White House accidentally leaks post-9/11 CIA torture report findings

Reuters/Larry Downing

The revelation comes from the Senate’s still-unreleased report scrutinizing the United States’ post-9/11 interrogation techniques, and first came to the public’s attention Wednesday when the White House unintentionally emailed a document detailing the findings to an Associated Press reporter.

The report – parts of which could be declassified by the White House in the coming days – also apparently found that some of the ambassadors who were briefed on the CIA’s activity were told not to notify their superiors in the State Department. One congressional official confirmed to the AP that these findings are documented in the Senate’s report, while a former CIA official said then-Secretary of State Colin Powell may not have known about the agency’s techniques when they first started using them.

The White House document noted that the CIA employed slapping, humiliation, sleep-deprivation, exposure to cold temperatures, and waterboarding in its attempts to interrogate suspects. The document does not go as far as saying the methods are legally considered torture, but it does reportedly say the Senate report categorizes the techniques as “torture by a common definition.”

According to the AP, the White House document states that the State Department wishes to stand behind the report’s findings and harshly criticize the CIA.

“This report tells a story of which no American is proud,” the document says in a section labeled, “Topline Messages (as proposed by State).”

“But it is also part of another story of which we can be proud. America’s democratic system worked just as it was designed to work in bringing an end to actions inconsistent with our democratic values.”

The State Department also wants to maintain that the Senate report “leaves no doubt that the methods used to extract information from some terrorist suspects caused profound pain, suffering and humiliation. It also leaves no doubt that the harm caused by the use of these techniques outweighed any potential benefit.”

Additionally, the document features multiple questions that, presumably, the White House is preparing to answer if and when the findings of the Senate report becomes public. They include:

“Until now the (U.S. government) has avoided conceding that the techniques used in the RDI program constituted torture. Now that the report is released is the White House prepared to concede that people were tortured?”

“Doesn’t the report make clear that at least some who authorized or participated in the [CIA interrogation] program committed crimes? Will the Justice Department revisit its decision not to prosecute anyone?”

“Isn’t it clear that the CIA engaged in torture as defined in the Torture Convention?”

According to a Tuesday report from Reuters, the White House may very well declassify the Senate report’s 600-page summary within the next week or so. In addition to its conclusions on the CIA’s methods themselves, the report is believed to state that no significant counter-terror information was gained through the techniques, and that the CIA claimed greater, more beneficial results than the evidence supports.

‘US paying for Israel’s systematic campaign of terror’

An Israeli artillery gun fires a 155mm shell towards targets in the Gaza Strip from their position near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 30, 2014. (AFP Photo)

RT: Israeli officials say that the school was empty at the time of the shelling. But the UN claims it had repeatedly notified Israel that there were refugees inside. How can we tell what actually happened?

William Dores: Because this is a systematic campaign of terror, they have killed civilians again and again and again. And they have lied every time.

They say that Hamas is hiding rockets in schools. What about those children on the beach? Was there a rocket hidden on the beach? What about the playground where they have killed so many children this week? Was there a rocket hidden there? What about Shujaiyeh market they hit today killing 17 people. Were there rockets at the market?

This is a cold blooded, calculated, systematic massacre of civilians – collective punishment, equivalent to what was done by the Nazis in WWII.

RT:The US has also condemned the attack but didn’t mention Israel in its statement. Do you think Washington doubts the UN’s assessment?

WD: Washington knows full well what is going on and Washington is paying for it. If the US government wants to stop the killing in Gaza, all it has to do is stop sending weapons and stop sending money to pay for it.

But the Pentagon announced today that it was resupplying Israel with artillery shells to use against the people of Gaza. US made F16s flown by US trained pilots are raining US-made missiles down on civilians who are trapped in a cage with nowhere to go.

READ MORE: US resupplying Israel with ammunition even after condemning shelling of Gaza school

And all these platitudes about the investigation and ‘we want the violence to stop’ are meaningless.

Washington is giving Israel a blank check because it is paying for the carnage. And if there is any sincerity on the part of the US, this government needs to stop sending our tax money to Israel right now, and our weapons provided for free to this monstrous war machine.

I was in Gaza 25 years ago when it was still under Israeli occupation, I saw Israeli soldiers shoot children on the street. Was Hamas hiding behind them? No. There was no Hamas at that time. Israel has been carrying on genocide for decades. As we’ve been carrying out ethnic cleansing for decades, it has been treating Palestinians as less than human for decades. And our government continues to pay for it.

RT: You’ve been to Gaza. What can you say about what you’ve seen there in terms of Israel’s actions?

