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AUMF

60 Words And A War Without End: The Untold Story Of The Most Dangerous Sentence In U.S. History. "Written in the frenzied, emotional days after 9/11, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was intended to give President Bush the ability to retaliate against whoever orchestrated the attacks. But more than 12 years later, this sentence remains the primary legal justification for nearly every covert operation around the world. Here’s how it came to be, and what it’s since come to mean." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 17, 2014 - 23 comments

FYI, We Just Won a War in the Philippines

Did you know the U.S. was at war in the Philippines? An excerpt from David Axe's new book. Previously.
posted by destrius on Jul 1, 2013 - 15 comments

Crossing the "Red Line"?

Syria Options Go From Bad To Worse
As reports have surfaced of possible use of sarin gas in the Syrian civil war, calls by long-time proponents of U.S. intervention on behalf of the anti-Assad rebels have grown to a fever pitch. These same voices, both at home and abroad, have evoked the administration’s previously stated “red line” on use of chemical weapons. But even assuming that reports of WMD usage in Syria turn out to be true, the Obama Administration’s position may be far more nuanced than previously thought.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 2, 2013 - 289 comments

The Shooter

The Shooter. It begins, "The man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden sat in a wicker chair in my backyard, wondering how he was going to feed his wife and kids or pay for their medical care."
posted by chunking express on Feb 11, 2013 - 211 comments

"From the ground, drones are terrifying weapons that can be heard circling overhead for hours at a time."

"What's that buzzing sound?" Foreign Policy's third annual War Issue focuses on what it calls "Barack Obama's Secret Wars," including My Drone War, in which a Pakistani journalist for Newsday and the NYT describes what drone warfare looks and sounds like from the ground; The Obama Doctrine, which argues drone warfare is a failing strategy in both Yemen and Pakistan; The Evolution of Drone Warfare: A Photo History, 1917-2010, and more. The package also includes two takes on cyberwar - Cyberwar is still more hype than hazard and Cyberwar Is Already Upon Us - along with a lot of interesting links.
posted by mediareport on Feb 29, 2012 - 99 comments

Anwar al-Awlaki killed in Yemen

Yemeni and US government sources confirm US-born Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was killed today al-Awlaki was widely credited with inspiring the shootings at Ft. Hood and the attempted Christmas bombing of an airliner approaching Detroit. [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan on Sep 30, 2011 - 512 comments

Pakistan's Secret Dirty Little War

Pakistan's Secret Dirty Little War
posted by lalochezia on Mar 29, 2011 - 34 comments

nation building

One Night in Afghanistan
THE PRESIDENT: at a time when too many American institutions have let us down, when too many institutions have put short-term gain in front of a commitment to duty and a commitment to what's right... all of you want to build -- and that is something essential about America. [Al Qaeda and the violent extremists have] got no respect for human life. You see dignity in every human being. That's part of what we value as Americans. They want to drive races and regions and religions apart. You want to bring people together and see the world move forward together. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 4, 2010 - 36 comments

britishbattles.com

The sections of britishbattles.com about The First Afghan War have apparently been quoted verbatim in Al-Qaeda propaganda. Site author, amateur historian John Mackenzie, told the press "It's exactly appropriate to use the account of the first Afghan war to point out the pointlessness of the current operations and the dangers that they run of a similar disaster," [more inside]
posted by nthdegx on Jan 1, 2009 - 17 comments

Talibanistan

Right at the Edge. "The Taliban and Al Qaeda have established a haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border. This is where the war on terror wil be fought – and possibly lost."
posted by homunculus on Sep 5, 2008 - 62 comments

Pakistan’s Phantom Border

Pakistan’s Phantom Border. "Pakistan is often called the most dangerous country on earth. Increasingly, its people would agree. Despite nearly $6 billion in U.S. military aid for the border region since 9/11, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and homegrown terrorist groups have eroded the border with Afghanistan, inflicting a steady toll of suicide bombings. Going where few Westerners dare—from Taliban strongholds to undercover-police headquarters—the author sees what’s tearing the country apart."
posted by homunculus on Jun 22, 2008 - 24 comments

