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Surveillance state reverse

Reuters: EU court rules against requirement to keep data of telecom users [different news sources: BBC, The Register] Considerably more detail is available in the ECJ press release (pdf) and the full judgement but the Court has invalidated Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC and struck a very clear blow against metadata storage in national law as the authority of the directive will soon cease to exist. This has a particular impact for UK MeFites, as UK law was based on the Directive and crucially passed through Parliament via the European Communities Act and thus skipped some review steps but is founded on the validity of the directive being implemented. Remaining national law would of course also be open to challenge on the same grounds. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Apr 8, 2014 - 5 comments

The World They Made

Mark Danner has been writing a series in the New York Review Of Books: Rumsfeld's War And Its Consequences Now
A bare two weeks after the attacks of September 11, at the end of a long and emotional day at the White House, a sixty-nine-year-old politician and businessman—a midwesterner, born of modest means but grown wealthy and prominent and powerful—returned to his enormous suite of offices on the seventh floor of the flood-lit and wounded Pentagon and, as was his habit, scrawled out a memorandum on his calendar:
Interesting day— NSC mtg. with President— As [it] ended he asked to see me alone… After the meeting ended I went to Oval Office—He was alone He was at his desk— He talked about the meet Then he said I want you to develop a plan to invade Ir[aq]. Do it outside the normal channels. Do it creatively so we don’t have to take so much cover [?]
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 13, 2014 - 89 comments

Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States

"Untold History of the United States challenges the basic narrative of the U.S. history that most Americans have been taught.... [Such history] is consoling; it is comforting. But it only tells a small part of the story." Instead of clips of modern people pondering the past, Oliver Stone's ten-part series relies heavily on archival footage and clips from old Hollywood films, with narration by Stone. Towards the end, he gets into the assassination of JFK, "but that should not detract from a series that sets out to be a counterweight to the patriotic cheerleading and myth-making." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 23, 2013 - 66 comments

Lest We Grow Too Fond of It

The Great War’s Ominous Echoes — "It is tempting — and sobering — to compare today’s relationship between China and America to that between Germany and England a century ago. Lulling ourselves into a false sense of safety, we say that countries that have McDonald’s will never fight one another. Yet the extraordinary growth in trade and investment between China and the United States since the 1980s has not served to allay mutual suspicions. At a time when the two countries are competing for markets, resources and influence from the Caribbean to Central Asia, China has become increasingly ready to translate its economic strength into military power." By Margaret MacMillan, New York Times, December 13, 2013.
posted by cenoxo on Dec 14, 2013 - 74 comments

Hostis Humani Generis

The legal framework of terrorism has been ... complex. Under the Bush Administration, terrorists were deemd to be "unlawful enemy combatants," and not afforded the protections of the III Geneva Convention. The policy, thought not the name, has continued under the Obama Adminstration, and this indeterminate legal status has significantly complicated efforts to try or release them. However, there is an older legal model that may suffice: piracy. (previously [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 4, 2013 - 16 comments

At the junction of Joyce and the War on Terror

The first thing I did after I heard about the highly classified NSA PRISM program two years ago was set up a proxy server in Peshawar to email me passages from Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.
posted by From Bklyn on Jun 16, 2013 - 49 comments

A Crossways Arrow on the Political Spectrum

Our American Pravda. A provocative essay on the flaws of the American media by the editor and publisher of the American Conservative, Ron Unz, containing:
allusions to conspiracy theories
condemnation of Soviet spies (and a kind word for Joe McCarthy),
criticism of the FBI,
approving quotations of Paul Krugman,
fresh questions about the moral character of John McCain and his fitness for office,
disapproving descriptions of the Obama administration as "Bush's thrid term,"
and a broadside against the selling of the Iraq war calling it the "greatest strategic disaster in United States history." [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Jun 4, 2013 - 46 comments

Welcome to America's Thirty Years War.

Why did an American counterterrorism agency map the entire Muslim world as a terror zone? And why was their map 500 years out of date.(via)
The United States is not at war with Islam,” President Obama said last week at the National Defense University, in a speech that declared an end to America’s “wartime footing” in the fight against terrorism.
Meanwhile two weeks ago "Asked at a Senate hearing how long the war on terrorism will last, Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, answered, 'At least 10 to 20 years.' . . . A spokeswoman, Army Col. Anne Edgecomb, clarified that Sheehan meant the conflict is likely to last 10 to 20 more years from today - atop the 12 years that the conflict has already lasted.
posted by adamvasco on Jun 2, 2013 - 45 comments

One of my poems goes: The next one and a half pages are redacted.

The Guantánamo Memoirs of Mohamedou Ould Slahi For nearly 11 years, Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been a prisoner in Guantánamo. In 2005, he began to write his memoirs of his time in captivity. His handwritten 466-page manuscript is a harrowing account of his detention, interrogation, and abuse. Although his abuse has been corroborated by U.S. government officials, declassified documents, and independent investigators, Slahi tells his story with the detail and perspective that could only be known by himself and the people who have kept him captive. It is impossible for us to meet with him or independently verify his account. Until now, it has been impossible for him to tell his story. [ht homunculus]
posted by jaduncan on May 1, 2013 - 16 comments

The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg on How to Report From Guantanamo Bay

The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg has reported from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay since the first detainee arrived in 2002. Last month, President Obama scuttled the office responsible for closing the center, which means Gitmo’s “media tent city” will be a permanent press encampment for the foreseeable future. Petra Bartosiewicz spoke with the veteran correspondent by phone from Gitmo’s Camp Justice, where Rosenberg has been covering pretrial hearings this month of the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
posted by Elementary Penguin on Feb 26, 2013 - 19 comments

The Permanent War

The Permanent War (video). "This project, based on interviews with dozens of current and former national security officials, intelligence analysts and others, examines evolving U.S. counterterrorism policies and the practice of targeted killing." Part 1: Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists. Part 2: A CIA veteran transforms U.S. counterterrorism policy. Part 3: Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 25, 2012 - 68 comments

high and dry

High and Dry: How Sabrina De Sousa, a former US diplomat of Indian origin, was swept up in the undertow of the war on terror "Sabrina De Sousa was among those convicted in absentia in Italy in November 2009—wrongly, she says, and based only on circumstantial evidence. She was an accredited diplomat at the US consulate in Milan at the time, but claims she was not in Milan on the day of the kidnapping ... Sabrina has argued that she should have been protected from prosecution because of diplomatic immunity. The US government thought otherwise."
posted by dhruva on Oct 4, 2012 - 20 comments

Bush Knew More About Bin Laden's Plans Than We Realized

NYT Op/Ed on 9/11: 'The Deafness Before the Storm' "goes into teeth-grinding detail about how the Bush administration had even more advance notice about Osama Bin Laden's attack than we previously realized." Summary: significantly more negligence than has been disclosed.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 11, 2012 - 113 comments

“Once it’s your pop stand, you look at things a little differently”

The NYT reports on how a Secret 'Kill List' tests Obama's principles and will [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on May 29, 2012 - 189 comments

Guantanamo: An Oral History

Guantanamo: An Oral History
posted by reenum on Jan 12, 2012 - 8 comments

War Photos Tumblr

Once Upon a Time in War is a photographic retrospect of the Great War, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam and the War on Terror.
posted by OmieWise on Oct 6, 2011 - 6 comments

Inertia, Not Progress Defines the Decade After 9/11

Coming Apart: After 9/11 transfixed America, the country’s problems were left to rot. "No national consensus formed around 9/11. Indeed, the decade since has destroyed the very possibility of a common narrative."
posted by homunculus on Sep 13, 2011 - 61 comments

The extent of CIA drone strikes revealed

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism have been carrying out research into the extent of drone missile strikes carried out by the CIA. Today they published findings. See also: facts and figures, a timeline, and their Twitter feed where updates are ongoing.
posted by nthdegx on Aug 11, 2011 - 56 comments

The Hole

The CIA's Secret Sites in Somalia. Jeremy Scahill at The Nation reports on a CIA facility at Mogadishu's international airport used for a "counterterrorism training program for Somali intelligence agents and operatives," as well as a secret prison "buried in the basement of Somalia's National Security Agency" where "some of the prisoners have been snatched off the streets of Kenya and rendered by plane to Mogadishu." [more inside]
posted by lullaby on Jul 14, 2011 - 39 comments

Leon Panetta believes the war on Al-Qaeda can be won.

Leon Panetta says U.S. is "within reach" of defeating Al Qaeda. (Video, AP)
posted by 4ster on Jul 10, 2011 - 93 comments

Frank Lindh, father of 'American Taliban' John Walker Lindh, explains why his son is an innocent victim of America's 'war on terror'

Frank Lindh, father of 'American Taliban' John Walker Lindh, explains why his son is an innocent victim of America's 'war on terror'
posted by MighstAllCruckingFighty on Jul 10, 2011 - 117 comments

There is Much More to Say

It might be instructive to ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush's compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic (after proper burial rites, of course). Uncontroversially, he is not a “suspect” but the “decider” who gave the orders to invade Iraq -- that is, to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: in Iraq, the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country and the national heritage, and the murderous sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region. Equally uncontroversially, these crimes vastly exceed anything attributed to bin Laden.
There is Much More to Say by Noam Chomsky.
posted by klue on May 24, 2011 - 463 comments

Luis Posada Carilles Acquitted

Luis Posada Carilles Acquitted. [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on Apr 10, 2011 - 8 comments

What Civil Rights?

My Student, the 'Terrorist' If this were a movie, the story might end with a triumphal courtroom scene, or an intrepid Washington Post reporter breaking the story. It might have a sentimental ending, with a conservative Muslim family and community locking arms with Christians and Jews and atheists and turning the country back to its commitment to civil rights. The government, shamed, would reform its practices. But this is not a movie, and inhumane treatment is well protected in post-9/11 America. [more inside]
posted by bardophile on Apr 7, 2011 - 56 comments

Is it the worst thing you'll read all year?

A description of the CIA's waterboarding techniques and the practical applications of other physical interrogation practices to enhance its effectiveness.
posted by artof.mulata on Nov 9, 2010 - 30 comments

The tangled webs we weave

Top Secret America: The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work. [more inside]
posted by ryoshu on Jul 19, 2010 - 113 comments

Erik Prince off the record

Eric Prince (Wiki), the controversial and secretive founder and owner of Xe, formerly known as Blackwater International, rarely gives public speeches. When he does he attempts to ban journalists from attending, and forbids recording or videotaping of his remarks. The Nation magazine has obtained an audio recording from May 5th in which Prince speaks to a select gathering in his hometown of Holland, Michigan. [more inside]
posted by Harald74 on May 6, 2010 - 43 comments

Tora Bora: America's First Major Battle Of The Twenty-First Century

That afternoon, American signals operators picked up bin Laden speaking to his followers. Fury kept a careful log of these communications in his notebook, which he would type up at the end of every day and pass up his chain of command. “The time is now,” bin Laden said. “Arm your women and children against the infidel!” Following several hours of high-intensity bombing, the Al Qaeda leader spoke again. Fury paraphrases: “Our prayers have not been answered. Times are dire. We didn’t receive support from the apostate nations who call themselves our Muslim brothers.” Bin Laden apologized to his men for having involved them in the fight and gave them permission to surrender.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 29, 2010 - 26 comments

CWAA

John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative who affirmed claims that waterboarding quickly unloosed the tongues of hard-core terrorists, says he didn't know what he was talking about.
posted by jtron on Jan 28, 2010 - 49 comments

United States surrenders, terror, drugs win.

Without much fanfare, the Global War on Terror has ended. The new name for these military interventions is the Overseas Contingency Operation. Press Q&A. Some Republican representatives discuss. (SPOILER: They are not pleased.) Military blogs discuss. Similarly, the War on Drugs also looks to be on the way out, though no new name for the project has been announced at this time.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on May 14, 2009 - 53 comments

For utter bankers

From the team that previously brought you War on Terror, the board game, comes CRUNCH - the game for utter bankers.
posted by fay on Mar 30, 2009 - 2 comments

Osama bin Elvis

What is the logical consequence of noting the fact that the terrorist groups that make a difference on planet Earth—such as Hamas and Hezbollah, the PLO, Colombia's FARC—are extensions of, respectively, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and Venezuela? It is the negation of the U.S. government's favorite axiom. It means that when George W. Bush spoke, and when Barack Obama speaks, of America being "at war" against "extremism" or "extremists" they are either being stupid or acting stupid to avoid dealing with the nasty fact that many governments wage indirect warfare.
International relations professor Angelo M. Codevilla argues that Osama bin Laden is not quite influential, not quite relevant, and probably dead. (multipage version)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 27, 2009 - 33 comments

Dissent: Voices of Conscience

"You can not come back to Canada until you have been criminally rehabilitated." Ann Wright, who had 29 years of military and govt service, resigned in protest on the eve of the Iraq War from her position as deputy ambassador to Mongolia. In this hour long talk, she discusses her story and the story of several others from various countries who resigned in protest. Her new book, Dissent: Voices of Conscience, details the story of 24 people who resigned in protest. [more inside]
posted by nooneyouknow on Nov 6, 2008 - 6 comments

Abu Nidal mystery solved

Remember Abu Nidal? The "Bin Laden" of the 70s and 80s, he mysteriously committed suicide in Baghdad on the eve of the 2003 invasion. New documents have come to light suggesting Nidal was working for the USA "trying to find evidence linking Saddam and al-Qa'ida." [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Oct 27, 2008 - 17 comments

NATO war in Afghanistan "Doomed to Fail"

With election season in the US, it's probably hard to get a less than Gung-ho picture of the war in Afghanistan, but this Spiegel Online article paints a dark picture. "Pessimism about the situation has never been so high." High level NATO commanders are using phrases like "Doomed to Fail," "We are trapped," "repeating the same mistakes as the Soviets", military victory "neither feasible nor supportable," "downward spiral." For some it is so dark the only beacon of light would be peace talks with the Taliban. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Oct 21, 2008 - 35 comments

Anthropomorphising the War on Terror

Afuganisu-tan is a simple and impossibly cute manga illustrating the background and development of conflict in Central Asia. In which we learn that "Afuganisu-tan gets picked on a lot and has bad luck." Also, "Meriken is a superhero fanatic and has a tendency to think her version of justice is right for everyone." [more inside]
posted by hellopanda on Jun 15, 2008 - 34 comments

Khadr judge removed

The military judge presiding over child solider Omar Khadr's case has been replaced. Khadr's lawyer claims the judge, Colonel Peter Brownback, was fired because he “threatened to suspend proceedings in the case of Omar Khadr if prosecutors continued to withhold key evidence from Omar's lawyers.” Defence officials claim Brownback was planning to retire.

Although Khadr was only 15 when he was captured, and is the only Western citizen still being held at Guantanamo Bay, Canada's Conservative government has refused to seek extradition or repatriation for him.
posted by cdmckay on May 29, 2008 - 72 comments

I Am The Eye In The Sky

Discoveries made using satellite imagery, particularly via Google Earth, have made headlines in the blue and green before. Increasingly high-resolution photos, combined with obsessive interest, have lead inevitably to the next step: interpretation and analysis of spots on the Earth's surface for which information is restricted, censored, or classified, such as the preparedness of military defenses in North Korea and Iran, or the viability of Saudi Arabia's next big oil play. Of course, not all mapping is benevolent.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Mar 13, 2008 - 9 comments

Psychologists Protest APA's Position On Interrogations

Citing the organization's "sharp shift in values and direction," Ken Pope, prominent member of the American Psychological Association (and a former chair of its Ethics Committee), resigned his membership on February 6. He's the latest of a growing number of professional psychologists who have quit APA in protest of its position on the use of psychologists in government interrogations in the "War on Terror."
posted by Rykey on Feb 8, 2008 - 19 comments

FBI loses FISA evidence over unpaid phone bills

FISA wiretapping: keeping us safe in the war on terror. [more inside]
posted by baphomet on Jan 12, 2008 - 20 comments

Who's Soft on Terrorism?

Who's soft on terrorism? Surely not the Democrats, who are about to enable the National Security Agency to extend its secret domestic wiretapping program after saying otherwise for months. Surely not the Republican White House, determined to rush out a new Osama bin Laden video even if it burns an intelligence connection spying on Al Qaeda that has been carefully cultivated for years.
posted by digaman on Oct 9, 2007 - 81 comments

Scenes from "The War Tapes"

TED presentation: "Filmmaker Deborah Scranton talks about and shows clips from her documentary The War Tapes, which put cameras in the hands of Charlie Company, a unit of the National Guard, for one year in Iraq. The soldiers' raw footage and diary excerpts tell a powerful, unsettling story of modern war.
posted by McLir on Sep 20, 2007 - 6 comments

Is this what was supposed to happen before the Sept. 21st put options ran out?

On Wednesday Sept. 5th, German police stopped a major terrorist attack. The planned bomb consisted of 730 kilogramms of hydrogen peroxide to be mixed with other chemicals. The explosive power would have been equivalent to 550 kilogramms of TNT. The IHT reports the possible targets were the Ramstein US Air Force Air Base and Frankfurt International Airport. The suspects had been under observation for 10 months, the chemicals had been clandestinely rendered harmless by German authorities. What caused the final arrest? Two things: 1) they had just recieved a call from north Pakistan urgently ordering them to follow through within 14 days. 2) a local village policeman blew the surveillance cover by literally telling them at a routine road stop that they were on a watch-list. German intelligence immediately knew the policeman had blown their cover. How? They had bugged the car [Spiegel, rough translation]. [more inside]
posted by umop-apisdn on Sep 8, 2007 - 45 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

War on Terror Update

The US pays Pakistan $1 billion a year to fight al Qaeda, but Pakistan doesn't do much fighting. Iraq is a "a big moneymaker" for al Qaeda, and al Qaeda's leadership may be stronger than ever.
[more War on Terror inside]
posted by kirkaracha on May 21, 2007 - 76 comments

Down the memory hole

Gonzales pushes plan to criminalize copyright infringement, making it punishable by life imprisonment; to increase wiretaps; and to require Homeland Security to notify the RIAA in certain circumstances. "To meet the global challenges of IP crime." I'd comment on this, but I'm afraid that someone might think I was copying someone else. The Intellectual Property Protection Act (official press release) appeared previously in a speech (2005) and as a draft (2006) - now the Justice department is pushing Congress to bring it forward. [newsfilter]
posted by blacklite on May 15, 2007 - 59 comments

He said he didn't feel like he had earned it.

Thomas said he and his wife came up with the unprecedented idea to present the president with the Purple Heart over breakfast one morning a few months ago as they discussed the verbal attacks, both foreign and domestic, the commander in chief has withstood during his time in office. "We feel like emotional wounds and scars are as hard to carry as physical wounds," Thomas said.
posted by EarBucket on Apr 23, 2007 - 136 comments

The perfect Christmas present for the little terrorist in your life

War on Terror - The Board Game or, if you prefer a different catastrophe: "Antarctica - Global Warming"
posted by patricio on Dec 6, 2006 - 10 comments

Kafka-esque doesn't do it justice. This is 'Alice in Wonderland.'

Newsfilter: U.S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons
"The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods that their captors used to get them to talk...the government, in trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees, effectively asserts that the detainees' experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public."

Previously: (1) (2)
posted by StopMakingSense on Nov 4, 2006 - 53 comments

.

Somehow.
posted by EarBucket on Oct 20, 2006 - 38 comments

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