Posts tagged drones
Fmr NYT Journalist Seymour Hersh Blasts Bin Laden Fairytale, Calls for Corporate Media Shutdown
Published by breakingtheset
About the video:
Abby Martin gives props to world renowned journalist Seymour Hersh, for calling out the abysmal failure of the corporate media in the US, saying that the MSM should fire 90 percent of its reporters and that “not one word” of the bin laden death narrative is true.
Posted by Robert Wenzel
Koch Brothers Spend $7.2 Billion To Acquire Conglomerate/Drone Manufacturer
Molex Incorporated, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Koch Industries. Molex will become a standalone subsidiary of Koch Industries. Koch Industries will pay approximately $7.2 billion for the firm.
Of note, prominently featured on Molex’s industries page is the conglomerate’s ties to the military-industrial complex:
Aerospace and Defense
By providing faster, smaller, lighter and more cost-effective COTS, harsh environment and military-grade solutions, Molex brings a wide range of technology and innovation to the aerospace and defense industry. Molex continues to develop, an array of integrated and custom solutions to assist in reaching all design goals – with exceptional quality, efficiency and reliability – to ensure seamless connectivity for critical applications.
No More Mandatory Sentences for Low-Level Drug Offenders?
Published by NextNewsNetwork
WASHINGTON – An announcement is expected today from Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States concerning punishment for low-level drug offenders. The nation’s top lawyer is expected to declare that low-level drug offenders without a violent record will no longer be subject to long mandatory sentences. The announcement is expected to be a part of a speech delivered by Holder to the American Bar Association in San Francisco.
BOVINA, New York — The small town of Bovina, New York was put under lockdown by police on Sunday as they searched for an unnamed suspect. The residents of the tiny town of just 633 people were ordered by law enforcement officials not to leave their homes and to keep their doors locked. As of late Sunday night, the person of interest to the police was in a private home, and law enforcement officials consider the situation to be contained, although the town is still under lockdown conditions.
ZINJIBAR, Yemen — Armed drones from the United States struck several targets in Yemen over the weekend. At least 31 people have been killed by recent drone strikes in that country. The attacks have increased in frequency over the last two weeks, after U.S. officials announced a foiled terror plot in the the African nation. Facilities destroyed in the most recent round of attacks include a health clinic and a school. The Obama administration claims the recent attacks killed at least 14 members of al-Queda.
NEW YORK CITY — Two workers at New York’s JFK airport were sickened by exposure to a chemical they were handling while opening mail. Initially thought to be a chemical agent, the substance in question turned out to be nail polish remover. When the airport workers started feeling ill, the postal facility at the airport was closed off and the workers sent home. The FBI called in medical personnel to test the postal workers for exposure to dangerous chemical agents, and found the exposure was limited to just the cosmetic product.
Written by Ron Paul
Why Are We At War in Yemen?
Most Americans are probably unaware that over the past two weeks the US has launched at least eight drone attacks in Yemen, in which dozens have been killed. It is the largest US escalation of attacks on Yemen in more than a decade. The US claims that everyone killed was a “suspected militant,” but Yemeni citizens have for a long time been outraged over the number of civilians killed in such strikes. The media has reported that of all those killed in these recent US strikes, only one of the dead was on the terrorist “most wanted” list.
This significant escalation of US attacks on Yemen coincides with Yemeni President Hadi’s meeting with President Obama in Washington earlier this month. Hadi was installed into power with the help of the US government after a 2011 coup against its long-time ruler, President Saleh. It is in his interest to have the US behind him, as his popularity is very low in Yemen and he faces the constant threat of another coup.
In Washington, President Obama praised the cooperation of President Hadi in fighting the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. This was just before the US Administration announced that a huge unspecified threat was forcing the closure of nearly two dozen embassies in the area, including in Yemen. According to the Administration, the embassy closings were prompted by an NSA-intercepted conference call at which some 20 al-Qaeda leaders discussed attacking the West. Many remain skeptical about this dramatic claim, which was made just as some in Congress were urging greater scrutiny of NSA domestic spying programs.
The US has been involved in Yemen for some time, and the US presence in Yemen is much greater than we are led to believe. As the Wall Street Journal reported last week:
“At the heart of the U.S.-Yemeni cooperation is a joint command center in Yemen, where officials from the two countries evaluate intelligence gathered by America and other allies, such as Saudi Arabia, say U.S. and Yemeni officials. There, they decide when and how to launch missile strikes against the highly secretive list of alleged al Qaeda operatives approved by the White House for targeted killing, these people say.”
