Putin is taking center Stage in the Middle East but what is his real agenda?

Moscow’s military campaign in Syria is relying on supply lines that require air corridors through both Iranian and Iraqi air space. The only alternatives are naval supply lines running from Crimea, requiring a passage of up to 10 days round-trip. How long that can be sustained is unclear.

Early on the morning of Sept. 30, a Russian three-star general approached the American embassy in Baghdad, walked past a wall of well-armed Marines, to deliver face-to-face a diplomatic demarche to the United States. His statement was blunt: The Russia military would begin air strikes in neighboring Syria within the hour — and the American military should clear the area immediately.

It was a bout of brinksmanship between two nuclear-armed giants that the world has not seen in decades, and it has revived Cold War levels of suspicion, antagonism and gamesmanship.

With the launch of airstrikes in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin instigated a proxy war with the U.S., putting those nation’s powerful militaries in support of opposing sides of the multi-polar conflict. And it’s a huge gamble for Moscow and quite difficult and logistically complex. The Russians don’t have much in the way of long-range power projection capability.

That and other questions about Russian military capabilities and objectives are taking center stage as Putin shows a relentless willingness to use military force in a heavy-handed foreign policy aimed at restoring his nation’s stature as a world power. In that quest, he has raised the specter of resurgent Russian military might — from Ukraine to the Baltics, from Syria to the broader Middle East.

VLADIMIR Putin is preparing to send 150,000 troops to Syria in a bid to wipe out the evil Islamic State once and for all.

The Russian leader is reportedly mounting an enormous military mission to take control of the terror group’s stronghold of Raqqa.

The city is the self-declared capital of ISIS in Syria and is patrolled by as many as 5,000 jihadi members.

Putin is set to mobilize 150,000 reservists who he conscripted into the military earlier this week.

Russia-Putin_3151917b

It is very clear that Russia wants to sweep up the west of the country, taking Raqqa and all the oil and gas resources around Palmyra. Putin knows that this is fast becoming a race to Raqqa – to secure the oil fields they need to cleanse the region of insurgents, and the IS capital is vital to do that while Obama stance and strategy is to .

It comes a day after Russian jets obliterated nine ISIS outposts in just 24 hours using bunker-busting bombs.

Russian jets pounded terrorist targets and blew up a command center, potentially killing dozens of fighters.

Confirming the successful raids, Andrei Kartapolov from the Russian army vowed to ramp up the pressure, saying: “We will not only continue strikes… We will also increase their intensity.”

And Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said: “Over the past 24 hours, Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets have performed 20 sorties and hit nine Islamic State installations.

A bunker-busting BETAB-500 air bomb dropped from a Sukhoi Su-34 bomber near Raqqa has eliminated the command post of one of the terror groups, together with an underground storage facility for explosives and munitions.

isis.w529.h352.2x-750x400

These and other highly exact means of attack in recent days have been used to target objects of Islamic State terrorists. It is reported that these command posts, stores of weapons and oil products, workshops where weapons of suicide bombers are made.

Meanwhile a terrorism expert revealed that ISIS have vastly exaggerated their military strength and called on Western leaders to launch a coordinated fightback which would obliterate the hate group.

Has ISIS become its own worst enemy with its campaign of terror against the West, which has prompted an international backlash?

Islamic-State-troops-358823 (1)

Other reports from those strategists say it won’t take very long at all to drive them, if not out of all of Iraq or Syria, then certainly the majority of their territories.

“They will hide in towns, but I would say do not to follow them as they would use innocent civilians as human shields.”

David Cameron initially gave the Russian air strikes a cautious welcome and said the UK would need to look very carefully at Putin’s operations. David Cameron said Russia was targeting anti-Assad rebels over Daesh militants.

David Cameron Has said Russian President Vladimir Putin is making a terrible mistake by sending jets to prop up Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad.

Cameron

The Prime Minister said most of the Russian airstrikes in Syria appeared to have been in areas not controlled by Islamic State but by other opponents of the regime.

He told the BBC the Russians were “backing the butcher Assad, which is a terrible mistake for them and for the world. It is going to make the region more unstable. It will lead to further radicalization and increase terrorism.asaadputin

“I would say to them: ‘Change direction, join us in attacking Isil, but recognize that if we want to have a secure region, we need an alternative leader to Assad’.”

But yesterday he warned the intervention is making the situation worse and helping to support the “butcher” president Bashar Assad.

Separately Mr. Cameron pledged to “beef up” the SAS and double the number of British drones to combat ISIS militants in an interview ahead of today’s Conservative conference.

