nato - search results
- nonexistent "Russian aggression;"
- "substantial Russian buildup along the border with Ukraine, but also inside eastern Ukraine;"
- arming Donbass freedom fighters with heavy weapons; and
- violating other Minsk ceasefire terms.
Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – Libya has been steadily deteriorating politically and economically since the US-NATO invasion of 2011. The South African based News24 reported that a battle had erupted between rebel forces that ousted President Muammar Gaddafi and Islamist militants in the eastern city of Benghazi. Khalifa Haftar (who helped the West remove Gaddafi) and his ‘National Army’ were seeking to “Purge” Libya of suspected terrorists. There were witnesses and even a reporter from the Agence-France Presse (AFP) who actually saw what happened at the scene. “The witnesses said a group led by Khalifa Haftar, a former rebel chief in the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, was backed by warplanes that pounded a barracks occupied by the Islamist “February 17 Brigade” militia” the report said. “Militiamen responded by opening up with anti-aircraft fire.” Both groups also battled in the Sidi Fradj area in the south of Benghazi. According to News24 “Haftar’s group calls itself the “National Army” and a spokesperson for the force, Mohammed Al-Hijazi, told a local broadcaster it has launched “a large-scale operation to flush terrorist groups out of Benghazi”. Interestingly, the Chief of Staff of the army Abdessalem Jadallah al-Salihin “denied the force was involved in clashes in Benghazi.” So who does Khalifa Haftar represent? “In a statement on national television, Salihin called on “the army and revolutionaries to oppose any armed group that tries to control Benghazi by force of arms”. It confirms that Libya is in a chaotic situation. Many former soldiers have joined the ‘National Army’ after constant attacks by various militias and elements of Al-Qaeda since the US-NATO invasion had ended.
The Libyan government currently in power has seen constant violence against its security forces, government officials and even foreigners since the Obama administration ordered “regime change” in the North African country. The intervention in Libya began when President Obama declared “Today I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians” and “In this effort, the United States is acting with a broad coalition that is committed to enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for the protection of the Libyan people.” The Libyan people have been the victims of Western Imperial powers that sought control over oil supplies and other resources.
The European Union should also be concerned that terrorists can launch attacks against its member states as former Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan had warned last month in a report by Al Arabiya News. He said “Libya is in danger of becoming an Al-Qaeda terror base for attacks targeting European countries like Britain and France” he also said that “Libya could be a base for Al-Qaeda for any operation to Italy, to Britain, to France, to Spain, to Morocco, to everywhere. Weapons are everywhere, ammunition is everywhere.” What would happen if a terrorist attack did occur on European territory, especially when its economy is in decline? With austerity measures imposed on millions of working class people all across Europe, a terrorist attack by al-Qaeda or its affiliates would allow European governments to clamp down on anti-austerity protests in the name of fighting terror. It would be a convenient excuse to do so. Let’s hope it does not go that far.
Reuters also reported that the Pentagon has relocated 200 Marines from Spain to Sicily in case the situation spirals out of control. Reuters stated the Pentagon’s main concern is over the security of its US embassies, but the Libyan government might lose control of its oilfields if the civil war intensifies:
The Pentagon declined to single out any countries but two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said American concerns were centered squarely on Libya, where armed groups and Islamists refused to disarm after the 2011 ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.” The report also said that “The Marines are part of a crisis response unit focused on embassy security created after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans
Pentagon spokesman, Colonel Steve Warren said that the Marines can handle other missions besides providing security for US personal as Reuters explained “Warren stressed that while the Marines were “unquestionably” focused on the protection of embassies, he did not rule out the possibility they could be called upon for a different mission.” Libya’s civil war has not helped the economy increase oil production due to its relentless infighting between terrorist groups and tribal militias. Libya is one of the main oil exporters to Europe. If the situation worsens, then the US Marines would be ordered to protect the oilfields at any cost. Reuters also released a report on Libya’s oil supply and how the government attempted to increase oil production when it negotiated a deal with protesters:
Libya’s El Feel oilfield has been shut again by protests and the OPEC producer’s El Sharara field remains closed, bringing national oil output down to about 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) – far from the 1.4 million bpd pumped last year. On Monday, the government said it was bringing western oilfields and pipelines back up after reaching a deal with protesters, and output had slowly clawed back to around 300,000 bpd
Rising tensions between the Libyan government, terrorist organizations and local militias has Washington, Brussels and multinational oil corporations concerned. If the Libyan government were to lose control of the oilfields, it would disrupt the EU’s oil supply and raise prices at the pump. The US and EU’s decision to remove Muammar Gaddafi has created a terrorist haven in North Africa. However, Brussels is under Washington’s orders, so NATO forces invaded Libya and imposed a new government even though European bureaucrats knew about the political and economic consequences it might have in the future. Since the US-NATO alliance defeated Libyan forces and replaced Gaddafi with the National Transitional Council of Libya, they secured oil exports for Western markets at least for a short period of time. Now internal conflicts for power and economic control are becoming more intense as former rebels and various terrorist groups from Syria and Iraq enter Libya with their own agendas. It creates a dangerous scenario as terrorist organizations expand their operations to other areas of Africa and even possibly Europe.
Brussels obviously knew that there would be consequences of a “humanitarian intervention” in Libya when they collaborated with Washington. They knew how Europe would be affected in the foreseeable future, it was predictable. But they saw political and economic opportunities by removing Gaddafi from power. It is also important to understand that the US and its European partners were also concerned with Gaddafi’s plan to launch the gold dinar as a single African currency, a clear threat against the dollar and euro hegemony on the African continent. Brussels may be just following orders, after all Washington was instrumental in the creation of NATO in the first place. Either way, the people on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea will suffer at the expense of Western Imperialism and their reckless foreign policies.
Obama Issues Threats To Russia And NATO Paul Craig Roberts The Obama regime has issued simultaneous threats to the enemy it is making out of Russia and to its European NATO allies on which Washington is relying to support sanctions…
The post Obama Issues Threats To Russia And NATO — Paul Craig Roberts appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.
- preventing a European-backed settlement;
- "assert(ing) its dominance over European allies in the arbitration of European conflicts;"
- expanding NATO through a new "out of area" humanitarian mission (aka US dominated colonization); and
- "gain(ing) influence in the Muslim world by championing the Bosnian Muslims."
- power plants;
- civilian transportation;
- telecommunications facilities;
- roads, bridges and rail lines;
- fuel depots;
- a TV station;
- China's Belgrade embassy willfully on a false pretext (claiming a mistake didn't wash);
- government offices;
- historic landmarks; and more.
- "31. (1) the Governor in Council may place the Canadian forces or any component, unit or other element thereof on active service anywhere in or beyond Canada at any time when it appears advisable to do so.
- (a) by reason of an emergency, for the defence of Canada; or
- (b) in consequence of any action undertaken by Canada under the United Nations Charter, the North Atlantic treaty or any other similar instrument for collective defence that may be entered into by Canada."
Tom Coburn Leaves a Lonely Place Lonelier
By Margaret Carlson Jan 17, 2014
You knew what might be coming when Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma announced in November that he had a recurrence of cancer. He managed for a long time with a triple threat -- colon and prostate cancer and a benign brain tumor. He announced yesterday that he will leave at the end of this congressional session to spend the time he has left with his three children and seven grandchildren. It may be one of the only times when a politician says he wants to spend more time with his family and we know it is utterly the truth.
"Coburn has always had a gift for honesty. He didn't need consultants to tell him how to be a senator. He had the white hair, all-American accent and a doctor's wisdom of life and death, his vocation before politics. He talked to the president frequently but didn’t brag about it. His colleagues -- fellow Republicans and Democrats -- liked to have him around, even though he could be a thorn in both sides. He was often the first to be asked to join the various bipartisan "Gangs of."...
GO read the rest here.
The Guardian (London) had this to say about Senator Coburn:
... this decision isn't about my health, my prognosis or even my hopes and desires.
"As a citizen, I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere. In the meantime, I look forward to finishing this year strong."
Coburn, nicknamed "Dr No" for his voting record in the Senate, was supposed to serve through 2016. Instead, he'll step down in January 2015. He had already vowed not to seek a third term.
Senate republican leader Mitch McConnell released a statement Thursday describing Coburn as "one of the most intelligent, principled and decent men in modern Senate history".
"When it comes to the transcendent debate over the size and cost of government, Tom Coburn is simply without peer," McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said. "No one has done more to awaken Americans to the threat posed by a government that chronically spends more than it takes in, and no one has worked harder at finding a solution."
Known as a conservative maverick during his three terms in the US House in the 1990s, Coburn continued that role after being elected to the Senate in 2004. A fierce critic of what he described as excessive government spending, Coburn was most vocal about opposing the earmarking of special projects.
His office routinely produced reports on wasteful spending, such as a 37-page report in 2011 dubbed Subsidies of the Rich and Famous that detailed nearly $30bn spent annually on government tax breaks and federal grant programs for millionaires....
There is more, and it IS an interesting read, here.
I first became aware of Senator Coburn because of his annual Waste Book, where he detailed the mind-boggling waste that could be painlessly cut from the American budget. Follow that link and see the 2013 edition. (For previous posts on Coburn here, just put his name in the search thing at top left.)
