Featuring Michael T. Klare

The notion that oil motivates America’s military engagements in the Middle East is often disregarded as nonsense or mere conspiracy theory. In Blood and Oil, bestselling author and Nation magazine defense correspondent Michael T. Klare challenges this conventional wisdom and corrects the historical record. The film unearths declassified documents and highlights forgotten passages in prominent presidential doctrines to show how concerns about oil have been at the core of American foreign policy for more than 60 years — rendering our contemporary energy and military policies virtually indistinguishable.

In the end, Blood and Oil calls for a radical re-thinking of US energy policy, warning that unless we change direction, we stand to be drawn into one oil war after another as the global hunt for diminishing world petroleum supplies accelerates.

Michael T. Klare

Michael T. Klare, one of the world’s most renowned experts on energy and security issues, is the Five College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies (a joint appointment at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst) and Director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS), positions he has held since 1985. He is the author of thirteen books, including, most recently Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy (Metropolitan Books, 2008), Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (Metropolitan Books, 2004), and Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict (Metropolitan Books, 2001).

Professor Klare has written widely on U.S. defense policy, the arms trade, global resource politics, and world security affairs. He is the defense correspondent of The Nation magazine and a Contributing Editor of Current History. He also regularly contributes to various publications including Foreign Affairs, ForeignPolicy, Harper’s, International Security, Le Monde Diplomatique, Newsweek, Scientific American, Technology Review, Third World Quarterly, and World Policy Journal. Professor Klare received his B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University in 1963 and 1968, respectively, and his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of the Union Institute in 1976.


Published on Sep 15, 2013

Canadian billionaire businessman Ned Goodman predicts the end of the U.S. Dollar as the world’s reserve currency. He says the transition out of the U.S. Dollar will become, “…quite ugly.” He delivered the lecture at Cambridge House’s Toronto Resource Investment Conference 2013 on Thursday, September 12, 2013.


Published on Jul 24, 2013

Follow us on Facebook:     http://facebook.com/StormCloudsGathering
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Get weekly email updates:  http://tinyurl.com/naturalrightsnewsl…
—–
When will the economy collapse? Well in order to answer that question we have to first look at the geopolitical variables holding the dollar up, in particular the petrodollar.
—–
The derivatives black hole: http://business.time.com/2013/03/27/w…

America’s economic death spiral: http://moneymorning.com/ob/economist-…

65% of Americans think hard times are ahead:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/159596/ame…

The markets are in a bubble. The mainstream is in denial:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-…

Iraq pulled off of the Dollar in 2000: http://archives.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/me…

The real reason for the Libyan war: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfr…

Iran pushing to end the petrodollar: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/co…

Russia sending warships to Syria: http://www.timesofisrael.com/russia-s…


Two more countries have joined in the trend started by China and Japan recently, where they bypass the dollar and instead use their own currencies directly in trading. Iran and Russia have made a trade agreement on January 7th which moves the stakes ever closer to the end of the US’s reign as the reserve currency.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran and Russia have replaced US Dollar with their own currencies in their trade ties, a senior Iranian diplomat announced on Saturday.

Speaking to FNA, Tehran’s Ambassador to Moscow Seyed Reza Sajjadi said that the proposal for replacing US Dollar with Ruble and Rial was raised by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Astana on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting.
“Since then, we have acted on this basis and a part of our interactions is done in Ruble now,” Sajjadi stated, adding that many Iranian traders are using Ruble for their trade deals.
“There is a similar interest in the Russian side,” the envoy stated, adding that that Moscow is against unilateral sanctions on Iran outside the UN Security Council, specially the recent sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank (CBI).


China and Japan Getting Away From Dollars

By Dec 27, 2011, 5:23 PM Author’s Website 

The run on the dollar that could sink its value and bring surprise hyperinflation to the U.S. has just become a lot more likely. China and Japan are moving to trade each other’s currencies directly rather than use the U.S. dollar as an intermediary. This won’t lead to an immediate shift away from the dollar. After all, the greenback has constituted around 60% or so of central banks’ foreign currency holdings since at least 1995, according to the IMF’s COFER report.

The change does signal to other nations that America’s main trading partners will favor the illiquidity risk of less-traded currencies over the valuation risk of holding dollars tied to unsustainable spending. China and Japan do have debt problems of their own, but they may be wagering that two drunks trying to stand each other up over the Sea of Japan is less tiresome than levitating a much larger drunk off of his back from across the Pacific Ocean. They may even print some more of their own currencies just to have the liquidity to buy each others’ bonds. The Fed isn’t the only player around that can do quantitative easing.

The U.S. financial elite should take a breather from its construction of swap lines for the eurozone to pay attention to this news. America’s deficit spending since 9/11 constituted a transfer of wealth from Asian central banks and sovereign wealth funds to shareholders in U.S. defense contractors and Medicare vendors. Trade partners who opt out of petrodollar recycling will make it harder for the U.S. to peddle dollar-denominated debt outside the U.S., because there will be fewer nations willing to keep an inventory of dollars to buy it.

In any case, China and Japan have just quietly removed a source of demand for dollars. This deal is another sign of higher U.S. interest rates to come, hyperinflation or not.

THRIVE

Published on Apr 5, 2012 If you value what is presented in this movie, please go to http://thrivemovement.com/ where you can support Thrive Movement by making a donation. You will also find more in-depth information on each of the subjects discussed…

Published on Apr 5, 2012
If you value what is presented in this movie, please go to http://thrivemovement.com/ where you can support Thrive Movement by making a donation. You will also find more in-depth information on each of the subjects discussed in the movie, learn about Critical Mass initiatives supported by Thrive, and connect with others who are waking up and taking action.

Film Synopsis:
THRIVE is an unconventional documentary that lifts the veil on what’s REALLY going on in our world by following the money upstream — uncovering the global consolidation of power in nearly every aspect of our lives. Weaving together breakthroughs in science, consciousness and activism, THRIVE offers real solutions, empowering us with unprecedented and bold strategies for reclaiming our lives and our future.

http://www.thrivemovement.com/

Karen Hudes

Published on Aug 30, 2013Karen shows her strength, fighting the good fight.Published on Sep 8, 2013 Senior Counsel for the World Bank legal department reports corruption to US Congress, the World Bank’s other member countries, and the pub…

Published on Aug 30, 2013

Karen shows her strength, fighting the good fight.

Published on Sep 8, 2013
Senior Counsel for the World Bank legal department reports corruption to US Congress, the World Bank’s other member countries, and the public.
https://twitter.com/KarenHudes
Karen Hudes studied law at Yale Law School and economics at the University of Amsterdam. She worked in the US Export Import Bank from 1980-1985 and in the Legal Department of the World Bank from 1986-2007. She established the Non Governmental Organization Committee of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association and the Committee on Multilateralism and the Accountability of International Organizations of the American Branch of the International Law Association. What did Karen Hudes blow the whistle on? In 2007 Karen warned the US Treasury Department and US Congress that the US would lose its right to appoint the President of the World Bank if the current American President of the World Bank did not play by the rules. http://kahudes.net/

Published on Oct 8, 2013

The US government shutdown – a temporary ailment or a symptom of a grave disease? Are the Republicans right in their move to block Obamacare spending? Who gains from the shutdown turmoil? Do the politicians care about their citizens? Our guest comes from the very heart of the banking system: Karen Hudes was World Bank lawyer when she blew the whistle on major corruption cases in the system and was fired as a result.

For FULL TRANSCRIPT of the interview click here: http://on.rt.com/ue0xat

9/11 conspiracy theory

Philip Marshall ‘Murder-Suicide’

FEBRUARY 28, 2013 BY 

Many news reports have been quick to echo what the Calaveras County Sheriffs Department has claimed; Philip Marshall killed his two teenage kids, his dog, and himself. What we know is that there is no motive for the allegation, and we know that this conclusion was made the same day that the three bodies were found. The family dog was found in a bedroom, the two kids were found “sleeping” on a couch in the front room, six feet away from each other, and Marshall was found face-up near the front door, in a pool of blood with his gun next to him.

The biggest conspiracy theory here is the one that the police have come up with. Have they tested Philip Marshall for gun residue (ballistics testing)? The police department have not released any information about this question and I haven’t seen it asked in the local news reports about Philip Marshall.

