Chinese scientists unveil mind-controlled drone

RUSSIA TODAY | SEPTEMBER 4, 2012

Chinese researchers have unveiled a system that allows users to control drones with their thoughts. The technology was designed to help handicapped people, but could have ample applications in other fields as well.

A video posted to YouTube by researchers at Zhejiang University shows how the system, called Flybuddy2, works. And it appears that you don’t have to be a nuclear scientist to build one. All you need is an EEG headset with a Bluetooth connection to a laptop – plus a quadrotor Parrot AR Drone linked to the computer.

“The computer can receive EEG signals via Bluetooth and convert them to specific commands to control the AR drones through WiFi,” a presenter explains.

To get the drone to raise or to land, a user would need to “think left” hard. “Think left lightly” if you want to rotate clockwise and “right” if you want it to lurch forward. Give it a lift in the air by thinking “push.” And imagine clenching it if you want to bring it back down to earth.

But moving around is not the only task it can do. Remember how they tell you to avoid blinking when taking photos? Well here it’s the opposite: blinking is the command that tells the drone to photograph its environs.

The video shows a man in a wheelchair using the technology to get a closer view of flowers, to take pictures and even to guide his drone through a battle with another quadrotor controlled through a handheld remote control. Needless to say, mind triumphs over matter and the hand-managed drone is hustled off the mat by its thought-controlled analog.

The students hope their technology will be able to help disabled people become more interactive with the world around them, and are slated to present their invention at the ACM International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp), which will be held next week in Pittsburg.

While handicap assistance and gaming is one potential application for the system, only the imagination can limit the potential uses mind-controlled drones could have in the future, both for civilian and other purposes.

U.S. Drone Military Bases all over the World and Amerika

RT | JUNE 14, 2012

The US is planning to expand secret intelligence bases throughout Africa with a view to combating terrorism in the region, says a new report by the Washington Post. It is the latest in a US push to militarize its presence on the continent.

The plans include the deployment of spy planes equipped with high-tech surveillance technology.

The US is set to extend its influence, opening a number of intelligence air bases “from the fringes of the Sahara to jungle terrain along the equator,” said the Washington Post.

The initiative dates back to 2007 and is indicative of the rapid expansion of US Special Forces operations in the region as part of the decade-long war against Al-Qaeda.

The US will use the strategically-placed bases to launch spy planes disguised as private aircraft kitted-out with a range of sensors able to record video, track infrared heat trails and tap into radio and mobile phone signals.

The reasoning behind the ratcheting-up of surveillance on the African continent by the US is the increasing presence of terrorist cells that could potentially destabilize the region.

The Washington Post said that the US government currently has a number of intelligence facilities across Africa, including Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Seychelles, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

The bases in Burkina Faso and Mauritania are used to spy on Al-Qaeda.

The US military has expressed concerns over the growing influence of the Nigerian terrorist sect Boko Haram, blamed for a wave of bombings in the country in December and Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabab in Somalia.

In addition, 100 special troops are currently in action in Uganda to hunt for Joseph Kony, the leader of a brutal guerrilla group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Some state department officials have questioned the necessity to step-up a US presence in Africa given that many of the terrorist groups active on the continent represent no direct threat to the US.

In spite of doubts the US continues to rack up its presence in Africa. Last month the Army Times confirmed US military plans to deploy over 3,000 troops across the continent as part of a “regionally aligned force concept.”

US to maintain ‘Light Footprint’ in Africa?

Officially the US is painting an altogether different picture of its operations in Africa. Army General Carter F. Ham top US Africa command officer said that the US is not seeking permanent military bases in the region.

“In Africa, I would say a light footprint is consistent with what we need and consistent with the defense guidance,”
said General Carter.

The general said he recognized that some African nations were concerned over increased US military presence across Africa, but stressed that this did not necessarily mean the US would be establishing more bases there.

However, in a testimony to US Congress in March he said that he wanted to increase US surveillance and reconnaissance in Africa.

