Kill them with drones: New UK defense secretary supports assassination of UK-born ISIS fighters

In a bold interview with The Sun, the freshly appointed minister vowed to hunt down and kill British IS fighters with drones.

“They are going to inflict more and more harm on our country, so does that mean eliminating that threat completely? Yes it does,” Williamson said. It was unclear whether Williamson would permit such targeted assassinations on UK soil.

Despite Williamson having no previous ministerial (or military) experience, the tough-talking, pet-spider-keeping MP was promoted to the job a fortnight ago after his predecessor Michael Fallon resigned amid accusations of sexual misconduct.

He joins Foreign Office minister Rory Stewart in taking the hard-line stance that the only way to neutralize the threat posed by British-born jihadists is to kill them. In October, Stewart told BBC Radio 5 Live that UK-born IS fighters have “moved away from any kind of allegiance towards the British government.”

“They are absolutely dedicated, as members of the Islamic State, towards the creation of a caliphate, they believe in an extremely hateful doctrine which involves killing themselves, killing others and trying to use violence and brutality to create an eighth-century, or seventh-century, state,” Stewart said.

“So I’m afraid we have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to us, and unfortunately the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them.”

It is estimated that around 850 Britons have left the UK to join the extremist group. Approximately half are believed to have returned to the UK. In April 2016, Lord Keen of Elie confirmed in a response to a parliamentary question that only 54 returned jihadists had been convicted since their return.

While many politicians have called for harsh criminal penalties for those who return from fighting for IS, the government’s independent reviewer of counter-terrorism legislation, Max Hill QC, has warned that taking a hard-line stance (like the new defense secretary) in all cases could put the UK at risk of “losing a generation” of young people lured in by IS propaganda.

“It’s not a decision that MI5 and others will have taken lightly. But they have left space, and I think they are right to do so, for those who traveled out of a sense of naivety, possibly with some brainwashing along the way, possibly in their mid-teens and who return in a state of utter disillusionment and we have to leave space for those individuals to be diverted away from the criminal courts,” he told the BBC.

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US defense bill targets Moscow-linked TV content amid crackdown on Russian media

On Wednesday, House and Senate lawmakers agreed on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the Fiscal Year 2018, which includes a whole chapter titled “Countering Russian Aggression.” The bill was earlier proposed by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and submitted by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona).

In response to what the bill calls Russia’s “ongoing aggressive actions,” the NDAA proposes to limit Moscow’s alleged interference in US and world affairs. That includes spending some $4.6 billion on countering the Russian “threat” in Europe, and $350 million on security aid for Ukraine, including “defensive lethal assistance.” 

A particularly controversial aspect of the bill is that, if the NDAA is signed into law, American cable and satellite networks would be able to lawfully refuse to provide services to RT, as well as any other channels allegedly linked to the Russian government.

“A multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD), such as cable and satellite television providers, may not be required to carry video content from television stations to the extent that such content is owned, controlled, or financed by the Government of the Russian Federation,” the draft legislation states.

Currently, the networks must comply with US federal law, and cannot drop a channel without facing legal consequences except in circumstances where obscene content was shown.

The bill was slammed by Russian lawmakers, with the head of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky calling the move a “witch hunt” and saying that it makes Russia think about adequate retaliatory measures.

“It is another manifestation of double standards and violation of freedom of speech, which has nothing to do with defending democratic values,” Slutsky said on Thursday. The senator added that US lawmakers are apparently afraid that Americans are able to get access to a point of view “different from the one that is imposed by American mainstream media.” 

READ MORE: Facebook, Google could help US ‘retaliate’ against Russia, other nations – Senator McConnell (VIDEO)

At the same time, Head of the Russian Upper House Commission for Information Policy Senator Aleksey Pushkov called for discussions on possible restrictions on US media operating in Russia, and questioned “why the ‘Voice of America,’ any US media must be allowed to reach Russian customers.” 

Meanwhile, Moscow has vowed to retaliate against Washington’s actions to restrict Russian media, with Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova telling reporters on Thursday that “in all cases, related to pressure and persecution of the Russian media in the US, [Russia] will take appropriate measures.”

Zakharova added that if Washington halts the work of Russian TV channels, including RT, or makes their work “virtually impossible,” Russia will use “the relevant articles of the law on mass media.”

