President Trump has changed nothing for the good of America…(cont.)

The FBI’s Secret Rules

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President Trump has inherited a vast domestic intelligence agency with extraordinary secret powers. A cache of documents offers a rare window into the FBI’s quiet expansion since 9/11.

terrorists-won

Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide

The rulebook governing all FBI agents’ activities, in unredacted form for the first time. This is the 2011 edition, which remains the baseline document today, although the FBI recently released some updates from 2013.

SEE DOCUMENT

Hidden Loopholes Allow FBI Agents to Infiltrate Political and Religious Groups

Cora Currier
Beneath the FBI’s redaction marks are exceptions to rules on “undisclosed participation.”

National Security Letters Demand Data Companies Aren’t Obligated to Provide

Jenna McLaughlin, and Cora Currier
Internal documents suggest the FBI uses the secret orders to pursue sensitive customer data like internet browsing records.

Despite Anti-Profiling Rules, the FBI Uses Race and Religion When Deciding Who to Target

Cora Currier
The bureau still claims considerable latitude to use race, ethnicity, nationality, and religion in deciding which people and communities to investigate.

In Secret Battle, Surveillance Court Reined in FBI Use of Information Obtained From Phone Calls

Jenna McLaughlin

Secret Rules Make It Pretty Easy for the FBI to Spy on Journalists

Cora Currier
Rules governing the use of national security letters allow the FBI to obtain information about journalists’ calls without going to a judge or informing the targeted news organization.

Annotation Sets

  • Bureau Hid Doubts About Reliability of Stingray Evidence Behind Redaction Marks


  • CIA and NSA Dossiers Are Available to the FBI in the Absence of Any Crime, Raising Privacy Questions


  • FBI Spy Planes Must Abide Rules When Looking Into Homes


  • On Campus, the FBI Sometimes Operates Outside Restrictions


  • To Probe the Digital Defenses of Targets, the FBI Turns To a Special Program


Confidential Human Source Policy Guide

Detailed rules for how the FBI handles informants. Classified secret. This unreleased September 2015 document is a major expansion and update of a manual from 2007 on the same topic.

SEE DOCUMENT

The FBI Gives Itself Lots of Rope to Pull in Informants

Trevor Aaronson
Agents have the authority to aggressively investigate anyone they believe could be a valuable source for the bureau.

When Informants Are No Longer Useful, the FBI Can Help Deport Them

Trevor Aaronson
The FBI coordinates with immigration authorities to locate informants who are no longer of value to the bureau.

How the FBI Conceals Its Payments to Confidential Sources

Trevor Aaronson
A classified policy guide creates opportunities for agents to disguise payments as reimbursements or offer informants a cut of seized assets.

Annotation Sets

  • How the FBI Recruits and Handles Its Army of Informants


Counterterrorism Policy Guide

Excerpts from a guide for agents working on counterterrorism cases, which functions as a supplement to the FBI’s main rulebook, the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide. Classified secret. Not previously released. Dates to April 2015.

SEE DOCUMENT

Undercover FBI Agents Swarm the Internet Seeking Contact With Terrorists

Cora Currier
The FBI’s online activities are so pervasive that the bureau sometimes finds itself investigating its own people.

Based on a Vague Tip, the Feds Can Surveil Anyone

Cora Currier
Low-level “assessments” allow the FBI to follow people with planes, examine travel records, and run subjects’ names through the CIA and NSA.

The FBI Has Quietly Investigated White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement

Alice Speri
Bureau policies have been crafted to take into account the active presence of domestic extremists in U.S. police departments.

Annotation Sets

  • Disruptions: How the FBI Handles People Without Bringing Them To Court


Confidential Human Source Assessing Aid

A document bearing the seal of the FBI’s Anchorage field office that gives tips for agents cultivating informants. It is classified secret, and dates from 2011.

SEE DOCUMENT

DIOG Profiling Rules 2016

A 2016 update to the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide’s policy on profiling by race, gender, and other factors.

SEE DOCUMENT

Guidance on Guardian Assessments 2013

A 2013 unclassified communique from the FBI’s counterterrorism division explaining the database checks and other steps to be taken as part of low-level investigations.

SEE DOCUMENT

National Security Letters Redacted

An unclassified internal FBI document explaining the rules for national security letters, orders that the bureau uses to obtain certain information without a warrant. The document is undated but contains references to another document from November 2015.

SEE DOCUMENT

Why are US Forces in Yemen at All?

A tribesman loyal to Houthi rebels, right, chants slogans during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters into battlefronts to fight pro-government forces in several Yemeni cities, in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017.

‘The truth of the matter is that America is killing people — terrorists and others — because its leaders don’t know what else to do.’

