• twomp

      by Published on 12-09-2014 11:10 AM

      Rand Paul and John McCain are at odds over whether the Senate needs to declare war on ISIS. Paul insists that the Senate has no choice, as under the War Powers Clause of the US Constitution only Congress is empowered to take the country to war. McCain is derisive of Paul and his proposed war resolution, and has the support of his Senate colleagues, who have shown no interest in voting on the war. For some, this dispute may seem to be a technical matter--after all we have fought wars for decades without actually following the Constitutional rules. For others, Rand Paul among them, fealty to the Constitution demands that any decision to go to war be put to a vote. This may seem to many observers to be an intra-party skirmish that is of little import, but it is actually a rare opportunity for
      by Published on 12-08-2014 12:15 PM

      The Israeli military has been in direct contact with Syrian rebels for more than 18 months, facilitating the treatment of wounded fighters and at times exchanging parcels and ushering uninjured Syrians into Israel, according to UN reports.

      The quarterly reports bolster speculation over the past year that Israel’s humanitarian assistance to more than 1,000 wounded Syrians had also opened a channel of communication with Syrian rebels.

      Today, the Syrian military accused Israel of carrying out two airstrikes near Damascus. The Israeli military declined to comment on that claim.

      Though some in Israel appear to support the Assad regime as the lesser evil, Israel is no doubt interested in gleaning intelligence from rebel groups in order to better assess ...
      by Published on 12-05-2014 10:45 AM

      In a 300-119 vote, the House has approved the newest annual military spending bill, pumping another $585 billion into the Pentagon for assorted wars, including the newest war against ISIS.

      The bill also includes an extension of the authorization for the Pentagon to train and arm “moderate” Syrian rebel factions, which was supposed to expire on December 11. The bill will extend the deadline through 2016.

      House Democrats sought to add provisions defining the scope of the ISIS war, but failed to get that out of the committee. The bill includes some funding the the war, but no specific authorizations.

      The Senate is expected to bring the vote up next week and it is largely expected to pass, though Senate Republicans are complaining about the many unrelated provisions crammed into the vote.
      A little holiday spending for the MIC from our overlords?

      by Published on 11-22-2014 11:40 AM

      The vote to reform how the NSA collects bulk phone data and other types of data failed to pass by a slim margin, but two voters against the USA Freedom Act explain why they voted ‘nay.’

      Those two who voted against the bill are Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who was the only Republican senator to vote against the bill, and Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, who co-sponsored the bill.

      Paul has fought against surveillance bills for some time now, most notably in 20011 when he sent a letter to his colleagues in DC explaining his opposition to the Patriot Act. He stated he did not think the Patriot Act was necessary to “achieve valid law-enforcement goals…”

      In a similar fashion, Paul voted against the USA Freedom Act on the basis that the bill did not go far enough ...
      by Published on 10-14-2014 05:15 PM

      Kids across America no longer have to wait until college to plan on being a part of the National Security Agency. In fact, they could start preparing for their NSA careers as early as age 13.

      The NSA has begun sponsoring cybersecurity camps for middle and high school students, agency recruiter Steven LaFountain told CNBC’s Eamon Javers in a recent interview. Six prototype camps launched this past summer, and the NSA hopes to eventually have a presence in schools in all 50 states.

      The camps, LaFountain told CNBC, teach “low-level programming… where most cybersecurity vulnerabilities are” and sponsor activities like a “wireless scavenger hunt” in which 10th graders were dispatched to hunt down “rogue access points.” The general idea is to eliminate “threats out
      by Published on 10-09-2014 09:45 AM

      I know there were some folks on these forums who were absolutely terrified of ISIS. Probably hiding under their beds reading this. I have good news for you guys, ISIS isn't here yet! Although stay tuned, I hear there were some sightings of Al Shabab, Al Nusra, Al Bundy, Al rosenthal Alakazaham or something at a strip club in Tijuana so you guys might have to go back to hiding again soon. But you are safe for now, just for now....

      The Department of Homeland Security felt the need to try to get out in front of the growing panic around ISIS fighters sneaking into the United States from Mexico, pointing out that’s not actually a thing that’s happening.

      This stands in stark contrast to Rep. Duncan Hunter’s (R – CA) claims that “at least 10″ ISIS fighters were caught along the border, and that he was secretly tipped off by the border patrol. The incident appears to have never actually happened.

      The story is such a good one that many politicians don’t want to let it being untrue stand in the way, and several, including Rep. Jeff Duncan (R – SC) and Gov. Rick Perry (R – TX) are continuing to hype it. Sen. John McCain (R – AZ), always eager to double-down on such fears, decided to go for broke and claim the Canadian border was the real threat.

      The narrative ignores the nature of ISIS, and its recruitment of Westerners. The whole point of this, and the reason ISIS infiltration was seen as a threat in the first place, was not because Westerners are the only ones who know where Mexico is, but rather that these are US, EU, etc. citizens who don’t have to sneak in, and can legally enter the country with little problem.
      by Published on 10-07-2014 11:55 AM

      Obviously everyone around here already knew this.

      In its campaign across northern Syria and Iraq, the jihadist group Islamic State has been using ammunition from the United States and other countries that have been supporting the regional security forces fighting the group, according to new field data gathered by a private arms-tracking organization.

      The data, part of a larger sample of captured arms and cartridges in Syria and Iraq, carries an implicit warning for policy makers and advocates of intervention.

      It suggests that ammunition transferred into Syria and Iraq to help stabilize governments has instead passed from the governments to the jihadists, helping to fuel the Islamic State’s rise and persistent combat power. Rifle cartridges from
      by Published on 10-06-2014 07:45 PM

      After 13 years of war in Afghanistan – the longest in US history – the US government has achieved no victory. Afghanistan is in chaos and would collapse completely without regular infusions of US money. The war has been a failure, but Washington will not admit it.

      More than 2,000 US fighters have been killed in the 13 year Afghan war. More than 20,000 Afghan civilians were also killed. According to a study last year by a Harvard University researcher, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost in total between four and six trillion dollars. There is no way of looking at the US invasion of Afghanistan and seeing a success.

      So in light of this failure, what does the Obama Administration do? Do they admit the mistake? Do they pull the remaining US troops out of Afghanistan and try to avoid making matters even worse? No! As with all US government programs, if the desired result is not achieved they just pump in more resources and continue with the same policies. The past 13 years have been an utter failure, so this past week the US government signed on for ten more years of war!

      US troops were legally required to be out of Afghanistan by the end of this year, according to a status of forces agreement between the US and Afghanistan...
      by Published on 09-29-2014 06:30 AM

      The United States is spending millions of dollars to destroy U.S. equipment in Iraq and Syria — gear the U.S. gave the Iraqi military that was later captured by ISIS forces.

      The U.S has hit 41 Humvees since attacks began in August, according to data from United States Central Command.

      The U.S. is sending $30,000-bombs to eliminate these armored vehicles, which cost about a quarter of a million dollars each depending what it is equipped with, according to Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

      The U.S. Defense Department confirmed the targets to CNN. "In some cases, we have seen instances of ISIL capturing and employing U.S.-made equipment," said a spokesperson. "When we've seen these terrorists employing this equipment, we've sought to eliminate that threat."

      Once the U.S. destroys the equipment, it might have to re-supply the Iraqi military.

      "If we want them [the Iraqi military] to be able to secure their own borders in the long run, we're going to have to re-equip them," said Harrison. "So we'll be buying another Humvee and sending it back to the Iraqi military.''
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