Skip to comments.My Op-ed in The Australian
Posted on 09/20/2009 11:28:47 PM PDT by Cindy
My Op-ed in The Australian By Leah Farrall, Australia I have an op-ed piece out in todays edition of The Australian called Detentions come back to bite
Its about Guantanamo blowback now having very real strategic consequences: the formation of a new strategy to kidnap civilians in Afghanistan in order to secure the release of prisoners taken by America.
Sally Neighbour has a front page piece derived from my op-ed here Afghan foreigner kidnap order by al Qaeda leader Mustafa Hamid. I havent seen the broadsheet yet, so Im not sure if the photos I provided of Hamid are on it. If they arent on the broadsheet, I will post them here later today.
I hope you read the op-ed and article. These are important issues. I am very glad The Australian has run them.
There will be a lot more to come from me on Mustafa Hamid.
(Excerpt) Read more at allthingsct.wordpress.com ...
“Detentions come back to bite”
Leah Farrall | September 16, 2009
Article from: The Australian
“Afghan foreigner kidnap order by al-Qa’ida leader Mustafa Hamid”
EXCLUSIVE: Sally Neighbour | September 16, 2009
Article from: The Australian
SNIPPET: “A LEADING al-Qa’ida strategist once married to a Sydney mother has sanctioned an orchestrated campaign to kidnap foreign civilians, including Australians in Afghanistan, in retaliation for the capture, detention and torture of al-Qa’ida and Taliban prisoners by the US and its allies.
The directive has been issued by veteran al-Qa’ida adviser Mustafa Hamid, also known as Abu Walid al-Masri, who was married to Australian Rabiah Hutchinson in Afghanistan in 2001.
Hamid has been detained in Iran since 2003 but remains an influential figure in the militant movement and has maintained contact with his followers through jihadist websites, despite his imprisonment.”
SNIPPET - quote:
Thank you special emailer for a link to this letter:
Note: The following text is a quote:
September 18, 2009
The White House
Dear Mr. President:
We have served as Directors of Central Intelligence or Directors of the CIA for
Presidents reaching back over 35 years. We respectfully urge you to exercise your
authority to reverse Attorney General Holders August 24 decision to re-open the
criminal investigation of CIA interrogations that took place following the attacks of
Our reasons for making this recommendation are as follows.
The post-September 11 interrogations for which the Attorney General is opening
an inquiry were investigated four years ago by career prosecutors. The CIA, at its own
initiative, forwarded fewer than 20 instances where Agency officers appeared to have
acted beyond their existing legal authorities. Career prosecutors under the supervision
of the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia determined that one prosecution
(of a CIA contractor) was warranted. A conviction was later obtained. They determined
that prosecutions were not warranted in the other cases. In a number of these cases
the CIA subsequently took administrative disciplinary steps against the individuals
involved. Attorney General Holders decision to re-open the criminal investigation
creates an atmosphere of continuous jeopardy for those whose cases the Department
of Justice had previously declined to prosecute. Moreover, there is no reason to expect
that the re-opened criminal investigation will remain narrowly focused.
If criminal investigations closed by career prosecutors during one administration
can so easily be reopened at the direction of political appointees in the next,
declinations of prosecution will be rendered meaningless. Those men and women who
undertake difficult intelligence assignments in the aftermath of an attack such as
September 11 must believe there is permanence in the legal rules that govern their
actions. They must be free, as the Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security
Committee, Senator Lieberman, has put it: to do their dangerous and critical jobs
without worrying that years from now a future Attorney General will authorize a
criminal investigation of them for behavior that a previous Attorney General concluded
was authorized and legal. Similar deference needs to be shown to fact-based decisions
made by career prosecutors years ago.
Not only will some members of the intelligence community be subjected to
costly financial and other burdens from what amounts to endless criminal
investigations, but this approach will seriously damage the willingness of many other
intelligence officers to take risks to protect the country. In our judgment such risk-
taking is vital to success in the long and difficult fight against the terrorists who continue
to threaten us.
Success in intelligence often depends on surprise and deception and on creating
uncertainty in the mind of an enemy. As President you have the authority to make
decisions restricting substantive interrogation or any other intelligence collection
method, based on legal analyses and policy recommendations. But, the administration
must be mindful that public disclosure about past intelligence operations can only help
Al Qaeda elude US intelligence and plan future operations. Disclosures about CIA
collection operations have and will continue to make it harder for intelligence officers to
maintain the momentum of operations that have saved lives and helped protect
America from further attacks.
Finally, another certain result of these reopened investigations is the serious
damage done to our intelligence communitys ability to obtain the cooperation of
foreign intelligence agencies. Foreign services are already greatly concerned about the
United States inability to maintain any secrets. They rightly fear that, through these
additional investigations and the court proceedings that could follow, terrorists may
learn how other countries came to our assistance in a time of peril. The United States
promised these foreign countries that their cooperation would never be disclosed. As a
result of the zeal on the part of some to uncover every action taken in the post-9/11
period, many countries may decide that they can no longer safely share intelligence or
cooperate with us on future counter-terrorist operations. They simply cannot rely on
our promises of secrecy.
We support your stated commitment, Mr. President, to look to the future
regarding these important issues. In our judgment the only way that is possible is if the
criminal investigation of these interrogations that Attorney General Holder has re-
opened is now re-closed.
R. James Woolsey
James R. Schlesinger
30 posted on September 18, 2009 8:07:12 PM PDT by Cindy
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September 20, 2009
Obama: No Plans to Ask Justice to Drop CIA Interrogation Probe
To be expected.....the lefts War on US Intelligence goes on.
