US rejects criticism over Turkey’s strikes on Kurdish groups

Of fighting Isil by Marian Kemensky (7/26/2015 Mehrnews)

‘It looks like Washington gave Turkey a green light to drop bombs on PKK,’ analyst tells MEE, though US denies this

By James Reinl

NEW YORK – The United States faced criticism on Monday over claims that it condoned Turkish strikes on Kurdish militants as a quid pro quo for Ankara’s boosted support against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said it was a “coincidence” that Turkey had launched strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets at the same time that Ankara increased its role in the US-led military coalition against IS.

“There’s no connection between what they [Turkey] did against PKK and to what we’re going to try to do together against ISIL,” Kirby told reporters in Washington, using an alternate acronym for the Sunni fighters.

He said Ankara had acted in “self-defence” against the PKK, which has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state partly from bases in northern Iraq and is listed as a “terrorist” group by Turkey, the US and the European Union.

American officials say that the US and Turkey are working on military plans to clear IS from stretches of northern Syria and carve out an “IS-free zone” that would bring more stability to the Turkey-Syria border.

Under an agreement that is reportedly being agreed between the NATO allies, IS would be expelled from a 109km stretch west of the Euphrates River, according to the Washington Post newspaper.

The discussions follow a big shift in Ankara’s approach to IS over recent days in which Turkey – which was previously reluctant to intervene in Syria – has launched raids against IS and permitted US warplanes to use a Turkish military base.

The Turkish strikes have raised tensions with Kurdish militia forces fighting IS in northern Syria and, on Monday, Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) said Turkish tanks had shelled their forces near the border town of Kobane. Turkey said it was investigating the claim.

At the same time, Turkey has struck PKK militants in northern Iraq. It follows a week which saw a bomb attack blamed on IS kill 32 people in Suruc, Turkey, and the PKK reportedly kill two Turkish police officers in retaliation for the blast and what it sees as Turkey’s collaboration with IS.

Police have detained more than 1,000 people across Turkey in nationwide raids against militants since last week, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said. He did not say how many were suspected PKK fighters and how many are accused of belonging to IS.

According to Edmund Ghareeb, author of The Kurdish Question in Iraq, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken advantage of a crisis following his Justice and Development (AKP) party’s poor showing in last month’s parliamentary elections.

“By changing his strategy, Erdogan is doing several things at the same time. He wants to placate Turkey’s army, which eyes him with suspicion, and to prevent the unification or expansion of the two Kurdish cantons within Syria,” Ghareeb told Middle East Eye.

“He’s mobilising nationalist forces in Turkey, particularly as there could be new elections on the horizon, he’s attacking the PKK in Iraq, which he sees as his biggest threat, and getting Obama and the West back on side by fully participating in the war against IS.”

According to Kani Xulam, director of the American Kurdish Information Network, US support for Turkey is risky because it sets Washington against the PKK and the YPG, two linked Kurdish groups that have been useful allies against IS.

“It looks like Washington gave Turkey a green light to drop bombs on PKK Kurds in Iraq so the US can work with Turkey to eliminate IS in Syria. But this conflicts with another US interest: working with the YPG and PKK, which have been their most effective boots on the ground against IS,” he told MEE.

And, according to Xulam, US President Barack Obama may have chosen the wrong partner.

“Obama thinks he can contain the situation with Turkey’s help, but that’s like mopping up with a dirty cloth. Turkey has its own agenda. The daily bomb attacks that we see in Iraq and Syria we will start seeing weekly in Turkey,” he told MEE.

“The demographics of Iraq and Syria are really not so different from Turkey, and this is propelling the country ever-further into a perfect storm.”

Other analysts agree that Turkey and the US make convenient bedfellows but have divergent agendas. Hussein Ibish, a scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, said Ankara is more interested in defeating the PKK than IS.

