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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War


In 1915, a mother’s protest against funneling children into war became the theme of a new American song, “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier.” Although the ballad attained great popularity, not everyone liked it. Theodore Roosevelt, a leading militarist of the era, retorted that the proper place for women who criticized war was “in a harem―and not in the United States.”

Roosevelt would be happy to learn that, a century later, preparing children for war continues unabated.

That’s certainly the case in today’s Russia, where thousands of government-funded clubs are producing what is called “military-patriotic education” for children. Accepting both boys and girls, these clubs teach them military exercises, some of which employ heavy military equipment. In a small town outside St. Petersburg, for example, children ranging from five to 17 years of age spend evenings learning how to fight and use military weapons.

These efforts are supplemented by the Voluntary Society of Cooperation with the Army, Air Force, and Navy, which prepares Russian high school students for military service. This society claims that, in the past year alone, it has held 6,500 military patriotic events and channeled more than 200,000 young people into taking the official “Ready for Labor and Defense” test. Government funding of the society’s budget is lavish, and has grown dramatically in recent years.

Russia’s “patriotic education” also benefits from frequent military historical reenactments. The head of the Moscow branch of the All-Russian Military History Movement observed that groups hosting such reenactments help people “realize that they can’t spend their whole life playing with Kinder Eggs or Pokemon.”

Apparently sharing that opinion, the Russian government opened a vast military theme park in June 2015 in Kubinka, an hour’s drive from Moscow. Frequently referred to as a “military Disneyland,” Patriot Park was proclaimed “an important element in our system of military-patriotic work with young people” by President Vladimir Putin. On hand for the opening and backed up by a military choir, Putin also brought the good news that 40 new intercontinental missiles had been added to Russia’s nuclear arsenal. According to news reports, Patriot Park, when completed, will cost $365 million and draw up to 100,000 visitors per day.

Those attending the park’s opening found the rows of tanks, armored personnel carriers, and missile launching systems on display, plus the riding of tanks and shooting of guns, deeply moving. “This park is a gift to Russian citizens, who can now behold the full power of the Russian armed forces,” declared Sergei Privalov, a Russian Orthodox priest. “Children should come here, play with the weaponry and climb on the tanks and see all the most modern technology.” Alexander Zaldostanov, the leader of the Night Wolves, a violent biker gang planning a similar park, remarked: “Now we all feel closer to the army” and that is “a good thing.” After all, “if we don’t educate our own children then America will do it for us.” Vladimir Kryuchkov, a weapons demonstrator, admitted that some missile launchers were too heavy for very small children. But he maintained that smaller rocket-propelled grenade launchers would be perfect for them, adding: “All males of all ages are defenders of the motherland and they must be ready for war.”

DHS investors are sending police to train in Israel

At least 300 high-ranking sheriffs and police from agencies large and small – from New York and Maine to Orange County and Oakland, California – have traveled to Israel for privately funded seminars in what is described as counterterrorism techniques.

Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer called Israel “the Harvard of antiterrorism” 

after taking part in a 2005 trip

 sponsored by the 

Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs

 (JINSA). Capt. Brad Virgoe of the Orange County Sheriff's Department in California called the 2013 session he took part in an “amazing experience,” recalling visits to checkpoints in Eilat at the Israeli-Egyptian border and in the West Bank near Bethlehem.

Don't forget what happened in Ferguson! The Ferguson 

police chief was trained in Israel


The Anti-Defamation League

 (ADL) also 

sends police to Israel

 and hosts 

Israeli police in America


Chief Superintendent Roy Valdman, Head of the Investigations Division for the Israel Police Central Unit in Tel Aviv, visited Denver, Colorado in 2015.

"Valdman presented briefings on the dual role of the Israel Police in conducting classical police work and countering terror.He conducted briefings with multiple agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Colorado State Patrol, Denver Police Department and Aurora Police Department.  More than 100 law enforcement officers participated in the briefings."

The ADL has close ties to DHS, click 





 to read more.

Police training in Israel has been going on since 2001:

In 2002, 

Los Angeles

 Police Department detective Ralph Morten visited 


 to recieve training and advice on preparing security arrangements for large public gatherings.  From lessons learned on his trip, Det. Morten prepared a new Homicide Bomber Prevention Protocol and was better able to secure the Academy Awards presentation.


