Sudden Onset Amnesia (SOA) Survivor Will Testify To Congress Today

Blumenthal testified,

“I do not know.” 

“I do not recall that.”  “

I am not sure who that person is.” 

“What was the question again?” 

“Who?” 

“I do not know that person.” 

“Hillary ……. Clinton…….  I do not remember.”

“I do not remember writing that.”

“I do not remember reading that.”

“I do not know who wrote that.”

“I do not know who said that.”

“I do not remember that day.”

Sidney Blumenthal is scheduled to testify in closed session Tuesday about frequent emails on Libya he sent to Hillary Clinton when she served as secretary of state. Blumenthal worked in the White House under President Clinton and is a longtime friend and adviser to the Clinton family.

via News from The Associated Press.

Leaving the Church of Environmentalism

That is why the predictions made by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and all the others based on computer models are, by definition, worthless. Computer models cannot predict anything about the vast chaotic global climate system. Even today, meteorologists are mystified by the actions of clouds which can form and disappear in minutes.
It’s useful to keep in mind that climate is measured in centuries, while the weather is reported as what is occurring today and forecast, at best, for no more than a week. Weather records are maintained for purposes of comparison and within the larger context of determining the Earth’s climate cycles. Like those in the past, the present cooling cycle is based on a comparable one of the Sun that is producing lower levels of radiation. You don’t need a Ph.D. in meteorology to understand this.
Carlin does not hesitate to excoriate the blather put forth by the alarmists; particularly their claims that the weather is affected in any significant fashion by human activity and development in particular. “There is simply no evidence thus far that the normal activities of man have or will result in catastrophic outcomes for either man or nature.”

Click forth and read all.

via Leaving the Church of Environmentalism | Watts Up With That?.

FBI says search warrants not needed to use “stingrays” in public (con’d)

Update: San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department doesn’t tell judges it’s using spy device (Stingray)

The sheriff in San Bernardino County—east of Los Angeles County—has deployed a stingray hundreds of times without a warrant, and under questionable judicial authority.

In response to a public records request, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department (SBSD) sent Ars, among other outlets, a rare example of a template for a “pen register and trap and trace order” application. (In the letter, county lawyers claimed this was a warrant application template, when it clearly is not.) The SBSD is the law enforcement agency for the entire county, the 12th-most populous county in the United States, and the fifth-most populous in California.

..

This template application, surprisingly, cites no legal authority on which to base its activities. The SBSD did not respond to Ars’ request for comment.
“This is astonishing because it suggests the absence of legal authorization (because if there were clear legal authorization you can bet the government would be citing it),” Fred Cate, a law professor at Indiana University, told Ars by e-mail.
“Alternatively, it might suggest that the government just doesn’t care about legal authorization. Either interpretation is profoundly troubling,” he said.
The documents sent to Ars by the SBSD’s county attorneys also show that since acquiring a stingray in late 2012, the agency has used it 303 times between January 1, 2014 and May 7, 2015.

..

The template is likely to mislead judges who receive applications based on it because it gives no indication that the Sheriff’s Department intends to use a stingray,” he wrote by e-mail.
“We have seen similarly misleading applications submitted to judges by police departments across the country,” he continued. “Judges have no hope of ensuring that use of stingrays complies with the Fourth Amendment if they are kept in the dark about law enforcement’s intent to use a stingray. When police hide the ball from judges, our justice system cannot ensure justice.”

Update: Baltimore Police Spying On Cellphones And Hiding It

A detective’s court testimony Monday revealed that Baltimore law enforcement is spying on residents at an incredible rate without a warrant — and doing their best to hide it.
Detective Michael Dressel testified that Baltimore law enforcement have used “sting rays”–devices that can track personal cell phone data and location–without court orders, The Baltimore Sun reports. Police said they have used sting rays 4,300 more than times since 2007.
“This is scandalous,” Tim Lynch, the Cato Institute’s Director for the Project on Criminal Justice, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Police agencies have misled the public about how the stingray devices have been used and how often. We need to find out what has been happening in other cities around the country. FBI officials and police chiefs need to come clean about this.”

