Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Who created the Islamic State? | Former CIA spy: Obama doesn't understand how to fight ISIS

Who created the Islamic State? George W. Bush, Blackwater, Barack Obama, all fair game in blame game.

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Who created the Islamic State?
Welcome to the Islamic State blame game, where a spin of the wheel finds a new perpetrator each week, finger-pointing is political point-scoring, and just about everyone, it seems, is fair game.
Last week Paul revived the debate when he told MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, "ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately, and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS."
In a highly-cited piece published Tuesday, "Yes, Bush helped create ISIS – and set up the Middle East for a generation of chaos," Vox author Zack Beauchamp expanded on Paul's argument, putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of the 43rd president.
His argument, in a nutshell: For decades, the US has supported authoritarian states in the Middle East. After the 9/11 attacks, Bush determined that extremist movements were gaining support as attractive alternatives to repressive governments, and so, set out to change course.
"As long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny – prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder – violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat," Mr. Bush said in his second inaugural address, the speech that encapsulated his administration's new strategy.
The result: A plan to spread democracy without abandoning allies, a key part of which was the Iraq War. But, says Mr. Beauchamp, "Iraq's collapse into chaos fostered new regional crises: the rise of even more militant jihadi groups," and "sectarian grievances that would eventually drive Iraqi Sunnis into ISIS's arms."
It's certainly not the first time Bush has been blamed for creating the Islamic State.
In an interview with Vice News, Obama said Islamic State can be directly linked to Bush's Iraq War.
“Two things: One is, ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion,” Obama said in the interview, using another acronym for the terrorist group. “Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”
But some conservatives have pointed the finger back at Obama.
After all, the president said in August 2012, “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”
"Frankly we failed to enforce our own red line, and it was after that that we've never heard a real serious discussion," Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger told MSNBC's Joe Scarborough recently.
Vox's Beauchamp also says Obama hasn't helped the situation.
"[I]nstead of developing a brand new regional strategy, the Obama administration has essentially drifted from crisis to crisis – an approach that's been effective in some cases, like securing a tentative nuclear deal with Iran, but terribly ineffective in others," he writes.
So then, who's to blame?
"Bashar al-Assad is the incubator of ISIS," Representative Kinzinger told MSNBC. "He created the environment where they're flourishing."
And so the Islamic State blame game – in which it's far easier to assign blame than to calculate constructive action – continues.
Read the whole story
· · ·

