Archiv: asymmetric warfare (terrorism) / assassinations


18.02.2019 - 06:17 [ Donald J. Trump, Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten / Twitter ]

The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them……..

12.02.2019 - 16:33 [ Cato Institute ]

A Guide to Saudi Arabia’s Influence in Washington

(6.12.2018) The United States has long pursued a generally pro-Saudi policy in the Middle East, a legacy of the Cold War when the United States relied heavily on the Saudis to push back against Soviet influence. Saudi Arabia’s geopolitical importance-and its position as the world’s swing producer of oil-has often led U.S. policymakers to minimize criticism of Saudi Arabia. Even as fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were shown to be Saudi citizens, for example, the George W. Bush administration pushed to maintain the close U.S.-Saudi relationship while privately criticizing Saudi support for religious extremism. The Trump administration, however, has taken the United States’ selective vision on Saudi Arabia to new extremes.

12.02.2019 - 16:30 [ New York Times ]

Saudis and Extremism: ‘Both the Arsonists and the Firefighters’

(25.August 2016) Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump do not agree on much, but Saudi Arabia may be an exception. She has deplored Saudi Arabia’s support for “radical schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path towards extremism.” He has called the Saudis “the world’s biggest funders of terrorism.”

10.02.2019 - 17:36 [ Fox News ]

I gave the US trucks and ammunition to Al Qaeda‘: The chaotic US effort to arm Syrian rebels

(15.5.2018) A second Obama administration program, „Timber Sycamore,“ was started by the CIA in late 2012 with the similar aim of arming rebels. This particular operation was active along the Turkish border to Syria’s north, and a Jordanian crossing in the south, referred to as the “Southern Front.”

But Syrian opposition figures say this program was also compromised, with arms falling into the hands of ISIS or Al Nusra.

The program initially supplied light weapons. But as the Syrian civil war intensified, the U.S. strengthened its commitment by providing selected rebels with American “tune-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided” antitank missiles, better known as BGM-71 TOWs.

10.02.2019 - 17:20 [ CNN ]

Sold to an ally, lost to an enemy

(6.2.2019) The US shipped weapons and secrets to the Saudis and Emiratis. Now, some are in the hands of fighters linked to al Qaeda and Iran.

10.02.2019 - 17:01 [ New York Times ]

THE C.I.A. AND LUMUMBA

(2. Aug 1981) Others, including the C.I.A.’s critics, warn that if these restraints are loosened, the United States may well find itself slipping back to the situation that prevailed in the 1960’s, when the agency was virtually unbridled, when assassination of inconvenient foreign political figures was an acceptable technique, and when top officials cultivated a deliberate fuzziness that obscured the line of command from the President to the Director of Central Intelligence and on down to the operatives in the field. These critics fear that if the C.I.A. is given too much leeway in the means it employs, it may once again be tempted to interpret a President’s wishes in a way that will damage the good name and long-range interests of the United States.

10.02.2019 - 16:45 [ Wikispooks.com ]

President John F. Kennedy hears of Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba’s murder from UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson.

Perhaps no photo from the Kennedy presidency summarises who Kennedy was, and how he differed from what preceded him and what came after him, than this picture.

10.02.2019 - 16:33 [ theGuardian.com ]

President ‚ordered murder‘ of Congo leader

(10. Aug 2000) The evidence comes in a previously unpublished 1975 interview with the minute-taker at an August 1960 White House meeting of Eisenhower and his national security advisers on the Congo crisis.

The minute-taker, Robert Johnson, said in the interview that he vividly recalled the president turning to Allen Dulles, director of the CIA, „in the full hearing of all those in attendance, and saying something to the effect that Lumumba should be eliminated“.

Mr Johnson recalled: „There was stunned silence for about 15 seconds and the meeting continued.“

10.02.2019 - 15:51 [ Mail & Guardian / alphalink.com.au ]

CIA and MI5 linked to Hammarskjöld death

(28. Aug 1998) The documents, found by a truth commission researcher investigating an apparently unrelated matter, implicate then CIA chief Allen Dulles in Operation Celeste. They also claim that the explosives used for the bomb that downed the aircraft were supplied by a Belgian mining conglomerate, Union Miniere. The company had extensive interests in copper-rich Katanga, and is known to have backed to Tshombe’s use of mercenaries, including the group led by South Africa’s Colonel „Mad Mike“ Hoare.

The most damning report refers to a meeting between MI5, Special Operations Executive, the CIA and the SAIMR at which it was recorded that Dulles „agrees … Dag is becoming troublesome and … should be removed“.

10.02.2019 - 15:27 [ theGuardian.com ]

RAF veteran `admitted 1961 killing of UN secretary general`

(12.1.2019) Exclusive: Cold case documentary casts new light on mystery of Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane crash

10.02.2019 - 15:23 [ Youtube ]

Cold Case Hammarskjöld – Official Trailer (HD)

In 1961, United Nations‘ secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane mysteriously crashed, killing Hammarskjöld and most of the crew. It’s understood that because Hammarskjöld was, at the time, advocating for Congo’s independence (against the wishes of European mining companies and other powerful entities), the “crash” was an assassination. With the case still unsolved 50-plus years later, Danish journalist, filmmaker, and provocateur Mads Brügger (The Red Chapel, The Ambassador) leads us down an investigative rabbit hole to unearth the truth. He, his Swedish private-investigator sidekick, and a host of co-conspirators tirelessly pursue a winding trail of clues, but they turn up more mysteries than revelations. Scores of false starts, dead ends, and elusive interviews later, they begin to sniff out something more monumental than anything they’d initially imagined.

