ISIS continues its war on civilization by burning:
Thousands of ancient and irreplaceable manuscripts [from] the Mosul library in Iraq. One Mosul library official believes that up to 112,000 books were destroyed – spanning centuries of learning, and including books registered on a UNESCO rarities list.
Meanwhile, we learn the identity of the man – known colloquially as "Jihad John” – who beheads the helpless captives of ISIS. He is reportedly:
… Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated from college with a degree in computer programming. He is believed to have traveled to Syria around 2012 and to have later joined the Islamic State, the group whose barbarity he has come to symbolize.
Rich and well-educated, Emwazi certainly should have been able to find a job and a life. But he took another path and one awaits Marie Harf’s explanation for why. One also wonders just what the Brits will do with him, should they take him alive. Lord Haw-Haw was hanged and he merely made propaganda broadcasts for the Nazis. But the Brits don’t do that any longer. And, anyway ... hanging would be too good for Emwazi.
Ukraine's deputy foreign minister says he is preparing for "full-scale war" against Russia and wants Canada to help by supplying lethal weapons and the training to use them. Vadym Prystaiko, who until last fall was Ukraine's ambassador to Canada, says the world must not be afraid of joining Ukraine in the fight against a nuclear power.
While answering questions from service members in Kandahar, Afghanistan, newly sworn-in Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter revealed that he is "open-minded" about transgendered individuals serving in the military, adding, "I don't think anything but their suitability for service should preclude them."
In remarks at the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, President Obama warned that one can't profile a terrorist, or predict who will become one. It's not determined by people or any particular faith, the president said.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, says that "ground troops are necessary" to defeat ISIS. "But," Power insisted this morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe, "they're not going to be American ground troops."
House speaker John Boehner criticized President Obama's ISIS war authorization, saying that it does not go far enough.
"ISIL is at war with our country and our allies," reads Boehner's statement. "If we are going to defeat this enemy, we need a comprehensive military strategy and a robust authorization, not one that limits our options.
On February 4, we reported that U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) was continuing to suggest that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was "conducting airstrikes" in Syria against the Islamic State (ISIL) despite an apparent suspension of flights by that country since late December.
In response to the Islamic State’s horrific burning of a pilot, the Jordanian government has released from prison one of the most influential al Qaeda-allied ideologues in the world. Sound strange? It is.
In 2013, NBC newsreader Brian Williams re-told the fake story of how his helicopter was shot down in Iraq. The story, which he passionately retells to David Letterman, begins about the 3 minute mark, with many details that we now know do not reflect reality:
Williams admitted today that indeed his helicopter was not shot down in Iraq. (He was in the follow-on chopper.)