Former CIA spy: Obama doing ‘lousy job’ in fight against ISIS

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Henry “Hank” Crumpton, the former CIA official who led a covert team of operators in Afghanistan after 9/11, believes the Obama administration is doing a “lousy job” in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 
“I don’t think they understand the kind of war they need to fight,” Crumpton told The Hill in a recent interview.
“They’re waging the war they want to fight but not the one that will lead to success.” 
“It’s very safe politically; they want to control everything in Washington,” said the 58-year-old former spy who says he was able to mastermind the overthrow of the Taliban in 90 days after 9/11.
Crumpton, who joined the CIA in 1981 and spent nearly a quarter century fighting terrorism, advocates a field-based approach to fighting terrorists, rather than the risk-averse, Washington-centric approach pursued today.
He believes that getting more intelligence agents out in the field and empowering local Iraqi communities is crucial to defeating ISIS. 
“You have to have an intelligence presence on the ground. It really is a question of deep intelligence and empathy.”  
That way, you can understand and undermine the enemy strategy, and not just attack the enemy on the battlefield, said Crumpton, who served as deputy director of the CIA Counterterrorism Center from 1999 to 2001. 
The Obama administration is currently pursuing a political and military strategy that’s centered on empowering the Shia-dominated central government in Baghdad to fight ISIS. 
To that end, it’s routing all military assistance through the central government and refraining from training or equipping Sunnis and Kurds out of concern that could lead to sectarian war. 
Crumpton said that strategy “does not reflect reality on the ground.”
“We want to wage a war and have engagement in a diplomatic sense with Baghdad,” he said, but the idea that Iraq is a “functioning, viable sovereign state is a fiction.”
“I can understand the reluctance to undermine the concept of Iraq as a nation, [but] we’ve allowed the enemy to gain traction,” he said.
“We are in a defensive crouch, trying to counter their message. [We need to] counter what they’re doing on the ground.”
Crumpton has formulated his views on how to fight terrorism over roughly a decade of overseas assignments with the CIA. He’s also served as chief of the CIA’s secretive National Resources Division. 
Crumpton believes the fight against ISIS requires boosting intelligence assets on the ground and empowering local communities, but also empowering U.S. officials overseas. 
“What works is when we’ve had good leadership overseas, with the authorities and the resources and the political backing to do the job,” said Crumpton, who also served at the rank of ambassador-at-large and as the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism. 
He cites successful efforts against Jemaah Islamiyah in Southeast Asia and against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Another example he cites is the effort he spearheaded in Afghanistan against al Qaeda in 2001 and 2002. 
“That was an extreme case of a field bias, where we selected some terrific team leaders working with [Gen.] Tommy Franks, and then [Joint Special Operations Command], and that worked,” he said.
And to some degree, the surge in Iraq is another example, he said. Retired Gen. David Petraeus’s “force of personality” helped but so did the fact that he was given the “authorities and resources to do the job.”
A “bad case” of empowering American diplomats is reflected in 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, he said. 
“Why in the world would you have a U.S. ambassador even having to ask for extra security or even having a discussion about it? Why wouldn’t he have the resources and the authority to make that decision?” he asked. “Yet you’ve got D.C. awash in defense funding.” 
Crumpton said the tendency to find Washington-centric counterterrorism strategies is not necessarily unique to the Obama administration but is a symptom of the “national security establishment.”
For example, he said, the Bush administration created new agencies in Washington after 9/11, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Department of Homeland Security.
He believes there is a general misunderstanding of intelligence by policymakers across the political spectrum, which prompted him to write a best-selling book in 2012, The Art of Intelligence
But Crumpton does fault the Obama administration for plenty of things. 
“Our credibility has been eroded since the president did not adhere to the line in the sand for [President Bashar] Assad,” he said, referring to the president’s last-minute decision in 2013 not to conduct airstrikes against the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons.  
“That really was a watershed moment. I had several foreign friends, senior officials in allied governments, just express, first disbelief then disgust,” he said. “Their reaction to that was, was really I think enduring. That hasn’t gone away.” 
He also said the administration’s decisions to shutter embassies in Libya and Yemen has also hurt the U.S.’s credibility. 
Not only does it hurt U.S. on intelligence collection, working with local populations and military programs dependent on embassies, it broadcasts a message of retreat to U.S. enemies, he said. 
“They believe that we’re in retreat, and that’s had an impact on the battlefield. That’s how ISIS has gained so much traction — a narrative of gains on the battlefield and in cyberspace,” he said. 
“I give the president credit for the [Osama] bin Laden raid … but if you look where ISIS is and you look at al Qaeda, they are far from defeated. They are taking advantage of this narrative of success.” 
Crumpton, who left government eight years ago and is now the president of the Crumpton Group, remains a part of the counterterrorism discussion and continues to impress upon Washington the importance of intelligence in the field. 
“In this type of war, the value of intelligence will continue to grow, and not merely to find or kill targets. Intelligence provides a map of the human terrain, helps illuminate and develop alliances, and informs decisions about enduring political solutions,” he wrote in a February op-ed in The Wall Street Journal
For Crumpton, the consequences couldn’t be clearer. 
“When 9/11 happened, we had 100 clandestine sources throughout Afghanistan. We had built those networks,” he said. “Now, in comparison, we had two predator drones in the air in Benghazi.”
Read the whole story
· · · · ·

Former CIA spy: Obama doesn't understand how to fight ISIS

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The Obama administration isn't capable of fighting the type of war necessary to defeat the Islamic State, a former CIA official told The Hill.
"I don't think they understand the kind of war they need to fight,” Henry Crumpton, a former CIA official who led teams in Afghanistan against the Taliban, told the publication. "They're waging the war they want to fight but not the one that will lead to success."
The Obama administration's efforts against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, have been aimed at propping up the Iraqi government in Baghdad while conducting airstrikes against jihadist targets throughout Iraq and Syria.
The US has also expressed support to use the Shiite-dominated Iraqi central government to channel arms and other forms of aid to Sunni tribal fighters and members of the Kurdish militia.
But the US has refused to directly assist groups outside the Baghdad government for fear of stoking sectarianism within the country. The Obama administration has also pledged not to send combat troops to Iraq and not to expand the US' on-the-ground military presence beyond small deployments of military advisers and trainers.
Crumpton, who joined the CIA in 1981, believes this limited support is insufficient when facing an enemy like ISIS. In his view, the US needs a greater military and intelligence footprint in Iraq if it wants to fully dismantle the militant group.
"You have to have an intelligence presence on the ground. It really is a question of deep intelligence and empathy," he told The Hill. This would allow the US to conduct a larger number of precision strikes against the group while also better anticipating its future moves.
ISIS Islamic State Iraq Syria mapReuters
A more robust intelligence network would also allow the US to understand the political dynamics at the ground level. This information could be leveraged to form alliances and work toward political solutions among Sunni tribes disgusted with both ISIS and the central Iraqi government.
US airstrikes against ISIS are also becoming less effective because the group has changed its tactics. It now houses prisoners within its main buildings and is increasingly fighting within densely populated civilian areas. These new practices are aimed at deterring airstrikes, as the US is reluctant to take actions that would harm civilians.
ISIS' adaptive tactics, coupled with US reluctance to become more deeply involved in the conflict, has led to a cold streak in the fight against the group. In May, ISIS seized the Iraqi provincial capital of Ramadi, just 77 miles from Baghdad. At the same time, the Iraqi military has proved less and less capable of fighting the group.
Read the whole story
· · ·

