Tag Archives: terrorism

America’s Forever Wars: Guantanamo Bay “Prepared” For New Inmates, Says US Admiral, by Tyler Durden

Guantanamo Bay may be getting some new prisoners, as America’s interminable war on terrorism continues. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

On Thursday, Kurt Walter Tidd, a high ranking United States Navy admiral, currently serving as the Commander of the United States Southern Command, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is now “prepared” to receive an influx of new detainees.

“We have 41 detainees who are there right now. We are prepared to receive more should they be directed to us,” Admiral Kurt Tidd, told lawmakers.

As of today we have not been given a warning order that new detainees might be heading in our direction, but our responsibility will be to integrate them in effectively,” he added.

During President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech last month, Trump said he had signed an executive order directing Secretary of Defense James Mattis to “re-examine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay.”

“I am asking Congress to ensure that in the fight against ISIS and al Qaeda we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them. And In many cases for them it will now be Guantánamo bay,” Trump said during his speech.

AFP notes that Guantanamo Bay has not received any new inmates since 2008, but that could be changing under the Trump administration, as he plans on expanding the forever war on terrorism.

US military officials have been openly discussing the fate of Islamic State group detainees, mainly foreign fighters, held by US-backed militias in northern Syria. Guantanamo has not received any new inmates since 2008 but on the campaign trail, Trump vowed to load the facility with “bad dudes,” and said it would be “fine” if US terror suspects were sent there for trial. During his State of the Union speech in January, Trump said IS captives would in “many cases” end up in Guantanamo.

To continue reading: America’s Forever Wars: Guantanamo Bay “Prepared” For New Inmates, Says US Admiral

 

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Who Are the Leading State Sponsors of Terrorism? by Philip M. Giraldi

The answer to the title question is not Iran. From Philip M. Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

As 2017 draws to a close, it is difficult to be optimistic about what will be coming in the new year. The American President, whose margin of victory was certainly based on his pledge to avoid unnecessary wars, has doubled down on Afghanistan, refuses to leave Syria even though ISIS has been defeated, and is playing serious brinksmanship with a psychopathic and unpredictable regime in Pyongyang. The White House has also bought into the prevailing largely fabricated narrative about a Russia and has decided to arm Ukraine with offensive weapons, which has already resulted in a sharp response from Moscow and will make détente of any kind between the two leading powers all but impossible in the upcoming year.

But, as I have observed before, the red hazard light that continues to be blinking most brightly relates to Washington’s relationship with Iran, which has unnecessarily deteriorated dramatically over the past year and which brings with it collateral problems with Russia and Turkey that could trigger a much wider conflict. I say unnecessarily because all the steps taken to poison the relationship have come out of Washington, not Tehran. The Trump administration refused to certify that the Iranians had been in compliance with the nuclear agreement negotiated in 2015 and has since escalated its verbal attacks, mostly at the United Nations, claiming that the regime in Tehran is the major source of terrorism in the world and that it is seeking hegemony over a broad arc of countries running westward from its borders to the Mediterranean Sea.

The only problem with the allegations being made is that none of them is true and, furthermore, Iran, with limited military resources, poses no serious threat to gain control over its neighbors, nor to attack the United States or Europe. The invective about Iran largely derives from Israel and Saudi Arabia, which themselves have hegemonic ambitions relating to their region. Israel’s friends in the US Congress, media and White House have not surprisingly picked up on the refrain and are pushing for military action. Israel has even threatened to bomb any Iranian permanent presence inside neighboring Syria.

To continue reading: Who Are the Leading State Sponsors of Terrorism?

Intel Vets Tell Trump Iran Is Not Top Terror Sponsor, by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Saudi Arabia probably takes the prize, although the US has done its share of sponsoring terrorists as well. From the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity at antiwar.com:

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
SUBJECT: Is Iran the “World’s Leading Sponsor of Terrorism?”

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/BACKGROUND

We are concerned by recent strident and stark public statements from key members of your Administration that paint Iran in very alarmist terms. The average American, without the benefit of history, could easily be persuaded that Iran poses an imminent threat and that there is no alternative for us but military conflict.

We find this uncomfortably familiar territory. Ten years ago former President George W. Bush was contemplating a war with Iran when, in November of 2007, intelligence analysts issued a formal National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) debunking the prevailing conventional wisdom; namely, that Iran was on the verge of getting a nuclear weapon. The NIE concluded that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003.

