Did Obama’s Beloved “Moderate” FSA Fighters Flee Aleppo?

The Obama Administration continues to hold onto the fantasy that training and equipping a group of “moderate” rebels in Syria will allow threading the gap between the Bashar al-Assad regime that continues to relentlessly attack its own citizens and the ISIS fighters who behead many of the folks in their path. After all, Obama and his minions seem to want us to to think, the “moderates” only occasionally eat a victim’s heart or behead people after posing for photos with John McCain.

The press in Turkey is reporting that Obama’s centerpiece of the “moderate” rebel movement, the Free Syrian Army, has fled the strategic city of Aleppo where battles have taken place since early in the Syrian civil war. The reports say that within the past two weeks, the new leader of the FSA, Jamal Marouf (previous FSA leader Salem Idris was among those in the famous photo with McCain) fled to Turkey where he is being protected. Iranian news is repeating these reports, with stories in both Fars News and PressTV. Both Iranian stories cite this report from Turkey:

The Free Syrian Army (FSA), the recognized armed opposition group against the Bashar al-Assad in Syria, has ceased its resistance in Aleppo, Syria’s second biggest city, withdrawing its 14,000 militia from the city, a ranking Turkish security source told the Hürriyet Daily News on Nov. 17.

“Its leader Jamal Marouf has fled to Turkey,” confirmed the source, who asked not to be named. “He is currently being hosted and protected by the Turkish state.”

The source did not give an exact date of the escape but said it was within the last two weeks, that is, the first half of November. The source declined to give Marouf’s whereabouts in Turkey.

Wow, so not only did the leader apparently leave, but 14,000 fighters abandoned Aleppo, too? That’s huge. The only Western news story I see so far on this is an AFP story carried by Yahoo News in the UK. The story opens by describing how desperate the refugee problem will be in Turkey if Aleppo has indeed fallen:

Turkey fears another two to three million Syrian refugees could cross its borders if the region of Syria’s second city of Aleppo is overrun either by Islamist extremists or regime forces, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday.

Turkey is already hosting at least 1.5 million refugees displaced by the Syrian conflict and has repeatedly warned that its capacities are being strained by the numbers.

It takes another sixteen paragraphs or so before getting to the news about Marouf:

Meanwhile the Turkish online newspaper Radikal reported that the chief of the moderate anti-Assad group the Syrian Revolutionary Front, Jamal Maarouf, had fled to Turkey two weeks ago.

There was no confirmation of the report and no further details were immediately available.

But never fear! The article gives us this rosy news as a conclusion:

Media reports said at the weekend that Turkey and the United States have agreed a plan under which some 2,000 FSA fighters would be trained on Turkish soil.

Let’s see, 14,000 troops fled, and now we’re going to train a whopping 2000 to take their place.

Winning!

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Only Remaining Senator Personally Targeted by Terrorist Attack Still Believes in Constitution

The Senate just voted down cloture on the USA Freedom Act, 58-42. Even while we disagreed on the bill, I extend sincere condolences to civil liberties allies who worked hard to pass this in good faith. I know you all have worked hard in good faith to pass something viable.

Several things about the vote were predictable (in fact, I predicted them in June). Just as one example, I noted to allies that if Jeff Flake — who had a great record on civil liberties while he was still in the House — did not support the effort, it would fail. Four Senators — cosponsors Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Dean Heller, plus Lisa Murkowski voted for cloture; Rand Paul did not. Bill Nelson voted against cloture as well (there are reports he is claiming it was a mistake, but given how closely this bill was whipped that would be … telling).

Equally predictable was the fear-mongering. GOP Senator after GOP Senator got up and insisted if the phone dragnet ended, ISIL would attack the country. None noted, of course, that the phone dragnet had never succeeded in preventing a terrorist attack. Pat Leahy made that point but it’s one opponents of the dragnet need to make in more concerted fashion.

