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Stolen Lives, Protected Criminals: The Wrongful Imprisonment of Christopher Tapp

freedominourtime - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 13:12
This man belongs in prison: Former IFPD Detective, and I.F. Mayor, Fuhriman.  There are abundant reasons to be grateful that we do not live under the Old Testament “lex talonis” legal covenant, and one compelling reason to lament that this is so: Under the system of justice described in the Book of Deuteronomy, a lying police officer and corrupt prosecutor who falsely convicted an innocent man would be required to suffer the punishment intended for their victim.

Under that legal principle, former Idaho Falls Police Detective Jared Fuhriman and former Bonneville County District Attorney Kip Manwaring would be serving a sentence of 30 years to life for the wrongful murder conviction of Christopher Conley Tapp.Former DA Manwaring. 
Angie Dodge was murdered in her Idaho Falls apartment on or about June 13, 1996. The perpetrator entered the apartment without forcing entry, and was strong enough to overcome the determined resistance of an athletic woman who was six feet tall and weighed roughly 180 pounds (the victim’s body displayed “defensive wounds”). Although there was semen deposited on the victim’s upper torso, a post-mortem determined that she had not been raped. The crime scene evidence made it clear that this abhorrent act was carried out by a lone perpetrator. That evidence also excludes Christopher Tapp as a legitimate suspect. 
Tapp has been imprisoned for nineteen years-- nearly half his life -- for a murder he didn't commit,after being forced to confess through a month-long ordeal of protracted interrogation involving of threats and psychological duress. This is the conclusion of a non-profit activist organization called "Judges for Justice," a group of retired judges and criminal investigatorswho review suspected cases of wrongful conviction.

A newly released video documentary by the group, which is available on YouTube, analyzes the methods used by Idaho Falls Police Detective Jared Furhiman and his colleagues to suborn Tapp into ratifying false accusations against a friend -- and then to make a false confession. Somber in tone and devoid of sensationalism, the Judges for Justice documentary deserves at least as much attention as the Netflix investigative series “Making a Murderer.”

 Tapp lived in the same neighborhood as the victim and considered her a friend. He also knew Ben Hobbs, the Idaho Falls resident selected by the IFPD as a suspect after he was arrested in Ely, Nevada for raping a woman at knife-point. When he was brought in for questioning, Tapp was told that he was being treated as a witness against Ben. However, a detailed critique by Judges for Justice investigator Gregg McCrary, a former FBI Supervisory Special Agent, points out that Detective Fuhriman and his associates treated him as a suspect from the very beginning. 
Tapp during an appeal hearing. 
“Tapp was the subject of nine interrogations over three and a half weeks, for over 20 hours,” notes McCrary. “Detectives refused to accept Tapp’s repeated denials of involvement, arresting and jailing him when he did not implicate Hobbs, then releasing him when he did so.”

The method used to interrogate Tapp, commonly called the “Reid Technique,” has frequently been used to manipulate suspects into false confessions. Even so, Joseph Buckley, President of the John E. Reid & Associates consulting firm, emphasizes that interrogators taught to use this method are advised that “they should not try to talk a suspect into believing that they committed the crime.”

This is precisely what the IFPD investigators did under the direction of Detective Fuhriman. McCrary observes that Fuhriman and his comrades ran the table of methods expressly prohibited by the Reid Technique, such as “threatening inevitable consequences”; “making a promise of leniency in return for the confession”; “denying a subject their rights”; and “conducting an excessively long interrogation.” The only evidence against Tapp is the confession he has since recanted. An abundance of physical evidence was deposited by the killer at the scene, including semen, hair, fingerprints, and skin cells. None of it offers a match to Tapp. 

Carol Dodge, the mother of the murder victim, has spent decades trying to learn the truth about what happened to her daughter and has become one of Tapp’s most outspoken advocates – primarily because she wants investigators to identify and prosecute the man who actually committed the crime. On her own initiative and at her own expense, Mrs. Dodge collected and reviewed scores of hours of video-recorded interrogations, which left her convinced that Tapp had been railroaded -- and also left her mortified by the knowledge that her daughter's killer was left at large.

"I am at the mercy of the city of Idaho Falls and the prosecution to find the one and only killer of my daughter," Mrs. Dodge despairingly observes. "They need to do their job."

Tapp became entangled in the investigation not only because he was a friend of the man originally suspected of the murder, Ben Hobbs, but also because he was known to lead investigator Detective Fuhriman. Before his promotion Fuhriman was a resource officer and DARE instructor at Idaho Falls High School, where he had become acquainted with his future victim.

On January 6, 1997 – six months after Dodge was murdered, Hobbs was arrested for rape in Ely, Nevada. Once the Idaho Falls Police – who had not been able to make any headway on the case -- settled on Hobbs as a suspect, notes a report compiled by Judges for Justice, “they stopped looking for suspects and worked to extract a confession.”  
They did this despite the fact that they had known about a much better suspect since the previous September.

At about 3:00 a.m. on June 13, 1996, Angie Dodge’s neighbor John Browning received a visit from a fellow tenant of the Woodruff Apartments. In a subsequent affidavit Browning recounted that the visitor, who asked for a cigarette, “had blood on his clothes, scratches on his face and a rug burn on his chin…. I remember seeing tape on his wrists.” Browning’s ex-wife Gentri, who was never interviewed by police investigators, later identified the man in a photograph taken in 1988.  
The man in that photograph is not Chris Tapp.

Browning himself was approached at work by a plainclothes police officer in September 1996, and provided a detailed description of the blood-spattered visitor. This included the fact that he was often seen riding a black motorcycle with speakers attached by bungee cords. Once again, Chris Tapp is not a match for this description.

Police reports frequently mentioned a convicted rapist named Jeffrey Lynn Smith, who didmatch the visitor’s description. For reasons never explained, the IFPD decided not to pursue that lead. For reasons that are eminently explicable and legally indefensible, the Bonneville County DA’s Office withheld those facts from Tapp’s defense attorney, thereby committing a Brady violation that by itself is sufficient to vacate the conviction – or at least dictate a new trial.  
After Hobbs was arrested, he adamantly insisted that he had nothing to do with the killing of Angie Dodge. When the available physical evidence eliminated Hobbs as a suspect, the IFPD's theory expanded to include a second man named Jeremy Sargis, and eventually a third, never-identified man. Fuhriman sought to elicit from Tapp testimony that could be used against Hobbs and Sturgis, feeding him details about the murder and the crime scene and often misrepresenting the evidence. After DNA tests disqualified both Hobbs and Sargis, Fuhriman – no doubt acting under pressure from his superiors and, most likely, his own ego – framed Tapp for the crime.

Tapp had been carefully beguiled into believing that he was helping the police learn the identity of the degenerate wretch who had murdered a friend. He was shocked and disoriented to learn that another friend was the perpetrator – and then terrified to discover that he could find himself in prison, or facing execution, for the crime unless he perjured himself. What he never realized until far too late was that his captors were playing a cynical game of musical chairs, and that he was the one left standing when the music stopped.  
At first, Tapp was offered an immunity agreement in exchange for testifying against Hobbs. The prosecutor revoked that agreement after the story Fuhriman had fed to Tapp was discredited by physical evidence. Tapp continued to deny any knowledge of, or involvement in, the murder, and Fuhriman continued to escalate his demands that Tapp ratify various theories of the case.  
During the initial sessions, Tapp was interrogated without the benefit of an attorney. After his mother intervened to obtain an attorney for him, the police arrested Tapp on a charge of "accessory to a felony" -- on the basis of his agreement with a false narrative they had dictated to him. Tapp was held for six days, then interrogated until he broke and provided them with the spurious confession they sought in the belief that this was the only way he could avoid the gas chamber. At one point, as the emotionally battered suspect refused to admit to a crime he didn’t commit. Fuhriman – a prominent leader in the lay priesthood of the Mormon Church – invoked the concept of religious absolution, insisting that Tapp would receive some kind of divine favor if he agreed with the false narrative being imposed on him.

“This is a false confession,”summarized McCrary of Judges for Justice in a 2014 report to the Bonneville County Prosecutor’s Office.Fuhriman and his colleagues “manipulated Mr. Tapp through a series of explicit threats and promises, used false evidence ploys, asked a host of leading questions and continually contaminated the interrogation by disclosing nonpublic details of the crime and crime scene while naming suspects speculatively, all of which was improper…. These detectives never attempted to validate Mr. Tapp’s repeated denials. The detectives had prematurely moved from an evidence-based investigation to a suspect based investigation, with only mere speculation linking their favored suspects to the crime and crime scene.”

Rather than pursuing leads in the search of the truth, Fuhriman and his cohorts, who displayed “tunnel vision, confirmation bias, group think, organization momentum, and belief perseverance,” are guilty of what Judges for Justice describes as “noble cause corruption” – the belief that the virtuous end of punishing a hideous crime justified the use of dishonest and criminal means.

Last April, the Bonneville County Public Defender’s Office filed a petition for post-conviction relief,on Tapp’s behalf, citing the fact that DNA evidence collected at the scene excludes Tapp as a suspect. Three years earlier, a previous petition was denied by Idaho Seventh District Judge Joel Tingey, who claimed that Tapp hadn’t proven that he was in police custody at the time he made the indisputably false confession. 
Convenient timing: Mayor Fuhriman announces his "memory" disorder.  Significantly, Jared Fuhriman, who had twice been elected Mayor of Idaho Falls by the time Tapp filed his first petition for relief, wasn’t able to offer testimony on the basis of the unexpected but conveniently timed appearance of a “memory disorder.”Although he clearly harbored political aspirations beyond Idaho Falls City Hall, Fuhriman declined to run for a second term after NBC Dateline broadcast a program devoted to the Chris Tapp case, and has apparently retired from public life.

Judges for Justice has slammed the Idaho appellate court system for its refusal to reconsider the case, a decision that appears to be motivated by a desire to protect the personal and institutional reputations of those responsible for sending an innocent man to prison – and allowing a murderer to go free.

