HOW THE US IS ARMING BOTH SIDES OF THE IRAQI CONFLICT

by ZERO HEDGE | JUNE 13, 2014

Recall a week ago we wrote “US Begins Delivering F-16s To Iraq This Week, A Decade After It Wiped Out Iraq’s Air Force” in which we said:

… the US will deliver the first of 36 F-16 fighter jets to Iraq in what Baghdad’s envoy to the United States called a “new chapter” in his country’s ability to defend its vast borders with Iran and other neighbors.

….the US earlier in March provided Iraq with some 100 Hellfire missiles as well as assault rifles and other ammunition. Then in April the US sent more arms, providing Iraq with 11 million rounds of ammunition and other supplies.

It is unknown how many of these have fallen into Al Qaeda/ISIS hands (we do know that at least one Iraqi Black Hawk chopper was captured during the rush for Mosul). What is known is that as PBS Frontline reported two weeks ago, while the administration has denied arming Syrian “rebels”, i.e. the same ISIS militants that have crossed the border and are now fighting in Iraq…

… the reality is that it has. From: “Obama Says Not Arming Syrian Rebels, Syrian Rebels Say He Is

… the Syrian rebels themselves say they are already armed and trained by US in the use of sophisticated weapons and fighting techniques, including, one rebel said, “how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush.” The interviews are the latest evidence that after more than three years of warfare, the United States has stepped up the provision of lethal aid to the rebels, as PBS notes “it appears the Obama administration is allowing select groups of rebels to receive US-made anti-tank missiles.”

The commander of the unit also told Ali that their American contacts had asked him to bring 80 to 90 members of his unit to Ankara for training.

One of the fighters said they received three weeks of training in how to conduct ambushes, conduct raids and use their weapons. They also said they received new uniforms and boots.

“They trained us to ambush regime or enemy vehicles and cut off the road,” said the fighter, who is identified only as “Hussein.” “They also trained us on how to attack a vehicle, raid it, retrieve information or weapons and munitions, and how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush.”

To summarize: the US was arming and training the same Al Qaeda/ISIS groups of Jihadists, that it concurrently gave Iraq weapons to fight. And since the Iraq army has so far proven utterly incapable of any resistance, it is now up to US drones to “fight” the same “rebels” that the US itself was collaborating with until a month or so ago.

The clear winner here? The US military-industrial complex, of course, as well as the banks who lend money to the governments to fight wars provoked by various “developed nation” spy agencies.

Collateral damage? Millions of innocent people on the ground in Syria and Iraq, and everywhere else too.

Source: Zero Hedge

MH370 search: Boeing has patent for autopilot tech Remote Control

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Leading Seaman Aircrewman Daniel Colbert operating the Sensor Operator console on HMAS Toowoomba’s S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter, Tiger 75, during the search for missing Malaysia Airways Flight MH370.

By Sira Habibu, The Star Asia news network – 12 April 2014

PETALING JAYA – When it was first speculated that Flight MH370 could have been hijacked via remote control access, many dismissed it as far-fetched science fiction.

But the technology to navigate planes, ships, trains, buses and other vehicles by remote control has been around for about a decade.

The Boeing Company, the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, has the technology.

It owns a patent for a system that enables remote controlling of its aircraft to counter hijacking attempts.

Boeing applied for the patent for an “uninterruptible autopilot control system” about 11 years ago, and was awarded it in 2006.

The system can be activated when the security of onboard controls are jeopardised.

“The method and systems of the present invention provide techniques for automatically navigating, flying and landing an air vehicle,” states the report for the US patent number US7142971B2.

Once activated, an aircraft could be automatically navigated, flown and made to land without input from anyone on board.

“Any onboard capability to supercede the automatic control system may be disabled by disconnecting the onboard controls,” states the report.

Power is provided to the automatic control system “from an alternative power control element that is inaccessible (to anyone on board the vehicle)”.

According to the patent report, control commands could be received from a remote location and/or from predetermined control commands stored on board the plane.

Boeing applied for the patent on Feb 19, 2003, barely two years after the Sept 11 attack in which hijacked planes rammed into the World Trade Centre, reducing the gigantic buildings into rubble.

Eric D. Brown, Douglas C. Cameron, Krish R. Krothapalli, Walter von Klein Jr and Todd M. William invented the system for Boeing. The patent was awarded three years later on Nov 28, 2006.

When the automatic control system is activated, no one on board the aircraft would be capable of controlling its flight.

The patent report also states that a signal might be transmitted to at least one remote location from the plane to indicate that the uninterruptible autopilot mode of the air vehicle has been engaged.

The system includes a dedicated communication link between the aircraft and a remote location, distinct from any communication link established for other types of communication.

