War News Stories
Excerpts of Key War News Stories in Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important war news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their mainstream media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These war news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


War News stories


Note: This comprehensive list of war news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.

Federal court rejects CIA's denial of drone strikes as 'fiction'
2013-03-15, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2013-03-25 16:01:07
http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-court-cia-drone-20130315,0,1257923...

A federal appeals court said [on March 15] that it will no longer accept the “fiction” from the Obama administration’s lawyers that the CIA has no interest in or documents that describe drone strikes. “It is neither logical nor plausible for the CIA to maintain that it would reveal anything not already in the public domain to say the Agency at least has an intelligence interest in such strikes,” said Chief Judge Merrick Garland. “The defendant is, after all, the Central Intelligence Agency.” The decision gave a partial victory to the American Civil Liberties Union in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that seeks documents on the government’s still-secret policy on drone strikes. The three judges ... rejected the administration’s position that it could simply refuse to “confirm or deny” that it had any such documents. A federal judge had rejected the ACLU’s suit entirely, but the three-judge appeals court revived the suit. The agency’s non-response does not pass the “straight face” test, Garland concluded. He cited public statements from President Obama, new CIA Director John Brennan and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that discussed the use of drone strikes abroad. “In this case, the CIA has asked the courts ... to give their imprimatur to a fiction of deniability that no reasonable person would regard as plausible,” Garland wrote in ACLU vs. CIA. ACLU attorney Jameel Jaffer called the decision a victory. “It requires the government to retire the absurd claim that the CIA’s interest in targeted killing is a secret,” he said. “It also means that the CIA will have to explain what records it is withholding and on what grounds it is withholding them."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the lies required to sustain the illegal US/UK wars of aggression in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, click here.




UN: Pakistan 'does not sanction' US drone strikes
2013-03-15, BBC News
Posted: 2013-03-25 15:59:45
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21803391

The head of a UN team investigating US drone strikes in Pakistan has said that Islamabad does not consent to them and sees them as a territorial violation. American officials say privately that co-operation with Pakistan has not ended altogether - despite a cooling of relations - and key Pakistani military officers and civilian politicians continue to support the strikes. It is estimated that between 2004 and 2013, CIA drone attacks in Pakistan killed up to 3,460 people. About 890 of them were civilians and the vast majority of strikes were carried out under the President Barack Obama's administration. "The position of the government of Pakistan is quite clear," Mr Emmerson said on Friday. "It does not consent to the use of drones by the United States on its territory and it considers this to be a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity." The drone campaign "involves the use of force on the territory of another state without its consent", he said. Furthermore Pakistan believes that drone strikes are radicalising a new generation of militants, he said, when it was capable of fighting Islamist extremists in the country by itself. The UN special rapporteur said that as a matter of international law, drone strikes were only lawful if they took place at the express request of the country concerned.

Note: Why are these drone strikes allowed to continue when Pakistan clear opposes them and when there is not doubt many civilians are killed? For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.




U.S. Air Force stops reporting data on Afghan drone strikes
2013-03-10, NBC News/Reuters
Posted: 2013-03-19 09:21:34
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/51122184/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia

With debate intensifying in the United States over the use of drone aircraft, the U.S. military said ... that it had removed data about air strikes carried out by unmanned planes in Afghanistan from its monthly air power summaries. U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has increasingly used drones to target against ... militants overseas. The debate was intensified by Obama's decision to nominate his chief counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan, an architect of the drone campaign, as the new director of the CIA. Brennan was sworn into office on [March 8] following a protracted confirmation battle that saw Senator Rand Paul attempt to block a vote on the nomination with a technical maneuver called a filibuster, in which he tried to prevent a vote by talking continuously. Paul held the Senate floor for more than 12 hours while talking mainly about drones, expressing concern that Obama's administration might use the aircraft to target U.S. citizens on home soil.

Note: For a disturbing report on the massive expansion of drones over US skies, click here.




Court Docs Reveal Blackwater’s Secret CIA Past
2013-03-14, The Daily Beast/Newsweek
Posted: 2013-03-19 09:19:54
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/14/exclusive-erik-prince-on-bla...

