• twomp

      by Published on 09-15-2014 02:37 PM

      US President Barack Obama delivers a live televised address to the nation on his plans for military action against the Islamic State, from the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington September 10, 2014.

      President Barack Obama would seek to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad if American planes were attacked upon entering Syrian air space, Peter Baker of The New York Times reports .

      If Assad's troops fired at American planes entering Syrian airspace, "Obama said he would order American forces to wipe out Syria’s air defense system," Baker reports. "He went on to say that such an action by Mr. Assad would lead to his overthrow, according to one account."

      On Wednesday, Obama announced that he had authorized US airstrikes ...
      by Published on 09-13-2014 11:59 AM

      The parents of murdered journalist Steven Sotloff were told by a White House counterterrorism official at a meeting last May that they could face criminal prosecution if they paid ransom to try to free their son, a spokesman for the family told Yahoo News Friday night.

      "The family felt completely and utterly helpless when they heard this," said Barak Barfi, a friend of Sotloff who is serving as a spokesman for his family. "The Sotloffs felt there was nothing they could do to get Steve out."

      The journalist's father, Art, was "shaking" after the meeting with the official, who works for the National Security Council, Barfi said. The families of three other hostages being held by the militant group Islamic State were also at the White House meeting, sources told Yahoo News.

      Continue http://news.yahoo.com/sotloff-s-pare...234329991.html
      by Published on 09-04-2014 06:35 PM

      but, but, but Obama said air strikes only! He wouldn't lie to us would he? He's the President!

      My Kurdish contact and I decided to approach the battle from western side of the Mosul Dam reservoir, the strategic dam that had been captured by ISIS before U.S. airstrikes allowed Kurdish and Iraqi military forces to retake it.

      At around 10 a.m., the Peshmerga halted our movement. Fearing that the situation was changing rapidly, we asked the Kurdish security element accompanying us what was happening. “We don’t know,” they said, “we just got information that you cannot move forward.” Repeated calls were met with the same firm statement that we could not move forward.

      Stuck out in the open with no clear sense of what was occurring in the battle that required us to be stopped, we made contact with high-level Peshmerga ministries, both in Erbil and on the ground in Zumar. “Yes, we want to let you in, but we can’t,” said one high-level Kurdish government official. “We have visitors, you’ll see them,” he stated. As we tried to decipher his cryptic response our answer came: multiple armored Toyotas swept down the mountain, passing within feet of us. The Toyotas were packed with what appeared to be bearded Western Special Operations Forces. I watched the trucks pass and saw for myself the crews inside them. They didn’t wear any identifying insignia but they were visibly Western and appeared to match all the visual characteristics of American special operations soldiers.
      read the rest here:
      http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...s-in-iraq.html
      by Published on 08-18-2014 05:32 AM

      Youthful rebellion takes many forms. But when was the last time you saw college kids turning out in large numbers calling for fiscal prudence, personal responsibility, and restoring the Constitution? Something is brewing on campus, and it’s not just beer.

      I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the sixth annual Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) convention in Arlington, Virginia, last week, just outside the nation’s capital. It was the group’s largest convention yet, with about 200 of the over 525 YAL campus chapters represented and attendees from all 50 states. At first, it looked like many other student confabs—perhaps with less pink hair and fewer tattoos—but I noticed something different about these conferees. A fire burned in their bellies, the kind I haven’t seen since people of my generation marched against the Vietnam War.

      So who lit their fuse? Would you believe … a septuagenarian obstetrician who “treats you like a grandson” and behaves with such deep authenticity that you “would never suspect he was a politician,” according to Jeff Frazee, who hosted the gathering. He should know. Jeff went from interning with Rep. Ron Paul to coordinating youth outreach for Paul’s presidential campaign to leading YAL today.

      read the rest here:
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/billfrez...liberty-booms/
      by Published on 07-24-2014 10:38 AM

      President Putin is – rightly – under pressure to explain Russia’s role in the shooting down of Malaysian airlines flight MH17. Did Putin give missiles, or even soldiers, to the pro-Russian paramilitaries rebels that destroyed the aeroplane, killing all 298 passengers? The families deserve an answer.

