#Washington State Department of Corrections Escapee Arrested in East Portland .@PortlandPolice https://t.me/acebreakingnews/7151 #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Aug.16: Washington State Department of Corrections Escapee Arrested in East Portland (Photo) #AceNewsDesk reports

https://t.me/acebreakingnews/7151
http://pic.twitter.com/tUxzim2nHl— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) August 16, 2017 #AceNewsDesk

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#washington

NEW YORK: ‘ Flights out of New York & Washington delays due to computer glitch on air-traffic control ‘

#AceNewsReport – Post Update:NEW YORK:Aug.15: Flights in and out of New York and Washington, D.C., area airports are affected by an automation problem at an air traffic control center Saturday, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Previous post:

Ace Worldwide News

#air-traffic-control, #d-c, #federal-aviation-administration, #new-york, #washington

VIDEO: ' CIA TORTURE REPORT AND SEVEN MEN BEHIND COMPANY Y '

#AceNewsServices – Featured Posts:WASHINGTON:Dec.30:The US Senate report on the CIA’s so-called enhanced interrogation techniques that was released on Tuesday said a firm identified only as "Company Y" was responsible for developing many of the tactics used during the questioning of terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

After the release of the details of the Senate investigation, NBC News reported the company that worked to develop these techniques and received more than $80 million from the government for its work was a firm based in Spokane, Washington, called Mitchell, Jessen & Associates.

While much of the attention on Mitchell, Jessen & Associates has focused on the two owners of the company who gave it its name, the firm had seven co-owners. Documents exclusively obtained by Business Insider on Wednesday confirmed the names of these seven people as well as their roles at the company. The records also detailed when Mitchell, Jessen & Associates was first established.

According to a document filed with the state of Washington in 2008, the seven owners of Mitchell, Jessen & Associates were James Mitchell, John Bruce Jessen, David Ayers, Randall Spivey, James Sporleder, Joseph Matarazzo, and Roger Aldrich.

Records show Mitchell, Jessen & Associates became inactive in October 2009. However, four of the company’s owners appear to work at other firms that currently consult with the US government. Three of them — Spivey, Sporleder, and Aldrich — are still working together at a company called the Center For Personal Protection & Safety, which counts both the Department of Defense and the FBI among its clients.

Their company reportedly developed interrogation techniques the Senate report described as "brutal," including forced rectal feedings, waterboarding, sleep deprivation, mock executions, and intense psychological manipulation. Late Wednesday evening, a CIA representative said the agency would not be able to comment on this story until the following morning, at the earliest.

Source:

#ANS2014

#central-intelligence-agencycia, #torture, #washington

‘ PROTESTERS CLASH WITH POLICE OVER DAILY INJUSTICE’S IN THE MILLION MASK MARCH ‘

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON D.C – Nov.08 – An intense video highlights the level of unrest among a growing group of Americans and the divide between them and the police.

Hundreds of protesters stormed the capital Tuesday in an effort to voice their concerns about the encroaching police state. Some protesters were captured on video raiding the FBI building and backing police into a corner. 

According to News2Share who took the video below:

Police clashed with rioters Tuesday participating in the “Million Mask March” in Washington DC.

In one incident at the Reagen Building, a protester had a scuffle with a police officer, which ended up with him being tased onto the ground.

A friend of his then tried to get away, and was also tased, but he managed to escape the taser and sprint across the street before officers on foot and from a vehicle were able to surround him. When other protesters surrounded the arresting officer, he threatened them with pepper spray while bringing the suspect into custody.

Note: Video Filmed and edited by Ford Fischer, with a short clip of the initial scuffle submitted by Ben Cutler.

The people in the US are becoming fed up with the daily injustices.

As the ruling class grabs more power, wealth, and privilege, more and more Americans are taking to the streets. 

#washington

WASHINGTON: ‘ OBAMA AND BOEHNER SQUARE UP IN THE HOUSE OVER IMMIGRATION ‘

#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON- Nov.07 – The Republican speaker of the House, John Boehner, has warned Barack Obama he is “inviting big trouble” by using his presidential authority to reform the immigration system, setting the scene for the first major collision between the parties after the midterm elections The Guardian reported. 

Striking an uncompromising tone at his first press conference since a wave of Republican congressional victories on Tuesday, Boehner said there would be “no chance” of legislation to mend the country’s immigration system if the president acted alone.

“When you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself,” he said. “He’s going to burn himself if he continues to go down this path.”

The White House responded to Boehner’s comments by insisting that the president was undeterred, and would pursue “common sense and substantive” executive action on immigration.

On Wednesday, the president pledged to take that action before the end of the year.

#ANS2014

#washington

WASHINGTON: ‘ VICTORY BY THE REPUBLICANS MEANS CHANGES AFOOT IN SENATE LEGISLATION ‘

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – November 06 – Republicans’ resounding victory gives them an opportunity to push legislation that’s been bottled up in the Democratic Senate, from targeting elements of President Barack Obama’s health care law to constructing the Keystone XL oil pipeline to rolling back environmental regulations.

Democrats suffered an electoral drubbing in Tuesday’s midterms, and Republicans regained control of the Senate and widely expanded their majority in the House.

In command in both chambers in January, Republicans maintained that they have to show they can govern or else voters will show them the door.

Source: 

#ANS2014 

#keystonexl, #legislation, #senate, #washington

WASHINGTON: ‘ REPUBLICANS WIN SENATE BUT WILL HILARY CLINTON WIN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ? ‘

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – November 05 – Thought this was a really interesting post election opinion: The day has finally come. The ballots have finally been cast. And the votes — at least most of them — have finally been counted.

' How the Republicans won the Senate but Hilary Clinton could Win the Presidential Election in 2016 '

‘ How the Republicans won the Senate but Hilary Clinton could Win the Presidential Election in 2016 ‘

So who won the 2014 midterm elections?

The easy answer is the Republican Party.

On election night, the party managed to seize control of the Senate by picking up at least seven seats previously held by Democrats, a goal that has eluded Republicans since 2006.

The GOP also captured at least 13 House races, expanding its already sizable majority to at least 241 seats — the most it’s claimed since Herbert Hoover was president.

While a dizzying 14 gubernatorial races were tossups heading into Nov. 4, almost all of them broke toward the GOP — meaning that Republican governors will still vastly outnumber Democratic governors on Inauguration Day.

And Americans are plainly disillusioned with President Barack Obama; according to the exit polls, a full 54 percent of voters disapprove of his performance as president, and 65 percent say the country is headed in the wrong direction.

There was good reason, in other words, for conservative journalist Philip Klein to crow on Twitter that “this is what a wave feels like” — because it is.

But here’s the thing: In politics, the easy answer is not always the only answer, and the winner of an election is not always the one who benefits most. Take a closer look at demography, geography and the road ahead for the parties, and it’s clear that the long-term winner of the 2014 midterms wasn’t the GOP at all. The long-term winner, in fact, wasn’t even on the ballot this year.

Her name is Hillary Clinton.

Of course the GOP is celebrating right now, as it should. Any election that ends up putting Republicans into the governors’ mansions in Illinois and Maryland is worth getting worked up about.

But under the surface, almost everything about last night’s midterm results — and the map, the math and the legislative morass that lies ahead in the run-up to 2016 — suggests that the former first lady and secretary of state will have a better next two years than the party currently guzzling champagne.

Which is not to say that Clinton herself will necessarily be an unbeatable candidate. She spent the past two months holding 45 campaign events in 18 hard-fought states, but almost all the big candidates she stumped for lost, from Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky to Bruce Braley in Iowa. Many will say her campaign skills are still rusty — and she certainly won’t be heading into 2016 with many chits to cash in.

But that does not change one simple fact:

Even a huge GOP victory shows how much catching up the Republican have to do if they want to defeat Hillary in 2016.

Source: 

#ANS2014 

#gop, #mid-term-elections, #washington, #wins

WASHINGTON: ‘ VETERAN’S GET TRIPLE BENEFITS ACCORDING TO NEW REPORT ‘

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – November 01 – Nearly 60,000 veterans were triple dippers last year, drawing a total of $3.5 billion in military retirement pay plus veterans and Social Security disability benefits at the same time, congressional auditors report.

'Veterans Get Tripel Social Security Benefits - New Report States '

‘Veterans Get Tripel Social Security Benefits – New Report States ‘

It’s all legal.

The average payment was about $59,000, but about 2,300 veterans, or 4 percent of the total, received concurrent payments of $100,000 or more, the Government Accountability Office said.

The highest payment was to a veteran who received $208,757 in combined payments in 2013.

Some lawmakers say the report shows the need for better coordination among government programs that are facing severe financial constraints. The Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund could run out of money in as soon as two years, government officials say.

“We should fulfil our promises to the men and women who serve, but we need to streamline these duplicative programs,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who requested the study.

Veterans groups disagree:

They say the retirement money was earned for years of service in the military, while disability payments are compensation for service-related injuries and wounds.

In most cases, veterans who receive a combination of benefits are severely disabled. About 4 in 5 veterans who got triple payments had a disability rating of at least 50 percent, the GAO said. Nearly half of those receiving triple payments were at least 60 years old.

Auditors Report: PDF LINK 

Source: 

#ANS2014 

#social-security-benefits, #veterans, #washington

WASHINGTON: ‘ PRIVATE MEETING OF REPUBLICAN LEADERS CAN SEE CHANCE TO SEIZE CONTROL OF SENATE ‘

#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – October 30 – In a rare moment of calm between crises over Ebola and Islamic State, a group of congressmen gathered on Capitol Hill to discuss something few Americans have had as much cause to contemplate: the outcome of next Tuesday’s midterm elections.

The private meeting of top Republican leaders from the House of Representatives concluded there was a golden opportunity.

If opinion polling is to be believed, their party is poised not just to hang on to its majority in the lower chamber, but possibly seize control of the Senate, too, uniting both houses of Congress against a Democratic president for the first time in 20 years.

According to one participant at the meeting, held last month, most of those present urged a cautious response, such as aiming to pass moderate economic and tax reform legislation with bipartisan support and daring the White House to use its veto to oppose the new Republican agenda.

Others in the party favour more combative assaults on Barack Obama’s healthcare reform and his environmental concerns over the Keystone oil pipeline, which he is likely to block.

Either way, they argue, the White House loses. “He’ll become the president of no,” another GOP congressman confidently told the Guardian, revelling in the prospect of reversing the insult that dogged House Republicans when they were the ones blocking Democratic legislative efforts.

Source: 

#ANS2014 

#barack-obama, #washington, #white-house

WASHINGTON: ‘ DEMOCRATS LOSE GRIP ON VOTES TO HISPANICS ‘

#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – October 30 – Democrats have lost their grip on Hispanic voters heading into Election Day—and in turn could lose the Senate because of them.

Even though Latinos split heavily for their party in 2012, mounting evidence suggests Hispanics could sit the midterms out after immigration reform has fallen from the White House agenda.

Source: As Dems lose Latinos, Senate could follow | TheHill.

#ANS2014 

#democrats, #washington

WASHINGTON: ‘ FIRST AMENDMENT UNDER PRESSURE OF CHANGE AS FEC AND RAVEL TRY TO CURB FREE SPEECH ‘

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – October 29 – Democrats on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) are planning to introduce new regulations regarding political content on the internet, in order to kill free speech and political dissent.

' The End of Free Speech: FEC Democrats Move to Kill Political Dissent '

‘ The End of Free Speech: FEC Democrats Move to Kill Political Dissent ‘

The decision of intent, which was announced late Friday, came about after an anti-Obama video posted to Youtube raised the ire of Democrats who found themselves powerless to stifle it as it was not a paid-for political ad, which would have brought it under existing FEC regulations.

Political content and advocacy posted free on the internet is not currently regulated by the FEC. Ann M. Ravel, who is a Obama-appointed Democrat and Vice Chair of the commission, is pushing to introduce regulations that will, effectively, govern all political materials on the internet. “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due,” Ravel says. The three Republicans on the six-member commission – including Chairman Lee E. Goodman, are resisting the call for more regulation. They argue that, if regulation is extended to cover even unpaid political advertising, then blogs, politically active news websites and all other politically-motivated speech on the web will be curtailed. “This freedom has gained wide acceptance, as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of political videos, websites, blogs and other social media…” the three wrote in a dissenting statement. ”

They added that the shift in policy suggested by Ravel and supported by the other Democrats on the commission “could threaten the continued development of the Internet’s virtual free marketplace of political ideas and democratic debate.”

Speaking to Fox News, Goodman said “I have been warning that my Democratic colleagues were moving to regulate media generally and the Internet specifically for almost a year now.” Ravel is due to take over the FEC Chair next year. Goodman has warned, previously, that Democrats at the FEC are intent upon tighter regulation of the media.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution specifically forbids Congress from passing legislation which abridges freedom of speech and of the press. Further, it protects the rights of citizens to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This last phrase exactly encapsulates the purpose of political dissent.

As with most federal government agencies, the FEC – or, at least, the Democrats at the FEC – are overstepping their authority by attempting to extend their own powers far beyond constitutional limitations.

Source: 

#ANS2014 

#democrats, #first-amendment, #washington

WASHINGTON: ‘ DHS RAMP UP SECURITY PROTECTION AT FEDERAL BUILDINGS ‘

#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – October 29 – The Department of Homeland Security DHS) is beefing up protection at federal buildings in Washington, D.C., and in other areas across the nation, Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday. 

Although he did not cite any specific threats to individual government buildings, Johnson said:

“The reasons for this action are self-evident: the continued public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on the homeland and elsewhere: including against law enforcement and other government officials, and the acts of violence targeted at government personnel and installations in Canada and elsewhere recently.”

#ANS2014

#canada, #department-of-homeland-securitydhs, #washington

WASHINGTON: ‘ CHUCK HAGEL ORDERS ALL US TROOPS RETURNING FROM WEST AFRICA TO BE QUARANTINED ‘

#AceBreakingNews – WASHINGTON – October 29 – Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered all U.S. troops returning from Ebola response efforts in West Africa to undergo a 21-day “controlled monitoring regimen.”

“The secretary believes these initial steps are prudent given the large number of military personnel transiting from their home base and West Africa and the unique logistical demands and impact this deployment has on the force,” said Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby in a statement Wednesday.

By Kristina Wong @ The Hill 

Source: 

#ANS2014 

#ebola, #washington, #west-africa

WASHINGTON: ‘ JOHN KERRY BRANDS ELECTIONS IN EASTERN UKRAINE AS UNLAWFUL ‘

#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – October 29 – US Secretary of State John Kerry has branded “unlawful” the upcoming elections in eastern Ukraine Press TV reported.  

During a visit to the Canadian capital Ottawa on Tuesday, Kerry warned Russia and the pro-Russians that any recognition of the election would be “a clear violation” of the Minsk Protocol.

Kerry’s remarks came after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would recognize the results of the elections in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

“We expect the elections will go ahead as agreed, and we will of course recognize the results,” Lavrov said, adding, the vote “will be important to legitimize the authorities there.” according to Itar.Tass. 

The announcement also infuriated Kiev, saying it undermines attempts to end the war in the country.

#ANS2014 

#russia, #minsk-protocol, #ottawa, #ukraine, #washington

WASHINGTON: ‘ AL-QAEDA EXTENDS OLIVE BRANCH TO ISLAMIC STATE GROUP ‘

#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – According to latest news on Capitol Hill the Al-Qaeda is using U.S.-led coalition air-strikes in Syria as a reason to extend olive branches to the renegade Islamic State group.

They are saying the two should stop feuding and join forces to attack Western targets – a reunification that intelligence analysts say would allow al-Qaeda to capitalize on the younger group’s ruthless advance across the region.

Analysts are closely watching al-Qaeda’s repeated overtures, and while a full reconciliation is not expected soon – if ever – there is evidence the two groups have curtailed their infighting and are cooperating on the Syrian battlefield, according to activists on the ground, U.S. officials and experts who monitor jihadi messages.

Source:

#ANS2014 

#al-qaeda, #us-led-coalition, #washington

FRONTLINE: ‘ WHITE HOUSE PRESIDENT OBAMA’S THE RISE OF ISIS AIRS TONIGHT ‘

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – October 28 – President Obama’s former ambassador to Iraq says in a new interview that his administration “did almost nothing” in response to intelligence warnings earlier this year that Islamic State radicals were gaining ground in Iraq and threatening the country’s stability.

' Obama White House 'The Rise of ISIS,' says 'Frontline' documentary '

‘ Obama White House ‘The Rise of ISIS,’ says ‘Frontline’ documentary ‘

“The administration not only was warned by everybody back in January, it actually announced that it was going to intensify support against ISIS with the Iraqi armed forces.

And it did almost nothing,” says James Jeffrey, who served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq between 2010 and 2012, in “Frontline’s” “The Rise of ISIS,” which airs on PBS Tuesday night (check local listings) and is previewed here exclusively on Yahoo News.

Jeffrey is one of a number of ex-administration officials who appear in the film and sharply criticize the decisions of the president they once served. Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta both take issue with Obama’s refusal to arm moderate rebels in Syria who — it is now argued — could have acted as a counterweight to the Islamic State (also called ISIS or ISIL).

“I think we made the wrong decision in not providing assistance to the rebels,” Panetta bluntly says at one point.

The film, reported by correspondent Martin Smith, offers a richly detailed account of how the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki alienated the country’s disenfranchised Sunni population, making reckless accusations of terrorism against Sunni leaders — including the country’s Vice Prime Minister Tariq al-Hashimi. Those allegations flatly denied by al-Hashimi on camera — were based on the testimony of bodyguards who, it is strongly suggested, were tortured.

With little pressure or engagement from Washington, al-Maliki’s anti-Sunni agenda driven by his  “paranoia,” as one of Smith’s interlocutors says — paved the way for ISIS radicals to march through huge swaths of Iraqi territory this spring, seizing arsenals of U.S.-made weapons from a collapsing Iraqi army. This, of course, was the same army that the U.S. spent billions arming and training. In fact, terrorism expert Ken Katzman suggests in the film, they were a phantom led by do-nothing officers.

“They were people who were they were fat cats, I call them,” Katzman, a Congressional Research Service terrorism analyst, says in the film. “They were people who were earning good money to basically sit at a desk and smoke cigarettes and drink good liquor all day.”

In the end, Smith reports, it took only 800 ISIS militants, with the help of local Ba’athist military cadres, to secure Mosul, a city of 1.8 million people.

Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s chief national security spokesman, does his best to defend the administration record and at one point appears to blame Congress for holding up administration requests to step up arms supplies to the Iraqi Army.

“If you go back and you look at the record of what we were providing to the Iraqis, there was a steady increase, whether you’re talking about Hellfire missiles, the Apaches,” says Rhodes. “They were held up by Congress; we sought the expedition of that delivery to the Iraqis.”

Perhaps the most striking exchange in the film comes as Smith presses Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on whether the administration’s current policy of airstrikes at Islamic State targets will achieve Obama’s goal of “destroying” the Islamic State — without deploying U.S. ground troops.

Are you an optimist at this point, that this really can work?” Smith asks him.

“No, I’m not an optimist,” says Dempsey in a less-than-confidence-building response. While the  campaign’s strategy may be right, “every campaign’s assumptions have to be revisited as the campaign evolves. Some of these assumptions are no doubt going to be challenged.”

Smith’s film suggests this may end up meaning U.S. ground troops get involved — exactly what President Obama says he is determined to avoid but may ultimately have no choice but to accept.

Source:

Yahoo News Exclusive 

#ANS2014 

#isis, #islamic-state, #president-obama, #washington

‘ CONGRESS MULLS OVER HOW TO CURTAIL NSA’S COLLECTION OF AMERICAN’S PHONE RECORDS ‘

#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – October 28 – While Congress mulls how to curtail the NSA’s collection of Americans’ telephone records, impatient civil liberties groups are looking to legal challenges already under-way in the courts to limit government surveillance powers.

Three appeals courts are hearing lawsuits against the bulk phone records program, creating the potential for an eventual Supreme Court review.

Judges in lower courts, meanwhile, are grappling with the admissibility of evidence gained through the NSA’s warrantless surveillance.

Source:

#ANS2014 

#nsa, #supreme-court, #washington

WASHINGTON: ‘CDC URGES VOLUNTARY ISOLATION FOR HIGHEST RISK EBOLA HEALTH WORKERS ‘

#AceBreakingNews – WASHINGTON – October 27 The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging healthcare workers back from West Africa with the highest risk for carrying Ebola to isolate themselves voluntarily. 

In guidance released Monday, the federal public health agency pushed back against decisions by three states to mandate 21-day quarantines for people who could be carrying the Ebola virus. 

By Elise Viebeck and Sarah Ferris @ The Hill  

#ANS2014 

#the-centre-for-disease-control-and-prevention-cdc, #washington

WASHINGTON: ‘ ARMY’S TROUBLED $5 BILLION INTELLIGENCE NETWORK FAILS TO DELIVER ‘

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – October 27 – The Army’s troubled $5 billion intelligence fusion network has been a source of lucrative contracts to companies whose employees once worked for the Army, while failing to deliver on its promise of making data seamlessly accessible to soldiers in the field, according to records and interviews.

INSIDE WASHINGTON: PROFITING FROM FAILURE

INSIDE WASHINGTON: PROFITING FROM FAILURE

The Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS-A) was supposed to integrate intelligence from a network of sensors and databases to provide a common intelligence picture from the Pentagon to the farthest reaches of Afghanistan.

But the program so far has been a bust, with one memorable Army testing report finding it “not operationally effective, not operationally suitable and not survivable.”

The performance failures of the network have been well-documented, but less scrutiny has been devoted to the revolving door between defence companies that profit from the troubled intelligence system and the military commands that continue to fund it, records show.

Source:

#ANS2014

#army, #pentagon, #washington

‘ BLACK WATER FOUNDER BLAMES OBAMA ADMIN SAYING WE COULD HAVE CRUSHED ISLAMIC STATE ‘

#AceNewsServices – October 26 – Founder of the controversial private security contractor Black Water claimed Friday that the organization could have successfully combated militant group Islamic State if the Obama administration had not “crushed my old business.”

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/entertainment-articles/billionaire-trust-fund-baby-built-worlds-deadliest-private-army/
At this point, Erik Prince is 25 years old and sitting on a billion dollar fortune. Did he escape to the Bahamas or Hawaii to live out a life full of mamacitas and margaritas? No. Quite the opposite in fact. Within a year of the company’s sale Prince moved to Virginia Beach and launched his very own private military company called Blackwater Worldwide. The initial purpose of Blackwater, which was was co-founded with a fellow ex-Seal named Al Clark, was to build the ultimate training and recreational facility for American military and police personal, active and retired.

Erik Prince said in front of the conservative group Maverick PAC that his infamous private military firm – synonymous with the contracting bonanza that ensued after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 – would have effectively fought Islamic State (known as ISIS or ISIL), allowing the US to hold back its military in its offensive against the group’s strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

“It’s a shame the [Obama] administration crushed my old business, because as a private organization, we could’ve solved the boots-on-the-ground issue, we could have had contracts from people that want to go there as contractors; you don’t have the argument of US active duty going back in there,” Prince said during the discussion with retired four-star Gen. James Conway. “[They could have] gone in there and done it, and be done, and not have a long, protracted political mess that I predict will ensue.”

Nearly two weeks ago, President Obama said the US would conduct airstrikes and “hunt down” the fighters of the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, Syria, and “wherever they exist.” Washington has promised $500 million to so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels for fighting both the Syrian government and Islamic State militants. While the US has also sent 1,600 “support force” troops to advise the Iraqi military in the fight against Islamic State, Obama has stressed – despite contradicting sentiments from Pentagon officials – that ground troops will not be necessary during the latest offensive.

AFP Photo / Marwan Naamani

AFP Photo / Marwan Naamani

Prince’s comments were made almost exactly seven years after Blackwater guards infamously shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007. The incident sparked outrage with American presence in Iraq among the local population.

The US iscurrently trying to prosecute four of the five guards involved in the incident after a first failed attempt to do it in 2009. After 10 weeks of arguments and testimony, the case went to a jury earlier this month.

After the Nisour Square killings and other scandals, the Obama administration eventually severed most ties with Blackwater – now known as Academi after several rebranding attempts. Yet despite criticism for the organization from the administration, more than half a billion dollars has been set aside for the firm and its associated entities since President Obama took office in 2009.

According to The Huffington Post, more than $300 million of that total half billion-plus was awarded before Blackwater was sold by Prince in 2010. Since the sale, the US State Department has awarded Academi just over $500 million, as opposed to $784 million in the three years prior to his sale of the company. The firm merged with security contracting rival Triple Canopy in 2010.

AFP Photo / Str

AFP Photo / Str

Former Navy SEAL Prince then left for Abu Dhabi to continue security contracting work, vowing to never work for the US government after being spurned by the new presidential administration.

The Friday discussion veered into Republican Party politics. Prince, a Catholic conservative, claimed the Republican Party – which dominates the US House of Representatives and is poised to take the US Senate following mid-term elections this November – is “getting rolled” by the Democratic Party.

“I want you to tell your congressman that we pay them to fight,” Prince said, according to The Daily Beast. “They are hired to fight for our values, for what you sent them there to do… I am sick and tired of Republicans getting rolled—having a lousy, weak leadership that gets rolled every time by the Democratic Party. We’re like… Charlie Brown trying to kick the football every time and they keep taking it away… I encourage the Republican Party to get off their ass and fight like we pay them to.”

Prince also spoke of Iran, saying the young population simply seeks more freedom in a closely-guarded society.

“Most Iranians… are just like you guys,” he said. “They want to be able to drink a beer when they want, travel where they want, have their wife or girlfriend drive a car or wear a short shirt and wear high heels. I’m all in favor of it.”

Prince also said Blackwater, if around today, could have countered spread of the Ebola viruswith humanitarian missions using the NOAAS McArthur (S 330), an American survey ship once owned by Blackwater.

“Now, that’s the sort of thing that could help fight Ebola,” Prince told The Daily Beast.

#ANS2014 

#barack-obama, #blackwater, #islamic-state, #pentagon, #washington