In January 2003, thirty-three senior U.S. law enforcement officials - from 



Kansas City




 - traveled to Israel to attend a meeting on "Law Enforcement in the Era of Global Terror."  The workshops helped build skills in identifying terrorist cells, enlisting public support for the fight against terrorism and coping with the aftermath of a terrorist attack.


“We went to the country that's been dealing with the issue for 30 years,” 


 Police Commissioner Paul F. Evans said. “The police are the front line in the battle against terrorism. We were there to learn from them - their response, their efforts to deter it. They touched all the bases.”


“I think it's invaluable,” said 

Washington, DC

 Police Chief Charles Ramsey about the instruction he received in 


. “They have so much more experience in dealing with this than we do in the United States.”

In September 2012, the 

New York

 Police Department (NYPD) opened an Israeli branch at the Sharon District Police Headquarters in the Israeli coastal city of 

Kfar Saba

. The NYPD decision to open an Israeli branch rested on the fact that the Israeli police is one of the major police forces with which it must maintain close work relations and daily contact.


In September 2013, a special team of bomb squad members from cities along the U.S.-Mexico border travelled to Israel in an effort to improve techniques and tactics for dealing with illegal immigration and IED attacks. Sgt. Chris Rogers represented the Pima (


) Regional Bomb Squad - "We engaged the Department of Defense and the technical support group to sponsor the trip. So we could get first hand training and experience from the Israelis who have been dealing with cross border IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) for some time now."


Some of the training for the group included going to a 

West Bank

 military outpost with the Israeli National Police bomb squad and visiting an Israeli port of entry to learn about port inspections as they relate to counter explosives and counter IED operations.

Who's behind sending police to Israel, could it be the CIA?


As mentioned earlier JINSA is sending police to Israel. They have 17,000 members nationwide and are ”governed by a board of directors comprised of key figures in the national security community and leadership throughout the country,” according to its website. 


Woolsey is also a principal in the Paladin Capital Group’s Homeland Security Fund. 

The Paladin Capital Group’s

Homeland Security Fund is a 

$235 million fund

 which profits from investments in the U.S. “homeland security” growth industry.

What should come as a surprise to no one, Booz Allen Hamilton has close ties to DHS, click 






 to read more.

Thad Allen on reimagining homeland security:



JINSA has such close ties to the CIA could they be behind sending police to Israel?


American Jewish Committee

 (AJC) also sends police to train in Israel and calling it 

Project Interchange

. The AJC has close ties to DHS, click 



 & here to read more.


Why would so many companies want to send America's police to train in Israel?  It's all about who can profit the most off of DHS grants and ventures.


Jewish groups grab huge share of DHS grants:


"In 2012 Jewish institutions throughout the United States will receive $9.7 million in federal anti-terrorism grants this year out of a total of $10 million allocated to not-for-profit institutions by Homeland Security.""A full 97% of the available funds in the Non-Profit Security Grant Program for 2012 have been allocated to Jewish organizations, compared with 73% that went to Jewish groups from 2007 through 2010. In 2011, Jewish groups received about 80% of NSGP funds."

How an anti-terror program became a Jewish earmark:

Since 2005, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has provided $118 million to not-for-profit organizations to become better prepared for a terror attack. In the context of federal spending, it’s a modest effort and considered a successful one: An aide to Janet Napolitano, secretary of homeland security, recently said that he knows of very few government programs that show such “big results with small money.”

“The grants have been of tremendous value to this community. It is really unprecedented,”

 said Paul Goldenberg, national director of 

Secure Community Network

, a Jewish organization established in 2005 to address potential communal security threats.

 "A Forward analysis of the 995 grants distributed through the national program from 2007 to 2010 found that 734, or 73.7%, went to Jewish organizations. DHS announced its grants for 2011 in late August, and here, too, Jewish groups were the big winners, with 81% of those awards.""While it is possible that much of the venture capitalist's attraction to homeland security technologies may be motivated by patriotism, most look at the 1,000 percent-plus appreciation in the stock price of explosives detection technology provider InVision Technologies, Inc. of Fremont, Calif., as sufficient justification for their interest in the subject. 

The ADL also expressed “both constitutional and policy concerns,” according to spokesman Todd Gutnick. 

“There will always be far more communal institutions that want or need security enhancements than government funds available,” the ADL said. “This inevitably leads to divisive intra-communal competition for these scarce resources, and a politicization of the grant-making process.”

