The killings, part of the Obama administration’s targeted assassination program, are aiding terrorist recruitment and thus undermining the program’s goal of eliminating such fighters, the veterans added. Drone operators refer to children as “fun-size terrorists” and liken killing them to “cutting the grass before it grows too long,” said one of the operators, Michael Haas, a former senior airman in the Air Force. Haas also described widespread drug and alcohol abuse, further stating that some operators had flown missions while impaired.
Haas also described widespread alcohol and drug abuse among drone pilots. Drone operators, he said, would frequently get intoxicated using bath salts and synthetic marijuana to avoid possible drug testing and in an effort to “bend that reality and try to picture yourself not being there.” Haas said that he knew at least a half-dozen people in his unit who were using bath salts and that drug use had “impaired” them during missions.
– From the Intercept article: Former Drone Operators Say They Were “Horrified” by Cruelty of Assassination Program
I’ve highlighted the plight of several brave drone whistleblowers over the years who came forth to decry the barbaric and likely illegal nature of the U.S. drone program. Recently, four of them came together to denounce it more forcefully and provide more disturbing information. They also wrote a letter to Obama.
Warning: this video is graphic (the confrontation begins around 5:00)
With the release of this video, we suggest anyone living in and around Chicago ‘brace’ for potential social unrest. The Chicago Police Department has released video footage of the officer-involved shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was struck 16 times during a confrontation with officers.
The dashcam video, described by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez says that this video is “graphic, violent, and chilling,” is expected to provoke a very strong emotional reaction from Chicago’s very large African-American community.
As John Kass, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, said, the video “could tear Chicago apart,” which is why Mayor Emanuel has already urged Chicagoans, “it is fine to be passionate, but it is essential to remain peaceful.”
Despite demands from France’s Hollande, America’s Obama, and NATO’s Stoltenberg that this situation not esclate, it appears Putin is not taking the shooting down of a fighter jet lying down. The seemingly cagey confirmation by NATO and Obama of Turkey’s claims that Russia invaded its airspace has been rebuked by Russia which claims the Hmeimim airbase radar shows the attacking Turkish plane violating Syrian airspace. In response, Russia is moving a Cruiser ‘Moskva’ off the coast to strengthen air-defenses – just as French and US carriers are on their way.
Here is The Turkish version mapping of the flight paths.
Russia claims otherwise:
- HMEIMIM AIRBASE’S RADAR SYSTEM RECORDS VIOLATION OF SYRIAN AIRSPACE BY ATTACKING TURKISH WARPLANE – RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY
And is escalating:
- RUSSIAN ‘MOSKVA” CRUISER TO GO TO AREA IN COASTAL LATAKIA TO STRENGTHEN AIR DEFENSE IN SYRIA – RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY
The Missile cruiser in question: Continue reading »
Two days ago, we noted that both France and the US were rushing aircraft carriers toward the Syrian coast.
The French dispatched the nuclear powered, $3.5 billion Charles de Gaulle on Saturday while the US sent the CVN-75 Harry Truman last Monday. The departure of the CVN-71 Theodore Roosevelt from the Persian Gulf a month ago had left the entire 5th Naval Fleet without a US carrier presence for the first time in a decade.
But not for long.
At last check, the Truman was already approaching Gibraltar.
Waterboard Trump – until he admits that he is the twin brother of Osama bin Laden (It won’t take long!) – so that he knows what he is talking about.
Trump told supporters: “Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would. In a heartbeat. I would approve more than that. It works.”
The Republican frontrunner then added “… and if it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway for what they do to us”.
Donald Trump has had an interesting couple of days. Late last week, in an interview with Yahoo News, the GOP frontrunner (who, you’re reminded, recently regained the lead in Iowa as voters support his hardline stance on immigration) indicated that he would not be opposed to creating a database for Muslims. He then suggested that special ID cards for Muslim Americans would not be out of the question in a Trump administration.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, Trump has also said “some” mosques need to be monitored and, in a rather unnerving bit of foreshadowing, told the press that “we’re going to have to do some things that were unthinkable a year ago.” Continue reading »
The Yankton region saw nearly two feet (60 cm) of snow in some areas, almost double the previous record.
The city itself recorded 8 inches of snowfall, while a site to the east-southeast of town recorded about a foot of snow. Yankton’s record snowfall for Nov. 20 stood at 12 inches, set in 1975.
South Dakota state climatologist Dennis Todey said he was waiting to talk with National Weather Service (NWS) officials for more details on the unexpected brunt of last Friday’s storm. Early forecasts for snow totals were lower. Continue reading »
If the government’s official statistics are to be believed the U.S. economy is moving full steam ahead. Consumers are spending, the job market is expanding, real estate has recovered, stocks are soaring and the U.S. dollar is stronger than it has been in a decade.
But if you have yet to realize it, it’s all a lie. So says billionaire investor Eric Sprott of Sprott Global, which manages hundreds of millions of dollars in contrarian investment funds for clients all over the world. Well known for his long-term bullishness on the resource sector, specifically precious metals, Sprott joined First Mining Finance chairman Keith Neumeyer in a must-see interview where the pair discuss everything from the state of the global economy and trade to gold market manipulation and the inevitable breakdown of highly leveraged paper trading exchanges. Continue reading »
If Putin was angry when Turkey shot down a Russian plane, which may or may not have crossed Turkish territory – reports on both sides are conflicting – he will be absolutely livid to learn that, according to Turkey’s Dogan News, the Russian pilots who had parachuted in an attempt to save their lives after the plane was shot down, had been executed while parachuting down by local rebels, which considering the video released earlier belonged to the Free Syrian Army, are same “rebels” who are funded directly by the CIA.
Both Russian pilots shot dead while parachuting down says Dogan News Agency citing Turkmen opposition commander
— Fercan Yalinkilic (@FercanY) November 24, 2015
DHA Muhabirinin görü?tü?ü Türkmen 2’nci Sahil Tümen Komutan Yard?mc?s? Alpaslan Çelik: Pilotlardan ikisini de para?ütle inerken vurduk
— Damla Do?an (@dmladogan) November 24, 2015
As Telegraph points out, the above tweet is from CNN Turk’s Foreign Editor who tweeted that the Turkmen rebels DHA spoke to said: “We hit at the two pilots after they parachuted.”
This, as many have already pointed out, is a war crime.
The only question is whether this, together with the provocative action by Turkey which many can see being an act of war, will be deemed as such by Putin.
The parachuters can be seen in the second half of the clip below: Continue reading »
The news is coming fast and furious out of Syria on Tuesday where, earlier today, Turkey decided to shoot down a Russian Su-24 which Ankara says violated its airspace while conducting operations near the border.
Russia says the fighter jet was in Syrian airspace for the duration of the mission while Turkey insists that the plane crossed the border and was warned several times before being engaged by two F-16s.
For his part, Vladimir Putin has now called Turkey a “backstabber” on the way to accusing Ankara of funding ISIS and derailing the war on terror.
Meanwhile, the FSA which is aligned with al-Nusra and is backed and funded by the US and Turkey released two videos depicting its fighters celebrating over the body of a dead Russian pilot.
Just in case all of that wasn’t enough, the FSA now claims to have shot down a Russian helicopter as it searched for the two missing pilots.
- SYRIAN OPPOSITION SAYS RUSSIAN HELICOPTER DOWNED: JAZEERA
- RUSSIAN HELICOPTER MAKES EMERGENCY LANDING IN SYRIA: SOHR
- SYRIAN OBSERVATORY SAYS RUSSIAN HELICOPTER HIT IN SYRIA, REBEL GROUP SAYS IT STRUCK IT WITH ANTI-TANK MISSILE
Vladimir Putin speaking with the King of Jordan …
Watch from 5:48 into the video:
“…a stab in our back by the accomplices of terrorism…”
“…our plane was shot down over Syrian territory…”
A MUST-SEE …
Waiting for the response …
A few hours ago, Turkey decided that it would be a good idea to shoot down a Russian Su-24 near the Syrian border. It was the first time in nearly 60 years that a NATO member has shot down a Russian warplane.