The Prime Minister said investment in Special Forces and surveillance was essential to meeting the terrorist threat facing the UK.

He revealed that the UK will buy a fleet of 20 new Protector Drones capable of targeting IS extremists in Iraq and Syria.

The Russians called it Center 2015: a series of military exercises they carried out in mid-September involving some 95,000 troops. In contrast to common practice, Moscow outlined publicly with great specificity what type of exercises its troops conducted. Its Hind attack helicopters, for example, practiced rocket and bombing runs against ground targets and provided air cover at very low altitude to ground forces. They fired unguided rockets against military columns below. They practiced flying with one engine off—simulating engine failure—at just 650 feet above the ground.

bombs

Whether Russia’s incursion into the increasingly deadly Syrian civil war was foreseeable or not—and if it was, whether it was deterrable—is now moot. Russian President Vladimir Putin has in an instant changed markedly the course of a conflict that has claimed at least 250,000 lives and displaced millions—numbers that may yet grow much higher. Moscow and Iran, Damascus’s heretofore primary benefactor, are now making it clear that they are all-in when it comes to defending the current regime. On September 21, Iran began dispatching hundreds of elite Quds Force soldiers—the expeditionary arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard—as well as its leader, Qassem Suleimani, to lead ground assaults backed by Russian airpower against the forces opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. They have since been joined, according to intelligence reports, by deployments of Iranian and Iraqi Shiite militias.

They are there for a very specific reason, which is not simply to combat ISIS. By October 5, in fact, the Pentagon had become convinced that the majority of Russian air strikes thus far had targeted not ISIS units, but U.S. trained rebel groups in various parts of the country. The Russian troops are there to combat anyone and everyone who might fight against Assad, who the U.S. and its coalition partners still insist has to go. Indeed, on September 29, at the United Nations, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir could not have been clearer: “Assad has no future in Syria. Any attempt to whitewash him or make him acceptable is a nonstarter,” he told reporters.

The Russian intervention, as President Barack Obama, al-Jubeir and everyone else involved understands, comes at a critical moment. Despite the relative passivity and ineptness of the United States in funding and training anti-Assad rebels, the dictator’s position was slowly eroding as he attempted to fight off multiple rebel groups of varying sectarian and ethnic stripes (everything from hard-core ISIS fighters to more “moderate” Sunnis to Syrian Kurds). For Putin, a man who says repeatedly—because he believes it—that the greatest “geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century was the demise of the Soviet Union.

But from Moscow’s perspective, there likely was more to it than that—much more. The move provides a foothold in a part of the world that the Soviet Union was kicked out of four decades ago. At a moment when the United States appears to be washing its hands of the increasingly bloody and chaotic region, it gives Russia an expanding military presence in the Mediterranean on the doorstep of a NATO ally (its newly established airfield at Latakia in eastern Syria sits just 75 miles from the border with Turkey), and the gambit may yet serve as leverage with the West as Putin seeks to get out from under economic sanctions imposed as a result of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in Ukraine.

obama-putin_2637988b

Is Putin’s actions game-changing? Obama seemed less impressed—or less willing to congratulate the Kremlin on its cunning, at least in public. All this was done out of a position not of strength but of “weakness,” he said at a White House news conference in early October. “This is not a smart strategic move on Russia’s part.”

Throughout much of the Middle East, that declaration was met with howls of derision (for reasons that we will get to); at home, it was dismissed by many as petulant spin from a president who had been badly wrong-footed in this war. But whether Obama had been wrong-footed or not, the logic behind what he said is not obviously wrong. That Syria’s a snake pit couldn’t be more obvious. And it’s true, as sources in Moscow and the Middle East acknowledge, that if Russia decides more troops are needed to bolster its position, it may be drawn into a quagmire it can ill afford.

Despite a still-grim economy in Russia, Putin remains popular in his country. Most of what he does to show that Moscow is a serious player on the world stage only buttresses that good opinion. But the public appetite for a war against anti-Assad rebels in Syria appears limited, to say the least.

In Sunni Arab capitals around the Middle East, one word is being uttered with increasing frequency: “Afghanistan.” Not the ongoing post-9/11 U.S. war there, but the one before it: when the mighty Soviet army was driven out by jihadi rebels (who were funded by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states) and armed by the United States. As a student of what is known in Russia as the “catastrophe,” Putin knows that the humiliating Soviet withdrawal came in 1989, after a decade of war.

By 1992, his beloved Soviet Union ceased to exist. He also knows that the same countries that aided the Afghan rebels in the 1980s are now funding anti-Assad rebel groups.

So should the United States just say, “After you, Vladimir Vladimirovich? Be our guest! Syria’s all yours,” as GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, among others, has advocated? If at least part of Putin’s plan is to combat ISIS—which, after all, the U.S. seeks to “degrade and destroy”—shouldn’t we welcome Moscow’s intervention, as Secretary of State John Kerry indicated Washington might?

The reasons why that’s probably a terrible idea are numerous. The deployment of the Russian military and increased Iranian ground forces means Assad can stay in power for as long as his two patrons desire. At the same time, there is also little evidence that the axis supporting Assad has the wherewithal to crush the Sunni-backed rebel groups.

It’s hard, therefore, to draw anything but the grimmest of conclusions. Syria—already a “geopolitical Chernobyl,” as former CIA chief David Petraeus recently put it—is about to get worse. Is it possible that the advent of Russian reinforcements is likely only to cement a brutal stalemate that has driven millions of people from their homes, radicalized the region, cause a humanitarian apocalypse, and turn Syria into a magnet for global jihadists?

syriacivilians-inspect-a-site

The Russian move into Syria will only deepen concern among Washington’s traditional allies in the Middle East about U.S. goals in the region. Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies have all watched, with varying degrees of alarm over the last five years, as the Obama administration zealously pursued a nuclear deal with Iran, an archenemy to all of those countries. Obama did so over their strenuous objections. Many suspect—indeed, some are convinced—that his overarching goal in the region was to legitimize Iran, integrate it into the international system so as to, as his stance was back in 2014 to create an “equilibrium” between “Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran in which there’s competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare.”

If Obama’s goal was to get Iran to that place, starting with a nuclear deal, how likely was it that he was going to attack Syria in the wake of its chemical attacks, even having drawn a “red line” in 2012? Similarly, Tehran didn’t want a more aggressively funded and trained Western-backed rebel force in Syria, and Obama hasn’t done much to provide one. Had there been some firm action, we would not be in the place we are in.

This relative inaction has bred toxic suspicions throughout Washington’s traditional allies in the region—suspicions that are rarely voiced publicly but have hardened over the past 18 months. Simply put, they believe the Obama administration has not just pulled away from the Middle East but rather switched horses—backing Iran in search of that equilibrium the president spoke of last year. The White House has consistently and furiously denied this.

Vladimir-Putin-Islamic-State-troops-609757

Now, with Putin in Syria and Obama just 15 months from his White House retirement, the likelihood that the U.S. will do anything of consequence to change the status quo on the ground is slim. It seems extremely unlikely that Obama will risk a direct conflict with Putin. Any hope of a no-fly zone in Syria, or even an intensification of U.S. airstrikes, is likely gone as well. Indeed, with Europe under tremendous pressure from the crush of Syrian refugees, the fear among Sunni Arabs is that the West will latch on to Putin and Iran as the only hope for reining in Assad.

But that’s not why Russian troops are now fighting in Syria. They are there to prop up Assad by helping him destroy “terrorists”—defined as anyone fighting against his regime. It’s been about four and a half years since Syria’s civil war commenced—since it became a “geopolitical Chernobyl.” The meltdown may have only just begun.

ALL LIVES MATTER

A man raises his arms at a rally during the National Action Network National March Against Police Violence in Washington December 13, 2014. Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Washington on Saturday for a march to protest the killings of unarmed black men by law enforcement officers and to urge Congress to do more to protect African-Americans from unjustified police violence. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST) - RTR4HWG2

Harris County Texas Sheriif Ron Hickman is not quite sure why suspect Shannon J. Miles allegedly shot and killed his deputy, Darren Goiforth, last week. Police investigating the homicide have not been able to identify a motive but Hickman has a theory and it involves Black Live Matter.

“I think that’s something that we have to keep an eye on,” he commented. “The general climate of that kind of rhetoric can be influential on people to do things like this. We’re still searching to find out if that’s actually a motive.”

Then he took more direct aim.

“We’ve heard black lives matter, all lives matter,” Hickman said. “Well, cops’ lives matter, too. So how about we drop the qualifier and just say lives matter?”

Fox News than took this rhethoric and ran with it. Hasselbeck from ‘Fox & Friends’ asked conservative writer Kevin Jackson why the Black Lives Matter movement hasn’t been classified as a “hate group”, and an onscreen banner the network ran labeled ‘Black Lives Matter’ a “Murder Movement.” Bill O’Reilly later piled on

This past Wednesday, Hickman appeared on Fox News and said he isn’t quite sure if Black Lives Matter is to blame, but he still has his hunch. “You can’t help but wonder if there are people who are susceptible to the message that someone should lash out and make targets of police officers,” he said. “You can’t help but wonder.”

Wondering is fine, but directly accusing Black Lives Matter of promoting violence against police without any evidence is stereotyping at its finest. A black man allegedly killed a police officer, and now all black people involved in the movement are being indicted for the crime.

Black Lives Matter is an easy target because of its high-profile media presence and its ability to galvanize. Miles is held up as a representative of a group, rather than viewed as an individual — which frequently happens when it comes to race, for better or for worse. As Shaun King wrote for The Daily Kos “Just because this man who killed Officer Goforth was black, doesn’t make him a part of this movement any more than being white qualifies you as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.”

The argument that the Black Lives Matter movement is driving individuals to kill cops is specious, and if someone brings it up, here are five things you can tell them.

  1. Nobody doubts that being a cop can be hard and dangerous. But statistics show this is not any more true today than it was last year or the year before that.

mike brown

Police officers in Ferguson monitoring protests one year after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson.

And if statistics are any indicator, being a police officer may actually be less dangerous in 2015 than it was in 2014. According to numbers from Officer Down Memorial Page, an independent nonprofit that tracks cop killings, 24 officers were shot and killed in the line of duty so far this year, but 29 were killed during the same time period in 2014.

And while those 24 deaths are obviously tragic, 2015 has actually seen fewer year-to-date shooting deaths of police officers than nearly every other year in the past two decades. The lone exception was 2013, when the FBI says killings of police overall hit a 50-year low.

And to those who say the race of the officer matters in these targeted killings, half of the police shot and killed this year were black.

The Counted: number of people killed by police this in June alone this year reached 500 which will keep the US on track for the civilian death toll to reach over 1,000 by the end of the year.

525

Resentment toward police officers who abuse their authority existed before Black Lives Matter.

Anyone who points to the “rhetoric” of Black Lives Matter as a root cause of violence doesn’t know anything about black history. In 1988, N.W.A released “Fuck tha Police” to protest police violence and racial profiling of the black community. The song, like hip-hop in general, and now Black Lives Matter, has often been blamed for the resentment black folks feel toward law enforcement. But this aggressive criticism of police, like the concerns voiced by Black Lives Matter, is a response to mistreatment at the hands of police officers. And it’s that mistreatment, not “rhetoric,” that continues to fuel this resentment.

Back in 2012, a CNN commentator by the name of LZ Granderson summed up why he and many black folks distrusted about law enforcement:

“when you’ve been pulled over for no good reason as many times as I have; when you’ve been in handcuffs for no good reason as many times as I have; when you run out to buy some allergy medication and upon returning home, find yourself surrounded by four squad cars with flashing lights and all you can think about is how not to get shot, you learn not to trust cops”.

Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._Montgomery_arrest_1958

And to anyone who says Martin Luther King Jr. was more thoughtful with his rhetoric, remember that he was also blamed for inciting violence against the police. Simply put, when a movement is countering the dominant narrative with truth — and particularly, unapologetic truth — that movement is blamed for inciting violence. It’s a tired, old argument.

  1. The idea that Black Lives Matter and the idea that the lives of cops (or anyone else) matter are not mutually exclusive.

When people say “Black lives matter,” it is because this nation has made it clear that it often doesn’t agree. The phrase “black lives matter” does not — and has never meant — that the lives of police officers, or anyone else, don’t matter. As Janell Ross pointed out in The Washington Post.

To Hickman and more than a few law enforcement union leaders and public spokesmen around the country, it seems that in a world in which Black Lives Matter, police lives accordingly do not. That sounds a lot like saying that effective policing and law enforcement where officers feel and remain safe cannot happen unless those same public officials are free to do their work without regard for the civil rights and liberties of people of color in the communities they police.

A cop getting murdered is awful. Their lives do matter. But to place blame on the Black Lives Matter movement and claim it promotes the idea that only black lives have meaning is false, divisive and especially misguided. The movement’s premise is that all lives are important, but every life isn’t treated as such.

  1. The Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t promote violence against police officers or anyone else.

black-american-teenager-police-arrest

No one who claims to speak for the Black Lives Matter movement has promoted violence as a means to achieve an end. The message the movement spreads has nothing to do with inflicting violence or pain against police officers — or anyone else, for that matter. It is simply a call to end the police brutality and misconduct that disproportionately take a toll on black bodies.

It’s entirely possible to simultaneously want to reduce police shootings and want to keep police officers safe. In this regards, the goals are mutually beneficial. Black Lives Matter activists have proposed at least 10 policies that aim to hold law enforcement accountable without putting them in harm’s way, ranging from ending aggressive low-level policing and instituting better police training to limiting standards for use of force and equipping cops with body cameras.

