Multiple women in relationships with Imran Awan, the indicted former IT aide for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have recently called Virginia law enforcement and alleged being abused by him, police reports obtained under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act show.
Officers found one of the women bloodied and she told them she “just wanted to leave,” while the second said she felt like a “slave,” according to Fairfax County Police reports obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group. A third woman claimed she was being kept “in captivity.”
The third woman is Awan’s stepmother, Samina Gilani, who said in court documents that Awan invoked his authority as a congressional employee to intimidate immigrant women, in part by telling them he had the power to have people kidnapped.
All but two of the nearly two dozen Democratic women Awan worked for in the House declined to comment on the police reports.
Wasserman Schultz, the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, refused to fire Awan for months after his Feb. 2, 2017 banishment from the House computer network due to his being a suspect in a criminal investigation by the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police into a major cybersecurity breach.
Wasserman Schultz said that “as a mother, a Jew, and a member of Congress,” she wanted to defend his rights, a sentiment echoed by Rep. Marcia Fudge, an Ohio Democrat. Rep. Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat. Wasserman Schultz also claimed allegations against Awan might stem from Islamophobia. All three women are Muslim.
Awan’s attorney, Chris Gowen, a former aide to Bill and Hillary Clinton, has blasted journalists covering the investigation. The press “should be reminded that Imran Awan is a husband and a father, not a political pawn,” Gowen said.
Awan’s attorneys declined to comment to TheDCNF on the police reports.
Neither of the other two women who complained are married to Awan, though both were apparently in relationships with him. Awan’s wife, Hina Alvi, worked as an IT aide for dozens of members of Congress, including Wasserman Schultz. The two women who called the police both lived in the same Alexandria, Va., complex but in different apartments for which Imran paid.
A crying Salam Chaudry called police in December 2015 to the Manitoba Apartment complex for a “domestic dispute,” according to a Fairfax County police report.
The investigating officer wrote that “Imran Awan was not supposed to live there and [Chaudry] wanted him to leave … It appeared that the two people were in a romantic relationship. Ms. Salam had a [redacted] that she said happened when she was doing dishes. Ms. Salam said she just wanted to leave and go to a shelter as she has no money. Ms. Salam has two children that were both at the residence both under the age of 8.”
The officer wrote that he “asked Ms. Salam why she was crying and calling police. Ms. Salam insisted nothing happened but that she wanted to leave. I went and spoke to Mr. Awan who quickly advised that he wanted to speak with a lawyer.”
“I asked him about the small amount of dried blood that appeared to be on his left hand,” the officer wrote. “He stated that it was from when his ‘roommate’ was getting the phone from him … After he left, I stayed and spoke with Ms. Salam about getting a protective order.”
Samara Siddique told authorities in a July 18, 2016 police report that “her boyfriend treat her bad and keep her there like a slave … [she] wants him out of her life. Ms. Siddique wanted info on how to obtain a restraining order against him.” The July 18 incident was the third time in less than a year police had responded to altercations between Siddique and Awan, once finding “small cut[s] on stomach and arm.”
The stepmother, Gilani, said on page 22 of this court document that after she had called the police, “Imran Awan showed up and threatened me for calling the police. Mr. Shahid Imran Awan threatened that he is very powerful and if I ever call the police [he] will do harm to me and my family members back in Pakistan and one of my cousins here in Baltimore.”
She continued: “Imran Awan did admit to me that my phone is tapped and there are devices installed in my house to listen my all conversations … Imran Awan introduces himself as someone from US Congress or someone from federal agencies … Imran Awan manages to have police mobile based on his position in US congress or Federal Agencies to escort him during his visit to Pakistan.”
Separately, Gilani told TheDCNF that Imran “captivated me in house for a long time.” She accused him of storing ill-gotten money in his father’s name, and said that as she mourned the father’s death, Imran was focused on getting her to sign papers giving him rights to that money.