Tapp will not be eligible for parole until 2027.  One condition of parole would be that he admit to the crime – and pass a polygraph examination certifying that his confession is sincere. Ironically, Tapp was maneuvered into a false confession with the help of IFPD Detective Steve Finn, a polygraph examiner who conspired (no other word is suitable) with Fuhriman to manipulate the suspect into falsely incriminating himself.  
One detail in the story concocted by Fuhriman that betrays its origins in his imagination is the claim (noted in McCrary’s report) that “Hobbs, tap and UNSUB were under the influence of a significant amount of marijuana” at the time they supposedly gang-raped and murdered their victim. Fuhriman, it will be recalled, was a DARE instructor paid to peddle “Reefer Madness”-grade prohibitionist propaganda.  
It is doubtful that even Harry Anslinger, the deranged and race-obsessed grandfather of the Drug War, would credit the idea that young men blitzed on weed would rape, strangle, and mutilate a young woman. In fact, by the 1950s Anslinger’s chief objection to marijuana was that consuming it would leave young men too torpid and pacifistic to take up arms against the Commies. Fuhriman’s view of marijuana as a Satanic Communist Demon Weed capable of turning upright young men into murderous sex fiends was about seventy years behind the prohibitionist curve, but it still played well in Puritanical southeastern Idaho.  
The methods used by Jared Fuhriman and his comrades to extort the false confession from Tapp were broadly congruent with those employed by child sex predators to groom and exploit their victims. Although no physical violation was involved, the Idaho Falls Police Department gang-raped Chris Tapp, which is an on-going offense while that innocent man remains in prison and a protected murderer -- assuming he hasn't paid his debt to nature -- continues to walk free. This week's Freedom Zealot Podcast also examines the wrongful conviction of Christopher Tapp:

Dum spiro, pugno!

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US Envoy/NATO visit to Annexed Syria- Turkey under fire- PKK warns Barzani....

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 14:01
Lots going on present day- So a quick round up of interesting news items!

U.S. envoy visited Kurdish- Annexed Syrian north
This surely has to do with the impending move to create that continuous Kurdish area, annexed violently, from Syria. Covered in two previous posts:  "Kurds Gear Up for Major Offensive Against ISIS" aka Annexing Syrian Territory And Narrative Prep for NATO's Invasion of Syria via (NATO Occupied) Turkey

Brett McGurk, the United States' new envoy to the coalition it leads against Islamic State
- This is also a NATO visit. And, it is a significant visit!
"We can confirm that Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk completed a two day visit to northern Syria this weekend to assess progress in the campaign to degrade and destroy ISIL," the U.S. official said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

"This visit and the discussions he had are in keeping with the Special Envoy's efforts to continue looking for ways to increase coalition pressure on ISIL," the official said.

Fred Hof, a Syria expert with the Atlantic Council think tank, said to his knowledge this was the first declared visit to Syria (annexed territory) by a U.S. government official since the February 2012 closure of the U.S. embassy in Damascus.

The Syrian Kurdish official told Reuters McGurk landed at a Kurdish-controlled airport being used by U.S. military helicopters for logistical purposes and deliveries.

McGurk was received by officials including the prime minister of one of three autonomous regions, or cantons, the Syrian Kurds have set up in northern Syria.

In a statement posted on Youtube, Akram Hasso, head of the administration of Jazeera province, said McGurk's delegation was 17 strong and included representatives of France and Britain.

The trip by Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the coalition against Islamic State, may anger neighboring Turkey ......  I would say that visit is intended to send a message to Turkey’s leadership-

I want to share some picture’s at this time:
This isn’t Syria. If you thought it was, it would be understandable, but it's not.

Those images are from Turkey.  Can anyone really believe Turkey is not being covertly destabilized by NATO proxies the PKK and special forces from multiple other nations

"We were oppressed by both sides," Ramazan Duruk, 56, who lived under curfew for 12 days in the town of Silvan last November, told Human Rights Watch. "This should not be a war zone. The population lives here. We keep saying this to both sides."
Exactly as I'd mentioned previously- The PKK set up shop right in the residential areas in order to provoke a response from the Turkish government! But the regular Kurds that reside in that area are not blaming the Turkish government alone- They are saying both sides are oppressing them.

Covered that topic previously in this post: PKK’s War of Choice lacks Kurdish public support in Turkey- YPG Terror in Syria

Foreign nationals employed by the PKK as snipers? - One Serbian sniper was recently identified. This is not a first for this reporting, but, a first time mention at the blog. The Serbian embassy did not deny this news, their statement was something like this activity is not officially condoned and it is not part of their official business in Turkey
The statement indicated that the Republic of Serbia strongly opposes any participation of its citizens in any armed conflicts in third countries. "The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has passed a law that sharply sanctions any such activity. Bearing in mind that the allegations cannot and should not be in any case or way related to the official policy or activities of the Republic of Serbia and its institutions. The embassy expects to be officially informed about the case by the Turkish side so the relevant Turkish and Serbian institutions can work together on its clarification in the aim of the fight against terrorism," the statement from the embassy said.
Russia wants information from NATO and the Pentagon,  not Turkey, regarding cross border shelling
It’s self evident why the request is being made to NATO and the Pentagon. Since NATO and the Pentagon have been running the show out of their NATO occupied territory and NATO airspace. Jens Stoltenberg made it abundantly clear that it was NATO's airspace recently violated, allegedly.

Recall? NATO Confirms Russian Intrusion into NATO Airspace- SAA gains in Aleppo

Russia would no more ask Justin Trudeau for an explanation of Canada’s involvement in the middle east  then they would ask Erdogan? Neither leader is in charge of their occupied territories.
“Russian Defense Ministry is waiting for explanations from representatives of NATO and the Pentagon of the actions of Turkish military which the ministry accuses of shelling the Syrian territory, official spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Monday”
Finally a warning to Iraq’s Kurdish leadership courtesy of the PKK
On 29 January, two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) targeted a gas pipeline in the Shwan area of Kirkuk province; the pipeline feeds power stations in Erbil and Chemchemal, Sulaimaniyah province.

Independent energy company, Dana Gas, announced its gas plant at the Khor Mor field was offline for a few hours as a result.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, however a Kurdistan Region Government official in the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which administers Erbil and Dahuk, Nadhim Harky, stated it would have been impossible for Islamic State to access the area since it falls within Kurdish-controlled territory. KDP states not Islamic State. Who could it have been?
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Narrative Prep for NATO's Invasion of Syria via (NATO Occupied) Turkey

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Sat, 01/30/2016 - 22:16
If you haven't read this post- Read it first
NATO Confirms Russian Intrusion into NATO Airspace- SAA gains in Aleppo UPDATED- For the record "The Pentagon can confirm that Russia jet entered Turkish airspace" “We are aware of reports and can confirm that yesterday another Russian combat aircraft violated Turkish — and NATO – airspace,” Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright told RIA Novosti in a written statement Saturday.Russian intrusion as a pretext for NATO air support and move on Syria; Enabling NATO backed Kurdish militias to annex Syrian territory?james@wpcJanuary 30, 2016 at 3:43 PMHi Pen,
Yes, it is telling that Turkey is being described as NATO airspace. It is also convenient, as you say, that Erdogan will be in Latin America so he won't be able to interfere in NATO's moves as follows.

This looks like NATO is laying the narrative of 'Russia as the aggressor' in preparation for a NATO/Turkish military intervention into northern Syria.

If this happens, then I would expect moves by the US in Eastern Syria at the same time.

The US cannot allow Russia to prevail in Syria as its own (the US) prestige will diminish greatly and with that goes a lot of its power over its allies.

The US needs to keep the fighting alive and ongoing.ReplyDeleteReplies

  1. PennyJanuary 30, 2016 at 4:27 PMHi James!

    You know what I'm thinking? I'm thinking this is the time NATO's army moves into Syria to connect the final leg of Syrian Kurdistan.

    The timing is perfect!

    By NATO's army I mean the Turkish military controlled by NATO-aka Deep State military PKK fighters and whatever NATO specials ops officers are available- from US, Canada, Britian, where-ever

    I mentioned in this post from Thursday January 28/16

    " The powerful Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and its local allies (that would be all the previously mentioned persons) have drawn up plans for a major attack to seize the final stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border held by Islamic State fighters, a YPG source familiar with the plan said on Thursday"

    If your hunch is right James and it is extremely plausible as hubby says (standing here beside me, presently)I agree wholeheartedly because all the players are present and it all fits

    Now NATO has to set up air support aka protect Turkish airspace- It's the perfect cover for the PKK/YPG and their local allies to strike

    Let's see what plays out?Delete
  2. Reply
PennyJanuary 30, 2016 at 4:30 PMAlso James one last item

If this plays out- Turkey the nation state (not the NATO occupied state) will have "gone rogue"
Perhaps we are looking at the big move to really redraw the map?

  1. PennyJanuary 30, 2016 at 6:43 PMCheck out some of these latest news items:

    Syrian civil war: Could Turkey be gambling on an invasion?

    Kurdish forces, close to sealing the border, must beware - President Erdogan is unpredictable

    The Syrian war is at a crucial stage. Over the past year the Syrian Kurds and their highly effective army, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), have taken over half of Syria’s frontier with Turkey. The main supply line for Islamic State (Isis), through the border crossing of Tal Abyad north of Raqqa, was captured by the YPG last June. Supported by intense bombardment from the US Air Force, the Kurds have been advancing in all directions, sealing off northern Syria from Turkey in the swath of territory between the Tigris and Euphrates.


    I think this needs a post

    And here it is! Being curious about the news or should I say spin? Erdogan is out of the country - covered in the previous post
    Syrian civil war: Could Turkey be gambling on an invasion?Kurdish forces, close to sealing the border, must beware - President Erdogan is unpredictable 
    " The Syrian war is at a crucial stage. Over the past year the Syrian Kurds and their highly effective army, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), have taken over half of Syria’s frontier with Turkey. The main supply line for Islamic State (Isis), through the border crossing of Tal Abyad north of Raqqa, was captured by the YPG last June. Supported by intense bombardment from the US Air Force, the Kurds have been advancing in all directions, sealing off northern Syria from Turkey in the swath of territory between the Tigris and Euphrates"
    So much for the rubbish about porous borders... As previously stated

    Mentioned all this information two days ago:
    "Kurds Gear Up for Major Offensive Against ISIS" aka Annexing Syrian Territory
     The YPG only has another 60 miles to go, west of Jarabulus on the Euphrates, to close off Isis’s supply lines" (LIES, RUBBISH, GARBAGE- this move is a must to completely annex Syria's territory and have a continuous area for Israel 2nd,oops I mean Kurdistan) "and those of the non-IS armed opposition, through Azzaz to Aleppo. Turkey had said that its “red line” is that there should be no YPG crossing west of the Euphrates river, though it did not react when the YPG’s Arab proxy, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), seized the dam at Tishrin on the Euphrates and threatened the IS stronghold of Manbij. Syrian Kurds are now weighing whether they dare take the strategic territory north of Aleppo and link up with a Kurdish enclave at Afrin"
     So, it's going to be Patrick Cockburn delivering the 'lefty version' of  NATO Sykes Picot2- It figures?! I had mentioned the significance of  taking of Aleppo by SAA as a big "no can do" for NATO and their Kurdish backed militias- As recently as the post from earlier today. Also in a post from January 16/2016 Syrian Endgame Could Begin in Aleppo- Who Would Block This Pivotal Win?