Furthermore, if Black Lives Matter is a movement committed to enacting reform through systemic change to policing priorities and tactics, how, exactly, would killing a cop help them in that goal?

That’s not to say that people haven’t said inappropriate things at protests against police violence, but the actions of a few, again, do not represent the majority. The fact that critics of Black Lives Matter seize upon one impolitic act while ignoring the rest of the movement’s message, again, speaks to a broader disconnect in this debate.

  1. Cop killers face the full punishment of the law, and everyone thinks that’s how it should be.

casket

CREDIT: Jewel Samad. Officers carry the casket of Wenjian Liu, a NYPD officer killed along with his partner, Rafael Ramos, in December 2014.

When a civilian kills a cop, justice is swift. Lamont Price, Christopher Monfort and Myles Webster, who all killed cops, were punished to the full extent of the law. Cops, on the other hand, are less likely to be convicted for killing a civilian.

Even over the past year, the cops who killed 18 year-old Michael Brown, 19-year-old Tony Robinson, 22-year-old Rekia Boyd and 43-year-old Eric Garner faced no legal repercussions for their actions. And despite the controversy, many people both in and out of law enforcement saw no problem with those decisions.

There’s a glaring double standard here. Police officers are heavily protected by the legal system: they are authorized to use force in ways civilians are not; their excessive force cases are often investigated by members of their own department; and most people are reluctant to second-guess an officer’s decision to use force — even in courtroom settings.

Granted, at least 41 cops have been indicted on murder or manslaughter charges this year for killing civilians in the line of duty. But a 2015 Washington Post analysis found that of the thousands of fatal shootings by police since 2005, only 54 officers have been charged. Far fewer were actually convicted.

Police-militarization

The problem as I see it, is that people have stopped listening to one another a long time ago. There is simply no communication. No leadership. Our streets has become a war zone where hundreds of unchecked fanatical law enforcement officers are out of main street USA not following protocol and carrying out street justice against the very citizens it is sworn to protect and serve. Some as we see every single day are acting as judge and executioner.

We see this is in the military. In most every career but mostly in high risk careers. People develop phobias, psychosis, fears, insecurities and react. Some are racists, troubled, plagued by alcoholism, drugs, relationships that due affect their work in a variety of means. Some have PTSD, anger management, anxiety issues that go unchecked. A great deal of the simply bomb waiting to explode.  An IED lying dormant for the time your ignorance rolls over it. The questions is, who developed that IED?

When a police officer gets killed, entire departments empties out to seek out the killer and will stop at nothing and use whatever faculties and force to get the job done. What happens when an innocent black or white child gets killed non-related to law enforcement?

Everyone needs to take a hard cold look in the mirror. There are a great deal of amazing law enforcement officers out there but we need more out of them. We need them to take a stand against the officers the make this country the most corrupt. To stop turning the blind eye. To being turning in the ‘bad cop’.  To remove these vigilante officers off our streets. To earn the respect and integrity behind the shield they wear.  In turn, we will all hopefully unite and become color blind. Restore to order and regain our constitutional freedoms and rights.

brian-moore-funeral

Here are police officers in dress blue giving their respects to a fallen officer. On patrol for a better part of a century, officer’s uniforms varied but were merely non-threatening but commanding button-down grey/blue/black shirts, neckties, slacks, black shoes, navy jackets and peaked hats. In colder months, a leather jacket was worn. This photo along with  the policeman’s oath represented integrity, honor  and pledge to serve his fellow man with “favor, skill, knowledge and no malice or ill-will”.

coppies

This photo is something you would find in Kabul, Afghanistan or Mosul but this is police response teams on the Main Street USA.  Why is our police waging war against the very citizens it swore to protect? Do the police consider it’s citizens Terrorists?

ALLLIVESMATTER rich or poor. We the law and the citizens for whom they serve need to respect and honor one another. It is a two-way street. Not one of each other is better than the other. If someone breaks the law, the law-breaker regardless of stature needs to be held accountable for his/her actions. In fact, if a crime is committed by an officer of the law, they should be held to stricter standards like all leaders in our communities and in our administrations.  We need to restore order, eliminate chaos, and focus on our true enemies here and abroad.

