Sep 24

Obama-White House

- O, bomber! Obama bombs 7th country in 6 years (RT, Sep 24, 2014):

American jets hit targets in Syria on Tuesday in the US-led fight against Islamic State. Although the US has not declared war since 1942, this is the seventh country that Barack Obama, the holder of the Nobel Peace Prize, has bombed in as many years.

Syria has become the latest country to have been openly targeted by the US, with Washington predictably not seeking the approval of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The US and NATO started a bombing campaign in the north of the country on Tuesday against Islamic State militants, who have taken over parts of the north and east of the country. The death toll from Tuesday’s campaign was put at 120, though this figure could rise, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, who also said that eight civilians had lost their lives. Continue reading »

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May 07

- MUST-SEE: Former Head Of Pentagon’s Depleted Uranium Project Dr. Doug Rokke On Depleted Uranium (Video)


- DEPLETED URANIUM (Nuclear Reader):

THIS CHAPTER DISCUSSES DEPLETED URANIUM (DU) AS A PART OF THE NUCLEAR ENERGY CYCLE WITH ATTENTION TO MILITARY USES.

Uranium is mined from the earths crust.  It is separated from the rock at a nearby mill leaving behind radioactive sands called tailings which remain hazardous for hundreds of thousands of years.  The uranium is then refined for use as fuel for nuclear reactors.  A by-product of this process of enriching uranium is Depleted Uranium, or DU.  Uranium producing countries are Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia, Namibia, Russia, Niger, Uzbekistan and the United States.

Because of its high density DU is used in armor piercing munitions.  It has been employed in Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Gaza, in both Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, North Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and now, it seems, Libya, though there has been no official confirmation.

Continue reading »

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Apr 22

US Air Force photo

- US Drones Continue ‘Massive’ Operations in Third Day of Attacks (Common Dreams, April 21, 2014):

Flurry of strikes continues

A suspected U.S. drone strike hit Yemen on Monday morning, the third such attack in as many days, killing people described as “militants” as part of “massive and unprecedented” operations targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

According to reporting by the Associated Press, the most recent strike “targeted the mountainous area of Mahfad between the provinces of Abyan and Shabwa,” located in the southern part of the impoverished country.

Neither the number of casualties nor who they are is clear at this point.

Continue reading »

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Feb 23


YouTube Added: Feb 21, 2014

Description:

President Barack Obama violated his own rules for the use of drone strikes in a December 2013 strike on a wedding procession in Yemen, a new report from Human Rights Watch says. The US military initially claimed that the procession was actually members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, then admitted it was a wedding procession, but claimed that most of the people killed in the attack were members of the terrorist organization. But Human Rights Watch says, “The procession also may have included members of AQAP, although it is not clear who they were or what was their fate.” The group went on to say that there is no evidence that members of the caravan posed an imminent threat, and that killing them was a violation of international human rights laws. RT’s Meghan Lopez speaks with investigative journalist Ben Swann about US drone policy and whether the attack was a violation of Obama’s own stated rules.

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Dec 14

- Air strike kills 15 civilians in Yemen by mistake: officials (Reuters, Dec 12, 2013):

Fifteen people on their way to a wedding in Yemen were killed in an air strike after their party was mistaken for an al Qaeda convoy, local security officials said on Thursday.

The officials did not identify the plane in the strike in central al-Bayda province, but tribal and local media sources said that it was a drone.

“An air strike missed its target and hit a wedding car convoy, ten people were killed immediately and another five who were injured died after being admitted to the hospital,” one security official said.

Continue reading »

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Oct 29

- Confessions of a Drone Warrior (GQ Magazine, Oct 23, 2013):

He was an experiment, really. One of the first recruits for a new kind of warfare in which men and machines merge. He flew multiple missions, but he never left his computer. He hunted top terrorists, saved lives, but always from afar. He stalked and killed countless people, but could not always tell you precisely what he was hitting. Meet the 21st-century American killing machine. who’s still utterly, terrifyingly human