     "Turkey could respond to this by accepting a fait accompli, conceding that it would be difficult for it to send its army into northern Syria in the face of strong objections from the US and Russia. But, if the alternative is failure and humiliation, then it may do just that. Gerard Challiand, the French expert on irregular warfare and the politics of the Middle East, speaking in Erbil last week, said that “without Erdogan as leader, I would say the Turks would not intervene  militarily [in northern Syria], but, since he is, I think they will do so”. Erdogan has been a good foot soldier, however, the last little bit has seen him out of the loop-
    And he is clearly being set up (narrative wise) exactly as I've mentioned "gone rogue"

    Omar Sheikhmous, a veteran Syrian Kurdish leader living in Europe, says that the Syrian Kurds “should realise that the Russians and the Syrian government are not going to go to war with the Turkish army for them”. He warns that the ruling Kurdish political party, the PYD, should not exaggerate its own strength, because President Erdogan’s reaction is unpredictable. The PKK/YPG don't need Russia or Syria to go to war with the Turkish Army on their behalf- NATO, has their back. And has had the knife in Turkey's back for some time now.

     It shall be interesting to see how this unfolds
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NATO Confirms Russian Intrusion into NATO Airspace- SAA gains in Aleppo

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Sat, 01/30/2016 - 15:46
1-Make of that what you will!
"A Russian SU-34 fighter jet violated Turkish ??? airspace yesterday (Jan. 29, 2016) at 11.46 a.m. local time in Turkey [0946 GMT]," the statement read.
***Yet, that didn't make the news rounds till 24 hours later? Or should I say it exploded on the msm once Erdogan left for Latin American- That's important
The Russian Ambassador to Ankara Andrei Karlov was also summoned over the incident, it added.
Speaking to reporters at Istanbul Atatürk Airport before his departure for Chile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the violation of Turkish airspace, which he also described as NATO airspace, was a result of Russian attempts to escalate existing tension in the region."Russia will have to bear the consequences if the violations continue," he said.""NATO has confirmed the airspace violation: "I call on Russia to act responsibly and to fully respect NATO airspace," Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said""Russia must take all necessary measures to ensure that such violations do not happen again," he added.

As I've stated repeatedly- Turkey, like Canada, is NATO occupied- "Respect NATO airspace"

2-NATO warns Russia to 'fully respect' Turkish airspace Despite Israel's lying media headline....Stoltenberg said in a statement "I call on Russia to act responsibly and to fully respect NATO airspace. Russia must take all necessary measures to ensure that such violations do not happen again,"As I've stated repeatedly- Turkey, like Canada, is NATO occupied- "Respect NATO airspace"

3-NATO chief urges Russia not to violate NATO airspace againStoltenberg:  "I call on Russia to act responsibly and to fully respect NATO airspace. Russia must take all necessary measures to ensure that such violations do not happen again." Considering the Stoltenberg statement I have no doubt that the Russian jet shot down in November was shot down by the NATO fighters, most probably Americans, as part of a NATO operation.

Russia says:
 "There were no violations of Turkish airspace by aircraft of the Russian air group in the Syrian Arab Republic. Turkish authorities' statements of an alleged violation of Turkish airspace by a Russian Su-34 jet are naked propaganda," Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said. "None of these radars are able to establish the type and affiliation of an aircraft — whether it belongs to Russia or to the so-called US-led anti-ISIL [Daesh] coalition," Konashenkov told reporters.
We read NATO's leader label the alleged intrusion an intrusion in NATO's airspace.
While Russia denies any such intrusion at all, anywhere.
This feels like a distraction. Why? Perhaps because the SAA has made large gains in Aleppo?

VIDEO: Syrian Army Regains Areas in Aleppo, Crushes ISIS in Deir Ezzor
An army unit restored security and stability to Tannouzeh village northwest of the Air Force Academy in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, a military source announced on Saturday.
Earlier, army units fired intensively at centers and fortifications of ISIS terrorists in the villages of Jeb al-Safa- al-Seen, Jeb Ghabsheh and Tal Maskour in the same countryside.The centers and sites with terrorists, weapons and vehicles equipped with machine guns present were all destroyed, the military source confirmed in a statement to SANA.In the northern countryside, gatherings of terrorists were targeted, with their vehicles getting destroyed, in Hayyan town and Retyan village.Another army unit destroyed vehicles and gatherings of Jabhat al-Nusra-linked terrorists in al-Mansoura village, 10 west of Aleppo city.Inside the city, terrorist targets were hit in al-Lairamoun and Salah-Eddin neighborhoods.UPDATED: Conveniently for the NATO propaganda machine Erdogan is in Latin America
 "We regard this infringement which came despite all our warnings in Russian and in English as an effort by Russia to escalate the crisis in the region," Erdogan told reporters before departing on a Latin American tour. "If Russia continues the violations of Turkey's sovereign rights, it will be forced to endure the consequences."
 Erdogan before departing for Latin America- in a message for the domestic audience, clearly. 

 Erdogan eyes expanding Turkey influence on Latin America tour- filed 12 hours ago

 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday embarks on a major tour of Latin American countries in a bid to expand Ankara's ties outside its traditional sphere of influence.
"Russia will have to face consequences if it keeps on such violations against Turkey's sovereignty rights," Erdogan told reporters at an Istanbul airport before leaving on a Latin America tour. "Such irresponsible steps do not benefit either the Russian Federation, or Russia-NATO relations, or regional and global peace."
Ideal time to ramp up the propaganda war
From earlier:

Zombies and PropaGUNDa: Brian Anse Patrick- Interview
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Zombies and PropaGUNDa: Brian Anse Patrick- Interview

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Sat, 01/30/2016 - 12:06
 Interview via Red Ice Radio with much thanks for providing it

 Zombies and Memetics (Memetics is more often referred to, here, as perception management or mind viruses)

 I've discussed the zombies that masquerade as living humans previously as far back as 08 when I ran into one of these sad creatures and the only descriptor I could think of was "zombie"  Watch out for zombies promoting genocidal theories!!! Since 08 I noticed the zombie meme being promulgated or promoted much more widely. Including but not limited too Zombie Drills, Zombie Alerts, Canada never becoming a safe haven for Zombies (though it really is!)
 , Zombie Apocalypse Revival- Numerology and 8888?  and numerous other posts here addressing the reoccurrence of  the zombie mind virus. So it was with much interest I decided to give this interview a listen. It's thought provoking. Give it a listen yourself and share some relevant thoughts?

In the first hour, Brian talks about the rise of the zombie phenomenon, which he calls the premier archetype of modern times. We compare the original, minion-like, brain-eating zombie under the control of evil forces with the modern day, mass society version of autonomy – braindead cogs plugged into a constant stream of entertainment and self-affirming social media.

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Tyranny, Defiance, and the Death of LaVoy Finicum

freedominourtime - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 01:23

LaVoy Finicum, who was shot at a roadblock by Oregon State Troopers and left to bleed to death in the snow, was not a violent criminal. He and his colleagues from the group calling itself Citizens for Constitutional Freedom were traveling to John Day, Oregon to organize political resistance to federal control over lands in the western United States.
After trying to run the roadblock, Finicum plowed his vehicle into a snowbank. He exited with his hands in the air, staggering in the snow before making a motion with his right hand that the FBI claims was an effort to grab a handgun. Another possibility is that Finicum, as some witnesses claim, was shot while his hands were raised in a posture of surrender, and that his subsequent movements were involuntary. 
The carefully planned ambush, which displayed detailed intelligence regarding the plans of Finicum and his friends, was a joint operation between the FBI and the Oregon State Police. It was was not carried out in defense of persons or property, but to enforce the will of those in control of the Regime. Finicum, a 55-year-old rancher from Arizona, had become the subject of a federal warrant after renouncing his grazing contract with the Washington-based usurpers who control range lands in that state
The night before he was killed on Oregon’s Highway 395 in an FBI-orchestrated ambush, Finicum had denounced the “escalation” he had seen on the part of government officials seeking to end the CCF’s occupation of the Malheur National Refuge. On several previous occasions Finicum – who had raised cattle and scores of foster children -- made it clear that he would rather die than spend the balance of his life immured in a government cage.

Reasonable people can contend that the occupation was an imprudent provocation. That criticism can apply with equal validity to many similarly imprudent acts carried out by idealistic but obnoxious men during the 1760s and early 1770s, and now celebrated (in sanitized form) by inmates of the government-operated school system. Many of the same people who numbly absorb annual recitations of Patrick Henry’s oration at the Old South Church will see Finicum as a fanatic who committed “suicide by cop,” rather than someone for whom “Give me liberty, or give me death” was a credo, rather than a cliché. 
After being shot multiple times, Finicum fell on his back – but he didn’t die instantly. The video captured by an FBI surveillance aircraft showed him lifting his hand imploringly, and holding it up for several seconds before he lost consciousness. Finicum raises his hand. None of the officers on the scene approached Finicum to disarm him and render medical assistance while there was still a chance to save his life. In the press conference that served as a debut for the FBI’s snuff film, Greg Bretzing, a spokesman for the American Cheka, explained that potentially life-saving aid was withheld while the officers took Ammon Bundy and four others into custody.
This emphasis on “force protection” reflects the wartime priorities of an occupying army. Fallen enemy combatants are not owed the same consideration as criminal suspects. Thus Finicum’s mortal remains were left sprawled on the frozen ground, in a posture eerily reminiscent of the body of Lakota Chief Bigfoot following the vengeful Seventh Cavalry’s massacre at Wounded Knee.
The federal statute under which Ammon Bundy and six other members of the CCF have been charged, 18 USC section 372, offers no protection whatsoever to the persons and property of U.S. citizens. That measure, enacted in 1861, is designed to protect “officers” of the federal government (including administrative personnel and other bureaucrats) as they prey upon the Regime’s subjects.  It originally targeted actual and suspected sympathizers with the Confederacy, which in practice meant anybody who respected and defended the right of states to withdraw from the Union, even if motivated by an ignoble cause. Chief Bigfoot at Wounded Knee.
After the Confederacy was defeated and the once-voluntary Union was repurposed into a Soyuz, the same measure was frequently pressed into service during the thirteen-year military occupation of the South. A Justice Department memo written in 1977 noted that “although this provision is more than 100 years old, it has been infrequently used. Most recorded cases have involved internal revenue agents whose efforts to track down tax-evading operators of illegal stills met with resistance.” 
Those anti-Bootlegger operations, significantly, continued for decades after the Regime ended the exercise in authoritarian derangement called alcohol prohibition: The 1977 memo cited three cases that occurred over the previous twelve years, the latest reaching the Supreme Court in 1971. The purpose of the memo, significantly, was to provide the FBI with a legal rationale for investigating and prosecuting, under the rubric of “conspiracy to impede federal officers,” acts that were not explicitly criminalized by other federal statutes. 
The “conspiracy to impede” statute “did not even contain a requirement that an overt act be done in furtherance of the conspiracy before the conspiratorial conduct would become actionable,” pointed out Assistant Attorney General John M. Harmon.  “The broad purpose of protecting the Federal presence as fully as possible supports a broad, rather than narrow, reading of the word `officer,’” he continued. Thus it was the Justice Department’s opinion that “the term `officer’… includes both permanent and temporary, full- and part-time officers and employees of the United States.”
Sixteen federal tax-consumers are usually stationed in the cluster of buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. They act as a salient representing an unaccountable federal bureaucracy that has usurped local jurisdictions by seizing land that was not theirs by right or constitutional mandate. Indeed, the federal claim to the land in Harney County, Oregon rests entirely on illegal settlement by white ranchers in violation of treaty obligations with the Paiute Indians.  Unlike the peaceful protest by the CCF, the illegal occupation of what would become Harney County in the 1870s did involve violence and extensive property damage – and it was actively encouraged by the Feds as a way of consolidating control over territory to which they were not entitled. That act of land larceny was “legitimized” in the fashion described by St. Augustine. A “government,” he explained in The City of God, is simply a gang that "acquires territory, establishes a base, captures cities and subdues peoples," and then achieves legitimacy "not by the renouncing of aggression but by the attainment of impunity." 