“Without operating locations on the continent, ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] capabilities would be curtailed, potentially endangering US security,” he said.

From WIRED Magazine: 64 Drone Bases on American Soil

We like to think of the drone war as something far away, fought in the deserts of Yemen or the mountains of Afghanistan. But we now know it’s closer than we thought. There are 64 drone bases on American soil. That includes 12 locations housing Predator and Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, which can be armed.

Public Intelligence, a non-profit that advocates for free access to information released a map of military UAV activities in the United States on Tuesday. Assembled from military sources — especially this little-known June 2011 Air Force presentation (.pdf)  – it is arguably the most comprehensive map so far of the spread of the Pentagon’s unmanned fleet.  What exact missions are performed at those locations, however, is not clear. Some bases might be used as remote cockpits to control the robotic aircraft overseas, some for drone pilot training. Others may also serve as imagery analysis depots.

The medium-size Shadow is used in 22 bases, the smaller Raven in 20 and the miniature Wasp in 11. California and Texas lead the pack, with 10 and six sites respectively and there are also 22 planned locations for future bases. ”It is very likely that there are more domestic drone activities not included in the map, but it is designed to provide an approximate overview of the widespread nature of Department of Defense activities throughout the U.S.,” Michael Haynes from Public Intelligence tells Danger Room.

The possibility of military drones (as well as those controlled by police departments and universities) flying over American skies have raised concerns among privacy activists. As the American Civil Liberties Union explained in its December 2011 report, the machines potentially could be used to spy on American citizens. The drones’ presence in our skies “threatens to eradicate existing practical limits on aerial monitoring and allow for pervasive surveillance, police fishing expeditions, and abusive use of these tools in a way that could eventually eliminate the privacy Americans have traditionally enjoyed in their movements and activities.”

As Danger Room reported last month, even military drones, which are prohibited from spying on Americans, may “accidentally” conduct such surveillance — and keep the data for months afterwards while they figure out what to do with it. The material they collect without a warrant, as scholar Steven Aftergood revealed, could then be used to open an investigation.

The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the U.S. military from operating on American Soil, and there’s no evidence that drones have violated it so far.

This new map comes almost two months after the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) revealed another one, this time of public agencies – including Police Departments and Universities – that have a permit issued by the Federal Aviation Agency to use UAVs in American airspace.

“It goes to show you how entrenched drones already are,” said Trevor Timm, an EFF activist, when asked about the new map. “It’s clear that the drone industry is expanding rapidly and this map is just another example of that. And if people are worried about military technology coming back and being sold in the U.S., this is just another example how drone technology is probably going to proliferate in the U.S. very soon.”

Domestic proliferation isn’t the same as domestic spying, however. Most — if not all — of these military bases would make poor surveillance centers. Many of the locations are isolated, far from civilian populations. Almost half of the bases on the map work only with the relatively-small Raven and Shadow drones; their limited range and endurance make them imperfect spying tools, at best. It’s safe to assume that most of the bases are just used for military training.

Privacy concerns aside, the biggest issue might be safety, as we’ve been reminded on Monday when a giant army drone crashed in Maryland.

Obama: Train my Gestapo in Afghanistan. U.S. Next?

By Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
July 1, 2010

Much of the thuggery used in the United States today was experienced tried out outside the U.S. first.  The use sound cannons is one example of those.  Monitoring large areas with drones and blowing up innocent people is another example.  But a third a most important is the U.S. president’s Gestapo armed forces.  Department of Defense Directive 1404.10, dated January 23, 2009, set up a “Civilian Expeditionary Workforce” that would “be organized, trained, cleared, equipped, and ready to deploy in support of combat operations by the military; contingencies; emergency operations; humanitarian missions; disaster relief; drug interdiction; and stability operations

Of course Obama does not identify this paramilitary force as a Gestapo. He prefers to call it a civilian military force.