The Rebellion Within

The Rebellion Within: An Al Qaeda mastermind questions terrorism.
posted by homunculus on May 27, 2008 - 55 comments

The Jihad Will Be Televised

NewsFilter: Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID - Conn.) strikes a decisive blow against another Islamic terror front group: YouTube.
posted by digaman on May 19, 2008 - 96 comments

Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S. Part 2

"The United States Lacks a Comprehensive Plan to Destroy the Terrorist Threat and Close the Safe Haven in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas" (PDF). A recent GAO report claims that the Bush administration has failed to prevent Al Qaeda's reemergence in Pakistan, and that we're basically right back where we started in 2001.
posted by homunculus on Apr 30, 2008 - 38 comments

bin Laden transcript

Transcript of the most recent Osama bin Laden tape. [pdf] [more inside]
posted by ND¢ on Sep 7, 2007 - 175 comments

Darth Cheney Strikes Back

Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted. A newly declassified report (PDF) by the Pentagon's inspector general claims that Iraq was not working with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion and that the intelligence was manipulated by then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. On the same day as the report came out, Dick Cheney claimed that they did have a relationship via Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi may be dead, but he's still useful. [Via TalkLeft.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 6, 2007 - 65 comments

The Redirection

The Redirection. "Is the Administration’s new policy aiding our enemies in the war on terrorism?" New article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker.
posted by homunculus on Feb 25, 2007 - 40 comments

No Saddam and Osama? :(

Senate Releases Pre-War Intel Reports. The two sections of the report released by the Senate intelligence committee are: "Postwar Findings about Iraq's WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How they Compare with Prewar Assessments" and "The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress" (both PDFs). This seems to contradict previous evidence. [Via TPMmuckraker.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 8, 2006 - 51 comments

Rebels in the Ranks

"I've been silent long enough... My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions--or bury the results." Marine Lieutenant General Greg Newbold, the Pentagon's former top operations officer, becomes the latest military insider to raise his voice against the "zealots" who led the US into war in Iraq. He writes in Time magazine: "Never again, we thought, would our military's senior leaders remain silent as American troops were marched off to an ill-considered engagement. It's 35 years later, and the judgment is in: the Who had it wrong. We have been fooled again... After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq--an unnecessary war." During the Vietnam war, such discontent among soldiers sparked a massive campaign of disobedience and peace activism (as well as, more darkly, fragging) within the ranks, as recounted in a new documentary called Sir! No Sir! Can it happen again? Ask the Soldiers for the Truth.
posted by digaman on Apr 9, 2006 - 60 comments

Evidence of a Slippery Slope

Evidence of a slippery slope continued: Newsweek reports that White House counsel Steve Bradbury believes President Bush can order killings on US soil as part of the Terrorist-Surveillance ProgramTM. Meanwhile, while Attorney General Gonzales "lashes out" at the media and insists that the TSPTM is "not a dragnet that sucks in all conversation and uses computer searches to pick out calls of interest," the Washington Post reports it's precisely that -- "computer-controlled systems collect and sift basic information about hundreds of thousands of faxes, e-mails and telephone calls into and out of the United States before selecting the ones for scrutiny by human eyes and ears" -- and has led to very few leads. (See also discussion of Arlen Specter and the legality of the TSPTM here.)
posted by digaman on Feb 6, 2006 - 137 comments

On Policy Discussions in a Never-Ending War

"I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story..." President Bush really did not want journalists to reveal his NSA spying program against Americans [discussed here.] And in yesterday's rare press conference, the President said: "An open debate about law would say to the enemy, 'Here's what we're going to do.' And this is an enemy which adjusts... Any public hearings on programs will say to the enemy, 'Here's what they do. Adjust.' This is a war." Neocon guru William Kristol argues that talk of Bush being an "imperial" president" is "demagogic" and "irresponsible" since "Congress has the right and the ability to judge whether President Bush has in fact used his executive discretion soundly." What is the role of "open debate" in a war against terror that may last for decades?
posted by digaman on Dec 20, 2005 - 222 comments