Venture capitalists are turning huge profits:

The Paladin Capital Group also has close ties to DHS, Click 




 to read more.




"InVision's success, combined with a potential customer the Department of Homeland Security with a $110 billion budget, has motivated a significant number of venture firms to develop an investment focus in this area. In the relatively narrow area of knowledge-management software alone, industry research experts INPUT estimate that federal government spending on knowledge-management software and services will increase at a compound yearly growth rate of 9 percent to $1.3 billion in fiscal 2008 from $820 million this fiscal year.""Venture capital industry interest is strong. Venture capitalists from Osprey Ventures, California Technology Ventures, Sky Venture Capital, and Kline Hawkes & Co. participated in a conference call organized by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) on the topic of venture investing in companies focused on homeland security. Last month, in Washington, D.C., a workshop organized by the International Business Forum on "Venture Capital Investing in Homeland Security Technologies" packed a Capitol-area hotel ballroom with dozens of VCs from Silicon Valley to New York City.' 

"The cybersecurity market is hot and growing fast, with projected growth from $71 billion in 2014 to more than $155 billion by 2019. Along with that, there's a consistent stream of mergers, acquisitions and venture capitalist investments activity." 



A great read titled "

Cybersecurity's Money Men

" reveal's who's profiting off of Homeland Security investments.

Yemen’s Hidden War: How the Saudi-Led Coalition Is Killing Civilians

(Warning: Some of the images in this story are graphic and disturbing.)

In the Islamic concept of qadar, your divine destiny is inescapable. If you try to cheat death it will find you. For two women on a dusty road in mid-June on the southwest corner of the Arabian Peninsula, their repeated attempts to dodge fate ended in tragic failure.

Leaving the war zone of Yemen’s southern port city of Aden on June 10, the women headed north in a Toyota Cressida driven by a male relative. The pair were escaping the violence that had already turned entire streets in Aden to rubble, left hundreds dead and thousands of civilians under siege, struggling to find food, water and medical care.

Driving ahead of them was a family of four in a Hilux pick-up truck, slowing at the numerous checkpoints along the road and weaving around potholes in the asphalt. Between 4:30 and 5 p.m., seemingly from nowhere, the first missile struck. The Hilux flipped into a cartwheeling fireball, killing the two children and their parents inside.

Before the women in the Toyota had a chance to compose themselves an ominous whistle preceded a second missile, which smashed into the ground beside them and sent their car careering off the road into the dusty scrubland. Twice in the space of just a few minutes the women had stared death in the face.

Dressed in black abiyas — the uniform dress code of women in Yemen — they clambered out of their sand-bound car. Seeing the two stranded women, Mohammed Ahmed Salem pulled over in his bus. Salem was taking his 25-year-old daughter to the province of Lahj and had filled his bus with passengers to help pay for the fuel. The passengers made room for the two women, who left their male relative to wait for a family member to help recover the crashed Toyota. But as they thanked God for their narrow escape, the third and final missile came out of the sky. The bus and some 10 passengers were obliterated.

The names of the dead did not even make news in the local press in Aden. This form of death is now commonplace amid a war so hidden that foreign journalists are forced to smuggle themselves by boat into the country to report on an ongoing conflict that the U.N. says has killed more than 4,500 people and left another 23,500 wounded.

On one side of the conflict is the U.S.-backed coalition of nations led by Saudi Arabia supporting Yemen’s president-in-exile, Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi. Their adversaries are the predominantly Shiite Houthi fighters who hail from the northern province of Saada that abuts the Saudi border, along with soldiers from renegade military units loyal to the country’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.


A March 30 airstrike on a public bus in the Khormakser district of Aden, Yemen, left four dead, including one child.

Photo: Iona Craig

In March, the Saudis — aided by U.S. and British weapons and intelligence — began a bombing campaign in an attempt to push back the Houthis, who they see as a proxy for Iran. Since then, from the northern province of Saada to the capital Sanaa, from the central cities of Taiz and Ibb to the narrow streets at the heart of Aden, scores of airstrikes have hit densely populated areas, factories, schools, civilian infrastructure and even a camp for displaced people.


