US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The Intercept


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"Government Can Spy on Journalists in the US Using Invasive Foreign Intelligence Process"

Cora Currier berichtet, dass geltende Sicherheitsregelungen der US-Regierung neu veröffentlichten Dokumenten zufolge erlauben, Journalisten ohne gerichtliche Erlaubnis zu überwachen. "Targeting members of the press under the law, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, requires approval from the Justice Department’s highest-ranking officials, the documents show. (...) 'This is a huge surprise,' said Victoria Baranetsky, general counsel with the Center for Investigative Reporting, previously of Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press. 'It makes me wonder, what other rules are out there, and how have these rules been applied? The next step is figuring out how this has been used.' (...) Ramya Krishnan, a staff attorney with the Knight Institute, said that concerns remained. 'There’s a lack of clarity on the circumstances when the government might consider a journalist an agent of a foreign power,' said Krishnan. 'Think about WikiLeaks; the government has said they are an intelligence operation.' Hannah Bloch-Wehba, a professor at Drexel University, said that 'a probable example would be surveillance of reporters who are working for somewhere like RT' — the state-funded Russian television network — 'and as a consequence, anyone who is talking to reporters for RT. The reporters are probably conscious they are subject to surveillance, but their sources might not be.'"

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"The Underground Caliphate"

Der "Islamische Staat" in Irak sei keineswegs zerschlagen, sondern führe derzeit einen Guerilla-Krieg gegen Bagdad, schreibt Simona Foltyn. "Just seven months after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIS in Iraq, the jihadists have regrouped and are stepping up guerrilla-style attacks. ISIS operates with ease, especially in rural areas and at night, according to interviews with three dozen civilians, community leaders, and local security forces conducted over nearly three weeks this summer in and around the towns of Hawija, Kirkuk, and Tuz Khurmatu. The militants show up on people’s doorsteps asking for food and call civilians’ cell phones to demand the whereabouts of government security forces. Multiple civilians described seeing ISIS fighters move through villages in broad daylight, sometimes entering mosques to ask worshippers for zakat, a charitable contribution under Islamic law."

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"Here's Mike Pompeo's Memo Justifying US Assistance to Saudi Arabia and the UAE's War in Yemen"

US-Außenminister Pompeo hat Saudi-Arabien und den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten (VAE) in einer Erklärung bescheinigt, bei ihrem Krieg in Jemen alle nötigen Schutzmaßnahmen für Zivilisten zu treffen. "Pompeo’s vetting of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates was required by a bipartisan amendment to the annual defense spending bill signed into law last month by President Donald Trump. Pompeo made the announcement of his certification in a statement, saying that the two Gulf countries were 'undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians.' In a separate seven-page memo sent to Congress and obtained by The Intercept, Pompeo further justified the decision, citing U.S. training of the Saudi Royal Air Force and the formation of the Joint Incidents Assessment Team in 2016. (...) The full Pompeo memo to Congress, published here for the first time, conveys the breadth of justifications the Trump administration employs in its support of the Gulf coalition."

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"US Military's Worst-Case Scenario: Large Parts of Africa Seized by ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Boko Haram"

Strategen des Afrikanischen Kommandos der US-Streitkräfte (AFRICOM) haben in internen Dokumenten Szenarien einer Übernahme weiter Teile Afrikas durch radikalislamische Terrorgruppen entworfen, berichtet Nick Turse. Andere Experten hielten diese Szenarien allerdings für übertrieben. "The forecasts, which are an update to AFRICOM’s Theater Campaign Plan and were obtained by The Intercept via a Freedom of Information Act request, center around potential gains by terrorist organizations in the north and west of the continent, specifically Libya, the Sahel, and the Lake Chad basin. They offer a nightmare vision of a destabilized, crisis-ridden region that could – if the worst happens — fall increasingly under the control of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram. (...) Experts say that the scenarios are generally plausible, but lack sophistication. There is little evidence to suggest that much time or effort was expended in scripting the nightmare forecasts. Key aspects — like probable safeguards that would likely keep such dire projections from coming to pass — go unmentioned. One former U.S. intelligence analyst, who asked not to be named for fear of jeopardizing relationships with current officials, described a scenario involving Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa as 'ludicrous' due to its utter improbability. Additional checks on militants, like vigilante groups and local self-defense forces, would, he said, almost certainly prevent that worst-case scenario from coming to pass."

