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Revealed: U.S. targets death strikes using mobile phones

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Be careful when you answer the phone.

That’s the message you might heed when considering National Security Operations and CIA operations in Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan, according to a new report.

According to documents and an interview with an alleged former drone operator, the United States uses geolocation targeting that tracks the location of mobile phones to plot strikes on targets in countries where it believes militants are hiding out. Trouble is, they’re not necessarily coupling it with information on the ground, meaning that strike targets can be determined by the locations of their phones alone.

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What’s more, the fact that the U.S. may rely solely on phone locations means that others can easily become victims of a strike. According the former drone operator quoted in the report, published Monday by Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill in First Look, those who believe they might be targets have taken to sharing SIM cards, meaning the actual identities of those carrying phones are obscured.

“They might have been terrorists,” he says. “Or they could have been family members who have nothing to do with the target’s activities.”

“Once the bomb lands or a night raid happens, you know that phone is there,” he continues. “But we don’t know who’s behind it, who’s holding it. It’s of course assumed that the phone belongs to a human being who is nefarious and considered an ‘unlawful enemy combatant.’ This is where it gets very shady.”

“What’s more…” the reporters write, “the NSA often locates drone targets by analyzing the activity of a SIM card, rather than the actual content of the calls. Based on his experience, he has come to believe that the drone program amounts to little more than death by unreliable metadata.”

“They might have been terrorists,” he adds. “Or they could have been family members who have nothing to do with the target’s activities.”

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The alleged drone operator is identified as a member of JSOC’s High Value Targeting task force, a group responsible for identifying, capturing or killing terrorist suspects in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and other countries. He’s quoted as saying he participated in at least one strike where innocent family members were killed independent of the target.

Read more about this article here.

[Image via AFP]


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2020 Election

There’s something much more exciting happening behind the scenes of the Biden-Harris ticket

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Joe Biden’s pick of Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate for the 2020 Democratic presidential ticket has generated strong responses. While many Democrats are elated at the idea of seeing a brown-skinned woman of Indian and Jamaican heritage in such a position, progressives are debating one another about Harris’ mixed record on bread-and-butter issues such as criminal justice reform, foreign policy, and health care. In many ways, Harris is not unlike Barack Obama: charismatic, intellectually brilliant, telegenic, and with just the kind of racially diverse background that symbolizes an America that most liberal-minded people want to live in. But far more hopeful than Harris’ achievement is the new crop of staunchly progressive young people of color that is chipping away at the Democratic Party establishment through electoral politics.

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Kamala Harris is boosting Biden in a state Trump desperately needs to win: report

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On Saturday, Politico reported that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) being added to Joe Biden's ticket has "electrified" a group of voters who normally are ignored by both parties: West Indian voters. And this could make a big difference in Florida — a state that could decide the outcome of the election.

"Calls from Caribbean radio show hosts flooded the Biden campaign from South Florida. And a jolt of excitement shot through the crowd of early vote poll workers at the Lauderdhill Mall, in the midst of Broward County’s growing Jamaican community," reported Marc Caputo. "'There was just this sense of energy,' state Rep. Anika Omphroy, a daughter of two Jamaican immigrants, said in describing the moment the announcement was received. 'It was all Black women out there working under the tents,' she said. 'It was 98 degrees in August in South Florida, so it was too hot to cheer. But you could feel it, this sense.'"

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WATCH: Protesters dump ballots outside of USPS head Louis DeJoy’s home

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On Saturday morning, angry crowds of protesters gathered outside of pro-Trump Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's residence in Washington, D.C. to protest his organizational changes rolling back capacity at the Postal Service — changes widely suspected of sabotaging mail-in voting ahead of the November election.

The protesters banged together pots and pans and blew air horns. Many of them gathered at the entrance holding fake mail-in ballots and shoved them into the bars of his front door.

Watch below:

Upon arrival.... pic.twitter.com/Y4ipb7iyNx

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