“We Are About To Arm Some Rebels And Drone Some More Folks” – Obama Statement On Passage Of Syrian Strategy

Moments ago, the Senate passed a $1 trillion government-funding bill that according to the Hill also gave the president new authority to battle the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The legislation, which has now been approved by both chambers of Congress, now heads to the White House for Obama?s signature. While the stopgap bill will prevent a government shutdown on Oct. 1, the vote will be remembered for a controversial provision that allows Obama to start a new training program for rebel fighters in Syria. In other words, not only will Obama arm some folks, he will also drone some other folks, the same folks he was arming a year ago.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/18/2014.

White House Explains Where Your $1.3 Billion Went In Ukraine

Just minutes after Poroshenko’s fearmongering speech to US Congress (and in the face of a collapsing Ukraine economy), The White House has released its “fact sheet” to explain exactly how committed (aside from the lethal aid demands – which may or may not be happening as we noted here) to supprting Ukraine the US taxpayer is… On top of guaranteeing $1 billion of Ukraine’s debt, a further $291 million in ‘assistance’ has been flooded in… here’s what for…
FACT SHEET: U. S. Support for Ukraine
The United States is firmly committed to supporting Ukraine as it works to establish security and stability, respond to humanitarian and reconstruction needs, conduct democratic elections and carry out constitutional reforms, restore its economy, and combat corruption. Along with our international partners, including the IMF, the United States is committed to supporting Ukraine’s reform agenda while also ensuring that Ukrainians are able to determine their future without intimidation or outside coercion.
In pursuit of these objectives, the U. S. government has provided approximately $291 million in assistance to Ukraine this year as well as a $1 billion loan guarantee. This includes thePresident’s announcement today of a new package of assistance totaling $53 million, of which:
More than $7 million will be directed to international relief organizations to provide humanitarian aid to those affected by the conflict in Ukraine’s east. $46 million in security assistance will support Ukraine’s military and border guards. This is in addition to the $70 million in security assistance we have previously announced. The President has also asked U. S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to lead a U. S. Government delegation to Ukraine September 26-27 to meet with senior Ukrainian government and business leaders and discuss Ukrainian economic reform efforts and the steps that the government needs to take in the short- and medium-term to strengthen its business climate and build an economy that attracts private capital.
The U. S. government will continue to work with Congress to identify additional opportunities for U. S. assistance to Ukraine. For example, the Administration has requested from Congress an additional $45 million in FY 2015 as part of the President’s European Reassurance Initiative that would help build Ukraine’s capacity to provide for its own defense and increase interoperability with U. S. and Western forces.
Examples of U. S. assistance to Ukraine in response to the crisis include the following:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/18/2014.

More Unlawful Presidential Killing

As the debate rages over whether the president needs congressional authorization for war prior to his deployment of the military to degrade or destroy ISIS, the terrorist organization that none of us had heard about until a few months ago, the nation has lost sight of the more fundamental issue of President Obama’s infidelity to the rule of law.
On the lawfulness of his proposed war, the president has painted himself into a corner. Last year, he quite properly recognized that the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), a statute enacted by Congress in 2002 to permit President George W. Bush to use the military to track down, capture, degrade or kill all persons or organizations that planned the attacks of 9/11, cannot apply to organizations that did not exist at the time of 9/11, of which ISIS is one.
That leaves the president with two remaining alternatives. One is the War Powers Resolution (WPR), a statute enacted by Congress in 1973 to limit presidentially ordered military invasions absent congressional assent to 180 days or fewer. But the WPR is unconstitutional, as it consists of Congress giving away to the president express authority to declare war, which the Constitution delegates to Congress. The Supreme Court has prohibited such giveaways of core powers and responsibilities from one branch of the federal government to another.
Even if Obama decides to rely on the WPR, and expects that no federal judge will interfere with that decision, his military advisers have told him he cannot achieve his objective in 180 days. They also have told him he cannot achieve his objective by the use of air power alone.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on September 18, 2014.

#DECLASSIFY: CAMPAIGN TO REVEAL THE 28 CENSORED PAGES OF THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT

Censored information implicates Saudi Arabia in 9/11 attacks
Even as Americans marked the 13th anniversary of 9/11 last week, the vast majority remain completely oblivious to the fact that the full story behind the attacks has not been told, with 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission report still remaining classified.
In an effort to lift the lid on the information contained in the censored pages, which almost certainly implicates Saudi Arabia in the September 11 attacks, Congressman Ron Paul has called on Americans to get behind a campaign to draw attention to U. S. Rep. Walter Jones’ House Resolution 428, which demands that the President order the 28 pages declassified in full.
Paul is urging supporters to upload videos to YouTube explaining why the 28 pages should be declassified, in addition to launching the campaign on Twitter under the hashtag #Declassify. Infowars is also throwing its support behind this cause under the hashtag #releasethe28pages.
In an interview with Ron Paul, Congressman Jones gave an insight into the kind of secrecy that surrounds the 28 pages and the security precautions that are taken when lawmakers, who are required to swear on oath not to release details, request to see the information.
‘You have to go down into a room that is guarded by uniformed officers, and then also you have an FBI person to sit there in the room,’ said Jones. ‘You can’t make any notes. The Bush people do not want it released. It’s not a national security issue. But it would be embarrassing to the previous administration if this information is opened for the public…. There will be no hope for America’s future if the American people don’t know the truth about a tragedy such as 9/11.’

This post was published at Info Wars by PAUL JOSEPH WATSON | SEPTEMBER 18, 2014.

If ISIS Were Really a Movie

ISIS has created a movie preview for the coming war, a war it eagerly wants Washington to take part in. The White House and Congress would like to oblige, as long as the movie can be a short one, on the model of Libya. Here’s the plot: Evil force arises out of nowhere; United States destroys it; credits roll. If Libya-The-Movie had begun with years of support for Gadaffi or ended with the disaster left behind, the critics would have hated it. Framing is everything.
Kathy Kelly published an article on Wednesday describing her visit some years back to a U. S. prison camp in Iraq where Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai spent four years under the name Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi before becoming the leader of ISIS.
Imagine a Hollywood-like movie that began in that camp. An opening scene might show Baghdadi and his fellow prisoners paraded naked in front of female soldiers and forced to say ‘I love George Bush’ before they could get their food rations. We’d see them sleeping on the ground in the cold, cursing their captors and swearing every last drop of energy and instant of remaining life to that highest of all Hollywood values: violent revenge.
Cut to the present and a scene in a small house in Iraq with 500-pound U. S. bombs exploding just outside. Baghdadi and his gang of loveable heroes look horrified, but – with a twinkle in his eye – Baghdadi gathers the others to him and begins to smile. Then he begins to laugh. His comrades look bewildered. Then they start to catch on. ‘You wanted this, didn’t you?’ exclaims Sexy Female Rebel. ‘This was your plan, wasn’t it!’

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on September 17, 2014.

Poroshenko in Washington: A Marriage Made in Heaven?

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s visit to Washington tomorrow (Thursdsay) is the consummation of a marriage made back in February, when the Obama administration ripped up a compromise agreement between elected president Yanukovich and the rebels who were seeking to overthrow him. Overnight, the US government endorsed the rebels’ seizure of power, and it has not wavered in its support of the coup leadership from that point. Poroshenko will arrive in town buoyed by Congressional passage of H. Res. 726, a resolution ‘Strongly supporting the right of the people of Ukraine to freely determine their future, including their country’s relationship with other nations and international organizations, without interference, intimidation, or coercion by other countries.’The lie is in the very title of the bill, however, as in supporting an anti-democratic coup against a legally elected government, the US has undermined, not supported, the right of the Ukrainian people to ‘freely determine their future… without interference…by other countries.’The Ukrainian people expressed their desires when they voted for Yanukovich. After the coup, the people in Crimea and the eastern part of the country also expressed their preferred ‘relationship with other nations’ when they voted to, respectively, join Russia and declare independence from the US-backed government in Kiev.

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on September 17, 2014.

8 Reasons Why Congress Should Vote No on Training and Funding Syrian Rebels

Today Congress will vote on the McKeon Amendment, a piece of legislation most Americans haven’t heard of. But the consequences of the vote today are grave: funding Syrian “rebels” will precipitate a new and wider war in the Middle East. Here are eight reasons why Congress should vote NO on the McKeon Amendment:1. It is a waste of money. We’d be on the hook for a projected $21 billion price tag over three years. The Pentagon plans to train 5,000 rebels in the next year, which at $1 million for each soldier could cost up to $15 billion dollars over the three-year war. The nearly 2,000 U. S. troops in Iraq will cost $6 billion over three years. The last Iraq War added at least $5 trillion to the long-term deficit.2. There are no “moderates.”Historian Alastair Crooke, writing about the connection between Saudi Arabia and ISIS, recently described “moderate” insurgents in Syria as being “rarer than a mythical unicorn.” “Moderates” have a non-aggression pact with ISIS. “Moderates” captured an American journalist and sold him to ISIS, who beheaded him. Saudi Arabia, which, with Qatar funded the jihadists in Syria, is now offering to “train” the rebels. Congress is being asked to swallow this concoction: the sponsors of radical jihadists are going to train “moderate” jihadists.

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on september 17, 2014.

TOP U.S. MILITARY OFFICIAL ADMITS: OUR ARAB ALLIES ARE FUNDING ISIS

“I know major Arab allies who fund them” During his testimony in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, America’s top military official General Martin E. Dempsey admitted that the United States’ Arab allies in the middle east are funding ISIS.

Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked by Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, ‘Do you know any major Arab ally that embraces ISIL?’
His response: ‘I know major Arab allies who fund them.’
‘Yeah, but do they embrace them?’ responded Graham. ‘They fund them because the Free Syrian Army couldn’t fight Assad. They were trying to beat Assad. I think they realized the folly of their ways.’
In reality, such ‘folly’ is set to continue after President Barack Obama announced a plan to arm and train Syrian rebels that is set to be given the green light by Congress before the end of this week, despite the fact that so-called ‘moderate’ rebels have defected to, fought alongside and given weapons to Islamic State militants.
As we have exhaustively documented, innumerable examples prove how Washington-backed FSA fighters and ISIS militants were moving closer even before the two groups signed a non-aggression pact last week.


This post was published at Info Wars by PAUL JOSEPH WATSON | SEPTEMBER 17, 2014.

9/11 Commission Chair: Declassify EVERYTHING

9/11 Commissioners Want the Facts to Come Out 9/11 Commission chairman Thomas Keane has previously called for the declassification of the secret 28 pages of the Congressional 9/11 Inquiry, and said that 60-70% of what was classified shouldn’t have been classified in the first place.
The New Yorker reported last week:
Thomas Kean remembers finally having the opportunity to read those twenty-eight pages after he became chairman of the 9/11 Commission – ‘so secret that I had to get all of my security clearances and go into the bowels of Congress with someone looking over my shoulder.’ He also remembers thinking at the time that most of what he was reading should never have been kept secret. But the focus on the twenty-eight pages obscures the fact that many important documents are still classified – ‘a ton of stuff,’ Kean told me, including, for instance, the 9/11 Commission’s interviews with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Bill Clinton. ‘I don’t know of a single thing in our report that should not be public after ten years,’ Kean said.
9/11 Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton agrees.
And so does 9/11 Commissioner Tim Roemer. As the New Yorker writes:
‘In some ways, it’s more dangerous today,’ Timothy Roemer, who was a member of both the Joint Inquiry and the 9/11 Commission, observed. ‘A more complex series of threats are coming together than even before 9/11, involving ISIS, Al Qaeda, and cyber-terrorist capabilities. The more the American people know about what happened thirteen years ago, the more we can have a credible, open debate’ about our security needs. Releasing the twenty-eight pages, he said, might be a step forward. ‘Hopefully, after some initial shock and awe, it would make our process work better. Our government has an obligation to do this.’

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on September 17, 2014.

What draws Modi to China

Modi is due to visit the U.S. in exactly twelve days from now. But there is nothing of the American rhetoric that used to mark a Manmohan Singh visit to the White House.
An idea was thought of initially to propitiate Modi by granting him the privilege of addressing the US Congress. But it has been quietly shelved.
The heart of the matter is that there had been a pronounced ‘militarization’ of India’s strategic outlook through the past 10-15 years, which was a period of high growth in the economy that seemed to last forever.
In those halcyon days, geopolitics took over strategic discourses and pundits reveled in notions of India’s joint responsibility with the United States, the sole superpower, to secure the global commons and the ‘Indo-Pacific’. 

