Documents leaked to Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva by Georgian insiders indicate that the US Embassy to Tbilisi is involved in the trafficking of frozen human blood and pathogens as diplomatic cargo for a secret military program.
Obama’s farewell speech tear, one more than he ever shed for Libya, Syria or Yemen.
As the eight-year term of America’s first black President draws to a close, the media are already in the process of myth-making. There’s room for an honest autopsy of a man who promised a new kind of world, and delivered merely warmed-over soundbites and a few fake tears.
Already the storyline is set – Obama was a good man, who tried to do great things, but was undone by a Republican senate, and his own “sharp intelligence”.
These people, as much as anybody, reflect the cognitive dissonance of the modern press. “Liberals”, to use their own tortured self-descriptor, now assign the roles of good guy and bad guy based purely on aesthetics, convenience and fuel for their vanity. Actions and consequences are immaterial.
For the sake of balance, here is a list of Saint Obama’s unique achievements:
Obama has carried out 10x more drone strikes than Bush ever did. Every Tuesday a military aide presents Obama with a “kill list”, and the “decent, gracious” Obama picks a few names off a list…and kills them. And their families. And their neighbours. These illegal acts of state-sanctioned murder have killed hundreds of civilians in 5 different countries in 2016 alone. The only reason that number isn’t higher, is that the Obama administration re-classified all males over 18 as combatants, regardless of occupation.
Under Obama, the NSA et al. were able to spy on, essentially, the whole world. When this was revealed, not a single intelligence officer or government official was prosecuted. Instead…
Obama’s administration declared a “war on whistleblowers”, enacting new laws and initiating what they call the “Insider Threat Program”. Manning was prosecuted, Snowden sent into exile and Assange was set-up, discredited and (they hoped) extradited. It has never been more dangerous to be a government whistle-blower, than under Barack Obama
In terms of foreign policy, despite his press-created and non-sensical reputation as a non-interventionist, American Special Forces are currently operating in over 70% of the world’s 195 countries. The great lie is that, where Bush was a warmonger, Obama has sought to avoid conflict. The truth is that Obama, in the grand tradition of the CIA and American Imperial power, has simply turned all America’s wars into covert wars.
Before Obama came into office, Libya was the richest and most developed nation in Africa. It is now a hell-hole. Destroyed by war, hollowed-out by corruption. The “liberal” press allow him to agonise over this as his “greatest mistake”, and then gently pardon him for his good intentions. The truth is that Libya was not a mistake, or a misjudgment, or an unforeseen consequence. Libya is exactly what America wanted it to become. A failed state where everything is for sale, a base to pour illegal CIA weapons south into Africa and east into the ME. When war is your economy, chaos is good for business. When secrecy is your weapon, anarchy is ammunition. Libya went according to plan. A brutal plan that killed 100,000s and destroyed the lives of millions more. Libya, like Iraq, is a neocon success story. Syria on the other hand…
Syria, probably the word that will follow Obama out of office as “Iraq” did his predecessor, is a total failure. Both of stated intent and covert goals. Where the press will mourn Obama’s “indecisive nature” and wish he’d “used his big stick”, the real story is one of evil incompetence, so great that it would be almost comical…if it hadn’t destroyed an ancient seat of civilisation and killed 100,000s of people. Syria (along with Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Iran and Sudan) was on the list of the 7 countries America intended to destroy, famously “leaked” by General Wesley Clark. After the fall of Libya, Syria was (essentially) surrounded by American military on all sides. Iraq, Israel, Turkey and America operating out of Libya could pour “freedom fighters” into Syria to bring down “the regime”. When that didn’t work they deployed the trusty “WMD” method, to demand “humanitarian intervention”…the Russians saw that off. Then “ISIS” was created by the CIA, as al-Qaida were before them, and their manufactured barbarism was used as a pretext for invasion. The Russians, again, saw to it that this would not happen.
Perhaps in the hope of distracting Russia from the ME, or perhaps merely as a short-sighted punitive measure, the Obama’s administration next foreign policy target was Ukraine. Victoria Nuland’s own voice proves how much that “color revolution” was an American creation. Ukraine is broke, even more broke than it was, its people starve and freeze through the winter. The new “democratic government” has shelled 10,000 people to death in the East of the country….using American weapons.
In Yemen, the poorest country in the ME is being bombed to shreds by the richest….again, using American (and British) weapons. Obama’s “defense of democracy” doesn’t extend to criticising, or even discussing, the abhorrent Human Rights record of America’s Saudi Arabian allies, and in an act of brazen hypocrisy, even supported their chairing of the Human Rights Council of the UN.