WD: I visited Gaza twice. The first time was during the first intifada in 1988. And the shear brutality and the cowardice of the Israeli military was what was striking. At this time, there was no Hamas, no rockets. The Palestinian people had no arms, there were youths confronting soldiers with stones. And almost every day a child would be murdered. I saw an Israeli sniper shoot an 11 year-old girl in the head in a refugee camp near Rammalah. I saw a baby who lost his eye. A rubber bullet fired by an Israeli soldier was launched in his eye and the Israeli soldier has pulled it out, leaving him with one eye. The eye ball as well. These are the kinds of things, Israel has been doing for decades.

I was there again in 2009 as part of a medical relief convoy, to try to bring aid to the people of Gaza, medicine. Because the US government prosecutes people from the US who bring more than medicine to Gaza. And this was 6 months after 2008-09 war, the bombing of people who were still living in tents because Israel would not allow in cement to rebuild their homes.

Israel is invading Gaza. Israel is carrying out ethnic cleansing against the people of Gaza. Israel is attacking people who are living in a cage from the sea, air and land. Israel should stop the blockade of Gaza and let the people of Gaza live.

What Will Happen First, An Economic Collapse or Martial Law?

This article has been contributed by Dave Hodges and was originally published at The Common Sense Show.

new-paradigm-2What will happen first? Will we fall under the specter of martial law and all that entails? Or, will we experience an economic collapse prior to martial law?

In the present state of affairs, it is very easy to focus on the invasion of America through our Southern border as the Fifth column insurgents make their way into the country in the form of MS-13 as they prepare to wreak havoc on any opposition to the coming takeover. We are also focused on the presence of unscreened immigrants coming into our country and who are failing to be screened for very serious health conditions such as Ebola. It easy to become fixated on things like the NDAA and unconstitutional, permanent detention.  We are very focused on the shoot down of MH-17 and preparing for war with Russia. However, what we should be focusing on is the economic collapse which has already began.

Before we continue with the analysis of what comes first, let’s interject some common sense into this analysis. The global elite need a horrific war to rid themselves of the old system and usher in the new system. Out of chaos comes order. This will set into motion the depopulation agenda that will accompany this coming martial law and World War III. We know the globalists seek to maximize profits at every turn. Therefore, one should ask themselves the question, “How can they globalists make the most money as they usher in the New World Order? The answer is simple, if they want to realize maximum value for their efforts, they should steal as much money from the American people as possible, before collapsing the economy.

Why An Economic Collapse Will Happen First

America only has to look at three economic indicators to know that we are in a lot of trouble, The budget deficit is $17 trillion dollars, unfunded (partially or otherwise) mandated social programs constitutes another $222 trillion dollars and the credit swap derivatives total between $1 quadrillion dollars to $1.5 quadrillion dollars. Based upon these numbers, America has clearly been set up to fail.

When we look at Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all the government programs that we all take for granted, the price tag is a whopping $222 trillion dollars. These numbers are going to be exacerbated and grow exponentially because the bulk of the baby boomers are entering retirement age. Even if we took every single penny that the federal government takes in and devote it to paying off these social programs, it would take 111 years to pay off this debt.

In the United States, credit swap derivatives created national debt totals of over one quadrillion dollars. That is one thousand trillion dollars! The entire GDP of the planet is estimated at $66 trillion dollars. And somehow, in the infinite wisdom of Congress in 2008, we falsely and naively believed that a $750 billion transfer of wealth (i.e., Bailout #1) was magically going to save the economy and the collective futures of the American middle class. In short, the debt created by futures speculation is approximately 16 times greater than the sum total of the entire wealth on the planet! And we think we are going to climb out of this? We could fund 1,000 bailouts and the eventual outcome will be the same, slavery by debt. We are being held in place, while our financial assets are being separated from our soon-to-be dead corpses.

The Collective Young Adult Work Force Has Little to No Future

The fruits of the labor of young adults has already been transferred to the elite.

In a part of the dead American Dream, we used to tell our children, “Study hard, go to college, get a degree and you will get a good paying job in your field. This former guidepost designed for preparing young people to successfully enter adulthood, should no longer be held up as an ideal. Please consider the following:

The number of Americans in the 16 to 29 year old age bracket with a job declined by 18 percent between 2000 and 2010.

Incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation since the year 2000.

In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.

One poll discovered that 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.

Young men are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as young women the same age are.

Overall, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents according to Time Magazine. And this is because they cannot find decent work. President Obama tells us that our economy is on the rebound (after being robbed blind by the bail outs). However, the real unemployment statistics tells a far different story.

