Tag Archives: John Kerry

Intra-Syrian Talks in Geneva Likely to Continue Until March 19 – Source

An informed source at the talks told Sputnik that the current round of Intra-Syrian talks in Geneva will most likely last until Friday.

The current round of Intra-Syrian talks in Geneva will most likely last until Friday, March 19, an informed source at the talks told Sputnik on Sunday.

“Most likely, this round of Intra-Syrian talks won’t go beyond Friday, March 19, ” the source said.

A new round of talks between the Syrian opposition and the country’s government is scheduled to start on Monday, and is expected to be over by March 24.

 

Just In Case: Inside the Pentagon’s Explosive Plan B for Libya

Recognizing its own failure in Libya, the Pentagon has a new plan to address the spread of terrorist groups in the North African nation: more bombs.

Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been in chaos. NATO airstrikes destabilized a government that was unpopular with the West, but otherwise secure, allowing terrorist groups like Daesh, also known as IS/Islamic State, to flourish.

Now the Pentagon has a new plan to “cripple” the terrorist group’s growing influence in Libya, and it’s not much different from the strategy that led to their rise. Presented to the White House last month, the strategy calls for “as many as 30 to 40” airstrikes across the country, which, it is promised, will allow “Western-backed” militias to overwhelm Daesh militants.

According to US officials, the plan is not being “actively” considered at this time, as the Obama administration is currently trying to install a unity government in Libya, and that effort could be hindered by renewed violence.

Earlier this week, a number of Libyan experts noted that the Pentagon’s strategies are based on faulty intelligence.

“The estimates of the number of jihadists is grossly exaggerated,” said Karim Mezran of the Atlantic Council, according to AntiWar.com.

While the Pentagon has claimed that between 5,000 and 6,500 Daesh militants are operating in Libya, the need for only 30 to 40 airstrikes suggests that even Washington suspects that the terrorist fighters number in the hundreds, not the thousands.

As the US considers a new military operation in Libya, recently uncovered secret documents show that Italy has invasion plans of its own. Published by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the documents show that Italian troops are preparing to join US, French, and British special forces that have been operating inside Libya for several weeks.

Varying estimates suggest that between 3,000 and 7,000 international troops will be deployed, with nearly a third sent by Rome.

Critics have questioned Italy’s need to become embroiled in a foreign military ground war.

“And the principal question – what is that national interest Italy wants to protect?” reads an op-ed from La Repubblica. “There is danger that Italy could once again be dragged into war with only one purpose – to please its allies.”

Whichever stabilization strategy the West ultimately decides upon, the US and its allies may increasingly regret ousting Gaddafi in the first place.

Hacker ‘Guccifer,’ who uncovered Clinton’s private emails, to be extradited to US

Marcel Lazar Lehel, aka Guccifer, is escorted by masked policemen in Bucharest after his arrest in 2014.

Guccifer, the infamous Romanian hacker who accessed emails of celebrities and top US officials, will be extradited to the United States, after losing a case in his home country’s top court.

Reuters reports that Lehel will come to the US under an 18-month extradition order, following a request made by the US authorities. Details of the extradition have not been made public, however.

Marcel Lehel, a 42-year-old hacker better known by his pseudonym “Guccifer,” achieved notoriety when he released an email with images of paintings by former President George W. Bush, including a self-portrait in a bathtub. He also hacked and published emails from celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio, Steve Martin and Mariel Hemingway.

Also released were emails between former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Corina Cretu, a Romanian member of European Parliament, prompting Powell to deny that the two had had an affair.

Perhaps most notably, Lehel was also the first source to uncover Hillary Clinton’s improper use of a private email account while she was Secretary of State, which the FBI is investigating as a potential danger to national security.

In March 2013, the hacker released to RT and several other news outlets the four memos that had been sent to Clinton from her former political adviser Sidney Blumenthal. The memos contain information regarding the September 11, 2012 attacks on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, as well as the January 2013 hostage crisis in In Amenas, Algeria.

Lehel was indicted by the Department of Justice in 2014 on charges of wire fraud, unauthorized access to a protected computer, cyberstalking, aggravated identity theft and obstruction of justice.

In 2014 a Romanian court sentenced to four years in jail for hacking into the accounts of the country’s public figures “with the aim of getting… confidential data” as well as violating his parole. He is serving three years on top of that for other hacking-related offenses. After his extradition to the US, Lehel will return to Romania to serve out his sentences there.