This is the world Saint Obama has created. Guantanamo is still open, and terrorist “suspects” are still held there without trial or charge (they are probably still tortured). Other “suspects” can be simply declared guilty, and unilaterally executed…anywhere in the world. The NSA and CIA are illegally monitoring the communications of half the world. If any other leader in the world claimed even 1% of this power, they would be decried as “autocratic”, and their country denounced as a “pariah state”.
The Middle-East is ablaze from Libya to Afghanistan, and from Yemen to Turkey. Relations with Russia are as precarious as at any time since WWII, thanks to America’s efforts to break Russia economically and shatter their global influence. There is no sign that America intends to back-down (see the recent red-scare style hysteria in the American press). Likewise America has positioned itself to have a massive conflict with China in the South China Sea. Obama is, in terms of influence, nothing more than a used-car salesman. His job is not to create policy, but to sell neocon ideas to the general public, but his lack of agency cannot excuse his lack of vision or morals. Under Obama’s notional leadership the world has moved to the very brink of self-immolation in the name of protecting American hegemony. Domestically America still crumbles.
He had a nice smile, and a good turn of phrase. He was witty, and cool, and looked good in a suit…but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t just more of the same. He could say the right things, and sound like he meant them, but he was still a monster. As he moves out to pasture, the press will try to spit-shine Obama’s tarnished halo, to try to convince us that he was a good man at heart and that, as politicians go, we can’t do any better.
Speaker of the People’s council of Syria, Hadiya Abbas, stated publicly that the Syrian Arab army intercepted calls between the US and Daesh just before the US raids against the SAA in Mount Altherdh in Deir Ezzor. The Syrian government said in related reports that it will make these intercepted calls public.
Syrian foreign minister, Walid Muallem, stated that the US air strikes on Syrian military positions in the Mount Altherdh in DeirEzzor, were not accidental fast strikes, on the contrary they came in coordination with “Daesh”, who immediately invaded the military site command of Deir ez-Zor Airport after the airstrike. Muallem said in an interview with Al Mayadeen Channel that the US air strikes on Syrian military positions in the Mount Altherdh came in direct coordination with the “Daesh” pointing out that they were not even fast strikes, rather they lasted for 50 minutes.
According to Al Muallem: “American Spy drones flew in the airspace of Deir ez-Zor two days before the US raid on the Syrian army positions” and he added that “what confirms that the US deliberately hit the SAA was that the military base had been there in Mount Altherdh for the past two years which debunks the US claim that it was an accident.”
The Obama Administration has reversed its position on which countries will be included in its upcoming estimate of the civilian deaths caused by the US drone program, according to a report in yesterday’s Washington Post.
Earlier this week, a report in the Post – based on briefings from anonymous Administration officials – stated that strikes taken in Pakistan by the CIA would not be included in the numbers. However, an article in yesterday’s Post – also based on anonymous US government sources – now suggests that the White House has changed its position, and will include strikes taken in Pakistan in its tally.
The exclusion of Pakistan would have meant that as many as two-thirds of known US drone strikes – including some of the worst reported errors – would have been left out of the US tally of deaths. Strikes in Pakistan have included an attack on a funeral in June 2009 that killed as many as 50 civilians, and a strike on a meeting of tribal elders in March 2011 that killed 41. Pakistan has reportedly seen the use of some of the most controversial aspects of the US drone program, such as ‘signature strikes’, where individuals are targeted on the basis of patterns of behavior.
The absence of the Pakistan numbers would also have avoided any need to address controversial claims made in June 2011 by John Brennan, now Director of the CIA. At the time, Brennan said that no civilians had been killed during a yearlong period from 2010 to 2011. However, in August that year, he altered his position slightly, saying there was no “credible evidence” of such deaths. The Administration has never publicly disputed or corrected his statement.
Recent research by the human rights organization Reprieve – which assists the civilian victims of drone strikes – has found that the US is frequently unable to identify those killed by covert strikes in countries including Pakistan and Yemen. Reprieve has found that, in targeting 41 named individuals, US strikes killed 1,147 unknown men, women and children – often leaving the original target still alive.
Commenting, Jennifer Gibson, staff attorney at Reprieve, said:
It’s been three years since President Obama promised long-overdue transparency over the most dangerous legacy of his Presidency – a drone programme that has reportedly killed thousands in countries where the US is not at war. In that time, we have been inundated with repeated and contradictory claims about the program from ‘anonymous’ sources who cannot be held accountable for their claims.