His pretext to form and finance his dreamed army is that the U.S. Army is overworked due to the multiple conflicts the country is involved in. He said on Wednesday that U.S. soldiers could use the assistance of a civilian workforce to help in relief efforts in Afghanistan. Speaking in Wisconsin, the president said it was a great idea to send his Gestapo force to help soldiers to carry out tasks such as building infrastructure.

What good is a military force if it cannot be trained properly in real life scenarios? Obviously, that kind of training cannot be achieved in the US. At least for now. So, Obama finds it correct to send civilians with weapons to combat zones to aid the U.S. Military. “So what I’m trying to say is, don’t put all the burden on the military.  Make sure that we’ve got a civilian expeditionary force,” said the president. He added that the civilian force would be in charge of building schools, bridges and roads in regions labeled by the military as safe. Unless news reports are wrong, the only moderately safe area is Afghanistan’s ‘green zone’. As the news media have reported, attacks and violence in that country have increased. Not even the payoffs given by the U.S. with tax payer money have calmed down the attacks. Not even the fact that the U.S. is promoting the cultivation of opium and all the corruption that arises from it has made it easier to stabilize a country taken over by criminals; many who work with the U.S. Military.

A Department of Defense directive, Directive 1404.10, dated January 23, 2009, set up a “Civilian Expeditionary Workforce” created to, trained, cleared, equipped, and ready to deploy in support of combat operations by the military; contingencies; emergency operations; humanitarian missions; disaster relief; restoration of order; drug interdiction; and stability operations.” If the U.S. Army is unable to bring stability, relief, order or any other kind of positive results to Afghanistan, how can the president think a civilian force will be able to build homes and bridges?

Obama’ s intention is not to facilitate the work of the military in Afghanistan. He wants to extend the U.S. occupation there. He wants to get innocent American civilians killed in a country where not even the thoroughly trained, most powerful military in the world can deal with the violence and resistance. He wants to train his Gestapo force in Afghanistan so it can later come to the U.S. and treat the citizens with the same hatred and disrespect as they will have to treat Afghan rebels and criminals. Sending a civilian force to Afghanistan is a way to further desensitize armed forces to commit in the United States the same crimes they commit there. What Obama wants is not to let a crisis go to waste.

Obama first expressed his idea of forming a military force during the campaign for his presidential run. He connected it to what he called national service, which Rahm Emanuel later detailed as a mandatory recruitment of civilians. “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set.” In other words, we will turn the country into a complete surveillance state, whereby citizens will rat on each other for the benefit of the centralized government he would head. “We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” Given the fact the military has had problems recruiting, what a better idea than to force citizens to serve in the military so they can easily be shipped abroad into combat zones? Or maybe within the United States, where they will become an unofficial Gestapo force for the Führer? It’s been a year and a half since Obama took office and I haven’t seen any news of any civilian security force aiding poor neighborhoods, hurricane or tornado victims or down in the gulf coast helping to clean the disaster caused by Obama’s close friends at BP. Why not? Is it not what such force is supposed to be doing? Is their training not finished yet? “…a Veterans Corps to assist veterans at hospitals, nursing homes and homeless shelters; and a Homeland Security Corps to help communities plan, prepare for and respond to emergencies.” Is it not the Gulf Oil Spill an Emergency?

If heavily armed civilians in power trips is not a cause of concern for anyone, I have to say they deserve the Fascism they will get. The civilian security force is not an example of “soft power” as Defense Secretary Robert Gates called them. Remember Obama’s statement? “We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” To my colleagues at the Raw Story, it is time you stopped laughing and start acting like the responsible media outlet you want to become. Centralized power has never and will never result in better living conditions. Ask history. Ask the Chinese, the Jews and the Muslims.

By the way, since when is a Republic governed with military directives?

Israel Commandos Murder 16 people in attack to Aid Ship

Telegraph

Fighting broke out between the activists and the masked Israeli troops, who rappelled on to deck from helicopters before dawn.

