After spending years as a wartime intelligence agency called the Office of Strategic Services, the agency was solidified as a key player in the federal government’s operations with then-President Harry Truman’s authorization. Continue reading
If Syria and Iraq are the model of “success,” Trump’s war expansion should terrify Afghan civilians
As President Donald Trump expands the war in Afghanistan, which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday is partly inspired by “successful” tactics used in the war against the Islamic State (ISIS), Reuters reports that in the past week alone, more than 170 civilians were killed by U.S.-led airstrikes in Raqqa, a Syrian city ISIS considers its capitol.
“The monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 42 people, including 19 children and 12 women, were killed on Monday in strikes that destroyed buildings where families were sheltering,” Reuters reports. The observatory claims this marks the single largest daily death toll since the U.S.-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of Kurdish and Arab militias, began their mission to capture Raqqa in June. Continue reading
Three former mercenaries who killed and injured 31 unarmed Iraqis in Nisour Square will be resentenced, and a fourth may be retried
A federal appeals court on Friday threw out lengthy prison sentences of three former operatives for private mercenary firm Blackwater Worldwide—and ordered a retrial for a fourth operative who had received a life sentence—for their roles in the notorious 2007 Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad, which left 14 unarmed Iraqis dead and another 17 wounded.
“The men, Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Paul Slough, and Nicholas Slatten, were convicted in October 2014 after years of legal battles,” Common Dreams reported in 2015, when U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth sentenced Slatten—who the government says fired the first shots—to life in prison and the other three men to “30 years and one day each on charges that included manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and using firearms while committing a felony.” Continue reading
‘The 2001 AUMF has provided three administrations with a blank check for war’
A House committee on Thursday took a surprising—yet welcome—step towards canceling the “blank check for endless war.”
That’s because the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee passed a repeal of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which has been used justify ongoing military actions in regions around the world spanning the George W. Bush, Obama, and now Trump administrations.
The amendment to the 2018 Defense Appropriations Bill was put forth by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)—the sole member of Congress to vote against the AUMF passed in the wake of the Sept. 11 attack—and would repeal the AUMF 240 days after enactment of the appropriations bill. Continue reading
Editors’ note: As we were posting this article, the White House made an announcement about Syria and chemical weapons. We think we see a pattern…
Never one to accept the U.S. government’s official explanation of events without question, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh has investigated Donald Trump’s decision to strike the al-Shayat Airbase in Syria in April of this year, which the president launched amid widespread allegations that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack.
In a report entitled “Trump’s Red Line,” published Sunday in the daily German newspaper Die Welt, Hersh asserts that President Donald Trump ignored important intelligence reports when he made the decision to attack Syria after pictures emerged of dying children in the war-torn country. Continue reading
Bipartisan opposition to the bill nonetheless sent a “strong message” to the Saudis—and to President Trump
The final tally was 53-47 in favor of the sale, which is just part of a massive $100 billion arms package.
Among the sponsors of the resolution put forth to block the sale was Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who argued that despite the opposition’s defeat, the effort nonetheless sent a “strong message” to Saudi Arabia. Continue reading
Given Prince’s past connections to Trump, his recommendations could have some measure of influence
Displaying what one commentator called “sheer 19th century bloodlust and thirst for empire,” Erik Prince, founder of the private mercenary firm Blackwater, argued in The Wall Street Journal this week that the United States should deploy an “East India Company approach” in Afghanistan.
The country, he wrote, should be run by “an American viceroy who would lead all U.S. government and coalition efforts—including command, budget, policy, promotion, and contracting—and report directly to the president.” Continue reading
The Pentagon said last week that there were “no credible indications of civilian casualties” from the latest U.S. Navy SEALs raid on a village in Yemen.
Residents of the village in Mareb province said that there were in fact 10 civilians killed and wounded, including a 15-year old child who was trying to flee a barrage of firing from Apache helicopters. Continue reading
For uninformed members of the public, news that the Filipino government is currently battling an ISIS-linked insurgency may come as a total shock.
From the Independent:
Uptick in Syrian civilian casualties comes as the US is taking steps to decrease transparency and limit the information released about such deaths
Scores of civilians, including more than 30 children, have been killed in recent days as an escalated air assault led by the United States continues in eastern Syria despite warnings from the United Nations over the careless and indiscriminate attacks.
An early morning airstrike in the town of Mayadeen on Friday killed more than “80 relatives of Islamic State (ISIS) group fighters,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP. According to Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the monitoring group, this toll “includes 33 children. They were families seeking refuge in the town’s municipal building.” Continue reading