Mutual respect is the foundation for honesty, trust and meaningful communication. Right now, we need mutual respect for a new mindset and transition for re-establishing a proper regard for the dignity of the officer and all citizens. In order for relationships to remain healthy, both the public and public servants must be equally respected, appreciated but neither should expect to receive or expect any praise for doing what it is his or her job to do. The truth is that anytime anyone shares their hand or heart, they should be valued and appreciated for it. It is defined as a proper regard for the dignity of another. Policing and the public is a conveyance of a relationship like a marriage that contains value. We as Americans have that capacity to care and love. It is inherent. We have seen that in each other in 9/11 when we become one.

StudentServices_CampusPolice_1

Mutual respect is intentional. Based upon traditional values and acts of appreciation.  Modern men and women have been programmed in part to dislike each other. We are living in an uncivilized world perpetrated by terrorism. We are also living in a corrupt world led by corrupt leadership and blinded by misconceptions, broken policies and agendas.

We need to re-structure our government. Establish new protocols and psychological assessments and review boards before placing those in powerful positions as part of stringent background checks and training. These must be integral for a new set and dimension of strategies and standards of training. We need to re-build our nation from within before we break down the chains of terrorism abroad. If we want our citizens to be accountable for their actions, we have to insist that our police and everyone involved in the legal process be accountable equally. ALLLIVESMATTER – EQUALLY.

Credits; AP

CIA Interrogation Techniques

I always thought CIA interrogations methods even till today were clandestine. Through research, CIA interrogators waterboarded their first prisoner, Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah, in 2002 justifying the simulated drowning as a vital tool to extract secrets about future attacks against the United States.

At a secret prison In Thailand for about 20 days, the CIA implemented round the clock interrogations, waterboarding, physical assaults and confinement. Their conclusions was the Saudi Operative knew nothing about new plots.

Such techniques are used to break a person will or ability to resist. The goal is obtain the confidential intelligence information and access undisclosed threat information.

These types of treatments got into the hands of the Senate Intelligence Committee recently which was placed into scrutiny. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks, under intense demands to produce usable intelligence, the agency resorted to deception, manipulation and intellectual contortions to rationalize and continue using interrogation techniques that even some of its own officials worried amounted to illegal torture, the report documents.

cia

At CIA headquarters, officials repeatedly pushed interrogators at secret detention facilities in Poland, Thailand, Afghanistan, Romania and elsewhere to intensify the harsh treatment, even after officers at the sites had concluded there was little more information to be gained from a prisoner.

CIA Director John Brennan said in a statement “we acknowledge that the detention and interrogation program had shortcomings and that the agency made mistakes.” He added that “the most serious problems occurred early on and stemmed from the fact that the agency was unprepared and lacked the core competencies required to carry out an unprecedented, worldwide program” of detention and interrogation.

The interrogations chief became so disillusioned as the treatment of detainees that he called the ‘program’ a train wreck waiting to happen and wanted off the train and no longer wanted to be associated with the program “in any way.”

There was conflicting reports about the methods used against Nashiri who the CIA claimed to be involved in the bombing of the US Cole where interrogators was allegedly hanging him upside down, holding a drill next to his body and a pistol next to his head. Those techniques reportedly were not authorized by either the CIA or the Justice Department but ruled that the interrogation practices did not violate U.S. laws against torture.

nashiri

There were two former military psychologists who were the chief architects of the interrogation program and personally conducted some of the waterboarding, even though they had no direct experience with the practice

The CIA relied on the two men to assess the psychological effects of waterboarding and other techniques on individual prisoners. That put them in position to judge the effectiveness of interrogations. A company the two formed to help run the program received $81 million from the CIA from 2002 to 2009, a Senate investigation found.

In January 2003, one of the psychologists arrived at the detention site where Nashiri was being held to assess whether he should be subjected to additional harsh interrogation measures. He recommended going ahead with “the full range of enhanced exploitation and interrogation measures” to establish a “desired level of helplessness.

Nearly two years after the CIA’s last interrogation of Nashiri, an assessment by one of the psychologists who had recommended his harsh treatment concluded the prisoner had “provided essentially no actionable information.” In 2006, Nashiri was transferred to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo.

CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds

In the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, when detaining prisoners was first discussed within the Bush administration, CIA officials promised their facilities would be comparable to federal prisons or would meet Pentagon standards for prisoners of war.

The facilities fell far short of those standards. In 2002, when officials from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons visited a CIA prison in Afghanistan known as the Salt Pit, they were stunned to find detainees shackled in their cells in complete darkness and isolation, with only buckets for human waste.

The program grew so quickly that the agency had difficulty keeping track of all of its detainees and in 2003 discovered they were holding a number of detainees the knew little about and had not been questioned for months.

CIA officers involved in the program worried from the start that they might face criminal charges and began to seek assurances from Atty General Ashcroft immunity from prosecution which was denied.

Are interrogation methods in other countries any different towards Americans and foreign Journalists?  Are interrogation methods instrumental to the national security of our country? Does the intensity of the interrogation own up to the horrors and severity we see in the terroristic annihilation of humanity?

Our leadership rhetoric has always been that we do not negotiate with terrorists. Is this is valid, why is terrorism so rampant in the world?

KHORASAN – Deadlier Threat than ISIS

While we are concentrating ALL our efforts and views on ISIS, intelligence emerged that will leave the United States and its allies blind sided by terrorist attacks with even more upcoming confrontation than being witnessed with the Islamic State. It is far more sinister and a direct threat from a much lesser known terrorist group that has arisen from the ashes of the Syrian war.
This splinter group calling itself Khorasan may be laying in wake with concrete plans for striking targets in the United States and Europe as a chosen modus operandi – more so than ISIS. The inside information in Washington who have had the information for years will not deny that Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State.

According to the New York Times, some US officials have gone as far as saying that, while the Islamic State is undoubtedly more prominent in its show of force in the Middle East, it is Khorasan who’s intent on oversees campaigns in a way Al Qaeda usually is.

islamists-treat-muslims.si

In this sense, the US air strike campaign and the coming actions by the anti-IS coalition might just be what coaxes IS into larger-scale attacks on American and European soil – what Khorasan is essentially all about which brings up another issue that blinds Washington’s stance on terrorism. It is so focused on the terror spread by IS that it’s beginning to forget that the destruction and mayhem of civil war across the Middle East is spawning a number of hard-to-track terrorist factions and sleep cells with distinct missions.

Khorasan – a splinter group from Al-Qaeda (a growing body of extremists from around the world) are coming in and taking advantage of the ungoverned areas and creating informal ad hoc groups that are not directly aligned with ISIS or Nusra of which our government and intelligence are ignoring.

This Al-Qaeda offshoot group is led by a former senior operative Muhsin al-Fadhli. He had reportedly fled to Iran during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan with other Operatives moving to and from Pakistan, Syria, Iran and other countries after the campaign, forming splinter groups.

Al-Fadhli was identified as leading the Iranian branch of Al-Qaeda, controlling the movement of funds and operatives in the region and working closely with wealthy “jihadist donors” in his native Kuwait to raise money for the Syrian terrorist resistance.

Although American intelligence is said to have been tracking it for over a decade, Khorasan itself is shrouded in mystery. Little is known publicly and it is said to favor concealed explosives as a terror method and like other groups taking power in war-torn provinces like Syria, Khorasan has on occasion shifted its alliances.

khorasancell

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri at one point ordered the former ISIS to fight only in Iraq, but cut all ties with it when it disobeyed and branched out. The result was that the Nusra Front became Al-Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. It’s said that Khorasan is to Al Nusra Front what the latter was to Al-Qaeda.

They see their mission in recruiting European and American Muslim militants who have traveled to Syria to fight alongside Islamist extremist groups that form part of the rebel coalition fighting Syria’s Assad regime. In return, the Khorasan group hopes to train and deploy these recruits, who hold American and European passports, for attacks against Western targets. The belief here is that Khorasan will be Al-Qaeda’s new arm in carrying our terrorist attacks against the United States.

The group reportedly has the services of Al-Qaeda bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, whose devices previously ended up on three US-bound planes. He is known to be a true pioneer of hard-to-detect bombs. The next step most likely in their agenda will be taking those bombs and pairing them with US-born and other foreign jihadist returning home.

zohani4

In this respect, Khorasan threats to the US to be much more directly compared to the Islamic State’s more regional ambitions and since POTUS anti ISIS strategy does not include Al Nusra, which then frees up Khorasan’s hands.

Al Nusra is set apart from many other groups is that it’s now the only faction with active branches throughout Syria.

The volatile conflict zone that is Syria, with its lax borders and an increasing number of distinct, armed Islamist groups, the US may be surprised by how difficult it soon may be to pinpoint the origin of the next threat.

The Massacre of Shiites – U.S. Accountability

Our own country sanctioned by Obama at a cost of billions of taxpayer dollars to train Iraqi soldiers has unfolded in many wars. The largest way is leading to the massacre of Shiites (ISIS) taken and slaughtered by Sunni Militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The massacre was no different and was perpetuated by ISIS which came after another massacre of Iraqi soldiers stationed at Camp Speicher, a former American army base in Tikrit, Hussein’s hometown.

The suspected scale of the massacre — ISIS claimed it killed 1,700 Shiite soldiers which was confirmed to be accurate which would make it the deadliest sectarian atrocity in Iraq’s recent history.

