US-Soldaten in Afghanistan



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"Exclusive: Turkey Attacks US Special Forces in Syria, Apparently by Mistake"

Während der türkischen Offensive in Nordsyrien ist eine dort aktive US-Spezialeinheit offenbar "versehentlich" unter türkischen Beschuss geraten. "Newsweek has learned through both an Iraqi Kurdish intelligence official and the senior Pentagon official that Special Forces operating on Mashtenour hill in the majority-Kurdish city of Kobani fell under artillery fire from Turkish forces conducting their so-called 'Operation Peace Spring' against Kurdish fighters backed by the U.S. but considered terrorist organizations by Turkey. No injuries have been reported. Instead of returning fire, the Special Forces withdrew once the shelling had ceased. Newsweek previously reported Wednesday that the current rules of engagement for U.S. forces continue to be centered around self-defense and that no order has been issued by the Pentagon for a complete withdrawal from Syria."

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"Intelligence Experts Question Iran Video: 'U.S. Track Record on Ginning up Evidence for War is Not Good'"

Die von der US-Regierung präsentierten angeblichen Beweise für die iranische Verwicklung in die Angriffe auf zwei Öltanker im Golf von Oman werden von einigen unabhängigen Experten skeptisch beurteilt. "(...) independent intelligence experts say the video provides no proof whatsoever of Iran's alleged responsibility for the attacks, a charge Iran denies. That's not to say Iran did not carry out the attacks, these experts hasten to add (...). But amid the rising tensions in the Middle East, these experts say, there are numerous other players in the region with compelling motivations to carry out such attacks. (...) Others have pointed to the possibility that Thursday's attacks, as well as the attacks on four tankers in the same waters a month ago, were so-called 'false-flag' operations carried out by Israel, another arch foe of Iran, to make Iran appear responsible. And some observers have even suggested the attacks may have been directed by hawkish members of the Trump administration as a pretext to launch military operations against Iran. 'The U.S. track record on ginning up evidence for war is not good,' William Church, a former military investigator for the United Nations Security Council. 'It lied in the run-up to the Vietnam war [by inventing a North Vietnamese attack on a U.S. Navy ship in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964], and it lied about WMD [weapons of mass destruction] before the Iraq war. So when these tanker attacks happen, we have to ask why and what's the motivation in addition to examining the evidence.'"

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"The Slow, Dangerous Implosion of the Saudi Crown Prince"

Madawi Al-Rasheed erläutert, warum der Aufstieg von Kronprinz Muhammad bin Salman das Regime in Saudi-Arabien ihrer Ansicht nach nicht nachhaltig stabilisieren wird. Wegen der verstärkten Unterdrückung innenpolitischer Gegner sei zwar in nächster Zeit keine Revolution zu erwarten, eine "graduelle Erosion" der Legitimität könnte aber längerfristig zu einer "Implosion" des Regimes führen. "Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) now stands alone at the top of the hierarchy, but he has lost many constituencies that allow him to rule without resorting to direct force. This situation is unsustainable and even dangerous. There's been a serious erosion of regime legitimacy, and this is leading to a slow implosion from within."

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"Marco Rubio: U.S. Military Intervention Could Solve Venezuelan Crisis"

US-Senator Rubio hat erneut eine Invasion des US-Militärs zum Sturz von Präsident Maduro in Venezuela thematisiert. "In an interview with Univision 23 in Miami earlier this week translated from Spanish to English, Rubio, a vocal opponent of Maduro’s regime, said he would not rule the military option out. 'For months and years, I wanted the solution in Venezuela to be a non-military and peaceful solution, simply to restore democracy,' Rubio said. 'I believe that the Armed Forces of the United States are only used in the event of a threat to national security. I believe that there is a very strong argument that can be made at this time that Venezuela and the Maduro regime has become a threat to the region and even to the United States.' But critics of U.S. military action say it’s a bad idea. A better solution would be a 'multilateral solution that involves some kind of negotiations,' said Juan Cruz, a CIA veteran and director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council."