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"New Video Shows More Atrocities by Cameroon, a Key US Ally in Drone Warfare"

Nick Turse berichtet über ein Video, auf dem erneut ein Massaker der Regierungstruppen in Kamerun dokumentiert sei. Das Land gelte als enger Verbündeter der USA im Drohnenkrieg und im Kampf gegen die Terrorgruppe Boko Haram. "It quickly becomes clear exactly what type of mission this actually is. It’s of the same type that soldiers carried out at El Mozote, El Salvador, in 1981, at My Lai, South Vietnam, in 1968, and at Oradour-sur-Glane, France, in 1944. It is a massacre. And it is filmed. This particular mass killing takes place in Cameroon, a key U.S. ally and staging ground for America’s drone operations in Africa. While the number of victims is likely smaller than other notorious mass killings, it’s the second atrocity video involving Cameroon’s armed forces to be made public this summer."

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"Saudi-led Coalition Team to Investigate Civilian Casualties Is 'Covering Up War Crimes' in Yemen"

Ein neuer Bericht der Organisation Human Rights Watch wirft Experten der von Saudi-Arabien angeführten Militärkoalition vor, bei ihren Untersuchungen von tödlichen Militärschlägen in Jemen Beweise für mögliche Kriegsverbrechen zu ignorieren. "By its own count, the assessment team has investigated 79 incidents in which airstrikes allegedly killed or wounded civilians. But the vast majority of its reports — only 75 of which Human Rights Watch could actually find — absolve the coalition of legal responsibility for the strike in question, either by claiming the coalition wasn’t responsible or by determining that the attack was an 'unintentional' result of technical errors. The report also documents 17 instances in which JIAT’s [Joint Incidents Assessment Team] conclusions were profoundly at odds with Human Rights Watch’s own findings. (...) In the years after it was established, the Trump and Obama administrations pointed to JIAT as a sign that the coalition was aware that its attacks were killing civilians and that it was seeking to improve. But critics say the body is a cynical mechanism contrived to make it look as if the architects of the air war in Yemen care about reducing civilian casualties, when in fact their aims are something else entirely."

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"The US Is Building a Drone Base in Niger That Will Cost More Than $280 Million by 2024"

Der Betrieb der neuen Drohnenbasis des US-Militärs in Niger soll Nick Turse zufolge jährlich 30 Millionen US-Dollar kosten. "By 2024, when the 10-year agreement for use of the base in Agadez, Niger, ends, its construction and operating costs will top a quarter-billion dollars — or around $280 million, to be more precise. And that’s actually an undercount. The new projections from the Air Force do not include significant additional costs, such as salaries of the personnel stationed at the base or fuel for the aircraft flying out of Agadez. The facility, which is part of the expanded U.S. military footprint in Africa, is now the largest base-building effort ever undertaken by troops in the history of the U.S. Air Force, according to Richard Komurek, a spokesperson for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa."

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"NSA Cracked Open Encrypted Networks of Russian Airlines, Al Jazeera, and Other 'High Potential' Targets"

Neu veröffentlichte NSA-Dokumente Edward Snowdens haben offenbart, dass die NSA im Jahr 2006 den TV-Sender Al Jazeera, russische Fluglinien und andere hochrangige Ziele erfolgreich "gehackt" hat. "The NSA’s ability to crack into sensitive VPNs belonging to large organizations, all the way back in 2006, raises broader questions about the security of such networks. Many consumers pay for access to VPNs in order to mask the origin of their internet traffic from the sites they visit, hide their surfing habits from their internet service providers, and to protect against eavesdroppers on public Wi-Fi networks. The fact that the NSA spied on Al Jazeera’s communications was reported by the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel in 2013, but that reporting did not mention that the spying was accomplished through the NSA’s compromise of Al Jazeera’s VPN."

