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Washington Launches New Drone Assassination Program in Syria

predator-drone-400x225via Global research
by Bill Van Auken
World Socialist Web Site
Sep 3, 2015

The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) are carrying out a secret drone missile assassination program in Syria, the Washington Post reported late Tuesday.

The existence of the so-called targeted killing program has come to light in the wake of last month’s assassination of a British citizen identified as 21-year-old Junaid Hussein, a hacker who is described as a cyber expert for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Hussein is alleged to have had some connection to one of the two armed men who were shot and killed outside a “Draw Mohammed” contest staged by right-wing anti-Muslim groups in Texas last May. He is also said to have been responsible for hacking the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the US Central Command, the Pentagon command responsible for the wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. He was sentenced to six months in jail in Britain in 2012 for hacking and publishing information from an address book of former prime minister Tony Blair.

US officials who spoke to the Post on condition of anonymity claimed that the drone assassination program in Syria was directed exclusively at “high-value targets.” They insisted that Hussein fell into that category because of his alleged involvement in “recruitment,” which may mean little more than his postings on social media.

The Post report, citing an unnamed senior US official, also referred to “others killed in a recent weeks” in strikes carried out under the CIA-JSOC assassination program.

The extension of the drone killing operation into Syria marks a further expansion of a practice of assassinations that has been found illegal by United Nations agencies and which the Obama administration had previously claimed it was scaling back.

It moreover involves the CIA, a civilian agency which by definition cannot claim that its killings are carried out in accordance with the laws of war.

The White House indicated last April, after President Barack Obama’s admission that a January CIA drone strike in Pakistan had killed two Western hostages, US and Italian aid workers Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto, that the administration would take the drone killings out of the hands of the CIA and centralize them under the command of the Pentagon. At the time, Obama stressed the need for “transparency” in the assassination program.

Instead, yet another front in the secret drone war has been uncovered, and the CIA, instead of being removed from it, has joined in a seamless operation with the US military’s special forces.

The Post cited unnamed officials as stating that this “hybrid approach” involved the CIA “finding and fixing” those targeted for assassination, while JSOC was responsible for “the ‘finish’”, i.e., the actual killings. The officials went on to indicate that “the cooperation between the CIA and JSOC in Syria is increasingly viewed as a model that could be employed in future conflicts.”

JSOC, it should be pointed out, has been involved in atrocities equal to or surpassing those of the CIA. In December 2013, it targeted a convoy of vehicles carrying people to a wedding in Yemen, killing between 12 and 17 of them.

The Post article did not make clear how those targeted for assassination in Syria were being selected. Earlier reports established that Obama had personally chosen the individuals to be incinerated by Hellfire missiles in regular White House sessions known as “terror Tuesdays.” These assassinations amount to arbitrary executions in which charges are not presented against those to be killed, much less proven through any kind of judicial process.

Syria has now joined Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries where drone strikes have been launched. The reference to “future conflicts” makes clear that Pentagon’s planned expansion of its drone fleet (with the number of daily flights to be increased by up to 50 percent over the next four years) will see illegal killings introduced into other parts of the world with all of the attendant slaughter and terrorization of civilian populations.

The CIA-JSOC drone attacks amount to only a small fraction of the 2,450 air strikes carried out by US-led regular military forces against ISIS over the past year. This public campaign of airstrikes has had little effect in terms of dislodging ISIS from the broad swathes of Syrian and Iraqi territory that it has occupied.

The CIA-JSOC operation appears to have a different purpose, which may be tied to the CIA’s earlier function in Syria, which was funneling arms and aid to the so-called “rebels,” the Islamist sectarian militias that serve as proxies for the West, Saudi Arabia and the other reactionary Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf in a war for regime change against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

An effective assassination campaign against “high-value targets” in ISIS would decapitate the Islamist group, while leaving its fighters to be recruited into a new front deemed acceptable by the CIA to receive US arms and assistance.

The extension of the drone killing program into Syria represents another escalation of a US-led intervention that has turned the country into a vast killing field, while destroying its economy and infrastructure

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VIDEO — Marshall Hayner from Trees – CoinCongress 2015

via MadBitcoins
Aug 15, 2015

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VIDEO — The Bitcoin Group #74 – Ethereum Launches – Bitcoin Weed Drones – Taylor Swift – Gox CEO Charges?

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Jul 31, 2015

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VIDEO — Heads Up! NASA and Verizon to Monitor US Drone Network from Phone Towers

via DAHBOO777
Jun 3, 2015

http://www.undergroundworldnews.com
Exclusive: Federal agency is developing technology to track commercial and civilian drones via cell coverage, with first tests of air traffic control system set for this summer.

Verizon, the US’s largest wireless telecom company, is developing technology with Nasa to direct and monitor America’s growing fleet of civilian and commercial drones from its network of phone towers.

According to documents obtained by the Guardian, Verizon signed an agreement last year with Nasa “to jointly explore whether cell towers … could support communications and surveillance of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) at low altitudes”.

That $500,000 project is now underway at Nasa’s Ames Research Center in the heart of Silicon Valley. Nasa is planning the first tests of an air traffic control system for drones there this summer, with Verizon scheduled to introduce a concept for using cell coverage for data, navigation, surveillance and tracking of drones by 2017. The phone company hopes to finalise its technology by 2019.

