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Flashback Washington, DC Capitol police board of inquiry report justifies CERT squad's stand down order at Navy Yard shooting by claiming elite tactical response unit "was stuck in traffic"

CERT tactical response teams were located a few blocks from the Navy Yard and so arrived on the scene within minutes, but the official inquiry has since tried to whitewash this fact by claiming they were called away after being "stuck in traffic"...
Specially trained unit did not respond to shooting which killed 12 in part due to concerns about threat to US Capitol

A specially trained tactical Capitol police squad was recalled from responding to the Washington navy yard shooting in part because of concerns about possible threats to the US Capitol, according to a report released on Friday. The report calls the decision reasonable.

The two-page document says the unit, which responds to emergencies like the mass shooting on 16 September, became stuck in traffic and was unable to reach the command post during the event. A supervisor recalled the four-member unit because of concerns about possible threats at the US Capitol and because there were no further requests for help, the report states.

A summary of the findings was released by the Capitol police board. The investigation was launched days after the shooting, amid reports that a Capitol police supervisor had told the Containment and Emergency Response (CERT) Team to stand down, instead of responding to the shooting.

Comment: "Stuck in traffic", eh?

Someone is lying through their teeth. The reason this inquiry was launched is because the CERT team was so distressed at being ordered to stand down, despite being on the scene and ready to engage with in minutes...
Navy Yard: Swat team 'stood down' at mass shooting scene

By Debbie Siegelbaum, BBC News, Washington

Multiple sources in the Capitol Police department have told the BBC that its highly trained and heavily armed four-man Containment and Emergency Response Team (Cert) was near the Navy Yard when the initial report of an active shooter came in about 8:20 local time.

The officers, wearing full tactical gear and armed with HK-416 assault weapons, arrived outside Building 197 a few minutes later, an official with knowledge of the incident told the BBC.

According to a Capitol Police source, an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Washington DC's main municipal force, told the Capitol Cert officers they were the only police on the site equipped with long guns and requested their help stopping the gunman.

When the Capitol Police team radioed their superiors, they were told by a watch commander to leave the scene, the BBC was told.
Washington D.C. elite tactical police units were ordered to stand down while massacre took place at Navy Yard

The elite Capitol Police Containment & Emergency Response Team is based just a few blocks from the Navy Yard. A law enforcement source told WUSA-TV the unit was less than 30 seconds from the gate [...]

"A Capitol Police watch commander "wouldn't let them go in and stop people from being slaughtered," one officer told the Washington TV station [...]

"It was at the scene very early on, within a couple of minutes. They were ordered to disengage and turn back. For what reason, we don't know."
See also:

Washington Navy Yard Shooting: What's The Point?


Citing Kosovo precedent, Crimea's parliament declares independence from Ukraine ahead of referendum

© Reuters / Baz RatnerA woman walking by a poster calling people to vote in the upcoming referendum, in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol
The parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea has adopted an independence declaration from Ukraine which is necessary for holding a March 16 referendum.

"We, the members of the parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council, with regard to the charter of the United Nations and a whole range of other international documents and taking into consideration the confirmation of the status of Kosovo by the United Nations International Court of Justice on July, 22, 2010, which says that unilateral declaration of independence by a part of the country doesn't violate any international norms, make this decision," says the text of the declaration, which was published by the Crimean media.

The document was adopted during an extraordinary session of parliament.

78 of 100 members of the parliament voted in favor of the declaration.

The Crimean parliament's vote to become an independent sovereign state paves the way for the March 16 referendum for the Crimean Autonomous Republic and the city of Sevastopol to join Russia.


Is the House of Saud going to stir up Crimean Tartars?

Crimean tartars
© RIA Novosti / Taras LitvinenkoForeground, from left: Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Refat Chubarov, and leader of the Russian Unity public organization and deputy of autonomous Crimea region's parliament Sergei Aksyonov
The House of Saud may be up to something in Crimea. Let's pivot back to the desert to see how that could possibly be accomplished.

A week ago, Minister of Information and Culture Abdelaziz Khoja proclaimed that the House of Saud "renews its firm position condemning terrorism in all its forms." That was the preamble to ask all Saudi nationals, jihadists or otherwise, to abandon Syria. They were committing a crime, Saudi King Abdullah, ever closer to meeting his maker, decreed.

