Suicide Assassin Drones: A New Tradecraft Tool?

By now, most people have heard of the assassination attempt on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. In what might be a first, a world leader was targeted by a explosive-laden drone; in this case, two $8,000 DJI Matrice 600 Pros.  Each carried a payload of 2.2 pounds of C4 plastic explosive.

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This leads to the question: In the future, are more and more assassination attempts on politician leaders, dissidents and whistle-blowers going to be carried out by drone? Has the day of the drone assassination arrived?

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THE CRIMES OF SEAL TEAM 6

sealteam6Officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, SEAL Team 6 is today the most celebrated of the U.S. military’s special mission units. But hidden behind the heroic narratives is a darker, more troubling story of “revenge ops,” unjustified killings, mutilations, and other atrocities — a pattern of criminal violence that emerged soon after the Afghan war began and was tolerated and covered up by the command’s leadership.

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Former Blackwater Gets Rich as Afghan Drug Production Hits Record High


Source: The Guardian

In a war full of failures, the US counternarcotics mission in Afghanistan stands out: opiate production has climbed steadily over recent years to reach record-high levels last year.

Yet one clear winner in the anti-drug effort is not the Afghan people, but the infamous mercenary company formerly known as Blackwater.

Statistics released on Tuesday reveal that the rebranded private security firm, known since 2011 as Academi, reaped over a quarter billion dollars from the futile Defense Department push to eradicate Afghan narcotics, some 21% of the $1.5 bn in contracting money the Pentagon has devoted to the job since 2002.

The company is the second biggest beneficiary of counternarcotics largesse in Afghanistan. Only the defense giant Northrop Grumman edged it out, with $325m. Continue reading

Stratfor: Ukraine Coup Plotted by US Over Russian Stance on Syria

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According to several sources, namely Stratfor, Ukraine has undergone a “Western-backed coup” in the course of the recent political upheaval that forced now-ousted President Viktor Yanukovych to leave the country.

Ukraine has been gripped by unrest since November 2013, when Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia.

On February 23 2014, amid rising violence in the country, the Ukrainian parliament ousted Yanukovych and named Oleksandr Turchynov, the legislature’s speaker, as interim president.

As the crisis was brewing in Ukraine, US and European officials repeatedly expressed support for the anti-government Ukrainian protesters. The protests took violent forms as an increasing number of the protesters resorted to violence in confronting Ukrainian security forces.

Stratfor, an ad-hoc public intelligence provider, confirms what the more conspiratorial-minded among us have long suspected:

MOSCOW, December 19 (Sputnik) – The United States is behind the February coup in Kiev, which came in response to Russia’s stance on Syria, said George Friedman, the founder and CEO of Stratfor, a global intelligence company.

Russia has repeatedly said that the coup in Kiev was organized by the US, Friedman told Kommersant newspaper. Indeed, it was the most overt coup in history, the political analyst stressed.

The United States decided to act following Russia’s successes in the Middle East, a key region for the US. Americans saw that Russians could influence what was happening in the Middle East, Friedman said. Russians are one of the many challenges in the region that the US faces, he stated. The US thought Russia’s activities were an attempt to harm Washington, the political analyst told the newspaper, adding that events in Ukraine should be viewed in this context.

Russians seem to have underestimated how seriously the US would react to Moscow’s activities in the region and that they would easily respond, Friedman said. The US understood that the thing Russia wants the least is instability in Ukraine, he added.

The head of Stratfor, also known as “The Shadow CIA,” insisted that Russia’s involvement in Syria was not the only reason for the Ukrainian crisis. However, many in Washington started to perceive Russia as a problem, the expert told the newspaper, adding that at that time the US decided to divert Russia’s attention away from the Middle East.

Syria has been in a civil war since March 2011. Over 100,000 people have died as a result of the armed conflict. Russia repeatedly stated that the election of Syria’s president Bashar Assad was legitimate, and that the people of Syria should control their future. From the beginning of the war the US supported the opposition and stated that the conflict would not be over with Assad in power.

For more details, check out this article from March, 2014 on RSN:

If the US State Department’s Victoria Nuland had not said “Fuck the EU,” few outsiders at the time would have heard of Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, the man on the other end of her famously bugged telephone call. But now Washington’s man in Kiev is gaining fame as the face of the CIA-style “destabilization campaign” that brought down Ukraine’s monumentally corrupt but legitimately elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

“Geoffrey Pyatt is one of these State Department high officials who does what he’s told and fancies himself as a kind of a CIA operator,” laughs Ray McGovern, who worked for 27 years as an intelligence analyst for the agency. “It used to be the CIA doing these things,” he tells Democracy Now. “I know that for a fact.” Now it’s the State Department, with its coat-and-tie diplomats, twitter and facebook accounts, and a trick bag of goodies to build support for American policy.  Read More>>

Documentary: Mexican Drug Cartels are now in the Oil Business

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Cocaine & Crude

From Tamulipas to Oaxaca, Mexican cartels are now engaging in violence and intimidation against oil workers. When they are not in rural areas tapping Pemex pipelines for gas and oil (called Fuel Milking), they are taking material storage locations by force or violence and draining the tanks into their trucks. Apparently, they have learned over time that the Oil Business is just as profitable as the drug and gun business.

Drug cartels are diversifying their business from drug/gun running and intimidation to oil theft, drug/gun running and intimidation. This new business is extremely lucrative and they know this. In fact, there are interesting parallels between the Cartel business model and the model used by upper echelons of various powerful Governments around the world. Control the guns, control the drugs and control the oil. The money will come. Once you control the final point, currency, the world is yours. Until then, it’s a tool for the cartels. This is evident in their popularized saying: “Plata o Plomo”, meaning Silver or Lead. Take a payoff or DIE.

Vice News’ latest documentary covers the Cartel’s new venture into the business of oil theft and it’s impact. If for no other reason, watching this documentary will give you a good idea of the level of fear instilled in local workers and businessmen, even when they have armed Mexican Military escorts. Mexican Cartels are certainly no joke.

Watch the full 20m short, here:

The Hypocrisy of Action Against Chemical Warfare Offenders

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With tensions mounting, the US is beginning to make its case for strikes against the Syrian government. Reports indicate that the White House will release the declassified document demonstrating Syria used chemical weapons against its citizens as justification for US military intervention as early as today.

The Syrian question has some asking why the use of chemical weapons is the ‘red line’ whose crossing now demands American involvement, and recently declassified CIA documents don’t make the debate any clearer. Continue reading