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Brother Of Marine Killed In Botched Afghan Pullout Commits Suicide At 1-Year Memorial Service

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John Moore/Getty Images

Monday August 15 marks the one year anniversary since the Taliban takeover of Kabul, Afghanistan – which kicked off weeks of a botched US scramble to evacuate the remaining military, State Department, and US civilians from the Afghan capital. Tens of thousands of translators and other Afghans arrived at the airport in waves, desperate to get out amid the Taliban onslaught. 

As the US-propped up president Ashraf Ghani was among the first officials to flee the country, reportedly with some $169 million raided from state coffers, local Afghan troops also melted away, allowing the Taliban to march into Kabul with ease. From there a chain of events saw what was then known as Hamid Karzai International Airport descend into chaos as a poorly prepared US and international coalition security perimeter struggled to prevent the flood of people desperate to escape the war-torn country from overwhelming the runways. 

On August 26, 2021, a suicide bomber attacked a crowded airport entry checkpoint, killing scores of Afghan civilians and 13 American troops, mostly Marines. An estimated 45 additional US troops had been wounded in the blast, considered among the greatest US military disasters in over two decades of occupation since 2001. 

In the months following, not only was the Biden administration under fire for what was clearly a woefully ill-prepared and disorganized pullout of the country (importantly which also reportedly left thousands of dual citizens behind, in addition to tens of thousands of local Afghan translators and coalition partners), but the Pentagon came under scrutiny as well for positioning Marines on extremely exposed perimeters and checkpoints as “sitting ducks” for potential terror attacks. 

Following a Pentagon investigation of the events leading to the deadly suicide attack, not a single American general, officer, or Biden administration official was ever disciplined or so much as blamed. Instead, they had the gall to declare the pullout a “success”. Multiple US agencies on the ground had also failed to assess what they’d be facing amid the rapid US pullout, with one subsequent review finding the following

The report calls out the State Department, which had been in charge of evacuation plans and timelines, for deeply underestimating the number of refugees they would be sending to American bases.

“For example, on August 18, 2021, Ramstein Air Base leadership was informed they had to prepare to receive 2,500 evacuees,” according to the report. “Less than 2 weeks later, 28,517 evacuees had arrived at Ramstein Air Base.”

And one year on, tragedy continues to be compounded for those still mourning the 13 US personnel killed on Aug.26. 

Fox News is reporting Sunday that the brother of one of the slain Marines took his own life at a one-year memorial service

The brother of a young Marine killed during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan reportedly died by suicide a year later during a recent memorial service for the fallen service member.

Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20, from Norco, California, was one of 13 American troops killed on Aug. 26, 2021, when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive outside the Kabul airport as crowds of Americans and Afghan allies sought to flee Taliban fighters taking over control of the capital city.

Nearly a year later, Nikoui’s older brother, 28-year-old Dakota Halverson, died on Aug. 9, a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in California confirmed, though offering few details.

“The older brother of one of the 13 KIA in Kabul recently killed himself at his little brother’s memorial,” Rep. Mike Waltz, of Florida announced Saturday on Twitter. “Please pray for his family. There MUST be accountability for this continued carnage.”

Fox underscores while referring to Shana Chappell, mother of two deceased sons, “Chappell and the fallen Marine’s father, Steve Nikoui, have been vocal critics of President Biden’s principal military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley, regarding the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan last August following a 20-year conflict.”

But if there’s been one constant to come out of the disastrous Afghan war and botched pullout – it’s the complete lack of any accountability spanning multiple administrations and military commands. The same trend has been seen in Iraq, with lower-ranking US troops as well as untold numbers of local civilians bearing the brunt of the follies of US politicians and generals. 

It also seems that all the Washington war machine and neocon architects of the so-called Global War on Terror have to show for two decades of military interventionism is a Middle East in flames, instability, and continued economic unraveling. Syria too, is still directly occupied by US troops in its oil-rich northeast region.

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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Banks Developing Technology To Track Gun Purchases Under Guise Of Flagging Potential Mass Shooters

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Zero Hedge

Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Banks have been working on technology to “identify potential mass shooters” by tracking gun-related purchases and filing “Suspicious Activity Reports” with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

According to comments made by Amalgamated Bank Chief Executive Officer Priscilla Sims Brown at the New York Times DealBook conference on Wednesday, the strategy would employ credit card companies to more closely track gun purchasesBloomberg reports.

