US Has ‘Four or Five’ Syrians Left Fighting Against ISIS

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 16:  Gen. Lloyd Austin III (R), commander of U.S. Central Command, and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Christine Wormuth testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the ongoing U.S. military operations to counter the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during a hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 16, 2015 in Washington, DC. Austin said that slow progress was still being made against ISIL but there have been setbacks, including the ambush of U.S.-trained fighters in Syria and the buildup of Russian forces in the country.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Gen. Austin Admits Training ‘Behind Schedule’

Testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committee today, Gen. Lloyd Austin, the head of Centcom, admitted that the pro-US Syrian rebel faction, dubbed the New Syrian Force (NSF) in most official contexts, is virtually gone now, with virtually everybody either killed or having fled.

syriaWhat was initially envisioned as a force of tens of thousands of anti-ISIS fighters amounted to only 54 to start with, and Gen. Austin told Congress today that they are down to “four or five” fighters still active in the field. Needless to say, it’s not going well.

Austin went on to say that the next two classes of NSF fighters are still being trained, though that training too is falling behind schedule. The indications are that these classes aren’t much bigger, 100-120 fighters all told. The pared-back goal of 5,000 fighters is likely still years off.

The general went on to say that they are “reviewing” the program, though since the Pentagon has repeatedly talked up the NSF as the end-all, be-all plan for victory in Syria, and has harshly resisted efforts to change the process, which they’ve invested tens of millions of dollars into for tens of fighters.

by Jason Ditz

Hillary Clinton Provided Material Assistance to Terrorists

In the course of my work at Fox News, I am often asked by colleagues to review and explain documents and statutes. Recently, in conjunction with my colleagues Catherine Herridge, our chief intelligence correspondent, and Pamela Browne, our senior executive producer, I read the transcripts of an interview Browne did with a man named Marc Turi, and Herridge asked me to review emails to and from State Department and congressional officials during the years when Hillary Clinton was the secretary of state.

What I saw has persuaded me beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty that Clinton provided material assistance to terrorists and lied to Congress in a venue where the law required her to be truthful. Here is the backstory.

Turi is a lawfully licensed American arms dealer. In 2011, he applied to the Departments of State and Treasury for approvals to sell arms to the government of Qatar. Qatar is a small Middle Eastern country whose government is so entwined with the U.S. government that it almost always will do what American government officials ask of it.

In its efforts to keep arms from countries and groups that might harm Americans and American interests, Congress has authorized the Departments of State and Treasury to be arms gatekeepers. They can declare a country or group to be a terrorist organization, in which case selling or facilitating the sale of arms to them is a felony. They also can license dealers to sell.

Turi sold hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of arms to the government of Qatar, which then, at the request of American government officials, were sold, bartered or given to rebel groups in Libya and Syria. Some of the groups that received the arms were on the U.S. terror list. Thus, the same State and Treasury Departments that licensed the sales also prohibited them.

How could that be?

That’s where Clinton’s secret State Department and her secret war come in. Because Clinton used her husband’s computer server for all of her email traffic while she was the secretary of state, a violation of three federal laws, few in the State Department outside her inner circle knew what she was up to.

Now we know.

She obtained permission from President Obama and consent from congressional leaders in both houses of Congress and in both parties to arm rebels in Syria and Libya in an effort to overthrow the governments of those countries.

Many of the rebels Clinton armed, using the weapons lawfully sold to Qatar by Turi and others, were terrorist groups who are our sworn enemies. There was no congressional declaration of war, no congressional vote, no congressional knowledge beyond fewer than a dozen members, and no federal statute that authorized this.

When Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., asked Clinton at a public hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Jan. 23, 2013, whether she knew about American arms shipped to the Middle East, to Turkey or to any other country, she denied any knowledge. It is unclear whether she was under oath at the time, but that is legally irrelevant. The obligation to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to Congress pertains to all witnesses who testify before congressional committees, whether an oath has been administered or not. (Just ask Roger Clemens, who was twice prosecuted for misleading Congress about the contents of his urine while not under oath. He was acquitted.)

Here is her relevant testimony.

Paul: My question is … is the U.S. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons … buying, selling … anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey … out of Libya?

Clinton: To Turkey? … I will have to take that question for the record. Nobody’s ever raised that with me. I, I…

Paul: It’s been in news reports that ships have been leaving from Libya and that they may have weapons … and what I’d like to know is … the (Benghazi) annex that was close by… Were they involved with procuring, buying, selling, obtaining weapons … and were any of these weapons transferred to other countries … any countries, Turkey included?

Clinton: Senator, you will have to direct that question to the agency that ran the (Benghazi) annex. And I will see what information is available and … ahhhh…

Paul: You are saying you don’t know…

Clinton: I do not know. I don’t have any information on that.

