Patterico's Pontifications

5/6/2011

Good Thing We Dumped That Body Right Away . . .

Filed under: Morons,Terrorism — Patterico @ 10:56 pm

. . . before conducting an autopsy or giving journalists a chance to take independent photos or footage.

Because otherwise, Al Qaeda might have gotten upset at us.

5/3/2011

Who Should Get the $25 Million Reward for Information Leading to bin Laden’s Capture? How About President George W. Bush?

Filed under: General,Obama,Terrorism — Patterico @ 7:12 am

Slate asks who should get that $25 million reward for the capture of Osama. Maybe it should be the man behind the intelligence techniques that led us to him: George W. Bush.

Aaron has already linked a story indicating that some of those famous harsh interrogation techniques may have led to KSM and others disclosing the name of the courier whose identity was the key to locating bin Laden.

Officials say CIA interrogators in secret overseas prisons developed the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.

The New York Times provides further details:

Detainees at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had given the courier’s pseudonym to American interrogators and said that the man was a protégé of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

American intelligence officials said Sunday night that they finally learned the courier’s real name four years ago, but that it took another two years for them to learn the general region where he operated.

Still, it was not until August that they tracked him to the compound in Abbottabad, a medium-sized city about an hour’s drive north of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.

KSM lied about the courier’s role, and did not disclose his name during a waterboarding session. But, he did disclose it months after he had been waterboarded, during a “standard” interrogation session. Whether that standard session was more effective due to the previous waterboarding, we’ll probably never know.

And how did we track him to Abbottabad? Why, through that dastardly FISA:

When one of Osama bin Laden’s most trusted aides picked up the phone last year, he unknowingly led U.S. pursuers to the doorstep of his boss, the world’s most wanted terrorist.

That monitored phone call, recounted Monday by a U.S. official, ended a years-long search for bin Laden’s personal courier, the key break in a worldwide manhunt. The courier, in turn, led U.S. intelligence to a walled compound in northeast Pakistan, where a team of Navy SEALs shot bin Laden to death.

. . . .

But in the middle of last year, Ahmed had a telephone conversation with someone being monitored by U.S. intelligence, according to an American official, who like others interviewed for this story spoke only on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive operation. Ahmed was located somewhere away from bin Laden’s hideout when he had the discussion, but it was enough to help intelligence officials locate and watch Ahmed.

Just as a reminder, candidate and Senator Obama voted for FISA — but only after taking various contradictory positions on it, such as opposing the critical provisions for telecom immunity, without which it could not have worked.

I’m happy to see that President Obama has cast aside much of the rhetoric he used as a candidate when it comes to battling terrorists. But I’d rather give that $25 million to someone who is more of a straight talker: George W. Bush.

7/29/2010

Bank on It

Filed under: Crime,Terrorism — DRJ @ 9:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Major Nidal Hasan has banking problems because he can’t find a bank to take his money via direct deposit.

Fort Hood officials are reportedly working with Hasan’s attorney to waive the direct deposit requirement.

– DRJ

7/27/2010

France Declares War on Al Qaeda in North Africa

Filed under: International,Terrorism — DRJ @ 9:29 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

France has declared war on Al Qaeda in North Africa following the murder of a French hostage:

“We are at war with al-Qaida,” Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Tuesday, a day after President Nicolas Sarkozy announced the death of 78-year-old hostage Michel Germaneau.
***
Fillon refused to say how France would act. “But we will,” he said in an interview with Europe 1 radio.”

Call me crazy but I believe him.

MORE: The AP reports Germaneau was murdered in retaliation for a failed rescue attempt.

– DRJ

7/19/2010

Washington Post Intelligence Series

Filed under: Government,Terrorism — DRJ @ 12:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Washington Post series “Top Secret America” exposes the “hidden world” of U.S. intelligence:

“The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.”

Last week’s teaser suggested the series would reveal the names and locations of top secret military contractors, perhaps not only at home and in the war zones but elsewhere around the world. Please update this in the comments as you read the report.

– DRJ

7/16/2010

WaPo to Publish Leaked National Intelligence Information?

Filed under: Media Bias,Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 2:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Quin Hillyer at the Washington Times passes along a notice from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that the Washington Post plans to publish a “compendium of government agencies and contractors allegedly conducting Top Secret work,” including the type of work performed and the location of facilities. The publication may be a series of reports beginning Monday.

– DRJ

6/30/2010

Kids Day Camp in Gaza

Filed under: International,Terrorism — DRJ @ 9:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Gaza’s summer day camps for children are really, really competitive:

“Rival day camps by the United Nations and Gaza’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers compete for the hearts of the next generation, the roughly 700,000 children under 15 who make up nearly half of the Gaza Strip’s population.

Hamas camps teach an anti-Israeli doctrine and military-style marching, along with horseback riding, swimming and Islam. U.N. camps try to instill hope in a better future, a message wrapped in fun and games.”

The article has more details on what kids do in the Hamas camps and the UN camps so read the whole thing. Once again, the “good works” of Hamas are distinguished from its terrorist actions, but it’s a dangerous distinction that leads to children taught to celebrate their own mother’s death:

– DRJ

6/25/2010

AWOL Afghans Found?

Filed under: Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 6:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The 17 Afghans who had gone AWOL from a Texas air force base have almost been located with help from Facebook. Rusty at the JAWA Report has good news and bad news:

“Heh. Some of them seemed to have skipped town to live the MTV version of the American dream … in Canada.

Others? Not so much.”

Read the rest.

– DRJ

6/22/2010

Pakistan Will Release Bin Laden Hunter

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 6:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Colorado man who was detained in Pakistan trying to hunt down Osama Bin Laden will be released and allowed to return to the U.S. His brother says he wasn’t crazy to travel to Pakistan to try to kill Bin Laden.

Call me crazy but I think there is a competency issue here.

– DRJ

6/21/2010

Supreme Court Approves ‘Material Support’ Law

Filed under: Law,Terrorism — DRJ @ 12:35 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Supreme Court today approved a Bush era policy supported by the Obama Administration that criminalizes providing material support to foreign terror groups:

“The Supreme Court has upheld a federal law that bars “material support” to foreign terrorist organizations, rejecting a free speech challenge from humanitarian aid groups.”

Oral argument in this case was held in February 2010 and I posted on it here. In supporting the Bush policy, the Obama Administration pointed out how the law was often used to combat terror.

Justice Breyer read his dissent aloud, something the article describes as unusual.

– DRJ

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