Although the CCF did express its intention to use force in self-defense, the “occupation” of the vacant headquarters buildings – which would be considered trespassing, if they were legitimately owned by a definable victim – was not achieved by violence. But because the action undermined the local franchise of a Regime claiming a universal monopoly on violence, it was treated as an act of terrorism. 
In her sophomoric screed called a “criminal complaint,” FBI Special Agent (she is, to be certain,  a very “special” agent) Katherine Armstrong uses quadruple hearsay to depict the “occupiers” as a nest of terrorists bent on wreaking bloody havoc in Harney County.  After the “occupation” of the refuge began, “BLM was notified … by a Harney County Sheriff’s Officer that a source informed him that the group … had explosives, night vision goggles, and weapons and that if they didn’t get the fight they wanted out there they would bring the fight to town.” 

The BLM in action: Who are the terrorists here? None of this was true, of course, and the conveniently anonymous “source” is hidden beneath redundant layers of official deniability. The only “fight” conducted by the CCF was a quixotic campaign “to restore and defend the Constitution,” as Armstrong’s criminal complaint observes.  This kind of seditious talk was enough to cause Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, who displayed canine docility in doing the bidding of his federal masters, to irrigate his skivvies. 
The CCF, quavered Ward in a January 27 press conference, “have chosen to threaten and intimidate the America they profess to love.” No being in whom we can find even a faint flicker of rationality could genuinely believe that anybody -- let alone the entire country -- was threatened and intimidated by the “occupiers.” But people whose position in society depends on the threat and exercise of lethal violence are intimidated by those who are prepared to call their bluff. 
This, more than anything else, explains why LaVoy Finicum was left to die in the snow while his killers hurled flash-bang grenades at the terrified survivors in his vehicle. State-inflicted death is the last argument of tyrants, particularly those who fear that defiance may become contagious.

This week's Freedom Zealot Podcast examines the effort by the Ada County Prosecutor's office to imprison political dissident Matthew Townsend:

Last week's installment provided additional background and details:

Dum spiro, pugno!
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"Kurds Gear Up for Major Offensive Against ISIS" aka Annexing Syrian Territory

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 16:59
Love the lying  Haaretz headline. The NATO backed Kurdish militias alongside NATO special ops are making their move to annex Syrian territory- Period

There is not and never has been anything but  perverted war theatrics between Kurds and ISIS-  Yes, people die. People always die when a political agenda is being undertaken. I’ve said it repeatedly and I will say it again- Not caring what lies others want to believe. Choosing instead to see what is happening right in plain site. Annexation of Syrian and Iraqi territory. For Sykes Picot redux and the 2nd Israel. In Turkey the annexation process has just begun, but is definitely occurring.  I've stated these things plainly for so long now, yet, still people haven't caught on. I can't understand how that is possible?!

Let’s read the spin but face the reality

Pay attention to the truck the masked YPG is driving in! What is it?

Fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG), ride on a pick-up truck during what they said was an offensive against Islamic State militants south of Kobani, Syria December 26, 2015
The exact same truck as ISIS drives. Coincidence? NO. Not at all. No coincidence. I've posted pictures here previously of YPG driving around in the same Toyota's as ISIS.  Cheer for Kurdish militias. Cheer for ISIS. Cheer for the destruction of Syria.  A classic controlling both sides of the fight in order to guarantee the outcome. Quite a twisted & perverted reality created by the elites for the masses.

One more thought! It's been reported that wages were cut by ISIS for Syrian 'fighters' so mercs were leaving, maybe for Libya?  Making it easier for PKK to 'fight' ISIS in Syria, no doubt. Funny how that worked out?
 The powerful Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and its local allies have drawn up plans for a major attack to seize the final stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border held by Islamic State fighters, a YPG source familiar with the plan said on Thursday.

Such an offensive could deprive Islamic State fighters of a logistical route that has been used by the group to bring in supplies and foreign recruits. Annexation by any other name is still annexation. Concerns for Syria's territorial integrity? Where are they?  They must be in the the same place as concern for Iraq's and Turkey's territorial integrity and respect for existing borders. Israel must be waiting for the moment it can pounce on the rest of Golan.
But it could lead to confrontation with Turkey, which is fighting against its own Kurdish insurgents and sees the Syrian Kurds as an enemy. 

After a year of military gains aided by U.S.-led air strikes, the Kurds and their allies already control the entire length of Syria's northeastern Turkish frontier from Iraq to the banks of the Euphrates river, which crosses the border west of the town of Kobani.  But Turkey says it will not allow the Syrian Kurds to move west of the Euphrates.  The source confirmed a report on Kurdish news website Xeber24 which cited a senior YPG leader saying the plan includes crossing the Euphrates to attack the Islamic State-held towns of Jarablus and Manbij, in addition to Azaz, which is held by other insurgent groups.  The source did not give a planned date, but said a January 29 date mentioned in the Xeber24 report might not be accurate.

The YPG has been the most important partner on the ground of a U.S.-led air campaign against Islamic State, and is a major component of an alliance formed last year called the Syria Democratic Forces, which also includes Arab and other armed groups. The alliance is quietly backed by Washington, even as its NATO ally in the region, Turkey, is hostile.   Ankara fears further expansion by the YPG will fuel separatist sentiment among its own Kurdish minority. (there was no separatist sentiment- approximately 50 percent of the Kurds voted for Erdogan) It (Turkey) views the Syrian Kurdish PYD as a terrorist group because of its affiliation to Turkish Kurdish militants.

The United States and Turkey have for months been discussing a joint military plan to drive Islamic State from the border, but there has been little sign of it on the ground.   Pretty sure I explained months back that this joint US/ Turkey plan was a no go- With the US just paying lip service to Turkey. While they stuck the knife in and turned it! 
July of last year Turkey: Creating "Safe Zones", Fighting for it's Survival, Turkey's letter to UN
 "Washington doesn't want a safe zone- And their 'fight' against ISIS has been a cover all along for the Kurdish/Israeli land grab. Turkey wants the safe zone because the leadership of Turkey understand exactly where that Kurdish land grab will lead..  To the destabilization and destruction of Turkey"*The so called Geneva talks are going nowhere. By design

* Russia is now calling for talks in Germany Feb 11/2016 

 Russia said on Thursday it wanted to hold an international meeting on Syria -- including key players from the West and the Middle East -- in Munich next month.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov "There is an agreement in principle between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State John Kerry, and now we will propose to all the other participants of the international Syria support group a time and place -- Munich, February 11," state news agency TASS quoted deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov as saying.
 And finally!

 Velayati: Zionist regime seeking to disintegrate Islamic states
 Advisor to the Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ali Akbar Velayati said that the Zionist regime policy is to based on disintegrating Islamic countries of the region by sowing discord among them.
 He made the remarks in a short interview with Turkish newspaper Aydinlik.
Velayati On the sidelines of an international conference dubbed on dangers of Takfiri groups in today's world, Velayati in reply to a question asked by Aydinlik correspondent concerning statement of the Israeli justice minister on establishment of a independent Kurdish government between Iran and Turkey, said that the regime will not reach this goal at all.
Velayati said that the aim of the Zionist regime is to establish a second or even a third Israel in the region and added that the aim of imperialists and the Zionists is partition the whole region.
He added 'Turkey is an important Islamic country, and we are opposed to disintegration of Turkey and they do not allow such an event to happen and we are all duty-bound to defend Turkey's territorial integrity.'Related: The YPG-PKK Connection- Erdogan & Ocalan Had Agreed on Autonomy for Kurds in Turkey
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Children addicted to smartphones & tablets- Stunting emotional/social development

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 19:23
Children addicted to smartphones & tablets-
 Nearly half of youngsters are addicted to their tablets and smartphones, according to parents in a new poll.

Some 47 per cent of mums and dads said their children spend too much time in front of their screens, while 43 per cent said this was akin to emotional dependency.
Damaging children one smartphone and tablet at a time- Making anti social miscreants out of your own offspring. That’s not helping your children, it’s harming them. And it’s harm you as a parent are responsible for.

Is Technology Ruining Our Ability to Read Emotions? Study Says Yes

“The researchers provided sixth grade students with a pre-test to establish their baseline abilities to read emotions. The students were shown photographs and videotaped scenes where the audio was silenced. The participants were then asked to infer people’s emotional states based on facial expressions and non-verbal cues.

Half the students were then sent away to a camp where they lacked access to digital media. They spent their time doing traditional camp activities – hiking, archery, and learning about nature. The control group went about their daily activity as usual including their normal access to digital media (which for these students averaged about four and a half hours on the typical school day).

After five days, both groups participated in a post-test. The kids who went to camp showed significant improvements in their abilities to recognize emotions. The control group only showed a slight improvement. The authors concluded that the increased face-to-face interaction improved the campers’ social skills”Obliviousthat image is embedded in your child's brain- think that's healthy?
Children outdoors
These problems being reported on? They are real. I see them every day. Poor communication. Small children, toddlers, with their faces planted in their mommies cell phone or Ipad. Mommies are generally worse then daddies, sadly. It’s twisted. There is an entire whole huge, real world , all around us. The world that sustains us all. And far too many of us are not participating in it. Often, I walk. In a number of different places and spaces. It is rare to see a child walking with their parents engaged in the real world.  It is rare to see (un)accompanied children in the woods admiring the beauty all around them. It is rare to see any children interacting with nature. Anywhere. Just admiring all there is to admire. It’s not healthy. It is abnormal. On the occasion when I do see a family all together walking, the kids always appear happier and carefree when compared to the children I see having their vibrance & exuberance destroyed by electronic devices. And society is and will continue to suffer for this. Sorry if this is offensive to anyone. It’s not intended to be. It’s just an observation of the world I see around myself. The real world. The one I actually pay attention to and actively participate in.