Far from solving the problem of extremists in Yemen, however, this US presence in the country seems to be creating more extremism. According to professor Gregory Johnson of Princeton University, an expert on Yemen, the civilian “collateral damage” from US drone strikes on al-Qaeda members actually attracts more al-Qaeda recruits:
“There are strikes that kill civilians. There are strikes that kill women and children. And when you kill people in Yemen, these are people who have families. They have clans. And they have tribes. And what we’re seeing is that the United States might target a particular individual because they see him as a member of al-Qaeda. But what’s happening on the ground is that he’s being defended as a tribesman.”
The US government is clearly at war in Yemen. It is claimed they are fighting al-Qaeda, but the drone strikes are creating as many or more al-Qaeda members as they are eliminating. Resentment over civilian casualties is building up the danger of blowback, which is a legitimate threat to us that is unfortunately largely ignored. Also, the US is sending mixed signals by attacking al-Qaeda in Yemen while supporting al-Qaeda linked rebels fighting in Syria.
This cycle of intervention producing problems that require more intervention to “solve” impoverishes us and makes us more, not less, vulnerable. Can anyone claim this old approach is successful? Has it produced one bit of stability in the region? Does it have one success story? There is an alternative. It is called non-interventionism. We should try it. First step would be pulling out of Yemen.
Image credit: http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org
The Important Things We DON’T Have Money For, And The Crazy Things We DO Have Money For…
In an age of “belt tightening” and “budget cuts”, you would think that government officials would be trying to spend our money wisely. Unfortunately, when it comes time to cut spending our politicians tend to do everything that they can to protect their own interests and their own pet projects, but they don’t seem to mind implementing cuts that deeply hurt military families, the poor and the elderly. The facts that you are about to read will likely upset you very much. The federal government and our state governments are wasting money in some of the most ridiculous ways imaginable. Meanwhile, we are being told that we don’t have any money for a lot of really important things. Our hard-earned tax dollars are being horribly mismanaged, and the American people deserve to hear the truth about this gross negligence.
Now before I go any further, I want to make it very clear that I believe that the federal government and our state governments are already taking in more than enough money. They should be able to do everything that they need to do on the money that they are already extracting from all of us. And if we had been living within our means all this time, we would not be drowning in debt as a nation today.
Unfortunately, our politicians did choose to go into tremendous amounts of debt, and the American people did not stop them. So now we are rapidly heading toward a debt crisis unlike anything the world has ever seen before.
And our politicians should be reducing spending. There is no question about that. But what this article is about is priorities, and right now our politicians really seem to have their priorities messed up. What follows are some examples of this…
The city of Detroit says that it is totally broke and has no money for pensions…
…but somehow the city has 444 million dollars to spend on a new hockey arena for the Detroit Red Wings.
…but somehow the federal government is able to spend tens of millions of dollars to fill our skies with surveillance drones.
The U.S. government is so broke that it has had to borrow more than a trillion dollars from China…
…but somehow we have plenty of money to help “modernize China’s energy grid“.
The U.S. Congress has cut $60,000,000 for schools on Indian reservations across the country…
…but somehow the IRS is able to pay out $70,000,000 in bonuses to their workers.
It is being projected that federal budget cuts will cost the U.S. economy 1.6 million jobs through the end of 2014…
…but somehow the federal government has plenty of money to provide many former members of Congress with six-figure annual incomes for life…
Members of Congress receive retirement benefits that are far more generous than those earned by the average worker, according to a recent Bankrate analysis.
Not only do congressional representatives and senators earn the guarantee of a monthly pension check — a benefit that has become increasingly rare for most U.S. workers — they also receive Social Security payments and can opt to pay into the federal Thrift Savings Plan, a 401(k) style-plan with fees that are far lower than most retirement plans.
As a result, longtime members of Congress can easily retire with six-figure annual incomes for life.
The Obama administration is forcing the U.S. Army to reduce the number of active combat brigades from 45 to 33…
…but the Obama administration has no problem finding millions of dollars to send to radical jihadist Syrian rebels that are beheading innocent Christians over in Syria.