Several days ago, press reports revealed that U.S. special-operations troops had conducted a raid in Yemen. Impoverished, violent, and bitterly divided, Yemen has hitherto had a place on the roster of countries that the United States periodically bombs without being graced with the presence of U.S. forces on the ground. As long as this arrangement persisted, few Americans paid attention to events in this far corner of the “war on terror.” After all: Whoever was killed and maimed by U.S. ordnance falling from the skies, it wasn’t our guys.

Now with one Navy SEAL dead, several others injured, and a $75-million aircraft destroyed, the calculus has changed. However briefly, Yemen is in the headlines, with the press even taking note of the civilian bystanders killed and wounded as the Americans fought to extricate themselves from an operation gone awry. Here for our novice commander-in-chief who has promised “we’re gonna win so much people will say we can’t take it any more” was a vicarious baptism of fire.

Those who speak on behalf of Donald Trump categorize the outcome as his first win, and an impressive one at that. According to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the raid was “a successful operation by all standards,” not to mention, “very, very well thought out and executed.” Few other outside Trump’s inner circle share that assessment. By any objective measure, the raid was an embarrassing and costly failure—so much so that the Yemeni government has reportedly forbidden any further such intrusions.

But let’s not rush to judgment, Andrew Exum suggests. Don’t hold Trump accountable for the outcome, when the real problem is bureaucratic constipation.

In Exum’s defense of the raid and the decisionmaking process that guided it, he complains that discussion at the upper levels of the national-security apparatus has become too “slow and ponderous.” Constraints imposed from above negate “one of the primary advantages the U.S. military enjoys, which is a highly trained and capable officer corps in the field that can exercise independent judgment.” Allowing the officer corps greater freedom of action will, by implication, yield more effective outcomes. Meddling civilians, therefore, need to butt out, allowing field commanders “to be aggressive [and] to take risks,” even if on occasion they may “fall short.”

Coming from a former senior Department of Defense official, this strikes me as a radical misdiagnosis of the problem—a bit like a physician prescribing soda pop and chocolate bars as an antidote to ketoacidosis.

My own reading of recent U.S. policy suggests that an absence of aggressiveness or an aversion to risk do not number among the explanations for why the World’s Greatest Military has accomplished so little of late. Indeed, I would submit that since 9/11, the U.S. military has demonstrated both qualities in spades. What’s been lacking is sobriety and clarity of thought.

In Afghanistan, a campaign of astonishing boldness enabled U.S. forces in 2001 to overthrow the Taliban in remarkably short order. Commanders congratulated themselves on their brilliance, and without bothering to stabilize that country, immediately moved on to fresh challenges. What had been gained was soon lost. Fifteen-plus years later, the war in Afghanistan grinds on.

In Iraq, a lightning thrust by U.S. forces toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, resulting in what was advertised at the time as an epic victory. Alas, the commanders responsible had given little thought to what might happen next. The independent judgment that they exercised turned out to be monumentally defective. In short order, an epic victory transformed itself into an epic quagmire.

Libya in 2011? Same story: Bold action, illusory success, then a first-class mess, albeit one that Libyans rather than U.S. troops were let to deal with.

It would be wrong to saddle the officer corps with exclusive responsibility for these serial disappointments. A fairer verdict would be this: Collaboration between senior Department of Defense officials, Republican and Democratic alike, and senior military officers from all services, resulted in deeply defective plans based on erroneous assumptions leading to unforeseen consequences that field commanders then struggled to contain, while expending lives and treasure with abandon.

Apportioning responsibility for military failure is not necessarily easy. Who, for example, squandered the “victory” won in Iraq in 2003? President George W. Bush? Donald Rumsfeld and the senior Department of Defense officials who fancied that it would all be easy? The now-suitably forgotten members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time? CENTCOM commander General Tommy Franks, once upon a time heralded as a Great Captain? Answer: all of the above. (And, if only for reasons of gender balance, throw in the likes of Private Lynndie England, who rocketed to fame humiliating detainees at Abu Ghraib.)

Killing people and bombing things has become a substitute for policy and indeed for thinking.

What explains the exceedingly modest payoff that America gets for the $600 billion-plus dollars that congress annually funnels to the Pentagon? It’s ludicrous to suggest, as Exum does, that the problem lies with timid and slow-moving civilian officials who have “denied subordinate commanders the flexibility to exploit opportunities they saw on the battlefield.” No, the real problem is that the senior civilian officials aided and abetted by the military professionals to whom they look for professional advice have jointly failed in the formulation of a coherent strategy—a concrete plan to achieve U.S. policy objectives at a reasonable cost.

