• twomp

    by Published on 08-03-2015 06:00 PM

    According to officials familiar with the situation, US intelligence agencies have offered a new assessment of ISIS, cautioning that a solid year of US airstrikes against them in Iraq and Syria hasn’t left ISIS any weaker than they were when the strikes began.

    Surprisingly, even though the military has been bragging about how great the war is going throughout the year, military commanders aren’t disputing the assessment, and are simply saying that they believe progress will come at some point in the future, when Iraq retakes Ramadi.

    Of course, ISIS didn’t have Ramadi a year ago, and only captured it two months ago. At the time, Pentagon officials dismissed the major city as of no strategic importance, so it is surprising they are now presenting its future recapture as a metric for success.

    Either way, the assessment is damning to Pentagon claims that the strategy is sound, but at the same time, there is no indication that anyone in the administration is even going to consider revising the war strategy, as officials continue to insist it is a winning recipe.
    http://news.antiwar.com/2015/07/31/u...f-us-bombings/
    by Published on 07-20-2015 11:15 AM

    The latest in a long line of Israeli officials railing about the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon talked up the idea that it posed a major threat to Israel, and meant the nation has to prepare a military option against Iran, as though Israel hasn’t been doing that for decades.

    More importantly, Ya’alon become the first Israeli official to publicly talk about the actual end-game in all of this for Israel, a massive “compensation” package by the US government to Israel to placate them after the Iran deal.

    It’s been widely reported in Israeli media since mid-May that this was going to happen, and the day of the deal’s announcement, President Obama is said to have tried to engage Netanyahu on the phone about coming to a specific price on
    ...
    by Published on 07-08-2015 12:00 PM

    As the old saying goes, out of sight, out of mind.

    Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has only attended two multi-candidate events in Iowa this year – the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition event in April and the Republican Party of Iowa’s Lincoln Dinner in May.

    With a field of 16 Republican presidential candidates, it’s easy to forget about candidates when they are not campaigning in your state, and skipping out on a number of high-profile evens can make it seem like the candidates who are not attending are not all that active in Iowa. Yet, just because a candidate isn’t taking the time to share a stage with their many competitors doesn’t mean they are not laying the groundwork for a formidable Iowa caucus campaign.

    Senator Rand Paul isn’t your typical Republican.
    ...
    by Published on 06-14-2015 12:30 PM

    At first I thought this was just more propaganda starting up again.

    London (AFP) - Britain has been forced to remove some of its spies after Russia and China accessed the top-secret raft of documents taken by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, British media reported.

    The BBC and the Sunday Times cited senior government and intelligence officials as saying agents had been pulled, with the newspaper saying the move came after Russia was able to decrypt more than one million files.

    "It is the case that Russians and Chinese have information. It has meant agents have had to be moved and that knowledge of how we operate has stopped us getting vital information," a Downing Street source said, according to the newspaper.
    ...
    by Published on 06-14-2015 10:20 AM

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received nearly a quarter of a million dollars last year for a speaking engagement on behalf of Academic Partnerships, a for-profit education company in which Jeb Bush held an ownership stake and on whose board he served.

    Clinton’s newly filed personal financial disclosure shows that she was paid $225,500 on March 24, 2014 by Academic Partnerships. At the invitation-only event in Dallas, Texas, Clinton reportedly said, “today a student doesn’t need to travel to Cambridge, Mass., or Cambridge, England, to get a world-class education.”

    Academic Partnerships assists universities in converting their academic degree programs into online versions that can be taken by students around the world.

    In 2011,
    ...
    by Published on 05-27-2015 01:20 PM

    Rand Paul rejected criticism that his 10-hour filibuster against the government’s bulk data collection programs was a fundraising ploy on Tuesday, casting it as “an unfair characterization” while calling on Barack Obama and Paul’s fellow Republicans to push for further clampdowns on the legal justification for the NSA’s dragnet surveillance.

    Last week, Paul conducted a marathon speech in an attempt to halt the US government’s mass surveillance of Americans’ phone records and to derail an extension of the Patriot Act. His talkathon led to a legislative impasse on the USA Freedom Act, as the Obama administration effectively ended its bulk dragnet.

    Embarking on a week-long book tour in between Senate sessions, the Republican presidential contender said on Tuesday he still thinks the Senate can “win that vote” on bulk collection.
    read the rest here:

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...rm-republicans
    by Published on 05-27-2015 10:05 AM

    WASHINGTON — – President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged the Senate to renew National Security Agency surveillance powers before they expire at midnight Sunday, as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul vowed to keep working to block the Patriot Act and the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.

    “This needs to get done,” Obama told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday.

    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, asked what Obama was doing to round up votes, suggested, without naming him, that Paul needs to put the country first as he runs for the Republican nomination for president.

    "Right now, I think what we're seeing is a difference of opinion on the Republican side of the aisle," Earnest said. "At some point, the political ambitions of individual members of the United States Senate are going to have to come second to the national security of the United States."

    Obama called on the Senate to approve a House-passed bill that would change the phone record collection program while renewing less controversial Patriot Act provisions that also expire at the end of the month. The Senate rejected the House bill by three votes last weekend and is on a break until Sunday, just hours before the spying powers are scheduled to expire.