There are competing accounts as to what led to the “incident”:
- Russia: “So far, we have not heard the reason for the crash of our attack aircraft from the Defense Ministry. We know for sure that the aircraft was in Syrian airspace, over the territory of Syria,”
- Turkey: “We warned them to avoid entering Turkish airspace before they did, and we warned them many times. Our findings show clearly that Turkish airspace was violated multiple times. And they violated it knowingly.”
So, as The Kremlin contemplates how best to respond to what is quite clearly the most serious escalation to date in Syria’s multi-sided, five-year civil war, the search is on for the two Russian pilots who ejected as the plane went down. Needless to say, just about the last place you want to be running around if you’re a fighter pilot is Syria.
But the search for the two men may be a lost cause. According to a video sent to Reuters, by “a Syrian rebel group”, at least one of the pilots is dead. Here’s the official word from AFP:
Moments ago a big black geopolitical swan landed when newswires lit up with headlines that a Turkish F-16 shot down what was initially said to be an unidentified warplane near the Syrian border after it violated Turkey’s airspace on Tuesday, a Turkish military official said, but the nationality of the downed aircraft was not immediately clear.
The Russian jet crashed in the mountainous Jabal Turkmen area of Latakia, where air strikes and fighting between rebels and Syrian government forces were reported earlier on Tuesday.
According to Reuters, Turkish F16s warned the jet repeatedly over the airspace violations before shooting it down.
On September 30, just hours after a three star Russian general strolled into the US embassy in Baghdad and told the staff to inform Washington that Moscow would begin airstrikes in Syria “in one hour”, the Western media was alive with accusations that The Kremlin wasn’t targeting ISIS, but rather other, US and Saudi-backed rebel groups fighting Assad’s depleted SAA. Here’s what WSJ said at the time:
“Among seven areas that Syrian state media listed as targets of Russian strikes, only one—an area east of the town of Salamiyah in Hama province—has a known presence of Islamic State fighters. The other areas listed are largely dominated by moderate rebel factions or Islamist groups, such as Ahrar al-Sham and the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.”
Yes, “moderate rebel factions such as the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.”
Put simply, the US had become so desperate to preserve whatever was left of the strategy to overthrow Assad, that Washington had the mainstream media floating trial balloons to see if the public would accept the characterization of al-Qaeda as “moderate.” Continue reading »
Last week, in the wake of Russian and US airstrikes on ISIS oil convoys, we asked three important questions:
- Who are the commodity trading firms that have been so generously buying millions of smuggled oil barrels procured by the Islamic State at massive discounts to market, and then reselling them to other interested parties? In other words, who are the middlemen?
- Can it possibly be true, as officials now claim, that the Obama administration refrained from bombing Islamic State oil trucks because Washington thought the group was “only” making $100 million per year instead of $400 million?
- Is it likely, considering how cavalier the US is about collateral damage from drone strikes, that The Pentagon refused to take out Islamic State’s revenue stream because the military was afraid of killing a few “innocent” truck drivers who by definition knew they were transporting illegal crude for a terrorist organization?
The first question is, for now anyway, unanswerable. As to the second and third, here’s what we said: Continue reading »
A Palestinian poet and leading member of Saudi Arabia’s nascent contemporary art scene has been sentenced to death for renouncing Islam.
Fayadh, 35, a key member of the British-Saudi art organisation Edge of Arabia, was originally sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes by the general court in Abha, a city in the south-west of the ultraconservative kingdom, in May 2014.
But after his appeal was dismissed he was retried last month and a new panel of judges ruled that his repentance did not prevent his execution.
Fayadh’s supporters believe he is being punished by hardliners for posting a video online showing the religious police (mutaween) in Abha lashing a man in public. “Some Saudis think this was revenge by the morality police,” said Kareem.
The case highlights the tensions between hardline religious conservatives and the small but growing number of artists and activists who are tentatively pushing the boundaries of freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia, where cinema is banned and there are no art schools.
– From the Guardian article: Saudi Court Sentences Poet to Death for Renouncing Islam
If ISIS had sentenced an internationally renowned poet to death on trumped up charges of “renouncing Islam,” it would be highlighted endlessly across Western media until the public was sufficiently salivating for war against the latest CIA-invented enemy.