Last month a three-year-long federal prosecution of Blackwater collapsed. The government’s 15-felony indictment—on such charges as conspiring to hide purchases of automatic rifles and other weapons from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives—could have led to years of jail time for Blackwater personnel. In the end, however, the government got only misdemeanor guilty pleas by two former executives, each of whom were sentenced to four months of house arrest, three years’ probation, and a fine of $5,000. Prosecutors dropped charges against three other executives named in the suit and abandoned the felony charges altogether. But the most noteworthy thing about the largely failed prosecution wasn’t the outcome. It was the tens of thousands of pages of documents—some declassified—that the litigation left in its wake. These documents illuminate Blackwater’s defense strategy: to defeat the charges it was facing, Blackwater built a case not only that it worked with the CIA—which was already widely known—but that it was in many ways an extension of the agency itself. [CEO Erik] Prince [said] recently, “Blackwater’s work with the CIA began when we provided specialized instructors and facilities that the Agency lacked. In the years that followed, the company became a virtual extension of the CIA because we were asked time and again to carry out dangerous missions, which the Agency either could not or would not do in-house.”

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the growing privatization of intelligence agency functions, click here.




How the US public was defrauded by the hidden cost of the Iraq war
2013-03-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-03-19 09:18:18
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/11/us-public-defrauded-hidde...

When the US invaded Iraq in March 2003, the Bush administration estimated that it would cost $50-60bn to overthrow Saddam Hussein and establish a functioning government. This estimate was catastrophically wrong: the war in Iraq has cost $823.2bn between 2003 and 2011. Some estimates suggest that it may eventually cost as much as $3.7tn when ... the long-term costs of caring for the wounded and the families of those killed [are factored in]. The most striking fact about the cost of the war in Iraq has been the extent to which it has been kept "off the books" of the government's ledgers and hidden from the American people. This was done by design. The most obvious way in which the true cost of this war was kept hidden was with the use of supplemental appropriations to fund the occupation. By one estimate, 70% of the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2008 were funded with supplemental or emergency appropriations approved outside the Pentagon's annual budget. With the Iraq war treated as an "off the books" expense, the Pentagon was allowed to keep spending on high-end military equipment and cutting-edge technology. The Bush administration masked the cost of the war with deficit spending to ensure that the American people would not face up to its costs while President Bush was in office. [It] encouraged the American people to keep spending and "enjoy life", while the government paid for the occupation of Iraq on a credit card they hoped never to have to repay.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.




President Could, In Theory, Order Drone Strike Inside U.S., Holder Says
2013-03-05, NPR
Posted: 2013-03-12 09:24:57
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/03/05/173572444/president-could-in-t...

Attorney General Eric Holder has said in a letter to Sen. Rand Paul that the president could in an "entirely hypothetical" situation authorize the military to use lethal force within U.S. territory. The letter to Paul came in response to three inquiries the Kentucky Republican sent to John Brennan, President Obama's nominee for CIA director. Paul's letters asked if it was legal for the U.S. government to use lethal force, including in the form of drone strikes, on Americans inside the country. Here's Holder's response, in part: "As members of this Administration have previously indicated, the U.S. government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so. The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no President will ever have to confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. For example, the President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the loss of civil liberties in the US, click here.




Rand Paul filibusters vote on CIA director nominee John Brennan over drones
2013-03-06, CBS News
Posted: 2013-03-12 09:22:24
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57572883/rand-paul-filibusters-vote-on-ci...

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is filibustering the nomination of John Brennan to be director of the CIA, delivering a protracted speech on the Senate floor in protest of the Obama administration's controversial drone program, of which Brennan has been a key architect. Paul, speaking during the debate surrounding Brennan's nomination on the Senate floor, said he would "speak until I can no longer speak" in order to get his point across. "I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court," he said. Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder clarified to Paul in a letter that the U.S. drone policy does authorize the use of military force on against Americans on U.S. soil in cases of "extraordinary circumstance." Paul, a longstanding opponent of the administration's controversial targeted killing policy, expressed his outrage in a statement following his receipt of the letter and continued that tirade on the floor today. "That Americans could be killed in a cafe in San Francisco or in a restaurant in Houston or at their home in bowling green, Kentucky, is an abomination," Paul said. "I object to people becoming so fearful they gradually give up their rights."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the loss of civil liberties in the US, click here.




Three Democratic myths used to demean the Paul filibuster
2013-03-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-03-12 09:20:49
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/10/paul-filibuster-drones-pr...

