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Hissyspit

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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 43,336

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Art Pope Stepping Down As Budget Director

Just long enough to do the damage...

Art Pope stepping down as North Carolina budget director

BY JOHN FRANK, JFRANK@NEWSOBSERVER.COM
August 6, 2014 | Updated 19 minutes ago

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s budget director Art Pope, a major conservative donor with broad influence who became a lightning rod for critics, is leaving his post in Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration.

McCrory announced the move Wednesday and named his replacement, Lee Roberts, a Raleigh bank executive who is the son of broadcast journalist and political analyst Cokie Roberts.

Pope said he will return to running his family’s retail business, Variety Wholesalers, and declined to discuss in detail his plans for his future political involvement, though he did say he would continue to support candidates.

The governor said the departure was anticipated and not related to Pope’s controversial role in the administration. Democratic activists consider Pope a lightning rod because he helped finance the 2010 campaign that gave Republicans control of the state legislature for the first time in more than a century.

When he hired Pope at the start of his term in 2013, McCrory said Pope agreed to serve just one year at a $1 annual salary. McCrory said he convinced Pope to remain on the team through the end of the two-year legislative cycle. Pope said he expected to officially step down Sept. 5.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/08/06/4054369/art-pope-stepping-down-as-north.html#emlnl=Breaking_News#storylink=cpy

BREAKING: New Leaker Disclosing U.S. Secrets

Source: CNN

@cnnadam: EXCLUSIVE: US govt has concluded there's a new leaker exposing national security documents post-Snowden, @evanperez reporting. More soon.

CNN Breaking News - A new leaker is exposing national security documents, U.S. officials tell CNN. Reply STOP 2 unsub

updated 3:27 PM EDT 08.05.14

New leaker disclosing U.S. secrets

By Evan Perez, CNN

(CNN) - The federal government has concluded there's a new leaker exposing national security documents in the aftermath of surveillance disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, U.S. officials tell CNN.

Proof of the newest leak comes from national security documents that formed the basis of a news story published Tuesday by the Intercept, the news site launched by Glenn Greenwald, who also published the Snowden's leaks.

The Intercept article focuses on the growth in U.S. government databases of known or suspected terrorist names during the Obama administration.

The article cites documents prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center dated August 2013, which is after Snowden flew to Russia to avoid U.S. criminal charges.

Greenwald has suggested there was another leaker. In July, he said on Twitter "it seems clear at this point" that there was another. Government officials have been investigating to find out who.

The biggest database, called the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, now has 1 million names, a U.S. official confirmed to CNN.

That's boosted from half that many in the aftermath of the botched attempt by the so-called underwear bomber to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner on Christmas Day in 2009.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/05/politics/u-s-new-leaker/index.html



@jeremyscahill: Direct links to SECRET gov't watchlisting documents we published today: https://t.co/ipgXej4e9R/s/XfGd & https://t.co/1YxO8QmCwj/s/f0Oq

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/08/05/watch-commander/

NEWS
Barack Obama’s Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers

By Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux5 Aug 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

Nearly half of the people on the U.S. government’s widely shared database of terrorist suspects are not connected to any known terrorist group, according to classified government documents obtained by The Intercept.

Of the 680,000 people caught up in the government’s Terrorist Screening Database—a watchlist of “known or suspected terrorists” that is shared with local law enforcement agencies, private contractors, and foreign governments—more than 40 percent are described by the government as having “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” That category—280,000 people—dwarfs the number of watchlisted people suspected of ties to al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah combined.

The documents, obtained from a source in the intelligence community, also reveal that the Obama Administration has presided over an unprecedented expansion of the terrorist screening system. Since taking office, Obama has boosted the number of people on the no fly list more than ten-fold, to an all-time high of 47,000—surpassing the number of people barred from flying under George W. Bush.

“If everything is terrorism, then nothing is terrorism,” says David Gomez, a former senior FBI special agent. The watchlisting system, he adds, is “revving out of control.”