“Turkey has pledged to establish a safe zone in northern Syria, under the rubric of its intervention against IS. But one of its primary aims will be to deny the YPG control of a large, contiguous area across the soft Turkish underbelly near its own restive Kurdish areas,” he told MEE.

“In effect, Turkey had relied on IS to deny this to the PKK by holding the territory. Not only is IS attacking inside Turkey now, perhaps even more significantly it is failing to prevent the PKK, Ankara’s main enemy, from expanding into that area.

“Turkey is therefore preparing to push IS aside and do the job itself.”


© 2015 Middle East Eye

Brain-eating amoeba is eating Republican brains

Mike Huckabee told Breitbart News that President Obama is “naive” and that by doing the deal with Iran, “he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” Politico reports,

The Anti-Defamation League, which monitors anti-Semitism, immediately denounced Huckabee’s language.

“Whatever one’s views of the nuclear agreement with Iran — and we have been critical of it, noting that there are serious unanswered questions that need to be addressed — comments such as those by Mike Huckabee suggesting the president is leading Israel to another Holocaust are completely out of line and unacceptable,” ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “To hear Mr. Huckabee invoke the Holocaust when America is Israel’s greatest ally and when Israel is a strong nation capable of defending itself is disheartening.”

Huckabee refuses to back down from his insanely stupid and offensive statement.

Then along comes Jeb Bush: After criticizing US workers for not working hard enough, even though their productivity has increased as their incomes have fallen while the rich, including Bush, have gotten richer without working, he stepped in it again saying he wants to get rid of Medicare and replace it with vouchers, a remarkably bad idea pushed by Paul Ryan. A Bush spokesperson tried to clean up his mess by saying Bush only meant to say he wanted to raise the age of eligibility. Paul Krugman figuratively slammed him up against a wall today by noting,

There are two things to say about this claim. First, it’s clearly false: in context, Mr. Bush was obviously talking about converting Medicare into a voucher system, along the lines proposed by Paul Ryan.

And second, while raising the Medicare age has long been a favorite idea of Washington’s Very Serious People, a couple of years ago the Congressional Budget Office did a careful study and discovered that it would hardly save any money. That is, at this point raising the Medicare age is a zombie idea, which should have been killed by analysis and evidence, but is still out there eating some people’s brains.

The Washington Post reports today,

On July 9, just a few days after swimming in Minnesota’s Lake Minnewaska, 14-year-old Hunter Boutain was dead. Doctors believe the culprit was the water-dwelling amoeba Naegleria fowleri. Some people know it by another name: the brain-eating amoeba.

It’s the stuff of horror films: The tiny amoeba crawls up the nose to the brain, where it wreaks havoc, killing 97 percent of its victims. But while the amoeba is certainly devastating for the small number of people it infects, calling it a brain-eater may not be quite right. The immune system’s response to infection — not the amoeba itself — is the real killer, some scientists suspect.

Regardless, the damn thing has been detected in the public water supply in Louisiana.

My sources on the street tell me that both men have been seen in Louisiana recently. Therefore, I can confidently report that Naegleria fowleri is eating silly widdle Republican brains.

Death Of Paul Castaway Highlights Denver’s Overlooked Police Brutality Problem

Killer Cops on the Loose

Originally published at MintPress News.

DENVER — The death of a Rosebud Sioux man in Denver earlier this month is a painful reminder that police shootings are not limited to any one part of the United States, and certainly not just to places that received mainstream media attention after recent killings.

Paul Castaway, left, a citizen of the Lakota Nation, was shot and killed by police on July 12. Photo courtesy
Paul Castaway, left, a citizen of the Lakota Nation, was shot and killed by police on July 12. Photo courtesy

On July 12, Lynn Eagle Feather called police for help with her schizophrenic son, Paul Castaway. Witnesses and police give conflicting accounts of an incident that quickly spiraled out of control. Officers shot Castaway multiple times while he held a knife to his own neck. He died the following day at an area hospital. Police say they shot in self-defense, but witnesses and Castaway’s family disagree.