Commencing immediately upon the 9/11 attack, the US government ... has spent 12 straight years inventing and implementing new theories of government power in the name of Terrorism. Every year since 9/11 has ushered in increased authorities of exactly the type Americans are inculcated to believe only exist in those other, non-free societies: ubiquitous surveillance, impenetrable secrecy, and the power to imprison and even kill without charges or due process. The Obama administration has already exercised the power to target even its own citizens for execution far from any battlefield. [This] has prompted almost no institutional resistance from the structures designed to check executive abuses: courts, the media, and Congress. Last week's 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan's confirmation as CIA director by GOP Sen. Rand Paul was one of the first ... Congressional efforts to dramatize and oppose just how radical these Terrorism-justified powers have become. For the first time since the 9/11 attack, even lowly cable news shows were forced ... to extensively discuss the government's extremist theories of power. All of this put Democrats ... in a very uncomfortable position. The politician who took such a unique stand in defense of these principles was not merely a Republican but a leading member of its dreaded Tea Party wing. Some Democrats, to their credit, publicly supported Paul. But most Democratic Senators ran away as fast as possible from having anything to do with the debate. Paul was doing nothing more than voicing concerns that have long been voiced by leading civil liberties groups such as the ACLU. But almost without exception, progressives who defend Obama's Terrorism policies steadfastly ignore the fact that they are embracing policies that are vehemently denounced by the ACLU.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the loss of civil liberties in the US, click here.




Revealed: Pentagon's link to Iraqi torture centres
2013-03-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-03-12 09:17:27
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/06/pentagon-iraqi-torture-centres-link

The Pentagon sent a US veteran of the "dirty wars" in Central America to oversee sectarian police commando units in Iraq that set up secret detention and torture centres to get information from insurgents. These units conducted some of the worst acts of torture during the US occupation and accelerated the country's descent into full-scale civil war. Colonel James Steele was a 58-year-old retired special forces veteran when he was nominated by Donald Rumsfeld to help organise the paramilitaries in an attempt to quell a Sunni insurgency. After the Pentagon lifted a ban on Shia militias joining the security forces, the Special Police Commando (SPC) membership was increasingly drawn from ... Shia groups such as the Badr brigades. A second special adviser, retired Colonel James H Coffman, worked alongside Steele in detention centres that were set up with millions of dollars of US funding. Coffman reported directly to General David Petraeus, sent to Iraq in June 2004 to organise and train the new Iraqi security forces. Steele, who was in Iraq from 2003 to 2005, and returned to the country in 2006, reported directly to Rumsfeld. The allegations, made by US and Iraqi witnesses in the Guardian/BBC documentary ["James Steele: America's Mystery Man in Iraq"], implicate US advisers for the first time in the human rights abuses committed by the commandos. It is also the first time that Petraeus – who last November was forced to resign as director of the CIA after a sex scandal – has been linked through an adviser to this abuse.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on war crimes committed by the US and UK in their post-9/11 wars of aggression, click here.




The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking
2013-03-03, New York Times
Posted: 2013-03-05 09:22:02
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/sunday-review/the-holocaust-just-got-more-s...

Researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945. The documented camps include not only “killing centers” but also thousands of forced labor camps, where prisoners manufactured war supplies; prisoner-of-war camps; sites euphemistically named “care” centers, where pregnant women were forced to have abortions or their babies were killed after birth; and brothels, where women were coerced into having sex with German military personnel. Auschwitz and a handful of other concentration camps have come to symbolize the Nazi killing machine in the public consciousness. Likewise, the Nazi system for imprisoning Jewish families in hometown ghettos has become associated with a single site — the Warsaw Ghetto, famous for the 1943 uprising. But these sites, infamous though they are, represent only a minuscule fraction of the entire German network, the new research makes painfully clear. The maps the researchers have created to identify the camps and ghettos turn wide sections of wartime Europe into black clusters of death, torture and slavery — centered in Germany and Poland, but reaching in all directions. The lead editors on the project, Geoffrey Megargee and Martin Dean, estimate that 15 million to 20 million people died or were imprisoned in the sites that they have identified as part of a multivolume encyclopedia.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on crimes committed in wars of aggression, click here.




