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Glenn Greenwald

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Trump’s War on Terror Has Quickly Become as Barbaric and Savage as He Promised

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From the start of his presidency, Donald Trump’s “war on terror” has entailed the seemingly indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people in the name of killing terrorists. In other words, Trump has escalated the 16-year-old core premise of America’s foreign policy — that it has the right to bomb any country in the world where people it regards as terrorists are found — and in doing so, has fulfilled the warped campaign pledges he repeatedly expressed.

The most recent atrocity was the killing of as many as 200 Iraqi civilians from US airstrikes this week in Mosul. That was preceded a few days earlier by the killing of dozens of Syrian civilians in Raqqa province when the U.S. targeted a school where people had taken refuge, which itself was preceded a week earlier by the US destruction of a mosque near Aleppo that also killed dozens. And one of Trump’s first military actions was what can only be described as a massacre carried out by Navy SEALs, in which 30 Yemenis were killed; among the children killed was an 8-year-old American girl (whose 16-year-old American brother was killed by a drone under Obama).

In sum: Although precise numbers are difficult to obtain, there seems little question that the number of civilians being killed by the US in Iraq and Syria — already quite high under Obama — has increased precipitously during the first two months of the Trump administration. Data compiled by the site Airwars tells the story: The number of civilians killed in Syria and Iraq began increasing in October under Obama but has now skyrocketed in March under Trump.
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Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. Trump Just Killed His 8-Year-Old Sister.

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Nawar al-Awlaki, killed by US, Jan. 29th.

In 2010, President Obama directed the CIA to assassinate an American citizen in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, despite the fact that he had never been charged with (let alone convicted of) any crime, and the agency successfully carried out that order a year later with a September, 2011 drone strike. While that assassination created widespread debate – the once-again-beloved ACLU sued Obama to restrain him from the assassination on the ground of due process and then, when that suit was dismissed, sued Obama again after the killing was carried out – another drone-killing carried out shortly thereafter was perhaps even more significant yet generated relatively little attention.

Two weeks after the killing of Awlaki, a separate CIA drone strike in Yemenkilled his 16-year-old American-born son, Abdulrahman, along with the boy’s 17-year-old cousin and several other innocent Yemenis. The US eventually claimed that the boy was not their target but merely “collateral damage.” Abdulrahman’s grief-stricken grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki, urged the Washington Post “to visit a Facebook memorial page for Abdulrahman,” which explained: “Look at his pictures, his friends, and his hobbies His Facebook page shows a typical kid.”

Few events pulled the mask off Obama officials like this one. It highlighted how the Obama administration was ravaging Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries: just weeks after he won the Nobel Prize, Obama used cluster bombs that killed 35 Yemeni women and children. Even Obama-supporting liberal comedians mocked the Obama DOJ’s arguments for why it had the right to execute Americans with no charges: “Due Process Just Means There’s A Process That You Do,” snarked Stephen Colbert. And a firestorm erupted when former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs offered a sociopathic justification for killing the Colorado-born teenager, apparently blaming him for his own killing by saying he should have “had a more responsible father.”
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Russia Hysteria Infects WashPost Again: False Story About Hacking US Electric Grid

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The Washington Post on Friday reported a genuinely alarming event: Russian hackers have penetrated the US power system through an electrical grid in Vermont. The Post headline conveyed the seriousness of the threat:
Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. electrical grid security, officials say
The first sentence of the article directly linked this cyber-attack to alleged Russian hacking of the email accounts of the DNC and John Podesta – what is now routinely referred to as “Russian hacking of our election” –  by referencing the code name revealed on Wednesday by the Obama administration when it announced sanctions on Russian officials: “A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials.”

The Post article contained grave statements from Vermont officials of the type politicians love to issue after a terrorist attack to show they are tough and in control.
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As Israel Prospers, Obama Set to Give Billions More in Aid While Netanyahu Demands Even More

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For all the chatter about animosity between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Washington Post reports that “a senior Israeli official will arrive in Washington next week for a final round of negotiations involving the largest military aid package the United States has ever given any country and that will last more than a decade after President Obama leaves office.” The US already transfers $3.1 billion in taxpayer money every year to Israel — more than any other country by far — but the new agreement Obama is set to sign “significantly raises” that amount, and guarantees it for 10 years.

In response to this massive windfall, Netanyahu is angry that he is not getting even more. For some time, “Netanyahu was holding out for as much as $5 billion a year.” Also, Israel has been opposed to efforts to direct more of that aid to US military contractors rather than Israeli ones (so this “aid” package is as much a transfer of US taxpayer money to weapons manufacturers in both countries as it is to Israel itself). Moreover, “Israelis are also said to be displeased with a US position that whatever amount of money they agree on will be final and that Israel will not go to Congress requesting more money.”
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After Vote to Remove Brazil’s President, Key Opposition Figure Holds Meetings in Washington

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Brazil’s lower house of Congress on Sunday voted to impeach the country’s President, Dilma Rousseff, sending the removal process to the Senate. In an act of unintended though rich symbolism, the House member who pushed impeachment over the 342-vote threshold was Dep. Bruno Araújo, himself implicated by a document indicating he may have received illegal funds from the construction giant at the heart of the nation’s corruption scandal. Even more significantly, Araújo belongs to the center-right party PSDB, whose nominees have lost four straight national elections to Rousseff’s moderate-left PT party, with the last ballot-box defeat being delivered just 18 months ago, when 54 million Brazilians voted to re-elect Dilma as president.

Those two facts about Araújo underscore the unprecedentedly surreal nature of yesterday’s proceedings in Brasília, capital of the world’s fifth largest country. Politicians and parties which have spent two decades trying, and failing, to defeat PT in democratic elections triumphantly marched forward to effectively overturn the 2014 vote by removing Dilma on grounds that, as today’s New York Times report makes clear, are, at best, dubious in the extreme. Even The Economist, which has long despised the PT and its anti-poverty programs and which wants Dilma to resign, has argued that “in the absence of proof of criminality, impeachment is unwarranted” and it “looks like a pretext for ousting an unpopular president.”
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