Update: NYCLU releases details of EC Sheriff’s cell phone spying

The NYCLU says documents show the sheriff’s office has a confidentiality agreement with the FBI that allows it to maintain almost total secrecy over the records for this device, including that the FBI can request the sheriff’s office dismiss criminal prosecutions rather than risk compromising the secrecy of how the Stingray is used.]
“Stingrays are an advanced surveillance technology that can sweep up very private information, including information on innocent people,” said NYCLU Western Region Director John Curr III. “If the FBI can command the Sheriff’s Office to dismiss criminal cases to protect its secret stingrays, it is not clear how the $350,000 we are spending on stingray equipment is keeping the people of Buffalo safer.”

Update: NYT catches up on Stingray

A powerful new surveillance tool being adopted by police departments across the country comes with an unusual requirement: To buy it, law enforcement officials must sign a nondisclosure agreement preventing them from saying almost anything about the technology.
Any disclosure about the technology, which tracks cellphones and is often called StingRay, could allow criminals and terrorists to circumvent it, the F.B.I. has said in an affidavit. But the tool is adopted in such secrecy that communities are not always sure what they are buying or whether the technology could raise serious privacy concerns.
The confidentiality has elevated the stakes in a longstanding debate about the public disclosure of government practices versus law enforcement’s desire to keep its methods confidential. While companies routinely require nondisclosure agreements for technical products, legal experts say these agreements raise questions and are unusual given the privacy and even constitutional issues at stake.

Update: WaPost wakes up on Stingray

The Tallahassee police have used the StingRay or a similar device in 250 investigations over a six-year period from mid-2007 through early 2014, according to a list of cases compiled by the Tallahassee Police Department and provided to the American Civil Liberties Union.
That’s 40 or so instances a year in a city of 290,000, a surprisingly high rate given that the StingRay’s manufacturer, Harris Corp., has told the Federal Communications Commission that the device is used only in emergencies. At least 48 state and local law enforcement agencies in 20 states and the District of Columbia have bought the devices, according to the ACLU.
The secrecy surrounding the device’s use has begun to prompt a backlash in cities across the country. In Baltimore, a judge is pushing back against the refusal of police to answer questions while testifying. In Charlotte, N.C., following a newspaper investigation, the state’s attorney is reviewing whether prosecutors illegally withheld information about the device’s use from defendants.
In Tacoma, Wash., after a separate newspaper investigation found that judges in almost 200 cases had no idea they were issuing orders for the StingRay, the court set new rules requiring police to disclose the tool’s use. The state legislature is weighing a bill to regulate police use of the equipment.

#

The bureau’s position on Americans’ privacy isn’t surprising. The Obama Administration has repeatedly maintained that the public has no privacy in public places. It began making that argument as early as 2010, when it told a federal appeals court that the authorities should be allowed to affix GPS devices on vehicles and track a suspect’s every move without court authorization. The Supreme Court, however, eventually ruled that warrants are required. What’s more, the administration has argued that placing a webcam with pan-and-zoom capabilities on a utility pole to spy on a suspect at his or her residence was no different from a police officer’s observation from the public right-of-way. A federal judge last month disagreed with the government’s position, tossing evidence gathered by the webcam that was operated from afar.

In their letter, Leahy and Grassley complained that little is known about how stingrays, also known as ISMI catchers, are used by law enforcement agencies. The Harris Corp., a maker of the devices from Florida, includes non-disclosure clauses with buyers. Baltimore authorities cited a non-disclosure agreement to a judge in November as their grounds for refusing to say how they tracked a suspect’s mobile phone. They eventually dropped charges rather than disclose their techniques. Further, sometimes the authorities simply lie to judges about their use or undertake other underhanded methods to prevent the public from knowing that the cell-site simulators are being used.

via FBI says search warrants not needed to use “stingrays” in public places | Ars Technica.

OMG: The Government Need To Take Out the Trash

Nuclear power plant technicians, senior military officers, FBI contractors and an employee of “a highly-secretive Department of Defense agency” with a Top Secret clearance. Those are just a few of the more than 100 people with sensitive military and government connections that law enforcement is tracking because they are linked to “outlaw motorcycle gangs.”

A year before the deadly Texas shootout that killed nine people on May 17, a lengthy report by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives detailed the involvement of U.S. military personnel and government employees in outlaw motorcycle gangs, or OMGs. A copy of the report was obtained by The Intercept.

The report lays out, in almost obsessive detail, the extent to which OMG members are represented in nearly every part of the military, and in federal and local government, from police and fire departments to state utility agencies. Specific examples from the report include dozens of Defense Department contractors with Secret or Top Secret clearances; multiple FBI contractors; radiological technicians with security clearances; U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees; Army, Navy and Air Force active-duty personnel, including from the special operations force community; and police officers.

If this is true.  Fuck them and their ‘careers’  they can go from wanna-be-Hells-Belles, to full time scum.

via Exclusive: Leaked Report Profiles Military, Police Members of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs – The Intercept.

Did Blumenthal have US Classified documents?

Update: (NYT) Clinton Friend’s Memos on Libya Draw Scrutiny to Politics and Business

When the Clintons last occupied the White House, Sidney Blumenthal cast himself in varied roles

..

Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, a Republican who is leading the congressional committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, plans to subpoena Mr. Blumenthal, 66, for a private transcribed interview.

..

According to emails obtained by The New York Times, Mrs. Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, took Mr. Blumenthal’s advice seriously, forwarding his memos to senior diplomatic officials in Libya and Washington and at times asking them to respond. Mrs. Clinton continued to pass around his memos even after other senior diplomats concluded that Mr. Blumenthal’s assessments were often unreliable.

Update (ProPublica):Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy Network

Blumenthal, Grange, and Kikhia all did not respond to repeated attempts to reach them. Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton had no comment on Blumenthal’s activities with Drumheller.

Update (WaTimes)Another mystery about Hillary’s private email

Did Mr. Blumenthal ever get a security clearance? Mrs. Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, never did, and when five Republican members of Congress asked State’s inspector general for the reason, they were pummeled by Democrats, the press, and some fellow Republicans.
If Mrs. Clinton had an off-the-books arrangement with Messrs. Blumenthal and Drumheller, it could have jeopardized national security. We have a right to know what it was, what purpose it served, at whose behest, how it guided her as secretary, and what, if any, payments were made to the parties involved.
If she did not have an association with Messrs. Blumenthal and Drumheller, she should be willing to disclose all of her communications.

Update: Was Hillary Clinton running her own rogue intel operation?

Driving While Smug

Courtesy: Nashua Police Department

Who gave Blumenthal these classified documents?  I seem to remember a recent federal prosecution for passing along classified documents.

Relevant Federal Code: 18 U.S. Code § 798 – Disclosure of classified information

(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information

  • (1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
  • (2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
  • (3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
  • (4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—
    Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

The memos to Clinton carried titles like “Comprehensive Intel Report on Libya,” and included all-cap warnings that, “THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM EXTREMELY SENSITIVE SOURCES AND SHOULD BE HANDLED WITH CARE.” Blumenthal has not held a public post since leaving his White House job in January 2001.
Each memo included a note on the sources of intelligence included in the document. One typical memo referred to “Sources with access to the highest levels of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the leadership of the Armed Forces, and Western Intelligence, diplomatic, and security services.”

Blum Security Breach

Who in Gvt provided and emailed classified documents to Blumenthal?

In 2012, when Congressional investigators sought documents related to the attack on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, they were initially not supplied with emails from Mrs. Clinton’s private account. In 2013, Gawker submitted a Freedom of Information Act request seeking correspondence between Mrs. Clinton and a close adviser, Sidney Blumenthal. Though some of that correspondence had been made public already, the State Department told Gawker that it could find no records responsive to the request, Gawker reported.

It appears that Hillary was the World Traveling Face, and Sidney was doing all the reading and paperwork.

In its requests, the AP asked for her full schedules and calendars and for details on the State Department’s decision to grant a special position to a longtime Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, among other documents. The oldest request, the news organization said, was made in March 2010.

Huma Abedin…. oh yea!  You mean Mrs. Huma Abedin-Weiner.  Right.  Dick-n-Twitter‘s wife.  Did Mrs. Abedin-Weiner ever receive a security clearance?

via Associated Press Threatens Legal Action Over Request for Hillary Clinton Information – NYTimes.com.

3D Printed Guns are for Jay-Vee. Major Leagues will print their own jet-powered Cruise Missiles

GE fires up fully 3D-printed jet engine

3D printed jet engineThe 1-foot long by 8-inch tall (30 by 20 cm) engine was built at GE Aviation’s Additive Development Center outside Cincinnati as a side project. The result of several years’ work, the purpose was to test the printing technology. It’s not the first 3D-printed jet engine, but it has been fired and revved up to 33,000 RPM.
GE says that the simplified design was necessary because building anything like a conventional commercial engine is beyond the present technology’s state of the art. The team therefore chose a design created for remote control model planes, which was modified for Direct Laser Metal Melting (DLMM) printing

+

3D-printed UAV can go from not existing to flying within 24 hours

Engineers at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC), however, have taken things a step farther. They’ve made a 3D-printed UAV airframe that’s designed to minimize the amount of material needed in its construction, and that can be printed and in the air within a single day.

+

ArduPilot Autopilot Suite

Point-and-click programming/configuration gets you up and operating without hassle
Multiple command modes: Acro, Stabilize, Loiter, Alt-hold, Return To Launchpoint, Land, Simple, Guided, Position, Circle, Follow Me, GeoFence, and Auto (which runs fully scripted missions using GPS waypoints)

================================================================

=

Insanity by the Press (CNN could do hours each week on the horrors of home-made, jet powered, cruise missiles) and faster a knee-jerk from Politicians than a cash donation in a plain envelope.

A Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious, NYT: Ummm..Naval Aviation is Hazardous

What remains a mystery, though, is exactly what caused the accident. It was a clear afternoon with good visibility. Both pilots were healthy, properly rested and under no unusual stress. Investigators found no mechanical problems.
The Navy’s top aviator concluded in his review of the eight-page accident report that the two pilots, and several others in the vicinity, should have exercised more of what the military calls situational awareness, or S.A. — in this case, relying not only on an instrument-packed cockpit but also on looking outside to spot a looming catastrophe.

Thanks for the timely info Eric.  What next, “Water is Wet”

via A Navy Pilot’s Death Reflects the Everyday Hazards of the Job – NYTimes.com.

Vlad Pushes His Reset Button: Preventive Occupation, Baltic States?

People of decency and good will around the world have been horrified by Vladimir Putin’s defense this week of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which made Hitler and Stalin allies, opened the way to World War II, and allowed the Soviet Union to occupy Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, portions of Poland and Bessarabia for half a century.

But they should be even more horrified by the fact that some near the Kremlin are once again thinking about “a preventive occupation” of the Baltic countries, a step that, as Kseniya Kirillova points out today, could trigger the collapse of the West or a third world war.

Moreover, and just as in 1939, they should be disturbed by Moscow’s duplicity and cynicism about such a move, one nominally taken in the name of improving Russia’s defense capability but in fact threatened in order to advance Russian imperialism and to disorder and confuse the Western powers.

via As in 1939, Kremlin Said Mulling ‘Preventive Occupation’ of the Baltic States | The Interpreter.

Conspiracy Theorists Go Wild: “STRATCOM commander: Threats from space are real”

I think this could have had a more clear lede.

At a briefing with reporters at the Pentagon, Adm. Cecil Haney, said the United States faces myriad threats from space. From Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles to Iran’s “recently launched space vehicle that could be used as a long-range strike platform,” to North Korea’s space-launched vehicles, strategic deterrence in the space domain is as important as ever.

via STRATCOM commander: Threats from space are real — Defense Systems.

Liberator Gun, Software Creator Sues State Department

Wilson has tried to keep on the right side of ITAR law. He’s asked them in at least 10 separate official requests to tell him if his original Liberator plans actually fall under its jurisdiction. He’s also inquired if if his current main project, the “Ghost Gunner,” a home CNC mill which allows individuals to make metal AR-15 lower receivers at home without serial numbers, falls under ITAR. (Such a request is known as a “commodity jurisdiction” request.)