The Romanian national, who goes by the pseudonym “Small Fume” in addition to Guccifer, is an unemployed taxi driver and paint salesman, and he says that he accessed the emails by using social engineering methods that included guessing the answers to security questions to access various accounts.

“I don’t oppose. I go there to United States to fight. I know what I did and this is okay with me,” Guccifer said in February to The Smoking Gun, where he published many of the documents he found.

Prosecutors have said that Lehel has a “compulsive need to be famous,” according to The Register.

 

Daesh Leader’s Mobile Phone Holds Proof of Turkey’s Support

An Iraqi volunteer force commander said a mobile phone found on the person of a deceased Daesh militant proves that Turkey’s intelligence agency is providing support for the group.

“The mobile phone was found with one of the killed ISIL leaders in the Northern parts of Salahuddin province two days ago,” Jabbar al-Ma’mouri told Soumeriya news on Monday.

He said the phone contains messages from Turkish intelligence proving that Ankara supports Daesh, also known as ISIL/Islamic State, by providing security at the points used by militants traveling from Turkey to Iraq.

“The mobile phone also contains other important information which cannot be disclosed now, and it has been delivered to the specialized security groups for further scrutiny,” Ma’mouri said.

Russian Ambassador to France Alexander Orlov in November revealed that Turkey has played an “ambiguous” role in the campaign against Daesh while acting as an accomplice to the terrorist group’s activities.

Last month, former US State Department senior advisor David Phillips said Turkey provided material support to Daesh because Ankara shares an ideological connection with the group, along with a mutual enemy in Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“Turkey’s role has not been ambiguous – it has overtly supported the ISIL,” said Phillips, who currently serves as director of Columbia University’s Peace-building and Rights Program. “It has provided logistical support, money, weapons, transport and healthcare to wounded warriors.”

Phillips said Turkey has been supporting Daesh to remove Assad from power and because of a “spiritual bond” that exists between Turkey’s governing party and the jihadists.

Beijing rebukes Washington after B-52 bomber strays over artificial island in South China Sea

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Beijing has described as a “provocation” the flight of a US nuclear-capable B-52 bomber over a man-made island in the South China Sea that China claims sovereignty over. The warplane reportedly did so by mistake rather than to challenge China, as was the case with other missions.

China filed a complaint with the Pentagon over the incident, the US DoD reported Friday, adding that the flight was not part of the so-called Freedom of Navigation effort to undermine China’s territorial claims in the sea.

“The Chinese have raised concerns with us about the flight path of a recent training mission,” Navy Commander Bill Urban said. “We are looking into the matter.”

Beijing called the flight “a provocation” in a statement released by the Defense Ministry on Saturday. It urged the United States “to immediately adopt measures to put an end to such kind of dangerous actions, in order not to impact the two countries’ military relations.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the incident happened last week near the Cuarteron Reef in the Spratly Islands, an archipelago contested by China and several other regional nations. The newspaper cited a US military official as saying that the bomber had mistakenly come within a 12 nautical mile zone of the island – as close as 2 miles, according to the Chinese complaint.

Over the past years China has reclaimed several islands in the area and built infrastructure on them capable of supporting combat missions of the Chinese Air Force. Beijing insists that the effort is primarily civilian and is meant to make South China Sea, the region with one of the heaviest maritime traffic in the world, most of it China-bound, a safer place.

The US rejects Beijing’s claim and occasionally sends its warplanes and warships through the 12 nautical mile area around the artificial islands, which China sees as its exclusive zone. In late October the US guided missile destroyer USS Lassen sailed close to Subi Reef with one such mission, provoking an angry rebuke from China.

Washington insists that the missions are fully legitimate as they pass through international space, but Beijing warned that the standoff may lead to a minor incident escalating into a major confrontation.

 

‘We see Syria fundamentally very similarly’ – Kerry after talks with Putin, Lavrov

Russia and the US have agreed on a number of ‘critical’ issues, particularly with regard to Syria, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following talks in Moscow.

The US stands ready to work with Russia,” Kerry told journalists after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday. He added that the two countries’ officials had had “a productive day” and the discussions had been “constructive.”

“Despite our countries’ differences, we demonstrated that when the United States and Russia pull together in the same direction, progress can be made,” Kerry said.

Calling the effort “good diplomacy,” the top US diplomat said that the whole global community benefits from such cooperation.

Moscow and Washington confirmed their previous agreements to work together to fight “the evil” of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria, Lavrov told journalists, adding that some “practical steps” to advance this effort had been agreed upon at the meeting.