In December, upon release of the latest version of the chronicle of absurdities paid for by American tax dollars, there was this:
Coburn Releases Annual Wastebook Highlighting Most Egregious Spending of 2013
Dec 17 2013
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, today released his annual oversight report “Wastebook 2013” highlighting 100 examples of wasteful and low-priority spending totaling nearly $30 billion.
“While politicians in Washington spent much of 2013 complaining about sequestration’s impact on domestic programs and our national defense, we still managed to provide benefits to the Fort Hood shooter, study romance novels, help the State Department buy Facebook fans and even help NASA study Congress,” said Dr. Coburn.
“Had Congress, in particular, been focused on doing its job of setting priorities and cutting the kind of wasteful spending outlined in this report, we could have avoided both a government shutdown and a flawed budget deal that was designed to avert a shutdown. The nearly $30 billion in questionable and lower-priority spending in Wastebook 2013 is a small fraction of the more than $200 billion we throw away every year through fraud, waste, duplication and mismanagement. There is more than enough stupidity and incompetence in government to allow us to live well below the budget caps. What’s lacking is the common sense and courage in Washington to make those choices – and passage of fiscally-responsible spending bills – possible,” said Dr. Coburn.
“This report speaks volumes about why confidence in government is at an all-time low. The hard truth is we’d much rather borrow than cut. The American people are right to expect more,” said Dr. Coburn.
Examples of wasteful spending highlighted in “Wastebook 2013” include:
Uncle Sam Looking for Romance on the Web – (NEH) $914,000
- To read the details of just this first entry - and many, many more - go over here.
- It should be obvious to anybody, that the current administration has NO idea how to manage Americans' money (hard-earned dollars collected by the IRS by the way.) Now that Senator Coburn has announced his intention to leave, we need other voices raised to keep attention on the pigs at the trough.
By James F. Tracy
One year ago a national media frenzy ensued over my analysis and observations of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre event of December 14, 2012. Evidence that has since emerged since, including the State of Connecticut’s curiously expurgated official report released December 27, has overall tended to confirm such observations. My initial series of articles was circulated widely in alternative news outlets in late December 2012 and early January 2013. Yet not until the South Florida Sun-Sentinel interviewed me and published a rather inflammatory story on January 7 did a select set of my remarks subsequently “go viral” in major news media via the Drudge Report.
I was initially startled with the fervent backlash exhibited in corporate media outlets (below), as well as the progressive-left blogosphere. As far as I can gather, the outrage centered around 1) the conclusion upon considerable analysis that what the media publicized about a profoundly tragic event was at best only partially true, 2) my purportedly bizarre and speculative belief that a swell guy like President Barack Obama and his well-meaning administration would ever, well, act like politicians and seek to hoodwink the public, especially in such a brazen fashion, and 3) the fact that such remarks were being voiced publicly by a “tenured university [censored].”
While at times personally unnerving, the experience was instructive in that it strongly confirmed much of what I continue to study and teach—the powerful influence exerted by the government-corporate media nexus in terms of pushing certain emotional buttons to channel, manipulate and, where necessary, stifle debate on extremely important issues and events.
In my view, it was not surprising or unusual that something like Sandy Hook had transpired in the US, particularly given historical precedents in Dunblane, Scotland and Port Arthur, Australia. Still, I found it unsettling that a large majority of the public—including friends and colleagues—allowed for themselves to be swayed by their blasé reliance on headlines and sound-bites versus taking the time to actually read and engage with what I had written.
Further, while a handful came forward to point out the contradiction that I was being publicly excoriated and my livelihood threatened for essentially doing what I was trained and hired to do—media analysis and criticism—my employer’s response was not to defend academic freedom and free speech, but rather to disavow my remarks, hold a breakfast fundraiser for one of Newtown’s multitude of charities, and eventually reprimand me for using the professional salutation “[censored]” on my personal blog and elsewhere.
While my tenure was ultimately upheld, one is left to seriously ponder the informal yet persuasive constraints placed in intellectuals today who concretely address certain controversial issues and topics. Only a brief survey of today’s lamentably somber and often inane public discourse is necessary to conclude that tenure is far too infrequently used in the fashion originally intended—to allow academics to research with impunity the topics of their choosing that may prove inflammatory, particularly to some who may wield enough political influence to have them disciplined or fired.
There is in fact room for academics to engage in controversial topics, yet one must know how to strike the appropriate chord between axe grinding and well-mannered career advancement. For example, it was recently high-fives all around at my institution when a colleague secured a fellowship with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a neoconservative think tank that has vigorously advocated the disastrous and criminal “Bush Doctrine” against Iraq and urges similarly brutal military action against Iran. Another social scientist is affiliated with the AIPAC-controlled Washington Institute for Near East Policy. No conspiracy mongering here, only implicit acknowledgement of which way the political winds blow, however tainted they may be.
KABC-AM (Radio)1/8/2013 10:58:40 AM
Los Angeles, CA
there are radio station that are allowing people on the air to say that the whole new down master never have right now to Florida Atlantic University professor saying it never happened it was a Obama push to push gun control advocate the day of wagging the dog , and said Finnigan Ladino music made the marathon for roughly the size of everything before her fourth really ` don’t go away with a lot of thought about a two percent tax on everyone on ABC’s Richard Davies with today’s text it for the past couple of years workers of enjoying a two percent reduction in Social Security tax they pay the debts into and on December thirty first Imperial holiday
WTVJ-MIA (NBC)1/8/2013 11:15:38 AM
NBC 6 South Florida Today at 11am
the grammy winning singer was found dead at her london home in july of 2011. >>> a communication professor known for conspiracy theories is now stirring up controversy at florida atlantic university. 47-year-old james tracy claims last month’s newtown, connecticut, shootings didn’t happen as reported. goes onto say even perhaps it didn’t happen at all. tracy says there’s not enough evidence to support that one gunman killed 20 students and six staff members. the professor says he knows he sparked all kinds of controversy on campus, but he would like his students to look at events in a more critical way. fau, by the way, distancing
WFLA-AM (Radio)1/8/2013 3:14:32 PM
there and then not before sunset both covering the story of four kilometers dear here … from mother Sun Sentinel they publish this late last night for inclusion in the paper today and the online last night FAA you professor stirs controversy by disputing the new town Connecticut master are you are you kidding me of a lesson of Looney Tunes stuff you a piece written by Mike Larry Sun Sentinel a communication professor known for conspiracy theories has stirred controversy at Florida Atlantic
WPEC (CBS)1/8/2013 5:07:07 PM
West Palm Beach, FL
CBS 12 News—5:00
claiming that the newton massacre leaving 26 people dead – including several kids… was a hoax. (2shot) the florida atlantic university professor making the bizarre comments on his personal blog. john cbs 12′s lynn gordon spoke to students who say the professor’s claims are not only outrageous, they’re giving the school a black eye. trt 1:53 5:27:49 that fau ( look live intro) professor creating quite a controversy with a blog that suggests the sandy hook massacre may not have happened as reported or maybe didnt happen at all 5:27:58 ( newtown file) its one of the worst mass shootings in our nation’s history. the massacre at sandy hook elementary in newtown connecticut where 20 children and six adults were murdered in cold blood last month 5:25:10 i think its kind of craxzy that a professor would say somethng lke that it def happened ( photo of tracy) students are referring to
WPLG-MIA (ABC)1/8/2013 5:36:32 PM
Local 10 News @ 5PM
a professor at florida atlantic university is raising questions about what happened at sandy hook elementary school in connecticut last month. in a blog post james tracy asked in the if the shooting was a conspiracy and if the media are asking the right questions. tracy says it’s worth asking if the shooting was politically motivated. f.a.u. is distancing itself from those comments. >>> 20-year-old adam lanza you will remember won’t a shooting rampage at the elementary school, killing 26 people, including 20 children on december 14th. lanza also shot and killed his mom and then turned the gun on himself. >> now to the subject of home here. hope is on the horizon for haiti.