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"The NSA's Role in a Climate-Changed World: Spying on Nonprofits, Fishing Boats, and the North Pole"

Das Aufgabenfeld der NSA habe sich mit der Erkenntnis, dass der Klimawandel sicherheitspolitische Konsequenzen haben wird, spürbar verändert, berichten Alleen Brown und Miriam Pensack in Bezug auf neu veröffentlichte NSA-Dokumente Edward Snowdens. "Previously unreleased documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show how the agency has gathered intelligence meant to support U.S. interests related to environmental disasters, conflicts, and resources. In the coming years, greenhouse gas pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels will increase the frequency of ecological crises and conflicts over natural resources. The documents provide a window into the role the United States’s most sprawling international surveillance agency will play in an altered world. The documents show that although the NSA’s interest in environmental issues is limited, it’s wide-reaching and has grown over the years. Unsurprisingly, the agency is driven not by an imperative to avoid climate-induced ecological crises, but by a need to respond to such crises as they threaten U.S. political and economic interests or explode into violent clashes."

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"Saudi Arabia Planned to Invade Qatar Last Summer. Rex Tillerson's Efforts to Stop It May Have Cost Him His Job."

The Intercept hat erfahren, dass Saudi-Arabien vor einem Jahr offenbar ernsthaft erwogen hat, den Rivalen Katar militärisch zu erobern. Alex Emmons berichtet, dass der damalige US-Außenminister Tillerson die Invasion gestoppt und sich damit den Unwillen der arabischen Herrscher zugezogen habe. "In the days and weeks after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and closed down their land, sea, and air borders with the country, Tillerson made a series of phone calls urging Saudi officials not to take military action against the country. (...) Pressure from Tillerson caused Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the country, to back down, concerned that the invasion would damage Saudi Arabia’s long-term relationship with the U.S. (...) Beginning in the fall of 2017, the crown princes in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi began lobbying the White House for Tillerson’s removal, according to the source close to the Emirati royal family and another source who is close to the Saudi royal family."

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"U.S. Secret Wars in Africa Rage on, Despite Talk of Downsizing"

Nach dem Überfall auf US-Soldaten in Niger im vergangenen Oktober hat die US-Regierung angekündigt, die Präsenz des US-Militärs und die Zahl der Operationen in afrikanischen Ländern deutlich zu reduzieren. Nick Turse zufolge ist davon bisher noch nicht viel zu spüren. "While the review was reportedly ordered this spring and troop reductions may be coming, there is no evidence yet of massive cuts, gradual reductions, or any downsizing whatsoever. In fact, the number of commandos operating on the continent has barely budged since 2017. Nearly 10 months after the debacle in Niger, the tally of special operators in Africa remains essentially unchanged. (...) While media reports have focused on the possibility of imminent reductions, the number of commandos deployed in Africa is nonetheless up 96 percent since 2014 and remains fundamentally unchanged since the deadly 2017 ambush in Niger. And as the June death of Conrad in Somalia indicates, commandos are still operating in hazardous areas. Indeed, at the May Pentagon briefing, Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the chief of U.S. Africa Command, drew attention to special operators’ 'high-risk missions' under 'extreme conditions' in Africa. America’s commandos, he said, 'are doing a fantastic job across the continent.'"

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"Force-Feeding, Fasting, and Big Macs: The Doublespeak of Food at Guantánamo"

Miriam Pensack und Margot Williams haben an einem Pressetermin im US-Gefangenenlager Guantanamo teilgenommen und berichten, dass die Lagerverwaltung des US-Militärs sich offenbar auf einen dauerhaften Betrieb eingerichtet habe. "According to JTF Guantánamo Commander Rear Admiral John Ring, that mission has shifted from 'expeditionary' to 'enduring' since President Donald Trump’s January 30 executive order mandating the continuation of detainment procedures at the military prison — a sharp contrast from former President Barack Obama’s unfulfilled campaign pledge to close it. (...) Forty detainees are still held at Guantánamo, some of whom have never been charged with a crime."

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"Secret War"

Die USA haben seit dem Sturz des Gaddafi-Regimes im Jahr 2011 etwa 550 Drohnenangriffe in Libyen durchgeführt, berichten Nick Turse, Henrik Moltke und Alice Speri. Dies sei mehr als in Pakistan, Jemen oder Somalia. "The Intercept’s reporting indicates that Libya has been among the most heavily targeted nations in terms of American remotely piloted aircraft and radically revises the number of drone strikes carried out under the Obama administration, doubling some estimates. During a four-month span in 2016, for example, there were approximately 300 drone strikes in Libya, according to U.S. officials. That’s seven times more than the 42 confirmed U.S. RPA attacks carried out in Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan combined for all of 2016, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a London-based nonprofit news organization. The Libya attacks have continued under the Trump administration, with the latest U.S. drone strike occurring last week about 50 miles southeast of the town of Bani Walid."