Parsing Terror

Osama bin Laden, littérateur and new-media star. A thought-provoking analysis of bin Laden's adept use of Koranic language and the Internet by Bruce B. Lawrence, an Islamic scholar at Duke who edited a new anthology of bin Laden's public statements called Messages to the World. The Western media -- says the millionaire mass-murderer formerly trained as a useful ally by the CIA via Pakistan's ISI -- "implants fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media are doing!" Know thy enemy. [via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by digaman on Nov 3, 2005 - 57 comments

Iraq In Transition: Vortex or Catalyst?

Iraq In Transition: Vortex or Catalyst? (PDF)
A key message of the report is that should Iraq fragment, a sectarian struggle between the Shi’a majority and Sunni minority is more likely to flare up in the context of a political breakdown. Al Qaeda and other militant Sunni groups will contribute to the polarisation between Sunnis, Shi’a and other religious groups in Iraq. A fragmented Iraq could provide a breeding ground for new militant factions, both Islamist and non-Islamist.
Press release
posted by y2karl on Sep 2, 2004 - 8 comments

"Kerry: wrong on defense. Oh wait, I mean me."

Missile Defense- the biggest security lapse on 9/11. Condoleeza Rice was to deliver a speech regarding the White House's position on national security on September 11th, 2001. The speech contained no mention of al-Qaeda and stated missile defense as the central focus of security, implicating Bill Clinton for "not doing enough about the real threat - long-range missiles." An interesting revelation coming from the campaign claiming their opponents are "wrong on defense."
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Apr 1, 2004 - 37 comments

Al-Qaeda can only be understood as an ideology, an agenda and a way of seeing the world

Terror's myriad faces
Al-Qaeda, conceived of as a tight-knit terrorist group with cadres and a capability everywhere, does not exist in that form. It barely existed before the war in Afghanistan in 2001 destroyed Osama bin Laden's carefully constructed infrastructure there. It certainly does not exist now. Instead, we are facing a different kind of threat. Al-Qaeda can only be understood as an ideology, an agenda and a way of seeing the world that is shared by an increasing number of predominantly young, predominantly male Muslims. Eliminating bin Laden and a few hundred senior activists will do nothing to counter this al-Qaeda. Hundreds more will come forward to fill their ranks. Al-Qaeda, however understood, will continue to operate. The threat will remain and it will grow.
See also Sowing The Dragon's Teeth.
Or, alternately, Hercules and the Hydra.
posted by y2karl on May 20, 2003 - 25 comments

NSFNFH (not safe for NewsFilter haters)

Mike Hawash Charged with conspiracy to levy war against the United States, conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda and conspiracy to contribute services to al Qaeda and the Taliban. Heavy. 5 days ago, a now near-famous letter was removed from a website that had recently been trumpeting his cause. Today, the Feds allege terrorism. -- Of note: the frequent allusion to "secrecy" and "secret warrants". Is this ammo for the pro-PATRIOT crowd? Any changing opinions on Mefi?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Apr 28, 2003 - 62 comments

Al-Qaeda fighting with Iraqis, British claim

Al-Qaeda fighting with Iraqis, British claim So say interrogated Iraqi POWs. But wait. Al Qaeda the group that killed 3 thousand Americans and now they are inside Iraq helping Saddam? Were they there when Blix lads inspecting? Do the French know about this? If so, do they think we should give Al Qaeda a chance to reform?
posted by Postroad on Mar 27, 2003 - 29 comments

Standing With Osama?