From visiting some 20 sites of airstrikes and interviews with more than a dozen witnesses, survivors and relatives of those killed in eight of these strikes in southern Yemen, this reporter discovered evidence of a pattern of Saudi-coalition airstrikes that show indiscriminate bombing of civilians and rescuers, adding further weight to claims made by human rights organizations that some Saudi-led strikes may amount to war crimes and raising vital questions over the U.S. and Britain’s role in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.

(The number of civilian casualties has not been officially collated or recorded by NGOs or aid agencies. Only a handful of humanitarian and independent human rights organizations have had a presence on the ground in Aden, while nationwide just a small fraction of the strikes have even been independently documented. The death tolls for the eight strikes, which include five on public buses, were given by witnesses, or those who collected the dead after the strikes, and are necessarily imperfect; the total ranges from 142 up to 175.)

“The Obama administration needs urgently to explain what the U.S.’s exact role in Saudi Arabia’s indiscriminate bombing campaign is,” said Cori Crider, strategic director at the international legal group Reprieve. “It very much looks like there is a case to answer here — not just for the Saudis, but for any Western agencies who are standing behind them. International law shuns the intentional targeting of civilians in war — and in the United States it is a serious federal crime.

These civilian deaths occurred in strikes that account for just a handful of the thousands of bombing raids carried out by the Saudi-led coalition since its aerial campaign began. Of particular concern are the U.S.-style “double tap” strikes — where follow-up strikes hit those coming to rescue victims of an initial missile attack — which became a notorious trademark of covert CIA drone strikes in Pakistan. On July 6, for instance, at least 35 rescuers and bystanders were killed trying to help scores of traders hit in a strike five minutes earlier on a farmers market in Fayoush, in Yemen’s Lahj province.

Abdul Hamid Mohammed Saleh, 30, was standing on the opposite side of the road when the first missile hit the gathering of more than 100 men who had been arriving since before 6 a.m. to trade goats and sheep at the daily market. The initial blast, he told me, killed around a dozen men and injured scores more. Body parts flew through the air, and an arm landed next to Saleh. He said he began to flee, but hearing the screams of the injured he turned back and crossed the road to try and help. The second strike landed less than 30 yards from him, sending shrapnel flying into his back.


Mohammed Awath Thabet looks over the crater left by the first bomb of a “double tap” strike that killed at least 50 civilians on July 6 in Fayoush, Yemen.

Photo: Iona Craig

Mohammed Awath Thabet, a 52-year-old teacher who helped collect the bodies of the dead after the twin strike, said at least 50 people, all civilians ranging from teenagers to men in their 60s, were killed in total. “After 50 it was hard to tell,” Thabet said. “The rest were all body parts. People cut to pieces. What parts belonged to who? We couldn’t tell. Some were animal parts. Some were human,” he added, pointing to a brown stain on a nearby cinderblock wall left by a man’s head that had been stuck to it by the force of the blast. He and other witnesses said that there were no conceivable military targets or Houthi fighters in the area.

On June 12, six days after an airstrike split a large public transport bus in two on the edge of Aden’s Dar Saad district, Lami Yousef Ali, 23, found the decomposing body of his 28-year-old brother, Abdu, still entangled in the wreckage. Lami and Abdu had been chatting via WhatsApp moments before the bus was bombed, and their father, Yusef Ali, also died in the strike, which killed at least 16 civilians. According to witnesses, this bombing also hit two cars carrying Houthi fighters. (This is the only case of the eight strikes investigated in which Houthi fighters appear to have been the target rather than civilians.) Although no remnants of the cars are visible at the strike site, the twisted metal of the bisected bus still lies in the sand, rusting in the scorching heat of Aden’s summer sun. In the background the familiar sound of distant bombings resonates from the shifting front lines as the battle moves on.

On April 25 a fighter jet bombed a public bus towing another bus carrying Somali refugees from the isolated Kharaz refugee camp, 93 miles northwest of Aden. Forced to take a winding back route to Aden because of fighting on the main road, the shambling convoy was hit around 11 a.m by at least two strikes in the remote desert scrublands of Lahj.

Mustafa al-Abd Awad said he lost his brother, Mohammed, a father of seven. When Awad went to the site to recover his brother’s body, he counted more than 30 others in the ashes of the two burnt-out buses. Other relatives who went to collect their dead said the total killed was as high as 52. “They take everything from us,” shouted Awad, gesturing toward a cloudless sky. “Why? Tell me why.”



