Endless OS: A Remarkable Linux Distribution Unlike Any Other

Endless OS 2.6.4


So, last week I was researching new methods of package management and came upon Endless OS.

At first glance one might quickly conclude Endless OS (EOS) is an average Distro.

Well, it isn't.  In fact, this Distribution is completely unique from any other.

Let me explain.

OSTree: A New Package Management Paradigm

OSTree was written by the Gnome Project.  Despite its provenance, the application is agnostic and can be used with any Distribution.  From the Gnome OSTree wiki page:


"OSTree is a tool that combines a "git-like" model for committing and downloading bootable filesystem trees, along with a layer for deploying them and managing the bootloader configuration.
OSTree is like git in that it checksums individual files and has a content-addressed-object store. It's unlike git in that it "checks out" the files via hardlinks, and they should thus be immutable. Therefore, another way to think of OSTree is that it's just a more polished version of Linux VServer hardlinks."

Endless OS developers saw fit to seize upon the opportunity to be the first commercial Linux Distribution which employs OSTree.  What does that mean for the target market's end user?  From their vantage point they won't notice or care.

In fact, the entire Desktop presentation is quite professional and equals the polish of that seen in Chromebook's ChromeOS, without any reservation.  It is that good and with simplicity and ease of use combined succeeds in doing Google's Chromebook one better in my opinion.


Endless OS, The Company

From Wikipedia:

Endless Computers, Inc. is an American company founded in 2012 that developed a desktop computer that comes with its own Operational System. The computer can be connected to TV or computer monitors, old and new. It comes with more than a hundred free apps that can be accessed without an internet connection. The content is curated from open source providers such as Wikipedia, Libre Office and Linux educational games. Endless is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with offices or presence in Rio de Janeiro, México, Guatemala, China, Taiwan, UAE and India.
The company has a team of advisors that includes 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, designer David Kelleyand Nicholas Negroponte of the One Laptop per Child initiative.

That should tell the reader the level of collaboration, scale of this organization and the degree to which they plan to make Endless Computers a world-wide success.

I have no doubt that this company will succeed where the One Laptop Per Child initiative failed, particularly with Nicholas Negroponte's guidance.

The EOS Desktop

So, let's talk about the Desktop.  It took me a few days of trial and error to get the raw Endless OS gz image to work in my ThinkPad's Virt-Manager qemu-kvm environment.  First, I converted the raw image file to qemu's qcow2 format with qemu-img.  Then, I imported the qcow2 file.

Turns out, the img.gz file provided at the Endless support page would not boot unless I set the qemu display type from qxl to vga or cirrus.

At that point, it bootstrapped into the Desktop and 'first time' user mode where one can define their user name and password.  That then is followed by a screen which lets the user watch a tutorial on how the Desktop works -- a nice professional touch.

So, from what I have gleaned thus far, Endless OS is forking on their github site many of the Gnome Shell Desktop components and applications, but providing (GPLv2 requirement) the changes upstream to the Gnome Project.

Essentially, you have a Gnome Shell with EOS committer 'enhancements'.  The 'top bar' is moved to the bottom of screen.

I won't go over the Desktop's functionality other than to say it's designed to ensure 'Joe Average' will have no difficulty navigating and using it.  After all, it's Gnome Shell with EOS enhancements.  A lot of input from Red Hat went into the design and usability of Gnome Shell to result in what it has become today.  It has outgrown its 'bleeding edge' early 3.0 days and is now mature and stable.

The EOS Application Repository


From the Desktop, one can click on 'More Apps' to reach the screen shown (left).

While the number of applications presented is roughly 100 at present, plans for the future include employing FlatPak (formerly xdg-app) application 'bundles' to facilitate organizing and managing applications as the github binary library continues to grow in number and size.

Despite the foregoing, Endless OS support qualitatively exercise special care in which applications will be made available to end users.

The basic needs for a newcomer to computing are there.  Word processing, spreadsheets, Evolution Email, Gmail, Gimp, Skype, Chromium, Terminal, File, Printer, Simple Scanner apps are found in Utilities.  Add to that categories for Education, Games and Resources rounds out a nice mix of software to which the user can avail themselves.

Adding an application only takes a few seconds, unlike traditional Linux remote repositories.  All applications are present in the computer's OSTree binary tree and when an application EOS is merely adding a Desktop Icon launcher to it.