The Calaveras County coroner, Kevin Raggio, claims the two teenagers, Alex (17) and Macaila (14), appeared to be “sleeping.” Joel Metzger, of Calaveras Enterprise.com, points out “It’s highly unlikely Marshall could have shot one without waking the other.” Metzgerreports that Sgt. Chris Hewitt was asked about this. Hewitt responded by saying he could not comment on it, “It’s part of an active investigation.” I thought they had concluded their investigation when they determined Marshall was guilty of a double-murder suicide? Perhaps the investigation is still “on-going” because the police have no motive, no suicide note, and no indication that Marshall fit the profile of someone who murdered the two people closest to him, his own flesh and blood.


Published on Sep 11, 2013


Published on Oct 18, 2013
Bob Tuskin questions Noam Chomsky about 9/11. His shocking response and position over the years on 9/11 has baffled many. He invited AE 9/11 truth to present their evidence to MIT. We will let you be the judge of his response. http://www.bobtuskin.com/

Uploaded on Nov 6, 2010


PURCHASE this DVD:  — 9/11 TRUTH is the ultimate Anti-War message — Support the dedicated work of Architect, Richard Gage, AIA, and 1,600 Architects and Engineers. — Show the DVD to your friends and family so they know the pretext for 2 wars is based on a LIE!

TAGS:
“9/11: Explosive Evidence — Experts Speak Out”

9/11,ae911truth,”veterans for peace”,thermite,”9/11: Explosive Evidence — Experts Speak Out”

Philip Marshall ‘Murder-Suicide’

Many news reports have been quick to echo what the Calaveras County Sheriffs Department has claimed; Philip Marshall killed his two teenage kids, his dog, and himself. What we know is that there is no motive for the allegation, and we know that this conclusion was made the same day that the three bodies were found. The family dog was found in a bedroom, the two kids were found “sleeping” on a couch in the front room, six feet away from each other, and Marshall was found face-up near the front door, in a pool of blood with his gun next to him.

The biggest conspiracy theory here is the one that the police have come up with. Have they tested Philip Marshall for gun residue (ballistics testing)? The police department have not released any information about this question and I haven’t seen it asked in the local news reports about Philip Marshall.

The Calaveras County coroner, Kevin Raggio, claims the two teenagers, Alex (17) and Macaila (14), appeared to be “sleeping.” Joel Metzger, of Calaveras Enterprise.com, points out “It’s highly unlikely Marshall could have shot one without waking the other.” Metzgerreports that Sgt. Chris Hewitt was asked about this. Hewitt responded by saying he could not comment on it, “It’s part of an active investigation.” I thought they had concluded their investigation when they determined Marshall was guilty of a double-murder suicide? Perhaps the investigation is still “on-going” because the police have no motive, no suicide note, and no indication that Marshall fit the profile of someone who murdered the two people closest to him, his own flesh and blood.


Published on Sep 11, 2013


Published on Oct 18, 2013
Bob Tuskin questions Noam Chomsky about 9/11. His shocking response and position over the years on 9/11 has baffled many. He invited AE 9/11 truth to present their evidence to MIT. We will let you be the judge of his response. http://www.bobtuskin.com/

Uploaded on Nov 6, 2010


PURCHASE this DVD:  — 9/11 TRUTH is the ultimate Anti-War message — Support the dedicated work of Architect, Richard Gage, AIA, and 1,600 Architects and Engineers. — Show the DVD to your friends and family so they know the pretext for 2 wars is based on a LIE!

TAGS:
“9/11: Explosive Evidence — Experts Speak Out”

9/11,ae911truth,”veterans for peace”,thermite,”9/11: Explosive Evidence — Experts Speak Out”

Homeland Security

Oct 27 2013, 9:55 AM ET

(The Atlantic) -The Department of Homeland Security is using algorithms to “prescreen” travelers before they board domestic flights, reviewing government and private databases that include Americans’ tax identification numbers, car registrations and property records.

Documents leaked by whistleblower Edward J. Snowden emerged this week, revealing NSA phone monitoring of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, 35 unidentified heads of state, and 70 million calls in France.

The extent of the surveillance is sparking widespread indignation and endangering joint counter-terrorism operations among Germany, France and the United States.

Inside the United States, meanwhile, press reports emerged on Monday that the Transportation Security Administration is expanding its prescreening of airline passengers to include government and private databases that contain employment information, property records and physical characteristics.
Khaliah Barnes, a lawyer with the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which opposes this prescreening, said many Americans do not grasp the current scale of domestic government data mining.
“The average person doesn’t understand how much intelligence-driven matching is going on and how this could be accessed for other purposes,” she said. “There’s no meaningful oversight, transparency or accountability.”
One critic called the new TSA program “a ‘pre-crime’ assessment every time you fly.”
A bipartisan proposal to rein in government surveillance unveiled last month by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is a good start. The measure would end the bulk collection of American’s communications records; limit Washington’s ability to obtain information from Google and other online providers, and make the secret court that oversees U.S. surveillance operations far more transparent.


Published on Mar 13, 2013

The Economy isn’t going to recover. The government knows this and is getting ready, but in ways that are very disturbing.
Follow us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/StormCloudsGathering


Links to get you started on your research:

NDAA 2013 passes with indefinite detention still intact
http://rt.com/usa/news/ndaa-indefinit…

The Patriot Act
http://thepage.time.com/2011/02/15/ho…
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/…

Obama extends Patriot Act: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05…

Widespread abuse of patriot act: http://www.aclu.org/national-security…

Obama tries to hide information regarding rape and sexual abuse in Abu Ghraib: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world…

Obama’s kill list: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/wor…

FBI finalizing its NGI Biometrics Database:
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/fing…

Biometrics at departures: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/po…

http://rt.com/usa/us-foreigners-leave…

People placed on no-fly list for political reasons:

http://www.sfgate.com/politics/articl…

http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-sec…

Drones used to hunt Dorner: http://now.msn.com/christopher-dorner…

Dorner fire set intentionally:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02…
The police finally admit it: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow…

Leaked Document: Government setting up military detention centers for Activists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfkZ1y…

FBI Murdered Todashev execution style:
http://www.usnews.com/news/newsgram/a…

http://rt.com/news/todashev-head-shot…

Senator Coburn points out the DHS “zombie” training exercise as wasteful: http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/i…

But if you actually watch it it’s much more disturbing: http://stormcloudsgathering.com/dhs-t…

Yes this really happened (details about the exercise):
http://washingtonexaminer.com/your-ta…

Police admit Dorner fire was set on purpose: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow…

DHS buying billions of bullets (links to some of the purchase orders):
450 million rounds purchased by DHS earlier this year:
http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Secu…

Purchase order for additional 750 million rounds of ammunition
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportuni…

DHS buys even more bullets:
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportuni…

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editori…

Iris scanning from a distance:
http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/…

Biometrics checks at border… Already in place for immigrants entering, now to be added for exits.


The No Fly List is a list, created and maintained by the United States government’s Terrorist Screening Center (TSC),[1] of people who are not permitted to board a commercial aircraft for travel in or out of the United States. The list has also been used to divert away from U.S. airspace aircraft not flying to or from the U.S.[2] The number of people on the list rises and falls according to threat and intelligence reporting. As of 2011, the list contained about 10,000 names.[3][4] In 2012, the list doubled in size to about 21,000 names. [5] The list – along with the Secondary Security Screening Selection, which tags would-be passengers for extra inspection – was created after the September 11 attacks in 2001.
The No Fly List is different from the Terrorist Watch List, a much longer list of people said to be suspected of some involvement with terrorism.[6] The Terrorist Watch List contained around 400,000 names as of summer 2011, according to the TSC.[7][8] In 2013, the Terrorist Watch List had increased to 875,000 names. [9]
The list has been criticized on civil liberties and due process grounds, due in part to the potential for ethnic, religious, economic, political, or racial profiling and discrimination. It has also raised concerns about privacy and government secrecy. Finally, it has been criticized as costly,[10] prone to false positives,[11] and easily defeated.[12]
The No Fly List, the Selectee List and the Terrorist Watchlist were created by the administration of George W. Bush and retained by the administration of Barack Obama. U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said in May 2010: “The no-fly list itself is one of our best lines of defense.”[13]

On September 11, 2001, the FBI had a list of 16 people deemed “no transport” because they “presented a specific known or suspected threat to aviation.”[6] The list had grown to more than 400 names by November 2001, when responsibility for keeping it was transferred to the Federal Aviation Administration.[6]
In mid-December 2001, two lists were created: the “No Fly List” of 594 people to be denied air transport, and the “Selectee” list of 365 people who were to be more carefully searched at airports.[6] By December 2002, the No Fly List held more than 1,000 names.[citation needed]60 Minutes reported on 8 October 2006 that the news program had obtained a March 2006 copy of the list that contained 44,000 names.[14]TSA officials said that, as of November 2005, 30,000 people in 2005 had complained that their names were matched to a name on the list via the name matching software used by airlines.[15] In April 2007, the United States government “terrorist watch list” administered by the Terrorist Screening Center, which is managed principally by the FBI, contained 700,000 records.[16] A year later, the ACLU estimated the list to have grown to over 1,000,000 names and to be continually expanding.[17]
However, according to Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, in October 2008 the No Fly list contained only 2,500 names, with an additional 16,000 “selectees”, who “represent a less specific security threat and receive extra scrutiny, but are allowed to fly.”

