Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Trump obsessively hunts 'celebrity' terrorist targets

  1. #1
    Global Moderator
    Comrade Commissar
    TopHatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Sep 03
    Posts
    17,396

    Trump obsessively hunts 'celebrity' terrorist targets

    Trump obsessively hunts 'celebrity' terrorist targets and ignores other threats to the US, former CIA officer says

    President Donald Trump is obsessed with hunting down big name terrorist targets to the point that he ignores other potential threats, as well as the impact on US interests, a former CIA officer who served during his presidency wrote Wednesday.

    "President Donald Trump likes big names," former CIA officer Douglas London, who served in the agency for decades, wrote Wednesday in an op-ed for Just Security. "It's this focus on celebrity, headlines, and immediate gratification — versus substance, impact, and consequences — that so often motivates him."

    "As a senior CIA counterterrorist manager, my team and I often struggled in persuading the president to recognize the most important threats," added London, who retired in late 2018 as a senior CIA operations officer after 34 years in the CIA's clandestine service.

    During Trump's presidency, a number of high-profile terrorist targets, namely Hamza bin Laden, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and Qassem Soleimani, have been eliminated.

    "Trump's obsession in focusing resources against Osama bin Laden's son Hamza is one example of the president's preference for a 'celebrity' targeted killing versus prioritizing options that could prove better for US security," London wrote.

    Trump announced that the US killed Hamza bin Laden last September, saying that "the loss of Hamza bin Laden not only deprives al-Qa'ida of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group."

    London downplayed Hamza's significance compared to Ayman Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden, or his lieutenants. The president, he explained, opted to go after Hamza despite intelligence indicating that other targets posed "greater dangers."

    "He was dismissive of our prioritization," London said, adding that Trump "regularly demanded updates on Hamza and insisted we accelerate our efforts to go after him."

    In October, Trump announced that the US had successfully terminated ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. "The United States brought the world's number one terrorist leader to justice," the president said in a statement.

    London revealed that Trump was obsessed with removing the ISIS leader and had shown less interest in operations targeting other leaders, no matter how dangerous those other individuals were.

    "Although US efforts to target key ISIS leaders and operatives had preempted what might have been any number of devastating terrorist attacks, the president's lack of familiarity with their names made such efforts, and their accomplishments, less consequential to him," London wrote.

    Trump treats sensitive military operations like televised events

    The president, formerly a real estate mogul and boisterous television celebrity, has a penchant for treating sensitive military operations like televised events.

    He invited scrutiny, for instance, by dramatizing the raid on al-Baghdadi's and comparing it to the raid that took down Osama bin Laden during the Obama administration.

    Shortly after reports surfaced that an operation targeting al-Baghdadi had been carried out, Trump tweeted, "Something very big has just happened!"

    And while Obama's remarks about bin Laden's death were brief and didn't reveal much information about the details of the operation itself, Trump deviated from his prepared remarks, provided graphic details about the al-Baghdadi raid, and took questions from reporters for almost 40 minutes afterward.

    Earlier this month, the US military conducted a drone attack on Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, a killing that dramatically escalated tensions with Iran and even led the IRGC to launch a barrage of missiles at US forces in Iraq.

    "At my direction, the United States military successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed the number-one terrorist anywhere in the world, Qassem Soleimani," Trump said after the strike.

    London argued that Soleimani's killing "appears to have been more about Trump, and the potential for headlines, rather than the intelligence."

    Since the strike was first announced, questions have swirled about whether US intelligence supported the strike and whether Soleimani really posed an "imminent threat," as Trump and his deputies have said. The New York Times reported that the intelligence was "razor thin," adding that one US official called the reading of the intelligence an illogical leap.

    "I do not debate we had intelligence regarding any number of prospective attacks Iran was facilitating through proxies in Iraq, and elsewhere," London wrote. "But don't we always?"

    Trump, without citing evidence, has suggested that Soleimani and his forces were plotting to "blow up" a US embassy, if not multiple diplomatic posts.

    "The US government would have been legally bound to warn the public of a threat against an American embassy," London explained, noting that the skepticism following the president's claims is warranted. The State Department was also not told of any imminent threat to its embassies before the strike.

    Over the weekend, Esper, who receives the same intelligence briefing as the president, told CBS News he "didn't see" specific intelligence showing Iran was planning to target four US embassies before Soleimani was killed.

    "What the President said was he believed it probably could have been," Esper said. "He didn't cite intelligence."
    _________________

    Put an attention-craving narcissist in the White House and get a reality TV shit show.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  2. #2
    Regular Wonderful Plans's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 Jan 20
    Posts
    105
    There's power in cultural influence through celebrity. So you got two terrorist leaders, one's a green militant hiding in a cave somewhere and has first hand access to the armament and militia, probably poses the hardest threat in an embattled situation. The other one is a popular figure among his people, a red sash autocrat with power in his people's media and influence within a more social arena, he doesnt carry out the missions but his influence, although more indirect than the cave dweller, has a far and wide impact in his abilities to inspire terrorism. Now you got the president with his operations in that area. Hes got two targets but he can only hit one right now. Which one you choose, the red mouth in the limo ot the green monster in the cave? Which one is gonna be easier? Which one is going to incite talk among the terrorist peoples? He'll get 'em both eventually but hey, don't delay, get 'em while you can.

