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With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy – HRW Report

In Archive, Big Brother, FBI, NSA, Police State, Surveillance, USA on July 30, 2014 at 9:13 AM

07/28/2014

HRW:

This 120-page report documents how national security journalists and lawyers are adopting elaborate steps or otherwise modifying their practices to keep communications, sources, and other confidential information secure in light of revelations of unprecedented US government surveillance of electronic communications and transactions. The report, based on extensive interviews with journalists, lawyers, and senior US government officials, documents how government surveillance and secrecy are undermining press freedom, the public’s right to information, and the right to counsel, all human rights essential to a healthy democracy.

Related Links:

Obama Administration and the Press – Leak Investigations and Surveillance in Post-9/11 America – CPJ Report

Chilling Effects: NSA Surveillance Drives 1 in 6 U.S. Writers to Self-Censor – PEN Survey

Islamic State Video: 36 Minutes of Propaganda and Mass Executions in Iraq

In Archive, Iraq, ISIS, Islamic State, Military, Terrorism on July 30, 2014 at 5:12 AM

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07/30/2014

RT:

As part of their psychological war to create a medieval-style caliphate, the Islamic State has released a new shocking video showing scenes of mass executions, warning Iraqi soldiers and others who dare to resist that they will be rounded up and killed.

The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL, stormed through areas of northern Iraq last month, building on territory they had already seized in western Iraq and Syria.

The 36-minute video clip was released for the Eid holiday marking the end of Ramadan, sheds a disturbing light on the mentality of the Islamic State extremists and the methods they use as the organization presses on with its campaign of hatred and murder.

The video begins with IS fighters sweeping through a town in quick hit raids. The insurgents then stand over dozens of terrified Iraqis many of whom are only teenagers. One militant mocks a soldier for wearing civilian clothes over his uniform and then shoots him dead.

Other soldiers are then led to a pit in the desert and murdered one by one. A jihadist, not satisfied that they are dead, then does the round again. Most of the men appear to be deserters from the Iraqi army.

Other sequences from the IS propaganda video include a commander firing up militants with promises that paradise awaits them, when they take the city of Samarra, which is only 100 km north of the capital Baghdad.

Some of the prisoners were led to the edge of a river where each one was shot in the head with a pistol and then shoved in.

The footage also shows the insurgents moving into a town in pick-up trucks and US Humvees, seized from the Iraqi army last month, although it is not clear if this actually is Samarra, which is still reportedly in Iraqi government hands.

Islamic State militants gain ground by driving past other vehicles and opening fire randomly on passengers who then lose control of their vehicles or lie dead on the seats in pools of their own blood.

The video also shows IS bulldozing mosques and blowing up Shiite shrines.

MORE: ISIS jihadists demolish mosques, shrines in northern Iraq (PHOTOS)

Islamic State insurgents appear to avoid heavy clashes and therefore casualties by conducting quick, ruthless and indiscriminate operations and by using psychological warfare.

READ MORE: Jihadists attract investors, fighters with annual reports & glossy PR

Related Link: (VIDEO/PHOTOS) ISIS Beheads Syrian Soldiers, Puts Heads on Poles in Town Square

(VIDEO/PHOTOS) ISIS Beheads Syrian Soldiers, Puts Heads on Poles in Town Square

In Archive, ISIS, Islamic State, Military, Syria, Terrorism on July 30, 2014 at 4:32 AM

 

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07/26/2014

RT:

Jihadist group ISIS published photos of the beheadings of soldiers and officers at a Syrian government base near the eastern city of Raqqa after rebel forces reportedly breached a stronghold that had not been captured since the start of the conflict.

Conflicting reports have emerged regarding the outcome of the attack, which began when two Saudi suicide bombers simultaneously detonated their payload at different points of the Division 17 base perimeter on Thursday.

Hours of intense firefights followed. The jihadists – who already control much of the northeastern province – attacked from the ground, while government forces used helicopters to strike back while holding fortified positions.

