national security

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Intelligence? President Obama Missed ~60% Of His Daily Briefings





Just days after President Obama infuriated some in the intelligence and defense communities with comments that "they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria," The Government Accountability Institute, a watchdog non-profit organization, found that as of Sept. 29, the President had attended only 42.4% of Presidential Daily Briefs (PDB) during his first term and 41.3% during his second term. As one former official blasted, "either the president doesn't read the intelligence he's getting or he's bullshitting."

 
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Protecting Power & Privilege Has Doomed Regimes Throughout History





If you want to pinpoint the one dynamic pushing the global economy into not just a prolonged recession but a parallel period of massive social instability, look no farther than the social and financial stagnation that results from optimizing the system to benefit the Elites and the entrenched incumbents who protect them from competition and the dispossessed debt-serf classes below. The incestuous embrace of privilege and power by entrenched, socially isolated Elites characterizes failed states and brittle, doomed regimes throughout history.

 
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Australia Unleashes Draconian New Anti-Terror Law In Orwellian Orgy Of Baseless Fear-Mongering





Understanding how the power structure thinks, and how it intentionally manipulates the emotions of the masses, is key to overcoming and rolling back totalitarian ambitions. Indeed, to borrow a term from Glenn Greenwald, “fear-manufacturing” has been in overdrive across the Five Eyes nations over the past several weeks, but nowhere is fear being used in a more clownish and absurd manner to strip the local citizenry of its civil liberties than in Australia.

 
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Eric Holder Is Resigning





And now, for the best news of the day, we go to NPR which reports that Eric "Too Big To Prosecute" Holder is resigning. From NPR: "Eric Holder Jr., the nation's first black U.S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and five and a half years of fights with Republicans in Congress."

 
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US Propaganda Enters Into Insane, Irrational Overdrive In Attempt to "Sell" War In Syria





Thanks to a dizzying barrage of lies, mainstream media fear-mongering and a couple of beheadings, the Obama Administration finally achieved its long sought after war in Syria. The tactic that proved most effective in mobilizing the American public back into a shivering, post-9/11 fetal position, was the same tactic used by elites in the UK to convince Scotland against voting for independence. That tactic... is fear.

 
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Knife-Wielding Veteran Sniper Rushes White House, Wants To Warn Obama "Atmosphere Is Collapsing"





Of the stories in the past two days, there is hardly anything more bizarre than that of Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, of Copperas Cove, a veteran had served three tours in Iraq — and relatives said served as a sniper — managed to jump over the White House fence, sprinted more than 70 yards across the Northern Lawn, got to the front double doors of the North Portico, turned the brass knob and stepped inside the vestibule. "There he was grabbed and subdued by an officer standing post inside the door." He war carrying a folding knife with a serrated blade and was located just feet away from where Obama would have normally been, if only Obama had not just minutes ago taken the wife and kids for yet another weekend mini getaway.

 
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Pentagon Prepares To Unveil Syria War Plans As "Broad Coalition" Crumbles





A day after US ambassador to The UN Samantha Powers stated, "we will not do the airstrikes alone if the president decides to do the airstrikes," and Russia warned, "bombing Syria without the cooperation of Damascus can have destructive practical consequences on the humanitarian situation in Syria," it appears President Obama's grand strategy to combat IS via a 'broad coalition' of allies is flailing. While the WSJ reports, The Pentagon is preparing war plans in Syria that would include an intensive initial wave of strikes against Islamic State targets, Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier explained today that providing air support or sending ground troops to fight Islamic State is "out of the question for us." For now, it appears, the only nation involved in the 'broad coalition' is France. Why? Because as we said yesterday, this is merely over fears of more BNPs. "A key component of this would be allied participation," said a U.S. official; does '1' ally count?

 
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Anarchy In Washington: Is Anybody In Charge?





The President pledges "no combat troops" in Iraq. The head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, says he may recommend combat ground troops in the battle against ISIS. The President, in a speech, reiterates "no ground troops," and "no combat troops." In short, when it comes to the making of American foreign policy what we have in Washington is what appears to be the functional definition of anarchy!

 
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Preparing For All Out Iraq War: Joint Chiefs Of Staff Back US Troops In Combat "If Necessary"





Who could have seen this coming? In yet another example of untruthiness, it appears, according to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning, President Obama would back U.S. advisers accompanying Iraqi troops in battle to combat Islamic State militants if necessary. For now, Dempsey noted, Iraqi security forces are "doing fine," but as Republican, Sen. Jim Inhofe noted, "it is foolhardy for the Obama administration to tie its hands and so firmly rule out the possibility of special operators on the ground." Following Hagel's remarks that the fight will "not be an easy or a brief effort," Dempsey said if it doesn’t succeed, he would not rule out advising Obama to use U.S. ground forces.

 
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China Daily: "Western Sanctions Will Make Moscow Back The Chinese Yuan Against The Dollar"





"The apparently long-term rupture of Russia's relations with the West offers an opportunity to the Chinese leadership to enhance its already close relationship with the Kremlin and thus turn the global geopolitical balance in its favor - not unlike former US president Richard Nixon and former secretary of state Henry Kissinger who reached out to Chairman Mao Zedong in 1972. The Russians, angry with Washington, are now more amenable to giving China wider access to their energy riches and their advanced military technology. The Western sanctions pushing Russia out of the international financial system are also making Moscow more ready and willing to back the Chinese yuan against the US dollar." - China Daily

 
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Ukraine Admits Resurgent Separatists Extend Control All The Way To Sea Of Azov





The Ukraine "ceasefire" may be raging, but don't tell that to the "rebel", "separatists", "pro-Russian terrorists" or whatever it is that the ethnic Russians in east Ukraine are called nowadays, because a few short hours ago even Kiev finally admitted that the insurgency, with or without Russian backing, has finally hit the beach of the Azov Sea, which implicitly means that the only thing that is prevent the formation of a land connection from Russia to Crimea is the city of Mariupol, which as Ukraine reported overnight, it is now massing heavy weapons for what may be the most critical fight of the entire Ukraine civil war to date.

 
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President Obama Unveils The "It's Different This Time" ISIS Strategy - Live Feed





Previewing tonight’s televised prime-time address to the nation, The Onion reports that White House aides confirmed that President Obama will reassure Americans that the impending military campaign against ISIS will be the exact same type of open-ended, drawn-out conflict that they are used to. “The president’s message is clear: This will be just another one of our routine intractable engagements in the region - it’s going to be unending, it’s going to be expensive, and it’s going to affect our credibility within the international community. There will not be any surprises for folks to worry about.”

And in The President's own words, "But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

 
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Markets Digest Wristwatch, NIRP Monetization, Catalan Independence News; Push Yields, USDJPY Even Higher





Overnight the most notable move has been the ongoing weakness in rates, with USTs reversing earlier Tokyo gains after BoJ Deputy Governor Iwata, in addition to commenting on a lot of things that didn't make much sense,  said he didn’t see any difficulties in money market operations even if BoJ bought bought government debt with negative yields, as InTouch Capital Markets notes. As a reminder, yesterday we noted that in a historic first the "Bank Of Japan Monetizes Debt At Negative Rates." As Bloomberg notes, this may be interpreted that BoJ may target negative yields to penalize savers, which "all boosts the appeal of yen-funded carry trades." In other words, first Europe goes NIRP, now it's Japan's turn! So while this certainly lit the fire under the USDJPY some more, which overnight broke about 106.50 and hit as high as 106.75 on Iwata's comments, it does not explain why the 10Y is currently trading 2.52% - after all the fungible BOJ money will eventually make its way into US bonds and merely add to what JPM has calculated is a total $5 trillion in excess liquidity sloshing in the global market.

 
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Ceasefire Over: Shelling Resumes In Mariupol And Donetsk





Perhaps unsurprisingly, numerous reports (from both sides) state that the long-awaited cease-fire in Ukraine is over. As RIA reports, the pro-Russian separatists noted Ukrainian special forces continued shelling towns and militia positions in the Donetsk region late Friday despite the ceasefire established hours before. Several reporters in the strategic 'land-bridge' city of Mariupol claims to have seen flashes from explosions and heard powerful detonations, where tanks are moving rapidly towards the eastern checkpoint. France24 also reports the Ukraine military is now accusing rebels of violating the cease-fire. AP further confirms sustained explosions outside the city of Mariupol with journalists reporting "people dying of bullet wounds." So it looks like more sanctions will be coming on Monday (European blowback any minute), no Mistral delivery (French losses), and a NATO rapid response team engage (more costs for Europe), leaving Putin with some decisions to make.

 
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