El Salvador gang violence making Latin America murder Capital.

Gang violence is soaring in El Salvador. The country’s murder rate is one of the highest in the world. Now, amid criticism, the government is debating whether it should deploy the military.

El Salvador, one of the poorest and most violent countries in Latin America, saw well over 150 gang-related homicides within the last month alone. Now its constitutional court has classified the gangs as terrorist organizations.

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR, 2015.05.21: Two policemen study the body of a man murdered at a busy intersection in downtown San Salvador during rush hour. They are part of the 911 response team patrols the streets of the capital. The 'halcones' respond first to crimes involving armed people, homicides and other serious crimes. The first 5 months of 2015 has witnessed a rapid increased in the number of police deaths at the hands of pandillas or gangs.

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR: Two policemen study the body of a man murdered at a busy intersection in downtown San Salvador during rush hour. They are part of the 911 response team patrols the streets of the capital. The ‘halcones’ respond first to crimes involving armed people, homicides and other serious crimes. The first 5 months of 2015 has witnessed a rapid increased in the number of police deaths at the hands of pandillas or gangs.

Authorities in El Salvador have registered closer to 4,000 homicides in the past year. If the death toll continues to rise at the same pace, one in every thousand of its 6.3 million Salvadorans will have been murdered by the end of the year. Outside war zones, only Honduras has a comparable homicide rate.

In both countries, the murders can mostly be traced back to “Maras”, one of the gangs whose income is derived from hold-ups, extortion, arms trafficking and the illegal drug trade. Their roots go back to gangs in the Latin districts of Los Angeles in the 1980s, when many Salvadorans fled their country during the civil war.

When the conflict was over, the gangs formed criminal organizations in El Salvador. “This process was accelerated after the USA began deporting illegal immigrants to their home countries,” states a study conducted by the research department of the US Congress.

Today, UN drug authorities estimate a total of 54,000 members in “Mara Salvatrucha” (known as MS-13) and the 18th Street gang (also known as Barrio 18) in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. El Salvador, the smallest of the three countries, is home to 22,000 of them. In neighboring Nicaragua, many smaller gangs are active.

barrio18.1

Gang recruiters target students

Maras’ recruiters often target high school students. The organization offers youngsters what their parents often lack: the prospect of a livelihood and the feeling of being respected. Gang members often cover themselves in tattoos, which are earned through respect and brutality.

As many adolescents are recruited, Maras groups are often referred to as “youth gangs.” Anyone who thinks they are less harmful because of their age has another thing coming. The average age of the gang members is low because their life expectancy is proportionately lower.

Lucrative truce

For years, the gangs fought bloody turf wars. In 2012, Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 agreed to a truce. Homicide figures dropped from over 4,000 in the previous two years to 2,500 in 2012 and 2013. The ceasefire has been maintained because it is more profitable when each Mara can call the shots on its own turf in apparent peace.

 

 

But now, the killing is on the rise again: the death toll reached over 3,900 in 2014. If the current daily murder rate stays at 16 homicides per day, then last year’s total will be surpassed by the end of August 2015.

The spiral of violence

Ever since the gang truce was established, the victims of gang activities have been mainly civilians. But the gangs are now fighting each other again. According to El Salvador’s defense minister, David Munguia Payes, 85 percent of last weeks’ victims belonged to gangs.

Furthermore, the feud between the police and gangs has exacerbated: in January 2015, seven officers were killed in two weeks. According to sources in MS-13 circles, these were apparently acts of revenge for police tyranny. The police, for their part, swiftly announced that it would crack down on gang activities.

Organized crime in North and South America is continuing to spiral out of control and resulting in more violence and more deaths. They say, “The retaliatory nature together with the rhetoric is telling.” But this is nothing new, either is the escalation of government corruption.

This evokes reminders of the past: Salvadoran presidents have often stated that they would strike back hard. The gangs have always responded brutally to such declarations: in 2009, for instance, during the rule of former president Antonia Saca, known as “Super Mano Dura” (Super Hard Hand) the homicide rate rose to a historic high of 4,367 killings. This record may just well be broken this year.

Government making efforts

It is obvious that the government is taking the route of confrontation. Several months ago, a business association invited former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani to El Salvador to advise the country on security issues. During the Giuliani administration, the crime rate in New York went down drastically. Giuliani practiced a no-tolerance policy against offenders and he has recommended the Salvadoran government do the same.

barriomilitary

Classifying Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 as terrorist organizations might demonstrate that the government is probably following the former New York City mayor’s advice and considering deploying the military, although there is little evidence to prove that military measures will reduce the violence. It might mirror what the results we’ve seen with the Cartels in Mexico. Doubts have arisen about the feasibility of Giuliani’s tactics in Central America, where officers are paid much less than in the US and, accordingly, tend to give in to corruption.

It is most likely that the first rehabilitation program for gang members in the history of the country may be established by the government as part of its anti-gang measures. The costs, however, could exceed the governments’ financial means. Approximately 700 police officers have been temporarily suspended for disobeying regulations. Another 200 were expelled from the force. A functioning police force would be the first step towards greater security. Positive changes could attract investors who can offer young people a better perspective than organized crime. Private sector certainly can be a solution.

Operation Greystone

Shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, President Bush called an emergency meeting in his cabinet Room, calling together the major defense and CIA officials.

ciause

Not much earlier, CIA Director J. Cofer Black and top officials had prepared a plan to take down Al-Qaeda. Black approached President Bush with this plan immediately afterwards. Bush had just given the CIA a very broad approval to enter Afghanistan and carry out operations against the terror group Al-Qaeda in any way it pleased.

CIA Operatives entered at least a dozen different countries, including Afghanistan, and began training locals and government security forces to track down insurgents and terrorists.

Elite CIA Operatives trained northern Alliance soldiers in Afghanistan; the Taliban fell from power within a matter of months.

We now know that Operation Greystone involved, in large part, inaccurate drone strikes and secret prison-based interrogations of high-risk terrorists who simply disappeared during the course of the operation.

Realizing a greater potential threat facing America post 9/11, intelligence agencies became more secretive and cautious. They took on a greater role by phone tapping and tracking emails and created Operation Greystone enacted by President Bush which it sent CIA in front of the military for the first time, in order to go after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan which was the first start of a new covert was style.

Realizing we were facing a far greater potential terrorist threat and whereas most wars are a show of power, Operation Greystone began as an infiltration for information.

isis-taliban-jihad

CIA operatives entered at least a dozen different countries, including Afghanistan who joined up with the Northern alliance, a resistance force made up of rebels and from the shadows effectively began tracking down insurgents and terrorists who were paid to hunt down, fight and kill.  These operations operated in the shadows effectively dismantling the Taliban which led to numerous victories and dubbed as the “War on Terror”.

Elite CIA operatives trained Northern Alliance soldiers in Afghanistan; the Taliban fell from power within a matter of months.

We now know that Operative Greystone involved, in large part, inaccurate drone strikes and secret prison-based interrogations of high-risk terrorists who simply disappeared during the course of the operation.

One event that raised concerns of the scope of government power was a drone missile that blew up a vehicle occupied by an Al Qaeda leader. Although the government called it a success and celebrated, many were unaware of the power of the government weapons and the ability of the government to kill easily.

The major problem is that because everything is now done in secret, no one truly knows the extent to which the government is performing.

A second occurrence was the enhanced interrogation techniques that ensured, such as water boarding which is considered torture but was labeled as an enhanced technique and approved by the Justice Department.

In addition, the CIA had created a series of “black sites” throughout the world, which are prison camps for people to be tortured in. Again, in complete secrecy.

Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld began a program called Joint Special Operations Command, which singles out terrorist leaders and kills them one by one. They don’t call themselves a covert operation but instead military operation to avoid needing approval of president and effectively doing as they please. JSOC operates with CIA special activities division.

jsocarmy

Rumsfeld also created the Office of Special Plans, which created links that the CIA would not release. It was used to create the link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. It has “all source clearance,” the ability to access all information.

The OSP uses unapproved troops, acting independently and with mainly political intent in Iraq such as in summer of 2004 when the CIA led troops to Pakistan with attacks to defeat Al Qaeda and terrorists.

They then attacked Iraq to prevent damage from weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein, and eventually led to the destruction of the NSA at home. It intercepts phone calls and emails without warrant, in all effort of preventing another 9/11.

This was allowed by the Terrorist Surveillance Program, enacted by Bush.

At this time, these new anti-terrorist groups have far more power than they should, being not regulated and also closed off to public knowledge.

In fact, after 8 months, it turned out there was not any “weapons of mass destruction” at all in Iraq, and the CIA took blame for all intelligence failure. It begs the question of just how much they know, and the lack of reason behind their activity.

A few years later, Obama was sworn in and swore to end invading privacy. Yet it turns out he reauthorized many programs including Greystone to find Osama bin Laden. JSOC raids, drone strikes, and essentially every program was kept or increased in order to continue fighting a “War on Terror”.

About 1.5 trillion dollars has been spent so far, and yet the only notable achievement is the death of Osama bin Laden. Perhaps instead of all this need to keep all actions secret, the government updates the public so it can realize if a search such as for WMD’s is hopeless and stop activity on it, and then try to refocus on other good leads on terrorist groups.

Drones are “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” capable of delivering guided missiles to targets up to 1800 miles away. They are relatively small, equipped with a camera and controlled remotely from an operator on the ground. Since they are unmanned, drones greatly reduce the risk and cost of requiring a pilot and can effectively target key enemy positions.

drones

The CIA uses drones to conduct targeted killings of Taliban members and other militant groups.  In effect, it targets and eliminates insurgents on the ground without the implementation of need of excessive boots on the ground and unnecessary loss of ground troops. In turn, it also saves the lives of thousands of victims at the hands of the very growing numbers of extremists looking to dominate the world.

When it comes to drone strikes, the UN Human Rights Council fears that the United States has not taken proper accountability and precautionary and precautionary measures in conducting these targeted killings. According to Philip Alston, “the UN special Rappaorteurs on extrajudicial summary on arbitrary executions stated, “the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is running a programme that is killing a significant number of people, and there is absolutely no accountability in terms of the relevant international law.” My query to Mr. Alston is has he been to Iraq, Syria Kobane to see firsthand the thousands of beheading at the hands of ISIS the crimes against humanity of ISIS/ISIL killing hundreds of children and infants and the raping of women as young as 6 years old? Boys given automatic weapons and grenades and sent to suicide school instead of elementary school to kill all “non-believers”.

Since 2004, the Special Activities Division of the CIA had conducted hundreds of drone strikes in northern Pakistan. By the end of Obama’s first term in office, the CIA had conducted 44 drone strikes in Pakistan, killing approximately 400 people. In the years following, the number of strikes increased dramatically, and by 2011, the CIA had conducted over 240 drone strikes in Pakistan. The Obama administration maintains that the drone program is classified, and thus they are unable to reveal specific information about the targeted killings. Consequently, when such a program is classified, serious accountability and human rights dilemmas emerge.

A 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment Soldier provides overwatch on an Afghan valley during Operation Verendrye near the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Going into the 21st century, posturing and humane reasoning would dictate that the CIA must recognize the potential dangers of wielding such a powerful network of drones. With such a network, the CIA could hypothetically kill anyone on its “target list” from a remote location halfway across the world, effectively dehumanizing the entire process of assassination. The CIA must be sure to follow UN guidelines, while simultaneously maintaining a level of secrecy that gives it an advantage over terrorist organizations. The CIA must also be cautious of overusing drones also one would posture. The purpose of employing drones in Pakistan is to defeat terrorist organizations operating in the area but excessive use of drones may increase the already growing anti-American sentiment in the region. Will drones make America too powerful for its own good?

If drones are extremely effective is waging the war on terror, we cannot ignore it. We must not only continue the effective campaign but escalate it without mercy and conduct a “search and destroy” ground attack with “boots on the ground” giving us maximum exposure to eliminate any threat.

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?

Our Government has Armed and Trained ISIS

The United States with the aid and guidance of the CIA had a hand in arming ISIS. In 2013, “ISIS fighters aided a [Supreme Military] council arms depot filled with weapons and ammunition, funded by the Gulf states and funneled to the council with the guidance of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The CIA has been known to run guns to terrorists (freedom fighters) in the past, arming Contras in Nicaragua and Syrian rebels. This practice allows our government to arm our enemies so they can justify going to war with them later. Our government has been conducting this practice for decades. Sending military aid (weapons and ammunition) to foreign countries which ultimately end up in the hands of our enemy states and kill thousands of our American military and scores of innocent civilians. So, who are the decision makers behind all of this, look no further than the President who approves it and shakes the hands of our enemy nations leaders.

ISIS has been in large part supported by the United States and its allies both directly and indirectly. This monstrous group that has begun to dominate parts of Syria and Iraq, has many members that were trained in Jordan by the U.S. back in 2012. These rebels were being groomed to squash the al-Assad regime in Syria with the Free Syrian Army, but apparently many of these well-trained rebels got more ambitious. They wanted to be part of the new Islamic State and joined ISIS instead.

ISIS has been receiving funds from private individuals based in U.S. allied countries like Kuwait, Qatar, and possibly Saudi Arabia. After seizing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of U.S. military equipment from the Iraqi Army who abandoned it, ISIS is also well armed.

At the same time it emerged that the U.S. State Department had hired an Al-Qaeda offshoot organization, the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, to “defend” the Benghazi Mission months before the attack.

There was a leak about smuggling operations when it emerged that the CIA had been subjecting its Operatives to monthly polygraph tests in an effort to keep a lid on details of the arms smuggling operations being leaked.

isisarmy

CIA agents were on the ground in Benghazi during the attack and that the polygraph tests were mandated in order to prevent Operatives from talking to Congress or the media about a program that revolved around secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels. Key Syrian rebel leaders later defected to join ISIS.

In addition to ISIS obtaining weapons from Benghazi, many members of the group were also trained by the United States at a secret base in Jordan in 2012. Many of the United States’ biggest allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey and Qatar, have all bankrolled and armed ISIS militants.

So what weapons do ISIS possess do massacre Iraqi and American military and civilian live? There are M16 Assault Rifle, AK47’s, M79 Rockets for anti-tank which are all marked “property of US Govt”. According to General Thomas McInerney, he ankowleged that we “help build ISIS”.

What is the U.S. agenda with ISIS/ISIL?

It has become evident to me that US government lawyers have been fettering with justifications and legal acrobatics about interventions to shut down terrorists actions both domestically and globally.

The stonewalling continues to take the proper action against terrorist savagery by both ISIS and ISIL by the intervention of approval of the United Nations. I believe the argument which lies herein is Isis a threat to the United States domestically? Does it justify an attack on Iraqi soil to protect its citizens?

The 2003 involvement in Iraq was perpetrated with alleged Intel that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and therefore posed a threat and gave the US and its allies the right to attack.

Now, the government of Iraq is pleading for the US to lead international efforts to strike ISIL and ISIS military strongholds in Syria to end continuing attacks.

 

US politicians up for re-election in November are balking to vote for a third military attack and being sucked into a Syrian quagmire, thus avoiding to seek a fresh authorization for the use of military force.

What US politicians is missing or ignoring with their heads buried in the sand and their greedy hands stretched out for CASH is that terrorists have only one agenda and you cannot over analyze or assess justifications to end this conflict. Terrorist groups in Syria are a threat not only to Iraq but other countries and prevalent everywhere.

Terrorism is a cancer or an airborne virus. You cannot treat it. You must kill it permanently or it will come back.