Standing With Osama? "Some of the more bilious right-wing pundits... have taken to describing those who oppose the invasion as 'siding with Saddam.' But if such sleazy rhetoric is allowable, then maybe we should say that those like our President, who seem to have ignored Osama’s decrees, or like Powell, who are hawking a Saddam/Al Qaeda connection based on overblown evidence, are standing with Osama." Is this accusation fair? If so, is it productive? I doubt it, but I'm not certain. Rohan Gunaratna, the author of "Inside Al Qaeda," warns that an invasion of Iraq would undermine the international campaign against Al Qaeda and give terrorist groups a new lease on life. Oh well, at least it's funny. [Via Cursor.] [More inside.]
posted by homunculus on Feb 19, 2003 - 21 comments

Elephant in the living room: A radical Islamic Nuclear Pakistan

Elephant in the living room: A radical Islamic Nuclear Pakistan (NYT reg. : name-metafilter password-metafilter) "Hard-line Islamic parties did unexpectedly well in Pakistan's election last week, and Pervez Musharraf's hold on power may be slipping. Do I need to point out that Pakistan is a lot bigger than Iraq, and already has nuclear weapons?...These guys [Bush Adm]want to fight a conventional war; since Al Qaeda won't oblige, they'll attack someone else who will [Iraq]. And watching from the alley, the terrorists are pleased. " -Paul Krugman, once again forced to state the obvious; the US is, effectively, helping with Al Qaeda's goal of radicalizing Islamic populations. In parts of Pakistan, they call Musharaff "Busharaff", and Nick Kristoff notes "Even in Kuwait, where Yankees have the best possible claim on Arab gratitude, a significant minority of men and women regard us as worms" and that "The most common name given to Pakistani boys born after 9/11 in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province reportedly was Osama." What does this have to do with a war in Iraq? Well.........
posted by troutfishing on Oct 15, 2002 - 36 comments

"They were acting like bin Laden was hiding behind every door. That just wasn’t the way to be acting with civilians."

"They were acting like bin Laden was hiding behind every door. That just wasn’t the way to be acting with civilians." According to this Newsweek article, some members of U.S. Special Forces seem to think the military's recent operations to track down Al Qaeda went a bit awry.
posted by moonbiter on Sep 30, 2002 - 13 comments

Saddam Hussein Trained Al Qaeda Fighters - Report

Saddam Hussein Trained Al Qaeda Fighters - Report Blair's evidence to convince the Brits that attacking Iraq is going after Saddam is needed because he has been directly involved with Qaeda network.
posted by Postroad on Sep 14, 2002 - 27 comments

U.S. Stops Iraq-Al Qaeda Talk

U.S. Stops Iraq-Al Qaeda Talk From the Washington Post. Beyond the superficial significance of administration back-tracking, in regards to intelligence there seems to be two key aspects to this story: 1) The article talks about how the CIA was unable to "validate two prominent allegations made by high-ranking administration officials," implying that Bush/Cheney/etc. have been making baseless assumptions about Iraq in their pro-war arguments, and 2) it brings into question whether we know anything at all about Iraq, anyway. What if the same can be said of Hussein's nuclear plans?
posted by risenc on Sep 10, 2002 - 27 comments

How Al Qaeda Slipped Away

How Al Qaeda Slipped Away "American officials concede that there was a mass escape from Tora Bora—as well as a broader exodus by various routes into Pakistan and Iran—but insist that Al Qaeda now is crippled and too busy running to do much damage. “Perhaps we could have got them wholesale,” says one senior Defense official. “Now we’re doing it retail. In the end, it doesn’t make much difference. We’re getting them.”" We might want to take care of this before we "invade" Iraq.
posted by owillis on Aug 14, 2002 - 14 comments

"We must not declare victory too soon,"

"We must not declare victory too soon," or the inevitable fingerpointing will begin.
posted by magullo on Jan 16, 2002 - 6 comments

Al Quaeda prisoners arrive at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Al Quaeda prisoners arrive at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. With all the war talk, why are these men not being classified as POWs? Simply because they didn't wear uniforms?
posted by Ty Webb on Jan 12, 2002 - 15 comments

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