Posts Tagged Military

Bush’s 2004 secret order authorizes military operations outside Iraq and Afghanistan

If you’ve been wondering, as I have, on what authority U.S. forces are conducting military operations in Pakistan and Syria. Well, we should not be surprised, there was a secret order allowing them to do so.

NY Times: Secret Order Lets U.S. Raid Al Qaeda in Many Countries

WASHINGTON — The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, according to senior American officials.

These military raids, typically carried out by Special Operations forces, were authorized by a classified order that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President Bush, the officials said. The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States. (snip)

Some of the military missions have been conducted in close coordination with the C.I.A., according to senior American officials, who said that in others, like the Special Operations raid in Syria on Oct. 26 of this year, the military commandos acted in support of C.I.A.-directed operations. (snip)

Apart from the 2006 raid into Pakistan, the American officials refused to describe in detail what they said had been nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks, except to say they had been carried out in Syria, Pakistan and other countries. They made clear that there had been no raids into Iran using that authority, but they suggested that American forces had carried out reconnaissance missions in Iran using other classified directives.

According to a senior administration official, the new authority was spelled out in a classified document called “Al Qaeda Network Exord,” or execute order, that streamlined the approval process for the military to act outside officially declared war zones. Where in the past the Pentagon needed to get approval for missions on a case-by-case basis, which could take days when there were only hours to act, the new order specified a way for Pentagon planners to get the green light for a mission far more quickly, the official said. (snip)

The 2004 order was a step in the evolution of how the American government sought to kill or capture Qaeda terrorists around the world. It was issued after the Bush administration had already granted America’s intelligence agencies sweeping power to secretly detain and interrogate terrorism suspects in overseas prisons and to conduct warrantless eavesdropping on telephone and electronic communications.

Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Bush issued a classified order authorizing the C.I.A. to kill or capture Qaeda militants around the globe. By 2003, American intelligence agencies and the military had developed a much deeper understanding of Al Qaeda’s extensive global network, and Mr. Rumsfeld pressed hard to unleash the military’s vast firepower against militants outside the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 2004 order identifies 15 to 20 countries, including Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and several other Persian Gulf states, where Qaeda militants were believed to be operating or to have sought sanctuary, a senior administration official said. (all emphasis mine).

And if this order has been kept secret for four years, why exactly is this information being released at this particular point in time?

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As The Country Goes, So Goes Utah

…or is it the other way around? Well, not any more.

As Utah led (or lagged) the country in Bush approval ratings, so Utah lags the Nation in the growing acceptance of Gays as evidenced by popular sentiment about Gays in the military.

But Utah WILL follow the national trend, albeit several steps behind, as sure as we also woke up to the national shame of the Bush administration.

H/t C&L:

Americans have come a long way on gays in the military

By: Steve Benen on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

When Americans were asked in 1993 about whether U.S. troops should be able to serve, even if they’re gay, a majority (55%) were opposed to the idea. About eight years later, in 2001, public opinion had already shifted a great deal — 62% of Americans supported gays serving openly in the Armed Forces, while 35% did not.

And now, as hearings on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are poised to begin on the Hill, public opinion on the issue is practically one-sided – in a progressive direction.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of Americans in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll said gay people who are open about their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, up from 62 percent in early 2001 and 44 percent in 1993. Read the rest of this entry »

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