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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 45,619

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Journal Archives

The Assad Files

The Assad Files
Capturing the top-secret documents that tie the Syrian regime to mass torture and killings.

The investigator in Syria had made the drive perhaps a hundred times, always in the same battered truck, never with any cargo. It was forty miles to the border, through eleven rebel checkpoints, where the soldiers had come to think of him as a local, a lawyer whose wartime misfortunes included a commute on their section of the road. Sometimes he brought them snacks or water, and he made sure to thank them for protecting civilians like himself. Now, on a summer afternoon, he loaded the truck with more than a hundred thousand captured Syrian government documents, which had been buried in pits and hidden in caves and abandoned homes.

He set out at sunset. To the fighters manning the checkpoints, it was as if he were invisible. Three reconnaissance vehicles had driven ahead, and one confirmed by radio what the investigator hoped to hear: no new checkpoints. Typically, the border was sealed, but soldiers from the neighboring country waved him through. He drove until he reached a Western embassy, where he dropped off the cargo for secure transfer to Chris Engels, an American lawyer. Engels expected the papers to include evidence linking high-level Syrian officials to mass atrocities. After a decade spent training international criminal-justice practitioners in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Cambodia, Engels now leads the regime-crimes unit of the Commission for International Justice and Accountability, an independent investigative body founded in 2012, in response to the Syrian war.

In the past four years, people working for the organization have smuggled more than six hundred thousand government documents out of Syria, many of them from top-secret intelligence facilities. The documents are brought to the group’s headquarters, in a nondescript office building in Western Europe, sometimes under diplomatic cover. There, each page is scanned, assigned a bar code and a number, and stored underground. A dehumidifier hums inside the evidence room; just outside, a small box dispenses rat poison.

Upstairs, in a room secured by a metal door, detailed maps of Syrian villages cover the walls, and the roles of various suspects in the Syrian government are listed on a whiteboard. Witness statements and translated documents fill dozens of binders, which are locked in a fireproof safe at night. Engels, who is forty-one, bald and athletic, with a precise, discreet manner, oversees the operation; analysts and translators report directly to him.


Those of you here who have defended Assad (and you know who you are), I dedicate this thread to you...

LOL -- Yeah, keep on telling me Snowden isn't a Kremlin stooge...

Has the balls to call for Cameron's resignation(!) while ignoring Putin's laundering of $2 billion...



I know you Snowdenstans out there would sooner jump off a cliff than address this, so just let it drop -- That's all you know how to do anyway.

Malawi's fearsome chief, terminator of child marriages

Mtakataka, Malawi - The mild-mannered woman who zips around a farmhouse packed with knick-knacks and insists her guests eat a meal before any introductions, presents a character at odds with her fearsome reputation of being Malawi's top marriage terminator.

Thirteen years ago, Theresa Kachindamoto could not have conceived of ever leaving her job of 27 years as a secretary at a city college in Zomba, another district in Southern Malawi.

She had no desire to return home to Monkey Bay, a stunning cluster of mountains in Dedza District around Lake Malawi. Although she had the blood of chiefs - Malawi's traditional authority figures - running through her veins, as the youngest of 12 siblings, a woman, and a mother of five, Kachindamoto never expected to become a senior chief to the more than 100,000 people...

...She was shocked when she saw girls as young as 12 with babies and teenaged husbands, and was soon ordering the people to give up their ways

"I told them: 'Whether you like it or not, I want these marriages to be terminated.'"

Last year, Malawi's parliament passed a law forbidding marriage before the age of 18. But under customary law of the traditional authorities, and the constitution, Malawian children can still marry with parental consent.

A 2012 United Nations survey found that more than half of Malawi's girls were married before the age of 18. It ranked Malawi 8th out of 20 countries thought to have the highest child-marriage rates in the world.


Marco Muzzo sentenced to 10 years in prison for Vaughan crash that killed 4

Source: Yahoo via CBC.ca

Convicted impaired driver Marco Muzzo has been sentenced to 10 years in prison today in connection to a Vaughan, Ont., crash that killed four people and seriously injured two others. Muzzo, 29, pleaded guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm. Ontario Superior Court Justice Michelle Fuerst is expected to announce Muzzo's sentence in Newmarket.

"I'm tortured by the grief I caused," Muzzo told the court at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 24.