MORE

Likud's Dahiya Doctrine: what It & Its Implications Are - Truthout Op/Ed

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/25285-the-dahiya-doctrine-state-terrorism-and-a-philosophy-of-war-crime

The Dahiya Doctrine: State Terrorism and a Philosophy of War Crime

Saturday, 02 August 2014 10:31
By Stephen Benavides, Truthout | Op-Ed

What Is the Dahiya Doctrine?

In the 2006 Lebanon War, Israel Defense Force Northern Commander Gadi Eisenkot, now the deputy chief of general staff, recommended and had approved the application of a military strategy that would target and destroy an entire civilian area rather than fight to overtake fortified positions one by one. This was in an effort to minimize IDF casualties while at the same time holding the entire civilian populace accountable for the actions of a few. A move some called revolutionary in modern warfare, the doctrine did away with the effort to distinguish between militant and civilian, using an overwhelming display of force through airstrikes to destroy the entire Lebanese Dahiya quarter.

The strategy itself calls for the deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure in order to induce suffering and severe distress throughout the targeted population. By targeting indiscriminately, the IDF hopes to deter further military attacks against Israel, destroy its enemies, as well as influence the population to oust the militants seen as the primary target. The IDF has planned on using the strategy since 2008, and is seen as doing so in the current conflict in Gaza based on the increasing number of civilian casualties. The result so far has been the death of more than 1,200 Palestinians, including 241 children and 130 women. Of the estimated death count, more than 70 percent have been identified as innocent civilians. The Dahiya Doctrine amounts to the direct use of state terrorism and is now the functioning military policy of the IDF.

The destruction of locations such as UN Relief and Works Agency shelters, mosques and residences of unaffiliated individuals is at minimum an agreed upon collateral objective in addition to the Hamas tunnel system and the militants themselves.

The IDF argues that it has no other choice because Hamas uses locations such as these to shield military activities, making detection more difficult. After the 2008 Gaza War, the UN deployed a fact-finding mission to conduct an investigation into allegations made by both sides. The UN issued the "Goldstone Report," which said among other things that, "On the basis of the investigations it has conducted, the Mission did not find any evidence to support the allegations that hospital facilities were used by the Gaza authorities or by Palestinian armed groups to shield military activities and that ambulances were used to transport combatants or for other military purposes." One alleged war crime (hiding among the civilian population) does not give rise for the justification of another: the killing of women, children and civilians. Even now, artillery shells struck a second UN shelter resulting in civilian casualties and attacks against a power plant may have killed 15 workers trapped inside and may effectively eliminate electricity for the majority of the population.

- snip -

Additional Protocol 1, Article 51 (3) of the Geneva Conventions is designed to provide civilians immunity from attack "unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities." Articles 76 (women) and 77 (children), 15 (civilian medical personnel and religious) and 79 (journalist) provide special protections for each category respectively. Israel is not a signatory to Protocol 1, but surprisingly enough Palestine is after the Palestinian Authority signed the accord on February 4, 2014, even while the United States and Israel opposed the action. In 2009, Palestine gained recognition as a nonmember observer state, and according to Luis Moreno Ocampo, a former International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, may qualify as a state and gain full status as an ICC member. This would enable Palestine to bring war crimes charges against Israel, under a provision that allows for the charges of crimes committed before gaining state recognition as long as the alleged crimes occurred after the formation of the ICC in 2002.

MORE

STEPHEN BENAVIDES
Stephen Benavides is a policy analyst and union organizer from Dallas, TX. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of North Texas and has done graduate research in econometrics and economic theory. Follow his twitter at @S_Benavides1.