According to an independent analyst James Corbett, the US Federal Aviation Administration had reported on the Federal Registrar last November that the Boeing 777-200, -300 and -300ER aircraft were equipped with an electronics security system to check unauthorised internal access.

Iraqi Birth Defects Worse than Hiroshima

The United States may be finished dropping bombs on Iraq, but Iraqi bodies will be dealing with the consequences for generations to come in the form of birth defects, mysterious illnesses and skyrocketing cancer rates.

Al Jazeera’s Dahr Jamail reports that contamination from U.S. weapons, particularly Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions, has led to an Iraqi health crisis of epic proportions. “[C]hildren being born with two heads, children born with only one eye, multiple tumours, disfiguring facial and body deformities, and complex nervous system problems,” are just some of the congenital birth defects being linked to military-related pollution.
In certain Iraqi cities, the health consequences are significantly worse than those seen in the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Japan at the end of WWII.
The highest rates are in the city of Fallujah, which underwent two massive US bombing campaigns in 2004. Though the U.S. initially denied it, officials later admitted using white phosphorous. In addition, U.S. and British forces unleashed an estimated 2,000 tons of depleted uranium ammunitions in populated Iraqi cities in 2003.

DU, a chemically toxic heavy metal produced in nuclear waste, is used in weapons due to its ability to pierce through armor. That’s why the US and UK were among a handful of nations (France and Israel) who in December refused to sign an international agreement to limit its use, insisting DU is not harmful, science be damned. Meanwhile, the Pentagon’s refusal to release details about where DU munitions were fired has made it difficult to clean up.
Today, 14.7 percent of Fallujah’s babies are born with a birth defect, 14 times the documented rate in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fallujah’s babies have also experienced heart defects 13 times the European rate and nervous system defects 33 times that of Europe. That comes on top of a 12-fold rise in childhood cancer rates since 2004. Furthermore, the male-to-female birth ratio is now 86 boys for every 100 girls, indicating genetic damage that affects males more than females.
(On a side note, these pictures are rather sanitized compared to other even more difficult to look at images. See here if you can bear it.)

If Fallujah is the Iraqi Hiroshima, then Basra is its Nagasaki.
According to a study published in the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, a professional journal based in the southwestern German city of Heidelberg, there was a sevenfold increase in the number of birth defects in Basra between 1994 and 2003.
According to the Heidelberg study, the concentration of lead in the milk teeth of sick children from Basra was almost three times as high as comparable values in areas where there was no fighting.
In addition, never before has such a high rate of neural tube defects (“open back”) been recorded in babies as in Basra, and the rate continues to rise. According to the study, the number of hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”) cases among new-borns is six times as high in Basra as it is in the United States.
This isn’t isolated to Fallujah and Basra. The overall Iraqi cancer rate has also skyrocketed:
Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.
As Grist’s Susie Cagle points out, “That’s potentially a more than 4,000 percent increase in the cancer rate, making it more than 500 percent higher than the cancer rate in the U.S.
Dr. Mozghan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, told Jamail that “These observations collectively suggest an extraordinary public health emergency in Iraq. Such a crisis requires urgent multifaceted international action to prevent further damage to public health.”
Instead, the international community, including the nation most responsible for the health crisis (hint: it starts with a “U” and ends with an “S”), is mostly ignoring the problem.
To make matters worse, Iraq’s healthcare system, which was once the envy of the region, is virtually nonexistent due to the mass exodus of Iraq’s medical doctors since 2003. According to recent estimates, there are currently fewer than 100 psychiatrists and 20,0000 physicians serving a population of 31 million Iraqis.
Dahr Jamail was on Democracy Now this morning discussing the horrific effects of military-related pollution in Iraq:

King: I Have a Dream. Obama: I Have a Drone

By Norman Solomon, GlobalResearch.ca

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A simple twist of fate has set President Obama’s second Inaugural Address for January 21, the same day as the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.

Obama made no mention of King during the Inauguration four years ago — but since then, in word and deed, the president has done much to distinguish himself from the man who said “I have a dream.”

After his speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August 1963, King went on to take great risks as a passionate advocate for peace.

After his Inaugural speech in January 2009, Obama has pursued policies that epitomize King’s grim warning in 1967: “When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men.”

But Obama has not ignored King’s anti-war legacy. On the contrary, the president has gone out of his way to distort and belittle it.

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In his eleventh month as president — while escalating the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, a process that tripled the American troop levels there — Obama traveled to Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. In his speech, he cast aspersions on the peace advocacy of another Nobel Peace laureate: Martin Luther King Jr.

The president struck a respectful tone as he whetted the rhetorical knife before twisting. “I know there’s nothing weak — nothing passive — nothing naive — in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King,” he said, just before swiftly implying that those two advocates of nonviolent direct action were, in fact, passive and naive. “I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people,” Obama added.

