“Intelligence, Secrecy & Power”, N. 651, 31 March 2015

Intelligence, Secrecy & Power                                     ISSN 1245-2122
N. 651, 31 March 2015                                                             10 euros
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Intelligence, Secrecy & Power, N. 651, 31 March 2015


The leading topics of March 2015 were Cops, Killings & FBI (41X noteworthy entries), 30X Middle East (30X noteworthy entries, of which 23X ISIS & 7X Yemen), Israel (24X), US Extremists (14X), Iran Nuclear Talks (13X), Africa (12X, of which 8X Boko Harem & 4X Museum Attack), NSA, CIA & World Wide Surveillance (12X), Venezuela vs. Washington (9X), Germanwings Crash (7X), US Torture Policy (5X), and US Declines (3X).

The “Cops, Killings & FBI” entries include a litany of continued killings of unarmed persons by the police under dubious conditions, as in our preceding issues. Incidents or similar problems have been reported in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington state, Madison, Atlanta, Dallas, Philadelphia and Grapevine. Reports and sometimes videos of torture and beatings have also surfaced. One particularly disturbing entry was “Why Can’t One of the US’s Most ‘Progressive’ Cities [Portland, Oregon] Reform Its Police Force” (21 March, “The Nation”), a very good questions indeed.

The “Middle East” entries concern the war with the Islamic State and the new civil war in Yemen. Both these bloody conflicts are now becoming proxy battle grounds between Saudi Arabia and Iran for region dominance or at least proof that the two countries are the two major regional powers, with Israel are clearly on the sidelines.

Concerning Israel itself, the international press reports hinting that the right-wing Netanyahu government could somehow be threatened in the recent elections now look like a major media operation by certain Western intelligence services that are fed up with Israeli right-wing governments. Now that government is even further to the right and clearly isolated and loosing it very last ally, the US.

The “US Extremists” reports includes two rather disturbing reports: “Violence by Far-Right Extremists Has Surpassed That Caused by Domestic Jihadists” (3 March, Vice); and “DHS warns of domestic right-wing threats” (8 March, CNN). There is of course the run-of-the-mill climate change denial, same sex marriages and even refusal to answer questions on the reality of Darwinian evolution.

The “Iran Nuclear Talks” continue toward a resolution despite everything the US and Israeli extremists have attempted to do.

Africa has been the scene of more jihadist violence 12X Africa (8X Boko Harem, 4X Tunis Museum Attack), but in both case serious reactions have taken place during the month of March.

“NSA, CIA & World Wide Surveillance” continues to be an important topic in the news, recently involving – besides the US – Great Britain, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany and the US DEA.

The “Venezuela vs. Washington” reports show more Latin American “fed up” attitude towards the UN. The “Germanwings Crash” is clearly going to have a lasting impact of low-cost airlines and their attempt to lower security standards to save money. And of course “US Torture Policy” and “US Declines” continue to produce noteworthy press reports.