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"U.S. Coalition Admits to Killing More Civilians in Iraq and Syria, but Activists Say Numbers Still Don't Add Up"

Eine Recherche des Journalisten Chris Woods von der Organisation Airwars ist Tom O'Connor zufolge zu dem Schluss gekommen, dass die vom US-Militär genannten Zahlen über die Zivilopfer der Kämpfe um Raqqa und Mossul bei weitem nicht mit den Angaben vor Ort übereinstimmen. "ISIS was declared defeated in Mosul in July 2017 and in Raqqa in October 2017. Both campaigns saw displays of overwhelming coalition air power and were accompanied by accusations that the coalition had killed scores of civilians. Prior to Thursday's report, the coalition took responsibility for 352 civilian deaths in Mosul and only 23 in Raqqa, a number that Airwars said fell short by well over 1,000. (...) Airwars estimates that the coalition is actually responsible for up to 1,579 civilian deaths in Mosul and 1,400 in Raqqa, and that these are conservative estimates. (...) The new official coalition count of 'at least 1,059' is still seen as incredibly low by many activists on the ground and abroad. Airwars placed the total number of civilians killed by the coalition at 6,321 in Iraq and Syria. As of March, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimated 2,967 and the Syrian Network for Human Rights reported 2,673, both in Syria alone. The latest report may, however, represent a step in the right direction as evidenced by the new language in a usually heavily standardized monthly message."

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"Christians Killed in ISIS-inspired Suicide Bomb Attacks on Three Churches In Indonesia"

Die Bombenanschläge auf drei Kirchen in Indonesien sind Berichten zufolge von einer Familie von IS-Anhängern verübt worden. "A family of six is believed to have launched the suicide attacks targeting the Santa Maria Catholic Church, the Indonesian Christian Church and the Pentecost Central Church in Surabaya, a port city on Java Island's east coast, East Java Police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera told CNN. 'The husband drove the car, an Avanza, that contained explosives and rammed it into the gate in front of that church,' Barung Mangera told reporters at the regional police headquarters in Surabaya. He said the wife and two daughters in the family were involved in an attack on a second church, while at the third church, 'two other children rode the motorbike and had the bomb across their laps.'"

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"When It Comes to Military Force, Trump Is Just Like Obama"

Aaron David Miller und Richard Sokolsky stellen fest, dass US-Präsident Trump im ersten Jahr seiner Amtszeit viele Initiativen und Entscheidungen seines Amtsvorgängers symbolisch als auch inhaltlich mehr oder weniger drastisch demontiert habe. Die große Ausnahme sei der Einsatz des US-Militärs: "On this question, Trump, like his predecessor, has shown more risk-aversion than risk-readiness. While the president has often engaged in blustery and bellicose rhetoric, he has been careful when it comes to putting American troops into harm’s away. (...) This uncharacteristic Trumpian caution seems driven by several factors. First, despite his boasts during the campaign that he knew more than his generals, Trump (although he would never admit it) seems to understand that military strategy and tactics are not in his wheel-house — and that talking tough is one thing, killing is another. Trump’s limited use of force in Syria and his military caution toward North Korea and Iran reflect the steadying hand, prudence, and influence of what he likes to refer to as his generals and Secretary of Defense Mattis. Second, Trump sees himself as a domestic rather than foreign policy president. (...) Maybe it’s giving Trump too much credit, but he probably grasps intuitively that a war, and especially an unpopular one, could derail his agenda and sink his presidency."

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"Nuclear War with N. Korea: We’re Not Prepared for the Scale of Casualties"

Cham Dallas, Direktor des Institute for Disaster Management an der University of Georgia, schreibt, dass die Nordkorea-Krise einen Atomkrieg um einiges wahrscheinlicher gemacht habe. Die praktischen Folgen eines Atomwaffenangriffs mit möglicherweise Millionen Toten und Verletzten würden bisher allerdings auch von medizinischen Experten nicht ernsthaft genug thematisiert. "In fact, I recently published an assessment of U.S. and Asian emergency medical responders’ hypothetical response to a nuclear event which found a striking lack of knowledge about patients affected by radiation after nuclear war and a strong reluctance to treat them, even though it is far less dangerous than treating infectious disease patients. This fear of radiation is just as pronounced in the general population. (...) While nuclear nonproliferation remains a top priority, the preparation for responding to the actual use of these terrible weapons is now a regrettable necessity that we must confront."