At the time that Clinton denied knowledge of the arms shipments, she and her State Department political designee Andrew Shapiro had authorized thousands of shipments of billions of dollars’ worth of arms to U.S. enemies to fight her secret war. Among the casualties of her war were U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three colleagues, who were assassinated at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, by rebels Clinton armed with American military hardware in violation of American law.

This secret war and the criminal behavior that animated it was the product of conspirators in the White House, the State Department, the Treasury Department, the Justice Department, the CIA and a tight-knit group of members of Congress. Their conspiracy has now unraveled. Where is the outrage among the balance of Congress?

Hillary Clinton lied to Congress, gave arms to terrorists and destroyed her emails. How much longer can she hide the truth? How much longer can her lawlessness go unchallenged and unprosecuted? Does she really think the American voters will overlook her criminal behavior and put her in the White House where she can pardon herself?

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written seven books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Lethal Threat to American Liberty. To find out more about Judge Napolitano and to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

Pentagon Found Only 60 Syrian Rebels for Training Scheme

White House Concedes That’s Probably Not Enough

From the moment Congress put aside a huge chunk of money to train a new faction of pro-US Syrian rebels, the plan has been heralded by officials as an eventual game-changer. The Pentagon was to train some 5,400 rebels a year, a figure they later revised down to about 3,000.
There was a lot of debate about whether 3,000 or even 5,000 new rebels would be a difference maker, but all that debate seems sort of silly as officials today revealed that after many months of careful vetting, they’ve found a grand total of 60 rebels to train.

Since the Pentagon pumped some $500 million into this training program, they are getting Syrian rebels for about $9 million each, a bad deal even by Pentagon standards. Pentagon officials conceded this was “below expectations.”

The White House also felt the need to address the matter, with a similar understatement in which they conceded that the 60 rebels they’re in the process of training is “not enough” to win the war against ISIS.

Haitian-Americans: Biden, Kerry, Bill & Hillary Accomplices in Human Rights Violations

PRESS RELEASE

Haitian Organizations in Brooklyn Accuse Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry; Bill and Hillary Clinton of being accomplices to the Mafia Government in Haiti

Brooklyn, NY, February 7, 2015 – Citizens Committee to Protect Haitians (CICOPHA) and Baz Ditmas Brooklyn accuse Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry; Bill & Hillary Clinton of being accomplices to the mafia government in Haiti.

Lawyers have already file charges in court against President Michel Martelly for violation such as: Corruption, protection of drug kingpins; protection of kidnappers, caused the death of a judge who ruled against President Martelly’s wife for corruption; theft of money slated for a variety of social programs, theft of money transfers from Haitians living in the Diaspora; theft of money from international phone calls, helped more than 300 prisoners escape from prison; associating with criminals, human rights violation and high treason. Furthermore, President Martelly has been in office for 4 years but has not organized a single election. Meanwhile, he has organized 7 carnivals.

In 2014, President Martelly and former Prime Minister Lamothe liberated more than 300 prisoners. Some are assassins, drug traffickers; kidnappers and rapists. The conditions have forced hundreds of thousands of people to go out into the streets to demand the arrest of Mr. Martelly and Lamothe; as well as the liberation of all the political prisoners. One would think that a country such as the United States that claim to support democracy would renounce such individuals. On the contrary the U.S. government supports them. According to Haitian newspaper Alterpresse, on October 23rd 2013, Vice President Joseph Biden spoke on the telephone with President Michel Martelly. He congratulated President Martelly for his effort in working with parliament to find a solution to the electoral crisis.

On December 16th 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry stated that he saluted the “courageous effort” of President Martelly to find a solution to the electoral crisis. About 3 years ago, a picture of the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Pamela White was posted on Facebook walking hand in waist with former Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe at a carnival. On January 11th 2015, the Ambassador sat in the chambers of parliament assisting during a night session. On February 5th 2015, the Ambassador met with 6 of the 10 Senators who’s term had not expired to talk about the elections. Bill Clinton took more then $10 billion of Haitian reconstruction money. We want to see all the receipts! the question is would the U.S. government allow Ambassadors of China and Russia to sit in the Halls of Congress?

We demand the U.S. government to stop violating international norms and conventions immediately! We’re asking the U.S. Attorney General Mr. Eric Holder to launch an inquiry on Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry; Bill & Hillary Clinton for interfering in the internal politics of Haiti. We reserve the right to file lawsuits in Federal Court in the U.S. as well as World Court against all foreigners collaborating with the Haitian mafia government; whoever they are and wherever they may be. We demand the immediate departure of all foreign forces on the land of Emperor Jean Jacques Dessalines. It includes UN & US occupation troops. We demand reparations for all the victims of the cholera epidemic unleashed on the Haitian population by the U.N. occupation troops.