Then there was a piece of news that neither side — supporter or opponent — seemed to want to mention. Dianne Feinstein revealed that at first 2 of 4 providers (presumably the fourth is T-Mobile though it could even be Microsoft, given that Skype is a more important phone carrier for international traffic) had refused to keep phone records, but that they had voluntarily agreed to do so for a full two years (this is at least a 6 month extension for Verizon, though may be significantly longer for cell calls).

The most dramatic part of the debate came after everyone left, when a frustrated Pat Leahy made the case for defending the Constitution. He recalled the anthrax letter addressed to him, on September 18, 2001, that killed a postal worker who processed it (another letter killed a Tom Daschle aide see Meryl Nass’ correction). “13 years ago this week, a letter was sent to me, addressed to me. It was so deadly, with the antrax in it that one person who touched the envelope–addressed to me, that I was supposed to open–They died!” Leahy reminded that the FBI had still not caught all the culprits for the attack. (That he believes that was first reported here in 2008; I believe FBI has, in fact, caught none of the culprits.) That attack targeting him personally, Leahy noted, did not convince him he had to abrogate the Constitution. “This nation should not let our liberties to be set aside by passing fears.” Leahy said. “If we do not protect our Constitution we do not deserve to be in this body.”

Senators like Marco Rubio got up and screamed about terrorists. But unless I’m mistaken, Pat Leahy is the only one remaining in the Senate who was personally targeted by a terrorist.

Maybe we ought to highlight that point?

Updated w/additions from Leahy’s comments.

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The Bottom End of the Fourth Amendment

Here’s what self-confessed NEWB FISCR Judge Buzz Arnold said on what he claimed was his fourth day on the job (in reality it was several weeks in) during the hearing on the Yahoo challenge in 2008.

Warrant Clause at Bottom End of 4th Amendment

 

You know–that long tradition of “bottom end of the Fourth Amendment” jurisprudence?

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“There Is No Database”

I Con the Record has released the transcript for the Yahoo hearing before the FISA Court of Review.

I’ll come back to the substance of it, but I did want to point to the lie that underscores this entire case.

There Is No Database

 

On page 41, Acting Solicitor General Gregory Garre claims there is no database of incidentally collected information.

That’s of course false — the incidentally collected information is kept right along with the targeted information.

The FISCR used this in its ruling Protect America Act was constitutional.

Funny how that works…

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Former Surveillance Lawyer Peter Keisler Pushes for Surveillance Limits

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 2.33.55 PMI’ve been laying low so supporters of USA Freedom can try to get a vote for cloture allowing debate for their bill in the Senate (and also trying to duck getting back into the arguments I made about Jonathan Gruber in 2009 and 2010). I’ve had my say on the former issue here and here.

But even as USA Freedom faces an uncertain future in the Senate, something interesting happened in the 11th Circuit.

I wrote in June about the 11th Circuit decision in US v. Quartavious Davis. In a decision written by David Sentelle (on loan from the DC Circuit) the Circuit overturned a conviction based almost entirely on stored cell site location information (CSLI).

The government filed for rehearing en banc which was granted.

AT&T just submitted an amicus brief generally supporting a higher standard for CSLI.

This is no hippie brief. Generally, it calls for more clarity for the providers, and ultimately concludes asking for one standard.

However the scope of the Fourth Amendment’s protection is resolved, a clear and categorical rule will benefit all parties involved in the application of Section 2703(d), including the technology companies subject to orders to produce information. Whatever standard the Court ultimately determines the government must satisfy, the third party records cases may provide an unsatisfactory basis for resolving this case. Smith and Miller rested on the implications of a customer’s knowing, affirmative provision of information to a third party and involved less extensive intrusions on personal privacy. Their rationales apply poorly to how individuals interact with one another and with information using modern digital devices. In particular, nothing in those decisions contemplated, much less required, a legal regime that forces individuals to choose between maintaining their privacy and participating in the emerging social, political, and economic world facilitated by the use of today’s mobile devices or other location based services.