41X Cops, Killings & FBI
01 Kelly Hayes reports on the activism in favor of reparations for torture victims of Chicago Police Department’s Jon Burge
01 Private Police Carry Guns and Make Arrests, and Their Ranks Are Swelling
01 Three corrections officers at the [Attica] prison in western New York face gang-related assault charges after an inmate was brutally beaten
01 To Die in an Alabama Cell – Several prisoner deaths resulting from apparent negligence
02 After Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson, Mo., many black residents protested what they called unfair treatment by the police
02 Guns on Campus: Not an Agenda for Women’s Safety
02 LAPD Cops Fatally Shoot Unarmed Homeless Man in Skid Row Altercation
02 LAPD Shooting: Why Cops Say Skid Row Suspect Grabbed for Gun
02 Police Killing of Unarmed Mexican Farm Worker in Washington State Sparks Protest
03 Chicago Police Misconduct Payouts Topped $50 Million in 2014
03 Police Are Criticized for Use of Force in Shooting in Los Angeles’s Skid Row
04 Ferguson Police Routinely Violate Rights of Blacks, Justice Dept. Finds
04 Why Chuy Garcia Needs to Condemn Rahm Emanuel’s Secret Police Interrogation Site
05 Document: Ferguson Police Department Report – A City Where Policing, Discrimination and Raising Revenue Went Hand in Hand
05 Ferguson Police Tainted by Bias, Justice Department Says
05 In Ferguson, Walking While Black Was a Crime
05 NYPD Commissioner Stricken With Giuliani Syndrome, Blames Marijuana for Increased NYC Murder Rate
07 Holder Says He’s “Prepared” to Dismantle Ferguson Police Department If Necessary
08 DOJ Report Concludes Ferguson Is Unconstitutional, Racist and Profit-Driven
08 Ferguson Became Symbol, but [police] Bias Knows No Border
08 Madison, Wisconsin, Police Chief Says Officer Shooting of Unarmed Man Has Similarities to Ferguson
10 After Beating FBI Entrapment, Environmental Activist Eric McDavid Looks Forward [FBI withheld documents indicating he was entrapped by a government agent]
10 Missouri Court Assigns a State Judge to Handle Ferguson Cases
10 Protests Rise over Los Angeles Police Killing of Mentally Ill, Black Homeless Man
11 John Shaw in 2014 – Ferguson City Manager Cited in Justice Department Report Resigns
11 Police Killing of Unarmed Georgia Man Leaves another Town in Disbelief
12 Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson Joins Exodus of City Officials
13 Oregon Man Commits No Crime, but Held in Jail for 900 Days
13 Why Was an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Tracking a Black Lives Matter Protest
17 Video Shows Dallas Police Shooting Schizophrenic Man within Seconds of Knocking On His Door
18 A More Public Option for Investigating Shootings by Police Officers
21 Philadelphia Commissioner Steps into Fray between Police and Public
21 Why Can’t One of the US’s Most “Progressive” Cities [Portland, Oregon] Reform Its Police Force
22 Community Demands Answers in [Grapevine] Police Killing of Undocumented Texas Man
22 South Carolina Police Officers Were Exonerated in More Than 200 Shootings
24 Justice Dept., Criticizing Philadelphia Police, Finds Shootings by Officers Are Common
25 3 Cops Caught On Tape Brutally Beating Unarmed Michigan Man with No Apparent Provocation
25 Atlanta Police Shooting Victim Tried to Follow ‘Sensible’ Path
26 Gov. Doug Ducey – Arizona Bill Would Delay Disclosure of Names of Officers in Shootings
26 Report Credits FBI with Progress Since 9/11, but Says More Is Needed [but no top FBI officials were fired by the Cheney-Bush regime for the 9/11 failure]
28 Cop in US indicted for assaulting Indian man

30X Middle East (23X ISIS, 7X Yemen)
01 Activists: IS Released 21 Kidnapped Christians
02 Iraq Starts Attack on Tikrit with Iranian Help, No US Strikes
05 Quds force leader, commanding Iraqi forces against ISIS, alarms Washington
06 Iraqi forces retake western town of al-Baghdadi
06 ISIS’ Attack on Ancient History Called a ‘War Crime’
06 US Strategy in Iraq Increasingly Relies on Iran
08 ‘Jihadi John’ apologizes to his family
09 First female Western fighter dies fighting Islamic State
11 Iraqi forces closing in on Tikrit in key offensive
12 Iraqi Army Cements Hold on Tikrit, but Islamic State Sends a Message
16 Claim: Islamic State used chlorine gas against Iraqi Kurds
17 Iran Sent Arms to Iraq to Fight ISIS, US Says
17 Iraqi Offensive for Tikrit Stalls as Casualties Mount
21 45 Killed in Twin Bombings against Kurds in Syria
22 ISIS Issues ‘Wanted’ List Of 100 US Military Personnel
22 Nine British medics feared to have crossed into Syria
23 Iraq Officials: Baghdad Bombings Kill 19; Wound 36
24 Iraq request for US-led Tikrit air strikes “imminent” – diplomat
24 Islamic State Has Recruited At Least 400 Children in Syria since January
26 Opening New Iraq Front, US Strikes ISIS in Tikrit
28 Islamic fighters led by Al Qaeda seize major Syrian city
30 Syrian Islamist Rebels Deal Blow to Assad with Capture of Idlib
31 Iraqi forces drive Islamic State out of central Tikrit: PM
20 Suicide bombers kill more than 100 in Yemen’s capital
20 Yemen: 120 killed in 2 mosque attacks in capital
21 Reports: US forces evacuating Yemen air base
26 Saudi Arabia Begins Air Assault in Yemen
30 [Sunnite] Arab Nations to Form Military Force to Counter Iran and Islamist [Shiite] Extremists
30 Yemen in freefall: How chaos could spiral into all-out regional war
31 As US and Iran Seek Nuclear Deal, Saudi Arabia Makes Its Own Moves