Mohammed Hussein Othman, posing for a selfie (L), was later killed by an airstrike that hit the public bus he was traveling in on April 25 in Lahj, Yemen (R).

Photo: (selfie) Mohammed Hussein Othman (Othman deceased) Abdulkhader Hussain Othman

Mohammed Hussein Othman, 23, was also killed that day, leaving behind his 4-year-old son, Rashid, who had already lost his mother at birth. “My Dad went to heaven to be with my Mum,” said the little boy, sitting in the lap of his grandmother, Itisam, while the older woman smiled at selfies taken by her son shortly before his death.


Muhammed Hussein Othman’s 4-year-old son, Rashid, with his grandmother, Itisam.

Photo: Abdulkhader Hussain Othman

These erroneous Saudi-led strikes have not just hit remote desert roads. In the Crater district of Aden, nestled in the heart of a dormant volcano, at least 18 civilians were killed on April 28, including a family of seven. The crumbling buildings and carcasses of cars left behind suggest that multiple strikes hit the narrow residential street. The facade of one house torn open by bombs exposes furniture and family possessions like a child’s doll house; just a few yards away a school, mosque and maternity clinic all lie in ruins.

Along with the Saudi coalition’s bombing campaign, American warships have also helped to enforce a naval blockade that the Saudis say is necessary to prevent weapon shipments to the Houthis, whom they claim are supported by Iran. According to the U.N., this collective punishment has left the country “on the brink of famine,” with desperate shortages of food, medical supplies and fuel — vital not only for transportation but for pumping increasingly scarce water from the depths of the country’s depleted water tables. Four out of five Yemenis are now in need of humanitarian assistance.

To add to the worsening humanitarian crisis, on August 18 Saudi-led fighter jets bombed the port in the northern city of Hodeidah, a main supply route for aid agencies, while on the outskirts of Aden white sugar spills into shredded sacks of flour. Hundreds of pounds of vital food supplies lie ruined in bombed-out warehouses.

While protesters have taken to the streets of the capital, Sanaa, in the thousands to demonstrate against the bombings, in Aden green Saudi flags flutter in the sea breeze at checkpoints, and street vendors sell posters of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman in acknowledgement of the Kingdom’s support in the battle to remove the Houthi Saleh forces from their city. Unlike northern Yemen, where sympathy for the Houthis is strongest, many southerners are reluctant to blame their Saudi neighbors for the civilian casualties.

Some observers, such as Human Rights Watch, say evidence shows many of the Saudi-led strikes appear to be “serious laws-of-war violations,” while others stress that the many civilian deaths are a result of error. In Aden, where scores of civilians have also been killed in a ground war that raged for over four months, Southern Resistance fighters place blame for the deaths on the poor coordination between the anti-Houthi militias and their coalition partners in Riyadh. “It was not organized,” said tax director and Southern Resistance supporter Mohammed Othman of the Saudis’ first attempt at managing a modern war. “Those calling in the strikes were old commanders who don’t know the recent layout of the city.” (A day after our meeting, Othman was shot dead by a Houthi sniper.)

Brig. Gen. Ahmed Assiri, spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition forces, denied air strikes had targeted civilians and rescuers, or civilian infrastructure. When asked to comment, he said that “It is not a good story to talk about,” and also that he welcomed any United Nations investigation into the strikes.



Shukri Ali Saeed lies in the hospital two months after an airstrike hit the truck he was driving in Lahj, Yemen, on June 18, killing two passengers. Saeed suffered severe burns and both his legs were broken.

Photo: Iona Craig

But some on the ground in the south still find it difficult to absolve the Saudi-led coalition. Shukri Ali Saeed said he was driving his flatbed truck from Lahj into Aden on June 18, the first day of the holy month of Ramadan, when it was hit by an airstrike. Two men sitting alongside him were killed. With both his legs broken and suffering from third degree burns, Saeed dragged himself out of the upturned truck. He lay on the side of the road for more than two hours before someone came to help him. Two months later Saeed is still in the hospital. At night the sound of the incoming missile haunts him when he tries to sleep. “I can’t blame the Houthis,” said Saeed from his hospital bed. “It’s clear who is responsible.”