Among the complaints about the No Fly List is the use of credit reports in calculating the risk score. In response to the controversy, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials said in 2005 that they would not use credit scores to determine passengers’ risk score and that they would comply with all rights guaranteed by the First and Fourth Amendments.[28]
The European Union and other non-U.S. government entities have expressed concern about allowing the CAPPS II proposal to be implemented within their borders. During the early testing of the No Fly List and CAPPS II, the TSA privately asked airlines to disclose massive amounts of personal information about their passengers. This action has been said[who?] to be a violation of the Privacy Act of 1974, which forbids the government to compile secret databases on U.S. citizens.
In the midst of this controversy, the Government Accountability Office of the U.S. Congress produced a report critical of the CAPPS II system. It characterized the proposal as incomplete and seriously behind schedule, and noted that the TSA had failed to address “developmental, operational, and privacy issues identified by Congress”. On July 14, 2004, TSA officials announced that CAPPS II was being pulled from consideration without proceeding to full testing. Critics have alleged that the TSA has merely chosen to start with a less controversial entry point that they are calling the “Registered Traveler” program.[29] TSA has also begun testing of another program called “Secure Flight“, which is supposed to solve some of the problems of CAPPS I while avoiding the privacy issues of CAPPS II.
In January 2009, Marcus Holmes[30] conservatively estimated the total cost of the program to be $536 million since 9/11, with a reasonable estimation range that approaches $1 billion, and he questioned whether the benefits of the list outweigh the costs.[10]

A “false positive” occurs when a passenger who is not on the No Fly List has a name that matches or is similar to a name on the list. False positive passengers will not be allowed to board a flight unless they can differentiate themselves from the actual person on the list, usually by presenting ID showing their middle name or date of birth. In some cases, false positive passengers have been denied boarding or have missed flights because they could not easily prove that they were not the person on the No Fly List.
When an airline ticket is purchased, the reservation system uses software to compare the passenger’s name against the No Fly List. If the name matches, or is similar to a name on the No Fly List, a restriction is placed in their reservation that prevents them from being issued a boarding pass until the airline has determined whether or not they are the actual person whose name is on the No Fly List. Passengers are not told when a restriction has been placed on their reservation, and they normally do not find out that anything is unusual until they attempt to check in. “False positive” passengers cannot use Internet check-in or the automatic check-in kiosks in airports. Any attempt to use them will normally result in a message that the check-in cannot be completed and that the passenger needs to see a live check-in agent.
In order to be issued a boarding pass, a “false positive” passenger must present identification that sufficiently differentiates them from the person on the No Fly List. This can include, but is not limited to, date and place of birth, middle name, citizenship, passport number, etc. Depending on the airline, this clearance can be done either electronically, with the check-in agent keying the information into the system, or a manual procedure where the agent telephones a centralized security office to obtain clearance. Once a “false positive” passenger has been cleared for a flight, the clearance will usually, but not always, apply to the remaining flights on that reservation, including the return. However, the next time this passenger purchases an airline ticket, they will have to be cleared all over again. If a passenger’s identification is insufficient to differentiate that passenger from a name on the No-Fly List, the airline will refuse to issue a boarding pass and tell the passenger to contact the TSA.
Policies vary from airline to airline as to whether a check-in agent will tell passengers why they must always have additional steps performed when they check in, or why they are unable to check in via Internet, kiosk, or at curbside. In some cases, check-in agents will incorrectly tell passengers that they must be cleared because they are “on the No Fly List”, when in fact they are simply a “false positive” (having the same name as someone on the No-Fly List). False positive passengers who are ultimately issued boarding passes are not on the No Fly List. In the majority of instances, passengers are not told anything, and it is only through the repeated experience of needing to be cleared or being unable to use curbside, Internet or automatic check-in that they come to suspect that they are “false positives”.
In an effort to reduce the number of false positives, DHS announced on April 28, 2008 that each airline will be permitted to create a system to verify and store a passenger’s date of birth, to clear up watch list misidentifications. Passengers can voluntarily provide this information to the airline, which would have to be verified by presenting acceptable ID at the ticket counter. Once this data has been stored, travelers that were previously inconvenienced on every trip would be able to check in online or at remote kiosks.[31] It will be up to each individual airline to choose whether they wish to implement such a system.

False positives and abuses that have been in the news include:

  • Numerous children (including many under the age of five, and some under the age of one) have generated false positives.[32][33][34]
  • Daniel Brown, a United States Marine returning from Iraq, was prevented from boarding a flight home in April 2006 because his name matched one on the No Fly List.[35]
  • David Fathi, an attorney for the ACLU of Iranian descent and a plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit.[36]
  • Asif Iqbal, a management consultant and legal resident of the United States born in Pakistan, plans to sue the U.S. government because he is regularly detained when he tries to fly, because he has the same name as a former Guantanamo detainee.[11][37] Iqbal’s work requires a lot of travel, and, even though the Guantanamo detainee has been released, his name remains on the No Fly List, and Iqbal the software consultant experiences frequent, unpredictable delays and missed flights.[38] He is pushing for a photo ID and birthdate matching system, in addition to the current system of checking names.[39]
  • Robert J. Johnson, a surgeon and a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, was told in 2006 that he was on the list, although he had had no problem in flying the month before. Johnson was running as a Democrat against U.S. Representative John McHugh, a Republican. Johnson wondered whether he was on the list because of his opposition to the Iraq War. He stated, “This could just be a government screw-up, but I don’t know, and they won’t tell me.”[40] Later, a 60 Minutes report brought together 12 men named Robert Johnson, all of whom had experienced problems in airports with being pulled aside and interrogated. The report suggested that the individual whose name was intended to be on the list was most likely the Robert Johnson who had been convicted of plotting to bomb a movie theater and a Hindu temple in Toronto.[14]
  • In August 2004, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) told a Senate Judiciary Committee discussing the No Fly List that he had appeared on the list and had been repeatedly delayed at airports. He said it had taken him three weeks of appeals directly to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to have him removed from the list. Kennedy said he was eventually told that the name “T Kennedy” was added to the list because it was once used as an alias of a suspected terrorist. There are an estimated 7,000 American men whose legal names correspond to “T Kennedy”. (Senator Kennedy, whose first name was Edward and for whom “Ted” was only a nickname, would not have been one of them.) Recognizing that as a U.S. Senator he was in a privileged position of being able to contact Ridge, Kennedy said of “ordinary citizens”: “How are they going to be able to get to be treated fairly and not have their rights abused?”[41] Former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani pointed to this incident as an example for the necessity to “rethink aviation security” in an essay on homeland security published while he was seeking the Republican nomination for the 2008 presidential election.[42]
  • U.S. Representative, former Freedom Rider, and Chairman of SNCC John Lewis (politician) (D-GA) has been stopped many times.[43]
  • Canadian journalist Patrick Martin has been frequently interrogated while traveling, because of a suspicious individual with the same name.[44]
  • Walter F. Murphy, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton, reported that the following exchange took place at Newark on 1 March 2007, where he was denied a boarding pass “because I [Professor Murphy] was on the Terrorist Watch list.” The airline employee asked, “Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that.” “I explained,” said professor Murphy, “that I had not so marched but had, in September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the constitution.” To which the airline employee responded, “That’ll do it.”[45]
  • David Nelson, the actor best known for his role on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, is among various persons named David Nelson who have been stopped at airports because their name apparently appears on the list.[46][47]
  • Jesselyn Radack, a former United States Department of Justice ethics adviser who argued that John Walker Lindh was entitled to an attorney, was placed on the No Fly List as part of what she [48] believes to be a reprisal for her whistle-blowing.
  • In September 2004, former pop singer Cat Stevens (who converted to Islam and changed his name to “Yusuf Islam” in 1978) was denied entry into the U.S. after his name was found on the list.[49]
  • In February 2006, U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) stated in a committee hearing that his wife Catherine had been subjected to questioning at an airport as to whether she was Cat Stevens due to the similarity of their names.[46][50]
  • U.S. Representative Don Young (R-AK), the third-most senior Republican in the House, was flagged in 2004 after he was mistaken for a “Donald Lee Young”.[51]
  • Some members of the Federal Air Marshal Service have been denied boarding on flights that they were assigned to protect because their names matched those of persons on the no-fly list.[52]
  • Until July 2008, Nelson Mandela and other members of the African National Congress were on the list, something that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called “rather embarrassing”.[53] On July 5, 2008, the U.S. removed Mandela and the ANC from the list.[54]
  • In August 2008, CNN reported that an airline captain and retired brigadier general for the United States Air Force has had numerous encounters with security officials when attempting to pilot his own plane.[55]
  • After frequent harassment at airport terminals, a Canadian businessman changed his name to avoid being delayed every time he took a flight.[56]
  • In October 2008, the Washington Post reported that Maryland State Police classified 53 nonviolent political activists as terrorists, and entered their names and personal information into state and federal databases, with labels indicating that they were terror suspects. The protest groups were also entered as terrorist organizations. During a hearing, it was revealed that these individuals and organizations had been placed in the databases because of a surveillance operation that targeted opponents of the death penalty and the Iraq war.[57]
  • In April 2009, TSA refused to allow an Air France flight from Paris to Mexico to cross U.S. airspace because it was carrying Colombian journalist Hernando Calvo Ospina. Air France did not send the passenger manifest to the US authorities, they did however send it to Mexico who forwarded it to the US.[2]
  • Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was held for extensive questioning by US Immigration and Customs officials in August 2009, because as he reported, “his name came up on a computer alert list.” Customs officials claimed he “was questioned as part of a routine process that took 66 minutes.” Khan was visiting the United States to promote his film My Name Is Khan, which concerns racial profiling of Muslims in the United States.[58]
  • In June 2010, The New York Times reported Yahya Wehelie, a 26 year-old Muslim-American man was being prevented from returning to the United States, and trapped in Cairo. Despite Wehelie’s offer to FBI agents to allow them to accompany him in the plane, while shackled, he was not permitted to return. The ACLU has argued that this constitutes banishment.[59]
  • A U.S. citizen, stranded in Colombia after being placed on the no-fly list as a result of having studied in Yemen, sought to re-enter the U.S. through Mexico but was returned to Colombia by Mexican authorities.[59]
  • Michael Migliore, a 23-year-old Muslim convert and dual citizen of the United States and Italy, was detained in the United Kingdom after traveling there from the U.S. by train and then cruise ship because he was not permitted to fly. He said that he believes he was placed on the no-fly list because he refused to answer questions about a 2010 Portland car bomb plot without his lawyer present.[60] He was released eight or ten hours later, but authorities confiscated his electronic media items including a cell phone and media player.[61]
  • Abe Mashal, a 31-year-old Muslim and United States Marine Veteran, found himself on the No Fly List in April 2010 while attempting to board a plane out of Midway Airport. He was questioned by the TSA, FBI and Chicago Police at the airport and was told they had no clue why he was on the No Fly List. Once he arrived at home that day two other FBI agents came to his home and used a Do Not Fly question-and-answer sheet to question him. They informed him they had no idea why he was on the No Fly List. In June 2010 those same two FBI agents summoned Mashal to a local hotel and invited him to a private room. They told him that he was in no trouble and the reason he ended up on the No Fly List was because of possibly sending emails to an American imam they may have been monitoring. They then informed him that if he would go undercover at various local mosques, they could get him off the No Fly List immediately and he would be compensated for such actions. Mashal refused to answer any additional questions without a lawyer present and was told to leave the hotel. Mashal then contacted the ACLU and is now being represented in a class-action lawsuit filed against the TSA, FBI and DHS concerning the legality of the No Fly List and how people end up on it. Mashal feels as if he was blackmailed into becoming an informant by being placed on the No Fly List. Mashal has since appeared on ABC, NBC, PBS and Al Jazeera concerning his inclusion on the No Fly List. He has also written a book about his experience titled “No Spy No Fly.” [62]

The DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) is a procedure for travelers who are delayed or denied boarding of an aircraft, consistently receive excess scrutiny at security checkpoints, or are denied entry to the U.S. because they are believed to be or are told that they are on a government watch list. The traveler must complete an online application at the Department of Homeland Security website, print and sign the application, and then submit it with copies of several identifying documents. After reviewing their records, DHS notifies the traveler that if any corrections of data about them were warranted, they will be made.
Travelers who apply for redress through TRIP are assigned a record identifier called a “Redress Control Number”. Airline reservations systems allow passengers who have a Redress Control Number to enter it when making their reservation.
DHS TRIP may make it easier for an airline to confirm a traveler’s identity. False-positive travelers, whose names match or are similar to the names of persons on the No Fly List, will continue to match that name even after using DHS TRIP, so it will not restore a traveler’s ability to use Internet or curbside check-in or to use an automated kiosk. It does usually help the airline identify the traveler as not being the actual person on the No Fly List, after an airline agent has reviewed their identity documents at check-in.
DHS TRIP is often accused of being defunct and existing only to appease civil rights organizations without having any actual effect.[63]

(The Atlantic) -The Department of Homeland Security is using algorithms to “prescreen” travelers before they board domestic flights, reviewing government and private databases that include Americans’ tax identification numbers, car registrations and property records.

Documents leaked by whistleblower Edward J. Snowden emerged this week, revealing NSA phone monitoring of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, 35 unidentified heads of state, and 70 million calls in France.

The extent of the surveillance is sparking widespread indignation and endangering joint counter-terrorism operations among Germany, France and the United States.

Inside the United States, meanwhile, press reports emerged on Monday that the Transportation Security Administration is expanding its prescreening of airline passengers to include government and private databases that contain employment information, property records and physical characteristics.
Khaliah Barnes, a lawyer with the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which opposes this prescreening, said many Americans do not grasp the current scale of domestic government data mining.
“The average person doesn’t understand how much intelligence-driven matching is going on and how this could be accessed for other purposes,” she said. “There’s no meaningful oversight, transparency or accountability.”
One critic called the new TSA program “a ‘pre-crime’ assessment every time you fly.”
A bipartisan proposal to rein in government surveillance unveiled last month by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is a good start. The measure would end the bulk collection of American’s communications records; limit Washington’s ability to obtain information from Google and other online providers, and make the secret court that oversees U.S. surveillance operations far more transparent.


Published on Mar 13, 2013

The Economy isn’t going to recover. The government knows this and is getting ready, but in ways that are very disturbing.
Follow us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/StormCloudsGathering


Links to get you started on your research:

NDAA 2013 passes with indefinite detention still intact
http://rt.com/usa/news/ndaa-indefinit…

The Patriot Act
http://thepage.time.com/2011/02/15/ho…
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/…

Obama extends Patriot Act: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05…

Widespread abuse of patriot act: http://www.aclu.org/national-security…

Obama tries to hide information regarding rape and sexual abuse in Abu Ghraib: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world…

Obama’s kill list: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/wor…

FBI finalizing its NGI Biometrics Database:
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/fing…

Biometrics at departures: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/po…

http://rt.com/usa/us-foreigners-leave…

People placed on no-fly list for political reasons:

http://www.sfgate.com/politics/articl…

http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-sec…

Drones used to hunt Dorner: http://now.msn.com/christopher-dorner…

Dorner fire set intentionally:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02…
The police finally admit it: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow…

Leaked Document: Government setting up military detention centers for Activists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfkZ1y…

FBI Murdered Todashev execution style:
http://www.usnews.com/news/newsgram/a…

http://rt.com/news/todashev-head-shot…

Senator Coburn points out the DHS “zombie” training exercise as wasteful: http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/i…

But if you actually watch it it’s much more disturbing: http://stormcloudsgathering.com/dhs-t…

Yes this really happened (details about the exercise):
http://washingtonexaminer.com/your-ta…

Police admit Dorner fire was set on purpose: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow…

DHS buying billions of bullets (links to some of the purchase orders):
450 million rounds purchased by DHS earlier this year:
http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Secu…

Purchase order for additional 750 million rounds of ammunition
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportuni…

DHS buys even more bullets:
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportuni…

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editori…

Iris scanning from a distance:
http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/…

Biometrics checks at border… Already in place for immigrants entering, now to be added for exits.