These real numbers tell the truth.

These real numbers tell the truth.

Where Did the Money Go?

When I was a third grader in Mrs. Strong’s third grade classroom, we conducted an experiment in which we had to determine how long it took for water to evaporate from a small glass. As we were in the process of watching the water evaporate from our glass, Mrs. Strong asked us where the water went? From this children’s science experiment, we learned that the water did not just go away, it went somewhere in real form and would return to us in the form of rainfall.

Look at the following chart below which measures price increases for basic essentials from January 2000 to March 2014. The numerical differences of what it costs to be an American in this economy is dramatic!

Where did the difference in the money go?

Where did the difference in the money go?

Where did the money go? Most people with their lack of knowledge of economics will look at this chart and answer “inflation” eats up our money. What our nation’s sheep is never taught is how to answer the question, what really causes inflation? In our schools, we teach the inflation is just a part of painful living, just like getting colds. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is contrived and its purpose is to control the people through debt slavery.

The first place to look for these price spikes is the Federal Reserve. Between the usury fees and interest they charge us for the “right” to use their money, our dollar is actually worth about 94 cents by the time we receive the dollar. The minion banks of the Federal Reserve pay you less than one percent to house your money, that they get to loan out. All things being equal, you losing about 5% per year in real buying power. This is a hidden tax that you pay to the elite which amounts to about 5% per year. As Mrs. Strong would say, the money did not just evaporate. It went somewhere.

What has chronicled above is what I label as indirect theft. Nobody is walking into your bank and stealing your money in these examples. Simply, financial practices and economic controls are created to slowly erode our wealth and transfer it to the elite. However, things are changing as we are transitioning from indirect theft to a very stark from of  directly stealing the people’s assets by the elite.

Direct Public Theft of Private Assets

I have chronicled in a recent article that JP Morgan Chase and HSBC are making it almost impossible to wire money out of their banks into overseas accounts. This is the same as putting a bullseye on your eye money as they plan to seize as much as possible and they don’t want you to be able to money your money.

Over 50 percent of all stocks and bonds are owned by just 1 percent of the U.S. population. When the Stock Market crashed in 1929, who lost money? The elite already had their money parked on the sidelines when the crash came and when it did where did the money? That money went back into the hands of the people who created this Ponzi scheme. The same thing is about ready to happen again.

The elite are preparing for one last great garage sale. They are preparing to take every resource at your disposal.

Grand Theft America Prior to the Collapse: The Direct Transfer of Wealth

In no civilized country in the world do the banks have the right to steal money from citizen depositors. However, in America, this beta test was already being accomplished as ex-Goldman Sachs CEO and ex-senator and ex-governor, John “the Don” Corzine,  stole 1.2 billion dollars from secured deposits from MF Global, lied to congress about his actions and today is enjoying the fruits of his thievery.Let’s not forget that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals who just ruled that banks can steal the money of its depositors and it is legal! This would have been a SHTF moment in every other Western country, but Americans are taking this grand theft on their backsides, sipping a beer and bemoaning the performance of their favorite NFL team. THE ELITE HAVE JUST ANNOUNCED THEIR INTENTION TO DIRECTLY STEAL YOUR WEALTH BY USING THE FORCE OF LAW.

Retirement Accounts Are First

Workers in modern nations have always had retirement as an incentive to work towards. Soon, the government will control all retirement accounts. Furthermore, if you live in America, you are not getting the best pension package compared to other Western nations as America ranks last in overall pension benefits. And this is in the backdrop of the Obama Administration, there are clear plans to seize your 401k pensions. This planned theft by the Obama Administration will prove to be a devastating blow to the American middle-class and will provide a knockout punch to any hope that the middle class clings to when it comes to transmitting wealth to their children and we are just a short time from realizing this inevitability. At least in Greece, the people rioted when the Goldman Sachs run government stole the people’s pensions to pay down the bankers part of the derivatives debt.  Conversely, Americans are merely acquiescing and passively accepting the fact that Obama and his minions are planning to steal your bank accounts, your social security, your public pensions and your 401k accounts and the process has already begun with Treasury Secretary Lew as he is borrowing against select Federal retirement accounts. Obama has announced the “MYRA”. The theft of American home mortgagees has been going on for sometime. When one adds up the totality of what is happening, it is safe to say that retirement accounts will be made to fail.

The Globalist Playbook

The soon-to-fail retirement accounts is one liability that the elite will soon get to stop paying on, but not before they initiate another round of bailouts designed to save the retirement accounts from the conditions that they have created.