The crash on Sept. 27, 2015, killed three young Neville-Lake children, Daniel, 9, Harrison, 5, Milly, 2, and their grandfather, Gary Neville, 65. Two other extended family members, the children's grandmother and her mother, were injured in the crash.

"You killed all my babies," Jennifer Neville-Lake, mother of the three children, said in her victim impact statement on Feb. 23. "I miss my kids. I miss my dad."

...Muzzo's family owns the drywall company Marel Contractors and is worth nearly $1.8 billion, according to Canadian Business magazine.

Read more: https://ca.news.yahoo.com/marco-muzzo-sentenced-tuesday-vaughan-050000872.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=tw

Thank god the "affluenza" defense wasn't in play...

Former Henrico teacher charged with letting students smoke weed in class

GLEN ALLEN, Va. (WRIC) — A former Henrico teacher is in trouble with the law for allegedly letting students get stoned in class.

Police say 23-year-old Domonic Leuzzi was doing more than just teaching shop class. They claim he was enabling students to do a little higher learning.

“Domonic Leuzzi was actually allowing students to smoke marijuana in his classroom,” said Henrico County Police Lieutenant Chris Eley.

Up until recently, Leuzzi was a shop teacher at the Academy of Virginia Randolph, a high school for academically and behaviorally challenged kids.

There is a sign in front of the school that reads it’s supposed to be a drug-free zone. But according to investigators, Leuzzi let some students feel free to light up.

“We got a call from the administration of Henrico County Public Schools saying they received information from students that a teacher was allowing them to smoke marijuana in a class,” explains Lieutenant Eley.

Now, the 23-year-old teacher faces three charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Court records show at least three teens allegedly smoked weed under Mr. Leuzzi’s watch.


What an asshole...

Islamic State defector brings 'goldmine' of details on 22,000 supporters

Source: Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - A disillusioned former member of Islamic State has passed a stolen memory stick of documents identifying 22,000 supporters in over 50 countries to a British journalist, a leak that could help the West target Islamist fighters planning attacks.

Leaks of such detailed information about Islamic State are rare and give Britain's spies a potential trove of data that could help unmask militants who have threatened more attacks like those that killed 130 people in Paris last November.

A man calling himself Abu Hamed, a former member of Islamic State who became disillusioned with its leaders, passed the files to Britain's Sky News on a memory stick he said he had stolen from the head of the group's internal security force.

On it were enrolment forms containing the names of Islamic State supporters and of their relatives, telephone numbers, and other details such as the subjects' areas of expertise and who had recommended them.

One of the files, marked "Martyrs", detailed a group of IS members who were willing and trained to carry out suicide attacks, Sky said.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/tv-channel-says-obtains-details-22-000-islamic-082041671.html?nf=1#


(assuming of course his cache of info is legit)

Why can't McDonald's look like this in our country?


Labour urged to expel Trotskyist Gerry Downing over 9/11 views

Source: BBC News

Jeremy Corbyn is facing calls from David Cameron and a Labour MP to expel a far left activist over his views on 9/11 and so-called Islamic State. The prime minister quoted a blog by Gerry Downing, which said the 9/11 suicide bombers "must never be condemned".

Mr Downing said he had been quoted out of context by the prime minister. He said he had been explaining the motivation of the 9/11 bombers, "not agreeing with what they were doing".

He added: "I don't support the politics of Isis, they are vile barbarians. But I don't support American imperialist bombing either."

Mr Downing, a former bus driver and member of the tiny Socialist Fight group, says on Twitter his ambition is "to end capitalism on the planet by socialist revolution".

He was expelled by the Labour Party last August over views expressed on his Twitter feed and blog but was re-instated in November after an appeal.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-35768969

Why didn't we have school plays like this when I was a kid??



MEANWHILE, in Houston.....

Highway 290 shut down following crash, naked woman on freeway

HOUSTON (KTRK) --A bizarre rush hour crash shut down Highway 290 at Huffmeister Road Monday morning. After a wreck, a woman stripped down and got on top of the cab of a big rig.

That woman refused to come down for about two hours. Firefighters and police officers finally coaxed her into a ladder truck basket at about 11am.

"I just hope that her being naked, and being belligerent doesn't take over the situation, and that they can just get her some help," said Keaton Gray, one of many eyewitnesses glued to the unexpected sight.

The outbound lanes of 290 were shut down for a couple of hours. The inbound side was shut down for about 20 minutes while they got her down.



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