Iran allegedly hired Canadians to conduct assassinations on U.S. soil, according to indictment

“Two Canadians planned to conduct assassinations in the U.S. on behalf of Iran’s intelligence services, according to allegations in a newly unsealed indictment.

The suspects are accused of plotting to shoot a man and woman living in Maryland, one of them a defector from Iran.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/iran-allegedly-hired-canadians-to-conduct-assassinations-on-us-soil-according-to-indictment-192921168.html

A shocking assassination highlights escalating violence in Ecuador

“Fernando Villavicencio, an Ecuadorian presidential candidate who ran heavily on an anti-corruption message, has been assassinated less than two weeks before the nation’s presidential elections. Villavicencio, a centrist candidate for the Build Ecuador Movement, was gunned down after a political rally on Wednesday, a shocking act in a country that’s historically been peaceful until recent years.
His killing underscores a recent surge in drug-related violence in Ecuador, and has prompted new scrutiny of the growing presence of cartels in the region.”

Justice Department charges alleged Iranian operative in plot to assassinate Bolton

“Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, allegedly conspired between October of 2021 and April of this year to kill Bolton according to a criminal complaint released by the Department of Justice. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also targeted by the Iranians, a person close to Pompeo confirmed to POLITICO.”

“Poursafi, a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has been charged with the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire and providing and attempting to provide material support to a transnational murder plot. If convicted, Poursafi faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Beginning in October, Poursafi allegedly attempted to arrange the murder “likely in retaliation” for the killing of top general Qassem Soleimani by the U.S. in Jan. 2020, officials said.

Working on behalf of the IRGC, Poursafi attempted to pay people in the United States $300,000 in cryptocurrency to murder Bolton in Washington, D.C., or Maryland. Poursafi also offered $1 million for an “additional job.””

Assassinating Putin Won’t Work. It Never Has for America.

“We’ve tried it repeatedly. Often we have failed, but even when we seem to have succeeded, the long-term consequences have been terrible. An order from the Oval Office to assassinate a foreign leader would not break a taboo. It would only be

How Hope, Fear and Misinformation Led Thousands of Haitians to the U.S. Border

““False information, misinformation and misunderstanding might have created a false sense of hope,” said Guerline Jozef, executive director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, an organization that works with migrants.

Biden’s term has coincided with a sharp deterioration in the political and economic stability of Haiti, leaving parts of its capital under the control of gangs and forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. The assassination of Haiti’s president and a magnitude 7.2 earthquake this summer have only added to the pressures causing people to leave the country. Shortly after the assassination, hundreds of Haitians flocked to the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, many carrying packed suitcases and small children, after false rumors spread on social media that the Biden administration was handing out humanitarian visas to Haitians in need.

Most of the Haitians in Mexico — a country that has intercepted nearly 4,000 this year — were not coming directly from Haiti, but from South America, where, like Mackenson, they had already been living and working, according to a top official in the Mexican foreign ministry. The number of Haitians heading northward across the border that separates Colombia and Panama — often by traversing the treacherous jungle known as the Darién Gap — has also surged in recent years, increasing from just 420 in 2018 to more than 42,300 through August of this year, according to the Panamanian government.

“We are dealing with this really new type of migration, which are these Haitians coming from mainly Brazil and Chile,” said Roberto Velasco, chief officer for North America at Mexico’s foreign ministry. “They are mainly looking for jobs. They come from third countries, so repatriation is difficult.”

Following the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Haiti, tens of thousands of Haitians headed southward to Chile and Brazil in search of jobs in two of South America’s richest countries. To get there, many undertook an arduous overland journey across the continent through the Amazon and the Andes.

Many were offered humanitarian visas in both nations, which needed low-wage workers, but that welcoming stance withered as economic instability in the region rose in tandem with a growing backlash toward immigrants.”

What the assassination of Haiti’s president means for US foreign policy

“Moise himself had a tumultuous presidency beginning in 2017, marked by authoritarian tactics and inability to gain the Haitian people’s trust. Soon after he was elected, Moise revived the nation’s army, disbanded two decades before. This was a controversial decision in a country still dealing with the aftermath of its catastrophic 2010 earthquake, stoking fears that the army would drain already limited resources. Further skepticism came from the army’s history of human rights abuses and the multiple coups it had carried out. The decision to bring the army back set the tone for Moise’s presidency, as he continuously prioritized his interests and power over those of the people. In the absence of a functioning legislature, Haitian law allows the president to rule by decree, and in January 2020, Moise refused to hold parliamentary elections and dismissed all of the country’s elected mayors, consolidating his power.