This week, the Administration’s spin machine was once again in action, first leaking that the government’s numbers would not include Pakistan – a country that accounts for three-quarters of all strikes – and then absurdly walking back that position. Enough panicked legacy spinning – the Administration must reveal the true scale of the civilian deaths it has caused, and at the very least, offer an apology to the victims.
1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on: communications [at] reprieve.org.uk / +44 (0) 207 553 8140. Reprieve US, based in New York City, can be contacted on Katherine [dot] oshea [at] reprieve.org / +1 917 855 8064.
2. The US Government’s claim that Pakistan will be included in its tally was reported by the Washington Post, here, while the previous claims can be found in the Post’s earlier report, here.
3. The 2011 comments by John Brennan can be found here.
4. Reprieve’s recent research into deaths under the US drone program is available here.
The security and popular forces have held captive an Israeli colonel,” a commander of Iraq’s popular mobilization forces said on Thursday.“The Zionist officer is ranked colonel and had participated in the Takfiri ISIL group’s terrorist operations,” he added.
Noting that he was arrested along with a number of ISIL terrorists, the commander said, “The Israeli colonel’s name is Yusi Oulen Shahak and is ranked colonel in Golani Brigade of the Zionist regime’s army with the security and military code of Re34356578765az231434.”
He said that the relevant bodies are now interrogating the Israeli colonel to understand the reasons behind his fighting alongside the ISIL forces and the presence of other Zionist officers among ISIL terrorists.
The Iraqi security forces said the captured colonel has already made shocking confessions.
Several ISIL militants arrested in the last one year had already confessed that Israeli agents from Mossad and other Israeli espionage and intelligence bodies were present in the first wave of ISIL attacks on Iraq and capture of Mosul in Summer 2014, but no ranking Israeli agent had been arrested.
Political and military experts told FNA that the capture of the Israeli colonel will leave a grave impact on Iraq’s war strategy, including partnership with Israeli allies.
In a relevant development in July, Iraqi volunteer forces announced that they had shot down a drone that was spying on the Arab country’s security forces in the city of Fallujah, Western Iraq.
Iraq’s popular forces reported that they had brought down a hostile surveillance aircraft over the Southeastern Fallujah in Anbar Province.
They said that the wreckage of the ISIL’s spy drone carried ‘Israel-Made’ labels.
This was not the first Israeli-made drone downed in Iraq.
In August an Israeli Hermes drone was shot down in the vicinity of Baghdad Airport.
A stunning new exposé by The Intercept, which includes the publication of classified documents leaked by an intelligence source, provides an unprecedented look at the U.S. military’s secretive global assassination program.
The series of articles, titled The Drone Papers, follows months of investigation and uses rare primary source documents and slides to reveal to the public, for the first time, the flaws and consequences of the U.S. military’s 14-year aerial campaign being conducted in Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan—one that has consistently used faulty information, killed an untold number of civilians, and stymied intelligence-gathering through its “kill/capture” program that too often relies on killing rather than capturing.
“The series is intended to serve as a long-overdue public examination of the methods and outcomes of America’s assassination program,” writes the investigation’s lead reporter, Jeremy Scahill.
“This campaign, carried out by two presidents through four presidential terms, has been shrouded in excessive secrecy. The public has a right to see these documents not only to engage in an informed debate about the future of U.S. wars, both overt and covert, but also to understand the circumstances under which the U.S. government arrogates to itself the right to sentence individuals to death without the established checks and balances of arrest, trial, and appeal.”
The source of the documents, who asked to remain anonymous due to the U.S. government’s aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers, said the public has a right to know about a program that is so “fundamentally” and “morally” flawed.
“It’s stunning the number of instances when I’ve come across intelligence that was faulty, when sources of information used to finish targets were misattributed to people,” he told The Intercept. “And it isn’t until several months or years later that you realize that the entire time you thought you were going after this target, it was his mother’s phone the whole time. Anyone caught in the vicinity is guilty by association – it’s a phenomenal gamble.”
As outlined by The Intercept, the key revelations of the reporting are:
Assassinations have depended on unreliable intelligence. More than half the intelligence used to track potential kills in Yemen and Somalia was based on electronic communications data from phones, computers, and targeted intercepts (know as signals intelligence) which, the government admits, it has “poor” and “limited” capability to collect. By the military’s own admission, it was lacking in reliable information from human sources.
The documents contradict Administration claims that its operations against high-value terrorists are limited and precise. Contrary to claims that these campaigns narrowly target specific individuals, the documents show that air strikes under the Obama administration have killed significant numbers of unnamed bystanders. Documents detailing a 14-month kill/capture campaign in Afghanistan, for example, show that while the U.S. military killed 35 of its direct targets with air strikes, 219 other individuals also died in the attacks.
In Afghanistan, the military has designated unknown men it kills as “Enemies Killed in Action.” According to The Intercept’s source, the military has a practice of labeling individuals killed in air strikes this way unless evidence emerges to prove otherwise.
Assassinations hurt intelligence gathering. The Pentagon study finds that killing suspected terrorists, even if they are legitimate targets, “significantly reduce[s]” the information available and further hampers intelligence gathering.
New details about the ‘kill chain’ reveal a bureaucratic structure headed by President Obama, by which U.S. government officials select and authorize targets for assassination outside traditional legal and justice systems, and with little transparency. The system included creating a portrait of a potential target in a condensed format known as a ‘Baseball Card,’ which was passed to the White House for approval, while individual drone strikes were often authorized by other officials.
Inconsistencies with publicly available White House statements about targeted killings. Administration policy standards issued in 2013 state that lethal force will be launched only against targets that pose a “continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons,” however documents from the same time reveal much more vague criteria, including that a person only need present “a threat to U.S. interest or personnel.”
New details of high-profile drone kills, including the 2012 killing in Somalia of Bilal al-Berjawi, which raise questions about whether the British government revoked his citizenship to facilitate the strike.
Information about a largely covert effort to extend the U.S. military’s footprint across the African continent, including through a network of mostly small and low-profile airfields in Djibouti and other African countries.
The investigation comes as the Obama administration announced plans on Thursday to delay withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Administration officials told CNN that troops may conduct “counterterrorism operations” against Islamic State (ISIS) militants there.
But as the documents reveal, assurances from the Obama administration that drone strikes are precise and used only in cases of “imminent” threats are themselves based on intentionally vague definitions of “imminence.”
“Privately, the architects of the U.S. drone program have acknowledged its shortcomings,” said Betsy Reed, editor-in-chief of The Intercept. “But they have made sure that this campaign, launched by Bush and vastly expanded under Obama, has been shrouded in secrecy. The public has a right to know how the US government has decided who to kill.”
As the source himself said, “We’re allowing this to happen. And by ‘we,’ I mean every American citizen who has access to this information now, but continues to do nothing about it.”
Shells are whistling again over the cities of Donbass. In Donetsk the sirens of ambulances and emergency services are heard. Under fire: Kievsky district, Oktyabrsky village, Panfilov mine village, Gladkova, Severny, Putilovka.
The entire evening of April 9 there was a battle in the village of Spartak and near Peski. The punishers used artillery guns, tanks, mortars, heavy barreled artillery. Under the cover of artillery, the enemy attempted to seize the positions of the militia in Spartak and near the airport. During the battle, this attempt was severely suppressed.
Also suddenly the positions of the militia near the town of Yasynovataya were attacked. There was a battle using small arms. To the West of Petrovsky district of Donetsk working mortars are also heard, as well as grenade launchers and heavy machine guns.
From the occupied Volnovakha Dokuchayevsk was fired on. The outskirts of the city are under a heavy fire of the enemy, the people are hiding in shelters fearing the assault on the city by the punishers, who have assembled the biggest formation in this area of about 8 thousand people.
According to a resident of Dokuchayevsk, “Locals demand that the militia do not leave them alone and hold positions at any cost, women are hysterically crying, saying that Ukrainians will go into the city and start a massacre. Older women bless the passing trucks with soldiers and pray for the victory and a speedy liberation to the district from the Ukrainian troops”.
Over Donetsk about a dozen enemy drones were spotted, one of which was shot down near the Lidiyevka mine.
The militia is put on full alert and is ready for a full-scale attack of the enemy.
On April 9, 2015 near Mariupol in Shirokino there was a fierce battle. There were dead and wounded among the militia and the Ukrainian occupation troops.
We are receiving the first reports concerning the approximate numbers of equipment captured in the Debaltsevo cauldron.
Armored vehicles. By first estimates, Novorossia captured over 80 tanks in repairable condition. Some of them were fully operational, even loaded with ammunition. Some have been abandoned without fuel, others were abandoned after their tracks were damaged, most of the vehicles captured have light or medium damage. This is sufficient for at least two tank battalions.
According to the official Kiev GenStaff announcement, as many as 15 tanks managed to leave the cauldron…out of at least 5 battalion tactical groups which were originally in the cauldron and 4 additional ones that were sent in to help.
Over 100 BMPs and BTRs have been captured in repairable condition. The junta managed to take out only about 50.
Artillery. Not fewer than fifty 122mm and 152mm weapons (not counting 120mm mortars), many of which are repairable, and about 15 BM-21 122mm Grad launchers. At least 500 tons of artillery ammunition.