SNIPPET: When we get hit...........and we will... it will be because of the holy war the left in this country has declared on the men and women who are there trying to protect all of us.
By Newbie at September 20, 2009 02:17 PM
Obama: No Plans to Ask Justice to Drop CIA Interrogation Probe
SNIPPET: Seven former CIA directors have asked the president to put an end to the Justice Departments probe of CIA interrogations under the Bush administration.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
31 posted on September 20, 2009 4:41:50 PM PDT by Cindy
"But, the administration must be mindful that public disclosure about past intelligence operations can only help Al Qaeda elude US intelligence and plan future operations. Disclosures about CIA collection operations have and will continue to make it harder for intelligence officers to maintain the momentum of operations that have saved lives and helped protect America from further attacks."
"A LEADING al-Qaida strategist once married to a Sydney mother has sanctioned an orchestrated campaign to kidnap foreign civilians, including Australians in Afghanistan, in retaliation for the capture, detention and torture of al-Qaida and Taliban prisoners by the US and its allies."
I'm not sure what you mean by Guantanamo blowback. If the prisoners were held in an Afghan jail or an American supermax in Colorado they could still do this. They are already kidnapping civilians and holding them for ransom, using them to negotiate the release of prisoners, and sometimes just killing them for sport.
Just watched a special the other day about journalists being traded for prisoners in Afghan jails.
Its a great strategy, if we refuse to deal, then they lay the blame at our feet for the beheading. Wouldn't work on a determined foe but could work on one that wasn't all that determined, and looking for an excuse to exit the theater.
Unless we don't reveal at all who we have, which was our policy at one time. They didn't know who we had in the early days, and it made it impossible to do what they are now threatening to do.
There is another issue.
Obama has already begun to release prisoners form Guantanamo.
So its a good idea from their point of view to start a terror campaign designed to focus attention on these prisoners. This steals the credit from Obama; instead of looking like the good guy they make him look like he’s releasing them under duress. Its a ploy, a PR game.
Something similar is happening in Iraq where Obama has ordered the troops to pull back from the cities, and the terrorists have launched a bloody terror campaign. Its important to them to make it look as if they forced us out, to steal any PR value there might be. We’re pulling back according to our plan, but they make it look as if we left in a rout. If they can. Its his job to make sure their little PR gambit doesn’t work.
Post 1 was the reference point for where I went with my links.
Read post no. 2 or just read the text in bold on this thread for a total word picture for this thread.
I know all about the release of the prisoners.
Here’s a thread I update, if any of the prisoner’s names are missing, go ahead and post on it with a source url.
I read through them; thanks for pulling this all together.
My point remains at least in my mind. First, that Taliban policies of going after civilians isn’t new, they’ve been killing them right and left since the beginning when they can get to them, and they’ve also been using them to bargain for the release of Talibs from the beginning. So for this guy to announce that they are going to “start” doing it shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
Secondly, this follows on the heels of Obama’s decision to release the prisoners anyway. They can’t allow that, they have to take some action to make it look like the US is releasing them under duress. So again, I wouldn’t take the pretext too seriously.
Thirdly, there was an advantage to not revealing the identities of the terrorists we had in custody for this very reason. If they don’t know who you have, they can’t kidnap people and demand their release. You release them when you are done with them, on your terms.
We are up against people who are adept at using the news media for their own purposes; this is a chess game in addition to a boxing match.
The basic assumption of the editorial I have to reject. They aren’t fighting us because we detain them, we detain them because they are fighting us. The failure to distinguish between fighter and civilian isn’t on our side, the fact is that all their fighters are civilians and they move among civilians, use civilians for intel, for weapons caches, their entire support system is civilian. So the complaint that somehow we are scooping up civilians among our detainees is spurious I think. The whole problem of detentions is the need to sort out the civilians who are aiding the enemy from the civilians who are not. And among the civilians aiding the enemy, which ones cooperate because they have to versus the ones who actually carry rifles and are active members. That has to be sorted out. There is no other way to fight a war of this nature.
Note: Read the comments section after this blog article.
“Abul-Walid is Back
with the Taliban (and not al-Qaida)”
October 9th, 2009 | Afghanistan, Strategy, Taliban
SNIPPET: “(Editors note: I am delighted to introduce our next guest blogger, Vahid Brown from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Vahid is a linguist and historian with deep knowledge of the history of al-Qaida and the jihadi movement. He is the author of Cracks in the Foundation and the co-author of several well-known CTC reports. Vahid and I share many research interests, so I am thrilled that he will be with us for the next month or so.)
Mustafa Hamid Abul-Walid al-Masri, once a senior member of al-Qaida, has re-emerged lately after several years of relative silence and is once again chronicling, critiquing and offering strategic guidance to the jihadi movement. He began posting new editions of his voluminous early writings to a blog in 2007 and 08, and this July he began to add newly-written articles on the Afghan insurgency, one of which has already been covered by Leah Farrall on her blog and in the Australian.
The October issue of the Taliban monthly al-Sumud reveals that Abul-Walid, author of at least two of the articles in the latest issue, has taken up one of his old jihadi jobs: official Taliban propagandist and media strategist. His recent output also leaves little doubt that Abul-Walid is still at odds with the al-Qaida senior leadership over a wide range of ideological and strategic issues, and that he has every intention of continuing to publicly air al-Qaidas dirty laundry.
All of which makes the timing of Abul-Walids appearance in al-Sumud very interesting, and for two reasons.”
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