military contractor

theguardian.com
The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked
A shadowy operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign heavily influenced the result of the EU referendum. Is our electoral process still fit for purpose?
By Carole Cadwalladr

Okay.

It took me days to get time together to read this whole thing, but I have finally done it.

This is it. This is the one article you need to read to understand just what is going on in Britain, America, and Russia.

This is the one piece of writing you need and can use to reference the very chilling reality that these countries have been tied together in the machinations  of just a few billionaires, and how Facebook and Google tie in insidiouslyi.

I keep telling y’all to stop fucking with facebook but that’s moot now. It’s so much bigger than this.

“Was that really what you called it, I ask him. Psychological warfare? “Totally. That’s what it is. Psyops. Psychological operations – the same methods the military use to effect mass sentiment change. It’s what they mean by winning ‘hearts and minds’. We were just doing it to win elections in the kind of developing countries that don’t have many rules.”Why would anyone want to intern with a psychological warfare firm, I ask him. And he looks at me like I am mad. “It was like working for MI6. Only it’s MI6 for hire. It was very posh, very English, run by an old Etonian and you got to do some really cool things. Fly all over the world. You were working with the president of Kenya or Ghana or wherever. It’s not like election campaigns in the west. You got to do all sorts of crazy shit.”“

This is not just a story about social psychology and data analytics.

 It has to be understood in terms of a military contractor using military strategies on a civilian population. 

Us. David Miller, a professor of sociology at Bath University and an authority in psyops and propaganda, says it is “an extraordinary scandal that this should be anywhere near a democracy. It should be clear to voters where information is coming from, and if it’s not transparent or open where it’s coming from, it raises the question of whether we are actually living in a democracy or not.”

“And it was Facebook that made it possible. It was from Facebook that Cambridge Analytica obtained its vast dataset in the first place. Earlier, psychologists at Cambridge University harvested Facebook data (legally) for research purposes and published pioneering peer-reviewed work about determining personality traits, political partisanship, sexuality and much more from people’s Facebook “likes”. And SCL/Cambridge Analytica contracted a scientist at the university, Dr Aleksandr Kogan, to harvest new Facebook data. And he did so by paying people to take a personality quiz which also allowed not just their own Facebook profiles to be harvested, but also those of their friends – a process then allowed by the social network.”

Read this. Read the entire thing. It will take you a while and it’s a lot to digest but you need to know.

Signal boost.

@sunderlorn we’re finally completely united in propaganda, isn’t that nice!?

Overwatch fic: The catdads and that time they met up with McCree after the Fall.

Remember when I said I was writing this, a year and a day ago?  No warnings.  The cut is just for length.
***
Jesse’s clients showed him the documentation on his targets before he took the job, and it’s pretty clear he’s after a real pair of desperadoes.  These two have left a trail of bodies, theft, and occasional devastation in their wake from one hemisphere to the other, and he reckons it’s about time someone put a stop to it.

When they nail him in an ambush, he realizes that someone’ll have to be someone else.

His arms get pinned from behind by a grip that feels like a bear’s, claws and all.  The other one drops down in front of him from an awning three stories up and then uncoils from his crouch like he’s made of shock absorbers.  “Jesse McCree,” that one says in a low growl of a voice.  Grand, being recognized always goes so well for him. “You look like a werewolf, kid.”

The man holding him laughs.  It sounds beyond rough, almost inhuman, and kinda smug.  Jesse knows it well.  He’s heard that insult more than a few times, too.

“Well, damn,” he says faintly as the shock sets in.  

Keep reading

iZombie
Premieres: Tuesday, April 4 at 9/8

Where We Left Off: David Anders’ Blaine (with a minor #REALLY FUCKING MAJOR assist from Rahul Kohli’s Ravi) rescued Peyton (Aly Michalka) after she was kidnapped by Mr. Boss. Clive (Malcolm Goodwin), Liv (Rose McIver) and Major (Robert Buckley) took down Vaughn and Rita at a Max Rager party, which turned into a massacre once it became the epicenter of a zombie outbreak. As a result, Clive learned zombies exist and Liv was forced to kill Drake. Before the outbreak could infect the wider world, military contractor Vivian Stoll (Andrea Savage) killed all the zombies and told Liv about her plan to turn Seattle into a zombie safe haven.

What’s Next: Each character will have to figure out where they stand in the humans vs. zombie conflict, which is teetering on the edge of becoming public knowledge after the Max Rager massacre. With all their cards out on the table now, Liv and Clive will become closer than ever as they work together on cases and keeping the existence of zombies a secret. But Clive will also be working through his own issues after people close to him get caught up in the drama.

