World War 3 will be extremely lethal and fast

Discuss political news items / current events.
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World War 3 will be extremely lethal and fast

Postby msfreeh » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:56 am" onclick=";return false;

@BoozAllen, owned by @OneCarlyle, headed up by the @CIA who, again, “leak” from the @NSAGov" onclick=";return false;

Wikileaks Cancels “October Surprise” Over “Security Concerns”" onclick=";return false;

Again, Not Russia?: Yahoo Gave U.S. Spy Agencies Access to Hundreds of Millions of Users’ Emails" onclick=";return false;

Story #2: World War Three Will Be “Extremely Lethal And Fast”" onclick=";return false;

DefenceOne: Army Warns Future War With Russia, China Would Be “Extremely Lethal And Fast”" onclick=";return false;

Story #3: Anonymous Internet Vigilantes Taking Peer Review Into Their Own Hands" onclick=";return false;

The Crisis of Science (Is Worse Than You Think)" onclick=";return false;

#GoodNewsNextWeek: More Athletes Exercising Anti-War Views" onclick=";return false;

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Medical Cost Sharing - It's not insurance it's better!

Level 34 Illuminated
Posts: 6173
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:14 pm

Re: World War 3 will be extremely lethal and fast

Postby msfreeh » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:03 am

http://www.occurrencesforeigndomestic.c ... /06/fraud/" onclick=";return false;

US: Covert strikes on Assad back on table – to prevent ‘The Fall of Aleppo’


21WIRE + RT | The Obama White House continues to try and shift the blame for its own failure in Syria.


“On the future battlefield, if you stay in one place longer than two or three hours, you will be dead,” says Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.


https://therearenosunglasses.wordpress. ... fistfight/" onclick=";return false;


The prospect of a superpower war in Syria is hardly far-fetched

Respect has almost gone, and this should be keeping people in Moscow and Washington awake at night ... ada1d123b1" onclick=";return false;

Posted by Michele Kearney at 9:36 AM


Russia’s Defense Ministry has cautioned the US-led coalition of carrying out airstrikes on Syrian army positions, adding in Syria there are numerous S-300 and S-400 air defense systems up and running.


Guest Post: Time for Real Answers on War Trump and Clinton both keep the American people in the dark. (via TomDispatch) By Andrew J. Bacevich

Posted by Michele Kearney at 9:33 AM

Russia Launches Massive Nuclear War Training Exercise

October 6th, 2016 by Kevin

Via: Independent:

The Russian government has launched a nationwide civil defence training exercise to ensure the country is properly prepared in the event of a nuclear, chemical and biological attack from the West.

Amid growing international tensions, particulary over Russia’s conduct in Syria, the Defence Ministry-run Zvezda TV network announced last week: “Schizophrenics from America are sharpening nuclear weapons for Moscow.”

Lasting three days, the exercise bing run by the Ministry for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters (EMERCOM) will involve 200,000 emergency personnel and the co-operation of 40 million civilians.

Posted in [???], War
[Ed.: Shades of the early 80’s during the Reagan Administration when the Pentagon was floating ideas for crisis relocation planning. “… The program was designed in part to train officials at the state and local levels to plan for the ”removal of people from areas of high risk, such as cities, and move them into the countryside” in the event of a nuclear attack ….” but the sides have flipped — ha ha! — and so the evil banksters and their friends the arms-maker investment families are partying with delight. See the New World Next Week below.]


06 OCTOBER 2016

The US Chain of Command

Just to make sure that everyone knows who has the power TO MAKE WAR in the US as opposed to the power TO DECLARE WAR, I will explain the present set up.

The chain of command runs from the president/commander in chief to the Secretary of Defense and from him to the combatant commanders at EUCOM, CENTCOM, Strategic Command, etc. These combatant commands are really just headquarters designed to exercise operational control over forces raised by the service departments; Army, Navy, Air Force and provided to the combatant commands for conduct of operations.

People and institutions NOT in the chain of command; the vice president, the CIA, State Department, Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (an advisory body), the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (the head military advisor).

The War Powers Resolution of 1973 gives the president/commander in chief 60 days of unfettered authority to take military action before a justifying report to Congress is required. If the Congress wanted to call a halt to some military action after that its most effective tools would be de-funding the operation or impeachment. What is the chance that either of these things would happen? I don’t recall either of those things happening in the past.

With regard to nuclear war, the president/commander in chief has unlimited power to launch an attack, presumably in retaliation.

In fact a combination of political forces that overcomes the president/commander in chief’s resistance can take the US to war without congressional action.

Do you really like this set up? pl ... of_Defense" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

Posted at 10:49 AM in As The Borg Turns, government | Permalink


[Ed.: But what about the myriad number of condottieri, private armies, covert ops teams run by non-government people or sub-government players?]

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Re: World War 3 will be extremely lethal and fast

Postby msfreeh » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:15 pm ... mcphee-fbi

Unanswered Questions About Tamerlan Tsarnaev
June 15, 2017Updated 6/15/2017

The Medical Examination for Immigrant or Refugee Applicant form, from Tamerlan Tsarnaev's redacted immigration file, from the U.S. Department of State. The top photo depicts Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The bottom photo is an unknown entity.closemore
Was Tamerlan Tsarnaev a federal informant?

On April 15, 2013, Tamerlan and his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, attacked the Boston Marathon. It was one of the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11.

In all, the Tsarnaevs killed four people and injured hundreds more. One of the most intense manhunts in recent history culminated in a violent shootout with police in Watertown, on April 19. Tamerlan was killed in that shootout. Dzhokhar was arrested. Two years later, Dzhokhar was tried on federal terrorism charges. He was found guilty of the bombing and formally sentenced to death.

However, four years after the bombing, after a high-profile federal terrorism trial and multiple government investigations, there are still many unanswered questions, particularly about Tamerlan.

In this special report, we'll investigate some of the most controversial unanswered questions about Tamerlan Tsarnaev:

Was he a federal informant?
How does the federal informant program work?
How do federal agencies recruit Muslims and other immigrants to become informants?
And did Tamerlan Tsarnaev receive special treatment through this program for his application to become a U.S. citizen?
Part 1: The Theory

In 2014, as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev prepared his defense, his lawyers filed a motion seeking all documents relating to FBI contact with Tamerlan. Why? They believed Tamerlan had been a federal informant.

They wrote: "We base this on information from our client’s family and other sources that the FBI made more than one visit to talk with ... Tamerlan ... and asked him to be an informant, reporting on the Chechen and Muslim community."

Excerpt of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev defense motion, filed March 28, 2014
Excerpt of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev defense motion, filed March 28, 2014
It was the first time that claim had entered the official record.

The government denied then, as it does today, that Tamerlan was ever a federal informant. An FBI spokesperson referred us back to an Oct. 18, 2013 statement the FBI issued along with Boston police and Massachusetts state police. The statement says law enforcement officials did not know the identities of the Tsarnaev brothers before the Watertown shootout, and that they "were never sources for the FBI nor did the FBI attempt to recruit them as sources."

The theory was most recently picked up by investigative reporter Michele McPhee in her new book, "Maximum Harm: The Tsarnaev Brothers, The FBI, and the Road to the Marathon Bombing."

"Tamerlan Tsarnaev was the perfect recruit," says McPhee. "He had tentacles in the drug world. He spoke multiple languages. He could mix in anywhere. He was tall and handsome. He had an American wife. Here was a guy that really was the perfect recruit." ... about-911/

JUNE 15, 2017 AT 5:21 AM
FBI asks Miami judge to reconsider, keep secret ‘sensitive details’ about 9/11

The 9/11 hijackers
The FBI is pushing back against a federal judge’s findings that certain classified details about the funding of the 9/11 attacks and the 19 al Qaeda suicide hijackers should be made public.

Specifically, the government is asking Miami U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga to reconsider her May 16 ruling that would largely open for public inspection a 60-page FBI slide show titled “Overview of the 9/11 Investigation.” The FBI showed the overview to the 9/11 Review Commission in secret on April 25, 2014.

The FBI released some of the overview’s pages in full earlier this year, but many more were either partially blanked out or withheld completely for privacy or other reasons. The overview and numerous other FBI records are the focus of an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by Florida Bulldog one year ago.

Here’s what an FBI official told the court last week about four blanked-out PowerPoint slides regarding “the transfer of money prior to and funding of the attacks”:

“The release of this information would reveal sensitive details about how much money was being moved around, when it was being moved, how it was being moved, the mode of transfer and locations the FBI had detected movements in. Disclosure of this information would provide a playbook to future subjects on how much money one can move around in certain forms without attracting attention,” FBI record chief David M. Hardy said in his sixth declaration in the case,

Questions about who financed the 9/11 attacks are at the heart of sprawling civil litigation brought against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and others by survivors and relatives of the nearly 3,000 people who died that day. The plaintiffs and their lawyers contend that the kingdom, its official charities and others were responsible. Saudi Arabia has strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

Florida Bulldog’s Miami FOIA case seeks records of the 9/11 Review Commission. The Bulldog also sued the FBI in 2012 in federal court in Fort Lauderdale seeking records about its 2001-2002 Sarasota investigation of a Saudi family who moved abruptly out of their upscale home two weeks before 9/11 – leaving behind cars, clothes, furniture and other personal possessions. The probe was triggered by neighbors’ calls to authorities, but the FBI never disclosed its existence to Congress or the original 9/11 Commission.

Six months after that initial FOIA case was filed, the FBI released a small batch of records, including an April 2002 report that said agents found “many connections” between the Sarasota Saudis and the hijackers. In 2014, the FBI told the 9/11 Review Commission in closed session that the agent who wrote the 2002 report had no basis for doing so, but did not further explain or identify the agent.

Also in 2014, Fort Lauderdale U.S. District Judge William Zloch ordered the FBI to produce its records about the matter. The FBI turned over all classified records about 9/11 maintained in its Tampa field office — 80,000 pages. The judge continues to review those documents for possible public release.

Trial date sought

Judge Altonaga’s order last month granted in part and denied in part an FBI motion for summary judgment, notably on the lawfulness of the FBI’s redactions of certain information from several records that it has produced. The FBI, however, has not restored any of those redactions, and attorneys for the Bulldog have asked the judge to set a date for trial this summer.

“At trial, the FBI will be required to offer admissible evidence through witnesses – not through inadmissible hearsay by declaration – to attempt to sustain the redactions,” wrote attorney Thomas Julin in a June 2 “Joint Status Report” to the court. “The Bulldog will have the opportunity, in accordance with due process, to cross-examine any FBI witnesses presented.”

The government asked Judge Altonaga to reconsider her prior ruling the same day. The judge has not yet decided whether an FOIA trial is needed, but if one does happen it would be highly unusual.

Hardy, who heads the FBI’s Records/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS), went on in his most recent declaration to discuss other redacted pages in the 9/11 Overview. He said they were withheld to protect FBI “techniques and procedures not well-known to the public as well as non-public details about the use of well-known techniques and procedures.” Hardy’s descriptions shed some light on what’s in those records.

One page, withheld in full, “is a photo taken by a security camera.” The FBI does not identify the photo’s subject, the date it was taken or its general location.

“This was withheld because the release of this picture would disclose the location of the security camera at the site where the photo was taken. The disclosure would allow future subjects to know where to find the security camera so as to avoid the area in which the camera points, thereby circumventing detection or the ability for the FBI and law enforcement to try to obtain an image of the subject.”

Two more pages from the overview section about the FBI’s “ongoing investigation,” also completely withheld, contain “information about a conspirator and his actions taken in preparation for the attacks. This is sensitive information, which if revealed, would put at risk the collection techniques used to obtain such information. It also reveals sensitivities that future subjects could exploit in the future while planning and performing an attack.”

‘Under the radar’

Another page the FBI wants to remain hidden “contains specific factors deemed pertinent in the analysis of the actions of the hijackers’ concerning financial transactions before September 11, 2001. Disclosure of this information would reveal what the FBI already knows about the [sic] hijacker’s financial actions and how they were able to stay ‘under the radar.’”

The FBI’s Hardy similarly advocates for secrecy regarding:

The kinds of weapons and identification the conspirators carried.
Information about the arrival of the pilots, intended pilots and conspirators in the U.S.
Information about when the conspirators moved to their respective departure cities and the timing of their plane ticket purchases.
“A timeline of telephone records and money transfers between conspirators.”
Information about “previous flights the conspirators took before the attacks to include the collection and timing and locations of flights.”
Finally, Hardy said that information about “investigative leads derived from forensic analysis” and “leads and the sources of data the FBI finds useful to or significant in its analysis” should also remain veiled.

“The places the FBI does not look for information can be just as telling as the places it does look for information,” Hardy wrote.

In responding to Hardy’s assertions in court papers filed Monday, attorneys for Florida Bulldog noted that the “referenced techniques apparently are those techniques that the 9/11 hijackers evaded on September 11, 2001. One would hope that different techniques are in place today.”

“If anything, the PowerPoint slides might reveal outdated, failed law enforcement acts or omissions,” wrote attorney Julin. “The 9/11 attacks on the United States are a consequence, at least in part, of the failure of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to detect and halt them.”

The government has until Monday, June 19 to file a reply. The judge will then decide whether the case will go to trial.

Trial looms as judge denies FBI request to keep 9/11 records secret for privacy reasons
Miami federal judge denies FBI motion to postpone trial on secret 9-11 records
U.S. judge cites ‘shameful’ FBI delays in making 9/11 records public
More secret 9/11 documents identified, but FBI has yet to turn them over to judge
Judge awaits FBI’s Sarasota Saudi documents; Justice Department wants more time

Trial looms as judge denies FBI request to keep 9/11 records secret for privacy reasons
Miami federal judge denies FBI motion to postpone trial on secret 9-11 records
U.S. judge cites ‘shameful’ FBI delays in making 9/11 records public
More secret 9/11 documents identified, but FBI has yet to turn them over to judge
Judge awaits FBI’s Sarasota Saudi documents; Justice Department wants more time

How do We Work with Power?
Posted June 1, 2017

When I was in India, this very powerful Shiva swami took me at four in the morning and lead me down the street.

He took me up to a little temple at the top of the street, and he whispered a mantra into my ear. He did puja (prayer) over me for two hours, and I went out of my consciousness, I went out somewhere, I don’t know where I went, and later they came and whispered in my ear and brought me back. I couldn’t stop doing this mantra, and I said to him, “What’s that mantra Baba-ji?” He said, “It will give you vast wealth and vast power.” So I said, “But I don’t want that wealth and vast power unless you will promise me an equal amount of love and compassion.” It’s a nice thing to have said, and he said to me… “Just do the mantra.”

So we get back to his ashram, we had been on pilgrimage, and he puts me in a special suite with special sadhus waiting on me. I’m not to meditate where anybody else meditates, so I go into the inner, special chambers of the building. I get in at 2 in the morning and it’s hot in there, so I am lying on the floor with my arms out, doing this mantra, and I get taken to an astral plane. I get taken out of my body, and I come into a room, and there is sitting this swami, and he looks directly in my eyes, and I start to fly. I start to do astral flight which is a power, and I thought “Wow, I’m flying!” and then I tilted a bit, and as I went to right myself, I thought, “Why am I lying on my back?” …Then I was back in the physical plane. I walked out of the room that morning, and the swami walks over to me, and he says, “Enjoy flying?”

About a month later I’m meditating in seclusion in a cave, where they lock you in and bring you food. And I was doing this mantra the swami had given me. I couldn’t stop and I hated it, and I’m doing it and get taken to another plane, out of my body, and I come into a room, and my guru is there. He looks at me, puts his blanket up over his face, breathes three times, expanding my body like I’m at a pump, and then I am back in my physical body. And I’ve forgotten that mantra. It’s gone. I mean, I remember it, but there’s no desire to say it. A few weeks later I go to visit him and tell him, “Swami gave me a mantra for power, should I use it?” He said, “Listen to your heart, listen to your heart.”

That’s the way in which I’m being worked with about power. This is part of power, and the interesting thing is when you don’t desire power, you just keep letting the energy go through you, you don’t collect it. You don’t keep trying to build off of it. See the tradition is that when you have a certain kind of power, you parlay it into more power. However, when you have no attachment, you just keep letting it go. You just keep dissipating, you don’t keep collecting.

To the extent that I denied my desire of power, I had to keep being confronted with this stuff. Only when finally I was willing to do the mantra, say, “Ok, I’ll get it all,” was I freed from it. As long as you deny death, you’ll keep dying. Just one moment in that realization is enough, if you only get that.

The only thing that ever dies is the model you have in your mind of who you think you are. That’s what dies ".

Harvard Professor Richard Alpert aka Ram Dass

Link du jour ... n-pictures

http://www.occurrencesforeigndomestic.c ... fell-fire/

“Thomas Henry Horan joins Our Interesting Times to discuss his research on the notorious “Zodiac Killer” murders. We talk about the evidence that Zodiac was a hoax perpetrated by corrupt police officials and sensationalist newspapers. Later we discuss why perhaps the serial killer meme was used to obstruct justice and cover up systemic political corruption that extends from the Napa Valley in California to the halls of imperial power in Washington DC*. Horan draws a disturbing picture that connects the events in the Bay Area in late 1960’s to the July 2016 murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich and the current Pedogate scandal”

http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.c ... egend.html

* The Podesta Brothers get mentioned at about the 36-minute mark. ... da9bf.html

Police officer released on $100,000 bond


Jerry “Jay” Lynn Gragg Jr., 40, of rural McAlester, is charged with four felonies in connection with a January 21, 2017, traffic stop in Savanna, according to information filed at the Pittsburg County Courthouse by District 18 District Attorney Chuck Sullivan.

Jones said the woman who is the victim in this case told him and FBI Agent Rich Davis that she was stopped for a traffic violation, she thought, about 90 miles from her home in Texas. During the stop, the officer later identified as Gragg informed her she was driving with a suspended driver’s license and that she was going to jail unless she could pay the fine in full, according to allegations in the affidavit.

The woman didn’t have enough money to pay the fine in full, but offered to pay the officer what she had, the affidavit states, but the officer didn’t agree with that.

During her interaction with the officer, he began making sexual advances toward her, Jones’ affidavit alleges. The woman refused several times and was told to take off her clothes, the affidavit continues.

The two ended up in the officer’s vehicle together, according to investigators. She told investigators she was scared and thought she was going to be raped, the affidavit states. The affidavit accuses the officer of cupping the woman’s breasts and forcing her to commit sexual acts. ... 380d53aa1d

EXCLUSIVE: In 2016, the FBI allowed 300,000 gun sales before completing a background check
New data from the FBI reveals the problem is only getting worse.

Dylann Storm Roof was flush with cash from his 21st birthday when he walked into Shooter’s Choice, a gun store in the small town of West Columbia, South Carolina, on April 11, 2015. He was there to buy himself a handgun.
The FBI delayed the sale, saying it needed more time to complete a background check after seeing his arrest for drug possession. Roof had admitted to the charge, which should have kept him from purchasing a firearm.
But the FBI examiner doing Roof’s background check couldn’t get records on that case’s final disposition within three business days. That triggered a loophole in the Brady Bill that allows dealers to sell a firearm without a completed background check, if they choose to — a “default proceed” sale.
The agency calls these sales “default proceeds,” but many gun-safety advocates call it the “Charleston loophole.”
And so, a few days later, Roof walked out of Shooter’s Choice with a .45-caliber Glock 41 Gen4 handgun. Two months later, he used it to shoot and kill nine black churchgoers after a Bible study at a historic black church in Charleston.

FBI Octopus

Hays native graduates from FBI National Academy
Hays Daily News
MANHATTAN — The Kansas State University Police Department's Lt. Jessica Brooks is one of 228 law enforcement officers to graduate from the FBI National ...

This Morning With Ray Dunaway June 15, 2017
CBS Connecticut
8:50- Kenneth Gray, former special agent of the FBI who worked counterterrorism, is now a lecturer at the University of New Haven. Gray discusses the shooting ... ... -1.3244497

NYPD cop busted after she's accused of helping move cocaine
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 5:19 PM

An NYPD cop who also worked as a drug transporter — moving marijuana and cocaine onto the streets — faces a minimum of eight years in prison for her alleged crimes, Manhattan prosecutors said Tuesday.

Nysia Stroud, 29, who has been a cop for six years, awkwardly bent her body in half and waddled through the courtroom to hide her face from photographers.

 ... -1.3248254

N.J. cop who killed 2 passengers in drunken Staten Island crash sentenced to jail

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 9:15 PM ... -1.3243855

City must pay $19M to end suits by wrongly convicted pair over 1993 Brooklyn kidnapping

Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 11:32 AM

The city must pay out $19 million to end the wrongful conviction suits of two men who spent decades in prison because of police misconduct.

Everton Wagstaffe, 48, and Reginald Connor, 49, said their 1993 kidnapping convictions were the product of a shoddy corner-cutting frame-up, done to keep up the crush of cases during the early 1990s in Brooklyn.

The men sued the city after a state appeals court tossed their convictions in 2014.

Brooklyn federal court records show Wagstaffe and Connor told the court about the deal with the city last week.

Brooklyn men suing over wrongful convictions in 1992 kidnap
Wagstaffe will receive $11.4 million for his 23 years of incarceration; Connor will get $7.95 million for the 16 years he was locked up, according to the city’s Law Department.

Police found a dead, partially dressed 16-year-old girl in an industrial area of East New York early on New Year's Day in 1992. She was stabbed, strangled and beaten. Although a rape kit was destroyed within weeks, DNA analysis of hairs on the girl's body in 2009 excluded Wagstaffe and Connor.

Police arrested Wagstaffe and Connor on the word of a now-dead woman who was drunk and high when she said she saw the girl getting forced into a car.

Police never revealed the witness’s identity or that she was a regular and "often unreliable" informant, the suit said.

Men convicted in Brooklyn kidnapping see verdicts overturned
Everton WagstaffeMen convicted in Brooklyn kidnapping see verdicts overturned ()
The men were convicted of kidnapping, but the trial judge threw out the murder charge. The pair said they were innocent and kept fighting their convictions over the years.

The 2014 appeals decision said the defense didn't have any good way to take a look at key documents that could've made a difference at trial. The documents showed police were looking at the men even before they talked to the purported eyewitness - but that contradicted testimony from a detective who said the woman led them to Wagstaffe and Connor.

Prosecutors turned over the documents within a heap of other papers, while jurors were getting picked for trial, the appeals court said, noting that didn't give the men a fair chance to defend themselves.

"Based upon our evaluation of the criminal trial record and the decision by an appeals court overturning the convictions, we have determined that settlement was in the best interest of the city," a Law Department spokesman said.

Men wrongly jailed in '93 kidnapping fully exonerated
Emma Freudenberger, an attorney for Connor, declined to comment, citing her client's privacy.

State court documents showed last year that Connor settled a separate lawsuit against New York State for $3 million.

Jonathan Moore, an attorney for Wagstaffe, said there was "overwhelming evidence he was wrongly convicted" and it was clear from the case's start.

Reginald Connor will receive $7.95 million for the 16 years he was locked up.
Reginald Connor will receive $7.95 million for the 16 years he was locked up. (COURTESY REGINALD CONNOR)
Moore said Wagstaffe spent an extra seven years in prison because he refused to tell the parole board he did anything wrong.

Gala honoring ex-Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes draws outrage
"It is testament to the man's belief system that he was unwilling to admit he did something wrong when he didn't do something wrong," Moore said.

He noted that Wagstaffe had also reached a settlement on a separate lawsuit against New York State for $3.15 million.

The settlement adds to a string of pay outs on old Brooklyn cases.

For example, three months ago, the city agreed to a $26 million settlement in another Brooklyn wrongful conviction case.

Anthony ... 215229.php

Jury re-watches 2 key videos in police shooting of black motorist

STEVE KARNOWSKI, ASSOCIATED PRESSJune 12, 2017 Updated: June 13, 2017 3:15pm ... tings.html

Black community wants answers on ATF’s Albuquerque sting, says it was ‘punch in the face’

June 13, 2017, 3:40 pm

Black community leaders and citizens want to know who invited out-of-town federal agents and informants into Albuquerque and how the decision was made to focus an undercover sting operation on an impoverished, largely minority section of the city, netting a highly disproportionate number of black defendants.

They plan to put those and other questions into a letter to the federal bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“We want to know exactly what happened and why,” said Patrick Barrett, a member of the two organizations drafting the letter — the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Sankofa Men’s Leadership Exchange, a grassroots organization of black men.

Barrett and others interviewed for this story were reacting to a NMID investigation of the sting published last month. NMID found 28 of the 103 people arrested — or 27 percent — were black in Albuquerque, whose black population is 3 percent. Blacks composed just 5 percent of drug and gun defendants in federal court in New Mexico from 2006 through 2015. Hispanics also were overrepresented among those arrested, while whites were heavily underrepresented compared to Albuquerque’s population.

Additionally, ATF appears to have arrested few if any of the high-level gun and drug runners the bureau says it sought, NMID found. Many swept up were homeless, living in cars and drug addicted. Many lacked the lengthy violent criminal histories agents say they used as a prerequisite for targeting.

In a follow-up story, NMID reported that ATF imported five confidential informants — three of whom were black and two Hispanic — from out of town to help agents choose targets for the operation. The informants, at least some of whom have previous criminal histories themselves, were paid $1,400 a week or more plus bonuses and expenses.

Federal officials called the operation an “unprecedented success” that took down “the worst of the worst” in the city.

But black residents interviewed by NMID called the findings “appalling” and “disturbing.” And they vowed to seek reforms, including questioning mayoral candidates about the ATF operation at a forum in advance of the October election.

“After reading your article, a lot of people are alarmed by what this looks like,” Barrett said. “I don’t think it was fair at all, and I think it was racially motivated.”

Black citizens, leaders and the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico said the operation echoed racial targeting by law enforcement stretching back to the 1960s and raised concerns about constitutional and civil rights violations. They also worried the ATF sting did little to blunt crime in Albuquerque, but instead damaged a tenuous trust in law enforcement among minority communities that had shown signs of improvement.

- See more at: ... sSAMz.dpuf
a ... or-destroy

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