The No Fly List is a list, created and maintained by the United States government’s Terrorist Screening Center (TSC),[1] of people who are not permitted to board a commercial aircraft for travel in or out of the United States. The list has also been used to divert away from U.S. airspace aircraft not flying to or from the U.S.[2] The number of people on the list rises and falls according to threat and intelligence reporting. As of 2011, the list contained about 10,000 names.[3][4] In 2012, the list doubled in size to about 21,000 names. [5] The list – along with the Secondary Security Screening Selection, which tags would-be passengers for extra inspection – was created after the September 11 attacks in 2001.
The No Fly List is different from the Terrorist Watch List, a much longer list of people said to be suspected of some involvement with terrorism.[6] The Terrorist Watch List contained around 400,000 names as of summer 2011, according to the TSC.[7][8] In 2013, the Terrorist Watch List had increased to 875,000 names. [9]
The list has been criticized on civil liberties and due process grounds, due in part to the potential for ethnic, religious, economic, political, or racial profiling and discrimination. It has also raised concerns about privacy and government secrecy. Finally, it has been criticized as costly,[10] prone to false positives,[11] and easily defeated.[12]
The No Fly List, the Selectee List and the Terrorist Watchlist were created by the administration of George W. Bush and retained by the administration of Barack Obama. U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said in May 2010: “The no-fly list itself is one of our best lines of defense.”[13]

On September 11, 2001, the FBI had a list of 16 people deemed “no transport” because they “presented a specific known or suspected threat to aviation.”[6] The list had grown to more than 400 names by November 2001, when responsibility for keeping it was transferred to the Federal Aviation Administration.[6]
In mid-December 2001, two lists were created: the “No Fly List” of 594 people to be denied air transport, and the “Selectee” list of 365 people who were to be more carefully searched at airports.[6] By December 2002, the No Fly List held more than 1,000 names.[citation needed] 60 Minutes reported on 8 October 2006 that the news program had obtained a March 2006 copy of the list that contained 44,000 names.[14] TSA officials said that, as of November 2005, 30,000 people in 2005 had complained that their names were matched to a name on the list via the name matching software used by airlines.[15] In April 2007, the United States government “terrorist watch list” administered by the Terrorist Screening Center, which is managed principally by the FBI, contained 700,000 records.[16] A year later, the ACLU estimated the list to have grown to over 1,000,000 names and to be continually expanding.[17]
However, according to Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, in October 2008 the No Fly list contained only 2,500 names, with an additional 16,000 “selectees”, who “represent a less specific security threat and receive extra scrutiny, but are allowed to fly.”

Among the complaints about the No Fly List is the use of credit reports in calculating the risk score. In response to the controversy, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials said in 2005 that they would not use credit scores to determine passengers’ risk score and that they would comply with all rights guaranteed by the First and Fourth Amendments.[28]
The European Union and other non-U.S. government entities have expressed concern about allowing the CAPPS II proposal to be implemented within their borders. During the early testing of the No Fly List and CAPPS II, the TSA privately asked airlines to disclose massive amounts of personal information about their passengers. This action has been said[who?] to be a violation of the Privacy Act of 1974, which forbids the government to compile secret databases on U.S. citizens.
In the midst of this controversy, the Government Accountability Office of the U.S. Congress produced a report critical of the CAPPS II system. It characterized the proposal as incomplete and seriously behind schedule, and noted that the TSA had failed to address “developmental, operational, and privacy issues identified by Congress”. On July 14, 2004, TSA officials announced that CAPPS II was being pulled from consideration without proceeding to full testing. Critics have alleged that the TSA has merely chosen to start with a less controversial entry point that they are calling the “Registered Traveler” program.[29] TSA has also begun testing of another program called “Secure Flight“, which is supposed to solve some of the problems of CAPPS I while avoiding the privacy issues of CAPPS II.
In January 2009, Marcus Holmes[30] conservatively estimated the total cost of the program to be $536 million since 9/11, with a reasonable estimation range that approaches $1 billion, and he questioned whether the benefits of the list outweigh the costs.[10]

A “false positive” occurs when a passenger who is not on the No Fly List has a name that matches or is similar to a name on the list. False positive passengers will not be allowed to board a flight unless they can differentiate themselves from the actual person on the list, usually by presenting ID showing their middle name or date of birth. In some cases, false positive passengers have been denied boarding or have missed flights because they could not easily prove that they were not the person on the No Fly List.
When an airline ticket is purchased, the reservation system uses software to compare the passenger’s name against the No Fly List. If the name matches, or is similar to a name on the No Fly List, a restriction is placed in their reservation that prevents them from being issued a boarding pass until the airline has determined whether or not they are the actual person whose name is on the No Fly List. Passengers are not told when a restriction has been placed on their reservation, and they normally do not find out that anything is unusual until they attempt to check in. “False positive” passengers cannot use Internet check-in or the automatic check-in kiosks in airports. Any attempt to use them will normally result in a message that the check-in cannot be completed and that the passenger needs to see a live check-in agent.
In order to be issued a boarding pass, a “false positive” passenger must present identification that sufficiently differentiates them from the person on the No Fly List. This can include, but is not limited to, date and place of birth, middle name, citizenship, passport number, etc. Depending on the airline, this clearance can be done either electronically, with the check-in agent keying the information into the system, or a manual procedure where the agent telephones a centralized security office to obtain clearance. Once a “false positive” passenger has been cleared for a flight, the clearance will usually, but not always, apply to the remaining flights on that reservation, including the return. However, the next time this passenger purchases an airline ticket, they will have to be cleared all over again. If a passenger’s identification is insufficient to differentiate that passenger from a name on the No-Fly List, the airline will refuse to issue a boarding pass and tell the passenger to contact the TSA.
Policies vary from airline to airline as to whether a check-in agent will tell passengers why they must always have additional steps performed when they check in, or why they are unable to check in via Internet, kiosk, or at curbside. In some cases, check-in agents will incorrectly tell passengers that they must be cleared because they are “on the No Fly List”, when in fact they are simply a “false positive” (having the same name as someone on the No-Fly List). False positive passengers who are ultimately issued boarding passes are not on the No Fly List. In the majority of instances, passengers are not told anything, and it is only through the repeated experience of needing to be cleared or being unable to use curbside, Internet or automatic check-in that they come to suspect that they are “false positives”.
In an effort to reduce the number of false positives, DHS announced on April 28, 2008 that each airline will be permitted to create a system to verify and store a passenger’s date of birth, to clear up watch list misidentifications. Passengers can voluntarily provide this information to the airline, which would have to be verified by presenting acceptable ID at the ticket counter. Once this data has been stored, travelers that were previously inconvenienced on every trip would be able to check in online or at remote kiosks.[31] It will be up to each individual airline to choose whether they wish to implement such a system.

False positives and abuses that have been in the news include:

  • Numerous children (including many under the age of five, and some under the age of one) have generated false positives.[32][33][34]
  • Daniel Brown, a United States Marine returning from Iraq, was prevented from boarding a flight home in April 2006 because his name matched one on the No Fly List.[35]
  • David Fathi, an attorney for the ACLU of Iranian descent and a plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit.[36]
  • Asif Iqbal, a management consultant and legal resident of the United States born in Pakistan, plans to sue the U.S. government because he is regularly detained when he tries to fly, because he has the same name as a former Guantanamo detainee.[11][37] Iqbal’s work requires a lot of travel, and, even though the Guantanamo detainee has been released, his name remains on the No Fly List, and Iqbal the software consultant experiences frequent, unpredictable delays and missed flights.[38] He is pushing for a photo ID and birthdate matching system, in addition to the current system of checking names.[39]
  • Robert J. Johnson, a surgeon and a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, was told in 2006 that he was on the list, although he had had no problem in flying the month before. Johnson was running as a Democrat against U.S. Representative John McHugh, a Republican. Johnson wondered whether he was on the list because of his opposition to the Iraq War. He stated, “This could just be a government screw-up, but I don’t know, and they won’t tell me.”[40] Later, a 60 Minutes report brought together 12 men named Robert Johnson, all of whom had experienced problems in airports with being pulled aside and interrogated. The report suggested that the individual whose name was intended to be on the list was most likely the Robert Johnson who had been convicted of plotting to bomb a movie theater and a Hindu temple in Toronto.[14]
  • In August 2004, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) told a Senate Judiciary Committee discussing the No Fly List that he had appeared on the list and had been repeatedly delayed at airports. He said it had taken him three weeks of appeals directly to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to have him removed from the list. Kennedy said he was eventually told that the name “T Kennedy” was added to the list because it was once used as an alias of a suspected terrorist. There are an estimated 7,000 American men whose legal names correspond to “T Kennedy”. (Senator Kennedy, whose first name was Edward and for whom “Ted” was only a nickname, would not have been one of them.) Recognizing that as a U.S. Senator he was in a privileged position of being able to contact Ridge, Kennedy said of “ordinary citizens”: “How are they going to be able to get to be treated fairly and not have their rights abused?”[41] Former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani pointed to this incident as an example for the necessity to “rethink aviation security” in an essay on homeland security published while he was seeking the Republican nomination for the 2008 presidential election.[42]
  • U.S. Representative, former Freedom Rider, and Chairman of SNCC John Lewis (politician) (D-GA) has been stopped many times.[43]
  • Canadian journalist Patrick Martin has been frequently interrogated while traveling, because of a suspicious individual with the same name.[44]
  • Walter F. Murphy, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton, reported that the following exchange took place at Newark on 1 March 2007, where he was denied a boarding pass “because I [Professor Murphy] was on the Terrorist Watch list.” The airline employee asked, “Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that.” “I explained,” said professor Murphy, “that I had not so marched but had, in September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the constitution.” To which the airline employee responded, “That’ll do it.”[45]
  • David Nelson, the actor best known for his role on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, is among various persons named David Nelson who have been stopped at airports because their name apparently appears on the list.[46][47]
  • Jesselyn Radack, a former United States Department of Justice ethics adviser who argued that John Walker Lindh was entitled to an attorney, was placed on the No Fly List as part of what she [48] believes to be a reprisal for her whistle-blowing.
  • In September 2004, former pop singer Cat Stevens (who converted to Islam and changed his name to “Yusuf Islam” in 1978) was denied entry into the U.S. after his name was found on the list.[49]
  • In February 2006, U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) stated in a committee hearing that his wife Catherine had been subjected to questioning at an airport as to whether she was Cat Stevens due to the similarity of their names.[46][50]
  • U.S. Representative Don Young (R-AK), the third-most senior Republican in the House, was flagged in 2004 after he was mistaken for a “Donald Lee Young”.[51]
  • Some members of the Federal Air Marshal Service have been denied boarding on flights that they were assigned to protect because their names matched those of persons on the no-fly list.[52]
  • Until July 2008, Nelson Mandela and other members of the African National Congress were on the list, something that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called “rather embarrassing”.[53] On July 5, 2008, the U.S. removed Mandela and the ANC from the list.[54]
  • In August 2008, CNN reported that an airline captain and retired brigadier general for the United States Air Force has had numerous encounters with security officials when attempting to pilot his own plane.[55]
  • After frequent harassment at airport terminals, a Canadian businessman changed his name to avoid being delayed every time he took a flight.[56]
  • In October 2008, the Washington Post reported that Maryland State Police classified 53 nonviolent political activists as terrorists, and entered their names and personal information into state and federal databases, with labels indicating that they were terror suspects. The protest groups were also entered as terrorist organizations. During a hearing, it was revealed that these individuals and organizations had been placed in the databases because of a surveillance operation that targeted opponents of the death penalty and the Iraq war.[57]
  • In April 2009, TSA refused to allow an Air France flight from Paris to Mexico to cross U.S. airspace because it was carrying Colombian journalist Hernando Calvo Ospina. Air France did not send the passenger manifest to the US authorities, they did however send it to Mexico who forwarded it to the US.[2]
  • Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was held for extensive questioning by US Immigration and Customs officials in August 2009, because as he reported, “his name came up on a computer alert list.” Customs officials claimed he “was questioned as part of a routine process that took 66 minutes.” Khan was visiting the United States to promote his film My Name Is Khan, which concerns racial profiling of Muslims in the United States.[58]
  • In June 2010, The New York Times reported Yahya Wehelie, a 26 year-old Muslim-American man was being prevented from returning to the United States, and trapped in Cairo. Despite Wehelie’s offer to FBI agents to allow them to accompany him in the plane, while shackled, he was not permitted to return. The ACLU has argued that this constitutes banishment.[59]
  • A U.S. citizen, stranded in Colombia after being placed on the no-fly list as a result of having studied in Yemen, sought to re-enter the U.S. through Mexico but was returned to Colombia by Mexican authorities.[59]
  • Michael Migliore, a 23-year-old Muslim convert and dual citizen of the United States and Italy, was detained in the United Kingdom after traveling there from the U.S. by train and then cruise ship because he was not permitted to fly. He said that he believes he was placed on the no-fly list because he refused to answer questions about a 2010 Portland car bomb plot without his lawyer present.[60] He was released eight or ten hours later, but authorities confiscated his electronic media items including a cell phone and media player.[61]
  • Abe Mashal, a 31-year-old Muslim and United States Marine Veteran, found himself on the No Fly List in April 2010 while attempting to board a plane out of Midway Airport. He was questioned by the TSA, FBI and Chicago Police at the airport and was told they had no clue why he was on the No Fly List. Once he arrived at home that day two other FBI agents came to his home and used a Do Not Fly question-and-answer sheet to question him. They informed him they had no idea why he was on the No Fly List. In June 2010 those same two FBI agents summoned Mashal to a local hotel and invited him to a private room. They told him that he was in no trouble and the reason he ended up on the No Fly List was because of possibly sending emails to an American imam they may have been monitoring. They then informed him that if he would go undercover at various local mosques, they could get him off the No Fly List immediately and he would be compensated for such actions. Mashal refused to answer any additional questions without a lawyer present and was told to leave the hotel. Mashal then contacted the ACLU and is now being represented in a class-action lawsuit filed against the TSA, FBI and DHS concerning the legality of the No Fly List and how people end up on it. Mashal feels as if he was blackmailed into becoming an informant by being placed on the No Fly List. Mashal has since appeared on ABC, NBC, PBS and Al Jazeera concerning his inclusion on the No Fly List. He has also written a book about his experience titled “No Spy No Fly.” [62]

The DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) is a procedure for travelers who are delayed or denied boarding of an aircraft, consistently receive excess scrutiny at security checkpoints, or are denied entry to the U.S. because they are believed to be or are told that they are on a government watch list. The traveler must complete an online application at the Department of Homeland Security website, print and sign the application, and then submit it with copies of several identifying documents. After reviewing their records, DHS notifies the traveler that if any corrections of data about them were warranted, they will be made.
Travelers who apply for redress through TRIP are assigned a record identifier called a “Redress Control Number”. Airline reservations systems allow passengers who have a Redress Control Number to enter it when making their reservation.
DHS TRIP may make it easier for an airline to confirm a traveler’s identity. False-positive travelers, whose names match or are similar to the names of persons on the No Fly List, will continue to match that name even after using DHS TRIP, so it will not restore a traveler’s ability to use Internet or curbside check-in or to use an automated kiosk. It does usually help the airline identify the traveler as not being the actual person on the No Fly List, after an airline agent has reviewed their identity documents at check-in.
DHS TRIP is often accused of being defunct and existing only to appease civil rights organizations without having any actual effect.[63]

drug planes

DC-9 ‘Cocaine One’ kingpin’s secret conviction

It was the biggest drug seizure on an airplane in Mexican history. It led directly to the forced sale of Wachovia, then America’s 4th largest bank. And it threatened to become America’s most notorious drug scandal since Iran Contra.
Yet when a leader of the drug smuggling organization responsible for the flight of the DC-9 airliner dubbed “Cocaine One” that was busted in the Yucatan carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine quietly pled guilty to unrelated drug charges two years ago in a Federal Court in Miami, his role in the massive drug move was kept secret from officials preparing his Pre-Sentence Report (PSI),  from journalists, and even from the Federal judge in the case.


An American-registered drug plane has been plying the airspace over Central and South America carrying cargoes of cocaine for a good long while (authorities admit they’ve been “investigating” it since 2011) without apparent incident, until recently, when a newspaper in Costa Rica reported that the President of Costa Rica had been seen using it to fly to Hugo Chavez’s funeral, as well as the recent wedding of the son of Peru’s Vice-President in Lima.


Six years ago this week an American-registered luxury jet, a Gulfstream II—later dubbed “Cocaine 2”—crashed just before dawn in the middle of the jungle in Mexico’s Yucatan carrying four tons of cocaine. The event, and its aftermath, changed forever an official narrative of the war on drugs which has for years been pushing the notion that there is no significant American involvement in the global drug trade, and no American Drug Lords.  