WPBF (ABC)1/8/2013 6:14:47 PM
WPBF 25 News at 6:00
now to wpbf 25 news exclusive a professor at florida atlantic university in boca raton is creating controversy with the conspiracy theory involving the sandy hook school shooting. professor james tracy questions what really happened the day the 20 children and 6 teacher were gunned down in newtown connecticut. on his personal blog he questions whether the shooting was somehow politically motivated to get more gun control. he claims that the lot of missing information. >> there’s just a lot of conflicting information. we don’t have the autopsy on lanza either. it seems like a real stretch
WFLX (FOX)1/8/2013 11:01:39 PM
his bizarre conspiracy theory that suggests the newtown, connecticut school massacre may have been a government plan. dan corcoran is live on the fau campus in boca raton. dan. his three hour class – called ‘communication and social power’ – just wrapped up a few minutes ago.until now professor james tracy has remained silent about his blog, which has gone viral, over the last couple of days. tracy is not apologizing for his words that he wrote this week on his blog on ‘memory hole dot com’.it was in that writing that he questioned if there were what he refers to
WPEC (CBS)1/8/2013 11:09:50 PM
CBS 12 News—11:00
an FAU professor strikes a nerve here and across the country over his claim that the newtown massacre was a hoax. tonight, “cbs 12″ confronts him and his conspiracy theory. tonight, florida atlantic university is distancing itself from its media professor and his controversial comments but the professor himself is defending his comments. peter schaller spoke with james tracy. peter? >> the professor spoke with us after his communications class tonight. he’s worked here at fau for 10 years and he’s no stranger to controversy. in the past he questioned the
WPBF (ABC)1/9/2013 4:33:57 AM
WPBF 25 News Mornings
morning of a growing controversy… comments made by a florida atlantic university professor. as erin guy shows us.. he suggests the school shooting in newtown, connecticut could have been a government conspiracy. newtown connecticut… december 14th… police say adam lanza walked into sandy hook elementry school… armed with semi automatic weapons and opened fire… killing 20 children and 6 adults… but now a florida atlantic university professor james tracey … is questioning what really happened… saying on his blog quote: “while it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the sandy hook shooting ever took place-at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.” on his blog he askes. how did lanza fire so many shots in a short amount
WDBO-FM (Radio)1/9/2013 5:31:47 AM
after he claimed a personal blog that he said he hoped elementary school shooting made a massive conspiracy W. DBO’s Ken Kendall and Marcia Taylor began our life can coverage of Prof. James Tracy a lighted the conspiracy involving law enforcement and federal government and the mass media to leave your country Johnson digging through those blogs this morning and an interview the professor did just couple days ago that Dr. Tricia question how Atlanta was able to fire off so many shots in such a little amount of time he also
WFLX (FOX)1/9/2013 6:12:07 AM
West Palm Beach, FL
“florida atlantic university” professor. james tracy says he won’t apologize for what he wrote on his blog on “memory-hole-dot-com.” his conspiracy theory suggests the newtown, connecticut school massacre may have been a government plan. on his blog, he questioned if there were what he refers to as “crisis actors” hired by the government during the massacre. now, he’s speaking out– saying why he wrote it and what he wants every american to think about.”in terms of saything that sandy hook, the newtown massacre, did not take place is really a simplification – an oversimplification – of what i said. i said that there may very well be elements of that event that are synthetic to some degree, that are somewhat contrived. i think that
WRTV-IN (ABC)1/9/2013 6:37:51 AM
RTV 6 Good Morning Indiana
and defending his bizarre conspiracy theory that suggests the newtown, connecticut school massacre may have been a government plan. florida atlantic university professor james tracy talked to our scripps station in west palm beach about his blog. tracy writes that there were ‘crisis actors’ hired during the massacre…and the shooting was a ‘set up’ by the obama administration/’85to prompt more strict gun control regulations. but he now says his ideas were over-simplified. > >”in terms of saything that sandy hook, the newtown massacre, did not take place is really a simplification – an
KSHB-KC (NBC)1/9/2013 6:33:27 AM
Kansas City, MO
newtown, connecticut school massacre may have been a government plan. florida atlantic professor james tracy wrote on his blog this week that he questioned if there were what he refers to as ‘crisis actors’ hired during the massacre in newtown. he also claims the shooting was a ‘set up’ by the obama administrationa to prompt stricter gun control regulations. (curtis) new this morning– a man wanted in monday’s quadruple murder in tulsa– was arrested in kansas. our scripps station in tulsa has learned joseph tillman was arrested in independence, kansas– near the oklahoma border. he was wanted in connection with a separate assault. police believe he may also know something about the
WJXT-JAX1/9/2013 7:40:22 AM
The Morning Show
shooting. he says it may not have happened. these new claims — by a professor at florida atlantic university — are really causing a stir. james tracy is basing them on the early reports filed during the incident. he says the timeline confusion shows a coordinated effort to hide the so-called “real” story. for example, at one point it was thought there were two shooters. florida atlantic university is distancing itself — saying the conspiracy professor does not speak for the university and tracy was writing on his personal blog page. how much do you like cockroaches? if you’re
KTRS-AM (Radio)1/9/2013 7:39:27 AM
St. Louis, MO
and I believe for Atlanta Gazette not the site of where the Cardinals of his returning that right there is right yet it’s close all floors like right altogether but not elapsed on the of America Abaco was a right afforded when it is not women’s I can’t believe that town were formulaic is to Ezra’s Roto-Rooter area within this professor from their is making some claims about this in the book of school shootings in Newtown Connecticut he’s saying that it really didn’t happen and that it was just the Obama administration’s effort to sway public opinion in favor of gun control up professor is saying this professor
FAU Professor Makes Surprising Comment (WIOD NewsRadio 610 (Miami) © 01/08/2013) Indexed Jan 8 2013 9:23PM
FAU Professor Makes Surprising Comment An FAU professor under fire for saying the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut may …
FAU professor says Newtown school massacre might have been faked to push gun control (WPEC News 12 Palm Beach County © 01/08/2013) **Also ran in Daily KOS , Indexed Jan 8 2013 1:24PM
FAU professor says Newtown school massacre might have been faked to push gun …control Posted by Scott T. Smith / CBS12 News BOCA RATON, Fla. –
A Florida Atlantic University assistant professor says the Sandy Hook school massacre may never have happened, …to impose gun control. James Tracy, who has taught media studies at FAU
FAU students react to professor’s conspiracy theory (Palm Beach Gardens-WPBF (ABC) © 01/09/2013) Indexed Jan 9 2013 3:42AM
FAU students react to professors conspiracy theory Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy raised questions about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary …law enforcement authorities and the nations news media have described.”Students on Florida Atlantic University reacted after hearing about Tracys comments.Kenson Delva said his comments are …a real debate on gun control.” Alex Jeanty is a senior at FAUand said its too soon…
(Fox News © 01/08/2013) **Also ran in WOLF Orlando, Indexed Jan 8 2013 2:24PM
…Connecticut really happened. James Tracy, an associate professor of media history at Florida Atlantic University , made the bizarre claim on his personal blog memoryholeblog.com, writing that …for himself. “James Tracy does not speak for the university,” Lisa Metcalf, FAU ’s director of media relations, told FoxNews.com in an email. “The website on which his post appeared is not affiliated with FAU in any way. As for any previous disciplinary actions …
Newtown leader condemns professor who suggested school massacre was ‘drill’ (Fox News © 01/08/2013) **Also ran in KBND News Radio, Indexed Jan 8 2013 10:24PM
…community really happened. James Tracy, an associate professor of media history at Florida Atlantic University , made the bizarre claim on his personal blog memoryholeblog.com, writing that …for himself. “James Tracy does not speak for the university,” Lisa Metcalf, FAU ’s director of media relations, told FoxNews.com in an email. “The website on which his post appeared is not affiliated with FAU in any way. As for any previous disciplinary actions at…
NUTTY PROFESSOR? FAU Prof Suggests Obama Behind Sandy Hook (Boca News Now © 01/08/2013) **Also ran in Bayoubuzz Indexed Jan 8 2013 9:44PM
NUTTY PROFESSOR? FAU Prof Suggests Obama Behind Sandy Hook BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Florida Atlantic University (FAU ) officials are distancing themselves from communications professor James Tracy who on his …
Obama staged Newtown shooting with ‘crisis actors,’ says professor who is totally not a crackpot (Daily KOS © 01/08/2013) Indexed Jan 8 2013 5:44PM
…all: A communication professor known for conspiracy theories has stirred controversary at Florida Atlantic University with claims that last months Newtown, Conn., school shootings did not happen …not speak for the university” and his website is “not affiliated with FAU in any way.” But lest you think that this lunatic is, you …
Professor makes no apologies for calling Conn. massacre a hoax (WPEC News 12 Palm Beach County © 01/09/2013) Indexed Jan 9 2013 3:34AM
…School massacre are creating a national controversy. Its not so much that FAU professor James Tracy doesnt believe the tragedy happened, but that he believes …could have done a better job,” Tracy said. Tracy has taught at FAU for ten years and is no stranger to controversy. Hes questioned the …reading the media stories about his blog than the blog itself. FAU Media Relations Director Lisa Metcalf says that Tracys views do not reflect …those of the universi…
Professor’s Ridiculous Newtown Theory Gets Internet Wings (Associated Content © 01/08/2013) Indexed Jan 8 2013 5:24PM
…use “whippersnapper” these days, but nonetheless, the words of a professor at Florida Atlantic Universityhave escaped their little corner of the South. Before the grand scheme …
1/9/2013 – New York Daily News – Florida conspiracy professor suggests Sand Hook massacre didn’t occur, was cooked up by Obama to promote gun control
1/9/2013 – Web Pro News – Prof: Newtown Didn’t Happen The Way We Think It Did
1/9/2013 – WBDO Orlando – FAU professor under fire for blog comments on Newtown shooting
1/8/2013 – Fox 8 Cleveland – Prof: Newtown Didn’t Happen
1/8/2013 – DesMoines Register – Florida professor, a U of I grad, stirs up controversy by disputing Newtown shooting
1/8/2013 – KSEE News 24 – College Professor Creates Controversy with Claims Connecticut School Shooting Never Happened
1/8/2013 – The Inquisitr – Florida Professor James Tracy Claims Sandy Hook Might Be A Hoax
1/8/2013 – Christian Post – Professor Claims Newtown Shooting Was Likely Staged
1/8/2013 – Radar Online – Whacko Professor Says Sandy Hook School Shooting Didn’t Happen, Was Hoax By Obama Administration
1/8/2013 – Opposing Views – Professor James Tracy Claims Sandy Hook Shooting May Not Have Happened
1/8/2013 – International Business Times – Professor Claims Sandy Hook Shooting Did Not Happen As Believed, Sees Political Agenda
1/8/2013 – Human Events – Florida Professor Questions the Newtown Massacre
1/8/2013 – Orlando Sentinel – Daughter of Eustis coach has dreams of becoming Olympic speedskater
1/9/2013 – Broward Palm Beach New Times – James Tracy, FAU Professor, Says Sandy Didn’t Happen; Revels In Notoriety
1/9/2013 – Miami New Times – FAU Professor Thinks Sandy Hook Massacre May Have Been A Media Conspiracy
1/9/2013 – The Holiday Gossip – Newtown Didn’t Happen, Professor Claims
Senate Bill No. 94 reads:
- AN ACT to prohibit any agency of this state, any political subdivision of this state, any employee of any agency of this state or any political subdivision of this state, or any member of the Michigan national guard from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the investigation, prosecution, or detainment of any citizen of the United States under certain circumstances.
