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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 11,630

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Story of a War Foretold: Why We're Fighting ISIS

Story of a War Foretold: Why We're Fighting ISIS
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 11:07
By Nafeez Ahmed, Ceasefire Magazine | News Analysis

As the US, UK and French governments escalate military action in Iraq and Syria against the ‘Islamic State’, in an operation slated to last “years,” they are moving fast to justify the need for mass surveillance measures at home, while neutering calls for surveillance reform. The end result could well be accelerated regional violence and increasing criminalisation of Muslims and activists in the West.

Intervention abroad, policymakers are arguing, must be tied to increased domestic surveillance and vigilance at home. But US and British military experts warn that officials have overlooked the extent to which western policies in the region have not just stoked the rise of IS, but will continue to inflame the current crisis. The consequences could be dire – while governments exploit the turmoil in the Middle East to justify an effective re-invasion of Iraq along with intensified powers of surveillance and control – the end result could well be accelerated regional violence and increasing criminalization of Muslims and activists.

Pre-Empting "Social Contagions"

In a recent article in Defense One, technology editor Patrick Tucker interviewed Dr Erin Fitzgerald, the head of the Pentagon’s controversial Minerva Research Initiative, about how Big Data analytics could have predicted the emergence of the Islamic State.

Founded in 2008, the year of the global financial crash, the Minerva initiative is a multi-million dollar programme funding social science research at universities around the world to support US defence policy. As I reported exclusively in The Guardian and Occupy.com, Minerva-funded projects have focused on studying and modelling the origins and trajectories of “social contagions” to track the propensity for civil unrest and insurgencies that could undermine US strategic interests at home and abroad.

This has included developing powerful new data-mining tools capable of in-depth analysis and automated threat-assessment of social media posts by nonviolent social movements, civil society networks, NGOs, and political activists, as well as potentially those by violent or extreme groups and organisations. These algorithms, according to NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, could be used, for instance, to fine-tune CIA kill lists for drone warfare at a time when the US defence industry is actively (and successfully) lobbying federal and local government to militarise the homeland with drone technology.


Terrorism Serves the State

Terrorism Serves the State
Monday, 29 September 2014 11:39
By Brian Martin, Truthout | News Analysis

The continual attention to terrorism serves to justify state power. Meanwhile, alternative approaches are marginalized. In the media, it is almost impossible to escape the unending stories about the threat from terrorism. Whether it is the threat from homegrown terrorists, the danger of a new terrorist movement such as Islamic State or the need to eradicate terrorist plots, there seems no let-up in the alarm.

For those who lived through the Cold War, there was a plausible danger: nuclear war, which could have killed hundreds of millions of people and laid waste to cities and the environment. After the end of the Cold War, this existential threat faded from public consciousness, and many people expected a "peace dividend," namely a reorientation of spending from military spending to spending for human needs. But there was little dividend, as most governments maintained military budgets while they looked for a new rationale.

Terrorism provides an ideal pretext for maintaining a massive security apparatus spying on citizens and allied governments as well as enemies. Terrorism, unlike nuclear arsenals, provides no serious threat to the survival of either populations or governments. Terrorism can be said to be a government-generated moral panic, with the threat hyped beyond its objective seriousness.

The biggest dangers to human life from weapons are from governments themselves. One need only think of genocides in Guatemala, Rwanda and ex-Yugoslavia, the pre-2003 blockade of Iraq leading to a million deaths, not to mention millions killed in central African wars, while the western media drums up fear about shoe-bombers on civilian aircraft and airport announcements endlessly repeat warnings about unaccompanied baggage.


More Bullying by Cops: "Lynn police block complaints with threats of arrest"

Lynn police block complaints with threats of arrest
By Maya * September 26, 2014 * Bay State Examiner

While I was covering the one year memorial march for Denis Reynoso on September 5, I saw Lynn police officers, some in plainclothes, monitoring the protesters. Reynoso’s family have staged about half a dozen rallies in the year since a Lynn police officers ended Reynoso’s life under questionable circumstances and I have attended all but one of them. I have not seen any violence or criminality (or any calls for such) at any of these gatherings.

As we marched, I spotted an undercover police officer shadowing us in a beat-up Camry. I wondered why police were monitoring a peaceful protest, so I approached the officer’s vehicle and asked him for his ID. I intended to include his presence in my story about the march and I wanted to follow up with the department about why police had been assigned to monitor the protest.

I cannot speak to the officer’s intent when he drove into me but I can say that he was very clearly aware of my location in proximity to his vehicle when he began driving and when he hit me with his mirror. Just before the officer began to drive, he waved to me and then he stared at me as he drove. He hit me with enough force that the side mirror folded back. I was not injured.

The officer stopped after he hit me and got on his radio, but at no time did he check on me, identify himself, or offer any aid. I left at that point because it was clear that the officer, who had not even rolled down his window, had no desire to speak with me. The officer drove past me a short while later without any attempt to get my attention as he returned to the police station.


Koch Bros. US Senate candidate Wehby refuses to debate Senator Merkley (D-OR)

Not too surprising. I wouldn't want to debate Merkley either if I was a Koch-Bros-funded nitwit, a stalker, known primarily for her plagiarism and sleazy attack ads.