But to support that stance, it argues that because of increasing accuracy, CSLI is probably more intrusive than the car-based GPS tracker found to require a warrant in US v. Jones.

CSLI at times may provide more sensitive and extensive personal information than the car tracking information at issue in Jones. Users typically keep their mobile devices with them during the entire day, potentially providing a much more extensive and continuous record of an individual’s movements and living patterns than that provided by tracking a vehicle; CSLI, therefore, is not limited to the largely public road system or to when the device user is in a vehicle.

More interesting still, it argues that the 3rd Party doctrine doesn’t work anymore.

The privacy and related social interests implicated by the use of modern mobile devices and by CSLI are fundamentally different and more significant than those evaluated in Miller and Smith. Miller, 425 U.S. at 443 (“We must examine the nature of the particular documents sought to be protected in order to determine whether there is a legitimate ‘expectation of privacy’ concerning their contents”); Smith, 442 U.S. at 741-42 (emphasizing the “limited capabilities” of pen registers). Use of mobile devices, as well as other devices or location based services, has become integral to most individuals’ participation in the new digital economy: those devices are a nearly ever-present feature of their most basic social, political, economic, and personal relationships. In recent years, this has become especially true of the data communications – from email and texting to video to social media connections – that occur on a nearly continuous basis whenever mobile devices are
turned on.

[snip]

Nor does Miller or Smith address how individuals interact with one another and with different data and media using mobile devices in this digital age. Location enabled services of all types provide a range of information to their users. At the same time, mobile applications, vehicle navigation systems, mobile devices, or wireless services for mobile devices often collect and use data in the background.

As part of that, AT&T talks about CSLI shows interactions.

But perhaps my favorite part of the brief is this:

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 4.19.09 PM

The brief was written by Peter Keisler, a longtime telecom attorney but also — during his brief stint as Acting Attorney General in 2007 — the guy who signed at least Directives (and possibly 2 Certificates) in Protect America Act. See page 34 for where Keisler signed Directives to Yahoo on his last day as Acting AG, November 8, 2007.

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Study: Fighting Terrorism With Military Almost Never Works

Remember when the George W. Bush campaign and the Republican Party was attacking John Kerry during the 2004 campaign over comments where they construed as him saying that terrorism is a police matter? Here’s a refresher:

Bush campaign Chairman Marc Racicot, in an appearance on CNN’s “Late Edition,” interpreted Kerry’s remarks as saying “that the war on terrorism is like a nuisance. He equated it to prostitution and gambling, a nuisance activity. You know, quite frankly, I just don’t think he has the right view of the world. It’s a pre-9/11 view of the world.”

Republican Party Chairman Ed Gillespie, on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” used similar language.

“Terrorism is not a law enforcement matter, as John Kerry repeatedly says. Terrorist activities are not like gambling. Terrorist activities are not like prostitution. And this demonstrates a disconcerting pre-September 11 mindset that will not make our country safer. And that is what we see relative to winning the war on terror and relative to Iraq.”

The Institute for Economics and Peace, a nonpartisan think tank in Australia, just issued its latest Global Terrorism Index. Buried deep in the report (pdf), on page 56, is this figure in which they summarize data from a RAND Corporation report:

end

The figure summarizes RAND Corporation findings from a study of 40 years of data on terrorist groups and how the terror activities of those groups come to an end. Despite the gargantuan US Great War on Terror with its trillions of dollars wasted and hundreds of thousands of people killed, only seven percent of the time when a terrorist group ends its activities is that due to them being defeated militarily. In fact, since they cease ten percent of the time due to achieving their goals, it can be argued that a military approach alone makes it more likely the terrorists will win than lose. The leading way for terrorist groups to cease their activities is for them to become a part of the political process, at forty-three percent. And gosh, it turns out that Kerry was correct, because police action (which in this study means “policing and intelligence agencies breaking up the group and either arresting or killing key members”) was the cause forty percent of the time when terrorist groups stop using terror. Oh, and adding further to the importance of policing, the report also states elsewhere that homicide accounts for forty times more deaths globally than terrorism.

