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The Tennessee shooter has been taking a lot of news outlet time over the past few days. What have you missed while this has been going on?
Oh, just Mind control, insanity in the administration, and the continuing erosion of our rights.
We talk about these things and more in this episode of Open Eyes. You will not want to miss it!
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The CIA’s armed drones and paramilitary forces have killed dozens of al-Qaeda leaders and thousands of its foot soldiers. But there is another mysterious organization that has killed even more of America’s enemies in the decade since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
CIA operatives have imprisoned and interrogated nearly 100 suspected terrorists in their former secret prisons around the world, but troops from this other secret organization have imprisoned and interrogated 10 times as many, holding them in jails that it alone controls in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Since 9/11, this secretive group of men (and a few women) has grown tenfold while sustaining a level of obscurity that not even the CIA has managed. “We’re the dark matter. We’re the force that orders the universe but can’t be seen,” a strapping Navy SEAL, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said in describing his unit.
The SEALs are just part of the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command, known by the acronym JSOC, which has grown from a rarely used hostage rescue team into America’s secret army. When members of this elite force killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May, JSOC leaders celebrated not just the success of the mission but also how few people knew their command, based in Fayetteville, N.C., even existed.
This article, adapted from a chapter of the newly released “Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State,” by Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and William M. Arkin, chronicles JSOC’s spectacular rise, much of which has not been publicly disclosed before. Two presidents and three secretaries of defense routinely have asked JSOC to mount intelligence-gathering missions and lethal raids, mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in countries with which the United States was not at war, including Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines, Nigeria and Syria.
“The CIA doesn’t have the size or the authority to do some of the things we can do,” said one JSOC operator.
The president has given JSOC the rare authority to select individuals for its kill list — and then to kill, rather than capture, them. Critics charge that this individual man-hunting mission amounts to assassination, a practice prohibited by U.S. law. JSOC’s list is not usually coordinated with the CIA, which maintains a similar but shorter roster of names.
Created in 1980 but reinvented in recent years, JSOC has grown from 1,800 troops prior to 9/11 to as many as 25,000, a number that fluctuates according to its mission. It has its own intelligence division, its own drones and reconnaissance planes, even its own dedicated satellites. It also has its own cyberwarriors, who, on Sept. 11, 2008, shut down every jihadist Web site they knew.
Obscurity has been one of the unit’s hallmarks. When JSOC officers are working in civilian government agencies or U.S. embassies abroad, which they do often, they dispense with uniforms, unlike their other military comrades. In combat, they wear no name or rank identifiers. They have hidden behind various nicknames: the Secret Army of Northern Virginia, Task Force Green, Task Force 11, Task Force 121. JSOC leaders almost never speak in public. They have no unclassified Web site.
Despite the secrecy, JSOC is not permitted to carry out covert action as the CIA can. Covert action, in which the U.S. role is to be kept hidden, requires a presidential finding and congressional notification. Many national security officials, however, say JSOC’s operations are so similar to the CIA’s that they amount to covert action. The unit takes its orders directly from the president or the secretary of defense and is managed and overseen by a military-only chain of command.
The U.S. deputy secretary of Homeland Security and the top Israeli official handling cybersecurity cosigned a statement committing to U.S-Israel cooperation in the area.
Alejandro Mayorkas and Eviatar Matania, who heads the Israel National Cyber Bureau “signed a joint statement reaffirming the United States and Israel’s commitment to promote cooperation and information sharing on cybersecurity and cyber research and development,” said a statement by the Department of Homeland Security released July 17, a day after Mayorkas returned from an Israel tour.
The statement said Mayorkas and his Israeli counterparts discussed “a range of homeland security-related issues including cybersecurity, law enforcement cooperation, immigration, and aviation security.”
Mayorkas toured Ben Gurion Airport “to view passenger and cargo security operations and to review the areas of close cooperation between DHS and the Israeli government on aviation and airport security.”