One last observation.
When we woods walk and we do run into parents and children, over all I find the children happier and chattier. Freely so.  Just animated & brimming with energy.  Like the picture I borrowed from another blog. That little boy portrayed perfectly the happy children we see out of doors- with their families. Having a great time.
When we see the children with their faces planted in a device- they don't look up and if they do their eyes have a distant weird glazed over look. Sigh...

borrowed from here
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The YPG-PKK Connection- Erdogan & Ocalan Had Agreed on Autonomy for Kurds in Turkey

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 18:59
 Prior to the PKK suddenly ending the ceasefire!

Cause Turkey ain't talkin' trash when it's elected government speaks of the ties between PKK and YPG. Erdogan thought he was playing in the big leagues. Turkey being a NATO member. Erdogan forgot Turkey is a member of NATO out of convenience and nothing more.

Btw: this wouldn't be the first time the US double crossed Turkey-  Turkey wanted reassurances way back, when the US attacked Iraq. And those reassurances were not delivered despite Paul Wolfowitz's  understanding ways!  Pt2: Kurd/ISIS symbiosis and the Impending destabilization of Turkey

2nd: Someone by the moniker of Paveway Mk IV had left some commentary regarding PKK/YPG and other assorted alphabet groups- If I understood correctly what Paveway was contending, Barzani was the string puller in this entire situation- Or at least most of it. Admittedly the Kurdish issue is complex, however, from all my reading and writing I can only conclude Barzani is being pushed out- It surely appears to me that Barzani will most likely be gone by years end. Barring anything outside of the remaking the middle east agenda playing out as I expect it too so far   Barzani's troubles... *He has a good relationship with Erdogan and Turkey. *Oil revenues are way down and there are financial troubles aplenty in Iraqi’s Kurdish region. *Not the least of which is the trouble with all the Kurdish refugees from Syria. * Goran is a destabilizing force in Iraq's kurdish area.  You can read Paveway's comments here  Paveway left nothing that would substantiate his claim , so, I don't know? I have previously demonstrated a strong connection between PKK and YPG. Barzani is not included in that partnership. So here is yet another article regarding that connection.  The main reason the YPG wouldn’t bother with a push southward is due to the fact they have another goal. I’ve written plenty about this previously. One post that ties much of this together - A Sober Look at the West's Kurdish Allies
From today:Atlantic Council- I’ll highlight the interesting bits:
In mid-July 2012, the Syrian government withdrew its forces from a large amount of territory along the Turkish border. This move allowed the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish nationalist group linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)—a US- and Turkish-designated terrorist group—to take administrative and military control over the self-declared cantons of Efrin, Kobani and Jazira, collectively named Rojava. The link between the PYD and PKK challenges Turkey’s interests in Syria and, by its own estimate, its national security.To support the PYD’s political and military efforts in Syria, Kurds from Turkey, Iran, and Iraq ( In Iraq's mountainous areas-where the PKK is located) have travelled to Syria to join with the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the PYD’s militia. The growing sense of cross-border pan-Kurdish nationalism has contributed to the resurgence in violence in Turkey’s southeast, following the break-down of peace talks in mid-July 2015 between the Turkish government and the PKK. In an interview with the International Crisis Group, an unidentified PKK member underscored the importance of Rojava, describing the war in northern Syria as a historic opportunity to implement its program of “democratic self-administration,” a system of governance based on imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan’s teachings.As I've stated Turkey has legitimate concerns for it's territorial sovereignty!
Between 2013 and late 2014, the Turkish government tolerated the cross-border movement of Kurds and a small number of radical leftist Turks. Ankara acted out of deference to the then ongoing peace talks with Öcalan and welcomed the large exodus of PKK-allied Kurds for strategic reasons. The government considered the YPG-ISIS war a net positive, given that two entities hostile to Turkey were killing one another.So, Ankara was happy to let the kurds go to Syria to make trouble because they wouldn't be making trouble in and for Turkey
During this time period, Turkish security forces refrained from conducting military operations in Kurdish-majority areas and the presence of PKK fighters was tolerated in urban areas. A key turning point, however, came in September 2014, when the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) besieged the town of Kobani. In response, the Turkish military sealed the porous Turkey-Syria border that Kurds had been using to fight and trade with their counterparts in Rojava.For the obvious reason that Turkey didn't want them back- They would only stir the pot, in Turkey. And this claim about Turkey's so called "porous" border is not credible either. It seems more likely that Turkey has been impeding the free flow of Kurdish fighters into and out of Syria. As I've mentioned the Kurdish fighters pour into Syria via Iraq.
"Despite the tightened border, ( so much for the US claims about "porous borders") Kurds from Turkey remain well represented in the YPG, further underscoring the group’s links to the PKK" "In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Kurdish fighter Zind Ruken expanded on the PKK-YPG relationship. “Sometimes I’m a PKK, sometimes I’m a PJAK [the PKK-allied affiliate, active in Iran], sometimes I’m a YPG. It doesn’t really matter. They are all members of the PKK.”This is not shocking to me. I've already stated this destabilization will pick up between Turkey and Iran-  With PKK Kurds moving between the  nations. The PKK has drug smuggling routes aplenty to use enabling the fighters to traverse the terrain.  Three Cheers for the PKK? Or EXCLUSIVE: Former top PKK commander Osman Ocalan speaks. I've written about this repeatedly! 

As for Ocalan's 'anarchism' His so called anarchy reeks of OWO tyranny rhetoric. Globalist mumbo jumbo. I've read some of it myself and come away unimpressed by it.
The YPG’s casualty data confirms linkages between international PKK-linked groups. Kurds from Turkey total 49.24 percent of the YPG’s self-reported casualties between January 2013 and January 2016, according to an ongoing Atlantic Council study. YPG martyrdom notices show that 359 Turkish citizens, 323 Syrians, 32 Iranians, seven Iraqis, two Australians, two Azeris, and a person from England, Germany, Greece, and the United States each have been killed fighting with the group since January 2013. To be sure, there are methodological problems with the data: The two authors relied on self-reported numbers and have not been able to cross-reference this information with the PYD.Nonetheless, the casualty data closely reflects known YPG offensives, including the 2014 clashes around Ras al-Ain with the Nusra Front, the battle for Kobani in September 2014, and the 2015 YPG-led offensive towards the Euphrates river and Ain Issa, a town near ISIS’s de facto capital of Raqqa. According to the data, the battle for Kobani accounted for 38.95 percent of overall casualties and 44.4 percent of the Turkish Kurds killed with the YPG between 2013 and 2016.During the battle for Kobani, the US-led anti-ISIS coalition worked closely with the YPG to direct airstrikes. Since then, the coalition has retained its close links with the group, deploying up to 50 special operations forces inside PYD-controlled territory and reportedly staffing an airfield inside Syria to ferry supplies to Kurdish-controlled territory. Backed by coalition airstrikes, the YPG has made considerable advances against ISIS and now controls 265 miles of territory along the Turkish-Syrian border.The Turkish government views this collaboration with suspicion, owing to the YPG’s relationship with the PKK. Officially, Turkey makes no distinction between the YPG and the PKK. However, Ankara’s actions suggest that the government tolerates the US-YPG partnership. US aircraft based at Turkey’s Incirlik Air Force Base fly strike missions in support of the YPG in Syria just as the Turkish Air Force bombs PKK targets in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey.The Turkish government is right to view this collaboration with suspicion. What choice do they have but to tolerate the US aircrafts based at Incirlik? Incirlik is a US airbase and Turkey is NATO occupied.
While the US-YPG partnership has put considerable pressure on ISIS, the PYD’s political ambitions inside Syria (matching closely with those of the PKK) pose a longer term threat to Turkish security. This threat has grown more immediate in recent months, following the collapse of a two-year-old ceasefire in July between the PKK and the Turkish government.According to the International Crisis Group, between July and mid-December 2015, “Violence claimed the lives of 194 security officials, at least 221 PKK insurgents and as many as 151 civilians.” Much of the fighting has taken place in urban areas between the PKK’s youth group, the YDG-H, and Turkish security forces. In recent weeks, the YDG-H has rebranded itself as the YPS (Civil Defense Units), which now flies a flag identical in design to that of the YPG, albeit with different colors.For now, the PYD remains focused on its political project inside Syria, which requires a YPG-Turkey ceasefire. Open hostility risks opening another front against the Turkish military while its forces are deployed against ISIS. PYD successes in Syria, however, have influenced the PKK’s overarching ambitions in Turkey and, in turn, the Turkish government’s assessment of the threat they pose.The PKK’s involvement in two overlapping fronts shape this assessment. The first front remains inside Turkey against Turkish security forces for what the Democratic Society Congress (a PKK-linked Kurdish group inside Turkey) recently called the formation of autonomous regions based on cultural, economic, and geographic ties. The second hinges on support for the PYD’s project inside Syria via the YPG. This investment and possible PKK-YPG cooperation suggests similar political ambitions in Turkey and Syria, and is disturbing to the Turkish government.How the relationship between the Turkish state and the PKK develops largely depends on how the PKK approaches—and defines—autonomous governance in Turkey. "Before the collapse of the peace process, leaks about the state of the peace talks suggested that Öcalan appeared willing to support a proposal backed by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) to transition to a presidential system in exchange for some semblance of democratic autonomy. The move would have helped resolve the issue peacefully by addressing key Kurdish demands (beyond those espoused by the PKK) for greater political and cultural autonomy. The AKP supported the premise of this potential compromise, although many details needed to be worked out before implementation"Before the Kurds turned their back on the peace process, by ending the ceasefire, the AKP party had offered the Kurdish leader some type of democratic autonomy for the Kurds. Reread that bolded, highlighted section! Instead of taking the offer with an eye to future negotiations, the PKK ended the ceasefire! WHY????? What other players did not wish to see a strong, united Turkey? A peaceful solution worked? I would suggest and quite safely so, the US and Israel as two parties actively promoting and participating in a violent destabilization of Turkey. We know the US is very big on remaking the ME. Israel is certainly another party who would not want to see a peaceful resolution to this issue. We all know Israel wants the 2nd Israel- Kurdistan aka “Second Israel”- Ethnic Cleansing the Indigenous of the Middle East or Kurdistan. NATO’s new Southern Flank? With Turkey and Iran divided and weakened by  Kurdistan/Israel 2.0

And we didn't need the Israeli justice minister to tell us this was Israel's desired outcome!
It's been so obvious for years now, that disinformation/limited hangouts posted on so called alternative sites talkin' it up are way too late to the party!
The PKK leadership in Kandil refuses to return to peace talks unless the Turkish government addresses the group’s demand for “democratic autonomy.” Today, the PYD continues to pursue this vision in Syria, pushing to unite the Kobani and Jazira cantons with Efrin (a disconnected piece of Kurdish-administered territory opposite Turkey’s Hatay region).The Atlantic Council’s casualty data shows a clear shift in casualties in late 2015 towards the western front near the Tishreen Dam, compared to a few months earlier, when YPG fighters were dying near Ain Issa. The trend suggests that the YPG intends to expand its territory east of Efrin and west of the Euphrates—directly challenging Turkish interests in northern Syria, but in line with the group’s longer-term ambitions in northern Syria.The synergies between the PKK and PYD’s overarching political goals pose a longer-term problem for Turkish interests in Syria. The violence in Turkey’s southeast contributes to these problems and hastens unilateral declarations of autonomy in Kurdish districts and towns inside Turkey. The United States is now involved in this unfolding conflict through its support for the YPG. Absent a return to Turkish-PKK peace talks that address the autonomy question, these dynamics point to continued violence and, more broadly, considerable friction between the United States and Turkey over the PYD and PKK’s longer term political endgame.
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bigdanblogger - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 01:28
Trump Asks Sarah Palin To Reconsider Endorsing Him, And Please Endorse Ted Cruz Instead

(Riffing off my satirical 2008 Obama-Kerry endorsement post)


This is an open letter PLEA for you to please switch your endorsement to Ted Cruz.