From the darkness of a box in the Nevada desert, he watched as three men trudged down a dirt road in Afghanistan. The box was kept cold—precisely sixty-eight degrees—and the only light inside came from the glow of monitors. The air smelled spectrally of stale sweat and cigarette smoke. On his console, the image showed the midwinter landscape of eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province—a palette of browns and grays, fields cut to stubble, dark forests climbing the rocky foothills of the Hindu Kush. He zoomed the camera in on the suspected insurgents, each dressed in traditional shalwar kameez, long shirts and baggy pants. He knew nothing else about them: not their names, not their thoughts, not the thousand mundane and profound details of their lives.He was told that they were carrying rifles on their shoulders, but for all he knew, they were shepherd’s staffs. Still, the directive from somewhere above, a mysterious chain of command that led straight to his headset, was clear: confirmed weapons. He switched from the visible spectrum—the muted grays and browns of “day-TV”—to the sharp contrast of infrared, and the insurgents’ heat signatures stood out ghostly white against the cool black earth. A safety observer loomed behind him to make sure the “weapon release” was by the book. A long verbal checklist, his targeting laser locked on the two men walking in front. A countdown—three…two…one…—then the flat delivery of the phrase “missile off the rail.” Seventy-five hundred miles away, a Hellfire flared to life, detached from its mount, and reached supersonic speed in seconds.

It was quiet in the dark, cold box in the desert, except for the low hum of machines.

Continue reading »

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May 14

- AG Holder To Recuse Himself From AP Leak-Gate Investigation (ZeroHedge, May 14, 2013):

From one farce to another:

  • *HOLDER SAID TO RECUSE HIMSELF FROM AP PHONE RECORDS CASE
  • *HOLDER SAID TO RECUSE HIMSELF BECAUSE HE WAS QUESTIONED IN CASE

Yesterday, the Associated Press revealed the Department of Justice had been secretly monitoring both the personal and work phones of numerous AP editors and reporters. So just what did Holder know? For now, it is not known if Holder authorized or even knew about the investigation.

- Attorney General Holder recused himself from AP subpoena (Reuters, May 14, 2013):

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday that he recused himself from the Justice Department’s controversial decision to secretly seize telephone records of the Associated Press.

Instead, the decision to seek the media records was made by the deputy attorney general, Holder said. Jim Cole currently holds that position.

Continue reading »

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Jan 28

- The Children Killed by America’s Drones. “Crimes Against Humanity” committed by Barack H. Obama. (Global Research, Jan 26, 2013)

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Jan 13


A U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle. The U.S. is conducting drone strikes in in at least three countries beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stanley Thompson)

- Everything We Know So Far About Drone Strikes (ProPublica, Jan 11, 2013):

Jan. 11, 2013: this post has been corrected.

You might have heard about the “kill list.” You’ve certainly heard about drones. But the details of the U.S. campaign against militants in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia — a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s national security approach – remain shrouded in secrecy. Here’s our guide to what we know—and what we don’t know.

Where is the drone war? Who carries it out?

Drones have been the Obama administration’s tool of choice for taking out militants outside of Iraq and Afghanistan. Drones aren’t the exclusive weapon – traditional airstrikes and other attacks have also been reported. But by one estimate, 95 percent of targeted killings since 9/11 have been conducted by drones.  Among the benefits of drones: they don’t put American troops in harm’s way.

Continue reading »

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Nov 29

- Begun the Drone Wars Have (Huffington Post, Nov 27, 2012):

With drones from the beginning there has been a kind of technological determinism associated with the idea that since the United States possesses this relatively new technology it should use it. Facing the uncertainty of reelection, President Obama became so concerned about the lawlessness of his drone killings he sought hastily to codify the rules governing their use. What began in the Bush era as a means for targeting al Qaeda leaders hiding in remote areas has become a vast “amorphous” death machine targeting suspected “militants” in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan. Now we’ve learned that, in addition to “personality strikes” aimed at individuals deemed enemies of the United States, there are now what’s called “signature strikes” where any congregation of suspicious looking military-age men is open game.

The Obama administration apparently views drones as the cheapest and easiest way to kill “militants” while keeping American casualties low to non-existent. This seeming techno-supremacy has the added political benefit of getting around a war-weary electorate. But future presidents might not quibble about using drones as judiciously as our current president claims to be, hence his rush to clarify the rules of engagement.

Continue reading »

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Nov 27


YouTube Added: 26.11.2012

Description:

Ben Swann takes a look at the statement last week by President Obama that “No country would tolerate missiles being fired from outside their borders”. We compare the numbers on U.S drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan.

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Nov 09

Drones+ iPhone App from Josh Begley on Vimeo.

- Apple Rejects App That Tracks U.S. Drone Strikes (Wired, Aug 30, 2012):

It seemed like a simple enough idea for an iPhone app: Send users a pop-up notice whenever a flying robots kills someone in one of America’s many undeclared wars. But Apple keeps blocking the Drones+ program from its App Store — and therefore, from iPhones everywhere. The Cupertino company says the content is “objectionable and crude,” according to Apple’s latest rejection letter.