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"New Film 'Discreet Airlift' Documents the Struggle to Hold US Officials Accountable for Torture"

Murtaza Hussain präsentiert das 15-minütige Video "Discreet Airlift" von Johanna Hamilton, die sich mit aktuellen Bemühungen, die Verantwortlichen für das jahrelang betriebene Folterprogramm der CIA zur Verantwortung zu ziehen, beschäftigt hat. "As part of this effort, a citizen-led group called the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture is working to investigate the role that public and private institutions in its state played in helping facilitate extraordinary rendition — essentially a kidnapping program to clandestinely move detainees to more friendly jurisdictions — and torture carried out by the U.S. government. The commission is the focus of Johanna Hamilton’s new film 'Discreet Airlift,' a new film from Field of Vision. The film follows activists in North Carolina attempting to raise awareness about the involvement of local officials and private companies in post-9/11 torture, including Aero Contractors, a CIA-connected company that conducted rendition flights on behalf of the agency."

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"Donald Trump Has Liberated Koreans From the Illusion That America Is Helping Them"

Die widersprüchlichen Äußerungen von US-Präsident Trump und die zwischenzeitliche Absage des Gipfeltreffens mit Kim Jong-un haben Nord- und Südkorea nach Ansicht von Peter Maass darin bestärkt, trotz ungewisser amerikanischer Unterstützung eine Lösung des Konflikts zu suchen. "This is an emperor-has-no-clothes moment, but not only in the sense of Trump and coherent thinking. For more than a century, the Korean Peninsula has been the unlucky target of more foreign intervention than arguably any other spot on the planet (which, I know, is saying a lot). Trump has shown just how capricious and prejudicial the actions of outsiders can be, doing little to serve the interests of the 75 million people who live there. (...) Moon, of South Korea, clearly realizes that forging a better relationship with his detestable counterparts in the north is preferable to trying to isolate them out of existence (which has not worked) or going to war against them (which would be another calamity). The clarifying advantage of Trump’s tween antics is that Moon and Kim and the rest of the world now have ample evidence the White House is not a helpful partner, or even sane. This is not the breakthrough we wished for, but to borrow an idea from Donald Rumsfeld, this is the breakthrough we have."

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"Will Democrats Unite to Block Trump’s Torturer, Gina Haspel, as CIA Chief? If Not, What Do They #Resist?"

Die Demokraten haben es in der Hand, ob die umstrittene Kandidatin für das Amt der CIA-Chefin tatsächlich vom Senat bestätigt werden wird, schreibt The Intercept. "Two GOP senators appear unlikely to vote for Haspel: John McCain, whose illness prevents him from attending, and Rand Paul, who has vowed to oppose Haspel (though few things have proven less reliable than Rand Paul’s promises to act on his supposed principles). That means that Democrats have the power to block a torturer and evidence-destroyer from becoming Trump’s CIA director — if they remain united in their opposition. Will they do so? It is difficult to be optimistic, to put that mildly. The history of Democrats throughout the war on terror is to ensure that just enough members of their caucus join with the GOP majority to ensure passage of even the most extremist pieces of legislation or nominees justified in the name of terrorism or national security."

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"Why Did the U.S. and Its Allies Bomb Libya? Corruption Case Against Sarkozy Sheds New Light on Ousting of Gaddafi."

Die Korruptionsermittlungen gegen Nicolas Sarkozy haben Joe Penney zufolge einige neue Details über die Beziehungen des früheren französischen Präsidenten zum 2011 getöteten libyschen Staatschef Muammar Gaddafi offenbart. Auch die Rolle Frankreichs während der westlichen Intervention zum Sturz des Gaddafi-Regimes erscheine dabei in einem neuen Licht. "Sarkozy’s zeal for military action stemmed from more than humanitarian concerns for rebellious Libyans in Benghazi who were endangered by Gaddafi’s wrath. Sarkozy’s reasoning included a mix of domestic, international, and personal reasons. (...) Rather than have a key ally oppose intervention, as France had done with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, France was pushing hard for military action. A country that had previously acted as a partial brake on American intervention was now serving the opposite purpose of encouraging an intervention that turned into a catastrophe."

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"Destroyed and Saved"

Pesha Magid und Shawn Carrié haben ihre Reportage aus Mosul mit einer Serie von Fotos ergänzt, die einen Eindruck vom Ausmaß der Zerstörungen durch die Kämpfe zur Vertreibung des IS vermitteln. Noch sei unklar, wer für den Wiederaufbau der irakischen Stadt bezahlen werde. Die USA, die durch ihre Luftangriffe einen Großteil zur Vernichtung beigetragen hätten, würden sich bisher jedenfalls nicht beteiligen. "Iraq estimates it needs $88 billion to rebuild following the war against Daesh, and hoped to drum up funding from foreign donors at a major international donor conference in February. But Iraq only managed to raise pledges of $30 billion, much of that for loans and investment rather than direct aid. While Turkey pledged $5 billion, and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia each pledged $1 billion in loans meant for rebuilding, the U.S. was conspicuously absent from the donors list. Instead of pledging any direct loans, the U.S. will pursue 'development through a model of investment rather than aid,' then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a speech. (...) 'When you talk to U.S. officials, there is this continuous emphasis on the idea that ‘we helped you, now it’s time for you to help yourselves,’' explains Harith al-Qarawee, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council."

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"With Latest Syria Threats, Trump Continues to Be More Confrontational Toward Russia Than Obama Was"

Die These, dass die USA unter Präsident Trump einen russlandfreundlichen Kurs verfolgen, sollte nach Ansicht von Glenn Greenwald und Zaid Jilani mittlerweile endgültig widerlegt worden sein. In ihrem Beitrag listen sie die vielen Maßnahmen auf, mit denen die US-Regierung Russland konfrontiert habe. "The exact danger Obama sought to avoid — military confrontation with Russia in Syria — is now upon us, being directly threatened by Trump. (...) Trump — notwithstanding the prevailing Democratic Party and media narrative over the last 18 months — has been far more willing to confront Russia and defy Putin than Obama ever was. While that may make think tank militarists, the defense industry, and warmongers in both parties giddy, it is extremely dangerous for the world. What makes this all the more dangerous is that Democrats, both because of ideology and political maneuvering, have painted themselves into a corner where they cannot possibly provide any meaningful, credible opposition to Trump’s increasingly dangerous path regarding Syria and Russia."

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"Israel Confirms Video of Sniper Shooting Unarmed Palestinian, as Soldiers Cheer, Is Genuine"

Robert Mackey berichtet, dass Israel die Authentizität eines Videos bestätigt habe, auf dem ein israelischer Scharfschütze einen unbewaffneten Palästinenser an der Grenze zu Gaza erschießt. "An Israel Defense Forces statement said the shooting caught on video had not taken place during the recent wave of protests in Gaza, during which Israeli snipers have killed at least 27 protesters. The incident took place on December 22, the army said, during protests in Gaza over Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The distressing video, which has been subtitled by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, was apparently recorded through binoculars or a gun scope, and captures the soldier who recorded it shouting as the protester is hit, 'Yes! Son of a bitch!' (...) Despite the army’s statement of disapproval, senior Israeli officials went out of their way to defend the behavior of the soldiers caught on video laughing and cheering."

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"Snowden Archive - The SidToday Files"

The Intercept hat in Kooperation mit der Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) neue Dokumente aus dem NSA-Archiv des Whistleblowers Edward Snowden veröffentlicht. Die besonders interessanten Informationen werden in vier zusätzlichen Artikeln vorgestellt. "The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, NRK, partnered with The Intercept to help showcase a revelation from our sixth release of SIDtoday documents: the NSA and Norwegian intelligence secretly collaborated on a spy base near Oslo that harvests phone calls and emails from Norwegian citizens. The 297 documents in the release, from the last half of 2005, also give details on a shadowy, global intelligence-sharing alliance led by the NSA, heightened surveillance in the wake of the 2005 London bombings, how the NSA helped find personal porn stashes to use against detainees in Iraq -- and a diverse array of other highlights. With this release, we've upgraded The SIDtoday Files with a full-text search of all 1,533 documents. You'll find the search tool on the main page, to the left under 'Browse the Archive.' Tag navigation has moved; click a tag under a document title to filter on that tag, either on the main page or in search results."