Dear Sarah, they finally found a way to have my poll numbers drop: having YOU endorse me. I don't know who on my staff thought it was a good idea for me to stand next to you while you babbled a BIZARRE, INCOHERENT "endorsement" of me, but when I find out who they are, they are FIRED!!! I think it was an inside job, because anyone doing any kind of due diligence could google how NUTTY you and your family are. Your daughter preaches abstinence, yet had two kids out of wedlock. And your son was just arrested for beating his girlfriend . I did not know this because I am above researching anything, I pay people a lot of money to do that for me. I thought I could trust my campaign staff, that is why I stood beside you with a dazed look on my face as your incoherent "endorsement" unfolded. That is the look of slowly realizing how SCREWED I was.

Looking back, the only way I could've saved my campaign would've been to grab the microphone off you and said, "GET THE F*CK OUT OF HERE YOU IDIOT!!!". But as it turned out, I did the worst thing possible: I stood next to you and pretended it wasn't happening and occasionally smiled and pretended I knew what you were saying, but in reality you were giving me a good SCHLONGING. This whole thing destroyed my authoritative image, so I had to change the headlines asap by saying that even if I shot someone, my poll numbers wouldn't go down. Originally, I said "I SHOULD'VE SHOT SARAH PALIN", but my new campaign staffers said it was a better idea to say I would shoot "someone".

Thanks in advance for switching your endorsement from me to Ted Cruz.

yours truly,

Donald Trump

So, Uh, Here’s The Full Text Of Sarah Palin’s Bizarre Trump Speech. A manifesto for Donald J. Trump..

12 Things Sarah Palin Just Said, In What We Can Only Assume Is Real Life. We keep pinching ourselves and it's not working..

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The [Secret] History of FM Radio: Pt 1- Hans Utter and Gnostic Media

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Mon, 01/25/2016 - 11:19
Loved this interview!
Thanks to Jan @ Gnostic Media for providing it freely for us all

There are a number of previous interviews posted here on this subject. Just in case you are new to it!
As always, share some relevant to the topic thoughts :)
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Syrian Peace Talks Delayed- As Expected

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Mon, 01/25/2016 - 08:49

Syrian peace talks that were slated to begin today have been postponed, but U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, while on a visit to Laos, played down posturing by the Syrian regime and opposition as “just tensions.” “We’re going to have the meetings and they’re going to start, but what we’re trying to do is make absolutely certain that when they start everybody is clear about roles and what’s happening, so that you don’t go there and wind up with a question mark or a failure,” Kerry said, saying he hoped the situation would be resolved in the next day or two. His comments come after a stop in Riyadh over the weekend to discuss the planned proximity talks to be held in Geneva.
One of the anon's mentioned protests in Tunisia:

Protests Continue in Tunisia Despite Curfew
After an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday, Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid responded to popular unrest saying that “Solutions exist but some patience and optimism are needed.” Security forces made dozens of arrests enforcing a curfew, and while protests in Kasserine quieted, activists in Sidi Bouzid shut down streets with torched tires. Protests continued today when thousands of police officers marched in Tunis demanding higher wages.
And there are rumblings about another "spring" in Egypt

Sykes Picot 100 year anniversary just a few months away- 

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US Preps for a Military Solution in Syria- Russian & US Troops in Close Proximity

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Sat, 01/23/2016 - 19:19
 To understand the week end news...we're taking a trip through 2 weeks of developments

January 7/2016: The Top US Military Official Arrives in Turkey. Who Greets Him?...
More then two weeks has passed since that post. 

It appeared clear, to me anyway, the destabilization of the Syria/Iraq/Turkey situation was going to take a turn for the worse- Preparations were clearly being made between the US and Turkish Military- With military requests coming from Turkish military being made directly to US military counterparts. This was NATO planning. Erdogan was out of the loop, as he has been for some time now. It would seem the shoot down of the Russian plane was one of many warnings sent to Erdogan. The PKK ending the ceasefire was an earlier warning to Erdogan also. 
"So why is the top military dog meeting with his 'counterpart' in Turkey, alongside other officials, but not meeting the elected leadership?" Judging by the news this week end- The US is set to militarily intervene in a way they hadn't previously- As I stated January 7/2016
 " Increasing the destabilization geographically- worsening it in Turkey. Iraq. Syria"
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday that the United States and Turkey were prepared for a military solution against Islamic State in Syria should the Syrian government and rebels fail to reach a political settlement. That's NATO occupied Turkey.

Digression- Brief, but, extremely important

***Biden shows "loyalty" to NATO ally Turkey- If your idea of loyalty is back stabbing duplicity!  As I've informed my readers here, for well over a year now, Turkey is being targeted by it's NATO "friends"  inc. the PKK.  There are numerous posts on that subject here!
"Biden went on to meet with President Tayyip Erdogan, but an expected joint statement was not issued.  Biden: "He criticized the Turkish state for intimidating media, curtailing Internet freedom and accusing academics of treason" (Biden has chutzpah considering the state of the US media, internet and freedom in general)Biden: "Last week, he denounced as "dark, nefarious and brutal" more than 1,000 signatories of a declaration that criticized Turkish military action in the southeast" "More recently, reforms have faltered and Erdogan has adopted a more authoritarian style of rule. (I've read those same memes "authoritarian/dictator/Hitler wrt Assad, Hussein, Gaddafi, etc)"In an apparent rebuke, Erdogan told Biden on Saturday that he expected sensitivity from Turkey's allies and that they should avoid statements which may equate to support for those trying to hamper Turkish efforts to fight terror, presidential sources said"Since Biden is sending a message of support to NATO's PKK terrorists he made no effort to avoid these multiple and very provocative statements! He wants his terror crew to know, the US has your back!

***** Digression, ended

We already know that meeting  (Geneva) has been 'temporarily delayed' The US played every card it held to ensure that happened! Meanwhile Syria has been making battlefield gains with the help of it's allies. Including moving to take back Aleppo- The US/Israel evil duo will not allow this to happen.

January 16/2016
Syrian Endgame Could Begin in Aleppo- Who Would Block This Pivotal Win? Consider the Syrian Endgame in alignment with reports of Pentagon Considering Turkish Proposal – Ask yourself what group or organization would want only to deny Syria’s combined allied forces from taking back Aleppo?  The answer is NATO. NATO occupied Turkey will play their role, but, not the civilian government which is increasingly left out of military decisions.
Today we had news coverage reporting  John Kerry & Benjamin Netanyahu talking as if they are the deciders of Syria's future!

Netanyahu with his delusional benign balkanization:Netanyahu at Davos: Syria "best case scenario benign balkanization"

Kerry with his Assad, the terror magnet just had to go:From "Benign Balkanization" to the "Terror Magnet" Regime Change Push Coming

 These statements from two of the most violent and evil men on the planet cannot be taken as anything but declarations of war- Combined with Biden's proclamations, all this planning and talk looks to be ominous-

Yesterday,  January 22/2016 , I posted news regarding US special forces taking over an airbase they undoubtedly created with the PKK/YPG militias in Northern Syria- Alongside the fact that Russia moved troops to an unused Syrian airbase not to far away.
US/NATO War Expansion- Special Ops to Airbase-AWACS and moreU.S. special operations troops have reportedly taken over an airfield in northeastern Syria, potentially clearing the way to flow more American military support to friendly militias fighting the Islamic State group. Russian troops:
  While Rmeilan sits in territory controlled by the Kurds Qamishli airport remains in the few enclaves controlled by the regime in that part of Syria.

Russia and US setting up shop in that part of Syria is a highly notable development in the Syrian conflict.
Onto the latest news from WSJ:

Moscow’s new presence at a regime-held airport in northeastern Syria near Turkish border puzzles Washington and rattles AnkaraRattles Washington and puzzles Ankara is likely more accurate

ISTANBUL—Russia has sent new forces to a regime-controlled airfield in northeastern Syria as American military advisers step up operations with Kurdish militants in the same region, according to U.S. and Turkish officials.Covered in yesterday's post- relinked above
The parallel military moves, while small, could create new friction between Washington and Moscow, where leaders are angling to protect their competing interests in Syria and shape the direction of peace talks aimed at ending the five-year conflict there.The new deployments to northeastern Syria come as world leaders are struggling to launch United Nations-brokered talks next week in Geneva, with unresolved disputes between rival factions threatening to derail the negotiations before they begin.Exactly what the US wants...

With few expecting much progress from the talks, Russia and the U.S. are maneuvering for more influence in key Syrian battlefields.

The U.S. military is stepping up its operations in northeastern Syria as teams of special-operations forces deepen their engagement with Kurdish and Arab militants leading the fight against Islamic State.Now, U.S. and Turkish officials say, a group of Russians are operating out of a small airport controlled by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military in Qamishli on the Turkish border.Their presence has generated alarm in Turkey and some concern in the U.S., with military officials from both countries worrying that Russia is maneuvering for a stake in a vital Syrian battle zone far from its main presence along Syria’s western coast.U.S. officials said Friday the Russians’ presence at the airfield is small, and there are no signs they are trying to transform it into a hub for bombers to carry out airstrikes. But what Russia’s intentions are there remain unclear.“We’re dying to know what they’re doing,” a senior U.S. defense official said. “Right now it’s a mystery.”