Their answer, if I’m reading the suit correctly, is that the hardware does not but that software does. The suit details at length a confusing series of bureaucratic buck-passing from the ITAR people that makes it very hard for Wilson and Defense Distributed to know whether their planned activities will bring criminal punishment down on them.

Wilson said in a phone interview this morning that he’s trying to get all Ghost Gunner customers to affirm that they are U.S. citizens, since he fears if he sells one to a non-citizen (which could constitute “export”) he just might run afoul of ITAR.

 

via Cody Wilson Sues State Department Over Threats About Spreading Digital Gun-Making Files – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

RSA president: ‘the need for intelligence shouldn’t slow down the use of encryption’

In an interview with IDG News Service, Amit Yoran, president of RSA, also rejected calls by U.S. intelligence chiefs for industry to tread carefully in deploying more encryption in case it cuts off their ability to eavesdrop on communications by suspected criminals.
“The government is not the answer here,” he said, when asked about White House proposals for sharing of cybersecurity information. Despite the growing severity of attacks and a feeling that the government should “do something,” the issue is best left to private companies, because they are the ones developing networks and the technology that defends them, he said.
“Nobody is going to say information sharing is bad, but I’ve yet to see what is being asked to share by whom, for what purpose, to which parties, how will it be protected, how will it be used and then what is the value proposition back for sharing information,” Yoran said.
Instead, he said the government might better help by sharing some of its own threat intelligence with the private sector.

Good. Better ideas on CS will come from the private sector.

via RSA president questions government role in cybersecurity | Computerworld.

Iran to US Senate and House: STFU, Obama is in Charge Not You Jokes

In a set of blustery and self-righteous remarks, Iran’s top diplomat assured the crowd at New York University that President Barack Obama would be compelled to stop enforcing sanctions only days after any nuclear agreement was signed and would have to figure out how to lift congressional sanctions on Iran within weeks, no matter what Congress has to say about it. He also said that any future president, even a Republican, would be compelled to stick that agreement.
Zarif also took several shots at the U.S. Senate, just as it debated amendments to a bill designed to slow the lifting of sanctions against Iran and give Congress an oversight role on the deal.

via Iran’s Zarif Says Congress Can’t Stop Obama – Bloomberg View.

Gazprom’s 2014 Was a Year to Forget

Russian state-owned natural gas firm Gazprom had a rough go of it last year, to say the least, as net profits fell 86 percent. The FT reports:

Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas producer which accounts for about a fifth of Russian government revenue, reported on Wednesday that net income attributable to its shareholders for 2014 fell to Rbs159bn ($3.1bn) from Rbs1.1tn in 2013.

A weak ruble goes a long way towards explaining this plunge in profitability, but so too can the company’s decision to shut off gas to Ukraine, one of its biggest customers. So far thanks to a lag in the pricing model, the fall in the price of oil—a benchmark that Gazprom looks to when setting its own gas prices—isn’t yet reflected in the company’s balance sheets. In fact, Gazprom reported that the average price at which Europe bought its gas was up 11 percent in 2014.

Not a good sign for Vlad’s neighbors.  When will he raise the dead specter, of debts still owed to the motherland, and start moving troops to more borders?

via Gazprom’s 2014 Was a Year to Forget – The American Interest.

Virginia and North Dakota Wrestle with Restrictions on Drones

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) has signed legislation that drastically reduces the ability of police departments in his state to use drones for surveillance.
It also makes it clear that drones should never be equipped with weapons, used for private surveillance, or to keep an eye on people speaking or holding rallies in public.
North Dakota is not the only state to be embroiled in a discussion over the use of drones to spy on its citizens.
But in North Dakota, the debate has been about more than the protection of privacy. Economic development and jobs were factors just as, if not more, important than constitutional concerns.
The North Dakota Legislature and Gov. Dalrymple agreed on legislation limiting the use of drones in mid-April. This was not a debate quickly settled.
It took the legislature in Bismarck more than two years to do this deal, in part because the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department has been relying on the use of drones in its surveillance operations.

via Virginia and North Dakota Wrestle with Restrictions on Drones | PJ Media.