I did it to make the world a better place: Manning
2013-03-01, Sydney Morning Herald/New York Times
Posted: 2013-03-05 09:20:20
http://www.smh.com.au/world/i-did-it-to-make-the-world-a-better-place-manning...

Bradley Manning has confessed in open court to providing vast archives of military and diplomatic files to the antisecrecy group WikiLeaks, saying he wanted the information to become public "to make the world a better place". Appearing before a military judge for more than an hour on [Feb. 28], Private Manning read a statement recounting how he joined the military, became an intelligence analyst in Iraq, decided that certain documents should become known to the American public to prompt a wider debate about the Iraq War, and ultimately uploaded them to WikiLeaks. Before reading the statement, he pleaded guilty to 10 criminal counts in connection with the leak, which included videos of airstrikes in Iraq and Afghanistan in which civilians were killed, logs of military incident reports, assessment files of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and 250,000 diplomatic cables. The guilty pleas exposed him to up to 20 years in prison. But the case against the slightly built, bespectacled 25-year-old – who has become a folk hero among antiwar and whistleblower advocacy groups – is not over. In a riveting personal history, Private Manning portrayed himself as thinking carefully about the categories of information he was divulging, excluding the sort that would harm the United States. He said he was initially concerned about diplomatic cables in particular, but after doing research learned that the most sensitive ones were not placed into the database to which he had access, and he concluded that those might prove "embarrassing" but would not cause harm.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on crimes committed in wars of aggression, click here.




Bradley Manning: the face of heroism
2013-02-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-03-05 09:18:43
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/28/bradley-manning-heroism-p...

If Bradley Manning did what he is accused of doing, then he is a consummate hero, and deserves a medal and our collective gratitude, not decades in prison. At his court-martial proceeding [today] in Fort Meade, Manning ... pleaded guilty to having been the source of the most significant leaks to WikiLeaks. He also pleaded not guilty to 12 of the 22 counts, including the most serious - the capital offense of "aiding and abetting the enemy", which could send him to prison for life - on the ground that nothing he did was intended to nor did it result in harm to US national security. The US government will now almost certainly proceed with its attempt to prosecute him on those remaining counts. Spencer Ackerman was there and reported: "Manning's motivation in leaking, he said, was to 'spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and foreign policy in general', he said, and 'cause society to reevaluate the need and even desire to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore their effect on people who live in that environment every day.' Manning is absolutely right when he said today that the documents he leaked "are some of the most significant documents of our time". They revealed a multitude of previously secret crimes and acts of deceit and corruption by the world's most powerful factions. Journalists and even some government officials have repeatedly concluded that any actual national security harm from his leaks is minimal if it exists at all. To this day, the documents Manning just admitted having leaked play a prominent role in the ability of journalists around the world to inform their readers about vital events.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on crimes committed in wars of aggression, click here.




How the Bush administration sold the war – and we bought it
2013-02-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-03-05 09:17:20
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/27/bush-administration-sold-...

It has been 10 long years since "Shock and Awe" – the opening bombardment of Baghdad – lit up the skies above the Tigris. Have we learned the lessons of that disastrous period? And what were those lessons? For nearly a year prior to the invasion, President Bush and his administration peppered the airwaves with serious accusations against Saddam Hussein. The intelligence supporting the claims was either not believed, or was highly disputed, by the experts. As a covert CIA operations officer working frantically in the months before the war to find and verify hard intelligence about Iraq's presumed WMD program, Valerie [Plame] was keenly interested in watching Secretary of State Colin Powell address the United Nations on 6 February 2003. As [she] watched the speech unfold on TV from CIA headquarters that morning, she experienced what can only be described as "cognitive dissonance". It became clear, as Powell laid out the case for war ... that his robust claims about the state of Iraqi WMD simply did not match the intelligence which she had worked on daily for months. Powell's claim from a discredited defector code-named "Curveball" on Iraq's biological weapons capability was particularly alarming. Valerie knew that "Curveball" had been deemed a "fabricator" by the agency, meaning that none of his intelligence could be believed. The implications suddenly become obvious: we were watching a kabuki play and the outcome was predetermined. The Bush administration was determined to go to war, however bad the intelligence, and not even Secretary of State Powell was going to stand in the way.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on crimes committed in wars of aggression, click here.




British terror suspects quietly stripped of citizenship… then killed by drones
2013-02-28, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-03-05 09:15:32
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/british-terror-suspects-quietly-st...

The Government has secretly ramped up a controversial programme that strips people of their British citizenship on national security grounds – with two of the men subsequently killed by American drone attacks. Since 2010, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, has revoked the passports of 16 individuals, many of whom are alleged to have had links to militant or terrorist groups. Critics of the programme warn that it allows ministers to “wash their hands” of British nationals suspected of terrorism who could be subject to torture and illegal detention abroad. They add that it also allows those stripped of their citizenship to be killed or “rendered” without any onus on the British Government to intervene. At least five of those deprived of their UK nationality ... were born in Britain, and one man had lived in the country for almost 50 years. Those affected have their passports cancelled, and lose their right to enter the UK – making it very difficult to appeal. The leading human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce said the present situation “smacked of mediaeval exile, just as cruel and just as arbitrary”. Ian Macdonald QC, the president of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association, described the citizenship orders as “sinister”. “It’s not open government; it’s closed, and it needs to be exposed.” Government officials act when people are out of the country – on two occasions while on holiday – before cancelling passports and revoking citizenships.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on crimes committed in wars of aggression, click here.




Obama officials refuse to say if assassination power extends to US soil
2013-02-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-02-25 16:44:33
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/22/obama-brennan-paul-assass...

The Justice Department "white paper" purporting to authorize Obama's power to extrajudicially execute US citizens was leaked three weeks ago. Since then, the administration - including the president himself and his nominee to lead the CIA, John Brennan - has been repeatedly asked whether this authority extends to US soil, i.e., whether the president has the right to execute US citizens on US soil without charges. In each instance, they have refused to answer. Brennan has been asked the question several times as part of his confirmation process. Each time, he simply pretends that the question has not been asked, opting instead to address a completely different issue. It's really worth pausing to remind ourselves of how truly radical and just plainly unbelievable this all is. What's more extraordinary: that the US Senate is repeatedly asking the Obama White House whether the president has the power to secretly order US citizens on US soil executed without charges or due process, or whether the president and his administration refuse to answer? That this is the "controversy" surrounding the confirmation of the CIA director - and it's a very muted controversy at that - shows just how extreme the degradation of US political culture is.

Note: For a revealing 27-minute documentary on drones which operate in swarms and pose serious ethical questions in both peace and war, click here.




The blind theology of militarism
2013-02-17, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-02-25 16:43:11
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/The-blind-theology-of-militarism-428639...

Drone war proponents are facing inconvenient truths. This month, for instance, they are facing a new United Nations report showing that President Obama's escalation of the Afghanistan War - in part by an escalation in drone air strikes - is killing hundreds of children "due notably to reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force." Drone-war cheerleaders will no doubt find this news difficult to explain away. Sen. Angus King [justified] the drone war earlier this month. "Drones are a lot more civilized than what we used to do," he told a cable television audience. "I think it's actually a more humane weapon because it can be targeted to specific enemies and specific people." Designed to obscure mounting civilian casualties, King's phrase "humane weapon" is the crux of the larger argument. The idea is that an intensifying drone war is necessary - and even humane! - because it is more surgical than violent global ground war, which is supposedly America's only other option. In a country whose culture so often (wrongly) portrays bloodshed as the most effective problem solver, many Americans hear this now-ubiquitous drone-war argument and reflexively agree with its suppositions. By deliberately ignoring any other less violent option, drone-war proponents who employ choice-narrowing language are ... precluding America from making more prudent, informed and dispassionate national security decisions - the kind that might stop us from repeating the worst mistakes of our own history.

Note: For a revealing 27-minute documentary on drones which operate in swarms and pose serious ethical questions in both peace and war, click here.




The co-author of ‘Hubris’ on torture, secrets–and what we still don’t know
2013-02-17, MSNBC
Posted: 2013-02-25 16:41:40
http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/02/17/the-co-author-of-hubris-on-torture-secrets-and...