Since entering the Syrian war last fall by launching airstrikes against Syrian rebels battling the Assad regime, Russia has transformed the conflict and forced the U.S. to rethink its approach. Washington and Moscow agreed to new rules meant to prevent accidental confrontations in the crowded Syrian skies.But U.S. officials said the memorandum of understanding to prevent accidents wouldn’t evolve into collaboration in the fight until Russia proves it is aligned with U.S. interests in defeating Islamic State and eventually removing Mr. Assad from power.“The MoU has been effective and proven to be a good way to sustain and promote safety of pilots,” a senior U.S. military official said. “But there will be no consideration of any terms of cooperation until we can achieve common political objectives.”In Brussels, the chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s military committee, Czech Army Gen. Petr Pavel, said Moscow hasn’t shown “a practical willingness to get in touch” in response to NATO’s efforts to improve military-to-military contacts.Anything to do with that NATO shootdown of the Russian jet?

Turkish officials have also expressed concerns about Russia’s new presence in northeastern Syria. On Friday, Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper published photos of Turkish military forces digging trenches and deploying tanks along the border across from Qamishli, where the Russian forces are based.Which Turkish officials? The no name ones?
Russia’s moves could be an issue on Saturday when Vice President Joe Biden meets in Istanbul with Turkey’s president and prime minister to discuss new ways to prevent Islamic State fighters from using the Turkey-Syria border to ferry fighters, weapons and supplies into the war zone.Turkish and U.S. officials said the new deployment may be a sign that Russia is trying to position itself to boost its ties with Kurdish militants, who have emerged as the most effective fighting force against Islamic State in Syria.That statement from no name US and Turkish officials confuses me. Why would Russia ingratiate itself with NATO's Kurdish militias?

American support for the Syrian Kurdish militants, known as the People’s Defense Units or YPG, has upset Turkey, which views the group as a direct threat to its security because of its close ties with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. That larger Kurdish force, whose commanders operated from sanctuaries in northern Iraq, is deemed a terrorist group by the U.S., Turkey and the European Union.U.S. officials and Syrian rebels say Kurdish militants are already trying to capitalize on Russia’s intervention, which has generally targeted other U.S.-backed fighters rather than Islamic State. In at least one instance, they say, Kurdish forces gave Russian military advisers coordinates to strike U.S.-trained rebels.This is written to portray Russia and the US as Kurdish allies? Are they? Both? Allies to the same Kurds? Why would Russia ally itself with NATO's Kurds who are waging war against Assad and Syria? Confusing? Or misleading?

Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz challenged Russia’s moves as counterproductive. “One cannot achieve success by stepping out of the coalition,” he said, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency. “If a fight against terrorism is needed, then international cooperation is needed.”Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria who is senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, said the Russians’ buildup gives them new clout to push their interests in the region.

“Russians achieve a triple play with this move: bolstering the Syrian government and Syrian Kurdish allies’ position in eastern Syria; complicating U.S. activities in the process; and securing a new position at the back door of Moscow’s newly found Turkish adversary,” he said. Interesting that an unnamed US official and Robert Ford are both claiming the Kurds are allies of Russia - Are we talking an entirely different set of Kurds then the US backs? Which is possible, as the USSR did have their cold war Kurdish allies?
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From "Benign Balkanization" to the "Terror Magnet" Regime Change Push Coming

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Sat, 01/23/2016 - 11:36
Language & Spelling- Conjuring Reality. Always

Assad the “terror magnet” must go-

How many perception managing ways can the regime change agenda be presented?

The U.S. and six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council said they see no future for Syria if President Bashar al-Assad remains in power as he is a “magnet" for terror in the region.Of course, Assad is a "terror magnet". But just which terrorist's are attracted to Syria and Assad?
The obvious answer is... The terrorists pushing the regime change/balkanization agenda!

 So let's read what one of those terrorists, magnetically attracted to Assad, has to say with regard to the regime change agenda


John Kerry and I will quote him, verbatim:

"None of us are under any illusions that obstacles still exist for reaching peace in Syria," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Riyadh on Saturday  “War in Syria cannot end because he is the magnet that attracts the violent terrorism and jihadis who will continue to come as long as his supporters continue to say he’s part of the future.”
He being Assad. His supporters very obviously being Russia in this case- In line with the increased demonization of Russia and Putin. Kerry being one of the terror magnets pushing for the overthrow of the elected government.
Talks between the Syrian government and opposition leaders scheduled for Jan. 25 have been postponed for “a few days”
As stated here days ago- they were not going to happen

The other terrorist, drawn to the magnetic Assad, was mentioned earlier today:

That would be Netanyahu. Netanyahu, like Kerry, shares the same goal as all the terrorists attracted to Syria and Assad. Overthrowing the government and destroying the nation state.

Companion post- Two terrorists speak as one 

Netanyahu at Davos: Syria "best case scenario benign balkanization"

“I wish it could happen, but I’m not sure you could put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I’d say the best result you might be able to get is a benign Balkanization, benign cantonization in Syria. That’s as good as you’re going to get.”


Because birds of a feather really do flock together!
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Netanyahu at Davos: Syria "best case scenario benign balkanization"

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Sat, 01/23/2016 - 09:18
Is there such a thing as "Benign Balkanization"
Benign;  not causing death or serious injury: not causing harm or damage
Let's think of the violence inflicted on Palestinians by Jewish terror groups before and after the UN decided to benignly balkanize Palestine?

Netanyahu on Syria:

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Davos, January 21, 2015.Has there really been no harm done in Syria? No death or serious injury? No damage?

Regarding the future of Syria, the prime minister said he “doubts” a unitary Syrian state can ever reemerge.

“I wish it could happen, but I’m not sure you could put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I’d say the best result you might be able to get is a benign Balkanization, benign cantonization in Syria. That’s as good as you’re going to get.”
Israel has done everything possible to encourage their desired result.

Companion post- Two terrorists speak as one:

From "benign balkanization" to the "terror magnet" Regime Change John Kerry
US/NATO War Expansion- Special Ops to Airbase-AWACS and more
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US/NATO War Expansion- Special Ops to Airbase-AWACS and more

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Fri, 01/22/2016 - 11:04
Points covered in previous post: Syria:NO Peace Talks- US to Intensify ISIS "fight" & Israel wants a Kurdish State
*Still doubting the Geneva talks will take place-
*Israel’s call for a so called “kurdish state” should’ve come as no surprise to anyone that reads here
* Israel and Sunni Muslims have long been allied and Kurds are largely Sunni Muslims.
"We must openly call for the establishment of a Kurdish state that separates Iran from Turkey, one which will be friendly towards Israel"As previously mentioned P5+1 was a ruse. Early Seeds of Iranian destabilization cross the Turkish border 

How much territory has to be annexed  from Turkey and Iran to create Israel’s dream ally?

1st map: This is the area that contained Kurdish inhabitants (1986)- Not Kurdish inhabitants alone- Kurds reside in these areas in mixed populations- From Atlas of Kurdistan

2nd Map- Israel’s dream Kurdistan aka 2nd Israel- One that greatly separates Iran and Turkey- weakening both states. Leaving Israel dominant in the area-  

"We must openly call for the establishment of a Kurdish state that separates Iran from Turkey, one which will be friendly towards Israel"
The latest:
PKK across the Turkish border? Not ISIS? Hmmmm......
U.S. troops take over air base in Syria, local reports say

This is the airbase the US created alongside their Kurdish militia (YPG/PKK) in stolen Syrian territory. It's been previously mentioned at the blog

Strategically located airport- ease of access to Turkey, Iraq & SyriaU.S. special operations troops have reportedly taken over an airfield in northeastern Syria, potentially clearing the way to flow more American military support to friendly militias fighting the Islamic State group.

A small team of U.S. troops is setting up a base camp at Rmeilan Air Base in the Syrian Kurdish region near Syria's Iraqi and Turkish borders, according to local reports.

The airfield was until recently under control of the Syrian Kurdish forces, known as the YPG, but was turned over to the U.S. to help expand American support for the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is the loose-knit coalition of American-backed militants fighting the Islamic State group."Under a deal with the YPG, the U.S. was given control of the airport. The purpose of this deal is to back up the SDF, by providing weapons and an air base for U.S. warplanes," an SDF spokesperson,
The SDF is the YPG/PKK  Kurds with Arabs in the mix. Same as ISIS. Very clearly the YPG/PKK gave the US control of the airport so the US can assist the YPG/PKK in annexing more territory and helping to create Israel’s best ally in the area.
Rmeilan is near some of Syria's major oil production facilities.
US 'takes control' of Rmeilan airfield in Syria— AJE News (@AJENews) January 21, 2016
Since it was always KurdIShIS shipping out oil from Syria and Iraq, through southern Turkey supplying mostly Israel, etc As covered very clearly in this previous post: Carving Turkey After a NATO Roasting- Claims vs Reality Read the articles that deal with oil smuggling- The Kurds have been shipping oil out from Syria and Iraq to their besties in Israel- one has to understand that when the headlines claim Israel buys most oil smuggled from ISIS territory - report   We are talkin' KurdIShIS
The airfield is in the Hasakah region, where American-backed militias have been mounting offensive operations against Islamic State-held territory northeast of the extremist group's stronghold in Raqqa.

It is also near a key supply line connecting Raqqa to the Islamic State group's second major city, Mosul, Iraq. Cutting that supply line is a key piece of the current American strategy for defeating the group.In an area that is conveniently connectable to Mosul- perfect for expanding Israel’s ally:  Kurdistan- Where have I seen this exact scenario play out previously? Recall? Sinjar: Creating a Crucial Supply Route for KurdIShIS & Annexing Iraqi Territory

Control of the airfield would help U.S. troops expedite delivery of weapons and ammunition to the region as well as operate more aircraft such as medevac helicopters, armed drones or intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms.
NATO discussing request for AWACS surveillance aircraft in Syrian anti-'IS' fight
Really have to chuckle at that headline- The use of AWACS has nothing to do with any sort of anti -IS fight. AWACS are used for surveillance of other aircraft.

 KurdIShIS doesn’t have an airforce, except for NATO’s. So, who might these AWAC's be used against? We will get to this shortly.
 "We can confirm there has been a request for concrete support from NATO to the anti-[IS] effort in the form of NATO AWACS surveillance planes," the official said on Friday.

The unit of AWACS - Airborne Early Warning and Control System surveillance planes - comprises more than 20 planes which can locate and identify other aircraft more than 400 kilometers (643 miles) away.

The fleet could act as flying command posts, communicating with other aircraft, helping to warn of threats and coordinate coalition airstrikes against IS.
Regarding the intended AWAC target?

Ignoring Rudaw's headline- The area where Russia is setting up the airport is still controlled by the Syrian government:

 While Rmeilan sits in territory controlled by the Kurds Qamishli airport remains in the few enclaves controlled by the regime in that part of Syria.

Russia and US setting up shop in that part of Syria is a highly notable development in the Syrian conflict.

