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Daniel McAdams

Al-Qaeda Linked Leader Visits US - To Lobby US Government!

Most Americans would think that after 9/11 and the four trillion dollar, 15 year "war on terror" that followed, the US government might actually wish to prevent individuals from visiting the country who are affiliated with al-Qaeda. Sadly, they would be wrong.

The McClatchy News Service reports that Labib al Nahhas, an official in the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamist fighting group Ahrar al Sham, was granted a visa to enter the US for a brief visit. 

In a recent State Department press briefing, one journalist questioned Department Spokesman Mark Toner about the purported visit. "Were US officials aware of this visit?" asked the journalist.
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Breaking: US Soldier in Syria - 'Kill 'em All!'

After continued Pentagon denials that US Special Forces in Syria equals "boots on the ground" in Syria, new video has just emerged of a US soldier standing next to what looks like an armored personnel carrier with Kurdish militia "YPG" spray-painted on it. It appears he is asked some kind of question and he turns to the camera with a menacing smirk and says: "Let me tell you something. I"m from the United States of America and I say kill 'em all!"
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Caught on Film: US Special Forces Fighting on Ground in Syria

Today Agence France-Presse published shock photos of US Special Forces troops engaged in combat inside Syria with the US-backed, mostly-Kurdish "Syrian Democratic Forces" as they moved toward the ISIS "capital" of Raqqa. The Pentagon has insisted that US troops in Syria -- numbering upwards of 300 -- play only an “advise and assist” role to the US-backed group, made up mostly of Kurdish YPG forces, but the AFP photos demonstrate clearly that the US forces are engaged in the fight. 

The Washington Post reports that the US Special Forces were, "clustered around what appears to be an advanced Mk.47 40mm automatic grenade launcher. The system, built by General Dynamics, is primarily used by Special Operations units and has not been widely sold outside the United States."
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Oops! CIA 'Accidentally' Destroyed Its Only Copy of Senate Torture Report

The CIA was once so interested in the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA torture that it secretly spied on the US Senate to see what they were coming up with. These days...well, not so much. They hardly seem interested in the report at all. In fact, the CIA Inspector General's office has acknowledged that it "mistakenly" destroyed its only copy of the Senate torture report. 

As Yahoo News reports, it is particularly alarming that the CIA office charged with oversight on matters of illegal CIA activity has bungled its handling of the report. And what a coincidence the CIA loss of the report turns out to be! It seems that, "CIA inspector general officials deleted an uploaded computer file with the report and then accidentally destroyed a disk that also contained the document, filled with thousands of secret files about the CIA’s use of 'enhanced' interrogation methods."
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Did You Know? US Special Forces Fighting in Libya and Somalia

With the ongoing larger US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, and elsewhere, it can easily become the "new normal" that US troops are also fighting in (relatively) small numbers in places we just do not hear about, in wars the media does not question, in bloody conflicts that Congress does not bother to debate much less authorize. Once it was news when US troops were fighting overseas. But now the total US militarization of the rest of the world is so non-controversial that the average American doesn't even seem fazed about it.
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Breaking: 100 US Troops Land in Yemen?

Citing the Arab language Al Masirah TV news site, 20th Century Wire is reporting that some 100 US Army Special Forces have landed recently at the Anad air base in Lahij, Yemen. This deployment is said to augment other Arab forces currently engaging with al-Qaeda in its strongholds in southern Yemen. It was only just over a year ago that the US was forced to evacuate its forces from Yemen as fighting increased between the deposed Saudi-backed government and a Houthi-led insurgency. 

The Saudi war on Yemen which began just over a year ago has not only claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and destroyed what little infrastructure existed in the Arab world's poorest country, it also created perfect conditions for the expansion of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP).
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NATO Prepares Four Battalions for Russian Border

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that NATO is preparing to deploy four battalions -- approximately 4,000 troops -- to Russia's western border. US Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work was in Brussels today to announce the Western military escalation on Russia's border, which he claimed was in response to Russian military exercises near the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

According to Deputy Secretary of Defense Work, two of the battalions would come from the United States, with one each coming from the UK and Germany. This announcement might come as news to German lawmakers, as such a significant German military presence on Russia's borders has not been approved by Germany. Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel has given Washington every reason to believe that Germany would join the escalation, the move is considered highly controversial in a Germany growing weary of following US foreign policy dictates. In fact, according to recent polling, only one in three Germans supports the idea of the German military defending the Baltics even if there were a Russian attack. A clear majority of Germans oppose NATO military bases on Russia's border.
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In Syria, US Rejects Russia Call to Name al-Qaeda Allies 'Terrorist'

The total muddle that is US policy toward Syria continues to astonish. This week we saw the spectacle of a State Department Spokesman telling us that President Obama's promise to not put US boots on the ground in Syria, was never a promise not to put boots on the ground in Syria. Yes, it was funny to see him squirm, but there is nothing funny about the past five years of disastrous policy in Syria. Particularly considering the thousands killed once the US decided that "Assad must go" and began sending in fighters to make that happen.

Now we see the extraordinary situation where the US government admits that the militia groups Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham are fighting alongside and are "intermingled with" al-Qaeda's Nusra Front, but resoundingly rejects the Russian request to therefore classify these two groups terrorist.
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State Department Jokesman: 'Obama Never Said No Boots on Ground in Syria!'

Watching State Department Spokesman John Kirby spar with one of Washington's last real journalists, AP diplomatic correspondent Matt Lee, is one of the best tickets in town. From his claims that "the entire international community" is demanding that Syria's Assad step down -- which earned a guffaw from Lee -- to his claim that the Syrian people have the right to live any way they choose as long as Washington agrees with their choice, John Kirby is the absolute epitome of the clueless Washington foreign policy establishment. He is the Baghdad Bob of the US State Department.
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Breaking: Obama to Announce Major US Escalation in Syria

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that tomorrow (Monday) President Obama will announce that he is quintupling the number of US troops inside Syria. From the current 50 troops the US admits are operating in Syria, the US will raise the total to 300 under the guise of increasing efforts against ISIS in the country. 

The Journal reports that Obama has been "persuaded by his top military advisers and others that additional U.S. personnel would allow the Pentagon to extend recent gains against Islamic State." He will make the announcement while in Germany.
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