Further exacerbating problems, in February, Moise refused to leave office despite legal experts and members of an opposition coalition claiming that his term ended on February 7. Moise claimed that his presidency was meant to last until 2022, due to a delay in his inauguration after the 2017 election, and his refusal to step down led to mass anger and frustration culminating in public protests and chants of “no to dictatorship.”

While the identity of the killers has not been confirmed, speculation seems to be determined by party alignment. Moise supporters have stated that he was shot by a predominantly Colombian group of hitmen, while some opposition politicians claim that he was killed by his own guards. Others have said that the Colombians were hired as personal guards to protect Moise from external threats. Fifteen Colombian suspects are currently in custody along with two Haitian-American suspects, and others are still believed to be at large.”

Months After Soleimani’s Assassination, Another Strike on Militias in Iraq

“The administration of President Donald Trump promised to “restore deterrence” against Iran when it assassinated Iranian spymaster Gen. Qassem Soleimani outside Baghdad International Airport on January 3. But months later, the Iraqi militias formerly armed, trained, and advised by Soleimani seem undeterred, and American troops in Iraq find themselves in an escalating cycle of conflict with no end in sight.
In March, militia forces fired a barrage of Katyusha rockets at Camp Taji, killing a U.S. Army soldier, a U.S. Air Force airman, and a British servicewoman. A local militia close to Iranian intelligence services called Kata’ib Hezbollah appeared to take credit for the attack in a social media diatribe invoking the “right to resist” America’s “malicious project of occupation.”

American forces responded with what the Pentagon calls “precision defensive strikes” against five Kata’ib Hezbollah weapons depots. Iraq accused the U.S. military of killing Iraqi soldiers and civilians instead of Kata’ib Hezbollah members during the raids, aggravating already strained U.S.-Iraqi tensions. The following weekend, Katyusha rockets slammed into Camp Taji again in broad daylight.”

An expert on why the Soleimani assassination was almost certainly illegal

“in order for this strike to be legal without congressional authorization, it would have to be in response to an imminent threat to the United States. And then we immediately enter into a discussion about what “imminent” and “threat” actually mean.”

“Many of the people who have shaped our legal understanding of “imminent” over the years understood it to mean that the threat was unfolding right now and there’s no time to do anything other than to kill the person.
The Soleimani killing doesn’t appear to meet that threshold.”

“If this is just a thing we did, then Congress doesn’t need to be notified. But if it’s an act of war, then clearly Congress needs to be notified.”

“for better or worse, at a point where the majority of lawmakers have basically acquiesced to the administration’s interpretation of the law when it comes to war, and again, this goes back to the George W. Bush era. So if that’s the case, then eventually the law becomes whatever the current administration says it is. That’s where we are.”

“there were several AUMFs but none of them, in any way, were directed at Iran. Each of them very clearly gave the executive branch the power to fight the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and later, ISIS in Iraq. And in fact, Iran has been on our side in the fight against ISIS and the Taliban. So there’s just no plausible legal justification under which you could stretch any of the AUMFs to include an attack on an Iranian official.”

Trump’s administration is deeply dishonest, and it’s foolish to trust them

“All politicians garner fact-checks, but Trump is so dishonest that CNN’s Daniel Dale has a beat composed exclusively of keeping track of all the nonsense the president spouts, routinely generating headlines like “Trump made 96 false claims over the last two weeks” and “Trump makes at least 18 false claims in ranting Fox & Friends interview.”

The sheer range of things Trump lies about — including recently claiming that the prime minister of Canada edited a version of Home Alone 2 to remove a Trump cameo — is mind-boggling and goes way beyond any kind of normal political process.

Part of Trump lying about everything is that he frequently says things specifically about Iran that are not true. Back in July, for example, Trump tweeted about the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal that misstated the amount of money involved, misstated the duration of the deal, and fabricated secret Iranian violations of the agreement. It was not particularly clear at the time why Trump was lying about this stuff. But he lies so routinely about everything that people scarcely bother to inquire about what might be driving those specific lies.”

“As the former CIA director, Pompeo distorted intelligence about Russia to fit Trump’s preferred narratives. Then, as secretary of state, he misled the public about his role in the Ukrainian aid holdup that led to Trump’s impeachment.

Pompeo, too, engages in routine misstatements about Iran specifically, including lies about Iranian nuclear research.

This is important because Pompeo has become the public face of the administration on this issue. Although Pompeo does not engage in the range of dishonest statements that Trump does, his more focused dishonesty does include statements on Iran.”

“I hope there was some kind of good reason to bomb that Baghdad airport and some kind of plan to deal with the aftermath. But all we really know is that the people in charge of explaining to us what happened and why aren’t worthy of our trust.”