Category: News Items

Meet the Syrian Al-Qaeda Linked Rebel Who Freely Visited America Last Year

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With all the U.S.-trained fighters dead, captured or missing and their leader in the hands of Al Qaeda, top U.S. commanders are scrambling this week to determine how to revive the half-billion dollar program to create a moderate Syrian army to fight the Islamic State.

The outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, who viewed the force as a critical element of the military strategy in both Syria and Iraq, is conferring with top Pentagon officials behind closed doors to figure out what options are left for what is widely considered a policy and military failure, according to senior defense officials.

Sen. Chris Murphy, the Connecticut Democrat who sits on the Appropriations Committee, returned from a trip to the region last week where he was briefed on the effort. His assessment of the program: “a bigger disaster than I could have ever imagined.”

– From the post: Further Details Emerge on the Epic U.S. Foreign Policy Disaster that is Syria

U.S. foreign policy is such a disastrous joke, trying to keep up with it is essentially a full time job.

In case you still had any doubt as to why ISIS and other assorted terrorists seemed virtually unstoppable in Syria until Russia became involved, the following piece should clear things up.

From McClatchy DC:

A senior figure from a Syrian rebel group with links to al Qaida was allowed into the United States for a brief visit, raising questions about how much the Obama administration will compromise in the search for partners in the conflict. 

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Another Brilliant Analysis on Why Trump Will Beat Clinton

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A Clinton match-up is highly likely to be an unmitigated electoral disaster, whereas a Sanders candidacy stands a far better chance. Every one of Clinton’s (considerable) weaknesses plays to every one of Trump’s strengths, whereas every one of Trump’s (few) weaknesses plays to every one of Sanders’s strengths. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, running Clinton against Trump is a disastrous, suicidal proposition.

– From February’s post: Why Hillary Clinton Cannot Beat Donald Trump

The best “why Hillary Clinton can’t beat Donald Trump” articles tend to be written by liberal-leaning Bernie Sanders supporters. These people can’t stand Trump, yet find it impossible to ignore the obvious flaws and rampant cronyism inherent in Her Majesty. This dislike of both frees such thinkers from distracting bias and provides for refreshing analysis and a unique perspective on 2016.

The latest example of such commentary comes courtesy of author Anis Shivani, writing at Salon. The piece is titled, Donald Trump is Going to Win: This is Why Hillary Clinton Can’t Defeat What Trump Represents, and it explores a less discussed angle of the psychic differences between the two candidates in the eyes of voters. I found the opening paragraphs of the piece to be the most interesting:

The neofascist reaction, the force behind Trump, has come about because of the extreme disembeddedness of the economy from social relations. The neoliberal economy has become pure abstraction; as has the market, as has the state, there is no reality to any of these things the way we have classically understood them. Americans, like people everywhere rising up against neoliberal globalization (in Britain, for example, this takes the form of Brexit, or exit from the European Union), want a return of social relations, or embeddedness, to the economy.

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Here’s How the U.S. Government Treats Whistleblowers

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What is it about whistleblowers that the powers that be can’t stand?

When I blew the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program, I was derided in many quarters as a traitor. My detractors in the government attacked me for violating my secrecy agreement, even as they ignored the oath we’d all taken to protect and defend the Constitution.

All of this happened despite the fact that the torture I helped expose is illegal in the United States. Torture also violates a number of international laws and treaties to which our country is signatory — some of which the United States itself was the driving force in drafting.

I was charged with three counts of espionage, all of which were eventually dropped when I took a plea to a lesser count. I had to choose between spending up to 30 months in prison and rolling the dice to risk a 45-year sentence. With five kids, and three of them under the age of 10, I took the plea.

Tom Drake — the NSA whistleblower who went through the agency’s chain of command to report its illegal program to spy on American citizens — was thanked for his honesty and hard work by being charged with 10 felonies, including five counts of espionage. The government eventually dropped the charges, but not before Drake had suffered terrible financial, professional, and personal distress.

This is an ongoing theme, especially in government

– From the post: CIA Torture Program Whistleblower Speaks – “The Sad Fate of America’s Whistleblowers”

While we always knew the U.S. government’s line that Snowden had avenues for effective whistleblowing through official channels was a heaping pile of bullshit, it’s always good to prove the point.

The Guardian reports:

Edward Snowden has called for a complete overhaul of US whistleblower protections after a new source from deep inside the Pentagon came forward with a startling account of how the system became a “trap” for those seeking to expose wrongdoing.

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Here’s the Full List of Companies & Organizations That Paid Hillary Clinton From 2013-2015

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In its article titled, How Corporate America Bought Hillary Clinton for $21M, The New York Post details the companies and organizations that paid Hillary in speaking fees from 2013-2015.

The total comes to $21.7 million, which is a remarkable sum for one of the least charismatic and unimaginative orators the world has ever known.

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Obama Lifts Arms Embargo to the “Police State” of Vietnam

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So why would the State Department magically upgrade Malaysia? Well, because of a tiny provision in the fast track “Trade Promotion Authority” deal that Congress recently passed. It noted that fast track authority would not apply to trade deals involving countries that were categorized as “tier 3″ by the State Department. In other words, this should have given the US tremendous leverage to push Malaysia to really tackle the problem. Instead, because it appears that the administration is so focused on getting the TPP officially finished and ratified, it got the State Department to just magically upgrade Malaysia, and effectively spit on the graves of those murdered migrant workers.

– From the post: U.S. State Department Upgrades Serial Human Rights Abuser Malaysia to Include it in the TPP

Don’t let anyone tell you Barack Obama’s a lame duck. Our CEO of war was recently spotted in Southeast Asia spreading around some of that famous peace and democracy.