Last week, 23 human rights organizations called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to create an international commission of inquiry to investigate alleged violations of international laws by all sides in the ongoing conflict. This includes the U.S. and Britain. Some 45 U.S. advisers are currently assisting the Saudi coalition from joint operations centers in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, while the American government has also supplied intelligence, in-flight refueling of fighter jets, and weapons, including, according to rights organizations, banned U.S. cluster munitions.

America’s continued support of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen comes as Saudi-U.S. relations have been strained by President Obama’s pursuit of a nuclear deal with the Kingdom’s regional nemesis, Iran. Adam Baron, a visiting fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations, suggests that the U.S. has been more eager to conciliate Saudi Arabia than usual, “because they want them and the other Gulf States to at least not actively oppose the Iran deal.”

A U.S. Department of Defense spokesperson responded: “We take all accounts of civilian deaths due to the ongoing hostilities in Yemen seriously. We continue to provide logistical and intelligence support to the Saudi-led coalition in response to ongoing aggressive Houthi military actions. We have asked the Saudi government to investigate all credible reports of civilian casualties and to undertake urgent steps in response if these reports are verified.”

Meanwhile, the U.S.-backed bombing campaign continues into its sixth month and Yemen’s largely hidden war endures; its civilians struggle to survive, with little influence over their fate. “We don’t know when or where death will come, where the next bullet or bomb will drop,” said Itisam, staring at a picture of her dead son’s gray, dismembered body wedged under the undercarriage of a bus. “Only God knows.” 

Newly Released Graphic Video Shows Cops Killing Unarmed Man With His Hands Up from Far Away


San Antonio, TX — The unedited video depicting police officers gunning down an unarmed man holding his hands up in the air was released on Monday after the sheriff’s department identified the names of the deputies and the man that they killed.

Although the police claim that the man had a knife and attacked the deputies, the video clearly shows the man was unarmed and submitting to the officers when they opened fire. Another witness has come forward with a separate video of the shooting from a different angle, but the footage from the second camera has not been released to the public.

At 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Bexar County sheriff’s deputies Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez responded to a domestic disturbance call concerning a woman who had been assaulted. According to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, the deputies arrived at the residence and found a woman bleeding from a cut on her head. Vasquez and Sanchez reported that she was holding an 18-month-old baby who also “appeared to possibly have been injured.”

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Vasquez and Sanchez found 41-year-old Gilbert Flores holding what appeared to be a knife. The deputies attempted to take Flores down by using nonlethal force, but Flores allegedly fought back and resisted arrest. After unsuccessfully trying to subdue Flores with nonlethal weapons, deputies resorted to their firearms and shot him to death.

But according to witnesses and at least one cell phone video, the deputies never attempted to deploy nonlethal tactics and apparently gunned down the unarmed man while his empty hands were in the air. A witness who wishes to be identified only as “Leo” told Telemundo that he saw two officers approach the man with their guns drawn and ordered the man to get on the ground. When he refused to comply, the deputies immediately opened fire.

On Friday evening, a cell phone video of the shooting emerged after a witness named Michael Thomas shared the footage with local news station KSAT12. The video shows a man standing on the front lawn of a house when deputies Vasquez and Sanchez approach him. Pacing back and forth, the man places his hands in the air multiple times and does not appear to be holding a knife or any other weapon.

KSAT12’s editorial team initially chose to freeze the video at the moment before the deputies gunned down Flores. But after the sheriff’s department released the names of the deputies and the victim on Monday, KSAT12 decided to show the rest of Thomas’ video. The unedited version clearly shows Flores holding his empty hands in the air when Vasquez and Sanchez killed him. The video does not show the deputies attempting to use nonlethal force, and Flores does not make physical contact with the deputies until they handcuff his seemingly lifeless body.

Vasquez and Sanchez have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting. Both deputies have served in the sheriff’s department for over 10 years.

Cop Who Leaked Video of Fellow Officers Beating Innocent Man Now Faces 7 Years in Prison


A Gold Coast police officer who leaked the CCTV video footage showing police brutally beating an innocent man is now facing seven long years behind bars.

Sergeant Rick Flori is being threatened with seven years in prison after the leaked video surveillance footage was released, which clearly showed his fellow officers beating a young chef named Noa Begic.

Begic was handcuffed in the Surfers Paradise Police Station basement during the entire ordeal. There was simply no way the officers could get away with claiming self-defense on this one… at least not once the video was released. That’s why they hoped it never would be.

Officers for the Gold Coast, Australia Police Department had expected Sergeant Flori to be like the rest of them and cover up the police brutality. But instead, Flori took a stand – and now they are trying to lock him up for it.

Flori leaked the footage to the Brisbane Courier-Mail. For this “crime” he was charged with “misconduct in public office”.

The footage he revealed was taken in 2012, and it clearly shows police officers slamming Begic’s face into the concrete floor. They then shove him in the back of a van and punch him over and over while he is cuffed and being held down.

Watch the video below and see for yourself…

Almost as disturbing is the routine way that the video shows Begic’s blood being washed away by a senior-sergeant after the incident is over.

Flori’s leak did get two of these officers in a little bit of trouble, but he is still being penalized. The officer who washed the blood away quick before he could be disciplined. The officer who did the bulk of the punching was given a suspended dismissal – a slap on the wrist though. The other two officers involved were not punished at all.

According to Sydney Criminal Lawyers, Flori is accused of “inappropriately obtain[ing]” the confidential surveillance footage.

The victim, Begic, ended up being charged with being a “public nuisance” and “obstructing police”.

Right now, Flori is still facing serious charges and lengthy prison time. If you believe he should walk free then help us SPREAD THE WORD and demand it!

China state TV airs footage of detained reporter saying he regrets writing stock market story

Wang Xiaolu, a journalist with Caijing Magazine, delivers what looks like a forced apology after being held by Chinese authorities for a week.

Wang Xiaolu, a journalist with Caijing Magazine, delivers what looks like a forced apology after being held by Chinese authorities for a week.

A Chinese news reporter who has been held for a week by authorities in China, accused of spreading “false information” about the economy, has surfaced.

The state broadcast network CCTV today aired footage of Wang Xiaolu appearing to apologize. He says he solemnly regrets writing the influential story he did, about the nation's recently troubled stock market. I'm sure nobody told him that he should say that.

From CPJ:

"A statement aired by a state-run broadcaster, before the 'suspect' has ever appeared in court, shows the lengths to which the Xi Jinping government will go to intimidate journalists," said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz. "We call on Chinese authorities to immediately release Wang Xiaolu."

Wang, a reporter for the Beijing-based business magazine Caijing, has been placed under "criminal compulsory measures," which could result in jail, house arrest, residential surveillance, or other actions, according tothe state press agency Xinhua. The Chinese government has not disclosed whether Wang has been officially charged, and no publicly disclosed court hearings have taken place

From Xinhua, the official press agency of the People's Republic of China:

Wang Xiaolu, journalist of Caijing Magazine, has been placed under "criminal compulsory measures" for suspected violations of colluding with others and fabricating and spreading fake information on securities and futures market, Xinhua learned on Sunday.

Wang confessed that he wrote fake report on Chinese stock market based on hearsay and his own subjective guesses without conducting due verifications.

He admitted that the false information have "caused panics and disorder at stock market, seriously undermined the market confidence, and inflicted huge losses on the country and investors."

Previously on Boing Boing: “China: police detain financial reporter for “spreading false information” about stock market

Photo: Reuters

Russian Military Forces Arrive In Syria, Set Forward Operating Base Near Damascus

While military direct intervention by US, Turkish, and Gulf forces over Syrian soil escalates with every passing day, even as Islamic State forces capture increasingly more sovereign territory, in the central part of the country, the Nusra Front dominant in the northwestern region province of Idlib and the official "rebel" forces in close proximity to Damascus, the biggest question on everyone's lips has been one: would Putin abandon his protege, Syria's president Assad, to western "liberators" in the process ceding control over Syrian territory which for years had been a Russian national interest as it prevented the passage of regional pipelines from Qatar and Saudi Arabia into Europe, in the process eliminating Gazprom's - and Russia's - influence over the continent.

As recently as a month ago, the surprising answer appeared to be an unexpected "yes", as we described in detail in "The End Draws Near For Syria's Assad As Putin's Patience "Wears Thin." Which would make no sense: why would Putin abdicate a carefully cultivated relationship, one which served both sides (Russia exported weapons, provides military support, and in exchange got a right of first and only refusal on any traversing pipelines through Syria) for years, just to take a gamble on an unknown future when the only aggressor was a jihadist spinoff which had been created as byproduct of US intervention in the region with the specific intention of achieving precisely this outcome: overthrowing Assad (see "Secret Pentagon Report Reveals US "Created" ISIS As A "Tool" To Overthrow Syria's President Assad").

