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Sat, 25 Feb 2017
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Cressida Dick, new chief of British police, oversaw 'botched' post-7/7 de Menezes operation

© Peter Nicholls / Reuters
New Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick
Relatives of Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27-year-old Brazilian shot dead by counter-terrorism police in 2005, say the appointment of Cressida Dick as chief of the Metropolitan Police is 'offensive,' as she was responsible for the botched operation.

De Menezes was shot in the head 11 times on a train at Stockwell Underground Station, south London, after being mistaken for a terrorism suspect.

His bereaved family say Dick's appointment proves that "police officers can act with impunity."

Comment: That does seem to be how law enforcement works. Make it clear you operate with a seeming lack of concern for human life, and you are ripe for a promotion.

Dick was appointed chief of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on Wednesday, making her the first woman in history to head the UK's largest police force in its 188-year history.

Comment: The Menezes operation wasn't 'botched': it was a successful hit. As an electrician working on the Tube, De Menezes saw something he shouldn't have; something that exposed 7/7 as a false-flag terror attack. In any event, it's more likely Dick took the fall for de Menezes' murder. The gunmen who killed de Menezes were from the Special Reconnaissance Regiment of British military intelligence, and likely took orders from way over Dick's head.


Controlling information: Twitter adds measures for censoring 'abusive or low-quality tweets' to combat abuse, harassment

© Reuters/Kacper Pempel
Twitter has officially announced three new changes to the platform in their latest effort to combat "abuse and harassment."

The changes include extra measures to stop suspended users from creating new accounts, "safer search results," and the collapsing of "potentially abusive or low-quality Tweets."

"Making Twitter a safer place is our primary focus," claimed the company in a blog post update on Tuesday. "We stand for freedom of expression and people being able to see all sides of any topic. That's put in jeopardy when abuse and harassment stifle and silence those voices. We won't tolerate it and we're launching new efforts to stop it."

"Building on the work we began in November, we're continuing to work on ways to give people more control over what they see on Twitter," they continued. "Last week, we introduced an improvement to reporting abusive Tweets that gives people experiencing targeted harassment more ways to report it. Today, we're announcing three changes: stopping the creation of new abusive accounts, bringing forward safer search results, and collapsing potentially abusive or low-quality Tweets."


12 years after £1 million pay-off by UK government, British ex-Gitmo resident turns up as dead 'ISIS suicide-bomber' in Mosul

'Abu-Zakariya al-Britani', proppa geezah
Suicide bomber Abu-Zakariya al-Britani detonated a car bomb outside an Iraqi military base southwest of Mosul, 12 years after winning £1 million ($1.25 million) compensation for wrongful detention in Guantanamo Bay.

Al-Britani is thought to be Jamal Udeen Al-Harith, born Ronald Fiddler, a former Guantanamo detainee from Manchester who was released from the US prison camp in 2004, after being captured in Pakistan in 2002.

He was reportedly paid £1 million by the UK government to keep quiet about British complicity in torture and abuse.

Comment: As a long-term member of 'the database' (al Qaeda), the British security services no doubt knew exactly where he was and exactly what he was doing.

We're not at all surprised. The two founders of 'Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula' were also Gitmo graduates. Clearly, at least some of the 'detainees' were held there (and in other 'black sites') in order to 'turn them', further indoctrinate them, maybe even train them, then pay 'em loads of money and set them loose in order to ramp up, not damp down, the 'War on Terror'.

That's Western liberal democracy for ya folks: gotta have an enemy to justify the war crimes!

Update (Feb. 23): PM May reportedly downgraded surveillance on Fiddler while she was home secretary, but her spokesperson referred to comment when asked about it. The claim comes from two ex-Labour home secretaries, David Blunkett and Jack Straw, who say surveillance stopped prior to him going to Syria.
Straw followed up the attack, telling the Independent: "One of the things that she [May] did do [as Home Secretary] was weaken the ability of government to keep terror suspects under effective surveillance."

While security officials confirmed al-Harith and other Guantanamo detainees were monitored after their release, they said the scale of it depended on the extent of the threat they posed to the public.

"There is a finite amount of resources and a valued judgement has to be made on how these resources are allocated," a senior source told the Independent.

Richard Barrett, the former head of counter-terrorism at MI6, told the newspaper: "This guy came out of Guantanamo Bay ten years before he left for Syria. That would be a hell of a long time to keep someone under close surveillance, almost impossible, and against his civil liberties.

"When he came back from Guantanamo Bay the assessment was made by the British and Australian services that he posed no threat and for the ten years that he was in the UK and maybe even for a period after that, he did not pose any direct threat to the British public in the way that we would understand it."

