Military

UK detention of Reprieve activist consistent with NSA’s view of drone opponents as ‘threats’ and ‘adversaries’

UK detention of Reprieve activist consistent with NSA’s view of drone opponents as ‘threats’ and ‘adversaries’

A well-known and highly respected Yemeni anti-drone activist was detained yesterday by UK officials under that country’s “anti-terrorism” law at Gatwick Airport, where he had traveled to speak at an event. Baraa Shiban, the project co-ordinator for the London-based legal charity Reprieve, was held for an hour and a half and repeatedly questioned about his anti-drone work and political views regarding human rights abuses in Yemen.

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FULL- President Obama Addresses the United Nations – Syria, Iran Speech 9/24/2013

Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Military, Politics with 1 Comment
FULL- President Obama Addresses the United Nations – Syria, Iran Speech 9/24/2013

President Obama addressed the UN on Syria and Iran at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 24, 2013.

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The Dead Rhetoric of War – Chris Hedges

The Dead Rhetoric of War – Chris Hedges

The myth of war, as each generation discovers over the corpses of its young and the looting of its national treasury by war profiteers, is a lie. War is no longer able to divert Americans from the economic and political decay that is rapidly turning the nation into a corporate oligarchy, a nation where “the consent of the governed” is a cruel joke. War cannot hide what we have become. War has made us a nation that openly tortures and holds people indefinitely in our archipelago of offshore penal colonies. War has unleashed death squads—known as special operations forces—to assassinate our enemies around the globe, even American citizens. War has seen us terrorize whole populations, including populations with which we are not officially at war, with armed drones that circle night and day above mud-walled villages in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia as well as Iraq and Afghanistan. War has shredded, in the name of national security, our most basic civil liberties. War has turned us into the most spied-upon, monitored, eavesdropped and photographed population in human history.

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AUMF: How America Codified Endless War – Abby Martin

Posted by on September 16, 2013 in Government, Military, Politics with 1 Comment
AUMF: How America Codified Endless War – Abby Martin

Abby Martin looks back at the signing of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) as the catalyst for America’s global War on Terror, and highlights US Rep. Barbara Lee as the lone voice who opposed the legislation following the 9/11 attacks.

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NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander Thinks He’s on Star Trek (for real)

NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander Thinks He’s on Star Trek (for real)

It has been previously reported that the mentality of NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander is captured by his motto “Collect it All”. It’s a get-everything approach he pioneered first when aimed at an enemy population in the middle of a war zone in Iraq, one he has now imported onto US soil, aimed at the domestic population and everyone else.

But a perhaps even more disturbing and revealing vignette into the spy chief’s mind comes from a new Foreign Policy article describing what the journal calls his “all-out, barely-legal drive to build the ultimate spy machine”. The article describes how even his NSA peers see him as a “cowboy” willing to play fast and loose with legal limits in order to construct a system of ubiquitous surveillance. But the personality driving all of this – not just Alexander’s but much of Washington’s – is perhaps best captured by this one passage, highlighted by PBS’ News Hour in a post entitled: “NSA director modeled war room after Star Trek’s Enterprise”. The room was christened as part of the “Information Dominance Center”…

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How Much Will the Defense Industry Make from a Missile Strike Against Syria?

Posted by on September 13, 2013 in Government, Military, Politics with 1 Comment
How Much Will the Defense Industry Make from a Missile Strike Against Syria?

Even as diplomats work on a last-ditch effort to get Syria to hand over its chemical weapons to international authorities, the US gearing up to do what it does best: bomb a distant country. At this moment, six American warships are sitting in the Mediterranean, loaded with hundreds of missiles waiting to attack Syria should they get the order. If the complex, involved effort to get Bashar al-Assad to give up his chemical weapons fails and Barack Obama gives the go-ahead for a “limited” strike against his regime, those ships will let fly with hundreds of missiles—and that means the Pentagon will have to replace those weapons by purchasing them from defense contractors like Raytheon, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman. How much is that going to cost?

[…]

You may be wondering about the sequestration, the series of across-the-board cuts that began going into effect earlier this year—weren’t those supposed to slash the Pentagon’s budget, and by extension, the revenues of defense contractors? They were, but Christopher Preble of the Cato Institute, a libertarian-leaning think tank, tells me a war in Syria would be a way to get around the budget limitations.

“A war would qualify as an ’emergency,’ which would allow the Pentagon to ask for supplemental funds if they wanted to,” he said.

Actually, sequester or no sequester, the defense industry is going through a “blockbuster” financial quarter according to Todd Harrison, a senior fellow for at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said layoffs combined with a steady flow of contracts has allowed top defense companies to take in the same amount of revenue while paying out less to workers.