  3. #3
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    03 Sep 17
    Posts
    1,788
    Since the strike was first announced, questions have swirled about whether US intelligence supported the strike and whether Soleimani really posed an "imminent threat," as Trump and his deputies have said. The New York Times reported that the intelligence was "razor thin," adding that one US official called the reading of the intelligence an illogical leap.

    "I do not debate we had intelligence regarding any number of prospective attacks Iran was facilitating through proxies in Iraq, and elsewhere," London wrote. "But don't we always?"
    FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

    The US Embassy has just been hit. The man responsible was meeting with his Lieutenants on the front lines. And all these news articles think that he was there for a dog and pony show. This is the most irresponsible read of the intel that I ever saw.

    No, we did not know the specific targets but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that another hit was coming ... and fast.

    And Gen Milley thinks the same.
    Last edited by WABs_OOE; 21 Jan 20, at 01:48.

  4. #4
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
    Join Date
    11 Sep 10
    Location
    Bangalore
    Posts
    10,952
    Douglas London's argument seems a bit odd

    Were the U.S. to have made the case internationally for Iranian culpability in the rocket attack that killed an American contractor or the U.S. Embassy assault, a more effective overt, kinetic option might have been striking Soleimani or IRGC elements in Syria instead of Iraq.

    Better still would have been acting against Soleimani in a way in which the U.S. could deny responsibility, a covert task that would have taken time, elaborate planning, and significant patience, but more likely to have accomplished strategically what the president claimed to seek.

    To date, for example, no country has acknowledged the 2008 assassination in Syria of Hezbollah founding member Imad Fayez Mughniyeh, whose name factored in almost every Iranian- facilitated terrorist act against the U.S. throughout the 1980’s and ’90’s.

    Iranian and Hezbollah covert operational planning was certainly affected by his death, but absent a smoking gun, against whom could Iran retaliate militarily?
    The US is out of Syria. They're in Iraq, they're getting trargeted in Iraq but this guy says better to do it in Syria ? huh!

    He then bring's up Mughniyeh who was killed in 2008 or a good TWENTY FIVE years after he attacked the US embassy, kidnapped & murdered the CIA station chief AND killed US troops in their barracks in '83 !!!

    Further undermining the Trump administration’s argument that the Soleimani strike disrupted an imminent plot to kill Americans, the IRGC is a military institution and so taking out its leader is unlike removing a key terrorist leader, whose death can often eliminate the planning, communications and direction for a particular attack. The IRGC’s command and control are likely largely unaffected, whereas its resolve has likely increased.

    Moreover, the U.S. acting without any deniability seems to have forced Iran’s hand to respond openly.
    He says taking out the IRGC did not amount to much gain for the US on a tactical level in Iraq. How does he know that ? He doesn't he's speculating. An assessment would have to wait at least a year or more where we can compare before and after. People generally say it does not deter. Well, why did the Iranians pull their punches then. Taking out a head gets at morale and sends the message that if the head isn't safe then same applies for the entire organisation.

    And the part i find weird is he wants plausible deniability

    If the US wants to show resolve, it means coming out in the open and admitting it not hiding in the shadows. Trump owns this one.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 21 Jan 20, at 23:13.

  5. #5
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
    Join Date
    11 Sep 10
    Location
    Bangalore
    Posts
    10,952
    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

    The US Embassy has just been hit. The man responsible was meeting with his Lieutenants on the front lines. And all these news articles think that he was there for a dog and pony show. This is the most irresponsible read of the intel that I ever saw.

    No, we did not know the specific targets but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that another hit was coming ... and fast.

    And Gen Milley thinks the same.
    It's an opposition piece, i see the similarity with people accusing Modi for politicising the military and gaining political mileage out of counter terror raids because govt admitted it.

    Here the same is being said, Trump is only going for headlines by hunting 'celebrity targets'. I've said this before, people who attacked the consulate in Benghazi were never caught. Here Trump did something about it a few short days later.

    Heard the same slam by general leading resolute support in Afghanistan about the Taliban. They too only want to grab headlines with some spectacular attack because they cannot change things on the battlefield. This though is not a fair comparison with the US in Iraq.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 21 Jan 20, at 18:15.

  6. #6
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    03 Sep 17
    Posts
    1,788
    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    He says taking out the IRGC did not amount to much gain for the US on a tactical level in Iraq.
    He ignored who else was killed. Taking out the PMF's political 2IC has minimal tactical effect? At the very least, it sets up a power struggle within the PMF and castrate Iranian proxies in Iraq for a time.

  7. #7
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
    Join Date
    11 Sep 10
    Location
    Bangalore
    Posts
    10,952
    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    He ignored who else was killed. Taking out the PMF's political 2IC has minimal tactical effect? At the very least, it sets up a power struggle within the PMF and castrate Iranian proxies in Iraq for a time.
    Solemani was a Sunni killer. He is responsible for more sunni deaths in the region than all western deaths by AQ & IS put together.

    When it comes to going after terrrorists, Trump also has Bagdadi.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. SAS hunts fleeing Al-Qaeda Africans
    By troung in forum The Middle East and North Africa
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 14 Jan 07,, 04:44
  2. Celebrity Campaign Donations
    By Wraith601 in forum American Politics & Economy
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 25 Nov 06,, 08:04
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05 Jun 06,, 19:03
  4. Aah, finally starting to bag in some celebrity interviews
    By Asim Aquil in forum International Politics
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02 Mar 05,, 07:17
  5. US hunts more Guantanamo 'spies'
    By Ironduke in forum Europe and Russia
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 25 Sep 03,, 00:51

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •