Posts Tagged 9/11

Soldier Sues President For Fighting ISIS Without Congressional Authorization

From The New York Times:

The plaintiff, Capt. Nathan Michael Smith, an intelligence officer stationed in Kuwait, voiced strong support for fighting the Islamic State but, citing his “conscience” and his vow to uphold the Constitution, he said he believed that the conflict lacked proper authorization from Congress.

“To honor my oath, I am asking the court to tell the president that he must get proper authority from Congress, under the War Powers Resolution, to wage the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” he wrote.

The legal challenge comes after the death of the third American service member fighting the Islamic State and as Mr. Obama has decided tosignificantly expand the number of Special Operations ground troops he has deployed to Syria aid rebels there.

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Bin Laden’s Arms Dealer Released From Guatanamo

Obama Administration released Bin Laden’s arms dealer on April 4 and sent him to Senegal in West Africa.

From the Department of Defense:

On Aug. 20, 2015, the Periodic Review Board consisting of representatives from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and State; the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence determined continued law of war detention of Umar does not remain necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, Umar was recommended for transfer by consensus of the six departments and agencies comprising the Periodic Review Board. The Periodic Review Board process was established by the president’s March 7, 2011 Executive Order 13567.

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3-Star General On His Book “Why We Lost”

From NPR:

“I am a United States Army General, and I lost the Global War on Terrorism.”

Those are the frank opening words of a new book by retired Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Bolger, Why We Lost: A General’s Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Bolger continues:

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Libyan Airliners Missing

From Washington Free Beacon:

Intelligence reports of the stolen jetliners were distributed within the U.S. government over the past two weeks and included a warning that one or more of the aircraft could be used in an attack later this month on the date marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, said U.S. officials familiar with the reports.

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Pre and Post-9/11 Crises

From RAND:

The main difference between the immediate post-Cold War decade and the post-9/11 era as regards the variety of international challenges is that during that earlier period these challenges were faced and dealt with seriatim, rather than allowed to accumulate. Each of the above cited hurdles was taken, for the most part successfully, before the next was encountered. As a consequence, the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations usually had the luxury of managing only one serious crisis at a time.

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9/11 Gitmo Trial Stalls

From Military Times:

The prosecution hoped to start jury selection early next year, but that now seems impossible as a judge conducts an inquiry into the scope and possible legal implications of the apparent investigation of the defense team and legal fights loom over classified evidence from the CIA and other issues.

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Coloring Book Sparks Muslim Outrage

From Examiner.com:

Wayne Bell, the Publisher of Really Big Coloring Books, Inc., of Clayton, Missouri, says the company has seen a negative backlash against the coloring book “We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom.”

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The Myth of the End of Terrorism

This is a report from STRATFOR:

By Scott Stewart

In this week’s Geopolitical Weekly, George Friedman discussed the geopolitical cycles that change with each generation. Frequently, especially in recent years, those geopolitical cycles have intersected with changes in the way the tactic of terrorism is employed and in the actors employing it.

The Arab terrorism that began in the 1960s resulted from the Cold War and the Soviet decision to fund, train and otherwise encourage groups in the Middle East. The Soviet Union and its Middle Eastern proxies also sponsored Marxist terrorist groups in Europe and Latin America. They even backed the Japanese Red Army terrorist group. Places like South Yemen and Libya became havens where Marxist militants of many different nationalities gathered to learn terrorist tradecraft, often instructed by personnel from the Soviet KGB or the East German Stasi and from other militants.

The Cold War also spawned al Qaeda and the broader global jihadist movement as militants flocking to fight the Soviet troops who had invaded Afghanistan were trained in camps in northern Pakistan by instructors from the CIA’s Office of Technical Services and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate. Emboldened by the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, and claiming credit for the subsequent Soviet collapse, these militants decided to expand their efforts to other parts of the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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9/11 and the Successful War

9/11 and the Successful War is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By George Friedman

It has been 10 years since 9/11, and all of us who write about such things for a living are writing about it. That causes me to be wary. I prefer being the lonely voice, but the fact is that 9/11 was a defining moment in American history. On Sept. 12, 2001, few would have anticipated the course the resulting war would take — but then, few knew what to think. The nation was in shock. In retrospect, many speak with great wisdom about what should have been thought about 9/11 at the time and what should have been done in its aftermath. I am always interested in looking at what people actually said and did at the time.

The country was in shock, and shock was a reasonable response. The country was afraid, and fear was a reasonable response. Ten years later, we are all much wiser and sure that our wisdom was there from the beginning. But the truth is that, in retrospect, we know we would have done things superbly had we the authority. Few of us are being honest with ourselves. We were all shocked and frightened. Our wisdom came much later, when it had little impact. Yes, if we knew then what we know now we would have all bought Google stock. But we didn’t know things then that we know now, so it is all rather pointless to lecture those who had decisions to make in the midst of chaos.

Some wars are carefully planned, but even those wars rarely take place as expected. Think of the Germans in World War I, having planned the invasion of France for decades and with meticulous care. Nothing went as planned for either side, and the war did not take a course that was anticipated by anyone. Wars occur at unpredictable times, take unpredictable courses and have unexpected consequences. Who expected the American Civil War to take the course it did? We have been second-guessing Lincoln and Davis, Grant and Lee and all the rest for more than a century.

This particular war — the one that began on 9/11 and swept into Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries — is hard to second-guess because there are those who do not think it is a war. Some people, including President George W. Bush, seem to regard it as a criminal conspiracy. When Bush started talking about bringing al Qaeda to justice, he was talking about bringing them before the bar of justice. Imagine trying to arrest British sailors for burning Washington. War is not about bringing people to justice. It is about destroying their ability to wage war. The contemporary confusion between warfare and criminality creates profound confusion about the rules under which you operate. There are the rules of war as set forth in the Geneva Conventions, and there are criminal actions. The former are designed to facilitate the defense of national interests and involve killing people because of the uniform they wear. The latter is about punishing people for prior action. I have never sorted through what it was that the Bush administration thought it was doing.

This entire matter is made more complex by the fact that al Qaeda doesn’t wear a uniform. Under the Geneva Conventions, there is no protection for those who do not openly carry weapons or wear uniforms or at least armbands. They are regarded as violating the rules of war. If they are not protected by the rules of war then they must fall under criminal law by default. But criminal law is not really focused on preventing acts so much as it is on punishing them. And as satisfying as it is to capture someone who did something, the real point of the U.S. response to 9/11 was to prevent anyone else from doing something — killing and capturing people who have not done anything yet but who might. Read the rest of this entry »

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Transcript Of President’s Speech – Osama bin Laden Killed

President of the United States:
“Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts. Read the rest of this entry »

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The 9/11 Anniversary and What Didn’t Happen

The 9/11 Anniversary and What Didn’t Happen is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By Scott Stewart

Sept. 11, 2010, the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, was a day of solemn ceremony, remembrance and reflection. It was also a time to consider the U.S. reaction to the attack nine years ago, including the national effort to destroy al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in order to prevent a repeat of the 9/11 attacks. Of course, part of the U.S. reaction to 9/11 was the decision to invade Afghanistan, and the 9/11 anniversary also provided a time to consider how the United States is now trying to end its Afghanistan campaign so that it can concentrate on more pressing matters elsewhere.

The run-up to the anniversary also saw what could have been an attempted terrorist attack in another Western country. On Sept. 10 in Denmark, a potential bombing was averted by the apparent accidental detonation of an improvised explosive device in a bathroom at a Copenhagen hotel. The Danish authorities have not released many details of the incident, but it appears that the suspect may have been intending to target the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which has been targeted in the past because it published cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed in 2005. Groups such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have tried hard to ensure that the anger over the cartoon issue does not die down, and it apparently has not. It is important to note that even if the perpetrator had not botched it, the plot — at least as we understand it so far — appears to have involved a simple attack plan and would not have resulted in a spectacular act of terrorism.

Yet in spite of the failed attack in Denmark and all the 9/11 retrospection, perhaps the most interesting thing about the 9/11 anniversary in 2010, at least from an analytical perspective, was what did not happen. For the first time, the al Qaeda core leadership did not issue a flurry of slick, media-savvy statements to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. And the single statement they did release was not nearly as polished or pointed as past anniversary messages. This has caused us to pause, reflect and wonder if the al Qaeda leadership is losing its place at the ideological forefront of the jihadist cause. Read the rest of this entry »

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9/11 and the 9-Year War

9/11 and the 9-Year War is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By George Friedman

It has now been nine years since al Qaeda attacked the United States. It has been nine years in which the primary focus of the United States has been on the Islamic world. In addition to a massive investment in homeland security, the United States has engaged in two multi-year, multi-divisional wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, inserted forces in other countries in smaller operations and conducted a global covert campaign against al Qaeda and other radical jihadist groups.

In order to understand the last nine years you must understand the first 24 hours of the war — and recall your own feelings in those 24 hours. First, the attack was a shock, its audaciousness frightening. Second, we did not know what was coming next. The attack had destroyed the right to complacent assumptions. Were there other cells standing by in the United States? Did they have capabilities even more substantial than what they showed on Sept. 11? Could they be detected and stopped? Any American not frightened on Sept. 12 was not in touch with reality. Many who are now claiming that the United States overreacted are forgetting their own sense of panic. We are all calm and collected nine years after.

At the root of all of this was a profound lack of understanding of al Qaeda, particularly its capabilities and intentions. Since we did not know what was possible, our only prudent course was to prepare for the worst. That is what the Bush administration did. Nothing symbolized this more than the fear that al Qaeda had acquired nuclear weapons and that they would use them against the United States. The evidence was minimal, but the consequences would be overwhelming. Bush crafted a strategy based on the worst-case scenario. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Soldier’s Perspective: USS Cole Victims Spat Upon

“In 2000, I made a conscious decision to change my field of specialty within the Army. The catalyst for that decision was the murder of 17 Sailors on the USS Cole in the Port of Aden. In 1998, hundreds of people were killed in the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

Two years prior to that, 19 more servicemembers were killed by Islamic terrorists. When the USS Cole was bombed, I made a conscious decision to stay in the military (I was contemplating getting out) and change my specialty to be in a position where I could make a difference in stopping these attacks. While I was in school, 9/11 happened, confirming I had made a good decision.

The hardest part of this job is the politics that goes into fighting terrorism, especially these days. The country seems to have lost focus and forgotten about all the events leading up to 9/11.

We seem to have forgotten all the events SINCE 9/11 as well: the Bali nightclub attack that killed over 200, the Beslan school hostage crisis that killed nearly 400, 53 killed in London subway attacks, over 200 killed in Mumbai train bombings, the “shoe bomber”, the Fort Hood massacre, the Arkansas recruiter shooting…I could go on and on and on about Islamic terrorism. And yet, our country just doesn’t get it. We continue to play politically correct and pretend that either we aren’t at war with Islam or Islam isn’t at war with us!

The fact that an extremist Muslim cleric wants to flaunt his people’s attacks on 9/11 by opening an “Islamic Cultural Center” near ground zero and on the anniversary of the attacks is seen as okay by some!”

http://www.soldiersperspective.us/

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Ground Zero Mosque Imam Rauf: ‘New York is the capital of the world and this location close to 9/11 is iconic.’

Imam Rauf

Robert Spencer, the JihadWatch blogger:

“The idea here that will be widely understood is that this mosque is another triumphal mosque, another victory mosque [like] the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the site of the Temple Mount and the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus,” Spencer told WND today.

“The reason for the interest in this property in particular is its iconic status in relation to the 9/11 attacks. This is something the Imam Rauf has said himself. It’s not something I’m attributing to him,” Spencer explains.

“In his own words he said, ‘New York is the capital of the world and this location close to 9/11 is iconic.’ He was happy that his mosque would be at the site of the building [where] the wreckage fell on 9/11,” Spencer said.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=193637

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The 30-Year War in Afghanistan

This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

By George Friedman

The Afghan War is the longest war in U.S. history. It began in 1980 and continues to rage. It began under Democrats but has been fought under both Republican and Democratic administrations, making it truly a bipartisan war. The conflict is an odd obsession of U.S. foreign policy, one that never goes away and never seems to end. As the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal reminds us, the Afghan War is now in its fourth phase.

The Afghan War’s First Three Phases

The first phase of the Afghan War began with the Soviet invasion in December 1979, when the United States, along with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, organized and sustained Afghan resistance to the Soviets. This resistance was built around mujahideen, fighters motivated by Islam. Washington’s purpose had little to do with Afghanistan and everything to do with U.S.-Soviet competition. The United States wanted to block the Soviets from using Afghanistan as a base for further expansion and wanted to bog the Soviets down in a debilitating guerrilla war. The United States did not so much fight the war as facilitate it. The strategy worked. The Soviets were blocked and bogged down. This phase lasted until 1989, when Soviet troops were withdrawn. Read the rest of this entry »

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