A control tower employee in Ciudad del Carmen, the airport where the DSC-9 landed, causing something of a fuss, told authorities at a crucial juncture in what was an extremely tense situation, as the American-registered DC-9 carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine circled and requested permission to land, she was approached inside the airport terminal by an American she’d never seen before.

She described him as being 40 years old, with blond hair and a deep tan, and he was wearing a green polo shirt. The American, she said, hadn’t just wanted officials in the airport to let the plane land. He wanted the tower to certify the flight, meaning the DC-9 could then continue its journey, as a domestic flight, which would not need to clear Mexican Customs.

Said green polo shirt-wearing American remains unidentified. He just disappeared from narratives of the event… except for one respected journalist at Mexican newspaper Proceso, who wisely picked up on this detail, followed up, and then reported that among the contingent of drug traffickers awaiting the arrival of the plane on the ground with as much nonchalance as they could muster…the American had been in charge.

In every country in the world in which drugs are present, and illegal, control of the drug trade is the most important tool in perpetuating that country’s oligarchy, more important than a police force with a billion Billy clubs.

The guys chopping off heads in Mexico while wearing bandoliers strapped across their bare chests are barely into middle management.

When the Gulfstream’s fuselage split into pieces on impact, spilling cocaine across an area the length of three football fields, a chain of events was set in motion that would prove that nothing could be further from the truth.  
Several hundred miles away, and more than a year earlier, in May 2006, the Gulfstream’s ‘sister ship,’ a DC-9 which became known as “Cocaine1″ because it was painted to impersonate an official US Government plane, had been caught carrying more than 5.5 tons of cocaine.
The two planes shared too many identifying characteristics, including interlocking owners and a shared base in the sleepy retirement Mecca of St Petersburg FL  on Florida’s Gulf Coast, to be coincidence. 
The twin events represented the biggest sea change in the global drug trade since the death of Pablo Escobar in 1992, or the assassination of Barry Seal in 1986. Today, despite the intervening years, new details continue to emerge about the case. 

During the course of the investigation which followed it became clear that the money used to purchase both planes—the Gulfstream and the DC-9—was laundered and funnelled through Wachovia Bank, and more importantly, that it represented just a tiny sliver of the more than $380 billion of drug money that had been laundered during the past six years through what was then America’s 4th largest bank. 
Wachovia was fined a record $165 million. The sullied bank was forced to sell itself to Wells Fargo Bank in Salt Lake City.
At about three a.m. the normal quiet of the town of Tixkobob  (pop. 17000), located an hour outside of the Yucatan capital of Merida, was disturbed by the deafening noise of a low-flying twin-engine jet circling overhead, and the whine and buzzing of several military helicopters in pursuit. 
The noise went on for an incredible two hours until, out of fuel, the jet crashed three miles outside town on a plantation, Rancho San Francisco, identified by Mexican journalists as belonging to an American named Martin Wood.
Although remote, the crash site quickly drew a crowd. Slightly after dawn a Mexican Army unit from the Tenth Military Region deployed to the site, secured it, and then guarded it over the next 36 hours, repelling intrusions from other Mexican law enforcement agencies, as well as from the DEA, which flew six agents to the scene from Mexico City to reconnoiter, only to see them turned away from the site.

Days earlier, the Gulfstream jet had begun its journey at Fort Lauderdale’s notorious Executive Airport, flying southwest across the Gulf of Mexico to Cancun. There the pilot made arrangements with the airport’s general manager that they would be able to land without incident at the airport on their return from Colombia laden with cocaine. 
The next day, negotiations being successfully concluded, the Gulfstream  took off for Colombia. Nothing unusual was noticed. The plane was on a well-worn path. The airport in Cancun was the busiest drug port in Mexico.
After loading its cargo of cocaine the following day, the Gulfstream took off from the international airport just outside Medellin, in Rio Negro Colombia, bound once more for the exclusive Mexican Caribbean resort of Cancun, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
Among the mysteries surrounding the flight, the one which looms largest is this: Why did authorities at the Cancun airport change their minds, renege on their promise, and refuse the plane permission to land? 
At a press conference a year earlier after the crash of the DC-9, Mexican Attorney General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca said officials from Federal security agencies in the Yucatan were known to be in collusion with drug traffickers. Curiously, with his next breath he mentioned Kamel Nacif, 69, a Lebanese businessman in Cancun who was in the news for alleged links to an international network of pedophiles.
 
In the drug trade, it is important to recall, the title “cartel du jour” is a designation which changes rapidly and without notice. Just ask the kingpins from the Medellin, or the Cali, cartels. 
It turns out that when the drug traffickers on the Gulfstream lost their “get out of jail free” card, a drug kingpin who the DEA has called the biggest drug trafficker since Pablo Escobar had just been captured.
On August 7, just over a month earlier, a joint operation between forces including Brazil, the US,  Argentina, Spain and Uruguay took down a drug kingpin who was recently profiled here. Before being caught, Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, known as “Lollipop” (El Chupeta), had been successfully holed up for more than five years in Sao Paulo Brazil. 
Three weeks after his arrest,  two Brazilians bought the Gulfstream.


The Sins of the Son and — The Smoking Airplane

by
Daniel Hopsicker and Michael C. Ruppert

Texas Governor and Republican Presidential contender George W. Bush and his brother Jeb, allegedly caught on videotape in 1985 picking up kilos of cocaine at a Florida airport in a DEA sting set up by Barry Seal

And a private turboprop King Air 200 supposedly caught on  tape in the sting with FAA ownership records leading directly to the CIA and some of the perpetrators of the most notorious (and never punished) major financial frauds of the ’80s. 

Add to this mix the now irrefutable proof, some of it from the CIA itself, that then Vice President George H.W. Bush was a decision maker in illegal Contra support operations connected to the “unusual” acquisition of aircraft  and that his staff participated in key financial, operational and political decisions

All these events lead inexorably to one unanswered question: How did this one plane go from being controlled by Barry Seal, the biggest drug smuggler in American history, to becoming, according to state officials,  a favored airplane of Texas Governor George W. Bush?

———————————–

Three months into an exhaustive investigation of persistent reports dating to 1995 that there exists an incriminating videotape of current Republican Presidential front-runner Bush caught in a hastily-aborted DEA cocaine sting, the central allegation remains unproven

But some startling details have been confirmed, amid a raft of new suspicions emerging from conflicting FAA records. Those records, along with other irrefutable documents, point to the existence of far more than mere happenstance or dark “conspiracy theorist speculations” in the matter of how George W. Bush came to be flying the friendly Texas skies in an airplane that was a crown jewel in the drug smuggling fleet of the notorious Barry Seal. Those documents reveal – beyond any doubt – that in the 1980s Barry Seal, with whom the CIA has consistently denied any relationship, piloted and controlled airplanes owned by the same Phoenix Arizona company, Greycas, which in a 1998 bankruptcy filing, was revealed to have been a subsidiary of the same company that owned the now defunct CIA proprietary airline Southern Air Transport.

The investigation started with a lead into the history of the aircraft (a 1982 Beechcraft King Air 200 with FAA registration number N6308F – Serial Number BB-1014).


According to a flurry of stories between Sept 15 and 17 in the Washington Post, Newsweek, and Knight Ridder newspapers, as many as six of the terrorists, including ringleader Mohammed Atta, received training at U.S. military facilities.

“U.S. military sources have given the FBI information that suggests five of the alleged hijackers of the planes used in Tuesday’s terror attacks received training at secure U.S. military installations in the 1990’s,” Newsweek reported. Newsweek also reported that three of the hijackers received training at the Pensacola Naval Station in Florida.

The “Magic Dutch Boys.” Rudi Dekkers and Arne Kruithof, two Dutch nationals, purchased the two flight schools that trained three of the four terrorist pilots to fly at the tiny Venice Airport, which has an extensive history of CIA involvement,.

DC-9 ‘Cocaine One’ kingpin’s secret conviction

It was the biggest drug seizure on an airplane in Mexican history. It led directly to the forced sale of Wachovia, then America’s 4th largest bank. And it threatened to become America’s most notorious drug scandal since Iran Contra.
Yet when a leader of the drug smuggling organization responsible for the flight of the DC-9 airliner dubbed “Cocaine One” that was busted in the Yucatan carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine quietly pled guilty to unrelated drug charges two years ago in a Federal Court in Miami, his role in the massive drug move was kept secret from officials preparing his Pre-Sentence Report (PSI),  from journalists, and even from the Federal judge in the case.