The story of the massacre tells as much about the woeful state of the Iraqi military, a force created and trained by the United States at a cost of billions of dollars, as it does about the cruelty of ISIS.

The conquests of ISIS has demonstrated the psychological effects to this author to the direct victim of victim offender. When the US left Iraq, the war in Iraq was not over for the Sunnis and Shiites, In fact, a new civil unrest and a new faction emerged in the form of barbaric terrorism without limitations. The culture of Iraqis is not for forgiveness. They are from the desert; their culture is for revenge.

The United States encouraged the Shiites to rise up against Saddam Hussein who in turn slaughtered tens of thousands of Shiites as the U.S. stood by when the uprising against Hussein’s rule in 1991 was encouraged by American officials. But the United States then stood by as Mr. Hussein’s security forces slaughtered tens of thousands of people which explains why Shiites in the south never trusted the Americans when they invaded in 2003.

The certainty now, is that ISIS will continue to massacre anyone that stands in their way or opposes them. History has a way to repeat itself and revenge does come back with vengeance.

What is the Psychology behind ISIS? Can we Infiltrate and Defeat them?

Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria butcher thousands of “infidels” and carry off their women and children into slavery. This type of savagery can also be seen in other countries in history and currently in Africa with such faces like Boko Haram, other fascist groups and similar ISIS groups like Al-Qaeda but who even denounces the savagery of ISIS. The most notorious was Hitler who exterminated 6,000,000 Jews.

Savagery Begets Savagery

What, then are the origins of savagery, if they cannot be ascribed to a single religion or ideology? The first part of an answer may be horribly simple: savagery begets savagery. Callousness, aggression, and lack of empathy are common responses by people who have been harshly treated themselves. In the Nazi concentration camps, for instance, many of the cruelest guards were themselves prisoners—the notorious “kapos”.

Sexually abused children—particularly males—are more likely to go on to become sexual abusers themselves as adults, although the majority do not. Victims, in other words, often respond to trauma by themselves becoming victimizers.

The “shock and awe” bombing of Baghdad and subsequent invasion in 2003 triggered an explosion of violence and a total break down of law and order in the country. Few Iraqis escaped the effects of savagery. Marketplace car bombs and sectarian assassination squads were prevalent.. Between 2003 and 2011, over 114,000 of them were killed and many hundreds of thousands more maimed. So a minority of these, overwhelmingly male, victims of violence are now themselves propagating savagery through Mosul and its environs.

But victim becoming victimizer is not the only explanation for savagery. When the State breaks down, and with it law and order and civic society, there is only one recourse for survival—the group. Whether defined by religion, racial, political, tribal or clan—or for that matter by the brute dominance of a gang-leader—survival depends on the mutual security offered by the group. This no different than here in the United States when one becomes a gang banger searching for solace when they themselves are victims of society and then become the victimizer. I have been dealing with them for 25 years.

War bonds people together in their groups and this bonding assuages some of the terrific fear and distress the individual feels when the state breaks down. It also offers self-esteem to people who feel humiliated by their loss of place and status in a relatively ordered society. To the extent that this happens, then individual and group identities partially merge and the person’s actions become as much a manifestation of the group as of the individual will. When this happens, people can do terrible things they would never have imagined doing otherwise: individual conscience has little place in an embattled, warring group, because the individual and group selves are one so long as the external threat continues. It is groups which are capable of savagery, much more than any individual alone.

You can see it in the faces of the young male Islamic State militants as they race by on their trucks, black flags waving, evil smiles on their faces, clenched fists aloft, fresh from the slaughter of infidels who would not convert to Islam. What you can see is a biochemical high from a combination of the oxytocin and testosterone. Much more than cocaine or alcohol, these natural drugs lift mood, induce optimism and energize aggressive action on the part of the group. And because the individual identity has been submerged largely into the group identity, the individual will be much more willing to sacrifice himself in battle—or suicide bombing, for that matter. Why? Because if I am submerged in the group, I live on in the group even if the individual “me” dies.

This psychology I beleive and always has relates to all subject matter to drug cartels, mafia and all crime mobs, terrorist groups, religious fanatics and such.

Putin Diplomacy

It has become apparent that Putin no longer has a soul. That is the transparency we are seeing now and the fear of what will Putin do next?

In the aftermath of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 jet that was shot down by alleged pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine killing all 289 on board two Ukrainian Jet fighters have also been shot down also by the same alleged missile systems of Russia which ironically crashed near the Malaysian site.

shot down

Continue reading