When one of America’s closest allies does it…not so much. Continue reading »
70,000 customers lose power – 80,000 phones cut off
The heavy wet snow and sleet over the weekend caused as many as 70,000 customers to lose electricity in central Finland. Worst damage in power company Elenia’s history!”
As of Sunday morning some 55,000 households remained without power. Continue reading »
A MAN who is accused of causing horrific injuries to a 10-month-old baby by boiling him in a shower had just received the all clear to look after another infant by NSW’s child protection agency.
The baby boy was last night fighting for life in an induced coma with bruising to his skull, jaw and third degree burns to half of his body.
Police claim the man accused of attacking the boy told them the toddler had thrown up so he put him on the floor of the shower of a Penrith home and turned on the water before going to charge his phone and smoke.
The boy’s skin was “peeling off” when he returned, he told police.
Up to 10,000 troops are on standby to be deployed on the streets of Britain in the event of a Paris-style terror attack, David Cameron announced today.
The Prime Minister said the forces were part of a new contingency plan to deal with a ‘major terrorist attack’ amid warnings that ISIS and Al Qaeda could obtain chemical and biological weapons to launch a deadly attack. Continue reading »
Back in September in “How Mario Draghi Can Force The Swiss National Bank To Go ‘Nuclear On Depositors,” we discussed the implications of the ECB’s (likely) decision to plunge further into NIRP-dom at the bank’s December meeting.
In short, DM central banks – with the possible exception of the Fed which is about to create a rather meaningful policy divergence with its core CB brethren – are in a proverbial race to bottom. It’s a beggar-thy-neighbor monetary policy regime and the more stubborn inflation expectations prove to be, the more aggressive the tit-for-tat easing, as everyone involved scrambles to protect their currency in the face of incessant competitive devaluations on all sides.
As we outlined in great detail in the post linked above, the ECB’s ultra dovish lean has the potential to create a lot of problems for the Riksbank, the Norges Bank, and the SNB. Continue reading »
Young kids going to college are precisely that: Young kids going to college. Administrators are the ones who are supposed to be responsible for protecting free speech and upholding the U.S. Constitution within their spheres of influence, not pandering to hypersensitive students accustomed to always getting their way by merely shouting “racist” at whoever they happen to disagree with that week. Where are the adults in the room?
Apparently yoga is no longer a safe space.
When I first saw this headline I dismissed it, thinking it had to be a joke. Unfortunately, the joke’s on us.
The Telegraph reports:
A free yoga class has been suspended at a Canadian university over fears the practice could be seen as ‘cultural appropriation’, it has been claimed. Continue reading »
The Clinton Foundation’s Colombia-based investment company was not registered as a private equity fund in the country, which may have allowed it to avoid certain industry regulations and oversight from the Colombian government.
Although Fondo Acceso described itself as a “Private Equity Fund” in company promotional materials and business presentations, it is not listed in a database maintained by the Colombian government of current or previously registered private equity funds. Continue reading »
In a stunning demonstration of online book burning, Amazon.com has just banned a book because of its contents. The book Nobody Died at Sandy Hook consists of analysis from a dozen contributor authors, and it’s edited by Jim Fetzer, Ph.D.. The book concludes that Sandy Hook was a staged FEMA drill carried out by the government to push an agenda of nationwide gun control.
Use hashtag #StopAmazonCensorship to Tweet this story.
We have a full download of the book below in PDF form, so keep reading if you want to find out what’s so “dangerous” about this book that Amazon had to ban it… Continue reading »
Kiev’s prepayment is sufficient to cover deliveries for a couple of days, Gazprom CEO noted.
“Volumes of the prepaid gas are running out. I think that they will be sufficient… for a couple of days or so,” Miller told journalists on the sidelines of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum summit in the Iranian capital. Continue reading »
A significant debate is underway in Russia since imposition of western financial sanctions on Russian banks and corporations in 2014. It’s about a proposal presented by the Moscow Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church. The proposal, which resembles Islamic interest-free banking models in many respects, was first unveiled in December 2014 at the depth of the Ruble crisis and oil price free-fall. This August the idea received a huge boost from the endorsement of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It could change history for the better depending on what is done and where it further leads. Continue reading »