Militarized cops plan on using drones to spy on Spring Break parties.
From the Washington Post. Launched from a fighter jet, these “micro-drones” can swarm an enemy and do God-knows-what to them. The current rationalization for the program is that it’s to counter Russia and China, of course.
From the NY Times. The plan appears to be: bomb them, circle around, bomb them again, let US-funded “rebels” do some fighting, then more bombs. Must sound pretty foolproof to the masterminds who orchestrated the original Libyan campaign.
Bloomberg. It is laughable to think that Russia, a country bleeding citizens and fast spiraling to Third World status, is any kind of a threat to Europe, the US, or the world. Putin’s “incursion” into Crimea was nothing of the sort, Crimeans are Russian, and want to be a part of Russia, in the same way that the borderlands of Georgia wished to secede from the Western-installed stooge government in 2008. How much NATO build-up can ride on those talking points of an “assertive” Russia? American taxpayer-funded NATO surrounds Russia, and weapons paid for by those same taxpayers are now being sent to the “front lines”, goading Putin into making one tiny wrong move. Trip-wires have been set up via recklessly expansive NATO membership, and if Russia gets into a skirmish with one, we all have to chip in. Auto-interventionism.
From AviationWeek. Gated article, but, then again, it doesn’t really matter, being a black budget and all. Money spent on the black budget is roughly equal to the amount France or Russia spends on all of its national defense.
From USA Today. Outrageous! …well, yes, but it shouldn’t be surprising in the least. Every surveillance tool at their disposal is being used against the population. Apparently the surveillance flights have been “rare” and “lawful”. Okay.
Top US general says more troops are needed for war on ISIS.
From Project Syndicate.
From AP. Relevant sentences: “Serbia’s Interior Ministry says Slovenia will demand valid EU visas at its borders as of midnight Tuesday, effectively closing the main Balkan migration route toward western Europe.
The ministry says Serbia was informed of the new restrictions by Slovenia and will act accordingly and close its borders with Macedonia and Bulgaria for refugees and other migrants who don’t have valid visas.
It says “Serbia cannot allow itself to become a collective center for refugees.”
The measure means that thousands of migrants currently stranded in Greece on the border with Macedonia will not be allowed to proceed north toward Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria.”
45 years after the discovery of the FBI’s COINTELPRO operations, the FBI still can’t distinguish between activism and terrorism. From Common Dreams.
“Though the COINTELPRO revelations stirred widespread outrage and led to the eventual passage of reform legislation, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, such abuse of activists’ First Amendment rights continues to this day.
More than 60 national and local groups on Tuesday sent a letter (pdf) to the leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees expressing concern over the FBI’s and Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s “abuse of counterterrorism resources to monitor Americans’ First Amendment protected activity.””
“Groups recently targeted by the FBI include SOAW, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and anti-Keystone XL Pipeline activists. Meanwhile DHS and local fusion centers, which operate as local sources of “counter-terrorism” intelligence gathering and sharing, monitored the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements as well.
What’s more, the groups note, “documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the FBI continuously invokes counterterrorism authorities to monitor groups it admits are peaceful and nonviolent.”
“Labeling activism as terrorism criminalizes political dissent,” the letter states. “Given the current political climate and draconian laws concerning terrorism, individuals may be deterred from participating in completely lawful speech, such as a protest march, by this stigma.””