From Wikileaks Cables:

Wikileaks account Tweeted this earlier:

@wikileaks: Wikileaks cable on #Israel's "Dahiya Doctrine" - deliberate targeting of civilian areas with excessive force #Gaza https://t.co/iGG19hpQ3l/s/Q1Md

https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08TELAVIV2329_a.html#efmBOyBhT

Office Origin:-- N/A or Blank --
Office Action:-- N/A or Blank -- Archive Status:-- Not Assigned --
From:Israel Tel Aviv Markings:-- Not Assigned --
To:Egypt Cairo | Israel Jerusalem | Joint Chiefs of Staff | Jordan Amman | Lebanon Beirut | National Security Council | Secretary of Defense | Secretary of State | Syria Damascus

- snip -

6. (S) Eisenkot labeled any Israeli response to resumed
conflict the "Dahiya doctrine" in reference to the leveled
Dahiya quarter in Beirut during the Second Lebanon War in
2006. He said Israel will use disproportionate force upon
any village that fires upon Israel, "causing great damage and
destruction." Eisenkot made very clear: this is not a
recommendation, but an already approved plan -- from the
Israeli perspective, these are "not civilian villages, they
are military bases." Eisenkot in this statement echoed
earlier private statements made by IDF Chief of General Staff
Gabi Ashkenazi, who said the next fight in Southern Lebanon
would come at a much higher cost for both sides -- and that
the IDF would not hold back.

7. (SBU) Eisenkot stated that Damascus fully understands what
the Israelis did in Dahiya, and that the Israelis have the
capability of doing the same to Syria. He suggested the
possibility of harm to the population has been Hizballah
leader Nasrallah's main constraint, and the reason for the
quiet over the past two years. Eisenkot criticized media
coverage of Nasrallah, arguing it legitimizes and equalizes
Nasrallah as an adversary.

New Snowden Files Article: "U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack"

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/08/04/cash-weapons-surveillance

Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack

By Glenn Greenwald

4 Aug 2014, 12:00 AM EDT

The U.S. government has long lavished overwhelming aid on Israel, providing cash, weapons and surveillance technology that play a crucial role in Israel’s attacks on its neighbors. But top secret documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shed substantial new light on how the U.S. and its partners directly enable Israel’s military assaults – such as the one on Gaza.

Over the last decade, the NSA has significantly increased the surveillance assistance it provides to its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU; also known as Unit 8200), including data used to monitor and target Palestinians. In many cases, the NSA and ISNU work cooperatively with the British and Canadian spy agencies, the GCHQ and CSEC.

- snip -

Last September, the Guardian revealed that the NSA “routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens.” The paper published the full top secret Memoranadum of Understanding between the two agencies governing that sharing. But the NSA/ISNU relationship extends far beyond that.

One newly disclosed top secret NSA document, dated April 13, 2013 and published today by the Intercept, recounts that the “NSA maintains a far-reaching technical and analytic relationship with the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU) sharing information on access, intercept, targeting, language, analysis and reporting.”

Specifically, “this SIGINT relationship has increasingly been the catalyst for a broader intelligence relationship between the United States and Israel”. Moreover, “NSA’s cyber partnerships expanded beyond ISNU to include Israeli Defense Intelligence’s SOD and Mossad.”

MORE AT LINK

Hammond Condemns 'Intolerable Suffering' in Gaza

Source: Telegraph UK

Hammond condemns 'intolerable suffering' in Gaza

By Tim Ross, Political Correspondent
9:00PM BST 02 Aug 2014

The British public is “deeply disturbed” by the suffering of the people of Gaza, Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, has said.

His comments are the Government’s strongest condemnation so far of the crisis in the Middle East.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Hammond said he had received thousands of emails, from a “broad swathe” of people, expressing horror at the impact of Israel’s bombardment on Gaza’s civilian population.

The Government agreed that the situation in Gaza had become “simply intolerable”, he said.

Mr Hammond also raised concerns that Israel’s military action, launched in response to Hamas rocket fire, would lead to an increase in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain.

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11008491/Hammond-condemns-intolerable-suffering-in-Gaza.html



Note: Hammond (member of the Cameron government) is a British conservative.

In May 2012, he said same-sex marriage is "too controversial". In January 2013 during a visit to the University of London Royal Holloway's Egham campus in Surrey he compared same-sex-marriage to incest. In May 2013 Philip Hammond abstained and became one of four Cabinet Ministers not to vote in favour of gay marriage.