As we saw in a previous report on the Global Terrorism Index, once again the countries in which the US GWOT is most active are those that have the worst ratings for terrorism. The list is headed by Iraq, with Afghanistan in the second position, Pakistan third and Syria fifth.

Not only are the countries where the US is actively militarily at the top of the index, the timeline of terror attacks provides a very strong correlation for the jump in global terror activity being triggered by the US invasion of Iraq in 2003:

timeline

The timeline seems to suggest that terror attacks were going back down after the 9/11 large event, but then took off after the US invaded Iraq.

Not only should the US learn from this report that the “military only” approach to terrorism is dead wrong, but there are warnings that the US should heed about domestic conditions as well. Here is how the study assesses the risk for future terrorism events:

Using terrorist incidents and events data dating back to 1970 and comparing it to over 5,000 socio-economic, political and conflict indicators, three groups of factors related to terrorist activity have been identified. Countries that are weak on these factors and do not have high levels of terrorism are assessed as being at risk.

The correlations section of this report details the most significant socio-economic correlates with terrorism. There are three groups of factors:

    Social hostilities between different ethnic, religious and linguistic groups, lack of intergroup cohesion and group grievances.
    Measures of state repression such as extrajudicial killings, political terror and gross human rights abuses.
    Other forms of violence such violent crime, organised conflict deaths and violent demonstrations.

It sure sounds to me like a lot those boxes get checked when we start talking about what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri.

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White House Supports USA Freedom Act, with Bates-Clapper Caveats about Amicus

The White House has come out with an enthusiastic statement supporting USA Freedom Act.

The Administration strongly supports Senate passage of S. 2685, the USA FREEDOM Act. In January, the President called on Congress to enact important changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that would keep our Nation safe, while enhancing privacy and better safeguarding our civil liberties. This past spring, a broad bipartisan majority of the House passed a bill that answered the President’s call. S. 2685 carefully builds on the good work done in the House and has won the support of privacy and civil liberties advocates and the private sector, including significant members of the technology community. As the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence stated in a letter dated September 2, 2014, the bill is a reasonable compromise that enhances privacy and civil liberties and increases transparency.

The bill strengthens the FISA’s privacy and civil liberties protections, while preserving essential authorities that our intelligence and law enforcement professionals need.

It says the bill ends bulk collection which might be a useful record if the President used a definition besides “without any discriminator,” but that is what he is on the record as meaning by “bulk.”

The bill would prohibit bulk collection through the use of Section 215, FISA pen registers, and National Security Letters while maintaining critical authorities to conduct more targeted collection. The Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence have indicated that the bill will retain the essential operational capabilities of the existing bulk telephone metadata program while eliminating bulk collection, based on communications providers’ existing practices.

Perhaps the most troubling part of Obama’s statement, however, is its endorsement of John Bates’ language about the amicus as echoed by James Clapper and Eric Holder, which among other things said that the amicus could not be required to represent the interests of civil liberties and privacy.

The bill also authorizes an independent voice in significant cases before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) — the Administration is aware of the concerns with regard to this issue, as outlined in the letter from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence, and the Administration anticipates that Congress will address those concerns. Finally, the bill will enhance transparency by expanding the amount of information providers can disclose and increasing public reporting requirements.

In sum, this legislation will help strengthen Americans’ confidence in the Government’s use of these important national security authorities. Without passage of this bill, critical authorities that are appropriately reformed in this legislation could expire next summer. The Administration urges Congress to take action on this legislation now, since delay may subject these important national security authorities to brinksmanship and uncertainty. The Administration urges the Senate to pass the USA FREEDOM Act and for the House to act expeditiously so that the President can sign legislation into law this year. [my emphasis]

As I said here, the designed impotence of the amicus is not a reason to oppose the bill; it’s just a reason to expect to have to wait 9 years before it becomes functional, as happened with PCLOB. Still, it is very very troubling that given all the evidence that the Executive has been abusing the process of the FISC for a decade, the Executive is moving to ensure they’ll still be able to do so.