Following the collapse of the retirement accounts, we can expect a cyberattack upon the banks that will cause them to fail. Interestingly, FEMA and DHS practiced for such an attack two weekends last October. Following this attack, bank accounts will be frozen and eventually, you will receive pennies on the dollar for what you formerly had in your account. Remember, money does not evaporate, it goes somewhere.

Once the economy is collapsed, martial law can be legitimized, and WW III can commence, and all the things that we are focused on now, will fall into place.

You are probably asking what can you do? The short answer is nothing! You can somewhat soften the blow by getting your money out of the bank as much as possible. Stop shopping the WalMarts the Kmarts and the other slave marts and shop locally. In reality, there is nothing that you can do to stop this coming train wreck. My advice is to focus on your relationship with God.


Dave Hodges is an award winning psychology, statistics and research professor, a college basketball coach, a mental health counselor, a political activist and writer who has published dozens of editorials and articles in several publications such as Freedom Phoenix, News With Views, and The Arizona Republic. 

The Common Sense Show features a wide variety of important topics that range from the loss of constitutional liberties, to the subsequent implementation of a police state under world governance, to exploring the limits of human potential. The primary purpose of The Common Sense Show is to provide Americans with the tools necessary to reclaim both our individual and national sovereignty. You can follow Dave’s work at his web site, on Facebook and Twitter.

Russia fears Kiev trying to destroy implicating MH17 evidence

Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

LIVE UPDATES: Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane crash in Ukraine

According to Churkin, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko promised a cease-fire in the disaster area,“but this promise was immediately broken, while Ukrainian officials have publicly announced a new task – to cleanse of the militias and take control of this territory,” Churkin said in New York.

Such actions directly violate UN Security Council resolution 2166, which calls for a ceasefire and for thorough and impartial investigation into the Boeing tragedy under the ICAO umbrella, Churkin added.

“We fear that Kiev authorities are moved by the intention to destroy evidence, implicating their role in the Malaysian airliner catastrophe,” Churkin said.

In order to ensure compliance with the ceasefire resolution and reinforce it, on Monday the Russian delegation to the UN proposed to adopt“a simple and unambiguous statement to the press.”

“However, [Russia’s proposal] was unceremoniously blocked by some members of the Security Council, clearly not interested in strict compliance with resolution 2166,” Churkin explained.

Once again urging for a ceasefire in Ukraine, Churkin reminded the Council that the Netherlands, Australia and Malaysia have mobilized “considerable resources” to investigate the crash.

Russia in the meantime handed over its surveillance data of the disaster area of the Boeing 777 crash.

“We have passed the objective observation data of the disaster area to the international organizations, including the UN and the OSCE. We expect that others will also act concretely and constructively, instead of spreading unsubstantiated accusations and insinuations,” said the Russian diplomat.

The Ambassador said that Russia is “offering all kinds of assistance to the investigation,” highlighting that Russian Civil Aviation Authorities “promptly formulated questions that need to be clarified to reveal the full picture of the tragedy.”

Malaysian Boeing disaster – Russia’s questions to Ukraine

At the same time, Churkin pointed out that despite the willingness of anti-Kiev forces to cooperate with the efforts of the investigators, as noted by Australia’s MH17 special envoy and former Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, the investigative team is still having trouble reaching the crash site.

“One of the key provisions of the resolution, which was included at the insistence of the Russian delegation, is the requirement to immediately, in the area adjacent to the site of the disaster, cease all military action in order to allow for safety and security during the international investigation.”

‘Vicious circle of violence’

Churkin reminded that the world hoped that the Berlin Declaration of July 2 would be able to break the “vicious circle of violence,” but Kiev has shown no mercy since then.

“However, in practice the cruelty of Kiev authorities in fighting is going through the roof. Donetsk, Lugansk, Gorlovka and many other localities have undergone massive bombardments, including indiscriminate Grad fire and aerial assaults,” Churkin said, pointing out that residential buildings, hospitals and transportation hubs are deliberately being bombed.

In most cases, Churkin pointed out, anti-Kiev forces were nowhere near those objects. He also raised questions about the reported use of ballistic missiles by the Ukrainian military, which is another clear sign of a “rampant military escalation.” Russia qualifies Kiev’s actions as “a punitive operation against its own people,” the envoy said.

READ MORE: Kiev forces fire ballistic missiles into E. Ukraine

Russia is on the receiving end of the conflict, as hundreds of thousands refugees crossing into the Russian territory, more than 150,000 of whom already officially filed for temporary asylum and Russian citizenship, Churkin said. In the meantime Ukraine continues to shell Russian territory near the border, Churkin reminded.

