Pay Off The Right People And You Are No Longer A Terrorist

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By Philip Giraldi for Information Clearing House – October 31, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – If you want to change a group of terrorists who have killed American overseas into something that appears to be much more benign, all you have to do is pay off the right people in Washington. With enough money, you can even open a nice plush lobbying office on Pennsylvania Avenue in the District of Columbia, not too far from the White House and Capitol Hill. One-time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been rightly blamed for the ill-conceived and badly bungled “regime change” in Libya in 2011 that eventually led to her mishandling of the resulting blowback in Benghazi, but one of her greatest failings just might have involved the piece of paper she signed when she removed the Mujaheddin e Khalq (MEK) group from the State Department list of “designated terrorist organizations” in September 2012. How is it possible that the bad judgment demonstrated in the Libyan fiasco that created a failed state, a humanitarian disaster, a migrant crisis, armed terrorists and ultimately produced the murder of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans compare with a signature on a piece of paper? It is because that signature put in place one of the elements that will most likely in the near future lead to a far more disastrous war for the United States than was Libya.

U.S. Military Activity Is A “Recruiting Tool” For Terror Groups Across West Africa

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By Nick Turse for The Intercept – THE MISSION NEVER made the front page of the New York Times or the Washington Post. It wasn’t covered on CNN or Fox News. Neither the White House chief of staff, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, nor the president ever addressed it in a press briefing. But from mid-January to late March 2013, Green Berets from the 10th Special Forces Group deployed to the impoverished West African nation of Niger. Working alongside local forces, they trained in desert mobility, the use of heavy weapons, and methods of deliberate attack. On May 15 of that year, another contingent of Special Forces soldiers arrived in Niger. For nearly two months, they also trained with local troops, focusing on similar combat skills with an emphasis on missions in remote areas. From the beginning of August until mid-September, yet another group of Green Berets traveled to the hot, arid country for training, concentrating on desert operations, heavy weapons employment, intelligence analysis, and other martial matters, according to Pentagon documents obtained by The Intercept via the Freedom of Information Act. One constant of all of these counterterrorism missions, which were carried out by small teams of elite U.S. troops operating alongside Nigerien forces, was a concentration on reconnaissance. Until recently, such missions were conducted without notice or media scrutiny.

US Wages Cyberwar Abroad Under Cover Of “Activism”

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By Joseph Thomas for NEO – The threat of cyberterrorism has competed for centre stage in American politics with fears of “Russian hackers” disrupting everything from elections to electrical grids. And yet as US policymakers wield threats of cyberterrorism to promote a long and growing list of countermeasures and pretexts for expanding its conflict with Moscow, it is simultaneously promoting very real cyberterrorism globally. Worst of all, it does so under the guise of “activism.” The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently published a paper titled, “Growing Cyber Activism in Thailand.” In it, readers may have expected a detailed description of how independent local activists were using information technology to inform the public, communicate with policymakers and organise themselves more efficiently. Instead, readers would find a list of US-funded fronts posing as “nongovernmental organisations” (NGOs) engaged in subversion, including attacks carried out against Thai government websites aimed at crippling them, the dumping of private information of ordinary citizens online and coercing policymakers into adopting their foreign-funded and directed agenda.

White House Warned About White Supremacist Violence 3 Months Ago

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By Patrick Martin for World Socialist Web Site. The rampage through Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend by hundreds of neo-Nazis did not come as a surprise to the Trump White House. On the contrary, both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported the mounting threat of violence by white supremacist groups more than three months ago. According to a document obtained and made public by Foreign Policymagazine on its web site Monday, the FBI and DHS issued a joint warning that white supremacists had already carried out more violent attacks than any other US-based groups over the past 16 years and “likely will continue to pose a threat of lethal violence over the next year.”

How Al-Qaeda Became An American Ally In ‘The War On Terror’

Members of al-Nusra Front gesture as they drive in a convoy touring villages in the southern countryside of Syria’s Idlib province, Decembe, 2014. (Photo: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters)

By Whitney Webb for Mint Press News – WASHINGTON, D.C.– Despite ostensibly being the United States’ “Public Enemy No. 1” following the 9/11 attacks, the international terror group al-Qaeda has instead been a beneficiary of U.S. military aid in the post-9/11 world, particularly in Syria. With the Syrian conflict well into its sixth year, al-Qaeda’s active branch in that war, widely known as Jabhat al-Nusra or the al-Nusra Front, has continually received arms and military protection from the United States, an outcome that is clearly counterproductive to the U.S.’ global “War on Terror.” Yet, while the arming and propping up of al-Qaeda in Syria may not serve the U.S.’ fundamental goal of eradicating terrorism, it certainly has helped the U.S. political establishment pursue a decades-old goal of regime change in regionally strategic Syria. Gareth Porter, an award-winning independent investigative journalist, and historian told MintPress News that such tactics are part of the U.S. government’s long-standing “bureaucratic habit of mind that really privileges short-term advantages against state adversaries over the long term, fundamental interests of the American people.”

How The US Armed Terrorist Groups In Syria

Free Syrian Army fighters in Saqba, a suburb of Damascus (Photo: Freedom House / CC-BY-2.0)

By Gareth Porter for The American Conservative – Three-term Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a member of both the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees, has proposed legislation that would prohibit any U.S. assistance to terrorist organizations in Syria as well as to any organization working directly with them. Equally important, it would prohibit U.S. military sales and other forms of military cooperation with other countries that provide arms or financing to those terrorists and their collaborators. Gabbard’s “Stop Arming Terrorists Act” challenges for the first time in Congress a U.S. policy toward the conflict in the Syrian civil war that should have set off alarm bells long ago: in 2012-13 the Obama administration helped its Sunni allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar provide arms to Syrian and non-Syrian armed groups to force President Bashar al-Assad out of power. And in 2013 the administration began to provide arms to what the CIA judged to be “relatively moderate” anti-Assad groups—meaning they incorporated various degrees of Islamic extremism. That policy, ostensibly aimed at helping replace the Assad regime with a more democratic alternative, has actually helped build up al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise al Nusra Front into the dominant threat to Assad.

Right-Wing Terrorism In Venezuela

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By Frederick B. Mills and William Camacaro for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. Venezuela – One May 20, the 21 year old vendor from the shanty town of Petare, Orlando José Figueras, was beaten, stabbed, doused with gasoline and set on fire by opposition militants in the middle class neighborhood of Altamira during an anti-government demonstration reportedly because they took him for a Chavista or a thief. This atrocity has sent tremors throughout the popular barrios and raised the profile of terrorism from the right in Venezuela. The horrific scene was captured on video and by professional photographer, Marco Bello, and described in testimonies of the victim and his parents. Other demonstrators at the scene reportedly urged the attackers not to kill Figueras as he pleaded for his life.

Corbyn Tells Truth About Counterproductive War On Terror

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By Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal for AlterNet – This June 8, British voters will decide whether or not to continue with the conservative status quo, or take a chance on a new kind of left-wing politics that would represent a firm break with the orthodoxies of the ruling Conservative Party and the Labour Party’s establishment wing. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party’s intrepid new socialist leader, has pledged to drastically change his society. His party’s leftist manifesto calls for more funding for the socialized health care system, nationalizing the country’s tattered railways and putting a stop to massive cuts in social spending. Yet Corbyn has also taken a step further than others in his party have dared, pledging to do what to many progressives remains a shibboleth: oppose war and imperialism and limit the violent blowback they have caused back home. The liberal political establishment in the U.S. and across Western Europe has uncritically supported wars from Iraq, to Libya, to the push for regime change in Syria, often in the name of humanitarianism and “civilian protection.” While many progressives have portrayed the so-called War on Terror as an unfortunate but necessary evil…

America Commits Acts Of Terrorism—Why Is That So Hard To Understand?

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By Vijay Prashad for AlterNet – A few years ago, I asked a retired Iraqi Air Force officer what it felt like to be bombed periodically by the United States in the 1990s. Whenever US President Bill Clinton felt irritated, I joked, he seemed to bomb Iraq. The officer, a distinguished man with a long career serving a military whose political leadership he despised, smiled. He said with great lightness – ‘When our leadership said something threatening those words itself were taken to be terrorism; when the United States bombs, the world does not even blush.’ To me this is an intuitive statement. I was thinking about it as I watched the parade in Pyongyang (North Korea) to celebrate the birth of Kim Il-sung. The imagery from North Korean television was grand – the vast Kim Il-sung Square packed with soldiers as the massive arsenal of North Korea was paraded past its leadership. On twitter, amateur arms experts gave a run-down of this undersea missile and that trans-continental one. It was breathtaking to watch the performance and feel the anxiety in the Western media that North Korean would launch an attack on someone, somewhere.

Newsletter: Being Prepared To Turn Crisis To Our Advantage

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. With the Trump administration floundering and the movement opposed to him expanding, we need to be prepared for a possible shock doctrine moment, whether intentional or not, that could be used to unify the country around an unpopular president and shut down political dissent. If a crisis occurs, we need to use it, not to unify behind the President, but to rapidly explain how the crisis is part of the failed government policies of both parties, that it is a systemic problem of which Trump is a symptom and that the crisis means the movement must expand. If we succeed we will advance our cause even in a crisis whether it is self-created, provoked or blow back. We will not only blunt the potential of a Reichstag moment but turn it to our advantage to serve transformation of the nation. If we are to succeed, we must start preparing now. Those who are prepared for crisis, do best when it occurs.

Revealed: FBI Terrorism Taskforce Investigating Standing Rock Activists

A permit has been granted for the oil pipeline to cross the Missouri river, following Donald Trump’s executive order. Photograph: UPI / Barcroft Images

By Sam Levin for The Guardian – The FBI is investigating political activists campaigning against the Dakota Access pipeline, diverting agents charged with preventing terrorist attacks to instead focus their attention on indigenous activists and environmentalists. The Guardian has established that multiple officers within the FBI’s joint terrorism taskforce have attempted to contact at least three people tied to the Standing Rock “water protector” movement in North Dakota. The purpose of the officers’ inquiries into Standing Rock, and scope of the task force’s work, remains unknown. Agency officials declined to comment.

Trump Is Blaming People From The Wrong Countries For Terrorism

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By Richard Ochs for Popular Resistance – Now that the 28 pages of the Joint Congressional Intelligence Report of 2002 have been declassified, we know that Saudi Arabia did more than furnish 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11. It is no conspiracy theory that the the Chairman of this Committee Report, former Senator Bob Graham, said: “the Saudi government was a co-conspirator in 9/11.” It is a fact, not a theory, that the 28 pages state that then-Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar bin Sultan and his wife sent $100,000 to Saudi agent Bassnan in San Diego, who lived across the street from the two named Saudi hijackers. A long-time colleague of Bassnan named Bayoumi, receiving money from the Saudi Ministry of Defense…

Unspeakable: The Black Book Of Imperial Terrorism

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By Paul Street for Counter Punch – An excellent example is a recent CNN report on how U.S. President Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban is playing out in the small Vermont city of Rutland. A CNN reporter spoke to two local players on different sides of the question of whether Syrian refugees should be settled in Rutland. The first source was the town’s mayor, Chris Louras, who has been leading an effort to make Rutland a refugee resettlement hub that would welcome 25 Syrian families in 2017. When asked about why he’s been pushing for this, the mayor cited humanitarian concerns (“it’s the right thing to do”) but also (and above all) mentioned economic considerations. Rutland’s unemployment rate of 3 percent is “dangerously low,”

Facts Show Refugees Almost Never Involved In Terrorism

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By Beenish Ahmed and Dylan Petrohilos for Think Progress – Governors from more than half of country are attempting to block refugees fleeing conflict in Syria from being settled in their states citing concerns that they might carry out terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Experts familiar with the issue say their fears are largely unfounded. Evidence collected so far suggests that refugees were not involved in carrying out the gun and bomb attacks on the French capital. While hundreds of thousands of migrants have turned up on European shores in the last several months seeking asylum, the U.S. refugee resettlement program vets each person it admits through rigorous background checks that have a nearly flawless record at keeping terrorists out.

Obama’s Legacy In Africa: Terrorism, Civil War And Military Expansion

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By Eric Draitser for Mint Press News – The corporate media is predictably churning out nauseating retrospectives of Obama’s presidency, gently soothing Americans to sleep with fairy tales about the progressive accomplishments of President Hope and Change. But amid the selective memory and doublethink which passes for sophisticated punditry within the controlled media matrix, let us not forget that in Africa the name Barack Obama is now synonymous with destabilization, death, and destruction. The collective gasps of liberals grow to a deafening roar at the mere suggestion that Obama is more sinner than saint, but perhaps it would be useful to review the facts and the record rather than the carefully constructed mythos being shoehorned into history books under the broad heading of “Legacy.”