07.02.2019 - 09:11 [ US State Department ]

Statement by Ministers of the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS/DAESH

9. In 2019, the Coalition expects to concentrate on implementing the Working Group action plans. With the conventional military effort against ISIS in Syria nearing culmination and shifting to a supporting rather than a central role, the Coalition members will open a discussion to plan the next phase of the campaign. This could involve an effort to counter ISIS’s reversion to insurgency in Syria and Iraq. It could also include, addressing ISIS’s trans-border networks, branches, and affiliates, which continue to present a significant, and in some cases, growing threat to the members of our Coalition as highlighted by the June 2018 Coalition meeting of Political Directors with a focus on Africa held in Skhirate, Morocco. In particular, the Coalition should remain united in its efforts to undermine ISIS’s brand by rolling back its access to the information space as a tool to spread its toxic ideology and propaganda. The Coalition is determined to increase the pressure to disrupt ISIS’s trans-regional network through increased information sharing and complementary efforts in counter-finance, strategic communication, law enforcement, the justice sector, and security for our homelands. Coalition Working Groups and members will strive to ensure that our goals are met across the broader diplomatic and counterterrorism ecosystem, and does not seek to duplicate existing mechanisms and lines of effort. The Coalition has gathered unique experience and information while fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria that can be of value to other international organizations and groupings combating terrorism.

10. We are gratified by the momentum collectively generated by the Coalition and its partners and once again express our determination to deliver ISIS an enduring defeat. Our joint engagement in Iraq and Syria will continue. We recognize the need for sustained coordination and consultation of the Coalition across all its lines of efforts and especially in the Core. The four Working Groups of the Coalition – Foreign Terrorist Fighters, Counter-ISIS Financing, Communications, and Stabilization – are essential, and we remain dedicated to their continued progress. With this in mind, we look forward to the Political Directors’ meeting in late spring and the regular meeting of the Coalition Working Groups in the year ahead.

07.02.2019 - 09:10 [ Ruptly ]

LIVE: Trump delivers remarks to ministers as part of ‘Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS’

US President Donald Trump is delivering remarks at the State Department in Washington DC on Wednesday, February 6 at a meeting with foreign ministers whose countries are part of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. The 79-member coalition is expected to discuss the future of campaigns in Iraq and Syria, which will focus on safeguarding against a resurgence of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) through stabilisation and security assistance.

07.02.2019 - 08:59 [ TEAM ABABU. ‏/ Twitter ]

CAS @AbabuNamwamba arrived in Washington DC last evening to lead the Kenyan delegation to the Meeting of Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, hosted by US Secretary of State Hon Mike Pompeo at the State Department.

07.02.2019 - 08:47 [ Ambassador Sung Kim ‏/ Twitter ]

We are proud to partner with the Philippines and other members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Multinational collaboration and information-sharing has allowed us to disrupt potential attacks worldwide and diminish ISIS’s online influence.

07.02.2019 - 08:43 [ Margot Wallström,Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden / Twitter ]

Discussing peace & stabilisation of liberated areas in Iraq and Syria with leaders at the global coalition to defeat ISIS meeting in Washington DC. Root causes that enabled Daesh should be addressed and their reach and impact on social media must be countered.

07.02.2019 - 08:40 [ Globalnews.ca ]

Anti-ISIS coalition holds meeting in Washington

A meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS met in Washington to focus on what happens once the U.S. withdraws its troops from Syria. Jackson Proskow reports.

02.02.2019 - 16:36 [ Haaretz ]

Israel Just Admitted Arming anti-Assad Syrian Rebels. Big Mistake

For the first time on the record, a senior official confirmed Israel’s secret unconventional war in Syria, aimed at preventing Iranian encroachment. But what did Israel gain from exposing its ‚anti-intervention‘ lie after so many years of denial?

25.01.2019 - 19:13 [ LRB.co.uk ]

The Vice President’s Men

The one member of Congress who knew what was going on was Dick Cheney, a close friend and confidant of Bush’s from their days together in the Ford administration. In 1976, in the aftermath of the Church Committee’s inquiry into CIA abuses, standing intelligence committees had been set up in both the Senate and the House, charged with holding the CIA and other intelligence agencies to account. But it was understood by all those involved in the vice president’s secret team that these committees could be bypassed, even though the laws governing covert intelligence activities had been stiffened: there was now a legal requirement that all covert CIA and military intelligence operations had to be made known to the committees through a formal, written document known as a ‘finding’. But there was a big loophole in the legislation, in the view of the vice president’s men. ‘There was no requirement for a finding for merely asking questions,’ the officer said, ‘and so we’d make routine requests for intelligence assessments from the CIA through the Joint Chiefs and the National Security Council. Our basic philosophy was that we were running military’ – not intelligence – ‘operations and therefore did not have to brief Congress. So we could legally operate without a finding.’ He was describing an ingenious procedure for getting around the law: one that would be put into use again after 9/11, when Cheney, by then vice president, triggered the unending war on terror.

06.01.2019 - 13:45 [ PrivacyInternational.org ]

Secret Global Surveillance Networks: Intelligence Sharing Between Governments and the Need for Safeguards

(April 2018) In the past few decades, methods of communication have dramatically changed. The development of new technology, especially the birth of the internet, has transformed the way individuals communicate with each other and increased the amount of information that can be collected by several orders of magnitude. In particular, communications – emails, instant messages, calls, social media posts, web searches, requests to visit a website – may transit multiple countries before reaching their destination. The dispersion of communications across the internet vastly increases the opportunities for communications and data to be intercepted by foreign governments, who may then share them with other governments.

As methods of communications have dramatically changed, so too has intelligence gathering. Intelligence agencies have developed increasingly advanced ways of accessing, acquiring, storing, analysing and disseminating information. In particular, they have developed methods for acquiring communications and data traveling the internet. The costs of storing this information have decreased dramatically and continue to do so. At the same time, technology now permits revelatory analyses of types and amounts of data that were previously considered meaningless or incoherent. Finally, the internet has facilitated remote access to information, meaning the sharing of communications and data no longer requires physical transfer from sender to recipient.