Unlike Endless OS, Google's Chromebook ChromeOS, applications are remote and must be installed from an Internet connection.  In many countries, access to the Internet is still problematic and the target market includes those who simply don't have the financial resources to pay for internet access.

Thus, the local cache of apps is perhaps the prime differentiator for choosing Endless over another operating system such as ChromeOS.

EOS Desktop Settings

Click the Endless button on the bottom status bar and then settings, sends the user into Gnome Shell's control center application.










EOS Updates

From the Desktop Settings screen, clicking on the Details icon will send the user to the default application associations.  In the 'Overview' mode, shown is a link 'Check for updates now', which if clicked will so cause EOS to check for any updates on the Endless website, download, and update accordingly.





EOS Security

As for security, it is direct side benefit of OSTree that Endless bootstraps into an application  sandbox.  In addition, Chromium, the web browser incorporates its own sandboxed namespace, a recent enhancement which replaces the former SUID.  Together, this makes Endless OS a safer choice for everyday computing needs.




Conclusions

So, what have I missed?

Well, needless to say, there's a lot going on 'under the hood' insofar as Ostree is concerned.  But, I leave that 'meaty' topic for another day.   Once I have thoroughly wrapped my head around it and can be in a position to talk intelligently about it, I will perhaps write more in-depth about the finer points of ostree and the long-range implications of its use in the Linux ecosystem.  

Overall, I think EOS succeeds in making a high-quality commercial Distro that offers locally cached applications.

Is EOS a trend or a 'one-off' technology mutation?  I would say it is most definitely a trend.  And, I would expect another one or two companies will attempt to utilize OSTree in year 2016.

Will the non-commercial Distro community at large see the virtues of OSTree and be swayed to make a wholesale switch to replace remote repos and traditional package managers?  I am not so sure.  Given the technical hurdles, and the lack of resources for many solo Developers, it will be a slow process of change for them, at least initially.  But, who knows the future?  Really.  I could be wrong.

Canonical Ltd. have their sights set on the package manager proliferation problem and are now offering their own solution called Snap.

Clearly, Red Hat's Atomic.io and rpm-ostree initiatives indicate their serious investment in this realm  and naturally they have the resources to advance and migrate to using OSTree on a larger scale.

Interestingly, at last check the other day, I wasn't able to find a reference to EOS at Distrowatch.com.

I think that will do it for now.  Thanks for reading.  -- Dietrich

Microsoft's Love/Hate Relationship with Linux, Continued

Microsoft's Love/Hate Relationship with Linux
It certainly takes chutzpah for Microsoft to turn around and embrace Linux in their latest Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC), a port of Debian's GNU/Linux.

Chutzpah?  Because, I don't know about you, but, I have a long memory that's why.

Microsoft's Actions Speak Louder Than Words


First, came the media report of Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer stating Linux is a cancer.

Then, came Microsoft's Get the Facts campaign against Linux.

Then Microsoft made a public statement regarding some 235 specific patent infringements in Linux.

It was a public relations tactic designed to alter CIOs' perception of Linux.  In other words, "if you were thinking about using Linux in the Enterprise, don't do it", was the message.

It worked and was enough to hold Linux's penetration into the data center for just a few years.

And, Microsoft never specified in detail which patents were infringed by Linux.

It was a dirty tactic for certain.

Red Hat Linux Prevails


But the above did not deter commercial Linux development.

Red Hat Linux has made significant strides in year over year sales growth and expansion around the World, competing 'head to head' with Microsoft Windows.

Head to head, because Red Hat saw fit to take the entire .NET framework and port the API using JBoss:

Corporate Enterprises taking advantage of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) can run Windows clients from the data center as virtual machines (VMs) without the requirement of a Windows Active Directory server or Windows Terminal Server.  All APIs are emulated via SPICE thin client emulation software.

The result?  Users of RHEV and RHEL don't need the expense and 'lock-in' cost of licensing Microsoft's server software.  And the client licensed 'seats' can run in the data center with just solid state SPICE terminals in place at the user's workspace.

Using Linux Reduces Cost of Operation


Thus, there's no need to do continual hardware refreshes every 3-5 years.  CFOs know, those refreshes exact the cost of additional licenses plus the cost of the fat client cpu hardware, whereas licenses of RHEV windows seats can be repurposed to anywhere in the Enterprise's AD organizational departmental structure at no additional cost.