It’s the third time in a month that Apple has turned Drones+ away, says Josh Begley, the program’s New York-based developer. The company’s reasons for keeping the program out of the App Store keep shifting. First, Apple called the bare-bones application that aggregates news of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia “not useful.” Then there was an issue with hiding a corporate logo. And now, there’s this crude content problem.

Continue reading »

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Nov 05


YouTube Added: 02.11.2012

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Oct 28

- U.S. Expands Secretive Drone Base for African Shadow War (Wired, Oct 26, 2012):

The Pentagon’s secretive drone and commando base in the Horn of Africa is getting a lot bigger and a lot busier as the U.S. doubles down on its shadowy campaign of air strikes, robot surveillance and Special Operation Forces raids in the terror havens of Yemen and Somalia.

Camp Lemonnier, originally a French colonial outpost in Djibouti, a tiny, impoverished nation just north of Somalia, has been the epicenter of America’s Indian Ocean shadow war since just after 9/11. What was once little more than a run-down compound adjacent to Djibouti city’s single-runway international airport is now a sprawling complex of hangars and air-conditioned buildings housing eight Predator drones and eight F-15E fighter-bombers plus other warplanes, as well as around 300 Special Operations Forces and more than 2,000 other U.S. troops and civilians.

According to an investigation by The Washington Post, the Pentagon is spending $1.4 billion to expand the base’s airplane parking and living facilities. The extra housing could accommodate another 800 commandos, the Post reports. The military is also adding new lighting to a emergency landing strip a few miles from Camp Lemonnier — an urgent precaution as more and more planes and drones pack onto the main base’s sole runway. Continue reading »

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Oct 02


YouTube Added: 23.09.2012

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Sep 14

- Arabian Fall Update: Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Morrocco, Tunisia, Sudan And Now Lebanon (ZeroHedge, Sep 13, 2012):

From the Arabian Spring of hope (although technically protesting soaring food prices, something which is about to happen all over again) to the Arabian Fall of anti-American revulsion in under two years: has to be a blowback record. The latest casualty: the German embassy in Sudan:

  • Protestors now inside German Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan – RTRS
  • Protesters pull down emblem at German embassy in Sudan, raise Islamic flag, Reuters witness says – RTRS
  • Protesters set KFC restaurant on fire in Lebanon over pope’s visit, anti-Islam film -RTRS

So: Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Morrocco, Tunisia, Sudan and now Lebanon. Did we miss anyone?

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Sep 13

- Blowback Blows Up – US Embassy In Yemen Stormed (ZeroHedge, Sep 12, 2012):

Anti-American violence and hatred is spreading: first Egypt, then Libya, with very tragic consequences, now Yemen. From Reuters: “Hundreds of Yemeni demonstrators stormed the U.S. embassy in Sanaa on Thursday in protest at a film they consider blasphemous to Islam, and security guards tried to hold them off by firing into the air. The attack followed Tuesday night’s storming of the United States Consulate in Benghazi, where the ambassador and three other staff were killed. President Barack Obama said the perpetrators would be tracked down and ordered two destroyers to the Libyan coast, but there were fears protests would spread to other countries in the Muslim world.” And since the US will not retaliate against any of these attacks on what is technically US territory except with “strong condemnation”, expect many more retaliations against America in the middle east in the days ahead as blowback finally blows up. Also, will the US warships headed to Libya now be redirected to Yemen or the next country that decided to burn down its US mission? Continue reading »

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Sep 07

- Drone Club (ZeroHedge, Sep 6, 2012):

The first rule of Fight Club?

You don’t talk about Fight Club.

Obama isn’t a member of Fight Club; he’s a member of Drone Club — which targets individuals in foreign lands, including American citizens and their families, for extrajudicial assassination by drone. And the first rule of Drone Club?

You don’t talk about it.

Via Reprieve:

Apple has for the third time this month rejected an iPhone app which alerts the user to a drone attack and to the number of people killed.  Drones+ enables those concerned to track the strikes to their handset.

This is no doubt an uncomfortable prospect for the US authorities, whose use of drones extends to Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, where no war has been declared.  Such drone strikes have killed more than 3,300 people in Pakistan alone since 2004, according to reports by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Now we don’t know who made this decision, whether Apple thinks that citizens knowing of drone strikes is a national security risk, or whether Apple were leaned on by the CIA, NSA or Pentagon — though given that Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other Presidents combined, the latter wouldn’t be entirely unsurprising. Nonetheless, whatever the truth this is a very disturbing development — after all, how can we rightly judge the administration’s foreign and national security policy without having up to date facts?