Barack Obama says that there simply is not any money available for White House tours…
…but the Obamas are able to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on exotic vacations. In August, Obama and his family will be spending 8 days in a beautiful home on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard.
The federal government says that there was not enough money for the traditional 4th of July fireworks at many military bases around the country this year…
…but somehow the National Institutes of Health has $509,840 to spend on “a study that will send text messages in ‘gay lingo’ to methamphetamine addicts to try to persuade them to use fewer drugs and more condoms.”
Due to “budget cuts”, swimming pools for military families are being shut down all over the country…
…but Barack Obama felt that it was so important to send $500,000,000 to the Palestinian Authority that he signed a national security executive order last Friday that enabled him to get around an act of Congress that was intended to prevent him from sending that money to them.
The state of California is so strapped for cash that it may have to release thousands of violent criminals back on to the streets…
…but somehow the state of California has plenty of money to provide a multitude of welfare benefits for illegal immigrants.
A total of about 38 million dollars is being cut from “meals on wheels” programs around the nation due to the sequester…
…but somehow the federal government has plenty of money to hassle ordinary citizens with ridiculous amounts of red tape. For example, a small-time magician out in Missouri that does magic shows for kids was recently forced to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the rabbit that he uses in his shows.
With priorities like this, is it any wonder that our national debt is completely and totally out of control?
Fatal Consequences of Living in the NSA Surveillance State – Marcy Wheeler
Published by NextNewsNetwork
When Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the consequences of living in the NSA Surveillance State, Marcy Wheeler, known to civil libertarians by the cyber-nickname “Emptywheel,” had something to say about it. She has been a full-time commentator on individual liberties issues since 2007.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan.
Through her blog, Emptywheel.net, Ms. Wheeler has provided in-depth analysis of documents dealing with Guantanamo Bay, torture, personal privacy issues, and many other subjects of extreme importance to those who cherish individual freedom and the Bill of Rights.
We’re very grateful that she joins us today to discuss recent revelations regarding the NSA’s surveillance program.
Posted by Judy Morris
Colorado town proposes bounty for shooting down federal drones
A small Colorado town is considering whether to issue hunting licenses that would offer residents a bounty for shooting down unnamed drones operated by the U.S. government.
Deer Trail resident Phillip Steel told KMGH that he had already collected enough signatures to put his proposed measure on the ballot.
“We do not want drones in town,” Steel explained. “They fly in town, they get shot down.”
Steele’s proposed ordinance specifically outlines the rules for drone hunting.
Read the rest at The Raw Story, here.
Lobbying Effort Keeps Flawed Drone Flying
WASHINGTON – Despite budget sequesters, weekly furloughs of civilian Defense Department employees, and the prospect of budget-imposed reductions in the number of active-duty and reserve personnel, the Pentagon has still found money to fund the underperforming Global Hawk drone system.
A report compiled by the Pentagon’s testing department in 2011 described the $223 million Global Hawk as “not operationally effective, and predicted that cancelling orders for the drone would save $2.5 billion over a period of five years. This led the manufacturer, California-based military contractor Northup Grumman, to mount a high-pressure lobbying campaign to preserve the slow, ponderous, under-performing Global Hawk.
RT News points out that the effort – which was led by three former high-ranking Republican congressional aides — included nearly a million dollars in campaign contributions to key members of Congressional committees. That campaign paid off when the 2013 Defense authorization bill included more than $260 million a year to keep the current fleet of Global Hawk drones in the air, plus another $443 to order three additional Global Hawks.
New Report: Drone Strikes 10x More Deadly to Civilians than Manned Aircraft
Conventional airpower or missiles are far less precise than drones, and likely to cause more civilian casualties and local outrage.
- Barrack Obama in a May, 23 2013 speech
I’ve never witnessed a bigger pathological liar in my entire life than U.S. President Barack Obama. Not only has pretty much every word out of his mouth been a complete and total deception since he took office, I firmly believes he fundamentally loves the act of lying. This post covers one of the biggest lies Obama has told the American public, and indeed the world, with regard to drone strikes. This lie is particularly important since I would guess at least 90% of the public believes it to be true.