This post was published at Asia Times

US Pursues 134 Wars Around the World

The US is now involved in 134 wars or none, depending on your definition of war …The White House spent much of last week trying to figure out if the word “war” was the right one to describe its military actions against the Islamic State. US Secretary of State John Kerry was at first reluctant: “We’re engaged in a major counterterrorism operation,” he told CBS News on Sept. 11. “I think war is the wrong terminology and analogy but the fact is that we are engaged in a very significant global effort to curb terrorist activity… I don’t think people need to get into war fever on this. I think they have to view it as a heightened level of counter terrorist activity.” – Global Post
Dominant Social Theme: Military activity is a fact of life. The US is used to it.
Free-Market Analysis: When one tries to figure out what has happened to US economic health, this figure ought to come to mind: 134. That is, 134 wars.
This is not a figure you’ll find mentioned in the mainstream news media, though the Global Post is actually a pretty big news organization and has a distribution deal with PBS. So that kinda qualifies it as “mainstream,” which makes it a bit more surprising that the editors should post an article like this.
We doubt we’ll be seeing it discussed on PBS anytime soon, though we could be wrong. Here’s more:
Kerry said similarly hedgy things during interviews on CNN and ABC. By the next day, the Obama administration appeared more comfortable with the word war, yet hardly offered any more clarity. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, “The United States is at war with ISIL in the same way we are at war with Al Qaeda and its affiliates.”
The problem is that our traditional definition of “war” is outdated, and so is our imagination of what war means. World War II was the last time Congress officially declared war. Since then, the conflicts we’ve called “wars” – from Vietnam through to the second Iraq War – have actually been congressional “authorizations of military force.”

This post was published at The Daily Bell on September 17, 2014.

OBAMA PISSES AWAY $104 BILLION OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS IN AFGHANISTAN

While the eyes of the world are on Iraq and President Obama’s plans to defeat ISIS, the chief auditor in charge of overseeing the U. S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan has a warning to policy makers: Don’t forget about the other war-torn country that has already cost hundreds of billions of dollars and has serious problems with corruption and sustainability.
So far, the United States has poured more than $104 billion into Afghanistan reconstruction efforts – that’s more than all the money spent on reconstructing Europe after World War II. Much of that money, as auditors have noted, has been lost to waste, fraud and abuse. In 2010, SIGAR accountants told The Fiscal Times they could only account for less than 10 percent of that money.
That’s a shocking sum, especially since Congress has already authorized another $16 billion to spend in Afghanistan in the next few years. Still, despite spending an ‘unprecedented’ amount of money to rebuild this country, it has no strategy to weed out corruption – leaving hundreds of billions of tax dollars vulnerable, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) told an audience atGeorgetown University on Friday.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on The Fiscal Times, September 15, 2014.

Australia Senator, Greens Party Leader Christine Milne Opposes ISIS War, Warns of Blowback

In the United States, congressional leaders – both Democrat and Republican – have long supported the US war on ISIS. In Australia, though, there is some vocal opposition, including from Australia Senator and Australian Greens Party Leader Christine Milne. Milne, opposed outright Australia’s involvement in the war in a Friday press release wherein she explains that the war is counterproductive and risks blowback:
“We cannot bring Australians together and combat extremism at home by blindly following the USA into yet another Iraq war,” said Senator Milne.
“It is not as simple as extremists hating us because of our way of life. They are also fuelled by our past engagement in Iraq with the Coalition of the Willing. Fighting US led Western imperialism is a rallying call for jihadists.
“We cannot ignore the fact that arming sectarian militia and dropping bombs in the Middle East will do absolutely nothing to combat extremism and violence at home in Australia and may make it much worse.’


This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on sunday september 14, 2014.

Obama’s Syrian ‘Moderates’ Sign Non-Aggression Pact with ISIS

In his address to the nation outlining his strategy to defeat ISIS last week, President Obama made three important points regarding Syria:1) He would not hesitate to bomb ISIS on Syrian territory even without permission from Syria, a UN resolution, or Congressional authorization.2) He would not coordinate his attacks on Syrian territory with the Syrian government because, as the State Department claimed, that government has no legitimacy. And, most importantly:3) He vowed to increase US support for the “moderate” rebels in Syria, which have been fighting, with US backing, to overthrow the Syrian government for three years.

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on saturday september 13, 2014.

Hundreds of reporters and staff losing jobs at world’s biggest propaganda network: CNN

It was the first 24-7 live all-news network: the Cable News Network, which was aptly named. But long gone are the “glory days” of the first Gulf War, when CNN’s wall-to-wall coverage of the “video game war” was on for hours and hours in millions of homes all around the globe. Now, scores of network employees — reporters, production personnel and even some on camera — face extinction, as the network has steadily lost viewership and revenue for years. Variety, which covers the entertainment and news industries, reported a recent scene, in which one of CNN’s online reporters described her last day on the job:Former CNN Capitol Hill reporter Lisa Dejardins posted a video of her final sign off from CNN on Thursday as she prepared to leave the building after being laid off.
Dejardins, a reporter for CNN.com who was not an on-air personality, compares the mass goodbye emails from laid off CNN employees to the personal ones, finding a wide discrepancy in the general tone and niceness between the two, and expresses her disappointment [in] CNN’s decision to get rid of a congressional reporter given the bipartisan struggle in the Capitol.