Mayorkas met during his Israel tour with top IDF officials handling cybersecurity as well as Gilad Erdan, the minister of public security, Tzipi Hotovely, the deputy minister of foreign affairs, Interior Minister Silvan Shalom and Tzachi Hanegbi, the chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Police in California are hunting tonight for 30-year-old Modesto resident Martin Martinez in connection with what appears to be a gruesome and horrifying mass slaying in a home located on Nob Hill Court in the Central Valley city of about 200,000. Police say that they fear Martinez is “armed and dangerous,” though as of late Saturday night, they are calling him only a “person of interest” in the grisly crime, not a “suspect.”
UPDATE 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time: Martinez was “located” early Sunday morning by police in San Jose, California, about 80 miles west of Modesto. Police had not yet said whether Martinez was arrested, or even if he was found alive or dead, stating only, “The investigation in ongoing. No further details available.”
UPDATE 1:20 P.M. Pacific Time: Police now say that Martinez has been arrested and charged with murder. The five victims he is charged with killing were all female, and included a baby and two girls younger than six years old, as well as two adult women. All of the victims were members of the same family, police confirmed. While police did not give a motive for the horrific massacre, they said that Martinez was the father of one of the children and had previously been in a relationship with one of the adult women he is now alleged to have killed.
While checking on the home along the 2600 block of Nob Hill Court at about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 18, responding to a request from a worried family member for a check on the inhabitants’ well-being, police made the sickening discovery of five bodies in the home, including three children.
But police remain tight-lipped with any further details. The identities of the five victims, including their relationship — if they have one — to Martin Martinez remains unclear, and while presumably the investigators who have spent the night combing through the home know, they aren’t saying. Yet.
The police have not even confirmed whether any or all of the victims lived in the house.
“This is quite a large crime scene, especially with five deceased,” said Modesto Police public information officer Heather Graves, speaking to reporters who descended on the location of the apparent mass killing Saturday night. “They’re still analyzing the scene and getting information.”
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley apologized Saturday for saying “all lives matter” after he was interrupted by protesters chanting “black lives matter” at a Netroots Nation conference, a gathering of liberal activists, in Phoenix.
“That was a mistake on my part, and I meant no disrespect,” O’Malley said in an online interview after the event. “I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue.”
O’Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders were taking part in a presidential town hall when several dozen protesters interrupted the session, demanding the Democratic candidates address recent cases of brutality against African-Americans by white police officers.
“All lives matter” has been used by some in response, angering those who say such a reply misses the point.
“When some people rejoin with ‘all lives matter,’ they misunderstand the problem, but not because their message is untrue,” Judith Butler, a comparative literature professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told the New York Times earlier this year. “It is true that all lives matter, but it is equally true that not all lives are understood to matter, which is precisely why it is most important to name the lives that have not mattered and are struggling to matter in the way they deserve.
Butler added, “Claiming that ‘all lives matter’ does not immediately mark or enable black lives, only because they have not been fully recognized as having lives that matter.”
O’Malley isn’t the first Democratic hopeful to come under fire for using the “all lives matter” phrase. Last month, Hillary Clinton was criticized for using it at a historic black church in Florissant, Mo., less than five miles away from Ferguson:
Before using the phrase, Clinton was retelling an anecdote about the lessons she learned from her mother.
“I asked her, ‘What kept you going?’ Her answer was very simple. Kindness along the way from someone who believed she mattered. All lives matter.”
Once again, another convenient shooting has helped supercharge anger, hatred, fear, and division across the Western World after an alleged “Islamist extremist” opened fire on and killed 4 US Marines at a recruiting station in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Without any knowledge of how the US has in fact created Al Qaeda and its many global affiliates, including vicious terrorist groups plaguing Southeast Asia, and the most notorious to date, the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS), the American public will predictably react in a manner that will simply further justify America’s meddling across the globe amid its self-created and perpetuated “War on Terror.” It will also help in efforts to further tighten control over the American public itself, with increased justifications for expanding police state measures and future pushes to disarm the American people.
