Incredible overconfidence and sloppiness.
Fears of a major war in the Middle East exploded Thursday night with the U.S. assassination of arguably the second most powerful man in Iran.
A U.S. airstrike killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad late Thursday, the Pentagon said, a dramatic escalation of tensions between the two countries that could lead to widespread violence in the region and beyond.
The most powerful early humans were the cleverest humans, the ones who understood how to use this new capacity for language and abstract thought to their own advantage. They realized that by simply saying something is true in a sufficiently confident way, they could persuade the less clever humans to treat it as true.
Those clever humans used this newfound ability to place themselves in charge, and to make a bunch of rules to be passed down from generation to generation proclaiming that the less powerful humans must submit to the more powerful humans. Over the generations these rules became more and more numerous and complex, weaving in moralism, codes of filial piety, and insane, power-serving religions glorifying meekness, obedience and poverty.
But then, I believe in miracles.
The privilege of being the only American in our history to serve as the director of both the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. gives me a unique perspective and a responsibility to speak out about a dire threat to the rule of law in the country I love. Order protects liberty, and liberty protects order. Today, the integrity of the institutions that protect our civil order is, tragically, under assault from too many people whose job it should be to protect them.
The rule of law is the bedrock of American democracy, the principle that protects every American from the abuse of monarchs, despots and tyrants. Every American should demand that our leaders put the rule of law above politics.
„The one is ‚I’m not sure I believe that,'“ Gordon said, according to CNN. „And the other is the second-order and third-order effects. ‚Why is that true? Why are we there? Why is this what you believe? Why do we do that?‘ Those sorts of things.“
Gordon implied that briefing the president frequently left intelligence officials unsure of where else he was receiving information that may have contributed to his doubt.
Spanish agents in Syria are cooperating with Operation Gallant Phoenix, a U.S.-led effort to identify fighters from Western nations who have joined Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Qaeda-affiliated groups in the region, counter-terrorism sources told EL PAÍS.
“New Zealand began participating in Operation Gallant Phoenix in late 2014 in support of our efforts to uncover information relating to the location of a New Zealander taken hostage by ISIS,” Jacinda Ardern said.
The Pentagon’s deployment of new radar, air defense and other military assets to the Gulf nation was discussed during talks Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held with Saudi officials this week.
Milley, in his first visit to this key U.S. ally since becoming President Trump’s chief military adviser this fall, met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other leaders during his visit.
According to Harel, Israel is afraid that the US will desert the Iran issue while America is worried Israel may carry out a unilateral attack against Tehran, forcing Washington into a war.
Harel warned that it is impossible to separate the internal Israeli chaos from the Iran issue; in particular with regards to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s indictment and his failure to form a government.
President Trump involved himself in the case almost from the start. Before the trial began, in March, I received two calls from the president asking me to lift Gallagher’s confinement in a Navy brig; I pushed back twice, because the presiding judge, acting on information about the accused’s conduct, had decided that confinement was important. Eventually, the president ordered me to have him transferred to the equivalent of an enlisted barracks. I came to believe that Trump’s interest in the case stemmed partly from the way the defendant’s lawyers and others had worked to keep it front and center in the media.
A historic trial underway in Argentina is set to reveal new details about how Latin American countries coordinated with each other in the 1970s and ’80s to eliminate political dissidents. The campaign known as „Operation Condor“ involved military dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. They worked together to track down, kidnap and kill people they labeled as terrorists: leftist activists, labor organizers, students, priests, journalists, guerilla fighters and their families. The campaign was launched by the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, and evidence shows the CIA and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger were complicit from its outset.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that President Trump gave him a direct order to allow a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes to retire without losing his SEAL status.
Esper told reporters at the Pentagon that Trump’s verbal order was the reason Esper announced Sunday that Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher would be allowed to retire with his trident pin, retaining his status as a SEAL.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday asked for the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer over his handling of a controversial war crimes case.
Esper told The Washington Post in a statement Sunday that he was „deeply troubled“ by reports that Spencer had reached out to White House officials promising that an accused Navy SEAL would be allowed to retire as a SEAL despite his conviction for posing with the corpse of a slain enemy combatant.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic committee chairwoman, was wavering about making the report public, mulling an Obama administration suggestion that the release be postponed indefinitely. It seemed possible that the report, the product of more than six years of painstaking research, might never reach the American public.
Since civil war erupted in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in the neighboring country.
In Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces targeted Baha Abu al-Ata, the militant commander Israel considered responsible for several previous rocket launches, on grounds that his next attack was imminent. In a televised appearance, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Abu al-Ata the “chief terrorist in Gaza” and emphasized the care taken to prevent other injuries in the strike.
What was Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the 9/11 attack? Americans deserve an answer to this question. Join me in calling on the Trump Administration to declassify and release all information regarding the 9/11 attack. Add your name to our petition.
“Our government should not be invoking secrecy to keep its own mistakes hidden from the American people and should certainly not be used to protect the Saudis from embarrassment or, worse yet, accountability,” said Terry Strada, a Sept. 11 widow and the chairwoman of 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism. “Until there is an accounting, we will never go away.”
The version of the “unitary executive” put forth by Mr. Trump, the Justice Department and the shareholders would open the door for a president to fire for any reason — even personal reasons unrelated to the public interest or even for no reason at all — any head of an administrative agency, including the heads of “independent agencies” like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well as the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (These agency heads are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.)
STUTTGART, Germany — When the new U.S. and German defense chiefs held high-level talks in Washington this week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper wasted no time getting to his main point — the dollars and cents of defense spending.
Why Mr. Trump suddenly latched onto the estimate at this point rather than when casualties were discussed at the earlier meeting remains a mystery to many officials. Some assumed he was influenced by Mr. Carlson or other allies that his re-election would be jeopardized and was looking for cover.
But when the decision came, Mr. Pence, Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Bolton were all out of the White House, and the president did not call them for input. Instead, he told the Pentagon to call off the attack.
The Federal Reserve makes its interest rate decision and also releases new versions of its dot plot and economic projections and Chairman Jerome Powell will address the media afterwards. Follow along as MarketWatch’s Rex Nutting, William Watts, and Jeffrey Bartash live-blog the action and watch the video of the press conference.
It wasn’t immediately clear what criticism the president was referring to, as the officials had not issued public statements on Trump’s tweet or his decision to release an image taken by U.S. forces of a damaged Iranian rocket facility. Trump has faced criticism from some Democrats for releasing the image due to its high resolution and concerns over whether it should have remained classified.
MPs do not vote to prorogue – it’s a power that rests with the Queen, done on the advice of the prime minister.
Proroguing parliament to force through Brexit is wrong. But using parliament to stop Brexit is far worse.
THE Queen has approved Boris Johnson’s bombshell request to suspend Parliament and stop Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to block No Deal Brexit.
Her Majesty met with the Privy Council today at Balmoral and an order was greenlit to prorogue Parliament from any date between September 9 to October 14.
How many times does this need to be restated? Germany desperately needs to change its economic model, now more so than ever as its own economy, that of the European Union, and the world as a whole, again teeter on the brink of recession.
Most of all, it needs to make itself more reliant on internal, domestic demand, and less on exports.
When discussing his attempt to replace Coats with Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe on July 30, the President told reporters that intelligence community needed „somebody like that that’s strong and can really rein it in. As you’ve all learned, the intelligence agencies have run amok. They’ve run amok.“
Maguire is highly revered as a leader in the U.S. Navy SEAL community.
On August 8, 2019, President Donald Trump announced that Maguire would become Acting Director of National Intelligence on August 15, 2019.
According to sources, the UNC is seeking to include Japan as one of the UNC’s „sending states,“ a move likely to inflame public sentiment in South Korea amid renewed historical tensions with Tokyo.
Should Japan obtain the membership, it would pave the way for its military involvement in the event of an armed conflict on the Korean peninsula — a scenario unthinkable for many Koreans who harbor grievances stemming from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule.
The ICE agents will target at least 2,000 immigrants whose deportations have already been ordered, a New York Times report said, citing one former and two current Department of Homeland Security officials.
