Pondering Putin

I have no idea of the veracity of the following. It is almost as long a read as War and Peace. If legitimate, a fascinating look at Russia’s’ world view.

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A Climate of Unaccountability

They’re back! John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bill Kristol, Dick Cheney – the people who pushed the U.S. into the devastating mistake that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq, have discovered yet another existential threat ready and able to destroy the world. Back then it was Saddam Hussein and his mythical cache of Weapons of Mass [...]

All Wet: Files on UK role in CIA rendition accidentally destroyed, says minister

h/t Steve H.

Guardian -The British government’s problems with missing files deepened on Wednesday when the Foreign Office claimed documents on the UK’s role in a CIA global abduction operation had been accidentally destroyed when they became soaked with water.

In a statement that human rights groups said smacked of a cover-up, the department maintained [...]

Gitmo brass testifying on force-feeding would be bad for morale, US says

Al Jazeera, By Jason Leopold, July 8

The former warden of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility should not be hauled into court to “defend against our enemies’ legal challenges” because it could lead to low morale among soldiers under his command who may question his leadership skills, the Justice Department argued in court documents.

Moreover, [...]

The Price of Freedom

People are allowed to think, say, and yes, even tweet whatever the hell they want, so long as their actions do not contravene the law. They are still American citizens:

Since Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was captured in the mountains of Afghanistan in 2009, his father had become an expert on Guantanamo Bay’s detainees. [...]

Republicans Suck

Really:

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl can expect a buoyant homecoming after five years in Taliban hands, but those in the government who worked for his release face mounting questions over the prisoner swap that won his freedom.

Even in the first hours of Bergdahl’s handoff to U.S. special forces in eastern Afghanistan, it was [...]

Most US drone strikes in Pakistan attack houses

Bureau of Investigative Journalism, By Alice K Ross & Jack Serle, May 23

Domestic buildings have been hit by drone strikes more than any other type of target in the CIA’s 10-year campaign in the tribal regions of northern Pakistan, new research reveals.

By way of contrast, since 2008, in neighbouring Afghanistan drone strikes on [...]

U.S. judge halts force-feeding of Guantanamo prisoner

Reuters, May 17 . Updated in comments, May 23

A U.S. federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked the military from force-feeding a Syrian prisoner on hunger striker at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

It was the first time a judge ordered a halt to force-feeding of a prisoner in Guantanamo, where last year during a [...]

The Guantánamo “Suicides” Revisited: Did CIA Hide Deaths of Tortured Prisoners at Secret Site?

Democracy Now!, May 21

Interview with Scott Horton.

In one of the great mysteries of the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, three prisoners, two from Saudi Arabia and one from Yemen, died the night of June 9, 2006. Authorities at Guantánamo said the three men — Yasser Talal al-Zahrani, Salah Ahmed al-Salami and Mani [...]

Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied on a Whole City

A sergeant in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department compared the experiment to Big Brother, even though he went ahead with it willingly. Is your city next?

The Atlantic, By Conor Friedersdorf, April 21

This is the future if nothing is done to stop it.

In a secret test of mass surveillance technology, the Los Angeles [...]

US: Surge in terror attacks driven by more threatening AQ affiliates

McClatchy, By Jonathan S. Landay, April 30

Washington — Even as al Qaida’s central Pakistan-based leadership has been severely weakened, the terrorist network’s regional offshoots have become more aggressive and threatening, driving a 40 percent increase in terrorist attacks worldwide between 2012 and 2013, the State Department said Wednesday.

“While the international community has severely [...]

US senators remove requirement for disclosure over drone strike victims

Bill had called for disclosure of ‘noncombatant civilians’ killed – Director of national intelligence gives assurances to Senate – Read James Clapper’s letter to the key senators

The Guardian, By Spencer Ackerman, April 28

At the behest of the director of national intelligence, US senators have removed a provision from a major intelligence bill that [...]

CIA torture architect breaks silence to defend ‘enhanced interrogation’

The Guardian, By Jason Leopold, April 18

James Mitchell ‘highly skeptical’ of Senate report on CIA torture – ‘It was not illegal based on the law at the time’ – Mitchell said to have waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – Interview: ‘I’m just a guy who got asked to do something for his country’

The psychologist [...]

CIA’s Pakistan drone strikes carried out by regular US air force personnel

Former drone operators claim in new documentary that CIA missions flown by USAF’s 17th Reconnaissance Squadron

The Guardian, By Chris Woods, April 14

A regular US air force unit based in the Nevada desert is responsible for flying the CIA’s drone strike programme in Pakistan, according to a new documentary to be released on Tuesday.

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Al-Qa’ida’s Second Act…

The Full Five-Part Series Our foreign correspondent’s investigation into the Jihadi resurgence

The Independent, By Patrick Cockburn, March 21

Twelve and a half years after 9/11, al-Qa’ida-type organisations control an area the size of Britain in western Iraq and eastern Syria. Include Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia and the territory they rule is larger in size [...]

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