Moments later, he was straining to justify American warfare: past, present, future. “To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism — it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason,” Obama said. “I raise this point, I begin with this point because in many countries there is a deep ambivalence about military action today, no matter what the cause. And at times, this is joined by a reflexive suspicion of America, the world’s sole military superpower.”

Then came the jingo pitch: “Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.”

Crowing about the moral virtues of making war while accepting a peace prize might seem a bit odd, but Obama’s rhetoric was in sync with a key dictum from Orwell: “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.”

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Obama’s drone gang vs. Neocon battalions

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By Dr Webster Griffin TARPLEY, for PressTV

Military intrigues swirl around Obama at start of second term: The drone gang confronts the gulf of Tonkin cabal.

The moment when any colonial power begins to downsize its empire or pull back from foreign aggression generally brings with it the risk of great political instability at home.

Even so consummate statesman as French President Charles de Gaulle had to put down a military coup d’état by four rogue generals in Algiers in April 1961, including the threat that paratroopers loyal to colonialist fanatics would attempt to attack Paris.

This past Friday, President Obama announced that the US departure from Afghanistan would be faster and more complete than many had supposed. Fifty years after the Kennedy assassination, we must investigate the possible reaction of the enormous vested interests of the US military, defense contractors, and private military firms to the looming prospect of having the United States engaged in no major war for the first time since 2001.

Obama has also announced his candidates for three important posts: Senator John Kerry for Secretary of State, former Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, and John Brennan for head of the CIA. Press commentary has stressed that these three may all be considered confidants, loyalists, and retainers for Obama. Eric Holder, who will remain as Attorney General, fits the same description. Obama is trying to protect himself from hostile political forces, including Watergate-style attacks and subversion by the rogue network. On November 21, 2012, Obama sent a memorandum to executive departments and agencies calling for “effective insider threat programs within departments and agencies” to prevent “actions by employees who may represent a threat to national security.” “These threats encompass potential espionage, violent acts against the government or the nation, and unauthorized disclosure of classified information….” This could mean Wikileaks, or it could mean Seven Days in May.

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US Military and Black Operations: Where Is the Line?

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By Luis MIRANDA, The Real Agenda for The Intel Hub

Just as public and corporate partnerships have merged over the past two decades, so has the connection between the worlds most corrupt terrorist agency – the CIA – and the United States Department of Defense.

Given the unsuccessful operations in Iraq and Afghanistan after declaring war on both nations to hunt those who ghost organizations that the United States itself created and managed, the White House agreed to give the CIA even more power to carry out so-called anti-terrorist operations abroad, which are terrorist operations against non-aligned regimes.

Recent examples of these terror operations are the actions taken by the CIA previous and during the Arab Spring in Egypt, Libya and now in Syria, where western forces including NATO and CIA operatives launched attacks from Turkey into the kingdom of Bashar al-Assad.

The new powers given to the CIA include enhancing its operations with the latest surveillance technology, for example unmanned armed remotely controlled drones which are operated by the Pentagon under CIA direction.

It is not a surprise that the U.S. Government decided to switch the head of the CIA and the commander of military operations in the Middle East last year in an attempt to homogenize the operations of both government organizations.

The White House has also increased the spy network that works directly with the Pentagon to exercise a greater control over terrorist plots in the Arab Peninsula, Africa and Asia.

The move to inadvertently combine the power of both the CIA and the Pentagon began more actively under the George W. Bush administration, but rapidly accelerated under the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

The CIA has grown its operations over territories supposedly taken over jihadists, but not to combat their operations.

The U.S. Government managed to buy off terrorists groups as it did in Afghanistan back in the 1970s with a group known today as al-Qaeda.

The flow of drug money and other funds laundered by large banking corporations fuel the bribery system that allows the CIA to keep certain key terrorist groups working for them, as supposed to against U.S. Interest in some of the most volatile regions of the planet.

The merge of the CIA and the Pentagon was completed after the 2011 summer directive issued by Barack H. Obama to have the then CIA Director, Leon Panetta, take over the United States Department of Defense, while David Petraeus, the most influential ground operations commander in Iraq and Afghanistan was named the head of the Central Intelligence Agency.

General David Petraeus left the CIA last november after he allegedly admitted to have had an extramarital affair with his biographer. Of course, it is unlikely such an affair was the real reason Petraeus left the spy agency. Former intelligence insiders believe it was Petraeus opposition to America’s way of conducting military and intelligence operations what made him leave his post as the top spy chief.

Petraeus is not the first top General to exit U.S. military entities. Two or three other strong men inside the military were fired or asked to be relieved of their duties due to their disagreements with the way combat missions were being conducted.