The bill is the latest ratcheting up of Washington’s pressure on Russian media. Last week, top House Intelligence Committee Democrat Adam Schiff questioned whether RT should be allowed to advertise on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. The statement was preceded by hearings at the Senate Intelligence Committee, where the tech giants were grilled over alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

In late October, just days before the hearings, Twitter banned ads from RT and Sputnik on its platform, citing the aforesaid alleged meddling. However, the social media platform itself offered RT a costly election ad-buy, as the ban drove the channel to reveal.

In September, the US Department of Justice demanded that a contractor supplying various services for RT America register as a foreign agent, under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), or face consequences that could effectively stop work at their US offices. The legislation in question was adopted in the late 1930s to counter pro-Nazi propaganda and inform American citizens “of the source of information (propaganda) and the identity of persons attempting to influence US public opinion, policy, and laws.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against restrictions on Russian media in the past, saying that Moscow “will act only symmetrically and quite swiftly.”

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President Trump Confident in US Missile Defense: He’s Deluded


The US is pushing ahead with expansion of the nation’s homeland ballistic missile defense (BMD). The effort enjoys strong bipartisan support in Congress and among experts. Many allies place a high value on BMD cooperation with the United States. However, there are ample reasons to question the efficiency of US missile defenses, especially the capability to protect against intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

“We have missiles that can knock out a missile in the air 97% of the time,” President Donald Trump said in his interview with Fox News on October 11, adding “and if you send two of them, it’s going to get knocked down.” He was talking about the threat coming from North Korea to be repelled by the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) in Alaska and California – the $40 billion project administered by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

The US military conducted the first-ever missile defense test involving a simulated attack by an intercontinental ballistic missile in May. The ICBM-type target was fired from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands toward the waters just south of Alaska. The mission was to prepare for countering an intercontinental missile launched by North Korea. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) described the test as an “incredible accomplishment”. According to Vice Admiral Jim Syring, director of the agency, “This system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat.” The assessment appears to be exaggerated as the test was not conducted in a realistic environment.

The next test of the GMD system is scheduled for late 2018 and, for the first time, will involve firing two interceptors against one ICBM target. It makes unsubstantiated the president’s affirmation that two interceptors are enough to knock out a North Korean missile as no such tests have been conducted so far.

The US currently deploys 36 interceptors – 32 at Fort Greely, Alaska, and four at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. By the end of 2017, there will be 44 deployed GBIs. A majority of the interceptors use the CE-I variant of kill vehicle that has scored only two successes in four tests. At least ten interceptors are to be equipped with the CE-II Block I vehicle, which has had two successful intercept tests in three tries.

It is generally believed that it takes at least four-five interceptors to hit the target. It means President Trump is off base saying the hit probability is 97%. Prior to the ICBM test, the GMD system had successfully hit its target in only ten of 18 tests since 1999. A success rate is about 56%, not 97%. But even 56% is almost certainly an overstatement, given the less-than-realistic nature of the tests.

A success rate for four-five interceptors per target may be 97% but the possibility that each successive interceptor’s chance of successful kill might not be independent of the previous one, due to correlated factors such as design shortcomings, leading to a lower overall success rate. Nevertheless, President Trump believes each interceptor has a single-shot probability of kill (SSPK) for a given interceptor of 97% (rather than 56%).

According to the Washington Post,No single interceptor for ICBMs has demonstrated a 97-percent success rate, and there is no guarantee using two interceptors has a 100-percent success rate. Moreover, the military’s suggestion that it could achieve a 97-percent success rate with four interceptors appears based on faulty assumptions and overenthusiastic math. The odds of success under the most ideal conditions are no better than 50-50, and likely worse, as documented in detailed government assessment.”

Joe Cirincione, the President of Ploughshares Fund and the author of Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late, investigated anti-missile programs for almost 10 years as professional staff on the House Armed Services and Government Operations Committees. He believes that “If people took a close look at just one of these interceptor tests, they would likely conclude, as I did, that the tests bear little resemblance to real-world conditions.”

If North Korea fired an ICBM – or multiple ICBMs – at the United States, the GMD with its Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs) is only one system that could take a shot at intercepting and destroying the warhead outside the earth’s atmosphere in midcourse flight. Other missile defense systems such as THAAD and Aegis are in no position to hit ICBMs as they’re designed for other classes of targets.