Attention All FORTRAN Programmers: Call your office, you are on deck

What made Ada difficult also made it secure and reliable—in simplified programing terms, it was hard to get code past Ada’s exacting compiler, but once you did, it was extremely reliable and resistant to many types of attacks. Could that reliability and security be combined with an easier development path?

via An unexpected source of mobile security: Ada — Defense Systems.

Extrajudicial Taxes: Senate Hearings (Mike Lee)

“Civil asset forfeiture leads government to exceed its just powers over the governed. It encourages law enforcement to take short cuts. Rather than prosecute or even arrest, civil asset forfeiture enables law enforcement to seize property without any proof of wrongdoing. And the process creates perverse incentives,” Grassley said in his opening statement. “When this occurs without pursuing a criminal conviction, or even an arrest, the chances rise that the rights of innocent people will be violated.”

In his disingenuous defense of federal civil asset forfeiture law, Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, noted that Grassley’s draft bill would bring to an end the Justice Department’s “equitable sharing” program, which has facilitated this brand of government overreach. The Iowa Republican, who’s opposed other much-needed justice reforms, criticized Canterbury’s testimony.

Good Start.  Now, make some changes that cause actions, not words.

via Watch Mike Lee explain how abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws undermines the Constitution | FreedomWorks.

Who else has border problems? Daeshi threatens==>500k to EU (con’d)

UpdateThey are coming and bringing murder and death with them.

Muslims who were among migrants trying to get from Libya to Italy in a boat this week threw 12 fellow passengers overboard — killing them — because the 12 were Christians, Italian police said Thursday.
Italian authorities have arrested 15 people on suspicion of murdering the Christians at sea, police in Palermo, Sicily, said.

This seem like an easy problem for the EU; Ummm…. don’t let them in?

Oh.  What?  You …. you want the US to provide Coast Guard support.  Ships?  Men?  Tax dollars?  And    a    place    to   house    them?  Riiiiiiiight.

Okay.  Try this instead: just turn Cyprus into your own version of Guantanamo.  Try the Turks first.  They love them some Daeshi.

Daesh ISIS has threatened to flood Europe with half a million migrants from Libya in a ‘psychological’ attack against the West, it was claimed today.
Transcripts of telephone intercepts published in Italy claim to provide evidence that Daesh ISIS is threatening to send 500,000 migrants simultaneously out to sea in hundreds of boats in a ‘psychological weapon’ against Europe if there is military intervention against them in Libya.
Many would be at risk of drowning with rescue services unable to cope. But authorities fear that if numbers on this scale arrived, European cities could witness riots.
Separately, the militants hope to cement their control of Libya then cross the Mediterranean disguised as refugees, according to letters seen by Quilliam the anti-terror group, reported by the Telegraph.

If you can get on a boat, find a way to get into EU waters, you are automatically taken in to that country?  Someone tell the people held on Gibraltar.

via ISIS threatens to send 500,000 migrants to Europe as a ‘psychological weapon’ | Daily Mail Online.

Files Show Structure of Daeshi Terror Group (and it’s not islamic)

Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi was the real name of the Iraqi, whose bony features were softened by a white beard. But no one knew him by that name. Even his best-known pseudonym, Haji Bakr, wasn’t widely known. But that was precisely part of the plan. The former colonel in the intelligence service of Saddam Hussein’s air defense force had been secretly pulling the strings at IS for years. Former members of the group had repeatedly mentioned him as one of its leading figures. Still, it was never clear what exactly his role was.

But when the architect of the Islamic State died, he left something behind that he had intended to keep strictly confidential: the blueprint for this state. It is a folder full of handwritten organizational charts, lists and schedules, which describe how a country can be gradually subjugated. SPIEGEL has gained exclusive access to the 31 pages, some consisting of several pages pasted together. They reveal a multilayered composition and directives for action, some already tested and others newly devised for the anarchical situation in Syria’s rebel-held territories. In a sense, the documents are the source code of the most successful terrorist army in recent history.

via Islamic State Files Show Structure of Islamist Terror Group – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

The Turks are no longer reliable allies (con’d) XXI

Update: Why isn’t U.S. tougher on Turkey’s hesitance to fight Islamic State?