BREAKING: Gaza Health Official Says 10 Dead After Strike Near U.N. School

Source: AP

Gaza Health Officials: death toll from airstrike near UN school in Rafa now at 10 - @AP

#BREAKING: At least seven killed in strike on UN school in Gaza, Palestinian medics say

GAZA OFFICIAL: 10 DEAD AFTER STRIKE NEAR UN SCHOOL

Aug. 3, 2014 4:59 AM EDT

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Gaza health official says 10 people have been killed by a strike near a United Nations school in the embattled coastal territory.

Ashraf al-Kidra says another 35 were wounded after the hit near a boys' school in the southern town of Rafah that is sheltering people displaced by the 27-day conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Witnesses said the attack happened while people were waiting in line for food supplies. It was not immediately clear whether the strike was the result of Israeli or Palestinian fire.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment and the U.N. said it was not immediately clear where the strike originated.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/israeli-begins-redeploying-along-gaza-border

Israel Begins Redeploying Along Gaza Border

Source: Associated Press

Number of Israeli tanks seen leaving Gaza after government signals it will reassess its operations in the region - @AP

@AFP: #UPDATES: spokesman said Israel was "removing some (troops)" and "changing from within," in "an ongoing mission" http://t.co/5akf6ufe4i

ISRAELI BEGINS REDEPLOYING ALONG GAZA BORDER
Aug. 3, 2014 3:01 AM EDT

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel's military has begun redeploying along its border with Gaza after the government signaled it would reassess its operations.

A number of tanks and other vehicles were seen leaving Gaza on Sunday. In a televised address late Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested troops would reassess the operation after completing the demolition of Hamas military tunnels under the border. Security officials said the tunnel mission was winding down.

At the same time, Netanyahu warned Hamas would pay an "intolerable price" if it continued to fire rockets at Israel and that all options remain on the table.

Israel carried out airstrikes in southern Gaza Sunday even as it signaled it may be scaling back its 27-day-old offensive in Gaza. Gaza health officials said nine Palestinians were killed in the strike.

Read more: http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/israeli-palestinian-conflict

Wikileaks Leaked Cable: Israel's "Dahiya Doctrine" - Deliberate Targeting of Civilian Areas

Wikileaks account Tweeted this earlier:

@wikileaks: Wikileaks cable on #Israel's "Dahiya Doctrine" - deliberate targeting of civilian areas with excessive force #Gaza https://t.co/iGG19hpQ3l/s/Q1Md

https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08TELAVIV2329_a.html#efmBOyBhT

Office Origin:-- N/A or Blank --
Office Action:-- N/A or Blank -- Archive Status:-- Not Assigned --
From:Israel Tel Aviv Markings:-- Not Assigned --
To:Egypt Cairo | Israel Jerusalem | Joint Chiefs of Staff | Jordan Amman | Lebanon Beirut | National Security Council | Secretary of Defense | Secretary of State | Syria Damascus

- snip -

6. (S) Eisenkot labeled any Israeli response to resumed
conflict the "Dahiya doctrine" in reference to the leveled
Dahiya quarter in Beirut during the Second Lebanon War in
2006. He said Israel will use disproportionate force upon
any village that fires upon Israel, "causing great damage and
destruction." Eisenkot made very clear: this is not a
recommendation, but an already approved plan -- from the
Israeli perspective, these are "not civilian villages, they
are military bases." Eisenkot in this statement echoed
earlier private statements made by IDF Chief of General Staff
Gabi Ashkenazi, who said the next fight in Southern Lebanon
would come at a much higher cost for both sides -- and that
the IDF would not hold back.

7. (SBU) Eisenkot stated that Damascus fully understands what
the Israelis did in Dahiya, and that the Israelis have the
capability of doing the same to Syria. He suggested the
possibility of harm to the population has been Hizballah
leader Nasrallah's main constraint, and the reason for the
quiet over the past two years. Eisenkot criticized media
coverage of Nasrallah, arguing it legitimizes and equalizes
Nasrallah as an adversary.

Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Act Struck Down By Constitutional Court

Source: Buzzfeed

Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Act Struck Down By Constitutional Court

“We become legal again!” said LGBT activist Frank Mugisha. But Ugandan LGBT activists are bracing for a violent backlash to the decision.

Posted on Aug. 1, 2014, at 6:14 a.m.

J. Lester Feder
BuzzFeed Staff

Uganda's Constitutional Court struck down the country's Anti-Homosexuality Act on Friday, giving new hope to the country's embattled LGBT people and human rights activists.

Ugandan journalist Andrew Mwenda, one of a group of ten human rights activists, opposition politicians, and LGBT people who brought the challenge, tweeted from the packed court room:

Andrew M. Mwenda@AndrewMwenda Follow
The retrogressive anti homosexuality act of Uganda has been struck down by the constitutional court - it's now dead as a door nail.
6:16 AM - 01 Aug 14

In the five months since Uganda adopted the law, which imposes a sentence of up to life in prison for homosexuality and criminalizes advocating LGBT rights, LGBT Ugandans have lived under the constant threat of arrest or mob violence. The court's decision paves the way for organizations to again begin operating openly and to allow LGBT people to resume normal lives. But that change will come slowly — homosexuality remains a crime in Uganda under a provision of the penal code on the books before the Anti-Homosexuality Act was passed last December, and there is a chance of a surge in anti-LGBT violence in reaction to today's ruling.

The decision could also significantly ease international pressure on President Yoweri Museveni, who has been under pressure from the United States, the World Bank, and other important donors to get rid of the law or at least substantially weaken it through enforcement.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/ugandan-anti-homosexuality-act-struck-down-by-constitutional

Trevor Timm: CIA director John Brennan lied to you and to the Senate. Fire him.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/31/cia-director-john-brennan-lied-senate

CIA director John Brennan lied to you and to the Senate. Fire him
Trevor Timm

As reports emerged Thursday that an internal investigation by the Central Intelligence Agency’s inspector general found that the CIA “improperly” spied on US Senate staffers when researching the CIA’s dark history of torture, it was hard to conclude anything but the obvious: John Brennan blatantly lied to the American public. Again.

“The facts will come out,” Brennan told NBC News in March after Senator Dianne Feinstein issued a blistering condemnation of the CIA on the Senate floor, accusing his agency of hacking into the computers used by her intelligence committee’s staffers. “Let me assure you the CIA was in no way spying on (the committee) or the Senate,” he said.

After the CIA inspector general’s report completely contradicted Brennan’s statements, it now appears Brennan was forced to privately apologize to intelligence committee chairs in a “tense” meeting earlier this week. Other Senators on Thursday pushed for Brennan to publicly apologize and called for an independent investigation. Sen. Ron Wyden said it well:

— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden)
July 31, 2014
.@CIA broke into Senate computer files. Then tried to have Senate staff prosecuted. Absolutely unacceptable in a democracy.

But the director of the CIA – and the architect of America’s drone program, who will be all but defending torture for the next several weeks – should do more than that. Apologies aren’t enough: John Brennan should resign.

The latest row isn’t the lone CIA-spying-on-the-Senate scandal on Brennan’s watch. In a little noticed story last week, McClatchy reported that the CIA has also been spying on emails from whistleblower officials and Congress:

The CIA got hold of the legally protected email and other unspecified communications between whistleblower officials and lawmakers this spring, people familiar with the matter told McClatchy. It’s unclear how the agency obtained the material.

That spying scandal, as well as the one Brennan has actually owned up to, both spawn from the Senate’s damning 6,000-page report on CIA torture, part of which is supposed to be publicly released any day now. The document will serve as yet another reminder that Brennan, when he worked in the CIA during the Bush years, supported many of the barbaric techniques used on prisoners after 9/11, which the Obama administration claims to oppose.

MORE AT LINK
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