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From Doug Frantz at the Washington Independent:
Al Qaeda and the Taliban are executing suspected U.S. informants in Pakistan in a campaign to terrorize potential spies and reinforce the authority of the militant organizations across the country’s vast and volatile tribal belt. Most of the murders take place after accused informants have confessed to spying for the Americans. Some suspects were caught with satellite telephones and global positioning devices identical to equipment provided by the Central Intelligence Agency. Dour men in traditional clothing sell the videos at markets in the tribal region for as little as $1 each…
No one knows how many suspected spies have been killed this way. Some experts said in interviews that they estimate as many as 35 Pakistani and Afghan men accused of working for U.S. intelligence were murdered last year – and the trend continues. In a brazen episode in June, two accused U.S. informants were executed before thousands of cheering people in northwestern Pakistan. In late July, the body of woman discovered with a satellite telephone was dumped in a sewer, with a note identifying her as a U.S. spy. In some cases, the militants’ suspicions may have been groundless and false confessions likely induced by torture. But intelligence and military officials acknowledged that some victims were indeed working for the Americans.
The killings underscore the Pakistani authorities inability to police the vast tribal areas and the CIA’s failure to mount a serious effort to find Osama bin Laden and neutralize Al Qaeda and the Taliban holed up there.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”