Russian military experts have been inside Syria aiding Bashar Assad’s regime in facing down a months-long insurgency, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials. The officials told KleinOnline.com that the team of Russian experts are currently advising Assad’s regime on how to quell rioting in Damascus and around the presidential compound.
This is not the first report of Russian aid to Assad’s faltering regime. Last month, KleinOnline quoted an Egyptian security official stating that Russian military technicians were in Syria to inspect the country’s missile and army installations.
Russia is a military ally of Syria. Moscow has been trying to water down United Nations Security Council resolutions targeting Syria in recent days, with Russia insisting that any Council action should not only focus on the Assad government, but also the opposition movement trying to end Assad’s rule.
The latest information comes as the Syrian opposition this week issued yet another call for foreign intervention in Syria. Damascus officials claimed to this column in November that NATO troops were training in Turkey for a Turkish-led NATO invasion of Syria.
James Woolsey: U.S. Should Consider More Radical Approach To Iran
The United States should consider military strikes against not just Iran’s nuclear sites but the entire Iranian Revolutionary Guard infrastructure, argued former CIA director James Woolsey in a radio interview this week.
Comparing the Guards to Adolph Hitler’s blackshirts, Woolsey named several “fair game” Guard-related targets, including Iran’s space program, ballistic missile program, training facilities and the Guard’s substantial commercial interests. The ex-CIA director said the U.S. should consider these military options if Iran blocks the strategic Straight of Hormuz waterway or takes significant aggressive action.
Woolsey recommended that President Obama should immediately send four to five aircraft carriers to the Indian Ocean to demonstrate U.S. resolve in the face of the Iranian threats to blockade the Straight. “We went to war in 1812 over something just about like what Iran says it is going to do – close the Straights,” said Woolsey, referring to the British naval blockade of the Atlantic coast of the U.S.
Woolsey was speaking on Aaron Klein Investigative Radio on New York’s WABC Radio. Woolsey said Obama should make clear to Iran through back channels that “if there is a closing of the Straight of Hormuz or if there is any other aggressive action by Iran,” the U.S. will take immediate military action.
Woolsey described a multi-pronged U.S. military campaign that would target the Iranian Revolutionary Guard infrastructure with the goal of annihilating the Guards as a political and military force inside Iran. “They run the nuclear programs; they run the space program; they run the ballistic missile program; they run the Al-Quds force that is killing Americans who were in Iraq and now in Afghanistan. They have substantial commercial interests.”
He continued: “So anything that is related to the thugs that are oppressing the Iranian people, namely the Revolutionary Guard, should be fair game.”
Woolsey said the U.S. should also support the pro-Democratic opposition inside Iran.
Questions Raised About Online Election Company
An internationally-headquartered company, SCYTL, is now taking over online U.S. voting systems. The company has previously faced questions about the security of its electronic voting technologies, which are now set to be deployed in 900 U.S. jurisdictions. The firm already provides balloting for overseas U.S. military and civilian voting in nine states plus elections technologies in several districts.
Concerns have also been raised about SCYTL’s ties to the Spanish government and to international venture capital firms. The Drudge Report last week ran a feature entitled, “Foreign Company Buys U.S. Election Results Reporting Firm.” The article documented that SCYTL, based in Barcelona, acquired 100 percent of SOE Software, the leading software provider of election management solutions in the United States.
However, the purchase of SOE Software is just the tip of the iceberg of SCYTL’s involvement in the U.S. elections process, this column has learned. In 2009, SCYTL formally registered with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (AEC) as the first Internet voting manufacturer in the U.S. under the EAC Voting System Testing and Certification Program.
Also that year, SCYTL entered into an agreement with another firm, Hart InterCivic, to jointly market a flexible and secure electronic pollbook purportedly to allow U.S. election officials and poll-workers to easily manage the electoral roll on Election Day in an efficient and convenient manner.
SCYTL’s ePollBook has already replaced the paper precinct roster in Washington, D.C. During the midterm elections in November 2010, SCYTL successfully carried out electoral modernization projects in 14 States.
The company boasted that a “great variety” of SCYTL’s technologies were involved in these projects, including an online platform for the delivery of blank ballots to overseas voters, an Internet voting platform and e-pollbook software to manage the electoral roll at the polling stations.