24X Israel
00 In the West Bank, the Kids Aren’t All Right – Palestinian children are taken from their beds in night raids and not returned to their families for months
03 For Peace, We Must Defeat Netanyahu on Iran Diplomacy
03 Netanyahu sees a “bad deal” in [US] talks with Tehran – Obama issues rebuttal, seeing “nothing new” in speech before Congress
03 Netanyahu warns Congress: Deal will lead to Iranian nuclear bomb
03 Noam Chomsky: By Opposing Iran Nuclear Deal, Israel’s Goal Isn’t Survival – It’s Regional Dominance
05 PLO officials calls for ending security coordination with Israel
06 Five hurt as driver rams car into Jerusalem pedestrians
08 Israel fires at Gaza boats, kills Palestinian fisherman – hospital officials
08 Israelis rally against PM ahead of vote
08 Report: Israeli Torture of Palestinian Detainees Soared in 2014
08 Tens of Thousands Attend Anti-Netanyahu Rally in Tel Aviv
09 Netanyahu’s former US envoy now among his Israeli rivals
10 The Long History of Israel Gaming the “Iranian Threat”, Gareth Porter
11 Herzog Emerging as Credible Challenge to Netanyahu in Israeli Race
12 After surge in [hard line] arrivals, Israeli candidates
16 Arab Alliance Rises as Force in Israeli Elections
16 US Judge Sentences US Citizen Based on Israeli Military Documents
17 Israeli Opposition Calls out Netanyahu for Racist Attack on Arab Voting
17 Netanyahu Says No to Statehood for Palestinians
18 Israel – Hard right shift delivers upset election win for Netanyahu
18 Netanyahu Soundly Defeats Chief Rival in Israeli Elections
24 Arab-Israeli political leaders reject Netanyahu’s apology
24 Report: Israel spied on Iran-US talks and shared information with [US] lawmakers
25 Israelis Say Obama Support for Palestinians Hurts Peace Process [anyone’s support for Palestinians or their human rights “hurts” Israeli government policy]

14X US Extremists
01 Bigger Than Science, Bigger than Religion (environmental disaster)
03 Violence by Far-Right Extremists Has Surpassed That Caused by Domestic Jihadists
03 [Fox journalist] O’Reilly Justifies Fantasies by Making Bellicose Macho Threats
04 Alabama Court Orders a Halt to Same-Sex Marriage Licenses
06 States Weigh Legislation to Let Businesses Refuse to Serve Gay Couples
08 DHS warns of domestic right-wing threats
08 Florida Environmental Officials Ban the Term “Climate Change”
10 Team Jeb Bush’s Liaison to the Religious Right Is Islamophobic, Opposed to Marriage Equality and Vigorously Anti-Abortion
15 Koch Industries Refuses to Comply With US Senators’ Climate Investigation
17 Koch Brothers Are Endangering the Planet by Funding Climate Change Denial
17 Senator Whitehouse Exposes ALEC Climate Change Denial
17 The Rise of LGBT Rights Is an Existential Threat to Conservative Religious Groups
19 Rick Scott’s Ban on State Officials Acknowledging Global Warming Imperils Florida
19 Science Denier Ted Cruz Doesn’t Understand NASA’s Core Mission at All

13X Iran Nuclear Talks
02 All sanctions must go if US wants a nuke deal: Iranian Foreign Minister
06 A bad deal with Iran may be better than no deal
06 Iran nuclear commitments don’t go far enough: France
07 US, France ‘on same page’ over Iran, want stronger deal
09 Obama mocks Republican letter to Iran over nuclear talks
10 GOP Senators Write to Iran about Nuclear Deal
12 Khamenei condemns Republican letter on Iran, bemoans US ‘tricks’
19 Draft nuclear deal would cap Iran’s uranium centrifuges
21 Kerry says ‘genuine progress’ made toward Iran nuclear deal, but ‘gaps remain’
24 Iran’s Hard-Liners Show Restraint on Nuclear Talks with US
25 Iran to insist all sanctions removed in nuclear deal
30 Iran Backs Away From Key Detail in Nuclear Deal
31 Preliminary Nuclear Deal with Iran Appears Close, but Tough Issues May Wait