The priority now, the diplomat said, should be to end the hostilities and to establish a peaceful negotiation process on the basis of the Geneva Declaration of April 17 and the Berlin Declaration of July 2.

‘Exclusionary’ diplomacy fails Palestinians

Touching on other issues, Churkin switched over to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, blaming the US for its approach to mediating the violent crisis.

“As the practice shows, crises in Israeli-Palestinian relations often arise as a result of failure of US unilateral efforts to reconcile the warring parties. We have repeatedly pointed out that the ‘exclusionary’ method has exhausted itself,” he said, adding that a new mechanism of crisis resolution is needed to deal with this urgent matter.

Speaker Boehner gets Congress approval to sue President Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

In a 225-201 vote, the House of Representatives backed Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in his decision to file a lawsuit against President Obama over his handling of the Affordable Care Act. Boehner and other Republicans allege that Obama has flouted his constitutional authority by unilaterally extending deadlines in the law, particularly those related to the employer mandate penalties.

As RT noted previously, the president delayed the mandate – which would penalize employers who chose not to offer health insurance to their workers – for one year back in July 2013. When it was supposed to take effect this year, it was again pushed back into 2015. If filed, the lawsuit would attempt to make Obama implement the ACA exactly on the timetable that was originally passed by Congress – despite Republican attempts to repeal the legislation in its entirety.

All but five Republicans voted in favor of suing the president, while all Democrats voted against the proposal. Speaking on the floor of the House before the vote took place, Boehner dismissed allegations that the lawsuit is yet another round of political gamesmanship between the two parties.

“This isn’t about Republicans and Democrats. It’s about defending the Constitution that we swore an oath to uphold,” Boehner said, according to Talking Points Memo. “Are you willing to let any president choose what laws to execute and what laws to change? Are you willing to let anyone tear apart what our founders have built?”

Other Republicans also framed the vote in terms of Congress’ constitutional responsibility.

“If there were a Republican president doing the same thing, I would feel just as strongly. This is about the Constitution,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) to the Huffington Post. “For too long, this body, under the leadership of both Democrats and Republicans, has ceded parts of our constitutional authority to the executive branch.”

Immediately after the vote, White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer criticized the House. “Instead of doing their job,” he told CBS News’ Mark Knoller, “they are suing the President for doing his.”

“He is not going to back away from his efforts to use his authority to solve problems & help American families,” says WH official of POTUS.

— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 30, 2014

Before the vote, Obama himself took on Republicans for choosing to go after him personally instead of focusing on issues pertaining to the economy or the crisis at the country’s border with Mexico.

“Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hatin’ all the time,” he said during a speech in Missour, as quoted by Reuters. “There’s a bunch of stuff that needs to get done … Unfortunately, I think the main vote … that they’ve scheduled for today is whether or not they decide to sue me for doing my job.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also slammed the move, arguing it’s a distraction that could also be seized upon as a step towards impeachment.

“Republicans are putting the special interests and the howls of impeachment-hungry extremists before the needs of the nation,” Pelosi said to the Post. “The lawsuit is only the latest proof of House Republicans’ contempt and disregard for the priorities of the American people.”

Although this is the first time a chamber of Congress has endorsed suing a president, individual members have sued the Commander in Chief before. George W. Bush faced legal action over his budget in 2006, while Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) sued Obama earlier this year over the ACA’s consequences for his staff.

Both lawsuits failed to gain traction in the courts, which tossed them out for lack of standing. If Boehner decides to file his lawsuit, it will face a similar challenge. The speaker would have to prove that the House has suffered from material injury – something that has never been granted in previous presidential lawsuits. If successful, Republicans would also have to prove their allegations can stand up to scrutiny under the law.

First synthetic biological leaf could allow humans to colonize space

Image by Julian Melchiorri/Royal College of Art

Julian Melchiorri, a graduate student in innovation design engineering at the UK’s Royal College of Art, created the synthetic leaf, which he called the ‘Silk Leaf Project’. The design was for an RCA course offered in collaboration with Tufts University’s silk lab in Massachusetts.

Like the leaf from a real plant, the synthetic leaf uses photosynthesis to produce oxygen, by absorbing light, water and carbon dioxide. “The artificial leaves feature chloroplasts extracted from actual plant cells that are suspended in a material made from silk protein. So when given access to light and water they still produce oxygen, but they’re better suited to surviving off our planet,” Gizmodo reported.

The protein-based material is extracted directly from the silk fiber. It’s used to stabilize organelles ‒ organic molecules within a cell, including chloroplasts ‒ within the material’s matrix, Melchiorri told Dezeen.com.