This post was published at Natural News on Saturday, September 13, 2014.

Obama Distorts Founders and Constitution to Promote War and Worldwide Domination

President Barack Obama, in his speech Wednesday to make the case for a United States war on ISIS, suggested merely talking with some Congress members is enough to legitimate the war and invoked the Founders as supporters of worldwide US domination. In contrast to Obama’s assertions, the US Constitution places in Congress the war declaration power and the Founders largely prescribed a foreign policy centered on nonintervention.
Many people hoped in the early days of the United States that calls for war and foreign intervention would be squelched by the constitutional requirement that war not be pursued unless it is first declared by Congress. But, such declarations have become pass in the years since World War II as American presidents have tended to treat war as something solely within their own control.
Obama makes no mention in his speech of seeking a congressional declaration of war. Instead, he says that talking with a few members of Congress as he pursues the war is good enough to justify continuing and expanding the war. Obama states in his speech:
So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.
Given that finding congressional members who will state their outright opposition to war on ISIS is not an easy task and that the US House of Representatives and Senate leadership has long supported Obama’s pursuit of the war, a congressional debate and vote on the war may place little restraint on Obama. Yet, even if the war were approved in House and Senate votes, the pre-vote debate would help the American people focus on the issues involved, and the vote would make pro-war Congress members take, instead of duck, responsibility for the war.

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on September 12, 2014.

IT WILL TAKE GROUND TROOPS TO FIGHT ISIS BLOCK BY BLOCK

National security experts say Obama’s promise to eradicate ISIS through airstrikes is doomed to failure. ‘What a waste of time,’ Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst and counterterrorism official at the State Department, told The Washington Times. ‘We have not learned a thing in 80 years. [The Islamic State] is an army. The air power is not going to get the job done. Until you put troops in and kill these guys, they’re going to continue. They adjust to tactics. They meld into [the] civilian population.’
According to the Times, Islamic State soldiers will adjust to airstrikes and continue fighting. They are now well integrated in Mosul, Fallujah, Ramadi and other Iraqi towns and it will take skilled land combatants to evict them, block by block.
Republicans in Congress agree it will take ground troops to put a stop to ISIS.


This post was published at Info Wars on SEPTEMBER 12, 2014.

The Attack on ISIS Expands to Syria: New York Times Editorial Board

By the time President Obama announced the authorization of airstrikes in Syria Wednesday night, he clearly felt that he had little choice militarily or politically. For three years he resisted American military involvement in Syria, where the Assad government and rebel forces are engaged in a bloody civil war.
But with the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — the vicious Sunni extremist group also known as ISIS and ISIL, which has seized territory in Iraq and Syria and beheaded two Americans — Mr. Obama explained that he had to expand the fight into a perilous new horizon. “ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East — including American citizens, personnel and facilities,” he said. “If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States. While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies.”
In broadening the operation beyond airstrikes in Iraq, Mr. Obama says the aim now is to retake ISIS-controlled territory in Iraq and to degrade and ultimately destroy it wherever it operates, including in its strongholds in Syria. But even if discrete military goals are achieved in the short term, the expansion of the American role in that regional conflict carries substantial and unpredictable risks that Americans may not be willing to bear.
That’s why this open-ended operation, which Mr. Obama says will take time, demands congressional approval, despite his claim of authority to expand the campaign in Iraq and take the fight to Syria under the Iraq war resolution and the War Powers Resolution.

This post was published at NY Times

Don’t Like the Rules? Then Ignore Them: Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

In politics, if you don’t like the rules, you ignore them. This philosophy only works if you are big enough and powerful enough to get away with it. I have some recent examples.
Shoot First Ask Questions Later
The Guardian comments Obama’s Legal Rationale for Isis Strikes: Shoot First, ask Congress Later.
For expanded Isis strikes, president relies on legal authority he disavowed only a year ago. Obama said he would welcome congressional support but framed it as optional, save for the authorisations and the $500m he wants to use the US military to train Syrian rebels.
Yet one of the main authorities Obama is relying on for avoiding Congress is the 2001 wellspring of the war on terrorism he advocated repealing only last year, a document known as the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) that few think actually applies to Isis.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on September 11, 2014.