The future legitimate government of Haiti will declare null and void all contracts signed by this fascist regime to exploit Haiti’s natural and unexplored resources such as: Gold, petroleum; aluminum; marble, copper; zirconium, natural gas; iridium and uranium. That makes Haiti perhaps the richest country on the face of the planet; contrary to the worldwide propaganda that Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The Haitian State will confiscate all lands bought by foreigners under this fascist regime which is a violation of the Haitian constitution. To end, there is a Haitian Creole proverb which states that “Haiti is extremely slippery ground like quicksand”; and as such, a stranger must tread very carefully on such ground without being sucked in.

Citizens Committee to Protect Haitians (CICOPHA) is a social-political organization recognized in the State of New York. Our mission is to defend the interest of Haitian and Haitian-descent people throughout the world.
Contact: Guinsly Etienne / Spokesperson
Citizens Committee to Protect Haitians
237 Flatbush Avenue #199
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Email: [email protected]

Drone Pilots Are Exhausted and Suffering From PTSD

Drone Pilots Are Exhausted and Suffering From PTSD

On Tuesday, The New York Times published the latest look at drone pilots. These Unmanned Aerial Vehicle operators are suffering such a high rate of exhaustion and stress that the US Air Force has been forced to cut drone missions down from a high of about 65 a week. They also currently have about 500 fewer pilots than they need.

Though they get to fight their wars in safety, and see their families every night, these new type of soldiers suffer from a surprisingly high burnout rate, and equivalent levels of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to fighter pilots. And though when that news first broke two years ago, the temptation to be withering and unsympathetic was strong (okay, maybe that was just me), perhaps that kind of a mental reaction says something vital about the dangers of war to the human soul. Even people who aren’t themselves in danger suffer when they’re killing innocent people.

dronePart of the stress comes from the fact that these 1200 pilots are not in a battlefield setting. Strangely, but logically, controlling a surveillance and/or killing machine from thousands of miles away, concern about backing up manned personal, or more likely, worrying whether you’re hitting a would-be terrorist or some innocent civilians is stressful, no matter if you are safe in some bunker in Nevada. Seeing your spouse and kids a few hours later heightens the alienation inherent in such a job. You’re on duty, but you’re at home. It has to be disconcerting. After all, PTSD doesn’t tend to be about cracking up on the battlefield. It’s about dealing with a banal job or life after you’ve been trained to be on edge all the time. These pilots have to do that daily in a manner which must feel like psychological whiplash.

Additionally, there aren’t really “enough” drone pilots, so the ones who are there are drained and exhausted. Why, though? In a 2013 New York Times piece, one of the co-authors of a Defense Department study offered this explanation, “Remotely piloted aircraft pilots may stare at the same piece of ground for days. They witness the carnage. Manned aircraft pilots don’t do that. They get out of there as soon as possible.” That makes sense. For the 100 years that airplanes have been dropping death from above, the policy tends to be do your thing and then get home as fast as possible. Drones and the eyes of their operators just linger indefinitely.

The constant presence of drones adds to the psychological torment of the people who live under their invisible shadow. It makes sense that it would be more stressful for the would-be killers as well.

A piece reposted at Salon back in March reports that drone pilots fly more than three times as many man hours as other pilots. The latter tend to look down on the former as well, implying that they’re just nerdy gamers playing, not real pilots. And even for the antiwar person, there is a temptation to look especially disdainfully at the chickenhawk. Even a bomber pilot is risking their own life when they go out on a mission. Drone pilots go home at night every night. Poor babies, right? Just stop.

And more and more people wish they would do just that. In April, the website knowdrones.org aired 15 second TV spots that urged drone operators to quit. Now, the group – which includes ex-military people – has put together a letter that urges the same thing. The letter says that drone attacks are against the law, and the 6,000 casualties are “undermining principles of international law and human rights.”

It’s terrific to see this effort going forward, but it’s impossible to feel optimistic about being able to reverse the progress of military drones. They are a cheap, easy way to keep literally a constant presence in countries with which the US isn’t even at war. Someday a terrorist may well use drones in their own form of blowback, but not even then is the US likely to reconsider their new toys. If they literally had nobody left to fly the drones, however, that would stop them from murdering.

It is murder. And that has to be part of why the operators feel so beaten down. One has to hope they know what they are doing and it has an effect on their psyches. In combat, the eventual suffer of PTSD is in peril. Perhaps they are worried about their fellow soldiers and being able to have their backs if necessary. The latter issue may come into play for drone pilots, but the former never does. And pictures clear enough to see the pink mist that was once a human – perhaps a nameless one, tracked from cell phone signal or suspicious patterns that might mean a terrorist gathering or a wedding is coming together – seem to be enough to damage the person who did the deed from thousands of miles away.

As I wrote last year, as much as it is unfortunate to have more people in mental distress, it does bode well for humanity that war hurts them. Not the “goodness” of World War II, nor the safety of drone war today will stop a soldier from feeling something if they take a life.

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