After years of searching for his purpose, Major finally finds a new job that fulfills him but that raises some issues with many of his friends who question his choice of employer. With Major set to lose his life or his memories if Ravi doesn’t find a cure, he and Liv aren’t focused much on repeating their romantic relationship. But Liv does get a new love interest this season who (thankfully) doesn’t die!

Meanwhile, Peyton will also have to figure out her feelings toward both Blaine and Ravi (#no one cares about this love triangle bye), both of whom show off very different sides of themselves this season: Blaine as a lounge singer trying to live an honest life (!!!), and Ravi as, frankly, a bit of a cad. “We’ve always seen Ravi as a nice guy, but this season we get to see him be a little bit more selfish,” Kohli told TVGuide.com.

Elsewhere, Robert Knepper will return as Blaine’s dad Angus, who quickly makes trouble for his son by setting up his own brain business, and Veronica Mars favorite Jason Dohring finally joins the cast as a relative of Vivian Stoll’s who Rose McIver describes as “quirky and manipulative and calculated.”

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“2012 Alamo bullshit”

Video: 13 hours (2016)
Music: Life’s a Bitch - Nas

7

BCM Gunfighter History : Travis Haley

An Exercise in Compromise

Hanging in my office, is a clone of the rifle I carried on two combat tours(Iraq and Liberia). It’s a reminder of where I came from, where I stand today, where I am going and why I am going there.

While serving in 2nd Force Reconnaissance in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, my unit started seeing radical advances in small arms and light weaponry via the SOPMOD program. Suddenly, carbines could quickly be fine tuned for specific missions by mounting night vision systems, laser aiming devices, weapon lights and red dot optics to the 1913 Picatinny Rail Systems on the upper receiver and handguard.

These technologies opened up whole new tactics, techniques and procedures that could be employed to prosecute our mission of specialized reconnaissance, ambush and direct action raids.

Despite the additional capabilities the SOPMOD program delivered, opinions were sharply divided on the program. Some saw these tools as a burden, adding a lot of “crap” that would only increase the amount of weight our Marines carried on mission for little tangible benefit. A maxed out M4 could run up to 14 pounds, but we didn’t need every component for every mission.

TWO POUNDS OF METAL

The SOPMOD accessory package that my platoon ended up running included almost two pounds of weight in mounting interfaces alone. When I challenged this, I got a typical Marine Corps answer, “Because that’s what you are issued, now quit asking irrelevant questions Too Speed.” (Too Speed was my call sign)

I couldn’t accept that answer. It was an institutional answer that repeated a party line and the lives of my teammates were, and will always be, more important than not rocking the boat.

After some trial and error, the first mod I made was to ditch the Surefire M951 Weapon Light and replace it with a Surefire 6P in a shotgun tube light mount that I scored at a sporting goods shop near base. After swapping the 6P tail cap for the M951 remote switch assembly, I then ran the tape switch on the left side of the 203 so activating the light wouldn’t impact my weapons manipulation.

Getting a weapon light in tight with a rail and shaving weight off the interface was something I would spend the next 10 years fiddling with before I had a eureka moment and Haley Strategic Partners released the Thorntail Adaptive Series of light mounts, currently in use by military, security contractors and law enforcement worldwide.

This time was a defining moment for me, as it was when I first started tweaking and eventually building original components for my platoon based on the unique requirements of our missions. These experiences of shaving weight, improving ergonomics and finding a balance between capability and utility, would drive the development of so many of the components I have commercialized in my post-service career.

THE RIFLE I TOOK TO WAR

Colt M4 with 14.5” Barrel
Colt M203 40 mm Grenade Launcher
Knights Armament RAS Handguard
PEQ-2 IR Aiming Laser
Surefire Classic 6P with a custom “Simply Dynamic” mount
Boone & Packer Redi-Mag
Simply Dynamic Multi-Mission Sling (commercialized by Magpul as the MS3)

LOAD OUT

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, Force was trained up for both Green Side(reconnaissance) and Black Side(direct action) missions, with the assumption we would be tasked to one or the other. However, when we entered Iraq, our platoon found ourselves doing a combination of both at the same time. Force Recon is a special operations unit that prepares the battlespace and gathers intelligence for the MAGTF(Marine Air Ground Task Force) and then prosecutes specialized targets as directed.  