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Ed Markey May Not Be Adequately Prepared to Vote on USA Freedom Act

Update: I realize something about this classification guide. While it was updated in 2012 (so after the Internet dragnet got shut down) it was dated August 2009, so while it was still running. So that part of this may not be location data. But the FBI almost certainly still does do fun stuff w/PRTT because it’s the one part of PRTT that remains classified.

PRTT1

Ed Markey, who is absolutely superb on tracking Title III surveillance, continues that tradition today with a letter to Eric Holder asking about the US Marshall Program DirtBox surveillance program revealed last week by WSJ.

Among his questions are:

Do other agencies within DOJ operate similar programs, in which airplanes, helicopters or drones with attached cellular surveillance equipment are flown over US airspace?

What types of court order, if any, are sought and obtained to authorize searches conducted under this program?

In what kind of investigations are the “dirtbox” and similar technology used to locate targets? Are there any limitations imposed on the kinds of investigations in which the dirtbox and similar technology can be used?

According to media reports, the dirtbox technology, which is similar to a so-called “stingray” technology, works by mimicking the cellular networks of U.S. wireless carriers. Upon what specific legal authority does the Department rely to mimic these cellular networks?

Do the dirtbox and stingray send signals through the walls of innocent people’s homes in order to communicate with and identify the phones within?

What, if any, policies govern the collection, retention, use and sharing of this information?

Are individuals–either those suspected of committing crimes or innocent individuals–provided notice that information about their phones was collected? If yes, explain how. If no, why not?

I could be spectacularly wrong on this point, but I very very strongly believe the answer to some of his questions lie in a bill Markey is all set to vote for tomorrow.

We know that the government — including the FBI — uses Title III Pen Registers to obtain authorization to use Stingrays; so one answer Markey will get is “Title III PRTT” and “no notice.”

Given that several departments at DOJ use PRTT to get Stingrays on the criminal side, it is highly likely that a significant number of the 130-ish PRTT orders approved a year are for Stingray or related use.

Using that logic gets us to the likelihood that FBI’s still unexplained PRTT program — revealed in this 2012 NSA declassification guide — also uses Stingray technology to provide location data. That’s true especially given that NSA would have no need to go to FBI to get either phone or email contacts, because it has existing means to obtain that (though if the cell phone coverage of the Section 215 dragnet is as bad as they say, it may require pen registers for that).

PRTT2

PRTT3

PRTT4

The guide distinguishes between individual orders, which are classified SECRET, and “FBI Pen Register Trap Trace,” which therefore seems to be more programmatic. The FBI PRTT is treated almost exactly like the then undisclosed phone dragnet was in the same review, as a highly classified program where even minimized information is TS/SCI.

Now, it’s possible (ha!) that this is a very limited program, just targeting individual targets in localized spots for a brief period of time.

It’s also possible the government scaled this back after the US v. Jones decision.

But it’s equally possible that this is a bulky dragnet akin to the phone dragnet, one that will be invisible in transparency measures under USA Freedom Act because location trackers are excluded from that reporting.

I do hope Markey insists on getting answers to his questions before he votes for this bill tomorrow.

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Even as Congress Prepares to Legislate, Intelligence Community Stalling on Section 215 IG Report

I’ve been covering the DOJ Inspector General’s billion-day old review of Section 215.

  • June 2010: Then DOJ IG Glenn Fine lays out investigation
  • June 2013: Transition to Michael Horowitz stalls PATRIOT investigation
  • August 2013: The investigation has been ongoing
  • September 2013: Pat Leahy calls for an IC IG investigation into 215 and 702; IC IG Charles McCullough declines
  • December 2013: Horowitz states current investigation limited by AG/DNI declassification of earlier reports
  • April 2014: The Section 215 review has a baby!