To this date the US and Russians have been operating in mostly separate parts of the country. US air power has been focused solely on bombing ISIS in the east and northeast while Russian air power has been bombing various forces fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad across Syria. 
And the why of NATO's wanting to use AWAC's is clear.
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Syria:NO Peace Talks- US to Intensify ISIS "fight" & Israel wants a Kurdish State

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Wed, 01/20/2016 - 17:07
These 3 news items go together &  they both connect back to two previous posts:

Will start with the latest and then I'll relink the related information-

 First: Syria talks may not start on January 25, 'pressure, momentum' needed - U.N. envoy

Staffan de Mistura, in an interview on CNN from the Swiss resort of Davos, said he would know on Sunday whether the negotiations could start the next day, but added that they had to be "serious talks about peace" linked to "concrete demonstrations" such as ceasefires and aid convoys.
"I believe we can start talks, perhaps not on the 25th (of January), but we need to maintain the pressure and the momentum" he said.These talks were not going to happen for many reasons- I'll cover that in one of the two more extensive posts still to be published. Hint: The Saudi executions were a definite factor .
Undertaken to benefit the NATO destabilization.

Second related news story- US, allies agree to intensify fight against Islamic State

 The NATO :allies are definitely upping the ante. Undoubtedly

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter won agreement Wednesday from defense ministers from France and five other nations to intensify the campaign against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.Truth- NATO is increasing the war against Iraq and Syria ,to create Kurdistan, aka 2nd Israel aka NATO's newest terror state
Carter said at a news conference with French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian that there was broad agreement on a coordinated plan to battle IS over the next year and retake key cities under the militants' control.And now we're all going to understand the kerfuffle over Mosul- It wasn't about Turkey wanting to create a "sunnistan"
Carter also said the main 26 nations in the anti-IS coalition, as well as Iraq, will assemble in Brussels next month, after a NATO defense ministers' meeting, to continue the talk. Carter urged the coalition to seize the opportunity now to hasten the terrorist group's defeat.The U.S. has mapped out a coordinated campaign against IS over the next year, and Carter laid out the plans to the ministers during meeting hosted with France.Truth: The proxy IS has to be dealt with from a perception managing point of view- The masses need to believe it is being fought successfully so the new Sykes Picot can emerge- With different signatory names of course.

 "Because Daesh is retreating and we have managed to affect its resources in the ground, it is the moment to increase our collective forces with a coherent military strategy," Le Drian saidTruth: We can't allow Russian and Iran to aid Syria in taking back it's territory

According to a senior defense official, there were no specific offers from the ministers. Instead, a consensus emerged that they were open to doing more.
Truth: The US will be fighting this oneas it has all along, mostly solosave for it's bestie: Israel.  Yup, Israel- the other major player in all of this.

The defense ministers also discussed plans to retake two major cities in Iraq and Syria that serve as power centers for IS. The coalition wants to help Iraqi and Kurdish peshmerga forces regain control of Mosul in northern Iraq and to assist the Syrian moderate forces in ousting Islamic State militants from Raqqa, Syria, the group's self-proclaimed capital.Truth: The PKK (Sunnis) and the Sunni (Arab) militias will be fighting alongside the USA and Israel

3rd News Item, Completely Predictable/Predicted: Israeli minister calls for independent Kurdish state

"We must openly call for the establishment of a Kurdish state that separates Iran from Turkey, one which will be friendly towards Israel," Shaked told a conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, according to a Times of Israel report.
Her call reflects a growing desire in Israel to foster robust relations with the Kurdish community in Iraq and even promote the process of founding an independent state by the Kurdish people.How long have I written about Israel/Kurdistan/2nd Israel at the blog?

Related Background:
" release his documentary until 2017" There are more background posts- but those few recent ones should suffice From earlier today: 
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Canada's PM- The Greatest Embarassement

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Wed, 01/20/2016 - 16:14

Justin Trudeau approved this? Our PM rides a moose - on a sweatshirt?

How low will this PM's image machine go?

Controlling Life via the Carbon Control Tyranny-
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Nullifying the Jury

freedominourtime - Wed, 01/20/2016 - 13:50

“Could we discuss potential punishments?” asked the tall, middle-aged man identified as “Juror 25” during the voir dire for the trial of Matthew Townsend on a ludicrous felony charge of “witness intimidation.” His supposed offense was to publish a well-reasoned and inoffensive Facebook post complaining about being arrested without cause
Pointing out that he had worked as a prison mentor for many years, and had actually counseled inmates facing the death penalty, the juror thought it would be worthwhile to know what would happen to Townsend if he were found guilty. Trial Judge Lynn Norton pointed out that once the trial proper began, the jury would be instructed not to consider punishment in their deliberations.
If prosecutor James Vogt succeeds in manipulating the jury into delivering a guilty verdict, Judge Norton will decide how much of Townsend’s life would be stolen by the state – one possibility is a prison term of five years. 
Like most people in her justifiably disreputable profession, Norton treats the jury as a trivial impediment to the efficient operation the courts, which exist to transform citizens into “offenders” for delivery to the prison system. Like most of her peers she will not countenance the idea that citizens conscripted to sit in judgment of their neighbors should also be able to determine whether the potential punishment is proportionate to the alleged offense. The jury’s role is to go in the direction the judge points them, which in almost every case leads to conviction.  So determined are Norton and Ada County Assistant DA Vogt to avoid the question of proportionality that they arranged a mistrial when Townsend’s defense attorney, Aaron Tribble, referred to the obvious fact that the defendant had been charged with a felony.
Vogt’s artfully dishonest opening argument (discussed in more detail anon) depicted Townsend as a violent, predatory stalker who terrorized the valiant Meridian Police Officer Richard Brockbank by threatening his life and his family.  That may be the only way to obtain justice. Tribble began his opening argument by pointing out that the arrest out of which the felony charge grew involved a contrived accusation of jaywalking.At the time Brockbank inflicted his unwanted presence on him, Townsend “was protesting taxes” at a street corner in Meridian, Tribble pointed out. After Brockbank saw Townsend legally crossing an intersection – stopping briefly in the crosswalk to display his protest sign – the officer decided to “educate” his better about pedestrian safety.
Brockbank tried to induce Townsend into admitting a violation of the law. When Townsend asked if he was being charged, the annoyed and frustrated tax-feeder didn’t answer, so Townsend shrugged and exercised his legal right to walk away.
“At this point, Brockbank said, `OK, I’m going to arrest you for resisting and obstructing,’” Tribble recounted. “And now what began as a jaywalking case has become a felony charge….”

It was here that Vogt objected and asked that the jury be removed from the courtroom. Once the jurors had been escorted out, Judge Norton helpfully suggested that Vogt move for a mistrial. 
Tribble pointed out that the charge had been described as a felony, and that the size of the jury – fourteen panelists, evenly divided between male and female – made it clear that the offense being considered was a felony, rather than a misdemeanor.  Vogt protested that the instructions to the jury do not permit them to be informed of, or take into account, potential sentencing options, and contended that they likewise “cannot take into account the degree of the offense.” 
I have discussed this development with several trial attorneys, all of whom said that referring to the “degree of offense” in an opening argument is a novel reason for a mistrial. Then again, the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office has displayed a gift for perverse ingenuity in pursuing its jihad against Matthew Townsend. 

During voir dire, Vogt had clearly prepped potential jurors to see the charges against Townsend as a violent felony. They had been informed that the charge was “intimidation of a state’s witness,” and to illustrate the supposed seriousness of the defendant’s actions Vogt had asked jurors to imagine being threatened or robbed at gunpoint. His own opening argument was an extended riff that re-purposed a Facebook post that pointedly and repeatedly repudiated violence into a direct threat to Brockbank and his family if the officer testified against him.
“Mr. Townsend gave Brockbank a choice, and he promised consequences,” Vogt intoned, mouthing the mendacious mantra he had fashioned out of the Facebook post: “I know where you all live … leave me alone or be the focus of my rage … kill me.”
Tribble undermined the caricature of Townsend as a violent felon by explaining – in a presentation punctuated by no fewer than four objections from Vogt – that Townsend had been involved in the peaceful exercise of his rights when he was arrested without cause, and was now being treated as a felon for complaining about that mistreatment in public.
As has been previously reported in this space, Townsend’s Facebook post, which was published on the eve of his preliminary hearing on the “resisting and obstructing” charge, was directed at Brockbank, the prosecutor’s office, and everybody else representing the malign yet formless entity called “the State.” It was “the State” that threatened his liberty and his life, Townsend observed, and it was to that disembodied abstraction he made the demand that the unwarranted charge against him be dropped.
He made no mention of Brockbank’s testimony, nor did he seek to dissuade the officer from testifying. Precisely the opposite was the case: Townsend clearly anticipated that Brockbank would testify truthfully, and that by making clear “the REAL reason I was harassed” he would leave the court no choice but to dismiss the spurious charge.

To the extent that Townsend’s statement implicated the question of Brockbank’s testimony, it was an admonition to the officer to testify “freely, fully, and truthfully,” rather than trying to prevent him from doing so, as the “witness intimidation” statute would require.
Vogt complained that Tribble had “poisoned” the jury through a presentation that contrasted the innocent behavior of the defendant with the seriousness of the charge against him. Norton found such contamination impermissible, which is why she prompted Vogt to move for the mistrial.
When the trial resumes on February 29, we can expect Judge Norton and her comrades in the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office to do what is necessary to keep the proceedings untainted by considerations of proportionality, accuracy, and justice. They won’t be willing to proceed unless they can, in effect, nullify the jury.
Judge Alex Kozinski of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, one of the few active jurists who consistently display concern for the rights of defendants, insists that jurors should not only be allowed to consider punishments during their deliberations, but should have a role in sentencing.
“In most jurisdictions, jurors in non-capital cases are not told what the likely punishment will be if the defendant is convicted,” Kozinski pointed out in a magisterial essay published by the Georgetown Law Journal. “In fact, we tell jurors not to consider punishment in deciding guilt. I don’t understand why this is appropriate. In making most life decisions, we consider the consequences in determining how much effort to put into deciding and the degree of confidence we must feel before we go forward.”

Conscientious individuals seek to learn everything they can about potential consequences before making life-altering decisions for themselves, Kozinski observes. Why are jurors not allowed to do the same when they’re required to make decisions that will alter the life of others?
“Jurors should be told the gravity of the decision they are making so they can take it into account in deciding whether to convict or acquit,” he continues. “As representatives of the community where the defendant committed his crime, the jury should be allowed to make the judgment of whether the punishment is too severe to permit a conviction. Having to confront the jury with the severity of the punishment they are seeking to extract may well deter prosecutors from using overcharging as a bargaining tool.”
That last possibility implies the existence of a moral floor beneath which prosecutors will not descend. On the basis of their irrational and vindictive pursuit of Matthew Townsend, it appears that James Vogt and his professional colleagues are the kind of officials who would attack that moral floor with jackhammers.

Dum spiro, pugno!

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