Analysts of Turkey’s foreign policy say that Ankara’s often contradictory measures and messages come from two main sources: pockets of Islamic State sympathizers within the leadership, and the broader alarm over Kurdish land grabs as a result of the Syrian conflict. Ankara’s mission is ensuring that the Kurds next door don’t gain ground for a future autonomous state that could affect Turkey’s own conflict with its large Kurdish population. The Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, with U.S. assistance, has scored several recent military victories over the Islamic State, a situation that has drawn criticism, not praise, from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Update: Armenian genocide was also a jihad

Turkey reacted angrily, recalling its ambassador to the Vatican and accusing Francis of distorting history and spreading prejudice. On Twitter, the Turkish foreign minister denounced the pope for fueling “hatred and animosity” with his “unfounded allegations.” That was no surprise, given the government’s vehement history of denialism on the subject. To this day, the use of the word “genocide” to describe the killing of the Armenians is a criminal offense in Turkey, and Turkish diplomats labor mightily to defeat genocide-recognition efforts worldwide.

..

Talaat Pasha, the powerful Ottoman interior minister during World War I, certainly didn’t disguise his objective. “The Government . . . has decided to destroy completely all the indicated [Armenians] persons living in Turkey,” he brusquely reminded officials in Aleppo in a September 1915 dispatch. “An end must be put to their existence . . . and no regard must be paid to either age or sex, or to conscientious scruples.”

Update XIX: Turkish ambassador: ISIS has nothing in common with Islam 

Turkey’s ambassador to Iraq, Farouq Qaimagja, said in a meeting with Sayyid Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has nothing in common with Islamic doctrine.

During Wednesday’s meeting in Baghdad, Qaimagja reaffirmed his country’s support for Iraq in its war against terrorism, pointing out that terrorism is a danger that threatens all people.

Update XVIII:Daesh suspect: Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT)  helped us smuggle arms to Syria

Mehmet Aşkar, one of the 11 suspected members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) currently being tried by the Niğde High Criminal Court, has said that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) helped them smuggle arms to opposition groups in Syria during the early stages of the country’s civil war, a Turkish daily has reported.
According to a story published in the Cumhuriyet daily on Monday, Turkish authorities are trying to divert public attention from the case because the prosecutor’s dossier has details which reveal the involvement of MİT in arms smuggling.
The 11 suspects in the case include a Syrian Turkmen who is allegedly linked with the anti-regime Free Syrian Army (FSA) and radical groups such as ISIL and al-Qaeda affiliates. Haisam Toubaljeh, also known as Heysem Topalca and who is also a suspect in the Reyhanlı attack case, according to Hürriyet, is believed to have been involved in numerous cases of smuggling as well as a transfer of rocket warheads to Syria that was intercepted in November 2013 by security forces in the southern city of Adana.

Update XVII: Congressmen: Turkey Must Do More To Stop ISIS Fighters Moving Into Europe

For months, ISIS leaders have been sending the group’s fighters across the Syrian border to Turkish port cities where, posing as refugees, they use boats to enter into Europe. Once there, these fighters have been tasked with establishing covert cells to conduct attacks on targets in Europe.

In interviews with BuzzFeed News, leading members of the House and Senate slammed the Turkish government’s handling of its borders, insisting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government must begin taking the threat from the terrorist group more seriously.

“I think the Turks have a lot of work to do, in terms of the level of their cooperation. This is a war. And they certainly aren’t treating it that way,” Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr told BuzzFeed News.

Update XVI: Turkey and the West Part Ways on ‘Charlie Hebdo’

Even more ominously, pro-government Twitter accounts, which are believed to have links to officials, used the Charlie Hebdo attack to threaten their Turkish counterparts. One tweeted that Leman, a satirical magazine that opposes the government, “doesn’t recognize any limits in its impertinence to President Erdogan” and “should draw a lesson from the Charlie Hebdo attack.” Unidentified people rented billboards in the city Bitlis that they used to salute the Kouachi brothers for having “avenged the prophet of Allah.”

Update XV: Turkish president accuses ‘the West’ of being behind Charlie Hebdo attacks and deliberately ‘blaming Muslims’

The President of Turkey has suggested French security forces are to blame for the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last week, since the culprits had recently served prison sentences.  Erdoğan accused the West of ‘playing games with the Islamic world’, warning fellow Muslims to be ‘aware’.  Erdogan said Muslims are ‘paying the price’ for the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish kosher supermarket in Paris last week.

The money shot:

‘The West’s hypocrisy is obvious. As Muslims, we’ve never taken part in terrorist massacres. Behind these lie racism, hatespeech and Islamophobia,’ Erdogan added.

Update XIV: Turkey: Hamas chief is free to come 

Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, says that a senior Hamas official who was reportedly expelled from Qatar [Khaled Mashaal] is free to come to Turkey.

Update XIII: Pentagon chooses Italy, Turkey for European maintenance of F-35

Update XII: UK’s Cameron to fly to Turkey to discuss IS foreign fighter problem

Many of the around 500 Britons who the authorities believe have traveled to the region have used Turkey as a transit destination. Around half that number are already believed to have returned to Britain.

Update XI: Erdogan slams US on Syria again, days after Biden visit

Is Turkey really a member of the anti-Islamic State coalition?

Update X: U.S. close to deal with Turkey over Islamic State Daeshi mission

Update IX: Islamic State group attacks Kobani from Turkey 

“It is now clear that Turkey is openly cooperating with Daesh,” Bali said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State.

Update VIII: Turkey, U.S. ease strains on Islamic State but differences remain

Update VII: US, Turkey still not in sync on Syria 

Update VI: Turkey’s role in Libya adds to pro-Islamist perception

Update V: Turkey and U.S., at odds over Syria

Update IV: Turkey to Let Iraqi Kurds Cross to Syria to Fight ISIS

Update III: Turkey: No new deal with US on using air base

Update II: Turkey Allows US to Strike Islamic State From Its Bases

Washington has been pushing Turkey to play a more active role in the broad anti-IS coalition it assembled in Paris last month with little success. However, officials told the Associated Press that Ankara had agreed to allow coalition aircraft to operate from its bases, including Incirlik, around 100 miles from the Syrian border.

The Turkish parliament has passed legislation allowing military operations against IS in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, but so far it has not taken action itself.

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Turkey’s absence is conspicuous. It’s the only NATO ally among these Muslim world partners. To be clear, the fight against the Islamic State is not a NATO mission, but it serves as a reminder of how little Erdogan’s regime has done to help preserve order in the Middle East.

In many ways, Turkey has made the fight against the Islamic State more difficult. Apart from permitting some unarmed American drones to fly out of its territory, Ankara has refused to allow the West to operate from Turkish airbases. This has forced strike aircraft to fly their sorties from the Al Udeid airbase in Qatar, Shaheed Mwaffaq in Jordan or Al Dhafra in the UAE. As for the Incirlik air base that NATO operates in Eastern Turkey, Ankara has made it clear that for the time being, it is currently off limits for armed operations.

Politico is just now figuring this out?

Time to Kick Turkey Out of NATO?

TSA Reminder: This is all to prevent terrorism…. or something

A CBS4 investigation has learned that two Transportation Security Administration screeners at Denver International Airport have been fired after they were discovered manipulating passenger screening systems to allow a male TSA employee to fondle the genital areas of attractive male passengers.
It happened roughly a dozen times, according to information gathered by CBS4.
According to law enforcement reports obtained during the CBS4 investigation, a male TSA screener told a female colleague in 2014 that he “gropes” male passengers who come through the screening area at DIA.
“He related that when a male he finds attractive comes to be screened by the scanning machine he will alert another TSA screener to indicate to the scanning computer that the party being screened is a female. When the screener does this, the scanning machine will indicate an anomaly in the genital area and this allows (the male TSA screener) to conduct a pat-down search of that area.”
Although the TSA learned of the accusation on Nov. 18, 2014 via an anonymous tip from one of the agency’s own employees, reports show that it would be nearly three months before anything was done.

Ummm… am I a homophobe for pointing this out?

via CBS4 Investigation: TSA Screeners At DIA Manipulated System To Grope Men’s Genitals « CBS Denver.