“We’re at the very early stages of this — this particular code just got approved in October, so those detection scenarios are still being brought together,” said Brown, adding “But as this is implemented, those scenarios will be used.”

The strategy would mirror ways banks try to identify and stop fraudsters from using customers’ funds. 

The International Organization for Standardization approved a new merchant category code earlier this year that banks will use when processing transactions for gun and ammunition stores after Amalgamated submitted an application on the matter. Gun-control advocates were quick to celebrate the move, arguing it would help banks flag suspicious activity at these retailers. -Bloomberg

Banks have come under pressure from Congressional Republicans over what they plan to do with the tracking codes, with conservative policymakers expressing concern that lenders will use the data to create unofficial lists of gun owners in the US.

“What I’m hearing from other banks is that they have been honoring this process and this system, filing Suspicious Activity Reports across a myriad of industries to stop a myriad of crimes — or at least alert authorizes of them,” said Brown. “And I have every confidence that banks are going to do the same thing here.”

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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GOP Senators Say They Will Block Military Funding Unless Vaccine Mandate Scrapped

“The Biden administration is firing soldiers we invested in and trained”

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Steve Watson

United States Forces Korea via Getty Images

Republicans in the Senate have threatened to block the National Defense Authorization Act unless a vote is held on the current COVID vaccine mandate for military personnel.

The effort is being headed up by Florida Senator Rick Scott and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, along with 11 other senators, including Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.

Scott told Fox News “I think on the NDAA one thing that’s going to be important is that we don’t give cloture unless they agree that we’re not going to keep kicking people out of the service for their – if they’re unvaccinated,” adding “I think that we’ve got to start standing up for people.”

In a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senators state “The Department of Defense COVID-19 vaccine mandate has ruined the livelihoods of men and women who have honorably served our country.”

“While the Department of Defense certainly must make decisions that will bolster military readiness, the effects of the mandate are antithetical to readiness of our force, and the policy must be revoked,” the letter further states.

During a press conference, Paul stated “The vaccination mandate has forced our nation’s young patriotic men and women to choose between their faith, their medical autonomy and their careers.”

“At a time when the military is struggling to meet targets for recruitment, the administration is firing soldiers we invested in and trained,” Paul further noted.

For five decades now, the NDAA has been viewed as vital legislation for Congress each year, covering spending for the military, including the annual pay raise and new program starts.

Despite attempts to stop mandatory vaccines for active duty personnel, and to uphold exemption rights, the Biden administration has continually pushed for dishonourable discharges and even court martialing for troops who disobey orders to get the shots.

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    McCarthy Says GOP Will Not ‘Go After People Simply Because of Their Political Views’

    Says Nick Fuentes Must Be Banned From GOP For His Political Views

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    Chris Menahan | Information Liberation

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    House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said during a press conference on Tuesday that Christian conservative Nick Fuentes “has no place” in the Republican Party and his ideology “has no place in society at all” just minutes before claiming the GOP will not “go after people simply because of their political views” when they take back power.

    “I don’t think anybody should be spending any time with Nick Fuentes,” McCarthy told the press, referencing Trump’s dinner with Ye and Fuentes. “He has no place in this Republican Party.”

    “I condemn his ideology,” McCarthy said, “it has no place in society — at all!”

    Minutes later, McCarthy was asked: “What do you make of the White House saying they are ‘keeping an eye on’ Twitter under Elon Musk’s ownership and leadership?”

    “That is offensive to me,” McCarthy responded. “Government’s gonna go after someone who wants to have free speech? What do they have to look at Twitter about? Do they want to go more after the American public about whether they can have an opinion on something?”

    “I think the American public have spoken on this. I think our First Amendment stands up and I think they should stop picking on Elon Musk,” he continued. “You know, Elon Musk has succeeded in many places. I’d bet on him more than government going after him. And I one thing I would say when we talked about accountability, we will no longer let government go after people simply because of their political views.”

    Just over a week ago, McCarthy vowed to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee because she criticized Israel in the past.

    In 2019, McCarthy voted to strip Rep. Steve King (R-IA) from all committees over his political views defending white people and Western civilization.

    McCarthy is also a champion of anti-BDS laws which punish Americans for boycotting the foreign state of Israel and blatantly violate the First Amendment.

    Despite McCarthy’s claim that the GOP “will no longer let government go after people simply because of their political views,” the truth is he’s eager to use state power to punish Americans for their political views, place them on blacklists and ban them from the political process if they dare to criticize Israel!

    This post originally appeared at Information Liberation

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