Cp4ab0lishm3nt’s Blog

Worse Than War

Posted in Crimes Against Humanity, Genocide, War by cp4ab0lishm3nt on October 31, 2011

Why Do Killers Kill?

This film excerpt begins with a short introduction to the crisis in Darfur, suggesting that genocide is an ongoing problem. It then moves to Rwanda, where Goldhagen interviews Esperance Nyirarugira, a rape victim whose family was brutally murdered right before her eyes.

Why Does the International Community Fail to Intervene?

The film excerpt begins with the question of why genocide continues to occur even though the phrase “never again” has resounded innumerable times since the end of World War II. The discussion then shifts to the international failure to stop the Turks’ systematic mass elimination and extermination of Armenians during World War I. The film excerpt focuses on the Turkish government’s denial of this genocide and the fact that the United States has failed to formally recognize it as a genocide.

This film excerpt also depicts the crisis and genocide in the region of Darfur in western Sudan. Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, whose Islamic Arab dictatorship controls northern Sudan, was conducting a long and bloody eliminationist assault against the predominantly black and Christian southern Sudan. The campaign, which was also designed to bring this oil-rich region under al-Bashir’s control, ended in 2005. Al-Bashir and his forces killed as many as two million people and expelled millions more from their homes and regions. In the film, Goldhagen explains that the impunity with which the Sudanese government was allowed to conduct the war against the south led to the genocide in Darfur. In 2003, the Sudanese government began systematic attacks in Darfur, using as a pretext for its action the small incident of a raid by two armed groups of Darfuris on a Sudanese military installation (the raid was protesting years of economic and political discrimination). By 2010, the Sudanese government and its forces had, directly and indirectly, contributed to the deaths of more than 300,000 Darfuris, expelled more than 2.5 million people, and tortured and raped victims on a vast scale.

An interview with Madeleine Albright, the US ambassador to the United Nations at the time of the genocide in Rwanda (1994), raises questions about the failure of international diplomacy in the 1990s. Specifically, the interview examines the failure of the United States to do anything to stop the Rwandan Hutu’s genocidal killing of Tutsi. The film excerpt also examines and questions the role of the United Nations during the genocide. It probes what Goldhagen sees as UN paralysis and overemphasis on national sovereignty. The film takes issue with the definition of the term national sovereignty as “the state’s right for immunity from other countries intervening in its internal affairs.” According to Goldhagen, this definition stands in the way of effective intervention during genocide.

The reactions of outside states to a genocide or eliminationist assault can be broken into those actions carried out before, during, and after the killings. This section focuses on reactions during and after genocide, addressing several of Goldhagen’s ideas for early detection and response to imminent genocidal threats.

What is the Role of Leaders in Genocide?

Following a discussion of the role of Pol Pot in the Cambodian genocide, Goldhagen cites a series of other episodes of mass killing and asserts that “genocide is always the decision of one leader or a small group of leaders.” Using examples from the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide, he explains that genocide is the result of a calculated political act rather than a spontaneous eruption of hateful feelings. His father and mentor, Erich Goldhagen—a Holocaust survivor and scholar—offers a chilling picture of a world ruled by Hitler. The excerpt contains footage of Daniel Goldhagen at an old Berlin train station. Metal plaques on the old tracks with destination names, dates, and numbers memorialize those sent to German death camps during World War II.

The film continues with images from the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides and with an analysis of the means that leaders use to mobilize their people for mass killing. Among other things, the film discusses how leaders start genocides, their motivation for doing so, and the ways in which they inflame historical prejudices to incite violence. Finally, this clip introduces the use of the media as a means of intensifying prejudices and producing fear in order to mobilize people to participate in mass killings. Among the included media are radio sounds from Radio Mille Collines, which was used extensively in Rwanda to dehumanize the Tutsi people, to mobilize Hutu to murder the Tutsi—including, sometimes, their neighbors—and to coordinate the killings.

The next segment here is a documentary to show the establishment of the International Criminal Court and whether this Court can actually enforce genocide. Watch.


U.S. May Kill Iran Leaders With Predator Drone Strikes

Posted in Uncategorized by cp4ab0lishm3nt on October 14, 2011

Bill O’ Reilly Discusses with Megyn Kelly on O’ Reilly’s segment

Drone, Kamikaze, Killer

The capture of Mali Khan

Posted in Pakistan ISI, Special Forces, Taliban, Terrorism by cp4ab0lishm3nt on October 12, 2011
Written by Michael Sempel; Monday, October 10, 2011 @ 12:52PM
Despite their origins as part of an obscure border tribe from the hills of Afghanistan’s Khost and Paktia provinces, the Haqqani clan now find themselves center-stage in the Afghan conflict. On 1 October, only days after former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, in congressional testimony, pointed to the Haqqanis and their supporters (possibly including Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI)) as key threats to stability in Afghanistan, NATO announced the arrest of Mali Khan, a “senior leader” of the Haqqani Network. Sometimes these revelations of insurgents killed or captured exaggerate the importance of the “trophy.” Not so this time. Mali Khan really has been one of the lynchpins of the Haqqani Network, and his capture will pose a whole series of challenges for those who lead and cooperate with them.Mali Khan was a trusted confidant of the patriarch of the Haqqani Network, Jalaluddin, and his son Siraj. Khan was an effective commander directly involved in supervising operations and the myriad logistics and organizational activities required to keep a clandestine insurgency underway. His effectiveness as a leader was in part due to the fact that he spent much of his time on the ground in southeastern Afghanistan. Although he had made his main residence in Waziristan’s main town of Miranshah, Mali Khan did not spend much of his time at home. This point is important because the NATO kill-and-capture campaign has made it difficult for known senior commanders to travel inside Afghanistan. Until now, Mali Khan had managed to stay a step ahead of the targeters. However, they got close – in June ISAF announced that they had killed the deputy to Mali Khan in an airstrike.

The Haqqani Network is in its essence a clan within the Zadran tribe, in addition to the clan’s manifold alliances built up in different stages of the Afghan conflict. Mali Khan achieved his senior status in part because he was a member of the clan, rather than just an ally. His family is doubly related to Jalaluddin and Siraj; Mali Khan’s sister is Siraj’s mother, and Mali Khan’s uncle is married to Jalaluddin’s sister. As a family insider, Mali Khan has helped play a role in the network’s dynastic succession — the passage of the leadership from Jalaluddin to Siraj. Recent analyses havestressed Jalaluddin’s “Islamist internationalist credentials.” But the patriarch was foremost a leading commander of the anti-Soviet mujahideen and one of the pillars of the “commanders shura” in the final stages of the jihad, which famously tried to unite the field commanders across party and ethnic divides.  His 1980’s role has given Jalaluddin genuine prestige — he is a peer of the old men Hamid Karzai invites to his informal “leaders shura” in Kabul. Siraj, however, has never had either the public exposure or the battlefield experience of his father. Having a senior loyalist family commander like Mali Khan in the field helps offers continuity in the network, as he can encourage cooperators to transfer the respect they have for Jalaluddin to his lesser-known son.

It was this privileged insider status which allowed Mali Khan to be involved intimately in a wide range of Network activities. More light needs to be shed on the span of the command chain employed in the Haqqanis’ trademark spectacular attacks — the group clearly draws on the expertise of their range of allies in Waziristan, including al-Qaeda. However Mali Khan has played his own role in these attacks. Afghans who know the network well suggest he probably supplied some of the “fidayeen” recruits and supervised some of them in the attacks, such as the storming of the Kabul Intercontinental Hotel. And in addition to his military functions, Mali Khan had also served as one of the Haqqani business managers. Even during the jihad of the 1980’s, fronts built up portfolios of assets, as military effectiveness depended upon having an economic base. And while the Haqqani Network is notorious for profiting from kidnapping, they have also been quick to take advantage of some of the business opportunities in post-2001 Afghanistan. Afghan researchers in the southeastern provinces believe that Mali Khan was responsible for managing many of those assets.

Given just how central Mali Khan was to Haqqani operations, the fact that he was taken alive makes his loss all the more troubling for the group. He is an example of how “capture” can be more effective then “kill.” The Haqqanis have to work on the assumption that the Afghan Government and NATO are acquiring a rather better understanding of network operations than just about anyone else might have been able to supply them. Commander networks which have been targeted in a “kill and capture” operation always move to appoint a successor to the man they have lost, and the Haqqanis will do the same for Mali Khan. However, they have barely a handful of family insiders capable of taking over the kind of commander-cum-leader-cum-manager role which Mali Khan played.  And although it is far too early to write off the Haqqanis, the experience should push analysts to think ahead to the question of who the non-Afghan Waziristan militants will work through if there ever really is a weakening of the Haqqani role. After all, the Haqqanis are by no means the only strategic threat originating in Waziristan.

Michael Semple is a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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Discovery Channel: Secrets of Seal Team 6

Posted in Counterterrorism, Special Forces, Terrorism by cp4ab0lishm3nt on October 3, 2011

In SECRETS OF SEAL TEAM SIX, viewers are invited behind closed doors to learn the story of this top-secret Special Operations unit that officially doesn’t even exist.  For three decades, SEAL Team Six has been considered one of the most – if not the most – elite group in the U.S. military.  These are the men who took down Osama Bin Laden.  Now that this undisclosed group has made headlines, will they still be as effective as they’ve proven to be in the past?

In addition to the group’s background and history, viewers will get a look at the recruiting, weapons and technology necessary in carrying out the year’s top news story. Team members are put through some of the most rigorous training and examinations to prove that they have what it takes to complete missions intelligently, discreetly and seamlessly.

Through graphics, interviews and dramatic military b-roll, the stories of those who put it all on the line will be told candidly and informatively. The special introduces viewers to the team’s founder, Dick Marcinko, and former members to give the first tell-all account of their experience in this underground organization.

“There’s a group that will kick ass and save you,” says Marcinko.

Viewers will also meet former SEALS, military analysts, journalists and Seal Team Six wives for an outsider’s knowledge and expertise on the group’s ability to remain under the radar while carrying out tasks successfully.

“We’re rough boys. We want to fight. That’s why we joined,” says former Seal Don Shipley.

Delve into this mysterious world and learn the SECRETS OF SEAL TEAM SIX.

SECRETS OF SEAL TEAM SIX is produced for Discovery Channel by NBC Peacock Productions. Gretchen Eisele is executive producer for NBC Peacock Productions, and Brooke Runnette is executive producer for Discovery Channel.

About Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in over 180 countries, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.

Two-Year Manhunt Led to Awlaki Death

Posted in Drones, Terrorism, Yemen Terrorism by cp4ab0lishm3nt on October 1, 2011

September 30, 2011; NYT

WASHINGTON — Anwar al-Awlaki did not leave much of a trail, frustrating the American and Yemeni intelligence officials pursuing him over the last two years.

They believed they finally had found him in a village in southern Yemen last year. Yemeni commandos, equipped with tanks and heavy weapons, surrounded the hamlet, but he slipped away, according to a Yemeni official. In May, his pursuers targeted him in a drone attack, but narrowly missed him and other members of his entourage as they drove across a desert.

The search for Mr. Awlaki, the American-born cleric whose fiery sermons made him a larger-than-life figure in the shadowy world of jihad, finally ended on Friday. After several days of surveillance of Mr. Awlaki, armed drones operated by the Central Intelligence Agency took off from a new, secret American base in the Arabian Peninsula, crossed into northern Yemen and unleashed a barrage of Hellfire missiles at a car carrying him and other top operatives from Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, including another American militant who had run the group’s English-language Internet magazine.

The strike was the culmination of a desperate manhunt marked not only by near misses and dead ends, but also by a wrenching legal debate in Washington about the legality — and morality — of putting an American citizen on a list of top militants marked for death. It also represented the latest killing of a senior terrorist figure in an escalated campaign by the Obama administration.

“The death of Awlaki is a major blow to Al Qaeda’s most active operational affiliate,” President Obama said in remarks at a swearing-in ceremony for the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, outside Washington. Mr. Obama said the cleric had taken “the lead role in planning and directing the efforts to murder innocent Americans.”

Mr. Obama also called Mr. Awlaki “the leader of external operations for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” — the first time the United States has publicly used that description of him. American officials say he inspired militants around the world and helped plan a number of terrorist plots, including the December 2009 attempt to blow up a jetliner bound for Detroit.

The drone strike was the first C.I.A. strike in Yemen since 2002 — there have been others since then by the military’s Special Operations forces — and was part of an effort by the spy agency to duplicate in Yemen the covert war the it has been running in Pakistan. Friday’s operation was the first time the agency had carried out a deadly strike from a new base in the region. The agency began constructing the base this year, officials said, when it became apparent to intelligence and counterterrorism officials that the threat from Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen had eclipsed that coming from its core group of operatives hiding in Pakistan.

American officials said that the missile strike also killed Samir Khan, an American citizen of Pakistani origin who was an editor of Inspire, Al Qaeda’s English-language online magazine. Mr. Khan, who grew up in Queens and North Carolina, proclaimed in the magazine last year that he was “proud to be a traitor to America,” and edited articles with titles like “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.”

United States officials said that Friday’s strike may also have killed Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, a Saudi bomb maker responsible for the weapon carried by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called underwear bomber in the jetliner plot. He is also thought to have built the printer-cartridge bombs that, 10 months later, were intended to be put on cargo planes headed to the United States. Neither of those plots were successful.

A high-ranking Yemeni security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Mr. Awlaki was killed while traveling between Marib and Jawf Provinces in northern Yemen — areas known for having a Qaeda presence and where there is very little central government control.

