Every year, NORAD makes a big deal out of its “Santa tracking” mission on Christmas, one of the few non-warlike things they do any given year.

This year, not so much.

Along with tracking Santa this year, NORAD is also saying they’re establishing some sort of “anti-Grinch Firewall” to stop foreign Grinches militarily.

Absent in this is that, canonically, the Grinch became a good guy by the end of the show, so unless the cartoon is taken as some sort of prophecy of future activities, the Grinch is already a good guy, and foreign or otherwise, not someone the US military needs to be gearing up against.

The NORAD site doesn’t have a Grinch section, thankfully, so they don’t appear to be spending any money cracking down on him. Still, the fact that they felt the need to mention hostile action at all during Christmas this time is, puzzling to say the least.

Having gotten a ton of publicity for the upcoming movie “The Interview” by claiming they were never going to release it, Sony has now announced that they will be releasing the movie on time on Christmas Day.

The movie was previously pulled after hackers threatened to “9/11″ every movie theater that showed it, and several theater chains pulled out. North Korea has denied involvement with the hack, and says they would not attack innocent movie-goers.

President Obama had been critical of Sony for not releasing the movie, a comedy about assassinating North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un. It is still unclear how many theaters will show the movie on time, though the hype surrounding it over the past weeks will likely attract considerable interest.

The hackers who were threatening Sony over the release have also, curiously, clammed up about the matter lately, and with North Korea publicly insisting they have nothing to do with them, their credibility is likely weakened.

Sony has made headlines with its decision to halt its planned release of “The Interview” over fears that hackers, who may or may not be North Korea-linked, might launch 9/11 attacks on movie theaters.

“The Interview” isn’t being released at theaters, and Sony Pictures says they have no plans to ever release it on DVD or anything. That’s a serious unrelease of a movie, and the scandal is starting to splash over into other movies.

Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema decided they wanted to show something North Korea-related, so they announced a plan to replace “The Interview” showings with 2004’s “Team America: World Police,” which of course has been out for a whole decade.

Paramount, who is a subsidiary of Viacom, shot down that suggestion, however, and is refusing to allow theaters to show its movie either, even though it’s already out and even though there is no threat related to it.

"This is not who we are. This is not how we operate," were the words of President Barack Obama commenting on the grisly findings of a long-awaited congressional report on the use of torture by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

But what if this is exactly who we are?

The report is difficult to read, not just because it is awfully long – hundreds of pages of a summary of a nearly 6,000-page investigation, including 38,000 citations based on the review of six million pages – but because it was most disturbing. Parts of it resemble the horror of an extremely dark Hollywood movie. But it was all real: from rectal feeding (as in putting hummus in detainee’s rectums), to rape, to torturing prisoners to death, to blinding prisoners, to forcing them to stand on broken feet, for days. It is beyond ghastly.

Also, it was all useless. Worse, it strongly believed that the torture dungeons, many of which were outsourced to other countries, including 25 in Europe, including the democracy and human rights-touting Britain, have achieved little but fabricated information. What else can an innocent man say when he has nothing to say; but lie, hoping that maybe such lies would save his life?

Of course, aging accused war criminals like former Vice President, Dick Cheney were quick to dismiss the report and its detailed brutal interrogation tactics as "full of crap."


Sony’s decision yesterday to cancel its release of The Interview after being hacked and threatened by a group that may or may not be tied with the North Korean government has been the top story in the media ever since. Decidedly less-covered, and almost completely obscured by the cancellation, is another revelation made yesterday about the movie that is actually far more important.

The Daily Beast reported yesterday on leaked emails from the Sony hack which show that the United States government was involved at high levels with the content development of The Interview, especially its controversial ending depicting the assassination of North Korean ruler Kim Jong-Un. As the report’s headline states, “Sony Emails Say State Department Blessed Kim Jong-Un Assassination in ‘The Interview.’” The emails also reveal that a RAND corporation senior defense analyst who consulted on the film went beyond “blessing” and outright influenced the end of the film, encouraging the CEO of Sony Entertainment to leave the assassination scene as it was (in spite of misgivings at Sony) for the sake of encouraging North Koreans to actually assassinate Kim Jong-Un and depose his regime when the movie eventually leaks into that country. According to the Sony CEO, a senior US State Department official emphatically and personally seconded that advice and reasoning in a separate correspondence. The emails also reveal that the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human-rights issues also consulted with Sony on the film.

While a tiny nation state possibly being involved in scuppering a movie premiere by hacking and threatening a Hollywood studio by proxy may be more novel and sensational than yet another psyop by the US Regime Change Machine, the latter is far more important. The United States, as part of its “Asian Pivot,” made an explicit push for assassination and regime change in yet another foreign country under the cover of art and commerce, and the North Korean regime and its ally China are both now 100% aware of it. That has huge implications for politics in the region, for US relations with those countries, for the character and integrity of American art and media, and for the mischievous, generally havoc-wreaking way our government is secretly using our tax dollars.

Imagine how the U.S. and its CIA would respond if a major movie studio anywhere in the world were to make a film centered around the assassination of a sitting U.S. President: especially if a foreign government was involved, pushing for just such an assassination. That North Korea, or any state, might respond with speech-suppressing attacks and threats is not to be excused, but it should be no surprise either. Yet the US was more than happy to help foment a predictable crisis like this, thereby putting its own people at risk. And it did so by surreptitiously penetrating Hollywood to steer it toward using “artistic” existential threats to taunt a nation-state that is such a basket-case that it would only be dangerous to Americans if made desperate by such existential threats. That shows what little regard our “security force” has for our actual security, as compared to pursuing global power politics.

On a side note, this makes one wonder if the State Department also pushed for this other memorable dictator-detonating scene from Charlie Sheen’s 1991 comedy Hot Shots, depicting regime-enemy Saddam Hussein catching a bomb in his lap while sipping a cocktail in his poolside lounge chair.

Here are the key passages from the Daily Beast report (emphasis added):

A message released by claimed hackers of Sony Pictures threatened to carry out “9/11-like attacks” on movie theaters in the United States if the movie “The Interview” was released.

The US has claimed the hackers may be linked to the North Korean government, although North Korea itself denies this. At any rate, the ability of anyone to carry out 9/11-style attacks on individual movie theaters nationwide seems preposterously unlikely, at best.

Despite this lack of serious threat, a number of major movie theater chains pulled out of showing the movie and Sony, in an act of flat out cowardice, bailed on the movie entirely, announcing that not only will it not be released on Christmas, but that there are “no plans” to release the movie at all now, not even on DVD, even though North Korea is clearly not going to “9/11″ individual DVD players, for Christ-sakes.

Presumably, cooler heads will prevail eventually and Sony will release the movie somehow, because they already dumped $44 million into it. President Obama is admonishing Americans to “go to the movies,” but the reality is they don’t have that option.