Mass surveillance is about control. It’s promulgators may well claim, and even believe, that it is about control for the greater good, a control that is needed to keep a cap on disorder, to be fully vigilant to the next threat. But in a context of rampant political corruption, widening economic inequalities, and escalating resource stress due to climate change and energy volatility, mass surveillance can become a tool of power to merely perpetuate itself, at the public’s expense.
A major function of mass surveillance that is often overlooked is that of knowing the adversary to such an extent that they can be manipulated into defeat. The problem is that the adversary is not just terrorists. It’s you and me. To this day, the role of information warfare as propaganda has been in full swing, though systematically ignored by much of the media.
Here, INSURGE INTELLIGENCE exposes how the Pentagon Highlands Forum’s co-optation of tech giants like Google to pursue mass surveillance, has played a key role in secret efforts to manipulate the media as part of an information war against the American government, the American people, and the rest of the world: to justify endless war, and ceaseless military expansionism.
MIIS CySec is formally partnered with the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum through an MoU signed between the provost and Forum president Richard O’Neill, while the initiative itself is funded by George C. Lee: the Goldman Sachs executive who led the billion dollar valuations of Facebook, Google, eBay, and other tech companies.
Cooper’s eye-opening paper is no longer available at the MIIS site, but a final version of it is available via the logs of a public national security conferencehosted by the American Bar Association. Currently, Cooper is chief innovation officer at SAIC/Leidos, which is among a consortium of defense technology firms including Booz Allen Hamilton and others contracted to develop NSA surveillance capabilities.
The Highlands Forum briefing for the NSA chief was commissioned under contract by the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, and based on concepts developed at previous Forum meetings. It was presented to Gen. Alexander at a “closed session” of the Highlands Forum moderated by MIIS Cysec director, Dr. Itamara Lochard, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC.
Like Rumsfeld’s IO roadmap, Cooper’s NSA briefing described “digital information systems” as both a “great source of vulnerability” and “powerful tools and weapons” for “national security.” He advocated the need for US cyber intelligence to maximize “in-depth knowledge” of potential and actual adversaries, so they can identify “every potential leverage point” that can be exploited for deterrence or retaliation. “Networked deterrence” requires the US intelligence community to develop “deep understanding and specific knowledge about the particular networks involved and their patterns of linkages, including types and strengths of bonds,” as well as using cognitive and behavioural science to help predict patterns. His paper went on to essentially set out a theoretical architecture for modelling data obtained from surveillance and social media mining on potential “adversaries” and “counterparties.”
A year after this briefing with the NSA chief, Michele Weslander Quaid — another Highlands Forum delegate — joined Google to become chief technology officer, leaving her senior role in the Pentagon advising the undersecretary of defense for intelligence. Two months earlier, the Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force on Defense Intelligence published its report on Counterinsurgency (COIN), Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (IRS) Operations. Quaid was among the government intelligence experts who advised and briefed the Defense Science Board Task Force in preparing the report. Another expert who briefed the Task Force was Highlands Forum veteran Linton Wells. The DSB report itself had been commissioned by Bush appointee James Clapper, then undersecretary of defense for intelligence — who had also commissioned Cooper’s Highlands Forum briefing to Gen. Alexander. Clapper is now Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, in which capacity he lied under oath to Congress by claiming in March 2013 that the NSA does not collect any data at all on American citizens.
Michele Quaid’s track record across the US military intelligence community was to transition agencies into using web tools and cloud technology. The imprint of her ideas are evident in key parts of the DSB Task Force report, which described its purpose as being to “influence investment decisions” at the Pentagon “by recommending appropriate intelligence capabilities to assess insurgencies, understand a population in their environment, and support COIN operations.”
The report named 24 countries in South and Southeast Asia, North and West Africa, the Middle East and South America, which would pose “possible COIN challenges” for the US military in coming years. These included Pakistan, Mexico, Yemen, Nigeria, Guatemala, Gaza/West Bank, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, among other “autocratic regimes.” The report argued that “economic crises, climate change, demographic pressures, resource scarcity, or poor governance could cause these states (or others) to fail or become so weak that they become targets for aggressors/insurgents.” From there, the “global information infrastructure” and “social media” can rapidly “amplify the speed, intensity, and momentum of events” with regional implications. “Such areas could become sanctuaries from which to launch attacks on the US homeland, recruit personnel, and finance, train, and supply operations.”