Asked for comment, an ICE spokesman would not offer specific details, citing „law-enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel.“
There has been plenty of earnest talk since the financial crisis about reform and facing up to the challenge from the populist and authoritarian right. The appointments have shown that most of it was hot air
In a visit to Border Patrol Station No. 1 in El Paso, Kennedy said he saw detainees kept in jail-like conditions. He was among the lawmakers who spoke to a group of 13 women from Cuba who had tried to enter the United States to seek asylum, but were detained by federal officials.
Those women began crying when they spoke, he said.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) railed on the conditions within a Texas facility used to detain immigrants after she toured the facility with a group of lawmakers
US Customs and Border Protection officials say they are investigating „disturbing social media activity“ after a published report of a closed Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents that reportedly features jokes about migrant deaths, derogatory comments about Latina lawmakers and a lewd meme involving at least one of them.
The posts sparked special outrage among a delegation of more than a dozen House members who had just started a tour of federal immigration facilities in Southwest Texas when ProPublica broke the story.
Some of the Facebook posts discussed throwing burritos at the visiting lawmakers, while others joked in profane language about the deaths of migrants and included a vulgar illustration of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., being forced to engage in a sexual act by President Donald Trump, according to images of the posts obtained by ProPublica.
And in early 2018, federal investigators found a raft of disturbing and racist text messages sent by Border Patrol agents in southern Arizona after searching the phone of Matthew Bowen, an agent charged with running down a Guatemalan migrant with a Ford F-150 pickup truck. The texts, which were revealed in a court filing in federal court in Tucson, described migrants as “guats,” “wild ass shitbags,” “beaners” and “subhuman.” The messages included repeated discussions about burning the migrants up.
Several of the postings reviewed by ProPublica refer to the planned visit by members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, including Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Veronica Escobar, to a troubled Border Patrol facility outside of El Paso.
The Department of Homeland Security inspector general found expired food and dilapidated bathrooms during unannounced visits to four immigrant detention facilities in 2018, according to a report released Thursday.
The kitchen at one facility was in such poor shape — with open packages of raw chicken leaking blood over refrigeration units — that the kitchen manager was replaced while the IG inspection was ongoing.
The report describes conditions at facilities last year,
The House passes a bill to send $4.5 billion in emergency aid to the southern border.
The Senate is expected to pass its own version of the bill, while the White House has threatened to veto both pieces of legislation.
The measure’s passage comes as the Trump administration faces backlash over the treatment of migrant children at a Texas detention facility.
This announcement comes as Sanders and other immigration officials recently faced intense criticism over the border agency’s treatment of detained illegal immigrant children after attorneys who visited a border patrol station in Texas publicly described its condition.
In Clint, a farm town about 20 miles southeast of El Paso with fewer than 1,000 residents, there was consternation and dismay among residents at reports from lawyers who visited the border station recently, who said they found that children as young as 5 months old had been housed with filthy clothes, dirty diapers and inadequate food.
“Almost like a concentration camp,” said Juan Martinez, who works at the Pride Fitness gym in Clint and heard about what was happening atunsepa the nearby station from news reports. “I mean, they’re not killing them, but they’re treating them like animals. They need basic hygiene.”
What Centcom officers were worried about is that they would take a back seat to the European and Pacific commands. In fact, there’s a clear, if unstated, pecking order among the commands, retired Col. Kevin Benson, a former director of the Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies, notes. ‘The three most important commands are in Europe, which is Eucom, the Pacific, which is Pacom and now, because of Iran, the Middle East – which is Centcom. Southcom, the Southern Command, is almost always last in priority.’
INDEX for DVD 1
0.01:02 – 12 parallels between Pearl
Harbor and September 11
0.14:10 – The debate: main issues
PART 1 – AIR DEFENSE
0.14:55 – Where are the interceptors?
0.16:12 – The „incompetence theory“
0.22:00 – The military drills
0.29:40 – Specific warnings
0.33:08 – The chain of command
0.38:10 – Promotions, not punishments
0.39:50 – The Mineta case
0.47:38 – Debunkers: „Mineta was mistaken“
0.53:18 – The Mineta case – A summary
PART 2 – THE HIJACKERS
0.57:15 – „Piss-poor student pilots“
0.59:38 – Marwan al-Sheikki (UA175)
1.01:52 – Ziad Jarrah (UA93)
1.03:06 – Hani Hanjour (AA77)
1.04:00 – The debunkers‘ positions
1.06:00 – 2 simulations of the Pentagon attack
1.13:10 – Someone knew?