Then, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain all called their ambassadors from Qatar, under the pretext that Doha continues to support "hostile media," as in Al Jazeera.

Finally Saudi Arabia officially declared the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda's official Syrian branch) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - the rogue jihadists fighting both the Assad government in Syria and the Maliki government in Iraq - as terrorist organizations. Any Saudi member of any of these outfits not back to the Kingdom in 15 days would be thrown in jail for up to 30 years.

By decree, the Saudi Interior Ministry (just in case) also branded as terrorists the Shiite Huthi rebels in northern Yemen, as well as an obscure, Saudi-based outfit called 'Hezbollah Inside the Kingdom'. None of the above can so much as have a Facebook account.


NSA's mass spying makes life easier for digital criminals

In flooding the internet with malware, and by increasing wariness of data sharing, the NSA's actions have had a negative impact on the fight against cybercrime

© Steve Rhodes/Demotix/CorbisA man hands out protest ribbons to people attending the RSA conference
Thousands of the world's security professionals, most of them middle-aged white males, gathered in San Francisco last week for the annual RSA Conference.

Traditionally, it's the time of year vendors hawk their gear in halls containing a perturbing whiff of ammonia, research announcements provide relief from the festival of commerce, and government mandarins hobnob with corporate types - all with the implied intent to work together to protect people's data.

Yet 2014's event was always going to be a bit different. RSA, the security company hosting the event, had to defend itself against criticism over an alleged $10m deal with the National Security Agency (NSA) to include flawed encryption in its products.

The company's chief, Art Coviello, outright denied any wrongdoing, saying RSA was only following advice given by the US government's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Eye 1

A monster devouring its own: The CIA has brought darkness to America

© Bob Strong/Reuters'As covert operations were shielded from oversight, so human rights violations became not just ­inevitable but routine.'
After 9/11 the agency was given free rein to break the rules but when allowed to play dirty abroad, it's difficult to stop at home

Little more than a week after 9/11, Cofer Black gave instructions to his CIA team before their mission. "I don't want Bin Laden and his thugs captured, I want them dead ... I want to see photos of their heads on pikes. I want Bin Laden's head shipped back in a box filled with dry ice. I want to show Bin Laden's head to the president. I promised him I would do that."

A month later, at a meeting sponsored by Schwab Capital markets, CIA executive director "Buzzy" Krongard laid out for investors what such a war would entail. "[It] will be won in large measure by forces you do not know about, in actions you will not see and in ways you may not want to know about," he said.

Back then there wasn't a treaty that couldn't be violated, a principle waived or a definition parsed in the defence of American power and pursuit of popular revenge. To invoke the constitution, the Geneva convention or democratic oversight was evidence that you were out of your depth in the new reality. Laws were for the weak; for the powerful there was force. This was not just the mood of a moment; it has been policy for more than a decade.

Evil Rays

The new Western sponsored Ukraine: 'I'll hang you by the balls and have you f***ed' - Ukrainian presidential hopeful abducts pro-Russian MP

© UnknownScreenshot from Youtube
A Ukrainian presidential hopeful and his supporters have abducted a regional MP over his opposition to the coup-imposed government in Kiev. A video of the action shows the MP being roughed up by a group of men and threatened.

Oleg Lyashko reported secretly going to the Lugansk region on Sunday night and detaining Arsen Klinchev, a member of the local parliament from the Party of Regions.

"The scum Klinchev will answer for his crimes. We detained him and handed him over to law enforcement. I am sincerely grateful to everyone, who helped with this deed. The video is coming shortly. The fight goes on," Lyashko wrote on his Facebook page.

The promised footage followed soon. In it Lyashko is seen entering the office, as Klinchev later clarified, of local General Vladimir Guslavsky with a group of half a dozen men, whose faces are covered with a black circle. They floor the MP and handcuff his arms behind his back.

Then Lyashko is seen calling Klinchev "scum" several times, while forcing him to make a statement on camera, ordering his supporters to vacate the regional administration building.

