The tone is respectful to McChrystal, but mindful of his breach. Obama takes the opportunity to reinforce the American commitment to victory in Afghanistan rather than back away from it. And, the speech is blissfully, only eight minutes long.
After years of litigation arising from the nation's detention of prisoners in the global war on terror, the Supreme Court's decisions confound as much as they clarify -- and none more than Boumediene v. Bush, the 2008 decision in which the Court declared that Guantanamo Bay prisoners could challenge their detention in federal court, under legal standards which the federal courts would create after the fact.
Quoting the Koran in a 2006 email, Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad wrote that "those who believe" should "fight in the Cause of Allah." Shahzad expressed anger over the cartoon drawings of Mohammed, conflicts that pitted Muslims against non-Muslims, and democracy.
Bravely entering the lion’s den — delivering a speech in praise of left-wing, “pro bono” lawyering to a group of left-wing, pro bono lawyers — Attorney General Eric Holder recently declared that “lawyers who provide counsel for the unpopular are, and should be, treated as what they are: patriots.”
Sure they are. After all, Holder explained, they “reaffirm our nation’s most essential and enduring values” — like the value we place on coming to the aid of our enemies in wartime. And let’s not forget the value we place on advocating for the release of those enemies who, as night follows day, then return to the business of killing Americans. Sure, the nation somehow missed these essential and enduring values in the two-plus centuries between the Revolutionary War and the War on Terror, but hey, who’s counting?
A former Guantanamo detainee transferred from the detention facility to Afghanistan on Dec. 19, 2009, has already returned to the Taliban’s ranks, according to multiple intelligence officials contacted by the Long War Journal. The former detainee was identified in documents produced at Guantanamo as Abdul Hafiz (as well as an alternative name, Abdul Qawi) and given an internment serial number of 1030.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a district judge has ordered Mohamedou Slahi – a known al Qaeda recruiter who worked for Osama bin Laden – freed from Guantanamo. The Journal’s account does not explain the judge’s reasoning and the decision was not immediately available online. But the decision is inexplicable in light of Slahi’s notorious track record. There is no doubt that Mohamedou Slahi is one of the worst terrorists held at Gitmo. (See here for a previous summary of Slahi’s dossier.)
In an audio recording released last Wednesday, Anwar al Awlaki, an American-born radical Islamist cleric residing in Yemen, called directly for jihad against the United States. (For more about Awlaki, see here, here, here, here, here, and here.) In short, Awlaki has been linked to a number of recent terror attacks, including the Fort Hood shooting and the Christmas Day attack.
Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, recently detailed a new approach to warfare that's worth a look. In two speeches at Kansas State University and Fort Leavenworth, Mullen talked up a massive doctrinal shift in America's approach to warfighting.
The BBC is reporting that Operation Moshtarek has finally launched in Afghanistan's Helmand province. The principle objective will be to seize Marjah, the fortress city owned by the Taliban. Marjah is a key node for Taliban operations and resourcing, so expect the good guys to sweep it, clear it, and hold it ... permanently. The mission appears to have kicked off during the early morning hours, when NATO forces have a decisive advantage in night fighting.