“I have the first photosynthetic material that was working and breathing as a leaf does,” he said.

The man-made leaf is lighter than the real thing, but better suited to long-term life in space because scientists don’t know if organic plants would survive and flourish outside our atmosphere the way humans would need them to. And if mankind is to colonize space, those living on another planet would need to produce their own O2 gas.

“So what if we could take those biological oxygen factories into space with us, but without all the land, sun, water, soil, and gravity that forests tend to require?,” CNet ponders. “This is the point where NASA and Elon Musk should probably start paying attention.”

The space agency is the designer’s ideal target, in fact.

“Plants don’t grow in zero gravity,” Melchiorri explained. “NASA is researching different ways to produce oxygen for long-distance space journeys to let us live in space. This material could allow us to explore space much further than we can now.”

The design brings the natural efficiency of photosynthesis to a man-made material.

The graduate student also sees his leaf being used for interior design or for the ventilation system in a large building. The material would serve as a filter for the outside air, bringing oxygenated air into the structure.

US-Russia Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty lapsing: Cui bono?

The medium-range RSD-10 Pioneer (SS-20) missile system (RIA Novosti / Anton Denisov)

Washington says Russia has tested a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile thus breaching the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by the US and the Soviet Union nearly 30 years ago, banning all ground-based nuclear-capable missiles with range from 500 to 5,500 kilometers, the New York Times cited.

READ MORE: US claims on nuclear missiles treaty unfounded, Russia has questions too

But has Russia really violated the letter of the INF Treaty?

The situation in the world has greatly changed over the years since the INF Treaty was signed.

Today Moscow and Washington remain the world’s only capitals that imposed restrictions on themselves in the regard of short and medium range missile possession. In the meantime Russia has several nuclear states in imminent proximity to its borders that already have such medium-range missiles (China, India, Pakistan and probably Iran and North Korea) that can potentially strike Russian territory, whereas the US has no such neighbors.

Though no Western media outlet has mentioned the name of the missile, there are probably only two candidates for the role of the “peace breaker.”

The first is Russia’s cutting edge ICBM RS-26 Rubezh (Frontier) complex dubbed “ABM-killer”, reportedly made on the basis of ICBM RS-24 Yars land-based mobile missile system. According to a top military official, it was tested several times at short distances of about 2,000 km, RBC Daily reports.

However, Rubezh is technically out of suspicion, according to member of the Academy of Sciences, Aleksey Arbatov, as under the treaty the ballistic missile’s range is estimated as the maximum range it was tested at, which is respectable 11,000 kilometers for RS-26 Rubezh.

The second candidate for the role is the R-500, a cruise missile which can be used with ground-based 9K720 Iskander launcher. Its range is a delicate issue, said Arbatov as cited by RBC Daily. Though it has an officially announced range below 500 kilometers, its exact characteristics remain top-secret and could be argued.

According to military experts, the R-500 is a modification of the old Soviet 3M10 Granat with an estimated range of 2,600 km that was initially designed for submarine launch. All land-based Granat missiles were destroyed under the INP Treaty. However, the treaty did not apply to naval missiles.

Earlier the US already complained about suspected Russian treaty violations, presumably about the R-500 and its land-based tests that reportedly had to be conducted due to lack of funding. Moscow’s explanations did not satisfy Washington, noted Arbatov adding that such decisions and arguments are usually discussed during the meeting of working groups – while now the issue has reached the presidential level.

At the same time Russian Air Force possesses a unique X-101 strategic cruise missile – that could potentially be adopted for surface launch – with some reports indicating its maximum range to be well over 5,500 kilometers, in which case this missile would not fall under conditions of the INF Treaty either – if adopted for ground launch from the Iskander complex.

An expert of the Institute of International Security Problems, Valery Fenenko told RIA news agency that the INF Treaty does not prohibit development of short and medium range missiles so both Russia and the US never stopped research in this area. Yet while Russia is doing the job all alone, the US has a helping hand of NATO allies.

“Americans are in a much easier situation in this regard. They have allies France and the UK that haven’t signed the INF Treaty. These countries have cruise missile projects of their own that could be easily be transformed into surface-to-surface missiles,” Fenenko said.

Russia could try to impose a moratorium on the Treaty until France and UK sign the document, “but there is no chance they would sign, so that would be the end of the treaty,” Fenenko concluded.

Timing is everything?

The New York Times broke to the world on Monday that President Barack Obama sent a letter to Vladimir Putin, in which Russia is accused of testing a surface-to-surface cruise missile with an excessive range.

The first tests of those missiles were conducted back in 2008, the report suggests, and it took the Obama administration 3 years to conclude that they were a compliance concern. But the question of possible treaty violation was raised by the State Department’s arms control officials only in 2013.

When reports of Russia’s ground-based tests re-emerged in January 2014, the US administration wasn’t ready to comment on the issue or draw any conclusions and media attention to the issue at that particular time.

The US is obviously trying to force Russia out of the INF Treaty to have a pretext for further augmentation of its military presence in Europe, Valery Fenenko shared with RIA news agency.

“A lukewarm conflict between Russia and the US has been drawing on since 2007. In my opinion, Americans are pushing Russia to step out of the treaty,” Fenenko opined.

He believes that the accusations of the INF Treaty violation is a part of American strategy of spreading anti-ballistic missile defense shield in Europe.

“Some American and Russian analysts expected Russia to respond to the imposed sanctions with threatening rhetoric towards the EU, and an obvious and harsh step of quitting the INF Treaty but that never happened,” explained Fenenko, adding that now Washington wants to fulfil the aim in a different manner.

“If Russia re-deploys medium and short range missiles that would be a direct threat to EU member states, both Eastern and Western European countries,” the expert concluded.

Washington uses the alleged INF Treaty violation to boost global tensions in the background of the Ukrainian crisis and sanctions imposed on Russia, Andrey Koshkin told RT, military political analyst at Plekhanov Academy in Moscow.

“This is interconnected with the crisis situation being created by the Americans themselves,” estimated Koshkin, adding that Washington is launching a political assault on Moscow from every direction “to hype up the tensions.”

“They try to blame Russia every morning, every evening, every night – this is a salvo of accusations. They try to get western public accustomed to blaming Russia,” Willy Wimmer, the former State Secretary of the German Ministry of Defense, told RT.

US-Russia Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty lapsing: Cui bono?

The medium-range RSD-10 Pioneer (SS-20) missile system (RIA Novosti / Anton Denisov)

Washington says Russia has tested a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile thus breaching the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by the US and the Soviet Union nearly 30 years ago, banning all ground-based nuclear-capable missiles with range from 500 to 5,500 kilometers, the New York Timescited.

READ MORE: US claims on nuclear missiles treaty unfounded, Russia has questions too

Though no Western media outlet has mentioned the name of the missile, there are probably only two candidates for the role of the “peace breaker.”

The first is Russia’s RS-26 Rubezh (Frontier) ICBN “ABM-killer” complex. According to a top military official, it was tested several times at distances ranging from 2,000 km to 5,700 km, RBC Daily reports.

However, Rubezh is technically out of suspicion, according to member of the Academy of Sciences, Aleksey Arbatov, as under the treaty the ballistic missile’s range is estimated as the maximum range it was tested at.

The second candidate for the role is the R-500, a cruise missile which can be used with ground-based 9K720 Iskander launcher. Its range is a delicate issue, said Arbatov as cited by RBC Daily. Though it has an officially announced range below 500 kilometers, its exact characteristics remain top-secret and could be argued.

According to military experts, the R-500 is a modification of the old Soviet 3M10 Granat with an estimated range of 2600 km that was initially designed for submarine launch. All land-based Granat missiles were destroyed under the INP Treaty. However, the treaty did not apply to naval missiles.

Earlier the US already complained about suspected Russian treaty violations, presumably about the R-500 and its land-based tests that reportedly had to be conducted due to lack of funding. Moscow’s explanations did not satisfy Washington, noted Arbatov adding that such decisions and arguments are usually discussed during the meeting of working groups – while now the issue has reached the presidential level.

At the same time Russian Air Force possesses a unique X-101 cruise missile – that could be adopted for surface launch – with some reports indicating its maximum range to be over 5,500 kilometers, in which case this missile would not fall under conditions of the INF Treaty either.

Timing is everything?

The situation in the world has greatly changed over the years and today Moscow and Washington remain the world’s only capitals that imposed restrictions on themselves in this regard. In the meantime Russia has several nuclear states in proximity to its borders that already have such medium-range missiles (China, India, Pakistan and probably Iran and North Korea) that can potentially strike Russian territory, whereas the US has no such neighbors.

The New York Times broke to the world on Monday that President Barack Obama sent a letter to Vladimir Putin, in which Russia is accused of testing a surface-to-surface cruise missile with an excessive range.

The first tests of those missiles were conducted back in 2008, the report suggests, and it took the Obama administration 3 years to conclude that they were a compliance concern. But the question of possible treaty violation was raised by the State Department’s arms control officials only in 2013.