The imperative in this context is to increase the military’s capacity for “left of bang” operations — before the need for a major armed forces commitment — to avoid insurgencies, or pre-empt them while still in incipient phase. The report goes on to conclude that “the Internet and social media are critical sources of social network analysis data in societies that are not only literate, but also connected to the Internet.” This requires “monitoring the blogosphere and other social media across many different cultures and languages” to prepare for “population-centric operations.”
The Pentagon must also increase its capacity for “behavioral modeling and simulation” to “better understand and anticipate the actions of a population” based on “foundation data on populations, human networks, geography, and other economic and social characteristics.” Such “population-centric operations” will also “increasingly” be needed in “nascent resource conflicts, whether based on water-crises, agricultural stress, environmental stress, or rents” from mineral resources. This must include monitoring “population demographics as an organic part of the natural resource framework.”
Other areas for augmentation are “overhead video surveillance,” “high resolution terrain data,” “cloud computing capability,” “data fusion” for all forms of intelligence in a “consistent spatio-temporal framework for organizing and indexing the data,” developing “social science frameworks” that can “support spatio-temporal encoding and analysis,” “distributing multi-form biometric authentication technologies [“such as fingerprints, retina scans and DNA samples”] to the point of service of the most basic administrative processes” in order to “tie identity to all an individual’s transactions.” In addition, the academy must be brought in to help the Pentagon develop “anthropological, socio-cultural, historical, human geographical, educational, public health, and many other types of social and behavioral science data and information” to develop “a deep understanding of populations.”
A few months after joining Google, Quaid represented the company in August 2011 at the Pentagon’s Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Customer and Industry Forum. The forum would provide “the Services, Combatant Commands, Agencies, coalition forces” the “opportunity to directly engage with industry on innovative technologies to enable and ensure capabilities in support of our Warfighters.” Participants in the event have been integral to efforts to create a “defense enterprise information environment,” defined as “an integrated platform which includes the network, computing, environment, services, information assurance, and NetOps capabilities,” enabling warfighters to “connect, identify themselves, discover and share information, and collaborate across the full spectrum of military operations.” Most of the forum panelists were DoD officials, except for just four industry panelists including Google’s Quaid.
DISA officials have attended the Highlands Forum, too — such as Paul Friedrichs, a technical director and chief engineer of DISA’s Office of the Chief Information Assurance Executive.
Knowledge is Power
Given all this it is hardly surprising that in 2012, a few months after Highlands Forum co-chair Regina Dugan left DARPA to join Google as a senior executive, then NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander was emailing Google’s founding executive Sergey Brin to discuss information sharing for national security. In those emails, obtained under Freedom of Information by investigative journalist Jason Leopold, Gen. Alexander described Google as a “key member of [the US military’s] Defense Industrial Base,” a position Michele Quaid was apparently consolidating. Brin’s jovial relationship with the former NSA chief now makes perfect sense given that Brin had been in contact with representatives of the CIA and NSA, who partly funded and oversaw his creation of the Google search engine, since the mid-1990s.
In July 2014, Quaid spoke at a US Army panel on the creation of a “rapid acquisition cell” to advance the US Army’s “cyber capabilities” as part of the Force 2025 transformation initiative. She told Pentagon officials that “many of the Army’s 2025 technology goals can be realized with commercial technology available or in development today,” re-affirming that “industry is ready to partner with the Army in supporting the new paradigm.” Around the same time, most of the media was trumpeting the idea that Google was trying to distance itself from Pentagon funding, but in reality, Google has switched tactics to independently develop commercial technologies which would have military applications the Pentagon’s transformation goals.
Yet Quaid is hardly the only point-person in Google’s relationship with the US military intelligence community.