Comment: Why is the Western media silent on the overt fascist coup in Ukraine?
U.S.-supported democracy on display: Club-wielding fascists storm town council meeting in Kiev suburbs
Neo-Nazis beat, handcuffed governor of Ukrainian region to make him resign‏


Moscow denounces gun attack on pro-Russian activists in Eastern Ukraine as Western media is silent

Pro-Russian protest
© AFP Photo / Sergey BobokA girl holds a banner reading "Kharkiv, Donetsk, Sevastopol" as pro-Russian supporters attend a rally under the statue of Lenin in the centre of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on March 8, 2014
The Russian Foreign Ministry has criticized western governments and media for turning a blind eye on alarming incidents in Ukraine, including a gun attack on a pro-Russian rally in the city of Kharkov.

According to eyewitness reports, some seven or eight masked people drove a mini-van to a Saturday rally in central Kharkov, which was demanding a regional referendum on whether it should follow Crimea's suit and seek joining Russia.

The men armed with bats and handguns ambushed three activists, who were returning from the rally.

"They threatened to kill us. I covered my head so they hit me on the hands. We barely realized what was happening," one of the victims told Live News tabloid.

The attackers fired several shots in the scuffle, wounding one of the pro-Russian activists in the back. The injury was not life-threatening.

The aggression is one of several incidents, which, according to the Russian foreign ministry, are overlooked in the west. It also cited the detainment and deportation of seven Russian journalists from Ukraine over alleged biased reporting.

Comment: Neo-Nazis beat, handcuffed governor of Ukrainian region to make him resign‏


'What you do on your cell phone is none of their damned business!': Rand Paul thrills libertarians and unites CPAC against NSA

Sen. Rand Paul has been a consensus favorite at the Conservative Political Action Conference, dominating hallways with 'I Stand With Rand' posters and creating a horde of giddy young acolytes.
  • Paul, a Kentucky senator, got the Conservative Political Action Conference's loudest applause with a libertarian message
  • He railed against President Obama for allowing the National Security Agency to seize millions of Americans' phone records with a single warrant
  • Paul is seen as a major 2016 presidential contender
  • The CPAC even has heard from other crowd favorites Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump
  • Paul sued the Obama administration, and the president personally, in February over the alleged NSA abuses
A sustained noise that could best be called a hoot and holler greeted Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at the mention of his name, before he took the stage at Friday's Conservative Political Action Conference and declared that cell phone records sought by government agencies were 'none of their damned business!'

By the time he launched into his blue streak against the National Security Agency and quoted Pink Floyd to criticize President Barack Obama, the overflow crowd of thousands sounded like Beyonce concertgoers who had stumbled into the wrong ballroom.


Flashback Ukraine signs $10 billion shale gas deal with Chevron

© REUTERS/MYKHAILO MARKIV/UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS(L-R, front) Chevron Exploration and Production Europe Derek Magness, Ukraine's Energy Minister Eduard Stavytsky, Chairman of the National Joint Stock Company ''Nadra Ukrayny'' Viktor Ponomarenko, (L-R, back) U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Payette, Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich and President of Chevron Europe, Eurasia and Middle East Exploration and Production James Johnson attend a signing ceremony in Kiev, November 5, 2013.
Ukraine signed a $10 billion shale gas production-sharing agreement with U.S. Chevron (CVX.N) on Tuesday, another step in a drive for more energy independence from Russia.

The deal to develop its western Olesska field followed a similar shale gas agreement with Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) in January and boosts Ukraine's leadership at a time of fraught relations with Moscow over gas supplies.


Flashback Neo-Nazis beat, handcuffed governor of Ukrainian region to make him resign‏

© Reuters/Petro KrivosheyVolyn Region Governor Alexander Bashkalenko (2nd L, front) stands on the stage after he was captured by anti-government protesters during a rally in the town of Lutsk in northwestern Ukraine, February 19, 2014.
A governor of a western Ukrainian region who tried to calm down a raging mob of rioters was severely beaten and handcuffed to a protest stage. His family could also be under threat as insurgents are reportedly looking for them.

When a 30,000-strong mob attempted to storm regional police headquarters in the city of Lutsk in the Volyn region of western Ukraine, Governor Aleksandr Bashkalenko sided with law enforcement and tried to uphold the law.