As his family struggles for justice, a diverse coalition of protesters from the American Indian Movement to local groups like Denver Community Defense Committee are working with the families of the victims of Denver police brutality. They’re hoping to draw attention to a largely overlooked epidemic of police violence that rivals other cities like Baltimore or New York City for its ability to destroy lives. Now, police are targeting activists and journalists who support them with arrests and even violence.


‘What’s wrong with you guys?’: The death of Paul Castaway

In a conversation with MintPress News last week, Lynn Eagle Feather told MintPress that she wanted police to force her son to calm down and rethink his actions. She says she never intended to risk his life.

“Usually I can control him, and talk him down,” Eagle Feather said by phone last week. That night was different, though. Paul Castaway seemed especially haunted. Eagle Feather snuck out of her house and called 911, because, she said, “I thought if I filed charges, he’d understand that he can’t act like this.”

Not only did she inform the officers and 911 of his mental illness, but Eagle Feather also added that police in her district had encountered him before and should have been familiar with his condition. She also denied police claims that Castaway stabbed her. She said officers saw her neck that night, which didn’t require medical care and shows no sign of injury today.


Cleveland Transit Cop Recklessly Pepper-Sprayed Crowd at Bus Stop After Movement for Black Lives Gathering

A transit police officer in Cleveland pepper-sprayed a group of people on July 26 at a bus stop across the street from Cleveland State University. It was about an hour after the Movement for Black Lives gathering concluded.

Video captured by Twitter user @KentaviousPrime shows the white officer in the street rushing into a crowd. He sprays the canister at everyone nearby until it is empty.

The Cleveland transit police apparently believed a 14-year-old black boy was “intoxicated to the point where he was unable to care for himself.” Officers slammed the boy to the ground, detained him, and angered the crowd, which included activists leaving the gathering. The boy was put into a police car, which the crowd surrounded to stop police from taking him.

According to activists at the scene, the boy had a Snapple drink. This was probably the open container the police seized upon as justification for making an arrest.

None of the witnesses at the scene corroborated the police claim that the boy was drunk.

A statement from the transit police declared, “A transit police officer used a general burst of pepper spray in an attempt to push back the crowd, to no avail.”

Shooting a stream of pepper-spray, especially about an hour after a major conference of freedom fighters, could never be reasonably expected to contain or control a crowd. The one officer spraying is terribly reckless in his attempt to drive people away from the scene, and, as transit police seem to admit, the pepper-spray only inflamed the situation more.

As the local NBC affiliate, WKYC, reported:

 “I was told the police are pepper spraying people down the street, and I’m seeing people run for milk so they can be protected from pepper spray all because people are asking what happening to a young man,” said Rhonda Y. Williams, history professor at Case Western Reserve and member of the Cleveland Eight. “When we have an officer who comes out of nowhere and is pushing people and then takes out and just starts spraying with his pepper spray, that’s not deescalation.”


The Roundup for July 26-27th, 2015

Folks, any criticisms of the Roundup or suggestions to improve it? It’s been a while since I asked that so I’m open to hearing your input.

International Politics


– President Barack Obama told leaders of African countries to treat gay people and women as equals

– Turkey called for a special meeting with NATO over both the Islamic State and PKK Kurdish forces

Middle East

A new study found Jews around the world are more uncomfortable with Israel because of the latter’s policies toward Palestinians

– Syrian President Bashar al-Assad: I will admit we are suffering setbacks, but there are positive changes too

– Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said he would not cut pensions of Israeli soldiers despite overspending issues

– The cancellation of a documentary about Palestinians in the Gaza Strip suffering by right-wing Israelis shows how Israeli society truly does not care about them

– Rania Khalek: “Israel threw stun grenade at 11-year-old — Human Rights Watch


– Workers in South Africa are fighting to ensure their rights are respected in their country

– The Egyptian military government is fiercely repressing journalists working in the country


– It is alleged Greek officials considered taking its central bank reserves to return to the drachma

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– In Colombia, politics is about security and fear, when it really should be about issues of life

– The government, meanwhile, suspended raids against FARC because of a new truce

– Paraguayans are suffering from decadence caused by the country’s elite and U.S. interest

– Folks in Honduras are still demonstrating against their corrupt government

– Cuban officials are toning down anti-American rhetoric because of the new chapter of relations with the U.S.