1.16:40 – Airport security cameras
1.20.15 – The missing black boxes
PART 3 – THE AIRPLANES
1.26:50 – Passenger planes or military drones?
1.28:20 – Impossible speeds
1.37:30 – What happened to the passengers?
1.38:35 – The cellphone calls
1.48:30 – The debunkers‘ position
1.50:38 – If not from the planes, from where?
To see the fully indexed film in one page go to http://www.luogocomune.net/site/modul…. You can also purchase the 5-hour film in a 3 DVD set. Free duplication and distribution of all DVDs by Massimo Mazzucco is encouraged. Italian and French versions also available. Full info at luogocomune.net.
Written in the frenzied, emotional days after 9/11, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was intended to give President Bush the ability to retaliate against whoever orchestrated the attacks. But more than 12 years later, this sentence remains the primary legal justification for nearly every covert operation around the world. Here’s how it came to be, and what it’s since come to mean.
Trump wouldn’t confirm or deny reports that Kim Jong Nam had been working with the CIA prior to being killed in Malaysia in February 2017, saying that he didn’t know anything about it.
„I know this: that the relationship is such that that wouldn’t happen under my auspices, but I don’t know about that. Nobody knows,“ he said.
However sources said meetings with senior ministers were postponed because Mrs May was having her regular audience with the Queen, who she was expected to brief on her intentions.
„There’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,“ Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, a deputy commander for the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, told reporters at a Pentagon news briefing. „We are monitoring the Shia militia groups carefully and if the threat level perceives to go up them we will raise our force protection levels accordingly.“
But after being pressed by reporters on the matter, Ghika engaged in verbal gymnastics to try to say he was on the same page as the White House by saying the coalition monitors a range of possible threats and it raises and lowers security levels appropriately.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met quietly Monday with the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, and the two men discussed continued “cooperation” between the two nations in fighting terrorism, according to Riyadh’s state-run news agency.
B-52H Stratofortress aircraft assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Louisiana’s Barksdale Air Force Base took off from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, U.S. Air Forces Central Command said in a brief statement Monday. Additional bombers in the task force had been deployed to an unspecified base in the Middle East.
“They’re here to defend our forces and interests,” said Lt. Col. Christine Millette, a spokeswoman for Air Forces Central Command. Millette did not provide further mission details.
The few Tory MPs who claim to understand how she thinks believe that it has at last percolated through to her that, were she to walk out after the catastrophic local election results, she would merely compound the view of herself as one of the worst prime ministers in history. They think she feels that if she can get a deal to leave the European Union, however bad it might be and by whatever means, she might yet slough off some of her iniquity.
The group’s suggestion of the establishment of a single source of communication regarding national security matters (NSC Media Centre) is to ensure the Government does not let Ministers make ad hoc and often poorly-informed statements, likely with the desired goal of gaining local political mileage and international visibility. “This is confusing Sri Lankans, and embarrassing Sri Lanka on the international stage. It causes anguish among different communities, and also deteriorates trust in the Government,” they opined.
He blamed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government for weakening the intelligence system by focusing on prosecution of military officers over alleged war crimes during a decades-long civil war with Tamil separatists that ended in 2009.
Sri Lanka’s former wartime defense chief, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said on Friday he would run for president in elections this year and would stop the spread of Islamist extremism by rebuilding the intelligence service and surveilling citizens.
Sri Lanka’s prime minister has told the BBC he was „out of the loop“ when it came to intelligence warnings ahead of the deadly Easter Sunday bombings.
Ranil Wickremesinghe said that crucial information about any potential danger in the country was not passed to him.
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the country’s former defense secretary who helped end a brutal 26-year civil war in 2009, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg late Tuesday that voters are looking for a leader more like him in a presidential election that must be held this year.
Some of the confusion may have come down to spelling. Priyalal Disanayaka, the deputy inspector general of police, sent a memo to the directors of four Sri Lankan security agencies on April 11, identifying Mohammed Zaharan as the leader of „National Thawheek Jaman.“
The report attached to the memo, though, identified the group as „National Towheed Jamaar“ and said its leader was Zahran Hashmi.
There were so many variations of the group’s name thrown around that a separate group, the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jammath, held a news conference to clear its own name.
He said information on possible suicide attacks on churches, hotels and politicians were received from Indian intelligence on April 4th and a Security Council meeting was chaired by president Maithripala Sirisena on April 7th, but the information was not shared more widely.
“Somebody is controlling these top intelligence officials,” the minister said. “The Security Council is doing politics. We need to investigate into this.”
The information received from the State intelligence agencies was not passed on to him by relevant officials, said President Sirisena, who helms the Law and Order, and Defence ministries. “If they had done so, I would have taken immediate action.
Theresa May’s own Brexit Secretary today admitted that the European Union was now “in control” of Britain’s departure from the bloc.
The French President will insist the UK can have no say in the bloc’s future trade deals in contrast to what the Labour boss is asking for.
He will demand the Political Declaration is rewritten to stress „the EU’s autonomy of decision making and the integrity of the Single Market”.
President Macron is also calling for regular ‚behaviour reviews‘ of the UK, a bonfire of its EU powers and posts and a ‚Boris-proof‘ lock preventing a new Tory leader causing havoc within the EU if she stands down, despite warnings from Donald Tusk and Angela Merkel not to poison relations with Britain.
Angela Merkel has given her backing to a „longer“ Brexit delay than has been requested by Theresa May, ahead of a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels on Wednesday evening.
The German Chancellor said any extension to Article 50 should be flexible enough to allow the UK’s departure from the European Union „very quickly“ once the UK had approved the withdrawal agreement.
Brexit leads most of Wednesday’s papers as EU leaders gather in Brussels for another crunch summit when they will be asked to sign off on a second extension.
An apparent sticking point in the negotiations between the two parties is over membership of the Customs Union. To be clear, both sides are in absolute agreement that Britain should remain in the Customs Union in defiance of the public’s wishes to leave it.
Theresa May has headed for top-level talks in Berlin and Paris as she seeks European support to stop us crashing out of the EU on Friday.
The prime minister exchanged a warm greeting with Angela Merkel and they spent an hour together in Berlin.
1. Would you ever like to work for GCHQ, MI5 or MI6 (Britain’s security services)?
I would: 45%
I would not: 36%
Don’t know: 19%
(17.8.2018) There’s no need to be ashamed of being conned. Realizing that you’ve been, or are being, conned will naturally bring up feelings of embarrassment, but it’s never your fault that someone’s taken you for a ride. Get clear: conning someone is the crime; being conned is being a victim of that crime. That’s how the law sees it in fraud cases. Manipulators would love you to think that it’s your fault for allowing yourself to be manipulated, but that’s just another manipulation isn’t it?
Manipulators use one of our most astounding, useful, and beautiful human characteristics when they con us—empathy. Our innately trusting nature is the reason why we’ve been able to collaborate on large scales to create and innovate in extraordinary ways unseen anywhere else in the animal kingdom.
(7.11.2017) It’s stupid to think that Kroll and Black Cube are the only ones trying to offer the wealthy these services, and it’s stupid to think that Weinstein is the only rich asshole using such services to cover up his personal evils. Weinstein got caught because he happens to have a fetish for women of means, who became wealthy themselves and who can with enough effort can get their voices heard. Imagine crossing a wealthy person and not having such means at your disposal. This has doubtless happened to countless people.
(4.9.2018) The Martin Selmayr affair, which reveals much about attitudes to power and accountability at the top of the EU, is both depressing and depressingly familiar.
(18.4.2018) The non-binding text adopted in Strasbourg on Wednesday says ……..
For a true believer in democracy, Martin Selmayr runs the European Commission not as some curator of debate but like the merciless hand of a king, who will stop at nothing to protect his vision of the realm: Europe, united and free.
Make that an extremely heavy hand. Or maybe an armored bulldozer.
Confronted by hierarchy, we Righties go a bit peculiar.