Tag Archives | War On Terror

What Is al-Qaeda?

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The White House is “mulling over” whether or not to use a drone to knock off an “American al-Qaeda.” But nearly 13 years after 9/11 and after the oft-mentioned decimation of the original group, no one in the mainstream media seems to ask one simple question:

What exactly is al-Qaeda?

Is it a group of committed jihadists previously led by Osama bin Laden? Or is it a “brand?”

Is the enemy just the so-called “core” al-Qaeda, or is it now an amorphous conglomerate of affiliates, franchisees and enthusiasts?

If “core al-Qaeda” is, as Director of National Intelligence James Clapper just said in his most recent congressional testimony, those “remnants” of the original ideological core still in Pakistan and Afghanistan, by what criteria are other groups not self-identifying as “al-Qaeda” then deemed as “designated al-Qaeda”

Considering the President’s State of the Union anti-terrorist to-do list of Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and Mali, is al-Qaeda really “on the path to defeat?” Is it “resurgent?” Or is the to-do list just a broad wish list of militants and insurgents not really associated with “core” al-Qaeda?… Read the rest

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TSA: What Is it Good For?

The-Simpsons-vs-the-TSA(TSA) isn’t as effective at detecting suspicious characters as one might think. The Government Accounting Office (GAO) has reviewed the TSA’s Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program was evaluated at being “the same or slightly better than chance.”

The SPOT program since 2007 cost $900 million. The TSA has failed to collect consistent data to prove the effectiveness of the behavioral detection program; worse yet, the SPOT program was initiated without any scientific validation. For reason, the GAO has recommended that Congress cut off funding to this program, something that the Department of Homeland Security disagrees with.

You think that’s bad? That’s only the tip of the damning iceberg.

Anti-TSA activist Johnathan Corbett, who filed a lawsuit against the agency on the faulty nature of their body scanners found a particularly revealing document that declares the probability of terrorists hijacking planes in the United States.

VIA TechDirt

Jonathan Corbett, a long-time vocal critic of TSA body scanners, has been engaged in a lawsuit against the government concerning the constitutionality of those scanners.

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DoD, CIA Required Military Doctors to Breach Ethics in Dealing With Detainees

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Well, I know this is old news, but it’s heartening to see more and more professionals addressing the issue. In this case, The Institute on Medicine as a Profession. If you can stand a deeper look at the topic you might be interested in our documentary “Doctors of the Dark Side“. Trailer below the cut.

Via Eureka Alert:

An independent panel of military, ethics, medical, public health, and legal experts today charged that U.S. military and intelligence agencies directed doctors and psychologists working in U.S. military detention centers to violate standard ethical principles and medical standards to avoid infliction of harm. The Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers (see attached) concludes that since September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense (DoD) and CIA improperly demanded that U.S. military and intelligence agency health professionals collaborate in intelligence gathering and security practices in a way that inflicted severe harm on detainees in U.S.

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The Six Primary Reasons for Why They Hate Us

via chycho

Why-Do-You-Hate-UsIn response to 9/11, on September 20, 2001, then President George W. Bush delivered a speech in which he deflected and trivialized the reasons for the grievances that many around the globe have regarding U.S. foreign policy. In his address to a joint session of Congress and the nation, in his attempt to answer America’s questions as to “Why do they hate us?”, he stated:

“They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.”

Now that most of us are well aware that the situation is a lot more complicated than they hate us because of “our freedoms”, let’s hear what some of those reasons are.

In the following House Homeland Security Committee meeting held on October 9, 2013, former CIA intelligence officer, Michael F.Read the rest

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AUMF: How America Codified Endless War | Brainwash Update

Abby Martin looks back at the signing of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) as the catalyst for America’s global War on Terror, and highlights US Rep. Barbara Lee as the lone voice who opposed the legislation following the 9/11 attacks.

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FOLLOW Abby Martin @ http://twitter.com/AbbyMartinRead the rest

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Big Data Mining With NSA Director Keith Alexander

keith alexanderA snippet from a Foreign Policy piece on NSA chief Keith Alexander reveals the logic at play in our surveillance state:

“He said at one point that a lot of things aren’t clearly legal, but that doesn’t make them illegal,” says a former military intelligence officer who served under Alexander at INSCOM.

When he ran INSCOM, Alexander was fond of building charts that showed how a suspected terrorist was connected to a much broader network of people via his communications or the contacts in his phone or email account.

“He had all these diagrams showing how this guy was connected to that guy and to that guy,” says a former NSA official who heard Alexander give briefings on the floor of the Information Dominance Center. “Some of my colleagues and I were skeptical. Later, we had a chance to review the information. It turns out that all [that] those guys were connected to were pizza shops.”

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Inside The NYPD’s Secret CIA-Style Demographics Unit

demographics unit

New York Magazine has an epic report on the secret unit built by the NYPD to infiltrate and monitor the city’s various communities for un-American sentiment:

The activities Kelly set in motion after 9/11 pushed deeply into the private lives of New Yorkers, surveilling Muslims in their mosques, their sporting fields, their businesses, their social clubs, even their homes in a way not seen in America since the FBI and CIA monitored antiwar activists during the Nixon administration.

Putting a CIA officer inside a police department was unprecedented. The CIA, by its very charter, was prohibited from having any “police, subpoena, or law enforcement powers or internal security functions.” But 9/11 had changed the equation.

To the extent Sanchez had an official title, it was the CIA director’s counter­terrorism liaison to the state of New York. In reality, he was Cohen’s personal CIA representative, with an office at the CIA station in Manhattan and another at NYPD.

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Ohio School Children Participate In Surreal Bus Hijacking Drill

Contrary to some reports, the children involved had previously signed waivers for their participation. Nonetheless, it’s surreal that a community of parents and teachers were complicit in this exercise in paranoid fantasy, with terrorist hijackings of their kids’ bus in the middle of Ohio apparently being considered a serious possible threat:

Rossford, OH – Police staged a realistic hijacking of a school bus — with children on board — in order to allow a SWAT team to perform an explosion-packed rescue drill.

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Click To Summon The NSA

Want to make your afternoon more interesting? A few keystrokes online can bring a hot pizza to your door, but what about delivering stone-faced FBI agents? There’s a new site for that called SUMMON THE NSA! (click through to actually hit the button):

Disclaimer: By clicking this button your browser will do a google search for a list of known words that the NSA monitors.

These searches will summon the police and FBI to your house because, just like everyone living in America today, all of your digital transactions are being monitored.

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