An American-registered drug plane has been plying the airspace over Central and South America carrying cargoes of cocaine for a good long while (authorities admit they’ve been “investigating” it since 2011) without apparent incident, until recently, when a newspaper in Costa Rica reported that the President of Costa Rica had been seen using it to fly to Hugo Chavez’s funeral, as well as the recent wedding of the son of Peru’s Vice-President in Lima.


Six years ago this week an American-registered luxury jet, a Gulfstream II—later dubbed “Cocaine 2”—crashed just before dawn in the middle of the jungle in Mexico’s Yucatan carrying four tons of cocaine. The event, and its aftermath, changed forever an official narrative of the war on drugs which has for years been pushing the notion that there is no significant American involvement in the global drug trade, and no American Drug Lords.  

A control tower employee in Ciudad del Carmen, the airport where the DSC-9 landed, causing something of a fuss, told authorities at a crucial juncture in what was an extremely tense situation, as the American-registered DC-9 carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine circled and requested permission to land, she was approached inside the airport terminal by an American she’d never seen before.

She described him as being 40 years old, with blond hair and a deep tan, and he was wearing a green polo shirt. The American, she said, hadn’t just wanted officials in the airport to let the plane land. He wanted the tower to certify the flight, meaning the DC-9 could then continue its journey, as a domestic flight, which would not need to clear Mexican Customs.

Said green polo shirt-wearing American remains unidentified. He just disappeared from narratives of the event… except for one respected journalist at Mexican newspaper Proceso, who wisely picked up on this detail, followed up, and then reported that among the contingent of drug traffickers awaiting the arrival of the plane on the ground with as much nonchalance as they could muster…the American had been in charge.

In every country in the world in which drugs are present, and illegal, control of the drug trade is the most important tool in perpetuating that country’s oligarchy, more important than a police force with a billion Billy clubs.

The guys chopping off heads in Mexico while wearing bandoliers strapped across their bare chests are barely into middle management.

When the Gulfstream’s fuselage split into pieces on impact, spilling cocaine across an area the length of three football fields, a chain of events was set in motion that would prove that nothing could be further from the truth.  
Several hundred miles away, and more than a year earlier, in May 2006, the Gulfstream’s ‘sister ship,’ a DC-9 which became known as “Cocaine1″ because it was painted to impersonate an official US Government plane, had been caught carrying more than 5.5 tons of cocaine.
The two planes shared too many identifying characteristics, including interlocking owners and a shared base in the sleepy retirement Mecca of St Petersburg FL  on Florida’s Gulf Coast, to be coincidence. 
The twin events represented the biggest sea change in the global drug trade since the death of Pablo Escobar in 1992, or the assassination of Barry Seal in 1986. Today, despite the intervening years, new details continue to emerge about the case. 

During the course of the investigation which followed it became clear that the money used to purchase both planes—the Gulfstream and the DC-9—was laundered and funnelled through Wachovia Bank, and more importantly, that it represented just a tiny sliver of the more than $380 billion of drug money that had been laundered during the past six years through what was then America’s 4th largest bank. 
Wachovia was fined a record $165 million. The sullied bank was forced to sell itself to Wells Fargo Bank in Salt Lake City.
At about three a.m. the normal quiet of the town of Tixkobob  (pop. 17000), located an hour outside of the Yucatan capital of Merida, was disturbed by the deafening noise of a low-flying twin-engine jet circling overhead, and the whine and buzzing of several military helicopters in pursuit. 
The noise went on for an incredible two hours until, out of fuel, the jet crashed three miles outside town on a plantation, Rancho San Francisco, identified by Mexican journalists as belonging to an American named Martin Wood.
Although remote, the crash site quickly drew a crowd. Slightly after dawn a Mexican Army unit from the Tenth Military Region deployed to the site, secured it, and then guarded it over the next 36 hours, repelling intrusions from other Mexican law enforcement agencies, as well as from the DEA, which flew six agents to the scene from Mexico City to reconnoiter, only to see them turned away from the site.

Days earlier, the Gulfstream jet had begun its journey at Fort Lauderdale’s notorious Executive Airport, flying southwest across the Gulf of Mexico to Cancun. There the pilot made arrangements with the airport’s general manager that they would be able to land without incident at the airport on their return from Colombia laden with cocaine. 
The next day, negotiations being successfully concluded, the Gulfstream  took off for Colombia. Nothing unusual was noticed. The plane was on a well-worn path. The airport in Cancun was the busiest drug port in Mexico.
After loading its cargo of cocaine the following day, the Gulfstream took off from the international airport just outside Medellin, in Rio Negro Colombia, bound once more for the exclusive Mexican Caribbean resort of Cancun, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
Among the mysteries surrounding the flight, the one which looms largest is this: Why did authorities at the Cancun airport change their minds, renege on their promise, and refuse the plane permission to land? 
At a press conference a year earlier after the crash of the DC-9, Mexican Attorney General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca said officials from Federal security agencies in the Yucatan were known to be in collusion with drug traffickers. Curiously, with his next breath he mentioned Kamel Nacif, 69, a Lebanese businessman in Cancun who was in the news for alleged links to an international network of pedophiles.
 
In the drug trade, it is important to recall, the title “cartel du jour” is a designation which changes rapidly and without notice. Just ask the kingpins from the Medellin, or the Cali, cartels. 
It turns out that when the drug traffickers on the Gulfstream lost their “get out of jail free” card, a drug kingpin who the DEA has called the biggest drug trafficker since Pablo Escobar had just been captured.
On August 7, just over a month earlier, a joint operation between forces including Brazil, the US,  Argentina, Spain and Uruguay took down a drug kingpin who was recently profiled here. Before being caught, Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, known as “Lollipop” (El Chupeta), had been successfully holed up for more than five years in Sao Paulo Brazil. 
Three weeks after his arrest,  two Brazilians bought the Gulfstream.


The Sins of the Son and — The Smoking Airplane

by
Daniel Hopsicker and Michael C. Ruppert

Texas Governor and Republican Presidential contender George W. Bush and his brother Jeb, allegedly caught on videotape in 1985 picking up kilos of cocaine at a Florida airport in a DEA sting set up by Barry Seal

And a private turboprop King Air 200 supposedly caught on  tape in the sting with FAA ownership records leading directly to the CIA and some of the perpetrators of the most notorious (and never punished) major financial frauds of the ’80s. 

Add to this mix the now irrefutable proof, some of it from the CIA itself, that then Vice President George H.W. Bush was a decision maker in illegal Contra support operations connected to the “unusual” acquisition of aircraft  and that his staff participated in key financial, operational and political decisions

All these events lead inexorably to one unanswered question: How did this one plane go from being controlled by Barry Seal, the biggest drug smuggler in American history, to becoming, according to state officials,  a favored airplane of Texas Governor George W. Bush?

———————————–

Three months into an exhaustive investigation of persistent reports dating to 1995 that there exists an incriminating videotape of current Republican Presidential front-runner Bush caught in a hastily-aborted DEA cocaine sting, the central allegation remains unproven

But some startling details have been confirmed, amid a raft of new suspicions emerging from conflicting FAA records. Those records, along with other irrefutable documents, point to the existence of far more than mere happenstance or dark “conspiracy theorist speculations” in the matter of how George W. Bush came to be flying the friendly Texas skies in an airplane that was a crown jewel in the drug smuggling fleet of the notorious Barry Seal. Those documents reveal – beyond any doubt – that in the 1980s Barry Seal, with whom the CIA has consistently denied any relationship, piloted and controlled airplanes owned by the same Phoenix Arizona company, Greycas, which in a 1998 bankruptcy filing, was revealed to have been a subsidiary of the same company that owned the now defunct CIA proprietary airline Southern Air Transport.

The investigation started with a lead into the history of the aircraft (a 1982 Beechcraft King Air 200 with FAA registration number N6308F – Serial Number BB-1014).


According to a flurry of stories between Sept 15 and 17 in the Washington Post, Newsweek, and Knight Ridder newspapers, as many as six of the terrorists, including ringleader Mohammed Atta, received training at U.S. military facilities.

“U.S. military sources have given the FBI information that suggests five of the alleged hijackers of the planes used in Tuesday’s terror attacks received training at secure U.S. military installations in the 1990’s,” Newsweek reported. Newsweek also reported that three of the hijackers received training at the Pensacola Naval Station in Florida.

The “Magic Dutch Boys.” Rudi Dekkers and Arne Kruithof, two Dutch nationals, purchased the two flight schools that trained three of the four terrorist pilots to fly at the tiny Venice Airport, which has an extensive history of CIA involvement,.