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US President – Master of Drones

Whoever becomes the next president of the United States this will be the most powerful person in the world. Under the US law, the President has the right to take unilateral decisions on starting a large scale war or conducting local military operations.

“The President in every possible instance shall consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities” – that is an extract from the War powers resolution passed on November 7, 1973.

Since 1974, the have been more than 50 cases when US Presidents asked for the Congress’ sanction for conducting military operations. The geography of these military operations included the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia and other countries.

However the President does not disturb the Congress on such “nothings” as for example a clutter of mujahedeens somewhere in Pakistan. Without any sanction President orders the army to kill them by means of unmanned flying vehicles or drones. The drones are multi purpose vehicles, Bruce Fein, the former juridical advisor of Reagan’s administration said in an interview with the “Voice of Russia”. Continue reading

Outrage at CIA’s deadly ‘double tap’ drone attacks

[Editor’s Note: These are terrorists tactics that have always been used by US Backed terrorists in Iraq for example. Like a 1st bomb is detonated, an when people, security and emergency Forces get to the scene, a 2nd explosion occurs to create Maximum victims.]

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Report claims just one in fifty victims of ‘surgical’ US strikes in Pakistan are known militants. Jerome Taylor reports on a deadly new strategy

Late in the evening on 6 June this year an unmanned drone was flying high above the Pakistani village of Datta Khel in north Waziristan.

The buzz emitted by America’s fleet of Predators and Reapers are a familiar sound for the inhabitants of the dusty hamlet, which lies next to a riverbed close to Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan and is a stronghold for the Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur.
As the drone circled it let off the first of its Hellfire missiles, slamming into a small house and reducing it to rubble. When residents rushed to the scene of the attack to see if they could help they were struck again.

According to reports at the time, three local rescuers were killed by a second missile whilst a further strike killed another three people five minutes later. In all, somewhere between 17 and 24 people are thought to have been killed in the attack.

The Datta Khel assault was just one of the more than 345 strikes that have hit Pakistan’s tribal areas in the past eight years but it reveals an increasingly common tactic now being used in America’s covert drone wars – the “double-tap” strike.

More and more, while the overall frequency of strikes has fallen since a Nato attack in 2011 killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and strained US-Pakistan relations, initial strikes are now followed up by further missiles in a tactic which lawyers and campaigners say is killing an even greater number of civilians. The tactic has cast such a shadow of fear over strike zones that rescuers often wait for hours before daring to visit the scene of an attack.

“These strikes are becoming much more common,” Mirza Shahzad Akbar, a Pakistani lawyer who represents victims of drone strikes, told The Independent. “In the past it used to be a one-off, every now and then. Now almost every other attack is a double tap. There is no justification for it.”

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Obama Sends More Drones, Marines to Libya, But Did They Ever Leave?

Apparently, there is nothing so permanent as a temporary US war

by John Glaser (Source: Antiwar)
The Obama administration has ordered military reinforcements to Libya following the attack on the US consulate building this week, but the truth is drones had never left Libya’s skies and US Marines have been carrying out missions on the ground since the end of NATO’s war there last year.

The US suspects al-Qaeda affiliates were involved in starting the attack on the US consulate in Libya, which killed the American ambassador and three others, and has not only started an FBI investigation into the incident, but has ordered more drones to surveil Libya, as well as up to 50 additional US Marines and US warships equipped with Tomahawk missiles off the northern coast.

But the Defense Department toldWired‘s Danger Room that the drones never left, despite the fact that the NATO air war in Libya came to an end almost a year ago.

“Yes, we have been flying CAPs [combat air patrols] since the war ended,” said Army Lt. Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman. These have apparently been done for surveillance purposes with the consent of the new Libyan government. Continue reading

Drone Nation: The Rise of the Unmanned Aerial Machines (With Infographic)

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image: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Chad Chisholm
Activist Post

The proliferation of drone technology for surveillance and war has spread at warp speed to nearly every area of the world. Despite some lip service being paid by a small portion of Congress about the threat of drones being used for indiscriminate targeted killings at home and abroad, the truth is that Congress has already fully welcomed drones into American skies. Corporate mercenaries are simultaneously in a commercial race to the bottom and have gone international with no disclosure.

In just a few short years, we have witnessed the revelation (and disbelief) of drone tests on American soil, to micro drones commissioned by local police departments, to worldwide outrage over drone bombings around the world and the innocents killed, to the realization that drone tech is reaching disturbing levels as constant surveillance threatens to reach into our own backyards.

Perhaps more than where we are at, it is where we are going.

The latest revelation is that there are potentially 110 drone bases on American soil. This is confirmation that what was said by drone expert P.W. Singer was not hyperbole:

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