We confirmed the agreements reached by the Russian and US militaries, including the agreements that also apply to the US-led coalition working against ISIL, and in practical terms agreed on some further steps which will help make our parallel work more coordinated and effective,” Russian foreign minister said.

“We see Syria fundamentally very similarly, we want the same outcomes, we see the same dangers, we understand the same challenges,” Kerry said. He added that the two nations have been “honest with differences,” but in general agree that the crisis in the Middle Eastern country “requires political process.”

Russia and the United States agree that you can’t defeat Daesh without also deescalating the fight in Syria,” the Secretary of State said, adding that both Moscow and Washington are “focused on political process” and that “Syrians will be making decisions on the future of Syria.”

Kerry also said that Moscow and Washington have found “common ground” on which opposition groups should participate in the Syrian peace talks.

Meanwhile, Lavrov has confirmed that a meeting of world powers on Syria penciled in for New York on Friday would go ahead.

A project for a resolution on Syria is expected to be ready for presentation to the UN Security Council after Friday’s meeting, Lavrov said.

We met here today not as Russia and the US behind the back of other members of the international group on Syrian support, but as co-chairs of this group,” Lavrov said, adding that only an “inclusive format” and the collective efforts of all the members of the Syria group can lead to success in solving the crisis in the region.

Russia and the US are seeking solutions to the most critical crises together, Putin said earlier at the start of the meeting, adding that he “is happy for the opportunity to meet and talk.

“Today you’ve had comprehensive talks at Russia’s Foreign Ministry,” Putin said to Kerry, referring to an earlier meeting with Lavrov. “Minister Lavrov has reported to me in detail on your proposals and on some issues that require additional discussions. I’m very happy with the opportunity to meet with you and talk.”

 

 

NATO Realizes Su-24 Incident to Have Serious Consequences – Russian Envoy

Russian Envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said that NATO member states understand that the downing of a Russian Su-24 strike aircraft by Turkey over Syrian territory will have serious long-term consequences for the alliance.

NATO member states understand that the downing of a Russian Su-24 strike aircraft by Turkey over Syrian territory will have serious long-term consequences for the alliance, Russian Envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said Friday.

“The most important thing for NATO, to my mind, is that they understood that such reckless actions, as the decision to shot down a Russian jet, can have long-term consequences for the alliance,” Grushko said in an interview with the television channel Rossiya-24.

Alexander Grushko

On November 24, a Russian Su-24 strike aircraft was brought down in Syria by an air-to-air missile fired from a Turkish F-16 fighter. According to Ankara, the missile was shot in response to the jet’s violation of Turkish airspace.

Both Russian and Syrian defense officials confirmed that the Su-24 never crossed into Turkish airspace, and was illegally downed in Syria.

 

‘Assured unacceptable damage’: Russian TV accidentally leaks secret ‘nuclear torpedo’ design

The Kremlin has confirmed “some secret data” was accidentally leaked when Russian TV stations broadcast material apparently showing blueprints from a nuclear torpedo, designed to be used against enemy coastal installations.

During President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with military officials in Sochi, where the development of Russia’s military capabilities were being discussed, a number of TV crews were able to capture footage of a paper that was certainly not meant for public viewing.

The presentation slide titled “Ocean Multipurpose System: Status-6” showed some drawings of a new nuclear submarine weapons system. It is apparently designed to bypass NATO radars and any existing missile defense systems, while also causing heavy damage to “important economic facilities” along the enemy’s coastal regions.

The footnote to the slide stated that Status-6 is intended to cause “assured unacceptable damage” to an adversary force. Its detonation “in the area of the enemy coast” would result in “extensive zones of radioactive contamination” that would ensure that the region would not be used for “military, economic, business or other activity” for a “long time.”

According to the blurred information provided in the slide, the system represents a massive torpedo, designated as “self-propelled underwater vehicle,” with a range of up to 10 thousand kilometers and capable of operating at a depth of up to 1,000 meters.

It remains unclear if such a system is indeed being developed or the slide was presented as just one of the options the Russian military could hypothetically offer. However, according to the leaked paper, the weapons system could be developed by the Rubin design bureau for marine engineering, and may potentially be delivered using nuclear-powered “Project 09852” and “Project 09851” submarines.Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that major TV channels had leaked some classified data on Tuesday following the meeting in Sochi.

“It is true some secret data got into the shot, and it was subsequently deleted,” Peskov said on Wednesday. “We hope that this won’t happen again.”

During Tuesday’s meeting Putin stressed that Russia will counter NATO’s US-led missile shield program through new “strike systems capable of penetrating any missile defenses.”