    Obama said reauthorizing the surveillance efforts is “necessary to keep the American people safe and secure.”

    “I strongly urge the Senate to work through this recess and make sure that they identify a way to get this done,” Obama said.
    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/05/2...#storylink=cpy
    by Published on 05-26-2015 09:40 AM

    At an 18th-century mansion in England’s countryside last week, current and former spy chiefs from seven countries faced off with representatives from tech giants Apple and Google to discuss government surveillance in the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s leaks.

    The three-day conference, which took place behind closed doors and under strict rules about confidentiality, was aimed at debating the line between privacy and security.

    Among an extraordinary list of attendees were a host of current or former heads from spy agencies such as the CIA and British electronic surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. Other current or former top spooks from Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Sweden were also in attendance. Google, Apple, and telecommunications company Vodafone sent some of their senior policy and legal staff to the discussions. And a handful of academics and journalists were also present.
    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2...-surveillance/
    by Published on 05-22-2015 05:20 PM

    Israeli media are quoting officials familiar with the situation as saying there are quiet talks going on between the Obama Administration and Israel’s new far-right government on a “massive compensation” boost in military aid for Israel’s acquiescence on the civilian nuclear deal with Iran.

    The deal is expected to be spun in the US and Israel as a huge boost in military aid to keep Israel’s “competitive advantage” over Saudi Arabia after that nation buys new US weapons, though Israel of course isn’t on particularly bad terms with the Saudis to begin with.

    In return, Israel would be allowed to keep publicly complaining about the Iran deal, but would privately tone down their efforts to undermine the deal.

    That’s potentially huge, with the US Congress
    ...
    by Published on 05-12-2015 08:00 AM

    Ever since the overthrow of Egypt’s elected president, the U.S. administration has tried to avoid the word “coup.” Hard to do that now, but it’s still trying.
    Pity the poor dictators! What’s a dedicated bunch of military plotters to do when they learn the elected leader they overthrew may have to go free because they put him in the wrong kind of jail?

    If you’re among the conspirators who ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, it seems you initiate a flurry of meetings and phone calls and soon reach a solution that relies on forgery and, to make sure a replacement jail looks authentic, construction of a “torture area” inside it.

    “Forgery, we do all the time,” brags one member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. “We are very good at it.” He might have said the same about torture.

    What neither he nor his colleagues realized, however, is that their words were secretly recorded, and eventually tapes of these alleged conversations would be released to the outside world.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...for-obama.html
    by Published on 04-30-2015 10:10 AM
    Article Preview

    OMG ISIS is everywhere! We have to go fight them everywhere or else the world is doomed!
    -------
    The war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria isn’t exactly making headway, indeed it seems destined to be the latest open-ended military boondoggle in a long line for the US in that region.

    Still, that doesn’t mean the mess can’t get even bigger, and that’s exactly what’s likely to happen, according to officials familiar with the situation who say that the US is likely to agree to expand the ISIS war to include its assorted affiliates across the planet.

    Certain nations within the US coalition, primarily Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are demanding the war be expanded to other countries with ISIS presences as well, and US officials say that keeping those nations satisfied ...
    by Published on 04-27-2015 12:20 PM

    In 2005, amid reports that the London subway bombers had used cellphones as detonators, the White House secretly established the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 303, which granted the government the ability to unilaterally shut down all cellphone service in an area of its choosing when it feels it needs to.

    The details of the procedure are still not public, and a series of lawsuits aiming to at the very least get the basics of how the law even theoretically works have faced massive official opposition, with the White House and DHS desperate to avoid any oversight.

    The power has become increasingly controversial in recent years, as cellphone communication has increasingly replaced landline phones, and would be more essential than ever during “emergencies,” the
    ...
    by Published on 03-18-2015 08:20 AM

    Osmakac was 25 years old on January 7, 2012, when he filmed what the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice would later call a “martyrdom video.” He was also broke and struggling with mental illness.

    After recording this video in a rundown Days Inn in Tampa, Florida, Osmakac prepared to deliver what he thought was a car bomb to a popular Irish bar. According to the government, Osmakac was a dangerous, lone-wolf terrorist who would have bombed the Tampa bar, then headed to a local casino where he would have taken hostages, before finally detonating his suicide vest once police arrived.

    But if Osmakac was a terrorist, he was only one in his troubled mind and in the minds of ambitious federal agents. The government could not provide any evidence that he had connections
    ...
    by Published on 03-12-2015 11:15 AM

    CIA, Mossad helping ISIS? NO WAY!

    TEHRAN – Iraqi Special Forces said they have arrested several ISIL’s foreign military advisors, including American, Israeli and Arab nationals in an operation in Mosul in the Northern parts of the country.

    The Iraqi forces said they have retrieved four foreign passports, including those that belonged to American and Israeli nationals and one that belonged to the national of a Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member-state, from ISIL’s military advisors.

    The foreign advisors were arrested in a military operation in Tal Abta desert near Mosul city.

    Last year, a senior aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Mossad of training ISIL terrorists operating in Iraq and Syria.
    ...
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