Our brothers stormed the building where dozens of soldiers were inside. We lost 13 martyrs in these battles,” a self-proclaimed ISIS fighter told The New York Times anonymously through Skype.

By Friday evening, the Sunni jihadists began to post video and photo evidence from inside the Division 17 living quarters, in which its fighters burned the portrait of Syrian President Bashar Assad while displaying alcohol and other forbidden items that they purportedly found in soldiers’ lockers. They also claimed that government troops had scattered to nearby villages. Those who were caught were summarily executed. ISIS posted a picture of beheaded officers on Twitter, their heads placed in the central town square.

“I could see only bodies; there were, like, 70 scattered everywhere. Now our brothers with their trucks will bury them in a mass grave,” said the anonymous ISIS fighter.

The government claimed that the base had not been taken over, but that its troops withdrew tactically, awaiting reinforcements ahead of a counter-attack.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 85 government soldiers died (50 through executions), along with nearly 30 ISIS fighters. It added, however, that the government’s losses may be heavier than initially believed.

“Hundreds of troops surviving withdrew on Friday to safe places – either to nearby villages whose residents oppose IS or to nearby Brigade 93 – but the fate of some 200 remains unknown,” said the group’s director, Rami Abdel Rahman.

Related Link: Islamic State Video: 36 Minutes of Propaganda and Mass Executions in Iraq

Hamas Releases Video of Infiltration/Attack on IDF Base

In Archive, Hamas, IDF, Israel, Israhell, Military, Operation Protective Edge, Palestine on July 30, 2014 at 12:34 AM

07/29/2014

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, has released a video showing its fighters infiltrating and attacking an Israeli watchtower near the war-torn Gaza Strip in Nahal Oz on Monday, killing 5 IDF soldiers. Al Jazeera (Arabic) broadcast the video late on Tuesday.

 

In the film, which is 3 minutes 48 seconds long, Hamas militants are seen walking in a tunnel and then emerging armed with a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG.) They are seen approaching the Israeli military post and then hiding.

The camera focuses on a soldier and militants fire toward him. Then they burst through the gate of the post, and hurry toward a soldier who is lying on the ground and fire on him a number of times at close range.

Also shown are exchanges of fire between the IDF soldiers and the Palestinians and its possible to hear the IDF soldiers reporting that an attempt had been made to abduct one of the bodies. A Hamas fighter was killed while trying to drag the body of one of the soldiers, according to a statement from the IDF.

After that, the men are seen leaving the post and running back to the tunnel. At the end of the film, one of the militants displays an IDF gun taken from the post.

The edited video does not show Hamas militants firing an anti-tank missile at the forces, as the Israeli military had reported.

Hamas issued a statement on Monday’s infiltration. “If they haven’t had enough of our strikes yet, our fighters still have so much to surprise their leaders with. It is our promise to our people that their blood will not be wasted,” the group said in a statement published in part by the Palestinian Maan news agency.

The group said they tried and failed to capture an Israeli soldier during the incident, but said that they seized an Israeli Tavor assault rifle.

Aspen Security Forum 2014 Highlights

In News on July 26, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Originally posted on LeakTank:

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July 23-26, 2014

Some of the more interesting talks at the Aspen Security Forum 2014 from current and former military and intelligence leaders. All of the ASF2014 talks can be viewed here.

Rethinking the U.S. National Security Apparatus

This session will discuss whether the United States government is properly structured,
financed, and staffed to meet the security threats of today.

Gen. Michael Hayden (Ret.), Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency; Former
Director, National Security Agency; Principal, The Chertoff Group
Mike Leiter, Former Director, National Counterterrorism Center; Head of Global
Government and Commercial Cyber Operations, Palantir; National Security Analyst,
NBC News
John McLaughlin, Former Acting and Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency;
Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced
International Studies
Adm. Eric Olson (Ret.), Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
MODERATOR: Eric Schmitt, National Security Correspondent, The New York Times

Striking the Right Balance Between Security and Liberty

View original 370 more words

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