“Over the past three years, companies of the military-industrial complex have created and successfully tested a number of prospective weapons systems that are capable of performing combat missions in a layered missile defense system,” Putin said. “Such systems have already begun to enter the military this year. And now we are talking about development of new types of weapons.”

 

ISIS is working on Mossad/CIA plan to Create Greater Israel

Is Syria’s destruction a part of the Zionist plan to create a ‘Greater Israel’ ?The Plan — according to U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.): In an interview with Amy Goodman on March 2, 2007, U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.), explains that the Bush Administration planned to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Lybia, Somalia, Sudan, Iran

‘The Greater Israel Project’ Explained by Ken O’Keefe:

Ken explains the concept of ‘The Greater Israel Project’ and the balkanization of surrounding countries as a means of destabilizing them. Balkanization is a geopolitical term that was originally used to describe the process of the fragmentation or division of a region or state into smaller regions or states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with one another. The head of the snake, the system of power, is headed by the financial system. The bankers rule the Earth through the private control of the issuance of money, debt-based money which we’re all supposed to pay with things like austerity measures, which allows them to provide THEMSELVES an INFINITE supply of money which means that they can buy anything and anyone so we see that the world governments are nothing but puppets of bankers who control their money supply. The bankers at the top of this pyramid are psychopaths.

Norman Finkelstein Obliterates and Humiliates Hard Talk Host on Israel:

Norman showed the host what it really means to “Hard Talk”.
The Bias anchor/journalist who sides with Israel makes a mistake by challenging Norman on the Palestine and IsraHell conflict. Norman teaches her a lesson, she wont be forgetting anytime soon.
Norman Finkelstein has devoted his life and his Doctorate degree on the Middle East and the Palestine Israel conflict.

ISIS In Greater Israel’s Scheme:

This is the root cause of all the refugee crisis we are facing in the world right now.

Read How Naguib Sawiris helps in establishment of Greater Israel

13 Ways Obama Is Ruining America, According to Dick Cheney’s New Memoir

File photo of former US Vice President Cheney speaking about national security at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney

“We are, as a matter of empirical fact and undeniable history, the greatest force for good the world has ever known…the exceptional nation,” writes former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz in their new book, Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, out Tuesday. But according to the duo, something is getting in the way of our greatness: President Obama.

“In the seventy years since World War II,” they continue, “no American president has done more damage to our nation’s defenses than Barack Obama.”

Below are 13 instances in which the Cheneys use a book release as an occasion to get worked up, double down and blame Obama.