If my calculation is correct, that report has been pending for 1,616 days.

Today, in a report on the most significant challenges faced by the government, the IG explains what happened to the review: it is caught up in declassification review.

Ongoing OIG work, such as our reviews of the Department’s requests for and use of business records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Reauthorization Act and the Department’s use of pen register and trap-and-trace devices under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), also address privacy concerns implicated by the use of national security authorities to collect data.  Although the OIG completed both of these reviews months ago, and we have provided classified briefings to Congress regarding them, we have been unable to release the classified reports to Congress or non-classified reports to the public because the classification review being conducted by the intelligence community, which includes the FBI, is still ongoing.

This is craziness! Congress is actively legislating on this topic … tomorrow! There’s also the matter of the secret FBI PRTT program, that I strongly suspect is a location dragnet, which this report likely covers.

But the IC is suppressing a report that has been in the works for over 4 years with a slow declassification review?

Update: From Glenn Fine’s original letter scoping out the review, here’s some of what it includes.

It will examine the number of Section 215 applications filed from 2007 through 2009, how the FBI is using the tool today, and describe any reported improper or illegal uses of the authority. Our review also will examine the progress the FBI has made in addressing recommendations contained in our prior reports that the FBI draft and implement minimization procedures specifically for information collected under Section 215 authority.

We also intend to conduct a programmatic review of the FBI’s use of its pen register and trap and trace authority under the FISA. That part of the review will examine issues such as how the FBI uses the authority to collect information, what the FBI does with the information it collects, and whether there have been any improper or illegal uses of the authority either reported by the FBI or identified by the OIG.

In addition to identifying any improper uses of these authorities (the report should provide some sense of how rigorous the First Amendment review is), it will certainly lay out how FBI has refused to implement minimization procedures are required by law and recommended in DOJ IG’s last Section 215 report (we know this to be the case because the FISC is imposing minimization procedures itself, and requiring compliance reviews).

All that would be rather important to know before extending Section 215 for another 3 years.

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US Feeding its Addiction to Training Iraqi Military

Political and military leaders in the US are hopelessly addicted to the idea of training an Iraqi military. Never mind that it fails every time a “new” initiative on training is introduced. As soon as the situation in Iraq deteriorates, the only idea that Washington can put forward is train more Iraqi security forces. As soon as genius Paul Bremer disbanded the Iraqi military and banned Saddam’s Baath party, training a new force became central to US activities in Iraq even though Bremer’s move had made it impossible.

David Petraeus, the ass-kissing little chickenshit himself, first led the training effort and was given several Mulligans. He burst on the political scene in 2004, penning an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he spouted fictitious numbers on accomplishments in training and perhaps helped Bush to re-election. He then was hailed again by the press as the perfect leader to train Iraqi forces in 2007, with no discussion of what happened to all those forces he “trained” earlier. And now that Iraqi forces fled their posts in droves ahead of ISIS, the only solution our fearless leaders can imagine is for us to once again train Iraqi forces.

Not only are we getting another fix for our training junkies, but Chuck Hagel is accelerating the effort:

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Sunday the Pentagon will accelerate its mission to train Iraqi forces to combat Islamic State militants, using troops already in Iraq to start the effort while funding is sought for a broader initiative.

The quest for more funding had been announced earlier by Obama:

Hagel’s announcement follows President Barack Obama’s Nov. 7 decision to roughly double the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, adding 1,500 military personnel to establish sites to train nine Iraqi brigades and set up two more centers to advise military commands.

Obama also sought $5.6 billion in funding from Congress for the initiative, including $1.6 billion to train and equip Iraqi forces. Officials initially said the funding would have to be approved by Congress before the new effort could begin.