One year after Google bought the satellite mapping software Keyhole from CIA venture capital firm In-Q-Tel in 2004, In-Q-Tel’s director of technical assessment Rob Painter — who played a key role in In-Q-Tel’s Keyhole investment in the first place — moved to Google. At In-Q-Tel, Painter’s work focused on identifying, researching and evaluating “new start-up technology firms that were believed to offer tremendous value to the CIA, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency.” Indeed, the NGA had confirmed that its intelligence obtained via Keyhole was used by the NSA to support US operations in Iraq from 2003 onwards.
A former US Army special operations intelligence officer, Painter’s new job at Google as of July 2005 was federal manager of what Keyhole was to become: Google Earth Enterprise. By 2007, Painter had become Google’s federal chief technologist.
That year, Painter told the Washington Post that Google was “in the beginning stages” of selling advanced secret versions of its products to the US government. “Google has ramped up its sales force in the Washington area in the past year to adapt its technology products to the needs of the military, civilian agencies and the intelligence community,” the Post reported. The Pentagon was already using a version of Google Earth developed in partnership with Lockheed Martin to “display information for the military on the ground in Iraq,” including “mapping out displays of key regions of the country” and outlining “Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, as well as US and Iraqi military bases in the city. Neither Lockheed nor Google would say how the geospatial agency uses the data.” Google aimed to sell the government new “enhanced versions of Google Earth” and “search engines that can be used internally by agencies.”
White House records leaked in 2010 showed that Google executives had held several meetings with senior US National Security Council officials. Alan Davidson, Google’s government affairs director, had at least three meetings with officials of the National Security Council in 2009, including White House senior director for Russian affairs Mike McFaul and Middle East advisor Daniel Shapiro. It also emerged from a Google patent application that the company had deliberately been collecting ‘payload’ data from private wifi networks that would enable the identification of “geolocations.” In the same year, we now know, Google had signed an agreement with the NSA giving the agency open-ended access to the personal information of its users, and its hardware and software, in the name of cyber security — agreements that Gen. Alexander was busy replicating with hundreds of telecoms CEOs around the country.
Thus, it is not just Google that is a key contributor and foundation of the US military-industrial complex: it is the entire Internet, and the wide range of private sector companies — many nurtured and funded under the mantle of the US intelligence community (or powerful financiers embedded in that community) — which sustain the Internet and the telecoms infrastructure; it is also the myriad of start-ups selling cutting edge technologies to the CIA’s venture firm In-Q-Tel, where they can then be adapted and advanced for applications across the military intelligence community. Ultimately, the global surveillance apparatus and the classified tools used by agencies like the NSA to administer it, have been almost entirely made by external researchers and private contractors like Google, which operate outside the Pentagon.
A CIA whistleblower, Kevin Shipp, has emerged from the wolves den to expose the deep state and the shadow government which he calls two entirely separate entities.
“The shadow government controls the deep state and manipulates our elected government behind the scenes,” Shipp warned in a recent talk at a Geoengineeringwatch.org conference.
Shipp had a series of slides explaining how the deep state and shadow government functions as well as the horrific crimes they are committing against U.S. citizens.
Some of the revelations the former CIA anti-terrorism counter intelligence officer revealed included that “Google Earth was set up through the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and InQtel.” Indeed he is correct, the CIA and NGA owned the company Google acquired, Keyhole Inc., paying an undisclosed sum for the company to turn its tech into what we now know as Google Earth. Another curious investor in Keyhole Inc. was none other than the venture capital firm In-Q-Tel run by the CIA according to a press release at the time.
Shipp also disclosed that the agency known as the Joint Special Ops Command (JSOC) is the “president’s secret army” which he can use for secret assassinations, overturning governments and things the American people don’t know about.
FBI warrantless searches violate the Fourth Amendment with national security letters, which Shipp noted enables them to walk into your employer’s office and demand all your financial records and if he or she says anything about them being there they can put your supervisor in jail or drop a case against themselves using the “State’s Secret Privilege law.”
“The top of the shadow government is the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency,” Shipp said.
