Tag Archives | Syria

US Officials Leak Information About the ISIS Raid That’s More Sensitive than Anything Snowden Ever Leaked

AK Rockefeller (CC BY-SA 2.0)

AK Rockefeller (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Trevor Timm writes at the Freedom of the Press Foundation:

Over the weekend, the US government announced that special forces soldiers entered Syria to conduct a raid that killed an alleged leader of ISIS, Abu Sayyaf. In the process, anonymous US officials leaked classified information to the New York Times that’s much more sensitive than anything Edward Snowden ever revealed, and it serves as a prime example of the government’s hypocrisy when it comes to disclosures of secret information.

Here’s how the New York Times described how the US conducted this “successful” raid:

The raid came after weeks of surveillance of Abu Sayyaf, using information gleaned from a small but growing network of informants the C.I.A. and the Pentagon have painstakingly developed in Syria, as well as satellite imagery, drone reconnaissance and electronic eavesdropping, American officials said. The White House rejected initial reports from the region that attributed the raid to the forces of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

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Syria’s President Assad: US Airstrikes a Recruiting Bonanza for ISIS

Charlie Rose and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. (Image: CBS News)

Charlie Rose and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. (Image: CBS News)

Jon Queally via Common Dreams:

In an interview with Charlie Rose that aired on CBS News’ 60 Minutes Sunday night, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said American airstrikes that began last year against Islamic State (or ISIS) inside his country are doing little to benefit his own fight against the militant force but are having the undesirable side effect of increasing the number of fighters from across the region (and the world) who are flocking to join the group.

“How much of a benefit are you getting from American airstrikes in Syria reducing the power of ISIS?” Rose asked in the interview that took place just days ago in Damascus.

Al-Assad responded by pointing out that the U.S. government and its allies want to “sugar coat the situation” inside Syria by telling the world that ISIS “is being defeated” and that airstrikes are making things better.

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US Relaxing Standards for Killing Civilians in Iraq and Syria

By Marc Veraart via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By Marc Veraart via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Sarah Lazare writes at Common Dreams:

The Obama administration has admitted that it is relaxing its standards for avoiding civilian deaths when it comes to ongoing air bombardments on Iraq and Syria.

Yahoo News reported Tuesday that Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, told the news outlet that a standard imposed last year by President Obama, which requires “near certainty” that civilians will not be harmed in drone strikes, does not apply to the expanding war on Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Iraq and Syria.

Journalist Michael Isikoff reports:

The “near certainty” standard was intended to apply “only when we take direct action ‘outside areas of active hostilities,’ as we noted at the time,” Hayden said in an email. “That description — outside areas of active hostilities — simply does not fit what we are seeing on the ground in Iraq and Syria right now.”

Hayden added that U.S.

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Need To Justify Bombing Another Country? Fabricate “Imminent” Danger

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Sometimes the truth isn’t scary enough. As the United States prepared to bomb Syria, unnamed sources in the US government began telling compliant members of the press tales about a new group of terrorists that were much scarier than ISIS could ever be. This was obviously quite a bad situation as we had already been told to be really frightened of ISIS.

The new face of terror is called the  “Khorasan Group” by the US government, and was said by US officials to pose a “direct and imminent threat to the United States.” The imminent thing is rather crucial.

There was no authorization from Congress to bomb Syria. Because the US president is not permitted to launch a military attack without Congressional action unless to defend against an “imminent” attack on the United States, it was quite handy that all of a sudden the Khorasan Group was coming to get us.… Read the rest

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The War on ISIS: Views From Syrian Activists and Intellectuals

Syrian rebels from the “Al-Qasas Brigade” or “Justice Brigade” run through an olive grove to avoid Syrian Army snipers as they travel between villages on foot in the northwestern Jabal al-Zawiya area. By Freedom House via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Syrian rebels from the “Al-Qasas Brigade” or “Justice Brigade” run through an olive grove to avoid Syrian Army snipers as they travel between villages on foot in the northwestern Jabal al-Zawiya area. By Freedom House via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

via Dissent Magazine:

Conspicuously absent from the debate about ISIS and U.S. intervention—both in the mainstream and in the leftosphere—are Syrian voices. ISIS and U.S. officialdom occupy center stage, leaving the perspectives of Syrian civil society activists and writers out of the equation. While hardly surprising, this omission is troubling.

In an attempt to remedy this imbalance, I asked several Syrians—longtime activists and intellectuals from a range of backgrounds, including Kurdish, Palestinian, and Assyrian Christian—what they think about the ISIS crisis and Western intervention. Here are their responses.

Three Monsters

I am ambivalent about a Western attack against ISIS.

On the one hand, I would like to see this thuggish gang wiped from the face of the earth.

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Arming Syrian Rebels – How Does This End?

In the 80’s we armed the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. It led to al Qaeda & the Taliban.

In the 2000’s, we armed Iraqis and now ISIS is using that very gear against us.

As we consider arming Syrian rebels and a rush back to war, we need you to help this country stop and think: How does this end?

Watch and share this video. And then call your U.S. Senators today to tell them to vote against arming more rebels and starting new wars.

Help others seriously question doing the same, wrong thing all over again.

Thank you for your action.

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Just What We Need: Another War

Sound the bugle! Get the press to march along; we are going to war.

Again!

Enemies R ‘Us, and for a long time with the killing of bin Laden, a Jihadi fatigue had set in. With the apparent shriveling up of the Al Qaeda menace, America’s threat-defining and refining machinery was somewhat adrift. What had been so simple, turned too complex to fuse into one soundbite.

Former Intelligence official Thomas Fingar, now of Stanford University, describes his own frustration in finding out what US policy priorities should be in national intelligence. He asked his colleagues to share the threats they worried about. He was soon inundated.

“When I was given responsibility for the process known as the National Intelligence Priorities Framework, almost 2300 issues had been assigned priorities higher than zero, “ he explained. “My first instruction was, “Reduce the number.”

He knew they needed only one bad-ass enemy to focus fears and attract appropriations to fight.… Read the rest

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The Star Chamber: The Empire Strikes Back

Refreshing chat show from Down Under with maverick filmmaker/troublemaker Richard Wolstencroft, subversive electro-popsters David Thrussell, filmmaker Richard Lowenstein etc.

Be sure to watch it all the way through:

The Star Chamber: EP1 The Empire Strikes Back: The Neo-Imperial Reboot 2014

https://www.facebook.com/TheStarChamberTV

https://twitter.com/StarChamber_TV | @StarChamber_TV

 

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“Crucifixion of Christians”: Debunking the New Fake News Item

Media LiesWell, if you consider two months ago “new” fake news.  From Sirialbano, translated by Mary Rizzo, at We Write What We Like:

They were not Christians, they were Muslims. They were not killed by means of crucifixion, but their already lifeless bodies were exhibited in that barbarian manner.  The crime is ghastly, no matter what religious denomination the victims belong to.  And yet it “news” of “Christians crucified in Syria” went viral in the western media, in particular in the major Italian news media.

The two major Italian newspapers Il Corriere della Sera (above) and La Repubblica (below) dedicated a great amount of space to it, bring attention to the “news” on the first page accompanied by photographs of “a man crucified in Maalula”, the small Christian small town near Damascus.

To push the directors and the heads writers towards a similar editorial choice has no doubt been the statement of Pope Francis in the official Vatican site:   “I cried when i saw the news“.

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