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"The Cost of War for the U.S. Taxpayer Since 9/11 Is Actually Three Times the Pentagon's Estimate"

Die tatsächlichen steuerlichen Kosten der Kriege mit amerikanischer Beteiligung seit dem 11. September 2001 übersteigen die Schätzungen des Pentagons einer neuen Studie des Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs der Brown University zufolge um das Dreifache. "The United States military has spent more than $5.6 trillion on conflicts since 2001, more than three times the Pentagon’s actual estimate, according to a new study. The Department of Defense reported earlier this year that it had spent around $1.5 trillion on conflicts (...) The study examines not only the money spent by the Pentagon but also the State Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security, for resources dedicated to the 'war on terrorism.' The total costs include financial support for allies in the battle against extremist groups, mostly from eastern Europe, such as Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania, and a trillion dollars added for the care of veterans who may have received injuries in the conflicts."

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"Women Are Vital in the Fight Against Terrorism — Finally People Are Recognizing This"

Republikaner und Demokraten im US-Kongress haben in seltener Einmütigkeit ein Gesetz verabschiedet, in dem eine stärkere Beteiligung von Frauen bei der Bekämpfung des Terrorismus und bei Verhandlungen zur Beilegung gewaltsamer Konflikte gefordert wird. Jamille Bigio vom Council on Foreign Relations hofft, dass die US-Regierung diesen Aspekt in ihrer Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik stärker beachten wird. "First is leadership: the Trump administration should immediately nominate the next Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues and appoint coordinators at the Department of Defense and USAID. Second, few resources are allocated to promoting women’s participation in security efforts — U.S. security strategy would be made more effective by correcting this omission. Third, the U.S. government should ensure that the rising generation of American diplomats and security professionals recognizes the value of women’s participation in security efforts, so that it becomes standard practice for U.S. officials to see women leaders in places like Syria and Afghanistan as partners and not afterthoughts."

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"After Trump Travel Ban, Chad Pulls Troops From Boko Haram Fight in Niger"

Das neue Einreiseverbot der US-Regierung betrifft auch Bürger des Tschad. Viele Experten hätten auf diese Entscheidung "schockiert" reagiert und vor sicherheitspolitischen Folgen gewarnt, berichtet Conor Gaffey. Nun habe die Regierung des zentralafrikanischen Landes ihre Truppen aus der Koalition zur Bekämpfung der radikalislamischen Terrorgruppe Boko Haram zurückgezogen. "Chad has pulled hundreds of troops from neighboring Niger, where they had been stationed to assist in a regional fight against Boko Haram, the Nigerian militant Islamist group, Reuters reported. Chad’s government has not given any explanation for the withdrawal, which took place over the past two weeks. But in the wake of Trump’s pronouncement on September 24, Chad’s communications minister Madeleine Alingué said that the decision 'seriously undermines Chad’s image and the good relations between the two countries, notably in the fight against terrorism.'"

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"Art of the Deal: Trump Won’t Scrap Iran Nuclear Agreement — For Now"

US-Präsident Trump hat sich offenbar entschlossen, das von ihm immer wieder scharf kritisierte Atomabkommen mit dem Iran vorerst nicht aufzukündigen, sondern es lediglich zu "dezertifizieren". "Scrapping the deal entirely would require the United States to re-impose nuclear sanctions on Iran. And 'for now,' a source says, Washington will not do that. Republicans in Congress have been eager to bring back sanctions lifted after the deal was signed in 2015, but Trump will ask them to hold off, and Congress will likely do so."

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"Why Isn’t Las Vegas Shooting Being Called 'Terrorism' and Shooter Stephen Paddock a 'Terrorist'?"