Financial Matters

– Economist James Henry joins The Real News to explain the loopholes the shipping industry in Greece took advantage of to profit

– In spite of a major debt, Puerto Rico still opts to give tax breaks to the wealthy

– Robert Reich: “Let’s Celebrate Medicare’s Birthday by Recognizing the Truth About the Program

Labor’s a-Brewing

– A former Google engineer said speaking up about discrimination did nothing

Politics US

Washington USA

– Donald Trump: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker ruined his state’s economy

– Trump, meanwhile, is leading the GOP pack with growing Republican support. He is the perfect symbol, though, of the clownish democracy we have with a cartoon media

– Hillary Clinton said she was “confident” no classified information was sent through her emails

– Meanwhile, two aides tied to Wall Street joined Clinton’s campaign; “B-but she’s a Democrat! That means she is not the bad Republicans!”

– A U.S. district judge ruled the government cannot detain undocumented children

– Glen Ford: “Obama’s Takes His Prison Reform Con Game on the Road

– Mike Huckabee, lover of Holocaust exploitation, said President Obama is sending Israelis to “the door of the oven” because of the Iran deal

– Two billionaires tied to hydrofracking provided $15 million to a Super PAC tied to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

– The right-wing want to discreetly fund campaigns without us knowing

Anytown USA

– Henry Giroux: “America’s New Brutalism: the Death of Sandra Bland

– Meanwhile, folks still do not believe Bland committed suicide as it is too suspicious

– The death of Bland is not an isolated incident and shows how far the state will go in using repression

– What happened at Netroots Nation last week shows Black Lives Matter wanting to be a part of the Democratic machine

– Bree Newsome: “Now is the time for true courage

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Homelessness is criminalized in Los Angeles, a city where more people are becoming homeless

The Second Sex

– Christa Big Canoe, of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Toronto, joins The Real News to talk about a United Nations report criticizing Canada for failing to protect Aboriginal women

– Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): I will force a vote to defund Planned Parenthood

– The head of Planned Parenthood said the group did nothing illegal with fetal organs

Planet Earth

– Irish President Michael Higgins called for a new economic framework to challenge climate change

– Some Senators in Congress are pleading to end all drilling in the Arctic

Mixed Bag

– Glenn Greenwald: “A Crucial Realization About Journalism is Learned by Being its Subject

Break Time

New Sensation [INXS]

Over Easy: Monday Science


Another weekend gone, but it was a nice weekend. I bagged 20+ 40gal trash bags with cut grass and other lawn trash. You don’t realize how much is there until you have to pick it up!

Speaking of picking it up….

Fukushima Update:

The discussion of a Dead Pacific begins to get traction. I was initially hesitant about including things here that could be climate change related, but there’s no evidence of changing water temps in the area in question at all. The sea creatures have now had several generations of bathing in hot water and it looks like the response is no more breeding.

Per the Attorney representing US service members hit by the Fuku plume: 250 showing various illnesses, three dead, one baby basically born with cancer who died at age 2.

They’re ready to remove the fuel handling crane from the #3 SFP. Specially designed crane will be used. The likelihood of additional radiation releases from this activity is high, they’ve ordered all other work stopped while this is going on.

The JG/TEPCO (is there a difference anymore?) has selected Toru Ogawa to head up the research into how the heck they will actually decommission the site. /snark/ Not bad, only four years after the fact. And they are carefully NOT using the word decontaminate. Money quote:

He added that “we can’t carry out the decommissioning task” unless the center receives support and expertise from the United States

Here’s a new type of lawsuit for TEPCO to worry about: Loss of income from farmers and ranchers due to the disaster.