Shipp expressed that the CIA was created through the Council on Foreign relations with no congressional approval, and historically the CFR is also tied into the mainstream media (MSM.) He elaborated that the CIA was the “central node” of the shadow government and controlled all of other 16 intelligence agencies despite the existence of the DNI. The agency also controls defense and intelligence contractors, can manipulate the president and political decisions, has the power to start wars, torture, initiate coups, and commit false flag attacks he said.
As Shipp stated, the CIA was created through executive order by then President Harry Truman by the signing of the National Security Act of 1947.
According to Shipp, the deep state is comprised of the military industrial complex, intelligence contractors, defense contractors, MIC lobbyist, Wall St (offshore accounts), Federal Reserve, IMF/World Bank, Treasury, Foreign lobbyists, and Central Banks.
In the shocking, explosive presentation, Shipp went on to express that there are “over 10,000 secret sites in the U.S.” that formed after 9/11. There are “1,291 secret government agencies, 1,931 large private corporations and over 4,800,000 Americans that he knows of who have a secrecy clearance, and 854,000 who have Top Secret clearance, explaining they signed their lives away bound by an agreement.
He also detailed how Congress is owned by the Military Industrial Complex through the Congressional Armed Services Committee (48 senior members of Congress) giving those members money in return for a vote on the spending bill for the military and intelligence budget.
He even touched on what he called the “secret intelligence industrial complex,” which he called the center of the shadow government including the CIA, NSA, NRO, and NGA.
Shipp further stated that around the “secret intelligence industrial complex” you have the big five conglomerate of intelligence contractors – Leidos Holdings, CSRA, CACI, SAIC, and Booz Allen Hamilton. He noted that the work they do is “top secret and unreported.”
The whistleblower remarked that these intelligence contractors are accountable to no one including Congress, echoing the words of Senator Daniel Inouye when he himself blew the whistle on the shadow government during the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987.
At the time Inouye expressed that the “shadow government had its own funding mechanism, shadowy Navy, and Air Force freedom to pursue its own goals free from all checks and balances and free from the law itself.”
High Ranking CIA Agent Blows Whistle On The Deep State And Shadow Government
When it comes to 9/11, there are two groups of people: those who don’t know exactly what happened, and those who orchestrated it.
Nearly everyone on earth belongs in the former category, but a lot of folks like to pretend they have a rock solid understanding of the events which transpired on that fateful day in 2001. Scoffing mainstream adherents like to pretend they’re confident that the official narrative is accurate, but they aren’t. A lot of hardcore conspiracy analysts like to pretend they know the real story, but they don’t. There’s simply not enough publicly available information for anyone to be certain exactly how things went down that day; all we can know for sure is that (A) the official story is riddled with plot holes, and (B) the American power establishment has an extensive and well-documented history of using false flags and propaganda to manipulate the public into supporting evil acts of military interventionism.
If you think you know for a fact that the official story of what happened on September 11, 2001 is the true account and that all conspiracy theories have been “debunked”, you are ignorant. If you think you know the precise details of how what really happened differs from the official story, you’ve spent way too much time diving down conspiracy theory rabbit holes and should probably ease off the weed. There’s no need to get all defensive and go bedding yourself down to one hard doctrine of certainty when the US power establishment has already discredited itself so thoroughly. It’s unnecessary to plunge deep into theory when these people’s track record is so firmly established in fact.
Here are just a few of the times the US government is known to have distorted the reality of events in order to manufacture public support for military intervention, which is per definition what a false flag is:
The False Nayirah Testimony
On October 10, 1990 a 15 year-old girl known only as Nayirah testified before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus about the horrors that Iraqi troops were inflicting upon the people of Kuwait. Her testimony that hundreds of babies had been taken out of their incubators and left to die on hospital floors was repeated as fact by Amnesty International, the mass media, numerous senators, and President H. W. Bush, tugging at the heartstrings of America and manufacturing support for American action in the Gulf War.
It was a lie. Nayirah was in fact the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the US, and her TV-friendly “removing babies from incubators” testimony was false. It never happened.