A huge amount of small arms, including heavy machine guns, RPGs, RPOs [flame rocket launchers used for assaulting fortified positions and buildings]. Storehouses of food and medicine. Other goods.
Novorossia commanders are especially grateful to the numerous volunteer organizations which have equipped the junta’s forces so well: the hundreds of night vision devices, digital radio stations, thermal imagers, modern ballistic computers and fire direction gear, wound treatment and anti-shock kits of Western origin, Kevlar helmets (even though Russian ones are better, there aren’t enough of them), modern body armor, will be of great use.
J.Hawk’s Comment: Just to reiterate, these are the weapons and equipment which are in repairable condition. Many of UAF’s losses were irretrievable—there are many photos circulating on the internet showing fields and roads littered with burned out armored vehicles left behind by the UAF.
Judging by the “LifeNews” report on February 19, 2015 about Novorossia fighters collecting trophies after Ukrainian troops withdrew from Debaltsevo, among other finds, NAF received one whole complex of LCMR (Lightweight Counter-Mortar Radar), supplied by the United States as part of military assistance to Ukraine.
The U.S. has decided to send to the armed forces of Ukraine 20 LCMR radars, the first three of which were delivered in November 2014. According to the information, received by our blog from the most serious sources, soon after the transfer one of the stations was damaged during transportation, and then another station was damaged by artillery fire of the enemy at the first attempt of its combat use by the Ukrainians. We can assume that the LCMR radar, abandoned by the Ukrainian troops in Debaltsevo is the third of this ill-fated first batch of the three stations.
The vehicle was one of the many seized from the UAF at Debaltsevo and its vicinity. It seems to be in perfectly good working order. I suppose the most surprising thing about it is that the UAF had no time to put it up for sale, as it did the British-supplied Saxon APCs…
NAF: Thank you to Canadians and Ukrainians for supplies! (Video)
February 19, 2015
Translated by Kristina Rus
00:00 – 13:00
NAF commander Terek is in charge of a drone recon unit of the First Slavyansk battalion. His unit of 25 people works with drones doing intelligence gathering near Debaltsevo.
Military correspondents of Novorossia TV delivered humanitarian aid to the unit from humanitarian battalion “Novorossia.” Some deliveries are addressed to specific units and fighters.
– Is this a good bulletproof vest?
– It’s average, so so, but better then nothing.
– I am wearing a police one.
– If you crawl on the ground, the pockets start to tear. The detachable pockets are better.
The correspondents asked commander Terek, what they need.
– Thermal boots, or at least warm leather boots
– Everything is mined, there are not enough sappers, so we use drones to save the lives of our fighters who go on recon missions.
– We need thermal underwear, thermal socks, thin warm hats under helmets, tactical gloves, knee pads and elbow pads.
This is regarding the personal equipment, but as far as military equipment we have plenty of trophies left by Ukrainian troops. New drones. You know they had truckloads left in Nikishino. When they run, they leave everything behind. Were do you think our drones come from?
We do need radios with closed channels. They cost 25 000 roubles, unfortunately. At least a few would be nice. We had to shut them off in Nikishino. Because their artillery works on signal very well, they strike on the signal of our drones.
We need serious things, because they get serious things from America and Europe.
– Night vision goggles – at least couple, not to stumble on their positions.
– We have nothing to charge the radios, phones with, no heat, we need generators, better diesel – because there are problems with gasoline.
– We got dry meals, thermal underwear, hygiene products for women. Thank you to the Russian brothers for helping us! The war showed who is our friend and who is our enemy.
A large amount of ammo and equipment was left by the Ukrainian troops.
– We got lists of who was in Redkodub, even with phone numbers.
Tank ammo, Vasilek ammo, 82 mm grenades, 120 mm grenades, RPG, 762, TURs.
We are almost on a frontline.
This is ammo left by the Ukrainian troops in Redkodub.
This is only a tenth part, a lot has been taken out already.
Mines, bullets, we are not supposed to have anything else.
Several Ural truckloads were taken out just by our brigade.
American, NATO helmets, goggles, about 40 bulletproof vests, good quality, neck protection, 4th generation.
– So you got your own humanitarian aid from Ukrainian volunteers?
– Canadian helmet with excellent quality. Comfortable. Thank you to Canadians and Ukrops for deliveries of supplies!
– Ukrainian army left us some excellent weapons, 120 mortar in great condition.
TUR – anti-tank rocket system
– Why does a mortar unit need TUR?
– We want to be prepared for any breakthrough. We have our own TUR, RPG, muhi, now we are not just a mortar, but a mobil assault brigade!!!