Nasa’s new UAS (unmanned aircraft system) traffic management operation is intended to enable safe low-altitude drone flights within the next four years. At the moment, there is little to stop operators flying wherever they want. The agency would like technology that will automatically “geo-fence” drones to keep them away from sensitive areas like the White House, ground drones in bad weather, help them to avoid buildings and each other while flying and decide which drones have priority in congested airspaces.

According to the documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the purpose of the agreement is to “jointly explore if cell towers and communications could possibly support Unmannned Aerial Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) for communications and surveillance of UAS at low altitudes”. The focus is “exploratory” since “the requiremements and technology paths [for commercial drones] have not been clearly defined by the FAA”.

In February, the Federal Aviation Authority released its proposals for regulating commercial drones. The FAA proposal would allow drones weighing up to 55lb to fly within sight of their remote pilots during daylight hours at heights below 500ft and at speeds of less than 100mph.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology…


New California Television Commercials Ask Drone Pilots to Stop Killing

by The Daily Sheeple
Apr 1, 2015

Editor’s Note: What a statement on modern society this is. First we fight multiple, offensive (not defensive) wars for empire, and now we have television commercials begging our soldiers to stop following immoral orders and killing innocent people including women and children.

Wow.

drone-strike

Via Washington’s Blog:

This may be a first: a television ad campaign in a U.S. state capitol appealing to someone to stop murdering human beings who have, in most cases, already been born.

A new 15-second television ad, a variation on one that’s aired in Las Vegas near Creech Air Force Base, is debuting this week in Sacramento, Calif. Take a look:

The ad was produced by KnowDrones.com, and is cosponsored by Veterans for Peace/Sacramento, and Veterans Democratic Club of Sacramento. It is airing on CNN, FoxNews and other networks startingTuesday in the Sacramento/Yuba City area, near Beale Air Force Base.

Producers and promoters of the ad campaign have planned a press briefing at 8:30 a.m. PT on Tuesday, March 31, at the main gate to Beale Air Force Base. The ad’s appeal for pilots to “Refuse to Fly,” they say, “is aimed at drone pilots, sensor operators, support personnel and their families as well as the general public.”

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Editor’s Note: What a statement on modern society this is. First we fight multiple, offensive (not defensive) wars for empire, and now we have television commercials begging our soldiers to stop following immoral orders and killing innocent people including women and children.

Wow.

drone-strike

Via Washington’s Blog:

This may be a first: a television ad campaign in a U.S. state capitol appealing to someone to stop murdering human beings who have, in most cases, already been born.

A new 15-second television ad, a variation on one that’s aired in Las Vegas near Creech Air Force Base, is debuting this week in Sacramento, Calif. Take a look:

– See more at: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/new-california-television-commercials-ask-drone-pilots-to-stop-killing_042015#sthash.kxGjhGvK.dpuf

Editor’s Note: What a statement on modern society this is. First we fight multiple, offensive (not defensive) wars for empire, and now we have television commercials begging our soldiers to stop following immoral orders and killing innocent people including women and children.

Wow.

drone-strike

Via Washington’s Blog:

This may be a first: a television ad campaign in a U.S. state capitol appealing to someone to stop murdering human beings who have, in most cases, already been born.

A new 15-second television ad, a variation on one that’s aired in Las Vegas near Creech Air Force Base, is debuting this week in Sacramento, Calif. Take a look:

– See more at: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/new-california-television-commercials-ask-drone-pilots-to-stop-killing_042015#sthash.kxGjhGvK.dpuf


War Matrix: New System Enables Drones and Robots to Work Together

by Nicholas West
Activist Post
Sept 29, 2014

The U.S. military continues to seek ways to integrate combat systems into one seamless matrix of full spectrum dominance.

In September 2011, Activist Post reported on a project called MUSIC – a fusion of aerial and ground robotics with other manned systems that could extend across the different branches of the military – Army, Air Force, Marines, and Navy.

Most troubling is that MUSIC was intended to be directed either by a single operator, or the final goal of being fully autonomous. It is part and parcel of the concept that originally embodied Future Combat Systems.

For a perfect look as what full-spectrum dominance really means, here are their words:

The FCS is envisioned to be an ensemble of manned and potentially unmanned combat systems, designed to ensure that the Future Force is strategically responsive and dominant at every point on the spectrum of operations from non-lethal to full scale conflict. FCS will provide a rapidly (C-130) deployable capability for mounted tactical operations by conducting direct combat, delivering both line-of-sight (LOS) and beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) precision munitions, providing variable lethal effect (non-lethal to lethal), performing reconnaissance, and transporting troops. Significant capability enhancements will be achieved by developing multi-functional, multi-mission and modular features for system and component commonality that will allow for multiple state-of-the-art technology options for mission tailoring and performance enhancements. The FCS force will incorporate and exploit information dominance to develop a common, relevant operating picture and achieve battlespace situational understanding.

This program was canceled, due in part to energy challenges for keeping the aerial components of the system aloft for long periods of time, but has since morphed into other programs for theoretical continuance. Newer research aims to explore ideas such as using laser energy and solar drones.

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