Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Globe Special: Kibbles & Bits

Think of this as your lunch....

"The key to saving ferrets from plague may be a peanut-butter treat" by Mead Gruver Associated Press  March 18, 2017

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Feeding peanut butter kibbles to millions of prairie dogs — by flinging the treats from four-wheelers and dropping them from drones — could be the next big thing to help a spunky little weasel that almost went extinct.

Slinky with a robber-like black mask across its eyes, the endangered black-footed ferret is a fierce predator. The up to 2-foot-long weasel feeds almost exclusively on prairie dogs, rodents that live in vast colonies regularly decimated by plague outbreaks.

The disease keeps threatening the food supply of ferrets bred in captivity and reintroduced on the landscape. Biologists are increasingly optimistic that feeding plague vaccine to prairie dogs can improve the ferrets’ success rate.

Starting this fall, they hope to ramp up recent plague vaccination experiments to cover as much as 40 square miles of prairie dog colonies in several states in the West.

‘‘We’re not attempting to eradicate it. That would be very, very difficult at this point. We’re just trying to manage it on selected colonies,’’ said Tonie Rocke, who researches animal diseases with the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

They plan to treat prairie dog colonies with blueberry-sized vaccine pellets made with peanut butter, using a specially made ‘‘glorified gumball machine’’ to fling the pellets from all-terrain vehicles. They might also drop pellets from drones to avoid trampling the countryside.

‘‘Prairie dogs love it. They gobble it up as fast as they can,’’ said John Emmerich, a retired Wyoming Game and Fish Department deputy director who chairs Black-Footed Ferret Friends, a group working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the project.

At a rate of 40 to 50 pellets per acre, Emmerich figures they will need 1 million or more pellets for the job. A U.S. Department of Agriculture supply depot in Pocatello, Idaho, that also makes rodent poison for farmers will manufacture the pellets.

Plague, which killed millions of people in medieval Europe, wasn’t a problem for prairie dogs until it arrived in the U.S. over a century ago. The disease now routinely cycles through prairie dog colonies across the ferrets’ 12-state historical range.

Habitat loss to farming and poisoning by ranchers also has taken a toll on prairie dogs — and by extension the black-footed ferret, which lives in the rodents’ burrows. The ferrets were believed extinct until a ranch dog brought home a dead one near Meeteetse, Wyoming, in 1981.

Beginning in the 1990s, efforts to breed black-footed ferrets at a facility near Fort Collins, Colorado, and release them into the wild have been successful in the sense that the black-footed ferret is no longer teetering on the brink.

Black-footed ferrets recently have been introduced at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver and to the Meeteetse ranch where scientists collected the last known wild ferrets to start the captive-breeding program. Descendants of those ferrets have been reintroduced at 28 sites and eight states, Canada and Mexico.

But plague, which is spread by fleas, remains a threat to the prairie dog colonies where ferrets live, said Fish and Wildlife spokesman Ryan Moehring.

Biologists often treat the colonies with insecticide to combat fleas. Plague vaccine likewise would need to be applied regularly — once a year, because prairie dogs typically don’t live more than a few years, and new ones are born every year. But the vaccine could require a lot less work, especially if drones are used.

An estimated 300 black-footed ferrets now live in the wild. Getting them off the endangered list would require establishing 3,000 or more breeding adults on half a million acres — 780 square miles — of prairie-dog colonies, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The vaccine could help put that goal within reach.

‘‘We’ll see as we expand the acreage, and see how it performs, but I think so far the results are promising,’’ Moehring said.


I think NYC should be worried, how about you?

Maybe he should just kill them all.


"American accused of aiding ISIS with $245 in gift cards" by Eric Lichtblau New York Times  January 28, 2017

WASHINGTON — The FBI had a job offer for Nick Young, a veteran Washington transit officer: become an undercover informer for the bureau and gather information at local mosques on fellow Muslims who might pose a terrorism threat.