Recalling this moment in his memoir, Decision Points, President Bush noted that the NIE’s “eye-popping” intelligence findings stayed his hand. He added this rhetorical question: “How could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?”

We believe that you are facing a similar situation today. But instead of an inaccurate claim that Iran has nuclear weapons, the new canard to justify war with Iran is the claim that Iran remains the “world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.” This is incorrect, as we explain below.

One of the recurring big bipartisan lies being pushed on the public with the enthusiastic help of a largely pliant media is that Iran is the prime sponsor of terrorism in the world today.

In the recent presentation of your administration’s National Security Strategy for 2018, the point is made that:

“Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, has taken advantage of instability to expand its influence through partners and proxies, weapon proliferation, and funding. . . . Iran continues to perpetuate the cycle of violence in the region, causing grievous harm to civilian populations.”

Those sentiments are echoed by several other countries of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, for example, declared in October 2015 that: Iran “is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world, and it is working on destabilizing the region.”

The Saudi foreign minister conveniently declined to mention that 15 of the 19 terrorists who hijacked planes and attacked America on 11 September 2001 were Saudis, not Iranians. And, while Iran was an active promoter of terrorism two decades ago, it is no longer in the forefront of global terrorism. Ironically, that dubious distinction now goes to Iran’s accusers – first and foremost, Saudi Arabia.

To continue reading: Intel Vets Tell Trump Iran Is Not Top Terror Sponsor

Here We Go Again, by Andrew P. Napolitano

We’re sacrificing liberty for security and not getting that either. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

For the second time in two months, someone who has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State has plotted to kill innocents in New York City and has executed his plot.

According to police, at the height of the Monday morning rush hour this week, in an underground pedestrian walkway that I have used many times, in the middle of Manhattan, a permanent legal resident of the United States named Akayed Ullah detonated a bomb he had strapped to his torso in an effort to kill fellow commuters and disrupt massively life in New York.

The bomb was inartfully constructed, and it injured slightly four people nearby and Ullah himself seriously. He survived, was captured on the spot and is now in the joint custody of the New York Police Department and the FBI in the prison ward of Bellevue Hospital.

Ullah’s wounds had barely been addressed by emergency room physicians when the calls began to resonate in the government and in the media to strip him of his constitutional rights and ship him to a military facility in South Carolina or at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

These voices argued without access to any evidence that because the Islamic State is a foreign power with an army that has sworn to do harm to Americans and destroy our way of life, its soldiers have no constitutional protections when they go about their destruction. Ullah is a soldier of this foreign army, this argument goes, and should be treated as a soldier under the Geneva Conventions. That means he should be removed from the civilian judicial system and interrogated and tried by the military.

To continue reading: Here We Go Again

 

After Vegas Shooting, It’s Time to Take Private Security Seriously, by Ryan McMaken

What is the responsbility of venues where terrorist acts could potentially take place for security? From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

In the wake of the Aurora Theater shooting, I suggested that private sector establishments ought to be expected to be more concerned about the safety of their customers. In the case of the Aurora Theater, this was magnified by the fact that the theater was a “gun free zone” and did not allow patrons to carry their own firearms as self defense. At the same time, the theater owners themselves couldn’t be bothered with taking even the most rudimentary steps against allowing a gunman to casually carry multiple weapons from his car into one of the theater’s back doors.

The issue came up again with the Orlando shooting in 2016, when the perpetrator simply walked into a private establishment with a rifle and started shooting. Again, we find ourselves with a situation in which the owners of a private establishment refused to take simple steps such as checking entrances for people with rifles, or employing reasonably well-trained security personnel to be present inside the club.

I wasn’t the only one to suggest that maybe, just maybe, private establishments such as the Orlando nightclub and the Aurora Theater may share some responsibility in preventing violence on their own premises. 

In response to this position, numerous commentators — mostly conservative and libertarian — took the position that it is outrageous to expect private owners to take steps to prevent events like these. At the time, I noted Reason magazine’s response as representative of this type of thinking:

Reason magazine has … hopped on the bandwagon of pre-emptively and unconditionally absolving the theater owners of any possible responsibility. Reason writer Lenore Skenazy claims that a focus on worst-case scenarios is “worst-first thinking” and that such thinking “promotes constant panic. The word for that isn’t prudence. It’s paranoia.”

In other words, Skenazy’s position is that private owners should simply assume terrible things won’t happen and proceed accordingly. If bad things do happen, then let’s all just throw our hands in the air and declare “who woulda thunk?”