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"Blowback: How the Bombing of Libya in 2011 Led to Terror in Britain"

Mehdi Hasan macht im letzten Teil seiner "Blowback"-Videoserie auf die Verbindung zwischen dem Selbstmordattentäter Salman Abedi, der 2017 in Manchester 22 Menschen tötete, und der westlichen Intervention in Libyen im Jahr 2011 aufmerksam. "Remember: To explain how Abedi became a bomber is not to excuse him. He is responsible for a grotesque act of mass murder; the merciless killing of innocent kids. But who helped him find likeminded, hate-filled individuals with whom to train and fight? Who provided him with the battlefield on which he was recruited and radicalized? How did the Libya he travelled to end up becoming a haven for ISIS? (...) How about we stop allying with and arming unsavory groups abroad? How about we quit the Middle East regime-change business? How about we stop pretending that our wars abroad don’t lead to blowback at home? The sooner we do so, the more innocent lives we might be able save."

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"Video: Glenn Greenwald and James Risen Debate the Trump/Russia Investigation"

Die beiden Pulitzer-Preisträger James Risen und Glenn Greenwald stehen in der aktuellen Debatte über die angeblichen Russlandkontakte des US-Präsidenten und Moskaus Rolle bei den US-Wahlen auf entgegengesetzten Seiten. Während Risen Donald Trump zuletzt möglichen "Verrat" unterstellt hat, hält Greenwald die Kontroverse größtenteils für ein Ablenkungsmanöver. In diesem Video haben die beiden Intercept-Journalisten eingehend über das Thema diskutiert. "In this one-hour special video edition of Intercepted, they go head-to-head in a debate. Glenn is one of the most high-profile critics of the official story bolstered by the U.S. intelligence community, the Democrats, and many media outlets, including some of this country’s most powerful papers and news channels. Jim battled both the Bush and Obama administrations — under threat of imprisonment — for refusing to name his sources in some of the most sensitive national security reporting of the modern era. Jim recently broke a key story on a secret NSA channel to Russia and his first column for The Intercept, about the Trump/Russia investigation, posed the question: Is Donald Trump a traitor?"

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"A Consensus Emerges: Russia Committed an “Act of War” on Par With Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Should the U.S. Response be Similar?"

Glenn Greenwald schreibt, dass die Vorwürfe von US-Sonderermittler Mueller gegen Russland von vielen Politikern und Kommentatoren in Washington auf eine Stufe mit den Terroranschlägen vom 11. September 2001 und dem Angriff von Pearl Harbour gestellt werden. Dass als "Bestrafung" Russlands "nur" neue Sanktionen gefordert werden, zeige allerdings, wie "leichtsinnig" und zugleich "feige" diese Rhetorik tatsächlich sei. "If you really believe that Russia – with some phishing links sent to John Podesta and some fake Facebook ads and Twitter bots – committed an 'act of war' of any kind, let alone one on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11, then it’s inevitable that extreme retaliatory measures will be considered and likely triggered. How does one justify a mere imposition of sanctions in the face of an attack similar to Pearl Harbor or 9/11? Doesn’t it stand to reason that something much more belligerent, enduring and destructive would be necessary? At the very least, no politician or pundit should be able to get away with issuing rhetoric of this type without being required to specify what they think ought to be done."

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"Drones in the Sahara"

Joe Penney berichtet in seiner Reportage aus Agadez in Niger über die Errichtung einer neuen Drohnenbasis des US-Militärs. "I tried to find out what people think of the base and the drones that will soon be hovering overhead. After all, this was the biggest foreign military base in the region, an unprecedented uptick in Western involvement, as well as a major economic investment. But after a few days in Agadez speaking to a host of different people, I got the impression that the issue was taboo, and that very few people wanted to openly voice their concerns lest they be tagged with criticizing the current Nigerien administration, which could come back to haunt them. (...) There is an unusual question floating around Niger: Is the American base even legal? Activists, lawyers, and opposition politicians say it isn’t, arguing that it violates Articles 169 and 66 of the Nigerien Constitution. These state that defense treaties require parliamentary approval – which hasn’t happened with the base — and that the defense of Niger is carried out only by Nigerien armed forces, not foreign forces."