The Gulf of Tonkin Incident
In 2005 a declassified historical study by the NSA revealed that one of the two incidents which were used to propel America into the disastrous Vietnam War happened the opposite of the way it was reported to have happened, and the second of the two incidents did not happen at all. The allegation that there were “deliberate” and “unprovoked” attacks upon the US Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin on August 2 and August 4 of 1964 was solemnly affirmed by President Johnson, which led to the swift passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolutionauthorizing full presidential authority to commit US military power to the Vietnamese intervention.
In reality the August 2 incident was not in any way “unprovoked”, and it was in fact America’s USS Maddox which fired upon North Vietnamese boats first. On August 4 there was no engagement with any ships whatsoever, with Johnson privately admitting a year later that “For all I know, our navy was shooting at whales out there.”
The USS Maine
“But when the smoke was over, the dead buried and the cost of the war came back to the people in an increase in the price of commodities and rent — that is, when we sobered up from our patriotic spree — it suddenly dawned on us that the cause of the Spanish-American War was the price of sugar.”
~ Emma Goldman
This goes way back. The video above describes how the Spanish-American war was brought on by a highly suspicious explosion upon the USS Maine while it was docked at the Havana Harbor in 1898, combined with the anti-Spain narratives of the plutocrat-owned newspapers of that time. Like all US wars, it was extremely profitable and benefitted the very rich.
This tradition of using lies to rally the unwashed masses behind military endeavors on behalf of the rich and powerful has probably been going on since the dawn of civilization, and it is only humanity’s increasing adeptness at networking and sharing information which has enabled us to begin catching on to the deceitful manipulations of the people who rule us. Our history books are doubtless riddled with countless inaccuracies as to the real reasons underlying violent conflicts between various kingdoms and factions, because the few literate people who were permitted to write the official historic accounts of them had full control of the narrative at the time….
The defeat of Islamic State in Syria is reliant on a questionable supply-line, funnelling unprecedented quantities of weapons and ammunition from Eastern Europe to some 30,000 anti-ISIS rebel fighters.
Armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades fresh from state-owned production lines and stockpiles of the Balkans, Central Europe and increasingly the former Soviet Union, these US-backed troops are spearheading the battle to reclaim Raqqa, the capital of the so-called caliphate, and liberate other areas of Syria held by ISIS.
But the flow of weapons to these Pentagon-backed militia depends on misleading official paperwork, an investigation by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, OCCRP, has uncovered.
Reporters have pinpointed more than $700 million of spending on weapons and ammunition likely destined for Syrian rebels since September 2015, when the Pentagon’s anti-ISIS train and equip program shifted strategy.
The Department of Defense has budgeted $584 million specifically for this Syrian operation for the financial years 2017 and 2018, and has earmarked another $900 million of spending on Soviet-style munitions between now and 2022.
The total, $2.2 billion, likely understates the flow of weapons to Syrian rebels in the coming years.
The weapons and ammunition that the Pentagon is supplying to Syria are dispatched through a sprawling logistical network, including an army of arms dealers, shipping companies, cargo airlines, German military bases and Balkan airports and ports.
The purchases are routed through two channels. One is run by the US military’s Special Operations Command, SOCOM, and the other is operated by Picatinny Arsenal, a little-known New Jersey weapons depot.
Trump has pledged to “wipe out” ISIS and has allocated increased funding for the Pentagon campaign, which now has many former anti-regime groups on its pay-roll.
With vast quantities of weapons continuing to pour into Syria, concerns abound about a wider conflict emerging once the common enemy of ISIS is defeated.
Asked about the unprecedented purchase of Soviet-style arms for Syrian rebels, the Pentagon said that it had carefully vetted the recipients and was releasing equipment incrementally.
Train and equip: A Major Shift in Strategy
As ISIS swept across Syria in 2014, the Pentagon hastily launched a $500 million train and equip program that December to build up a new force of Syrian rebels, armed with modern US weapons, in an attempt to counter the threat.
But nine months later, the program had collapsed, with only a handful of recruits having made it onto the battlefield.
Amid a flurry of negative headlines, the Pentagon needed a new plan: Starting in September 2015, and largely unnoticed by the media, it quietly shifted focus to arming Syrian rebels already on the ground with the Eastern Bloc arms and ammunition they were already using, according to a previously unreported Pentagon document from February 2016.
Read the documents behind the investigation here at:
This Soviet-type equipment, both newly produced and sourced from stockpiles, is available from Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet countries, as well as China and Russia. The latter two large suppliers are out of bounds, as their military equipment falls under US sanctions.
The first Pentagon delivery, which included 50 tonnes of ammunition, arrived in October 2015, just a month after the shift in policy. The munitions were airdropped to Arab units within the then recently formed Syrian Democratic Forces, SDF, a Kurdish-led coalition currently spearheading the fight to reclaim Raqqa, and the Pentagon’s main ally in Syria.
The shipment was far from a one-time event and the SDF was not the only group to receive support – a changing coalition of rebel fighters in Syria’s south east is also being armed by the Pentagon.
Special Operations Command, SOCOM, has not previously acknowledged its role in the Syria train and equip program, but in a written statement to BIRN and OCCRP, the Pentagon confirmed that it had been charged with procuring weapons and ammunition for Syrian rebels.
From the swift in strategy to May 2017, it has purchased weapons and ammunition worth $240 million from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Poland and Romania, according to an analysis of thousands of procurement records by BIRN and OCCRP. Prior to the start of the programme, its spending on Eastern Bloc weaponry had been negligible.
While SOCOM is known to covertly supply US partners in other conflicts, documentary evidence, expert analysis, and the testimony of a contractor involved in the supply-line confirmed that Syria is the main destination for these purchases.
Between December 2015 and September 2016, SOCOM also chartered four cargo ships from Romanian and Bulgarian Black Sea ports, laden with 6,300 tonnes of the purchased munitions to be delivered to military bases in Turkey and Jordan, the main logistics bases for supplying Syrian rebels, according to procurement documents, packing lists and ship tracking data…
More than 68,000 doctors received payments in excess of $46 million — in the span of just 29 months — from goliath pharmaceutical corporations pushing opioid painkillers, researchers in a groundbreaking investigation of Big Pharma’s and the epidemic of legal and illicit opiates plaguing the United States.
Money to push opioids found one doctor in 12, and the rampant destruction wrought upon countless American families forced to cope with loved ones dependent on prescription painkillers, or on heroin sought when those ran out, proves circumstantially the dollars did their job.
“The next step is to understand these links between payments, prescribing practices, and overdose deaths,” Scott Hadland, a pediatrician and author of the study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, told the Washington Post.
Averaged out, more than 1,000 people suffered fatal drug overdoses per week in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, and steep spike occurred during the first six months of the following year — which the National Centers for Health Statistics attributes largely to a sharp rise opioid deaths — in particular, heroin and the potent synthetic painkiller, fentanyl.
This author has his own religious conclusions, but the case is interesting.
Science is always considered set in stone at the time, but is really always changing. A hundred and seventy-five years ago no one believed in dinosaurs, maybe a hundred and seventy-five years from now they won’t believe in them again.
By Chad Dou —
August 11, 2017
CSUN scientist Mark Armitage found soft tissue in a dinosaur bone, a discovery that throws significant doubt on evolution. Then, two weeks after publishing his findings, he was fired.
Now California State University at Northridge has paid Armitage a six-figure sum to settle his wrongful termination suit based on religious discrimination. While the university admits no wrongdoing, Armitage’s attorney said they feared losing a protracted lawsuit because of a “smoking gun” email that backed the plaintiff’s case.
The case of Armitage is the latest to show the mounting hostility Christians face in academics and other public arenas.
“Soft tissue in dinosaur bones destroys ‘deep time.’ Dinosaur bones cannot be old if they’re full of soft tissue,” Armitage said in a YouTube video. “Deep time is the linchpin of evolution. If you don’t have deep time, you don’t have evolution. The whole discussion of evolution ends if you show that the earth is young. You can just erase evolution off the whiteboard because of soft tissue in dinosaur bones.”
Armitage was hired as a microscopist to manage CSUN’s electron and confocal microscope suite in 2010. He had published some 30 articles in scientific journals about his specialty.