A recent study by a U.S. military advisor shows that not only are drone strikes more likely to harm civilians per incident, but they are 10x more likely to do so. This lie is right up there with Obama’s recent statement that he “won’t scramble jets to capture Edward Snowden.” Of course, that’s precisely what he did yesterday. Now, from The Guardian:
A study conducted by a US military adviser has found that drone strikes in Afghanistan during a year of the protracted conflict caused 10 times more civilian casualties than strikes by manned fighter aircraft.
The new study, referred to in an official US military journal, contradicts claims by US officials that the robotic planes are more precise than their manned counterparts.
It appears to undermine the claim made by President Obama in a May speech that “conventional airpower or missiles are far less precise than drones, and likely to cause more civilian casualties and local outrage”.
Drone strikes in Afghanistan, the study found, according to its unclassified executive summary, were “an order of magnitude more likely to result in civilian casualties per engagement.”
Larry Lewis, a principal research scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses, a research group with close ties to the US military, studied air strikes in Afghanistan from mid-2010 to mid-2011, using classified military data on the strikes and the civilian casualties they caused. Lewis told the Guardian he found that the missile strikes conducted by remotely piloted aircraft, commonly known as drones, were 10 times more deadly to Afghan civilians than those performed by fighter jets.
NSA Spying on Americans Now Explained and Justified (Well, almost)
As most Americans are taking in the deluge of stories regarding the NSA wiretapping, spying and data mining through all the major internet and phone providers plus the social media organizations, one must think that George Orwell was right, just 30 or so years off on his pick for the title for his novel 1984, as was predicted. Although it would appear many in government consider this book a very useful training manual, that is not the case. In fact, it should have been a warning to the citizens, but they seemed to have missed this point while religiously worshiping such mind opening sagas as Dancing With The Stars and a slew of reality shows.
This afternoon I read a post that shed light regarding the spying inside America on Americans, and I now see how this action may truly be used against the war on terror as we have been told time and again.
This post by Weasel Zippers of an interview on NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper opened my eyes. I now have a better understanding of the true “War on Terror” that the internal spying is all about.
As posted by Weasel Zippers:
NBC: “Why Do You Need Every Telephone Number?” – DNI Chief Clapper: “Well, You Have To Start Someplace”…
Really? — That’s where you need to start?
JUNE 9, 2013 — NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell sat down with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper yesterday for an exclusive wide-ranging interview to discuss recent revelations about government surveillance programs and the impact of leaks on national security. [...]
ANDREA MITCHELL: Why do you need every telephone number? Why is it such a broad vacuum cleaner approach?
JAMES CLAPPER: Well, you have to start someplace. If– and over the years that this program has operated, we have refined it and tried to– to make it ever more precise and more disciplined as to which– which things we take out of the library. But you have to be in the– in the– in the chamber in order to be able to pick and choose those things that we need in the interest of protecting the country and gleaning information on terrorists who are plotting to kill Americans, to destroy our economy, and destroy our way of life.
HT: Justin Brookman
Now I understand, and hope you do also. We agree, I hope, that the government’s two main jobs should be to protect the freedom and liberty of it’s people and protect the people’s property and way of life from undue and unwanted influence. Still not sure? Let us look at this justification for government surveillance, as mentioned in the interview, one point at a time.
Actions of terrorist that the surveillance is in place for:
- Plotting to kill Americans, we should all agree, no matter where it comes from, such as drone strikes or even FBI plots foiled by the FBI .
- To destroy our economy, I think we all agree, so surveillance on the Federal Reserve banks are justified.
- Destroy our way of life, which I think we will also agree, so surveillance on the TSA is also justified.
Now, I do not agree on the spying, data mining, surveillance and intrusion taking place on all Americans old enough to walk and talk, but I can now understand that there is truly a need for NSA surveillance inside our shores, not even going to bring up the State Department or indiscretions in the past. Cheering on and fully supporting the NSA mission as it eliminates the drone warfare and any possibility of use on Americans, ends the FED with the BIS control and abolishes the TSA! What is next for the NSA? I might suggest expanding the targets that destroy our way of life, such as the IRS :) After that we can toast a cheer, say a legitimate “Mission Accomplished” and move on to the rest of the list, such as possibly the EPA, Department of Education, and stopping China from taking over our communities one at a time. Just a thought. Perhaps it all about the good will? Actually, the “good will” link explains it best in my opinion, along with the need for some parody during these Stasi times we find ourselves in.
Your thoughts? Feel free to enter them below.