Translating from military-speak, nine brigades in US forces means between 27,000 and 45,000 troops. So Obama wants $1.6 billion to train a few more tens of thousands of Iraqi troops. We have already spent many more billions to train several hundreds of thousands of Iraqi security forces. Several times. Why on earth would anyone think it will go any better this time?

Of course, one bit of information feeding the desire for the junkies is that Iran now openly admits that they have advisors in Iraq helping the military:

A senior Iraqi official lauded Iran’s assistance to Iraq in fighting terrorist groups, including the ISIL, and said the Iranian military advisors played an important role in freeing Jarf Asakhr in the Musayyib district in the North of Babylon province.

“The Iranian advisors were present in the battle ground during the Jarf Asakhr operations and provided excellent counselling to the fighters of popular front,” Governor-General of Karbala province Aqil al-Tarihi told FNA on Sunday.

Stressing that the cleanup and liberation operations in Jarf Asakhr were all carried out by the Iraqi forces, he said, “Iran helped the success of the operations with its useful consultations.”

Late September, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Gholam Ali Rashid announced that Iran’s military advisors were present in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine to provide those nations with necessary military recommendations.

Besides bragging about their advisors in Iraq, Iran is having a lot of fun trolling the US on its misadventures in Iraq. We know, of course, that ISIS has come into possession of large amounts of US-provided weaponry as Iraqi bases have been seized and that there have been reports of US airdrops of supplies and weapons missing their targets. Iran provided this hot take on those developments today:

Iraqi intelligence sources disclosed that US military planes have been supplying the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Takfiri terrorists with weapons and foodstuff under the guise of air raids on militants’ positions.

The Iraqi forces have found out that the US aircraft usually airdrop arms and food cargoes for ISIL militants who collect them on the ground, Asia news agency quoted Iraqi army’s intelligence officers as saying.

“The Iraqi intelligence sources reiterated that the US military planes have airdropped several aid cargoes for ISIL terrorists to help them resist the siege laid by the Iraqi army, security and popular forces,” added the report.

On Saturday, Iraqi security sources disclosed that the ISIL terrorist group is using the state-of-the-art weapons which are only manufactured by the US and each of their bullets are worth thousands of dollars.

“What is important is that the US sends these weapons to only those that cooperate with the Pentagon and this indicates that the US plays a role in arming the ISIL,” an Iraqi security source told FNA.

The source noted that the most important advantage of the US-made weapons used by the ISIL is that “these bullets pierce armored vehicles and kill the people inside the vehicle”.

He said each of such bullets is worth $2,000, and added, “These weapons have killed many Iraqi military and volunteer forces so far.”

Well, gosh. If ISIS has all those sophisticated weapons we originally gave to Iraq, the only answer is to send more of those sophisticated weapons to Iraq and train more Iraqi troops. Who will once again abandon their posts, leaving the weapons for the next opponent to seize…

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Emptywheel Twitterverse

bmaz RT @tparsi: Former Mexican president Zedillo on #irantalksvienna: Long-suffering Iranian people deserve the relief from sanctions http://t.…
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bmaz @GreggJLevine You are back on the good side of the country?
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Hahahahaha local CBS news doing report on how shaky Joe Arpaio's immigration lawyer, Larry Klayman, is b/c of molestation complaint in OK.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @kgosztola Yep, think that is right. Although he should never be certified as LEO again for refusing to do duty to file shooting report.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @leepacchia Dude.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @arcsine @WyzeChef @LisaBloom No, there will be a transcript/minutes of the grand jury. Hard to see a cognizable misconduct case though.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @walterwkatz @mherlhy0816 @ComradeArthur Better be a pretty stiff pull necessary then, right?
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bmaz @BarkmanLawyer @JoshMBlackman @TPM No shit. Jeebus.
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bmaz @JoshMBlackman @TPM Is he in Colorado smoking weed or just a blithering idiot?
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bmaz RT @AntonioFrench: Post-Dispatch reports the two were arrested for fraudulent gun purchases at a store, not bombs as CBS reported http://t.…
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