As it turns out, it may all have been just a ruse. Because as Ynet reports, not only has Putin not turned his back on Assad, or Syria, but the Russian reinforcements are well on their way. Reinforcements for what? Why to fight the evil Islamic jihadists from ISIS of course, the same artificially created group of bogeyman that the US, Turkey, and Saudis are all all fighting. In fact, this may be the first world war in which everyone is "fighting" an opponent that everyone knows is a proxy for something else.

According to Ynet, Russian fighter pilots are expected to begin arriving in Syria in the coming days, and will fly their Russian air force fighter jets and attack helicopters against ISIS and rebel-aligned targets within the failing state.

And just like the US and Turkish air forces are supposedly in the region to "eradicate the ISIS threat", there can't be any possible complaints that Russia has also decided to take its fight to the jihadists - even if it is doing so from the territory of what the real goal of US and Turkish intervention is - Syria. After all, it is a free for all against ISIS, right?

From Ynet:

According to Western diplomats, a Russian expeditionary force has already arrived in Syria and set up camp in an Assad-controlled airbase. The base is said to be in area surrounding Damascus, and will serve, for all intents and purposes, as a Russian forward operating base.

In the coming weeks thousands of Russian military personnel are set to touch down in Syria, including advisors, instructors, logistics personnel, technical personnel, members of the aerial protection division, and the pilots who will operate the aircraft.

The Israeli outlet needless adds that while the current makeup of the Russian expeditionary force is still unknown, "there is no doubt that Russian pilots flying combat missions in Syrian skies will definitely change the existing dynamics in the Middle East."

Why certainly: because in one move Putin, who until this moment had been curiously non-commital over Syria's various internal and exteranl wars, just made the one move the puts everyone else in check: with Russian forces in Damascus implicitly supporting and guarding Assad, the western plan instantly falls apart.

It gets better: if what Ynet reports is accurate, Iran's brief tenure as Obama's BFF in the middle east is about to expire:

Western diplomatic sources recently reported that a series of negotiations had been held between the Russians and the Iranians, mainly focusing on ISIS and the threat it poses to the Assad regime. The infamous Iranian Quds Force commander Major General Qasem Soleimani recently visited Moscow in the framework of these talks. As a result the Russians and the Iranians reached a strategic decision: Make any effort necessary to preserve Assad's seat of power, so that Syria may act as a barrier, and prevent the spread of ISIS and Islamist backed militias into the former Soviet Islamic republics.

See: the red herring that is ISIS can be used just as effectively for defensive purposes as for offensive ones. And since the US can't possibly admit the whole situation is one made up farce, it is quite possible that the world will witness its first regional war when everyone is fighting a dummy, proxy enemy which doesn't really exist, when in reality everyone is fighting everyone else!

That said, we look forward to Obama explaining the American people how the US is collaborating with the one mid-east entity that is supporting not only Syria, but now is explicitly backing Putin as well.

It gets better: Ynet adds that "Western diplomatic sources have emphasized that the Obama administration is fully aware of the Russian intent to intervene directly in Syria, but has yet to issue any reaction... The Iranians and the Russians- with the US well aware- have begun the struggle to reequip the Syrian army, which has been left in tatters by the civil war. They intend not only to train Assad's army, but to also equip it. During the entire duration of the civil war, the Russians have consistently sent a weapons supply ship to the Russian held port of Tartus in Syria on a weekly basis. The ships would bring missiles, replacement parts, and different types of ammunition for the Syrian army."

Finally, it appears not only the US military-industrial complex is set to profit from the upcoming war: Russian dockbuilders will also be rewarded:

Arab media outlets have recently published reports that Syria and Russia were looking for an additional port on the Syrian coast, which will serve the Russians in their mission to hasten the pace of the Syrian rearmament.

If all of the above is correct, the situation in the middle-east is set to escalate very rapidly over the next few months, and is likely set to return to the face-off last seen in the summer of 2013 when the US and Russian navies were within earshot of each other, just off the coast of Syria, and only a last minute bungled intervention by Kerry avoided the escalation into all out war. Let's hope Kerry has it in him to make the same mistake twice.