Senior civilians and senior military officers today engage in their tug of war over military minutiae—when, how, and whether to conduct a raid—because doing so enables them to sustain the pretense that the United States is engaged in a strategically purposeful enterprise: that America is killing people pursuant to some plausible political outcome. The truth of the matter is that America is killing people—terrorists and others—because its leaders don’t know what else to do.

Killing people and bombing things has become a substitute for policy and indeed for thinking. Where there should be strategy, there is a void. Will a president who looks to the likes of Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn for advice fill that void? I don’t think so.

The operative question is not: Why did last week’s raid in Yemen fail? Instead, it is: What are U.S. forces doing there in the first place? How, at this stage of the game, is further expansion of the conflict once known as the Global War on Terrorism advancing the basic security interests of the United States? All that Mr. Trump is doing is to embrace the legacy of his predecessors: perpetuating what has become an open-ended war of attrition.

“Slow and ponderous”? Me, I’ll take it any day of the week, especially if the sole alternative on offer is “hasty and stupid,” as it appears to be.

CONDUCTING MILITARY OPERATIONS IN YEMEN BECOMES MORE COMPLICATED FOR US

 

After the recent raid of the US Special Forces in Yemen, it will be more difficult to conduct ground operations on the territory of the country for the US.

UPD: Yemen did not issue an outright ban on future American-led missions, though the country has called for a ‘reassessment’ of a raid, conducted by the US Special Forces on January 28, the Washington Post newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a Yemen’s top diplomat.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul-Malik al-Mekhlafi also told the AP news agency that “Yemen continues to cooperate with the United States and continues to abide by all the agreements,” adding that the Yemeni government “is involved in talks with the US administration on the latest raid.”

“It’s not true what’s being said,” a senior Yemeni official said, talking about the Yemeni ban on operations of the US Special Forces. “We and the international community are working side-by-side to fight terrorism,” he said.

In addition, the US Central Command has not stopped its operations on the territory of the country.

“We have not been directed to stop any operations against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” US mil CENTCOM spox about end to Yemen raids

US President Donald Trump, who announced the fight against international terrorism as one of his main priorities, met with the first failure – after the recent raid of the US Special Forces on Al-Qaeda headquarters in Yemen led to the deaths of civilians, the authorities of the Arab country have expressed a strong protest against such special operations of Washington, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

The problem of the US is worsened by the fact that the current Yemeni government are completely dependent on Saudi Arabia that means that the demarche, taken by them against the White House, could be sanctioned by one of the most influential countries in the Arab world.

The immediate occasion of the tough statement of the Yemeni authorities was results of the US SEAL’s raid on the headquarters of the Al-Qaeda group in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), carried out on January 29, during which 14 terrorists, one US soldier and at least ten civilians, including women and children, were killed.

According to an official version of the Pentagon, the operation had “purely a reconnaissance nature”: the aim was to seize computers and mobile phones of terrorists, as well as data on activities of the AQAP. But in fact, the special forces’ soldiers had one more task – to capture or kill AQAP commander Qasim al-Rimi, who is considered by the US as one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world. However, the US Special Forces did not manage to capture or kill him. Last Sunday, al-Rimi published online a video, in which he said that the “madman from the White House received a slap in the very beginning of his way.”

At the moment, Yemen actually is a divided state. Its northern regions, including the capital of Sanaa, are controlled by the pro-Iranian Shiite movement of Ansar Allah. An Arab coalition, created by Saudi Arabia, which supports President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, recognized by the world community, has been fighting against the movement.

The government of Hadi came to power virtually as a result of a military operation, organized by Riyadh and its allies. Given this circumstance, it is difficult to imagine that the loud demarche against the new US administration was taken without an approval of Saudi Arabia. Consequently, the Donald Trump’s team runs the risk to get not only a traditional partner and ally in the face of Riyadh, as it usually was, but also a tough opponent.

At the same time, an advisor to the director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Elena Suponina, told the newspaper that there also could be another reason for such a statement of the Yemeni government – the Yemeni authorities were forced to react to the actions of the US Special Forces “under pressure of people.”

She reminded that Yemen was among the seven countries with predominantly Muslim population, for which Trump tried to impose a ban on entry into the US. On the other hand, according to Suponina, the Yemeni authorities would not be able to stay without military and technical assistance of Washington in the fight against terrorism. In this way, the expert suggested that there would be “backroom bargaining” between the Trump’s administration and the Yemeni government.