With a few days under our belts, the entire platoon started striping gear and mags, looking for that perfect balance of speed, utility and capability. If you can’t move, you can’t be effective. Most of the Marines went from 13 rifle magazines to between five or six. I ended up with four on my vest and two taped together on my carbine with riggers tape and offset with a stick.

Force Recon ran low signature loads outs, often working out of vehicles(mil and civilian), and running a double mag on the carbine meant I had 60 rounds at the ready. When I saw the “Redi-Mag” in a copy of Shotgun News, I ordered it and had it delivered to me overseas. Despite the weight, the Redi-Mag was more versatile than the old riggers tape and stick, and cut my carbine reloads to sub one second.

I no longer run a Redi-Mag because there are so many excellent belt mounted magazine pouches available today, that I can reload at almost the exact speed as from a Redi-Mag. That said, you will sometimes find them on my house and car guns, as I do not expect to be kitting up if someone breaks into my house or I find myself engaged with an active shooter around vehicles in the streets.

M203

The M203 is a vital component to small and agile units, like Force, who operate in small units in semi and non-permissive settings. It becomes even more essential in worst case scenarios where the mission is compromised or the unit is outright ambushed by an enemy force.

We prepared for scenarios where 203s could be employed for a hasty breach, in instances where a short count/stack was not possible. Also, as a posturing tool to achieve immediate fire superiority in the face of an ambush. Finally, we practiced employing them to suppress fortified enemy positions in buildings by putting accurate fire through windows or open doors.

In fact, in the first gunfight I was involved in during OIF, I put this into practice, pumping 40mm HEDP(High Explosive Dual Purpose) rounds through windows of enemy positions 50 meters out. This fire created instant hate and discontent on target, where crew served weapons and M4s did not offer as much of an immediate positive effect. We had never trained to fire the M203 at such a close distance for safety reasons, but I held at the top of the window frame with my Aimpoint and the round went straight where I wanted it.

MEUSOC 1911

The MEUSOC 1911 has an almost legendary reputation among 1911 and handgun enthusiasts. One of the most high performance handguns ever built, the MEUSOC 1911 we ran was hand built by Marine Armorers from the Precision Weapons Section at MCBQ (Marine Corps Base Quantico). They fine tuned our 1911’s, hand selecting barrels, link pins, sear springs, ejectors, firing pin stops, mainspring housings and mainsprings. Slides were custom built by Springfield Armory with beavertail safeties and recoil spring guides by Ed Brown, Novak rear sights, Wilson Combat extractors + mag release buttons, and King’s Gun Works ambi thumb safeties.

Force ran the 1911 specifically in direct action raid or ambush missions. It was not a primary and would only come into play if our carbines had run dry or malfunctioned. We carried 10 round magazines with 230 Grain 45 ACP. More than enough to deal with any immediate situation and then refocus on the carbine to get it back into action.

On DRP(Deep Reconnaissance Patrol) Missions, I personally chose my Berretta M92, which was our only 9mm alternative at the time. The flatter trajectory at range of the 9mm and the larger magazine meant more bullets to deal with more problems in the event my carbine was down or permanently disabled.

When I later worked as a security contractor on Ambassador Bremmer’s detail with Blackwater, we would run Glock 17s. But in the end, the mission drives the gear. But more importantly, the mission drives the man.

THE MISSION DRIVES THE MAN

When I first started making gear, I was doing it to help keep my guys alive. When I started my first company, Simply Dynamic Tactical, I wasn’t in it to get rich. I was doing it to pass on what I learned in combat and to provide tools that would stack the deck in the favor of the men and women who were going overseas or out on our streets as warfighters, law enforcement or private citizens.

Surviving war is an awesome responsibility. For those who have been in combat, you never forget the brothers you lost. When you are one of those who made it back, you carry a weight that is difficult to put into words. I was lucky to have known such great men in my life. I was lucky to have a second family closer than any people I will ever know.

As I approach the 5th year in business with Haley Strategic Partners, we have tried to bring this industry together and to stay focused on that one mission. Enable brave men and women to complete their missions as safely as possible. Through training, through gear and through mindset.  

Stay Sharp and be safe,

Travis Haley
October, 2015

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Some of my followers are a bit too young to remember about this.
It was on the 4th of April 2004 in Najaf, Iraq.
A few US servicemen (Marines mostly) and a group of private military contractors were stuck on a rooftop. They held their position for hours against hundred of Shia insurgent of the Mahdi Army.
Among the PMC guys (from Blackwater, boohoo the evil, etc) was Travis Haley, better known for having been the CEO of Magpul, and Ben Thomas (who was, by his own admittance, “a Navy SEAL for five minutes”, quiet a controversial character).
Despite all the political/ethical questions around the persons involved, I think this is an interesting part of the war in Iraq.