Obama claims that the drone strikes are conducted on a very rigorous basis: Continue reading »

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Aug 14


An MQ-1 Predator armed with Hellfire missiles flies over southern Afghanistan. Photo: Air Force

- Hidden History: America’s Secret Drone War in Africa (Wired, Ag 13, 2012):

More secret bases. More and better unmanned warplanes. More frequent and deadly robotic attacks. Some five years after a U.S. Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle flew the type’s first mission over lawless Somalia, the shadowy American-led drone campaign in the Horn of Africa is targeting Islamic militants more ruthlessly than ever.

Thanks to media accounts, indirect official statements, fragmentary crash reports and one complaint by a U.N. monitoring group, we can finally begin to define — however vaguely — the scope and scale of the secret African drone war.

The details that follow are in part conjecture, albeit informed conjecture. They outline of just one of America’s ongoing shadow wars — and one possible model for the future U.S. way of war. Along with the counterterrorism campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen and the Philippines, the Somalia drone war demonstrates how high-tech U.S. forces can inflict major damage on America’s enemies at relatively low cost … and without most U.S. citizens having any idea it’s even happening.

Since 2007, Predator drones and the larger, more powerful Reapers — reinforced by Ravens and Scan Eagle UAVs and Fire Scout robot helicopters plus a small number of huge, high-flying Global Hawks — have hunted Somali jihadists on scores of occasions. It’s part of a broader campaign of jet bombing runs, naval gun bombardment, cruise-missile attacks, raids by Special Operations Forces and assistance to regional armies such as Uganda’s.

In all, air raids by manned and unmanned U.S. aircraft have killed at least 112 Somali militants, according to a count by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Fifty-seven innocent civilians also died in the raids, the nonprofit Bureau found. The dead jihadists have included several senior members of al-Qaeda or the affiliated al-Shabaab extremist group. In January, a drone launched three Hellfire missiles at a convoy near Mogadishu and killed Bilaal al-Barjawi, the mastermind of the 2010 bombing in Kampala, Uganda, that claimed the lives of 74 soccer fans.

In an escalating secret war, drones are doing an ever-greater proportion of the American fighting.

The Drones Are Coming

It wasn’t until relatively recently that U.S. drones were permanently stationed in East Africa. The military and CIA have operated armed versions of General Atomics’ one-ton Predator since 2001, but early on the remote-controlled warplanes were in high demand and short supply. Afghanistan and later Iraq monopolized the drones.

That was a big problem for the small U.S. force in East Africa struggling to keep tabs on increasingly radical, and dangerous, Somali militants. “The largest gap is knowledge,” Navy Rear Adm. Tony Kurta, former commander of U.S. troops in Djibouti, told Danger Room in 2009. Continue reading »

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Aug 11


In early 2010, a boy led the hard-line Islamist al-Shabab fighters as they conducted military exercise in Somalia. The country’s continuous violence appears to have increased recruiting efforts of young fighters, who are easily indoctrinated. (Associated Press)

- U.S. gives military aid to nations with child soldiers (Washington Times, Aug 8, 2012):

Obama issues waivers of law

Mr. Obama will decide by early October whether to withhold aid or give waivers to seven countries named in the State Department’s 2012 Trafficking in Persons list as using children as armed combatants. The countries are Congo, Libya, Myanmar (also known as Burma), Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen. Burma, Congo, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen are repeat offenders, named on the 2011 list.

In October, responding to the State Department’s 2011 report, Mr. Obama said it was in the “national interest of the United States” that Yemen be granted a full waiver, meaning it was entitled to receive $20 million in military financing aid and $1.2 million in training funds for fiscal 2012. He called Yemen “a key partner in counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” and said that cutting military aid would harm the U.S. relationship with the country and “have a negative impact on U.S. national security.”

The president granted a partial waiver to Congo, saying that government had “taken some steps to reduce child soldiers,” but acknowledged that the progress made by Congo “does not yet represent the kind of institutional change required to make real progress toward eliminating child soldiers.”

Chad received a waiver for efforts to come into compliance with the law. Burma, Somalia and Sudan did not receive U.S. aid subject to the act, although the Transitional Federal Government in Somalia, which has child soldiers, is scheduled to receive $50 million in separate peacekeeping aid not subject to the Child Soldier Prevention Act.

In 2010, the first year the law was in effect, Mr. Obama gave full national-interest waivers to Chad, Congo, Sudan and Yemen. Continue reading »

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