Jan 27 2015

Newsflash: Group Linked to ISIS Attacks Libya Hotel, Former CIA Official Found Guilty of Espionage, GOP Falls Short of Super-Majority on Keystone Pipeline

Daily News Flash | Published 27 Jan 2015, 10:45 am | Comments Off on Newsflash: Group Linked to ISIS Attacks Libya Hotel, Former CIA Official Found Guilty of Espionage, GOP Falls Short of Super-Majority on Keystone Pipeline -

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Uprising’s guest expert Robert Jensen, an author and professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Rebels claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group attacked Libya’s most luxurious hotel earlier today. The Corinthia hotel in the capital Tripoli, attracts foreign diplomats and tourists. Five people were killed as the stand off came to a close. The attack came in the midst of on-going battles between two factions vying for political power in Libya, more than 3 years after a US-NATO operation ousted long-time dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Meanwhile, ISIS forces in the Kurdish border town of Kobane in Syria, have apparently been driven out after many months of battles. Kurdish Peshmerga forces, backed by US air power, have declared victory saying they now control 90% of Kobane’s territory.

Click here for The New York Times article, Two Rockets Fired From Syria Hit Israeli-Controlled Part of Golan Heights.

Click here for the english.alarabiya.net article, Kurdish forces drive ISIS out of Kobane.

A federal jury in Virginia yesterday found former CIA official Jeffrey Sterling guilty on nine separate charges relating to the Espionage Act. The case revolved around the leaked details of an ill-conceived CIA operation called Project Merlin to plant flawed nuclear plans in the hands of Iranian authorities. Mr. Sterling, who is African American was relieved of duty after he alleged racial discrimination. Prosecutors claimed he was a disgruntled former employee who leaked details of the plan as revenge. The New York Times’ James Risen had been pressured for years to testify against Sterling based on the assumption that he was Risen’s source. After much public pressure the Justice Department decided against forcing Risen’s testimony. According to the Times, the DOJ, “had no direct proof that Mr. Sterling, who managed the Iranian operation, provided the information to Mr. Risen, but prosecutors stitched together a strong circumstantial case.” Observers called the guilty verdict, “a new low in the war in whistleblowers and government hypocrisy.”

Click here for the Common Dreams article, Guilty Verdict for CIA Agent Called ‘New Low’ in War on Whistleblowers.

And finally, despite having a majority in both Houses of Congress, the Republican Party has failed in its attempt to pass a veto-proof bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline project. After the House swiftly passed such a bill, the Senate yesterday was only able to muster 53 votes – 8 shy of a super majority. Senate Democrats had denounced Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s move to cut off debate on the bill before the vote. President Obama has vowed to veto the measure after years of public pressure against the pipeline by environmental activists who see it as a major threat to global warming. The vote comes as a record breaking blizzard hits New York City, Boston, and other East Coast areas. Such extreme weather is consistent with scientific predictions of climate change.

Click here for The Christian Science Monitor story, Senate Democrats block swift passage of Keystone XL pipeline bill (+video).

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