Постпреду России при ЕС ограничили доступ в Европарламент - РБК

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Постпреду России при ЕС ограничили доступ в Европарламент
Постпреду России при ЕС Владимиру Чижову ограничили доступ в Европарламент. Этот шаг стал ответом на список невъездных в Россию дипломатов. Теперь при визите в здание Европарламента Чижову придется заказывать пропуск. Постпред России при ЕС Владимир Чижов.
Европарламент ввел санкции в ответ на российский «черный список»BFM.Ru
Постпреду РФ при Евросюзе запретили посещать ЕвропарламентКомсомольская правда
Постпреду России в ЕС ограничен доступ в ЕвропарламентBBC Russian
Газета.Ru -ИА REGNUM -Взгляд
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Police shoot, kill man under surveillance by Joint Terrorism Task Force - Fox News

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Fox News

Police shoot, kill man under surveillance by Joint Terrorism Task Force
Fox News
A man under surveillance by the Joint Terrorism Task Force was shot and killed Tuesday morning after he refused to put down a military-style knife while approaching two officers, MyFoxBoston.com reported. The man was not identified. The shooting occurred ...
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International coalition vows unity in fight against ISIS

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Iraq's international partners vowed Tuesday to remain united in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called for more support for his nation's forces.

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Page 2

Obama: Netanyahu stance on Palestine endangers Israel's credibility

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conditions for diplomacy that might lead to Palestinian statehood put Israel's credibility in question, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday.

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Russian Authorities Confiscate Sifrei Kodesh And Question 30 Youths 

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According to the exclusive Ladaat News report, the youths questioned as suspected of racist studies based on their limud Torah. The youths questioned were told the investigation surrounds nationalist hate and hate of ...

State Department: US, Houthi Reps Met in Oman

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Senior U.S. officials met in Oman last week with representatives of the Houthi rebel movement that has overrun Yemen, the State Department acknowledged on Tuesday. Assistant Secretary of State Anne Patterson visited Saudi Arabia and Oman in recent days, in a bid to bring the multiple parties involved in Yemen's ongoing political crisis to negotiations. The meetings are the first publicly recognized talks between U.S. officials and Houthis since the rebels seized the Yemeni capital...

Anthrax Scare Spreads to Canada, Washington State

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The Pentagon says a U.S. military lab might mistakenly have sent live anthrax - or anthrax with activated spores - to labs in Canada and Washington state, in addition to the labs announced last week. “The anthrax that we shipped, the master sample that it came from, which is in Dugway (Proving Ground in Utah), tested to be live yesterday,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren told reporters Tuesday. The Canadians cannot yet confirm whether the anthrax they received from the Utah lab...

First on CNN: Pentagon may have received shipment of live anthrax - CNN

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First on CNN: Pentagon may have received shipment of live anthrax
Washington (CNN) The Pentagon is now investigating whether live anthrax was brought into the Pentagon building itself, CNN has learned exclusively. The Pentagon Force Protection Agency, the Pentagon's police force, is one of the agencies that received ...
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CIA torture more 'brutal and sadistic' than Senate report disclosed - Telegraph.co.uk

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CIA torture more 'brutal and sadistic' than Senate report disclosed
The CIA's use of torture was far more “brutal and sadistic” than was disclosed in last year's controversial US Senate report into the agency's interrogation techniques, according to new information from a Guantanamo Bay detainee. The newly declassified ...
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Page 3

Chief Says IRS Struggles to Stay Ahead of Online Attackers - New York Times

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New York Times

Chief Says IRS Struggles to Stay Ahead of Online Attackers
New York Times
WASHINGTON — John Koskinen, the head of the Internal Revenue Service, on Tuesday attributed a recent online attack that exposed the information of more than 100,000 taxpayers to the agency's inability to keep up with increasingly sophisticated threats.
IRS failed to address computer security weaknesses, making attack on 104000 ...Washington Post (blog)
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Fierce fighting continues east of Aden, Yemen's second city

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From: AFP
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Yemen's southern port city of Aden is still the scene of clashes between Huthi Shiite rebels and Popular Resistance fighters, anti-rebel forces made up of pro-government fighters, Sunni tribes and southern separatists.
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Most Britons Want to Stay in EU, Poll Shows

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A significant majority of Britons would rather stay in the European Union than leave it, part of a surge in support for the bloc across the continent that stems from a slowly improving economy.