      The US and UK governments are among those pressing Putin hardest. David Cameron is trying to convince other EU leaders to impose sanctions. Russia's complicity in the disaster – not to mention its possible cover up by trying to steal the aircraft's black boxes – is beyond the pale. Decent countries just don't do this, the logic goes. It's something that puts the country on the level of a rogue state and makes its President some kind of Gadaffi figure.

      But how did the UK and US react when the American’s shot down an Iranian airliner, in a remarkably similar incident in 1988? According to some secret documents that I obtained by Freedom of Information request, they tried to cover it up.

      In 1988 Iraq and Iran had been at war for eight years, in a war that Saddam Hussein started by invading his neighbours. It was a bloody conflict on both sides, with up to 200,000 dead, but in 1988 the Iranians were in the stronger position. The US, who saw Iran’s Islamic revolutionary regime as their main enemy, sided with Saddam Hussein. US Warships in the Gulf attacked Iranian military boats and oil platforms.
      Read the rest here:

      http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/secre...g-disaster-199
      by Published on 07-13-2014 09:22 AM

      Once upon a time, Barack Obama's harsh and deserved criticism of President George W. Bush's executive overreach was a popular campaign applause line at Democratic rallies. Now, he is facing down a threatened lawsuit from House Speaker John Boehner challenging the president's abuse of executive power.

      Obama has dismissed the suit as a "stunt," which is partly true.

      The convenient election year timing isn't a coincidence. But that a public legal battle might benefit Republicans doesn't mean the GOP suit is devoid of merit.

      Read the rest here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinio...lumn/11934197/
      by Published on 07-13-2014 08:20 AM
      Article Preview

      From antiwar.com: http://original.antiwar.com/chris_er...estroyed-iraq/

      It doesn’t take a PhD in Sociology to conclude that Iraq was better off with Saddam Hussein than it is today.

      It’s not that Saddam was a great leader without blood on his hands. It’s just that what six US presidents have done to Iraq over the past 35 years has been much worse than anything Saddam ever did to the people of Iraq.



      Under Saddam, Iraqis had a thriving economy that included a wealthy middle class, a high functioning infrastructure on par with the most developed nations of the world, and free healthcare and free education through graduate school. Today, Iraqis have an effective unemployment rate of 50%, a difficult ...
      by Published on 07-08-2014 08:30 AM

      These are the men and women who are supposed to keep watch over the nation’s spies. And they have no idea about the latest revelations of inappropriate NSA snooping.

      The newest revelations about the National Security Agency may be shocking to the rest of us. To the congressional overseers of the American intelligence services, not so much. They’re still catching up from a holiday weekend. Or maybe they’ve just become numb to the whole spying-on-ordinary-people thing.

      Using files provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the NSA scooped up the communications of innocent Internet users, including Americans, and that those not targeted by the agency far outnumber those targeted by the agency.

      read the rest here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...bombshell.html
      by Published on 07-02-2014 02:41 PM

      Journalist says his team is investigating objections raised

      Jon Queally, staff writer
      Tuesday, July 1, 2014

      At midday on Monday, journalist Glenn Greenwald announced that revelations he has termed among "the most important" to result from documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden would be published at midnight.

      However, despite the growing anticipation on Monday and just hours prior to the expected publication, Greenwald went back to Twitter and announced:



      As of noon on Tuesday, the reporting was still not showing on The Intercept, the online outlet edited by Greenwald where much of his most recent reporting on the documents has appeared, and no additional updates on the status of the reporting were seen on Twitter.

      In various venues in recent months, Greenwald has suggested that the most explosive 'bombshell' reporting based on the documents would come last and recently discussed how the focus of the reporting will reveal the specific individuals or kinds of people that the NSA is targeting inside the United States with its "collect it all" approach to digital surveillance.

      more:
      http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/07/01-4
      by Published on 06-26-2014 05:26 PM

      MonkeyParking, the Italian startup that was recently ordered to cease and desist by the San Francisco City Attorney, has remained defiant.

      ”We are not stopping any service as we know we are not illegal, so there is no reason to do it,” Paolo Dobrowolny, the company’s CEO, told Ars.

      On Monday, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera cited a city code that forbids drivers who "enter into a lease, rental agreement, or contract of any kind" for public parking spots. The violation is punishable by up to $300 in fines.

      Continued: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...-to-shut-down/
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