A tribal sheik from Jawf Province, Abdullah al-Jumaili, said he had seen the place where Mr. Awlaki was killed. Reached by phone in Jawf, Mr. Jumaili said that the car Mr. Awlaki and two or three companions had been traveling in was nearly destroyed, and that it might be difficult to recognize bodies. But he said he had also spoken to other tribesmen in the area and was “100 percent sure” that Mr. Awlaki had been killed.

There had been an intense debate among lawyers in the months before the Obama administration decided to put Mr. Awlaki on a target list in early 2010, and officials said that Mr. Khan was never on the list. The decision to make Mr. Awlaki a priority to be sought and killed wascontroversial, given his American citizenship. The American Civil Liberties Union, which fought unsuccessfully in the American court system to challenge the decision to target Mr. Awlaki, condemned the killing.

Mr. Awlaki’s death comes in the midst of a deepening political crisis in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, where President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been resisting repeated calls to relinquish power. Mr. Saleh has argued that he is essential to the American efforts to battle Al Qaeda in Yemen, but American officials said there was no connection between Mr. Saleh’s abrupt return this week from Saudi Arabia, where he had been recovering from injuries sustained in an assassination attempt, and the timing of Friday’s airstrikes.

Born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents, Mr. Awlaki, 40, began preaching in mosques while a college student in the United States. During that time, as a preacher in San Diego, he met two of the Sept. 11, 2001, attackers. He returned to Yemen in 2004 and his English-language sermons became ever more stridently anti-American.

American counterterrorism officials said his Internet lectures and sermons inspired would-be militants and led to more than a dozen terrorist investigations in the United States, Britain and Canada. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas in 2009, had exchanged e-mails with Mr. Awlaki before the shootings. Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square in May 2010, cited Mr. Awlaki as an inspiration.

Many ordinary Yemenis — schooled in the cynicism of Yemeni politics — believe that their government could have killed or even captured Mr. Awlaki at any time, and chose to do so only now for political reasons.

But in fact, the Yemeni security services, many trained by American Special Forces soldiers, appear to have pursued Mr. Awlaki for almost two years in a hunt that was often hindered by the shifting allegiances of Yemen’s tribes and the deep unpopularity of Mr. Saleh’s government.

In 2009 and 2010, Mr. Awlaki seems to have been mostly in the southern heartland of his own powerful tribe, the Awaliq, where killing him would have been politically costly for the government, and capturing him nearly impossible. The area where Mr. Awlaki was finally killed, in the remote north, did not afford him the same tribal protection. There are also many tribal leaders in the far north who receive stipends from Saudi Arabia — the terrorist group’s chief target — and who would therefore have had more motive to assist in killing him.

The hunt for Mr. Awlaki has involved some close calls, including the failed American drone strike in May, and the previously unreported operation in the Yemeni village. Yemen’s elite counterterrorism commandos, backed by weapons from Yemen’s regular armed forces, formed a ring around the town as commanders began negotiating with local leaders to hand Mr. Awlaki over, said one member of the unit.

“We stayed a whole week, but the villagers were supporting him,” said the counterterrorism officer, who is not authorized to speak on the record. “The local people began firing on us, and we fired back, and while it was happening, they helped him to escape.”

Yemen’s political crisis has seriously hampered counterterrorism efforts, and may have slowed down the hunt for Mr. Awlaki. In May and June, armed jihadists overran two towns in southern Yemen, beating back the army brigades in the area and penning one of them behind the walls of its base for two months.

The elite counterterrorism unit was not deployed until August, because of fears of civil war in the capital. Eventually, the unit regained control of the city of Zinjibar, but the counterterrorism officer, who took part in the fight, said the militant forces appeared to have expanded during Yemen’s crisis, with recruits from Somalia and several Arab countries.

Fresh information about Mr. Awlaki’s location surfaced about three weeks ago, allowing the C.I.A. to track him in earnest, waiting for an opportunity to strike with minimal risks to civilians, American officials said.

A senior American military official who monitors Yemen closely said Mr. Awlaki’s death would send an important message to the surviving leaders and foot soldiers in the Qaeda affiliate. “It’s critically important,” the senior official said. “It sets a sense of doom for the rest of them. Getting Awlaki, given his tight operational security, increases the sense of fear. It’s hard for them to attack when they’re trying to protect their own back side.”

But some Islamist figures said Mr. Awlaki’s status could be elevated to that of a martyr. Anjem Choudhry, an Islamic scholar in London, said, “The death of Sheik Anwar al-Awlaki will merely motivate the Muslim youth to struggle harder against the enemies of Islam and Muslims.”

He added, “I would say his death has made him more popular.”

Reporting was contributed by Laura Kasinof from Sana, Yemen; Alan Cowell from London; and Souad Mekhennet and Rick Gladstone from New York.