Oh, I should add: with them, there were a few soldiers from El Salvador who were really hardcore people. And one Spanish soldier who didn’t run away like the rest of his team.

The Return of the Mercenary

“The use of mercenaries in warfare has a very long history—much longer, in fact, than the almost-exclusive deployment of national militaries to wage wars. Before the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 ended Europe’s Thirty Years’ War and marked the rise of the modern state system, medieval powers from kings to popes routinely hired private fighters to do battle for them. As state governments sought a monopoly on the use of force within their territories in the 17th century, however, they moved to stamp out violence by non-state actors, including mercenaries, driving the industry underground.

America’s reliance on private military companies in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade hasn’t just expanded the industry; it’s also started to change the conduct of international relations.”

Read more here

every time i see cuts made to important government services - be it education or healthcare or public transport, what have you - all i can do is get so ANGRY that we spend so much goddamn money on military spending. WE DON’T NEED TO SPEND 600 BILLION DOLLARS ON THE MILITARY. we spend THREE TIMES the next highest military spender in the world, China. we do NOT NEED ALL THIS MONEY FOR THE MILITARY. what we do need it for is schools, and parks, and trains, and healthcare, but noooooo give it all so the military can hire contractors to invent new and exciting ways to murder foreigners overseas. cool. because you KNOW the majority of that money is going to that kind of shit and not idk disabled vietnam veterans 

Affected or possibly affected by Trump’s Muslim ban, which is resulting in people literally being detained in airport terminals.

Hameed Khalid Darweesh - who worked as a translator for the US military in Iraq for ten years - detained at JFK and then released.

Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi - husband of a woman who worked for the US as a military contractor and now lives in Texas - still in detention at JFK and being denied access to his lawyer.

The father of Mohammed Al Rawi, Chief Information Officer of Los Angeles County - removed from a flight in Qatar and sent back to Iraq.

Asgar Farhadi - director of The Salesman, nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language film - denied a visa.

So, right.

One of our own military translators is a threat.

The husband of somebody who has worked for the government is a threat.

The 71-year-old father of a local government official just trying to visit his son.

An Oscar-nominated director.

And they represent the people who’s names we don’t know who are being forcibly removed from planes, detained in airports without legal counsel, sent back to war zones.

I don’t know how many children are involved. I do know that none of these people are a threat to us.

Really.

And Donald signed the executive order causing this on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

We all know where this could go.

Make it public. Make it clear. Tell the stories of those who are affected.

Last time, the Reich pushed the camps into the back of everyone’s awareness, put them outside German borders (Donald is trying to reopen Guantanamo), and many German citizens did not know what was going on.

This time? This time they can’t hide it. They can’t push it under the rug.

Donald has specifically stated that when they start letting in refugees again, “religious minorities” will be prioritized.

He means Christians.

(Note, I’m not in favor of denying an escape to persecuted religious minorities, but you see where this is going).

Meanwhile, don’t let anyone ignore this.

Kingsman Android!AU

Eggsy stepped neatly around the still ‘droid. It was still half in, half out of its box, with memory foam wisped around its thighs like a torn cloud.  Merlin had drawn it up on its knees; at the moment, it was completely motionless, with an eerie stiffness to its joints.  It seemed like a sex doll, almost, with its handsome face and body, curled hair and sleek tailored clothes.  Eggsy happened to know that it was human-accurate to the last, utterly pedantic degree under the layers of fabric.  

Keep reading

In the third season, Liv has discovered there are more zombies living in Seattle than she previously believed. In fact, there is a private military contractor employing a small zombie army, and that army is preparing for the day humans learn of their existence. Major finds a job and acceptance in this army. Liv and Clive investigate the murder of a zombie family that may just set off an all-out zombie-human war. Ravi’s former boss at the Center for Disease Control shows up in Seattle to investigate the Max Rager massacre. Blaine finds living as a human with no memory of his evil past is more blessing than curse. Peyton pulls at a thread in one of her cases that may lead to the villain that’s pulling all the strings. This season, Liv will eat the brains and take on the traits of a dominatrix, a JACKASS-style stunt man, an office gossip, a pre-school teacher, a conspiracy theorist, a dungeon master, and many more.
—  SpoilerTV.com