On Wednesday, it was revealed Tony Blair's government lobbied for the release of al-Harith despite never regarding him as innocent.
Fiddler's family deny the claim that he received as much £1 million in compensation from the UK government.
David Cameron's government agreed a total package of £10-20 million in damages for British citizens and long-term residents who were held in Guantanamo in an out-of-court settlement in 2010.
The Tory government is now facing pressure to prove that £10-£20 million paid to terror suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay did not end up in the hands of IS, after it emerged that four of the 17 British detainees thought to have been given compensation have been accused of links to Islamic groups or individuals in Syria.

Writing in Thursday's Daily Telegraph, Lord Carlile QC, the former terror law watchdog, said: "I hope that what he [al-Harith] did with the money was the subject of careful monitoring, something on which we are entitled to some reassurance from the authorities."

Lord Carlile, who said the payment should never have been made, added: "I am concerned about the monitoring of money received by people who have been identified as terrorists. I would hope that the money was followed with care to avoid large sums being paid over to terrorist groups."

In a statement to the BBC al-Harith's family denied he received as much as £1 million in compensation, claiming the figure was "a group settlement including costs for four innocent people including Jamal." They blamed his treatment at Guantanamo Bay, where he was held by the US, for his subsequent involvement with the terror group.
More background on Fiddler's past. Note the last line:
Catherine Philp, correspondent for the Times, wrote on Thursday that al-Harith was barely able to speak when she met him in a Kandahar jail shortly before he was taken to Guantanamo Bay in 2002. "He doesn't speak. He was mentally tortured by the Taliban," she wrote.

The father-of-five flew to Pakistan after the September 11 attacks and spent time in a Taliban jail, alongside political prisoners and foreigners, before American forces moved in and took him to Guantanamo Bay. Interrogators found he provided useful information about the Taliban's methods, and believed he had spent time with Osama Bin Laden in Sudan. But he was released from the notorious prison camp in 2004, after two years, repatriated to the UK by private jet and released without charge.

Speaking to the BBC soon after his return to the UK he described being frightened to leave Guantanamo because he was so used to life there, and his hatred for the Americans who held him there. "When they were taking us out I could see the British plane waiting for us - they had to walk us over the 300 metres - and we got put in front to the British Bobby and the American soldier was taking off my chains I wanted to spit in his face but you have to hold yourself inside."

He also spoke of his determination to sue for compensation, and revealed the Americans were only convinced he had a clean criminal record because he worked for MI5, which he laughed about on live TV.


U.S.'s confused Syria strategy pushes Erdogan to flip-flog again

© www.globallookpress.com
There are two new developments on the Syrian front. The Islamic State suddenly changed its tactic and the Turkish President Erdogan again changed his policy course.

In the last 24 hours news announcements about victories against the Islamic state (ISIS) rapidly followed each other:
  • The Kurdish U.S. proxy forces in east Syria (SDF) announced that it had reached the northern bank of the Euphrates between Raqqa and Deir Ezzor. This cuts the ISIS communication line between the two cities.
  • Turkish forces and their "Syrian rebel" mercenaries have been attacking Al-Bab east of Aleppo for nearly four months. They made little progress and incurred huge losses. Late yesterday they suddenly broke into the city and today took control of it. Various sources claim that a deal was made between the Turkish forces and ISIS for the later to evacuate Al-Bab unharmed and with its personal weapons. It is not yet known what price Turkey paid in that deal.
  • South of Al-Bab the Syrian Army is moving further east towards the Euphrates and took several villages from ISIS. The Syrian move is largely designed to cut the roads between the Turkish forces around Al-Bab and the Islamic State forces in Raqqa.
  • Further south another Syrian Army group is moving east towards Palmyra.
  • In the eastern city of Deir Ezzor the Syrian army garrison is under siege by Islamic State forces. A few weeks ago the situation there looked very dire. But with reinforcements coming in by helicopter and massive Russian air force interdiction the position held out quite well. In recent days the defenders took several hills from a retreating ISIS.
  • In Iraq the army, police and the various government militia are pushing towards south Mosul. Today the airport south of the city fell into their hands with little fighting. Like everywhere else ISIS had stopped its resistance and pulled back. Only a few rearguards offered tepid resistance.
While ISIS was under pressure everywhere the sudden retreat on all fronts during the last 24 hours is astonishing and suggest some synchronicity. A central order must have been given to pull back to the buildup areas of Raqqa in Syria and south Mosul in Iraq.

Comment: Trump signed an executive order back on January 28 giving the Pentagon 30 days to come up with a plan to defeat ISIS. It has been 26 days. If the Pentagon has been merely carrying on as usual for that time, Erdogan may be in for another surprise if the new plan actually turns out to be new, and not just a rehash of Obama policy. On the other hand, if they don't come up with anything new, as MoA points out above, the incompatible objectives between all the main players will continue to cause nothing but trouble.


DPR says Ukraine has bombarded 14 Donbass towns 706 times in 24 hours

© RusVesna.su
Ukrainian Armed Forces
Over the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have opened fire from heavy artillery, mortars, and anti-aircraft guns more than 700 times on the frontline territories of the Donetsk People's Republics. This has been reported by the deputy commander of the DPR's operative command, Eduard Basurin.