  1. The Iraq War? Still a good idea.
    As the Cheneys explain it, going to war with Saddam’s Iraq was a no-brainer. It was the most likely place for terrorists to gain access to weapons, and the administration had a heightened obligation after 9/11 to do everything possible to contain terrorists. “Those who say the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a mistake [like Obama],” the Cheneys write, “are essentially saying we would be better off if Saddam Hussein were still in power.”
  2. Obama’s incompetence probably helped ISIS gain power.
    Of more concern to the Cheneys than whether invading Iraq was a mistake is Obama’s withdrawal. “President Obama’s decision not to leave any U.S. forces behind created the space and the conditions for the rebirth of al Qaeda in Iraq, as well as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS,” they write. “The terrorists President Obama described as the ‘jayvee team’ would soon control more resource and territory than any other terrorist group in history.”
  3. We should definitely not leave Afghanistan again.
    “Though we have seen progress there,” they write, “President Obama’s decision to deploy 25 percent fewer surge forces than his commanders requested, coupled with his decision to withdraw them early to meet a U.S. political timetable, means that there are still safe havens in Afghanistan that will be exploited by America’s enemies if we walk away.” The Cheneys argue that America must reverse direction and maintain its presence in the country until Afghan national security forces are truly able to secure the nation. “Walking away again,” they write, “would be the height of recklessness.”
  4. People should stop picking on the NSA.
    In the aftermath of 9/11, the then director of the National Security Agency asked President Bush for additional intelligence capabilities, to which Bush readily agreed. Despite the controversial revelations that followed—namely, the leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the agency’s many surveillance programs—the Cheneys still insist Bush “imposed tight conditions” to ensure the programs didn’t violate citizens’ civil liberties. “Those who oppose the program,” they add, “will be accountable for explaining to the American people why they fought to make it more difficult for the United States government to effectively track the communications—and therefore the plans—of terrorists inside the United States.”
  5. The Cheneys aren’t saying Edward Snowden is a Russian spy—but they’re also not not saying that.
    “The ‘reset’ with Russia [has] failed,” the Cheneys write, pointing to “Russian president Vladimir Putin welcom[ing] Edward Snowden to Moscow, [and] granting asylum to the traitor responsible for one of the greatest thefts of American intelligence in history.” They add, “Whether Snowden was a Russian operative at the time he stole the U.S. secrets is the subject of debate, although it is hard to conceive of his landing in Moscow as a coincidence. What is clear is that he is fully Putin’s tool now.”
  6. The U.S. shouldn’t even consider closing Guantanamo.
    As the Obama administration explores closing arguably the most tangible vestige of the Bush administration, the Cheneys strike a familiar note: “The facility at Guantanamo Bay was and remains safe, secure, humane, and necessary.” They continue: “In efforts led by the State Department, some detainees were released during the George W. Bush administration. President Obama has accelerated releases, even though by the time he took office, the detainees left in Guantanamo were the worst of the worst, men whose home countries often refused to take them back.”
  7. Whatever the Senate Intelligence Committee says, enhanced interrogation works.
    In December, 2014, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a long-awaited report assessing the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program. Among its many findings, the report concluded that “ the CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.” But the Cheneys maintain that “it works.” They add: “No moral value held dear by the American people obliges public servants ever to sacrifice innocent lives to spare a captured terrorist from unpleasant things.”
  8. But if you think torture was our policy, it’s all Obama’s fault.
    As the Obama administration fights court rulings ordering the release of thousands of images depicting detainee abuse that go beyond Abu Ghraib in both location and brutality, the Cheneys argue it was actually Obama who made detainee abuse under the Bush administration appear to be policy. “As he issued a call to avoid humiliating terrorists who slaughter innocents, President Obama also perpetuated a falsehood that America’s critics were peddling—that what happened at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad represented official policy, that it had something to do with or was related to America’s enhanced interrogation program.”
  9. Benghazi was an Al-Qaeda attack and Obama lied about it.
    The Cheneys contend that in the middle of an election cycle, especially one in which Obama had been touting the progress made combating Al-Qaeda, the president could not admit there was an Al-Qaeda attack on the anniversary of September 11. Instead, they write, “administration officials misled the American people about what had happened, attempting to cast the attacks as spontaneous uprisings in response to an anti-Islamic Internet video, though there was no evidence of such a claim.”
  10. Syria has been an abject failure, and that too is all Obama’s fault.
    In 2012, Obama drew a red line regarding Syria; the use of chemical weapons would “change [his] calculus.” But the following year, when Syria did cross that line, Obama vacillated and ultimately failed to act. This, the Cheneys argue, irrevocably hurt the reputation of the U.S. It was used as ISIS propaganda, they say, “to convince Syrians that they couldn’t count on the United States.” The actions the Obama administration did take, however, didn’t fare any better. “The $500 million program to train Syrian rebels is a national embarrassment, having produced, according to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, sixty vetted candidates,” the Cheneys write. “America and its allies are not winning.”
  11. Also, the Iran deal will lead to all-out nuclear war, which will also be all Obama’s fault.
    The first problem with Obama’s Iran deal, the Cheneys say, is Obama entered the negotiations apologizing for failing to engage with Iran. “In his view, there wasn’t any moral distinction between the way America and Iran had operated on the world stage,” they write. But the most damaging concession of all, according to the Cheneys, is the administration’s willingness to allow Iran to continue enriching uranium. “Munich led to World War II,” they write. “The Obama agreement will lead to a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, and more than likely, the first use of a nuclear weapon since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
  12. Cyberwarfare threatens to challenge our competitive edge.
    “For the last seventy years, the United States has had no peers in terms of the power of our military,” the Cheneys write. “The advent of cyberwarfare and the technological advances being made by our adversaries threaten to change that. “Referencing breaches like the Office of Personnel Management hack, the Cheneys argue, “we must impose significant costs on China for engaging in cyberespionage and other forms of cyberattack.”
  13. If China overtakes us, it will probably also be Obama’s fault.
    Though the Cheney’s book is filled with the threats America faces, they argue no challenge is greater than the one posed by China. “While we’ve been undertaking massive [military] cuts, China has been building the military forces necessary to become a global power,” they write. “Their defense spending increased more than 12 percent between 2013 and 2014, and with the exception of 2010, has increased every year since 1989 by double digits.” They add, “The misguided cuts being made now will have long-lasting negative effects on the nation.”
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