A spokeswoman for the flotilla, Greta Berlin, said she had been told ten people had been killed and dozens wounded, accusing Israeli troops of indiscriminately shooting at “unarmed civilians”. But an Israeli radio station said that between 14 and 16 were dead in a continuing operation.

“How could the Israeli military attack civilians like this?” Ms Berlin said. “Do they think that because they can attack Palestinians indiscriminately they can attack anyone?

“We have two other boats. This is not going to stop us.”

But an Israeli military spokeswoman said that there had been a planned and organised attempt to “lynch” the boarding party. She said the activists were armed with knives and guns.

The Israeli government’s handling of the confrontation was under intense international pressure even as it continued. The Israeli ambassador to Turkey, the base of one of the human rights organisation which organised the flotilla, was summoned by the foreign ministry in Anakara, as the Israeli consulate in Istanbul came under attack.

One Israeli minister issued immediate words of regret. “The images are certainly not pleasant. I can only voice regret at all the fatalities,” Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the trade and industry minister, told army radio.

But he added that the commandoes had been attacked with batons and activists had sought to take their weapons off them.

Israeli military sources said four of its men had been injured, one stabbed, and that they had been shot at.

“The flotilla’s participants were not innocent and used violence against the soldiers. They were waiting for the forces’ arrival,” they were quoted by a news website as saying.

The flotilla had set sail on Sunday from northern, or Turkish, Cyprus. Six boats were led by the Mavi Marmara, which carried 600 activists from around the world, including Mairead Corrigan Maguire, the Northern Ireland peace protester who won a Nobel Prize in 1976.

It came under almost immediate monitoring from Israeli drones and the navy, with two vessels flanking it in international waters. The flotilla, which had been warned that it would not be allowed to reach Gaza, attempted to slow and change course, hoping to prevent a confrontation until daylight, when the Israeli military action could be better filmed.

But in the early hours of this morning local time commandoes boarded from helicopters.

The activists were not carrying guns, but television footage shown by al-Jazeera and Turkish television channels show hand-to-hand fighting, with activists wearing life-jackets striking commandoes with sticks.

The Israeli army said its troops were assaulted with axes and knives.

The television footage did not show firing but shots could be heard in the background. One man was shown lying unconscious on the deck, while another man was helped away.

A woman wearing hijab, the Muslim headscarf, was seen carrying a stretcher covered in blood.

The al-Jazeera broadcast stopped with a voice shouting in Hebrew: “Everyone shut up”.

Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza after the strip was taken over by the militant group Hamas in 2007. It has allowed some food and medical supplies through, but has prevented large-scale rebuilding following the bombardment and invasion of 2008-9.

The flotilla is the latest in a series of attempts by activists to break through the blockade. The boats were carrying food and building supplies.

Activists said at least two of the other boats, one Greek and one Turkish, had been boarded from Israeli naval vessels. Activists said two of the other boats in the flotilla were American-flagged.

The confrontation took place in international waters 80 miles off the Gaza coast.

It was attacked by the head of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh.

“We call on the Secretary-General of the U.N., Ban Ki-moon, to shoulder his responsibilities to protect the safety of the solidarity groups who were on board these ships and to secure their way to Gaza,” he said.

Turkish television meanwhile showed hundreds of protesters trying to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. The incident will be particularly damaging for Israel’s relations with what had been seen as its closest ally in the Muslim world.

“By targeting civilians, Israel has once again shown its disregard for human life and peaceful initiatives,” a Turkish foreign ministry statement said. “We strongly condemn these inhumane practices of Israel.

“This deplorable incident, which took place in open seas and constitutes a fragrant breach of international law, may lead to irreparable consequences in our bilateral relations.”

Israel’s closest ally Washington described the loss of life as a “tragedy” on the eve of talks between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The United States deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy,” a White House spokesman said.

Watch the Video of the Attack here

Elena Kagan aided Saudi Terrorists. Obama nominates her to Supreme Court

Prisonplanet.com

In addition to the attacks on free speech, detainee rights and the close connections to Goldman Sachs, another noteworthy blackKaganmark on the record of Elena Kagan, the president’s nominee to the Supreme Court, is that she played a significant part in killing off the efforts of 9/11 victims’ families to bring lawsuits against members of the Saudi Royal family for financial links to the conspiracy.

Last year, thousands of family members filed suits claiming that Saudi Arabia and four of its princes actively aided in financing the terrorist attacks through front groups posing as charities.

The New York Times ran a report in June highlighting how documents uncovered by lawyers for the 9/11 families “provide new evidence of extensive financial support for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family.”

The documents consisted of “several hundred thousand pages of investigative material” assembled by the 9/11 families, according to the report.

The families also pointed to a 28-page, classified section of the 2003 joint congressional inquiry into 9/11 that deals with the Saudi role in the attacks.

Had the cases been heard, the exposure given to the Saudi connection would have undoubtedly opened the flood gates for more suppressed evidence surrounding the attacks to emerge.

“The revelations would undoubtedly shatter the official explanations of the September 11 attacks and point to complicity on the part of US intelligence and security agencies.” writer Barry Grey noted at the time in his excellent piece on the government’s effort to shut down the lawsuits.

“Given its longstanding and intimate ties to the Saudi royal family and Saudi intelligence, it is not possible to believe that the CIA would have been unaware of Saudi support for Al Qaeda and at least some of the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals, as they were preparing to carry out the attacks on New York and Washington.” Grey wrote.

Enter Elena Kagan.

In her previous role at the Justice Department as Obama’s Solicitor General, she declared that “that the princes are immune from petitioners’ claims” owing to “the potentially significant foreign relations consequences of subjecting another sovereign state to suit.”

Kagan effectively protected the oil rich Saudi monarchy in seeking to halt further legal action to hold it liable for the attacks.

The move just happened to come less than a week before Obama was scheduled to meet and bow before Saudi King Abdullah as part of his “rebuilding” trip to the Middle East.

More than 6000 9/11 family members denounced the move as an “apparent effort to appease a sometime ally” in a public statement.

Less than a month later, The Supreme Court ruled that it would not allow any of the lawsuits to go ahead, agreeing that the Saudi princes should be protected by sovereign immunity – a concept that seems to have no bearing on CIA drone delivered missiles raining down on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Following the debacle, Senators Arlen Specter and Lindsey Graham introduced legislation to allow US citizens to sue foreign governments if there is evidence they may be supporting terrorist activity. Spector said of Kagan “She wants to coddle the Saudis”.

The Saudi 9/11 Connection

Senator Bob Graham, who sat on the 9/11 Commission, has also charged that Saudi involvement in the attacks has been covered up.

As we have previously reported, US authorities, including the FBI, allowed the entire Bin Laden family to fly out of the US, and back to Saudi Arabia, in the days after 9/11, without questioning any of them.

Furthermore, agency documents later revealed that the FBI were aware that Osama Bin Laden himself may have personally chartered one of the flights. They subsequently redacted his name from the records in order “to protect privacy interests.”

The documents provide clear proof that the FBI was protecting the Bin Laden while the rest of the world was being told that he had masterminded the biggest terror attack in history. The FBI then attempted to cover up this fact.

The same documents revealed that the Bureau did not consider a single Saudi national nor any of the Bin Laden family worthy of investigative value.

The protection of Bin Laden by federal authorities has been ongoing since BEFORE 9/11 when agents were told to “back off the Bin Laden family” in order to protect business interests that the Bush family had with the Bin Ladens and other Saudi nationals.

The FBI asserts that no one on the planes that left had any terrorist links, yet documents (specifically FBI document 199I WF213589) uncovered back in November 2001 prove this to be a falsehood.

The Obama administration is now continuing the exact same long running policy as the Bush administration by obediently backing the Saudi monarchy and keeping secret this vital information on 9/11.