"The Ukrainian side has 'congratulated' our republic by shelling with the use of prohibited weapons. Over the past 24 hours, the armed forces of Ukraine have shelled the territory of the DPR 706 times," Basurin announced.

The DPR commander continued: "Six times they used heavy artillery of 152mm caliber, mortars of various calibers 185 times, infantry fighting vehicles 78 times, anti-aircraft guns, grenade launchers, and small arms 437 times."

Comment: See also:


UN uses tweets from Western propaganda outlet Bellingcat and White Helmets mercenaries as evidence of chemical weapon use in Syria

Twitter. The most trusted name in news
U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura has already declared that no breakthroughs are expected in Geneva tomorrow, but that hasn't stopped western NGOs — and now the United Nations itself — from driving another nail into the coffin of a Syrian peace settlement. Oh well, we can always dream.

We have hit rock bottom, friends. The U.N.'s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Mission in the Syrian Arab Republic recently released a report on allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Buckle in for something very, very sad:

Yes, that is Ole Solvang, deputy emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, parading around a U.N. report which cites a long list of twitter posts and wordpress blogs as evidence of Assad's mass atrocities. (And that is a rare Twitter hero below him, pointing out the BS.)


The chickens have come home to roost - US Deep State so powerful now it can manipulate the presidency

Last week, The Wall Street Journal revealed that members of the intelligence community — part of the deep state, the unseen government within the government that does not change with elections — now have acquired so much data on everyone in America that they can selectively reveal it to reward their friends and harm their foes. Their principal foe today is the president of the United States.

Liberty is rarely lost overnight. The wall of tyranny often begins with benign building blocks of safety — each one lying on top of a predecessor — eventually collectively constituting an impediment to the exercise of free choices by free people, often not even recognized until it is too late.


Arizona Senate passes bill to seize assets of protesters who participate in 'violent' protests, authorizes prosecution of organizers

© TheDustyRebel/Facebook
Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened.

SB1142 expands the state's racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others.

But the real heart of the legislation is what Democrats say is the guilt by association — and giving the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated. And what's worse, said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, is that the person who may have broken a window, triggering the claim there was a riot, might actually not be a member of the group but someone from the other side.

Sen. Martin Quezada, D-Phoenix, acknowledged that sometimes what's planned as a peaceful demonstration can go south.

"When people want to express themselves as a group during a time of turmoil, during a time of controversy, during a time of high emotions, that's exactly when people gather as a community,'' he said. "Sometimes they yell, sometimes they scream, sometimes they do go too far.''

Quezada said, though, that everything that constitutes rioting already is a crime, ranging from assault to criminal damage, and those responsible can be individually prosecuted. He said the purpose of this bill appears to be designed to chill the First Amendment rights of people to decide to demonstrate in the first place for fear something could wrong.

Comment: And yet, when officers are charged with police brutality or wrongful murder and families settle for millions, that money comes from the taxpayers instead of police pension funds or personal assets.

Eye 1

US troops assault on Mosul, some have been wounded - Pentagon

© @CJTFOIR / Twitter
While nominally operating as military advisers to the Iraqi forces, the US servicemen taking part in the assault on Mosul have been involved in front-line fighting and an undisclosed number have suffered battle injuries, according to military officials.

US soldiers "have come under fire at different times, they have returned fire at different times in and around Mosul," said Air Force Colonel John Dorrian, the Baghdad-based spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

"When someone is shooting at you, that is combat. Yes. That has happened," Dorrian said during a press briefing via video link on Tuesday, when asked by Washington-based journalists to clarify if that meant that US troops were actually fighting.

President Barack Obama returned a small contingent of US troops to Iraq in 2014, on the promise that they would avoid direct combat. There are currently 450 conventional soldiers and a classified number of special operators embedded with elite Iraqi forces around Mosul, calling in airstrikes, training troops, and helping with battle tactics.

Despite an announcement by a senior US Army official this week that US servicemen would be embedded closer to the theater of operations, Dorrian said that US troops were still staying out of danger.

Comment: See also: US-backed Iraqi forces advance on ISIS-held areas of Mosul as 750,000 civilians remain trapped

Eye 1

Just do it! Neo-Nazi leader vows to dissolve Rada and dethrone Poroshenko

Andriy Biletsky standing in front of his favorite Nazi runes.
If Biletsky and his Azov hordes actually managed to push Poroshenko out, the comical narrative of a progressive, democratic, forward-thinking Ukraine instantly implodes. Do it!

Andriy Biletsky is a third-rate Nazi.

Of course, he is a member of the Rada (Ukrainian Parliament), and he does have his own punitive battalion. But in general, he doesn't do much aside from issue strongly-worded Facebook updates about the dangers of interracial marriage. Meanwhile, his armed Azov goons continue to burn, rape and pillage. Who is doing the heavy lifting in this relationship?