Tag Archives: Al Qaeda

Who Is Fighting the War on Terror? – An Analysis (14 September 2015)

by Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses

Part I – Varying Goals

Back on 1 May 2015 I wrote an analysis on “Changing Alliances and the National Interest in the Middle East.” In this piece, which can be found on my website, tothepointanalyses.com, I made the argument that, at least since September 2001 and the declaration of the “war on terror,” the defeat of al-Qaeda and its affiliates has been a publicly stated national interest of the United States. This certainly has been the way it has been presented by almost continuous government pronouncements and media stories dedicated to this “war” over the years. 

Given this goal, it logically follows that, with the evolution of al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations such as the so-called Islamic State (aka ISIS or Daesh) and Jabhat al Nusra (aka al-Qaeda in Syria), those who also seek the destruction of such groups are America’s de facto allies in the “war on terror” and warrant our assistance. Likewise, those who openly or clandestinely support these religious fanatics are opponents of a central U.S. national interest, and their relationship with the United States should at least be open to review. 

Then comes the shocker. Who has been and continues to actively oppose these al-Qaeda derivatives with soldiers on the ground? It turns out to be, among others, Iran, Hezbollah and Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government. Who are clandestinely aiding the al-Qaeda enemies of Washington? It turns out to be Israel and Saudi Arabia. …

continue reading at To the Point Analyses

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‘Imagine the Worst’: Why a Guantanamo Prosecutor Withdrew From the Case

By Jess Bravin, The Atlantic, 11 February 13

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Couch truly believed Mohamedou Ould Slahi was guilty. He also believed that Slahi’s interrogators had broken the law – tormenting him physically and sexually, and threatening the gang-rape of his mother.

Stuart Couch had been waiting nearly two years to start this job. He had been waiting since September 11, 2001.

Couch, a lieutenant colonel in the United States Marine Corps, was a military prosecutor. When President George W. Bush decreed that the 9/11 perpetrators would face trial by military commission, a form of martial justice last used against German and Japanese war criminals following World War II, Couch had volunteered for the mission.

Arriving at Guantanamo in October 2003…

[fast-forwarding to the end of the article]
…Couch sent Swann a memorandum. “Due to legal, ethical, and moral issues arising from past interrogations of this detainee, I refuse to be associated with any further prosecution efforts against him,” it said. “As a legal matter, I am of the opinion these techniques violate provisions of the 1984 United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and any statements produced by them should be excluded as evidence against this detainee pursuant to Article 15 of the Convention. If these techniques are deemed to be ‘torture’ under the Convention, then they would also constitute criminal violations of the War Crimes Act, 18 U.S. C. §2441.”

In other words, the interrogators should be prosecuted. Couch continued:

“As an ethical matter, I opine that the interrogation techniques utilized with this detainee are discoverable by defense counsel, as they relate to the credibility of any statements given by him. As discoverable material, I have an ethical duty to disclose such material to the defense.

“As a practical matter, I am morally opposed to the interrogation techniques employed with this detainee and for that reason alone, refuse to participate in his prosecution in any manner.”

Read the full article at The Atlantic

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Exclusive Investigation: The Truth Behind the Official Story of Finding Bin Laden

By Gareth Porter, Truthout, 5/3/12

A few days after US Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden in a raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a “senior intelligence official” briefing reporters on the materials seized from bin Laden’s compound said the materials revealed that bin Laden had, “continued to direct even tactical details of the group’s management.” Bin Laden was, “not just a strategic thinker for the group,” said the official. “He was active in operational planning and in driving tactical decisions.” The official called the bin Laden compound, “an active command and control center.”

The senior intelligence official triumphantly called the discovery of bin Laden’s hideout, “the greatest intelligence success perhaps of a generation,” and administration officials could not resist leaking to reporters that a key element in that success was that the CIA interrogators had gotten the name of bin Laden’s trusted courier from al-Qaeda detainees at Guantanamo. CIA Director Leon Panetta was quite willing to leave the implication that some of the information had been obtained from detainees by “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Such was the official line at the time. But none of it was true. It is now clear that CIA officials were blatantly misrepresenting both bin Laden’s role in al-Qaeda when he was killed and how the agency came to focus on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

In fact, during his six years in Abbottabad, bin Laden was not the functioning head of al-Qaeda at all, but an isolated figurehead who had become irrelevant to the actual operations of the organization. The real story, told here for the first time, is that bin Laden was in the compound in Abbottabad because he had been forced into exile by the al-Qaeda leadership.

The CIA’s claim that it found bin Laden on its own is equally false. In fact, the intensive focus on the compound in Abbottabad was the result of crucial intelligence provided by the Pakistani intelligence agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)….

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It’s Raining Trillions: Why The US Won’t Leave Afghanistan

By Pepe Escobar, Information Clearing House, 7/13/11

Surge, bribe and run? Or surge, bribe and stay? How US military bases and the energy war play out in Afghanistan.

July 13, 2011 “Al Jazeera” – Among multiple layers of deception and newspeak, the official Washington spin on the strategic quagmire in Afghanistan simply does not hold.

No more than “50-75 ‘al-Qaeda types’ in Afghanistan”, according to the CIA, have been responsible for draining the US government by no less than US $10 billion a month, or $120 billion a year.

At the same time, outgoing US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been adamant that withdrawing troops from Afghanistan is “premature”. The Pentagon wants the White House to “hold off on ending the Afghanistan troop surge until the fall of 2012.”

That of course shadows the fact that even if there were a full draw down, the final result would be the same number of US troops before the Obama administration-ordered AfPak surge.

And even if there is some sort of draw down, it will mostly impact troops in supporting roles – which can be easily replaced by “private contractors” (euphemism for mercenaries). There are already over 100,000 “private contractors” in Afghanistan.

It’s raining trillions

A recent, detailed study by the Eisenhower Research Project at Brown University revealed that the war on terror has cost the US economy, so far, from $3.7 trillion (the most conservative estimate) to $4.4 trillion (the moderate estimate). Then there are interest payments on these costs – another $1 trillion.

That makes the total cost of the war on terror to be, at least, a staggering $5.4 trillion. And that does not include, as the report mentions, “additional macroeconomic consequences of war spending”, or a promised (and undelivered) $5.3 billion reconstruction aid for Afghanistan.

Who’s profiting from this bonanza? That’s easy – US military contractors and a global banking/financial elite.

The notion that the US government would spend $10 billion a month just to chase a few “al-Qaeda types” in the Hindu Kush is nonsense.

The Pentagon itself has dismissed the notion – insisting that just capturing and killing Osama bin Laden does not change the equation; the Taliban are still a threat.

In numerous occasions Taliban leader Mullah Omar himself has characterised his struggle as a “nationalist movement”. Apart from the historical record showing that Washington always fears and fights nationalist movements, Omar’s comment also shows that the Taliban strategy has nothing to do with al-Qaeda’s aim of establishing a Caliphate via global jihad.

So al-Qaeda is not the major enemy – not anymore, nor has it been for quite some time now. This is a war between a superpower and a fierce, nationalist, predominantly Pashtun movement – of which the Taliban are a major strand; regardless of their medieval ways, they are fighting a foreign occupation and doing what they can to undermine a puppet regime (Hamid Karzai’s).

Look at my bankruptcy model

In the famous November 1, 2004 video that played a crucial part in assuring the reelection of George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden – or a clone of Osama bin Laden – once again expanded on how the “mujahedeen bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat.”

That’s the exact same strategy al-Qaeda has deployed against the US….

continue reading at Information Clearing House

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