The new scope and scale of intelligence gathering has given rise to a new scope and scale of the sharing of that intelligence between governments, particularly in response to threats to national security. Despite these dramatic changes, in many countries around the world, the public remains in the dark regarding state surveillance powers and capabilities, and whether those powers and capabilities are subject to the necessary safeguards pursuant to domestic and international law.

06.01.2019 - 12:57 [ New York Times ]

Fight Against Last Vestige of ISIS in Syria Stalls, to Dismay of U.S.

(6.11.2018) In Jordan, state intelligence officials said they had worked closely with the C.I.A. to thwart more than a dozen terrorist plots in the past several months in the Middle East and Europe.

A classified American military program in Jordan, called Operation Gallant Phoenix, is scooping up data collected in commando raids in Syria and Iraq and funneling it to law enforcement agencies in Europe and Southeast Asia, according to United States military and intelligence officials who described details of the initiative on condition of anonymity because of its secretive nature.

06.01.2019 - 12:54 [ Olivier Guitta ‏/ Twitter ]

A classified #US military program in #Jordan, called Operation Gallant Phoenix, is scooping up data collected in commando raids in #Syria and #Iraq and funneling it to law enforcement agencies in #Europe and Southeast #Asia.

(8.11.2018)

05.01.2019 - 01:56 [ Junge Welt ]

„In vielen Medien ist Selbstzensur alltäglich“

Das gefährlichste Thema ist Politik. Es gibt unter Journalisten eine große Angst, arbeitslos zu werden. Alle Kollegen, die aktuell in Haft sitzen, haben über Politik geschrieben. Nach der gültigen Gesetzeslage können Publizisten ganz schnell als »Terrorunterstützer« angeklagt werden. Dabei ist es unerheblich, ob sie die Regierungsmaßnahmen selbst kritisieren oder über eine Demonstration berichten, wo Regierungsmaßnahmen kritisiert worden sind. Der Druck in den Redaktionen ist erheblich, in vielen Medien ist Selbstzensur alltäglich.

05.01.2019 - 01:45 [ Trend.az ]

Pompeo to visit Middle East amid tension

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit eight Middle East countries in the following weeks, discussing issues of Syria, Iran and Yemen among others, said the U.S. State Department on Friday, Xinhua reports… Pompeo’s trip, which also covers Jordan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, came amid lingering tension in the region over the U.S. decision to withdraw troops from Syria, escalating confrontation with Iran among others.

04.01.2019 - 11:03 [ legalinsurrection.com ]

Israel Helped 30 Countries Foil Terror Attacks in 2017, Says Economy Minister

(28.2.2018) Israeli military’s intelligence branch, known as “Unit 8200,” told the Australian authorities about a hidden explosive device destined for an Etihad Airways flight leaving Sydney for Abu Dhabi last July.

Earlier this month, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Israel’s role in helping Germany and European countries in combating Islamist terror. It revealed that Israel is part of a covert multinational counter-terrorism operation named “Gallant Phoenix” that gathers intelligence on Islamic State war criminals returning from the Middle East to Europe.

04.01.2019 - 10:46 [ Jerusalem Post ]

Israel working with Germany to combat ISIS terrorism in Europe

(5.2.2018) Israel is part of a secret counter- terrorism coalition that gathers intelligence on Islamic State combatants returning from the Syrian war to Europe, according to a Sunday report in Der Spiegel magazine.

The intelligence collection and anti-terror campaign is named “Gallant Phoenix” and includes a total of 21 states. Germany, the US and Jordan are part of the coalition that is based in Jordan at the US Joint Special Operations Command.

02.01.2019 - 17:55 [ Independent.co.uk ]

Merkel appears to take aim at Trump with vow to take on ‘more responsibility’ in world

Ms Merkel said Germany will push for “global solutions” as it takes up a two-year seat on the UN Security Council, and she noted that the country is spending more on defence and humanitarian aid.

Ms Merkel, who will step down as chancellor in 2021, pointed to curbing climate change, managing migration and combating terrorism as the kinds of challenges that benefit from international cooperation.

02.01.2019 - 17:03 [ ForeignPolicy.com ]

The Pentagon Ups the Ante in Syria Fight

(30. März 2015) Also in Jordan is a U.S.-led multinational effort named Operation Gallant Phoenix, aimed at tracking the foreign fighter flow into Iraq and Syria. Begun as an initiative under Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which controls the military’s most elite special operations units, and JSOC’s higher administrative headquarters, U.S. Special Operations Command, it has expanded to include participation by U.S. Central Command and U.S. European Command, said the senior special operations officer. Although sometimes referred to as the “foreign fighter task force,” Gallant Phoenix doesn’t have troops of its own to send out on raids or direct assaults and instead passes on the information it receives to allied countries.

02.01.2019 - 16:31 [ Nick Turse, TomDispatch / Truthout.org ]

America’s Black-Ops Blackout: Unraveling the Secrets of the Military’s Secret Military

(7. Januar 2014) As Special Operations Command chief Admiral William McRaven put it in SOCOM 2020, his blueprint for the future, it has ambitious aspirations to create “a Global SOF network of like-minded interagency allies and partners.” In other words, in that future now only six years off, it wants to be everywhere.

(…)

While Congressional pushback has thus far thwarted Admiral McRaven’s efforts to create a SOCOM satellite headquarters for the more than 300 special operators working in Washington, D.C. (at the cost of $10 million annually), the command has nonetheless stationed support teams and liaisons all over the capital in a bid to embed itself ever more deeply inside the Beltway. “I have folks in every agency here in Washington, D.C. — from the CIA, to the FBI, to the National Security Agency, to the National Geospatial Agency, to the Defense Intelligence Agency,” McRaven said during a panel discussion at Washington’s Wilson Center in 2013. Referring to the acronyms of the many agencies with which SOCOM has forged ties, McRaven continued: “If there are three letters, and in some cases four, I have a person there.“

02.01.2019 - 16:12 [ theAtlantic.com ]

Obama Gives Commanders Wide Berth for Secret Warfare

(25. Mai 2010) Gen. Stanley McChrystal, at the time the director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, advised President Obama to allow combatant commanders more latitude to combat terrorism using task forces. Coming from McChrystal, it was a surprising endorsement of a policy that would shift responsibility for unconventional warfare from JSOC, which he had commanded, to the combatant commanders.