Der Massenmord von Las Vegas hat erneut die Frage aufgeworfen, welche Gewalttaten als "Terrorismus" eingestuft werden sollten. Jason Le Miere schreibt, dass der Begriff von US-Behörden und Regierungsstimmen in den letzten Jahren oft in widersprüchlicher Art und Weise verwendet worden sei. "Federal law defines terrorism more specifically as the 'unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.' After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, then-President Barack Obama came up with his own designation for the term: 'Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror,' he said before the identity of the attackers or their motivation had been established. (...) President Donald Trump has a particularly inconsistent history with the term. After the killing of a counterprotester at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August by an alleged white supremacist, Trump said only that 'you can call it whatever you want.' However, he has repeatedly been quick to define attacks carried out by Muslims."

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"The CIA Wants Permission to Kill Terrorists in Afghanistan with Drones, Which Could Endanger U.S. Troops"

US-Präsident Trump erwägt Berichten zufolge, der CIA trotz Vorbehalten aus dem Pentagon zu erlauben, in Afghanistan eigenständig Drohnenangriffe durchzuführen. Der Geheimdienst wäre dabei im Gegensatz zum US-Militär nicht verpflichtet, mögliche Zivilopfer dieser Angriffe einzugestehen. "Some Pentagon officials reportedly fear this could place U.S. troops in danger because drone strikes have been known to increase animosity toward the U.S., especially when civilian deaths occur. If troops in Afghanistan had no knowledge of strikes conducted near where they're deployed, they'd likely be ill-prepared to deal with potential backlash. That people within the Pentagon are reportedly expressing alarm about this CIA push is definitely a cause for concern, Dr. Peter W. Singer, a leading expert on 21st century security issues, tells Newsweek."

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"Barcelona Attack: Charlie Hebdo Publishes Controversial Anti-Islam Cover Art"

Das französische Satiremagazin Charlie Hebdo hat nach dem Terroranschlag in Barcelona Jack Moore zufolge erneut eine provokative Karikatur veröffentlicht. "The satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday published a provocative front cover in reaction to the vehicle-ramming attack in Barcelona last Thursday, sarcastically calling Islam a 'religion of peace.' The magazine’s artwork shows a white van in the background with two cross-eyed, bloodied bodies lying motionless on the floor. The words read: 'Islam, the religion of eternal peace.' Most of those implicated in the Barcelona vehicle-ramming attack and a second attack in the Catalonian town of Cambrils were Moroccan-born Muslims. The magazine’s editor, Laurent 'Riss' Sourisseau, justified the decision in an editorial, saying that the publication was sending a message that the French elite was too scared to communicate. 'The debates and questions about the role of religion, and in particular the role of Islam, in these attacks have completely disappeared,' he wrote."

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"What’s the U.S. Plan for Post-ISIS Syria? Let Them Fight Among Themselves"

Frederic C. Hof vom Atlantic Council kritisiert, dass das US-Militär offenbar keine Syrien-Strategie für die Zeit nach der Zerschlagung des "Islamischen Staates" habe. Damit riskierten die USA die Entstehung neuer extremistischer Bewegungen. Hof selbst plädiert für eine Militärintervention einer "Koalition der Willigen". "This writer has pressed relentlessly since 2015 for the United States to organize and lead a professional ground force coalition of the willing in eastern Syria to defeat ISIS sooner rather than later, and to work with genuine local leaders and anti-Assad opposition figures — many of whom had received material American support — to establish competent, humane, and inclusive post-ISIS governance. (...) In the end, post-combat responsibilities can indeed be evaded. They can be handed off to militiamen or ignored altogether. But the consequences of this evasion, as demonstrated in Iraq 2003 and Libya 2011, can be catastrophic."

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"What We Know About Paris Shooting Suspect Karim Cheurfi"

Drei Tage vor der ersten Runde der französischen Präsidentschaftswahl hat ein offenbar radikalislamischer Täter in Paris einen Polizisten erschossen und drei weitere Menschen verletzt, bevor er selbst getötet wurde. "French prosecutor François Molins said at a press conference in Paris, 'The identity of the attacker is known and has been verified,' reported Liberation. The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) claimed responsibility Thursday for the attack, claiming via its al-Amaq news agency it was carried out by one of its 'fighters' it called Abu Yussef al-Balgiki, which experts said suggested the attacker was Belgian or spent time in Belgium. A Belgian prosecutor said there was no indication the attacker was Belgian, reported France 24. Sources told AFP that a handwritten note in praise of ISIS was found near the attacker’s body, and a Koran in his vehicle nearby."