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"Blowback: How Torture Fuels Terrorism Rather Than Reduces It"

Mehdi Hasan erläutert in einem neuen Teil seiner "Blowback"-Reihe, warum die Folterungen und Misshandlungen von Terrorverdächtigen in Gefangenlagern wie Guantanamo das Problem des internationalen Extremismus verschärft haben. "Has the decadeslong abuse of political prisoners across the Muslim-majority world — not to mention in CIA black sites, U.S. detention facilities in Iraq, and the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay — fueled radicalization and extremism? Or is it a coincidence that some of the major figures in the jihadi movement — Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb; Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri; Al Qaeda in Iraq founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — were all victims of horrific torture? Lawrence Wright, one of the world’s leading authorities on Al Qaeda and author of 'The Looming Tower,' doesn’t think so. He has said that the torture the founders of Al Qaeda & Co. endured 'is what really gave them an appetite for revenge. And the bloodletting that is so characteristic of Al Qaeda … I think it was born in the humiliation that those men felt in those Egyptian prisons.'"

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"Lie After Lie: What Colin Powell Knew About Iraq 15 Years Ago and What He Told the U.N."

Vor 15 Jahren präsentierte der damalige US-Außenminister Colin Powell vor der UN angebliche Beweise für die Existenz irakischer Massenvernichtungswaffen. Jon Schwarz ist der Ansicht, dass Powell für diesen Auftritt bisher viel zu nachsichtig behandelt worden sei. "As much criticism as Powell received for this — he’s called it 'painful' and something that will 'always be a part of my record' — it hasn’t been close to what’s justified. Powell, who was secretary of state under President George W. Bush, was much more than just horribly mistaken: He fabricated 'evidence' and ignored repeated warnings that what he was saying was false. Unfortunately, Congress never investigated Powell’s use of the intelligence he was given, so we don’t know many of the specifics. Even so, what did reach the public record in other ways is extremely damning. While the corporate media has never taken a close look at this record, we can go through Powell’s presentation line by line to demonstrate the chasm between what he knew and what he told the world. As you’ll see, there’s quite a lot to say about it."

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"Blowback: How a CIA-Backed Coup Led to the Rise of Iran’s Ayatollahs"

In einem weiteren Beitrag aus seiner Videoreihe "Blowback" erläutert Mehdi Hasan den Zusammenhang zwischen dem von der CIA unterstützten Sturz des iranischen Präsidenten Mossadegh im Jahr 1953 und der Machtübernahme der Mullahs 1979. "With a handful of exceptions — Madeleine Albright in 2000, Barack Obama in 2009 and 2015 — most mainstream U.S. politicians have little to say about any of this sordid history. In Washington, D.C., Iranian hostility toward the U.S. has long been treated as inexplicable and irrational, while the CIA’s role in the 1953 coup — which set off a chain of events that resulted in the rise of Iran’s ayatollahs and the Islamic Revolution of 1979 — has vanished into a memory hole. (...) the U.S. government never got out of the regime change business in the subsequent decades, and continued to orchestrate coups, assassinate foreign leaders, topple elected governments, and invade sovereign nations. Even today, the hawks in the Trump administration are bent on changing the government in Tehran. Again."

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"Blowback: How ISIS Was Created by the U.S. Invasion of Iraq"

In einer sechsteiligen Artikelserie beschäftigt sich Mehdi Hasan mit den unbeabsichtigten Folgen weitreichender politischer Entscheidungen der USA in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten. In diesem Teil geht es um den Irak-Krieg, der nach Ansicht vieler Beobachter entscheidend zur Entstehung des "Islamischen Staates" beigetragen hat. "In this week’s episode of my six-part series on blowback, I examine the three ways in which Bush’s misadventure in Mesopotamia helped birth a group that the U.S. now considers to be one of the biggest threats to both U.S. national security and Middle East peace. (...) To be clear, then, ISIS is blowback from the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. And don’t just take my word for it. Listen to David Kilcullen, a former adviser to both Gen. David Petraeus and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, considered to be one of the world’s leading counter-insurgency experts. 'We have to recognize that a lot of the problem is of our own making,' Kilcullen told Channel 4 News in March 2016. 'There, undeniably, would be no ISIS if we hadn’t invaded Iraq.'”

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