Interesting interview in RT. Takeaway: Partial estimate of current cost is 100 billion, 60% of which is compensation payments.

In order to reduce the compensation payments, the JG is lifting the Evac orders. They’re getting pushback and that pushback will only get worse.

The latest from Pluto. It seems like the ingredients for life are everywhere, it just needs the right conditions to start.

And the latest from Ceres. I don’t think anyone expected to find water.

Another study finds that climate change is making Calif’s wildfires worse and more frequent.

We’ve hit 90ghz in optical switching. Can a true optical computer be that far off?

Temple allocates 3.4 million to come up with a new version of creationism. Unh, you could ask the scientists.

Meanwhile, at an estimated cost of $90M, a replica of Noah’s Ark, intended to PROVE that two of every animal could have fit and thus prove the Story of Noah, Takes shape near the Creation Museum in Ky.

Boxturtle (Blessed be the censors, for they shall inhibit the earth!)

Late Night FDL: Daybreak

Micky Dolenz(Monkees) – Daybreak

The Beeb reported this bit of good cheer…

An album of “lost” songs by Monkees star Micky Dolenz has been released after fans tracked down the master tapes.

Recorded immediately after the band split up in 1970, the music contains collaborations with Harry Nilsson.

It was thought to have been discarded but TV presenter Iain Lee managed to track it down via an online campaign.

“It’s been a five-year project to make this happen,” he said. “And it’s finally here. It’s a proper record.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, Lee explained the music had sunk without trace when it was originally released.

“A lot of this stuff came out as singles after the Monkees split up and they sold about seven copies,” he told Samira Ahmed.

The Monkees were one of the most successful groups of the 1960s, with singles including Daydream Believer, Last Train to Clarksville and A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You.

But they were stigmatised by their formation – having been put together for a TV show, and banned from playing on their early singles.

Although they fought against the manufactured image, it haunted them even after the group disbanded.

“The thing with the Monkees when they split up is they had no respect,” Lee explained.

“No-one knew how to categorise them. Even Micky Dolenz didn’t know what he was. Was he an actor? Was he a drummer?

“He auditioned for the part of the Fonz [in Happy Days] but came second because they thought, ‘well, he’s a drummer.’

“Frank Zappa wanted him to join his band and play drums, but the rest of the band said, ‘we don’t want an actor in there.'”

Even Dolenz did not know the whereabouts of his recordings, and many had presumed they were lost forever.

“For the last 20 years, people have been trying to make this compilation,” Lee said. “No-one’s been able to do it. {…}

It features a track, called Daybreak, which was written and produced by Harry Nilsson – famous for the hits Everybody’s Talkin’ and Without You.

Another track, called Easy On You, was recorded in Dolenz’s home studio and features one of the first ever Moog synthesizers.

“Dolenz owned the third ever Moog synthesizer,” Lee said. “It’s a really weird [song]. It’s not pop, it’s not rock. It’s kind of electronica before electronica.”

The Monkees star has given his blessing to the compilation, Lee added. {…}

He said he hoped to release more rare Monkees material in the future.

What’s on your mind tonite…?

Obama’s line on the Iran nuclear deal: A second false narrative

Buying into the narrative that Iran is a rogue nuclear state could harm the thawing of relations between the country and the US

By Gareth Porter

I’m glad that the United States and Iran reached an agreement in Vienna after nearly two years of negotiations and 35 years of enmity. A failure to do so under present political conditions would certainly have left a festering conflict with unpredictably bad consequences. And the successful negotiation of such a far-reaching agreement in which both sides made significant concessions should help to moderate the extreme hostility that has been building up in the United States over the years.

But my enthusiasm for the agreement is tempered by the fact that the US political process surrounding the Congressional consideration of the agreement is going to have the opposite effect. And a big part of the problem is that the Obama administration is not going to do anything to refute the extremist view of Iran as determined to get nuclear weapons. Instead the administration is integrating the idea of Iran as rogue nuclear state into its messaging on the agreement.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday makes the administration’s political strategy very clear. In two sentences, Kerry managed to combine the images of Iranian-supported terrorism and sectarian violence across the entire region and Iranian determination to get nuclear weapons. He told the Committee about the administrations plans to “push back against Iran’s other activities – against terrorism support, its contribution to sectarian violence in the Middle East,” which he called “unacceptable”. Then he added: “But pushing back against an Iran with nuclear weapons is very different from pushing back against Iran without one.”

The administration’s determination to be just as alarmist about Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions as its opponents creates a US political discourse on the Iran nuclear issue built around two dueling narratives that disagree about the effect of the agreement but have one politically crucial common denominator: they both hold it as beyond debate that Iran cannot be trusted because it wants nuclear weapons; and the only question is whether and for how long that Iranian quest for nuclear weapons can be held off without war.

The Israeli line is that the agreement is merely a temporary lull, and that it will simply embolden Iran to plan for a bomb once the agreement expires ten years hence. But for the administration’s tough-minded diplomatic efforts, Iran would have continued advancing towards getting a nuclear weapon, and that the only alternative to the agreement is war with Iran. (more…)

‘Dark Cloud’ of ALEC Converges at Annual Corporate-Political Lovefest

Protesters carried signs and chanted “ALEC, go home” during an afternoon demonstration outside the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel on Wednesday. (Photo: Chris Stone/Times of San Diego)

This week, San Diego hosts ‘a festival of closed-door deal-making by politicians, corporate executives and lobbyists’

By Deirdre Fulton

Fighting to protect dark money. Attacking federal efforts to rein in carbon pollution. Undermining local democracy.

These are just some of the “hot topics” on the agenda this week as conservative lawmakers, corporate lobbyists, and top GOP candidates from around the country gather in San Diego for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)’s annual meeting.

“A dark cloud is headed our way in the form of a shadowy lobbying organization that buys loyalty from state legislatures with untraceable corporate dollars and threatens the very fabric of our democracy,” San Diego County Democratic Party chair Francine Busby wrote in advance of the conference.

ALEC, Busby explained, “is a ‘bill mill’ funded by corporations and billionaires. It creates ‘model legislation’ by and for industries, which right-wing legislators then take back to their statehouses and enact into law.”

Miles Rapoport, president of the grassroots advocacy organization Common Cause, described the meeting as “a festival of closed-door deal-making by politicians, corporate executives and lobbyists,” at which “[t]hey gather to do the public’s business in private, fashioning legislation that undercuts the public interest in things like clean air and water, quality public schools, economic fairness and participatory democracy.” (more…)

Feds indict former Georgia deputy sheriff for her role in botched SWAT raid that maimed toddler

In the early morning hours of May 28, 2014, Nikki Autry, a deputy sheriff in Habersham County, Georgia, presented a search warrant affidavit to the magistrate judge, swearing under oath that a known confidential informant who had been reliable in the past purchased a small amount of methamphetamine from an individual standing outside a residence. Based on this information, the judge issued a “no-knock” warrant. At 2:30 AM, SWAT officers performed a paramilitary-style SWAT raid on the home, where residents included four children under the age of eight. The SWAT team broke down the door while the family slept, and tossed a flash bang grenade into one of the rooms. The grenade landed inside a 19-month-old baby’s crib.

When the grenade exploded, it blew a hole so deep in the baby’s chest that his ribs were exposed. The baby’s face was disfigured and third-degree burns covered his body. “Baby Bou Bou” fought for his life for several weeks in a burn unit, in a medically induced coma. Washington Times reported on how the SWAT team treated the boy’s mother on the night of the raid:

“I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him,” the boy’s mother, Alecia Phonesavanh, told Salon magazine in June. “He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son. I could see a singed crib, and I could see a pool of blood.

“The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he’d just lost a tooth,” she added. “It was only hours later when they finally let us drive to the hospital that we found out Bou Bou was in the intensive burn unit and that he’d been placed into a medically induced coma.”

Baby Bou Bou’s family was quickly overwhelmed with medical expense debt. The county refused to reimburse the family for a single dime of the debt.

Habersham County officials are defending their decision not to pay for the child’s medical bills, saying it wouldn’t be legal to take on the costs.

“The question before the board was whether it is legally permitted to pay these expenses,” Habersham County’s attorney told WSBTV in a statement. “After consideration of this question following advice of counsel, the board of commissioners has concluded that it would be in violation of the law for it to do so.”

Georgia cops quickly blamed the family for the tragedy, claiming that the family was “living in a drug house.” Radley Balko notes that subsequent internal investigation, DA, and state investigations all cleared the cops.

No drugs were found in the home, and neither was the person of interest mentioned in the sworn affidavit. The person of interest did not live there, the house was not a “drug house” with “drug traffic,” the known informant who had been ‘reliable in the past’ was not known and had never been used- and the alleged drug sale was never verified. In fact, according to the federal indictment, the information that then-Deputy Nikki Autry presented to the judge to obtain the no-knock warrant on that tragic night was apparently one hundred percent fact-free bullshit. The Department of Justice press release published on Wednesday, July 22, describes the events leading to Nikki Autry’s federal indictment:

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Horn, the indictment, and other information presented in court: Autry worked for the Habersham County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office from 2004 to 2014. On the night of May 27, 2014, Autry and other members of the NCIS team were attempting undercover narcotics buys from various subjects in Habersham County.

Eventually, a brand new NCIS informant and two of his associates – his wife and a roommate – went to a residence located in Cornelia, Georgia. The informant’s roommate, who was not officially working with NCIS, approached the residence and allegedly purchased a small quantity of methamphetamine from an individual unknown to him who was standing outside the residence. There was no police surveillance to verify the purchase. Shortly afterwards, Autry presented an affidavit to a Habersham County magistrate judge falsely swearing that the NCIS informant made the purchase and that the NCIS informant was “a true and reliable informant who has provided information in the past that has led to criminal charges on individuals selling narcotics in Habersham County.”

The federal indictment alleges that Autry knew the NCIS informant had not purchased any methamphetamine from anyone at the residence and the NCIS informant had not proven himself to be reliable in the past. Additionally, the indictment alleges that Autry had not confirmed that there was heavy traffic in and out of the residence. Based on this false information, the magistrate judge issued a “no-knock” search warrant for the residence and an arrest warrant for W. T., who allegedly sold the methamphetamine. The warrant obtained by Autry was executed approximately two hours later, during the early morning hours of May 28, 2014.

During the execution of the search warrant, a Habersham County deputy sheriff tossed a “flash and noise distractionary device,” also known as a flash bang grenade, into a side door of the residence. The flash bang grenade was thrown directly into the room where an 18-month-old toddler was sleeping. The grenade landed inside the toddler’s playpen and critically injured him. The toddler and his family had been staying at the residence for approximately six weeks prior to the search. They are relatives of the lawful occupants of the residence. W. T. was arrested shortly after the flash bang incident at a nearby residence.

Nikki Autry, 29, of Clarkesville, Georgia, will be arraigned by a U.S. Magistrate Judge later this week. The indictment charges Autry with four counts of civil rights violations for willfully depriving the occupants of the residence of their right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by a police officer and for knowingly depriving W. T. of his right to be free from arrest without probable cause.

Nikki Autry was a lying cop who meant to lie and she did lie. Apparently acting on an unfounded hunch that she hoped would pan out to her benefit, she lied freely and with a straight face, in a sworn affidavit that was likely not the first of its kind.

In the end, a child was maimed in the name of a fifty-dollar drug sale that never happened. This is what the War on Drugs looks like.