Vice News reports:

US President Barack Obama announced on Monday that Washington would fully lift an embargo on sales of lethal arms to Vietnam, despite human rights organizations describing it as “among the world’s most repressive regimes.”

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Video of the Day – Camille Paglia on the American University, Bureaucracy and the “Transgender Nightmare”

I always try to make time for the words of Camille Paglia. Brace yourself for some brilliant observations in the following chat.

Enjoy.

If you’re craving some more Paglia, see:

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Shaun King of The Daily News – “Why I’m Leaving the Democratic Party”

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In a February post titled, It’s Not Just the GOP – The Democratic Party is Also Imploding, I noted the following: 

Yes, of course, Trump winning the GOP nomination marks the end of the party as we know it. After all, some neocons are already publicly and actively throwing their support behind Hillary. While this undoubtably represents a major turning point in U.S. political history, many pundits have yet to appreciate that the exact same thing is happening within the Democratic Party. It’s just not completely obvious yet.

While it might sound strange, a coronation of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary will mark the end of the party as we know it. There’s been a lot written about the “Sanders surge,” with much of it revolving around Hillary Clinton’s extreme personal weakness as a candidate. While this is indisputable, it’s also a convenient way for the status quo to exempt itself from fault and discount genuine grassroots anger. I’m of the view that Sanders’ support is more about people liking him than them disliking Hillary, particularly when it comes to registered Democrats. He’s not merely seen as the “least bad choice.” People really do like him.

The Sanders appeal is twofold. He is seen as unusually honest and consistent for someone who’s held elected office for much of his life, plus he advocates a refreshingly anti-establishment view on core issues that matter to an increasing number of Americans. These include militarism, Wall Street bailouts, a two-tiered justice system, the prohibitive cost of college education, healthcare insecurity and a “rigged economy.” While Hillary is being forced to pay lip service to these issues, everybody knows she doesn’t mean a word of it. She means it less than Obama meant it in 2008, and Obama really didn’t mean it.

Hillary is the embodiment of a sick and detested status quo. She stands for nothing, is nothing, and a vote for her all but guarantees both murder abroad and oligarchy at home. I think a large number of Bernie Sanders supporters understand this and won’t be going off silently into that quiet voting booth to commit ethical self-sacrifice despite the terrifying prospects of a Trump presidency. I think they’ll stay home, but they won’t sit there passively. They’ll be seething inside, and many will renounce the Democratic party forever. Many rank and file Republicans already came to such a conclusion years ago, which is precisely why the nomination was wide open for a man like Trump to capture. Democrats will do the same, and before you know it, political pundits will be tripping over each other to write about the death of the Democratic Party.

Fast forward three months, and the evidence of this reality is starting to flood in. As I’ve maintained for what seems like forever, a very significant percentage of Bernie Sanders supporters will not go quietly into that corrupt, neocon Hillary Clinton night. People have seen enough. They’ve had enough.

The latest proof come to us via New York Daily News columnist Shaun King. What he writes isn’t particularly earth-shattering or novel, but it carries weight for me due to Mr. King’s political history. As he shares with readers in his latest post, Here’s Why I’m Leaving the Democratic Party After This Presidential Election and You Should Too:

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Texas Judge Orders DOJ Attorneys to Take Ethics Classes

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This is simply priceless.

The Hill reports:

A federal judge in Texas on Thursday tore into Justice Department lawyers who argued the immigration case involving the Obama administration, ordering them to take ethics classes.

In a blistering court order, U.S. District Court Just Andrew S. Hanen said he was “disappointed” about having to address the subject of lawyer behavior, calling it “at best, a distraction.”

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Donald Trump’s True Colors Emerge as He Snuggles up to Wall Street

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Earlier this week, in the post Donald Trump Will Meet War Criminal Henry Kissinger, I pointed out the following:

Since clinching the Republican nomination, Trump’s true colors have started to emerge. He named a former Goldman Sachs partner to run his fundraising efforts, he named petty authoritarian, gangster wannabe Chris Christie to run his transition team, and he chose “everyone’s a terrorist” Rudy Giuliani as his planned head of the domestic gestapo, the Department of Homeland Security. He’s also been endorsed by Orc King Sheldon Adelson, who said he was prepared to spend $100 millionto get him elected. Now he’s off to kiss the blood-soaked hands of Henry Kissinger.

Apparently, that was just the beginning. Now he’s out publicly pandering to Wall Street in ways even Hillary Clinton wouldn’t dare do.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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Donald Trump Will Meet War Criminal Henry Kissinger Tomorrow

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He’s a thug, and a crook, and a liar, and a pseudo-intellectual and a murderer. Ok? Those things are factually verifiable.

Kissinger deserves vigorous prosecution for war crimes, for crimes against humanity, and for offenses against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, and torture.

A good liar must have a good memory: Kissinger is a stupendous liar with a remarkable memory.

– Quotes by Christopher Hitchens

Now that things have gotten serious, it’s time for Donald Trump to kiss the ring.

Since clinching the Republican nomination, Trump’s true colors have started to emerge. He named a former Goldman Sachs partner to run his fundraising efforts, he named petty authoritarian, gangster wannabe Chris Christie to run his transition team, and he chose “everyone’s a terrorist” Rudy Giuliani as his planned head of the domestic gestapo, the Department of Homeland Security. He’s also been endorsed by Orc King Sheldon Adelson, who said he was prepared to spend $100 million to get him elected. Now he’s off to kiss the blood-soaked hands of Henry Kissinger.

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