This equates to a major reduction in annual cost for break/fix call support of traditional fat client Windows.  Because the user's SPICE workstations are thin client solid state with no moving parts the user Windows Desktop 'experience' is the same as traditional fat client.

Microsoft Windows' Days are Numbered


So, you see, really, this is what Microsoft doesn't want CIOs to know.  Instead, they trot out an announcement that they will port Debian Linux as a network technology solution (routers running Linux are common place).

At this stage of the game, most CIOs know Microsoft Windows' days are numbered and are looking for ways to transition away from the 'lock-in' with proprietary software.

Microsoft is desperate to extend the life cycle of Microsoft Windows, so much so, that they have chosen to offer it for free with version 10.

Windows 10 is an utter security sieve and Microsoft partners with the NSA to gather metadata regarding end-users' activities.

We should not forget also how Microsoft's methodical 'extend, embrace, extinguish' destroyed the businesses of both Novell and Nokia, yes?

Yes.  So which is it Microsoft?  Love?  Hate?  What?

You aren't fooling anybody.  -- Dietrich




Antergos: Arch Linux Made Easy

Antergos for everyone - Arch Linux Made Easy

And so, here we are.  It's almost Spring.  The winter here in Upstate New York was relatively mild.  That is a nice switch.

I haven't felt motivated to write at blogger for about a year now.

It was around this time last year I chose to close Linux Advocates.

And I needed time to reassess what is going on in my life and whether or not Linux matters enough to stay 'in the fray' writing about it daily or weekly.

I've spent plenty of time doing other things in my Google Plus account accumulating over 17 million page impressions.  Indeed, there is a lot going on in the world besides Linux.  But today, I thought I would bring you up to date on my thoughts about the world of Linux.

The question I have put to myself: Has Linux changed for the better?

Well, to answer that question I have to discuss what has changed for me.

I don't recommend any Distro to friends and family besides Fedora.  Fedora will be around in 5 years and is stable.  The cookie cutter Distros will whither away and my disdain for Debian and Ubuntu has not diminished.

For me and the 'gear heads' out there, I recommend Arch Linux.  No, I don't have the typical 'attitude' and swagger, a reputation that is not entirely unjustified.

Arch is a 'nuts and bolts' Distro with 'some assembly required'.  This is where the trouble comes in for many who simply cannot do the needed manual cobbling together of a gui desktop to the kernel.

I began using Antergos (Arch derivative Linux) about a year ago.  And haven't switched away from it since.  That should tell you something.  I have found myself in the past constantly switching to try one Distro or another, only to retreat to old faithful Fedora.

This time, I was 'wowed'.  You see, as far as I was concerned, Arch has a great 'unmet need'.  That is, a drop-dead easy gui installer live cd.  The Antergos devs filled this unmet need with a Python cnchi installer from which six (6) guis can be installed on top of the Arch repo system, including AUR.

Antergos cnchi installer


Antergos is not without its growing pains, mind you, but I have dealt with the transition and don't have any reason to leave the fold.

Hat's off to the Antergos Developer Team.

And, the trend continues -- now there's another installer for Arch called Architect Linux.  And 'head turner' Apricity OS just arrived.

What makes Arch great?  Most gearheads will tell you, pacman.  I will agree.

It makes the difficult simple.

My biggest fret about static package Distros like Fedora is that you cannot get the latest revisions of software until the next release cycle, which leaves one about four to six months behind.  This causes a cycle of reinstalls, clean installs, depending on the need and extra work.

Arch is 'rolling release'.  That means when any upstream software provider makes a release, your pamac-systray will turn 'red' and notify you of an update.

It's a double-edged sword of course, but I like it.  I have set up an external eSATA 'BlacX' HDD docking station and have a mountpoint added /etc/fstab for a 1TB WD HDD to do cron backup at midnight (incremental diffs using rsync with Back in Time).  Back in Time runs like a swiss watch.  And, if the need should arise with a rolling release borked update, I can quickly revert to the previous day's backup set.  My laptop is a ThinkPad T510 m560 with 8GB ddr3 ram and a crucial 1TB SSD.  It's your typical 'tank' ThinkPad.  Rock solid.  The SSD is formatted to ext4.