- No agency of this state, no political subdivision of this state, no employee of an agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state acting in his or her official capacity, and no member of the Michigan national guard on active state service shall aid an agency of the armed forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of any person pursuant to section 1021 of the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2012, if such aid would place that state agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the Michigan national guard in violation of the United States constitution, the state constitution of 1963, or any law of this state… (Read the rest of the bill HERE)
|Sen. Carl Levin|
War Games in Cyberspace: NATO’s Cyber Defense Exercises Coincide with “Anonymous” Cyber Attacks against...
Japan Falls Back Into Fascism The Empire of Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945. 68 years later, Japan has fallen back into fascism. Despite large protests outside of the Japanese Senate: Photo Credit: SATOKO KAWASAKI, Japan Times Xinua reports: Meanwhile, … Continue reading →
Japan Has Fallen Back Into Fascism After 68 Years: Japanese Senator Shouts “This is The Way the Reign of Terror Begins” … Then Others Physically Restrain Him was originally published on Washington's Blog
Japanese (And American) Governments Go to Extreme Lengths to Cover Up Fukushima and Other Disasters Japan and the U.S. are doing everything they can to cover up the danger of the Fukushima crisis. The Daily Beast notes: The Japanese government, … Continue reading →
Japanese Senator: “The Path That Japan Is Taking Is The Recreation Of A Fascist State” was originally published on Washington's Blog
In this age of manufactured terror, one of the most vital regions on the global chessboard is also an area that few in the West know anything about: Central Asia.
This geostrategic and resource-rich area on the doorstep of China and Russia finds itself in the middle of an all out terror campaign. But, as key national intelligence whistleblowers are pointing out, these terrorists are working hand-in-glove with NATO.
This important GRTV Backgrounder was originally aired on Global Research TV on March 14, 2013.
Ever since the staged false flag attacks of 9/11, the US government and its complicit corporate media have focused their attention on fighting the shadowy, all-pervasive, all-powerful, ill-defined and undefeatable “Al Qaeda” enemy that is supposedly menacing the US and its allies at home and abroad. The term “Al Qaeda” of course is merely a cipher for “excuse to invade.” In the case of Afghanistan, for instance, the US used the threat of Al Qaeda as the excuse for their 12 year long invasion and occupation of the country. In Libya and Syria, the US and its allies are supporting those same self-described Al Qaeda-affiliated fighters. The ruse has long since become obvious.
Less obvious, then, because it has been taking place completely under the radar of media attention, is another front in the so-called war on terror: Central Asia and the Caucasus region. Encompassing the region surrounding the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, this area has long been identified as perhaps the most geostrategically vital part of the globe. It provides access to the exceptionally rich Caspian oil and gas deposits, hosts the “New Silk Road,” a vital trade route between China and Europe, and sits on the doorstep of China and Russia. And it just so happens to have a terrorist problem.
At first blush, it may seem odd that in this “age of terror” the American population has been told so little about the growing terrorist insurgency in Central Asia and the Caucasus. But when examined in the light of regional geopolitics, this deafening silence makes perfect sense.
Indications of how and why this region is so important come from numerous geostrategists, including Zbigniew Brzezinski, Obama’s acknowledged mentor and a key advisor to his administration. In his 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard, Brzezinski identified the Central Asian / Caucasus region as part of a larger area he called “The Eurasian Balkans.”
The countries in this region, he wrote, are “of importance from the standpoint of security and historical ambitions to at least three of their most immediate and more powerful neighbors, namely, Russia, Turkey, and Iran, with China also signaling an increasing political interest in the region. But,” he continued, “the Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region, in addition to important minerals, including gold.”
Brzezinski knew very well what he was writing about. As National Security Advisor under President Carter, he had overseenOperation Cyclone, the US government’s since-declassified plan to arm, train and fund Islamic radicals in Pakistan and Afghanistan to draw the Soviet Union into a protracted war in the region. This, famously, led to the foundation of what became known as Al Qaeda in the 1980s, a point that Brzezinski has since admitted and even bragged about, claiming that the creation of a “few stirred up Muslims” helped to bring down the Soviet Union.
It is no surprise, then, that Brzezinski went on to predict in his 1997 book that the first major war of the 21st century would take place in this region, which is exactly what happened with the NATO invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. And it is also no surprise that even NATO’s hand-picked Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, is now openly accusing the US of supporting the Taliban in the country to convince the public that they will need US protection after the planned troop withdrawal date in 2014.
Global Research contributor and Stop NATO International Director Rick Rozoff appeared on the Boiling Frogs Post podcast in 2011 to discuss this region and the overlap between NATO’s strategic interests and Islamic extremism.
It has long been understood that the terror operations in Chechnya and other key parts of the Central Asia and Caucasus region have been supported, funded and protected by NATO to help destabilize the region surrounding their main geopolitical rivals, Russia and China, in an operation very similar to Operation Cyclone in the 70s and 80s. This has, until now, remained mostly within the realm of speculation. But in a recent groundbreaking series of interviews on The Corbett Report, FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has confirmed that this is, in fact, exactly what is happening.
If it is true that the people perish for lack of knowledge, perhaps it is nowhere more true than in the phoney, NATO-created war of terror. Without the understanding provided by Edmonds and others in identifying the Central Asia / Caucasus terror campaign as a NATO proxy war, the entire concept of Islamic terrorism becomes inscrutable to geopolitical analysis.
As this information will never be disseminated by the complicit corporate media, it is vitally important that the people take this task into their own hands by sharing this information with others and contributing to the analysis of the terror campaign being waged in the region.
The seeds of the next great world conflict are being sowed in Central Asia, on the doorstep of Russia and China, and regardless of whether or not this conflict, too, is being manipulated and managed behind the scenes, the lives of countless millions hang in the balance of the specter of that all-out war. Only an understanding of NATO’s active complicity in fostering and protecting these Muslim extremists can help break the tool of propaganda by which they will try to convince their population to acquiesce to such a war.
Tune into Global Research TV for the latest video updates from Global Research!
As fighting continues to rage across Syria, Doctors Without Borders (DWB) is now calling for “greater access for humanitarian aid to Syrians suffering in their country’s civil war” and urging the international community to show as much urgency in regard to humanitarian aid as it did to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons.
Of course, it should be noted immediately that the conflict in Syria is not so much a civil war but an invasion of foreign forces put together from all over the world and funded by the Anglo-American powers. Moreover, it should also be pointed out that, during the international hysteria over Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, there has never been even one shred of evidence suggesting that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against civilians or even against the deaths squads running rampant and inflicting terror upon the Syrian people.
Regardless, the General Director for Doctors Without Borders Christopher Stokes, stated to AP that “You have an industrial-scale war, but you have a very kind of small-scale humanitarian response. There is a recognition that greater humanitarian access is needed for life-saving assistance, but at the same time we don’t see the mobilization.”
Although the United Nations council issued a call for immediate access to all areas inside Syria, including in conflict areas and across battle lines, there still exists a number of obstacles to actually getting that aid to the people who may need it.
The AP report continued by stating,
Stokes said the aid community has long been told that it’s impossible to grant full access to all regions affected by the fighting, and that “one side is always blaming the other” for the impasse.
But the recent agreement to grant international inspectors unfettered access to every site linked to Syria’s chemical weapons program “has shown is that it is possible, if the international political willingness is there, to grant access and free movement to aid agencies to go into these enclaves,” Stokes said.
“Cease-fires could be organized as was done to allow chemical weapons inspectors in, they could be organized to allow in medical convoys,” he said.
Yet, while Stokes claims that part of the difficulty in providing aid to suffering Syrians is because “one side is always blaming the other” and therefore hindering the delivery, it should be noted that not only does the responsibility for the entire conflict rest on the shoulders of the death squads, but that it is not the Assad government who has captured and kidnapped aid workers – it is only the death squads who have been guilty of this crime. Thu, the responsibility regarding the hindrance of aid deliverability should fall on the shoulders of the death squads as well.