To continue reading: After Vegas Shooting, It’s Time to Take Private Security Seriously

 

Five Lessons from 9/11, by Laurence M. Vance

The first lesson is never trust the government, and it only gets better. From Laurence M. Vance at lewrockwell.com:

The sixteenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has brought forth the expected conservative “never forget” nonsense in defense of a perpetual war on terror.

Typical is Ben Shapiro, editor of The Daily Wire and host of the Ben Shapiro Show. On September 11, he wrote an article, “NEVER FORGET: The 5 Lessons We Should Have Learned From 9/11,” and spoke in a videoabout the five lessons America should have learned from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

He insists that the lessons of 9/11 “have been largely forgotten.” Here are his five “lessons we should have learned,” each with quotes from his article and video.

1. Global Retreat Is Not A Strategy.

“The Clinton Administration foreign policy of quasi-isolationism, combined with occasional human rights-driven interventionism, was a formula for failure.”

“Unless we are willing to consider measures to stamp out terrorist groups across the planet, we are setting ourselves up for a fall.”

2. Money Doesn’t Buy Off Islamists. Neither Does Friendliness.

“Friendliness toward the Muslim world does not matter to Islamists, who seek only the domination of a religious caliphate.”

“There’s this weird idea from both the Ron Paul right and from the Barack Obama left that if we just give enough money, if we just show the Muslim world that we are caring and wonderful and we’ll be left alone by terrorists.”

3. Immigration Matters.

“The government ought to be deeply concerned about those who enter the country from Islamist-rich regions.”

“We also should be careful about people who are already here. We should be checking up on them.”

4. Major Terrorist Attacks Require Sponsor States.

“Major attacks require planning, coordination and resources that demand a home base.”

“Major terrorist attacks were forestalled because we were fighting terrorists over there [Iraq] and we weren’t fighting them over here.”

5. America Has Real Enemies.

“When it comes to threats to American citizens, the first duty of the government is to prevent those threats and stop those who would perpetrate them.”

“It’s not just the government’s job to protect you from existential threats, it is also the government’s job to protect you from being murdered in your bed.”

That’s it? This is what we are supposed to learn from 9/11?

To continue reading: Five Lessons from 9/11

FBI, DHS Officially Classify Antifa Activities As “Domestic Terrorist Violence”, by Tyler Durden

This move delights Trump’s base, but sets a dangerous precedent. Antifa members sometime engage in criminal activities, including violence. They should be labeled as criminals and treated accordingly. Labeling their activities as “terrorist violence” opens the door to treating them as terrorists, which could in turn lead to the suspension or curtailment of civil liberties that has become a standard part of the law concerning foreign terrorists (whether this should be the case is a discussion for another day). Good, bad, or horrible, Antifa members are still US citizens entitled to the full protection of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Labeling them as terrorists accomplishes nothing and may open the door to labeling other groups as terrorists (including right-wing groups) and curtailing their civil liberties. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

President Trump was crucified by the mainstream media a few weeks back after hosting an improvised press conference and saying there was “blame on both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of a counterprotester.  The comments resulted in most of Trump’s advisory councils being disbanded, as CEO’s around the country pounced on the opportunity to distance themselves from the administration, and heightened calls from CNN for impeachment proceedings.

The problem is that while Trump’s delivery probably could have been a bit more artful, the underlying message seems to be proving more accurate with each passing day and each new outbreak of Antifa violence.

As Politico points out today, previously unreported FBI and Department of Homeland Security studies found that “anarchist extremist” group like Antifa have been the “primary instigators of violence at public rallies” going back to at least April 2016when the reports were first published.

 Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremists known as “antifa” had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as “domestic terrorist violence,” according to interviews and confidential law enforcement documents obtained by POLITICO.

Since well before the Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly, DHS has been issuing warnings about the growing likelihood of lethal violence between the left-wing anarchists and right-wing white supremacist and nationalist groups.

Previously unreported documents disclose that by April 2016, authorities believed that “anarchist extremists” were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies against a range of targets. They were blamed by authorities for attacks on the police, government and political institutions, along with symbols of “the capitalist system,” racism, social injustice and fascism, according to a confidential 2016 joint intelligence assessment by DHS and the FBI.

 Not surprisingly, law enforcement officials noted that the rise in Antifa violence overlapped perfectly with Trump’s campaign as they made appearances at rally after rally to incite chaos…all the while making it seem as if violent, racist Trump supporters were to blame.