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Wednesday :: August 20, 2014

Wednesday Open Thread

It's been days since our last open thread. I've been focused on ISIS and Iraq, and readers seem focused on Ferguson. Here's some space to talk about other things, all topics welcome.

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Pentagon Insists Mosul Dam Strikes Aren't Mission Creep

Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby insists the airstrikes on Mosul Dam were not "mission creep."

“Mission creep refers to the growth or expansion of the goals and objectives of a military operation -- that the goals and objectives change, morph into something bigger than they were at the outset,” he explained.

“... Nothing has changed about the missions that we're conducting inside Iraq. ... Airstrikes are authorized under two mission areas -- humanitarian assistance and the protection of U.S. personnel and facilities,” the admiral said.
The airstrikes in and around Mosul Dam fit into both of those categories, he said.

How do the strikes fit into those categories? He acknowledges ISIS' intent "was not clear" and then says:

If that dam was to blow or they were to open and flood the gates, that it could have an effect as far south as Baghdad.”

My posts to the contrary are here and here.

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Ferguson Updates

Ferguson was fairly calm Tuesday night, with most people peacefully protesting.

AG Eric Holder arrives in Ferguson today. Here is his letter to the people of Ferguson.

Gov. Nixon said the county prosecutor will stay on the case for now, rejecting calls for a special prosecutor. (the St. Louis County Circuit Court grand jury is scheduled to commence hearing testimony today.)

I won't be online much today, so you can use this thread for all Michael Brown/Ferguson related topics.

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Tuesday :: August 19, 2014

New ISIS Video Warns Obama and Shows Beheading of U.S. Journalist

Truly horrifying. al Furqan Media (aka Furqan Foundation for Media Production) and al Hayat Media Center have just released a video threatening the United States if it continues strikes against ISIS.

In the video, which I won't link to but have watched, U.S. journalist James Wright Foley is beheaded. Here is the FBI notice of Foley's kidnapping in Syria in 2012. In 2011, he was held by Libyan government forces.

Just before Foley is beheaded, the beheader, who speaks in English, says:

Any attempt by you, Obama, to deny the Muslims their right to live in safety under the Islamic Califphate will result in the bloodshed of your people.

After that, the beheader shows U.S. journalist Steven Joel Sotloff in the same position, and says "The life of this American citizen Obama depends on your next decision." [More...]

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Grand Jury to Begin Investigation of Michael Brown Killing

After a night of more unrest in Ferguson, a few shootings (reportedly not by police) and at least 30 arrests, officials are calling for calm.

A grand jury is scheduled to begin hearing evidence in the shooting death of Michael Brown tomorrow.

President Obama has dispatched AG Eric Holder to Ferguson. DOJ is conducting its own civil rights investigation. [More....]

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ISIS Response to U.S. Aiding Kurds at Mosul Dam

Last night, ISIS posted a response to the U.S. airstrikes that helped the Kurds re-establish control over the Mosul dam. You can read the English translation here.

First, ISIS recounts its recent successes. Then, it says, as a result of their successes, the Kurds appealed to "the Black of Washington" to save them from the imminent loss of their capital, Irbil.

So the dog of the Romans thrusted his air force into a new dilemma; and entered into a military pact with the agents of yesterday, the Kurds, to commit the same stupidity that he has not awakened to, even until now!

And it seems that this submissive fool forgot or pretended to forget the quagmire of Iraq years ago, in which tens of thousands of crusaders were annihilated and tens of thousands of them were injured with permanent disabilities, not to mention the material losses and financial crises that nearly wiped the United States off the map; and it will disappear by the Permission of the One, the Only, soon at the hands of the Knights of the Khilafah.

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Monday :: August 18, 2014

Obama to Make Statement on Iraq and Ferguson at 4pm ET

President Obama, who is in Washington today, will address the nation about Iraq and Ferguson at 4pm ET. You can watch live online here.

Update: Good for Obama, he talked about the racial disparity in our criminal justice system.

On Iraq, he again said no boots on the ground, He also said as to ISIS, "the wolf is at the door."

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Ferguson: Gov. Nixon Calls in National Guard

Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming... The curfew is over but the National Guard is on its way.

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U.S. Adds ISIS Spokesman al-Adnani to Global Terrorist List

The State Department has officially added ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani to the Global Terrorist List.

The consequences of this designation include a prohibition against U.S. persons engaging in transactions with al-Adnani, and the freezing of all property and interests of al-Adnani that are in the United States, or come within the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons.

al-Adnani is also individually named (as a financier) in last week's U.N. Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2170, condemning ISIS and the al-Nusrah Front. [More...]

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Iraq Issues Statement Objecting to U.S. Airstrikes and Arming Kurds

Apparently, not all is copacetic between the Iraqi Armed Forces and the United States. In President Obama's August 8 letter to Congress advising he had authorized air strikes in Iraq, he wrote:

These actions are being undertaken in coordination with the Iraqi government.

Iraqi news reports that on Sunday, the Office of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces in Iraq issued a statement of protest, both as to the air strikes and supplying military equipment to the Kurds.

Baghdad (AIN) –The office of the Commanding General of the Iraqi Armed Forces announced that "The Iraqi Government did not give permission for any military plane to violate the Iraqi space," in a sign to the US airstrikes targeting the shelters of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant near Erbil and Mosul.

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Sunday :: August 17, 2014

Michael Brown Autopsy by Dr. Baden Released

Dr. Michael Baden, hired by Michael Brown family lawyer Benjamin Crump, has released his autopsy findings. Baden waived his fee and Crump paid his travel expenses.

AG Eric Holder has said the Brown family asked the Justice Department to conduct another autopsy. That's a lot of autopsy requests.

Baden says Brown was shot at least six times, although only 3 bullets were recovered from the body. He said he was shot in the head, the eye, and the arm. [More...]

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Summertime Blues , Contributions Help

Bump and Update: Thanks to everyone who has made a donation to TalkLeft this week. If you haven't yet, and you value the site and the time and effort that goes into it, I'd really appreciate your contribution, in any amount you can afford. After 12 years of daily blogging, I know it's easy to take us for granted, and just assume we'll be continue to be here day after day, but without support, that's unlikely to be the case. Costs are rising and I do not intend to resort to advertising or a paywall. I'll be taking this down Sunday evening, so please give it some thought. And thanks again to those of you who have already donated. I will send individual thank you notes soon. (Original Post below.)

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Another Night of Curfew in Ferguson

Ferguson, Missouri is under a second night of curfew.

Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a third autopsy for Michael Brown, at the request of his family. The Washington Post says:

Holder’s announcement, coming one day after revelations that additional FBI agents had been dispatched to Ferguson, was the latest signal that the federal civil rights investigation of Brown’s death is escalating. The federal probe is running parallel to the state investigation, and federal officials had said they were deferring to state officials.

MO Gov. Jay Nixon took the airwaves today and among other things, criticized the release of the alleged robbery video, saying he hadn't known about it.

Highway Patrol officer Ron Johnson spoke at a rally today and addressing Brown's parents, said "I am sorry. I wear this uniform and I should say that I am sorry.”

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Mission Creep to Mission Leap

The U.S. continued air strikes against ISIS today in its effort to help the Kurds retake the Mosul Dam. According to CENTCOM, on August 15th the U.S. was just using "remotely piloted aircraft." Yesterday, when the strikes began near Irbil and the Mosul dam, CENTCOM said the strikes consisted of "a mix of fighter and remotely piloted aircraft."

Today, according to CENTCOM, the U.S. has now added bombers and attack aircraft:

U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Iraq Sunday, using a mix of fighter, bomber, attack and remotely piloted aircraft to successfully conduct airstrikes near the Mosul Dam.

Obama today sent a new letter to Congress authorizing the enhanced attacks. [More...]

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Colombian Victims Meet With FARC in Havana

Saturday, for the first time, some victims of the decades of violence in Colombia met directly with FARC members at the Peace Talks in Havana.

The victims told the BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Havana that they were listened to by the negotiators with a great deal of respect.

I was glad to see the victims of the right-wing paramilitary groups were also included. Some in Colombia (mostly FARC victims it seems) didn't think it was appropriate but:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay praised the move, calling it unprecedented and a potential model for other countries dealing with issues of justice, peace and reconciliation.

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