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"How North Korea is Bringing the U.S. and China Closer"

Das gemeinsame Interesse an einer diplomatischen Einhegung Nordkoreas könnte zu einer Annäherung der USA und Chinas führen, meint Ramon Pacheco Pardo vom King’s College London. "Kim’s actions, paradoxically, are likely to lead to greater cooperation between China, the U.S., South Korea and other countries in the region. These countries do not see eye to eye all the time, but if there is something they can agree on, it is their shared dislike for a nuclear and provocative North Korea. (...) Cooperation between China, the U.S. and East Asian powers on the North Korean nuclear issue is positive. The benefits go beyond reining in Pyongyang. Kim Jong Il brought Washington and Beijing closer to each other during the Bush years and his son, Kim Jong Un, seems bent on doing the same today. We can expect more provocative action from North Korea in the coming weeks. China curbing imports of coal from its North Korea has probably increased Pyongyang’s fears of isolation. Talks involving Washington and Beijing would ease them."

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"Spy Veterans Say Trump's Muslim-Country Visa Ban Will Hurt Recruitment"

Das von US-Präsident Trump verhängte Einreiseverbot für Bürger aus sieben muslimischen Ländern könnte sich für die US-Geheimdienste nach Ansicht einiger Experten als ernstes Hindernis bei der Anwerbung neuer Quellen herausstellen. "For decades, CIA and U.S. military intelligence spy recruiters have held out the promise of eventual resettlement in America to induce foreigners to turn coat and work secretly for the United States against terrorist groups or repressive governments. In reality, many were caught before they ever made it, but during the Cold War countless Eastern Europeans living under communist rule, and more recently, Muslims across the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, have worked secretly for U.S. spy agencies on the promise that they or their children would eventually be extracted. Another effective recruiting tool for U.S. operatives has been to offer their agents’ families medical care or education in the United States."

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"How Iraqi Forces Drove ISIS From Ramadi"

Jane Arraf beschreibt in ihrer Reportage für Newsweek, auf welche Weise die irakischen Truppen im vergangenen Dezember den "Islamischen Staat" aus der Stadt Ramadi vertrieben haben. "The victory in Ramadi frees tens of thousands of Iraqi troops to move farther up the Euphrates into western Anbar, toward the Syrian border. But first, Fallujah, to the southeast, remains in ISIS hands. As has been the case since 2003, the toughest fight in the deeply conservative tribal province is expected to be there. Anbar’s biggest city, Fallujah was the site of the fiercest clashes with U.S. forces, seen as foreign occupiers after they toppled Hussein and then stayed in Iraq. (...) In a measure of how difficult the fight there is expected to be, Iraqi military officials are talking about surrounding Fallujah to cut off ISIS supply lines rather than immediately retaking it. Isolating the city would also risk starving the civilian population."

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"Rubio’s Foreign Policy Is Rash, Reckless and Risky"

Der drittplatzierte der fast gleichauf liegenden republikanischen Präsidentschaftskandidaten bei den Vorwahlen in Iowa ist Marco Rubio. Dessen außenpolitische Äußerungen werden von Lawrence Wilkerson als "riskant" und "rücksichtslos" kritisiert. "Missing in Senator Rubio’s Reagan-like rhetoric is the Soviet Bear. But one of the pillars of his foreign policy is a return to the Cold War with Russia. Rubio also wants to open a new front with China. And he would exacerbate the generation-old conflict with Iran, at a moment when the singular utterly positive foreign policy achievement of the Obama administration has, for now at least, directed that overheated relationship toward promising change through the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA): the nuclear agreement with Iran."