Iran war rhetoric and the ‘Trump-ordered’ dawn raid in Yemen: WWIII isn’t ‘coming’ – It’s happening NOW

Iran war rhetoric and the 'Trump-ordered' dawn raid in Yemen: WWIII isn't 'coming' - It's happening NOW

US government rhetoric against Iran has lately hit levels not seen since the Bush administration, and a string of events over the last couple of weeks in and around Yemen appears to be the reason for it. US drone strikes and airstrikes against targets in Yemen took place before, during and after Trump’s inauguration, but it was the US Special Forces (Navy Seals 6) raid in central Yemen on January 28th that got the US media’s attention. Two…

Misrepresenting Russia Promo (very interesting project)

On the Fence

When a question arises about the difference between faith and belief, one is said to be on the fence….

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If you ask most people, they’ll tell you that faith and belief are the same thing. I used to think so myself. And that leads to all sorts of confusion.

The trouble is they are interrelated, which makes them very close in meaning. So close, in fact, that many modern Bible translations don’t always differentiate clearly between the two. And that leads to even more confusion.

When we equate faith and belief it can make Jesus seem a little contradictory. For example here is how the New Living Translation presents Matthew 17:20.

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”— Matthew 17:20 (NLT)

Reading that, it seems like Jesus is telling his disciples that their problem is they don’t have enough faith. I mean what else can “you don’t have enough faith” mean, right?

But then he goes on to explain that by saying that we barely need any faith at all to see great miracles happen. Huh?

That doesn’t make sense. Why would he acknowledge that they had any faith at all if his lesson from that “teachable moment” was that they only needed a tiny amount of faith?

How much “small as a mustard seed” faith is enough? Presented that way it makes it seem like we need some standard to measure microscopic faith in amounts even smaller than a mustard seed.

Don’t know about you, but I can’t make any sense of that.

Now let’s look at how the New King James Version translates that same verse.

So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.— Matthew 17:20 (NKJV)

Here that same passage is a whole lot less contradictory. Jesus is telling his disciples that they have a belief problem which can be countered with faith, even in small amounts.

Now that’s something we can work with. All we have to do is figure out what belief and faith really are and then we can apply that lesson to our lives.

What Is Belief?

To explain the difference, let’s start with belief. What does it mean?

You can go to a dictionary to look up belief if you like. Here’s a good working definition:

Belief – An opinion or judgement in which a person is fully persuaded.

So our beliefs are things that we are thoroughly convinced of. Usually (but not always) they are ideas, concepts that we gather through acquiring information and experience. Because of that, our beliefs can change over time as we gain more knowledge and experience more things throughout our lives.

How Is Faith Different?

Again, you can go to a dictionary and look up the meaning of faith.

To me, this is an easier way to understand it.

Faith = ( Belief + Action + Confidence )

Faith includes our beliefs, but it is bigger than that. Faith requires action. If it doesn’t move us to do something or say something – actually take some kind of action – it’s not really faith at all. James said it this way.

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.James 2:17

Until we take action our “faith” is just a bunch of words. James says that unless faith produces action is in fact dead, or not faith at all.

As a side note, some people get confused and turned around on this point and try to do good things to generate faith. However James didn’t say the good things we do produce faith. He said our faith, if it is real and alive, will naturally move us to do good things.

But I digress.

The last part of that whole faith equation is confidence.

Confidence – Trust that is based on knowledge or past experience

Basically confidence is a measure of how firmly we hold to a particular belief.

Putting It All Together

So now you can see how belief and faith are interrelated. The difference between the two is subtle. But understanding it makes things that Jesus said like in Matthew 17:20 above make a whole lot more sense.

When we believe the truth with enough confidence to take action we exercise faith. And it doesn’t take much of that faith to see huge things happen, even miraculous things.

And you can see where unbelief, that is believing things that aren’t true – believing lies – completely clogs up the working of our faith. Unbelief prevents us from ever seeing the miraculous in our lives.

Too often we spend time and energy trying to increase our faith when Jesus said that’s not really our problem. We pray and plead with God, begging him to give us more faith.

Building Your Faith Is Simpler than You Think

But our problem is really with unbelief, not a lack of faith.

The good news is that we can change our unbelief into belief. It’s really a fairly simple, straight forward process. We just need to become more fully persuaded of the truth instead of the misconceptions and lies that we are currently holding on to.

The more we expose our minds to the truth, the more we become persuaded and convinced of that truth.

And the best way to expose our minds to the truth is to study the Bible. The more time we spend exploring the truth of the Bible, the more our minds become convinced of that truth.

The more firmly convinced of the truth we become, the more confident we’ll grow.

Then it won’t be long before we find ourselves doing things differently, acting in more faith.

Do you want more faith? Then invest more time reading, studying, and thinking about the Bible. You’ll find your faith will just grow as a result because you will change your beliefs.

That’s pretty simple, don’t you think?

First Posted Here: https://newcreeations.org/the-difference-between-faith-and-belief/Fence