When reports of Russia’s ground-based tests re-emerged in January 2014, the US administration wasn’t ready to comment on the issue or draw any conclusions and media attention to the issue at that particular time.

The US is obviously trying to force Russia out of the INF Treaty to have a pretext for further augmentation of its military presence in Europe, expert of the Institute of International Security Problems, Valery Fenenko shared with RIA news agency.

“A lukewarm conflict between Russia and the US has been drawing on since 2007. In my opinion, Americans are pushing Russia to step out of the treaty,” Fenenko opined.

He believes that the accusations of the INF Treaty violation is a part of American strategy of spreading anti-ballistic missile defense shield in Europe.

“Some American and Russian analysts expected Russia to respond to the imposed sanctions with threatening rhetoric towards the EU, and an obvious and harsh step of quitting the INF Treaty but that never happened,” explained Fenenko, adding that now Washington wants to fulfil the aim in a different manner.

“If Russia re-deploys medium and short range missiles that would be a direct threat to EU member states, both Eastern and Western European countries,” the expert concluded.

Fenenko specifically stressed that both Russia and the US never stopped development of such missiles because the INF Treaty does not prohibit this.

“Americans are in a much easier situation in this regard. They have allies France and the UK that haven’t signed the INF Treaty. These countries have cruise missile projects of their own that could be easily be transformed into surface-to-surface missiles,” Fenenko said.

Russia could try to impose a moratorium on the Treaty until France and UK sign the document, “but there is no chance they would sign, so that would be the end of the treaty,” Fenenko concluded.

Washington uses the alleged INF Treaty violation to boost global tensions in the background of the Ukrainian crisis and sanctions imposed on Russia, Andrey Koshkin told RT, military political analyst at Plekhanov Academy in Moscow.

“This is interconnected with the crisis situation being created by the Americans themselves,” estimated Koshkin, adding that Washington is launching a political assault on Moscow from every direction “to hype up the tensions.”

“They try to blame Russia every morning, every evening, every night – this is a salvo of accusations. They try to get western public accustomed to blaming Russia,” Willy Wimmer, the former State Secretary of the German Ministry of Defense, told RT.

Peace Corps leaves West Africa as Ebola outbreak expands

A picture taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. (AFP Photo)

According toReuters, 130 volunteers will leave Sierra Leone, while another 108 and 102 will depart Liberia and Guinea, respectively. The Peace Corps blamed the virus’ continued spread for the decision.

“The Peace Corps today announced that it is temporarily removing its volunteers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea due to the increasing spread of the Ebola virus,” the organization said in a statement to the news service.

Since February, 672 people have been killed in all three countries, making the recent outbreak the most devastating on record, per the World Health Organization.

Meanwhile, the US State Department confirmed one American citizen has died from the virus – which triggers diarrhea and vomiting before causing internal and external bleeding. Two other aid workers have been infected and are in serious condition.

As RT reported on Tuesday, Sierra Leone’s only specialist on Ebola has also died, not even one week after being diagnosed with the virus. The current fatality rate stands at 60 percent, which is lower than the 90 percent rate typically associated with the disease.

As the highly contagious virus continues to raise concern across the world, activists have started a petition on Change.org pushing the US Food and Drug Administration to speed up the authorization of new medication that could potentially stop the virus in its tracks. There’s currently no cure for Ebola, but several drugs and vaccines are currently being tested.

“One of the most promising is TKM-Ebola manufactured by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals,” the petition states. “This drug has been shown to be highly effective in killing the virus in primates and Phase 1 clinical trials to assess its safety in humans were started earlier this year.”

The petition points to the fact that there’s been one confirmed case of the disease being transferred via air travel – from Liberia to Nigeria – and suggests the impending shadow of a pandemic makes fast-tracking the drug’s approval necessary.

“In view of this it’s imperative that the development of these drugs be fast-tracked by the FDA and the first step should be releasing the hold on TKM-Ebola. There is a precedent for fast tracking anti-Ebola drugs in emergency cases as happened last year when a researcher was exposed to the virus and received an experimental vaccine.”

Speaking with the Daily Mail, Professor Jeremy Farrar of the Welcome Trust global charity said drugs that have already been tested on humans should be deployed to the areas where they could be the most beneficial.

“It’s ridiculous that we haven’t got these (experimental) products out of labs and animal trials and into human testing, and at least offered to people,” he said.

“If you had a 60 per cent chance of dying tomorrow, and there was something that had been tested in healthy volunteers (but not yet tried in patients or approved), would you take it?”