It is true, however, that the Syrian government has not granted DWB permission to operate inside Syria at this time. However, there may be a more justifiable reason for Assad’s refusal to allow the organization to set up camp in Syria than first meets the eye.
This is because Doctors Without Borders, along with several other internationally recognized and renowned human rights and medical charity organizations, have been clearly implicated in their cooperation with Anglo-American interests in the ginning up of a case for Western military action against Syria by misreporting and even outright lying in regards to massacres having taken place inside the country.
Indeed, DWB is maintaining a highly questionable operation in Syria – with aid distribution almost exclusively established within “rebel controlled” areas, thus allowing the death squads to soak up much of the humanitarian supply line.
Even in the AP report, DWB admits that it is currently operating six “field hospitals” in “rebel-controlled” areas and is supporting medical facilities in both areas that are controlled by the death squads and the government. Still, both the AP report and DWB imply that the Assad government is to blame by suggesting that it is stalling further aid to the Syrian people – despite recent events which prove quite the opposite.
It is important to point out, as Tony Cartalucci has done in his excellent article “’Doctors’ Behind Syrian Chemical Weapons Claims are Aiding Terrorists,” that, despite media claims that DWB is “independent,” the fact is that the organization itself is being bankrolled by many of the financier interests that clearly support Western military action against Syria.
As Cartalucci writes,
To begin with, Doctors Without Borders is fully funded by the very same corporate financier interests behind Wall Street and London’s collective foreign policy, including regime change in Syria and neighboring Iran. Doctors Without Borders’own annual report (2010 report can be accessed here), includes as financial donors, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Google, Microsoft, Bloomberg, Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, and a myriad of other corporate-financier interests. Doctors Without Borders also features bankers upon its Board of Advisers including Elizabeth Beshel Robinson of Goldman Sachs.
In a telling interview with NPR, which Cartalucci partially quotes in his own article, the Executive Director of DWB, Stephen Cornish, admitted the fact that the organization largely has provided medical aid to the death squads not just as a matter of unbiased Hippocratic Oath-based treatment, but what appears to be a “rebel”-based program.
As Cornish revealed,
Over the past months, we’ve had a surgery that was opened inside a cave. We’ve had another that was opened in a chicken farm, a third one in a house. And these structures, we’ve tried to outfit them as best as we can with enough modern technology and with full medical teams. They originally were dealing mainly with combatant injuries and people who were – civilians who were directly affected by the conflict. [emphasis added]
Even assuming that the “civilians” Cornish mentions are truly civilians, Cornish’s team has also been focused largely on “combatant injuries” which is an interesting focus considering that the teams are mainly located within death squad controlled territory.
Indeed, Cornish removes all doubt about whether or not the death squads are receiving priority care as the interview continues. Cornish states,
So it is very difficult for civilians to find care. And one of the difficulties also is that a number of smaller surgeries that have been set up are either overwhelmed with combatants or primarily taking care of combatants. And what we would certainly urge is that all surgeries and all health posts also are accommodating the civilian population.
BLOCK: You mean, in other words, that the fighters are getting priority for medical care and the civilians are suffering for that.
CORNISH: Unfortunately, that is sometimes the reality on the ground. Some of the surgeries we visited, you could tell that because not only there were no civilians on the wards, but there were also no beds or toilet facilities for women. So it’s kind of a dead giveaway. [emphasis added]
Tony Cartalucci expertly responds to the alleged “charity” provided by DWB when he writes,
In other words, the Wall Street-funded organization is providing support for militants armed and funded by the West and its regional allies, most of whom are revealed to be foreign fighters, affiliated with or directly belonging to Al Qaeda and its defacto political wing, the Muslim Brotherhood. This so-called “international aid” organization is in actuality yet another cog in the covert military machine being turned against Syria and serves the role as a medical battalion.
Indeed, following in the footsteps of corrupted and compromised “human rights” and “charity” organizations like Human Rights Watch (see here and here) and Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders is sacrificing whatever legitimacy and trustworthiness it ever had for the benefit of wealthy donors and their Anglo-American imperialist desires.
In polite society, it is incredibly difficult to criticize an organization that uses charity, real or imagined, as a cover for more nefarious means. Although Doctors Without Borders may have done legitimate work in the past, its current position as the medical wing of the Syrian destabilization will forever mar the organization, and it should therefore be discredited as a source of information from this point forward.
The wars of the future are very likely going to resemble many of the science fiction movies that we are watching right now. The U.S. military is in a global race to create the “technologies of the future”, and some of the things that they are coming up with are disturbing to say the least. Are you ready for future conflicts where “Iron Men”, “super soldiers”, “Terminator robots”, and autonomous drones do most of the killing? Are you ready for American soldiers that have been genetically modified to perform superhuman feats of strength, run at superhuman speeds and even regrow limbs? The truth is that all of this stuff is being developed right now and most Americans have no idea that it is happening.
Have you enjoyed watching the “Iron Man” movies that have come out in recent years? Tens of millions of Americans have flocked to see those films, and now they are being used as inspiration to create a new generation of “exoskeletons” for U.S. soldiers. In fact, it is being reported that this revolutionary new “smart armor” was specifically “inspired by Tony Stark’s legendary nano suit used in the Iron Man movie series“. This armor is currently being developed at MIT, and according to the BBC this armor will give U.S. troops “superhuman strength”…
The US Army is working to develop “revolutionary” smart armour that would give its troops “superhuman strength”.
It is calling on the technology industry, government labs and academia to help build the Iron Man-style suit.
Other exoskeletons that allow soldiers to carry large loads much further have already been tested by the army.
The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (Talos) would have such a frame but would also have layers of smart materials fitted with sensors.
The suit would also need to have wide-area networking and a wearable computer similar to Google Glass, the US Army said.
Most people would not object to high tech armor for the military, but what about genetically modifying soldiers themselves?
That is an entirely different thing altogether.
In a previous article, I included a quote from a Daily Mail article that discussed how DARPA is now working on ways to create “super soldiers” that will be able to run at Olympic speeds and regrow limbs that have been blown off…
Tomorrow’s soldiers could be able to run at Olympic speeds and will be able to go for days without food or sleep, if new research into gene manipulation is successful.
According to the U.S. Army’s plans for the future, their soldiers will be able to carry huge weights, live off their fat stores for extended periods and even regrow limbs blown apart by bombs.
The plans were revealed by novelist Simon Conway, who was granted behind-the-scenes access to the Pentagon’s high-tech Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.
How in the world could those things possibly be accomplished?
Through genetic modification of course.
A different Daily Mail article explained how this might work…
Most gene modification techniques involve placing genetically modified DNA inside a virus and injecting it into the human body. The virus then enters human cells, and its modified DNA attaches itself to the human DNA inside those cells.
But should we really be using viruses to modify the DNA of our soldiers?
Should we really be modifying the DNA of anyone?
Of course not.
This is very dangerous territory. Just because we now have the ability to “play God” and alter human DNA does not mean that we should. If our scientists are not careful, they could end up creating monsters far beyond what anyone could imagine right now. And once Pandora’s Box is opened and these super soldiers start spreading their DNA around, it simply will not be possible to put the genie back into the bottle.
Another area where the U.S. military is pushing boundaries is in the field of robotics. For example, Northrop Grumman has developed a 1 1/2-ton unmanned killing machine that is known as MADSS…
The MADSS is one mean robot. Developed by defense industry leader Northrop Grumman and currently being showcased at the Fort Benning, Ga. “Robotics Rodeo,” the MADSS is a 1 1/2-ton unmanned ground vehicle designed to provide soldiers with covering fire while cutting down targets.
Make no mistake, it’s an automatic shooting machine, But it requires people to operate it and set targets. The MADSS — Mobile Armed Dismount Support System — tracks and fires on targets only once it gets the green light. It won’t shoot unless a soldier is directing it.
It’s half killer robot, half killer giant remote-control car. While its top speed hasn’t been stated, Northrop Grumman has said that it can follow troops on foot at about five miles an hour over rough terrain that conventional combat vehicles would find impassable.
But a remote control vehicle is one thing.
A “Terminator-like Atlas robot” is another.
Right now, Boston Dynamics is working on a 330 pound humanoid robot that looks like something out of a bad science fiction movie…
Finally, there’s fresh footage of Boston Dynamics’ Terminator-like Atlas robot, which was unveiled earlier this year. The 6-foot, 330-pound humanoid, which may or may not be a future robot infantryman, is designed to use tools and walk over rough terrain.
Check it out stomping over several boxes of rocks like nobody’s business, and then standing on one foot while being hit with a swinging weight.
Of course, it laughs on the inside at these pathetic human challenges.
You can view Atlas in action right here…
And personally, I think that the very human-looking robot known as “Petman” is even creepier.
You can see “Petman” in action right here…
As long as humans are controlling this kind of technology, at least there are some safety checks.
But what if we started creating killing machines that made their own decisions?