12X Africa (8X Boko Harem, 4X Museum Attack)
09 Regional forces step up efforts to halt Boko Haram
10 Neighbors of Nigeria Take On Boko Haram
17 Boko Haram Driven From Strategically Important Bama, Says Nigerian Army
21 Chad troops return to Nigeria town after Boko Haram kill 11
27 Boko Haram headquarters neutralized, Nigeria claims
28 Al-Shabab siege at Somali hotel ends, at least 24 dead
31 Boko Haram weakened but still committing atrocities
31 Prosecutor in Al Shabab bombings assassinated [in Uganda]
19 ISIS claims responsibility for deadly Tunisia museum attack
20 Tunisian official: 2 gunmen trained in Libya before attack
23 Tunisian security officials fired after museum attack
26 Tunisia arrests 23 in ‘terrorist cell’ over museum attack

12X NSA, CIA & World Wide Surveillance
03 David Petraeus Gets Hand-Slap for Leaking, Two Point Enhancement for Obstruction of Justice
03 Edward Snowden in talks to return to United States: lawyer
05 [New Zealand] Greens: GCSB’s spying in Pacific broke law
05 Petraeus and Snowden: Both Leakers of Classified Material, Same Punishment?
08 DEA also conducting mass telephone surveillance
08 Documents Shine Light on Shadowy New Zealand Surveillance Base – The Intercept
12 UK intelligence watchdog [again] defends nation’s bulk data spying as necessary [after several failures]
14 Senate Committee Secretly Approves New Domestic Spying Measures
15 New Zealand Used NSA System to Target Officials, Anti-Corruption Campaigner
16 After Swedish Prosecutors Back Down, Is WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Close to Freedom
21 Glenn Greenwald: US Threatened Germany over Snowden Asylum
27 CIA Officers and FBI Agents, Meet Your New Partner: The Analyst [reorganizing to empower intelligence analysts]

9X Venezuela vs. Washington
01 Venezuela ‘detains US citizens for espionage’
02 Maduro Steps up Venezuela Coup Claim as Americans Detained
03 George W Bush banned from Venezuela after country’s president brands him
09 US Freezes Assets of Seven Venezuelan Officials
10 Obama Declares Venezuela a National Security Threat
11 Latin American nations rally to defend Venezuela against US sanctions
11 Obama Channels Reagan, Absurdly Declares Venezuela a Security Threat
17 Dangerous Diplomacy: US Praises Mexico and Honduras, Targets Venezuela
23 Ecuadorean Foreign Minister: The US Is the Real Threat in the Americas, Not Venezuela

7X Germanwings Crash
26 Germanwings tragedy was no accident [co-pilot crashed the plane]
26 Germanwings Pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit before Crash in France
27 Fatal Descent of Germanwings Plane Was ‘Deliberate,’ French Authorities Say
28 Co-Pilot in Germanwings Crash Hid Mental Illness from Employer, Authorities Say
29 Germanwings Pilot Andreas Lubitz Sought Treatment for Vision Problems before Crash, Authorities Say
30 Germanwings Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz Previously Had Suicidal Thoughts
31 Germanwings Co-Pilot Was Treated for ‘Suicidal Tendencies,’ Authorities Say

5X US Torture Policy
02 “New Torture Files”: Declassified Memos Detail Roles of Bush White House and DOJ Officials Who Conspired to Approve Torture
07 Shaky Conviction, Ongoing Punishment: Canada v. Omar Khadr – former Guantanamo child prisoner Omar07 Khadr
21 Chilean Accused of Murder, Torture Taught 13 Years for Pentagon
22 Judge Orders US Government to Stop Suppressing Evidence of Torture and Abuse
22 Shannon Airport: Ireland’s Gateway to [CIA] Torture

3X US Declines
14 British Leader Diverges From US on China Policy and Military Spending
18 Three European Powers Say They Will Join China-Led Bank [against US pressure to stay only with the US-dominated World Bank and IMF]
19 Panel to Consider US “Failure” to Clear Up Racial Murders of Civil Rights Era
(… 118 pages cut …)