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Tuesday :: August 26, 2014

Tuesday News and Open Thread

Ferguson seems to have died down. The grand jury isn't expected to finish work until October.

In other cases: Joran van der Sloot allegedly threatened to kill the warden at Piedras Gordos prison and has been transferred to the hinterland: Challapalca prison in the Andres, near the border with Bolivia. It's one of Peru's roughest prisons, with most of the inmates sent there after disciplinary problems in other prisons. Human Rights groups have cited it for violations. There is no running water or electricity. The water for human consumpstion isn't treated, which causes gastric distress. The hygience is inadequate. There is no opportunity to go outdoors at all for recreation. Joran is on a hunger strike in protest of the transfer.

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Monday :: August 25, 2014

Emmys: Breaking Bad

The Emmys have been so boring. Maybe it is the low-key production. But they just picked up with Aaron Paul winning Best supporting actor for Breaking Bad.

Here's a thread for all things Emmy related.

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Monday Open Thread

I'll be back to blogging this evening. In the meantime, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Sunday :: August 24, 2014

Sunday Open Thread

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Friday :: August 22, 2014

Friday Open Thread

Busy day. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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James Foley Killing: Knife Switch?

On James Foley, I think it's odd that the knife in the ISIS guy's hands in the execution video doesn't match the one on the ground next to Foley's body after he is killed. And we don't see the ISIS guy actually cutting Foley. Also, Foley doesn't flinch when he puts the knife up to his neck. Could the ISIS guy speaking in the video not be the actual killer, just playing the part for the cameras? They could easily have stopped the tape, and had the real ISIS executioner step in and do the killing. Are authorities searching for one person when they should be looking for two people?

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Thursday :: August 21, 2014

ISIS' Final Email to James Foley Family: Filled With Threats to America

Here is the final email ISIS sent to the family of journalist James Wright Foley, who was executed this week. As for the reasons for disclosing it:

The Foley family has agreed to release the email from Foley’s captors. GlobalPost has chosen to publish it in full in the interest of transparency and to fully tell Jim's story. We believe the text offers insight into the motivations and tactics of the Islamic State.

The full text of the email is below: [More...]

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U.S. Failed ISIS Raid Took Place in Ukayrishah, Raqqa

The U.S failed attack on July 4 took place at Uribase near Raqqa, at a training facility named the Usama bin Laden camp. ISIS supporters and reporters tweeted it at the time, and a few articles were written about it.

Paradoxy13 :

According to al-Quds soldiers with US & Jordanian insignia dropped from a stealth helo stormed an ISIS training camp in Ukayrishah, #Raqqa

Kjetil Stormark:

BREAKING: Military raid against ISIL camp outside Raqqa in Syria early Friday morning. ISIL claims US involvement.

Cedric LaBrousse

@Paradoxy13 @AuraSalix This is prison where most important prisoners are said to be as Father Paolo and former Raqqa Revol' Council head.

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Thursday Open Thread

I'll be in court the rest of the day. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: August 20, 2014

U.S. Made Rescue Attempt of ISIS Prisoners in Syria

The Defense Department today announced it made a rescue attempt of Americans held by Syria. It was unsuccessful because there were no hostages at the location. Ground "components" were used. Apparently the attempt was made earlier this summer, not today, and commando forces were used. From the press release:

Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary RADM John Kirby on Attempted Rescue Operation

The United States attempted a rescue operation recently to free a number of American hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL. Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location.

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Obama and Kerry Address Beheading of James Foley

President Obama today addressed the beheading of reporter James Wright Foley.

“The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. “We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”

Here is John Kerry's statement.

And make no mistake: we will continue to confront ISIL wherever it tries to spread its despicable hatred. The world must know that the United States of America will never back down in the face of such evil. ISIL and the wickedness it represents must be destroyed, and those responsible for this heinous, vicious atrocity will be held accountable.

The Defense Department says it conducted 14 strikes today.

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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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