NBC News National Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff co-authored the best-selling book Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War with David Corn. Their book is the basis for the new MSNBC documentary, "Hubris: Selling the Iraq War". The reporting ... at a time when the movie "Zero Dark Thirty" has drawn attention to the issue, shows viewers the role that torture played in intelligence-gathering after 9/11. The real-life role of torture in pre-Iraq war intelligence, which is reported in Hubris, has far scarier implications than the Hollywood version. MSNBC: What was the single most shocking thing you discovered? [Isikoff:] I still find the Ibn Shaykh al-Libi story ... the most shocking of all. At first, he’s questioned by the FBI–then “rendered” by the CIA in early 2002 to Egypt, where he was subjected to torture: beatings [and] a mock burial. He suddenly coughed up a story–that Iraq was training al-Qaida members in chemical and biological weapons–that nobody in the U.S. intelligence community really believed. The CIA internally even wrote an assessment concluding that al-Libi was likely fabricating much of what he told the Egyptians. Yet suddenly in September 2002, the White House starts using the claim that Iraq is training al-Qaida in “poisons and gases”–a claim based entirely on al-Libi. After the war, al-Libi is returned to U.S. custody and recants the whole thing, saying he made it up because the Egyptians were torturing him. Anybody who saw "Zero Dark Thirty" and thinks it vindicates waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” should watch "Hubris".

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on torture and other war crimes committed by the US, click here.




Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans
2013-02-04, NBC News
Posted: 2013-02-12 11:26:25
http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/04/16843014-exclusive-justice-de...

A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S. The 16-page memo ... provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens. In March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.” But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a ... “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland. “The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states. Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”

Note: To read the entire 'white paper' on drone strikes on Americans, click here. For detailed analysis by a distinguished lawyer, click here.




JSOC: Obama's secret assassins
2013-02-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-02-12 11:24:57
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/03/jsoc-obama-secret-assassins

The president has a clandestine network targeting a 'kill list' justified by secret laws. How is that different than a death squad? The film Dirty Wars, which premiered at Sundance ... tracks the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), a network of highly-trained, completely unaccountable US assassins, armed with ever-expanding "kill lists". [Narrator Jeremy] Scahill and [director Rick] Rowley track this new model of US warfare that strikes at civilians and insurgents alike – in 70 countries. They interview former JSOC assassins, who are shell-shocked at how the "kill lists" they are given keep expanding, even as they eliminate more and more people. Our conventional forces are subject to international laws of war: they are accountable for crimes in courts martial; and they run according to a clear chain of command. As much as the US military may fall short of these standards at times, it is a model of lawfulness compared with JSOC, which has far greater scope to undertake the commission of extra-legal operations – and unimaginable crimes. JSOC morphs the secretive, unaccountable mercenary model of private military contracting, which Scahill identified in Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, into a hybrid with the firepower and intelligence backup of our full state resources. JSOC operates outside the traditional chain of command; it reports directly to the president of the United States. What does it means for the president to have an unaccountable paramilitary force, which can assassinate anyone anywhere in the world?

Note: For more on JSOC, click here.




To Kill an American
2013-02-06, New York Times
Posted: 2013-02-12 11:22:50
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/opinion/to-kill-an-american.html

The newly disclosed “white paper” offering a legal reasoning behind the claim that President Obama has the power to order the killing of American citizens ... coyly describes another, classified document ... that actually provided the legal justification for ordering the killing of American citizens. That document still has not been provided to Congress, despite repeated demands from lawmakers. According to the white paper, the Constitution and the Congressional authorization for the use of force after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, gave Mr. Obama the right to kill any American citizen that an “informed, high-level official” decides is a “senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or an associated force” and presents an “imminent threat of violent attack.” It never tries to define what an “informed, high-level official” might be, and the authors of the memo seem to have redefined the word “imminent” in a way that diverges sharply from its customary meaning. It takes the position that the only “oversight” needed for such a decision resides within the executive branch, and there is no need to explain the judgment to Congress, the courts or the public — or, indeed, to even acknowledge that the killing took place. The paper argues that judges and Congress don’t have the right to rule on or interfere with decisions made in the heat of combat. The white paper “is a confusing blend of self-defense and law of war concepts” said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies. “Its due process analysis is especially weak.”

Note: To read the entire 'white paper' on drone strikes on Americans, click here. For a more detailed analysis by a distinguished lawyer, click here. What this means is that if the president doesn't like someone and deems him an imminent threat, he can have that person killed and legally keep it all a secret. Is America drifting towards a police state?





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