With only one test against an ICBM, the MDA is not even close to demonstrating that the system works in a real-world setting. The GMD systems have not yet been tested in the range of conditions under which it is expected to operate. No tests have been conducted at night or against complex countermeasures, such as electronic countermeasures and decoys. The tests are always rigged because the intercept team knows the timing and trajectory of the incoming missile. But even the scripted tests have often failed. What has been done so far is insufficient to demonstrate that an operational BMD capability really exists. […]

Philip Giraldi, a highly respected expert and the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, believes that the American people are being fooled by the administration, which tries to make them think that a nuclear war is thinkable. According to him, If that is the message being sent by the White House, it would encourage further reckless adventurism on the part of the national security state.” Mr. Giraldi hit the nail right on the head. The GMD effort creates a dangerous illusion that a victory in a nuclear conflict is achievable and no money should be spared to spur the implementation of the MDA plans. In reality, the US defense industry is the only benefactor while the taxpayers throw money into the drain. The result: further erosion of arms control and reduced security.

Source Article from

Americas Last Line of Defense Is Jury Nullification


constitution screwed up


Hillary says it all, the rule of law did not survive the Obama Administration with appointment of hundreds of ultra liberal judges who have disdain for this country and the Constitution. Jury nullification may be America's only way to help resurrect the rule of law in this country. Here is the entire story.

Hillary says it all, the rule of law did not survive the Obama Administration with appointment of hundreds of ultra liberal judges who have disdain for this country and the Constitution. Jury nullification may be America’s only way to help resurrect the rule of law in this country. Here is the entire story.



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The Iranian Minister of Intelligence leaps to the defense of those convicted of spying

Photo: on 8 February 2016, President Sheikh Hassan Rohani decorated the Canadian-Iranian Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani for his role during the 5+1 negotiations. Today he quashes his punishment for spying: 5 years in prison.

At the end of 2016, 12 personalities have been arrested in Iran for spying during international negotiations on the nuclear sector. They have just been tried and sentenced to 5 to 10 years in prison. However no one has confessed to the crime that they have been reproached of.

The Iranian judicial system is heavily politicized. It is frequent that personalities in the spotlight are accused of imaginary crimes and are held in remand for a long time. In contrast, it is exceptional that the outcome of these investigations is a sentence.

Coming out of his silence, the Minister of Intelligence, Mahmoud Alavi, has recalled that his department is the only one able to determine cases of espionage. He has confirmed that those convicted had not in any way committed treason but had, in contrast, rendered an unimaginable service to the Islamic Republic.

Source Article from

Attack & defense: China holds military drills (VIDEO)

Troops from the 75th Group Army conducted the military exercises in Yunnan–Guizhou Plateau, a highland region in southwest China, on Thursday, CCTV said, releasing a video of the drills.

The soldiers trained how to obtain reconnaissance information and build a communication network, according to Sina news website. The servicemen also staged an attack-and-defense exercise.

The 75th Group Army is stationed near the city of Kunming in Yunan province.

Source Article from

Pentagon scandal: Spending your tax dollars support troops of defense contractor CEOs


Here’s a question for you: How do you spell boondoggle?

The answer (in case you didn’t already know): P-e-n-t-a-g-o-n.

Hawks on Capitol Hill and in the U.S. military routinely justify increases in the Defense Department’s already munificent budget by arguing that yet more money is needed to “support the troops.” If you’re already nodding in agreement, let me explain just where a huge chunk of the Pentagon budget — hundreds of billions of dollars — really goes. Keep in mind that it’s your money we’re talking about.

The answer couldn’t be more straightforward: it goes directly to private corporations and much of it is then wasted on useless overhead, fat executive salaries, and startling (yet commonplace) cost overruns on weapons systems and other military hardware that, in the end, won’t even perform as promised. Too often the result isweapons that aren’t needed at prices we can’t afford. If anyone truly wanted to help the troops, loosening the corporate grip on the Pentagon budget would be an excellent place to start.

The numbers are staggering. In fiscal year 2016, the Pentagon issued $304 billion in contract awards to corporations — nearly half of the department’s $600 billion-plus budget for that year. And keep in mind that not all contractors are created equal. According to the Federal Procurement Data System’s top 100 contractors report for 2016, the biggest beneficiaries by a country mile were Lockheed Martin ($36.2 billion), Boeing ($24.3 billion), Raytheon ($12.8 billion), General Dynamics ($12.7 billion), and Northrop Grumman ($10.7 billion). Together, these five firms gobbled up nearly $100 billion of your tax dollars, about one-third of all the Pentagon’s contract awards in 2016.

And remember: the Pentagon buys more than just weapons. Health care companies like Humana ($3.6 billion), United Health Group ($2.9 billion), and Health Net ($2.6 billion) cash in as well, and they’re joined by, among others, pharmaceutical companies like McKesson ($2.7 billion) and universities deeply involved in military-industrial complex research like MIT ($1 billion) and Johns Hopkins ($902 million).

The real question is: How much of this money actually promotes the defense of the country and how much is essentially a subsidy to weapons makers and other corporations more focused on their bottom lines than giving the taxpayers value for their money?

“Modernizing” the Military-Industrial Complex

Let’s start with the obvious (but seldom said). Some arms company expenditures clearly have no more of a national security rationale than Tom Price’s air travel did for the promotion of American health. Take the compensation that defense company CEOs get, for example. The heads of the top five Pentagon contractors — Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman — made a cumulative $96 million last year. These are companies that are significantly or, in the cases of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, almost entirely dependent on government dollars. That means one thing: your tax dollars are basically paying their exorbitant salaries. And that $96 million figure doesn’t even count the scores of other highly paid executives and board members at major weapons contractors like these. Don’t you feel safer already?

Donald Trump initially spent a fair amount of tweeting energy bragging about how he was going to bring such contractors to heel on their pricing practices for weapons systems. In fact, he’s already turned out to be good news indeed for major contractors, most of whom have seen sharp upturns in revenues and profits in the first two quarters of this year (compared to the same period in what was still the Obama era). Among other things, Trump has proven eager to lift restrictions on U.S. weapons sales abroad (and enlist State Department and Pentagon officials to spend more of their time shilling such weaponry). As a result, future American arms deals are already on a precipitous upward trajectory and, as one defense industry analyst has noted, “both commercial aerospace and the defense sectors expect improvement for the remainder of 2017 with the potential for new records in both revenue and operating profit.”

Whether such increases in the funds flowing to major weapons contractors will accelerate yet more depends, in part, on the outcome of this year’s budget debate in which Trump and Congress are competing to see who can sponsor the biggest increase in Pentagon spending. Trump has backed a $54 billion budgetary rise, while the Senate, in the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act, backed a $90 billion increase. The only thing standing between the contractors and another huge payday is the question of whether Congress can, in fact, pass a budget this year or if its representatives will have to fall back on a continuing resolution that would keep spending at last year’s levels.

Needless to say, Lockheed Martin and its cohorts are doing everything in their power to break the budget deadlock and open the spigot to release the huge funding increases they feel entitled to. In the process, they are spending impressive sums (undoubtedly, in part, also your tax dollars) to promote their interests in Washington. The defense industry has, for instance, anted up $65 million on Political Action Committee contributions since 2009.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the bulk of that sum has been lavished on the congressional representatives who are in the best position to help the industry — particularly members of the armed services and defense appropriations committees of the House and Senate. In recent years, these contributions have tilted Republican, with nearly two-thirds of the contributions going to GOP candidates. But this ratio will shift back toward the Democrats, should they retake control of Congress at any point. For weapons contractors, it’s ultimately not about party or ideology but about buying access and influence with whoever has the power to appropriate money for them.

The arms industry’s investment in lobbying is even more impressive. The defense sector has spent a total of more than $1 billion on that productive activity since 2009, employing anywhere from 700 to 1,000 lobbyists in any given year. To put that in perspective, you’re talking about significantly more than one lobbyist per member of Congress, the majority of whom zipped through Washington’s famed “revolving door”; they moved, that is, from positions in Congress or the Pentagon to posts at weapons companies from which they could proselytize their former colleagues.

