A Secret Deal on Drones, Sealed in Blood

drones articleLarge 450x311 A Secret Deal on Drones, Sealed in Blood

tl;dr CIA swapped hits for airspace in Pakistan,

@NYT:

On a hot day in June 2004, the Pashtun tribesman was lounging inside a mud compound in South Waziristan, speaking by satellite phone to one of the many reporters who regularly interviewed him on how he had fought and humbledPakistan’s army in the country’s western mountains. He asked one of his followers about the strange, metallic bird hovering above him.

Less than 24 hours later, a missile tore through the compound, severing Mr. Muhammad’s left leg and killing him and several others, including two boys, ages 10 and 16. A Pakistani military spokesman was quick to claim responsibility for the attack, saying that Pakistani forces had fired at the compound.

That was a lie.

Mr. Muhammad and his followers had been killed by theC.I.A., the first time it had deployed a Predator drone in Pakistan to carry out a “targeted killing.” The target was not a top operative of Al Qaeda, but a Pakistani ally of theTaliban who led a tribal rebellion and was marked by Pakistan as an enemy of the state. In a secret deal, the C.I.A. had agreed to kill him in exchange for access to airspace it had long sought so it could use drones to hunt down its own enemies.

That back-room bargain, described in detail for the first time in interviews with more than a dozen officials in Pakistan and the United States, is critical to understanding the origins of a covert drone war that began under the Bush administration, was embraced and expanded by President Obama, and is now the subject of fierce debate. The deal, a month after a blistering internal report about abuses in the C.I.A.’s network of secret prisons, paved the way for the C.I.A. to change its focus from capturing terrorists to killing them, and helped transform an agency that began as a cold war espionage service into a paramilitary organization.

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The Karambit Knife

The Karambit Knife 450x628 The Karambit Knife

I generally don’t like knives that you have to think about using, have to think about holding in a certain way, or have to train with in general.

That’s either because trying to reinvent the knife is on the same shortbus as trying to reinvent the club or throwing rock, or because I’m lazy and I don’t like to expand my horizons.

But I don’t like it when people say holding a knife backwards or upside-down gives you tactical leverage, because there’s no such a thing as a knife fight and there’s no such thing as a knife-fighting expert.

That being said, the Karambit’s different. You have to hold it differently because that’s the way it draws. And boy does it draw, check this out:

The Karambit’s not cheap but when it comes to tactical operator EDC emergency wire ops backup blade kit blades at $240 including a trainer, but it’s not astronomical for a solid TOEEWOBBKB option either.

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DHS Explains: ‘We Bought Ammo While Shopping Online Drunk’

office party games4 DHS Explains: ‘We Bought Ammo While Shopping Online Drunk’

With much of the United States speculating as to why the Department of Homeland Security needsbillions and billions of dollars’ worth of ammunition, new reports are coming forth that put the controversial purchases into new light.

“It started out like any work day, with an office party for [Acquisition Contracting Manager Milton Johannsen]‘s birthday,” said Jeff Lavange of DHS. ”It was a pretty typical cake-and-ice cream deal with your boss, Milt was obviously bored. He’s been here for a long time.”

“At about four o’clock he just stood up and said ‘Fuck it!’” continued Lavange. “‘Who wants Benihana!’ he said.”

So all those conspiracy theories are for naught. Seriously, who can honestly say they’ve never found a package addressed to themselves, opened it, and realized, shit, that’s right, last week after we got back from the bar, I saw that coupon in my inbox…

I once drunk-bought a boxed set of the Matrix even though I only like the first movie and some of the Animatrix. I gotta be honest, I never could bring myself to re-watch “Reloaded” and “Rebooted” or whatever it was called. So much betrayal.

It came with a bust of Neo. He watches over me when I sleep.

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ACLU Launches Nationwide Police Militarization Investigation

militarized police puppetgov 450x340 ACLU Launches Nationwide Police Militarization Investigation

tl;dr damn police, you scary!

@Huffpo

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a nationwide campaign to assess police militarization in the United States. Starting Wednesday, ACLU affiliates in 23 states are sending open records requests to hundreds of state and local police agencies requesting information about their SWAT teams, such as how often and for what reasons they’re deployed, what types of weapons they use, how often citizens are injured during SWAT raids, and how they’re funded. More affiliates may join the effort in the coming weeks.

Additionally, the affiliates will ask for information about drones, GPS tracking devices, how much military equipment the police agencies have obtained through programs run through the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security, and how often and for what purpose state National Guards are participating in enforcement of drug laws.

“We’ve known for a while now that American neighborhoods are increasingly being policed by cops armed with the weapons and tactics of war,” said Kara Dansky, senior counsel at the ACLU’s Center for Justice, which is coordinating the investigation. “The aim of this investigation is to find out just how pervasive this is, and to what extent federal funding is incentivizing this trend.”

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Homeland Security’s Ammunition Purchases Should Not Worry You

homeland security ammunition 450x679 Homeland Security’s Ammunition Purchases Should Not Worry You

A CBP agent with M14 rifle and HK P2000 pistol, both of which require ammunition to function properly (img Andrew Tuohy)

tl;dr the order’s fake but it keeps their budget intact

@Gear Scout:

Talk of the Department of Homeland Security’s recent ammunition solicitations has gone from the fringes of the internet to the mainstream in websites like Forbes. I was disappointed by the Forbes article – rather than talk cold hard facts, it was rife with ill-informed speculation.

Government and military procurement is a very complex topic; so complex, in fact that it’s sometimes hard to discern best value practices from actual waste, fraud, and abuse. However, there are practically no examples of nefarious acquisitions intended to be used for the subjugation of the American populace. These ammunition contracts and solicitations are no exception.

Before we begin, it’s important to understand that an RFQ (request for quote) or solicitation is not a purchase. When Infowars says something like “the Department of Homeland Security is planning to buy a further 750 million rounds of ammo in addition to the 450 million rounds of hollow point bullets already purchased earlier this year,” or “Following controversy over its purchase of around 1.2 billion bullets in the last six months alone, the Department of Homeland Security has put out a new solicitation for over 200 million more rounds of ammunition,” the reader is led to assume, naturally, that DHS has actually purchased that amount of ammunition. That is simply not the case. A solicitation is the equivalent of a want-to-buy ad on Craigslist, writ large. It’s not an actual purchase.

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Get your (G10) punch on

NukoTools G10 Punchring Get your (G10) punch on

NukoTools has developed a new G10-based punchring. What’s G10? What’s a punchring? G10 is a composite of woven fiberglass encased in resin. It’s tough and not brittle. It’s super-light, and not metal.

A punchring is like a little teeny glove that you just wear on one finger, like, I dunno, some sort of crown or nimbus that circumscribes part of a digit. I can’t say if there’s a name for that.

Anyway, you punch people with them, via fisticuffs, and a bit of melee-based daring-do.

Why would you make a punchring out of G10? Certainly not because you could take one through a metal detector or anything. No, it’s purely a cost-cutting measure. Yeah.

That’s why they’re, like, eighteen bucks. Get you one. Comes with two holes, one for your piggy and the other for, whatever, keys. Or a makeshift lanyard-flashlight nunchuck. $18.

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