A graduate of Liberty University, Armitage adheres to the “young earth” view, against the majority of scientists who say our planet is 5 billion years old. He engaged students in his lab with Socratic dialogue over the issue of the earth’s age based on his and others’ research, he said.
In May 2012, Armitage went on a dinosaur dig at the famous fossil site of Hell Creek in Montana, where he unearthed the largest triceratops horn ever found there. Back at CSUN, he put the fossil under his microscope and made the startling discovery: unfossilized, undecayed tissue was present.
While web-hosting services have been criticised for cancelling the registration of neo-Nazi website, Daily Stormer, progressive left-leaning sites are losing Google ranking and traffic because of a deliberate move to censor “fake” news by the internet search giant.
New data released by World Socialist Websites (WSWS) revealed that sites such as Wikileaks, The Intercept, Electronic Frontiers Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Organisation, CounterPunch and many other organisations with the audacity to provide context about the activities of federal governments not reported in mainstream publications have experienced a significant drop in traffic after Google altered its algorithm.
But while these hosting services are being congratulated by some – and condemned by others on free-speech grounds – for ensuring that those looking to commit violence have to work slightly harder to get access to their like-minded Nazi communities, those who own the means of transmission – namely Google, Facebook and Twitter – are still preventing the rest of us from accessing information that allows people to make sense of the world around us.
The data released by WSWS shows that since Google altered its algorithm, Wikileaks experienced a 30% decline in traffic from Google searches. Democracy Now fell by 36%. Truthout dropped by 25%. Its own traffic dropped by 67% percent over the same period. Alternet saw a 63% decline in traffic. Media Matters saw a 36% drop in traffic. Counterpunch.org fell by 21%. The Intercept fell by 19%.
In a blog post published on April 25th, Google’s chief search engineer, Ben Gomez framed the issue as a change to the tech giant’s technical procedures in response to “the phenomenon of fake news”.
“The most high profile of these issues is the phenomenon of ‘fake news,’ where content on the web has contributed to the spread of blatantly misleading, low quality, offensive or downright false information,” Gomez wrote. “While this problem is different from issues in the past, our goal remains the same—to provide people with access to relevant information from the most reliable sources available. And while we may not always get it right, we’re making good progress in tackling the problem. But in order to have long-term and impactful changes, more structural changes in Search are needed.”
Gomez revealed that Google had recruited more than 10,000 “evaluators” hired to judge the quality of various websites, “real people who assess the quality of Google’s search results—give us feedback on our experiments,” though the chief search engineer did not identify the “evaluators” or explain the criteria against which websites are judged.
The ultimate irony: Google has seemingly allowed its evaluators to exercise their own biases when assessing the truth, accuracy and validity of these websites, and in doing so, are censoring essential information inconvenient to the narrative of the Washington establishment.
Corporate regulation and shadow-blocking
Google is not the only player in this censorship game. Earlier last year, anti-establishment information services – Renegade Inc included – experienced a 20% drop in traffic to its Facebook pages, after the social-network altered its algorithm, again, allegedly in an attempt to crack down on ‘fake news’.
Likewise, Twitter is allegedly shadow-blocking those of the left and right who it perceives to be tweeting content that sits outside of the mainstream. Renegade Inc has not been immune from this sidelining.
While Twitter has formal mechanisms for trolls and those who post abusive content – in which case it will notify users they have been suspended and provide explanations as to why – shadow-blocking is a whole different ball game. ‘Shadow-blocking’ – or ‘shadow-banning’ – are terms used to describe a more informal mode of censorship whereby particular users will simply not show up when you search for their username. Certain tweets may disappear into the ether, and your content may only be visible to people who follow you but will not show up on any Twitter feed, even if after it is re-tweeted.
Russell Bentley, a former American soldier fighting fascism in the Ukraine under the Donetsk People’s Republic – a self-declared, Russian backed separatist state – had his Twitter account shut down two days ago after a sustained campaign of targeted harassment and death threats (prohibited by Twitter’s terms of service) by pro-nazi propagandists.