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"FBI Game Trains Youth to Identify and Counter Extremists"

Das FBI plane, eine interaktive Website ins Netz zu stellen, mit deren Hilfe Lehrer und Schüler trainieren sollen, vermeintlich radikalisierungsgefährdete Jugendliche zu identifizieren. Nach Protesten muslimischer Interessengruppen sei die Veröffentlichung vorerst aufgeschoben worden, berichtet Lauren Walker. "Several people briefed on the website were particularly troubled by a portion of the program, which asks viewers to identify alarming social media posts, according to the Times. The options, according to those interviewed, included a person writing on Facebook about attending a political event, another posting about feeling emotional about something, and someone with an Arabic name posting about going on 'a mission' overseas—the correct answer. 'What kind of mission?' Hoda Hawa, the director of policy and advocacy for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said to the Times. 'It could have been humanitarian. It could have been religious.'"

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"Dumb Bombs: Why One Rule for Assad, Another for the Saudis?"

Die US-Regierung hat Russland den Einsatz von Streumunition und sogenannter "dummer" Bomben in Syrien vorgeworfen. Micah Zenko hält diese Kritik durchaus für gerechtfertigt, da Zivilisten durch diese Art der Munition besonders häufig getötet werden. Allerdings müssten sich die USA die Frage gefallen lassen, warum der Einsatz derartiger Bomben durch Saudi-Arabien im Jemen-Krieg geduldet werde. "So what have U.S. government spokespersons had to say about Saudi Arabia’s use of cluster munitions and indiscriminate airpower in Yemen? On August 20, State Department spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby stated that the administration had 'discussed reports of the alleged use of cluster munitions with the Saudis' and considered them 'permissible' if they are 'used appropriately and according with those end-use rules.' The White House and Department of Defense have barely mentioned it or even been asked. When questioned about civilian casualties by Saudi air operations in Yemen on October 7, White House press secretary Josh Earnest responded, 'We have routinely urged the coalition to appreciate the need to prevent civilian casualties.'"

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"A Former CIA Interrogator on Death, Torture and the Dark Side"

Jeff Stein und Adam Zagorin mit einer Reportage über den früheren CIA-Verhörspezialisten David Martine, der bis heute darauf besteht, dass die CIA bei ihren umstrittenen Verhörpraktiken nach dem 11. September 2001 nichts Grundlegendes falsch gemacht habe. "Torture is unworthy of America, he says. And he insists it was rarely employed by the U.S., even in the years immediately following the 9/11 attacks, when 'the interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others,' according to last year’s Senate Intelligence Committee report. 'I don't think we get the credit deserved,' he says, 'for standing on the right side of humanity in our treatment of all those in our custody.' (...) In the warm fellowship of the Erie Yacht Club, Martine may remain a hero to many, even as a large body of critics continue to view anyone associated with the CIA’s 'enhanced interrogations' as monsters. Other Americans have simply moved on, leaving Martine and those like him hostage to their consciences and the judgment of future generations."

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"Israel Eavesdropped on President Clinton’s Diplomatic Phone Calls"

Einem neuen Buch zufolge hat der israelische Geheimdienst vor 15 Jahren Telefongespräche zwischen dem damaligen US-Präsidenten Bill Clinton und Syriens Machthaber Hafez al-Assad abgehört. "The wiretapping revelations will likely be greeted in Israel as explosive, analysts said, not for what the conversations exposed so much as the fact that they were leaked – suggesting that there is 'an Israeli Edward Snowden,' as one put it."

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"The Plots to Destroy America"

Kurt Eichenwald erläutert anhand mehrerer Beispiele, welch beträchtlichen Einfluss vermeintlich harmlose Verschwörungstheorien in den USA auf wichtige politische Entscheidungsprozesse ausüben. "Conspiracy theories have been woven into the fabric of American society since before the signing of the Constitution. But what was once dismissed as the amusing ravings of the tin-foil-hat crowd has in recent years crossed a threshold, experts say, with delusions, fictions and lunacy now strangling government policies and creating national health risks. (...) 'The reason we should worry about conspiracy theories and misinformation is that they distort the debate that is crucial to democracy,' says Brendan Nyhan, an assistant professor in Dartmouth’s government department who has conducted research on conspiracy theories. 'They divert attention from the real issue and issues of concern that public officials should be debating.'"

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