That sounds crazy, but according to a recent National Journal article that is exactly what is being developed. As you read this, scientists are working on ways to enable drones “to make even lethal decisions autonomously”…
Scientists, engineers and policymakers are all figuring out ways drones can be used better and more smartly, more precise and less damaging to civilians, with longer range and better staying power. One method under development is by increasing autonomy on the drone itself.
Eventually, drones may have the technical ability to make even lethal decisions autonomously: to respond to a programmed set of inputs, select a target and fire their weapons without a human reviewing or checking the result. Yet the idea of the U.S. military deploying a lethal autonomous robot, or LAR, is sparking controversy. Though autonomy might address some of the current downsides of how drones are used, they introduce new downsides policymakers are only just learning to grapple with.
The basic conceit behind a LAR is that it can outperform and outthink a human operator. “If a drone’s system is sophisticated enough, it could be less emotional, more selective and able to provide force in a way that achieves a tactical objective with the least harm,” said Purdue University Professor Samuel Liles. “A lethal autonomous robot can aim better, target better, select better, and in general be a better asset with the linked ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] packages it can run.”
Would you be comfortable with unmanned drones flying over your neighborhood that are able to decide on their own whether to kill you or not?
I certainly would not be.
This kind of reminds me of the killer drones in the new movie “Oblivion” that Tom Cruise starred in. I certainly would never want such technology being used to patrol the streets of America.
And what if we lose control over this kind of technology once it becomes widespread someday?
In the past, such notions where laughable. They were used as plots for bad science fiction movies and that was about it.
But now we are moving into a time when science fiction is becoming science reality.
Are you ready for that?
The wars of the future are very likely going to resemble many of the science fiction movies that we are watching right now. The U.S. military is in a global race to create the “technologies of the future”, and some of the things that they are coming up with are disturbing to say the [...]
Syria: Atrocities Committed by US-NATO Sponsored “Opposition”. Executioner for Syria’s “Rebels” Tells His Story
Israeli Intelligence News Acknowledges that Syria Rebels Possess Chemical Weapons, US-NATO Delivering Heavy Weapons...
Saxy Chambliss' (R-GA) absurd argument against marriage equality pretty much sums up Republican identity politics.
March 27, 2013 |
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On his show last night, Stephen Colbert took on absurd conservative arguments against same sex marriage.
“The gay swarm has descended on the Supreme court,” Colbert said, in reference to demonstrations supporting two hearings on marriage equality, “And folks, I shudder to think that the unnatural coupling of same sex partners might be put on the same footing as my loving relationship with my gun.”
Colbert mocked Justice Samuel Alito’s claim to uncertainty about same sex marriage—that it is “newer then cell phones or the Internet.”
“It was 30 years since people had cell phones. What’s the hurry gays?” Colbert wonders.
But the host saved his strongest attack for Senator Saxy Chambliss (R-GA), who reacted to Rob Portman’s (R-OH) flip on the issue in support of his gay son by saying “I’m not gay, so I’m not going to marry one.”
Colbert notes that Chambliss’ statement pretty much sums up Republicans’ general approach to identity politics.
“This is the same reason we should eliminate social security. Because I’m not old, and I never will be. And frankly, why should I care about women’s reproductive rights. I don’t have a vagina. I’ve checked!” Colbert observed, "The good news is marriage is safe as long as Saxy Chambliss never turns gay, which you know, that could happen, because he's proven he only cares about one special man."
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Senators Slam ‘Offensive’ NRA Move, Marriage Equality Endorsements Pile Up, and More
Posted on Mar 25, 2013
Hitting Back at the NRA: Two Democratic senators are demanding that the National Rifle Association “immediately stop” making robocalls promoting its agenda to residents of Newtown, Conn., the site of last year’s deadly elementary school shooting. In a letter to the NRA, Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both from Connecticut, blasted the powerful gun lobby for its “inappropriate” and “incredibly insensitive” actions while accusing the organization of hitting a new low. The senators added that it was “just another example in a long line of offensive steps your organization has taken in the wake of this tragic shooting.” Blumenthal and Murphy also urged the organization’s CEO Wayne LaPierre to “put yourself in the shoes of a victim’s family member who gets a call at dinnertime asking them to support more assault weapons in our schools and on our streets.” (Read more)
McCaskill Backs Gay Marriage: As the Supreme Court is about to hear a pair of landmark cases on gay marriage, Missouri Sen. (and former Todd “legitimate rape” Akin opponent) Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, is finally endorsing marriage equality. “While churches should never be required to conduct marriages outside of their religious beliefs, neither should the government tell people who they have a right to marry,” she wrote on her Tumblr. McCaskill tweeted the link to the post with a Bible verse from I Corinthians 13: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (Read more)
Warner Does Too: Another Democratic senator, Mark Warner of Virginia, also vocalized his support for same-sex marriage. Like McCaskill, Warner made the announcement via social media, but instead of Tumblr he chose Facebook. “I support marriage equality because it is the fair and right thing to do,” Warner, who is up for re-election in 2014, wrote. “Like many Virginians and Americans, my views on gay marriage have evolved, and this is the inevitable extension of my efforts to promote equality and opportunity for everyone.” McCaskill’s and Warner’s announcements are the latest in a series of political endorsements encouraging the legalization of same-sex marriage. (Read more)
Clinton’s Endorsement: Former President Bill Clinton is weighing in on the upcoming Los Angeles mayoral election, endorsing City Controller Wendy Greuel over City Councilman Eric Garcetti. Greuel worked in the Clinton administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and was an active supporter of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. “In her many years of public service in Los Angeles … Wendy has personified good, honest and effective government, improving the lives of countless Angelenos while saving millions of their tax dollars,” Bill Clinton wrote in a letter. (Read more)
Going for the Gold: Can left-leaning MSNBC supplant right-leaning Fox News as the top cable news channel by the end of next year? Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, tells New Republic writer Rebecca Dana that he’s optimistic about that prospect. As Dana noted, MSNBC is more successful now than it’s ever been, pulling in more than 1.5 million viewers in its weekday prime-time lineup around the election. “It’s a cockiness that has funneled down,” Dana wrote. “In a recent staff meeting, one of Griffin’s producers coined a new term for Fox News: ‘Loserville.’ ” (Read more)
Pro Pot: Two brothers from California want to legalize marijuana and they’re creating a super PAC—the first of its kind—to make it happen. Legalize Marijuana Super PAC.com was founded “to deal with legal troubles concerning probationary issues with medical and recreational marijuana use,” The Hill reports. The men also oppose law enforcement efforts in Oregon to crack down on Marinol, an FDA approved synthetic alternative to marijuana. “What we’re trying to do is not only [raise awareness], but take in contributions and donations to help vocalize our situation,” Mark Rogers, the organization’s president, said. (Read more)
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
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On the ten-year anniversary of the launch of the Iraq War, another tentacle of the ever-burgeoning post-9/11 national security state unfolded in a lively courtroom in Chicago in the form of a domestic terrorism case.
At the Cook County Courthouse in Chicago, People's Law Office attorney Michael Deutsch argued that Illinois' domestic terrorism statute - applied to three activists who were in Chicago to protest the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in May 2012 - is unconstitutional. Ten months since the charges were first doled out by the State of Illinois, Deutsch and his team of attorneys still await evidence from the prosecutors in the discovery phase of the trial.
Judge Thaddeus Wilson presided over the contentious two-hour-long oral duel between state prosecutors and the defense team representing Brian Jacob Church, Brent Betterly and Jared Chase - collectively known as the "NATO 3." The three came to the Windy City last year from Florida and New Hampshire to join protesters demonstrating in the streets against NATO's wars.
The argument pertained to the preemptive, military-style apartment raid and eventual arrest of three young men - eventually five - on charges of conspiracy to commit acts of domestic terrorism in the days leading up to the NATO Summit.
The prosecution's argument focuses on comments made by the three to undercover Chicago police officers, including a question Church allegedly posed asking if they had ever seen a "cop on fire." The prosecution used this phrase, without offering any context for the conversation, to attempt to show that the three had intent to actually carry out the crime.
"On the tenth anniversary of a war that's killed over 1 million Iraqi civilians, Attorney General Anita Alvarez has the gall to charge these protesters who were organizing against war 'terrorists,'" Joe Iosbaker, a Chicago activist raided by the FBI in 2010, said at a press conference before the hearing. (Alvarez's actual title is Cook County State's Attorney; Illinois' attorney general is Lisa Madigan.)
Defense Argues Illinois Statute Unconstitutional, Awaits Discovery Documents
The Illinois terrorism statute, one of dozens of state-level terrorism laws passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, was brought off the shelf to charge the NATO 3 with plotting to throw Molotov cocktails at strategic targets during the summit.
Merely a day after the court proffer detailing the charges was presented on May 19, it was revealed that two Chicago Police Department officers going by the names "Mo" and "Gloves" or "Nadia" worked in an undercover capacity for two months leading up to the summit to obtain the audio-recorded evidence; Deutsch has alleged the NATO 3 are victims of entrapment.
It was not until June 13 that actual indictments were handed out to the three, weeks after the usually mundane offering of a bail bond was transformed into a major public relations event by Chicago Police Department head Garry McCarthy and State Attorney Alvarez which quickly set off sensational mainstream media coverage.