European Parliament Penalizes Russia Over Blacklist

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The European Parliament has taken measures against Russian officials in retaliation for Moscow's banning of 89 EU politicians from entering the country.

US Congress passes surveillance reform in vindication for Edward Snowden 

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Bulk collection of Americans’ phone records to end as US Senate passes USA Freedom Act
The US Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would end the bulk collection of millions of Americans’ phone records, the most significant surveillance reform for decades and a direct result of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations to the Guardian two years ago.
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Former Maryland man held at Guantanamo alleges CIA torture

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MIAMI (AP) -- A former Maryland resident imprisoned at Guantanamo was subjected to mistreatment while in CIA custody far in excess of what has previously been disclosed, including being hung from a wooden beam for three days and kept in total darkness for nearly a year, a legal organization that represents him said Wednesday....
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Page 4

Obama: Stalled peace process makes it harder for US to defend Israel at UN - Haaretz

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Obama: Stalled peace process makes it harder for US to defend Israel at UN
In interview with Israeli TV, Obama hints at possibility that U.S. won't veto French resolution on ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict at UN Security Council. By Barak Ravid and Yossi Verter | Jun. 2, 2015 | 10:24 PM ...
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Support for the European Union is Rising, Survey Suggests

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A poll carried out in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and Britain found that a more resilient European economy was helping to restore faith in the bloc.

Kremlin Critic Emerges From Coma

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Friends and allies of prominent Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr., who mysteriously fell ill with poisoning symptoms in Moscow, say he has regained consciousness after a weeklong coma.

Boston Police Fatally Shoot Knife-Wielding Terror Suspect

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Police in Boston shot and killed a terror suspect outside a drugstore Tuesday after he jumped at them with a large, military-style knife. Boston police and the FBI said the suspect was under 24-hour-a-day surveillance, but they have not specified why he was being watched. Police have not identified the suspect, but The Boston Globe newspaper and the Council on American-Islamic Relations said he was Usaama Rahim. Police said officers did not have their guns drawn when they approached...

Who created the Islamic State? George W. Bush, Blackwater, Barack Obama, all ... - Christian Science Monitor

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Christian Science Monitor

Who created the Islamic State? George W. Bush, Blackwater, Barack Obama, all ...
Christian Science Monitor
A host of characters is being blamed for helping to create the Middle Eastern terrorist group known as Islamic State. By Husna Haq, Correspondent June 2, 2015. close. This photo released on Saturday, May 31, 2015 by a militant website, which has been ...
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World Briefing: Egypt Says It Has Arrested 2 Senior Muslim Brotherhood Leaders 

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The leaders, Mahmoud Ghozlan and Abdul Rahman al-Barr, were arrested this week after evading the police for nearly two years, security officials said.
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Page 5

Sepp Blatter finally lets go of Fifa as FBI noose tightens

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After 17 years as virtual head of state, addicted to the power from ruling football’s top body, he accepted the inevitable and resigned – but he’s not going quite yet

On Friday, Sepp Blatter stood before the 209 members of the “Fifa family” that have become his fiefdom and giddily beamed: “Let’s go Fifa! Let’s go!”
Just a few days later, he stood before a sparsely attended, hastily convened press conference in Fifa’s £150m HQ and gloomily announced he would step down, bringing down the curtain on four decades at world football’s scandal-hit governing body and 17 as president.
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News Analysis: Greece’s Alliances Fade in European Debate About Its Debt Crisis 

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The promise of the leftist Greek government to roll back German-led austerity policies has met an unexpectedly unified opposition.

Open Source: Blatter’s Fall Leads to Rejoicing Online From His Critics 

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Sepp Blatter had the support of soccer officials but was broadly unpopular with fans of the game, so his fall was greeted with some glee.

​Senate passes NSA reform bill, the USA Freedom Act

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Senate rebuffs Senate GOP leaders' attempts to water down bill; Obama says he will sign it

Russia's economy contracts 4.2% in April - MarketWatch

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Omaha World-Herald

Russia's economy contracts 4.2% in April
MOSCOW--Russia's economic contraction deepened in April as its key drivers deteriorated, the economy ministry said Monday. Russia's gross domestic product contracted by 4.2% in April, compared with a year earlier, after shrinking by 2.7% in March. In ...
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Москва заявила о праве размещать ядерное оружие в Крыму - РБК

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Москва заявила о праве размещать ядерное оружие в Крыму
«Россия, безусловно, имеет право размещать, если потребуется, свои ядерные вооружения в любом месте на своей национальной территории, в том числе и на Крымском полуострове», — заявил Ульянов в интервью РИА Новости. Так он прокомментировал высказывания министра ... 
В Крыму может появиться ядерное оружиеУтро.Ru
МИД РФ рассказал про ядерное оружие в Крыму - имеем правоМосковский комсомолец
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