Wehby refuses invitation to debate Merkley
by John Tierney * Statesman Journal * Sept. 26, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. – Dr. Monica Wehby has refused an invitation from KGW and The Oregonian to appear in a televised debate against Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Wehby, the Republican candidate, is trying to knock Merkley, a Democrat, out of his U.S. Senate seat in November's election.

KGW and The Oregonian invited Wehby to appear in the debate shortly after she won her Republican primary race in May. After months of back and forth KGW ultimately set a deadline of noon Friday for Wehby to accept or decline the offer.

The noon deadline passed with a Wehby spokesman only saying "we're keeping all options on the table."


Uugghh! Louisiana cop fatally shoots 14-year-old ‘four or five times in the back’

Oh and surprise, surprise ...this 14-year-old boy just "happened" to be black.

Louisiana deputy fatally shot 14-year-old ‘four or five times in the back’: family


Louisiana State Police were investigating on Wednesday after a Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a 14-year-old boy.

Louisiana State Police Trooper Evan Harrell said that deputies responded at around 6 p.m. on Tuesday to a 911 call alleging that armed individuals were seen running into an abandoned home in Houma’s Village East neighborhood, The Time-Pacayune reported.

The first deputy to enter the home reportedly shot the boy. Harrell said that a weapon was found “in close proximity” to the dead body. The family of the boy, who was identified him as 14-year-old as Cameron Tillman, said that he was “shot four or five times in the back,” according to WWLTV.

Tillman’s brother, Andre, said that his brother heard a knock at the door of the abandoned home and opened it because he thought it was a joke. “My little brother thought somebody was just clowning, because somebody is always clowning by the door,” Andre Tillman recalled. “He opened and the man just shot him. He didn’t have nothing in his hand.”


Huh? "Most Members of the Black Caucus Have Supported Police Militarization"?

Most Members of the Black Caucus Have Supported Police Militarization
Monday, 22 September 2014 12:07 * By Sharmini Peries * The Real News Network


SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: This is The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore.

Welcome to the Glen Ford Report on The Real News Network. Glen is the executive editor of the Black Agenda Report and a regular commentator on The Real News Network.

Glen, in a report recently on the Black Agenda Report, you wrote that 80 percent of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus refused to defund Pentagon's militarization of local police departments, also known as the Grayson amendment. That is shocking news, given the police brutality of the black community in this country. And I'm wondering if you have more to say on that.

GLEN FORD, EXEC. EDITOR, BLACK AGENDA REPORT: Well, actually, it was 27 who voted against Alan Grayson's measure that would have forced the Pentagon to stop sending all these weapons and military gear to local police department. Twenty-seven voted against the amendment. Five abstained, which is just as good as voting against it. And that makes 32 out of only 40 caucus full-voting members. That's four out of five of the Black Caucus voted to continue the Pentagon's massive infusions of guns and tanks and other military gear into local police departments.

Another unarmed man murdered by Police in cold blood in California

Perez's family says the accusation that Perez was "reaching for the officer's gun" is ridiculous and untrue. They plan to sue the city.

Witnesses: Officer stepped back, gunned down California man outside liquor store
TRAVIS GETTYS * 22 SEP 2014 * Raw Story

Family members plan to sue the police officer who shot an unarmed 24-year-old California man last week outside a liquor store. Richard “Pedie” Perez was shot to death Sept. 14 by Richmond police Officer Wallace Jensen after he refused to show his identification.

A clerk called police to report that Perez, who had been drinking earlier in the evening at a party, had gone behind the counter and grabbed a bottle of Hennessy cognac without paying. Police said at least one independent witness can back the officer’s claims, but Perez’s family said other witnesses dispute the police account.

Everyone has said consistently said that he did not reach for the officer’s gun and the officer stepped back five feet away and emptied five shots into his young body,” said civil rights attorney John Burris.


Police brutality/murder of citizens continues - Seven incidents in one week

WTF? Alternet will not allow copy/paste of their articles anymore? just the link .. whatever.


Oh Boy, Here we go --> Rob't Gates: "U.S. Will Need Some Boots On The Ground To Defeat ISIS"

Robert Gates Says U.S. Will Need Some Boots On The Ground To Defeat Islamic State In Iraq
09/21/2014 11:36 am EDT Updated: 32 minutes ago

WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Sunday that it is unlikely the United States can accomplish the goals President Barack Obama has laid out for defeating Islamic State militant groups in Iraq without putting some "boots on the ground."

"What I believe, and what I suspect most military people believe, is that given the mission the president has assigned, which is degrade and destroy, that to be able to do that, some small number of American advisers, trainers, Special Forces and forward spotters, forward air controllers, are going to have to be in harm's way," Gates said in an appearance on ABC's "This Week."

Gates said he thinks the number of troops needed, however, "will be very small."

Obama said last week that U.S. forces "do not and will not have a combat mission" in Iraq. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a hearing earlier this week that there is no intention to have ground operations in Iraq, but also outlined some circumstances in which it could be necessary.

Gates said he agrees with Obama's assessment that the U.S. should wait until a new government is in place in Iraq to determine how to proceed. "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos noted that Gates has warned against getting involved in ground combat in places such as Iraq. Gates suggested the U.S. should proceed with caution.


John Yoo on CSPAN2?

Why is this man not in Federal Prison again? .. instead of on Public TV
hawking is latest book on how cool it is to torture people.

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