This process, of course, allows newly minted lobbyists to use their privileged contacts with former government colleagues to promote the special interests of their corporate clients. It also ensures that congressional staffers, military officers, and Pentagon bureaucrats nearing the end of their careers and looking toward a lucrative future will be inclined to cut major contractors some slack. Why not, when they are looking forward to a big payday with that same cast of characters after they leave government?

An egregious example — the case of Darleen Druyun — offers an inside look at how a Pentagon official curries favor with future corporate employers. Druyun was a high-ranking Pentagon procurement officer who rigged contracts for Boeing while negotiating for a job with that company (which was already employing her daughter and son-in-law). The Druyun case was the exception that proves the rule. She actually did nine months in prison for her actions, thanks in large part to Senator John McCain’s dogged pursuit of the case. Lesser cases of influence peddling, however, occur all the time and no one faces jail time for them. As long as the lure of big corporate payoffs remains so central to the lives of government employees, the game will regularly be tilted toward their potential future employers.

In other words, what we’re getting in return for the hundreds of billions of dollars we shower on those weapons firms is a raw deal and that revolving door is but one example of it. Don’t forget the endemic waste, fraud, and abuse that is part and parcel of the Pentagon budget — of that is, an outfit that has proven incapable of even auditing itself. As with influence peddling, when it comes to that trio there’s a scale that ranges from the criminal to the merely outrageous. In the first category, you might start with the “Fat Leonard” scandal, named for a corporate executive who bribed dozens of Navy officials with money, vacations, and prostitutes to get the inside track on contracts to help maintain U.S. ships based in ports in the Pacific. So far, 29 criminal indictments have been handed down in the case.

That one got the headlines, but the biggest sources of corporate waste when it comes to Pentagon dollars are such a part of everyday life in Washington that they go largely unnoticed. The Pentagon, for example, employs more than 600,000 private contractors. There are so many of them and they are so poorly monitored that the Pentagon (as it has reluctantly acknowledged) doesn’t even have an accurate count of how many of them it has hired. What we do know is that many are carrying out redundant tasks that could be done more cheaply by government employees. Cutting the contractor work force by 15% — theoretically an easy task but light years beyond anything presently imaginable — would save a quick $20 billion a year.

Then there are the big weapons programs. As the Project on Government Oversight has shown, the Lockheed Martin F-35 combat aircraft — supposedly a state-of-the-art plane for the twenty-first century — has had so many cost and performance issues that it may never be fully ready for combat. That, however, hasn’t stopped the Pentagon from planning to spend $1.4 trillion to build and maintain more than 2,400 of these defective planes during the lifetime of the program.

Last but hardly least, don’t forget the Pentagon’s misguided plan to spend more than $1 trillion in the next three decades on a whole new generation of nuclear-armed bombers, submarines, and land- and air-based missiles. The United States nuclear arsenal already has more than 4,000 nuclear warheads in its active stockpile, with 1,700 deployed and ready to be launched on a moment’s notice.

Even if one accepts the idea that there is a need for nuclear weapons to deter other countries (like, say, North Korea), this could be accomplished with an arsenal a fraction of the size of the current one. Two analysts from U.S. war colleges have estimated that about 300 deliverable nuclear warheads would be enough to dissuade any nation from attacking the United States with a nuclear weapon. Anything else represents sheer excess, not to mention a huge source of unjustified revenue and profits for weapons contractors. (And note that the current trillion-dollar “modernization” program for the nuclear arsenal was initiated under President Barack Obama, a man who won the Nobel Prize for his urge to abolish all such weaponry. Take that as a measure of the power of America’s corporate nuclear lobby.)

Military Spending Generates Jobs (for Lobbyists and Overpaid CEOs)

In addition to “supporting the troops,” the other common argument in Washington for runaway Pentagon spending is: jobs, jobs, jobs. And there can be no question that if you plow hundreds of billions of dollars into new weapons systems, you will create some new employment opportunities. What’s surprising is how relatively few jobs actually flow these days from such Pentagon expenditures.

In 2011, a study by economists from the University of Massachusetts made this blindingly clear. What they showed was that military spending is the worst way to create jobs. Putting the same money into any other area — from infrastructure to transportation to alternative energy to health care or education — creates up to twice as many jobs as military spending does. If it’s about jobs, there are plenty of alternatives to throwing vast piles of tax dollars at a wasteful Pentagon.

The challenge here is political, not economic. The question at hand is how to get a president and a Congress who are willing to buck the arms lobby and invest in what would quite literally be more constructive activities.

Contractors aid and abet the process of investing in the Pentagon by routinely exaggerating the number of jobs their programs create. The F-35 is a classic example. Lockheed Martin has a handy interactive map on its website that claims the program supports 125,000 jobs in 46 states. When I took a closer look at the company’s analysis and compared it with standard economic estimating procedures, however, I found that the true number is less than half that many jobs generated.

In fact, according to Lockheed’s own figures, more than half of the jobs generated by the program are in just two states, Texas and California. In short, the F-35 creates nothing like the number of jobs the company claims and those jobs aren’t spread as widely or evenly across the country as their propaganda suggests. In truth, the best jobs generated by Pentagon spending are the ones for well-heeled lobbyists and overpaid corporate executives.

So the next time someone suggests that the Pentagon needs yet more money for the troops, just remember that what they’re actually talking about are troops of overpaid defense contractors, not members of the armed forces. If you want to “defend” this country, maybe it’s time to protect it from the predators that President Dwight D. Eisenhower once memorably called “the military-industrial complex.”

William D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular, is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Source Article from



October 5th, 2017

Update: Volant, LLC, Volant Associates, LLC, Volant Associates?

Look at the domain contact. Hmm. If they’re different organizations, this is a spectacular coincidence.


Well, well, well.


Are Volant LLC and Volant Associates, both in the CIA’s backyard, completely different organizations, as some are sure to say? Maybe. But I think they’re close enough for government work, especially CIA cut out work, and easily appropriate for the Coincidence category.

Main Las Vegas Shooting post.

Via: Political Vel Craft:

Looking closely, the first thing you will notice is that the shooter, Stephen Paddock, had a pilot license and owned two planes. This is well-established fact. The tail number of one of those planes is N5343M, a Cirrus SR-20. You can see that this was owned by Paddock by going to the website But Paddock doesn’t own this plane anymore. It was grounded three years ago, and it’s now in the hands of none other than Volant LLC, which there is little information on.

However, Volant Associates is none other than a Department of Defense contractor. Meaning Paddock’s plane has been in the hands of the United States government for the past three years and grounded since – if Volant LLC is being used as a way to hide information. Considering what Volant Associates does, that wouldn’t be so far fetched. But the plane’s information is all easily verified here on It’s been in Roanoke, Virginia since April 25, 2014.

Volant’s describes it’s mission on their website as providing “the industry’s preeminent professionals to discriminating U.S. government and intelligence-and-defense-industry customers.�

Research Credit: EB




  1. dt Says:

    ??? indeed. If he was a patsy, why not use a clean skin? If he was in on it, what was in it for him?

    This might be a little out there for most, but the thing that springs to mind is some kind of double-cross operation where one shady organization was up to something mildly nefarious, which was then hijacked by a much, much shadier organization to commit an atrocity. The beauty of the scheme being the mega-shady organization necessarily enlists the slightly-shady organization in its cover up. By ‘mildly nefarious’ I mean, say drug-dealing, kidnap, murder of four or less people.

    I suspect 9/11 to have been something of this nature where a staged hijacking was itself hijacked by something unimaginably more deadly and audacious.

  2. Kevin Says:

    I forgot to close comments on this post. Please post comments on the main thread.

Source Article from

President Erdogan Of Turkey Finalizes Purchase Of Russian Air Defense System

The S400 surface to air missile system is Russia’s most advanced air defense system [Xinhua]

Russia and Turkey on Friday signed an agreement which has Ankara make a down payment on an advanced anti-missile air defense system.

Turkey had previously indicated that it was interested in buying the Russian S-400 anti-missile air defense system to boost its air defense stature.

An agreement was reached between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Russian counterpart in April, but the price tag was still in negotiation then. The deal was finalized on September 12.

“The contract has entered into force, the advance payment has been made, I cannot say about the timeframe now,” Vladimir Kozhin, an aid to Russian President Vladimir Putin who is on a trip to Turkey, said on Friday.

  1. S-300, 400 systems to protect our forces in Syria – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
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Turkish Undersecretary for Defense Industry Ismail Demir told the Russian news agency TASS that the delivery of the air defense system would begin within two years.

Putin arrived in Ankara late Thursday and met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss latest developments in Syria and the Kurdish referendum on independence in Iraq.

According to diplomats from both sides, the two leaders discussed means to protect the de-escalation zones in northern Syria, particularly in Idlib province.

Last week, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that it had to send in special forces to evacuate Russian police who had come under ambush by the Al Nusra extremist rebel group while patrolling Idlib.

The S-400 is believed to be able to engage all types of aerial targets including aircraft and VLO (Very Low Observable) craft.

The S-400s popularity lies in the fact it can shield from air strikes and neutralise drones as well as strategic, cruise, tactical and operating tactical ballistic missiles and medium-range ballistic missiles within a range of 400 kms up to an altitude of close to 32 kms.

The S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defence missile systems is equipped with three different types of missiles and an acquisition radar capable of tracking up to 300 targets within the range of nearly 600 kms.

Triumf is a system made of eight launchers and a control station.

Turkey follows China (in 2015) and India (in 2016) as major customers for the S-400.

The BRICS Post

Russia Upgrading S-400 Missile Air Defense In Syria

Related News:

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  3. Russian Warplanes Kill 850 U.S. Israeli ISIS Terrorists In Idlib Governorate In Syria
  4. Russian Air Force Delivers 10 Airstrikes Against US Israeli Underground Bases In Idlib, Syria
  5. Russia To Shoot U.S. Special Forces In Syria Supporting ISIS: Russia Reveals Footage In Deir-ez-Zor

Source Article from

Trump Uses RNC Funds To Pay For His Russia Defense — Thanks To Hillary Clinton's Lawyer

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump, a billionaire, is reportedly using money raised by the Republican National Committee to cover legal fees associated with the Department of Justice investigation into his 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump has used over $230,000 in money raised by the RNC for his own legal defense, according to Reuters. The president is currently under investigation for potential illegal coordination with Russia ― which is alleged to have hacked the Democratic National Committee and intervened in the election to defeat Hillary Clinton ― and for possible obstruction of justice when he fired James Comey, the former FBI director, in May.

In a bit of an ironic twist, the RNC money with which Trump is paying for his legal defense is available for him to use thanks to the work of Clinton’s campaign lawyer, Marc Elias. Elias played a key role in negotiating the expansion of campaign contribution limits for the political parties in 2014. Based on reports from Politico and HuffPost, it was Elias who proposed the existence of an account that could cover nearly any legal expense.

That account was created under a deal between House Republicans and Senate Democrats to expand political party fundraising capabilities as part of the omnibus spending bill passed in December 2014.

“Not only were the Democrats involved, but Democrats spearheaded this,” Paul S. Ryan, a campaign finance lawyer with the nonpartisan watchdog group Common Cause, told HuffPost.

Then-House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said at the time that the provision “was worked out in a bipartisan way to allow those who are organizing political conventions to raise the money from private sources as opposed to using taxpayer funds.”

The bipartisan deal created two new fundraising accounts and expanded another for political party committees like the RNC and the DNC. The new and expanded funds could each receive a maximum contribution of $100,200 from a single donor ― a massive increase from the $33,400 limit that applied to the main party account. Of the two new accounts, one was to be spent on any updates to a party’s offices and the other was to be spent on political conventions. The expanded account had originally collected money to pay for legal expenses in the event of an election recount. Now, not only could this account receive larger contributions than before, but the funds could be spent on nearly any legal expense at all.

The process that created these accounts began after Republicans voted to end public funding for the party conventions. They suddenly needed to raise more money for their 2016 presidential nominating convention. So, they sought to create a new party account with higher contribution limits to help defray the costs, and sought to get some Democratic Party support. Senate Democratic leadership agreed to the new political convention account, and then asked for the inclusion of the office account and the expansion of the recount account to cover any and all legal expenses.

The thinking behind the expanded legal accounts was to help pay the costs associated with challenging GOP-backed voting restrictions and redistricting maps that could discriminate based on race. Elias has successfully argued many cases challenging voter identification laws and gerrymandered maps as the Democratic Party’s lead lawyer in these suits.

But that one change has also enabled the billionaire Trump to use money raised by the RNC to cover his legal defense. He is the first president to use political party campaign funds to pay for his own criminal defense lawyers.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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