The clandestine work would be “a lot sexier” than his current job, Young remembered an agent named Ryan telling him. And it could pay him a lot of money if the intelligence was good.

Young turned him down. But it would not be the last time he would see the FBI agent.

In August, five years later, Young was summoned to the headquarters of the transit agency, Metro, where Ryan and other agents were waiting for him.

This time, the agent handcuffed Young on a charge of supporting the Islamic State — a case built by an informer who posed as a would-be terrorist fighter.

The prosecution of Young, the only law enforcement officer among more than 100 Americans who have been accused of helping the Islamic State, offers a revealing look at the FBI’s shadowy cat-and-mouse efforts to identify possible Islamic extremists — an effort President Trump has vowed to intensify.

The FBI is expanding its use of undercover operations to identify Islamic State sympathizers inside the United States who might travel overseas to help the terrorist group or commit attacks at home.

And looking for patsies to set up so they can swoop in and save the day, justifying all the tyranny and wa$te of resources in order to prove they are getting the job done. 

So let's see, the FBI sets up the domestic terrorists and the CIA create, funds, and directs the foreign versions. That's how we get the Tsarnaevs.

Young’s lawyer says that the FBI entrapped him, with undercover operatives popping in and out of his life for at least six years. But law enforcement officials say Young represents one of their worst fears: that a longtime officer, with access to sensitive facilities, could be “radicalized” to support Islamic extremism.

He is charged with providing “material support” to the Islamic State, in the form of $245 worth of Google Play gift cards. Authorities say he gave the gift cards to a Muslim friend named Mo — in reality, an undercover informer — to support recruitment for the terrorist group. 

Now, THERE is a SERIOUS SHADOW -- not like those other fools! 

You get the ran$om in gift cards!

In interviews from jail, Young, a convert to Islam, portrayed himself and many other US Muslims under investigation as victims of religious persecution. He accused an “overzealous” FBI of “manufacturing” the case.

“I know for sure I wouldn’t have been targeted if I was an evangelic Christian or a Sikh or a Hindu or something,” said Young, 37.

“I’m not a terrorist,” he added. “Seeing these horrible allegations and the way they’re trying to paint me, it’s just a nightmare.”

Officials at the FBI and the Justice Department declined to comment on the case. In general, the FBI said, the investigative techniques used in such national security cases “are subject to vigorous oversight and require us to use the least intrusive means possible.”


Trump has declared that the country must do more to confront what he calls “radical Islamic terrorism,” including the possibility of expanding surveillance and intelligence operations, creating a “registry” of US Muslims, and reviving torture as an interrogation technique.

Those proposals have worried some civil liberties advocates, who say they are eager to see whether the Justice Department and the FBI seek to expand their investigative powers further in domestic terrorism cases.

Thus we are constantly treated to fake news in the form of foiled plots by self-created patsies.

Young sees himself as a pawn in that broader fight.

Young acknowledges holding passionate views about the Middle East and the “slaughter” of Syrians by the government of President Bashar Assad. On breaks from the transit agency, Young traveled to Libya twice in 2011 with body armor to join rebels fighting the Gadhafi regime. 


“I didn’t kill anyone while I was there,” he said, laughing, but “I got shot at a lot.”

He insisted that he had never supported terrorists. He plans to take the witness stand at his trial, an unusual tactic for a terrorism suspect. “Nick doesn’t have anything to hide,” said Nicholas D. Smith, one of his lawyers.

As he waits for his trial date, he sits in a rural jail in Warsaw, Va. “My brain’s turning to mush,” he said. 

What kind of pharmaceuticals are they feeding him?

He said he was under investigation for so long, it was almost inevitable that authorities would find a way to charge him. “At the end of the day, the crime I’m being accused of — a crime of sending gift cards — it would be laughable if it wasn’t really happening,” Young said.

And the charge they find is one they foisted on him.


Yeah, it's either let in all the refugees, or let the FBI f*** us over. 

Maybe all the turmoil at the top of the Trump Administration will cut down on the FBI-instigated false flags for a change. I mean, shootings are down.


"How civilian prosecution gave the US a key informant" by Adam Goldman and Benjamin Weiser New York Times  January 27, 2017

WASHINGTON — One day in 2011, the top prosecutor in the system of military commissions set up after the Sept. 11 attacks to prosecute terrorists traveled to New York for a special meeting with Justice Department officials. A Somali terrorist, Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, was being held aboard a US warship after being captured in international waters off Yemen, and the official, John F. Murphy, wanted him tried at Guantánamo Bay before a military commission.

Yeah, you hold him (do they make these names up as an in-your-face-laugher or....) in international waters in some sort of nebulous gray area so he can be tortured.

In an early test of President Obama’s belief that international terrorists could be successfully prosecuted in the criminal courts, Murphy was overruled. Warsame was prosecuted in federal court in Manhattan, and after pleading guilty to providing material support to al-Shabab and al-Qaida in Yemen and to other charges, he became one of the nation’s most important terrorism informants.

To Justice Department and FBI officials, their success in prosecuting Warsame and eliciting important information from him was proof that an alternative legal system was not needed to keep the US safe from terrorism. But that belief — a founding principle of Obama’s national security strategy — is about to be challenged by his successor.

Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, President Trump’s nominee for attorney general, has long believed that the Obama administration sacrificed valuable intelligence by bringing terrorism cases in federal court. Along with other Republicans in Congress, he has argued that the isolated military prison at Guantánamo is where such terrorists should be sent and tried.

Trump is expected to formally endorse that view with an executive order keeping Guantánamo open.

But a look at Warsame’s case — and the substantial cooperation he provided to the military and law enforcement — suggests it could again become a flashpoint in a debate over which system — civilian or military — is best to handle terrorism cases.

Current and former law enforcement officials, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because many details about Warsame’s value as a witness remain secret, agreed on his importance. Among informants in federal custody, the officials said, he ranks among a handful whose information seriously disrupted terrorist plots and contributed to winning convictions.

Warsame provided crucial intelligence about al-Shabab and al-Qaida leaders and helped thwart a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia, the officials said. His assistance also helped in the hunt to find Anwar al-Awlaki, an American imam who became al-Qaida in Yemen’s chief propagandist; and it has underpinned terrorism prosecutions in federal courts in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Minnesota. With Warsame’s cooperation, authorities also have secretly charged at least a dozen terrorists, including a top al-Shabab commander, who remain at large overseas.

The dispute over where Warsame should be prosecuted occurred more than a year after the debate over where to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the admitted mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, and four other detainees accused in the attacks.

After they waterboarded him like 183 times, and when that didn't work they tortured his kids in front of him. Screaming children is a good way to get someone to confess to anything.

Furthermore, what this story does is support the underlying narrative in the GWOT is legitimate and based on facts when it is not. It was a false flag operation for many reasons, the uppermost being USraeli hegemony over the planet.

The Obama administration ultimately dropped a plan to try them in federal court in Manhattan after strong opposition from local officials, deeply disappointing prosecutors who saw the cases as the best chance to hold the men responsible, but it turned out that it has been hard to build a functioning judicial system from scratch, let alone a court that operates at a remote base far from where the judge and lawyers live.

Contributing to years of delays, defense lawyers have been able to mount repeated challenges to every procedural step because the rules of the tribunals system are untested, unlike those of civilian court.

The use of plea deals at Guantánamo is also largely untested, and because the government maintains that it can hold an al-Qaida prisoner indefinitely as a wartime detainee even after he serves a sentence or is acquitted, military prosecutors may not be able to assure someone who seeks to cooperate that he will be released after serving his sentence.

And thus the United States government can never again criticize any other nation's detention and imprisonment policies.

In contrast, the value of cooperation deals in federal terrorism prosecutions has been extremely effective.


I thought he was struck down in the drone wars.