The NATO 3 lawyers argued at the hearing, as they asserted in a prior motion and memorandum, that the Illinois terrorism statute is so vague it could ensnare the innocent and criminalize First Amendment rights. In the case of the NATO 3, they argue, it did both, leading the defense team to challenge the constitutionality of the Illinois statute on its face.
"This issue does not only concern the defendants, but should concern every citizen in Illinois and beyond, [as it] allows politically motivated mayhem to be prosecuted as terrorism," Deutsch stated at the podium facing Judge Wilson.
Unlike other state statutes, Deutsch argued, the Illinois law does not require that a crime be carried out. Rather, it requires that a "significant portion" of the population feel "coerced" or "intimidated" by the words or actions of the person charged with terrorism.
"[The] statute [is so overbroad that it] criminalizes speech that should be legal," said Deutsch, further arguing that if the case is heard by a jury, members would be unable to interpret the law effectively as currently written.
The prosecution's case centered on the necessity of preemptive action against potential threats at high-level national and international gatherings.
"If done during the NATO Summit, when the eyes of the world are upon you, then you have a different situation," said one of the prosecutors, arguing that the Illinois law was made more broad to cover the nature of US Secret Service Special National Security Events like the Summit, when dignitaries from around the world are gathered together in a confined space.
Prosecutors say that Church asked undercover detectives, "Have you ever seen a cop on fire?" which they argue was threatening to a significant portion of the civilian population even though no action was taken.
The prosecution also argued that the law needed to be written in broad-sweeping fashion to keep citizens safe. The state's legal team utilized the "1 percent doctrine," logic espoused in the Bush administration's 2002 National Security Strategy, arguing that the terrorism statute "is intended to stop this kind of grave conduct before it starts."
The same argument was employed to justify the launch of the war in Iraq, where Saddam Hussein's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) were never found. An identical "world is a battlefield" doctrine has continued under the Obama administration.
Lastly, prosecutors argued that the rare use of the law since 9/11 serves as Exhibit A that it can be utilized with proper discretion. When the defense took issue with the nature of the law itself, prosecutors said they were only prepared to discuss the threat they argue the NATO 3 posed - not a "hypothetical, but an on-the-ground reality and threat."
Defense Still Awaits Delivery of Discovery Documents
Another issue of contention was fulfillment of the bill of particulars, or particular documents the defense asked for from the State of Illinois during the discovery phase.
"There is still things that we asked for that they haven't given us, and they keep saying they need more time," Deutsch told Truthout. "There is also an issue about documents from the federal government, as we think the FBI was certainly involved in some way in the arrest. We think the FBI was involved during the period of time in which these undercover police were involved with our clients and there might be memorandums portraying their involvement."
In short, though Judge Wilson announced plans to hand out the legal ruling by March 27, the defense has still not received all of the factual material it needs to make a legal case on behalf of the NATO 3.
The Scene From the Inside the Courtroom
Church, with short red hair, and Betterly, with long blonde hair in a ponytail, wore bright yellow protective-custody-level Department of Corrections (DOC) prison garb. Chase, bearing short dark-brown hair, wore beige DOC clothing.
They were ushered into a sun-dappled courtroom with dark wood benches at 2 PM by over half a dozen Cook County Sheriff officers on one side and their six-strong legal team and about a dozen supporters on the other.
The hearing began with a bang when a dispute broke out when defense attorney Thomas Durkin asked Judge Wilson why the larger-than-normal police presence was necessary. The dispute ended when Wilson abruptly shouted, "You have been heard!" multiple times.
All of the NATO 3 appeared relaxed and attentive throughout the hearing. They are being held in Cook County Jail, which was under federal investigation for its conditions in 2008.
The Criminalization of Dissent
The NATO 3 story shares a common narrative thread with other post-9/11 domestic terrorism prosecutions: politically motivated legal statutes, the role of undercover law enforcement, and defendants with what civil rights lawyers have called a mixture of bravado and foolishness.
Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, says that demobilizing activism through the threat of jail time or stiff charges isn't anything new.
"At this point, we have committed to describing dissent as terrorism. This goes all the way back to the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act even before 9/11," he said.
While the Illinois statute is one of many state-level laws passed after 9/11, Buttar says that it is unique in its ability to criminalize dissent.
"The Illinois one is the only one that criminalizes potentially nonviolent acts and that should disturb anyone," said Buttar. "The fact that an act can be not violent, yet terrorism, should disturb anyone, and that's exactly why we should be concerned, because we see First Amendment speech being labeled as terrorism."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has welcomed an announcement by US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) about the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan’s Maidan Wardak Province.
On Thursday, Karzai also said that “The decision for withdrawal follows repeated local complaints of harassment and annoyance by the American Special Forces, and a decision by the National Security Council as well as a presidential order.”
On Wednesday, President Karzai and Commander of US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) General Joseph Dunford agreed on a plan for phased withdrawal of coalition forces from the area.
“Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, the ISAF commander, met with President Karzai at the Palace earlier today to finalize the details on the way forward in Wardak Province,” the ISAF said in a statement.
The US-led forces will first withdraw from Nerkh District, which is currently controlled by afghan Local Police (ALP) aided by the Coalition forces, and then from other districts.
Based on the agreement, the Afghan government will soon move Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) into the area.
The statement did not mention the exact date for the withdrawal, only noting, “The timeline for moving the ANSF into Nerkh District will be determined by the Afghan Government.”
Late in February Karzai accused US Special Forces of killings and torturing villagers in Wardak Province and order them to leave the area within two weeks.
The deadline expired at midnight Saturday, March 9.
Karzai issued the order only days after US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta unveiled a proposal during a NATO meeting in Brussels, suggesting that US and European forces remain in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 withdrawal plan.
The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 under the pretext of combating terrorism.
The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the country despite the presence of thousands of US-led soldiers.
Admiral James Stavridis, commander of US European Command and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)
NATO’s supreme commander says the alliance is drawing up contingency plans for a possible military intervention in Syria.
Admiral James Stavridis, commander of US European Command, said at the Senate Armed Services Committee that US military would be ready to take part in the aggression, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
Stavridis also serves as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).
The United States is “looking at a variety of operations. We are prepared if called upon to be engaged,” he said.
The US commander said the 28-member military alliance is also looking into the option of assisting the foreign-backed militants fighting against the Syrian government.
Stavridis further added that the negotiations within the NATO member states also concentrated on imposing a no-fly zone over Syria and providing lethal support to the militants.
The official confirmed that targeting Syria’s air defenses would also be taken into consideration.
On March 18, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington would not ‘stand in the way’ of Europeans if they decide to arm the militants fighting against the Syrian government.
The Los Angeles Times reported on March 16 that the CIA is considering a secret contingency plan to expand the US assassination drone strikes to Syria, according to former and current US officials.
The US publicly claims that its role in Syria is merely limited to providing food and medical supplies to the anti-government militants, but the Croatian daily Jutarnji List revealed on March 7 that the US has coordinated shipments of weapons from Croatia to the militants in Syria.
The report said 3,000 tons of weapons in 75 planeloads have been transferred from Zagreb to the militants in Syria via Jordan and Turkey. The weapons were reportedly paid for by Saudi Arabia at the request of the US.
NATO troops in Afghanistan have unsuccessfully tried to impose a foreign ideology in a war unwinnable by military means, the UK military has said. The planned 2014 pullout is expected to leave Kabul unable to survive the Taliban onslaught.
The Afghan mission of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), now in its 12th year, closely resembles the failed Soviet occupation of the country, a damning British internal report argued. The document was prepared in November last year by a British Ministry of Defense think tank and obtained by the Independent newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act.
“The highest-level parallel is that both campaigns were conceived with the aim of imposing an ideology foreign to the Afghan people: The Soviets hoped to establish a Communist state while NATO wished to build a democracy,” the document said. “Equally striking is that both abandoned their central aim once they realized that the war was unwinnable in military terms and that support of the population was essential.”
Both occupying forces found it difficult to deal with insurgencies they overwhelmed militarily, the report said: “The military parallels are equally striking; the 40th Army was unable decisively to defeat the mujahedin while facing no existential threat itself, a situation that precisely echoes the predicament of ISAF. Neither campaign established control over the country’s borders and the insurgents’ safe havens; both were unable to protect the rural population.”
Most NATO troops will pull out of the country next year, leaving behind a fragile and unpopular national government and a strong armed opposition, much like the Soviet Union, the report noted.
“Both interventions have been portrayed as foreign invasions attempting to support a corrupt and unpopular central government against a local insurgent movement which has popular support, strong religious motivation and safe havens abroad,” it said. “In addition, the country will again be left with a severely damaged and very weak economic base, heavily dependent upon external aid.”
In a grim warning, the document points to the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan as one of the reasons for its weakening and eventual collapse: “The international setting for both campaigns has significant similarities with world opinion judging both as failed interventions. Both faced a loss of confidence in their strategic world leadership and increasing domestic and financial pressure to abandon the enterprise.”
The assessment, which a Ministry of Defense spokesperson said was meant “to stimulate internal debate, not outline government positions,” mirrors another assessment prepared by the UK-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). In its annual Military Balance report released this week, the think tank forecast that the Afghan insurgency would not be eliminated by the end of 2014.