02.01.2019 - 15:58 [ New York Times ]

U.S. Is Said to Expand Secret Actions in Mideast

(24. Mai 2010) The order, which an official said was drafted in close coordination with Adm. Eric T. Olson, the officer in charge of the United States Special Operations Command, calls for clandestine activities that “cannot or will not be accomplished” by conventional military operations or “interagency activities,” a reference to American spy agencies.

While the C.I.A. and the Pentagon have often been at odds over expansion of clandestine military activity, most recently over intelligence gathering by Pentagon contractors in Pakistan and Afghanistan, there does not appear to have been a significant dispute over the September order.

A spokesman for the C.I.A. declined to confirm the existence of General Petraeus’s order, but said that the spy agency and the Pentagon had a “close relationship” and generally coordinate operations in the field.

02.01.2019 - 15:46 [ theAtlantic.com ]

The Special Ops Command That’s Displacing The CIA

(1. Dezember 2009) The military at large has also felt the growing influence of JSOC. Indeed, General Stanley McChrystal, now the top military commander in Afghanistan, led JSOC from 2003 to 2008. McChrystal’s extensive special operations in Iraq, credited as crucial in the country’s stabilization, earned both him and JSOC wide support in the military and in Washington. In his high-powered role in Afghanistan, McChrystal is increasingly turning to his old command. Spencer Ackerman reports that JSOC’s current leadership is „playing a large and previously unreported role in shaping the Obama administration’s Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy.“ That new influence includes strategic decision-making and direct involvement in the more traditional warfare conducted by the conventional military. Ackerman writes:

„In his Afghanistan review, McChrystal said that a key goal for him would be to increase coordination between his NATO command and the independent command of JSOC, which suggested that the dichotomy between using Special Operations Forces for counterterrorism and conventional forces for counterinsurgency was eroding.“

02.01.2019 - 15:44 [ Seymour Hersh / New Yorker ]

Defending the Arsenal: In an unstable Pakistan, can nuclear warheads be kept safe?

(16. November 2009) An American former senior intelligence official said that a team that has trained for years to remove or dismantle parts of the Pakistani arsenal has now been augmented by a unit of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the élite counterterrorism group. He added that the unit, which had earlier focussed on the warheads’ cores, has begun to concentrate on evacuating the triggers, which have no radioactive material and are thus much easier to handle.

“The Pakistanis gave us a virtual look at the number of warheads, some of their locations, and their command-and-control system,” the former senior intelligence official told me. “We saw their target list and their mobilization plans. We got their security plans, so we could augment them in case of a breach of security,” he said. “We’re there to help the Pakistanis, but we’re also there to extend our own axis of security to their nuclear stockpile.” The detailed American planning even includes an estimate of how many nuclear triggers could be placed inside a C-17 cargo plane, the former official said, and where the triggers could be sequestered.

02.01.2019 - 15:23 [ Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America / Twitter ]

“General” McChrystal got fired like a dog by Obama. Last assignment a total bust. Known for big, dumb mouth. Hillary lover!

02.01.2019 - 15:02 [ Jeremy Scahill / theNation.com ]

The Secret US War in Pakistan

(23. November 2009) “I think Cheney and Rumsfeld went directly into JSOC. I think they went into JSOC at times, perhaps most frequently, without the SOCOM [Special Operations] commander at the time even knowing it. The receptivity in JSOC was quite good,” says Wilkerson. “I think Cheney was actually giving McChrystal instructions, and McChrystal was asking him for instructions.” He said the relationship between JSOC and Cheney and Rumsfeld “built up initially because Rumsfeld didn’t get the responsiveness. He didn’t get the can-do kind of attitude out of the SOCOM commander, and so as Rumsfeld was wont to do, he cut him out and went straight to the horse’s mouth. At that point you had JSOC operating as an extension of the [administration] doing things the executive branch–read: Cheney and Rumsfeld–wanted it to do. This would be more or less carte blanche. You need to do it, do it. It was very alarming for me as a conventional soldier.”

02.01.2019 - 14:44 [ New York Times ]

C.I.A. Sought Blackwater’s Help to Kill Jihadists

(19. August 2009) The C.I.A. this summer conducted an internal review of the assassination program that recently was presented to the White House and the Congressional intelligence committees. The officials said that the review stated that Mr. Panetta’s predecessors did not believe that they needed to tell Congress because the program was not far enough developed.

The House Intelligence Committee is investigating why lawmakers were never told about the program. According to current and former government officials, former Vice President Dick Cheney told C.I.A. officers in 2002 that the spy agency did not need to inform Congress because the agency already had legal authority to kill Qaeda leaders.

02.01.2019 - 14:31 [ New York Times ]

Cheney Is Linked to Concealment of C.I.A. Project

(11. Juli 2009) The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

The report that Mr. Cheney was behind the decision to conceal the still-unidentified program from Congress deepened the mystery surrounding it, suggesting that the Bush administration had put a high priority on the program and its secrecy.

02.01.2019 - 14:02 [ Democracy Now ]

Seymour Hersh: Secret US Forces Carried Out Assassinations in a Dozen Countries, Including in Latin America

(31. März 2009) AMY GOODMAN: Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh created a stir last month when he said the Bush administration ran an executive assassination ring that reported directly to Vice President Dick Cheney. Hersh made the comment during a speech at the University of Minnesota on March 10th.

SEYMOUR HERSH: Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination wing, essentially. And it’s been going on and on and on. And just today in the Times there was a story saying that its leader, a three-star admiral named McRaven, ordered a stop to certain activities because there were so many collateral deaths. It’s been going in — under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or to the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving.

AMY GOODMAN: Yesterday, CNN interviewed Dick Cheney’s former national security adviser, John Hannah. Wolf Blitzer asked Hannah about Sy Hersh’s claim.

WOLF BLITZER: Is there a list of terrorists, suspected terrorists out there who can be assassinated?

JOHN HANNAH: There is clearly a group of people that go through a very extremely well-vetted process, inter-agency process, as I think was explained in your piece, that have committed acts of war against the United States, who are at war with the United States, or are suspected of planning operations of war against the United States, who authority is given to the troops in the field and in certain war theaters to capture or kill those individuals. That is certainly true.

WOLF BLITZER: And so, this would be, and from your perspective — and you worked in the Bush administration for many years — it would be totally constitutional, totally legal, to go out and find these guys and to whack ’em.

JOHN HANNAH: There’s no question that in a theater of war, when we are at war, and we know — there’s no doubt, we are still at war against al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and on that Pakistani border, that our troops have the authority to go after and capture and kill the enemy, including the leadership of the enemy.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s former national security adviser. Seymour Hersh joins me now here in Washington, D.C., staff writer for The New Yorker magazine. His latest article appears in the current issue, called “Syria Calling: The Obama Administration’s Chance to Engage in a Middle East Peace.”

……….

02.01.2019 - 13:58 [ CNN ]

Reporter alleges secret ‚assassination wing‘

(30. März 2009) A Special Operations Command spokesman rejected Hersh’s report, saying their forces operate under established rules of engagement and the law of armed conflict. He adds that the vice president has no command-and-control authorities over the U.S. military. Two former Cheney aides also reject the claim, as does the former Bush homeland security adviser, now a national security analyst. Hersh did not disclose any sources in the speech or in the CNN interview, nor was he asked about sources.

The assassination of political leaders has been banned since 1976 – but suspected terrorists are a different story.

02.01.2019 - 13:39 [ minnpost.com ]

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh describes ‘executive assassination ring’

(11. März 2009) “In many cases, they were the best and the brightest. Really, no exaggerations. Really fine guys that went in to do the kind of necessary jobs that they think you need to do to protect America. And then they find themselves torturing people.

“I’ve had people say to me — five years ago, I had one say: ‘What do you call it when you interrogate somebody and you leave them bleeding and they don’t get any medical committee and two days later he dies. Is that murder? What happens if I get before a committee?’

“But they’re not gonna get before a committee.”

02.01.2019 - 13:33 [ New York Times ]

U.S. Halted Some Raids in Afghanistan

(9. März 2009) According to senior military officials, the stand-down was ordered by Vice Adm. William H. McRaven, the head of the military’s Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees the secret commando units.

The rising civilian death toll in Afghanistan has soured relations between American commanders and the Afghan government led by President Hamid Karzai, who has vocally criticized the raids.

The stand-down began in mid-February, and the raids have since resumed. It is unclear, though, whether the Special Operations missions are being carried out with the same frequency as before the halt.

02.01.2019 - 13:20 [ Jake Tapper, CNN Anchor / Twitter ]

Retired four-star Admiral William McRaven, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014 (which included the OBL mission), just issued the following statement to CNN in response to POTUS attacking GEN McChrystal on twitter:

02.01.2019 - 13:08 [ CNN ]

Ret. admiral defends McChrystal on Trump claim

Ret. Admiral William McRaven came to the defense of Ret. General Stanley McChrystal after President Trump took shots at the general on Twitter following the comments McChrystal made on Trump during an ABC interview.

02.01.2019 - 12:37 [ Seymour Hersh / New Yorker ]

Preparing the Battlefield

(Juli 2008) The covert operations set forth in the Finding essentially run parallel to those of a secret military task force, now operating in Iran, that is under the control of JSOC. Under the Bush Administration’s interpretation of the law, clandestine military activities, unlike covert C.I.A. operations, do not need to be depicted in a Finding, because the President has a constitutional right to command combat forces in the field without congressional interference. But the borders between operations are not always clear: in Iran, C.I.A. agents and regional assets have the language skills and the local knowledge to make contacts for the JSOC operatives, and have been working with them to direct personnel, matériel, and money into Iran from an obscure base in western Afghanistan. As a result, Congress has been given only a partial view of how the money it authorized may be used. One of JSOC’s task-force missions, the pursuit of “high-value targets,” was not directly addressed in the Finding. There is a growing realization among some legislators that the Bush Administration, in recent years, has conflated what is an intelligence operation and what is a military one in order to avoid fully informing Congress about what it is doing.

02.01.2019 - 12:24 [ New York Times ]

Commandos See Duty on U.S. Soil In Role Redefined by Terror Fight

(23. Januar 2005) As part of the extraordinary army of 13,000 troops, police officers and federal agents marshaled to secure the inauguration, these elite forces were poised to act under a 1997 program that was updated and enhanced after the Sept. 11 attacks, but nonetheless departs from how the military has historically been used on American soil.

These commandos, operating under a secret counterterrorism program code-named Power Geyser, were mentioned publicly for the first time this week on a Web site for a new book, „Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operation in the 9/11 World,“ (Steerforth Press). The book was written by William M. Arkin, a former intelligence analyst for the Army.

The precise number of these Special Operations forces in Washington this week is highly classified, but military officials say the number is very small. The special-missions units belong to the Joint Special Operations Command, a secretive command based at Fort Bragg, N.C., whose elements include the Army unit Delta Force.

02.01.2019 - 11:23 [ CNN ]

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal hits Trump as immoral, dishonest

(30.12.2018) Retired four-star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump for his approach to the presidency in a wide-ranging interview that saw the former top commander of the US and international forces in Afghanistan label Trump as dishonest and immoral.
„I don’t think he tells the truth,“ McChrystal told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on „This Week.“ When asked if he thought Trump was immoral, McChrystal responded: „I think he is.“

29.12.2018 - 14:21 [ alarabiya.net ]

Egypt extends state of emergency for three months

(21.10.2018) It allows security forces to “take (measures) necessary to confront the dangers and funding of terrorism and safeguard security in all parts of the country,” the gazette said.

The state of emergency grants the authorities sweeping powers, allowing them to make arrests and crack down on what they call enemies of the state.

29.12.2018 - 13:46 [ BBC ]

Egypt kills 40 ’suspects‘ a day after tourist bus bombing

The country’s interior ministry did not say whether the suspected militants were connected to the bombing on Friday.

Security forces killed 30 people during raids on their hideouts in Giza, where it said „terrorist elements“ were planning a series of attacks targeting state institutions and the tourism industry.

28.12.2018 - 13:26 [ Hurriyet ]

Syria military takes control of key town as Erdoğan warns of ‚psychological action‘

Syria’s military announced Dec. 28 it has taken control of the flash-point northern town of Manbij, where Turkey has threatened an offensive.

The announcement was quickly welcomed by the Kremlin, whose spokesman Dmitry Peskov called it a „positive step“ that could help stabilize the situation.

Turkey, on the other hand, questioned Syria’s motive with the announcement.

28.12.2018 - 13:21 [ People’s Defense Units (YPG) ]

Our forces focus on the fight against ISIS

In conjunction with this, we invite the Syrian government forces which are obliged to protect the same country, nation and borders, to assert control over the areas our forces have withdrawn from, in particularly Manbij, and to protect these areas against a Turkish invasion.

24.12.2018 - 11:58 [ BBC ]

Syria conflict: Macron criticises Trump’s withdrawal decision

The US said the Islamic State (IS) group had been defeated, a claim disputed by allies and US politicians.

France, a key part of the US-led coalition against IS in Syria and Iraq, said its troops would remain in Syria.

24.12.2018 - 11:06 [ breakingisraelnews.com ]

‘No Reason to Panic’ Over US Decision to Withdraw Troops From Syria Says Former Israeli General

“Trump’s declaration on US forces withdrawal from Syria is a significant step, but there’s no reason to panic,” posted Yadlin in a Twitter thread. “2000 US troops came to Syria to fight against ISIS and had no authorities to act against Iran.”

The “authorities” Yadlin appears to be referencing is the Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed by Congress that allows the United States to fight those responsible for the 9/11 attacks. It does not include Iran.

24.12.2018 - 10:43 [ Kansas.com ]

Israel confounded, confused by Syria withdrawal, Mattis resignation

Combined with the departures of Chief of Staff John Kelly and Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Israeli officials are scrambling to determine who is left in the White House who can convince President Donald Trump to think of Israel before taking such drastic security moves, as Mattis successfully did in the past, U.S. and Israeli officials said.

“There is no question that Israeli officials are concerned about the U.S. pulling out,” said Dan Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel in the Obama administration. “It was done without any meaningful consultation with them.”

23.12.2018 - 20:44 [ theSun.co.uk ]

ISIS FIGHT GOES ON: Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson insists fight against ISIS ‘will go on’ in Afghanistan and Syria despite Donald Trump withdrawing US troops

DEFENCE Secretary Gavin Williamson has insisted the fight to secure Syria and Afghanistan would endure – despite Trump’s shock withdrawal of troops from both war zones.

23.12.2018 - 14:07 [ Jason Ditz / Antiwar.com ]

US Envoy to ISIS War Resigns, Criticizes Syria Pullout

McGurk was intended to coordinate with the 79 countries involved in the US-led coalition against ISIS. It is not clear who his replacement will be, but with the administration arguing ISIS is defeated, there may be a low priority for this position.

23.12.2018 - 12:29 [ Donald J. Trump, Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten / Twitter ]

If anybody but your favorite President, Donald J. Trump, announced that, after decimating ISIS in Syria, we were going to bring our troops back home (happy & healthy), that person would be the most popular hero in America. With me, hit hard instead by the Fake News Media. Crazy!

23.12.2018 - 12:29 [ Josh Rogin / Washington Post ]

Trump is leaving 50,000 Syrian civilians to die

President Trump’s surprise decision to rapidly withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria is meeting with intense criticism by foreign policy experts, who denounce it as strategically stupid, reckless for national security and a blow to America’s global credibility. But inside Syria, the consequences are even more serious. For one example, 50,000 Syrian civilian refugees living under the direct protection of the U.S. military are suddenly fearing for their lives.

23.12.2018 - 02:49 [ United Nation ]

Security Council Grants Six-Month Mandate Renewal for United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, Adopting Resolution 2450 (2018)

Unanimously adopting resolution 2450 (2018), the 15‑member Council renewed UNDOF’s mandate until 30 June 2019, while stressing the obligation of the parties to scrupulously and fully respect the terms of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement. Calling upon them to immediately implement resolution 338 (1973) — which obliges them to cease all firing and terminate all military activity — Council members underlined that there should be no military activity by armed opposition groups in the area of separation, including by the Syrian Arab Armed Forces.

22.12.2018 - 21:43 [ Rudaw ]

US envoy to anti-ISIS coalition quits over Trump’s Syria move

Taking over for now for McGurk will be his deputy, retired Lt. Gen. Terry Wolff, who served three tours of active duty in Iraq.

Jim Jeffrey, a veteran diplomat who was appointed special representative for Syria engagement in August, is expected to stay in his position, officials said.

22.12.2018 - 21:19 [ Reuters ]

Iraqi PM discusses U.S. withdrawal from Syria with Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi that the U.S. is still committed to fighting Islamic State in Iraq and other areas despite its planned troop withdrawal from Syria, Abdul Mahdi’s office said on Saturday.

22.12.2018 - 18:09 [ CommonDreams.org ]

Jeremy Scahill’s Top 10 Takeaways on Mattis Exit and Possible US Withdrawal From Syria and Afghanistan

„This is an opportunity for progressive forces to assert an alternative vision for U.S. foreign policy.“

22.12.2018 - 18:01 [ The Young Turks / Youtube ]

War In Afghanistan Ending?

Is the war in Afghanistan about to be over? Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

22.12.2018 - 15:15 [ Tulsi Gabbard, Abgeordnete im US Repräsentantenhauses / Twitter ]

The hysterical reaction to the decision to withdraw troops from Syria is astonishing & shows just how attached to war some are. Lindsey Graham & others want us to continue our regime change war in Syria and to go to war with Iran. That’s why they’re so upset.

22.12.2018 - 15:08 [ Brasco_Aad ‏/ Twitter ]

Wow “All US State Department personnel are being evacuated from Syria within 24 hours.“ | US official. The CIA is also leaving Syria.

(19.12.2018)

21.12.2018 - 15:49 [ Antiwar.com ]

Jimmy Dore Slams Liberal Hawks on Syria

Jimmy Dore is fantastic! Listen to him skewer liberal hawks on Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria:

21.12.2018 - 15:46 [ Antiwar.com ]

Trump To End Unconstitutional Syria War – Washington Heads Are Exploding

The warmongering Left has joined forces with the neocons to demand that President Trump reverse course in his recent decision to pull US troops from Syria. Neocons claim that ISIS will increase with the US absence, but it was the very US intervention in the region – that they supported – that led to the rise of extremist and terrorist groups. Meanwhile, some principled progressives are putting politics aside to praise the president’s move.

21.12.2018 - 15:36 [ New York Times ]

U.S. to Withdraw About 7,000 Troops From Afghanistan, Officials Say

President Trump made the decision to pull the troops — about half the number the United States has in Afghanistan now — at the same time he decided to pull American forces out of Syria, one official said.

The announcement came hours after Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense, said that he would resign from his position at the end of February after disagreeing with the president over his approach to policy in the Middle East.

21.12.2018 - 05:20 [ theglobalcoalition.org ]

79 Partners united in defeating Daesh.

The Global Coalition against Daesh was formed in September 2014 and is unique in its membership, scope and commitment.

20.12.2018 - 20:30 [ BBC ]

Morocco murders: Three arrested over ‚bestial‘ tourist killings

Moroccan news outlet 2M said they were shepherds, and had been arrested in the city of Marrakesh on Thursday morning.

After the prime minister’s statement, Denmark’s PET intelligence agency said it was investigating a video circulating online, which appeared to show one of the two women being murdered.

19.12.2018 - 20:37 [ Antiwar.com ]

Trump Shocker: ‘We’re Leaving Syria!’ Does He Mean It?

After a leak in the Wall Street Journal suggested a major reversal in US policy in Syria, President Trump confirmed in a Tweet this morning that the US was withdrawing from Syria. Starting immediately. Will the president follow through? What will the neocons do? Is there another false-flag danger? On today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

19.12.2018 - 20:36 [ Nick Paton Walsh / CNN ]

Trump is leaving the fight against ISIS (and influence in the Middle East) to Russia and Iran

Over 2,000 American special forces in the north of Syria, fighting the fight against ISIS, but also providing a significant bang for their buck.
But to widespread surprise, US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that the US intends to rapidly withdraw from Syria.

14.12.2018 - 10:52 [ Socialist News Time ‏/ Twitter ]

The Gilet Jaunes are planning a fifth wave of protests Saturday, despite calls from the government to stop after the Strasbourg shooting.

23.11.2018 - 08:27 [ Times of Israel ]

Ya’alon: I would prefer Islamic State to Iran in Syria

(19.1.2016) Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday that Iran poses a greater threat than the Islamic State, and that if the Syrian regime were to fall, Israel would prefer that IS was in control of the territory than an Iranian proxy.

“In Syria, if the choice is between Iran and the Islamic State, I choose the Islamic State. They don’t have the capabilities that Iran has,” Ya’alon told a conference held by the Institute of National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

23.11.2018 - 08:24 [ Haaretz ]

Israeli Defense Chief Met With Syrian Operatives During Civil War, Top Retired IDF General Says

Maj. Gen. Gershon Hacohen, a former IDF General Staff Corps commander, said this week that former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon met during his tenure with Syrian operatives during the war between the Assad regime and the rebels. Since the civil war in Syria broke out, Israel has denied any connection to what was going on there or that it had taken a side. Hacohen says he was present during the meeting.

23.11.2018 - 08:12 [ Nasdaq.com ]

Hamas publishes photos of raid „fugitives“; Israeli censor warns media

Israel’s military censor, without commenting on the credibility of Hamas’s information, urged the media not to disseminate any details about the Nov. 11 incident in which an Israeli colonel, a Hamas commander and six other Palestinian militants were killed.

22.11.2018 - 21:14 [ Times of India ]

‚David Coleman Headley is a master liar‘

(12.4.2018) It was extremely difficult to play David Cole Headley because he is a very broken person; someone who lied throughout his whole life hurting and manipulating everyone he ever knew. I have had to truly explore this from the inside out. To play him honestly, I have had to delve into what the meaning of truth and lies really is and how do we as individuals define these things.

Is he a person with many shades to his personality?

David Coleman Headly is a master liar, with countless shades. He knows how to reflect back to each person a version of himself that he knows that will correspond with that person.

22.11.2018 - 21:12 [ csmonitor.com ]

David Headley pleads guilty in 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack

(18.3.2010) The agreement, announced in federal court in Chicago, is contingent on Mr. Headley’s full cooperation with US intelligence officials and prosecutors. Under sentencing guidelines he could receive a prison term of up to life in prison. But his prison time could be reduced based on the value of his cooperation.

Headley’s plea agreement says he’s been cooperating with US officials since his arrest in October 2009, and that he has already provided “substantial assistance.”

20.11.2018 - 10:15 [ IWN ‏/ Twitter ]

Al Safa Volcanic Field in Southern #Syria Liberated from #ISIS + Video Most likely, ISIS terrorists have retreated to the 55-kilometer Al-Tanf zone which is under American surveillance, or some have escaped to the northern deserts.

19.11.2018 - 06:41 [ Seymour Hersh / New Yorker ]

Preparing the Battlefield

(Juli 2008) The covert operations set forth in the Finding essentially run parallel to those of a secret military task force, now operating in Iran, that is under the control of JSOC. Under the Bush Administration’s interpretation of the law, clandestine military activities, unlike covert C.I.A. operations, do not need to be depicted in a Finding, because the President has a constitutional right to command combat forces in the field without congressional interference. But the borders between operations are not always clear: in Iran, C.I.A. agents and regional assets have the language skills and the local knowledge to make contacts for the JSOC operatives, and have been working with them to direct personnel, matériel, and money into Iran from an obscure base in western Afghanistan. As a result, Congress has been given only a partial view of how the money it authorized may be used. One of JSOC’s task-force missions, the pursuit of “high-value targets,” was not directly addressed in the Finding. There is a growing realization among some legislators that the Bush Administration, in recent years, has conflated what is an intelligence operation and what is a military one in order to avoid fully informing Congress about what it is doing.

19.11.2018 - 06:32 [ CNN ]

Architect of bin Laden raid: Trump ‚threatens the Constitution‘ when he attacks the media

„I did not back Hillary Clinton or anyone else,“ McRaven, who oversaw the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, told CNN. „I am a fan of President Obama and President George W. Bush, both of whom I worked for. I admire all presidents, regardless of their political party, who uphold the dignity of the office and who use that office to bring the nation together in challenging times.“

12.11.2018 - 19:31 [ OttawaCitizen.com ]

Military contractor received $1.6 billion to advise Afghans but results unknown

(31.10.2018) The U.S. government’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found that since 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense has awarded four contracts, worth $1.62 billion U.S., to DynCorp International to provide contract advisors at Afghan MOD and MOI. Two of these contracts, worth $421 million, are ongoing and expected to end in November 2018.
And the results?

12.11.2018 - 07:15 [ Haaretz ]

Israeli Army Confirms One Officer Killed, Another Wounded During Gaza Raid

Palestinian officials said the group of Hamas men were fired at from a passing car.

Palestinian sources told Haaretz that one of the casualties is Nur Barake, a deputy commander of an elite unit of Iz al-Din al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas. According to a statement from Hamas‘ military wing, Israeli forces entered Gaza in a civilian vehicle three kilometers east of Khan Yunis. The exchange of fire began after Israeli soldiers kiled Barake.

06.11.2018 - 06:05 [ Business Insider ]

Here’s how ISIS still has access to the global financial system

(24.März 2015) Targeting the group’s finances has therefore become one of the anti-ISIS coalition’s five primary lines of effort. On March 19-20, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Italy co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the Counter-ISIL Finance Group in Rome.

The first goal laid out in the group’s action plan is to prevent the self-styled Islamic State from using „the international financial system, including unregulated money remitters.“

04.11.2018 - 15:23 [ Washington Post ]

Israel’s Netanyahu warns Europe of possible attacks by Iran

(1.11.2018) Speaking to reporters Thursday after talks with his Bulgarian counterpart, Netanyahu said radical Islam is a threat to the world, and that Israel has recently revealed a number of Iranian plots to carry out attacks on European soil.

04.11.2018 - 12:57 [ LA Times ]

Secret Plan Outlines the Unthinkable

(10.März 2002) WASHINGTON — The Bush administration, in a secret policy review completed early this year, has ordered the Pentagon to draft contingency plans for the use of nuclear weapons against at least seven countries, naming not only Russia and the „axis of evil“–Iraq, Iran, and North Korea–but also China, Libya and Syria.

In addition, the U.S. Defense Department has been told to prepare for the possibility that nuclear weapons may be required in some future Arab-Israeli crisis. And, it is to develop plans for using nuclear weapons to retaliate against chemical or biological attacks, as well as „surprising military developments“ of an unspecified nature.

04.11.2018 - 12:48 [ New York Times ]

A DAY OF TERROR: THE ISRAELIS; Spilled Blood Is Seen as Bond That Draws 2 Nations Closer

(12.September 2001) Asked tonight what the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, replied, “It’s very good.“ Then he edited himself: “Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.“ He predicted that the attack would “strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we’ve experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.“

04.11.2018 - 12:07 [ Haaretz ]

23 Years After Yitzhak Rabin’s Assassination, Thousands Gather in Tel Aviv for Mass Memorial Rally

Meretz Chairwoman Tamar Zandberg, who was later added to the list of speakers, addressed the rally, saying Rabin’s assassination was „the best political assassination in history.“ If this evening doesn’t get us to act, then Yigal Amir will keep smiling for another year, she said in reference to Rabin’s murderer.

30.10.2018 - 19:53 [ Newsweek ]

Israel’s Chief Rabbi Under Fire for Refusing to Call Pittsburgh Terror Attack Site a Synagogue Because It’s Not Orthodox

The Tree of Life Synagogue has a conservative congregation, and the ultra-Orthodox community does not recognize non-Orthodox movements of Judaism.

The Times of Israel described the ultra-Orthodox Lau as an „avowed foe“ of more liberal streams of Judaism. He was reportedly key in pushing the government to renege on a deal for an egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall.