Four former service members – including three sensor operators – issue plea to rethink current airstrike strategy that has ‘fueled feelings of hatred’ toward US
Ed Pilkington in New York and Ewen MacAskill in London
Guardian, 18 November 2015
Four former US air force service members, with more than 20 years of experience between them operating military drones, have written an open letter to Barack Obama warning that the program of targeted killings by unmanned aircraft has become a major driving force for Isis and other terrorist groups.
The group of servicemen have issued an impassioned plea to the Obama administration, calling for a rethink of a military tactic that they say has “fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like Isis, while also serving as a fundamental recruitment tool similar to Guantánamo Bay”.
Related: Drones may predate Obama, but his resolute use of them is unmatched
In particular, they argue, the killing of innocent civilians in drone airstrikes has acted as one of the most “devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world”.
The letter, addressed to Obama, defense secretary Ashton Carter and CIA chief John Brennan, links the signatories’ anxieties directly to last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris. They imply that the abuse of the drone program is causally connected to the outrages.
“We cannot sit silently by and witness tragedies like the attacks in Paris, knowing the devastating effects the drone program has overseas and at home,” they wrote.
(Read more here)
Analyst contends Iran nuclear agreement slows a march to war
Notes assessments that say Iran halted work on nuclear weapons
Traveled with the late Tacoma peace activist, the Rev. Bill Bichsel
As a former CIA analyst turned anti-war activist, Elizabeth Murray found much to like in news last summer when the Obama administration struck a deal to monitor Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions that have crippled that country’s economy.
To her, the deal pushed back what at times looked like an inevitable armed conflict among Iran, Israel and the United States.
But not everyone sees the world as Murray does.
The Iran agreement has been a lightning rod for months with conservative leaders in America and Israel casting it as bad deal that will not prevent Iran making a nuclear weapon.
Murray, 55, on Monday (Nov. 9) plans to share her thoughts on why the deal is a good one at a forum in University Place moderated by one of the Puget Sound region’s leading Middle East experts, professor Steve Niva of The Evergreen State College.
Murray spent 27 years in the CIA mostly working as a Middle East analyst and now works with the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, the Poulsbo-based anti-nuclear organization.
Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/military/article43685778.html#storylink=cpy
By Patrick G. Eddington
…. Eight years after Mr. Meshal’s rendition, his case ended up before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The questions hanging over the proceeding were: can the United States government allow, or even facilitate, the rendition of an American citizen to another country for interrogation? And can United States officials themselves conduct rendition and interrogations of American citizens, including threats of torture, on foreign soil?
According to a decision handed down last week, the answers appear to be yes. If this decision stands, it will mean that an American citizen overseas who is unlawfully targeted by the United States government for rendition, interrogation and detention with the help of a local government will have no form of redress in the courts. (more…)
Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence is a movement of former CIA colleagues of former intelligence analyst Sam Adams, together with others who hold up his example as a model for those in intelligence who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power. SAAII confers an award each year to a member of the intelligence community or related professions who exemplifies Sam Adam’s courage, persistence, and devotion to truth – no matter the consequences. Read more about the history here.
The annual Sam Adams Award has been given in previous years to truth tellers Coleen Rowley of the FBI; Katharine Gun of British Intelligence; Sibel Edmonds of the FBI; Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan; Sam Provance, former US Army Sgt; Maj. Frank Grevil of Danish Army Intelligence; Larry Wilkerson, Col., US Army (ret.), former chief of staff to Colin Powell at State; Julian Assange, of WikiLeaks: Thomas Drake, of NSA; Jesselyn Radack, formerly of Dept. of Justice and now National Security Director of Government Accountability Project; Thomas Fingar, former Deputy Director of National Intelligence and Director, National Intelligence Council, and Edward Snowden, former contractor for the National Security Agency; Chelsea Manning, US Army Private who exposed (via WikiLeaks) key information on Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as State Department activities; and to retired National Security Agency official William Binney, who challenged decisions to ignore the Fourth Amendment in the government’s massive — and wasteful — collection of electronic data.