If, in fact, the FBI has been tracking this family for years, why were they unable to prevent the tragedy in Chattanooga last week?!?
Either this agency, charged with protecting Americans, is the most sloppy, pathetically incapable bunch of people ever to work for this agency, who should be collectively and immediately fired en masse, or…there was some kind of foreknowledge, and this horrific act was allowed to happen.
And unfortunately, this wouldn’t be the first time something like this happened.
As reported at firstlook.org in January of this year:
he Justice Department on Wednesday issued a press release trumpeting its latest success in disrupting a domestic terrorism plot, announcing that “the Joint Terrorism Task Force has arrested a Cincinnati-area man for a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol and kill government officials.” The alleged would-be terrorist is 20-year-old Christopher Cornell (above), who is unemployed, lives at home, spends most of his time playing video games in his bedroom, still addresses his mother as “Mommy” and regards his cat as his best friend; he was described as “a typical student” and “quiet but not overly reserved” by the principal of the local high school he graduated in 2012. The affidavit filed by an FBI investigative agent alleges Cornell had “posted comments and information supportive of [ISIS] through Twitter accounts.” The FBI learned about Cornell from an unnamed informant who, as the FBI put it, “began cooperating with the FBI in order to obtain favorable treatment with respect to his criminal exposure on an unrelated case.” Acting under the FBI’s direction, the informant arranged two in-person meetings with Cornell where they allegedly discussed an attack on the Capitol, and the FBI says it arrested Cornell to prevent him from carrying out the attack. he known facts from this latest case seem to fit well within a now-familiar FBI pattern whereby the agency does not disrupt planned domestic terror attacks but rather creates them, then publicly praises itself for stopping its own plots. First, they target a Muslim: not due to any evidence of intent or capability to engage in terrorism, but rather for the “radical” political views he expresses. In most cases, the Muslim targeted by the FBI is a very young (late teens, early 20s), adrift, unemployed loner who has shown no signs of mastering basic life functions, let alone carrying out a serious terror attack, and has no known involvement with actual terrorist groups
Sorry, folks: but if the FBI was allegedly following this family for years, there is no middle ground possible here whatsoever.
And the other question that nags me is, rather than shoot to kill, would it not have been more logical to shoot to wound, so that this man could be interrogated, to find out if he was a “lone wolf”, or part of a larger organization?!?
It almost appears that the people in control of the situation did not want the public to know anything which would disturb the official narrative here; and I find that very troubling as well.
The governors of Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Indiana on Saturday ordered National Guard members at offices and other facilities to be armed in the wake of attacks that left five servicemen dead in Tennessee.
“It is painful enough when we lose members of our armed forces when they are sent in harm’s way, but it is unfathomable that they should be vulnerable for attack in our own communities,” Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said in a statement.
Governors Rick Scott of Florida, Greg Abbott of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Mike Pence of Indiana issued similar orders for National Guard members after four U.S. Marines and a Navy petty officer were shot and killed on Thursday in Chattanooga, Tennessee. One site where the shootings occurred was a recruiting office in a strip mall.
All six of the governors are Republican.
In Florida, Scott ordered six storefront Florida National Guard recruiting centers to be moved to the nearest Guard armory buildings.
The governor said Guard members who do not carry weapons should get them and obtain expedited concealed weapon permits, if necessary.
In his executive order, Scott said bulletproof glass and better video surveillance equipment are among steps that should be considered to make recruiting offices safer.
Pence ordered the arming of military personnel at all Indiana National Guard facilities and recruiting storefronts, and Oklahoma Governor Fallin’s office said her executive order also included military recruiting offices.
Military personnel in uniform would not usually have authorization to carry a personal weapon while working in recruiting offices, the Pentagon said on Friday.
“It has become clear that our military personnel must have the ability to defend themselves against these type of attacks on our own soil,” Abbott said in a news release.