“The hope is that it can be reduced to such a level that it no longer poses an existential threat to the state and can be contained by Afghan forces,” the IISS said, predicting that in 2015 the country would be “a patchwork of insurgent activity.”
The transition talks between Kabul and the US-led ISAF are continuing amid bitter accusations and recriminations. Last Sunday, after two suicide bombers killed 19 people, Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused foreign troops of colluding with the Taliban to justify their presence in the region.
The allegations provoked a rebuke from several US officials, including ISAF chief Joseph Dunford. The US general said in an advisory obtained by the New York Times that "Karzai's remarks could be a catalyst for some to lash out against our forces."
The day after the Afghan President’s comments proved to be the deadliest for NATO troops in the country in 2013. Two US soldiers were killed and 10 were wounded in a suspected insider attack by a man dressed in an Afghan army uniform, and five Americans were killed in a helicopter crash that was blamed on bad weather.
"We're at a rough point in the relationship," Dunford said in his advisory. "[Militants] are also watching and will look for a way to exploit the situation – they have already ramped up for the spring."
In a move to mitigate the damage, Karzai’s office said Thursday the US and Afghanistan remain strategic partners, and that his statements "had been to correct rather than damage this relationship."
The harsh exchange came as Karzai has ramped up his nationalist rhetoric, pressuring for a swifter transition of authority in the country from foreign troops to the Afghan security forces. The president recently clashed with the US Military over repeated delays in the scheduled handover of Afghan detainees. He has also banned foreign troops from university campuses, and banned US Special Forces from two provinces over claims of harassment. Karzai also stopped Afghan forces from calling in US air strikes.
NATO’s war in Libya was proclaimed as a humanitarian intervention — bombing in the name of “saving lives.” Attempts at diplomacy were stifled. Peace talks were subverted. Libya was barred from representing itself at the UN, where shadowy NGOs and “human rights” groups held full sway in propagating exaggerations, outright falsehoods, and racial fear mongering that served to sanction atrocities and ethnic cleansing in the name of democracy. The rush to war was far speedier than Bush’s invasion of Iraq.
Max Forte has scrutinized the documentary history from before, during, and after the war. He argues that the war on Libya was not about human rights, nor entirely about oil, but about a larger process of militarizing U.S. relations with Africa. The development of the Pentagon’s Africa Command, or AFRICOM, was in fierce competition with Pan-Africanist initiatives such as those spearheaded by Muammar Gaddafi.
Far from the success NATO boasts about or the “high watermark” proclaimed by proponents of the “Responsibility to Protect,” this war has left the once prosperous, independent and defiant Libya in ruin, dependency and prolonged civil strife.
by Maximilian Forte
ISBN: 978-1-926824-52-9Year: 2012
Pages: 352 with 27 BW photos, 3 maps
Publisher: Baraka Books
About humanitarian imperialism, Max Forte writes:
“Desperate to finally be seen as the liberators of Arabs, rescuing poor victims with the finest of American exports (human rights), some would understandably feel compelled to exploit the suffering of others (residents fleeing Sirte) and turn that into something worthy of celebration. This is an example of the abduction process at the centre of Western, liberal humanitarianism: it can only function by first directly or indirectly creating the suffering of others, and by then seeing every hand as an outstretched hand, pleading or welcoming. We see (or imagine) helpless others, gobbling morsels of food that we hand them, brown mouths chugging down water from our plastic bottles, and we feel accomplished. Our moral might is reaffirmed by the physical plight of others. Clearly, the humanitarian relation is not a relation between equals. We are not our “brothers’ keepers” then, but rather we are more like animal keepers. Bombing for us is really just an animal management technology, and our relationship to the world remains a zoological one.” (Slouching Towards Sirte, p. 97.)
A War for Human Rights
(by Max Forte – in The Political Bouillon)
The war in Libya never happened. At least that is what one might think, considering the dearth of serious analysis and critical reflection in Canada since our participation in NATO’s bombardment campaign ended a year ago. Yet in Libya, in many ways the war is still happening…Read more..
Brendan Stone interviews Max Forte as he discusses his book SLOUCHING TOWARDS SIRTE
“Slouching Towards Sirte is a penetrating critique, not only of the NATO intervention in Libya, but of the concept of humanitarian intervention and imperialism in our time. It is the definitive treatment of NATO’s war on Libya. It is difficult to imagine it will be surpassed.”
-Stephen Gowans, What’s Left, Read More
“Forte’s allegations that NATO’s war was manufactured by liberal interventionists and “iPad imperialists” whose agenda to disrupt African independence and execute regime change under the “fig leaf” of saving lives are chilling—and persuasive. So too is the timeline of events between the start of the protests and the propagandist hysteria promulgated online. Even though Forte couches descriptions of Gaddafi in amorphous, guarded language, he isn’t an apologist. In this provocative and unabashedly direct book, Forte speaks truth to power.”
-ForeWord Reviews, January 4, 2013, read full review…
Maximilian C. Forte is a professor of anthropology in Montreal, Canada. He teaches courses in the field of political anthropology dealing with “the new imperialism,” Indigenous resistance movements and philosophies, theories and histories of colonialism, and critiques of the mass media. Max is a founding member of Anthropologists for Justice and Peace.
by Maximilian Forte
- ISBN: 978-1-926824-52-9
- Year: 2012
- Pages: 352 with 27 BW photos, 3 maps
- Publisher: Baraka Books
GOP Senator’s Unexpected Retirement, Sarah Palin’s Next Step, and More
Posted on Feb 18, 2013
Stepping Down: Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., surprised many in the political world Monday when he announced that he would not seek re-election after serving only one term. In an email to constituents that was co-signed by his wife, a former state senator, Johanns wrote: “At the end of this term, we will have been in public service over 32 years. Between the two of us, we have been on the ballot for primary and general elections 16 times and we have served in eight offices. It is time to close this chapter of our lives.” The seat is expected to remain in Republican hands. One name being floated around to run for the GOP in 2014: Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, who conveniently will be term limited out then. (Read more)
Still Around: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will once again speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), organizers of the high-profile right-wing event announced Monday. The onetime GOP vice presidential nominee recently parted ways with Fox News, but has pledged to remain active in politics. Palin will be joining a litany of high-profile conservatives at next month’s event, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. (Read more)
Write Stuff: David Corn, the Mother Jones reporter who broke the story of Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” remark that helped sink his candidacy, will receive one of journalism’s highest honors in April. Corn will get the Polk award in the political reporting category for uncovering the video of Romney’s comment. The Polk awards, named for former CBS News correspondent George Polk, focus primarily on investigative and enterprise reporting. (Read more)
Celebrating George: Contrary to what many think, Presidents Day isn’t actually about celebrating all of America’s presidents or buying mattresses—it’s really about honoring our nation’s first president around his birthday. The official name of Monday’s holiday is “George Washington’s Birthday,” although his actual birthday is Feb. 22. As The Christian Science Monitor noted, the holiday is “supposed to honor the Father of Our Country, and only him. Not Abraham Lincoln, not Franklin D. Roosevelt, not any other of the nation’s former chief executives. Chester A. Arthur will just have to get his own holiday, if he can.” (Read more)
Video of the Day: In his first congressional campaign ad, disgraced former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford acknowledges his past transgressions while pointing out that everyone—especiallyincluding himself—makes mistakes. Of course, most people don’t lie about their whereabouts and cheat on their wives while they’re running a state and then seek public office again, but you get the picture.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
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ASADABAD, Afghanistan, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) — At least 10 Afghan civilians were killed overnight in a NATO airstrike originally targeting a militants’ hideout in the country’s eastern province of Kunar, the provincial governor said on Wednesday.
“The NATO-led coalition forces carried out an air raid attack against a compound in Sheltan area of Shegal district at about 11: 00 p.m. Tuesday,” Seyyed Fazlullah Wahidi told Xinhua.
He said the raid claimed the lives of 10 civilians besides killing four armed militants.
“Our initial reports said that the killed civilians included five children, four women and a man,” Whahidi said, adding five children were also wounded in the incident in the province 185 km east of capital Kabul.
“We are aware of an operation (in eastern Afghanistan) and at this time we are trying to get information,” a spokesman with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) told Xinhua.
The ISAF took seriously the allegations of civilian casualties, he said, adding more information would be released to the media as appropriate.
The number of civilian casualties has been soaring in Afghanistan as more than 3,400 Afghan civilians reportedly were killed last year in the militancy-hit country.
The deaths of Afghan civilians in NATO-led troops’ operations against Taliban have long been a contentious issue between the Afghan government and U.S. and NATO forces stationed in the country.
Afghan officials had in the past stressed such deaths would further undermine the war against Taliban and terrorist groups and inflame an anti-foreign sentiment in the country.
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Afghan officials say that five children are among the ten civilians killed by a US/NATO missile attack in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday.
"Four women and five children were killed, and five children wounded. One man, who was the leader of the family, was also killed, according to reports from the site," a man named Farid told The Guardian's local correspondent by telephone. Farid is the chief of staff to the governor of Kunar Province, where the missile strike took place.
As Reuters reports:
The strike, in the Shigal district of Kunar province, was confirmed by NATO's International Security Assistance Force