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Rania Masri and Chris Hedges On Obama’s Syria Address

Posted by on September 11, 2013 in Military, Politics with 0 Comments
Rania Masri and Chris Hedges On Obama’s Syria Address

Human Rights activist Rania Masri and Pulitzer Prize winning writer Chris Hedges respond to President Obama’s Syria address to the nation last night (Sept. 10, 2013).

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Four Chemical Attacks U.S. Wants You to Forget – Abby Martin

Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Government, Military with 0 Comments
Four Chemical Attacks U.S. Wants You to Forget – Abby Martin

Abby Martin talks about the blatant hypocrisy regarding Obama’s “red line” of chemical attacks as the motivating factor to intervene militarily in Syria, citing the top four chemical weapons attacks that the US military does not want you to know about.

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Obama Warned on Syrian Intel

Posted by on September 7, 2013 in Agencies & Systems, Government, Military, Politics with 0 Comments
Obama Warned on Syrian Intel

We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this. In writing this brief report, we choose to assume that you have not been fully informed because your advisers decided to afford you the opportunity for what is commonly known as “plausible denial.”

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US Attack On Syria Would Violate International Law

Posted by on September 6, 2013 in Military, Politics with 0 Comments
US Attack On Syria Would Violate International Law

Michael Ratner, President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York and Chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin, talks about the illegality of an attack by the U.S. on Syria.

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How to Stop Obama’s Military Aggression Against Syria

Posted by on September 5, 2013 in Government, Military, Politics with 0 Comments
How to Stop Obama’s Military Aggression Against Syria

Two things can be done to stop the pending US attack on Syria. One is for the US Congress to realize that it does not have to endorse a policy that has been rejected by the rest of the world, including Washington’s closest ally, Great Britain.

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Why Syria? A Story Of Competing Pipelines

Posted by on September 5, 2013 in Government, Military, Politics with 5 Comments
Why Syria? A Story Of Competing Pipelines

In the summer of 2011, just weeks after civil war broke out in Syria, the Tehran Times released a report entitled, Iran, Iraq, Syria Sign Major Gas Pipeline Deal. The report provided details on how Iran planned to export its vast natural gas reserves to Europe through a pipeline that traversed both Iraq and Syria. This Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline would be the largest gas pipeline in the Middle East and would span from Iran’s gas-rich South Pars field to the Mediterranean coastline in Lebanon, via Iraq and Syria…Syrian President Assad has since rejected the Arab Gas Pipeline and has instead begun working closely with Iran on Iran’s proposed gas pipeline, dubbed the Islamic Pipeline. This proposed pipeline would obviously compete directly with the Arab Gas Pipeline and its goal of delivering Mideast natural gas to Europe.

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The Last Chance to Stop the NDAA

Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Agencies & Systems, Government, Military, Politics with 0 Comments
The Last Chance to Stop the NDAA

“First the terrorism-industrial complex assured Americans that they were only spying on foreigners, not U.S. citizens,” [attorney Carl] Mayer said to me recently. “Then they assured us that they were only spying on phone calls, not electronic communications. Then they assured us that they were not spying on American journalists. And now both [major political] parties and the Obama administration have assured us that they will not detain journalists, citizens and activists. Well, they detained journalist Chris Hedges without a lawyer, they detained journalist Laura Poitras without due process and if allowed to stand this law will permit the military to target activists, journalists and citizens in an unprecedented assault on freedom in America.”

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How an Insular Beltway Elite Makes Wars of Choice More Likely

Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Government, Military, Politics with 0 Comments
How an Insular Beltway Elite Makes Wars of Choice More Likely

[T]he “growing calls … for forceful action” [on Syria] aren’t coming from the people, or Congressional majorities, or an expert consensus. The pressure is being applied by a tiny, insular elite that mostly lives in Washington, D.C., and isn’t bothered by the idea of committing America to military action that most Americans oppose. Nor are they bothered by the president launching a war of choice without Congressional approval, even though Obama declared as a candidate that such a step would be illegal. Some of them haven’t even thought through the implications of the pressure they’re applying.

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Are Spy Agencies Once Again Lying … this Time to Justify War Against Syria?

Posted by on September 2, 2013 in Government, Military with 0 Comments
Are Spy Agencies Once Again Lying … this Time to Justify War Against Syria?

Some Congressmen who have gotten a classified briefing aren’t impressed: “I have just attended a classified Congressional briefing on Syria that quite frankly raised more questions than it answered.”- Democrat Tom Harkin

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