And, just last week, Antergos became the first Distro to release with a ZFS filesystem install option.  That blew me away.  But, I don't think it is quite ready for prime time so I think I'll wait for the bugs to shake out and have a look again in 6 months.

So, to answer the question: Has Linux changed for the better?  The answer is definitely YES.

Only, it's not necessarily the way many think.  Debian and Ubuntu are both stagnant, one bogging down the other.  Canonical Ltd. has chosen to use the gnome-software installation center.  This is somewhat of a concession in my opinion.  Unity is a 'one off' gui -- no other Distros will use it.  I gave up on it a few years ago and have never looked back.

I might give Apricity OS a spin as a virtual machine in Antergos.

That's about it.  Will be back soon.  -- Dietrich







A Debian Developer's Lament: The Devil is in the Details

Debian migration to 'Jessie' with systemd:  The Devil is in the details.


I have been warning users of Debian that this scenario would happen.

It's now incumbent on the Debian Community to fulfill their next major revision, 'Jessie' and the foregone decision was made to merge systemd despite admonitions to do otherwise.

I maintain that systemd operability is going quite well elsewhere with the majority of Distros which have long since become compliant.  Debian, being what it is, a virtual speed bump on the road to innovation, chose to delay making their decision as to whether Upstart or systemd should be used in Jessie.

And I maintain that the amount of work to migrate packages in the 40,000+ repository is daunting at best.

My prediction has been that Debian will become another casualty and will pay for their lack of timeliness and decision to remain on an 18 month release management schedule.

What will happen?  If the below diatribe from a friend of mine is any indication, Debian will take a hit in stability and its popularity will suffer greatly, particularly because of the breadth of work to fulfill might take 'years'.

Had they bitten the bullet, they could have undertaken work to merge systemd two years ago.  

Be that as it may, the measured and thoughtful opinions set forth below by +Tycho Softworks are those of a truly experienced Debian Developer.  He is just 'one' in perhaps thousands who face their own personal 'hell' in getting their product(s) to function on the platform.

One final point.  It would behoove +Mark Shuttleworth to examine this situation very carefully.  To have hitched Canonical Ltd.'s wagon to Debian is now clearly a major contingent liability.  Debian's foundation may crumble as developer's are quick to recognize the 'writing on the wall'.  It's time Ubuntu had its own independent repository.  And it would be prudent for Canonical Ltd. to make the move now to RPM a Linux Standard Base-compliant package manager.  This move would be a strong signal and help to unify Linux and reduce complexity and common denominators facing today's Linux Developer.  Mark, I hope you are reading this.

Prognosis for Jessie: Terminal.  -- Dietrich

Prognosis on 'Jessie': Terminal

[ Edit: I've appended below some additional thoughts from +Tycho Softworks which reinforce this story's relevance. -- Dietrich ]



Microsofts Proprietary Ways No More


CIA Torture Report Ties Cheney/Bout to 9/11 Nukes

Please share this breaking story with as many people as you can.  
Thank you. -- Dietrich
Source

Gordon Duff, NEO 1-4-15… “CIA Torture Report Incriminates Dick Cheney”

