Posts tagged War on Terror
Posts tagged War on Terror
Craig Monteilh says he did not balk when his FBI handlers gave him the OK to have sex with the Muslim women his undercover operation was targeting. Nor, at the time, did he shy away from recording their pillow talk.
“They said, if it would enhance the intelligence, go ahead and have sex. So I did,” Monteilh told the Guardian as he described his year as a confidential FBI informant sent on a secret mission to infiltrate southern Californian mosques…
Monteilh was involved in one of the most controversial tactics: the use of “confidential informants” in so-called entrapment cases. This is when suspects carry out or plot fake terrorist “attacks” at the request or under the close supervision of an FBI undercover operation using secret informants. Often those informants have serious criminal records or are supplied with a financial motivation to net suspects.
In the case of the Newburgh Four – where four men were convicted for a fake terror attack on Jewish targets in the Bronx – a confidential informant offered $250,000, a free holiday and a car to one suspect for help with the attack.
Ask yourself: why is entrapment illegal? What qualities of entrapment make it immoral and dangerous for the government to be able to do, but do not fit this situation? There is no answer, because this is wrong for the exact same reason we don’t allow evidence acquired by entrapment to be admissible. Of course, with due process existing only in US history books, with war profiteering at an all time high, with the rule of law being subverted at every turn, most of the liberties and rights we held dear have been stripped of us.
After 9/11, the CIA devised and implemented a program involving abduction, secret detention and torture of individuals it suspected of having links to terrorism. Many of these men were held for years — before being released without charge or explanation. Our clients recounted the torture they experienced in the CIA-run program as part of their federal suit against Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. The men were beaten, kicked, cut with scalpels, chained to the walls and floors of filthy cells, left naked for extended periods in frigid temperatures, and deprived of sleep for days on end. These abuses all violate the most basic human rights protections that the United States government is obligated to uphold.
Although the Obama Administration has ended the practice of “extraordinary rendition” and shut down secret prisons, the U.S. government has waged a legal battle to keep survivors from having their day in U.S. court. As in the earlier cases of Maher Arar and Khaled El-Masri, the United States used claims of national security and the “state secrets” privilege to torpedo the litigation immediately after it had begun. Claiming that U.S. national security interests would be undermined if the government were forced to discuss the issues of these cases in court (despite the whole world being aware of much of the information related to their rendition and torture), the government has successfully blocked any U.S. court from ruling on the legality of the Bush administration’s torture program…
The IACHR is entirely toothless, but perhaps the spectacle will help educate Americans about what their government has been doing to innocent people (and how it’s been avoiding responsibility) for the last decade.
“We, the family of Samir Khan, in our time of grief and mourning, request that the media let us have our peace and privacy during this difficult time. It has been stated in the media that Samir was not the target of the attack; however no U.S. official has contacted us with any news about the recovery of our son’s remains, nor offered us any condolences. As a result, we feel appalled by the indifference shown to us by our government.
“Being a law abiding citizen of the United States our late son Samir Khan never broke any law and was never implicated of any crime. The Fifth Amendment states that no citizen shall be ‘deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law’ yet our government assassinated two of its citizens. Was this style of execution the only solution? Why couldn’t there have been a capture and trial? Where is the justice? As we mourn our son, we must ask these questions.”
Another must read piece from Glenn Greenwald:
In just the past two months alone (all subsequent to the killing of Osama bin Laden), the U.S. Government has taken the following steps in the name of battling the Terrorist menace: extended the Patriot Act by four years without a single reform; begun a new CIA drone attack campaign in Yemen; launched drone attacks in Somalia; slaughtered more civilians in Pakistan; attempted to assassinate U.S. citizen Anwar Awlaki far from any battlefield and without a whiff of due process; invoked secrecy doctrines to conceal legal memos setting forth its views of its own domestic warrantless surveillance powers; announced a “withdrawal”plan for Afghanistan that entails double the number of troops in that country as were there when Obama was inaugurated; and invoked a very expansive view of its detention powers under the 2001 AUMF by detaining an alleged member of al-Shabab on a floating prison, without charges, Miranda warnings, or access to a lawyer. That’s all independent of a whole slew of drastically expanded surveillance powers seized over the past two years in the name of the same threat.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared Saturday that the United States is “within reach” of “strategically defeating” Al Qaeda as a terrorist threat, but that doing so would require killing or capturing the group’s 10 to 20 remaining leaders.
Heading to Afghanistan for the first time since taking office earlier this month, Panetta said that intelligence uncovered in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May showed that 10 years of U.S. operations against Al Qaeda had left it with fewer than two dozen key operatives, most of whom are in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and North Africa.