#signalboost
qq/

This is the major article mentioned in this earlier post from VT Radio (Coming Soon: Major Information regarding Dick Cheney involvement in 9-11… Gordon Duff: “We Have Everything”). It does not disappoint.
Here are a few highlights.
“Information received this week from the highest levels of US counter-terrorism sources have confirmed that the reputed “Queen of Al Qaeda,” Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a CIA torture victim now serving 87 years in an American “super-max” prison, was a CIA agent when captured and was imprisoned to prevent releasing information that could eventually lead to the arrest and conviction of then Vice President Dick Cheney.
“Siddiqui worked directly for Valerie Plame, a CIA agent purposefully “outed”…
“This week a source within the Able Danger investigation… tells of a different story regarding Dr. Aafia Siddiqui… She was a CIA agent targeted by the Bush administration because her operational unit… was ready to order the arrest of Vice President Dick Cheney and top officials of the US Department of Energy
“The Bush White House, at the orders of Vice President Dick Cheney, went to a terrorist group within the Italian intelligence agency… They created documents outlining imaginary transactions and sent them to CIA headquarters in Rome… Cheney asked friends within the CIA and Department of Energy… to prepare reports citing the severity of the threat posed by these known forged reports.
“Israel’s complicity was proven when… a combined operation between the US [DoD] and [DoJ]… had discovered discrepancies in the US nuclear weapons inventory… 350 missing nuclear pits [cores], but fully one third of America’s post SALT II… inventory.
“Able Danger established the presence of an espionage organization answerable personally to Benjamin Netanyahu… Their investigation had tied corrupt officials at the highest levels of the US Department of Energy to the leak of classified nuclear “pit” configuration data and altering records of decommissioned nuclear weapons.
“…the missing “pits” had been stolen and taken to a nearby meat packing facility, where they were sorted using leaked DOE data in order to allow them to be safely melted down and reconfigured to replace the depleted Israeli stockpile… weapons from this stolen stockpile were used in the demolition of the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001…
“There are strange parallels in the story of two accused “Al Qaeda” operatives… according to Able Danger documents, Al Qaeda is a joint operational sector of Saudi, Israeli and US intelligence... Two of the major “terror figures” of Al Qaeda, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and Osama bin Laden, have been confirmed, at the highest levels, to be CIA operatives. After 9/11 both fled…”
————————————————————————-
CIA Torture Report Incriminates Dick Cheney
dick_cheney_from_neo_150104_articleInformation received this week from the highest levels of US counter-terrorism sources have confirmed that the reputed “Queen of Al Qaeda,” Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a CIA torture victim now serving 87 years in an American “super-max” prison, was a CIA agent when captured and was imprisoned to prevent releasing information that could eventually lead to the arrest and conviction of then Vice President Dick Cheney.

Siddiqui worked directly for Valerie Plame, a CIA agent purposefully “outed” when her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, disproved White House claims of “yellowcake uranium” smuggling by Iraq.
White House Security Chief, Scooter “Libby” Leibowitz was convicted of the Plame leak, although sources now confirm that the “outing” of Plame was done at the orders of Cheney and was passed on to the media by retired General Paul Vallely, a Fox News employee who has recently been filmed meeting with leaders of the ISIS/Al Qaeda terror group in Turkey and reputedly Syria as well.
When Plame was “burned,” her assistant, Dr. Aafia, was then listed as part of the now debunked yellowcake “network” and fled to Pakistan, where she was kidnapped and taken to Bagram Air Force Base, as outlined in CIA torture records.
UK TELEGRAPH GETS IT VERY WRONG
This week, the UK Telegraph published a lengthy article describing “convicted terrorist” Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s process of radicalization and, quite frankly, defending her rendition kidnapping, her 5 years of rape and torture, and the murder of her children by CIA paid contractors.
If only this were the whole story, a cover up of torture as part of a war on terror. It is not. The Telegraph has a long reputation of being a cover story “drop box” for MI-6, so the story was passed around quickly among those who take a special interest in such things.
This week a source within the Able Danger investigation, working directly with the Department of Defense and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and part of the original team that brought down rogue FBI agent Robert Hansen as well, tells of a different story regarding Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.
She was a CIA agent targeted by the Bush administration because her operational unit, headed by Valerie Plame, one involved in NNP (nuclear non-proliferation) was ready to order the arrest of Vice President Dick Cheney and top officials of the US Department of Energy, the organization that, with the Department of Defense, maintains America’s nuclear weapons inventories.
Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger of the Reagan era, was arrested at his home one morning by a similar operational unit for crimes committed in the Iran-Contra Affair and was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice.
After the 2000 US presidential election where George Bush (43) won by a nose, compliments of a Supreme Court ruling, loyal elements in defense and security became convinced the election began a coup, as some of the principals being investigated for their involvement in illegally acquiring and distributing stolen US nuclear weapon pits were placed in top positions to block any attempts of their being exposed by the ongoing investigations.
BACKGROUND
After 9/11, the US set out to create what appeared to be a worldwide terror organization, in order to justify both a political crackdown within the US and, as had been made public on many occasions by former NATO head General Wesley Clark… the long planned military takeover of the Middle East and Central Asia.
Part of this plot involved creating a cover story involving 500 tons of “yellowcake uranium”, supposedly bought by Al Qaeda and transported to Iraq to supply a nuclear program later found to never have existed. The Bush White House, at the orders of Vice President Dick Cheney, went to a terrorist group within the Italian intelligence agency, SISMI, part of the group responsible for the Gladio terror bombings and the kidnapping and murder of Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro.
They created documents outlining imaginary transactions and sent them to CIA headquarters in Rome. SISMI chief Nicolo Pollari took the reports directly to the White House, where Cheney asked friends within the CIA and Department of Energy — part of a covert working team that included arms smuggler Victor Bout — to prepare reports citing the severity of the threat posed by these known forged reports.
DEEP BACKGROUND
A US Army intelligence group working within Israel, headed by Colonel James Hanke, had discovered that the nuclear weapons facility at Dimona had suffered a catastrophic accident between 1988 and 1990. Israel’s nuclear weapons inventory could no longer be maintained and expanded from domestically-produced weapons grade nuclear material.
Israel’s complicity was proven when, according to sources within the IAEA and Able Danger team, a combined operation between the US Department of Defense and Department of Justice, initially headed by FBI Agent John O’Neill, had discovered discrepancies in the US nuclear weapons inventory.
It was not just 350 missing nuclear pits, but fully one third of America’s post SALT II (Strategic Arms Limitations Talks) inventory. The records of our nuclear weapons inventory had been systematically sabotaged to hide this attack on America’s weapons inventory, or so they thought.
Able Danger established the presence of an espionage organization answerable personally to Benjamin Netanyahu. The organization included the then head of the Dept. of Energy, the AIPAC Lobby, the Anti-Defamation League, key commanders of America’s nuclear forces, the Joint Special Operations command under VP Dick Cheney, and members of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN organization.
Their investigation had tied corrupt officials at the highest levels of the US Department of Energy to the leak of classified nuclear “pit” configuration data and altering records of decommissioned nuclear weapons. Three hundred fifty W54 nuclear warheads were missing from inventories at the Pantex nuclear facility in Amarillo, Texas.
An investigation team led by Roland Carnaby, the CIA agent killed in a mysterious shooting in 2005, discovered that the missing “pits” had been stolen and taken to a nearby meat packing facility, where they were sorted using leaked DOE data in order to allow them to be safely melted down and reconfigured to replace the depleted Israeli stockpile.
Investigators from the DOE and IAEA confirm that weapons from this stolen stockpile were used in the demolition of the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 — nuclear “pits” originally produced at the Hanford DOE facility in Washington. This information was part of the highly classified 2003 9/11 report given to congressional and White House leaders only, and later leaked by Russian Naval Intelligence, believed to have been among a trove of documents received from Edward Snowden.
In March 2013, a group of business executives meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, received a briefing on the 2003 “Nuclear 9/11” report as part of a “Threat Assessment Conference” where Veterans Today staff were among the presenters. The briefing also included a version of the now famous “Shrimpton nuclear scare” story, confirming the recovery of a missing nuclear weapon somewhere in the EU in 2012.
9/11 AND AFTERMATH
9997776Leaked documents on the Able Danger investigation, received in September 2014 revealed that most investigation functions had ended in 1998 at the request of President Clinton, then under impeachment threat tied to his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, in a reputed Mossad “honey trap.”
Investigative chief and FBI Special Agent John O’Neill left government service and pursued leads until his untimely death during the 9/11 “event”. According to a 2005 report, thirty-five of the Able Danger investigators were also killed on 9/11, when the Pentagon office they were called to for an emergency briefing by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Myer, (who did not show up for the meeting and did not die, a lucky day for him) was demolished by an airliner, though little or no physical evidence of such a happenstance exists.
After 1998, the FBI investigation team was divided into two units under the supervision of Special Agent Mike Dick; one team was tracking arms dealer Victor Bout, and was coordinated with IAEA investigators. The second unit investigated the theft of the “pit matching” documents and centered on the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, eventually leading to the arrest of leaders of that group.
Charges were later dropped when the White House refused to turn over required evidence, and Attorney General John Ashcroft, one of the key planners of the CIA torture program, ordered an end to the investigation. Witness statements included testimony indicating White House officials had passed key nuclear secrets to Israeli embassy representatives at a Washington cocktail party in the presence of both Paul Wolfowitz and Condoleezza Rice.
The second unit, assisted by CIA agent Roland Carnaby, followed the theft of nuclear weapons from the sorting facility near Amarillo to a fertilizer plant outside Waco, Texas. In April 2014, as Snowden reputedly handed Able Danger documents to Russian intelligence, the plant where the nuclear weapons were stored, the West Fertilizer Plant, was destroyed in a massive explosion, killing 15.
The entire operation was run by Victor Bout, working directly for the office of the Vice President of the United States, according to private sources with access to the Plame/Siddiqui investigation.
The nuclear pits had been moved by truck to the Port of Houston, where they had been placed on ships and transferred to the Canary Islands and later to Mauritania. The weapons were, according to Able Danger documents, stored at a mine controlled by former South African Prime Minister De Klerk inside a region controlled by the rebel Polisario Front. From there, weapons were sold to Taiwan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and other nations, along with restocking Israel.
Other weapons were set aside for use by intelligence agencies. IAEA sources report weapons from Hanford/Pantex were used for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, at the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, and the Bali bombing in 2005. The IAEA confirms up to 50 nuclear weapons have been used surreptitiously since 1945, often in configurations that minimize blast and radiation.
THE CIA’S FORGOTTEN CHILDREN
There are strange parallels in the story of two accused “Al Qaeda” operatives. While the general public thinks of Al Qaeda as a terror group, in truth, according to Able Danger documents, Al Qaeda is a joint operational sector of Saudi, Israeli and US intelligence. This dirty little secret has compromised American security greatly, due to the blackmailing position both of these countries have had over the US.
Two of the major “terror figures” of Al Qaeda, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and Osama bin Laden, have been confirmed, at the highest levels, to be CIA operatives. After 9/11 both fled… Dr. Aafia to Karachi and bin Laden, who had recently received kidney treatments at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where members of congress and top VIPs receive their care, to Tora Bora.
Bin Laden died of complications from advanced kidney disease on December 13, 2001, after denying any involvement in 9/11 and advising those concerned to “look closer to home” (CIA FOIA Press Release dated 24 September, 2001.)
The curious story of Bin Laden and his second “death” in Pakistan is similar to that of Aafia Siddiqui with her reputed murderous attack on her CIA captors during a waterboarding session at Bagram Air Force Base.
Prior to the release of the recent and highly controversial CIA torture report, the reputed actual “re-killer” of bin Laden came forward. The story, as we are told, has an aging bin Laden in the upper floor of a home in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden is said to have leapt to his feet, grasping an AK47 in one hand while holding a hostage in another. While standing on a bed, bin Laden is brought down in a hail of gunfire, like something out of a cowboy film.
The Aafia story is if anything worse.
We are told Dr. Aafia, confined to a wheelchair, in this case “literally” held down by handcuff “tie raps”, was brought in for a waterboarding session. The US Air Force facility had been hosting summary execution and torture sessions for Aafia and other prisoners for years. Aafia had been raped repeatedly. She was down to 80 pounds and unable to walk.
There the story, an analog of the bin Laden tale, gets more bizarre. Dr. Aafia is said to have broken her tie wraps, listed as “ISO 527-1:2012 standard,” in a fit of rage. There were five men in the room, most over 200 pounds, four of whom were “special operations trained”, including one US Navy Seal, one CIA agent and two FBI agents. The fifth member was a “translator,” please pay attention as this will be an important point.
The crippled 80-pound torture and rape victim is reputed to have knocked all four men to the ground, seizing an M4 carbine from one of them. According to transcripts, in order to save the lives of the four “terror war-fighters”, the “translator”, using his weapon shot Dr. Aafia in the abdomen.
This is the crime Dr. Aafia was convicted of, not terrorism but resisting torture. Now here comes the most curious part of all. Dr. Aafia lived in the United States for 11 years, the wife of a Boston anesthesiologist. Aafia taught at MIT, where she received her doctorate in microbiology before joining the CIA.
Aafia had spoken English all her life, published in English and taught in English at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Why did she need a translator? You just can’t make this stuff up… or can you?
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook
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Footnote: I am doing my part to #signalboost this story as Gordon Duff has requested -- the truth cannot break through the 'blackout' put on Veterans Today and other Alternative News websites by our Mainstream Media.  Please help by doing the same.  Share this breaking story with as many people as you can.  -- Dietrich